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Old 03-16-2014, 02:28 PM   #316
DisneyKid4Life
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Haha, new era in Disney trips, AKA every other week instead of just once a month. (kidding... kinda). But, bring on December!

I completely forgot about the Keys tour!!

Ummmmm, totally didn't know that MK Tours sign existed.

Oh man, I really do wish Roy got more credit than he does. Obviously those in the know understand what his value really was, but so few even know of his existence. Kinda sad. I'm so glad they include this as part of the tour.

The "red" is something I just find so fascinating since it was designed for film cameras. I wonder how that translate to digital. Maybe the same, I have no idea.

And boy did those land prices ever sky-rocket. Yowza!

So amazing to me that until the tour I never noticed the Walt window location. Now I can't NOT see it.

BAHAHAHA, nice creeper photo! You're timing is amazing. AND you got them heading into the castle too. Too funny.

Arg, yeah, clearly the addition of the statue helped keep Walt's birthday alive and well (note the sarcasm, I'm still not over that, lol).
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:13 PM   #317
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So excited to follow along on your KTTK tour!!! Gotta do that some day!

I've been super bad about replying, but I've been here all along and have been loving every minute!
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:16 AM   #318
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Great start to the KTTK tour! I think that would be such a fun tour to try someday, I'm a sucker for Disney history and trivia so I think it would be great!
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:40 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by LumosQ102 View Post
I loved the Keys to the Kingdom tour & this makes me want to do it all over again. I'm looking forward to seeing what happened on the rest of the tour - I have hear that they can vary slightly so that's a good reason for booking again right?
It really is a great time!!! And yes!! I can't believe I didn't think to book one when FoF was still in rehearsals, it would've been great to see some of that stuff!! And I'm sure depending on the guide things would change too!

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Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
Haha, new era in Disney trips, AKA every other week instead of just once a month. (kidding... kinda). But, bring on December!

I completely forgot about the Keys tour!!

Ummmmm, totally didn't know that MK Tours sign existed.

Oh man, I really do wish Roy got more credit than he does. Obviously those in the know understand what his value really was, but so few even know of his existence. Kinda sad. I'm so glad they include this as part of the tour.

The "red" is something I just find so fascinating since it was designed for film cameras. I wonder how that translate to digital. Maybe the same, I have no idea.

And boy did those land prices ever sky-rocket. Yowza!

So amazing to me that until the tour I never noticed the Walt window location. Now I can't NOT see it.

BAHAHAHA, nice creeper photo! You're timing is amazing. AND you got them heading into the castle too. Too funny.

Arg, yeah, clearly the addition of the statue helped keep Walt's birthday alive and well (note the sarcasm, I'm still not over that, lol).
Ahahaha yeah…..it's just been a very interesting year of trips! What can I say, people like Steven & I shouldn't be allowed to have credit cards lol!!

SO GLAD it's in the tour, I would've been heartbroken otherwise, like, that man did so much to help with the Disney company!!

Hhahaha, who knows?!

Yup!! #creep

Ahahahaha this is okay, I would not be over that either! I just don't get it!
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:42 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by Tracy161 View Post
So excited to follow along on your KTTK tour!!! Gotta do that some day!

I've been super bad about replying, but I've been here all along and have been loving every minute!
Yay!! It is a super awesome tour! You should definitely do it!

Hahah, that's okay! Glad you're here & enjoying it!

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Great start to the KTTK tour! I think that would be such a fun tour to try someday, I'm a sucker for Disney history and trivia so I think it would be great!
Thanks! It really was a blast, and I had a ton of fun on it!

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Old 03-18-2014, 09:51 AM   #321
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The Key To Adventure

The group of the tour departed into Adventureland, Katie pointing out the subtle changes in environment from the Hub as we went. On Keys to the Kingdom they usually do Jungle Cruise as their attraction, but since it was down for refurb, we only stopped to talk about it. The biggest thing that I remember was that when they were building it over in California they couldn’t afford to have the exotic plants actually shipped in, so they pulled up some Orange trees, and planted them upside down along the course of the ride! When guests asked them what they were they had to make up some crazy names to make it seem like everything was real. By the time they built in Florida though, they had enough money, so everything there is authentic.

