Trip Diaries Day Five: Hot Hot Hot…

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It was a new record for Orlando with 85, a great time to be at Walt Disney World. It felt like a summer day! Another early start, just after rope drop, at Epcot. Soarin already had a hour line (even if it said 40 minutes it looked like a lot more once in the queue). As we don’t like long queues we were going to save that one for another day. We could not get fastpasses for it as we already got test Track once. We had enough time for Ellen’s Energy Adventure before going on Test Track. It was packed at Test Track with 50 minutes wait (and even 40 minutes on the single riders line), but our Fastpasses took us right in. Still one great ride that will need to be done some more times during this trip.

We continued to enjoy the park by wandering into Showcase (including one of those relaxing “Friendship” boat rides). Had an early lunch in Japan before going to Norway and Mexico to enjoy the rides over there. After that we did some games at Innoventions before heading back for our usual afternoon swim. Getting up early to hit the parks is paying off as we can do a lot before the big crowds.

The late afternoon started in Downtown Disney with some shopping as my son wanted extra Lego and a couple of Lego men to play with. There is some really great Lego stuff out there I wouldn’t mind owning (or playing with). Checked some more shops before we headed back for late dinner at Olivia’s in Old Key West.

Trip Diaries Day Four: Love the Tigers

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Same game plan as the previous day, be at the park for rope drop. Today that was Animal Kingdom. We got some fastpasses for Everest and the Lion King Show. Then we rode Dinosaur without a queue and with front row seats. We did it a second time, again with no queue and front row seats and then we rode it… a third time. This time second row! Once that was out of the way we did Primeval Whirl, twice. We did both sides of the attraction before we went over to Expedition Everest. What a great ride, just a shame the Yeti isn’t working. I still need to see it for the first time in full working mode. Let’s hope I will have the chance in the future, when they’ll fix him (if ever).

Once those rides where done we got ourselves some Fastpasses for Kilimanjaro Safaris before we went over to see the Lion King Show. This show remains a great attraction. Love it every time (as long as I don’t have to join in).

Our Kilimanjaro Safaris experience must have been the best one I have ever had. We have seen hippo’s out of the water, Giraffes as close as you can ever get and some other great animal spotting. They say to ride this in the morning or late evening because animals hide from the sun in the afternoon, but this time they were everywhere. What an experience. Great!!!

By noon 12:45 we’ve done some great stuff and after some overpriced chicken and frites it was time for a photo trip to see my favourite tigers. So of to Maharajah Jungle Trek. I know there is a lot to see there but I had to go over to the tigers at once to spend some time with them. I just love watching them. They are amazing animals and so photogenic too. I always wonder why so many people can’t see that this park is so much more then attractions. It’s all about the animals and one should stay a little longer and really look at them. Animal Kingdom is (and I said it many times before) an Imagineering masterpiece misunderstood by many.

Leaving the high midday crowds behind me for our usual swim and a relaxing time at Old Key West we hopped over to Epcot for some more rides. Got to see Nemo and his friends, many other fish too, visited Figment, got my son to drink Beverly (I know, that was mean) and had some fun with Donald and his amigos. Epcot looks great at night and I was tempted to stay on but a visit to Downtown Disney was already planned.

The crowds where incredible at Downtown and it was a struggle at some of the narrow places. Still, had to visit D-Street to get an Annual Passport exclusive Vinylmation before heading back on the boat to Old Key West to plan our next day…

Trip Diaries Day Three: No Camera!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Our plan! Get up early and hit a park to do some rides and avoid the early Christmas crowds. We were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8:20am, ready for the 9am opening. A big queue got formed early and they did open a little early. Straight over to Star Tours to check out what all the fuss was about. It was a walk on (as most people dashed for Toy Story Many). We could even pick our seats. With about 10 people in the attraction we started our first journey. My son was lucky enough to be the spy on this first trip. That was a great little bonus. With no queue we had to go for a second run. We got in our Star Tour cruiser but the droids messed it up and we had to leave it and board another one. Our second trip was a complete new experience. Love the new Star Tours! A great new version.

