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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 10/10/14

by on October 10, 2014

Happy Friday! Who is ready for more Newsworthy Notes? If you’re visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom or wanting to visit Typhoon Lagoon, I’ve got some news you should definitely read!

  • The Affection Section petting zoo area at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be closed for refurbishment until November 10, reopening on November 11. Guests will still be able experience the other animal encounters at Conservation Station. Also, at the Out of the Wild shop, they are now offering some food items, including things like fresh fruit cups, hummus, and apples with caramel, and ice cream treats. This is good news, considering Rafiki’s Planet Watch previously had no snack options at all.
  • For those who are unaware, currently all guests wishing to visit Typhoon Lagoon after 2:00 p.m. must go to Epcot and transfer to a bus which will take them to Typhoon Lagoon. (This is being done to accommodate Disney Springs construction.) This means that Magic Kingdom resort hotel guests who currently want to visit the water park must go to Epcot via monorail (transferring to the Epcot monorail at the Transportation and Ticket Center) and then transfer to the bus taking them to Typhoon Lagoon. However, from October 12-25, Disney will be offering a bus route that will give guests the option to be transported from the Magic Kingdom resorts, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, to Epcot. From there, the guests will be able to hop on another bus to transfer to Typhoon Lagoon. This route will only be in service daily from 2:00 p.m. until Typhoon Lagoon closes for the evening. Guests will also still be able to utilize the monorail to make the journey to Epcot and then transfer to the water park if they choose. Typhoon Lagoon will be closing for its annual refurbishment October 26, which will last until January 3, 2015.
  • Due to maintenance work, the Hess gas station located near Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will be temporarily closed beginning October 13. The project has no official end date, but it is expected to last approximately three weeks. The other Hess gas stations found on property will remain open.

That’s it for this installment. Thoughts?

 

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: October 9, 2014

by on October 9, 2014

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re visiting Epcot to say goodbye to Maelstrom and have more fun at Food & Wine Festival. Then we’re heading over to the Magic Kingdom to see what’s new there and ending with a view of Happy HalloWishes from the ferry boat dock. Sounds like fun, right? Let’s go! :)

Walking up to Maelstrom this weekend it was very obvious that a cult following had shown up to see the final days of this classic ride. I didn’t try getting near the ride on Sunday but we stopped by Saturday and found the line already 60 minutes long! Luckily I had planned ahead with FastPass+ or I don’t think we would have ridden one last time.  If you’d like to ride one last time along with me then please click to read more! :)

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Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch Currently FastPass+ Only

by on October 8, 2014

Be Our Guest Restaurant FastPass+ sign

Looks like currently the Stand-by Entrance is no more.

If you not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and want to dine at the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch, it appears that you are out of luck for the time being. The extremely popular New Fantasyland restaurant is currently only seating guests who have made a FastPass+ reservation during lunch hours, when the restaurant functions as a counter service location. These reservations are only available to guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. Walk-ups will not be allowed for the restaurant until further notice, with no end date in sight.

Previously Disney tested handing out paper “return tickets” to standby guests. This test left many guests out of luck, as tickets were often snatched up quickly first thing in the morning.

Be Our Guest Restaurant is still a table service location at dinner and absolutely requires guests to make Advanced Dining Reservations in order to dine during the evening hours.

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Toy Story Mania Testing FastPass+ Only Option This Week

by on October 7, 2014

Toy Story ManiaFor those who are visiting Walt Disney World this week and will be making a stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be aware that if you want to ride Toy Story Midway Mania, you must obtain a FastPass+ reservation in order to do so.

Currently the attraction is testing a situation where is no standby line. To ride, guests must make a FastPass+ reservation via the My Disney Experience website or app or by using one of the FastPass+ kiosks located in the park. Disney has said that it is adding additional FastPass+ reservations to the system for guests, so if you don’t currently have a reservation for the attraction, you should check to see if one is available.

This test will take place through Thursday, October 9. The regular standby line will return for guests to be able to use alongside FastPass+ on Friday, October 10. Previously Soarin’ and Princess Fairytale Hall – Meet Anna and Elsa have tested this “FastPass+ Only” configuration.

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New Canadian Lumberjack Show Debuts at Epcot

by on October 7, 2014

This weekend, I was walking around Epcot and was able to catch one of the first shows of the all new Canadian Lumberjacks Show located on the Mill Stage at the Canada Pavilion. The new live entertainment offering lasts for about 15 minutes or so, and while I was there for what’s still considered to be a preview, the show seems to be what we all suspected it would be: a traditional log competition show.

