Monday, May 18, 2015

38 Things You Might Not Know About Walt Disney World

Nice article from Liberty Travel!

38 Things You Might Not Know About Walt Disney World
  1. When dining at the Be Our Guest restaurant, you can remember one of Lumiere’s lines and order “the gray stuff” for dessert – it really is delicious!
  2. Opening times listed for the parks aren’t always exactly accurate – guests are often let through the gates as early as fifteen minutes beforehand. All the more reason to get there early!
  3. There are no lost children at Disney – instead, you’ll hear about lost parents. Calling a scared kid “lost” just makes them more afraid they’ll be in trouble, so Cast Members shift the “blame” to the parents.
  4. Cinderella Castle is an impressive 180 feet tall – Walt wanted it big so any guests who got lost could easily find their way back to a central location. Thanks to a clever trick called “forced perspective,” it looks like it’s a whopping 300 feet!
  5. The reverse is true in Epcot – the large building in the US pavilion, the American Adventure, is actually five stories tall, but reverse forced perspective makes it look only three. If it were as short as it looks, you’d never be able to see it from across the lagoon. Want to check? Send the tallest member of your group to stand next to the doors – they’ll still be dwarfed in comparison.
  6. Also in Epcot, when you’re standing in front of the Mexican pavilion, take a look at Morocco across the lagoon. There’s one building behind the others that appears to blend in seamlessly, but is actually the top of the Tower of Terror – in a completely different park! During its construction, Imagineers realized the Tower would be visible from Epcot, so they intentionally camouflaged it.
  7. Walt originally intended for Epcot to be a functioning community, where new city planning concepts could be tried out. After his death, it became a park instead, but the plan lives on in its name, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.
  8. Speaking of Walt, if you’ve seen Saving Mr. Banks, you know he wanted everyone working for him to go by their first names – that’s why all Cast Member name tags have just a first name on them – not even a last initial.
  9. Walt Disney World is the second largest purchaser of explosives in the United States – only the US military comes in ahead of them.
  10. OK, you probably know about the tunnel network under Magic Kingdom, called the Utilidor system. What you might not know is that because you can’t dig underground in sea-level Florida, the tunnels are actually at ground level and the park itself is on the “second floor!”
  11. It would take you 68 years to spend one night in each hotel room in Disney World.
  12. That doesn’t count the hidden Cinderella Suite inside of Cinderella Castle – which you can’t book. You can only get it by winning a contest. (It was originally supposed to be an apartment for Walt.)
  13. Ever noticed a lot of gum stuck around the parks? No? Oh yeah, that’s because they don’t sell it on property, in order to keep the parks clean. They’re crafty that way.
  14. There are a lot of garbage cans at Disney – you can find them as frequently as every 30 steps. There are two stories about this. One is that Walt went to other parks and counted how long someone would hold on to garbage before just dropping it. Our preferred version is that he counted how many steps it took him to eat a hot dog and based it on that.
  15. Any time you see a phone in the parks, pick it up and see what you hear – there are still a couple of functioning pay phones, but sometimes you can listen in on some interesting conversations!
  16. Behind Cinderella Castle is a fountain with a statue of Cinderella. From adult height, she looks sad, but looking from the height of a child, she appears to be smiling and the crown on the wall behind her rests on top of her head.
  17. Stick around Magic Kingdom for about 30 minutes after the park closes for a special “Kiss Goodnight” from the castle – don’t worry, you won’t be breaking any rules.
  18. In Epcot, some of the sidewalks twinkle at night – they’re easy to spot on the way out after the fireworks.
  19. You can find Belle’s library in the French pavilion, along with a number of references to classic Disney stories.
  20. If you feel like being a little mischievous, get someone in your party to sample the “Beverly” Coca-Cola flavor at Club Cool. All the flavors are free, so there won’t be any buyer’s remorse – though there could be some tasters’ regret!
  21. The aquarium at Epcot’s Living Seas Pavilion is so large that Spaceship Earth could fit inside it with room to spare.
  22. After you get your glasses for Muppet Vision at Hollywood Studios, look for the sign that someone is “out to lunch – the key is under the mat.” Look down and you will indeed see a mat with a key under it!
  23. On Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, keep an ear on the music – if you start hearing “Love in an Elevator,” don’t be surprised if the words change to “Love in a Roller Coaster!”
  24. On signs for Animal Kingdom, you can see a dragon among the animals on the bottom. It’s all that remains of early plans for a “Beastly Kingdom,” which would have represented mythical creatures.
  25. The Yeti in Expedition Everest originally moved, but broke down early in the ride’s operation. It is now stationary, but strobe lights make it appear to move during the ride.
  26. Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life has approximately 320 animals carved into it, but the Chimpanzee was almost left out, until a visit from Jane Goodall prompted designers to add one.
  27. The highest possible score in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is 999,999, which will qualify you as a “Galactic Hero.”
  28. There are three places in the United States where you can find an official presidential seal – the Oval Office, the hall of the Liberty Bell, and Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents. Walt Disney had to get special permission from Congress to put it there.
  29. Disney bought a real plane to put in the Casablanca scene of the Great Movie Ride – only the first half is there, though! The rest of the plane is on the Jungle Cruise ride.
  30. The lake that holds Fantasmic is only about a foot and a half deep.
  31. No Cast Member will ever point out a direction with a single finger, as this is considered rude.
  32. Disney World was evacuated in 30 minutes on September 11, 2001, because of fears it could become a target. Dedicated Cast Members worked through the night to put up the Fourth of July decorations for the following day so the park could reopen with a feeling of solidarity and patriotism.
  33. Don’t get too close to the camel outside Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride, or you might get “spit” on! It seems random, but there’s a Cast Member nearby who takes the shots.
  34. The Mission: SPACE ride at Epcot requires more computer power than the actual space shuttle – though notably less fuel.
  35. While waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion, you may see a wedding ring embedded in the concrete. It’s said to belong to one of the ghosts inside – we think you’ll know her when you see her.
  36. Don’t feel like buying a PhotoPass? No worries – the park photographers will take pictures with your personal camera or phone.
  37. If you’re ever in line for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and see a sign warning you not to pull or open something – go ahead and do it.
  38. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of Hidden Mickeys throughout the parks – you know it, we know it, everyone knows it. But they’ve never been confirmed to exist, and there’s no way of knowing exactly how many there are.

