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!
Water Rides at Disney World
If you like to cool off in the summer heat with a little splash of water, Disney World's parks have you covered! I'm not going to state the obvious, that there are two Disney owned and operated water parks. That's just too easy. But, between the other parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, where can you or the kiddos get a tad wet?
Here are the places! Now you'll know where to go, or where to avoid, if you are like me, and don't want soggy shoes. While not every ride is a drencher, some are.
I'm not including rides like Small World, where you are in a boat, but there's no chance of getting misted or splashed. These are just a lost of rides to help on those hot days, or to avoid if you aren't keen on the water splashing you.
Magic Kingdom has a few fun places to get wet!
Splash Mountain: While this ride will likely be getting a makeover soon, it's a safe bet that the water aspect will stay the same. This is your best chance at getting pretty wet at Magic Kingdom.
Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station: Okay, so this isn't really a ride, but it's a fun little play area for kids (and a few adults) to get wet! It's a splash pad, so you can choose how wet or not you want to get.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin: Luckily, you can avoid getting more than a few drops if you are the one controlling the magic carpet. My kids love to try and get me wet on this one! Luckily, the camel spit usually misses me!
Jungle Cruise: This ride, we've only gotten misted on, which is my kind of ride! It cools you briefly, but doesn't leave you soaked!
Pirates of the Caribbean: While you aren't really supposed to get wet on this ride, there is a spot or two where those in the front of the boat tend to get some splashes.
Big Thunder Mountain: This ride only mists a little here and there, but honestly, you'll be dry before it's over!
Epcot only has two places where you'll get a little wet.
Frozen Ever After: This ride is more likely to get you a little wet (water coming from the small drops along the side) if you are in the front two rows. Nothing too much, and it really didn't go more than knee high, but it was enough to make us have damp shoes when we were in in the front row.
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure: Another mister! Watch out for the Champagne bottle! You'll likely be dry by the time the ride is over.
Without the behind the scenes tours, right now, there's only one attraction where you might get misted.
Muppet Vision 3D: Since this is a 3D attraction, you might get a little mist on you from one of the things that pops out.
Animal Kingdom has a few misty spots, but we're only going to mention two rides with the possibility of water.
Kali River Rapids: Depending on where you sit, you'll either get a little wet, pretty wet, or soaked. The thing about this ride, is you don't really know. Each time is different, as each ride is a little different.
Flight of Passage: Disney does immersive well, so when you fly over water, and see a wave, you are going to get a few sprinkles on you. Nothing major, but it does add to the realism of this ride.
Did I miss anything? I might have! Do you have a favorite way to cool down at Disney? I love the random misters we run across! Enough to cool you for a moment, make your hair frizz up, but not damage any electronics you have out!
If you head to Disney this summer, stay cool!
Need more tips on how to beat the heat at Disney? Check out this blog article.
Need a few more tips? Check this one out too!
We've all got to eat, right? And we all know when you are on vacation, food costs a bit more. But how much does it got to eat at Disney for a day?
There are some variables, and it really depends on if you are a quick service diner, like to sit table service, or if you are a snack and go kinda person. Prices are also going to be much higher if you are doing character dining. Depending on where you choose to eat is going to determine your price.
But...how vague is that? You already know that, right? So how about a breakdown for you.
Let's pretend that you are spending three days at Disney World. One day for Magic Kingdom, one day for Hollywood Studios, and one day for Animal Kingdom.
I'm going to present three days worth of meals. Of course, you can mix and match, but this gives you an idea of the general costs. No two days are going to be the same, this is just pure research. Each comes with a pretend scenario.
For our purposes, we will assume that these are adult meal, and that there are no alcoholic drinks bought. If you enjoy those, awesome! But budget, because you know they aren't cheap! We will also assume that there are no character meals. Each meal is bought from a Disney owned place. We will also assume two snacks a day, but no dessert at meals. We are also not buying drinks except for at meals, but plan for those too, if you buy them outside of mealtimes.
Create these sample menus for yourself, mased on what you enjoy eating. The prices will guide, but you might also see how you can cut back a little. Disney generally has generous portions. Perhaps you want to skip a salad or bread. Maybe at lunch you drink water.
This also allows you to see snacks and meals come in all different price ranges. And...quick service isn't just burgers or chicken fingers!
