Tag Archives: roller coaster

Disney Parks Tip: The Single Rider Line

Some rides at Disneyland and Walt Disney World offer single rider lines. For the single rider line, you have to be okay with being seated where-ever there is a space. You will not be seated with anyone else from your party When there is an empty seat on a ride such as when there is a party of 3 on a ride with 2 seats per row, you are seated in the seat next to third member of that party. It is a great way to decrease wait time, if you don’t mind riding “alone.” The reason to do this is to cut your wait time. In general, I have found that you can usually cut your wait time compared to the stand-by line by 1/2 to 1/3.

The California parks employ this on more rides; so, we will start there. Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventures, and Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland, and Soarin’ over California, Radiator Springs Racers, Grizzly River Rapids Goofy’s Fly School, and California Screamin’ all have this option. Radiator Springs Racers has an obvious labeled line to enter. For the other rides, you will need to ask the cast member at the beginning of the queue. We used it on Radiator Springs Racers, Indiana Jones and California Screamin’. The first two were simple. California Screamin’ involved stairs and elevators and was confusing, but still cut our wait time drastically. imageimage

In Walt Disney World, the single rider line is available on Test Track in Epcot, Rock n’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios, and Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. The lines to Test Track and Rock n’ Roller Coaster are pretty obvious and easy to find. The Expedition Everest line is a little removed from the stand-by and fastpass queues. If you don’t see it, ask a cast member. We have used it on all of these several times. Since these are rides with some of the longest wait times, it really can save you quite a bit of time.image

The International Disney Parks have this option, too. Someday I hope to use these.
Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris: Crush’s Coaster, Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, RC Racers, and Ratatouille.
Tokyo Disneyland: Splash Mountain.
Tokyo DisneySea: Indiana Jones Adventures, and Raging Spirits.
Hong Kong Disneyland: Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Car, Splash Mountain, and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop.

Here are some ideas of when this could be useful: If no one else in your group likes thrill rides, but you are busting for some excitement; if everyone else is tired; if younger members (or older ones I guess) are waiting in a long character meet and greet line; if you have already seen the parade or fireworks. The list could go on. I wish that this option was available on more rides with long waits, but I will take what I can get. So, if you don’t have a fastpass and you want to ride one of the above named attractions, but not spend the entire day waiting in line, then think “single rider line.”

Attractions/Rides with Short Wait Times – Part 2

Perdita here.

Epcot is divided into two portions: Future World and World Showcase.

At Epcot there are many rides with short wait times. In Future World, Spaceship Earth (the big ball) that greets you when you first walk in is many times quick to get on, even if the line looks long. The line moves very quickly as this ride like many at Disney World is on a continuous loop system. It is a chronicle through time and history with an eye toward the future. This attraction is a must-see.

ellen's universe of energyEllen’s Energy Adventure has such a large seating capacity that the longest waits are 20 minutes. The good thing about the wait is, it is inside, out of the rain, heat, or cold. This attraction lasts 40 minutes and is well worth your time. It tells about how important energy is in our lives in a fun, interactive way with Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye as the narrators.

Innoventions-west-00Innoventions is a walk through attraction separated into two buildings: East and West. Unfortunately, Innoventions West is closing and one attraction in the East building is closing. I have always enjoyed most of the attractions in the Innoventions buildings, but I know many think they needed updating. The future of the Innoventions West and East is still unknown. In the East building there are still a few attractions operating such as Stormstruck (a great interactive weather-themed attraction), Sum Of All Thrills (design your own coaster, but long wait for short ride), and Habit Heroes (forgettable).

the-landIn the Land building at Epcot there are two attractions that almost always have short wait times: Living with the Land, and The Circle of Life film. Living with the Land is a relaxing 13-minute boat ride that is informative. It chronicles the struggles with farming in the past and the future of farming with Hydroponics, Aeroponics, and Aquaculture. You see fruits, vegetables, and fish grown in unique ways. The Circle of Life is an ecological film hosted by the Lion King’s Pumbaa, Timon, and Simba.

the-seas-with-nemo[1]In the Seas with Nemo there is one of the largest saltwater aquariums in the world that houses sharks, dolphins, fish and sea turtles (over 200 species of sea life). In another tank there are two manatees. These are walk-through exhibits and well worth your time. The ride in this building takes you through the Finding Nemo movie (or part of it) and the wait for this is almost always 5-10 minutes.

Figment-Dragoneric idleIn the Imagination Pavillion the ride with Figment moves quickly and explores your five senses with Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. After the ride there are interactive exhibits that you can walk through and explore at your leisure .

America-PavilionIn the World Showcase (the part with the countries), there are films to watch in the France, American, China, and Canada Pavilions. The American, Canadian, and China films are on screens all around you (a full 360 degrees) and feel very much like you are in the locations. The France film is less impressive and the Norway film is temporarily suspended while they are working on the new Frozen ride.

mexico pavilionThe Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavillion is a fun ride featuring The Three Caballeros with normally a short wait. It is a boat ride that features some scenery from Mexico and The Three Caballeros.

