Archive for February, 2014

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Official Premiere Date Announced

by on February 24, 2014

Disney Festival of Fantasy

©Disney

We can’t wait for this incredibly unique looking parade, and now we have an official premiere date! The new Magic Kingdom 3:00 p.m. parade is scheduled to debut on Sunday, March 9!

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is slated to bring beloved Disney and Pixar characters to life through innovative parade floats, a brand new original parade song, plus incredibly stunning costumes. Make sure to check out this post to see a peek at some of the costumes, as well as the floats! This parade will feature nearly 100 performers in all to bring the parade to life.

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade line-up is:

  • The Princess Garden – This float celebrates Disney royalty.
  • Tangled – Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure!
  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel and friends sit atop a seashell music box.
  • Peter Pan – Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy, soaring high on the Jolly Roger.
  • Brave – features a float shaped like an enormous bagpipe to announce the arrival of Merida.
  • Sleeping Beauty – The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent.
  • Finale and Mickey’s Airship – The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters.

Who’s excited that the new daytime parade will be ready to roll on Main Street, U.S.A., in less than two weeks?!

Trip Planning 101: How Long Should We Stay at Disney World?

by on February 24, 2014

With a vacation destination as vast as Walt Disney World, it’s possible to stay there for several weeks or longer, without repeating a single activity or attraction. But just because there’s plenty to do at the parks, that doesn’t mean you can, or should, stay to do it all in any one trip. With so many options available, how do you decide the length of your Walt Disney World vacation?

If you're traveling during the busy holiday season, you may need extra time to see everything.

If you’re traveling during the busy holiday season, you may need extra time to see everything.

There are several factors you might consider when planning the duration of your trip:

  • Amount of time available for travel
  • Budget allocation
  • Time of year of your visit
  • Age/Stamina of the members of your traveling party
  • Your frequency of travel to Walt Disney World
  • Number of “must do” attractions for your family
  • Distance from which you’re traveling
  • Interest in non-theme-park activities
  • Interest in time for relaxation
  • Interest in visiting other Central Florida attractions
  • Do you need time at home at either end of your trip to pack/unpack?

Let’s break these down individually …

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What’s Up With Walt Disney World’s Rapid Fill Mugs?

by on February 23, 2014

Walt Disney World’s refillable mug program has always been a strange beast to me. At the start of my vacation I always find myself standing in the resort food court in front of the refillable mugs asking, “Will I drink almost $20 worth of soda, only at my resort?” In 2013 Disney made this situation even more complicated with its new “Rapid Fill” system.

What is Disney’s Rapid Fill?

The Rapid Fill refillable mugs have replaced the old refillable mugs at all Walt Disney World resort hotels. Disney advertises the new program as more flexible, which is true, but it’s still expensive. The mugs are now equipped with an RFID chip. This chip tells the soda machine how many days you purchased, and the machine features a screen that displays information about when you are next able to refill your mug.

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Rapid Fill screen showing the wait time between refills. Photo courtesy of Donald Clarence

It still has unlimited refills, right?

Yes, but you will have to wait between refills. Thankfully that time is only a couple of minutes. A screen on the soda fountain will show you the exact amount of time until you can fill up your mug again. Some people have a problem with this, but I can’t imagine drinking 16 ounces of soda in less than 2 minutes. I do see this being a problem if you fill up and then find out the soda was flat, or if some other malfunction has occurred. Your option at that point is to wait the couple of minutes or find a Cast Member to help you out.

Which resorts sell Rapid Fill mugs?

Rapid Fill mugs are sold at all Walt Disney World resort quick service locations. The mugs are not sold at any any of the theme parks, nor can they be refilled in the parks.

How much does a Rapid Fill mug cost? 

Unlike the previous refillable mugs that had a flat rate cost for no matter how long you stayed, the new Rapid Fill mugs have variable pricing depending on how many days your vacation lasts.

Current Rapid Fill prices:

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Walt Disney World Ticket Prices Increase Breakdown

by on February 23, 2014

magicyourwayIt looks like Walt Disney World ticket prices increased overall. Yesterday, I mentioned how it looked like the single day tickets would increase, but it now appears that all Walt Disney World tickets have increased in price.

As previously mentioned, Disney increased the price of Magic Kingdom single day park tickets by $4 to $99, for those ages 10 and up. In continuing with a precedent set during the last ticket increase, park admission for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will continue to cost just a little less. At these three parks, single day tickets now cost $94 for ages 10 and up. That’s also a $4 increase.

Overall, Magic Your Way Base tickets have jumped about $15 per ticket.

It’s not just Magic Your Way tickets that have increased in price. Tickets have increased all around, with minor increases to Park Hoppers, as well as the Water Park Fun and More options – both of which increased in price by $1. The only exception is for those wanting to buy a 2 or 3 day park hopper admission, when in that case, the cost decreased by $10, to $49. Also, the Park Hopper & Water Park Fun & More combined ticket option increased by $2. Finally, the price of the No Expiration option has increased substantially.

This is how the new pricing is structured:

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Walt Disney World To Increase Ticket Prices On Sunday

by on February 22, 2014

MYW_Ticket_LogoFor the second time in less than a year, Walt Disney World is increasing the price of its single day tickets.

