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Ep. 11 – What is the Allure of Disney World?

In Ep. 11 of 2 Sides of WDW, Kristen and Mike discuss the allure of Disney World. What brings people back year after year? What makes it different from everywhere else on Earth?   Find out next!

Unique!  Disney encompasses 40 square miles of resort goodness.  You are really are in their playground.  Nothing else is allowed.  It is all Mickey, all the time.  And that is just cool.  In those 40 miles, there are 4 theme parks, more than 30 resorts, a shopping district, golf courses, and so much more.  There is something for everybody.  Which leads to….

There is something for everybody!  It is a vacation the whole family can enjoy together.  Not only that, there is so much there that everyone gets their way.  Everybody gets to do something they enjoy.  That is hard to beat just about everywhere else.

Service!  Disney service is second to none despite the occasional problems that are highlighted.  They are highlighted because they are the exception to the rule.  You rarely find that anywhere else.

Attention to detail.  It really does make you feel like you are in a different place.  As a result, it brings people in droves.  It really is a vacation destination.  There are few places that put as much thought into every detail of the experience as Disney.

There is much more of course.  Listen to this week’s episode to get our full run down!

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Ep. 10 – Is Disney Pricing Itself Out of Business?

In episode 10 of 2 Sides of WDW, Kristen and I chat about Disney prices.  Are they pricing themselves out of business?

A trip to Disney is a one of a kind vacation.  There is nothing like it anywhere else on Earth.  It is the top vacation destination in the world.  Three of the top four theme parks in the world in terms of attendance are all located on Disney World property.  And with all that success has come a steady increase in prices.  What are you willing to spend for a week with the mouse?  If you said less than 2000 dollars, you are likely out of luck.

Prices have increased far faster than inflation.  Have we gotten great new experiences for those increases?  Not really.  How about better service?  Nope.  Better entertainment?  Nope.  So how do they keep setting records for attendance?

They have the best self contained family area on Earth.  We bought into their product as kids and in turn want to share the experience with our kids.  It is a process that perpetuates itself naturally.  But with prices going to insane levels, i’m not sure that will always be the case.

Tickets are over a hundred dollars a day…..per person.  If you want to park hop in that same day you will be out over 150 a person.  Think about that.  For one day, a family of four could spend as much 600 dollars.  A night at a deluxe resort will cost you over 500 per night.  A dinner at Cinderellas Royal Table will set you back over 225 bucks for a family of four.  So for one night with everything stated above, you are going to spend  roughly 1500 dollars.  That is hard to justify.  Sure, the prices drop (per day) if you stay longer, but obviously the longer you stay, the more it costs.  Want to hear more?  Check out this week’s episode.

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Ep. 9 – Extra Magic Hours at Disney! Good, Bad, or Ugly?

In Episode 9 of 2 Sides of WDW, Kristen and I talk about Extra Magic Hours!  What are they?  Are they good, bad, or ugly?

To begin, extra magic hours let you get into a park either one hour early or up to three hours after closing if you are a Disney Resort guest (plus Swan/Dolphin and Hilton).  The parks rotate which is open early/late and the schedule changes, so check the official Disney website for up to date information.

With thirty resorts and more than 26,000 rooms on property, the ability to get away from the crowds with EMH is very limited.  The early hours are better than the late to beat the crowds, but the parks are neat at night.

If you want to use these hours, get a park hopper so you can take advantage of both parks with EMH.  It also helps to get away from the extra people after the park opens to the general public.  The Early Open park is always the most crowded park of the day.  See what you want to early and move on to another park.

Keep in mind that all rides are not open for morning or night hours, though night hours has more open attractions and dining.

Overall, it is still a good perk, but only if you plan it carefully.

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Ep. 8 – I Hate the Animal Kingdom?

In Episode 8 of 2 Sides of WDW, Kristen and I discuss whether or not we really hate the Animal Kingdom?  Can you really hate anything at Disney World?

Well, Animal Kingdom has some of the best and most unique attractions at Disney World.  Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, Dinosaur, Festival of the Lion King, and Dinosaur are all amazing and not to be missed.

On the other hand, the park stays crowded and hot due to narrow walkways and dense vegetation all around you.  There are not enough great attractions to really call this a full day park.  And, there are smaller attractions that should be missed by just about everyone.  Dining options, especially inside, are also very few and far between.

So, there seem to be many disadvantages to this park.  But overall, hey, it’s still Disney.  Yes, you should go.  There is truly nothing like it anywhere.  And don’t forget, it’s Nahtazu!

For more, listen to this week’s episode.

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Ep. 7 – Pre-shows at Disney World

In Episode 7 of 2 Sides of WDW, Kristen and I yap about pre shows at Disney World.  They are a fact of life. Are they just another line or do they add value to an attraction?  Listen to this week’s episode to get all the details.

You can find pre-shows all over the four theme parks in some of the biggest attractions.  Test Track, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘N Roller Coaster, and many more have them.  They are a good way to help with crowd control while still entertaining the guests as they wait for the main part of the ride or attraction.

