Daily Recap – Day 2 Animal Kingdom

Daily Recap – Day 2 Animal Kingdom

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Daily_Recap-_Animal_Kingdom.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (14.6MB) | EmbedDay 2 of our family vacation was a day of scrambling!  We arrived at the Animal Kingdom before rope drop as planned, but from there on we had to stay on our toes and make some changes to the schedule.  In this episode I talk about why you shouldn’t plan for the best case scenario, and how to make FP+ changes on the fly when necessary.  Thanks to quick thinking and some flexibility we still had an amazing day at the Animal Kingdom.  Check out our original plan below, followed by our actual touring for the day: Original Plan Kilimanjaro Safaris Festival of the Lion King Wildlife Train: Africa Conservation Station Habitat Habit! Affection Section Wildlife Train: Rafiki’s Planet Watch Lunch – Harambe Market Flights of Wonder Break Finding Nemo the Musical Maharajah Jungle Trek Dinner – Flame Tree Barbecue The Boneyard DINOSAUR Tricera Top Spin Expedition Everest River of Light Actual Touring Plan   Kilimanjaro Safaris Wilderness Explorers Festival of the Lion King Lunch – Harambe Market Break The Boneyard Tricera Top Spin Finding Nemo the Musical Dinner – Flame Tree Barbecue Rivers of Light...
Daily Recap – Day 1 Magic Kingdom

Daily Recap – Day 1 Magic Kingdom

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Daily_Recap_Magic_Kingdom_Day_1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (8.4MB) | EmbedWelcome to a special edition of the WDW Ride Guide!  This week we are in my favorite place, Walt Disney World.   Check in each day as we are posting a daily recap of our experiences, rides, and family fun!  Today we visited the Magic Kingdom and introduced our niece and nephew to the most magical place on Earth.  They loved it!  We didn’t wait more than 15 minutes for any ride, took a 3 hour break and the afternoon, and still managed to do a whole lot.  Be sure to listen to the episode for all the details.  Here is a recap of our touring plan: Dumbo the Flying Elephant Goofy’s Barnstormer Under the Sea Meet Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto Meet Gaston outside Gaston’s Tavern Enchanted Tales with Belle It’s a Small World The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Lunch at Be Our Guest Walt Disney World Railroad: Main Street to Frontierland Country Bear Jamboree Magic Carpets of Aladdin Dinner at Columbia Harbour House Splash Mountain/Jungle Cruise Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin Tomorrowland Transit Authority...
Planning to Ride: Part Two

Planning to Ride: Part Two

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode20107-20Planning20to20Ride-20Part20Two.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (17.2MB) | EmbedI am about to embark on my next family Disney vacation and we are busy planning go ride!  Last week we started my countdown of the seven steps to planning the most magical Disney vacation you can have.  We only made it through number 4 before we ran out of time so this week we are bringing you 5-7. If missed last week’s episode, be sure to go back and listen to that before proceeding with today’s podcast. Here is a quick review of all 7: 1. Select Your Dates 2. Choose Your Resort 3. Book Your Trip Early 4. Create a Touring Plan 5. Make Reservations 6. How to Pack 7. Review and Go! 5.  Make Reservations As we discussed last week, there are some distinct advantages to staying in a Disney resort hotel.  Chief among those perks are the early dates for making Advanced Dining Reservations and Fastpass+ Reservations.  Let’s tackle these one at a time and start with Advanced Dining Reservations, or ADR’s for short. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made 180 days in advance for on property guests.  While you won’t need to book every restaurant that far out, there are a few that usually require you be up bright and early on day 180.  Here are a few of the restaurants that you need to plan on booking at the 180 day mark: Cinderella’s Royal Table Be Our Guest Chef Mickey’s Victoria & Albert’s (especially the Chef’s table) Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue & Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, both at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds Spirit of Aloha...
Planning to Ride: Part One

