Changes At Magic Kingdom…

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I want to start this out by stating that I really love Walt Disney World!  I have been a fan for over 30 years.  However, much of what is coming out these days makes me wonder where Walt’s dream ends, and the Disney Company greed begins!

It has been revealed that the Fastpass Plus system is no longer offering the parades and fireworks as a selection.  I don’t know if that means that the roped off areas will be treated like open season, or if there is something else in the works.  My guess, get ready to pay cold hard cash for this privilege!

Recently Disney announced that there will be a premium event offered called Disney After Hours. For a mere $150 each, plus applicable tax, you can enjoy The Magic Kingdom with fewer people and shorter waits.

Currently, the dates for this are:

  • April 28 and May 5, 2016 from 10pm to 1am
  • April 14 and 21, and May 8, 12 and 19, 2016 from 11pm to 2am

Many of the attractions and Meet and Greets are expected to be available during this ‘special’ event.  But, it makes one wonder if this is spelling the end to Extra Magic Hours!  Time will tell!

Change For WDW

You know how you keep putting your loose change in that jar to help save for your trip to Walt Disney World?  Well, start saving more!  It looks like the new theme is make money however we can, as WDW begins charging for things that were previously complimentary.

A $15 a day resort fee is being considered to help ‘defray’ the cost of using the pools, Magical Express, and other amenities.  So, the question I have is: Is it better to just increase the resort cost to cover these expenses, OR do we prefer the resort fee structure?  I’m not sold either way, at this time.

It looks like there may be a Preferred Parking structure at the parks beginning with The Magic Kingdom.  I have heard the initial cost will start at and additional $10.  I prefer using Disney Transport for this particular park.  Now, as it may move to the other parks, I guess it depends on how far from the entrance, and how frequent the trams are running.

The next thing we know, there will be a cost to FastPass Plus, meals won’t include soft drinks, or even the use of Disney Transport may cost an extra fee to use!

Let me be clear!  I LOVE WALT DISNEY WORLD! But, I am having to continually put off the next trip as I try to save all the money I will need to go!  I am hoping that the ladies and gentlemen making these decisions will consider how this might impact the overall Guest Experience.

Thanks for reading!  Please let me know your thoughts, as well! Have a Blessed and Magical day!

WDW Bits, Pieces, and More

We had a few pieces of news on Thursday, March 17, 2016…

  1. Adventures By Disney is will begin offering a Walt Disney World and Central Florida package.  Included in this package are some behind the scenes moments around the WDW Parks, Preferred seating for Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Festival Of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom Park, VIP access to Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and Toy Story Midway Mania, and a private Animal Kingdom Safari.  You will also get a chance to visit a few other central Florida attractions featuring Kennedy Space Center where you will have lunch with an Astronaut! For more details, contact your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (whoever that may be) and start planning your next visit!
  2. The line-up for for the Nights of Joy concerts have been announced.  This year the concerts are being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!  There will be service provided by Disney Transport to and from the venue to the parks and resorts.
    • Sept. 9 – MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Crowder, Matthew West, Stars Go Dim, Zealand Worship
    • Sept. 10 – newsboys, for King & Country, Young & Free, Switchfoot, Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Tim Timmons

There will also be more ticket options available for this year’s event.  The options are:

  • A single-night ticket for Friday’s concerts – $39 plus tax (in advance); $45 the day of the show (if available).
  • A ticket which would include a day at one of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and the concerts for Saturday night – $99 plus tax (in advance); $114 plus tax the day of the show (if available).
  • A 2-Day ticket which includes both nights’ concerts, a day at one of the four Walt Disney world Resort theme parks – $119 plus tax (in advance).

Plus, if you purchase the 2-Day ticket before Aug. 9, 2016 will also receive one (1) admission to their choice of Disney’s Blizzard Beach® or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon® Water Parks from Sept. 6-12, 2016. Group discounts also are available. Tickets will go on sale in mid-April.

