Beat That Disney Heat With These Top 5 Indoor WDW Attractions

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Summer at Disney means high temperatures, but even worse than that – it means high humidity too – and that means sticky, heavy air and the near certainty of daily afternoon showers – but luckily, all is NOT lost if you plan on visiting WDW in the summer – as there are plenty of INDOOR attractions/rides that will help keep you cool (Seriously though – I shudder to think how much WDW pays to air condition their property each summer!).

Check these out next time you need to chill out:

Dinosaur – This ride is located in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland, and it takes you into the “Dino Institute” – where you travel 65 million years back in time to the Cretaceous period where you will encounter a meteor shower, plus plenty of larger than life dinos! The queue, waiting areas, and ride are all indoors, and even if the wait is long there’s quite a lot to see while you wait – fossils and photos, and multimedia shows as well as an intro before you board the Jeep-like vehicle for your trip back in time! This may seem like a pretty tame ride at the onset, but there are seat belts in the cars, and you will get jerked around quite a bit as you dodge the T-Rex

The Great Movie Ride – You enter this attraction on Hollywood Blvd at Disney’s Hollywood Studios through a replica of the famous Mann’s Chinese Theater, and as you weave through the queue, you can check out many genuine movie props and costumes, and there are even vintage film clips to keep you entertained too! You board long tram cars and then take a “ride into the movies!” where you will view some of the world’s most famous movie scenes – including the Wizard of Oz, Alien, Mary Poppins, and many more! This ride is great because not only is it ALL indoors, but the ride itself lasts a whopping 22 minutes! That means you get to sit and be entertained for nearly half an hour – an invaluable thing on a hot Florida day I think!

Test TrackEpcot’s Future World is home to this recently re-designed attraction, where you’ll find concept and new vehicles in the lobby area, and as you make your way through the line you will enter the Chevrolet Design Center – where you get to create your very own vehicle and put it to the test on the track! The ride cars seat 6, and they take you through – you guessed it – a “test track” where your car is put to speed, endurance, and heat tests – and much more! One thing to note is that a small portion of this ride does go outside, but it’s a very short outdoor ride and you’re going pretty fast during it anyway, so I personally still consider this an “indoor” ride. After the test is complete, you exit into a Chevrolet showroom complete with current models and salespeople to assist with any questions you might have. NOTE – I HIGHLY recommend you try and get a Fastpass for this attraction – wait times can creep up to two hours or more during peak times, and while I relish escaping the heat, two hours is a bit much for me!

Pirates Of The Caribbean – This is one of my family’s Magic Kingdom favorites – there’s rarely a long line, its dark and cool in the queue and ride areas, and hello – PIRATES?! Doesn’t get much better than that! Oh – and did you know that this attraction actually inspired the series of blockbuster movies starring Johnny Depp? It’s not often that a theme park ride inspires a movie – and what’s even better is once the movies were made, Disney made updates to include the new characters in the ride too! As you enter the ride queue, you’re taken down a long winding path with a lot of theming to check out along the way. Once you board your boat, you are taken into a Caribbean city port where there’s a raucous pirate takeover happening right before your eyes! The ride itself lasts about 8 minutes, and it takes you through several famous Pirates scenes (keep an eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow!) and while it may sound kind of scary, its really more fun and lively than frightening – perfect for the whole family!

Carousel of ProgressTomorrowland is home to this classic attraction – created by Walt itself, it features a rotating theater that takes you through the decades and eras of our past – and how we have come so far in the fields of electricity and technology in the past century. The first Act showcases the turn of the century, then you move to the 1920’s, then the 1940’s, then on to the 1990’s. The show itself is about 20 minutes long, and even though there’s hardly a wait, if there ever is one – I encourage you to stick it out and make sure you see this attraction! There are so few things that Walt himself fully created in the Parks – and I love the creativity and innovation he shows through this classic attraction

There are many more indoor attractions at the WDW Parks, but these are my personal favorites that help me beat that Florida heat. What about you – which rides do you escape to during those hot hot Disney days?

Loaded gun found on Disney’s Dinosaur Ride

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According to the Orlando Sentinel a Animal Kingdom park guest found a loaded handgun on Disney’s Dinosaur ride. It seems the gun fell out of Angelo Lista, of Royal Palm Beach back pocket.

A park guest handed a Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol to a park attendant, who immediately contacted security and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Angelo didn’t realize he had the firearm in his pocket after getting off the ride according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.

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Disney World Tips and Tricks: Dark Ride Etiquette

For first time visitors to Disney Parks, dark ride etiquette may seem confusing. Some rides allow photos with no external lighting, while others are somewhat vague. That’s just the tip of the iceberg concerning Dark Ride Etiquette.

Here is my Top 5 Dark Ride Don’ts.

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean. This ride does quietly announce “No flash photos”, however hearing the announcement can be quite difficult. I used to love riding Pirates of the Caribbean. It was one of my favorite attractions. After riding a few times with numerous flashers, my retinas began to ache and now I avoid riding unless it’s very late or very early in the day reducing the likelihood of flashers being in our boat. While you may want to remember the ride, the rest of the passengers in your boat want to experience the ride. When multiple flashes suddenly illuminate your surroundings, it really puts a damper on the entire experience, ruins the illusion of the ride and can cause serious health problems for some people. So, please be considerate and if you must take photos, turn the flash off. Your pictures will likely turn out better that way anyhow.
  2. Haunted Mansion. While flash photos aren’t as prevalent on this attraction, they are still a problem. However a much more pressing issue is trying to spook little kids by randomly shouting in Madame Leona’s room. For some kids, The Haunted Mansion is already spooky enough, while other children find the attraction silly and whimsical. For those few who are already spooked, let’s try to be considerate and not terrify them. Give them a chance to find the fun in a wonderfully, happily macabre attraction.
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Top Five Animal Kingdom Attractions For Adults

Let me start this off by saying that I didn’t used to like Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I thought it was just a big zoo and found it to honestly be a little boring. I had only been once before, right after it had opened when all the attractions weren’t even completed, so I got to thinking, maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. So when I visited Walt Disney World last month, I vowed to visit Animal Kingdom with open eyes and an open mind.

