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WDW 50th Anniversary Weekend Discussion And KiteTails Fangirling

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Happy 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World!

The 18-month celebration kicked off on October 1st with some new entertainment and some new drama to go along with it.

We’re talking about all three new shows (HarmonioUS, Enchantment, and KiteTails- whoo hoo!) and our feelings on all three.

>>Check out this episode!<<

As always: we have feeeeelings about anything new. What legit Disney fan doesn’t?

There might have even been tears shed in this episode over the power of the Disney fandom.

ps- check out the Disney Genie 101 if you’re looking for a guide to the new FASTPASS+ program!

WDW-Harmonious- Mulan

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Music from
“Vivacity” by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (

Episode Transcript

Patty 0:04
To all who come to our happy place – welcome to the No-Guilt Disney Podcast, where we have no guilt about our love for all things Disney.

Jane 0:13
We are three Disney fangirls who probably know more about the Disney Parks than most grown women should – and we’re perfectly okay with that.

Patty 0:22
We are 50 years worth of okay with it, right?

Theresa 0:26
Yes, absolutely! Hello everyone. My name is Theresa and you can find me on Twitter at @GertietheDino.

Jane 0:33
I’m Jane and you can find me on Instagram at @RealMousewifeWDW.

Patty 0:38
I’m Patty Holliday from and No-Guilt Travel, a travel agency that specializes in Disney and Universal vacations. You can find me on all socials at @NoGuiltLife. Today, we are going to do a little rundown, a recap, a discussion about the big celebration of Walt Disney Worlds 50th. Full disclosure, I was scrolling through our chats on text, and laughing about how our initial thoughts changed over time on the subjects. It’s going to be an interesting conversation, we’re going to freely tell you, “Originally, we thought this, but now we’re kind of thinking this,” and talk to you about how some of our thought processes might have changed about these things. If you are active on social media, you might have seen a lot of negative stuff coming out about the 50th anniversary. I definitely think there’s some things that you could talk negatively about. There were some some issues, particularly on the day of the 1st… food, mobile ordering, we’ll get into all of that. There were some big, major problems, but there were also some things that I think got – I don’t want to say blown out of proportion, but maybe we’ve got to look at this through a different lens. Then, Jane actually got to go and see all of the big shows that people were talking about. She’s got our firsthand response as to what she felt and thought by watching the show. We’re going to dig into all of that in a little bit. Theresa, though, has some really quick news updates. Some information that we’re not going to talk into detail now, but we’ll get there. Just put this on your radar.

Theresa 2:28
Yes. I know we usually do these really long news recap episodes. Because we want to focus on the 50th today, we’re not going to dig into these and the types of discussions we would normally have, because we do want to talk more about the reactions to the 50th. But, it would have felt weird to have these announcements coming out and not acknowledge them, so I wanted to do just a quick recap. One of the items that is very exciting to me is [that] they’ve announced that so much more live entertainment is returning to Walt Disney World. Some has already come back, some is coming back soon. I think that’s one of those missing pandemic items that I don’t want to say took away some of the magic of Walt Disney World, but it’s just such a nice, welcoming feeling to know that these things are returning. It adds to the atmosphere so much. Over in Magic Kingdom, a castle welcome show has returned and the Casey’s Corner piano player is back. In EPCOT in World Showcase, they have reintroduced the drummers to Japan, the juggler in Italy, and Alberta Bound is performing again in Canada. A host of musicians are returning to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s not back yet, but the Disney Movie Magic is returning on November 7. That was the evening show that went through the live action Disney movies. And, I’m so excited because it’s one of my favorite long running experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular will be back on December 19. Yay! Clapping hands!

Patty 4:09
I was looking at YouTube the other day and came across the video of the Indiana Jones folks. I think they put it out last May when it was announced when the parks were going to reopen. Of course, at that time, I think they thought they were going back to work sooner rather than later. I was watching it and I was just blown away by how talented the stunt performers are. They were running across the roofs of their own houses and jumping off the sides, jumping off the second story of their staircases, they were doing flips all over the place. They were just really incredible. I got super excited for them. I hope these folks are happy to be coming home. I hope there’s place for all of them. I hope they all made it through doing stunt-type work until the show came back. I got got a little excited myself about the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular news. I think it’s going to be a much needed addition to the park. I’m with you. I like the live performances. Again, it’s one of those things that I may not stop and watch every single one, but we have felt and we have noticed them not being there during this timeframe. You don’t know what you lost until it’s gone. I’m glad it’s all coming back, or starting to.

Jane 5:36
I’ll say that when we went to EPCOT over the weekend of October 1, we immediately heard the drummers in Japan. We entered through the International Gateway, and we could hear them. I don’t think I ever noticed when they were gone, I didn’t feel like there was an absence of it. But when it was back, I said to my friend that it sounds like EPCOT now. And she was like, “Yeah, you’re right. It does.”

Patty 6:17
Yep. I agree. I think it’s important. It’s also one of those things that when folks [ask] why you go to Disney all the time, it’s the things like this that make it stand above other more local theme parks. It’s what I like more about Disney than I do with – well, shoot – even Universal Studios doesn’t have nearly as much live entertainment as Walt Disney World does. At least it doesn’t feel like it. But it’s better than Six Flags. It’s better than Hershey Park. Not that those there’s anything wrong with those theme parks, but I think that’s part of the Disney difference, right? Those extra touches that make it stand out and be the premiere destination for theme park enthusiasts. I think that’s all really excellent news. Anything else coming back or that we need to talk about?

Theresa 7:15
There’s something very big that we will need to talk about, but I think we all need a little more time to digest the news and experience it ourselves. If you’re in the Disney-sphere, and I think if you’re listening to this, you’re keeping up a little bit with Disney news…. Disney did announce a few days ago that Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane will be debuting on October 19. Coming up very quickly. We’ve already talked about it and we’re going to dedicate an episode digging into this. I’m still wrapping my head around all the differences and I know I’m going to say things incorrectly for a long time, just getting this new terminology right. Starting on October 19, the new Disney Genie system – I don’t want to call it a platform because it’s going to be integrated into My Disney Experience. That is debuting very, very soon.

Patty 8:13
It is. October 19 is when Genie comes out, and I as a travel agent actually have a conference call to teach us some information about this coming up this week. Once I have wrapped my head around it and have all that information down, forthwith more information will come. We’ll do an episode on it. We will also have some written information if you prefer to read or look at screenshots, we’re going to do that as well. We’ll have all of that information coming. This is a biggie. This is replacing Fastpass, for folks that just aren’t really clear as to what it is, except that there’s a charge to it this time. We’ll get into all those details later once we know a little bit more official information.

Theresa 9:06
Patty did put [a post] in the Facebook group. There is a post where she has opened it up for people. If you have questions, leave those in the comments. If you have not seen that yet, or if you haven’t joined our Facebook group, Jane, where can they find us?

Jane 9:21
You can find us on Facebook at No-Guilt Disney. Yes, that is the name of the group.

