Disney® Mania

  1. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    OK, so Evo thought that this might be a "good" idea so that all the closeted Disney freaks can come out and breath. :)

    I'll be in Disney World over the Memorial Day week (May 28 to June 5th). In the very unlikely event that there are others here also going to be there that week, wouldn't it be fun to have a Disney World PF gathering? We'll measure the rate of acceleration during the drop at the Tower of Terror (hint: it isn't g!). Or, if you have been seduced by the Disney pin mania, maybe you'd want to trade some of yours for a few of my Passholder exclusive pins?

    If you can't make it to Disney World this time around, don't fret. I am already planning on going back over the Labor Day week (Sept. 3 to Sept. 11). It's never too early to plan ahead! Go to their website at

    www.disneyworld.com

    and find yourself some terrific deals (especially for the Labor Day trip since that's the beginning of their slow season).

    In the next posting, I'll repost the updated, shortlist of all the things you MUST do at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for those who missed it when I posted it in my journal a while back. If you have added info or hints to add, that would be terrific!

    Zz.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    Things You MUST Do While At Walt Disney World

    Things You MUST do while at Disney World.

    (Last update: 02/11/2005)

    Magic Kingdom

    1. Space Mountain (rollercoaster)
    2. Thunder Mountain Railroad – the best place to ride this is towards the rear. Ask for it when you are about to board.
    3. Splash Mountain – sitting on the right side tends to be slightly wetter than the left side.
    4. Teacups
    5. Haunted Mansion
    6. Mickey’s Philharmagic – this has become the #1 attraction at Magic Kingdom. Do this early, or get Fast Passes. If not, try getting in while there is a show or a parade going on.
    7. Jungle Cruise – A good ride when your feet are tired, as long as you don’t mind your tour guide spewing out a lot of bad puns.
    8. Spectra Magic Light Parade – Check the parade route and try to move away from Main Street where it WILL be crowded. Some place in Frontier Land will be good.
    9. Wishes – Even though you can see the fireworks from a large area of Magic Kingdom, the show involves more than just that. So to get the full effect, the best place to view it is still right in front of Cinderella’s castle. Unfortunately, this is also the most crowded and popular area.
    10. A good quick place to eat – Columbia Harbor House. Take note that there are additional seatings upstairs with a condiment/utensils/etc. kiosk that are seldom packed. There are also additional washrooms on this floor.


    Epcot

    1. Test Track (be there when Epcot opens and head directly to Test Track – get in line immediately or take Fast Pass. Test track is extremely popular and will have long lines later in the morning/day).
    2. Mission Space – same warning as in Test Track. However, if you are susceptible to motion sickness, you may not want to ride this. [Hint: if there are people not riding Mission Space, it might be a good idea for those waiting to get Fast Pass tickets for Test Track. That way, by the time the Mission Space people get off that ride, it will be close to the Fast Pass time for Test Track].
    3. Maelstorm at the Norway pavilion (World Showcase pavilion around the lagoon opens at 11:00 am). Note: there is a small bakery at the front of the Norway pavilion and they have (if they haven’t sold out) this sweet almond pretzel. It is to DIE for!
    4. Also at the Norway pavilion – Restaurant Akershus. This is an EXCELLENT place to eat. Unlimited food from their cold buffet bar, and all-you-care-to-eat from their entrée menu. Reservations are strongly recommended during peak season/hours.
    5. Honey I Shrunk the Audience
    6. Illumination at 9:00 pm around the lagoon (if it doesn’t rain, people usually start staking out the best spots around the lagoon ½ to one hour before the show). As with Wishes at Magic Kingdom, you can view the fireworks and light show from all around the lagoon, but the best place to view it in its full “symmetry” is still right at the pavilion by the entrance to the World Showcase lagoon.
    7. Spaceship Earth. It’s cheesy and tame, but it’s inside that big “golf ball” and the show may not last that much longer if the rumor of it being renovated to hold a rollercoaster ends up being true. Do this ride late in the afternoon or early evening – the lines are not as long then.
    8. Restaurant Marrakesh at the Morroco pavilion – If you come at the right time, you might get to see live musicians and belly dancers. The food is excellent too! Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner during peak seasons.


