The Original Disney Cruise

IMG_2399Are you a fan of Disney’s Jungle Cruise? Do you prefer to ride this attraction during the day or at night?

According to The History of Disney, “Jungle Cruise was one of the first early attractions not based on a Disney animated film. Onthe suggestion of Harper Goff, the attraction took its inspiration from the film The African Queen. Walt’s early plans for this ride included real live animals. Inspired by the success of his True-Life Adventure Films, he was determined to bring these wonders of nature to a place where guests could see them up close and share his admiration.

“Upon Consultation with animal-care specialists, Walt was convinced that although the domesticated mules and horses in Frontierland could generally be counted on to perform their roles, live exotics animals would never provide the consistent show he wanted. They couldn’t be trusted to stay in areas in which they’d  remain visible, they’d sleep most of the day, and they’d surely be irritated by the constant boatloads of gawkers and the special effects required to tell the story.

“In this video you will see the virtual jungle cruise tour presented by Walt E. Disney himself.”

 

The Mature Mouse™ returns to Walt Disney World

IMG_7770Magical News: The Mature Mouse™ returns to Walt Disney World this April. This will be another solo trip that will feature my first experience at the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival. I have heard that this springtime event has incredible Disney themed flower and garden displays, along with live concerts and unique food offerings. Although the displays contain Disney characters, it appears to be geared toward the older Disney guests.

As much as I would enjoy sharing my trips to WDW with family and friends, that cannot happen as often as I wish to visit. A solo trip offers an inexpensive way for me to return to WDW more often. There are numerous articles about the pros and cons of taking a solo trip to Walt Disney World on the net, like this one by Zach Basler on the WDW Prep School website. I do not want to focus my blog on the reasons why you might want to consider a solo trip.

I will share my steps in planning for this solo trip over the next few months. Hopefully, my steps in preparing for my visit will help you prepare for your next trip, regardless of what type of Disney vacation you will be taking. Of course, I will be posting reports while at WDW, and I will be gathering information, photos, and videos to share after my visit. Although I cannot promise, I might try Periscope while in the parks.

Normally, one would begin their planning by deciding when to visit Walt Disney World. However, as a high school teacher, my choices are confined to school vacations. I have now traveled to WDW twice in June. As I have researched WDW for this blog, I have considered a visit in April to enjoy the cooler weather, the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, and, hopefully, “lower” crowd levels. April vacation can be a very hectic week at WDW, especially if it falls in the calendar around Easter. This year, Easter is early, so the crowd levels during the third week of April are lower, normal (if there is such a thing at WDW). An additional incentive for traveling to WDW this April is that Disney is offering a spring discount.

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Not having to decide when to visit, my first step in planning for this trip to WDW began with setting a budget. This decision would guide the decisions for my length of stay, type of a resort, possible meal plan, and flight options. My goal was to put a package together that would fit my budget of $1500. Yes, it is possible to make a trip to WDW for so little. A low vacation cost is a major perk to a solo trip. Of course, to assist me in this endeavor, I made a call to my travel agent, Jennie Nowers. Given her knowledge and experience with Walt Disney World, Jennie knows the best way to create a vacation package to meet each guest’s unique requirements.

My original goal was a 5-night/6-day trip, but this was not possible with my budget. To keep costs low, I realized that I would need to stay at a value resort, but which one was the question. So, after some research and many email discussions with Jennie, I settled on a 4-night/5-day trip, and booked my stay at Disney’s All Star Music Resort. I considered returning to Pop Century, but it cost almost $10 more a night than the All Star resorts. When dealing with a tight budget, it all adds up. I was in a position to include the quick-service meal plan, which worked well for me during my last solo trip. I also included park-hopper tickets to afford me flexibility in developing touring plans. So the final package, before adding the cost of round trip flights, was just under $1000.

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Fortunately, after a lot of online research, I was able to purchase round trip airfare for just under $600. Here is a tip: Google Flights. All things considered, even though I broke my budget of $1500, it is still a very inexpensive trip. Searching for, and booking flights first can be helpful. Being able to adjust your trip dates affords you the opportunity to find the best price on flights. However, as in my case, I have a fixed window of travel days.

In my next post, I will discuss my next steps in the planning process. This involves consulting Touring Plans, and other crowd calendars, to determine which park to visit on each day of my stay at WDW. There will be a lot of time planned for Epcot and World Showcase to experience the Flower and Garden Festival. And, of course, I will plan as much time as possible in Magic Kingdom, just because. I will find time to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, before the park, as we know it, completely disappears. However, I am considering not taking the time to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

IMG_2098-0Please use this link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make great gifts for the Disney fan in your life.

And, make sure you consult Jennie Nowers about your next Disney vacation. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

 

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

The Mature MouseTM highly recommends taking a moment to enjoy the jubilation of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. You will sing along, stomp your feet, and clap in appreciation. This is a piece of Disney history, designed by Walt himself, and the grandparent for all other audio-animatronic attractions in the parks.

Enchanted-Tiki-RoomWalt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room: You either love the attraction, or see it as a waste of valuable park time. Regardless of which category you fit in with, as a guest of all Disney Parks, you should respect this attraction for the contribution it made to all the other attractions featuring audio-animatronics.

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened in Disneyland in 1963, and it was the first use of audio-animatronics. As stated on the Disney website, this “groundbreaking new technology [allowed for] the synchronization of movement, audio and visual effects of a multitude of animated figures at one time.” This began the development of all the other audio-animatronics used throughout the various Disney Parks. So, the next time you are riding through the Haunted Mansion, passing through the mines of the Seven Dwarfs, or, cowering in fear of a giant dinosaur about to eat you, remember it all start with Walt’s “love of animation” and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.Tiki-RoomLARGE

This attraction opened as part of the rehab of Adventureland in Disneyland, and was eventually included as part of Adventureland in Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is a Polynesian celebration designed to stimulate with sights and sounds. Exotic birds, wooden Tikis, colorful flowers, and rumbling volcanoes all come to life.

Enjoy this video featuring Rolly Grump, Walt Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend, as he talks about the creation of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

IMG_2098-0Please use this link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make great gifts for the Disney fan in your life.

And, make sure you consult Jennie Nowers about your next Disney vacation. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.