The DAD Show #68 – Vero Beach and Harambe Nights with Jeff Swearingen

DISDadsCircle1400x1400This week on the DAD Show, Jeff Swearingen talks about an adults-only weekend getaway to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and returning to Orlando to experience the Harambe Nights special event in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Lion King.

The DAD Show is your humpday vacation fix. Our intro and outro music was created and performed by Mitch Furman.

The DAD Show is sponsored by Kingdom Strollers, Orlando’s Premium Stroller and Crib Rental source.

Do you have any questions or comments about Jeff’s trip or the Harambe Nights event? Want to share your vacation story with us? Email us at; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards; and check out our new DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

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Hidden Gems – Animal Kingdom Theme Park & Lodge: Episode 117

DISDadsCircle1400x1400Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Terrence Hawkins; Kevin Crossman; Don Donfris

Episode 117 marks the conclusion of our Hidden Gems series. The panel discusses hidden gems of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Hat tip to the Radio Harambe podcast, which completely coincidentally was recording an Animal Kingdom Hidden Gems podcast the same week we recorded ours. Now that ours is being released, I can listen to their show – you should too!

Did we miss your favorite Animal Kingdom or Animal Kingdom Lodge tip? Tell us about them – Email us at; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards.

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4 Parks in 1 Day – Part 3

Expedition Everest
By Adam Dale

Now, we return to that moment in the previous entry in this report where we left Epcot for a bit. Walking out of Epcot, we heard that the Monorail was down, so oure to swing by Magic Kingdom to get Space Mountain Fastpasses was shot. Instead, we jumped on a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was a nice cool ride, and we were the only folks on the bus.

As we pulled into DAK we checked the Lines App, and Expedition Everest wait times were around 35 minutes, so we headed that way. When we got to Expedition Everest the wait was down to 30 minutes when entered the queue. By this time the kids were getting excited that we might actually pull this challenge off and began to talk to people in lines with us about what we are doing. I got some very strange looks from other parents. Ultimately, it only took about 20 minutes before we boarded Expedition Everest!

After exiting and grabbing our photo we headed to DinoLand USA. We got there and heard folks talking about Dinosaur being down, so we turned quickly and got on Primeval Whirl (one of my girls’ favorites). As we exited the ride, I noticed that Lines was reporting that Dinosaur was open, so we ran quickly and jumped on – we boarded IMMEDIATELY! The twins do NOT like Dinosaur, but rode it to make dad happy. We went to get our ride photo, but it was “deleted” due to a group of teens that made “vulgar” gestures – telling the Carnitaur that he was #1. 🙁

We started back toward Asia to get a photo in front of “the Forbidden Mountain”, with plans to exit DAK after that and head back to Epcot for dinner. As we approached Expedition Everest, Dad had an idea – we continued past Everest to checked whether there was any availability at Yak and Yeti for an early dinner. Yak and Yeti was able to seat us IMMEDITALY! This gave us a few minutes to sit, talk, rest and eat. Dinner here was much more flavorful than our bland lunch at Electric Umbrella. After dinner, we walked out and got those “Forbidden Mountain” photos, then headed out of the park to return to Epcot.

15 Reasons to Celebrate Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s 15th Birthday

Expedition EverestDisney’s Animal Kingdom turned fifteen years old today. I think it often gets a bad rap – the lush foliage and dense biomass of DAK leads to the phenomenon often referred to as “Animal Kingdom Hot.” There’s no nighttime spectacular and the carnival game theming in the heart of Dinoland is much reviled. But there are plenty of great reasons to love DAK, and here are my 15 favorites:

1. Expedition Everest – the best-themed and most exciting roller coaster in all of Walt Disney World.

2. Kilimanjaro Safaris – an incredible, unique way to see animals you normally only get to see from a great distance, and an attraction the whole family can enjoy.

3. DINOSAUR! – yes, we can complain about the scaled-down effects at the beginning of the ride. And Phylicia Rashad’s wardrobe is terribly dated. But the storyline remains compelling and immersive, the animatronics are huge and incredible and make for a fantastic ride.

4. Flame Tree BBQ – One of the best, if not THE best, counter-service restaurants at Walt Disney World.

DSC_98905. DiVine – Simply captivating encounters.

6. The Animal Kingdom Welcome Show – They make being up early for rope drop a celebration. The show is “small” and short, but at the same time it is more intimate and imminent than the grander opening at the Magic Kingdom.

7. Dawa Bar – home of beers unique African beers

8. The Boneyard – Sure, it’s “just” a playground. But good luck getting a young child out of there in under half an hour.

9. Finding Nemo The Musical – a unique show, written just for Animal Kingdom, and featuring amazing puppetry work.

10. Outstanding, unique, character meet and greets. (My family is particularly partial to Flik).

11. Royal Anandapur Tea Company – A great way to start your morning, with real Indian and Asian teas.

DSC_550412. The most thorough, complete, immersive theming of any Disney theme park, such that an entire day can be enjoyed in Animal Kingdom without riding a single ride. (But why would you do that)?

13. Festival of the Lion King – Two words: tumble. monkeys.

14. Tusker House character meals – classic characters in unique outfits and food with just a bit of a twist on the standard Disney World character buffet fare. (And POG juice)!

15. Kali River Rapids – Yes, the ride is too short. No, it doesn’t do a very good job of telling its story. But it does the job of soaking riders much better than Splash Mountain does. Animal Kingdom hot makes it a welcome soaking.

Blue Sky Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Episode 32

Host – Aaron Rittmaster
Panel – Eric Anderson; Paul Hajjar; Nathan Trent

In Episode 32, the DISDads panel completed our wishful thinking look at the future of the Walt Disney World theme parks. The panel suggested Disney’s Animal Kingdom attractions that have run their course and are ripe for removal. Next, we addressed attractions in need of major overhauls. We took a break so that Nathan Trent could take a long-overdue turn on the hot seat for 10 Questions. And finally, we discussed new attractions that would help bring Disney’s Animal Kingdom forward into the future.

Special thanks to our Producer/Engineer Josh Haas, who also created and recorded our intro music. The DIS Dads Podcast is edited and produced by Josh Haas/Wizard of Haas Production.

We’d love to hear your comments about the podcast – Email us at; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter or leave us a review on iTunes. And now, you can join in online discussion of the podcasts on our new DISDads Discussion Boards.

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