Tuesday, July 31, 2012

News and Rumors 7/9/12 - 7/29/12



  • LeCellier Steakhouse in Canada will now be a signature dining location for lunch now, requiring 2 dining credits for those on the Dining Plan.
  • Disney has released what marketplaces will be available for the 2012 International Food and Wine Festival.  In addition, they have also shared what Food and Beverage options will be available

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Honey I Shrunk the Kids Adventure Zone will be closed for a refurb from Sept. 10th -14th. 
  • The dates for the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights are Nov. 9th - Jan. 4th. 

Disney Resorts

  • The Grand Floridian is seeing a lot of refurbs.  As of right now, Citricos will be closed until Aug. 4th. Beach Pool Bar is closed through Aug. 24th.  Gasparilla Grill will be closed Aug. 24th to Dec. 2012.  The shop Sandy Cove is expected to close on Aug. 21st through Dec. 2012. The main courtyard pool will be closing Aug. 24th and reopening in Dec. 2012.
  • The Contemporary's 14th Floor will be seeing a large scale refurbishment.   

Disney Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach will be closed for it's annual refurb starting Jan. 6th, 2013. 

General WDW News

  • Evening Extra Magic Hours have been reduced for 2013.  Instead of 3 hours, like it is now, Evening Extra Magic Hours will only be 2 hours long. 
  • Disney is set to announce soon the My Disney Experience App.  This new app will be taking the place of the Disney Mobile Magic App and it is expected to have enhancements, like the ability to use it with the NextGen Fastpass+ system.  


  • The Garden Grill at Epcot is rumored to be gaining it's lunch option back.  Lunch had been removed a few years back with the restaurant currently only serving dinner. 
  • It was floating around that a couple of the former clubs from Pleasure Island may reopen in October.  
  • It's rumored that Jake and the Neverland Pirates are going to be taking over the Play and Dine character meal at Hollywood and Vine at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Wreck It Ralph may be coming for a meet and greet this Fall.  
  • Agent P may also be coming for a meet and greet this Fall. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Where to Watch the Summer Games in WDW

By Guest Columnist Disney InsidEAR Sarah Orr
If your family is like mine, you are looking forward to watching the Summer Olympics starting today.  And if you are in Walt Disney World during the next couple of weeks, you can catch the games on one of the many televisions in Walt Disney World Resort lounges and even in a few restaurants. (Editor's note:  a lot of these would also be great places to watch just about any sports game you may be looking for)

Here is where you can find televisions in Walt Disney World that will be tuned into the games.* 


* list compliments of Disney Parks InsidEARS website

Just for fun, where would be your favorite place to watch to games? Make sure to let us know on our Facebook page!
Thanks Sarah for sharing your article with us here.  If you would like to read more of Sarah's work, please check out her blog called View from the Parlor:  Live, Give and Travel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The 3rd Annual Be Our Guest Podcast 12 Hour Live Show

Well, it's that time of year again.

The Be Our Guest Podcast 12 Hour Live Show will be held on July 26th from 12 pm EST to 12 am EST on www.magicalmouseradio.com  

Again this year, we will be raising money for Give Kids The World, a wonderful charity based out of Florida, which helps children who are facing life threatening illnesses and and their families to a week-long fantasy vacation.  

We are attempting to raise $6000 this year, up from our fabulous total last year of over $5600.  If you are wanting to donate to this fabulous cause, you can do so at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/beourguestpodcast/beourguestpodcasttwelvehourliveshow2012 

If you can donate anything, anything at all, we would all greatly appreciate it.  It is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts at the podcast.

We will be talking with Disney folks, as well as celebrities, and discussing great topics all day tomorrow on the station as well, so make sure to tune in too!  It's looking to be another great day!  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two New Castles Coming to Walt Disney World

This week while I'm still doing a bit of traveling, we're featuring Guest Columnist Disney InsidEAR Sarah Orr

It is true that Cinderella Castle is the crown jewel of Magic Kingdom, but soon two other royal families will be welcomed into Fantasyland.  WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) is adding Beast's Castle, where Be Our Guest Restaurant will be serving up French inspired dishes, (dining reservations will taken by the end of August for end of the year seatings) and Prince Eric's Castle, pictured below. 

