Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tweeting in the Parks

Wow...after a week of non-stop news and rumors...this week, things have been extremely light. No real news or rumors in sight.

So, for today's topic, we're going to look at the use of Twitter in the parks.

As many of you know, I can be found on Twitter (see the side for my link to me) and I have been sucked up in the craze like so many others. It really is a fun little tool to use. And even more fun, is following people who are on trips to Disney. You can follow right along as they are doing things and it really makes you feel as if you are there. (Especially if they do things like take pictures or include audio files in their tweets as well!)

Now, on the show that we did about using technology in the parks, I didn't know how I felt about using Twitter while I was there. I knew I would use it, but I worried about how much would be too much.

I was also worried about the impact it would have on my husband. I didn't want to take any of our quality vacation time away from him.

So, this weekend, I kind of gave the whole "Twitter Trip Report" a trial run. This weekend on a trip to Kansas City, I twittered quite a bit about the whole experience. (The good...and the accident.) I wanted to see how much it would impact my vacation and see if it was something that I thought would be rather doable when I make my trek down to the World in September.

The thing that I learned the most about my weekend, is that using Twitter for updating my goings-ons, wasn't so bad. I really didn't feel that it interfered with the time that I had with my husband at all. I also didn't think that it interfered with how much fun I had either. Matter of fact, it actually made the trip more fun because I got to share it! (Which sounds weird, but, trust me, it does make things better.)

What made me enjoy it even more was that my husband actually enjoyed it and started asking me questions. He would ask things like what I had posted or what people were responding with about what I had posted. It actually ended up being a bit of a bonding experience between the two of us, since I could share you all with him too!

So, because of my experience this past weekend, I would definitely say that Twittering will be a part of my Disney vacation. And I'm excited to do so. I think it's going to be a fun extension of the Disney experience....and will make it a trip like no other. Because I get to also interact with you. I don't have to be cut off from the outside world totally anymore. Which I know some would say goes against the point...but to me, it really enhances the point...which is sharing the love of Walt Disney World with others.

Look for my tweets then, starting Sept. 11th. And I'll take you all along for the ride! :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

News & Rumors 7/20/09 - 7/26/09

Once again, I am so sorry for the delay. I had a very busy weekend involving a trip to Kansas City and a pretty good car accident. (No one was injured, thank the Lord!) So, because of that, this took the backseat to more pressing matters. But, now, without further adieu, here are the WDW News and Rumors! (Although, after last week's rumorfest, this quite quiet. Not much in the News or Rumor departments at all.)

  • Kevin Lansberry, former VP of DTD has now been named VP of AK.
  • Reminder, prices for park tickets are expected to go up Aug. 2nd.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World

Edit #9:  Updated 5/28/14:  New Fantasyland is complete, with the finishing touch, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which officially opened to guests today.  
Edit #8:  Update 4/17/14:  Princess Fairytale Hall has opened and we are now waiting for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to open, which could happen soon.  Rumors indicate the Grand Opening is May 2nd, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.   The attraction has been cycling cars and some Cast Members have been seen test-riding it. 

Edit #7: The New Fantasyland Part 1 has officially opened!  Currently there are two more pieces being built.  Fairytale Hall will open in late 2013 in the former spot of Snow White’s Scary Adventure.  A new roller coaster called the Seven Dwarves Mine Train will open in Fantasyland sometime 2014.   

Edit #6:  The New Fantasyland officially has a Grand Opening date!  The Be Our Guest Restaurant, Under The Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales With Belle, Ariel's Grotto, and Gaston's Tavern are opening on December 6, 2012.  Also expected to open by that date are the remainder of the attractions that will be found in Storybook Circus.  The Princess Fairytale Hall will open in 2013 and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will open in 2014.  
Edit #5:  Update 4/29/12:  A new timetable has been announced for the New Fantasyland project.  As of right now, the second phase of Storybook Circus,  including the second Dueling Dumbo with the indoor queue and Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station are set to open this July.  The Be Our Guest Restaurant, Under The Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales With Belle, Ariel's Grotto, and Gaston's Tavern  have a projected opening date of late 2012, right in time for the Holiday Season.  Finally, Disney is expecting to open up The Seven Dwarves Mine Train, as well as putting the remaining finishing touches on this new expansion in late 2014. 
Edit: #4:  Update 3/12/12:  Today, the first part of The New Fantasyland has soft opened.  Part of the Storybook Circus has opened, which includes one Dumbo, The Great Goofini, and The Fantasyland Train Station 

  Edit #3:  Updated 1/18/11  For a blog post of The New Fantasyland Revisited, the revised version of The New Fantasyland,  please click here.  It will update you on all of the changes announced.

