The ‘Lap’ of Luxury

Best Friends Pet Care, Walt Disney World

Best Friends Pet Care, Walt Disney World

Instead of leaving your pet at home the next time you visit Disney, bring it along with you and let it stay in style. Best Friends Pet Care, the new luxury pet care facility, is now open at the Walt Disney World® Resort. The 50,000-square-foot facility boasts air-conditioned rooms, “VIP” suites, and private outdoor yards for your pet. The staff will even read bedtime stories to your pet as one of the special features.  You can choose from a list of á la carte activities for your pet, including one-on-one play time, social playgroups with other dogs, and ice cream time.

The resort’s dog park includes a fenced walking trail bordering natural wetlands around the park. Inside the trail, there are a variety of play areas, including a 3,300 square-foot area covered in artificial turf, a 4,500 square-foot area with shade trees and a 1,300 square-foot “canines only” water park.

Feline guests can spend visits in a separate “Kitty City” pavilion (away from dogs) in two and four-room condos. And there’s even a special facility for the boarding of “pocket pets,” such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets.

So, no matter what type of pet you own, rest assured they will enjoy their trip to Disney almost as much as you, while staying at Disney’s new luxury pet care facility.

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

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

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

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

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

Shanghai Disneyland Given Green Light, by Gil Pohl

Disneyland Shanghai

Shanghai, China. Location of new Disney park

After almost twenty years of working on getting a Disney park in mainland China, the central government has given its final approval for construction of a Magic Kingdom in Shanghai.  The other parts of the resort, hotels, and shopping do not require central approval.  The detail planning for the resort is now underway between Disney (who will own about 40% of the venture) and the Shanghai government. 

The plan is to open the park in 5 to 6 years and I for one am planning my trip already!

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

Soarin’ at EPCOT

I think I have a new favorite ride at Disney. If you have ever been to EPCOT and have riden Soarin’, you know exactly what I mean. The idea behind this ride is you are hang gliding over some popular sights of California, some of it high

Soarin', at EPCOT

Soarin', at EPCOT

up and some down very low. As the ride starts, you are raised up to face the giant screen. If you have ever been in an IMAX theater, this is the same concept. The screen is so big it feels like you are really there. Once you get into place, the movie starts and you don’t move again until its over and they lower you down. It just feels like you are moving. And to make it even more realistic, Disney has added extra touches to make it feel even more realistic. As you fly through a forest, you can smell evergreen trees.  When you fly over orange groves, you can smell oranges. There’s also a light breeze throughout the ride.

If you get motion sick easily or are afraid of heights, you might want to skip this ride. Even though you aren’t moving and you’re not very high off the ground, this ride gives the feeling that you are. It’s also a good ride to use the Fasspass system, as the lines can get pretty long.

The video below is of the entire ride, so if you have not been on the ride and do not want to spoil it, do not watch it. Otherwise, enjoy the video and don’t miss this ride at Disney!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W1lTsBFMk0]

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