Theresa 9:32
Go to the Facebook group. If you have any questions and things you specifically want to know, drop them in there. Patty will make sure she’s including it in her posts with all the FAQ’s about it and we’ll make sure to address it when we record that episode.

Patty 9:47
Joining that group will also get you the information as soon as we see it and as soon as we hear it – which should be soon – about some runDisney updates for Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Even if you’re not running Wine & Dine but you’re running Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend or Princess Half Marathon Weekend and you’re just super curious what this experience is now going to look like. As soon as we get the info, we are going to post it and share in there. Then also, of course, we’re going to talk about it because that’s what we do. There’s at least two big episodes coming up in the near future that we’re going to have for you guys to listen to and run down those things. There’s going to be a big runDisney talk, there’s going to be a big Genie, Lightning Lane, Genie+, Magic Band+ oh my gosh!

Theresa 10:32
All the pluses!

Patty 10:33
All the pluses. You know what? Maybe runDisney will come out with a runDisney+. I’m just saying. Oh, gosh. I should not give them any suggestions, should I?

Jane 10:44
How mad were they that “Fastpass+” was already used?

Patty 10:48
Oh, I know. They had to be –

Jane 10:51

Patty 10:53
We can’t use that. So, we’re going to use some other dumb name instead. Anywho! Obviously, we have some issues with naming the things. We’ll get into that. So for now, though, let’s go ahead and jump into what happened during the October 1 big bonanza celebration. Jane was our roving reporter. Jane, what park did you start with?

Jane 11:21
I checked in the day before the 1st, so that would have been September 30th. We started at EPCOT that evening because we knew that they were doing a soft opening of Harmonious. I had seen it via the Disney livestream the day before, so I wanted to go check it out myself.

Patty 11:44
Okay. Since we’re starting in EPCOT, and we’ve talked about Harmonious, let’s first talk about that Disney live stream and the responses that all of us had to it. Full disclosure, for everybody who needs a little reminder of personalities here: Patty is the person who does not care about these shows. I have no attachment to previous shows at all, at any of the Disney Parks. Like I can’t think of a single one that I miss so much. Close, maybe is Disneyland’s fireworks celebration that they did for the 60th anniversary, that one was really awesome. But other than that, it’s not my thing. It’s not my gig. So, I went into this fairly open minded in the sense of I am not comparing it to anything else. Meanwhile, we have Theresa, who might be on the opposite end of the spectrum, particularly when you are talking about EPCOT. How do you feel about EPCOT and the shows there?

Theresa 12:51
If you are new to the podcast, yes, you might not be aware that my second favorite thing in all of Walt Disney World of all time is Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. I am very, very attached to that show. Patty saw me to see my reactions to that leaving. She saw my reaction to watching EPCOT Forever, which was the intermission show that they did between Reflections of Earth and Harmonious debuting. I’m very attached to EPCOT. I have very strong feelings about EPCOT and some of the changes over time to EPCOT. But as Patty was saying, she wasn’t really going to be comparing it to things. I can’t help but compare it to previous nighttime entertainment that has been at EPCOT and I’ve got feelings. If you listen to our last episode with Jane talking about the wreaths and the decor for Halloween… Oh, I got feelings about Harmonious.

Patty 14:01
Okay, and then there’s Jane. Jane, where do you think you land on this spectrum of things here? EPCOT, specifically. Let’s just narrow it to EPCOT right now.

Jane 14:11
I’m going to say two things. If you have listened for a while, you already know this. If you’re new to the podcast, you need to know that EPCOT is one of my least favorite parks. I know, I know. I know, Theresa, I know.

Theresa 14:29
It’s been in state of transition lately. I can respect it.

Jane 14:34
And I give it a fair shot. I am a “shows, parades, fireworks” person. The fact that I’m even friends with Patty is wild. We have thought about these things on multiple occasions when we’ve been in the parks together. I love Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It holds a very special place in my heart. Tapestry of Nations from years ago is literally my favorite Disney show ever, ever, ever. Whenever I need a calming moment at home, that’s what I turn on. If you ever need me to calm down, that’s the ticket.

Patty 15:19
I’m the girl over here doing the Mariah Carey “I don’t know her” face. Yeah, it just doesn’t do it for me. We have feelings, we have thoughts. This is a variety of folks that you have to give you their responses. Now, also very important to note, Jane is the only one that has seen this in person. I think we all agree that with this kind of entertainment, being there and being surrounded by the lights, the sounds, even the crowds and the reactions and feeding off of that, it all matters. It all factors into how you walk away from a performance. At least it does for me. That’s why I personally like to go to the big movies on opening night because I like being in that crowd and getting that reaction from everybody. It’s kind of the same thing with these things. I think seeing them in person could possibly make a difference. It may not. You may think it’s crap all along. Or you may love it now and you’re going to love it even more when you get there. There are no wrong answers here. When [the livestream] first came out, I did not watch Harmonious, mostly because, like I said, I just didn’t care. However, Jane and Theresa did, and the text messages back and forth were pretty funny because it was essentially: “This is dull. This is uninspired. I’m so disappointed. Soulless. It felt like Rivers of Light 2.0”. Things like that. That’s what we were saying to each other after watching that first Harmonious viewing. Jane, what happened when you saw it in person?

Jane 17:19
First of all, I just want to say that we waited two and a half hours for this show because [its the] first night, everybody’s there, everybody’s got to be first. Me included! On our feet, and… ugh, right? We had all these expectations, but also I had seen it the night before. This better be better than what I saw last night, because that was really a hunk of poo. And within four minutes, the music came on, it was booming behind me. Four minutes into the show… guys, I’m crying. This is the greatest show ever.

Patty 18:01
Yes, your actual text says: “Guys, I’m four minutes in and almost crying. F you, Chapek”.

Jane 18:09
I’m literally the worst person ever. I was so mad at him [Bob Chapek]. They were right. Here’s what I can tell you. Look, this show is great. It is definitely an in-person show. It is not something you can watch on YouTube. Maybe you can after you’ve seen it in person a few times and now you’re attached to it, so now it’s easy for you to watch. But do not base any of your opinions off of a video. You have to see it in person. The camera can’t really capture everything that you need to look at. The other thing is you need to be right up front. With Illuminations, they would shoot into the sky and yes, the globe opened and all that good stuff. So, you had some stuff at the waterline. The barges that have the projections on them… while they are tall, they are not that tall from where you’re standing. You have to be 1, 2, 3 rows right from the front of that fence. Now, I don’t know how those crowds will thin out over time. They may have already thinned out as of this recording, for all I know. I haven’t been back yet. But for us, we were there two and a half hours before and we were about 15 feet from the front of the area. We were in the front of Italy. We had a table, we had a whole setup, of course. But it started to fill in and pack in with people and five minutes before showtime, people are pushing their way to the front – which, don’t be that person because I will come for you. Then you literally can’t see. I was able to take a handful of photos, because I would literally hold my camera up above my head and jump up, snap a photo, and hope that I got it on my way down. I do recommend that if you really, really, really want to see this, and if you start seeing people sitting around the lagoon, park your butt, because you need you need to see it. You have to see the whole thing. Does it make up for the fact that those barges are sitting out all day long in the view of EPCOT? No, no, it does not. It still does not. But, the show is absolutely beautiful. That’s what I have for you.

