Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Walk-through for Making FastPass+ Reservations at Walt Disney World



The hubby and I have trip planned for Walt Disney World during the beginning of May.  Because of that, I decided to make our FastPass+ reservations ahead of time. (Annual Passholders and those staying off-site can now make reservations up to 30 days ahead of their vacation, where as Disney resort guests can make their reservations up to 60 days ahead of time.)

Today, I thought I'd show you a walk-through of the process of making your FastPass+ reservations via the My Disney Experience app.

First things first, after you log in to the app and make sure that you have linked your ticket media into your account, you can then begin to make your FastPass+ reservations. 

When you log on via the app, you will need to select which day you want to make your FastPass+ reservations for and you are asked if you want to choose new experiences or modify current ones.  To start, we'll choose new ones.  


After that, you will need to select who among your traveling party you want to make your FastPass+ reservations for.  If you have other friends and family in this section, you can choose to make the same FastPass+ reservations for all of them, or you can pick and choose who this particular FastPass+ reservation is for.  

You'll then need to decide which park you are making your reservations for.  Currently, you can only make reservations for one park, per day.  Park Hopping will be allowed in the near future.


From there, you will be given a list of FastPass+ attractions that are available for you to make reservations for.  You get to choose three attractions from the list.  (Though, keep in mind that if you are choosing at Epcot or Disney's Hollywood Studios, they have two different tiers to choose from.  In Column A, you can only choose one attraction and in Column B, you can choose two.)


You may be asked to prioritize your list.  You will then be given 4 different options of different return times you could potentially choose from.  Keep in mind that these time can be changed later, so choose the one that is closest to when you are looking to experience attractions.  If not everything you selected is available during your entire day, they will let you know and give you similar suggestions.  (Which happened to me today when I tested the ability to get the popular Enchanted Tales With Belle FastPass+ option.  It was still available, but the times were late in the evening.  The afternoon options were for me to be able to visit Ariel.)


Once you choose an option, you will be asked to confirm.


From there, you can choose to make new FastPass+ reservations, change your selections, copy them, or cancel them.


I decided I wanted to change mine, because I didn't like the original times given to me.  (Like I mentioned earlier, choose the times that are nearest to what you want and then change.) So, I went in and had to pick which attraction I wanted to change around. 

I picked Space Mountain, and had the option to change the time, or if I wanted to, I could change the entire experience all together.

I needed to confirm that I want to change the time for all the people in my party.  I can also choose to change just a few members, if I wanted to. 


Then, I get to go in and pick the new time I want to experience the attraction at.



After confirming that it's correct, it's done!

I know it can seem very intimidating, but it's actually very simple to make FastPass+ reservations. The app and website both walk you through, step by step, and you can always go back and change things up if you completely change your mind.  (Given that there are FastPass+ options to change it to.)

You can also let Disney select FastPicks, if you just have no clue what you want to choose, but I would not suggest that.  You can have them choose which park you go to and which attractions you visit,or they can choose everything for your entire visit.

Instead, I would suggest making sure to pick so you have the exact attractions that will appeal to your family.  If you need suggestions on what to pick, check out my list of attractions to choose FastPass+ for. (Though, I will admit, the FastPick can be nice if you just want to go where the wind takes you!)


What do you think?  Does this seem easy enough or are you still a bit intimidated?  Let me know your thoughts on the Facebook page or in the comments.

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, April 13, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 4/7/14 - 4/13/14






News


Magic Kingdom

  • Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be meeting with guests in Town Square until April 20th.
  • An Easter themed pre-parade will occur on April 19th and 20th and will feature the Easter Bunny, spring characters, and the Azalea Trail Maids.
  • Until April 20, Peter Pan will meet guests in Adventureland.


Epcot 

  • A new after hours experience will take place called After Hours Wind Down.  Here, guests can choose one of four lounges to dine in.  They include La Cava del Tequila (Mexico), Spice Road Table (Morocco), Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (Italy), and Rose & Crown Pub (United Kingdom). Menu offerings include small bites and one beverage flight. The event is scheduled to take place Thursdays - Sundays from 9:20 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.  Cost is $35 per person and for ages 21 and up.


Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • D-Tech Me is returning for Star Wars Weekends.  This year, guests can choose from one of four characters to get a 3D figurine of.  They are Alderaan Princess, X-Wing Pilot, Stormtrooper, and Carbonite.


Disney's Animal Kingdom


  • Celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd) with the Party for the Planet.  Guests can participate in nature activities, learn about the brown bear, talk to Cast Members about conservation, and more.
  • A street band, Viva Gaia, will be performing in Discovery Island until April 20th.
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Video of Seven Dwarfs on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom

While I am waiting impatiently and hoping with bated breath that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom opens to guests (at least for previews) by the time of my next trip (May 3...and with the media event scheduled for May 2nd, I think I have a pretty decent chance of seeing it somehow) I have been watching the various updates that Disney has been sharing about this new attraction.  Most of them I sort of half pay attention to, but this latest update really made me excited. 

In this video, Disney shares a glimpse of what the new Audio-Anamatronics of the Seven Dwarfs will look like in the mine section of the attraction.  Holy wow!  That's all I can say.  This is the new kind of Audio-Anamatronic that Disney has included in their newest attractions, like Radiator Springs Racers and Enchanted Tales With Belle.  The characters are so fluid and their faces are so realistic.  It is just incredible to see how this version of technology has advanced. 

If you want to check out the video to see what I was wowed over, here it is.  But warning, it does include sort of smallish spoilers, so if you don't want to know about the attraction, avoid the video!



So, what are your thoughts now that you've seen this video?  Are you excited about this attraction even more, like I am?

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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Little Things: Frontierland



Welcome back to The Little Things!  Over the past few editions, we've been sticking with the Magic Kingdom and we've looked at Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, and Adventureland, and today, I thought I would head back to Frontierland. 

Oddly enough, Frontierland has never been one of my favorites.  Don't get me wrong, it's done exceptionally well, but I always tend to take in the major attractions, but not spend a whole heck of a lot of time here.  I need to remedy that next trip.

With that being said, there are some great hidden gems found throughout the land that you should check out.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

One of the fun, but often bypassed attractions in this park is the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade.  Here, guests pay a small fee ($.50 for 25 shots, though you can purchase more) to have the opportunity to take your replica rifle and shoot a laser bullet at nearly 100 interactive targets and score points.  What's fun is that if you make a hit, the game will indicate by making a noise or a movement.  The game can actually last a while and it can be super fun to compete with your family members.  (Brian and I are super competitive at this kind of thing.) It is absolutely not something you expect to do on your vacation, but I can tell you, it is absolutely a fun diversion and yes, even though there is a cost associated with it, it is completely worth getting to do.

Are you a fan of irreverent and definitely hokey comedy?  Then look no further than my next tip.  Do not miss out on Country Bear Jamboree.  It can feel a little dated, but that's part of the attraction.  The songs are a little goofy, and some may find it some songs a little inappropriate (There was blood on the saddle...)  Most people find it all in good fun.  

If you are a fan of characters and dance parties, have I got a fun experience for you!  Make sure to take in the Frontierland Hoedown!  Here, some of your favorite rustic characters come out to do-si-do and perform line dances with guests!  It's also fun because a lot of unique characters take part, such as the Country Bears, Br'er Rabbit, and Clarabelle Cow.  Really, what could be better?

One of the biggest parts that I think people miss is Tom Sawyer Island.  Even I'm guilty.  I've done it a couple of times, but for the most part, this is one attraction I end up skipping.  I think part of the reason people skipping it is that it takes a while to get to.  You have to take a raft to not only get there, but also get back.  But once you do, there is a ton of fun things for the whole family to take part in.  Kids will especially like Injun Joe's caves (though they can be dark and somewhat claustrophobic, at least to me they were).  I particularly enjoyed the barrel bridge!  Perhaps the best part about heading over to Tom Sawyer Island are the views you can get that are so unique. 

Heading over towards Splash Mountain, there are a couple of great little gems that I absolutely love. The first is the Briar Patch shop.  Take a look inside as there are a ton of unique nods to this fantastic attraction.  Make sure to look up and all around, as the details are everywhere! 

