What’s The Attraction: The Haunted Mansion

One of the most popular, and often sentimental, attractions at Walt Disney World sits to the rear and left of Cinderella’s Castle (as you walk down Main Street U.S.A.) in the area of the park known as Liberty Square, or as the Ghost Host might proclaim, Liberty Scare! Welcome to The Haunted Mansion!

Opening on October 1, 1971, this stately mansion greeted guests who would enter the stretching room to begin their journey. The Haunted Mansion makes use of the Omnimover loading system to keep the queue line moving, and to get you seated into your Doom Buggy for your frightfully comedic journey.

Along the way you see portraits that change images, singing marble head statues, a floating crystal ball, and a ballroom hosting dancing specters. You may even hear a haunting version of the Grim Grinning Ghosts theme song being played on the organ from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea!

The voice of your Ghost Host is done by long time voice over actor, Paul Frees! He definitely has a haunting sound to the instructions given when you first get seated in your Doom Buggy. Frees has a long history with Disney and has voiced characters in many attractions and movies! Check out more about Paul Frees at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Frees. It’s worth a read!

I have to add that the addition of the interactive queue, makes the approach to The Haunted Mansion fun! Take time to read the tombstones, they will crack you up! Made up of puns and catch lines, these monuments will leave you wanting to join the cast on the other side!

This attraction makes use of Fastpass+ (not needed unless very crowded), and offers Assistive Listening and Closed Caption.

This is a must do attraction!! And, that brings us to a close on this article!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day!

What’s The Attraction: Peter Pan’s Flight

As one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World, Peter Pan’s Flight opened up at The Magic Kingdom on October 3, 1971. And, can you believe it is still one of the most popular attractions on the entire resort property? Peter Pan is a suspended dark ride that uses a pirate ship for your ride vehicle. It is an omnimover ride that keeps the line moving.

In the first scene, we get a glimpse of the nursery where Wendy and the kids play with Raggedy Ann and Andy. There is also a Hidden Mickey at the beginning of the ride. As you begin to ascend in the ship, look to the right for three cookies.

From this point, you get an “aerial” view of the London skyline on the way to Neverland where we get a look at the Lost Boys Camp and Mermaid Lagoon. Make sure to look carefully at the Mermaids, you may recognize one of them!

The ride closes out with a pass over Skull Rock where you witness Capt. Hook and Peter Pan dueling it out. Then it’s back to London to reunite the family.

Peter Pan’s Flight is an incredibly popular attraction and often has longer wait times then most other rides, even in the lighter seasons. Fastpass+ is available, but if you head to this attraction as soon as you enter The Magic Kingdom, you could use your FP+ for something else later in the day.

Personally, I love this attraction! As an original, I almost feel Walt’s presence aboard the flying ship. I would say this one is a don’t miss if you have little ones!

Thanks for reading and have a Blessed and Magical day!!

It’s Not About the Four Dollars, or: Let’s Stop Having the Wrong Argument

This makes somebgood points! Spread it around!

Nerds in Wonderland

As you’ve likely heard by now (and likely heard ad nauseum), Walt Disney World pulled a fast one on the public this weekend, enacting across-the-board ticket price increases with no warning on all four of its Florida parks. This is the second price hike in less than twelve months, which in itself is unusual; the complete lack of notice also marks a departure from the company’s past behavior. On Twitter, at least, the increase has provoked a loud and spirited debate, with people generally falling into one of two camps: one incredulous bordering on outraged, the other indifferent to the change and/or openly hostile toward the former camp. (I realize I’m generalizing here, but let’s go with it.) Yes, it’s true that the average increase per ticket type was about $4, or roughly 4%. Yes, the price of everything goes up: milk, gas, condoms, cars, whatever. Yes, a Walt Disney…

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What’s The Attraction: TTA

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover (TTAP) is one of the most popular attractions in all of Walt Disney World. It’s easy pace, short queue lines, and areas of interest make it a nice way to slow down a little and get a small break from an otherwise hectic day. Let’s take a look at some of the history of this attraction!

Wanna take a ride?

Opening on July 1, 1975 as the WEDway PeopleMover, this ride was based on the original at Disneyland with some distinct differences! There were no more rubber tires to roll along on, but the new version made use of a newer technology, Linear Synchronous Motors, using a magnetic series of conductors to move the cars along the track. These motors are very quiet and efficient.

