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Monday, September 19, 2016

Top Unique Places to View the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom

Guide4WDW.com
Top Unique Places to View the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

Every fireworks show at Magic Kingdom is spectacular, but there’s always been something special about the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. The show really immerses guests in an entire story that will stick with you long after you leave the park. There’s nothing quite like it and with so many unique viewing locations, you can experience the show in a new and different way each and every time. 

While everyone loves to watch Wishes from that iconic Main Street U.S.A. location, there are many wonderful areas that offer a completely different experience centered around that same outstanding nighttime spectacular. While there’s nothing wrong with Main Street, and I recommend that everyone view the fireworks from there at least once, here are just a few of the many unique places to see the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom! 

-Pinocchio’s Village Haus
While this is listed as the Village Haus, its really outside of the restaurant where the full experience really comes to life. To witness this viewing location for yourself, stake out an outdoor seating location near the front left entrance closest to the carrousel. The tables are very difficult to obtain within an hour of the show, but if you do secure one, get ready for an experience that you won’t soon forget. (photo: dadsguidetowdw.com) 

As you prepare for the experience, grab some food and make sure you have a pretty clear view of the castle as well as a glimpse of New Fantasyland to your left. As the show begins, its hard to expect what this spot brings to the table. (Warning: It is not the best viewing location for children who are easily frightened by loud noises.) The fireworks surround you throughout the entire show due to the way Disney has created the sequence of the fireworks. Up by the castle, fireworks are launched off of the buildings that create the smaller effects within the presentation. However, the noise these fireworks create within such a close proximity is pretty amazing to witness. Also, you get to experience the show from a vantage point that is often overlooked, and of course what’s better than dinner with a show?       

-New Fantasyland
Close to the Village Haus is another interesting opportunity that debuted just a short while ago when New Fantasyland opened to guests. Right now, this is one of those hidden spots that very few recognize to be a great location to experience Wishes. While you will not get the classic view right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A., you do in fact get a view of fireworks towering over Beasts castle! 

The trick to this location is to be in the right place at the right time. You won't have to stake out the spot because very few notice it unless they have witnessed it first hand, but it's a very unique experience. To get there, make your way out beyond the Carrousel, and look for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train on your right. As you approach the portion of New Fantasyland where the drop from the mine train is visible, look to your left at Beast’s castle up on the hill in the distance. If you see the entrance to Enchanted Tales with Belle on your left, you’re in the right place. 

As the show begins, you’ll be able to witness the largest fireworks of the event towering over the castle on the hill, but also be able to turn around and experience many of the effects surrounding Cinderella’s castle. While it is not the perfect viewing point for every effect included in the fireworks spectacular, it gets you away from the crowds and sets up a one-of-a-kind sensory experience. You can hear the music for the show, the fireworks bursting in the distance, and the rolling cars of the Mine Train as they pass by. So, while not the perfect location, it is one of the better places to experience a unique portion of the many aspects Wishes has to offer. (photo: pinterest.com)    

-On the Seven Seas Lagoon
This one may surprise a few people. While technically not in the Magic Kingdom, after a long day at the park this is one of the more unique ways to experience the show. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) Disney has picked up on this one and are now offering fireworks dessert cruises with a variety of themes. While those experiences are great, you don't necessarily have to shell out the big bucks to view Wishes from the water. 

If you manage to time it right, you can board a boat to any of the resort hotels that are accessible by water (I prefer the boat to Wilderness Lodge because it is usually a smaller watercraft and a better view from the open-air boats opposed to the closed-in boats) and get to experience a short portion of Wishes completely free of charge! Worth mentioning though is that you will not likely get to see the show in it’s entirety, but many of the captains tend to linger as they leave the docks as the fireworks are beginning. It is definitely something everyone should experience at least once and I guarantee that the reflection off the water and the fireworks high in the sky create an experience that cannot be replicated! (photo: mine) 

Honorable Mentions:
-The PeopleMover and Splash Mountain: While I decided to leave these two out because they are incredibly difficult to anticipate and you really only get short glimpses of the fireworks, some of the most unique views in the parks come from rides on these two iconic attractions. On Splash Mountain in particular, if you can manage to time your ride or fastpass+ selection with the time of the fireworks you can experience a great view that you can’t experience anywhere else. As you top the mountain beginning your journey, look towards the castle and back behind it to see the fireworks at almost eye level. Also, as you top the final hill you get an even better view of the fireworks in the distance, no matter how short of a glimpse that may be.

