Animal Kingdom Secrets

Animal Kingdom was the last park in Disney World to open. While it features many obviously great things, there are also some hidden details. Here are some to look for next time you’re in the park.

1. Tree of Life carvings

The Tree of Life sits near the entrance of Animal Kingdom and is a well-known emblem of the park. But did you know there are animals carved on the trunk? There are- 325 of them! It took a year and a half for 3 Imagineers and 10 artists to carve them!

2. Route 498

On a road sign near the entrance to Dinoland USA, it says that it is Route 498. This is because Animal Kingdom opened on April 22nd, 1998. The 498 means the fourth month, April, and 1998. This is a fun hidden secret to spot next time you’re in Animal Kingdom.

3. JORODI

In Africa there is a sign that says, JORODI. What does it mean, you may ask? Well, it is a nod to Imagineer Joe Rhode, whose name is pronounced like that.

4. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, oh my!

In the queue for Dinosaur, you can look up to spot some red, yellow, and white pipes with strange chemical formulas written on them. You may think they are random, but they actually have a hidden meaning- those are the formulas for ketchup, mustard, and mayo! This is probably because McDonald’s used to sponsor Dinosaur.

5. Lions need AC too!

In the Kilimanjaro Safari, the lions reside on Pride Rock. But did you know the ledge of that is air conditioned? This is for two reasons- to encourage lions to come onto the ledge and just to keep them cool.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and will make sure to look out for these secrets next time you’re in Animal Kingdom. That’s all for now, and have a magical day!

Disney World Trivia!

Bored in quarantine? Here’s some Disney World trivia for a fun time! Record your answers on a sheet of paper and tell me how you did in the comments!

  1. What is the name of the cantina in Galaxy’s Edge?
  2. Which isn’t an All-Star resort? A. All-Star Movies B. All-Star Animation C. All-Star Sports D. All-Star Music
  3. On which street is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster located?
  4. Name the parks in order from smallest to largest.
  5. True or false: Disney World opened in 1981.
  6. At which water park is the Crush ‘n’ Gusher located?
  7. At which park is the only Cars attraction located?
  8. At which park is Tiffins located?
  9. At which park are the Utilidors located?
  10. What product, sold in many places and theme parks, isn’t sold at Disney World?
  11. How many times has Disney World closed (including Covid-19)?
  12. What is the maximum score on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? A. 999,999,999 B.9,999,999 C.99,999 D.999,999
  13. How many animals are there in Animal Kingdom? A. About 1700 B. About 3,400 C. About 790 D. Over 10,000
  14. Why aren’t any attractions in Disney World over 200 feet tall?
  15. What is the tallest structure in Disney World?

Answers on next page!

What’s Happening in EPCOT

As you may know, Epcot is undergoing a complete overhaul. Here are all the changes and additions coming soon.

Space 220

Space 220 is the new restaurant coming near Mission Space. Its theme is that you go, in a rocket, 220 miles above Epcot. It will have screens everywhere. to make it look like you’re in space.

Ratatouille Ride

The France pavilion is getting its very own ride! It will be a trackless Ratatouille-themed ride, and it will be an exact clone of the one in France. You can watch the ride in France on this link. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtZdXqY1TKs)

Moana Journey of Water Attraction

Epcot is getting the first ever Moana themed attraction. It will be a walk-through attraction, and will allow guests to interact with water like it is alive.

The 4 Neighborhoods

Epcot will be divided into four ‘neighborhoods’, World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. They each have individual traits.

World Showcase

New additions in the World Showcase include the Ratatouille ride, a new nighttime spectacular called HarmonioUS, and a Mary Poppins-themed attraction in Great Britain.

World Nature

World Nature will hold The Seas and the Land. It will also feature the Moana attraction, and a new film in the Land called Awesome Planet

World Discovery

World Discovery will feature science, technology, and intergalactic adventures. It will hold a new roller coaster called Cosmic Rewind, which will be themed to Guardians of the Galaxy. It will feature Disney’s first ever reverse launch. Also, Space 220 will be in this neighborhood, and so will the PLAY! pavilion. This pavilion is going to feature interactive games that you get to play.

World Celebration

World Celebration will feature the new Spaceship Earth, which will focus on storytelling instead of communication. It will also have a huge new structure called Dreamer’s Point. Dreamer’s Point will have an amazing view of the entire park and will have a statue of Walt Disney. It will have a bottom plaza layer, a middle expo level, and a park on the top level, which will be open to the sky.

I hope you enjoyed my post about everything going on in Epcot. Even though construction is delayed right now, these are still things to look forward to. Stay safe, and have a magical day!

Going to Disney World… From Home!

As you are probably aware, all Disney parks are currently closed so you can’t go on any rides… or so you thought. There are some great ride POVs that you can check out, and here are some I think are great.

