Disney has finally rolled out free Wi-Fi to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests can now use complimentary Wi-Fi in all four Walt Disney World theme parks, as well as at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
The Wi-Fi name has also now changed. To access it, guests must connect with network name “In-Room Guest WiFi (Disney)” or “Public Space Guest WiFi (Disney)”, depending on your location. Then simply launch your browser and agree to the terms.
Complimentary Wi-Fi should be available at Downtown Disney by the end of the year.
It’s hard to believe that spring is around the corner, what with the cold just now setting in to the majority of the country; however, with spring comes the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This will be the 20th anniversary of the event, and Disney is pulling out more stops than ever before!
First, this year Daisy will join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto in the main entrance topiary display. In addition, Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. and the upcoming Monsters University will be made in topiary form and found in the walkway between Future World and World Showcase. For those who have the pedal to the metal, the amazing Cars topiaries will be found in front of the newly remodeled Test Track. In addition, those on the lookout for hundreds of butterflies will find them at Fawn’s Butterfly House, which will also feature plant versions of Tink and her fairy friends.
Also new this year will be a section that focuses on the new movie Oz The Great and Powerful. Guests will visit the Land of Oz through interactive exhibits like a circus-themed section with midway games and photo opportunities. Also featured will be the Land of Oz Play Area, which will have bubbles and playgrounds, along with the famous crashed hot air balloon. Finally, the area will feature the Oz Movie Garden, which will contain lush plants that were inspired by the movie.
The 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will run from March 6 – May 19, 2013. It is included in the price of admission to the park.
Many of you may know that the Spa at the Grand Floridian has been closed for some time due to massive work being done over at the resort, but it looks like the time has come for it to reopen.
Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will be opening up on December 17. This new spa, owned and run by Disney now, has been completely remodeled and has a gorgeous, airy look. This re-done version will include 15 treatment rooms offering a multitude of treatments and featuring Florida citrus and botanicals.
Starting January 16, 2013, all of the spas, salons, and fitness centers across property will be owned and run by Disney. Because of that, on January 16, the Spa at Saratoga Springs will close for a refurbishment and reopen in the summer. It will be known as Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
If guests would like to book treatments at this revamped spa, they should call 407-WDW-SPAS (407-939-7727).
One of the things that makes Disney Parks unique compared to a lot of other theme parks is their live entertainment, known as “Streetmosphere.” With the New Fantasyland’s grand opening coming soon, we have learned that some new characters will be taking up residence in this land of whimsy. The Royal Majesty Makers are the first live entertainment for this area, and there will likely be more to come. This new group will debut when the Fantasyland Expansion begins its formal previews on November 19.
The group will contain: Sir Sterling, a retired knight; Lady Llewellyn, the royal etiquette expert; Tobias, a squire; and Bridget, a flirtatious lady in waiting. These four will engage with visiting villagers in the Castle Courtyard, providing many different magical moments, such as conducting knight school, leading royal dances, handing out invitations to the royal ball, and playing games.
As a fan of Streetmosphere, it will be interesting to see how this group interacts with those visiting the land.
Yesterday we got the opportunity to attend a very early preview of the soon to be opened The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This walk through replaces the former Journey into Narnia attraction just outside of Pixar Place and shares many of the same aspects. Keep in mind, this was just a dress rehearsal and may not exactly portray the final product.
Much like in the Narnia attraction, we start in a blank, dark room where the only focal point is a large stone structure. Atop the grand archway sits the infamous skull tacked to the wall from the Pirates of the Caribbean rides. He is helping Captain Jack seek pirates worthy enough to join his crew, using much of the same spiel from the ride, from the beginning – “Ah, ye come seeking adventure and salty ol’ pirates, aye?” – all the way down to “DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES!”
A mysterious message has come out from Disney. Over on the Disney Parks Blog, Social Media Managing Editor Gary Buchanan posted a link to a new Tumblr account focusing on the his love for and potential search for a dragon. He also posts a video which showcases his best evidence for the hunt.
This dragon sighting is said to have something to do with the New Fantasyland, as is noted in the Tumblr blog. Could this be related to the dragon that was seen flying over Shafter’s Minter Field this summer?
Whatever this new focus on dragons is, one thing is certain, I can’t wait to find out more! And I hope that we find out more soon, what with New Fantasyland’s “Premiere” in just a few short weeks! For now, all we can do is “Believe in Fantasy” and follow along as Gary goes on a quest to find out if whatever it was that he saw, really was a dragon.
The holiday season is upon us! Yes, I know it’s just November but if you’ve been in a Walmart anytime in the last two months, you know I’m not the first person to have Christmas on the brain. And Walmart isn’t the only place with decorations out. Disneyland is decorating, too! You may have seen in Guy’s recent photo update that the decorations are up and the parks are looking beautiful already. The holiday season is in full swing at Disneyland starting November 12, so it’s not too early to plan your visit!
1. Thanksgiving Dinner – If you’re debating visiting Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day, I’ve got good news! You don’t have to cook a turkey. Disney will take care of it for you! No cooking. That, my friends, is music to my ears. There’s a huge buffet set up at the Disneyland Hotel. There will be roast turkey, prime rib, pumpkin pies, a chocolate fountain, etc. The list is way too huge to list here. It’s not cheap at $71.99 for adults and $20.99 for kids, but it is extravagant. Steakhouse 55 doesn’t have as big a selection, but it’s three courses for $46, and, knowing Steakhouse 55, it’s going to be delicious. Napa Rose has a four-course Wine Country Feast for Thanksgiving for $90. You know that will be good! Storytellers Café, PCH Grill, Ariel’s Grotto, Flo’s V8 Café, Carthay Circle – there are tons of other choices and if you want a Thanksgiving meal at Disneyland, trust me, you won’t go hungry.
2. Candlelight Processional – Okay this is a touchy one right now. More on that in a minute. The Candlelight Processional is a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity accompanied by an orchestra and choir. It’s been held in Disneyland every year since 1958. This year it’s being held on 20 different nights starting December 1. The announced celebrity narrators include Dick Van Dyke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Patricia Heaton and Kurt Russell. Pretty diverse group, huh? I’m hesitant to give any more specifics here since Disney seems to keep changing the plans. Back in August, Disney announced that there would be a lot more dates this year and even some new dining packages. The Disney Parks Blog just slipped in the news that there are no dining packages now, and it appears that the only reserved seats are going to be pretty hard to get, although there’s a chance if you’re an Annual Passholder that you can get selected by lottery. My advice is to watch the Disney Parks Blog and the Touring Plans Blog to see what other announcements are made.
I am not going to lie to you (normally I would)…I never quite saw the appeal of the Polynesian Resort. While it is true that I had not stayed there since 1984, I have spent a pretty fair amount of time at the tropical resort in the past few years. I spent that time walking around the grounds thinking “it’s nice, but nothing special.” Well, I recently got the opportunity to stay at the Polynesian and am not too proud to admit that I was horribly wrong.
As you should be aware (since you commit all of my musings to memory), I usually enjoy Walt Disney World’s Moderate category hotels if I am looking for an area to explore. I do not feel like the value resorts offer enough interesting details, as I outlined in my Pop Century exploring chapter (although I have not gotten out to see the Art of Animation as of yet). Deluxe resorts, while beautiful, are normally based around one very large building, which means that there are not a lot of outdoor areas to explore.
For those of you still on the fence, we thought we’d share a little more of the Walt Disney World Holiday eBook! By clicking here you can access a PDF containing two sample sections from the eBook!(Note: due to file size limitations, this sample section has been compressed and its image quality is lower than the quality of the full eBook.) These are just a few of the pages and photos contained in the full 111-page eBook, which features over 150 high quality photos of Walt Disney World at Christmas!
Use the buttons below to purchase the eBooks:
Walt Disney World Holiday eGuide 2012: Click “Add to Cart” to purchase Walt Disney World: Holiday Season TouringPlans eGuide 2012.
Disneyland Holiday eGuide 2012: Click “Add to Cart” to purchase Disneyland: Holiday TouringPlans eGuide 2012.
For more information on these Holiday eBooks, including additional screenshots, please click here.
If you’ve already purchased your copy of either eBook, please share your thoughts about them in the comments! Good, bad, or ugly, we’d love some “reader testimonials.”