The PeopleMover (or Tomorrowland Transit Authority) is a bit different. While the attraction is usually a walk on, its hard to time your ride to get the best possible views of the fireworks themselves. However, you get to experience something unique. You get to see all the people from above and for even just a brief few seconds you get to witness all of those guests amazed by what they are experiencing. It’s one of those things that you can't experience in a crowd of people, but from above, the scale of what’s going on around you is hard to overlook, yet great to experience first hand. 

There’s something magical about seeing the park at night. Everything is different, but in a good way. It’s an experience that you don't get anywhere else and hopefully these unique places to watch the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular will create even more of those unique opportunities on your next visit to Walt Disney World. Of course, there are many more locations, so be sure to let us know what your favorite place to watch the fireworks is!       


Thanks for reading and if this gave you any new ideas or was something you enjoyed reading be sure to share it with friends! @guide4disney is almost 3,000 strong on twitter and we’re thrilled to have each and every one of you following along with us!



Monday, September 12, 2016

Why You Should Attend the Momentum Workshop Weekend with Lou Mongello!

Guide4WDW.com
Why You Should Attend the Momentum Workshop Weekend with Lou Mongello! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

I knew I would write this post eventually, but I didn't know quite when. So, today we’re going to tell you a little bit about how the site began. Over a year ago, I began writing a book, or I should probably say I began thinking about writing a book. Unfortunately though, it was one of those things that seemed like a great idea, but I had no idea where to start. Thankfully, I had began listening to the WDWRadio podcast (available on iTunes) quite a few months before and kept hearing Lou Mongello talk about how he tried something new and it became the occupation that he loves. If you haven't listened to his podcast, I highly recommend it for any Disney parks fan. But, as you can imagine, we aren't really here to talk about the podcast but rather the result of the podcast. 
After listening to one of the shows, I picked up on something I had never really paid much attention to before. At the end of the show Lou simply referenced that he would be happy to help anyone learn how to achieve their dream and start something new that they would enjoy each every day. I didn't think much of it, but went ahead and sent him an email to see if he would have any tips on how to start writing a book of my own (Lou Mongello is the author of many Disney Parks books). To my surprise, he responded to the email and recommended a specific site to help the design and publication process. Believe it or not, the end result was my book finally getting written. He was more than helpful and the simplest of advice allowed me to do something that I enjoyed and make a few dollars along the way. 

Today, that book has developed into a website and hopefully the site will continue to grow over time. After I created the blog (hopefully soon to become a full-on website), I invited Caitlin to start writing with me to create more content for you to enjoy. Hopefully we’re moving in the right direction and if there’s anything you want us to post about in the future feel free to let us know below! 

Fortunately, I tell you this story for a reason! If you want to do the same thing, develop a similar concept, or have an idea that you want to turn into a business no matter how big or how small, be sure to look into the Momentum Workshop Weekend hosted by Lou Mongello himself! I guarantee that he can help make your idea into a reality. He helped me personally through just a few emails (that he didn't even really have to respond to), so I can only imagine what he can do throughout an entire weekend. 


Discounted room rates are available on a first come first serve basis (contact Lou or click the banner below for more details). If you are convinced already that you want to go and turn your dream into a reality, be sure to use the code “FRIEND30” for 30% off the cost of the event!  

SIGN UP HERE: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/momentum-workshop-weekend-tickets-27049184840?aff=Momentum50&afu=186673915974

Check Out My Book and Lou Mongello's Book Down Below: 





Thursday, September 8, 2016

Top 4 Disney Parks Books You Need In Your Collection!

Guide4WDW.com
Top 4 Disney Parks Books You Need In Your Collection! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney 

Disney is one of those places where you can read and plan all you want to, but you’ll never quite be able to learn and experience it all. Fortunately, authors over the years have compiled various information about the Disney parks in some incredible books to help you learn as much as you can. Now, travel guides are a dime a dozen (I even wrote one myself), but today we’re going to focus a little more on the often overlooked part of the Disney experience, what made the parks what they have become over the years. What happens behind the scenes isn't always released to the public,but thanks to a few select authors, we get a look behind the curtain of the place that has created magic for guests for generations. 

