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Disneyworld

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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I just came back from a working-vacation in Orlando. We took our 9 yo autistic daughter with us.

The Disney company is great for handicapped people. They will provide you with a pass that enables you to skip any/all lines at the parks. So for us, you can go to ride after ride very very quickly. It's fantastic and my daughter loved it. She is about the equivalent of a 4-5 year old child mentally now. This was my 4th trip with my kids at various ages in their lives over the past 12 years or so.-

I paid $60 for a 'behind the scenes' tour of the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom is built on top of a vast underground tunnel system which is where much of the park operations are performed. Characters change into their costumes underground and climb steps to unmarked doors in the back of shops and restaurants and 'appear'...similarly, when their shift is over...they slip behind a wall, through the door and down underground. Commissaries, personal lockers and supplies are all located down there.

Their trash system is facinating. Walt Disney heard about a Swedish company that had developed the world's largest vacuum system and he brought them over to design the waste system. Behind the scenes of the Splash Mountain ride (which makes a lot of continuous noise because of the water pumps) is a three story building which essentially is a huge vacuum cleaner. This building is connected underground to a series of large tubes which run throughout the park. Whenever a trash bin gets full, a worker grabs the bag, ties the top and drops it into the vacuum tube. At that point, it travels at 35 mph/50kph to an incinerator which burns it at 1000 degrees F. Wild...but incredibly efficient.

I never really understood how brilliant Walt Disney was. On the first day they opened Disneyland in California in 1955, he took a ride on some attraction that took him way up in the air (probably a roller coaster..). He said he was very saddened when he got to the top and looked out and could see cars parked outside the gates and gas stations closeby. He said that, "This ruined the effect of the fantasy for me". So when they decided to open another park, he vowed that once you left your car and actually entered the park, you would never see anything of the 'outside world'. This is why DisneyWorld has a 2-3 mile monorail route between the parking lot and the front entrance of all the parks. Once you are inside, you never see anything other than the attractions in the park. What a mind...

When he decided to buy the land in Florida, he formed a series of 'shell corporations' under innocuous names. "Tomahawk Development" and other such companies were formed with the sole purpose of buying huge tracs of land in such a manner that they could not be traced back to the Disney company. As a result, they bought the land at an average of $187 per acre before the locals realized what was going on. When it was finally revealed that Disney was behind the purchases, land skyrocketed to $80,000 per acre overnight...

If you ever get a chance to go on this tour while you are there - spend the extra bucks. If you are the type who often asks yourself, "I wonder how that works?" - you will be facinated...
 

chollyred

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Mar 9, 2006
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Sounds like a cool trip "add-on". We're talking about taking the kids down next summer. The youngest will be 5 1/2. Want to wait until he's old and big enough to do stuff and will remember the trip later.
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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chollyred said:
Sounds like a cool trip "add-on". We're talking about taking the kids down next summer. The youngest will be 5 1/2. Want to wait until he's old and big enough to do stuff and will remember the trip later.

This is very wise...both from a memory and behavior standpoint. On my first trip and every trip thereafter - I have concluded that five is about the right age for the first trip.
 

SiberianDVM

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Whenever a trash bin gets full, a worker grabs the bag, ties the top and drops it into the vacuum tube. At that point, it travels at 35 mph/50kph to an incinerator which burns it at 1000 degrees F. Wild...but incredibly efficient.

Sounds like a heck of a way to get rid of an unwanted body. Have The Sopranos heard about this, I wonder?

Glad you enjoyed DisneyWorld. I remember as a child watching The Wonderful World of Disney on TV, always dreaming about going. Not much chance then.

So wifey and I went to DisneyWorld on our honeymoon. :) It was September and hotter than heck. I think we actually played a round of golf somewhere in Orlando, if I remember correctly.
 

Rockford35

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Cool, B. The engineering in that shit is amazing.

On an unrelated note to that, my trip to Disneyworld was crap. For the hype, I was pretty unimpressed. Expensive and long lineups.

I was more impressed with Sea World and Universal Studios. Lines were shorter and there was more interactive events going on at the two.

If I had a choice, I wouldn't take my kids there. I think the educational aspects of a trip to the Grand Canyon or the Mountains would be better served.

Not to take away from your story, B. Just my opinion.

R35
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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I agree that a trip to the Grand Canyon would be more educational...but I wish I had a video camera of my daughter's reaction when she first walked into the Magic Kingdom. Just squealing with delight. Utterly happy...so while there are certainly a few 'educational' angles at WDW - it is really more about entertainment than anything else.

