|Earliest: May 30, 2003||Latest: December 25, 2017||Total: 118|
|April 4, 2016|
One of the oldest continuing attentions in Disney World is the Carousel of Progress which made its original debut at the 1964 World Fair. After the fair, it was moved to Tomorrowland Disneyland and stayed there until 1974. In 1975, it premiered in Walt Disney World.
The Carousel of Progress offers Disney guests a unique opportunity to sit in a moving theater and learn about how technology in the 20th Century has improved the American Family.
The entire show is just about 20 minutes long, which makes this a great place for little ones to rest for a bit. My 4-year-old daughter enjoyed sitting through the show and listening to the music.
The Carousel of Progress is a great place to head to when a sudden afternoon rain storm hits. Much of the waiting area is under cover and you won't have to wait too long to get in. If it's still raining after the ride, you can use the People Mover as cover to get something to eat or shopping.
Just about every seat in the theater is a good seat. I have found that the center seats in the back two rows to offer the best vantage point to see everything going on. If you want to look at the details sit in front row.
Photography and videotaping are not permitted during the show. I have been to a couple of shows where I got distracted because of the rear camera screen or the occasional flash photography. If you plan to film the show, please do it in the back row and learn how to take pictures without a flash.
Despite the no video recording policy, Disney Guest still managed to get some good quality videos on Youtube.
Here are some things to pay attention to on your next show:
Walt Disney was a fan of the Carousel of Progress and told many people that it was his favorite attraction. He did a lot of work for the 1964 World Fair, but he spent most of his time making sure that the Carousel of Progress came out just right.
A really cool thing that Disney did was to add a date to the Carousel of Progress sign in Tomorrowland. This allowed guests the opportunity to take pictures of the sign with a dated milestone of their trip. A few years ago the date was removed from the sign. It's not clear why Disney did this. Currently, there's no milestone landmark that guest can take as a traditional souvenir photo.
|March 28, 2016|
In 2005, Disney made staying on the property a lot easier with the Disney Magical Express from the Orlando International airport to the Resorts in Disney World. This service will pick up your luggage and deliver it safely to your room. Traveler that stay on Disney property no longer has to plan for transportation cost from the airport to their resort and vice versa.
Getting to the Magical Express Bus in the airport terminal can be a bit tricky. Orlando International airport is huge. The signs at the airport can be hard to read with all the visual distractions.
So here are some clear instructions on getting to the loading area:
The Disney Magical Express bus is located in the Main Terminal on side B at the Ground Transportation Level. When you get off the airplane at a Gate terminal, you will need to take the train to the main terminal. Once you are in the main terminal, head to Side B and then to the Ground Transportation area. (Referrer to the map on how to get to the Disney Magical Express location.) You should be looking for the "Disney Airport Welcome Center."
Travelers Tip: The Main terminal area is big, simply look for the Gares 30-49 (United) then take the stairs need the trains to the Ground Transportation.
|March 21, 2016|
There's no question about it, Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom in Disney World is a fun place to bring kids. That's the whole reason the Walt Disney built the park. It's a fun place for the whole family.
There is a problem when the littlest one needs a fairly quiet place to take a nap. As many people may encounter, there is no real quiet place in the Magic Kingdom.
One would think the area between the railroad station in fantasyland and Space Mountain would be the perfect spot. Unfortunately, it's pretty busy because its the only legal smoking area in the Magic Kingdom. A smoking area isn't a good nap spot for kids.
The rest of the park is tough because of sounds from attractions and the crowds walking around. In addition, Disney likes to add music any place it can to liven up the mood.
The perfect napping spot we have found is the Tomorrowland terrace. This is located between Main Street and Tomorrowland, near the Plaza Restaurant. Simply take a right after the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and follow
During the past few visits we found the place to be empty and fairly quiet. The metal chairs do make some noise when people move them to sit down. Otherwise, the only sound you do hear is the music which we found to be quieter than the rest of the park.
We have found this to be a great location when a sudden rainstorm occurs and you need a place to stay dry for a bit. There's plenty of room for everyone. You don?t feel trap and the bathrooms are nearby.
Since this isn't a very busy area, we have found that the bathrooms at the top of the terrace are not kept up to other areas of the park. It is certainly not what I would expect from Disney, where they do very good job paying attention to details. Your nearest clean bathrooms would be next to the Plaza Restaurant .
