Happy 47th Anniversary to Walt Disney World

On October 1, 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort officially opened, including Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. – Disney Parks Blog

The Mature Mouse™ first visited Walt Disney Word during the summer of 1972. It took 42 years before I would make my way back home. Walt Disney World is in the throes of change, with major additions and modifications set to open by and after the 50th Anniversary in 2021. Are you looking forward to all the changes coming to Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney: Here in Florida, we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland: the blessing of size. There’s enough land here to hold all of the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine.

WDW Opening Day 1971

 

Walt Disney World is not just for kids

Walt built Disneyland for the entire family. Disney Parks are not just for kids. The Mature Mouse™ has discussed this many times. Walt Disney World has developed into a destination, as large as the city of San Francisco. Imagineers are constantly adding more more lodging, activities, and entertainment that appeal the adult traveler. This article, from Disney Rewards, takes a look at the grown up, mature, adult oriented side of Walt Disney World.
THEME PARKS & TRAVEL

The Adult’s Guide to Walt Disney World® Resort

August 13, 2018

Adult's Guide to Walt Disney World Resort

When people say Walt Disney World® Resort has something for everyone, they don’t just mean kids of all ages—they mean adults too! From world-class cuisine and cocktails to R&R that will recharge the mind and body for serious fun, here are just a few fun ways to plan your getaway out of the world of “adulting” and into vacation mode.

Go Wild on a Private Safari Adventure

Disney Animal Kingdom animalReady to take a walk on the wild side… literally? The only thing more thrilling than an animal encounter on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® is the VIP access and adventure Guests can find “off-road” on Wild Africa Trek, an exclusive hike through an environment modeled after untamed African terrain. Walk along the grassland, cross a rope bridge and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over an open savanna – viewing African animals like giraffes and hippos.

Train Like a Chef at Epcot®

Mango SaladDo your taste buds savor the new and exciting? During this year’s Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, you can roll up your sleeves for a hands-on culinary lesson with chefs and beverage experts. Attendees of Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It will learn to whip up sweet treats, savory sensations, and pair with cocktails, spirits and wines.

Relive Your Favorite Attractions

Rock n Rollercoaster AerosmithStep onboard the iconic attractions you know and love, whether it’s the chills of Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, the twists and turns of Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith, or the ultimate drop with The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Want to combine nostalgia with the all-new? Become the size of a toy alongside Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and the rest of the gang at Toy Story Land—all in the so-much-larger-than-life setting of Andy’s backyard.

Brave the Newest Thrills

Expedition Everest attractionBeing an adult means never having to read the “You Must Be This Tall” signs again, but it still takes a bit of courage to reach the heights of Walt Disney World Resort’s newest, most innovative attractions. Climb to the “peak” of excitement on Expedition Everest, take a breathtaking 3D voyage on Avatar Flight of Passage, and experience intergalactic awe and new destinations on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

Experience a Different Kind of Tiki Room

Friends at Trader Sams Grog GrottoGet in the “aloha” spirit at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, the popular watering hole that’s adults-only after 8 PM. Sit out in the open air or inside the lounge, sip flavorful cocktails straight out of an island paradise (including spiked Dole Whips, an adult twist on a classic treat) and keep your eyes peeled for eye-popping surprises whenever certain drinks are served.

Plus, it’s adjacent to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, placing it a short stroll away for Guests who feel like staying in a tropical state of mind!

Ride the ‘Rail, Then Raise a Glass

Cocktails and food from restaurantIf culinary delights and crafty cocktails are always on your mind, we have an idea that will really throw you for a loop: the Highway in the Sky Dine Around, a dining experience along the world-famous Monorail. Providing five courses across three different Resort destinations, this classy “commute” brings you delectable views and a one-of-a-kind ride to go with savory and sweet dishes and world-class cocktails.

Get Pampered by the Pros

Senses Spa experienceHey, we get it: being an adult can get a little tense. Take the time to unwind, breathe deep, and give your senses the royal treatment at Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. From fitness facilities to massage therapists, body wraps to facials, you can leave revitalized and ready for more fun to come. Cardmembers can relax even more knowing that using their Disney Visa Card saves them 15% on their spa experience.1

“Spring” Into All the Possibilities

Shopping at Disney SpringsLooking to dance after dinner, indulge in some “shopping therapy,” or wine and dine with options inspired by award-winning chefs and a Master Sommelier? Take a stroll through Disney Springs® and you’ll find all this and more in store. International apparel, accessories and cosmetics, snacks and sweets, and entertainment like bowling, movies, and live music are just a few of the possibilities to choose from. After dark, you can kick the night into high gear with themed bars and nightlife from all over the world, including The Edison, and spots exclusive to the Springs, including Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

With all these possibilities and more, it’s a good time to remember one of the great things about being an adult: you get to make the decisions!

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.

 

Walt Disney World will take guests far, far away!

The Mature Mouse™ is a Star Wars fan. I am very excited about Disney’s construction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney announced the addition of a new resort, connected to Galaxy’s Edge, that will immerse guests in the Star Wars universe by allowing them to engage in a type of role-playing vacation.

From the Disney Parks Blog: This first-of-its-kind resort will combine luxury with a complete immersion into an authentic Star Wars story. Guests’ journey through space will start when everyone departs together for a multiday Stars Wars adventure by boarding a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold all around them during a voyage through the galaxy.

Are you looking forward to booking a stay at this Star Wars resort? Do you like the level of immersion Disney is promising?

Park Opening Changing at Magic Kingdom

Have you experience the opening show at the Magic Kingdom? Well, as of January 9, 2017, Walt Disney World will be dropping show and allowing guests onto Main Street before the park opens. There will be a new welcoming show held on the stage in from of Cinderella’s Castle.

Here is a link to the Disney Parks Blog for more details. 

Many fans will not be happy with this change, but The Mature Mouse™ likes the idea of giving visitors time to explore Maine Street, instead of running for their favorite ride.

Please see my post: A Stroll Down Disney’s Main Street, U.S.A.

What do you think about this latest change? Please leave your comments below.

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