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Tron Coaster Update – Magic Kingdom 7/16/2021

We start this blog where we left off last time – we had just left the Emporium on Mainstreet USA after a good soaking rainfall and we are headed to Tomorrow land to ride some rides. We stepped into the street and turned down by the Plaza restaurant and headed towards Tomorrowland Terrace as a quick cut-through to Tomorrow land. Along the way I had to snap a picture of the beautiful grassy areas and Cinderella’s castle shimmering in the background.

Tomorrowland Walkway from Mainstreet
Tomorrowland Walkway from Mainstreet

We stopped for a moment to grab some water and visit the restrooms and the rain began to fall again. This time it came very hard and we had just enough time to duck into the seating area of Tomorrowland Terrace. Here we sat for around 10-15 minutes as the rain did it’s thing. The breeze was nice and we enjoyed a nice long rest and some cold drinks while we waited. But, just as suddenly as it started – it was over just as suddenly and we gathered our bags and headed around to the entrance of Tomorrowland. As we walked I could see the PeopleMover cars speeding along the track above and I knew we would have to ride it today! We stopped to take a couple of pictures at the Purple Wall and continued around the corner to the main walkway into Tomorrowland. I could tell from the number of folks – everything was going to have a long wait today.

Tomorrowland Astro Orbiter and Main Area - Magic Kingdom
Tomorrowland Astro Orbiter and Main Area – Magic Kingdom 7/16/2021

We walked down the street toward the Astro Orbiter and I could see the lines for it and the People Mover were very long. I looked at my wife and asked her what she would like to do – A quick glance over and we could see the Carousel of Progress was getting ready to start the next show. We headed quickly up the ramps to get in the line with some other guests already waiting. We love this ride/show because it is a comfortable seat in a cool dark place – perfect spot to cool off and enjoy some classic Disney entertainment!

Carousel Of Progress - Magic Kingdom
Carousel Of Progress – Magic Kingdom

After the 20 minute show we were rested, cool and ready to stand in a line – so, we made a beeline for the end of the queue for PeopleMover. It was around 30 minutes to wait in a semi-shaded queue – but, the heat was still pretty rough on this mid-July afternoon. We made our way through the line and finally up the conveyor belt ramp to the entrance for the ride. My wife and I always make an effort to ride this each trip to the Magic Kingdom. We like the comfortable, relaxing ride which is basically a tour around Tomorrowland and into some of the attraction buildings. My favorite part is always entering the building for Space Mountain in the pitch darkness and getting to the part where you can see into the roller coaster track area – you can see the stars streaking by and hear the riders screaming in the darkness. We have actually gone through before with the lights on – so, we got really good views of the track and how everything is layed out.

People Mover Ride - Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland
People Mover Ride – Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland 7/16/2021

As the cars made their way around the track we headed around where Stitch’s Great Escape ride used to be and then turned the corner around by the castle. I mentioned to my wife that I hoped we could get some good photos of Tron coaster construction today – we could tell as we headed down by the motor speedway that workers were busy at the site. As the Tron site came into better view we could see the temporary netting on top of the outside coaster areas – this is the big covered area where the coaster will exit the ride building and run under the lighted canopy outside. It looks like the canopy structure is all complete – and the temporary netting should allow them to install the permanent netting very soon. We also noticed that the top door of the building was open now – I’m not sure, but, I believe this is where the coaster comes out and then dives down under canopy. The large attraction door at the bottom of the building was also open – this I believe is where the rider entrance/exit will be. Today there were lots of workers and equipment entering and exiting the building as they finish up the last bits of this awesome looking attraction.

Tron Coaster Construction - Magic Kingdom
Tron Coaster Construction – Magic Kingdom 7/16/2021

We entered the Space Mountain building and I enjoyed every second of the inky darkness and awesome immersion into this sci-fi Space adventure. I always feel a little sad when it’s over and I’m thrust back out into the blinding daylight heat. But, as we made our way around the Carousel of Progress building and back around by the castle the ride came to an abrupt stop with the familiar Disney announcement. ‘ Your ride has stopped, please remain seated’ – oh well, there were much worse places to be stuck – so, I took advantage of the scenery and took a few pictures of the Tomorrowland bridge and castle in the distance.

