music memories

Live Music Memories on Main Street, U.S.A.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing some of the best live entertainment at the Disney Parks.


music memories

The Dapper Dans share some of their talent with us on Main Street, U.S.A.

When it comes to Disney, for me and my family we have always enjoyed and thought that the music from the parks can lead to an even greater enjoyment of all that we see.  Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite music memories from Main Street, U.S.A. and even beyond!  The picture you see at the beginning is of the Dapper Dans as they performed for us on Main Street, U.S.A.  After they had finished, they were kind enough to share a picture with my daughter Sophie and niece Anna Jane, as you see here.

music memories

The Dapper Dans with Sophie & Anna Jane!

As you progress up Main Street, take a look at the piano situated over by Casey’s Corner.  The piano has a player, and they will appear at various times throughout the day, so check your times guide for the day you are there.  It’s a great way to sit down, relax, and let the music take you back in time to another age.  Simply put, it’s just one of the music memories you’ll experience on this journey.

music memories

If you haven’t heard the Main Street Philharmonic perform, then make sure you save some time for a listen.  Their music is really good, and among the best of any band you’ll hear anywhere!

Music Memories

Then, over in Fantasyland, one of my memories was when the Fantasyland Woodwinds Society (I think I have the name correct) performed Happy Birthday for Sophie and this other lady who’s birthday it was also.  Here’s a picture from that day.

music memories

Of course, not all music memories are created by the live entertainment. Some are the product of the incredible parades, including this one that was one of my all time favorites, but is now located at Disneyland:

What music do you like to see performed at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by today!

For more must see live entertainment at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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‘Walt Disney’s Disneyland’ Book Review

Walt Disney was a master of promotion. His Disneyland television show was basically a weekly commercial advertising his upcoming theme park. And in that theme park, he continued this self-promotion with the release, each year, of souvenir booklets, pamphlets, and hardcover books, all designed to keep guests dreaming about Disneyland long after the visit was over!

This post is a review of one such publication:

This 70-page book has no ISBN number and no publisher but does reference Walt Disney Productions. It was printed in the U.S.A. possibly in February of 1971. However, the copyright date is 1969.

This book was first published in 1964 and was re-released every year afterwards. For how long, I don’t know. Slight changes to this publication likely would have been made as new attractions were added to the park and others removed.

The book is filled with beautiful two-page spreads of popular attractions. The Jungle Cruise, above,  is a personal favorite!

One of the best reasons for purchasing such an old book is because of the history it contains. Attractions like The Skyway, now gone (but rumored to be returning to Walt Disney World), are fun to see again!

Young and Old Enjoy Disneyland

A panoramic shot like this one shows both the Columbia and the Mark Twain. Would you like to be sitting on one of those benches right now?

Beautiful!

The book covers many of the classic attractions with colorful pictures and informative text.

The book actually starts with a brief history of the construction of Disneyland. It then covers each of the cardinal lands in turn: Fantasyland; Adventureland; Frontierland; Tomorrowland; and of course, Main Street U.S.A.

Next it covers the first and second decades of the park in their own sections. New Orleans Square and the updated Tomorrowland are also featured. The book ends with a ‘what is to come’ page featuring the soon-to-be opened Walt Disney World.

COOL FACTOR: 4.5/5

For the casual Disney fan, this book would be a fun read. For the diehard fan, it is an essential read of the history of Disneyland!

I would have given it a higher rating if not for the fact that it is merely a reprint of earlier, essentially the same, publications. But even so, I highly recommend it!

I picked it up at a thrift store for just $5.00 CAN.

Magical Blogorail: Disney Ride Secrets – Big Thunder Mountain

Every ride has a ‘sweet spot’ where everyone wants to sit. Especially roller coasters! Where should you sit on Big Thunder Mountain? And what other secrets does this attraction hold?

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing some of the secrets you’ll find while enjoying Disney attractions.


So what isn’t a secret about this iconic Walt Disney World attraction? The official site says: “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a speedy rollercoaster-type attraction designed with your entire family in mind. However, some parts of this attraction are bumpy and, in some instances, take place in the dark.”

Obviously, this isn’t the fastest or wildest ride in the Magic Kingdom. But what it lacks in thrills it more than makes up for in fun and theming. However, if you want the biggest possible thrill on the Big Thunder Mountain railway, here is how to get it:

TIP: Don’t Sit Up Front

When I rode this attraction for the first time, I assumed that the best place to ride would be directly behind the ‘engine’. But when I asked the loading Cast Member if we could ride up front, he told me that if I wanted to really feel the drops, I needed to ride in the back. He directed us there and… he was right!

Why? On the main drop, the coaster train slows, and the front starts down the drop before the cars are released. So the first two cars don’t experience the full length of the drop. But the last car, still slightly behind the crest of the hill when the drop begins, gets the full effect!

So whereby with other coasters the front cars are the best, with Big Thunder Mountain, it’s the rear that gives the best ride!

