This week’s theme is Flora, Fauna, Fantasy 15 in celebration of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary.
Thank you Deb from FocusedOnTheMagic.com for the great idea!
Every year at Christmas the radio stations here in Orlando play that old song, I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas!
Here are some actual pictures we took on Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safaris recently! I hope you enjoy them and have a magical day!
Once upon a time there were Zebras at Animal Kingdom!
I LOVE telling this story. Mama and baby were playing and running around. At one point they were headed straight for our ride vehicle! They were literally 5 feet away when they stopped dead in their tracks. Were they being aggressive? NO! Our ride vehicle was blocking the door that led to their food, and the rhinos had heard it open. Once they realized we were in the way, they politely turned to their right, walked in front of the vehicle and out of the opening that lead backstage. I don’t know how my husband kept calm enough to get these fantastic pictures, but I am so glad he did! What an awesome day at Animal Kingdom!
Friday November 2nd 2012 was a great day for the safari ride over at Animal Kingdom. The weather was BEAUTIFUL, and the animals were loving it! Since they were feeling so frisky and active, some of them modeled for my photo shoot. A few pictures are a little blurry but others came out great!
What do you think?
Those who know my Disney side, are well aware of my love for Frozen and all of the Disney Princesses. More specifically, I love Elsa, who is not a Princess, but actually a Queen – so I guess it is safe to say she is my favorite Disney Queen of all time.
There was really no way fro me to bring you an unbiased review of Frozen 2 because I am incredibly biased and in love with these characters, forever. BUT – thank goodness for WDW Hints
I have included an unbiased review for in this space – so read on! For everyone waiting to hear what I had to say – here it is. In all of its gushing and totally biased glory. I LOVE FROZEN AND I LOVED FROZEN 2. For the rest of this article, I am going to give you some fun things to look for in this film – that really stood out for me!
Here they are in no particular order:
Olaf and the Gang Play Charades
One of the opening scenes includes Olaf and the crew playing charades. It is as cute as you can imagine. Olaf does a fantastic impersonation of Elsa, and even SHE giggles at his cuteness.
One of the best things ever? SVEN is the time keeper. Remember when Kristoff sang about how reindeers are better than people? Well apparently they are fantastic and fair when you need a timekeeper for charades too. Sven even rings the little bell at the stop and start of each round.
Olaf retells the story of the first Frozen, in his own special way
Practical, because he needed the Northuldra Tribe to understand the whole story. Entertaining, because it is Olaf!! Watch for his version of what happened in the first Frozen film. It is hilarious!
Animated Baby Reindeer
If you have been following our website for a while now, you probably know about my “thing” for baby animals. I wrote a full article when a baby zebra was born at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Oh and that one time when a mama and baby rhino came charging towards our vehicle on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Animal Kingdom? I wasn’t scared – I JUST THOUGHT THAT BABY WAS SO CUTE! So, you guessed it, I wrote about it – and included pics. One of my favorite things about Lion King in live action film? The babies!!!
You will have to look quick – but there is a scene in Frozen 2 where the cutest baby reindeer you have ever seen cuddles up with one of the girls. I can’t remember if it was Anna or Elsa now – because I was too busy looking at that BABY!!! He is not baby Sven, he belongs to somebody from the Northuldra tribe. They are all around a campfire… and oh… that little reindeer took my breath away!
Kristoff Made a Music Video
Bobby and Kristen Lopez, who did the music for the first film, wrote Kristoff this epic kind of 80s ballad and the animation that goes with it. It’s like an 80s music video,” Groff explained. “It’s a joke for the adults. The little kids don’t really get it.”
I think the kids that know about boy bands WILL get it. In Frozen 2, Kristoff belts out a song and that, combined with the video going on, made me feel like I was watching just that. IT WAS AMAZING …and hilarious!! I loved it. But Kristoff and I have a history.
Back when the first Frozen movie came out, Kristoff started making appearances in Magic Kingdom.
If you love Kristoff and you love boy bands and you love music videos… you will totally understand this. And you and I can be friends forever.
