Sunday, August 29, 2010

News & Rumors 8/23/10 - 8/29/10

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


  • Chef Mickey's will be open for lunch during the free dining promotion. The restaurant will be open Sept. 19 - Oct. 2nd from 12:30 pm - 2: 30 pm.
  • Some new restaurants have been added to the Tables in Wonderland card. Guests may now dine at Via Napoli, Bongos, Paradiso 37, and Big River Grille.
  • The new show that is going to replace the High School Musical show at DHS will be called Disney Channel Rocks!
  • Vidia, the newest of the Fairies, has now joined Pixie Hollow at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Trail's End will be changing their lunch offerings from a buffet style meal to an ala carte menu. Menu items will include: chili, fried chicken and waffles, sautéed catfish, grilled pork chop, spicy grilled shrimp and andouille sausage, Wilderness s’mores and a warm sticky bun sundae.
  • Work is being done in the post-show area of the Imagination Pavilion. Word is that Kodak is no longer the sponsor of the area.
  • At DHS, some changes are happening with meet and greets. The area by the Hat will be receiving new backdrops, including a large film strip backdrop where the Snow White topiary used to be. The characters will also be getting new costumes, ones that represent Hollywood glamour around the 1940s.
  • The Launching Pad at the MK has been tweaking their menu and they've made another tweak. They are selling specialty hot dogs, but they have now removed one off the menu. The Ruben hot dog is now more.
  • Applications for the Disney Moms Panel will be taken from September 13-17.

  • Here is the current rumor set up for the way the New Fantasyland is going to go. (Of course, things can change at the drop of a hat with something like this). In the Eastern section of Fantasyland (around the Toontown Fair area), the entire area will be circus themed, after Dumbo. The Dueling Dumbos will be present (I believe called Dumbo's Big Top now), Barnstormer will likely be themed around clowns, the train station will be redone, a food stand will be created to look like Casey Jr, and a large merchandise shop will open. New tents will likely be constructed in this area, because the former tents are in poor condition. Pixie Hollow is dead. (At least in it's original concept.)
  • In the Western Half of the Fantasyland expansion, The Little Mermaid attraction and the Beauty and the Beast area are still a go (Yay for the Be Our Guest Restaurant!), but the meet and greet areas with Cinderella and Aurora are dead. In place of those will be a Snow White themed coaster/mine car ride. With this said, Snow White's Scary Adventures will close. The Princesses will move in here for a meet and greet, but it appears it may be temporary. A permanent location will more than likely be built over at the former Skyway station area. Snow White's former attraction area will be then turned into a new attraction. However, there is the possibility that instead of moving the princesses into the Snow White attraction, they may move in with Mickey and Minnie on Main Street. It will all depend on construction time tables.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 8/21/10 - 8/27/10

It's the weekend once again! I hope you've had a magical week and and even magical-er weekend!

This week's blog posts have been quite eclectic. Many different things from different genres have caught my eye and I'm ready to share the best of the best (for me) for the week!

5. I love the backstories that Disney provides. And this week, over at the Main Street Gazette, Ryan has a great one on Ol' Man Island over at Riverside. (Which ties perfectly into our podcast episode this week, all about Riverside!)

4. Have an upcoming small wedding? Why not get married in a hot air balloon? At least one that can hold about 20 people! The Disney Wedding Blog talks about how if your wedding is just the right size and if you're looking for something unique, why not get married in the Characters in Flight Balloon!

3. Good Coffee....the thing that so many people search out at WDW. It just can't be found....or can it? The Disney Parks Blog talks about the fact that there are a few places where you can get a decent cup of joe.

2. Matt Hotchberg of Studios Central has been noticing some of the things I've been noticing that are problems with the way the Disney Parks are currently run (one of the higher things on my list...branding the different parks under the "Disney Parks" umbrella!). It's not that we hate everything that Disney is doing, it's just that we love the place so much that when we see things we think could (and should) be done differently, it's hard to keep our mouths shut. (Like a mother who can't keep quiet when her daughter does something she thinks is a poor choice...just on a different scale. lol!)

1. There is always talk about is the Disney Dining Plan worth it. And I've said it over and has to be looked at on a case by case basis. The dining plan doesn't always work for everyone. But over at the Touring Plans Blog, there is talk about why it may be worth it if you have kids.

Finally, I have an honorable mention of a blog article you should read. (I told many good articles this week and from so many different areas!) This last one if from The Disney Daddy Blog all about park etiquette that people should be adhering to.

So, I hope you enjoy these articles from the week! I'll see you on Sunday with News and Rumors! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby You Can Drive My Car!

As many of you may know (and if you didn't know, now you do), I'm going to WDW in October for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. There will be many firsts this trip. My first Food and Wine Festival, my first stay at a (well, 2) DVC properties...and my first time renting a car.

