Sunday, August 31, 2008

News & Rumors 8/25/08 - 8/31/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.
  • When you go to Extra Magic Hours starting in September, you won't need to get a wristband anymore. You will however, need to show your "Key To The World" card at every single attraction line you get into.
  • The Halloween decorations are starting to go up at the Magic Kingdom in preparation for the first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which will be held this Friday, Sept. 5. New this year are busts of Pluto, Goofy, Minnie, and Donald dressed in Halloween outfits. These are located in the Hub.
  • It's official. Disney has sold 298 acres of land to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The plans call for 445 rooms, a championship golf course and time shares to be built on the property.
  • The pool at Caribbean Beach is almost ready. Only a tiny bit more work needs to be done on the bathroom roof.
  • There will now be a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on October 4. The one that was originally scheduled for October 3 was cancelled recently. (Rumors were floating around that Miley Cyrus' 16 birthday was thought to be held on that date.) Now the Magic Kingdom will be open from 9am-9pm on the 3rd.
  • The Liberty Square bridge has now reopened for general traffic.
  • The castle turrets are now being decorated with lights.
  • As was reported recently, Disney is currently working on it's reservations system. There is now an update about it's status. Starting August 30, all guests will be able to book ADRs for dining dates up to February 22, 2009. Bookings are expected to return to normal on November 21 and the 180 day window will once again continue.
  • Michael Phelps visited Disney World on Friday for his homecoming from Beijing and got a parade in his honor.
  • The Pleasure Island bus stop is closed for what appears to be a major refurbishment. Passengers can get off at both the Marketplace and Westside stops.

  • The single rider line is not being used anymore at Toy Story Midway Mania.
  • The new Food and Beverage testing station at Epcot that was reported recently is being rumored to be ready soon.
  • It's rumored that the lights on Cinderella Castle this year are going to be bigger and better than ever...extending out into the hub a bit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disney's Jungle Trek

Sorry about the delay in getting this up, but here we go:

As some of you know, rumors have recently been swirling around Disney communities that Disney is gearing up for an adventure. Disney wants to build an exclusive experience theme park ala Discovery Cove, which is a Sea World domain. A niche park that appeals to a small number of people, but will cost a pretty fortune to enter.

This new park has seen some interesting transformations over the last few months though. At first, rumors were swirling that the park would be called "Night Kingdom." It was supposed to take place from the hours of 4 pm - midnight and you would get do things like feeding animals like hippos, go spelunking and see bats, go rock climbing. Ever wanted to try zip lining? You could do it here. Here, you would get themed lands, much like you do in the other parks. You were also supposed to get a gourmet meal at the end of your adventure.

Apparently there was a very lackluster response to this type of experience, so now, things have changed a little. The park hours have been now they will be open from noon to 2 a.m. They've also now changed the name from Night Kingdom to Disney's Jungle Trek (a better name in my opinion matter whether it took place all at night or not!). Instead of individual adventures (with each activity being a separate entity), now your goal is to set off on an adventure where you encounter each one of these items during your trek (things like ancient ruins and rare animals) and then, once you reach the end, you will be able to spend time in Global Village. Here, you'll be able to eat and do some of the other activities advertised, such as rock climbing and zip lining, or simply relaxing. It will be a five hour total experience...with 2 hours being spent doing the actual trek and the remaining 3 hours spent doing whatever you see fit. However, the one thing is, Disney is still not changing the price of the adventure. Cost is still rumored to be around $250-$300 a person.

The one thing I will be excited about though...before, when it was Night Kingdom, it was rumored that the Adventurer's Club might go there. I hope that it's still being considered as part of Disney's Jungle Trek...and if it is...I really hope you'll be able to pay a cover and simply get into the Adventurer's Club and not have to pay the $300. (Disney...hear my cries! If the Adventurer's Club must go from Pleasure Island...please put it back here!!!)

So, now, it's opinion time. :)

How do I really feel about Night Kingdom/Disney's Jungle Trek?

