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Disney Cruise Line Preview — Week of January 6, 2018

by on January 5, 2018
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line, Weekly Preview

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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Disneyland Preview — Week of January 6, 2018

by on January 5, 2018
Filed under: Disney California Adventure, Disneyland (CA), Disneyland Park, Trip Planning, Weather, Weekly Preview

The new year is here, and with it comes much lower crowds and chillier weather. Read on to find out more in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

Disneyland MonorailThe busy holiday season comes to a close at Disneyland Resort this week, and with the end of that season comes the far less busy refurbishment season.  Yes, several popular attractions are going offline starting this week.  Some, like Haunted Mansion, Dumbo, Grizzly River Run, and Splash Mountain are undergoing brief downtime for scheduled maintenance or to remove holiday overlays.  Others, like California Screamin’, are gone for good, at least in their current forms.


Crowds are all over the map this week, ranging from quite high this weekend as winter break wraps up, to very low towards the end of the week once most kids are back to school.  Wednesday and Thursday notably have level 2 crowds, which are about as low as you’re likely to see all year.



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

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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of January 6, 2018

by on January 5, 2018
Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview

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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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of January 5, 2018

by on January 5, 2018
Filed under: In Case You Missed It

It’s c-c-c-cold!!!! Yep, feeling the deep chill even in the south! There was even talk of snow in north Florida! What?!

Are you participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend? You’ll see me cheering for you on the course! I bought Tigger gloves at the Outlets that Derek loves so much…partially to cheer on the runners, giving them high fives along the way, and partially to serve as mittens and keep my fingers warm!

This week, say goodbye to La Nouba, see which movies you should look forward to in 2018 from Disney, and more.

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



Cirque du Soleil La Nouba took its final bow this week. Will you miss this show? Are you looking forward to the new Cirque concept?

Over the holiday, Mayor Weaver passed away, and now the actress who played Streetmosphere’s Mimi Kaboom, Stacy Fulford, has also passed.  Read the rest of this entry »

Reservations Now Open for The Edison at Disney Springs

by on January 3, 2018
Filed under: Disney Springs, Recent News 1 Comment

©Rikki Niblett

Are you anxious to finally try The Edison in The Landing at Disney Springs? Well, you can now make reservations for the restaurant for dates beginning January 15. Reservations can be made by visiting The Edison’s website or by visiting OpenTable.  The restaurant recently held a New Year’s Eve Grand Opening Gala.

The Edison, for those who don’t know, combines great food, cocktails and world-class entertainment. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and will feature a menu of American fare, with a selection of sandwiches, salads and entrees; plus a focus on artfully crafted cocktails.

The story behind the restaurant is that it is set in a 1920s-period power plant, recalling the era of innovation and imagination. During the day, The Edison will be a family restaurant, however after 10:00 p.m., it will transform into a 21-and-over nightclub. Guests arriving after 10:00 p.m. must wear venue-appropriate attire. Men may wear slacks, jeans or dress shorts. Jackets are optional. No ball caps, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops will be allowed. There will be a cover charge of $10 after 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

The main room will feature a dance floor and stage, where each night the venue will feature an eclectic lineup of live entertainment including musicians, aerialists, dancers and more. There will actually be multiple themed areas for guests to explore. They include The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Radio Room, The Tesla Lounge, The Lab performance space, and a Waterfront Patio.

The Edison in Disney Springs is inspired by its sister location that’s found in Los Angeles.

Ask It: Disney Cruise without Castaway Cay?

by on January 3, 2018
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line, Just For Fun 9 Comments

Ah, there’s very little in the world that beats a Disney Cruise for rest and relaxation. One of the highlights for cruises that hit the Caribbean or the Bahamas is a stop at Castaway Cay. This tropical paradise is a hideaway with gentle breezes, crystal blue waters, and fun in the sun. It is part of the reason why some people pay a premium for a Disney cruise. While other cruise lines may have their own cruise line-owned getaways, Castaway Cay certainly has its own fans.