    Disney-MGM Studios

    1. Tower of Terror – ride this as many times as you can. It is different each time since they have a random program of “drops”.
    2. Rock ‘N Roller Coaster
    3. Muppets 3D
    4. Star Tours
    5. Fantasmic Light Show - 3 different restaurants offer a “Fantasmic” dinner package. They are the Brown Derby, Mama Melrose, and Hollywood and Vine (this list may be outdated). You get a separate entrance and reserved seating for Fantasmic with this package. Reservation is strongly recommended or even required (you need to mention the Fantasmic dinner package). Plan on having dinner at around 5 pm to 6 pm to have enough time to catch the show afterwards.
    6. A fun place to eat – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. You get to sit in your own car and watch old sci-fi movies on a large screen while you munch on your food.


    Animal Kingdom

    1. Kilimanjaro Safari – do this as early or as soon as the park opens. It is very popular.
    2. Kali River Rapids – assume that you WILL get drenched (bring ziplock plastic bags for your wallet, cellphone, etc.).
    3. Primeval Whirl – don’t do this immediately after you eat, it will not be pretty. Also avoid if you are susceptible to motion sickness.
    4. Dinosaur – be warned that this ride can be quite intense for young children.
    5. It’s Tough To Be A Bug.
    6. Best places to eat: Tusker House and Flame Tree BBQ. Take note that Flame Tree BBQ has a lot more seating than it appears. Try walking down further into the greenery and you’ll find a wonderful seating area by the lake that is seldom crowded.


    Other Locations

    1. Breakfast with Chef Mickey at the Contemporary Resort – Plan this waaaay ahead, even weeks (or months) before you get to Orlando. It is fun, if you have kids, or just a kid at heart.
    2. Downtown Disney – 4 words to describe it: shop, eat, shop, eat. However, kids may prefer the Lego store.
    3. Cirque Du Soleil’s La Nuba at Downtown Disney Westside – Even if you have seen other Cirque Du Soleil shows, see this one! It will be an experience you will never forget.
    4. Pleasure Island – 8-Tracks is a fun retro dance club.
    5. Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge – this is the BEST buffet dinner anywhere in Disney World, in my opinion. It is African-themed, but also has the regular, familiar food for those who do not want to venture out of their comfort level. Don’t miss the crispy flatbreads with the three wonderful and exotic spreads.


    Things to Keep in Mind

    1. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can have all your purchases anywhere in Disney World sent to your hotel. This saves you from having to lug everything you bought with you.
    2. If you are staying at a Disney resort, take note also that if you decide to drive to the Disney parks instead of taking their free busses/monorail, parking is FREE. Just show your room key/card as you enter the parks. [Note, as of January 2005, you also get free transportation from the Orlando International airport to your Disney hotel. You will need to either inquire about this service when you make your reservation, or check their website. You will also be given luggage tags, so you and your luggage will be picked up at the airport by them.]
    3. More shopping tip: If you end up buying a large number of items at a single store (such as at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney), you may want to consider having them ship all of them directly to your home. You pay only ONE shipping flat rate no matter how many items you want to ship, AND, the sales tax is not included. Depending on how much you are spending, the money you save on sales tax alone might pay for the shipping. Keep in mind that I think they will only ship (using that one flat rate) the items you are paying for at that moment, not the items you have already purchased, even from the same store.
    4. While you are there, you can make dinner reservations, buy park tickets, etc. throughout the Walt Disney World at any Guest Services office (Guest Services can be found at all parks, resorts, Downtown Disney). If there is a special occasion for making the reservation (such as a birthday or anniversary, etc.), be sure to mention it to the Guest Services cast member – you might get some special treatment then, or later.
    5. As soon as you walk through the turnstile at any of the Disney parks, look for a slip of paper (usually at a kiosk or on racks by the wall) that lists all the parades, show times, character greetings, and special events for that day. This list changes everyday, so pick one up each time you walk into a park.
    6. For parents who want to get on a ride, but an accompanying child is either too scared, or too small to be on that ride, most rides at Disney World has a “parent exchange” area. This allows one parent to get on the ride while the other stays in a holding area with the child. When the riding parent is done, the next parent can go on that ride without having to go back to the end of the line. Ask a cast member if a particular ride has this.
    7. When you go to Magic Kingdom via the “regular” Disney busses or by driving your own vehicle, you will arrive at the Transportation center, and then you can either board the Magic Kingdom monorail, or a boat to get to Magic Kingdom itself. There are three monorail lines here: one is the express monorail to and from Magic Kingdom, one for the Magic Kingdom resort hotels, and one going to Epcot. (So you could, if you prefer, park here and go to Epcot. This is a good idea if you intend to be jumping around between Epcot to Magic Kingdom on the same day. That way, your vehicle is always in the middle of the two parks.) Take note that BOTH the Magic Kingdom express monorail, and the Magic Kingdom resorts monorail go to and from the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation center. The only difference being that the resort monorail will make stops in between for the Magic Kingdom resort hotels. So keep this in mind if the Magic Kingdom express monorail is very busy with people. Most of them do not know that the Resort monorail also goes to the same place. This also applies when you are coming back from Magic Kingdom to go to the Transportation center.
    8. Remember that Disney Theme Park tickets do not expire (except for the Ultimate Park Hopper). So if you bought a regular 5-Day Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus, and you used only 3 days, the remaining 2 days (and any “Plusses”) do not expire! You can come back at any time to use the remaining days. The Ultimate Park Hopper, on the other hand, is only valid during the days that you are a guest at one of their resorts. So if you checked into a Disney hotel on the 8th and checked out on the 12th of the month, your Ultimate Park Hopper will only be valid for entrance to the Disney parks from the 8th up to and including the 12th. [Note: As of Jan 2005, Disney World has added variations to their ticket options. You can still buy Park Hopper tickets that do not expire, but they cost slightly more than those that do. So double check on the various ticket options that are now currently available.]

