Posts Tagged ‘Magic Kingdom’

My First Walt Disney World Annual Passholder FastPass+ Experience

by on January 20, 2014

Based on how much this blog has covered the ongoing FastPass+ rollout at Walt Disney World over the past year or two, you might assume every member of the Touring Plans team already has enough MagicBands to decorate their Christmas tree (I’m looking at you, Morgan Crutchfield). But since I haven’t stayed in a Walt Disney World on-site hotel since before the MyMagic+ program began, I’ve been excluded…until now. As we reported, Animal Kingdom went FastPass+-only late last year, followed by the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, January 14, and the rest of the parks will remove their paper legacy FASTPASS machines shortly. Now that the FastPass+ service has been opened to all guests, this acknowledged sceptic took the plunge with my first Annual Passholder FastPass+ experience.

Animal Kingdom

To be precise, my first FastPass+ adventure was an incomplete attempt that was unfair to judge the service by. Earlier in January, I tried using the service on one of the first days it was offered to off-site guests by visiting the kiosks outside Disney Outfitters on Discovery Island.

There was no wait, and a friendly cast member assisted me in using the touchscreen computer to enter my information and select three attractions.

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Heritage House Reopens as MyMagic+ Service Center

by on January 15, 2014

As we mentioned previously, Heritage House, the former gift shop for Hall of Presidents, closed back on January 4 with little explanation on its closure. We now know that the former gift shop in Liberty Square has reopened as a new MyMagic+ Service Center.

The location is currently available for guests to stop in and make their FastPass+ reservations and ask Cast Members questions.

As a reminder, Magic Kingdom is now FastPass+ only for both onsite and off-site guests, so these MyMagic+ Service Centers, as well as MyMagic+ kiosks, are where off-site guests currently need to go to make FastPass+ reservations.

The merchandise previously found in the gift shop can now be found in other locations throughout the park.

Also, it appears that additional MyMagic+ Service Centers, as well as stand alone kiosks, are continuously popping up throughout Walt Disney World as the full rollout of MyMagic+ moves forward.

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Your FastPass+ Priorities at the Magic Kingdom

by on January 14, 2014

The Magic Kingdom begins exclusive use of FastPass+ today. We’ve updated all 50 of our Magic Kingdom touring plan templates to use only FastPass+. Each plan now lists the suggested FastPass+ start times for the attractions that will save you the most time in line, like this:

Suggested start times for FastPass+ reservations:

Peter Pan’s Flight = 10 AM
Buzz Lightyear = 5 PM
Enchanted Tales with Belle = 7 PM

We also added the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to most plans, as we think that will begin previews sometime next month.

When we updated the plans, we kept track of how many times each attraction was identified as needing FastPass+. It turns out that this is a prioritized list of which attractions you should use FastPass+ for to avoid long waits in line:

FastPass+ Priorities

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Observations From Magic Kingdom: January 12, 2014

by on January 14, 2014

Today is historically one of my favorite days to go to the Magic Kingdom. While thousands of people are running the marathon, the parks find themselves in a bit of a transportation disaster. The runners clog major roadways, and cleanup efforts add an extra delay. This means that if you get there early, you beat the crowd in a big way. Folks just can’t get in as quickly as on a normal day! Add to that the fact that the huge “Let the Magic Begin” banner has been removed from the train station, and you are talking about some serious magic today!

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Now, the banner being removed isn’t really news. Everyone has been buzzing about that! But have you see the Welcome Show with our lovely, new, banner free view? I decided to take video for you guys this morning! :) Remember, my “channel” is pretty much just for blog linking. All the cool kids are subscribed to the TouringPlans Channel!

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Magic Kingdom Becomes FastPass+ Only Next Tuesday, Epcot and DHS by End of January

by on January 10, 2014

Magic Kingdom Goes FastPass+ OnlyWe’ve heard from reliable sources outside and inside Disney that the Magic Kingdom’s legacy FASTPASS machines will be turned off by Tuesday, January 14, 2014. Magic Kingdom will use the FastPass+ system exclusively for ride reservations, for both on-site and off-site guests, from Tuesday on. (Note that at this point off-site guests are limited to making reservations via in-park kiosks on the day they are touring that park.)

