Sophie’s Favorite Attraction – Splash Mountain!

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail. Enjoy the ride as we share Disney attractions reviews from our kids.

The 52' Drop from the top of Splash Mountain!

The 52′ Drop from the top of Splash Mountain!

Hello Disney Fans!!! Today, I’m writing about my favorite attraction: Splash Mountain!!! Would you believe that for a long time, I was utterly, terrified of that drop?  If you’ve been with us in an earlier time, then you know that story. If this is the first post you’ve read, kick back and let me type a story for you.

It was in the trip of 2012. My parents and I were with a friend who loved Splash Mountain. One thing lead to another, and somehow, they convinced me to go and ride with them. It was the scariest thing for me! I was so paranoid that we would actually go into the briar patch! About half way through “the laughing place,” Daddy’s hat fell down and touched me. I. WAS. SO. SCARED!!! I thought it was an oversized queen bee about to sting me or something! I was screaming like bloody murder! The funniest part was when we were going up to the top. My mom was next to me, and she said that I was holding on so tightly, I was cutting off circulation. As we were going down the drop, I prepared for a lot of thorns. But, we didn’t go into the briar patch. I was like “AHHHHH!!!…. oh.” I saw that we went through a small tunnel. I was actually going under the briar patch! So now that i’m not afraid of the briars, I really like the ride, as you can tell from this picture of a group of us going on Splash Mountain (I’m in the pink Minnie Ears in the front on the right).

Getting ready to ride Splash Mountain again!

Getting ready to ride Splash Mountain again!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Mommy to All Girls.

Magical Blogorail Orange

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – My Dreams of Disney – Sophie’s Favorite Attraction – Splash Mountain!
2nd Stop – Mommy to All Girls – The Kolb Girls Review Disney Attractions
3rd Stop – For the Love of Disney – Top 5 Disney Rides for Kids… outside of Fantasyland!
4th Stop – Sparks of Magic – Magic Kids Talk: Favorite Disney Attractions
Final Stop – Dad for Disney – Kid Sized Review: Toy Story Midway Mania

Relaxing the Disney Way: Tom Sawyer Island

Harper's Mill - Tom Sawyer Island

Harper’s Mill on Tom Sawyer Island takes you back to a bygone day and time!

Hello everyone!  It’s February 17th, 2014, and much of the country has been stuck in the deep throws of a brutally harsh winter.  So harsh, in fact, that it makes us all wonder what the spring and summer will be like.  My daughter’s school system has even lost 7 days of school — which is not many for some of you, but for Raleigh, NC, that’s a ton!

In any event, last night I thought of a post that might help us all out with the stresses that the weather can bring.  I thought, what better way to relax than by relaxing the Disney way!  To start us off, let’s take a stroll around Tom Sawyer Island, located in the middle of the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom.

Tom Sawyer Island has a lot to do!

Tom Sawyer Island has a lot to do!

Don't forget to check out the fort!  (They even have restrooms for the adults!)

Don’t forget to check out the fort! (They even have restrooms for the adults!)

There are a lot of things you and your kids can do on Tom Sawyer Island.  For starters, you can check out Harper’s Mill, which pays tribute to one of Disney’s earliest animated films, The Old Mill.  In addition to Harper’s Mill, check out some of these other great points of interest:

  • Injun Joe’s Cave — one of my favorite parts of the whole island — and on a hot day, a great way to cool off!
  • Fort Langhorn — as you can see, Fort Langhorn is located somewhat apart from the rest, so look at it last, I recommend!
  • Potter’s Mill
  • Tom Sawyer Scavage Fort

When it comes to Tom Sawyer Island, I think this is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of a busy Disney Day, and just slow down and take the road less travelled.  Obviously, Tom Sawyer Island is a great stop for families with young kids, but even for those that have kids (or no kids) and have outgrown it, it can be a great place to bring a picnic lunch and just chill and watch the Liberty Belle pass by.

