Welcome back, Mouseketeers! This week’s episode of “Traveling with the Mouse” promises to be an insightful Disney experience as we welcome our special guest, Raul.
Raul recently embarked on a magical journey to Walt Disney World with his Mom and Nephew, and what makes this trip truly unique is how we, the “Traveling with the Mouse” team, contributed to his adventure!
As Raul shares his enchanting experiences, laughter, and unforgettable moments from his trip, he delves into how our guidance, tips, and Disney insights shaped his adventure. His reflections on how different the experience would have been if he was on his own are both enlightening and heartwarming. Whether it’s navigating the theme parks, choosing the right attractions, or simply soaking in the Disney magic, Raul’s perspective adds a fresh and personal touch to the Disney vacation story.
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Episode: 364 This week we have another trip report from Walt Disney World. This time I recently returned from a trip with a group of 14 people. I found out that there are some challenges with a group of that size of course, but also that an enjoyable time with minimal wait times can still be had. With a few tricks up my sleeve we did the majority of our rides with Lightning Lanes. We did all 4 parks each day with a group of 10-14 people and I go through the strategies that I used for each park. It turned out surprisingly well! If I can get a large group through Disney and everyone had a great time then so can you! There will be a part 2 to this trip coming soon. We also cover some news that broke this week. Mainly that Bob’s contract got extended and We now know that Tiana’s bayou adventure will be opening in 2024!
Episode 333: In this episode, Jon walks us through his most recent trip to Walt Disney World. With the 50th anniversary in full swing, he lets us know what the crowds were like and his thoughts on seeing the new nighttime spectaculars in person. He also enjoyed a meal at Steakhouse 71 and gives us all of the details! I personally can’t wait to eat here. Jon also finally made it on Rise of the Resistance. He gives us his review. Meanwhile, Jason is out this week because of a back injury but we plan to all be back next week to discuss the roll-out of Disney Genie. Jon and I wrap up this episode by discussing the attractions that will be pay only. Some are good and some are bad. It will be interesting to see what the lines will be like once this goes live next week.
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?
If you’ve been to Disney’s Hollywood studios lately then you know the importance of getting there when the park opens. If you want to ride Slinky Dog Dash without an hour wait, then you need to be on the first bus or Skyliner gondola over to the park. However, what I am talking about is not a ride or an attraction. The second most important “rope drop” at Hollywood Studios happens at 10:30am. That is when Baseline Tap House opens for business each day. It has become a regular part of our Hollywood Studios routine! We feel that making this “rope drop” is just as important as securing that Rise of the Resistance boarding group or making it to the park in time to get onto Slinky Dog with a short wait.
Our Hollywood Studios Strategy…
Here’s how the last several trips to Hollywood Studios has gone for us. We get up before 7am so that we can grab that Rise of the Resistance boarding group. We get to the park at or around the time it opens and we head to Slinky Dog Dash. Sometimes we may choose to go to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway instead. After the initial ride, we may hit up Toy Story Mania or Smuggler’s Run. By the time we are done with those it is usually around 10:15am which means it is time to hightail it over to Baseline Tap House to be one of the first in line when it opens!
We regularly get the charcuterie plate, ($10.00) Bavarian pretzel, ($9.00) and the Beef Puff ($11.00). As far as the drinks go, Jason and I prefer the beers on tap while our wives tend to prefer the cocktails. I usually go the for North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner ($10.50 for the 22oz) My wife prefers the California Sunset cocktail ($14.00). Yes, I know it is 10:30 in the morning but we are on vacation! Besides, what better way to Prepare yourself for joining the resistance than by settling the nerves with a little refreshment from Baseline Tap House? You can hear more about Baseline Tap House from our recent trip report episode here!
Timing that boarding group…
I believe the sweet spot for a Rise of the Resistance boarding group is between groups thirty and forty. What that typically means is that your boarding group should be called somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30 am. This gives you plenty of time for a mid-morning drink and bite to eat at Baseline before joining the Resistance! Throughout the day this place gets and stays pretty busy so finding a table can be tricky. It is also important to find a spot in the shade. Next time you find yourself at Hollywood Studios, stop by Baseline Tap House for a nice refreshment…Tell them Traveling with the Mouse sent you!
Maybe this is common knowledge but it wasn’t to me. We even went on a VIP tour a few months ago and our VIP tour guide didn’t believe that there were any hidden Mickey’s in Galaxy’s Edge. We very quickly showed him pictures of the one from Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run. You know, the one on the side of the TV screen right before you enter the cockpit. He wasn’t aware of that one, a VIP tour guide at Disney. So naturally I was curious, if there is one on Smuggler’s Run then there must be one on Rise of the Resistance too, right? Long story short, I scoured the interwebs to see what I could find on the subject. I located one reddit post where someone had a blurry picture from the ride and pointed out what they believed to be a hidden mickey. It just so happened that I found that picture just minutes before we received an incoming transmission from Rey. Below is the second picture that I was able to get that finally came in clear…See it?
This hidden Mickey is located in the room with the flailing Kylo Ren animatronic. As soon as you exit the gun room where only one turret gun seems to work any more…you enter this room and quickly pass by two control panels. The hidden Mickey is located on the second control panel. You can see it right before Kylo uses the force on your ride vehicle. If you are sitting in the back row it might be a little harder to see it because of the current plexiglass dividers but from the front row it is easy to spot. So now I know of at least two hidden Mickey’s in Galaxy’s edge, one in each attraction. Does anyone know of another in a different part of the land? Let us know in the comments if you spotted another hidden Mickey. We also talk about this during our Trip report episode. You can find it here!
Episode 317: We are back after a week off and we discuss our recent Trip to Disney’s Old Key West resort! First, we cover some of the news that has happened like the mixed feelings people have about Ohana re-opening at the Polynesian resort. It’s great that is is coming back but people are very upset about the noodles being taken away from the dinner menu. Because of the hoopla surround noodle gate, people didn’t seem to notice that Sabastian’s Bistro is also re-opening soon. We have been saying it for years…you should make time to go there and eat dinner, you won’t be disappointed. (order the rum flight and you definitely won’t be). The skyliner crashed again but nobody seems to care any more. Rope-drop procedures are returning to normal and Indiana Jones 5 has begun filming in the UK. Alright, now with the news out of the way we shift to discussing our memorial day weekend trip to Walt Disney World. We discuss things like, what it is like to walk around Disney without a mask, Finding a hidden Mickey on Rise of the Resistance, and how important it is to be on the rope for Baseline Tap House!
Episode 308: Today we finalize our 2021 March madness bracket and crown the champion of what believe is currently the best thing at Walt Disney World. Last week we started with 64 things in 8 different categories and we narrowed that down to 32. Today Jon joined us live from Walt Disney World from the business center of Art of Animation resort as we work to narrow down the top 32 all the way to the champion! Was Jon swayed by some of the things he experience on his trip this week? You be the judge! Oh, and look for his Orlando trip report next week. Let us know if you agree or disagree with our pick for this year’s champion as the best thing at Walt Disney World. I think we even surprised ourselves this year!
Episode 303: This week Jason and I returned from Walt Disney World and we give our trip report of what it was like during President’s Day weekend. Also, let us know if you like the new format for the trip reports! First we cover some of the news of the week like some financial reports for the Walt Disney company and the subscriber count for Disney plus is nearing 100 million. Disney Dining plan will remain unavailable for the foreseeable future and the Park Pass system is here to stay for now. The park hours remain all over the place but seem to be getting extended each week. More construction is continuing in preparation for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary later this year. In the trip report section, Jason and I talk about our experience at Pop Century resort, the Skyliner Bar crawl that we attempted and getting a boarding group for Rise of the resistance for 2 days in a row and showing up late to see what would happen. We talk about the different dinning experiences that we had this time including Olivia’s, Ale & Compass, and my birthday dinner at California Grill.
Episode 295: We discuss some of the latest Disney news and rumors. Jon and I are a two man crew this week as Jason was unavoidably detained. We talk about Bob Iger leaving the Disney, The actor behind the Darth Vader suit, David Prowse passed away. The Mandalorian has cracked the top 10 for streaming shows. Rise of the resistance continues to have issues as it celebrates its one year anniversary. Disneyland continues to have more closures due to rising cases of Covid-19. There will be no fireworks on New years eve. We also give an update on some of the progress of various constructions projects that are going on at Walt Disney World.
Episode 291: The Hurricane slowed us down a little bit this week but better late than never to discuss the latest Disney News. Today we cover more of the depressing layoffs news within the Disney Parks. This week the majority of the performance cast members have been laid off. There’s still drama out in California but Disney is being creative by using some of California Adventure park as a retail space. Rise of the resistance saw a few new changes roll out this week. More maintenance projects have been announced and some have been delayed yet again. Bob Chapek finally responds to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s letter from a couple of weeks ago. Also, we have some new merchandise! If you believe that the Tom Sawyer Island Rafts are a “Ride” then we have the merch for you! Visit our Spreadshirt store to check it out!
Episode 281: We discuss the latest Disney news and get a health update from Jon. Now that it has been 3 weeks since he started dealing with Covid-19 Jon is almost back to 100%. Jon also updates us on re-scheduling his Disney Cruise for next year. We talk about some helpful updates to the My Disney Experience app when it comes to getting a Rise of the Resistance boarding group. Speaking of Rise of the Resistance, the final Kylo Ren animatronic was down extensively the other day…We talk about how we like the B-mode of that scene instead. I also point out that there’s a scene in Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway that is very similar to that scene in ROTR. Finally we wrap up the episode by talking about Bob Chapek’s comments on the recent earnings call that got him into some hot water with annual passholders. Please check out our YouTube channel. Jon recently uploaded some new content there…and consider subscribing!
Episode 280: In today’s episode we get an update on how Jon is doing with Covid-19 and Jason went to Florida! We also cover the Disney news of the week. We talk about the latest project at Walt Disney World to get the Axe. We also discus lightning striking near Rise of the Resistance which caused the ride to be down for an entire day. Epcot has something new that reminds of the Epcot of old. Someone tried to drive down the stair in their car at Wilderness Lodge and the People Mover is going to be down for quite a while for a much needed refurbishment. We also talked about what DVC resort we would pick as our home resort if all of the sudden we could pick from any of them.
Episode 259: Better late than never! This week we had a delay in our recording schedule because of our recent Disney trip but we have so much news to cover that this is a jumbo episode of Traveling with the Mouse! Disney has a new CEO and Walt Disney world has a very bad week full of ride issues. Spaceship Earth has an official refurbishment date and the Emperor is in fact a clone in Rise of Skywalker. Jason and I went to Disney World this weekend and Jason got to ride Rise of the Resistance for the first…and second time but it wasn’t without drama. We had some really good dining experiences and we survived the crowds and short park hours. This is a big episode…get ready!
Episode 257: We discuss the recent price increases and cover the other news of the week. We then give our thoughts on the Ever Ride Challenge’s new Points Challenge! We start with the news of ticket price increases and I discuss how it happened right before renewing my annual pass 🙁 We then then continue with the somber news by discussing the ride performance of Rise of the Resistance over the past week. We try to cheer ourselves up by discussing some new details on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the new Makeover coming to Cinderella Castle. After the news we discuss the new Points challenge from the Every Ride Challenge.
Episode: 255 – We discuss the pressing Disney news of the day including details on Lighthouse Point (Disney’s new private island) and more on the Rise of the Resistance boarding group process. Jason is very vocally against the boarding groups and let’s us know why he is not in favor of this system. We also cover several small but interesting news stories ranging from the Super Bowl MVP’s visit to Walt Disney World to Disney releasing a theatrical version of the Broadway show Hamilton. There have also been some price increases on things lately. We discuss the new price of dessert parties and the price increase of Tokyo Disneyland park tickets.
Episode 253: Jason recently returned from his first Disney Cruise! He walks us through his experience on a 3 night cruise with a stop at Castaway Cay. We get into a review of the food and entertainment on board the ship. He talks about his experience on Castaway Cay and how to have adult time on a cruise with Kids! He also book ended his cruise with some stops at Walt Disney World. He did a pre-cruise attempt at Rise of the Resistance with a tight window of time. After the cruise he went to Epcot to check out some of the new shows and to experience Festival of the Arts.
Episode 252: Today we just have a random Disney discussion. We discuss the latest Disney news and have some random things mixed in. For example, Jason has an idea for a Magic Kingdom challenge where you would ride every ride multiple times…but how many times do you think you could ride each ride in a single day? We also discuss some potential strategies to complete this challenge. We also talk about ride closures, construction updates, a roaming R2D2, Festival of the Arts, and Disney Oscar chances this year. Later this week Jason will be embarking on his first Disney cruise but he is also going to try and make it on Rise of the Resistance before his cruise. Will he make it in time? Stay tuned to find out!
Episode 251: We discuss some Disney news and we decide which rides we would marathon at each park. We narrow it down to one ride at each Walt Disney World Park that we would be willing to ride over and over again in a single day. If all goes to plan, we will actually go to the parks together and do this in the near future. Just for fun we also discuss the rides that would be the worst to Marathon at each park. In the news we talk about the latest discounts, Issues with Rise of the Resistance, upcoming ride refurbishments, and reduced bus services at the skyliner resorts.
Episode 248: This episode is all about Star Wars! As we prepare for the release of Rise of Skywalker in theaters we take a look back at all of the Star wars films. We pick our best and worst moments, best and worst lines, and We each rank them in order. We also discuss some of the latest news surrounding Rise of the Resistance and how there are now backup boarding groups. During the episode we discover that I can do a pretty good Sebulba impression. Who Knew? We also rank our favorite light saber battles. There’s also a lightning round where we answer questions like what is our favorite light saber color? Rise of Skywalker is in theaters this Friday. When are you going to go see it?