Patty 21:00
All right, firsthand knowledge. Theresa, what are your thoughts on this from what you’ve seen? Or do you prefer not to make any comment until you do see it in person?

Jane 21:13
Make the comments! Make the comments!

Theresa 21:14
I’ll make comments. We’ll get us kicked off any possible lists we could possibly be on. But, we’re going to make the comments anyway. So, I will admit this. My caveat is that I have only seen the livestream that Disney Parks blog put out. I don’t want to say that the recording quality wasn’t the best, but I think both of the new shows are ones that cannot fully be appreciated from a video versus being there in person. I think [with] both of these shows, if you have seen the video and you made an opinion, it’s definitely going to be worth seeing it in person and seeing if getting the full environment changes your perspective. I will admit to that. However, Jane, one of the things you mentioned is one of my specific issues with this show. One of the beautiful things about Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was that you could appreciate it from wherever you were in World Showcase. And this is not the case with this show. I think that if you are spending this much money, and if you are redoing something for the 50th and supposed to make it this big, impressive feature of your reopening… Even though they weren’t expecting the 50th to be a big reintroduction for people to the parks, that’s kind of what it’s become. The fact that there are very, very limited areas that you can see the show and actually be able to fully appreciate it, I think that is such a downturn move. I hate the fact that you have to be in a very specific place around World Showcase to get the experience because you don’t have 360-degree views of these different barges or even the central piece. I hate that you’re limited to a few specific areas to get the best experience and that you’d also have to be right up front. I I don’t know. I don’t love that they are kind of boxing you in. If you want to see the show, you have to spend this many more hours sitting there waiting when you could be doing other things.

Patty 23:26
One thousand percent. That’s my biggest gripe about it, as well.

Jane 23:29
I agree.

Patty 23:30
I won’t do it. I don’t care enough about these shows to do it.

Theresa 23:37
I don’t have a good opinion of the show right now, too. When they initially announced it, number one: we all know I was not a fan of putting IP in EPCOT. I don’t love IP in EPCOT. This is not a secret, I don’t love them finding all of the opportunities to fit different Disney characters and music and whatever into EPCOT. That’s just not my favorite thing. I was really disappointed when they announced this show and that it’s strictly going to be Disney songs. I came around a little bit when they mentioned that that they were going to do some of it in the style or have representation of the different cultures that you can find within World Showcase. But then even seeing the show, it feels like they kind of forgot that partway through. There were a few where they had those songs sung in the actual language that the movie itself was based in, but it just seems like that they forgot partway through the show that’s what they were doing. The show itself just felt so lackluster. It didn’t feel like it had a cohesive story to it. And then it just ended. The end, it was just very unimpressive. The random “Goodbye!” at the end threw me off so much. What just happened? Even not seeing it in person, I just don’t love it. Having listened to the show, I don’t love it. I will see it in person and see if my feelings change. Because the show to me was so lackluster, and the fact that you have those barges there 24/7, it’s not worth it at all to have that destroying your World Showcase views as long as it exists. The two don’t balance out for me at all.

Jane 25:35
I will say that I felt the same way about the music the very first time I saw it on the livestream. Like I said, I’m big into shows and music and all that. I didn’t like that they were singing in other languages. I understand that they’re trying to incorporate it with World Showcase. Actually, I changed my mind when I saw it in person. I actually really loved it. But, my biggest thing is I like to sing with my terrible voice. So, I’m singing along and I’m singing along, and then all of a sudden it’s in another language. Now I just feel like I don’t know the words. I know that they’re trying to encourage people to maybe learn the words in another language. That was one of my biggest things, but in person it does change. It does feel a little bit more EPCOT-y, even with the IP that’s in there. I look forward to your reaction.

Theresa 26:41
Right now, my feeling is they should have just left EPCOT Forever. We’ll get into this more, too, but these 50th celebrations for Walt Disney World… none of them seem to have anything to do with the parks!

Patty 26:55
Sister, yes. That is my complaint about all three of the shows that we’re going to talk about today. They were billed as entertainment specifically for the 50th anniversary, and yet there’s nothing that ties the 50th to this. Nostalgic Patty, Disney-loving heart hat on, I feel like if you were billing this as brand new entertainment for the 50th, then we should have some acknowledgment, throwbacks, something that kind of incorporated that. I think that was a huge miss, particularly since this is supposed to be a temporary show. Well, actually Harmonious maybe isn’t. I’m jumping ahead to Enchantment that I think is only supposed to be a temporary show. Regardless, you could say it about both of them. That is something that I agree with you on that purpose. Now, if Harmonious is not supposed to be 50th entertainment and it is going to be around for the next 10 years, from that perspective, I am okay with what the show is offering. As somebody who doesn’t love shows, I watched it. I actually didn’t watch the Disney Parks viewing because everybody seemed to feel like it was maybe edited or it was going in and out in not the best ways…

Jane 28:25
It had terrible cinematography.

Patty 28:28
That’s it.

Theresa 28:29
If you’re showing a fireworks show, you can’t be zooming in on different parts, because that’s not what your eyes are seeing when you’re there. They did not do themselves a favor.

Patty 28:39
I found something else on YouTube and watched it there. It did still get closer and then back out and get closer and back out, but I don’t think as much. I felt like I got a little bit more of the entire show. My feelings on when I finally did watch the show are very similar to what I’m going to say about Enchantment, so you guys can just copy and paste this into our Enchantment discussion in a few minutes. It’s fine. I think especially if this is your first Walt Disney World trip ever or maybe your first one in five, six, seven, eight years or the first one since you were a kid, there are no other shows out there in theme parks that can hold a candle to what Disney is putting on. I think both Harmonious and Enchantment live up to the level of quality in the sense that you’re still head and shoulders above a Six Flags or a Hershey Park, right? You’re still very, very good. You’re still giving us something that you’re not going to get at different theme parks. From that perspective, I liked the show. What was very distracting for me and what I did not like were the arms. What was up with those? What purpose were those arms?

Jane 30:08
I don’t know. But, I’m just flailing about while we’re talking about it.

