Archive for February, 2014

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of February 28, 2014

by on February 28, 2014

In Case You Missed It!

Lots of fun was had this week! What did I find to brighten your Friday? Read on to find out!

In Case You Missed It – Disney News and Rumors

The Oscars are this Sunday, so Disney Insider shared 10 Facts about Disney and the Oscars. I actually learned quite a few things. Like that Disney won its first “Best Original Song” Academy Award in 1940 for “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio. (P.S.: Good luck to “Let It Go,” which is up for the same award this year!)

Ok…this cool. If you’re a big Disney movie buff, Disney just released a brand new movie streaming system that you’re gonna want to take advantage of. Read more about this new service called Disney Movies Anywhere! (Oh, and just for signing up, you’ll get a free copy of Pixar’s The Incredibles for a limited time.)

Have you ever wondered where Disney movies were geographically located? This breakdown guide takes a look at where all Disney stories likely took place. It’s quite fascinating.

It seems like just about everyone has released some sort of version of “Let It Go” out there. This version is pretty darn awesome…but not why you think. It’s a parody version by traffic reporter Bob Herzog called “Just Don’t Go,” and it is so very creative.

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Major Changes Coming to The Central Hub Area at the Magic Kingdom

by on February 28, 2014

Cinderella CastleHave you ever been at Magic Kingdom after the fireworks and the evening parade, and you are just trapped? You can’t move anywhere? Well, I have.

It was on the Magic Kingdom’s 40th Birthday celebration, and my friends and I all staked out spots in the area near Crystal Palace to see the spectacular fireworks show that was planned to celebrate the occasion. The show was beautiful, but then the cluster of people wanting to leave started to rear its ugly head.

We didn’t see the need to rush out since the park was still open, and we thought about heading back to Adventureland, but we, too, were stuck in our spots. We couldn’t make our way anywhere. This is where we coined the phrase, “Disney Anarchy.” There were people literally climbing over the fences with STROLLERS to climb in the grass to get around some of the chaos (I absolutely do NOT recommend that, by the way). It took a good hour to hour and a half to clear the area so that we could finally move. We felt like fish swimming upstream.

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“Rock Your Disney Side” Coming To Disney Parks

by on February 28, 2014

In a tradition that started back in 2012 to kick-off the “One More Disney Day” promotion, Disney Parks have been throwing 24-hour, all-night parties for their guests. This year, the tradition continues in an event called “Rock Your Disney Side.”

The special 24-hour party will take place kicking-off Memorial Day Weekend (starting at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 23, and lasting to 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 24). The event will be held on both coasts – at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort.

This year’s theme invites guests to show off their Disney Side by dressing as either their favorite Disney hero or villain. (Costumes must follow the same rules that apply during events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.) During the party, there will be plenty of character meet and greets, special entertainment, food offerings, merchandise, and more.

To find out more about the event, make sure to follow along at the blog here, or check out Disney’s new website, rockyourdisneyside.com

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A Trip Around The World: United Kingdom

by on February 28, 2014

Greetings from the United Kingdom! Can you believe we’ve already toured Mexico, Norway, ChinaGermanyItaly, America, Japan, Morocco, and France? We’ve almost seen the entire World Showcase, with only two stops left on our world tour. If you recall when we left off in France we were crossing a long bridge. At the end of this bridge you have two choices. You can head towards your right into the United Kingdom, which will look like the below photo.

1

If you turn left, you’ll head towards the International Gateway, which exits the park towards the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, and BoardWalk resorts. This makes it an easy walk to Beaches & Cream, which is one of the most fun restaurants on all of Disney property. (Seriously – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click that link. You don’t want to miss this place! Okay – now back to our regularly scheduled world tour.)

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Get to Know the Safe in Your Disney World Hotel Room

by on February 27, 2014

It’s a near inevitability that a traveler today will be toting a Dumbo-sized lot of expensive equipment. My own family of five (two adults and three teens) typically visits Walt Disney World with 5 iPhones, two computers, an iPad, a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera with several lenses, and two or three pocket digital cameras, plus wallets filled with cash, credit cards and the like. That’s a lot of expensive stuff to leave in a hotel room. One way many guests deal with this is by storing some of their gear in their hotel room safe.

Pedestal style safe at Bay Lake Towers. One foot rule on top gives a sense of the external dimensions. The inside is smaller.

Pedestal style safe at Bay Lake Towers.

There’s a safe in my hotel room?

Yes, there is a safe in every Walt Disney World hotel room.

Is there a charge for this?

No, it’s included in the cost of your room.

Where will I find the safe?

There is considerable variation in this from resort to resort or even between different room configurations at the same resort. However, the vast majority of Disney World hotel safes will be either in or next to a closet, usually built into the wall. Some safes in deluxe resort rooms or in 1, 2, and 3 bedroom Disney Vacation Club Villas will be on a sturdy post inside the closet.

