Category: DISNEY RESORTS

FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO AT JIKO THE COOKING PLACE

Also the name of Animal Kingdom’s Signature Dining Experience, “Jiko” is Swahili for “a cooking place.” So “Jiko – The Cooking Place” literally means “A Cooking Place – The Cooking Place.”    In true “cooking place” form, Jiko has two wood burning ovens that make you feel as if you are actually standing next to a fire.  The chefs prepare offerings in an open kitchen for all to see. 

Here are five things not to do if you decide to enter Jiko: 

  1.  DON’T wear a bathing suit and flip flops. You might be at a Disney Resort, close to the pool level, but this is a Signature Restaurant and there is a dress code.  According to Disney, Signature Dining restaurants provide unparalleled cuisine in upscale, elegant surroundings, sampling only the finest fare Disney chefs can prepare. Dress for the occasion! At least cover yourself up!

    orange pink white stripe bikini near shell on sand beach
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  2. DON’T expect to see any animals while you dine. Jiko does not have any windows overlooking the African Savannah. Disappointed? Don’t be. The food on your plate will be so delicious and inviting that you won’t be able to focus on anything else. 
  3. DON’T forget your wallet – this restaurant is pricey. Two points on the dining plan and anywhere from $70-150 per adult. Don’t worry. No need to bring African currency – the restaurant takes US dollars, credit cards, and Magic Bands! For those who are wondering, US dollars are also very popular in Africa and can usually be used as currency without  converting.  Many places frequented by the Bantu people also use shillings as a form as currency – but currency throughout Africa varies.

    dollar-currency-money-us-dollar-47344.jpeg
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  4.  Looking for a red wine to go with your steak? DON”T expect to see Malbec or your favorite French Wine on the menu. Jiko is known for authentic African wines. There are wines that you won’t be able to find anywhere else on property and very few locations across the US outside of Disney World. For you wine fans out there, this is a great opportunity to try and experience new flavors and test your wine palate. If you want to take this experience to the next level, you can schedule a wine tasting that is offered on Wednesdays. You will get to sample wines from the South Africa region along with cheese pairings. The wine pairing experience is by reservation only.  For guests over 8, the Wanyami Safari Experience (special reservation through Guest Service) allows time for you on a trek through the African Savannah and then a multi-course dinner with wine tasting is supposed to be incredible!

    alcohol blur bright burnt
    Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com
  5.  DON”T be afraid to try new foods – because I guarantee, if you are not familiar with African culture, you will not understand more than half of what is on the menu. But it is tasty, I promise. Start out with the “Taste of Africa” you will see!Green Eggs
  6. DO bring your appetite! We were stuffed after this experience. Because you do not want to miss a bite!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

TOP FIVE THINGS NOT TO ASK EEYORE! AND A FEW LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT HIM, TOO!

  1. DON’T Forget Eeyore’s birthday. One of Eeyore’s true passions is being remembered on his birthday. He likes to blow out the candles on the cake while his friends join him in the celebrating.  Want to mark your calendars for this year? Circle May 10th! Be sure to buy a red balloon! “Thanks for noticing me”
  2. DON’T Ask Eeyore if his house looks like it is falling down. If you ask him, he will FLIP OUT. He is constantly worried that his house is going to fall down. He is always rebuilding his house because Pooh and Piglet built his original house with the wrong kind of sticks – also the woozles are constantly bouncing it down.
  3. If you happen to see that Eeyore’s tail has fallen off, don’t ask Eeyore if you can fix it.  That is a job that falls exclusively to Christopher Robin. Are you looking for the tail? Try Owl’s house. Sometimes Owl likes to use Eeyore’s tail as a bell pull. “It’s just a tail”. 
  4. Don’t ask if you can ride him – or bounce him. He DOESN’T LIKE TO BE BOUNCED
  5. Don’t ask him to do your Spelling homework. He can’t spell.
  6. DO Ask Eeyore if he would like to eat some Thistles. He will say “Yes”. Also feel free to ask him for help with your garden.