People Mover Stopped - Cinderella Castle and Tomorrowland Bridge
People Mover Stopped – Cinderella Castle and Tomorrowland Bridge – Magic Kingdom 7/16/2021

The ride soon started again and we were on our way back to the loading platform. As we whizzed past the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor building my wife said that it was supposed to re-open in early August (Aug 8) – it has been closed for pretty much the entire pandemic. We always get a kick out of that show and are amazed at the improv skills of the folks running the jokes! We soon entered the loading station for the PeopleMover so we waited for the cast member to direct us to exit and we stood up and gathered our stuff. Down the ramp and back into the crowds – my next stop was my favorite – Space Mountain. The line was long and we could see the posted wait time of 80 minutes on the sign at the entrance. Not much shade in this area and that line snaked around the entire area – but, we had no choice it was the reason for coming to Tomorrowland first – one of my favorite coasters ever!

Space Mountain in Tomorrowland - Magic Kingdom 7/16/2021
Space Mountain in Tomorrowland – Magic Kingdom 7/16/2021

We will continue our trip in our next blog as we stand in this long / hot line waiting on this epic ride!

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.

Walt Disney World to Resume Annual Pass Sales In Time for 50th Anniversary!

Magic Kingdom Mainstreet USA
Magic Kingdom Mainstreet USA with red flowers in bloom.

Disney has announced their intention to resume selling annual passes prior to the 50th anniversary celebration:

And for those wondering about Walt Disney World Annual Passes, new pass sales will become available in time for the start of the 50th anniversary celebration! Walt Disney World Resort will be sharing additional information and details later this month…

Disney Parks Blog

More details are coming soon along with the exact date the sales will begin, but, for now we have confirmation that this program will return and we could not be happier!

The 50th anniversary celebrations will begin on October 1, 2021.

Magic Kingdom Update and Train Station Construction – 7/16/2021

In our last blog I left off as we left the Grand Floridian on the Monorail and headed towards Magic Kingdom. We arrived quickly at the station and made our way out of the Monorail into the station – there were only a few people arriving at Magic Kingdom at this time so the station was relatively empty.

Magic Kingdom Monorail Station
Magic Kingdom Monorail Station

We did time it perfect and caught two monorails in the station for a great photo. I really enjoy the picture of the ‘Welcome’ sign as you start down the path toward the front gate of Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Monorail Station Walkway
Magic Kingdom Monorail Station Walkway

We quickly made our way down the path and made the turn towards the entrance gates for the Magic Kingdom. It’s not a trip to Disney World until you enter those magical gates and officially start your vacation. The scrim is still up and covering the train station as they continue to prepare for the 50th anniversary! I really miss the clear view the station and the sound of the train coming around the track, but, we have to make sacrifices to keep everything looking pristine for her big day.

Magic Kingdom Train Station Scrim
Magic Kingdom Train Station Scrim

We entered the tunnels under the train station and caught our first glimpse of Main Street USA and the crowds that were in attendance that day. We could tell it was a very busy day from the number of people scattered around this first area. The buildings on the square are looking good with fresh paint and shiny fresh banners. We hit the square just in time to catch a character calvacade with Peter Pan, Alice from Wonderland, Mary Poppins and Aladdin.

Magic Kingdom Calvacade Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland
Magic Kingdom Calvacade Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland
Magic Kingdom Calvacade Mary Poppins and Aladdin
Magic Kingdom Calvacade Mary Poppins and Aladdin

The as soon as the calvacade passed out the side gate – the fab four came out and stood at the train station to wave to the crowd.

Magic Kingdom Train Station with Mickey,Minnie,Donald and Pluto
Magic Kingdom Train Station with Mickey,Minnie,Donald and Pluto

We waived at the group like we were starry-eyed teenagers – enjoying these mega-stars as they greeting their adoring public. I snapped a few pictures down Main Street towards Cinderella Castle with the beautiful red flowers really framing the shot.

Magic Kingdom Mainstreet USA
Magic Kingdom Mainstreet USA with red flowers in bloom.

The sky was getting a bit dark – so, we decided we would head in the Emporium for some quick shopping before continuing our adventure. Once inside the crowd was thick inside the shops – it was tough to make our way around the store as we waited for others to clear a path. I glanced up through the open doors to Main Street and saw that the rain was coming down quite hard. I was really glad we had made it inside before the bottom fell out and we were grateful for the cool air and dry spot to wait out the storm.

It wasn’t long before we noticed the rain had all but stopped. We made our way out of the shops just as another Character Calvacade came by – it was Goofy and two of the three Caballeros – What a day for characters!

