EPCOT

All posts tagged EPCOT

From Dreamer to Dreamfinder: A Review by Josh Snyder

Published April 6, 2015 by Disneyways.com

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As I sit down to open Ron Schneider’s book “From Dreamer to Dreamfinder”, I stop for a moment to ponder what I know about this man and what I expect I’ll read. The only answers I can come up with are the fact that Ron was the original Dreamfinder when EPCOT Center first opened in 1982 and that he has one of the same unique characteristics that Walt Disney had: he can tell a story and, in doing so, can take you on a journey. I knew this because, prior to receiving the book, I had enjoyed an afternoon at EPCOT (thanks to Krista Joy of Disneyways.com fame and author Shelby Pickett) with Ron. The afternoon, which began with dinner at The Garden Grill, allowed an intimate group of us to sit and relive the fascinating details of the first character allowed inside EPCOT Center, followed by a ride-along of the current Journey Into The Imagination with Figment ride. Ron’s eyes sparkled as he told us just a few of the stories of his short-lived (but legendary) life as Dreamfinder. He told us of the little boy that said he was Jesus, and of meeting celebrities for the taping of the opening of EPCOT Center. Then we had a rare opportunity indeed. One of the gentlemen dining with us had met Ron years ago and had his picture taken outside of the Imagination Pavilion with Ron. Tears filled my eyes as I watched this now grown up man pose with the Dreamfinder to recreate a picture taken more than 20 years ago.

So as I opened my book, I eagerly anticipated the joys I would find within. And believe me, I was not disappointed. Ron has had an incredible life, both within and outside of the theme park world. From working with the famed Wally Boag in Disneyland at the Diamond Horseshoe, to helping to craft themed dinner shows on Orlando’s famed International Drive, to helping create the Character Department at Universal Orlando Resort, Ron has clearly always had a brilliant eye for what the public will love and has brought joy to our hearts, even if we don’t know he was behind it. As I said before, Ron was instrumental in bringing character interaction into being in Universal Orlando Resort, including such acts as the Blues Brothers, among many others. Ron also had a hand in what is now known as Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Review. His repertoire also includes working at Six Flags Magic Mountain, voicing a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Sea World, and helping write scripts and record for the Monsters Inc. Laugh-Floor attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park.

In the book, Ron gives you an honest viewpoint of what it’s like to be a theme park employee and the guts, sweat, and tears it takes to put on the show every night. He gives us an in-depth look at the inner-workings of how a successful entrepreneur works his magic, and also shows us a no-holds-barred look at the cut-throat entertainment business. He shows us that not all that glitters is gold, even though you put your heart and soul into it.

Anyone that has enjoyed a good dinner show, or thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of a theme park attraction would enjoy reading “From Dreamer to Dreamfinder”. Ron’s work with Six Flags, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Productions, and Sea World have had a lasting impact on generations of families and will continue to bring us laughs and joy throughout the ages and his skill at telling a good story has led to an amazing book. This is definitely one book that will not be collecting any dust on my shelf (I’ll be too busy referencing it again and again in my own daily life).

Thanks for the memories Dreamfinder!

 

Our Dinner With Dreamfinder

Published January 13, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Most Disney fans are familiar with the the way that Epcot opened ceremoniously on October 1, 1982. In the early days, there wasn’t a Disney character in sight! Can you imagine? But then, from 1982 – 1987, the one and only Ron Schneider, Epcot’s original Dreamfinder, helped to change all of that. To this day, Dreamfinder is one of the world’s most iconic theme park characters. He is loved by Disney fans all over the world, and how could he not be?

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With his top hat, beard and loveable sidekick Figment, Dreamfinder had a mission to encourage children of all ages to use their imagination. He brought wonder and excitement to Disney guests of all ages. As a child of the 1980’s I was one of those (probably millions!) of kids whose favorite part of the original Journey Into Imagination attraction – was seeing and hearing Dreamfinder. To meet him outside of the attraction – was not an encounter that one could ever forget.

