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...
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – New for 2017

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – New for 2017

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_099-_Epcot_International_Flower__Garden_Festival_-_New_for_2017.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (10.9MB) | EmbedIn a little over a week Epcot begins hosting the 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  This annual event is a treat for the senses.  The park is in full bloom and there is so much to see and do at Epcot during the spring.  Last year we covered everything you can find at this colorful springtime event over the course of two episodes.  If you haven’t listened to those podcasts I encourage you to go back and listen to both before moving forward with today’s episode.  We aren’t going to repeat the same information here.  Instead, this will be a companion episode to update you on everything new for the festival in 2017.  With that said, let’s do a quick reminder of the basics and… Get started with our Know Before You Go Essential Facts: This seasonal event is held at Epcot The event is included in your normal park admission The event is 90 days It runs from March 1 – May 29, 2017 Those are the facts, now time for the fun! Welcome back to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival! If you have never been to Epcot during this time of year, you need to go!  Each year the amazing topiaries, gorgeous blooms, delicious bites, and live entertainment seem to get better and better.  Today, we are focusing on the new additions to the festival for 2017.  What better place to start than with the topiaries? Every year a new feature topiary greets guests at the entrance to the park.  These topiaries are among...
Reflections of China

Reflections of China

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_098-_Reflections_of_China.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (10.1MB) | EmbedThis week we are in Epcot, and exploring the China pavilion in the World Showcase.  This is a beautiful pavilion, rich in color, detail, and architecture.  Inside is a 360 Circlevision film that is equally rich in Chinese history and story.  Let’s take a trip to the far east and get started with our… Know Before You Go Essential Facts The film is located in the China Pavilion at Epcot There is no height requirement Fastpass + is not available The fright factor is 0 out of 5 Guests may remain in a wheelchair/ECV Audio Description, Reflective Captioning, Assistive Listening, and Language Translation Devices are available The show is 13 minutes long The film opened October 2, 1982 as Wonders of China.  It was updated and reopened on May 22, 2003 as Reflections of China. I wake, and moonbeams play around my bed, Glittering like hoar-frost to my wandering eyes; Up towards the glorious moon I raised my head, Then lay me down – and thoughts of home arise. This is one of the most well known poems in all of Chinese literature.  So famous, it is often one of the first poems learned by children in China.  The author was Li Bai, who lived from 701 – 762 AD.  Today, he is still considered one of China’s greatest poets.  So, when the Disney Imagineers were looking for the perfect narrator for the film in their new Epcot pavilion, they didn’t have to look far.  Li Bai was brought back to life as the narrator in the original version of this...
O Canada!

O Canada!

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_097-_O_Canada.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (10.4MB) | EmbedLast week we added one of my top 5 rides at Walt Disney World, Soarin’.  It was great to finally share that ride with you.  Since we were in Epcot last week, I thought it would be a good idea to stay there for this week’s episode.  We are getting very close to the start of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival which runs March 1 – May 29 this year.     With that, I want to cover some of the things you can find around the World Showcase as you take in the amazing topiaries and great food. What better place to start than with our neighbors to the North, eh?  The Canada Pavilion is actually very close to the ride building that houses Soarin’, although you will have to walk a little ways to navigate around to the World Showcase pavilion.  We will get to that more in just a minute, but first let’s get started with our… Know Before You Go Essential Facts The film is located in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot There is no height requirement Fastpass + is not available The fright factor is 0 out of 5 Guests may remain in a wheelchair/ECV Audio Description, Reflective Captioning, Assistive Listening, and Language Translation Devices are available The show is 14 minutes long The film opened on October 1, 1982.  The film was updated and reopened on September 1, 2007. Ah, yes the great white north is always white, right?  Well, not according to Martin Short, or the 360 Degree Circle Vision film...
Soarin’

Soarin’

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_096-_Soarin.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (12.7MB) | EmbedToday’s ride is one I have been waiting for 2 years to cover.  It is one of my family’s favorite rides, and one you have heard me talk about a good deal on the WDW Ride Guide already.  Believe it or not though, we have yet to focus a whole episode on Soarin’! The real reason for the long build up to this ride is that I was waiting for a chance to experience the new version which opened in 2016.  Now, if you have been following closely, you know my last trip to WDW was in January of last year.  You also know, from last week’s episode that Soarin’ didn’t reopen until June of last year.  So, how did I ride the new version?  Well, if you have been paying really, really close attention you also know the ride was updated in Disney’s California Adventure park and I was out there in October.  In fact, I even listed Soarin’ at DCA as #5 in our list of Top 5 Rides Disneyland Does Better. Don’t worry though, Soarin’ at Epcot is still one of my absolute favorite rides and one I am super excited to share with you today! Speaking of which, let’s get this episode started with some… Know Before You Go Essential Facts The ride is located in The Land Pavilion at Epcot You must be 40” tall to ride Fastpass + is available and recommended The fright factor is 2 out of 5 Guests must transfer from a wheelchair/ECV Video captioning is available Children under age 7...
2 Year Anniversary Special

2 Year Anniversary Special

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wdwrideguide/Episode_095-_2_Year_Anniversary_Special.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (14.1MB) | Embed2016 saw a lot of new experiences come to Walt Disney World, and 2017 will bring even more!  You know, this time last year I was on my latest Walt Disney World vacation, and I brought you along for a ride worth taking that day.  That day was so much fun and I’m so glad I got to share a piece of our trip with you.  Well, I haven’t been back to Walt Disney World since then, and already a lot has changed.  If you haven’t been to the parks in a year or more, there is a lot of new magic awaiting us all.  Today, we will look at what 2016 added to the Disney portfolio, as well as look ahead at what 2017 promises. 2016 In the year 2016, Frozen lived Ever After, Star Wars launched more and more at Hollywood Studios, and shopping and eating sprang to new life at Disney Springs.  Let’s soar around Walt Disney World to see what all awakened this past year. This is the ride guide so I think we have to start with the rides!  Frozen Ever After opened on June 21, 2016 in Epcot.  This ride took the place of Maelstrom, much to the chagrin of some Disney nostalgics.  However, the 2 hour lines that followed Frozen’s opening proved Disney rightly removed a dud, and replaced it with a stud!  Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoyed Maelstrom, but the Disney public votes with their feet, and the traffic had all but died at the Norway pavilion.  Frozen Ever After...

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