The Top 5 Places to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks at Walt Disney World

The Top 5 Places to Watch Magic Kingdom Fireworks at Walt Disney World

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For most people, fireworks are generally only seen on New Year’s Eve and 4th of July. However at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World fireworks are an everyday affair. For many first timers, finding a spot for the nighttime spectacular is overwhelming.

After countless viewings of the different fireworks shows that shoot off behind Cinderella’s Castle, I have discovered the best places to watch.

  • Main Street USA: If you ask a Cast Member, there’s not a bad place to watch the fireworks on Main Street USA. This is partly true, while I wouldn’t dare say that’s a bad view (unless the tall guy in front of you decides to hoist his small child on his shoulders directly in front of you). My preferred location on Main Street is in the center of the street about half way from the entrance to the castle, in between the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Casey’s Corner. It’s perfect because it’s close enough to be able to all the remarkable projections on the castle, but far back enough that the castle doesn’t block any of the fireworks. This is especially true for the specialty fireworks for holidays that include perimeter fireworks.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Beach: The Polynesian Resort is in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area and sits directly across the Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom. If you grab dinner at O’hana or a beverage at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar you can check out the resort and watch the fireworks for the beach area. While you can’t see the projections on the castle, you get a full view of the fireworks and is usually a lot less crowded than Main Street.
  • Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC): The TTC is another great outside the park viewing location. You can a similar view as the Polynesian Beach from the ferry dock, but it is even less crowded than the Polynesian and they pump in the music! It’s also close to the trams and parking so you can beat the Stroller 500 race out of the park!
  • California Grill Observation Deck: If you dine the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or have a beverage at their lounge it gives you access to their observation deck. Even if you enjoy earlier in the evening if you bring your receipt back to the check-in desk that will grant you access for the show. It is absolutely worth the price tag to view the fireworks from their deck. The view from the 15th floor can’t be beat! The lights are dimmed and the music is played for the show.
  • Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort: This last location is reserved only for Disney Vacation Club Members who are staying at a Disney resort and their guests. The view is similar to the California Grill Observation Deck. The lounge offers specialty cocktails and other beverages as well as a light appetizer menu. There is comfortable seating inside, as well as, an outdoor deck that allows you to see and hear the show! If you know any Members or are one yourself, make sure to check out this cool perk!

These are just a few of my favorite places to end the day and enjoy the Magic Kingdom’s amazing nighttime spectaculars. Remember, “All we have to do is look inside our hearts and unlock the magic within.”

Cover Image Credit: Living By Disney - Serena
Cover Image Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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3 Hotspots To Take a non-Delawarean Visiting Delaware

Dela-where? It's the first state.. you should've learned about that in history my guy.

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I have lived in Delaware for the past 11 years. I went to two Delaware elementary schools, a Delaware middle school, and even a Delaware high school. To continue my journey, I'll be going to a Delaware college.

Yes, I am an incoming freshman at the University of Delaware.

Before the next school year starts, I would like to give out a few hotspots that we have here in Delaware since literally half of the students that attend UD are coming from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and even California.

So the first hotspot is...


1. Main Event

Syanne Seth

Main Event is fairly new to Delaware as it opened up in early March. Here is where you can find a two story laser tag arena, a zip line course, a full arcade, 4 star meals , a twenty two lane bowling alley, and of course ME ( I work there on the weekends)! If you ever plan a trip there, I highly recommend you do two laser tag sessions and settle down to eat garlic pepper wings with fries.

2. Christiana Mall

c1.staticflickr.com

The Christiana Mall used to be the place where every teenager went to every weekend to hang out. I wasn’t one of them but I still occasionally went with my grandparents. Here is where you will find my personal favorites. I like to shop at Nordstrom, Alex & Ani, Forever 21 , PINK and M•A•C.

3. Main Street

Wikipedia

Main Street is the closest thing to campus that doesn’t require a bus or car. All you need is two legs (or four) and a whole lot of money. You can eat on Main Street, grab any UD gear from National 5 and 10, and get your books for the UD book store. I highly recommend Playa Bowls for a healthy snack. The Pitaya bowl is LIT! Add ons are fifty cent too , so that makes Playa Bowls even more lit.

Besides those three major things there are few other things you could do. You could head over to Christiana Skating Rink and skate along the wall for a while. In the summer, you could go down to one of our many beaches. There's also a Cinemark at the mall and it's pricey but the recliners are so worth it.

Well that's all I have for today folks.

Welcome to Delaware!

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