I thought about just using Disney transportation to get around, but quickly realized that wouldn't work so well. First, I will be visiting the resorts a lot this to have to wait for a bus to pick me up to take me one place only to have to transfer to another isn't the wisest idea. Plus, I plan on being out very late a few nights, what with the Food and Wine Finish Party Event and Mickey's Not So Scary and I don't want to wait for a bus to pick me up when I'm already gonna be EXHAUSTED. So with those things, plus a few others in mind, I figured, I should probably buck up the little extra money it's gonna cost me and be able to go where I want when I please.

So, therefore, this renting the car deal is one thing that I'm quite unskilled at. I've never needed to rent a car for myself, though we have rented a car for the family. I helped a bit when Brian rented a car the last time we were in Florida. But still, it's a whole different ballgame when it's you who's behind the wheel. I have researched all the other new things I will be experiencing with a frenzy, so I know a bit about them, but this renting a car business...I'm just so new. It makes me kinda nervous actually.

The good thing is that from researching from the last time the family got a rental car, I do have some tips that I want to pass along to you all!

First and foremost, I have noticed the two car companies that seem to have the better deals are almost always Alamo and Dollar. These two have consistently been lower every time I have tried running the numbers.

Which brings me to my second tip...keep running the numbers. My best advice is to get a price locked down, but then keep checking back. Car rental companies don't take your money up front (unless you decide to pay them up front so you can get a little bit of a discount) so you aren't locked in at your first go around. And in my estimation, the best time to recheck your car (if you don't want to do it all the time) is 6 weeks to a month before your trip. Often car companies will offer discounts for people in that time window. You also may want to check up to the week of your trip. I've noticed prices can go down even more then. But I still find the most significant discounts happen in that 4-6 week range.

Next, if the car rental company offers it, sign up for their car rental club. You can often get discounts and it's free to join in most cases. Also, sign up for their emails. They will alert you to any speicials that may be going on.

Which takes me to my final tip, to make sure you look for discounts. They are offered EVERYWHERE!!! You can check discounts that are running on each car rental company's website or my best suggestion is to get discount codes from either MouseSavers or The Magic For Less. Both often have great discount codes available that can really shave off the price. And you can often use more than one discount code per rental (barring in mind that they have to be a different type code...for example, you can use a corporate code and a coupon code and it will work, but you can't use two coupon codes.)

I hope these tips help you out in the case of ever needing a rental car. And while I'm confident I'm going to get the best deal...I know that I'm gonna be nervous the first time I sit my booty in that car and drive it off airport property.

Do you have any great tips for renting a car that I maybe missed? How have you gotten great deals? Make sure to let me know in the comments section.

As for my final tip...if you have a rental car, make sure you have change for tolls!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

News & Rumors 8/16/10 - 8/22/10

  • The Best Friends Pet Care luxury pet facility's opening date has been pushed back to Sept. 1st.
  • The Mad Tea Party is going down for refurb from Sept. 26th - Nov. 10th.
  • Night of Joy, a Christian festival held at the Magic Kingdom will be taking place Sept. 10th and 11th. The list of performers is as follows:
    Friday Sept. 10, 2010:
    BarlowGirl, Galaxy Stage 10:45 p.m., 12:15 a.m.
    Casting Crowns, Castle Forecourt 9:45 p.m.
    David Crowder*Band, Castle Forecourt 7:45 p.m.
    Group 1 Crew, Galaxy Stage 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.
    Sidewalk Prophets, Rockettower Plaza Stage 8:15 p.m.
    Tenth Avenue North, Rockettower Plaza Stage 9:45 p.m.
    Thousand Foot Krutch, Rockettower Plaza Stage 11:30 p.m.
    Chris Tomlin, Castle Forecourt 11:45 p.m.

    Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010
    Day of Fire, Rockettower Plaza Stage 9:45 p.m., 11:20 p.m.
    Family Force 5, Castle Forecourt 7:45 p.m.
    Lecrae, Galaxy Stage 10:30 p.m.
    mercyme, Castle Forecourt 11:45 p.m.
    Britt Nicole, Rockettower Plaza Stage 8:20 p.m.
    Smokie Norful, Galaxy Stage 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.
    Red, Galaxy Stage 12 midnight
    Third Day, Castle Forecourt 9:45 p.m.
  • La Hacienda de San Angel is expected to open in Mid-September, with ADRs beginning for Oct. 15th. Until Oct. 15th, the restaurant will be in soft-open mode, with no ADRs required. For more info, read Disney's official blog post about the new restaurant.
  • The crane will be onsite at the Magic Kingdom for the installation of the Castle Dream Lights from Sept. 13th - 23rd.
  • Spectator ChEAR packages are available for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. The three different levels are as follows: Bronze (Free) – Gets you an e-newsletter which includes advice and hints for the best viewing spots along the route Silver ($35) – Gets you the e-newsletter PLUS a ChEAR Squad gear kit which includes a bag, noise maker and tee-shirt Gold ($50) – Gets you all of the above PLUS reserved viewing at the start line and reserved viewing at the finish with bus transportation in-between. Click here for more info. Finish Line Party Tickets are available for $35.00 per person by calling 407-WDW-IRUN.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 8/14/10 - 8/20/10

What an insane least here on my end...and unfortunately, it appears I still have a few days of insanity left. So, I at least hope this weekend brings you some rest. (I know it's not necessarily going to be bringing me any!)

