Magical Blogorail: Is It Worth It? Park Hopper Option

Now we all know that the more days you purchase for fun in the parks, the less each day costs you. But does Disney get that money back by upselling you on options you don’t need? Like the Park Hopper option? Let’s find out!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing aspects of a Disney vacation that make people ask: Is it worth it?


Park Hopper Parks

So many Park choices!

Again, we all realize that buying admission days in bulk is the best option. The more days you buy, the cheaper each day becomes. But as with everything in life, it’s the extras that’ll kill you!

Let’s assume you are going to take your family of four to Walt Disney World for four days. Basic admission tickets for everyone would basically cost you $1,400 US (ouch!)

Park Hopper Basic

Now add the Park Hopper option to all four tickets for all four days and now you will spend $1,700 US (OUCH!)

Park Hopper Ticket Prices

So basically you will spend an additional $300.00 US just for the privilege of jumping around from park to park in the same day. Is that an extra that really adds value? Here are some reasons why I believe it does not:

  • You could probably spend that $300.00 on something else (dining, souvenirs)
  • There is more than enough to do in each park for a day without jumping
  • Precious vacation time will be lost travelling between parks
  • Got grumpy kids? Park hop. Nuff said!

This option makes more sense for a single visitor or for couples who visit often and know what they want to see and can thus plan to make the most of the Park Hopper option. For families, and those on a budget, this option is one best left off your basic ticket!

For more opinions on what is and isn’t worth the splurge at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange  | Is It Worth It? Loop:

Twister Game at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort, located at Walt Disney World, is wonderful for its over-sized props!

I took many pictures throughout the grounds, but thought this image was particularly fun:

Twister Game Board

Get Ready to Stretch!

So who’s up for a game of Twister?

To continue your over-sized fun, check out my earlier post showing more of the props around the Resort.

Walt Disney World Refillable Travel Mugs

My wife and I first visited Walt Disney World as a couple in 2006 and that’s when our collection of refillable travel mugs began. At that time, Disney was still releasing new designs each year, and separate designs for each resort.

Now they tend to be more generic, a one-mug-fits-all, if you will. It has taken the fun out of acquiring travel mugs as now they are not linked to specific trip memories. But what are you going to do?

Recently, we threw away all of our travel mugs because they had become too dirty and worn. We use them often for taking our coffee and tea on the go. Once gone, we realized just how handy they were! So I was thrilled to find these two mint condition examples in a local charity shop:

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The gang arrives at Walt Disney World

What I’ve always liked about the travel mugs is the designs. This one depicts Mickey and friends arriving for a vacation.

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This was back when each resort, or family of resorts, had their own designs. This mug was sold at Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, and the Old Key West resorts.

As you can see by comparing these two examples, the handles and lids came in a variety of colors. This is still the case today.

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Check-in Time!

This mug has no resort indicated anywhere so it could be a more generic design sold throughout the resorts. Quite possibly the Value resorts.

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Trust Donald to complicate everything!

Now we have travel mugs again! Seriously, have you ever tried to find a decent travel mug in the local stores that isn’t priced too high? I was glad to find these for just $2.99 CAN each.

For more travel mug fun, check out our earlier post entitled Disney Souvenirs Under $20.

Tomorrowland Speedway Car from Walt Disney World

The Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite attractions! I just love choking on the gas fumes as I bump around the track listening to the motors of dozens of (basically) little go-carts. And that wasn’t sarcasm, I really do love this attraction for just those reasons!

So when I started to find these great toys on eBay and elsewhere, I started building my fleet:

Speedway Profile

 Mickey Mouse Driving No. 45

I purchased this model recently even though I already have one. And I have two red ones and a blue one. And I’ll add dozens more if I can find them!

Speedway Front

Nice bumper. NO BUMPING!

Eventually I am going to build a large Walt Disney World layout in my basement with a monorail set-up and, of course, a Tomorrowland Speedway track. That’s why I need a fleet. See, it makes perfect sense, my buying dozens of these things.

