Sunday, November 16, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 11/10/14 - 11/16/14



News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.  



Walt Disney World News


Magic Kingdom
  • The Christmas Day Parade taping schedule will take place on December 8 and 9.

Epcot
  • New Holidays Around the World performances will be taking place at Mexico, Morocco, and China this year.  They will include“Fiesta de Navidad” in Mexico, featuring colorful dancers and mariachis, who celebrate the holiday customs of Mexico.  In Morocco, a storyteller invites guests to join her on a journey to experience the festivals, holiday traditions, and celebrations of the country. And the China pavilion will see the Chinese Lion Dance, to honor of major holidays, the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.


Disney Resorts
  •  At Disney's Contemporary, they have a new gingerbread decoration up.  It's a Frozen theme with Mary Blair stylization.
  • A new and temporary princess dining experience will take place at Citricos for breakfast and brunch from January 8 - March 3. The meal will offer breakfast and brunch and be known as Cinderella's Dining at Citricos. This dining experience is taking place because Cinderella's Royal Table will be closed for a two month refurbishment during roughly the same time period.
  • The pools at Disney's Art of Animation Resort will see quick refurbishments.  The Big Blue Pool will be closed from November 17 - 19, the Flipping Fins pool will be closed from November 20 and 21, and the Cozy Cone Pool will be closed from November 24 - 26.

Downtown Disney
  • The Festival of the Season has officially kicked off. Guests can meet Santa from now until December 24.  After December 24, guests will get to meet Santa Goofy!



Rumors
  • The Intermission Food Court at Disney's All-Star Music should open a few weeks early from its refurbishment.  It is now expected to reopen on December 3. 
  • The Illuminations Holiday tag may very well not feature Walter Cronkite any longer.


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 11/3/14 - 11/9/14




News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.   


 

News

Magic Kingdom
  • Jack Skellington, dressed as "Sandy Claws" is appearing at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.


Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Baymax and Hiro Hamada from Big Hero 6 are now meeting guests at the Magic of Disney Animation.


General Walt Disney World News
  • For guests who get Disney PhotoPass photos taken, you now have the option to get animated Magic Shots.  They can be downloaded just like regular photos for those who purchase the Memory Maker package.

Rumors 

  • The third theater for Soarin' looks like it is probably a go. 
  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights may likely not return in the same form next year.

Download the brand NEW Disney Food Blog Guide to the 2014 Holidays.  Find out about this year's holiday festivities.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

What You Should Know About Printing your Own Phone Cases at the D-Tech On Demand Store





This past September, I was super excited. You see, it was my first time every stepping foot into the brand new Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney.  This unique shopping experience works like this:  There are six different boutique shops all located under one roof.  Each shop specializes in something unique, such as sports memorabilia, kitchen wares, fashion accessories, and yes, even electronic merchandise.

While I was super stoked to spend my money at Centerpiece (which sells unique and themed plates, glasses, etc) the other place I was dying to visit was D-Tech On Demand.  You see, I have an iPhone 5c and it's not easy to find phone cases I like for my particular phone.  I, of course, want a Disney case which displays my love.  Add on top of that the fact that Disney doesn't really sell many offerings in the department of 5cs to begin with.

Enter this brand new store.  Here, you can customize a case to fit your desires.  (In addition, the store does sell pre-made cases as well as other electronics supplies like headphones and more.)

So I was pretty well sold on getting a new phone case even before I stepped foot inside the small boutique. (My original one, which was originally white, was no longer that color thanks to makeup...tip for future me...never ever buy a white phone case ever again.)

So, first things first...I walk up to one of the many kiosks that are found in the center of the room.  You first pick out what kind of phone you have.  They have options for many different brands and they add new ones all the time.

I chose iPhone 5c and then it was time to decide the design I wanted. Here, you can scroll through to figure out which backing design I wanted.  They had tons of options based off of many things, such as random Disney stuff, characters, and even DVC status.  You have four different categories you can choose from. The one thing I wish they had was the option to have more Disney Theme Park cases.  I feel that that is an area where they are sorely lacking, but I digress. 




Once you choose your case backing design, you then get to choose what color bumper.  Now because I have a 5c, I can only choose colored bumpers, but I believe if you have any other kind, you can choose from black or white.  As you can see, I had a few different choices, but purple is my favorite color and I liked how it matched the background the best.




