Sunday, October 30, 2016

Must Do, Will Do, Never Do at Walt Disney World - Episode 98 of The Disney Exchange

The Disney Exchange is Dave, Lisa and me, Nick

Podcast: Play in new window | Download 

Dave starts us off with a discussion about the surge in crowds during what has historically been a slower time of year at Walt Disney World, with, conversely, lower attendance at the parks in the Summer, likely due to the new Annual Pass tiers.

After some shout outs we launch into our main topic, sharing must do attractions, those attractions that we do occasionally, and the ones we avoid all together, or perhaps have never done at all, in each of Walt Disney World's parks.

2 Listener Polls:

We've asked lots of times, and it's back: Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King?


Candy Corn. Yes or No?

The Wheel of Distiny topic this week has been submitted by Listener 58, Adam.
He asked for suggestions on dining for a large group, ages ranging from 5 to 69.

We cover planning for large groups more in depth on Episode 60.

As I promised, a link to this: Mickey's Backyard BBQ

Adam also suggested we talk about street performances. We covered lived shows on Episode 69, but will likely revisit this topic again in the future.

You can get your Listener Number, which enters you in our Episode 100 giveaway, and suggest show or Wheel of Distiny topics on Facebook:, Twitter:  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange 

And if you are so inclined, a 5 start review on iTunes would go a long way towards getting our show out to the masses!

Thank you for listening to The Disney Exchange!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Did Walt Disney World Ruin Pirates of the Caribbean

I usually go far back into Living a Disney Life archives to get posts for Saturday's with Lisa, but this article she posted just the other day asks a question that I am very interested in hearing people's answers to. - Nick   


By Lisa Green  

Disney World Ruins Pirates of the Caribbean?

I’ve heard more than a few grumblings over the additions to Pirates of the Caribbean through the years and I’m honestly surprised the cries have not grown louder of late.  Recently (about a year ago), this most beloved Adventureland attraction became the recipient of new scents to some of the ride scenes.   During a lengthy refurbishment that added new lighting, updated costumes, a softer drop, and more fluid-moving animatronics, the new fragrances were added.


 Yes, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” smell fans have long adored (that dank, musty, sulfur-tinged Orlando water aroma) is virtually no more (you can still smell it loud and clear in the ride queue, if it matters).  As you sail along, you’ll now notice what many describe as a “rum” smell and a “burning” odor (among others).  Similar to the “Rome Burning” fragrance in Spaceship Earth, Pirates now has its own set of custom scents.


A quick search of the internet does turn up a few discussions about the new aromas, but I’ve yet to find a definitive list of how many there are and exactly what we’re supposed to be smelling.  Personally, I’ve loved Pirates of the Caribbean in all its different versions and configurations throughout the 25+ years I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World.  The newest changes have made no difference to me…except the scents. 



They don’t bother me and my ride experience is not ruined, but I’m perplexed by how mysterious they are to me.  Maybe my sniffer isn’t as sensitive as it once was, but I can smell only two different aromas – one smells sweet and a bit like a particular green apple bubble gum I used to love as a kid.  The other smell is the scent of burning, which matches the burning town scene and makes sense (or should I say scents) to me.


What about YOU?  Have you noticed the new aromas in Pirates?  Please tell me…what do they smell like to you?  Do you like the changes that have been made to this attraction through the years?
NOTE:  I know the pictures I’ve used in today’s post are grainy and of poor quality and I’m sorry about that.  I’m a firm believer in “No flash photography” on dark rides and this was the best I could do with my iPhone.  

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!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Our Hurricane Matthew Weekend : Part 3

By Nick

Part 1
Part 2

Saturday, 10/8/16

Up and out very early to meet up with my Disney Exchange Podcast co-host Lisa at the Magic Kingdom before rope drop at 8 am.

As our bus was pulling into the drop off area, I saw Lisa and her family walking along the path from the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower, so I texted her and let her know I saw her. We walked up to security check at literally the same time and got photos in front of the train station.

After rope drop we went our separate ways, and Barbie and I headed back to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Jill and Zach met us back there and we got in the stand-by queue, which was immediately 30 minutes. They had never ridden it, so we decided to just go for it.

We went across the way from there to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and ran into Lisa and her family again!