Well, Night Kingdom, I'll be honest, didn't sit well with me. I thought that it was a very narrow reach and that there was really nothing that sucked you in. There seemed to be no all seemed to be a bit disjointed. Also, that price tag is very off-putting. For just the two of us in my family, it would be at least $500 and I could think of a lot of other things I would want to do with $500 dollars! (I mean, feeding a hippo doesn't sound real exciting to me...and I can rock climb here in St. Louis!)

Disney Jungle Trek, however, I'm liking a little more. I think that at least it seems to have a purpose now...a mini-story. The fact that you're now going on an adventure, kinda like Indiana Jones would be kind of cool. And it's nice that they've decided to offer it as an all day option.

Will Disney's Jungle Trek be something I take part in...more than likely no. A park like this, even with all the changes, is still something that I have no interest in. I can't see spending that type of money just on a 5 hour experience...although, I could, of course, change my mind, if it ended up being cool enough. However, to each their own. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who really would enjoy this type of adventure. I guess we'll find out though...if Disney decides to go forward with it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

News & Rumors 8/18/08 - 8/24/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.


  • This year, for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, two characters will have different costumes. Mickey will be trading in his scarecrow outfit for a purple and orange evening wear outfit and Minnie will be trading in her witch costume for a matching party dress.
  • The Kim Possible interactive experience is, indeed returning. Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, as it will now be called, will have guests receiving Kimmunicators at certain kiosks throughout Epcot. With state of the art technology, guests will then be able to try to stop villains from taking over the world, using the World Showcase pavilions to help aid them in their adventure. The game will begin in late 2008.
  • Guests who are going to Disney for this year's free dining offer (Aug. 24-Sept. 27) are being offered incentives to use their credits for quick service restaurants, instead of full service. If a guest uses their table service credit at a quick service location, they will receive either the choice of two extra snack entitlement to be used at the same time at any snack service location or they will receive one merchandise voucher for one sling mesh bag.
  • The Earth Barge in Epcot, used for Illuminations performances has finally been taken out of commission for it's much talked about refurb. This refurb will last around 3-4 weeks and is slated for a complete overhaul, including new LED lights. While it is out, Disney will run extra fireworks to cover missing parts from the show and the Inferno Barge is being used as the finale. Also the show has been cut down from 12 minutes to 9 minutes during the refurb.
  • The Castle Dream Lights are now being installed on Cinderella Castle for this year's Christmas festivities. The lower turrets are already covered. Now Disney is working on the higher turrets.
  • There are some new, significant changes to the Fastpass ticket. The date stamp has now been moved under the ride return time (and the date now includes the year) and the text has been changed.
  • Peter Pan is currently testing out 3 lines. The new Fastpass return line is down by the bathrooms, across from the old Skyway. The standby line is where it always has, but loops around and then enters where the old Fastpass line would. The old Fastpass ramp is now being used for wheelchair access.
  • Portobello Yacht Club will be closed from Sept. 27-Oct. 12 to undergo it's refurb. It will reopen simply as Portobello and will continue to get small changes as they perfect the new Italian menu.


  • The Liberty Bridge refurb has been pushed back one additional day to Sept. 2nd. Spectromagic will remain dark and the Disney Dreams Come True Parade will run twice a day still.
  • Next year's free dining is going to be a lot different. Value resorts will not receive an free dining offers. Moderate resorts will receive a quick service dining offer and Deluxes will receive regular free dining. Edit: I would like to amend this a little...I am now hearing some other rumblings about free dining. One rumor is that both Values and Moderates will get the Couter Service Plan and Deluxes will get the regular dining plan. The other rumbling I'm hearing is that next year's bounce back promotion being offered is going to be the regular dining plan for all hotel categories. Stay tuned for more info!
  • Night Kingdom is reportedly changing least a little. It's now being rumored to be called Jungle Trek. They are saying that the trek will now last 5 hours and will take you on a two hour adventure hike into the "jungle" where you come across ancient ruins and mysterious animals. Once the trek is over, you will come across what is called Global Village where you can do other various activities such as rock climbing, zip lining and more. This is also the area in which you would eat. The cost is still being rumored at $250-$300 and has now been changed from only being available after dark. Rumored park hours have been extended from 9am-9pm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Joys and Pains of Disney's Fastpass

Everyone knows that there are certain topics that gets nearly everyone heated. Pool hopping and mug reusage are two of the major firecracker issues. But I've recently found another one. Fastpasses.