After I chose what color bumper, I got to decide if I wanted to include text on the case.  Text does cost extra.  I opted not to include text because honestly I liked the plain case just the way it was.



From there, I hit confirm and sent my phone to the main ordering system. Easy peasy!



But I wasn't yet done.  Because before they can print my phone, I have to pay for it. So, I went over to the register where they found my phone.  This was the only part that was difficult because there is only one register.  So, if there are a few people ahead of you in line, you may have to wait a while.

The other nice perk I found out is that this store accepts Annual Pass discounts!  Score!

The case cost about $40, but with my AP discount, it brought it to about $36.  Of course, that's subject to change at any time.

From there, they print out your phone case in this handy dandy printer!  It takes about 10 minutes total.



I think they did a fantastic job. The case was WELL worth the money it cost. I think Disney cases are extremely durable and they feel very high quality. I have been happy with every single case I've ever bought from Disney and I will absolutely purchase a case from D-Tech On Demand again!  (Now...if they can get more Walt Disney World specific cases there, that would be great...)




What do you think? Would you ever buy a case from D-Tech?  Have you bought one before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on the Facebook page.

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word about A Disney World After All!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...pin the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!      



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 10/27/14 - 11/2/14




News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.   


Walt Disney World News

Magic Kingdom
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish castle lighting ceremony for the holidays will begin on November 5 and will last until December 31.  The show will feature Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff in this updated version that replaces Cinderella's Holiday Wish. 

Epcot
  • B’net Al Houwariyate, the new Moroccan musical group has debuted at the Morocco Pavilion. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Big Hero 6 MagicBands are now available for purchase only in this park.


Downtown Disney
  • The new parking garage officially opens for guests on November 20.
  • Two new restaurants have been officially announced for Disney Springs. The first is called The BOATHOUSE and will feature upscale, waterfront dining, as well as the opportunity to go on various waterfront cruises along the waters of Disney Springs. It is slated to open in Spring 2015.  The second restaurant is called Morimoto Asia and is brought to us from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.  This restaurant will feature Pan Asian dishes and will open in the Summer 2015.  Both restaurants will open in The Landing section of Disney Springs.

General Walt Disney World News
  • On-ride photos are now automatically being linked to guest's My Disney Experience profiles thanks to guests wearing their MagicBands.  For guests who do not have MagicBands, they may have the photos added to their My Disney Experience accounts by touching your RFID ticket medium to the reader located at the attraction's on-ride photo area.  Guests can then choose to purchase the photos after their trip, if they so choose.  Previously, guests would have to decide to purchase the on-ride photo immediately.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Full Day or Half Day Park Revisited



Over 6 years ago, I wrote a blog post about whether or not Disney's Hollywood Studios was a half or a full day park.  At that time of that post, I honestly thought you could really do the park in a full day, if you wanted to do everything the park had to offer. 

However, things have been changing over the last two months or so. First, the Sorcerer's Hat is being removed from the main plaza area in early 2015.  In addition, four attractions have closed or will be closing:  The AFI Showcase, The American Idol Experience, The Backlot Tour, and The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.  Actually looking at the Walt Disney World website, they have a total of approximately 15 attractions that I would consider as legit attractions.  (They have a couple of additional things listed that while nice, I certainly am not planning a trip around them, like the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame...which is just busts of famous people....that doesn't count as an attraction, I'm sorry.)

We've added one attraction recently with the "For the First Time in Forever - A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration" but still, the net number of attractions in this park have clearly decreased over the past few months. And if you don't like thrill attractions, the number of attractions available to you is even less.

While it's clear that the park is in a transition, I don't think any of us can doubt that, what's unknown is what that transition will include.  Sure, we have a good idea, if the rumors are to be believed.  We know that some sort of Star Wars extended presence is a lock, but there's also the rumored Toy Story Playland and mini-Carsland that could be on tap.  Of course, there's always the chance that there's a complete surprise from left field, however, that's typically not the case.  (Though the last surprise was a doozie...Avatarland.)

But, let's face it...even if Disney were to announce tomorrow what is being built for Disney's Hollywood Studios (Or will it be the rumored, Disney's Hollywood Adventure?) the next few years in the park will be transition years.  It's going to take time for whatever is announced to materialize.

So, what does that mean for guests who are wanting to visit this park within the next few years?  What should you consider to do with your Disney's Hollywood Studios day?

Should you spend a full day or a half day at Disney's Hollywood Studios?