Speedway Rear

No brake lights. Maybe that’s why people bump!

Now my wife stared at me in disbelief when I told her I had just purchased something that I already had. More than one of. And wanted dozens more of. What is it with women???

Speedway Undercarriage

Oh, Mickey flipped it again!

So maybe the guide rails on the track are a good idea after all.

I paid $10.00 CAN for this particular example. They sold for $12.00 US back in the day:

Speedway Price Tag

Isn’t everything?

These toy cars use a pullback motor. Pulling the car backward (hence the name) winds up an internal coil spring. When released, the car is propelled forward by the spring. When the spring has unwound and the car is moving, the motor is disengaged by a clutch or ratchet and the car then rolls freely onward. Winding must be completed in one pass.

To see my collection of Disneyland Autopia toy cars, just click the link! It is from the days of Chevron sponsorship.

Big Dig Clock from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

With the invention of the SmartPhone, who uses clocks or watches anymore? Well, I do, for one! And if they come molded into a piece of sculpture, and are called Big Dig Clock, well, it’s even better:

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Mickey’s uncovered a timepiece

This is a wonderful little figurine that comes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World, Florida.

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A good view from all sides!

I have another example of this clock-in-sculpture style of merchandise in the post entitled Waiting With Mickey Mouse. It comes from Disneyland Paris. Be sure to check it out!

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Timepiece is removable

I recently rescued this from a lonely shelf at an Antique Market in Michigan, so obviously the timepiece needs a battery.

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 “Big Dig in the Boneyard”

You can visit this area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom yourself. It’s an open air play space designed to look like a dinosaur dig site where kids can explore and have fun. Smack in the middle of DinoLand U.S.A., you just can’t miss it. After all, even the bones the dinosaurs left behind are BIG!

I wonder if dinosaurs could tell time?

Magical Blogorail: Saving Money for Disney

Now I know you are probably going back to Disney to pick up even more treasures to add to your collection. And yes, some more memories too. But don’t rule out one of the best ways to generate capital to make that trip possible – selling off some of your existing Disney swag!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing ways to save money for your Disney vacation.


Selling Your Way to Disney

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I’m going to do my post this month in the form of a Top Five List. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Reasons for Selling Your Way to Disney, which means selling some of your Disney collection to pay for your next Disney vacation:

Reason Five

Dusting

Do you like to dust? I don’t so my wife is always after me to dust my collectibles! I try to tell her that if I don’t dust, then when I pick up a collectible, I will know exactly where to place it down again due to the dust ring. And that is why men are more creative thinkers than women!

But you may want to clean the item up a bit before you sell it. Or have your spouse do it.

Reason Four

Space

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Outer Space is infinite. Your shelf space is not. Sooner or later, or probably sooner than later, you will start to run out of places to put your Disney stuff. When your children’s toys are all over the floor because their toy chest is full of your collectibles and your spouse’s closet space is disappearing, it may be time for a purge!

Reason Three

Re-focus

Back in the 1980’s you were all about The Little Mermaid and Roger Rabbit, but now we are living in the Millennium. We now have Baymax and Hank the Septopus merchandise everywhere! No one wants to look at the same stuff year after year, right?

OK, maybe we do, but sacrifices must be made. We’re trying to get to Disney, people!

Reason Two

Demand

You have it. Everyone else wants it. That is basically how the demand for Disney collectibles goes. So why not take advantage of someone else’s obsession and unload some unwanted stuff?

They’ll thank you for providing a new-to-them treasure and you’ll add some much needed capital to your Disney trip jar!

Reason One

Money

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You want it. Your unwanted Disney collectibles could turn into it. And seriously, if you want to go on a Disney vacation… you’re going to need lots of it! So get out there (or online) and sell! Sell! Sell!

And if you do, I’ll see you in the parks!