Now, I'm not gonna lie...I love Fastpass. To me, it is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. And although I would guess I'm not using it 100% the way Disney would want (I usually fit in a ride or two in between my Fastpass time...instead of spending money, which was Disney's original goal) I still think of this perk as an amazing invention and one that I utilize to the fullest when I'm down at Disney.

Fastpass, for those not in the know, is where you insert your park ticket into a kiosk. The kiosk then spits out a ride time...this time is the the time that you're supposed to come back and ride the attraction...essentially, this machine is holding your place in line. What do you do while waiting? Well, you can do what I usually do and ride attractions, or you can shop, eat, people watch, pretty much whatever you can think of to do to kill time.

Then, when your ride time comes around, you go back to the Fastpass entrance and get in a separate line and you'll have little to no wait. Sounds relatively easy, you'd assume...and for the most part it is.

However, there are some who have problems with the way Fastpass is handled.

One of the major concerns, and I'll have to admit, this is one of mine as well, is that if you are standing in the standby line, it seems as if sometimes the number of people let in through the Fastpass line is highly disproportionate to the number of people who enter through the standby line, causing the standby line's wait to soar astronomically. This happened to me at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We should have been on the attraction in 45 minutes, however, it took us at least an hour...probably closer to an hour and 15 minutes. In this instance, even though there were no people standing in the Fastpass line, the CM still wasn't letting anyone in the standby line through because she saw people coming up through the Fastpass line.

The ratio Cast Members are supposed to allow in is supposed to be 80/20...80% Fastpass to 20% standby, which wouldn't be so bad...if they actually followed this example. Personally, I think I'd prefer 70/30 though or at least 75/25. And if no one is standing in front of them in the Fastpass line, then the standby line is supposed to filter in until Fastpass has a line yet again.

Another problem people have with Fastpass is that some of the attractions simply don't need Fastpass, yet they have it anyway. Many people claim that shows don't really need Fastpass (something I'd agree with...I hate wasting my Fastpasses on a show) or rides that are continuous movers like Buzz Lightyear.

There are two attractions though, that I'd like to see how much Fastpass really does effect the standby wait times for--Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan. For some reason, I think the Standby line would move a lot quicker if Fastpass wasn't included on these attractions. Not to mention, these two attractions are some of the only ones where if you get in the Fastpass line, you do end up having a "longer" wait, despite the Fastpass. If everyone entered as one, I think things might move more smoothly, but I'm not 100% sure on this one, as I don't really remember what wait times were like for Peter Pan before Fastpass was installed.

The last major issue people have with Fastpass is the big "secret." The thing it seems very few people know about, but yet this secret is as evil to some as pool hopping and reusing resort mugs. So what topic gets people riled the most?

It's the fact that you can use a Fastpass that has expired, meaning, Disney will accept late Fastpasses. So, if you had a Fastpass for 4:00-5:00 pm and you show up at 7:00 that night to ride, they will let you on with no problems. Many people blame this as the major problem with Fastpass, claiming it causes major backups, especially near the end of the night. I however, have a different way of viewing things.

The way that I view it is that it's a complete wash, but not in the way you might expect. The wash is that there will be people who follow the rules of the time stamped on the ticket. I think I can safely say the majority of people who missed their window will not come back to the ride once they missed their window...therefore, they will then either get in the standby line or they will just not ride that attraction. The people who come back with expired Fastpassess are really only taking the place of the people who didn't show up for the Fastpass line in the first place--those who missed their Fastpass times to begin with.

