Odds and Ends…2

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover reopened this week with a new color scheme! It isn’t complete, yet, as the Astro Orbiter is still under refurbishment which effects part of the TTA’s theming and appearance. But, at least one of My favorite attractions is back in business!

Frozen Summer Fun is getting an extended stay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The fun will continue through September 28, 2014. Premium Packages are available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only! The cost is $59 for adults, and $34 for kids! The cost includes tax!

Magic Kingdom first aid is moving on Sunday, August 10! The temporary location is at a lounge near Space Mountain. No word on why or how long this relocation will be needed.

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate it! will be touring Main Street U.S.A. in the evenings only at 5:40p and 7:00p while some concrete work is being completed during the day. The dates for this work are August 12, 13, 19, 20, and 29.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the It’s Tough To Be A Bug refurbishment is going to take a bit more time than expected. Originally scheduled for July 7 – August 11, it is now scheduled to reopen on September 28.

And, finally, Bob Iger said in an interview this week, that there WILL BE a stronger Star Wars presence in the parks in the U.S.! But, of course, there was no discussion of a timeline for this presence to be revealed! I don’t mind that Disney takes it’s time to get attractions up and running. I think they have more of a do it right attitude! But, it’s already been years! How about a bigger bone of information?

I hope you enjoyed reading, please come back soon! Or, better yet, follow this blog!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

2015! Is It Calling You to WDW?

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The Walt Disney World packages for 2015 were released earlier this week, and from what I hear from some of the travel agent friends, people are READY to find out how much it’s going to cost for their next trip! I thought I might go over some of the details in this post. So, here we go!

You can now book your 2015 Walt Disney World vacation package with your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, or online at waltdisneyworld.com. However, keep in mind that you can only book 499 prior to your arrival. So, if you are looking for Christmas 2015, you may have to wait until a little into August to make your reservation! As of this post, availability for booking was good through December 29, 2015! There appear to be no major changes to the Dining Plan at this time.

I have begun to plan for my next trip in September of 2015, maybe for Food and Wine? But, we shall see! In the meantime, I have this blog to keep me seeking the magic of WDW and helping you have the best possible Disney World experience! Should you need assistance, I have a few Authorized Disney Vacation Planners I can refer you to, and I can also answer some basic questions for you! Email me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com with your questions and comments, and I will respond to you quickly!

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!! Keep the magic shining!

MyMagic+ Update!

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There are some updates involving Magicbands, Fastpass Plus, and other enhancements that I wanted to take a look at today. I’ll also try to give a few strategies with these changes. Some that you may have heard elsewhere, and some that may be new thinking.

First, you may have heard about the new Check-In Bypass being tested at some of the resorts. This test, and probable add-o to the Magicband, will allow you to make use of the Online Check-In system and when you arrive at your resort, you will be texted or emailed a room number. You can then proceed to your room, scan your Magicband, and enter your room without visiting the Check-In desk at your resort. I am curious to hear input from those who have done this to see what THAT experience was like, and how they made the transition! I am also curious to know how you know where to go to find your room, especially at the larger resorts like Port Orleans – Riverside! If you have taken part in this test and would be willing to share input, please email me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com! I’ll pass the information along!

There has been a change in the tiered rides at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios! At EPCOT, in addition to Test Track, Soarin’, Maelstrom, and Illuminations! Reflections of Earth, you can now choose Living With The Land in Tier One! At DHS, We add The Great Movie Ride to the Tier One list along with Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Beauty And The Beast, and Fantasmic! However, another recent change allows you to select additional Fastpass Plus reservations once you have used your initial three selections! This will let you choose any Tier One ride for a first, or even second, ride! This is a significant move toward feeling like the ‘Classic’ Fastpasses.

Finally, it is rumored that you can now order specially designed Magicbands for your WDW vacation. A few of the designs I have seen are Star Wars and Frozen. I suspect this is just a first look idea, and there will be many more variations becoming available as the use of Magicbands becomes more the norm! Not sure what type of design I would want to wear..hmmm!

One side note from MyMagic+, Disney has recently announced that the Wilderness Lodge, Silver Creek Springs Pool, will be closed for a lengthy refurbishment from Sep 3 – November 27, 2014. Alternatives offered at this time are: the leisure pool at The Villas At Wilderness Lodge, the Meadow Swimming Pool at Ft. Wilderness, or the Main Pool at the Contemporary Resort. Complimentary transportation is scheduled to be available for you during that time. I’ll add this to the Refurb Page of this blog!

As always, thanks for reading! May you have a very Blessed and Magical weekend, my friends!! Keep dreaming!

Free Dining Strategy

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While I agree with most about the use of the Disney Dining Plans in terms of determining whether or not it’s a worthwhile expense, when it comes to Offers for Free Disney Dining, I’M IN!! Why? Let me explain my reasoning!

When Free Disney Dining is offered, I like to use it because it gives me an excuse to try things I wouldn’t spend a nickle for otherwise! For instance, on our 2012 visit to WDW, we had free dining and were able to eat at ‘Ohana and Le Cellier. Had we had to pay out of pocket for those meals, we probably would have skipped them! We also did a couple of character buffet meals that would have been WAY too expensive. So, now when we plan a trip, we try to hit the Free Dining windows if we want to be a bit more adventurous! Speaking of adventurous, I think Sanaa must be on our next trip! I hear great things about that one!

