Ten Things I Learned on My Last Trip to Walt Disney World ~ January 2014 edition

So, I’m just realizing that I haven’t shared with you any of this year’s posts from The Adult Side of Disney! I’m always grateful to Janice Brady for letting me be a Guest Contributor to her awesome site, so make sure to check it out!  http://theadultsideofdisney.com/

If you were able to check out the October 2013 Edition of “Ten Things” you know that finding new things (or at least new to me) is a goal of mine on every visit to the Walt Disney World Resort®. So once again, we are following in Walt’s footsteps and “because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

This time my band of explorers included my family, plus a friend, plus another family of six – so I had lots of help finding the top ten things to learn…the trouble was narrowing it down. You may have known about many of these little gems for a while now and I’m not sure how I missed them before – -guess I need to get my #DisneySide on more often! Well, there’s big doings going on, so let’s get started!

1.  Olé, olé, it’s show time! Am I the last to know that Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is back to its old management and features the more classic version? I guess I’m among the last to know since the switch happened back in 2011, according to a cast member I spoke with.  Rumor has it that Iago went up in flames. He must have angered the Tiki goddess for real this time! And honestly, I can’t say that I blame her – I’ve always been a Jose fan myself.

2. With all the talk lately about FastPass+, we almost forgot about the specific return times that are being enforced throughout the Parks. Well, we missed our return time forToy Story Midway Mania while we were eating at our favorite, 50’s Prime Time Café in Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Never fear though – it was “Mom” to the rescue as always. She gave us a handy dandy pass that let us use our just expired FASTPASS®. It worked out swell.

A little Pixie Dust for our day!

3. Seriously, do I not get to Walt Disney World® enough? I did not know that Kilamanjaro Safaris®  in Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, has removed the whole dialogue with Wilson, the game warden, and the Little Red sequence!  A cast member I spoke with told me it’s been gone a while – did I just not notice last time? I like the way that our driver spent more time educating us on animals (dare I say there were some new ones this time and the giraffes are taking over the place?) and other interesting facts about the savannah. 

Photo creds to my lovely Disney daughter!

4. Consider this a public service announcement.  If you don’t want to get wet, then don’t ride in the front seat of a fully loaded boat on Pirates of the Caribbean! Yes, I got wet. Really wet. Down that little drop before you get to the ship battle scene. Wet. Many thanks to all of the adults in the back of the boat for really getting your weight behind us.

5. And speaking of Pirates of the Caribbean, I finally found a new, well new to me, Hidden Mickey! As you enter the final scene, don’t look at the jail on the right – look at the gate of the Treasure Room to the left before you get to Captain Jack. The lock on the gate is a rather large Mickey. You can check it out over at The Hidden Mickey Guy.

6. So, how many times have you been on an attraction and some goofball (no offense, Goofy) stands up or does something that you clearly shouldn’t do? Well, I had only ever in the history of my Disney trips had this happen once before this trip. Now, I’m sad to say, I’m a pro at the standard operating procedure when something like this happens. I mean really, WHO STANDS UP ON DUMBO the Flying Elephant®? Well, someone did and the pachyderms came to a screeching halt – seriously, it was like this scene from The Jungle Book. And after similar things happened several more times on other attractions during our stay, I asked a cast member for the inside scoop. After a huge sigh and a rolling of the eyes, he told me that the ride stops immediately and depending on the infraction and the attraction, it may shut down completely and everyone disembarks. The rule followers usually get another ride immediately or they are given a FASTPASS® to return later. The cast member wouldn’t comment on what happens to “that guy.”

7.  And in that vein, “Be sure to watch your kids… cuz this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!”  Yep, we are big fans of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and we ride it a lot. I mean a lot. So, I’ve been bummed that I haven’t seen the “explosion” at the gold mine entrance on the right after you pass through the geysers and hit the brakes for the first time.  Timing was perfect on our last ride and just as we hit that spot, we got the full effect. I can’t wait to ride the Disneyland Paris® version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad this summer – I hear c’est de la dynamite!

8. Now for some serenity. My new favorite place to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is Tokyo Dining in Japan at Epcot®. I’m working on a review of our dinner there, so keep a lookout for that.

9. This time around we had various special food requests – gluten free, no shrimp, dairy issues, musteatnowitis. At every table service meal, a member of the chef’s staff or a manager would come to our table to discuss the issue and make sure that our needs were met.  

When they say, “Be our guest” they mean it!

There is also a special kiosk at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park called Gardens onDiscovery Island next to Adventures Outpost where you can pick up snacks and talk with someone about special dietary needs while you are in the Park. Check out this Disney Blog post for more information.

For more information, you should check out the Walt Disney World® website here: http://bit.ly/SpecialDiet

That’s not rain! That’s Pixie Dust!

10. A rainy day in Walt Disney World® is better than a sunny day anywhere else, right? RIGHT!The good folks at the Disney’s Polynesian Resort want to keep it that way so they have hand towels at every entrance to the Great Ceremonial House so you can dry off.  I assume that all the deluxe resorts do this. It was a nice touch and really made us feel like ‘ohana!

And that wraps it up for this time. I can’t wait to find ten new things in just 60 days when I return…this time to stay in a Disney Vacation Club® property! I would love to hear about your latest “Ten Things” so share away!

I would love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook.  You can find me on Twitter at @PurveyorofPD and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PurveyorOfPixieDust. You can also visit my blog, Purveyor of Pixie Dust.

Note: photos property of Shannon Dill, Purveyor of Pixie Dust

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