Sunday, August 21, 2016

Episode 88 of The Disney Exchange- Breakfast at Walt Disney World


 Nick and his wife Barbie at Cap May Cafe
Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

The Disney Exchange is Lisa, Dave, and me, Nick. 

Note:
This weeks show starts off with some technical issues on Lisa's end and the pandemonium doesn't let up pretty much until the end of the show. Yep, another smoothly produced episode of The Exchange! Enjoy!

Lisa does some shout outs and talks about the various versions of Spaceship Earth when we lose her for awhile.


Dave and I, discuss various rumors floating around the interwebs, including but not limited to the closing of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the change of Stitch's Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom to a Wreck it Ralph themed attraction, and the changing or Ellen's Energy Adventure in Epcot to a Guardians of the Galaxy ride, which I think is unlikely as Universal owns the rights to Marvel characters for use in theme park attractions east of the Mississippi.


Lisa rejoins us just in time to discuss breakfast at Walt Disney World. We share a couple of suggestions before going on to share options for the most important meal of the day at all of the parks as wells as the resorts and Disney Springs.

Breakfast at Be Our Guest!

Dave asked me to mention breakfast at the Garden Grill in Epcot's Land Pavilion, which we forgot to mention on the show.

The Wheel of Distiny: Do you get or have you ever gotten the Disney vacation planning DVDs/Videos?

If you have a show suggestion or Wheel of Distiny topic, please let us know on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedisneyexchange, Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneyexchange  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange  

We are having a giveaway on Episode 100, all you need to be entered is to ask for a listener number if you don't already have one!

Thanks for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What's the Perfect Age For Walt Disney World

By Lisa Green  
 
RM-Stroller-Jockeys-Disney 

Lots of people ask and bunches of folks have opinions about it – What is the right age to take children to Walt Disney World for the first time?  When I’m asked, my answer is always in the form of another question – How much do YOU like Disney?  That, my friends, is the most important aspect in determining what age is the right age for that all-important first trip.

SO many schools of thought!  One is: If we go when they’re too young, they won’t remember it!  That’s true!  Your kids won’t remember their first trip to Walt Disney World, but YOU will.  If you love Disney vacations, then there’s probably not a “too young” for Disney World.  You probably intend to take your children there more than once during their childhood, so the first trip is not the only visit.  That was us!  We knew when we took our children for the first time that it was only the first of many future visits.

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Megan was 5 and Joseph just 13 months when we took them for their first visit – neither remember that vacation, but both love to look at the pictures of our trip and listen to Raymond and I talk about our happy memories from that time so long ago.

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Next philosophy – we’re only going one time.  This category is for the parents who feel that a Walt Disney World vacation is a mandatory part of child rearing, but are faced with challenges that make repeat visits unlikely.  Not Disney haters, but perhaps not passionate Disney fans either – these parents initially plan on doing it only once, so it had better be memorable for the offspring!

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If you’re in this category, you will indeed find it best to wait until your children are old enough to remember this once-in-a-childhood-opportunity.  Ages 7 or 8 and up will probably do it.  Old enough for retaining those happy moments and young enough to embrace (and still believe in) all the magic.

Finally, there are the parents who never intended to go at all, but now find themselves pressured into considering it.  Gasping at the cost (we feel your pain!) and researching Walt Disney World for the first time, parents in this category may be looking at the sad, beseeching faces of their children who have heard the recounting of countless thrilling tales from classmates who visit Walt Disney World regularly.Do it!  Take your children to Walt Disney World – even if they’re tweens or teens (or young adults) who don’t care about meeting characters or dressing up as a princess or pirate.  It’s not too late!  That’s the beauty of this – Every age is the perfect age for Disney World.

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Which category are you in?  What age do you think is the perfect age for Disney World?


This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LivingaDisLife and on Twitter at

Please be sure to check out Lisa along with me and David Hodges on The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Episode 87 of The Disney Exchange- Backstage Tours at Walt Disney World


Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

The Disney Exchange is Lisa, Dave and me Nick

This week we welcome special guest Curt Stone, co-host of the Geekin' on WDW Podcast, to discuss backstage tours offered at Walt Disney World! This topic was suggested by Bill Ford.



Photos from my Wild Africa Trek experience

We discuss each of the Tours offered, sharing experiences for the ones we have taken, as well as tours we would like to take.

Full disclosure, Lisa, Dave and I have not taken many tours, so that's why we called in a ringer! Thanks Curt!

The Wheel of Distiny topic this week was suggested by Tony McDaniel.  
Who was/is our favorite Spaceship Earth narrator? 

You can find Curt on the Podcast, Geekin' on WDW, which he co-hosts with his daughter Lindsay,  as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have a show suggestion or Wheel of Distiny topic, please let us know on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedisneyexchange, Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneyexchange  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange  

We are having a giveaway on Episode 100, all you need to be entered is to ask for a listener number if you don't already have one!

