Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not Caring for the "Countdown to Fun" Parade at DHS

When I watched the Block Party Bash parade at DHS in 2008, I thought it was worthwhile, but once was enough for me. It simply wasn't as memorable as the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, which had a lot of Disney-Pixar and classic Disney Characters.

Recently, Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun replaced the previous parade and it did not sit well with avid WDW fanatics. They said it's unimaginative and too short - more like a cavalcade.

If you see people lining up for Walt Disney World's "entertainment nadir," if I were to call it (I don't really care for that parade anyway), that's great. The reason for that is because lines are generally and slightly shorter at the time. If you don't mind lining up at least an hour before the dreck-fest begins, that's fine with me.

For me, I'm going to pass on the parade when I place myself at DHS - maybe I'll do another round of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Friday, December 31, 2010

It's A Peak Season, It's A Peak Season, It's A Peak Season - ZIP-IT-A-DOO-DAH!

Recently at the Magic Kingdom's California sister park Disneyland the Original, crowds reached something similar to a Phase 4 closing, where all Guests couldn't see Mickey because it was so darn crowded! They stopped selling tickets to new visitors and redirected them to Disney's California Adventure, where it had the same problem.

As for the Floridian sister, it closed to Phrase 3, meaning that Annual and Premium Passholders those staying at hotels in Downtown Disney, Shades of Green, and all onsite hotels who use complementary transportation were the only ones allowed in.

I think it's just the same story each year because it's a flutin' peak season! What were those Guests thinking if they knew that Disneyland would be busy during that that time of year? At least the dilemma was better than Chinese New Year 2006 at Hong Kong Disneyland!

Lesson learned: it's better to have a house party than to come to Disney World when the kiddos are out of school. Save the holiday fun between the Monday after Thanksgiving break and the week before Christmas Day, mmkay?

Friday, October 29, 2010

When New Jerseyans Make Disney Parks as Congested as their Home Turnpike (Oops, Sorry to Offend You!)

I have been touting the benefits of trekking the World in the fall, but I have a few exceptions: Thanksgiving and tail end of the first or second week of November.

You may be thinking, why avoid the first week of November - it's still a good week for doing Disney. I'm talking about the four day weekend when schools close for a teachers' convention in my birth state. Some of those families vacationing use those days, while others take the absentee risk and high-tail it to the Vacation Kingdom. They travel by car from their home turnpike to my home turnpike. They also fly from their airports in the chilly air to MCO in Orlando. But they have one purpose: to meet the Mouse.

The state in question is New Jersey, and the week is Jersey Week.

I neither mean to show New Jersey hatred nor bashing, but having been born and bred there myself (before moving in 1999), I went out of that state a couple of times for that said reason. I flew on an airplane from EWR (Newark Liberty International Airport) to MCO (Orlando International Airport) many times. Heck, I even survived a car trip with involved driving hundreds of miles on Interstate 95, former home state turnpike included. Although I had been to the World several times while living in New Jersey, I had never set foot there in the first few weeks of November.

But the painful part of Jersey Week is the actual convention dates and the weekend. Some visitors who visited at those times, New Jerseyans or not, reported moderate to even high (but not-so 4th of July, Christmas, or Easter high) crowds. Remember, huge crowds equal long lines for your favorite attractions! Gulp!

Some people convince you to take the week with a grain of salt, but I for one have better ideas:

  • Plan to go on a Monday-Wednesday of the week. There will be some New Jerseyans visiting the parks, but I mostly guarantee that they won't be as bad crowdwise as the four-day weekend.
  • Head to the parks at least a half-hour before opening, or a few hours before closing. 
  • Use the darn single-rider line wherever possible! It can mean Cast Members ripping up your group one by one, but you'll reunite after riding - I promise!
  • Head to the older attractions first. 
  • Stagger time between rides with shows. Whether it's a lame song-and-dance, Broadway-style revue or a stunt show you want to see, this will help your feet a lot!
  • Remember: FASTPASS is your friend! Go to the kiosks ahead of time, claim it, and return to your ride at the posted time.
  • If you have the money (if you are not staying in the middle of the magic via onsite resort hotels), take a darn break! Have lunch in your room (or hotel restaurant, if money allows), swim, or kick back watching some soap opera. In the afternoon, head back to the parks.
  • Ride at mealtimes. It would do your sanity (and your stomach) good if you do the attractions when people are packing the restaurants, especially with thrill rides.
  • If your party doesn't really mind, skip the parades and nighttime shows, if riding is an option.
  • If you want to watch a parade, head at least an hour to your desired viewing spot.
  • Oh, and if you are caught in a long line that resembles a human rush hour on the human version of the New Jersey Turnpike, deal with it. Better yet, find something to entertain yourself, preferably beforehand.
Sometimes, Jersey Week can be a crowdwise delight, but other times it's a real pain in the apples. By following my advice, I'm sure you'll survive the week when New Jersey folk go on Disney vacations.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New DHS Disney Character Duds

Its official - 7/8ths of the Excellent Eight (Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Chip, and Dale) are now sporting new looks for meet and greets in front of the Sorcerer's Hat at DHS with stars in the background! Their looks are reminiscent of 1930's-1950's Hollywood (or so it seems). They will be co-appearing with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, and Stitch in their mundane duds.

I love the change of pace from their normal garb at the media-infused park, but I miss the times when they (save for Daisy and alongside Mickey and Roger Rabbit) wore them starter jackets over their communal clothes from its opening in 1989 to about 1997. The move is good for the most part, although their attire can improve a tad bit. If you want to meet the missing eighth of the Excellent Eight, get thee to The Magic of Disney Animation. He's in his trademark sorcerer's suit.

Oh, and I'm working on my new photo album of MNSSHP (Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party), but here's a preview:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Need A Quickie MNSSHP Costume Idea?

MNSSHP (for me) is coming up tomorrow night, and I have my costume ready! (Again, it's a grunge/90's outfit!) Speaking of which, there are probably many of you who invited your friends by handing your purchased tickets the day before (or a few hours before, even) the valid date. But they are without costumes and they panic. They know that store-bought ones are expensive, and sewing is something most of them scoff at.

Here's my advice to them: don't panic! I have a list of handy, quick, and simple costumes you can really make for the Magic Kingdom Halloween hard-ticketed hoopla!

How to Make Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My First MNSSHP IS Comming Up!

After tomorrow, I'm going to my first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the MK! Oh, and I'm going in costume: flannel plaid dress shirt, jeans, Disney T-shirt, Lion King hat, and sneaks.

It may not look like any costume to you, but this is "grunge" wear. It was very popular on the final years when the old logo of WDW (with the Mickey Globe inside the "D") was everywhere! Of course, I'm remixing all my photos of the event!

Album will be up soon!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let(ting) the Memories Begin

It's official - next year, Walt Disney World will put its campaign, "Let the Memories Begin," into full force by displaying nightly projections of pictures of Guests and Cast Members alike on the facade of Cinderella Castle in the MK! Speaking of images, they will be displayed at a nighttime spectacular. (Kinda embarrassing to some, but both should be pretty cool to watch.)

Don't have time to view them all at the MK? There's are bunches of sites owned by Disney Parks where you can post pictures, videos, and/or stories of your trips!