Tag Archives: Disney world

Main Street USA Comparison Between Disneyland Vs. Disney World

Although Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom may look an awful lot alike in pictures, after visiting both you will notice huge differences. I will compare the two Main Streets and explain why, to me, Disneyland Main Street U.S.A. is clearly the better.

The streets in both Disneyland and WDW are said to be modeled after Walt Disney’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Looking at pictures of Marceline, you can tell that Disneyland was made quite a bit more like the real street. The Main Street in WDW is, on most buildings, a floor taller. Be aware, that they are not all a full story tall. The floors get smaller as they go up. This is achieved by one of Disney’s favorite tricks: Forced Perspective. Something that I have heard from several people who have been to both Disneyland and WDW, is how much smaller everything is at Disneyland. This is not a negative, as they both fit into their settings. In Disneyland’s case, the smaller scale is a positive. Disneyland’s Main Street looks much less like an old neighborhood of rich, Victorian houses, and more like the Main Street of a small town.

The biggest difference between Main Street Disneyland and Main Street WDW is the general atmosphere. Main Street… [For full post, go to our new website: http://www.familytravelescapades.com/main-street-usa-disneyland-vs-magic-kingdom/]

 

Disneyland Trip Report and Blog Update

Just as an update-I am probably going to keep this site up for a long time. We are still getting our new website going familytravelescapades.com. I am going to keep posting on here as well.
I may post some things other than Disney.

As a quick note, we just got back last Monday late from a visit to Disneyland. It was our second visit out there and I must say I will never go in the summer again! It was hot and crowded. There was still a lot of Disney Magic though!

We have both written articles about the comparison of Disney World and Disneyland and our articles were brief. I love both parks for different reasons. I feel like I am “cheating” on WDW to love Disneyland, but I can’t help it. There is a different sort of charm at Disneyland.

We stayed at The Grand Californian and loved it so if anyone is thinking of visiting, I highly recommend this as a place to stay.

The 60th anniversary celebration was going on and there were some new nighttime celebrations. The World of Color was new and re-imagined. Disneyland Forever was the new fireworks show with outstanding projections on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, The Matterhorn, Main Street U.S.A., and It’s A Small World. The projections were truly amazing. There were projections of orange groves, clips of favorite characters, etc. There was also a nighttime parade called Paint The Night that was spectacular. It looked like an amped- up Mainstreet Electrical Parade that is a staple at The Magic Kingdom.

IMG_0545IMG_1060IMG_1171In summary, I am going to continue writing for this blog. I wanted to also tell you a little bit more about our recent trip to Disneyland. If you get a chance I would suggest a visit to ; just wait for the fall.

Although I will continue to write on this blog as earlier stated, I still hope you check out our new website http://www.familytravelescapades.com. On the website you can also follow us on twitter, Facebook, instagram, and pinterest. I hope you will check it out!

Top 5 Money-Saving tips for Disney World-

Perdita (mom) here-

I am the money-manager in the house so I do the investigative work when it comes to saving money for Disney World. Some of the 5 tips for saving money are so long I will have to elaborate in a separate article, but some are not

1)Eat Cheaply-I have covered this in a previous article, but it bears repeating. This one tip alone can save hundreds easily. Some people don’t think about how much a meal can cost (easily $30-40/person). If you have a family of 4 that is about $160. If you factor in 3 meals/day that could easily add up to $500/ day plus any snacks and drinks you may buy at the park. Let’s just say you do spend this much and you are staying 7 days. You can easily see how the meals can add up to thousand alone. I know Disney isn’t cheap for even the “cheap” meals I have advocated, but it makes a real difference.

2) Buy Disney Vacation Club (to save even more, buy on the re-sale market)-
I am writing a couple of articles about this because there is so much about this topic. This one move has enabled us to go to the parks much more frequently than we otherwise would have been able to.

3)Use Miles Cards and sign-up bonuses for your travel
Again I will elaborate more later, but if you have a favorite airline or have one airline (for us it is Southwest Airlines) that is convenient for travel, get their credit card.

4)If you don’t have Disney Vacation Club consider Value and Moderate Resorts
When we called in to Disney in 2009 to make a reservation we didn’t even know there were value resorts. (There are value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villa resorts.) They booked us in a deluxe resort. When I thought back to the time I called several years before and they priced the vacation (the one we couldn’t afford) they also had booked us into a deluxe resort. Ask about all options and check the website.

5)Don’t fall for the “Dining-Plan-Package”
They will tell you that you are saving money when in fact they have that built into the package. If you price the vacation for room only I have found you save money. (a caveat is that is only if you don’t care about eating at the fine dining restaurants). I have found that on room-only reservations you can get about 30% off on the rooms most of the time anyway and they put the dining plan in the package and keep the room at full price. There are exceptions to this but I have found this to be the case when we have called.