The Baby Center does have some quiet rooms where Moms and babies can sit and relax. The problem is that you have to take the baby out of the stroller - which isn't good if they are already napping. In addition, there's limited seating and there is a chance of other babies crying and waking up your child.
I think your best bet is to check out the Tomorrowland Terrence.
Got any Disney ideas that you wish to share? Let me know, and I'll be happy to post it.
|February 7, 2016|
Disneyland Haunted Mansion The Three Hitch Hiking Ghosts Olszewski Gallery Of Light Shadow Box
Instead of buying cheap souvenirs on your next Disney vacation, consider getting something practical or valuable to help you remember your trip. Yes, you're better off spending more than throwing away your money on a cheap item.
I have found that in most cases, cheap souvenirs will get used for a couple of weeks, after the vacation, and then loose its appeal. Eventually it will be put aside in a bin to be donated or put in a yard sale.
Disney has a great premium souvenirs selection available at selected stored on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom and in several stores in Downtown Disney. On our last trip to Disneyworld, we stopped at the The Art of Disney in downtown Disney. The store sells all sorts of unique artwork featuring various Disney characters.
Among all the art displays, I found a really cool Haunted Mansion light up box that I had to have. It's a small 4x4 inch box and inside is the Hitch Hiking Ghost scene from the Haunted Mansion ride. I instantly thought it would be perfect on my home desk. So we purchased it for $99 and had it ship home. (No chance that I was going to risk a bag handler break this item)
It took a week for the package to arrive home and I was very excited to see it again. The box is sitting on my desk at a perfect height so that I can turn it on and see the Haunted Mansion. It a very cool souvenir that I like to show anyone coming over to our house. I feel it was worth the money and I do remember the trip every time I turn the box on.
I got another Haunted Mansion light up box for my birthday. This one features Madam Leota and the various music items that are in the room with her in the Haunted Mansion. Both of these look really cool next to each other.
So on your next trip, try to come up with some type of practical souvenir that you can use every day. Consider your desk at home or at work and what unique item that you can put on your desk. One side note to this blog posting:
If you should visit the ?Ben and Jerry?s? store in Vermont in your travels, don?t get the fake spilled ice cream in the container for the office. I purchased this last year and thought it would look really cool on my desk. However, the people who clean the office didn?t get the joke and threw it away the same day I placed it.
Someone from the cleaning crew picked up the cup and threw it away. I guess it was too real looking for them to realized that it was fake. It was that event that I decided that it wasn?t worth bringing anything nice on my desk at work. An expensive $12 lesson.
This isn?t the only thing that the cleaning crew threw away. Last year when Coke ran a promotion when they had names on the bottle. My college roommate found two bottles with my name and gave them to me. The cleaning crew assumed it was trash and threw those away too. (or at least probably returned the containers to get the deposit refund.)
|January 9, 2016|
Here are three things that you need to have a successful experience taking photos of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion at night. Disney does a great job with lighting up the mansion and taking pictures of it at night can be very tricky.
While you can try to take a picture of the Haunted Mansion with an iPhone 6s Plus, you are much better using a camera that has a low relative aperture or f-number.
Cameras such as the Nikon DF, Olympus E-M5, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EOS 7D and Olympus XZ-2 iHS have taken phenomenal night shots of the Haunted Mansion. You don't need to spend a lot of money on a camera, just look for one that has a small Sensor size and has the ability to shoot in low light conditions.
Make sure to buy the camera long before you head to the Magic Kingdom. You can learn how to use the camera by challenging yourself to take pictures of different surroundings and with different lighting. Go outside and take pictures of public buildings that are light up. College Buildings and Downtowns would be good practice settings.
Yes, you can use your smart phone to take pictures. You'll get really good results when you look at the picture on your phone. I have found that that same awesome picture on my phone looks very blurry on my computer or on paper. You will get a slightly darker picture than if you use a regular camera.
You can still bring a tripod into the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Disney knows that a lot of people like to take pictures around the park at night. Any photo expert will tell you that the best night pictures are taken using a tripod.
You can use any standard travel tripod. Don't spend too much on anything very fancy. You just need one that will support your camera and lens. You can bring the tripod to the park and leave it in the lockers just off Main Street until you need it.
