Expedition Everest By: Kelly Fales

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Are you ready to face the wrath of the Yeti? If so, then take a ride up to the top of Mount Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park! Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is one of my favorite rides in Animal Kingdom (and in all of Disney for that matter!) The ride opened in 2006, and holds the record for the most expensive rollercoaster ever built at $100,000,000!

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Located in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest is themed around the infamous Yeti hiding in Mt. Everest. Arguably one of the most thrilling coasters at Disney World, the ride starts with an elaborate queue in a Tibetan-themed stone building. You have arrived at the office of the fictional “Himalayan Escapes” Travel Agency, about to embark on an expedition to search for the mythical creature. You then pass though at tea garden and a “Yeti Museum,” a room filled with equipment from previous expeditions. There are about 8,000 artifacts here that were brought in from Nepal. Disney actually sent a team to Nepal to do research and bring back these artifacts prior to building the ride!

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Once through the queue, riders board a “train” and begin their ascent into the Himalayas. During the steep incline, you travel through a stone tunnel and a temple that was destroyed, presumably, by the Yeti. Once at the top of the 199 foot-tall mountain, you curve around and pass through a cave. When you emerge, you stop suddenly…the track has been torn apart by the Yeti! You begin to roll backwards along a new route and speed down the mountain, stopping abruptly in a cave where you see the giant shadow of the Yeti on the wall! After an 80-foot drop, you speed through another cave, all while hearing the roars of the Yeti. A few more caves and drops later, and the ride is over. It lasts approximately 2 minutes and 50 seconds. Riders exit through a gift shop where you are able to purchase Yeti-themed merchandise.

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Unfortunately, the audio-animatronic 25-foot tall Yeti that is supposed to be seen during the ride has not worked properly since a few months after the ride opened in 2006. You now see just his shadow and hear his roars. Disney Imagineers have promised that they are working on getting the Yeti operational again, but so far they have not succeeded. It would definitely add to the overall experience for the Yeti to make an appearance during the ride.

And even though Everest is a thrill ride that travels backwards and through dark caves, it doesn’t go upside down, which I think makes it a great ride for all ages. Smaller children may be scared of the caves, drops and the Yeti’s shadow and roars. But older (or braver) kids are sure to enjoy this ride. My nine-year-old loved it last summer, and it’s now one of her favorite rides at Disney World! The height requirement is 44 inches, and you will definitely want to either make this one of your first rides in the morning, or get a Fast Pass+ for it, as the line is usually very long!

So, will YOU be able to escape the Yeti? Or have you already survived the challenge? If so, what did you think of Expedition Everest?

Cape May Cafe – Character Breakfast Review

Cape May Cafe Character Breakfast Review – Beach Club Resort

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Cape May Cafe is a restaurant that features a buffet Character Breakfast located in The Beach Club Resort – Breakfast features Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck all in their beach attire! It is a relatively easy reservation to get and it doesn’t really get to much buzz in the Disney community so I went into the meal with relatively low expectations…

Atmosphere and Characters –

The restaurant looks just like you would imagine a restaurant in The Beach Club would! Its bright colorful and all of the character costumes are excellent! I found the Character interaction to be very good here as well! As the restaurant is not nearly as crowded or as loud as restaurants like Chef Mickey’s it really allows the characters to spend more time with each table we even saw Goofy and Minnie twice in our 1 hour breakfast!

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Food –

The Breakfast buffet at Cape May features pastries, bacon, eggs, sausage, Mickey waffles and other traditional breakfast items – Also if you ask your waiter they are more than happy to give you Pancakes and Omelets made to order – This is a very nice touch as I like to have a nice omelet for breakfast –

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Overall Rating:

Food – 8 – The food at Cape May was very good, fresh, I loved that they had Omelets if you wanted as well as a wide variety of other options! It is one of the better character breakfasts –

Service – 8 – Our service was very good – In full disclosure I was there with a friend who works at Cape May so that could have helped…

Atmosphere – 7.5 – Cape May is a very laid back Character meal – I found the restaurant to be very fun and vibrant and fit quite well with The Beach Club –

Overall Score – 8 – Cape May Cafe is one of the better Character Meals in Walt Disney World and at 25$ it is cheaper than most too! I would recommend it to anyone especially if you are staying at an Epcot area resort!

