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The Amazing Race Around Disney World

by on May 26, 2015 39 Comments

Amazing Race

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!

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Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of the Entrance

by on May 25, 2015 13 Comments

epcot3After 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.

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Lombard’s Seafood Grille: The Best Food at Universal Orlando

by on May 25, 2015 4 Comments

When discussing dining at Universal’s Islands of AdventureMythos 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.

Lombard's Seafood Grille -- exterior.

Image © Chuck Plagmann

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.

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Behind the Voices: Mickey Mouse and Friends

by on May 24, 2015 4 Comments

Photo - cinedork.comWhile 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.

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SATURDAY SIX: Top Six Adult Drinks at Walt Disney World

by on May 23, 2015 5 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Top Six Adult Drinks at Walt Disney World. Who among us doesn’t enjoy an adult libation from time to time, especially on days when Anna & Elsa still have a 40 minute wait at 3 in the morning? While we at the SATURDAY SIX offices respect those who attempt an Ultimate Touring Plan to see every attraction, show, parade and live performance at a Disney Park, you’re more likely to find us attempting to drink around World Showcase or figuring out the best resort to stay at while attempting a WDW bar tour.

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 is Les 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.

25DrinksOfXmas_GranMarinerSlush

Gran Marnier Slush. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Video – Disneyland Forever Fireworks

by on May 22, 2015 1 Comment

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.

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of May 22, 2015

by on May 22, 2015 5 Comments

In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Are you doing anything Disney this weekend? Maybe going to Disney World of Disneyland? Maybe seeing Tomorrowland? Whatever you do this weekend, please make sure to be safe!

This week, I found fun stuff about a potential DVC resort expansion at Wilderness Lodge, a review of Inside Out, and much more!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

With Disneyland’s 60th celebration kicking off today, I felt it was appropriate to share these rarely seen photos of Disneyland’s construction.

It appears that plans have officially been filed for the future DVC waterside units at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 4

by on May 22, 2015 2 Comments

Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland 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.

Events

Disneyland Holiday TimeDisneyland 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.

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Star Wars Weekends: A Meal with Jedi Mickey

by on May 21, 2015 4 Comments

cover image

Photo by Julia Mascardo

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

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.

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A Look Ahead – Analyzing Crowd Predictions For September 2015

by on May 21, 2015 12 Comments

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]

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!

Are Crowds Different Before and After Labor Day?
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