You dont need to bring a full size tripod, mini tripods will work just fine. There are plenty of places to put a Joby GripTight tripod, Ravelli Tripod or a Manfrotto Mini Tripod.
A tripod is key to having a nice steady shot.
The key thing to remember when your taking night photos that there are special effects going on at the Mansion. Every four minutes, inside the mansion there will be a person that appears to be walking in the conservatory. If you are using a camera timer setting you should be away of the sudden light change as it may impact your time-lapse picture.
The best location for night photos is near the Fast Pass checking entrance. Just beyond where the cast members are standing to check for Fast Pass is the perfect location of the Mansion and the hearse. Just tell the cast members that you want to take some pictures and they will let you in. If you have a mini tripod you can ask to place it on the cast member stand for a few minutes, if they are not busy they will let you have your fun.
If you have a Joby GripTight you can wrap it around one of the gates in the garden just by the hearse. (See the red arrows in the above picture) You'll also find that some of the post around the hearse are perfect for mini-tripods, perhaps they were put there for that reason. Theres a trash can position at the entrance of the hearse gate that in a perfect position for holding your camera. Make sure to stand in the way from anyone trying to use the trash.
In front of the hearse gate is a circle on the ground. (See the yellow arrow in the above picture) This is a perfect spot to set up your tripod. You can get a great few of the mansion and the hearse from this spot. The circle spot is perfectly level to make the tripod balance the shot.
If you have a good lens on your camera you should head down past Liberty Square and get a picture at Frontier land. A good spot is just across away from the Diamond Horseshoe. You can position your mini-tripod on the wall and get a good distance view of the mansion. This is a tricky shot location because of the lights from other attractions can make it hard to see the lights on the mansion.
|December 26, 2015|
Hidden Mickey are fun to find. It's one way that you know that the imagineers at Disney pay fantastic attention to the details. A Mickey Mouse symbol will appear when you least expect it.
Haunted Mansion - Magic Kingdom Disney World
If you read any official Hidden Mickey source - you'll find that there's only one officially documented 'Hidden Mickey' in the Haunted Mansion. It's in the dinning room, if you look at the down at the dinning room table you can find the one of the plate settings to be in a Mickey Mouse layout. (Usually it's the last place setting on the dinning room table).
Before heading to Disney World on a recent trip, I was looking at pictures of the Haunted Mansion and was wondering if there was another hidden Mickey in wall by the waiting area: (See the color area of the picture.)
I was looking at the bricks color formations and thought it was a good opportunity that someone placed a very well hidden Mickey in the wall. Since a lot of people tend to take pictures from the boat and Frontier Land, it would be a great place for a well hidden Mickey.
Hard to believe, but of all the pictures that I took of the Haunted Mansion, none of them show all the bricks on the wall. I made a note when I visit Disney World in November to take lots of pictures of the wall. I even took the boat ride just to make sure that I didn't miss any opportunities.
After careful examination, I sadly concluded that there is no hidden Mickey in the wall. So if your looking at the Haunted Mansion wall in Liberty Square or Frontier land you'll be disappointed that there's no Mickey Mouse ears in the wall. So for now, if you want to see a Hidden Mickey at the Haunted Mansion, wait until you get to the Dinning room.
Note: If the Disney company should do any construction work on the wall in the future, it would be a good place to put one. (Not all that complicated basically making sure similar colors line up correctly.
|November 13, 2015|
Walt Disney World can be an awesome vacation even if you have to eat Gluten free. The key thing to remember is let your server know and a Speciality Chief will come to your table and help you have a truly awesome experience.
Here are some of the notes from our experience at various establishments that we visited. We made reservations far in advance and mention the Gluten allergy, even though it's technically not an allergy.
Click on the establishment name to visit the official restaurant page and make reservations for your next trip.
Riverside Mill Food Court
Port Orleans Resort Riverside
Hollywood and Vine
Disney's Hollywood Studios
The Crystal Palace
The Contemporary Resort
We were a little disappointed with the service at Chief Mickey and felt that 'Hollywood and Vine' were more thoughtful with being Gluten free.