Honestly, at this point in the game, I don't think Disney's Hollywood Studios is a full day park.  Too many things have been shuttered at this point. (And who knows what else will get announced for removal over the next few months.  I mean, let's be honest.  If you were to tell me three months ago that things like The Studio Backlot Tour would be closed and The Sorcerer's Hat would be on the chopping block, I wouldn't have believed you.)  It's just hard to justify spending a whole day here.  This is especially true with FastPass+ now in play.  If you can pre-schedule your FastPass+ reservations for say, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours, you've got it made.  The day will be relatively easy as pie. Having FastPass+ reservations makes it even more evident that Disney's Hollywood Studios isn't a full day park.  

To me, the only way you can spend a full day here now is if you absolutely want to do everything offered period.  If you want to do everything (or just about) a full day is perfect.  But if you aren't big on shows or thrills, then a full day is not for you.  Do a half day and park hop to another park.

To that end, if you want to accomplish the park and feel as though you've seen the majority of the offerings, I don't think a half day is necessarily enough though.  I think that there is enough to do that a half day just won't cut it.  This is especially true if you want to see Fantasmic!

Really, I think that the optimal length of time to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios is anywhere between 2/3 - 3/4 of a day.  If you get to the park early, you can get most things done, with a little time to head over to another park for the evening activities.  Or, my tip is to sleep in a little bit or enjoy some time at your hotel.  Then, make your FastPass+ reservations for Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and Star Tors in the afternoon, take in some of the other major attractions and minor offerings, enjoy a solid dinner, and go see Fantasmic!  (Of course, this method only works if the park is open until about 8 or 9.  If the park closes at 7, then you should absolutely get to the park early!)

It will be interesting to see what happens within this park within the next five years or so.  Once these changes take place, hopefully Disney's Hollywood Studios will return back to being a full day park, once again.   However, for now, this is my best suggestion of how to enjoy the park the best.

Of course, this is just my suggestion, but now I want to know what you think.  Do you think, with these changes taking place at Disney's Hollywood Studios that the park is still a full day park?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on the Facebook page. 

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word about A Disney World After All!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...pin the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!      

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 10/20/14 - 10/26/14






News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.   

 
News

Magic Kingdom
  • "The Move It, Shake It, Dance and Play It" Street Party has debuted replacing the "Move It, Shake It, Dance and Play It" Street Party. 
  • The Liberty Square Riverboat will be closed for a refurbishment January 23 through 27.
  • Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid will be closing from February 2 through March 6. Rumors say that lighting upgrades will take place during the refurb.


Disney's Hollywood Studios 
  • The Sorcerer's Hat will be removed likely in early 2015.
  • The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will be closing on November 6.


Disney Resorts

  • Disney's Beach Club will undergo a 20 month refurb beginning this winter.

Downtown Disney

  • Two new small shops/kiosks have opened at the Marketplace in front of Fulton's Crab House; Set the Bar and Sublime Gifts and Finds. 

General Walt Disney World News
  • Disney has expanded the "Glow with the Show" ears.  The new program will be called "Made with Magic" and will now offer a Sorcerer Mickey Wand, a Minnie Mouse headband, and a Mickey Mouse hand, which will be sold with the ears.

Rumors
  • Shark Reef could be going away at Typhoon Lagoon in the upcoming refurbishment.
Download the brand NEW Disney Food Blog Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  Find out about this year's festivities.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 10/13/14 - 10/19/14






 

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

News


Magic Kingdom

  • The Island Supply shop in Adventureland will be closing October 22 to make way for a new store.


Epcot

  • Two new additions will take part in the Candlelight Processional. LeVar Burton will be there December 7-8 and Edward James Olmos will be there from December 9-11.
  • The new flag-throwing entertainment act has debuted at the Italy Pavilion called Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro.


Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Guests will be able to meet Hiro Hamada and Baymax from Big Hero 6 beginning mid-November in the Magic of Disney Animation. They will find the two in Hiro's garage workshop.



Disney Resorts

  • Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk Inn will officially open December 18. You can make reservations beginning on October 21.  Both breakfast and dinner will be offered. 


General Walt Disney World News

  • New specialty MagicBands will be released for the Holiday season.

Rumors

  • Some new interactive merchandise should be coming soon to Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Happens When An Attraction Goes Down and You Have a FastPass



You've planned your Walt Disney World vacation for months; you've picked which park you want to go to each day, you've made your dining reservations, and you've decided which FastPass+ reservations you wanted. Everything is perfect.

