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Dockside Margaritas Open at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World

by on April 27, 2015 1 Comment

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©Disney

©Disney

One of the great aspects about the transition from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs is, to me, this laid back atmosphere that it feels Disney is trying to create. A place where people can stop, pause, and enjoy. As part of that transformation, late last week, a new spot was introduced which incorporates just that exact philosophy–Dockside Margaritas.

Guests can order margaritas from the window of the “former 1960s produce stand” and then have the option to relax in an open air area that overlooks the water, or walk along on their merry way and enjoy Downtown Disney.

Dockside Margaritas features a lot seating options ranging from chairs and tables to more comfortable sofas under an open air trellis. The vibe here is an extremely chill one where guests should be welcome to stop and enjoy the company or the view. Read the rest of this entry »

Send Your Hotel Room Request to Disney – Automatically!

by on April 27, 2015 35 Comments

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Today we’re announcing the launch of our Automatic Room Request feature for Walt Disney World. Starting now, your specific room request can be automatically sent to your Disney resort, a few days before you arrive. This increases your chances of getting exactly the room you want.

Our Automatic Room Request feature works with our Hotel Room Views – our collection of more than 30,000 photos showing the view from every Disney hotel room. (Here’s an example from room 4063 at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.) Once you find the room you want, click the link in the upper right corner to choose it for your trip:

HotelFax-SelectRoom

Finally, add in any special celebrations, such as birthdays or anniversaries, along with your name and reservation number for the fax: Read the rest of this entry »

A Birthday Dinner at Victoria and Albert’s

by on April 27, 2015 3 Comments

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Everyone has items on their Disney bucket list. For me, dining at Victoria and Albert’s was high on the list. Not only does it take a bit of budgeting to roll enough pennies to make it happen, but then you also have to score a reservation for a restaurant with very few tables and very limited dining times. So when that all happened to fall into place for the day before my husband’s birthday, you know I had to jump on it.

The Colorado bison with black radish slaw and kumquat was a fine example of the quality and presentation of food at Victoria and Albert's. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

The Colorado bison with black radish slaw and kumquat was a fine example of the quality and presentation of food at Victoria and Albert’s. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

My husband and I are not total strangers to fine dining, but previously our top experiences at Walt Disney World included things like the California Grill or bluezoo, or Palo on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

After we dropped our daughter off at Lilo’s Playhouse for her evening of fun, we drove over to the Grand Floridian. Valet parking is included if you are dining at Victoria and Albert’s, so make sure to hand your valet ticket to the server at the end of the meal.

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Fun Facts for Your Next Disney World Vacation

by on April 26, 2015 10 Comments

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Castle Concept Art

Castle Concept Art

Do you crave Disney knowledge? Do you spend way too much time online scanning sites for Disney facts and secrets? Is your bookshelf crammed with Disney Imagineering books and guidebooks? If so, then we’re probably kindred spirits because I’m guilty of all the above! I absolutely love discovering new facts about my favorite place on earth that I can use or see for myself when planning my next Disney World trip. So indulge me, if you will, as I share with you some of my favorite fun facts for your next Disney World Vacation.

Did you know that…

12. Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are Neighbors? Even though the Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean is in Adventureland and Splash Mountain is in Frontierland, things looks a little different backstage than they do when you’re in the park. When backstage, which means behind the scenes, these two water attractions are located next to each other! The layout of the park from inside is a little deceptive; but since both attractions require high volumes of water, it only makes sense to have them located next door. Pretty cool, right?

Look at the Golions!

Look at the Golions!

11. There’s More Than One Beast at the Beast’s Castle? The Disney Animators used different animals to create the Beast we know from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast film. In fact, the Beast is a mixture of buffalo, lion, wolf, bear, and more! But outside of the Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland, there is another beast that’s also a combo of different animals. It’s a Golion! Guarding either side of the castle doors are two stone beasts that Disney invented just for this area; and as they are a combination of both goats and lions, Imagineers decided to name them Golions! Source: Fun Facts: New Fantasyland

10. The Eiffel Tower at Epcot’s France Pavilion is Historically Accurate? Have you ever paid much attention to the Eiffel Tower at Epcot’s France Pavilion? If so, you may have noticed that the tower looks a little different than those photos you see of the one in France and for a really cool reason. You see, the real Eiffel Tower has changed color since it was first constructed in 1887 due to aging and weathering; but since Epcot’s France Pavilion is meant to represent France as it was in the past, the Eiffel Tower we see is beige, just like how it would’ve been in its early years. Talk about attention to detail! Still not impressed? To be even more historically accurate, Imagineers used the blueprints of the original Eiffel Tower when constructing their own.  Source: AllEars.net

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SATURDAY SIX: Six MORE “Easter Eggs” at the Universal Orlando Resort

by on April 25, 2015

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six  MORE “Easter Eggs” at the Universal Orlando Resort. One of our favorite parts of both Universal and Walt Disney World are all the wonderful details that make these fully immersive theme parks stand out from everyone else. In our first look at Universal Easter eggs, we saw a pair of actual Mickey ears on Twister….Ride It Out!, the Jaws references in Diagon Alley, Dennis Nedry’s Barbasol can in Jurassic Park and more. Today we are going to look at six more details that even guests who has been to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure several times may not have noticed. Remember that clicking on any picture will bring it up in full size, keep your head on a swivel, and let’s start counting down…

# 6 – Back to the Future’s Doc Brown in The Simpsons Ride queue (USF)

There is absolutely nothing we like better in new attractions then when they pay tribute to the ones that they replaced. We love the hidden Nautilus in the rock work of Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid at the Magic Kingdom, referencing the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride that was formerly in the area. Revenge of the Mummy in Universal Studios Florida has several images of King Kong during the ride, a tribute to Kongfrontation. In 2008, The Simpsons Ride replaced Back to the Future: The Ride, but it actually created a backstory for the change and put it inside the queue.