Now, in my opinion, I would imagine that the number of people who missed their Fastpass times and didn't come back would far outweigh the number of people who missed it and do actually come back to ride at a later time that day. Otherwise I don't think Disney would continue accepting late Fastpasses. Actually, I would believe that because people are completely missing the Fastpass time and not coming back, that helps to make the standby line move quicker too. However, the majority of people are going to see the time stamp and adhere to it.

Edit:  9/21/11- It has come to my attention that currently, Disney is sticking to the scheduled Fastpass times for some attractions.  This is not something that is being done at every attraction and you could visit the attraction once during one part of the day and be denied your late Fastpass, but then potentially you could try to use it again later and be allowed.  Please keep in mind that this may only be a test, but that because they are trying this out currently, this Fastpass "secret" I've discussed could be yanked at any time, meaning that Disney may soon only allow Fastpasses to be used for the scheduled time for all attractions at all time.  Keep in touch with the blog for further details on this matter. 

So with all that being said...what do you honestly think about Fastpass?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

News & Rumors 8/11/08 - 8/17/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.


  • The T-Rex Cafe is said to be ahead of schedule. They are saying it will open in the middle of October now.
  • The new quick service restaurant being built where the Concourse Steakhouse was is set to be called "Contempo Cafe."
  • Disney's water parks are closing earlier this year. Blizzard Beach will be closed Sept. 28-Oct. 26 and Typhoon Lagoon is set to close Oct. 26-March 22, 2009.


  • This fall, at the Cape May Cafe, Chip and Dale will no longer appear. Donald, will instead, take their place.
  • Some new rumors are coming out about Disney's 40th Celebration at WDW for Epcot and DHS. Of course, it's been rumored at DHS that Star Tours will be receiving a massive refurb, including updates to it's film, queue, story, and store. These are rumored to be done by 2011. Also rumored, Soarin in Epcot will be receiving a new film, focusing on touring the World. This is possibly set to debut in 2009.
  • Some are now saying that Space Mountain's refurb is being pushed back until April and will be much shorter than originally anticipated, reopening in November.
  • Splash Mountain will have their annual refurb again in January.
  • The Hall of Presidents are now being rumored to be out of commission through August of next year now...not July like originally reported.
  • Philharmagic will be down for refurb, the end of January-mid February.
  • As of Sept. 20, 4 For a Dollar, the group that performs before Beauty and the Beast the The Studios will be no more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When is Enough, Enough?

Well, it's that time of year again. Kids are starting back to school, fall clothes are being put out on the shelves, oh and Disney is raising the cost of their vacation packages. Now, I've always been understanding of Disney and the need to raise their prices. They are, of course a business, with the goal to make money (ack!) and of course, the goal to help their stockholder's portfolios. However, with each year's raise, Disney also seemed to be adding more entertainment value for the money. This year, however, has been the first year where I feel that they are not. Matter of fact, they seem to be taking more away this year.

Recently rumblings around Disney communities have been talking about this for months. Also, Mike Scopa of and WDW Today recently had an article that pretty much stated these same issues. His article contemplated that while the cost of things in the world are going up, it's not going to cause people to all together stop going down to Disney. However, it is still going to end up affecting Disney's pocketbook in the end. And I have to agree with him...things, at least on a fan's end, are looking a little ridiculous.

What things? Well, many have been talked about here in previous posts, but here's a listing of things that Disney has changed over the past year, where they are either upping the prices and not adding anything additional or they are simply taking something away.

  • Fantasmic going down to 2 shows a week in January
  • Taking away the characters at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner, yet, the price, still the same.
  • Closing Pocahontas and her Forrest Friends at DAK.
  • Shutting down Woody's Cowboy Camp and the Family Fun Day Parade
  • Taking away the appetizer and tip on the dining plan while only reducing the price by a dollar. (Which, if any of you will notice, the price has now jumped up $2 for next year! And yet, nothing has been added.)
  • Adding a dining surcharge for people who are wanting table service meals during peak periods. (Let me get this straight, they are already, more than likely, paying a higher premium to stay at the resort during this time period and experiencing a higher volume in guests--many times with the parks reaching capacity or close to it, and you want to charge them more money to eat?! Nothing like taking advantage of someone for nothing, now, is there?)
  • The prices of strollers went up
  • Increasing the prices of the special parties, like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, yet adding nothing for the increases. (And in many cases, taking things away, like the free photo that you used to be available.)
  • And yes, on a different scale, removing Pleasure Island

And of course, these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure there have been more changes recently that have either taken the value away from something or reduced it to nothing to begin with.