Patty 30:13
Right? I mean, I am too. As I’m describing it, I’m doing my hands up and down. I don’t like them. I don’t like the arms. I really did like the choices that they made for this show. It fit well with World Showcase to me. I actually loved hearing all the songs in different languages. I think that’s really cool and I am excited that they took that step. Why have the song that’s from the Chinese movie Mulan without including some Chinese singing in it? I really loved that aspect of it. I think it also fits well, again, for the general American park-goer. For most of us, EPCOT may be what we are exposed to internationally for a long time, or maybe the only time we’re ever exposed to anything internationally in our lives. Because we’re just not travelers, right? I am raising my hand. I’ve never left the country except to go to Tijuana, Mexico once. Oh, I’ve been to Canada, too! I’ve gone to both of those. Oh, and Jamaica! I keep forgetting! Anyway, point being I’m not a huge international traveler. I would love to be, it just hasn’t been in the cards to happen. For me to feel a connection to some of these countries that are in EPCOT’S World Showcase through the songs, through these movies… Yes, I get it. It is not good enough, it is not truly exposing you to the great big world out there. But it’s a little something, and for some folks, that may be all they get. And in that case, I think that taking these familiar shows and movies and using that music and those words to the songs and tying it to these other countries so that then you are like, “Arabian Nights… Let’s go to Morocco. I want to go check this out”. I can see how it ties in and it could change someone’s perspective about exploring more of World Showcase. For that perspective, I think it’s a success. Where it’s definitely a miss, though, I still don’t think this show was worth these barges to sit out there forever and ever. If the barges left and came out again, like it used to happen with Reflections [of Earth], I’d have very, very few complaints. I would be completely fine with this, even though I don’t get what those arms are supposed to be doing. I still think they’re dumb, but I could deal with it if it left. If after the show was over, it all went away and the next morning, I could come out and see the beautiful World Showcase Lagoon again… I miss that view. I miss that feeling of zen looking out there. Now, we just see these big hunk of barges and they’re ugly, and they’re awful. I’m with you, that’s not worth it. I wish that would go away.

Jane 30:26
But guys… They do put up the 50th anniversary logo on the tacos during the day. I mean, really, what could be better than that? Who needs a view of the other side?

Patty 33:38
So there’s that. The other thing I want to point out that I was disappointed with… Flipping over to Disneyland, where there was a water show called World of Color, which has been quiet now for quite some time. One of my favorite parts of the original World of Color was Brave, where she rode the horse during “Touch the Sky” and that song is gorgeous and it’s just so underused in my opinion. I just felt like they did the Brave section dirty in this show. We get her hair all over the screens. I don’t know, it didn’t do it for me. I was disappointed in that. But other than that, I liked the songs. I liked the choices. I liked everything that they chose for Harmonious and I thought it was well done. I will go see it. Maybe with Theresa, maybe we’ll sit and I’ll get to watch her –

Theresa 34:42
She won’t be recording the show. She will be recording my reaction.

Patty 34:46
I will be recording Theresa’s horror.

Theresa 34:49
Join the Facebook group for that live stream.

Patty 34:53
As she watches this live during Wine & Dine, that’s kind of our plan. We’ll see how that goes. So, that was EPCOT. How was the rest of the day on the first in EPCOT? Did you guys ride Ratatouille that day? Or since you’d already done it, did you skip it? What was your feeling? That’s kind of a 50th. Anniversary opening day thing.

Jane 35:15
We were there on the 30th, so we did not go to EPCOT on the first.

Patty 35:20
Oh, Okay, gotcha.

Jane 35:21
So no, I did not do any of that. We did go to EPCOT on the second. I would like to let everybody know two things. One, I’m pretty much convinced that there are zero capacity issues, we are 100%, back to full capacity. And second, there is zero social distancing, maybe less than zero, if that’s an option. I just want to prepare people for that, because I think that kind of snuck up on us pretty quickly. I know it’s been a little crowded and such but this was definitely more than I’ve seen.

Patty 36:13
Okay. This is also just as a reminder, I’m going to throw this back to those that are still concerned or still wondering if the Wine & Dine going to happen. Y’all. It is.

Jane 36:23
Oh, its going to happen.

Patty 36:24
The biggest issue with the runDisney product, in my opinion, was always the crowds and how they were going to deal with people running and being packed into the corrals. This October 1 celebration proved that Disney is not social distancing anymore. It is not a concern of theirs. If it’s a concern of yours, that’s a whole other story. But it’s not a concern of Disney’s, and therefore, you can expect Wine & Dine to look fairly normal. Unless they surprise me, I think it’s going to look fairly normal.

Jane 36:58
Agreed. The other thing that I know Theresa would love to talk about in EPCOT… the magical beacons of… What is the real name, before I call it glowy perfectness?

Theresa 37:17
I think glowy perfectness is an appropriate name. Beacons of Magic, which is the new lighting package that all four of the park icons are getting. Spaceship Earth is clearly the best one.

Jane 37:38
I will say that I have not seen it up close, because I generally enter at International Gateway and I’m too lazy to walk all the way across the park at that hour. But I did see it from my spot in Italy while I was watching Harmonious. Guys, it’s beautiful. Beautiful! And it’s so clear and the colors are so crisp, and it changes. I thought it was just really, really special. And I was very happy that it wasn’t a hand with a wand.

Patty 38:16
Or slap a hat on top of it and call it good.

Jane 38:20
Give it some Mickey ears.

Patty 38:22
Seriously. When I started seeing these pictures coming out, I was stunned. I mean, I think all of the Disney community is going to agree that this was beautiful, and it was perfect. My only concern is please don’t let any of these lights fail. And if they do fail, y’all fix them immediately. Don’t let them sit there for two weeks with this big hole in the middle, because it would just ruin the effect for what it is. Right now, it is just stunning. It is so beautiful.

Jane 39:04
It is and we did think that there were one or two lights out in a couple of the scenarios. They run through these different lighting packages, so you get to see it change a bunch of times. In a few of them, it was like “is that light out?”, because you can tell now. Like you said, I hope that they fixed it the next day and went on their merry way. It’s really spectacular.

Patty 39:37
It looks great. The other locations where you’re going to be able to see the Beacons of Magic… The Tree of Life, right?

Jane 39:47
Tree of Life. The Tower of Terror has beacons of light and Cinderella Castle has beacons of light.

Patty 39:56
Honestly, I liked the Tower of Terror. What they’ve done there is kind of cool, especially if you know the storyline behind the Tower of Terror. There’s dancers up in the Tip Top Club, which was where the elevator was going at the time of this big explosion and crash, or at least according to the movie that I finally got to watch. That’s what the story is. I really do like that one. But the other two? I don’t know, they didn’t stand out as much or they weren’t as impressive to me. For sure, EPCOT is the clear winner.

Theresa 40:37
I’m curious, with Encanto coming out in a few weeks, there are some things in the trailers that I’ve seen where there’s something that does look visually very similar to the Tree of Life. Disney likes to “plus” things, as they say, not just putting the plus symbol, they actually like to enhance things. I’m wondering if, after that debuts, there will be some other little touches that tie it back [to Encanto]. I remember watching the trailer and thinking, “Oh, that looks very Tree of Life-ish to me”.

Patty 41:13
Gotcha. We’ll see what happens there and what they decide to do. All right, should we swap over to Magic Kingdom now?

Jane 41:25
Sure can.

