Odds and Ends…2

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover reopened this week with a new color scheme! It isn’t complete, yet, as the Astro Orbiter is still under refurbishment which effects part of the TTA’s theming and appearance. But, at least one of My favorite attractions is back in business!

Frozen Summer Fun is getting an extended stay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The fun will continue through September 28, 2014. Premium Packages are available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only! The cost is $59 for adults, and $34 for kids! The cost includes tax!

Magic Kingdom first aid is moving on Sunday, August 10! The temporary location is at a lounge near Space Mountain. No word on why or how long this relocation will be needed.

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate it! will be touring Main Street U.S.A. in the evenings only at 5:40p and 7:00p while some concrete work is being completed during the day. The dates for this work are August 12, 13, 19, 20, and 29.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the It’s Tough To Be A Bug refurbishment is going to take a bit more time than expected. Originally scheduled for July 7 – August 11, it is now scheduled to reopen on September 28.

And, finally, Bob Iger said in an interview this week, that there WILL BE a stronger Star Wars presence in the parks in the U.S.! But, of course, there was no discussion of a timeline for this presence to be revealed! I don’t mind that Disney takes it’s time to get attractions up and running. I think they have more of a do it right attitude! But, it’s already been years! How about a bigger bone of information?

I hope you enjoyed reading, please come back soon! Or, better yet, follow this blog!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

2015! Is It Calling You to WDW?

WDW2015

The Walt Disney World packages for 2015 were released earlier this week, and from what I hear from some of the travel agent friends, people are READY to find out how much it’s going to cost for their next trip! I thought I might go over some of the details in this post. So, here we go!

You can now book your 2015 Walt Disney World vacation package with your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, or online at waltdisneyworld.com. However, keep in mind that you can only book 499 prior to your arrival. So, if you are looking for Christmas 2015, you may have to wait until a little into August to make your reservation! As of this post, availability for booking was good through December 29, 2015! There appear to be no major changes to the Dining Plan at this time.

I have begun to plan for my next trip in September of 2015, maybe for Food and Wine? But, we shall see! In the meantime, I have this blog to keep me seeking the magic of WDW and helping you have the best possible Disney World experience! Should you need assistance, I have a few Authorized Disney Vacation Planners I can refer you to, and I can also answer some basic questions for you! Email me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com with your questions and comments, and I will respond to you quickly!

Have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!! Keep the magic shining!

Dinner Package for Candlelight Processional

2013-12-07 17.30.23

 

The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT is one of the highlights of the year at Walt Disney World.  And, this year’s will be no exception!  We don’t know all of the guest narrators who will attend this year, but we some have been confirmed!  So far, we have:

  • Jodi Benson November 28 and 29, 2014
  • Whoopi Goldberg December 5 and 6, 2014
  • Sharon Stone (NEW!) December 15 to December 17, 2014
  • Ana Gasteyer (NEW!) December 18 to December 20, 2014
  • Marlee Matlin December 21 to December 23, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman December 28 to December 30, 2014

The question that many ask?  “Is it worth paying for the Dinner Package to get a seat for this event?”  My short answer is: “Yes”!

By purchasing the Dinner Package for the Candlelight Processional, you are being assured of a seat for one of the three performances.  There are two lines for the show.  One for Dinner Package guests, and one for stand-by guests.  The stand-by line may only get a handful of people into the seated area.  There is some standing room at the rear of the America Gardens Theater.  

You can choose to have lunch or dinner at The Biergarten, Chefs De France, Coral Reef, Garden Grill, La Hacienda de San Angel, Nine Dragons, Restaurant Marrakesh, Rose and Crown, San Angel Inn, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia, or Via Napoli restaurants.  The time you choose to eat, will determine what your show time will be for the Processional.

The line will start at the America Gardens Theater and move toward Morocco and France for Dinner Package guests.  The stand-by line runs the opposite direction toward Norway and Mexico.  In my opinion, the Dinner Package is well worth the investment for this fabulous event!  So, eat up, get in line, and enjoy the Christmas Story from the Scriptures!

Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

Eats at The Magic Kingdom

One of the best things to do on a Walt Disney World vacation is EAT!! If you are at all a foodie, you plan very carefully, and precisely, where you are going to eat. In fact, for some, this may be more important than the order of attractions you are planning to get to during your day.

As far a sit down restaurants go, there aren’t many to choose from. But, it seems the most coveted ADR at MK is The Be Our Guest Restaurant. By day, a counter service meal. But, at night it transforms into a beautiful sit-down restaurant featuring the decor of the Beast’s Castle. And, a visit from the Beast himself has been known to occur at some point during your evening!

One of my favorite Counter meals is at Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square! The food is very good and the menu has a nice variety of seafood items to choose from including: Shrimp and Salmon, and also a nice Chicken Nuggets and Fish combination meal. It is also reasonably priced for a Disney eatery! The decor is very much that of colonial days and the second story is a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the day!

