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Where’s The Casino On My Caribbean Disney Cruise?

by on March 31, 2014 12 Comments

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Where’s the Casino on my Disney Cruise?

There are some activities many adults consider integral to the cruising experience – hitting up a buffet multiple times a day, shopping for tax free goods in port…and gambling. Those folks will find themselves asking “where’s the casino?” Here is the lowdown on what to expect when you cruise the Disney Magic, Wonder, Dream, or Fantasy on an Eastern, Western, or Bahamas cruise.

Bingo at D Lounge

Bingo at D Lounge

 

You’ve Got To Know When To Hold ‘Em

Welcome to Disney Cruise Line. If you’re booking your first cruise with DCL, you may be surprised to find out there is no casino onboard. What there is is bingo. Don’t scoff. Bingo is seriously fun and you may win some money back onto your onboard account. Bingo is played on both sea days and port days (check your Navigator for times and locations), and both kids and adults can participate. Most people opt for the electronic cards (just sit back and watch them mark themselves off) though purists may choose manual cards with ink stamps. Game play goes quickly though, so we don’t think anyone but a seasoned pro would be able to keep up with more than 1 or 2 manual cards. Each cruise will have a big final big day with a potential (though not guaranteed) $5000 or even $10,000 jackpot.

You’ve Got To Know When To Fold ‘Em

Even if you don’t win cash as bingo, you may win other small prizes like tote bags. Jackpots and crowds get larger as the cruise goes on, so your chances of winning something are better earlier in your itinerary. Other opportunities to win random things onboard include raffles for treatments or cash at the spas on embarkation day. You do have to be present to win. These are usually around 3pm (before the lifeboat drill). If you need baseball caps, bags, or want to participate in another raffle for cash, stop by any Disney Vacation Club presentation – there will be plenty during your cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

Disney World Pick-A Pearl FAQ

by on March 31, 2014 14 Comments

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Night of Joy Tickets to go on Sale Soon

by on March 30, 2014 2 Comments

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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:

Read the rest of this entry »

Parking Fees Increase at Walt Disney World

by on March 30, 2014 6 Comments

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

Innoventions Uncovered

by on March 30, 2014 27 Comments

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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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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

by on March 29, 2014 20 Comments

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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.

IMG_3231

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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

by on March 29, 2014 4 Comments

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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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Photos: Disneyland’s Springtime Roundup Brings Easter Bunny and More to Big Thunder Ranch

by on March 28, 2014

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DSC01999Bunnies have invaded Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Now through April 20 guests can experience the Springtime Roundup by meeting several Disney bunnies and taking part in some arts and crafts. The characters currently meeting are Mickey & Minnie (in spring outfits), Pluto in bunny ears, Thumper, White Rabbit, Brer Rabbit, and the Easter Bunny. Springtime Roundup is open 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM Sunday through Friday, and 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM  on Saturdays.

 

 

DSC02012Mickey and Minnie in their Springtime outfits.

More pictures after the jump:

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of March 28, 2014

by on March 28, 2014 1 Comment

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In Case You Missed It!

Have you been dreaming, maybe fantasizing, about all the magic and wonder that would take place while you plan your itinerary for a potential Disney Cruise? With the announcement of the Summer 2015 dates, it’s certainly easy to do! (I am!) So, while you were busy yearning about sitting on the beach somewhere, I thought I’d share some other news and fun you may have missed. Enjoy!

In Case You Missed It – Disney News and Rumors

Have you wondered what old school Frontierland used to look like at Disneyland? These photos give us all a glimpse!

Are you ready for a good laugh? Watch as comic Greg Benson cell phone crashes other guests at Disneyland.

We know that Disney Springs (Downtown Disney’s new name when the refurbishment is all over) will house quite a few new shops and restaurants. According to the Orlando Business Journal, one new restaurant appears to be from the Patina Restaurant Group, which is also behind the best pizza in all of Walt Disney World at Via Napoli. It will be interesting to see what they come up with! Read the rest of this entry »

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

by on March 28, 2014 25 Comments

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©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.