Edit #2: Updated 8/26/10 The rumors appeared to be true. Some aspects of Fantasyland are getting reworked. I'm hearing for sure that the things that are definitely coming are The Little Mermaid attraction and the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Also, more than likely Dumbo. The rumored changes appear to be that the where Dumbo will be will be themed all circus (including Goofy's Barnstormer). Also, it appears a Snow White Mine Car ride is being looked at, meaning that Snow White's Scary Adventures would close. This is rumored to become a new (potentially temporary) meet and greet area for the Princesses. If it is temporary, they may be building a new permanent meet and greet area for them where the Skyway station is. No word on what may end up being built in place of where Snow White was just yet. Every thing is still very up in there air. Will keep everyone posted as more info gets released.

Edit: Updated 4/11/10, since this really is official and there's a few changes that have happened to what the "leaked" ideas were. Changes will appear in bold red.

Once again...sorry we're late with this one...Yesterday I recorded the podcast with Mike....and we'll let's just say that hours were spent on the, this didn't get done.

Anyway...ignoring my tardiness...let's take a trip into Fantasy!(land that is).

As many of you know, there were recently plans leaked out debuting some new information about a new Fantasyland refurb. Many speculated if the plans were even real...and I believe we can agree with certainty now, that they indeed are. I will not post the plans, because if they are, Disney didn't really want them leaked (from my understanding), however, if you are interested in finding them, there are available in many different places on the net.

So, let's talk about these grand plans that just got released (mysteriously) to the public.

The first thing that is being rumored is that Mickey's Toontown Fair is going bye-bye. This area, as well as the former 20 Thousand Leagues area is supposed to be included in this new Fantasyland area. Making this space much larger and allowing for more room for guests. (Yay for not being cramped anymore!)

Now, the original Fantasyland should stay with the same layout, for the most part. Your favorite attractions from there aren't going anywhere. (It is being rumored that they may get a bit of spit and polish in the update though...but we'll have to see what happens, if indeed this refurb goes through.) The spit and polishing is currently happening to the facades of current Fantasyland attractions as we speak.

From the new area they are building on, they are essentially going to be splitting the area into basically 8 different sections. Sections that will be included are: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pixie Hollow, Dumbo, and Winnie the Pooh, and a section featuring the Barnstormer. The Barnstormer area is more than likely going to be a part of Dumbo's land.

The way they are going to situate this refurb is interesting as well. It's rumored that once you walk out of the castle, you will be in the castle foregrounds. (That's where everything that's already been built will be located.) Then, Disney is planning to build a castle wall, where you will go around it, and then go into this "Enchanted Forest" type area.

The lands are also very interesting. Each one has a few things that definitely pique my interest. So, lets look at these "lands" in order from right to left.

First we'll have, in the former Toontown area, the Dumbo land. Dumbo is rumored to be removed from it's current location and situated in the back, near the train station. The most interesting part about this new area for Dumbo is that they are looking at building a second Dumbo attraction and enclosing the queue. The queue will have the ability to have interaction (kinda like we do with Mr. Potato Head, but a little different.) The queue will be more like a waiting area at a restaurant with possibly a pager system or something a little different that they are currently working on possibly at Rock n' Roller Coaster over at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Next, you will reach the Barnstomer area, which it appears is staying, but the question is if the theme will stay? It doesn't really fit with the new Fantasyland plans. The theme is supposed to change to a Dumbo theme.

From there, we'll come to the Pixie Hollow location. This will be an expansion of the area that's already there. Not too much info is known about this area yet.