But there is one more tip I can share to help you get the most out of this attraction. As mentioned earlier, Big Thunder Mountain is heavily themed, so you will want to see everything. But how can you do that whilst whizzing around the track? You can’t. Therefore…

TIP: Ride Other Attractions

The picture above was taken from the Liberty Belle Riverboat while plying the Rivers of America. This allows you a leisurely look at the majestic spires of the mountain.

You can also watch the ride vehicles go by and listen to the screams of the riders.

You can also see the mountain from the other side if you take a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad:

You will have less time to see things from this perspective as the train moves a little faster than its lake-going counterpart. But most of the small details are on this side, so be sure to sit of the right side of the train cars for the best views and photo opportunities.

I’ll let you discover the rest of the secrets on your own when you ride Big Thunder Mountain for yourself!

For more Disney ride secrets,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Springtime at Disney

Exploring the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing some of the magic you can expect at the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.


Flower & Garden

Lightning McQueen stands watch over the Flower & Garden Festival (2011)

Over at Epcot at Walt Disney World, each year the creative geniuses turn out two major events that are a highlight for those that attend.  In the Fall is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and in the Spring is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Today marks the start of the 2017 edition of the Flower & Garden Festival, and the festival runs until May 29th.  If you are lucky or fortunate enough to be able to visit and enjoy the festival, that’s great, but the good thing is that many of the topiaries will be around Epcot even after the festival has concluded.  The picture at the top of this post was taken in June 2011, some weeks after that festival ended.

I’ve not actually been to Epcot during a Flower & Garden festival before, it’s one of those things that I’m looking forward to enjoying one year, but so far we haven’t been able to do so because of school schedules.  So at this point I’ve got pictures that were shared with me from my friend Alicia, and my imagination will take me the rest of the way.

I really love the topiaries, and look forward to seeing them one year.  What I’m most looking forward too, though, is being able to take my wife Cindy to Epcot on her birthday and experiencing it first hand.  Tomorrow is her birthday, so we would be right in line with seeing the start of the festival.  Here’s how I picture it in my mind’s eye.

It’s an absolutely incredible spring-like day.  The sky is a brilliant blue, with a few wispy clouds  dotting the landscape.  Cindy and I are staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a resort that we’ve visited before but have never stayed at.  For Epcot, it’s a great resort because you can just walk to the park, enter through the International Gateway, and take in the festival. In fact, on this day, that’s just what we did.  We visited all of the pavilions that we enjoy, Canada, China, the American Adventure, Norway, Italy, Germany, France, Mexico.  In fact, we visited them all because today was a special day, a day when it was just Cindy and I, walking hand-in-hand, enjoying being at Walt Disney World, and sharing our love for each other with those we encounter.

Everyone has a smile on their face, because when you are at Disney, that’s what you do most of all — you smile.  You take everything in, and you don’t worry about anything because at Walt Disney World, everyone turns into a version of their childhood once again.  After we walk around the festival, we ride some of our favorite rides: Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, and we remember fondly those attractions that aren’t around anymore, like Maelstrom.

The reality for me is this. Visiting Walt Disney World and Epcot during the Flower & Garden Festival would be great because it would mean that I am able to visit Disney with my wife once again, something we haven’t been able to do for a while now.  It would mean that things are much better than they were, and when we go to Walt Disney World next, it will truly feel like this is the first time we have been.  What are your thoughts about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? Please share them with us, and make sure you check out the rest of the posts from this loop.  Thanks for stopping by!

For more of what you can expect at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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February Calendar Shot 2017

Wordless Wednesday – February Calendar Shot 2017

February Calendar Shot 2017

January 2001, Cindy took this picture of me with Minnie Mouse at Liberty Tree Tavern!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Wordless Wednesday post! I’m joining my pal Deb from Focused on the Magic and for this week, we’re sharing our February Calendar Shot 2017 photos! Since this coming Monday is my birthday (I’ll be 49!) I figured I would put myself in the calendar. Although the picture above was taken in January, it was MLK Weekend, so it was close to being in February.

Another photo I have is from that same trip — for your recollection, this was the trip where Cindy and I ate our way through Disney because she was pregnant with Sophie and we couldn’t ride the big roller coasters like she likes to do.  This one is of me and Donald Duck, and looks something like this:

February Calendar Shot 2017

Me and Donald Duck

One last picture to share, not of me, but of Sophie, and interestingly enough, she’s with Donald Duck as well!  Look at the difference in Donald in just a few years!

February Calendar Shot 2017

Sophie and Donald Duck bouncing and dancing!

Which of these pictures would you have on your February Calendar Shot 2017? Let me know in the comments, and thanks!  (I think I already know the answer anyway.)

Well, that’s enough of pictures and talk from me, let’s go see what Deb has on her site!  If you wish to join in the fun, just click the image below to head to Focused on the Magic, grab the code from Deb’s site, and add it to your Wordless Wednesday post!  Thanks Deb for hosting, and thanks to you, readers, for stopping by!

Focused on the Magic
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