Another one of my favorites is the Br'er Fox, Br'er Rabbit, and Br'er Bear statue that sits outside of Splash Mountain's entrance.   It's such a nice nod to the attraction and shows what mayhem you are in store for during your flume ride! 

My last Little Thing is found on Big Thunder Mountain.  Of course, be on the lookout for the name of the train you are riding on this wildest ride in the wilderness.  You should also be on the lookout for the show scenes which are sometime harder to see, with you whizzing right past!  But perhaps my favorite little detail is to ride Big Thunder at night.  The attraction takes on a different feel and the lighting is spectacular, but what I'm really talking about is to ride during the fireworks.  Now, I don't suggest doing this if you've never seen Wishes, but if you have, you get some great views of the fireworks while gliding along.  Then, after you get off the attraction, you can see the remainder of the fireworks from the exit.  Again, another very unique vantage point! 

So, that's my listing of my favorite details that can be found in Frontierland, but you know I know I missed something.  Let me know what that something is in the comments section or on the Facebook page!  Or let me know what I missed on Twitter. 

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, April 6, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 3/31/14 - 4/6/14





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

News


Magic Kingdom

  • The Diamond Horseshoe will be open for the busy Spring Break/Easter season.  It will be open for lunch from April 11th - 28th, from 11am to 3pm.The restaurant will serve a family style turkey dinner from April 13th - 19th. 
  • New details have been released about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  There will be three elements to the queue.  They include Jewel Sorting, Jewel Washing, and The Vault. If you want to know spoilers that share the ride scenes and how everything will flow, read further...if not...stop reading. I'm warning you...this will tell you all the details of the ride.                       You enter your mine car, and depart, winding down and around before starting up a steep hill.  Near the peak, beware the broken track that lies before you,and the two vultures perched atop an abandoned jib crane. You'll peer beyond the empty crates and barrels.  But make sure to listen closely as you hear a familiar song being sung from the mountain. Your cart heads over the crest, traveling down and around the mountain and deep into the mine shaft. Once inside, you happen upon the Seven Dwarfs hard at work, while collecting jewels.  All the dwarfs are there, as you make your way through the cavern and climb back into the outside.  Once you reach the top, you'll get a gorgeous view of New Fantasyland.  You'll then pass behind a waterfall, and then have the opportunity to peer into the cottage where Snow White and friends are dancing.  After that, the ride comes to an end.


Epcot

  • A brand new scavenger hunt has started in Epcot themed around Muppets Most Wanted.  Guests can choose from two adventures and will search for clues.  The hunt is expected to last until May 11.
  • The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series artists have been announced. The concerts take place at the American Gardens Theater.  This year's acts include: 
    • June 8-14: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
    • June 15-21: Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey Tribute Band
    • June 22-28: Good Vibrations – A Tribute to The Beach Boys
    • June 29-July 5: Don’t Look Back – Boston Tribute Band
    • July 6-12: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
    • July 13-19: Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
    • July 20-26: 2U – A Tribute to U2

General Walt Disney World News

  • Disney has announced that they will be increasing the number of FastPass+ reservations guests will potentially be able to pick up in a day and they will soon allow for Park Hopping.  Read my latest blog post for more info.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New FastPass+ Perks Headed to Walt Disney World Soon



FastPass+ at Walt Disney World has been an ever changing animal.  We've seen it evolve from random testing; to testing by only resort guests; to testing park-wide, getting rid of Legacy FASTPASS; to just this week when advanced FastPass+ reservations were rolled out to all guests.   (For those who missed the announcement, Guests who are staying off-site now have the ability to make advance FastPass+ reservations, up to 30 days in advance.  See this blog post for more details about the entire FastPass+ and MyMagic+ experience.)  It really has been such a roller coaster following it all.

With that said, there have been some hiccups and issues that people have had and it seems that Disney is now trying to address those issues all thanks to guest feedback!  (See, sometimes answering those surveys works!)