Since Jungle Cruise was down, the first attraction of the tour was the Enchanted Tiki Room. You might notice, it’s one of I believe, three attractions that actually has Walt’s name in the title. The idea sprung from when Walt and his wife, Lillian were out, I believe, at a garage sale? And she discovered a little stuffed/animated bird that she loved so much that Walt wanted to create an attraction for Disney off of it.

The imaginers spent a WHOLE TON OF TIME trying to animate these birds, and after everything was done and ready to roll, Walt came in to watch the show and seemed to be enjoying it the entire way through, everyone was happy. Until it ended… Walt stood up and simply said “the birds aren’t breathing. They need to breathe.” And that was it. Yup. Complication number one, they aren’t breathing, but they’re not alive…this ended up taking a ton more thought and work until they finally got it right. Someone working on the project was talking to either Walt himself or another imagineer and the person was wearing a nice cashmere sweater that was moving with him and breathing so well and the thought was born! Thus, they created a cashmere outer shell for all the birds in the Tiki room so that they would be “breathing” and not busting open, and it would look realistic. There were also jokes about how the birds were “better dressed” than Walt. Ha1

We also did go through the attraction to experience it after Katie had told us a bunch of the trivia, which was great. It was ncie to get to do an attraction that Mom hadn’t wanted to do again, so we didn’t do, but anything Walt himself has a hand in, I have a soft spot for. Heehee.

Next we went over to Pirates of the Caribbean, where we spent some time outside of it talking about it, obviously it had originated over in DLR, and when they opened WDW, they didn’t plot it into the park. WDW ran for a year or so, and the workers noticed a ton of people were coming over from California and asking about it, and were upset that it wasn’t there. The problem was, the park was already laid out, and the train tracks were set, and there wasn’t enough space for the attraction. Well, Disney does what Disney does, and they found a way to make it work! So, when you’re on pirates, and you’re going down the drop, that’s actually you going down UNDER the train tracks and out of the “park boundary” that they make! Hence why when you exit the ride you are coming back up the escalator.

We took the time to go onto the ride, and discovered that there are many nods to chess in the queue, and that they’re all towards one of the imagineers that created the ride. Also, many of the animatronics on the ride are the same one, with a different costume, as to save both money and time when creating POTC. Katie also let us know a little tidbit that in the first “town” scene after you come down the drop, you see the pirate being pulled out of the well, right? To the left of the well is a pirate in red, with a hook in his left hand, and a sword in his right, behind him, a man in a striped shirt. These guys are a nod to Captain Hook and Smee!! Super awesome!

A question was asked about all the hair on the animatronics while we were on the ride, and Katie said that all of Disney’s animatronics all have REAL human hair on them, to create the authentic look. Where as all of the performers in Disney have synthetic hair, since it’s easier to style and keep styled in humidity and the uncontrollable Florida weather! Lol. And yes, in case you didn’t know/notice, ALL of Disney entertainment performers are wigged, or have a hair piece or head piece that covers their hair. Everyone is wigged with the exception of Prince Charming and sometimes Phillip, the male parade/show performers/dancers, and in Move It Shake It they only have a fake hair piece as well as the hats! Neat to know!

And now, Imma jump to yet a THIRD update of just reading, sorry no pictures, but this next bit, this next bit is reeeeaaallly awesome….just sayin.


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Old 03-18-2014, 09:53 AM   #322
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I am going to cry

Our group exited Pirates and took a little bit to answer questions and talk a bit about the attractions we’d experienced before Katie lead us over into Frontierland, and up to the gate. Yup. GATE. Things are about to get INSANE, and I’m pretty sure I was both vibrating and crying at this point, we were on our way backstage!

We all filed through the person sized little entrance in the corner of the big wooden gate that they swing open for parades that’s right next to Splash Mountain. The first thing Katie pointed out that right around the corner, and out of the sight line from ANY guest that might be watching still, is a yellow line painted on the floor. THAT is where the parade performers have to START dancing, or where they are finally allowed to be at rest if the parade ends in Frontierland. It’s also where any characters have to make sure they’re all a go and ready to rock it!

