WDW…Did you hear?

With News from Walt Disney World, this is threestrandswdw!

A new refurbishment has been scheduled at The Magic Kingdom.  Sadly, for many, Pirates of the Caribbean will be out of circulation beginning May 11, 2015 and lasting through summer until September 25, 2015. It has been reported that there are many enhancements being made as well as some safety upgrades.  It will be interesting to see how this plays on lines for other nearby attractions.

Also at The Magic Kingdom, the project to expand and enhance the hub area is beginning to wind down.  The area in front of The Crystal Palace is now available, and looks stunning! Take a look at this video from iThemePark to see where things are, and get an idea of how it might affect your touring.

As Downtown Disney continues it transformation into Disney Springs, there is yet more construction taking place in and around the area.  Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive continues through March 2016.  And, construction on the East Garage and the Town Center continues to develop and is scheduled to be completed in August 2016.  With all of the restaurants and shops coming to Disney Springs, this is all necessary to aid in the flow of both car and foot traffic.

EPCOT FandG

The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway this week!  The gardens look amazing, and I hear that there will be food to taste, too!  Beautiful gardens and topiaries will decorate the park.  And, the Outdoor Kitchens are returning with some fan favorites, as well as new offerings to delight the palate.  You will need admission into EPCOT to enjoy this wonderful time if the year, but once inside the displays and entertainment are included.  You will have to pay to taste, however!  The festival runs from March 4 through May 17, 2015.

And finally, dates have been announced for both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party.  MNSSHP dates are: September 15, 18, 22, 25, 27; October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31; and November 1.  MVMCP dates are: November 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29; and December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18. Tickets will go on sale in April, so start planning now!
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That’s it for now!  Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed and magical weekend, my friends!

Changes In Ticket Prices at WDW

WDW2015

It has happened, my friends.  The annual, sometime semi-annual, ticket price increase has taken place overnight!  The biggest impact is to the one-day ticket price, but all prices have increased!  Here’s what it will cost you now.

One-day Adult Ticket to Magic Kingdom…………$105.00 plus tax for a total of $111.83 each.

One-day ages 3 – 9 Ticket to Magic Kingdom…….$99.00 plus tax for a total of $105.44 each.

One-day Adult Ticket to EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom  …………………….$97.00 plus tax for a total of $103.31 each.

One-Day ages 3 – 9 EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom………………..$91.00 plus tax for a total of $96.92 each.

3- day Adult Magic Your Way Tickets………………$275.00 plus tax for a total of $292.88 each.

3 – Day Age 3 – 9 MYW Tickets………………………..$256.00 plus tax for a total of $272.64 each.

You get the idea!  Most of the daily changes are only a few dollars, but those add up with larger families.  Multiple day tickets are still the best way to go as the daily average decreases considerably with the more days you plan to be in the parks.

If you want to add the Park Hopper Option, you will pay an extra $64.00 per ticket, and it doesn’t matter how many days are on your ticket!  So, let’s look at an example of the Adult Ticket portion of a vacation package.

A 5-day Magic Your Way ticket……………………$315.00

Park Hopper Add-On…………………………………….64.00

Tax………………………………………………………………24.64

Total…………………………………………………………$403.64

You can add Water Park and More for an additional $64.00, as well. Or, combine Park Hopper and Water Park and More for a combined package of $90.00.  And, Memory Maker can also be added for $169.00 if done at least 4 days ahead of your arrival.

Thanks for reading, my friends, and have a Blessed, Magical, and hopefully warm day, today!

Newsbits from around Disney Destinations

Richard Petty Driving Experience set to close in Late June of 2015.  While no plans have been officially released by Disney, it is speculated that it will become a part of the TTC parking lot.

Tom Staggs has been named COO of The Walt Disney Company.  He will continue his duties as Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts until his successor has been selected.

The Mad T Party returns to Disney California Adventure on May 22, 2015.

Star Wars is coming to Disney Cruise Lines in 2016.  Special sailings aboard the Disney Fantasy will feature one night during each cruise with a Star Wars theming.  There will be viewings of Star Wars films and Star Wars Rebels from Disney XD.  Cruises depart from Port Canaveral on Jan. 9, 23; Feb 6, 20; Mar 5, 19; and Apr. 2, 19, 2016.  It will be a 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise including port call at Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Caymen; and Disney Castaway Cay.

Check-In Changes at WDW

Checking into your Walt Disney World Resort room has just gotten streamlined!  Testing on this began late last year, but has now moved into the active phase of the My Disney Experience life.

Disney World Arch

The first resorts to convert began on February 10, 2015 and include Animal Kingdom Lodge, Art of Animation, Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Pop Century Resort, and Port Orleans Resort including Riverside and French Quarter.

On February 25, 2015 Boardwalk Inn, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will begin the bypass check-in.

Finally, on March 10, 2015 you will have All-Star Resorts, Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Old Key West Resort, and Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa will complete the transition.

Here’s how it works!  Once you order your Magicbands for your current stay, and order them shipped to your home, you must complete the Online Check-In process on the My Disney Experience App or Website.  You must either pay for your reservation in full, or assign a credit card to you Magicband with a PIN number.  And, you must also decide if you prefer to have communication via email or text.

