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!

AP Holder Rejoice!!

It appears that there will be some limited testing of My Magic + services are coming soon for Annual Passholders. Passholders will be chosen at random to make their selections. As with other admission media, passholders will be limited to three selections per park, per day. But, they can make selections for seven days over a consecutive 60 day period.

There will be a discount card offered to participants that must be accompanied by a photo id to use at participating vendors. Also, if you get a gold card, your parking will be included. If, however, you get a black card, no parking will be included.

There’s still a lot to figure out with this testing and no date has been officially announced!

From Attractions: The Show on Fastpass Plus!

At about 19 minutes into this video is the best explanation I have seen about how Fastpass Plus works! And, I thought it was important to share with all of the recent changes!

▶ Attractions – The Show – Jan. 23, 2014 – Otronicon, FastPass+ Q&A, plus latest news – YouTube.

Travel Agent or No Travel Agent

When you consider all of the information available on the internet, it is easy to do all of your own research and travel plans. And, for many, this is a fine way to plan your Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line vacation. But, there are those who just don’t want to put THAT much thought into making the arrangements. That is where having an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at your side makes sense.

These folks are specialists in all that takes place within the Disney Destinations galaxy! They keep their ear to the ground to stay informed on changes to reservation procedures, dining options, ticketing, or pretty much anything else within The World! And, with the advent of MyMagic+, MagicBands, and My Disney Experience, it becomes even more important to understand ALL that is taking place at Walt Disney World.

Disney Logo

Disney Vacation Planners can take care of every aspect of your travel arrangements, or they can help you do whatever you are comfortable doing on your own. But, there are those who DO want to do it all on their own, and that’s fantastic! If you have to time to pour over all of the options, resorts, ticketing, crowd predictions, etc., then by all means, hit the internet and get your plans rolling. I would ask, however, that you keep in mind that if you ask a travel agent for advice, and are not using their services, they don’t have to assist you. Many will, but it’s not fair to them! I would suggest that if you have questions, you call Disney directly and talk to a Cast Member. They will do all they can to answer your questions.

Yes, I am working to build a Disney travel business. It is all that I do! But, I’m not writing this to promote myself, or anyone else. I just wanted to try and give you food for thought if you are planning to head to any of the Disney Destinations anytime soon! Remember, the longer you wait to book, the more it is likely to cost!

Have a Blessed and Magical Weekend, my friends!!

MagicBand Revue

After spending a week at Walt Disney World, I have a better understanding of how the MagicBands work. And, there are a few lessons I learned about along the way, as well.

Let me begin by stating that I was really looking forward to this experience, regardless of how it turned out. I feel it is my responsibility to be real in what I see with my own eyes. The lesson I learned at check-in was to verify which MagicBands have charging privileges, what the limits are, and what card you are backing those charges up with. I had set all of this up before arriving, but found out over the next few days that it didn’t get recorded in the system. So, save yourself some extra steps and double-check before you leave the front desk. It only takes a few moments to fix the problem.

From the moment we walked into The Art Of Animation Resort, our MagicBands were put to use. We used one for checking in right at the start. This did seem to hasten the process considerably. The bands also worked well with our room door. I would suggest that everyone in your party take a turn just to verify all MagicBands are working. Also, the doors at the end of the corridors will open with the use of the MagicBands if you want to bypass the elevator.

Entry to all of the parks was smooth with the use of the MagicBands. It is important to remember which finger you used when you first arrived, that can slow you down if you forget. I didn’t find my MagicBand to be in the way, but did have a couple of incidents with it popping off if I accidentally hit a rail or armrest the wrong way. Other than that, I have no real concerns.

FastPass+ worked fairly well, also. One thing I did discover is that it is more difficult to change times or experiences once you arrive in your park for the day. We were there during what was supposed to be a less busy time, but the parks all seemed to be more crowded than expected. And, this made changes much less available. And, with the introduction of tiered attractions, it will be very helpful to make sure you have your choices before you arrive. For some, this may be an issue. For the uberplanners, not so much.

The MagicBands do make charging easier, but I did not find it more tempting to tap and go with more souvenirs. I suggest that if you know what your limits are, you will have no problem remaining within those limits. But, if you have the tendency to spend freely, you may not want to have your band armed for charging. Just a thought!

