February 17, 2016

Not to Miss at Walt Disney World: For the Walt Disney Fan

I hope you have enjoyed the Not to Miss Series, I have certainly enjoyed writing all of the posts! But sadly, the series is coming to an end today. I thought I would finish things off with what I believe is Not to Miss for the Walt Disney Fan. If you missed the previous posts, you can read what is not to miss for Little Ones, the Classic Disney Fan, Thrill Seekers, Character Lovers, Show-Goers, and First Timers. If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World before I also suggest checking out this post, it is the home page of all things related to planning a Disney vacation! Okay, let’s get on with the final list!

Magic Kingdom

This detail can be seen before you enter Magic Kingdom

This detail can be seen before you enter Magic Kingdom

Carousel of Progress- Walt created this attraction for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and is one of the only attractions in Walt Disney World that Walt himself touched.Β This rotating theatre show is a nice break from the heat and generally has a short wait time. I personally love this attraction, and try to “ride” it at least once per trip. Fastpass+ is not available, but the wait time is only that of the first scene, as the next section of seating opens.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover- This car systems takes you around Tomorrowland, and is powered by magnets! You go inside space mountain and see models of what Walt envisioned of EPCOT (in capitals because it stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). The PeopleMover was created to be a way of transportation in EPCOT, which unfortunately never happened. The PeopleMover is continuously loading and rarely has a long wait. I definitely recommend this for a nice break!

Jungle Cruise- While the ride is a little outdated, the Skippers make it fun! I’m a big fan of puns, and this attraction has a bunch of them! Ride at night when there are less likely to be kids, for an even funnier version. Fastpass+ not needed, just check the My Disney Experience app and head over when wait times are short.

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room- Also with a version in Disneyland, this classic attraction showcases bird AudioAnimatronics Walt engineered. I love the songs, the birds, the flowers and the tiki gods! TheΒ line for this isn’t usually long (usually only until the next showtime), so I suggest it for a break from the hot weather.

Walt Disney World Railroad- Take a trip around the Magic Kindgom on the railroad! With a few stops along the way you can get on or off wherever, or complete a full circle. Walt Disney loved trains, and wanted to have the presence of trains in his parks. Ethan and I went on the railroad for the first time last year, and had a lot of fun! It is very nice to take a slower pace in the parks once in a while.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour- Ethan and I took this tour last year and loved it. Still to this day I am so happy we did, because it helped us to notice the details in the park. I wouldn’t suggest this tour for your first trip to Walt Disney World, but if you’ve been a few times I would highly recommend doing it! It’s a half day tour, with a meal included. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about it! I learned a lot about Walt Disney and his vision of Magic Kingdom, and the level of details that should be in the parks.

During the tour we talked about the history of this tree, I won't spoil it for you!

During the tour we talked about the history of this tree, I won’t spoil it for you!

Epcot

While the Epcot we see today was not the EPCOT Walt envisioned, the Future World section of the park is something I think was taken from his plans. Walt was always thinking about the future, and I think this area works with that. Walt didn’t have a direct hand in the creation of any attractions there, but I think it’s important to see what he wanted, and what Epcot could be.

Our Spaceship Earth

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios was not a park Walt had envisioned necessarily, but there is one attraction dedicated to his life.

Mouseketeer Hat

One Man’s Dream- this walk through exhibit is near Toy Story Mania, and I found it very interesting. There is a lot of information about Walt’s life as well as the technologies he invented. Even just walking through it I’m sure you’ll learn something new! There are models of the different parks around the world which are really neat to look at, hopefully I can make it to some of them in my lifetime! There is also an optional film at the end about Walt, but I’m not sure if it is running right now. I’ve heard a Zootopia preview has been playing, but I’m not sure if once the movie is released the Walt film will return. I will try to update this post once I know!

Walt

Animal Kingdom

Again, Animal Kingdom was not a park that Walt had a direct hand in, but his respect for animals was something that was important to him. When he came into Florida to build Disney World, he made sure to dedicate 1/3 of the land to wildlife conservation. That’s true today, and that land will never be touched. It’s the little things that make a difference, and something so small to the company has such a big message.

AK Sign

This list was surprisingly hard to write, because unfortunately Walt died before Walt Disney World opened and didn’t get to create as much for Walt Disney World as Disneyland.

