Attraction Overview: Living with the Land + Video

by on August 1, 2017

I’m off to Epcot this morning! Care to join me?

Hop in my boat as I guide you through the attraction, Living with the Land.

Warning: Corny jokes ahead.

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Disney Park, Resort Employees See Hours Cut Starting Tomorrow

by on July 22, 2017

We’ve heard that Disney is making a small reduction to some Castmember shifts at its domestic parks and resorts beginning with tomorrow’s work week. We hear the cutbacks will run from July 23 through September 30, 2017, the last day of Disney’s fiscal year.

The scope of these cutbacks appears to be smaller than we’d heard proposed earlier this month, which is good news.

Theme Park and Crowd Calendar Impacts

Cutting back staff hours at the theme parks may increase wait times at the rides. We believe that earlier cutbacks contributed to higher wait times starting in 2016. Our crowd calendar is based on wait times at popular rides. If these cutbacks increase wait times, you may see higher crowd levels than predicted.

We estimate that we’ll need to collect 14 days of data with the new staff levels before our crowd models can reflect their impacts. That means a new crowd calendar update would be available the week of August 7. We post the previous day’s crowd levels on the calendar, so you can follow this along from home.

Resort Impacts

We’re told that resort staff cutbacks are relatively minor. Most guests may not see a change in service levels.

Attraction Overview: Expedition Everest + Video

by on June 20, 2017

Photo - Angela DahlgrenHave you heard about the mysterious monster rumored to protect the Himalaya Mountains?

Dare to catch a glimpse?

Board an old train and travel to the top of Mount Everest to see if the legend is true!

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FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World – Update 2

by on May 5, 2017


This is the third blog post on day-of FastPass+ availability. The first blog post was in 2014, and the second in 2015. In the three-plus years since FastPass+ was introduced at Walt Disney World, we have been tracking the availability of FastPass+ reservations. The last major change in the FastPass+ process is the that you can reserve additional FastPass+ reservations through Disney’s MyDisneyExperiance app. This is a significant improvement over having to stand in line at in-park kiosks. This also means that additional FastPass+ reservations are being grabbed up by more guests. For FastPass+ overview, tips, and advice go to

By using the FastPass+ system, we and others have observed that reservation slots can come and go quickly. The tables below show the average time when availability runs out. It is possible that a FastPass+ reservation may pop up, but it is unlikely. The gray cells show the number of days in advance that FastPass+ reservations sell out.

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Attraction Overview: Great Movie Ride + Video

by on March 28, 2017

Photo - Angela DahlgrenGood morning!

Start your day off with a cup of coffee (or two) and my latest Attraction Overview.

I now present…The Great Movie Ride!

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Attraction Overview: Spaceship Earth – Epcot

by on February 21, 2017

Photo - Angela DahlgrenHappy Tuesday everyone!

Today’s video is an attraction overview of Spaceship Earth. This is located in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World!

Spaceship Earth Overview


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What You Need to Know Before You See Rivers of Light

by on February 21, 2017

It’s finally here. After months of delays and a long hype campaign, Rivers of Light has made its debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Once upon a time, having Animal Kingdom open at night, let alone its own night time show, was just a dream. The fact that it is finally a reality is enough to make me happy. Personally, I found the show to fit the spirit of Animal Kingdom very well and think it is a nice addition to this Walt Disney World theme park that always seems to be fighting an uphill battle.


On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom you should definitely make time to see this new night time show. Rivers of Light is worth seeing at least once, and here’s what you need to know before you go.

FastPass+ entrance – Rivers of Light

There will be lines

(regardless of if you have a FastPass+ or not)

Even if you book a FastPass+ for Rivers of Light or if you book a dining package, there will be lines to get into the ampitheater. There are two main entrances into the theater, one in Asia, near Expedition Everest, and the other in DinoLand U.S.A. The Asia entrance is FastPass+ and dining package only. The DinoLand entrance is standby, and dining package seating, though it seems to a lesser extent than the Asia side.

If you have either a FastPass+ or dining package you are guaranteed a seat up until about 5-10 minutes before show time.  The advantage of both of these options is to not have to get to the theater 45 minutes before showtime just to get a seat of any kind. Both methods save you time.