Watch for Elsa’s beautiful little Queen toes. She is barefoot in parts of this movie. Maybe we got to see Cinderella’s toes too – but seeing the toes of a Queen seemed like a special thing to me.
EPIC COSTUMES ~ including one for swimming
Half of the fun of this movie – for me – was watching for wardrobe changes. These girls have more outfits than Cher!! Elsa wears the most fabulous swim costume I have ever seen. Watch for it! On a side note, all of the ocean and underwater scenes are breathtaking. I found myself wondering what was real and what was CGI. When animated films become so sharp that they look like reality – it freaks me out and delights me – all at the same time. What do you think about that?
Kristoff gets to be a hero…finally!
I understand we want to portray women in Disney films as strong and able to hold their own. But I was SO pleased to see a part in Frozen 2 where they actually let Kristoff be a hero. Finally!
Production Babies – Baby Presley!
It is tradition now at the end of a Disney movie to add the names of all babies born while the movie was made. Because of my obession with Elvis Presley, Disney, and how excited I get when my worlds collide, you can imagine my excitement about this. Somebody on the production team of Frozen 2 named their new baby “PRESLEY”
Spoiler Alert… what happens after the credits
Stay for the whole thing. You get to see Marshmallow and the Snowgies!
I hope you enjoyed my list of fun stuff to look for when you go to see Frozen 2! Disney princesses are a giant part of Disney magic to me. I started a facebook page just for celebrating them. Come on over to join in and participate HERE
**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on November19, 2019 so that I could bring you this review. Complementary admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**
Thank you to my friend Kitei for attending the media preview with me!
I want to thank my friend Tour Guide Barbi from Themepark Academy for her actual, spoiler free, review! She is less biased than I am because she honestly wasn’t in love with the first Frozen movie!
I was very lucky to receive last minute passes to the media screening of Frozen 2, which made my children feel very special. I find the words to describe it afterwards are a little tough to find. It is an epic, yet fairly predictable journey, with all of the characters acting in their established roles: Elsa is still being fairly reckless, Anna is still chasing after Elsa even though she doesn’t have powers and Olaf, Kristoff and Sven fill their supporting roles with humor and self-reflection. There are definitely some scenes where the these humorous breaks are appreciated due to some very tear-worthy moments. This film took several comedic shots at its predecessor, showing one of my favorite Disney studio traits, the ability to laugh at itself. The imagery is stunning, the score is as epic as the storyline and the new anthem “Into the Unknown” shows yet another stellar performance by Idina Menzel. Plus, the reprise at the end by Panic! At The Disco is equally as amazing. (I’m surprised that it took me this long to recognize Brendan Urie as Idina’s male equivalent! ) I fully expect Frozen Fever will be in full force once this opens to the public and in anticipation we have created a video on all the places to find the Frozen characters in the park. Enjoy! ~ Tour Guide Barbi
He spent almost 40 years with the company, starting as a ticket-taker on the Jungle Cruise in 1955 and ending his career as Vice President of the Magic Kingdom in 1994. You can get his book and learn all about him in detail, by clicking below on our affiliate link.
After studying architecture in the 1950s, Sully actually got his first job in the aircraft industry. But then, after tuning in to ABC’s live broadcast of Disneyland’s opening and dedication, he made a decision that would change his life forever.
On Sunday, July 17, 1955, William “Sully” Sullivan was tuned in to ABC-TV. “I watched the opening ceremonies for Disneyland. The following Saturday I went down and applied for a job. “Monday I quit Northrop Aircraft, and Tuesday I reported to work as a ticket-taker at the Jungle Cruise.” Sully was just 19 years old at the time.
As he worked at the Jungle Cruise for nearly three years, Bill earned the title of “jungle bunny”—an unofficial name given to the attraction’s hosts in the ’50s. This experience gave him the opportunity to move around the park, rising through the ranks of park operations and supervising various attractions.
In fact, Bill helped pull off some of the most historic events in Disney history. Bill soon earned a place on the opening team for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, for which Walt Disney served as chairman of pageantry.
What did Bill think of the man, Walt Disney?
