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!

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

Advertisements

Castle Noel: The Largest Indoor, Year-Round Christmas Entertainment Attraction in the U.S.

Hi! My name is Sharon and I ADORE Christmas! Our house includes three Christmas trees (L to R: 6′ “A Christmas Story” themed, 7′ “Travel” themed, 9′ “Everything Else” themed)

I have the entire set of the “A Christmas Story” Dept. 56 series. I bake (a LOT). An I’ve been told we have the best decorated house in the neighborhood 😉 (and yeah, that’s Santa’s legs sticking out of our chimney, stars on the roof and 9 flamingos pulling a sleigh on the lawn – we live in Florida, y’know)

Xmashouse.jpg

So how I, who constantly Googles places to travel to, never heard of Castle Noel is beyond me. But now that I have, I want to go! Take a look…

Continue reading “Castle Noel: The Largest Indoor, Year-Round Christmas Entertainment Attraction in the U.S.”

A Modern Day Look at Walt Disney World’s (Abandoned) Discovery Island

Between 1974 and 1999, Discovery Island was an island (duh!) that was open as a hard ticket attraction in Walt Disney World’s Bay Lake, located roughly between the Contemporary Resort Hotel and the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness. The highlight of the island was that guests could observe its many species of animals and birds.  After 25 years of success, it closed to guests shortly after Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened and, a few months later, was virtually abandoned after all the resident animals has been transferred to Animal Kingdom.

I visited Discovery Island as a kid in the 1970s. My memories of it are pretty vague,
partially because it was more years ago than I care to think about, but also because, well,

Continue reading “A Modern Day Look at Walt Disney World’s (Abandoned) Discovery Island”

When You’re Evacuated From Disney Attractions: The Videos!

For many Disney fans, being on a ride/attraction when it breaks down is an annoyance. The continuity of the story is broken, your time is limited and you have places to go and characters to see and a Fast Pass Plus that’s due in 10 minutes! For some, that one instance alone might even mean their vacation is ruined! 😉 (not really, of course – some people are just overly dramatic and/or want the opportunity to try to get something “extra” for their so-called “problems.”)

But for others, being on an attraction that’s suddenly “101” (Disneyspeak for “a ride is down”) while they’re on it, could mean what they see as the ultimate experience – being evacuated from the ride. And with that, you may get to see the ride with the emergency lights on, as well as backstage/behind-the-scenes areas that guests rarely, if ever see.

It’s relatively rare to be evacuated from an attraction and even less so for someone to videotape said evacuation (because Disney Cast Members [employees] are trained to try to not let videotaping happen, if possible, for fear of “spoiling the magic). But it happens here and there. Here are some Disney attraction evacuation videos that we’ve found:

Continue reading “When You’re Evacuated From Disney Attractions: The Videos!”

“Disney Snubs History & Art”: When They Altered An Historic Magic Kingdom Icon

Seth Kubersky, Arts Journalist of the Orlando Weekly, posted a link to an article regarding Disney’s “snub to history and art” by altering an attraction that, not only has been a staple at Walt Disney World since its opening day in 1971, but is over 100 years old and has an historic past in its own right, including being the only WDW attraction Walt Disney saw before his death in 1966. Written by the person who worked on refurbishing the attraction in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, you can read the article if you click on
Continue reading ““Disney Snubs History & Art”: When They Altered An Historic Magic Kingdom Icon”