Category Archives: Trip Report
Here it is. The last video about my recent one-day trip to Walt Disney World. Today we take a quick jaunt over to Hollywood Studios and then have an extended talk about a couple of issues I encountered. One is a specific mistake I made myself that will inform how I pack my park bag in the future, while the other is just general retail etiquette. Join the wrap up and feel free to throw stuff at me in the comments section.
Join me today as I roll out of my big lunch and hit a couple of the highlights of Walt Disney World’s big second gate, Epcot. The first is an iconic opening day attraction that is still one of the beloved vestiges of the ambitions of that version of the park, even though it’s been “updated” a few times over the years. The next is a much more recent, but also very popular attraction that got its first update back in 2016. If you were going to try to cover the core experiences of all four Walt Disney World parks in a single day, you just might choose these rides as a part of your day. I did.
You might have noticed that I recently added one more table service restaurant to my rankings of Walt Disney World’s offered sit-down eateries, and now you get to share some of that meal with me here. Of course I didn’t actually save any of it for you, but you get to see me enjoy it myself, and that’s almost as good, right? No? Well, hopefully it’s fun anyway. You also get a little footage of Club Cool and Journey into Imagination if that’s more your speed.
Today’s video is mainly about two different things. Firstly, it’s a quick visit to the Magic Kingdom’s version of Tomorrowland and its best attractions (see if you agree with my assessment on that). Secondly, it’s an exercise in the actual park hopping that this particular series is named after. I use two pieces of Walt Disney World transportation to get from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot and neither one is a bus! That makes this installment transitional in nature, but that’s okay because there’s still more where this comes from. You might also glean from the video’s title that I’m referencing the thematic crossover between Tomorrowland and Epcot’s Future World. For a good long while the distinction was that Tomorrowland was more Sci-Fi in nature while Future World was more about real life futurism and edutainment. But that distinction looks to be further muddled in the coming years, and it will be interesting to see exactly how Walt Disney World’s imagineers manage to differentiate them.
My single day at Walt Disney World broken into multiple videos continues as I take advantage of sparse early crowds to knock out a few of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom. Join me as I enjoy mild thrills on Big Thunder Mountain and mild chills in the Haunted Mansion. There is talk about one of the Mansion’s primary old school special effects, and then we take a quick tour of Adventureland. So glad to be sharing my Disney fun with you readers again!
With my flight back to North Carolina looming, we spend the morning of our Labor Day weekend trip at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With so much of the place either behind construction walls or simply closed down waiting for attention it’s easy to forget the park’s still substantial charms. If you’re a fan of classic Hollywood aesthetics, DHS offers plenty for your eyes to appreciate. Hopefully once they’re done with
Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, and whatever else they’re going to do but haven’t officially announced yet I’m hoping they never fully abandon the “Hollywood that never was but always will be” concept for the park’s entry and main spokes. Follow us in for some last-minute vacationing before we say goodbye.
With our morning and afternoon in Animal Kingdom in the books, we head back to the Poly so we can “hop” via monorail back to the Magic Kingdom. For the uninitiated, “hopping” is theme park parlance that means roughly: “moving from one park or resort to another park or resort during a single vacation day.” Well, that’s in the neighborhood of accurate, anyway. On a base ticket a guest to Walt Disney World has to decide which of the theme parks they want to visit that day. And then that’s it. You can re-enter the same park you went into first, but if you want to visit a different park in the same day, then you’ll need to have either a special park-hopper ticket (which costs a little more) or be an annual pass holder (exactly how expensive that is kind of depends on how many days you spend in a Disney World park over the course of the year.)
For a first-time visitor staying for a decent number of days, park hopping may not be all that necessary. I never used to do it at all. I’d just decide on which park I wanted to visit each day and be done with it. Of course that was before Hollywood Studios started closing attractions like wildfire and before I bought my annual pass this year. We’ll see how I feel about it when I let my pass expire. I might really miss being able to park hop after having the ability to do so for just one year.
On this trip, park hopping became really necessary for a couple of reasons: the new fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom “Happily Ever After” and the dinner reservation at ‘Ohana that had popped open when I was searching out dining arrangements. If you have ever sat down to get dining reservations for your Disney vacation then you know this is the sort of spot where you grab the table and ask questions later. Only a few places like Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and California Grill are perhaps more difficult to get good tables at than ‘Ohana. What this meant was that since our Magic Kingdom day was on the same day as that dinner, if we wanted to see “Happily Ever After” we’d need to go over for it on a different day. And that meant park hopping.
Join us, won’t you?
With Pandora in our rear view mirror, we spend a few more hours taking in some of the highlights of Animal Kingdom. While we do give Kilimanjaro Safaris a miss, top attractions like the Finding Nemo musical, Dinosaur!, and Expedition Everest wind up as priorities and we indulge in a wonderful meal at the still excellent signature dining restaurant Tiffins. Hmmm…I’ve just basically told you almost everything about this video. Watch it anyway, okay?
Thanks to my brother’s family who are Disney Vacation Club members, i got the chance to spend a couple of nights at the Polynesian resort at Walt Disney World this past Labor Day weekend. This video is mostly what it says it is: a tour of the very nice DVC room we stayed in in the Pago Pago building. But if you take a look you’ll also catch a few glimpses of other parts of the resort, including our dinner at ‘Ohana on Saturday night. This really is a true vacation spot all on its own.
Follow my brother, my sister-in-law and me as we enjoy our morning and early afternoon in the Magic Kingdom. There’s not much in the way of touring tips or opinions here, but lots of footage of rides and shows from Liberty Square to Adventureland to Frontierland to Tomorrowland. Just sit back and imagine you’re there!
Come join my brother, sister-in-law and I for breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and the new Magic Kingdom entry. This past December I was at Disney Springs when I found out that Walt Disney World was discontinuing the Magic Kingdom’s welcome show and letting guests onto Main Street for the hour prior to the ‘official’ opening of the park that comes with its many attractions beginning operations for the day. I didn’t really get to experience this new routine during my April trip because every day I went to the Magic Kingdom was an extra magic hour day, which meant a couple of the park’s lands would be opening at the same time as the first guests entered (If you remember, I was a little confused about how this all would be handled). Meanwhile, the underwhelming new castle welcome show has made the rounds on the internet and has generally been met with shrugs. So what would a standard Magic Kingdom morning actually be like? You’ll have to watch to get that answer.
Well, I’m mostly moved into my new place and now you’ll get a chance to see a little of my recent Labor Day weekend trip to Walt Disney World with my brother and sister-in-law. We pretty much skip the travel part of the first day this time around and get right into the fun! Join me as I take a dash through most of the top attractions from the second Florida Disney park.
Much like I’ve been doing over the past calendar year, I carried some lightweight cameras with me on my recent trip to Walt Disney World vacation over labor day weekend.
Unlike with my previous trips, the video I took while in Florida will be leaking out at a much more measured pace for a little while. This is mostly because I’m moving in just three days. For now, please enjoy this full video I captured of the relatively new fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom, called “Happily Ever After.” While I have nitpicks about there not being enough “classic” Disney material from the first 50 years of the company’s legendary animation output, the show is undeniably amazing, with fantastic visuals and some real emotional high points. It was one of the highlights of the trip.