Katie lead us down a bit of a winding road, and as we approached another gate, we saw a bunch of entertainment cast members coming out for the Frontierland Hoedown thing they do every so often, and well, some of the Country Bears were looking a little human like today… By this point, I’m pretty sure you could not have made me stop smiling if you tried, it was amazing to actually get to BE backstage at Disney, and I knew it wasn’t going to be the last, that was for sure. Katie pointed out the HUGE building beside us that was the ride building for Splash Mtn, and talked about some various things with how close everything is backstage compared to onstage. She also pointed out a strip in the pavement that looked like it was made up of a bunch of different ground materials. Well, it was! It’s to help train parade float drivers so that they know what the ground feels like when they’re switching from land to land in the floats.

Then, here comes the best part, we took a trip across a road and over to the PARADE FLOAT HOUSING. I AM CRYING AND DYING AND IT WAS AMAZINGLY MAGICAL.

We saw all the Celebrate a Dream Come True floats, and all the Main Street Electrical Floats! All shut down and in order that they would need to come out for a parade kicking off in Frontierland. We found out that all the floats have different difficulty levels of driving, with the most difficult being the Train at the beginning of MSEP, and the America float at the end! Each float has an emergency stop button on the exterior of it, so that if there is something that a parade control CM sees that the driver can’t, such as a person/animal in the road, or something that can’t be moved quickly, they can push it. The driver loses all control of the float and matienence has to come and “fix” it before the float will move again.

We learnt that all the MSEP floats light’s are all checked DAILY, they turn every one of them on to examine and replace anything that might need fixing so it’s all ready to go for the evening parade. While everyone else was busy paying attention to our guide talking, not only did I want to REALLY go explore through the floats, but I was scanning EVERY INCH of that warehouse searching for anything that could be awesome and cool! I actually found a neat little schedule on the wall that stated performers had to be ready to go at 1:15pm for the 3pm parade, and ON their floats at LEAST half an hour before the parade was set to kick off. That’s an hour and fourty five minutes you’re just chillin in the parade yard before being FORKLIFTED onto your float…if you’re on a big one…lol.

With that, we left the parade area, much to my dismay, although I was still reeling by the fact that I got to see some freaking awesome stuff and actually be BACKSTAGE at DISNEY WORLD. IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING. Seriously. I am dead.

Katie lead us over through Frontierland to Liberty Square where we arrived at our lunch destination, Columbia Harbor House! When you sign in for the tour in the morning, you pick what you want for lunch later, Mom, Anne and I had all chosen salads, as we had a huge meal after the tour. Keys to the Kingdom puts you in a nice little private room upstairs where you have nameplates with a little keepsake in them marking where you’re sitting for lunch, which is already set out for you by another guide. It was nice to take a little break from the heat of the day and enjoy a meal. The little keepsake was literally, a Key, a pin, but a KEY, that had “Keys to the Kingdom” on it. It went on my pin board when I got home!

After a quick lunch, we continued on to the Haunted Mansion, again, there were tons of nods to chess both outside and inside the attraction, a nod to that same imagineer. The explanation between the difference in the exterior to HM in DLR and WDW is that DLR’s is in New Orleans Square, so it has a much more New Orleans feel to it than WDW’s does.

There are plenty of rumors of what happens “during” the ride for why it goes from all spooky and creepy to all fun, and the truth is; the two imagineers that were designing the Mansion couldn’t decide on a way to do it, after all the fighting and going back and fourth, who ever was in charge said screw it “you do half, and you do the other half” hence why the beginning is all creepy and spooky and haunted and the second half is all goofy and the haunts having fun with you!

Little tidbit: Madam Leota is actually a REAL person, she was one of the imagineers that worked for Disney, although in the crystal ball, she is voiced by the actress who voiced Lady Tremaine/Maleficient. In the end, the creepy doll saying “hurry back” has both her face AND voice! You guys probably know that there are a TON of hidden Mickeys on the ride, but the most prominent one, the plates in the ballroom, isn’t original. The cast members working in the mansion, kept moving it into a Mickey, and then the higher up’s would move it back, and this kept happening until they gave up, and the Mickey remains! Also, because WDW does not do the Nightmare Before Christmas layover like DLR does, cast members have hidden a number of Jack Skellington’s and one Sally throughout the ride! Here:

http://themeparkcanuck.com/2011/10/0...nsion-secrets/

Is an awesome link that describes where you can TRY to find them! After the ride we talked about how you can find Mr Toad in the cemetery, thanks to the fact that Winnie the Pooh opened where his ride once was. They claim it’s because guests couldn’t name characters from Mr Toad, but knew all the Pooh characters, but let’s be serious, Mr Toad’s ride is about him and his friends going out, getting drunk, DRIVING home and literally going to hell. Not great for a family theme park.

