• Claire Gell

Walt Disney World parks mug

This is, without doubt, my favourite mug and when I saw it in the World of Disney store at Disney Springs it was love at first sight! I use it all the time and it would be a sad day if it should – God forbid – ever get broken or damaged. In addition to it being on the larger side (and therefore big enough for a proper-sized brew) with a sturdy handle, it has all four of the Disney World parks "icons" on it as well as some other nods to famous rides around the parks. My sweet spot for merchandise design is things that feature the WDW parks icons, I'm not sure why, there's just something about seeing the four together that really brings home the Walt-Disney-World-ness of the item and gives me a way to celebrate my love for the place.

Each of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World have a huge feature, commonly known as an "icon", that is associated with the park. If you were to fly over Walt Disney World these are the things you would probably pick out first for each park. Magic Kingdom has Cinderella's castle, EPCOT has Spaceship Earth (the big golf ball-looking silver sphere), Hollywood Studios has the Hollywood Tower Hotel (not actually an old Hollywood hotel, but actually my favourite ride), and Animal Kingdom has the Tree of Life.

The mug: a closer inspection

I really like the hand-drawn style on this mug, as if someone's just doodled on the mug and coloured bits in with the few pens they had within reach.

Rock 'n' Rollercoaster (starring Aerosmith) – An indoor rollercoaster, where you ride in a "super stretch limo". I'm not sure whether my favourite feature of this ride is the accelerated start from 0 to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds or having Aerosmith music blasting out all the way around.

The Hollywood Tower Hotel a.k.a. The Tower of Terror – My favourite ride,

anywhere. It is one of the top examples of Imagineering (the name given to the team at Disney who dream up, design, and engineer the best theme park rides in the world) at their best. The Tower of Terror has a full back story, trackless vehicles that move from one elevator shaft to another, "free-falls" faster than an actual free-fall, and the pattern of falls changes every time you ride it! WHAT!?! :D

It's a Small World – One of the most famous (infamous?) Disney rides. You may not have ever been on the ride or even seen it with your own eyes, but you know the song! The song is as likely to get stuck in your head the minute you hear the words spoken as it is that you'll get stuck on the ride, having to sit in your boat during a breakdown with that cheery song going round and round while you start to wonder if this might be what hell is like?

Cinderella's castle – No matter how many times you've seen this castle in person, when you turn that corner onto Main Street U.S.A. and see it right in front of you, you're taken over by a sudden urge to be basic and take many photos of it… so I've heard…. ¬_¬

Space Mountain – For an old rollercoaster, this thing really does still have the thrill-factor. Thrilling because it's fast and in the dark, and also thrilling because (especially as a tall person) it gives you the illusion of impending decapitation or at least impending whiplash.

Soarin' – A simulation ride that makes it feel like you're hand-gliding around the world, seeing, smelling, and hearing places as you go. The music on this ride is incredible and I'm pretty sure it's the main reason this ride really connects with people in the feels – so much so that I've never ridden it when there hasn't been an applause at the end.

Spaceship Earth – The beautiful, silver, aesthetically pleasing, geodesic ball of EPCOT. There is a 15-minute ride inside that takes you all the way through the human story, currently narrated by the great Dame Judi Dench. It's an absolute feat of engineering and a well-loved ride amongst Disney parks fans.

Underneath Spaceship Earth, on the mug, is the monorail, which connects EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom, as well as the hotel resorts located around Seven Seas Lagoon (near Magic Kingdom). It is a well-loved and well-love-to-hate-ed mode of Disney World transportation.

Mt. Everest and Asia – Animal Kingdom's rollercoaster, Expedition Everest, takes a dangerous trip up – and down! – the mountain, and includes a glimpse of the terrifying yeti. At 199.5 ft Mt. Everest is the tallest feature of Walt Disney World, if it was 6 inches taller it would need to have a blinking red light on it as a safety beacon for planes.

I think the buildings at the base of the mountain represent Asia, the themed area of Animal Kingdom where Mt. Everest is located.

The Tree of Life – The icon of Animal Kingdom is truly stunning. It is a giant artificial baobab tree, built from a refitted oil platform and has over 100,000 fake leaves. The trunk has 325 carvings of different animals in it, you could spend hours trying to spot them all.

Kilimanjaro Safaris – The little truck bus is a safari vehicle from the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Animal Kingdom. There is an area of over 110 acres at Animal Kingdom where animals like giraffes, elephants, zebras… (the list goes on) roam around, and you can take a safari through the area to see the animals and learn about them from your guide.

Well, who knew there was so much to be known on one mug. Well done if you made it to the end of today's blog, it's OK to be glad it's over. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about my favourite place.

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