So, I know there's no time to waste...let's dive into the must read blogs for this week!

5. The Imagineering Field Guides...a must have for those of us in the Disney community. Short, little books that tell us the details in making up the theme park. Matt at Studios Central (the guru on all things Studios) tells us whether this book is worth it or not.

4. It appears as if Disney is putting a massive effort into their Weddings lately. There were two articles out this week involving the booming industry. First The Disney Parks Blog talks about The Disney Wedding's newly relaunched Facebook App. Second, Stitch Kingdom talks about the newly redone Franck's Bridal Studio, including some photos of the newly redesigned area.

3. Touring is starting a great new series called The Connected Traveller. This is an article that all the planners out there need to read. Especially those planners addicted to their smart phones. I can't wait to read the other articles that will crop up in this series.

2. We've all thought about it. Some of us have even applied. Many have applied multiple years. The Disney Mom's Panel is like the holy grail of Disney fandom. And Zanna over at Zannaland has some great tips on how to pursue going about applying this next year. Make sure to read this over if you are thinking of applying. You know what...on second thought...don't. I want to be a Mom...:) You all applying just increases the competition. lol!

1. As I many have mentioned in this past Wednesday's blog post...I'm super excited about Epcot's Food and Wine Festival this year. It's my first one, so I'm looking for the best tips you all have (make sure to leave me them in the comments section!). AJ, over at the Disney Food Blog, has given some pretty good tips this week on how to best tour the Festival, depending on what type of group you find yourself in.

So that's gonna do it for this week! Happy reading and I'll see you on Sunday for the News and Rumors!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's a Food World After All

This year I will be participating in my first ever Epcot International Food and Wine Festival event. I have been in the Fall season before, but always before Food and Wine officially started. I've watched the progress as booths were built and decorations were hung, but I've never actually gotten to experience the main event of this celebration...the food.

Now, I know Disney does a stellar job with these types of events. I have seen the Flower and Garden Festival before. And, I know that Disney does an outstanding job during the Springtime, so I can't imagine that the Food and Wine Festival would be any different.

So, never having been before, I take with me very limited knowledge of the event as a whole. I know that the main purpose is to allow guests to try foods from different countries' booths that are situated around World Showcase. Many foods are things that are uncommon here in the states.

This is something that I am most excited to do. There are multiple things that I have seen that are either new this year or have been favorites from year's past that I simply know I must try. (And if it's got chocolate in it...more than likely, it will be in my mouth!) I have watched as others have discussed this part of the event and thought, gosh, all that sounds so yummy!!!

I also am aware that there are seminars that take place during the event. Many taking place in the Festival Welcome Center, which was previous The Wonders of Live Pavilion. Now, seeing as how I'm not really a foodie, these seminars don't necessarily interest me much. So, I know for sure I wouldn't be attending the events you have to pay a whole lot of money for (though I doubt I could get into many of them at this point. Many of these events are so popular, they sell out and quick!) I am excited to see the old Wonders of Life Pavilion though. I haven't seen it in YEARS...and am anxious to see it in person. (I still remember that I would play Body Wars at my grandma's house...don't as me how...or why that ride left an impression on me as a kid.)

And of course, there's the Eat to the Beat concert series where artists (mostly those who are from the 70s and 80s, though it appears that some 90s bands are slowly seeping in.) When I'm there I could see Taylor Dane who wasn't exactly my time period, so I'm not going to be one of those people who stands in line to wait to get at seat at the American Gardens Theater. If I hear a song I recognize, I may stop to hear a song or two, but I'm not going to sit around and hear her whole set list. (Though I am upset I'll be missing the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands as a teeny bopper...Hanson! I'll just bring MMMBop with me and listen to it on my mp3 player as I'm walking through! :) *Puts on Hanson shirt* )

So, while I seem to know quite a bit about this event, I am seeking your advice. What tips do you have for me on how to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival? Also, what booths should I make SURE to stop and and what dishes do I HAVE to try? I really want help on this issue, because while I'm not going in there clueless, it would be nice to have in my contact lenses about the issue rather than wearing my glasses. (Meaning, I want to be able to see it a little more clearly.)