Our group continued on through Liberty Square back towards Crystal Palace, it was time for us to go backstage again! This time we arrived at an entrance by the first aid station, and continued down alittle bit before Katie pointed out that the wall beside us, was the Jungle Cruise. It was literally a two minute walk from the entrance to the emporium! SO COOL! We were then lead into a stairwell, and DOWN into the UTILIDOORS! We were in the TUNNELS! SUPER AWESOME. All of you probably have heard the rumour, and it’s true, MK has tunnels. The park is built on the second story, and this next fact will blow your mind, when I was reading my notes it blew my mind as I’d forgotten about it. So, Magic Kingdom is built NOT on the ground, it’s on the second level…makes it a little difficult for the plants…..THEY ARE ALL FREAKING POTTED!!!! EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TREE AND PLANT YOU SEE IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM IS SITTING IN A STUPID FREAKING POT as we are walking on the “upstairs” of the park.

#mindblown

We spent some time talking about the tunnels a little bit, how they help “hide” the show, help cast members get around, the shipping stuff back to the resorts is a million times easier. The rumor about the garbage being sucked down after it’s in the can? Yeah, that one is NOT true. Katie spent a lot of time in the utilidoors talking about how the park came to be, Walt, Roy, the Florida Project and all. I completely zoned out for most of this, I mean, I had read all this already, and all I REALLY wanted to do was go on an epic adventure through the TUUUNNEEELLLS. Plus, I was getting tired, SURPRISE. We did a little bit of a loop in the tunnel, like, we went down the stairs, went ten feet down a hall, turned a corner, and walked say, another like, forty? Feet before we came up to the staircase we were going up in. The walk would take you under a minute if you weren’t stopping to look at everything.

We went in at the first aid by Crystal Palace, and came up behind the Plaza, in the tunnels, we had walked the equivalent of walking from the bathroom back by Casey’s, all the way down to the train station, and back up to the back of the Plaza. INSANE! What else was insane was how POURING the rain was when we emerged back to the sunlight! Katie opted to take this time to answer a few more questions from all of us as the rain died down a bit, we then handed in our headsets, thanked her immensely, and then hurriedly made our way through the not so wet rain out to Main Street. On the way out, I KNOW I pulled Anne aside, as she had been asking about the picture I had with Tinkerbell in my hands, and wanted one. I got a photographer to do the magic shot with her, and SURPRISE, it was missing from our photopass account, and was deemed “un findable after an extensive search” by the photopass team. Thanks guys.

Now, in SHORT, I would HIGHLY recommend the Keys to the Kingdom tour, especially for those who would like a little bit more “backstage knowledge” of the park and it’s goings ons. I definitely want to take the 8 hour Backstage Magic Tour, and would even do the KTTK again! Also the Marceline to Magic Kingdom! Lol.

Anyways, I’ve babbled on for long enough about the greatest experience of my life, so I’ll let you folks go for now, thanks for reading!
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:05 AM   #323
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DH and I did the KTTK tour a few years ago, and really LOVED it! It's really a must do for anyone who is not only a fan of the parks, but a fan of Walt as well. I got emotional more than once!
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:30 PM   #324
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Your discription of the tour is amazing. Thanks for letting us tag along!!!
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #325
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I'm finally back on here and all caught up again! I hope I can stay caught up now as things have slowed down at work.

Mom and I loved the KTTK tour when we did it in February! It was very neat hearing some of the different facts that your guide told you compared to what we heard. And of course you know that we got to see rehearsals for the new parade when we were back stage!

It was nice that your guide let you take some pictures at the beginning of your tour. Our guide told us no photos from the very beginning so I have zero from our tour.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:52 PM   #326
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Hmm, you went into and through the Tiki Room? Interesting. We never did.

Plus we did the Jungle Cruise and not Pirates and that tid-bit about Hook and Smee is actually something I have always wondered about. Glad to have it confirmed! I also totally would have asked about George, lol

Isn't backstage cool?????? I just wanted to be let loose to explore so bad! How odd are we. All those amazing things and rides and shows in MK, and we want to look at tunnels and junk.