“Walt was a really warm individual,” Sully remembered fondly. “He had a great sense of humor, and he loved people. He was an executive, but not what you perceive as an ‘executive.’ He was a real team guy.”
A few years later, he became assistant manager for the groundbreaking Disney attractions at the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair and eventually helped with several famous Disney film premieres. Examples include the premiers for Mary Poppins at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (1964) and The Happiest Millionaire at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre (1967).
Sully also helped develop the world’s largest private construction project – two times! But first, he moved to Orlando in 1969. From here, the construction plans began for the park’s opening day in 1971. Sully spent several years assisting with the preparation and opening of Walt Disney World, which was the world’s largest private construction effort until the development of EPCOT Center a decade later. For Epcot, Sully coordinated operational design input and installation of owner-furnished equipment as as director of PICO (Project Installation and Coordination Office) and, after Epcot opened in 1982, he served as director of park operations. The two largest construction projects in the world, and Sully was there…preparing, coordinating, and assisting with it all!
But Sully wasn’t finished yet. In 1987, still working hard and growing his career, next up he would be named vice president of the Magic Kingdom, and was responsible for operation of the Park. It was a long list of operations including attractions, merchandising, transportation, entertainment, ticket sales, guest relations, costuming, foods, custodial, maintenance, planned work, and even horticulture.
Sully’s contributions have earned him two tributes on Main Street, U.S.A.! He’s got a window on both coasts. One for Disney World and one for Disneyland! In Orlando at Magic Kingdom Park, look for the one that lists him as a charter member of the “Windermere Fraternal Hall.” Bill actually served as Vice President of the Magic Kingdom from 1987 until 1993, during which he oversaw the openings of experiences from Delta Dreamflight and Magic Journeys to Mickey’s Birthdayland and Splash Mountain. In Disneyland, you will find a window on Main Street listing him as Chief Guide of “Sully’s Safaris & Guide Service” (a reference to his first role at Disneyland.)
Sully retired in 1993 after 38 years with Disney, and without a single regret. “If I had to do it all over,” he said, “I’d do it all again tomorrow.” He would be named a Disney Legend in 2005.
It was my thrill and honor to be invited to the media preview of Live Action Lion King July 10, 2019 – before it was released to the public 9 days later.
Regarding this version of Disney’s Lion King it is officially stated like this:
“Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way.”
Well, you might be wondering, like I was, how it could possibly stack up to the original. Is it possible they could improve this masterpiece? I mentioned before that I have very personal and very loving feelings about this movie that started all the way back in 1994.
Surprisingly, I found some things that I never expected (in spite of the story not really changing much!) even with the 25 year time difference in film release dates. You might be inspired to make your own list of shocking revelations!
Before we get to my list of surprises, I want to share a little about the day I saw this movie. I started practicing my best lion cub roar.
After all, my maiden name is Rohrer. I lost count of how many times I said, “It’s pronounced ROAR..like a lion!” It’s no surprise that I should be pretty good at the Rohrer’s roar by now. Practicing was still fun. I contacted my friend Beatrice to join me for the viewing of this film, and our big day finally came. We both put on our favorite safari shirts and makeup for the occasion. We were definitely “feeling the love tonight” for Live Action Lion King!
OK OK OK – let me stop here for one second. We know it’s not really “Live Action.” No lions or baby ostriches or baby warthogs (OH MY!! More on those later!!) were harmed in the making of this film. But for the sake of this article, we will use the term “Live Action” Lion King to represent the version coming to theaters July 19th 2019. “Live Action Lion King” is easier to say than “Lion King…the photorealistic computer-animated remake of Disney’s traditionally animated 1994 film of the same name.”
Now let’s get to those 5 surprises.
Surprise #1: Mufasa at first glance – caused an audible “WOW!”
You may have already seen him – in the previews – or maybe in photos – like the one below.
So had I.
I didn’t think much of it at the time. When you are sitting in the darkened theater and the film begins, everything seems different. I don’t know if it was the build up, maybe the music, or the herds of exotic animals on the big screen? But, you are going to see Mufasa’s valiant face pretty early in this film, and when you do….it just might make you turn to the person next to you and say an audible
Because that is what it did to us!!
