Disney blog postings

Disney Postings

Earliest: May 30, 2003Latest: December 11, 2017Total: 116

March 6, 2017

Disney Spring Entertainment Tokens

If you have an off day on your Disney World vacation, there's nothing like spending some time at Disney Springs to do some shopping and enjoying the beautiful Florida day. (Around here we still call the place Downtown Disney)

Disney does offer some entertainment around the shopping area for the kids, such as face painting, Lego area and a place where you can enjoy music by the water.

There are a couple of popular attractions that kids seem to gravitate to when they walk by:

Marketplace Train Express

Miniature train ride for small children to enjoy. Little ones pay $2 to ride, parents are free.

Fun Facts

  • Number of Seats: 15
  • Number of cars: 6
  • Average Train Ride: 3 minutes

Marketplace Carousel Tickets

The Marketplace Carousel is much smaller carousel than the one in the Magic Kingdom. There is no special "Cinderella Horse" to find. You can usually find this attraction by the popular music that is played instead of the traditional organ music.

Fun Facts

  • Height Requirements: Children under 42" tall, must be accompanied by an adult
  • Number of Horses: 19
  • Average Length of ride: 3 minutes

Ride Tokens

To go on the Train or Carousel you need to get a ride token. You can buy them at each attraction, but they work at either ride. Each token cost $3.

When you arrive at the Carousel or Train, your much better off getting a couple of tokens instead of the one. You save money when you buy more than one coin.

Typical scenario:

You visit the Marketplace Train and your child wants to go on, so you buy a token for a single ride. After the train ride, your child sees the carousel and tells you that it's their favorite ride. Now you buy a second token.

In this situation you end up spending more for the single purchases.

What if you buy coins and don't use them?

You can keep them for a future trip. Optionally you can give them to a parent that you meet in Disney Springs or as a gift to someone you know that is heading to the DisneyWorld. (Remember you went to Disney Springs for Shopping?)

Would have been nice to know

I wished we knew that the tokens worked at both entertainment venues, as we would have saved some money and time. After all, once you have a token, you can bypass the token line and get right on.

I found this out by asking the person working the Carousel if they would accept Train tokens and they said 'Yes!'

February 27, 2017

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue is a great dinner and musical show at Disney?s Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort.

The show is an hour and a half long and feature the cast members interacting with the audience. The show is never the same twice, as the show typically revolves around the people in the audience and getting the crowd involve.

There?s lots of singing and audience interaction.

Getting to the Theater

If you're not staying at Disney?s Fort Wilderness Resort, the best way to get to the resort is via boat at the Magic Kingdom entrance. It?s a ten-minute boat trip from the Magic Kingdom to the Disney?s Fort Wilderness Resort dock and then a five-minute walk from the dock to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue check in.

On out last visit, we caught the 3:05 bus from Pop Century and was able to catch the 3:30 PM boat. We arrived at the Disney?s Fort Wilderness Resort at 3:40. We did investigate going to Disney Springs and catching the Disney?s Fort Wilderness bus, but we found out that if you go by bus, the drop off point is far away from the theater.

Food Menu

At your table you will get a buck of Crispy Fried Chicken, Smoked Barbecued Pork Ribs, Seasonal Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes and Cowboy Beans. For desert, there?s Strawberry Shortcake.

Eating Gluten Free

When making reservations to for the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, make sure to mention that you need to eat Gluten Free.

When you sit down you get some corn bread, unfortunately, that not Gluten Free, but they will get you some fresh gluten free bread.

After you place your drink order, the chief will substitute the fried chicken with baked chicken and offer ice cream instead of the Strawberry Shortcake.

Everything else on the menu is Gluten free.

Enjoying the Show

There are no ?best seats? in the theater. The cast members work hard to make sure that everyone in the theater has a great time. Someone from the show will visit your table to interact with you, ?Where do you live?? ?How is your dinner?? etc? they will try to use your response as part of the show.

February 20, 2017

Disney Engraved Hats

The Magic Kingdom isn't the only place to get your Mickey Mouse ears, you can get them in Disney Springs.

Getting customize Mickey Mouse ears is a great way to start a fun family trip. Traditionally we would get our ears on Main Street on the first day at the Magic Kingdom. The problem was that it took time from enjoying the park.

Get your Mouse Ears at Disney Springs

Did you know that you can get the same customized hat engraving in Disney Springs?

