Magic Kingdom — Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is the “futuristic” land of the Magic Kingdom.  Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the Astro Orbitor, all sorts of attractions exist in Tomorrowland that point towards the future of mankind.

Tomorrowland is located to the east side of Cinderella’s Castle, as you can see:

The main attraction of Tomorrowland is Space Mountain.  This indoor roller coaster is a futuristic ride as you launch into space from the launching pad at the beginning.  As a roller coaster, it isn’t bad, but it is in the dark, and the first time I rode it, I was trying to figure out which way the car was going to turn, but I kept guessing wrong, so by the end of the ride I had a splitting headache!

In addition to Space Mountain, there are also these attractions (listed in alphabetical order):

The really neat thing about Tomorrowland is that there is so much variety.  Astro Orbiter is a fun kids ride — to get up there you have to take the elevator to the roof to load into your space vehicle!  I don’t ride this very often, but Sophie loves it!

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is a classic shooting game.  Just like the movie, you are tasked with defeating Emperor Zurg, and you control your vehicle and shoot the aliens to gain points.  The more points you gain, the better you rank!  I like that ride, it is one that I’m actually not that bad at!

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is one of my favorites in Tomorrowland.  Sophie loves it also.  The whole premise is that you need to laugh in order to generate enough power.  What is really cool is that you can text in a joke to a special text message number, and they choose one joke per performance to be announced to the crowd.  What is really really cool is that one of Sophie’s jokes actually got selected once!  Here is the joke:

“Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get away from KFC!”  When the monster told the joke, he said afterwards, we don’t get it either!  But everyone laughed!

Stitch’s Great Escape is NOT my favorite ride.  It is a dark ride, where you sit in and try to catch Stitch as he wanders throughout the chamber that you are in.  Stitch is full of mischief, and you encounter several things that let you know that he has been by!

The Tomorrowland Speedway is a simple racetrack where you can drive your race car around in a road course.  Unfortunately, the Speedway isn’t the fastest, of course, but even worse is that your car has a rail, so if you encounter someone slower, you can’t go around.  But it does have to be tailored towards kids of all ages — it isn’t a go-cart track, after all.

The TTA is one of my favorite rides.  It can be so relaxing, especially near dusk, to hop on the TTA and just take a ride around Tomorrowland.  You’ll see parts of Space Mountain, you’ll ride above the walkways below — it reminds me of the Skyway that used to grace the Magic Kingdom and other Disney parks.  One other thing you will see if you look closely is the original prototype model that was made to represent EPCOT.

This brings me to my favorite attraction of Tomorrowland — Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.  Did you know that the Carousel of Progress was originally designed and constructed for the 1964 World’s Fair?  I absolutely love the Carousel of Progress.  This theatrical show takes place in a revolving theater!  Your trip takes you to the turn of the century to meet an American family and follow it’s progression throughout the years.  Each change in scenery your theater revolves around to the next scene.  It is a marvel of technology that dates back to 1964, and is still operational today.  If you’ve never seen the Carousel of Progress, you are missing out — check it out the next time you are at the Magic Kingdom!

In addition to the attractions, though, are some good places to eat, although we seem to frequent just one: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe!  What makes Cosmic Ray’s special is that you can get sandwiches, or chicken, or burgers all from the same restaurant.  Just pick your specialty and go for it.  In addition to the plentiful seating, there is also the music!  Take some time and listen to Sonny Eclipse!

However, one thing that we have never tried that I have just heard about is the Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe.  It seems that they have a desert party that you can do, followed up with a choice seat to see the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular.  This might be something to try out next year!

I hope that this trip to Tomorrowland has given you some insight into the things you can do, and to hopefully get you excited to take a trip to the Magic Kingdom and the other Walt Disney World theme parks!  Talk to you later!

    Nearly Wordless Wednesday — March Calendar Photo

    Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you can find this nice topiary of Snow White and Dopey.  I like this because of the colors, the lighthearted attitude of Dopey, and the serenity that the area provides.  It looks like I could just sit there, watching a parade or the people, and have a grand time!  Plus, the green of the shrubs and grass and flowers fits perfectly in with St. Patrick’s Day!

    This post is being shared as part of the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, which is hosted by my friend Deb over at Focused on the Magic!  Thanks Deb for hosting the blog hop, and if you all want to see the rest of the entries, just click on the button below!

    Focused on the Magic

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    Pictures in the Parks — Epcot’s American Adventure

    The American Adventure show is a 30 minute production that is located inside of the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.

    Hosted by Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, and comprising 35 Audio-Animatronic characters, the American Adventure takes you through some of the storied events in the history of our great nation.  Along the journey, you’ll meet such famous characters as Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The American Adventure is one of the shows that we see every time we visit Walt Disney World, and I can’t wait until we get to share it with our friends in June!

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    Pictures in the Park — Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    The Majestic Summit of Expedition Everest!