If I took her to the Grand Canyon, she'd probably fall in.

Here is some more trivia...the Magic Kingdom alone is considered "at capacity" when approximately 70,000 people are in park on a given day. The day we were there - the park had attendance of about 40,000. The lines were fairly short for most of the rides but long for some like Splash Mountain where it would take 40 minutes. I couldn't imagine being in the park on a 'full day' because of the lines...

We also went to Sea World during our trip and watched the Shamu show which is always cool. How they train animals of that size is amazing to me. But its only 25 minutes long.
 

Rockford35

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Did you stay for the fireworks at SW?

Worth the price of admission, in my opinion.

R35
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
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We have a Sea World in San Antonio and it's great. We got very lucky and showed up on a day when the park was nearly empty. They had just opened for the season and apparently because of a late schedule change alot of people didn't know they were open.

Lines were almost nonexistent for rides or shows until late afternoon and the animal shows are absolutely amazing like you say.
 

The master

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Oct 24, 2004
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When I went to Orlando in 04, I didn't get to Disneyworld as I was with other family who had been about 10 times and said I would enjoy other places more because I was a bit passed the excited must go to disneyworld age.

I went to Islands of Adventure, Sea World, Bush Gradens and Universal.

Islands of Adventure was great 5 minute ques good rides and good facilities. Universal was also great, very entertaining and again short ques.

Your trip sounds like a blast B, I must get back to Orlando one of these years and go to Disneyworld this time.

I also played two great courses Falcons Fire and champions gate, anyone ever played them?
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
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The master said:
I also played two great courses Falcons Fire and champions gate, anyone ever played them?

I've played Champion's Gate. Not bad. All the reviews say the International is the better of the two courses, but I liked the National better. I've heard Falcon's Fire is nice, but haven't played it yet.
 

Massimo

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May 31, 2005
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My cousin got the chance to go to Disney World for a month on a school internship one summer a few years back. She met the voice actors for the movie Mulan, a few animators, and a few Imagineers. The one weird thing was she had to sign a confidentiality agreement and she could not talk about the underground tunnels and the backstage areas of Walt Disney World.

As an intern there, she worked also in the different areas on the grounds of Disney World. She told me that you would not believe the "plain sight" exits that they had for workers at Disney. What you thought was landscaping, walls, etc., were exits to the underground areas. She would not talk a lot about the areas, but she said it was huge and what most workers see was about 1/3 of what is really below the park. She also said that security was probably as tight as the White House. She had heard that there were lot of offices, studios, etc. that were underground, that no one sees as well. All rumors that came from other employees, but made you wonder why security was that tight for just waste management, break rooms, employee bathrooms, etc....
 

Rockford35

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Massimo said:
....but made you wonder why security was that tight for just waste management, break rooms, employee bathrooms, etc....


Wasn't Walt a nazi supporter back in the day?

:D

R35
 
OP
Bravo

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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Massimo said:
My cousin got the chance to go to Disney World for a month on a school internship one summer a few years back. She met the voice actors for the movie Mulan, a few animators, and a few Imagineers. The one weird thing was she had to sign a confidentiality agreement and she could not talk about the underground tunnels and the backstage areas of Walt Disney World.

As an intern there, she worked also in the different areas on the grounds of Disney World. She told me that you would not believe the "plain sight" exits that they had for workers at Disney. What you thought was landscaping, walls, etc., were exits to the underground areas. She would not talk a lot about the areas, but she said it was huge and what most workers see was about 1/3 of what is really below the park. She also said that security was probably as tight as the White House. She had heard that there were lot of offices, studios, etc. that were underground, that no one sees as well. All rumors that came from other employees, but made you wonder why security was that tight for just waste management, break rooms, employee bathrooms, etc....

We saw the same thing on a limited basis...what would appear to be a blank wooden wall would either be simply hinged or you could simply walk around it. Behind would either be a simple painted door or you would be in a 'back lot' area filled with cars, trucks and dumpsters. They do an amazing job of creating the illusion for guests.

Underground we saw plenty of offices that were located right on the tunnel and she pointed out that a couple of the park's senior managers had offices on the 2nd floor of the Main Street shops....it is very cool they way they designed everything. If you go next time - try to tour.
 

VtDivot

SLIGHTERED
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Apr 16, 2005
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Disney is great

If you can afford to take your kids - you should, plain and simple. All kids should have the opportunity to see at least the Magic Kingdom.

I also agree with Rock, that places like the GC and Washington, DC should not be missed. (DC is on the agenda for the fall)
 

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