Attraction Reviews

Darrell’s Week Takeover: Minnie Reviews

This week on Wandering in Disney, Darrell (of the Wandering in Disney Podcast and guest posting fame) is taking over. Well, mostly taking over. Along with some of our usual content, Darrell is going to have a post each day about one Disney Parks thing or another. I may be your fearless leader here but I am scared about what’s to come. Fate comes for us all though so without further ado, here’s Darrell.

I’ll be back. And I am back. That’s right Wanderers, it’s me Darrell (or Darin) from the Wandering in Disney Podcast/Disneyland Hot Dog rankings fame (Hey, Andrew drop that hot dog link RIGHT HERE!) About three years ago I had a week takeover after my first trip to Walt Disney World. Well, guess who just got back from his second trip? That’s right, it’s me and I am ready for yet another week of ridiculousness. I hope you are all looking forward to the week, I have many things planned like a review of Garden Grill, a Disney Park attraction power rankings, the most exhausting day at the parks and, yes that’s right, hot dogs (you get it ‘link.’ Drop it again Andrew)

SSE blue hour Epcot

Your fearless leader is a busy man, slaving away writing countless reviews of things to make your vacation a little bit easier. The man made my trip easier and I would love to pay back the favor by doing a bunch of Minnie reviews of aspects of the parks that Andrew hasn’t gotten to yet. Do the bad puns stop here? Keep reading to find out. 

The Disney World App

For my first review I will talk about one of Disney Park’s most reliable creations. When I say reliable, I mean without fail the first time you open the Disney World App you will not get past the loading screen. The second time you open the app, if you want to look at wait times the system will say there is already a filter on it (like specifying which park you want to view the wait times or quick-service dining for), but the filter is not shown, so you will not be able to see any of it. Then, boom, third times the charm and you can explore your options. I mean, if you want to make a FastPass that’s a whole other ballgame. It might work right away and then it might work in about five to ten minutes. Most of the time you can view what your upcoming plans are. Sometimes you cannot though, so I mean, good luck! 

The driving simulator in Morocco 

World Showcase in Epcot is one of the best places to walk around in a Disney park. Each pavilion has beautiful buildings on the outside and a number of fun stuff to explore on the inside. Each pavilion has a show going on like the drum show in the Japan section or the acrobats in China. Everything is almost perfect, until you get to Morocco. Don’t get me wrong now, the Moroccan area looks as great as everything else but to the left there is a door and as you enter you will find a driving simulator. This is on me, but I have no idea what the purpose of this is. There was a part in there that was Women Running, so that was cool and all, but I do not think that had anything to do with driving. The small room shows video of sand dunes where a simulated dune buggy drives across it. There is a wheel and pedal like it is a free arcade racing game. Honestly, people are drawn to this. They immediately try it out. So much so that I never got to try it out for myself. I did stay around enough to understand that while the wheel does turn left to right, the video on the screen does not. It has a set, straight line that it travels, so the wheel is useless. The video also loops as it passes a red flag. I am not totally sure if that pedal works, but I remember it slowing down as some point. I will conclude here with a review a teenager gave while trying out the simulator, “This is by far the stupidest thing that Disney has ever done.”

Rally of the Gazelles Morocco Pavilion Epcot

Editor’s note(s): This is called Race Against the Sun. It’s not really a simulator but instead just a steering wheel and peddles in front of a big screen. The pedals do not work. The exhibit is there to celebrate several desert races including the Marathon des Sables and the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc. The more you know.

The raft ride to Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer’s Island is an island located off the shore of Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland. One doesn’t swim or enlist a Beaver Brother to get there, no. They have to take a raft driven by a Cast Member to explore the area. There is one catch here. Even though Magic Kingdom opens around 9 AM each day, sometimes earlier, you cannot access the land until 11 AM. Also, because the sun eventually goes down, sunset would be about the time they stop transporting people back and forth to the island because it is hard to see in the dark. Now for the actual ride. It gets a bit crowded as they make you fill in all the available space. It takes a minute to get the raft started, but from there it is about a three minute wait. To be warned, you will get a slight bump when the raft driver bumps the side of the dock. There is a bump near the beginning of your venture as well. Make sure to hold on to the side of the very simple, yet perfectly decorated old fashioned raft. 

Harper's Mill daytime Tom Sawyer Island MK

Ranking the Skipper’s From Jungle Cruise I Had on My Most Recent Trip

6. Frank

5. Betty

3. Dwayne 

2. Pete

1. Cathy

Elephant Pool from side Jungle Cruise MK

The TriceraTop Spin Wait Time Updater

I have never been to the parks with a small child, so I have no affection for the spinners. TriceraTop Spin is one located in Dinoland U.S.A. It has triceratops connected to a giant toy top (What?) I despise it. The one beacon of hope is that it was always a five minute wait on the app. I knew if I needed to go on a ride, I could always count on that. My wife and I went over to ride it several times, but only really went on it once. The reason? It was a twenty minute wait every time. At one point we found ourselves looking at a “Temperalory Closed” ride. Why were we so angry? Because for some reason no one ever updates the app wait times for this. No matter how long or functional the ride is, it was always has a five minutes wait. A truly disgusting trick. Halloween is over Disney. Give it a rest. 

Editor’s note: Isn’t this more of an April Fool’s situation?

Triceratop Spin night AK

The Trolley Track Hole on Main Street

The trolley track hole on main street goes all the way down main street. I have personally never seen a trolley or train or any vehicle go down it. Even the Main Street Vehicle themselves go around it. And how? Just know you will be doing a fair amount of walking down Main Street when visiting the Orlando or Anaheim park. The hole is big enough to fall in slightly. You will, without fail, slip your foot into the hole on your vacation at least once. I’ll give props to the Imaginers that made this though, you will likely not fall over and twist or break your ankle. Believe you me though, when you do step into the trolley track hole you will think this is it for your precious ankle bone. 

Pumpkin Mickey Main Street DL night

6 – 3 – 19 L + E

On the 3rd of June in the year 2019 some couple whose initials started with an L and an E carved the date and their initials into the second railcar from the front on the far left wall of the Wildlife Express Train. This was most likely to show a symbol of their love. Now, I have no information if this was the actual date they sat on this train or the day they started dating or even, and we can only hope, the day they got married. I do hope however that it was at least a great day at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which was one of two options of a destination when one of them carved this into the wall. 

Editor’s note: I’m so sorry, everyone.

So that concludes my Minnie reviews. I wish I rode the Minnie Vans so this post was slightly more clever. And Andrew, I hope I helped you out in the long run. I know there is too much to cover here at, but I got your back. Is there anything I am forgetting? Okay let’s review; the app, track hole, raft ride, driving simulator, Skippers, Wildlife Express carvings. Anything else? Oh yeah, have a nice flight!

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