More tips later!

Blizzard Beach Overview

Roly (son)

Hello, with summer and Memorial Day in a couple of weeks, and WDW being a notoriously hot and crowded place, I thought I would tell you about something different. Walt Disney World, as many of you know, has two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). I have only been to Blizzard Beach, but hope to go to Typhoon Lagoon soon. I will give a short review of Blizzard Beach.

Blizzard Beach is themed to be somewhere in Florida, where a freak blizzard occurred. Disney (of course) capitalized on this, and built a ski getaway. This ski resort just happens to have watersides through it. The waterslides are made to mimic ski slopes.

The symbol of the park is a ski slope, which you must get to via ski lift. Once you get to the unloading platform, there are three slides you can go down from there. You must climb stairs to get to the top, which is known as Summit Plummet. Summit Plummet is a 12 story high slide, with a near 90 degree angle. It is over before you know it, and you feel like the Hulk gave you a slap on the bum. Make sure to keep your legs together or the experience will be like the Niagra Falls of bidets. You feel like you are floating at some points in the three whole seconds it takes, and you actualy are. It levels out into a long, straight stretch at the end, and you end up swerving around as the water hits you from different angles.

Make sure to close your eyes about when you go into the short covered part, or your eyes will end up stinging.
Make sure to close your eyes about when you go into the short covered part, or your eyes will end up stinging.

This park also has a unique racing slide, Snow Stormers. Each person boards a sled and goes into separate tunnel. In most of the slide you can’t see the other racers, which is different than most racing slides. It is also much longer than any other racing slide that I have been on. There are some other very nice race slides at this park, but the one that I have told you about stands out to me particularly.

The lazy river, Cross Country Creek, is fairly long with water spouts and water falls to make it interesting. My dad and I floated up on a small snake once, but the life guard said it was harmless. The wave pool, Melt Away Bay, is unique in the winter theming being surrounded by “snow.”. It has a sand bottom and a central location. I enjoy both of these.

There is one last slide that I want to talk about; the Slush Gusher. The Slush Gusher is also accessed from the ski lift. It is to the left of Summit Plummet. This slide is at a steep angle, though not nearly as steep as Summit Plummet. You go over several hills, before finally leveling off at the end. You catch air on several of the hills. It’s a very fun slide, though not as intense as Summit Plummet.

These hills send you airborne for about 0.5 seconds before you come back. It is still noticeable, and different from other attractions, except Summit Plummet, and Tower of Terror.
These hills send you airborne for about 0.5 seconds before you come back. It is still noticeable, and different from other attractions, except Summit Plummet, and Tower of Terror.

There are many other slides, but these are my favorites. Here are the names of all of the attractions at Blizzard Beach. The tube rides are Teamboat Springs, and Runoff Rapids. The racing slides are Toboggan Racers, Downhill Double Dipper, and Snow Stormers. The normal ( on your back slide) are Summit Plummet and Slush Gusher. Other attractions are chair lift, Cross County Creek, and Melt Away Bay.There is a kiddie zone which has Tike’s Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp. I hope this was informative. Have a great visit to Blizzard Beach.

Review of the new Polynesian Villas

Review of The Polynesian Villas (new DVC property)-

Perdita (mom) here-

We recently returned from a stay at the newly opened (opened April 1, 2015)  Polynesian Villas (a new Disney Vacation Club property). We stayed in the Moorea Building with a lake view. This will be, without something changes, our last stay in the villas at the Polynesian.

Our stay was not a very pleasant one, which I am sad to report. Our stays at the other Disney Vacation Club properties have been more pleasant. I will give the good, and the bad in this review.

I will start with the good. The villas are beautiful and large with a split bathroom plan. The refurbishment done in the Polynesian lobby enhanced the appearance of that area. The main pool was refurbished as well and is now called the lava pool. It is visually appealing. The lake view we had in our villa was nice. The resort is a Magic Kingdom area resort. It is on the monorail system; therefore a short monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom and a longer ride to Epcot. A bus must be taken to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.IMG_0278

Now the bad. ( Let me begin this section with stating I really hate giving a bad review to any Disney property or experience. I am writing this to be informative not to bash.) The experience at the Polynesian started badly with check-in. The young man was very abrupt and uninformative. I told him we had never been to the Polynesian and asked where we could get quick-service dining and I asked about the gift shops. He said all the restaurants were upstairs and seemed to indicate all of the gift shops were on the first floor. He was wrong on both counts. The quick-service restaurant was on the first floor. The expensive restaurants were on the second floor and I didn’t find out until we were leaving that there were two more shops on the second floor.Unknown

