Monday, April 20, 2009

The Greatest Hot Dog on EARTH!!!

Hot dogs: staple of every 4-8 year old’s diet and general, all-around food of the Gods. What’s in them? Who cares? All I know is that they are tasty, bad for me and always bring a smile to my face.

As with the burger-to-end-all-burgers on the Disney Cruise Ships (if you don’t know what I mean, we’ll get to it later), Disney has also nailed down the best tasting hot dog ever to be drowned in a torrent of colorful and artificial condiments.

At the end of Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, across from the ice cream parlor sits Casey’s Corner, perhaps the greatest quick-service dining establishment in all of the “world”. Casey’s is a simple place and the menu is small but it has all that it needs, hot dogs and French fries. Full stop. Nothing else needed. Casey’s has a multitude of registers (and they need them) as you walk through the door and is flanked by two dining areas. The indoor area is adjacent to the order area and also has an entrance from the Main Street Athletic Club next door. It features older cartoon shorts, all of which are sports-themed and are always playing on the central big screen. The outdoor dining area is beautiful on a nice day and features a piano that is sometimes graced by one of a few amazing players, one of which I remember seeing on my very first trip back in 1986.

As with any great hot dog stand, Casey’s supplies some amazing fries as the perfect side. C’mon people; a piping hot frank with fries and an ice cold soda. What could be better? The location also makes it the perfect place to grab a snack and get a good parade spot.

What makes Casey’s All-American Beef hot dogs so fantastic? Frankly, the secret ingredient (if there even is one) could have fallen to Earth in a glowing heap and I wouldn’t care and you won't either once you try them. If you never have then run, don’t walk, to that corner the next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom.

Oh, one more thing. If you’re sitting outside, in the name of all that is holy, DON’T FEED THE BIRDS!!! Trust me, those birds are angry.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Toy Story Midway Mania!

So, what is the hardest ride to get on at WDW right now? If you said Soarin’ you’re close. Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and elections though. Without a doubt, the hottest Fastpass in Mickeyland right now is one for Toy Story Midway Mania.

TSM is like Buzz Lightyear but with a college education. WDW officially opened their Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 31, 2008 and Disneyland opened theirs in California Adventure on June 17, 2008. Ever since then, the lines have been long and the Fastpass machines working overtime. Believe me when I tell you that if you aren’t at the Studios before noon, you probably won’t have a shot at getting a Fastpass as they are usually gone by then.

The educational difference between Buzz and Toy Story has to do with the game play. Sitting in a carnival ride vehicle with one other person next to you and back-to-back with two others, you’ll move from one screen to another, each with a different game. Beginning at the first screen you’ll have a practice round where you can become acquainted with your little carnival cannon by throwing pies. With a pull string at the back, you can aim the cannon at any part of the screen (it’s anchored to the car). One thing to note: you don’t have to wait for the string to return before shooting again. Feather that bad boy back and forth as fast as you can and shoot as much as possible. Forget the accuracy here kids, we’re going for POINTS!!!

After the practice screen, you’ll move to five other mini games including egg, dart and baseball throwing, ring toss and suction cup shooting. The final bonus round will help you rack up some additional points and then you’ll find out what your “prize” will be. You don’t actually get a prize; it just shows what it is for your point range. ; )

The best thing about the game is that there are only two of you shooting at a screen at any given time and you always know where your eggs, darts, etc. are going. It’s a bit easier than trying to decipher which little red dot is yours amongst a sea of hundreds!

The lines are long, for sure but it is SO worth it to check this ride out. Get there early in the morning, at park opening if you can. Grab a Fastpass and then jump in line. That way, you’ll get in before the line gets too long and have a chance to ride again before it gets CRAZY crowded! Have fun!