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Menu Monday: A Review of the Four Seasons Ravello Character Breakfast

by on September 15, 2014 32 Comments

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Where we live in Central Florida, we are able to drive by a view of the Four Seasons several times a week. When we heard that they offer a character breakfast, it seemed like a great way to take a look at the resort and enjoy a meal without feeling like people going to the resort to snoop around and gawk.

The Four Seasons offers Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals at Ravello. Before I go any further, I want to point out that I have a four-year-old who is a big fan of characters and an even bigger fan of breakfast. Thus, unless Ravello completely missed the mark, this would be an easy sell. I, on the other hand, am not a big breakfast eater and get a little shy around characters, so I’d be harder to impress. My husband is middle-of-the-road in terms of love of breakfast and characters, but as long as the coffee is good, he will be content. Long story short, all three of us left thinking this was the best character meal we have ever had and possibly the best breakfast as well. We made reservations through OpenTable from the Four Seasons web site and had plenty of availability even at the last minute, even though this is probably the smallest character buffet on property.

ravello bfast

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New Lines App Features

by on September 14, 2014 12 Comments

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You may have noticed in the last day or so that the Lines App has a new look. We’ve added some new features to it that hopefully make it faster and easier for you to get to the information you need when you’re in the parks.

Ride/Wait Suggestions

Ride/Wait suggestions

We’ve also added ride/wait suggestions to the biggest attractions, which will let you know at a quick glance whether you should ride an attraction now, or wait for shorter lines (though if you’re using an optimized touring plan, keep following those steps instead). If you go to a Park page, the attraction list will show green “Ride now” or yellow “Wait” suggestions for most rides. These are based on our predictions for future wait times for each ride. If you go to an attraction’s page, you can also view a graph of our predicted wait time forecasts for the day, which can also help you visualize the best/worst times to ride something. Also, it may be good to view this chart and make your own ride/wait decisions, since our suggestions are calculated on the fly, and thus prone to error sometimes (but not often!).

Trip Dashboard

Sample Trip View page, showing selected parks and touring plans.

The Trip Dashboard from the TouringPlans.com desktop website is now on Lines as well. You can view and edit your existing Trips, as well as create new ones. Existing Touring Plans will show up on the main page, as well as on their associated Trip’s page. From the Trip page, you can create or view Touring Plans, select Park Days, add/edit Trip Notes, and view park information like crowd levels, operating hours, and Extra Magic Hours.

 

Magic Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of Frontierland

by on September 14, 2014 6 Comments

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Copyright - Disney

Copyright – Disney

Howdy!

If you’ve been to a Wild West town before – whether it was an old authentic ghost town or right out of a theme park (like, say, Walt Disney World?) – you probably know the keys to a good western locale. First, there should be lots of wooden buildings. Second, there should be a saloon, or two, or four. Third, there should be some rollickin’ good music to put you in a square-dancin’ mood.

The Frontierland area of Magic Kindgom park has all three of these keys. The music in the area really transports you back in time to the good ol’ days and gets everyone excited to be in that area of the park. Whether you are eating at the Pecos Bill Cafe or heading to the queue for Big Thunder Mountain, you are successfully inundated through the atmosphere and AtMousePhere.

Let’s take a closer look!

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is Worth Your Time and Effort

by on September 13, 2014 15 Comments

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is Worth Your Time and Effort. One of the most coveted dining experiences at Walt Disney World is Cinderella’s Royal Table (CRT). Even with its high price tag ($58.15 for adults, $35.86 for kids, or two table service credits on the Disney Dining Plan) this restaurant can be a challenge to get into, especially for breakfast. Is CRT worth the hype? I believe it is, but to get the best possible experience it is going to take more than just money. It is going to take a decent amount of planning, a little bit of patience, and maybe just a pinch of luck to get the opportunity, but you and your family are worth the effort, right? Remember that clicking on any picture will bring up the full size version, and let’s get to counting down what separates Cinderella’s Royal Table from everything else, starting with….

# 6 – An empty Main Street, U.S.A.

CRT_MoneyShot

How much is this view worth to you?

 

This won’t come easy, but it is a wonderful reward to some hard work. To be able to get an early morning walk down Main Street, U.S.A., you’re going to have to get up even earlier 180 days ahead of time to book your CRT reservation. With Disney on-site guests getting “180 days + 10″ for advance dining reservations, it certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances to be staying a night or more on Disney property. I recommend using this Priority Seating Calculator (not affiliated with TouringPlans) to figure out when you’ll be 180 days out from the date you’d like. On the day you are eligible to book your advanced dining reservation, you need to be prepared to go online or call (407) WDW-DINE at 6 AM. I would recommend the phone call and make sure you are ready by 5:45 AM. The earliest seatings at CRT are one of the hardest reservations in the Disney system, but luck favors the prepared and your chances of scoring an elusive 8:05 AM reservation will increase tenfold if you go into this with a plan.
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Video: Haunted Mansion Holiday 2014 Opens at Disneyland

by on September 12, 2014 2 Comments

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Haunted Mansion‘s annual transformation in to Haunted Mansion Holiday has taken place at Disneyland. The attraction looks unchanged from last year, but that won’t stop fans from flocking to it this season. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Carnival also started their seasonal runs today, so there is plenty to do at Disneyland if you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit a little early. Haunted Mansion Holiday runs through January 6, 2015.

