Disney's 10 Most Magical Experiences
An Epcot Illuminations Cruise Each evening boatloads of visitors depart from the docks of Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Disney's Yacht Club headed for Epcot. Their destination is a prime position under the bridge between the United Kingdom and France for a view of the Illuminations fireworks spectacular. Cruises are offered nightly with your choice of either a pontoon boat seating 10 or a beautiful reproduction of a 1930s Chris Craft accommodating 6-7 people. Although reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance, they sometimes sell out on the first day. Call 407-WDW-PLAY.
Dinner at the California Grill The California Grill on the 15th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort is a definite highlight for any connoisseur of cutting-edge cuisine. Through immense windows is an unbeatable panorama of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon and on many nights picture-perfect views of the Wishes fireworks. From pristinely fresh sushi to the exceptional New American Cuisine to sensational desserts and the outstanding California wine list, this place has it all.
Breakfast With Cinderella High atop Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom is your chance to feast in a fairytale setting with Cinderella, Jasmine, Aladdin, and Belle. Kids love the grand dining room where through glittering leaded-glass windows is a birds-eye view of Fantasyland. The characters make their way around the dining room and give each child quality time signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Beachside Vista of the Magic Kingdom's Fireworks On evenings when fireworks are on the Magic Kingdom's agenda, head to one of the Polynesian Resort's idyllic white-sand beaches, grab a hammock, kick back, and view the festivities.
Your First Glimpse of Cinderella's Castle As you walk under the train station at the Magic Kingdom and into a world of make believe, the splendor of Main Street is spread out before you with that celebrated fairy tale castle sitting at the end.
The Sight of Exotic Animals Grazing Below Your Guestroom Balcony A stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge comes with a view of its marvelous savanna filled with hundreds of roaming exotic animals. After dark the preserves are lit with a moon glow effect, perfect for a nighttime stroll or after dinner entertainment from your room balcony.
A Picturesque Ride on the Monorail Hop on board Disney's favorite form of transportation for a delightful journey around the Seven Seas Lagoon, through the interior of the Contemporary Resort, past the Magic Kingdom, and off through the pine trees on your way to Epcot.
Cocktails in the Grand Lobby of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort This resort's favorite gathering spot is an exquisitely soaring, 5-story lobby of stained-glass cupolas and filigreed chandeliers. Find a seat on a cushy sofa and take pleasure in the lively big band orchestra while sipping a strawberry-topped glass of champagne.
Reliving the Drive-In of Your Youth At Disney-MGM Studios At the Sci-fi Dine-In Theatre, guests are served in sleek 1950s-era convertibles while watching B-grade sci-fi and horror trailers on the big screen. Waiters on roller skates carhop the darkened, starlit theater, speaker boxes hang on the side of your car and, of course, popcorn and hot dogs dance on the screen during intermission. Though the food is just so-so, who cares when Godzilla is your entertainment.
A Float Through Splash Mountain Who can resist the charms of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and the rest of the gang, even if it culminates in one heck of a plunge? Drift round the briar patch in a hollowed-out log while toe-tapping music plays among the cabbages and carrots, jugs of moonshine, chirpin' birds, and croakin' frogs as you relax and bob your head to the beat. As you float through bayous, marshes, and caverns, all a delight to the eyes with loads of colorful detail and too-cute cavorting characters, the heartwarming theme song "Time To Be Moving Along" plays. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Cara Goldsbury is the author of The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World: How to Get the Most Out of the Best Disney Has to Offer available at 800-247-6553, www.luxurydisneyguide.com, Amazon.com, or your local bookstore.
Visit her at www.luxurydisneyguide.com
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560 full-color images prove that a picture is worth 1,000 words!
The Color Companion is perfect for pairing with The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World ("the big book") or it can stand alone to provide you with what you need to know in a flash when you're visiting the park. While the Unofficial Guide gives you more than 800 pages of highly detailed information on planning, staying and surviving your visit to Walt Disney World, The Color Companion also takes the "Unofficial" approach, but SHOWS you where you'll be staying and what you'll be doing -- in a trim 360-page book, perfect for tucking into a backpack or totebag.
This unique visual guide that lets you see how wet you'll get on Splash Mountain® (p. 166), what the crowd conditions are at different times of day in Fantasyland® (p. 34), and how the parks are decked out for various holidays (p. 280). Hundreds of fun full-color photos make this book a perfect keepsake, as well as an incredibly useful on-the-ground resource. The Color Companion provides reviews of all the Walt Disney World® resorts, including pictures of the guest rooms, swimming pools, and resort themes. As with the Unofficial "big book", attractions and resorts are rated based on surveys of thousands of Walt Disney World® guests and the proven, firsthand advice will teach you how to plan and save money on your Walt Disney World® vacation. As always, The Unofficial series is completely independent. If a restaurant serves lackluster food or an attraction is not worth the wait, we'll tell you.
Check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World®, the bestselling independent guide to Walt Disney World® and the perfect companion to this full-color guide.
The Unofficial Guide Guerrilla Research Tactics
Amazon-exclusive content from the authors
What makes The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World so “unofficial”? There’s madness to the methodology – the detailed research that goes into the Unofficial Guides is just as quirky as the guides themselves.
• We’ve slept in every Disney resort multiple times and more than 80 Orlando-area properties. Only once did we wake up covered in bugs. (It was an off-site hotel.)
• We test hotel room soundproofing using a sophisticated digital sound meter and a copy of The Who’s Greatest Hits.
• The first time we did Orlando spa reviews, one of our researchers had an eyebrow burned off during a waxing that went horribly awry.
• We once logged more than 700 miles in one week on buses to test Disney’s transportation system, and never left Disney property. The bus drivers got so used to us being on board that one forgot we were there and took us back to the station when his shift ended.
• We also test pillow fluffiness using a measurement process we invented. We were going to use a fake human head as part of the test, but worried about getting it through airport security. We settled on a gallon jug of water, which is about the same size and weight as an average adult’s noggin.
• We’ve dined at every sit-down restaurant multiple times. When we test counter-service restaurants, we order at least one of everything on the menu, and break up in to small teams to sample each thing. I think we’ve tried every counter-service food item in every Disney theme park.
• Our crowd prediction models take in to account everything from the day of week and time of year, to the vacation schedules of the fifty largest school districts east of the Mississippi, to weather phenomena including temperature, rainfall and humidity.
• A few dozen hearty readers per year participate in something called The Ultimate Magic Kingdom Touring Plan, which is a computer-optimized guide to seeing every ride, show, live performance, parade and fireworks in the Magic Kingdom (between 50 and 60 separate attractions, depending on refurbishments) in a single day. The current record is 55 attractions in 11 hours, 38 minutes. The average wait in line per attraction is less than 2 minutes. Despite sounding more like an endurance race than a vacation, families love it. A few have sent photo albums chronicling their day.
Data is analyzed by a professional statistician, who helps us build models of park wait times.
The person who helps us figure out the best Disney deals is a PhD economist at their day job.
The person who explains key points in theme park architecture for us is a professional urban designer with experience on a number of Disney projects.
Our advice for children comes from a nationally-recognized child psychologist.
Len wrote his Masters thesis on how computer programs could create efficient touring plans for theme parks. He was awarded a U.S. patent for this research, which was also published in academic journals.
Author: Len Testa
Company: Wiley (2010-03-22)
List Price: $19.99
Amazon Price: $3.98
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