But there's one thing for sure...In October, I for sure will be ready to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

News and Rumors 8/9/10 - 8/15/10

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

  • It had been said that Hollywood and Vine would be closed for refurbishment from Jan - March, but this is not true. There will work being done in the backstage area, but this will not effect the restaurant and it will remain open, contrary to what some Disney Cast Members were originally mentioning on the phones when people tried to reserve the restaurant.
  • Flame Tree BBQ's refurb over at Disney's Animal Kingdom is expected to take until Sept. 25th now.
  • Dates have been released for Disney’s seasonal Holiday D-Lights Tour which will be Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15.
  • According to, Disney is looking at using the Verizon phone, Droid Eris as a potential GPS and much more guide for the parks.
  • If you were looking to use the payment plan for your WDW Annual Pass, you can now do so online. As a reminder, passes can only be purchased by Florida Residents.
  • A new Build Your Own Lightsaber area will be coming to the Magic Kingdom. It's new home will be in Star Traders.
  • The rumors were apparently true. There is some tweaking that is being done to the Fantasyland expansion. No word on what kinds of tweaks that are being made just yet.
  • The American Heritage Gallery in the lobby area of the American Adventure is closed for an update. Expect it to reopen in Sept.
  • Karamelle-Kuche, the new caramel shop that is being worked on in Germany will open up for business Sept. 22nd.
  • The Diamond Horseshoe will be open during the Free Dining promotion period. A turkey style dinner will be served from now until Aug. 28th and Sept. 19th - Oct. 2nd. Hours of operation will be from 5 pm - 9 pm.
  • El Pirata Y el Perico will be open as well during Free Dining for lunch from now until Sept. 4th.
  • Some details have been deduced by WDWMagic about the savanna trekking experience that will be introduced at DAK. It is expected to be a 3 hour adventure with 2 guides and group sizes of around 10 or so. It will begin in Harambe with safety instructions and equipment distribution. This is expected to be a more strenuous adventure, so waivers may need to be signed. The trek will involve a lot of exploration on unmarked paths with viewing areas, rope bridges, and a possible zipline, however, it is unlikely that guests will have experience with the actual animals. The opening is planned for December of this year.
  • This week, Disney released a nice video of some of the new destinations that may be visited as part of the new Star Tours attraction.
  • Club 626, the dance party that took place in Tomorrowland at the recently built stage will last until Aug. 28th.


  • Vidia from the new Tinkerbell Movie will make her Pixie Hollow debut at Magic Kingdom on August 27
  • Epcot may be seeing the next country coming sooner rather than later. Rumors are swirling that it may be Spain, but I've heard that may not necessarily be the case.
  • The big rumors this week are of the discounts that may possibly be released. There may be as many as 3 discounts that come out. One is a free dining discount that will last until Sept. 2011. Another is a discount where if you stay 5 or 6 nights, you'll get some sort of Disney gift card. Third is a room only discount with 20 or 25% off value resorts (and possibly AKL or WL), 30% off moderates (and maybe a deluxe), and 40% off the remaining deluxes. There will of course, be some black out dates. Be on the lookout tomorrow for the deals.
  • Tom Skaggs and Bob Iger may have possibly been looking at Discovery Island recently.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 8/7/10 - 8/13/10

Hello again! Hope your week has been stellar! And Happy Friday the 13th! (Who's superstitious?!)

This week, we saw a lot of interesting stuff in the blogger world. Some were articles that surprised...others were just good information...just as always, but this week just seemed to have a bit more.

5. I've admitted it before, and I'll admit it again. I have never seen Star Wars and don't really plan on seeing it. However, with that being said, I do love the attraction Star Tours. Granted, I don't get as much out of it as a an actual Star Wars Fan. But even though I don't always understand everything, I too am curious as to what they're doing with Star Tours. And this week, Disney posted on their Blog a new video all about the attraction. (I just hope it will be something that us non-Star Wars fans can understand when it reopens. And I'm glad they're keeping the little chimy noise in there. It is one of those sounds that makes me think of Disney.)

4. As I had mentioned previously, Disney Shawn is doing a great series about Blizzard Beach. Here is another can't miss article about some of the story that many just typically walk by. (Love all the details here!)

3. The Touring Plans Blog had an interesting Foto Face Off Match Up this week. Epcot VS Epcot Center. This is always an interesting debate where I fall into the category that is always less popular among Disney fans (see my take on it in the article.) But there are some great answers (even if they disagree with me) and some great pictures representing these two options.

2. Inside the Magic this week, took us into a survey that Disney has been sending out to recent visitors. On it are some very interesting questions of different park tickets we all my possibly be interested to see. (Personally, I like the after 3:00 ticket and the "Disney Theme Park Club" option. Most of the other things I think are things Disney should be offering anyway, without charging a premium for. I'm curious what you all think about these as well. Let me know in the comments which ones you love and which ones you'd hate to see come to pass.)