The problem that Mike, so eloquently pointed out, is that, with all these changes...people are then going to be changing the way they vacation. And I agree. People will, be doing all they can, to squeeze the value out of their vacations...something that, as of last year even, seemed so readily accessible.

People are going to try to stretch more out of their vacation, getting rid of short trips down to the World, opting for longer stretches of time. I know I try to do this already. I find it silly to go down for a 3 or 4 day weekend and try to stretch my trips to at least 5 or 6, if possible. It's cheaper for the park tickets (adding a couple of dollars is a lot better than adding $75) and the airfare price doesn't change. What does this then mean? Disney will be loosing out on a trip I might have taken, but now won't, b/c it's not cost effective for me to go down for a shorter period of time. Therefore, they will be loosing out on any additional money I would have spent on dining and souvenirs and various other things I would have had to spend for.

People are going to stop getting the Water Park and More options. This is something that affects me. I was going to get the Premium AP, however, with the recent announcement of the removal of Pleasure Island, the value of a Premium AP (and also the Water Park and More option) diminishes greatly. If I want to go to the water park, I'll go once on a trip and pay out of pocket.

With that regard, people are also going to stop getting the Park Hopping option. They will try to keep their schedules, even more so, to one park, per day. Spending the extra money on just being allowed to park hop, would be silly.

People will downgrade hotels. People who stayed in Deluxes won't be staying there anymore...they will downgrade to Moderates or Values. Or, worse for Disney, they will consider staying off site at a vacation home or other hotel. It's more cost effective for them to do so, in some cases. (Of course, the same options will then apply to those who stay at Moderates and Values already as well...they will downgrade their resorts too.)

People won't get the dining plan as readily as they might have before. With the value of it so diminished recently and with the cost of it going up this year, people might look harder at the dining plan to really see what the value is and if it's worth it to them. Or people might decide to eat more counter service meals with maybe one or two table services meals thrown in, maybe opting for buffets where they can eat all they can, so they can skip a meal.

Another thing that could very well be affected...the selling of DVC. I know I'm on the cusp of deciding whether I want to buy into DVC or not...however, if they keep minimizing the value of the other areas of the resort, I will keep my money in my pocketbook, not in Disney's.

The list could go on and on.

Of course, there are people out there who have already been doing some of these things for years. The problem is...with the economy going the way it is right now, things like this are going to increase exponentially. Therefore, people who were just able to save for a Disney vacation before simply won't be able to afford to go and those who comfortably could afford their vacations are now feeling the pinch and are scrimping away. And because of this, Disney won't be making the money they were making previously.

I understand that times are tough and that Disney's gotta do what they have to do. Ah, but you see, maybe if Disney weren't taking away so much, especially so much that is seen in the public eye, people wouldn't feel as if there were getting gypped. They would still feel that they were getting a decent value out of their vacations and feel it as a good choice of a destination to visit. I'm not so sure that's going to be the case in the recent future. I have a feeling people might be choosing to go to their local theme parks or other local attractions for a while, where, while service isn't as great, it also won't cost them an arm and a leg to get in. I guess we'll just have to see.

As for me, I'm still one of the ones who's going to continue my vacations down to Disney, especially since I did just get an AP, I just don't know if I'll be picking up as many souvenirs as I may have done previously. Or eating in the parks as know Pop Tarts make just as good of a breakfast as a cinnamon roll from Main Street...and it's certainly not nearly as costly as a Character Breakfast. Decisions, decisions.

So tell me, has the straw broke the camel's back for you?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

News & Rumors 8/4/08 - 8/10/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.


