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Showing posts from 2016

Astro Orbiter

The first ride visible in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in California, is Astro Orbiter.  It's also the first ride you come to at Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris (Discoveryland being their version of Tomorrowland).  In the other parks, their versions of this attraction are slightly more central and often raised above the main concourse.

Each version of the attraction has a slightly different name:  Astro Orbiter (Disney World); Astro Orbitor (Disneyland); Orbitron (Hong Kong Disneyland); Orbitron, Machines Volantes (Disneyland Paris); Star Jets (Tokyo Disneyland).  The newly-opened Shanghai Disneyland has a very similar ride called Jet Packs.

Essentially each of these rides is the same mechanism as used by the various flying Dumbo attractions - and also by the Aladdin-themed magic carpet ride found at some parks.  A rotating central globe has arms extending from it which move up and down.  Guests sit in a themed carriage at the end of each of these arms whether that's an elephant…


Whilst I wait to finish off Melody Time and get my hands on a copy of Mr Ichabod and Mr Toad, to continue my Disney film marathon, I thought I'd return to my occasional look at non-film related attractions at the various Disney parks.

Having looked at Main Street USA in some detail, I had a think about where to visit next and decided to settle on Tomorrowland.  This is not an area of the parks I'm a massive fan of, although I am a science fiction fan outside of my Disney love.  I think that, compared to the vibrancy of Adventureland and Fantasyland, I just find it's theming a little blander.  That said, it has lots of good stuff to explore.

Attractions across the various parks include Carousel of Progress, Astro Orbiter, Stitch's Great Escape, The Laugh Floor, Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters, Star Tours and, of course, the iconic Space Mountain which dominates this area in each of the parks.

I'll be leaving the film-related attractions for when I reach those films …

Sir Mickey's

It constantly amazes me how even the most obscure of Disney features manages to find a small corner in the Disney parks - especially when more famous, high profile animations are lucky to get a sniff of presence.  Fun and Fancy Free is no different.  Although Bongo the bear is absent, unsurprisingly Mickey's performance in Mickey and the Beanstalk is recognised in two Fantasylands - the one in Florida's Walt Disney World and the one at Disneyland Paris.

In both cases, it is a shop which houses theming based around Mickey and the Beanstalk.  At Walt Disney World, guests will find Sir Mickey's.  This is a shop themed around Mickey and the Beanstalk and also an earlier short, The Brave Little Tailor (another fairy tale which shares similarities with Jack and the Beanstalk).  It is situated behind Cinderella's castle and from the outside has a distinctly medieval castle style.  Inside, to the left of the store, visitors will find a beanstalk growing through the floor and ac…

Fun and Fancy Free

Pinocchio the Video Game

Having discovered an emulator for my smartphone, I've taken to downloading a bunch of classic Disney computer games.  I decided to give the Sega Genesis game based on Pinocchio a go, and I'm glad I did because it's rather a fun - if not particularly challenging - adventure.

The game follows through the story of the film with each level being based on a segment of the film.  With Pinocchio being a very disjointed film - really just a series of different stories with Pinocchio at the centre - this structure transfers well to a computer game of this type.

Pinocchio walks to school dodging Honest John and Gideon; he performs in Stromboli's puppet show, copying the dance moves of the other marionettes; floats of balloons across Pleasure Island before travelling a precarious wooden rollercoaster; plunges to the bottom of the sea before being swallowed by Monstro and having to navigate rickety wooden scaffolding; before ending up in a raft race with Monstro dodging jagged rock …

Splash Mountain

My tour of the various Disney theme park attractions has taken us on flying elephants; horse-drawn carriages; followed Snow White through the forest and Pinocchio to Pleasure Island.  We've been on gentle boat rides around fairy tales and taken a trip aboard Casey Jnr.  What we haven't done yet, though, is been on a proper 'thrill ride'.  Disney, unlike other theme parks, isn't overflowing with fast, scary rollercoasters.  That's a type of ride more popular in places such as the Universal theme parks.  Most lands in Disney theme parks, however, do have at least one thrill ride and with my marathon entering the world of Song of the South it's time to visit our first one: Splash Mountain.

I first rode Splash Mountain in 2006 when I visited Disney World with my wife.  At the time, I believed it to be a 'classic' ride which had been part of the parks for many years.  I was surprised, when researching the ride for this blog, that it has only been part of…

Song of the South