We started our day with breakfast at Tusker House – which was really delicious, they offered the typical disney breakfast buffet, and had some more traditional African choices as well, including bobotie (a quiche-like beef pie with egg, curry and other spices), mealie pap (similar to cream of wheat, and other delicious choices. It is a character meal, where Donald greets you upon arrival, and Daisy (whom we really enjoyed seeing, can you tell??), Goofy, Mickey and Minnie circulate the dining room while you eat. It’s loud and full of children and families, and we had a great time there. Once we were nice and full, it was time to give Animal Kingdom a second chance…

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Top 10 Rides to Avoid After You Eat

Rock n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

So you just stuffed yourself on a scrumptious meal at your favorite Walt Disney World eatery. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, you likely enjoyed a four-square meal and beverage of choice, right? What you need is a nap, but what your family wants is a ride!

Do NOT “walk this way” when you are stuffed to the gills:

1)      Rock ‘n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith—A tour of G-Force Record Studio is cut short when the band Aerosmith takes off for a show. They take Guests with them, though, in a super stretch limo. Each “car” pumps 32,000 watts of onboard audio through a 125 speaker, 24 sub-woofer sound system and accelerates from a zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds with the force of a supersonic F-14. Three inversions offer a unique view of Los Angeles: upside-down! [Disney’s Hollywood Studios]

2)      Mission: SPACE—Designed in consultation with 25 NASA experts and five astronauts, Mission Space is a flight training simulator that allows passengers to experience space travel without ever leaving Earth. Green offers a milder ride but still rough on a full tummy. Orange is full throttle, utilizing a multiple-arm centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate speed and 2.4G gravitational forces—more than twice the force of the Earth’s gravitational pull. [Epcot]

3)      Mad Tea Party—Climb into one of 18 tea cups set up for The Mad Hatter and the March Hare’s “Unbirthday” party and take a wild, dizzying adventure. Each ride vehicle has a wheel in the center that lets you control the speed of spin. The faster you turn the wheel, the faster you spin. The faster you spin, the faster you may learn what a “protein spill” is. [Magic Kingdom]

4)      Twilight Zone Tower of Terror—According to legend, the once glamorous Hollywood Hotel hosted stars of the silver screen during Hollywood’s Golden Age until Halloween night 1939, when a violent storm struck the building, whisking 5 unfortunate souls “beyond the fifth dimension.” Guests board the “fright elevator,” which goes up, then down, then maybe up again…or down. Random drops depart the 13th floor and are determined by the Tower itself. [Disney’s Hollywood Studios]

Tower of Terror

5)      Star Tours—This recently reimagined attraction features 54 ride sequences, offering motion-simulated 3D journeys aboard a Starspeeder 1000. Each ride is a different experience. You might flash through space at warp speed, zip past trees on the Wookiee planet Kashyyyk, weave through wrong-way traffic on the city-planet Coruscant, slide down treacherous slopes on the snowy planet Hoth, or just hang on for several other thrills before landing and safely delivering the spy to rebel headquarters. [Disney’s Hollywood Studios]

6)      Space Mountain—This classic Magic Kingdom coaster is an all-time fan favorite. Climb the 180-foot mountain then blast off into deep, dark space through twists and turns and past shooting stars and black holes. Two separate tracks, the Alpha and the Omega, mirror each other as they hurl rocket ships through the cosmos at 28 miles per hour. [Magic Kingdom]

7)      Cyber Space Mountain—This virtual roller coaster, custom built by you at Downtown Disney’s Disney Quest, can be as tame or as wild as you wish. Bill Nye the Science Guy directs the computer design. When you’re done, jump in a simulator and ride your creation in full 360° motion—rocking, tilting, rumbling along the “track” you created. [Disney Quest at Downtown Disney]

8)      Expedition Everest—Legend of the Forbidden Mountain—The 199-foot “snow”-covered mountain adds a second “wienie” to Animal Kingdom Park. Board a runaway tea train and plunge into dark hairpin turns, careening forward and backward around and through this breathtaking Himalayan Mountain peak in effort to escape the mountain’s guardian Yeti, a phenomenal Audio-animatronic beast standing more than 18 feet tall that, when working, has an arm thrust equivalent to the force of a 747 jumbo jet. [Disney’s Animal Kingdom]

Expedition Everest

9)      Big Thunder Mountain RailroadThe “wildest ride in the wilderness” reaches speeds of 25-30 mph, matching that of the monorail, as it rumbles past gold mining tools on two-and-a-half acres of desert canyons and caverns. Those rough-and-tumble twists and turns can make a full stomach churn. [Magic Kingdom]

10)  Dinosaur —Dinosaur! is housed inside the Dino Institute toward the rear of DinoLand, USA. Once you eek past Dino Sue, a 40-foot long, 20-foot high exact replica of the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever unearthed, proceed through the ride queue, strap into your Time Rover and hang on for a turbulent tour of the Cretaceous era  to fetch a dinosaur before it and you become extinct. [Disney’s Animal Kingdom]

You look a little green. Feeling OK? Don’t worry, you’ll have fun, but you might want to take in a show first.