What’s your favorite Disney World secret? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Your tip may make it into a future blog post!
By Meghan Brennan

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

5 Star Review! "On a plane, this thing is amazing!"

On a plane, this thing is amazing!  During a recent red-eye from San Francisco to North Carolina, I was out before we hit cruising altitude and I didn't wake up until we were descending into Charlotte... What I can fully credit to this sleep collar is the fact that after all those hours of sleeping completely upright, I didn't have the slightest bit of neck pain.

Amazon Reviews

Friday, July 18, 2014

Embrace Travel Products

Embrace Sleep Collar has expanded to Embrace Travel Products.

Here are a couple nice media reviews of the Embrace Sleep Collar Travel Pillow:

Daily Mail Logo
You Never Knew You Needed
"Ends the irritating head bobs that come with sleeping while sitting up.
It gently supports your travel-weary head and neck from the sides and front as opposed to some blow-up pillows that shove your head forward".
-Daily Mail UK 6/15/14

Travel World Logo

Best Travel Pillows

"When you doze off while on the move, does your head slowly droop forward or to the side, before you are uncomfortably jolted awake? The Embrace Sleep Collar keeps heads and necks in proper alignment, supporting the neck all the way around". -Group Travel World Magazine 9/13

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another 5 Star Review for the Embrace Sleep Collar Travel Pillow on Amazon!

