Walt Disney World (FL)

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: March 19, 2015

by on March 19, 2015

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re visiting the  Magic Kingdom, making a quick stop at Downtown Disney, and spending an evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not to mention we’re enjoying a quiet dinner at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano! Who is ready for some fun?

I normally try to put things in order, but this week I decided to start with this killer sunset instead! From all the way in Tomorrowland I had no idea the sky was lighting up until we breezed by on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Luckily, I managed to snap this one shot! It seemed like the perfect way to start this week. :)

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Want to see what other trouble we got into? Be sure to click to read more!

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Video: Peter Pan’s Flight Interactive Queue at WDW’s Magic Kingdom

by on March 18, 2015

Take a tour of the Peter Pan’s Flight interactive queue without waiting in line. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

As we reported earlier this year, the new interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight has now been active for several weeks. However, thanks to the wonders of FastPass+, I’d managed to avoid experiencing Fantasyland’s newest high-tech holding pen…until now.

During my recent trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to test MDE’s new lunch preordering procedures at Be Our Guest, I filled up my daily FastPass+ dance card with dwarfs, enchanted furniture, and a certain mermaid, leaving no room for a pre-reserved trip to Neverland.

Accordingly, I took this opportunity to record a full walk through of the Peter Pan’s Flight interactive queue elements, which are themed around an exploration of the Darling children’s bedroom.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes 3/18/15

by on March 18, 2015

Well, that didn’t take long!  Usually a few weeks go by before enough little news pieces fly across my desk, but today, I have a full set of fun little nuggets; guess it’s because Spring Break season is here. This time, most bites revolve around fun in the resorts with some little changes and unique events taking place that I think are both important to know, as well as could be a great additions to those of you with Spring Break vacations planned.

  • Over at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, they are testing a situation where Guests will no longer receive a parking placard and will instead be asked to present their MagicBand when entering at these two hotel security kiosks, as well as at theme park Auto Plazas to gain entry.  For those returning to the hotel, they will need to touch their MagicBand to the access gate’s readers. For those wishing to visit a theme park, they simply will need to present their MagicBand to the Auto Plaza Cast Member and will receive complimentary parking. This test is being introduced because Guests now have the option to head directly to their resort room, bypassing the front desk, which is where they would receive the parking placard; this placard will no longer be needed by Guests. One would expect this will become standard practice resort-wide here soon.

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Photos from Inside a Polynesian Bungalow

by on March 17, 2015

These images happened to fall off a truck while I was walking around Disney World last week. They definitely are not the result of renting a pontoon boat, docking next to a bungalow, and hopping over a fence. Because that would be wrong.

Here’s the living room. I like the furniture choices – lots of natural woods and textured surfaces. Also notice how the couch faces the lagoon view, not the television.

PolyBungalow-LivingRoom1

 

Here’s the kitchen. Small, but functional enough to cook a light dinner if you wanted. I would have opted for a larger window over the sink instead of that decorative cupboard.

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Disney Savvy Tips for Typhoon Lagoon

by on March 17, 2015

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Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

 

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! Typhoon Lagoon, the older of the two parks, is meant to be a little tropical resort that was drenched and tossed by a typhoon which created pools, tossed items onto rooftops and into trees, and left the Miss Tilly boat perched atop Mount Mayday! This park is a windblown paradise with little gags wherever you turn; and it’s also home to some popular ways to get wet, such as the thrilling Humunga Kowabunga slides, the relaxing Castaway Creek, the iconic Surf Pool, and the Crush n’ Gusher water coaster. If you’re considering a visit to this popular water park, check out these Disney Savvy Tips for Typhoon Lagoon to make your day as magical as possible.

But wait! There are a few things you should know first before planning a trip to Typhoon Lagoon. First of all, Disney is now offering a 1-Day Water Park Pass which provides one-day admission to either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach for $61.77 with tax for ages 10 and up or $53.25 for ages 3-9 with tax. This now means you can water park hop for a day! You can also purchase a Water Parks Annual Pass with unlimited admission to both water parks for $117.15 with tax for adults, or $105.44 with tax for kids ages 3-9. But if you have a Premium Annual Passport, you already have the privilege of unlimited admission to both parks.

So are you ready for some Disney Savvy tips?

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – March 8 to 14, 2015

by on March 17, 2015

Spring Break crowds at Disney World continue to be slightly lower than in years past. Last week marks the second week in a row with crowd levels one to two steps below what the calendar predicted. Although definitely lower than expected the crowds are not significantly lower so we expect the parks to be very busy in the weeks to come. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are the two parks that seem to be driving crowds in directions compared to from previous years. Epcot, although relatively moderate on the crowd calendar scale remains busy as locals flock to the park to experience this year’s Flower & Garden Festival.

