All Things Travel at Walt Disney World

Ryan and Shayne got to hang out together for the first time in a long time! Today we discuss our experiences at Walt Disney World Yesterday!

Topic Discussed Today

  • Using Genie Plus
  • Purchasing Individual Lighting Lane
  • Do you need Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios?
  • Pivoting our plan when an attraction has technical difficulties
  • Magic Kingdom Parades
  •  The Stack Burger at Steakhouse 71
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  •  The Tipsy Ducks in Love at the Joy of Tea kiosk in China!

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Episode 148   Transcripts

Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence, so some highly amusing translations are likely!

Shayne: Hello and welcome to All Things Travel. From a few of our episodes, you may have guessed that Ryan and I are big Walt Disney World fans. Well, just yesterday, he and I, for the first time in a long time, got to hang out in Magic Kingdom together in person, not via Zoom. And today we’re going to talk about our experiences at Magic Kingdom Yesterday.

Ryan: so Shayne is part of our agent training here at Walt Disney World. At Disney’s Beach Club. We had a couple days together beforehand, and so yesterday we had a park day. We spent the morning through lunch at Magic Kingdom, and then we went over to Epcot so that you could experience something really special.

Shayne: Guardians of the Galaxy. Cosmic rewind and that. Totally worth the weight. Totally worth the tiny expense of the lightning lane, which maybe we’ll also talk about, and fun that you and I finally had a park day.

Ryan: I don’t think we ever have done that.

Shayne: No. We’ve been at the Disney Resorts, and we’ve been to Epcot for the dessert parties, but not a full park day, hanging out, riding rides, eating little food.


Ryan: I also introduced you to one of my favorite treats at Epcot, but we’ll save that till later. Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip that’s perfect for your interests, saving you time, money, and stress.

Shayne: We would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.

Ryan: Reach out to me at That’s Ryan, r y a n, at creating magic

Shayne: And another cool thing about this is that we are recording in person face to face. at a table in the. At Disney’s Beach Club.

Ryan: That’s true. We’re staying at Disney’s Beach Club, which is in the Epcot resort area. My favorite location on Disney property. And Disney’s Beach Club is known for Storm along Bay, which they consider the best pool on the property, and I think that’s pretty accurate.

So we’re enjoying our time here in a one-bedroom. And yeah, it’s, it’s been a good time. So, Shayne, the first thing, as we were pointing out our park day yesterday, was your first experience with Genie Plus. So why don’t you kind of talk about our in-room preparation for the day?

Shayne: Yeah. So we got up, and we knew that we had park reservations for Magic Kingdom to start the day.

We knew that I wanted her to experience Guardians at the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind for the first time. So the first thing we needed to do was get a lightning lane for Guardians at the galaxy, and we had a little trouble first. We were both getting an error message saying that the. The transaction wasn’t completed for some reason, and it was a little nerve-wracking.

I was a little nervous about not getting it and not getting to ride it, but we just kept trying. And eventually, it just so happened that my transaction went through, and we solidified our reservation for the ride later that day.

Ryan: So, a little tip with that, unfortunately, has happened to my family multiple times.

And then what will happen is we will see. Charges. So up on our credit card for the individual lightning lane. So we’re talking about the ride specific, not the overall Genie Plus, and every time we’ve done it, It may take a few days, but that extra charge has gone away on our credit card. So just if that happens to you, don’t freak out.

Just let it ride. Pun intended, and make, you know, pay attention to it. But we, every time that charge has gone, as it’s cycled through kind of Disney’s process, it’s gone off our credit card. So don’t, you’re, you’re not being charged multiple, multiple times. So, What about Genie Plus Shayne? Anything with that, specifically with Genie Plus?

Shayne: Although the day was more about hanging out with our fellow friends and creating magic vacations, I wanted to try some of the features of Genie Pluss to be more familiar with ’em and get my own ideas of whether or not I thought people needed it, because I see mixed reviews out there about whether or not it’s worth it. And after we got our lightning lane, we decided to get a reservation for Haunted Mansion. Not a lightning lane that we had to pay for, but just the more fast pass style booking to skip a line.

it was pretty easy to get. I, I liked the process and then using it throughout the day and then talking to some of the agents that were with us, seeing how they use it and their thoughts on it. I came to a conclusion about whether or not to get Genie Plus and what’s that. for Magic Kingdom, it really works well because there are a.

A lot of really popular attractions at Magic Kingdom, and you might as well get what you can and avoid the lines that you can. A park-like Hollywood Studios where there are not as many attractions that may be mainly the five big ones and not as many little ones that you might want.

Maybe not quite as worth it, especially if you’re gonna park. But if you’re gonna spend a full day there, then yes, Genie Plus is worth your time because you can spend more time enjoying the attractions more than once or, just making sure that you get all of them in. I have some clients in. I have some clients visiting Disney this weekend.

