It’s no lie to anyone who knows me that next to the Magic Kingdom, where I feel like I’m stepping right into my favorite stories, I love Animal Kingdom. Soon, I’m going to be sharing some of the AMAZING photos I got of KiteTails, Disney’s special 50th anniversary show at Animal Kingdom. Today, however, I’m so excited to share these incredible, in fact, so awesome I’ve got to say it again, incredible National Geographic books.
National Geographic is a staple in our house. Since a young age, my kids have devoured their books. The photographs are amazing, the facts interesting, and if one ever has had a question: “Let’s see if we can find the answer in a National Geographic Book” is usually what someone says.
I was thrilled to be sent FOUR National Geographic books to share my opinions on. For a new homeschooling mom, not only are these going to be perfect for this year’s life sciences study in fourth grade, and Greek mythology in ninth grade, they have my kids begging for summer 2023 to get here so we can visit Animal Kingdom again.
While at Animal Kingdom, one of our favorite things to do is walk the different treks. My youngest likes the Maharajah Jungle Trek, where he can see the various wild cats! Tigers are his favorite, so he was excited to see that the 2023 National Geographic Atlas had a tiger on the front! He also wondered if it was a typo, (spoken like a true editor’s child!) as he said we weren’t in 2023 yet.
These books are not only going to teach us about many of the animals found at Disney, but also introduce us to new ones!
Each of these books are incredible. I’m honestly not sure which is going to be looked at the most. Check out some of these photos! What surprised me about the atlas, was it also had pages like this!
Do you kids love just random facts? Some of these completely surprised me. I loved the tidbit about snow cones, one of our favorite summer treats! (See photo!) From everything to treasure and weapons, to animals, money, and well, everything in between, this is tied for my favorite of these four books.
It’s getting close to Christmas. If you are anything like me, you like to shop early, hit the sales, but also have the best selection in the stores, right? When it gets a little too close to the wire, it’s ALL picked over. At least, that’s how it is here in our town. Wouldn’t one or more of these make a great gift for someone? If not for a child, then to a classroom! Mr. Disney Magic is a teacher, and I love to stock his shelves with high quality books for the children to curl up with during silent reading and absorb. I’m pretty sure every kid likes animals!
Do you see these incredible and vivid images? The sea animals make me long for the amazing aquarium at EPCOT, at the Seas with Nemo.
These also make for perfect road trip entertainment, instead of just electronic devices! Even if your kiddo only looks at each page, I’m thinking an hour of silence per book. Maybe more!
The thing I really love most about National Geographic books, is they take into consideration the target age of their audience. You know a kids book is going to be safe to leave kids alone with. It’s going to have age appropriate language, pictures that are engaging, and…I’m going to say it again…are just incredible.
Now, yes…Greek mythology, that’s not quite Animal Kingdom, right? And everything I review has to have some sort of a Disney slant. That’s my thing. Don’t worry, it’s still Disney related!
For years, Disney has been teasing that EPCOT may get a new pavilion. Greece is one that many people have asked for. It wouldn’t be a stretch, think about how many times a character from Greece has appeared in a Disney movie. Ahem, Hercules anyone? What about Mal from Descendants? Did you realize that Zeus was her uncle? Zeus actually makes several appearances in Disney films, everything from muppets and animation, like Fantasia, to in Marvel movies. That’s right…Thor! Loki! Some of the most popular Greek names are in those movies. Maybe Season 2 of Loki will introduce us to a few other gods or demigods? In the meantime, you can get refreshed on your Greek mythology.
Tell me, don’t these pictures just make you want to read more? What was neat about the Greek mythology book, was it’s not just stories, but interesting facts, too.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures and these connections to Disney as much as I have! As my husband says, I can turn anything into Disney. Maybe it’s true…I don’t know, but I see these books, and I sure think so!
Stop by my Facebook page, tell me some of your favorite National Geographic books! How do you connect those to Disney?
I'm sure you already knew that the Tomorrowland Speedway track was shortened to make way for Tron. But how much did you lose? When this was shortened in 2019, it was actually the fourth time that the trach had been shortened.
In 1974, it was shortened to make way for Space Mountain. In 1987, for Mickey's Toontown Fair. 2012 it was for the new Dumbo addition, and of course, 2019 for room for Tron. While I don't know how much total track was removed, and it would be really interesting to see how much longer the ride was when it was first built, I can tell you that the ride is still enjoyable, even if it's a bit shorter than it used to be. And in the summer, that might not be a bad thing as those seats can burn the backs of your legs, even through clothing.
One thing has not changed though, the smell of fumes, the jerky start stop depending on the driver, and the enjoyable breeze as you go! Do you have a favorite color car you like to ride in?
This was THE trip that we weren't going to bring our stroller! Little man was going to walk the WHOLE thing! But, little man is also now a covid longhauler, and fatigues deeply. We wanted to enjoy our trip, so stroller it was. But...we weren't sure we'd need it every day, and to be honest, we'd gotten rid of ours a long time ago. We could have bought a cheapy umbrella stroller, but they are a pretty low weight limit.
So, we ended up renting a Disney stroller. I was sure we'd need to do the double, but he squeezed in nicely to a single and let me tell you parents... I wish we'd always rented instead of bringing ours.
While I've talked before about strollers to share what (I think) the perfect Disney stroller is, and later I talked about renting a Disney stroller it's great to see these new strollers out!
The new stroller you can rent for your child to cruise the parks in is a totally different color. Right now, they are all new, which means smooth rides and no wobbly wheels, which was a pretty common complaint in the past.
