Posts Tagged ‘Finding Nemo’

SATURDAY SIX Father’s Day Special: Celebrating Dads at Walt Disney World and Universal

by on June 18, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX is a special FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL, paying tribute to all our favorite dads at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. After a challenging week in Orlando, we here at the SATURDAY SIX headquarters think it’s time for some lighthearted fun. With tomorrow being Father’s Day, it’s about time we gave a little attention to all the dads we see in Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. So sit back, put on your favorite pair of dad jeans, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 – WALT DISNEY: The Father of All Theme Parks

What else can we say about Walter Elias Disney? Without him we wouldn’t have the glorious theme parks we enjoy today and instead would be suffering in the shoddily made and poorly themed rides that make up America’s amusement parks. Even worse, we may have been forced to go to places like museums and libraries to actually learn something. I think I speak for us all when I say UGH. However, thanks to a visionary genius like  Walt Disney creating Disneyland – and then improving upon with Walt Disney World – we all get to enjoy one of the most amazing pieces of entertainment in the entire world.

Unlike most of our hobbies and interests, theme parks are a place we can go with the whole family and enjoy our time together. The theme parks are one of the very few places you can go where no matter who you are, you are accepted. It just doesn’t matter what size you are, what race you belong to, what religion you pray to,  your sexual orientation, or handicap you have. If you’re in a theme park, you are in a safe place. We all owe an unpayable debt to Walt Disney, as his foresight led to us being able to enjoy places that completely transport us away from the real world – and all of its problems – into an alternative reality where everything is as we wish it would be. A world in which the good guys always win. A world where we can fly. A world where our wishes come true.

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Walt was also the father to Diane and Sharon Disney. We all know the story that it was Walt watching his daughters play in shabby amusement parks that inspired him to create something better. Something the whole family could enjoy.  (photo by Brandon Glover)

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What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Animal Kingdom

by on May 13, 2016

Head under this majestic sign to enter the wild Magic Kingdom.

Head under this majestic sign to enter the wild Magic Kingdom.

If you are planning your very first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, I’m sure you’ve made lists of what attractions you want to see, what characters you want to meet, and I bet you even made those dining reservations the day you booked your trip, right? But despite all your planning and newly accumulated park knowledge, it’s still easy to make those Disney World Rookie mistakes. My goal today is to let you in on some tips and info that I wish I had known before my park visits to help your first time trip to Walt Disney World run smoothly. I’ve already covered What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot; and so for today, I’m tackling What I Wish I Knew Before My Trip to Animal Kingdom!

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Asia’s Maharajah Jungle Trek

It Is Meant To Be Explored & Discovered

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is all about the magic of nature and living things, and in staying true to that theme this park features a more organic design and encourages guests to explore. The Oasis–the entryway into the park–is quite a departure from the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A. or Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood Boulevard in that there’s no one way to reach the main part of the park and no visible icon pulling you down the pavement. Instead, The Oasis is thick, lush, and has a number of exhibits to enjoy at your own leisurely pace.

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A resident of the Discovery Island Trails

Animal Kingdom also offers a number of wildlife trails throughout the park, such as the Discovery Island Trails and the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Unlike centerpiece attractions or eye-catching shops, these trails somewhat blend in with the environment and may be missed if you’re not looking for them. Unlike shuffling through a line or seeing a choreographed show or effect, the trails are self-guided and can be enjoyed at a guest’s own pace. I also appreciate the little paths and hidden seating areas that lay off the beaten path throughout the Animal Kingdom Park and some of which offer spectacular views! So when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, remember that this is a different kind of park that it’s meant to be explored and discovered.

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Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom

by on December 30, 2015

Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom

Enjoy Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom without getting out of your pink bunny pajamas. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

No matter which park you pick, the Christmas holiday is one of the busiest times to visit Orlando. But if you must attend a Walt Disney World theme park during the peak travel system, I discovered that you could do worse than spending Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom may seem like a strange Christmas Day selection, since the park is positively Scrooge-like in the seasonal cheer department when compared to the other WDW parks. There’s nothing at Animal Kingdom on the scale of Magic Kingdom’s Holiday Wishes, DHS’s Osborne Family Spectacle, or Epcot’s Holidays Around the World; there isn’t even an Animal Kingdom Christmas parade anymore.

But that lack of seasonal draws made Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom a great idea, if your plans included enjoying attractions without asphyxiating in capacity crowds. This may change after Avatar arrives, but as the least-attended Walt Disney World park Animal Kingdom was a relative oasis for those seeking a smidgen of elbow room.

On my way into Walt Disney World property on Christmas morning, road signs advised that the Magic Kingdom was closed. Over at Animal Kingdom, however, there were acres of empty parking spot. Since this lot is the easiest of the four parks to get in and out of, consider using it when heading to one of the other parks on peak days.