Fast forward to January 2015, when my friend Shelby suggested that we have an event with Ron Schneider. We thought it would be really fun to celebrate Ron, and the gift of joy he has given to so many. I contacted the original Dreamfider, and although he is VERY busy, he was incredibly gracious and agreeable to taking time out of his day to meet with us. January 8th 2015  – a handful of us sat down for an excellent meal at the Garden Grill – and had an absolute blast being in the presence of this man.

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Ron was so cool, he even let me put on his hat! OK…well maybe I just put it on when he wasn’t looking. Still…he could have very well told me not to…but he didn’t.   🙂

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As we finished up our meal, we had drawings for some fun gifts, sponsored by Travel Planner Mary Morales. Thanks Mary!

By this time, I had grown quite attached to the hat, and decided it made me feel in charge as I handed out raffle tickets!

I knew this would be a great time, and I knew it would be special because of Ron, and just being at Epcot with so many good friends – new and old. But during dinner, one of my (other) very favorite parts of the night began to happen. I met and spoke with Leo for the first time ever. My new friend Leo, over at the end of the table, with tears in his eyes, began telling me how much this event meant to him. Leo has loved the Dreamfinder character almost all of his life. He showed me his photo with Ron from long ago. LOOK at little Leo!! I can’t even take the cuteness in this photo.

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My heart was so full as I was able to take Leo’s photo with Ron, and recapture the magic of that day so long ago!

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After dinner, we all followed Ron to his attraction in the Imagination pavilion. Leo and Ron sat together in the front seat!

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Of course a few shenanigans may have ensued along the way. As we exited the ride and visited with Ron, there seemed to be a some sort of signal spreading like wildfire among the cast members that there was a celebrity in the building! Everyone from sales associates, to leads, and everyone in between, started approaching him for photos. There may even have been an Imagineer or two!

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Our group spent some more time together at Epcot until finally, we all had to say goodbye. I don’t think any of us will soon forget this magical night! Our thanks to Ron, our server Barry, and all the people who had a part in making it so very special! It was truly something that Disney dreams are made of.

Elsa Inspired Jamberry Nail Wraps by Guest Author Tanya Shores

Published November 20, 2014 by jpmdo

I’m back with more information on Jamberry and some new Disney-inspired designs! If you are planning a Disney vacation anytime in the future, it would be awesome to take a long what us Jamberry consultants call a “Jamicure”! Since Jamberry nail wraps last up to 2 weeks on fingers and 4 weeks on toes, you won’t have to spend a minute thinking about your nails and worrying about chips during your vacation. Jamberry nail wraps are completely water-safe, so you can definitely spend all day in the pool at your hotel or go on any water rides at the parks without worrying about ruining your beautiful nails. Also, no last minute trips to the salon while you’re busy prepping for your trip – you can EASILY give yourself the perfect Jamicure!

Jamberry is much more cost efficient than a mani/pedi at the salon (a single sheet gives you 2 pedicures, 2 manicures, and 8-16+ accent nails!), which means more money for your Disney trip!

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In my last post (https://disneyways.com/2014/09/06/meet-tanya-your-official-jamberry-consultant-for-disneyways/), I shared some fun Disney-inspired character designs that I created in our custom Jamberry nail art studio. I’ve now created a few Princess-inspired designs. It would be so much fun to have Elsa-inspired nails when you meet Elsa in the new Frozen attractions at Epcot! I have also created designs inspired by Cinderella and Aurora (my favorite princess!).

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Let me know if you have any other characters or princesses you would like to see a design for. I’ll be posting soon with some beachy-Disney designs to get everyone ready for those Disney cruises! Winter will be over before we know it (unless you spend too much time around Elsa ;-)).

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You can contact me on my Jamberry Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tshoresjamberry) with any questions or to get info on how to order these special Disney-inspired custom nail wraps. Find out more about Jamberry on my Independent Consultant site (http://tshoresjam.jamberrynails.net).

