Posts Tagged ‘Tour’

Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour

by on October 12, 2016

Immediately to the right as you enter the park, this is where you check in for the tour

Immediately to the right as you enter the park, this is where you check in for the tour

I just returned from another amazing trip to Walt Disney World, and while there, I did something I’ve never done during any of my prior trips – a tour! Having heard about how magical tours like Wild Africa Trek and Backstage Magic are, I always assumed any tours that I would be interested in seeing would be beyond my price range. But as it turns out, there are a few of them under $50/person. For this trip, I decided to try out one of those less expensive tours, Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom.

Unlike reservations for hotels, dining, and FastPass+, tours cannot be booked online. So less than a week before the trip, I called the tour reservations line (407-939-8687) hoping that they still had availability. Fortunately, they had room in the 8:00AM tour. The cast member on the other line then provided me with basic information about the tour. I will discuss some of these in detail later and whether they were true, but here is a summary of the information she provided:

Topic: How Walt Disney’s childhood and later life influenced the development of Magic Kingdom

Cost: $35-$49 due at time of booking (Annual Pass and Disney Vacation Club discounts may be available)

Length & Location: Three-hour walking tour around Magic Kingdom

Cancellation Policy: Must cancel three or more days beforehand to receive a full refund

Wheelchair accessibility: Yes, but in order to experience attractions, must be able to transfer

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SeaWorld Tours: Beluga Interaction and Wild Arctic

by on September 4, 2014

Today we’ll explore a couple of SeaWorld Orlando’s remarkable behind-the-scenes tours: the Beluga Interaction Program and the Wild Arctic Tour. These are two of the many tours SeaWorld offers which include animal interactions.

SeaWorld beluga whale Aurek and guest during the Beluga Interaction Tour. Photo by Thomas Cook

SeaWorld beluga whale Aurek and guest during the Beluga Interaction Tour. Photo by Thomas Cook

It’s pretty obvious that meeting beluga whales, seals, and walruses up-close in the wild is nearly impossible, especially since they mostly live the north of the Arctic Circle. Even getting to their habitat is a remarkable journey.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Wild Arctic attraction will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2015, but it remains an interesting and popular venue. It offers an exciting flight-simulator helicopter ride to the Arctic that drops guests off at Station Wild Arctic, designed to appear like a 19th century wooden sailing ship that was stranded and crushed by sea ice. Inside the ruins of the ship are places to view belugas and walruses both above and below the water line.

The two tours take place in Wild Arctic, and both are excellent for children, adults and families. Both are very different in nature, however.

The Beluga Interaction Program is about as immersive as you can get when it comes to a theme park tour. Often mistakenly called dolphins, belugas are from a different family in the sub order of toothed whales. They share their family with narwhals, another remarkable Arctic species.

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Walk Disney: A Review of the Boardwalk Ballyhoo Guided Tour

by on July 28, 2014

t_logo_fbThe Walk Disney series will provide a description and review of activities that can be done while walking the grounds at Walt Disney World resorts.

Do you know why the ESPN Club on Disney’s BoardWalk is shaped like an octagon? Do you know where the hidden Tinker Bell is near the elevators of Disney’s BoardWalk Villas? By taking the free BoardWalk Ballyhoo Guided Tour, you will learn these and many more interesting details about Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas resort area.

Before describing the experience that my wife and I had on the tour, here are the tour basics:

What does the tour entail? The tour covers many of the design choices that the Imagineers made when constructing Disney’s BoardWalk Resort area. The walking, informational tour begins at the Bellevue Lounge, continues through the main floor of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, and eventually ends up on the boardwalk outside of the Boardwalk Bakery.

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A Review of Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge Tour

by on July 27, 2014

Our tour guide Ranger!

Our tour guide Ranger!

From the first moment I stepped foot into the Wilderness Lodge just to look around, I fell in love with it. The architecture and ambiance are romantic to me. Both my husband and I are nature lovers. We dream of staying at the Wilderness Lodge someday. But until then, we just visit it often, walking through the lobby and grounds, eating our hearts out. When I learned there were actual free guided tours of this majestic beauty, I couldn’t wait. My husband, on the other hand, was skeptical and thought it would be a waste of valuable park time. What could a tour offer that we hadn’t already seen on our many strolls through? We were about to find out.

On Thursday morning of our trip we had opening breakfast reservations for Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary. As soon as we finished we grabbed a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge, where our tour was about to begin. The meeting spot for the tour is in front of the large fireplace in the lobby of the Lodge. We were a little early, so we sat in the rocking chairs and enjoyed the slower pace. Soon another couple joined us, and we all waited patiently for our tour guide to arrive.

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A Virtual Guided Walk Through of Hogwarts

by on April 11, 2013

20130406-082942.jpg One of the things that separates Disney theme parks from others is their attention to detail and story. For example, have you ever noticed on Pirates of the Caribbean that one pirate who has his leg hanging off of the bridge over your heads? There’s hair on that leg! It’s such a minute detail, but Disney’s philosophy is “if it wasn’t there, people would notice.”

Well, Disney has gained competition in the past few years, and its name is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Nonsense, you say? No one could possibly measure up to Disney’s standards? HA is what I say back at you! Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling made sure the grounds of Hogsmeade were painstakingly accurate with little nuances and hidden gems that the greatest Potter fans would be sure to pick up on. Don’t believe me? Well, let me take you on a virtual tour of Universal’s resident castle: Hogwarts.

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