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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of April 10, 2015

by on April 10, 2015 2 Comments

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In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

April showers bring….fantastic and fun “In Case You Missed It” articles! Is that not how the saying goes? Darn.

Anyway, have I got some great things for you today. Read on to find out more about how well the city of Orlando did this year, what you can expect with Inside Out, and so much more!

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

 

Mental Floss shares details on what Walt Disney thought the Bathroom of Tomorrow would look like.

Way to go Orlando! The city welcomed a record setting 62 million visitors in 2014. In addition, sources indicate that the city could potentially break that record this year, in 2015! Read the rest of this entry »

Least Crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 Dates

by on April 10, 2015 8 Comments

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Last year I wrote about what we expected to be the least crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It proved to be a very popular topic, so here I am once again to review the information from last year and give you an even better projection for 2015. Make sure you check out our dedicated page for a complete list of dates as well as a thorough description of what the Christmas party is.

christmas mk lightsIn short, if you’re looking for the best Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015, we recommend Tuesday, November 10, 2015. Last year we recommended the exact same date; Monday, November 10, 2014, and it honestly didn’t turn out great, being only the 11th least busy party by our calculation. However, we think that was an aberration, since over the past 3 years combined, that date still ranks number 2 overall. Being that the November 10th party this year is on a Tuesday, the least busy day historically, we are comfortable recommending it.

Since I’m sure you’re wondering how we did with our recommendations last year, the answer is…not too bad. There were several predictions that we nailed, but we had a few that were a little off that we have fixed for this year’s recommendations. Here are the top 5 from last year’s recommendations:

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More Metal Detectors Installed at Universal Orlando Roller Coasters

by on April 10, 2015 33 Comments

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universal orlando metal detectors

Be prepared for enhanced security screenings at more of Universal Orlando’s biggest thrill rides. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Remember a few weeks back when Universal Orlando stirred up social media park-stalkers (present company included) by installing electronic security screening devices — a.k.a. metal detectors — outside Universal Studios Florida‘s Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster? Well, hold onto your hat (but NOT your phone, keys, or coins) because UOR sprained the interwebs again with yesterday’s introduction of more metal detector screenings at Islands of Adventure‘s Incredible Hulk Coaster and Dragon Challenge.

As of April 9, 2015, all Universal Orlando guests wishing to ride the resort’s major outdoor roller coasters must deposit all loose and metal objects in a locker before entering the queue. Mandatory airport-style security screenings, including walk-through metal detectors and handheld scanning wands, will be used to ensure that no prohibited items — specifically phones, keys, coins, cameras, and selfie sticks — are carried onto the attractions.

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10 Places to Stay the Night before Your Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral

by on April 10, 2015 10 Comments

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So where should you stay the night before your Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral?  My number one answer is – not in your own bed!  Well, unless your bed is within a few hours driving distance of the port that is.  In Port Canaveral, everyone must be onboard the ship by 4 pm, so while for many people there is certainly time to travel in on the day of the cruise, recognize that you are taking a risk!  That ship is sailing with or without you, so any travel delays won’t just make you late for your vacation, they could make you miss your vacation!  On an Alaskan cruise, a one hour flight delay due to wind was enough to make us miss our connection and we couldn’t make it into Vancouver until the next day.  But thankfully the ship wasn’t leaving until the next day!  So we made it.  Another hundred dollars or so for a hotel room within driving distance of the pier is the best insurance you can buy in my opinion.  So here are a few options for you!

Walt Disney World

1. Walt Disney World Resort – The most obviously fun place to stay would be any resort at Walt Disney World! Walt Disney World is a little over an hour away from Port Canaveral and has a lot of options and price points. Who wouldn’t want to visit Disney World for a night (or six) before you sail away? If you would like to take Disney transfers to the port, they cost $70 per person roundtrip and will pick you up from any Disney resort. Be aware, if you are in a hurry to get to the port for the earliest possible boarding, transfers from Disney World won’t usually get you there until noon at the earliest. Your hotel will give you a pick up time the night before. If you are desperate to be there earlier and want to stick with Disney transfers, you can also take Disney Magical Express back to the airport and catch a transfer from there. It’s a little more time consuming, of course, but you could be on one of the earliest transfers if that’s your goal! The transfers from the airport usually start leaving a little after nine and those first busses are the first people in the terminal.

