Category Archives: Magical Blogorail Articles

Running Trails at Walt Disney World Resorts

Blogorail Blue

Welcome to the next stop on the Magical Blogorail Blue.  Today, we are discussing jogging trails at the Walt Disney World Resorts as part of this month’s theme of Staying Fit & Healthy in the Disney Parks.

Lots of people like to run at Walt Disney World, it keeps them in a similar routine that they have at home.  Maybe they are training for a race after a vacation or maybe they are looking for a training run before a Run Disney event.  No matter what Walt Disney World resort a guest is staying at, there are is a Run Disney jogging trail.  The only exception to this is at the Boardwalk/Beach Club complex where these resorts share a long loop around the resorts.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

These outdoor markers are great for people to follow the trail and not get lost and the trails are usually one mile in length.  Without these outdoor markets, guests would have to rely on memory of the route from the resort map or carry the resort map with them during their run.

Port Orleans Map

Port Orleans is a resort that has two jogging trails.  There is a shorter .7 mile dotted line and a longer 1.0 mile trail marked by the dashed line.  The shorter route makes a complete loop.  The longer route is just a dashed line but does not make a loop.  This means, I guess, it is an up and back route and not a loop route.

Like most runs, the best time to hit these trails is in the early morning or late afternoon when the weather is cooler and the sun isn’t blazing down on the trail as some of these trails do not provide a lot of shade.  Another good reason, why do you want to spend the middle of your day on vacation running when you could be spending that time in the parks enjoying the parades and attractions.  Of course, the trails will be a little more crowded than but it is a small price to pay in order to spend more time in the parks.

These trails are provide a good opportunity for guests to burn off some extra calories….in addition to the ones that they will burn off just by walking through the parks.  Guests can use those calories to help them stay in shape or they can use them to reward themselves with a treat when they go into the parks.

photo courtesy of theme park review
photo courtesy of theme park review

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Mamas.

First Stop: Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers – Healthy Snacks at Disney

Second Stop: Superheroes and Teacups – 5 Tips for Eating Healthier at Walt Disney World

Third Stop: Dad For Disney – Running Trails at Walt Disney World Resorts

Final Stop: Disney Mamas – Dining with Food Sensitivities at Walt Disney World



Best Disney Resort for Transportation

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Welcome to those of you joining me from LOVE OUR DISNEY and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

You’ve read about a variety of Disney resorts on the previous stops on the Magical Blogorail.  I am going to touch on what I think the most important choice a family can make when choosing their resort, “Best Resort for Transportation.”  Walt Disney World has a variety of resorts and a variety of transportation choices, however, there is one resort which stands out above the rest…..The Contemporary.

The Contemporary is one of the original Walt Disney World resorts along with The Polynesian Village.  43 years later, The Contemporary stands out as “the hub” of Disney Transportation.

There are four types of Disney Transportation (outside of your own car):

  • Monorail
  • Boat
  • Bus
  • Your Feet

Everyone knows that The Contemporary is only resort which has a monorail stop inside the resort.

Contemporary's Grand Canyon Concourse
Contemporary’s Grand Canyon Concourse

The monorail provides guests with easy access to the other two monorail resorts: The Polynesian and The Grand Floridan.  The monorail also stops at the Ticket and Transportation Center where guests can transfer to a monorail taking them to EPCOT.  Monorail access to two resorts and another park.

The Contemporary is also connected to Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness by boat.  It is mainly used by guests at Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge to gain access to the monorail loop but guests at The Contemporary can use this boat launch to gain access to Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge and the amenities that those resorts have to offer.

Bus access at The Contemporary is two-fold.  The first bus stop area is between The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower where guests can catch buses to Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Hollywood Studios, and the Disney Water Parks.

The second bus stop area requires a little leg work.  Guests would have to walk toward The Magic Kingdom (resist the urge to go to The Magic Kingdom) and head over the newly expanded Magic Kingdom Bus Loop.

Magic Kingdom Bus Loop

This brief five to ten minute walk gives guests access to every Walt Disney World resort.  This is a great benefit for those resort to resort dining reservations (ex. Cape May Character Breakfast or a dinner at Boma).  This short walk can help you get from place to place faster and with zero transfers.  Transfers always slow getting from point A to point B down.  The fewer transfers a guest needs to make means more time relaxing at the resort or enjoying a theme park.

The best feature of The Contemporary is: it is the only resort with walking access to The Magic Kingdom.  It’s a short 10 minute walk from The Contemporary to the security gates of The Magic Kingdom.

Walkway to Magic Kingdom

This walkway comes in handy at two very important times on a Walt Disney World Vacation: getting to rope drop at Magic Kingdom and getting out the elements when a thunderstorm comes rolling in.