Magic Kingdom Calvacade with Goofy and Two Caballeros
Magic Kingdom Calvacade with Goofy and Two Caballeros

Looking down the street towards the castle it was very wet, but, there were only a few sprinkles coming down now – so, we decided to make our way toward Tomorrow Land.

Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle Rain
Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle Rain

I will continue our trip in our next blog as we head toward Tomorrow land and one of my favorite rides in the park – Space Mountain.

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.

Grand Floridian Resort and Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

In my last blog I spoke about our trip to the Magic Kingdom resort area. I left off where we left the Polynesian resort after a great meal at the Kona Cafe and headed to the Grand Floridian resort. We exited the main lodge building and headed to the dock to catch a boat to the Magic Kingdom. This is a short walk around the side exit around the pool area and past the rental boat launches.

Polynesian Resort Dock
Polynesian Resort Dock

This is a very scenic area where you can see across Seven Seas lagoon to the other resorts and even catch a glimpse into the Magic Kingdom. The beach is pristine and you can see the Polynesian guest cottages that are built over the water lining the shore of the lagoon.

Polynesian Resort Dock
Polynesian Resort Dock – 7/16/2021

We made our way down the dock to the covered waiting area and found a few other guests waiting patiently in the shade. After a few minutes waiting we heard a few people mention that it had been some time since the boat had come to the dock. We decided we would wait for 10 – 15 minutes and if the boat didn’t appear we would walk around the walkway to the Grand Floridian resort and either take the boat from there or the Monorail. So, after that time had passed we made our way back down the dock towards the Polynesian and turned right down the walkway towards the Grand Floridian resort areas. It was a very hot day and the shade along the path was welcome in the spots where the bushes covered the path. Along the way we passed the wedding pavilion – which was locked up tight, but, very pretty to look at from a distance.

Disney's Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion
Disney’s Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion – 7/16/2021

The walk was very scenic along the beach and as we approached the resort areas we could hear lots of people gathered at the pool areas splashing and having a great time. We quickly came to the first section of the resort and continued along the path passed the pool areas and into the main lobby. I am always impressed by the grandeur of the main building with its high ceilings and ornate railings. The stained glass windows at the top are beautiful and the whole place just screams elegance.

Grand Floridian Resort
Grand Floridian Resort – 7/16/2021

The lobby was quiet and relaxed with a person playing a large piano on the bottom floor. We sat for a few minutes to cool off and rest a bit before continuing our journey. This is one of the best places around to sit and relax while you listen to fine Disney piano music and enjoy the environment. From our spot on the ground floor we could see up to the monorail station exit on level two and so we decided we would take the elevator up to the second level and ride to Magic Kingdom. The elevator is very ornate and easy to access from the main lobby area. We boarded the elevator and pressed level 2 – this elevator actually only goes to level 2 – so, it is only meant to transport guests from the main lobby level up to the monorail level – there are other elevators to take you up to the top guest floors.

Grand Floridian Resort - Elevator Shaft
Grand Floridian Resort – Elevator Shaft – 7/16/2021

We arrived on the second level and found additional shops and more places to sit and enjoy the views. We made our way toward the Monorail exit door and found that a Monorail had just arrived at the station and was about to begin boarding. We made our way quickly through the new security scanners and boarded the Monorail – next stop is the Magic Kingdom Monorail station – and then the Magic Kingdom itself, but, I will continue that part of the story in my next blog.

Grand Floridian Resort Monorail Station
Grand Floridian Resort Monorail Station – 7/16/2021

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.

Disney World & Disneyland Are Requiring That Masks Be Worn Indoors Again.

Face Masks at Disney
Face Masks at Disney

Disney World announced on Wednesday that they are adapting their health and safety guidelines based on “guidance from health and government officials”.

Disney World and Disneyland will again require their cast members and guests aged 2 and up to start wearing masks indoors starting Friday July 30th. Guests and cast members are required to mask up regardless of vaccination status. Disney made this move due to the rapidly spreading of the Delta Covid -19 variant. The decision to once again ask their guests to wear masks is also notable since Disney is the premier destination for guests to attend the theme parks.

This changed happen due to the change in the guidance the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on Tuesday, recommending that vaccinated and nor vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas of “substantial” and “high” transmission of Covid-19.

Harmonious’ Spectacular to Debut October 1 at Epcot

‘Harmonious’ barges and center ring in Epcot lagoon – Monday 7/19/2021

The new nighttime spectacular ‘Harmonious’ has been officially announced to premier on October 1, 2021 – the fiftieth anniversary of Walt Disney World. This is little more than one month away and caps the many months of work and preparation that went into the construction and planning of this new show.