Day One Magic Kingdom
With so much to do at Magic Kingdom, you plan to get an early start. Therefore, you are going to be grabbing a bite to eat from the resort grab and go while waiting for resort transportation. You'll eat a quick service lunch, and splurge on a nice dinner.
Breakfast - Pastry and a coffee from grab and go
Lunch - Cosmic Ray's
$10.99 Greek salad with chicken strips
$3.99 fountain drink
$7.19 Mickey Pretzel
Dinner - Tony's Town Square
$11 Garlic bread for the table
$36 Butcher's Steak
$3.99 fountain drink
$5.99 Dole Whip
Day One Total for Food: $88.13 (Does not include dinner's gratuity)
Day Two: Hollywood Studios
You got up that morning with plenty of time to spare, so you pop into your resort for breakfast. You'll drab a sit down lunch, but plan to do a quick dinner, so you don't miss the nighttime spectacular!
Breakfast- Resort food court
$10.99 Ham and cheese omelet
$4.99 Orange juice
Lunch- Sci-fi Dine-in
$18.00 Over roasted turkey sandwich
$3.99 fountain drink
Dinner- Backlot Express
$11.99 Cuban Sandwich
$3.99 fountain drink
$6.79 Funnel cake
Day Two Total for Food: $66.24 (Does not include lunch's gratuity)
Day Three: Animal Kingdom
It's another grab and go on the way to Animal Kingdom! Lunch is your favorite spot, and sitting next to the river to watch the wildlife. Dinner is a second quick service stop, as there is really only one Disney owned sit down there, but that's okay, you've a long line to stand in for Flight of Passage and don't want to waste time.
$6.99 Breakfast bagel
$3.99 apple juice
Lunch: Flametree BBQ
$15.69 Chicken and ribs combo
$3.99 fountain drink
$4.99 Soft serve
Dinner: Satu'li Canteen
$12.79 Cheeseburger pods
$3.99 fountain drink
$9.29 Buffalo chicken chips
Day Three Total for Food: $61.72
One thing I find really interesting is that you'll leave each of these meals full. You might not even want a snack or if you do, maybe you'll split one. Also, none of these meals are boring. They aren't standard theme park fare. In fact... my stomach is growling just reading these menus!
Using these sample menus, you can easily see that a day of quick service, plus two snacks will run around $60. Depending on the location AND the item ordered, around $70 or so (without gratuity) for sit down, per person. Take those numbers from your own sample menus, and use that to guide how much you'll need to plan for meals!
If you have an upcoming Disney vacation, you might have noticed that instead of loads of choices in the MagicBand selection it's...well...a little lacking the magic.
So, what should you do?
Just like everyone else, Disney is struggling with supply issues. It's noticeable in their food, their merchandise in Park, and also the MagicBands.
Before you sit down in your My Disney Experience and start to panic, let me reassure you. You'll be able to get something. And, changes are really good it's something that you will like! But...there are a few tricks to that, and I'm going to explain them.
First, let's talk about HOW you get a MagicBand, and what it does, for those of you new to Disney's MagicBands.
What it is
A MagicBand is like a key and your credit card. If staying at a Disney resort, it acts as your room key. When you make a purchase, with your pin, you can just automagically (no typo there!) have your room or card billed.
This band used to get you into the Fastpass Lanes, now, it's for the Lightening Lanes.
How much are they? Are they free?
MagicBands used to be free when you had a Disney package. They now are not. You are given a pre arrival discount though, and there are a LOT more designs to choose from. A plain band is $10, and they go up from there, generally in incriments of $5. So, $10, $15, $20, etc.
Now, do you NEED a MagicBand? Nope! You are perfectly fine without one. A lot of stuff can be done on your phone. But I'm going to be honest with you. I was super grateful I had my phone on my when I stepped outside my resort room and the door slammed behind me and I was alone. I opened my app, clicked to open my door and....I turned my phone this way. I jiggled it that way. I adjusted the brightness. I wiggled it, and started to get frustrated. Just as I was about to manifest into a Disney villain, CLICK. It opened. Boy that was frustrating. And it took a long time too! What if I had someone I had to get to quickly?
How do you get one of these magical devices?
You can get MagicBands one of four places, and each has it's benefits or pitfalls.
