Category: Disney Parks

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Disney Parks Transportation

Kill-Marry-RefurbEven though I am a firm believer that you MUST have a car when visiting Walt Disney World, I still love Disney transportation.  There is something wonderful about seeing the monorail whizz by and to here the boat horns in the distance.  The busses always remind me of that time from my childhood when were were returning from a long day in the parks and a glow necklace I was playing with from the evening show broke and the liquid went in my eye.  Ahhhh the memories.  They are uniquely Disney and always bring a smile to my face.

So here we go with my choices to kill, refurb and marry the Disney Parks Transportation systems.

Kill – Friendship Boats

I actually love the Friendship Boats…they hold a sense of nostalgia in me.  Actually the entire Crescent Lake area is very nostalgic for me because that area was built around the time that I begin having strong memories of The World.  And really, it’s so gorgeous there, isn’t it?

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So how could I want to kill the Friendship Boats that are a staple here?  Because the are SO DAMN SLOW!!!  Oh man that thing just moves at a snails pace.  And have you ever been on one on a hot day and it sounds like the air conditioning is blasting, but it just feels like hot air blowing on you?  I mean, if I’m going to sweat I might as well walk to my destination because I will probably get there faster and burn some calories along the way.

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I love the Friendship Boats but I think at this point they are beyond repair…they just need to be replaced.

Refurb – Monorail

There is nothing more iconically Disney than the Monorail.  It is a staple in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  However both could use and upgrade.

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Let’s start with the original Monorail in Disneyland.  I love this thing!  The windows open and it winds through the trees and attractions in Tomorrowland…so fun!  However, it lacks air conditioning.  I happened to visit Disneyland once during a particularly hot streak and that monorail was like a sauna.  Simply having the windows open did not provide enough breeze to make it bearable.  An upgrade here is needed.

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Now my favorite Monorail is in Walt Disney World.  I could say “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” by the age of 5.  That is still the only Spanish I know, but that is another story.

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I love flying high above the Seven Seas Lagoon and whizzing through the Contemporary Resort, but have you taken a whiff inside one of those things lately??  Whoa.  They smell musty and moldy.  Plus the air conditioning units drip on the seats!  Another upgrade please!

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 Marry – Motor Launches

These are those smaller, classic looking boats that provide transportation between the Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge Resorts.  There is also a line that circles Bay Lake and stops at the Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resorts.

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There is something so charming about these boats that get me very excited each time I get to ride one.  They seem like a through back to simpler times.  Plus, unlike their friend the Friendship Boat, these things are speedy.  It is definitely the fastest way to get around the Seven Seas Lagoon if you are going to the Poly or Grand Flo.  An added bonus is that because they are small, you typically will have a very friendly skipper to chat with on your journey.

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So those are my choices…what about you??  What Disney Parks Transportation would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??  Make sure to visit This Happy Place BlogMouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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Halloween Arrives at the Magic Kingdom!

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It’s hard to believe that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts tonight!  Yes, you heard me right….TONIGHT!  It is Labor Day, 90+ degrees out and officially still summer, but thousands of guests will be donning their Halloween costumes and Trick-or-Treating throughout the Magic Kingdom.

But even though it doesn’t feel like Fall, it sure looks like it in the Magic Kingdom.  Check out some of the fun decorations that are up and around Main Street USA!

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And it’s not just the fall decorations that are out, all of that great Halloween merchandise is out too.  This is always my favorite!  I found a few fun new items this year…I think I want them all…

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Halloween/Fall at Walt Disney World is definitely my favorite time of year.  The decor is great, the temps are cooling down and the celebrations are the BEST!  Nothing beats Hallowishes!  I can’t wait to get back down there in 26 days to see it all again!

What’s your favorite part about Halloween in Walt Disney World?