Before your departure you will receive and email explaining the Direct-To-Room service with additional information.  You will receive a text or email notifying you of your room assignment.  And, once you arrive at your resort a Cast Member will assist you in what to do next.

This is an OPTIONAL service, according to Disney, I would love some feedback from anyone who uses it!  Just leave your comments below!  Have a Blessed and Magical Weekend, my friends!!

Spontaneous WDW

The advent of the MyMagic+ stuff, makes the ability to be spontaneous seen as though it has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  But, after a bit of thought, it seems that there may still be the ability to do some things without having to plan it down to the second.  Let’s look at a few of those today!

Welcome to Walt Disney World
If you feel you need to make a few FastPass reservations, by all means, go ahead.  For me, I like to get primary attractions done early, and then chill the rest of the day.  I like to take in the atmosphere and maybe catch a show or two along the way.  If I’m walking by and attractions with say a 15 minute or less wait, and I want to go on it, I do.  Character meets can be fun, too!  Especially since so many of them are going the majority of the day.  Of course, I am NOT including Frozen in this plan.

If you want to eat, and not make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR), you can attempt a walk up request at many of the restaurants.  Since the implementation of penalties for no shows on reservations, cancellations are happening everyday throughout the resort.  In park restaurants may be the most difficult to secure on a walk up, but if you are willing to check during ‘off hours’, you may find yourself eating in a very nice place that wasn’t a part of any plan!  But, don’t forget about the resort hotels!  Some have easy access to a few of the parks, and can offer a quiet and comfortable place to recharge

Don’t forget, either, that there are plenty of things to do outside of the Theme Parks, to help you be spontaneous.  There is miniature golf, water parks, shopping at Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs), and much, much more!

As you can see, there can be day-to-day flexibility that allows you to decide what park to visit, if you are willing to not see everything.  AND, it may be a more satisfying visit, also!  If you go into the vacation with the understanding that you will not see it all, then you will keep the level of disappointment in check.  And, you will know that you have reason for a return visit.

So, don’t let all of this ‘planning’ get in the way of having a relaxing, rejuvenating visit to Walt Disney World!  Just pick your dates and your resort, and let that be all of the planning you need!

Thanks for reading!  Have a Blessed and Magical evening, my friends!!

Monorail Changes at WDW

So, have you seen the current schedule for the Monorail?  Both the Express and Resort Loops have been affected with the current round of refurbishments being implemented at Walt Disney World!  The schedule is from the Walt Disney World Travel Agents website is as follows…

Monorail

The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System will undergo refurbishment that will impact the Resort and Express monorail beams on select days in February and March. During these times, Monorails on the Resort beam will travel between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Magic Kingdom® Park. Monorails on the Express beam will now make an additional stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort as they travel between Magic Kingdom Park and the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Monorail service will continue to be available from all stations while this work takes place. Monorail operating hours will remain unchanged. Guests may note a difference in the way they board the Monorail and should allow for additional travel time to reach their destinations. Guests staying at impacted Resorts will receive in-room communication upon their arrival.

So, the only common station is at Magic Kingdom park.  If you want to go to the Contemporary from The Polynesian, you will have to take the Resort Loop monorail to the Magic Kingdom, and either walk to the Contemporary, or get on the Express train that will go back through the Polynesian on it’s way to the Transportation and Ticket Center, and the Contemporary.

The dates for this schedule are: February 9 – 12, 23 – 26 and March 2 – 5, 2015 from 11:00am to 7:00pm.

Hopefully, this will mean smoother and more reliable service once all of the upgrades have been completed.

Thanks for reading! Have a Magical and Blessed day, my friends!!

News from around THE World of WDW

Hot off the presses!!!  Be Our Guest Restaurant will be accepting reservations for lunch beginning February 25, 2015.  There is also the option to pre-order your meal beginning at 30 days out up to 5 minutes prior to your arrival time. Lunch will be served from 10:30am – 2:30pm.  Call 407-WDW-DINE to make your reservation.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios welcomes Starbucks into the park under the banner of The Red Trolley Car Cafe located at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd.  With this addition to the Starbucks locations, only Animal Kingdom has yet to open a location.  But, no worries, it’s on the way this summer!

From the Disney Blog
From the Disney Blog

Speaking of DHS, the Sorcerer’s Hat is nearly gone!  Latest pictures show only the naked base remained as of Friday, February 6.  Once completed, the view from the main entrance will be the facade of The Great Movie Ride.  A view I hope to see, soon!

There are only a few days left to save up to 30% on select Disney Resorts at Walt Disney World!  You need to book this deal before February 16, 2015 to get this savings!  And, it’s good for travel on most days between February 22 and June 15, 2015.  After that, the savings is ONLY 25% if booked before March 28, 2015!  AND, if you upgrade to as room and ticket package, you receive one more Disney Park ticket day FREE!

If you have any questions about any of these items, or anything else, feel free to contact me at: threestrandswdw@outlook.com.  I will be happy to refer you to one of the many Disney Travel Specialists I have become acquainted with over the past few years.

Thanks for reading and have a Magical and Blessed Weekend, my friends!!