Epcot Harmonious Nighttime Spectacular
Epcot Harmonious Nighttime Spectacular

“Harmonious” illuminates our shared humanity, bringing to life the vision of EPCOT through a celebration of our world and its promise. Over the years, cultures from around the world have provided inspiration for Disney films and music. In “Harmonious,” a global community of musical artists has come together and reinterpreted those familiar stories and songs in their own voice, honoring their respective cultures. Collectively, they contribute to a unique experience that could only happen at EPCOT, a place where the impossible becomes possible through the power of human imagination and the magic of Disney.

The show moves through three distinct chapters, inviting us to gather on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon, celebrate the countries and cultures of the world, and ultimately unite to create a bright tomorrow. “Harmonious” begins with a sunrise, and as the world awakens around us, we set out on a journey that takes us across the globe. It’s a dazzling and diverse feast for the eyes and ears, from the South Pacific home of “Moana” and a Middle-Eastern interpretation of “Aladdin” to “The Jungle Book” in India, China’s legend of “Mulan,” the European nations that inspired “Brave” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and so much more.

Update on the Polynesian Resort 7/16/2021

We recently traveled to Orlando from July 16 – 20 and had a chance to visit the Polynesian resort for a meal and some exploring. Here is an update on what we experienced and some construction updates.

We arrived at the Disney World resort on Saturday July 17th and drove directly to the Polynesian resort entrance. After explaining that we had a 1:55PM lunch reservation at the Kona Cafe the security guard allowed us to park in the resort parking lot. We managed to get a fairly good parking spot close to the main walkway to the resort and quickly saw that the monorail station is still very much under construction.

July 17, 2021 – Polynesian Resort Monorail Station Construction

The main entrance is still a work in progress, so we made our way down the side path to the side entrance to the lobby. Here we found the resort looking very familiar and welcoming as the classic Polynesian theming and decor is much the same. We made our way up the stairs to the restaurant level where both O’hana and Kona Cafe are located. This level offers some great views of the surrounding resort grounds and the seven seas lagoon resort area.

July 17, 2021 – Polynesian Resort Back Deck Construction

It is very apparent that the resort is undergoing some pretty major construction updates out back as well – the restaurant area and the back entrance / pool areas are getting some attention. This didn’t interfere with our walk to our lunch reservation – so we made our way and decided to try and check-in a little early (1:30PM). As we approached the entrance to the Kona Cafe I noticed that it didn’t appear to be super busy. The attendant verified our information and was able to get us seated almost immediately.

The decor in the restaurant was very Polynesian and made me feel like we were going to a place in Hawaii. We sat down and our server came to take our orders. My wife opted for a drink called the Lapu Lapu – which is served in a fresh pineapple that is hollowed out and contains tropical fruit juices and Gosling’s 151 Rum.

Kona Cafe – Lapu Lapu Drink

After getting our drinks we also received our appetizer – the Crispy Pork-Vegetable Pot Sticker and the free Hawaiian bread with butter. The pot sticker was very good – it was traditional Asian dumplings cooked together in a frying pan – so they were all actually stuck together in a crispy layer. They were served on a plate with a couple of sauces for dipping and I can tell you they were excellent. The bread was also very good – it was warm and the butter made a great before lunch snack.

The main entrees arrived just after we finished our appetizers – so, there was no waiting between courses. I ordered the Kona Chicken Stir-Fry while my wife (a fairly picky eater) ordered the hamburger from the kids menu (adult portion). My noodles and chicken were very good – the Asian flavors really came through and the chicken had a very good Teriyaki flavor. My wife’s burger came with bacon – so, she gave them to me – score! The bacon was covered in a sweet flavor and black pepper. The pepper was a little much, but, the sweetness balanced it well.

Kona Cafe – Kona Chicken Stir Fry (and Bacon)

Overall, the meal was great – it was very filling for both of us and my dish probably could have served two folks (there were a lot of noodles). We had a good experience and we would recommend it to most anyone. They were very accommodating to picky eaters, the service was great and the atmosphere was peaceful and relaxing.

After we finished we made our way downstairs in hopes that Trader Sam’s would be open so we could have a couple of drinks. However, sadly – Trader Sam’s didn’t open up until 7/24/2021 – so, we didn’t get the chance to have that experience. We did do some quick shopping at the shops before heading out for some time in the Magic Kingdom. That is a story for our next blog.

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.