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Kill, Refurb, Marry: Songs From Disney Animated Films

Kill-Marry-RefurbOverall, I am more of a Disney theme park fan than a Disney film fan. I know this seems strange because what would the parks be without the films, but for me it is more about the experience and complete immersion that you get in the parks.  So this month’s topic, Songs From Disney Animated Films, took a bit more thought rather than just having my choices pop right into my head.  Well that is besides my Marry song…we all have our favorites 🙂

Kill – “A Smile and A Song” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not a big fan of Snow White.  She was the Disney Princess I chose to refurb back in May.  While I feel like she needs a good makeover, I would be very happy if this song was no longer in her repertoire.  I love all of the cute little animals in this scene and how can you not wan to squeeze that adorable singing bird, but damn her voice is annoying!  It’s borderline ear bleeding, it’s so shrill.  No thanks!

Refurb – “What Makes the Red Man Red?” from Peter Pan

Yeah…this song is pretty racist and sexist.  Well I guess that a lot of Peter Pan is when you look at it.  Yes the world was a different place when this film was made over 60 years ago, but that still doesn’t make the song less offensive.  I’m not sure if I had a kid that I would want them going around singing lines like “When the first brave married squaw he gave out with a big ugh, when he saw his Mother-in-Law.”  I mean, it’s funny but probably not the best thing for kids to hear…well that and all the “Injun” talk.

Marry – “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat!” from The Aristocats

I mean obviously!  Who wouldn’t want to be a cat?!  I don’t just love this song because the message speaks to me, but it is also from my favorite Disney movie of all time!  Scat Cat and the Gang sure know how to put together a great jazz song for Thomas O’Malley, Duchess and the kittens.  It is fun and romantic all in one!  You just can’t help but smile and dance with this one comes on.  Now if we could only get it played in the parks more often, maybe with more characters from the film in a meet & greet???

Now before I get a ton of hate mail and angry comments…yes I am aware that there are some horribly racial and stereotypical aspects to this scene in the movie, but if you remove that and just listen to the song, it’s fun.  And really, I love it because I really want to be a cat!

So those are my choices…what about you?  What songs from Disney animated films would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??  Make sure to visit This Happy Place BlogMouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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5 Reasons I Fell In Love with Disneyland

On my first trip to Disneyland last year, I didn’t understand the love everyone had for the place.  Yes, it is Walt’s park, the original, but there was no “bubble” feeling like you get in Walt Disney World.  Oh man I love that bubble.  But on my most recent trip, that completely changed.  I think being more familiar with the parks played a big part in that, but there were some specific things I really came to appreciate and love.  Sigh…

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1. The Disneyland Hotel

I had always heard that because of how small the resort is, staying at an off-property hotel really won’t make a difference and you will end up saving money.  This is what we did on our first trip.  Nope.  Bad idea.  Yes we saved money, but the experience of having to leave the resort just put a bad taste in my mouth.  So this trip I knew I had to stay at a Disney hotel.  Yes, it was significantly more expensive, but staying on Disney property makes ALL the difference.

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We were lucky to stay in the Adventure Tower which is the closest to Downtown Disney and the parks, but it is also just upstairs from Trader Sam’s and the pool.  Everything was right outside our door!

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And the room was so wonderful!  We were able to get a King room that overlooked Downtown Disney.  The details in the room were so fun.  From the light fixtures, the faucets, and all the classic Disneyland photos that adorned the walls.

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On our first night, we were able to watch the firework show Magical! from our room.  Plus, you can access the music from all of the nighttime shows right on your TV!

But did you know that there is a fireworks surprise in all of the Disneyland Hotel rooms?!  Yup…right there in the headboard!

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2. Everything In Close Proximity

Being able to walk everywhere is wonderful!  No waiting for buses or other transportation.  Nothing took more than 10 minutes to get to by foot!  And I love how the 2 parks are right across the Esplanade from each other, which makes park hopping a breeze!  Plus having Downtown Disney right outside our hotel made it easy to grab a coffee at Starbucks or get some quick shopping in.

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However sometimes we didn’t feel like walking and were able to jump on the Monorail for an express trip right into Tomorrowland!

