Being a Disney World Electrical Water Pageant Fan

From my non-Disney-loving friends, I take some flack for my vacation destination of choice.  From my fellow Disney fans, I get teased about my love for one of the most special, original, and enduring attractions at Walt Disney World…The Electrical Water Pageant.  What’s made me so devoted?  Glad you asked.Disney World Electrical Water Pageant

Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant

It was 1996 when the Pageant’s current version was launched and that’s the year I first experienced this most amazing of extra magical touches.  Available to guests who happen to be along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake most evenings, this parade-on-water is a charming treat.  It’s one of those things Disney doesn’t have to do.  People would still flock in droves to the House of Mouse and have fantastic family fun without this one attraction, but it’s been there since late October of 1971 and is still “a thing” treasured by many adoring fans like me.Disney World Electrical Water Pageant

For my family, it’s the whimsical simplicity of parade floats made out of barges with blinking lights.  As the floats go by, animals seem to leap out of the water and dance.  There may only be 14 floats and the entire experience lasts only 15 minutes, but it’s got a special place in our hearts.  If we’re staying at Bay Lake Tower, we can sometimes hear the Electrical Water Pageant’s music as we’re drifting off to sleep – like a perky lullaby even if we’re not watching the show. Disney World's Electrical Water Pageant

The music is snappy and the songs are well-known (mostly…maybe not everyone is familiar with the 1988 Was (Not Was) hit, “Walk the Dinosaur”).  Many of the songs are from The Little Mermaid and there are also tunes from Peter Pan, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and other Disney movies.  Patriotic favorites like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “America the Beautiful” add a nice touch as well.  I’m telling you – this thing’s adorable!  Quirky, eclectic – there are sea creatures, a dinosaur, and the Stars and Stripes –  there’s a lot to see in a mere quarter of an hour.Disney World Electrical Water Pageant Disney World Electrical Water Pageant

Who would love the Electrical Water Pageant?  Little ones, fans of classic Disney World attractions, folks who want a low key attraction that’s both free and outside the parks, and lovers of Disney music and magic.  Our favorite spot to watch the Pageant is on the boat dock at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but there are lots of prime viewing locations.  If you’re enjoying a meal at one of the monorail resorts, adding the Pageant to your evening is a great way to end the day.  Evening show times vary and are available in the My Disney Experience app…search for “Electrical Water Pageant”.  Here’s what Disney’s website says…

Recommended viewing locations include:

Please note that all show times are approximate and may vary by several minutes. All entertainment is subject to change and may be cancelled in cases of inclement weather.

Have you watched the Electrical Water Pageant?  How do you feel about it?

 

Disney World Ruins Pirates of the Caribbean?

Purists lament most changes and updates to Disney rides and attractions that add or remove original elements.  Long have we heard the unhappy rants over Haunted Mansion’s additions on the inside and out.  Diehard fans will forever mourn the loss of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, SpectroMagic, and Maelstrom (to name a few).pirates3

Disney World Ruins Pirates of the Caribbean?

I’ve heard more than a few grumblings over the additions to Pirates of the Caribbean through the years and I’m honestly surprised the cries have not grown louder of late.  Recently (about a year ago), this most beloved Adventureland attraction became the recipient of new scents to some of the ride scenes.  pirates4 During a lengthy refurbishment that added new lighting, updated costumes, a softer drop, and more fluid-moving animatronics, the new fragrances were added.   piratesherekitty piratesinjailYes, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” smell fans have long adored (that dank, musty, sulfur-tinged Orlando water aroma) is virtually no more (you can still smell it loud and clear in the ride queue, if it matters).  As you sail along, you’ll now notice what many describe as a “rum” smell and a “burning” odor (among others).  Similar to the “Rome Burning” fragrance in Spaceship Earth, Pirates now has its own set of custom scents.piratestownburning

A quick search of the internet does turn up a few discussions about the new aromas, but I’ve yet to find a definitive list of how many there are and exactly what we’re supposed to be smelling.  Personally, I’ve loved Pirates of the Caribbean in all its different versions and configurations throughout the 25+ years I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World.  The newest changes have made no difference to me…except the scents.  piratesbarbosa2 piratesskeletonThey don’t bother me and my ride experience is not ruined, but I’m perplexed by how mysterious they are to me.  Maybe my sniffer isn’t as sensitive as it once was, but I can smell only two different aromas – one smells sweet and a bit like a particular green apple bubble gum I used to love as a kid.  The other smell is the scent of burning, which matches the burning town scene and makes sense (or should I say scents) to me.pirates1

What about YOU?  Have you noticed the new aromas in Pirates?  Please tell me…what do they smell like to you?  Do you like the changes that have been made to this attraction through the years?

NOTE:  I know the pictures I’ve used in today’s post are grainy and of poor quality and I’m sorry about that.  I’m a firm believer in “No flash photography” on dark rides and this was the best I could do with my iPhone. 

