Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why I Love Lines From TouringPlans many of you know that I blog the news for TouringPlans, right?  And yes, if you click on the link in the blog ever for TouringPlans, yes, I do get a little bit of money from that.  So, yes, I have a good relationship with them.  Let's get that out of the way.

However, let's also be clear about one other's post would happen whether or not I had a relationship with TouringPlans because I absolutely LOVE their app, Lines. 

I have been a user of Lines for years.  I got the app right after it was initially developed.  (I think I had it as a mobile version on my BlackBerry, back in those days...which was a long time ago.)  I think that it's a smart product and something that can help those who love to plan and those who love to wing their trips.  Brian and I have come to use the app on every Disney trip, with the introduction of the Personalized Plans and the ability to optimize them.

Brian and I first used the app when I knew we'd be visiting Disneyland last year.  I knew we didn't have a lot of time in the parks, with us really only having 2 and a half days max and I didn't know when we'd be back out to the West Coast.  So, I wanted to see as much as I possibly could in the quickest amount of time.  I plugged in every aspect that we had to make sure to see.  And guess what?  It worked!  We saw everything we wanted and then some!

So, we started doing the same thing at Walt Disney World.   In May, we had a moment in Columbia Harbor House where we were both fading fast and hadn't really hit a lot of attractions and it was already 4 pm!  We plugged in the rest of the attractions we wanted to do that day, and wouldn't you know it...we managed to hit everything that we wanted. (minus Winnie the Pooh...but that was really in the maybe category anyway.)

I, someone who is, but really isn't a planner, was hooked!

So, how does the optimization work?  Well, I don't know the behind the scenes secrets, but I can tell me it's a special kind of magic.

First, you set up which park you are going to be in and give the plan a name.  They are also getting ready for Fastpass+, allowing guests to include which attractions they have selected and at what times. This process can be done the day of your trip, or ahead of time at home. 

You see, I plug in all the attractions that I want to see on my Walt Disney World vacations.  I pick things that are must dos and things that are I'd like to see if I have time.  You can create plans for each individual park, plans that afford afternoon breaks, times for meals...really, you can input anything that would be included with your day in the park.

Once you finish inputting the options for your day in the park, you select where you are in the park (if it doesn't automatically see where you are based off your last bit of data) and you hit the optimize button.  It will then pop up after a minute telling you what you should see and in what order.

The great thing about the system is that it is ever changing, so say an attraction is down, when you optimize it, if it knows that the attraction is down based off of data from other users, it will take that into consideration and tell you to hit up another attraction.  The great thing about this system is that it's intuitive, so if it needs to, it can change, as long as you hit optimize.  (I hit the button after every attraction, just to make sure my information is as current as it should be.)

Of course, Lines is more than just the Touring Plans and the Optimizer.  There is still the information about which park is the best park to visit for the day, along with park hours.  There is information about the estimated and posted wait times.  In addition, if you are interested in seeing a show, it will tell you either what time the next showing is or approximately how long until the next show is.

Lines also has detailed information about all the restaurants, both table service and quick service (as well as carts) with full menus, as well as additional information that may be helpful for guests.  

Interested in chatting with other Disney fanatics, there is the Chat room area where you can get any question you may have answered.  There's also the 10 day forecast on which park is the best park to visit and what the park hours are for each park.  

Of course, I'm guilty of one of the most popular things to do in relation to Lines...and that is Lines Stalk when I'm home.  This is where those of us who are stuck at home look at Lines and see how long or short some of the attractions currently are.  (This can be especially fun at Christmas when lines get astronomical!)  

Lines does have a cost associated with it, which is the cost of a subscription to TouringPlans.  Discounts are sometimes offered.  A subscription does last for 365 days and there is a 45 day money back guarantee.  A TouringPlans subscription gives you access to not only Lines, but also to the complete crowd calendar (giving you an idea of which days are the best days to visit which park during your vacation), and access to over 140 different Touring Plans, plus more!  If you do want to purchase, I do shamelessly ask that you do so through this link to help support the blog!  :) What's great is that they also have options for guests who may be traveling to Disneyland or Universal Studios Orlando.  So, you've got your basis covered.

