Going to Walt Disney World Without Going on Rides

Going to Disney Without Going on Rides

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We all know that Walt Disney World has some fantastic rides. Magic Kingdom has the mountains – Splash and Space. It is also home to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which opened to rave reviews. Hollywood Studios is known for The Rock ‘N Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror which looms over the park and can be seen from everywhere. Expedition Everest with Yeti and Dinosaur will get your blood pumping in Animal Kingdom. Test Track and Mission:SPACE are the thrill rides in Epcot although Sum of all Thrills at Innoventions can be as wild as you want to make it – within the boundaries of math, of course. So if you are looking for some adventure, you’re sure to find it.

For me, nope. Not looking for that at all. Of the above rides, I will go on 1 maybe 2 if the mood strikes. I have a soft spot for Dinosaur. Not sure why but I love it. Also, I can be persuaded to go on Sum of All Thrills if I am allowed to create it (no drops for this girl). So what could you possibly do in Disney World if you are not going on rides?Well, there are tons of shows!

 They do a pretty good job right at the front of Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom. I could watch that show over and over.  Philharmagic is always a fun time reliving some favorite movies and the Carousel of Progress helps me to remember that Walt had a hand in all of this. Oh and the parades! The Festival of Fantasy parade blows my mind. There is a fire breathing dragon! Fire. Breathing. Dragon. I don’t need to plummet down a mountain for excitement.

So if I choose to watch the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo instead of visiting the Yeti, don’t think I’m not having a blast. I am getting so much out of every visit to Beauty and the Beast that I wouldn’t trade it for all the Terror in the world! Figment is enough to get my imagination going, I don’t need to go into Space. Don’t skip the wonderful movies in France, Canada and China!

I get enough excitement dodging raindrops in Florida or as I refer to it – Liquid Sunshine. I don’t need to go on any rides! I could also people watch forever and there is no greater variety than right in WDW. People from all over the world and every culture is represented. Talk to cast members and other guests. There are some really great people out there!

Enjoy Disney your own way but make sure you are having fun!

PD

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Four Parks in One Day

All Four Disney Parks in One Day – Courtney, Gina and Joe

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Picture in front of all four landmarks Courtney:pink hat, Gina: blue “B” hat, Joe: blue golf hat

We put together a plan first. This is a must. Know what you are going to do before you even leave home/hotel. We decided the order of the parks, the transportation and the activities that would be done. We also knew to stay hydrated and take it slow because if you burn yourself out too quickly, you won’t enjoy the journey.

We started at Animal Kingdom. This was actually the only FP+ we used all day. We wanted to get on the Safari right away. We went to the bakery and had a haystack and white chocolate chip cookie. Breakfast of champions! We walked around a little after the great safari (the animals were really awake and close to the trucks) and stopped by Starbucks for some caffeine. What a wonderful job they did in there!

Safari-Animal Kingdom

We then jumped on the bus (furthest stop ever #17) to Hollywood Studios. It was actually a little more crowded than I would have anticipated at the entrance. My Magic Band has been having issues and needs to be replaced but luckily my crew didn’t dump me and leave me behind.

We checked out wait times and decided to go to Muppet Vision 3D. Yippee, one of my favorites! We again walked around a bit and checked out the fun times on Pixar Street. We stopped for a churro because they rock! We did share it at least (I’m pretty sure Joe got the biggest piece). Again, I was a little surprised by how crowded this park was getting.

Muppetvision 3D- Hollywood Studios

We then hopped on the boat to Epcot. We entered through the International Gateway and ate again. We wanted real food so we stopped by the United Kingdom. We had the quick service version of fish & chips made even better because Courtney paid.  Always get the free ice water. Nice little cool down. We had to check out the Doctor Who merchandise and walked out to see a musical quartet. How cool is that?

sights and sounds throughout Epcot

I can’t believe how crowded the food stands for the Food and Wine Festival were. We had been two days earlier for the preview, so luckily I had most of the dishes I wanted. I figure we’ll try that on an early Epcot day again.

Living with the Land- inside The Land- Epcot

We went to the Land and rode Living with the Land. It had been closed briefly earlier in the month for some maintenance and it feels fresher. Always a great ride. We had done the Behind the Seeds tour which gives you a whole new appreciation for the work that is accomplished in Epcot.