Here’s a few pictures from our days exploring the island.

The only way to get to the island is by way of raft from the "mainland".

The only way to get to the island is by way of raft from the “mainland”

This is the bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn.

This is the bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn.

This is my niece Stephanie enjoying the Barrel Bridge!

This is my niece Stephanie enjoying the Barrel Bridge!

What do you think about Tom Sawyer Island?  Is it a great way to relax at Disney?  Or do you just not bother about relaxing at Disney?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

The Lands of Disneyland: Frontierland!

The Mark Twain Riverboat is just one of the great things to do in Frontierland!

The Mark Twain Riverboat is just one of the great things to do in Frontierland!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our next installment of the Lands of Disneyland!  As you know, we have previously taken a look at Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, and New Orleans Square.  As we continue our path clockwise around Disneyland, we next come to Frontierland!  This land is located right next to New Orleans Square, and has a ton of activities for you to enjoy during your visit.  Take a look at this list, and we’ll elaborate on these further on in our post also:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Big Thunder Ranch
  • Fantasmic!
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Sailing Ship Columbia

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is near the top of my list of favorite roller coasters!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is near the top of my list of favorite roller coasters!

The big name at Disneyland in Frontierland is probably Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  What is different about Disneyland is that Splash Mountain is located in Critter Country, a totally different land, and isn’t right next door to BTMRR like it is at Walt Disney World.  Unfortunately for us, though, we weren’t able to experience that great ride because of this sign:

Sadly, it was closed until Fall...

Sadly, it was closed until Fall…

Big Thunder Ranch

Big Thunder Ranch is a great little outdoor petting zoo type environment!

Big Thunder Ranch is a great little outdoor petting zoo type environment!

We came strolling into Big Thunder Ranch one day during our trip, and had the best time.  They had lasso’s for your kids to learn how to lasso, they had some of the great horses on display, along with other animals and birds, and while we were there, we ran into our friends, as you can see below — it was so cool because there was hardly anyone around, so we didn’t have to wait at all!

Look who we ran into at Big Thunder Ranch!

Look who we ran into at Big Thunder Ranch!

Fantasmic!

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Fantasmic is performed on the Rivers of America in Disneyland!

As you can tell by the map image below, Fantasmic is located right on the shore of the Rivers of America!  However, just like at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the wait for the show is absolutely insane — in my opinion only, of course — so we didn’t see it.  Mostly this is because you would have to get a seat around 5PM and wait for the show time, and I just felt like that was a waste of time.  One year we will see Fantasmic, but it wasn’t this year…

Fantasmic Map Disneyland

Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition

The Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition is of a similar nature to the one at Walt Disney World. Basically it’s a shooting arcade — it isn’t really our thing, so we didn’t take it in, but if you have young hunters or would-be hunters, I’m sure they would enjoy it!

Mark Twain  Riverboat

The Mark Twain Riverboat is a replica paddleboat on the Mighty Mississippi!

The Mark Twain Riverboat is a replica paddleboat on the Mighty Mississippi!

The shot above was taken from the pilothouse (I think that’s the right term) of the Mark Twain Riverboat!  It was great being able to go up there, although it was a little cramped with me, Sophie, and our boat captain up there!

Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

The Pirate's Lair is part of Tom Sawyer Island, a fun place for kids to play!

The Pirate’s Lair is part of Tom Sawyer Island, a fun place for kids to play!

Tom Sawyer Island is a great little getaway from the rest of Disneyland.  Just like at the Magic Kingdom, access to the island is by way of raft, and it’s a lot of fun to head on over and relax some of the day away.  Look for all the treasure at the Pirate’s Lair, and have fun finding all the passageways!

Sailing Ship Columbia

The Sailing Ship Columbia is perhaps the most relaxing boat to go on at Disneyland!

The Sailing Ship Columbia is perhaps the most relaxing ship to go on at Disneyland!