2. Shades of Green – If you are eligible, Shades of Green is a great place to stay on property. Located within walking distance of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Shades of Green is owned and operated by the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s open to all active duty U.S. military personnel, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, retired military, employees of the U.S. Public Health Service and the Department of Defense, foreign military personnel attached to U.S. units, and some civilian contractors. The rooms are some of the largest on property, and rates are determined by rank. Disney Cruise Line transfers will not pick up at Shades of Green, but if you wish to take Disney transfers, you can walk over to the Polynesian and catch them there. Shades is a beautiful, peaceful resort and I’d recommend it to anyone eligible to stay there.

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Best Throwback Ever: April 9, 2015

by on April 9, 2015 4 Comments

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Original Flavor Unofficial Guide

Original Flavor Unofficial Guide

Daisy Lauren is enjoying a well-deserved vacation this week. So we’re firing up the Way Back Machine and going to 1985.

From the very first edition of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, we bring you:

Live Entertainment in EPCOT Center

Live entertainment in EPCOT Center is somewhat more diversified, as might be expected, than that of the Magic Kingdom. World Showcase provides almost unlimited potential for representative entertainment from the respective nations, and Future World allows for a new wave of creativity in live entertainment offerings.

Some information concerning the live entertainment on the day of your visit can be obtained from the information desk in the Earth Station lobby. Our experience, however, indicates that the Earth Station lobby attendants are not usually too well informed. Another source of information is the WorldKey Information Service. WorldKey usually has the answers, but it is not as direct as quizzing an attendant. EPCOT Center, like the Magic Kingdom, is very lax and inconsistent about having any sort of printed handout available concerning the day’s performances.

Listed below are some of the performers and performances you are likely to encounter. In addition, fireworks over the World Showcase Lagoon and a daily parade are being planned.

Future World Brass A roving brass band that marches and plays according to a more or less extemporaneous schedule near Spaceship Earth and at other Future World locations.
Robot Characters Costumed characters who lurk in the CommuniCore area of Future World, playing with children and posing for pictures.
American Gardens Stage The site of EPCOT Center’s premier live performances is near The American Adventure, facing World Showcase Lagoon, in a large amphitheater. Top talent imported from all over the world play the American Gardens Stage on a limited engagement basis. many shows highlight the music, dance, and costume of the performers’ home country.
LaserPhonic Fantasy An after dark show, consisting of music, fireworks, erupting fountains, special lighting, and laser technology performed on the World Showcase Lagoon when the park is open late.
Around World Showcase A variety of unscheduled, impromptu performances take place in and around the various pavilions of World Showcase. You may encounter a strolling mariachi group in Mexico, street actors in Italy, a fife and drum corps or a singing group (The Voices of Liberty) at The American Adventure, traditional songs and dances in Japan, comical street musicians (the Pearly Kings and Queens) and a bagpipe band in England, white-faced mimes in France, and a versatile musical group, the Maple Leaf Brass, in Canada.
Dinner Shows The restaurants in World Showcase as well as the Odyssey Restaurant, serve up healthy portions of live entertainment to accompany the victuals. Examples of restaurant floorshow fare include folk dancers and a baskapele band in Germany, singing waiters in Italy, and electronic music at the Odyssey. Restaurant shows are performed at both lunch and dinner seatings. Reservations are required except at the Odyssey.

 

Bring back memories? Have any photos of the Future World Robots? Share them in the comments below.

Tickets Now On Sale for Walt Disney World 2015 Special Hard Ticket Events

by on April 8, 2015 2 Comments

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MNSSHP and MVMCPBack in February, Disney released the dates for the 2015 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties and the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties. In addition, we’ve received some preliminary information about Night of Joy. Well, I have good news! Tickets are now on sale for all three events!

First, let’s take a look at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. (If you haven’t already done so, check out our recent Least Crowded Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties blog post.) This year’s parties will take place on select nights from September 15 through November 1. Parties will run from 7:00 p.m. until midnight. Pricing for the party nights varies depending on the evening, and there are discounts for select nights. Typically there is an advance purchase discount, minus a few exceptions.