1. To me, this article makes me happy. The Daily Disney had a great article interviewing Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman. The fact that the rumors I'd been hearing were right. Disney is looking into making some changes to the Fantasyland expansion. It's not that I was unhappy with the previous expansion. I thought it would be great for what it would be...I just thought there was something missing (namely rides...and I'd hope to see quality rides) and I really hope that with this update to the expansion, they fix that glaring issue. It appears that they may be. (Here is the other article that they ran after the first one, going into more details).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2011 Disney Dining Plans

It's that time of year again...when Disney's packages for the next year come out. And always one of the hot button issues is with the Dining Plan...and whether it's a good value or not.

Now I can't tell you if the dining plan is a good value. Really it all depends on each person's individual budget and tastes. It takes a lot of homework to decide if the dining plan is worth getting and for that I suggest looking at the menus on and deciding which restaurants you may be thinking about eating in (to me, the best value is to make sure you're eating dinners when on the dining plan) and looking at the prices and seeing if it meshes up with the cost of the plan.

(Basically, in a nutshell, for the easy way to figure it all out, for an adult, you want to budget about $10 for counter service meal, $3 for snack, and that leaves you with about $29.99 for dinner, give or take. If you think you'll spend more than that for the majority of your days, then the dining plan may indeed be worth it for you. If not, you may want to look at other options for saving for meals.)

A lot of people do like the convenience of the Dining Plans though. Everything is all paid for (for the most part) and you don't have to worry about what to order. You can just sit back and order what you want. Plus, since everything is then prepaid, so all that you'll really have to pay for during your vacation is for souvenirs.

Some however, don't like the Dining Plans because it serves them too much food. More than they normally eat. This is something else that needs to be considered when looking at the value of the plan. For example, if you don't normally eat desserts, these plans may not be for you.

So, with that being said, here is as look at what the 2011 Dining Plan will cost you. (And in parenthesis is the cost for the 2010 Dining Plan to compare.)

Quick-Service Plan
Adults 10+: $34.99/night ($31.99)
Child 3-9: $11.99/night ($9.99)

The Quick Service dining plan allows each guest to get 2 Counter Service Meals per day (which includes an entree or combo meal, dessert or juice, and a non-alcoholic beverage), 2 Snack Options per day, and 1 Refillable Mug per person for the length of your stay.

Basic Plan*
Adults 10+: $45.99/night ($41.99)
Child 3-9: $11.99/night ($11.99)

The Basic Plan (Also known as the Standard Plan) comes with 1 Counter Service Meal per day (which includes an entree or combo meal, dessert or juice, and a non-alcoholic beverage), 1 Sit Down Meal per day (which includes entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. Or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet.) Also 1 Snack credit per day.

Deluxe Plan
Adults 10+: $78.99/night ($71.99)
Child 3-9: $21.99/night ($20.99)

For the Deluxe Dining Plan, guests receive 3 Table Service Meals (Or Quick Service meals). Table Service meals include which includes entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. Or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet. Also included are 2 Snack Credits per day plus one resort refillable mug per person for the length of stay.

Premium Package
Adults 10+: $169/night ($164)
Child 3-9: $119/night ($114)

The Premium Dining Plan offers all the Deluxe Dining Plan does, plus unlimited use of select recreation including golf, tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba and many more options.

Platinum Package
Adults 10+: $229/night ($220)
Child 3-9: $160/night ($155)

The Platinum Package offers everything the Premium Package offers, plus pre-arrival planning services, a dazzling fireworks cruise, reserved seating at Fantasmic!, a select spa treatment, turndown service and much more.

Wine & Dine Add-On
$39.99/night ($39.99)

If you want to add the Wine and Dine Add-On, you will receive one wine bottle per night.

* Note that during Peak Season the price does change for the Basic Plan increases to $47.99 for adults and $12.99 for children (3-9). Peak Seasons include 2/17-2/26, 3/11-4/30, 6/3-8/13, 12/23-12/31

Keep in mind that gratuities and any extras like alcoholic beverages and appetizers are not included in the prices listed above and will be added at an additional charge. Keep that in mind when you are budgeting to see if the dining plan is worth it for you, because if you like an adult beverage or two (or three) or often eat appetizers with your meals, the plan may not work for you either.

Finally, here is the 2011 brochure that is currently being distributed that you can take a look at. As with all things Disney related, things are subject to change, but this is where things stand now.