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3. Details, Nooks & Crannies

Disney is know for detail in the parks.  Everything tells a story.  There is something charming about all of these details in Disneyland compared to those in Walt Disney World.  Many can be found in all of these little nooks & crannies though out he parks.  Here are some of my favorites:

New Orleans Square

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Pixie Hollow

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Snow White’s Grotto

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The Popcorn Cart Turners

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Heimlich Hiding in the Candy Corn Bushes

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In Fantasyland alone, I could’ve spent hours just looking at every detail.  And don’t even get me started on Main Street USA!

4. The Attractions

Since Walt Disney World is basically my second home, I hate to say it but hands down Disneyland has superior attractions.  Ok…got that off my chest.  But really whether it’s versions of the same attraction like Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain.

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Or the abundance of dark rides.

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Or the charming family friendly attractions.

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Or the stellar original attractions that can only be found at Disneyland.

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Everything just seems to be well…better.  I can’t believe I just said that…who am I?!?

5. Nighttime

Something magical happens at night in Disneyland.  This was something I hardly experienced on my first trip because I had to get up so early in the morning to race, so I made sure to take it all in this trip.  And I’m not even talking about the nighttime shows…however Fantasmic! along the Rivers of America blew my mind!

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There is just an added sense of magic in the air when the sky gets dark and the lights come on.  Just look at all that neon in Carsland!

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The trolley coming down Buena Vista Street just screams old Hollywood!

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All of the tiki torches around the Disneyland Hotel completely transport you to the islands!

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Sleeping Beauty Castle…no explanation needed.

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But my favorite thing to see at night was definitely the Mad Tea Party.  I just stood there and watched because it was so whimsically beautiful!  LOVE!

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So there you have it…why I am now madly in love with Disneyland.  Walt Disney World will always be my one true love, but sometimes you just can’t help the charms of its older and wiser counterpart.  Now…when can I go back??

Share your thoughts!!  What do you love (or not love) about Disneyland?

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A Return Visit to Disneyland

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Next week I am returning to Disneyland for 3 days, a trip I honestly thought I would never be making again.  I love Disneyland, but living on the East Coast makes it very difficult to travel there mainly due to the expense.  I can take multiple trips to Walt Disney World for the price of one trip to Disneyland.  After last year’s Disneyland Half Marathon trip, I really didn’t think I would ever visit again or at least not for a very long time.

Well as luck would have it, I AM returning to Disneyland and this time I don’t have the added stress of running.  I can just enjoy the parks, the food, the history…everything!  Since last year was my first trip ever to Disneyland, I put together a post from a newbies point-of-view.  (Ironically, I wrote it on the same date I’m writing this!)  I put together a lengthy list of “Must Do’s” for my trip, many of which I never got to.  Let’s take a look at the list and how I did:

MUST DO DISNEYLAND

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • It’s a Small World
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (squeeeeeeee!!!)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Storybookland Canal Boats
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

MUST DO DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
  • Aladdin Musical
  • California Screamin’
  • Radiator Springs Racers

MUST DO DINING

  • Blue Bayou
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Napa Rose
  • Trader Sam’s
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe

Wow…not so good.  I got the dining down pat, but I only hit 50% of the attractions that I wanted to!  I have to admit that the races took up a lot more time than I expected and it was also exceptionally hot and humid while we were there, which made all of those outdoor attractions seem unbearable.  This trip will be hot, but it looks like the humidity will be at or below 50% which will make a HUGE difference.  So here are my goals for this trip…

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This is a lofty goal, but seriously, this will probably be my last time in a VERY long time that I visit Disneyland.  Well, that is unless I win some other contest…no one could be that lucky…so you can see why I want to be cramming everything in.  One thing I know for sure is that there will be MANY trips on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train…I can’t wait!!

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So what do you think?  What would you do if you had 3 days to spend in Disneyland?

Next week I’ll be talking Disneyland food as I take a look at a few of my favorites and what I will be trying on this trip so stay tuned.  Also, make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can check out all the Disneyland shenanigans!

Oh and last but certainly not least…HAPPY 59th BIRTHDAY DISNEYLAND!!

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