Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Because the ride is a constantly moving train of carts it never really takes a long time to get to the front of the line. Once you get there you are put in the elevator with other guests waiting to get on the ride. Than through an interesting optical illusion the elevator appears to lengthen and all then apparently twist because the door that was behind you is suddenly in front of you. Every time they do it I can never figure out how the door movies, but it disappears and reappears.
Once you get in the cart that seats three people or four little ones you begin moving through the mansion. I don’t want to ruin all the ride for you but you come face to face with ninety nine of the Walt Disney Ghosts. With special effects and a little bit of “magic” these comical ghosts sing, dance, tell jokes and a whole slew of other funny things. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the ride is scary, but if your kid is afraid of the dark than this isn’t the ride for them.
The Haunted Mansion is one of the oldest rides at the Magic Kingdom, and I sure hope it will stick around for a while lot longer. In fact it is the first ride I rush off to whenever I visit the park!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
One of my favorite rides at Epcot is actually kind of a strange choice for me. I think my curiosity gets the better of me on this ride, because it can’t even really be called a “ride” in my head. To me it’s like that one class in school you actually enjoyed. Let me explain. The Land is a boat ride that takes you through a large greenhouse in the center of the park. The greenhouse is home to all of Epcot’s experimental planting methods.
As soon as the ride starts you are taken through an artificial rainforest. The guide explains to you exactly what Epcot or Disney is doing to offer the world food in rural places. He starts by explaining how there is a wide variety of places where food is almost impossible to grow. Epcot has put a lot of effort into opening up new processes and methods for people in these locations to grow food. As far as I am concerned they are solving world hunger one step at a time!
The greenhouse is full of all of Disney’s experiments. With fruits and vegetables so large you couldn’t pick them up it is almost jaw dropping to me what they have accomplished. They have pumpkins shaped like Mickey Mouse, plants growing suspended in the air; they are even learning how to grow crops in space! I absolutely love this ride; it is something I make sure to visit every time I go to Epcot. You can even eat what they have grown in a restaurant right outside the ride!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
While I was there though there happened to be one ride that stuck out to me above the rest. Everyone who has seen the movies knows that iconic location for the entire series is the Hogwarts School… or Castle. So when I could see it from the front of the park I kinda scuffled in that direction as quickly as I could. I had heard about the ride inside but I couldn’t really grasp what it was. Some people said it was a roller-coaster others said it was roller-coaster-like, and others said it was like the haunted mansion in the Magic Kingdom. So naturally I had to make the decision for myself.
As soon as you enter you are seated on a cart with three other people. A lot like the Haunted House ride these carts pull up in rapid succession, so the line was rabidly moving. As soon as you get on the cart the floor pulls away and you realize you are suspended above the track, which suspiciously looks like roller-coaster rails. However unlike roller-coasters the objective of this ride was not to obtain high speeds or make sharp maneuvers, in fact it was pretty leisurely in its style.
You start off in the main hall of Hogwarts and eventually make your way through all the major rooms that played a role in the movie. With floating objects and special effects they really capture the magical aspect of the movies. I really enjoyed passing through Dumbledore’s Office and the Gryffindor Common Room. The cart you are in tilts backwards and forwards and even twists to give you a view of everything. Definitely worth the trip to Islands of Adventure, I would do it again whenever I get the opportunity.
Friday, March 25, 2011
So, when my dad brought me with my sister to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, it is without saying that I was jumping literally in jubilation with the thought of riding a pirates ride!
Fast forward to 2011, and the kid has turned into a man. Everything that before had a certain innocence has change to unveiled the reality. However, some things still lingers there as a token of the geekiness that lies within me. Like the love for the pirate life.
You can bet all the doubloons in the world that I was first in line when the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl opened in theaters across the land. Who is my favorite pirate? Of course, Errol Flynn holds the honors but a very close “photographic picture” second I would have to say that Johnny Deep has more than met the expectations!
It is without saying that I was enthusiastically surprised to find out that the original ride that is in Disneyland California was having its 44th anniversary. Wow, 44 years of making every single kid live if for just mere 9 minutes their dreams of becoming pirates.
In every visit to Magic Kingdom, it is one of those attractions that are “must” for me. Definitely one of my favorite rides! From the instant that you walk inside the facade of the Spanish Fort to the point where you sit down in your boat. Once you are riding thru the different scenes, you are transported to another world where pirates rule the land. You cannot get tire of hearing the “Yo Ho Yo Ho A Pirates Life For Me” song, practically at the end you’ll be humming the song even after you are totally out of the ride. The first scene where you are riding in the boat in between the Fort and Barbossa’s pirate ship is hands down one of the best openings of any Disney attractions (perhaps you have your own personal favorite but for me this is the benchmark).
As for Johnny’s “Captain” Jack Sparrow showing up in different junctions in the ride (I am deliriously laughing cause the Imagineers not only recreated Johnny to perfection but also added the quirks and ticks of the character, major kudos for them!) is totally priceless. And then the end with him sitting in the throne, adds to the awesomeness of the whole ride.
