Archive for March, 2010

What To Do With No Money On The Florida Turnpike

by on March 12, 2010

florida417One of the fastest ways to get to Walt Disney World from Orlando International Airport is via the Florida Turnpike (look for signs at the airport reading “FL-417 South”).  There are two or three toll booths along the way, depending on whether you exit at mile marker 6 (for Epcot) or mile marker 3 (Magic Kingdom).  The first two tollbooths are staffed with Florida Turnpike employees, and cost $1.25 each.  The third tollbooth, near the Magic Kingdom exit, is not staffed and costs $0.75.

If you’re taking these roads, we recommend you bring $4 in dollar bills and $3 in quarters for the round-trip drive.  If you find yourself short of cash, however, it’s easy enough to explain to the toll booth attendants; they’ll give you a form to fill out and send in payment later.  But what happens if you find yourself without enough spare change to pay for that last $0.75 toll?  Reader Dave L wants to know:

What happens when you’re on  the toll road and are supposed to pay a $.75 toll, but only have large  bills or a credit card? We drove through the booth because there were people behind us.  Am I doomed?  We’re out of state and I want to pay it.

The first thing we should point out is that you should never get out of your car to ask someone for change.  Besides the risk of being struck by a car, let’s just say that most Floridians do not welcome unexpected visits from strangers walking along the highway.  Simply drive past the tollbooth as Dave did, and follow these instructions.

If you’re driving a rented a car, contact your rental car company and tell them you missed the toll, and see what their policy is on the missed toll.  Some will simply add it to your bill along with a small “convenience charge.”

If this was your own car, you can mail Florida the payment.  This page from the Florida Turnpike’s website has the details for both situations: http://www.floridasturnpike.com/tools_tollviolations.cfm

The worst thing you can do is nothing, so definitely send in that payment.  We’d love to hear from readers who’ve gone through this experience, and how it turned out.

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WDW Today Episode 692 – Listener Questions

by on March 11, 2010

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Episode 689 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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WDW Today Episode 693 – Princess Marathon Recap

by on March 11, 2010

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Episode 690 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Parades And Fireworks Schedules Now On Lines

by on March 11, 2010

You can now view parades and fireworks times on Lines, our mobile app for viewing attraction wait times! We fetch this data nightly, but consider these times Unofficial and subject to change at any time. We’re currently showing tonight’s times for Fantasmic, IllumiNations, Wishes, SpectroMagic, Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade, Block Party Bash, and Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. And we’ll also give you quick access to see the schedules for the next 10 days.

Haven’t given Lines a go yet? Go download the app today!

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The Seven Seas Lagoon Monorail Crawl

by on March 9, 2010

AJ Wolfe from the Disney Food Blog returns with information about a Disney attraction not advertised in the brochures!

Drinks Available at Ohana and Tambu Lounge

Drinks Available at Ohana and Tambu Lounge

While we all enjoy hitting the theme parks for some great attractions during our Disney World days, there’s still fun to be had once the parks close! I’d like to introduce you to a tidy little excursion called the Monorail Crawl.

When people think about “alcohol + Disney World,” they usually have visions of drinking around the World in Epcot, fond memories of Pleasure Island, or thoughts of indulging in one of the delectable new menu offerings at the Mexico Pavilion’s La Cava del Tequila.

But the original way to have a grand evening of imbibing in Disney World was to visit one of Disney’s resort hotels around Seven Seas Lagoon. And if you’re going to visit one…why not visit them all? Thus, the birth of the Monorail Crawl — it’s a great way to resort hop, but still feel like you have…you know…a purpose!

Here’s How It’s Done
When taking part in the Monorail Crawl, participants can begin at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, or Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Have a drink at your starting point, then load up on the monorail and head to the next resort hotel. Pretty simple, eh?

Jazz Band Outside Mizner's Lounge

Jazz Band Outside Mizner's Lounge

You can even think up themes or games for each hotel, e.g. have a Hawaiian-themed drink at the Polynesian, a classic liqueur at the Grand Floridian, then a good old draft beer at the Contemporary (just be sure to do them in the right order!); or have three members of your party each bring a recipe for a new drink to sample — try one of the new recipes at each new resort!

However you plan to spice up your Monorail Crawl, be sure to designate a driver or two.

Some Favorite Watering Holes to Consider
Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: This snazzy spot is the perfect place to begin your crawl. Relax in the lounge with a classic cocktail while you listen to some live jazz.

Outer Rim Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort: This will take you from the Victorian decadence of the Grand Floridian into the George Jetson age! The Outer Rim Lounge offers deep, cushy chairs and an incredible, floor to ceiling view of Bay Lake and the Contemporary pool. If you hit it at the right time, you can even see the Contemporary’s movie on the beach from the Lounge! Click through images of the full menu here.

Outer Rim Lounge Bar

Outer Rim Lounge Bar

Tambu Lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Resort: A Hawaiian-themed paradise of a lounge, this one features live music from the islands as well as a big-screen TV (which could matter if it happens to be game day!). Schedule your crawl so that you can hit the Poly in time to watch some of the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the Lounge’s huge picture windows, or get your drinks to go and watch the Electric Water Pageant from the beach.

Remember, this activity can cost as little or as much as you’d like; you don’t need any theme park tickets, and you don’t even have to pay for parking!

Last Minute Suggestions
Here are a couple of suggestions that might make the Crawl even better:

  • Schedule this excursion when you’re staying at a monorail resort. As fun as it is when staying elsewhere, it’s even better when you can just monorail it back to your resort and head to bed at the end of the evening.
  • If you’re staying at another property, take a Disney bus or a shuttle to the starting point. You’ll be glad to not have to drive at the end.
  • Bring friends! While a small party is fun, sharing the Crawl with a crowd can make it even more of a memory.
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WDW Today Episode 691 – The Richard Petty Driving Experience

by on March 8, 2010

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Episode 691 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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WDW Today Episode 690 – ESPN’s Wide World Of Sports

by on March 5, 2010

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Episode 690 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Crowd Calendar Update for September 2010

by on March 3, 2010

The Crowd Calendar has been updated based on Disney Park Schedules for September. You may notice other changes as well as we updated projected park hours for February and March 2011. As a result of our ongoing data collection and thanks to many of you who have submitted times through LINES, many other updates may appear at other times of the year.

Our estimates of crowd size are unofficial and may change whenever Disney changes their park schedules, including changes to parade times, extra magic hours and park closing. Use the crowd calendar as a guide in your planning but also take into consideration the difficulty of getting advance dining reservations. It may be necessary to visit a park on on a day that is not recommended if you prefer dining at certain locations.

The Crowd Calendar is predicting a lot of days at level 4 through September and October. Be aware that if Disney announces a fall promotion, these predictions may change.

Note: The dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party hard ticket events are projected. Disney has not released the dates yet!

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Lines App Now In iPhone and Android App Stores

by on March 3, 2010

We’re happy to announce that you can now find Lines as a native application on the iPhone App Store and the Android Marketplace. This is a free download for TouringPlans.com premium subscribers (not a member yet? check out what you’re missing).

On iPhone, search for “wdw lines” or click here (the full name is Disney World Lines by TouringPlans.com), and on Android, search for “disney lines” to find it. iPhone and Android users also have the choice of using Lines as a native or web app (they are identical underneath the hood). And for you geeks out there: both native apps run WebKit when you launch, so we’ll be able to push out new features very quickly.

Join TouringPlans.com and download Lines today!

Want to help bring Lines to your mobile platform? Contact us

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WDW Today Episode 689 – Listner Questions

by on March 3, 2010

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Episode 689 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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