Episode 345: Jason is back this week and we talk about maximizing Genie Plus! With the Q1 earnings call happening this past week, we know for sure that Genie is here to stay. We give our thoughts on how to improve it and how to best use it for your next trip. We also discuss more about the Q1 earnings call and what more we can expect Disney and CEO to do as a result. We also talk about some Genie Plus news. Jon and I have finished watching Book of Boba Fett and we try to talk about our feelings on season 1 without spoiling the ending for Jason. Another big Star Wars story in the news was the release date for the Obiwan Kenobi series on Disney Plus. I talk about how excited I am about it until I see who all is involved with the production and then I start getting nervous. How do you feel about the Obiwan Series?
Episode 343: Today we welcome James back to the show! James is Jon’s brother and although he has technically been on the show before, this is the first time we have properly had him on the show as a guest. James just returned from Walt Disney World after a week long trip! He and his family did a split stay and Caribbean Beach and the Polynesian. They rented DVC points for their stay at Polynesian and he talks about that process and why it works well for them. This was their first trip since the pandemic started so they experienced several firsts for them. They did try out Disney Genie on multiple days of their trip and he gives and honest opinion on it. They also experienced several different dinning experiences including a character meal. We also find out that James is the first one of us to actually go see the Hall of Presidents in this century and that his dream job would be to do maintenance work on the monorails.
Episode 342: Jon just returned from a trip to Walt Disney World! He goes through his trip in which he stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge. He gives his review of the resort and his recommendation for room location. He also had several dining reviews at places like, Coral Reef, Boma and Skipper Canteen. He also tried Genie Plus for the first time and he gives us his experience with that. Now that we’ve all had experience with it, should we give our list of pros and cons? Let us know!
Episode 340: We have returned from the holidays and we have a double trip report for you! Yes, Jason returned from a New Year’s Disney Cruise and Adam and Jason both had trips to Walt Disney World. Both of them got to experience Harmonious at Epcot and the New Year’s fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Jason informs us about his first cruise experience since covid-19 began. Also, with Omicron surging we get to see what if any precautions Disney is taking. Jason has an announcement about something that happened while on his cruise.
Episode 338: We are back after the Thanksgiving break and we decided that with all of the negative news lately that we should take a look back at some happy Disney memories that we have had over the years! But first we hit some of the latest headlines from the past couple of weeks. There was a lackluster Disney parks update from Josh D’Amaro. There are a more shakeups in the leadership of the company. (Hopefully for the better) and Disney World has stopped selling annual passes. We all saw different things on Disney+ over the break and we give our reviews. Then we get into the happy Disney memories segment. We start by talking about our favorite holiday memories at Disney and the conversation evolves from there. We hope that it will be more uplifting than what the current vibe is around the Disney community right now.
Episode: 334 Well, it happened. Disney Genie is now officially a thing. We got a chance to play around with it and listened to a lot of first hand experience with the new service. We give our honest opinions of the service. We also go through each park and give a thumbs up or down on whether or not we think it is worth the extra money to add to your day. We also have other news to discuss. There’s a new road project around the Grand Floridian that got out attention. Could something new be planned for that area around the Magic Kingdom? Also, there’s some concerning news out of Imagineering. It seems that not everyone is willing to make the move to Florida. Could we be entering a new dark age for Imagineering?
Episode 332: This week Jon previews his upcoming trip to Walt Disney World! We also revisit our thoughts on the new nighttime spectaculars and see if our thoughts have changed now that we have had a week to mull it over. We also discuss some news like the return of character meets. It will be a modified experience than it was pre-covid but at least the character meets are coming back! Also, the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is return in December. Cast compliments can now be done on the My Disney Experience app and passholders are soon going to have exclusive effects when entering the parks at the tap-styles. During Jon’s trip this week he plans to see the new nighttime shows in person and will also dine at Ohana and Steakhouse 71. We look forward to hearing all about it next week!
Episode 331: Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World! Jason and I just return from our last pre-50th trip and we have a report on what we saw there last week. At the time of our recording we just finished watching the Disney Enchantment fireworks show that is replacing Happily Ever After. We give our unfiltered feedback of it. We also give our review of Harmonious which just debuted at Epcot. We like one of them much more than the other. We experience Ratatouille Adventure and we dined at Space 220. We give our reviews of those as well. I purchased some of the 50th anniversary merch and I talk about what that experience was like. We also hung out at Trader Sam’s for the first time this trip. And experienced our first evac off of a ride. All in all a lot of new things that we experienced this week at Walt Disney World! What are you most excited about?
Episode:329 In today’s episode we talk a lot about food! Space 220’s menu is released and we take a look through it and talk about what catches our eye. Jason and I try to decide if the menu is enticing enough for us to try and get in the walk-up line for it. Yes, that’s right there’s no reservations for the first week, it is walk-up only. We also have a debate over how popular this restaurant will be. Space 220 comes with an out of this world price tag on the prix fixe menu. In other culinary news, some more buffet style restaurants are re-opening soon and we quickly rank the best sit-down restaurants at Magic Kingdom. In some non-culinary news Primeval Whirl looks like it will finally get demolished and Finding Nemo will get a new show next year. We only hope that the new show will be a little bit shorter than the last one. To wrap the show Jon and I do a brief recap of our trip to Disney 20 years ago. We were at Disney just 2 days after 9/11 in 2001. It was certainly a surreal experience.
Episode 328: Today we discuss the latest Disney news and we tease a trip report from Jason! I say tease because don’t actually get to it. Why? well, Jason fell asleep while doing the show. See if you can spot when it happens. Before all of that excitement, we start the show by mancrushing on Josh D’amaro. (hence, the title of the episode) We also discuss the new additions to the parks for the 50th anniversary. Ratatouille had a bit of a fender bender that caused some delay during the passholder previews. Lightning Lane signs continue to replace the old Fast pass+ signs. Expedition Everest will undergo its lengthiest refurbishment next year. We hope it is to fix the yeti but Jason places a wager that it won’t happen. Let’s hold him to it but only if he’s wrong. Creations gift shop is suppose to open in a few days at Epcot but will Club Cool?
Episode: 326 We catch up on the news this week and talk more about the Disney Genie. After a week to mull over the Disney Genie news we discuss how we feel about it today. In other news The monorail continues to have issues. Fingerprint scanning is back. Club cool is nearing completion. Rumors are circulating that the budget has been slashed for the Splash mountain retheme to Princess and the Frog. We really hope that these rumors turn out to be false. This leads us into a discussion about how the Chapek era so far has been a season of price hikes and decreased value. Perhaps some competition from Universal can help? Let us know your thoughts!
Episode 324: Today we recap the latest Disney news and Jason weighs in with his thoughts on the Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser announcements. We cover some other news like the first Boo Bash and what we think of it compared to the Halloween Party. Is it worth the hefty price tag? We also start talking about some of the recent job posting that Disney has been hiring for at Walt Disney World. Some of those include Monorail cast members and Skyliner cast members. That got us thinking, if we could have any cast member job at Disney…What would it be? We give some updates to the Scarlet Johannsen Disney legal battle and we reveal that we scored a passholder preview for Remy’s Ratatouille adventure at Epcot. We wrap up the show by hearing from Jason on if he think the Galactic Starcruiser is worth it.
Episode 322: I discuss my most recent trip to Walt Disney World to rekindle the magic. With all of the recent negative news about price hikes and money grabs I needed a good weekend at Walt Disney World to remind us why we love it so much. My weekend trip did just that! One of the often overlooked factors as to why Disney is so great is those special Cast Members that create magic for you. It may not happen every trip but in my experience there’s always at least one Cast Member that goes above and beyond to make a memorable experience for me. I tell about a few of those cast members that I came across this weekend. We do begin the Episode by discussing some of the news going on in the world of Disney. The big story of the week is the mask mandate returning for all guests indoors. This decision comes on the heels of the CDC guidance update in response to the delta variant. The Destination D23 event is already sold out but we preview some of the presentations and we can’t wait to hear from Josh D’amaro!
It has been one year since Walt Disney World re-opened during the Covid-19 pandemic. I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at my trip in July 2020. This was probably the least crowded I have ever seen the parks. The only other time I can recall it being similar crowd levels was in September 2001. Jon and I went to Walt Disney World just 2 days after 9/11 and the parks were also empty. This time was just as surreal because we were in the middle of the pandemic and things were only getting worse at that time so the future was very uncertain. There was definitely a feeling of…are we supposed to be here? It felt like we were doing something we weren’t allowed to do but were somehow getting away with.
Our first stop upon arrival was the Magic Kingdom. We arrived 2 hours before closing and the park was a ghost town. It was both exciting and a little un-nerving. As you can see here, Fantasyland was very quiet. There were only a few people walking around and even fewer people on the rides. In the picture you can see one lonely stroller here parked outside of Prince Charming Regal Carousel. We made our way over to see what the wait for Peter Pan looked like and to our surprise there was nobody in line.
The line was empty for both Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small world. We walked right on to both of those attractions. You can see below a group of two guests exiting the boat as we made our way through the queue.
After waiting in the longest line of the day for 7 dwarfs mine train (5 minutes) we decided to walk back over to the storybook circus area to see if anyone was back there. This section of the park tends to get pretty quiet towards the end of the day during normal times but on this day it was empty.
You can see another lone stroller parked near the entrance to Under the Sea-Journey of the little Mermaid. We walked right onto this attraction and yet again saw one group of guests exiting the ride as we were boarding. We had the whole ride to ourselves. After our journey under the sea we walked over and rode Dumbo and Barnstormer multiple times. By the time our kids were tired of Barnstormer the park was about to close.
There was a good 20 minutes or so where we didn’t see another guest while we were back in Storybook Circus. We only saw the cast members who were operating the attractions and the custodial cast members that were preparing for nightly cleaning.
Once we made our way towards Tomorrowland the park was closed. We started our slow walk out of the park because we had a dinner reservation at California Grill and it was only a short walk away.
As we walked out through Main Street we encountered the biggest crowd of the day. The remaining guests were walking out with us as Mickey and friends waved goodbye. I snapped this picture looking back towards Cinderella Castle.
In my next blog I will talk about my 3 hour dinner at California Grill and how great it was to actually sit an eat at a restaurant after being stuck in quarantine for several months. You can hear about this trip from our podcast episode from last year
Episode: 319. We take a look at what is coming to Walt Disney World on their 50th Anniversary! We also cover some other news and we take a trip back to 1971 and we ask the question…What you rope drop at Magic Kingdom if you could go back to 1971? We also ask another interesting question, If you could go back to anytime during the 50 year history of Walt Disney World, what year would you choose to visit? That’s a tough question! In the news, Jon and I both saw Luca recently so we give our review of it. The Incredibles themed rooms at the contemporary look…nice. Harrison Ford is injured on the set of Indiana Jones 5 and the jungle cruise continues to add new scenes during their operating refurbishment. A fast pass kiosk was uncovered and turned on at Magic Kingdom so naturally it got people wondering if it is coming back. In Disneyland new, their Rise of the Resistance saw a record breaking number of boarding groups called. I was shocked when I saw the number. Can Hollywood Studios catch up to Disneyland’s numbers?
Episode 302: Today we revisit our strategy for our first challenge run and we discuss how much we learned from that experience! Looking back on it is pretty funny to hear, knowing what we know today. The inexperience shows in the clips that we play from that episode (episode 192). We have learned so much since then, but it takes knowledge and experience to be a good challenge runner. We also discuss some of the latest Disney news but there wasn’t that much this week. The contemporary is getting new rooms, The Key to the World cards look a lot like the luggage tags we used to get and a super bowl champ made a visit to Walt Disney World. Jason and I will be at Disney World this week so look for a trip report next week.
Episode 287: This week we discuss the recent somber news coming out of Disney. 28,000 cast members across the Parks division have been laid off. We talk about what entities have been most affected and what this means for the future of the Disney Parks. California has some very strict guidelines and we go through each one. Meanwhile, Bob Iger and Josh D’aMaro have been very vocal about their distain for the state’s guidelines. Speaking of Josh, He was seen on site at Downtown Disney in California after the layoff announcement listening to cast members and letting them vent. We can’t say enough about how much we admire him for that. In other news, we give some construction updates and talk about a new feature that Disney+ just rolled out. Lastly, Jason previews his upcoming trip this week to Walt Disney World.
Episode 282: Today we have a super sized episode for you! We start by discussing the latest Disney news. Josh D’amaro made headlines during an interview where he said that the recent technological advancements that have been implemented in the parks are “here to stay” many believed that to mean that the parks reservation system is not going away. We listen to that part of the interview and our interpretation is very different than the click bait headlines. We also discuss the NBA walkout, the guest that was arrested for assaulting a security cast member over the mask policy, and the potential for Disney to increase park capacity.
We move on to discussing what we think are the best attractions to be housed in a particular show building. For example, the building that is the current home for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin was also home to other attractions in the past. We decide which attraction, past or current is the best one for each location in the parks. We go through Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom has only had one that we could think of so we left it out.
Finally, we talk about the recent Every Ride, tag team challenge that was completed this week. The four masketeers completed the challenge and we dissect their run to see just how this unique challenge was done and how the rules work.
Episode:279. Today, we reveal that one of us has tested positive for Corona-virus. We also discuss the latest Disney News. The movie release of Mulan is coming to Disney+ for an additional fee. The Disney 3rd quarter earnings call happened this week and there’s some good and bad things that came out of it. Annual Passholders are continuing to see some extra love and attention these days with extended discounts and of course a new magnet! (one per household). The average wait times for 3 of the 4 Walt Disney world parks has gone up week by week since re-opening but one park has seen wait times go down. Could you guess which one? Splash mountain had a boat sink as well this week and had to close for a couple of days. Isn’t that the attraction to have a boat sink this year?
Episode 275: Today on the show we discuss some news and the results of our recent social media polls! We caused quite the debate with our poll on which side to start with when visiting World Showcase at Epcot. Do you start with Mexico or Canada? We discuss the differing opinions and give our thoughts. We also had a poll last week where we asked which form of transportation would you most like to ride for fun…The Monorail or the Skyliner. We discuss the results of that poll as well. In the news, Walt Disney World is re-opening as we speak and the early results so far have been positive. There was a huge mistake this week with erroneous charges to annual passholders that had to be reversed. We also discuss the precautions that Disney has made to try and make the parks as safe a possible.