Category Archives: Trip Report
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.
Up to this point, we faced some challenges during our Orlando getaway. After a long drought, central Florida was getting such much-needed rain. Unfortunately for us, we arrived just in time for daily thunderstorms. My youngest daughter’s ankle was on the mend which limited her mobility and our oldest wasn’t going to be able to partake in any pool-related activities. We were just past the half-way point on our trip and we had weathered the storms reasonably well. So of course when I woke up on the morning of the fourth day of our vacation, I had a sore throat.
Can it possibly have been four years since the summer of multiple Busch Gardens visits which I shared through blog posts here? Well, it doesn’t seem like it, but that’s how long it’s been. A week ago my family and I decided to take my nephew on his first trip to the theme park I grew up with and this time I was able to squeeze in a little bit of vlogging in the process. This certainly isn’t a complete tour of the place, but it should give any viewers who aren’t familiar with the park an idea of what the place is like. Come along for the ride, won’t you?
Our first two days at Universal Orlando were cut short due to rain and thunderstorms. We still had three days left to tour the parks, but the weather forecast continued to be gloomy. The girls really wanted to spend some time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter trying out their new wands. But that was difficult during the busy afternoon hours and the evening was likely to be rained out. So I set out to get an early start on our third day to take advantage of the early admission perk offered to guests at Loews Royal Pacific.
Today was the first full day of our vacation at Universal Orlando (Read about Day One here.). One of my goals for this trip was to slow down and take it easy. Usually on a Disney World vacation, we are racing around in an effort to get the most out of our time there. But Universal is small enough that we should be able to get our fill in six days without driving ourselves crazy. Especially since we were staying on property at Loews Royal Pacific which is both conveniently located and includes free Express Pass. There was no reason for us to rush. The question was, could I slow myself down?
My family and I have recently returned from our latest theme park vacation. When the kids were little, we made regular visits to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Following our last trip in 2014, we decided it was time for us to explore some other options. The following year, prior to embarking on our first family cruise (with Disney of course), we spent a day at Universal Studios. This year, we settled on an extended visit at Universal Orlando. I’ll tell you all about it after the jump.