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Epcot’s Test Track – The New Version

Published November 4, 2014 by jpmdo

Test Track is a giant slot car attraction at Epcot’s Future World in Walt Disney World. The ride uses some of the rough tests that General Motors uses for its concept cars, ending in a high-speed drive around the outside of the attraction. It closed for refurbishment in April 2012 when sponsorship changed from GM to Chevrolet and re-opened on December 6, 2012.

In the queue, instead of crash test dummies and cars being tested, the way it was before the refurbishment, it shows two Chevrolet concept cars. Guests then have the choice of designing their own car that will be tested on the sim-track. While guests wait to board the sim-cars, they’re told to scan their design key to upload their car design to the ride.

Test Track Re-imagined

After riders board the sim-cars and go through the seat belt check, the car that they designed will go through four different tests: capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power. In the capability test, the car first rushes past a rain/snow projection and skids out of control. Next, the continuing path disappears and the sim-car turns around to speed up again. The sim-car then makes a sharp left turn as a lightning bolt strikes, and then passes by a futuristic city. The sim-car then starts the efficiency test. It’s scanned for “optimum eco-efficiency” and has an aero-dynamic test. During the responsiveness test, the sim-car accelerates around hairpin turns with laser-projected trees. The power test is where the sim-car runs on a track outside of the ride, increasing its speed. After the test is complete, the car returns to the loading station where the riders leave.

I still like to ride Test Track, but it’s not the same as the original version of the ride. In the old version, it felt more like it was actually testing the car. The ride used to have real people explaining each test, real temperature rooms, and different kinds of roads that the car would drive on. In this new version, everything seems too digital and virtual. Even the voices explaining the tests sound like they’re computerized.

About the Author: Amber Montes de Oca is a huge Disney fan. She’s an annual pass holder and loves to visit the Disney parks often. Her hobbies are singing, acting, and drawing. She has a BA from the University of Central Florida.12

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party: Is it Right For You? By Guest Author Sara Lundy

Published October 26, 2014 by Sara M. Lundy

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party: Is it Right For You? By Guest Author Sara Lundy

Recently, I have seen several people post questions on social media sites about whether or not they should go to the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot. My answer to this is… YES! My husband and I attended this separate ticket event this past May 2014 and we were NOT let down.

To begin with, the party offers an amazing view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  The location at World ShowPlace offers the guest a view of almost the entire World Showcase Lagoon. I know there are many great location spots for viewing IllumiNations throughout World Showcase, but, for me personally, it was a spectacular view. Being a “vertically challenged” woman of 4’10”, this particular view gave me an opportunity to see parts of the show that I had never been able to see before because physical barriers of one sort or another had always blocked part of my view.

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Another reason that I enjoyed the IllumiNations Dessert Party was getting to sample all of the delicious desserts and sparkling wines. Personally, I am not much of a dessert person and was mostly looking forward to the unlimited sparking wines. My husband, on the other hand, is not much of a drinker and was looking forward to the unlimited desserts. Neither of us were let disappointed. I also liked having the opportunity to try many of the desserts offered by the various World Showcase countries all at one setting. Though the offerings may change (check the official Walt Disney World website for the latest offerings), here is what was available when we were there in May 2014:

  • Baklava (Morocco)
  • Tiramisu (Italy)-My personal favorite!
  • Vanilla Pot de Créme (France)
  • Shortbread Cookies (UK)
  • Cronis (American Pavillion)
  • Ice Cream Novelties, including the Mickey Premium Bar, a favorite of my husband. These are similar to the offerings found at kiosks around Walt Disney World
  • Various fruits
Dessert Party Offerings: Shortbread cookie, Pot de Créme, and Tiramisu

Dessert Party Offerings: Shortbread cookie, Pot de Créme, and Tiramisu

Cronis- a donut cooked in Kahlua Liqueur and Bacardi Rum, dusted with sugar.

