Posts Tagged ‘walt disney world’

Disney Offers U.S. Military Special Tickets and Resort Rates

by on July 22, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

In honor of our troops, both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will not only be offering U.S. Military special discounted room reservation rates, but they are also offering them promotional military ticket options.

The brave men and women who serve our country can purchase specially priced tickets from August 25, 2014, through September 30, 2015 for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. (Disneyland tickets can actually be purchased through October 1, 2015.) These special tickets may be purchased by active and retired U.S. military personnel (which includes active and retired members of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists). Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase the Disney Military Promotional Tickets for not only themselves, but also up to five additional family members or friends. Keep in mind that there is an expiration date for these tickets; they must be used by October 3, 2015, and they are non-transferable. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

At Walt Disney World, there are three different Military Promotional Ticket options, which include:

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Pros and Cons of Disney World Without Kids

by on July 22, 2014

Disney vacations are marketed as the quintessential family trip. The commercials, the planning DVDs, the website, the mailings, and oodles of other Disney vacation propaganda all showcase the glowing, smiling faces of cherub-cheeked tots in addition to the satisfied radiance of their perfectly coifed parents. No doubt about it – if you have a family, Disney is on your radar.

This sight is exciting for adults and kids alike!

This sight is exciting for adults and kids alike!

But what about a Disney World trip, without the kids? Disney World is a popular destination for honeymooners, to get engaged, and even for a couple to get married, right in the parks. Millions of couples choose to vacation in the House of Mouse without their progeny for many, many reasons. It could be celebrating a special anniversary, only in town briefly for a conference or work trip, or perhaps, they just it’s time to rekindle that romantic spark sans diaper bags and sippy cups. Whatever the reason for your adult-inspired journey into America’s Neverland, let’s explore the pros and cons of traveling to Walt Disney World without kids.

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Best Evening Extra Magic Hours Attractions at Disney World

by on July 15, 2014

The Kiss Goodnight is a light show projected on the castle when the park closes.

Staying on property during your next Walt Disney World vacation? Then you should absolutely be taking advantage of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours, which offer resort guests the opportunity to get to a park early or stay late. Simply show that you’re staying in a Walt Disney World resort and you can have fun in the parks beyond the normal operating hours. And if you’re using our Personalized Touring Plans, you can also extend your plan hours for both morning and evening Extra Magic Hours. As stated, Extra Magic Hours are offered both in the morning and the evening but for now we’re going to concentrate on some of my favorite Evening Extra Magic Hours attractions. While not every attraction is operating for Extra Magic Hours, some of the best and most popular attractions across Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are open to resort guests. Unfortunately, as of this writing, Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not offer evening extra magic hours. Perhaps that could change with the eventual opening of the park’s new Avatar Land but for now, park guests will have to get their Extra Magic Hours fill at the first three Walt Disney World theme parks. So without further ado, here are my top Evening Extra Magic Hours attractions for each park.

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Favorite Park Series: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on July 13, 2014

Everyone has a favorite Disney park; the one you HAVE to visit every time you attend Walt Disney World. My goal in this series is to give you a glimpse into the thrills and MAGIC* each park holds.

Now, let’s make our way on over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

My personal favorite!

My personal favorite!

Memorable Moments

The attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios appeal to people from all walks of life. Children can venture to Pixar Place to make small talk with Mr. Potato Head before hopping on Toy Story Midway Mania. Both teens and adults can enjoy the stomach-dropping thrill rides of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. Looking to get your educational fix? Try the Art of Disney Animation and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. If you desire attractions fit for the whole family or if you need to get out of the heat, the Great Movie Ride and Muppet*Vision 3D are perfect crowd pleasers.

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The Magic Next Door: Universal Orlando Resort

by on July 12, 2014

Universal Orlando Resort: A Basic Primer for Walt Disney World Vacation Veterans

Friends, vacationers, locals… lend me your comically over-sized souvenir mouse ears! Most of you like the Walt Disney World Resort, and for good reason. But, dear reader, let me tell you about another place. A wonderful place. A place where you can squeal and fawn over little jellybean men in overalls and not feel weird because everyone else is doing the same thing. That place… is the Universal Orlando Resort.

 

Universal Orlando Resort

Copyright – Universal

There are some people out there who might tell you that there are Disney Folk and Universal Folk, and that never the two shall meet. But, dear reader… that just ain’t so. It doesn’t matter what your family is composed of or how much coffee you drink out of your oversized novelty Donald Duck Mug. If you like roller coasters, Universal Orlando Resort has something for you. If you like great food, the resort has something for you. If you like dinosaurs and wizards, swashbuckling and dancing, beach chairs and tornadoes… it has something for you. Below you’ll find a brief summary of the Universal experience, from the events it hosts to some very important ways it differs from the House of Mouse.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 7/9/14

by on July 9, 2014

Hello all! Today, I bring just a few smaller things you may need to know that are currently taking place at Walt Disney World. In addition, I’ve got some details that you may need to know if you have a trip scheduled for later this fall. These are just a few minor notes that could be beneficial for you to know as you progress with your planning process. So, here we go:

  • First, we have a couple of refurbishments I wanted to note. Currently, It’s Tough To Be a Bug at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is closed until August 10, reopening on August 11. Moving over to the Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Railroad will see maintenance work from September 28 through November 8, reopening on November 9. Finally, Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park will see its annual refurbishment from January 4 through March 14, reopening on March 15.
  • We all know that Kouzzina will be closing at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn on September 30. The location will be re-open later this year as an all new restaurant. In the interim, Flying Fish Cafe will be offering breakfast beginning on October 1 and lasting until December 7. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and will include dishes like a waffle with tiramisu mascarpone, frittata with roasted red pepper and prosciutto, and soft polenta with fennel sausage.
  • Guests who are still cheering on their favorite World Cup teams will now have two more locations to watch the final games from. At Epcot, guests can choose to watch from the Festival Center (the former Wonders of Life Pavilion, which is located between Mission: SPACE and Ellen’s Energy Adventure). The Festival Center will open one hour before game timem and food and beverages will be sold at this location. Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can visit Restaurantosaurus to view the remaining games. There are three games remaining, with the World Cup Final taking place at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 13.
  • The minimum age to travel alone on Disney’s Magical Express has been lowered. The age for unaccompanied minors is now 12. It had previously been 16.
  • Beginning on July 27, PhotoPass print packages will no longer be offered for sale table-side at select restaurants, including ‘Ohana, 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Tusker House Restaurant. At Cindrella’s Royal Table and Akershus, PhotoPass print packages will be available until January 4, 2015. Beginning January 5, the inclusive photo package option will be discontinued. Once the PhotoPass print packages are discontinued, guests will need to view and purchase photos via the My Disney Experience app and website.

That’s it for this edition of Newsworthy Notes…what are your thoughts?

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Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant: The Original Light Show

by on July 6, 2014

When Disney Imagineer Bob Jani looked out over Seven Seas Lagoon at night he saw a black gulf, void of interest. It was late 1971 and Magic Kingdom, Polynesian Resort, and Contemporary Resort opened soon. The lifeless lagoon, formed from draining the swamp that dominated the land Magic Kingdom occupies, would presently be filled by ferries and water attractions, including a water ski show. But something was missing. His mind turned to his hometown of Los Angeles, where any body of water reflected myriad lights every night. Somewhere this need to fill the dark with twinkling lights sparked the idea of the Electrical Water Pageant: a train of barges sporting colorful animated lights.

The final float in the aquatic scene.

The final float in the aquatic scene.

A brochure given to guests in the Summer of 1972 entices the guest to “watch porpoises leap . . . seals play . . . even a sea monster breathe fire!” Guests were directed to see the Pageant nightly 9:00 PM through 10:00 PM along Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, advice that is still good today. The whimsical attraction’s appeal eventually inspired the Main Street Electrical Parade even copping the song “Baroque Hoedown” as its theme.

Today the Pageant is one thousand feet long and features 25-foot tall screens on fourteen barges. The show is split into two parts: an aquatic theme featuring King Triton and various sea creatures followed by a patriotic salute. Total time, nose to tail, is about ten minutes.

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Walt Disney World Extended Monorail Operating Hours for July 4 Holiday

by on July 2, 2014

Late last month, I reported that Walt Disney World was adjusting monorail schedules in order to perform work to update the systems. However, during the busy Independence Day weekend, Disney has adjusted the monorail operating schedule to accommodate the large influx of crowds.

Here’s how the monorail schedule will look over the next three days:

July 3 & 4

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam: 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Epcot Beam: 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.

July 5

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam: 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 midnight
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Epcot Beam: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

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The Happiest Place on Earth: Disney World Tips to Avoid a Meltdown

by on July 2, 2014

Disney World Tips to Avoid a Meltdown TouringPlans Blog

Avoid becoming Grumpy by following these simple tips!

It has happened to all of us. You’re in the grocery store, and you hear a child having a tantrum. Perhaps it’s your kid on the floor screaming; because you didn’t agree to buy the Lego set that is so conveniently located right in the check-out line. Now you’re heading to Disney World, and you’ve heard it’s the “happiest place on earth.” Is it possible that this Disney magic you’ve heard so much about is going to prevent this from happening on vacation? What about yourself? Are you going to be able to handle the crowds and the chaos without losing your cool? Let’s hope all goes smoothly, but just in case, here are some tried-and-true Walt Disney World tips for avoiding meltdowns by the young and old alike.

  • Manage Expectations - We’ve all seen National Lampoon’s Vacation, right? Nothing will kill a vacation quicker than unrealistic expectations. Walt Disney World is enormous; about the same size as San Francisco. You wouldn’t expect to see everything a large city has to offer in a day or a week, so give yourself a break. Create a reasonable touring plan to follow, and then try to relax and enjoy each moment. When looking back on your vacation, it won’t be about how many attractions you experienced, but rather about the special memories that you made.

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Disney Adds Two New VIP Tours at Walt Disney World

by on July 1, 2014

Just one of the attractions you'll get to ride on “The Ultimate Day for Young Families - a VIP Tour Experience.”

Just one of the attractions you’ll get to ride on “The Ultimate Day for Young Families – a VIP Tour Experience.”

If you are someone who enjoys experiencing the ultimate indulgences while visiting the Walt Disney World Resort and would enjoy partaking in a special VIP tour, you are in luck! Disney is now offering two brand-new unique tours to choose from–one with the thrill-seeker in mind and one geared towards families with little ones.

The first is “The Ultimate Day for Young Families - a VIP Tour Experience.” This tour caters to families with children under 10 years of age and features family-friendly attractions.

The tour begins in the Magic Kingdom, where guests will get the chance to enjoy Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, it’s a small world, The Barnstormer, Tomorrowland Speedway, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. After a tour of the Magic Kingdom, guests will enjoy a table service lunch at a Disney resort. The tour will then continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where guests will enjoy Disney Junior – Live on Stage! and Toy Story Midway Mania! Finally, guests will head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where the tour concludes with Festival of the Lion King and Kilimanjaro Safaris.

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