Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Space Mountain

There are a lot of ride time applications available  for free or for a small fee.  I was curious how some of them worked and if they were worth the money.   Today you get a guest posting from my 13 year old son.  While on our recent Disney trip, I gave him a job; download the Verizon-Disney Mobile Magic application and test it for the week.    Here is his report on it:

Mobile Magic

Mobile Magic is an  application for Verizon phones created by Disney and Verizon to show accurate wait times in the park that you are currently in.  Mobile Magic is a very simple application to use.  We found  that the app was always right compared to other applications out like Ride HopperRide Hopper (a free, social reporting application) was very random, it could have wait times with-in 5 minutes or it would be 2 hours off.  Mobile Magic was always right in all four parks on wait times but that’s not all the application can do!  The app can help you find your favorite Disney characters  or locate a restroom or dining or whatever you will need.  Overall, Mobile Magic was a great application to have while we were on our trip.

One of my problems with it was that it was very slow, it could take a while to load when you are at a resort with good cell service, and it took forever to load in the parks with not as good cell phone service.  Is it worth the money?  I say it is, besides the loading problem I found that the application was great.  I think it is worth the money.  It was great you could wait in line for one ride and right after say let’s go get fast passes for Space Mountain.  It would give you fast pass return times and the wait time.  It would also show you a map of the park which is useful when finding food. Again, I think that the application Mobile Magic is worth the money every little bit.

Thank you Jason for your review!   A few extra things to know;  the cost is $9.99 for 180 days of access.   You do need to have a cell phone that can access the internet and data charges are separate.    Data usage does add up, especially when playing games or trivia while waiting in line for your favorite rides or on the bus ride to/from the parks.  Tip: add a monthly data package instead of paying per MB, then drop the plan when you get home from vacation.

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Wow, where did 2009 go?  I can’t believe it’s December already!  I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I loved spending time with my family and eating way more than I should have.

It’s almost time for the holidays and planning for next year.   Did you have a great time with the family over Thanksgiving?  Or maybe you didn’t get to see each other because everyone lives to far away.  Have you spent time thinking it would be nice to get everyone together?  Are you the one responsible for planning the family reunion?   Have you considered a Grand Gathering at the Happiest Place on Earth?

Grand Gatherings are a program at Walt Disney World for groups of 8 or more guests (ages 3 & up*).  As part of a Grand Gathering you can take advantage of exclusive itinerary planning assistance (above & beyond what I provide).  A dedicated team of Grand Gatherings Travel Planners will help book special Grand Gathering Experiences, dining, golf and spa reservations, as well as  pre-order special merchandise.  What better place to have a family reunion than Disney World?!  There is something for everyone from 1 – 92 J   Special Experiences include dessert parties with special firework viewing, fireworks cruises, Safari dinners, special character breakfasts and more.   Do you long to spend all of your time together or maybe you don’t want to be quite that close….Your family can stay at the same resort, or spread out all over The World depending on  resort and budget preferences.   You can tour the parks together or split up and meet for 1 meal a day with the whole family.  There is a touring plan that will work for everyone, and allow time for golf, spa & relax by the pool time.

*of course children under 3 are welcome to be part of this magical experience, they just don’t count towards the 8 guests needed to qualify as a Grand Gathering group.

This could be the most magical family reunion ever!  Call or email me to learn more about the fun your family can experience!

Disney Park News:

  • Space Mountain has reopened after a lenghty refurbishment J
  • Splash Mountain is scheduled to be closed 1/3/10 – 2/27/10 for refurbishment.  Date are subject to change.
  • Luna Pool at the Boardwalk Resort will be closed for updates & repairs 1/18/10 – early February 2010
  • Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will be closed 1/4/10 – 1/29/10
  • Blizzard Beach water park will be shut down for it’s annual winter refurb 1/11/10 – 3/20/10
  • Typhoon Lagoon will reopen on 1/10/10

Movie News:

May whatever holiday you celebrate be safe, healthy and happy!  Best wishes for a Magical Holiday Season!

Michelle

I can’t believe it’s over already.   All that time waiting & planning, and planning and waiting and now it’s over and time to plan the next one.

