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For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Will Be Moving and More Frozen Summer Fun LIVE News

by on March 19, 2015

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Last week, I let you all know about Frozen Summer Fun LIVE returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Well, now it’s been released that as part of the extremely popular event returning, the “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” show will be moving!

The fun show will be relocated to the newly named Hyperion Theater (formerly known as the Superstar Television Theater and the previous location of the American Idol Experience) just in time for the special summer event.  “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” features the Royal Historians of Arendelle retelling the story of Frozen in a comedic way, mixed with sing-along portions from the audience, as well as appearances by Anna, Kristoff, and Elsa. The move to the new theater will also allow for new in-theater effects!

For the First Time in Forever-A Frozen Sing Along Celebration

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Universal Studios Florida Photo Update: Mardi Gras, Furious 7, and Garden of Allah

by on March 19, 2015 1 Comment

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Spring break is shifting into high gear at all theme parks right now, and Universal Orlando is no exception. If you don’t feel like struggling through the crowds, come take a virtual tour with me in today’s Universal Studios Florida photo update, featuring a look at construction on Garden of Allah Villas, the new Furious 7 car display, and last weekend’s Mardi Gras concert.

Garden of Allah Villas Construction

The Garden of Allah Villas complex between Hollywood and KidZone is still behind construction walls, behind which is what permit filings describe as a “NBCUniversal Media Lab.” Leave your thoughts in the comments as to what exactly that means.

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Be Our Guest Lunch Preorder and MDE: A First-Hand Report

by on March 19, 2015 24 Comments

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Be our guest lunch preorder

Enjoy enchanted eats with less anxiety using Be Our Guest lunch preordering though My Disney Experience (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Believe it or not, it’s now been over two years since we first began reporting on FastPass+ lunch reservations at the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest restaurant. In that time, we’ve covered the seemingly never ending saga of Disney’s experiments with managing demand for the popular venue, and now they finally seem to have settled on a (hopefully?) long-term solution. On March 12, the My Disney Experience (MDE) app for iOS devices was updated to accommodate Be Our Guest lunch preordering for guests making dining reservations, and I was among the first wave of guests to take advantage of this newly streamlined process.

To begin, make sure that the MDE app on your mobile device is updated to the latest version.

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Disney Visa Discount for WDW Travel June 16 to August 27

by on March 19, 2015 4 Comments

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Disney Reward VISA Card does not have an annual fee. But do the perks and rewards balance our the interest rate?

Discounts for Walt Disney World travel are available for Disney Visa card holders

Thanks to Tammy Whiting of Storybook Destinations and Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for both letting us know this morning about new Disney Visa discounts on Walt Disney World travel June 16 to August 27, 2015. The discounts are released today for Disney Visa cardholders and expected to be released to the general public Monday.

Discounts range from 15 to 30% with the larger discounts being for Deluxe rooms and for travel August 10 to 27.

There are exclusions for Art of Animation Mermaid rooms, Fort Wilderness Campsites, All Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter, Grand Floridian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, and Disney Vacation Club 3 Bedroom Grand Villas.

Contact your travel agent or Disney directly for full details or to book.

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: March 19, 2015

by on March 19, 2015 11 Comments

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Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re visiting the  Magic Kingdom, making a quick stop at Downtown Disney, and spending an evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not to mention we’re enjoying a quiet dinner at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano! Who is ready for some fun?

I normally try to put things in order, but this week I decided to start with this killer sunset instead! From all the way in Tomorrowland I had no idea the sky was lighting up until we breezed by on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Luckily, I managed to snap this one shot! It seemed like the perfect way to start this week. :)

501

Want to see what other trouble we got into? Be sure to click to read more!

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Video: Peter Pan’s Flight Interactive Queue at WDW’s Magic Kingdom

by on March 18, 2015 1 Comment

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Take a tour of the Peter Pan’s Flight interactive queue without waiting in line. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

As we reported earlier this year, the new interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight has now been active for several weeks. However, thanks to the wonders of FastPass+, I’d managed to avoid experiencing Fantasyland’s newest high-tech holding pen…until now.

During my recent trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to test MDE’s new lunch preordering procedures at Be Our Guest, I filled up my daily FastPass+ dance card with dwarfs, enchanted furniture, and a certain mermaid, leaving no room for a pre-reserved trip to Neverland.

Accordingly, I took this opportunity to record a full walk through of the Peter Pan’s Flight interactive queue elements, which are themed around an exploration of the Darling children’s bedroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes 3/18/15

by on March 18, 2015 3 Comments

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Well, that didn’t take long!  Usually a few weeks go by before enough little news pieces fly across my desk, but today, I have a full set of fun little nuggets; guess it’s because Spring Break season is here. This time, most bites revolve around fun in the resorts with some little changes and unique events taking place that I think are both important to know, as well as could be a great additions to those of you with Spring Break vacations planned.

