Jingle Cruise – Adventure Awaits

Of all the magical, wonderful details found at Walt Disney World during the holiday season, none tickle me quite as much as the Jingle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.  All of my favorite punny jokes and adventures along the jungle waterways of the world with a holiday overlay!  What could be better?Jingle Cruise Christmas Tree

Jingle Cruise – Adventure Awaits

Intentionally homemade.  The idea that the skippers and dock workers pitched in to make their far-from-civilization locale feel more like home for the holidays is completely endearing and makes each detail, large and small, adorable.Jingle Cruise Hut Decorations

From the attraction’s signs to the names of the boats, the animals, natives, and more – the holiday additions are everywhere!  I can’t catch all of the details on a single ride, so if I can arrange it, I’ll ride the Jingle Cruise more than once.  If time allows, I’ll use a FastPass for one ride and wait in the standby line for the other.Jingle Cruise Sign

The holiday overlay begins outside and continues throughout the queue and ride – so be ready to pay close attention and not miss out on anything!  If you’re in a large group, challenge each other to find every detail.  As with other Disney attractions, you’ll want to look up, look down, and look all around – magical surprises are sometimes in unexpected places!  Jingle Cruise Chalk BoardIf you’re already a fan of the Jungle Cruise, you’ll love the holiday version.  If the Jungle Cruise isn’t usually your thing, consider giving the Jingle Cruise a try if for no other reason than it’s the only attraction at Walt Disney World with a holiday overlay and it’s clever and fun (and cheesy)!Jingle Cruise Crew Mess Dinner Menu Jingle Cruise Holiday Gorillas

If you’re planning a visit to Walt Disney World during the holiday season, add Jingle Cruise to your must-do list!Jingle Cruise Trader Sam

If you’ve already sailed on a Jingle Cruise…did you love it?  What was your favorite part?  What other attractions would you like to see get a touch of holiday magic?


That Time I Rode Mad Tea Party

I’ve managed to enjoy many trips to Disney World without, until recently, ever stepping foot into a teacup.  While Megan once said it might be her favorite attraction, I’ve never been a huge fan of anything that spins.  So I’ve always just walked on by Mad Tea Party without the urge to change the fact that it’s among the very few attractions I can’t add to my list of once-and-done.magic-kingdom-selfie

That Time I Rode Mad Tea Party

I wouldn’t say I succumbed to peer pressure, but Megan and Lyndsey (Joseph’s girlfriend) were irresistibly enthusiastic when they noticed Mad Tea Party had no line and we had plenty of time to spare.  They’d been adorably happy, dressed in cute Disney shirts throughout our trip.  They were always smiling and excited to see and do as much as possible.  I caved and somehow convinced Raymond to go with us.  Our group of seven walked right on and, finding the teacups of our choice, split up and climbed aboard.mad-tea-party-friends

We had plenty of time to look around and take a couple of pictures because our Mad Tea Party experience was delayed…by a guy with a selfie stick!  Yes!  Those Fantasyland Cast Members were vigilant in their duties and just as the ride was about to begin, one of the Cast Members announced to another that there was a selfie stick among the guests!  I was immediately interested!  Captivated, really, to find out the fate of the offending guest and his contraband photographic device.  Poor guy!  He was rapidly approached by a serious, stern Cast Member, intent upon her duty.  His selfie stick was confiscated, his information gathered, and he was summarily informed that he would be able to retrieve his property at the park’s exit when he was ready to leave.  Clearly, all he wanted was a picture of himself on Mad Tea Party and instead ended up humiliated and selfie-stick-less.  (A list of all Disney park rules can be found here.)mad-tea-party-newbies

Once the selfie stick was dispatched per Disney regulation, the ride began…and seemed to end within moments.  I was somewhat disappointed.  Here I’d avoided this most iconic of Disney attractions because I was worried about the spinning and it was a, well, a dud.  I didn’t feel the joyful thrill reflected on those faces in the Disney commercials.  Raymond and I, in our pink teacup, revolved around the Tea Party a couple of times and the ride was over.  Not as spin-ish as I’d imagined and much shorter than expected.mad-tea-party-chillin

There you have it.  Megan and Lyndsey were happy and that made it all worthwhile.  Raymond and I survived Mad Tea Party and can check it off the list of Disney attractions we’ve tried.  I also learned a valuable lesson should I ever be tempted to attempt the use of a selfie stick in Magic Kingdom.

