In this episode, Shannon talks with Tom Bricker from Disney Tourist Blog. Listen to hear Tom’s perspectives on topics including MagicBand+, Galactic Starcruiser, Tron Lightcyle/Run and Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World versus Shanghi Disneyland, the return of Happily Ever After and Epcot Forever, and the construction at Epcot. He makes a few predictions and shares his future travel plans.
Disney Tourist Blog chronicles Tom and his wife’s travels to Walt Disney World. Tom grew up going to Disney but he and his wife got into going to Walt Disney World when he was in law school.
He was an attorney after law school for a few years. He didn’t enjoy being a lawyer and this fell into his lap. He was very interested in taking photos and posting to forums about Walt Disney World.
He taught himself photography and continued to improve. His photos resonated with people and he eventually started the website.
When the website took off, they moved from Indianapolis to California. In late 2017 they decided they wanted to travel. After putting their stuff in storage, they traveled around the world before landing in Florida for a few years.
When the pandemic happened, they ended up in Florida and once it was an option, they moved back to California.
Because Tom has lived in Florida and traveled there, he prefers visiting Walt Disney World as a tourist rather than living there. The weather definitely plays a factor in that as well as he is not a fan of the heat and humidity.
There are pros and cons to both being a local and being a tourist. Tom now prefers to be a local at Disneyland and a tourist at Disney World.
What Tom Thinks About…
Tom is a big fan of Tokyo Disney Sea and first visited about 10 years ago. There weren’t many resources about visiting international parks.
When they first visited, they essentially went in blind and didn’t know what to expect. This was in part a good thing because everything was new and exciting.
Tom went very in depth on the international trips and it might have been too much for his audience. He has found the balance between writing what he is interested in and what his readers want.
Tom’s wife loves cruising, but Tom isn’t the biggest fan because he can get restless with the schedule and relaxation of cruising.
Tom was really excited about it when it was announced, but it’s been a disappointment. The only thing he enjoys is the bounty hunters game. He would much prefer the ordinary Magic Bands.
Tom and his wife loved this experience! They felt like it was very polished and a really great experience.
That said, the price makes it prohibitive for many people, which is a shame.
Tron Disney World and Tron at Shanghai
They are the same, but Tom was more impressed with the version at Disney World because of his expectations. He had incredibly high expectations at Shanghai.
Disney After Hours Events at Disney World
This is a difficult question to answer because it’s about what you get for the value. He enjoys that they are very low crowd events. He especially likes the after hours events at Hollywood Studios because you can do a lot of rides with low friction.
Happily Ever After and Epcot Forever
Tom didn’t love Harmonious and feels indifferent about Epcot Forever. It is just a temporary fix until the next show is announced.
He is very excited about Happily Ever After. This is a perfectly executed show and the details make it the best show. It is so much better than Enchantment and he’s so glad it’s back.
Shannon agrees and says that Happily Ever After is so cohesive.
Favorite Park Systems from around the world
Tom says that Genie+ at Disneyland is his favorite that is currently available. He acknowledges that Genie+ is difficult for planners.
Planners loved FastPass+ because it allowed them to plan their days 60 days out. But for the average guest, the new system might be better.
Character Meet and Greets
Tom doesn’t understand why it would take so long to get a meet and greet for Mirabell much faster than it’s taken.
He’s excited for the popular characters like Mirabell and Moana. He’s also a big Figment fan and is excited about this.
Journey of Water looks really neat from the Monorail. However, Epcot has been under construction for so long and the result hasn’t been worth the wait.
After four long years, there’s not a whole lot to show for it. However, the construction will soon be over!
Annual Passes Coming Back
Tom keeps thinking that Annual Passes will be back anytime now. He thinks it will happen likely by early May. This information changed after this podcast was recorded. Learn more here.
Disney Dining Plan
Tom thought this would be back for a long time, so he expects it anytime! He anticipates it would will be back in some form by June or July.
What Are Tom’s Future Plans
Tom and his wife are planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland for the 40th Celebration. However, because they spend so much of their professional life consumed with plans, they do not have anything planned yet for their trip.
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