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Splash Mountain Overview – by Amanda

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How do you do? Fine. How are you? ….This song (How Do You Do) and other catchy tunes including Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Ev’rybody’s Got a Laughing Place are just one of the reasons that Splash Mountain (located in Frontierland of Disney World) is one of my favorite attractions. This 8-passenger log ride takes you through the comical adventures of Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear as they try to catch up with the mischievous Br’er Rabbit. This ride is over 10 minutes long ensuring lots of fun and excitement along the way. Critter Cave, the Fishing Place, the Old Swimming Hole, Br’er Fox’s Lair and Br’er Rabbits home in the briar patch are the stops along the ride. It’s colorful, it’s bright and it is definitely eye catching! Along the ride there are thrills and surprises that keep the riders on the edge of their seat. A few smaller dips, indoor and outdoor attractions and the animated characters make it an all-encompassing ride, which is what makes it my number one attraction. The finale of the ride is a thrilling drop down Chick-A-Pin Hill into Briar Patch. Riders are sure to get a little wet – hence the name – but it is well worth it. It’s hard not to smile when you are on this attraction and that makes me want to ride it over and over again. Make sure to ride it during the day and a night for totally different experience. Many would agree that this ride is one of the best Disney has to offer, so this may be a ride you would want to take advantage of having a Fast Pass for!

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Meet Amanda!

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Favorite Park – Magic Kingdom

Hotels Stayed at – All Star Movies, Coronado Springs and Port Orleans Riverside (Favorite – Coronado Springs)

Last Visit – March/April 2015

Favorite Character – Mickey Mouse

Favorite Restaurant – Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

Favorite Quick Service – Restaurantosaurus

Favorite Snack – Ghirardelli – Downtown Disney

Tip – Take advantage of the early Magic Hours to avoid large crowds.

Favorite Ride – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

 

 

 

 

Meet Shannon!

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Favorite Park – Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World Hotels I have stayed at – All Star Movies and All Star Sports
Last Visit – September 2013
Favorite Character – Beeker (Muppets) and Phineas
Favorite Restaurant – Crystal Palace
Favorite Quick Serve Restaurant – Pecos Bills
Favorite Snack – Anything to do with ice cream!!!!
Favorite Tip – NEVER pay for water!!! You can go to any quick serve restaurant with fountain pop and ask for a glass of ice water. They will give you some for your whole group!
Favorite Ride – Pirates of the Caribbean and Toy Story Mania

Meet Kelly!

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Favorite Park- Magic Kingdom

Disney Resorts you have stayed at- Pop Century, All Star Sports, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside.

Favorite Resort- that I’ve stayed at= Port Orleans, but my overall favorite would be Polynesian (hope to stay there someday!!)

Last Visit- June 2014, but going again in June 2015!

Favorite Character- Belle

Favorite Restaurant- Be Our Guest

Favorite Quick Service- La Cantina de San Angel in Mexico Pavilion

Favorite snack- Dole Whip!!

Favorite Ride- Soarin

Favorite Tip- Use a travel agent! :)

Meet Stacie!

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Favorite Park – Hollywood Studios
Disney Hotels you have stayed at – Contemporary, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans-Riverside, Coronado Springs, Polynesian Village, Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge, and Old Key West.
Last visit – 2005
Favorite Character – Mickey
Favorite Restaurant – California Grill and Liberty Tree Tavern
Favorite Snack – Dole Whip
Favorite Tip – Use early entry to go to the Parks, then leave after lunch and go back to your resort.  Relax by the pool or in your room, then go back to the park for more rides, dinner, and the evening show.
Favorite Ride – Rock-n-Roller!!!

Teppan Edo – Review

Teppan Edo – Japan Pavilion – World Showcase Review

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Atmosphere:

Teppan Edo is a Teppanyaki style restaurant in the Japan Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase – I think it is a really cool restaurant and have enjoyed many meals here over the years!

