Orlando Journals

Second Childhood Courtesy of Disney

An April 2002 trip to Orlando by Kim M.

Tigger! Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: I have been to Walt Disney World three times in three years now, all with members of my immediate family and all as an adult. I love this place because it allows me to be a kid again -- worry-free and surrounded by magic.

Second Childhood Courtesy of Disney

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Cinderella Castle Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
There are currently four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Disney MGM Studios, and the Animal Kingdom. Please read my entries on each. I once read an article written by someone else that described the "Disney 'Til You Puke" experience as one where you hit the parks at opening and stay until the last minute before closing every day of your trip. This pretty much describes my usual visit. There is just so much to do!Quick Tips: I am still young and of modest means, so I usually manage these trips on a moderate budget. I have some ideas to offer you if you want to save on money but not on fun. Please read "Disney on Dimes." Also read my other useful tips in ...Read More

Ramada Inn Resort Disney Eastgate

Hotel | "Ramada Suites, Sea World"

Quote:
We stayed here the first time I went to Disney with my parents and sister. My mom and dad got a special rate through a travel agent, and we got a two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite with kitchenette for a very reasonable price. Prices may be higher now or if you don't use an agent. We were there December 27, 1998, to January 2, 1999. This hotel is GREAT!!! We loved it! In fact, this was my parents' second stay there. The rooms are modern, clean, and spacious. The property is lovely and sits by a large pond with lots of greenery. The morning continental breakfast is on a veranda overlooking the pond. We were able to watch wading birds and look at flowers while we ate. The breakfast was above averag...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Ramada Inn Resort Disney Eastgate
5150 W. US Hwy. 192
Kissimmee, Florida 34746
(800) 327-9179

Super 8 Davenport/Maingate South

Hotel | "Super 8, Baseball City"

Quote:
This was an awesome value. This Super 8 motel is out toward the Kissimmee area in Baseball City. You only have to be 50 to get an AARP card, so my Mom got one for $10 that saved us tons on accommodations. We got a rate of only $35 per night in April of 2002. We had two beds, a table, and a bathroom. This was all the room we needed as we didn't plan to do anything there but sleep. The room was clean and pleasant. When we got there, the light in our bathroom was flickering. After a call to the front desk, a man was there within 5 minutes to change the bulb. I was very pleased with the service. Breakfast in the morning consisted of donuts, cereal, and fruit. They had coffee, water, and juices avai...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Super 8 Davenport/Maingate South
44199 Hwy. 27 (off Exit #23 on I-4 at the intersection of US Hwy 27)
Walt Disney World, Florida 33837
(863) 420-8888

Inn at Cocoa Beach

Hotel | "The Inn at Cocoa Beach"

Inn at Cocoa Beach Photo, Cocoa Beach, Florida
Quote:
This was a really nice place. We originally had much cheaper accommodations at the Howard Johnson's Express, but a problem with our reservation forced us to take one of only two rooms left in town. We ended up at the Inn at Cocoa for twice the price (at $150), but it was well worth it. This is good value for the money. This is technically a B&B, but is not in a traditional house. It is a small inn with very few rooms and a nice property. We had a room with one full bed, cable TV, bathroom, and sliding-glass patio door that led us right to the beautiful pool area. Breakfast every morning was in the main dining area, decorated with terra-cotta tile floors and an open french-door v...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 16, 2003

Inn at Cocoa Beach
4300 Ocean Beach Blvd.
Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931
321/799-3460

Matsunoma Lounge

Restaurant

Quote:
Matsunoma Lounge is located in the EPCOT World Showcase in the Japanese Pavilion. It is sit-down, but we found that we did not need reservations at lunchtime. This is a small lounge with a great view. The large windows overlook the pavilion and the atmosphere is simple and elegant. Their specialties are tempura and sushi, both of which we sampled. I had a California roll and a spicy tuna roll, while my mom had shrimp tempura. Both were very tasty. I finally got my mom to try my sushi! This is a good place to introduce someone to sushi as it is of high quality and therefore very tasty. Individual selections are $4.00-$8.00, but you will probably need to order more than one item if you want to make a me...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 14, 2003

Matsunoma Lounge
EPCOT World Showcase Japan
Walt Disney World, Florida
(407) WDW–DINE

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain

Restaurant | "Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop"