I think that everyone who's planning a trip to Walt Disney World will get a ton of information out of Lines. I honestly use their product and think it is absolutely an asset for anyone who is planning on taking or is currently on a Walt Disney World vacation.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 7/22/13 - 7/28/13

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.  
You can tell the D23 Expo is coming...the rumors are flying right now....


Magic Kingdom

  • Peter Pan's refurbishment is now taking place from Sept. 30th to Nov. 13th.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • A new Garden Kiosk appears to be on it's way for the park.  This kiosk will be a food allergy information booth and will allow guests to speak with Cast Members to answer questions they may have about their options when dining in the park in relation to allergies and intolerances.  Of course, guests will still be able to talk to chef's at the restaurants.

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic brings back the Eye Scream Sundae to both the Plaza Restaurant and the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.  In addition, at DHS, on July 31, guests will get to see their favorite performers from this year's season of American Idol in a special parade. 
  •  Disney is continuing to offer the Salute the US Military discounts. For information, read here.
  • Disney's Magical Express is doing a test and allowing guests who are staying at Port Orleans Resort to have the option of being picked up at the resort or at Downtown Disney.  The pickup location is in the parking lot near Raglan Road.  
  • A large scale test of MyMagic+ will be taking place this week. This is the first time the entire roster of FASTPASS+ attractions will be taking place.  
  • Senses - A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort is now open after it's lengthily refurbishment. 
  • AT&T is now the official wireless provider for Walt Disney World.  This will allow in the enhancement of the network across the resort.


  • Interesting that Disney's Insider newsletter this week said that D23 would have a look at teasers related to Avatar and Star Wars in the parks...however, this was quickly dismissed by Disney that it didn't mean what we think it to mean...we shall see...
  • The next Disney campaign could be Show Us Your Disney Side...where guests come dressed in regular clothing, but are inspired off of Disney characters.  
  • Jack Skellington and Sally could actually start doing meets this Halloween Season, during the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  
  • Anna from the upcoming movie Frozen could be meeting guests in Norway.  
  • The Rapid Fill Mug system should be in place at all WDW Resorts by September.  
  • It's being rumored that the Osbourne Lights may be over after this year.  
  • The Imagination Pavilion may be closing in January.  No word on any rumored replacement or refurbishment.  
  • California Grill is rumored to reopen on Aug. 25th.  
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 7/15/13 - 7/21/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • The Enchanted Tiki Room's refurbishment has been removed from the schedule. 


  • The Hat Lady will no longer be performing her show any longer.  She will continue to appear as a piano songstress.  
  • Sigourney Weaver has been added to the Candlelight Processional line up.  She will be performing on Dec. 8th - 10th.  
  • Spaceship Earth's refurbishment has been pushed back to Aug. 22nd - 27th. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Part of Sid Cahuenga's will be transformed into a MyMagic+ portal.  It appears that the front porch and lobby area will be converted to the service center, but the rest of the shop will remain will offering merchandise.  

Downtown Disney

  • Apricot Lane has now closed in Pleasure Island.  

General WDW News

  • Ospry Ridge Golf Course will be closing Aug. 11th to make way for the Golden Oak development.  
  • This week's Limited Time Magic will surround Christmas in July.  Guests will be able to buy Ear Hat Christmas Ornaments.  In addition, guests will get to purchase a special dessert at Tony's Town Square, a Santa Mickey Demitasse.  Or you will be able to get a holiday cupcake at the Main Street Bakery or gingerbread cones at the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor.  
  • Puma is now the official sponsor of youth soccer equipment for the ESPN Wide World of Sports. 
  • Some refrigerators at some of the Disney resorts could potentially have a defect in a handful of guest rooms.  These refrigerators have either been unplugged or removed all together.  It could take several months for the new replacements to be delivered.  (Side note:  I witnessed this firsthand, as my room at Pop had it's refrigerator turned off when staying there this weekend.) 