Thanks for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

That Time I Got Stuck on It’s a Small World

Lets face it. Getting stuck on a ride isn't fun. It eats up your precious park time. I've been stuck a few times. Once, back in 1996 I was stuck on Splash Mountain for 30 minutes. I heard "How do you do?" sung by a audio animatronic toad 4 million times. But imagine hearing THE SONG over and over. You know the one. I actually don't mind the song, but throw in a clown? Shivers. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Lisa Green - Nick

That Time We Got Stuck on It's a Small World

By Lisa Green  


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Sometimes I think I’m so cute and clever.  Those are the times I should be most aware of how life can sneak up on you and, well, kick you in the pants.  Not long ago, while Raymond and I were enjoying that blissful week alone at Walt Disney World, I had one of those moments.  In anticipation of our trip, I’d purchased a couple of limited edition Disney tee shirts.  They were the ones commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Carousel of Progress and It’s a Small World – since I was also celebrating being 50 years old in 2014…well, you can see how cute and clever I thought I was being.

On one of the days we’d be spending in the Magic Kingdom, I donned my new It’s a Small World shirt and thought it would be great to ride the ride…you know, wearing the shirt.  How wonderful!  Here’s what happened… 

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Begin flashback sequence now…..

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We were having a really terrific day in spite of some bazaar goings-on when we first arrived at the park (an omen, perhaps?).  Main Street was looking gorgeous when we stopped by Starbuck’s for coffee and a bite to eat. 

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We headed over to Adventureland to hit our first attractions of the day.  That’s when we first noticed that Magic Kingdom was experiencing some technical difficulties, as was the My Disney Experience App – many rides were not running and the app actually showed every ride as “closed”.  We’d gone to ride Pirates and it was closed.  PhilharMagic? Closed.  Winnie the Pooh? Nope.  There were a bunch of angry people!  We weren’t among them though.  I have a motto, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!”

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We’d had plenty of Magic Kingdom time already the day before and would be coming back again later in the week, so we decided to jump on the monorail and see what was going on along the loop.  We’d hit the shops, see the sights, and make our way back to the Magic Kingdom later for our dinner at Be Our Guest.  Going with the flow was working great for us!

After we checked out everything at the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, we decided we should go back and see if we could at least ride It’s a Small World before dinner on account of the special shirt I’d worn that day.  When we got back, things were somewhat better (still no Pirates) so we found we had time to ride Peter Pan, see PhilharMagic, and YAY! ride It’s a Small World.  The line moved quickly and I was feeling pretty cute in my new tee.

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That’s probably what did it – my feeling cute and clever.  We were sailing along in the front seat of our little boat while I was happily snapping pictures here and there.  We got right to the far side of the blue room and the boat stopped.  Not a pause, the boat was dead in the water – along with all the other boats.   We were sitting with the honking geese directly to our right and that balloon that goes up and down with the clown in the basket on our left.  The automatic announcement came on that tells you that everything’s going to be fine in a moment.

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I’m not scared of much – at least not the usual stuff.  Lizards, mice, snakes, bugs – those don’t phase me much.  If you hear me holler about a bug, it’s only because I don’t have anything at hand to squash it with and I don’t want it to get away. 
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Getting stuck on It’s a Small World seems pretty innocuous, doesn’t it?  I don’t know what started freaking me out first.  It might have been the clown in the balloon going up and down and up and down or the geese that would not stop honking. It might have been how the people behind us all started singing along with the ride’s well-know song.  I suspect it was the not automated announcements that did me in, but a cast member instead.  I’m sure she was just trying to help.

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After the first auto-announcement, this female cast member’s voice came over the loud speaker and basically repeated the information from the first announcement.  At least in the beginning.  In reality, I’m guessing we were stuck on the ride somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes.  It seemed a lot longer because as that cast member made her announcements, she became increasingly frantic in her bid for guests to stay seated.  By the fourth or fifth time she made the announcement, she was sounding actually panicked, “PLEASE!!!  Remain in your boats!!!!”  Of course this made me suspect that we were never going to be rescued.  That, in fact, we would have to swim for our lives.  Perhaps she sounded so desperate because the exodus had already begun in another room? 

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Those geese were honking a warning…the clown would be climbing out of that balloon basket to commit unspeakable atrocities upon the unsuspecting passengers of the “Happiest cruise that ever sailed” and I’d be first because I was wearing the SHIRT!!!  This is what happens when you feel cute and clever!!!

Yes, you’re right.  Nothing bad happened.  Aside from my momentary clown-paranoia and homicidal thoughts towards both the announcer-girl and the singing people behind me, the boats finally moved on and we were able to enjoy our dinner at Be Our Guest.  Just in case though, I did not ride the Carousel of Progress on the day I wore that particular shirt.

What rides have YOU been stuck on?

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LivingaDisLife and on Twitter at

Please be sure to check out Lisa along with me and David Hodges on The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Episode 86 of The Disney Exchange - Worth the Wait

Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

The Disney Exchange is Lisa, Dave, and me, Nick.

