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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – August 4, 2015

by on August 4, 2015 1 Comment

Hello again all!  This edition of Newsworthy Notes should have just been called “Refurbishment List for Walt Disney World Updated” because holy cow are there a lot of refurbishments that I am here to let you know about. Get ready, because some of these will impact your trips for both this fall, as well as some refurbishments that are slated for 2016 as well. (So make sure you look at the dates, because yes, some will say 2016 and some of those that say 2016 are extremely lengthy.)

 

Magic Kingdom: 

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Four Back-Up Plans for a Walt Disney World Marriage Proposal

by on August 4, 2015 1 Comment

On May 1, 2013 I had the honor and thrill of a lifetime when, right in the middle of Magic Kingdom, I asked my girlfriend of three years to marry me (she said yes). It was a dream come true to have my own princess agree to spend the rest of her life with me while standing in the grand ballroom of the Be Our Guest restaurant, practically reliving a scene in her favorite childhood film while other guests and cast members looked on.

Don’t be like me, hand a cast member a good camera (not an iPhone with the flash off) before proposing.

But it almost didn’t happen this way — In fact, it wasn’t supposed to. My plan for months leading up to that fateful visit was to propose in the rose garden near Cinderella Castle during Wishes. When we woke up on the morning of May 1 it was the kind of dark dreary day that never appears in Disney’s promotional materials. With thundershowers popping up and the threat of a torrential downpour looming I had to make a decision. This was our only day at Walt Disney World so there was no delaying, and there was no way I would be able to convince her to come stand in the middle of a garden with me in a rainstorm. So I had to turn to plan B.

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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – July 26 to August 1, 2015

by on August 4, 2015

How did the Universal Crowd Calendar do last week?

How did the Universal Crowd Calendar do last week?

Last week, the Universal Crowd Calendar correctly predicted the crowd levels at each Universal park every day within one index level except for Thursday at Islands of Adventure when that park hit a level ’10’ on our scale. Crowds were busiest Monday through Friday as predicted.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – July 26 to August 1, 2015

by on August 4, 2015

How did the Disneyland Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

How did the Disneyland Crowd Calendar do last week?

Disneyland crowds were up last week, for the second week in a row although the only park to hit a level ’10’ was Disneyland Park on Monday. Wednesday was the least crowded day of last week thanks to lower average wait times at Disney California Adventure.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – July 26 to August 1, 2015

by on August 4, 2015

How Did the Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

How Did the Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

Crowds at Disney World’s four parks were a little lower than expected last Sunday but otherwise crowds were as expected. The Disney World Crowd Calendar correctly predicted five of the seven days and the park wide numbers were within one index level each day with only a couple exceptions. Crowds stayed near the top of our scale most of the week, which is typical for summer. Surprisingly, the lowest crowds we saw occurred on the weekend.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Be Our Guest Restaurant Now Offering Breakfast Permanently

by on August 3, 2015 8 Comments

©Disney

©Disney

The test of Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is now over, and like we all suspected, the ever popular breakfast offerings will be offered permanently beginning on October 4. Breakfast will continue to be a prix fixe meal that is served from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. daily.

The meal will increase in price just a little. Beginning on October 4, it will cost $21.99 plus tax for adults (ages 10 and up) and $13.99 plus tax for kids (ages 3-9).

Guests at this counter service location may enjoy a pastry basket for sharing, followed by a choice of entree and a self-service beverage.

Adults can choose among entree items such as: Read the rest of this entry »

So, You’ve Decided to runDisney: A Starters Guide

by on August 3, 2015 1 Comment

114So, you’ve decided to runDisney. Well, congratulations! Whether this is your very first race or you have 50 races under your proverbial water belt, runDisney races are like nothing you can experience anywhere else.

runDisney events stand out for the obvious reason of on course entertainment (it is Disney, after all). Depending on which race you choose (we’ll get to that), you can meet a whole host of characters you might not see during your casual park touring. Even more so than entertainment, Disney races are extremely popular because, let’s face it, you’re running through friggin’ Disney World (or, Disneyland but we’ll get to that too!). If you grew up going to the parks and you’re a total fanatic, you get to see a side of the World that you simply can’t see any other way. If it’s your first visit, well, you might not want the surprises ruined, but wow you’re in for an amazing journey.