Although there are plenty of amazing Disney cruises that don’t stop at Castaway Cay (such as cruises to Alaska or around Europe), and even though there are times when docking at Castaway Cay is not possible due to weather conditions, we’re wondering if a discount on a Disney Cruise would be worth it if that cruise skipped Castaway Cay. Our question this week is:

If you could book a Caribbean/Bahamas Disney Cruise at a discount of 20-30% off, but that cruise did NOT include a stop at Castaway Cay, would you book that cruise?

  • Yes (52%, 200 Votes)
  • No (48%, 188 Votes)

Total Voters: 388

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The poll is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. In the meantime, what’s your favorite part of Castaway Cay? Let us know in the comments.



Ask It Recap: Your Choices for 2017

by on January 3, 2018
Filed under: Just For Fun 1 Comment

For nearly a year, Ask It has brought weekly questions to you, the readers, to get an idea of what you think on topics that aren’t earth-shattering, but are fun. For each week, I try and guess in advance about how the popular vote will go. Some weeks I feel like I have the pulse of the readership down–other weeks, I’m caught completely off-guard by the results. With a variety of questions on all sorts of Disney- and Universal-related topics, there have been some interesting trends in this wholly unscientific poll. Some results likely would change for 2018 if the same question was asked again. Here’s a summary of your thoughts from questions in 2017.

When it comes to parks, Cinderella Castle is your choice for best park icon, but if you had to spend a day in only one area in Magic Kingdom, you’d skip that area and head right for the Frontierland/Liberty Square area. No surprise, because Splash Mountain was your choice for the mountain that was the best overall experience. For best spinning ride, your choice was Dumbo all the way.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant


If you had to skip a park altogether, you’d skip Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but a large number of people surveyed earlier this year would also skip Animal Kingdom as their second choice–do you think this has changed with the opening of Pandora?

Over at Epcot, if you could only attend one festival, you were very eager to go to Food and Wine or Flower and Garden, but Festival of the Arts barely made a mark. Will things change this year as it is a recurring event? If you’re not attending a festival, you might be riding on your favorite Epcot boat ride–Living with the Land. You also were a fan of doing Behind the Seeds for an inexpensive add-on, along with mini-golf if you weren’t going to be in a park.

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Magic Kingdom Parade at 3:00 PM in 2018

by on January 2, 2018
Filed under: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World (FL) 1 Comment

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. Read the rest of this entry »

DVC Monthly Preview – January 2018

by on January 2, 2018
Filed under: DVC, Walt Disney World (FL) 1 Comment


Happy New Year to fellow Disney Vacation Club owners (and prospective owners). Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly DVC preview. You can view last month’s preview here. The new year has brought a plethora of news, so let’s get to it.

Booking Windows

This month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in January, you will be able to book for dates in December 2018. Plenty of DVC members plan their trips around the holidays, particularly during the less point-costly first part of the month. If you’re counting on a December trip, best to lock it in early. For all other DVC resorts (7-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in August 2018.

For last-minute trips, the second half of January has select dates available in Walt Disney World at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Old Key West Resort at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page. Aulani and Hilton Head also have limited availability.

Hard to believe, but we’re just a month away from being able to start booking 2019 dates. In preparation, DVC has released its 2019 point charts, accessible here. Some notable changes: Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House has slightly increased the point cost of club level rooms and decreased the point cost of value rooms. Also, Vero Beach and Aulani resorts have switched the seasons on some of their dates. Be sure to use the correct year’s point chart for planning purposes. In case you were wondering, DVC has a set number of points for each resort, so any increase in point values must be offset by an equal decrease.

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Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Part 2 + Video

by on January 2, 2018
Filed under: Resorts, Trip Planning, Video, Walt Disney World (FL)

Happy New Year Friends!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you all the best for 2018.

Today’s video is Part 2 of my Disney’s Contemporary Resort overview. I’ll be talkin’ pools, dining, recreation and amenities.


Oh! and here’s Part 1 if you missed that!

I’m just now realizing that I used the EXACT same picture for both video thumbnails. *face palm*

Did you make any Disney resolutions for 2018? Mine is to take more photos. Leave yours below!