Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Walt Disney World Railroad - March 6, 2014

Walt Disney World Railroad

As you approach the ticket gates to the Magic Kingdom, you will see the train station for the Walt Disney World Railroad.  This train is a steam train that does a clockwise loop starting from this main train station to Frontierland, then to  Fantasyland before returning to the main train station.  It is a great way to relax and go around the Magic Kingdom.  I made a video of the train trip on March 6, 2014 from the main train station to Frontierland, and then from Frontierland to Fantasyland.  Unfortunately, I could not continue my train trip from Fantasyland to the main train station because of heavy rain.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage at Disney's Hollywood Studios - March 6, 2014

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

Disney's Hollywood Studios hosts a musical based on the animated movie Beauty and the Beast called Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.  It's shown in a covered amphitheater to shield guests from the Florida sun rays and rain storms. This 20-minute show goes through most of the famous scenes and songs in the animated movie.  This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to live musical theater.  I filmed the entire show on March 6, 2014.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Walking Around Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - March 3, 2014

The Quiet Pool near the Ranchos Building
Before checking out of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, I decided to film my walk around the resort from the Ranchos building (my room was at this building) to the main lobby.  I walked to the quiet pool near my room, to the laundry facility, to the Dig Site Pool, and through the walking paths.  Here is the video that I filmed from March 3, 2014.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Learn How To Draw Dopey at the Animation Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios

During the first week in March 2014, my Mom and I had a vacation at Walt Disney World and decided to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios to do the drawing class at the Animation Academy.  On my last solo trip to Disney World, I took a drawing class at the Animation Academy and blogged about my experience (see my blog post Animation Academy at Disney Hollywood Studios).  During that trip, I learned how to draw Pluto.  The class was easy enough to follow that you can learn to draw your favorite Disney character in 20 minutes.  I wanted to share this fun learning experience with my Mom.

In this visit to the Animation Academy, we learned to draw Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  The class was not full on the day that we visited.  Once the doors to the classroom opened, my Mom and I selected the last row of animation light-table desks, and sat at the end of the row near the exit doors.  This was the perfect spot to watch the instructor draw the character on the projector.   Here is the video of the entire class:

This animation class is included with your park admission and you can attend as many classes throughout the day as long as there is space available in the classroom.  I encourage everyone that likes animation to drop by and attend at least one course.  This will give you a great learning experience, and a free souvenir to take back with you!

Here is my drawing of Dopey after the end of the course.  Do you like it?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spaceship Earth in Future World at Epcot - March 3, 2014

Spaceship Earth

Whenever I think of Epcot, I always picture the golf-ball looking structure called Spaceship Earth.  This ride is special for me because it is the first ride I ever rode on my first visit to Walt Disney World.  On every visit to Epcot, I always make it a priority to ride Spaceship Earth.  Since this ride first opened, scenes have changed, ride features have been added, and narrators have changed.  I filmed the entire ride on March 3, 2014.  This featured Dame Judi Dench as the narrator.  Who is your favorite narrator on the Spaceship Earth ride? Lawrence Dobkin, Walter Cronkite, Jeremy Irons, or Dame Judi Dench?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios - March 3, 2014

The Great Movie Ride
The Great Movie Ride is one of the original rides that opened with the opening of Disney's MGM Studios (the original name of what is now known as Disney's Hollywood Studios).  Not much has changed with the ride since the opening.  The uniforms of the cast members that guide you through The Great Movie Ride and the film at the end of the ride have changed.  I took a video of the entire ride from the first row of the ride vehicle on March 3, 2014.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Living with the Land in The Land Pavilion at Epcot - March 4, 2014

Living with the Land
Living with the Land is a boat ride that takes the rider through the history of the American landscape and tours through an innovative greenhouse growing plants, fruits and vegetable from every part of the world.  It has been in operation in The Land Pavilion at Epcot since the pavilion opened.  The ride has seen some changes throughout the years.  It used to have a cast member accompany the ride and narrate a script.  A couple of years ago, the cast member was replaced with an pre-recorded narration.  Many of the vegetation has changed throughout the years.  I recently rode the ride on March 4, 2014 and filmed a video.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Burudika Band at Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom - March 7, 2014

