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Updates for Walt Disney World’s My Disney Experience App

by on August 23, 2017
Filed under: MyDisneyExperience, Walt Disney World (FL) 6 Comments

Yesterday, Disney released a brand new update for its My Disney Experience app and let me tell you, this was a fantastic update! It includes some perks that have long been asked, as well as some other very helpful tools for those traveling to Walt Disney World.

First things first, Guests can now keep track of their purchases that are charged to their room’s hotel account. Genius! Now, we can see, at a glance, right from our phones how much our bill will be, instead of getting that shocked expression at the end of your trip when you paid your bill.

My Disney Experience Updates


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Ask It: Can You Take the Heat?

by on August 23, 2017
Filed under: Just For Fun 13 Comments

There was a brief moment during this week’s solar eclipse when the sun was largely hidden and the lack of sunlight beating down from the Florida sky felt really, really good. That said, I’m rather glad that the sun came back. It would be tough being in the Sunshine State without, you know, sun.

This morning, we had an interesting article on the blog about just how hot it can get at Walt Disney World in the summer. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I’ll wait–it’s worth your time.

All back? Awesome. This week’s question is about Florida heat. Specifically, we’re asking:

Have your experiences with (or fear of) Florida summer temperatures caused you to avoid summer trips to Walt Disney World?

View Results

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The poll is live now here and on Twitter. We’ll have your answers next week. In the meantime, feel free to share your horror stories about Florida heat or tips for how you stay cool on those summertime trips.

Ask It Results: Update Attractions or Build New Ones?

by on August 23, 2017
Filed under: Just For Fun 2 Comments

Let me start by addressing the elephant in the room. (Oh hi, Dumbo! Wait. Wrong elephant…)

When it comes to a question of updating existing attractions or building new ones, there really is only one obvious answer that everyone wants: Both. In a perfect world, every attraction that we love would get all the TLC it needs to stay as vibrant and breathtaking and relevant forever and ever, and at the same time, new attractions would open all the time to give us exciting reasons to keep coming back. But because a poll where the results would be 1%, 1%, 98% wouldn’t be that thrilling, I didn’t give the option for both, just to see what people would choose if they had to only pick one. Here’s your results to the question:

Which would you rather see: updates to existing attractions or building of new attractions?


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Here’s How Hot Walt Disney World Really Gets in Summer

by on August 23, 2017
Filed under: In the Parks, Magic Kingdom, Weather 13 Comments

I spent the evening in Pandora a few days ago to see how it’s all aged over the summer. (Short answer: reasonably well.) But the big thing I noticed was how hot it was. At 7 p.m. the temperature read 89℉, but fam, it felt much hotter than that. I wanted to know why.

Now, I’m an expert on a lot of things. You know that. I know that. But temperature is not one of them. So I did some research.

Air Temperature Is A Lie (Sort of)

The first thing I learned is that temperatures are measured in the shade, not in the sun. So when your iPhone weather app says it’s going to be 95℉ in Orlando tomorrow, it’ll be 95 in the shade. It’s worth pointing out that most of Walt Disney World isn’t, you know, cool shaded pathways. It’s worth asking how much hotter it’ll be in the sun.

To answer that question we enlisted the help of TouringPlans’ own Brandon Glover, to serve as our ceremonial rotisserie chicken. We equipped Brandon with two digital thermometers – one white and one black – to measure the temperature you’d feel standing in direct sunlight and wearing light or dark clothes. And we sent Brandon to the Magic Kingdom.

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10 Free (Included) Activities You Shouldn’t Miss on a Disney Cruise

by on August 22, 2017
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line

Are there free activities on a Disney cruise?  My husband and I disagree on the words “free” and “included”.  He’s of the opinion that nothing is truly free onboard, because you’ve already paid for it.  (It’s just included in your initial cost.)  I, on the other hand, like to think of it as free once I’m onboard!  Coke at the drink station?  It’s free!  Mickey bars?  Free!  And quite frankly, the more Coke and Mickey bars I have, the more “free” it is!  Am I right?

But whichever word you prefer, there are lots of things to do on a Disney cruise that don’t cost you a single penny more.  Here are ten of them!

1. Movies – We take full advantage of the movies on board. We don’t see anything in theaters at home that we know we can see free on an upcoming cruise! Disney plays several first-run movies on board in their gorgeous theaters.  Some are 3D, some are open captioning, and some are just plain old regular movies, whatever those are called.  If you are on a longer cruise, they will often have special movie events like classic black-and-white movie marathons.  If you’re a movie fan, it’s a great way to spend some time on quiet afternoons.  If you’d rather stay in your room and relax, there are movies all day long on your stateroom television.  I recently enjoyed a cruise on Royal Caribbean, but I was surprised by how much I missed the movie theater and having free movies in our room.  On one cruise on the Disney Dream, I probably watched Jurassic World three times through, just by having it on the television whenever I was in the room.  My life’s philosophy is that dinosaurs (and maybe Chris Pratt?) make everything better.  Is that just me?

2. Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash – Another incredibly entertaining few minutes on your cruise will be Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash. I highly recommend it! This riveting racing of the babies is held on every cruise in the atrium.  Parents bring their non-walking babies at the appointed time, and the babies are divided into racing heats.  After a brief personal, on-mic interview, the contestants are placed at the starting line.  When the starting signal is given, off they go!  Or not.  Often they just sit there, despite the cheering of the crowd, and the pleading and outright bribery of their parents.  You’d be amazed at how entertaining begging parents and distracted babies can be.  If you have a crawling baby, on behalf of the other cruisers, I implore you to race your baby! Read the rest of this entry »

Special Bambi Meet and Greet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Weekend

by on August 22, 2017
Filed under: Animal Kingdom, Recent News 1 Comment

Disney's Animal Kingdom Meet and Greet


Wow! Can you believe that the animated classic, Bambi is 75 years old?! Crazy! To celebrate this milestone, the Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating with special Bambi themed photographic opportunities this weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

First, Guests can meet both Thumper and Miss Bunny outside of Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch from 10:20 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. from August 25-27.

In addition, the Disney PhotoPass photographers will be on hand with special Magic Shots to commemorate the occasion. They include:

  • Bambi and Friends Magic Shot or Bambi prop sign at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Butterfly Magic Shot at the park’s main entrance, Discovery Island, Asia, Africa and Rafiki’s Planet Watch

If you are looking to have Magic Shots taken during your trip, make sure you ask what Magic Shots the Disney PhotoPass photographer can do for you when you’re getting your photos taken! I’ve noticed in my past dealings with PhotoPass that the photographers don’t always ask you if you want Magic Shots taken.

The Best of Walt Disney World for Preschoolers

by on August 22, 2017
Filed under: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, kids, Magic Kingdom, Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL) 2 Comments

Welcome back to Part 2 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. Last time we discussed favorites for babies, and next up are the adorable preschoolers. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the preschoolers surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2017 + Video

by on August 22, 2017
Filed under: Halloween, In the Parks, Magic Kingdom, Video, Walt Disney World (FL) 10 Comments

We’re finally approaching my favorite time of the year: FALL!

I love it all: the cooler weather, colorful leaves (here in MN at least) and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

To see what ghoulish festivities this year’s party has in store for you, click on the video below! Read the rest of this entry »

The Past, Present, and Future of Epcot’s Future World Part I

by on August 21, 2017
Filed under: Epcot, Walt Disney World (FL) 3 Comments

Can you believe Epcot is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year? On October 1st, 1982, Epcot first opened its gates and offered two themed lands: Future World and World Showcase. While World Showcase hasn’t changed too much through the years, Future World is a whole other story and more changes are on the horizon. So as this park of the future looks to its own great, big, beautiful tomorrow, let’s take a look at the past, present, and future of Epcot’s Future World!

Note: Because there’s so much to cover in Future World, this article will focus on Spaceship Earth, Innoventions, and Future World East.

In the park’s early years, Epcot was known as EPCOT Center and Future World featured a number of pavilions themed after a particular area of science or technology and funded by a corporate sponsor. But as the years passed, Future World pavilions and their attractions were either replaced with thrill rides, received overlays, or closed completely. Basically, the Future World of today doesn’t resemble its original self or the future either.

Thankfully, Disney announced at the 2017 D23 Expo that changes were quickly coming to Epcot’s Future World and they would only be the beginning! So let’s start our look at the past, present, and future of Future World with the very first thing you see when entering the park.

Spaceship Earth

While the icon of the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella Castle, the icon of Epcot is Spaceship Earth! This massive geodesic sphere actually contains an attraction that teaches guests about the history of communication.

Spaceship EarthThe Past – Spaceship Earth opened with the park in 1982 and was sponsored by Bell Systems. Guests boarded an omnimover that transported them past scenes filled with audio-animatronics highlighting communication breakthroughs in history narrated by Lawrence Dobkin. The finale showcased projections of outer space and the earth before the omnimovers descended backwards to the unloading area.

The Present –  Spaceship Earth has undergone a number of updates, as well as sponsorship changes and changes in narrators. For many people, Walter Cronkite and Jeremy Irons provided some of the most memorable lines in the Spaceship Earth narration. Siemens was the most recent sponsor of Spaceship Earth and the current narrator is Judi Dench. Today’s ride back to the unloading area also features an interactive screen where guests can pick their vision of the future.

The Future – Nothing new has been announced for Spaceship Earth and it’s unknown whether or not it will receive a new corporate sponsor.

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Walt Disney World and the Solar Eclipse

by on August 20, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL) 2 Comments

Tomorrow is the big day! Do you have your solar eclipse glasses? (Or were you one of those who was scrambling to find a spare pair anywhere this weekend?) I’ve got my glasses and I’m ready to go! (Thank goodness I didn’t buy one of the recalled pairs from Amazon cause I almost did!)

Well, the eclipse will also be impacting those who are visiting Walt Disney World on Monday from around 1:15 p.m. until around 4:30 p.m. So here is what you need to know due to the low visibility that will occur in the parks due to this natural phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry »