Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Podcast Episode 24

I need to preface this episode: We suffered through some serious technical difficulties, and this episode is the 4th take we actually did, so this was the 4th time we talked through everything that night, in case you're wondering why we sound like we've talked about all this stuff four times. Because we did. And then it explains why we're so willing to go off the rails and off the cliff so much, but hey! Our listeners seem to like that! Things we discuss this week are Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom, Monsters University, Lone Ranger, Magic Bands (oh geez..), and some listener questions! This episode is chaos, in the best way! Enjoy it and tell a friend, especially if you don't care for them! Remember, listen on that player on the right, or on iTunes, Stitcher, your favorite podcast app, or just CLICK HERE to go directly to the download page!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We're Not Dead

Hey swabs, scallywags, and plunderers alike! You may have noticed there hasn't been much activity here on the blog for a couple weeks. Well, besides the weekly podcast episodes. I'm here to tell you, we're all alive and well! And cooking up some new posts. It's just life kicked us all in the butts at around the same. Nothing bad. We've all just been busy. So keep checking back! Especially for Episode 24 tomorrow! More content to come. Sail on, mutineers!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Podcast Episode 23

Are you ready for this week's episode? I don't think you are! Buckle up, because we've got...an episode. This week, we talk about the recent rumors of the awesome things coming to Hollywood Studios, Tim tries to suck up to Disney World, Jake may or may not mention the Disney movies coming out this summer, and we round it off with some listener questions, which is always a hoot! Also, the show ends very well and smoothly... *cough* Anyway, enjoy! Listen on that player on the right of this page or CLICK HERE if you're on the mobile site and wish to listen!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Podcast Episode 22

Welcome back to another episode! This week, there's a brief encounter with a hitchhiker, we discuss the recent Disney ticket price increases, some awesome video game news straight from E3, and HUGE news from Epcot! You just won't believe it! Then Jake figures out what to do with our Facebook page, and we pretend to answer some listener questions! Listen right now on that player on the right side of this page, unless you're on the mobile site, in which you're completely hosed. Nah, just kidding! In that case, CLICK HERE to listen! Or subscribe on iTunes. Or Stitcher. Enjoy, tell a friend, rate us on iTunes! Make big money at home! Sharpen saws! And earn extra cash.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The TripAdvisor Game of Shame: Animal Kingdom Edition!


Back by unpopular demand, another edition of the TripAdvisor Game of Shame! Oh, you're not familiar with this game? Feel free to go back to the first one to see how it works. Or if you're like me and are too lazy to go back and read that, I'll quickly summarize it here: I find the "Terrible" reviews of a Disney park on the TripAdvisor website, post them here, grammar mistakes and all, and then make fun of them. Now, I know what you're thinking: Jake, that's not a game at all! Yes it is. Because there are winners: me and you. Because we get to laugh at this. Alright, all caught up? This time around, we're shaming the people who just hated Animal Kingdom. Because Animal Kingdom is great, and anyone hating it needs to feel ashamed. Let's go!

"Very little to do in the park and very hard to navigate. The animal walks looked like they would be good however they again were very short with the animals hiding from the sun. Only a few rides worth going on with massive queues, even if you had a fast pass. Overgrown bushes and trees with filthy toilets, would not consider going back."

Hard to navigate? Hard to navigate?! Apparently simple circles are just too much for this person to handle, because just like every other Disney park, Animal Kingdom still follows the hub-and-spoke layout. Also, after all the times I've been to Animal Kingdom, I have never ever seen any trees with filthy toilets. I can only assume this dude was pissing in the trees and bushes. Moving on.

"this place is not worth your money.....musics are too loud.....try to order food at one fast food place....music so loud could had to scream our order....looks run down....area for children..old...games too costly.....more walking than anything"

Damn these musics! Just rogue musics running rampant through the parks! But seriously, I can't even think of a single place within Animal Kingdom with high decibel music playing. I particularly like the "Looks run down" comment. Why can't these ancient Asian ruins look brand new?! I'm pretty sure "run down" is part of the theme the park is going for. Oh well. Let's see what's next!

