Posts Tagged ‘Fantasyland’

A Magic Kingdom Scavenger Hunt

by on January 18, 2015

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Cinderella Castle

One of the most magical things about Disney World is that there is something to see everywhere you look! But just how much do you actually stop and look? If you’re up for a challenge, I have one for you. Whether you consider yourself a Magic Kingdom Master, or you would just like something extra fun to do at the park, I invite you to try this Magic Kingdom Scavenger Hunt!

I have photos of 15 things that you may or may not have noticed at the Magic Kingdom park and it’s up to you to find them. Don’t worry if you get stuck, there is a hint for each one. Also, to make things a little more interesting, especially if you’re the competitive type, finding each item is worth a certain number of points. The higher the points, the harder it may be to locate. For those of you aiming high, a perfect score is exactly 30 points.

So there are two ways you can use this Magic Kingdom Scavenger Hunt. First of all, you take this scavenger hunt to the Magic Kingdom yourself and see how many of the following you can find. It’s an interesting way to pass the time when you’re waiting in line or when the park is crowded, and is sure to make you appreciate the little Disney touches. It’s also a fun activity for the kids. Another way to use this scavenger hunt is to take a guess from home on where to find the following and see how many points you can win! If you get stumped, there is an answer key at the end of the post, so don’t scroll too far if you want to avoid spoilers.

Are you ready? Let’s start!

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How to Experience an Empty Magic Kingdom

by on January 16, 2015

What do you think of when you think of Disney World? Castles? Princesses? Pirates? I sure do! But just like everyone else, I can also think of less magical things such as crowds, long lines, and wait times. Fortunately, Touring Plans can help cut down those long lines and wait times; but one thing that can’t be done is to remove the throngs of people entirely. That is, until now. Yes, in this post, I will explain how to experience an empty Magic Kingdom before the park opens up to the droves of guests. Read on!

I had the castle to myself!

I had the castle to myself!

The Secret

The Magic Kingdom opens most mornings at 9:00 AM, but the secret is that two park restaurants open even earlier, such as The Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table. (Note: Cinderella’s Royal Table is currently closed for refurbishment but is expected to reopen in spring of 2015.) If you are able to book an advance dining reservation before park opening, you will be able to walk through the empty park in order to check-in for your breakfast!

Now, before you get too excited, let me clarify a few things. For one, the shows and attractions at the Magic Kingdom do not open for anyone until the park opens, and many of the surrounding lands are roped off to guests who do have early morning reservations. Still, getting in early was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had at Disney World.

Getting In

When I first heard about this Disney World secret, I immediately booked an advance dining reservation at The Crystal Palace for my upcoming vacation dates. It took some checking and re-checking for several days, but I finally was able to grab a reservation at 8:20 AM on a day when the park opened at 9:00 AM. Score!

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Anna and Elsa from Frozen Meet and Greet Schedule Extended at Princess Fairytale Hall

by on June 2, 2014

Anna and Elsa ExtendedI bring good news! The extremely popular Anna and Elsa meet and greet schedule has changed.

The sisters from Frozen are now meeting guests at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom from park opening until 30 minutes prior to park close, as well as during both morning and evening Extra Magic Hours. In addition, FastPass+ availability has been expanded to offer selection times for the newly expanded operating hours.

As you can see in the screenshot to the right, their meet and greet time no longer lists the previous early closing time.

With this change, it would appear that Aurora (otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty) will remain meeting guests as the “visiting princess” opposite the two sisters. Snow White, who would previously visit after Anna and Elsa left for the day, will be heading back outside, meeting guests in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. Cinderella and Rapunzel will continue to meet on the other side of Princess Fairytale Hall.

Another thing to note is that recently Disney changed the policy on rope drop, due to the popularity of this particular meet and greet. Guests who would like to head to Princess Fairytale Hall first thing in the morning are now led with a rope to the meet and greet location. It is a slow walk through the park to get there, and guests are not allowed to pass the Cast Members leading the charge. This change was enacted to attempt to keep order, as well as to keep people from racing to the meet and greet, possibly causing injury to either themselves or to others.

One would hope this change in schedule will make it a tiny bit easier for guests who really want to meet Anna and Elsa.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ Advice and Ride Testing Observations

by on May 9, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train making a test run in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland (photos by Seth Kubersky)

As you may have heard, during the first few days in May, Walt Disney World allowed select media to preview the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland, and announced a May 28 official opening date for the attraction. Public soft openings are expected some time in the next few weeks, but for now the only people riding the family-friendly coaster during operating hours are employees involved with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train testing and training. On the Monday after the media preview, Touring Plans stats guru Fred Hazelton and I paid a visit to the Magic Kingdom. There, we had the opportuninity to observe the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train making training and testing runs, as the attraction cycled spordically — both with and without riders — over the course of several hours. In addition, we have some advice on securing coveted Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ reservations, as well as an update on using four or more FastPass+ appointments in one day.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Testing Observations

Let’s start with some scenic shots of the Mine Train, and the mind-blowing quantity of rockwork and landscaping that went into the area surrounding it.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train To Open May 28 at the Magic Kingdom

by on May 2, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

This morning was the dedication of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland, and we FINALLY have the information we have all been waiting for! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will officially open in the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

The attraction may see some soft opening any time now; however, do keep in mind that soft openings are not guaranteed and that even if the attraction does open, it may only be open for part of the day.

