Episode 33-Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights Primer & Review

Watch for the chainsaw-wielding zombie cheerleaders at Halloween Horror Nights!

Watch for the chainsaw-wielding zombie cheerleaders at Halloween Horror Nights!

Halloween is here, which means tricks, treats… and horror. With bloodcurdling screams on our minds, Tai and I hit Universal Orlando for our first trip to the park’s famous Halloween Horror Nights event. On this episode, we talk about tips for first-time HHN visitors, as well as what age we think is appropriate for the parks and various haunted mazes/ houses. We’ll also review the mazes and various scare zones in the park.

We liked HHN so much, we’re looking at it as an annual tradition. Have you been to HHN? What was your favorite house/maze? Drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter @mousemountaineers.

Episode 32 – Pokemon Go in the Parks

pokespear1The Pokemon Go phenomenon that’s taken over so much of the world has spread to Orlando’s theme parks, too. From Disney World and Universal Orlando to Sea World and Gatorland, the parks offer a treasure trove of pokestops, gyms, pokemon, and promotions that your average neighborhood just can’t compete with.

On this episode, we dive into Pokemon Go at the parks. We lead off with a quick and dirty overview of the game before we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of playing in the parks, some good Pokemon Go etiquette and safety tips to keep in mind, and some of the best pokestops and gyms to hit. Finally, we talk a little about ways Universal Orlando and Disney can brand their own augmented reality games to enhance the park-touring experience.

What do you think of Pokemon Go at Orlando’s theme parks? Drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com or say Hi on Twitter @mousemtn.

Episode 31 – Reign of Kong Review and Water Ride Rankings

A typical moment on IOA's Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. Where did it rank in the pantheon of Orlando water rides? Listen and see. Photo courtesy of Ricky Brigante and Creative Commons.

A typical moment on IOA’s Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. Where did it rank in the pantheon of Orlando water rides? Listen and find out!
Photo courtesy of InsidetheMagic’s Ricky Brigante and Creative Commons.

Our quick trip down to Universal Orlando last month included a soft opening ride on the new Skull Island: Reign of Kong, as well as an afternoon being soaked at IOA’s Triple Water Whammy of flume and raft rides. On this episode, we review Kong and give our thoughts about how the great ape’s new ride measures up to the classic Kongfrontation. Then, in honor of the dog days of summer ,we rank our favorite flume and raft rides throughout Universal, Disney World, and Sea World.

What’s your favorite flume ride at the parks? Drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter @mousemtn.

Episode 30 – Ride Building and Queue Olympics

Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea

The “Hightower Hotel,” DisneySea’s version of the Tower of Terror. However, this one has a unique story and background. By Mike Liao (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In theme parks, ride buildings play some of the most essential roles in getting you to ride the ride and making you feel like you’re actually on, say, Mount Everest or a hotel that has been abandoned for years. This also applies to ride queues and preshows. And, since the Summer Olympics are this year in Brazil, we thought we would have an Olympic-themed podcast where we give our favorite ride building and queue pairings at each park, plus a few honorable mentions at other parks.

Did you agree with some of our picks? Did you think that Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia deserves a mention? 😉 Email us at mousemountaineers@gmail.com or connect with us on Twitter @mousemtn.

Episode 29: The Reality of Virtual Reality Roller Coasters

Dare Devil Dive, from which "The New Revolution" is virtually born! Photo courtesy of McDoobAu93 and Wikimedia Commons License.

Dare Devil Dive, from which “The New Revolution” is virtually born! Photo courtesy of McDoobAu93 and Wikimedia Commons License.

Spring is in the air, which means that the Six Flags theme parks are also opening their gates once again for the new season! We had seen on the news that Six Flags over Georgia was getting Samsung Virtual Reality goggles added to its Dare Devil Dive coaster, which meant that we had to go check it out to see how the goggles compared to the old ride. On this episode, we discuss whether the VR headsets added to the thrill of the ride, how we think VR goggles will evolve, rides we think VR would work well on, and some rumors of upcoming changes to a peculiar hotel at Disney’s California Adventure.

Give a listen and tell us your opinion on VR and the rumors of the Guardians of the Galaxy update. Do you think virtual reality is a disaster that Six Flags needs to remove? Do you think that Rod Serling should be replaced by Star Lord and his crew? Message us on Twitter @mousemtn or send us an email at mousemountaineers@gmail.com.

 

Episode 28: New to Florida’s Theme Parks in 2016

King Kong wonders if his new home at UNiversal will look as good as his old one. He also wonders why it took us 4 months to push out this episode. Photo courtesy of Mats Haugen, Flickr, and Creative Commons.

King Kong wonders if his new home at Universal will look as good as his old one. He also wonders why it took us 4 months to push out this episode.
Photo courtesy of Mats Haugen, Flickr, and Creative Commons.

