Updated Prices, Refurbs, etc. for WDW

Walt Disney World has been quietly slipping the cost of things up a bit, with no fanfare of any kind! Most notably is the price of a One-Day, Single Park Ticket. The price slid up $5. Magic Kingdom is not $99 for one day. EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are $94 for a single day’s visit. It is believed this is a strategy to trim the one day visitors in favor of multiple day guests. The cost for parking at a Disney Park has also made a quiet move up the ladder going from $15 to $17 per day.

Here is the list of current Refurbishments at Walt Disney World:

Magic Kingdom
Big Thunder Mountain April 7-9, 2014
Pirates of the Caribbean April 28 – May 1, 2014
Tomorrowland Transit Authority – Peoplemover – May 3 – Jun 30, 2014
Astro Orbiter May 3 – August 20, 2014

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King is still under refurbishment with no official date announced for re-opening in a new theater in the Harambe area of the park. Expect sometime late May or June!

Of course, there is major construction around the Polynesian Resort in preparation of adding Disney Vacation Club. There are changes taking place to the Great Ceremonial House, as well! Keep this in mind when planning your vacation!

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share if you find the information helpful! Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

An Off-Sight WDW Vacation

It’s no secret that I, personally, prefer to be a much inside the magic as possible. However, I can understand, and even empathize, with some who say it’s just too expensive! Well, let’s look at what you need to remember when staying at an off-sight location for your Walt Disney World Adventure.

Not all off-sight resorts are actually “off-sight”. There are two that are actually built on Disney ground, but owned and operated by an independent company. Those are the Swan and Dolphin Resorts! They are a part of the Starwood Group, and if you have points to use, these can be very good choices for location purposes. However, you will need to keep in mind that they are considered off-property resorts in the way they are presented. For instance, you may think they are on-sight because Disney Transport DOES provide service to the parks from these locations. However, EMH privileges are not supported! You can get MagicBands, but you can not make FPP reservations until 30 days out!

You may choose to stay at a Downtown Disney Resort. The Hilton at Lake Buena Vista allows EMH access, but there is limited transportation available from this, or any LBV resort location. Call ahead to get a better idea of whether this service if for you, or not. You are, however, right at the DTD area and can easily walk to Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs) for shopping or to access Disney Transportation.

And then there are ‘resorts’ in the Kissimmee and even beyond. There are several that may offer free breakfast options. But, be aware that many claim to have transportation available, but much of it is scarce and may be unreliable, not to mentioned poorly scheduled. If you are wanting to see late night fireworks, or even stay later in a park, you may NOT be able to accomplish this from an off-sight location. Again, do your homework before finalizing your plans to make sure this will work for your planning.

One other note to consider: if you are driving, or using a rental car to get to the parks, the parking fee is currently $15/day. The good thing is that you can drive between parks for the same fee, just make sure you have your permit visible! The convenience may be worth it in the long run!

I do not have any sponsorship on this site, so my suggestions are just that! But, if you are staying off-sight, consider a vacation home as an option. There are a number of companies available. I am most familiar with All-Star Vacation Homes and have spent a bit of time on their website. It’s very informative and can help immensely in your planning.

You can save a lot of money staying off-sight, but make sure you add things up to make sure you have a complete picture of the cost. Depending on your specific needs, this may be a strategy to consider!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed and Magical Weekend!!

Trip Report Tuesday, Rope Drop Magic Kingdom!

It’s been a crazy week, so far! As a result, We are a day late getting the next installment of our guest trip report from my friend, Diane Trowbridge out. Well, here is is!! Enjoy!!

Inside Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest

Day 3: Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom (MK) with a FPP for Enchanted Tales with Belle. Even though we were traveling childless, we enjoyed the interaction of Belle with the children and their parents. It’s a great show, which was even better with no wait, thanks to our FPP. Enjoyed our FPP on Space Mountain, and minimal waits for Small World, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Monsters Inc., Buzz Lightyear, Carousel of Progress, with a longer wait for Under the Sea with the Little Mermaid.

We had FPP for Be Our Guest lunch, having ordered our lunches 2 weeks before. It was wonderful to walk past that long line, confirm our lunch selections and find a table. In no time our lunch appeared (how do they do that?) and was delicious (grilled ham & cheese sandwich aka “croquet monsieur” with fries and Braised pork, with the “grey stuff” cupcake and lemon cupcake). It counts as a Quick service meal on the Dining Plan, but feels like a Table service to our bellies! Neither of us could finish our meals.

