Sunday, August 28, 2016

Episode 89 of The Disney Exchange - Disney Cruise Without Kids

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

The Disney Exchange is Lisa, Dave and me, Nick

This week we take a look at how to avoid kids while on a Disney Cruise, on the ship, in port and at Castaway Cay.

The Wheel of Distiny topic: Which one past attraction would you bring back to Walt Disney World or Disneyland?

If you have a show suggestion or Wheel of Distiny topic, please let us know on Facebook:, Twitter:  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 27, 2016

10 Amazing Things I've Seen on a Disney Cruise

This post by Lisa is from back in January of 2015, and since this article was posted, she has taken a Disney Cruise to Norway, so I'm sure this would be a different list today, but I felt a cruise article was appropriate for this Saturday with Lisa, since the newest episode of The Disney Exchange Podcast, which Lisa co-hosts with me and Dave Hodges, is about Disney Cruises, so please stop back tomorrow to check out that episode! - Nick

Disney Cruise Line – 10 Amazing Things I’ve Seen

By : Lisa Green  


I talk about Walt Disney World a lot.  We love it there.  I can honestly say, for our family, no other type of vacation compares with the incredible fun, thrills, food, and entertainment we can experience at Disney World.  Except for one – a Disney Cruise.
Think about the ship as being your resort – all the amenities you love about Walt Disney World are there.  Plus, your favorite Disney characters are all aboard and you get to experience some absolutely top notch shows.  Today I started thinking about the cruise we’ll be taking this summer aboard the Disney Magic to see the fjords of Norway and that got me thinking about the incredibly fun cruises we’ve already taken over the past nine years.  While there’s really no way I could name the TOP ten things I’ve seen along the way, I did come up with…

Disney Cruise Line – 10 Amazing Things I’ve Seen


1. Seals, icebergs, mountains, waterfalls, Goofy, and a glacier!  No, that doesn’t count as six things (I know what you’re thinking) when you see them all at the same time.  On our Alaskan Disney cruise (2011), we were fortunate enough to experience the incredible beauty of Tracy Arm Fjord on a gorgeous sunny day.  We sailed slowly through the fjord, making our way to Sawyer Glacier with an Irish Coffee in one hand and a camera in the other.  At lunch, the on-deck barbeque meant we could eat while not missing a single second of the action!  We looked down and watched seals floating by on little icebergs.  We looked up and saw beautiful waterfalls rushing down the sides of the snow-covered peaks on either side of the ship.  Goofy came by for a visit while we were enjoying the view.  Finally, we felt the air grow colder as the ship approached Sawyer Glacier.  Oh, and maybe we saw some nesting bald eagles in the middle of all that other stuff.  It was good.  Really, really good.


2. Pompeii.  When we sailed on the Magic in the Mediterranean, we felt like it gave us the opportunity to see a little bit of a lot of places; like small tastes of what would have been delicious meals if we’d only had more time.  This was never more true than at Pompeii. 



We had just a few hours of a single afternoon to explore these ruins and we barely saw a fraction of all there was to take in.  Same thing with the Leaning Tower of Pisa!  Beware taking a Mediterranean cruise – it leaves you wanting to see and do that much more.  Going back to Spain, France, and Italy is high on our list of things to do in the future.


3. A ship wreck.  Luckily not our own…and it was really more of a boat wreck, technically.  In Grand Cayman on Disney’s Western Caribbean cruise, way back in 2008, we took an excursion that was as fun as could be.  We boarded a couple of Zodiac boats and followed our leader through the docked cruise ships and off to explore a couple of different snorkeling sites.  One of them included a sunken ship (okay, boat) on the ocean’s floor we could see as we swam.  It was a beautiful day, Grand Cayman is gorgeous, and we fondly remember our visit there as one of the best days we’ve ever had on a Disney Cruise.

Grand Cayman Excursion

4. The southernmost point of the United States (we could see Cuba!). 
 Key West is everything you’ve ever heard about it – the architecture, lush foliage, chickens running around, great shops and bars – it’s all there!  We were able to leave our ship and easily take in all the sights while making our way to the southernmost point of the U.S. and back.  While more about the journey than the destination, all in all, it stands out in our memories as a perfect day!


5. The Swiss Guard – Ah, Italy – not one moment of time we spent there was less than amazing.
There was something about seeing the Vatican’s Swiss Guard that gave our day in Rome a special something. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica – all amazing in their own right.  The Swiss Guard was just, I guess, the embodiment of all that we saw that day – exotic, colorful, traditional, and impressive.





6. The Tongass National Forest.  In the Alaskan rainforest, the air is indescribably clean and fresh.  The Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest national forest, surrounds Alaska’s inside passage.  We experienced the forest high above its rushing waterfalls and sphagnum moss-covered floor on a series of zip-lines and suspended bridges.  Hands down, one of the most fun things we’ve ever done!


7. A medieval village high above the sea.  We had our doubts as we caught a bus in Villefranche on the coast of France and made our way straight up via a precarious series of switchbacks, but once we reached the top?  Breathtaking!  Eze is a wonderful place to shop, eat, and spend a leisurely half-day exploring a tiny little gem in the Maritime Alps.


8. The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.  We booked our own tour around Barcelona the day before our cruise departed.  Our party of six all agree and will happily tell you that the only way to see Barcelona is on a Segway.  Those alleyways in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) are incredibly narrow, but easy to navigate on a Segway.  I wish I had taken more pictures!!!

Barcelona, Spain


9. A sea turtle.  Sure, you can get a look at a sea turtle in lots of places, but glancing around while snorkeling in the clear waters of the Bahamas and realizing that a sea turtle is swimming next to you is so cool!  Right off the shore of Disney’s own private island, Castaway Cay, is an amazing array of aquatic plants and animals just waiting for Disney cruise guests to explore – so we did!  You have to book an excursion to do this (almost nothing live is visible in the designated snorkeling lagoon), but it is worth the price!

Castaway Cay Snorkeling

10.  The view from Palo.  We were fortunate enough to score a brunch reservation at the adults-only Palo on our ship for Megan’s birthday in August, 2013.  We sat down to eat just as the Magic was passing between the islands of Corsica and Sardinia.  Palo is located at the very top of the ship and the views are spectacular!  Oh, and so is the food!!!



Have you taken a Disney cruise?  What are some of the most amazing things you’ve seen?

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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

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. 

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:, Twitter:  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  

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.



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.


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!


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.


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 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:, Twitter:  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  


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… 


Begin flashback sequence now…..


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. 


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!”


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.


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.



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. 

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.


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? 


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 and on Twitter at

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