Thursday, April 30, 2015

Disneyland vs Disneyworld: Battle of Star Tours . Which one is Better?

Unlike our first battle between the Haunted Mansions –this battle isn’t much of a battle.
Battle # 2.  The Battle of Star Tours
The Ride

Star Tours at Disneyland and the Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are the same exact ride.  Of course you couldn’t just go on Star Tours in Orlando once and go on Star Tours in Disneyland once and know that. The Brilliance of the updated Star Tours is that you can literally have a different experience every time.   With multiple destinations randomly selected each time you ride the ride presents you with adventure after adventure, especially if you are a casual park visitor.   Even if you are a Star Wars fan and annual  pass holder like myself and have seen all the planets— The different combinations makes you come back over and over again.
 Winner: Tie

The Line:
Here is where we have a clear winner.   Being a Disneyland Pass holder –I’m biased towards Disneyland in many of these battles.   But Disney’s Hollywood Studios –wins hands down in this case.  In Disneyland we just walk into a building.
 In Orlando they have an AT-AT and a Ewok Village. 
 In Disneyland we have a store.
 In Orlando they have a store that looks like something from  Tatooine  
 And Orlando also has a speeder bike photo op.  
Disneyland has no photo op.

The Winner:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
What do you think?

Check out Part 2 of our Disney Discussion on our Podcast

My Disney facebook page is below 

40% off everything 728x90

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shopping Disney: The Adventure Outpost: Indy merchandise

Other than Disney and Star Wars the other thing I'm the biggest fan of is Indiana Jones.   Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie of all-time and the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland is hands down one of my favorite rides.  So even though it hasn't changed in 20 years I had to take the family to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show when we went to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  

Once we finished the ride I had to check out the Adventure Outpost to see if they had any new Indy merchandise.

Here is a glimpse at the Indy merchandise that they had at Disney's Hollywood Studios

I still wish they would come out with a Goofy Indy... Because that would be amazing.   Mickey Indy is pretty cool though

I love that they carry some of the books in Orlando.  Being a huge Indy fan I read them all years ago and would recommend them to any Indy fan.   They don't stock these at Disneyland --I wish they would and I wish some new ones would come out as well.

I especially loved the look of this shirt.

Let's hope that now that Disney owns Lucasfilm that more Indy will be on the way sometime soon.

My Disney facebook page is below 

40% off everything 728x90

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ultimate Epcot: If money was no object --What would you add to Epcot: Part 2 England

  What would I change at Epcot if money was no object?

 I thought this would be a fun little interactive new weekly blog where I will post my thoughts and then ask what you would like to see  "If money was no object"  Think big....Like Carsland or Harry Potter big.  Some of my ideas you may love----others you may absolutely hate.....  Feel free to chime in with ideas of your own and each weeks topic.

In part 1 we attacked Canada..  Now it is time to talk about what we could add to England.

The first obvious choice that everyone mentions is a Mary Poppins dark ride.   My personal take on this idea is probably just not practical from a ride efficiency or ride safety point of view --but it would make a great and interesting ride.

Think of a dark ride that takes you through all the cool scenes in the movie Mary Poppins --where the ride vehicles are carousel horses that bounce up and down along a track taking you along side by side tracks through the scenes.  

You would go through scenes like the tea party on the ceiling.

The Iconic Step in Time Dancing on the Rooftops scene.

The Penguin Waiters

And then the carousel horses on the two tracks would go through a race sequence through an animated forest that would end on the race track.

I know ....Despite the expense the ride vehicles would be impractical and safety would be a concern --unless a new type of safety restraint for the horses could be designed.   But wouldn't it be fun to have a slow moving carousel ride that then had a faster race like sequence.  It would be a dark ride variation of the old steeplechase rides for early theme parks.

Another England attraction could be a children's dark ride that takes you through the world of 101 Dalmatians.  A Mr. Toad's like car ride where you are driving through the English countryside and the streets of London trying to get away from Cruella and her henchmen.

The last big "if money was no object"  attraction would be a Alice in Wonderland area.   And not just a duplicate of the area at Disneyland with its children's dark ride and the teacups.

It would be a large E-Ticket attraction themed to the live action Alice which made over a billion dollars worldwide.  The entrance would be a giant Labyrinth  hedge Maze .  The main attraction which would be a Spiderma/ Harry Potter type ride through the Mad Mad world of Alice in Wonderland.

(Photo from a blog I did on Miceage from the Touring exhibit at Comic Con before the film came out)

Just imagine a wild out of control ride through the crazy  version of Alice's world Tim Burton created on film.  A sequel is already in the works so this would be a perfect addition to this area. 

(Photo from a blog I did on Miceage --from the Touring exhibit at Comic Con before the film came out)

What do you think?    

What would you put in England to plus or add to it "If money was no object"?

Next Week I will Share my Ideas for France.....(Thinking big here)

To follow my new Disney facebook page go here.

