History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Things We Take For Granted at Walt Disney World

We visited our local amusement park a few weeks ago, and when we ordered a fountain drink, we watched the vendors struggle to find enough ice to fill our cup. This got us thinking, that would never happen at Disney. What else do we take for granted at Walt Disney World?

Cleanliness

Walt Disney Picking Up Trash
Walt Disney picking up trash at Disneyland

Staying clean is an important characteristic of Disney parks that separates them from other parks. Of course, that idea started with Walt. He wanted his parks to be so clean that people would be embarrassed to throw anything on the ground. While that wish hasn’t come true, it is true that Walt Disney World cast members (AKA employees) all pitch in to keep the parks clean. Cast members at all levels, from ride operators, to managers, to executives are required to pick up any trash they see as they walk through the parks. One of the hardest things to clean is gum – so you won’t find any for sale on Disney property.

Trash Cans

Trash Cans Close Arrows Resized
Trash cans all around, helping keep trash off the ground.

To minimize the need to pick up wrappers and waste, trash cans are strategically placed at Disney parks. Walt Disney, after studying guests at other parks (and reportedly seeing how long it took him to finish a hot dog while walking), placed trash cans no more than 30 steps away from any spot to encourage people to throw away their trash instead of dropping it on the ground. While this doesn’t stop all trash from being left where it doesn’t belong, it definitely reduces it. A clean park is one factor in an amazing guest experience.

Camouflage

Disney parks go to great lengths to hide the behind-the-scenes workings. From the utilidoors that keep Magic Kingdom operations “underground,” to scenery that hides the infrastructure, it’s truly an immersive experience. Compare that to most amusement parks where, as you navigate the sections of the park, you can see service vehicles, the fence at the edges of the property, or electrical boxes. Seeing those things isn’t bad, but changes the experience. It’s Disney’s attention to these details that make you feel as if you are in another world.

Friendly Cast Members

IMG_54041
This cast member at Sweet Spells at Hollywood Studios gave our son a free Mickey Mouse cookie!

More times than not you’ll see a friendly face at park gates, restaurants, rides, and more. It’s all part of the experience Disney is trying to create. Cast members go through intensive training and have strict rules around interacting with park guests. At our local park, I wouldn’t say the employees are mean, just indifferent and doing their jobs.

Anything else?

We just returned from our most recent trip to The World, and had a better appreciation for the immersive experience Disney creates. What else do we take for granted at Disney parks?

History, Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World

Today in Disney History: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Opens at WDW

On July 29, 1999, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith opened at Disney-MGM Studios – known today as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A special, invitation-only, party was held and attended by contest winners and members of Aerosmith, who are featured in the ride. You can find Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at the end of Sunset Boulevard next to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

 

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
Exterior of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster featuring a giant guitar

 

The Queue and Launch

As with most Disney attractions, you are immersed in a story. The queue begins with a tour through music memorabilia that leads to Aerosmith’s recording studio. Guests watch the band rehearse until they are interrupted by their band manager, warning them they are going to be late to their show. Steven Tyler objects to leaving the guests behind, and convinces the manager to call a limo and provide back stage passes. She reluctantly agrees and calls for a stretch limo, pauses a moment, then says, “make that a super stretch.”

Doors open to the “parking garage” where, on the other side of a chain-link fence, you can watch the “limos” speeding off to the concert, reaching speeds of 58 mph in less than 2.8 seconds. The excitement builds as it’s your turn to board the limo. As you face the tunnel into the ride, you are reminded to keep your head back (very important!). Steven Tyler counts down, “5, 4, 3, 2” (skipping 1) and you speed off into the ride.

 

Aerosmith Studio
Aerosmith Rehearsing in Their Recording Studio

 

The Ride Experience

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is exclusively an indoor ride, and mostly in the dark. As if you are on a highway at night, you pass neon road signs directing you to the show. The ride features three inversions, a roll over with two inversions, and later, a corkscrew. The ride ends when you reach the VIP parking area for the concert. You head “backstage” which, in true Disney fashion, leads to a gift shop.

Ride facts:

  • Launches guests from 0-58 mph in less than 2.8 seconds.
  • Takes riders through three inversions.
  • Features five “limos” that have their own license plates and sound tracks.
    • 1QKLIMO – “Nine Lives”
    • 2FAST4U – “Sweet Emotion”
    • BUHBYE – “Young Lust, “F.I.N.E.*” and “Love in a Roller Coaster”
      HBTRFFC
      – “Back in the Saddle,” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”
    • UGOBABE – “Love in a Roller Coaster” (custom version of “Love in an Elevator”) and “Walk This Way”
  • Is currently sponsored by Hanes.
  • Both Fastpass + and single rider lines available.
  • Test Track at Epcot is the only faster ride at WDW – 65 mph.

 

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World. The high-speed launch beats a traditional coaster lift hill any day in my book. The theming is creative and detailed, and the music adds to the excitement. The only change I would make would be for it to be longer. Do you enjoy Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster? What is your favorite ride at Walt Disney World?

Hollywood Studios, News, Quick Service, Walt Disney World

Baseline Tap House Opening in New “Grand Avenue” Area at Hollywood Studios

If you’re anything like us here at Word Of Mouse, visits to Disney’s Hollywood Studios typically do not include a whole lot of time spent eating. Although there are some popular table service restaurants, such as 50s Prime Time Cafe, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante (try the flatbread!), and The Hollywood Brown Derby, there are very few choices to grab a quick bite and get back on your way.

That may be about to change. Opening this fall will be a re-imagined area at Hollywood Studios known as Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue will showcase modern-day Los Angeles and will include vintage office buildings and warehouses representing different cultures from around the city.

Opening up in this area (in the building which used to be Writer’s Stop) will be Baseline Tap House. It will specialize in food and drinks from California, including craft ales, lagers, and cider. California wine and specialty cocktails will also be available. There will also be non-alcoholic choices to round out the drink selections.

 

Baseline Taphouse
(C) Disney

If you are coming in hungry then you will not be disappointed. Baseline Tap House will be serving small plates including Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese fondue, and spiced almonds. Also available will be a charcuterie board featuring a selection of California cheeses.

 

Baseline Tap House will open daily at 11 AM although no official opening date has been set.