1. Walt Disney's Epcot Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow
So, the first book on my list of must reads is one that is rather hard to find in a bookstore, but one of the single best ways to get an idea of what Epcot Center was supposed to become. Notice I said supposed to become. The book contains many ideas that never quite became a reality when the park was completed. Also, due to changes over the years, the title features many attraction that are virtually extinct or already extinct in today’s park. While, that isn't always helpful in planning for future vacations, it’s wonderful to be able to see what used to be, especially for those of us who never got to experience it first-hand in the parks. You get the chance to experience the attractions without actually being there. The designs and story elements of each attraction are there and it truly gives you an inside look at what Epcot was truly designed to be when it first opened. Of course, it was never quite the experience Walt envisioned, but it truly is interesting to see how different today’s park is from the Epcot of years past. Unfortunately, due to the books age, it is often only found in used bookstores or online.



2. Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real
Second on the list is possibly the most inclusive of the books on my top 4. However, it is also one of the largest and as a result it rarely fits on shelves of any size. Fortunately, given its size, it does make for an incredible coffee table book. In my opinion, this is one of the best Dinsey Imagineering books ever written. The pictures are incredible and many can only be found within the pages of this particular volume of the title. Years after the first edition, Disney released a similar second version with a similar title, but it is not quite the same. The newer version leaves out some of the history of the attractions and the design elements that make those attractions oh so special. The book itself is one that you could read over and over, hundreds of times, and still find something new each and every time you read it.

There’s so much to take in and so much that you may have never seen before, but that bonus may also be a turn off for many readers that aren't quite the Disney fanatic that many of us have grown to be (it is over 190 pages long). The best way to describe the writings of this wonderful production comes from the pages of the book itself. It describes the joy of Imagineering by saying, “The magic rejuvenates the body, stimulates the mind and inspires the spirit. It is a source of happiness and a fountain of learning. The magic is also that feeling of anticipation when something wonderful is about to happen, and the joyous fulfillment of expectation when it does.” Oh, and did I mention the foreword was written by Michael Eisner himself?  
While this 3rd book is a strange inclusion to a list all about the backstories of the parks and how they came to be, once you experience what the book has to offer, you realize it really isn't all that different. This book, which you can still find new today, has very few words, but hundreds of images created by the Disney artists for feature films in animated form. While the actual text is minimal, the experience of flipping through this “sketchbook” is quite eye opening. The images really show you exactly what goes into an animated film and the immense details and design changes that develop throughout the animation process behind the scenes. From concept art for Beauty and the Beast to scenes straight out of Pinocchio, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact that these simple yet incredibly wonderful sketches later lead to the incredible films that have entertained viewers for generations. In my opinion, this is the ultimate coffee table book and something that may become a collectors item down the road. It’s large, just like the aforementioned book, but the size really helps do the drawings justice. You can tell that Disney spared no expense creating the title and the physical quality of the print and binding is quite possibly the best I have experienced. While I am a little biased in favor of animation, it really is a book that many people will enjoy and one that holds a special place in my personal collection, just as each of the other books listed do as well. 
While I contemplated leaving this book off the list due to it’s immense detail and over the top architectural terminology, I realized that many of you may be like me and have a fascination for the little details that end up making the biggest differences in the Disney parks. With that being said, this is truly one of the best books written for those of us who truly enjoy seeing “how it was done”. The book features never before seen artwork and construction plans for various attractions and buildings across the various Disney parks and resorts, but also delves into the unique details that many of us truly overlook. Strangely, that is the design. Everything is just meant to fit together in just a way that you don't see anything that appears to be out of place or out of the ordinary in the parks themselves. With everything from the color scheme of attractions to the more elaborate design elements and stories that created the Disney iconic attractions, this book has all of the details a certain Disney enthusiast will undoubtedly enjoy (you know who you are). I’m happy to admit, I am one of those people, and this book has ended up in my collection for both research purposes and for solely the joy of reading about elements of the parks that are often never talked about. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive books, and one that is fairly hard to find in used bookstores (thankfully amazon has a few available for sale).


So, which one these books has been added to your wish list? There’s more books on my list for sure, but let us know if you enjoy this post and we’d be happy to write another Disney books post in the near future! 

Thanks for reading and be sure to share the article with friends on social media!           





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