Non-Park Adventures at WDW

Can you believe it? I actually want to make a trip to Walt Disney World and NOT enter a park. So, what can I do that will still be magical? Let’s take a look, shall we?

In order to be able to keep some cost control, I choose to stay at Pop Century! The theming is quite amazing! I did a walk through on my last visit and I could stay there without concern! It’s well kept and clean, and the pools look amazing!

I would begin with a trip to Downtown Disney, soon to be Disney Springs. A visit to Earl of Sandwich for a yummy meal followed by a trip through the World of Disney Store sounds like fun, to me! From there, I jump on a Sassagoula River Transport to Port Orleans – Riverside for the Yeehaa Bob Show. I have seen him in the past and love his entertaining style.

What about a round of golf? Well, miniature golf that is. I would take on both Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens and Fairways both sound enjoyable and relaxing. I just hope there is a worthy opponent! I’m hoping my putting skills make a better than usual impression.

I’m not sure which water park I would want to try. Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach looks intense, and gets strong reviews from whose who have shared their experiences. But, I’m not sure about the wedgie at the end of the slide! Or, should I take a shot at the Crush N Gusher Water Coaster at Typhoon Lagoon? Ah, heck, maybe I’ll do both?

As you can see, there is a lot to do without going into one of the theme parks! There is a lot more than I can cover in this entry. I would suggest that you make use of the internet and see if there are other options you would want to consider. Whether you choose to take a trip similar to this example, or add a few of these items to your vacation planning, you will find something you can enjoy!

Happy Planning!!

Have a Blessed and Magical Weekend, my friends!

Dining Plan…does it make sense?

I approach this subject very carefully. On our visit two years ago, we had a package that included the Free Dining package. And, we truly enjoyed making use of it! However, recently we did some comparisons and realized that if we had to pay for it ourselves, we would likely NOT purchase the Disney Dining Plan. Here are our thoughts!

While using the FREE plan, we were able to try some incredible restaurants that we would have probably have never gone into for a meal. Le Cellier is one that jumps to mind! (Back then it was a one credit meal for lunch) We did a couple of character meals and we even made use of the in room pizza delivery. And, the snacks we had were incredible!!

On our most recent trip, we did not use the Dining Plan, but made a trip to a local Wal-Mart and purchased breakfast foods, along with snacks and drinks to help cover the gaps while enjoying the parks. Sure, we did a few restaurants along our path, but we did not spend nearly what the Dining Plan would have cost us added onto our package.

DDP

I just did a quick look at a package at POP for September with the new Memory Maker offering. For room and 4 day base MYW tickets it is $1297.76 total. But, to add the Plus Dining option costs and extra 703.92 for two adults! I can use that money for better things!

Now, if you can afford it, and you’re planning to eat at Disney Restaurants for EVERY meal, or a couple of Signature Restaurants a few times during your vacation, it may be more affordable to use the Dining Plan. But, I would suggest that you take a good, long, hard look at the numbers!

Granted this is just my opinion, but there you have it!

If you want a good tool to help you decide, may I suggest starting here…http://seeyareelsoon.wix.com/seeyareelsoon#!dining-plan-calculator/cxc0? You’ll find a really fabulous tool to help you with the number.

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!

Festival of Fantasy, Reality!

Well, the Festival of Fantasy Parade stepped off for the first time Sunday, March 9,2014 and I have to say that it looks fantastic! Granted, like many, I have to rely on YouTube right now to see it, but I am very excited to return to The Magic Kingdom to see it in person! The colors are absolutely brilliant and the floats are the best I have ever seen! I would have to say that Disney did themselves proud on this one!

There are many views available on YouTube, many of which went up within an hour of the parade’s conclusion. I have chosen one that I believe to be a good angle and overall view of the participants. And, keep an eye on the dragon!

To see it, go to http://youtu.be/i_dgbSavttw, then if you think about it, send WDWMagic a big thank you!

Until next time!

What’s The Attraction?

A Little Twist!! You have to figure it out!

Possibly the most popular attraction in ANY Disney Park, and a definite favorite at Walt Disney World. I know it’s one of the first attractions I head to as soon as I pass through the gate for the first time each trip. You can see the attraction from a few areas of the park, but it is not completely out in the open. There is ONE place I found that gives you a really excellent view.

