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!!

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!!

Commando!

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!!

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!!

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

The ABCs of Walt Disney World officially comes to an end, today. And, I could only think of one word to finish up with that has a lot of meaning within the Disney Company, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!

Many years ago, Walt Disney released a movie called Song Of The South. And, the most memorable song was, and still is, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Every time I hear this song, I get a smile on my face, and my heart lightens up a bit from the everyday hustle. It’s a very upbeat song, with a positive outlook on life in general. Have you listened to it lately?

Splash Mountain

In the parks, at least here in the states, you can hear Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah on Splash Mountain. Splash is completely based on the animated portions of the movie and focuses on the antics of Brer Rabbit as he works to avoid, or maybe antagonize, Brer Fox and Brer Bear. But, in the end, Brer Rabbit prevails and after you make the big SPLASH, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah begins playing and you can’t help but put a fresh smile on your face as you finish the ride.

For me, this all translates into the overall atmosphere of The Magic Kingdom! Anytime I walk into the park, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah is the first thing that pops into my head.

So, from me to all of you, I hope you have a Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah weekend.

Young At Heart

A 53 year old man walks toward The Magic Kingdom, he gets a flutter in his chest and feels his step getting a little lighter! As he passes under the train station and walks onto Main Street U.S.A., he gets a whiff of something delicious…Popcorn! He looks around at all the other people walking around and realizes that he’s not alone in what he is sensing. Oh, if feel great to be YOUNG AT HEART!

Me, being fun and impulsively Young At Heart!
Me, being fun and impulsively Young At Heart!

Yes, it doesn’t matter who you are, or what the cares of the world may be, when you come to Walt Disney World, you have permission to be Young at Heart! It’s time to put away the everyday, because it isn’t everyday around these parts! You can let the business of your life rest as you enter into the peace of the Disney “bubble” and just let it all wait for your return, later.

When Walt Disney decided to enter into the theme park business, I can’t help but imagine that along with providing a place for entire families to play together, he was giving each of us permission to be kids for just a little longer. There is nothing that makes me smile wider, or laugh harder, than when I am at the Walt Disney World Resort and in one of the theme parks! I forget that there is a life full of stress and responsibility and allow myself to relax. The cares of the world wash off my shoulders and I am home!

When you visit the Vacation Kingdom, I would like to suggest that you forget the rest of the world for as long as your vacation is set to last. If needed, shut off the ability to receive calls on your cell! I know with all the new technology, it’s necessary to carry your smartphone, but you don’t have to answer any calls, unless it’s a lost family member somewhere on the property. The boss can wait! The bills can wait! Anything that steals from your vacation is a vacation thief!

It’s time to give yourselves permission to be Young At Heart!! Be a kid at Walt Disney World! Visit the characters that you grew up with, and meet the ones your kids have gotten to know, too! Enjoy the attractions, rides, shows, or whatever else you want to take part in while visiting WDW. And, don’t forget to allow yourself to have FUN!!

Remember the old song? Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re Young At Heart!!

Xtras

Sure, you got to Walt Disney World to visit the theme parks! But, what can you do to make this time even more? Today, in the ABCs of Walt Disney World, we take a look at the XTRAS!

One of the big Xtras around the resort is the Bibbidi-Bobbidi Boutique, or BBB to keep it short. These can be found in both The Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney. Your little girl can become a princess with a makeover designed to create some special magic. Hair, make-up, even clothing are options! However, if you want to save a little money and know what your girl will wear, you can bring your own dress! Either way, it will create a special memory that will last forever! There is a cost to this and reservations are recommended!

The Pirate League is found at The Magic Kingdom and is able to be enjoyed by everyone in the family! You can get a makeover that turns you into your favorite pirate, or create one of your own! Don’t forget to get your picture taken! There is a cost to this, and reservation are strongly suggested as this is a very popular experience.