Cast of Characters for this trip: Dear Husband 39, Me 37, Dear Daughter 14 & Dear Son 11

We left home (Charlotte NC) Saturday June 7th, 2008 and drove down to Altamonte Springs Florida.  We’ve found an Embassy Suites there that is very nice, full hot buffet breakfast and only $115 a night. Plus it’s only a half hour to Disney on Sunday mornings.  We arrived at the Embassy Suites before dinner, allowing us time to relax, eat and play in the pool.

 
We drove over to Disney’s  Saratoga Springs Resort  on Sunday morning and checked in at 9:30am.  We got our request of the Grandstand, but not the building we wanted.  We had wanted the building overlooking the pool and backing up to the golf course. The Cast Member did look to move us,  but  the building by the bus stop was closed because of noise from the road work, so they were full at the other building.  It worked out just fine though.  Our room was ready, a dedicated 2BR, 1st floor with a courtyard and golf course view.  Room 9111.  It was perfectly clean, everything worked, nothing was broken. The only thing missing was the cable for the internet but that was brought down after we called about it.
 
The plan for the day is take it easy and relax. Magic Kingdom Extra Magic Hours till 2am tonight,and we plan to go in the late evening.
After unpacking and settling in we went to Artist’s Palette for lunch right at noon. No crowds, no line.  Got our food to go and went back to our room to enjoy.  As always, the food was excellent!

A little back story, DD had been fighting an Upper Respiratory Infection for about a week & half.  We’d taken her to the Minute Clinic the night before her final exam in Geometry and on Wednesday before the trip to her regular Dr. “Viral” is what we were told.  She was on cough medicine, an inhaler, zyrtec and motrin/tylenol for fever & throat pain.  She was feeling worse when we got to Florida on Saturday and even worse on Sunday.

After lunch, DD went to take a nap and DH, DS & I went to the main pool for the Welcome Home party.  DH & I had our books and drinks  and DS was off in the pool until the party games started.  They had a Hula Hoop contest (done by age group) DS is really good at hula hooping so he was very excited to join in this.  When they got to several people who were still going, they had them stop and add a 2nd hoop and then there were 3 left who added a third hoop.  Jason from North Carolina was the last one standing and recieved the new Pixar edition of Monopoly.  He was soooo excited! What a great way to start our vacation!

DD was feeling a little better after her nap, so after we all got ready we headed out for Magic Kingdom.  We waited almost 40 minutes for an MK bus, the people already at the bus stop said they had seen 3-4 of all the other busses.  In the end, they waited just over an hour. I might have thought they were exagerating, except that as we went to all the other stops, others were saying the exact same thing. The bus was packed, but we eventually made it to the Magic Kingdom.

We had decided to start the night in the back of the park. Debated getting Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Moutain  fast passes, decided to get BTMR.  Then went and got dinner at Columbia Harbor House.  First time there, thought it was pretty good.  DS said the new chicken nuggets were much better than the old strips, DD said they were fine.  After our dinner we walked on to Haunted Mansion, then made our way thru the Spectro crowds over to Splash Mountain but the wait was up to 50 minutes so we headed over to Adventureland.  Kids hopped on Flying Carpets as Wishes started. That was neat. As soon as they were done we went over to the Jungle Cruise.  I love the Jungle Cruise, I love every single corny joke.   Maybe because I had friends on the College Program that were Jungle Cruise Skippers, but it’s one of my favorites and my dear family only indulges me every couple of trips.  Pirates in undergoing refurb, so I get to go on Jungle Cruise.  nce Wishes is still going we’re able to walk right up and get on the next boat. Captain Sarah is great, and we play along with everything.  Now I have to say, the other group in our boat did not seem to get the jokes (or the point of the ride), that’s ok, I was having fun. Then something that I’ve never seen happen, we come up on another boat who’s captain yells over that there’s a boat in front of her that’s dead in the water. Yep, we got stuck on the Jungle Cruise.  Poor Captain Sarah, she said it was her first night and I’m sure it’s one she’ll never forget/  She went thru every joke she learned, then I tried to help by asking about the “local vegetation” So she was able to show us the “High”biscus and the “low”biscus.  The Captain of the boat in front of us started yelling out knock knock jokes to our boat and then moved on to singing “if you’re happy and you know it”   Boats are now backing up behind us and none of the radios seem to be working. I really wish I could have seen what was happening at the dock when there weren’t any boats showing up.   After a good half hour, they managed to get a boat out there to tow the dead boat back home and then we resumed our three hour tour (oops, sorry wrong story )

Crowds dropped significantly after Extra Magic Hours started and we were able to ride Splash & BTMR a couple of times with practically no wait.  We went over to Fantasy Land and DS & I rode the Tea Cups. DD was starting to crash, and not feel well at all.  She toughed it out, mainly because she’s 14 & stubborn and she was the one talking about staying at Magic Kingdom till 2am since park hours were released.  It was time for a snack so went and had Dole Whips (in honor of  Bawb–for those who listen to the DISunplugged podcast).
We moved over to Tomorrowland, rode the Wedway People Mover, Space Mountaintn & Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. We left the park just before 2am, got a bus no problem and were back to our room in no time flat.

All in all, a very good 1st day, Just wish DD would feel better.

Party Time

One of the “problems” with the Disney Dining Plan is that by the time you eat an appetizer, entree and dessert, you’ve spent a lot of time eating. We caught our bus to Magic Kingdom, I grabbed our party tickets from Will Call and then we went for a ride on the Monorail. I had planned to check out the decorations at all of the monorail resorts, but after that long meal, we didn’t have time. Off to the Grand Floridian to see the famous (infamous?) gingerbread house. The first thing you see though is the tree, wow that’s big! and beautiful! We went downstairs to see the house and it was as impressive as always, but I wanted to get to the party! Back on the monorail and to MK.

It’s almost 6pm when we walk in (an hour later than I had planned on) it’s very crowded up front, day people will be leaving soon but the party is sold out.   We make our way up Main St, trying to not lose anyone. I’m more worried about losing Dad than my kids, lol!  We stop in front of The Plaza as Wishes starts. My kids & DH take off to ride Space Mtn, while Dad, Jackie and I watch the fireworks. That was pretty neat, Wishes isn’t my favorite, but I really enjoyed it this time. Maybe it was because of the wide eye awe of Dad & Jackies faces… We head to Tomorrowland to find the rest of my family and find out that they rode Buzz Lightyear instead because Space Mountain had a 40 minute wait. So we promise DS –who swears that he wants to ride all of the roller coasters on this trip. We’ve heard this before, and then he ends up “not in the mood” so we’ll see this time.   Anyways, we promise that we will ride Space Mountain later when the line goes down. So we walk, and Indy Cars have a 10minute wait?!? DS usually wants to ride in June in the 100+ heat with an hour wait, so 10 minutes, go ride!  Off they go while DH & I enjoy a few minutes alone.  Next we make our way to Fantasy Land. The park was crowded, but we found most of the lines to be 10 minutes or less. Jackie & I watched while the rest rode Cindy’s Carousel, then since they had loved Muppet Vision we were headed to Mickey’s Philharmagic. We told them how the technology improvements puts Muppet Vision to shame, we walk in, stand in line for a few minutes and then see the people at the front of the line leave. Huh? What’s going on? I have to say this was the worst managed thing all trip. Word spread through the guests that something broke and they weren’t sure when it would be fixed. There was a Cast Memeber at the front of the line, but they never “announced” to the rest of us and it took another 5 minutes or so before they put a Cast Memeber at the door to let people know what was happening.  Bummer, no Philharmagic.  So we moved on to Snow Whites Scary Adventure, 5 min wait, then Small World,  where we walked right on.  Everything was nice & clean and bright, good job on the refurb. Dad & Jackie thought it was really neat.  Skipped Pooh Bear & Peter Pan for now because the lines were longer and made our way towards the back of the park. It’s been awhile since we’ve eaten, so it’s time to get cookies & cocoa. We sat outside Columbia Harbor House, ate our cookies and listened to carolers. I love the Christmas Party!   The weather was good, I was wearing jeans, t-shirt and had a sweatshirt tied around my waist and I was perfectly comfortable. We finished our snack and went to Haunted Mansion.  We walked right in, I was actually a little bummed because I didn’t get to see everything outside and this was our 1st time back since it went thru refurb. WOW!!! They did a Fantastic job on the refurb!   And seeing Dad & Jackies faces when the hitchhiker joined them was priceless!