Next up was Pirates. On our way from there to the Haunted Mansion we stopped for a little snack.

As we exited the HM I got a text from our friend from England, Chloe, who we had met when she was a Cast Member on the International program at the United Kingdom Pavilion, and who has been featured in a few articles right here on Disney Musings!
Chloe and her boyfriend Josh had JUST gotten engaged! Congratulations again Chloe and Josh!

We took a stroll through Big Top Souvenirs before going over to Liberty Square to watch the The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History. The show was really well done, and features my favorite Muppet, Sam Eagle, along with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo.

While watching the show, I got a text from my other Disney Exchange co-host, Dave telling me he and his daughter Dannielle had arrived at the Magic Kingdom. He'd come down to say hello and hit a few booths at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, but stopped at the MK first to say hello and pick up gifts from Lisa and friend Dave Tupper.

We chatted for a bit before going our separate ways. The girls decided to do a little shopping while Zach and I stopped into Casey's for a snack, followed by a walk around Tomorrowland, and a ride on Space Mountain using our last MK FastPass, before heading to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

We walked through the shops to escape the heat, and then noticed a crowd gathering out front. We stepped outside just in time to see the beginning of the First Order Troopers march by. What made this even cooler was, as we were near the front of the park, we were able to then march behind the procession as it moved up Hollywood Blvd!

Afterwards we stopped into Keystone Clothiers to say hello to our long time friend Marilyn.

We had dinner at Disney's Hollywood Brown Derby, another excellent meal at one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.

The Great Movie Ride seemed like a great choice as a spot to digest, so we grabbed FastPasses via the My Disney Experience App, and took a stroll over.

This was followed by a walk through Star Wars Launch Bay, where a Jawa wanted to trade a light cube for my iPhone. I said no thanks, but was treated to a selfie...taken by the Jawa!

We had planned on meeting Dave and his daughter for the Star Wars : A Galactic Spectacular show, but they were tired so decided to leave early, and we were pretty beat as well, so also decided to skip it and called it a night.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

WDW, a Hurricane, Nick, and Dave- 097 The Disney Exchange Podcast

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

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Last week we heard about Lisa'a Walt Disney World and Hurricane Matthew experience, this week we hear from the fellas.

The Wheel of Distiny topic: Are you familiar with the Marvel character Doctor Strange, and are you looking forward to the upcoming movie?

By my calculations, we are just a few episodes away from 100! We'll be doing a giveaway on that show for our Numbered Listeners!

You can get your listener number, request a show subject, suggest a Wheel topic, or tell me how much you love me on Facebook:, Twitter:  or email us at: info@thedisneyexchange  

And, if the mood strikes, why not give us a 5 star rating and review on iTunes

Thanks for listening to The Disney Exchange Podcast!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chapel Hats Disney Springs


If you have not been to Disney Springs recently and are going soon, you are in for a treat! This article by Lisa is over a year old, and the construction walls she mentions in the first sentence are mostly down, but I wanted to share this because it conveys wonderfully the experience of going to the newly imagined Downtown Disney. It has become a destination in and of itself! - Nick

 By Lisa Green 

Construction walls may still be up all around, but excitement is in the air as Downtown Disney’s transformation into Disney Springs is well underway.  New stores are springing up while old favorites continue to thrive.  We recently spent a very enjoyable evening in Downtown Disney/Disney Springs and there’s a new shop I’ve just got to tell you about!

After a leisurely dinner at one of our most favorite dining locations in the World, Raglan Road, we decided to take our time walking back to the bus stop.  Okay, that’s a lie.  We had to walk slowly on account of being inordinately stuffed from the appetizer, salad, entrĂ©es, and desserts we’d just consumed.  My only excuse for overindulgence is that watching those famous Irish Dancers burn off all those calories makes me hungry.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Anyway, we were strolling along and noticed a new shop had opened that we both wanted to explore!


I know, right?  What are the chances that Raymond and I both wanted to shop in the very same store when it’s not full of Disney merchandise?  It just so happens that we are both wild about hats!  The new Chapel Hat store was irresistible.  We waddled on inside and stayed for quite a visit.

Simple and well-stocked, Chapel hats is easy to shop – it’s like a gigantic closet of hats! 



