WDW Bits, Pieces, and More

We had a few pieces of news on Thursday, March 17, 2016…

  1. Adventures By Disney is will begin offering a Walt Disney World and Central Florida package.  Included in this package are some behind the scenes moments around the WDW Parks, Preferred seating for Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Festival Of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom Park, VIP access to Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and Toy Story Midway Mania, and a private Animal Kingdom Safari.  You will also get a chance to visit a few other central Florida attractions featuring Kennedy Space Center where you will have lunch with an Astronaut! For more details, contact your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (whoever that may be) and start planning your next visit!
  2. The line-up for for the Nights of Joy concerts have been announced.  This year the concerts are being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!  There will be service provided by Disney Transport to and from the venue to the parks and resorts.
    • Sept. 9 – MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Crowder, Matthew West, Stars Go Dim, Zealand Worship
    • Sept. 10 – newsboys, for King & Country, Young & Free, Switchfoot, Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Tim Timmons

There will also be more ticket options available for this year’s event.  The options are:

  • A single-night ticket for Friday’s concerts – $39 plus tax (in advance); $45 the day of the show (if available).
  • A ticket which would include a day at one of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and the concerts for Saturday night – $99 plus tax (in advance); $114 plus tax the day of the show (if available).
  • A 2-Day ticket which includes both nights’ concerts, a day at one of the four Walt Disney world Resort theme parks – $119 plus tax (in advance).

Plus, if you purchase the 2-Day ticket before Aug. 9, 2016 will also receive one (1) admission to their choice of Disney’s Blizzard Beach® or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon® Water Parks from Sept. 6-12, 2016. Group discounts also are available. Tickets will go on sale in mid-April.

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!

Soarin’ To New Heights

It has been rumored, and now confirmed by Walt Disney World, that the popular attraction Soarin’ will be closing on January 4, 2016, for an extended refurbishment.  The closure could be six months or more.  So, what is expected to be done?

Many of us already know that a third theater is being added to the attraction.  And, it is expected that this theater will be a DIGITAL theater.  This allows for the probability that the original theaters will be updated with the same technology.  Imagine, watching something on a screen that isn’t stained!  That’s an upgrade right there!

The conclusion of this refurbishment is expected to coincide with the release of the NEW Soarin’ Around The World film.  And, while I know it will be a pain to have to miss this attraction during this time, I believe the outcome will be more than worth it for one of EPCOT’s most loved attractions!

I can’t want to see it!  Can you?  In the meantime, I hope you have a Blessed and Magical week, my Disney Lovin’ Friends!!

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!

Changes in AOA Rooms Status at WDW

2013-12-04 13.10.33

Disney has decided that the Finding Nemo Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are now Preferred Rooms!  This means that you will pay a premium to reserve these accommodations.  The amount of this premium will depend on the time of year.  In low season, the premium may be worth the up tick, if you want the closest location to Animation Hall where you have the Ink and Paint Shop, Landscape of Flavors Dining, and Bus Stops to all of the parks.

As an option, while a little farther away, both the Cars Family Suites and Lion King Family Suites are really not that bad.  We stayed Lion King our last trip, and found the distance manageable.  The only real concern is that none of the parking lots are CLOSE to any of the buildings.

Simba by Day! Art of Animation Resort
Simba by Day!
Art of Animation Resort

I truly hope you all have a Blessed and Magical Sunday!

One Man’s Dream? Gone? From DHS?

One Man's Dream

As a rule, I don’t like to dive into rumors, but this one seems like it may be real, given other information available.  Walt Disney One Man’s Dream appears to be another attraction placed on the chopping block for the anticipated Re-Imagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studio.

Along with Voyage of the Little Mermaid, One Man’s Dream may be scheduled to close as early as the end of September 2015.  At this time, there is no word on if it may be relocated to another park, or re-opened under another moniker after once the park is completed.

And, while I know that there are many people out there who never knew who Walt Disney was, I believe it is still important to save something of the LEGACY of the man responsible for so many smiles, on so many faces!  It is my sincere hope that this is not the Disney boards way of erasing Walt from the company!  Instead, just a temporary displacement of something that allows us a small glimpse into the man whose name is Walter Elias Disney!

