Walt Disney World (FL)

Back to the Basics: Rider Switch (Swap) at Walt Disney World + Video

by on January 16, 2018

Say you’re at Walt Disney World with your kids and significant other. There’s an attraction both adults REALLY want to experience, but the kids are either too young or don’t meet the height requirement.

What do you do?

Use Rider Switch of course!

Watch the video below to see exactly how to use this feature.

Enjoy!

How have used rider switch? How did it work? Let me know in the comments!

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Debuts New Arena

by on January 15, 2018

ESPN Wide World of Sports

©Rikki Niblett

To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a brand new area is now open for those who may be heading to a sporting event being held at Walt Disney World. This new area is known as The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and it is going to be a versatile space will be able to easily host both large and small events.  The new arena is the third indoor competition venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and is one of the largest in the country designed specifically with cheer and dance events in mind.

One of the unique features of The Arena is its flexibility. This space can be converted to host more than six regulation-sized basketball and volleyball courts and can be further expanded to host open-floor exhibitions and other major events. There will be 8,000 seats and a separate box office. 

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Walt Disney World Children’s Activity Centers to Close

by on January 15, 2018

Children's Activity Centers

©Disney

The three remaining Walt Disney World Children’s Activity Centers are slated to close. The last day of operation will be July 31, 2018. This move is apparently being done because fewer Guests are using these services than in the past.

The three Disney-run Children’s Activity Centers are Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Club Lilo at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Children ages 3 to 12 who visit these activity centers are able to explore imaginative worlds with activities that educate, entertain and enchant, as well as meet some of their favorite Disney friends. Parents are then able to head out for some fun of their own, knowing their kids were having a great evening, too.

As an alternative, Disney recommends in-room babysitting services from a company called Kid’s Nite Out. It also appears that Camp Dolphin at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel (which is on Disney property but not operated by Disney) will continue to be available for Guests to utilize.

SATURDAY SIX News Desk: A Look At Recent Stories In the Theme Park World

by on January 13, 2018

This week’s SATURDAY SIX is a special one as we once again dust off the blue blazer and step behind the SATURDAY SIX News Desk. It has been a whirlwind of theme park related news lately. Our long national nightmare is over as “millennial pink” MagicBands are finally available, a Disney guest yelled “Lock Him Up!” at a Donald Trump audio-animatronic (to be fair the person who filmed everything in portrait committed the biggest offense of all,) and somehow Disneyland guests now have crazier donuts than us in Orlando. Be fair to Florida!

So – as usual – we took a page out of our old college playbook, chugged down a case of 5 Hour Energy, and pulled an all-nighter. That’s right, we crammed as much information as we could into our tiny brains so that we could report back to you, Dear Reader, with all the relevant facts (and before we forget it all tomorrow). So sit back, know that you are getting all the news that’s fit to print (and plenty more that’s not), and let’s begin our countdown starting with…

# 6 – Monorail Red goes “Suns Out, Guns Out”

You would have had to be living under a rock to miss this story, as news went viral with a video of a monorail running while a door was open. As we covered in a recent SATURDAY SIX, it has been a rough year for the Disney monorails. Actually more like a rough five years, if not a full decade. It’s one thing for the cabs to look dirty, or even for parts to fall off, but a monorail running with a door open seems like a whole bunch of safety features would have had to fail all at once. Walt Disney World has a wide assortment of vehicles available for guests to get to and from resorts, including the new Minnie Van service along with the upcoming gondolas, but it is clear some major TLC is needed to into bringing the monorail service back up to to the level it should be.

Artwork by EPCOT Josh. You can buy a t-shirt of this design by clicking here

Open door of monorail as seen on WESH.com

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Select Walt Disney World Guests Can Purchase Additional FastPass+ Reservations

by on January 11, 2018

FastPass

©Rikki Niblett

Well, it appears that some interesting changes are coming for some Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests in regards to FastPass+.

Beginning January 12, Guests staying at select resorts (though rumors are indicating it’s for those staying Club Level at the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts, at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s bungalows, and at the Copper Creek Villa Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge) will have the ability to purchase three more FastPass+ reservations to use on a given day, if they so choose. The additional FastPass+ reservations can be purchased for an extra $50 plus tax per Guest per day. These Guests must have purchased a 3 day or longer theme park ticket or have an annual pass. What is nice though is that if you have the Park Hopper option, you can make your extra three selections in more than one theme park. Also of note, FastPass+ attractions that are chosen cannot be repeated during a single day.