Download the ALL NEW DFB Guide to DAK and DHS Snacks!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Little Things: Tomorrowland

 Welcome to Tomorrowland!  As Walt said, Tomorrowland (granted in Disneyland, but it is assumed it could be brought to Walt Disney World too) is a vista into a world of wondrous ideas signifying man's achievement...a step into the future with predictions of constructive things to come.  Of course, over the years, Tomorrowland has been one of the harder lands to keep "current" given that it's rooted in the future, which is always rapidly coming towards us.  In 1994, the land at Walt Disney World saw a large refurbishment, taking it a little more towards science fiction, with inspiration from H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.  Of course, since then, it's seen quite a bit of change that has made it a bit more character friendly, which it hasn't necessarily been in the past. 

But some of those amazing little touches can still be seen today by guests.  Things that really make Tomorrowland such a special place and probably my favorite land in all of the Magic Kingdom. 

First off, we have the sign that welcome you.  This can only be found on the way into the land from the Main Street hub, but it certainly sets the tone for what you're about to step into.  With it's cold steel exterior and pieces that could be found in science experiments (like electrons and protons...though they really are more abstract shapes on the sign) the sign is a beacon into the world you are about to step foot into.  It's kind of very Big Bang Theory feeling.  It welcomes you into a world that you know, is not rooted here on earth.  And that is ok. 

One of the biggest aspects of this land, more so than a lot of other lands, in my opinion, is the motion that can be found here.  Things just move.  You have the Tomorrowland Transit Authority whipping all around the land, the AstroOrbiter spinning round and round high above you, the Carousel of Progress is circling around the theater, and even the not so futuristic Tomorrowland Speedway has cars moving in continuous motion.  I just get the feeling that the rides are inviting you in!  Welcome...look how fun we know you want to spin on the AstroOrbiter too!  The kinetics of this land makes you just want to have fun. 

A neat portion of Tomorrowland is something that most people just walk right past.  It is so unassuming that you may not even know it's special...until it TALKS to you.  I'm talking about the unique trash can, known as PUSH.  This little fella moseys around the land and interacts with guests in fun ways, that you certainly wouldn't expect from a place you'd throw your garbage.  Watch as people stop and wonder how this normally in-adamant object suddenly starts having a conversation with you. It's a hoot! 

Another one of my favorite aspects, and I'm not really sure why it appeals so much to be, but they are the palm trees that can be found in the back over by Space Mountain.  These are not ordinary palm trees though!  These are most certainly related to the originally 1994 back story because they are there to "harvest energy through the coconuts" for the Tomorrowland Light and Power Co. (The arcade area next to Space Mountain.)  Ok, so they really don't actually harvest electricity, but they are super cool and incredibly futuristic!   Be on the lookout for the one palm tree that's different and see if you can figure out why.  (Told you I loved these palms! Palm trees really are my favorite!)

There are of course other little touches that tie together the once extremely prevalent back story of the fact that this is a city of tomorrow you are visiting, which make for interesting touches that just help enhance the land.  There's the Metrophone, which is a "pay phone" (of course, it's actually free to pick it up and...wait...what are pay phones...) But if you pick it up, you may get to hear what's going on in Tomorowland.  Over by the TTA, make sure to check out the Robo-Newz bot that's standing there with newspapers inside.  The other aspect that's cool is that you can see a neat piece of galactic artwork, featuring signs for the chamber of commerce welcoming you to the city, showing some of the "amenities" here.  All just neat little pieces to help tie everything all together. 