Quote:
This is a soda and ice cream shop to die for. I had the most scrumptious root beer float ever while sitting at one of the outdoor tables. Who can resist dessert when tempted by delicious ice cream treats and surrounded by a bazillion varieties of Ghirardelli chocolates? The shop serves a variety of special ice cream desserts, shakes, malts, floats, scoops, and coffees. The special desserts cost about $7.00 each and you can get shakes, floats, malts, cones, etc. for about $4.00 each. This was a favorite stop for me!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain
Downtown Disney Marketplace
Orlando, Florida
(407) 934-8855

Aloha Isle

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a stand in Adventureland selling Dole Whips. It's like ice cream with Dole fruit juice whipped in for the tastiest tropical flavors. This was a nice light treat for a hot afternoon. They have drinks, too. Soooooo good.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Aloha Isle
Adventureland
Walt Disney World, Florida
(407) WDW–DINE

Quote:
This is where we ate on our Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom. Menu Items: Fried chicken fingers and fish basket Fried chicken tenders basket Fried fish basket (All above with carrots or fries.) Ham sandwich Tuna sandwich Hummus sandwich Garden salad Clam chowder in bread bowl Chili in bread bowl Children''s menu I had the fish and thought that it was delicious. It was fried just right and the fries were nice and crispy. Vinegar and tartar sauce were available. My Mom had a salad which she also enjoyed, though she was unable to finish all of it. It was big. Another woman at our table tried a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Columbia Harbour House
Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida

Quote:
Make a reservation early at Guest Services or by using a WDW phone. Overall, I was disappointed in this dining experience. First let me explain the concept. Diners are seated in mock convertibles with two seats per row. Each row in the car has its own little counter for a table. All of the cars are parked at the local drive-in which is in the midst of a sci-fi thrill-a-thon. An actual movie screen at the front of the restaurant shows a continuous loop of trailers and bits from old black-and-white sci-fi movies of the 50s. It's a real laugh to watch the corny monsters and hokey special effects that used to be so terrifying on the screens of yesteryear. It's also great fun to dine in the faux convertib...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

Tony's Town Square Restaurant

Restaurant | "Tony's Towne Square"

Tony's Town Square Restaurant Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
GOOD FOOD! I ate here with my teenage sister in March of 1999 and we both really enjoyed it. The bill for two of us was about $50, and it was worth every penny. The theme here is based on the Italian restaurant in Lady and the Tramp. There is a fountain in the center of the restaurant featuring the canine pair. Our waiter was the real deal straight from Italy, and he helped us out by explaining a little about different names for dishes. Our meal started with a giant salad bowl that we served ourselves from. It's similar to what you get at The Olive Garden. The entrées could have been two meals for us, they were so big. Everything was perfectly cooked and seasoned, too. Our seating was comfortab...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Tony's Town Square Restaurant
Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Restaurant | "Akershus"

Quote:
This is the Norwegian specialty restaurant at EPCOT, set in a stone castle. My Mom and I ate here on our trip in April 2002 as we had never been able to entice the rest of the family to go. I have never seen people with such a fear of herring! The two of us adventurers, however, really enjoyed it. The buffet is large and features lots of traditional items. They have a variety of cheeses and breads to try, several different cold herring salads, and salmon prepared in various ways. The lox was excellent. There were hearty stews and meatballs, noodles, and various baked fish dishes. I can''t remember everything, but I know that everything I tasted was good. There were some great comfort foods on the buff...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Epcot Center: Norway Pavilio
Orlando, Florida
(407) WDW-DINE

Electric Umbrella

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a counter service place with hot dogs, burgers, chicken fingers, and fries. My sister was wild about the chicken fingers. She still talks about them. Once you get your food, you have a bar of condiments and toppings available to dress up your dish. This seemed to be a very busy place with lots of families with small children. We were there just after Christmas and the park was quite busy. I am assuming that that is why the tables and floor were not as clean as I have come to expect from Disney. There were just too many people that day! All in all, it was a suitable place for a quick bite, but nothing really special.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Electric Umbrella
EPCOT World Showcase
Walt Disney World, Florida
(407) WDW–DINE

Pinocchio's Village Haus

Restaurant | "Pinocchio''s Village Haus"

