A Few Disney World Tips

2 Aug

On Sunday evening, I made plans with myself to enjoy Disney’s Hollywood Studios, formerly known as Disney’s MGM Studios. As always, I packed a bag, but this time it was a hydration backpack. Honestly, I’m so tired of taking water bottles or buying $2.50 bottles of water in the park. And I’m trying to break a soda habit. Plus, one should always be hydrated!

In my bag…

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(minus antibacterial gel and sunblock)

I carry:

  • Extra batteries for the camera
  • Camera
  • Wallet
  • Annual Pass
  • Kindle for extra long ride lines
  • Umbrella because it rains all.the.time in Florida
  • Lotion
  • Pen
  • iPhone
  • Blog business cards because you never know who you might run into
  • BodyGlide because walking around all day in the hot and humid Florida weather can sometimes cause unpleasant chafing.

And the bag is from REI

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There’s a tube that brings the water from inside the bag and out to one of the shoulder straps, so it’s really easy to drink out of.

I look like a big tourist carrying a big bag, but what the heck.

Off to the park!

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The wait time board comes in super handy!

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I wanted to check out the new Toy Story ride since I hadn’t experienced it yet, but the line was 70 minutes long, and Pixar Place was filled with Brazilian tour groups who would.not.MOVE! I’m actually surprised people have not gotten violent with them. They’re so obnoxious and rude!

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I headed for the new Star Tours ride instead thinking major renovations had been made.

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I honestly didn’t find the ride all that different besides the place where we “flew” to. I guess they made it 3-D, but my 3-D glasses didn’t work that well. I was dizzy for most of the ride. Maybe I’m missing something? Maybe I was overwhelmed by the stench coming from the man next to me.

Time to find more air conditioning for a little while, so I checked out the American Idol Experience. Contestants are chosen early in the day and then get a chance to sing in front of a live audience, and we all get to vote for the winner. The winners throughout the day sing in the finale, and the finale winner gets a golden ticket that will allow them to jump to the head of the line at any real American Idol audition anywhere in the country.

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Could they have profiled the judges any better? “Randy” and “Paula” acted their parts really well, but the “British” guy was ridiculously bad. He had really, really bad jokes. I felt uncomfortable for him.

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The show ended around 6:30, and the finale didn’t start until 7, so I ran over to one of my favorites, The Great Movie Ride, to kill some time.

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No line!

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“Singin’ in the Rain”

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My favorite part! The Wizard of Oz scene! Did you know people have weddings in here?

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I made a quick trip back to the American Idol finale, where a British dude won by singing “Walking in Memphis”.

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Dinner was a Caesar salad from Catalina Eddie’s on Sunset Boulevard. While chowing down, I decided to look for Disney World iPhone apps and came upon several free apps for wait times. One of them is quite impressive and really accurate!

Undercover Tourist lists the park hours, wait times, restaurants, menus, and maps. I don’t know how I played in the parks without it before!

disney app 1

Each day, they list which parks are forecasted to be busier than others.

disney app crowd forecast

My favorite part is the map that you can scroll over to find wait times and bathrooms.

disney app map

It really cuts out having to walk from one side of the park to another to find out wait times. And you can submit wait times yourself to help make the app more accurate.

disney app map 2

You can also search for restaurants and then see what they have on the menu.

disney app restaurants

disney app menus

Cool, huh? It will definitely help me decide if I want to spend an evening in the park if I know the wait times aren’t that bad before I even head out the door!

(I am in no way being compensated for raving about this app. I just love it!)

Knowing I didn’t want to wait in any lines this evening, I spent some time in the “One Man’s Dream” exhibit. Walt Disney is, and always be, my greatest hero (besides my parents and brother). I even wrote a paper in college about Walt Disney, and pulled off an “A” and a note from the professor stating “Walt would be proud”. I tear up every time I read it. Maybe I’ll share it on here someday.

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I listened a little bit more intently this time to the speech about Epcot, and what it was supposed to be. As I mentioned before on the blog, Epcot was supposed to be an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a Utopian city to house 20,000 residents. Commercial properties and business would be at its core, surrounded by community buildings and schools, which would then be surrounded by residential areas. The monorail would run directly through this city. Unfortunately, Magic Kingdom was built first, and Walt passed before Magic Kingdom opened. The Walt Disney Company then decided it did not want to be in the business of running a city. But now, I live in the city that has been mentioned as being the realization of Epcot. However, Epcot was to be way more modern and futuristic than Celebration is now.