Mad Tea Party fans!  What am I missing?  Is this attraction a must-do on your Walt Disney World vacations?  WHY?

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. 

Thoughts on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

In the same way I’ve developed a peculiar mental routine on Space Ship Earth, my enjoyment of The Carousel of Progress has now also become based on certain habits I’ve developed over the years.  Raymond is included as part of my amusement on this attraction.  Here’s how it goes.RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Selfie

Thoughts on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

We’ll be in Tomorrowland and will have either just gotten off of Space Mountain or the PeopleMover and I’ll look longingly towards Carousel of Progress then make eye contact with Raymond.  No words necessary, he will either heave a sigh of resignation or raise an eyebrow while motioning me with one hand to lead the way.  As we enter the theater, I’ll look back to be sure he’s still with me and, grinning madly, beeline for the front row.  Raymond and I both know why I’m doing this – so there’s nobody in front of me that will be subjected to my enthusiastic singing along with the show.RM-Carousel-of-Progress-Exterior

Promptly after the Cast Member spiel, I will sneak my phone out of my pocket so I can take pictures even though I’ve got dozens already and there’s nothing new to see.  Raymond will nudge me, I will show him that the flash is off and we’ll settle in to watch.  (And sing.)

Valentines Day!  I love this scene and I this is Dad’s best outfit.  Hey…when this show was first shown at the 1964 World’s Fair, my mom was THERE!  Aaaaand expecting me!  So, the Carousel and I are totally connected!  carousel-of-progress-dadOh, LOOK!  Rover is so cute!  (Awww…I wonder what Junior’s doing now.)  Wait!  I totally get the theme of this show, but now I remember how the mysterious automatic appliance demonstrations are scary!  Singing along with this show is the BEST!

The 4th of July!  Ohhhh, no, I don’t like this part…the appliances become possessed and the neighbors unfriendly after the fuse-blowing part.  Patricia’s going to dress up as the Statue of Liberty and be whiny before Dad makes THE best pun about carrying a torch.  carousel-of-progress-dad2Uncle Orville!  Yes!  Voiced by Mel Blanc (do I detect a hint of Bugs Bunny in there somewhere?)  Can we please just go back to singing the song now!

Halloween!  This would be awesome if only the terms “rat race” and “commuting” weren’t mentioned.  Those two words alone have the ability to pierce the Disney Bubble!  Cool! We had a cuckoo clock just like that one when I was a kid!carousel-of-progress-dad3Focus, Lisa, Patricia and Babs, dating Wilfred (the slug) and Howard (the clodhopper),  are going to the Halloween party.  Yep, got it.  Patricia’s trying to lose inches with that ancient exercise machine!  Some things never change.  Dad, you need to get up off your patootie and help Sarah with the wallpapering.  Singing!!!!carousel-of-progress-christmas-scene

Christmas!  Memo to me: the grandma and her virtual reality game acumen are going to freak me out, so I should focus on cool details like the Christmas tree and how adorable the dog looks in this scene.carousel-of-progress-rover-at-christmasStop with the voice-activated oven before you burn the turkey! Never mind.  Quick!  Check for Mickey Mouse under the tree.  YES!  Still there. carousel-of-progress-christmas-tree

Y’all sing along with me now!

There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away

Man has a dream and that’s the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It’s a dream come true for you and me

So there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away

Carousel of Progress!  Are you a fan?  What’s your favorite scene?