Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
If it’s too crowded around this area, head on back towards the Carousel of Progress. As you approach the Carousel’s entrance veer to the left towards the restrooms located in the now defunct Tomorrowland Skyway Station.
In a very quiet corner is an area with covered tables. This is a designated smoking area, but if no one is there smoking, this can be a great place to relax and listen to the sounds of Tomorrowland…the Tomorrowland Transit Authority moving above you and the occasional pass of the Walt Disney World Railroad next to you.
Speaking of the TTA…this is a great attraction for some R ‘n’ R!
This attraction rarely has a line, so loading is quick. It’s roughly ten minutes of a slow-moving, almost one mile ride around and through the attractions of Tomorrowland. Originally known as the WEDway PeopleMover when it opened on July 1, 1975, this attraction was based on the PeopleMover at Disneyland. Truly futuristic, the ride vehicles are propelled by use of linear induction motors. In the spring of 1994, Tomorrowland underwent a massive refurbishment and the name was changed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
First in the series: the Magic Kingdom.
Let’s break it down by area…
Main Street, U.S.A.
One of our favorite places to sit and take in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A., and Cinderella Castle is atop the Railroad Station.
There are a number of benches on the second floor under a glass-covered promenade that face Main Street, U.S.A. Dusk is my favorite time to sit there and watch the transformation: Main Street and the Castle come alive when the lights come on. It’s a beautiful sight as the temperature starts to drop a bit and the hustle and bustle of the streets below take on a new life. It gets crowded up there for parades and fireworks, but it’s a great viewing spot. If you take the time to enjoy this gem, be sure to explore the Station…the detail here is amazing! Beautifully detailed lighting fixtures, period seating and games, and wonderful artwork will take you back to yesteryear. There is also a bulletin board with arriving and departing trains listed…all the locations listed have a backstory.
As you walk down Main Street toward the “hub” you will cross East Center Street. Indeed, Main Street has a side street. Before 2001, it was actually a cross street, but that changed with the expansion of the Emporium, which closed West Center Street. In fact, the Harmony Barber Shop was originally on West Center Street along with the Greenhouse Flower Shop, the Hallmark Card Shop and a few other now extinct shops. So, make a right turn and take a stroll down East Center Street. A caricature artist is usually stationed here; beautifully potted plants and landscaping will invite you to explore the area as the noise of Main Street fades behind. Take note of the detail on the buildings, including the balconies above you and the planters on them. The building at the end of the street has an “Art Festival” sign above it…it really was an art “festival” gallery back in the early to mid-1970’s.
There are benches under the awnings and further in there are seating areas with tables. Grab a snack from the Bakery or some fruit from the fruit stand that is often located on this street and head down here for a respite from the Main Street crowd! Drink in the ambience and background music of the area. Look for the windows marked “Singing Lessons” and “School of Dance.” Listen closely to hear singing, voice and dancing lessons coming from the various upstairs rooms!
I hope you enjoyed this look at some more ways to slow down and relax while visiting Walt Disney World. We’ll be discussing more places to sit down, smell the flowers, people watch and fit in some R ‘n’ R around the entire WDW Resort area. If you have a favorite spot, please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail…I’d love to hear from you. If you have pictures of you and/or your family enjoying these locations, please send them to me and I'll post them in this article.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
My first R 'n' R post is about one of my favorite "hidden treasures" at WDW and one of my favorite things to do every trip for a number of years: the Harmony Barber Shop at the Magic Kingdom.
Located on what I would call the border of
My first visit to the shop was probably about seven or eight years ago, but they have been in operation since 1975, originally on West
The Barber Shop is not large, in fact it only has two stations and a few chairs inside to sit and wait. Guests are taken on a first-come, first-served basis only. The wait can range from ten minutes to over one hour, depending on when you arrive and how busy the park is, there may be a line outside. The inside décor is well-themed and old-timey, like you would expect. Hair tonics and talcum powders line dark burgundy shelves, there is an old “potbelly” stove, and all sorts of little touches to make you feel like you stepped back in time. They even have an old-time cash register dating from 1912. In fact, until recently the theming was so complete, they only used that cash register for all transactions, cash only. About two years ago they started accepting credit cards.
For even more nostalgia and that famous Disney showmanship, you might even be treated to a visit by the Dapper Dan’s,
Naturally, the shops specialty is “First Haircuts.” Young guests who receive their first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop are treated to stickers, bubbles, pixie dust and a good time (most of the time). They also receive an extra-special “My 1st Haircut” certificate and set of “mouse ears.” I generally get a standard haircut and the colored hair gel and pixie dust treatment. Yeah! Why let the kids have all the fun?
Last I checked, children’s haircuts (12 & under) are $14, adults are $17. If you just want the colored hair gel and pixie dust treatment, that’s $5. There are a number of places on property to get your hair cut and styled, but the Harmony Barber Shop will do it with style. And that's why it's one of my picks for a great way to get some R 'n' R @ WDW.
I look forward to your thoughts on this topic and other topics. If you have a question, suggestion or just want to chat, please drop me a line or leave a comment.