We finished our two trips on Star Tours way before 10am, and that’s with park opening at 9am. Not too bad. We even had some extra time to do the Movie Ride before we had to go over the Toy Story Mania with our fastpass. Toy Story Mania was busy and people in the queue for a fastpass already had a time slot well in the afternoon. Busy times. Once we got that out our way we went for some iced coffee and a chocolate chip cookie and wait for the first Indiana Jones Show. The show was fun, as it always is. Even if you’ve seen it multiple times before, it’s a must do.

Our game plan worked well and now the park is pretty crowded. It was time to get out for a little lunch and a midday swim. In the late afternoon we went over to visit Downtown Disney. Not a lot of time to explore it all as we had dinner reservations with Susan and Simon Veness at the Big River Grill & Brewing Works on the Boardwalk. We did get to see the new Lego Store and enjoyed the great collection of new pins before catching the bus.

We had a great meal at the Big River Grill and a great chat with Susan, Simon and their family. Great evening talking Disney and more (thanX guys). To end a perfect day we headed into Epcot, just in time for Illuminations, my all-time favourite Disney experience. Unfortunately I was forced to find a new location to view the show as they use my previous space for a dinner packet private spot.

Today I left my camera in the hotel room (for most of the day). I deliberately left it there as my son isn’t too happy when I stop every minute to take 10 pictures. I guess there will be enough other moments where I’ll have the chance to take some great shots… (Like the next day)

Trip Diaries Day two: Welcome Home

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Today we were going to go to Walt Disney World, but before we left the great Villas of Grand Cyprus we wanted to go for one more swim. With the morning weather being a little cold we opted out and went to play some more golf instead (I could get used to this kind of live). Then we checked out and made our way to Walt Disney World. Unfortunately we ran into a little problem during check in. One of my linked reservations only had one name and not my whole family on it. It took about 1 hour to solve it all and we still need to change the key the next day, but the Cast Members where fantastic and tried their best to solve it as good and fast as they can. Things like this can happen and the “Welcome Home” already put me in the best mood, nothing could hurt my day.

Once we got our annual passes sorted we went to our room to get changed and do some swimming before making our way to our first Disney park for this trip. Epcot was the easy choice for us. It’s our favorite and we hoped to do a couple of rides before going to the Disney Vacation Club membership drink. Little did we know as we found queues of 120 minutes for Test Track. With no more FastPass for later, test track was going to be a No-No for today. We did get to see the Canada movie before going to the DVC drink at the Showcase pavilion. What a great venue! The free drinks where a little blah, but as they are free we should not complain. Got ourselves some Limited Annual Passes Christmas Disney pins before leaving the party and do some more of the Showcase attractions. France and Norway where the once we had time for before we had to go to the Grand Floridian. We had some dinner reservations at Citricos, a favorite of ours, and didn’t want to miss it. A great meal and great service, but I find it a little pricy. I know it’s a top notch restaurant, but we found it a little high. I know, we should know and understand (they are Disney prices), but for some reason it troubled us this time. I might have to cancel out second visit to this restaurant for this trip…

Walt Disney World

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It has been a while… Well it has been way to long, but we are still here. Let’s just say it has been a hectic time where posting on the blog came to a stop. But what better time to revise the blog with some live updates from Walt Disney World itself. We are not there yet, but a trip is very close. It’s actually so close I can taste it. Well, maybe not taste it, but surely feel some butterflies in my tummy. In a couple of days we will be in Orlando and a couple of days later we will be at Walt Disney World. So what’s the plan! Live picture updates from the parks!!! Well, not 100% live of course. Updates will come at the evening, after we had fun in and around the Disney parks. So add us to your favorites and make sure to come and visit us a lot in the coming weeks and celebrate Christmas and New Year in Disney style.

Make sure to ad our twitter account and our facebook account to your favorites too

Blue Test

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Test Track, one of my favorite attractions in Epcot, is rumored to get a major refurbishment in 2012. There are talks about dropping the test theme and turn it into a new experience. Until now nobody realy knows what to expect, however we heard about one of the cars popping up with a new paint job. A Blue car is now running the tracks. Or is it really? There are already blue cars on the track, but this one is missing all the Test Track themed logo’s.

For more pictures visit Disney Corner.

Pin Station Refurbishment in Epcot

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Looks like something is planned for the Pin Station in Epcot as a permit is filed for its refurbishment. The work will be done by a third party contractor; Cameron Constructions whom already worked on several theme park constructions. Nothing more is known yet on what will be done and if pins will remain the central item once the works are done.