The Best Use of Music in WDW Attractions

Disney has a wonderful, vast music catalog and history.  From the “Frozen” phenomena to “Steamboat Willie’s” whistling, it has been a huge part of the Disney experience.  The parks have incorporated music seamlessly into the surroundi

ngs and attractions that enhance our experience.  Today, I will focus on what to me are the best uses of music in WDW attractions.


5.  Mickey’s Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom – Mickey’s Philharmagic works a stream of classic Disney songs into the 3D misadventures of Donald Duck.  If you are a fan of the grand Disney musicals of the 80s and 90s, then you will especially love this attraction and it’s music selection.


4.  The Rock ‘n’  Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios – The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster takes you into a recording studio with rock legends Aerosmith then on a sweeping freeway ride to the concert.  I am not particularly an Aerosmith fan.  Their best offerings are from the 1970s.  It works here, though, and most of the songs are from their early works.  The songs change, which is good, but waiting to “merge onto the freeway”  and throughout the entire ride, the music keeps the adrenaline rushing.its a small world

3  It’s a Small World at Magic Kingdom – Just reading the name of this ride has probably stuck this tune in your head for the rest of the day.  Without the song, the attraction would be kind’ve creepy.  With it though, it is a classic.


2.  Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom – I love the drops and I love the animatronics; but, the music is the backbone of this attraction.  It leads us along, telling us the legends of Brer Rabbit and keeping us smiling.  From “How Do You Do?” through “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” the music is fun and upbeat.  Until last week, I had not seen “Song of the South” since I was a child.  Most younger people have never seen it and maybe never will.  To me, this novelty makes it even a little more special.

osborne family lights

1.  The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios – Christmas is our favorite time at WDW and the Osborne Light Show is a big part of it.  Millions of Christmas lights decorate the Streets of America with “snow” gently falling, Christmas music playing, and guests wandering through the streets to admire the show.  It is absolutely beautiful.  Every so often, the lights are synchronized to the music,  with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” being my favorite.  About every half hour, “Feliz Navidad” gets played and everyone rushes to the center of the street for a cast member lead line dance.  Roly and I have minimal rhythm, but we won’t miss it.  If you get the chance, I wholeheartedly recommend WDW in the Christmas season and Osborne Dancing Lights are not to missed.  What can be better?  Christmas music, warm weather, snow, beautiful lights, and hidden Mickeys.  Look for a teenage boy likely wearing a Mister Toad shirt with his mustachioed father wearing a Mickey hat dancing with cast members.


The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the newest WDW roller coaster and is the centerpiece of New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom. It opened on May 28, 2014 and is based on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It was touted as part coaster, part dark ride. We have had the opportunity to ride it several times, the first right after the fire in November (That’s another story). I want to share an overview and my opinion of the ride, but not give any spoilers for those of you who have not yet ridden it.

This fire was caused by the Wished Nighttime Spectacular fireworks, and was put out before there could be any real danger.
This fire was caused by the Wished Nighttime Spectacular fireworks, and was put out before there could be any real danger.

Queue: The outer facade is a tree-covered hill with rail tracks coming out. The outside line is amid the forest. You pass the front of the dwarfs cottage before entering into the mine. The inside queue is interactive with games to entertain you while you wait. The stand-by wait is usually over an hour. These will help pass the time. Personally, I will not wait that long for any attraction. When you come to the gem-filled barrels, make sure that you and the people around you get ALL of the barrels spinning as fast as you can and keep looking up. You will get a nice surprise.

I am pretty sure you will never see the dwarves marching out to work, but this is still a very nice picture.
I am pretty sure you will never see the dwarves marching out to work, but this is still a very nice picture.

Ride: The ride begins as a roller coaster, transitions to a dark ride, goes back to coaster, and ends as a dark ride. It is a “family friendly” coaster with an intensity similar to Big Thunder Mountain, but much smoother. It and Goofy’s Barnstormer are the only two coasters that Perdita will ride. The car that you ride in is an ornately carved barrel that sways as you round corners. You can feel this. It is a neat sensation that adds to the ride and makes it seem less jerky. The dark ride portions have some of the most impressive audio-animatronics. Several, including the vultures, are recycled from Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The only problem with the dark ride portions is that they are too brief. Songs from the film, “Heigh-Ho” and the “Yodel Song” are all a part of the ride.

The mine portion, seen in this picture, looks as if it is straight from the movie. It has the most advanced animatronics, which makes them have smooth, realistic, yet cartoonish movements.
The mine portion, seen in this picture, looks as if it is straight from the movie. It has the most advanced animatronics, which makes them have smooth, realistic, yet cartoonish movements.

Photos: There are two on-ride cameras. You can purchase photos and videos through Disney’s Photopass. The videos are new to us, and we were impressed. Unlike the other WDW rides, there are no screens to view the photos after the ride. The photos and video are sent to your email for viewing and purchase.

Impression: This is not an intense experience for thrill ride enthusiasts, but it won’t disappoint most of us. It is also not a completely meek experience like “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” I do think that it strikes a nice balance, though, with a good dose of both. As with many Disney rides, I have been able to appreciate the details and have enjoyed it more the more times I have ridden it. I love that I can ride it with Perdita and still get my coaster fix. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is definitely worth a Fastpass-plus spot. I wish the dark ride portion was longer, but that is my only complaint.