Episode 377: We discuss our experiences with Epcot throughout the years up to the current day and then we talk about what we think the future will be at our favorite park. We both have a lot of fond memories from the 80’s and early 90’s from the original Epcot center days. We also have a lot from the current Epcot configuration. We do believe that Epcot got the bad luck of having such a big renovation to happen just as the pandemic started. So much has been severely scaled back or outright put on hold during this time that we are getting a fraction of what was planned. We also discuss some news.

On our podcast we talk a lot about these lounges. We thought it would be a good idea to talk more about them in depth and put together a pros and cons list of each. We haven’t visited every single bar or lounge on Disney property yet but there are several that we keep repeating because they have become staples of our Walt Disney World experience! If your favorite is not on our list, let us know! With that out of the way, these are our current top five and I am even going to throw in some honorable mentions at the end. Let’s get started…

In no particular order (because we can’t agree on the ranking) We are starting with…La Cava del Tequila. This lounge is located in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, So you need a park ticket and a reservation for Epcot to get here. It’s hard to beat the Mexico pavilion when it comes to theming but throw in some good margaritas and some queso on top of that and you have an unbeatable combination!

Pros: Excellent Drink menu, especially if you like tequila. The Theming here is arguably the best on this list. The atmosphere inside the Mexico Pavilion is some of the best in World Showcase. If you are lucky enough to score a table…the chips, quac, and queso are also top notch. Shoutout to Barbas as well who is one of the best servers anywhere in Walt Disney World!

Cons: It Can be very crowded depending on the time of day that you visit. It is tough to get a table here but it is so much better if you do. Most people will do the walk up bar and enjoy their drinks outside by the fountain. Drink are on the expensive side. ($16-$30)

The next one on our list is the Nomad Lounge. Located just outside of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (A park ticket and reservation at Animal Kingdom is required) We finally got to visit this lounge for the first time this year and it was an instant favorite! The theming here is also outstanding (here’s looking at you Joe Rhode). We also really enjoyed the food options and the drink menu is very diverse. This one has it all…so much so that this lounge won our twitter poll by a landslide.

Pros: The theme of world travel here is incredible and the cozy atmosphere just makes you want to stay here all day. (we practically did on our first visit). The food options are outstanding and the wide variety of drinks means that you can find something for everyone here!

Cons: This place is popular so get your name in early. We had to wait 30 minutes to get a spot not long after it opened. This lounge is at Animal Kingdom so it is out of the way for most of Walt Disney World. Just make sure to work this into your Animal Kingdom day. I did also find that the seating areas can be a little close together depending on where you get seated.

The next one in our top five is Dahlia Lounge. This spacious lounge is located at the top of Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort. (No theme park ticket or reservation required) This is another one that has it all…Good food options and a nice variety of drinks that will please just about anyone. The views from the top of the tower are also quite nice.

Pros: Great Views from on top of Gran Destino Tower. It is very spacious and spread out for a lounge. There’s good food and drink options. We have had top notch service here as well. (It also has a great name 🙂

Cons: Unless you are staying at this resort you will have to go out of your way to get here. Some of the food options are on the pricey side. (I’m looking at you $35 charcuterie) but there are other options.

In no particular order, the next one on our list is Bar Riva. This one is located at Disney’s Riviera Resort. (No park ticket or reservation required) This is our favorite skyliner bar maybe because it is the shortest walk from a skyliner station. (we did the math) It also has fantastic food options and next door is Primo Piatto, one of our favorite quick service locations in all of Walt Disney World! We also have a favorite bar tender here, Chris.

Pros: Excellent food, there’s good options at Bar Riva but Primo Piatto is also right next door and just a mobile order away! The drinks here are outstanding and the service we’ve had has been wonderful. There’s a nice wide open courtyard area around this bar so there’s plenty of room and space for kids to run around. This one may also be the least crowded of any of the bars on this list.

Cons: The bar itself is covered but it is open air. If you aren’t familiar with the resort it may be difficult to find at first. I am also not a huge fan of the theming inside the bar but there’s plenty of other areas that you can sit and take in the beauty of this resort.

Last but not least is Baseline Taphouse. This is located inside of Hollywood Studios on Grand Avenue, just outside of the entrance to Batuu. (Park ticket and reservation for Hollywood Studios is required) The vibe here is chill and the music really sets that mood. If you love beer this is the place to go in Hollywood Studios. Prices here are very reasonable for a Disney Bar. This one has been on our list for a long time and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.

Pros: The chill music creates a laid back atmosphere that is much needed at Hollywood Studios these days. The prices here are very reasonable for food and drinks. ($10 charcuterie) They have a good selection of craft beers on tap.

Cons: It has mostly outdoor seating and can get very crowded at times. There’s not a lot of cocktail options on the menu and the food is good but limited options.