Then we'll have an Sleeping Beauty section. On the map it says attraction, but rumors are swirling that it could mean one of two things. One is that it's really a fancy meet and greet...the other is a small show of some sort. I would guess show because I have information that something called Sleeping Beauty's Birthday Surprise will take place in this new Fantasyland refurb. This is going to be a meet and greet area, with a show element. Guests will be able to create birthday cards for Aurora's 16th birthday and give them to her, along with meet the princess.

We then will head over to a tiny new Pooh area. It appears they will be removing the Pooh's Playful Spot playground and instead building a nice little meet and greet area. The meet and greet area will more than likely now be over by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction.

After that, will be the Cinderella section. Included in the Cinderella area is another place marked attraction, which is believed to be either another fancy meet and greet or a small show. The info I have about this says something about Cinderella's Chateau. Guests will get a chance to meet Cinderella and dance with her. Boys will get the chance of how to be knights.

From there, we have the two biggest areas that will be added. Behind Cinderella's section, there will be a section for The Little Mermaid. This one will include a clone of the ride being built for DCA. (Ariel's Undersea Adventure) and it will also house a meet and greet for this fantastic Mermaid. Another thing that rumored to be going into this land though include something called Triton's Treasures (thought to be a gift shop). The also have something called Scuttle's Scavenger Hunt, which, I would guess would be very similar to the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure in design. Haven't heard much about Trition's Treasures or Scuttle's Scavenger Hunt...don't know if these are going to still take place.

The last area, is the one with the most that is thought to be included in the plans. First will be an area called Enchanted Tales with Belle. This is thought to be something similar to what has been going on in Fantasyland. It's also rumored that Fantasyland will be getting quite a few new dining options in this new update. The first one is called Gaston's Village. This, has been thought to be a Counter Service eatery. Next is Lefou's Creperie...which I believe will be a snack area. (Selling types of pastries, desserts, etc.) Also, a Table Service restaurant is rumored to be included in this area of the park, called (get this!) Be Our Guest Restaurant. They are also looking at putting in a gift shop in here called The Village Book Shop. The Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston's Tavern will be built. The Be Our Guest Restaurant is more than likely going to be Counter Service in the afternoon, but turn to Table Service for dinner. I believe Lefou's Creperie is no more and I haven't heard anything about The Village Book Shop either.

So, what do I think about the refurb? I think it's great! I know a lot of people are saying it's only one E ticket, (the Little Mermaid attraction), however, considering how long it's been since they've built an E ticket attraction, I'm happy to see they're doing anything. Also, yes, it's a lot of meet and greets, but remember, they are tearing down Toontown, so they are really just removing some meet and greets and replacing them with others (which are going to be much cooler, I'm sure.) Finally, I'm glad to see they are considering addressing the restaurant issue at the MK. I'm glad that they are considering, not only a new counter service restaurant, but a table service one as well. This will be a huge addition to the MK.

Would I have liked to have seen more rides in these plans? Sure...who wouldn't. (I mean, that is a good portion of the reason why so many of us go down there.) But with that being said, all in all, I think these plans sound great. Definitely a much needed improvement for the Resort's flagship theme park. (Remember Disney, even flagship theme parks need new big attractions and some love and care too.)

So, what do you think of these plans? I really want your all's opinions on this. Do you like it? Do you wish they were adding more? Do you wish they were doing something different instead? Let's hear from you!

And remember, See Ya Real Soon! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

News & Rumors 7/13/09 - 7/19/09

There are a lot of rumors this week, so rememeber: 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.


  • A new backstage Segway tour is now available. This tour takes you around Epcot on the X-2 version of Segway. It's a 3 hour tour which takes you to some of Epcot's other pavilions (example, the Seas) and it also takes you on a bit of an off-road adventure as well. Cost is $124 per person.

  • 12 people were injured in the WDW bus accident that happened earlier this week.


  • The biggest rumor of the week is the supposed leaked Fantasyland refurb plans. Look for Wednesday's blog post to discuss in further detail my thoughts. (As if you all don't know what's going on from looking all over the web!)