This saved my life on my 14 hour flight to Australia! I will obviously buy another one for when I no doubt lose my current one...forget those stupid inflatable neck pillows that don't work!!!!
Win a free Embrace Sleep Collar Travel Pillow!  Caption writing contest at The Inconsistent Nomad!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Next Top 10 Travel Tips

My Next Top 10 Travel Tips
Lisa Teller
The Travel Doc

Earlier, I wrote my Top 10 Travel Tips.   I had a number of people offer suggestions, so I thought it was time to write the next Top 10 Travel Tips.

Hope these are helpful!

1.   This one is from a friend.  Pack with travel cubes - or any other type of bag within a bag. This helps keep clothes organized and when security rifles through everything, "things" won't go flying.

2.  Wear shoes that slip on and off easily to the airport - I like Dansko.

3.  Drink a glass of water every hour (when the water is safe).

4.  This one if from friend…and a little gross.  Put a little Vaseline in your nostrils and a just a little in the corners of your eyes - you get less dry.  I tried it and it works!

5.  When making decisions about activities, ask yourself how you’d feel 5 or 10 years from now about each decision.  Do I go to the museum or do the boat tour? Do I have a fancy dinner or go to a play?  Spend an extra day in Paris or see the countryside?  Lie at the beach or site see?

6.  This one is also from a friend.  He was in Cambodia after traveling for months.  There was a movie theater playing an American movie.  He fully enjoyed the movie and forgot where he was.  When he walked out he had a renewed appreciation for where he was and where he came from.

7.  It’s hard to enjoy yourself if you are tired or sore.  A quality memory foam travel pillow is a necessity. You’ll find yourself wearing it on planes, trains, and long car rides.  The best travel pillows. will provide full support for your head and neck.  Also, more and more airlines are no longer offering airline pillows.

8.  Bring a couple packs of Wet One’s or Handy Wipes.  They are useful for hygiene, comfort, and even make-up removal.

9.  Save a copy of your itinerary on the Internet.  Just email it to yourself.

10.  This one is from a friend.  If you find yourself trying to sleep and there is a mosquito in your room, ask the front desk for a fan.  Turns out, mosquito’s hate even a light breeze.

Happy travels!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Top 10 Travel Tips

Travel can be fun. Travel can be exciting. Travel can also be a pain in the neck.  

Here are 10 quick and easy tips to make your travels better.

1. This is my favorite tip, so I put it first. If you are spontaneous with your travel or find yourself somewhere you are unfamiliar with, check out the postcards in the gift shops. That will give you a quick snapshot of local scenery and sites. I had an unplanned 3-hour layover in Milan a few years ago. When I checked out the post card rack, I learned that Di Vinci’s Last Supper was a short cab ride away. Much better than just killing time in a restaurant next to the train station.

2. If you don’t already have your ticket, make sure and check flight to/from surrounding airports. The smaller airports surrounding the major hubs can be more convenient and save you hundreds of dollars.

3. Always, always, always check the status of your flight before heading to the airport. Few things are worse then finding out your flight has been delayed or canceled after all the hassle of getting you and your luggage to the airport.

4. Arrive at airport early enough not to rush. That extra 30 minutes does wonders to lower your stress level.

5. Think ahead while packing. Do you really need 3 pairs of shoes and 3 pairs of pants? Figure out which shoes and clothes are multi-functional. Also, coordinating around one or two colors helps cut down on clothes.

6. If you’re flight is longer than an hour, do yourself a favor and get a travel neck pillow. A good quality memory foam travel pillow will get your trip started right. The best travel pillows have full support that keep your head and neck in proper alignment. Remember, posture = comfort.

7. Bring only one or two credit cards. If your wallet is lost or stolen, it won’t be such a hassle.

8. Drink Gatorade. Often the water in different countries has impurities that can make you sick. Sightseeing is surprisingly strenuous.

9. Best money saving tip. Take a moment to reflect on what travelers visit in your area. I can’t believe how many people in Southern California have never been to the Grand Canyon, for example.

10. If you do research on your travel online, don’t forget to glance at the reader’s comments. Often, you will find great insights.