WDW In Summer!

Tips, Refurbs, and other stuff!!

Disney-Where-Dreams-Come-True

While I am sure many of you know these tips, but it never hurts to put together a few reminders. When traveling to WDW during the summer months is hot, humid, and pretty darned uncomfortable if you don’t prepare for the weather in Central Florida. For starters, pack light colored clothes to help with the sun and you may also want lightweight to help. Also, don’t forget to take sunscreen with you! The sun can be very strong through the summer around Orlando and it doesn’t take long to get a sunburn. Hats would be a good idea to help keep the sun off of your face, as well. Take a break if needed and head back to your resort pool. One tip to consider is making use of early morning and later evening hours. The temperatures are typically cooler and the lack of sunshine means that the parks take on a different personality. Also, you can buy cases of water before you get to your resort to carry into the parks, or just ask at any counter service location for a cup of ice water, it’s free!!

As for scheduled refurbs, WDW is actually doing a couple of major projects this summer. Here is the list as of this time…

Magic Kingdom

Carousel of Progress – May 16 – 22, 2014
Tomorrowland Transit Authority – Peoplemover – Jun. 2 – Aug. 4, 2014
Astro Orbiter – Jun. 2 – Sep. 19, 2014
Liberty Square Riverboat – Aug. 4 – 8, 2014

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King – Jan. 6, 2014 – June 2014
It’s Tough to be a Bug – Jul. 7 – Aug. 11, 2014

And, don’t forget, Disney’s Polynesian Resort is undergoing refurbishments that include the DVC addition and changes to the Great Ceremonial House as they prepare for the return of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Finally, expect crowds to be heavy, especially on the weekends! There will be people everywhere! But, with a good plan and enough Fastpasses, you can do all you desire and have a fabulous vacation!

I hope you are having a Blessed and Magical week, my friends!!

A Night In Harambe

DAK Sign

At this week’s press event, Disney Parks and Resorts announced a new night time experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom entitled Harambe Nights that will offer appetizers, as well as some African-inspired beer and wine. The feature of this activity is the “Mane” event (their term, not mine), The Lion King – Concert In The Wind.

This event will be the story-telling of the classic Disney feature with the assistance of some guest narrators, an orchestra and choir, dancers, projected movie pieces, and new lighting and scenes. This will all be followed with the Harambe Nights Street Party that has an all-inclusive buffet featuring an African cuisine and gourmet desserts. Sounds tasty!!

The lineup of celebrity narrators features stars from stage and screen. Scheduled to appear are:

June 7 – Viola Davis
June 14 – TBD
June 21 – Montego Glover
June 28 – David Alan Grier
July 5 – Michael Beach
July 12 – Harry Lennix
July 19 – Joe Morton
July 26 – Alfre Woodard
Aug. 2 – Patina Miller
Aug. 9 – Brian Stokes Mitchell

This event will occur on Saturday evenings from June 7 – August 9, 2014. Be aware that this is a separately ticketed event that has a cost of $119 per adult and $79 per child ages 3 – 9 plus applicable taxes. Capacity is limited for each experience and it is advised to make reservations quickly. You may wish to have your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner add this to your package quickly, if you desire to attend!

Personally, I’m not sold on the event, simply for monetary reasons. As a Family of Five, it adds up quickly, and this is an event that I would not want to leave unattended by my kids. While it looks to be entertaining and appetizing, it’s not enough for me to commit that kind of money to attend. What do you think? Let me know!

I’m going over all of the information from the press event and will share things through the week as I get a better understanding of all of the offerings. Until then, have a Blessed and Magical weekend, my friends!

2014 Vacation Video

I have gotten the Vacation Planning Video every year for several years, and when I ordered this year’s version, I wasn’t expecting much. Was I every surprised!

2014 Disney Vacation Planner Video
2014 Disney Vacation Planner Video

The 2014 Vacation Planning Video has been completely reimagined, to use Disney terminology. A lot of good visuals showcasing everything from Theme Park overviews to more specific looks at rides, dining options, and entertainment all around the resort.

This video is an excellent tool to use, in conjunction with your Authorized Disney Travel Planner, to help put together the most magical experience you could ever design, and even introduce you to some different ideas to make that possible. And, it even gives you a very brief look at each resort available on the WDW property. I only wish there had been a bit more said about each resort to give us a better idea of what they have to offer.

You can view both Walt Disney World in Florida AND Disneyland in California on this presentation. So, you can plan your vacation to either destination, or get a quick Disney fix if you are something of a Disney Parks Addict, like me!

So, order your copy today by going to https://www.disneyvacations.com/dv/en_US/VacationPlanningDVD/index to request your copy! Then, contact your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to begin dreaming! If you don’t know anyone, message me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com, and I’ll be happy to connect you with one of my friends!!

I hope this puts a little touch of magic into your lives! Blessings…Mr ThreestrandsWDW

Wild By Design: Day 4 Trip Report

Here is the third installment of the trip report from my buddy, Diane Trowbridge! In this segment, she and her husband, David, visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here is how there day went! Enjoy!

Day 4:Had an early reservation at Animal Kingdom (AK) for the Wild by Design Tour, so had to take a cab. The Bell Hop waved one over from the taxi stand and the short ride cost $20. The Wild by Design Tour is a 3 hour walking tour of AK, revealing the architectural and artistic design elements of this park. We had two guides, plus two animal “experts” that covered the monkey island by Kali River Rapids and the bird area of the Pangani Forest Trail. There was one rest stop for a snack.

Rhinos on Safari

After the tour we made our FPPs for Finding Nemo: the Musical, Expedition Everest, and Kilimanjaro Safari. There was no Lion King show, as they are building a new theater for it and demolished the old one for the new Avatar Land. Saw It’s Tough to be a Bug, and still surprised at the special effects despite having seen this show every trip! Caught the Flights of Wonder show and rode Dinosaur, which had a shorter “stand by” line than FPP line by the late afternoon.

IMG_1423

We skipped lunch because we had an early ADR for Boma, so took the bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) and had another wonderful meal at this buffet-style African and American restaurant. Knowing we could not take a bus straight back to our hotel from AKL, we opted again for a cab and rode in speed and luxury to POFQ.

Special Thanks to Diane for sharing this experience! I hope it give other readers an opportunity to plan something unique on their next Walt Disney World Vacation! Have a Blessed and Magical evening!!

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!!

Get Ready For Some Walking

When headed to Walt Disney World, there is one thing can’t be avoided by most guests! You will be doing a lot of WALKING!

Walking WDW

Each day at one of the theme parks, resorts, or Downtown Disney can bring many hours and several miles of walking to your everyday routine. It is vitally important to plan accordingly! The first thing I would recommend is to get out and start walking while you are still at home. This may seem like a little thing, but it can be a bigger issue than we prepare for properly. Failure can lead to blisters and other foot issues that can make your vacation a bit more challenging.

Make sure you have a good pair of shoes to wear in park, too! I would not suggest a brand new pair, however, because this isn’t the best method of breaking them in. I think that if you buy a new pair, you should do it at least a month ahead of your trip!

Also, as a backup, have some moleskin on hand should blisters become a part of your journey. You can buy it in sheets to save money, and cut them into the sizes you need. They do provide a considerable amount of cushioning and can save your time-sensitive touring of the parks.

Don’t let the amount of walking scare you off! Plan accordingly and get moving!

I wish you a Blessed and Magical Saturday!!

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!