Experiencing “Dark” Disney & Universal Attractions With The Lights On

Some attractions at Disneyland (DL), Walt Disney World (WDW) and the Universal parks are nearly 100% outdoors – DL’s Grizzly Peak, WDW’s Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster and UO’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish all come to mind. Other attractions (DL’s Radiator Springs Racers, WDW’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coasters and Uni’s Jurassic Park, for examples) are partially outdoors and partially indoors, which gives the parks the opportunity to control more aspects of the ride experience. Still other attractions are nearly 100% indoors – i.e. The Haunted Mansion and Soarin’ at the Disney parks, or Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey or Despicable Me at Uni – besides even more control over the experience, it also protects guests from the weather (which is more of an issue at the Florida-based parks that have to deal with more rain, thunder, lightning and extreme heat and humidity than their California-based counterparts).

Many of the partially and completely indoor rides are considered to be “dark” rides, which means the rooms you go through are dark, either to make it seem scarier (i.e. Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, E.T. Adventure) or to get the riders to focus on whatever the “lit up” scene they’re up to (i.e. DL’s Monsters, Inc., WDW’s Journey Into Imagination, Universal’s Revenge of The Mummy).

There are occasional opportunities to see “dark rides” with the lights on – Disney Cast Members are sometimes allowed to experience the attractions that way, and there are occasional behind-the-scenes tours at the various theme parks for guests to have the experience. When something goes wrong on a dark ride, the emergency lights sometimes go on, which is also a way to see these usually “dark” rides in a whole new way. Several videos of these “special” experiences have been captured on video, and we gathered a bunch of them. Enjoy!

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A New Departure Fee, The Airplane Window Controversy, How Not To Overvalue Points & more…

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Continue reading “A New Departure Fee, The Airplane Window Controversy, How Not To Overvalue Points & more…”

IHG Delays & New Promotion, WDW Charging For Parking Even If You Don’t Have A Car, & More…

Happy Saturday friends, and hooray, it’s finally the weekend! Here’s a recap of what we wrote on YMMV this week. From great travel deals to what we’ve written to what others wrote that we really liked and wanted to share, it’s all here, in one convenient place!

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Adventures By Disney: Bringing Disney Magic Around The World

The Walt Disney Company has always been trying to expand the Disney brand experience outside of their theme parks. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Disney unsuccessfully tried to build different types of theme parks with the unrealized Disney’s America concept and the Port Disney project, which eventually morphed into Tokyo DisneySea. After these missteps and the eventual failure of the DisneyQuest concept, (which eventually lead to the closing of the final location at Walt Disney World), the company smartly changed course. Instead of trying to build Disney around the world, why not take people around the world “the Disney Way?”

The first step of this initiative was Disney’s launch into the cruise business in 1998, with Disney Cruise Line. The executives noticed the success of the cruise division and looked for a way to replicate the model, but somewhere they didn’t have to build multi-million dollar cruise ships. There are iconic places around the world that people want to visit, why can’t Disney take them there. IRL.

That’s how I imagine Adventures By Disney was born. Continue reading “Adventures By Disney: Bringing Disney Magic Around The World”

Staying At WDW With No Car? Make Sure Disney Doesn’t Charge You For Overnight Parking

Since Joe and I are Disney fans who live about 9 miles from Walt Disney World (WDW), we both tend to keep an eye on the various message boards, Facebook groups and blogs that focus on all that is part of the most popular theme park resort in the world. But since we live so close, we don’t keep tabs on more than just general knowledge when it comes to WDW hotels because frankly, except for renting rooms with our Disney Vacation Club points so we could host some parties for our friends, we haven’t stayed at a hotel at WDW since around 2003. But when I read this the other day, it piqued my interest because, well, it’s not what one would expect from a place that advertises “Disney Magic.”

Continue reading “Staying At WDW With No Car? Make Sure Disney Doesn’t Charge You For Overnight Parking”