Burudika Band at Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom
A stage is set up in the square outside of the Tusker House restaurant featuring the Burudika Band.  “Burudika” is Swahili for “to be refreshed”. This band consists of African drummers playing traditional African songs.  The band members will involve some of the audience in their act.  Below is a video that I took on March 7, 2014 of some their music and interaction with the audience.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wildlife Express Train from Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch, and Back - Disney's Animal Kingdom - March 3, 2014

Wildlife Express Train Station at Africa

I previously posted to this blog a ride video that I took of the Wildlife Express Train back in 2009 (Ride Video of the Wildlife Express to Conservation Station in Animal Kingdom - December 2009).  In the original video, I showed the train ride experience from Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch.  You were able to see the backstage areas in Animal Kingdom where the animals sleep after spending the entire day outside.  What you were not able to see was the train ride experience from Rafiki's Planet Watch to Africa.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot - March 7, 2014

This is my 100th blog post!

The Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot has always had a dark boat ride since it opened in 1982.  It was first called El Río del Tiempo (The River of Time) and it featured a boat ride though various scenes in Mexico.  It had a lot of animatronic characters similar to those in the It's A Small World ride.  This version of the ride lasted from 1982 to 2007.

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
In 2007, Disney changed the ride to the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. The ride is now themed with The Three Caballeros: Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Panchito Pistoles.  There are now projections of short scenes showing each of the characters.  Half of the animatronics from the original ride have been removed.  Below is video that I took from the ride from March 7, 2014.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Haunted Mansion Ride Through, March 2, 2014

The Haunted Mansion is one of the original attractions at the Magic Kingdom.  It's located at Liberty Square next to the Liberty Bell Riverboat ride and across from the Columbia Harbour House Quick Service Restaurant.  You currently can get FastPass + on this attraction so that you can have a minimal wait to board the ride.  The Haunted Mansion has interactive activities in the standby queue when you get closer to the entrance to mansion.  Once you get through the entrance.  The cast members bring you to a room where they ask you to go to the "dead center".  Once everyone is in the room, the doors close and a "ghost host" tells you about the room that you are in.  You then see the painting stretch and reveal a funny ending to the person pictured in the painting.  Then the "ghost host" turns out all the lights and tells you to find the way out.

Inside the stretching room

Once the room doors open, you are led to the line where you wait to board the omnimover vehicle.  Once you are in omnimover, you will enjoy a guided tour through the haunted mansion.  I have taken video of the ride, including the stretching room.  A lot of the ride is in the dark.  My video camera had a hard time focusing on some of the things in the mansion.  I apologize ahead of time if you are not able view parts of the video.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Affection Station at Rafiki's Planet Watch at Animal Kingdom - March 3, 2014

Animal Kingdom would not be the Animal Kingdom without the animals that the park features in it's attractions and throughout the green areas of the park.  One of the attractions that features animals is Affection Station.  It allows visitors to get really up close to an animal and pet it.  Affection Station is Disney World's version of a petting farm.  Visitors not only can pet an animal, they can also brush their hair using brushes that are available throughout Affection Station.

A goat roaming around
The animals that were available for petting were goats, sheep, and potbelly pigs.  To pet these animals, they need to be roaming around and not in their roped off areas where they feed on treats and drink water.  Visitors are not able to feed the animals.  There were other animals at Affection Station that visitors could look at, but were caged off to prevent them from being petted.  These animals were mules, cows, and donkeys.  Here is video of the animals that I could get up close to.

Before you exit Affection Station, visitors should wash their hands at the washing stations located near the exit doors.  Also, check the bottom of your shoes to make sure you clean up the animal droppings that you might have accidentally stepped on.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's a Small World from Row 6 at Disney World - March 2, 2014

I previously posted to this blog a ride video of the It's a Small World ride from back in 2009 (It's A Small World ride video from the Magic Kingdom - December 2009).  I recently went back to the Magic Kingdom on March 2, 2014 to take another ride video of It's a Small World.  One difference that I did notice before entering the standby ride line was the addition of the new FastPass + gates.  The other difference that I noticed were the locations of the line for entering and exiting the line.  If you look at the video from 2009, you will see that people board the boat from the right side of the boat, and then exist the boat from the left.  In the video that I took in March, you will notice that people board the boat from the left side of the boat, and exit from the right side of the boat.  I was assigned Row 6, which is the last row on the boat.