Did you enjoy the Not to Miss series? Is there something else you would like to see on the blog? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you so much for reading!

Kelsey
February 3, 2016

Not to Miss at Walt Disney World: For the Show-Goer

First of all… how is it February already?!

Walt Disney World is home to a lot of great shows that you can experience all through the day. If you have someone in your party who loves shows, this list is for you. Continuing on in the Not to Miss Series, I’ll lay out where the shows are located, and if FastPass+ is recommended or available. If you’ve missed the previous posts you can check out what I think is Not to Miss for Little Ones, Thrill Seekers, the Classic Disney Fan, Character Lovers, and First Timers! If you have no idea what FastPass+ is, check out this post all about it. Okay, let’s get on with the show(s)! (Like what I did there? :))

Magic Kingdom

Celebrate the Magic- this show is projected onto Cinderella Castle, and features some of your favourite songs, and pretty awesome “tricks”. It’s played just before Wishes! So if you plan on sticking around for Wishes, head to your spot a little early to enjoy this show! Fastpass+ is available for Wishes, so Celebrate the Magic would be included with that.

Festival of Fantasy Parade- the newest parade to Walt Disney World is quite impressive. Check out my post all about it here. I loved it, and took quite a few pictures! Fastpass+ is available for preferred “seating” but the parade can be seen from any spot along the route (shown on the park map). Check the Times Guide or Disney Parks App for the time, and show up a little early to claim your spot! I definitely recommend watching this parade, if you can fit it in!

Festival of Fantasy

Main Street Electrical Parade- This night parade is all lit up and has some classic Disney Characters. The music is different than a normal parade, so check it out! Fastpass+ is available, but not needed. Just like with festival of Fantasy, you can show up early anywhere along the route to watch.

Wishes!- nothing ends a perfect day in Magic Kindgom like Wishes! I definitely recommend seeing this fireworks show at least once on your trip! Fastpass+ is available as stated above, but not needed.

Wishes!

Epcot

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth- The fireworks show at Epcot is probably the best show for fireworks. It can be seen from anywhere in World Showcase, which is awesome! Fastpass+ is available but not needed. I suggest finding a spot 15-30 minutes early, have one person eve a spot, then run and grab a snack or drink and relax!

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

Voices of Liberty-just one group of the many “shows” around World Showcase, this acapella group gives me goosebumps! Fastpass+ not available, check the times guide or Disney Parks App for all World Showcase performers.

 

Hollywood Studios

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage- This 25 minute shoe retells a tale as old as time. See some of your favourite characters in this fun show! Fastpass+ is available, but not needed due to the size of the amphitheatre. Check the Disney Parks app for showtimes.

Disney Junior Live on Stage- for little ones who watch Disney Junior, this is a must! Fastpass+ is available but not needed. Check the Times Guide for showtimes!

Fantasmic!- The nighttime show at Hollywood Studios is great! I suggest going to see it, and using Fastpass+, as the general seating fills up quickly. I usually grab something to eat and head in the amphitheatre 45-60 minutes early. Check out how I got Fantasmic as my 4th Fastpass+ of the day here.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-a-long- A must see for Frozen fans you can sing “Let it Go” with Elsa! If you have a huge Frozen fan in your party, I would suggest using Fastpass+. Otherwise check out the Disney Parks App for showtimes and arrive a little early.

Indiana Jones: Epic Stunt Spectacular- If you are a fan of Indiana Jones you should definitely check this one out! Fastpass+ is available but not needed. Check the Times Guide or Disney Parks App for showtimes and arrive early to get a good seat!

Indiana Jones

Lights,Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show- Leaving Hollywood Studios April 2nd, 2016. This crazy stunt show keeps you on the edge of your seat, and is really neat! If you are visiting before April 2nd, check it out! Fastpass+ is available but not needed as the seating area is quite large.

Symphony in the Stars- This new Star Wars themed firework show happens at 8pm every night. Fastpass+ is not available, but the fireworks can be seen from almost anywhere outside at Hollywood Studios. Because it is so new, I haven’t seen it so I can’t make a personal recommendation, but I plan on seeing it on my next trip!

