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Heads Up, Disneyland’s Main Street Is Under Heavy Construction

by on January 12, 2018
Filed under: Disneyland (CA) 19 Comments

If you’re heading to Disneyland in the next few months you should know of several closures that will affect your visit. Multiple rides are closed and under lengthy refurbishments, such as Splash Mountain in Disneyland, and most of Paradise Pier in DCA (check our Disneyland Resort Refurbishments page for the exact closing and opening dates). Main Street, U.S.A. is under heavy construction as its horse-drawn street car tracks are being replaced. Take a look at the pictures below to get an idea of the scale of the construction that is happening.

As soon as you walk in to Disneyland’s town square you’ll notice construction walls. The entire area around the flag pole is blocked off.

Disney announced that new brickwork will be installed along with the new trolley track. From the official Disney Parks Blog: “For the first time, the horse-drawn streetcar track on Main Street, U.S.A., will be replaced in its entirety.”

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Disneyland Preview — Week of January 13, 2018

by on January 12, 2018
Filed under: Disney California Adventure, Disneyland (CA), Disneyland Park, Trip Planning, Weather, Weekly Preview

This week presents two wildly different experiences — busy holiday weekend, followed by some of the lowest crowds you’ll see all year. Also, the first Disneyland After Dark is this week!  Read on to find out more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

In large part, this is a “regular” week at Disneyland. The holidays are over, no festivals are running, and operations are more or less normal.  With that said, Disney is doing its first “Disneyland After Dark” after-hours event this week on Thursday, January 18.  It is a hard-ticket event (i.e., your regular park tickets or Annual Passes will not get you in), and it costs $95 per person.  The event runs from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., though your ticket will get you admission to the park as early as 6:00 p.m.

This first installment will be “Throwback Nite” (making it very appropriate that it’s being held on a Thursday), and it will have a 1950s/1960s theme. Guests are encouraged to dress the part (think: Dapper Day). There will be jazz and swing music, special photo opportunities (along with unlimited PhotoPass downloads), characters, and exclusive food and drinks. Also, you’ll be able to see the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show, which first ran in 1958, that you can typically only see on New Year’s Eve. You can find more details here and here. As this goes to press, there are still tickets available, but we nevertheless recommend getting tickets sooner than later if you’re sure you’d like to attend.

Crowds

Crowds are high for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, but drop off sharply immediately thereafter.  Seven and eight level crowds for the weekend, and nothing higher than a three the rest of the week.

Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.

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Disney Cruise Line Preview — Week of January 13, 2018

by on January 12, 2018
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line, Weekly Preview 6 Comments

The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

Ahoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.

Ports of Call

 

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of January 12, 2018

by on January 12, 2018
Filed under: In Case You Missed It 2 Comments

Every once in a while, a news week is filled with stories that I cannot believe. Things that just seem ridiculous or incredible for one reason or another. This is one of those weeks!

This week, we give props to Coco for its big win, learn the Disney Springs made a very interesting list, and more.

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

And this is why you aren’t supposed to lean against the doors on the monorail.

This week, UCF was able to take part in a special parade at the Magic Kingdom honoring their undefeated season. Were you there?  Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Orlando Preview — Week of January 13, 2018

by on January 11, 2018
Filed under: Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort, Weekly Preview

Autobots, roll out.

We are in the middle of winter in North America, but Universal is turning up the heat by announcing an amazing Mardi Gras concert line up. This week we also cover what activities guests can find at resort hotels, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle coming to Islands of Adventure, and a new character breakfast at Sapphire Falls.

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Epcot Festival of the Arts Food Studios Menus Released

by on January 11, 2018
Filed under: Epcot, Recent News 2 Comments

Epcot Festival of the Arts

©Disney

Wow! This weekend kicks off the second annual Epcot Festival of the Arts which is returning from January 12 through February 19. This festival really celebrates all things artsy and one of the key components of the Epcot Festival of the Arts is the incredible food and beverage options which can be found a the Food Studios kiosks that are located around the World Showcase promenade. Let me tell you that I am not overselling it when I say that these dishes and beverages really are serious works of art.