The Animatronics inside It's a Small World

The animatronics inside the ride seem unchanged since I last created a video of the ride back in 2009.  The same "It's a Small World" song continuously loops throughout the entire boat ride. No additional scenes and animatronics were added.  This is a classic ride that all visitors should ride at least once.  It allows the entire family to enjoy a leisurely boat ride.  Here is the video of ride that I took on March 2, 2014.

Gi-Tar Dan outside of Conservation Station at Rafiki's Planet Watch - March 3, 2014

On March 3, 2014, I decided to start my day at Disney's Animal Kingdom,  It's been a while since I've visited Rafiki's Planet Watch so I wanted to see what has changed in that area.  I took the Wilderness Express train from Africa to get to Rafiki's Planet Watch.  I got off the Wilderness Express train and headed to the Conservation Station.  Once I got to the Conservation Station, I noticed a man playing a guitar and singing a song to a family.  As I got closer to the man, I recognized that this was the same man that used to entertain guests at Camp Minnie-Mickey.  The man calls himself Gi-Tar Dan and has entertained visitors inside the Animal Kingdom for many years.

Gi-Tar Dan

I wondered what Animal Kingdom would do with him when Camp Minnie-Mickey was being converted as part of the Avatarland expansion.  Now we can continue to enjoy his guitar playing and singing outside of the Conservation Station.  Here's a small clip of Gi-Tar Dan entertaining a family.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Main Street Electrical Parade - March 2, 2014

The Main Street Electrical Parade has been a long time favorite of mine.  The night time parade has been at the Magic Kingdom since the opening of the Magic Kingdom.  However, for a period of time, the parade was replaced with the Spectromagic parade.  I liked Spectromagic, but I felt that it should not have replaced the Main Street Electrical Parade.  To me, the Main Street Electrical Parade was a tradition that was enjoyed by millions of people that visited the park.  I was happy when Disney World decided to bring it back as the main night time parade.  Now I can enjoy the parade once again!

My mom took these photos of the parade when we watched it on March 2, 2014.

Two things make me always want to watch the parade: The floats with the many moving lights, and the amazing unforgettable soundtrack.  Visitors of all ages enjoy this parade.  I took video of it so that you can also share in the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mulch, Sweat and Shears at Disney Hollywood Studios - March 3, 2014

The Mulch, Sweat and Shears lineup at 6:25pm
On March 3, 2014, I had the opportunity to watch not one, but two Mulch, Sweat and Shears performances at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  My mom and I were at Disney's Hollywood Studios to take a drawing course at the Animation Academy.  We were able to catch their performance at 6:25pm and at 9:05pm.  What I did not know is there were different versions of the lineup that performed that night.  Each lineup did different styles of songs and had a different lead singer.  Both lineups had comedy that they did as part of their act.  Mulch, Sweat and Shears performances are awesome.  They cover songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and now.  I have video of both performances so that you can see the differences between the lineups.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride Through from the FastPass+ line - March 2, 2014

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid is a family dark ride that is located in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.  Disney's California Adventure has the same ride.  The biggest difference is the queue line.  Disney World has built a great interactive queue for the visitors that will visit it when lines are 40 minutes or more.  We had the opportunity to take the FastPass + line.  We walked on the ride without having to go through the long queue.  The ride contains a lot of cool animatronics.  I made a video of the full ride experience from FastPass + line.

Wishes Fireworks from New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom - March 2, 2014

Normally, I would watch the Wishes Fireworks show while facing Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  This time, I was at New Fantasyland when the fireworks started.  I did not realize that the fireworks were shooting from two different places.  The explosion of the fireworks are really loud when you are viewing it from New Fantasyland.  You will find yourself constantly looking at two different directions.  Rather than explain what you will see, watch the video of the fireworks show.  My mom also took photos of the fireworks while I was taking video.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Room 7237 at Disney's Pop Century Resort - March 3, 2014

I recently stayed at Disney's Pop Century Resort during the first week of March 2014 to attend the Disney Foodies Eat 'N' Greet.  I got a good Annual Passholder rate for a Standard Room.  I have stayed at Pop Century in the past, but have not stayed there since they renovated their rooms.  When I got to check-in, I found out that they assigned me to Room 7237 in the 80s building.  If you look at the map below, you will see that the 80s building is a good distance to the left of the Classic Hall, which is the resort's main lobby.  Just be prepared to walk for a while when you are walking to Room 7237.

Map of Disney's Pop Century Resort.  Our room is in the 80's building.