Finally, don’t forget about two of the best drinks available on property. The ever-popular Dole Whip is a hit with many park guests. But, the close cousin to this fabulous drink is the Citrus Swirl! A refreshing orange flavored frozen mouthful of delight, that can be found in Adventureland near Aladdin’s Flying Carpets! Give it a try!

Thanks for reading and have a Blessed and Magical Weekend, my friends!!

In SUMMERRRRRRRR at WDW!!!!!!

thermometer

Yes, it’s that time of year when we sweat at the very thought of sweating!  I am in Ohio and already we are combating heat in the 90s, and humidity at 200%!  I can’t even imagine with it may be doing at Walt Disney World.  However, knowing that most people need to stick to the school systems schedules, here are a few suggestions and reminders for surviving the hot summer days in Central Florida!  And, maybe we will see how Olaf really does in summer!

The biggest thing is to remember to stay hydrated! Water, Water, Water!!! Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as they will only serve to dry you out and dehydrate your body! This is a BAD thing! Eat some fresh fruits to help keep hydrated, as well!

Make use of some of the indoor attractions like: Hall of Presidents, Impressions de France, or Finding Nemo to get some time in the air conditioning, the same goes for indoor eating establishments. A little cooling off can recharge you and keep you moving in the direction you want to go.

If necessary, plan a midday break! Enjoy your resort pool, take a nap, watch a little Stacy on Resort TV. Then head back into the parks when the sun is working it’s way down and things begin to cool off a bit. This tip is good especially if you have little ones who don’t handle the heat well, and might become cranky as the temperature gets warmer. (I know a few dads who could use the break, too)

Remember, this is a vacation! You don’t want to end up spending in at the First Aid Station, or worse, a hospital when you should be riding Splash Mountain or Test Track!

Stay cool and have a blessed and magical day, my friends!!

What Tickets Do I Need?

When planning for your Walt Disney World vacation, one of the key things to consider is what type of admission ticket do I need? I can say that my view of this has changed over the past few years!

MYW PH

The first thing to determine is how many days do you want to spend in the parks? That answer will help you decide how you purchase your tickets! One aspect to think about is whether or not to use the Park Hopper option, and the way I decide this is based on how many days I will be at WDW. IF I am going to be at WDW for five or less days, I tend to lean toward using a Park Hopper (PH), because I know I won’t be able to do see everything I might want. But, using the PH allows me to get to all of the primary, and a few of the secondary, attractions and shows.

On the other hand, is you are staying 6 or more days, you may not want to make use of the PH option! With careful planning, you can probably get to everything you want to see, and more! Making use of good planning tools can help you decide what parks to do when, and what order to hit the attractions with, or without, Fastpasses! The choice, of course, belongs to you in planning how you want to do the parks on a day-to-day basis.

One note about Park Hoppers! The cost of adding Park Hoppers is the same from 3 days and up, which is about $60. So, you might be tempted to consider this as the cost is minimal the longer you stay! Also, Park Hoppers are connected to your Magicbands, just like other ticket information.

I hope this has been helpful! Please let me know if there are any questions you might have, and I’ll be glad to try and answer those! Contact me below, or at threestrandswdw@outlook.com. Have blessed and magical day, my friends!

DDP – The Deluxe Plan

Citrico's at  The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Citrico’s at
The Grand Floridian
Resort and Spa

If you are REALLY hungry, or just want to make your Walt Disney World adventure more appetizing, then the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan may possibly be for you! But, I must warn you, there is a lot of food to eat!

With the Deluxe Plan you will receive three meals per night per person at either a sit-down OR quick-service restaurant on the WDW property! Remember, if you need to book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for your sit-down meals, you can book those up to 180 out from your first night accommodation either online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE! Quick-service meals do not require an ADR and can be exchanged on the run!

You also are entitled to two snacks per day, and the Resort Refillable Mug! As with all Dining Plans, you actually receive entitlements on your Magicband that are used for purchasing our meals! There are also some other options I would like to take a look at in this writing!

The Deluxe Plan makes it possible to really take part in some special dining experiences. Places like Citrico’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Le Cellier will charge two entitlements per person. But, with the extra meals and snacks available on this plan, you could easily enjoy one of these or other two meal establishments!

Or, how about private In-Room dining at your Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa Resort? These are also two meal entitlements each, but it could truly add a new dimension of SPECIAL to your WDW vacation! I like this idea!

There are extras that you do need to remain aware of with the deluxe plan. Gratuities are not included! Some dining experiences offer photo opportunities that MAY not be included, but may be eligible for Memory Maker! And, of course, you will need to purchase any souvenir merchandise you may want to add to your collection!

The cost of the deluxe plan, in addition to your resort package is: $109.53 per adult per night and 29.86 for children ages 3 – 9. If this fits into your plans for experiences at Walt Disney World, it may be worth the investment! If, however, there’s no way on this side of heaven you can eat this much, it may be better to pass!