    Zz.
     
  4. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    At my advanced age I still have never been to Disney World. :frown: Hey, September might work!!! We can get the PF RV and head to Orlando!! (not sure Zapper knows about our supersonic RV :uhh: )

    They have Cirque Du Soleil? I love Mystere and plan to see O. :approve:

    Any recommendations on which resort is best if you don't have small children?
     
  5. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    You have a supersonic RV? Whoa! I hate to think how many miles per gallon you get on THAT beast! :)

    When you say "resort", do you mean a Disney hotel to stay, or the theme parks?

    I think it is important to point out one misconception about Disney Theme parks. If you look closely, practically ALL of the rides there (even the so-called kiddy ones) are actually made for adults! The Dumbo ride, for example, have seats to fit an adult, not a child. (yes, I do go on the Dumbo ride every time I'm at the Magic Kingdom, even when there's no child in my party, thankyouverymuch!) Disney actively advertizes to adults, and all their rides are made for adults.

    So whether you have a small child with you, or just someone acting like a small child, all the disney theme parks are equally suitable and enjoyable.

    Zz.
     
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't pay for the gas, so I've never kept track. Did I mention that it's also amphibious? :biggrin:

    Hotel. Something nice. I remember seeing one with a lagoon. Not that I'd ever be caught dead in public in a bathing suit anymore, not sober anyway. :wink:
     
  7. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    Disney grouped their hotels into 3 separate categories (with varying price range within each categories):

    1. The Deluxe accomodations (Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Disney Beach Club, Polynesian, Disney Yacht Club). This tends to be more on the expensive side, but if you can afford it (especially during their slow season, you can get tremendous deal), I would highly recommend staying at one of these. If you like animals (and I don't mean the kind you find on PF either), I strongly suggest the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There's literally a wild life park right outside your hotel room balcony.

    2. Moderate accomodations. I recommend Port Orleans or the Coronado Springs (the newest hotel on Disney properties). Coronado Springs is literally right across the lake from Downtown Disney (you can walk over there), while Port Orleans has a nice boat ride to Downtown Disney.

    3. Budget accomodations. The newest (and largest) hotel resort is Pop Century. I've been there, and let's just say that it's "colorful". There's nothing wrong with the budget hotels, even the others, but if you do stay here, ask for a hotel room AWAY from, or not facing, the swimming pools (just trust me on this one!).

    There are also non-disney hotels but on Disney properties, and they enjoy the same privileges as other Disney hotels. There's a Hilton, a Best Western, The Swan, The Dolphin (I forgot who owns both of those), etc.

    Zz.
     
  8. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    That's my job! The one to act like a small child at Disney! I've never stayed at one of the official Disney hotels. I either stayed in Orlando nearer the convention center or with my parents who live about an hour and a half from Disney. Oh, and when I was a kid, we went camping in Kissimee (Evo, it's a great place to pull in the supersonic RV, right across the street from a Waffle House).

    But, yeah, I love Disney. The sticky part for me is getting there without having to invite my parents along. They have their season passes and sit with the old people who do things like play cards up on the castle.

    Downtown Disney is fun as well. I encourage you to play with Legos in their mini Legoland display. Oh, and they also have the nightclub scene, but I haven't been to that--parents tagging along, remember? That starts past their bedtime.

    Unfortunately, Memorial Day is a little too soon to plan a trip there. Labor Day is a bit too far away to start planning yet, but I'll keep it in mind. As long as I plan a day in there to visit my parents while there, I won't get a lot of grief for it. But, things are pretty up in the air to plan anything for September yet. That would definitely be a fun place for a PF gathering though.
     
