Ten Things I Learned at Walt Disney World Resort® ~ Summer 2014 Edition

This post first appeared on the fabulous The Adult Side of Disney website – go and check it out for some great up-to-date Disney information!

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

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Blog Hop ~ runner tracking

Just like any Disney vacation, half the fun of a runDisney event is the prep-work. And I’m not just talking about logging miles! One of the bonuses of planning for a runDisney event is that you can involve your friends and family who will be chEARing you on from home. Who doesn’t want to share the magic? Plus, this is a great way to have a record of your time for yourself for future reference.

So here you have it, runner tracking. Our friends at runDisney have made it simple to share your split times, which is runner jargon for how long it takes you to get to various mile markers on either the Half Marathon or the Marathon (or both if you are Goofy or Dopey enough!). You can send split times via email, text messaging, and PDAs by registering for this service on the website, so make sure you have all the cell numbers and email addresses to which you would like your times sent. You can also sign up for runner tracking at Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo – more on that below!

To sign up online, all you need to is following these steps and you will be on your way to tracking the pixie dust of your favorite runner or making sure your favorite person is chEARing you on back home!
1. Head over to www.rundisney.com/disneyworld-marathon and click on the “SPECTATORS” tab.
spectator main screen

2. Scroll down to “Runner Tracking” and click on the “Sign up for runner tracking!” link.
runner tracking link to click

3. This will take you to another page  http://live.xacte.com/wdw/alerts/ where you can actually register.
alert sign up page

It is simple to do and you will need to register a free “account” which is as easy as providing your name, email and creating a username and password. Once you are registered and signed in, just follow the directions:
~~Type in the name of the runner you want to track. The system lists the name of the person you are searching for if they are registered.
~~Click on the tracking options you want that are to the left of the name.
~~You have the choice of tracking someone via phone, email, Facebook or Twitter. You will be sent a confirmation, once you have submitted your mobile device number. YOU MUST RESPOND TO THE CONFIRMATION IN ORDER TO RECEIVE MESSAGING.

If you sign up for your times to appear on Twitter and/or Facebook, a notice will be tweeted or posted like this:
twitter facebook

If you forget to sign up for runner tracking before you leave for Walt Disney World or you just can’t seem to figure out the online stuff, don’t worry! The folks at runDisney have you covered at the Expo. Just head to Champion Stadium area of the WDW Marathon Expo and you can sign up there with the assistance of a runDisney cast member or volunteer.
While you are at the expo, take a minute to check out the great presentations, including “Information For Runners and Spectators” by a runDisney Panel, each day at Noon:

Whether you’re running or cheering, our panel of experts will tell you everything you need to know about the 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon Courses. We’ve lined up the race director, course director and spectator experts to share out all the important details; they’ll also take some time to answer questions from the crowd in an interactive Q&A session.

Finally, check out the official Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend program http://http://goo.gl/OjHra3 which gives you great information on the courses, great spectator viewing locations and more! It is a great tool for folks who are tracking you to imagine where in the WORLD you are at any given moment and it is a must have for runners.

Want to know more about the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? Just click on the Virtual Walt Disney World Mararthon Weekend Blog Hop logo below and you can find more pixie dusted info from folks who are in the know!

Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory