Walt Disney World (FL)

Disney World Pick-A Pearl FAQ

by on March 31, 2014

Have you ever wondered about the big pools of water on the counter in the middle of the Japan Pavilion at Epcot? That’s one of the Pick-A-Pearl stations at Walt Disney World. Here’s what you need to know.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

What’s a Pick-A-Pearl?

The name is pretty self explanatory. At a Pick-A-Pearl station, you’ll find a large, shallow tank of water with several oysters placed on the bottom. At the station, you choose (“pick”) an oyster to buy. The cast member at the station opens the oyster in front of you, the pearl inside is yours to keep.

Is the Japan Pavilion the only place to do this at Walt Disney World?

There are actually four places to Pick-A-Pearl at Walt Disney World: inside the large Mitsukoshi store at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, at a kiosk at Downtown Disney near the Pin Traders outpost, at a kiosk at Typhoon Lagoon, and at a kiosk on the pathway just outside the Stormalong Bay pool area at the Yacht & Beach Club resorts. While the general Pick-A-Pearl concept is the same at all the locations, they are operated by different entities, so some details may vary.

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2014 Night of Joy Tickets to go on Sale Soon

by on March 30, 2014

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©Disney

Tickets for this year’s Night of Joy event will go on sale tomorrow (March 31).

Single day tickets will cost $59, plus tax, if purchased ahead of time. They will be $69, plus tax, at the door. There will also be a two night ticket option available that will cost $108 for both nights, plus tax, and it will include one day admission to Blizzard BeachTyphoon Lagoon, or DisneyQuest. The two day ticket must be purchased by August 5.

The artists for the event include:

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Parking Fees Increase at Walt Disney World

by on March 30, 2014

2014-02-18 09.11Parking fees at the four Walt Disney World theme parks have increased across the board. In addition, valet fees at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels have also seen a price increase.

At the theme parks, parking has increased by $2. Here is the new breakdown:

  • Automobile, taxi, limo, or motorcycle: $17 (up from $15)
  • Camper, trailer or RV: $18 (up from $16)
  • Bus or tractor trailer: $21 (up from $19)

Do keep in mind that once you pay that rate for the day, you may utilize any of parking lots at any of the four theme parks (just show your receipt). Also, keep in mind that if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, your parking is complimentary for the length of your stay and valid resort identification is required for the privilege. Annual Passholders also have complimentary parking.

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Innoventions Uncovered

by on March 30, 2014

In the comments of a recent post, one of our awesome readers asked for an article about Innoventions. This spot is nice for hiding from nasty weather, and most of the exhibits are pretty interesting. Not to mention it doesn’t draw big crowds, making it a perfect spot for the heat of the day. So what’s worth seeing, and what gets a skip? Check out below for my opinions. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Innoventions West

IMG_1294The Great Piggy Bank Adventure: This one is a must see for me. We even stop by and play pretty often. At the start of this game you are assigned an actual piggy bank that you carry with you through your journey. He is the cutest, fattest little pig! I wish they were for sale! Once you have your piggy bank, you take him through a series of virtual games in your quest to become a financial smarty pants.  If you’d like a sneak peek of The Great Piggy Bank Adventure you can visit online. Game Rating: 9 out of 10.

 

IMG_1292THINK: I’ve been through this exhibit several times, but I still just don’t… get it. There’s a large video wall, a movie that plays on a loop, and touch columns that walk you through an interactive tour. The focus of the exhibit is efficiency and sustainability through technology. Unfortunately, I find this one to be pretty boring and highly skippable. Game Rating: 3 out of 10. 

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! March 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on March 29, 2014

MMM positiveWe’ve made it to March, home of Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, two of the biggest holidays of the year that involve adult beverages. Is it any surprise that with all that alcohol flowing that March is also home to If Pets Had Thumbs Day? While you ponder that existential question, we’re gearing up for our monthly trip to the Disney Outlet Store! This week we’ll be wearing our I Love the Lone Ranger t-shirt, applying our Stitch-in-a-bikini hat pin, and slipping our Mickey Waffle Air Freshener onto the view mirror. Now that we are geared up, it’s time to hit the outlets!

While the month of February had Valentine’s Day, there were almost no items related to the romantic holiday except this Be My Valentine Duffy Bear.

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If Strawberry Shortcake and the bear from the movie Ted had a baby, it would probably look like this.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Epcot’s 2014 Flower & Garden Festival

by on March 29, 2014

FlowerAndGarden_PanHook

Peter Pan and Hook topiaries at Flower & Garden
(photo by Brandon Glover)

This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers Six Reasons We Love Epcot’s 2014 Flower and Garden Festival. While there are a lot of annual events in Orlando that are near and dear to us for varying reasons (the wild party atmosphere of Mardi Gras, the scares of Halloween Horror Nights, the incredible parade and fireworks of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the food and, uh, wine of Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival), one event stands out from all the rest because it stresses the fact that we should - literally - stop and smell the roses.

That’s right, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is back, and this year just may be the best yet. What really makes Flower & Garden special is how amazing it is just to walk around Epcot and take it all in. Most events in theme parks are limited in the size and scope of their overall effect on the individual park, but you can see the beauty and tranquility of Flower & Garden everywhere you go.

This week’s Saturday Six is going to look at six of our favorite parts of this year’s festival, and we’re going to start with one of our favorite subjects: food.

 

# 6 – The Outdoor Kitchens

FlowerAndGarden_Strawberries

Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries, Lotus House ($4.25)

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Off-site Guests Will Have Access to FastPass+ Starting March 31

by on March 28, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Beginning March 31, guests who are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort will be able to make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance. Day guests will be able to accomplish this by logging in to their My Disney Experience account via the app or via the website.

In order to have the ability to schedule advance FastPass+ reservations, off-site guests must first link their single or multi-day tickets into their My Disney Experience account.  Off-site guests will no longer be forced to make reservations on the day of their visit via the in-park kiosks.

If off-site guests would like, they will eventually be able to purchase MagicBands. The cost is said to be $12.95, plus tax, per band. Keep in mind that MagicBands are not required; day guests will still have the ability to use their RFID-enabled ticket media, if they prefer.

Those guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will still be able to make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days out. This means that guests staying on-site will still have a bit of an advantage. Annual Passholders will also be able to make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance.

FastPass+ kiosks will still be available in the parks for guests who wish to use them.

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Walt Disney World Resorts Newsworthy Notes – 3/27/14

by on March 27, 2014

There are a few small newsworthy items occurring at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels that I thought you should know:

  • A brand new experience will be testing at the Atlantic Dance Hall found on the boardwalk area at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. Guests are invited to rock out at the “Tom Casey’s Let’s Get Rockin’” interactive band experience. The party gets started every Thursday night, starting at 9:00 p.m. Here, guests will have the opportunity to get up on stage and sing karaoke style or play an instrument, both with a live band. It’s like The American Idol Experience on steroids! Guests can choose from over 400 songs to play or sing, from all genres. There is a $5 cover charge per person. For more information, visit their website.
  • Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, guests are invited to enjoy the 3rd annual Easter egg display in the lobby of the hotel. These eggs are gorgeous works of art. Best of all, they are all edible. These enormous eggs are all created with modeling chocolate, fondant, sculpted sugar and royal icing. Each egg will depict a different Disney story, like Tangled or The Little Mermaid. Guests will be able to view all 18 eggs from April 4-22.

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Disney World Ticket Type Primer

by on March 27, 2014

First time visitors to Walt Disney World are often overwhelmed by the number and variety of ticket options. Here’s a run-down of what’s available so that you can make the best choice for your family’s needs.

One Day Admission: Magic Kingdom Park

What is this?: A one-day pass into the Magic Kingdom park. You can enter and leave the MK as often as you like during that day.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit just the Magic Kingdom and you’re only in the area for one day.

One Day Admission: Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios

What is this?: A one-day pass into either Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can enter and leave your one chosen park as often as you like during that day. This ticket is priced slightly lower than the Magic Kingdom one day admission.

Why would I need this?: You want to visit just one of Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you’re only in the area for one day.

Things to know: The pricing for a one day Epcot, Animal Kingdom, or DHS ticket is slightly lower than the pricing for a one day MK ticket.

Multi-Day “Magic Your Way” Base Ticket

What is this?: Multi-day admission to any of Disney’s four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios). You can visit only one of these four parks each day, but can enter and leave that park as often as you like.

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Star Wars Character Meals to Take Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios During Star Wars Weekends

by on March 26, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Are you a fan of Star Wars and character meals? Well, if you are, for the first time ever, select Star Wars characters will take part in not one, but two, different character meal opportunities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from May 4 to June 15.

Guests will be able to partake in either a breakfast option that will be available at Sci-Fi Dine In Theater or a dinner option that will be available at Hollywood & Vine.

The best news is that these character meals won’t just take place during Star Wars Weekends. Instead, they are scheduled to occur throughout the whole week!

Here’s a look at your options:

The Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine

Takes place at Hollywood and Vine for dinner. This meal will have guests meeting Disney characters dressed as their favorite Star Wars character. Guests will get to meet Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip & Dale. Dinner starts at 4:15pm and lasts until park close. The prices are $55.99 for adults ages 10 and up (or $59.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package), and $33.99 for children ages 3-9 (or $36.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package). Guests will receive a digital download copy of their photograph with Chip and Dale.

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