The queue line is really sweet! There is a lot to look at to help pass the time in the Stand-by line and before you know it, it’s time to enter the attraction. If you walk in during the day, the room seems incredibly dark at first. And, following the Cast Member’s instructions becomes a bit confusing. Is this a part of the show?

One last hint, for today…As you walk down Main Street U.S.A., you will need to bear to the left of the Castle.

Enjoy!!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day!

What’s The Attraction: Journey Into Imagination

I can remember the first time I saw the Journey Into Imagination! It was in April 1983! While I had visited EPCOT Center on opening week in October 1982, The Imagination Pavilion was not completed yet, and so wasn’t open. I fell so in love with EPCOT, that I had to return as soon as possible! Upon my return, I was able to take my first look at Journey Into Imagination, and it was worth the wait.

Fountain at the Imagination Pavilion
Fountain at the Imagination Pavilion

The pyramid type architecture was exciting to see on the outside, which is mirrored by one of the fountains in front of it! Inside was a ride-through presentation that was set on an Omnimover system to help keep the flow of guests moving. The first part of the ride introduced you to Dreamfinder, riding on his specially designed blimp, and Figment with a song written by Disney legends Robert and Richard Sherman, “One Little Spark”. This catchy tune describes what Figment looks like, as well as the vast array of things you can make with an active imagination.

From there you entered the Dreamport where all of the collected elements of imagination are transferred into a machine that begins to mix it all together, and storing them for use at a later time. As you move along the ride, you visit four rooms where imagination may have an outlet. Those rooms were: Art, Literature, the Performing Arts, and Science. Each room explores ways to apply our imaginations to create something new and exciting.

We are then reminded, by Dreamfinder, that the imagination is the key to unlock the hidden wonders of our world.

Over the years, this attraction has changed, A LOT! It is now called Journey Into Imagination with Figment. And, it’s okay, but not as enjoyable. I don’t feel that the current presentation truly encourages the guest to really dive into the world if the imagination. Personally, I would find it a lot more fun and interesting if imagineering would restore the original, or close to it.

The end of the ride then sent you to the ImageWorks gallery where there were walls filled with different types of electronic and tactile stations to explore how the imagination can create, even at a moments notice. A person could spend an hour (in air conditioning) and not even notice the time!

I still visit the current attraction, but really hope for a return to the original (maybe with a few technical updates). This attraction has been added to the Fastpass+ System, but is normally not needed as the line is generally pretty quick moving and has a low stand-by waiting time.

For now, have a blessed and magical day, my friends!!

What’s The Attraction: Spaceship Earth

For today’s attraction, I decided to hop parks to take a look at the iconic Spaceship Earth at EPCOT! From many points around the property, you can see this amazing sphere towering over the park, as if to keep watch. Let’s look at some of the features of Spaceship Earth (SSE).

Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth

SSE opened on October 1, 1982 (I was there on October 3) with Lawrence Dobkin as the narrator of the attraction. Later, the narration was done by Walter Cronkite (MY FAV) from 1986 – 1994, Jeremy Irons from 1994-2007, and is currently hosted by Dame Judi Dench. The narration has been essentially the same the entire time, with a few tweeks to adjust for the change of generations. And, did you know that author Ray Bradbury wrote the script?

The ride inside this massive ball is an omnimover system, made popular for many years throughout Walt Disney World. It stands approximately 18 stories tall, and uses 11,324 tiles to achieve the sporting look. The sponsors of SSE have been Bell Systems, ATT, and now Siemens.

We are taken through the history of recorded time from cavemen, to Phoenicians, and into the vast array of communications abilities of today. Where will tomorrow take us? Only time will tell!

The post show area has had many changes, with he changing of sponsorship, but currently houses Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future. A playground of electronics gadgets and interactive displays. In this area you can find the on board picture of you and your party, and email it to yourself and friends for memory sake.

Spaceship Earth, the icon, the history, the attraction. This ride is available on the new Fastpass+ system, but it is normally not necessary. It is a must do on all of my WDW visits!!

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!!

Animated Academy

This Sunday evening will be the 2014 Academy Awards. And, I am really only interested in three categories: Best Animated Feature, Best Score and Song of The Year. So, I’m asking you to help me decide which one to root for! I know, this may be a slightly bias crowd, but here we go!

Please, be honest with your response! I will publish the findings on Monday, March 3! Happy Voting!