There are so many races from which to choose, and lately runDisney has been adding some new events here taking away some events there with regularity, but it’s important to have at least a vague idea of what you’re getting into. Let’s start at the beginning, on our marks, get set, let’s go!*

*Please note that although I would love to, I am not able to run every race every year (I did it once, though!). Courses are subject to change, and experiences may vary since the time I ran most of these races (2014/2015). Please be sure to check course maps before registering, as race details are subject to change from year to year!

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Disney World After Dark: 10 Tips for Night Owls

by on August 3, 2015 19 Comments

Just about every reputable planning guide for Walt Disney World (ahem, Unofficial Guide) strongly advises getting up early in Orlando – really early. During the winter holidays, making rope drop for an morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom could have your family strolling up to the tapstiles shortly after 6:00. In the morning.

But if you haven’t seen a sunrise since the last time you stayed out all night, never despair. You don’t need to sacrifice your sleep-in to have a great time at Walt Disney World. In fact, the dark hours are some of my favorite times to be in the parks. Here’s how you can have a fabulous night owl-optimized vacation at Walt Disney World, without bringing an alarm clock into it:

Magic Kingdom at night. Main Street U.S.A.’s best hour.

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What I Wish I Knew Before My Visit to Disneyland

by on August 2, 2015 9 Comments

castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

I recently went to the Disneyland Park for the very first time. As a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World since childhood, I was beyond excited to experience a Disney Park, particularly Walt’s park, as a first time guest. In fact, the very first thing I did when I arrived was to pick up a first visit button at Disneyland’s City Hall. But before I even passed through the turnstiles, I did my Disneyland homework so that I could avoid some of the rookie mistakes and maximize my time in the park. Even so, there were definitely some things that I either didn’t expect or which would’ve helped my day run more smoothly. So glean from my first hand experience fellow Disneyland Rookies and discover what I wish I knew before my visit to Disneyland.

The Queues Are Narrow – One of the surprising differences for me between Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Park was how much narrower the queues are on the West Coast. When waiting in line for Peter Pan’s Flight, the Storybook Land Canal Boats, the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and others, I felt squeezed in and very close to the guests on either side of me. This is something that I haven’t experienced as much in the queues at Disney World. Part of this could be due to the fact that Disneyland has less space to work with; but I think it’s something to note if your a first time guest, especially if you have fidgety little ones in tow.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Best SHOWS at Walt Disney World

by on August 1, 2015 14 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Best SHOWS at Walt Disney World. Here at the SATURDAY SIX we have done several articles looking at the best-of-the-best attractions, resorts, and restaurants at Walt Disney World, but we haven’t spent much time on one area they do better than any theme park in the world: shows. The live shows across the WDW parks range from the smaller scale and intimate experience of the Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA, to the elaborately choreographed Trolley shows, all the way to the Broadway caliber Finding Nemo – The Musical at Animal Kingdom. So grab a seat – hopefully in air conditioning, and let’s begin the countdown of the absolute best shows starting with…

# 6 – Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Sorry to disappoint any Shia LaBeouf fans, but one reason for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectaculars‘ amazing 25+ year run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is because it is based around the iconic Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc film. The show recreates several famous scenes from the movie while explaining how they were accomplished. It is a fascinating look at the movie making process (one of the only things of its kind at a “studios” park) and has a fair share of good natured humor along the way. It speaks volumes to the overall quality of the show that it has remained almost completely unchanged since its debut in 1989 and regularly packs its 2000 seat stadium.

SHOWS_Indy_glover

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (photo by Brandon Glover)

Shows_Indy2_glover

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (photo by Brandon Glover)

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