Posts Tagged ‘Magic Kingdom’

Wishes Fireworks Dessert Parties Expand

by on April 20, 2016

Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party

©Rikki Nibilett

The Wishes Fireworks Dessert Parties at the Magic Kingdom have been expanded so that more Guests can enjoy the fun festivities.

During the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party, Guests are offered the opportunity to enjoy delicious treats and beverages in a buffet setting. In addition, they have a private viewing area to in which to catch Wishes. Previously, Guests were required to make their reservations in advance, but now, with the expansion, same-day reservations can easily be accommodated.

All Guests attending the fireworks dessert party will still be able to enjoy a variety of desserts at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Then, going forward, Guests with same-day reservations will then move to the Plaza Garden area for the fireworks show. (This is the former location of the Wises FastPass+ viewing area.) Keep in mind that desserts will not be available, nor will there be seating for Guests in the Plaza Garden area.

Guests who have booked in advance will view the fireworks from the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. If Guests who are scheduled to view the fireworks at the Tomorrowland Terrace and they wish to view them at the Plaza Garden, they may have the opportunity to do so, if space is available.

Pricing for the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party is $59 for adults and $35 for children. (Includes tax.) Reservations for the Tomorrowland Terrace viewing location can be made in advance by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine, or calling 407-WDW-DINE. For those looking to make same-day reservations, they will be available at the Tomorrowland Terrace podium starting at 10:30 a.m. each day.

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Walt Disney World Relics and Tributes: The Magic Kingdom

by on April 20, 2016

relicsandtributesWalt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. It is something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing and adding to.” Imagineers have made sure that the Disneyland and the Disney Parks have stayed true to that intention throughout the years.

In fact, the Walt Disney World Resort has been changing and growing a great deal in the past few years, such as the addition of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom and re-imagining of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, and prepares for new openings like the Rivers of Light show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and the Frozen Ever After attraction at Epcot. But oftentimes, to gain something new, something has to be given up and past attractions must make way for new ones, such as in the closure of attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in preparation for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Fortunately, Disney has a tradition of honoring its history while in the business of creating that great, big, beautiful tomorrow, and oftentimes through little tributes and details and even the recycling and reimagining of familiar icons.

I recently took a trip to the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to uncover some of these tributes and relics from the park’s past. I tried to avoid including those that many fans already know about–such as the windows on Main Street, U.S.A. or the picture of Mr. Toad handing over the deed to Owl at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh–in hopes that you may discover something new and maybe get a little dose of nostalgia in today’s Walt Disney World Relics and Tributes: The Magic Kingdom.

snowwhitevultures

Snow White’s Scary Adventures Vultures

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction and one of the crown jewels of New Fantasyland. This attraction is incredibly detailed and a ton of fun, but one of the things I appreciate about most is its number of tributes to a former Fantasyland attraction: Snow White’s Scary Adventures.

Snow White’s Scary Adventures was a classic dark ride and one of the park’s original opening day attractions. It sadly closed in 2012 due to New Fantasyland; but it’s sister attraction, by the same name, is still operating at the Disneyland Park today. It’s never easy to lose an attraction, especially one with so much history, and I suppose Imagineers felt the same way because there are a number of relics and nods from Snow White’s Scary Adventures hidden in and around this coaster.

The Vultures

When walking around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or while aboard your gently swinging mine car, look up and you might see two menacing vultures. Do they look familiar? They used to be part of Snow White’s Scary Adventures! Imagineers recycled these feathered scavengers for the park’s newest Snow White-themed attraction; and in doing so, made a piece of the past work for the present.

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Dani’s Best Week Ever April 14, 2016: Magic Kingdom and Skipper Canteen

by on April 14, 2016

I have a confession: Magic Kingdom is my least favorite Walt Disney World theme park. Well…it was, but things have changed…maybe. Once upon a time Magic Kingdom was my favorite, then about ten years ago I went to Disneyland for the first time. I returned to the Magic Kingdom disappointed and longing for the charm and beauty found inside the park that started it all.

Unfortunately, a major change in my life will now make it difficult for me to return to Disneyland, so I returned to Magic Kingdom for the first time in a while with open eyes and a renewed sense of rediscovery. Despite some frustrating turn of events later in the day, I earned a new appreciation for Walt Disney World’s original theme park.

IMG_8486

The original plan for the day was to start off in the Most Magical Place on Earth then journey to the land of rolling hills and new residential developments, Clermont, to pick up a friend and cap off the night with Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando. What a day to wake up to!