It was almost time for the 1st parade so we scooted through Frontier Land and headed to Splash Mtn. This was not Dad & Jackies thing, so they went to shop & watch the parade.  Splash had a 10 minute wait posted, but it was actually only as long as it took to walk thru the queue to the boats.  1st Mtn of the night.  DH & DS (who’s awfully brave all of a sudden) get the 1st row, DD & I 2nd row. Y’all know “the big drop”, well next to that is where the boats go first, to go up. Timing is everything as they say, and as we went up, a boat came down and I caught their splash full on! Yep, my entire right side was soaked!   I’ve still got the rest of the ride to get through and then there it is, the big drop. DS is loving this and at the bottom, he ducks.   Did I mention he’s right in front of me?  Yeah, what wasn’t wet already, has now been taken care of and DS, he’s laughing hysterically!  He’s not the biggest 10 year old, his head doesn’t even come to the top of the seat on the boat, so he really wouldn’t have blocked much of the water but it was the principle of it.  DD complains about being wet until we get to the ladies room and she sees just how wet I am.  Thankfully she’s smart enough to stop complaining. Well, the parade is still going and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad says 20 minutes. I say no thanks, I’m too wet, you all go ahead.  So DH, DD & DS walk in and the wait sign switches to 10 min. That’s 2 Mountains in one night now for DS and he’s happy and excited.   Is my baby growing up? 

 
The parade is finally over so we try to find Dad & Jackie. Cell phones are wonderful things, when people answer them!  I’m learning that Dad has his in a holster on his hip, and he doesn’t hear it, ever! Somehow the kids see them in the crowd and we catch up.  Time is really flying, not too long till Holiday Wishes.  We head towards Pirates to see how long the wait is, yay! 5 minutes. I love walking on to rides! Love the Davey Jones things, and Capt Jack Sparrow is so life like, my DS still doesn’t believe me that it’s not a real person.  Wow, we’ve gotten through just about everything that we thought Dad & Jackie would be interested in. We walk up towards Crystal Palace, get a spot to watch the fireworks and DD gets us more cookies & cocoa. I was really liking the warm cocoa, I wasn’t dripping anymore, but I certainly wasn’t anywhere near dry. Thank goodness that it was so nice that night, not like Sun/Mon nights!  Wishes was good, Holiday Wishes was really good. Dad was just amazed, he’s never seen anything like this before. After the fireworks Dad & Jackie are ready to call it a night. We walk towards Main St with them and say good night.  Back to Tomorrowland! First we decide to check out the shops and look at sweatshirts. The party sweatshirt was ok, but not as nice as the one from 2001 that was tied around my waist. Now DD is getting hungry, really? I’m still full from lunch.  Since it’s almost time for the 2nd parade we head to Pecos Bill’s, she get’s Counter Service and we watch the parade from the benches on the porch. Maybe not the best view, but we were sitting. We got some extra fries & a coke to share and everyone started to perk back up. Back through Fantasy Land and I finally get to ride Pooh Bear.  Don’t ask me why, but I love this ride.   I usually skip it because it always has long lines, but now it’s 5 minutes!  Then we catch Peter Pan, it say’s 20 minutes, but was closer to 10.  Allright, back to Tomorrow Land.  DS still wants to go on Space Mountain.  10 minutes, all right let’s go. There he is in the 1st row again, in the past he would get off a ride, we’d ask “did u like it?” he’d say “ya, but I don’t want to go again” now he’s in the 1st row on Space Mountain?! I haven’t been on this in years, I forgot how much fun it is! DS wants to go again!   Wait, I didn’t get to go on Buzz yet and it’s 11:30. So we go ride Buzz, DD & I lose to the boys yet again and then back to Space Mountain. It’s almost midnight, but here we go again. I can’t believe we’re still riding rides and everyone is happy at the end of the party!  We make our way out of the park, sad that we never made it to Main St during the party. We missed the snow! Wow, what a magical party. The castle lights were amazing, everyone had fun and was happy and DS hit all 3 mountains in one night .  Triple Mountain Whammy accomplished!  There really is a Santa Claus!

Next up: AK & Boma


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