Weekly WDW Wind Up #1

  • Magic Kingdom Park will say good-bye to the Kingdom Cabanas beginning on February 17, 2017!  It would appear that there was little interest in making use of this ‘perk’ even at a discounted price!
  • miss-adventure-fallsMiss Adventure Falls will debut at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in the Spring of 2017.  Climb aboard a 4 person raft for a quick paced adventure.  All aboard!!
  • The 1st Annual EPCOT International Festival Of The Arts began this weekend offering interactive workshops, Broadway music, and Food!  There are limited Dining experiences available. Call 407-WDW-DINE for information and reservations!
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel Of Progress has been lit up for Disney After Dark!  With the new color scheme and recent exterior updates, it’s a beautiful piece of art in Tomorrowland!!cop-lights

Thanks for reading, my friends!!

Let’s Keep The Magic Alive!

New Festival at EPCOT, With Food?

January 13 through February 30, 2017 brings a new festival to EPCOT that is sure to bring fun, frolic, and yes FOOD for guests to enjoy!

epcot-fest-of-arts

At the EPCOT International Festival Of The Arts, you will find Fun in the form of the artists, or their works that are scheduled to attend. From the works of Mary Blair and Herb Ryman to current Disney artists.  You can just have a look around or watch some creative juices flow live during the Festival!

Frolic might be had by attending concerts from some of Disney’s best Broadway stars from Aladdin, The Lion King, and Newsies(my personal favorite). These concerts will be presented on the weekends of the festival and will take place on the America Gardens Theater stage.  Show times are 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm.

2017 Appearance Schedule

  • January 13-16 and 20-23
    Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland perform songs from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Mary Poppins, Tarzan and The Little Mermaid.
  • January 27-30 and February 3-6
    Kerry Butler & Kevin Massey perform songs from Disney’s Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies and Tarzan.
  • February 10-13 and 17-20
    Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White perform songs from Disney’s Aida, Aladdin, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.

As for Food, there will be Food Studios place around the World Showcase Promenade where you can try a vast array of foods.  This is similar to, but completely different, compared to Food And Wine.  To learn more about the offerings go to The Disney Food Blog page for information!

This sounds like a lot of fun!!  Enjoy and remember…

Let’s Keep The Magic Alive!

Candlelight at EPCOT

2013-12-07 17.30.23

There are many returning narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at the America Gardens Theater in EPCOT.  Gary Sinise, Whoopi Goldburg, and Neil Patrick Harris are on the schedule, again!  The are four NEWBIES on the list are: Meredith Vieira,  America Ferrera, Chandra Wilson, and Daniel Dae Kim.  The schedule is posted below!

I would suggest making use of the Dining Packages that allow you to have guaranteed seating for these presentations.  Lunch starts at $35 and dinners begin at $50.  These packages are NOT available for the December 6 performances.

Thanks for reading, my friends.  May you have a Blessed and Magical weekend!

  • 11/27 – 11/29 — Gary Sinise
  • 11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
  • 12/9 – 12/11 — Ana Gasteyer
  • 12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira – NEW
  • 12/15 – 12/17— America Ferrera – NEW
  • 12/18 – 12/20 — Chandra Wilson – NEW
  • 12/21 – 12/23 — Daniel Dae Kim – NEW
  • 12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
  • 12/27 – 12/28 – Blair Underwood
  • 12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

Showtimes are 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m and 8:15 p.m. nightly. Showtimes on Dec. 6 are 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

Eat To The Beat Changes At EPCOT F&W Fest

EPCOT

As usual, the entertainment for this year’s EPCOT Food and Wine Festival looks really good.  There are a few changes to keep in mind.  First, The Eat To The Beat Concert Series has been designated as a Tier 1 Fastpass+.  There will be a separate queue line at the American Garden’s Theater that will open up 20 minutes before each concert.

Here is this year’s line up:

  • David Cook – September 25-27, 2015
  • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015
  • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015
  • Starship – October 2-4, 2015
  • Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015
  • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015
  • 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015
  • Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015
  • Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015
  • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015
  • Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015
  • Fuel – October 22-23, 2015
  • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015
  • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015
  • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015
  • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015
  • Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015
  • Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015
  • Hanson – November 10-12, 2015
  • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015
  • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015

With three shows daily,at  5:30p, 6:45p, and 8;00p, there should be ample time to see your favorites!