  • Over at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, they are testing a situation where Guests will no longer receive a parking placard and will instead be asked to present their MagicBand when entering at these two hotel security kiosks, as well as at theme park Auto Plazas to gain entry.  For those returning to the hotel, they will need to touch their MagicBand to the access gate’s readers. For those wishing to visit a theme park, they simply will need to present their MagicBand to the Auto Plaza Cast Member and will receive complimentary parking. This test is being introduced because Guests now have the option to head directly to their resort room, bypassing the front desk, which is where they would receive the parking placard; this placard will no longer be needed by Guests. One would expect this will become standard practice resort-wide here soon.

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Advantages of DCL Port Excursion Booking Methods: On Your Own or Through Disney

by on March 18, 2015 1 Comment

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If you’re like many Disney Cruise Line (DCL) guests, you’ve booked your cruise at least in part because of the ship’s itinerary. You’re excited to explore the ports of call and see the cultures of new lands.

Some folks will “wing it” at the ports, hopping off the ship without a specific plan and going wherever the mood takes them. But most guests will disembark at port with a pre-planned, reserved activity – an excursion or, in Disney parlance, a Port Adventure. There are two ways to arrange excursions, on your own or through Disney. Here are the advantages to each method.

Port excursions expose you to new perspectives.

Port excursions expose you to new perspectives.

BOOKING PORT EXCURSIONS THROUGH DISNEY

  • Convenience of selection. To book a Port Adventure through Disney, just head over to the DCL website. For each port you’ll see a menu of options, it’s a one stop spot for information including activity descriptions, age/height/weight restrictions, costs, and related data. If you find an excursion appealing, you can have it booked with just a few clicks.
  • Convenience of billing. When you book your excursion through Disney, the fee appears on your stateroom bill, which you can pay using any of the acceptable DCL methods, in US dollars, British pounds, or in Euros. As an added bonus, you don’t pay a deposit and you don’t pay until you sail. If you’re booking an excursion in another country on your own, you may have to pay a large deposit, you may have to pay in another currency, or you may be limited to use of a particular credit card or other form of payment. And remember if you’re using Disney Gift Cards as a payment method on the ship, you may be able to have an effective 5% discount if you’ve purchased your gift cards through Target, or other discounts when purchasing through Sam’s Club, Costco, or another retailer.
  • Safety. Of course, whenever you’re on a port excursion, you’ll want to exercise and abundance of caution, but if you book a Disney-vetted excursion, you know that they’ve done some of the work for you. Disney verifies that the excursions they offer are via legitimate businesses. They make sure that the transportation used is safe and that the guides are accountable for your whereabouts. If you book an excursion on your own, the onus is on you to do the research.
  • Communication with the ship. When you book an excursion through Disney, they know where you are. If something unforeseen happens, they have representative who can contact your group and vice versa. If you book your excursion on your own, cast members on the ship will likely have no idea where you are. And they’re not going to wait for you if you don’t arrive back at the dock prior to sail-away time.
  • Language issues. Booking your excursion through Disney means that the transaction will take place in English. If you’re booking an excursion on your own for a port in another country, the website or phone representative may use another language.
  • Cancellation policies. Disney Cruise Line’s Port Adventure cancellation policy is clearly stated on their website. If you book on your own, you may be subject to an entirely different set of policies, which may or may not be clearly outlined, or fair.

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The 10 Best Disney Cruise Line Tips

by on March 18, 2015 10 Comments

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I am often asked for tips or helpful hints for an upcoming cruise on Disney Cruise Line, and there’s no short answer to that! I’ve learned a lot of helpful things over the years both from obsessive reading about Disney cruises and experiencing Disney cruises (the latter being the most fun of course). I thought I’d share my 10 favorite tips. Share yours in the comments!

1. Rebook Onboard It may sound a little funny spending time on your current vacation planning the next one, but do it. If you think you will ever cruise again on Disney, stop by the booking desk and book another one. Even if you have no idea when or where you want to cruise again, book something. Currently you will save 10% on the published fare (a few blacked out dates notwithstanding), you will get 50% off your deposit on cruises of 7-nights or longer, and you will get a nice onboard credit for your new booking. If you book something and change the dates, those benefits will move to the next date as long as that date is within 24 months of booking. You can move the dates as many times as you need to in those 24 months! So rebook onboard! It’s worth a few minutes of your time. (But, don’t wait until the last night of the cruise to rebook. The desk will be VERY busy at that time!) Read the rest of this entry »

Photos from Inside a Polynesian Bungalow

by on March 17, 2015 38 Comments

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These images happened to fall off a truck while I was walking around Disney World last week. They definitely are not the result of renting a pontoon boat, docking next to a bungalow, and hopping over a fence. Because that would be wrong.

Here’s the living room. I like the furniture choices – lots of natural woods and textured surfaces. Also notice how the couch faces the lagoon view, not the television.

PolyBungalow-LivingRoom1

 

Here’s the kitchen. Small, but functional enough to cook a light dinner if you wanted. I would have opted for a larger window over the sink instead of that decorative cupboard. Read the rest of this entry »