  9. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    We'll just have to make sure we find you a hotel with a good bar near the pool then. :biggrin:
     
  10. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Or we could just float the RV in the lagoon. Nothing like a moonlit cruise. :approve:

    I wonder if we can lure Zz into the RV? :tongue2:

    Zapper, how many days do you recommend staying in order to be able to see all of the good stuff and go on all the good rides?
     
  11. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    I don't think you want to get me into an RV - trust me! :)

    I would recommend a week if you can swing that. If you go over the Labor Day weekend, you'd only end up taking a 4-day vacation. I usually go there from the Saturday of that weekend till the Sunday a week later. And I usually stay at one of the non-Disney hotels on Disney properties on Hotel blvd. I like this location because it is walking distance to Downtown Disney. And if we end up dancing the night away at Pleasure Island, it's only a "crawl" away to get back to the hotel.

    I need to get both you and Moonbie into 8-Tracks and Mannequins at Pleasure Island.

    Zz.
     
  12. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    We have you outnumbered. :tongue2:

    Sounds like I will need to get my knee in shape. I don't want to be snapping and popping. :redface:

    :blushing: Why Zz, you devil, you!!!! :blushing: (what happens at Disney World stays at Disney World) I'm starting to look at Disney World in a completely different light!!! :biggrin:
     
  13. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Oh, don't be fooled by the mouse ears, there is definitely an after-dark adult scene at Disney! :devil:
     
  14. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,539
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    Since I grew up about thirty miles from D-land in California, and since the Scouts, schools, baseball and football leagues etc all had special D-land days, I probably went three or four times a year as a kid. But the coolest night EVER was when three buddies and I hit the park on a rainy night. Being 16 or so, the rain didn't bother us, but the place nearly emptied out in the early evening, and we had most rides completely to ourselves. I know that we cruised through Space Mountain, then brand new, six times without ever getting back in line. As we approached the controller we just waved him on and away we went again! It was an awesome night. We ran from one ride to the next.

    Oh yes, I never have been to Disney World. :cry: :cry: :cry: Now I don't know if I care to stand in line for hours, and hours, and hours... I always wanted to make a D-World/Shuttle launch trip, but we never made it.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2005
  15. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    Funny you should say that. The BEST time I've had at Disney World was last year in between TWO hurricanes! :)

    We had to delay our trip because one just simply won't leave... and there was one already on its way. People thought we were nuts for still wanting to go, but we went anyway. Our hotel had damage, but we still had our room. There was just no one there. The parks were empty. I went on Tower of Terror 4 times in a row. The same with Splash Mountain. In fact, I have a picture of just two of us in the front row of the log while going down Splash Mountain, waving at the camera.

    It's just one of the many, many happy memories I have there (the other one was when I celebrated my birthday at Magic Kingdom).

    And now, I'd like to make more happy memories with Evo and Moonbie... And oh, I have a digital camcorder and I edit movies into "music videos" too! :)

    Zz.
     
  16. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
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    Phew !! Zz, the party animal ! :eek:

    Who'da thunk !
     
  17. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,539
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    Also, I agree: Disney is magic! I hope they can somehow maintain the magical ambiance and not go the way of lesser theme parks.
     
  18. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,439
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    That's nothing! Wait till I've had my fifth Shirley Temple of the evening, and then, WATCH OUT!

    :)

    Zz.
     

  19. :rofl: :rofl:

    That got a laugh out of me.
     
  20. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Pssst, Gokul, don't let him know we've been spiking the Shirley Temple's with vodka.

    Geez, they dip you in green paint and suddenly you're a wild and crazy party animal! :rofl:
     
  21. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Whenever I went to amusement parks as a kid/teenager, we used to always pick an overcast day. It would be a little cooler for walking around, and there were a lot less crowds when it looked like it might rain any minute. Sure, sometimes it did rain and the rides would shut down for a while, but then you just hit the arcade or get something to eat until it passes.

    Last year I went up to Cedar Point with some friends (yeah, that one's overly commercialized, but most are anymore), and in the late afternoon, we just got dumped on with this downpour. At first everyone started running for shelter, then we realized it was futile. We were soaked in just seconds, so shrugged it off, decided it was a bonus water ride and went off splashing in puddles until the rain stopped. It was one of those storms that hits hard and fast and then ends just as quickly. The park totally emptied out. We headed to the arcades and then got some food and then sat out in the sun drying off while we waited for the rides to re-open. It was great. We hit all the really popular rides with no lines at all! Great fun!
     
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