For now, I’d like to wish you all a Blessed and Magical rest of your weekend! Bye, now!

Garden Grill changes at EPCOT

The Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land pavilion at EPCOT will begin serving Breakfast and Lunch on November 8, 2015.  Breakfast will be offered 8:00am – 10:30am and lunch from 11:30am – 3:00pm.

Garden Grill is a family-style experience that includes visits from Chip and Dale, Pluto, and Mickey Mouse.  And, if you are planning to attend the Candlelight Processional, packages will be available during all three meals at The Garden Grill.

The Garden Grill offers a unique dining experience as it is situated on a turntable that rotates slowly and takes an hour to make a complete rotation.  You also get a small glimpse of the Living With The Land attraction, also in The Land Pavilion.

Let me know if you decide to try one of these new offerings!  I would really like to know your impressions.  In the meantime, have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!

Around the Disney World

Greetings friends!  I know it has been some time since my last post.  Truth be told, I have had a bit of a hard time finding the ability to blog, lately.  But, I am back and hoping to be back in full swing soon!

Let’s take a look at the news from around the Disney World, shall we?

I am sure that many of us are thrilled to hear that both Marvel shows on ABC have been renewed.  Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter will return to the line up!  I am especially excited about Agent Carter.  It is a brilliant show and Hayley Atwell is very good in the role.  And, she’s kind of cute!  In addition, the release date for the next film in the Captain America, Civil War, series has been announced as May 6, 2016.  This film taunts to pick up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off.  It should be an adventurous time at the theaters next year.

It appears that most, if not all, of the room refurbishments at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort have been completed.  From what I have seen through video, they look amazing.  These rooms are the same size as the Port Orleans resorts, so it’s no surprise that they look familiar!  If you want to check out the rooms go to https://youtu.be/DMYk3eMKSZY to check out the IThemePark video.

Pirates of the Caribbean Refurbishment has been delayed until June 8, 2015.  The ride will be down until about September 25, 2015.  While there is no real news on what is being done, the speculation is that the boats may be replaced, some safety barriers may be put in place, and a general cleaning and refreshing of the Audio-Animatronics will be done.  Summer may be a little different for those hoping to ride this park favorite.  The Pirates League and Jack Sparrow shows will not be affected by this schedule.  Keep up-to-date on Walt Disney World park refurbishments at https://wordpress.com/page/30334162/1120.

Rebel Hangar – A Star Wars Lounge Experience will be located in the Backlot Express area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  And will offer a menu inspired by the Star Wars movies and television shows during Star Wars Weekends, beginning on May 15, and running through June 14, 2015.  Star Wars Weekends are Fridays Saturdays and Sundays.  Reservations can be made online.  The menu looks pretty good.

And, finally, the Magic Eye Theater, which has been the home of Captain EO for what seems like forever, has been assigned the task of bringing previews of new Disney movies.  Currently, you can see a 4D preview of Tomorrowland Starring George Clooney.  And, later in May you can get a glimpse of the new Pixar movie Inside Out. Maybe it is time for Michael Jackson to stand down from his mission, but I have to admit that I’ll miss it!  No word, yet, on whether EO will return or maybe something new might slide in to this spot.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind a up-to-date reboot of Magic Journeys!

Well, that’s it for now.  As always, thank you for reading!  Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends! 

What’s News At WDW

Disney World ArchJungle Cruise gets an extension…Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto goes soft…Marvel to Disney Springs…and, Innoventions West is closing!

You may recall that Sunshine Tree Terrace and Aloha Isle swapped locations a few weeks back.  We now know that the reason is because of a refurbishment (of sorts) is taking place to bring in a new restaurant location at the Magic Kingdom.  The Jungle Cruise themed “Skipper’s Cantina”, will take over the old Adventureland Verandah.  It is expected to operate much like “Be Our Guest’ offering a counter service option for lunch and a table service experience at dinner time.  There has been no word on what type of food will be served, as yet.  Disney is aiming for a November 2015 opening.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will begin a soft opening (today), March 28 at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  This much anticipated addition to the Poly seats 50 guest inside, and 82 on the patio.  There are a number of drink offerings with some being exclusive to the Grog Grotto, and some being brought over from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Room.  One thing to note is that souvenir mugs will not be made available until the OFFICIAL opening in April.

