Shane grew up in a small town called Snellville, Georgia. He can’t really place a finger on why he’s such a huge Disney fan- it’s just always been there, starting with the first film he ever saw in theaters being Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Shane’s family went to Walt Disney World almost every year, but his fascination definitely peaked when he met a lighting Imagineer on a Disney Cruise.
Seven years later, Shane finally moved down to the Magic as soon as he graduated from high school. He has been living in Orlando since the summer of 2009 and loves every second of it. He also writes the “Tales from the Bench” blog for Studios Central and is a frequent contributor and personality on Touring Plans’ mobile application, Lines.
Shane is known in the parks for his signature red hat and favorite bench in Disney Hollywood Studios.
This week take a look Epcot’s newest thrill attraction and the most popular Innoventions exhibit: Sum of All Thrills, sponsored by Raytheon.
Located in Innoventions East, this ride lets guests create their own thrill ride while teaching them about the mathematics and physics involved. Once designed, the guests can then experience their attraction in a motion simulator, much like Cyberspace Mountain at DisneyQuest. Instead of a flight simulator, however, your carriage is at the end of KUKA Robotics arm, just like the ride vehicles used on the track at the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction in Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure.
This week we head to the River Roost at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort for our hidden gem: Yehaa Bob. Bob Jackson is a very hilarious pianist who has been working in Walt Disney World for over 12 years. He performs nightly, Wednesday through Saturday, between 8:30 pm and 12:00 am. It is highly recommended you get there early. Not only do you need to get a good seat, but Bob will arrive at Port Orleans at 8:00 and make his way around the room to meet everyone. It’s amazing how well he can remember everyone’s name and where they’re from! He uses this information to make the show extremely interactive and to call on people during his songs for any number of reasons, from having them lead a conga line to kicking it up like the Rockettes! The show is absolutely family friendly, and I emphasize the word “FAMILY.” Bob’s range is so wide you could be singing John Denver and Frank Sinatra one minute then Spongebob Squarepants and Disney numbers or the Oscar Meyer commercial songs next!
This past week, my friend Nicole and I were hungry for dinner at the Magic Kingdom but we didn’t want to eat your typical in-park counter service fare. So we hopped the monorail and ventured over to the Polynesian Resort. We came upon the Kona Island Sushi Bar. Coffee bar by day and sushi bar by night, the restaurant is open from 5pm to 10 pm.
The Kona Island Sushi Bar is definitely a hidden treasure of Walt Disney World because it is off the beaten track and it is great for those who, like us, are tired of the same burgers and chicken fingers. Another great tip about this place is, if you can’t get a reservation at the Kona Café, you can order off the full restaurant menu at the sushi bar.