Hopefully, we’ll know more after the D23 Expo coming up in a few weeks!

Thanks for reading, my friends!  I hope you have a Blessed and Magical day!

Recent News Events at WDW

Selfie SticksSelfie Stick

Let’s start with the news that is circling the globe at record speed!  If you own a Selfie Stick, and plan to use it at Walt Disney World, don’t bother.  Beginning on June 30, 2015, Selfie Sticks will not be allowed in any Walt Disney World parks or DisneyQuest.  Due to several guest complaints involving safety concerns, WDW felt it was safer to ban the sticks completely.  I find this news to be amazing because every news source I come across is talking about this decision.  It is expected that this move will ripple it’s way around ALL Disney Parks Worldwide in the next few months.

Disney World Arch2016 Walt Disney World Packages

Vacation packages for Walt Disney World in 2016 have been released and are available up to 499 days prior to your arrival.  That means that you can currently book through mid-November.  There are no special discounts, so far, but if you know you are going, book now and apply the discounts later!

There are several changes to the packages.

Additions

* First, you can now book and pay for a trip with as little as ONE DAY either online or by phone.  This applies to the remaining 2015 and all of 2016 packages.

*Payment due dates have changed.  You can now apply a $200 deposit up to 31 days prior to arrival.  Full Payment is due 30 days prior.  The previous was 45 days.

*Enhanced Miniature Golf with four (4) vouchers per package for use at Disney’s Fantasia Gardens or Disney’s Winter Summerland miniature golf courses.

*Four passes per package to visit ESPN Wide World Of Sports, good for admission for one day per guest.

Subtractions

*Splitsville discounts have been cut from 20% to 10%, but there are no restrictions.

*Removed are the Arcade Game Cards, Bongo’s Cuban Cafe Discount, Children’s Activity Center discount, Disney Tours discount, DisneyQuest Discount vouchers, Fulton’s Crab House discount, Horseback Trail Rides Discount, Guided Bass Fishing Excursion or Bass Nitro Fishing Excursion discount, Paradiso 37 discount, Spa Treatments and Salon Services discount, and Walt Disney World marinas discount.

The courtesy hold on packages booked through Vacation Planners has been reduced from 7 days to 3 days.  If you book through a planner, you will have to make a decision a little quicker or loose the reservation.

Also, keep in mind that the deposit/changes guidelines are for the Disney Travel portion of your vacation.  Any fees governed by third parties may have other guidelines, so make sure you are aware of those, also!

Looking to the Future

With the D23 Expo rapidly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to just speculate a little about news that may, or may not, come out of this year’s event.  Let me just say how much I wish I could be there, myself!

We are probably all tired of rumor and guessing on the fate of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  I am hoping that there will be several rumors put to rest at this year’s D23.  Here is my wishlist…

1. The new name for Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  Disney’s Hollywood Adventure

2. Placement of anything having to do with Star Wars?   Echo Lake to New York Street

3. Expanded Pixar Presence?  Pixar Playground

Keep in mind that these are just guesses on my part.  What about you?  What are you hoping for out of D23?  Let us know in the comments below!  Until next time, have a Blessed and Magical day!

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

Dessert Party Changes for Magic Kingdom

There is a ‘new’ dessert party coming to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  Or, it may be better to say it’s a revamping of the old Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party.  Beginning, July 5, 2015, the Wishes! Fireworks Dessert Party debuts and will also be held at the Tomorrowland Terrace with an improved view of the fireworks over Cinderella Castle.

Wishes!
Wishes!

Desserts include chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, season fruit and cheese, and Disney character themed cupcakes.  Beverages include hot chocolate, a signature lemonade, coffee, and tea.

Now here’s the real change!  The cost for the party is $49 for adults, and $29 for children, including tax.  As of March 20, 2015, reservations are available by calling 407-WDW-DINE or at http://www.disneyworld.com.

Thanks for reading and….PARTY ON!