Ride Quiz #1. Peter Pan’s Flight

I thought I would start something different today. I’m going to post some Disney ride quizes to see just how much you know about Disney World. Some of the questions will be easy, but others will be challenging. Since some of the answers would be nearly impossible unless you had just gone on the rides, they will be multiple choice so you can guess on the ones you’re not sure about. If you’ve been to the parks recently, you should find this a little easier. However, if you’re stumped, you can probably find most of the answers with a Google search.

The first quiz will be on Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World Resort. I will add the answers at a later time. Good Luck!

Peter Pan's Flight, Fantasyland, Walt Disney World

Peter Pan's Flight, Fantasyland, Walt Disney World

1. What classic doll is sitting in the corner as you fly through Wendy’s bedroom?   

     a. Holly Hobby     b. Raggedy Andy     c. Strawberry Shortcake

2. What name is over the door on the doghouse?

     a. Fido     b. Lucy     c. Nana

3. As you fly over London, what time is displayed on Big Ben?

     a. 9:06     b. Noon     c. 3:33

4. Which one of these items are the mermaids NOT holding?

     a. Angel Harp     b. Shell Horn     c. Clam Shell     d. Starfish

5. How many Lost Boys are sitting around the fire?

     a. Four     b. Five     c. Six

6. How many times does Captain Hook appear during the ride?

     a. Three     b. Five     c. Seven

7. Where does the final battle take place between Peter Pan and Capt Hook?

     a.  In Peter’s hideout     b. In London     c. On a ship

8. What do you sit in during the ride?

     a. A trolley car     b. A ship     c. The Lost Boys’ Express

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/

SEGWAY tour around the World Showcase at EPCOT

My wife surprised me on our trip to Disney last week with a tour around EPCOT on a Segway transport. I had seen people riding these around on previous trips and commented on how fun it looked. I was excited to finally get a chance to ride one.

My day started early, as the tour began at 8:30am. I walked from the Beach Club Resort to the back entrance of EPCOT before the park opened. Once inside, I headed over to guest relations to sign in. It was odd walking through the park before any guests were there. The only people around were a few gardeners and some maintenance workers. After I checked in and signed a quick liability release, we walked with our guide over to the training area at Innovations West. We started by picking out our helmets and watching a short video on some safety features. Once that was over, our guide rolled out a SEGWAY and showed us how to turn it on, how to get on and off, and how to make it move. Then, we each got to practice ourselves.

SEGWAY tour at EPCOT

Getting on was easy enough. Just hold it level until you see a green light (you will see red lights if it’s not level) and step on one foot at a time. It’s a little shaky at first, but it really only takes about 5 or 10 seconds to get the hang of it. A computer and gyros in the base help to stabilize it and your body movement forward or backward makes it move in that direction. It’s very sensitive and only takes a small amount of leaning to make it move. The sensors under your feet feel every move you make and react in that direction. To make it turn. You lean the bar in the direction you want to turn. If it sounds difficult, it really isn’t. There were six adults and two teenagers in our group and we all picked it up easily.

After our training session inside, we headed out to the park for a trip around the World Showcase. Along the trip, we stopped in several of the countries where our instructor gave us a little information on the country and also took us through some ‘challenge’ courses. We rode down a ramp in China, through the miniature train village next to Germany, in and out of the columns in Italy, and through France. Half way around, we had some free time to ride around within a coned-off area and have our pictures taken by the lake. Once we got back to Future World, we had to weave through people, as the park had opened while we were on our ride.

My daughter was bummed that she couldn’t take the tour, but you have to be 16 or older to ride. There is also a weight limit for riding, which is 100-250 pounds.

If you ever get the chance to take this tour, I highly recommend it. It is a two hour tour, including the instruction time. The SEGWAY is easy to ride, and I can’t think of a better place to ride than at the Walt Disney World resort.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

Win a free FastPass for a day for your entire family.

Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World

Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World

A few weeks ago, we learned about a fun game at the Magic Kingdom. Every morning, cast members hide five paint brushes on Tom Sawyer Island. The lucky ones who find these brushes are rewarded with fast passes for the day for their entire family! Cool, I thought, as I started planning my ‘hunt’ around the island. How hard could it be? Right?

The first boat to the island left the dock at 10:00 this morning and we were on it. Our plan was to split up so we could cover more ground and then report back at a certain time to see who had found a brush. We hit the ground running (literally). A quick trip around the island made me realize just how hot and humid it really was, even at 10am.