  • As early as May 2009, the Kidani Village building at The Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas will be available for bookings by non-DVC guests.
  • The courtesy hold on resort package bookings has now been lowered down to 7 days, which is down from the 14 day hold that was previously available.
  • Coronado Springs will add a Business Club level room category next year.
  • At premium campsites at Ft. Wilderness and all cabins free Internet access will be available next year.
  • StormStruck in Innoventions has now opened. StormStruck is supposed to be a showcase demonstrating about being prepaired for hurricanes by homeowners.
  • Rock n' Roller Coaster's exterior has been undergoing some refurb work, with the car hanging overhead disappearing and the smoking area being walled off.
  • The big balloon that is in the Muppet's area in Disney's Hollywood Studios has been undergoing some recent refurb work.
  • Construction walls are now up at the Portobello Yacht Club, beginning their refurb.
  • Some changes are coming the the Magic Kingdom during the Free Dining promotion. On Aug. 24 and 31 and Sept. 7 and 14, The Tomorrowland Terrace will be serving a buffet from 5:30-9:00 pm. Food served will include beef loin to order, pastas, salads, and breads. The cost will be $35 for ages 10 and up and $18 for ages 3-9. This will include gratuity. It will also take up one table service dining credit.
  • Also, from Aug. 24-31 and Sept. 13-25, the Diamond Horseshoe will have a family style dinner with turkey, beef, pork loin, mashed potatoes and more. Hours of operation will be from 5:30-9:00 pm. Cost will be $28.99 for ages 10 and up and $14.99 for ages 3-9. This location will also only use up one dining service credit.
  • Here is a pricing rundown of the meal plans for next year:

    Quick Service Dining Plan
    $29.99 daily cost per adult
    $8.99 daily cost per child
    Dining Plan
    $39.99 daily cost per adult
    $10.99 daily cost per child
    Deluxe Dining Plan
    $71.99 daily cost per adult
    $20.99 daily cost per child
    Premium Dining Plan
    $159.00 daily cost per adult
    $109.00 daily cost per child
    Platinum Dining Plan
    $209.00 daily cost per adult
    $144.00 daily cost per child
  • Updated info on the new Pirates of the Caribbean rooms at Caribbean Beach...the rooms will be available for bookings with arrival dates starting Jan. 24. Also, these rooms will come at a premium price, as Disney is charging an extra $25 per room per night.


  • It's being rumored that the Magical Fireworks Voyage will be open to all guests starting next year.
  • The Hall of Presidents will be closing in November to update for when the new President is elected. However, adding a new President isn't the only thing rumored to be happening. The show will be closed until July 2009, which, many are speculating, is an awfully long time to only add a new President AA. It's also been rumored, this new President wouldn't have a speaking part, he would simply just be added to the line up and that the Abraham Lincoln AA would have his script extended. The changes, are however, still a mystery.
  • It's been rumored that the Wilderness Lodge Villa's refurbs will be starting in 2 weeks.
  • Coronado Springs will begin their refurb in September.
  • Rumors are now swirling that when Space Mountain goes down for it's refurb (rumored to be starting in January) that the TTA will be going down with it.
  • It's now being rumored that the reason the Oct. 3 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party may be closing is due to Miley Cyrus' 16th Birthday Party. Recent rumors were saying it might be due to a press event. Guess we'll see Oct. 3?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, it's been announced that next year, Disney is now going to offer a Counter Service Dining Plan. The price will be $29.99 and you will receive 2 CS meals, 2 snacks per day and one refillable mug that can be used at the resorts during your stay. (Although, I did hear a rumor that they will be allowing you to use the refillable mugs anywhere on Disney property...don't know how they'd manage that one, but alas, right now, it's just a rumor).

This news excites me though. I think this is a brilliant idea and it's too bad they aren't rolling it out now, because I might have actually took them up on that offer for my trip in September.

