Posts Tagged ‘walt disney world’

Tomorrowland Preview Coming to Disney Parks

by on March 26, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming film, Tomorrowland? (How can you not be?! It looks fantastic.) Well, if you are anxious about the movie, which stars George Clooney, then you’ll need to make sure to catch the official sneak preview taking place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

For those visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll need to head to Epcot and the Imagination Pavilion. I’m sorry to report that at least temporarily, fans of Captain EO, Hooter, Odie, Idie, and Fuzzball will not get to see the rag-tag band attempt to deliver a gift to The Supreme Leader. The preview for Tomorrowland will be taking place in the Imagination Theater, and will include in-theater effects. (Captain EO will see its last day of operation on April 9.)

Over on the west coast, at Disneyland, guests can go to Tomorrowland (good place for a preview about a movie named Tomorrowland) where they can catch the sneak peek replete with in-theater effects in the Tomorrowland Theater. In addition, in the Starcade, there will also be an exhibit available for guests to enjoy production art and props used in the movie.

The official sneak preview will begin in mid-April (no official date has been announced) and the preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.

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Packing Tips for a Day at Walt Disney World + Video

by on March 26, 2015

Photo - Angela DahlgrenAfter a long day of travel to Walt Disney World, you check into your hotel completely exhausted. All you want to do is plop down on the bed and catch some zzzz’s.

Just as you’re about to close your eyes, you remember – You haven’t packed your backpack for the parks tomorrow!

Not to worry! I’ve provided a list of park essentials to make packing efficient and easy.

Not in a reading mood? Check out my video at the bottom of this post!

The Bare Necessities

Photo - Angela Dahlgren

Top 3: Wallet, Ticket, Phone

  • Park Ticket: Don’t forget that golden ticket at the hotel! Yes, you can use your MagicBand to get into the parks, but it’s nice to have a hard copy if you run into issues at the turnstile.
  • Wallet: License, cash, cards, insurance info, etc.
  • MagicBand: Linking your My Disney Experience account to your MagicBand will give you quick access to your park ticket, room key, FastPass+ and dining reservations as its conveniently located around your wrist. You can even pay with your MagicBand! Since your MB is your room key, there is no back-up key (unless you ask for one at check-in), so make sure it’s with you before you leave!
  • Phone: If you have a smart phone, there are two apps I recommend checking out. The TouringPlans Disney World Lines App helps you plan out your day at the parks with crowd calendars, wait times and customized Touring Plans. The second app is My Disney Experience which, if you have an account, holds all of your reservations, tickets and itineraries.
  • Camera: Disney World is full of endless photo opportunities. Don’t be without a camera!

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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Preview and New Polynesian Lobby Photos

by on March 25, 2015

trader sam's grog grotto preview

Free postcards were available during the Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto preview event at WDW’s Polynesian Village Resort. (Photos by Seth Kubersky

 

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel is one of our favorite places in the entire Disneyland Resort, so it’s an understatement to say we’re excited about the opening of its East Coast outpost. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is about to debut at Walt Disney World’s newly retro-christened Polynesian Village Resort, and on Monday, March 23 the hotel held a cast member-only preview of their new watering hole.

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Be Our Guest Breakfast: First Look Review

by on March 25, 2015

Be our guest breakfast

Join us for our first Be Our Guest breakfast, as the Magic Kingdom’s most popular restaurant expands its hours and offerings. (Photos by Seth Kubersky).

The Magic Kingdom‘s Be Our Guest restaurant is one of Walt Disney World’s most popular places for lunch and dinner, and for a limited time you have a third mealtime to try to get a sought-after table inside the Beast’s enchanted domain. from now through June 18, you can enjoy an early morning meal in a castle other than Cinderella’s, thanks to the brand-new Be Our Guest breakfast service that began on March 20.

I made my reservation through My Disney Experience at Be Our Guest breakfast on the first day they became available for booking, securing a table for Two at 8:25 a.m. on Monday morning, 35 minutes before the Magic Kingdom’s official opening. This would my first pre-rope-drop entry into the park in many years, and even the early weather and wet weather didn’t dampen my spirits.

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Easter Happenings at Walt Disney World for 2015

by on March 24, 2015

Easter

©Disney

Can you believe it? Easter is just a week and a half away! Wow has time flown.

With Easter upon us, I wanted to share a few things that those of you traveling down during the next couple of weeks may want to take advantage of!

First, for those visiting the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be able to meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny! The duo have hopped over to the Main Street U.S.A.’s Town Square Courtyard at the Bunny Lane Garden, located next to City Hall. They can be found meeting guests from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and guests will receive a pre-autographed card before they exit. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be at the Magic Kingdom through April 5.

As I’ve previously mentioned, at Epcot, they will be holding the popular Disney Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt. Guests will be able to explore World Showcase with a specially-themed map in hand, searching for decorative eggs themed to Disney Characters. They should then place the corresponding egg sticker on the map to represent that location. Maps and stickers may be purchased for $4.95 (plus tax) and when guests are finished, they may return the map to claim a surprise gift. The fun kicks off on March 27 and lasts through April 5.