We know this episode, about what 2016 holds for Disney World, Universal Orlando, and the like, is a little late… er, well, three months late. We recorded it on time for the new year,  but tech, health, and school stuff combined to delay the post-recording and publication work. The good news is that the cool additions we talk about on this episode are even closer to becoming reality. Among the rides and attractions we preview:

Universal’s new King Kong ride and the reopening of the improved Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster.

Epcot’s highly anticipated debut of Frozen Ever After, the new ride featuring Anna and Elsa.

Makeovers to Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

A couple of heart-stopping coasters at Sea World and Busch Gardens.

Hurdles behind us, we’ll be back to our regular recording schedule. Until then, check out what’s coming up at Florida’s theme parks in 2016. What are you most looking forward to? Drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter @mousemtn.

 

 

 

Episode 27: Universal Orlando 101

"Dragon!" Atop Grinot's bank at Universal Studios.

“Dragon!” He seems pretty angry atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank at Universal Studios.

Happy New Year!  Back in October, we visited Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for the first time. With Universal teaming with Harry Potter to create much of the Orlando-area theme park buzz lately, we wanted to see what the parks were like and what Disney World  fanatics can expect on a first-time visit. On this episode, we dive into a Universal Orlando review. Are the parks more than just Harry Potter magic?

Listen and let us know what you think. Have you been to Universal, or are you thinking about going? If so, how much will it cut out of your typical Disney stay? Connect with us on Twitter @mousemtn, or drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com.

This episode was recorded in November 2015. Real life and the holidays pushed a little episode hiatus on us the past several weeks, but we’re looking forward to going back to our regular show schedule with the new year!

Episode 26: Disney World Overrated and Underrated

Stitch Selfie: "'Stitch's Great Escape?' I'm just trying to escape from this lousy show!

Stitch’s Great Escape: overrated? Umm… no… it’s just bad, and everyone knows it.

Have you ever headed to Disney World, giddy with the anticipation of some new or heavily hyped ride, only to come off disappointed? On the other hand, when was the last time a little, out-of-the-way attraction really charmed you? On today’s episode we talk about the most overrated and underrated rides at WDW (with a little nod to shows as well), and give you our picks in each park.

What are your most overrated and underrated attractions at Disney World? Listen to our picks and then tell us your choices. Connect with us on Twitter @mousemtn, or drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com. And, don’t forget to subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.

The bumper sound bites are from Stitch’s Great Escape. The opening music is “Space Fighter Loop,” by Kevin MacLeod, used courtesy of Creative Commons.

Episode 25: It’s the End of the World (Showcase) As We Know It

The Maelstrom boats ran aground against the power of the Frozen sisters.

Norway’s Maelstrom armada ran aground against the power of the Frozen sisters.

Disney recently gave the public a peek at Epcot’s upcoming Frozen Ever After ride, slated to open in the  World Showcase’s Norway pavilion next year. The ride will replace the beloved (well, beloved to me) Maelstrom, which shuttered its doors and floated off to Helheim last fall. But does Disney’s new journey through a pseudo-Scandinavian country signal a broader change in Epcot’s World Showcase? On this episode, we give a long overdue send off to Maelstrom, complete with our favorite quotes from the ride (“Back, back, over the falls!”). Then we’ll discuss the Norway pavilion in general. Finally, we’ll give you all the news we know on Frozen Ever After, share our thoughts on the ride and what it might mean for the World Showcase’s future.

What was your favorite Maelstrom line? Is a boat trip through an imaginary country a good or bad move for the World Showcase? Do your kids battle over who gets to be Elsa? Listen to the show, then drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com, or hit us up in the Twitterlands @mousemtn.

The sound byte is from from Epcot’s Maelstrom (RIP). Opening music is “Space Fighter Loop,” by Kevin MacLeod, used courtesy of Creative Commons.

Episode 24: Rainy Day Disney

Rainy Day Cavalcade

Mickey, Minnie and Pluto traveling in style at the Rainy Day Cavalcade. Photo courtesy of Andrew Poole, via Creative Commons license.

It’s June, which means you can expect at least a quick afternoon thunderstorm, if not worse, any day you’re at Disney World for the next few months. On this episode, we discuss how rainy days affect the parks, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of touring Disney World in the rain. Somehow that leads us to talk about algae-ridden hotel pools and a new life form we may have discovered growing on a budget hotel’s glass elevator last year.

Before all of that craziness, we kick off the show discussing Disney’s recent polls on surge pricing and what it might mean for WDW.

Listen to the show and let us know what you think. How do you make the most of Disney World’s rainy days? What do you think about the possibility of surge pricing? Have you ever discovered a new form of fungus in a budget hotel?  Drop us a line at mousemountaineers@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter @mousemtn.
Show music is from Disney’s Rainy Day Character Cavalcade.