Sunday, December 23, 2012

Magic Kingdom Rope Drop...Which Way Do We Go?

One of the questions we get asked a lot is which way to go in the Magic Kingdom once you get past Rope Drop.  Rope Drop is the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom.  Our first destination has changed over the years as the kids have gotten older.  Early on, when they were very young, our first stop had to be Fantasyland.  Dumbo, then Pooh and then Peter Pan and then whatever else we got on after that.
Once the kids got older and a little more adventurous, our first destination was Big Thunder and Splash in Frontierland.  We had a great secret way to get there in that once we got through Rope Drop, we would go upstairs to the train station and hop the first train to Frontierland and usually get there before the foot traffic did.  Then 2-3 rides on each and then onwards into the park. 
Now, the last couple of years we've been heading for Tomorrowland with the masses to get on Space Mountain a couple times and get a fastpass before it gets crowded.  On our last trip, our first day at the Magic Kingdom was an afternoon/evening because we got into Orlando in the PM.  We had a good night and really did a lot in Tomorrowland.  The next morning was to be a Rope Drop Magic Kingdom and this time when we got to the Hub, we took a left into Adventureland.  We've not done it beforfe and were shocked at how empty it was.  This was the end of August on a Touring Calendar rating of a 7.  Here are two videos that we took without really knowing I was going to use them in a post, so they're short.  What they show is a jammed Main Street and an empty Adventureland minutes apart.


So this can be an alternative strategy for you in the MK.  With the boy at 16, we will send him to Space Mountain for Fastpasses while we go through Adventureland and meet up with him at Pirates or Jungle Cruise.  The only downside is that we will need to be back in T-land for that fastpass time.  We'll deal. 

Where do you go at Rope Drop in the Magic Kingdom?  What do you think about the above alternative route?  Comment here or email at

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's all in the Details: Fantasyland Construction Artwork

While in WDW in August I had a couple of minutes to walk around and take pictures while the kids went on Goofy's Barnstormer.  I cannot fit in that roller coaster so I just skip it now.  I was walking around and noticed the walls that they had setup to hide the construction of New Fantasyland.   I love the detail that the Imagineer's put into even construction walls. 

All of the art work is great and reminds me of the Shorts with Goofy from the late 40's and 50's.  If you noticed the slide with Goofy riding the Rocket?  This is why I really do appreciate the imagineers.  There is so many levels of detail.   I always am taking pictures and finding things that I did not see while at the parks once I get home.  On the rocket is the name Dolores.  I thought there might be something there and did a quick search and guess what?  Dolores is a character in a couple of the Goofy shorts.  Dolores the Elephant was first seen in 1945 in the short Tiger TroubleShe makes another appearance in The Big Wash in 1948.  In the Big Wash, look for Dolores' water bowl for her  name.

So keep your eyes open for the details.  You never know what they'll lead you too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The "We're Going to WDW" Podcast Show # 24 Just Released

On this weeks show The kids take control and do their own Wheel of Attraction. We then spend the rest of the show listening to the sounds from the parks from our last trip. See if you can guess where each sound clip comes from. Here are a couple of the Videos we took that I ripped the audio from.

 The Dapper Dan's
These guys are always great.  Anyone know the name of the instrument they are using?

Star Tours 
  This is one of those lines that you want to stop and watch things and let people pass you.  This guy has a ton of these one liners.  I'd love to record them all sometime.

SpaceShip Earth
This is another part of SE we love.  Although, it would not hurt to see an update of this in the not too distant future.

The rest of the videos that the sound clips came from are over at my Youtube Channel .

Keep your eyes and ears open for Show # 25.  It'll be our 1/4 century show.  We'll read some email from one of our friends who was just in WDW and we'll talk a little about the Holidays in Walt Disney World.

