Disney World · walt disney world

Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour, Walt Disney World

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This was one of the tours I went on, on last visit to Disney.

I have done a lot of the backstage Disney tours offered, and am always keen to do more. I knew of Walt’s love for trains (who doesn’t?!) and decided to book this one too.

It was a very early start, you had to be at Magic Kingdom for 7.15am! No transport was available, so we drove our hire car to the Contemporary Resort, and then walked over.

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We met outside the entrance, and then walked into a very empty park – bliss! The tour guide let us stop for a while and take some photos.

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I can’t remember the name of our guide, but she was so enthusiastic and passionate about the steam trains! She clearly loved her job.

It starts off with a ride on the train, one was already set up and in use. So we went round the park, until we got to the roundhouse exit. (This is located at the Fantasyland Station). You then go backwards, so you are now backstage and arrive at The Roundhouse. The train we was in and looking at was the Roger E. Broggie.

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This is where the steam trains are kept overnight, maintained and serviced. We was encouraged to take photos, but not to touch or lean on the train as it was so hot!

We was broken up into groups of 3 or 4, and took turns going up into the cab, where our tour guide explained how the train starts, works and the jobs of the two cast members. It sounds like a very hard working role, and when she said how hot the cab can get in those summer Florida month’s – wow! That’s dedication.

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When you are there, you get to see a cast member light the engines – you actually see the flames, and you also get to witness “a pop-off”. I will let you experience that for yourself!

After this portion of the tour, we got back on the train and headed to Main Street.

Under the Main Street station is a section, with posters and information on the four people the trains are named after. Walter E. Disney, Lilly Belle, Roy O. Disney and Roger E. Broggie. Our tour guide went quickly through the stories and how they got chosen. I personally hadn’t noticed this before, and think it’s a very nice touch to honour the people. If you haven’t noticed this either – maybe go check it out on your next visit!

We then went upstairs to the station, and took a seat on a few benches. There was then a flipboard with old photos and more information about steam trains. For example Walt’s own train in his garden and the story behind that.

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The tour finished here, and we was each given a pin. The tour itself lasts approximately three hours, and you need a valid ticket to get into the park.

I did enjoy the tour, and I always love hearing stories about Walt Disney. The bonus of an empty park in the morning, and going backstage are always highlights for me.

 

 

 

Disney World

Disney Blues…

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I have recently returned from a two week holiday at Walt Disney World!

I managed to cram a lot in – two hotel stays, my first ever Dapper Day, four backstage tours, three Disney wall photos, nineteen character selfies, seven new restaurants for the first time, and watched the last ever Wishes!!

I also worked out via the health app on the iphone, that during the two weeks, I walked 69 miles!!

It was a great time, and I miss it like mad! I think the longer you are there  the worse the Disney blues get!

But once I’m settled, I will review the tours and lots more.

How do you cope with the Disney Blues?

I listen to Sorcerer Radio, or a WDW Radio podcast. I flick through all my photos and videos. I look at my new merchandise, and lots of social media visits! I will also be appearing on The Disney Dream Girls Podcast to talk over different aspects of the trip.

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Disney World

Monorail Lounge/Bar Crawl – Walt Disney World

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Another tick off my Disney bucket list! The Monorail bar / lounge crawl! had wanted to do it for ages.

Last year, my fiancé and I had a spare evening – so we got the bus to Magic Kingdom from our resort, walked over and jumped on the Monorail.

First stop – Contemporary Resort, there was a few choices for lounges here, but as we rounded the corner, there was plenty of seating at the Outer Rim Lounge, so it was decided! We got a few seats right next to the window.

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I had the magical star cocktail and my fiancé had the fireball cocktail. Mine was very nice, and went down very easily!

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Next stop was The Polynesian, as we had already visited Trader Sam’s earlier in the trip, we wished to visit the resort bars – The Tambu lounge. And as luck would have again, we got the last two seats, again right next to the window!

