Archive for May, 2013

Least Crowded Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2013 Dates

by on May 28, 2013

If you’re looking for the least crowded, best day to visit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2013, circle Tuesday, September 17, 2013, on your calendar. That Halloween Party, on a Tuesday in mid-September, was the least-crowded event in 2012’s schedule.

If that date doesn’t fit in your schedule, last year’s crowds indicate that Tuesday Halloween parties are less crowded on average than parties held on any other day of the week.

Friday and Sunday are the next-best days to attend a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Thursday was surprisingly the busiest day, although it may has something to do with the Magic Kingdom often having morning Extra Magic Hours on Thursdays.

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Not surprisingly, September dates are generally less busy than the October dates, although Tuesdays are still the best days regardless of which month they are in. The one big exception to this last year was Friday, September 28, 2012, which was the busiest Halloween party we tracked. The most likely cause was that this was also the opening weekend of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival as well as the weekend of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

A strange quirk in attraction wait times is that October 31, 2012 (Halloween), was one of the parties with very low wait times. In this case the data is deceiving, as that party was sold out (as was Sunday, October 28). While the sellout indicates high crowds, our research shows very short attraction lines. In reality, both of those are true, and all of the parties near Halloween tend to be quite busy, regardless of the wait times.

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10 Things You Should Know About Annual Passes at Disneyland

by on May 27, 2013

So last week we talked about tickets at Disneyland. Today, let’s talk about a special kind of Disneyland ticket – an Annual Passport. Are Annual Passports for everyone? No. Are they for you? Possibly! Hopefully I can give you some information to help you decide.

1. There are Lots of Options – Disneyland has 5 different kinds of Annual Passes. There are two Annual Passes directed at Southern California residents residing in zip codes 90000 to 93599. Both of these Passes have blackout dates, which means you cannot use the passes on those specified dates. The first is the Southern California Select Annual Passport which is currently $269 and is valid 176 days a year. The second is the Southern California Annual Passport which is currently $329 and is valid 227 days of the year. To purchase either of these Passes, you must live in Southern California. There is another pass with some blackout dates that is available to anyone and it’s called the Deluxe Annual Passport. It’s currently $469 and is valid 315 days a year. You can add parking to any of those three passes for an additional $129. The next pass is called the Premium Annual Passport. It has no blackout dates, includes parking and is currently $649. The final pass is the Disney Premier Passport. It’s currently $849, has no blackout dates, includes parking AND (and this is an important “and”) is also a Premium Annual Pass at Walt Disney World. That’s a nice little feature isn’t it?

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Details on the Princess Fairytale Hall for Magic Kingdom

by on May 26, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

The Princess Fairytale Hall, part of the New Fantasyland expansion, is well on its way to its fall debut. It will be the new home to meet the Disney Princesses in the Magic Kingdom.

This new area will feature a castle-like entrance that will feature walls of stone, as well as stained glass windows. In addition, there will be a large regal gallery with photos of the Disney Princesses.

©Disney

©Disney

Guests will then proceed into one of four elegant rooms where they will have the opportunity to meet with their favorite princesses. Each room will be home to two ladies of the Disney royal family.

This new meet and greet will be located where Snow White’s Scary Adventures used to be found, located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland.

No specific opening date has been announced. Stay tuned to the blog as we find out more information for your ability to meet Disney Royalty in their gorgeous new home!

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Lots of Walt Disney World Refurbishments For Late Summer

by on May 26, 2013

Late Summer is always known as a less busy time to visit Walt Disney World. A lot of kids are either just about to start to go back to school or are already in their first few weeks. Because of that, Disney often schedules a few refurbishments in this time window.

Here is a list of what you can expect to see down:

Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Muppet*Vision 3D will be closed for a refurbishment for a little less than a month, from August 6 – September 2, reopening September 3.

In addition, The Epcot Character Spot is finally going to open from its extra long refurbishment that started way back in October. It was originally supposed to reopen in January, but now it will debut on June 3.

For a complete list of refurbishments for the parks, please check out our Disney World Refurbishment Schedule.

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New “Mysteries of Magic” Experience Available to Disneyland Hotel Guests

by on May 26, 2013

Photo courtesy Orange County Register

The “early entry” hours offered to select ticket-holders and resort hotel guests at Disneyland are a wonderful way to experience the magic of the Happiest Place on Earth with minimal wait times. But what if you've been on every Fantasyland and Tomorrorland ride a million times, and are looking for a new way to spend the early A.M. inside Disneyland Park?

The brand-new “Mysteries of Magic” experience is now being offered during Tuesday and Thursday “Extra Magic Hours” exclusively to registered guests of the three Disneyland Resort on-site hotels. Participating guests will get to participate in a private workshop inside the Main Street Magic Shop, where they will “be amazed, mystified, and intrigued” as they are introduced to the world of performing prestidigitation.

Participants (who must be 5 years old or older) in the hour-long program will recieve personal instruction on performing several magic tricks, training materials, and a 10% discount on any items purchased from the Magic Shop during the session. The experience costs $10 per person (plus valid park admission) and space is limited. This may be a temporary or seasonal event, but no closing date is announced. See the concierge or front desk at your hotel for more information or to sign up.

This program is so new that we have not had a chance to try it yet. If you've experienced the new “Mysteries of Magic” event, please leave your impressions in the comments below.

 

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Sounds Like Summer Concert Series is Ready To Rock!

by on May 24, 2013

Sounds Like Summer Concert SeriesIt is the unofficial kick off to Summer this Memorial Day Weekend and with that means that the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Epcot is about to heat up the America Gardens Theatre.