  • For next year's pricing structure (which usually takes effect in August), Disney is potentially proposing some new ideas. First, for the Water Park and More option, they are making it so the options will be tiered, meaning that the new system will involve a points system with some options being worth 2 points and some being worth 1. It will depend on what you purchase how many of each you will be able to use. Gold Standard (2 point options) will include Water Parks, DisneyQuest, Oak Trail Golf Course, Moderate Watercraft Rental, Horseback Riding Silver Standards (1 Points) will include Miniature Golf, Small Watercraft Rental, Bicycle Rental, and Arcade Freeplay. You may add additional points on to get more options for your stay.

  • Princess Tiana (from the Princess and the Frog) is rumored to be appearing at the MK now, instead of the Studios. It's being heard that she may be included on the Liberty Belle for a brief time period promoting the new movie.

  • Over at Epcot, the Living with the Land boat ride could be going down for an extensive 2 month refurb starting Aug. 2nd. Of course, with it being just a few weeks away, I guess I'll believe it when I see it. I'm also possibly hearing that a new film for the Circle of Life show in the Land Pavilion may also be coming. More details, should I hear anything.

  • It's being rumored that Disney may be moving the ADR window back to 180 days.

  • And for the rumor that just won't's been said that Beastly Kingdom may be back on the drawing board...however, in a very different form than what it had previously been. This new version has it being called by a new name and has the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride being looked at as a possible choice.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Post Disney Blues

A day late and a dollar short, but here I am...didn't forget about you all! :)

A lot of times people ask how do you get past the Post-Disney Blues?

I'll's not an easy thing. And even for me...trips will vary. Sometimes I'll feel the blues more than others.

Like my last trip in February...I didn't really feel any blues, since I knew I was coming back in September. However, next January, when I go for marathon weekend, I'm sure I'll feel blues, since I won't know when my next trip will be exactly.

However, I do know, those blues, really, really stink. They almost hurt sometimes. Now, there is for SURE one way to cure them. And that's when you have another trip planned.

Of course, that luxury isn't for everyone. So, what do the rest of us do?

Well, first, a lot of times people think getting away from the Disney community helps. To me, it doesn't though. I love having my Disney family around to get me through the hard times because they know what it's like and how hard those blues really can be. It's still great being surrounded by like minded people.

Another thing I love doing is helping others plan for their trips. It's so great imparting wisdom to people who don't know a lot about it. (Or if they do know what they're doing, helping out with a great restaurant suggestion or something new you're heard about.)

One of my favorite ways to help with those blue feelings is following people on Twitter who are actually on their trips. You get to "get away" with them right from your own home. All you need is to just close your eyes and imagine. Or better yet, some take pics, so you really do feel as if you're right there with them! Touring along side.

Another great way to help those blues is listening to podcasts. I don't say this because I'm the co-host of one, but because it's what I always do to get over the sadness. I love listening to the other podcasters and hearing all their takes on our favorite place. I'm a fan, just like you all are! :)

I also like visiting forums and soaking up some of the magic that they have. We have a great set of forums at Lots of friendly people. We really are like our own little family. And we always welcome those who are planning or who just need a Disney fix.

Last thing I like to do is listen to Mike Newell puts out such great music on his station. It just makes you feel like you are in Walt Disney World. I love listening to it while I'm just sitting here at work. Daydreaming, wishing I could be somewhere else.

Of course, these options aren't just for people who have the Disney World Blues. A lot of these options work for those who have trips planned as well.

So no matter whether you've got a trip planned or you're recovering from those post trip blues, there are ways to feel connected to the most Magical Place on Earth. And who doesn't like getting away, even while doing the mundane at home, just a little bit?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

News & Rumors 7/6/09 - 7/12/09

  • Diana-The People's Princess exhibit is now open at Downtown Disney at the site of the former Virgin Megastore.
  • Donald's Boat in Mickey's Toontown Fair at the Magic Kingdom will be closed in Sept for refurbishment from the 7th through the 13th.
  • The Liberty Belle in Liberty Square will be closed for refurbishment from Sept. 13th - 19th.
  • It appears the Tomorrowland Skyway Station is in fact set to be demolished. Work will start at the end of July and is slated to end in Nov.
  • As reported last week, Beaches and Cream is now serving breakfast, however, it will only be serving breakfast until the summer holidays are up. It is only slated to serve breakfast until Aug. 8th.