Patty 41:26
Alright, let’s do it. Over in Magic Kingdom, we have the new fireworks show called Enchantment. This is taking place of a once maligned, now beloved Happily Ever After, which took the place of the ever popular Wishes! It’s been some drama. Disney fans. Do not mess with their fireworks. They fall in love, they get attached, and then you go and take it away from them, and they get real, big mad. There was a lot of drama, of course, on social media about the show, and about people’s feelings about it. Again, Jane, you saw it in person, so we’ll get your review on it. I’ve watched it on YouTube. I did watch the Disney Parks version, but I also watched a different version of it just to see if it was recorded differently or better. Here’s my issue with Enchantment. It’s not so much that it’s an issue with Enchantment. It’s that Enchantment and Harmonious had a lot of the same properties being used. Neither one of them stood out to me. I prefer the visual show of watching the castle change and the fireworks behind the castle and Tinker Bell coming out. That’s my preference between the two, but that was my disappointment. I have more disappointment with Enchantment than I do with Harmonious. Harmonious kind of makes sense with the choices that they made, but they used a lot of the same IP. I love the IPs, don’t get me wrong, you can never give me too much Princess and the Frog, I actually really liked that movie. I love Moana and I love the songs from Moana, so again, no hate there. It’s just that they feel not exactly the same but very similar. And as we have already mentioned, Theresa and I both said that we wish that this castle show had a little bit more nostalgia to it, had a little bit more tied into actually the 50th of this park. Especially if this is just a temporary 18-month to two year fireworks show, the fact that they didn’t do that was so dumb. I mean, I just I don’t understand the thinking behind it. The show itself I am fine with; I don’t hate the show. But again, I am that person who doesn’t have attachment to the previous shows. I went and saw the very last Wishes! and then the next night saw the very first Happily Ever After, and both of them I was entertained and amused and impressed. I don’t think I ever went back and saw Happily Ever After again on purpose… Because that’s who I am. It’s not something that I find important to stop and watch all the time. That being said, that’s my take on it. It’s okay, it’s just uninspired from the sense of I wish it had been something different. But the fact is, it’s not what we wanted, but it is what we got. I felt some emotions, I felt a little somethin’ somethin’ going on. You’re not going to see anything like this again in any other parks. All up and down Main Street, you had projections going. That’s a very cool experience to have. I was okay with this. Maybe I will feel different in person, maybe I will love it in person. I don’t know, but that was my thinking on it. Theresa, what about you, before we get to Jane’s actual impressions?

Theresa 45:33
My favorite castle park fireworks show of all time is Remember… Dreams Come True, which is what Disneyland received for their 50th. Patty and I both touched on this. Anything less than that for Walt Disney World’s 50th was not going to be enough for me. We’ve established that’s not what this is. I wish they had gone in a different direction. Knowing that they didn’t, and trying to separate my feelings from what I would have liked to have to what we did get, my initial reaction to this after watching the livestream was I don’t love it, but I can see it growing on me. I never had a big attachment to Wishes!, and when Happily Ever After debuted, that was fine. Not a bad replacement for Wishes!, but I definitely came around to it much more after seeing it in person and I think the title song for that is fantastic. You can’t help not singing Happily Ever After. It’s a great song.

Patty 46:37
I will definitely give the song choice to Happily Ever After. Absolutely. Agreed.

Theresa 46:42
Watching Enchantment – I think it’s one that could grow on me, especially seeing it in person. I remember when we were discussing it before it debuted, I had heard somewhere or some other blog had alluded to, it was only going to feature music from the films of the last decade or so. So, I was very, very happy when that proved to not be true. There was a whole sequence with Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia. How can you not have songs from these classic Disney films in your castle park, especially if you’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of something? How can you only do the most recent songs in your catalogue? That doesn’t make sense. I was very happy that that was incorrect information. I think that helped me appreciate the actual show that I saw a little bit more. But, I didn’t connect with it. I couldn’t even sing to you or hum any of the actual Enchantment song, it hasn’t stuck with me yet. I’m going to give it a chance and I think this could grow on me. It’s fine.

Patty 47:55
Yeah, it’s fine. Exactly. That was my thinking, as well. All right, Jane, hit us. What did you think going into it, and then what was your experience when you actually watched it? Were they different? Was it the same? I can’t remember. I just remember us talking about Harmonious in particular, but I can’t remember us talking about this one as it was happening. Tell me what you saw and what you thought

Jane 48:26
Y’all. I have so many thoughts that I need to share with you. I’m going to pull up my big ol’ soapbox on this one. I did not watch the livestream of this. This was streamed the night that I was at Harmonious. However, I did have to run home to pick something up and while I was driving back, “Oh my gosh, look! We can see the fireworks while we’re driving down the road!”. Then because I’m extra, my passenger pulls up the livestream, we plug it into my phone, so now we’ve got the music and the fireworks going while I’m driving. I may not have gone to where I was supposed to be going because I just kept driving to see fireworks and it was like, “Make right, go left, go this way, wait, turn around!”… it was a mess. I did get that sneak preview, but it is clearly not the same as seeing it in person. We did wait on October 1 for hours and hours to see the show in the middle of Main Street. When I saw Happily Ever After originally, I saw it on opening night. I saw it in the middle of Main Street. It’s fine. It’s just okay. I’m a Wishes! person through and through. I will always be a Wishes! person. To be honest, my very favorite fireworks show is Disneyland Forever, which was for the 60th at Disneyland. I knew that nothing is ever going to be that fireworks show. I came in with expectations below that. This show is great, and I try to take off the fact that if you’re listening to this podcast, or if you’re a part of this podcast, we are surrounded by people who are so specific to the Disney community. We come with our thoughts and opinions, and everything is compared to something else that’s Disney. At Disney World, we are not the norm. The norm is the person that comes every three years, like Patty says. They’re the people that travel to other places and then they come here and they’re like, “Wow, that is a great show”, because they’re not comparing it to the other Disney shows. And I feel like this first weekend, everyone with the opinions, we’re all the same people, right? We’re all those same ones, we go to the parks day in day out, we call multiple times a year, we’ve seen every show, we’ve eaten every food. We come with all the opinions. If you just stop the comparison aspect of it, the show’s amazing. It’s great. The projections up and down Main Street are super fun. The projections on the castle are beautiful, they’re more crisp than Happily Ever After. The song itself is super catchy, and it actually kind of has a little nod to Disneyland Forever. I love that and it sings about how you are the magic. I think everyone feels the show isn’t great. In three months, people are going to say the show really grew on me, it’s great. We’re all going to be singing about “you are the magic”. In 18 months, we’re going to cry when it leaves. That’s just how Disney goes. I really, really, really want to encourage people to come see the show, go into it with an open mind. It’s a great show. It’s a lot of fireworks. It’s a lot of big fireworks. I think it is appropriate for what it’s supposed to be. I do agree with you that a lot of the music does mix over to Harmonious. Guys, we had this whole catalogue of music and we had to use the same 12 songs?

Patty 52:26
Thank you!

Jane 52:28
There’s some of that, and there are some new versions.

Patty 52:32
They are, and like I said, it’s not a copy paste job. It’s not an exact duplicate or anything. Again, you’re Disney, you have so much at your fingertips. You could have dug a little deeper and come up with something different, but you didn’t.

Jane 52:50
I agree with that. I just think that this show is great for what it is, and I know we all want it to be the 50th and the nostalgia. But really, as a whole, Disney World isn’t the nostalgia. Disneyland is. We all know that, and it’s why every person on this podcast loves Disneyland better. Many of our listeners out there agree. Disney World is a commercialized Disneyland. Everything we’re going to get is going to be a commercialized version of Disneyland. And that is what this is.