I really enjoy the Sailing Ship Columbia.  When you board her deck, and get underway, it really feels as if you are back in the age when this ship was sailing around the world!  That is part of what I love about Disney — his true love of history, and how he incorporates that into his parks so that they are so much more than just a place to ride rides.

In addition to all of these, Frontierland is also the home to the Golden Horseshoe, which, while it doesn’t still do Wally Boag’s show, is still a great photo opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up!

The Golden Horseshoe is a great looking building!

The Golden Horseshoe is a great looking building!

The story of Frontierland is so much more than a place to ride a roller coaster, or go looking for Pirate treasure, or pet some animals.  The story of Frontierland really comes down to this quote, spoken by the great Walt Disney himself, on the day of Disneyland’s opening on July 17, 1955:

Frontierland. It is here that we experience the story of our country’s past. The color, romance and drama of frontier America as it developed from wilderness trails to roads, riverboats, railroads and civilization. A tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of our hearty pioneers who blaze the trails and made this progress possible.

Thank you for stopping by as we take a look at Frontierland, one of the Lands of Disneyland!

 

My Top 5 Magic Kingdom Attractions

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Hello everyone, and welcome to My Dreams of Disney!  When you approach the Magic Kingdom, I know that the famous Disney Magic hits you right in the face, and draws you in.  I know that the Magic Kingdom is full of experiences, emotions, excitement, and memories, but at some point, we all go to the Magic Kingdom for the attractions!  In today’s post, I’m going to take a look at my top five Magic Kingdom attractions — and I invite you to join in on the comments and tell me YOUR top five attractions!

#5: Haunted Mansion

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Coming in at number 5 in my list is the Haunted Mansion.  This attraction is a good one, and is always full of fun for us.  If it has any drawback, it’s that the loading queue can be a bit much at times, but once you finish merging 100 people or more into one line, it’s all good!  Occasionally the ride does stop and start at times, but if you are lucky, it will happen at a great spot and you can get a great look at everything!

#4: Pirates of the Caribbean

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At number four in our list is Pirates of the Caribbean.  This attraction used to be much higher up on the list — until I was absolutely spoiled by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland in New Orleans Square!  After that, I’m sorry to say that this ride just isn’t as much fun as it used to be!  Still, I love it, just not as much as I used to…

#3: Splash Mountain

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At number three in our list is Splash Mountain!  This ride — which is an incredible ride, by the way — is my daughter Sophie’s favorite ride!  It does have one big drawback, though…the lines!  I love the story of Brier Rabbit as portrayed in the movie Song of the South, I love that it is a really long ride with many small drops, and I absolutely love the 52′ drop at the end!

#2: Peter Pan’s Flight

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Peter Pan’s Flight is placed in number two on our countdown!  This classic Disney ride is one of our all time favorites because of the way the Imagineers designed the ride.  It’s almost always a toss-up for me in putting this attraction at number 2 or number 1 on my list, but for today, it sits at number 2…

#1: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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As I said, Peter Pan’s Flight is a toss-up between number 2 and number 1 in my list, but for today, my big Kahuna attraction at the Magic Kingdom is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!  The reason for this is because of an experience I had on our last trip — in fact, on the last night of our last trip.  It was July 27th, 2013, and I was with Cindy, Sophie, and a whole host of Pixie friends and their families at the Magic Kingdom.  A group of us decided to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and some of the kids had never been on it before.  Not only were they brave and ride the coaster, but they had the time of their lives and we got right back on it and road it again!  In fact, this time they rode with their hands up in the air the entire time!  It was a great end to our Pixie Trip, and because of that, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad currently sits at number 1 on my list!

Honorable Mentions…

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Of course, Space Mountain is on my list — just not in the top 5.  Truthfully, I like Space Mountain at Disneyland better because you can have two to a row there, but I like ours also.

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“it’s a small world” is another of my favorite rides, but I just ran out of numbers, so it is an honorable mention.  It would definitely make my list for a top 10 list!