"Mt. Everest roller coaster and the Safari jeep ride were our favorites.The parade was really cute with all the caracters."

I...wait...what? Why did you only give it a "one circle" rating, then? This is seriously the whole review, and I can only assume they had the best worst time ever while enjoying the hell out of their misery! Mixed messages up the butt with this one!

"Not enough animals to be considered a zoo and and only good for shopping if you want the usual Disney outfits.
What is it trying to be"

Okay, this one I can almost understand. A lot of people think this is a zoo, and Disney has even tried to shed that image. What is it trying to be? It's a Disney theme park with animals. It's in the name. It's pretty simple. The part that is new to me is that this person may have also confused the park with a retail center of some sort. Who goes to Animal Kingdom to shop?

"...The zoo itself is a poor colleciton of a few unhappy animals. A traveler would be better to save his 14.00 parking fee and 89.00 per person entrance fee and stay at a first class resort with better service and amenities and then if inclined visit a world class neighboring zoo such as San Diego's. Disney has no business keeping animals and should close this in humane and poorly run amusement."

It's not a zoo! Dammit, people! And how did this person get close enough to the animals to ask them their thoughts and how they're feeling? Is it because the animals are laying down a lot? Is that why people think they're unhappy? Newsflash: animals lay down a lot. And last time I was at the San Diego Zoo, I saw elephants in a hard concrete pen and a panda poo all over itself. World class!

"Taking my sister to this park on a visit from our Home Country I was disappointed with the length of queues due to the fastpass queues. We had to wait nearly 50 minutes for the River Rapids ride whilst for every 6 people from our queue went in all of the fastpass lane went in next, sometimes up to 30 people. 

I was very annoyed at this, yes I could have got a fastpass myself but doesn't that just make it so I would be one of the 20 to every 6 waiting over 30 minutes?"

Well... well yeah. That's the Fastpass system! There's no moral high road here! It's available to everyone! I don't.... I just... uggghhh.

"Very disappointed as the poor animals were obviously too hot and just lay on the floor panting. I lasted 1 hour before I left as it was too upsetting. It appeared as though animal welfare was secondary to financial gain. If you love animals like me then stau well clear. I complained but they were not interested."

What part of the world are these animals being ripped out of their air conditioned homes? Please, point it out on a map for me! Almost every animal at the park comes from a climate that is equally as hot or even hotter than the central Florida weather they're currently living in. I also like to imagine that with that last line, the guy was complaining to the animals but the animals weren't interested. Because giraffes don't understand financial gain. Okay, let's do one more...

"Have to say this is the worst theme park we have ever visited. Where are the animals in "Animal Kingdom" we spent an entire afternoon in the park and only saw a monkey sitting in a tree...."

I'm just going to stop you right there. Did you even try?? Only a monkey sitting in a tree? Did you run through the Oasis with your eyes closed? Did you circle around through Africa and Asia with your elbows flailing like a whirling dervish, refusing to take a glance around at all the possibilities of animal sightings in your immediate vicinity at all times? Did no one tell you about the safari ride?! Why did you even come to this park?! GET OUT! OUT WITH YOU! We don't want your kind here! Good day, sir!

And that's the TripAdvisor Game of Shame! Stay tunes for future..episodes? Listings? Whatever you want to call them...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Disney on the cheap

Obviously we love going to Disney parks. If we didn't, I wouldn't be writing this and you wouldn't be reading this. But shit, it gets expensive fast. So what ways do I combat this? Well, that depends on what coast I am on. I'm going to try not to drag this opening statement out too much, so lets get moving, shall we?

Disneyland

Disneyland is actually pretty damn easy to combat prices. It's in an urban environment with a whole lot of other businesses around. So let's start at the first part of a vacation: a place to lay your head. Although it is fairly common to see people camping on bus benches and whatnot on SoCal, I would not recommend this. You could wake with a helluva pain in your neck and a new homeless friend.

