Posts Tagged ‘disney world’

Time Traveling: Soarin’

by on January 6, 2014

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Current balloons on display in The Land pavilion

The last time we went time traveling I teased at the end about one of my all time favorite attractions, and now it’s time to make good on that promise! Today, we’re talking about the land where Soarin’ sits at Epcot. One housekeeping note: a lot of this is written from my own (entirely too sentimental) memories. If you remember it differently, please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from everyone.

If you went back in time between 1994 and 2004, you’d have no reason to be sad about Soarin’ taking over this space. Food Rocks is the show you’d find, and I can honestly say that even at a young age I understood I was seeing a cheap overlay at Disney. The transition time to install this show was only a couple months, and all of the animatronics felt flat. Even our host, “Fud Wrapper,” looked like he was made from cheap, nylon material. In this show Fud was our guide through the food groups and avoiding excess in a concert performed entirely by audio-animatronics. The only problem was that every song was a popular song with words replaced to fit the food group. Think of an entire show written in the style of Weird Al Yankovic… just not funny. It was one of the first attractions to close after I moved to Orlando, and I was thrilled to see it go! However, if you weren’t able to visit during this time, the show is well documented on YouTube, so you have to watch it. I’m very curious if lots of people will disagree with me on this show. Much like The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management), I might just be firmly on one side of a generation gap. I’ll always love the original Enchanted Tiki Room, and I’ll always love the show that Food Rocks replaced.

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New Year’s Eve 2014: A Tour of Epcot

by on January 2, 2014

If you’d asked me a week ago what my plans were for New Year’s Eve, I would have told you that we’d decided to stay in for a quiet night on the couch. We’d been in the parks the last several years, and my hubby had asked for a year off. I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled I was when on December 30 he declared we were going to Epcot because we hadn’t been there to ring in the New Year in ages! I thought I would take you guys with me to see what it’s really like to celebrate at Disney!

For starters, we certainly didn’t follow my ultimate plan. We left our house at 6pm and did not hit a bit of traffic until we got through Epcot’s gates.

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Ultimate 2013 New Year’s Eve Plan

by on December 29, 2013

IMG_3154New Year’s Eve is one of the most amazing nights of the year at Walt Disney World. The fireworks are beyond any other party or event – even better than those on July 4! But even more than the fireworks, there is an amazing party atmosphere that you never see in the parks. Last year I saw the queue of Peter Pan’s Flight completely stopped while everyone in line danced to “Gangnam Style!” Whichever park you choose, there will be unforgettable entertainment and genuine Disney magic. That is the good news… the bad news is there will be crowds like most people never experience! But you have nothing to worry about, because I’m going to share with you my plan for a stress free New Year’s celebration! Here is the fine print: this is just what I would do this year. There are lots of ways to have a great time. and I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

Before leaving for a crazy busy day in the parks, I always pack a survival bag. If you haven’t experienced it, you might be surprised to find out that on a very busy day you could have to wait 30+ minutes for a drink or to use the bathroom. (Bathrooms aren’t as much of an issue at Epcot where they bring in portable toilets.) I always bring snacks, a water bottle, phone charger, and extra layers of clothing in case it gets cold. Rain gear is also a good idea if there are any showers in the forecast.

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A Trip Around The World: Germany

by on December 27, 2013

Today we’re taking a look at Germany on our next stop around the World Showcase. If you’re just joining us, you might want to visit Mexico, Norway, and China first. I’m sure a few people will catch that I omitted the Adventure Outpost area in between China and Germany. I really don’t understand what it is other than some drums and an ice cream stand. I don’t think it’s a great tribute to any land – so I left it out! Once you’re past this confused little area you’ll start heading into what looks like a storybook, starting with Snow White’s Wishing Well.

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A Trip Around The World: China

by on December 20, 2013

Today we visit the beautiful land of China on the next stop of our trip around the world. Welcome back to those who have been reading! If you’re just joining us you might want to take a stroll through Mexico and Norway before continuing on. Looking at the image below you’ll notice one thing – there are no people! That’s because before 11am this is where Disney draws the line on World Showcase. If you enter through Future World you can go no further than this point.

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A little further down this path on the right you will find a small, outdoor gift shop. I’m a big fan of the panda umbrellas they sell here! They also carry paper umbrellas, paper fans, walking puppets, and other small toy and gift items. The open area to the right is where you’d be able to find a great Food & Wine booth during the festival. I always miss it when it’s gone!

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Walt Disney World for Ride Chickens

by on December 18, 2013

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris for the first time. While I was excited to try new things, I still found myself very worried about the intensity of attractions. Was the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean a little dip like Walt Disney World or was it quite a drop like Disneyland in California? I’m what you might call a “ride chicken.” More specifically I really don’t like drops on rides. Before each of my first visits to new parks, I’ve spent hours hunting on the web trying to decide if I’d enjoy rides or if they might leave me queasy sitting on a bench somewhere. That gave me the idea to put together my guide to Walt Disney World attractions for all of us ride chickens out there! Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions… and opinions by definition can’t be right. Of course, your mileage may vary, and if anyone has had a different experience, I always value your comments! Also, I left out any attractions where you can see an issue from outside. (Example: It is pretty obvious that you’ll be spinning on Mad Tea Party!) Let’s get started.

