MyDisneyExperience

Gadgets and Gear to Grab for Disney World

by on July 18, 2014

When my wife and I visit the parks, we go loaded for bear. Laden as we are with our bags and gear and gadgets we are often mistaken for Sherpas, which explains why folks are constantly asking us to lead them to Expedition Everest. We of course try to explain that we’re not really Sherpas, but they just respond that it’s all right, it’s not really Mount Everest. Touché.

Fortune, as they say, favors the prepared, and although I’m not sure who “they” are, they nevertheless make a good point. Whether or not you choose to gear up for a day at the parks, however, is strictly personal. Of course, you could always make some other member of your party the pack mule, in which case, it’s nothing personal. Or that’s what you should tell them.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Epcot IllumiNations: Is It Worth Your FastPass+?

by on June 2, 2014

IMG_0965There’s something wildly appealing about special viewing for fireworks. Whenever we travel to Disneyland we always book packages that include exclusive spots to see the evening finales. But even as a local I was excited to see what FastPass+ viewing for IllumiNations would offer. Most of all I wanted to know if it was really worth burning one of your valuable tier one FastPass+ choices. So this week I set out to find out if IllumiNations is really worth your FastPass+.

I arrived on a Wednesday night around 7:15pm to very low crowds. Looking at the photo on the left, you can tell the park was pretty empty. My FastPass+ window for arrival was set between 8:35pm – 8:55pm. I had some time to kill, so I hopped a ride on Spaceship Earth with no wait before taking a leisurely walk back to the World Showcase.

Along the way I formulated a plan to try something completely new to me. You’ll have to forgive me if I take a little detour from the subject at hand, but have you tried a cronut? I hadn’t, and now I’m sad I waited so long! They’re available at Refreshment Port on your way to Canada when entering the World Showcase. Half donut, half croissant – but all delicious! You really have to try one the next time you’re here. You’ll be glad you did!

After finishing my snack I decided to find this FastPass+ viewing area. I lucked out because I was already in Canada. The entrance is on the right hand side of the Port of Entry gift shop you see when first entering that side of World Showcase. That’s where my luck ended, because at just a little after 8:00pm the line already stretched pretty far!

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

May 7, 2014: Magic Kingdom and the Fourth Fastpass+

by on May 13, 2014

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re ready for a report full of pixie dust! I’d originally planned on doing a post about May the 4th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios but it seems like everyone has been talking about that this week. Instead I decided to take you on a fun filled night at the Magic Kingdom. Let’s get started! Of course, Mickey was there to greet me before I even arrived to the park…

IMG_2447

I decided to take some video as we rolled into the Magic Kingdom Monorail station. Unfortunately, it’s complete with authentic kid finger prints on the glass. No matter where I moved around the window was just covered.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ Advice and Ride Testing Observations

by on May 9, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train making a test run in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland (photos by Seth Kubersky)

As you may have heard, during the first few days in May, Walt Disney World allowed select media to preview the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland, and announced a May 28 official opening date for the attraction. Public soft openings are expected some time in the next few weeks, but for now the only people riding the family-friendly coaster during operating hours are employees involved with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train testing and training. On the Monday after the media preview, Touring Plans stats guru Fred Hazelton and I paid a visit to the Magic Kingdom. There, we had the opportuninity to observe the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train making training and testing runs, as the attraction cycled spordically — both with and without riders — over the course of several hours. In addition, we have some advice on securing coveted Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ reservations, as well as an update on using four or more FastPass+ appointments in one day.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Testing Observations

Let’s start with some scenic shots of the Mine Train, and the mind-blowing quantity of rockwork and landscaping that went into the area surrounding it.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Parade and Fireworks Viewing Tips and Observations

by on April 17, 2014

FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing tips

Get a VIP view with FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing areas at the Magic Kingdom (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Welcome to the future of fireworks and parades at Walt Disney World! In recent weeks, as the final rollout of FastPass+ has concluded in the Disney World parks, I’ve been sharing my experiences using the system as an Annual Passholder at Epcot, as well as at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Since my last post, FastPass+ has been fully implemented for all Disney World guests, including day-guests not staying on Disney property, and I’ve finally had the opportunity to experience one of the most controversial aspects of the new system. Without further ado, here are my FastPass+ parade and fireworks viewing tips, based on my personal observations at the Magic Kingdom.

 

Festival of Fantasy FastPass+ Parade Viewing

When the features of FastPass+ were first announced, the private reserved viewing areas for parades and other spectaculars were the aspect I was most skeptical (even cynical) about. Personally, such performances are usually very low on my priority list during a park visit for several reasons. Most of the parades had grown quite stale to me from years of over-exposure, I have an aversion to spending valuable touring time staking out a spot of asphalt just to get a good view, and I can’t abide being crammed like sardines in the crowd that accompanies the procession. So I would normally use that time to take advantage of marginally shorter queues at my favorite attractions. If I did want to see a parade, I’d typically walk up a minute or so before it started, and make do with a partial view blocked by the sea of shoulder-sitting small-fries in front of me. With a limit (soon to be lifted) of only 3 FastPass+ reservations per day, I couldn’t see myself “wasting” one on something like a parade when Space and Splash are beckoning.

This is currently the closest you can get to Anna and Elsa from Frozen without a mult-hour wait for their meet & greet.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print