Disney Listening – Hearing the Magic at Home

Rebecca from Disney With MeToday’s post is by my friend Rebecca Kelly – blogger, independent Disney travel specialist and all around fantastic person.  Let’s all welcome Rebecca with a big round of applause!

Disney Listening – Hearing the Magic at Home

If you are a Disney travel fan, there will inevitably come a time in your year – no matter how often you take vacations to your favourite Disney location – when you miss your home away from home.  Maybe that next vacation just isn’t soon enough, or maybe there’s no vacation on the horizon just yet… Or maybe you just got back and you’ve got the widely-hated Disney Withdrawal.

What do you do when you feel like you’ve got to be there NOW?  Well, I can tell you what I do:  I immerse myself in park music.  Well, in park ATMOSPHERE.  Music, sounds, ride soundtracks – anything is fair game!Mouse World Radio

Here are a few of my favourite places to go to and get my fix of pretending I’m in the parks at WDW:

1.) Mouseworld Radio (www.mouseworldradio.com) Plenty of streaming music – 6 channels worth!  Some require a VIP membership at Live365.com in order to have a listen, but some are wide-open free.  The hour of opening music from Main Street, USA every morning is enough to make me happy. 🙂

2.)  StudiosCentral Radio – also found on mouseworldradio.com is actually my favourite of these channels.  Not everyone is as heavy a fan of Hollywood Studios as I am, I know, but it’s my First-Day park and listening to the park sounds REALLY creates the experience for me and lets me feel like I’m heading there soon.  The loop of music from HS goes most of the day, without too Mouse World Radio 2many repeats, and includes not only show and ride soundtracks, but also a bunch of TV themes from the ABC Commissary, and a selection of Aerosmith tracks!

3.)  Reedy Creek Radio (www.reedycreekradio.com) is among my favourite streaming stations, period.  The variety of different kinds of music they play is enviable – I know, I just talked about how I will happily listen to an all-Studios channel for hours, but I DO like variety, honest – and some of the tracks are really pretty rare, from my sampling of the streaming stations out there.  They also just have a site design that I find cute, so hey, there’s that!

4.)  YouTube, Part 1:  Oh, the things available on YouTube.  The days I have spent compiling playlists!  I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to know that I can go onto YouTube and find whatever specific piece of park or ride music I feel like putting on.  (Though I DO like the streaming stations because I don’t have to look anything up myself!)  There are entire channels of Park Sounds out there and playlists of park music loops.  My current Reedy Creek Radiofavourite is Frontierland’s loop (find it here).

5.)  YouTube, Part 2:  If for some reason you’re not feeling the passive Disney Music to satisfy your itch, YouTube has another side that might do it:  videos.  Trip videos, vlogs, vidcasts, all kinds of things… In my spare time I LOVE looking up trip reports made by other people.  Even complete strangers!

So, if you’re lucky, listening to the park music will quiet your nerves and help you feel like you’re either there, or at least on your way to Disney.  Unfortunately, they also have been known to just INCREASE the need to go, so tread carefully…And good luck!

You can find (and follow) Rebecca in these places:


Disney Character Surprise

Disney Character SurpriseOnce again, please welcome back guest poster Nick from Disney Musings!

Disney Character Surprise

In January of 2011, Barbie and I were with our friends Kandi and John at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were just leaving the park for the afternoon, when Barbie asked a Cast Member to see her pins. Barbie spotted a Stitch pin and asked to trade. As the Cast Member was handing her the pin, she asked if she liked Stitch. Barbie said he was her favorite, to which the CM responded “Follow me.”

We all followed her to a little cul-de-sac by Guest Services, where she asked us to wait a moment. A couple of minutes later, Stitch peeked out from behind a corner! But the surprise didn’t end there. As Stitch walked out, he was followed by Donald Duck, then Daisy Duck, Piglet, and Minnie Mouse! We had our own private meet and greet! I wish we’d gotten the wonderful Cast Member’s name, as this was really a highlight of that trip.

For more great Disney stories, reviews, history and more, be sure to follow Nick and Disney Musings in all these places:

Disney For Five+ – Vacations With a Large Family

Please welcome today’s guest, Heather Brainerd from Disney For Five+.

I’d been to Disney World many times as a child, but didn’t visit as an adult until my husband and I took our three boys in 2009. It was a wonderful whirlwind of a trip! Although I loved every minute of the vacation, it left me feeling like Disney World is geared toward families of four. From resort rooms to ride vehicles, everything seemed to work better for four. I knew there had to be a way around this and, once home, took to the Internet to research strategies for touring Photo306-murphy bed open-pWDW with a big family. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much out there on that specific topic. So I started blogging about it. Thus was born Disney for Five+ (http://disneyforfive.wordpress.com).

The biggest challenge facing big families: where to stay. If you want to stay on property (trust me, you do!), but want to stretch your vacation dollar, my top two recommendations are Port Orleans Riverside and All-Star Music.

