Our family took a vacation to Universal Orlando the first week of August, 2016. It was the first visit for my children, and my wife and my first visit since around 2000. We used to live about a mile north of UO, and we had annual passes for many years and visited often, through the opening of Islands of Adventure.
My wife LOVES Harry Potter, and she’s reading the books (again) with my kids, and they’re enjoying the stories as well. So, a trip to Universal was welcomed by all. Even for someone who isn’t a huge HP fan, I thought that the Harry Potter “worlds” at Universal were incredibly well done and immersive in the theming. Disney needs to step up its game. I can’t wait to see what Star Wars land will be like at DHS.
The photos from our trip can be found on Flickr.
Below are the images from the guide maps for the parks, including maps/guides to the Cabana Bay Resort where we stayed. (Excellent resort, BTW. Highly recommended.)
Also below are the links to the PDFs of the guides if you wish to download them.
In honor of Independence Day, below are images of the Vacationer’s Guide to Walt Disney World when “America on Parade” was running in honor of America’s Bicentennial. I have the “America on Parade” book, and I’ll be scanning it and posting it. I may post it closer to Election Day (2016).
If you want to hear more about “America on Parade,” I highly recommend listening to RetroDisneyWorld’s podcast that they dedicated to it.
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show ran from May 5, 2005 and ended its run on April 2, 2016. My family only watched the show one time in 2014, and it was entertaining. I think I kinda resented LMA for the longest time because to make room for it, Residential Street was demolished, and I didn’t like that decision. If you haven’t already noticed, I don’t like change. 😉 But, now that this attraction has been closed and will soon be demolished to make room for Toy Story Land/Star Wars Land, this too is another lost attraction.
Below are a few photos that I took during our visit.
When I was a kid I loved Disney Dollars. For those unfamiliar, they’re Disney’s paper notes that look like real money and feature cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Dumbo on the front. They’re only good at Disney Parks and stores, making them essentially like gift certificates. But Disney will stop printing Disney Dollars on May 14, 2016.
I obtained this guidemap thanks to my good friend who attended the Epcot 25th Anniversary celebration on October 1, 2007. I had moved back to New Orleans a month earlier and was bummed that I wouldn’t be there to attend the festivities. He took a day off of work to be there and to get me this guidemap and one of the special edition Figment plush. I really appreciate that he did this. Wish I could have been there with him! You can download the full PDF here.
Although it’s now just a part of Epcot’s history, World of Motion was one of the park’s original attractions that guests flocked to on opening day. The attraction, then sponsored by General Motors, took guests on a time travel journey through the history of transportation – man’s foibles and triumphs in designing new vehicles, the age of flight, and the development of the horseless carriage, as well as the transportation trends our culture latched on to like the bicycle, the family Sunday drive, and the summer road trip.
Imagine it’s April, 18, 1983. You wake up and there’s a new channel in your cable lineup. You turn it on in the morning and there’s classic Mickey Mouse cartoons, Mousercise, So Dear to My Heart, Epcot Magazine(!), and the main feature of the day: Tron. Just look through the offerings on the channel in this premier issue of The Disney Channel magazine; I dare you not to wish for a time machine so you can go back and watch a day’s worth of shows. It’s kinda depressing to realize what the Disney Channel was, and what its become today. It used to be a family channel with something for everyone in the family (sounds like Walt’s original idea for Disneyland); now, it’s just slapstick kids shows. Sad. So, so sad.
The “Disney News” was a magazine that was sent to members of the Magic Kingdom Club. The first issue was in Winter 1965 and lasted until Winter 1995 (when it had changed names to the Disney Magazine). It then continued as a general magazine that could be purchased by anyone until Summer 2005.
This is the Fall 1982 version of Disney News and it covers the opening of EPCOT Center, which is fascinating by itself. However, there are a few other interesting items to note. First, the Editor of Disney News was Stephen Birnbaum. Yes, the same Steve Birnbaum of travel book fame. Second, there’s an article about the New Fantasyland that will debut the following year at Disneyland. There’s an article about Walt’s love of trains. Then there’s an article about the new Disney Channel that will make its debut in Spring 1983. Finally, there are some tips on getting the best photos at the Disney parks and other updates about the goings-on at the company. It’s a pretty packed issue, and it’s a great time capsule of what was happening at that time.
I thought I would post more recent photos from a now-extinct attraction. These two shots are from what turned out to be our final ride on the Backstage Studio Tour during our June, 2014 trip and are from the Catastrophe Canyon section of the ride. I am thrilled that my children got to ride it a few times before it was closed, and they were genuinely upset when they found out it was closing. As you can see from the photos, my kids had a great time on the ride, especially when the water came pouring down.