Your subscriptions support new blog articles and research. Please consider

subscribing.

today.


Gondola System Officially Announced for Walt Disney World Resort

by on April 18, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL) 16 Comments

This is a version of a gondola system in use in New Mexico. ©Rikki Niblett

According to The Orlando Sentinel, it’s official. The Walt Disney World Resort is getting a gondola transportation system. The gondola idea had been floating around the rumor mill for the past few months, but documents from the Reedy Creek Improvement District confirm that the project is actually going forward.

This gondola system appears to connect both resort hotels and theme parks. According to the article, there will be six stations and three different lines that will link Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The plans also seem to indicate that each cab would hold 10 Guests. It is also theorized that the gondolas would be enclosed to protect Guests from the elements.

Gondola systems are gaining in popularity around the globe and many mountain resort areas use similar means to transport Guests up their mountains. (For example, when I lived in New Mexico, my husband and I took a gondola system up to the top of the Sandia mountains, known as the Sandia Peak Tramway.) Read the rest of this entry »

Campfires at Walt Disney World Cancelled Due to Dry Weather Conditions

by on April 18, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL)

Walt Disney World Campfires

©Rikki Niblett

It’s been pretty dry in the Orlando area lately. Matter of fact, if you have followed social media or any of the Orlando news sites, you will have noticed that a number of fires have broken out all over town due to the lack of rain. Thanks to these dry weather conditions, there are now fire restrictions that are being enforced throughout Central Florida.

So what does this mean for Walt Disney World? Well, because of this restriction, campfires at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels are currently not taking place as scheduled. Resorts that are impacted include: Read the rest of this entry »

Frozen Summer Games Returning to Blizzard Beach This Summer

by on April 17, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL)

Frozen Summer Games

©Disney

Last year, Frozen fans could be found in droves at Disney’s Blizzard Beach taking part in the inaugural Frozen Summer Games. Well, this year, the festivities are once again taking place, meaning even more summer fun for the park, that is once again taking advantage of the freak snowstorm that has happened over Central Florida.

Beginning May 26 at the popular water park, Guests can join Team Olaf or Team Kristoff in a variety of fun activities including a Snowball Toss, Slide Races, Ski Pole Limbo and Ice Pail Relays. There will also be crafts, games, and yes, a DJ on hand throughout the day for Guests to enjoy.

Even better news is that this year, Guests will be able to meet and take photos with both Kristoff and Olaf! (This is the first time Guests will have the opportunity to meet Kristoff at Walt Disney World.)

Don’t delay though! The Frozen Summer Games are a limited time event and will end on August 13!

 

Debunking DCL Internet Misinformation

by on April 17, 2017
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line 16 Comments

Debunking DCL Misinformation

The internet is a wonderful source of information power at your fingertips. Unfortunately, with great power comes great ability to spread misinformation. (I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who once said that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.) Here are some tidbits of misinformation about Disney Cruise Line that often come up from online sources, along with information to clarify some of these statements.

1. Everything is included on Disney Cruise Line.

Compared with some other cruise lines, there is more included with the base price of a Disney Cruise. Non-alcoholic beverages from the drink station, many activities, most dining, many items from room service, and some snack options (like soft-serve ice cream or nibbles from the coffee bar) are included, and you can have a wonderful time without spending a fortune on extras. On the other hand, there are some extra charges for gratuities, bingo, port adventures, spa treatments, alcoholic beverages, food from theater snack bars, drinks from the coffee bar or juice bar, meals at Palo (on all ships) or Remy (on the Dream and Fantasy). A small package of internet service is free if you sign up before midnight on your first night, but additional internet is available  for purchase. (Note: Some of the additional costs are waived for certain circumstances, like internet provided for certain levels of concierge staterooms and a free dinner at Palo available for Platinum Castaway Club members.)

You can tell just how different the ships are the minute you walk into the atrium.

2. All ships are the same.

There are many similarities between the four Disney Cruise Line ships, but there are also significant differences. In some cases, it is simply a case of different names for the same thing. The young child splash area that is called Nemo’s Reef on the Dream and Fantasy is basically the same as Dory’s Reef on the Wonder, for instance. In other cases, there are significant differences. The Magic and Wonder don’t have Remy for a high-end dining experience. Rooms within the kids’ clubs have different themes on different ships. Minigolf and Midship Detective Agency are not available on all ships. Even something as simple as the advice of looking for the Seahorse outside of stateroom doors to know you are on the Starboard side of the ship doesn’t work on all of the ships. If there is something specific that you know you want to do, check the Disney Cruise Line site to make certain it is offered on the ship that you will be sailing on.

3. The late-night Pirates buffet has been discontinued.

Every time this comes up, there is also a follow-up from many repeat cruisers of “What pirate buffet?” Part of the confusion exists because the pirate buffet isn’t largely publicized. It occurs immediately after the Pirates in the Caribbean party and fireworks in Cabanas, but is only open for an hour or less. It isn’t largely noted on the Personal Navigator, but its time is listed under the “Late Night Snacks” section of the Dining & Lounges section. The buffet includes some unique options including make-your-own tacos, a crepes station, and turkey legs. Although I’m not a huge fan of the food, I do love going to look at the pirate-themed carved melons. Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: 6 Secrets of Disney’s SKIPPER CANTEEN Restaurant

by on April 15, 2017
Filed under: Dining, Saturday Six 11 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Secrets of Disney’s Skipper Canteen! Regular readers of the SATURDAY SIX know just how much we love all the little details hidden throughout Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. These theme park “Easter Eggs”  are a great touch for longtime guests, whether it’s a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Nautilus in the queue for the Little Mermaid ride, Back to the Future’s Doc Brown in The Simpson’s Ride, or even references to the former Seashore Sweets bakery in BoardWalk’s AbracadaBarThis week we are going to look at six of our favorite references in the Magic Kingdom’s Skipper Canteen, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Jungle Cruise Imagineers

It’s no shock that Skipper Canteen (full name Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Skipper Canteen) has a lot of nods to the Jungle Cruise attraction, but one of the best references is the faux upstairs offices for Skipper Marc, Skipper Bill, and Skipper Harper. “Marc” refers to Marc Davis, one of the most well known Imagineers in Disney history. While Marc was involved in creation of the Jungle Cruise, he is also known for his design work on other beloved attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and the Country Bear Jamboree.