Up, Up, And Away at WDW

Welcome to Walt Disney World

Well, here we go again!  Walt Disney World has raised the prices for tickets in what seems to be an almost semi-annual event.  And, while there are price changes to ALL levels of admission, the biggest is by far the introduction of Tiered Ticket Prices for the One-Day Magic Your Way ticket.  That means that your One-Day admission can vary depending on the time of year, or even the day of any given week!

I can’t say for sure, but this may be where some potential visitors begin to question whether it’s a good idea to visit WDW or not.  But, maybe that’s the goal?  I’m sure that one of the primary goals is to drive folks to the Multi-Day tickets.  All of which have a 14-day limit after first use.  And, rumor has it that there may soon be a limit on how long you can hold onto an unused ticket.  So, if you are pre-purchasing tickets for a future visit, you may want to check for an expiration date for usage.

Will these changes keep hardcore fans from visiting?  I seriously doubt it!  But, for those who may be marginal about making the trip, it may be enough to send them to other destination.  How about you?

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

Where Did All The Disney Music Go?

This is bit of a different post, but I hope you’ll give it a read!

With the demise of the Live365 service, some may be wondering what happened to all of the Disney Music stations.  Well, good news!  Many have found new homes!  Here are a few that I follow, and if you have others, feel free to add them in the comments at the bottom of this post!

A service called Radionomy has surfaced as the go to platform for internet radio.  Many of the Disney favorites are making the transition to this service including: Magical Mouse Radio, D Park Radio, Sorcerer Radio, and others.  Mouseworld Radio has been reduced to a single station. And, there have been no updates posted on their website as of the time of this posting.

There are many of these stations that can also be heard on the Tune-In app on most cell phones.  Check out http://www.TuneIn.com for more!

If you enjoy the memories that are associated with the In Park Music and Attractions, check out these services.

Thanks for reading and have a Blessed and Magical day!

DHS Open For Business

Open During Construction?????????????????

By now, nearly the entire planet is aware that there is construction taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) at Walt Disney World.  What many may be asking is: What’s Left to visit?  Today, we will look at what there is to do, and if it is still worth a visit!

First, the attractions!  Still available for your entertainment are: Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, Toy Story Midway Mania, Tower Of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, and The Great Movie Ride presented by TCM.

There are several shows to view during your visit to DHS.  Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Disney Junior Live! on Stage, and Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show (due to close on April 3, 2016.  If the schedules match up well, you could find some very enjoyable moments with some of these offerings.

There are many restaurants available at this point, as well.  Make sure to take time to try one to make your day even more delightful!  My favorite?  50s Prime Time Cafe!50s prime

So, while there will be many, MANY construction walls around DHS, there is still plenty to do during your stay.  Is it worth a One-Day ticket price?  Maybe not!  Is it worth a visit during a week-long stay with Multi-Day Magic Your Way tickets? Absolutely!

Go, Have Fun!

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

New Deal for WDW…or Is It?

A new “Special Offer” was launched this week for Summer 2016 travel to Walt Disney World.  It is the Catch A Tasty Offer package!  Let’s take a look at the details, shall we?

Toluca Turkey
Toluca Legs Turkey Company Sunset Blvd. Disney’s Hollywood Studio

This offer is good, most nights, for packages booked between May 29 and June 30, 2016, and July 5 through August 13, 2016.  You must book your package by February 29, 2016 to qualify.  And, there is a minimum 3-night stay with the purchase of a 2-day Magic Your Way base ticket.  What do you get?  By booking as described, you will get One (1) Quick-Service Meal per person, per night that can be redeemed at most of the Quick-Service Restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  Keep in mind that Disney’s Fort Wilderness campsites and Disney’s Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms are NOT INCLUDED in this offer.

What do you think?  Is this a good offer that would entice you to consider a summer vacation?  Please don’t get me wrong, I think that many of the Quick-Service offerings around WDW are excellent!  And, you can eat quite well, if there is something that tickles your tongue!  But, is one meal a day worth the money?  Is it worth the crowds?

I think this may be a test to see how little Disney can get away with when offering incentives to visit the resort.  We have seen reduced offerings of Free Dining over the past few years.  Could it be that Disney is wanting to see if we, the guest, can survive on one meal per person, per night?  Only time will tell!

Contact Disney Travel or your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, whoever that may be, for more details and booking!