Here is a full video ride through of Haunted Mansion Holiday 2014:

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of September 12, 2014

by on September 12, 2014 2 Comments

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In Case You Missed It!

I’m back again with lots of great happenings! Did you miss any of them? Let’s find out!

This week’s “In Case You Missed It” features articles a video of the DuckTales theme song with duck, a great article about Walt Disney’s grandchildren, and more! Let me know your thoughts!

 

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

Both Disney and Universal won a few accolades in the 2014 Golden Ticket Awards. Find out what honors each park took!

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival begins in one week! Yay! WESH shared interviews with both Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann and Chef de Cuisine Michael Deardorff about some of their favorite items. Read the rest of this entry »

Frozen Attraction Announced For Epcot and More Frozen Fun!

by on September 12, 2014 35 Comments

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©Disney

©Disney

Well, we all knew it was just a matter of time before it would be officially announced, and today on the Disney Parks Blog Tom Staggs confirmed the rumor we’d been hearing for almost a year: Frozen is taking over Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. A brand new Frozen-themed attraction will take guests to Arendelle, where they will be included in their favorite scenes from the movie. Of course, the music from the film will also play a large role in the attraction. Maelstrom’s last day of operation should be Sunday, October 5, 2014, and the new attraction is expected to be complete by early 2016.

In addition, a meet and greet opportunity will be added back to the Norway Pavilion, so – unless things change at Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom – guests will have an additional location to meet both Anna and Elsa.

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Why You Should Choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour

by on September 12, 2014 10 Comments

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For those of us looking to learn more about the Disney magic, or for a whole new way to experience the parks, Disney offers a variety of tours to enjoy. For example, there’s Epcot’s Behind the Seeds Tour, Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek, and the big favorite, Backstage Magic, where you enjoy a backstage look of all four parks! However, my personal favorite tour has to be the Magic Kingdom‘s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, a five hour behind-the-scenes peek of the most magical park of them all; and for anyone looking to splurge on a tour, it’s my top pick. Why? Read on to see why you should choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour - A Glass Slipper Vacation

Earpiece guests use during the tour in order to hear even in crowded places

1. Utilidors

So this is one of the Keys to the Kingdom’s biggest draws, so I’m starting with it! Yes, the Keys to the Kingdom Tour allows you the opportunity to check out the legendary Utilidors, the Magic Kingdom’s tunnels that run underneath the park. Now before your imagination runs off, let me be clear. These tunnels are not something you would see in an Indiana Jones film. These tunnels are technically the first floor of the park, as the Magic Kingdom is actually built on the second level; and these tunnels are where offices and utilities are located, as well as wardrobe for Cast Members. Also, the purpose of the Utilidors is to allow Cast Members to get from one side of the park to the other without breaking theme. You see, Disney is all about the details and putting on a show, and having a Cast Member dressed in Liberty Square garb wouldn’t look right in Tomorrowland, would it? Also, you should know that you only get to see a small portion of the Utilidors during the tour; but even so, it’s still awesome! Also during the tour, you will get a chance to venture backstage to see some park attractions and buildings from behind the scenes. During my tour, my guide took our group to see the warehouse where they store the parade floats. It was just as memorable as the Utilidors!

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Don’t Sweat It: Tips for Flattering Photos in WDW

by on September 12, 2014 5 Comments

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We all love going to Walt Disney World for special time with our loved ones, premium customer service, and classic Disney attractions. All of these experiences culminate in lifelong memories, and there is no better way to keep those memories alive than with a simple photo or video. And Disney makes it look so easy! We’ve all seen the commercials of the perfect family, Mom, Dad, and 2.5 kids joyfully skipping along Main Street with photo-shop perfected smiles and iconic Mickey balloon in tow. Disney even tries to help facilitate making this a reality for your family with PhotoPass photographers around every corner and plenty of little “Kodak” photo signs to let you know when you might stumble across the perfect photo opportunity.

©Disney

©Disney

But I imagine many of fellow Disney travelers end up with same anticlimactic photo-viewing experience that I have.  Somehow, meticulously coifed hair ends up in a sweaty ponytail, cherub-cheeked, smiling tots are actually red-faced and bleared-eyed, outfits you spent weeks planning, designing and coordinating are disheveled, sweat/water-spotted, and perhaps even stained from that early character breakfast. Even the PhotoPass pictures are lackluster. No matter how fancy camera technology gets, they capture the Castle and atmosphere almost magically, but somehow, it also captures your humidity-frizzed hair and that annoyed look from your teen who can’t believe you made him stop for another picture.

In effort to help us all have vacation pictures we want to display in our homes, offices and on social media, here are some tips that can help you and your family have that nearly perfect “Kodak moment”. Read the rest of this entry »

DisneyBounding: What is it?

by on September 11, 2014 5 Comments

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Here is Brain DisneyBounding as Mickey Mouse.

Brian DisneyBounding as Mickey Mouse.

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to dress up and pretend to be my favorite superhero: Batman. Fighting crime and saving the world was what I did in my spare time. That is why when I go to a Disneyland and see children dressed up as their favorite Disney characters, I get a little jealous. Who doesn’t want to pretend to be someone else for an entire day? Children get to dress up as their favorite characters and take a photos with them, but how about us adults? Is there a way for fun us to join in the fun as well? Well, there is a way, and it is called DisneyBounding.
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