I figured it would take us about 15-20 minutes of searching to find a brush. Well….it didn’t quite work out that way. After 30 minutes of intense searching in the heat and humidity, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We looked behind trash cans, throughout every nook and cranny of the fort, under chairs, and in the bushes. We even looked throughout the three caves on the island, where we had to use the light on our phone to search in the dark. Still nothing. And we weren’t the only ones having a problem. I asked several other people how they were doing and none of them had found a brush either. So much for stumbling on a brush; these were hidden well.

Hidden paintbrush on Tom Sawyer Island

After an hour of searching in the heat, we headed back to the boat without a paint brush, and more importantly, an all-day FastPass. Overall we had a lot of fun, and if nothing else, it was something different to do. We go to the park enough that I didn’t mind losing an hour where I could have been doing something else. If you don’t make it to the park often; however, I would suggest skipping this scavenger hunt and enjoying the rides instead. But….. you never know, you just might be the lucky one who finds a paintbrush and gets to enjoy FastPasses for the day. Good luck!

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

Tips for riding Toy Story Mania! at Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Mania!

Now that Toy Story 3 is out, it’s time to talk about my all time favorite ride at Disney; Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This attraction combines fun elements of my childhood with my competitive personality and makes me live for the one time in my bi-monthly trips I get to enjoy this ride.

When I enter this ride, I feel like I am walking into my toy closet as a child. As the line queue winds through the attraction on its way up to the beginning of the ride, I feel like I have been transported back in time. All of my favorites are here: Candy Land, Lincoln Logs, Chutes and Ladders, Mr. Potato Head, and even oversized, larger-than-life crayons. It is a kid’s (and adult’s) dream. The vibrant colors, the sheer joy of knowing I WILL beat my last score, and just enjoying the atmosphere with other people in line, puts me in a blissful place. Not every line at Disney does this for me; I can promise you that. I have, however; met some of the nicest people at this ride, and the line never seems as long as it says. With that said, there are a couple of rules to go by when going on Toy Story Mania! to make your experience the best it can be.

  1. First (and most importantly), go early in the day! I can’t stress this enough. Do not wait until later in the day to come over to Hollywood Studios thinking you will be able to hop right on and ride. This ride gets long very fast and stays long all day.
  2. Once you enter the park, go straight to this ride. Don’t even stop to Fast Pass Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n Rollercoaster. Rockin’s line moves quicker than any other and you will still be able to get a good time if you Fastpass it after Toy Story Mania! 
  3. If you are thinking of Fastpassing this ride and waiting until later to ride it, you might want to reconsider. This ride has a tendency to break down occasionally and it may take 45 minutes or longer to reset. While resetting, they typically do not allow people to wait inside the building. This means that even with a Fastpass, you may still end up waiting for a while to ride.
  4.  Do not make the mistake of thinking you are in line for the ride, only to find out 20 minutes later that you are actually in line for the Fastpass machine. Both lines can be long! You have to walk past the Fastpass booths to get to the ride line, which is to the left of the entrance as you are looking at the door.  
  5. Accuracy vs. total score. If you are going for a high score, keep pulling the trigger (string). You will not be penalized for missed shots, so keep on shooting.  
  6. Ride secrets for higher scores. Each of the arcade games has its own secret tips to release higher scoring targets. Here are a few of them.

The Barn. Shoot the fox in the lower left corner to release a flock of high-scoring chickens in the same corner.

Plate Toss. Shoot both ‘jumping’ plates to initiate a screen full of high-scoring jumping plates. Once the screen clears, four jumping plates will appear. Along with your partner, shoot these four plates. If successful, the mountain will lift to reveal a tank.

Alien Ring Toss. Put rings on all eight of the aliens in the center spaceship before they reappear. If you do, the spaceship will take off to reveal a super alien, worth a whole lot of points.

Woody’s Roundup. Shooting the bullseyes will make them blossom into a tree of targets. Shoot all of these quickly to initiate new high-value targets. Also, Shoot the small bat near the top to activate a new really high-value target.

After going on this ride, I think you will see why it is one of my favorite rides in all of Walt Disney World. Whether you are competitive like me or just there to sit back and enjoy the ride, I believe this ride will soon be in your list of top attractions too. Enjoy.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

Top 10 reasons to visit Disney this summer!

Summertime at Walt Disney World

Yes it is hot in the summer. Yes it may rain briefly in the afternoon but there are many reasons to go to Disney this summer. Last June we went and we found it less crowded than our trip in October. We believe it is because so many people have been told to go in October that this has become a peak time. October is actually one of our busier months for clients now. So yes it will be hot and there will be crowds but we can help you manage those things and with all the promos Disney has come out with, there are fewer off season times than in previous years.