The current offer is out there and available, so book soon before all the good accommodations go away! Bookings are available August 8 for most arrival dates Aug. 31-Oct. 3, Oct. 26-Nov. 1, Nov. 9-20, Dec. 12-23, 2014. This is, of course, for as long as rooms remain available! Be aware that there are some restrictions involved with this offer. Art of Animation – Little Mermaid, Port Orleans French Quarter AND Riverside are excluded from this offer!

Contact your favorite Authorized Disney Travel Planner for more details and booking! If you can’t find one, send me an email at threestrandswdw@outlook.com and tell me how you linked to my blog and I’ll get your information to one of my friends!

For now, have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

Fastpass+ Enhancements!

The new Fastpass+ enhancements began this week! If you haven’t seen the news, you can now receive a new Fastpass+ selection once your first three have been used. But, you need to make these reservations at a FPP Kiosk in the park, not through the My Disney Experience app, at least not yet! This option gives you the opportunity to park hop and secure a Fastpass for that park. For Example: If you are at Magic Kingdom and have used your three choices, you can then hop to EPCOT and head to a kiosk to select an available Fastpass for a ride there.

In my opinion, this is a good step toward getting Fastpass+ to a level that we will all find optimal. It is my hope that Disney will get things set up so you can use these, and future options, with the use of the app OR any kiosk in any park. After all, they want everyone to be able to have a magical experience!

In the end, I think that we, the guests, will benefit from any further enhancements made to the system!

For now, have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!!

Vehicles

You probably think this is about getting around the parks, and it almost was! But, I decided it’s time to look at some of the workings of the attractions. So, today, in this installment of the ABCs of Walt Disney World, we will be looking at some of the ride VEHICLES that bring some of the great memories of being a guest at any of the four theme parks.

Today, I’m starting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! There are two obvious ride vehicles that jump to mind, and maybe a third, when you think of this park. Kilimanjaro Safaris offers a ride through the African savanna in an open-air vehicle that allows you some unique views of the animals as they make their way around their habitats. It’s a bit of a rough ride, but it seems quite realistic!

What goes up, comes down...FAST!!
What goes up, comes down…FAST!!

Expedition Everest is a ‘train’ ride through the Himalayan Mountain Range. The cars are a big part of the show offered on what may be the Big Kahuna of thrill rides at WDW! It’s my wife’s favorite! One other worth mentioning is, DINOSAUR! The cars themselves aren’t much to think about, but the way they respond, is all part of the attraction! Each car has pre-programmed reactions to each scene within this dark ride. And, it is very realistic as you make your way through this pre-historic jungle. Overall, it’s an exciting adventure!

Soarin'

At EPCOT, the most memorable ride vehicle is probably SOARIN’! The unique experience offered on this ride it something to behold! The actual vehicle is set up on a cantilever type structure that swings you up in front of an IMAX screen and you have the feeling of floating, flying, and soaring through the sky over various scenes in California. You even get the smells to go with the ride!

Hollywood Studios has Tower of Terror. You may not think of this as a vehicle driven ride, but I believe it qualifies! You are taken for a little tour before the doors open and you suddenly begin to drop several times and at different paces. But, it’s not an actual elevator, it is a carefully designed and skillfully programmed ride to give you the thrills that keep you coming back time after time.

And now, the Magic Kingdom! Probably some of the most loved and memorable ride vehicles are here! For me, the obvious first one to look at is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, or Peoplemover! Who doesn’t enjoy a round (or two) on here? It’s a way to kick back, relax, and enjoy a different view of Tomorrowland attractions. One question, can someone tell me if they tend to turn up the juice on this thing when it’s busy? My last ride kind of messed up my hair!

Pirates of the Caribbean has the look of a pirate longboat for this classic Disney ride. It is one of the most popular rides in The Magic Kingdom, and a crowd favorite! And, since the movies have come out, some of the scenes have been enhanced with the presence of your favorite pirates.

Pooh has a Honey Pot, Peter Pan has a flying pirate ship, Big Thunder uses another train type car.

But, the one everyone is waiting for is coming soon! The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Coaster offers the most unique ride vehicle created to date! Each car is different! Not only are there the normal bumps along the way, but the cars will sway side to side as well. There will be some of the familiar scenes from the movie (or so we have been led to believe) throughout the ride. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t wait for this one! Hopefully, it will open to guests this spring.

Well, there are many more, but I don’t want to go on forever! So, I wish you a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!

Rumor Has It for January 29, 2014

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Rumor has it that there will soon be Magicbands available for off-site guests to purchase. While the exact price hasn’t been announced, it is believed that the cost will be under $15. We shall see!

Rumor has it that the food areas of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival will be called Outdoor Kitchens. I have seen this in more than one place, so I think this may be more than just a rumor…hehe!

Rumor has it that there are pictures floating around of the interior of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Let’s hope it gets finished soon so someone can ride the thing and tell us what it was like! ( see http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/fantasyland/news/28jan2014-photos—disney-provides-a-sneak-peek-at-some-interior-details-from-the-seven-dwarfs-mine-train-coaster.htm for more)

Finally, Rumor has it that you can save money on Walt Disney World vacations for the Spring and Early Summer. Contact your favorite Disney Authorized Travel Planner for details!

That’s it for now..have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

Thanks for reading!