Hungry?  Head over to Cosmic Ray's!  Here' you'll get entertained while you eat by noneother than that galactic crooner, Sonny Eclipse!  This lounge lizard is from Yew Nork and plays some catchy tunes and has witty repartee.  This place gets SUPER busy around mealtimes, so make sure to head over there at an off peak time.

Finally, my favorite detail here in Tomorrowland happens when the sun goes down.  You see, Tomorrowland is bathed in neon.  It is a gorgeous site to see.  There are lights just shining everywhere.  It is so breathtaking.  It's a beacon just calling your towards it like a moth to a flame.  Luckily, here, you won't get zapped!  Really, talking about it cannot do it justice.  You have to see it for yourself.

These are just a few of my small favorite things that can be found on Main Street USA!  What are your favorites?  Make sure to leave a comment on the Facebook page!  (Or in the comments)

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What We Know So Far About FastPass+

Edited: 7/26/15

Currently the Walt Disney World Resort has been rolling out its all-new system for enjoying the vacation's called MyMagic+.  This new system involves terms such as MagicBands, and FastPass+ and My Disney Experience; all of which will impact your next Walt Disney World vacation, from here on out. But what exactly is it all?  How does it work?  The process is now officially out of the testing phase, with MyMagic+, along with its components (like FastPass+) pretty well rolled out in their entirety, with a few minor and major tweaks now taking place occasionally.

Here's what we know currently about FastPass+.  (I'm going to apologize for the length of this article now...there is just so much that is going to tie into this new system and thought you should know all the information.)

Pause:  What is FastPass+ you ask?  FastPass+ is a ride reservation system that allows guests the ability to make reservations for attractions months in advance. There are limits on how many FastPass+ reservations you can obtain per day. FastPass+ is free with park admission and has replaced the original version, known as just FASTPASS (or Legacy FASTPASS) in the parks.  All four parks have rolled out FastPass+ to guests.  (No more being able to pick up Legacy FASTPASSes.)

With that understanding, now we will begin talking about the individual components of this new NextGen system.  The MyMagic+ project will allow guests to do a multitude of things, including using MagicBands (a rubber bracelet with an RFID chip embedded in them) to gain access to Disney resort rooms, serve as theme park admission, hold Disney PhotoPass photos, to pay for dining and retail purchases by simply tapping to pay and entering in a pin number, and it will hold your FastPass+ "tickets".

FastPass+ will be tied to the My Disney Experience site and app.  All guests are now able to either go online to the My Disney Experience site or interact with the app and make their FastPass+ reservations for attractions and shows that they want to make sure they hit while they are on their trip.  This is similar to what guests currently do for dining.

Wait...hold that we're discussing My Disney Experience I should probably mention what exactly does the My Disney Experience app and website allows guests to do?

In addition to enhancing aspects of a Disney vacation, The My Disney Experience will allow guests access to things like checking wait times while in the park, checking park hours, character locations, etc. Here's some other things My Disney Experience does: 

  • It includes complete information about Walt Disney World Resort attractions, experiences, dining and resort hotels.
  • Has interactive maps, videos, itinerary tools and more.
  • Allows the ability to lock in some of their must-do experiences in advance through FastPass+.  
  • Helps to find restaurants (more than 80 to choose from) and make dining reservations
  • Connects you with family and friends to coordinate plans and share photos.
  • Allows guests to purchase tickets via their phone or tablet.  
  • You can access all Walt Disney World Resort details from a smart phone, tablet or other portable device.