Tribute to Marc Davis.(photo by Brandon Glover)

Another door honors Morgan “Bill” Evans. The plant studies designation underneath his name refers to how instrumental Bill was in developing the horticulture of the Jungle Cruise. In fact, Bill Evans and Disney landscaping includes the creation of Disneyland itself. When Walt Disney needed to convert acres of orange groves in Anaheim into a theme park environment, he called the team who had just landscaped the grounds of his personal home. Those men were Bill Evans and his brother Jack.

“Walt told me we were all out of loot and that the time had come to put Latin names on the weeds.” – Bill Evans

Tribute to Bill Evans(photo by Brandon Glover)

Read the rest of this entry »

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of April 14, 2017

by on April 14, 2017
Filed under: In Case You Missed It 2 Comments

This week has been a celebration  a Star Wars Celebration, that is! If you are attending the event, I hope have a blast and that the lines work in your favor.

We have some fun stuff this week, including a celebration of Disneyland Paris and their 25 years, a tribute to two greats that we lost this week, and more.

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

 

George McGinnis, the last Imagineer hired by Walt Disney, has died. Our thoughts are with his family.

How cool would this have been? You’re riding the Jungle Cruise and all of the sudden who jumps on your boat but Dwayne Johnson who is here to do research for his role in the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie. What?! Well it actually happened to these Guests.  Read the rest of this entry »

Club 33 Is Coming to Walt Disney World

by on April 13, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL) 8 Comments

©Rikki Niblett

Have you ever wished you could join Club 33, but traveled more frequently to Walt Disney World than Disneyland? Well, it appears that now, not only will you have one, but you’ll soon have four different versions of Club 33 at the Walt Disney World Resort.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, versions of Club 33 will be built at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As of right now, details about this project are still very sketchy. We do not know where exactly Club 33 will be built inside the four theme parks, and we have no idea how much it will cost to join the club. (I’m gonna expect it’ll be pricey!) However, one thing is for sure – getting to experience Club 33 is on many Disney fans’ bucket lists, and it looks like Disney is attempting to make it a little bit easier for those of us on the East Coast to mark it off our lists. (Or I should say easier for those who have the cash?) Read the rest of this entry »

Harry Potter Christmas Experience Announced for Universal Orlando

by on April 13, 2017
Filed under: Harry Potter, Holidays, Universal Orlando Resort 4 Comments

I think it’s the Gospel of Luke that, in chronicling the birth of Jesus, quotes Lysanias of Abeline saying “Verily, I say unto you, this day shall be commemorated with a totally awesome video projection show. And maybe dragons.”

Universal Orlando fulfilled that millennia-old prophecy today by announcing a new, Harry Potter-themed Christmas event for its two theme parks. The new event will run from November 18, 2017 through January 6, 2018. It includes new holiday decor and food adapted from the Harry Potter novels, plus a new nighttime video projection show – also inspired by the books – to be displayed on Hogwarts Castle at Islands of Adventure. The video projection simulation looks promising in the video. And Universal does a pretty good-to-great job with the food offerings in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, so new menus are something to look forward to as well.

The announcement also includes updates to Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. My favorite part of the whole announcement is where Macy’s is referred to as “the global leader in balloon entertainment.” I had no idea there was an official ranking system for this. I’d like to see the belt that the title-holder gets to wear. If you happen to be sitting in spots 2 through 10, now you know what you’re up against.

Daisy’s Best Week Ever April 13, 2017: Wilderness Lodge Resort Update

by on April 13, 2017
Filed under: Best Week Ever, Resorts 12 Comments

Hello, friends! It’s that time of week again when we share our best week ever! However, this week is going to be a little different. My family has opted for Silver passes this year, meaning our passes were blocked out this past weekend. Since Disney parks were out of the question, I set out to tour Disney’s Wilderness Lodge instead. The lodge looks amazing walking up to it early in the morning.

The front porte cochère is so grand! Right away I was a little surprised there wasn’t more activity despite the early hour. I’m used to seeing all sorts of folks buzzing around at a Disney property. Poking around the resort later it looks like half the rooms are under renovation, which explains why things were quiet. While that does mean there’s some construction noise, I think it’s worth staying here for the slim crowds.

But wait, there’s more! Come with me for a tour of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe, and a sneak peek at the Easter Eggs on display at Disney’s Grand Floridian.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cinderella Coach Photo Opportunity Now Available at Magic Kingdom

by on April 12, 2017
Filed under: Magic Kingdom, Recent News

Magic Kingdom Cinderella Coach

©Disney

During this busy Easter week, Guests will have the unique opportunity to have their photo taken in front of Cinderella’s Carriage! The coach will be located at the Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland from April 12-19. This unique photo moment can be found located near the castle walls, which are part of New Fantasyland, near Enchanted Tales with Belle.

All who visit the park are welcome to take advantage of this rare opportunity and Disney’s PhotoPass will be on hand to capture these special moments.