Recent News

Minnie Van Ridesharing Service Now Available at Walt Disney World

by on August 1, 2017

Minnie Van

©Disney

One of the things that was announced at the D23 Expo is already in use at Walt Disney World! The Minnie Van ridesharing service has officially rolled out!

Wait…what is the Minnie Van Service anyway?  It is a brand new transportation option that will provide Guests with transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, giving them a seamless way to get from point to point. The idea behind it is similar to common ridesharing apps, Uber and Lyft. Speaking of Lyft, it appears as though Disney has officially partnered with the company. Guests will be able to arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from the Lyft app on their smartphone.

The name, Minnie Van Service, comes from the theme of the vehicles (otherwise known as Chevy Traverses), that are patterned after the one-and-only Minnie Mouse.

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Mission: SPACE at Epcot Reopens this August

by on July 27, 2017

Mission: SPACE

©Rikki Niblett

It was announced at the D23 Expo that Mission: SPACE at Epcot would be seeing all new ride profiles and that more information, including an opening date would be released soon. Well, as you can see, I have some new information to share with you about this refurbished attraction.

On August 13, Mission: SPACE will return! Guests will still have the two different ride profiles that they can choose from.

On the Orange Mission, which is the more intense training, Guests will continue be able to experience a truly intense experience where you’ll be able to feel the forces of actual space launch (which let me tell you, can be pretty extreme!) On this mission, you’ll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon and attempt a precision landing on the Red Planet’s alien surface, but this version has been enhanced with new, HD video to make it even clearer. (Oh good….it will make my likelihood of throwing up even higher. Thank goodness there are sanitary bags found inside the capsule!)

Say you don’t want to take the intense ride that you’ll find on the Orange Mission. You want something a little tamer or you have a little one with you who wants to experience the attraction. Well with the new family-friendly Green Mission, you’ll get to take an exciting orbit around Earth. On this new adventure, you’ll see the Hawaiian Islands, the Northern Lights, and Italy all from space, before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center, which is found in Cape Canaveral, Florida. With this new Green Mission, the height restriction will change to 40″ courtesy of new additional X-2 booster seats.

Will you be more willing to take a mission now?

 

Online Check-In Now Available on the My Disney Experience App

by on July 27, 2017

Online Check-inOne of my favorite things to do prior to a Walt Disney World vacation is to do online check-in.  Well, now Disney is allowing me to be able to participate in the online check-in process right from my smart phone!

Today, a new update was pushed out to the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices and it allows Guests to check-in for their resort stay up to 60 days in advance of their vacation.

The process will therefore expedite the Guest’s arrival and will provide them with additional convenience nd flexibility. Guests who complete the online check-in process will be able to bypass the front desk when they arrive at the hotel, because they will be texted their resort room number. Guests who know which room they are staying in as soon as they arrive to their hotel will complete their check-in by unlocking their room, when it is ready, simply by using the MagicBands that sent to them prior to their arrival.

Don’t worry, if you have special room requests, you can still make them here. (Though, shameless plug, may I suggest that instead you consider using our Automatic Room Request to make your room requests instead. ;)) Ed.- If you plan to use TouringPlans’ room request tool, do not make requests through MyDisneyExperience. MDE will override a request made through TouringPlans.

 

When completing online check-in, you can also add your credit card information and authorize charges, submit your estimated arrival time, and sign up to receive notifications that your room is ready.

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Disneyland’s Galactic Grill Offering Late Night Menu

by on July 26, 2017

Galactic Grill Late Night Menu

©Disney

You know that feeling you get when you’re touring in a theme park later in the evening and you all the sudden get hungry? You want more than a bucket of popcorn or a turkey leg, but all the restaurants are closed. What are you supposed to do?

Well, Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland at Disneyland has your answer! They are introducing a late night menu. (Which, let me tell you….is genius!) Items that will be offered include:

  • Micron Burger – A mini-double slider with American cheese, house sauce, pickle and caramelized onions
  • Meteor Potato Bites – Loaded potato bites topped with chopped ground beef, caramelized onions, house sauce and sharp cheddar cheese sauce
  • Sweet or Spicy Star Clusters – A waffle bowl filled with crispy chicken bites over blue cheese coleslaw and pickle chips; choose sweet chili or buffalo sauce
  • Little Dippers – French toast sticks served with salted caramel and strawberry sauces
  • Lunar Space-Adilla – A quesadilla with pepper jack cheese, Ortega chilies, chicken breast and chipotle-ranch sauce
  • Kid’s Power Pack with a banana, sliced apples, baby carrots, cheese crackers, yogurt smoothie and choice of milk or water
  • Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar
  • Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Strawberry Fruit Bar

These offerings will be available at Galactic Grill from 9:00 p.m. until park close.

New BaseLine Tap House and Grand Avenue Area Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios This Fall

by on July 26, 2017

BaseLine Tap House

©Disney

As you all are well aware, big changes are taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and today it was announced another new addition….well, actually they sort of announced two additions.

A brand new lounge experience is coming to the park called BaseLine Tap House. It will be located in a brand new area called Grand Avenue which has the goal of capturing the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, and it will showcase vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different districts and cultures of the city.

BaseLine Tap House will be a cheerful corner pub that will specialize in beer and wines from California. The dining establishment will feature  California craft ales, lagers and ciders, California wines on tap, and specialty cocktails. Non-alcoholic options will include lemonade and soda options. Guests will also be able to try one of the small bites that will be offered including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses. (Hmmmm….this sounds familiar….almost like what Writer’s Stop offered right before it officially closed. Makes sense, because it’s thought that the lounge will be located in this space.)