The first issue that people generally had with FastPass+ was they just didn't offer guests the ability to get enough FastPass+ reservations in a day.  Disney was only offering guests the chance to make three.  People, especially Disney fanatics who were used to getting more FastPasses than three per day, were very upset by the limit.  It appears that Disney is now going to address this issue!

It was announced that they are working on giving guests a fourth rolling FastPass+ entitlement.  Here's how it will work.  Once a guest uses all three of their FastPass+ reservations, they will then be allowed to head to one of the FastPass+ kiosk in the park to make an additional reservation.  The best part is that this reservation will be rolling, so once you use it, you'll be able to head back to the FastPass+ kiosk to make additional reservations throughout the day! (On a one FastPass+ a time basis.)

This is a wonderful idea and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.  First, it still keeps things fair for those who make their reservations day of (there will always be those guests and they should get the chance to have a legitimate pool to choose from...I know some may disagree with me on that, but they paid the same money to get in the door you did, they shouldn't get shafted.) But this change will allow people to still get the additional FastPass+ reservations they wanted to be able to have, but couldn't.  This opens up so many possibilities.

This of course, changes the ball game.  This means that the strategy of making your FastPass+ reservations for later in the day not as appealing.  Also, I wonder if that will mean that standby lines will get even longer for those attractions that didn't used to have lines, like Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean?  Currently the lines for these kinds of attractions have ballooned. Though, now that we'll be able to make additional FastPass+ reservations for those attractions if we want to, it may end up making these lines shorter...hmmm.....I'm just not sure how that will all shake out yet and will intriguing to see how it does.

Overall, I am happy with this change and I like that it will be rolling, allowing guests to take advantage of the perk, if they choose.   (I wonder if they will allow you to re-do a ride you've already done, if the availability is there.  Guess we'll find out when it rolls out.)

It will also be interesting to see how this plays out at both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, where guests have to choose from tiers.  I'm guessing that once you start choosing your fourth FastPass, it will potentially allow you to access any of the attractions, if they have times available. 

The second change that Disney will be making will be a service enhancement that allows for Park Hopping.  Previously, guests were limited to only choose their FastPass+ reservations from one park, per day.  With the addition of the Park Hopping feature, it will open up this perk again to guests (because previously, who would want to pay for Park Hopping if you couldn't have access to the FastPass+ system.)

Again, this is a welcome perk, because I am a Park Hopping fan.  I enjoy being able to head to Animal Kingdom in the morning, leave by lunch, and then head to Epcot for the evening.  Having to choose which park to make FastPass+ reservations was very difficult.

Overall, I think these changes are VERY welcome and will be happy to see them roll out in the near future.  Of course, Disney didn't announce any sort of roll out date for these perks, but I expect they will happen within the next few months (cause why announce something that they won't be rolling out until 6 months down the road.)

What are your thoughts though?  Think these are nice additions? Or still think FastPass+ is the most awful thing to hit Walt Disney World and these additions won't change your mind.  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!  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 3/24/14 - 3/30/14




News

Magic Kingdom

  • Night of Joy tickets go on sale tomorrow.


Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Two Star Wars character meals will take place daily from May 4 to June 15. One is a dinner, called Jedi Mickey's Star Wars Dine. The character dinner will take place at Hollywood and Vine and characters available at this meal will be Jedi Mickey, Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, Stormtrooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip & Dale. The cost is $55.99 for adults ages 10 and up (or $59.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package), and $33.99 for children ages 3-9 (or $36.99 with Fantasmic! Dinner Package).  There is also a character breakfast Star Wars Galactic Dine-in Breakfast.  It takes place Sci-Fi Dine In during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to noon. This meal will feature Stormtroopers, Jawa, Greedo, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader.  Also, instead of showing classic sci-fi movie clips, the theater will show Star Wars clips! Pricing is $47.99 for adults ages 10 and up and $29.99 for children ages 3-9.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • The Gardens Kiosk is now offering their gluten free doughnuts.

