Posts Tagged ‘walt disney world’

More Shops Open at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

by on April 30, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Downtown Disney is seeing more changes, as a few additional shops have opened officially today.

The first is the Super Hero Headquarters, which is themed around your favorite Marvel characters. Guests experience a high tech shop, with tons of great Marvel merchandise including clothing, prints, collectibles, toys, and more. If you are a fan of anything Marvel, this is the place you want to check out. The Super Hero Headquarters is located on the West Side where the United World Soccer Shop previously was. (The Shop is still selling soccer merchandise at a kiosk over by Cirque du Soleil, for those who are curious.)

The second is a jewelry store called Erwin Pearl. It offers high-quality fashion jewelry including earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, and watches. The Downtown Disney location carries the fully array of options. Erwin Pearl has been making fashion pieces since 1954 and is an expansive line of affordable luxury jewelry made from the finest materials. The shop is located in The Landing.

Two other stores are expected to also open at The Landing soon. They are Vivoli Gelateria, which will offer specialty gelato, espresso, and paninis, and Joffrey’s Tea, which will offer hot and cold teas, packaged teas, plus accessories. There has been no announcement as to when these locations will officially open.

With continual changes occurring at Downtown Disney, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any updates!

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What’s In My Diaper Bag: Disney Parks Edition + Video

by on April 24, 2015

Photo - Angela DahlgrenAs you saw in my Packing Tips for a Day at Walt Disney World article, I am a pack rat. In fact, a few readers wondered if I actually bring all this stuff with me to the parks. The answer…is yes.

Yes, I have a big back pack.

Yes, it is very heavy.

So with that, it only seemed natural to share what I bring in my diaper bag for a day at the parks!

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Disneyland or Disney World – What’s the Difference? Part 3

by on April 23, 2015

Disneyland or Disney WorldDisneyland or Disney World? Welcome back to our four part series, where we will continue to debate this very question. In case you missed it, in part one we took a look at some of the key differences between Disneyland and Disney World in the areas of size and scope, atmosphere, and weather. In part two, we examined the topics of crowds, pricing, and hotels. In part three, let’s continue our side-by-side comparison of Disneyland and Disney World by discussing planning, transportation, and the theme parks.

Planning

 

Disneyland Resort Planning

Planning a trip to Disneyland is a fairly straightforward process. Let’s look at a basic timeline.

  • 12 months or more in advance: This is the time to research where you would like to stay and book a hotel reservation or vacation package.
  • 11 months or less in advance: If you are going to be flying to Disneyland, this is the time to start checking flights and booking one as soon as you find a great deal. Once your flight is reserved, you can book a rental car or make reservations for airport transportation. If you will be driving to Disneyland, this is the time to plan your route and make any hotel reservations that you will need for your journey to and from the resort.
  • 3 months in advance: At this point, it is time to start researching restaurants and tours that interest you and make a list of reservations that you would like to book.
  • 60 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking dining reservations. Character Dining, Blue Bayou, and Napa Rose tend to fill up quickly and should be booked as soon as possible. If you did not reserve a vacation package that includes admissions and you plan to purchase your tickets in advance, this is a perfect time in order to allow for shipping. Purchasing admissions early is not a necessity in Disneyland, but it will save you a little bit of time once you arrive.
  • 30 days in advance (exactly): This is the day you may begin booking any tours that you would like to try.
  • 2 weeks in advance: This is a great time to research the attractions offered at Disneyland and California Adventure, make a list of what you would like to experience, and create your personalized touring plans. Also take a few moments to put together a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • 1 week in advance: It’s now time to confirm all of your reservations, print your travel documents, and pack.

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Disney It Yourself: Park Map Coasters

by on April 15, 2015

Photo - Angela Dahlgren Photo - Angela Dahlgren

Today, I have an easy and affordable Disney DIY to share with you all: Disney map coasters!

Pull out those park maps (I know you grabbed one of each as a souvenir. I do the same thing everything time I visit Walt Disney World.), and let’s get crafting!

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Ultimate Water Park Showdown: Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon

by on April 14, 2015

The iconic Summit Plummet on Mount Gushmore with the sun rising on the horizon

© Disney

With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning for a trip to one of the Walt Disney World water parks. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are both awesome, but Disney fans still love to endlessly debate which is better. No matter where you fall in the debate, I think both parks have their strengths and weaknesses. If you’ve never been to either and want to know which water park is for you, you’re in the right place. I’ll break down the parks into categories and pick which park is better in each category to help you better determine where you should go. Maybe you like fast slides or maybe you just want to float in the lazy river all day. Either way, you’ll hopefully have a better idea of which park is for you after reading.

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Off-site Options – Things to Maximize Your Disney World Vacation when Staying Offiste

by on April 7, 2015

Staying off-site when visiting Walt Disney World definitely has advantages (e.g., lower cost, larger rooms, enhanced luxury, etc…), but it also leaves you at the mercy of external forces that can be difficult to control. In my time staying off-site I’ve started to identify the things that help me wrangle those external forces (the most nefarious of which is, of course, traffic).

