Category: theme parks

SPACE RANGER SPIN – MIDWAY MANIA’S FORGOTTEN COUSIN

There’s a great new dance out there, it’s called “doin the robot”. Ever do the robot dance? Okay. maybe it’s not a new dance. It’s definitely not a new dance. If you wanna be a robot, check this out: 

When I first met Buzz Lightyear I THOUGHT he was a robot. But it turns out he moves like one thanks to Pixar animation and his space suit. Very futuristic and high tech. Which is why Buzz is located in Tommorowland, very close to his Space Ranger Spin Ride in the Magic Kingdom. 

For those who can’t get a ride on Toy Story’s Midway Mania, this is the next best thing. Because you get to actually put yourself in a space ship and target evil aliens. And rack up points (much like the Toy Story Ride). 

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Don’t forget to look for your picture at the end of the ride – because the alien’s get a shot of you during the battle! Not sure if it was cyclops alien or alien monster. It didn’t matter because we won.

 

 

LET THEM EAT… STEAK!!!

The good news is that if we all move to Canada we will eat like kings and queens.

Is steak the national food of Canada? No. But the traditional aboriginal food of Canada was wild game.  So the country in general is very good at preparing meat. 

Poutine is the unofficial national dish. Don’t know what Poutine is? Poutine originates out of Quebec and consists of french fries covered in cheese curds and brown gravy. Does that sound disgusting to you? Well, it’s not!

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Instead of driving about 36 hours north to the Canadian border, we made a reservation at Le Cellier, one of Disney’s signature dining restaurants. This may have been one of the best signature experiences in the Disney Parks (I’ll leave out the resorts, because there are so many great places at the resorts that this restaurant probably equals the signature resorts).  If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, “signature” means it is 2 table service credits.

The Canada Pavilion itself is beautiful. There are flowers, waterfalls, and caverns. A brewery. There is a movie with Martin Short. Benches to sit on. 

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When you walk into Le Cellier, there is a great waiting room that makes you feel as your are in a Canadian loghouse. 

Then you enter the relatively small restaurant. Also, be aware, the bathrooms are not the best bathrooms at Disney. They are small and not family friendly.

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The porterhouse steak for two was the best steak I’ve ever tasted. I mean it. And I have been to some nice steakhouses. 

 

Don’t worry, I did not forget to show you the poutine!!!

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Is Elmer Fudd Canadian? I don’t know but I thought this was appropriate somehow: 

I can’t wait to visit the real Canada again, but for now – this visit made us all very happy.

 

JUST ALWAYS BE WAITING FOR ME

Think you may never run into Peter Pan? Well, NEVER is an awfully long time. 

We had faith.. and pixie dust.. and finally spotted Peter Pan in Epcot.  He was just standing by the English tea garden. What was he doing? Was he looking to see if there were any new lost boys there? 

He told us he was looking for Tinkerbell. But we know he likes to have his tea before his adventures. And he was outside the English Tea Garden. So you do the math! He is a free spirited boy who can fly. He doesn’t grow up. Doesn’t want to grow up. Why would he admit to stopping his adventure through Epcot and having tea? 

There’s not much time to think about the start or the end. But how did it all begin again? Where did Peter come from?   The author of Peter Pan lost his older brother in an ice skating accident, and thought of him as forever young. He then created Peter Pan, who ran away from his parents at a young age when he saw a new baby in the house, thinking his parents did not want him anymore. Any other new baby who falls out of their strollers and isn’t claimed in seven days gets shipped away to Neverland. Does that sound unbelievable to you? Believe it! You have to believe to be able to fly.

Don’t worry, all of this happened before, and it will all happen again.

Peter Pan’s flight is in Fantasyland of the Magic Kingdom. Really popular, because you actually fly through Neverland. The best way to get onto the ride, if you can’t get a FastPass, is to try and get an early breakfast reservation in the Magic Kingdom and then wait in front of the ride right before the park opens. Going through the line is well worth it because you will surely see tinkerbell hopping around – but be careful not to lose your shadow in the process!

You can also meet Peter Pan in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom and on the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage. This is a boat cruise that departs from The Contemporary and takes you on the Seven Seas Lagoon to sing songs and have fun with your captain. You will then watch Happily Ever After from the boat. 

Searching for questions for Peter should you be lucky enough to run into him? Try these: 

  • Do you need help finding your shadow? 
  • What’s your favorite story?
  • Would you like me to tell you a story?
  • Do you have any pixie dust? 
  • Have you looked in any windows today?
  • Can you teach me how to crow? 
  • Can you crow for me? 
  • Can you teach me how to fight? 
  • Where’s your next adventure?

 

 

 

 

A GRAND FIESTA TOUR IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD!

The most important reason for going one place to another is seeing in between – and we’ve never looked inside Epcot’s Mexican pavilion. What were we thinking? It’s amazing! Lots of cute shops, food, and the dead are everywhere!!

It may have been our love for the new movie Coco that brought us in, wondering if there was an exhibit of sorts. 

And there is! There are several exhibits – you can even stand with Miguel as he gives homage to his ancestors. 