Theresa 53:36
See? I’m going to disagree because I am the nerd on this one. Disney World history is fantastic and amazing. Disney Corporation has made the choice for it to not be about the nostalgia as much. I think there are plenty of us who are very much Disney World history buffs who do love digging into those details.

Patty 54:00
It’s not that the history doesn’t exist or that the history isn’t there is that this realm of “business” is business. This is their big massive moneymaker.

Jane 54:00
It’s Roy’s park.

Patty 54:11
Yes. You got it. You know what, Jane, look at you. This is perfect. Roy, who was the money guy all along through all of their history, he was the one that put this park together in a sense. Roy and [Bob] Chapek probably would have been buddies, right?

Theresa 54:30
Oh, no. Let’s not.

Patty 54:33
I got you. No, you’ve got to think about it from a business perspective. The whole point that’s why the Roy and Walt’s relationship, to me, melded and worked so well together. Roy kept Walt grounded just a smidge, but still allowed him to soar within those expectations. I love that comparison of Roy’s park versus Walt’s park. It doesn’t make me love Walt Disney World any different, to be honest, but I do think that was the way I was looking at this myself when I was looking at the shows. I was thinking not of us, the big, passionate Disney community, who happily spend $1,400 on our annual passes, and we will use the crap out of them and go all the time. That’s not who their target audience is at this park in particular. I think some of that is leeching over to Disneyland, but we can talk about that another day. But anyway, I do think that Jane’s right. This particular park is the cash cow, the moneymaker, the business perspective, so that’s what they’re looking at. That’s what their decisions are made [upon]. They are taking the heart [out of it]. They don’t have to, but it is a choice they are making, and I don’t like that choice, either. I completely understand, Theresa. I do think that if you were to look at the numbers, there’s such a small amount of us that go to Disney World every year that actually care about those things, versus the amount of one-timers or people that are coming once every three or four years or once in a lifetime. Those are the people that they are catering to at this park, so I’ve got to agree with them there. It’s not that there’s not an awesome and amazing history at Disney World at all. That’s not what Jane was saying.

Jane 56:30

Patty 56:30
It should be preserved. We should talk about it, and we should enjoy those things. I agree, when you take some of those parts and pieces out, you strip things down that make Disney Parks in general important and different and special. I don’t want to see any of that going [on], but I do strongly see the correlation here. As we all know, bottom line, no matter how attached we are personally to any of this stuff, it is a business and it’s going to be there to make money. If we don’t love the direction they’re going in, the best way that we can vote is with our wallets: by not going. By not buying the expensive tickets. By not staying at their expensive hotel rooms. By definitely sending emails and letters and letting the higher ups know why your visiting is changing. They will do that with what they choose or if they see it. But I honestly feel like particularly in this park, it’s all about the bottom line.

Jane 57:36
Now I’m going to do basically the complete opposite of everything I just talked about. Ready?

Patty 57:43
Go for it.

Jane 57:45
October 1, we had made a big plan, we were going to get up super early. We were going to go to the parks. We were there early for us, because we’re late people. We don’t do the rope drop thing, but we were there way later than everybody else. We arrived about 7:15am. It was before the “resort early entry time” and the park was packed. There were virtual queues for shopping at the Emporium. They had one day only merchandise that was back at the Big Top [Souvenirs] in… what is that area called? Storybook Circus. I wanted to call it Circus, Circus because my friend is going to Vegas and so I have Vegas on the mind. It was crazy. It was super busy, absolutely crazy, everybody was there for merch. Lines were winding through lands to get popcorn buckets and all this good stuff. Wait times were walk ons. Literally walk ons, everywhere, all day. We went in knowing that we didn’t care if we rode rides, we didn’t care somewhat about merchandise. We actually did get some merchandise. One of my friends I was with, she loved merchandise. She pounded that virtual queue all day long until she got herself a spot and I commend her for that. We weren’t going to fight with people, that’s just not our nature. We’re very happy to sit and people watch, but we live here and we can do this all the time. That’s our gig. But I will say – if you sat and watched the park and walked around, there was a different feeling that day. The park was not filled with people on their only vacation with their families. It was filled with people that get a lot of hate: podcasters, Instagramers, influencers, bloggers. They were all there. Every single person in this park was dressed for the 50th. Even if it was just a simple t-shirt that said “Disney World 50th” or something they bought in the Emporium that morning, there wasn’t anyone in this park that didn’t understand the significance of being there on this day. And for that, that was so cool. Everyone is here for this reason, they’re not here because it’s just another day on a seven-day vacation. They’re here for this purpose. I don’t share this a lot, but my dad is a Cast Member at Magic Kingdom. We talk a lot. “Oh, how was your day?” and he’s always like, “Oh, it’s good”. My dad really loves his job. He’s a PhotoPass photographer. He loves interacting with guests. He’s always like, “Oh, it’s fine”. Generally, the conversations we have are, “Oh, it was hot”. He’ll tell me what areas he was in for the day. It’s very general stuff. He texted me on that day, because we had seen him earlier in the morning and he said, “I had the best day today”. He said, “All of these guests were amazing”. That, to me, just told the story. That’s how we felt. We felt like everybody was connected. No nostalgia or nostalgia, the people that get it, get it. Theresa, we get you. Chapek does not get you.

Theresa 1:01:42
We know that. One thousand percent, we know that! I think what you said absolutely hit the nail on the head. We saw how early on those Magic Kingdom park reservations went for October 1. We’re talking about the 50th of Walt Disney World, 50th of Magic Kingdom. October 1 is also the EPCOT anniversary. Not a significant year for EPCOT, that’s coming up next year. This was such an important day for the Magic Kingdom, in particular, being the 50th anniversary and I think it’s no surprise how many people wanted to be there. The people who are the most passionate about Disney parks, were there in the Magic Kingdom on that day, because they’ve known [about it]. I remember initially on the 40th that I would love to be there on the 50th. There are people who have been planning this for a long, long time. I am so happy that you got to be there on that day, as a chance to not just be there and be part of the environment and be there to celebrate the thing you love, but getting to have that communal experience with other people who feel the same way. I think that this wasn’t about just celebrating the park itself. The reason that we go to things like D23 Expo, it’s being in that environment with other people where this has been a life changing place for them. It goes beyond the rides and the shows. It’s a place that you connect with, and lets you be you in all of your glory. This is the thing that brought the three of us together, right? This isn’t just a place we go; it’s something that we love. I think that being there on October 1 – it’s the right people who get this entire experience and I can only imagine what it was like all being together in one place. Despite some of the things that may have gone wrong, just being there. I’m sad I missed it, but I’m glad you got to be a part of it.

I actually talked to people! I talked to strangers!

Patty 1:04:08
This is why those of us who are big in the Disney community – this is why the way we are. Y’all, Jane just cried on the podcast. I don’t know if you quite caught this historic moment.

Jane 1:04:20
Well, I didn’t fully cry but I teared up.