Gosh! 44 years of incredible ways in which it has touched every kids imagination. And the imagination continues cause I cant wait for the fourth pirate movie in the franchise to open. It will be a double encore, like in my past times, I will be going afternoon to ride Pirates of the Caribbean and then at midnight going to the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
See you there scallywags, “Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirates Life for me….”
Thursday, March 24, 2011
In the latest news, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Company have stated that the following characters will be seen during the show:
Roll the drums please!
We already know about C-3PO, R2-D2, Ace (AC-38), and Spokesbot Aly San San. And also that it takes place between Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) and A New Hope (Episode IV)
The new additions are:
Darth Vader – what is a Star Wars ride without one of the most loved “evils” in film!
Stormtroopers – what little boy in Halloween doesn’t want to dress as one?
Some new characters call “Skytroopers” – i cant wait how they look and what they do!
Boba Fett – for those Empire Strikes Back fan, there’s no other favorite Bounty Hunter!
Master Yoda – like me, probably you’ll be asking how are they going to include him in the storyline of the ride.
Admiral Ackbar – do you remember the character that looks like an octopus? That’s him! He was in Return of the Jedi (Episode VI)
And for all geeks drooling to see their personal beauty fantasy girl, none other than Princess Leia! – cant wait to see how they can pull this one… in the blog-o-sphere there’s so much speculation, would it be a new actress? Or Carrie Fischer with some anti-aging Disney-Lucasfilm magic? Would it be a hologram of her? The possibilities are endless.
One of the most incredible things that the imagineers have achieve is that they have created a ride that requires multiple viewings, cause the rides many different places are randomly choose by a complex computerized system. Meaning that every time you walk into the ride, you wont know where it will send you to! Isn’t that awesome!
Mark your calendars, May 20th, 2011! That’s why I am in the “Can I finally hop into that attraction now?”.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
So it is not difficult to imagine how incredibly happy I was when I discovered that Busch Garden in Tampa Florida was making a roller-coaster, Cheetah Hunt. I immediately wanted to know all the details and what was awaiting all of us who love thrilling adventure rides. I couldn’t believe how good their marketing machine is cause they give us this little hint with the “A new breed of Speed” slogan that will make us crave to know more about that ride.
Then, they started to unveiled the pictures and it looks totally awesome! I was in Manta which is the newest roller-coaster in SeaWorld and they have this combination of aquarium and entrance to the ride, and they have taken this same concept with Cheetah Hunt. Of course, like the name implies it has cheetahs roaming thru an African Savannah area, I cannot tell you how interesting and marvelous it will be to see the fastest running animal on earth walking and running in this fascinating environment. And if you’ve seen the clips of the “virtual tour”, I cannot wait to hop into this amazing beast of a roller-coaster!
Now it comes to the waiting…oh, the waiting! And that is perhaps the hardest, specially when you see that the whole tram of the ride is already in place, some of the statues are having their finishing touches, and they recently gotten the cars, which are going to sport a front that has a shape similar to the head of a Cheetah, this screams “coolest ride ever”!
Right now, it shows that is supposed to be in operation Spring 2011! So for all of those roller-coasters fanatics, Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida will be waiting you to ride this amazing attraction that will surely break some records of speed along the way to spring as one of the best and favorites roller-coasters in the world!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
From Japan to South Korea, New Zealand to the Caribbean, Argentina to Canada, Great Britain to Australia, USA to Ireland, this celebration covers the entire globe.
Some interesting tidbits are that in the States many cities have their own celebration parades. The one in New York is the oldest (since 1762), Boston has done the celebration since 1804 (the city has one of the largest Irish bases in the country). One really weird occurrence happens in Chicago, cause the river is tinted green for this special celebration! (I guess Kermit the frog will feel at home). Since the Obama’s are Chicago natives, they brought the tradition to the White House where they have tinted green the North Fountain.
Here in Orlando there are so many things you can do to celebrate this special day, which this year is Thursday March 17th. There are places that are great to have fun and have the Irish touch for this day!
Raglan Road in Downtown Disney:
This locale serves authentic Irish with a modern twist like creamy colcannon soup, beef stew with a hint of Guinness, bangers and mash, and other delights that will surely fill your appetite! One thing that will catch your eyes are the custom-made furniture and fixtures that were designed and built in Ireland by Irish craftspeople. The restaurant sports a wonderful entertainment that includes a band that will put you to dance and sing like you never did before, and actually you’re encourage to do so in this party atmosphere! And the night is just beginning, so you can imagine what more surprises are going to be thrown at you. It is such an excellent place to bring the Irish inside of you!
Pat O’Brien’s in Universal Orlando’s CityWalk:
It is another excellent place that you can go to celebrate this Irish tradition. Every year during this celebration, they have a special event which includes traditional Irish cosine and specialty drinks with some Irish twist. Another major draw that makes this one of the most visited places is its dueling piano bar. Two excellent piano players duel for a shot of who is the big daddy in town, sitting in two copper pianos they sing and fill the night with the spirit of the joyous music you can think. Definitely you’ll have to be there to experience this amazing “dueling” performance!