MagicBand turnstiles
MagicBand turnstiles

Overall, I like the MagicBands, but I think I prefer the old FastPass system a bit more. We were able to make use of a few of those during our stay. We weren’t trying to cheat the system, but it helped to put things in a better time frame for our visit. But, we have just learned that the Legacy FastPass system is slowly being phased out. There are a few resorts that are no longer issuing Key To The World cards, unless requested. And, it was just announced that Disney’s Animal Kingdom will begin testing the new RFID technology by allowing anyone from any resort to make FastPass+ choices. Offsite visitors will be limited to making those choices once they arrive at the park. So, I would guess that the paper FastPass machines will be turned off during this testing.

I hope you find this helpful information. And, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a message at the bottom of this post. I’ll be sure to respond promptly.

Tomorrow, Restaurant Reviews…there may be a surprise on this one!!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day!!

Trip Report: Art of Animation, Earl of Sandwich, and Beaches and Cream

Greetings from Lion King Family Suite 6626 at the Art of Animation in the Walt Disney World Resort Complex. I wish I could say that our trip began smoothly, but it did not happen quite that way. We has a small mechanical glitch with our van, that should someone had thought to tell me over the phone, would have gotten us on the way on schedule and saved me a lot of frustration! But, things worked out and WE ARE HERE!

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Our approach to the Art of Animation brought ooo’s and ahhhh’s from everyone in the vehicle. The first glimpse of the grounds is stunning to the eye. And, that huge sign let’s you know you ARE in the right place. My wife and rest of the family brought the van around and began unloading, and gave me permission to wander around for a little bit. I took my time and really enjoyed the Nemo and Lion King areas as I meandered to my room. So far, MagicBands are doing what they are supposed to do.

Hello, AOA!

Once we got settled two of the most special ladies in all the earth accompanied me to Downtown Disney via Disney Transport for lunch at Earl of Sandwich. This was my first exposure to this particular counter service restaurant, and I was NOT disappointed by any means! My girls shared a BLT sandwich and a BBQ Chicken Salad while I got a standard Ham and Swiss with Mustard Sauce. May I say, my sandwich was ANYTHING but standard! It was terrific!

After a few minutes of down time, we headed to Disney’s Beach Club Resort and an encounter with the infamous Beaches and Cream. Some of us just ordered Ice Cream as dinner while others order sides with their Ice Cream to round out an completely unbalanced meal. My son gave his all to the long promised Kitchen Sink, but alas he was unable to overfill his tummy! My wife and I both gave the No Way Jose our best effort, as well. Maybe we were just tired from the long, marathon of a drive, but we just couldn’t be triumphant over those, either! NEWSFLASH!!! Beaches and Cream will become and ADR required restaurant beginning December 18. Reservations are available online or at 407-WDW-DINE.

This was dinner!
This was dinner!

After a walk around the Boardwalk, it was time to retire back to our room. All-in-all we had a very nice beginning to our vacation!

Tomorrow: Magic Kingdom Park followed by ‘Ohana!

Personal MyMagic+ Testing Next Week

Greetings Readers!

Beginning Wednesday, December 4, I will be at Walt Disney World and starting my own personal testing of the MyMagic+ system. I plan on taking notes and passing it on to you all daily. I am excited about what this could all be, but also a bit apprehensive.

Magicband-Box

There has been a lot of negative stuff on the web the past few days, talking about how the investment in this project has halted other ‘creative’ projects. This may be true, but I don’t know if the source can be trusted. All I know is that am one who believes that Disney will get it right! Walt was one to create technology that didn’t previously exist, and this is just another step in that process.

As I am preparing for my departure, I am working to make sure I have everything I need to give you as much as I can. That may include pictures, some video, or who knows what.

If there is anything specific you want to know about the MagicBand process, please email me at threestrandswdw@hotmail.com and I’ll do my best to get results!

The adventure begins Tuesday as I drive about 19 hours to WDW! Until then, may Disney Magic fill your weekend! Happy Thanksgiving to those in the USA!

Be Blessed!!!