How do I access the safe?

Some of the safes have key access and some have combination access. The combination safes have printed instructions on the front of the door. Typically you select your own four-digit code and then use that code to access your belongings. Key lock safes will have the key inserted into the lock upon your arrival. To secure your gear, simply use the key and take it with you.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! February 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on February 27, 2014

MMM positiveIt’s February, and earlier this month Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow, which signaled six more weeks of bad merchandise, so off to Disney Outlet Store we go! This week we’ll be wearing our Mickey Mouse “Rebel with a Cause” t-shirt, slip on our $1,690 Mickey Ears necklace, and make sure our phone is protected with the Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story iPhone case. Now that we are geared up, it’s time to hit the outlets!

Please remember to click on any picture to see it in full size.

One thing that jumped out to me on this trip was the amount of items that I would consider relatively “new” at the parks and at Downtown Disney. The first is this mashup of Mickey Mouse and Iron Man. I remember first seeing it late last year at the World of Disney store, and I can’t say I’m surprised to see it at the outlet. I like Mickey Mouse mashups, and love my Mickey Mouse/Tron, Mickey Mouse/Indiana Jones, and Mickey Mouse/Star Wars figures, but this Iron Man plush just looks weird.

DSC_0349

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Walt Disney World Crowd Report – February 16 to 22, 2014

by on February 25, 2014

Presidents’ Week began with near peak crowds on Sunday and then slowly tapered off the rest of the week, exactly as predicted by the crowd calendar. Our park-level predictions performed well with the majority hitting the mark or missing by only one or two levels.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up day-to-day last week.

The Crowd Report, February 16-22, 2014

The Walt Disney World Crowd Report
February 16, 2014 to February 22, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday’s crowds brought the peak wait times of Presidents’ Week, as predicted. All parks had a crowd level ’9′ except for Magic Kingdom which came in at a level ’8′. At the Animal Kingdom three attractions, Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Primeval Whirl reached a ’10′ on their respective attraction-level scales thanks to respective average posted times of 40, 64 and 30 minutes.

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How Much Can You Do During a Disney Vacation?

by on February 25, 2014

I’ve talked before about planning how long to make your Disney vacation. Once you’ve decided how long you can stay at Walt Disney World, a related question often arises … what can I actually accomplish during that amount of time? How much can I do in a day (or two, or three, or ten) at Disney? New guests, unfamiliar with the gigantic scope of Disney World, may be particularly confused by this topic.

Lunch and a lazy afternoon at the pool could count as a DALE.

Lunch and a lazy afternoon at the pool could count as a DALE.

To get a better handle on how much you can do/see in a trip to Walt Disney World, let’s think about Disney time in 4-6 hour units. That’s about the span most people can handle in vacation-related activities before needing a break or at least a change of scenery.

Because he’s my favorite chipmunk (and because I couldn’t think of a snappy acronym for DUCK), we’re going to call these 4-6 hour vacation units DALEs (Disney Activity Labor Elements). A family of WDW visitors with toddlers or an ECV-bound senior citizen might have a DALE close to the four hour mark. A Disney veteran 20-something unencumbered by children might have a 6-hour DALE.

I’ll assume that the average adult needs 8 hours of sleep and the average young child needs 10-12 hours of sleep. And I’ll give everyone 1-2 hours per day for personal care such as bathing yourself, bathing your kids, checking in with work, vegging out watching Stacey’s Top Seven, etc.

Doing the math, this means that, depending on your profile, you can fit 2 or 3 DALEs into a day.

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New Details About Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom

by on February 24, 2014

View from the tracks of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

View from the tracks of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ©Disney

Today, the Disney Parks Blog had a live chat discussing the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which is currently being built as the final part of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. Most of the questions and answers were sort of vague, but we did receive a few new details that I wanted to share with you all.

First off, a brand new song called “Music in Your Soup” will be played in the queue area. The song was originally written for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but was not used in the movie. The whole area’s music will be instrumental, and it will be as if the Dwarfs, themselves, are playing it.

Speaking of the queue, there will be interactive elements where guests are invited to sort and wash jewels from the mine. Also, guests will be able to enter the Dwarfs’ vault that’s seen in the movie.

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The Kinsey Collection To Expand in the American Adventure Pavilion

by on February 24, 2014

The Kinsey Collection

©Disney

Last year, Epcot introduced us to ”Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection”.  This relatively new exhibit, added to the American Heritage Gallery at the American Adventure Pavilion, features artifacts that celebrate the history of African American achievements and contributions. The exhibit features the private collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey and is themed around five major areas: hope, belief, courage, imagination, and heritage.

It appears that this spring we’ll see some brand new antiquities added to the exhibit. New pieces have are already on display, and additional pieces will be added throughout the season.

New objects joining the exhibit will include:

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