Planning to Ride: Part One

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_106-_Planning_to_Ride-_Part_One.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (14.7MB) | EmbedNormally we bring you one ride, show, or experience from Walt Disney World in hopes of making your next Disney vacation the best it can possibly be, or just to sprinkle some pixie dust over your day until the next time you can enjoy the parks.  Today, however we are going to take a broader view of Walt Disney World and talk about the best ways to plan for your next Disney vacation. Speaking of next Disney vacation, my next trip is just around the corner!  In fact, I fly down to Orlando next week and I can’t wait.  This trip will include my wife and her brother’s family.  We will have 1 adult, and 2 kids that are experiencing the most magical place on Earth for the very first time! It has been a lot of fun planning with them over the past few months and watching them get more and more excited as they countdown to Disney.  It has really helped me examine what rides and experiences will be best for our 4-year old nephew and 2-year old niece.  Beyond the rides, it has also been a great experience getting to plan my own Walt Disney World vacation in more than a year. As a Disney Travel Planner I get to help families plan their magical trips on a weekly basis.  One thing I love is that every trip is different.  Every family, including my own, has its own set of priorities, age ranges, and interests.  I often like to think of a Walt Disney World vacation as...
Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_105-_Disneys_Magical_Express.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (14.6MB) | EmbedWith an upcoming family trip I’ve been thinking about what new visitors need to know before heading to Walt Disney World.  As a Disney travel planner, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about Disney’s Magical Express.  What is it? Does it cost extra? How does it work?  Well, we answer all of those questions in this week’s podcast.  Be sure to listen for details on how this complimentary service for Disney resort guests works.  Below are the essential facts and a step-by-step guide for the process. Know Before You Go Essential Facts: Complimentary bus transportation for Disney Resort guests (does not include the Swan, Dolphin, or Shades of Green) Buses run to Disney Resorts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Magical Express does NOT run to Disney Parks Magical Express only services the Orlando International Airport (MCO) Check in is located in the ground transportation area on Side B, Level 1 Magic Bands or travel vouchers are needed upon arrival at Magical Express check-in Luggage tags will be mailed 2-3 weeks in advance of your trip Luggage pickup and delivery is available from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm Luggage will arrive at your resort room separately, and may take 3-5 hours On your day of departure, Magical Express will pick you up at the resort 3 hours prior to your flight departure time, 4 hours prior for international travel Reservations can be made by calling (866) 599-0951 Disney’s Magical Express began running in 2005 Step-by- Step Book your Walt Disney World Resort and your...
Ride Report: First Visit to Hollywood Studios

Ride Report: First Visit to Hollywood Studios

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_104-_Ride_Report-_First_Visit_to_Hollywood_Studios.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (25.3MB) | EmbedI’m very excited about today as we are kicking off a brand new series called Ride Report.  This will be similar to our Ride Roundtable episodes, but only include one guest and be focused on reports from the parks.  I had the idea a few weeks ago when my good friend Darrell Darnell came back from his first visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We got to talking about his day trip to the park, and I realized his experience was a little different from anything we have reported here on the Ride Guide. You may recognize Darrell’s name as he has been the editor for our podcast since day one.  In fact, without Darrell I’m not sure there would be a WDW Ride Guide today.  Darrell has been podcasting since 2008, and is   the owner of Pro Podcast Solutions and Golden Spiral Media.  His work has garnered multiple podcast nominations and awards, and his team helps podcasters around the world.  I have been listening to Darrell’s podcast since 2008 and he has been so inspiring to me over the years.  Seeing the positive impact he was having on his world through podcasting inspired me to start the WDW Ride Guide over two years ago.   On the podcast this week we sit down and talk to Darrell about his very first trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!  Darrell was in Orlando for two different business conferences and had a free day in between the two conferences.  So, what do you do with a free day in Orlando?  Why go to...
Be Our Guest & Gaston’s Tavern