Hope the above information is helpful and you found it useful. If you have any particular questions, please feel free to send me an email.
|November 12, 2015|
Seven reasons not to stay at the Port Orleans Riverside resort
Seven Reasons to Stay
Some additional things to note from our stay during the first week of November, 2015
|November 10, 2015|
For about 35 years, if you wanted a Haunted Mansion souvenir you went to the small cart next to the popular attraction. In 2014, Disney converted a Liberty Square shop into a souvenir store for the Haunted Mansion. They stocked it with all sorts of new Haunted Mansion goodies.
True Haunted Mansion fans know that to get the good stuff you need to head to Main Street USA and Disney Springs. That's where you'll find unique collectable souvenirs.
This past week I stopped in the Main Street Cinema on Main Street USA - formally the movie theater.( They still have a screen on the back wall showing some classic Disney cartoons.) In the store I saw several Olszewski's miniature displays of popular attractions around Disney World. In the corner on one of the cases, I spotted a very familiar attraction:
Yes, that's a pretty good replica of the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. The back comes off and you can interchange the inside to see the dinning room or the attic. As I recall, this item will set you back at least $499.
When I was looking at it, a cast member took it out of the display because someone just purchased it. I was thinking that it was good that I stopped in the store when I did and got a picture of it.
As impressive of a souvenir as that was, I remember in 2009 seeing a $4,000 miniature version of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. This was being sold at the Art display store just above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I am not sure who purchased that item, but it certainly is the most expensive Haunted Mansion premium souvenirs that I have seen Disney in any of the parks.
You can find a lot more Olszewski's light box displays in Disney Springs. They are certainly worth looking at if you are interested in a reasonably price souvenir. If you like miniature versions of popular attractions, your best best is the Main Street Cinema on Main Street USA in Disney world.
|November 9, 2015|
Just return from a fun week at Walt Disney World. The park was very busy and it was a very humid week. During the seven days, I took 4,329 Photos and 409 videos. I used both my iPhone 6s Plus and Olympus XZ-2 iHS cameras. I used my Olympus XZ-2 iHS camera more than my iPhone.
During the evening, I took advantage of the Free WiFi at the hotel and back up all the photos on my iPhone 6s Plus to Google Photos and Flickr. I used both because Google Photos has an awesome search capability, while photos uploaded to my Flickr account don't get compresses. There was one day where it took all night to back up about 300 photos/videos to Google Photos.
I found that using both camera was the way to go, since the Olympus XZ-2 iHS takes much better photos in low light conditions. I tested taking some night shots around the Haunted using the iPhone 6s Plus and found that it was much darker than pictures taken with the Olympus camera.
Olympus XZ-2 iHS Photo Notes
Pictures taken with the Olympus XZ-2 iHS were mostly done using the 4:3 format; 3968 x 2976. The only exception was some photos that were taken in High Definition, which were taken using 1920 x 1440 resolution. I didn't know that using the 'HD mode' would result in a smaller resolution size, so I wouldn't select this option in the future.
With all the photos and videos that I took with the Olympus camera, the battery held out very well. I carried a couple of extra batteries and didn't need to use them at anytime during the whole week. I charged the camera battery every night, and that charged was enough for the whole day. In the future, I'll just bring one extra battery for a "just in case" situation.
iPhone 6s Plus Photo Notes
Pictures taken with the iPhone back camera were using the 4032 x 3024 resolution. This is important to know because Google Photos will downsize any photo uploaded that are bigger than 2048 using the longest dimension. This means that any photo that I upload using my iPhone 6s Plus will get recompressed. There will be some loss of quality, but shouldn't be noticeable for any posting to social media or emails.
I saw a lot of tourist taking pictures only with their cellular phones. I think if your going to spend a lot of money to travel to any vacation place, you should at least have a decent camera to take pictures to remember the trip. Granted if your only taking pictures to post on social media, then ya a cellular camera is fine.
The battery life in the iPhone 6s Plus did very well. I brought along my Jackery 6000mAh USB Power Hub and used it a couple of times to power up my phone. There are a couple of spots in the Magic Kingdom were you can charge your USB device; One behind the Haunted Mansion store in Liberty Square, and the other in the store as you get off Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. These are great to have, but do you really want to be sitting around waiting for the phone to get charged? Having a 6000mAh USB Power Hub is perfect size to power up your phone while your waiting in line or eating lunch. The device is small enough that you may forget having it in your pocket.