Voyage of the Little Mermaid- The first “attraction” I ever did at Walt Disney World, I still see it once a trip. Any Little Mermaid fan should see this 25 minutes show. Fastpass+ is available, but not needed. Shows run continuously and the next show time will be posted outside the theatre.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King- A great show for everyone, especially a Lion King Fan! With acrobatics and amazing singers, this show is great. Fastpass+ is available but not needed. Check the times guide or Disney Parks App for showtimes and arrive a little early.

Finding Nemo: The Musical- This broadway-scale production is a must see! The puppetry is amazing and all in a 45 minute show! It add songs to a Pixar favourite and has all your favourite characters! Go with the Flow! Fastpass+ is available for specific showtimes, and I would suggest it if you don’t think you will use all 3 on other attractions. Ethan and I used it in February and got front row seats!

Dory

Flights of Wonder- This bird show happens a few times daily, so check the Times Guide or Disney Parks App for times. Fastpass+ is available, but not needed, so show up a little early.

Rivers of Light- Animal Kingdom is getting a night show this spring! I obviously haven’t seen it yet, but will update this post once I have! I’m sure Fastpass+ will be available, and I will update whether I recommend it once I’ve seen it!

I hope this has helped to lay out all of the different shows that are at Walt Disney World, so you can see which ones you might enjoy. Shows are great especially in the warmer months as you can sit and relax for a bit in air conditioning!

What is your favourite show at Walt Disney World? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Kelsey
January 28, 2016

Not to Miss at Walt Disney World: For First Timers

Never been to Walt Disney World? Then this post is for you! It can be overwhelming your first time to Walt Disney World, with so many things to do! Continuing on with the Not to Miss Series, I’m laying out the attractions and shows I think certain groups will want to experience. I’ve gone through what I think is Not to Miss for Little Ones, Thrill Seekers, the Classic Disney Fan, and Character Lovers. I lay out where everything is by park, when is best to experience them and if you should use Fastpass+ (if available). You can read about Fastpass+ here, and My Disney Experience (which goes with Fastpass+ here. Walt Disney World is populated mostly by “once in a lifetime guests” so they target these guests. Because so many people only visit once, it’s important to get it right the first time! So, let’s get on with the list!

Magic Kingdom

It’s a Small World- I think this one is a right of passage. Yes the song can be annoying, but if you ride at night you can get away with a minimal wait so your don’t have to hear it for too long! Fastpass+ is available, but only needed if you are wanting to ride during the day, as the wait time can be longer.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- conquer this and the nextΒ two and you’ve conquered the mountains of Magic Kingdom! Big Thunder is a mine train that got loose, keep an eye out for a goat and a dude in a bathtub! Ride during the first hour of the day or use Fastpass+.

Big Thunder

Splash Mountain- this log ride blows any other log ride you’ve been out of the water. At 10 minutes in length, it tells a great story and fakes you out with a few small drops before the big one. It’s my favourite, as I said here. πŸ™‚ Use Fastpass+ to ride during the hottest time of the day, or ride just after park opening for a short wait time.

Space Mountain- A rollercoaster in the dark makes me scream more than any other rollercoaster in WDW. With all the drops and turns, you never know what to expect (especially if you ride in the very front). Ride in the first hour of the day or use Fastpass+

Dumbo- Even though it’s a kid’s ride, I think everyone needs to ride Dumbo at least once. It’s very pretty at night, and there is minimal wait. If you are travelling with little ones, use Fastpass+, or wait in line and experience the playground in the line!

When I See An Elephant Fly

Haunted Mansion- I love this ride! head into the Haunted Mansion to see 999 happy haunts, but there is always room for one more! The line for this usually isn’t long, but Fastpass+ is available. Check the Disney Parks App to see when the wait time is short and head over!

Pirates of the Caribbean- Dead men tell no tales! Keep an eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow, and see the trouble pirates get into! Fastpass+ is available but generally not needed. This one is definitely a Disney classic.

Seven Dwarf Mine Train- the newest attraction in Magic Kingdom showcases the newest technology! Fastpass+ is strongly recommended, unless you are riding first thing after park opening.

Wishes!- a day at Magic Kingdom should end with Wishes! The fireworks by Cinderella Castle are just perfect, and still bring a tear to my eye after seeing it many times. Fastpass+ is available, but does not make the best use of a Fastpass+ as they generally book up in advance, so it would need to be one of the original 3 you select. Have no idea what I mean? Read this post.) You can stake out a spot 30 minutes in advance if you want to make sure you have a good view, but you can see the fireworks from pretty much anywhere. Also watch Celebrate the Magic before the fireworks πŸ™‚

All your wishes...