The series features incredibly talented tribute bands playing classic songs that you know and love. There are some great acts featured this year, kicking off on June 9.

  • June 9-15: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • June 16-22: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 23-29: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – The Ultimate Billy Joel Show
  • June 30-July 6: Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 7-13: SouthBound and Company – A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • July 14-20: The Police Experience – A Tribute to the Police
  • July 21-27: 2U – The World’s 2nd Best U2 Show

The showtimes are 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:00 pm nightly, with an exception on the Fourth of July, when there will be 4 showtimes at 5:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:45 pm and 9:00 pm.

Shows are included with your park admission and are, of course, subject to change.

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Limited Time Magic For Walt Disney World – More Monstrous Summer Fun

by on May 24, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

With today’s 24 hour event kicking off the official summer vacation season, Disney is already in the full swing of its Monstrously Good Summer.

Starting on May 24 (today) and lasting throughout the summer season, a special Celebrate the Magic castle projection show will take place nightly at the Magic Kingdom. This show will introduce a wonderful segment featuring the opportunity to head “Under the Sea” with Ariel, go on a beach journey with Lilo and Stitch, and spend some time with Goofy, too!

Staying at a select Walt Disney World Hotel? Make sure to set your alarm for a special wake up call from Mike Wazowski. He’ll remind you to scare up some fun each morning on your vacation.

As a reminder, don’t forget to partake in the other events celebrating the upcoming Monsters University movie. Guests will be able to meet Mike and Sulley in the MU Student Union at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, make a visit to see some new material at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, and check out The Monsterail on Disney’s monorail lines.

Let the Monstrous Summer begin!

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Springfield announced for Universal Studios Florida

by on May 23, 2013

Hot on the heels of the massive announcement of the second Harry Potter-based realm coming to Universal Studios Florida, the Universal Orlando Resort announced today that the area surrouding the popular attraction, The Simpsons Ride will be transformed into Springfield, the notable city that plays host to the colorful characters of the The Simpsons. Taking over the remainder of the former World Expo section that was rethemed after the closure of Back to the Future: The Ride, this exciting new land will include a new family attraction, food and beverage options, photo opportunities and new meet and greet characters.

springfield overview

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Observations from Disney’s Animal Kingdom: May 21, 2013

by on May 22, 2013

117A few days ago I heard from some friends over at Disney Hipsters that there were laser effects working on DINOSAUR that had been broken for years. I also heard from a friend that the bird at the top of Expedition Everest near the broken track was working. I decided it was time for a trip to Animal Kingdom to see for myself.

On the way I stopped at Disney’s Pop Century Resort to collect the new breakfast menu. Since Animal Kingdom didn’t have any breakfast dishes I haven’t tried I decided to eat at Pop. It was my first time eating breakfast there! I ordered a Ham and Cheese Omelet with a Biscuit. My boyfriend, Tom, who was with me, got a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel.

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Get to Know the Disney World Pools, Part Four: The Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort Pools

by on May 22, 2013

We’ve given you the basics about Disney resort pools in general and the specifics about the pools at the value and moderate level hotels. The series concludes with an in-depth look at the pools at the Walt Disney World deluxe and villa resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas, Boardwalk Inn and Villas, Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower Villas, Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Polynesian, Saratoga Springs and Tree House Villas, Wilderness Lodge and Villas, and the Yacht & Beach Club and Beach Club Villas.

So strap on your swim fins; we’re going in …

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE AND KIDANI VILLAGE

  • How many pools are there? There are two large pools at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Uzima pool at the main Jambo House, and the Samwati Spring pool in the Kidani Village villas area. There is no “quiet pool” area at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
  • What is the pool themeing? The African wilderness.
  • What’s the kiddie pool situation? There are traditional kiddie pools in both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas. Additionally, Kidani has a large interactive water play area intended for children under 48″ tall.
  • Are there water slides? Yes, both pool areas have water slides. At Kidani, there is a small slide, appropriate for preschoolers, as well as a larger slide for older children. At Jambo, there is one large water slide.
  • Is there a nearby playground? Yes. There are playgrounds near both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas.
  • What’s the nearest food option? The Maji bar next to the Kidani pool offers drinks and very limited number of cold sandwich options. The Uzima Springs bar next to the Jambo pool offers drinks and a small selection of packaged snacks. The Mara quick service restaurant, with complete food offerings, is steps away from the Jambo pool.
  • Are there showers at the pool? Yes, there are restrooms with lockers and shower adjacent to both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas.
  • Are there hot tubs? Yes, there are hot tubs at both the Jambo and Kidani pool areas.
  • Are there towels available at the pool? Yes, towels are available at both pools.
  • How deep is the pool? The Jambo pool is four feet, ten inches at its deepest point. The Kidani pool is four feet, eleven inches at its deepest point.
  • Are there zero entry pools available? Yes. The main pools at both Jambo and Kidani have zero entry access.
  • Are poolside cabanas available? No.
  • Are there poolside activities? Yes. There are activities at both the Jambo and Kidani pools. Schedules may vary seasonally, but recently there were planned events from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. every afternoon, plus a movie under the stars in the evening. Events may include: Bingo, Wild Trivia, Frisbee Toss, Giant Jenga, Chalk Art, Musical Rings, and others. Weather permitting, there is a free campfire with s’mores.
  • Anything else? The two sections of the Animal Kingdom Lodge are a substantial walking distance apart. Guests with preschool and elementary age children may prefer the pools at Kidani Village due to the appealing children’s water play area. Different evening movies are shown at the Jambo and Kidani areas. Feel free to view whichever film is more appealing to your family. The schedules for both will be available at the front desk.

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