Walt Disney World (FL)

Fun Facts for Your Next Disney World Vacation

by on April 26, 2015

Castle Concept Art

Castle Concept Art

Do you crave Disney knowledge? Do you spend way too much time online scanning sites for Disney facts and secrets? Is your bookshelf crammed with Disney Imagineering books and guidebooks? If so, then we’re probably kindred spirits because I’m guilty of all the above! I absolutely love discovering new facts about my favorite place on earth that I can use or see for myself when planning my next Disney World trip. So indulge me, if you will, as I share with you some of my favorite fun facts for your next Disney World Vacation.

Did you know that…

12. Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are Neighbors? Even though the Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean is in Adventureland and Splash Mountain is in Frontierland, things looks a little different backstage than they do when you’re in the park. When backstage, which means behind the scenes, these two water attractions are located next to each other! The layout of the park from inside is a little deceptive; but since both attractions require high volumes of water, it only makes sense to have them located next door. Pretty cool, right?

Look at the Golions!

Look at the Golions!

11. There’s More Than One Beast at the Beast’s Castle? The Disney Animators used different animals to create the Beast we know from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast film. In fact, the Beast is a mixture of buffalo, lion, wolf, bear, and more! But outside of the Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland, there is another beast that’s also a combo of different animals. It’s a Golion! Guarding either side of the castle doors are two stone beasts that Disney invented just for this area; and as they are a combination of both goats and lions, Imagineers decided to name them Golions! Source: Fun Facts: New Fantasyland

10. The Eiffel Tower at Epcot’s France Pavilion is Historically Accurate? Have you ever paid much attention to the Eiffel Tower at Epcot’s France Pavilion? If so, you may have noticed that the tower looks a little different than those photos you see of the one in France and for a really cool reason. You see, the real Eiffel Tower has changed color since it was first constructed in 1887 due to aging and weathering; but since Epcot’s France Pavilion is meant to represent France as it was in the past, the Eiffel Tower we see is beige, just like how it would’ve been in its early years. Talk about attention to detail! Still not impressed? To be even more historically accurate, Imagineers used the blueprints of the original Eiffel Tower when constructing their own.  Source: AllEars.net

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What’s In My Diaper Bag: Disney Parks Edition + Video

by on April 24, 2015

Photo - Angela DahlgrenAs you saw in my Packing Tips for a Day at Walt Disney World article, I am a pack rat. In fact, a few readers wondered if I actually bring all this stuff with me to the parks. The answer…is yes.

Yes, I have a big back pack.

Yes, it is very heavy.

So with that, it only seemed natural to share what I bring in my diaper bag for a day at the parks!

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Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 3

by on April 23, 2015

Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we will continue to debate this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, let’s continue our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland and Disney World by discussing planning, transportation, and the theme parks.

Planning

 

Disneyland Resort Planning

Planning a trip to Disneyland is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s look at a basic timeline.

  • 12 months or more in advance: This is the time to research where you would like to stay and book a hotel reservation or vacation package.
  • 11 months or less in advance: If you are going to be flying to Disneyland, this is the time to start checking flights and booking one as soon as you find a great deal. Once your flight is reserved, you can book a rental car or make reservations for airport transportation. If you will be driving to Disneyland, this is the time to plan your route and make any hotel reservations that you will need for your journey to and from the resort.
  • 3 months in advance: At this point, it is time to start researching restaurants and tours that interest you and make a list of reservations that you would like to book.
  • 60 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking dining reservations. Character Dining, Blue Bayou, and Napa Rose tend to fill up quickly and should be booked as soon as possible. If you did not reserve a vacation package that includes admissions and you plan to purchase your tickets in advance, this is a perfect time in order to allow for shipping. Purchasing admissions early is not a necessity in Disneyland, but it will save you a little bit of time once you arrive.
  • 30 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking any tours that you would like to try.
  • 2 weeks in advance: This is a great time to research the attractions offered at Disneyland and California Adventure, make a list of what you would like to experience, and create your personalized touring plans. Also take a few moments to put together a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • 1 week in advance: It’s now time to confirm all of your reservations, print your travel documents, and pack.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: April 23, 2015

by on April 23, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re visiting Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not to mention we’re also stopping by Downtown Disney and Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Phew, that’s a lot! Let’s get moving! :)

The best place to start is where I’ve visited the most the past few weeks. Not once, not twice, but five times we’ve visited Disney’s Polynesian Resort trying to get into the newly opened Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. The wait has never been less than an hour and to be frank, I just don’t want to go to a bar that badly!

However, the time spent at the resort has led to some great photos of the new lobby and the tiki that has been recently added. For anyone not on Twitter, the Disney community has started calling this tiki by the name “Shruggie“. He was mainly given this name because his stance makes it look like he’s shrugging and declaring that the lobby renovation wasn’t his idea! It really finishes the lobby renovation now that he’s in place.

2

 

Want to see more? Be sure to click below!