Festival of Fantasy- depending on the length of your stay, you may or may not want to watch the parade. Parades are a great time to experience attractions with minimal wait time, but Festival of Fantasy is the newest Walt Disney World parade, and it’s pretty awesome. Fastpass+ is available, but not needed as you can stand anywhere along the route and have a great view.

Merida

Main Street Electrical Parade- this night parade is full of lights and some of your favourite classic Disney characters. Fastpass+ is available but not needed. Personally, I’m over this parade. I’ve seen it too many times, and after seeing what Disneyland got for the 60th anniversary (Paint the Night) I’m hoping it comes to WDW soon.

Epcot

Spaceship Earth- Head inside the geodesic sphere and the icon of Epcot! This attraction is slow moving and very nice on a hot Florida day. Because it is the first attraction you see in the park, the line can be hit or miss. Use Fastpass+ if needed, or use the Disney Parks app and head over when the wait is short. The ride is constantly loading, so the line generally moves pretty fast.

Our Spaceship Earth

Soarin’- Soarin’ is a great ride. Currently down for refurbishment (coming back summer 2016 as Soarin’ Around the World), this is definitely an attraction not to miss. Fastpass+ strongly recommended.

Test Track- Design your car and put it to the test! Ride first thing in the morning for minimal wait, or use Fastpass+. I love doing this one a few times, so everyone in your party can have a chance designing their own car. It is fun to see how different they turn out!

World Showcase- while not technically an attraction, World Showcase really shoes what Epcot is about. With performances happening at the different countries throughout the day, it is a great place to wander and take in all the details. If you are looking to experience attractions (which I didn’t include because it depends on the time you have, there is a ride in Mexico, and shows in Canada, China, and France.)

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth- the fireworks show at Epcot is great, and has a greatΒ message that’s not in-your-face Disney. Fastpass+ not needed, as it can be seen all around World Showcase. I would suggest grabbing a spot at least 30 minutes before it starts, to ensure a good view!

Illuminations

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rock n’ Rollecoaster- the only upside- down rollercoaster in WDW, this coaster is definitely a not to miss for thrill seekers. Ride first thing in the morning, or use the single rider line (your party WILL get split up) to avoid a long wait time. If wanting to ride during the day, use Fastpass+.

Rock n Roll!

Tower of Terror- this one keeps you guessing, as the ride sequences are randomized! I love the detail in the queue, and the surprise of the ride! Just when you think it’s over, you go back up! Ride during the first hour of the day or use Fastpass+.

Tower of Terror!

Toy Story Midway Mania- You will probably want to do this one more than once, just a warning! Play some of your favourite carnival games, with 3D technology, all while sitting down! Ride this one first thing, or at night during Extra Magic Hours (more about that here) for minimal wait, or use Fastpass+.

Fantasmic!- I love Fantasmic so much it is my ringtone. This show takes place in a huge amphitheatre and has some of your favourite Disney characters in the show. I recommend using Fastpass+ for this as the regular seating section is quite small, and fills up quickly. Check out the Fastpass+ post to see how I made Fantasmic! my 4th Fastpass+ of the day.

Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safaris- This safari really makes you feel like you are in Africa! Use Fastpass+ to experience it at certain times of day if you wish, but it is not needed.

Expedition Everest- the big rollercoaster in Animal Kingdom has a crazy amount of detail. Ride first thing in the morning for minimal wait, and ride it a few times! Fastpass+ is available if you cannot make it to the park for opening, Watch out for the Yeti!

Yeti Territory

It’s Tough to be a Bug!- I suggest this show because it gives you a closer look at the Tree of Life, so you can appreciate all the detail in there. For fans of A Bugs Life this is a cute show with some 3D gags. Fastpass+ not available, but the wait usually isn’t long.

Tree of Life

Animal Kingdom is getting a night-show this year, and I’m quite excited! It’s called Rivers of Light, and you can find some information about it here. I’ll update this post once I’ve seen it!

Check out this post if you are planning a Walt Disney World vacation, it lays everything out for you!

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World, what would you do your first time if you could go back? What did you do on your first trip? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading!

Kelsey