Getting to rope drop is great and easy.  You can wake up as late as 8 am.  Get dressed.  Leave The Contemporary at 8:30 am and be at The Magic Kingdom for rope drop with plenty of time to spare.  Getting out the rain and elements is also handy by staying at The Contemporary.  If it’s a quick 10 minute walk to The Magic Kingdom, it’s also a quick 10 minute walk back to The Contemporary.  If you dare, you can use the path of the monorail as an umbrella for parts of the walk back as well.

My family learned this trick on our first visit to Walt Disney World in 2009.  We were riding It’s A Small World when a thunderstorm quickly rolled in.  Our Disney rented stroller was gone.  It was pouring rain.  We powered down Main Street.  The lines for the monorail were L-O-N-G.  So that was out.  All that was left was our two feet.  We mushed it back to The Contemporary and were in dry clothes within 30 minutes of exiting It’s A Small World.  A very nice benefit to have.  The only downside was my wife and I had to purchase Mickey Crocs at the gift shop so we had dry footwear for the next day.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Green this month. We will be back on December 4th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

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1st Stop: Heidi’s Head – Best Resort for Animal Lovers

2nd Stop:  My Dreams of Disney – Best Resort for Fireworks!

3rd Stop: In the Mouse House – Best Resort for a No-Parks Disney Vacation 

4th Stop: Love Our Disney – Best On-Site Resort at Disneyland

Final Stop: Dad for Disney – Best Disney Resort for Transportation

Getting The Most Out of Your Kilimanjaro Safari Photos

blogorail #8

Welcome to those of you joining me from Home is Where the Mouse is and those of you just hopping on board.  I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

The overall theme of the Blue Loop, this month, is Disney Photography 101.  I will be focusing on one of the most highly photographed attractions at Walt Disney World – Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom.  This attraction winding through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve provides guests with many opportunities to get pictures of various animals.  This article will give you some tips and how to get most out of your photos and the best out of your camera.

Canon PowerShot SX200IS
Canon PowerShot SX200IS

All pictures in this article were taken with the camera in the above picture which my wife and I have nicknamed “Little Red.”  This is a powerhouse of a camera for its size.  It’s very compact making it easy to transport through the parks and it’s easy to use.

Tip #1: Learn everything about your camera

Most cameras have a lot of different settings, speeds, lighting, zooms, etc.  Don’t be intimated and overwhelmed by all of things your camera can do.  Instead learn what they can do.  The two things about my family’s camera which we take advantage of on this attraction is the zoom but, more importantly, the “burst setting.”  This setting allows the user to take multiple pictures each time the picture button is pressed.  The downside is a lot of wasted pictures but in an era of digital photography the wasted pictures are easily deleted.

An example of the burst setting:

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These pictures were taken in the same take picture button press.


An example of the zoom setting:

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Can’t get that close in real life or the crocodile jaws will take a good chunk of your leg.  😉

Tip #2: Have a spotter with you

This can be sometimes difficult if you have kids and you are spending more time finding the animals for them to see.  It’s difficult for one person to see out of both sides of the car.  A spotter can look out that other side of the car and/or find those hard to spot animals that a hiding in the trees.

I see you.  Do you see me?
I see you. Do you see me?

A solo rider could easily miss this picture without the benefit of a spotter.  This picture is also another great example of the zoom on the camera.

Tip #3: Have the photographer sit in the end seat.

Don’t put the photographer in the middle seat of your group.  Have him or her sit on the end seat.  In an end seat, the photographer does not have to get the heads of their fellow riders out of the picture before taking the picture.   An end seat provides a good view out onto the savanna to spot the animals.

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Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to ride the attraction multiple times

One of the benefits of the Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most dynamic attractions at Walt Disney World.  No two rides on the attraction are the same.  The animals will move.  Some will go away as the day goes on while others will make an appearance.  One trip, my family rode it at the end of the day.  Then, the next day, we arrived at the park at rope drop and rode it again so we could see more animals that were not out the day before.

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Those are some of my tips for getting the most out of your photos on the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction.  It’s a combination of knowing how to use your camera and learning its features, having a spotter to watch the other side of the savanna, and a willingness to ride the attraction multiple times, if possible, in one visit.  I’m going to close with one of the best photos that my wife was able to get which used all four of the tips in this article.

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Thank you for joining me today.  The next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is For the Love of Disney.

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1st Stop ~ Rolling with the Magic – Cell Phone Photography Tips & Apps

2nd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog – Memory Maker 101

3rd Stop ~ Home is Where the Mouse Is – Do’s and Don’ts of Theme Park Photography

4th Stop ~ Dad for Disney – Getting the Most Out of Your Kilimanjaro Safari Photos

Final Stop ~ For the Love of Disney – Recommended Gear to Take Good Photos and Still Enjoy Your Vacation