Quote:
This is what Disney terms a "counter service" restaurant on the border of Fantasyland. The building is half-timbered in Pinocchio style and has a glass overlook into the Small World attraction. Items include chicken fingers, burgers, and salads, as I remember. My mom and I each had a salad tossed with walnuts, peaches, and a tangy dressing. The peaches were a bit frozen, but we were happy to have some veggies. There were a lot of tables big enough for families and everything was pretty clean. The staff prepared our orders and got us through the line quickly. We found this restaurant to be rather empty compared to others. That might have been due to the time of day, but I suspect th...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Pinocchio's Village Haus
Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World, Florida
(407) WDW–DINE

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney

Restaurant | "Rainforest Cafe"

Quote:
What fun! A meal at Downtown Disney's Raiforest Cafe is both delicious and entertaining. The menu has a real variety of dishes. I had a stir fry and my sister had a Mexican-style dish. Some dishes seem to be a fusion of various cuisines, all of which are very tasty and very filling. The whole place is full of vines, rocks, aquariums, and waterfalls, and the cries of all different animals fill the air. It's a very active sort of atmosphere, but not really overly busy to the point of being distracting. The animatronic creatures are fairly realistic and have a variety of movements. They're really quite interesting to watch. The table my sister and I shared had a small cave full of bats overhead, and ever...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney
Disney Marketplace
Orlando, Florida
(407) WDW-DINE

Quote:
This is counter service with flair. Wolfgang Puck''s tasty recipes are put together by a long assembly line of employees. Your order is put together when you place it, and then it''s freshly prepared. My mom and I split a spinach and three-cheese pizza meant for one. It was plenty for the two of us as a light lunch. Verrrry good. The pizza was baked in a brick oven to order and the variety of beverages available went from sodas to imported waters. (European Friends: I have seen quite a few visitors from Europe looking for what we call "sparkling water" in the States. Wolfgang Puck''s definitely has it in several varieties. I haven''t seen it anywhere else at Disney so far. Hope that helps.) Th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Wolfgang Puck Express
1482 East Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, Florida 32830
+1 407 938 9653

Crystal Palace Restaurant

Restaurant | "The Crystal Palace"

Quote:
This is a mega buffet featuring characters from Winnie the Pooh. The building is "ornate Victorian" on Main Street and "tropical Victorian" in Adventureland, according to our Disney tour guide. The place is almost entirely windows, and beautiful sunlight gives the whole dining area a natural glow. There are linen tablecloths and ornate decorations. I could not even begin to describe the exact buffet selections to you. There are many choices of meats and vegetables, a salad bar, a sandwich bar, and a dessert bar. Even drinks are included. During the meal, Pooh, Eyore, Tigger, Piglet, and Rabbit work the room, signing autographs and posing for photos. Every table gets its own special moment wit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Crystal Palace Restaurant
Disney World Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

Quote:
This is counter service dining and one of my favorite places to eat. They serve Mexican items including: tacos, chili, taco salad, empenadas, nachos, and churros. They do have a children''s meal for about $3.50. Most adult choices are around $5. I find the tacos just incredibly delicious to the point that I fantasize about them when I''m at home. I don''t know what it is that makes them so tasty, but I can eat tons of those tacos. It''s fairly inexpensive for park food, too. I also enjoy the atmosphere. There are a lot of tables that are open air but covered. Some of the pirate theme from Pirates of the Caribbean spills over, and you can look across at the tropical plants and watch people go by. The...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

El Pirata y El Perico
Adventureland
Walt Disney World, Florida
(407) WDW–DINE

Casey's Corner

Restaurant

Quote:
This is an All-American counter service restaurant that serves yummy beef hot dogs. Named for the famous slugger, the theme here is baseball, baseball, baseball. This is one of the few places where you can still get a foot-long dog. There is a condiment bar available to dress up your dog with choices such as chili, cheese, onions, relish, mustard, and ketchup. If you're feeling like a real fast food treat, order fries and put cheese on those. Good stuff!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Casey's Corner
Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida

Main Street Bakery

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Main Street Bake Shop"

Quote:
The Main Street Bake Shop is practically irresistible! If you're trying to avoid dessert, you'd best walk down the other side of Main Street. The smell of Nestle Toll House cookies blows right out of a vent on the outside, drawing folks in by the nose. Though there are some selections that I would call "legitimate meals," chances are you won't even notice that once you get an eyeful of desserts. They have everything! I went in there on the way out one night for a cookie and nearly didn't believe what I was seeing. The glass-front counter in back shields gigantic cheesecakes, pies, cakes, muffins, cookies, and pastries from the salivating customers while servers carve up huge chunks of these con...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 13, 2003