Shelves and shelves stacked high with just about any and every style imaginable.  Men’s hats on the left and women’s on the right with the checkout counter in the middle, Chapel Hats is a lid-lover’s dream come true. 


Charmed by the variety of hats ranging in style from whimsical to utilitarian, we made use of the shop’s many mirrors…and had a ball!





What started out as a fun diversion soon became a serious quest for the perfect hat for each of us.  We enjoyed picking out different styles for each other to try. 


We took turns modeling different types and colors, narrowing our selection down to the two or three we liked the best then helping each other decide on the ONE.  No matter what kind of chapeau you prefer, Chapel Hats has a topper for you!  After about 30 minutes of fun, we purchased our selections.  Shopping bag in hand, we made our way to the buses and on to the Magic Kingdom for Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade.  A perfect souvenir for a truly magical day, our new hats will be a happy reminder of a great Disney vacation for years to come.

Are you much of a hat wearer?  Be sure to check out Chapel Hats on your next visit to Downtown Disney/Disney Springs!  Chapel Hats on the web.

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!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our Hurricane Matthew Weekend : Part 2

By Nick

Part 1 can be found here:

Friday 10/7/16, Hurricane Matthew

I slept rather fitfully, waking several times during the night to look outside. I really didn't see much.
Finally, around 7 am,  I went for a walk around our floor.

One thing about staying at Pop Century, as we were in an inside facing room, it seemed to be sheltered from the wind to some extent, so when I first went out, it didn't seem that there was much more than a strong breeze blowing. As I walked around however, I did feel some heavier gusts. Still, it was nowhere near the magnitude I'd expected from the news reports the previous evening. And it was not even raining very hard.

Barbie and I had our cereal while watching the news. Matthew's eye had remained offshore, so while the damage was not minor, especially to coastal towns, it was not as severe as had originally been predicted.

I started seeing more and more people walking around so decided to head over to Everything Pop for a coffee. They were serving breakfast! I grabbed my hot beverage, and a couple of tie dye cheesecakes, and headed back to the room.

Barbie and I had our snacks and decided to take a walk over to Art of Animation to see if anything was happening there. Interestingly, they had a much more limited menu. I talked to a Cast Member who said they had run out of food! And their shop, wasn't open!

We walked back to Pop, got back in our PJs and had our salads, expecting to just spend the rest of the afternoon in. We were contacted by Jill and Zach who had decided to come over to hang out with us, and wound up getting a ride from a Cast Member on a golf cart!

Zach broke out UNO, and we spent awhile playing.

Around 2:30- 3, I got a text from a CM friend, Marilyn, letting me know that Disney Springs would be opening at 4 pm! Shortly thereafter, I received a message from the Pop front desk, also sharing this information. I will say, Disney and Pop did a really good job updating us via messages throughout the whole experience.

Zach called us an Uber and we headed over to the main building to wait. Within just a few minutes we were on our way to Disney Springs, arriving at 3:45. We talked to a really great CM who was a New Jersey local, in fact from the town adjacent to where Barbie works. A few minutes before 4, he took us down to the entrance and admitted us. We were literally among the only people in all of DS! It was pretty amazing to get our first look at the just recently opened Town Center section almost completely empty.

We took a walk around, and as we were looking at the D-Luxe Burger menu, a CM came out and invited us to go on in, they were the only restaurant actually fully open at that point!

The 4 of us split 2 different burgers, fries and milkshakes. I'll have a full review in the future, but will say this, we thoroughly enjoyed it!

We headed over to Jock Lindsey's and were lucky enough to snag a table, because within 15 minutes of our arrival, the place was standing room only, with a long line out front!

Service was a bit slow, but this was understandable, because, as it was explained to us by our server, the CMs that were in were not necessarily servers from the particular establishment, and they were very understaffed. Throw in the fact that DS was literally the only game in town, so to speak, and you have a recipe for huge crowds!

We spent a couple of hours eating, drinking, crowd watching and playing Uno before heading out into the masses! We walked through several shops before deciding to head back, as it was going to be an early start the next day, as Disney had announced they would be opening it's parks at 8 am.

We had missed a day and a half at the parks, but we had experienced something that relatively few people have, a Hurricane at Walt Disney World, and only the 4th time that the parks had been closed in it's 45 year history!