Food & Wine Festival themed entrance and exit displays- Epcot

We did stop in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion to check out the festivities. We watched an interesting movie on the work that goes into the Food & Wine Festival and also ate some chocolate samples.

Food & Wine Festival Event Center-near Universe of Energy-Epcot

We then boarded the Monorail to the TTC and then onto the Magic Kingdom. We had moved slower in Epcot but decided to really relax and enjoy now. We had hit four parks and needed ice cream! We stopped at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and enjoyed our scoops sitting at the Tomorrowland Terrace. We could see the Festival of Fantasy Parade from that spot. My only complaint is that the music from the parade can’t be heard very well over the pumped in futuristic music.

Carousel Of Progress-Tomorrowland-Magic Kingdom

We went to The Carousel of Progress next. I could go to this show every day and love it more and more each time! Such a happy tune that gets stuck in your head! We needed to visit the charging outlets in the Space Mountain gift shop afterwards. They have been somewhat relocated to the right hand back side of the store. There are changes going on in the store where you will be able to customize phone covers – similar to the Co-op in Disney Springs.

Cinderella’s Castle-Magic Kingdom

We wondered a bit, soaking up the surroundings when Gary (brother- CM) called for dinner. So we jumped on the Monorail, met him at the Grand Floridian Café and let him buy us a meal. This is such a gem. We are always able to get last minute reservations here. We ended up at home around 10:30pm tired but happy.

 

Pork chop and Dessert Sampler from Grand Floridian Cafe
 
Grand Floridian Cafe
Wrap up:
Animal Kingdom: haystacks, cookie, found a hidden Mickey, safari, coffee, bus

Hollywood Studios: Kermit, churro, discussions on changes and excitement for the future, boat

Epcot: fish & chips, wondering why they don’t have a full sized Tardis, the Land, free chocolate, saw our cousin Kelsey and family, Monorail

Magic Kingdom: ice cream, fire breathing dragon, there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, gift shop rehab

Grand Floridian: my favorite restaurant in all of WDW!

PD

EPCOT’s China Pavillion: Nine Dragons Resaurant


EPCOT seems to be the Disney Park with the most choices and variety of places to eat. The World Showcase offers very authentic dining experiences from each of the 11 countries showcased. The Nine Dragons Restaurant in the China Pavillion provides guests with a calming atmosphere and delicious meals.


Walking into the low lit building we instantly noticed that the loud noises and hustle of an always moving area were eliminated. The dark wood with colored glass features and the classical music gave a real calm feel. This was a nice break from a hot day.


The food that is featured here is just amazing. The two entrees featured above are a barbecue pork rice bowl and fried rice bowl. Both of these meals are served in a giant bowl and you would have to very, very hungry to finish it all. The rice had a ton of flavor and the meat was savory and tender. Another great entree that is very good and plentiful is the sweet and sour chicken with steamed rice. We must comment on the service we received on our many times here. They are excellent, your glass will never be empty and they are very appreciative and thankful for your business.

If you don’t want to or just don’t have time for a sit down meal there is an outside quick service that offers many of the same meals but more of a lunch sized serving of it. Nine Dragons Restaurant is a must do for us when we go to the World Showcase.

Thank you for reading and enjoy!!

PD

Non-Park Days at WDW – For Adults

Sometimes you have a 7 day vacation but only 5 days worth of park passes. What to do with that down time? There are several great adventures you can get into for adults!

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  1. Monorail Crawl – Stop by each of the three resorts on the Resorts Monorail Line for an adult beverage or two and a snack. At the Grand Floridian, stop by the Mizner’s Lounge for a Pino Grigio (or latte) with an Orange Chocolate Biscotti. The Polynesian is a great place for the Kalua Pork Tacos and Rosita’s Margarita (or the NA Schweitzer Falls). Then onto the Contemporary’s Wave Lounge for some soft pretzels and dip along with a Jameson Irish Coffee (or a Sparkling No-Jito). Make sure you have reservations and a designated driver!