According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, on Sunday, February 22, Disney will increase the price of Magic Kingdom park tickets to just under the $100 mark: single day tickets for those ages 10 and up will cost $99. This is an increase of $4.

In continuing with a precedent set during the last ticket increase, park admission for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will cost just a little less. Single day tickets for those three parks will cost $94 for ages 10 and up. Again, an increase of $4.

As of right now, the ticket increase appears to only be for single day tickets. The most recent ticket price increase occurred in June 2013.

For a full listing of Disney ticket prices, go to www.disneyworld.com/tickets. And remember that our Price Comparison Tool can help you find the least expensive tickets for your needs (although you will not find much in the way of discounts on one-day tickets).

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons To Check Out Universal’s Mardi Gras 2014

by on February 22, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers Six Reasons To Check Out Universal’s Mardi Gras Grand Celebration. The Universal Orlando Resort knows how to throw a party and Mardi Gras is their wildest celebration of the year. Universal’s Mardi Gras brings in big name musical acts, authentic New Orleans food, and a party atmosphere like no other and on top of it all the price is included in the price of regular admission.  If you need more reasons than that to attend, here are an additional six.

Please remember to click on any picture to see the full size version.

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Daughtry (photo courtesy of Chad Evetts)

# 6 – The Concerts

The music acts that Universal books for the Mardi Gras Grand Celebration are second-to-none in the theme park concert world.  While the Epcot Flower Power series of concerts will be featuring acts like Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Village People and Chubby Checker – people  you may have literally heard a thousand times before – this year’s Mardi Gras concert lineup includes a mix of classic and contemporary artists. Daughtry, Barenaked Ladies, Weezer and The Roots are just a few of the musical acts that will be headlining this year’s event. There’s also country stars like Gavin Degraw, classic rock groups like Foreigner and Lynyrd Skynryd, and even a Christian rock band with Skillet. Whether it’s Nelly, Collective Soul, or Huey Lewis and the News, you can pretty much count on Universal delivering an act you want to see perform.

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Robin Thicke cancels Saturday’s concert at Universal’s Mardi Gras Celebration

by on February 21, 2014

MardiGrasLogoThe Universal Orlando Resort is reporting that pop singer Robin Thicke has canceled his scheduled performance at Universal’s Mardi Gras on Saturday, February 22nd but has agreed to reschedule for a future date. The Mardi Gras grand celebration on Saturday will continue as scheduled at Universal Studios Florida with Mardi Gras themed food (including beignets and the King Cake) available in the French Quarter Courtyard, a performance by an authentic New Orleans band, and the must-see parade.

 “I never want to let down my fans but I have unfortunately lost my voice and cannot perform tomorrow night. I have been looking forward to going to Universal Studios in Orlando, and am very sorry that my concert there tomorrow now has to be canceled. I apologize to everyone.” – Robin Thicke

Thicke, known for the popular song Blurred Lines, also canceled a performance in Atlanta that was scheduled for tonight. It is unknown at this time whether or not Thicke will return during this year’s Mardi Gras event as the rest of the dates are already booked up with music acts including Weezer, Nelly, and Huey Lewis and the News.

Concerts on the main stage will continue on Saturday, March 1st at Universal with Collective Soul being the featured act.

CLICK HERE for Seth Kubersky’s Complete Guide to Universal’s Mardi Gras 2014 and be sure to check back tomorrow as the SATURDAY SIX will also be covering the event.

 

 

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of February 21, 2014

by on February 21, 2014

In Case You Missed It!

Hi friends! We made it the the end of yet another week! While you were busy toiling away, I was finding this week’s best Disney news! What did I find? Read to find out!

In Case You Missed It – Disney News and Rumors

Did you ever wonder what happens to some of the food and liquid waste from Walt Disney World? It turns out, we’re riding Space Mountain and Soarin’ because of it! In this interesting article that was published in the Orlando Sentinel,, they share that one plant is taking Disney’s waste and turning it into electricity. Well, I can say that certainly learned something today!

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Get Your St. Patrick’s Day On at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World

by on February 21, 2014

We are less than one month away from St. Patrick’s Day, and Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World is getting ready to celebrate it up big! The full celebration will take place from March 7 – 17, with the main focus obviously being on the weekend of March 15 – 17.

The main celebration will take place at Raglan Road, the Irish pub and restaurant found in the Pleasure Island section of Downtown Disney. The dining establishment invites guests to take part in the “Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival.” Here, guests will be able to enjoy live bands, partake in Irish dancing known as Céilí, get their face painted, and more!

Highlights of the celebrations at Raglan Road will include:

 

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Star Wars Weekends Adds Fifth Weekend and Additional News

by on February 21, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Star Wars Weekends is a fantastic event for the Star Wars lover in your family and this year, you will have FIVE chances to experience the power of the Dark Side. That’s right. Just announced on the Disney Parks Blog today, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be home to an additional weekend of Star Wars fun. (The previous weekends had been announced in December.) Star Wars Weekends (all are Friday through Sunday) for 2014 are:

  • May 16 – 18
  • May 23 – 25
  • May 30 – June 1
  • June 6 – 8
  • New – June 13 – 15

During Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios, guests can take part in special meet-and-greet opportunities with Star Wars celebrities, meet with characters who were in the film (like Princess Leia and Darth Vader), take in special presentations, enjoy a special parade, and purchase one of a kind merchandise.

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