In the Disney's Wonderful World of Memories store is the same hat selection that is available on Main Street. After purchasing your hat, you can them engrave your name to the hat.

Creative Memories
A large wall of Disney Hats to select from.

Looking for Activity on Arrival Day?

Traditional the day of our arrival we spend some time in Disney Springs and do some shopping. Now we can order our hats and pick it up after shopping.

Now we don't have to wait for our hats and can start our Magic Kingdom adventure on some rides.

February 13, 2017

Tracking Rides in the Park

Swarm

On a recent trip to Disney World, I found a really simple way to track what rides we go on. Using a combination of Slack and IFTTT, was able to create a Google Sheet of rides on our trip.

This information will come in handy when we want to scrapbook the vacation. We like to track what rides we went on, and which one was our favorite. (It's nice to see how children change their view as they get older.)

About IFTTT

IFTTT stands for If This then That. The application acts as service between different Apps. You can use it to do all sorts of fancy things with internet enabled services. For example, if you have a Philip Hue light system, you can have it flash every time your baseball team hits a Home Run.

About Swarm

Swarm is a check in service by Foursquare. You can use it to check into most popular places. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you can keep your check-in private. This way you personally track where you visited without letting everyone know where you are.

Swarm does integrate nicely with all the social networks, so you can post photos and comments with your check in. You can post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time. They will appear as check-ins in the respectable social networks.

Foursquare users can post tips/tricks on the check-in, so when you check in you may learn something about the ride. For example, what to look for in the Small World ride.

Setting it up

If you never used Swarm and IFTTT then download it on your phone and get it set up:

Download Swarm and configure it. Test it out by checking into a place where you live. Get familiar with it, and put it on your home screen so you can access it.

Download 'IFTTT' from the App Store or Google Play. Look for a recipe for 'Add your Foursquare check-ins (w/maps) to a spreadsheet)' You will then need to approve the apps to IFTTT. (This is all done via the IFTTT app, very simple to do.)

In the Parks

Before you get on the ride, simply open up your phone and check in! You can leave a note for later - it will show up in the Google Sheet. You may reference how long the wait is or something else notable that you can reference later.

While waiting in line, I found the Swarm App to be 90% accurate on my location when I opened it. There were a couple of times where I had to switch to a different location. (Dumbo ride was one such place.)

This is better than writing it down since you can jot a note and you get a time stamp of the ride. Now you'll know how many rides you did in the morning and in the evening.

Final Results

This is what your Google Sheet will look like. You'll get times and locations:

Disney Ride Tracker

February 6, 2017

Transporting the Hans Lightsaber Home

lightsaber

Last week we visited at Disney Studios and we arrived early enough to sign up my daughter up for the Jedi training. She had a lot of fun learning to be a Jedi and interacting with Darth Vader

Immediately after her performance she saw a cart that had the same Lightsaber that she used against Darth Vader. We let her buy it since she did a good job on stage.

Slight Problem

We didn't think about it at the time, but a while later it dawned on us. How are we going to get the Lightsaber home? It's a big plastic piece that seemed vulnerable to breakage.

Unfortunately, there is no way to take it apart.

We weren't sure we could carry it on the plane. Where would we put it? What if security wouldn't allow it? There's some post I read about how TSA agents in Orlando were very strict.

Lightsaber Suitcase

Packing it Up

The life saver is pretty big and fortunately, it was able to fit diagonally in the suitcase.

I was worried that any slight pressure on the two corners and the Lightsaber would be crushed. We packed clothes all around the Lightsaber trying to minimize the stress on it.

Note: My suitcase is bigger than a typical suitcase.

Arrived Home

When we got home, I couldn't wait to see the condition of the Lightsaber. I was very surprised to find it together all in one piece. (I thought a simple suitcase drop would have been enough stress to break it.)

Lesson Learned

If your son/daughter is tempted to get the Hans Solo Lightsaber, don't get it! It's a cool device and my daughter loves it - but there's an even cooler Lightsaber available.

In the Star Tours store, at the end of the Star Tours ride, there is a station where you can build your own Life Saver. What's nice about this option is that it comes completely apart.

My daughter was disappointed that she couldn't make her own but is happy to get the one she used in training.

January 30, 2017

Mississippi River in the Magic Kingdom

As you walk from Liberty Square, into Frontierland, just before the Diamond Horseshoe, there is a metal plate that goes across the entire width of the walkway. Under that plate, water runs to the lake.