Places to find Eeyore in Disney World: At Walt Disney World, Eeyore can be sometimes be met in the Magic Kingdom next to the Pooh attraction, but not all the time. Eeyore features everyday, all day, at theCrystal Palace Buffet on Main Street. In Disneyland Paris, Eeyore is sometimes near “it’s a small world”, or outside Plaza Inn on Central Plaza.  In California, Eeyore can usually be found in Critter Country near the Pooh attraction. In Tokyo Disneyland Eeyore can occasionally be found near the main entrance in World Bazaar, and always at the character dining at the Crystal Palace.

 

CHECKLIST FOR THOSE HEADED TO A DISNEY RESORT

No need to worry if where your are going is as good as we’re you’re been.

Excited about an upcoming Disney Trip? Wondering what you will need? 

I’ll speak to those who leave for Disney on a jet, or any type of plane.  Those who drive may have a bit more flexibility as far as packing

If you are flying into Disney early, I highly suggest packing on the plane LIGHT, so that you don’t have to worry about leaving a bunch of carry on luggage in the hotel while you walk around waiting for your room.  By light, I mean, think about WEARING your bathing suit on the plane. For ladies, I suggest two piece so that you don’t have to have any difficulty heading to the bathroom on the plane! Kudos to anyone bold enough to just wear a bathing suit!! I usually opt for a skirt and top. No need for towels, most hotels have them at the pool. 

Are you one of those people that likes to wear their heaviest shoes on a plane? I suggest that you try and change that habit if you are. Not only would heavy shoes weigh you down in the event of any emergency, but it’s hard to relax in small spaces with clunky attire. I suggest flip flops or sandals that are comfortable when walking. You are going to a warm climate. You will be on the plane for a while. You don’t need to be squishing around heavy sneakers in the pool. 

nature woman feet legs
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bring one carry on bag, not one for everyone. Pack two activities for the plane. Let’s face it, kids barely use them and every time i TRY to read it never happens. Bring several pairs of headphones, for kids I suggest the noise cancelling one. 

Pack an extra change of underwear/ bathing suit/clothes in a ziplock bag. Baby Wipes. Travel Size sunblock.

Bring a snack.  Keep in mind that a bag of groceries may get confiscated at security.

As far as suitcase needs: Bring two dresses, two pairs of shorts, about five pairs of underwear. Dress up clothes for the kids. That’s all. There is always laundry somewhere. I wouldn’t even bother with detergent, people usually leave left over detergent in the laundry room. You can just wash your clothes. There is no need to pack a ton of stuff. Trust me.  But do pack things you may not want to buy: Toothpaste. Sunscreen(in a safe travel friendly container). Feminine Products. tooth brush. Deodorant. Consider mailing diapers (if you need them) to the resort a head of time. Any bulky items, even groceries, can be mailed ahead of time. Just check with your hotel. 

If anything, we have learned that the best way to travel to Disney is Without being weighed down. You want enough room in your suitcase for everything you are bringing back!

No matter what you say now, you will be bringing some things back.

 

The Buzz around Buzz

We love the pit pit patter of the rain drops and the buzz buzz buzzing of the bees. But the sound we love best, the very very best, is the sound that the New Toy Story World is bringing to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

Buzz is and will always be a major part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So what makes Buzz tick? Buzz, star command’s best Space Ranger, is obsessed with defeating evil. He is in his 40s, and muscular, with a broad chest and big feet. 

Raised by his grandmother Nena Lightyear, Buzz was born on the Planet Morph. (In the Gamma Quadrant of Sector 4). He signed up for the Space Ranger Academy when he was 12 years old and never looked back. 

When it opens, guests visiting Toy Story Land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other beloved toys are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Slinky and Jessie. (Check out the time-lapse video above of one of Slinky Dog Dash’s first test runs).

Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.

Here is a description of what’s to come in the new Toy Story Land – June 30th.  

We love the hiss hiss hissing of the green snakes. We love the roll roll rolling of the sea. The sound we love best, the very very best are topped off by Slinky and Jessie. 

 

Oh, and The answer to What Makes Buzz Buzz? ROCKETS!!!

