Archive for the ‘Magic Kingdom’ Tag

An American Adventure!   Leave a comment

Happy Fourth of July! To celebrate this great American holiday, I’ll take a look at some distinctly American-themed lands in the Disney Parks!

Main Street, USA: This land is featured in all parks, excluding Tokyo (through World Bazaar is pretty much an enclosed Main Street). Embodying all of the fun and whimsy of your typical turn-of-the-century American town. It just bleeds Red, White, and Blue, especially this time of the year! You could find me spending hours in that one land, with all of it’s charm and warm, friendly feel.

Another wonderful morning on Main Street.

Great American Waterfront: This fantastic ‘Port of Call’ lies within the incredible Tokyo DisneySea. Seperated into 3 sub-lands (Cape Cod, New York, and Toyville Trolley Park), this amazing land has the real American spirit flowing through it. It’s got the quaint, homey feel of salt box houses and lighthouses of Cape Cod. It’s got the grit, glitz, and glamour of New York, complete with the ever-lovely Highwater Hotel and the perfect backdrop: the Sailing Ship Columbia.
It’s latest addition, Toyville Trolley Park, home of Toy Story Mania (set to officially open this coming Monday), continues to make this land even more spectacular. Themed to a ‘‘Trolley Park’, this sub-land rivals the beauty of even the DCA version. (Though believe me, I have issues with even this new and nearly perfected version!)

Toyville Trolley Park! (Picture courtesy of @DreamSweetsLove. If you’re not already following her, you should be)

Liberty Square: Designed to look as though you’ve stepped into Colonial America, this land rings out Liberty and Freedom! The Hall of President is a real treat, and leaves one feeling educated and optimistic.

The American Adventure: Much like Liberty Square, this Epcot pavilion looks like it was taken strait out of Colonial America (Though the new costumes may contradict that…). Inside, guests are treated to historic American artifacts and treasures. The fantastic American Adventure is one of the greatest Audio-Animatronic shows ever. Beyond that, the live entertainment puts one into a very patriotic mood.

**********Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook! Have a safe Fourth of July!**********


Posted July 4, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Opinions, Parks

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Quick Hit: Dumbo’s New Queue   Leave a comment

Pictures of what lies within the yellow tents of Dumbo at Storybook Circus were revealed yesterday. The ‘queueless’ queue- now called a “Queue-Lounge”- which we were promised back in 2009 is…a playground. Yes, a dream land for kids to run around to their little baboon hearts content.

It’s incredibly good looking, that’s for sure! I quite like all of the refrences to the circus scene from the film, and REALLY like Dumbo flying above it all.
But….I don’t like it. Here’s why:

  • First off, it’s a huge play area (much like one you’d find in McDonalds, or Mission:Space). While I have no issue with a playground (they are a great idea for an interactive queue), this one irks me. The entire building contains this play pin. This is unlike the other interactive queues’ -such as Pooh- play areas. Pooh’s, for example, has a number of spaced out play areas, set off to the side.
  • Second, it’s indoors. I seriously appreciate an air conditioned/indoor queue. But here’s the thing: Sound is contained within the building. Every screaming kid in there will be amplified. It’s going to be miserable.
  • Third, I foresee some issues in kids wanting to remain playing and not wish to ride any longer. Parents may have trouble collecting their kids to go ride! The crowd flow will be most interesting to see. I’m sure Disney has a plan to prevent anything from going wrong though.

The new queue is a good idea, it just isn’t executed as well as I hoped. Playgrounds are a fine way to make an interactive queue, just not like this. This new queue will have nothing for parents, or those without kids, or even kids too big to play in the jungle gym to do. They seem to think that kids of all ages will want to join in the fun. I don’t know how, seeing as once you’re a certain size, you can’t play in a jungle gym like that.
Now. I understand that it’s Fantasyland, and that this is a children’s ride. But they shouldn’t be catering to just the kids. I know I sound like a cynical teenager, but it’s true. Everyone goes to these parks, and not all of them will particularly enjoy having to go in there. The older kid with the little brother will become rather irritated with being too big to play. The married couple on their honeymoon may find this queue to be too hectic. The high school group on a field trip is going to either hurt themselves in the play pin shouting “YOLO!”, or not want to go near that thing.
To those who can tolerate it, good for you! Go on in and enjoy.