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Big Thunder Mountain

The View on Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain: This is a not a terribly intense roller coaster. The worst part for me are a few bunny hops at the very end that make my tummy jump into my throat but it’s manageable and worth it to see all the theming. The track also isn’t very smooth and I’ve had friends complain about getting their brain rattled on this ride! Overall, this is a great coaster to start with before trying the others in the park.

Pirates of the Caribbean: I only mention this one because other versions around the world are more intense. The version at Magic Kingdom just has one little, tiny dip. It isn’t even worth mentioning. I’m the worst with drops, and it’s nothing!

Space Mountain: I wouldn’t ride this until just a few years ago. Honestly, it really isn’t that awful, but I can’t say I enjoy it. There is one drop that’s too much for me, but it’s over very quickly. The rest is just zipping around in the dark, which means if you don’t like roller coasters, you aren’t missing much here. The seats are also very low on this attraction, making it a little difficult to exit after you’ve been thrown around. I know many people will disagree with me, but I find Space Mountain very skippable if roller coasters aren’t your thing.

Splash Mountain: This ride is my arch nemesis. While I hate the drops, I still tell those who asks me that they should to absolutely ride it. The ride is beautiful and a real feat of Imagineering that everyone should see once. However, there are two sizable drops inside the attraction, as well as the huge one at the end to contend with. It’s easy to spot where they are on YouTube videos, so check those out in advance and be prepared. It really is worth it to see inside once!

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A Trip Around The World: Norway

by on December 8, 2013

Today we visit the Norway pavilion for a quick look at what makes this area so special. Like always, I like to start with a wide view of the land. You’ll notice from my photo below that this is one of the hottest lands in all of the World Showcase for one reason: princesses! The below photo was taken before 11am, but there are tons of people in line to the left waiting to meet the gals from the latest Disney movie, Frozen. On this right is the bustling restaurant, Akershus.

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Getting back to the beginning you’ll know you’ve arrived in Norway when you see these rustic street lamps and tall trees. These are in stark contrast to the Mexico pavilion next door. The detail on these lights is unreal. I wonder if they replace the rope often to keep it looking so fresh?

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A Trip Around The World: Mexico

by on December 3, 2013

Today is the first in a new series taking a grand tour around the World Showcase in Epcot. I’m always curious when folks enter this section of the park if they head right towards Canada or if they go left towards Mexico. As a kid we always went to the left under the assumption that the average day guest went right on instinct. (Not to mention the rides were to the left!) So it only made sense for me to start our tour with the lovely land of Mexico.

I always like to start these posts with a photo that really encompasses the land. You can see the detail of the main show building in the below photo. Modeled after an Aztec Temple, there are intricate details on every inch of this building. (Remember – you can click any photo to see a larger image)

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Cast Couture: Costumes of Epcot’s World Showcase

by on December 2, 2013

Thanks to your comments on my recent post about the costumes of the Magic Kingdom, I decided to take this idea around the world. As always, if you’re a cast member pictured here and you’d prefer that I not use your image please leave a comment below and I will remove your photo. But I’m sure everyone will agree all the ladies of the World Showcase look beautiful!! Let’s get started with Mexico.

I almost didn’t ask to take this photo. It was a little awkward since I had to lean over the rail of the walkway and ask her to get up from her work. But I saw the opportunity for framing the photo with all of her hand painted art, which was lovely. I love the vibrant and relaxed costumes in Mexico! You’ll notice that I only took photos of the ladies in this one. That is because especially around the World Showcase I think the girls have the better costumes. Maybe I can go back and visit the guys if anyone has interest?

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In Norway the costumes are certainly a bit more tailored. For some reason this costume always makes me think of Christmas! Does anyone else agree? These outfits certainly fit in with the heavy, rich woods of the Norway pavilion. They are beautiful but I don’t know that I would want to be wearing them in our brutal Florida summers! (Of course, I doubt they have that problem in the real Norway!)

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! November 2013 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on November 29, 2013

MMM positiveToday is not just any day. Today is Black Friday. The official beginning to the Christmas shopping season. A day of bargains, lines, and absolute terror excitement. There couldn’t be a better day to lather ourselves up in pixie dust, strap on our Jessie cowgirl hat, and put on our Mickey Mouse “Hang Loose” shirt as we head out for our monthly photo report of the Disney Outlet Store.

You may remember last month that the outlet stores started selling 2013 merchandise at a deep discount, and this month a whole bunch of 2013 branded items joined the clearance rack including pins, graduation hats, basketballs, and laptop covers.

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