40% off everything 728x90

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Exploring World Showcase at Epcot: Part 3 France

Up next on our tour around the World Showcase is France.

Visiting France is one of the reasons we decided to start in Canada instead of the Mexico side of World Showcase.    France was definitely at the top of our list --because we have a whole history with the Eiffel Tower  (even though we have never been to the real one).   One of our first romantic dinners that me and my wife had was in the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas and every time we would see an Eiffel Tower while somewhere we would think of it as a sign. 

I proposed to my wife it was on her birthday after a dinner at the Bellagio, when I took her up to the the top of the Las Vegas Eiffel Tower and proposed  --so we were excited to see the French Pavilion and visit another version of it.

Here is the approach view to France when you leave England.

There is the Tower in the Background. 

Since our visit happened during the Flower and Garden Festival  there were several character topiaries including Cinderella

I love the look of these signs which are also a main feature in the Las Vegas version of Paris.

 Here is my stepdaughter posing with the Beast and Belle

The Beast
France features numerous shops that carry French goods and many Eiffel Tower items.   We really needed at least 2 days for Epcot,  but since we were doing 4 parks in 4 days,  with my step daughter's Cheer competition at the end of the trip we didn't have that extra time -so we really had to pick and choose which things we really got to immerse ourselves in.    My wife took the kids shopping and then to get some pastries at Les Halles Boulangeris Patisserie.

My mission was to try the Chocolate Ice Cream Martini that I had seen online on a Disney blog awhile back.  This can be found at the  L'Artisan des Glaces artisan ice cream and sorbet shop.

Mission accomplished and boy was it good even as it melted in the sun.

We skipped out on the "Impression de France film -as we were trying to see as many countries as possible before our dinner reservations and had mistakenly wasted about an hour of time in Universe of Energy (I'll save my thoughts on that for a different blog).    I've seen the "Impression de France" before and it is a quality film that takes you on a scenic journey of France that shows you cool images from all over the country.   My wife didn't seem interested with our time crunch and the kids in tow --but I will take her there next time (I'm just afraid that once she does see it she will be booking our trip to the actual Eiffel Tower.)

There was another place we definitely would have stopped and spent some time at without the kids --which was the Les Vins de France Wine Shop and Tasting Room --where you could sample Champagne and buy French Wines.

I'm already making my list of things to do the next time in the France Pavilion.   We would love to dine at Chefs de France or the upscale Monsieur Paul.

To sum it up we loved our brief trip to France in World Showcase.  I can't wait to go back and spend even more time in France on our next trip.     I'll discuss some of my ideas for how to make France even better in my series of blogs called Ultimate Epcot if money was no object (which so far I've discussed Canada).

My Disney facebook page is below 

40% off everything 728x90

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Disney Attraction Review: Test Track

I remember the last time I had visited Epcot over 10 years ago and the thing I was most excited to see was Mission Space.   It was the newest ride and therefore at the top of my to do list.  Well Test Track ended up being my surprise favorite ride from that trip. (Mission Space just made me have to sit down for a while to pick my stomach off the ground) .  So this trip Test Track was on my radar and we were equipped with a Fastpass to avoid the long lines.   Test Track has been through a refurbishment since my last trip so had a new fresh look to replace the old Test Dummy theme from before.

The inside portion of the ride feels and looks like it was meant to be a Tron Themed ride.
  I think that is what they may have wanted to do Tron –but instead stayed with a theme that was in line with their sponsor.  The ride has pretty much the same theme as before with you taking a car on a test drive to see how it handles all the elements and situations a car will have to deal with. The new look and interactive elements make it even better than was before.

The dark ride portion is fun and the high speed racing through banked turns finish is a blast.   I can imagine how much better it would have been with a total Tron makeover and the sounds of Daft Punk playing during your ride  The mega-hit Radiator Springs Racers in DCA’s Carsland is based on Test Track which is such a good ride system.  Test Track is definitely the highlight ride currently at Epcot and the additions they added during its refurbishment have made it even better.   Test Track is one of the attractions that Disney has made better with the addition of an interactive line that adds to the ride and even after the ride.  You get to virtually design your own car before you ride and then the ride gives your design scores throughout the attraction.  The kids could have spent a half an hour just designing their cars. Here were their designs in progress:

 The kids loved the competitive aspect of the attraction and then after the ride there was a whole section with interactive experiences. The kids could make a commercial featuring the car they had designed and race it in a game.  The fun was endless—we literally had to drag the kids out of there in order to do more stuff. Below is a picture of the game where you could race your design.

I’d say that this ride got the approval of the entire family from start to finish line.  It is an E Ticket in the traditional sense and definitely the  best ride currently at Epcot.   A 10 out of 10  --With a Tron theme it would be an 11 out of 10.

My Disney facebook page is below 

40% off everything 728x90