Disney’s Gondola System – Disney Skyliner

Disney Fanatic has created an overview of the new gondola transportation system coming to Walt Disney World. It is by no means everything you need to know. The MatureMouse™️ would like to know when the Disney Skyliner will be open. It would also be helpful to know the approximate travel times between stations. And, given the unpredictable Florida weather, how will sudden storms impact the operation of the system?

Are you looking forward to this new transportation system coming to Walt Disney World?

Everything You Need To Know About Disney’s Gondola System – Disney Skyliner
— Read on www.disneyfanatic.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-disneys-gondola-system-disney-skyliner/

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.

Epcot-International-Flower-and-Garden-Festival_Full_23484

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.

all-star-music-resort-gallery00

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.

 

The Mature Mouse™ Anniversary Giveaway

The Mature Mouse™ marks its first anniversary on November 30th. I began this blog with one purpose, to provide a voice for older, more mature Disney fans.  I would like you to enjoy the Disney Magic I experience in at Walt Disney World, and hopefully, someday, Disneyland.

Your response to this blog, dear readers, has been overwhelming; The Mature Mouse™ now has over 560 followers. To express my appreciation, The Mature Mouse™ is offering an anniversary giveaway.

The prize is this authentic Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, purchased this past June during my solo trip at Walt Disney World . It has not previously been worn. The original store tag is still attached.

Image-1

Instructions to enter The Mature Mouse™ Anniversary Giveaway:

  1. Answer the 5 simple questions listed below. Each question contains a link to one of my blogs where you will find the correct answer.
  2. Email me your answers, along with your name and mailing address, to tmm1giveaway@gmail.com by December 5. To make this fair, please only send one entry per email address.

Giveaway Questions:

Rules, yes, giveaways always require rules:

  • Family and friends of The Mature Mouse™ (David Brassard) are illegible to enter.
  • Entrants for this giveaway must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Entrants must reside in the continental United States. My apologies, there are so many rules and regulations to include readers from other countries.
  • 1 (one) entry per email address, please.
  • Entries must contain a mailing address within the continental United States. The Mature Mouse™ must be able to send you your gift.
  • Emails will be accepted until midnight on December 5.
  • All emails containing the correct answers and a proper mailing address will be included in a random drawing to receive an authentic Mickey Mouse sweatshirt.
  • The drawing will be held as soon as possible, and the recipient of the authentic Mickey Mouse sweatshirt will receive an email notification.
  • The authentic Mickey Mouse sweatshirt will be mailed via by standard ground delivery no later then December 31, 2015.

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.

Muppet*Vision 3D In Disney’s Hollywood Studios

IMG_7188The Mature MouseTM has been a fan of The Muppets since their original television show, which aired from 1976 to 1981. The show’s humor appealed to kids and adults, alike. I never missed an episode and was such a dedicated fan that I often thought of them as real “people.” There was one evening I caught myself trying to read the “lips” of the characters because I had the sound turned off to take a phone call.

Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and the other puppeteers breathed life into each of the unique creatures in the Muppet realm. Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear are some of my favorite Muppets. Whacka, Whacka! And, of course, there is the Swedish Chef. Being Swedish, I knew this character was a satirical stereotype, but was not the least bit offended. I saw the Swedish Chef as homage to all things Scandinavian.

Muppet*Vision 3D was created by Jim Henson and added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1991. This was among the last projects Henson worked on before his death. The Disney Corporation officially welcomed The Muppets in 2004. There were plans to add attractions, restaurants, and shops themed around these creatures. However, nothing ever came of those plans.IMG_7191

under mat

Muppet*Vision 3D features the same characters as the original television show and the feature movies, as well as the same chaos and disaster. The Mature MouseTM makes it a point to enjoy this attraction during my visits to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I strongly recommend taking a moment to explore the cue. The Imagineers put a lot of time and effort into the theming of this area. Always look under the mat for the key.

IMG_7189

IMG_7193

Whether or not Muppet*Vision 3D, or even the Muppet characters, will have a place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios after the extensive refurbishment is unknown at the time of the writing of this post. I am sure the popularity, or lack thereof, of The Muppets, a new show on ABC, which is owned by Disney, will have an impact on the future of the Muppets at Walt Disney World.

Please use the link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make great additions to your vacation gear and attire.IMG_1655

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.

Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.07.17 PMDisney’s Hollywood Studios is in the early stages of a major refurbishment, which will result in additional lands in a larger park. Many of the attractions are closed, or have been slated to shut down, and we are still not sure what will remain of the current DHS. Rumor and speculation point to Star Wars Land taking over most of the left side of the park, replacing much, if not all, of the Echo Lake area.

During my last visit to Walt Disney World, The Mature MouseTM had the opportunity to grab a bite at the Backlot Express. This quick-service restaurant may not be around much longer at DHS, so The Mature MouseTM wanted to write a review of his unique experience at this quick and casual restaurant.IMG_7175

The menu at the Backlot Express is the usual American cuisine found in most Disney quick-service resturants: hamburger and cheeseburger, turkey club, hot dog, etc. I had the 8-piece chicken breast nuggets, with French fries. The chicken was moist, and the fries were crisp. The star attraction of the meal was an incredible Olaf cupcake. It was a huge, moist carrot cake, with cream cheese frosting, topped with a white chocolate Olaf.

IMG_7172The restaurant is themed as a functioning studio workshop. There is an organized chaos in the storage of props and equipment, with background music featuring theme songs from old TV shows. The restaurant is very clean, but the Imagineers have included faux dirt, dust, and wear on exposed piping. This restaurant experience is well themed for the current, and previous, iteration of Disney’s Hollywood Studio. Whether it will last the next restructuring of this park is yet to be seen.IMG_7177IMG_7178

IMG_7183 IMG_7184IMG_7174 IMG_7185

Please use the link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make great additions to your vacation gear and attire.IMG_2098

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.

Parking Fees Increase at Disney World

The Mature Mouse™ is often asked if he prefers staying at a Disney Resort, or offsite in the nearby Orlando area. Although an offsite hotel or motel may offer a less expensive, per-night cost, there are other expenses to consider. By staying off property you may be required to pay for numerous extras, such as car rentals and daily parking fees.

 

Walt Disney World just raised their parking fees for all their theme parks. According to WDWinfo.com, you can expect to pay the following:

$20.00 – Car/Taxi/Shuttle/Limousine/Motorcycle

$18.00 – Camper/Trailer

$21.00 – Bus/Tractor Trailer

 

There is also the value you place on convenience to consider when making your resort decision. Disney transportation will take you directly to and from the pScreen Shot 2015-10-06 at 3.09.57 PMarks. Yes, you do need to wait with others for the bus, boat, or monorail to pick you up. However, for me, that is a minor inconvenience to parking in one of the numerous parking lots outside the theme parks, not to mention fighting the traffic. It is much easier to return to your resort for an afternoon break if you are staying onsite and using Disney transportation. Although there are shuttles from some of the offsite hotels and motels, most of them do not make regular trips to the Disney Parks.


The Mature Mouse™ enjoys being in the Disney bubble during his Walt Disney Vacations. What about you? Do you prefer to stay onsite or off? Please leave your comments below.IMG_2098

Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire. If you are a mature fan of Disney, consider getting an item. Are you a Mature Mouse™?

A travel agent who specializes in booking Disney Vacations is a valuable free resource when planning your next trip, and will assist you in choosing the right resort for your stay at Walt Disney World. I started planning my recent trip by calling Jennie Nowers. When Cool Summer Savings was released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not need to do a thing. Tell Jennie that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift with your next booking.