Animation Monday: Beauty and the Beast

Welcome back to Animation Monday.  This week’s feature film is the Academy Award winning Beauty and the Beast.  This film won for both Best Original Score and Best Song.  In fact, Beauty and the Beast had three of the five nominations for Best Song.  The title track Beauty and the Beast was nominated along with Be Our Guest and Belle.

Celine Dion almost did not sing the title track for Disney.  She had recently been fired from the American Tail soundtrack and was hesitant to perform for another animated feature.

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Big Disney News Announcements – Week of Feb. 19

This week was full of big news announcements.  Just about every day, there was another big announcement coming out of Disney headquarters.  Today, we were going to take a look at those announcements and see what those announcements will mean for Walt Disney World in the coming months and years.

Monday: Frozen Ever After Delayed to Summer 2016

Tuesday: New Stage Show Announced for Magic Kingdom

Wednesday: New Character Experiences to Hollywood Studios

Thursday: EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Dates Announced

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Top Walt Disney World Transportation Shortcuts

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some lesser known Disney tips.

Walt Disney World has a lot of different ways to get around the sprawling resort.  You can take the monorail, or a boat, or a bus, or even your feet.  My post will be focusing on some of the lesser known shortcuts to help shave time getting from point A to point B and spending more time enjoying your vacation.  The important thing to look at is “what locations have multiple transportation options” available.  Most of the time, these will be at deluxe resort properties.  All value resorts have only bus transportation and moderates have bus transportation and some boats to Disney Springs.  The deluxe resorts have multiple transportation options.  But just because you are staying at a value resort doesn’t mean that you can’t use deluxe resort transportation to help you save time.

Tip #1: Using Beach/Yacht Club buses to get to Magic Kingdom from EPCOT’s World Showcase

Yacht Club
Yacht Club

My family discovered this shortcut when we were attempting to visit all four parks in one day.  We had just finished watching Illuminations and did the quick time math that walking to the front of the park and hopping on a bus or monorail would take a long time.

Yacht Club, on the other hand, was just a short walk away.  Magic Kingdom was open until midnight so there would be plenty of buses.  We took the short walk from the UK Pavilion to Yacht Club.  No crowds to fight.  We took a short walk.  No line to wait for.  Just had to wait a few minutes for a bus.  We were able to watch Illuminations and got to Magic Kingdom in time to find a decent spot to watch Wishes.

This is a great tip no matter the time of day.  It helps save time and takes some stress off your feet by walking less and sitting more.  Always a plus during a busy park day.

Tip #2: Using the Magic Kingdom Bus Depot to Get Anywhere

Magic Kingdom Bus Loop

Disney has put a lot of money into expanding the bus depot at Magic Kingdom.  You can use this expanded bus depot to your advantage.  Say you want to do some Deluxe Resort hopping before visiting the Magic Kingdom.  Take a Magic Kingdom bus from your resort and use that as your “base camp.”  From the Magic Kingdom, you can hop on the monorail or boat and get from resort to resort before getting back to the Magic Kingdom and either returning to your resort or heading into the Magic Kingdom.  Having a meal at Chef Mickey.  Just take a bus to the Magic Kingdom and walk over (see tip #4).

Tip #3: Monorail to the Magic Kingdom from the Grand Floridan, take the boat back

Grand Floridian Lobby

The Grand Floridian is a great location.  It is the last stop on the monorail loop before the Magic Kingdom.  On the other hand, it is the last stop on the monorail loop when leaving the Magic Kingdom.  If you like the monorail, this is a good thing.  If you are trying to save some time when leaving the Magic Kingdom, there is another option for you.  The boat.  There is a boat that goes to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian.  The Grand Floridian is the first stop.  WOO HOO!  This resort is in the sweet spot of transportation.  It’s the first stop both leaving the resort and leaving the theme park.  A true time-saver.

Tip #4: Walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary

Walkway to Magic Kingdom

This is my favorite tip since I stay at Bay Lake Tower a lot.  It’s a long way around on the monorail from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom.  It can be faster to walk.  When leaving the Magic Kingdom at peak times (like after fireworks), it is definitely faster.  Only so many people can fit on the monorail, by walking you don’t need to wait for anything (except maybe dawdling children).  It can be tough on your feet toward the end of your trip but the time savings can be worth it.

For more lesser known Disney tips,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

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Walt Disney World at 50

Believe it or not, Walt Disney World will be turning 50 years old in just over five years.  I hold the opinion that a lot of the changes to the parks and resorts are anticipation of this anniversary.  Disney likes to have big event around the major anniversaries of the resort.  The 25th anniversary was a big celebration.  The 5th and 10th anniversaries were smaller but big events.  The 40th anniversary was the first event in the “age of social media.”  I was in attendance along with lots and lots of others.  It was a one-day event and the Magic Kingdom was very crowded especially at night.  Now, I feel that the 50th anniversary is going to be a large, year-long resort-wide celebration much like the 60th anniversary celebration currently going on a Disneyland.

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Lunch at The Plaza (Inn)

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are telling you all about some of the best quick service restaurants at Disneyland.  Disneyland is full of great quick service restaurants that feature a lot of both indoor and outdoor seating.  This is something, probably because of the changeable weather, that Walt Disney World does not feature.  During a recent trip to Disneyland, I had to pleasure to eat at one of the marquee quick service locations at Disneyland….The Plaza Inn.
This restaurant has A LOT of outdoor seating as well as a lot of indoor seating.  But even better, it has some of the best food at Disneyland.  My wife and I thought it delivered table-service quality at quick service prices.  The restaurant is in a great location right on Main Street U.S.A.  This location makes the restaurant a prime parade viewing spot so get there to snag a table close to the parade route.

My family went there for a very late lunch on a trip last August and had a fantastic experience.  The menu is not very expansive.  The Plaza Inn keeps it simple with just four entrée options, one salad, and two kids meal choices.  This is one of the reasons why I think it’s a great restaurant.  Restaurants don’t need a big menu to be successful.  They need to find what they are good at and focus on that.  Don’t get caught out in the weeds and try to be something you’re not.  The four adult entrees are: fried chicken, pot roast, penne pasta, and the catch of the day.  The one salad on the menu is the Cobb Salad while kids have the choice between grilled chicken and pasta.

The portions are BIG.  My daughter, who never met a plate of pasta that she couldn’t finish, couldn’t finish this plate of pasta.  My wife’s portion of pot roast was huge.  I got the fried chicken and got three big pieces of chicken (breast, thigh, and leg).

Plaza Inn #2

I want to take some time and talk about the fried chicken which is listed on the menu as Plaza Inn Specialty Chicken.  It is, hands-down, some of the best fried chicken that I have ever had.  The breading is well-seasoned but not over-powering.  The breading thick enough to cover the chicken but not thin enough where it either falls apart on melts into the chicken itself.  The chicken, underneath that breading, is as moist as ever.

After your meal, especially lunch, you can head down to the entrance of the park and catch Chip n’ Dale performing with the Firehouse Band.

Firehouse Show

Or walk across Town Square and tour the exhibits outside the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction.  Like this giant vintage Disneyland map.

Vintage Disneyland Picture


For more great quick service restaurants at Disneyland,
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