Sure, Magic Kingdom lost two playgrounds in the expansion (still has one under Splash), but did they need to re-instate one via a queue?  And think about this: Would you go over, without your kids, to the playgrounds sit in it for awhile, kids screaming all over, for fun? No, that would be silly.

Personally, I do not see myself going in there more than once (but hey, you never know. It could be quieter than I expect). While yes, this is a serious improvement over the old queue, I just cannot fully justify it. The old queue may have been a rusty 2 foot wide switchback, this is a noisy play place. It’s incredibly disenchanting. I may never wish to ride Dumbo again if I have to wait in there. They made the queue look pretty, and moved it indoors, but it’s looking like a lateral move.

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So Long, Snow   4 comments

This past week, Walt Disney World closed Snow White’s Scary Adventures (SWSA). This opening day attraction will be replaced with a new Princess Meet and Greet experience, but Snow White’s presence in the park will still remain through the Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train coaster. 

This attraction’s history is rather wonky. It started out a real scary ride. Snow White was eliminated, and you were to take the place of the heroine. There were a few additional Wicket Witch figures that would pop out at riders, and, in the end, kill the riders, sending them into some sort of lightning-y explosion room. Honestly, if you haven’t seen it before, you need to check it out.
For obvious reasons, Imagineers revisited the ride  in the 90s, adding Snow White, toning down the scare element in the ride, and re-imagining the finale scene. It was still a dark ride (haha!), and was still a little frightening at points.  Of course, the chaotic twists and speed remained.

I really enjoyed SWSA when it was open. It’s incredibly quirky, quick , and fun. It always felt like a huge attraction. I suppose this is because of the small ride vehicles and compact track.
I’ll miss the entire opening scene was open-aired, when the Wicked Witch turns from the mirror to face you as the hag, the awesome strobe light lightning effect on the cut out Snow White, the entire forest scene, entering the cottage when it looks like you won’t fit through the door, and the Witch’s weird lightning bolt death scene.  I’ll miss the simplicity of the few cut outs. Though just cut-outs, they were wonderful and artsy, and provided great effects. You can’t paint a figure with UV paint and get the same result. I will really miss the quick cornering and high speed chaos of this attraction. That made it unlike any other darkride, as it added a sort of ‘thrill’ factor. None of the others go that fast.

I’m not upset that it closed. I will miss it, but I won’t cry for it’s return. Ever since they announced the Mine Train, we knew it would be going away. I know that we shouldn’t want it to close. After all, it was an opening-day attraction, and none of the other SWSA are like it. But we cannot have two Snow White attractions operating at once. Mine Train will be a fine successor to SWSA. It will still have the speeds, twists, and thrills. It won’t be as scary, which opens it up to kids who may have been frightened by the Scary Adventures.

I am upset, confused, and slightly angered by two things though.

  1. Why is it closing now? Mine Train went vertical only  a month or so ago, and won’t be open until at least next summer. So why would they close this attraction a year before they really need to? And more importantly, why do it the day before summer starts? Magic Kingdom is still a little off with it’s capacity due to all the walls and construction. Closing another ride as soon as the summer crowds are about to come is probably one of the worst things they could have done. It’s replacement I expect to  take 2-3 months to complete. Why didn’t they wait ’til the off-season?
  2. It’s being replaced with a Meet and Greet. A Meet and Greet. A whole darkride will be ripped out to be replaced with a Meet and Greet. Why? The princesses are fine in Town Square Theatre. And even if you wanted them in Fantasyland, why not use that Skyway plot you just bulldozed (which, by the way, is rumoured to become a ‘Play and Greet’)? I’m very upset with them removing an attraction for another princess encounter. I understand the need for one, but why there?
    I think the reason they don’t want to build a new location is because of the lashback they received with Fantasyland Forest’s Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella realms. But if they are willing to make the Skyway plot a Tangled play and greet. why can’t they have a new location for the Princesses?
I’m understanding of why it had to close….Just not why it had to close now. I’m not upset that they closed it….Just what they’re replacing it with. It’s s shame to lose it now and for that.

