Monthly Archives: May 2012
Walt Disney World’s newest resort, The Art Of Animation, opens for its first guests today. Only a portion of the resort, the Finding Nemo Family Suites is open for business today, the other sections are starting to take reservations.
The resort falls into the value category which means it will not have all the amenities of the moderate and deluxe resorts but there is still plenty to offer guests including saving some hard money over the other resort classes.
The Art of Animation, when complete, will include standard rooms as well as family suites. Family suites will include two bathrooms mini kitchens and separate sleeping areas to accommodate up to six guests per room.
The resort has been divided into four distinct sections each based on a Disney or Disney/Pixar movie. Those four movies are The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo.
The rooms are decorated with each sections particular movie in mind from the bedding, carpet and the walls. Disney has done all it could to make the guest feel like they are part of the movie.
The exterior of each building has also been themed from paint schemes to statues designed to bring the movies to mind.
Like all of the resorts there is a food court, Landscape of Flavors. Offerings will include standard food court options plus some more interesting items such as buckwheat pasta, egg-white frittatas, low-fat smoothies, naan bread and roasted chicken, shrimp, sausage and acorn squash.
As with all resorts, transportation will be provided to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney.
The resort should be great for those with smaller children and the family suites are a great bonus for parents who want some privacy and the option to do a little cooking for themselves.
I love almost everything about the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. But there are a few glaring exceptions that make me grumpy. One of those was Snow White’s Scary Adventure. Fortunately for me the Fantasy Land Expansion took that ride away. It will be replaced with a meet and greet of princesses which doesn’t exactly thrill me but nothing lost right?
But that would leave Snow White, arguably the movie that really got Walt rolling, unrepresented in the Magic Kingdom. Or maybe not? Part of the Fantasyland expansion includes a very exciting ride, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Coaster Ride.
This coaster promises to be closer to the Barnstormer than Expedition Everest meaning it will be thrilling but not frightening. Kid friendly in other words. Who would have guessed since it will be in Fantasyland right? There is a twist though, it will be a rocking coaster. Not like the Rockin Roller Coaster. The cars will literally rock back and forth. All too fitting for the dwarfs I think. Check out the video below for an idea.
Get your own map of Disney World sent right to your door!
Did you know that you can order customized Disney maps? The maps come in a set which includes one for each of the four theme parks and one of the whole world! (Disney World not that other one.) You can select which rides, attractions and restaurants you want highlighted on your maps. Next you select a classic look (pictured on the left) or a character look for your maps. The maps are then sent straight to your home.
The maps are not your standard park maps you get at the gate. They are collectible quality on good paper. They are folded which distracts a little from their appearance but they come in an envelope that is worthy of keeping too! The whole set reminds me of treasure maps or old documents.
The cost? Would you believe it’s free! Yes I said free. The only thing you have to do is register at Disneyworld.com and then click here. You can even add your dates of travel if you have a trip planned and if you have kids it’s a great way to let them know they are headed to see the Mouse! The only catch, you can only order a set every six months and they take 2-3 weeks to arrive at your house. So plan ahead if you want them for a trip.
Every year Star Wars lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Characters and actors show up. Check out this video that gives some of the details from the first week of Star Wars Weekend 2012.
Grumpydisney.com continues to grow. New galleries have been added and the pages for each theme park have been created. The next step is to flesh out the pages with all the information you need to know if each attraction is for you. Grumpy will be diligently working on this over the next few weeks or more but the emphasis is on quality and not quantity. I hope you enjoy the work!
If you have missed it be sure to see one of grumpy’s personal favorites, Kilimanjaro Safaris!
Merida from Disney*Pixar’s upcoming film brave has already started making appearances at the Magic Kingdom! We may have to wait till late June to catch a glimpse of her onscreen but we can already see her in person and isn’t that better? And this meet and greet seems a little elevated from normal Disney fare as younger guests can engage in archery practice and some mischievous bears (animatronic only so don’t panic) have stopped by too. Find Merida in the Fairytale Garden.
Living with the Land is located in the Land Pavilion in Future World at Epcot. It is no doubt one of those often overlooked and under-appreciated attractions that make Epcot synonymous with boring to many Disney visitors. Nevertheless it is worth the time to see it if only to be able to say you have seen it.
The ride has two distinct phases. The first is your standard if understated Disney dark ride, meaning you are in a boat riding past Disney created landscapes and animatronics.
The first scene opens with a thunderstorm in a forest and tell us the beneficial impact of even seemingly cataclysmic events. Next the guests pass through a rain forest as they are told that even though the rain forests are a small part of the earth’s surface they have a major impact. Then the American plains open up as the narrator informs everyone how the landscape was transformed by even simple things like the hooves of the buffalo. The final scene is an American farm house complete with goats and chickens. From this we are taught the quest for more efficient food production can lead to overuse and destruction of the land. We are offered a glimmer of hope as the narrator tells us we are now learning to live with the land without destroying it for future generations.
At this point the ride shifts gears to focus on the efforts humans are making to minimize their impact on the environment while producing the food we need to sustain ourselves. This is not a standard greenhouse though. The boats enter greenhouses where some interesting crops and techniques are displayed. The key word for these greenhouse is sustainability. The crops are grown and sometimes engineered to survive with minimal resources and produce maximum results.
In the tropics greenhouse guests get to see some familiar fruits and some new faces too. Each of these fruits are edible to humans and though some are not as popular as the banana (the most popular fruit on the planet, at least among humans) the others offer the possibility to help feed an ever growing human population.
Aquaculture is the next exhibit as the boats float past aquariums filled with sustainable fish. Not every animal in this area is fishy though. There are some alligators too.
In the temperate greenhouse guests will not see any fruits they will not recognize but they may be surprised at how big these common fruits can grow when given the opportunity. Several prize winners were grown here right in Epcot. Of special interest to lemonade lovers are the nine pound lemons grown here in the greenhouse.
The string greenhouse introduces guests to some innovative growing techniques such as nutrient film technique and vertical growing. Vertical growing makes plants, like tomatoes, look like trees.The Guinness World Record is held by a tomato plant grown at Epcot. It produced over 32,000 tomatoes! This greenhouse also houses some Mickey shaped surprises.
The last greenhouse is the creative greenhouse. Here the aeroponic technique is demonstrated. Instead of planting the crops in the ground it is suspended in the air and nutrients are sprayed directly onto the root. It works too. There is also a small display of NASA experiments created for long range space expeditions.
While this ride is a great science lesson is it worth it? To some it is and to others not so much but Grumpy enjoys it. Guests can get a Fastpass and enjoy a leisurely ride will getting some much needed rest from the rest of Epcot or its a good time filler while you wait for your Soarin Fastpass which is housed in the same building.
It is also interesting to note that over 30 million tons of produce are grown here for use in Disney restaurants and some of the seafood is produced here too.