Cronis-a donut cooked in Kahlua Liqueur and Bacardi Rum, dusted with sugar.

Drink offerings included:

  • Sparkling wine from the United States
  • Prosecco from Italy
  • Non-alcoholic drinks such as tea, lemonade, coffee, water

I liked both of the wines offered, but my personal favorite was the Prosecco from Italy.

Enjoying my sparkling wine or as i call it, "a tasty beverage".

Enjoying my sparkling wine or as I call it, “a tasty beverage”.

A final reason to attend the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party is for the atmosphere. Check in to the party begins about an hour before the start of IllumiNations. This is a great opportunity to enjoy not only the desserts and drinks, but mingle with other park guests as well. I HIGHLY recommend getting there an hour early. This allows for time to get in and find a table to enjoy the party’s treats. Yes, there are no chairs, so we were standing for much of the party. This is probably the biggest complaint that I have heard about the dessert party. Please be aware of the fact that guests to the party will be standing the entire time. So find a table, enjoy the treats, and talk with other park guests. My husband and I ended up sharing another table with a couple from New Jersey and had an enjoyable time discussing our trip experiences. Overall, I would say there were around 100 park guests attending the event, though I didn’t feel it was too crowded. Time went by quickly, though, while enjoying the treats and talking to other guests, and it was soon time for IllumiNations. Though my husband and I did not linger too long after the show was over, we were not rushed out by cast members, and we could have stayed longer had we chosen to do so.

For those who have not seen IllumiNations: Reflection of Earth at Epcot, it is a Walt Disney World experience that is not to be missed. It is a truly jaw-dropping show of fireworks, flames, and light spectacular over the World Showcase Lagoon.  The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party can be booked at The Walt Disney World website or by calling 1-407-WDW-DINE. At the time of publishing, the cost of the party is $49 for adults and $29 for children.

Limited Offer! Save 40 Percent on the Disney Food Blog Everything Bundle Plus a FREE Gift!

Published September 14, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Limited Offer! Save 40 percent on the Disney Food Blog Everything Bundle, PLUS you get a FREE Gift! As a long time fan of these guides, I can tell  you without a doubt they are an amazing time and money saver – essential to any Disney visitor who eats!! These guides pay for themselves in no time, especially at these prices. The Everything Bundle is an over $103.00 value, all for $59.95 – a savings of over 40%! You even get the 2014 DFB Guide to Walt DisneyWorld Dining for FREE! That’s 8 guides for an average of $7.50 each. Woah…what an incredible deal. I’m sure it won’t last long. Click the photo below for more information!

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You get:
The 2014 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining pre-order (with complimentary 2013 Guide FREE, immediately!)
The 2014 DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks
The 2014 DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks
The 2013 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks
The 2014 DFB Guide to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The 2013 DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays
DFB Dining Adventures
An over $103.00 value, all for $59.95, over 40% off! This offer is limited, so pick up your bundle today! Get detailed information and more by clicking HERE and a portion of the proceeds will go to help us to keep bringing you exciting Disney news and information here at Disneyways.com!

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Free Gift and Coupon Code! Disney Food Blog 2014 Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book

Published August 15, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Have you checked out the best-selling DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book? If not, what are you waiting for? The Disney Food Blog Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available, and here at Disneyways, we’re offering a FREE BONUS gift! That’s right, when you order your Disney Food Blog Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book by clicking any of our affiliate links on this page – you can help us cover costs here at Disneyways – with NO extra cost to you! Once your order is completed – be sure type your mailing address in the comments below. I will then verify that you used our links to purchase – and with that – I can send you a FREE BONUS gift from Walt Disney World. How’s that for an awesome deal?

Click here to view more details

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Originally posted on DisneyFoodBlog.com

This 250-page guide to the 2014 Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever. Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World! The cost is just $14.95 if you had to pay full price but as a Disneyways reader you can…

Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount! Total price just $11.95!