Jack Wagner voiced the original narration and he was well-known as the voice of Walt Disney World. He also was the original voice of the Monorail and the Welcome greeting at the Transportation and Ticket Center! Now, the TTAP is voiced by Mike Brassell. He does a very nice job and can be heard on a recent episode of the Disney Parks Podcast, Episode 72.

While riding the TTAP, you will get a birdseye view of the Tomorrowland Speedway, make a pass through Space Mountain, and get previews of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, and Monster’s Laugh Floor.

But, in my humble opinion, the greatest reason to take a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, is the ability to people watch! You can see a lot of what’s going on below you, it can be quite entertaining!

One of Walt Disney’s hopes, was that this could become a part of everyday life in local communities. He believed that this was a conservative, legitimate method of transportation within metropolitan areas. And, there have been a few take advantage of this concept. And, many airports have been using a similar concept for many years. But, there are many communities that believe the initial investment is too expensive. I wonder?

That’s it for now, my friends! As usual, I hope you have a Blessed and Magical Day!!

Good Morning, Magic Kingdom!

One of the fun reasons to get to The Magic Kingdom early is to see the fabulous opening show! This is the original, and currently, the only real surviving welcome shows in all of Walt Disney World. I saw this show for the first time a few years back, and I remember feeling like I was personally being welcomed to the park. It was a super way to start the day!

Good Morning, Magic Kingdom

Magic, wrapped up in Pixie Dust! What a beautiful lyric! You are reminded immediately that this is the most magical place on Earth and that you are here to be a part of what makes it magical. Then the medley moves into the old standard, Good Morning made popular by Judy Garland as the train starts to make it’s way into Main Street Station! That is where the stars of this show make their first appearance of the day.

Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy make their entrance along with other popular Disney characters who make occasional appearances. You are welcomed by host Mickey Mouse and then the countdown begins to the opening of the park! It truly is a magical way to begin your day. The welcome show occurs every morning at about 8:50am, unless there is a special occasion like a 24 hour event. If you are there for the early Extra Magic Hour the show still takes place at about 8:50am.

I urge you to see it at least once during your Walt Disney World vacation1

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!!

First Step

Any trip to any Disney Destination has to start somewhere! Today, we look at the FIRST STEP!

This first step applies to ANY vacation, but is more important when traveling to anything Disney. Especially, Walt Disney World (WDW) and Disney Cruise Lines (DCL)!

Tools needed to accomplish this first step may include your children’s school schedule, a household calendar, and a family meeting. Why, you may ask? Because the FIRST STEP is to decide WHEN you are going to take your vacation. When looking at WDW or DCL, the sooner you begin planning the more money you save, the better opportunity you have to get the accommodation you are seeking, and you will get the best pick of dates.

Once you get your dates narrowed down, it is then time to move on to the Second Step and we will talk about that next time!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, friends!!


Green Army Guy - KTP

When headed to Walt Disney World, one of the primary decisions is how to tour! In our family, albeit not my personal choice, we tend to go in the style of the COMMANDO! Meaning we hit the ground running with my wife taking the lead and she has a very specific plan on what she wants to see, and in what order! Here’s how it works…

Get up early, I mean EARLY! Grab whatever you want for breakfast on the way out the door and head for a bus or the car, depending on what you are using to get around. Arrive at your desired park at least 30 minutes ahead of park opening. From that point on, it’s making use of crowd flow, and a good touring plan, to accomplish the goal…RIDE EVERYTHING, SEE EVERYTHING, RIDE EVERYTHING AGAIN!!

Bathroom breaks are allowed within the flow of moving from one area to another, no special stops allowed. Even eating has been planned carefully as to not interfere with getting to a ride or attraction on time!

Personally, I don’t like commando because it is very difficult to slow down and take in the Disney Details! But, I also know there are many who prefer this plan of attack.

I think a balance is probably the best approach. Be commando first thing, then take a break either in park or out, then slow it down and really allow yourself to take in the atmosphere and details to the architecture. Look around for Hidden Mickeys or other characters, plant life, or take a seat somewhere and people watch.

When at Disney, choose carefully how you want to tour and stick to your plan!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed and Magical Day!!