 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – A diamond in the rough

Looking to waste anywhere from two to three hours? Then wait on line for one of the most popular roller coasters of the magic kingdom. While the lines may seem silly, there are no diamonds at the end – only thrills. 

img_20180224_1612468040157296557616863.jpg

The thrills, though, are very short compared to the regular standby wait. So if you can’t be the very first person of the day, a fast pass is a must. Don’t forget the ride share option. If you have young kids below the height requirement, you and another adult can take turns (and it doesn’t have to be right away, often the ride share ticket is good for a couple of days). So if you have young kids, send another adult running ahead of you – it is WELL worth it!

I just can’t see myself standing for two hours to get on this ride. Ever. 

That being said, this is a fun, amazingly detailed roller coaster adventure. From the moment that you walk into the entrance, you are approaching a coal mine. 

img_20180224_1609003861759309718250644.jpg

It’s dark in side. You hear the sounds of iron hitting rocks. Did you know the actual roller coaster is made of steel? Are all roller coasters made of steel now? I doubt it. 

img_20180224_1609331475511403374593115.jpg

There are some cute videos playing of the seven dwarfs telling people how not to fall off roller coasters. And where you should put your bags. And do you see the lights in the photo above? They almost look like real lanterns. Very real setting for a coal mine, from what I can tell. 

img_20180224_1608463028635488637441335.jpg

On the way to the coal mine, there is a small cottage. I’m assuming that is supposed to be the actual home of the seven dwarfs. The cottage could be more realistic. We know it is in the woods, so where are the trees, I only see two? Where is the window ledge. Why is it so close to the mines? 

img_20180224_1617151345147507164356755.jpg

In the dark, I have to admit that I was a bit afraid as I had no idea what was coming. But when I saw the two people ahead of me, my fears subsided. 

img_20180224_1613402030660005266647681.jpg

I jumped over, and about three minutes later the ride was over. I’m not kidding. It is only three minutes. So make the most of it and keep your eyes open!!!

wdw2018055943282225_8187813255_dsnyres-base_dsnyloc-reg8304105661264724181.jpeg

 

 

 

 

IS THAT A PACKAGE OUTSIDE YOUR HOTEL ROOM

I don’t mean to cause a stir but the word is out. Disney Resorts do take packages. So instead of dragging the necessities to my Boardwalk suite next week I will be mailing myself from laundry detergent, sunblock, and razors. Thankfully diapers or not on my list of necessities ANY LONGER. 

So what needs to be enclosed on your box? Your name c/o the name of the lead guest. Your reservation number and check in date. And the exact address of your Disney Resort Hotel. 

It’s to bad we can’t jump in a box and mail ourselves.

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH MARY POPPINS. EVEN A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR WON’T GET ME TO WATCH THIS SEQUEL

Mary Poppins may not be on many kids top five wish lists in terms of who to see at Disney, but she is a mainstay. She can be seen strolling around the Magic Kingdom with her white dress and parasol, and can also be found along with Alice and the Mad Hatter at 1900 Park Fare

Does she deserve her own meet and greet or even her own ride? Definitely. Wouldn’t a spot where you can have tea on the ceiling with Uncle Albert be a nice idea??? Or how about a walk through an English Countryside? Or some sort of adventure where you “tidy up” in a magical fashion?

Mary Poppins has her own style. A sense of fashion. It took twenty years for Walt Disney to secure the rights to P.L Travers’ book. The movie itself is practically perfect in every way. So why make a sequel? Why make us see Jane and Michael Banks “all grown up?”

The sequel, set to air in December of 2018 has Emily Blunt taking on the role originally played by Julie Andrews.  

Emily Mortimer and Ben Winshaw play the grown up Jane and Michael Banks.  As per Disney, Mary Poppins Returns, will be set 20 years after the events of the original 1964 film. The official synopsis reads: “In the story, Michael and Jane are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen, living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack, uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.”

Michael Garber, who played Michael Banks died of pancreatitis at the age of 21, so sadly will not even make a cameo appearance. There is a small possibility that Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke may make an appearance, and supposedly Ms. Andrews gave the movie a “seal of approval”. 

I will watch it but I hope that nothing takes anything away from the original feature film!!

Some questions for Mary Poppins if you see her walking around the magic kingdom: 

What do you have in your bag today?

Can you help me tidy up?

Where’s Bert? 

Can we have some tea?

Can you measure my height?

What does it feel like to fly?

How many times have you shaken hands with a chimney sweep?

