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?


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. 

Adventureland – Five Great Things

Sunshine-Tree-TerraceIt’s been a while since we’ve featured a land here!  Today’s tribute is to Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland – There’s lots to love about this particular area.  In such a small, compact space, there’s so much to see, do, and taste.  Today I’ll focus on the very best this land has to offer.

Adventureland – Five Great Things

Bordered by Main Street U.S.A. and Frontierland, Adventureland is a completely unique experience.  Where Main Street takes you back to a simpler life in small town America and Frontierland brings guests the thrills and excitement of the untamed Wild West, Adventureland captures all that is incredible about exploring the exotic and undiscovered.RM-Jungle-Cruise-Skipper

  1. Ridiculous yet classically perfect puns – If you don’t absolutely love Jungle Cruise, at least you’ll admit that as far as “the lowest form of humor” goes, this attraction is amazingly entertaining!  We’re a family of pun-loving people and Jungle Cruise never ceases to delight – especially when our skipper has excellent timing.  It’s an art, people, and should be appreciated as such.  This attraction is a must-do for no other reason than seeing the backside of water!Skipper Canteen Sign
  2. Skipper Canteen (officially The Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen) – The spirit of this very new table service eatery is what makes it awesome.  The premise of the Jungle Cruise Skippers having to make ends meet by waiting tables is clever, the atmosphere perfectly reflects the Adventureland setting, and the menu has heart even though rumor has it, the offerings are currently being overhauled for more main-stream appeal.  Magic Kingdom needs more table service choices, so I’m really pulling for this place’s future success.RM-Adventureland-Shield
  3. Background Music – Setting the mood with upbeat, perky tunes, the Adventureland soundtrack may often be overlooked, but is integral to making sure the land’s experience is fully immersive.  Want to hear what I’m talking about?  Check it out here.Pirates of the Caribbean Ride
  4. We Wants the Redhead!  So many small components make up the whole of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Classic Disney meets modern movie magic and the combination is irresistible.  Sure, purists grumble about the updates and recent changes, but this attraction is nothing short of the perfect example of the best of what Walt Disney World has to offer.  Boat ride / dark ride, scene after scene, animatronics and special effects galore – if you can’t find something to love here, you should spend your vacation dollars elsewhere and leave more room for the rest of us.Aloha Isle - Home of the Dole Whip
  5. Cold, Tropical Snacks – Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace (recently these two switched places) are among the most popular snack stops in Magic Kingdom.  Need a world-famous Dole Whip?  Belly up to the counter at Aloha Isle and enjoy!  Want a cool, refreshing Citrus Swirl?  Stop by the Sunshine Tree Terrace (home of Orang Bird!).  Two iconic Disney snacks – both in the heart of Adventureland!Citrus-SwirlI know I said five, but I feel bad not even mentioning the Enchanted Tiki Room.  Now that they’re back to their original form (no longer “under new management”), I love to try to fit them in our touring plans on hot, crowded afternoons.  Kicking it old school, the birds, flowers, and Tiki guys are as much a part of Adventureland’s magic as anything else I’ve mentioned.Tiki-Room-Birds

Are you an Adventureland fan?  What do you think makes this part of Magic Kingdom Special?








Disney Snack Favorite – Citrus Swirl

Sunshine-Tree-TerraceEver since my ill-fated attempt to enjoy my one and only Dole Whip (yes, I know I’m weird), I’ve been looking for an acceptable new Disney sweet snack to try.  Enter the Citrus Swirl!

Last month on a warm and sunny December afternoon in Magic Kingdom, I found myself in Adventureland with some free time on my hands.  It was our last day of vacation and Raymond and I had decided to take things easy and savor every single moment.  We’d had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Café before heading to Magic Kingdom with no bigger plans than our three FastPasses – which were broken up by our lunch reservation at Whispering Canyon Café at the Wilderness Lodge.  (Begin flash-back sequence now….)Main-Street-USA-Crowds

Another great Disney day!  We started with Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid which had a short stand-by wait.  Then we stopped in Fantasyland near Gaston’s Tavern to watch Gaston himself entertain a few guests with his hilarious ego-fuelled antics.  Then it was on to Mickey’s PhilharMagic before using our first FastPass for Pirates and our second for Jingle Cruise (gotta love that holiday overlay!).  Time for lunch, so we caught the boat to Wilderness Lodge.Magic-Kingdom-Boat-Dock-Selfie

I remember thinking over and over what perfect weather we were having and trying to stay in the moment.  The wind on the water was soft as our nearly empty boat took us to lunch.  Our experience at Whispering Canyon was great, but we skipped dessert.  By the time we returned to Magic Kingdom, it was just in time for our third FastPass and we flew right on to Space Mountain.Tomorrowland-Crowds

At this point, the crowds were definitely approaching an extreme level, but we weren’t ready to leave.  We waited longer than we ever had before to cruise Tomorrowland on the PeopleMover (worth the wait!) before slowly making our way to see those amazing Country Bears (you love them too, right?).  We could barely move for all the people crowding the walkways, but we still didn’t want to go.  That’s when Raymond said, “Wasn’t there something you wanted to eat in Adventureland?”Sunshine-Tree-Terrace-Menu

See?  This is why I married this man!  Citrus Swirl!  Yes, I wanted to taste a Citrus Swirl!  The line at Sunshine Tree Terrace was amazingly short.  In a few minutes I was madly trying to scarf down my snack as it rapidly melted in the sun.  Citrus-Swirl-MeltingThat’s when I got the idea that we could find some shade by seeing the Tiki Birds.  Bear in mind that it had been decades since we’d been in the Tiki Room.  I honestly didn’t realize that snacks are prohibited until it was too late – I am not advocating rule-breaking at all.  Please do not do this (no matter how happy you think it will make you)…Tiki-Room-Tiki

We waited in a very short line, caught the pre-show, made our way into the Tiki Room, and found our seats.  All the while I was calmly and openly snacking away on that Citrus Swirl – oh, the deliciousness!  Right about the time the show started and the announcer asked guests to refrain from eating and drinking…my paper cup was empty and I set it and my spoon aside to take with me and discard after the “concert”.  Tiki-Room-BirdsI enjoyed the birds, but I liked that Citrus Swirl more!  Me, born without a sweet tooth, hater of Dole Whip, in love with the perfect combination of creamy soft serve and tangy orange slush – worth every penny of its $3.79 price.

My first Citrus Swirl made me a fan – and I’ve got the memories of an amazing day to go with it.  In 30 days, I’ll be back at Disney World and I’ll be heading for Sunshine Tree Terrace.

How about you?  Have you tried a Citrus Swirl?  Are you a fan?