Port Orleans Riverside (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/port-orleans-resort-riverside/) The Alligator Bayou section of this charming, lushly landscaped Moderate resort boasts rooms that sleep five. This is the only resort at either the Moderate or Value level that has *rooms* (we’ll get to suites later) that can accommodate more than four people. This is accomplished with two queen beds plus a Murphy-type bed (bench by day, small bed by night). The pull-down bed is only about 65” long, and our boys maxed it out around age 12. Until then, this was our resort of choice. We’ve since moved on to…

All-Star Music(https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/all-star-music-resort/) The Calypso and Jazz sections of this Value resort feature family suites that sleep up to six. Art of Animation also has family suites, but we prefer All-Star Music for two reasons: it’s cheaper, and it has three sleeping ASM Sleepingspaces in the living room. My husband and I get the master bedroom, each of the boys gets his own pullout (a couch, a chair, and an ottoman), and family harmony is ensured. Bonus: you get a small kitchen and TWO bathrooms! This makes getting ready in the morning so much more efficient.

There are plenty of other options for big families at Disney World resorts; these just happen to be my personal favorites. For a more extensive list, check out this post: http://disneyforfive.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/rooms-for-five/

To learn more about Heather and read more of her work, you can find her in these places: ASM Boys


Walt Disney World – Hidden Pleasures

Treats-and-time-with-LindsayPlease welcome today’s guest, Curtis Stone!  Curt and his daughter, Lindsay, are the hosts of the Geekin’ on WDW Podcast (and website).

Walt Disney World’s Hidden Pleasures

There are some men in this world that think Disney World is not for them. They think there’s not a lot of things for them and it’s just for kids. As men, we typically hide our feelings and put on a tough act. Today, I’m going to expose myself.  Uh, wait, relax, let me rephrase that.  There are many attractions at Disney World that I would say are on my “Hidden Pleasures” list. These are the ones I would not admit I like in front of a bunch of macho men over at Gaston’s Tavern over a brew. But, today I’d like to reveal these beauties even if they are a bit testosterone weak. I don’t care if you make fun of me. I like’m, I’m over 50 years old, I’m a 6′ 2″ dude and comfortable in my masculinity.

Here’s my corny hidden pleasure list in no particular order:Goofy Thinking

1. Carousel of Progress – My wife loves this one and drags me in every year. It’s turned out to be one of my must do’s and I love it too. The tune grows on me. I love Walt Disney the man and this is one of his classics.

2. Small World – I don’t know who nailed all those little kids feet to the floor but they sure are cute and sing good. It’s the song that keeps on giving and giving and giving. I can’t get that tune out of my head for hours and I don’t care.  We never miss it and I enjoy it.

3. Art of Animation – I waited in a long line for this on my last 2 trips. I really enjoy drawing the Disney character and showing off my artistic ability. Strike that. I like pretending I have artistic ability. Co-workers can’t believe I drew the Goofy that hangs in my office at work. I hope we draw a different character this year.

4Gaston 2. Pictures with characters – I won’t wait in a long line for Duffy but I do like to ham it up and get a few pictures with characters. When I leave work on the Friday before vacation, all seriousness of the world is turned off and I’m getting as Goofy as possible.

5. Figment – Imagination! Imagination! Come on, Sing it with me !!! You know the words. I’m a big Monty Python fan and of Eric Idle. This ride is pure fun.

6. Muppets – Remember the first time you saw Muppets in Muppet Vision. Very cool, right? I know these are characters for kids. They were a big part of my childhood with Sesame Street.

7. Peter Pan – My kids recently told my wife that they thought the Peter Pan ride was awesomechef mickey when they were little. We still enjoy the Fantasyland rides. As long as we get there early and the lines are short.

8. Electric Water Pageant – This by far the corniest of attractions at Disney World. If you stay at a Resort Loop Resort, you have to check this out. It’s a series of boats that have neon lighted characters that run around Bay Lake/Seven Seas Lagoon and blast music. If you hit the hay early from a long day in the parks, this attraction will wake you up around 10pm as it goes by our Bay Lake Tower room.  We go out on our balcony and enjoy it.  It’s hilarious.

9. Old time singers/dancers – I love the ol’ time flavor of MK. This takes me back to a simpler time. I enjoy the old time music, costumes and fun.

10 – Googleman’s, Ziti Sisters and World Showcase Players – I always look forward to see a lot of these acts and even play a role. Slapstick and the cornier the better. Hey, my favorite comedy movie is “Dumb and Dumber” and I’m a huge fan of the Three Stooges. What do you expect?

Laugh at me if you want. I don’t care. You can even post YouTube video’s of me doing the Hoochie Coochie with the World Showcase Players. I hope I’m chosen as “That Guy” at Monster, Inc.’s Laugh Floor. At least I won’t have a sour puss like most of the guys I saw last year.   Just go with it, lose yourself and you’ll have more fun too!

For more Disney favorites, memories, reviews, tips, and Walt Disney World travel stories, visit Curtis at Geekin’ on WDW.com , on Facebook and on Twitter.  Be sure to download the podcast and give it a listen (I recommend Episode #5!).