Friday, 7 January 2011

Hidden Joys of Disney

So I was watching some vlogs on youtube (a potentially bad sign because I didn’t start doing this until much later last year and it is hugely distracting when you’re supposed to be studying) and I came across this video, produced by Disney about Beverly. What is Beverly? It is one of the drinks available to taste at Club Cool in Epcot. They have different sodas from all over the world that you can taste for free - perfect in the summer heat! Well...

There’s also a similar video that was made by the Disney Vlogging Legend that is John Henselmeier. You can check that out here:

So, this inspired me to talk about some of the “hidden” things in Disney that most people either overlook or simply don’t get a chance to do while on vacation in the second happiest place on Earth.

I’ve already mentioned Club Cool and after that you’re taste buds will probably be needing something a bit more pleasant and for that there’s Dole Whip. Dole Whip is Pineapple soft serve and is amazing. You can either have it just as it comes or in a pineapple float (pineapple juice topped with Dole Whip) and you can find it in Adventureland (near Swiss Family Robinson) or at Cpt Cook’s Cafe at the Polynesian Resort.

Next up is the Animation Class at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s located in the Animation attraction and is one of the few opportunities to have a free souvenir. It does what it says on the tin! A Disney Cast Member teaches you how to draw a famous Disney character. It’s a different one in each class and you get to keep your drawing at the end of it.
*TIP* If you go to the Art of Disney store near the attraction’s exit and ask nicely they’ll be able to give you an elastic band to keep your new masterpiece safe.

Need something savoury? Then get yourself to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. Best Sandwiches EVER. (Anyone want to Fedex me one?)

Know which stores sell drinks. On the surface this probably makes no sense. One of the great perks that comes with being a Cast Member is you get discounts - yay! But the one place you don’t get discounts in the parks (resorts and AK are the exception here) is at the Quick Service restaurants. BUT you do get discounts on Merchandise. So if it’s boiling hot and you’re thirsty head over to the nearest shop that sells drinks. My personal favourites are the blue raspberry frozen drinks that they sell at several stores in Hollywood Studios.

When you’re living at the Disney Complexes you notice a lot of posters advertising events appear around the place. My rule is “if it’s free, go”. The pool parties come with a wealth of free food and drinks (non-alcoholic) as do many of the others and there’s plenty to go around. One trip through the line left me with 2 slices of pizza, a bag of crisps/chips and a soda. One less meal to buy/make!

One of the other great things about the complexes (mostly Vista Way) are the Disney Learning Centers. They have a mini library and free DVD and board game rentals. I read about this before I went and was slightly apprehensive. I was expecting a couple of Disney films and that was about it. WRONG! There were loads of films available, Disney and otherwise.

Mickey Ears. They’re attractive, they’re a must have and you get a free set (along with more free food) at Graduation.

Company D. It’s the exclusive cast members only store along with a couple of others near the Disney University. A must-visit.

The Kitchen Sink. For years I’d heard about it but never had the chance to try it. Get a large group (I recommend at least 6) together and head over to Beaches and Cream at the Yacht and Beach Club. It’s almost become a right of passage. Can you eat it all?

Mini Golf. Much to my family’s general annoyance this is one of those must-do things for me. There are two Disney run locations - Fantasia Gardens (Near the Swan and Dolphin) and Winter-Summerland (next to Blizzard Beach). You’ll often walk away with a mini-Sharpie and Golf Ball and the end of the round. My personal fave is the Gardens course at Fantasia Gardens. Go at night and you can see Fantasmic.

That’s it for today. Hopefully once I get enough free time I’ll do some more vlogs and I’m also going to do a series of blogs on Magical Moments.

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