Mufasa is gorgeous, regal, and stunning. You can see his wise eyes up-close. Watch his fur and mane blowing gently in the soft wind. The detail is astonishing. As my eyes gazed upon him in that moment …things got serious. I started thinking about the majesty of God and His beautiful creatures that are roaming this earth. For just a little while, I tried to grasp the thought of beautiful and exotic animals in the thousands or millions, so very far from my home, on a giant continent like Africa. God made each and every creature and I believe God cares for each one. I know God cares for me too, even as I sit in my small world, and look at my computer screen to write this for you. He cares for you – as you are reading it! If you believe the Bible then you know that God given us dominion over these beautiful creatures. Just imagine that! God is everywhere. Beautiful, majestic lions are such a small part of what God has created… and when you see Mufasa on the big screen… Mufasa almost leaves you breathless!!
Surprise #2: Rafiki is the “Dick Clark” of Pride Rock
The average life expectancy of a Mandrill (Rafiki is not a baboon, he’s a Mandrill) in captivity is 46 years. Who knew?? Well, Rafiki doesn’t even live in captivity, and he has to be at least 100 years old. I think this means Simba’s Kingdom, and Pride Rock, have been very good to him. He is such an amazing character and he holds up beautifully in live action. Have you noticed Rafiki never seems to age throughout the Lion King franchise? He’s portrayed as a wise old man as far back as 25 years ago in the original film, yet he remains spry and active for years and years. There is a beautiful scene in Live Action Lion King where Rafiki gets Simba to follow him through the dark jungle. Rafiki has no problem with his physical fitness, and let me tell you, he can really swing! In fact, young Simba loses Rafiki a couple of times in that scene – and has some trouble keeping up. Rafiki inspires me to keep my joy and remain forever young! I’d bet he’s a great dancer, too. Maybe he could host his own version of Pride Rock Bandstand or even a New Year’s (Pride Rock)in’ Eve. Yep, I am pretty sure that makes Rafiki the “Dick Clark” of Pride Rock.
Surprise #3: The Baby Animal Cuteness Factor is OFF THE CHARTS
Something for old and young here. During the big opening song, if you look closely, you will see little speckled baby ostriches running around. They look something like this.
I thought those little chicks just might be the cutest babies I’d ever seen until……later on … during Hakuna Matata. Pumbaa sings about how he was a young warthog. AND THEY SHOW HIM…oh my goodness. The realistic imaging on the big screen was almost too much to handle.
While Simba sings “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” you will need to brace yourself for more baby animals of all kinds!! Grouping together, walking together, frolicking in pairs… SO much baby animal super cuteness all in one place! Off the charts adorable. I don’t remember this many cute babies in the first Lion King. They surprised the heck out of me!
Surprise #4: “Be Our Guest” (the song!) makes an appearance
I don’t want to give too much away here because I loved the way they put this in the movie. I think you might enjoy it too!
Surprise #5: There Are Two NEW Songs
I was surprised to learn there are 2 new songs in this movie! One from Elton John and one from Beyonce.
I noticed a portion of Beyonce’s “Spirit” during the film. I recognized her singing voice right away. On a side note, it’s cool hearing Beyonce voice Nala’s speaking voice, as well.
I think you have to stick around for the end credits so you can hear “Never Too Late” by Elton John. I don’t recall hearing any portion this during the film, but maybe I missed it. Surprise!
A bonus surprise for me was how I sat through the whole film comparing it shot for shot (in my head) with the original. Apparently I am not the only one that thinks this way. I found a little video that gives you a side by side comparison of a few scenes. The video is a minute and a half long. I have put a link to it HERE.
In closing, the story we think we know so well just might have some surprises in store for you too! If you love the original film and you want to admire exotic wild animals up close on the big screen, go see Live Action Lion King! I enjoyed it very much, and it made for a fun afternoon of spending time with my friend Beatrice. Here are some links so you can follow the official accounts for more fun!
