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Tour Guide Tuesday: Best Ways to Get to the Magic Kingdom

Tour Guide Tuesday: Best Ways to Get to the Magic Kingdom

As I’ve mentioned in several articles, one of the most important tips to enjoying your day at the Magic Kingdom is getting there before the park opens and beating the crowds. This is especially true if you are trying to visit a popular attraction before the lines get long. Getting to the Magic Kingdom entrance isn’t always as easy at it sounds, especially for those who haven’t been there before. Today, I’m going to discuss the best transportation options for getting to and from the most popular theme park on the planet.First, let’s focus on the monorail resorts. It would make the most sense to simply hop on the monorail from your hotel, as it eventually will get to the park. However, this isn’t always the quickest way. If you are at the Contemporary, it is actually better to make the 5-10 minute walk to the entrance of the Kingdom. If you get on the monorail, it could take almost 20 minutes to get all the way around the loop to the park. When leaving the park, however, the monorail makes sense, because it is the first stop. Also, that return walk can be more difficult after a day in the park.

Walkway from Contemporary to MK

If your are coming from the Polynesian, the monorail is your best bet in both directions, since that resort is about half way around the loop. Finally, the monorail is definitely your best option when heading from the Grand Floridian to the park, as it is only one stop away. However, when heading back to this resort the boat could work better, as the monorail can be a 15-20 minute ride.

If you are staying at the Wilderness Lodge or Fort Wilderness Campground, you will take either the bus or the boat. My best advice is to take whichever one you are closer to. If you are staying near either boat dock, that will probably be your quickest option. However, if you are closer to the bus stop (like just after breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe), the bus will probably make the most sense.

Fort Wilderness Boat Dock

Now, let’s talk about every other Disney resort as a whole. My advice is very simple…..take the bus. The busses normally come every 10 to 15 minutes and they deliver you right to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. Guests ask me all the time if it would just be easier to drive or even take a cab to save time. In most cases, the answer is no. The Magic Kingdom parking lot is located almost 1.5 miles from the park itself. This means that after you park, you will get on a tram (or walk) to the Transportation and Ticket Center, and then you need to get on a monorail or boat. This multi-step process almost always takes longer than just waiting for a resort bus to take you directly to the entrance. Cabs and car services also drop you off at the Transportation and Ticket Center, which again won’t save you much time.

Magic Kingdom Bus Depot

There are a few resorts that are located on or near Disney property where the busses actually drop you off at the Transportation and Ticket Center. These include the new Four Seasons, the Bonnet Creek resorts, and the Downtown Disney resorts. Typically, the busses pick up guests every half-hour or so. If you are staying at one of these resorts, you have to decide if the bus schedule will work for you. If not, I’d recommend a cab or car service that will get you to the Transportation and Ticket Center at whatever time you’d like to go.

Transportation and Ticket Center

Last, but not least, are the guests who are staying off of Disney property. Some hotels have shuttle bus service to the Transportation and Ticket Center. However, it is important to look carefully at the schedule as they may only run a few times each day. They may stop at several hotels, which could make for a longer ride than you were hoping for. Also, some of the shuttle buses may only go to one of the other parks, where you’d have to transfer to Disney transportation to get to the Magic Kingdom. I recently had a guest who’s hotel only dropped off at Epcot. That turned into a much longer trip than they were hoping for. In most cases, it is easiest to just drive yourself to the Magic Kingdom parking lot if you are staying off property. However, a cab or car service can also make sense, especially if you don’t have a rental car.

TTC – Monorail Station

MK Ferry Boat

If your trip to the Magic Kingdom takes you to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) first, I want to give you a few tips to get you across the Seven Seas Lagoon in the quickest way possible. In most cases, hopping on the Express Monorail is going to be your best bet. Even when the line looks long, they are moving nearly 300 guests every few minutes. The Resort Monorail line may look short and inviting. However, this train makes two stops before arriving at the Kingdom, and they only let a small number of guests on at the Transportation and Ticket Center. The ferry boats are giant and hold upwards of 600 guests, but they load and move very slow, and in most cases take longer than the monorails. Also, the boats aren’t climate controlled, so it could be a slightly uncomfortable trip, depending on the weather. Finally, during the busiest seasons, they offer bus transportation from the TTC. I highly recommend the busses, as there is rarely a wait and it is a very short ride to the Magic Kingdom Entrance.