My Disney Experience features for guests include:
  • Complete information about Walt Disney World Resort attractions, experiences, dining and resort hotels becomes easier than ever to access.
  • Interactive maps, videos, itinerary tools and more, all in one easy place.
  • The ability to lock in some of their must-do experiences in advance through FastPass+.  Make show, ride, fireworks or parade viewing or Disney Character Greeting reservations in advance or on the day of their visit. With no worries about experiencing favorite attractions and shows, everyone can relax and focus on their time together.
  • Find restaurants of every flavor (more than 80 to choose from) and make dining reservations direct from their mobile app or
  • Connect with family and friends to coordinate plans and share photos.
  • Access all Walt Disney World Resort details from a smart phone, tablet or other portable device. Now, guests can take their Disney vacation with them and have the plans they created at home – along with interactive maps, character moments, dining reservations and wait times – at their fingertips as real-time info.
- See more at: that we know that...back to FastPass+...FastPass+ and the My Disney Experience App as a whole, are connected together.  So all reservations, including things like dining, will allow the whole family to be connected, under one umbrella, if they choose to be.  This is helpful if traveling with a larger group. Of course, if one guest doesn't want to ride, say Tower of Terror, they do not have to hold a FastPass+ reservation for that option, and will be allowed to choose another attraction to hold a FastPass for.  (Although, the problem is everyone else will have already used their FastPass+ option...and won't have an extra FastPass for the extra's that...) 
FastPass+ will also work for fireworks and parades, by giving guests a designated viewing area that you will be able to go to.

To make FastPass+ reservations, you MUST have a My Disney Experience account.  You also MUST have some form of ticket media already purchased to tie to your My Disney Experience account before any FastPass+ reservations can be made.

If you have any old tickets from the past, these will have to be converted to new RFID tickets at the parks and must be tied into a specific account.  These will then be able to be connected with your MagicBand using the My Disney Experience account.

As of now, all guests have access to FastPass+.  Currently, for those staying at a Disney Resort, guests will be able to make these reservations online up to 60 days out. Annual Passholders will be able to make their reservations online up to 30 days out.  For more information about Annual Passholders, keep reading.

Those who are staying off-site can now also make their FastPass+ reservations in advance.  Guests staying off-site will be able to make reservations up to 30 days in advance. Day guests will also have access to the My Disney Experience app, as well as the website, and are no longer be restricted to using in-park My Magic+ kiosks.  Do keep in mind that some kiosks will remain available for anyone who does not have access to an iPhone or similar device or just wishes to utilize a kiosk.

To make advance FastPass+ reservations, day guests will need to make sure to purchase tickets in advance, as well as link their ticket into their My Disney Experience account.  Also, Disney is now selling MagicBands to off-site guests for $12.95 each. More on where you can purchase MagicBands in a minute.

Here's how the whole FastPass+ process works to make your reservations:  Guests will utilized the app and select the park they want to visit.  From there, they will choose 3 experiences out of a list of options.  At some parks, you will be able to choose any attractions that you would like to experience.  (Those parks would be the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom.)

At others, (Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios) these options will be divided into columns.  You will get to choose some attractions off of column A and some off of column B.  Column A will feature more popular attraction, and Column B will feature additional attraction choices.  As part of the tiering, for example, you will NOT be able to choose Tower of Terror, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Rock n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

Disney will now allow guests a fourth rolling FastPass+ reservation.  Here's how it works:  Once a guest uses all three of their FastPass+ reservations, they are allowed to head to any of the FastPass+ kiosks in the park to make an additional reservation.  The best part is that this reservation will be rolling, so once you use it, you'll be able to head back to any FastPass+ kiosk to make additional reservations throughout the day! (Do keep in mind that you will only get one additional FastPass+ at a time, but you can choose repeat attraction now, if you would like.)

In addition, guests will also be able to select and use their additional FastPass+ reservations when hopping from park to park.  In order to accomplish this, guests must first use their beginning three FastPass+ entitlements in the first park they visit.  After that, when they choose to park hop, they can make additional FastPass+ reservations at the second park at any FastPass+ kiosk located in the park.

Attractions That Offer FastPass+

Magic Kingdom
  • Ariel's Grotto
  • The Barnstormer
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • it's a small world
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Electrical Parade
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  •  Mickey's Philharmagic 
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Princess Fairytale Hall - Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel
  • Princess Fairytall Hall - Meet Anna and Elsa
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Town Square Theater - Meet Mickey Mouse
  • Town Square Theater - Meet Tinker Bell
  • Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid 
  • Wishes

    Column A (Choose ONE option)
    • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
    • Living with the Land
    • Soarin’
    • Test Track
    Column B (Choose TWO options)
    • Captain EO
    • Epcot Character Spot
    • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
    • Mission Space
    • Spaceship Earth
    • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
    • Turtle Talk with Crush

      Disney's Hollywood Studios

        Column A (Choose ONE option)
        • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
        • Fantasmic!
        • The Great Movie Ride
        • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
        • Toy Story Mania!
        Column B (Choose TWO options)
        • Disney Junior – Live on Stage
        • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
        • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
        • Muppet*Vision 3D
        • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
        • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
        • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

          Disney's Animal Kingdom

          • Adventurers Outpost - meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse 
          • Dinosaur
          • Expedition Everest
          • Festival of the Lion King
          • Finding Nemo The Musical
          • It's Tough to be a Bug 
          • Kali River Rapids
          • Kilimanjaro Safaris
          • Primeval Whirl
          If you are unsure where to start, Disney will offer to recommend FastPicks, which is a set of three FastPass+ selections to get you started.  However, I have a better way for you.  I have recently written a blog article on which attractions that I believe would be most beneficial to obtain FastPass+ reservations for.  Make sure to check it out.
          Not sure where to start? Disney will recommend FastPicks, a set of three FastPass+ selections to get guests started. - See more at:

          For guests who want to take advantage of FastPass+, it works like Legacy FASTPASS did.  Guests will only have the one hour return window to make it to their specific ride time. Different from Legacy FASTPASS, guests will be able to modify their FastPass+ options.  They can even modify them day of, however, once you use a FastPass+ reservation in one park, you cannot change the park you have FastPass+ reservations for.  (You may modify the park prior to your FastPass+ return time window opening for example, say you have a reservation for Expedition Everest at 11 am, but decide to go to Hollywood Studios instead that morning, you have until 11 am to change your park for FastPass+.)  In addition, once you use your FastPass+ in a park, you can only modify your remaining FastPass+ reservations for that specific park.  As soon as the ride time window comes up, you cannot modify that attraction any longer.  

          For those who will be in the parks who do not have access to a smart phone, they will be able to go to Guest Relations in each park, in addition to other areas, where kiosks will be located for guests to make their FastPass+ changes.  To make a FastPass+ reservation at one of these kiosks, guests will need to use their RFID-enabled ticket or MagicBand in order to access the FastPass+ kiosks and Mickey touch sensors.


          FastPass+ Kiosk Locations

          Disney's Animal Kingdom

          • Disney Outfitters
          • Kilimanjaro Safaris
          • Kali River Rapids
          • Primeval Whirl
          • Expedition Everest
          Magic Kingdom
          • Outside Mickey’s PhilharMagic
          • The breezeway between Adventureland and Liberty Square
          • Jungle Cruise 
          • Near Stitch's Great Escape
           Disney's Hollywood Studios
          • At the Sid Cahuenga's FastPass+ service center
          • Tip Board
          • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
          • Voyage of The Little Mermaid
          • At Guest Relations outside the park  
          • Tip Board 
          • International Gateway
          • Future World West Breezeway
          • Future World East Breezeway
          • Guest Relations

          What happens if a ride goes down during the time of your FastPass+ window?  It will depend.  It appears that if the closure happens earlier in the day, the current FastPass will be expired and guests will be given the option of either the chance to return to said attraction when it reopens or to choose from a list of up to eight different options at that same park for that same day.  If by chance the closure happens later at night, the guest may select any FastPass+ option at another park for the following day.  Guests will be notified of a FastPass+ closure for their reserved time slot with both a notification email and a message in the My Disney Experience apps, as well as the website. (Check out this blog post for a full description of what happens when an attraction goes down and you have a FastPass+ reservation.)