Thank you all for stopping by today, I hope you will comment on your favorite attractions so that we can compare notes!  Let me know what you think of my choices, and thanks everyone!  Make it a Disney Day!

Exploring the Magic Kingdom Shows!

In a new series “Exploring the Shows”, I’m taking a look at all of the different shows throughout the Walt Disney World Parks.  In today’s episode, I’m going to take a look at all of the Magic Kingdom Shows.

For our purposes, a show is something on screen or on stage, that you watch as you would watch a movie or play.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mickey's PhilharMagic

As I have previously written, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is one of our favorite shows.  I’m a Disney music junkie, and I absolutely love all of the great music that Mickey’s PhilharMagic brings us each and every time we see the show.  I have never gotten sick of hearing music from The Lion King, Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Aladdin, and I don’t think I ever will!  Top it off with the reaction Sophie always gets when Donald get’s in trouble, and you’ve got quite a show!

Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree

Cindy and Sophie are not much of a fan of the Country Bear Jamboree, but I like to watch it every two or three years or so.  I like it because of the Audio-Animatronics bears, I like it because of the music, and the “show” that they put on for us, and I like it for the air conditioning and because we can always walk right in without a line.  However, I can also certainly understand why Cindy and Sophie aren’t big fans of it, since they don’t like country music.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Carousel of Progress

The Carousel of Progress is one of my favorite shows/attractions at any of the Walt Disney World parks.  I am continually fascinated by the telling of how technology has advanced throughout the years, and Disney does such a great job of telling that story!  Couple that with one of my favorite Disney songs “It’s a Great big Beautiful Tomorrow”, and I’m hooked!  The show hasn’t changed much over the years, but to me that is part of it’s timeless charm.  Also, when I think about how this attraction was featured at the 1964 Worlds Fair, and that just provides the icing on the cake to me.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Factory

Laugh Floor

Monsters, Inc. is a cute, funny show for us, and something that we see at least once per trip to Disney World.  Located over in Tomorrowland, the show is located in the part of the park which used to house the Timekeeper attraction from years gone by.  Timekeeper was a good show, but I only saw it a couple of times, but Sophie really likes Monsters, Inc.  I’ll never forget one of the first times we saw it, Sophie had been telling jokes all the time, her favorite at the time was “Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get away from KFC!”

Well, part of the charm of Monsters, Inc. is that you can text a joke into a special number, and they might pick one and use during the show!  I texted in Sophie’s joke, and they used it!  It was so funny because when they had read the joke, Mike (I think Mike had read it) looked at all of us and said, “I don’t get it either.”, at which everyone laughed!

The Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents

For me, I like historical subject matter, and Disney does a really great job at the Magic Kingdom particularly, of incorporating a great review of history with having a lot of fun.  One way that they do that is at the Hall of Presidents.  This show almost never seems to be busy when we go to visit it, yet it is one of our favorite shows.  I would say that we see this attraction at least once per visit.  It has a lot going for it; it is an indoor attraction to escape from the heat; it has Audio-Animatronics of every president our nation has had, and it has an entertaining way of teaching us about the history of our country.

The Enchanted Tiki Room

Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room originally opened as Tropical Seranade when the Magic Kingdom opened it’s doors over forty years ago.  After a run of several years, Tropical Seranade was closed and re-opened as The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management.  To be honest, I don’t even remember Tropical Seranade, but I never had any problems with the new management part of the Tiki Room, I thought it was a fun little show.  I know a lot of people didn’t like it though.  In January, 2011, though, a fire started in the attic of the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the show was closed for several months.  It re-opened in August of 2011, and Disney has announced that it will be back to it’s original, non-New Management version.  I look forward to seeing it in the future, and deciding for myself which version we like better!

I hope that you have enjoyed exploring around the Magic Kingdom, looking at all of the great shows that Disney has to offer there!  Tell me, which is your favorite show at the Magic Kingdom?