**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on July 10, 2019 so that I could bring you this review. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**
10 DISNEY FILMS THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU TO TRAVEL
Disney films are beloved and admired for their colorful story-lines, enchanting and beautiful princesses as well as handsome prince charmings. All movies that Disney creates are loved not only by children, but everyone who are young at heart because they simply showcase beautiful musical scores and shows stunning pictures. Over time, Disney continues to create memorable
memories and inspiration brought about by magic and dreams.
If you’re a big Disney fan and a travel junkie at the same time, then you must know where you can find and experience being on the setting of your favorite Disney movie. Here are some of the all-time favorite Disney movies that were inspired by real-life locations.
1. Lion King
This classic Disney movie has surely created wonderful memories because of the morallessons it brings, songs that marked in every child’s life and of course, the stunning settings of this film. The scenery of this film was inspired by a gorgeous desert in Africa – Serengeti, which is located across northern Tanzania and southwest of Kenya. This safari desert is life-changing like how it was pictured in the movie as it holds beautiful landscapes and wild animals that will surely spark your wanderlust. This movie will awaken your adventurous side as well as you desire to see more of this wonderful world. Hakuna Matata and enjoy life!
As a child, you were surely dreamt of riding the magic carpet and wonder how it feels like to see the world up in the sky. Aladdin is a movie based on Arab folklore that is full of enchantments – a magic lamp, a genie and three wishes. The movie has highlighted several stunning places like pyramids, palaces, deserts, alley ways and even China. But did you know that the Sultan’s Palace in the movie was inspired by the real life famous architecture in India – the Taj Mahal.
Showcasing the countryside and unique cultures of China, Mulan is a story about a fearless girl who disguised as a man to go to a war. The Emperor’s Home in the movie was actually inspired by the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. If you remember the famous line told by Fa Zhou to Mulan about life and how it should be enjoyed, you will surely be moved to accomplish your dreams and go on different adventures and explore the world.
Remember the scene where Elsa went away from her kingdom to elude people’s judgment about her hidden capability? The ice palace she created as a place she could live for isolation was based on the concept of Hotel de Glace in Quebec City, Canada. The hotel is surrounded by snow vaults and crystalline ice sculptures that open during winter. This fortress has 44 rooms, abundant ice sculptures, and imposing snow vaults. This film by Disney will surely motivate you to free yourself from fear and give you the
opportunity to do things you want without worrying about other’s verdict. Do you want to build a snowman?
Rapunzel, leaving the tower to take control over her own life brings inspiration to go on the road and explore different adventures. If you have watched the movie and look forward to seeing settings like the places featured in this film, then the real life places that were actually used as inspiration for this movie will completely amaze you. The tower was inspired by the Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France – a fortified islandcommune with a population of 44 people. The art director of the movie chose this location in order to create gallant painting style. Additionally, the scene at the lake fullof floating lanterns was taken insights from the annual festivity in China, Taiwan and Thailand.
Who would have forgotten about the exceptional and adventurous journey of Carl and Ellie? Ellie’s desire to fulfill his and his wife’s dream of going to Paradise Falls was fortified after his wife passed away. Voyaged through Carl’s house hovering in the air has amazed children and the paradise Falls has enthused people to see a similar setting. Well, you may want to visit the Angel Falls in Venezuela’s Canaima Natural Park where this famous setting has been based. It is known as the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, it is also called as “waterfall of the deepest place”.
7. Lilo & Stitch
As Lilo and her family ventured towards the world, it has left a moral lesson about the importance of family and the bond created by traveling together. The settings of this film were enthused by the landscapes of Kauai town in Hawaii which was perfect for its homey-inspired tale.
Merida, a fearless girl who’s desperate for freedom from her royal family set foot in the woods alone for the liberty she wanted. Brave features beautiful ruins, majestic landscapes and castles along Merida’s journey and some of it were actually real pictures that you can visit. This movie will surely inspire you to visit Eilean Donan Castle, which is known in the film as DunBroch Castle. Built during the mid-13th century, it is located in the Scottish highlands and is overlooking the sea. If you are fond of historic places and folklore, visiting Eilean Donan Castle is what you might need to satisfy your wanderlust.