  • If you want to get park tickets to go down to Disney, better do it soon. It's being rumored that park ticket prices are expected to increase on Aug. 2nd.
  • It appears that the Fantasyland rumor is a go again.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

RIP Austin Wunnenberg

Today, there will be no blog post.

Instead, I leave this space to honor the memory of Monorail Pilot Austin Wunnenberg.

Austin thank you for all that you have done to help make people's vacations as magical as you possibly could. You will be missed.

I request that everyone who reads this blog entry, please, have a moment of silence in honor of Austin's memory.






Thank you.

The blog will continue with it's regular updates again starting on Sunday.

One Rail, One Family

Edit: I wanted to put this up. It's from the Orlando Sentinal and it's a video of a family with their time in the cockpit of the monorail with Austin. It's such a stirring video that left me in tears.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

News & Rumors 6/29/09 - 7/5/09


  • A monorail crashed on July 5th at 2 am killing 1. Austin Wuennenberg was killed in the horrific incident. Fore more information on this developing story, read here.
  • The Beachcomber Shacks and the Polar Patios at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach respectively are now available for advance reservations by calling 407-WDW-PLAY. Guests may also get walk ups, if available.
  • The Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station at the Magic Kingdom is now open through the summer. Dinner is the typical Asian cuisine, but lunch will consist of mostly American fare, including hamburgers and chicken nuggets. The restaurant will be open through Aug. 8th.
  • Kali River Rapids will be taking part of Morning Extra Magic Hours through the summer, until Aug. 22nd.
  • There are some changes to the DAK character offerings. Flik, King Louie, Baloo, and Terk will now be appearing in the pathway between Africa and Asia. Devine has been moved to the Oasis. This will take place until Aug. 8th.
  • The Yeti at Disney's Animal Kingdom's Expedition Everest appears to be in working order again. (Sorta). It is now in a new A mode that is said to exert less pressure than the old A mode (which caused strain on the building causing major structural damage.) The Yeti is once again swiping at passengers and not being shown through a strobe light.


  • It's being rumored that the old Tomorrowland Skyway Station may be saying goodbye. It appears that it may be demolished in the near future.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fourth of July Festivities

This year, once again, Disney will be swearing in new citizens to this country. A Naturalization Ceremony will take place on Main Street USA on July 3rd, welcoming 1,000 new residents to our fabulous country. The immigrants will be taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, which is being jointly hosted by Disney Parks and Resorts and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The event will also feature a welcome by WDW President Meg Crofton and a keynote speech by actor, Andy Garcia (a naturalized citizen himself).

Once these people have become official citizens of the United States, they will then take in a performance of the newly refurbished Hall of Presidents, which officially reopens on July 4th.

Also for those of you who will be down there, you will have many choices for fireworks presentations.

First is the Magic Kingdom's presentation of their show titled Celebrate America Fireworks, which will begin at 9 pm on both the 3rd and the 4th. There will also be 2 showings of SpectroMagic on the 4th, one at 10:30 pm and one at 12:30 am.

Epcot will be showing Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, which will have a special patriotic finale. Illuminations will be shown at 10:00 pm. If you're at Epcot on the 4th, it would be the perfect day to check out Voices of Liberty and the Fife and Drum Corps, which are a part of the American Adventure pavilion. Also, look for some of your favorite Disney characters dressed in their most patriotic gear. (Look at the times guide for more info).

Disney's Hollywood Studios is also now going to be having a fireworks spectacular, along with showings of Fantasmic! The fireworks will fill the sky at 10 pm and Fantasmic! will be shown at both 9 pm and 10:45 pm.

No matter what you do this Fourth of July, whether you're at one of the Disney parks or on vacation somewhere else, or you celebrating in your own backyard, just remember, we are celebrating our heritage...the birth of our country. And be careful this holiday weekend.

Happy Birthday America and God Bless the USA!