Prince Eric's Castle sits on top of the new Under the Sea  - Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction. 


Many thanks to Disney Parks InsidEARS website for giving us this first completed look at Prince Eric's Castle last week. 

Both Beast's and Prince Eric's castle use the forced perspective technique for which WDI is famous to make the structure appear larger in size than it is in real life.

Are you looking forward to dining in Beast's Castle?  With one of my favorite dishes, French onion soup as well as one of my husband's favorites, strip steak on the menu, we'll be trying it as soon as we can. 

I love the dark rides in Fantasyland (and will really miss seeing the Evil Queen in Snow White's Scary Adventure), so I can't wait to see if Ursula shows up in the Under the Sea attraction.

Which of the two new royal family "digs" are you most looking forward to visiting?  Make sure to post on our Facebook page. 

Thanks Sarah for sharing your article with us here.  If you would like to read more of Sarah's work, please check out her blog called View from the Parlor:  Live, Give and Travel.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Disney Dining Plans 2013

Edit:  The updated 2014 Disney Dining Plans have been released

It's that time of year again!  The time has arrived once again where we take a look at the Disney Dining Plans.  The 2013 Disney Dining Plans have officially been announced.

There doesn't appear to be any major changes in the plans this year.  It seems the exact same as last year's version.  With the exception of the price has increased across the board. 

With that being said, let's take a look at an explanation of each of the 2013 Disney Dining Plans, plus the pricing structure for this upcoming year.  (In addition, research has been done for the past few years to see how the Plans have changed in price.  Included in parenthesis are 2012, 2011 and 2010 prices in order.)

Quick-Service Plan
Adult 10+: $37.58/night ($34.99/$34.99/$31.99)
Child 3-9: $14.32/night ($11.99/$11.99/$9.99)

The Quick Service Dining Plan allows each guest to get 2 Quick Service Meals per day.  For Breakfast you'll receive an entrée or combo meal and a non-alcoholic beverage.  For Lunch and Dinner you'll receive an entrée or a complete combo meal, dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage.  You'll also get 1 Snack Option per day, and 1 Refillable Mug  per person for the length of your stay.

Basic Plan*
Adult 10+:  $55.59/night ($51.54/$45.99/$41.99)
Child 3-9: $17.16/night ($15.02/$11.99/$11.99)

The Basic Plan (Also known as the Standard Plan) comes with 1 Quick Service Meal per day, which includes an entrée or combo meal, dessert (lunch or dinner only), and a non-alcoholic beverage.  You also get 1 Sit Down Meal per day which includes entrée, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and non-alcoholic beverage, or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet. You'll also receive 1 Snack Option per day and 1 Refillable Mug per person. 

Deluxe Plan*
Adult 10+: $99.97/night ($85.52/$78.99/$71.99)
Child 3-9: $26.84/night ($23.79/$21.99/$20.99)

For the Deluxe Dining Plan, guests receive 3 Meals, which can be any combination of either Table Service Meals or Quick Service meals. Table Service meals include an appetizer (lunch and dinner only), entree, dessert (lunch and dinner only), and a non-alcoholic beverage. Or, if eating at a buffet, the full buffet. Quick Service Meals include an entrée or combo meal, dessert (lunch and dinner only and a non-alcoholic beverage.  Also included in the plan are 2 Snack Credits per day plus one resort refillable mug per person for the length of stay.

*Note that during Peak Season, prices will increase for both the Basic and Deluxe Dining Plans.   During Peak Season, the Basic Dining Plan will cost Adults 10+:  $56.94/night and $18.16/night for Children ages 3 to 9.  For the Deluxe Dining Plan, it will cost Adults 10+:  $102.27/night and ages 10+ and $28.91/night Children ages 3 to 9.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding on whether to purchase the dining plans is that gratuities and any extras like alcoholic beverages and appetizers (with the exception of the Deluxe Dining Plan...appetizers are included on that) are not included in the prices listed above and will be added at an additional charge.  Be mindful of that 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.

