Walt Disney World (FL)

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: October 23, 2014

by on October 23, 2014

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check out the new location for Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and take a look at how Christmas is coming along. Then we’re heading over for a quick visit to the Magic Kingdom and ending at Epcot for Food & Wine Festival updates. We also might run into a lumberjack or two! ;) So let’s get started!

I’ll admit that when I saw the Studio Backlot Tour was closing and a Frozen gift shop was moving into this area, I had my doubts. But I’ll eat crow because it looks great! It’s obvious a lot of planning went into this move and I can only hope this much effort goes into the other changes coming to the studios. Want to check it out? Click to read more! 

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Traveling with Seniors: In the Parks

by on October 22, 2014

TouringPlans logoIn the first part of this two-part series installment, we discussed how to plan and be proactive when traveling with senior citizens. In this second installment, we’ll tackle navigating the parks!

There are some obvious concerns that tend to come to the forefront of park touring with anyone with limited mobility, or anyone who fatigues easily (basically, everyone who’s not a marathon-runner). Standing in long lines, walking miles and miles each day, heat and humidity, are all things to keep in mind when you start planning your park days. Navigating the parks with a senior makes having a good Touring Plan that much more important. You can select preferences in your Touring Plan to minimize walking, minimize waiting in line, or a compromise between the two. The best thing about having a Touring Plan is being able to see more and do more while saving time and energy.

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Disney Parks Potential: The Jungle Book

by on October 21, 2014

© Disney

© Disney

Welcome back to Disney Parks Potential, where I take a look at some of Disney’s more underrepresented franchises and characters while coming up with interesting ways to integrate them into Walt Disney World or Disneyland. If you missed the first entry, which covered The Incredibles, you can check that out here. Today I’ll be taking a look at an all-time Disney animated classic, The Jungle Book.

When you hear that Jungle Book has no attraction presence at Disney World, you probably think, “Wait, that can’t be right.” I mean, with a park entirely dedicated to animals, it’s hard to believe that Disney doesn’t have at least one attraction based on The Jungle Book. That wasn’t always the case, however. When Animal Kingdom first opened, there was a show called Journey into the Jungle Book but it only lasted a year before being replaced by Tarzan Rocks! in the theater which now currently houses Finding Nemo – The Musical. Besides that short lived show, there haven’t been any further attractions based on The Jungle Book.

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A Guide to Walt Disney World Attraction Vehicles and Seating: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on October 21, 2014

t_logo_fbWe recently brought you photo guides to the ride and attraction seating situation at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Completing the series is our guide to the attraction seating at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

And away we go …

The Boneyard

  • Seating capacity per row: NA
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Playground experience. More than 100 guests permitted entrance simultaneously.
  • Seating surface: There is very little seating here. There are few picnic tables where adults may sit, but these do not have sightlines on the entire play area.
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into playground
  • Height requirement: None
  • Note: 1: Wheelchair and ECV users may ride into the attraction. Much of the attraction is inaccessible to guests with mobility issues. The attraction includes stairs, slides, and rope climbing activities.
  • Note 2: It is extremely easy to temporarily lose sight of your child here. There are cavelike areas and child-size tunnels. However, there is only one exit to the attraction. If you have an elementary age child, you may feel comfortable “guarding” the exit and letting him roam. Parents of preschoolers will likely want to closely supervise their kids to avoid minor injury or separation anxiety.
  • Note 3: The dig area is separate from, and typically calmer than, the slide area. If you need some unstructured chill time, head to the dig site.
  • Note 4: During warm weather, a water feature will be activated. Children may get wet.

IMG_6267

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Disney World Itinerary: Which Parks to Visit

by on October 21, 2014

“Which are the best parks to visit?” is the most common question I am asked by Disney World newbies. The short answer is, “it depends!” The appeal of the parks varies quite a bit by age and subject matter interest. But have no fear, newbies, help is here! I have compiled a “one-size-fits-most” 4-1/2 day Disney World itinerary for a variety of demographics. These plans assume there will be four full days and the remainder of one travel day for the Disney World vacation, and only one theme park will be visited in a day (no Park Hopper passes).

 

Magic Kingdom is full of wonder, it's no mystery why preschoolers love it so much.

Magic Kingdom is full of wonder, it’s no mystery why preschoolers love it so much.

Families with Preschool Children (up to age 4) – 4 Day Park Ticket

Rationale:

  • Magic Kingdom is a big hit among the preschool set, and offers the most attractions of any of the parks. Magic Kingdom also few height restrictions, so only four attractions require riders to be 40″ or taller (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain and Stitch’s Great Escape!). Since this demographic enjoys characters, Magic Kingdom gives a lot of bang for your buck where that is concerned.
  • Animal Kingdom is well-liked by preschoolers for its theme.
  • Hollywood Studios has several attractions specifically geared to preschool children (including a character meal featuring Disney Junior characters at Hollywood & Vine).
  • The extra half day is unnecessary for most preschoolers, so save the money and just buy a 4-day ticket. Downtown Disney is a great place to visit on that half day, to shop and eat.