Magic Kingdom joins Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which converted to exclusive FastPass+ in December. We expect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to move to FastPass+ only by the end of January.

All of our Magic Kingdom touring plans will be updated this weekend to remove FASTPASS instructions and to make suggestions for FastPass+ reservation times. Also, our free computer-optimized touring plans will end FASTPASS support for Magic Kingdom touring plan dates of January 14 or later.

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Two Short Magic Kingdom Refurbishments This April

by on January 8, 2014

We want to share with you two very short Magic Kingdom attraction refurbishments that are scheduled to take place this April. They are:

For a full list of attraction, as well as other refurbishments and closures at the Walt Disney World Resort, please visit our Refurbishment Schedule page.

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Reminder: Walt Disney World Monorail Service Impacted Starting January 21

by on January 4, 2014

Walt Disney World monorailAs a reminder for those of you who will be traveling to Walt Disney World soon: service on the Walt Disney World Monorail will be severely impacted due to scheduled maintenance starting on Tuesday, January 21. The affected loops will included both the Magic Kingdom Resort Loop and the Express Loop. These will both be unavailable for guests during non-peak hours on weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. The weekends should see no closures.

During the monorail closures, additional buses, as well as watercraft, will be available for guests to use. The work on both Magic Kingdom monorail beams is expected to last until the end of March 2014 (weather permitting, of course).

For those who wish to travel to Epcot by monorail, the Epcot’s Monorail Loop will be unaffected and will have normal operating hours.

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A Few Shops Closing at Walt Disney World

by on January 1, 2014

With the new year, a few shops within the Walt Disney World resort are closing their doors. First off, the Wyland Galleries location at Disney’s Polynesian Resort officially closed its doors on December 31. The store sold paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art. The location at Disney’s BoardWalk remains open.

Over at Magic Kingdom, two gift shops will close on January 4, 2014: Heritage House and Seven Dwarfs Mine Shop. We do not know what will happen in either of these locations after the stores close.

Heritage House is the gift shop for The Hall of Presidents, and it sells patriotic items. Seven Dwarfs Mine Shop is in Fantasyland and was the gift shop for the Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction, which was replaced by Princess Fairytale Hall last fall. Merchandise that was in these shops can be found in other locations around the park.

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Ultimate 2013 New Year’s Eve Plan

by on December 29, 2013

IMG_3154New Year’s Eve is one of the most amazing nights of the year at Walt Disney World. The fireworks are beyond any other party or event – even better than those on July 4! But even more than the fireworks, there is an amazing party atmosphere that you never see in the parks. Last year I saw the queue of Peter Pan’s Flight completely stopped while everyone in line danced to “Gangnam Style!” Whichever park you choose, there will be unforgettable entertainment and genuine Disney magic. That is the good news… the bad news is there will be crowds like most people never experience! But you have nothing to worry about, because I’m going to share with you my plan for a stress free New Year’s celebration! Here is the fine print: this is just what I would do this year. There are lots of ways to have a great time. and I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

Before leaving for a crazy busy day in the parks, I always pack a survival bag. If you haven’t experienced it, you might be surprised to find out that on a very busy day you could have to wait 30+ minutes for a drink or to use the bathroom. (Bathrooms aren’t as much of an issue at Epcot where they bring in portable toilets.) I always bring snacks, a water bottle, phone charger, and extra layers of clothing in case it gets cold. Rain gear is also a good idea if there are any showers in the forecast.

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A Few Transportation Notes For Walt Disney World

by on December 18, 2013

Walt Disney World Buses

©Rikki Niblett

A couple of things have been brought to my attention in regards to transportation at Walt Disney World that I thought you should all be aware of since they could potentially impact your 2014 vacations.

First off, a brand new bus loop at the Magic Kingdom opened about a month ago. Because of  this third bus loop, there has been some shifting in regards to which bus stops are where. Make sure to check the directory for the load zone you are looking for.

With the addition of the new loop, Disney is providing direct transportation from the Magic Kingdom to the other three theme parks. This means that a transfer to a bus at the Transportation and Ticket Center is no longer required.

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