Since I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to make it to Magic Kingdom initially, I had not made any FastPass+ reservations in advance. So, while I sipped my morning coffee I pulled up the MyDisneyExperience app to see what I could get. Not surprisingly, the most desirable FastPass+ options were limited at best.

I arrived to the parking plaza at about 10:00 AM. During my time as a Cast Member the lanes to the right were used to get to the Cast parking lots, and these lanes still usually move very quickly. To make sure I kept the pace going I had my ID and passholder card out and ready for the Cast Member to see. As I drove through the parking area it took a moment to get used to the grassy knoll that is in place of the Walt Disney World Raceway. I also observed a few cars head to the preferred parking area ($35).

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Disney Early Morning Magic Heading to Magic Kingdom

by on April 6, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

We’ve been talking a lot about these special extra ticketed events taking place at Walt Disney World. Well, beginning on April 26, Guests will be able to experience a new one. Disney Early Morning Magic will allow Guests extra time in the Magic Kingdom in the morning, the ability to ride attractions that commonly have long lines throughout the day, and enjoy a great breakfast.

Upon entry at this special event, Guests will have the option to ride 3 popular Magic Kingdom attractions – Seven Dwarf Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Plus, in addition to getting in some some early morning fun, Guests will also be able to enjoy a fantastic breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus. Breakfast will occur from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Menu items will include:

  • Chilled juices, coffee and teas
  • Seasonal fruit and berries
  • Freshly baked pastries
  • Cheese and cured meats
  • Scrambled eggs with assorted toppings
  • Vegetable frittata
  • Smoked bacon
  • Pork and turkey sausages
  • Fried potatoes with caramelized onions
  • Waffles with butter and syrup

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Best (and Worst) Attractions to Get Stuck On

by on April 6, 2016

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

Thankfully, I had the good sense to bring some reading material along just in case I got stuck

It happens. You’re right in the middle of an attraction, and everything just grinds to a halt.  Sometimes you’re down for a few seconds, sometimes it’s several minutes, and sometimes you actually have to be evacuated from the ride.  I was talking with someone in line on a recent trip, and he relayed a story where he spent an hour at the crest of the big drop on Splash Mountain before eventually having to walk off of the attraction without experiencing its climax.  To me, that seems like a pretty awful way to spend an afternoon, and it got me to thinking — what are the best and worst attractions at Walt Disney World to find yourself so stuck that you actually have to exit the ride using your feet? This article attempts to answer this pressing quandary that I suspect most of you had never bothered to contemplate before.

Here are the parameters of the challenge: you’ll be in the midst of the ride, and then at either the most or least optimal moment, the ride will stop moving, although the effects and show elements other than motion will continue to work. You’ll thereafter spend 30 minutes plus whatever time it take to get you rescued in that spot, and then you’ll either be ushered out by Cast Members, or extracted from the ride if necessary. Shows that you could just stand up and leave do not count (i.e., you cannot get “stuck” at Hall of Presidents). Also, you should assume that any momentum-based ride (e.g. roller coasters) is going to come to a natural resting place, such that you won’t be stuck upside down or in the middle of a steep hill.

So, without further ado, let’s go!

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Dates Released for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for 2016

by on March 23, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Earlier today, we got information about the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and now, we know the dates for this year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a very popular hard-ticketed holiday event and a fan favorite experience.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held on select nights in November and December and for 2016, is currently scheduled to take place on the following dates:

  • November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 29
  • December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 22

This year’s event will include Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular, cookies and hot cocoa, the Castle Dream Lights, and the Celebrate the Season castle stage show.

We do not yet know when tickets will go on sale, nor do we know what this year’s ticket pricing will look like. Stay posted to the blog, as I’ll make sure to post these details as soon as I have them!

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Dates Announced for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for 2016

by on March 23, 2016

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

©Disney

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is one of the premier events that takes place in the fall at Walt Disney World. This popular Magic Kingdom hard-ticket event is not to be missed by many and today, Disney has released the dates for this year’s party nights.

This year there will be more nights than ever to experience the spooktacular event; 29 in all. Tickets will be available for purchase later this spring for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on the following dates:

  • Sept. 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29 and 30
  • Oct. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 and 31

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Disney After Hours Event Coming to Magic Kingdom

by on March 22, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Guests will soon be able to experience an after-hours, ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom called Disney After Hours. During the event, Guests will enjoy the Magic Kingdom in the dark at an after-hours special event featuring shorter waits at many of your favorite attractions and Character meet and greets. Guests will also receive ice cream treats and bottled beverages during the event. This special evening will occur on select nights throughout the months of April and May.