Disney Resorts

  •  A brand new experience is testing at the Atlantic Dance Hall.  Tom Casey's Let's Get Rockin' interactive band experience takes place on Thursday nights, starting at 9:00 p.m.  Guests can get on stage and sing or play an instrument with a live band.  
  • At Disney's Grand Floridian, guests are invited to enjoy the 3rd annual Easter egg display in the lobby of the hotel. The eggs are all edible, created with modeling chocolate, fondant, sculpted sugar and royal icing. Each egg will depict a different Disney story, like Tangled or The Little Mermaid. Guests will be able to view all 18 eggs from April 4-22. 
  • Kouzzina will be closing at Disney's BoardWalk on September 30. A new restaurant will open in its place sometime in late 2014.
  • Capt. Cook's refurbishment has been pushed back to begin April 9.


General Walt Disney World News

  • Parking fees have been increased.  They are now $17 for cars, taxis, limos, or motorcycles.  For campers, trailers, and RVs, the cost is $18 and for buses and tractor trailers, it is $21. 
  • Off-site guests will be able to make advance FastPass+ reservations, up to 30 days in advance.  MagicBands will be able to be purchased by off-site guests for $12.95, if they choose, but they are not required. 
  • The Disability Access Service card will change it's validity rate.  It will now be valid for 60 days from issue date.


Rumors
  • A brand new restaurant should be headed to Disney Springs from the Patina Group.  They are the ones who brought us Via Napoli.  The new restaurant is supposed to be built where 8Trax and Mannequin's was.
  • Dream Along with Mickey may end it's run this summer.
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted Review: Spoilery and Non-Spoilery

©Disney


It's Friday, which means that the weekend is officially here!  With the weekend, comes the time to of course, let your hair down and have a little fun...maybe take in a movie?

Last week, Brian and I went and saw Muppets Most Wanted.  We were both super excited about it, as we were celebrating out 11 year dating anniversary.  (What what!) We'd been anxiously watching the previews and all the other press that had been done about the movie.

So...without any further delay...let's get to the review that I like to call A Salute To All Movies...But Mostly The Muppets.

Non-Spoilery

Let's start with the non-spoilery review first.

This is a great movie to take the kiddos to.  It's got lots of fun, and mayhem, and jokes (both for the kiddos and for the adultos...yes...I just said adultos....).

For you Muppet fans, I think this is a little bit closer to the original Muppets movies.  More about the Muppets overall, with the celebrity stars playing essentially more minor sort of roles. 

This movie also had some fun songs, much like the last one.  My favorite is the opening song.  There's another fun song that stuck with me done by Sam Eagle and Ty Burrell's character that uses very creative lyrics to accomplish what they are trying to do.  Overall though, I don't think the songs stuck out to me as much though...but the first movie's songs didn't really stick with me either. So, maybe that's just a me thing.

I think the premise of the story was a good one.  It had intrigue and excitement.  It felt overall, more Muppety.

I think that's my overall take away from this movie.  It really seemed more Muppety than the last one.  Which, when you're making a movie about the Muppets, that's a good thing to accomplish.  The last movie seemed to focus too much (not necessarily in a bad way, mind you) about Gary, and Mary, and Walter.  The Muppets actually seemed like the background characters.   I feel that with this movie, they went back to the original formula.

This is a good movie that really I think the whole family will enjoy.  It really does have something for everyone.

Ok...so for those of you who do not want spoilers, stop reading now.  Because the next portion of this post will be FILLED with them.


I have given you fair warning.....

Spoilery


I thought this movie was good, but not great.  It is certainly entertaining and fun, don't get me wrong, but I can see why people may not be connecting to it as much.

I think my problem is maybe there is too much Constantine.  I think that's really been the problem of both of the last two movies.  Relying too much on characters that are "new" Muppets.  It has been kind of hard to connect.  Now, I know that Constantine was the bad guy in the movie, so, you don't want to connect too much, but I just feel like when you let The Muppets be...together....as a group...they do better.

It was sort of my problem with The Muppets too. I love Jason Segal, but it was too much of him and Amy Adams, and Walter. The concept of just the Muppets is why Muppet-Vision 3D (especially the pre-show portion...less so with Waldo...and I think people's problem with Waldo) works.  I believe that if they really did a Muppet movie based around the characters already in place (and not revolving around a marriage of Piggy and Kermy) I think it would actually be better.  And it seems to be what's missing.  The Muppets, have yet to be their traditional irreverent selves. I would have liked to have seen more silly.  They had some...just not enough. 