That’s all for this week. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks!

WDW Trip Report for April 28 and 29   Leave a comment

Time for another WDW Trip Report! This week, we’ll look at Magic Kingdom and Studios. 

Well...It looked better in person than it did in pictures. Still not liking it though,

He's heeeeerrreeee.....Surprised he didn't replace the poster next to him (Snow White)

Yes. I got a cup. And a citrus swirl.

Over at Big Thunder...It looks like new rockwork was put up (The yellow bits)?

Audio Animatronics have been placed back in the ride.

Skyway demolition will create a new path and reconfigured queue at Mansion.

Over in Fantasyland, the Skyway is gone. That was a HUGE plot of land.

Rumours indicate this could become a new Tangled Meet and Play experience.

Over at Peter Pan, modifications to the queue entrance has begun. As well, they were not using the part that is rumored to become the interactive area, even with the line pouring well out past the fatpass machines.

Castle walls: really big and tall. Awful close to the construction walls, too. I was sure there was one girder passing over the walls!

So tall!

This used to be Dumbo....Oh well.

At Circus, the blue tent is nearly done! Red just has the one that will cover it's opening left.

I see a train...!


And speaking of choo-choo, the new watertower and paint on the electrical box look fantastic!

Space Mountain video: Informing you of the dangers of 90's fashion.
I hate how they never updated this video. It's so bad....


An empty queue! Great for photos, bad for the ride...

Nooo! G2-9T was feeling a little sick... His lights were still on, but he was static. Please fix him, he's my favourite character. UPDATE- He was working the following morning. Regardless, this shouldn't happen.

Speaking of static things that need fixing, the gangster car in Great Movie Ride has been parked (instead of zooming out) for months.

The ever-awesome One Man's Dream

That’s this month’s report. Sadly, I broke my camera on Space Mountain….shattered by screen. Have no idea if I’ll be able to replace it. May have to revert to my old Olympus for awhile. So if picture quality goes down, you’ll know why.
In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

There’s Been a Citrus Uprising   Leave a comment

The following post  was set to be published on March 31, 2012. I was instructed to hold off on posting, as any Orange Bird-related content could cause Team Disney Orlando (TDO) to reconsider his return.  Even through the real ‘revolution’ happened a while back, it’s points are still valid today. In fact, Progress City, USA published an article (published after this one was written) that brought up many of the same points.

So, without further ado, enjoy:

“There’s Been a Citrus Uprising”

This past Monday (March 26), Twitter erupted with what I have called a ‘revolution’ and ‘revelation’.  The entire week,  people were discussing and arguing over classic ice cream treats, quality-loving  ‘Cults’, and the return of a certain ‘little’ bird. These discussions have, or at least should have, brought us all together as Disney Park enthusiasts.

My First Citrus Swirl 

 #1- The Citrus Swirl
A few weeks back, the Sunshine Tree Terrace snack bar adjacent to Tiki Room began selling the famous ‘Citrus Swirl’. This frozen ice cream and orange treat was previously sold at this location, but ceased many years ago. It’s return was looked at as a very big event to people. The return of an old classic! Exactly what many people had been wanting the Magic Kingdom to do for years.I’ve tried the Swirl, and found it to be pretty good. I wouldn’t have five of them each day, like some people would, but I will have one every so often. But why is the return of the Swirl such a big deal? Disney fan Epcot Explorer wrote a wonderful article on his blog explaining why. According to him, “The return of the Citrus Swirl is indicative of attention to detail and that there are people in places that remember the unique qualities of the Vacation Kingdom and are brokering for their return….Small fixes, small victories, and small steps to pave a path for greater change in Walt Disney World.” The latter part of this quote would become a very important and central idea to Monday’s discussions….

