Two vastly different entertainment experiences were the bookends to our Fourth of July weekend. On Saturday, Flynn Rider had his last appearance in the daily Tangled Play & Greet. Who saw that coming? Flynn and Rapunzel were a hugely popular character couple. We have photos and video from the last day, which was an emotional experience for many guests (and for Flynn himself).
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider
On the flip side, we enjoyed Walt Disney World's Fourth of July offerings.
Magic Kingdom Fourth of July Fireworks
We viewed the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Polynesian Resort beach on July 3rd, and met Ben Franklin as he engaged guests in conversation at Epcot on July 4. We always enjoy how Walt Disney World celebrates the holiday! And I'm impressed that Disney takes the time to decorate Main Street for such a short period of time. The highlight for me was watching the amazing Voices of Liberty during their half hour show of patriotic songs. It's one thing to hear the song "Golden Dream", but to hear it in person – it's always a pure delight.
Meeting Ben Franklin
We ended our Fourth of July weekend at Celebration, attending a buffet meal at the Celebration Bohemian Hotel. It garnered us a great spot on their patio for the town's fireworks display, though it ended a little early as a small fire was sparked across the lake. Well, the fireworks actually ended an hour or so later – as unused fireworks lit the sky with a splash of color (and loud booms!)
Celebration Bohemian Hotel
We had two updates this week – the Flynn Rider story, and photos/video of Fantasyland from last weekend. We are hoping the weather clears up long enough tomorrow to get some coverage around both Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom!
Have you thought about purchasing the Walt Disney World/Disneyland Premier Annual Passport? We picked ours up as soon as it was announced, and renewed last December. I just noticed that the price went up to $749 plus tax, but it's still a wonderful deal if you plan to visit both Walt Disney World and Disneyland within a year's time! One of my future articles will be about deciding if an annual pass may be worth buying for you (even if you only visit once a year). When I was a Disney Specialist, I encouraged quite a few guests to buy an annual pass if it would save them money, and it often did. One of my favorite parts of the Disney Premier Pass is that I don't have to bring it to City Hall every couple of weeks to get it re-issued due to wear. 🙂 But when you look at the prices for the Florida Resident Premium Pass renewal ($499) and the cost of a Deluxe Passport at Disneyland ($379), it saves me over $100 of what I'd normally spend! The cost savings if I had been planning to buy a Disneyland Premium Pass ($499) would be over $200. Each pass is a Premium pass to the parks (Disneyland and California Adventure on the West Coast; the 4 Disney theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Quest and ESPN Wide World of Sports general admission at Walt Disney World). And if you live outside of Florida, the savings is even bigger – a Premium Annual Pass just for Walt Disney World costs nearly $700! Shopping, dining and hotel discounts vary on each coast, but they've easily saved me hundreds of dollars over a year's time. (DVC members have similar AP prices to Florida Residents at Walt Disney World).
Disney's Premier Passport
Questions I received for this week:
Q: When was your first trip to Walt Disney World?
A: My first visit was in 1976. My family stayed at the Dutch Inn across from the Disney Village for one night before my mom discovered a palmetto bug (roach) in the room, and we were fortunate enough that Disney's Polynesian Resort had availability for the remainder of our stay. After that, we stayed at the Polynesian Resort every year until 1984, when we moved to Florida (except for one year at Disney's Contemporary Resort). I don't think I've missed a year, but I started visiting a lot more regularly in the mid-90's.
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Q: Which dinner show do you recommend – The Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue or the Polynesian Luau?
When I was growing up (70's, 80's), my family attended the Polynesian Luau (now Disney's Spirit of Aloha Show) each year. The food was great and so was the entertainment. On one of my last visits, you could still get tropical drinks included with the price. Heading into the 2000's, the menu appealed to me less and less. Once the Lilo and Stitch theme was added, that is when I stopped going. The reviews of the Polynesian Luau are not as strong as for the Hoop-De-Doo Revue.
Pioneer Hall at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort, Location for the Hoop-De-Doo Revue
I'm not sure when I first went to the Hoop-De-Doo Revue, but I'd guess that it was with my family sometime in the 70's or 80's. The show has not changed considerably over the years, I always find it a fun time! The food isn't fancy, but I love the fried chicken (which is also served at Trail's End), and the cornbread is a favorite of mine. I go every few years and enjoy it immensely! Another plus is that the Hoop-De-Doo Revue is completely enclosed, so a freeze or heavy rain storm won't effect it. If you visit around Halloween or Christmas, save some time to see the holiday lights around the campground!
Given a choice of one dinner show, the Hoop-De-Doo Revue is my clear favorite. And don't even ask me about the Mickey's Backyard Barbecue, I've not done that since around the time it opened (I believe it was 1999). I was a bit let down by it then, but I may try it again in the future to write a review. And I'm at the point where I'm ready for another Hoop-De-Doo show!
Have a great weekend!