Have fun on March 17th, 2011. Definitely will be a super day…don’t forget to don your green suit, and ladies wear your glittering sparkling green dresses. And for all drinkers out there, the specialty is the IRISH CAR BOMB! It is to die for! Here’s the recipe:
- ½ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
- pint Guinness Stout
- ½ oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Pour half a pint of Guinness into a beer mug
- Take a shot glass and pour the cream in the bottom and the whiskey on top.
- Count to three
- Say “Cheers!”
- Drop the shot into the Guinness
- Chug it as fast as you can before it curdle!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When in Orlando you have a lot of options as far as things to do. Mardi Gras in Orlando at the Universal Studios is a great event to keep you busy and have a great time at the same time. You will not want to miss out on the action and the great performances by Pitbull. You will feel the music and become entranced by the smooth melody and fantastic rhythms.
At Mardi Gras you can enjoy several different parades and festivals. You will love the music and party atmosphere associated with the festival. So many people come out and have a good time that if feels the streets of Universal and surrounding area. You will love the festival and everything that it has to offer. They have acrobatic entertainers and gymnasium performers to keep you on your toes. Every flip and twist will take your breathe away and leave you in awe. Mardi Gras is a great place for the whole family to take part in. It is a family friendly environment with an array of different artists and performers for everyone to see. I went recently and had the time of my life. The music, dancers, performers and experience was great and will never be topped. This is one act that must be seen by everyone. You will be blown away by the sheer magnitude of this event. There is no other like it on Earth. It may even be better than the real one in New Orleans.
Universal Studios throws this event yearly and every year is better than the last. You will see the truth in this when you go more than one year back to back. The great performers are honing their skills for a whole year before they take stage again in the next year's Mardi Gras. The amazing performances are practiced daily and perfected before you get to see them. You will not want to miss out on next years event and the hype associated with it. Be sure to clear a schedule and dedicate a couple days to this madness, because you will not want to leave.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
One of the most iconic landmarks is the Cinderella Castle that has been since the inception of the park itself. The designers studied original animation from the classic animated film Cinderella to build this incredible Castle. One impressive tidbit of information is that with the computer-controlled light system creates a magical view with 16-million colors and during the evening fireworks synchronizes everything with 60 color changes!
Since its opening, Walt design Magic Kingdom with the environment in mind. The monorail is one of those significant mode of transportation that uses electrical motors. One of the biggest treat is to seat in the front of monorail, and you can even receive a gift, a special conductor card! It drives at 45-mph and can get you from the ticket center (main hub) to Magic Kingdom. You can use either the Express that will get you faster to the theme park or the Resort line that as the name implies will stop in every single resort around Magic Kingdom (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary). You’ll have fun as you travel through the Contemporary Resort, cause you have to go inside the middle of the hotel, don’t miss an opportunity to see Chef Mickey, which is the Restaurant where Mickey shows up every single time, maybe perhaps in one of those passes you can see Mickey!
One of the biggest show in the evening has to be hands down Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. It is the fireworks at the end of your visit. During 12-minutes using 683 individual pieces of pyrotechnics at its disposal, it will certainly move you to believe that all your wishes will come true and that magic really exist and will inspire you to dream! It is one of those spectacles that you cannot be missed!
40 years ago, you can be certain that Walt himself didn’t envision that his dream will become this big! In the dedication plaque on Main Street USA has this inspired words: “May Walt Disney World bring joy and inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place…a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn – together.” Certainly many can attest that this has become true!
To 40 years of excellence and ultimate magic, we all raise our glasses full of Pixie dust in celebrating Happy 40th Anniversary Magic Kingdom, truly “The Most Magical Place on Earth!!!”
Monday, March 14, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
A sort of bitter-sweet moment, after months of delay, it's Discovery's last mission, her final trip to the International Space Center, for now, her 13-day mission has eclipsed the reality that she will not fly again.
Since Discovery first rolled onto the launch pad in 1984, she has logged over 148 million miles during her 27 year career. Now that the fuel tank issues are behind her, she's ready to carry a payload consisting of supplies, hardware, a new storage module, and a humanoid robot assistant to the space station.
As the shuttle that helped the United States explore the heavens awaits her last flight home, astronauts were given an early wake-up call at 6:53 a.m. in the morning.
Just 1 hour and 19 minutes later, astronauts initiated the last 3 minute de-orbit burn that would cause the orbiter to be an hour-long descent.
Discovery, amongst the other orbiters, will leave behind quite an amazing legacy in space flight, she has taken good care of her crews all these years.
Meanwhile, thousands of people awaited the sonic double booms, a signature of Discoveries last flight over the sun shine state.
Her shoots deploy, just moments before landing, an audible sound is heard, "and Houston, Discovery, for the final wheelstop", suddenly, the reality sets in to Kennedy's exploration team, this was the last hooray, a yeoman's job to say the least, a picture perfect flight to wrap up an amazing legacy.