10 spots to get splashed in the Disney Theme Parks

Visitors to the Walt Disney World theme parks generally know going into the game that they’re likely to encounter some heat. The index can range from toasty warm in the milder months to darn near sweltering in the summer. Much appreciated are the myriad ways to cool off around property. If it’s not yet time to head back to the hotel swimming pool, we’ve got 10 spots in mind in and around the theme parks where you can catch a break from the temps and savor a splash or two.

MAGIC KINGDOM

Casey Jr Splash ‘n Soak Station

First stop on our Splash Tour is this colorful, spurting collection of circus cars in Fantasyland. Themed after the animated film Dumbo, Casey Jr Splash ‘n Soak Station will be a magnet to your parched tykes on a hot day at the Magic Kingdom. We prefer to “splash” instead of “soak” at Casey’s — use your own discretion. (more…)

Last chance for Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

So thank goodness we came jogging up mere minutes before the 1:30pm show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The next chance to watch it would have been three hours later; after that, who knows? Rumors have persisted that this behind-the-scenes-style stunt show will be replaced in the near future for a park expansion. Should that pan out, I’m glad we got at least one chance to watch the gravity-defying car chase scenes and – most thrilling of all to the kids – the man who survived skidding through a wall of flames. (You can’t help but marvel when the set director lists off all the protective gear that stunt man must wear!)
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Last chance for the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

MH osborne lightsTwenty years after the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights first blinked on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios), they will flicker their final farewell when the 2015 holiday season comes to a close. Due to the upcoming construction of Star Wars and Toy Story-themed lands at the park, the light extravaganza has received its eviction notice from the Streets of America (whose days are numbered as well). (more…)

Disney Classic: Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! attraction is feeling especially classic to me as I post this. I owe that to this photo (above) from a trip in 1992, and for two reasons: 1) the 25-year-old picture is the most recent one I have of the live-action show based on the Indiana Jones film franchise. And 2) the show hasn’t changed much since the pic was snapped. Following the same storyline as the show did when it opened in 1989, Indy re-creates scenes from the popular Raiders of the Lost Ark while schooling the audience in the ways that movie stunts are performed. Some of the seemingly-death defying stunts include: evading booby traps in a Peruvian temple to retrieve the golden idol, fighting a band of miscreant acrobats in Cairo, and narrowly escaping the explosion of a Nazi aircraft. (more…)

Enjoy: “Back to the” 50’s Prime Time Cafe

If you’ve got a hankering for home cooking and a return to kinder, gentler times, consider a meal at the 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Just be prepared for a truly immersive experience – and above all, make sure to mind your p’s and q’s. Why’s that? Well, we lunched at the retro spot a couple years back and I found out the hard way that our server (“Cousin-Somebody-or-Other”) wasn’t going to let me off the hook for leaving vegetables on my plate! (more…)

Uncover the Magic of Disney Animation

Disney’s Mulan is near the top of our family’s list of all-time favorite animated films so we were delighted that the first half of the Magic of Disney Animation attraction is co-hosted by Mushu! The jocular dragon is assisted by a human Disney animator to discuss how the animated characters in our favorite films are chosen and designed. This all goes down on a set intended to look like an animator’s workspace, complete with mock-up sketches, figurines, and other items of inspiration. (more…)

Star Wars™ Weekends return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Wars™ Weekends are back at Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 16 – June 15, 2014! The event, which takes place Friday – Sunday, is jam-packed full of special entertainment, characters and dining experiences celebrating the popular Star Wars films and the television series Star Wars™: The Clone Wars. (more…)

Classic Upgrade: Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

MH star tours 2.0 disneylandAt the risk of being branded blasphemous, I’ll admit I was slow to notice all the differences between the original Star Tours attraction and its 2011 revamp. Yes, I get that the entire film itself is brand new. I’m fully aware that eleven randomized scenes have been installed. I applaud the addition of the randomized scenes because they amount to a possible 54 different journeys through classic Star Wars communities and interactions with beloved Star Wars characters.

My main excuse for such ignorance is that I hadn’t ridden the original attraction in nearly a decade before riding the upgrade. The traits I remembered from the original were still present in the new film: our Starspeeders lurching to and fro, explosions rattling us in our chairs and C-3PO hysterically bumbling about. (more…)

Train with the Jedi Academy

Personally, I’m not a big Star Wars buff. But, I figured, how fun would it be to watch my kids train as young Padawans? If stage fright didn’t rear its head, I knew my son, Andy, would love to don the robe and swing the saber. I could just picture his little Jedi instincts kicking in as Darth Vader attempts to coax the kids over to the Dark Side. It was this vision that kept us in a 40-minute line to sign up for the Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Discover the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow

To my husband, this was like divine intervention. Loyal to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction since childhood, he was prophetizing on a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom of the need for more Pirates in the Parks. You can imagine his reaction when I told him that a walk-through attraction called “The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow” had just been added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (“It’s about time!” was the approximate response.) (more…)