Whatever you decide to do for your family, getting the Dining Plan or just saving money on something like a Disney Gift Card to pay for your food, or putting money aside in envelopes or whatever, I can't stress really have to do your homework. But unfortunately, the often asked question of is the Dining Plan worth it, doesn't necessarily have an easy answer to it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

News & Rumors 8/2/10 - 8/8/10

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


  • Via Napoli is officially open! The restaurant will be open for walk ins up until Sept. 10th. Reservations can now be made for dates from Sept. 10th and beyond.
  • The Tomorrowland Noodle Station will be open on select Sunday evenings during free dining for Table Service meals from 5:30 pm to 9 pm. The dates are Aug. 22 and 29 as well as Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Adult meals: $37.28, Child meals: $19.17 (includes tax). The buffet will include:
    Tropical Fruit and Cous Cous Salad
    Pasta Primavera Salad
    Tomato, Cucumber and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad
    Fall Harvest Garden Gourmet Greens
    with Seasonal Vegetables and Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Carved to order Chimichurri Beef Strip Loin

    with Grilled Onions and Mushrooms
    Rotisserie Chicken and Pasta

    Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
    tossed with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce and Baked Meatballs

    Assorted Mini Pastries, Cakes, and Fruit Salad

    Vegetable Fried Rice

    Sauteed Seasonal Vegetables
    Butter Herbed Bread Sticks and Foccaccia Bread
    Assorted Baked Multigrain Rolls and Butter
  • Dinosaur will be operating under diminished capacity until the end of Oct. Work is being done on the load/unload area.
  • Ticket prices have increased. See my Wed. post for more information.
  • The Tomorrowland Transit Authority has a blast from the past. The name is now called the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.
  • Disney may be considering Princess and Haunted Mansion themed rooms, at least according to survey info posted on WDWMagic. For more info and to see concept art, visit WDWMagic.
  • It appears the rumors were true. LeCellier is expected to become a 2 Table Service Credit meal on the Disney Dining Plan starting in March. This change is only expected to take place at dinner. Lunch will remain one credit. (For now).
  • Speaking of dining, The Disney Food Blog has all the PDF files for 2011's Disney Dining Plans. (Thankfully the rumor that the dessert would be removed from the Dining Plan was false.)
  • Some Candlelight Processional info is out. First a partial list of narrators, which of course, is subject to change:
  1. Isabella Rossellini – 11/26 – 28
  2. TBD – 11/29 – 12/1
  3. TBD – 12/2 – 4
  4. TBD – 12/5 – 6
  5. Jodi Benson – 12/7 – 9
  6. Whoopi Goldberg – 12/10 – 11
  7. Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/12 – 15
  8. Thomas Gibson – 12/16 – 18
  9. Trace Adkins – 2/19 – 21
  10. Brad Garrett – 12/22 – 23
  11. TBD – 12/24 – 27
  12. Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason – 12/28 – 30
  • Also, Candlelight Processional dinner packages go on sale Aug. 26th. The packages includes one meal at select table service restaurants and one a priority admission to the American Gardens Theater. (Note, you will still need to stand in line. Seats are not reserved. Once priority seated guests are seated, general public will be admitted into the theater.)
  • For those running in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, here is a look at the course.

  • Also for those running the 5K during Wine and Dine Weekend, here's what your course map will look like:

  • The Launching Pad in Tomorrowland has new gourmet hot dogs and now we know what they are! The offerings are a Ruben hot dog, and Philly Cheesesteak hot dog, and a Taco hot dog.
  • Beginning Sept. 19th a change will be made over at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boitique. Boys will no longer be able to get the "Cool Dudes" Package. Instead they will be able to have the "Knight" Package with a hair makeover and a sword and shield. Guests already booked with the "Cool Dudes" package will have the option of upgrading to the "Knight" Package or stick with the "Cool Dudes" package if they have already booked and their appointment is after Sept. 19th.
  • Disney's Grad Nights are expected to take place April 29th and 30th and May 6th and 7th, 2011. Grad Nights will return to the MK once again.
  • Passholders who want to see the new Tinker Bell movie can preview it on Sept. 11th and 12th at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Guests must register on the AP Page to get to experience the special viewing.
  • A new position will be introduced as part of the Monorail system. This person will receive a higher pay scale and will who will be responsible for overseeing traffic along the system.


  • Yet again, the rumor alarm is going off about the on again/off again Monster's Inc. Roller Coaster that is slated to be built at DHS. Rumor is it's on again, but not expected to open until 2014.
  • Also have heard that a new Yeti is being built, but it will not have the same types of movements the old broken one had. It isn't expected to be put into place until 2011. No word on if this new Yeti would be permanent or a replacement while the old one is being fixed.
  • Buzz and Woody's meet and greet times will be extended from open to close at DHS while Midway Mania is closed (8/16-8/28).
  • Agent Oso is expected to join the Hollywood and Vine Character Meal starting Oct. 3rd, replacing JoJo.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Bloggie Awards 7/31/10 - 8/6/10

It's been a week of increases all week...what with park tickets increasing, the fact that LeCellier will be a 2 Table Service meal for dinner in March. It's also been a week for openings, as Via Napoli opened with much fanfare!

This week also plenty of other articles that weren't related to those few topics, so let's get to it!

5. I love little touches that Disney does with things. It makes Disney, Disney. John over at Owner's Locker has a great little blurb about the Yacht Club.