But what happens when the unexpected happens?  What happens when an attraction that you have a FastPass+ reservation for goes down for an issue at the exact time your FastPass is up and ready to be utilized?

Well, the past couple of trips, I was able to experience exactly what happens.

On the first trip, I had a FastPass that I made for Maelstrom.  It went down right before I could make it over. 


The second time was a few weeks later for Pirates of the Caribbean.


As you can see, there are some similarities between the two.  Both say that I can visit the attraction again as soon as it comes back on-line.  In addition, I don't have to do anything to ride; all I need to do is simply visit the attraction, utilize my MagicBand or admission ticket, and I'll be admitted in, no matter the time.

However, if I don't want to (or if the attraction doesn't come back during the day) I have other options that I can choose from.  The options that you can choose from vary, depending on different things.  First, at Epcot, the attraction you can choose from as a secondary choice will depend on the Tier that your first attraction choice was.  For example, Maelsrom was a Tier 2 attraction, so I had the option to choose from any other Tier 2 attraction that Disney has.  (The same would work at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I would suspect...if I had a Tier 1 attraction that went down for issues, I would get to choose from another Tier 1 attraction.  At Disney's Animal Kingdom, I would suspect that all attractions would be available given that they offer no Tiering.)

The interesting part comes when you get to the Magic Kingdom.  You see, because the Magic Kingdom has so many attraction, the park is divided up into different categories.  So, for example, when Pirates went down, we weren't allowed to choose just any attraction.  We could only visit attractions that were somewhat similar. Pirates isn't a thrill ride, so the thrills weren't an option.  However, when we went to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and got evacuated off of it, we received paper FastPasses that were only applicable for the thrill rides.  (Yep...Buzz Lightyear is considered a thrill...ok...unfortunately, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train wasn't an option, so we rode Space Mountain.)

As you can see, Disney takes care of guests who may be inconvenienced by an attraction unexpectedly going down when you have a FastPass+ reservation. Have you experienced an attraction going off-line when you had a FastPass+ reservation? Let me know your experience in the comments or on Facebook!

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word about A Disney World After All!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...pin the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!      

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 10/6/14 - 10/12/14





News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

 
News

Magic Kingdom
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant seems to only currently be accepting guests for lunch who have FastPass+ reservations to dine at the restaurant.  The standby line is not currently available.

General Walt Disney World News
  • The Hess Gas Station across from Disney's BoardWalk Inn will be closed for few weeks beginning October 13.

Rumors 

  • RunDisney's race docket doesn't include the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in 2015. Rumors are indicating this could be because of construction that is expected to be taking place in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • Disney seemingly confirmed that a third track is likely coming for Toy Story Mania.  This track will likely be solely for FastPass+ reservations.

Download the brand NEW Disney Food Blog Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  Find out about this year's festivities.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Traveling to Walt Disney World with a Senior Citizen



Whew...it's been a whirlwind last few weeks....for those who don't know...I took a trip to Disney World with my family, including my 94 year old grandma; found out that that same grandma had a stroke and was not doing well (though she is doing better, she's still not great, but I'm so appreciative of all of your prayers and good thoughts); oh and then I headed back to Disney World for Epic October to see my Be Our Guest Podcast family.  So...needless to say....my life has been a LOT crazy!

But, now I'm back and you are stuck with me because I don't have a trip planned for a while (though, that could change at the drop of a hat...) so today, I thought I'd take some of the things I learned when I was down there with grandma, so you could learn some great tips to consider when taking a senior citizen to Walt Disney World! 

Now, for those of you who don't follow along, my brother recently moved to Orlando and so my family wanted to go down to see him.  This trip included me, my brother, my mom, and my 94 year old grandma who was taking her first ever trip to The World. (That's right, 94 and never been).  We had a few days to see it all and we managed to squeeze in quite a bit.  It was a fantastic trip filled with a lot of great memories (which helped to keep me sane when I found out grandma had the stroke.)  But with this trip, I learned a lot about touring the parks with someone who is elderly. Today, I thought I'd share my Top 5 tips with you.

  •  Keep mindful of their pace:  This I believe was the hardest for my family to comprehend.  You see, we still see grandma as someone who can do most things.  She is more than capable to us.  What we didn't realize is how tiring even sitting in a chair is.  So, while we certainly tried to keep things on an easy pace, it likely wasn't on the pace that grandma needed.  Try to take breaks in the afternoon and let your senior citizen relax a bit.  Even if they don't want to nap.  They have the same sort of stamina as toddlers in a way; know that going in and you'll be fine.