Have you jumped into any paintings at the Magic Kingdom? If so, which ones?

*** Be aware, there are no fastpasses or photographers for Mary Poppins. According to a source, royalties were demanded by the original Mary Poppins and Disney refuses to give them out. 

 

 

 

 

BOO TO WHO? YOU! HAPPY HALLOWEEN PARADE

Every wonder what those song lyrics are that bring that creepy crawly feeling through the streets of the Magic Kingdom? 

 

BOO TO YOU PARADE SONG LYRICS

OPENER
Boo
To you
A Trick
Or Treat
For you
That’s Boo
It’s You
Know Who
A Boo to you and you and you and you
Happy Halloween

Boo
A Trick
Or treat
For you
A trick
Something sweet
Or Treat
And Good to Eat
For you
It’s just
Boo for you
You know it’s true
We have a Boo to you and you and you and you
Happy Halloween

Boo to you and you
It’s not so very scary
It’s really not so scary
Boo to you
Boo boo boo
Boo to you
Boo boo boo
Boo to you
Boo boo boo
Boo to you
Boo boo boo
It’s not so very scary
It’s really not so scary
Boo to you
Boo boo boo
Boo to you
Boo boo boo
Boo to you
Boo boo boo

PIRATE ROCK FLOAT
Yo ho
Yo ho
Yo ho yo ho

We’re beggars, blighters, ne’er-do-well cads
Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho
Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads
Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho
Beggars blighters ne’er-do-well cads
Aye, but we’re loved by our mommies and dads
Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho
Happy Halloween

We kindle char, inflame and ignite,
Drink up, me hearties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we’re really a fright,
Drink up, me hearties, yo ho
Rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves
Devils, black sheep, really bad eggs
Drink up, me hearties, yo ho
Happy Halloween

Yo ho
Yo ho
Yo ho, yo ho a Pirates life for me

Oh a pirates life is a wonderful life
A’roaming over the sea
Give me a career as a buccaneer
It’s a pirate’s life for me

Oh a pirate’s life is a wonderful life
You find adventure and sport
But live every minute for all that’s in it
The life of a pirate is short

Yo ho
Yo ho
Yo ho, yo ho a Pirates life for me

Oh a pirate’s life is a wonderful life
But not forever they say
When your neck’s in a noose
And you can’t get it loose
For the life of a pirate you pay

Boo boo boo boo boo to you

HAUNTED MANSION
Boo
To you
A Trick
Or Treat
For you
That’s Boo
It’s You
Know Who
A Boo to you and you and you and you
Happy Halloween

Boo
To you
A Trick
Or Treat
For you
That’s Boo
It’s You
Know Who
A Boo to you and you and you and you
Happy Halloween

Boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo to you

FRONTIERLAND UNIT
Ghost riders in the sky
Happy Halloween

Yippy kay aye
Yippy Kay oh
Ghost riders in the sky
Happy Halloween

Boo boo boo boo boo boo boo to you
Yeah

VILLAINS BALL UNIT
Welcome home to the night
When you’re sure to get a fright
From us you’ll get a trick and not a treat
It may sound really  sappy
But it makes us really happy
To scare you
So boo to you and you

No we’re not being mean
It’s just part of our routine
We’ll scare you and we’ll spook you just for fun
As Halloween arises
Beware of our surprises
Some fun things
We do to scare you

It’s good to be bad
It’s good to be bad
To laugh about the very scary fun that we had
Cause a chill, more to thrill
Yes you know that we will
So prepare to be scared
It’s just part of the drill
Yes it’s true
Yelling boo
Is the thing that we do
And to you
We confess
It’s the one we do best

It’s good to be bad
It’s good to be bad
It’s fun to be the one to make the good guys so mad
Cast a spell
Scream and yell
And it suits us so well
All the fun that we’ve had
Yes it’s good to be bad

Boo boo boo boo boo boo boo to you

CANDY
Lollipops and lemondrops
Some jellybeans or chocolate
Caramel apple, sugar sticks
Or candy flying saucers

Trick or treat
Trick or treat
Give me something good to eat
Boo!
Happy Halloween

Candy corn and sugar sticks
Some bubblegum or licorice
Marshmallow sweets and nutty treats
Or gumdrops are delicious