The reason it's so brilliant? Before, there were only two dining plans...and with both, you absolutely had to eat a a table service meal (or multiple) to get your money's worth out of them. This of course, caused problems because people would book up the Table Service restaurants because they would need a place to eat for the night. Now, if you really didn't want a table service meal, you don't have to get one. It's perfect. Plus, maybe now it might free up a few slots at Table Service restaurants. Or maybe that's wishful thinking on my part. :)

The other reason this is so great is for people like me and my husband. People who are on a budget who don't really want to take the time to "waste" an hour sitting down for a meal when we could be off doing something else. That was the main reason my husband didn't want to get the dining plan for our upcoming trip. He didn't want to waste the valuable time we'd have.

The one negative...and really it's not much of a negative, is the cost. This would have been absolutely perfect priced at $24.99...however, it is price at $29.99...which, depending on how you look at it, could not be a value at all.

Example, say I was staying for 5 nights (You'll see why the number of nights is important in a minute). If that's the case then:

Snack 1: Breakfast-Cinnamon Roll at Pop Century-$2.69
CS Meal 1: Lunch-Grand Slam All Beef 1/4 lb. Hot Dog served with apple slaw or french fries at Casey's Corner-$5.79. Plus a Brownie $2.39 and Soda $2.39
CS Meal 2: Dinner-Fried Fish Basket served with choice of either French Fries or Apple Slices at Columbia Harbor House-$7.09 Plus Chocolate Cake-$3.59 and Soda-$2.39
Snack 2: Snack-Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar-$2.50
Cost of Refillable Mug broken down per day: approx. $2.50

The cost of all that is only $31.33, so you'd only be saving $1.34...still a savings, but not nearly as deep as one might think. And of course, this was only a sample of what someone might actually eat. If you went for the most expensive items off the menu for every single thing, you'd save more, but this was a general sampling.

So, while I still really like the idea of a Counter Service Dining Plan, it will be yet another plan where you'll probably need to weigh the costs of what you're spending to see if it really will be a value to you.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

News & Rumors 7/28/08 - 8/3/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.


  • Disney's ticket pricing will be increasing on Sunday, Aug. 3. The pricing structure will go as follows:

  • Disney also opened up the vacation packages for 2009. According the them now:

"Less than $1700 for a 6-night 7-day stay for a family of four (2 Adults, 1 Junior, 1 Child) with a MYW Base Ticket in a Standard Room at a Disney Value Resort during Value or Regular Seasons. Accommodations for 1-14 nights at a Walt Disney World owned and operated Resort, Magic Your Way Ticket with your choice of length and options, WDTC Package Exclusives"

  • Beginning January 11, 2009, there will be a new dining plan option. The counter service dining plan. With this plan, guests will receive 2 counter service meals, 2 snacks for each day of their stay and a resort refillable mug that can be used throughout your stay. Here's Disney's info about it:

"Less then $30 per adult (ages 10+) $9 per child (age 3-9) per night above the cost of the Magic Your Way Package. Accommodations for 1-14 nights at a Walt Disney World owned and operated Resort, Magic Your Way Ticket with your choice of length and options WDTC Package Exclusives, 2 Quick Service Meal per Guest, per night Meal includes: Entrée or entrée combo, Dessert, and non-alcoholic Beverage, 2 Snack per Guest per night, Refillable drink mug per person (refillable only at the resort in which you are staying and for current visit only)"

  • Disney is going to turn 384 rooms at Caribbean Beach into Pirates of the Caribbean themed. The rooms transformed will be located in the Trinidad South Village Area. Rooms will have beds that look like ships, dressers that look like crates, curtains that take the form of tattered sails, etc. Rooms will be decked out to the nines.
  • Anyone who books their Disney Vacation through the Disney Travel Co. will receive 30 minute play cards for the arcade.
  • Disney will be increasing the parking fees as well, from $11 to $12.


  • It's still being rumored that the Caribbean Beach pool will be opening early.
  • StrormStruck in Innoventions is rumored to have soft openings on Monday.
  • Rumors are swirling that the reason behind the Oct. 3 cancellation of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party are due to the fact that Disney may be holding a press conference that day. Reports are saying that some announcements may be made about future attractions. We'll see come Oct. 3!