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Summer Gets Hotter With the “Teen Beach 2″: Beach Party at Typhoon Lagoon

by on April 22, 2015

TL-TB2BP-Logo-Proof-613x556

©Disney

Are you a fan of Teen Beach Movie? (That’s the one with Troy and Gabriella, right? ;) ) Well, if you are, then I’m sure you know that the sequel will be airing on The Disney Channel later this summer. So, if you’re excited about of the teen flick part 2, then you’ll need to head to Typhoon Lagoon. You see, in honor of the Coolest Summer Ever, the water park will be introducing the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party for a limited time!

The party will showcase the “bikers” and the “surfers” who will be there to dance, as the DJ on hand spins some great retro tunes. Guests will also be able to participate in games on the main beach area, such as relays, hoola hoop spinning, as well as water balloon and beach ball tosses.

You won’t want to miss out on all the exciting fun–the event only takes place from May 22 through July 5. Guests visiting the water park paradise will surely be transported back to the 1960s with the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party.

(PS: No old fogies….ie…myself….were harmed in the creation of this blog post. Though I do now feel about 100.)

 

 

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Disney Savvy Tips for Blizzard Beach

by on April 22, 2015

101_1854

In addition to four theme parks, the Walt Disney World Resort also offers two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Both of these water parks boast unique themes and, in true Disney fashion, a great story! Blizzard Beach, however, just may have the craziest story in water park history. The legend states that a freak blizzard hit Central Florida and so a ski resort was quickly built; but when the Florida sunshine reappeared, the snow began to melt turning ski runs into water slides and snow drifts into refreshing pools. So instead of a ski resort, we now have Blizzard Beach, a whimsical, wintry water park where you swim among snow drifts and shop for beach towels in ski chalets! So if you’re considering a visit to this popular water park, check out these Disney Savvy Tips for Blizzard Beach to make your day as magical as possible.

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 12 to 18, 2015

by on April 21, 2015

Two weeks ago crowd levels surprised us by being higher than we predicted indicating that more vacationers spent their post-Easter / Spring Break at Walt Disney World Resort than expected. So, I suppose it is only natural that last week we saw crowds go the opposite direction, with crowd levels much lower than predicted most days.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Tomorrowland Preview Now Open at Epcot

by on April 18, 2015

Tomorrowland preview epcot

The Tomorrowland preview has evicted Captain EO from Epcot’s Imagination pavilion. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Do you want to go back to the future? Well, we’re already in 2015, so Doc Brown’s time machine is off the table, but Disney is now giving guests a glimpse of the world (or at least the moview) of tomorrow. As Rikki Niblett reported, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland preview officially opened on April 18 inside Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater, formerly home to Captain EO.

The new temporary attraction is essentially an advertisement for the upcoming Brad Bird-directed sci-fi flick, which will be released to American theaters on May 22.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Most Unique Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World

by on April 18, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Most Unique Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World. Nobody enjoys eating at “The World” more than us. From outrageous snacks like the King Cupcake at Pop Century, to Disney food trucks, to table service restaurants like Bongo’s Cuban Cafe or ‘Ohana, food may have actually replaced attractions in what we look forward to the most on our Disney vacations. Can you blame us though? WDW has some of the greatest restaurants you will ever go to, with several one-of-a-kind experiences that you will never get back at home. So today we’re going to take a look the six most unique dining experiences on property, starting with…

# 6 – Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge)

The Animal Kingdom Lodge just may be our favorite resort at Disney, and one of the biggest reasons is how much we love Sanaa. Located in Kidani Village, this is the only restaurant at AKL that has a view looking out into the beautiful savanna and all the animals. The decor is fantastic, with the chairs having backs echoing tribal shields and lighting fixtures based on nests that Weaver birds would make in Africa. The dining room floor has beautiful representations of acacia trees while the entire room is filled with art, which is appropriate since Sanaa is the Swahili word for artwork. Sanaa is hands-down one of the most gorgeous restaurants in Orlando.

sanaa_glover

The famous Sanaa bread service while seated next to the Savanah. (photo by Brandon Glover)

There are plenty of places at Walt Disney World to get chicken fingers and hamburgers, but Sanaa (along with other AKL venues such as Jiko and Boma) is where you can expand your culinary palate and try dishes you normally wouldn’t. It is worth making an ADR for Sanaa based on their bread service alone. There are five different types of Naan and you can choose up to 9 accompaniments to go with the bread. From a gamut running sweet to spicy, there is a dip for everyone in your party.

sanaa_bricker

Sanaa’s acacia tree decor. (photo by Tom Bricker)

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 4/17/15

by on April 17, 2015

Happy Friday! Do you have big plans that involve Disney this weekend? If you’ll be traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend (or any time soon), here are some of the news notes you should know!

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is now offering the pre-order option for breakfast. Guests with a breakfast reservation will receive information via their dining confirmation email and will be able to pre-order meals through My Disney Experience anywhere from 30 days to 5 minutes prior to their reservation. Guests can also still choose to order breakfast at the time of arrival at the restaurant. Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant is currently only being tested through June 18.
  • Epcot will be holding some special events Earth Day, which is April 22. Beginning today until April 22, there will be nature activities for kids and families and a sand-sculpture creation to showcase Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom at the World Showcase Outpost. Then, over at The Seas with Nemo & Friends on April 22, guests can learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks, and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans.

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