4. The wedding industry...something I am quite familiar with. So I wasn't sure I'd enjoy The Disney Wedding Blog much. Especially since I'm already married. But I LOVE this blog and am so glad I've recently added it. My favorite things couples do is when they personalize their wedding around them, and this couple certainly did that! Check out their Haunted Mansion themed invites!

3. Last week, I talked about how great Blizzard Beach is in the Mouse-standing List. This week, Disney Shawn decided to take a look at the back story about the whole park. The whole series is worth a read, but I really enjoyed his article about the Legend of Blizzard Beach the most.

2. As we all know, Disney has increased their ticket prices, yet again. (Look at my previous article about my take on it.) Over at DisneyBiz, they look at whether tickets are overpriced. I learned a lot from this article. Really, really good one to take a look at for sure.

1. The Orlando Sentinel's Daily Disney this week wrote a really good article about the "Disco Yeti." This has been a problem for years and it really disappoints me as it is a definition of bad show being in effect at WDW. For example, if the Auctioneer in Pirates goes down, the attraction goes down. Why is this not the case with Everest? It should be.

That's gonna do it for this week! Make sure to check out the News and Rumors on Sunday! See you then!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Disney Tickets Increase...Yet Again...

As it had been rumored, Disney did indeed decide to increase their prices for park tickets. This price increase begins tomorrow, so for those of you who are in need of park tickets, today would be the day to buy them.

So, how have prices increased? Well first, a single day adult admission will cost you $82, instead of $79. If you've missed it though, here they are the rest of the price increases:

Base Ticket
(plus tax)

Park Hopper

Water Park Fun &
More Option
No Expiration
Option (plus tax)

Ages 10+ Ages 3-9
$54 (plus tax)
regardless of days

$54 (plus tax)
regardless of days

1 Day $82 $74
$54 (2 visits) Not Available
2 Day $162 $146
$54 (2 visits) $22
3 Day $224 $202
$54 (3 visits) $28
4 Day $232 $209
$54 (4 visits)

5 Day $237 $214
$54 (5 visits) $95
6 Day $242 $219
$54 (6 visits) $106
7 Day $247 $224
$54 (7 visits) $142
8 Day $252 $229
$54 (8 visits) $182
9 Day $257 $234
$54 (9 visits) $209
10 Day $262 $239
$54 (10 visits) $213

Now, of course, every year for the past few years at around this time, we've seen a price increase, so this should come as no real surprise to anyone that Disney was going to be doing it again this year.

However, as with all years, many start to wonder, when is enough going to be enough? Especially in a year where the economy is still so shaky. It would have been nice to have seem them stabilize the prices for a year.

And while I know that Disney really wants people to say for longer periods of time, which is why they sell park tickets cheaper the more days you play, it really does suck for those who can only go for a few days at a time. It seems like shorter stays get punished, when a lot of times, they can't be helped.

This of course isn't something that is new, but with the price of a 1 day ticket continually going up SO much, it just starts to look ridiculous. Especially when you consider that 10 years ago, a 1 day ticket was only $46, which is quite a leap in price for only 10 years, I'd say. Prices have increased to just under double what it was 10 years ago! It's especially hard to swallow when looking and comparing how much ticket prices changed for the first few decades. The past 10 years have seen the largest leaps in prices at one time. (In the 80s is when the tickets took the largest leaps as a whole. This past decades is the second largest jump though.) Before, the change would shift only 1 or 2 dollars or so. For more info on how tickets have fluxuated, please visit Allears Ticket History.

But, I can see it from the other side of the coin too...Disney is a business...and a very costly one at that. They have to pay a lot of money to keep those parks running...from Cast Member wages, to food costs, to bills, to new construction costs, to refurbishment costs....and I could go on and on and on. So, it's not like the money isn't going somewhere. It is helping them to be able to give you a magical vacation.

Also, of course, Disney wants to make a profit. They are not in it just for pixie dust and magic, much as we may not want to hear that. They are in this game to make money. Which, of course they are doing at WDW. I hear all the time how this resort is the cash cow, helping to support a lot of areas within the company too. (Of course, this last part is just hear-say, but I would assume this would be true on some level.)

And of course, other theme parks of lesser quality charge about the same it's really just a keeping up with the times kind of thing, right? If the market will bear it, they will try and take it from us.

So, like I said, I can see both sides of the argument on this one.

But my one issue with all these price increases is that it seems that while prices keep increasing, the product keeps slipping, just a bit...a little at a time. Not enough to really bother people if they don't look. But it is happening. We've seen it with the Spaceship Earth decent that was built, we've seen it with Space Mountain's refurb (in which the attraction's budget apparently got slashed big time), we've seen it with the Lights of Winter getting cut (I still don't believe the "obsolete technology" line), the Yeti remaining in Disco mode, and a diminished schedule of Fantasmic!. Little things that keep getting chinked away...not noticeable when looking at each thing individually, but noticeable when looking at the pie as a whole.

