Archive for September, 2012

WDW October Park Hours Updated!

by on September 18, 2012

The Disney World park hours were recently updated for September 30 through October 27, with operating hours extended for the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are now a handful of days where the Magic Kingdom is open until 12am with a second Main Street Electrical Parade added.

Hollywood Studios also had quite a few days changed, and will now stay open until 9 or 9:30pm occasionally. Those days will also see an additional showing of Fantasmic!. Animal Kingdom had many closing times adjusted as well.

The chart below shows all current park hours with changes in red.

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Vegan Dining At Sanaa

by on September 18, 2012

Welcome to our newest blogger Emily Woesthoff! Emily is the General Manager of BabyCakes NYC in Downtown Disney and has been vegan for most of her adult life. She is going to be rating and reviewing restaurants around Walt Disney World and recommending some top picks for vegan and vegetarian readers.

Sanaa, located in the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge is probably one of, if not the, best location for vegan dining on property. It’s not just because the food is tasty, and the atmosphere is pretty, it’s also because Sanaa makes it easy to eat vegan. Sanaa has its own vegan menu; that’s right, an entire menu rather than just one option! It may not sound like much to an omnivore, but for a vegan in Walt Disney World, more than one option is quite a luxury.

Salad Sampler

Just about everything that Sanaa churns out of its kitchen is delicious. To start off, the Potato and Pea Samosas which come with mango or tamarind chutney (I always say, go mango or go home) are a great option. There are two of them, so it’s a sharable appetizer. Something on the lighter side? Try the Salad Sampler! It’s actually really filling, since you are able to choose three salads, and a better value for your money than the Samosas. Do me a favor and please try the Bhel Puri as one of your salad choices. It’s so good, and incorporates noodles along with a bunch of cold vegetables, you will not be disappointed. The tomato soup is also good, but it’s tomato soup and you can get that anywhere, so live a little!

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Attraction Tips – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

by on September 17, 2012

Everyone’s favorite lovable, cuddly Pooh Bear caused quite the fuss when he came to the Magic Kingdom several years ago, replacing Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Many years later, though, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has become one of the most attended attractions in the Magic Kingdom. It’s one that draws heavy crowds and takes a few tricks to make sure you enjoy it all.

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New Touring Plan: Disney California Adventure Two-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children

by on September 17, 2012

Note: If you’re interested in adapting this touring plan for your family’s visit, you can use our free Disneyland touring plan software to create your own version.  No subscription or download is required.  Your plan can include different attractions, character greetings, an afternoon break, sit-down meals and more.

One of my goals is to expand the number of touring plans for the Disneyland Resort. With Disney California Adventure’s multi-year makeover now complete, it’s a perfect time to share some plans  I’ve been working on.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (9/9/2012 – 9/15/2012)

by on September 17, 2012

All images copyright Disney

The Halloween season kicked off last week at Disneyland, attracting spooks and ghouls of all shapes and sizes to the Anaheim resort during what is otherwise an exceptionally slow season.

Crowd Calendar

Busiest Day: Saturday 9/15 was a 6 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 6.5 and Disneyland Park at 5.4.

Quietest Day: Monday 9/10 through Wednesday 9/12 were 1 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 1.1 and Disneyland Park at 1.1.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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The Boneyard At Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Have Quick Refurbishment

by on September 14, 2012

The Boneyard, which can be found in Dinoland U.S.A in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is slated to have a quick, two day refurbishment next week.  The elaborate playground will be closed on September 18 and 19, reopening again on September 20.

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10 Impressions from a Walt Disney World-Loving Newbie to Disneyland

by on September 14, 2012

I’m back from the Happiest Place on Earth, and if you read my blog post last week, then you know that I took a Newbie with me!  So you won’t get tired of reading the word “newbie” over and over, and I won’t get tired of spell check hating that word, we’ll call her by her first name which is Missy.  Missy has actually been to Disneyland, but the last time she went she was 7 and it was more than 25 years ago.  Disneyland has changed crazy amounts in the past year alone, not to mention the past 25!  I was so excited to see what she thought about it all and told her I was going to be taking notes on her thoughts and comments in a very normal research kind of non-stalkerish way.  I will say I was amazed at how vivid some of her memories were from her trip so long ago.  She remembered going through the Matterhorn on the skyway, she remembered the Submarine Voyage, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and a few other things.  But much of it was completely new territory.