They’re only here for two days. . I talked to her a little bit today, and she was asking me about Genie Plus, and I said, I think that you should get it for Magic Kingdom on Sunday one, because Magic Kingdom is really more than a one day part. You need more than one day to get it all in and to get more of it in, I think that Genie Plus will help with that. But then because they were new to Genie Plus also, so I said I would go ahead and get. For your first day at Hollywood Studios also because it, you’re spending a full day there. , it’ll help you get in some, maybe some more attraction since you’re, you plan to open and close the parks, and probably more importantly than that, it’ll help you get used to using the app, navigating around.

And because Ryan and I can tell you all day where things are on the app, but until you get on it yourself and use it and see where things are, and know where to tap that, that’s gonna be the best way to get used to it. So I advise them on that to go ahead and get it for both days.

Ryan: Yeah. And I have some a few different thoughts. I, I do echo what you’re saying. That, and it is kind of hard for clients to say, well, you trust me. Once you start playing with it, it’s, it’s gonna make sense. And, and, and that’s a feedback that I get from clients. But yeah, I, I would almost always recommend Hollywood Studios.

I think Hollywood Studios a Magic Kingdom are the, are the two that are Genie Plus musts. Because you have some of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World and it’s the smallest park. So you’ve got more people in at those places. So you have to kind of balance that. So let’s kind of talk about our day.

So we utilize the extra half hour for all resort guests. I think that’s a must to, to do. It really helps you get. A jump on everybody else. We left about an hour before Park opens. We left from the, the bus terminal here at Beach Club. I think an hour is a good timeframe. If you can get everybody up and moving.

It’s a little easier for, for me and Shayne by ourselves. I, but I realize if you have a, a big family. So we left about seven. Am and then the early magic hours opened at eight 30 and the park hours for non-res resort guests opened at nine. But we were able to get in, get down Main Street, take some pictures of the castle, and then our first stop was going to be Seven Dwarfs Mine Train very, very long line, but it wasn’t moving at that point. So, you know, once it started to go, it would be good. However, Shayne what

Shayne: happened? They were having technical difficulties and asked if we could please stand by , and we stood by for a few minutes and then after a couple more messages over the loud speakers about the ride status, we decided that it was gonna take a little longer than we wanted to wait yesterday morning.


Ryan: so we decided that that’s not how we wanted to spend our first hour or so just kind of waiting around. Now, I will say with seven doors, mind train, if you don’t have a lightning lane for it and you really want to ride it, I think going first thing. Is the right thing to do. And even if you have to use up that first part of the morning, remember you’re still a half an hour ahead of a lot of folks.

So, you know, I think that’s a good way to use it if you’re not able to get the lightning lane and then, you know, you’ve got one of the most popular attractions done. So we decided to walk across the park and go to. Big Thunder Railroad, which was a lot of fun. It was a little weird walking past Splash Mountain and seeing it dry.

But I don’t know, you know, controversy aside, I’m excited about what Splash Mountain is becoming and we had a lot of fun on big Thunder Mountain, didn’t we? It’s a

Shayne: fantastic rollercoaster. It’s not as scary as some of the big ones in some of the other parks, but it’s got really cool. not so much theme.

You’ve gotta guess more like scenes, mountain scenes that you might see from a Western and it’s, it’s a nice long ride. A lot of new rides, especially roller coasters, might be. Anywhere from like 20 to 30 seconds. But this ride is, a lot longer, so it’s, worth the wait.

Ryan: And then we did a Disney classic.

We did Jungle Cruise, so we waited, I don’t know, about 20 minutes for that. The cue moved right along. I absolutely love Jungle Cruise. It fits my sense of humor, my dad joke centric way of seeing the world. . It was fabulous. Our skipper was fabulous. Highly recommend it. Again, I think that’s one of those that I would lean towards a lightning lane I would lean towards doing earlier in the day because the wait times do go up.

And then it was time for our first lightning lane Shayne,

Shayne: and that was when we finally got to go ride the haunted mansion, which is my favorite. Magic Kingdom. Well, I don’t know. It’s, it’s a close tie between that and Seven Dwarfs Line Train, cuz that’s a pretty fantastic rollercoaster too. But I do love the perfect mix of creepy, but not quite scary or disturbing.

And funny, I, I know it took, I’ve listened to Lou Mane’s history of how difficult it was for them to come up with a perfect mix for what to put in Haunted Mansion, and I think they nailed it. It’s just the perfect mix of creepy ghost stuff without being scary and pretty funny.

Ryan: And so once we scanned in and we had officially used our first lightning lane, then we could choose our second one.

And I believe we ended up getting Pirates of the Caribbean. Our planes changed as the morning went along, but that’s okay. and we’ll, we’ll talk about that. And after that, we headed over to Tomorrowland and did the people. Which, which you know, is surprising how much people love the people mover, but it’s just a fun ride.

Shayne: As I was on it, I was trying to figure out why I liked it so much, and there’s some cool little scenes, some stuff that in the, in the seventies and eighties probably looked futuristic and now it looks kind of comical, but I still enjoy that. But the best thing is this really nice.

Of all over the park. We got to see Tron, some test runs of Tron and a view of from the outside of what it’s gonna look like. There was a couple of turns around where you came out of a, an enclosure outside, and I don’t know if there’s better views of the castle than. from People Mover.

There’s some really nice pictures there. And yeah, and then also in the summer, a great way to spend some time out of the heat and then certainly a way to rest your feet and your


Ryan: for a bit. Yeah, it is. I like, I like that. It is kind of a nice rest from, from walking around and it’s just, it, it’s, it’s fun to see the park from that angle.

We have a nice breakfast snack from Fryer’s Nook, which is a great place to, to grab stuff. Had. Breakfast croissant with some potato barrels, as Disney calls it. I’ll let you figure out what those what those are. And, and then we caught the parade. The parade by that point was actually going, and I, I, I’m not a parade guy, but I was really impressed with the floats and how much was in a short parade.

Shayne: I’m not a parade guy either. The, the floats are really cool. It’s. watching the kids who enjoy it and they’re dancing, but even more enjoyable to watch the adults who really get into it. Having said all that, the Dragon float is cool, super cool. It’s kind of steampunk looking, and it, it’s the dragon from Sleeping Beauty.

It’s still breathes spire, even though there was problems with that a couple of years ago. But My first thought was to kind of sneak around and skip the parade and go on to Haunted Mansion and take advantage of that reservation we had made. But I don’t know. The parade is, fun if you are at Disney, you probably love Disney enough to enjoy the parades.

Ryan: So after that we took some pictures around the castle and then we realized that our timing was gonna be a little tight. We had lunch reservations at Steakhouse 71. And unfortunately we, we needed to move along. We totally get that. This is not how most people handle the parks.

But we had multiple things going on yesterday, including the, the last quarter of the day being our, our agency meeting. So we had to make some decisions there. So as we moved out of the park, we did some, some window shopping and things like that, and then we headed over to Steakhouse 71.

Now what I will say is because we had a park hopper, I was able to go. and start making lightning lanes for Epcot cuz we knew we were going over there after lunch so I, you don’t have to wait till you’re there. If you have a Park copper ticket, go ahead and make those so that when you get to the park the next time you’re good to go.

So Shayne, we went to Steakhouse 71 specifically because they have a menu item that has become a cult classic. What did we have for lunch?

Shayne: We had the Stack Burger The first thing I wanted to do when we talked about Magic Kingdom was go to Casey’s because I love the corn dogs.

I love Casey’s. I love that, end of Main Street right there by the castle. But then I was really craving a burger the night before when I saw the reviews for this Stack burger at Steakhouse 71 I I, I called an audible on myself. I went for the burger and wow,

Ryan: it was pretty darn good. It’s a double stacked burger with tons of cheese, a really yummy sauce.

It’s got some pork belly on top. It’s got your lettuce and your onions. It’s got a nice little basket of waffle fries. Highly, highly recommend. I mean, it, it, I know you’re not always gonna want to go out of the park for lunch. You can get this burger at dinner. It’s not on the menu, but you can order it.

yeah, it was really good. It you, you know me. I like to try The foods that people were raving about when we travel and this, this did not disappoint

Shayne: and I appreciate when the fries aren’t an afterthought. Those were some good fries, nice crispy waffle fries with some Parmesan.


Ryan: good. And the benefit of being over contemporary with Steakhouse 71 was we got to visit Epcot in the classic way. We got to ride the monorail. .

Shayne: That’s really the only way to fly, right , to take the monorail from Disney to a resort. If you picked a monorail resort or over to Epcot, that is the way to do it.

Ryan: So we headed over to Epcot and we did spaceship Earth, which is obviously the ball, the classic Epcot attraction, and then Shayne. It was time for. Guardians of the

Shayne: galaxy, cosmic rewind,

Ryan: kinda. We checked in and she said, come back in 15 minutes. .

Shayne: Right. It wasn’t quiet time. We were about 15 minutes early.

That’s right. So,

Ryan: You can actually, you can actually scan in five or 10 minutes early for your individual lightning lanes. And if you have a lightning lane that you’ve missed, You can go back and most of the times pick it up later. So, you know, there is some wiggle room when it comes to Lightning lanes, when it comes to virtual cues.

You, you can, you can go later most of the time. We got into Guardian to the galaxy and I will let Shayne talk about it because I’ve ridden it multiple times and this was his first time.

Shayne: It reminded me a little bit of Haunted Mansion or escape from Gringotts at.