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Another first for me, I got to try the famous lapu lapu – the cocktail served in a pineapple! My fiancé chose the backscratcher – which we still have at home. Both were delicious, and I could have chilled out here all evening.

But we had one more stop. The Grand Floridian, we headed to Mizners lounge, which was busy! We did actually have to wait for a few minutes until someone kindly let us have their table as they was leaving.

The sun was slowly setting, we could hear the grand piano from outside, we had our infamous complimentary bowl of nibble mix! We was definitely relaxed now.

I had the Salted caramel manhattan, and the fiancé had the Mizner Cooler. My one was too sweet for my liking so we ended up swapping!

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After we had finished our drinks, we decided on an impromptu trip to the Magic Kingdom! We had such a great evening!

If you ever have a spare few hours, or are at a loss what to do one evening, this is such a great alternative! You get to view three resorts (I myself have visited most of the resorts A LOT!, but I know others would be keen to), you get to try unique food and drinks to each location and its just a nice way to spend some time. Go have some fun – do the Monorail lounge crawl!

Disney World

Hiring a Sea Raycer, Walt Disney World

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There is more to the World that meets the eye. Look beyond the theme parks, and you will discover a wide range of activities available. One of my favourites is the Sea Racyers – the small 2 person boats you see zipping across Seven Seas Lagoon.

These are available at several resorts. I’ve hired these quite a few times with my family on past holidays. On a previous trip my partner and I went to the Contemporary Resort and hired one from there.

The price is not too expensive, ( I have just double checked, and the current price is $32 per half hour) and you show a valid driving license. You also have to be over 5ft tall, which seems a crazy rule as there are no pedals and the screen is low to see over! You are given a life jacket, and some quick instructions.

We chose a 30 minute slot. And then the fun begins, they do have a limit of a top speed, but once you out are on the open water, it does feel much faster!

As we hired the boat from Contemporary (you have to return the boat to where you hired it from), we decided to go across to Seven Seas Lagoon first, so off we went, the weather was lovely, waving at children passing on the main transportation boats and me taking lots of photos!

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You get some great shots of the hotels from a different view point, you also do see lots of wildlife.

After we had completed a circle in the Seven seas Lagoon, we headed back to Bay Lake, driving around to Fort Wilderness Resort and beyond. You also circle around the now extinct Discovery Island.

It’s a really exhilarating activity as well as pleasurably calming! I would recommend to everyone who is old enough (and tall enough!) to hire one! And don’t forget sun protection for your thighs.

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Disney World

4 Parks, 1 Day – Walt Disney World Challenge!

Last year was an eventful holiday at Disney. As I mentioned, I was proposed to in a surprise engagement, so I had an unexpected week with my fiancé. Then once he flew home, I still had another 5/6 days with my parents.

I’m all about trying new things at Disney and my Disney bucket list is huge, and is always growing! I had the mad idea of doing all four parks in 1 day! This idea was made the evening before at dinner, so we made a quick plan.

I suggested 2 attractions and then something to eat/drink in each park before moving on. We half made decisions on which attractions to choose based on previous trips and what we knew would be quick and easy to ride. We also decided to be flexible in case the queue was long, or the attraction was shut.

At the time we were staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, so it made logical sense to start at Animal Kingdom.

We got the bus to animal kingdom, it wasn’t actually that early! It was after 10 (shock horror!), we went on its tough to be a bug soon as we got in the park, we wasn’t hungry so grabbed a snack of a dole whip. Also for some reason (I can’t remember why, maybe we had plans to go to Animal kingdom that day), we had a Fastpass for expedition Everest, so we rode that and headed out. Park 1 done!

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We got on a direct bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Here we rode Star Tours (queue wasn’t too long and we knew the actual ride didn’t last too long), and then Muppet Vision 3D. We also had a sit down with some cold water and a chicken caesar salad. Park 2 done!

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Once at Epcot, we headed to The Seas with Nemo & friends, then straight over to Journey into Imagination with Figment. We realised we had made good time so far, and it was only late afternoon, and we was already at the third park! So we had a stroll around World Showcase. We stopped at Mexico, where I had loaded nachos and a hibiscus margarita – yum! Park 3 done!