Walt Disney World – Feeling Patriotic

RM-Flag-Main-StreetSummertime makes me feel patriotic.  I suppose it’s because of the holiday palooza of Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day – all great occasions to celebrate being in the good old U.S. of A.  When we visit Walt Disney World during the summer, I’m much more focused on the special events and attractions that make me feel patriotic – and there are plenty to choose from!

Walt Disney World – Feeling Patriotic

Hall of Presidents – While I might not visit this attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square every time I’m at Disney World, I do love this attraction in the summer.  It’s cool inside and the building’s lobby is full of Americana – my favorite of which is the articles of clothing from First Ladies.  RM-Hall-of-Presidents-DressSome people find the attraction a great place to catch a nap, but I’m more inclined to sit close-ish to the stage so I can watch the subtle movements of the presidents.  The animatronics are phenomenal!  One president may have the floor, but while he’s speaking, the other presidents are shifting, nodding – actively listening.  I love that!!!RM-Hall-of-Presidents

The Flag Retreat – If you’ve never seen this ceremony on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street U.S.A., you’ve got to make time.  As the flag is lowered at the end of the day, guests are treated to a wonderful, patriotic few moments.  My full review is here and I cannot recommend this enough.Flag+Lowering

Voices of Liberty – Inside the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is (to me) the most underappreciated musical entertainment in all of Walt Disney World.  Making time to hear this highly talented a cappella group perform should be in everyone’s touring plan at least once – preferably during the summer months.  Enter the pavilion and marvel at the dome’s acoustics!  This is the way to listen to our favorite patriotic songs!!! (Full review here.)Voices-of-Liberty

The American Adventure – This is both a pavilion and an attraction!  Before or after you catch a performance of the Voices of Liberty, you can spend 30 minutes enjoying a journey through our nation’s history hosted by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain.  Sure, some people find this a cool, dark, relaxing place to grab a nap, but if you can stay awake, this attraction is a great source of patriotic inspiration.

Your turn!  Where do you feel patriotic at Walt Disney World?

 

 

Disney World Favorite Random Details

WDW-EntranceYou know that expression (attributed to Aristotle), “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”?  To me, that saying is never more true than when applied Walt Disney World.  There are incredible components from the tiniest magical detail (like peanut shell impressions in cement) to the enormity of a single attraction like Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) or Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom) – add them together and the whole is more – so much more!  That, I believe, is what makes Disney World infinitely more than a gathering of some hotels and theme parks – those millions of parts combine to make a destination like no other in the world.

 Disney World Favorite Random Details

Let’s talk about a few of the parts that make up the wonderful whole of Disney World.  Remember the other day when I talked about the things I think about while riding Spaceship Earth?  This is sorta like that only these random favorites were chosen from the World at large based on my vacation history – small treasures gathered through the years that add to the happiest memories and keep our family coming back for more as often as we can!Be-our-Guest-Gargoyle

Bouncy off-ramp – Have you ever noticed the exit ramp for Space Mountain’s extreme bounciness?  No?  Next time you leave the ride and you’re riding the conveyor belt, bounce a little bit on it.  Seriously!  It’s hilarious and fun and if you see me on those screens that show live video of guests leaving the ride, I’m the woman-of-a-certain-age jumping up and down.  Every time.image

Breaking plates – Is it just me or is the sound and feel of breaking plates on Toy Story Midway Mania ridiculously satisfying.  Clearly this says something about my psyche, but that is what I love most about this attraction.  So forbidden yet satisfying.  Clearly I need help.Entrance for Toy Story Midway Mania

Yeti – it’s real! – Abominable snowmen…mythical creatures or not?  Doesn’t matter!  The queue for Expedition Everest has me 100% convinced the Yeti exists.  I always wish there were a way I could take as much time as I wanted to see every single item in that Yeti museum and outfitter shop.  If the line’s being held up by someone, it’s probably me!  The footprint casts are my absolute favorite.  If you’re too scared to ride this attraction – do not miss the queue!Expedition Everest Queue Yeti Museum

Bathing beauties – I don’t get in line for Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom) thinking about those elephants in the water hole.  The moment I see that one happy baby pachyderm though…instant happiness!  He’s just the epitome of cute.  Every time I see him, I wish I could buy him in lawn-ornament form to take home.image

The first bite of a Mickey Bar – There are so many beloved snacks at Walt Disney World, but one stands out as my favorite for the thrill of the first bite.  Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar – soft and creamy vanilla ice cream encased by a smooth, hard chocolate shell, shaped like Mickey Mouse.  I peel the wrapper off carefully, clutch that thin wooden stick and savor the moment when cool chocolate gives way in an audible crunch and my teeth sink into that sweet ice cream.  After that there’s no time to savor anything else since I’ve got to eat that puppy in record speed before it melts all over my hands and clothes!Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Singing ‘Possums – You know the ones, don’t you?  On Splash Mountain – there are so many animals and adorable details to take in, it’s hard to see everything.  I look all around and enjoy the experience until our log floats us under those ‘possums, then I only have eyes for them and their extreme adorableness.Splash Mountain "You May Get Wet" sign

What about you?  What random details are your favorites at Walt Disney World?