Walt Disney World (FL)

Updated Information About New Typhoon Lagoon Attraction

by on January 17, 2017

Well, it appears, according to Disney, as though there is a bit of a change when it comes to the new Typhoon Lagoon family raft ride. The attraction, which was once called Miss Fortune Falls, is now apparently going to be called Miss Adventure Falls.

And let me tell you, Miss Adventure Falls looks incredible, at least according to this concept art!

Typhoon Lagoon Miss Adventure Falls

©Disney

 

Miss Adventure Falls will still feature the story of sea-faring treasure hunter, Captain Mary Oceaneer. She traveled across the sea collecting unique artifacts before she became stranded by the rogue storm.

During the attraction, which is the longest attraction at a Disney Water Park, Guests will board a 4-person treasure raft and travel up a conveyor belt that then takes you straight into the action. Along the way, Guests will be able to spot artifacts that had been collected, as well as meeting Mary’s old diving partner, an Audio-Animatronics parrot, who just so happens to still be hunting for treasures at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

Miss Adventure Falls will be located near Crush n’ Gusher and will clock in at approximately two minutes. It looks like it will be a great adventure, indeed!

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Disney World Valentine’s Day Romance: Mix and Match Your Plan

by on January 17, 2017

Valentine's Day Romance at Walt Disney World

While Disney World is known for being a magical place for families, its fantastic variety of dining, attractions, entertainment, and recreation options also make it a great place for couples to find some romance. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, you may be thinking about how to spend an ideal day of romance, Disney World-style. This article offers a framework for a plan and plenty of ideas to inspire your own Disney World Valentine’s Day.

Disney World Romance Step #1: Breakfast

What better way to start off Valentine’s Day than with a leisurely breakfast. Although taking a park by storm at rope drop is a key strategy in time-efficient touring, Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to take a slower approach. Here are some great resort and in-park options. Keep in mind that the location of your choice can be a stepping stone to the next part of your plan.

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Your Top-Rated Magic Kingdom Restaurants

by on January 16, 2017

Top Rated Magic Kingdom Restaurants

After every trip to Walt Disney World, we send our TouringPlans members a survey to see how satisfied they were with each part of their vacation.

The Dole Whip in both its glorious forms

In 2016, we got back more than 122,000 responses on Walt Disney World restaurants, up from 97,000 responses in 2015. To put that in perspective, we have more surveys about Disney World restaurants than Yelp and TripAdvisor combined.

In this blog post we’ll cover your ratings for the Magic Kingdom’s restaurants, from best to worst. Let’s start with the Magic Kingdom’s quick-service restaurants, using our straightforward “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating system. Restaurants in green are rated better than average; those in pink are worse than average; and the ones in red are much worse than average.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2016 (No Matter How Hard We Try)

by on January 14, 2017

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2016 (No Matter How Hard We Try). With the new year upon us, it is time for another SATURDAY SIX annual tradition of looking back at some of the most “memorable moments” of the previous year. Now we already covered some of the great things that happened during the past 365 days, and some of the worst as well, so today let’s look at six theme park stories that fall into a different area. Events that are almost hard to believe actually happened, but we promise they did, and we’re here with the proof. So let’s kick it off with…

# 6 – Disney Puts a Paper Bag Over the Tower of Terror

Disney has some truly incredible projects opening over the next couple years including Pandora: The World of Avatar in Florida and a huge Star Wars Land on both coasts. These projects look to give guests the same level of immersion – if not more – than the critically acclaimed Cars Land and Diagon Alley. For their first ever Marvel attraction in America, Disney went in a different direction. In a shocking announcement at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, it was revealed that the Hollywood Tower of Terror in DCA would be converted over to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! While Pandora will have guests dropping their jaws while looking up at the “flying mountains” and Star Wars Land will fulfill many a fanboy dream of walking onto the Millenium Falcon, the Marvel attraction is going to look just like the iconic Hollywood Tower of Terror with a bunch of pipes on it.

The Tower of Terror prepares to undergo its transformation into the Collector’s Fortress. (photo by Guy Selga)

Here’s the thing: say what you will about California’s Tower of Terror versus Florida’s version (it stinks), the ride still has the memorable Tower of Terror hotel facade. This is one of the all time most iconic ride facades in Disney history. In fact, with the Sorcerer’s Hat now gone from DHS, it has become one of the four WDW park icons along with Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life, and Cinderella Castle. Disney has owned Marvel now for almost a decade, and as they saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. No matter how good the actual Guardians of the Galaxy ride is or isn’t, being shoehorned into one of the most recognizable facades in any theme park is going to make the attraction look and feel out of place.

