Magical Blogorail: WDW Value Resorts Review

Value Resorts Offer Way More Eye Candy

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Orange. Today we are reviewing the value resorts at Walt Disney World.

It is common to think of the value resorts only in terms of money. How much can I save by staying at one? But we might also think of them in terms of fun for families. How kid-friendly are they? Or we might choose one based on location. How close is it to my favorite theme park? All of these reasons for staying at a value resort are valid!

But you just know they aren’t the reasons I’m going to promote! No, I love the value resorts because I honestly feel they have a higher level of theming than both the moderate and deluxe resorts. Visit the Coronado Springs  or Polynesian resorts and you’ll come away with a few dozen photographs. Visit a value resort, like the Art of Animation (pictured above) and you can potentially come away with literally hundreds of amazing shots!

Pop Century Resort

Each value resort has a theme worthy of a photo essay! So let’s break them down:

All-Star Music – Music styles include: Calypso; Rock; Country; Broadway; and Jazz

All-Star Sports – Duh! But seriously, the sports represented are: Surfing; Baseball; Basketball; Tennis; and American Football

All-Star Movies – Expect to see giant representations of: 101 Dalmatians; Toy Story; Fantasia; The Mighty Ducks; and Herbie, The Love Bug

Pop Century Resort – Featuring pop cultural icons such as the: Yo-Yo, Mickey Phone (pictured above), Big Wheels, and too many more to list here!

Art of Animation – Four mega-themes: Cars; Little Mermaid; Finding Nemo; and Lion King

Of these five resorts, I’d say the best for theming are the Pop Century and Art of Animation. This is not to say the other resorts don’t yield magnificent photo opportunities, especially if music, sports, or movies are your thing. But Disney seems to have added so much more to the last two value resorts.

All-Star Music Resort

Karen and I stay almost exclusively at value resorts, even though we don’t have children, and could save up to stay at more expensive lodgings. But just walking through the themed walkways of each section of a value resort almost makes our vacations!

So when you’re looking to book your next on-site resort, don’t forget to consider the most themed resorts of all: Disney’s All-Star and Value Resorts!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Value Resort Reviews Loop:

Disney Vehicles Found in the Real World

Disney animators love to give character to inanimate objects. And when they are fleshing out a human character, they usually imbue any objects they use or possess with a complimentary character trait.

While looking through my pictures from both the Motor Muster and Old Car Festival, held in Greenfield Village each year, I began to notice that I had some interesting Disney car tie-ins. Don’t know what I mean?


Exhibit One: Herbie Blushes

I was taking close-up pictures of some of the cars to get cool reflections and to optimize the shapes and features of each car. The shot above, of a Volkswagen Beetle, made me think of an embarrassed Herbie!


Exhibit Two: Prof. Ned Brainard’s Flying Model T Ford

Inside the Henry Ford Museum you can see how an actual Model T Ford was constructed, and sit in or pose with an original model, as above. Yet no matter how much Flubber I used, I just couldn’t get this one to fly!


Exhibit Three: Cruella De Ville’s evil-looking Bugatti

I’m not sure just what model Cruella’s car was supposed to be in the animated film 101 Dalmatians, but it looks an awful lot like the vintage Bugatti above. Think how cool it would have been if this white Bugatti was covered in spots! But being as there are only 3 or 4 of these left in the world, and only this one in North America, I don’t suppose the museum will be upgrading the paint any time soon.


Exhibit Four: Doc Hudson as The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The film Cars by Pixar came out in 2006 and I took the above picture in 2009. At the time, I never even clued in that I was looking at the inspiration for Doc Hudson’s racing career. And it took until 2014 for me to even realize I had this shot! It just goes to show that you never know when a Disney reference will pop up in your life.

For more information about this Disney reference, please visit my post entitled Keith Partridge Buy’s Pixar’s Doc Hudson over at My Dreams of Disney.


Exhibit Five: Interpol car from Muppets Most Wanted

Not an exact match, but when art imitates life, art often takes liberties. I think the essence of the fake car is definitely present in the real car! Sadly, no muppet emerged from the yellow version.

So if Beaker were a car, he’d end this post simply by saying: “Beep, beep!”

Chevron Autopia Pull-back Cars from Disneyland

I’ve never failed to ride the cars in Tomorrowland’s Speedway when visiting Walt Disney World, and so it was a no-brainer to ride the cars of Autopia when I visited the attraction (albeit after the Chevron sponsorship had ended) at Disneyland for the first time in January of 2013. To steer one of the original attractions was awesome!