#2- The Cult of Citrus
What stuck out the most in Monday’s ‘revolution’ was the use of the hash tag “#CultofCitrus”. The so-called ‘Cult of Citrus’, originally coined to describe a picture of Orange Birds figures ‘worshiping’ a large, lit-up Polynesian Village glass, has been used on twitter for a long time. Typically used when discussing Orange Bird pictures and Citrus Swirls, this ‘Cult’ was never really a serious thing until Monday. The discussions of what the return of the Swirl were often ended with the hash tag, creating a link between the Cult and the idea that the Swirl brought back quality. This idea evolved even more through the day, ending with the Cult standing for doing things like supporting small changes, such as the return of the Swirl, that bring back quality. This is a fantastic stance to take. We all love the parks, and should wish for their quality to go up each day. We complain about it ‘declining by degrees’ and rally for its ‘incline by degrees’, and that is exactly what this Cult is doing. Sadly, many are opposed to these ideas because of the Cult’s connotation with worshiping the Orange Bird. Many people despise the Orange Bird for the popularity he has gained (even I have begun to dislike what he’s turned into, but that’s another story).  This is a silly stance to take. Many of these same people agree that WDW would benefit from quality additions. So a silly little character is going to hold them back and cause them to call the Cult crazy? Such a shame, as they should be spending thier energy on helping support quality instead of laughing at and calling names at those who like a bird. I feel that I summed it up well when I tweeted “I think that if we all come together-with or without a cult name- we can support all of these small improvements. Whether we like or loathe the Orange Bird, we can rally for some great progress.” Progress…..

#3- The Bird is Back!

On Thursday (March 29)  night, the new signage for Sunshine Tree Terrace was circulating the web. In addition to it’s bright, funky, retro looking style, a certain silhouette was just visible on top of it. After going missing for years, the Orange Bird had returned to the Sunshine Tree.

Orange Bird in silhouette on the back of Sunshine Tree Terrace’s new sign

This news created much hoopla…and a bit of uproar. Many people were outraged that this character would be placed back in the park. They argued that he was stupid and had no place in the park, was only there to make money, and was only catered to a very small percentage of people.  Quite frankly, I cannot understand their issues. The Little Orange Bird is a cute, harmless character. He always has belonged to the Sunshine Tree, he had just gone missing. His return is very similar to the return of Figment to the Imagination Pavilion in 2002. Classic, iconic, lovable character who had gone away was now back home. He couldn’t be back only for profit, either. WDW had been pumping out Orange Bird merchandise for years before the interest in him was reignited. Plus, a simple silhouette isn’t enough to have everyone know who the Bird is. The most ridiculous claim is that he shouldn’t be used in a sign that serves a purpose because only ‘0.01%’ of people know who he is. If that was case with all establishments,  I’m sure Pecos Bill’s would scare away masses of people, as many don’t know who Pecos Bill (who is prominently featured on the signage) is. No one would dine at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe since this ‘Cosmic Ray’ guy doesn’t exist anywhere else. 

Really, we as Disney Fans should be impressed with this change. We have effected what they’ve done in the parks. Our rallying for the Orange Bird brought him there. If we can rally for more great additions to the parks, who knows what we can get?! Whether you like or hate the Bird, you should realize that we now have the power. We can affect the parks. We should be proud. 

If anything, this last week’s events should have brought us together as Disney fans. We shouldn’t waste time arguing, but rather to start communicating on what we want done to improve our parks. I think that if we all stay calm and don’t fight, we can accomplish much.


He’s even prominently displayed on a new poster!

Today,  April 17th, the Orange Bird has returned to the Magic Kingdom. A triumphant return, indeed. We’ve rallied for it, and it’s great to see the crazy amount of things they’ve done. Not only has he appeared on the signage, but he’s on a brand new poster (which is weird, since eateries don’t typically get posters) and loads of new merchandise (even an ear hat!). They even dug out the original figure, spruced it up, and created a crate (with a Horizons L’Orange reference on it) for him to stand on. And that’s just for one small eatery!
D23 even got in on the act, and in a big way. Robert Sherman and the D23 choir got together to sing new renditions of the classic Orange Bird songs (which were written by the Sherman Brothers), pulled out loads of Orange Bird artifacts, and discussed the history of the bird (as if we didn’t already know it by now).

