Posts Tagged ‘walt disney world’

Character Spotting at the Magic Kingdom

by on October 4, 2014

IMG_5751Recently the brilliant Adam Britten took us on a walking tour of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to determine what characters you can see in those parks. About three seconds after the first article was published, I asked if I could steal the idea for our parks! So here we go character spotting at the Magic Kingdom, but before we get started there are a few important things to remember. The characters available in the parks and their greeting locations are subject to change. While things have been pretty steady recently, it’s always a good idea to check your times guide or My Magic Experience App for the most accurate information. However, this will give you an idea of who you can expect to see. Also, if you see a (FP) beside a character, that means that FastPass+ is available for that greeting. With that out of the way, let’s get started!

Adventureland:

Peter Pan - While lately I’ve seen Peter greeting just outside of Adventureland I’m still counting him as part of this land. You can’t miss him if you enter Adventureland from the Hub. Edit: Stopped by 10/5 and hub construction has moved this meet and greet. You can now find Peter just as you cross the bridge into Adventureland on the right. The past few times I’ve also seen him greeting with Wendy Darling, so you might just get lucky and get to see them both! :) You can normally find Peter out in the afternoon. Since he just meets near a planter, his line isn’t normally more than 20 minutes.

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Walt Disney World Monorail Schedule Changes Again

by on September 29, 2014

The Walt Disney World Resort once again has an updated monorail schedule. All three monorail loops are being impacted. The updated schedule is as follows:

  • Magic Kingdom Resort Beam – 7:00 a.m. to one hour after the park closes
  • Magic Kingdom Express Beam – 8:30 a.m. to 1 hour after the park closes
  • Epcot Beam – 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or 1 hour after Magic Kingdom closes, whichever is earlier

During times when the monorail will not be running, additional watercraft and buses will be available to transport guests.

As a reminder, the Walt Disney World Resort monorails are currently undergoing an update where they are adding an automated operating system. The schedule began changing at the beginning of the summer and was updated again at the beginning of September.

This current schedule is in effect until further notice.

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Epcot DiveQuest and Epcot Seas Aqua Tour Review

by on September 28, 2014

Photo Credit - Disney

Photo Credit – Disney

My husband’s aunt and uncle are huge Disney fans. Not only have they made countless trips to the Disney parks, they have been on several in-park tours as well. While chatting with Uncle Keith, he told me all about his experiences with both the Epcot DiveQuest and Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, and I thought I would share his adventures with all of you. If you’d like to read a review of the Dolphins in Depth tour, click here.

Let’s dive right in!

DiveQuest is a three hour experience giving you the opportunity to scuba dive in a 5.7 million gallon tank with over 6,000 sea creatures. In order to take part in this experience, you must be 10 years or older and be SCUBA-certified. (If there are actually any scuba-certified 10-year-olds out there, I applaud you.) To make reservations, call 407-939-8687. The cost is $175.

Keith was told to show up at the main entrance of Epcot about 15 minutes beforehand. The only things he was asked to bring were his swimsuit and scuba-certification card. After arriving at the Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, he was brought backstage to a classroom. Here, Cast Members summarized the entire program, told everyone what was going to happen, and noted how long everything would take.

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Best Video Games To Play Before Your Next Disney Vacation

by on September 26, 2014

Disney Infinity

Waiting for your next Disney vacation can be grueling. Especially when you get closer to the big day, it becomes almost impossible to focus on anything that isn’t magical and amazing and oh come on why isn’t it here yet? Utterly unbearable anticipation aside, I love the time right before a Disney vacation because it’s usually when I go back and revisit some of my favorite Disney things to remind me of the fun I’m about to have. If you’re reading this site, I’m sure this isn’t a novel concept to you. People watch classic Disney films, research any and all new additions to the parks and do countless other activities in preparation for their vacation. For me, I love to play certain video games that remind me of the Most Magical Place on Earth. For those of you that have the same passion for games, there are several that you can play that evoke the same mood and joy found within the Disney Parks. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite video games that you should try if you’re looking to get excited for your next Disney vacation.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 9/25/14

by on September 25, 2014

Who’s ready for more news? I’m back with more for you today! Here we go:

  • There has been a change to the Disney Gift Card Program. New Disney gift cards can now only be activated with a minimum amount of $15. (The previous minimum amount you could load on a new card was $5.) Guests who are re-loading a gift card may still do so with a minimum of $5.
  • The FastPass+ kiosks outside of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at the Magic Kingdom are officially closed. Guests looking to book a FastPass+ reservation will now be directed to the FastPass+ kiosk location near Stitch’s Great Escape.
  • The rules for visiting Walt Disney World have been updated. The biggest change seems to focus on those who are e-cigarette smokers, who are now asked to smoke in designated smoking areas.
  • For those of you who read my previous article about Tower of Terror getting on-ride videos, you’ll have noticed that I mentioned that it was likely just the beginning. It turns out that I was completely right, as it another attraction has already received the on-ride video treatment. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the next attraction that will capture your ride experience while you are on the attraction. Much like the Tower of Terror ride video, when you ride the attraction with a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker, you will have your photo and video automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account. Here is the sample video giving you a peek at what to expect.

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‘Wearable’ Halloween Costumes: The Royals

by on September 23, 2014

And we’ll never be roooooyalllls….oh! Hello! Welcome back to another edition of my wearable costume series. I hope some of you found my ideas for Mickey and Minnie Mouse helpful. In case you’re just tuning in, it’s my mission to make your Halloween costumes not only affordable, but comfortable! (Side bar: I sound like an infomercial ad. Think I have a future on TV? Don’t answer that…)

Photo - Angela Dahlgren

Little Cinderelli looking for her mouse friends.

Next up is my take on Rapunzel, Cinderella and Prince Eric.

Babies and Toddlers

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Disney apparel can be found everywhere. This Cinderella costume is essentially a baby girl onesie with a tutu on it. I found it at Target for less than ten dollars. If you don’t have a matching headband, you can always do what my parents did: Tape a bow to her head. They would take a small bow, attach it to a piece of scotch tape, and place it on my head…thanks parents. My mom claims it would just fall off at the end of the day without any pulling or pain. On second thought, just look for a headband.

Kids: Boys

There are so many different ways to dress like a Prince. Amongst all these interpretations, a crown and sword seem to be common props. If your little one has a shirt and tie, see if you can convince him to put it on. Hint: Offering a fruit snack or piece of candy may just do the trick. Now, I don’t condone fast food but if you have a burger king, stop by and grab one of their crowns. It would be a really cheap way to get your hands on one. For the sash, head to a craft store and see if they have ribbon 3-4 inches wide. Cut it to size, drape it across his shoulder to his hip and safety pin the ends together. Slick his hair in a nice side part and hand him a sword. Extra points if you find a cape to complete the costume. Voila, your debonair guy will be fighting dragons and meeting his one true love in no time!

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DisneyQuest: Five Floors Of Fun!

by on September 20, 2014

IMG_3420Recently, I was asked to upgrade my Disney pass to help out with some extra stuff here at Touring Plans. I hadn’t bothered with a premium annual in years since it just meant access to DisneyQuest and the water parks. I’d remembered DisneyQuest as a let down with lots of broken machines and outdated technology. It was a couple months after upgrading that I decided to finally stop in and see if anything had changed. I don’t know if it was just because of the time that had passed or due to recent changes, but I had a great time and wondered why I’d written the place off so many years ago. So with a fresh perspective I thought I’d share what you can expect from the five floors of fun at DisneyQuest!