Benefits of Rental Cars

Yesterday, I talked about making use of Disney’s Magical Express. And, for my personal choice, I prefer using this form of transportation to get to Walt Disney World. That said, I can still see the benefit of having a Rental Car to get to the Resort from Orlando International Airport, (or maybe from Sanford, if needed). I am basing this on the fact that we drove on our last visit to WDW, and we benefited from driving a few times!

If you aren’t thrilled about the idea of using buses to get around every place you go, then you may want to consider renting a car upon arrival into either Orlando airport! Most of your rental car desks are found on the ground level, and the most of the cars are located on the same level of the parking garage. Before you leave the desk, make sure you have adequate directions to get to the WDW property and your particular resort. Once you get on the right road, it’s not too difficult to find your way as there are signs all over the place pointing you in the right direction, especially once you drive under the Archway!!


Driving can be more convenient, on property, if you have early or late ADRs. Also, if you have little ones who need strollers, changes of clothes, or whatever else you need for their comfort, and yours too! The only park you may want to consider using a bus for is The Magic Kingdom, as you will have to park at the Transportation and Ticket Center, possibly get a long walk, or take a tram to the TTC, and then Monorail or Ferryboat to MK. The bus may be more convenient as you are dropped within walking distance of the entrance.

You could also make a stop on the way at a local store to grab supplies, snacks, or anything else you didn’t want to carry on the airplane! There are a couple of Wal-Marts, a Target, and a Publix along the way! You may need to use some kind of GPS to find your way, but it’s worth the savings if you need it.

So, compare and decide! Price it out! Knowledge is Power! Okay, I’ll stop now!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day!!

Disney’s Magical Express

Magical Express Bus
Magical Express Bus

I’m sure this has been written about many times, but I felt it was worth another look! Disney’s Magical Express is a unique offering from Orlando International Airport to you Walt Disney World Resort. Using it is really pretty simple, too. All you have to do is add it to your Resort Reservation by including your arrival and departing flight times. Let me take you through how it works after you make your reservation…

Magical Express  Bag Tags
Magical Express
Bag Tags

About 30 days before your departure, you will receive your travel documents from Walt Disney World sometimes called Mickey Mail. Inside you will find a booklet with all the coupons you need for making your journey as smooth as possible. Included will be yellow bag routing tags that should be attached to your bags that will help the baggage people at Orlando International can pull your bags. They are then sorted and delivered straight to your resort room approximately 3 hours later. So, once you check-in at your departing airport, you don’t need to worry about your luggage! I would, however, suggest you take a small carry-on with a change of clothes and basic needs if you want to freshen up before headed to your first park!

As for you, once you arrive at MCO, follow the overhead signs to Disney’s Magical Express, located in Terminal B, level 1. You can now use your Magicbands to check-in to Magical Express, so make sure you have them with you on the flight! You will be instructed which queue line to use as you wait for your bus. When you depart the airport, you will find yourself already being immersed inside the Disney Bubble as there is a nice welcome video on the way to your resort. And, most of the bus drivers are pleasant and fun, also!

When you are ready to return to the airport, just use the Resort Airline Check In desk to reverse the process…sad though I know it will be!

Yes, I do recommend using Magical Express! Especially, if you have no qualms about using the on-property Disney Transport buses to get to the parks and other attractions around the Walt Disney World Resort Complex.

Enjoy and have a blessed and magical day!!

Get Ready For Some Walking

When headed to Walt Disney World, there is one thing can’t be avoided by most guests! You will be doing a lot of WALKING!

Walking WDW

Each day at one of the theme parks, resorts, or Downtown Disney can bring many hours and several miles of walking to your everyday routine. It is vitally important to plan accordingly! The first thing I would recommend is to get out and start walking while you are still at home. This may seem like a little thing, but it can be a bigger issue than we prepare for properly. Failure can lead to blisters and other foot issues that can make your vacation a bit more challenging.

Make sure you have a good pair of shoes to wear in park, too! I would not suggest a brand new pair, however, because this isn’t the best method of breaking them in. I think that if you buy a new pair, you should do it at least a month ahead of your trip!

Also, as a backup, have some moleskin on hand should blisters become a part of your journey. You can buy it in sheets to save money, and cut them into the sizes you need. They do provide a considerable amount of cushioning and can save your time-sensitive touring of the parks.

Don’t let the amount of walking scare you off! Plan accordingly and get moving!

I wish you a Blessed and Magical Saturday!!