Three things that my family loves are Disney World, reality TV, and competition. So once a year during our summer Disney World vacation, we combine all of these together into what we affectionately call “The Amazing Race Around Disney World”. In case you aren’t familiar with the popular reality TV series “The Amazing Race“, the basic premise is that teams of two compete in challenges while racing around the world for a million dollars. We follow this same format (minus the million) and create new challenges each year.
Please read on for a complete copy of one of our races and to learn more about how to create your very own “Amazing Race Around Disney World” for your next vacation!
After a brief hiatus, the AtMousePhere series is back and taking a look at Epcot, and specifically Epcot music!
Out of all of the theme parks, fans have especially latched on to the music of Epcot’s entrance. The other three theme parks have music at the entrance that is put together like a patchwork quilt: One piece ends, and the next piece begins. In Epcot, however, the pieces are woven through a main tune that appears in some form between each new piece of music.
When discussing dining at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Mythos typically steals the culinary spotlight. Even Finnegan’s tends to get lots of love within Universal Studios Florida itself, but it’s actually Lombard’s Seafood Grille where a great deal of Universal’s gastronomical delights are to be found. When its top-notch offerings and ideal location on the park’s waterfront are combined with its low profile, an unexpected bonus pops up: lower wait times (on average, at least) and a quieter, more relaxed ambiance. The result is that Lombard’s is not to be missed.
Is that a hyperbolic statement, given the totality of the resort’s high-class dining offerings? In a word, no. While it’s true that Mama Della’s is the best overall full-service restaurant at Universal Orlando, and The Three Broomsticks is the highest quality quick-service location – and let’s not forget Mythos itself, which has to easily take the crown for the best-themed eatery – Lombard’s has some of, if not the, best meals around, coupled with an atmosphere that is subtly themed but nevertheless sublime.
While watching a movie I can’t just watch the movie. I have to get on my phone and check out imdb.com to see what other films the actors have been in. The same applies when I’m watching Disney Junior with my daughter.
I listen closely to see if I can recognize where else I’ve heard these famous voices before double checking on the internet. Utilizing my weird hobby, I thought it would be fun to feature a few of these Disney voice actors so we all could finally match the face to the voice!*
*I’ve only highlighted actors who voiced the character at least five years.
We looked at every bar and lounge across WDW property and came up with the list of best adult drinks. The only venue not eligible is the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, because they will be getting an article devoted entirely to them in the near future (we’re still in the honeymoon phase, and the Nautilus, Shrunken Zombie Head, Rum Flight, Tropical Dark & Stormy, Krakatoa Punch and Polynesian Pearl would fill up the list.) With that out of the way let’s begin the drink countdown, starting with….
# 6 – Grand Marnier Orange Slush (France Pavilion, Epcot)
Our first stop after crossing the International Gateway at Epcot isLes Vins des Chefs de France kiosk for a Grand Marnier Orange Slush. Similar in taste to an orange sorbet with just the right mix of Grand Marnier and Grey Goose vodka, this slush is absolutely delicious and the perfect drink during a hot touring day at Epcot.
Disneyland has a new fireworks spectacular, and I’m happy to report it’s a worthy successor to the long running and beloved Remember: Dreams Come True show. Disneyland Forever uses fireworks, lasers, projections, and music to take the viewer through a history of Disneyland and Disney’s animated features. The films represented in the show include classic animated features like The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh and Pinocchio, as well as modern features like The Lion King and Frozen. One of the highlights of the show is the projection technology used on Sleeping Beauty Castle and the buildings up and down Main Street. This means you don’t have to be standing directly in front of the castle to get a good view like the previous fireworks shows. Via the projections, Main Street buildings may be covered in honey during the Winnie the Pooh segment, or look like they’re submerged in water during the Little Mermaid segment. It’s a beautiful effect that works well. This also means you may need multiple viewings in different areas to get the full scope of the show.
Disneyland Forever premieres tonight at Disneyland. We now have video of a full performance on our YouTube channel. Let me know what you think of the new Disneyland Forever fireworks in the comments below.
Disneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we are debating this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, we compared planning, transportation, and the parks. In our fourth and final part, let’s conclude our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World by discussing events, resort extras, and dining.
Disneyland Resort Events
The Disneyland Resort has lots of exciting happenings throughout the year. As well as offering several smaller events, Disneyland Resort is host to:
Lunar New Year: This is a fun celebration at California Adventure filled with festive decorations and entertainment.
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend: This is a runDisney race event complete with Star Wars characters and entertainment.
New Orleans Square Mardi Gras: This is an exciting happening in the New Orleans Square of Disneyland complete with lively jazz music.
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: This is a themed runDisney race event filled with Never Land characters and entertainment.
Independence Day:This celebration has themed merchandise, tasty red-white-and-blue treats plus a dazzling fireworks show.
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend:This is another incredible runDisney race event with courses that pass through both California Adventure and Disneyland.
Halloween Time:This event includes Disney villains, Halloween crafts, dance parties, yummy Halloween inspired treats, themed merchandise, and festive fall decorations.
Mickey’s Halloween Party:This party is held on select nights in September and October and includes exciting dance parties, trick-or-treat stations, character meet and greats, and dazzling fireworks.
Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend:This is another runDisney race event this time with a Super Heroes theme.
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort: This seasonal offering includes a special version of World of Color, holiday fireworks, a Christmas parade, snow on Main Street, U.S.A., holiday overlays to “it’s a small world” and Haunted Mansion, Sleeping Beauty Castle covered in sparkling icicle lights, themed treats and merchandise, and the entire resort adorned with festive decorations.
New Year’s Eve Celebration: This event includes themed merchandise and treats, energetic dance parties, and a spectacular fireworks show.
An epic lightsaber battle took place between Princess Leia and Darth Vader for the fate of the galaxy.
Well, okay. It was last Sunday night in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Princess Leia was played by Minnie Mouse and Darth Vader was played by Goofy. And the fate of the galaxy might be a bit of a stretch. But this dining experience was, well, epic.
During Star Wars weekends, Hollywood and Vine’s dinner buffet is turned into Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Even if you’ve done more character meals than Mos Eisley has scum and villainy, there are some unique aspects to this meal.
Labor Day always falls on the first Monday of September which this year is Monday, September 7, as late as it can be on the calendar. The Disney World Crowd Calendar predicts the week before Labor Day will have crowds as light as the week after and so we’ve received many requests to take a closer look. The low numbers seem too good to be true.
I think your calendar is using the early Labor Day from last year as a proxy for this year’s predictions. Better check your numbers because Labor Day is September 7 this year.
So…let’s take a look.
How do attraction wait times in early September compare to the rest of the year? [photo courtesy Tom Bricker]
September is the Least Popular Month for Travel
First of all, let’s acknowledge that we may be splitting hairs here. September is the single best time of year to do Disney World if you want to avoid crowds. Period. If you dislike crowds and are considering a trip with the word ‘September’ in your itinerary, book it!