The Disney After Hours event will occur on the following dates:

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Not-So-Fancy Dining: A Review of Diamond Horseshoe

by on March 22, 2016

For the next few months (March 13-May 30), Magic Kingdom guests have a chance to dine once again inside the beautiful Diamond Horseshoe restaurant located in Liberty Square, just adjacent to Liberty Tree Tavern. This restaurant has operated seasonally over the last few years as a quick service dining location, but has added a new table service menu available for lunch and dinner for late spring this year. Signage outside indicated I was in for all-you-care-to-enjoy “fancy dining”, and while I certainly didn’t leave hungry, I’m not sure the experience could be described as all that “fancy”. I was greeted by a gaggle of friendly Cast Members in a fairly empty restaurant (not terribly surprising, given it’s a new offering), and promptly taken to a table where I got a gander at the menu for this “fancy” feast. Prices are exactly the same as Liberty Tree Tavern’s next door ($33 for adults, $19 for children; Disney Dining Plan and Tables in Wonderland discounts accepted), but here you’ll receive salad, choice of an entrée (more on that in a second), and choice of a dessert, along with a non-alcoholic beverage.

In reading the menu through before arriving at Magic Kingdom, I expected family-style entrees, like Liberty Tree’s dinner service, but every entrée actually comes in individual portions – I was, however, allowed and encouraged by my server to order seconds or a new entrée at any point. First up, though, came Frontier Salad – tossed greens, tomatoes, onions, roasted corn, and corn bread croutons with house-made chipotle ranch dressing, served alongside a few pieces of corn bread and honey butter. The salad was exactly as explained on the menu – typical salad greens and fixings tossed in a slightly spicy, creamy dressing. Most diners will find this salad just fine – not too spicy, hits all the bases to make you feel like you’re checking off the “vegetable” box in the meal, and it’s not overly heavy, either. The cornbread on the side was very similar to what you’ll find at Trail’s End or Boatwright’s – sweet, dense, and very cakey, served with an even-sweeter honey butter. Overall, I found the side of bread a nice compliment to the spice in the salad dressing, but a little too sweet for my taste at the beginning of the meal.

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Our Trip Planning Robot Overlords

by on March 21, 2016

Magic-Kingdom-Touring-Planjpg

A Magic Kingdom touring plan,
created by a machine

While I was testing our touring plan software in Walt Disney World last week, a computer named AlphaGo was beating one of the world’s best players of a game called Go. What made it remarkable is that Go is an enormously complicated game – there are something like 10^170 possible moves (that’s a 1 followed by 170 0’s).  And that gave me the idea to express, in terms of games, how complicated it is to create an efficient theme park touring plan, and why we think computers can help.

The chart below shows some common games, an estimate of how many different ways there are to play that game, and what that complexity is similar to in terms of Magic Kingdom rides. For example, there are just under 32,000 ways to play the game tic-tac-toe. That’s in the same ballpark as the 40,320 ways to ride 8 attractions in the Magic Kingdom.

Game Ways to Play Like a Touring Plan with
Tic-Tac-Toe 31,896 8 attractions
Connect 4 4.5 x 10^12 15-16 attractions
Checkers 5 x 10^20 21-22 attractions
Chess 10^40 to 10^50 35-42 attractions
Go 10^170 106 attractions

 

For comparison, our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Touring Plan for Adults has 26 steps, including lunch and dinner. Finding a good touring plan for that is “only” about 370,000 times more complicated than finding a good way to play checkers. I’ve helped write a fair number of books about getting the most out of your day at a theme park. But no book, no matter how good, can give you enough tips, tricks, and rules to sort through that kind of complexity. Put another way: Do I think I could beat a computer at checkers after reading one book on it? No. I might not make some common, rookie mistakes, but I won’t do well.

You’re probably thinking: Sure, there are a bajillion possible combinations of Magic Kingdom rides, but I can eliminate most of them pretty easily – don’t visit Country Bear Jamboree first, for example. But that’s misleading for a few reasons. For one thing, there plenty of scenarios – like touring plans that begin around noon – in which visiting Country Bear Jamboree would probably be a good idea.

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