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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Be Our Guest Restaurant to Test Breakfast Option

by on March 16, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Be Our Guest Restaurant has been seeing a lot of changes recently due to its extreme popularity. The first change for the New Fantasyland restaurant was that reservations became available to everyone during the lunchtime hours, and now there’s another addition — the restaurant will begin offering breakfast, as part of a test, beginning March 20. This test will take place daily from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. until June 18. (And I suspect that should this test go well – and let’s be honest, I don’t see why it wouldn’t – that the “end date” will be extended indefinitely.)

Breakfast will be served as a “fast casual,” prix fixe menu. For $19.99 plus tax for adults and $11.99 plus tax for children ages 3-9, guests at this counter service location will be able to enjoy a pastry basket for sharing, followed by a choice of entree and a self-service beverage.

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Menu Monday: Best Counter Service in Epcot

by on March 16, 2015

This article is the final installment in a series ranking counter service restaurants at each of the Disney Parks at Walt Disney World. In case you missed them, you can review each article regarding Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

One of Epcot’s most notable experiences is the unique dining options. So notable, in fact, that every Fall it plays host to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a must try if you haven’t already experienced it. Epcot has simply dozens of restaurants, carts and kiosks to try little morsels of culture. Though many of these carts and kiosks are considered by Disney to be “counter service” most of them are stands, windows, or carts, allowing guests to grab a specialty food item and continue their journey around World Showcase. There are actually relative few “counter service” locations that offer multiple menu selections and ample seating on the same level as other counter service option in the other parks.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

If you use the Disney App, or the Disney website and filter restaurants by “counter service” and “Epcot”, the results will yield 24 locations. However, upon further inspection, these 24 locations also include options like popcorn carts and coffee stands. For the purpose of this article, I’ll limit the term “counter service” to only include options that offer meals, and not merely snacks (though there is something to be said for “snacking around the world”). This brings the results down to eleven locations. So, let’s start our culinary adventure!

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An Introvert’s Guide to Disney World

by on March 15, 2015

I’m a Disney theme park devotee; I love the parks’ art and architecture, the attention to detail, the zippy rides, and the gently popcorn-scented air. I’m also a hard core introvert. I enjoy time with my family and close friends, but speaking with strangers or spending extended periods in large groups leaves me emotionally drained. To recover, I require personal space and quiet time, and lots of it.

Disney Parks fan and introvert can be challenging traits to reconcile. And honestly, I sometimes get the feeling that Walt Disney World is the epicenter of everything I am not. Disney is loud and relentless. With its confluence of uber-friendly cast members, crowds, boisterous dance parties, and world-as-a-show ethos, the entire place practically screams EXTROVERTS ONLY.

Even Christmas can be manageable for an introvert, IF you arrive at the parks early.

Even Christmas can be manageable for an introvert, IF you arrive at the parks early.

But as a veteran of many dozens of trips to the Disney Parks, I’m here to promise you that an introvert can survive, and even thrive, in the midst of the madness. Here are some steps you can take to help make Walt Disney World a manageable experience for an introvert.

Choose a low crowd time of the year to visit.

I have extrovert friends who love WDW on New Year’s Eve. They get excited seeing tens of thousands of people all in one place. You never know who you’ll meet! But for me, one of the quickest paths to system overload is crushing crowds. Being in the Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Eve might possibly make my head explode.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Theme Park Questions For the Magic 8 Ball

by on March 14, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Theme Park Questions For the Magic 8 Ball. Theme park fans have a lot of questions. In fact, the mailbag at the Saturday Six offices is stuffed with letters from fans asking about their favorite Orlando parks. Unfortunately, thanks to TV being our babysitter growing up, our reading comprehension isn’t that great. We hired some interns to handle the mail, but they are even worse because of YouTube, Vine and Twitter (enjoy life now because we’re all doomed when this generation takes control of things.) So we did the only thing that we could do given the circumstances….we made up our own questions.

# 6 – What will Avatarland do in the area of merchandise?

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A Na’vi makes the bond with 15.99% APR. (photo by Matt Cleary)

Disney has slowly been giving us information on the upcoming Avatar expansion at Animal Kingdom, including the groundbreaking ceremony in early 2014 in which Imagineers used 10 foot shovels. Several attractions have been vaguely teased, and the point is always stressed that this land is attempting to be one of the most amazing experiences in theme park history. It’s James Cameron and Walt Disney Imagineering, two of the best in the world at what they do.

However, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned at all is what kind of retail opportunities there will be in this land, if any. Avatar is the most successful movie in the history of cinema, but it does not lead itself to the traditional methods of merchandising that Universal has used for its Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The third act of Avatar is hinged on the fact that the humans have nothing to offer the Na’vi, because the natives of Pandora have no use for materialistic things. What are those materialistic things? Shirts, action figures, magnets, and pretty much anything else you would find in a theme park gift shop.

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