For more ways to save money for your Disney vacation,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Saving Money for Disney Loop:

Epcot Pavilions as Seen from World Showcase Lagoon

Have you ever looked at something in a different way and come to a whole new appreciation of it? I did so back in 2008 when I boarded a Friendship Taxi to circle the World Showcase Lagoon and saw the Pavilions from a whole different angle.

You can see some of these perspectives by viewing an earlier post entitled Scenes Around World Showcase. But I’d like to display more Pavilions from the vantage point of the water for you again:

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How many times have you taken a Friendship Taxi to get around the World Showcase, viewing it only as a form of transportation from point A to point B? No matter where I am or what am I doing, I always look for opportunities for another photographic essay!

Have you ever taken to the World Showcase Lagoon to get a better angle or the perfect shot?

Disney-Themed Baseball Cap for Your Head

Although every Disney fan would love to wear Mickey Ears everywhere they go, that just wouldn’t be practical. Imagine a patient seeing their doctor walk in with two big black ears atop their head! No. Just wouldn’t work. But how about a baseball cap?

Maybe a doctor couldn’t pull that look off either, but those of us in average life can still adorn our heads with Disney iconography, thusly:

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My go-to hat

I like this baseball cap due to its classic design and simple logo. Being black also helps it go with just about everything I might wear, kind of like that little black dress all women have. Yes, I’m in touch with my feminine side!

But recently a friend of mine picked me up another example to add to my collection:

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‘M’ is for you-know-who!

Not used but well-loved!

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Like most Disney fans I have quite an eclectic collection of Disney hats. Please check out my earlier post entitled Cap It Off to see just some of them.

Walt Disney Travel Company 2016 Brochure

There are many ways to get your Disney fix between trips to the theme parks. One way is to stop by your local travel agent’s place of business and pick up the most recent brochure on Disney travel. I did this recently at Sears Travel in the local mall.

Here is what I picked up:

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Walt Disney World 2016

It all starts with the obligatory contents page where we are told that the magic is everywhere at Walt Disney World. Hard not to agree:

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The next pages lay out the basic information about MyMagic+/Disney FastPass+/MemoryMaker/MagicBand and Online Planning ideas. But it really caught my interest when it finally gets into coverage of the parks:

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Next comes a section on what you could find beyond the theme parks, like the water parks, Cirque du Soleil, and Disney Springs.

But the map below was a real highlight of the brochure:

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I love me a good map!

Next comes an argument for why you stay on-site. An easy argument to win, says I! This is followed by a two-page spread detailing the features of Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts:

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The next pages contain information about the Magic Your Way Package followed by the fan-favorite Dining Plan pitch:

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I love the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue!

Seasonal Events are covered next followed by an overview of the packages available from the Good Neighbor group of hotels and properties:

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The brochure ends with a two-page spread of fine print detailing the Walt Disney Travel Company’s list of terms and conditions. I found this part a dry read.

There was also an insert correcting a point about the FastPass arrangement:

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Sorry, no more FastPass+ for parades

Why? Because there are now many excellent parade viewing areas in front of Cinderella Castle! Just find a place in the bigger-than-ever Central Plaza.

We hope to get to Walt Disney World soon and this brochure has certainly whet our appetite!

Sepia Tone Big Al

Thank goodness for digital cameras and computer manipulation! Sometimes, especially in low light, my first digital camera would yield only fuzzy pictures. But often the subject matter was of a nature that I didn’t want to lose it.

So what could I do to salvage these shots? Convert full-color blurry into vintage Sepia tone!

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“There was… sepia on the saddle!”

I just love this show, The Country Bear Jamboree (now only at Walt Disney World), and Big Al is my favorite character in the show! ‘Blood on the Saddle’ is a hilarious song that I usually end up singing all day after I hear it.

So this shot was one I just couldn’t throw away! Have you ever cheated and ‘saved’ a shot through computer manipulation?

For more Big Al fun, check out the posts entitled Disney Bear Plush and Plusher and Big Al Patch.