The show started with introductions; there are two teams, a red team and a blue team, and, yes, they are wearing flannel indicating who’s who.

IMG_3744

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The Haunted Mansion Gift Shop Now Open

by on October 7, 2014

image(2)The brand new Haunted Mansion gift shop, known as Memento Mori, is now officially open after a few days of soft openings.

The shop, which can be found in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, right outside The Haunted Mansion‘s exit in the location formerly occupied by The Yankee Trader shop, offers up some fantastic Haunted Mansion-themed merchandise. Items include things like housewares, accessories, souvenirs, clothing, artwork, and more. In addition, there is a unique photo experience where a guest’s face is transformed into a spectral image using holographic techniques.

The shop’s decor is inspired by the infamous Madam Leota, with great nods to the attraction found inside.

Guests who won’t be at the Magic Kingdom any time soon can order some of the items online, so that the next time you are preparing for a swinging wake, you’ll be all ready to go.

The shop is really a fabulous addition, and those who are fans of The Haunted Mansion will certainly not want to miss out.

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Flamingo Crossings Project Finally Moving Forward?

by on October 3, 2014

t_logo_fbBack in 2007, Disney announced that it would take a 450-acre section in the westernmost part of property (around the intersection of Toll Road 429 and Western Way) and sell it to developers to build it into a master-planned lodging, dining, and retail location. There was a flurry of application for permits, concept art produced, and a lot of media buzz.

After the initial surge of interest, the project seemed to disappear off of the radar. Every few years, there would be a half-hearted attempt at a press release to stir up interest in the project, but little site prep was ever done.

All that may be about to change. In May 2014, a permit was filed for and approved with the South Florida Water Management District that shows a site plan for Flamingo Crossings.

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Disney Rolls Out New Frozen Holiday Premium Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on October 1, 2014

A "Frozen" Summer at Disney's Hollywood Studios

©Disney

Who else is surprised? A brand new premium package is being rolled out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Holiday Season called the Frozen Holiday Premium Package. With the overwhelming success of the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package, it was a no-brainer that a similar package would be rolled out for the Holiday Season.

This special package includes reserved seating for a performance of the “For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” reserved viewing of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a Frozen-themed dessert party, a holiday-themed lithograph, and a Frozen pin.

The package is available for select dates:

  • November 7 – 19
  • November 21 – December 9
  • December 11 – January 4

The package costs $89 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $59 per child (ages 3-9), plus tax. (Gratuity is also included in the price.) Also Disney’s Hollywood Studios admission is required but is not included in the price of the Premium Package.

To book this package, call (407) 939-1854.

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Walt Disney World Monorail Schedule Changes Again

by on September 29, 2014

The Walt Disney World Resort once again has an updated monorail schedule. All three monorail loops are being impacted. The updated schedule is as follows:

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam – 7:00 a.m. to one hour after the park closes
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam – 8:30 a.m. to 1 hour after the park closes
  • Epcot Beam – 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or 1 hour after Magic Kingdom closes, whichever is earlier

During times when the monorail will not be running, additional watercraft and buses will be available to transport guests.

As a reminder, the Walt Disney World Resort monorails are currently undergoing an update where they are adding an automated operating system. The schedule began changing at the beginning of the summer and was updated again at the beginning of September.

This current schedule is in effect until further notice.

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Video: Saying Farewell to DHS’s Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon

by on September 27, 2014

Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon

DHS’s Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon is now an ex-attraction. (Photos and video by Seth Kubersky)

The operating day has just ended at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and with it the sun has set on the final day for the park’s Studio Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon. The behind-the-scenes tram tour, which saw its closing day of operations today (Saturday, September 27, 2014), ended its career a pale shadow of its former self. But the tour originally served as the thesis attraction of the Disney/MGM Studios park, much as Spaceship Earth is for Epcot and Killimajaro Safaris for Animal Kingdom.

What was once a multi-part, multi-hour tour that delved into nearly every aspect of old-school movie making had long ago been whittled down to a brief special effects water tank demonstration, followed by a tram ride through the park’s mostly dormant backlot. Even so, there were still glimmers of the epic original attraction to be found along the Studio Backlot Tour, especially in its explosive Catastrophe Canyon centerpiece, which continued to wow guests right up until closing day.

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