Mississippi River Map
Google Map view of the Mississippi Bridge.

This stream represents the Mississippi River. To the east is Liberty Square symbolizing the eastern part of the United States with its colonial architecture and early American theme.

To the west is the early American frontier of Frontierland. If you look at the pavement, it changes on either side of the "Mississippi" following the Magic Kingdom's design of changing the walkways as you move from one land to another.

January 23, 2017

Cinderella's Horse at the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

There are two special horses on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel ride at the Magic Kingdom. These two horses are:

  • Cinderella?s Horse
  • Prince Charming Horse

Finding Cinderella?s Horse

When you get on the Regal Carousel you want to look for the horse with a golden ribbon on the tail. That?s the easiest way to find the horse. You?ll find it just in front of one of the seating areas.

There are a couple of other distinctions about the horse. Such as the horse face and flowers, but the easiest way to find the horse is to look for the golden ribbon on the tail, as it?s the only horse that has one. Tip: It?s not any of the horses on the outside of the carousel. The horse is in the second row.

Since most people want to sit on the horses on the outside, you may have a shot at sitting on Cinderella?s horse.

I couldn?t find the special horse from any of the videos from the last time we went to Disney World. I was able to get a front view:

Cinderella Horse Disney
Notice how the flowers goes down the horse neck.

Prince Charming Horse

Once you find Cinderella?s, Prince Charming's horse is right next to it!

January 16, 2017

The Walt Disney World Photo Challenge

A few years ago the "This Disney Life" posted a list of photo opportunities to take a Disney World. The list contained the must-have photos for any trip.

Kyra include a point system as to indicate the difficulty of taking some of the shots.

I transcribed the list to an easy to use PDF document. In addition, I added a new "Expert Only" category where taking certain shots may involve some additional photographic expertise.

Disney Photo Challenge
Click on image to download PDF document.

Some of the "Expert Only" shots include:

  • Panoramic view of the 21 Century Room
  • Fireworks from the Main Street Train Station
  • Night Photo of the Partners Statue with the Castle out of Focus
  • Chip and Dale Statue with the Castle blurred in the Background (Central Plaza)
  • Mickey Mouse opening up the park

Let me know what shots you think are the most challenging to take at Disney World.

January 9, 2017

Disney Park Folder icons

We are getting things ready for our next big Disney adventure to the Disney World. I was backing up some of the photos that I have in my collection and started sorting things out by date.

I noticed that it was a bit hard to figure out what park we visited per day. I could have just named the folders by the park, but on this trip, we actually visited a couple of parks more than once.

So I decided to make some custom icons to make it easy to figure out which park we went to:

DisneyIcons.jpg
Click on image to download the Icons.

Macintosh users, please feel free to download and use these for your own folder collection.

Folder Icons Makes all the Difference

Having a good fold icon can make a huge difference, see the before and after:

New  Disney Icons2

The folders that didn't have icons are the off days when we didn't go in the park. On this particular trip my daughter was sick for a couple of days and we didn't go to the park.

January 2, 2017

Popular Disney Ride Height Requirements

My daughter just turned 6 and is now 44" tall. Looks like there are only a few rides that she can't go on:

Magic Number 44

Magic Kingdom(R) Park

  • The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm - 35"
  • Splash Mountain(R) - 40"
  • Big Thunder Mountain - 40"
  • Stitch's Great Escape - 40"
  • Space Mountain(R) - 44"
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway - 52" to ride alone

Epcot(R)

  • Test Track - 40"
  • Soarin' - 40"
  • Mission: SPACE(R) - 44"

Disney's Hollywood Studios(TM)

  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror(TM) - 40"
  • Star Tours - 40"
  • Rock-n-Roller Coaster(R) Starring Aerosmith - 48"

Animal Kingdom(R) Theme Park

  • Kali River Rapids(R) - 38"
  • DINOSAUR - 40"
  • Expedition Everest(TM) - 44"
  • Primeval Whirl(R) - 48"

Interesting trivia from Livestrong.com:

Average Heights of Girls by Age. Like weight, heights vary by age. The average -- or 50th percentile -- height for a 3-year-old girl is 37 inches, while the average for a 4-year-old is 40 inches, and a 5-year-old is 42 inches. The average for a 6-year-old girl just 45 inches.