I would be fine with price increases if I saw that things were getting better. If they were putting that money to good use. And sure, they are doing some things, like refurbishments at the MK, new restaurants being built in Epcot, and of course the Fantasyland expansion coming. But, the way I see it, Team Disney Orlando is still very tight with the money, not wanting to spend it unless absolutely necessary. (I mean, the rumors are that the Fantasyland expansion was pushed on them by Glendale, not something they wanted to do in the slightest.)

To me, a theme park is somewhere where money should be able to be spent a little more freely. A place where creativity should reign. And while I know it costs a lot to keep things running and of course, you don't want to be in the red...with the price increases that keep happening year after year, I would like to see my money being put to good use. That's really all I ask for. I wouldn't be so upset with spending that kind of money for a 1 day ticket.

So, I want Disney to keep investing and invest even more in my parks. Do that and I'll keep investing in you. (Like a warped little stock market, except I don't get any money in return...just amazing memories that I'll be able to carry with me forever. To me though, that's a fair trade off.)

So what do you think of the price increase? Do you think it is necessary? Or do you think that they should have held off a year or so? Make sure to let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

News & Rumors 7/26/10 - 8/1/10

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


  • The queue to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has been temporarily re-routed to allow for the construction of a new queue.
  • Speaking of Winnie the Pooh, the attraction will be closed for refurbishment Oct. 25 -Nov. 14th.
  • The Glas und Porzellan Shop at the Germany Pavilion in Epcot has now closed to make way for the new Karamelle-Kuche store which will sell many delectable treats. The store is expected to open in Sept.
  • Around 3 pm, a new "show" has begun in Epcot at the bridge lift where the barges for Illuminations float in. Before, nothing would happen, just the bridge would lift, then go back down. Now, songs from Tapestry of Nations play and a narrative is given about the show itself and the hardware that is needed for the show.
  • The Main Street Electrical Parade is not going anywhere! (Worst kept secret EVER by the way). It's run is expected to be open ended (but rumors are floating that it will be around for 2 years.) Speculation is that the MSEP is staying while refurb work is done on SpectroMagic. (It's rumored that Spectro is practically being rebuilt. Rumor says it will be like a whole new parade when it returns.)
  • The company HP has expanded their business deal with Disney by sponsoring the fieldhouse at the ESPN Wide World of Sport, giving them naming rights to the area. Storytime with Belle, which took place in the Fantasyland Garden in the Magic Kingdom is going to be replaced with a new show featuring Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder. Storytime with Belle will end Sept. 12th. The new play and greet experience is expected to begin Oct. 15th.
  • Another show is expected to leave the parks, being replace by another show, but this time, it's over at the Studios. High School Musical 3: Senior Year is going to be replaced by a new show Disney Channel Rocks! featuring songs from original Disney channel movies. HSM3 is expect to close Oct. 2nd and the new show is expect to open Oct. 22nd.
  • As a reminder, It's a Small World closed today for a refurb of what has been rumored to be the queue area. Rumor has it all that is happening is the entrance will be moved back to where the original entrance was, over by Pinocchio Village Haus.
  • The Monorail is expected to get a new expansion...sort of. A new maintenance spur is to be constructed off the Epcot line to store and stage a work tractor, which is used to tow broken down trains and inspect the tracks.
  • Tangled artwork has been added to the Magic of Disney Animation tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • Disney's made some changes to their cancellation policies for 2011. Cancellations made less than 46 days prior to arrival will have a $200 cancellation fee. Changes made to a reservation after the final payment due date will in a $50 change fee and a 15 processing fee.


  • Work is expected to begin on the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights starting in early Sept.
  • During Toy Story Midway Mania's refurb, (Aug. 16 - 28), Darth Maul is expected to be included in the Jedi Training Academy, along with Darth Vader.
  • Also, Sounds Dangerous is expected to re-open seasonally both during the Toy Story Mania refurb as well as the Star Tours refurb (Sept. 8 - May 16, 2011.)
  • Rumors are re-emerging that Carl and Dug may be coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom for meets this fall.
  • Mother Gothel is expected to appear in the Tangled nighttime pre-parade. (First I've heard of this pre-parade as well.)
  • The Fairies are expected to move to a different park once Toontown closes, around Jan. or Feb. 2011.
  • Also some changes with the characters in the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade appear to be coming. Naveen, Queen of Hearts, Tiana, and White Rabbit will be introduced Aug. 9th, however, Baloo and King Louie will be removed.
  • The Rock n' Roll Beach Club (or at least the former club...) at Pleasure Island is supposedly on the chopping block, being demolished possibly for a lighthouse bar/restaurant.
  • The Adventurer's Club is being rumored as coming back, but to a new land that is expected to be built in the AK.
  • One Man's Dream may be getting an area for featuring artwork and models for future attractions when it reopens from it's upcoming refurb.