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure takes you on a secret mission around the World Showcase at EPCOT. Using a specially designed communicator, you will receive messages to direct you to your next clue as you search for Dr. Doofenschmirtz and foil is evil plot. You can play for a little or as much as you wish! And, this is a free activity!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers the Wilderness Explorers. Up’s Russell and Dug lead you on an adventure through the Animal Kingdom on a fact-finding mission that can bring you the reward of up to 30 badges to collect. Just pick up your field guide and start making your way around the park. You’ll discover details you never knew existed and appreciate the work of the imagineers. This is also a free activity!

One last freebie to share is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! As part of the Magic of Disney Animation attraction, guest can participate at the Animation Station. Learn how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters with the help of an actual Disney Animator! And, the best thing about this activity is that you end up with a free souvenir!

There are many more Xtras around WDW, so take some time to seek them out to make your vacation even more special!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!

Vehicles

You probably think this is about getting around the parks, and it almost was! But, I decided it’s time to look at some of the workings of the attractions. So, today, in this installment of the ABCs of Walt Disney World, we will be looking at some of the ride VEHICLES that bring some of the great memories of being a guest at any of the four theme parks.

Today, I’m starting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! There are two obvious ride vehicles that jump to mind, and maybe a third, when you think of this park. Kilimanjaro Safaris offers a ride through the African savanna in an open-air vehicle that allows you some unique views of the animals as they make their way around their habitats. It’s a bit of a rough ride, but it seems quite realistic!

What goes up, comes down...FAST!!
What goes up, comes down…FAST!!

Expedition Everest is a ‘train’ ride through the Himalayan Mountain Range. The cars are a big part of the show offered on what may be the Big Kahuna of thrill rides at WDW! It’s my wife’s favorite! One other worth mentioning is, DINOSAUR! The cars themselves aren’t much to think about, but the way they respond, is all part of the attraction! Each car has pre-programmed reactions to each scene within this dark ride. And, it is very realistic as you make your way through this pre-historic jungle. Overall, it’s an exciting adventure!

Soarin'

At EPCOT, the most memorable ride vehicle is probably SOARIN’! The unique experience offered on this ride it something to behold! The actual vehicle is set up on a cantilever type structure that swings you up in front of an IMAX screen and you have the feeling of floating, flying, and soaring through the sky over various scenes in California. You even get the smells to go with the ride!

Hollywood Studios has Tower of Terror. You may not think of this as a vehicle driven ride, but I believe it qualifies! You are taken for a little tour before the doors open and you suddenly begin to drop several times and at different paces. But, it’s not an actual elevator, it is a carefully designed and skillfully programmed ride to give you the thrills that keep you coming back time after time.

And now, the Magic Kingdom! Probably some of the most loved and memorable ride vehicles are here! For me, the obvious first one to look at is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, or Peoplemover! Who doesn’t enjoy a round (or two) on here? It’s a way to kick back, relax, and enjoy a different view of Tomorrowland attractions. One question, can someone tell me if they tend to turn up the juice on this thing when it’s busy? My last ride kind of messed up my hair!

Pirates of the Caribbean has the look of a pirate longboat for this classic Disney ride. It is one of the most popular rides in The Magic Kingdom, and a crowd favorite! And, since the movies have come out, some of the scenes have been enhanced with the presence of your favorite pirates.

Pooh has a Honey Pot, Peter Pan has a flying pirate ship, Big Thunder uses another train type car.

But, the one everyone is waiting for is coming soon! The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Coaster offers the most unique ride vehicle created to date! Each car is different! Not only are there the normal bumps along the way, but the cars will sway side to side as well. There will be some of the familiar scenes from the movie (or so we have been led to believe) throughout the ride. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t wait for this one! Hopefully, it will open to guests this spring.

Well, there are many more, but I don’t want to go on forever! So, I wish you a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!

Unforgettable

Many of us have probably heard that old Nat King Cole song! And, the remade duet with his daughter Natalie made it even more special! That seems to be an appropriate opening for this entry in the ABCs of Walt Disney World, as most visits to a Disney Theme Park is definitely UNFORGETTABLE!

How many of you remember the first time you stepped onto the ground at Walt Disney World? I know I remember! Every visit has a special memory of it’s own, doesn’t it? From the first impression of a Disney Resort to the first time you enter one of the four theme parks, you know that you are about to experience something unique to you and your family.