53 days of special events, over 30 food and beverage tasting booths, and celebrity chefs to meet? How do you fit it all in without breaking the budget? Make sure you make the most of your time at Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival!

The Disney Food Blog Guide to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book has the very best tips, information, and advice to be sure you enjoy every minute of your time at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! With 220 pages of information, you can plan ahead and be ready to dive right in as soon as you arrive. So much is going on at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival this year; make sure you don’t have any regrets after you leave!

The DFB Guide to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is 220 pages of in-depth information, including significant updates unique to this year’s festival! If you were one of the many who bought the guide last year, you know how important these details are. They’ve noted all of the new marketplace booth menu items, new events, and more! Plus, they’ve added an expanded FAQ section, a printable checklist of all World Showcase Booth menu items, Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipes, and even more bonus items (including new booth crawls and touring strategies)!

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is quickly approaching! The biggest Food and Wine Festival of its kind in the world can be overwhelming, but by pre-planning you’ll be able to choose the parts that are most important to you and create a strategy to make sure you experience them all.

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Plan Your Days Ahead of Time With Our Exclusive Full Schedule of Events for Every Day of the Festival!

This extremely valuable, exclusive resource allows you to easily flip to the days you’ll be there, see what’s offered, and be ready to book tickets — just like that! Use it on your mobile device when you’re at the festival to see what events are happening in real time.

Don’t Waste Money On Food and Beverages You Don’t Want!

You’ll have instant access to menus and food photos from the World Showcase booths. By choosing your must-eats before you get to the festival, you’ll save time, money, and all-important stomach space! You’ll also get location, time, and price details for every single event, concert, and seminar at the Festival. Exclusive and customized bonus sections will help make your trip to the Festival your best visit ever.

Take a look before your trip to decide what menu items and events your family will enjoy, then book early to make sure you’re one of the lucky attendees! Time is money on a Disney Vacation; get the most out of both!

Learn Tips to Avoid Endless Lines and to Get Into Popular Events!

Now in its 18th year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is well-known for high quality presentations, celebrity chefs, and fantastic food. But each year the event gets bigger and bigger, and it becomes more difficult to simply pop in for the day and see everything.

Don’t get shut out of popular events, and don’t wait in winding lines! Remember, if you only have a few days (or less) to spend at the Festival, you want to be sure you’re making the right choices! The Disney Food Blog Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is now available! Order yours today!

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Finally! A Solution For Your Multiple MagicBands

Published July 24, 2014 by Disneyways.com

What you see in the photo below is a WONDERFUL problem to have. Disney loves sending multiple MagicBands to their returning guests, passholders, and more. First time guests may even find themselves with multiple MagicBands if the conditions are right. Lucky people like David Ciscon who visit several times (pictured in the photo below) have started quite a collection.

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The solution? You may want to try wearing them when you you are back home, long after your Disney vacation is over. Why not keep that Disney magic with you everyday?  MagicBands and My Fantasy Bands are waterproof and durable! With My Fantasy Bands – you can mix, match, coordinate with your outfits and wear a different character every day of the week on your MagicBands! Each My Fantasy Band you buy is recommended for single application. One application will stay on for 3+ years! Check out their list of frequently asked questions HERE.

Photo credits below go to MyFantasyBands.com

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I could write all day about my love for these, the detail, the quality, and why I believe EVERY Disney fan in the world who owns (or will soon own!) a MagicBand – or a collection of them- may want to consider owning a My Fantasy Band for every mood and occasion. But this post is more about the visuals – so I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these photos! If you are wanting a more detailed post, please check out what I wrote for Chip! This post is located HERE.

 

Get all of your My Fantasy Band details and SO much more by following them on facebook or by visiting MyFantasyBands.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tips for First Time Disney Guests ~ By Guest Author Jen

Published July 6, 2014 by Disneyways.com

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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 diariesofdisney@gmail.com if you have questions about any of these tips!

