Archive for November, 2009

WDW Today Episode 650 – Amber’s Show

by on November 30, 2009

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Episode 650 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Rating the Crowd Calendar, November 2009

by on November 30, 2009

Our Crowd Calendar predicted crowd levels of 8 at the Magic Kingdom during the week including Thanksgiving. Thanks to our crack research squad and our trusty users of our mobile application Lines we are now able to look back and see how we did. Historically, based on our current model, our estimates are accurate within 8 minutes, 95% of the time.

Crowd Calendar Nov. 21 - 28

Crowd Calendar Nov. 21 - 28

We see on the chart from November 21 – November 28 that the estimates were pretty close with a couple of exceptions. Crowds in general were heavier than we predicted. This was partly due to the re-opening of Space Mountain.

Space Mountain re-opened on November 24th but did so with a sporadic schedule. When an attraction closes down many times during the day, the wait times tend to spike each time the attraction comes back online. The third column shows an adjustment for the spikes observed at Space Mountain. Even with the adjustment our estimates were too low.

We often get asked about what the crowd level index means in terms of crowd experience. “What does an 8 feel like?” If you were in the parks during Thanksgiving week, let us know how the size of the crowd affected your park experience.

Our Crowd Calendar is always adjusting to the data we observe and we realize that like any predictive model it is subject to error. Still, we’re always curious how our readers use the calendar when planning their trips.

In the parks and want to know what’s going on? Try out Lines, current and future wait time estimates for every WDW attraction.

Oldest Unofficial Guide… The Twitter Contest

by on November 28, 2009

Home over Thanksgiving, I happened upon my 1999 Mini Mickey Unofficial Guide and tweeted it out on Later, I found my 1996 Unofficial Guide (which is near dissolution). Then came the idea: let’s hold an Oldest Unofficial Guide twitter contest!

The entries were fantastic! Honorable mentions include an original first edition 1985 (pictured above) from @WDWAnswerGuide (which he kindly removed from contention as it was only recently acquired), a one-of-a-kind 1896 edition from @Narniaexpert, and a landscape view of some first editions in @otisney’s famous library (we caught Scott on vacation!).

But there can only be one winner in this competition, and yet somehow tonight there will be three. First up, a random draw: @danhuntley and his impressively well-intact 1995 edition!

And for the winners… drum roll please… @disneyshawn and @mainstgazette for their 1989 Unofficial Guide to WDW entries! Also, these two fine entrants also happen to run fantastic blogs themselves, so go check out DisneyShawn’s blog and the Main St. Gazette. Thanks so much for playing, everyone!

What’s your oldest Unofficial Guide? Snap a photo of it, upload it, and share it here in the comments.

WDW Today Episode 649 – Recent Rehabs

by on November 27, 2009

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Episode 649 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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New Magic Kingdom Touring Plan For Families With Younger And Older Children

by on November 26, 2009

We’ve got a lot of requests lately for touring plans for parents with both younger and older children, with the older kids able to experience thrill rides such as Space Mountain if accompanied by an adult.  For example, a family with children ages 3, 5, 9 and 11 might be included in this category.

We’ve created a new one-day touring plan of the Magic Kingdom that accommodates these kinds of requests. It includes thrill rides such as Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, and provides details on how to use the “Child Swap” (a.k.a., “Baby Swap” or “switching off”) technique to only wait in line once per group.

Comments and feedback on this plan is welcome. And if you can think of a better name for it, let us know.

One-Day Magic Kingdom Touring Plan for Parents of Pre-Teens

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Touring Plans Updated

by on November 25, 2009

DSC_0208Last week we updated our MVMCP touring plans for 2009’s schedule.  Look for them in the “Miscellaneous” section of the Magic Kingdom’s touring plans.   That page also contains a scanned image of the new 2009 MVMCP park maps.

The touring plans include options for focusing on attractions, and for focusing on events specific to the Party, such as the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show.  Plans for adults and for parents with small children are provided.

WDW Today Episode 648 – Listener Questions

by on November 25, 2009

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Episode 648 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Bathroom Blog IV: Animal Kingdom

by on November 24, 2009

This is the fourth installment of reviews of the restrooms throughout the Disney World theme parks.  If you have missed any of the previous entries please find them here: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Since Animal Kingdom is the newest of the parks, I think Imagineers rethought the bathroom situation (although I could be totally off base).  They seem to be bigger at this park and on a crowded day that’s quite a relief.  My one gripe with the bathrooms here is that none of them have paper towels.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing what we can to conserve resources, but I hate walking out of the lady’s room with damp hands.  Not to mention the hand dryers sound like a rocket taking off in a confined space.  Anyway, let’s get to the main event; on with my favorite bathrooms around Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

Favorites: Asia near Expedition Everest.  I always think it’s a good idea to stop in this one on the way to Everest.  Although it is close to one of the most popular attractions at this park, I’ve never had to wait long to use the facilities.

Dinoland near Primeval Whirl: This one is large and I’ve never had a cleanliness issue here.  Its easy to make a pit stop after exiting Dinosaur before moving onto the next attraction.  The size of this lavatory accommodates the crowds even on a hectic day

Near the Theater in the Wild:  Close to the exits after Finding Nemo the Musical, this gem is tucked away from the beaten path between shows.  It may be hopping after a performance lets out, but otherwise its a quiet get away.

Not so Favorites:

Africa across from Tusker House: This one is always busy with people coming and going from their two week safari.  I usually want to use this one before getting in the Kilimanjaro queue and it’s always a pain to wait in line and then find a clean stall.

So it seems I like the bathrooms at the Animal Kingdom since I don’t have many to complain about!  I hope you enjoy the bathrooms at this park as much as I do!  So what are your thoughts on the Animal Kingdom bathrooms?  Do you have any you really like or really hate?

Next week I’ll discuss some of the holiday offerings in the parks and which ones I plan to hit on my upcoming trip…

WDW Today Episode 647 – Park Icons

by on November 23, 2009

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Episode 647 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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WDW Today Episode 646 – Getting Less For More

by on November 20, 2009

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Episode 646 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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