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is home to the tallest summit height of any of the tall structures that grace Walt Disney World. At 199 1/2′ tall, Expedition is the tallest structure in all of Walt Disney World. The reason that it isn’t 200 feet tall is because, if it had been that high, FAA regulations would have required that a flashing light be put at the top of the structure to alert aircraft to the height of the structure.

    According to Wikipedia, Expedition Everest has the following names for its vehicles:

    • Norbu
    • Bob
    • Serka
    • Norgay
    • Bhat
    • Ronin
    • Balram
    • Saint Yeti
    • Everest Explorer
    • Tibetan Warrior
    • Baichung
    • Tenzig
    • Spirit of Nepal

    Now, I think the Imagineers are incredible! But tell me, why Bob? All of the other names are names that I would expect. But Bob? Who knows the answer to where that name came from? If you do, please enlighten me!

    Expedition Everest opened to the public on April 7, 2006, so it turns six years old this year. This roller coaster is one of my favorites, and I hope you like it too!

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    Disney in Pictures — Disney Magic

    By Mike Ellis.

    Last week I wrote about the changes that are coming to My Dreams of Disney, so welcome to the inaugural edition of Disney in Pictures!  In this episode, we are going to share some of our favorite pictures that capture the spirit of the incredible Disney Magic, plus we’re going to share some photos that you have submitted to us!

    First up in our exploration of those Disney pictures that capture the spirit of Disney Magic is this shot from the 40th Anniversary.  That day was a wonderful example of Disney Magic at work.  The day itself was perfect — the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World!  Couple that with beautiful blue skies, wonderful temperatures, just being there was Disney Magic!  It was meant that we should be there, simply because the 40th Anniversary just happened to fall on a Saturday, and in addition, the day before was a school holiday, so what better time to be able to plan a trip!

    Mickey & Minnie walking in the 40th Anniversary Celebration Parade

    Next up on our look at Disney Magic are these pictures, again of Mickey and Minnie, when they surprised some special young guests with a ride on the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride! This was taken during extra magic hours when we visited in June, 2010; it was around midnight, Cindy and I were waiting to ride Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel while Sophie and Stephanie were waiting in line for Dumbo.

    Mickey & Minnie with surprised Guests
    And riding Dumbo with the kids!

    As we continue our look at pictures that create that special Disney Magic, I bring you three photos from colleagues of mine.  The first one is from Dave over at YourFirstVisit.net, who shared this photo that he took with his iPhone!  Normally he doesn’t get very good pictures of fireworks with his iPhone, but the Magic was turned up for the 40th Anniversary when this picture was shot, and this was the result!

    Image courtesy and ©YourFirstVisit.net

    The second photo is from Deb over at Focused On The Magic.  You may know Deb because I’ve been part of her Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop for several weeks, as well as her Friday Flashback series, so if you’ve seen her work, you know that she is an incredible photographer!  Please enjoy her nighttime photo of Patriotic Wishes, in honor of President’s Day.  As Deb said, This fireworks show is really the highlight of our day and to me it’s filled with Magic especially when it’s a Patriotic Celebration.”

    Image courtesy and ©Focused on the Magic

    The third photo is from Amanda over at MouzeKateerz.com.  Amanda had this to share with us about Disney Magic:

    “It’s something you can neither touch or possess, but you can feel it all around you, and a photograph can bring it home with you. My Disney vacation goal is always to make it as long as I can after closing time, when the lights are low, the crowds have thinned out, but the music still plays and the castle colors shine. I feel the magic as I sit on a Main Street sidewalk.  I feel the magic as I walk hand in hand with my children to the monorail. I feel the magic in images I bring home. And I hold the Magic in my heart until I return…
    Image courtesy and ©Mouze Kateerz

    Gaylin emailed me a photo on how she keeps the Disney Magic alive at home.  In her comments she said:

    “This is what can happen when you are nice to mousekeeping!  We came home with 45 bars of soap, that means I can stay Disney clean until my next vacation!”

    Image courtesy Gaylin

    The last bit of Disney Magic I want to share with you happened last June — June 19, 2011, to be exact.  It was on that day that my baby Sophie turned ten years old, and to celebrate, Cindy and I booked her and her cousin Anna Jane’s first visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside Cinderella Castle.  Neither girl had any idea of the treat that awaited them that day, and I don’t think that my sister-in-law Nancy had any idea either, as you can see by looking at these three pictures!

    Nancy’s expression when she saw the girls!
    Anna Jane after her Princess Makeover
    Sophie after her Diva Makeover

    I have shared a lot of special pictures that really capture what the Disney Magic means to me, but perhaps the best example I’ve got that shows the wonderful Disney Magic is the video I shot when we were at the Magic Kingdom for the 40th Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSYkv5OTIBM

    What does Disney Magic mean to you?  How do you incorporate the Disney Magic even at home?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by on the inaugural run of Disney in Pictures!  Look for the theme for next week’s edition later on this week!

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