This is right outside the gates of Disneyland.
Take your pick of  slumbering and dining establishments.
I would recommend staying in an off property hotel. Don't get me wrong, I love staying at Disney hotels, but damn. Getting gouged so they can gouge me more seems redundant. Stay off property. For the most part the hotels get cheaper the further you get from the main gate. But don't go too far, you could be sharing a hotel room with your new homeless friend. Jake previously made a great post about hotels within walking distance to the parks that might help.

This holds water. Or Captain Morgan. Whatever
you need to survive the crowds.
Eats! We must eat!  Hell, I'm eating at this very moment (that's a straight up lie, I'm typing at this very moment.) I believe I have covered this at Disneyland already, but I'll recap. Eat outside the park, it's easy. There are a shit tons of restaurants right outside of the gates. Grab a cheap bite for breakfast on your walk to the park. I've even left the park for lunch, because, well $5 at McD's or $15 for a similar fast food experience.  If you are eating in the park and there is more than one in your party, the sit down restaurants will split the meal for a small up-charge.  It's worth it.

Drinking is as important as eating.  Do it, for some reason people get mad dehydration if they don't.  That isn't so much fun.  Bring a camel pack.  Buy water at any convenience store and insert into camel pack, throw bottle in any proper receptacle and live another day!

Walt Disney World

Disney World is a little more difficult to survive on the cheap.  I try my damnedest when I go, but holy hell.  Well, lets dive into this.  Rooms, it's been said before, I'll say it again.  Stay ON property. That's right! It's roughly the same price, it's convenient, and there are good amenities.  Off property can be a bit cheaper, but you need a vehicle, gotta pay for parking, and you may not get a cool mug that is refillable in your resort.

Look at that. Split two meals between two adults and
two kids and you're only averaging $20 or so. The portions
are big!
Food! Ah Disney World food!!! (Wipes drool) It's yummy!  And it can get pricey.  The issue is that you can't just jam out the door go to get a McRib, so what do you do to save money?  Well, the dining plan used to be a great value as part of a package and still can be if you happen upon the free dining deals.  Now, it's just a value and a convenience. If you are going minus a dining plan (and not going stag), you can still save money, but you must use forethought. Again, share meals.  It is a little bit easier to do here than at Disneyland. Some of the quick-serve joints have large portions that are way easy to split.  One thing that my wife and I did when my older kids where a bit younger was go to the Mexico pavilion and split a meal each with one of the kids.  It worked well, filled us all adequately, and I didn't have to pawn a child to feed the rest of us. Also, EPCOT has free drinks! I have had a spotter and filled up bottles of my favorite beverages at Club Cool. Side note: if you get caught filling a liter bottle of Beverly they won't say anything, except maybe "weirdo".
Club Cool at Epcot. I've never seen a sign telling me not to
fill my own bottle. And no one has ever stopped me.
But let's stay hush-hush about this.
Avoid this particular fountain at the Magic Kingdom.
It seems to be the "tinniest" of the tin-flavored water.

Speaking of beverages, how does one stay hydrated on the cheap?  Again, camel packs come in handy. Bottled water is just as bloody expensive as soda is in the parks, so bring your water in.  Last time we stayed for a week as a vacation we did rent a car for one day so we could go to Margaritaville and we went to a super market and bought a few gallons of H2O.  I have also went to Downtown Disney, hiked across the street to the Hess Station (one of my favorite gas stations) and bought water cheaper than sold in the resorts.  If it gets to it, you can fill it for free in your hotel sink, but for some reason a lot of the water in the park tastes "tinny" to me.  Oh! The one fountain I have found that lacks the "tinny" flavor is in EPCOT, at the American pavilion.  Fill up there.  It's free.

There are more ways to save on dough that can be hit on later, but all this food and drink talk has made me hungry and thirsty. And kind of sweaty.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Muppets at Walt Disney World

Hey gang! Here's something I remember from my childhood. I remember watching this on TV with my brothers and drooling over the sheer awesomeness of everything. It's Muppets. It's Disney World. It's the Muppets at Walt Disney World! It was released in 1990 to promote the new partnership between the Walt Disney Company and the Jim Henson Company, and it is just delightful. So now, for your viewing pleasure, I bring it to you here. Not many people have seen it. And even more people don't even know it exists! Please enjoy...