 

For Christmas 2015, the entrance to Animal Kingdom was decked out with the usual giant tree, and new security scanning stations. Unless you are one of the few folks randomly selected for scanning, the new procedures appear have little to no effect on your entry speed.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six GREAT Easter Eggs in Disney Animated Movies

by on September 26, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Six GREAT Easter Eggs in Disney Animated Movies. We here at the SATURDAY SIX offices listen to a lot of theme park podcasts, but one that caught our ears recently was Episode 87 of The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill. The show is focused on Disney villains, and over the course of the discussion Jim Hill and host Len Testa cover a variety of topics including the disastrous Villains Unleashed hard ticket party at DHS last year. Always filled with interesting tidbits, one thing that was new to us was the reveal that the character Ratigan in the Great Mouse Detective was based off the former Disney President and CEO Ron W. Miller. Most of you reading this are probably like us and LOVE watching Disney animated films, and it’s always fun to find out new information or see an Easter Egg hidden in the movie that you never caught before, even after watching films 20 times. Today we are going to look at six of our favorites that we noticed over the years. So sit back, be sure to have a quick finger on that DVD pause button, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…

# 6 –  Goofy, Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse in Little Mermaid

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, kids today have it too good. The overall quality of animated films today is higher that it has ever been, many of which (Up, Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon) are as good as any live action film. But believe it or not there was a time when animated films weren’t doing all that well at the box office, including the ones made by Disney. In the mid ’80s we were at the nadir of the animated film industry, but that all changed in 1989 with the debut of The Little Mermaid. A smash success with a crowd pleasing soundtrack, Mermaid was so popular that fans wanted an attraction based on the ride 20 years after the movie came out. No offense to Big Hero 6 or Wreck It Ralph – both of which were awesome movies – but do you really see fans in a fever pitch to get attractions based on them 20 years from now?

After watching Mermaid approximately 1,000,000 times on VHS (and DVD, and blu ray, and now digitally on our iPhone) you start to catch every little detail in the film, such as the Big Three of Goofy, Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck among the crowd that King Triton glides by near the beginning of the film. There also looks to be a mermaid wearing a pair of Mickey Ears in the bottom right of the screen.

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King Triton glides by the Big Three.

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The Disney (Soap) Bubble

by on August 10, 2015

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World, chances are you’re living in the Disney bubble, or rather, the Disney bubbles.

Many guests refer to the immersive environment of the theme parks and resorts as the “Disney Bubble,” but what I’m talking about here is actual bubbles: air-filled soap spheres.

Bubbles from heaven.

Bubbles from heaven at the Nemo show.

While I was at Walt Disney World last week, I read a rumor that the Voyage of the Little Mermaid attraction was next on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios overhaul chopping block. (I have no inside scoop on this, but at the rate DHS attractions are kicking the bucket it seemed like a credible threat.) Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a sentimental favorite of mine, so I made an unplanned detour to DHS to get into one last viewing before its possible retirement. After watching Ariel earn her sea land legs, I hightailed it back to my planned tour of the Animal Kingdom and ended up at Finding Nemo- The Musical less than an hour later.

Besides overprotective fathers and songs about sea life, these two shows have one other notable thing in common: bubbles. During both Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo: The Musical key moments are punctuated by showers of tens of thousands of bubbles raining from the sky.

She's swimming in bubbles.

This effect makes some sense in both these shows. Mermaid and Nemo each take place in an aquatic setting. Bubbles are a relatively easy way to convey a sense of the texture of the foamy seas. But while the bubbles did make sense in both locations, seeing the same sensory tool employed in a similar manner in more than one attraction in such a short time span made me wonder whether maybe Disney is perhaps overusing bubbles such that they’re no longer a very “special” effect.

So I started thinking … In addition to Mermaid and Nemo, bubbles are used at Walt Disney World in the following attractions:

  • Disney Junior Live On Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are bubbles in the Doc McStuffins segment. The bubbles are supposed to be part of a sink overflow storyline, but they’re mostly used to get the preschool-aged audience up on their feet. Oh, and there’s also a flurry of faux snow during the Sofia the First segment and a shower of “gold doubloons” by Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
  • MuppetVision 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Miss Piggy’s song is accompanied by a bubble shower.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic at the Magic Kingdom. Bubbles rain down during the Little Mermaid segment. (Or at least they did. Recently this element has been nonfunctional.)

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever August 6, 2015: Animal Kingdom Shows

by on August 6, 2015

Animal Kingdom Shows Best Week Ever

Experience two top-rated Animal Kingdom shows in this Best Week Ever (photos y Seth Kubersky)

For this edition of Best Week Ever, I was inspired by Derek Burgan‘s recent Saturday Six, in which he lauded two Animal Kingdom shows as the top live entertainments that Walt Disney World has to offer.