1. Reuse one of your old MagicBands. You can reuse a MagicBand that was assigned to you on a previous trip.
2. You can buy one on ShopDisney. Their collection is very, very small though. As in, last time I checked, two band styles.
3. You can buy a band at a Disney Park or Resort. There is going to be a larger selection in person, but there's no discount on the price.
4. You can purchase before your trip, through My Disney Experience. This can be tricky. Let me explain.
Purchasing MagicBands Through My Disney Experience
Since there are thousands of people trying to buy MagicBands for their trip the same time as you are, it can be hard to get the style band you want.
At any given time, I found between twenty and forty different MagicBand styles. Huge difference, huh?
See that sparkly rose gold one up there? I really had wanted the silver. Or the solid raspberry. But I waited too long...and couldn't get it.
As a matter of fact, I had to check every day for two weeks before we were able to get bands that each of us liked. Yikes! Even still, when we got our young's MagicBand in, it was supposed to be an orange-y coral color with Chewbacca on it. That thing is pinkish! Luckily, he didn't care, maybe because I talked up the cool picture, but remember, the color may vary slightly!
There are a few things to know, and these tips will help you do the trick: Getting the MagicBands you want.
1. Check the site when the bands restock in the morning!
The MagicBands restock in the morning! That's your go time! Channel that inner "Gotta get my fastpass or dining reservation" attitude, set your clock, and get ready!
If you can't do that, then...
2. Check several times throughout the day.
That's right! It's quite possible that someone had been dithering about their band, a trip got canceled, or some other thing and the band you want reappears. That's actually how I got my sparkly rose gold one! That one was my choice #3, which leads into...
3. Know ahead of time what you might like.
Have a few favorites in mind. It's best if everyone in your party can have two of three band ideas that they like. Then, once you know what's a yes, and you see at least one for each person, you can grab the perfect MagicBand set!
4. Pounce on it when you see it
Seriously. Don't think ohhh I'll wait...nope. If there's a band everyone in your party will like, snag it while they have it.
5. Don't give up
If you can't get just what you want the first try, or ten, just keep swimming. You'll find a fun band you like eventually, I promise! That might mean you wait and get one in person but there are still many MagicBands out there for sale!
Hopefully these tips helped a little to assist you in getting JUST the perfect MagicBands to make your Disney vacation extra magical!
25 Budget Friendly And Easy In Room Breakfast IDeas You Might Not Have Thought Of
If you'd rather be rope dropping than taking time to linger over breakfast, you aren't alone! But, the fact of the matter is people have to eat. Even if you aren't a huge breakfast eater, chances are someone else in your party is, and you really do need a little fuel to keep you going!
You could grab something at the park once there, and many do, but just as many would rather watch their dollars, and breakfast in the room or while waiting in the transportation line.
These ideas are all perfect for those staying in a value resort. There's a fridge, but no microwave except for in the food court. If you are are in a room with a microwave or a small kitchen, then you have a LOT more options!
Chances are you already know how easy a few of these are, but there could be some surprises! I've got a list of 25 for you! Chose one or combine a few for a fast, easy breakfast and spend your money on more important things! Like souvenirs!
1. Cold cereal (You can buy milk from a resort food court or have delivered!)
2. Thawed breakfast sandwiches (heat in the food court microwave)
3. No-cook overnight oatmeal
4. Pastries (donuts, honeybuns, etc)
5. Yogurt and granola
6. Fresh fruit and cheese
7. Granola bars
8. English muffins and jam
9. Fruit cups / Applesauce
10. Precooked bacon or sausage
11. Bagels and cream cheese or avacado
13. String cheese
14. Cottage cheese
15. Graham crackers
16. Crusty loaf, cheese, and olives or pesto
17. Biscuits and apple butter
18. Instant breakfast shakes
19. Dried fruit
20. Beef jerky or meat sticks
21. Instant oatmeal (using water from the well washed coffee maker)
22. Crackers and sunbutter
23. Smoothies (there are several refrigerated brands)
24. Bread with cheese, tomatoes, and avadaco
25. Last night's leftovers!
While there are so many more things you can do, maybe some of these will give you ideas for your next trip. We always pack breakfasts, (budget, time, and food allergies!) but I actually really love doing that, because my kids and I are not huge eaters first thing in the morning. By tossing some of these into our park bags, we end up having a snack when we are hungry, but save a ton of time and money!