Source Epcyclopedia

Imaginations pavilion’s Second Floor

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

You want to know what the second floor of the Imaginations pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot looks like today? Check out this video.

Don’t know how they got in and where ablo to film, with the lights on in the old Rainbow Tunnel, but although it’s fun to see some Disney history we do advice to follow the Disney rules and don’t go wandering of to closed off spaces. (more…)

3 Disney Parks for Shanghai

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

According the latest news Disneyland Shanghai will be getting 3 gates. Not all at once, but once the Magic Kingdom is open 2 more gates will follow. For now the plans are to add an Epcot and an Animal Kingdom park in Shanghai. Both parks will not be mirrored from Orlando but will be build around the same theme. Let’s hope it works out for Disney this time around (after all the problems in Paris and Hong Kong) and they will be able to keep these promises to Shanghai. If so, this resort will be pretty amazing.

(via the always great Disney and More blog)

Horizons: Resurrected

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

The Classic Epcot attraction Horizons closed its doors on January 9, 1999 after a run of just a little over 15 years. According to rumors it closed because of structural problems with the building. However, the lack of corporate sponsorship might have been the biggest decision to keep the attraction closed forever. The Horizons building made room for Mission Space, where the classic attraction is honored in a couple of references (Horizons Logo is on display on the big gravity wheel and on the front of the cash register counter in the gift shop and the planter in the front of the building is in the shape of Horizons). But for some Disney and Horizons fans that’s not enough. (more…)

Happy Birthday Walt Disney World

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Walt Disney opened its gates on October 1, 1971, so…

Happy Birthday
Walt Disney World!

Also an extra happy Birthday to Epcot that also opened its gates on October 1, but not in the same year of course. Epcot opened many years later on the same day but in the year 1982.

Everybody going to Walt Disney World today, enjoy the special Birthday.

Next year will be the big 40th birthday of the most magical place on earth. A year to look forewards too.

Picture copyrights Life

Walt Disney World by Air

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Want to see how Walt Disney World looks like from the air. Check out this great video taken during a flight from Orlando to Chicago.

From asdTubeU

Getting Ready to Celebrate 40 years of Magic

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

It’s still over a year away but it will be here faster as you might think. The 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World. So we can start to expect some news about this special Disney Milestone.

One department that will work hard to give the people something special for the celebration is the merchandising department. To nobodies surprise, we will get a lot of goodies with “40” written all over it.

A whole collection of new pins have been announced for the 40th birthday of Walt Disney World. Many of these pins will show some of the most beloved attraction and one of the many Disney classic figures like Mickey, Donald and Goofy. There will also be a very nice Cinderella Castle puzzle pin. The puzzle pieces will have artwork on them from different Disney posters. This pin set will be limited.

Naughty Characters

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Really? Again! Another Disney character was naughty enough to grab a woman where he shouldn’t. This time it was Donald Duck who could not keep his hands to himself according to the woman in question. Now she has trouble sleeping and is traumatized. Did we not get this story with Tigger a couple of years ago. What was proven? Tigger was innocent as he could feel nothing through the gloves and it would have been an accident. Did Donald feel something? Maybe he accidentally did hit, grab, touch or got in contact with the woman. It could happen in the interaction with the characters, but it is hard to believe Donald would be that naughty.

Food and Wine Festival “Special Events” Phone Line Opens Today

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The International Food and Wine Festival event is one of those very popular events in Walt Disney World’s Epcot where guest will have the chance to enjoy some culinary gems from both locals as well as goodies from all over the world. Today visitors can start booking some of the extra special events planned for the Food and Wine festivities in Epcot as Disney has opened their phone lines to make specific event reservations.

How about booking the “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery. For $45 you’ll get to taste some fine desserts and after that you’ll be entitled to a front row seat at the ever fantastic Illuminations show. I would sign up as once for this one and although I do like chocolates it’s the front row Illuminations seat that does it for me… honestly!

But that’s no the only event to look forwards too. There is a hole list of fun stuff to do during the Wine and Food Festival. Here you’ll find a full list of all the good stuff that is going on during the festivities.

Call 407-WDW-FEST to book for the 15th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events and seminars.

Oh, and make sure to visit the Belgium stand on the International Market place. It will be the first time a Belgium stall is in place and I would be very interested in what they’ll be serving there!