Archive for April, 2009

Walt Disney World Railroad closure

by on April 18, 2009

The Walt Disney World Railroad will be closed May 13-14, 2009. We suspect this is to allow access to Space Mountain with large/heavy equipment.

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Rumor: Magic Kingdom To Expand Attractions Open During Morning Extra Magic Hours

by on April 17, 2009

According to the folks at WDWMagic.com, the Magic Kingdom will add Frontierland’s Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Fantasyland’s Snow White and Mad Tea Party attractions to its morning Extra Magic Hours lineup.  We suspect this is in response to the imminent closing of Space Mountain for its April to November refurbishment.

If true, we’ll begin researching how this will affect the Magic Kingdom Touring Plans, and post updates as needed.

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WDW Today Episode 553 – Star Wars Weekends

by on April 17, 2009

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Episode 553 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

One-click subscriptions to WDW Today:

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RoboCoaster going into Epcot Innoventions

by on April 15, 2009

Raytheon’s new exhibit for Innoventions at Epcot exhibit will allow guests to use math and engineering principles to create their own roller coaster, jet plane or bobsled ride, and then experience their customized ride inside a unique motion simulator.

“The Sum of All Thrills” exhibit and simulator experience will be supported by a Kuka robotic arm as well as “Surface” computer technology. Guests will interact with a multi-touch surface table computer to design their thrill ride of choice. According to WDI’s Brent Strong (associate concept designer) in a newsletter to CM’s, “We put the outline of a hill on the table and give the guests a physical protractor and ruler. By simply dragging their fingers along the protractor, they can change the angle of the hill, and using the ruler, alter its height. Add the right amount of energy to the equation, and guests have created their very own experience,”

The attraction will be Innoventions first “ride” experience. It is currently scheduled to open in late 2009.

Update: Attractions Magazine has more info about the attraction.

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Coping With Illness at Disney World

by on April 15, 2009

What to do when you or someone in your group becomes ill on your Disney Vacation? Unfortunately for us, that is exactly what happened. We had big plans to be at Hollywood Studios for rope drop at 9 AM. That changed in the middle of the night when my son, Trent, 13, got sick.

It didn’t even cross my mind when packing to bring Imodium or other medications. As a result, I purchased some for $5.50 in the gift shop. While I hate paying the over inflated prices, I am thankful to have it. The Disney gift shops have an assortment of medications for many minor maladies. The food courts have PowerAde, Sprite, bananas, toast, applesauce and other bland foods that people eat when they are ill. Housekeeping was also willing to accommodate our request for a later cleaning so that Trent could sleep in.

If you find yourself in similar circumstances, know that you have options. Disney really is supplied with what you need to handle minor illness.

Thank Goodness that Trent felt better after he ate and took the medicine and his illness didn’t require a trip to the hospital. So while our original plans have changed, we will take this opportunity to rest and enjoy the surroundings of our hotel. If you end up being ill away from home, Disney has the supplies to get you back to your “Touring Plan”. Stay well.

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WDW Today Episode 552 – Listener Questions

by on April 15, 2009

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Episode 552 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

One-click subscriptions to WDW Today:

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Extra Morning Magic Hours — Are They Worth It?

by on April 14, 2009

Are Disney Extra Morning Magic Hours worth it?  (Extra Magic Hours are only for guests staying at a Disney or Disney approved hotel. Only certain attractions are open during Extra Magic Hours — usually the headliners.  You can pick up a schedule of open attractions when you arrive at the park.) They are not for the faint of heart, but for those that want to maximize their time in the park.  This April morning, the Magic Kingdom Extra Morning Hours began at  7 AM.  The park opened at 8 AM to all other guests.   

To maximize the Magic Hour, we awoke at 5 AM in order for us to arrive at the Magic Kingdom by 6:30 AM at the latest.  Because we drove ourselves, we were almost the first to arrive just before 6:30.   While we had the turnstiles to ourselves for 10 minutes, by 6:45 there was a sea of people behind us.   We may sound crazy for getting up so early, but it paid off.  By 7:10 AM we had ridden Space Mountain.  By 7:20 we’d toured most of the open attractions in Tomorrowland and by 7:45 we had toured Fantasyland.  We even had time to go and wake Tinker Bell!

Frontierland and Adventureland were not open during the Magic Hour, however because we were already in the park and in the front of the line at the 8 AM rope drop, we were some of the first people to ride Big Thunder and Splash Mountains, and Pirates of the Caribbean. 

So are Extra Morning Magic Hours worth it?  Absolutely yes!!! The sacrifice of sleep is worth not having the aggravation of standing in long lines.  Take a nap mid day and you’ll be fine.  We had a blast and truly enjoyed the feeling  of having the parks to ourselves. 

Signing off for now, I am exhausted.  I’ve got to take a nap.

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WDW’s Cirque du Soleil La Nouba Closed May 18 – June 1, 2009

by on April 14, 2009

Looks to be a standard refurbishment of the facility.  We’ll have to get our fix of bendy, spinny performers elsewhere.

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Big Disney Resort Price Increases For U.K. Visitors In 2010

by on April 13, 2009

Reader Chris W. sent in word that Disney’s UK website has 2010 hotel rates posted, and from the looks of them U.K. visitors can expect price increases of 11 to 47% during summer 2010. The following table represents sample resort rates for four adults, room only, from 12 through 26 July in 2009 and 2010:

2009 2010 Pct Increase
All-Star Music £728 £924 26.9%
Pop Century £826 £924 11.9%
All-Star Movies £1,022 £1,134 11.0%
Port Orleans French Quarter £1,162 £1,400 20.5%
Port Orleans Riverside £1,162 £1,400 20.5%
Caribbean Beach £1,442 £1,722 19.4%
Animal Kingdom Lodge £1,918 £2,618 36.5%
Wilderness Lodge £2,296 £2,618 14.0%
Fort Wilderness £2,352 £2,884 22.6%
Beach Club £2,366 £3,472 46.7%
Boardwalk Inn £2,912 £3,472 19.2%
Polynesian £3,094 £3,766 21.7%
Grand Floridian £3,444 £4,102 19.1%

Update: All Things Disney has some further thoughts here.

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Surviving Disney Crowds 101

by on April 13, 2009

To the average Disney World guest, it would be hard to tell there is a recession going on in the United States.  On this balmy April day, the parks are filled with people.  The wait mid day at  Test Track is 110 minutes, Soarin’ is 90 minutes,  finding  a place to sit down and eat at Sunshine Seasons in the Land took more than a few moments of perusing the tables – it’s elbow to elbow.  During this week after Easter, at least 2 parks per day have Extra Magic Hours in the morning or in the evening for guests of Disney World resorts. Disney has not only extended park hours to deal with the crowds, but Spectro Magic the evening parade at the Magic Kingdom is being presented twice nightly.Fantasmic at the Studios, the fabulous nightly Spectacular has 3 performances this week.   While the crowds may be heavy,  Disney has planned ahead in hopes of keeping the frustration levels down for guests.  So if this is the week or another holiday week like it, that you are able to vacation, don’t let the crowds put a damper on your fun.   Get up early, be at the parks before they open (at least 30 minutes),  take a nap mid day, take advantage of the extended hours, and eat as healthy as possible. Surely, a magical time will be enjoyed by all.

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