Thanks for Listening and Rate us on Itunes! Email any comments to or leave them here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Man's Dream, The Scripts Part 2

This past January I ran a post that discussed the scripts found in the Walt Disney Office scene shown in One Man's Dream.  Here is a link for the first post to get a background, One Man's Dream, the Scripts.  (I don't often link back to myself so that's pretty cool.)  Anyway, I was down in WDW a couple of weeks ago and was able to finally get the fourth script that is shown behind Walt's desk in this scene.  So far we've seen Westward Ho, The Happiest Millionaire and Monkeys go Home.  Well the fourth script is another Fred MacMurray movie, Follow Me Boys. 
I had talked about this movie in even an earlier post about the Arrival/Departure board (and that's a record 2 links to myself) at the Magic Kingdom Railroad Station on Main Street USA.  Fred MacMurray played Lem Siddons a WW I vet travelling with a jazz band. The band passes through the town of Hickory and Lem decides this is the place he wants to settle down. He ends up as the Boy Scout Troop Leader. Kurt Russell is also in this.
With the new camera this picture was easy to get.  With a little research I found that Walt also produced this one.  It was released in 1966 so the date matches two of the other scripts.  Hmmm, why these four movies.  I'll be doing more research into this and will bring you my findings down the road.  One small note of interest, John Larroquette was in this movie also in the un-credited role of a soldier.  Go figure.  Also, not to show my age, but the date of the script is one day after the day I was born.  Very Cool!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Websites to Check-Out: Mouseventures

You know, the other day I was thinking, there must be a better way to post my trip reports. Well, I think I might have found the answer. The web site is a site that has, in my opinion, found it’s niche in the Disney online community. The premise of the site is a way to organize and present trip reports. The site itself is run by a couple from Texsas and in their words, “…We created this website because of our love of Trip Reports. They are the ultimate insider guide to Disney Resort vacations. Our goal is to create an immersive and interactive experience to entertain and educate you on taking a Disney vacation!”

And their site is truly immersive and interactive. With easy to read text and sharp pictures and even video, I think they have found a great way to display trip reports and anyone can do them. They are also correct in that the best way to find out about Disney world is to read some trip reports. A trip report is kind of like a Hotel review, but for your trip. What’s great with Disney Trip Reports is they are usually a great read. No-one has time to do-it all. But by reading about some of the experiences other people have had can help you plan and decide on what to do on your trip.

Up until now the trip report idea was pretty much the property of the big boards and forums like Disboards and Be Our Guest Podcast’s Forums, but is dipping their toes into this Disney Fan Site pond and they’re finding the water quite comfortable.

The site is on the new side but since the idea was so good I wanted to let you know it exists. There needs to be a more clear way to submit your reports, but for now an email to the site owners should do it.  I'm going to submit my latest trip as soon as I can, hopefully you will also.  Good Luck MouseVentures, I hope to see more and more content!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Epcot's Food and Wine Chase Lounge

While down on the BOGP Epic Event and the first weekend of Food & Wine at Epcot, my friend Jackie and I were lucky enough to get invited into the Chase Lounge at the Food & Wine Headquarters located in the Wonders of Life Pavilion.  As to the getting invited, well us and a few million of our closet friends that own a Chase Disney Credit card were invited

I was not planning any special Food&Wine events so it was nice to have a reason to go into the Wonders of Life Pavillion one more time.  We were lucky to get in there with all of the rides a couple of holiday seasons ago right before it closed up for good.  The Pavilion looked great inside.  The ceiling had been cleaned and was very white.  The floor was set up with many vendor tables and small areas of either rows of seats for the speakers or tables and chairs for food/wine tasting.  The lounge itself was across the pavilion from where the door is.  There was a CM forming a line and monitoring how many people go in at once. 
Once in, it was very nice.  The room itself is not large, but medium sized.  It had a couple couch areas around TV's.  There was a soda machine and a Iphone/Ipod/Ipad charging table, very cool.  There was also a large touch-screen TV that gave you the map for Food&Wine and food ideas.  And to finish it off they had a small table in the corner where there was a Cast Member giving out wristbands for the special standing area for Illuminations that night.

Entry Door to right.  Charging table far center. Refreshements left. First Couch area bottom.
Back to First Couch Area, Otherside of room left is Illuminations table.  Other couch area.  Touchscreen to left. Soda back and far right.
Touchscreen Map of food and Wine
There were bathrooms behind where the soda machines were and there were also baskets of candy spread throughout the room.  This was very nice.  The second Couch area showed cartoon shorts while the first area showed Chase commercials.  The seats were super comfy and did I mention the AC was cranked.  We stayed for about 15 minutes and really recharged our batteries. 
If you've got the Chase card, make some time and stop into the Wonders of Life pavilion and the lounge.  The exhibition tables seemed open to everyone and not just people registered for F&W events.
Let me know what you think?  Did you visit and take some better Photos?  Send them on and I'll post them.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Show # 23 of the "WGTWDW" Podcast

On this weeks show we Spin the Wheel of Attraction one more time. We’re down to 90 something attractions so we’re looking good to continue this for a while. This week it was just Hope and I for the Spin and we lucked out and got the Country Bear Jamboree. We love this ride and go on it each and every time, unless of course it’s down. We discuss our likes about it and both totally recommend this each and every time you go. Plan it out and as you are exiting the show, Pecos Bills is right next door. We’d love to hear about your stories and memories from the Country Bear Jamboree. Please send on any pictures of the Christmas Overlay. Our email is .

We then continue our discussion of our August Trip. Wednesday was our sleep in day and then the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. We spend a little extra time talking about the tour on the show for our friend Russ, way up there in NY state. He had requested this as he was thinking about taking the family on the Tour when they go next.
The Bug Room

The Plant Reproduction Lab

Sample Hydroponics set-up

Hope and the Ladybugs

A special Pumpkin

Eggplant Trees

Croc Tank

After Epcot, it was over to Disney Hollywood studios for Linner (between Lunch and Dinner) and then Fantasmic. Of course we filled the time between with some rides. Fantasmic was the first time for the kids in 3 years. The schedule for the past couple of years had been very prohibitive as to trying to catch this show. We lucked out and had center stage seats about 15 rows up. Close, but not so close we would get wet from the water screens. The only differences we noticed this time were the pre-show trio of ex-streetmosphere people to warm the crowd up and that all of the big animatronic characters, the snake and dragon, worked. A very fun day!
Our Table
Sci-Fi Diner

We really, really, really want to hear from you. Please email us any suggestions comments or ideas for the show. Our email is . Thanks for listening and see you next week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Epcot's 30th Maps

One week ago today I was very lucky to be down in Walt Disney World and able to go to Epcot on it's 30th Birthday.  However, I was flying out that day so I was very limited in being able to attend any of the planned Epcot 30th events.  Most were held in the afternoon and I figured correctly that I would be able to catch up on the events thru Youtube.  Thanks to Ricky, from Inside the Magic.

I was however, able to get the special button you see above and the Park Map for the day.  What was great about the park map, was once unfolded it showed the various stages of growth that Epcot has undergone over the years. Here are some of the parts of that map:

Just think in 1982, I was a Junior in high school and had only to that point been to WDW once.  Wow do things change.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The "We Went to WDW" Trip Report...Part 1

Marlins vs Phillies
     It seems like I've neglected the blog a little bit over the last month. Well as you've read or heard we've been in Florida for the end of our summer vacation.  We were lucky enough to spend two weeks in Palm Beach courtesy of our Cousin J. and then a week up in WDW.  As this is the Maz DISNEY Blog, we'll spend most of the time on out Disney Adventures.  However, in Palm Beach we were able to do many things and broke it all up with some pretty nice relaxation time.  Not to say the Boy's history school work didn't cause a little tension.  But once it was done, back to relaxing.  to keep it way short, on the first part of the trip we swam, snorkeled, we rented Wave Runners and Paddle Boards, saw a movie or two, met some great friends out for dinner, and even took a trip down to Miami to cruise the beach and then watch the Marlins get shut-out by the Phillies. 