The problem is, if they serve no purpose or it is extremely dull, they tend to annoy guests rather than enhance the experience.  We both agree that the Tower of Terror pre-show is the best.  What is the worst?  Well, we don’t agree there.  For me it’s Catastrophe Canyon.  For Kristen, it’s Captain EO.  No doubt though that both are heinous.

For more, listen to this week’s episode.

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Ep. 6 – Romance at Disney World

In Episode 6 of 2 Sides of WDW, Kristen and I yap about romance in Disney World.  Is romance possible in the largest playground for kids in the world?  Our answer is yes!

There are a ton of ways that couples can find romance in disney world.  Thousands and thousands of honeymooners can’t be wrong.  The opportunities are limited only to your imagination.

Fireworks are one of the very best places for romance in Disney.  Grab your honey and hold him/her close.  The rest of the world disappears as Disney tells you a story punctuated with music and visuals to go along with the magnificent fireworks show.  Wishes and Illuminations are perfect for this.

The resorts give you more chances for romance.  Couples spas, drinks at the pool while looking at the castle, watching the fireworks at Sunset point at the Polynesian, or just walking the grounds hand in hand.  They all work.  Add to that carriage rides, horseback riding, renting boats and taking night cruises all give you unforgettable romantic experiences.

Dinners are a traditional place for romance.  The Wave, California Grill, Victoria and Alberts, and more all give you great romantic settings.  Take advantage of those, especially places where you can sit without being almost on top of your neighbors (no Le Cellier).

Check out the wedding pavilion near the Grand Floridian, take a tour of the world and find the hidden nooks in World Showcase.  Romance at Disney is what you make it.

For more information, listen to this week’s episode.

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Ep. 5 – Too Much Tech at WDW?

Episode 5 of 2 Sides of WDW is all about technology in the Walt Disney World Resort.  We have come a long way since the  most sophisticated piece of equipment most of us brought to the parks was a camera.  No lightweight and digital cameras, either.  They were bulky and required a separate pack for extra batteries and film.  Much has changed.  Has the change made things better?

The biggest additions to the theme parks has been video cameras, walkie talkies, cell phones, fast pass, and all of the variations of My Magic Plus.  When we go on vacation, we want to unplug and spend time with our friends and family.  I think that all the tech gets in the way of actually experiencing the experience.  Kristen agrees for the most part, but as you will hear, she welcomes anything that will help make the trip easier.  After all, easier is always better isn’t it?

Check out this week’s episode and decide for yourself.  And once you have made your choice, be sure to contact us and let us know what you think!  Thanks for listening to this week’s edition of 2 Sides of WDW!

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Ep. 4 – The Best FREE things to do in Disney World

In Episode 4, Kristen and I yap about one of everyone’s favorite topics, FREE Stuff!  We give you our run down of the Best Free things to see and do in and around Walt Disney World.

Yee-haa Bob
There are great experiences all over Walt Disney World.  But paid or free, perhaps the best of all is not in a Theme Park.  It is the epic piano player Yee-haa Bob at Port Orleans Riverside Resort.  Bob’s show is great, family fun.  He plays and has a sing along with tunes everybody in your family will enjoy and remember forever.  His personality is electric and everyone gravitates too him, even if they are not sure why at first.  He is there from Wednesday-Saturday and does three shows a night starting at 8:30.  It is a show that cost you nothing, but is not to be missed.  Good luck singing Sara…..Now don’t mess it up!

Club Cool
Club Cool is located in EPCOT and is the only place on property you get free drinks that are not water.  Sample flavors from all over the world.  Drink as many as you like.  It is all free.  And whatever you do, don’t forget to have some Beverly!

Transportation
Transportation in Disney are rides by themselves.  Monorails, boats, ferries, and perhaps even a bus can be an experience that is fun simply by taking a ride.  Don’t overlook these experiences regardless of where you are staying.

Fireworks
So technically you have to buy theme park admission to see the fireworks, but the shows are included in your ticket.  Every park except animal kingdom has a nighttime show, and they are all amazing experiences.  Any 4th of July show you have seen looks like a backyard with Roman Candles by comparison.  Don’t miss these.  The memories will stay with you forever.

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Episode 3 – Top 7 Must Do (and must miss) at the 4 Disney Parks

In Episode 3, Kristen and I give you our lists of the Top 7 Must Do’s and the Bottom 7 Must Miss in each of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World.

There is a ton to do in the Disney theme parks.   In fact, there is so much to see and do that you simply cannot do it all in one trip.  So if this is your once in a lifetime trip, what are you to do?  Well this week Kristen and Mike break it all down for you so you don’t miss the good stuff and don’t waste time with the things you will kick yourself for doing later.

Disney World is excellent!  They pull off a theme park like nobody else in the world.  But that doesn’t mean everything is roses.  Cut through the company line with this week’s show.  To complicate the issue even more, Kristen and Mike can’t seem to agree….especially on what you can easily miss (Carousel of Progress?   Really Kristen?). At any rate, you can find them all in this week’s show.  Do you agree? Do you vehemently disagree?  Either way, we want to hear from you.  You can contact either of us (information below.

 

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