Doc_Brown_Simpsons1_

Doc Brown and the “Institute of Future Technology” (facade for Back to the Future: The Ride)

If you stand in line for The Simpsons Ride, you will notice televisions throughout playing classic clips from The Simpsons from episodes in which the family went to theme parks. But mixed in with the old videos are several pieces of new material, including one clip explaining how the Institute of Future Technology (the facade for Back to the Future: The Ride) became Krustyland (the facade for The Simpsons Ride.)

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of April 24, 2015

by on April 24, 2015 5 Comments

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In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

How is it already the last weekend in April?! I hope you have a great weekend planned; I certainly do!

This week is chock full of Disney and Universal greatness…including a sequel for a recent film that could potentially be happening; accolades for the Disney company, and much more! Read on for all the great details!

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

 

Did Disney infringe on the rights of another company with the creation of MagicBands? A new lawsuit claims they did.

Work is progressing on being able to take over that whole back section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and turn it into Star Wars/Pixar lands. A new flex space has been permitted to be built on Sunset Boulevard. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s In My Diaper Bag: Disney Parks Edition + Video

by on April 24, 2015 10 Comments

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Photo - Angela DahlgrenAs you saw in my Packing Tips for a Day at Walt Disney World article, I am a pack rat. In fact, a few readers wondered if I actually bring all this stuff with me to the parks. The answer…is yes.

Yes, I have a big back pack.

Yes, it is very heavy.

So with that, it only seemed natural to share what I bring in my diaper bag for a day at the parks! Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 3

by on April 23, 2015 7 Comments

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Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we will continue to debate this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, let’s continue our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland and Disney World by discussing planning, transportation, and the theme parks.

Planning

 

Disneyland Resort Planning

Planning a trip to Disneyland is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s look at a basic timeline.

  • 12 months or more in advance: This is the time to research where you would like to stay and book a hotel reservation or vacation package.
  • 11 months or less in advance: If you are going to be flying to Disneyland, this is the time to start checking flights and booking one as soon as you find a great deal. Once your flight is reserved, you can book a rental car or make reservations for airport transportation. If you will be driving to Disneyland, this is the time to plan your route and make any hotel reservations that you will need for your journey to and from the resort.
  • 3 months in advance: At this point, it is time to start researching restaurants and tours that interest you and make a list of reservations that you would like to book.
  • 60 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking dining reservations. Character Dining, Blue Bayou, and Napa Rose tend to fill up quickly and should be booked as soon as possible. If you did not reserve a vacation package that includes admissions and you plan to purchase your tickets in advance, this is a perfect time in order to allow for shipping. Purchasing admissions early is not a necessity in Disneyland, but it will save you a little bit of time once you arrive.
  • 30 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking any tours that you would like to try.
  • 2 weeks in advance: This is a great time to research the attractions offered at Disneyland and California Adventure, make a list of what you would like to experience, and create your personalized touring plans. Also take a few moments to put together a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • 1 week in advance: It’s now time to confirm all of your reservations, print your travel documents, and pack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: April 23, 2015

by on April 23, 2015 15 Comments

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1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re visiting Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not to mention we’re also stopping by Downtown Disney and Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Phew, that’s a lot! Let’s get moving! :)

The best place to start is where I’ve visited the most the past few weeks. Not once, not twice, but five times we’ve visited Disney’s Polynesian Resort trying to get into the newly opened Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. The wait has never been less than an hour and to be frank, I just don’t want to go to a bar that badly!

However, the time spent at the resort has led to some great photos of the new lobby and the tiki that has been recently added. For anyone not on Twitter, the Disney community has started calling this tiki by the name “Shruggie“. He was mainly given this name because his stance makes it look like he’s shrugging and declaring that the lobby renovation wasn’t his idea! It really finishes the lobby renovation now that he’s in place.

2

 

Want to see more? Be sure to click below!

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Summer Gets Hotter With the “Teen Beach 2″: Beach Party at Typhoon Lagoon

by on April 22, 2015

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TL-TB2BP-Logo-Proof-613x556

©Disney

Are you a fan of Teen Beach Movie? (That’s the one with Troy and Gabriella, right? ;) ) Well, if you are, then I’m sure you know that the sequel will be airing on The Disney Channel later this summer. So, if you’re excited about of the teen flick part 2, then you’ll need to head to Typhoon Lagoon. You see, in honor of the Coolest Summer Ever, the water park will be introducing the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party for a limited time!

The party will showcase the “bikers” and the “surfers” who will be there to dance, as the DJ on hand spins some great retro tunes. Guests will also be able to participate in games on the main beach area, such as relays, hoola hoop spinning, as well as water balloon and beach ball tosses.

You won’t want to miss out on all the exciting fun–the event only takes place from May 22 through July 5. Guests visiting the water park paradise will surely be transported back to the 1960s with the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party.

(PS: No old fogies….ie…myself….were harmed in the creation of this blog post. Though I do now feel about 100.)