Today, I have the different menus of the different Food Studios, as well as the other unique dining options that will be available for Guests throughout the Festival.

 

The Deconstructed Dish (Showcase Plaza)

Delicious dishes that dazzle

Food:

  • Deconstructed Reuben with shredded corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, pickled red cabbage, and a rye curl
  • Deconstructed BLT with crispy pork belly, tomato jam, and a soft poached egg
  • Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped, New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries and Sugar Cookies with Micro-basil

Beverages:

  • Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Bourbon Cream, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon
  • Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Maple Syrup, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon (non-alcoholic)
  • Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington
  • Pop-Artsicle: Red, White and Blue Frozen Slushy (non-alcoholic)

 

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, January 11, 2018: New Year’s Magic

by on January 11, 2018
Filed under: Best Week Ever, Disney Cruise Line 1 Comment

Last year, my family set an interesting bucket list item–to sail on all four Disney Cruise Line ships within a calendar year. We sailed on the Wonder in February, the Fantasy in June, the Dream in September, and now it was time to get on board the Magic in December for a New Year’s cruise. Part of the reason we wanted to book this cruise, aside from our first time seeing the Magic, was that this cruise made a stop in Key West, a place we’ve always wanted to visit. The challenge for us is that it sailed out of Miami. We got a hotel for the night before (out of fears of traffic going from the Orlando area to Miami), and on a beautifully clear morning, headed to the port. A word of warning–if you’re used to the ease of getting around Port Canaveral, the Port of Miami is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. The way we were directed in by GPS meant that we didn’t have any signs telling us which dock the Magic was at, and there’s parking scattered everywhere. We ended up spotting the ship, pulling in the next available parking lot, and walking about 1/4 of a mile with our luggage to find a porter. In the end, there was a closer parking area, but it fills up much faster than Port Canaveral, so take parking where you can find it. Also note that the terminal where you leave may not be the terminal you return to. We left from terminal F, but returned to terminal G. Just some background about how “getting there is not half the fun”. I can’t say I’ll never sail from Miami again, but I can say that I love Port Canaveral all the more now.

 

But enough about travel fun. Once in the terminal, it was all Disney experience. Check-in was quick and efficient, security was brief, and even the wait time for our boarding number to be called went quickly in a much more comfortable setting than Port Canaveral. Time flew by very quickly between getting on board, doing a bit of exploring, and then time for sail away. And what a view! Here’s where sailing out of Miami beats the pants off of Port Canaveral. Sailing from a big city is amazing!

In one brief article, it wouldn’t be possible to write about everything that we experienced on the cruise–Key West, Pirate Night, New Year’s parties, exploring new places, and so on–so I figured I’d just give some snapshots from the cruise experience and snippets of details about what we did.

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Select Walt Disney World Guests Can Purchase Additional FastPass+ Reservations

by on January 11, 2018
Filed under: FastPass+, Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL) 27 Comments

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Preview — Week of January 13, 2018

by on January 11, 2018
Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview

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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World of Disney at Walt Disney World and at Disneyland to See Updates

by on January 10, 2018
Filed under: Disney Springs, Downtown Disney, Recent News

World of Disney

©Disney

Do you love shopping at World of Disney as much as I do? The large Disney-centric stores which are found in both Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort offer tons of souvenirs and I almost always end up taking something home when I visit. But soon, both of these locations will be receiving some love beginning mid-February 2018.

Work on the stores will be done in phases and the stores on both coasts will remain open during construction. When work on the interior is done, Guests will a dynamic and distinctly Disney retail environment.

A few shops will offer select merchandise while construction takes place. In Town Center at Disney Springs, Ever After Jewelry Co. and The Disney Corner, which opens in mid-February, will carry select merchandise while World of Disney undergoes renovations.

Over at Disneyland, at the Downtown Disney District, Guests can find some items in the recently opened Dream Boutique, as well as the Disney Home store which is opening in February in the former D-Street location.

I’m excited to share more details about what we Guests can experience once the refurbishment work is completed, so make sure to stay tuned to the blog for more!