As the Disney Springs project continues to roll on, we have received word that there will be a Marvel “Super Heroes Headquarters” opening up in May.  It will be located in the former United World Soccer location on the West Side of Disney Springs.  Whether this is a permanent placement, or not, has not been released by Disney.  But, this seems like a good way to bring Marvel to the resort without infringing on the rights of the park up the street.

At EPCOT, it was announced this week that Innoventions West will be closing permanently beginning on April 30, 2015.  This old Communicore complex has seen many exhibits come and go through the years.  The recent pull out of IBM may have helped this decision to be made.  (Side note: Innoventions at Disneyland is also closing at the end of this month.)  And, in normal Disney style, there is no word on what is in store for the future of this space.  Will it be utilized, reimagined, demolished, or put in moth balls ala the Wonders of Life pavilion?  Only time will tell!

Thanks for reading, my friends.  I wish you all a Blessed and Magical weekend!  And, if you haven’t voted in our Battle of the WDW Podcasts poll, do it now by visiting WDW Podcasts Round 2 http://wp.me/p23hiG-lr

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!

FIRST TIME VS. SECOND, THIRD, AND BEYOND AT WDW…PART TWO

First View

In our last post, we looked at some ideas for first time guests. Today, we look at the return guest experience. If you read this blog, you are likely a fan of Walt Disney World, or pretty much any part of the Disney universe. I can tell you that, for me, return visits are just as exciting as first visits. Why? Because, it is an opportunity to have new experiences, see new attractions, take in the details, or even revisit a few favorites from previous trips.

On my last trip, I decided I wanted to experience one of the Disney World tours. So, I took the Backstage Magic tour. It was fun, but very long! It is a seven-hour tour starting and ending at EPCOT. You see something in all four theme parks, and have lunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe (my favorite part). It is also quite expensive, but if you really want to dig into some history, imagineering, and story, it’s worth taking. There are also many smaller tours at various location and prices. Look into one, if you are making a return visit in the future. Check out the many offerings at Events and Tours At Walt Disney World

As for details…It is said at Walt Disney World, you see the REAL Disney IN the Details! One of the coolest things to do is to find a bench, table, or stretch of wall to sit on for even a few minutes. Look, Listen, and Smell the details that have been put into your park experience. Did you know that most, if not all, of the areas have some background music playing at a low volume? If you are spending your time running one place to another, you likely have never heard all of the areas that have music! Look at the architecture, especially on Main Street U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom, at World Showcase, in Harambe at Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Blvd. at Disney Hollywood Studios! And, if you decide to go during Halloween or Christmas, well there are enhanced details to say the least!

My next trip, I plan on slowing WAY down and enjoying the atmosphere of the entire resort. Slightly more hotel pool time. Maybe a water park, some mini-golf, a horseback ride? I will make the minimum FPP and ADR reservations to fit my style for this trip, but probably not much else! I might even work on some romancing of the Mrs.! Yes, that CAN be done at WDW!

I guess my point to all of this is that no matter your age, no matter how many times you visit, there is something for EVERYONE at Walt Disney World! How your tour depends largely on your personality, group makeup, and goals. So, enjoy the planning. Or, if you don’t want to do all of the planning yourself, contact a Disney travel agent for assistance. If you need one, I’d be happy to help you! You can just email me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com, and I’ll hook you up with one of the fine agents at Magical Starr Travel, to official agency of threestrandswdw! Check them out at http://www.magicalstartravel.com!

Thanks for reading! May you have a very Blessed and Magical Weekend, my friends! Bye now!!

A WDW Christmas Greeting!! Follow the processional!

Candlelight Processional Walt Disney Word EPCOT Center America Gardens Theater
Candlelight Processional
Walt Disney Word
EPCOT Center
America Gardens Theater

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.