Saturday, March 31, 2012

Video Saturdays - Dumbo the Flying Elephant at night

Here is a video of the new Dumbo ride in Storybook Circus. The colors are fantastic. I actually want to ride this ride now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fastpass 101

I tried to explain the Fastpass system to my wife before we went to Disney, I really did. But she didn't buy it. For whatever reason, she didn't buy it until we were there utilizing the system. Then she became a believer.

Here is my attempt to do a better job of explaining what Fastpass is and how to use it.

Various rides throughout the theme parks (and now Character queues) have a Fastpass system attached to them. This means that, for those rides, you have the opportunity to basically cut in line and get on the rides quicker.

Go up to the designated kiosk, put your ticket in the slot and out comes your Fastpass. Your Fastpass will tell you what time you can return to ride. Disney has recently cracked down on sticking to that time slot. You have an hour available so it shouldn't be an issue but it is something to be aware of.

Quick Hits:
- Certain rides are best ridden with the use of a Fastpass (Soarin' and Toy Story Mania are two that come to mind)
- The other option for getting on a ride quicker is using the single rider line (currently, there are three rides that officially offer the single rider option: Expedition Everest, Rockin' Roller Coaster and Test Track)

Monday, March 26, 2012

On Flexibility and Planning Ahead

At our first meeting, I asked my friends which rides and attractions they most wanted to experience. I wanted to get a plan ready for our trip so we didn't waste time deciding what to do next.

One of the responses I got was, "Isn't part of the magic slowing down and not rushing around?"

My response: "If we're standing around admiring some details or hidden magic, that's one thing, but if we're standing around because we can't decide what to do next, we're wasting time."

We all know that Disney isn't cheap and I want you (and myself) to make the most of the short time we have in the parks.

So, I want to make a plan for us, especially because most in the group haven't been to the World ever, or for a long time.

I'm not going to give you my plan for two reasons: 1) I'm still working on it (our trip is planned for the Fall) and 2) My situation may different than yours. I'm encouraging you to plan ahead, not to do what I do.

I'm also encouraging you to be flexible. Something may catch someone in your party's eye that isn't on your schedule. Go with it. On our honeymoon, we walked by Peter Pan's Flights and my wife asked if we could ride it. When we talked about the trip before our wedding, it wasn't one she was interested in, but in the moment, she changed her mind.

So, we rode it. We still got to do everything we wanted to do that day, so it didn't really take anything away from our trip - it only enhanced it.

Do you plan ahead for your trips or do you go with the flow?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Video Saturday - Here Come the Muppets

In honor of the movie, The Muppets, being released this week (which, if you haven't seen yet, you should), I want to show the video of the first Muppet related attraction at Disney World.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: The Vault of Walt

This book is a weighty tome, both physically and with regards to the content. Coming in at over450 pages, this isn't a book you would want adding weight to the backpack you're carrying around the parks all day.

This is the book that you read in your hotel/resort room or by the pool or beach.

As far as the content goes, you'll be hard pressed to find a better collection of long lost stories and anecdotes ranging from Disney movies, to the parks, to Walt himself.

*Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief, Cinderella doesn't actually have a horse on the prince's carrousel. That urban legend was probably created by cast members looking to make some kid's day more magical.

That's only the tip of the iceberg that Jim Korkis has to offer the Disney enthusiast.

The book's biggest draw is also it's biggest draw back. The sheer size and amount of information is not only slightly intimidating, it also makes for slow reading. You won't be breezing through this book.

The other positive about this book is how it is broken up into sections, with each chapter in the sections separate from each other. This allows you can pick and choose what you want to read about, instead of just reading from cover to cover.

Overall, I recommend this book, but be for-warned, neither this man nor his book are short winded. They have stories that need to be told and, by golly, they are going to tell them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

This Just In:

Agent P to replace Kim Possible as World Showcase resident secret agent.

Rumors were confirmed last week that a changing of the guard is happening this summer at Epcot. Teen secret agent, Kim Possible is soon to retire and in her place the semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action known as Agent P.

Possible began her role as protector in 2009, well after news of her previous exploits were becoming less frequent (a.k.a. the T.V. show was off the air and kids were already becoming unfamiliar with her)

Sources say that technology was another factor in the decision to replace Kim Possible with Agent P. Because technology is constantly changing and improving, bringing in a new agent allows the imagineers opportunities for better tech.

I'm sure that kids of all ages will be excited about the upcoming changes. I look forward to seeing them myself.

For further information check out the official announcement from Disney Parks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Where I've Been plus a Review of John Carter

My wife and I have taken a short break from blogging while we focus on unpacking our stuff from our recent move. Hopefully we will be back online in a week or so, but I wanted to give everyone an update.

I also wanted to share my thoughts on the movie John Carter. Let's be honest, based on what we saw leading up to the movie, we were promised another generic Sci-Fi movie. Nothing in the promotional material (trailers, posters, etc...) let us in on what was actually taking place - both on and off screen.

Off screen - Don't let anyone tell you that John Carter is ripping off popular Sci-Fi franchises like Star Wars or Avatar. John Carter is based on a series of novels written in the early nineteen hundreds and is considered the grandfather of Sci-Fi. If anything, these popular franchises are ripping off John Carter.
*Fun Fact: 2012 actually marks the 100th anniversary of when the first John Carter story was published.

On screen - First of all, the movie is beautiful. The settings and characters wonderfully created. I'm not a music person so I can't speak to that aspect except to say that it never distracts from what's happening on screen. The characters are intriguing. They have found a happy medium between being overly complex and simple archetypes.

The story is very well developed. Any time I sit through a movie and don't look at my watch at some point I count as a success. I won't give anything a way, but the twist at the end was well done.

Disney dropped the ball when getting the word out on the movie, but if it fails at the box office, it won't be because it is a bad movie.

Hopefully, I be back blogging soon, but until then, go see John Carter and tell me what you think.