1. Everything is open! Attractions are not closed for refurbishments.

2. Extended hours. You can actually budget better than during other times of the year; ask us how. No matter when you decide to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, the fact is there are always going to be crowds, especially for the rides and shows. During off-peak times, Disney cuts back hours at the parks and may not have as many ride vehicles going. This allows them to reduce manning; however, wait times end up being nearly as long as they may be during the summer time. So by going when there are extended hours when all of the attractions are open and having a plan for when you travel, you will be able to enjoy more and have a more flexible vacation.

3. Break up the summer. We all start the summer refreshed, loving the pool, and spending time with friends, but soon it all comes to feel like another schedule. Break it up with a trip to Disney, either short or long. We can help you experience a little magic either way. You don’t HAVE to set an entire week aside for Mickey.

4. If you do have some extra time, Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now open at Universal Studios and Sea World is offering $5.00 tickets this summer for kids! Take a day-trip to one of these fun places.

5. New things to see this summer include a new parade and new fireworks. Not to mention a dance party at Hollywood Studios and Tower of Terror has mixed it up.

6. Major airlines pricing roundtrip air in June/July from:

Huntsville, $148          Boston, $192

JFK, $238                      St Louis, $174

Detroit, $169                Chicago, $193

Charlotte, $158           Houston, $276

Atlanta, $138               Washington DC, $155

*Low-cost carrier rates may be lower. Subject to availability. Pricing at time this was published.

7. Time to get together with family and friends. We find this time of year is the easiest time friends and family can all get time off to get together. Turn it into a family reunion. There are so many things for folks to do at Disney. If you have members in your party who say they don’t like the parks, there is always golf and fishing, or even the Richard Petty race car driving experience. There is something for everyone and the summer affords the time for most to gather together and enjoy one another. Not everyone has to sit around the house all day and do the same thing together. They can all go off and do their own thing at Disney and meet up at the end of the day.

8. Throw some fun and entertainment into your summer. When I was young, my parents use to drag me to boring museums in the summer with no thrill to them. Then we would head to Cedar Point for one day of fun each summer. Why not do it all in one trip? There is so much to do at Disney; it is 47 square miles, and it is both fun and educational. You can learn about recycling while playing a game (in the AC), build a rollercoaster while doing math (in the AC), see how they are growing the next generation of plants on a boat ride (in the AC), or fly over California in a hang glider on Soarin’ (in the AC). See a theme here?

9. Savings this summer. Prices as low as $860.88 for a family of four, two adults, two kids (between the ages of 3 and 9) for four nights and five day tickets. Kids stay and Play Free, Free dining, up to 40% off resort rooms, so many ways to save money!

10. There’s no time like the present! Don’t wait any longer to head to Disney for some summer fun and excitement and to build memories you and your family will never forget. Call us today to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

Ears of Experience’s New Promotion with Princess of Tides

Ears of Experience’s NEW Promotion Now through May 26th! Win a Free Princess Dress! Sign up as a fan of both Ears of Experience, LLC and Princess of Tides Facebook pages to be entered in the drawing. You can also refer a client to Ears of Experience to enter a chance for the drawing as well. Email amy@themouseexperts.com once you sign up and you will be entered. If you are local, you can pick out your dress, if you are not, Ears will send it to you (shipping is included in the promo for out of towners).

Princess of Tides Snow White Dress

Win a Free Princess Party at Princess of Tides

Now through August 15th. Refer a client who books with Ears of Experience and you will be entered into the drawing.

For every client who books a trip that travels in June, July, or August, be entered in 5 times.

The more clients you refer, the more chances you get! It is unlimited!

The winner will receive a Magical Private Party for up to 12 guests in their Little Ballroom adorned with a wooden castle wall mural & chandelier 

~ The Princess of Tides Party Team (Staff) at your service~ Dress-up & Adventure Props including a flower halo with cascading ribbons, flower hairclip, or feather diva boa for guests as a keepsake

~ Special visits by Princesses, Characters, or Stylists (Determined by Theme)

* If you are out of town or have boys, we have a comparable gift card option.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

*Certain restrictions apply with this promotion.

A Cool Way to Wait in Line, by Kid Expert, Nattie

Rock 'n Rollercoaster Queue Ticket

Recently, I went to Disney for Spring Break. Of course, the lines were bad. Some of those rides were Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Rockin’ Rollercoaster. When my Aunt Amy and I went to go wait in line for Rockin’ Rollercoaster, something had changed. Nobody was in line, but it looked like there was an entrance to a big lot. At first, I thought the ride had broken down. But no, it was a giant waiting area, because waits were so long! So we went in and they gave us a number. The number had a letter and a number. Our number was C6. They would have this giant screen that named the numbers. When we walked in the number was B9.