Another perk, these Guests will also receive one per day preferred viewing locations for the Walt Disney World nighttime spectaculars. Guests can choose from Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot, Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Advanced reservation is required and availability of each nighttime spectacular preferred viewing location is limited.

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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of January 13, 2018

by on January 11, 2018

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts begins January 12 (learn more here). Keep reading to see what else is new this week at Walt Disney World!

Special Events

  • The Edison, located at Disney Springs, will start taking reservations January 15. For more information about this restaurant and how to make reservations, check out Rikki’s article.
  • Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable will be closing February 3. Check out this Epcot attraction before it’s gone forever!
  • Florida Residents: Discover Disney tickets are available for you to purchase now through June 20. This option allows you to enjoy 3 days at a Walt Disney World theme park for $159 + tax. Note: Tickets can only be used through June 24, 2018.
  • Friendly Reminder: Disney’s Magical Express will pick guests up 3 hours prior to their scheduled domestic flight. International flights will still pick up 4 hours before departure time.

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Epcot International Festival of the Arts Overview + Video

by on January 9, 2018

It’s January, which means the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is just around the corner!

Click the video below to learn all about this aesthetic event.

Is it super obvious that I googled artistic synonyms” to come up with the word, aesthetic? Let me know in the comments…

SATURDAY SIX: Six Things We Can’t Wait To See in 2018

by on January 6, 2018

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Things We Can’t Wait To See In 2018! 2017 was another unbelievable year in the theme park world (in some ways literally.) Containing a wide mix of The GoodThe Bad, and The Ugly, 2017 delivered in some major ways, including Pandora: The World of Avatar and Volcano Bay. For the most part 2018 looks to be a transition year in Orlando, as Disney prepares for the oncoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Universal moves chess pieces around for Nintendo, along with a possible third theme park on all the land it bought over the course of the last several years. That’s not to say nothing is coming in the next 12 months. In fact some really cool stuff is coming to our theme park world. Here’s some of the things we can’t wait to see, starting with…

# 6 – The “New” Old Port Royale at Caribbean Beach

Driving through Disney’s Caribbean Beach right now you’d think you had entered a war zone, but it won’t be long before the resort finishes its transformation. In 2019, the resort will offer a huge DVC location along with being the main hub of the Disney Skyliner transportation. This year Caribbean Beach will be bringing back a completely refreshed Old Port Royale. The massive refurbishment completely changes the look and feel of the original area, and will now be where guests check into the resort. Shutters will now offer waterfront dining, and the newly expanded Banana Cabana pool bar is going to be a great place to get a drink while you enjoy the Fuentes del Morro pool (one of the best themed pools at WDW.)

Old Port Royale. (©Disney)

Old Port Royale. (©Disney)

Shutters at Old Port Royale. (©Disney)

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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of January 6, 2018

by on January 5, 2018

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of 2018. If you’re celebrating with a trip to Walt Disney World, here’s what you have to look forward to this week.

Special Events

  • Friendly reminder that Disney Festival of Fantasy, the parade at Magic Kingdom park, is at 3:00pm for the foreseeable future.
  • Beginning January 11, Disney’s Magical Express will pick guests up 3 hours prior to their scheduled domestic flight. International flights will still pick up 4 hours before departure time.
  • Typhoon Lagoon will be closing for refurbishment January 7. Blizzard Beach will be re-opening the same day.

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Magic Kingdom Parade at 3:00 PM in 2018

by on January 2, 2018

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida is currently scheduled for 3:00 PM for all dates in 2018. (As of today, Disney World’s web-based schedule goes through June 30, 2018.)

While it’s true that Disney shifted the start time of this parade to 2:00 PM for the latter half of 2017, its time is 3:00 PM for the foreseeable future. You can see that on Disney World’s website:

Festival of Fantasy at 3:00 PM today, January 2, 2018

 

This is not breaking news; the 3:00 PM parade showtimes in 2018 have been on the schedule for months, but we’ve received enough messages from folks questioning this that we thought it wise to share the information on our blog. We do not know the reason for Disney’s choice of parade times, nor do we know whether the parade will switch back to 2:00 PM in August 2018 like it did in August 2017. Disney may change the schedule of this parade (or anything else) at its whim, so we recommend that you verify your showtimes as close to your touring dates as possible. When Disney makes changes, we generally update our times within a day or two. Same-day showtimes appear in our Lines app. We also display Magic Kingdom showtimes on our website, and showtimes are incorporated into our Personalized Touring Plan software.

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