TPM Vids Virtual Parkhopping

This video features 10 of the best Disney rides there are. TPM Vids is also my favorite Disney YouTube channel, so make sure to check out some other videos! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME5WJoHCaFU&t=17s

SoCal Attractions 360

This channel features many on-ride POVs and is well worth checking out. They also have attractions from other Disney parks! https://www.youtube.com/user/SocalAttractions360

Disney World Rides POV Playlist by Fun Family Florida

This playlist has 30 of the best rides at Disney World. Also, most of them are in 4K. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8OHP9OriMA&list=PLZL75XP1RxmmDhGoZSHF1LnqtKwYs84oi

That’s it for today’s post! I hope you check these out so you can go to Disney World, even if you’re not actually there. Stay safe, and have a magical day!

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

On March 4th, 2020, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened in Hollywood Studios. It has received various reviews but has mostly been popular. Here’s everything you need to know.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a trackless dark ride, meaning the ride vehicles are not on a set track. This allows for 4 slightly different (but pretty much the same) ride experiences. It is what Disney is calling 2.5-D, because it is like you are put inside a cartoon.

The story is that you are put in a Mickey and Minnie cartoon and you are now part of it. In the cartoon, Mickey and Minnie are going to a picnic but have to get through several challenges to get there. The attraction is family friendly and we be fun for the youngest to the oldest member in your party. Overall it is a fun time as you travel, run, and conga (yes, conga!) through a Mickey and Minnie cartoon.

Fun Facts:

  • This is Mickey’s first ride-through attraction in a Disney park. It took 65 years!!
  • On opening day, wait time were up to 5 hours!
  • When you first board, look up at the arch you’re about to go under- it say 1928, Mickey’s birth year!
  • In the city scene, you can spot a sign for ‘Iwerks and Uwerks Waterworks’. This is an “easter egg” to Ub Iwerks the Imagineer, who sketched Mickey for the first time and also has a window above Main St. USA

Overall, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a very fun ride that gives glory to the mouse himself. Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Magic Kingdom Fastpass Advice

One of the best things about Magic Kingdom is that it has so many good rides. Because of this, Magic Kingdom only has one Fastpass tier- it includes everything. Now, I explained Fastpass more in-depth in my last post, so I recommend you read that first, but anyways, let’s talk about Magic Kingdom Fastpass.

If you want to do the mountains-

If you want to do the mountain challenge, book Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain. This one is pretty easy because you have a set list.

If you have young kids-

If you have young kids, I’d recommend booking Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (depending on how old they are; Seven Dwarfs is a roller coaster, but isn’t that intense in my opinion), Dumbo, and maybe Peter Pan’s Flight. If you want to do Seven Dwarfs or Peter Pan, you really should book a Fastpass for it because those rides always have very long wait times. Other options include: Enchanted Tales with Belle, Meet Mickey at Town Square, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Another good ride for young kids is the Barnstormer, but you’ll never need a Fastpass for it because wait times are generally low (again, keep checking My Disney Experience to monitor).

If you are an adrenaline junkie-

If you like to ride the scariest rides, I’d book also recommend the three mountains- Space, Splash, and Big Thunder. This is the same as the mountain challenge, but only because these are probably the three scariest rides at Magic Kingdom. I did not include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train because it is a very short ride and less intense than the others.

If you want to ride classic Disney rides-

If you want to ride classic Disney rides, book Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Splash Mountain. All of these rides are old-fashioned Disney with many animatronics and a good story. You may notice that two other classic Disney rides, Pirates of the Caribbean and it’s a small world were left off. This is because you can get on both of these rides with short enough wait times if you keep checking My Disney Experience.

Thanks for reading my post! I hope it helps you pick out your Magic Kingdom Fastpasses! I’ll be back with another post soon, but for now, have a magical day!

Fastpass+ Explained

Everybody knows what one of the worst parts of Disney World (or any theme park) is- waiting in lines. Now, although you’ll always have to wait a tiny bit, there is a way to basically skip entire lines at Disney World, and that is Fastpass. Fastpass was first introduced at Disney World in 1999, but back then Disney used paper strips for it. Now, all Fastpasses are mobile and are attached to your park ticket or MagicBand. There are lots of questions asked about Fastpass, and today I’m answering them all.

How much does it cost?

Fastpasses actually don’t cost any money! It is all included in your park ticket, so if you have a ticket, you can make Fastpass reservations.

How many do I get?

To start a day, you get three Fastpasses for one park only. You can do this every day. But after you use the first three Fastpasses, you can book one more at a time, and they can be from different parks. Using this strategy, you can use your first three Fastpasses in late morning or early afternoon, then book many more Fastpasses throughout the rest of the day.

Can I choose from any rides?

No, because some attractions don’t take Fastpass. But, all of the big-name, headline attractions do. However, Disney has tier systems which prevent you from using all of your three Fastpasses on the big-name attractions. The tiers are listed below, and I will make recommendations in later posts.