Here’s what you can expect to pay (prices do not include tax): 

Dates: September 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27; October 1

  Adult (Ages 10+) Child (Ages 3-9)
Advance Purchase Discount $68 $63
Day of Event $74 $69

 

Dates: October 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, and November 1

  Adult (Ages 10+) Child (Ages 3-9)
Advance Purchase Discount $74 $69
Day of Event $79 $74

Date: October 31

  Adult (Ages 10+) Child (Ages 3-9)
Cost $87 $82

 

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Feel the Force Premium Packages Return for Star Wars Weekends

by on April 8, 2015

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Star-Wars-Weekends-2005-Logo49848807

©Disney

Are you looking to take in the ultimate Star Wars Weekends day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Then you should certainly consider purchasing one of two Star Wars Weekends Premium Packages.

The first is known as the Feel the Force Premium Package. Here guests will get reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade, complete with soft drinks, water, and snacks. Guests also get to take part in ONE of the Celebrity Talk Shows in Theater of the Stars. Your show time will be selected at check-in. Finally, to end the evening, guests get to experience the “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party, where guests will enjoy Star Wars-themed desserts (like the delicious Darth Vader cupcake), as well as a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a great view of the evening’s fireworks. The cost of the Feel the Force Premium Package is $69 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $39 per child (ages 3-9). Tax and gratuity are included. Read the rest of this entry »

Forget the Park Hopper: Reasons Why One Park is All You Need for the Day

by on April 8, 2015 20 Comments

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Park Hopper Magic Kingdom

Ed. – Today is “Both Sides of the Pressed Penny Day!” The topic is To Park Hop or Not to Park Hop. Claire looks at compelling reasons for both in two articles that run concurrently today. For the other side of the coin, read “Why You Should Park Hop.”

One of the decisions a Walt Disney World visitor needs to make before arrival is whether or not to add a Park Hopper to their Magic Your Way tickets. There are times when adding a Park Hopper is a great idea…but there are other times when visiting one park each day is all that’s necessary!

The Price

Sometimes a Walt Disney World trip is planned on a budget, and cuts need to be made in certain places. On a short vacation (1 to 3 days) a Park Hopper, per person, ranges from a $53.25 to a $68.16 add-on to a multi-day ticket, according to TouringPlans.com’s Ticket Calculator. The more days you stay, the lower the cost.

Park Hopper Epcot Read the rest of this entry »

Remember the Park Hopper: Reasons to do Multiple Parks in One Day

by on April 8, 2015 11 Comments

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magickingdom2Ed. – Today is “Both Sides of the Pressed Penny Day!” The topic is To Park Hop or Not to Park Hop. Claire looks at compelling reasons for both in two articles that run concurrently today. For the other side of the coin, read “Why One Park is All You Need.”

The Options

If you go to the parks with a big family, giving the children freedom to choose can be one small step to a happy family vacation. If your child says, “Let’s do Small World!” and you have to tell them, “But we’re in the Studios right now,” you might have just set off a powder keg.

Options are also incredibly helpful when you are nearing the end of your vacation and your children still have a few go-to attractions to check off on their lists in several different parks. Park Hopping will be very helpful to make sure all the bases are covered.

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Photo Gallery: 2015 Universal Orlando Spring Break Crowds

by on April 7, 2015 3 Comments

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The Easter eggs have all been hunted, and the Passover seder plates are put away, but the 2015 spring break crowds have not yet departed from Orlando’s attractions. While wait times over the weekend weren’t quite as bad as initially predicted, it’s still been a very busy holiday week at Universal Orlando, as Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure both experienced their heaviest attendance since New Year’s Day. In case you weren’t brave or foolish enough to experience Easter Week in person, here is a photo gallery of Universal Orlando spring break crowds to give you a virtual taste of last week’s madness.

Universal Studios Florida Spring Break Crowds

You know its going to be a busy day at USF when the temporary turnstiles in between the entry gates are in use.

Universal Orlando spring break crowds 2015

Spring break crowds descended on Universal Orlando last week. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

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