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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of October 9, 2015

by on October 9, 2015 3 Comments

ICYMIWhew! The Disney Community was buzzing this week!

Of course the major news was about the Annual Pass price increase, as well as potential other increases. Both sides of the issue were vocal about these changes.

Other news includes information about a change to ABC Family, ways to add Disney to your Halloween fun, and much more! This week has a ton to get to, so let’s get to it.


In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors


Of course, the big talk of the week is Disney and tickets and pricing. The Motley Fool wonders, did Disney go too far?

This recent pricing restructuring isn’t the only restructuring that could be occurring. It appears that a pricing model based on demand really could be on the docket in the near future.

Speaking of the price increase and a restructuring, this is a fascinating article and brings up quite a few good points that should be considered. What are your thoughts? Read the rest of this entry »

“We Love Disney” Behind the Scenes Preview Now Showing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on October 9, 2015



You know, I thought it was odd when Disney announced that The Good Dinosaur’s preview was taking place in the One Man’s Dream theater, and now we know why.

For a limited time, Guests will be able to go behind the scenes of the upcoming album being released by Disney titled “We Love Disney” at the ABC Sound Studio in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The peek behind the curtain is now playing and includes behind the scenes footage with music producer David Foster, as well as with some of the artists who contributed.

This new compilation album will feature interpretations of classic Disney songs by popular artists from the worlds of pop, R&B, country, and rock. (For those who attended the D23 Expo, NE-YO performed “Friend Like Me” which is one of the songs on the album.) “We Love Disney” will be available in stores on October 30 and will feature artists NE-YO, Jason Derulo, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, Fall Out Boy, Kasey Musgraves, and Rascal Flatts with Lucy Hale.

The full list of songs and artists is:  Read the rest of this entry »

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine Coming to Disney Springs

by on October 9, 2015

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

The newest restaurant for the Disney Springs shopping and dining complex has been announced. It is being brought to life by celebrity chef Art Smith and will be called Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine. Homecoming will feature southern, yet sophisticated favorites and will be bringing a taste of real Florida to Disney Springs because Chef Smith is actually from the town of Jasper, Florida.

The restaurant’s overall feel will be rustic-chic including a glass-walled show kitchen. The building’s design is inspired by turn of the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s and will be able to seat 200 Guests.

As far as the rest of the restaurant’s menu, items will include a fresh-from-Florida menu, with the majority of the dishes including seafood, produce, poultry, and beef from local areas. Some of the farm-to-fork cuisine that will be restaurant staples will include southern treats like homemade pimento cheese, deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, fried chicken, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans, and a grilled Blackstrip pork chop with sawmill gravy.

Desserts also sound incredible, featuring pies, cakes, and other sweets, including the signature dessert of Mockingbird Cake.

In addition, the restaurant will feature the Southern Shine Bar which will serve cocktails, punches, and coolers.

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will be opening in Disney Springs in the summer of 2016 and I’ll keep you posted as we find out more!

Six Experiences We Need at CityWalk, Part II

by on October 9, 2015 3 Comments

Last time, we discussed what new restaurants we want at Universal CityWalk Orlando as it continues to evolve on its never-ending quest for Floridian dominance. This time, we’re going to tackle the shopping experiences, the side of the equation that has typically – and sadly – gotten the short shaft at the entertainment complex.

Universal CityWalk Orlando

Image © Universal

Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of opportunity here to make CityWalk positively golden.

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Would You Rather: Disney Vacation Club edition

by on October 9, 2015 6 Comments

Len Testa does an occasional segment for the WDW Today podcast that he calls “Would You Rather.” In it, he and his cohosts compare Walt Disney World vacations of similar pricing.

dvc-logoIt’s a revealing exercise that forces you to prioritize what you really value in your traveling. Perhaps staying off property doesn’t matter if it means you can use the savings for food and souvenirs. Or maybe you refuse to stay anywhere but a Disney deluxe resort, even if it means scrimping elsewhere.

This concept also works well with Disney Vacation Club, thanks to the vacation point system. Whether you own or rent points, everyone is using the same point charts to determine the cost of their stay, so it’s easy to compare apples to apples.