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Why You Should Choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour

by on September 12, 2014

For those of us looking to learn more about the Disney magic, or for a whole new way to experience the parks, Disney offers a variety of tours to enjoy. For example, there’s Epcot’s Behind the Seeds Tour, Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek, and the big favorite, Backstage Magic, where you enjoy a backstage look of all four parks! However, my personal favorite tour has to be the Magic Kingdom‘s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, a five hour behind-the-scenes peek of the most magical park of them all; and for anyone looking to splurge on a tour, it’s my top pick. Why? Read on to see why you should choose the Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour - A Glass Slipper Vacation

Earpiece guests use during the tour in order to hear even in crowded places

1. Utilidors

So this is one of the Keys to the Kingdom’s biggest draws, so I’m starting with it! Yes, the Keys to the Kingdom Tour allows you the opportunity to check out the legendary Utilidors, the Magic Kingdom’s tunnels that run underneath the park. Now before your imagination runs off, let me be clear. These tunnels are not something you would see in an Indiana Jones film. These tunnels are technically the first floor of the park, as the Magic Kingdom is actually built on the second level; and these tunnels are where offices and utilities are located, as well as wardrobe for Cast Members. Also, the purpose of the Utilidors is to allow Cast Members to get from one side of the park to the other without breaking theme. You see, Disney is all about the details and putting on a show, and having a Cast Member dressed in Liberty Square garb wouldn’t look right in Tomorrowland, would it? Also, you should know that you only get to see a small portion of the Utilidors during the tour; but even so, it’s still awesome! Also during the tour, you will get a chance to venture backstage to see some park attractions and buildings from behind the scenes. During my tour, my guide took our group to see the warehouse where they store the parade floats. It was just as memorable as the Utilidors!

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Don’t Sweat It: Tips for Flattering Photos in WDW

by on September 12, 2014

We all love going to Walt Disney World for special time with our loved ones, premium customer service, and classic Disney attractions. All of these experiences culminate in lifelong memories, and there is no better way to keep those memories alive than with a simple photo or video. And Disney makes it look so easy! We’ve all seen the commercials of the perfect family, Mom, Dad, and 2.5 kids joyfully skipping along Main Street with photo-shop perfected smiles and iconic Mickey balloon in tow. Disney even tries to help facilitate making this a reality for your family with PhotoPass photographers around every corner and plenty of little “Kodak” photo signs to let you know when you might stumble across the perfect photo opportunity.

©Disney

©Disney

But I imagine many of fellow Disney travelers end up with same anticlimactic photo-viewing experience that I have.  Somehow, meticulously coifed hair ends up in a sweaty ponytail, cherub-cheeked, smiling tots are actually red-faced and bleared-eyed, outfits you spent weeks planning, designing and coordinating are disheveled, sweat/water-spotted, and perhaps even stained from that early character breakfast. Even the PhotoPass pictures are lackluster. No matter how fancy camera technology gets, they capture the Castle and atmosphere almost magically, but somehow, it also captures your humidity-frizzed hair and that annoyed look from your teen who can’t believe you made him stop for another picture.

In effort to help us all have vacation pictures we want to display in our homes, offices and on social media, here are some tips that can help you and your family have that nearly perfect “Kodak moment”.

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Apple Pay to be Utilized at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

by on September 9, 2014

Did you happen to catch Apple’s announcements today? Whether you caught them live or relived the event through social media like I did, it seems like Apple is introducing a great line of new products. Now I know you’re asking….Rikki…what does this have to do with Disney? Well, I’m getting there.

You see, today Apple released information about a brand new payment system called “Apple Pay.” Apple Pay will allow people to use their phones to pay for things; payments take place with just a single touch, with no need to open an app. You’ll simply swipe your phone (which of course, has been linked with a credit card) and place your finger on the Touch ID sensor. Once you hear the beep, you’re good!

Again…where am I going with this?

Well, Apple let us know that Disney will be one of the companies that will accept this new form of payment. The system will begin its roll out in October, and guests who own an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus will be able to utilize this new technology at Walt Disney World, as well as at Disney Stores. This new app will be useful when paying for food and merchandise and should be fully available by Christmas.

For those who missed the announcement made this afternoon, you can find out more about Apple Pay and see what the excitement is all about.

 

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