Disney World Attractions I Could Live Without

Inside MaelstromI’m about to say some painful things.  I’m going to make statements you won’t agree with – that’s okay!  We can agree to disagree and still be friends.  In fact, I would LOVE for you to weigh in on this particular issue either with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter.  This is what’s so great about Walt Disney World (and the Disney fan community) – everyone enjoys the Disney parks in their own way and for different reasons!

I started thinking about Maelstrom, The Studio Backlot Tour, The American Idol Experience and the swirling rumors about what attractions may be next on the chopping block.  I thought – HEY!  There are plenty of rides I could happily live without – sacrifices I’d be gladly willing to make to the gods of change.  In return, I’d want my most beloved attractions to remain untouched, but I’ll save that list for another day.  If the Disney Company needs to free up some real estate for new and exciting innovations, I’d be happy to help with…

Disney World Attractions I Could Live Without!Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland

1.  Stitch’s Great Escape (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) – Sure, I put the most obvious choice first.  I figure most of you will agree with this one and I can ease you into the rest of the list.  I’m a pretty hearty girl and I actually almost threw up once in this “experience” when I was hit with the chilidog belch.  It was touch and go there for a few minutes.  Guests are exceptionally well-restrained for the duration and I’m pretty sure that ‘s what saved me – I liked my outfit a lot that day and jerked myself back from the edge by concentrating on what the loss of my lunch would to do my cute ensemble.  I hear that Disney’s since removed that part of the attraction, but I still don’t care.  I was traumatized and have been unable to bring myself to ever visit Stitch again.  12 minutes of my life I can never get back!  I don’t even have a picture of this attraction to show you which speaks volumes about my feelings – I pretty much have a picture of everything.

2.  Magic Carpets of Aladdin – What the heck is this thing doing smack in the middle of Adventureland?  We’ve got double Dumbo’s now in Magic Kingdom and we don’t need the rugs, spitting camels, or garish color scheme tacky-ing up the beloved home of the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.  Fly away Carpets, fly away!

Mission: SPACE3. Mission: SPACE (Future World, Epcot) – I know!  The queue is cool, but if you don’t have the right stuff, why bother.  If you’ve got to ride the Green, don’t waste your time.  If you’re going for the Orange Team, you’d better have some strong constitution.  I rode the Orange (before the Green version was invented) and lived to tell about it.  Now I can look back fondly – which actually, if they’d go on and close this thing, I could blow up into an even bigger deal.  A fish story for the future grandkids.  This one begs to be a nostalgic story full of bragging and exaggeration!  No matter what happens to it, a memory will remain all it is for me since I’m not planning to ever ride it again.

4. Dinosaur – I ride it, I like it, I can live without it.  It’s just meh.  I’m not thrilled by it.  I don’t Dinosaur Ride Photothink the dinosaurs are a great representation of Disney Imagineering’s best work.  It is ever so much better since they turned down the volume and toned down the jerkiness of the ride.  I would not shed a single tear if this attraction moved on to make room for something (anything!) more spectacular.

5.  Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – I didn’t just dislike this experience.  I loathed it.  I thought it was boring.  I think I wanted to see more people and fewer vehicles.  Some of the stunts were…interesting, but the attraction takes up valuable property in the Studios that could be put to much better use.  I haven’t seen the show since Mater and the Cars’ stars joined the fun…not sure even they could make me like it.

Here’s what you should do…for every one on my list you don’t agree with, offer up an attraction to take its place on the pretend chopping block.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!



Disney at Home on the Weekend!

Louisiana Crepe MyrtlesI don’t know about at your house, but at ours the weekend goes by WAY too quickly!  Seems like the hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning are shorter than those during the rest of the week.  Whoosh!  Weekend’s over!  This weekend was especially packed with fun and Disney!

Fall has arrived and with our next trip to Walt Disney World just two weeks away, I realized how much still needs to be done!  So I kicked it into high gear over the weekend and got a few things accomplished.

Saturday, Junior got his Halloween costume finalized.  I’m 100% sure he doesn’t care about dressing up for this holiday or any other, but I care, so he indulges me.  I went with Star Wars and am really happy with the cuteness level!  What do you think?  Doesn’t Junior make a cute Tauntaun?

