Jan 262011

When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! — Jiminy Cricket

Q. Hi I saw that in the upcoming events on May 7 is the Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World. I was wondering what that was? Thanks I love your article! thanks! (Submitted by Jonathan W.)

A. Hi Jonathan! Thanks for the compliments!The Expedition Everest Challenge is more than just a race, it’s an adventure! During the 5K, teams have to overcome obstacles and a scavenger hunt. Also part of the event will be kids races. Two person teams can register for $85 before February 28. After that, the cost goes up. You can find out more information (and register) here: http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/events/rundisney/expedition-everest-challenge/.

Q. Hi! Thanks for such a great newsletter. We finally broke down and got a Disney visa, and now want to know about any special perks we will get. Is that character meet still offered in Epcot? (Submitted by Anne K.)

A. Well Anne, as you know, offers change all the time. As of right now, the character meet-and-greet is still being offered at Epcot. You will need to have your Disney Visa with you to enter, so plan on that. Among other perks right now are a 10% merchandise discount and a 20% tour discount. Also at Disneyland, there is a dining discount on select restaurants.

For updated information, you (or anyone, even if they aren’t card holders) can visit this link, and the most current discounts are available. It never hurts to ask when you’re in the parks, too.

Q. I hope you can help. Our four year old son is really afraid of fireworks, but our daughter (seven) really wants to see Disney’s fireworks. Is there a way to see the fireworks without being close to explosion noise?

A. Disliking fireworks can be a bit frustrating for the fireworks fans in the family, we know. But there are some options. We’re guessing that ear plugs or headphones aren’t an option you’re interested in, although we know some people who like fireworks and still use them.

If you’re thinking of the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom, you are in luck. One of the easiest things to do is watch them from the beach at the Polynesian. Anyone can go over and explore the resort, have a bite to eat, and check out the fireworks. There is a great view, and the music is even piped in. There are a few restaurants around the Seven Seas Lagoon that offer the same option. The Grand Floridian or the Contemporary are other options, but the best viewing is the Polynesian.

If you can splurge, you can try a fireworks cruise. These boats sit just outside of the boat dock in front of the Magic Kingdom, and offer a unique view of the show. Of course, you’re a bit closer on a boat, and if your son doesn’t like them, being on a boat complicates things. It might be an option if he’s willing, though.

Illuminations from Epcot is a bit trickier. There really isn’t a good option out of the action. Some of the fireworks can be seen from the bridge between Boardwalk and Beach Club, but it’s not really a substitute for seeing the show. We suspect that your daughter won’t really be happy with this view if she wants to see the laser and water parts of the show. There really isn’t a viewing option for Fantasmic! outside of the amphitheater, either.

Finally, just a little caution. If you’re in the parks when the shows start, he will hear the fireworks. In the Magic Kingdom, they can be presented from all around the park. Depending on his sensitivity, you might want to leave the parks, or find a place to hang out inside, during that time. Have a great trip!

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