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The Easy Way to Ride Dumbo at the Magic Kingdom

There's nothing like an early morning ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom. My favorite tip: Arrive 15 minutes before opening, then walk -- NO SIDETRACKS! -- straight to Fantasyland and get in line.

Read more about Fantasyland on Page 20 of Mouse Map, the ultimate Disney World map guide.
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Kilimanjaro Safari

Attraction: Kilimanjaro Safari.

Location: Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Quick Review: This super-condensed version of an African safari is on my list of must-dos at Animal Kingdom. The ride is bumpy, so hold tight to your camera... which you will definitely want to have ready every minute. Great for all ages!

Photo Location: On the savannah, midway through the ride. This is a pair of giraffes eating "breakfast."

More Information: Go to Page 46 in Mouse Map for more details.

YouTube - Buzz in Space

Hmmm, wouldn't it be fun if Mission: Space at Walt Disney World was like this?

In case you're wondering, Mission: Space is an earthbound attraction in Future World at Epcot. It's a simulator that recreates the sensations of takeoff from Earth, weighlessness in space and landing on Mars. You can chose from two levels: Orange for the full experience or Green for a slightly less intense ride. I'm not including any more details so there are no spoilers here... If you want more details, leave me a note in the comments.

Great flying, Buzz!

Disney World Map Feature: Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

I was flying home today from a meeting in California, and our route took us over the Rocky Mountains. As I looked out the window at the snowcapped mountains, I couldn't help thinking about the newest mountain on the Disney World map: Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom!

Yes, I know that it's not a real mountain and that the white stuff clinging to the top of the mountain isn't real snow. But you don't go to Disney's Everest to ski or to take a real expedition to search for monsters.

You go to Expedition Everest for another type of adventure. The mountain is visible even before you enter the park… you'll see its snowy peak as you drive up to the park. Yes, it's very tall. As you walk up to the attraction, you'll hear the screams of other guests as the train whirls up, around and down the mountain. After you board the train, you'll begin the ascent up the mountain for your own thrilling search for the hidden secrets of Everest.

And as you race through the tunnels and come face to face with the yeti, you know that you are safe in world of Disney magic. That's part of the magic of Disney… it's an elegant blend of thrilling adventure and secure safety.

By the way, I've found that the best time to visit Expedition Everest is first thing in the morning. Arrive at Disney's Animal Kingdom at least 15 minutes before the park opens so that you'll be one of the first guests in the park. Then head immediately to Asia… take a right at the Tree of Life and go over the bridge to Asia. (Don’t take the walkway to the far right to DinoLand USA. It takes a bit longer.) You can either get in the ride queue to ride or get in line for a FASTPASS. If the ride queue is less than 20 minutes, I get in line right away, then get a FASTPASS after my first ride. On other days, I get a FASTPASS ticket, then go ride another attraction and come back.

There's also a single-ride line, which is perfect if only one or two people in your group want to ride. It's typically much faster so your friends or family don't have to wait as long.

See what I mean? The magic of Disney makes it easy for everyone to have the perfect vacation… the thrill of adventure, the confidence of a safe environment, and theme park attractions designed to allow everyone to have the most fun possible!

So as you're planning your next vacation, be sure to locate Expedition Everest on your Disney World map and plan your own adventure.

What Makes Disney World Rides Special?

Here's one of my favorite secrets to help you plan your Disney World vacation.... Each theme park has its own special kind of Disney World rides. Get to know what makes each park different, and planning your vacation will be much easier.

Let's start at the Magic Kingdom... Many people think of this park as "Disney World." But it's just one of the parks... actually the first park... at Disney World. What kind of rides and attractions will you find here? Basically three kinds:
  1. Kiddie classics: Dumbo, Peter Pan, "it's a small world" and more at Fantasyland.
  2. Family favorites: Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, the Disney World railroad, Jungle Cruise and a few more that are good for the entire family.
  3. A handful of thrill rides: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain.
So the high points...
  • The Magic Kingdom is just one of the four theme parks at Disney World.
  • You'll find mostly kid-friendly rides and attractions here, but there's enough to entertain thrill-ride fans.
  • To experience all (or most) of the rides and attractions here, allow at least two full days.
Next time, we'll explore the Disney World rides at Epcot. Stay tuned...

The Haunted Mansion Recreation on YouTube

The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorites. (Hmm, it seems like I say that about quite a few attractions.) If you have ever tried to take video inside the Haunted Mansion - or viewed one of the many fan-produced videos - you know that it's hard to get good video or photographs because the attraction is so dark.

At last, we fans have an inside look at the Haunted Mansion, thanks to Jeremy Kohrs and Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 . He's recreated the Haunted Mansion in delightful detail. Because it's based on the Disneyland version, the exterior is a bit different. The interior is perfect - hitting all the highlights!

If you like this video, be sure to pop over to Jeremy's YouTube page and rate the video.

Special Nintendo DS Pirates Bonus at the Magic Kingdom

I'll admit that I don't know a thing about handheld computer games... So you'll have to interpret exactly what this means. But it seems very cool. If you have the new Nintendo DS game "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," bring your Nintendo DS to the Magic Kingdom to free, exclusive content and codes.

Go to the Magic Kingdom and head to Adventureland. Look for "X Marks the Spot" locations. Based on the video that's online, they're large silver metal crosses sitting on top of a barrel. When you find the "X," turn on you game and follow the instructions on how to download the booty.

(Tip: Gamers should make sure they have played at least the first level of the game up to the first checkpoint -- Jolly Roger -- and have created a saved game.)

So what do you get? Unlimited health, unlimited "savvy" and unlocked costumes for single player AND an unlock of all locations, characters and weapons for multiplayer duel mode.

Read more on the official Disney web page.

Copyright 2007-2010 Anne S. Easterling. All rights reserved. This blog is an independent publication and is not officially affiliated with Walt Disney World or The Disney Company. Visit Mouse Map: The Ultimate Disney World Map Guide for more help planning your Disney World vacation.