I still miss Mr. Toad. I actually consider that my first "thrill ride", lol.

Before I forget to ask, did Katie do the whole constant "question the group" thing when doing the tour? Or did she just basically do it more in a lecture format? I'd prefer the lecture format.

Great review and recap Katt. You can't apologize for lack of photos since you aren't allowed (at least not backstage). And seriously, how hard is it not to haul out the camera in some of those places just on instinct alone. I would never break those rules, but I came so close on occasion just out of pure habit.

Loved that tour and I really want to do the Marceline Tour mostly because of the backstage HM stuff. Like I NEED to see that!!!!!
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #327
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DH and I did the KTTK tour a few years ago, and really LOVED it! It's really a must do for anyone who is not only a fan of the parks, but a fan of Walt as well. I got emotional more than once!
It really is an amazing tour! There are definitely other friends I would love to do it again with. I know Mom & Anne enjoyed it, but they definitely weren't the emotional ones on this tour! Lol

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Your discription of the tour is amazing. Thanks for letting us tag along!!!
Thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I did my best to put as much detailing and facts into it as I could, I didn't do the notes til well after we got home that night, but I managed to remember more than I could've! Lol
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:17 AM   #328
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I'm finally back on here and all caught up again! I hope I can stay caught up now as things have slowed down at work.

Mom and I loved the KTTK tour when we did it in February! It was very neat hearing some of the different facts that your guide told you compared to what we heard. And of course you know that we got to see rehearsals for the new parade when we were back stage!

It was nice that your guide let you take some pictures at the beginning of your tour. Our guide told us no photos from the very beginning so I have zero from our tour.
Haha awesome!!

Glad you guys loved it! I still can't believe I didn't think to book one for the weeks before FoF opened just to see the floats! Lol It must have been awesome!!

Weird! Katie didn't even mention pictures until we were headed backstage!

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Hmm, you went into and through the Tiki Room? Interesting. We never did.

Plus we did the Jungle Cruise and not Pirates and that tid-bit about Hook and Smee is actually something I have always wondered about. Glad to have it confirmed! I also totally would have asked about George, lol

Isn't backstage cool?????? I just wanted to be let loose to explore so bad! How odd are we. All those amazing things and rides and shows in MK, and we want to look at tunnels and junk.

I still miss Mr. Toad. I actually consider that my first "thrill ride", lol.

Before I forget to ask, did Katie do the whole constant "question the group" thing when doing the tour? Or did she just basically do it more in a lecture format? I'd prefer the lecture format.

Great review and recap Katt. You can't apologize for lack of photos since you aren't allowed (at least not backstage). And seriously, how hard is it not to haul out the camera in some of those places just on instinct alone. I would never break those rules, but I came so close on occasion just out of pure habit.

Loved that tour and I really want to do the Marceline Tour mostly because of the backstage HM stuff. Like I NEED to see that!!!!!
I know we didn't do the main rides, as JC was what we usually did, but it was closed for refurb that week! Awe man!! See, there were totally things I wanted to ask about, but completely forgot, so that would totally be one of them!!

Yup…I wanted to run loose so badly, there were so many other places to explore, the tunnels were neat, but I definitely would've stayed in the parade float area for ages!

She did some questioning, it's been so long I can't really even remember, it was the right balance o both though!!

Haha, thank you so much! I had a blast on this tour and was so happy I was able to do it, and on our last day, it was great to be able to see all that stuff and learn so much. I really do hope to do more tours in the future, especially the 8 hr one!! AND of course the Marceline one, that's the kinda stuff I love!! Lol
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:40 PM   #329
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KTTK sounds so cool. I definitely want to take it some day. Those are some cool facts. I'm going to have to pay attention on POTC and look for the pirates that pay homage to Hook and Smee, that's pretty neat. I've been trying for years to find the Jacks and Sally in the Haunted Mansion, some day I'll notice them! I do love the hidden Donald, I think it's one of my favorites.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:45 PM   #330
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The tour sounds so awesome! I really want to do the KTTK tour but I never want to give up the time to do it!! Decisions decisions!

Too bad the magic shot didn't work out!
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