Chinese Students
Photo we take every trip
Missing Volcano
     Our Disney part of the trip kind of started on a Saturday.  We went up to Orlando which was about a two hour drive from where we were.  We stayed off site at a Hotel on 192 only about a mile from World Drive.  We got in Kissimee around noon and went right to Downtown Disney.  We were up near the MarketPlace.  It's pretty much the same.  There was a new store where the $10 or less store was.  It was a Teeny Bopper accessories type store.  We still went through most of the stores.  The Rain Forest Cafe was open, but the Volcano was getting an overhaul.  We spent some time at the small amphitheatre to watch a group of Chinese kids put on a Dance show.  Very fun and colorful.  They were not as perfect as the performers in Epcot's China.  I only say that because as we watched it was like watching our neighbor's kids performing.  The performers parents were seated near us and as the kids made it through tough parts of their routines or if they had problems, you'd hear the parents react.  Just like any of our sports or Piano recitals.  That made this very enjoyable and friendly event.  We spent some more time at DTD and then decided to head to the hotel and check in.  The hotel was not bad which was a happy surprise as it was very inexpensive.
     The next morning, bright and early we headed over to the POP Century Hotel to check in.  We got over there before 9 only expecting to check in enough to get our park passes, but the room was ready and we brought up some of our stuff before heading back to DTD and Disney Quest.  I have not been on this side of DTD in such a long time and so much has changed.  We parked in the back and it was a short walk up to Disney Quest(DQ) passing the House of Blues and the Cirque Theatre.  We've heard so much about DQ that I was not sure which one we would get, the old worn out one or the really fun still has some life in it version.  Luckily for us it was the second one.  I thought the place was great.  5 floors of gaming with a couple food places added to make it complete. 
Main Lobby at DQ
     The first thing we did in DQ was to head to the lower level to the Pirates 3D game.  The Jungle Cruise was also down here.  Both were fun but the Pirates was better by far.  The Jungle Cruise is you and your friends are in a small raft on a blue blow up air bag(the Water) that gets you and your raft off the ground about three feet.  Then with your paddles you take off down the river.  You need to pus your paddle into the 'water' and push it past you to get the game to pick up on your paddle stroke.  Once it detects the paddle stroke you'll hear the water swish by you and then the screen starts moving past you.  On the Pirates ride you needed to pick a Captain to steer the ship and then a crew to man the canon.  The canon were identical to Toy Story Mania's guns, so we were ready to go.  The Captain steers the ship as you sink shipping.  The crew were jumping back and forth to get the correct guns to use.  It was very fun!
     After that we did the 3D helmet type activities.  Aladdins Carpet ride and the Ride the Comix were both the same in that they had full head gear 3D Virtual Reality helmets.  Very cool!  For the Aladdin you flew the carpet around as Abbu the monkey.  If you look to the person to your side you see them as a monkey on a carpet.  The object of this game was to follow the clues through a maze of things.  All I remember from the Comic Book ride was a lot of sword slashing.  Then onto the arcade games.  There was a room for every type of genre.  The war room, sports room, pinball room, 80's video room and more.  There were some games that did not work but since you were not pumping tokens into them it was a minor annoyance as you moved onto the next game.   We also spent a little time in the creative area.  They had an Animation academy area and a coloring area and they even had a couple rooms to record your singing voice and make a really cool music track to buy.
Entry to DQ Adventure
     Another fun ride was the Virtual Space Mountain.  This was a IMHO better ride than the Sum of all Thrills ride over at Epcot.  Just like SOAT's, you design you track on a computer screen without the cool tools they have a SOAT.  Then you take your card up to where the simulators are and then ride your ride.  I say this one was better than SOAT's because of the simulator itself.  It did go upside down.  SOAT's simulator does not go over on it's loops. It just gets you on your head and holds you there for a loop.  I went with Hope and Quinn went alone.
     We took a break and ate in the the main restaurant, nothing special here.  Burgers or wraps. We spent a couple more hours playing games.  One of the Car Race games was set up with about a dozen machines hooked together so you could race real people.  We all had a turn to win a race on this one.  We then took off for the Hotel for a little while to get ourselves together and un-pack a little bit and then we headed to our first night at the Magic Kingdom with rides on the mind.