Trick or treat
Trick or treat
Give me something good to eat
Boo!
Happy Halloween

Candy
Trick or treat candy
Scrumdillyicious
Good to eat
Yummy yummy oh so sweet
My tummy’s happy when they meet
Bells of chocolate
In my pocket
I’m sure it’s still good to eat
Sugar in my backpack
Wonder where the snack’s at 
Is the perfect treat

Candy
Trick or treat candy
Ooey gooey Halloween treats
Candy Trick or treat candy
Oh so fun to eat

Candy
Trick or Treat Candy
Scrumdillyicious
Tasty treats
Just so good that I want another
Mine’s all gone so I’ll eat my brother’s

Candy
Trick or Treat Candy
Dreamy, creamy Halloween treats
Candy
Trick or treat candy
Oh so fun to eat

Boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo boo to you

 

 

WHAT TO DO IN DISNEY WHEN IT’S RAINING MICE. OR MEN. OR WHEN IT’S JUST RAINING

Leave your umbrellas at home! According to our sources, even if it rains, Disney’s Main Street is still the place to go. In fact most Disney Parks are still the place to go. Why leave your umbrellas at home? Because it’s harder to walk in a crowd full of people holding an umbrella. Either pack ponchos in advance or buy one at the many shops that conveniently have them available for sale the minute the first drops appear on the sidewalk.

Why not stay inside? Well Disney Parks were designed for the rain. Disney world is in Florida, after allJust think about it. Most of the lines for the rides are covered and the rides are inside. The only park that is absolutely not recommended in the rain is Disney’s Animal Kingdom, because most of the animals go indoors to the animal habitats. 

In the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Dumbo the Flying Elephan, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, Liberty Belle Riverboat, Astro Orbiter, and Swiss Family Treehouse close during lightening.

At Epcot, only Test Track closes in the rain.

At Hollywood Studios, Lights, Motors!, Action! and Fantasmic close during the rain.

Characters prefer to stay indoors in the rain and photo pass photographers are not allowed to take pictures directly in the rain.

My biggest piece of advice? Wear sneakers. The sidewalks and roads get extremely slippery. And don’t worry about your hair. Just have fun!

 

 

Steppin it up with the ugly stepsisters at 1900 Park Fare — not sure we want to get up close and personal with these two

 

Did you know that the ugly stepsisters were originally played by men? To make them more ugly? Those familiar with Cinderella’s Drizella and Anastasia know that what really makes the ugly sisters ugly is the personality associated with the characters. They’re mean. They rip up Cinderella’s dress. They make fun of her. 

So what would you expect when meeting the stepsisters at 1900 Park Fare’s Cinderella Happily Ever After dinner? I expected to meet the mean girls and experience their brutality. Instead, they danced for us (pretty terrible dancing), and kept us company for a while. There was nothing really mean about them. Maybe they thought we couldn’t take it, I don’t know. 

You would think that the stepsisters would live their roles to the fullest, given that they aren’t featured in many character events (they can also often be found by the carousel area in the Magic Kingdom).  They didn’t get their prince, but they did get a 1900 Park Fare character meal – they should be the lives of the party!

Food at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner was your average buffet, with the addition of 1900 Park Fare’s signature gummies: link to menu here

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Both sisters made it clear that everything was still a competition with them, from their twirls in the middle of the restaurant to their stepmother’s affection. Although we did not see the prince himself (he sometimes makes an appearance), the sisters were understandably overshadowed by their mother and Cinderella.  Have a request for them? Ask them to sing for you. They’ll sing about a sweet nightingale.  Unfortunately for them, although they try to take over the Happily Ever After Dinner, they will never actually live Happily Every After. So try and pretend you enjoy their company, for their own sake. Give them a chance to be superstars.

Curious to learn more about the origins of the ugly stepsisters? Find Rhodopis, the Egyptian Cinderella tale. Then look for the earliest Cinderella story to appear in print, Pentamerone (1634), a collection of old folk tales compiled by a Neapolitan soldier named Giambattista Basile. In the folk tales, Cinderella was named “Cenerentola”. She was then transformed by Charles Perrault, then the Brothers Grimm, and even Roald Dahl.