There is just something about that first time, each trip, when I walk up to The Magic Kingdom! I find the ability to forget the ‘real’ world and become immersed in the story unfolding before me. Life seems to roll right off my shoulders and out of my mind as I make my way under the train station to enter Main Street U.S.A.! And, from that moment on, it’s all about a different time and place!

Similar experiences await us all at the other three theme parks of Walt Disney World. And, for each person the first unforgettable memory may be different than someone else’s. And, that is what it’s all about!

My first memory of EPCOT Center, as it was known on my first visit in 1982, was the massive size of Spaceship Earth and the mix of futuristic music coming out of the speakers to put a lasting impression in my mind. To this day, I still get chills anytime I hear the EPCOT Entrance Loop on http://www.magicalmouseradio.com. I am transported back in time to my first experience here.

Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a little different for me. As you approach the park by either car or bus, you get a glimpse of the Tower of Terror as it reaches above the skyline of the park to greet you! You may also have a memorable first impression as you walk through the entrance! As you enter you find yourself on Hollywood Blvd. The buildings have an early 20th century feel to them! You almost feel like a star as you walk in and are swept away by the beauty of this park!

Expedition Everest Disney's Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest
Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom almost offers two entrances! There is the initial entrance, but then there is the walk through Discovery Island on your way to Africa, Asia, or Dinoland U.S.A. The first thing you notice as you clear Discovery Island is the iconic Tree of Life! This towering piece of technology definitely makes a statement! And, of course, there’s the other ‘elephant’ in the land, Expedition Everest! The thrill ride of all thrill rides!

One thing I would suggest to help make any of your vacations UNFORGETTABLE, is to take time to stop and allow yourself to become a part of the show, even for a moment or two. As said before, Disney is IN the Details! And, if you just run from place to place without taking in some of the backstory, artwork, and design, you may miss half of the memories you could enjoy.

So, from my house to yours…make your next trip to Walt Disney World UNFORGETTABLE!!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

Tours

When you go to Walt Disney World, do you wonder about how it all comes together? Have you heard the terms Backstage and On Stage? Have you ever tried to figure out where Backstage is when you look around the parks? One of the best ways to find the answers to these questions is by taking one of the many TOURS offered at Walt Disney World. Today, on our tour of the ABCs of Walt Disney World, we will look at a few of those tours.

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Keys To The Kingdom at The Magic Kingdom gives you a look the history of Walt Disney World and how it all began! You will get a bit of a look at Walt Disney, the man, also! You may even get to experience an Urban Legend known as the Utilidors. This tour is for adults only!

If you are looking for a more family experience, you might want to consider Disney’s Family Magic Tour, also at The Magic Kingdom. People of all ages are able to take this tour on a quest that offers various clues leading to wondrous discoveries along the way.

Headed to EPCOT? You may want to consider the Behind The Seeds tour at The Land Pavilion. This tour is suitable for all ages and gives you a look at some of the innovative growing techniques. You will also get a look at the fish farm, and even how bugs can be useful.

Also at EPCOT is DiveQuest at The Seas with Nemo and Friends! You can plunge into the water around a beautiful Caribbean Coral Reef and swim with the sea creatures contained in the 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium. You family and friends can come an watch you, once they have entered the park. This package is for Tweens and up!

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Tweens and up can take a the Wild Africa Trek that allows a closer look at some of the animals that make up the population of this zoological experience. This tour lasts for three hours and includes complimentary pictures of your safari adventure.

Finally, if you want the granddaddy of them all, Backstage Magic may be what you are looking for! This is a 7 hour tour takes you behind the scenes at all four parks and includes a stop at the greenhouses and lunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. You will begin and end your day at EPCOT, where you will meet your guides. This is an awesome tour, but is for adults only!

Most of these tours have restrictions with taking pictures and videos. You will be told at each stop whether you can bring your camera. And, they may also require park admission in addition to the charge for the tour. Check https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/#/park-tours/ for more information and the complete list of tour offerings!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day!!