The story, I thought overall was good.  I liked the caper story and did think it worked well with the Muppets.  I thought Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell were great supporting characters.  They didn't overshine the Muppets, but they each brought something unique and fun to their roles.  I did have a bit of trouble understanding Tina Fey when she was singing with the accent, but that's ok.  I did think that bit about Tina Fey being in love with Kermit to be a little bizarre.  Actually, Tina Fey's character was probably my least favorite celebrity character of this movie...which is so hard to say because I'm usually a big fan of hers.  And I loved her in the trailers.

Speaking of celebrities, I thought that the cameos were good too.  Though, I have to say, sometimes I thought it was a little hard to realize who the cameos were.  I think they maybe relied too much on the Disney Channel stars, who as someone who watches not one ounce of that channel missed over completely.  But then again, I'm sure I missed some cameos in the previous Muppet movie because I didn't know who a certain celebrity was.

I think this movie is also missing the full-fledged heartfeltness that the last one had.  I really didn't find myself connecting to any particular character.  Even though I thought there was too much Walter in The Muppets, at least I connected with him and the story. 

I did like the ending though.  I thought it was traditional and in Muppet form.

I think that this is a solid family movie and I'm so glad to see that The Muppets are on the big screen once again. Is this the best movie I've seen all year?  No, but it was certainly entertaining.



I hope that Disney realizes that people do want to see The Muppets in the limelight.  I hope that they see that The Muppets are relevant still.  And that they don't put them back in the can to sit for another 10+ years back into non-existence in our culture.  (PS:  it was also a terrible idea to have it pitted against Divergent...I know they probably didn't have a whole lot of say, but pitting any movie against the latest teen novel adaptation is always going to result in much lower numbers.) 

So, what do you think?  Did you see Muppets Most Wanted?  Are you wanting to see it this weekend?  Let me know your thoughts 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!  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Top Seven Tips for Spring Break Touring at Walt Disney World



We are in the midst of Spring Break season at Walt Disney World!  Which brings with it a lot of fun, but also lots of guests. 

Spring Break is one of the busiest times of the year for Disney.  It's right behind Christmas Week and Fourth of July.  People come out of the woodwork because the kiddos have off school and well, for many, winter has been awful and cold.  People are just looking for an escape.  

With that being said, I thought I'd give you my Top Seven Tips for Spring Break Touring at Walt Disney World.  Keep in mind that while I'm listing these for Spring Break, really these will work during any busy period of the year.  Hopefully these will help you have a great vacation.

