Archive for January, 2013

New Info About The California Grill Refurbishment

by on January 31, 2013

©Disney

As a reminder, the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will be going down for a lengthy refurbishment starting tomorrow, February 1.

When the space reopens, it will be completely refreshed, featuring tones of grays, whites, and light wood, with sporadic pops of color. The space will also feature a wall of wines and of course, those views aren’t going anywhere. Guests will still be able to dine with the Magic Kingdom in the background.

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Disney CEO Iger Disses US Rep. Markey’s MyMagic+ Questions

by on January 31, 2013

Copyright Disney

Between the debt crisis, cabinet confirmation, and gun control, you might the the U.S. Congress has its hands too full at the moment to pay much attention to the Mouse. But Disney’s new MyMagic+ program, which was officially announced earlier this month and will soon roll out across Walt Disney World’s theme parks and resorts, has raised questions about security and privacy inside and outside Washington.

On January 24, Representative Edward J. Markey from Massachusetts, who has earned a long-standing reputation for challenging entertainment companies, issued a 3-page detailed letter requesting answers about how Disney’s new RFID chip-based guest management system will be implemented.

Markey’s missive read, in part:

Collecting information about how guests use Disney amusement parks could improve the company’s ability to target advertisements at its guests, including children… Although kids should have the chance to meet Mickey Mouse, this memorable meeting should not be manipulated through surreptitious use of a child’s personal information.

The response from Disney CEO Bob Iger, released on January 28, was less than diplomatic:

We are offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion in your letter dated January 24, 2013, that we would in any way haphazardly or recklessly introduce a program that manipulates children, or wantonly puts their safety at risk. It is truly unfortunate and extremely disappointing that you chose to publicly attack us before taking the time to review our policies and/or contact us for information, which would have obviated the need for your letter. Had you or your staff made the slightest effort, you would have found most of the answers to your questions already existed and were publicly available online at http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/pp.html and https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/my-disney-experience/privacy-policy.

You can read Iger’s full response here.

Congressional concern is unlikely to significantly slow the billion-dollar MyMagic+ project, which is expected to expand across WDW in 2013, and invade Disneyland Resort the following year.

Are you concerned about your personal privacy in the light of Disney’s new designs? Do you feel it is appropriate for government representatives to ask questions like these? Leave us your take in the comments below.

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The Walt Disney World Attractions+ PhotoPass Product

by on January 30, 2013

I made half a dozen visits to Walt Disney World last year, but only one with my entire family. Given that this “gang’s all here” trip was a momentous occasion, I decided to splurge on the new Attractions+ PhotoPass product.

Introduced in December 2012, Attractions+ is another variation in the string of new PhotoPass bundled products. In this incarnation, you receive downloadable JPEGs of all your on-ride photos for one price: $44.95.

The rides on which photos are taken are:

  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (Magic Kingdom)
  • Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
  • Tower of Terror (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Dinosaur (Animal Kingdom)
  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)
  • Test Track (Epcot)

When you buy the Attractions+ product, you are given a dedicated card which is only used to claim the photos at those attractions. Unlike regular PhotoPass cards, which generally have a 30 day life span, the Attractions+ card is punched with an expiration date. Each Attractions+ purchase can only be used to claim ride photos for 14 days. During those 14 days, you can add as many on-ride photos as you want. Given that getting a printed ride photo typically costs about $19.00, if you were going to buy more than two ride pictures, then the Attractions+ product makes sense.

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New Limited Time Magic Event For Disneyland – True Love Week

by on January 29, 2013

©Disney

True love is a magical thing!

Over at Disneyland, guests will get to celebrate their Happy Ever After with True Love Week, which will run from February 11 – 17. In addition to celebrating romantic love, Disney will also celebrate the love between family and friends.

To get guests in the mood, Disneyland Park will be decorated with heart shaped signs and romantic decor. Sleeping Beauty Castle will be highlighted with beautiful pinks, reds, and lavender lights at night, while projections of hearts and flowers will be highlighted.

For guests who are looking to get special romantic photos taken, a giant floral heart will be found in Town Square. In addition, flowers and doves will adorn Snow White’s Wishing Well near Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests will get the opportunity to also meet sweethearts Daisy and Donald, as well as Mickey and Minnie near Town Square. Rare opportunities will also be available to get get photos taken with the princesses and their princes along The Royal Walk in Fantasyland. In New Orleans Square, guests will also be able to find Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.

©Disney

Special merchandise will be available for purchase, including pins, plush, Vinylmations, and apparel. Also, special Mickey ears will also be available to guests. In addition, a special themed chocolate cupcake with raspberry mousse and dark chocolate frosting will be available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel Coffee House.

For those who are looking to have a romantic dinner, Disney’s got you covered. Prix fixe menus will be available at Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel or Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

Romance will certainly be in the air this February at Disneyland Resort!

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Limited Time Magic Event For Magic Kingdom – True Love Week

by on January 29, 2013

©Disney

Ahhh…love is in the air!

From February 11 – 17, guests will have the opportunity to experience True Love Week, which will celebrate all things love and finding your “happy ever after.” The week will also help to celebrate the love between family and friends.

Lovely decor will be found throughout the Magic Kingdom, including banners and heart shaped signage. In addition, Cinderella Castle will be highlighted each night in reds, pinks, and lavenders, all synched to romantic music.

Guests will also get to participate in special meet and greet opportunities with the Disney Princesses and their Princes. For example, in Town Square Theater you may find Mickey and Minnie, Aurora with Phillip, or Rapunzel and Flynn. Mary Poppins will join Bert in Fantasyland, and Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana will meet guests in the Enchanted Glade in Liberty Square. In addition, special photo spots will be set up, making the perfect place to get your romantic pictures taken. New Fantasyland will feature Cinderella’s Coach near the Castle Wall, Cinderella’s Wishing Well will have flowers and hearts adorning it, and the Rose Garden will be the perfect spot with beautiful decor.

Valentine’s Day merchandise will also be available, including plush, pins, Vinylmations, and apparel.

For guests looking to have a romantic meal, special dinners for two will be featured with prix fixe menus available at Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge), The Wave…of American Flavors (Contemporary Resort), Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club), and Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

It’s sure to be a romantic week in the Magic Kingdom!

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Walt Disney World…en Español

by on January 29, 2013

Su familia y usted han soñado con este viaje, han ahorrado su dinero y ahora tienen el tiempo y los fondos necesarios para tomar esas vacaciones en “el lugar más mágico de la Tierra”. Solo hay un problema; ustedes hablan español y entienden poco o nada de ingles. En palabras de Ricardo Arjona “el problema no es problema.”  Walt Disney World es un paraíso para turistas de todas las edades, todos los países y todos los idiomas. Con un poco de investigación y planificación va a poder tener esas vacaciones que siempre ha querido y la barrera de lenguaje caerá fácilmente gracias a todas las herramientas que existen para usted en el Reino Mágico.

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Looking over the February Crowd Calendar at WDW

by on January 29, 2013

February can be a great month to visit Walt Disney World, but it can be a reasonably busy month, depending on the week. Here’s a quick view of Walt Disney World’s February 2013 Crowd Calendar:

And here are a few specific days that I would like to bring to your attention:

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Extended February DCA Park Hours for Disneyland Annual Passholders

by on January 28, 2013

Image copyright Disney

In a surprise move, Disneyland Resort has quietly released details of a new limited-time perk for all Disneyland Annual Passholders. On Thursday nights in February 2013, Passholders can stay in Disney California Adventure for an extra 2 hours past the usual closing time. That’s 120 more minutes to enjoy the rides in Cars Land and elsewhere around Anaheim’s hottest attraction.

The program will only be offered on Thursdays, February 7, 14, 21, & 28. Passholders will be allowed to stay until 10pm on the 7th, 14th, and 28th, and until 11pm on the 21st.

In order to participate, you must arrive at DCA between noon and 90 minutes after the regular park closing time, in order to obtain a special wristband near the front turnstiles. A valid annual pass and photo ID are required; regular parking fees still apply.

Note that this temporary “stay late” program is in addition to the ongoing early entry perk, which allows annual Passholders into the parks an hour early on the weekends. That program runs through April 14, but is not available on February 3.

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2012′s “Year to Be Here” Gives 2013 Guests Plenty to Enjoy

by on January 28, 2013

With the start of 2013 ahead of us, we’ve got plenty to be excited for as guests at the Universal Orlando Resort. Transformers: The Ride-3D, the hit attraction from Universal Studios Hollywood, is set to open later this year, and several unannounced construction projects have begun to take shape from the former home of Jaws to the area surrounding The Simpsons Ride. And while these options will surely give us further reason to return to the Universal parks when they are complete, there is plenty of recently added fun to enjoy here and now courtesy of 2012’s Year to Be Here campaign.

1. Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem: Replacing Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast earlier last year, this new attraction managed to maintain the same simulator ride system from the former ride, while overlaying a undeniably cute and hilariously fun story-driven experience that’ll soften the hearts of any guest, no matter the age or attitude. Fans of the Despicable Me franchise, especially of the lovable Minions, will find plenty to love with an immersive queuing experience that places guests inside of Gru’s iconic home and laboratory, where they become a part of a new scheme in which riders will become Minions themselves in a wacky, wild, and sometimes wet ride through a heartfelt milestone for the Gru family. A fully themed experience from queue to gift shop, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem has become a guest favorite at Universal Studios, one that is perfect for families and fun-seekers alike. This one is a must do attraction during your next visit to Universal Studios Florida!

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Mad Tea Party to Have Refurbishment

by on January 27, 2013

©Disney

It’s been on again, then off again, now it appears to be on again.

The Mad Tea Party, found in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, is set to have a little over a month long refurbishment, lasting from April 10 until May 21. The attraction will reopen on May 22.

Fore more information about refurbishments, please check out our Refurbishment Schedule.

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