          I wrote a blog article explaining my first trip to Walt Disney World where I had to utilize FastPass+ only as my way of touring the parks, as well as how my day went using FastPass+.   


          MagicBands are available in a variety of colors.  They include Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, Orange, and Gray.  Guests staying on property are able to select their color and customize their band prior to arriving. If a guest is staying off property, they may choose to purchase a band, which can be found in many different gift shops throughout the Resort. More on that in a minute.

          Bands are made of hypoallergenic material that's flexible, durable, waterproof, and equipped with a three year battery.  They are relatively comfortable to wear, can be made to fit any wearer (yes, even children), and have ridges that help air to circulate between the band and wrist.  In addition, each MagicBand will be able to house different tickets.  

          In addition, all Guests now have the option to purchase MagicBands with designs included printed on them.  Options have included Disney Princesses, Mickey Mouse, Olaf from Frozen, Darth Vader, Holiday-themed options, and more. 

          Guests are also able to customize these bands by purchasing Cover Bands (which are made of fabric and go over your band), Magic BandIts (made from rubber and like the jibbits for crocs), and MagicSliders (which cover the Mickey head of the band, which is where your RFID chip is located.)  Disney has also introduced watch faces that slip on bands as well.

          ©Mary Jo Collins

          ©Mary Jo Collins

          ©Mary Jo Collins

          MagicBands, if a guest staying on property has created their trip in My Disney Experience prior to their vacation, will be shipped to a guests house from 30 - 10 days before someone's vacation, worldwide.  If within the 10 day window, it will be shipped to the guest's Disney resort.  If a guest makes their selection within 5 days, their band will be available at the resort.  If a guest should loose their MagicBand, the replacement will be the Gray band. 

          All Walt Disney World Resorts are issuing only MagicBands to resort guests to use throughout their stay.

          For guests who didn't customize and receive MagicBands prior to their vacations, they will receive a gray colored Band at check in.  Also, resort guests will not receive a back up Key To The World card, however, if it would be preferred, a RF-enabled Key To The World card can be issued to a guest upon request. The card will work the same as the MagicBand does.

          Resort guests who would like to use FastPass+ during their vacation may do so using the My Disney Experience app, visiting Guest Relations, or by stopping at a MyMagic+ kiosk.

          Many people worry about security issues, but have no fear.  According to Disney, extensive measures are in place to protect the privacy of guests and the security of personal information that they choose to share via My Disney Experience.  MagicBands do not store any personal information.  Instead each band contains a randomly assigned code only, that will then securely link to an encrypted database, which then associates the guest's MagicBand (or Key to the World card) with the Disney experiences they've selected.  In addition, MagicBands can be disabled remotely if they are lost or stolen. 

          For those off-site guests who wish to, they may purchase a MagicBand at various locations on Disney property. Those locations include:

          Magic Kingdom

          • Emporium on Main Street U.S.A.
          • Frontierland Trading Post
          • Space Mountain Gift Shop
          • Mickey's Gift Station at the TTC
          • Big Top Souvenirs


          • Disney Traders in World Showcase
          • Camera Center under Spaceship Earth
          • World Traveler at the International Gateway

          Disney's Hollywood Studios

          • Legends of Hollywood
          • Stage One
          • The Darkroom

          Disney's Animal Kingdom

          • Chester and Hester's Dinosaur Treasures
          • Disney Outfitters

          Downtown Disney

          • Disney's Pin Traders in the Marketplace
          This is not a full list, only partial, and locations do change.  If you're looking for MagicBands for sale, the largest selection will be at the bigger stores on property. 

          Options of where to purchase MagicBands keep popping up all the time, so be sure to be on the lookout, especially at resort hotels.