The amount of respect and reverence Disney is showing for what was effectively the most obscure character is astounding. As I said in the original article, we should be proud. Congratulations, guys. Even if you hate this bird with a passion, you must admit: We’ve changed WDW history.

Let’s rally for Imagination next.


You can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Cheers of jeers, please leave a comment. 

An Easter Jubilee!   Leave a comment

Happy Easter Everyone!

Every Easter, I always wonder the same thing: Why doesn’t WDW (or DLR, for that matter) do more for Easter?  Each year, there’s been a simple meet n’ greet with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny. This year, they’ve also added a new egg display at the Grand Floridian. But why not more? Can’t we at least decorate the Magic Kingdom like at Christmas?

Tokyo Disneyland explodes with pastels and eggs each spring as they celebrate Easter. The event, called “Disney’s Easter Wonderland”, is held each year to celebrate ‘the arrival of spring’. This event includes egg painting, an egg hunt (costs a separate fee) eggs designed to look like various characters strewn about the park, and (new as of last year) a special parade!
This is really quite a spectacular event. The entire park looks amazing and festive. The parade is a nifty addition, too. Stop and thing about it- Easter gets it’s own parade, something relativity unheard of at WDW. Sure, DAK gets Jammin’ Jingle Jungle or whatever, but that’s reusing existing floats. And it’s at DAK. Anyway, this isn’t some rinky-dink parade.  Huge floats, bright (and kinda wacky) costumes, upbeat soundtrack. And since bunnies play a huge part in this celebration, there is an entire float made to look like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Oswald Float!

I’m not asking for this event exactly to come to America, but I’m asking for some of the things they do. Egg decorating would be a nice little activity, wouldn’t it? If they can do arts-and-crafts each year at DAK for Earth Day, I don’t see why we can’t do a similar thing in the Magic Kingdom. Charge extra, make some profit off it for all I care.

But more than anything, I’m begging for decorations like Tokyo. Not even the whole resort, just Magic Kingdom would do. Maybe the MK resorts could decorate, too? I think Grand Floridan would benefit from it, as made evident by the egg display. Imagine how Main Street would look covered in eggs, pastel festoons, and fresh spring flowers! Main Street already has a very springtime Easter-Sunday-Best kinda feel about it, so it’s a perfect fit. After seeing all the pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns they put out during the Halloween season, I can only imagine what they’d be able to do with eggs and bunnies.

So why don’t we get an decorations? If they can go all out and decorate for a holiday as trivial as Halloween, then why can’t they do it for something as big as Easter? It can’t be because Easter is a religious holiday, as Christmas is directly celebrated (i.e.- they aren’t celebrating all holidays [though they do touch upon them all], and use Christmas as the main holiday). Even if that was the problem, they could say it’s a celebration of spring like Tokyo does.
Perhaps the reason they decorate for Halloween and Christmas is because of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween and Very Merry Christmas Parties? Because there are no Easter parties, they don’t want to waste the time and effort. Fine. Start offering Easter parties. Not only would that open the door to a special parade,  it would allow for more parties throughout the whole year. I’m sure TDO would love that.
But wait, they still decorate for the Fourth of July….I don’t know anymore. Just decorate Main Street, please. It’d be great. Thanks.

Hope everyone has a ‘Hoppy’ Easter and/or Passover! (And happy birthday, Dad!) I invite you to follow me on Twitter, subscribe to the blog, and comment below! Thanks!

Posted April 8, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Opinions, Parks

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WDW Trip Report: March 17-18   2 comments

With Stops At Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom

Hello and welcome to this month’s report. Let’s jump right in, starting at the newly opened Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom:

This is an amazing view.
The old Toontown watertower and electrical house really clash. But that just goes to show how much nicer this new land looks!

These tents will look great!

Dumbo is so wonderfully done!

Save this bit. I hate seeing this show building from nearly everywhere.