In this exercise, we will compare five different Disney Vacation Club itineraries at Walt Disney World using around 160 points — a fairly standard annual allotment. We’ll compare units with room to sleep at least eight guests visiting WDW in the summer (Magic Season). Join me below to get a sense of varying options DVC presents.  Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Dining: NBC Sports Grill & Brew Soft Opens at CityWalk

by on October 8, 2015 3 Comments

Earlier this week the new NBC Sports Grill & Brew soft opened in Universal CityWalk. Replacing the former NASCAR Sports Grille, the venue is not 100% done (they are still putting the final touches on the gigantic screen that sits outside the venue), but the doors opened at 4PM on Tuesday and we were there to try it out.


All photos by Brandon Glover

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever October 8, 2015: Halloween Horror Nights 25

by on October 8, 2015 2 Comments

Halloween Horror Nights 25 best week ever

The fiendish festivities of Halloween Horror Nights 25 await you in this Best Week Ever (photos by Seth Kubersky).

It’s been exactly one week since I stepped off the Disney Magic, and my sea legs had barely worn away before I stumbled — for the sake of Best Week Ever — into Halloween Horror Nights 25 at Universal Orlando. The event’s 25th edition was the first in almost a decade whose opening weekend I missed, so to say I was anxious to experience upon returning to the States is an understatement.

Driving into Universal Orlando’s parking structure, I snapped a photo of the parking rates. Little did I know this would be the last time I’d ever see these prices, as Universal raised their general parking rate up to $20 per day only hours after I took this picture.


There was steady pedestrian traffic heading in and out of the park by 5 p.m. Everyone play nice out there and follow the rules!

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Breakeven Point for WDW Annual Passes

by on October 8, 2015 27 Comments

Now that the shock of the price increase on annual passes has set in, let’s look at the updated value of an annual pass. Besides the price, the biggest change to the annual pass is that Memory Maker photo downloads are now included. An advance purchase of Memory Maker currently costs $169. If you are a fan of Memory Maker, this is an awesome addition; if you’re not, it is just lipstick on a pig.

To keep things simple, I’m just going to compare the price of Magic Your Way tickets*, Memory Maker, and annual passes. Free parking, dining discounts, shopping discounts, and other benefits will be ignored in the calculations to keep things as simple as possible. (These are nice benefits, but they will end up being a small portion of your vacation budget.) To find the break-even point, we are going to look at how many trips would you have to take in order to make purchasing an annual pass less expensive than purchasing individual Magic Your Way tickets. Below are all the options for annual passes. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Port Orleans Riverside is the Only Moderate Resort For Me

by on October 7, 2015 10 Comments


Welcome to Port Orleans Riverside!

When planning a Disney World Vacation there are a number of decisions to make ranging from which FastPass+ reservations to make, what ticket option to choose, how to get there, and more. But one of the most important, if you’re staying on property, is which Disney World Resort to choose.

Now as you may have guessed, the size of your budget will narrow down your options. Disney has conveniently grouped the Disney Resorts into three different categories based on price with Deluxe Resorts being the most expensive and Value Resorts being the least. Moderate Resorts fall somewhere in the middle in regards to price and consist of several popular destinations: Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, the Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Port Orleans Riverside.

When I have a Moderate Resort level budget, my resort of choice is one that offers variety, a comfortable atmosphere, delicious dining, a great pool selection, and a convenient location; for me, Port Orleans Riverside offers all of the above and more. Read along as I explain why Port Orleans Riverside is the Only Moderate Resort for Me!

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How to Enjoy Halloween Horror Nights When You Are Scared of Everything

by on October 7, 2015 5 Comments

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is the undisputed champion of Halloween events in North America. Now celebrating its 25th year, longtime fans flock to this event, many claiming it gets better every year. I, on the other hand, swore to never set foot inside the gates of this terrorizing event. Last weekend I broke that oath and faced my fear… and I loved it! I am astonished to admit that I had a great time and am already making plans to attend next year. But this success story didn’t happen without some very important factors. A game plan is needed if you want to enjoy Halloween Horror Nights when you are scared of pretty much everything.

Wait until the first week has passed

Thankfully, Halloween season starts early in Orlando, usually the second week of September. Halloween Horror Nights is an incredibly elaborate production that changes dramatically each year. After opening week there are typically adjustments made to the shows, a few scare zones, and even a house or two. This is not to say that the first week is not enjoyable, but if you’ve never been to HHN before I think it is a good idea to let them iron out any kinks of the first week before attending yourself.

Source: Universal Orlando

Source: Universal Orlando

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