  • Arrive at Rope Drop:  Yep...can't believe these words are coming out of my mouth...given that I'm one who hardly ever makes it to the parks by then.  But honestly, just being there in time for park opening is going to be huge.  You'll be ahead of most of the crowd (who are all like me and slept in) and you'll see attractions with less of a wait.  I know on the days when I've arrived earlier, I've been more successful in touring.  It really is the way to go when touring during the busiest seasons.  
  • Visit the non-Extra Magic Hour park:  For those who don't know, Disney on-site guests have an added perk of being able to take park in something called Extra Magic Hours.  This is where a select park is open one hour earlier or up to two hours later than scheduled park hours. The schedule is listed on Disney's website.  However, for those who are visiting who want to maximize their touring, my best tip is to avoid the park with the Morning Extra Magic Hours.  That is unless you have Park Hoppers and want to visit during the morning, get in a few attractions, and then leave.  Same goes for the Evening offering.  Only visit that park if you plan to Park Hop to it later in the evening. If you are staying off-site, then you want to avoid all Extra Magic Hours like the plague.  They will be busier than the other three parks.
  • Book Advanced Dining Reservations early and eat at off peak hours:  If you want to make sure you get to eat at a Table Service location in the park, make sure to make Advanced Dining Reservations ahead of time (up to 180 days in advance of your trip). You can do so by visiting the Disney Dining Page.  Also, no matter where you dine, either counter service or table service, try to eat during off peak hours.  (This means not at noon for lunch and not at 6 pm for dinner.)  The earlier or later you can go, the better chances you have of getting to eat where you want and not encountering huge crowds. 
  • Take a mid-day break:  If you are staying on-site, consider going back to your hotel room and taking a break.  Swim, nap, eat a meal.  Do whatever you can to just unwind a bit.  Plus, while you are relaxing a bit, everyone else will be in the theme parks, clogging up all the rides.   If you don't want to leave, take in shows, as the wait will not be as heavy and shows will give you the opportunity to sit down in the (usually air conditioned) theater. 
  • Schedule your FastPass+ reservations for in the late afternoon/early evening:  In the morning, if you get to the park early enough, you should be able to get on most attractions with little wait.  If you take my advice and leave during the afternoon (or see shows), you will avoid the major swell of crowds.  This means that when you get back to the park, if you schedule your FastPass+ reservations in the late afternoon/early evening, you will be able to get on the major attractions, while most people are still clamoring to ride them.  You'll just have a lesser wait.
  • Have a plan:  it seems stupid.  You are on vacation, right?  But if you plan out a few of the attractions and meals that you want to enjoy, your vacation will run much smoother and you'll be happier.  You don't have to plan out to the minute detail, but just enough to know what you'll be doing for the day.  There's nothing worse than the, "what do you want to do next?" question while examining your map. (PS:  Shameless plug...my friends at TouringPlans have this really cool app called Lines that you should totally check out.  It works so well to help plan your day!)
  • Patience is key:  Yes...there will be a lot of people around you.  And yes, you will likely get stepped on by someone who's not paying attention, or get rammed into by a stroller, or have someone try to stand in front of you during a parade, or leave their trays on a table, or stop in the middle of walking.  It's bound to happen.  You are in a busy place, surrounded by people who don't know where they're going, and don't know necessarily what they are doing.  But, if you put on your patience hat, you will have a much better vacation for yourself.  (And you won't go to jail for punching someone in the face for cutting in front of you in line.)  
A few other minor notes.  Easter Week will see the heaviest crowds usually.  If you can, I would avoid the Magic Kingdom, especially on Easter day.

Also, you've likely been in the tundra for the past six months...don't forget to bring sunscreen.  Nothing is worse than getting that lobster glow on your first day of vacation and then living through the pain.

Overall, you can have a wonderful time at Walt Disney World...even if you travel during the busiest of seasons, like Spring Break.  Because really...would you rather be there or back at home? 

What are your tips for touring during Spring Break?  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!     

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 3/17/14 - 3/23/14







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

News


Magic Kingdom

  • Disney will be celebrating a global sing along at Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on April 10. For more information, read my previous post.


Epcot

  • Epcot will have an Easter egg hunt from April 10-20. Here’s how it works. Guests will be able to record the finds by placing the right character sticker in the matching location on the map. Once you finish finding the eggs, you’ll be able to return the map at the redemption spot, Disney Traders, and will be able to pick up a special surprise. Maps can be purchased at Heritage Manor (at the American Adventure Pavilion), Disney Traders, the International Gateway, Pin Central, and Port of Entry for $4.95.


Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • For the first time ever, at Star Wars Weekends, Mark Hamill, otherwise known as Luke Skywalker, will appearing. He'll be there the fourth weekend, June 6-8. 
  • A sneak peak of the movie Maleficent will be showing at the ABC Sound Studio, starting on April 18.
  • A new pre-show addition will be added to Muppet-Vision 3D.  The new addition will feature an interruption from Constantine. The pre-show will remain unchanged otherwise.



Downtown Disney

  • A new kiosk has opened on the Marketplace side.  It's called Happy Hound and will sell accessories for your pets, including leashes, glamour collars, food bowls, outfits, jackets, and squeaky toys!
  • A fish tank broke this past week at T-Rex Cafe.  Luckily...all the fish were saved!


Disney Resorts

  • Captain Cooks will now officially close for it's refurb on April 9. 



Rumors

  • Soft openings for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train should begin soft openings on April 20.
Download the all NEW Disney Food Blog Guide Walt Disney World Dining!  Read about all the fantastic delights the parks have to offer!