Episode 373: The D23 convention wrapped up yesterday and we have some thoughts! Jon and I go through each day of the conference and talk about the highlights and lowlights. The parks panel was a mixed bag of small updates and early concepts that are way out there. Our original predictions for Tron’s opening date are going to end up being pretty close. There are a few cool new updates coming and a lot of meet & greets. Let us know what was your favorite part of this D23? We all know that the pandemic effect is still a real thing and it showed in the parks panel. Josh tried his best to make it exciting and it still fell a little flat but there’s still some cool things on the horizon and there’s always hope that the next D23 will bring with it some more exciting news.
Our top 5 Lounges on Disney Property (blog)
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.
What are the Best Lounges at Walt Disney World?
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.
Best and worst Queues at Disney
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!
Monorail vs. Skyliner (Restaurant edition)
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 368: This episode marks the 5 year anniversary of Traveling with the Mouse! We go back to our first episode ever and revisit the content of that episode. It just so happened that our first episode was right after D23 in 2017. A lot of big announcements were made that year. We take a look back and see what we think about the current state of things 5 years later. We also try and preview this year’s D23 with what we think could be announced. We also really hope to be surprised by something because there is not a lot of hype surrounding the Parks panel this year. The only thing we feel will be announced is the opening date for Tron. We give our thoughts on what we hope will be talked about, like finishing Epcot, Play pavilion, and a Dinoland re-theme to name a few.
News & Would you rather?
Episode 367: We’re back with another stellar edition of Traveling with The Mouse! Today we have a special guest host. James’ daughter Emeline joins us for a discussion on the Magic Band plus and we play a game of Would you rather? Disney edition! We also break into ranking the Disney Parks. Spoiler Alert, we have a different order than we did the last time we ranked the parks. We also give our favorite rides at each park…Some of the answers were surprising but if you are a fan of the show then most of them will not shock you.
A look back at classic Epcot
Episode 366: We made it to our leap year episode! This week Jon and I go back in time and discuss the best attractions that Epcot has ever had. We go through every iteration of attractions in each location in Future World and some in World Showcase as well. It’s no surprise that we are fans of the original Epcot since we were kids of the 80’s and 90’s. We do agree on some but disagree on others. There are modern attractions that we love to like Guardians, Test Track and Soarin’ but we don’t always agree on which version is best. We may continue this discussion with the other parks in the coming episodes. Let us know if you enjoy this type of discussion and chime in with your picks for the best attractions at Epcot.
Disney News of the week
Episode 365: We now have an episode for every day of the year! (except for leap year) Jon and I catch up on the latest Disney News. An Icon has been removed from World Drive which makes us nostalgic for the things of the past. Meanwhile we talk about the Food and Wine Festival and how it used to be a lot shorter. The play pavilion construction appears to be starting soon. We also talk about what an Indiana Jones land and Animal Kingdom might look like. Also in the news was rumor that Bob Iger isn’t happy that he selected Dr. Evil as his replacement as CEO. All that and more!
Doing Disney with a big group
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!
Disney News Roundup
Episode 363: Jon and I catch up on the Disney news of the past month. With all of our recent trips it we haven’t talked much about the latest news. I was impressed by the Indiana Jones merch that came out this month. If only these movie props could’ve been around when I was 10 years old! The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has now officially reopened, We discuss what is new, what is the same and is it still a good value? There’s a lot of meet and greets returning over the summer. Things are slowly returning back. Christmas time this year is going to be a lot more like 2019! Except for the price tag 🙁 The Disney Wish made it into port but will it be ready for it’s first sailing? All this and more!
James’ June Trip Report
Episode: 362 James recently returned from Walt Disney World and he also stopped by Sea World for a day. He talks about his experience with Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and now it looks like it is James/Adam vs. Jon/Jason when it comes to which coaster is our favorite at Walt Disney World. He also talks about the new dining experiences they had this time and which ones were there favorites. The used Genie+ on all of their park days and were able to snag some really good lightning lanes. There were a few bumps at the end of their trip as some in their party started feeling sick towards the end of their trip.
Disney Cruise Trip Report
Episode 361: Jason and I just returned from a Disney cruise! It was my first cruise and I talk about what it was like for a first timer. I bookended my trip with a stop at Walt Disney World. I got to ride Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind 4 times during the trip. Jason also got to ride it after the cruise. On the cruise we were dodging the tropical storm and had to postpone our day at Castaway Cay. Thankfully the weather cleared and we were able to still go! We review the food, the kids club, and the adult only areas of the ship. I also discovered the virtually unlimited supply of chicken fingers and ice cream! You certainly wont go hungry on a Disney Cruise!
Jon’s June Trip report
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.
Upcoming Trip Previews
Episode 359: This week we are all traveling to Disney in different ways. We have a cruise, a land and sea cruise and we have Walt Disney World trips. Between the four of us we have a lot of Disney travel this month! Jon and I first discuss the first two episodes of the Obiwan series. This was the most watch premiere of a Disney Plus show ever. We discuss some other parks news and then we go into our trip previews. This is my first cruise so I have a lot to learn but the biggest hurdle right now seems to be getting cleared to get on this ship. Once I make it on the ship with Cape Canaveral behind us, then I’ll share that sentiment. Jon talks about his upcoming trip and how he used a crowd calendar as his guide for selecting which parks he reserved for each day of his trip. Look foward to trip reports in the coming weeks!
Polynesian Resort Nostalgia
Episode 358: Today we take a trip down memory lane and discuss our favorite things about Disney’s Polynesian Village resort. James joins us as we talk about the resort that where we have spent the most of our nights at Walt Disney World…especially during our childhood years. We do discuss some of the news as well like that today, May 27th is a big day. Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind has officially opened to the public and the first two episode of the Obiwan series on Disney+ premiered. We all have Disney trips coming up over the next few weeks so there will be plenty of new content coming but for now we take a look back and we had a really fun time discussing our Disney roots. Most of them took place at the Polynesian resort.
Will the Disneyland PeopleMover ever return?
Episode 357: Today we answer the age old question…Will the Disneyland PeopleMover ever return to operation? Actually, we don’t answer that definitively because nobody knows for sure. What we do know is what it will take and that will require a lot of work and a lot of money. We also cover some news and we start a conversation on Disney’s Polynesian resort but it evolves into discussing Disney resorts in general. We do have a lot of fond memories at the Polynesian and we will dig into that more in future episodes. However, in the short term we have a lot of travel coming up. Jason and I have a Disney cruise (my first one) and Jon and James are both taking trips to Walt Disney World in June. There’s lots of content coming up for what will be a busy summer!
We Generate new IP based attractions for Disney
Episode 356: We have a full house in this episode as we have Jason and James join us this week! We discuss the latest news. Which includes Tron testing at full speed and Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic rewind is in passholder previews. Meanwhile the Disney CEO is touting the Q2 earnings for the company. He points to things like Genie Plus, Disney Plus and Galactic Starcruiser as the reasons for the increase in revenue. In order to help Bob out more, we pulled a list of every Disney movie made and we randomly selected some to come up with attraction ideas from the existing Disney IP database. We found some hidden gems that I think Bob would be proud to have made into new attractions or an overlay to existing attractions. It was a fun game for us to play.
Episode 355: We mostly discuss the news this week. Most of the news in centered around Epcot. The previews have started for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The World Celebration area of Epcot and for Moana: Journey of Water. The new Comunicore Hall is a very scaled back version of what was originally in the plans for a new festival center. The new trailer for Obiwan Kenobi series was released and it got me excited. Also, could Tarzan’s Treehouse turn into an Encanto attraction out in Disneyland?