Even though only one spinner is open (and still a little buggy[my Dumbo only went half the way up!]), Dumbo is amazing. The line was always moving. Remember the days of constant hour-long waits? On this spring break Saturday, I waited no more than 15 minutes! They’ve made the queue MUCH wider too. Instead of the narrow paths, I had more than enough room to stretch much arms if I wanted. Not claustrophobic at all.
My only issue with Dumbo is the show building. You can see it from everywhere. The speedway, Barnstormer, and Dumbo’s own queue. No work was done to hide it. Not even trees planted. This needs to be fixed, and soon.

It's the Barnstormer! Only new!

The back of the main signage is recycled Wise Acre Farms signs from the original Barnstormer. It's meant to look like Goofy re-used it all!

I like the new Barnstormer set up. The queue and exit ramp have been flip-flopped. You now enter where Donald’s Boat and the exit ramp used to be, and exit through what used to be the queue.
This is a great improvement! In the old queue, I used to be afraid my head was going to be chopped off by a passing train. The path was incredibly narrow (by WDW standards). Miserable. This new set-up is fantastic, as the ramp is much more spacious, and covered with great props. While the old farm props felt tacky (squashed squash, popcorn plants, etc. all in plastic y-looking toony-ness), these new ones feel much more tangible, real, and authentic. Much like Town Square Theatre’s props and posters, the Barnstormer has posters of Goofy’s stunts alongside the actual props.
The only issue I have with this swap is that there is hardly enough space for this. The ramp up can’t hold switchbacks (unless they were to remove the yet-to-be-implemented fastpass queue), meaning the line flows out into the main plaza, and in front of the train station. They have added switchbacks though. They’re off to the side. Between the railroad tracks and the ramp, in the walkway to Tomorrowland. That, in my opinion, is a poor spot to throw them in. I know there’s nowhere else to go with them, but it looks bad.

Overall, Storybook Circus is amazing. The look is rustic and homey. The queues are wide and inviting. It’s not garnish, nor tacky, nor plastic-y, or anything. It may be my new favorite looking land. I can’t wait to see the rest of it opened up.

In more Fantasyland Expansion news:

Tigger's Bouncy Area has been permanently closed, and is going to become a meet and greet location for Pooh and friends. This is great! Characters should meet at their attractions.

Prince Eric's castle has all it's roofs now!
Also, look closely, and you'll see that Mine Train has gone vertical. Look at that brick wall right under the tower. That's Mine Train.

Progress from Dumbo

A quick swing by Big Thunder to see what’s up:

Doesn't look like much anything new.

I see you!


Imagination has gotten some lighting upgrades. New LEDs have been placed in the Smell Labs. They start off purple, but as Skunk Figment appears, they turn Green. It looks pretty neat.

"Let the good times rollllll!"

"Woo-hoo! You win one scent!"

This is a nice addition to the attraction. But it’s way too bright.  JIIwF is a dark ride, with plenty of bare, exposed walls. These lights just make those walls even more apparent. As well, it makes this scene much brighter than all the others. Kinda disjointed.

Flower and Garden in full swing:

Really lovin' this entrance topiary, even though it's an old (or more likely, taken from Studios) topiary.

Even more amazing at night

And now, an ode to Test Track:

The queue really shows it's age. Doesn't help that all the dates were written with the 1996 opening in mind...

Speaking of showing age, there are some interesting VHS tapes (whatever a VHS tape is) in the pre-show rooms.

Nearly all of the cars have begun their transformations. They all have new black detailing and a shiny body.
In addition, if I counted correctly, the 'new' car count is up to 4.

We conclude our report with some Animal Kingdom: NEAR DARK-

Safaris truck from a Safaris truck. Inception!


It was funny listening to our driver seriously over-hype the elephant story when we only saw one elephant, and that storyline is going away soon.

I got to be the last one to ride DINOSAUR that night. I've wanted to do that for so long.

That’s just about it. Took a lot of great pictures, including more panoramas and a few HDRs. Want to see them? Check out my Facebook page. As well, don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter to hear more of my random thoughts and whatnot.