Main Street Bakery
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Orlando, Florida

Tusker House Restaurant

Restaurant | "Tusker House"

Quote:
I have eaten at the Tusker House in Africa twice. My first trip there was at the end of 1998, shortly after Animal Kingdom opened. The second trip was in April of 2002. I have to say that I preferred the original menu from 1998, as it was much more adventurous and delicious. On the first trip I had a super-tasty turkey sandwich prepared on focaccia bread with sprouts and a side of authentic taboule. On the second trip, the most exotic thing I could find was a turkey wrap. Sadly, the Tusker House has abandoned its healthy foods and sides with African flavor to suit the palates of fast-food addicted Americans. I was so disappointed to see a kitchen full of chicken fingers and burgers. I really hope that...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 6, 2003

Tusker House Restaurant
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom

Attraction | "Keys to the Kingdom"

Quote:
This tour is fantastic! I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just be brief. This is a walking tour of about 5 or 6 hours that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. You will learn all sorts of fun and fascinating facts about Walt Disney, his dream, and the reality it has become. You will get to see some of the inner workings of the park, learn the "off stage" secrets behind the magic, and visit some areas that are normally closed to the public. There is plenty of time for questions and answers, and the guides take time for everyone. Lunch is included, and you will receive a special collectible nametag pin and keys to the Kingdom pin. No one else can get these p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 14, 2003

Walt Disney World Resort Magic Kingdom
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida
(407) 824-4321

Surviving the Fun

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
If you want to truly have a great time at Disney, you have GOT to be smart about it. Here are a few of my tips for having tons of fun without stressing yourself out or getting ill in the process. *Drink and be Merry: It is HOT in Orlando in the summer (and at other times, too), and there is a lot of concrete at Disney. You must drink plenty of liquids throughout the day or you will probably get dehydrated and begin to feel tired or even dizzy. You can bring your own water bottle to refill at fountains or purchase drinks at the parks. Don''t just drink sodas. They do not protect you from dehydration. It is important to have some water, even if you stop at one of the many fountains....Read More

Surviving the Fun, Part II

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Pack for the Day Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
More tips for keeping it all fun at WDW: *Buck the Herd: There seems to be a set pattern that most visitors follow at the parks. It can be very helpful to deviate from it. For example, eat your big meal at lunch. The character dining/feature restaurants have nearly the same menu and you pay less per head. The added advantage is that you can just grab a quick bite at dinnertime when everyone else is clamoring for a table. This means that you spend less time in line for attractions during dinner, or you can get a prime spot for the evening parade or show. There are also small surprises all over WDW that you can only discover by taking the road less traveled. Sometimes by taking the ...Read More

Disney on Dimes

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Tips for Cutting Costs at WDW *Bring Snacks: Avoid spending between meals by packing up some snacks for your day in the parks. Just don't bring anything that will melt. *Eat at the Hotel: If your hotel offers continental breakfast, take advantage of it. Some will even have packaged danishes and cereals that you can take along with you if you want to get an early start or don't like to eat first thing in the morning. *Be Prepared: Lots of little purchases can add up. Before you pack at home, think about what your typical day in the parks will be like. Make a list of all the little items you might want or need during your day, and pack a survival pack. Even s...Read More

Did you know...?

Story/Tip

Quote:
WDW Cast Members (employees) have the name of a Disney character at the bottom of their name tag. This is their favorite character. WDW is its own county, not part of Orange County. It is known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District and has everything a normal county would have except a police force and a school board. Why? Orange County would not allow the Cinderella Castle to be built of fiberglass (so it would not sink), so the governor at the time granted Walt Disney his own county. There are dress codes for park guests. It is not acceptable to walk around shirtless or in a bikini top. In order to maintain the wholesome atmosphere, cast members may discreetly give the improper...Read More