 

Disney News, Celebrity Interviews and More for YOU on the Disney Parks Podcast

Published June 7, 2014 by Disneyways.com

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Disney news, information, hints, tips and secrets from the Disney Parks around the globe! Interviews with some of your favorite Disney celebrities AND correspondents! Prizes, contests and meetups! This podcast has got it all! Disneyways and Disney by the Numbers are adding some new avenues to bring you more Disney magic – and we hope you will come join in on the fun. Welcome to the Disney Parks Podcast!

Podcasts are multimedia digital files made available on the internet for downloading to a portable media player or directly on your computer. It’s like a radio show that you get to listen to whenever you want, such as when you are on a walk, at they gym, or driving to work. There are podcasts on just about any subject imaginable – and Disney is one of the best subjects out there. Thanks to my friend Tony Caselnova of DisneyByTheNumbers.com – I am extremely overjoyed and thankful to be a co-host on the Disney Parks Podcast. 

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In addition to co-hosting TWO SHOWS A WEEK on the air, I am having a blast helping to organize meetups with our listeners, assisting with social media, writing scripts, working on the Disney Parks Podcast website, and administering contests! There is so much to do – working together has been awesome –  and the show has opened doors for Tony and I that we could have never opened on our own. We have enjoyed things like backstage tours of Walt Disney World, new relationships with stars in the Disney community (folks that we never dreamed we’d even get to meet!) and wonderful feedback from our listeners and friends. I am always in a good mood and feeling great during and after each podcast. I hope you will tune in and enjoy the same!

Incredible Disney celebrity interviews on the show have included Pat Carroll, the voice of Ursula…

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 And MANY more!

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Tony and I are local to Orlando and consider our home Park to be Walt Disney World. What makes the Disney Parks Podcast different, is that we strive to give you news from the Disney Parks around the globe! This is why we TREASURE our featured on-scene correspondents. They are a crucial part of the show, and each one of them is a local to the Disney Park they represent – around the globe!

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Laura, our Disneyland Paris correspondent made this awesome video when she first came on board, and we got such a thrill from it. Thank you Laura!

Podcasting has been on my list of things to do since I began blogging here at Disneyways, because it fits in to our mission and goal to bring you Disney magic where ever you are!  I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for this wonderful opportunity. I truly love being a part of the many different facets in front of the mic, and behind the scenes. The show has been very successful and has a large audience, but if you aren’t yet listening in – we need YOU!

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Here are some ways to tune in:

You can catch the latest episode by visiting DisneyParksPodcast.com directly from your computer and clicking “Listen Now!” on the Disney Parks Podcast site. From there, just choose your episode. Look for the small grey circle with the sideways white triangle inside. Click on that circle and make sure your speakers are on. The show will begin immediately.

You can also download the Stitcher Radio App here.

Find us on YouTube here.

Head over to iTunes and subscribeThis will give you access to each episode as soon as it is released. To learn more about how to subscribe to a podcast in iTunes click here.

 

If you like what you hear – please rate us with lots of gold stars. This makes it easier for new people to discover Disney Parks Podcast when they are searching to upload a new one to their collection.

Please head over and “like” our facebook page HERE and add us to your interests list! I will be posting there daily to help keep you up to date on the latest!

You can also follow us on Twitter  and Pinterest!

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Thank you so much for the support you have already shown me in this new endeavor. Disneyways readers and subscribers are AWESOME and I appreciate you all more than you will ever know.

Have a magical day!!

PS Do  you want to be a part of The Disney Parks Podcast? We are looking for individuals and businesses who offer only the BEST in Disney related products and services! Please let us know if you (or someone you know!) is interested in sponsoring a future event, giveaways, or even future episodes. We do not accept coupons or any prizes that require action on the winner’s part.  Just fill out this form for more information!

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