As a grand finale, Donald Duck and his amigos set the scene for a magical boat ride that I think might even top its a small world. The line moves extremely quickly and you won’t be sorry you went.  To be fair to Donald, he was literally #1 here. This ride has been going on for a long time. 

You then ride into Mexico, on a search for Donald. 

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The boat ride itself is about eight minutes. In the back of the pavilion, there was a Kid corner where a cast member helped fill out a drawing and stamped it with the Mexican flag. Don’t miss Mexico!

 

 

 

THE POPULARITY OF THIS TOY STORY RIDE WILL NEVER FADE – IT’S NOTHING TO TOY WITH!AND NOTHING TO DO WITH SANTA CLAUS

Have you been on the toy story ride? For all of those that know, it has nothing to do with Christmas. 

Christmas has come early, though, for anyone who gets a fast pass for this ride. For those that don’t be prepared to wait anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

You get a pair of 3D glasses and are ready to go!!!

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You arrive in Andy’s toy box. 

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While in the toy box, you’ll see how detailed this toy story world is – can you imagine how great Toy Story Land is going to be? 

And practice makes perfect! The more points you get every time the closer you get to making the top of the scoreboard!

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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? 

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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. 

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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!!!

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WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT?

What actually happens at the magic kingdom when the lights go out? No, not on one of the magic hours evenings, or during one of the special parade nights. On a regular night. After the evening parade and fireworks. Midnight on a regular day.  Some might say that all the statues come alive. They start to move.  This is the moment when they get to try the rides. They finally get to enjoy the “Magic”. 

Each of the 44 presidents in the Hall of Presidents get to mingle, they take a presidential march down main street, and then trot when they see the two lanters lit up in Liberty Square to indicate that the British are coming by sea – (yes, even the new one) click here. 

One statue in particular, the Cinderella Statue, close to the carousel, is often spotted climbing the 189 foot structure in order to get into her VIP suite. Why try and get into her own kingdom that way? Who knows. What I have heard is that the lavish VIP suite inside the castle can’t even be toured because it was originally intended for Walt and his family. It is only available to VIPs like Suri Cruise. Cinderella herself can’t even officially try the luxurious bedding in the finest suite in the castle. So she climbs in at night.

 

The five grooms in the wedding portraits in the Haunted Mansion start a game of poker. The winner gets the bride. (Did you know that the same bride is in ever portrait? You will figure it out when she comes after you with her hatchet!)

Suddenly Goofy appears – he got up from his bench in front of Tony’s restaurant because he wanted to try and pull the sword from the stone.  Even though the statues have mostly come alive, the magic of the sword comes alive and only a true king can pull out Excalibur. So Goofy is out of luck.  Click here for more info on the sword and the stone.

Goofy doesn’t like walking around the old and empty kingdom by himself. He’s looking to hold one of the hidden Mickey’s hands. Although approximately 1,000 Hidden Mickeys have been recorded throughout Disney, there has never been a list made up. The most common Hidden mickey is a formation of three circles that may be perceived as the silhouette of the head and ears of Mickey Mouse, the “Classic Mickey”. Mickeys can be painted, made up of objects, or even references such as a character wearing mouse ears.  They don’t all have hands, though.

Finally, Goofy finds the partners statue, and gets to hold Walt’s hand personally, with Mickey still on the other side. 

If you are ever lucky enough to be “stuck” at Disney when all this magic is going on, where would you eventually lay your head? 

My first choice might be The Beast’s Castle. But this choice is only for the brave, given all the enchantment that takes place in the castle even in the daylight. 

Just imagine the nighttime enchantment. I personally love the idea of experiencing all seasons at once: The forest in the fall, the snow. But I would never sleep in the West Wing. 

Having trouble imagining all this? Having trouble listening to all I’ve said? Don’t worry, your mind is NOT playing tricks on you. Or is it.

This really happens. 

 

 

 

 

WHERE ARE YOU GOING IF YOU WIN TONIGHT’S SUPERBOWL?

Whoever wins today is… going to Disney World, I think. 

Tom Brady has been a bunch of times. 

Joe Flaco went in 2013

And the Patriots went to Disneyland in 2015..

Here’s Eli Manning and the Giants

And the Steelers. 

We could go on listing the commercials and travel announcements.. but you get the idea.

Disney has run its iconic superbowl commercial soon after the end of each superbowl, since 1985.  There has been a commercial every year EXCEPT 2005. The day after the superbowl, there is a victory parade in either Disneyland or Disneyworld. The location of the parade depends on the location of the superbowl (whichever is closest). 