After lunch we hopped on the Train at Fantasyland station and rode to Frontierland for our FPP on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Surprised by the long queue at Pirates of the Caribbean, about 45 minutes, and a full house at Enchanted Tiki Room. A Cast Member (CM) informed us it was the first sunny day after 3 rainy ones, and hence the heavier-than-expected crowds by afternoon.

Since it was a Sunday, we were able to ride the Monorail to our dinner reservation at Grand Floridean Café. (The resort monorail service is suspended weekdays at midday for maintenance work at this time.) Since we were early, we strolled around the grounds and throughout the lobby at this spectacular Deluxe resort. Had an incredible meal at the Café (salmon, steak, with the dessert sampler, all on the dining plan). These meals have been spectacular! Rode the monorail back to MK and caught the POFQ bus after a full day!

Progress City and WDW

The Man who Started it ALL!
The Man who Started it ALL!

When Walt Disney first began developing the plans for The Florida Project, his idea was the center of activity would be EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. EPCOT was to be a living, breathing community that would be a model of technology and forward thinking progress.

While EPCOT may not have turned out the way that Walt had envisioned, I think it’s safe to say that the dream of Progress City is still alive and well, and it’s current title is: The Walt Disney World Resort!

You read that right! I think that the entire resort is a larger representation of what Walt desired for the Florida property. It is, indeed, a Living and Breathing community. Instead of those working at the complex also living at the complex, much of the rest of the plan of Progress City can be found on the property. With the addition of the resort properties, those of us who visit ARE the cast members making use of the various modes of transportation. WE are the ones making use of the different technologies. And, WE are the ones giving Walt Disney World LIFE!

If you think about how the property is managed, WDW is it’s own community. It has a governing body, Reedy Creek Improvement District, a five member Board of Supervisors, that determines how things are organized, built, and operated. There is a fire department, power plant, wastewater facility, and more. And, while there is a Safety and Security team, the main policing of the area is maintained by Florida Highway Patrol, and the Sheriff Departments of Orange and Osceola Counties.

There are a few small communities within the Disney property lines, that are owned by Disney employees, not The Walt Disney Company. So, in a sense, there are workers living within the community where they work. Just as Walt wanted it to be? Maybe!

So, to sum up my thoughts, I believe that the entire Walt Disney World Resort IS, in fact, Walt’s Progress City!

Have a Blessed and Magical Sunday, my friends!!

Planning for Special Events at WDW

Disney fans all over the world have special times of the year they like to visit Walt Disney World. One of the questions I often see asked is, When do I plan to go to…? Today, we will try to give you answers for that question.

Walt Disney World has it’s annual celebrations all year long. And, planning for those times can be a bit confusing. Two of the events have pretty much the same time frame each year. In the Spring, around the beginning of March and going until about the middle of May is the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. This is a time when the grounds around EPCOT are at their most beautiful as the Disney plant growers and topiary designers get to show off the skills that have been a part of the ‘landscape’ since the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971. Planning for this event can pretty much be done anytime. Especially if you aim for the middle of the event.

The Fall equivalent, on a much grander scale, is the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. This event, again, is usually about the same time each year. And, if you make plans for the middle of the range, you should be just fine in getting the accommodations you desire for attending this time of year! Food and Wine does seem to attract larger crowds, and a lot of the locals visit, also. You may want to plan you F&W visits for midweek.

Other Annual Events of Interest:

Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at The Magic Kingdom
The Candlelight Processional at the America Gardens Theater in EPCOT
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

One other note to add: If you are planning to attend one of these events, go ahead and make your plans! Don’t wait until the last moment! If a special offer comes along, you can always make a change to your package without losing what you have booked. Better yet, use one of the MANY Disney Authorized Travel Planners to keep watch over your vacation and they will do the work for you! That usually means saving you money!

That’s it for now, my friends! May you have a Blessed and Magical weekend!


2014 Magic “Madness”! – Round 1

From my friend, Mr. All in WDW

It's "All in WDW"

Let the MADNESS begin!  Better yet, let All in WDW’s MAGIC madness begin!

At 12:15 PM today, the NCAA will launch into 2014’s edition of its Men’s College Basketball Championship Tournament.