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

Location Matters at WDW

First, let me say HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope that 2016 will bring you all great joy, blessings and abundant Disney Magic throughout the year.

Today, I want to revisit the issue of transportation around Walt Disney World.  I know, you are probably thinking, Why?  Well, in my ‘normal’ life, I am a bus driver for a major university.  I love buses!  I love them more when I am NOT the one driving!  I have recently been thinking about how Disney Transport does things around the WDW property. So, here’s what I have come up with so far.

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Where you stay affects how well the transportation system may work for you!

Value:  It has been my observation that the best service may actually be mainly a Value Level benefit!  Most of these resorts have a single bus stop with dedicated service to all four theme parks and Disney Springs.  The only exception may be Disney’s All Star Resorts.  In recent months, there has been chatter about servicing each All Star individually.  This service may only be offered during ‘peak’ times of the year.  If you have experienced this, please let me know!  But, generally speaking this is the most efficient way to make use of Disney Transport services!  The main drawback is the position at the Bus Depots at the parks and Disney Springs is farthest away from the entrances.  But, for me, this is a minor inconvenience.

Moderate:  Bus service from the Moderate Resorts may be the most varied from resort to resort of any onsite resorts!  Port Orleans French Quarter is the exception to the rule with a single stop at the front of this smaller, moderate property.  All of the other resorts have multiple stops and service to those stops can be a little different depending on time of day. However, don’t let that keep you from using the bus as your primary way to navigate around WDW.  These resorts are beautiful and depending on the time of day you are using the service, it can be quite relaxing to enjoy the scenery!

Deluxe:  The Deluxe Resorts can be the most difficult to use.  Many of the resorts share buses.  For example, you may often see a single bus servicing Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Polynesian Village, and Grand Floridian resorts!  They are, however, the closest spots at the park Bus Depots!  I haven’t experienced this service, personally, but I think I’d be willing to give it a try for the joy of staying in this level of resort!

I think that’s enough for now!  Thanks for reading, my friends!  May you have a Blessed and Magical New Year!  Bye!

Walt Disney…Erased?

It has been going on for the last few years, now.  It seems it won’t be long before someone asks…Walt who?

His first name has been deleted from the company.  His first name no longer leads the movies.  And, One Man’s Dream is being closed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I guess we should be glad that the Florida Project is still known as Walt Disney World

This is just my opinion, but it seems to me that it’s important to remember who made all of this possible.  Walt would say that “it all started with a mouse”.  But, I would prefer to think that it all started with a man.  That man is Walt Disney!  He persevered and overcame great odds to accomplish so much.  He first dreamed of a place where families could enjoy time together, Disneyland.   Then, he dreamed of a larger endeavor that could contain all of his desires.  That dream eventually became Walt Disney World.

The Man of Walt is going away, and this scares me! Without Walt, there would be no Disney! Personally, I want to remember the man.

I for one am immensely grateful to Walt Disney for all he accomplished.  And, I love that we have the ability to enjoy the results.  It is my hope that a new home for One Man’s Dream will be found, and even expanded to Disney Parks around the world.
I pledge to work to keep Walt Disney’s name alive!  Who will join me?

Thanks for reading.  May your weekend be a Blessed and Magical one, my friends!

Soarin’ To New Heights

It has been rumored, and now confirmed by Walt Disney World, that the popular attraction Soarin’ will be closing on January 4, 2016, for an extended refurbishment.  The closure could be six months or more.  So, what is expected to be done?

Many of us already know that a third theater is being added to the attraction.  And, it is expected that this theater will be a DIGITAL theater.  This allows for the probability that the original theaters will be updated with the same technology.  Imagine, watching something on a screen that isn’t stained!  That’s an upgrade right there!

The conclusion of this refurbishment is expected to coincide with the release of the NEW Soarin’ Around The World film.  And, while I know it will be a pain to have to miss this attraction during this time, I believe the outcome will be more than worth it for one of EPCOT’s most loved attractions!

I can’t want to see it!  Can you?  In the meantime, I hope you have a Blessed and Magical week, my Disney Lovin’ Friends!!