Sunday, I ran 7 miles as my longest training run of the week.  It seems I’ve got to run a half Junior as a TaunTaunmarathon to run a half marathon.  Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?  In order to NOT start at the very back of the pack for the Disney Princess Half in February, I’ve got to prove I can go the distance in less than 3.5 hours.  I’ve run several half marathons in the past, but not in a couple of years, so I need a recent qualifying time.  I’ve decided on the East Texas Half in Nacogdoches, Texas on November 16th.  Who doesn’t want to run 13.1 miles for their 50th birthday?  Should be fun, right?

I was really hungry after all that running and decided I could cook up something fattening and delicious while crossing another item off my Disney New Year’s Resolution List.  After our Tutto Italia dining experience in May was such a disappointment (very poor service, very mediocre food), I wanted to use a recipe from the Tutto Italia of the past – when they had both awesome service and delicious dishes!  I’m not giving up on them forever at Walt Disney World (Epcot’s World Showcase, Italy Pavilion), but I’m giving them some time to work out their current kinks before we go back.  In TaunTaun Canine!the mean time, I’ll keep whipping up some happy memories at home!  I decided on the Gnocchi with Spinach and Gorgonzola Cream Sauce.  I took a picture of the finished product to show you, but, well, it’s kind of ugly so I changed my mind.  Let’s just say that my first attempt at gnocchi from scratch was a little rough – they were not pretty, uniform little pieces of pasta.  Thankfully, they tasted absolutely divine (in spite of the dish’s humble appearance).  I used this recipe from Allears.net.

Finally, after waiting for what felt like forever, Season 4 of Once Upon a Time started Sunday night.  It was worth the wait!  I won’t go into detail since you either watch Once and you’re with me in my excitement OR you don’t watch it and don’t care.  I will say that I was not expecting Kristoff to be so perfect.  I thought Anna was spot on (Elsa not so much) and having Marshmallow make an appearance was a great (and fun) surprise.  I wasn’t expecting to like the Frozen takeover, but so far so good!

Did you add any Disney to your weekend? 

Disney World Table Service – 5 Random Tips

Flying Fish Dinner at the BoardwalkToday’s tips are brought to you by my current state of hunger.  Having an empty belly, thinking about our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, I just started brainstorming important things about selecting table service restaurants…only, here in Louisiana, the brainstorm is more like a brain hurricane!

For us, the selection of Disney dining options begins exactly 180 days from our vacation – as soon as that window opens up for making ADRs (advance dining reservations), we are booking maniacs.  Planning the actual selections begins even sooner than that!  We love the opportunity to sit down together as a family (usually once each day) and enjoy some of the delicious dining options Walt Disney World offers – at a fairly leisurely pace.  We love the number of table service options there are to choose from.  We love trying new things and revisiting old favorites.

Disney World Table Service – 5 Random Tips

Tip #1 – If you’re thinking, “I don’t know what I’ll feel like eating so far in advance!” get over it!  You don’t have to book ALL your ADRs at 180 days, but if you’re even toying with Epcot's France Pavilion / Monsieur Paul‘Ohana, Le Cellier, Be Our Guest, and/or a few others in the uber-popular category, book a reservation at the earliest possible moment!  I would be so sad if my family was really counting on eating at one or more of the most popular places and we couldn’t get in.  If what you want is not available when you first try – keep checking!  Cancellations happen all the time.  My cautionary tale:  We were once waiting for our ADR at ‘Ohana when a lady with a very long blond (totally artificial) ponytail (I remember the weirdest details) walked up to the podium and asked for a table.  When told there were none available, she said, “We don’t care about the wait, we’ll take whatever you’ve got!” – she was completely (tragically) shocked when the cast member explained that all available tables for the entire evening had been booked.  Don’t let this happen to you!

Chicken at Raglan RoadTip #2:  Are you picky?  If you’re more about a particular food than an experience, do some research.  Menus and reviews are available all over the interwebs!  Looking for a good steak?  There are quite a few choices.  Keep in mind that the way steak (or your other favorite food) is prepared where you live may be a bit different than it is at Walt Disney World.  Different regions seem to have different criteria for rare, medium, and well-done.  Be as descriptive as possible!  Say, “Warm and slightly pink in the center” or “No pink in my steak at all” or “Moo-ing gently as I cut into it” – this will get you a lot closer to what you want than the generic beef terminology.

Tip #3:  Are your kids picky?  We feel your pain!  We have yet to find a table service restaurant that wouldn’t help us figure out how to feed our picky eater.  Ask your server for suggestions.  Tell them if your picky one has special dining needs (like no food must touch!)  It’s been our experience that they’re usually more than happy to work with you to make sure your experience is the best it can be.  When in doubt, we’ve gone with one of the many buffets available.  The kid-friendly sections are really great!

Pizza Delivery at WDWTip #4:  FYI – Walt Disney World typically does not do pizza well.  Don’t count on finding good pizza there.  In fact, I’ll go ahead and just say that the pizza is notoriously awful.  Your best chance is in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion at Via Napoli.  If you can make it a week without a pie, you should try to do that.  Please, oh, please – if you’ve GOT to enter Pizza Planet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – go for the arcade games!

Tip #5:  Save room!  Nothing makes me madder than when I sit down at a great restaurant (like the Flying Fish Café on the Boardwalk, Raglan Road in Downtown Disney/Disney Springs or ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Village Resort) and I’ve eaten so much earlier in the day that I’m not going to be able to do the meal justice.  That’s the beauty of tip #1 – you’ll know when you need to hold back and make sure you’re good and hungry when you arrive for your ADR!

What is your best table service tip?  What’s your favorite table service restaurant?

Need info?  There’s always helpful information at the Disney Food Blog!





Disney Movies Underrepresented at Walt Disney World

Disney Movie CollectionThis week while listening to my favorite Disney podcasts I heard something hilarious!  That movie about the sisters from Arendelle – you know the one – is now being referred to as “The F-Word”.  When I stopped laughing, I started thinking about the number of places that particular F-word is showing up at Walt Disney World – Don’t worry!  This is NOT another blog post about that situation. (But I did find this entertaining tidbit on Tumblr in case you’re a fan.)  It just got me thinking about the great Disney movies that have been left behind (or forgotten).  ‘Ohana, it seems, does not apply to our favorite Disney classics!

So, as usual, according to me…

Five Disney Movies Underrepresented at Walt Disney World

1. The Jungle Book – We need more Mowgli.  Over in the Animal Kingdom, in a little corner of Asia – couldn’t some small section of the park be spared for ONE Jungle Book attraction?  WithAlice in Wonderland at WDW the new Jungle Book being released in 2015, this would make even more sense.  Dark water ride!  Can’t you just picture it?  Oh, yeah…fantastic!

2. Alice in Wonderland – There’s the Mad Tea Party, sure, but SO much fantastic potential is wasted!  The Red Queen, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Alice – This could really be a fantastic little dark ride or indoor/outdoor kiddie coaster.  Even a cute spinner or something that plays on the “Eat Me” “Drink Me” size change bit.  And Absolem!  Those crazy flowers!

Mary Poppins in Celebrate a Dream Come True3. Mary Poppins – Getting better, but not quite there yet.  Several nods to Mary Poppins appear in the new DVC villas at the Grand Floridian, but I’d really love to see an attraction completely and fully dedicated to Miss Poppins, Bert, and all the movie’s best moments.  There’s room for another carousel at another park outside of Magic Kingdom.  Hello!  Penguins?

4. The Incredibles – Zilch, zip, nada.  It’s been completely ignored. This is one of my most favorite Disney movies.  A sequel is reportedly underway!  Why?  Why can we not have some Super action – this movie BEGS to be translated into an E-ticket attraction!  Edna Mode could guide us through the adventures of our favorite Supers and their arch nemesis, Syndrome!Helen and JackJack / The Incredibles

5. The Emperor’s New Groove – I know – most of you just groaned.  But Yzma and Kronk’s antics were the very best part of this flick and they at least deserve a little something.  A kooky, wild ride based on the “wrong lever” sequences?  You KNOW you’d love it.  Oh, and squirrels would have to be included!  Squeak, squeak squeaken squeaker.

Your turn!  Are you thinking UpRatatouille? Brother Bear? Are you mad because Tangled only rated a restroom?  What about Lady and the Tramp?  Talk to me!  What movies do you think have been overlooked at Walt Disney World?