Strategies: Preschoolers are generally early risers, so take advantage of rope drop at each park to experience some attractions before the crowds arrive. Take a 3 to 4 hour mid-day break to re-energize with a nap or a swim (except for the day you tour Animal Kingdom, which closes earlier than the other parks). Four park days in a row will be a lot for many preschoolers, so plan the less intensely-scheduled days for the end of the trip. Plan to be flexible with preschool children and take breaks as necessary, Disney World can be a very stimulating place.

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“Glow With The Show” Changing To “Made With Magic” at Disney Parks

by on October 20, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Recently Disney rolled out “Glow With The Show” ears; they appeared at Walt Disney World last year and were introduced at Disneyland a year prior. Well, it seems that the concept is being re-branded, and it will now be known as “Made With Magic.”

In addition to being re-branded, new merchandise items have been created for guests to purchase and enjoy. These items include a Sorcerer Mickey wand (which will offer an additional function of changing the light patterns of other “Made with Magic” products), a Mickey Mouse glove, and a Minnie Mouse headband. The previously offered “Glow With The Show” ear hats will still be available, as well.

For those who are unaware, the “Made With Magic” items utilize interactive technology that allows the products to blink and change color in response to the environment you are in at the parks. Places in Walt Disney World that make use of the interactive elements include Fantasmic! and The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as the Celebrate the Magic castle light show and the Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. At Disneyland, the products interact with World of Color at Disney California Adventure, as well as Fantasmic! and the nighttime fireworks show at Disneyland. When the merchandise isn’t interacting with the environment, it is in a color-changing mode.

The first item to arrive will be the Minnie Mouse headband, which will be available in late October/early November. The Mickey Mouse glove and Sorcerer Mickey wand can be purchased beginning in late November/early December. The ear hats are available now. Each item will cost $25 and be available at select locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

With the new products being offered, are you more likely to purchase a “Made with Magic” interactive item?

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The Chase Lounge at Food & Wine for 2014

by on October 20, 2014

signIn all the busy preparations for my Walt Disney World trip and the realities of daily life, I missed this little gem on TouringPlans.com that stated that Chase – a sponsor of Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival – would have a lounge for Chase cardholders in The American Adventure pavilion. Imagine my surprise when one of the cast members giving me my sweet pepper hash at the Farm Fresh booth mentioned that I could go to a lounge because of my credit card!

If you look at The American Adventure pavilion, to the right of the main entrance is a side door that leads into a stairwell. Some lovely cast members stand there, and you show them your Chase card. (On the main banner it states that the lounge is for Chase debit and credit cardholders, including Disney Visa members.) Then you follow the signs up to the third floor (there’s also an elevator) and a most wonderful sight beckons.

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Menu Monday: Snacks from the World Showcase: China!

by on October 20, 2014

Epcot's Iconic Spaceship Earth, on our snacks from China Quest

It’s a perfect day to search out snacks! © Disney

It’s Menu Monday! Today we are looking once again at packaged snacks that are available in Epcot’s World Showcase, and we have already visited JapanCanadaUnited Kingdom, France, and Germany. Only a few stops remain on our snacking tour, so let’s check out what’s available as we explore today’s stop, China!

Snack Rules

  • No snacks over $10; preferably less than $5
  • As unusual as possible
  • Something I personally would eat

Let’s see what we can find!

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Disney World Crowd Report – October 5 to 11, 2014

by on October 19, 2014

Resort-wide crowds were busier on the weekend and days adjacent to the weekend, while crowds dipped during the middle part of the week. We predicted crowds to be flatter. Crowd numbers are slowly creeping higher as we leave behind the slower part of the Fall Season and head into the Halloween/Thanksgiving Season.

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

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New Italy Flag Performers at Epcot

by on October 17, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

A brand new performing act debuted today at Epcot. Called Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro, it is a flag-throwing troupe located in the Italy Pavilion. The show, which is set to drums and horns, is beautifully choreographed and involves some very difficult tricks.

Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro performs daily on the raised stage located in the courtyard of the Italy Pavilion. Showtimes are at 11:20 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m., 4:20 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. This is the first new act to appear in the pavilion since the comedy troupe known as The Ziti Sisters were retired back in February.

This flag-throwing act is the second new entertainment offering to debut in World Showcase, as the park is currently in the process of introducing multiple new live shows. The Canadian Lumberjacks debuted on October 5 at the Canada Pavilion. The other shows that are expected to begin performing soon include a traditional Berber music and dance troupe in Morocco and a Celtic folk music ensemble at the United Kingdom Pavilion.

Although this show has officially debuted, do keep in mind that it is in a “soft opening” phase and that showtimes and show elements could potentially change.

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