THE MUPPETS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD


(There's a YouTube video here. If you can't see it, you may need to hop on a computer.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Big Ones...






So it’s officially summer time! I've been waiting for this moment for over a year. Not really, but it sounded good! Not as good as a doughnut, but close. I’m sorry, I lied again, a doughnut is WAY better than summer time! Have any of you ever tried to go to a Disney park during the summer? I would rather eat a doughnut, but if you’re going to be a brave soul and conquer the parks during the summer season, may I suggest a few “big hits” that you just cannot afford to miss.

This is the Space Mountain entrance. It comes up
later in this post.
If you’re traveling to Disneyland, you may as well make the trip worthwhile and get yourself a park hopper ticket so you can enjoy California Adventure as well. And go for more than one day! Just do it, it’s worth it. With that out of the way, you’re ready to head to the parks. Make sure you have your water bottles and snacks ready; it’s going to be hot! And plan on fighting an enormous amount of crowds while you’re there. Some of these crowds pack a mean bow staff, so prepare for that.  You need to have that mindset in your head before you even set foot on this adventure of your's. It’s going to be packed, so plan for it so you don’t lose your mind when you get there. That being said, “LET’S DO THIS!” (Editor's note: Double fist pump.)

Know it. Use it. Spoon with it.
So it’s packed, you didn't plan things out at all, and now you’re walking around with your mouth opened as if to say “I've made a huge mistake”. Don’t worry; you can still make the trip fun! First and foremost, utilize your Fastpasses! If I were you, I would head over to either Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, or Splash Mountain and get a Fastpass for one of them. After that, go wait in line for another big ticket ride. By the time you’re done with waiting in line, and riding a ride, it may be time to go hit up your fast pass ride. Repeat this process as much as you can, but please, for the love of Zeus, don’t forget to hit the good rides!

Just in case you didn't
know what Pocky Sticks
were.
Yes, all the rides at Disneyland are good, but can we all agree that some are better than others? I mean, you can’t say that Indiana Jones is as good as Winnie the Pooh…that’s like saying my favorite food is tri-tip and Pocky Sticks. Those are the same in my eyes! Wait, no, not at all! Tri-tip is way better! So is Indiana Jones. What I’m saying is if you had a choice between the two, you better choose Indy!

Another big hit you have to go on is a classic. The one, the only, the Haunted Mansion! I mean, where else can you hang out with 999 happy haunts? Nowhere but Disneyland, that’s where! (Or any Magic Kingdom park, really... but this is a Disneyland post!) It’s a great ride, and a must do, as well as Big Thunder, Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds. These are all amazing rides at Disneyland, but the one you want to go on for sure, is Splash Mountain. Why? Because it’s called Splash Mountain, not Sprinkle Hill, not Dewdrop Forest, Splash freaking Mountain. It’s called Splash Mountain because you get wet…or soaked, depending on where you sit, and how many fatties are on the log with you. It’s a great summer ride, and it’s just flat out awesome.

Man, they're really letting the landscaping get out of hand...
Mara: The exact opposite of a Weeping Angel.
If you’re in the parks this summer, I salute you. You’re a brave soul who demands the respect and pity of us all. So if you find yourself at Disneyland this summer, make sure you ride on the rides that I've just mentioned. They are great rides, full of flavor and awesomeness, and will not disappoint! Also, if you really want to hit everything in the park this summer, may I suggest visiting touringplans.com? Spend the six bucks, get yourself an itinerary for the park, and follow it to a “T.” You’ll hit everything in a matter of hours! Don’t knock it till you try it, and have a great time at Disneyland!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Podcast Episode 21

I can't summarize this episode. Things get way out of hand, but in the best ways! If you know us and what we do, you'll really enjoy it! So plug in, take a listen, and let's do this! And thanks for telling a friend! Remember, you can listen on that player there on the right, or on iTunes, or by CLICKING HERE!