          Guests are able to purchase and link additional bands to their My Disney Experience account, so if you already have a band, but want another one, you can choose to purchase it and add it. (Of if you are staying off-site and don't have one, you can now purchase one.)  Once linked to your My Disney Experience account, MagicBands can be retained and used for future trips.  You do not have to have valid park admission any longer to purchase MagicBands.  The cost of specialty MagicBands range anywhere from $12.95 to $30.

          Many people wonder, if MagicBands (and some of us already have quite a collection) can be re-used.  Yes! They can. As long as they are valid in your My Disney Experience account, you can use them. So if you want to mix and match while on vacation, feel comfortable to know that you can use any MagicBand you would like, as long as it shows up in your account.  

          However, what if you already have lots of MagicBands or you are doing a split stay and you DON'T want additional MagicBands sent to your home?  Walt Disney World Resort Guests are now able to choose to opt out of customizing and receiving a new MagicBand if they already have a MagicBand from a previous visit linked to their account on My Disney Experience. In addition, Guests with more than one reservation during the same visit will only receive one MagicBand for the whole visit if they do not customize a MagicBand for the second reservation.  To accomplish this. Guests can manage their MagicBand preferences through the ‘Customize Your MagicBand’ section on their My Disney Experience account by either declining a new MagicBand if they prefer to use an existing one or reactivating a MagicBand by changing their selection. 

          Annual Passholders

          Disney is now allowing Annual Passholders to make advance FastPass+ reservations, use My Disney Experience, and customize MagicBands.

          Like other guests, Passholders are able to make 3 initial FastPass+ reservations at a single park per day. (Additional FastPass+ reservations can be made after your first three have been used.) AP holders can make make FastPass+ selections by using either the My Disney Experience app or by stopping at a FastPass+ kiosk. Passholders will be able to make up to seven days of FastPass+ selections over a continuous 30 day time period.  (Or, if staying at a Disney resort, the number of days staying at the resort, whichever is longer.)  Passholders also can only make FastPass+ reservations for up to 30 days in advance now.

          Passholders will also receive a discount card. This card must be used (along with a photo ID) to receive your Passholder discounts. Cards will come in either black or gold. The gold card indicates complimentary parking is included. The black card indicates that the guest has no complimentary parking.

          If you'd like to learn more, visit the Passholder information page.

          The MyMagic+ system has technically been fully rolled out.  However, tweaks are constantly being made.  Keep updated by visit this blog for more details!

          Now it's you're turn.  What are your thoughts about the system?  Be sure to let me know on the Facebook page.

          Also, if you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our new Facebook page! 

          Sunday, July 7, 2013

          Walt Disney World News and Rumors 7/1/13 - 7/7/13

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


          Magic Kingdom

          • Walt Disney World Railroad will be down for a refurbishment from Sept. 30th - Oct. 20th.
          • Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room will be closed from July 31st - Aug. 29th.  

          Disney's Hollywood Studios

          • Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Play Area will be closed from Sept. 3rd - Nov. 20th.
          • Sofia the First has officially been announced as a meet and greet character.  She will be meeting later this summer over by Disney Junior - Live on Stage. 

          General WDW News

          • This week's Limited Time Magic will feature Mickey's America Streetbeat.  From July 8 - 14, guests who visit the American Gardens Theater in Epcot will get to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy alongside a group of young performers in a display of display of hip hop, acrobatics, and percussion.  Showtimes are 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm.


          • SpectroMagic appears to be no more as substantial rumors indicate that the parade has been junked and trashed, with a few floats remaining for training.  Rumors indicated the floats had not been stored properly from the Florida elements, causing significant damage. 
          • Rumors are indicating that the testing of the resort mugs with RFID chips may have gone well, because they are supposedly coming back, full scale.  
          • The California Grill is expected to reopen on Aug. 25th.  
          • Long Lost Friends Week 2 is expected to start on July 15th.  Rumored characters include Chicken Little and Abby Mallard, Brer Bear, Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit, Robin Hood and gang, and Louis and Dr Facilier

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