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After touring the exhibit, there’s a short movie about Walt Disney and his story. It’s quite inspirational, despite the fact I had to listen to one family talk the entire time. Disrespectful, I tell ya!

I checked my handy-dandy Undercover Tourist app to figure out what to do next, and I saw that the Toy Story wait time decreased to 30 minutes. Sweet!

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Honestly, I was expecting so much more from this ride based on its heavy wait times every time I’ve been to the Studios the past few years. It’s the same concept as the Toy Story ride in Magic Kingdom- shoot things at a screen to earn points. Really? Again? It was fun, but certainly not worth a wait time more than 30 minutes.

I had a wonderful time at the Studios, but it does get lonely! Who wants to go with me next time!?

Time to shut down the computer and watch True Blood! I’ve been on the computer for 13 hours!

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14 Responses to “A Few Disney World Tips”

  1. foodsweatandbeers August 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    v. v. cool post, mostly I’m headed to Orlando in October and love to see a post that relates to the area at all, as I’m a total newb!

  2. Emily August 3, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    I want to go! I want to go! I wish I lived closer to a Disney park – I’m not picky, any Disney park! 🙂 I’m glad you were able to go on Toy Story but I’m sorry it didn’t live up to the hype for you. I love that ride – it is one of my favorites. That app seems super cool!

  3. Andrea August 3, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    I’ll come! Bit of a hike though from Toronto.

    Last time I went to Disney was in 1995. I want to make a Disney trip soon, maybe for the Princess half in 2014. My husband has never been and really has no interest in going, but I think its just cause he doesn’t really understand that Disney is not the same as other amusement parks.

  4. Jenn August 3, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    I totally want to come play!!! 🙂 Wine & Dine adventures in Oct? The scenes that you get on Star Tours makes or breaks the ride. The first time I rode it, I got the most boring trio of scenes and didn’t understand the hype either. Ever since though I’ve had at least a portion of the scenes, if not all, be the really cool ones. And Toy Story? Good ride that I need to go on each time but…I don’t get the long lines either. It’s def better if you’re competing against a friend and trying to beat their score. I’ve done it solo too though and it wasn’t as thrilling. And I’d love to read your paper on Walt one day! I was debating doing the Walt Disney Company for my marketing paper but it was just too big of a company for me to research correctly in the short time frame I had.

  5. Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs August 3, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    For a 5-year old boy Toy Story Mania is HEAVEN and worth even a 90 minute wait. I think it depends on who you are with 🙂

    We are getting Seasonal Passes in when the blackout dates end — I’ll let you know when we go!

    • runeatdatesleep August 3, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      Oh yeah, children. I forgot about that 🙂 I guess I should go with a friend or something to make it more interesting. Going alone and being the fourth in a family of 3 was a little depressing. Haha!

      Definitely let me know when you go! I’d love to tag along 🙂

  6. Alison August 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Me! 🙂

  7. Michelle @ milesforbreakfast August 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I’d go with you! But it’s quite the drive from Seattle 😛

  8. Eat: Watch: Run August 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Wow. That is really cool about the American Idol “jump the line” thing for the real deal. Holy incentive! Even though I don’t watch the show anymore, that looks fun. 🙂

  9. Stephanie August 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    you are awesome for going and enjoying the park by yourself. That app sounds awesome. I would totally go with you if i liven anywhere near Florida 🙂

  10. smilelivelaughlove August 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    WOW! That app is totally awesome! When we come down and go to the park with Alan’s family (his Uncle works at Magic Kingdom so we get in free with him!) I will have to download it 🙂 Oh…and I will def let you know we are there too! I am really ready for a FLA visit…..palm trees, sand and Disney. I haven’t been there since 2007 now. CRAZY!

  11. Jennifer August 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    I would love to read your Walt Disney paper! I wrote a poem about Walt for a high school creative writing assignment. 🙂 It actually poked fun at Eisner because I hated how he was running the company.

    And I’m glad I’m not the only who cries during One Man’s Dream. I’ve skipped it the past few times I’ve been there because it makes me so weepy and I get so embarrassed.

  12. Megan August 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    I would definitely go to the studios with you. I usually use Touring Plans “Lines” app when I’m in the parks. Send me a message or find me on Twitter if you plan on going! @mla1977

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