When BaseLine Tap House opens officially this fall, it will open daily at 11:00 a.m.

The Disney Vacation Account Has Been Discontinued

by on July 25, 2017

©Disney

Once upon a time, Disney created the Disney Vacation Account, which allowed people to be able to create a vacation savings plan to help you save up funds for your next Disney vacation. People could put their funds away on their own schedule, as they saw fit, to help squirrel away their money so that it was for sure going towards their vacation.

Today, that is no longer an option as the Disney Vacation Account closed for good. But wait…what if you had a Disney Vacation Account where you were saving your money? What is going to happen to it and the money you’ve saved?

Disney is offering four different options to choose from:

  • Option 1 – Use the total amount in your account to purchase a Disney Gift Card. (Or multiple gift cards, depending on how much is in your account.) This must be done by September 27, and Disney will add an extra 5% on your Disney Gift Card. The gift card will be emailed to your inbox.
  • Option 2 – Redeem your Disney Vacation Account toward the Disney vacation of your choice.
  • Option 3 – Do nothing. Starting after September 27, Disney will close Disney Vacation Accounts and will process refunds. If you have funds in a Disney Vacation Account after September 27, then some time after you will receive a full refund of your balance to your original form of payment or by check to your mailing address
    Those who choose this option will receive a bonus of 2% of your closing balance or $5.00 (whichever is greater) will be placed on a Disney Gift Card and emailed to you. The bonus Disney Gift Card will be delivered separately from your refund.
  • Option 4 – Request a refund before the refund process described in Option 3 is completed, and you will be issued the full unused balance that will be refunded to your original form of payment or by check to your mailing address. With this option, you will not be eligible to receive the bonus Disney Gift Card.

 

If you have a Disney Vacation Account and you still have questions, make sure that you check out their FAQ.

 

2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus Released

by on July 20, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

With the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival beginning earlier than ever this year, this year’s festival is going to be here before we know it. Of course, one of the biggest parts of the festival are the International Marketplace and the menus for this year’s event look fantastic!

This year there will be 35 booths to choose from! (Some of the new booths for this year will include Flavors from Fire and Coastal Eats.) That’s going to be a lot of great food and beverage options! Standby favorites will be returning like cheddar cheese soup from Canada and the Kalua Pork Slider from Hawaii, and new dishes, like the Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich!

So, let the planning process begin. I’ve got my list started! Here’s what you can expect to experience this year at the Marketplaces for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival:

 

Epcot Legacy Showplace

  • Chilled Scotch Egg wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce
  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich
  • L’Orange Cotton Candy: A mixture of Lime and Orange Cotton Candy (vegetarian)
  • Bright Horizons: Sprite with Multi-flavored Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • M.I.A Beer Company 305 Golden Ale, Doral, FL
  • Playalinda Brewing Company Blonde Ale, Titusville, FL
  • Florida Beer Company Passport 35 Triple Chocolate Milk Stout, Cape Canaveral, FL
  • JDub’s Passion Wheat, Sarasota, FL
  • Central 28 Trekkerbier Farmhouse Ale, DeBary, FL
  • Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale, Tampa, FL
  • Eastern Florida Flight
    • M.I.A. Beer Company 305 Golden Ale
    • Playalinda Brewing Company Blonde Ale
    • Florida Beer Company Passport 35 Triple Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Western Florida Flight
    • JDub’s Passion Wheat
    • Central 28 Trekkerbier Farmhouse Ale
    • Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

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Celebrate Día de los Muertos with New Event at Disney California Adventure

by on July 17, 2017

Disney California Adventure will be celebrating the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead, with a new seasonal offering from September 15 through November 2. This immersive celebration will include special entertainment including musicians and dancers, interactive activities, like a representation of Mexican folk art and special décor and food inspired by this Mexican celebration of family.

Día de los Muertos at Disney California Adventure

©Disney

 

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Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort Expands for 2017

by on July 17, 2017

It may be July, but it’s time to start thinking about the spookiest time of the year – Halloween. Everything pumpkin will be here before we know it, once again. And this year, Disneyland Resort will be growing its Halloween offerings!

Announced over the weekend at the D23 Expo, Cars Land at Disney California Adventure will be celebrating Haul-O-Ween. Here, Scary the Scarecar will stand guard over the entrance to Route 66. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ will all be dressed up for the occasion as a super hero, a “van-pire,” a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker. In addition, the citizens of Radiator Springs will be decorating their homes to celebrate the season. Visit Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, Flo’s Spider-Car, Witchy Miss Lizzie’s shop, and the Cozy Cone will be dressed up in car-stumes! The land will truly turn to Radiator Screams!

©Disney

 

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New Fall Discounts for the Walt Disney World Resort

by on July 17, 2017

Save on your next Walt Disney World vacation

Save on your next Disney vacation ©Disney

Thanks to Sue Pisaturo at Small World Vacations for the heads up on these new Disney discounts.

Today, Disney announced a few new specials that are available for travel to Walt Disney World for those traveling this fall and the holiday season!

If you were planning to enjoy the great holiday events that Walt Disney World offers each year, such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom or Holidays Around the World at Epcot, these discounts may help you! Guests who take advantage of these great offers can also have the opportunity to experience the all-new Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Room Only Discount

First, is the room only discount where Guests can save up to 20% on select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for most nights from October 8 through December 24 with the “Magical Holidays Room Offer” offer. When you book a room only discount at a select Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you’ll still be able to enjoy helpful benefits like accessing FastPass+ 60 days prior to your vacation, complimentary MagicBands, Extra Magic Hours, complimentary transportation, standard parking, plus more!

Exclusions may apply at the following room types and Disney Resort hotels:

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