Here’s a list of the celebrities by year who have experienced the thrill of victory and gone to Disney

  • 2017 Super Bowl 52 (James White, Patriots) click here for article
  • 2016 Super Bowl 51 (Peyton Manning, Broncos)
  • 2015 Super Bowl 50  (Julian Edelman, Malcolm Butler, Patriots)
  • 2014 Super Bowl 49 (Malcolm Smith, Seahawks)
  • 2013 Super Bowl 48 (Joe Flacco, Ravens)
  • 2012 Super Bowl 47 (Eli Manning, Giants)
  • 2011 Super Bowl 46 (Aaron Rodgers, Packers)
  • 2010 Super Bowl 45 (Drew Brees, Saints)
  • 2009 Super Bowl 44 (Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers)
  • 2008 Super Bowl 43 (Eli Manning, Giants)
  • 2007 Super Bowl 42 (Tony Dungy and Dominic Rhodes, Colts)
  • 2006 Super Bowl 41 (Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis, Steelers)
  • 2004 Super Bowl 39 (Tom Brady, Patriots)
  • 2003 Super Bowl 38 (Jon Gruden & Brad Johnson, Buccaneers)
  • 2002 Super Bowl 36 (Tom Brady, Patriots)
  • 2001 Super Bowl 35 (Trent Dilfer, Ravens)
  • 2000 Super Bowl 34 (Kurt Warner, Rams)
  • 1999 Super Bowl 32 (Terrel Davis & John Elway, Broncos)
  • 1998 Super Bowl 32 (John Elway, Broncos)
  • 1997 Super Bowl 31 (Desmond Howard, Packers)
  • 1996 Super Bowl 30 (Emmit Smith, Cowboys)
  • 1995 Super Bowl 29 (Jerry Rice & Steve Young, 49ers)
  • 1994 Super Bowl 28 (Emmit Smith, Cowboys)
  • 1993 Super Bowl 27 (Troy Aikman, Cowboys)
  • 1992 Super Bowl 26 (Mark Rypien, Redskins)
  • 1991 Super Bowl 25 (Otis Anderson, Giants)
  • 1990 Super Bowl 24 (Joe Montana, 49ers)
  • 1989 Super Bowl 23 (Joe Montana, 49ers)
  • 1988 Super Bowl 22 (Doug Williams, Redskins)
  • 1987 Super Bowl 21 (Phil Simms, Giants)

Why nothing in 2005? Some people think the reason has something to do with this: 

Did you know that Justin Timberlake is returning to the 2018 halftime show? This time, supposedly there will be no Janet Jackson but that remains unseen. We hear Prince’s hologram may be making an appearance. 

If you choose to try and make the famous victory parade, it usually takes place just before the 3pm parade. Residents of the Super Bowl team’s winning state can get a special offer at a select Disney hotel, click here. 

If the Eagles win the Super Bowl, the parade will be in Orlando. 

If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, the parade will be in Orlando. 

Where are you going? I’m going to Orlando.

 

 

 

 

 

GADGETS AND GIZMOS AND THINGAMABOBS, OH MY!

You are in a large cavern with a huge stone covering the entrance. Inside are hollowed out shells. It’s cold. Damp. You’re not in Kansas anymore. 

You look around and see a statue of someone that looks slightly familiar. Something slippery slides past your ear. Wet and cold. You hear a whisper… can’t understand it. It’s small… is it..

No, not “oil can”. 

The whisper says “welcome to my grotto”.  The slippery slimy feeling you felt earlier? That was a fin, swimming past your ear. 

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You’re actually in the water, but somehow you can breathe without any trouble at all, even without fins and gills. Here is a list of some of the greatest treasure collection ever found in the sea: 

Dinglehopper – best piece of the collection, otherwise known as a fork that combs hair

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Snarfblatt – otherwise known as a tobacco pipe that somehow plays a melody

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Gizmos and Gadgets – Things you wear around your neck

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Candelabra – what else would you use to hang your gizmos and dinglehoppers? a candle would just fizzle out underwater anyway. 

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Thingamabobs – also perfect to keep that bottle of wine from leaking

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Bubbles… they just seem to be everywhere. 

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How did you get there? It’s in the Magic Kingdom, just to the right of the Under the Sea Ride. You may have gotten a Fast Pass.. it’s quite possible. 

 

 

MILES TO GO BEFORE WE SLEEP

Did you know that the city of San Francisco is the same size of Disney World, about 40 square miles?

Grab your fitbit, enter a stepbet, because we are about to walk! The total walking distance at Disney World has been reported to be 8.51 miles. So party off the pounds!

Here are some rough statistics by park: 

Magic Kingdom – 2.17 miles

Epcot – 2.78 miles

Hollywood Studios – 1.39 miles

Animal Kingdom – 2.27 miles

Downtown Disney/ Springs – 1.83 miles

These statistics may have changed, and will definitely change with some of the new park additions such as Star Wars and Toy Story world – I would assume they would mean more mileage potential. According to Orlando weekly, you can burn about 1500 calories walking around just one of the theme parks. Click here for the article. 

 

What will almost definitely throw a wrench into the spokes of our fitness goals? Disney’s gastronomy.  So try and pace yourself food wise if you want to come out on top. 

What might add to the calorie burn is if you have one, two, or even three kids to push around the parks. The extra strain on your biceps is sure to burn more calories.  Be sure to stay hydrated! While the kids can take a nap at anytime, most of us are stuck waiting to get back to the hotel before we can snooze. 

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There are no more horse and carriages to take us around, unless we are officially part of the kingdom. 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Source: Collected Poems, Prose, & Plays (Library of America, 1995)