Ram Mount

Ram X-Mount – © John Kivus, 2014

In this article, I’ll provide you with four Must Have items when staying off-site, as well as some additional Nice to Have things, that will help you make the most of your Walt Disney World vacation.

 

MUST HAVES

If you are staying off-site during your Walt Disney World visit, you definitely want the following:

MUST HAVE #1 – Car

The thought of not having to worry about providing your own transportation while on vacation is probably appealing to some. After all, why worry about the hassle of navigating Orlando, parking, finding gas stations, etc… when you can simply take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service offered by local hotels?

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Selfie Sticks Not Allowed on Disney Attractions

by on April 7, 2015

You’ve seen them everywhere…the prolific elongated rod where people attach a camera or a phone to a clamp to help them take a selfie. Ah…the good old selfie stick. Many have strong opinions either loving them or hating them. So,  while the rule has always been in place that all personal items need to be stored prior to riding an attraction, it would seem, that with the number of these sticks you now see in the parks, that guests would need a reminder.

As the announcements go when boarding attractions, guests are to keep their hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the attraction vehicles at all time; this includes selfie sticks. (Or really anything that would stick up out of the moving attraction vehicle.)  All guests’ personal belongings are to be properly stored when onboard an attraction, tram, or other moving vehicle. If a Cast Member sees a selfie stick while boarding an attraction, the guest will be asked to put it away.

On another note, if you are in a congested area, you should also consider refraining from utilizing your selfie stick.

Keep in mind, this is not a full on ban of selfie sticks at Walt Disney World or Disneyland; the best tip is to just be mindful of the guests around you.

While I am clearly going to be opening a can of worms asking this question: what are your thoughts on selfie sticks?

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 4/3/15

by on April 3, 2015

It’s the weekend before Easter and one of the busiest times of the year for Walt Disney World, so you knew I would have some little things that would help to make your trip more successful, plus a few other things thrown in to share with you! Are you ready to find out the latest in Newsworthy Notes? Ok!  Let’s go!

  • A couple of special dining options are open in the Magic Kingdom during this extremely busy week.  The first is Aunt Polly’s on Tom Sawyer Island. (Wait…say what?! Aunt Polly’s is offering food again?!) Yep, the snack spot is offering both turkey sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly Uncrustables. In addition, you can pick up a few different kinds of lemonade. While it isn’t much, it is nice to see this kiosk open again.
  • Also open temporarily is The Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square. The restaurant is offering quick service lunch offerings. Items include Barbecued Turkey Sandwich, Hand-carved Pork Brisket Sandwich, Portobello Sandwich, Hand-carved Turkey Sandwich, and Tuna Salad with Croissant. The cost is $9.49 for each meal. Lunch is offered from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Dinner will be a table service meal that’s pretty much identical to what you’d get at Liberty Tree Tavern. Menu items include Roasted Turkey Breast, Carved Beef, and Sliced Pork with Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Herb Bread Stuffing, and Macaroni & Cheese. Desert will include White Cake filled with Apples and Craisins Dried Cranberries, topped with Ice Cream. Dinner costs $34.07 for adults (ages 10 and up), and $17.03 (ages 3-9). Both The Diamond Horseshoe and Aunt Polly’s will be open until April 11.
  • Parking is being restricted at select resorts during the busy week. Until April 11, only guests with a dining or recreation reservation or guests staying at the resort may park at these resorts.  The resorts are:

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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Soft Opening Photos and Video

by on March 31, 2015

Trader Sam's soft opening

Mystery, adventure, and lots of rum await at the Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto soft opening. (Photos and video by Seth Kubersky)

It took a couple days longer than originally expected, but WDW’s hotly anticipated Trader’s Sam Grog Grotto soft opening finally began on Saturday, March 28th. Of course, we were on hand when the new watering hole’s doors opened for the first time, in order to bring you these photos and video (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it). So grab a bottle of rum and take a virtual visit to the Polynesian Village Resort‘s trendy tiki bar, minus the long line or hangover.

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar in the Disneyland Hotel has a loyal following, and its east coast cousin looks to be a hit right out of the box, based on the crowds attending the Grog Grotto’s initial days of operation. For the first day of soft opening, some guests got in line 5 hours early, and by an hour before the 4 p.m. scheduled opening there were already well over 100 people waiting.

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Lessons from My 1st runDisney Event

by on March 30, 2015

runDisney Expo

Your runDisney Experience begins at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, where you’ll find everything you need to prepare at Expo!

Committing to run your first big race is a bit overwhelming, particularly when it’s a runDisney event. There are a lot of things you don’t know as a novice, things that a more experienced runner might not even think about. If you’re thinking about registering for a runDisney event – particularly a future Princess Half Marathon – here are some things I learned from my first Glass Slipper Challenge.

Find Your Perfect Fit

While runDisney offers a lot of special opportunities, not every event is right for you. It’s not always easy to find extensive information, and even consulting other runners may not give you a clear picture of what to expect.

Running challenges – like the Glass Slipper Challenge – look like great fun when you’re signing up months in advance, but don’t forget that you’ll actually have to RUN those races eventually, and running for consecutive days can take a big toll on your body. You still want to enjoy your race AND your vacation, so be confident, but also realistic before you decide to be Dopey. There’s always next year!

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