This week we talk about what rides we feel are worth waiting for in the standby line at each of the parks at Walt Disney World and how much time we are willing to wait versus the actual ride length.

For instance, the wait times for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, a 2 and a half minute ride, can be over an hour on even a day with relatively low crowds.


For the ride length information, I used this list, but there are others readily available. There are even crowd level to wait time guides to be found on the internet, for instance: https://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/crowd-levels#

The Wheel of Distiny topic: If you had only one day at Epcot, which Tier 1 FastPass attraction would you choose, Soarin' or Frozen Ever After?

If you have a show suggestion or Wheel of Distiny topic, please let us know on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedisneyexchange, Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneyexchange  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange  

And don't forget, we are having a giveaway on Episode 100, all you need to be entered is to ask for a listener number if you don't already have one!

Thanks for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Five reasons to say YES to Walt Disney World’s Park Hopper


By Lisa Green  

Walt Disney World’s Park Hopper – Five reasons to say YES!

1.  You want to start early and stay late!  Yeah!  You’re speaking my language.  Here’s what we do:  Rope-drop (arrive before the park opens) for EMH (Extra Magic Hour), if possible.  Hit the headliners early then slow it down, wander around taking in the sights, sounds, and smells.  Eat a leisurely lunch and the HOP to the park where we’ve booked FastPasses for the afternoon and evening.  The post lunch hop means you can catch a cat nap on the bus or monorail during the hop – seriously, this is a solid plan!

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2. You want to book ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) 180 days in advance and not have those choices dictate the park you’ll visit on any given day.  I may want to eat in Epcot’s Le Cellier and I’m okay with scheduling that meal 6 months before I’m going to eat it, but I do NOT want said dinner to completely control my activities for that particular day.  I should be able to spend my time anywhere I want to and then HOP to Epcot for my steak supper!

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3. You want choices!  Not an obsessive planner?  Free-styling more your idea of fun?  Book those FastPasses first thing in the morning and then boom, baby!  The rest of the day is your oyster.  Start one day at Animal Kingdom to ride Kilimanjaro Safari early while it’s still relatively cool.  Then check out the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek before hitting Expedition Everest and Dinosaur.  Now you’re free to leave and visit a different park.  You can hop BACK to Animal Kingdom on the afternoon of a different day to see shows like Flights of Wonder, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo-The Musical, and It’s Tough to be a Bug (3D Movie).  Animal Kingdom is absolutely a full-day park, but you can split it into two half-days easily with the park-hopper option.

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4.  You don’t want to spend all your time in the parks, but when you’re there you want what you want.  Ah, the luxury of time and the ability to enjoy Walt Disney World at your leisure.  If you have a week or longer or are (or planning to be) a frequent visitor, you don’t necessarily have to feel rushed, pressured, and meticulously planned.  You can start the day in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Eat lunch in Epcot’s World Showcase.  Spend the afternoon napping or swimming at your resort pool.  Grab a bite to eat in the Magic Kingdom and enjoy Wishes before calling it a day.



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5. You love a challenge!  Four parks in one day?  We’ve done it and with a park-hopper ticket, you can too!  We decided on our last day of vacation a few years back that we would each pick an attraction we HAD to visit one last time before we went home.  To do that, we had to visit each park – it was challenging, super fun, and created some really great memories of our last vacation day.  We were too busy to be sad.

Are you pro-park-hopping?  What’s your favorite reason for adding this option?

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LivingaDisLife and on Twitter at

Please be sure to check out Lisa along with me and David Hodges on The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Walt Disney World Buddy Trip 2016, Part 6

By Nick

Who: Me and my friends Joe and Josh
Where: Walt Disney World, stayed Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village 

Part6
 
Saturday, May 14th  and Sunday, May 15th

 
As it was the last day of Alison and Jim's trip, we all went to Animal Kingdom together. 


 Josh, me, Alison, Joe and Jim

We rode Dinosaur, then everyone except me rode Primeval Whirl, followed by another ride on Dinosaur. While everyone rode Expedition Everest, I hung out in the gift shop. Motion sickness is a curse! A CURSE!





We got our photos with Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost and then went to Yak & Yeti for lunch. 





After a great meal we said goodbye to our new friends! We miss you Alison and Jim!




Josh, Joe and I went over to Kilimanjaro Safaris, then took a walk through Pangani Forest Trail, followed by a walk through the Maharaja Jungle Trek





We headed back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where we met up with our friend Josie. We decided to just grab dinner at Sanaa, and after a short wait got a table in the lounge.





We hung around at the back of the resort watching the animals on the Savannah before saying goodnight. 





The next morning we went to the Magic Kingdom, and hit several attractions we hadn't gotten to earlier in the week as well as favorites like Haunted Mansion, before heading back to the AKL where we relaxed watching animals on the savannah before getting Magical Express back to the airport.







Another great trip with my buddies in the books!


Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5