9. Finding Nemo
The film was set in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Queensland, it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Watching this movie may inspire you to book a scuba diving classes, go snorkeling to a marine conservation or even urge you to book a trip to Australia.
The movie is about some animated characters coming into the real world and becoming real people. Based in New York settings, this film features various scenes featuring the Central Park will surely make you want to visit the busiest city in the world. This romantic comedy movie will surely bring in the wanderlust in you as the urbaninspiration and soundtracks will motivate you to see the world.
Inspired to travel? Open your travel planner now, and create your own magical and enchanting Disney-like escapades!
About the Author: Jason Biondo is a travel junkie and an amateur bodybuilder who loves to share insightful tips to his fellow travelers and fitness enthusiasts. He is also a User Interface Developer Consultant and the founder of Trekeffect.
Top 10 Tips for First Time Guests by Guest Author Jen B.
10) Stay on property
Though this could easily be further down on the list and closer to one of the most important tips for your first visit, many of the following tips are only available if staying on property, so alas, your #10 tip! Disney offers more than 25 different hotels that are broken down into various categories according to price (value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villas). Staying on Walt Disney World property puts you that much closer to the magic, provides you with extra benefits, and presents you with even more hidden Disney magic. Each hotel is themed differently, so find the one that fits you and your party the best and book your stay!
9) Try ALL forms of Disney Transportation
In order to take full advantage of all the transportation opportunities Disney has to offer, you must be staying at a resort. Rather than paying for parking and waiting in long traffic lines, opt for the complimentary buses, monorail, ferry, walkways, and magical express. Each form of travel is unique and serves as a great way to both start and end your magical days at WDW! Disney buses pick up from every resort and arrive every 15 minutes or so. They start running before parks open and drive all day until after parks close. The monorail is a must ride for your first visit as it is an attraction within itself! Another neat option is the ferry between some of the resorts and MK. Lastly, start your vacation the right way and let Magical Express pick up your bags from baggage claim once you arrive at Orlando International Airport. Hop on that motor coach and head right to the parks, there’s tons to see and do!
8) Extra Magic Hours & Fast Pass
With so much to see and do, plus the benefit of being a WDW resort guest, be sure to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours and Fast Pass Times. Every day one of the four main parks either opens up to 1 hour early or stays open up to three hours late. Only guests staying in a WDW resort can take advantage of these times when crowds are minimal! Use this time to see the wild animals roaming the savannah after their morning stretches, ride the Tower of Terror before the wait time climbs to 2 hours, or stroll down Main Street USA and window shop without the crowds and endless strollers!
7) Park Hop!
Adding the Park Hopper option to your Magic Your Way Base Ticket is truly a personal preference, but I would advise that you do! When vacationing to WDW you can either plan every minute of your vacation or agree to be flexible, but either way, the ability to travel from park to park to help with either schedule will make your vacation much less stressful and far more magical! I can’t tell you how many times we woke up to catch the first Kilimanjaro Safari ride, but then wanted to see the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular before bed that same night. On a first time trip, it might seem overwhelming and you might be sitting there saying, “This is crazy. One park per day is far more than enough, Disney offers so much!”, but I find the park hopper option to be far less overwhelming. When on vacation, one is supposed to be relieved of all stress, free of all plans, and in favor of spontaneity. Be spontaneous and hop!
6) Visit Magic Kingdom in 2 days (There’s far too much magic to explore!)
After reading #7, this is only necessary. Given that the park is broken into different lands (Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Main Street USA) it’s almost as if this park is really 5 parks in one. Thus, the more time you can spend here the better. Strolling through the shops on Main St. and watching the parade that rides down the street as well, can easily eat up a solid chunk of your afternoon. Pending ride wait times and if you enjoy a sit down meal or not, no matter how early you enter, or how late you stay, Magic Kingdom deserves at least two days. Just think, this was Walt’s dream and the very first part of the Walt Disney World grounds. Plus the castle serves as the iconic staple of all things Disney. All first-timers should truly immerse themselves in all the magic that the Magic Kingdom has to offer. Don’t rush through it!