  • Wheelchairs are your friends (except when they aren't):  There is absolutely no way we could have done Disney without putting grandma in a wheelchair.  She hates wheelchairs, but for all the walking that you do, the wheelchair was a necessity.  I will say, that Disney does an excellent job in accommodating guests in wheelchairs. (And for those who believe that wheelchair guests get right on attractions most of the time, you would be dead wrong...for most rides, we waited in the same line as everyone else does and on quite a few attractions when it was time to ride, we actually had to wait longer for the handicapped accessible vehicle to arrive. It was actually interesting to see what the handicapped accessible vehicles looked like and how they allowed for guests with disabilities to easily ride on attractions.)  The only bad part about the wheelchair was pushing it. You don't realize how hilly some parts of The World are (I'm looking at you hill leading up to The Land...I despise that hill now.)  Also, while the different and unique pavements are gorgeous to look at...they certainly rattle the chair...I could feel it as I was pushing her...makes me wonder how her booty felt!
  • Kids meals are perfect for them:  So....Disney meals are very, very large!  My grandma doesn't eat a lot, but the kids meals were just the right size for her.  The only problem is, there just aren't a ton of choices. (And grandma is EXTREMELY PICKY!)  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I wish Disney would create kids meals that were smaller versions of adult meals at more restaurants.  They did this at Be Our Guest and it worked out swimmingly.  It isn't always kids eating the kids meals Disney...not everyone can and wants to eat a ridiculously large portion...it would be nice to have a bit more variety in kids meal offerings so that those of use who don't eat a lot still get to eat something good.  They've done decent, but things could still be a lot better for kids meal offerings.

  • They will enjoy the darndest things:  My grandma absolutely loved things that I never thought she would.  Some of her favorites were Jungle Cruise, Carousel of Progress (her mom actually had some of the things from the first scene in her kitchen), Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, it's a small world, and Ellen's Energy Adventure (even though she doesn't like Ellen...those were her words describing her liking the attraction...haha!) She also had a great time at Yeehaa Bob's, who is found at Port Orleans Riverside in the River Roost Lounge. (Though she didn't want to meet Bob, despite me trying to get her to.)  Did I ever think in a million years that my grandma would enjoy Buzz Lightyear?  Nope...but it was a clear winner.  Make sure to ask them what they enjoyed and take them on attractions that are similar! 

  • Remember the time together:  I knew this was a special trip, so the memories that I have are priceless, but I made absolutely sure that one thing I did was to take pictures of my grandma.  I took tons of her enjoying things.  It was so great to see her so happy.  (And with the stroke, those photos of her being happy are a source of happiness for me.)  Not only did I take photos of her, but I took photos with her.  You all may know I'm a fan of the selfie....so selfies with grandma were something I made sure to do.  Those are some of my favorite photos I have of the entire trip.  Because it shows off the fun that grandma and I were having together.  So make sure you capture and remember the memories.  They will be so important going forward. 
One last tip:  I know this makes it more than five...but meh...make sure to keep your senior citizen hydrated.  My grandma hates water and doesn't really drink much during the day, so it was hard to convince her that Florida sun would take a lot out of her and that she would need to keep water in her system.  Of course, while we were there, we only had one super hot day...so my advice to her fell on deaf ears...but really....if you take a senior citizen...make sure they drink liquids.  I don't want to see something bad happen cause they didn't. 


For those who say I can't take the senior citizen in my family to Walt Disney World, they wouldn't enjoy it, I am here to tell you, you are dead wrong. My grandma had a fantastic trip with all of us and we with her.  Will the pace be slower, yes; will they get to do everything, no; but no matter what, it will be worth it.  Knowing that we all had good quality family time together is all that matters.  Because let's face it, this...this trip right here....that's what going to Disney is all about; creating the memories that you will cherish forever. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, if we could.  Unfortunately, that will likely never be the case. 

So, my best piece of advice about traveling with senior citizens is don't put it off any longer.  Plan that trip with your extended family today.  You never know what tomorrow will bring; my family is proof of that.

Have you ever traveled with Senior Citizens?  What are your best tips? Let me know in the comments section or on the Facebook page. 

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word about A Disney World After All!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...pin the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!