The biggest question that I hear though is, "Is the Dining Plan Worth It?"  Is it a good value?

Honestly, 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 AllEars.net 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 $11 for counter service meal, $3 for snack, and that leaves you with about $41 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.

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 enough...you 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.

Also, if you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

News and Rumors 6/18/12 - 7/8/12

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


Magic Kingdom

  • FASTPASS is now available for Dumbo.  You can obtain your FASTPASS ticket at the machines by Mickey's Philharmagic.
  • It appears that Rapunzel can now be found in the Princess meet and greet location on Main Street USA at the Town Square Theater.
  • Disney has released the menu for the Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Lunch dining options will include:
    • tuna Niçoise salad
    • Croque Monsieur (carved ham, Gruyère cheese, and béchamel)
    • carved turkey baguette with Dijon mayonnaise
    • grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread
    • pommes frites (french fries)
    • braised pork
    • loaded vegetable quiche
    • quinoa, shallot, and chive salad
Lunch options for those 9 and under will include:
    • carved turkey sandwich
    • roasted pulled pork
    • Mickey meatloaf
    • seared mahi mahi
    • whole grain macaroni topped with marinara and mozzarella 
      For dinner, options will include:

    • charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages
    • steamed mussels in a white wine sauce
    • French onion or potato leek soup
    • salad with champagne vinaigrette
    • salad trio
    • thyme scented pork rack chop served with au gratin pasta
    • rotisserie rock hen served with roasted fingerling potatoes
    • pan seared salmon in leek fondue
    • grilled strip steak with pommes frites
    • sauteed shrimp and scallops with veggies in a puff pastry served with creamy lobster sauce
    • oven baked ratatouille
    • strawberry cream cheese cupcake
    • triple chocolate cupcake
    • chocolate cream puff
    • passion fruit cream puff
Dinner options for those 9 and under will include:
    • grilled steak
    • grilled fish of the day
    • whole grain macaroni
    • grilled chicken breast


  • Agent P's World Showcase Adventure has officially opened.
  • The Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages are now available for purchase. 
  • New costumes are on their way for the World Showcase Pavilions
  • The Boulangerie Pâtisserie is getting a renovation and is expected to reopen in December.  When it reopens, it will have an updated name as well, Boulangerie Pâtisserie Des Halles, along with an updated menu and more seating options. 
  • Disney has announced the HGTV Stars that will be appearing during this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  They are:  September 28-30 – “Design Star” Season 7 Winner (To be announced July 25) October 5-7 – Casey Noble – “Design on a Dime” October 12-14 – Alison Victoria – DIY Network’s “Kitchen Crashers” October 19-21 – Brian Patrick Flynn – HGTV.com, “Design Happens” contributor October 26-28 – Meg Caswell – “Meg’s Great Rooms” November 2-4 – Marianne Canada – HGTV.com, “Design Happens” contributor November 9-12 – Emily Henderson – “Secrets From a Stylist” 

Disney Water Parks

  • Both Disney Water Parks are participating in Morning Extra Magic Hours throughout the summer.  This will take place on Wednesdays from 8 am - 9 am.  Other offerings include being able to meet with special meet and greet characters along with other additional entertainment offerings.

General WDW News

  •  The Characters in Flight balloon has been removed for inspection following an incident that occurred in Hong Kong with a balloon similar to to the one found in DTD.  The balloon was slated to be replaced by the end of this year, so now, it appears that the replacement is going to happen sooner now.
  • The California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort will be closed for a lengthy refurb from Jan. 6, 2013 until late Summer 2013. 


  •  Supposedly, Disney is testing a dragon like creature that could be meant for the new Avatarland in Disney's Animal Kingdom.  
  • Rumors are floating that Disney may be updating Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth.
  • SpectroMagic is rumored to return in March/April 2013 

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