Though a fan of both his picks, I had not seen either selection in several months, so I decided it was time to visit Animal Kingdom again and see how these acclaimed shows are holding up.

 

Welcome to the Animal Kingdom parking lot! You can see Avatar construction just behind the tree line.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Best SHOWS at Walt Disney World

by on August 1, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Best SHOWS at Walt Disney World. Here at the SATURDAY SIX we have done several articles looking at the best-of-the-best attractions, resorts, and restaurants at Walt Disney World, but we haven’t spent much time on one area they do better than any theme park in the world: shows. The live shows across the WDW parks range from the smaller scale and intimate experience of the Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA, to the elaborately choreographed Trolley shows, all the way to the Broadway caliber Finding Nemo – The Musical at Animal Kingdom. So grab a seat – hopefully in air conditioning, and let’s begin the countdown of the absolute best shows starting with…

# 6 – Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Sorry to disappoint any Shia LaBeouf fans, but one reason for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectaculars‘ amazing 25+ year run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is because it is based around the iconic Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc film. The show recreates several famous scenes from the movie while explaining how they were accomplished. It is a fascinating look at the movie making process (one of the only things of its kind at a “studios” park) and has a fair share of good natured humor along the way. It speaks volumes to the overall quality of the show that it has remained almost completely unchanged since its debut in 1989 and regularly packs its 2000 seat stadium.

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Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Menu Monday: Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on January 26, 2015

Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal KingdomMy family and I love the Rainforest Café. As we travel around the country, we always take every opportunity that we get to stop and enjoy a meal at this restaurant. Over the years, we’ve dined at the Rainforest Café in Disneyland, Dallas, Galveston, Denver (now sadly closed), Las Vegas, Downtown Disney and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The location in Animal Kingdom is by far one of our favorites with its spaciousness, enthusiastic wait staff and high quality cuisine. Please read on to learn more about this delicious destination and our exciting morning in Animal Kingdom. Your adventure is about to begin!

Art of Animation

The Day Begins

On this day of our Disney vacation, my boys and I woke up early and had a quick breakfast at Landscape of Flavors at our home base for this trip – Art of Animation. If you haven’t had the chance to check out this Disney resort yet, I would recommend just stopping by to take a look around. It has a huge gift shop, a fun arcade for the kids and lots of great photo opportunities without all of the crowds. After our tasty breakfast of pastries and fruit smoothies, we headed out to the bus stop for our ride to Animal Kingdom.

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The Walt Disney World Road Trip: Tips, Tricks and What Not to Do

by on January 14, 2015

Photo - Michael Dahlgren

Recently, my family decided to make a last minute trip to Disney World the week of New Year’s. Before everyone faints at the heresy of going during the busiest week of the year, my brother’s school was playing in a bowl game in Tampa, so my family decided to kill two birds with one stone. Quickly putting aside the loud warnings in the back of my head about the massive crowds, I couldn’t turn down a pseudo surprise Disney trip. The resort reservation was all set (we would be staying at a Finding Nemo Suite in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort), and I already had my annual pass, but the flight fares were absolutely insane from Baltimore, which is the closest airport to me. Being a more intelligent person than I, my girlfriend suggested a simple alternative. Why don’t we just drive down? So we did. I hope everyone who is considering the possibility of driving instead of flying finds this useful.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! December 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on December 31, 2014

MMM positiveIt’s the last day of 2014 and forget about what a year it has been for theme park merchandise. There was The Good: Both Universal and Disney upped their game with the new Film Vault and Memento Mori stores.  The Bad: There is an actual movie using nothing but Disney Vinylmation And The Ugly: Turns out the heavily anticipated Adventureland-themed gift shop in the Magic Kingdom will instead be a Sunglass Hut. Here’s to even better (and weirder) happenings in 2015.

Also, before we go on, be sure to check out our Year End “Best” of the Disney Outlet Store article.

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

Our first item could be a foreshadowing of things to come. It’s rare to see Muppet related items at the Outlets. Especially based on the popular Kermit the Frog. Out in Disney California Adventure, Muppet*Vision 3D has been jettisoned for Frozen Fun, and rumors persist that the attraction could join the Studio Backlot Tour, American Idol Experience, and the Legend of Jack Sparrow in the recycling bin at Disney Hollywood Studios here in WDW. If that happens, expect the Outlets to be flooded with items featuring Beaker, Dr. Honeydew and the rest of the gang.

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“It’s not easy being green…or being sold at half price.” Originally $24.95, now $12.99

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