I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!


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Topics: Disney, Disney Cruise Line, FoodTags: , ,

 Just a couple of weeks ago Disney Cruise Line announced that a “Frozen” addition would be coming to their own private island, Castaway Cay. The new Olaf’s Summertime Freeze drink stand will serve some refreshing beverages like “Olaf’s Flurry Freeze” and “Worth Melting For” to cruise travelers. The drink stand is not yet open, will open later this year, but we can share with you a first look at the cute little stand.


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Topics: Disney, Marvel, MoviesTags: , , ,

Just last week Marvel Studios started shooting the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War” at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. This will be the third installment of its Captain America franchise and the production will also shoot in locations like Germany, Puerto Rico and Iceland.

The highly anticipated continuation of the Captain America story will premiere in the United States on May 6, 2016 and will once again be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo who also directed Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

But the most exciting news coming from Marvel last week was the announcement of who is going to be in the cast for this movie. We will both see some Marvel favorites returning and some new faces. Check out our list below!

Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America

Robert Downey Jr. (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 3”) as Tony Stark/Iron Man

Scarlett Johansson (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow

Sebastian Stan (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier

Anthony Mackie (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon

Paul Bettany (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as The Vision

Jeremy Renner (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Marvel’s “The Avengers”) as Clint Barton/Hawkeye

Don Cheadle (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3”) as Jim Rhodes/War Machine

Elizabeth Olsen (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Godzilla”) as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch

Emily VanCamp (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Revenge”) as Sharon Carter/Agent 13

Some of the new faces we will see in Captain America: Civil War is Ant-Man, Black Panther and Martin Freeman in a yet to be announced role.

Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man,” ”Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”) as Scott Lang/Ant-Man

Chadwick Boseman (“42,” “Get on Up”) as T’Challa/Black Panther

Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”)


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Tempesto accelerates into Busch Gardens Williamsburg with new speed, thrills

Tempesto accelerates into Busch Gardens Williamsburg with new speed, thrills

Tempesto, Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s newest roller coaster, opened April 25 to add big thrills to a small space and become the park’s sixth roller coaster.

After very little fanfare in the off-season, Busch Gardens Williamsburg premiered its newest attraction – Tempesto – in the Festa Italia section of the park.

“It adds some classic elements but also adds unique features,” said park president Carl Lum. “We wanted some unique features that we didn’t have in some other rides here.”

The roller coaster, which is named for a famous Italian daredevil, occupies a small footprint next to sister coaster Apollo’s Chariot, but the ride packs a lot of punch.

Tempesto features three launch experiences that shoot riders forward and backward. At one point, guests speed through the ride’s station house at 60 miles per hour.

Then, riders climb 154 feet in the air to experience Tempesto’s loop-the-loop inversion, featuring both a corkscrew and traditional loop. The corkscrew is especially unique as it twists and turns guests at a slower pace than most coasters.

Last year, when the area next to Apollo’s Chariot was cleared for construction, there were rumors of a thrill ride going in, but it was hard to imagine what ride could fit in the area.

However, Lum said he was so committed to placing it in the space that was previously occupied by Splashus Maximus – a water balloon game arena – that he worked with the park’s engineers to figure out how they could use the space.

“It fits the village, and it’s next to Apollo’s, so there’s a lot of energy here,” he said.

While the ride is exciting and eye-catching as it sits close to the walkways, there is a little bit of concern about its ride capacity. The train only holds 18 riders, the seats are a little tough to get in and out of, and there can only be one ride vehicle going at one time. All of these things could mean lengthy wait times, especially on busy summer weekends.

Overall, though, Tempesto brings new flare to the park that compliments its other thrilling attractions while making a name for itself. It is sure to impress thrill junkies with its intense acceleration and exhilarating loops.

“We’re really happy with it,” Lum said. “You work hard and when you open it and people have a good time – that’s what it’s all about.”

 

 


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Topics: Disney, MerchandiseTags: ,

Big Fat Panda once again introduces Corinne Andersson (Inside the Magic’s merchandise blogger) to show off some new eat hats that has recently been released and other fun Walt Disney World merchandise.

Check out his full monthly show at http://www.BigFatPanda.com.  Brought to you by http://www.DVCRentals.com.


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