Not to “one up” the NCAA, but here, and now, at 6:00 AM this morning, All in WDW presents its 2nd Annual Poll to “crown” an All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Magic Kingdom Attraction!  This is THE 2014 “tourney”, folks!

You know how it goes.  This is Day #1 of Round 1.  The “round of 78”!  Can you believe it?  78?!  The largest poll we’ve ever tackled!

There are eight (8) groups below.  Choose one (1) in each group.  The Top 2 from each group will move forward into Round 2 – the round of 32!

Where would you find this destructive little box? Where would you find this destructive little box?

Pass the word, folks!  Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.!  Link this in Lines chat, my Liner friends!…

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Trip Report Tuesday: French Quarter to Parks

It is a great pleasure to share this trip report with you from my good friend, Diane Trowbridge. She was gracious enough to offer an accounting of the recent trip she took with her husband, David. Today is part one of her report, enjoy!!

February 2014

My husband and I (ages 72, 57) just returned from a wonderful week at Walt Disney World (WDW). We booked through Disney with a Magic Your Way package that included Airfare from Cleveland, Ohio; moderate onsite resort (Port Orleans French Quarter, POFQ) for 8 nights, 7 day Park tickets with Park Hopper, free Disney Dining Plan (DDP) and Magic Express transportation to/from the Orlando airport.

Here are the highlights:

Day 1: Flew into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and used our Magic Bands (MB) to get on the Magic Express bus. Do NOT PACK YOUR MBs in your checked luggage! If you have your MB you don’t need the paper tickets that come in your welcome packet with the luggage tags. DO USE THE DISNEY yellow luggage tags if you want Disney to deliver your luggage to your onsite resort room. Checked into POFQ, which was easy since I did online check-in 60 days prior. Used our MB to enter the room. Each member of the party needs to unlock the resort door with their MB to fully activate them. Our Royal room was lovely and such a short walk to the Food Court. Since it was 8 pm by then, we ate in the Food Court, which had a nice selection of sandwiches, ribs, chicken, pizza, and pasta meals.

Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter

This was our first experience with Disney’s “free” Dining Plan (1 Snack, 1 Quick service, 1 Table service per person per day), which also came with free refillable mugs (1 per person). We used our mugs for soda at dinner (place them on the beverage rack then press the button to get the soda of your choice. If you hold the mug above the rack it won’t flow.) Since we normally buy our refillable mugs, this already saved us $34. The meals come with a nonalcoholic beverage so we also selected OJ in bottles for our meals’ “beverage” and had the juice for breakfast the next day. (The room has a dorm-sized refrigerator.) Our meals were fine and we headed off to our room in Bldg 5. Our luggage arrived about 3 hours after we checked in. We were tired and ready for our PJ’s. Next time I’ll pack those in our carry-on.

A wet Italy at EPCOT is better than a dry day anyplace else!
A wet Italy at EPCOT is better than a dry day anyplace else!

Day 2: Made breakfast in the room with Carnation Instant Breakfast (brought from home) and milk (snack credits) as well as our OJ from the food court. Made Rope Drop (RD) to EPCOT, using MB and a fingerprint to enter, and an 8 minute wait for Test Track. David designed our racy red sports car then we hopped on our Test Track vehicle. His “design” earned speed records. Really enjoyed the pre and post areas on that ride. Had Fast Pass Plus (FPP) for Mission Space but missed the time; rode it anyway with no wait. Made our FPP at Spaceship Earth, then rode the boat across the EPCOT lake to Germany and walked to our ADR at Via Napoli. Arrived early and were about the only ones in Italy due to the hour and drizzly rain. Our pictures look amazing with empty walkways! Had a GREAT lunch with individual pizzas, wine, and dessert (Tiramisu, ice cream sundae). Walked to France for the movie, saw Aurora (no wait), shopped in the UK, and enjoyed the movie at Canada before our FPP at Soarin’. Walk on to Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo, and a brief wait for Turtle Talk with Crush. Walked to the International Entrance to the EPCOT resorts and grabbed a boat ride to our dinner at Big River Grille and Brewery at Boardwalk. Had a wonderful steak dinner and the beer sampler. I would strongly recommend this restaurant! Had a window table and enjoyed the view of the lake and EPCOT resorts. Since it was still drizzling, we decided to skip the rest of EPCOT and boarded the boat to Hollywood Studios to catch the Disney bus back to POFQ. That saved a long walk from the Boardwalk to the front of EPCOT.