So there you have it. This is our top five list of Bars/Lounges on Walt Disney World Property. Is there anything missing that should be here? Let us know! We are going on our experience and these are definitely the top 5 for us as of right now. In episode 372 linked here we go through 11 bars and lounges and easily narrowed down that list to these five. I will include some honorable mentions that we definitely enjoy often. Trader Sam’s/ Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Banana Cabana at Disney’s Caribbean Beach report, and Brown Derby Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood studios. Those are all good but didn’t quite make it into the top 5.

Episode 372: Today we answer the age old question, What is the best lounge at Walt Disney World. The only problem is we can’t agree on which one is the best. We listed 11 of what we think are the best top bars/lounges at Walt Disney World and we discuss the pros and cons of each. We then narrowed down that list to our definitive top 5. We all agreed on which ones made the top 5 but we all had our own reasons for picking the order that these should go in. Truthfully, this like all other top 5 lists can change with our mood or over time. See if you agree with our list or if we excluded your favorite altogether. We also cover some of the latest news and oh yeah, Jason is back this week and hosted this episode.

Episode 371: Today we are coving what we think are the best and worst queues at Walt Disney World. We come up with our top five best queues and we give some honorable mentions. We also go through some of the worst queues at Disney World. If you are stuck with having to wait in the standby line, there are some that are much better than others. We consider things like theming, shade, interactivity, hidden details and more. There is a certain imagineer that was responsible for the top spot on both of our lists. I’m sure that some of you can already guess who that imagineer is. We also cover some news, we both like the new Walt and Roy additions to the enchantment fireworks. There is also more maintenance issues to talk about. Tron is also showing more and more signs of it opening this year. I guess we will know for sure at D23!

Episode 370: There is an ongoing debate in the Disney Community about which form of Disney transportation is best, Monorail or Skyliner. (sorry Bus) Well, in order to truly get to the bottom of that we must fully explore all of what makes them both great. There are truly some great restaurants that are on the monorail and if you include the boardwalk area there’s many more options on the skyliner. But which of these two forms of transportation has the best overall restaurants? We give our top 5 picks for each and then decide which one overall has the better restaurants. We do also cover some news stories. The Disneyland resort is finally allowing renewals of their Magic Key (annual pass) program. The prices are different though. We also talk a little about this year’s Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party!

Episode 369: We catch up on the Disney news of the week. Disney had a big earnings call this week and the profits are back up to pre-pandemic levels. We talk about how the parks are a big reason for that and what it could mean for future developments. Disney remains silent about magic key renewals as they try to increase guest yields. We discuss how that could impact things in a negative way in the long term. Meanwhile a new update to Genie plus creates a problem with park hopping and securing lightning lanes. Also, what’s up with Chapek’s Beard?

Episode:360 Jon discusses his most recent trip to Walt Disney World with a stop at Peppa Pig Park. This trip certainly had it’s ups and down which included highlights such as riding Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind but there were also some lows like having a visit to the local urgent care and having the trip cut short. He praised the cast members at Coronado Springs resort but also the room location was a little questionable. He also discusses how he stacked some lightning lanes to get the most out of it but overall is still frustrated with the Genie Plus experience. We give our first reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind now that we have all done it. Look for more discussion on this new ride in next few episodes.

Episode 350: It’s time for our annual Disney March Madness competition! This year we can’t help but continue our love of Disney food but we also expanded it to include drinks this time! We start with a new category for this year…walk-up locations like festival kitchen’s and food carts. Then we move on to another new category, Bars/Lounges! Then we move over to Quick service and Table service restaurants. As usual we ended up with some surprising results. Let us know what you think of our choices and if you agree or disagree with the winner. Also, we chose locations that we frequently visit so if your favorite wasn’t on our bracket let us know and we will check it out as we are always open to new locations to try!

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.

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?

Hidden Mickey on Rise of the Resistance

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 316: In this episode we talk some Disney news and then preview an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World this weekend! We start with some Disneyland news…Soon out of state guests will be welcomed back. Also, Disneyland’s newly reimagined Jungle Cruise will be opening in July. The big news of the week out of Disneyland however, is that the Spiderman Adventure attraction will require a boarding group once it opens. This means that guests will have to choose between Spidey and Rise of the resistance at the start of the day. In Disney World news, we continue to see restrictions lifted and talks of capacity expanded. It looks like Minnie Vans could be returning and the monorail had a Badger problem. After the news, Jason and I discuss our upcoming trip this very weekend to Walt Disney World. We are trying out a DVC resort and are staying together in a 2 bedroom villa. Look out for us on social media this weekend!

