Disney Magic at a crowded Epcot

IMG_0906My first day in the parks was devoted to Epcot. Crowds at rope drop were greater than expected and increased as the day progressed. While fighting the hoards throughout the day, I experienced some of that Disney Magic.

After slowly making my way through the security line and the admission line, I quickly headed over to Soarin’ Around the World. I was hoping the standby line would not be too long. This is a strategy mentioned in various blogs, on podcasts, and highly recommended on Disney World planning sites. Although the standby monitor read twenty minutes, the line quickly filled all of three show buildings. Disney Magic, or just a good touring strategy? Either way, The Mature MouseTM was about to experience Soarin’ for the first time.

I was fortunate enough to sit in the top row, just right of center. This proved to be the perfect viewing position. The ride experience was incredible, at times emotional. Yes, I realize that many of these images are (SPOILER ALERT) computer generated, but it was still an amazing ride, full of Disney Magic. I kept grabbing the sides on my seat feeling as if I might slide off while gliding downward in several scenes. We visited the Great Wall, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and the list goes on. The Mature MouseTM highly recommends Soarin’.

My next stop was Spaceship Earth, one of my favorite ‘dark’ rides. Despite the fact that the history presented is only generally accurate, the attraction is great edutainment. Remember, if you can read this thank the Phoenicians, sort of.

The Mature MouseTM always takes the time to visit turtle Talk with Crush. The compilation of animation and live interaction with the audience makes each version of the show unique. This same technology (magic) is used in Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor.

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Figment Topiary

Another first for The Mature MouseTM was a Journey into Imagination with Figment. As I understand it, this was once a fun and interesting attraction. However, it is currently outdated and in need of an overhaul. I like the idea suggested by the attraction. However, the Imagineers just need to breathe some new magic into the Imagination Institute.

IMG_0926After enjoying lunch at Sunshine Seasons, a great quick-service restaurant, I headed over to Club Cool to sampleCoca-Cola products from around the world. I have a confession. I do not think the Beverly is as offensive as others. This bitter Coca-Cola product, introduced in Italy in 1969, reminds me of tonic water with citrus flavoring. While perusing merchandise in the store, a cast member noticed my button, wished me a happy birthday, then offered me a free Coca-Cola slush. Disney Magic!

My touring plan for the day focused on the right side of Future World and World Showcase, with one exception. I had a FastPass for Frozen Ever After, which is located in the Norway pavilion. Imagineers did an excellent job repurposingMaelstrom into this dark ride experience based on the extremely popular animated movie, Frozen. There are state-of-the-art animatronics, updated versions of the movie’s popular songs, and a few surprises for guests. Disney magic at its best. However, it is a short ride so I would not spend a lot of my time waiting in the stand-by line. The Mature MouseTM recommends using a FastPass for this attraction.

 

I finished my day enjoying the scenery around Epcot, including a walk through the Canadian and United Kingdom pavilions. I also grabbed a few snacks along the way, including a Scotch egg from the Rose & Crown Pub. Guests can order food at the pub bar while enjoying a beverage. An ADR is not required to enjoy this delicacy.

 

Instead of taking the long walk back to my resort bus, which was a distance beyond the front of the park, I exited through the International Gateway to World Showcase. I hopped aboard a Friendship boat and took a ride around Crescent Lake to Hollywood Studios. This affords you a magnificent view of the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Swan, and Dolphin resorts. I even caught a glimpse of the construction of the new Walt Disney World Skyliner in front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. IMG_0995

I grabbed my resort bus and headed back to Pop Century. Regardless of the fact that the crowds created more than a few irritating moments, my day at Epcot turned out very well.

 

Extra Magic Hours for Toy Story Land

According to the Disney World Calendar, Disney’s Hollywood Studio will be offering daily Extra Magic Hours through July, possibly longer. This is similar to the offering made at Animal Kingdom Park last summer after the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar.

Do you think the guest response to Toy Story Land will be the same as it has been to Pandora?

Why stay at a Walt Disney Resort?

One of the questions The Mature Mouse™ is often asked is: Why stay on property when hotels off property can be cheaper? Although the cost of your non-Disney room can be less expensive, there are other costs and conveniences that you need to consider.

Here are two videos that focus on the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort. The first one is from Touring Plans, and other video is from Disney Parks.

Let me know what you think in the comments section. Do you always stay on property, or do you prefer off property?

​Adventure to Tom Sawyer Island

Walt Disney World Resort is double the size of Manhattan, about the size of San Francisco. It is not possible to see and do everything in one trip, or even multiple trips. Each solo trip The Mature MouseTM has made to Walt Disney World have been opportunities to try new Disney attractions and unique experiences.

Have you ventured to the “rustic, secret hideaway” of Tom Sawyer Island? It is on my list of things to do during my April 2018 Walt Disney World vacation.

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Tell about your trips to the island. What time of day is the better time to visit? What are among the must-dos and the do-with-outs?

“Inspired by the stories of Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Island is a log raft ride across the. Wander dusty dirt roads lined with sycamore and oak trees and amble across creaky suspension bridges. Navigate narrow passages amid secret mined caves and uncover an age-old fort. Along the way, follow in the pioneering footsteps of the frontier’s early settlers, during an era when Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer reflected an America coming into its own.”

Designed by Walt Disney

“The original Tom Sawyer Island opened to the public at Disneyland Resort in 1956. The attraction has the distinction of being the only one designed by Walt Disney. Sharing a strong affinity for the world Mark Twain created in his novels, Walt found himself unsatisfied with the island’s original design. Days before construction was set to begin, he took the plans home and re-imagined the landscape design, creating the inlets, coves, and overall shape that the island is known for today.

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“Tom Sawyer Island.” Walt Disney World, Disney Parks, disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/magic-kingdom/tom-sawyer-island/.

The Best Of Walt Disney World For Adults ​

Welcome back to Part 5 of my blog series on TouringPlans – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babies, preschoolers, grade school kids, […]

via TouringPlans – The Best Of Walt Disney World For Adults — Disney World Enthusiast

The Magic Kingdom’s fantastic new Happily Ever After

The Mature Mouse™ will miss seeing Wishes when visiting the Magic Kingdom. I have only had the joy of experiencing this nighttime music and fireworks show a few times. Nonetheless, Walt Disney did not intend for his theme parks to become museums, frozen in the past.

Happily Ever After, the new Magic Kingdom nighttime spectacular debut last evening, Friday, May 12, 2017. Len Testa, from touringplans.com, was there. Below is a link to Len’s review of the show. The Mature Mouse™ is looking forward to experiencing Happily Ever After during my next solo trip in April 2018. 

http://blog.touringplans.com/2017/05/13/review-the-magic-kingdoms-fantastic-new-happily-ever-after-show/