While the seats aren't the comfiest, and the stroller hood isn't retractable, it's a very sturdy stroller that can handle a substantial sized kid. Yes, he'd have had more room has we gotten the double, but this was just fine, and not used every moment of the day. A nice feature of the stroller is the pouch to put drinks. Of course, there's also an under stroller basket to drop your stuff and a parking brake so they don't roll away.
But the best feature? Other than the smooth ride? It's the handle height! This might have been the first stroller ever that Mr. Disney Magic didn't have to hunch much to push.
If you are in a pinch, your child is about to outgrow their stroller, or you don't want to pack one, a Disney stroller might be a good alternative. Yes...you do have to pay (alot) but there is a discounted price if you rent for multiple days. Be warned that you cannot use a Disney stroller at Disney Springs unless you also put down a $100 deposit. I nearly fell over when I realized that.
You can, however:
It is very important though to remember one other thing. While your stroller rental payment never expires, you MUST have the receipt. You cannot have a photo, you must have the actual receipt. And it's a long one. So don't toss it in a shopping bag or throw it out with your lunch at Flame Tree. Make sure you keep that with you at all times or you will be out of luck if you need a stroller.
This isn’t a post about hats! It’s about tempers. It seems that no matter the weather in Orlando, tempers have been hot, hot, hot this year. Have you ever seen so many news articles about people fighting at Disney?
Last month, we saw first hand multiple altercations. One group, in front of Cinderella's castle. Another, right on Main Street. There was another that nearly had my youngest and I in tears we felt so horrible for the kids, as the dad was outside of Space Mountain and absolutely using every word in the adult vocabulary to berate them for: 1. Being scared to go on the ride and 2. Too small to go on said ride. He repeatedly told them he didn't come all this way just to ride baby rides. Yikes.
It seems the happiest place on Earth isn't as happy anymore. What's to blame? Sure, it's hot, but these reports are happening almost daily, and have been even in the cooler months. Is it the fact that the new Lightening Lane is a little tricky and also expensive, making park goers have to pay for something they used to get for free?
Maybe it's that there still isn't quite everything open. Cast members are stretched thin, and shortages in staff, merchandise, and food are stressing out families, while prices are going up, up, up! A souvenir I bought in 2020, and was looking to get a second of, (That cute, small Pixar bouncy ball) went from $6.99 (still had the price on the bottom) to $14.99. OUCH!
I'm not sure what's making people so upset, possibly a combination of everything, but it seemed no matter where we were, we were surrounded by angry people. The worst, was in the Skyliner line during a storm when my youngest and I had been waiting for over an hour, as busses were to be called in. The good news is, the following day we talked to the engineer at the station, and she showed us just how in an emergency they help riders! Coming soon!
Regardless of what frustration is happening at the park, resort, or transportation line, it's important to stay calm. Just like young children can feel your emotions and it sets off theirs, I think the same is true for tired, hot, spent-too-much, hungry crowds.
This absolute anger going on right now is really spreading, and it's growing more and more frequent, both in people seeing it, and in the news reporting.
So how can you stay calm when others around you are getting upset? Or how can you keep cool when something is making you embrace your inner Donald Duck and get steamed up?
Here are three things that I do myself.
1. Ignore it.
Someone's got the crankies in your party? Ignore it. Smile, point out interesting things to the not cranky members, and accept that we should all be allowed to feel irritated at some point on vacation, even at Disney.
2. Be forgiving.
Yeah, no one likes when someone cuts the line on purpose or when a group joins the single person in line just in front of you. It's rude. You're going to get my stink yet, oh yes you will. But I'm not going to say anything, why? This Mama has been the one to do the mad dash to get the kid to the bathroom in time, or run back to get the forgotten MagicBand, the thing in the stroller, or get the needed thing from the stroller that couldn't wait, like Epipens that got left, the camera, or someone's money. I'm sure I'm not the only one! At least...I hope so. Maybe those people had to do something too? Maybe they didn't, but when you think of it that way, it puts a little cooling on that heat rising.
3. Accept it.
Let's face it...the world is full of imperfect humans, excluding us, right? So, let's just accept they aren't as awesome as we are, and give them a little grace. By doing so, embracing our inner Elsa, and moving on, we get to enjoy our day, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dahing down the way, while they are losing precious part time getting mad.
Now, it's been suggested these are just avoidance methods. Maybe. Call them that if you want, but I'm calling them no-one-has-time-for-that strategies, and gets-us-trough-the-day-without-killing-each-other tactics.
You might have different tactics, other than the usual ones mention, like breathing! What are yours?
If you drive I4 to Disney World, it's likely the building above is a familiar sight. Gold stars if you've ever thought to yourself Doofenshmirtz is in there building an inator, with Perry the Platypus about to barge in.
Just the sight of this building, so unusual and unlike anything else around it has always made me wonder...what is this place? We've driven past it for years. The first times, it was open and you could see inside. Later, the windows were added. Yet...even though it looks complete, this building is completely empty! Perfect for a mad scientist!
It's hard to believe, but for over 20 years, this building has been partially built, sold, sat exposed, and finally had windows added...just to still sit empty.
Affectionately known to the locals as the I4 Eyesore, the history of this building is pretty interesting. It's actually called the Majesty Building and it's 18 stories tall. Originally, this was meant to be an office building and construction was started in 2021. Over 40 million has been spent on it, and it's still not complete.
Evidently there are Facebook pages devoted to it, a ton of memes, and whenever I asked about it, there were a lot of eyerolls.
One thing's for sure...you can't convince me otherwise that there's NOT an inator being built inside it. Maybe it's the chicken inator? Maybe Doofenshmirtz has given up on the Tri-State area, and moved here. I'm not sure. I do know, it makes for several interesting moments of ponder as we travel along!