Archive for January, 2015

Pressed Pennies: A Beginner’s Guide

by on January 28, 2015

When my husband, daughter, and I moved near Walt Disney World, we made a promise to ourselves that we wouldn’t go crazy buying souvenirs and merchandise so that our house didn’t become its own off-site Disney outlet. At the same time, we do enjoy the idea of collecting items. For us, pressed pennies (and dimes and quarters) were a great option.

Even at $1.25 for a pressed quarter, it still is a bargain souvenir. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Even at $1.25 for a pressed quarter, it still is a bargain souvenir. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Here are some of the reasons we love collecting pressed pennies:

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Early Details about 2015 Night of Joy at the Magic Kingdom

by on January 27, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Night of Joy is a hard-ticketed event that takes place in the Fall where contemporary Christian artists visit and perform at the Magic Kingdom. This year the event is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 11, and Saturday, September 12.

Today, a list of artists was released on the Disney Parks Blog that Guests who attend the event can look forward to seeing. They include:

Friday, September 11  ­

  • TobyMac
  • MercyMe
  • Jeremy Camp
  • Colton Dixon
  • Big Daddy Weave
  • Francesca Battistelli
  • Rend Collective
  • I Am They
  • Veridia

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Walt Disney World Monorails Will See Temporary Modified Routes in February and March

by on January 27, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

For those of you unaware, the Walt Disney World monorail is currently undergoing enhancements where they are updating the infrastructure of the system, in an attempt to make the process automated. With this enhancement process, the monorail schedules have been changing periodically over the past year. It appears that on select dates in February and March, the monorails will be running a modified way, yet again.

The monorails on the Resort and Express beams will see different stops on select dates which include: February 3-5, February 9-12, February 23-26 and March 2-5 and these updated routes will occur from from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

On these dates, the Magic Kingdom Resort Beam will have trains travel only between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Magic Kingdom.  (The Resort loop will not stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Transportation and Ticket Center.)  Over on the Express Beam, the trains will stop at the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the Transportation and Ticket Center.  (The stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is new on these specific dates.)

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The Disney World Crowd Calendar for February 2015

by on January 27, 2015

If you want to avoid crowds at Disney World in February 2015 you need only to look at the dates surrounding Presidents Day (February 16), Mardi Gras (February 17) and the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February 19-22). That’s right – all three events happen in the same week, which is a recipe for crowded parks and long lines. The last time Mardi Gras and Presidents Day were in the same week was 2012. Posted wait times at Soarin’ hit a high of 200 minutes and regularly hovered around 140.

Having these events into a single week has a silver lining of course, since it leaves the rest of February untouched by holidays and special events. The long term trend has been to see wait times higher than in the past over the same season and we expect that to continue in February. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how Disney crowds will ebb and flow this February.

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EVERYTHING Princess at Walt Disney World

by on January 27, 2015

When my three daughters were younger, we went through a several year period when we lived in the world of princesses. Every day was a full-on immersion in all things regal, from tiaras and teatime to proclamations and petticoats. If a princesses had it in her life, we had it in ours.

Anna & Elsa in the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show.

Anna & Elsa in the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show.

Of course, there’s really no better place to get your princess on that at Walt Disney World. If you’ve got a young royal in your family, here’s what you need to know to find EVERYTHING princess at the parks.

Oh, and just so we’re all on the same royal page, I’m discussing here the official Disney princess canon: Ariel, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Merida, Mulan, Pocahantas, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Tiana, plus the presumptive ascendants to the throne, Anna & Elsa.

MEETING PRINCESSES at Meet & Greet locations

Character Meet & Greets come in two forms: regularly scheduled and impromptu.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – January 18 to 24, 2015

by on January 27, 2015

Our predictions did remarkably well last week, matching what we saw on Sunday through Martin Luther King Jr. Day and into the rest of the week. Sunday’s crowd was a little higher than expected but the dropoff in crowd after the holiday Monday happened exactly as our Crowd Calendar predicted. The closure of Condor Flats continues to increase wait times at some other Disney California Adventure attractions but the effect seems true on weekends only. Saturday saw a park level ‘7’ at that park, our only miss of the week by more than two levels (we predicted ‘4’).

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Calendar Report – January 18 to 24, 2015

by on January 27, 2015

As you can see from the graph (right), our Crowd Calendar predictions did very well at Universal Orlando resort last week, missing on two days only and by only one level. Crowds were busiest on the Sunday and Monday as guests flocked to the resort to take advantage of Martin Luther King Jr Day. Then, wait times dropped off significantly and suddenly on Tuesday where they remained low for most of the week.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – January 18 to 24, 2015

by on January 27, 2015

Last week the Disney World Crowd Calendar did about as well as possible with its predictions. Park level estimates matched what we saw on four out of seven days and when we missed, it was only by one level. Crowds were busiest on Sunday and Monday during the long weekend (Martin Luther King Jr Day) then quickly faded to below average levels on Tuesday through Saturday.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Some Disney Springs Shop Tenants Revealed

by on January 26, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

According to The Orlando Sentinel, we have an official listing of some of the new stores that will take up residence of The Landing section of Disney Springs. They include:

  • APEX by Sunglass Hut – Sells high end sunglasses with a focus on sports. These are the perfect sunglasses to wear when getting out there, being active.
  • Art of Shaving – A high-end shaving products store, including aromatherapy-based grooming products and elegant shaving instruments. This brand is concerned with getting you that “perfect shave.”
  • Chapel Hats – Offers hats and headwear that are perfect for a night on the town or maybe even that special event. They don’t offer your traditional baseball cap, instead they sell headwear like fedoras, Panama hats, pork pies, and even top hats. They also offer a selection of beautiful hats for women, such as derby hats, floppy hats, and more.

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Non-Disney Pizza delivered to your Resort

by on January 26, 2015

Early last year as we rested in our Disney resort room one evening, I became quite startled as something came flying under our door into the room. This told me two things: 1) I would spend the rest of the vacation wondering what else was going to come under the door. 2) There were unauthorized solicitors of some sort on the floor of my building.

Classic Chicago Style © Uno

Classic Chicago Style © Uno

We quickly rose and looked out the window to see who the culprit was, but they were long gone. I suspect they were moving fast so Disney security would not detect them on property. We then investigated what had been thrust into the room. It turned out to be a flyer for pizza delivery; somewhat crude and lackluster. We decided to hang onto it for future, longer trips when we needed a break from Disney food (don’t judge).

Later that year when we were planning for our return trip, we scheduled an evening for pizza delivery from our mystery solicitors. Then I stumbled upon a thread on one of the many Facebook groups I follow, about where to get “good” pizza when in Orlando. Many people warned about the scams of ordering from these door stuffers. It was even suggested that they are not real businesses, only people looking to get your credit card number. Well, we weren’t up for taking that chance! We threw the flyer away and did more research on where we could get reputable pizza offsite that delivered to the resorts.

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