Fast Pass

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
The Fast Pass is a relatively recent WDW invention, so not too many people know about it or understand it yet. Disney is really trying to put the information out there, but some are still leery. Don't be. What It Is The Fast Pass is like a reservation for an attraction. Some attractions at WDW are so wildly popular that guests might spend 2 or more hours in line waiting. The Fast Pass helps eliminate this problem to some degree by giving passholders a specific time period to return to the attraction. THERE IS NO EXTRA CHARGE FOR THE FAST PASSES!!! You have nothing to lose by using them. How It Works Go to the busy attractio...Read More
Tigger! Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Disney characters pop up all over the parks at all times of day. Random encounters are so much fun, especially for kids (or adults) who turn around to suddenly find that Tigger is mischeviously sneaking up behind them. Be prepared for these surprises by keeping your camera and/or autograph book easily accessible. You never know who you're going to meet when you least expect it. While getting signed in for our Keys to the Kingdom tour at opening in the Magic Kingdom, my Mom and I were startled to find Cruella de Ville lurking around guest services. She was in high dudgeon about something, and was waving her cigarette holder all over the place. Be sure you toe the line with Cruella, because she won't he...Read More

Hidden Mickeys

Story/Tip

Quote:
What is a Hidden Mickey? No, it is not something that someone slips into your drink while you're not looking. Don't be silly. It's an image of Mickey Mouse, represented in a variety of ways, that is incorporated into some other object or scene. Some are intentional and some are accidental, but Walt Disney World is full of them. Finding the hidden Mickeys has become a great game for us. Adults and older children can pass a great deal of time in line looking for Hidden Mickeys, making the wait more fun. Lots of the hidden Mickeys are actually inside the attractions. We haven't found nearly all of them yet, but here are just a few to look for. -Haunted Mansion: When overlooking the dining ...Read More

Disney MGM Studios

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Singin' in the Rain Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
My family and I feel that MGM is best at night. We usually make it a half-day trip, with our morning spent at the Animal Kingdom. It''s only at night that you get that real Hollywood feel, with the neon humming and names up in lights. We also find that there aren''t yet enough attractions to occupy us for the entire day. MGM is not on the monorail line, so guests have to access it via bus or car. For heaven''s sake, DO remember your parking section accurately, or you might get a wild ride from the tram driver like we did. The extra speed was fun, but we really felt silly being the only people left on the tram at closing. Hollywood Boulevard You step through the gate at ...Read More

Disney MGM Studios, Part II

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Mickey Avenue This area is home to a special attraction for the 100 Years of Magic Celebration--One Man''s Dream. This exhibit allows you to follow the life and dreams of Walt Disney himself. View artifacts from the first days, and get behind-the-scenes info on how it all started. I really hope that WDW will keep this exhibit once the celebration is over, as we got so much enjoyment out of it. I was fascinated by the models for the theme parks and loved learning more about Walt and his fun-loving, good-natured personality. There are cast members on hand who would love to tell you a story from Walt''s life or explain a certain toy or clip you are viewing. Don''t hesitate to ask! They ...Read More

The Magic Kingdom

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Cinderella Castle Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
The Magic Kingdom is what most people think of when they envision Walt Disney world. Its centerpiece, the Cinderella Castle, has represented Disney for years. Opened in 1971, the Magic Kingdom is still growing with new attractions, rehabs, and changes happening all the time. Still, it maintains its timeless character as the heart of Walt Disney World Resort. Getting there:Visitors access the parking area by private vehicle or Disney buses. From there you have the option of taking the monorail or boats to the Magic Kingdom itself. The monorail is by far the speediest form of transportation, and the frequent pickups begin one hour before gate opening. The boats also begin running a...Read More

The Magic Kingdom, Part II

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Share a Dream Come True Parade Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Liberty Square: Liberty square is a little slice of colonial America. This is where you can visit some of the fathers of our country in the Hall of Presidents. Every president is represented, with speeches given by Abraham Lincoln and the current Pres. It''s a great idea to visit the forefathers during the heat of the day, as you get a nice, long show in darkness and a/c. The river boat also departs from here, taking you on a 17-minute steam and paddlewheel ride around the Rivers of America. You can put your favorite parent or some misbehaving kids in the stocks as public examples right out in the square--great photo op. This is also where you can take a not-so-scary whirl through the Haunted...Read More

EPCOT Center

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Spaceship Earth Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is connected to the Magic Kingdom by the monorail. Built in 1979, Walt's vision of a united world where ideas flow freely is embodied best at EPCOT Center. The park is divided into two sections: Future World, and the World Showcase. Future World Spaceship Earth: The centerpiece of this park, Spaceship Earth, is a giant geodesic dome whose silvery surfaces evoke a space-age feel. This is the first attraction guests encounter upon entering the gate. Guests board individual rotating cars and travel through time, following the progress of mankind in communications. After passing through recorded history...Read More