Of course, I wished they didn’t have the guide rails that kept you on track (which they didn’t have on opening day) but we can’t have everything.

So I was delighted while on vacation in Florida this year to come across these two great Chevron Autopia cars:



I already had one car of the four-part set, below:


But I had to wait some time before I could finish my set, with Suzy:


So I had to assemble my fleet from three separate locations!

Chevron entered into an agreement with Disney to sponsor this attraction in 1998, as this Press Release announces. Unfortunately, with the rising price of gas and for other reasons, Chevron only sponsored the attraction from 2000 to 2012. When we rode the cars in 2013, Honda had already taken over the sponsorship.

But the real fun comes from all of the great advertising stuff! These sets were released in 2000 to commemorate Disneyland’s 45th Anniversary. You could enter to win a Magic Disneyland Vacation:


If I wasn’t a completest, I’d scratch the card just to see what it says!

Same with the stickers: Can’t use them!

I will never stop searching for this playmat!


The same postcard is included in all four of the Autopia Cars

Disneyland Autopia Yesterday and Tomorrow booklet

Now this is by far the most awesome inclusion of the sets. It’s a foldout flyer-style publication with seven pages detailing the history of the Autopia attraction, and seven pages containing a story about the Chevron Cars called Road Rally to Autopia at Disneyland.

It doesn’t get any better than that! The history side contains archival pictures and concept art from the original ride in 1955, the redesign of 1967, and finally the Chevron makeover in 2000. The story side chronicles the Chevron Cars’ trip to Disneyland where they continually ask ‘Are we there yet?’, and finally arrive just as Disneyland is closing. But they are let in to play with their Autopia cousins all night long until morning comes and the Park opens again.

This inclusion is superb and so I will be doing a post on each of the stories later.


Simply pull the cars back and they will speed away

Figures are removable

To quote Disneyland Autopia Yesterday and Today: “Cars are the ultimate vehicle for our imaginations: get behind the wheel and the world is ours. With a car and an imagination, we can go anywhere.”

Well, on the Autopia track, you can’t go anywhere, but you can let your imagination drive away with you!

Lightning McQueen Races in the Smarties Grand Prix

I love Smarties. You love Smarties. Lightning McQueen, although he races for Rust-EZ, loves Smarties! As we were crossing the border on our way to Florida, we stopped at the Duty Free Shop. And although most people would probably be stocking up on booze and cigarettes, we were just there for a bathroom break.

But put me in large area that sells curios and such, and I’m bound to buy something! Something like:


The Super Loop Racer

This came with three tubes of Smarties and a great toy, so I was hooked on sight. But when I saw that it was marked down to $9.99 US from $24.99 US, my wife had to stop me from buying more than one!

They had me at ‘Smarties’

For ten bucks, you just can’t go wrong! Three tubes of Smarties (170 g each, which not being Gluten Free, I got to eat them all myself) and a cool race track toy was just the ticket to become the first official merchandise buy of our trip.

Not quite ready to race

At first, I thought this was how this toy was set up, so I punched the Launcher over and over again, trying to get McQueen to do the Super Loop of Doom. But he hit the side of the track. He missed completely. He crashed. I gave up! I figured we had another good idea gone wrong on our hands and took a pit stop to have dinner.

But while eating, and eyeing up the toy, I realized I hadn’t quite finished with the assembly yet:

NOW we’re ready to race!

The Launcher slots into the track (a detail they don’t show you on the packaging) which lines up McQueen for a guaranteed trip around the loop. However, you still have to steady the whole thing and hit the Launcher just right to get a full rotation. But it can be done, although I wonder how a younger child would fare.

Again, trust me to find a Disney collectible long before I reach Walt Disney World, and even before I officially start my trip! That’s just SO me.

5 Days til Disneyland – Radiator Springs Racers!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Radiator Springs Racers — three simple words, one incredible attraction! This brand new attraction in Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure park is the hottest thing since sliced bread!  Jump in a car and see who is going to win the big race!  This is our selection for Day 5 in our countdown to Disneyland!

However, Radiator Springs Racers isn’t just about racing!  Before you even get to the great conclusion with the race, you’ll learn more about the town itself, with looks of Stanley’s Oasis, Ornament Valley, and Radiator Springs.  Don’t forget your camera!  You’ll surely want it to take pictures of the Radiator Falls waterfall!

I don’t know about you, but Radiator Springs Racers has been on my radar to experience for a long time, and I can’t wait to try this attraction out multiple times.  What is your favorite part about Radiator Springs Racers? Why not leave a comment and let me know, and thanks!