Part 2 coming soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Packing for a Walt Disney World Trip

One of the questions I’ve been asked by friends and family a lot is now that I’m going to WDW, what do I pack?  That can sometimes be a very daunting thought.  I figured I’d spend a little time going over what we packed for a trip to the World. 
For the interest of organization, I will break this down into the different category lists that we use.  These categories are Clothes, Non-Clothes, Electronics, Park Items,

Clothes are the first and toughest.  Everyone of course has their own tastes, I'll try to be general.  When going from March to October its pretty consistent in the sunshine state…hot.  From October to April though it could be anything.  That’s why the 10-day forecast for Orlando before your trip is a must.  Even so you can get surprised.  A couple of years ago we went for a week in December.  The forecast for 30’s at night and 50’s in the day.  Well, the week started out that way but by the end of the week it shot up n the 70’s and we were swimming.  We were lucky we still packed swim sutis even though the forecast. You never know. 

The amount of things to pack can be an issue also.  If we stay 5 days or less, we can usually pack enough clothes to cover it.  Over 5 days you either have to pack more, which is tough as far as planes go or look for a washing machine.  All of the Disney Hotels have washing machines, some more than others.  Before you go, you can check a map for your hotel and see where all the washing machine rooms are.  In our experience it seems the are usually close to a pool area.  There is a great post by Erin over on the TouringPlans Blog about keeping your clothes clean.  It is her picture here. 

As far as what clothes to pack, that’s up to you, pack for the time of year and forecast.  In addition to what you would normally pack, two pairs of walking sneakers would be good to bring in case one pair gets wet.  (Shoe drying trick: stuff pages of a newspaper into the shoes/sneakers and leave them over-night.)  There are a couple of Table Service restaurants that have a dress code, make sure about where your ressies are.  In truth, with the exception of Victoria and Albert's, you can wear almost anything to WDW restaurants.  Bring hats, but not your most favorite hats.  I've lost a couple on rides over the years. 

Non-Clothes category is just what it sounds like.  These are the items we pack that don't fall into the other categories.  We always take extra ziploc bags, big and small.  They always come in handy.  We've experimented with food and have pretty much stopped taking things from home.  If we haev a car, we hit the Walmart ASAP to stock up on the room and park snacks/drinks.  If we did not have a vehicle, we might revist shipping a "Care Package" to ourselves.  We did it when we stayed at the Grand Floridian.  I sent the package and ha it arrive the day before we were to arrive.  It worked out very well.  There was about 3-4 lbs of snacks and light sticks and stuff for the parks. 
Electronics:  Wow, this is the most changed category over time you’ll find in this post today.  Even from 5 or 6 years ago we take a ton of electronic stuff now.  For the ride down or on the plane the kids take their Nintendo DS’s.  In place of the DVD player we have an Itouch and my Iphone.  The kids have their phones to use if we split up anywhere.  We also bring a computer.  With all of these devices you need to bring the chargers and any other accessories needed to work.  We have a separate bag, kind of a cross between a soft sided cooler and a small toolbox.  This is our Electronics bag.  This makes finding the right charger or adapter easier.  On top of these items, we also have the cameras.  A Point and shoot and water proof video camera and both sets of batteries and such.  Bring a utility strip.  It is a must.

Park Items.  As it says, things to take to the park.  If we’re flying this stuff gets packed anywhere there is room and then re-assembled at the hotel.  If we’re driving we’ll just pack everything in the bag we take into the park.  I've gone from basically carrying nothing in the parks up through college.  Once we went with the kids and were able to carry stuff in the stroller we kind of got greedy and took all sorts of things into the parks with us.  Now, we have one good knapsack or shoulder bag and a camera bag between the 3-4 of us.  If I go alone, it's only the camera bag.  When we go into the parks for a day, we take an aluminum water bottle, a couple of protein bars, an small umbrella and ponchos, first aid kit, small flashlight, lanyards and trading pins, autograpgh books and pens and any touring plans, Glide and Moleskin and any info for that day.  

So those are some of the things we pack to get to and survive a trip to WDW.  I'm sure I left off a couple of things, send us an email at and let us know what it is.