Be Our Guest & Gaston’s Tavern

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_103-_Be_Our_Guest_and_Gastons_Tavern.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (16.8MB) | EmbedFor the very first time on the WDW Ride Guide we are going to relax, pull up a chair, and let the dining room proudly present… our dinner.  Actually, our breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snack in between.  I’m referring to two unique eateries inside the Magic Kingdom. The first is the arguably the best themed restaurant inside Walt Disney World, Be our Guest.  This elaborate dining venue offers guests a chance to step inside the Beast’s castle and soak up rich surroundings inspired by the animated film.  The second stop on our culinary tour today will be Gaston’s Tavern.  Although much smaller in scale, this macho retreat is full of rip roaring fun. Since we have two separate destinations, we will have two sets of know before you go facts.  Let’s get started with at Be our Guest… Know before you go essential facts: The restaurant is located in the Magic Kingdom in New Fantasyland Advanced Dining Reservations are offered, and highly recommended Some dining plans are accepted Breakfast is served from 8 am to 10 am Lunch is served from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm Dinner is served from 4:00 pm to shortly before park closing The Beast is the only character, and appears at only at dinner Valid park admission is required The restaurant opened on December 6, 2012.  Breakfast was added on March 20, 2015. Be Our Guest is an elaborately themed fast casual restaurant in the Magic Kingdom that gives diners the option of three rooms recreated from the animated film.  The Grand Ballroom, The...
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_102-_Beauty_and_the_Beast_-_Live_on_Stage.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (9.6MB) | EmbedLast week we kicked off a three week series featuring all the places you can find the story of Beauty and the Beast in Walt Disney World.  I hope you enjoyed learning or reliving Enchanted Tales with Belle over in the Magic Kingdom.  I’m really excited about sharing that show with my niece and nephew in just a few weeks. That isn’t the only place you can enjoy the classic tale though.  In fact, it isn’t even the original show featuring Belle and the Beast.  That honor goes to today’s feature show, Beauty & the Beast – Live on Stage.  Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this is a big production that has been delighting audiences for 26 years! What can you expect from this show, and how does it differ from Enchanted Tales with Belle?  Well, let’s find out as we get started with our… Know before you go essential facts: The show is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ is offered The fright factor is 0 out of 5 Guests may remain in a wheelchair/ECV Assistive listening, audio description, handheld captioning, and sign language are available The show is 25 minutes long The show opened on November 22, 1991.  It was updated in March of 2001. Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage tells the entire story from the 1991 animated film in a lively, 25 minute broadway-style show.  As you can imagine, condensing an 84 minute animated classic into a 25 minute show isn’t easy.  However, the highlights of the story, and more importantly, the well loved...
Enchanted Tales with Belle

Enchanted Tales with Belle

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_101-_Enchanted_Tales_with_Belle.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (10.1MB) | EmbedThis month we are celebrating a tale as old as time, one that can be found in multiple parks, and enjoyed in multiple ways.  Of course, I’m referring to Beauty & the Beast.  Today, we start by looking at one of the most unique character experiences in Walt Disney World.  Enchanted Tales with Belle is your chance to relive the magic right along side Belle. We are going to kick off this three week series with an incredibly unique show found in the Magic Kingdom.  Enchanted Tales with Belle may be the surprise hit of your next Disney vacation, and today I’m going to tell you why!  Let’s get started with our… Know before you go essential facts: The show is located in the Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ is offered The fright factor is 0 out of 5 Guests must transfer to a wheelchair Assistive listening, audio description, and handheld captioning are available The show is about 15 minutes long The show opened on December 6, 2012 The crowning jewel of New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  However, did you know that the family friendly roller coaster was not part of the original expansion plan?  In fact, the original plans called for three unique character meet ’n’ greets.  Guests would be able to dance with Cinderella, celebrate Aurora’s birthday with the good fairies, or enjoy a retelling of the enchanted love story with Belle.  Look at the pink building in the picture below.  In the initial artist rendering of the New Fantasyland expansion, this area...
Backstage Pass: Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour

Backstage Pass: Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_100-_Disneys_Keys_to_the_Kingdom.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (20.1MB) | EmbedToday, we are talking about another backstage tour, this one in the Magic Kingdom.  You may have heard of the Keys to the Kingdom tour before, it is one of the most well known tours offered.  Even so, I had a lot of questions about this tour before embarking down Main Street U.S.A.  Questions like, will this spoil the magic? What backstage areas are included? What’s for lunch? And is it worth the extra money?  Well, today we will answer all of those questions and more.  First, let’s get started with our… Know before you go essential facts: The tour is located in the Magic Kingdom Participants must be 16 years of age or older and have a valid photo ID The fright factor is 0 out of 5 The tour is 5 hours long Lunch is included The tour usually has four offerings per day, starting at 8:00 am, 8:30 am, 9:00 am, and 9:30 am Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour is $99 per person, plus tax. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-TOUR Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour is your ticket to unlocking the secrets of the Magic Kingdom.  This is your chance to learn about the inner workings of rides like The Jungle Cruise, to go behind closed doors in The Haunted Mansion, and to even step backstage and see Main Street U.S.A. from two unique perspectives.  More than that though, this is a history lesson in what makes this magical place so successful.  As you will learn on the tour, the keys to...

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