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Walt Disney World and the Solar Eclipse

by on August 20, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL)

Tomorrow is the big day! Do you have your solar eclipse glasses? (Or were you one of those who was scrambling to find a spare pair anywhere this weekend?) I’ve got my glasses and I’m ready to go! (Thank goodness I didn’t buy one of the recalled pairs from Amazon cause I almost did!)

Well, the eclipse will also be impacting those who are visiting Walt Disney World on Monday from around 1:15 p.m. until around 4:30 p.m. So here is what you need to know due to the low visibility that will occur in the parks due to this natural phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: The 6 Lowest-Rated Attractions at Walt Disney World

by on August 19, 2017
Filed under: Saving Money, Walt Disney World (FL) 32 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at The Six Lowest-Rated Attractions at Walt Disney World! You may remember that the last few editions of the SATURDAY SIX took a look at the highest-rated ridesshows and spectaculars at WDW, as voted on by you. This week we are going in the other direction. Len Testa, co-host of the Disney Dish podcast, has sent down thousands-and-thousands of survey results from TouringPlans users, submitted after returning from their Disney trips. After combing through the data, we’re here to present the six attractions which scored the lowest among all the survey, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Fossil Fun Games (Animal Kingdom)

While “games of chance” and carnival-style games are found at pretty much all of Disney competitors – including the Universal Orlando Resort – many guests find them to be extremely tacky and an outright money-grab targeting kids. The Fossil Fun Games at Animal Kingdom are dinosaur themed carnival games at Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama. In Disney’s defense, games such as these fit in perfectly with the overarching backstory of Dino-Rama (which – in short – is basically Chester and Hester quickly putting up a roadside attraction to take advantage of the popularity of the nearby Dinosaur Institute.)

Personally speaking, I love carnival games. I think it’s something fun that kids and adults can do together and the smile on a kid’s face after they win* is just as good as them coming off their favorite ride. For me, the downside of Disney’s games compared to Universal’s are the lackluster prizes. At Dino-Rama the prizes are generic plush that come nowhere close to the level of quality that Disney puts into merchandise. Universal has some cheapo prizes too, but it also has some amazing items that you can’t buy in stores (such as The Simpsons Santa’s Little Helper and Spider-Pig along with this bonkers slice of pizza plush.)

*I’m assuming that part, I never let the kids win.

Overall Score 3.3/5

Fossil Fun Games. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Prizes at Fossil Fun Games. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Fossil Fun Games. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

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Disneyland Wait Times Lower Than Expected Since New Fantasmic!

by on August 18, 2017
Filed under: Crowd Blog, Disneyland (CA)

Recently we updated projected crowd levels for Disneyland Park in response to the re-opening of Fantasmic! on July 17. Although the new show is drawing plenty of visitors we have not seen an increase in wait times around the park. So, today we are posting a new update for now until Labor Day based on the latest wait times collected.

Annual Passholders who own a pass with blockout dates will have their first opportunity to see the new Fantasmic! on August 21. We expect the park to busy (especially Frontierland in the afternoon) between August 21 and 25 but we don’t expect a large increase in wait times at the attractions.

Very hot weather is contributing to lower than expected crowds as well. We have seen most days at two or three points lower than expected since mid-July. So, from now until September 4 you will see a drop in crowd level for many days.

 

Disney Cruise Line Weekly Preview — Week of August 19

by on August 18, 2017
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line, Weekly Preview 1 Comment

Welcome aboard for this week’s Disney Cruise Line Preview for the week of August 19th! I’m Brand Glover and I’ll be giving you everything you need to know before cruising with Disney Cruise Line this week. As always, let’s take a look at the weather and see who is going to need a parka this week.

Ports of Call (High/Low Temperature, Chance of Rain)

Disney Magic

  • 19 August – Barcelona (81/68, 0%)
  • 20 August – Day at Sea
  • 21 August – Naples (86/67, 0%)
  • 22 August -Civitavecchia (84/66, 0%)
  • 23 August – Livorno (83/65, 0%)
  • 24 August -Villefranche (80/70, 10%)
  • 25 August – Day at Sea

Disney Wonder

  • 19 August – Ketchikan (57/53, 90%)
  • 20 August – Day at Sea
  • 21 August – Vancouver (76/60, 0%)
  • 22 August – Day at Sea
  • 23 August – Tracy Arm Fjord (63/49, 30%)
  • 24 August – Skagway (63/52, 20%)
  • 25 August – Juneau (61/49, 60%)

Enchanted Garden, Disney Fantasy

Disney Dream

  • 19 August – Nassau (91/82, 90%)
  • 20 August – Castaway Cay (91/82, 20%)
  • 21 August – Port Canaveral (88/79, 30%)
  • 22 August – Nassau (90/80, 80%)
  • 23 August – Castaway Cay (90/81, 80%)
  • 24 August – Day at Sea
  • 25 August – Port Canaveral (90/77, 50%)

Disney Fantasy

  • 19 August – Port Canaveral (89/79, 20%)
  • 20 August – Day at Sea
  • 21 August – Cozumel (89/77, 40%)
  • 22 August – Grand Cayman (87/81, 20%)
  • 23 August – Falmouth (88/78, 80%)
  • 24 August – Day at Sea
  • 25 August – Castaway Cay (90/81, 80%)

Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Preview — Week of August 19

by on August 18, 2017
Filed under: Disney California Adventure, Disneyland (CA), Disneyland Park, Trip Planning, Weather, Weekly Preview

Time for another Disneyland preview! I know I discussed this at length last week, but we are now at your very last, no take-backs, opportunity to see the Main Street Electrical Parade.  If you want to see it before it goes dark forever, the time to do so is NOW.  Like, literally, right now. Stop reading, and get yourself to Disneyland Park to stake out a spot, and then open the article again to read the rest of it while you wait. Time’s a-wastin’!