Magic Kingdom– No tiers. Animal Kingdom– Tier one (Choose one)- Flight of Passage and Navi River Journey. Tier two (Choose two)- DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, Finding Nemo – The Musical, UP! A Great Bird Adventure, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Meet Favorite Disney Pals, Primeval Whirl, Festival of the Lion King, and Animation Experience. Hollywood Studios– Tier one (Choose one)- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad, Millennium Falcon-Smugglers Run, and Slinky Dog Dash. Tier two (Choose two)- Toy Story Mania!, Rock ā€˜nā€™ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Alien Swirling Saucers, Beauty and the Beast, Disney Junior Dance Party, Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Muppet Vision 3D, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Fantasmic, and Star Tours. Epcot– Tier one (Choose one)- Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’. Also, there are limited Fastpasses per ride, so when booking after your first three, most tier two options will be there, but tier ones are much harder to get after your first three.

How far in advance can you book?

If you are staying on-site, you can book Fastpasses 60 days in advance, but if you are staying off-site, you can only book 30 days in advance. This makes it much harder to get all of your favorite rides if you’re staying off-site.

How long is the window to use your Fastpass?

The window is generally one hour, but there is a five-minute grace period before your window, and a fifteen-minute one after.

How do I book Fastpasses after my first three?

You can book them on My Disney Experience or by using one of many kiosks located throughout the park.

So, that’s Fastpass and how to use it. I’ll be back with another post next week, giving my recommendations for Fastpasses in Magic Kingdom

Hidden Secrets in Epcot

Disney World has many hidden secrets scattered throughout all of the parks, resorts, and water parks. The attention to minuscule detail is part of what makes Disney resorts unique. One of the four parks in Disney World is Epcot, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. Epcot opened on October 1st in 1982 and has since been very popular, though it has seen many changes. However, there are still lots of hidden secrets to see despite all the construction. Here are just a few secrets you should look out for.

  1. Tower of Terror in Morocco

Everybody knows Tower of Terror, the signature ride of Hollywood Studios. But what most people don’t know is that if you stand between Mexico and Future World, you can see Tower of Terror over Morocco. It’s the building in the background, behind all the closer ones in Morocco. Fun fact: The Imagineers knew that Tower of Terror would be visible from Epcot, so they designed it to match Morocco’s architecture!

2. The Hidden Entrance

Did you know that Epcot has two entrances? It’s true! Most people only go through the one behind Spaceship Earth, but there’s actually another one between Great Britain and France. It’s called the International Gateway, and can be accessed by Epcot resort hotels or the Skyliner. Usually lines are much shorter here, but that may change with the Skyliner. Anyways, it’s still something many people never knew about. Fun Fact: Crossing the bridge near the International Gateway represents you crossing the English Channel, which stands between France and Great Britain in real life.

3. Rhine River Ride

The German pavilion in World Showcase is located between Italy and China. Germany has many cool things to see and lots of good restaurants but it lacks an attraction. But did you know Germany was originally supposed to have a ride? It was supposed to be called the Rhine River Ride and it was going to be a boat ride along the rivers of Germany. Unfortunately, Rhine River Ride was never built even though an area was already cleared out for it. You can still find where it was suppose to be though. If you walk into the Biergarten Restaurant you will see a mural. If you knock on it you will see that it’s hollow, because this is where the entrance for Rhine River Ride was supposed to be.

4. Flight #5505

Soarin’ can be found in The Land pavilion at Epcot. Soarin’ thrills guests as they are lifted off the ground on a hang glider while taking in breathtaking views of the world. In the queue for Soarin’, there is a hidden gem referencing an important date. In the queue you will be told you are about to embark on Flight #5505. It seems like a random number, right? It’s actually not! Soarin’ opened on May 5th, 2005, so Flight #5505 actually references the date of Soarin’s opening, 5/5/05.

5. Good Exercise!

One thing you may wonder when touring the World Showcase is, “How far am I walking?” Well, the approximate distance from Mexico to Canada is about 1.25 miles! This number may seem pretty large, but with stopping to go in shops, look at things, and ride attractions, it doesn’t seem that far at all (If you have little kids you may want to bring a stroller.)

Bonus fact: The government of Morocco is the sponsor of the Morocco pavilion, and workers from Morocco hand-crafted all the murals and the designed the architecture. Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about Epcot and its secrets. If you have any other favorite secrets please comment below. Anyways, thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Disney’s Skyliner

Disney’s Skyliner, a gondola transportation system in Disney World, opened on September 29th, 2019. It connects the Riviera, Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. The Skyliner offers great aerial views of Disney World while also getting you to your destination.

While very popular, the Skyliner has also experienced some issues so far, including surprising downtime, problems with load/unload, and 2 crashes. In a response to this, Disney met with manufacturers to ensure safety.

Skyliner is still fun though, and it continues to be popular. Hours are usually from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and you can board at any of the stations mentioned above. Thanks for reading and have a magical day!