Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. It feels so good to be home, so we’re starting with a little Orlando Pride this week! I know we normally just feature theme parks, but I couldn’t visit the Orlando Eye and not take you with me! Stay tuned, because we’re also stopping by the Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go ya’ll! 😀
When construction started on the Orlando Eye there wasn’t much interest in our house. I mean, it’s just a big ferris wheel, right? Now that I’ve been lucky enough to ride I can tell you that is far from the truth. This thing is massive! Taking a complete trip around takes a full 20 minutes. Here’s the view from the base:
Want to see more? Click to read on….
Below is the view from the bottom and the view from the top. On a clear day you can see all the way out to the Kennedy Space Center from here. I would imagine it would be beautiful at sunset or during fireworks since you can see all the parks. I wonder if they will do something special for New Year’s Eve? If you’re thinking about visiting be sure to buy your tickets in advance, they’re much cheaper that way! In my opinion it’s totally worth the trip.
This weekend one of my favorite things happened: the Magic Kingdom opened to all guests at 8am! There’s something magical about the park opening an hour earlier than normal. It seems like most of the world doesn’t get the memo and you get an extra empty first hour. We didn’t get there until about 8:15am, but I was still able to get photos like the below. Try doing this on a normal day! 😉
Over in the hub construction is back in full swing. It looked so close to done for a while there, but now it looks like that never happened. I don’t know how they’ll have this together by the 24hr day in just a few weeks. I have my fingers crossed! Is anyone excited about the 24hr day? What would you like to see? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.
On the shopping side, I’m happy to report that Memento Mori is seeing smaller crowds these days. It wasn’t too long ago that this new Haunted Mansion themed gift shop attracted long lines all day long, but now you can visit any time. On the below right, is a photo from the recently refurbished Jungle Cruise. Honestly, it has never looked better! Every effect was working and squeaky clean. I wish all refurbishments went this well! (I’m looking at you Pirates of the Caribbean)
I was struck by how bright and shiny all of Adventureland was looking! The photo below left is just as you enter from beside Splash Mountain. Maybe it was just the weather was so nice, but I spent a little extra time because it was so pretty. I even found a new sign I hadn’t noticed before, you can see it below left. Where else but Best Week Ever can you see bathroom signs?? Joking aside, if you’re facing Pirates of the Caribbean this sign is on the extreme right hand side and marks some very well hidden potties!
A little more construction is on the Tomorrowland side of the park. Is it just me or does it feel like no progress has happened here in weeks?
You won’t believe this, but on Main Street the scrim is back up around Uptown Jewelers! It’s like they took everything down for a week or two and have now put it all back. Of course, this is still the best shop on Main Street USA! I even found a new LeSportsac Minnie Mouse pattern. Remember you can click on the photo below to see a larger image.
Over at Disney Springs the new parking garage opened a direct walkway. It’s a dream come true! Parking is quick and simple. It makes such a difference to be able to easily park and walk right over! It also looks pretty great if you ask me!
The soccer store finally moved out making way for a new Marvel store pictured below left. It’s mostly full of Avengers and Agents of Shield goodies. While I’m not a fan of either it was clear that I’m in the minority. Folks were going crazy for this store! Below right is Erwin Pearl which snuck into business without much fanfare. While the stuff inside was really cute, it seemed overpriced. It was totally empty so we’ll see if it lasts.
I’ve shared photos of the new bridge, but never in the daylight. I remembered to snap a photo as we were walking across this weekend. Don’t let those beautiful, blue skies fool you. It looks lovely, but the high was 97 degrees! I think you could have fried an egg on that bridge this weekend! 😉
We were crossing over the bridge to get to the Lava Lounge over at Rainforest Cafe. This spot is a well kept secret. While most people assume this is a bar, it’s mostly outdoor seating with a minimal wait and full menu. We love the Lava Nachos for Two at $15.99. Plus you can’t beat the view from the dock.
Here’s a little shopping update for you. At Once Upon A Toy here is the current stock of Tsum Tsums. When we stopped by the next day they had the other style of Baymax also on the shelf. I want to play a little game with the photo below right. That is a new Maleficent hoodie complete with horns on top. What do you think this retails for? Hint: even I was shocked! Give me your best guess in the comments below.
The Boathouse looked pretty amazing as we were leaving this weekend. The Hanger next door is still under construction and mostly hidden behind walls. This area is going to be epic once complete!
Over where the Adventurer’s Club once stood new renderings have shown up on the construction walls. Is this a glimpse into the future? I sure hope so! These paintings look amazing and I can’t wait to see anything open in this area after all those years standing vacant. What are you hoping will open here?
Our last stop this week is Disney’s Hollywood Studios where it’s beginning to look a lot like Star Wars Weekends. Guides are already out for next week with showtimes for fireworks and other events. What are you excited to see? Let me know in the comments below so I don’t miss your favorite part!
Looking inside the shops you’d think the event has already started. All the big store have tons of Star Wars merchandise lining the shelves. Below right is a new ewok plush that’s actually pretty ugly. The tag showed all the other characters and this was the worst one. Hopefully the others will be in stock soon. The princess ewok was especially cute in the photo!
Sadly, our view of The Great Movie Ride is once again obstructed. Since my last visit a stage has gone up for the Star Wars Weekends event. I’m so tired of this being used as a gathering point for the park. It seems like they could come up with something better. Behind the stage is a ring of planters blocking the view, but I held my camera up to see what was there. As you can see below right, the answer is not much.
Here’s one last, tranquil shot of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue before the mobs hit next weekend. This is the last 10 minute wait that we’ll see in a while. 😉
That’s everything for this week. Now let’s see what you can expect if you’re visiting next week.
Weather: Highs in the 90s and rain, are we sure it isn’t summer out there?
Remember: Star Wars weekend start this weekend. If you aren’t a Star Wars fan it’s a good idea to choose a different park on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Here’s my top tip for this week: Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan check out the fireworks. They’re really beautiful and can be seen from Epcot if you’re slow enough exiting the park.
Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!