The most unbelievable part of this entire story is the fact that Disney started converting the Tower of Terror over to Mission: BREAKOUT! while guests were still enjoying the Terror of Terror. Large parts of the Tower were covered, and the attraction started to look like a sports fan wearing a paper bag over their head because they were ashamed of their team.

Paper of Plastic? (photo by Justin Martin)

Despite the Tower of Terror not being in anyone’s top ten ride list in DCA, the reaction to the hotel being changed was not received well on social media (to be fair, not much is anyway). Even crazier, DCA is just coming off a Billion dollar makeover that included making a large part of the park themed to early 20th century California, the exact same theme which Tower of Terror already had. Many have voiced their displeasure, but a few have also had a little fun with the idea of the hotel soon to be under new management….

Adam Britten as a newly displaced Tower bellhop.

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New Star Wars: Galactic Nights Special Event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on January 11, 2017

Star Wars: Galactic Nights

©Disney

If you are a Star Wars fan, the ultimate event will be taking place this April at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars: Galactic Nights will occur on April 14 and invites Guests to celebrate the beloved Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: Galactic Nights Guests will be invited to dress as their favorite character while attending this family-friendly event, as well as experience fun and exclusive Star Wars activities and events.

Rebel Base

Guests will start at the Rebel Base, found at the center of the par, which will serve as the event hub. There will be multiple shows, events, and dance parties. Here, Guests will experience stunning, interactive projection featuring iconic Star Wars scenery.  Guests will also be able to experience “The Star Wars Show” on Location, where you’ll be able to join the hosts of the popular starwars.com show while they film their weekly program. You will also be able to experience Celebrate the Saga where you’ll have the opportunity to take off on an interactive journey that chronologically celebrates the milestones of Star Wars.

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Walt Disney World Planning: Order of Operations

by on January 11, 2017

Walt Disney World Trip Planning

I’ve been helping my middle school-age son with his math homework lately. And one of the things that has been a bit of a challenge is something called “order of operations.” Basically, when you have a complex, multi-step problem, you have to do your calculations in order. Take care of what’s inside of any parentheses first, then calculate any exponents. Next, do your multiplication and division calculations. Finish with any remaining addition and subtraction.

Well, the same principle applies to planning a Walt Disney World vacation, which is its own complex, multi-step problem. So consider this a step-by-step road map that will keep you on course and allow you to reach the correct solution: a successful Disney vacation. If you’re new to planning, I highly recommend using the services of a travel agent that specializes in Disney destinations. They can help guide you and answer any questions you might have along the way.

Parentheses (first things first)

Let’s assume you’ve already decided on a Walt Disney World vacation. Consider this step the parentheses of our equation: the one part you simplify and solve before anything else. The first crucial decisions in your planning are when and where you’re going to stay.

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Disney World Experiences Kids Today Will Never Understand

by on January 9, 2017

The Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating its 45th anniversary; and while a number of attractions and experiences from the resort’s early days are still be enjoyed all these years later, the resort has been no stranger to change. When I think back on my childhood visits to Walt Disney World, a few things come to mind that kids today will never experience… or even believe! Like what? Well, let’s take a look at just a few Disney World Experiences Kids Today Will Never Understand, shall we?

Cinderella Castle Was Once a Cake

Walt Disney World rarely gives their icons makeovers nowadays. For this year’s 45th Anniversary, a banner appeared on Cinderella Castle for like five minutes and then vanished. Disney even forgoes the popular holiday layovers that some Disneyland Park attractions are given each year.

This is why Cinderella Castle’s sugary pink makeover for the resort’s 25th Anniversary is a little hard to swallow in retrospect.

Yes, on October 1, 1996, Cinderella Castle was transformed into a pink and white cake decked with an assortment of candies! My seven year self loved it, but let’s just say others did not…

Regal Cinderella Castle remained a cake for 15 months, and that is just one of the Disney World experiences kids today will never understand or experience!

PUSH

PUSH in Tomorrowland (photo credit Scott Sanders – Disney Cruise Line Blog)

The Best Character Meet was PUSH the Talking Trash Can

For many years, the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland was home to a mobile, interactive trash can appropriately called PUSH. Now I know what you’re thinking, kids. But trust me, PUSH was a rock star. PUSH would talk and tease guests and treat any trash you disposed in him as a tasty snack.

