Disney World Things That Make Kids Cry

TomorrowlandIn all the visits I’ve made to the four parks at Walt Disney World, there are a few attractions (rides and shows) that stand out to me as holding a special sort of power – the power to make kids cry!  Sure – we know that meeting characters can cause a fright, but I’m talking about seemingly kid-friendly stuff.  Check out my list and then comment with your own experiences and observations – this topic will certainly need to be revisited from time to time.  Especially since we’ve got a bunch of new attractions to look forward to with Pandora coming to Animal Kingdom and Start Wars Land in the future for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney World Things That Make Kids Cry

Fantasmic – If the wait alone doesn’t do it, some of the elements of the show have a considerable fear factor.  Any time there are villains involved, there’s the potential for unhappiness.  In the case of Fantasmic, I think it’s the mixture of big images projected on water, pyrotechnics, and live characters – lights, sound, and a lot of action!  After waiting for the show to start, I imagine some little ones are terribly disappointed – doesn’t help that it’s also probably past their bedtime.DungBrothers

It’s Tough to be a Bug – This one seems like it will be so much fun!  Beneath Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life where it’s cool and dark and the walls are plastered with fun insect movie posters, the wait for the show is deceiving.  This 3D experience is no Mickey’s PhilharMagic!  Even little ones who are not usually afraid of bugs find this show horrifying.  I’ve seen it enough time that when certain parts are about to happen, I think, “cue the crying!” and sure enough, parents are bee-lining for the door (see what I did there?).  Seriously, if you’re considering this attraction for children under the age of seven, consider letting them sit on your lap.  Trust me.IMG_6712

Dinosaur – Our daughter is 24 and still plugs her hears during this ride’s trip back in time in Animal Kingdom.  The idea that dinosaurs are all around you is scary enough – add jerky, unpredictable motion and loud noises and you’ve got the perfect combination for a major cry-fest.  This is one of those just-because-they’re-tall-enough-doesn’t-mean-they’re-ready attractions.wd015wdw201414779448368

Stitch’s Great Escape – This one made me cry.  Horrible doesn’t begin to describe what I thought of this Tomorrowland attraction in Magic Kingdom.  To say I hated it would be an understatement.  I’m a big fan of Lilo and Stitch, but this ride, formerly the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (1995-2003), uses major seat restraints to keep hapless guests in place while they’re tortured by Stitch’s antics.  This includes some periods of complete and total darkness.  I don’t know if Stitch still burps chili-dog breath in your face (I’ve heard that was gone), but I wanted out of that place so bad – I can only imagine what a 40″ tall (the minimum height requirement) child would go through in there!  This one may look fun, but I say keep walking!

What about YOU?  What attractions do you think should be added to the list?

Disney World – Construction Walls Everywhere


RM-Animal-Kingdom-Construction-WallsIf you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World in the near future and you’ve been reading blogs, Disney fan sites, or message boards, you’ll have noticed something you may have found alarming – there are construction walls everywhere!  And cranes.  And closures.

It’s true.  I wish I could tell you the place looks picture perfect and is as bright, beautiful, and photogenic as seen on TV, but I’d be lying.  The Magic Kingdom’s hub is undergoing a major expansion which involves the use of construction walls seemingly everywhere.  Same goes for Animal Kingdom – major changes in progress.  Downtown Disney’s transformation into Disney Springs will be wonderful – when it’s finished…right now? Not so much.  As welcome and exciting as these changes are, they also result in vast seas of construction walls.  Things are going to really get shaken up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when the addition of Star Wars Land gets underway.  If rumors are to be believed, Echo Lake, Dino Gertie, and Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner are all doomed.  Cue the walls!RM-Construction-Walls

Should this worry you?  Should you quickly cancel your plans and wait it out?  My advice would be absolutely not!  If you plan to vacation at Walt Disney World anytime during the next two to three years (or longer), you may not be seeing the parks at their picture-perfect best, but you’ll be visiting during an important time of major transformation!  And, there will still be an enormous number of attractions, shows, shops, restaurants, and resorts for you to enjoy.  You will also find plenty of places, construction-wall-free, to capture great vacation photographs.

In case you insist on being worried and you find you’ll be at Disney World in the near future, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you cope with the current state of upheaval.

IMG_08921. Be Prepared!  What’s that saying, “forewarned is forearmed”?  That’s the purpose of this post!  If you know you’ll find things a bit unsettled, it’ll make it easier to accept.  Resign yourself to the fact that things don’t look like they do in the Disney vacation planning DVD or the commercials or travel shows you may have seen on TV.  It’s okay – looks aren’t everything.  It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?  Rest assured – the heart of Disney is still beating strong!

2. Focus on What you CAN see and do!  I know I’m making it sound like the situation is dire, but I want you to have realistic expectations.  You’ll still find plenty of places virtually construction and closure-free!  For example:  Except for the attraction-formerly-known-as-Maelstrom in the Norway pavilion, Epcot’s World Showcase is not currently undergoing any major construction and is still one of the most gorgeous places at Walt IMG_0894Disney World.

3. Embrace the Walls!  If any company can make construction walls look interesting, it’s Disney.  Signs, sayings, pictures – cute, clever, and funny surprises can be found along the length of those barriers.  Consider turning the walls into one more Disney “thing” to be explored.