The first (and only) night we stayed was a disaster. We came back from Magic Kingdom by boat. We were leaving Magic Kingdom after 1:00 a.m. and found out the monorail transportation had ended for the night and the boat was the only way to get back to our hotel. This mode of transportation is slow; taking us almost 30 minutes to get back to our hotel. The hotel was only properly lit to take us back to the main building (known as The Great Ceremonial House). When we tried to make it back to the Moorea Building where our DVC villa was, the path wasn’t lit at all. My son thankfully thought of the flashlight on the phone to guide us back to our building. When we finally arrived it was around 2:00 a.m. There was a large boat that docked close to our room and it sounded the whistle almost constantly from 3:30 (or at least I finally fell asleep then) and awoke me again at 7:30 a.m. I am not a light sleeper, but this whistle was very, very loud and incessant. When I found I couldn’t get back to sleep, I went to the front desk to complain about the noise.

The worst part of our experience was really the response to our awful night. The manager was cavalier about the lack of sleep, and said he had heard that complaint a lot. He offered to move us but offered no compensation for the awful experience or inconvenience. He also said he couldn’t say the noise wouldn’t be an issue in the next room and the lighting would be addressed when the remodeling of the resort was finished. The lack of sleep (when that is what you pay for at a hotel after all) seemed inconsequential to him and his attitude didn’t reflect the “Disney” attitude at all. We moved to a different resort (with much difficulty I might add.)

So, in summary, I can’t muster up much good to say about the Polynesian villas.
Also, as a footnote, a website called Mouseowners (a message board for DVC owners) had 7 pages of complaints about the noise at the Polynesian villas last night entitled ” Poly boat horn thread”, so ours isn’t an isolated case.

Song of the South movie review

For all of you who are as big a Disney fan as me, you know Song of the South is banned. I had the luck of finding it on YouTube, and put it on Apple TV. This movie was banned for racism, as it is set on a plantation in the post-Civil War period of America. (This movie is the basis for the Splash Mountain attraction.) First of sotsall, if you are expecting a cartoon about Brer Rabbit and all the other Brer critters (which are seen in Splash Mountain), you’ll be disappointed. Know before watching this movie that it is in fact, about a young boy visiting his rich Grandmothers plantation. On the way, his dad (who grew up there) tells him about Uncle Remus and his tales of Brer Rabbit. Once they arrive, the father immediately leaves for Atlanta (it is implied the mother and father are having marital problems.) Later that night the boy runs away and meets Uncle Remus. That night Uncle Remus then tells him the first tale of Brer Rabbit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bWyhj7siEY#t=99 He goes on to tell him two more tales throughout the movie, and they all help the boy out in some way or another. The mother eventually gets mad at Uncle Remus and tells him to stop telling the boy stories. (There is no coherent explanation for this, but Uncle Remus says he won’t tell any more stories.) Later, he tells one last story, which yet again helps the boy out, and also stops a little girl from crying. The mom goes gets very upset and tells Uncle Remus to leave the boy alone. Uncle Remus leaves the plantation and it seems the movie will end on a sad note. (I won’t give the ending away completely in case you decide to watch it.) The movie ends up with a great ending and Uncle Remus ends up being the hero. It’s a good story; it’s a shame that the setting makes it offensive to some people. Roly

sots2

Disney doing Live-Action movies of former animated classics-

lar3Recently there has been a plethora of announcements about Disney doing live- action movies based on many animated classics like Dumbo, Bambi, and even Winnie-the-Pooh! These are three of my favorites and I love Disney, but I am perplexed by these choices for movie making. I fail to see how you can make a live-action movie based on a previous animated movie with animals. Are they going to do CGI, or people in animal costumes?

Disney has announced that Tim Burton is going to do Dumbo. This is a tenuous choice at best. My imagination is going wild with what this could yield. For someone who loves the tender scene in Dumbo where Mrs. Jumbo is cradling and swinging Dumbo in her trunk while “Baby of Mine” plays (after the two have been separated with Mrs. Jumbo in quarantine) I don’t see anyone doing this justice in a remake.

lar2larBambi with people? How do they do that? Winnie-the-Pooh? Reports are that the movie will be a depiction as Christopher Robin as a grown man. Obviously Christopher Robin could easily be played by a person, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how they do Pooh bear and friends.

I love Disney and always have. A big reason is from great memories of all of their wonderful movies. (This was before I even went to Walt Disney World.) My hope is that they continue to create other great movies and memories; not bad ones. I hope my pre-judgement proves me wrong.

Streetmospere

Today I will be talking about Streetmosphere, my favorite attraction in all of WDW-

Anyone who has walked down Hollywood Boulevard or Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios during the day has surelynoticed people dressed in old-Hollywood style clothes and acting oddly.street

These people are a part of Streetmosphere; an unscheduled and random event lasting from park opening to sundown. There is at least one, sometimes two or three of these shows going on at a time. There is a rare time there isn’t a show going on, but if you wait around for about five minutes, a car will drive out slowly and go to it’s spot.