5) Bring your own snacks and drinks but splurge on a Main Street Treat!
When you’re waiting for the parade to start (as it is suggested that you find your spot along the parade route at least thirty minutes before it is to begin) enjoy a delicious treat from one of the many shops and snack stands. Disney, in an attempt to cut back on cost for it’s guests, allows you to bring in your own snacks and refillable water bottles, but the Mickey ice cream bars, Dole Whips, or anything from the Main Street Confectionary will appeal to your taste buds and please your tummy, just as much as a honey jar does for Winnie the Pooh!
4) Slow Down & Take Part in Character Meet and Greets
It is unacceptable to visit Walt Disney World without meeting Mickey Mouse right? What about his sweetheart Minnie Mouse? Or his friends Goofy, Pluto, Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, and Donald Duck? Though the lines may often seem long, there is nothing better than interacting with the characters that roam the parks—this is when the magic truly comes to life. Take a picture with Donald Duck wearing his sombrero in the Mexico pavilion of Epcot; meet Rafiki in the jungle at Animal Kingdom; high five Sully and his pal Mike Wazowski on the Laugh Floor in Hollywood Studios; or spend some time chatting with the princesses in Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom. Hugs are free, autographs are unique, and interactions with all of Disney’s characters, whether you are young or old, last a lifetime!
3) See the Shows & Parades
Festival of Fantasy Parade, Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, Illuminations, and Fantasmic. just to name a few. Walt Disney World prides itself on all the intricate details it employs for the fantastic, heart-pumping, ear-to-ear smiling, sing along shows and parades throughout each park everyday. Take a break from the sun, find some shade, sit back and relax. Immerse yourself in Disney Entertainment. Without it, no first time visit is complete.
2) Timing is Everything…On many different accounts!
First things first, plan the proper length of stay for your visit. My suggestion is at least a week, but of course that decision is up to you! Don’t try to cram all four parks into a 3-day visit. It’s just not worth it. In addition, plan your first visit for the right time of year. Take into account all factors including first, what works best for you and your family, but also weather, crowd control, and WDW specials and promotions.
Next, once visiting WDW, timing continues to be everything. Save valuable time as you venture through the parks by using your time wisely. Eat your meals during non-meal times, either earlier than normal or after the rush; Ride the most popular attractions during major parade times or fireworks shows; Take breaks during the middle of the day and go swimming in your resort pools or enjoy a nap to recharge! And lastly but most importantly, by no means rush through the parks. Slow down, you’re on vacation in the happiest place on earth! Enjoy every millisecond!
1) Allow the magic to erase your fears!
2, 10, 14, 27, 42, 60, 75…no matter your age, Walt Disney World is a place for you to always feel like a kid. Allow the magic to erase all of your fears. Celebrate your first visit, and every consecutive visit afterwards, by releasing all your fears and fully embracing the happiest place on earth! Conquer your wardrobe fears and wear something that you wouldn’t think to in your “normal” life. Embrace your inner child and break out that Goofy t-shirt. Or, buy yourself your first official pair of Mickey ears, in whatever style suits you best, and wear them around the parks for a full day, at least. Conquer your fear of heights and free fall 13 stories on Hollywood Studios’ Tower or Terror or face the Yeti on Animal Kingdom’s Everest. Conquer your fear of the dark and ride Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios or Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. Conquer your fear of all things haunted by gliding through the Haunted Mansion. Conquer your fear of stage fright and bright lights by volunteering to be an extra in the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show at Hollywood Studios. Conquer your fear of singing and dancing in public by singing along and dancing to the beat at Animal Kingdom’s Festival of the Lion King or any of the shows at the stage at Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. Lastly, conquer your fear of the unknown by allowing the magic to take control and see what Walt Disney World has in store for your very first visit!
Most of all, get that trip booked and enjoy your magical first time at Walt Disney World!
Feel free to comment with YOUR tips for first timers – or email guest blogger Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about any of these tips!