OK, you back?  Read on for more about what to expect at Disneyland this week!

Read the rest of this entry »

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of August 18, 2017

by on August 18, 2017
Filed under: In Case You Missed It 5 Comments

In Case You Missed ItThis week was certainly a sad one, with the closures and announced closures of beloved theme park attractions and shows. Which one hit you the most?

Man…you would think the rumor mill would slow down after the D23 Expo….but I feel like that may have only been the beginning. Could be be in another fantastic theme park renaissance? It sure seems that way, because we have news of a change that may take place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and another rumored change that may occur at Universal Studios Florida. Did you miss either of those? Read on for the details, as well as some other fun things you may have missed.

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

Disney wants to inspire with their new #DreamBigPrincess campaign. It focuses on showing how strong females can be and why we shouldn’t be limited in our dreams and goals. How are you dreaming big?

The internet is loosing its collective minds over the new hot Disney trend…the rose gold mouse earsRead the rest of this entry »

Raglan Road’s Great Irish Hooley Returns This Labor Day Weekend

by on August 17, 2017
Filed under: Disney Springs, Recent News 2 Comments

Great Irish HooleyLooking for something fun to do at Walt Disney World this upcoming Labor Day Weekend? Consider visiting Raglan Road for their Great Irish Hooley! The Hooley is a unique Irish festival that is packed with some of the best Irish music you’ll hear, as well as other entertainment opportunities.

Guests who attend The Great Irish Hooley will be able to also enjoy contemporary Irish cuisine, Irish craft beers, hand-crafted cocktails. The Great Irish Hooley promises a fantastic music festival for all who drop by or reserve a table. This year’s Hooley entertainment include:

  • Elevation: Appearing at Raglan Road for the first time in four years, Elevation is a U2 tribute act who will play two special nighttime shows on September 2 and 3. The band will be paying homage to the U2 world tour celebrating 30 years of the ground-breaking Joshua Tree album.
  • Lisa Canny Band: Combining traditional Irish, R&B and Hip Hop, the Lisa Canney Band will appear at Raglan Road for three weeks beginning August 30 and will perform nightly during the Hooley.
  • Gary O’Meara Band: A traditional Irish banjo player with a prolific career as a solo artist and as a member of multiple legendary Irish music acts.
  • The Raglan Roots Coalition: This authentic Irish house band will be performing Roots style. Think soul-rocking Celtic bluegrass with some funky roots beats.
  • Jake Richardson: A singer-songwriter-musician from Dublin whose passion for music inspires audiences as he entertains with unique vocals and catchy songs.
  • Over the Bar: A vibrant four-piece, predominantly Irish traditional group that includes folk, blues and soul.
  • Rollickin’ Rua: This fresh traditional Irish music ensemble from Ireland and Scotland create a cacophonous crescendo of music and song with their clash of Celtic cultures.
  • Aaron O’Sullivan: A singer-songwriter and guitarist from County Cork who mixes traditional Irish ballads and modern Irish songs.

In addition, The Great Irish Hooley will include The Raglan Road Irish Dancers. And champion Irish dancer Ciaran Keating, Raglan Road’s show choreographer, will host an entertaining event that traces the origins of Irish dance from earliest jigs and reels through contemporary times.

The event will also include Celtic face painting.

The Great Irish Hooley kicks off beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1, and continues each day and night through late Monday evening.

To book a table for the event, click here. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Walt Disney World Preview – Week of August 19

by on August 17, 2017
Filed under: Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview

With summer coming to an end, we’re seeing some changes in park hours beginning August 20th. Read on to see what else is new!

Special Events

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Two Shops at Downtown Disney Closing to Make Way for New Virtual Experience

by on August 17, 2017
Filed under: Downtown Disney, Recent News, Star Wars

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire - Downtown Disney

©Star Wars

Recently it was announced that an all new virtual experience themed around Star Wars, called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire would be coming to Downtown Disney in the Disneyland Resort. The question was, where will this experience be located? It seems that it will officially be going in the space of Disney Vault 28 and Fossil. Both stores will be closing soon, by the end of September to make way.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will be a brand new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID which will take Guests literally into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience and Guests will be able to interact with friends, fans, and even some characters.

It is still currently unclear where the experience will be found at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will open this holiday season on both coasts. Stay tuned to the blog for more details!

Daisy’s Best Week Ever, August 17, 2017: Goodbye Old Friends

by on August 17, 2017
Filed under: Best Week Ever 6 Comments

Hello, friends! Well, it’s a sad week for the Best Week Ever crew. In case you haven’t been plugged into Disney news lately, last week Universe or Energy and The Great Movie Ride closed their doors forever. As an 80s kid that means I lost attractions that I held pretty close to my heart.  It seems only fitting that we pay tribute to each this week, starting with the Universe of Energy.

Everyone noticed the mirrored building front, but around the sides were colored walls. It seems like just yesterday these were being repainted to their original colors. I only have vague memories of the original Universe of Energy, but I frequented Ellen’s Energy Adventure when it took over in 1996.

Want to take a look inside each of these attractions? Click to read more. 🙂

Read the rest of this entry »