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We then got a Monorail to Magic Kingdom. We went to the Enchanted Tiki Room, had a Nutella fruit waffle from Sleepy Hollow, then headed to carousel of Progress. Park 4 done! We had did it. Completed the 4 parks in 1 day challenge!

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Now we was tired, and at this point my parents decided to leave. I elected to stay, so I watched celebrate the magic twice, the electrical parade and wishes!

I also decided to stay until The Last Kiss Goodnight (another first for me! Another tick on the Disney bucket list –yes!).

So I then had the chance to have photos of me down an empty main street! Another amazing dream come true. I also had my own Disney bus back to my resort. So I left the hotel at 10.20am ish and didn’t get back until 12.40am!! I was so exhausted, but the day was totally worth it!

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Disney World

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, Walt Disney World

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When Trader Sam’s opened at Walt Disney world, I knew I had to visit! The Polynesian Village is my favourite resort, Adventureland is one of my favourite lands, and I love the tropical / tiki themes.

Last year I got the chance! Actually it was the night I was proposed to, in the evening he had made no plans as didn’t know what I would fancy. I then knew how I wanted to celebrate.

So we headed to the Polynesian and found the discreet door. You can not book tables, it is walk in only. As luck would have it, there was only one table left!

As soon as you walk in, you know it’s a different experience. Its not like the usual Disney World lounges. Its dark, there’s noises and everyone feels excitable.

The menu choices – the cocktails are all unusual, and sounded strong. We had two each, and I can confirm they are! I think they are mostly rum based drinks.

Another bonus point – if you pay a bit extra, you get to keep the glass! This is now my new collection.

So there is a lot going on in this small room, and most of it related to the drinks you order. For instance, the “views out of the windows” change when a tiki god is angered! I don’t want to give too much away as I think it’s a nice surprise for first time visitors!

But the cast members in there are great fun and clearly love the job!

The first time I had the Krakota Punch, and my fiancé had the Mosquito Mojito. Second round I had the Hippotomai-tai, and I’m sure my partner had a second Mojito.

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I love it here, its just so different, and I feel like a kid on one of the attractions, looking all around and taking it all in.

When we went earlier this year, and had two nights in Disney before a cruise, we had to go back! Again we had a dinner before (Trader Sam’s does do food – bar snacks etc, but I’m there for the cocktails!), walked in, and two seats left, this time at the bar.

I knew which drinks we needed to have based on what glasses I wanted to add to the collection. My finace had the Shrunken Zombie head – which we was told is the strongest drink on the menu! I had the Polynesian Pearl – yummy!

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If you are looking for a quiet relaxing drink, maybe skip Trader Sams, but if you want an interesting visual treat for adults only and decent drinks – give Trader Sam’s a go!

It’s one of my new favourite must do places!

 

Disney World

Behind the Seeds Tour, Walt Disney World

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On a previous visit a few years we booked the Behind the Seeds tour.

This is very reasonably priced at $20, and lasts one hour. I’m not a huge fan of gardening but I do like to see behind the scenes at Walt Disney World, and would like to slowly work my way through all of the tours.

It’s based in The Land at Epcot, and you start by the entrance to Soarin’

You learn about insects, the high light was being able to free the ladybirds! You are given a vial and then allowed to set them on the plants. The reason for this is they are considered useful insects as they are a natural pesticide.

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Later you are given a hand-out so you can learn how to implement a different way of growing at home.

You are also given some cucumber that was grown in the greenhouses, it tasted very fresh.

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You are taken through the green houses with your group and cast member. You stop and gather round which item or food they are talking about and you can ask questions.

In another area, you are given glass jars to pass round and smell, the group then try to identify the food/spices that they are.

I did learn a lot about food and different ways on growing it, and future research. I did like the tour, but its not one of my favourites. But to learn more about Disney World and for such a good price, it’s worth it.

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