Episode 315: We take a deep dive into the Haunted Mansion! We explore the history and details of this attraction. Plus did you know that Walt had a favorite stretching room portrait? We do start with the news and cover several of the developing stories this week. Covid-19 guidelines continue to loosen on both coasts. The three caballeros are back at the gran fiesta tour! The Grand Floridian is getting new DVC studios added soon. The dark saber made its way to Galaxy’s Edge. Disney Cruise line released the pricing on the Wish’s inaugural sailing…my wish was for lower pricing! The later sailings in 2022 look better as far as price though.

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!

B78ACE94-6DDA-47AD-93D7-72B4FB3C7267Episode 271: Today the team discusses the plethora of new details that are coming out about the re-opening of Walt Disney world! There’s a lot of news surrounding the limitations and restrictions that guests will face once Disney World re-opens on July 11th. Guests who have existing reservations at a Disney resort are not guaranteed entry to the parks. Some resort amenities and restaurants will also not be available right away. We list out all of those details for you. Other topics we cover are things like, the castle repainting has resumed and The NBA is officially going to finish their season at the Wide World of Sports complex. We wrap up the episode by going through some Disney history from this week in June.

FB1C6C60-5946-4535-BD07-CF205F97C76CEpisode: 269. Walt Disney World announced their re-opening dates and we go through all of the details. While it is good to finally know an opening date for the parks and resorts. It was a little surprising at first that they are going with July 11th & 15th. However, after we start going through the details it does start to makes sense. Also, DVC resorts are set to re-open on June 22nd and with likely soft openings of the parks. We break down what some new requirements will be in order for guests to visit the parks this summer. We also discuss some of the other news like what is going on a Disney springs now that they Disney operated stores are open for business…It’s pretty much how you would expect.

002C2186-9272-4CAE-861F-64868A74A241Episode 266:We start this week by covering some news…A Disney Park (Shanghai) will finally be open again starting May 11th! In our main topic, It is Mother’s Day this week and Jon and I interviewed our Moms about Walt Disney World. It turns out that our love of Disney is really and extension of their love of Disney. It started for them back in the 1950’s with the Mickey Mouse Club and the Wonderful world of Color on TV. Our Mom’s went to Walt Disney World several times in the 1970’s and we asked them what it was like back in the old days of Walt Disney World. We asked them about the early days of Epcot as well. We had a great time asking them all of these questions that we will certainly have to do this again. Maybe we can convince them to be on the show live next time?

 

75E61D8D-11C3-44FF-B685-90415EB2B31AEpisode 265: The Electrical Water Pageant has been operating since 1971 and has been a favorite of ours for many years. This week Jon and I take a fond look back at this “water show” that takes place nightly (weather permitting) along the shores of the 7 seas lagoon and Bay Lake in the Magic Kingdom resort Area. The show has seen 3 significant revisions over the years but the current version of the show has remained mostly unchanged for  the last 24 years. We take you through each version of the show and sample some of the music that makes this show so memorable. The Electrical Water Pageant holds a special place in our hearts as we grew up with it and we talk about how we even brought some of the magic of it home with us as kids. Let us know what you think of this show in the comments.

 

Here is a link to a video I made from a room at the Polynesian. 

D643C9EB-EF7C-4030-8C86-0B238EF01B63Episode 264: Today, Jon and I take a look at all of the future projects that were either underway or in development before the Covid19 pandemic. We discuss whether we think they will continue as is, change significantly, or will be outright cancelled. We give our best guess as to when these projects will be completed and if some of them we even get off the ground. As we all adjust to this new normal we need to prepare for some significant changes coming to at least a few of these projects. Thanksfully some of these project are very near completion and we will hopefully still be getting some new attractions at least for the next few years.

D6FE3E14-01DA-4E9A-BDEF-60B57830F01AEpisode: 263. Hey all you cool cats and kittens! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). There’s no new episode this week but I thought it would be a good opportunity to dig into the show archives and put together some parts of older episodes that some may not have heard before. If you are like me, this isolation has made me appreciate the Disney parks even more! One way that I like to connect to the parks during this time away is to reflect on the sounds, smells, and of course the music that I love from the parks. I took 2 very old episodes (back when it was just me and Jon) and put them together where we discussed this very topic. If I closed my eyes while listening back to this I could almost feel like I was there. I hope this episode will help bring the parks a little closer to you during this time of social distancing. Stay safe everyone!

TWTM_Episode_242Happy Friday! We have a special bonus episode for you with a special guest! Nathan Firesheets @A_Coaster_Story recently completed the #everyridecoastocoast challenge where he rode a total of 94 rides in 36 hours! He started by completing every ride at Disneyland and then hoped on a red eye flight to Orlando and rode every ride at Walt Disney World. We break down this historic run and also discuss his previous completions which among others includes an oxygen free run on Galaxy’s Edge opening day. Nathan talks about what it was like to be in the massive crowd for rope drop at Disney’s Hollywood studios on that day. Nathan also raised over $1,200 for Give Kids the World during this challenge. You can still donate through his page here