Sunday Supplement: Disney Classic Movies

I can’t help but wonder if there is an issue with Disney Movies that is keeping them from putting out some of the Classics on Blu-Ray?

After looking through the online catalog at DisneyMovieClub.com, there is no listing for classics like: Pollyanna, Toby Tyler, or Swiss Family Robinson. I suppose they are locked in the vault, but come on!! I, for one, would love copies of these classic movies that Walt Disney had a hand in making.

How about you? What classic Disney movies would you like to see on Blu-Ray? Are there any you would NOT put in your collection? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and let’s get the discussion moving! Maybe someone at Disney will pay attention? Well, one could hope!

Again, have a Blessed and Magical Day, friends!

Mobility and Babies at WDW

I see a lot of questions online about using mobility devices and strollers at Walt Disney World. Here, we will attempt to answer a few of the most common questions! The first thing to be aware of is, YES, you can rent from WDW in each of the parks, but generally those are just for the day, in the park you are attending, and quite expensive. If you are in a pinch, of course, make use of this service!

If, however, you are trying to plan ahead, like many of us, you might want to consider an off-site supplier. But, remember that the off-site contractor must be a Disney Approved supplier. Most will bring what you need to your resort the day you are due to arrive, and pick up the day you depart. And, there are usually different styles and types available based on your particular needs at that time.

One of the most popular wheelchair and scooter rental companies is Walker Mobility. Walker can actually supply chairs, scooters, AND strollers. You can check out their offerings at http://www.walkermobility.com for all the options that are available.

You can also check out Buena Vista Scooter Rentals! They also provide scooter and stroller rentals. They are a Disney Featured ECV Provider and they even rent bicycles! Be sure to check them out a https://www.buenavistascooters.com/ for more details.

One final thought, if I may? Using scooters on Disney Transport buses to and from the parks is really quite well done! Scooters are loaded FIRST, to allow for ease of boarding and to make sure that you are properly situated before the rest of the passengers are boarded. This is not a preferred service, it just makes sense! Also, if you ARE using strollers for your kids, please fold them up before boarding, and if able before the bus actually arrives. This will assist in getting everyone on board, and on the way to your park or resort quicker. Also, it is a federal guideline that nothing block the aisle of a passenger bus in case of emergency.

I hope this is helpful, and if you have any other tips, please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom to help others seeking assistance!

Have a Blessed and Magical Sunday, my friends!!

Taking a Break at WDW!

For many visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort, it is important to get in as much as possible during their stay. But, there are also many who like to take a bit of a break in the middle of the day, and many of the planning websites recommend this strategy. Today, let’s look at some ways to accomplish this, without missing too much park time.

Taking a break can be done in a couple of different ways. The first, is to head to your desired park of the day for Rope Drop (RD) to hit some popular attractions before the rest of the world wakes up and joins you. After you have spent two to four hours in the park, you can head back to your resort for a little pool time and/or nap. This is actually highly recommended if you have small children who may be in the routine of resting or napping in the afternoon. You can then head back to a park, depending on what type of park ticket you may have, and continue your journey. This strategy is also suggested for our older folks and during the extreme warm and humid days that are prevalent in the mid summertime.

Another idea, is to take a nice lunch break at a sit-down restaurant. Many of the meals will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete and can provide just enough refreshing to continue on in your endeavor to get more park time in during the day. For example, if you are at The Magic Kingdom, you could plan a sit-down at Liberty Town Tavern. The decor is very relaxing and the meal is a buffet/family style service. You can easily take a much needed time-out here without leaving the park!

One last idea, for now, is to take an entire day as a break in the middle of your stay. If you are doing a 6 – 10 day visit to WDW, you can plan to use a day right in the middle to just relax! You can enjoy your resort, after-all it wasn’t cheap! And, you might as well take time to look around. Make use of your resort facilities: pool, arcade, food court, etc. Visit Downtown Disney (DTD)! I would recommend doing this morning to early afternoon so that the crowd levels are more manageable. Or, take on one of the other activities I shared about in my previous blog, http://wp.me/p23hiG-eL, Non-Park Adventures at WDW.

If you really feel you need to plan a break, or two, then by all means take a break! It is YOUR vacation, and you need to enjoy it as you see fit.

What are some of you ideas for taking a break? Leave a comment below and share with us all, so we can try some of these ideas on our next Walt Disney World Adventure!

Until next time, have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!