EPCOT, Part II

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
World Showcase The world showcase takes you through a mini-tour of 11 countries. Each pavilion is designed to introduce you to the best each country has to offer and to help you learn about the people and cultures of these different lands. World Showcase typically opens one hour after Future World, so don't hesitate to jump right in line for Spaceship Earth when EPCOT opens. You'll get to the World Showcase in plenty of time. Mexico: The world tour begins in Mexico with a journey along the River of Time (El Rio de Tiempo). This is a light-hearted and short boat ride through Mexico where video and animatronic characters welcome you south of the border. To...Read More

EPCOT, Part III

Story/Tip

Quote:
Illuminations: This is a nighttime spectacular encompassing all of the World Showcase. Get a spot around the World Showcase Lagoon and watch the show. Each country lights up in turn, and there are fireworks and a giant globe in the center of the lagoon where images are projected. The message is inspirational, focusing on the adventure that unfolds when when the stories of all peoples are shared. This is a great way to end the day at EPCOT, but bring a jacket. Even in April, the wind off the lagoon was a little chilly. Miscellaneous: There are all sorts of unexpected things hidden around EPCOT Center. There are talking water fountains and trash cans, and sidewalk squares tha...Read More

Animal Kingdom, Part II

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Primeval Whirl Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Asia: Asia is the most recently opened section of the Animal Kingdom theme park. The two main attractions in this area are the Kali River Rapids and Maharajah Jungle Trek. I have not been on Kali River Rapids, as it is designed to get you WET! I just hate being soggy all day. I did, however, enjoy the Maharajah Jungle Trek very much. Guests enter the ruins of a stone temple to encounter some of the native animals of Asia. The tigers in this area are just beautiful, though the Florida heat can make them indolent at times. There are also Tapirs, colorful birds, and bats, bats, bats. Although they might seem creepy at first, the bats are actually quite entertaining to watch. If you can ...Read More

Security

Story/Tip

Perfectly Clear Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Sadly, even "The Happiest Place on Earth" has not been immune to the tragic after-effects of terrorism in the United States. In the wake of 9-11, Walt Disney World now conducts bag/package checks at the front gate of each park. If you bring any kind of bag or package, a stroller, or a rolled-up blanket, sweat shirt, etc., you will need to stop for the check before going through the turnstile. Hint one: Stay aware of your party members during the security check!!! I have seen too many families race toward the turnstiles, insert their tickets, and then realize that they're missing someone. Often dear old dad is stuck back under the canopy while the security folks examine the contents ...Read More

Animal Kingdom

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Disney''s Animal Kingdom is built on a different concept from the other three theme parks. There are rides, shops, and restaurants, but the focus is on the many animals in residence on the property. Disney has imported denizens of animals from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere to live right next door to native North American species. You will see the Florida cooter, opossum, and racoon, but you will also see crocodiles, gazelles, and fruit bats. The Animal Kingdom offers a unique opportunity to learn about these animals, their habitats, and the various environmental issues concerning them. Getting There: Disney''s Animal Kingdom is not on the monorail line. Guests must access the p...Read More
Quote:
My first visit to WDW was in December of 1998. My parents, sister, and I took a family trip right after Christmas (Dec. 27) and stayed until January 2, 1999. Holidays are so much fun done the Disney way. The parks are all specially decorated, and there are holiday performances that are only offered during the Christmas season. We really loved the tall Christmas trees and lights everywhere. The dancing Christmas lights at EPCOT Center were absolutely mesmerizing. They blink in a variety of ways, all set to music. There is a special Candlelight concert at EPCOT as well, near the American pavilion, where the celebrity host leads the audience and choir in a selection of holiday songs and stories. ...Read More

Internet Resources

Story/Tip

Quote:
There are TONS of fans of Walt Disney World out there, and they have put together TONS of information for you. It's all at your fingertips on the Internet. What better way to find Disney information than by using your mouse? Here are some sites that I found VERY useful: Deb's Unofficial Guide This is one of the best. She has info on almost everything. I actually found her site more useful than the Disney site itself. Lots of tips here, including some I have already mentioned to you in Surviving the Fun. You'll find that most Disney-ers have many of the same ideas. Must mean they work! Offic...Read More