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Menu Monday: Best Counter Service in Epcot

by on March 16, 2015

This article is the final installment in a series ranking counter service restaurants at each of the Disney Parks at Walt Disney World. In case you missed them, you can review each article regarding Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

One of Epcot’s most notable experiences is the unique dining options. So notable, in fact, that every Fall it plays host to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a must try if you haven’t already experienced it. Epcot has simply dozens of restaurants, carts and kiosks to try little morsels of culture. Though many of these carts and kiosks are considered by Disney to be “counter service” most of them are stands, windows, or carts, allowing guests to grab a specialty food item and continue their journey around World Showcase. There are actually relative few “counter service” locations that offer multiple menu selections and ample seating on the same level as other counter service option in the other parks.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

If you use the Disney App, or the Disney website and filter restaurants by “counter service” and “Epcot”, the results will yield 24 locations. However, upon further inspection, these 24 locations also include options like popcorn carts and coffee stands. For the purpose of this article, I’ll limit the term “counter service” to only include options that offer meals, and not merely snacks (though there is something to be said for “snacking around the world”). This brings the results down to eleven locations. So, let’s start our culinary adventure!

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kilimanjaro Club – an incomparable experience

by on March 8, 2015

No other Walt Disney World resorts offers the level of cultural immersion and exotic experiences that can be discovered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is my favorite Walt Disney World Resort; my heart practically sings the minute I set foot in the awe-inspiring lobby. As a Disney Vacation Club Member, Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my two home resorts. One of my favorite ways to use our membership is to indulge in the Kilimanjaro Club level. Whether you are a DVC Member or not, from the level of service, the multiple food & beverage offerings, and the overall luxury, the Kilimanjaro Club Level is an unforgettable experience.

So what makes the Kilimanjaro Club so exceptional? And what special value does it represent for DVC Members? Let’s embark on a safari of sorts as we explore all that makes this one of the most incredible experiences offered at Walt Disney World.

DSC00664

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Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride Reopens with Upgrades

by on March 7, 2015

Little Mermaid ride refurbishment POV

Magic Kingdom’s Little Mermaid ride has reopened with new figures and improved lighting. (Photos and video by Seth Kubersky)

Ever since it originally opened in Disney California Adventure, and then again when it was cloned at Walt Disney World as the first new ride in the Magic Kingdom‘s New Fantasyland, the Little Mermaid dark ride has drawn mixed reviews. Known in Orlando as Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, and as The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in Anaheim, this slow-moving Omnimover attraction is a family-friendly people-eater, but has been criticized as lacking in polish and pacing. Now the Florida attraction has been refurbished and upgraded, much as its older sibling had been months earlier, and we have brought you a full POV video of WDW’s Little Mermaid ride with additional figures and enhanced lighting, recorded on March 5, 2015.

As you’ll notice in the below video, the biggest improvement is in the centerpiece “Under the Sea” scene, whose lighting has been reimagined with blacklight. The results are still eye-popping, while better concealing the exposed ceilings, making for a much more immersive experience.

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Magic Kingdom Express Monorail Route to See Reduction in Hours Through Summer

by on March 6, 2015

monorailThe Walt Disney World monorail is currently undergoing enhancements where they are updating the system’s infrastructure in an attempt to make the process automated. With this enhancement process, the monorail schedules have been changing periodically over the past year. I am here to share yet another schedule change, as the Magic Kingdom Express Monorail Beam will once again see reduced hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. beginning March 10.

Guests who will be visiting the Magic Kingdom during these hours should utilize the Magic Kingdom Resort Beam or watercraft to reach their destinations. In addition, the Epcot Beam will continue to run as normal.

There has been no end date announced, however work is expected to occur through the summer.

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Two Popular Attractions at Walt Disney World to Receive Expansions

by on March 5, 2015

Soarin-Toy Story ManiaIf you’ve been paying attention to the rumor mill lately, you’ll likely have heard about the supposed expansions for two major attractions at Walt Disney World. One was for Soarin’ and one was for Toy Story Midway Mania! It seems as if those rumors were indeed true, because today, Disney officially announced both of those expansions were coming to fruition.

At Epcot, Soarin’ will be adding a third theater; currently there are two theaters in use with the popular attraction. In addition to the extra theater, there will be updates to the screens, as well as the projection system. (Let’s hope this means we will finally stop Soarin’ with big random spots floating on the screen.)

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the extremely popular Toy Story Midway Mania! will also see an addition in the form of an extra track. If you’ve been to the park lately, you’ll notice that the Soundstage 1 (the recent former location of both Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Darth’s Mall) has walls around it, which was done in preparation of the expansion.

Both of these expansions are in an effort to increase guest throughput, as both are extremely popular with very long waits most days and FastPass+ reservations often difficult to obtain, especially if you are trying to get one on the day you are visiting the park.

These expansions are expected to be completed by late 2016 and as of right now, both attractions are currently open for guests to enjoy with no refurbishment dates announced.

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