'Kid Expert' Nattie at Rock 'n Rollercoaster

The lot was so big. Lots of tents were set up for different activities. They even had vendors in the front. So while you were waiting, you could enjoy a drink or two. After we had a drink we passed a crowded tent. A man was standing on a stage, playing games with waiting people. It was pretty tough to get in, so we skipped that one. The next tent had Beetles ‘Rock Band’! I went over and found the place of lead guitarist (I can’t play a real guitar). I played that with Aunt Amy and some other kids. We jammed out and had a great time. Before we knew it our number was next. We said goodbye to our “band” and headed for the entrance. I thought the whole experience was fantastic. I think that Disney was thinking well towards their guests. I also think that they should do it more often during crowded times. I had an enjoyable time in the waiting area, and some day, they may have it on every ride!

Rock 'n Rollercoaster Queue, Rock Band

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

A New Twist On the Autograph Book

I love the feedback we get from our clients. We learn many new things from them like great room locations, fun little tid bits, and stories of their family adventures. When talking to a client we ran into in Epcot one night after dinner, she told me she saw a family at Akershus, which is a Princess meal in Norway. This family had a new spin on the autograph book -a pillowcase! What a great idea! The traditional autograph book is all the rage when you are in the parks, but is placed on a bookshelf when you get home to be forgotten about. Now, a pillowcase is a fun reminder on your bed every night of your memories and experiences with the characters that signed it. We contacted our great friend, Dawn Conn, owner of Hoops-A-Daisy embroidery who does monogramming for us. I told her the story and she came up with these adorable pillow cases. We took them down over Christmas and used bright colored Sharpies to get them signed. 

My girls now sleep every night with them. Marin, my six year old says she likes her pillowcase because it has her name and Mickey Mouse on it and she can sleep with all the characters’ autographs every night.

We are now suggesting this idea to all our clients. It is too fun! We were a bit concerned about some of the characters being able to sign something flimsy like a pillowcase, but we held it tight for them and it worked. Many times, the cast members helped us out. I highly suggest this idea for your next trip to the “World”.

Please contact Dawn Conn if you are interested in these cute pillowcases.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

This Year’s Trip, by Gil Pohl

As many of you know, my family and I are now at the Walt Disney World® Resort enjoying the Magic of it all.  I have been here so many times that I have lost count, but it is the one place that I look forward to visiting year after year. 

People know that my wife Vicki and I visit Disney World often and I am asked by many of them “What do we find to do year after year.”  I always reply, “My problem is not finding things to do; but finding time to do them all.”  This year Vicki and I are going to be taking a different type of trip and I want to tell you about it.  On this trip we are going to slow down and enjoy the little things about Disney World that we have missed on previous trips while running to get to the newest “E” ticket ride.  Here are a few that I have put on the must- do list for the 2009 adventure: 

       -We are going to see “Off Kilter”, and more than just a glance over the shoulder as we run by.  I have always planned on attending this show and have never made it.  We are going to check out the times for the show, get there a few minutes early, buy a drink somewhere, and enjoy the show.

[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7223329312070584261&ei=qHgmS4KsG5HUqwL0nfWRAg&q=disney+off+kilter&hl=en#docid=-8922056225234801791]

       -We are going to read some of the signs along the way.  We are going to explore and see what the stories are behind some of the attractions.  If you are there when we are, you might have to run by us in the queue for one of the rides as we stop to check out the things to see “and read” before getting on the ride.

      -We are going to spend hours checking out the holiday decorations.

      -We are going to look for and find some of the street performers and sit and watch their show.

      -We are going to find an out of the way place to sit and have a drink with friends and family.

I am sure you can see that the trip I am planning this year is one where I plan to slow down and really enjoy the “DISNEY MAGIC”.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

Overlooked Disney, Part IV – Rafiki’s Planet Watch, by Gil Pohl

For my last trip into Overlooked Disney, we go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.  Here I would recommend that you take the train from Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch® Land (used to be called Conservation Station).  Here you will find a small back stage look at how the Cast Members work so hard to keep the animals healthy.  There is also an area call “Affection Section” where guest will experience a petting zoo for small domestic animals.

At some times during the day (usually early in the mornings) some quests get a chance to work with Cast Members in Disney’s conservation and species-survival efforts.  There are also areas that focus on the planet’s environment, conservation, and animal well being.  Remember that if you want to see the Cast Members at work with the Animals, it is best to get there early.  Planet Watch usually opens at 9:30 AM.

I also enjoy the train ride to and from the Planet Watch.  You do get a little look at the African Savannah and some of the back stage buildings, but the highlight is just kicking back and relaxing for a few minutes.

Make sure that when you book your next trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort, you set aside some time to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and take the train ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch® Land.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com