Asia side of theater nearly full 30 minutes before Rivers of Light show time


In my opinion it was worth having the FastPass+ when I viewed Rivers of Light. It reduces the stress and worry of wondering if you’re even going to get into the theater, plus the standby line is quite long. So while FastPass+ and dining package guests are seated in the theater, hundreds of standby guests wait standing in a long, winding line.

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Price comparison of Orlando’s water parks

by on February 17, 2017

Summer is coming and this year will be unlike any previous year in Orlando because Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay erupts onto the scene. It’s hard not to call Volcano Bay a water park, because well, that’s what it is, but it is indeed so much more. It is said to have technology and features unlike anything we’ve seen before, especially in Orlando. Still, chances are as you think about planning your Orlando vacation, you’re thinking about Volcano Bay as if it is a water park. Most likely you are trying to decide how to spend the time you’ve allocated for a water park and debating between Volcano Bay, Disney’s water parks, Aquatica, or even Discovery Cove.

Price comparison of Orlando’s water parks

Without diving too deep into the strenuous detail between all of Orlando’s water parks, let’s take a look at this price comparison.

Prices below do not include tax, prices are as of 2/17/2017

Ticket type Volcano Bay Disney Water Parks
 Single day Single day tickets are not officially available as of yet, but can be purchased only as part of a vacation package through select travel booking services. Several sources indicate $124 as the price per person.

 $62.00 adult

$56.00 child

Multi day regular theme parks plus water parks

(park to park / park hopper)

3 days

  $314.99 adult

($105 per day)

$304.99 child

($102 per day)

 $364 adult

($121.33 per day)

$346 child

($115.33 per day)

Multi day regular theme parks plus water park

(park to park / park hopper)

4 days

$324.99 adult

($81.24 per day)

$314.99 child

($78.75 per day)

 $440 adult

($110 per day)

$420 child

($105 per day)

Multi day regular theme parks plus water parks

(one park per day)

3 days

 $259.99 adult

($86.66 per day)

$249.99 child

($83.33 per day)

 water parks are not available without Park Hopper option

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Wait, Who’s That? – Princess Elena of Avalor + Video

by on February 7, 2017


Hooray for another new series!

Appropriately named, “Wait…who’s that?“, this series gives an overview of Disney characters who are either new or not as well-known.

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Groundhog Day: Attractions Worth Repeating … Forever

by on February 2, 2017

When we talk about “Groundhog Day” experiences at Walt Disney World, we’re not necessarily talking about a large rodent emerging from his burrow. We know that Mickey Mouse remains safely in the Magic Kingdom’s Town Square Theater. And despite his comedic talent, he has little weather forecasting ability.

©Columbia Pictures

No, we’re talking about the 1993 movie where Bill Murray plays arrogant weatherman Phil Connors, who is reluctantly covering the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pa. After a blizzard traps him in town for the night, Murray’s character wakes up to the same song and chatter on the radio and the same events unfolding through the town. Soon, he finds that he’s trapped in an endless time loop. He’s stuck reliving Groundhog Day over and over, while everyone surrounding him is unaware of his predicament.

Much like Phil Connors, if you’re a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, you might find yourself in your own Groundhog Day. Riding the same attractions over and over. Taking the same route through the parks. Ordering the same lunch. I had my own Groundhog Day moment when my boat got stuck in the final scene of It’s A Small World. Endlessly cheery, well-intentioned but ultimately annoying, it’s kind of the Ned Ryerson of Disney attractions.

Luckily, Walt Disney World has a number of attractions that will break you out of that time loop. So on this Groundhog Day, let’s take a tour of the park attractions that offer a different experience each time you visit.

A unique experience, now doubled

Our first attraction, Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safaris remains a must-do every visit, for the simple fact that the experience changes every time. These aren’t animatronics you’re seeing, they’re real animals, doing real animal things. Occasionally they’ll even block the path of your ride vehicle.

Sometimes the wildlife is this close. But don’t worry, dangerous animals are separated by barriers.

Imagineers rig these rocks with cooling devices to keep the lions on view.

It’s Disney’s largest attraction by a wide margin, with the tour winding through the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve. You can view up to 34 species of African wildlife in the various habitats. I say “up to” because you can’t always see all the animals. They have minds of their own, so they could be hidden away on one tour and in full display the next. Part of the appeal of Kilimanjaro Safaris is that you never know what you’re going to get.

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