Universal Studios because you walk in through a, a few queues, into a couple of staging areas where they have these videos and they start to set up the story that you’re a part of. So it’s not just standing in a queue, staring at each other, hoping you have something entertaining on your phone to do.

There’s lots of cool interactions going on. the videos are really entertaining. then you finally get into the roller coaster. It’s hard to describe between the cars that rotate, they spin around and I, there’s a ride at Six Flags. The cars rotate around too, but they’re not really controlled.

It’s more random. the cars rotations in Guardians of the Galaxy, cosmic Rewind, are synced along with the displays that you see, and you are just flying through space and you’re seeing all these planets and creatures and all these space things that you would see in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

It’s like roller coaster in space and. Super cool. Probably an issue for people with sensitivity to motion sickness, but as far as a, fun roller coaster, and then the theming, just super fun. Fantastic ride. Yeah,

Ryan: I’ve done it both with the Virtual queue that they offer at in the morning and in the afternoon if you’re in the park.

And I’ve paid for it multiple times and I’m happy to pay for it cuz it is a really good ride. Now the last couple times My kids hadn’t ridden it for the first time, so I paid for them and for me, and I knew that Shayne hadn’t ridden it, so we paid for it. I got the virtual cue, well, our friend Colleen got me the virtual cue the day before I, I didn’t pay for it that day, cuz again, I had ridden it multiple times.

I think it’s worth it. It’s, it’s a, it’s a really good ride if you are a rollercoaster fan. Pay the extra money to, to make sure that you ride this ride. And then we got stuck by the clock again. We, we, we had to get back to start our meetings. So it wasn’t a super successful day from a Genie Plus standpoint, although Shayne did accomplish something he wanted.

He has some nice little videos on how to do Genie Plus. How about we throw that up on the Facebook page, Shayne, when this episode comes out? So when we were walking back to Disney’s Beach Club, you go out of the International Gateway. So you’re walking back in World Showcase. We had to stop in China because one of our friends had posted a pick that made me very thirsty and I said, Shayne, have you ever had this drink before?

And he said, no. And I said, this is one of my favorite things at Epcot, and I haven’t had it on the last two trips. So at the Joy of T kiosk in China, I introduced Shayne to one of my favorite things, the tipsy ducks in love ducks, which the name doesn’t give away at all what it is.

So let me explain. It is a really good drink. It is. Chocolate and cream, and black tea and coffee and bourbon all in one. So you have your adult beverage, you have your dessert, you have a little sustenance, you have some caffeine. It is a perfect drink. Back at Epcot Shayne, what did you think of the tipsy ducks and love?

Did I lead you astray or did you enjoy

Shayne: it? I gotta tell you, I was really looking forward to a beer at the bar at Rosen Crown. and I was a little hesitant to change my mind away from that, but totally worth it. One reason we were kind of in a hurry and needed to get out anyway, and that was a better walking drink.

But also, yeah, just, it was refreshing, but a little filling, a little energy, a little boost from the caffeine and delicious. That was a nice choice, Ryan.

Ryan: So overall takes from the day. I know we didn’t do a lot we had some time constraints. We, we were juggling a lot of things and that’s, that’s what happens when you become a travel advisor that specializes in Disney, cuz you get to enjoy Disney a lot, but you may have to do it different than how you would with your family.

what were some of your takeaways from yesterday?

Shayne: there were eight of us in the group, right? And everybody was being really kind about trying to help everyone else get in the thing that they wanted to get in. And because of that, we were a little back and forth, and I don’t think everyone got in the thing that they wanted in.

So I would say if you’re in a little bigger group than four or five, it’s different if it’s your kids. You might wanna keep your kids together. it’s okay not to stay together. and you can split up, and that way, everyone can do what they want. Staying together was the primary purpose of while we were there.

So not getting to do a few things was fine, but that that was something that we learned that we can kind of help other, maybe bigger groups

Ryan: with. I think for me yesterday at Magic Kingdom and then also at Epcot, and being at Epcot the day before solidified for me that later January. Is the perfect time to come to Disney?

You’re ha gonna have to deal with the weather. You may have really warm days, you may have not so warm days, but crowd wise it’s really nice. The Festival of the Arts is awesome. Magic Kingdom has some breathing room that it doesn’t, certainly doesn’t have over fall break and the holidays. So I still say that later January.

Beginning of February, up to those mid-February holidays, that’s a really good time to go

Shayne: It was cooler than when I’ve been in September, and even when I’ve been in November. So perfect time for that

Ryan: too. All right, so that’s just kind of some impressions of our day.

I am looking forward to having more park days with Shayne who knows, maybe Universal, maybe in another Disney Park or maybe at Discovery Cove, which is a place that we really want to try that we’ve talked about on this show before.

Shayne: Well, we would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.

Reach out to me

Ryan: at That’s R Y A N, at

Shayne: Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip perfect for your interests, saving you time, money, and stress.