Missy is an AP holder and frequent visitor to Walt Disney World.  So she naturally spent a lot of time comparing the two.  How did Disneyland hold up?  Read on to find out some differences that stood out to her!

1. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa vs. Disneyland Hotel – We stayed three nights at the Grand Californian and one at the Disneyland Hotel.  Since I manage to put in a plug for the Grand Californian in about 90% of my blog posts, no one is surprised that the Grand Californian remains my favorite.  Missy’s choice?  The Disneyland Hotel!  I know!  I can’t believe it!  Now to be fair, we had an awesome, oversized room with a gorgeous view of Downtown Disney over at the Disneyland Hotel.  At the Grand Californian, we were in a standard room over by the Disney Vacation Club villas and it was a decent walk from the main area, so that probably influenced her.  I will also say that while I love the elegance and richness of the Grand Californian, the floor to ceiling windows in our bright and airy room at the Disneyland Hotel were an appealing change.  Of course, the amazing mahogany with the inlaid light up fireworks didn’t hurt either!

2. The Proximity of Everything – Anyone who has ever visited Disney World before they visited Disneyland knows that the closeness of everything is the biggest difference between the two.  Missy was no exception.  Every time we walked out the front entrance of either park and right into the other park, she said something along the lines of – “This is so weird.”  I think she meant that in a good way for Disneyland.  In fact one night when I complained that I had forgotten something at the World of Disney  store and had to walk back there from the Disneyland Hotel, she about slapped me upside my head.  She didn’t, but I’m pretty sure she thought about it.  Instead she reminded me if we were at Disney World it could have been much much worse!!


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Weekly Disneyland Photo Update for September 14, 2012 – Halloween Time at Disneyland

by on September 14, 2012

I have a huge update for you this week. Today is the official beginning of Halloween Time at Disneyland. Decorations are added to many areas of the park and seasonal overlays to two classic attractions.

Starting off at the park’s entrance, the character pumpkins have returned above the turnstiles.

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Be Our Guest Restaurant To Serve Wine and Beer

by on September 13, 2012

©Disney

The Be Our Guest Restaurant, when it opens in November as part of the New Fantasyland, will be the first restaurant at the Magic Kingdom to serve alcohol.

According to guest feedback, guests wanted some alcoholic beverage options to go with their gourmet dining experience. The upscale restaurant will offer different beers and wines that will pair well with the French cuisine that will be served.

Wines served will be mostly French, with a few Californian wines included. Beers served will also be mostly French, but a few Belgian choices will be available, as well.

According to Stuart McGuire, Beverage Director at the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts, “As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complements the French-inspired cuisine. The wines focus primarily on France’s famous wine-growing regions, including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux. We’ll also offer the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664,” says McGuire. “And, staying in the general region, we’ll also offer Belgian beers.”

Alcoholic beverages will only be served during the dinner seating and will only be able to be consumed in the restaurant.

For those who would like to take a look at the wines and beers that will be offered, Disney has included the menu on its website.

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Kali River Rapids To Offer Complimentary Lockers

by on September 13, 2012

©Disney

Have you ever ridden Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and gotten absolutely drenched? I’ll bet the answer is yes. Well, now Disney has a solution for you!

Kali River Rapids, a white-water raft attraction that can be found in the Asia section of the park, is now offering complimentary lockers for two hours. These lockers are only for guests riding the attraction who do not want to get their personal items soaked. The lockers are located by the restrooms near the entrance of the attraction.

If guests would like to store their property for the day, lockers are available for rent at the front of the park.

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