4. Get Creative With Your Camera!  Don’t fret over Cinderella Castle if there’s a construction crane in use that will appear in every picture.  This should not ruin your vacation!  There are plenty of other, albeit less famous, beautiful buildings and even other castles you can photograph to your heart’s content.  The Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom may be surrounded by walls, but you can still capture some very memorable and scenic park shots.

Fantasyland5. Secure Those Bragging Rights!  You will be able to say – I visited way back when.  I secured my bragging rights during the Fantasyland expansion  when Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was under construction – I remember what the park was like before, during, and now after the awesome addition to Magic Kingdom was made!  In 2014, I visited Animal Kingdom amid the vast expanse of construction walls – it’s okay!  I was THERE when they were adding the elements for the upcoming nighttime attractions and Pandora addition – and I’ll be excited to visit again both during the construction and when the transformation is complete!

Will you be at Walt Disney World soon?  What do you think about the changes?

Disney Collectibles – Epcot Preview Guide

Today’s Saturdays With Nick article blasts us into the past to 1982 and EPCOT Center’s opening day.  This Epcot preview guide book was an amazing find and a wonderful addition to Nick’s impressive Disneyana collection!  Don’t forget you can find Nick’s Disney Musings on all your favorite social medias:  Disney Musings Blog / Disney Musings on Twitter / Disney Musings on Instagram / Disney Musings on Facebook

Epcot Center Opening Day Guide

by: Nick

I’ve seen this guide book listed on eBay as the Opening Day Guide, although there is nothing on the cover to indicate as much. When I bought it at an antique store many years ago, the white label that someone annoyingly put on the cover, and which, as you can see, I unsuccessfully removed, stated that it was a pre-opening guide. I payed $10 for it.

The inside cover.

Page 1.

The back cover.

Regardless of what it is, I love it. It is like a time capsule, showing many beloved attractions, some still with us, others changed or extinct, pavilion sponsors, and those terrific Epcot Center logos.

Some of the companies that were sponsors don’t even exist any longer.

I miss Dreamfinder. Who am I kidding, I miss the whole original ride!

And perhaps my all time favorite ride, Horizons.

On the World Showcase side, the artwork is even more stunning.

There is even a preview for 3 nations that were planned, announced, but never made it.

Finally the book ends showing some of the workmanship that went into what I consider a Wonder of the World, Epcot.

Because of the wonderful photos, and a glimpse back at classic Epcot Center, this is one of my favorite pieces of Disneyana.



Walt Disney World’s Park Hopper – Part 2

IMG_6795In a previous post, I listed five great reasons to purchase the park-hopper ticket upgrade at Walt Disney World.  Today I’ll give you five great reasons NOT to buy park-hopper tickets.  I know!  It sounds like I can’t make up my mind, but, as I pointed out in that earlier post – the necessity (or not) of the park-hopper option all depends on where you are in your life, how you like to eat on vacation, and what Disney World touring style you favor.

Park-hopping is not a necessity.  In fact, if you consider yourself firmly in one or more of the following categories, it’s an extra expense you may not need.  Save that money for better restaurants or more souvenirs!  You can still have a stellar vacation without the stress of jumping from park to park.

Five Reasons NOT to Purchase Disney’s Park-HopperRM-Liberty-Belle-HM-Queue 1. You only have 4 or 5 days at Walt Disney World – There are four parks and each is completely deserving of an entire designated day.  Have children?  Spend that fifth day in Magic Kingdom to hit the attractions and sights you may have missed earlier.  Love Epcot?  Spend that fifth day exploring World Showcase to your heart’s content.  One park per day – with some careful planning – will allow you to focus the experiences you most want to try, while also allowing time to soak up the atmosphere and amazing Disney details.RM-Grand-Floridian-Entrance 2. You know your favorite restaurants are not in the parks.  Your day may look like this:  Spend the day in Magic Kingdom before hopping on the monorail to eat dinner at ‘Ohana (Polynesian Village Resort) or Chef Mickey’s (Disney’s Contemporary Resort), then pop back over to the Magic Kingdom to close out the night!  Spend all day at Animal Kingdom, then grab the bus over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for an evening of more animal viewing on the savannah overlook and dinner at Boma or Jiko.  Get the idea?  Maybe you’d prefer to walk from Epcot (through the International Gateway) to enjoy dinner on the Boardwalk before going back to Epcot for Illuminations.RM-Pangani-Forest 3. You want to see and do it all.  Start early and stay late!  Park-hopping can be time consuming and take a chunk out of your precious park-time.  If you start and end the day in the same park, you can certainly maximize the number of attractions, shows, shops, etc. that can be experienced in a singly day.

4. You have small children.  Start early and take a break in the middle of the day for naptime, swim-time, resort rest and relaxation – then return to the same park later for more fun!  Never underestimate the power of a second wind!  Good rest time = quality park time.RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Sign 5. You vacation to relax.  You are a mystery to me, but, like the Yeti, I know you exist.  You don’t plan to spend a lot of time in the parks – maybe you want to play golf, fish, shop, book spa treatments, chill by the pool, rent watercraft or bicycles.  There’s no need for you to hop – you only want to hit your favorite attractions in a park before getting back to the really important stuff.  One park per day would be more than enough for you.  That’s the beauty of vacationing at Walt Disney World – there is truly something for everyone. Read Park-Hopper Pros in part one here. Which would you recommend – Single park tickets or the park-hopper option?