You can see that one of them is not like the others.. she was pulled from the audience.
You can see that one of them is not like the others.. she was pulled from the audience.
Officer Peabody and Bon Appetit
Officer Peabody and Bon Appetit

Some of the shows require groups of five or more people, such as the “99 joke” competition. Other shows only require one person, like Mr. Bon Appetit who goes around and poses for pictures. Officer Peabody can be in shows, or just go around and joke with the people.

All acts are comedic in nature and involve the crowd most times. Many times the cast members (actors) act like they are shooting a scene from a movie, and the actor/actress repeatedly messes up. A magician may do magic acts like you would see on tv.

The Hollywood public works guys are the best.
The Hollywood public works guys are the best.

These acts include some people that I remember from my first trip to Disney 5 years ago when I was 8, and it’s fun to see them again. (The repair-men are my personal favorites. They have their various jobs, and they always find some way for the simple job to take 30 minutes.) These acts are never identical to each other, and are always fun to watch. Take some time to watch one on your next visit.

Roly 😀

Is Disney literally a year-round activity?

March Madness is here. Our College basketball team, the University of Louisville men’s basketball team played in the Elite Eight cardyesterday for a chance to go into the final four and it occurred to me that basketball for us is mostly year-round with the actual season, recruiting and the like. Then it occurred to me that while basketball is nearly a year-round activity, Disney has truly become a year-round activity.

Some events are pay only, like the Very Merry Christmas Party, and the Not So Scary Christmas Party...
Some events are pay only, like the Very Merry Christmas Party, and the Not So Scary Christmas Party…

Our Disney obsession is really gaining ground. Due in part to DVC (Disney Vacation Club) ownership, we are going to Disney World more and more. We started with Christmas, then Flower and Garden, then Food and Wine, and now other times of the year. When we are home we are thinking of our next trip and even while we are at WDW we are planning our next trip! We read websites, twitter feeds, blogs about Disney. I shop for Disney items (both at the parks and at home)! Our collection of Disney pictures and knick-knacks keeps growing exponentially. This has really become a year-round sport/activity.

There are far worse things to have as hobbies/obsessions. Everyone needs something to think about and plan for and do. Ours happens to be Disney and it involves the whole family which is a good thing that we can share this as a family. We go to the parks together, watch Disney movies together, went on a cruise together, went to Aulani together, now write the blog together. Disney has actually brought us closer as a family so that is a good thing as well.

Other events are all day events, and free, like the the International Food and Wine Festival, and the Flower and Garden Festival.
Other events are all day events, and free, like the the International Food and Wine Festival, and the Flower and Garden Festival.

We have even incorporated a little bit of Disney in our yard. ( I will write future blog posts about Disney in the home and outside.)

So to summarize, Disney has become a year-long activity in one form or another.

March 27, 2015: Weekly Disney News Roundup

* “Tomorrowland” sneak preview will be starting in mid-April at California Disneyland in the Tomorrowland Theater and at WDW Epcot in the Imagination Pavilion (home of Captain Eo). The preview will last 10-15 minutes. “Tomorrowland” opens on May 22.
* Skippers Cantina, a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant, is coming to the Magic Kingdom.
* All exhibits in Innoventions West at Epcot will close for good on April 30. This includes Where’s the Fire?, Great Piggybank Adventure, and IBM Think. It is unknown what the plans for the area are.
* The Dream House in Epcot’s Innoventions East is set to close, too.
* Innoventions in Disneyland California is set to close at the end of March. It is rumored that Star Wars attraction(s) will take its place.
* Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge were granted official accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
* Art in the Garden will be at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival from March 27 – 29 featuring art exhibits along the World Showcase.
* An exhibit of concept art from the upcoming Pixar movie “inside Out” has opened at Disney Hollywood Studios in the Production Gallery of the Magic of Disney Animation.
* Marvel “Super Heroes Headquarters” store will open in May at Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) in Florida.
* Registration for Avengers Super Heroes 1/2 Marathon at Disneyland California opens on April 7.
* DVC Polynesian Villas and Bungalows open on April 1.
* Disney Cruise Line announced its first British Isles itinerary. Leaving from Dover, England on 6/5/16, the 12 night cruise will make stops in England, Ireland, Scotland and France. From our calling, it appears that it has already sold out and there is a waiting list.
* Disney bans smoking in all of its films rated PG-13 or below.
* Disney’s Aladdin celebrated its first anniversary on Broadway on March 20.

* Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes are adding Loki as a playable character.

*Editorial:  We love The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, Disney Dream House, and Where’s the Fire and will miss them.  Epcot needs more attractions.  I hope that there are plans for replacements, better than Habit Heroes, or an entirely new attraction.