Patty 1:04:23
But I heard it in you! If you want to throw this back to “You Are the Magic”, that’s the song in Disney’s Enchantment. I think that that just says a lot, because at times where Chapek and the moneymakers don’t get us, somebody out there does, right? Look what happened. That is one of their things that they’re pushing… “the magic is calling” and “you are the magic” and “you make the magic” and the Cast Members are really pumped up right now about all of this. I think that that feeling is there and its always going to be there in this community. It is special and is important. I originally had reservations for this anniversary visit and I cancelled them. That was just a personal decision. I decided I didn’t want to be in the crush of crowds, because I knew I would want to be at Magic Kingdom. If there was some big to-do that was going to happen on opening day, I wanted to be there. But with COVID and all of this stuff, I’m just not comfortable in big crowds as much as I once was. I used to love crowds, and I’m just not there yet. Someday, hopefully, I’ll get there. But right now, that’s just not my thing. So, I went ahead and cancelled this. When I was seeing the pictures of the crowds, I knew that was the right choice for me. To Jane’s point, it was clear and it was obvious of who was there that day versus who wasn’t. I think you’re 1,000% correct. It wasn’t the vacation goer who’s coming in for the first time in three or four years. It was all of us diehards, because where were the lines? Where were the backups? It wasn’t at Big Thunder Mountain, which had like a 10-minute walk on basically all day long. It was for the merchandise. It was for the special stuff that you could get that day and only that day for being there. Then it was to sit and watch the fireworks show to come out for the first time. How many hours in advance did you guys line up for that? Do you remember?

Jane 1:06:48
I wanted to see it from the middle of Main Street, because I wanted to see the Main Street projections. I had made friends with a Cast Member and asked at what point can I just sit down in the middle of Main Street? I don’t mean on the curb. I mean directly in the middle of Main Street. They were kind of looming about and they said, “Well, we can’t exactly give you a time, but if you just hang out here, you’ll see when things happen”. As it turned out, they said, “Why don’t you just go stand on that sidewalk over there?”, and then this lovely Cast Member that we had been talking to was like, “Ma’am, come here, come here!”. He was like, “Okay, sit down. And now I will close the road”. Oh my god, I love this guy. Seven o’clock was the time that we sat and the show didn’t start until 9:00pm or 9:15pm. We also got to see the Beacons of Magic show on the castle, which runs like every 20 minutes. Its some projections and some light up and some ooh-ing and aah-ing over how pretty the castle is, which she is gorgeous with her little projections. But its not Spaceship Earth. It’s cute. It entertains you while you’re waiting for the fireworks. I would say that I liked seeing the fireworks on Main Street. I definitely would see it next time a little bit closer, maybe towards Casey’s Corner. I was further back towards Arribas Brothers. Oh, and I do just want to say when I talked about people were dressed. Y’all know how I’m obsessed with @MichaelDoesDisney on Instagram because I’m nuts. First of all, he walked around all day long in a sequin tuxedo jacket. People were dressed, y’all. Then there was one man who we saw multiple times and I loved this guy! There’s a lot of stereotypes and this guy reminded me [of the] Jersey Shore. I’m from the Northeast. I understand the “Jersey Shore” type. Not necessarily like the show, but similar. Big guy. He was definitely doing his thing. He was in a full printed shirt and shorts that had the castle all over it in its 50th glory. You would never see this anywhere else.

Patty 1:09:42

Jane 1:09:45
It was things like that that were so great. Everyone was like, “Oh my god, I love your ears! Where did you get them?” and “Oh, I got this from this small shop”; everybody was trading information and it was cool. It was just a super cool experience. I would say, when we talk about first day experiences – Patty and I have done this before and I think it was on the Fan Girls Podcast – we talked about the opening of Galaxy’s Edge and why we do first days. Go back and listen to that podcast because that’s exactly what this was like. First day feels.

Patty 1:10:19
First day feels. It’s a big deal and it’s cool. And it is fun to do. There’s just a lot of people, and I can’t do people right now. I’m going to have a hard time in those runDisney corrals. I’m just going to put that out there right now.

Jane 1:10:35
I’m going to give you some booze beforehand.

Patty 1:10:37
I might need to have a little something to calm my nerves. But anyway… Definitely, that was an experience. Some of the bad things that happened for the 50th anniversary… The feeling and overall positiveness may have been there, but I know the reports [about] if you wanted to eat, you’re out of luck, because getting food was absolutely a nightmare, it turns out.

Jane 1:10:44
Yes and no.

Patty 1:11:13
I have friends who said that they ordered food at Pecos Bills and they didn’t get it for five hours. That’s not normal. Normally, that’s just not the case that happens. Tell me what your experience was with the food.

Jane 1:11:28
At 10am, we were figured maybe we should put in our lunch order, because it’s going to take some time. We happened to be in Tomorrowland, we ordered from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. The opening time was 11 o’clock and we had an 11 o’clock window. We actually had two orders, there was one for 11am and one for 11:10am. The 11 o’clock order came out, but everything was delayed. We kind of expected that to begin with, because we’ve had issues with Cosmic Ray’s before where we knew that they ran an hour behind. They were running an hour behind. The 11 o’clock order came out at 12 o’clock. At 12:30pm, one of the girls that was with me had to go and find a manager to find the second order because we had been here forever and we’re still waiting for somebody to eat. You could see all the food was made and it was all in these heated warmers, waiting to be handed out. I’ve seen this before with them. I think they have an issue where the system gets overloaded, and they can’t notify people that their food is ready. So, that was a disaster. We had actually made plans to leave and go back to our hotel and take a nap and we were going to eat in the hotel for dinner before we came back. While we were back at the hotel, we got called for the virtual queue for merch, so half our party went back in the park. I guess we’re not having dinner at the hotel now. We went back into the park and we ordered Pecos Bill’s at five o’clock and in 15 minutes it was ready.

Patty 1:13:16
The Pecos Bill’s thing was somebody who ordered more around traditional lunchtime. I saw multiple reports of that. That’s just an actual friend of mine that I knew it had happened to, so I knew that it wasn’t some bus driver’s cousin’s friend’s sister rumor that you see all over the internet. That one I actually knew happened, and I saw a couple of folks chime in on her thread on Facebook talking about it. Like you said, I don’t know if it’s the system or if it’s maybe a staffing issue that the parks are going through, as to your point feeling that the parks are back up to 100% capacity. Maybe the parks are, but the staffing isn’t, and therefore that’s why situations like this are happening. A good thought process is if you are looking to eat, try to eat at untraditional times. Go ahead and put that lunch order in at 10:30am or as soon as it opens up and you can, because that may save you some heartache. If you’re trying to order at noon along with everybody else, you may not be eating till 2pm or 3pm.

Theresa 1:14:28
Everybody really wanted to get the Uncle Orville ice cream in a bathtub. I mean, who can blame them for that?

Patty 1:14:35
That one was very cute. I’m very impressed with this one. Good treat. Do we want to talk about KiteTails? I’m willing to go for it if you want to have this discussion now. Then this can be the the wrap up of all three shows. I know KiteTails isn’t necessarily being billed as a 50th anniversary entertainment. However, it came out during the 50th anniversary week.

