Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/WDW_Ride_Guide_09-Expedition_Everest.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (6.4MB) | EmbedWelcome to the Himalayas!  Expedition Everest is an imagineering masterpiece that represents the mountainous region that contains the famous Mount Everest.  Awaiting adventurous riders is the largest steel roller coaster in all of Walt Disney World.  The mountain boasts an 80 foot drop, the steepest in the kingdom.  However, there is something far more terrifying protecting this sacred Forbidden Mountain, the legendary Yeti! Before I get into the ride in depth today I feel I must tell you this is not my favorite roller coaster in Walt Disney World.  They can’t all be my favorite, right?   I do highly enjoy riding Expedition Everest every time I am lucky enough to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Actually, with it being one of the few rides currently available at this park, I often try to ride it at least twice when I visit.  While the ride is wonderfully themed and certainly up there on the thrill scale, it just doesn’t hold the same childhood memories for me that some of the older Disney rides do.  Still, when I asked my roller-coaster-loving brother-in-law what his WDW favorite was, he said Expedition Everest.  So today we will discover what makes this a legendary ride for him and also why it fails to reach the summit of my thrill ride list.   To start, let’s find out exactly what we are dealing with in the Yeti. Unlike the friendly guy in my favorite Disney/Pixar film Monsters Inc., Expedition Everest’s monster is no agreeable snowman.  No, he the fearsome abominable snowman also known as the Yeti.  He lives among...
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/WDW_Ride_Guide_08-Rock_n_Roller_Coaster_Starring_Aerosmith.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (6.9MB) | EmbedSweet Emotion!  That’s what I feel when I get the chance to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith.  This indoor steel roller coaster is the ultimate in quick thrills at Walt Disney World.  If you are a roller coaster fan then this is a can’t miss ride.  If you are an Aerosmith fan, this is a can’t miss ride.  If you are a fan of both, then get ready to rock! As I have said on previous podcasts, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my favorite Walt Disney World park, and one of the reasons is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith.   I love walking through the studios teal blue ticket gates and then making my way down Hollywood Boulevard.  Once I make that right turn onto Sunset Boulevard I get even more excited!  This street just screams out fun.  There at the end is the massive Hollywood Tower of Terror and just to the left is the entrance to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  These are two of my absolute favorite rides at Walt Disney World and having them right next to each other is so much fun. This magical piece of Disney ride real estate was once just a cast member parking lot.  While the park opened on May 1, 1989, it took another 10 years before it was developed to include Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith.  There was discussion at one point to create a roller coaster that actually went out over the adjacent World Drive, the main road just outside the park.  While that would have...
The Sum of All Thrills

The Sum of All Thrills

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/WDW_Ride_Guide_07-The_Sum_of_All_Thrills.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (5.6MB) | EmbedSum of all Thrills is a simulator ride that puts the “education” in “Educational Prototype Community Of Tomorrow”.  Now for some, that may not be the best way to get you excited about a thrill ride.  However, this ride promises a fun time by using math and science as you create your own custom designed thrill experience. Wait a second Ben.  I thought you said we are covering thrill rides.  When I think thrill ride, I think roller coaster.  When I think roller coaster I think Expedition Everest or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.  When you said Sum of all Thrills, I put it in My Disney Experience app and a ride didn’t even come up.  I looked on Disney’s own website and it just pulls up the Innoventions East pavilion.  How can this thing possibly be a thrill ride when I can’t even check wait times? Is that what you are trying to ask through your phone, speakers, or earbuds right now?  If so that is fine, I asked myself the same questions when I first heard about this ride.   When it came down to selecting a thrill ride for EPCOT, I first thought of Test Track, Soarin’, or Mission: SPACE.  All of these rides are a lot of fun and get the blood pumping.  However, for this month of podcasting, I really want to stick to roller coasters. On my last trip to EPCOT, Sum of all Thrills was at the top of the list of rides to explore.  I had never heard of this ride before...
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/WDW_Ride_Guide_06-Big_Thunder_Mountain_Railroad.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (6.3MB) | EmbedThis ride is not only rich in story but it is one of my all time favorites because it is just plain fun.  So what is the ride and what makes it so fun?  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a steel roller coaster that takes riders through the town of Tumbleweed.  The imaginary journey lasts a little over 3 minutes, dropping and banking riders through the caves and caverns at a top speed of 36 mph.  There are more details in the 20 audio animatronic figures and surrounding environment than you can possibly take in during one ride making it fun to experience over and over. Knowing the story of that environment also makes the ride even more enjoyable.  To help us understand what we see I asked one of the ride’s inhabitants, Cousin Elrod, to give us his perspective.  Here is the letter he sent me: “Why hello there and welcome to Tumbleweed.  I’m afraid if it’s gold you’re  huntin’ you you’re too late.  Yep that train ran out of track a while back you see.  All’s left now are them scared miners old axes and mine cars.  Of course there’s the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad train that runs through here, but don’t go boardin’ just yet.  You see, the train, she runs but there is no conductor guiding the way.  The train, like this here mountain is haunted. That wasn’t always the case.  This here used to be the land of dreamers.  None bigger than Barnabas T. Bullion.  His dream was to hit the ultimate gold strike.  He...
Fastpass +

Fastpass +

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/WDW_Ride_Guide_05-Fast_Pass_Plus.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (6.2MB) | EmbedI love my Disney vacations but I don’t love watching the time tick away while standing in a line.  I want to race through the queue, enjoy my ride, and move on to the next!    The best way to do that is by understanding and utilizing the new Fastpass + system.  Before we get into the details of today’s system let’s go back to 1999 and talk about the original Fastpass. Even if this will be your first trip you probably already know Walt Disney World is a VERY popular vacation destination. That means a LOT of people go to the magical realm every day of every year.  As a result visiting during peak periods means there will be very long lines on the most popular rides and even considerable lines on those same rides during non-peak season.  Wanting to deliver more time on rides and less time in lines Disney created the Fastpass system.  All park guests had the ability to visit their favorite ride and find a ticket dispenser at the entrance to that ride.  By inserting your park pass a paper ticket would then be dispensed with a return time window.  This return time would vary depending on how early in the day the Fastpass was obtained.  Once you had your Fastpass return window you were then free to go visit other rides, hopefully those without long waits.  Then when it was time to return you simply went back to your Fastpass ride and handed over your ticket.  Now the best part, like a Disney VIP you...

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