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2. Disney Springs – Between dining, shopping and entertainment, this is one stop you want to make time for. There are fun dining experiences (Rainforest Café and T-Rex) and some fine dining establishments (The Boathouse and Portobello Country Italian Trattoria) and grab and go spots (Wolfgang Pucks and Earl of Sandwich) that will satisfy every guests appetite and wallet. As far as shopping goes, they have the largest Disney store and also small specialty stores. If you want to buy it and it’s Disney, chances are good you’ll find it here. Entertainments is varied. You can bowl, listen to live music or even watch the acrobats at Cirque Du Soliel. All fun and all right there.

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3. Stay at the resort – Why leave, there’s plenty to do! We recently spent the day lounging around Port Orleans Riverside. We filled up our cups and headed over to Ol’ Man Island. Yes we went down the slide – you should try it! We had a light lunch of sandwiches and chips at the Muddy Rivers Pool Bar (along with a white sangria for me). We then changed and took a walk around to the French Quarter for a beignet at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. They are a must! Time for a break and wait for the movie to begin (Big Hero Six). We could have gone for a bike ride or fishing but we were taking it slow, maybe next time!

PD

Why All the Hate for Value Resorts?

Being a fan of Disney World, I like to immerse myself into Disney as much as possible. To do so I not only go to Disney but I write blogs and take part in Facebook pages, Twitter, and Tumblr. In my Disney social media adventures I have found out two things: 1) Disney will never make everyone happy and 2) people are afraid of value resorts. The last thing really irks me. In this post I will try to highlight all the great things Value Resorts have to offer.

Disney offers five big value resorts:

  1. All-Star Sports- sports themed
  2. All-Star Music- music themed
  3. All-Star Movies- movies themed
  4. Art of Animation- Disney animated classics
  5. Pop Century- travel through the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s

The Value Resorts are just, that a value. Most times you can get a room for around $100(except for peak seasons). They offer most of the same things that a moderate/deluxe resort offers just with less grandeur. Each resort has okay sized rooms, large food courts and multiple pools.


Living just 45 minutes away from Disney World it’s hard to justify spending money on resorts but with the great deals the value resorts offer, I do indulge myself from time to time. Just this past weekend I stayed two nights at the All-Star Sports. To me, it was perfect. The hotel’s exterior was so vibrant and the theming was spot on. The food court offered, what I think every resort food court offers from burgers to salads to pasta dishes. The rooms are not huge but they are clean and serve perfectly as a place to sleep.


Let me address some of the misrepresentations that I hear about value resorts that I would really like to correct:

  1. Too small- Yep, the rooms are not huge but my experience in my 34 trips to Disney World is that the room is just a place to sleep or relax after a long day.
  2. Bugs- um, what? As I mentioned, I have been on quite a few Disney vacations and I have never once stayed in anything other than a value resort. I have also never encountered a bug in my room. I understand that there’s has probably been a bug in a room before but I am fairly certain that bugs are not mutually exclusive to value resorts.
  3. Noisy- When  you get a room close to the pool or close to the play areas it can be noisy after dinner time. Disney does try to stop this with signs that will read “please observe quiet time from 10pm-10am”. They do help but inconsiderate people will be inconsiderate no matter what hotel they are at.
  4. Transportation- This one doesn’t apply to Art of Animation or Pop Century and more for the All-Stars. When I started coming to Disney the busing situation was not the greatest. The three All-Stars are lined up one after another and it used to be that the busses would go to one resort at a time and one bus serviced all three resorts. Meaning that if the bus was full after the first resort the other two resorts had to wait for that bus to come back. More recently, Disney added more buses so each resort gets their own except if the bus is not full, they will go to the next resort and fill it up. If this is not convenient for your party, Art of Animation or Pop Century might be better for you. But if you like the idea of the All-Stars, I suggest the Sports one since it is the first hotel the busses go to.

Value Resorts provide a great place to stay for people who do not want their sleeping arrangements to break the bank but want the feel of staying on Disney Property. The All-Stars have a special place in my family’s hearts because we have made many unforgettable memories there and always loved the feeling walking into the lobby on our first day. They are definitely our home. 

Enjoy!

Positively Disney