Theresa 1:15:02
And I’d argue it’s the most entertaining.

Patty 1:15:08
It certainly looks that way from my point of view as well! Jane, you just saw it right?

Jane 1:15:16
It is the sleeper hit of the season.

Patty 1:15:19
I love it.

Jane 1:15:21
When I went yesterday, and I said to the Cast Member, “Where’s the best place for me to watch this?”. And I was like, “Oh, hold on, hold on, where’s the most hilarious place for me to watch this?”. She actually put me in the right spot and she said to me, “We’re very proud of the fact that people are saying we’re the best of the three new shows”. There’s no doubt in my mind that this might be the best of the three new shows.

Patty 1:15:50
That’s awesome. Anybody that’s not aware or not familiar with KiteTails, this is happening at Animal Kingdom. It is happening in the old Rivers of Light pavilion. It started with the Jungle Book show, and then it went to Rivers of Light, and all of those are gone. Now we’ve got kites. Okay. Now, first of all, when we heard kites, I think as a collective, universal Disney group, we all rolled our eyes and said, “Kites? Come on, guys. You can’t do better than that?”. But, there were some thoughts behind this and I think it’s in relation to [the fact that] there are some very famous and very culturally important kite shows that happen in Asia? Maybe not Africa, I think it’s in Asia. I think that’s where it ties in, right? There is a purpose to having a kite show at Animal Kingdom. It’s not just a cheap way of doing things, which I will admit, my initial thought process was they just needed some cheap entertainment to put out there. They had jet skis back there from EPCOT that are no longer being used, and they just popped them over and they’re going to pull some kites around and that’s going to be it. There has been so much hilarity coming out of this show. The visual of the show is great, but when things go wrong, it’s even better. Then even when things go right, it’s still just a funny moment. The kites fly around the lagoon and do their thing, but then they crash headfirst into the stands on purpose. That’s how you take the kite off stage.

Jane 1:17:50
I am just hoping that no one at Disney thinks, “Oh, this looks terrible. We need to figure out how to get them to crash out of the sight line”.

Patty 1:18:01
No, keep it!

Theresa 1:18:01
At least for another month until Patty and I get to see this!

Patty 1:18:09
This is a 2022 issue. Y’all can deal with it next year. Let us come and enjoy this.

Jane 1:18:15
Y’all have way bigger fish to fry. This is not the thing.

Patty 1:18:18
This is not the thing, agreed. For anybody who hasn’t seen this, you can definitely Google [it]. Jane, maybe if you have video, you can throw it in the Facebook group.

Jane 1:18:27
I have tons. I have tons of videos.

Patty 1:18:30
There are these big, massive [kites]. One of them is Baloo. He’s the star of the show. There’s also a Simba. They’re huge, massive kites and they get pulled around by these jet skis. And like I said, I think the moment that you’re waiting for is when they crash when they go offstage. I’m laughing jut thinking about it. Sorry, it amuses me greatly.

Jane 1:18:55
It’s so good. I do want to mention that there’s actually two versions of this show, it’s not all in one show. There is a Lion King version of this show and there is a Jungle Book version of this show, and they are both fantastic. I personally preferred the Lion King version better, but they’re both just a little bit different. This show happens five or six times a day. It was like 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm; it’s listed in the My Disney Experience app. They told me that they try to alternate – one show is Jungle Book, next show is Lion King and they try to do that all day. But occasionally, they might do two Jungle Books in a row for whatever reason. You can ask them which show it’s going to be when you’re walking in and they’ll tell you. Baloo actually crashed where he wasn’t supposed to, and they had to send a rescue boat out for him.

Patty 1:20:06
Oh. My. Word.

Jane 1:20:09
The best part is they had a pre recorded [announcement], “We’re so sorry. This occasionally happens,” but they’re prepared for this stuff to happen. That is absolute gold. This might be the funniest show next Monsters Inc. [Laugh Floor]. It’s amazing. The kites are so brightly colored and it’s such a fun interactive show. The pre-show is great; they come out, they play with your kids. I just thought the overall experience – it’s a simple show. It’s not a Fantasmic. It’s not a Harmonious. It’s definitely a more simple show. But, guys, the show is great. Honestly, I hope it runs for years. I really do, because I think it just did something for Animal Kingdom for me.

Patty 1:21:08
I’m excited. I’m down for it. Theresa and I are begging [that] nobody tell Disney it’s bad. Just let it run until after the first week of November.

Jane 1:21:21
I almost went to Guest Services to tell them how amazing the show was.

Patty 1:21:26
You probably should! The cast compliment in the app – I don’t know if there’s a way to guests compliment the whole KiteTails team.

Jane 1:21:35
Oh, I might email Guest Services today and say, “Do not ever touch the show EVER”.

Patty 1:21:43
I love it. All right. Anything else we need to touch on or discuss before we head out?

Jane 1:21:51
I did try some snacks. I definitely checked out all the 50th golden statues. I haven’t seen all of them yet, but I’m pretty close to seeing all of them. They’re spread throughout all the parks. They’re kind of a really cool little addition. I didn’t think I was going to be excited about them, but it turns out I was. Overall, I think it’s gonna be a good 18 months.

Patty 1:22:15
Let’s get it going. Theresa and I will be there to get our 50th anniversary take on it with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend kickoff, which is going to be that first weekend in November. We’re both excited about going back. Theresa, this will be your first time back in two years?

Theresa 1:22:37
Just a little bit. I would do a birthday trip every year and I have not been able to do that in a few years. I’m super excited to go back, get to experience everything, but just be there. This is sort of 50th related… Something I’m specifically excited about… We all know I love Gertie the dinosaur. There are several pieces of new merch that have Gertie on them. This is not the biggest news to come out of it, but we have to acknowledge this, okay? Starbucks updated their “Been There” series for all the parks. I do have the mug the last time they did the “Been There” series; Gertie is on that mug. They’ve done a new design, and Gertie is three times the size that she was! There’s mugs, there’s the ornaments… They have a tote bag this time. Super excited about that. I saw that on the 50th anniversary popcorn buckets… Gertie is on a popcorn bucket, y’all. Those are the two things that I have seen. She may be somewhere else. I don’t buy as much merch as I used to, but anytime Gertie is on anything, we have to get it. Gertie is on some merch. It’s super exciting.

Jane 1:22:46
I’m excited for you.

Theresa 1:23:57
Yes. It’s the little things.

Jane 1:24:02
If you want to ask any questions about the 50th or give us your feedback… Tell me what you thought of all the shows, particularly KiteTails – You can email us at No-Guilt Disney Podcast…?

Patty 1:24:16

Theresa 1:24:17

Jane 1:24:18
Oh, you guys. I know. Don’t edit this out. You can email us at [email protected], or you can join us in our Facebook group, which is No-Guilt Disney. We’d love to hear from you and see what you think!

Theresa 1:24:42
And join us each week on the No-Guilt Disney Podcast, because as Patty likes to say –

Patty 1:24:47
It’s no fun to fan girl KiteTails alone. I cannot wait for this show. Bye y’all!

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