During the cute ceremony, which was live streamed via the Disney Parks Blog, Snow White joined her friends, the Seven Dwarfs, along with Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts Chairman, Tom Staggs, as they used a golden pickax to officially dedicate the attraction, which is the final piece in the New Fantasyland project.

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Time Traveling: Mickey’s PhilharMagic

by on November 28, 2013

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For the second in the series we’ll be looking at the site of Mickey’s PhilharMagic and time traveling all the way to 1971 to see what has lived in this space over the ages. If you haven’t already read the history of Stitch’s Great Escape in part one of the series you can find it here. One housekeeping note: a lot of this is written from my memories. If you remember it differently please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from everyone.

If you hopped into the Wayback Machine and set it between 1994 and 2002 you’d emerge to find The Legend of the Lion King. This was one of my favorite shows, and I was really sad to see it close. This was one of the last few attractions to actually open WITH the movie. Can you imagine a big Rapunzel show opening at the Magic Kingdom just weeks after the movie hit theaters? This used to be common for Disney, but it seems like nowadays the company sits back and makes sure it has a hit first. (And sometimes after a mega hit…we get bathrooms!) I was a little old to buy into it completely, but for my younger sisters The Legend of the Lion King seemed “real” and was a way to visit the most recent Disney story. The fun started when you entered the pre-show area where a live actor dressed as Rafiki introduced the story before you were ushered into the theater. Inside the theater was a show like nothing before or since at Disney. The story of The Lion King was told with projection screens, puppets, and effects. I could go on about how great it was but there are several videos on YouTube that do it more justice. Not that I don’t think Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a great show, but I’ll always think Lion King was better!

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Disneyland’s Fantasyland: Drama, Humor and Beauty

by on October 13, 2013

The Disneyland Story - The Unofficial Guide to the Building of Disneyland

Sam’s new book is available for pre-order.

From the publisher of The Unofficial Guide books comes The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey, the story of how Walt Disney’s greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Here is a brief excerpt:

More than virtually any other attraction in the park, it was Fantasyland’s dark rides that set Disneyland apart from other parks. Before Disneyland, the typical dark ride would be something like the Tunnel of Love, where boats followed each other through a canal. Coats felt “the big improvement we made over what had been done before was the way we left people with a little two-minute experience within a certain story that they had known from our animated films. Now they got to see it in a more dimensional way, and these were interesting ways of doing it.” Walt wanted each ride to represent a different emotional experience. He wanted drama, humor, and beauty.

The process started with the source material, the animated films. The Imagineers used the original 4-by-8-inch storyboards and concept sketches. Claude Coats credits Ken Anderson with finding a way to make it work. Anderson drafted storyboards that highlighted key elements of the story but focused more on creating the right mood. Then Ken Anderson and Claude Coats designed the interior sets. Fortunately, both Anderson and Coats worked on the films and knew the material well. Once they finished, Bill Martin would make modifications to fit the shows inside the buildings.

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The Disney’s in the Details: Fantasyland Part 3

by on October 8, 2013

Today we wrap up the details of Fantasyland. If you’re just joining us now, you might want to check out the first two installments:

As you might recall, we were just coming up on Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid when we left off. The front of this ride has been photographed so much, but it is worth showing one more time. I think this might be my favorite detail in all of New Fantasyland!

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Isn’t it pretty? Less often seen is the actual attraction sign that is mounted beneath the Ariel facade. (Take a closer look at the characters in each corner!)

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Annual Passholder Previews for Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire This Week

by on March 4, 2013

All photos copyright Disney

Construction is nearing completion on Disneyland Park’s new Fantasy Faire, the princess meet & greet complex that is replacing the classic Carnation Plaza Gardens. The new area, which controversially extends Fantasyland’s theming into the central hub for the first time, officially opens to the public on March 12.

If you are an annual Passholder, you can get a sneak peek of this expansion on March 7, 8, 9. The preview events will be held between noon and 6pm on those three days, with Passholders limited to designated two-hour entry windows.

Passholders wishing to attend must register in person on the day of the event, beginning at 10:30am in Fronteirland. For more details, see Disney’s official instructions here.

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Peter Pan Passholder Event at Disneyland this Wednesday

by on February 25, 2013

All images copyright Disney

Are you a Disneyland Resort Annual Passholder?

Do you love the Disney animated classic Peter Pan?

Would you like to spend a couple extra hours in Fantasyland this week?

If your answer to the following questions is “all of the above,” head over to Disneyland on Wednesday night (February 27, 2013) for the latest Limited Time Magic event. For one night only, Passholders can see a special screening of Peter Pan at the Main Street Opera House, in honor of the film’s recent Blu-ray release.

As an added bonus, select Fantasyland attractions will be open to participating Passholders for 2 additional hours past the park’s public 8pm closing time. Be warned, however, that my recent experience with extended Passholder hours at Disney California Adventure did not result in light crowds and short queues; in fact, it was exactly the opposite.

Film screening start at 11am on Wednesday. Passholders may register for the event in person at the Opera House beginning at 10am on the day of the event; online and advance registration is not offered. See here for details on the event direct from Disney.

 

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