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!

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!

Battle of the WDW Podcasts

Repost: Round 2 starts Saturday, March 28,2015

I am certain that I am not alone when it comes to using any method possible to fill the gap between visits to Walt Disney World.  One of the most common, I suspect, and one I use daily is Walt Disney World Podcasts.  I currently have 22 in my list!  So, I thought it would be fun to run an unofficial poll and see how we all rank our favorites.  This will NOT be an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, but in the style of my friend Bob All-In-WDW we will have 5 sets of 4 to begin our time.  I will leave it up for two days to give everyone a chance to vote.  The top two from each set will move into the next round.

When, Oh When WDW, Will You Tell Us?

With the announcements that Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closing The Legend of Jack Sparrow, and possibly moving the Sorcerer’s Hat, one question is still left unanswered…

Sorcerer HatWHAT’S COMING TO THE STUDIOS!?

The short answer is: We Don’t Know!  The Walt Disney company has not shared any plans for new attractions, major refurbishments, or anything else.  We know that some studio elite toured the park over the past few months.  We assume that there will be an expansion to Pixar Place and possibly the addition of something Star Wars related.  And, how could we forget, the rumor of a name change to Disney’s Hollywood Adventure?  Keep in mind that nothing has been confirmed, or denied, by Disney!

This tactic, while potentially wise, drives Disney fans, like myself, a bit crazy!  And, if I had to guess, nothing major will be announced until Spring at the earliest.  But, I suspect any BIG news will have to wait until D23 next August.  Wow!  That’s a long time!

For now, we will just have to sit back and take a wait and see stance.  So, until next time, may you have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

What I Like Most About WDW

Disney-Where-Dreams-Come-True

What I like most about my trips to WDW, is the absolute loss of reality, even for the short time I am living within the bubble! For at least a week at a time, I can forget about the cares of the world and relax! Sure, the word relax and Walt Disney World aren’t normally found in the same sentence together, but it can be done!

When I first walk up to the Magic Kingdom, each trip, I can literally feel the weight of the world melt away! I have even been told that the look on my face changes! I can feel the stresses of life melt away, if only temporarily, and enjoy what is right in front of me, the Main Street Railway Station! For me, that is the sign that I am almost home!

Sure, I love all of the other parks, too! But, The Magic Kingdom has a direct link to my biggest idol, Walt Disney! I know he didn’t get to see his dream completed, but you can still feel him in the place, if you allow your self. After all, WDW was kind of based on Disneyland, and Walt did build that one in his lifetime. And so, when I walk into the younger sibling I can still feel as though I am walking in Walt’s footsteps.

EPCOT was always Walt’s desire for the Florida Project, and I remember walking into EPCOT when the paint was still drying and the Imagination Pavilion was at least six months from completion! But, The Magic Kingdom will always be the place that started it all! At least for me!

What is your favorite park? Memory? Share it in the comments below or email me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com.

Have a Magical and Blessed Day, 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!

threestrandswdw.com

Dining Plan…does it make sense?

I approach this subject very carefully. On our visit two years ago, we had a package that included the Free Dining package. And, we truly enjoyed making use of it! However, recently we did some comparisons and realized that if we had to pay for it ourselves, we would likely NOT purchase the Disney Dining Plan. Here are our thoughts!

While using the FREE plan, we were able to try some incredible restaurants that we would have probably have never gone into for a meal. Le Cellier is one that jumps to mind! (Back then it was a one credit meal for lunch) We did a couple of character meals and we even made use of the in room pizza delivery. And, the snacks we had were incredible!!

On our most recent trip, we did not use the Dining Plan, but made a trip to a local Wal-Mart and purchased breakfast foods, along with snacks and drinks to help cover the gaps while enjoying the parks. Sure, we did a few restaurants along our path, but we did not spend nearly what the Dining Plan would have cost us added onto our package.

DDP

I just did a quick look at a package at POP for September with the new Memory Maker offering. For room and 4 day base MYW tickets it is $1297.76 total. But, to add the Plus Dining option costs and extra 703.92 for two adults! I can use that money for better things!

Now, if you can afford it, and you’re planning to eat at Disney Restaurants for EVERY meal, or a couple of Signature Restaurants a few times during your vacation, it may be more affordable to use the Dining Plan. But, I would suggest that you take a good, long, hard look at the numbers!

Granted this is just my opinion, but there you have it!

If you want a good tool to help you decide, may I suggest starting here…http://seeyareelsoon.wix.com/seeyareelsoon#!dining-plan-calculator/cxc0? You’ll find a really fabulous tool to help you with the number.

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!

What’s The Attraction: Spaceship Earth

For today’s attraction, I decided to hop parks to take a look at the iconic Spaceship Earth at EPCOT! From many points around the property, you can see this amazing sphere towering over the park, as if to keep watch. Let’s look at some of the features of Spaceship Earth (SSE).

Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth

SSE opened on October 1, 1982 (I was there on October 3) with Lawrence Dobkin as the narrator of the attraction. Later, the narration was done by Walter Cronkite (MY FAV) from 1986 – 1994, Jeremy Irons from 1994-2007, and is currently hosted by Dame Judi Dench. The narration has been essentially the same the entire time, with a few tweeks to adjust for the change of generations. And, did you know that author Ray Bradbury wrote the script?

The ride inside this massive ball is an omnimover system, made popular for many years throughout Walt Disney World. It stands approximately 18 stories tall, and uses 11,324 tiles to achieve the sporting look. The sponsors of SSE have been Bell Systems, ATT, and now Siemens.

We are taken through the history of recorded time from cavemen, to Phoenicians, and into the vast array of communications abilities of today. Where will tomorrow take us? Only time will tell!

The post show area has had many changes, with he changing of sponsorship, but currently houses Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future. A playground of electronics gadgets and interactive displays. In this area you can find the on board picture of you and your party, and email it to yourself and friends for memory sake.

Spaceship Earth, the icon, the history, the attraction. This ride is available on the new Fastpass+ system, but it is normally not necessary. It is a must do on all of my WDW visits!!

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!!

Xtras

Sure, you got to Walt Disney World to visit the theme parks! But, what can you do to make this time even more? Today, in the ABCs of Walt Disney World, we take a look at the XTRAS!

One of the big Xtras around the resort is the Bibbidi-Bobbidi Boutique, or BBB to keep it short. These can be found in both The Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney. Your little girl can become a princess with a makeover designed to create some special magic. Hair, make-up, even clothing are options! However, if you want to save a little money and know what your girl will wear, you can bring your own dress! Either way, it will create a special memory that will last forever! There is a cost to this and reservations are recommended!

The Pirate League is found at The Magic Kingdom and is able to be enjoyed by everyone in the family! You can get a makeover that turns you into your favorite pirate, or create one of your own! Don’t forget to get your picture taken! There is a cost to this, and reservation are strongly suggested as this is a very popular experience.

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure takes you on a secret mission around the World Showcase at EPCOT. Using a specially designed communicator, you will receive messages to direct you to your next clue as you search for Dr. Doofenschmirtz and foil is evil plot. You can play for a little or as much as you wish! And, this is a free activity!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers the Wilderness Explorers. Up’s Russell and Dug lead you on an adventure through the Animal Kingdom on a fact-finding mission that can bring you the reward of up to 30 badges to collect. Just pick up your field guide and start making your way around the park. You’ll discover details you never knew existed and appreciate the work of the imagineers. This is also a free activity!

One last freebie to share is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! As part of the Magic of Disney Animation attraction, guest can participate at the Animation Station. Learn how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters with the help of an actual Disney Animator! And, the best thing about this activity is that you end up with a free souvenir!

There are many more Xtras around WDW, so take some time to seek them out to make your vacation even more special!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!

Unforgettable

Many of us have probably heard that old Nat King Cole song! And, the remade duet with his daughter Natalie made it even more special! That seems to be an appropriate opening for this entry in the ABCs of Walt Disney World, as most visits to a Disney Theme Park is definitely UNFORGETTABLE!

How many of you remember the first time you stepped onto the ground at Walt Disney World? I know I remember! Every visit has a special memory of it’s own, doesn’t it? From the first impression of a Disney Resort to the first time you enter one of the four theme parks, you know that you are about to experience something unique to you and your family.

There is just something about that first time, each trip, when I walk up to The Magic Kingdom! I find the ability to forget the ‘real’ world and become immersed in the story unfolding before me. Life seems to roll right off my shoulders and out of my mind as I make my way under the train station to enter Main Street U.S.A.! And, from that moment on, it’s all about a different time and place!

Similar experiences await us all at the other three theme parks of Walt Disney World. And, for each person the first unforgettable memory may be different than someone else’s. And, that is what it’s all about!

My first memory of EPCOT Center, as it was known on my first visit in 1982, was the massive size of Spaceship Earth and the mix of futuristic music coming out of the speakers to put a lasting impression in my mind. To this day, I still get chills anytime I hear the EPCOT Entrance Loop on http://www.magicalmouseradio.com. I am transported back in time to my first experience here.

Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a little different for me. As you approach the park by either car or bus, you get a glimpse of the Tower of Terror as it reaches above the skyline of the park to greet you! You may also have a memorable first impression as you walk through the entrance! As you enter you find yourself on Hollywood Blvd. The buildings have an early 20th century feel to them! You almost feel like a star as you walk in and are swept away by the beauty of this park!

Expedition Everest Disney's Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest
Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom almost offers two entrances! There is the initial entrance, but then there is the walk through Discovery Island on your way to Africa, Asia, or Dinoland U.S.A. The first thing you notice as you clear Discovery Island is the iconic Tree of Life! This towering piece of technology definitely makes a statement! And, of course, there’s the other ‘elephant’ in the land, Expedition Everest! The thrill ride of all thrill rides!

One thing I would suggest to help make any of your vacations UNFORGETTABLE, is to take time to stop and allow yourself to become a part of the show, even for a moment or two. As said before, Disney is IN the Details! And, if you just run from place to place without taking in some of the backstory, artwork, and design, you may miss half of the memories you could enjoy.

So, from my house to yours…make your next trip to Walt Disney World UNFORGETTABLE!!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!