Sadly, PUSH can no longer be found at Walt Disney World these days, but he is one Disney World experience I hope may return one day.

Mulan Was Drawn at a Disney Park

Disney’s Hollywood Studios, originally known as Disney-MGM Studios, was intended to be a theme park and a functioning production studio.

The studio element of the park eventually disappeared; but back in the day, live action and animation both took place at the park. In fact, park guests were once able to watch Disney animators working on films like Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear at the Magic of Disney Animation pavilion.

FASTPASSES

Ahhhh, the good old days!

Days at the Parks With No FASTPASS or FastPass+

One of the Disney World experiences kids today will never understand is the struggle of a Disney World Vacation before FASTPASS. Not until 1999 was the original FASTPASS paper ticket system introduced to Walt Disney World, offering relief from lengthy wait times and non-interactive queues in the pre-smartphone years.

Today, Walt Disney World guests enjoy FastPass+ where guests can book their FastPass+ reservation online or through the MyDisneyExperience app. This second generation system guarantees a short wait for a favorite headlining attraction, even before a guest arrives on property. It’s a luxury my childhood self never could have imagined!

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SATURDAY SIX: The Best Resort Specific Merchandise at Walt Disney World

by on January 7, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at The Best Resort Specific Merchandise at WDW! Longtime readers of this fine blog series will remember that we have looked at the Best Souvenirs at Disney, the Best at Universal, and even the Best Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exist. Heck, we even risk our lives and sanity each and every month to deliver you the fabled Disney Outlet Store Photo Report. So it is safe to say, we like merch. Now, one of our favorite types of theme park resort merchandise is the stuff you can get at the onsite hotels. When looking at them back at home, they instantly remind us of the great times we had on vacation and the places we have stayed at. Disney has always been the industry leader at incredible resort specific merchandise, but several years ago the company switched to a more homogeneous look for much of its hotel merchandise. With a very similar style of logo for various resorts all on the same type of items (t-shirts, coffee cups, keychains, etc), it was like Disney was running a Zazzle account writ large. Thankfully, more original merchandise has started to make its way back to the resorts, along with some old favorites. Today we’re going to look at our favorite resort specific merchandise, starting with…

# 6 – Camper Keychain at Fort Wilderness

Believe it or not, Disney’s Fort Wilderness campgound has one of the highest amounts of great resort specific merchandise on property. From great looking pins and shirts to amazing prints, Fort Wilderness offers an array of unique items that most other WDW hotels can’t compete with. There’s even a Fort Wilderness air freshener! Our absolute favorite piece of merch is the Camper Keychain ($9.99). Not only is this an incredibly creative keychain compared to what you’ll find at other resorts, the headlight of the camper is a working flashlight! Talk about the Disney Difference, and be prepared to talk about your Disney vacation when your friends and family back home see your cute keychain.

Fort Wilderness Camper Keychain.

The camper’s headlight is an actual working flashlight!

Plastic Mason Jar Travel Mug.

Fort Wilderness Air Freshener with “Wild Woods Scent.” To be fair, while we say it is unique that Fort Wilderness has its own air freshener, we will stipulate to the fact that no one would want an All Star Music air freshener anyway. We do wonder what the scent of “Pop Century” would be though….

The SATURDAY SIX mobile sits outside Coronado Springs with the inside smelling like Fort Wilderness.

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New MagicBands Shipping to Walt Disney World Resort Guests

by on January 5, 2017

I have some exciting news to share today! The new MagicBands are shipping to Guests! How do I know? Well, today, in my mailbox, I received two brand new MagicBand 2 bands.

©Rikki Niblett

 

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Back to the Basics Series: FastPass+ at Walt Disney World – Video

by on January 5, 2017

New year, new series!

In Back to the Basics, I cover topics for the Disney beginner.

Don’t know how to buy tickets? Confused by abbreviations such as FP+ and ADR? I’ll discuss it all in this series!

Today’s episode features FastPass+ (also known as FP+).

Enjoy!

Helpful Links:

Making FastPass+ Reservations

Magic Kingdom FP+ Tips

Epcot FP+ Tips

Hollywood Studios FP+ Tips

Animal Kingdom FP+ Tips

Enjoy these videos? Subscribe to our YouTube page for more!

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