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Show:

With it being a Teppanyaki style restaurant most of your food is grilled table side ~ This is a lot of fun for anyone but especially children it defiantly keeps everyone entertained while waiting for food ~

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Food:

The food at Teppan Edo quite honestly is secondary to the “show” it is not bad by any means however I have never come out of Teppan Edo and raved about the food…

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Swordfish Filet

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Overall Rating:

Food – 6 – The swordfish was pretty good – however all in all the menu really doesn’t have a much variety – the noodles and vegetables were just okay and there really were not any desserts that appealed to me at all…

Service – 7 – Generally the service here is pretty good ~ not fantastic but not terrible…

Atmosphere – 8 – I find Teppan Edo to be a really fun restaurant I understand that most people have a Teppanyaki restaurant in their home town but there is still something cool about having the chef prepare your food table side! Especially when it is in the middle of World Showcase!

Overall Score – 7 – Teppan Edo is one of the better restaurants in World Showcase ~ I’ve always had pretty good food and service and the atmosphere is a lot of fun! I really recommend chatting with your servers here too as they are actually from Japan and generally love talking about their culture!!! At one dining plan credit I think that Teppan Edo is a great option for families when visiting Epcot ~

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Whispering Canyon Cafe

Whispering Canyon Cafe – Wilderness Lodge

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Whispering Canyon Cafe is a restaurant located in the lobby of the beautiful Wilderness Lodge Resort – Whispering Canyon is known for being a loud, family friendly all you can eat restaurant! Whispering Canyon’s specialty’s include horse racing, ketchup calling (you’ll understand when you dine here) boisterous waiters and waitresses, an all you can eat BBQ Skillet and all you can drink Milkshakes! Sounds like a perfect place for kids of all ages if you ask me!

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Whispering Canyon Cafe does have more on its menu than just its all you can eat skillet however I don’t see a reason to order anything else. As a special hint I would suggest trying Whispering Canyon for Lunch – you can still order the all you can eat skillet however its about $8 cheaper per person vs dinner ~

Atmosphere:

Whispering Canyon Cafe has a “down home” family style atmosphere it is incredibly loud and not a place for an upscale quite meal! However it is absolutely perfect for families and it fits the theme of the Wilderness Lodge perfectly!

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All you can Eat Skillet –

The Skillet Features Steak (for Dinner), Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Beans, Ribs, Green Beans and pulled pork and sausage! And you can order more of your favorites ~ Everything here is good, it is not the best food on property however if you are hungry it is perfect!
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Hand Spun all you can drink Milkshakes! I really enjoy these and recommend ordering them every time it just adds to the experience ~ they have chocolate, Carmel, vanilla, and strawberry!

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Overall Rating:

Atmosphere: 5 (or 8) – For me personally I find dinner at Whispering Canyon to be extremely loud (lunch isn’t quite so bad) however for families with kids who are looking for a fun, low key dinner environment Whispering Canyon is perfect!

Service: 7 – The service is part of the show here so its hard to rate the restaurant as a whole because you can choose to be apart of the show or sit back and watch… Overall I’ve done both and would say the service is generally okay – a little slow but friendly waiters and waitress none the less…

Food: 7 – The food here is good ~ I enjoy the BBQ and the milkshakes! However I don’t think it is quite as good as Trail’s End —

Overall Score: 6.5 or 7.5 – Whispering Canyon is a perfect restaurant for Families! Especially if you are on the dining plan where you can all share the skillet and order the all you can drink milkshake! Making it a great value!

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Meet Bev!

 

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Favorite Park – Animal Kingdom
What hotels have I stayed at – Beach Club, Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge. My favorite is the Beach Club.
Last Visit – September 2014
Favorite Character – Minnie Mouse
Favorite Restaurant – Ohana
Favorite Quick Serve – Flame Tree BBQ
Favorite Snack – Rice Crisped Treats shaped like mouse ears at Goofy’s Candy Company Downtown Disney.
Favorite Tip – Be patient. Disney is very busy and if you want to enjoy the experience, do not fret over the small stuff.
Favorite Ride – Mission Space