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

DDP – Plus Dining

disney-dining-plan-logo

In our last post, we looked at the DDP – Quick-Service option to add to your Walt Disney World vacation, see http://wp.me/p23hiG-id if you want to get caught up!

Today we will look at the Standard Plan, or as Disney puts it the Magic Your Way Plus Dining option. With this option you get: One Sit-Down meal, One Quick-Service Meal, and one Snack per person per night, as well as the Resort Renewable Drink Mug. With this plan, the need for Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) comes into play and may be crucial to making your meals fit into your overall attack plans for your stay! You can make ADRs 180 (+ 10 days into your vacation) days prior to your arrival either by internet at http://www.mydisneyexperience.com, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE(407-939-3463).

And, with hundreds of choices to look at, there is a lot of thought that needs to be put into your vacation. As with the Quick-Service Meal we discussed in the last post, your Sit-Down Meal consists of one entree, one dessert, and one single serving, non-alcoholic beverage, or a full buffet. You can ask your server to swap the dessert for an appetizer, and most will accommodate your request. You can EVEN have a pizza delivered to your room, if you want!

For a list of participating restaurants, practically all of them, go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/media/wdw_nextgen/CoreCatalog/WaltDisneyWorld/en_us/PDF/2014Dining.pdf and start checking out where you want to eat! If you are looking for menus, you can check out Deb Wills site http://www.allears.net/menus which will show you the meals and costs.

Finally, don’t forget that gratuities are NOT included in the dining plan. Your check will come with suggested amounts of 18% and 20%, groups of six or more will have 18% automatically added to their bill!

This is the most used plan when Free Dining is offered as it is available for Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa accommodations. And, don’t forget to keep track of your entitlements so you don’t walk away with any left over at the end of your trip! Depending on the size of your group, it may be worth it!

Next time, we will look at the Deluxe Dining Plan…hope you’re hungry! Until then, have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!

DDP – Quick-Service Dining

DDP

We hear about it all the time! Is it free? Do I pay extra? What does it include? In this short series, we will look at each dining plan that is offered at Walt Disney World. We will attempt to get into the details about what is included and how it affects your costs, if you pay to include it on your Magic Your Way package.

Today, we look at Quick-Service Dining!

Quick-Service (or Counter) Service locations are generally places you can eat at on the run, without an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR), and there may or may not be seating areas provided. The Disney Dining Plan offers a package that includes two quick-service meals and one snack per night of your stay. It also includes a resort-refillable mug usable at your resort food court and can be refilled as often as you like! One thing to remember about the mug is that it is RFID equipped, just sit it under the spout of the drink you desire and press the button, the display will tell you everything you need to know after that.

Your quick-service breakfast is one entree or complete combo meal and a single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage. For lunch and dinner just add a dessert! You also get one snack credit that can be used for Mickey Bars, Ice Cream, bottles of soda or water, or anything that has the official DDP logo next to it (see above).

When you check into your Walt Disney World Resort, you will receive a total number of entitlements according to the length of stay and type of meal package in which you are participating. Keep an eye on those entitlements, your receipts will show your balance, because many people end up with extras at the end of a trip, and it can be a bit overwhelming to use them all in a few short hours before your vacation ends!

A few examples of quick-service (counter-service) restaurants in the parks are: Flame Tree BBQ in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Sunshine Seasons or Tangerine Cafe in EPCOT, Starring Rolls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Pecos Bills at The Magic Kingdom. Downtown Disney, soon to be Disney Springs, has some good offerings in this area, as well. You can try Wolfgang Puck’s Express, or (my fav) Earl Of Sandwich!

The added cost to your package, if you purchase the Quick-Service Dining Plan is $41.99 per adult per night and $16.03 per child per night ages 3 – 9. Look at the eating habits of your family, and check the menus out online at http://www.disneyworld.com to see if this would be a benefit to your trip.

The Quick-Service Dining package is often giving at Value level resorts, if a free dining or special package rate is announced by Disney. These meals are really good for those who don’t want to be strapped to a dining schedule and just want to grab on the run. And, many of these locations do offer significant seating areas in shade or air conditioning, if you need time to just chill and recover before moving on to the next attraction.

One more thing, your entitlements are connected to your MagicBands, so make sure all is well before you leave the check-in desk at your resort.

I hope this is helpful for you all, and I’ll be back soon with a look at the Plus Dining Package! For now, have a Blessed and Magical evening, my friend!

Split Stays at WDW

One way to enhance your stay at the Walt Disney World Resort, is to do what is called a Split Stay!  

A Split Stay is when you split your time at WDW between two, or more, on property resorts.  There are a few things to consider when looking into using this strategy, and I’ll try to cover a few of those here!

First, when thinking about doing a Split Stay, you must decide which resorts you want to use.  Generally speaking, I would recommend that you start in the lower category resort and finish at the higher category resort.  For instance, you could do 4 nights at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and then 3 nights at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.  In order to make this work, you will need to contact Disney directly, or your Disney Authorized Vacation Planner, to make these arrangements.  

One benefit to a Split Stay is that you can have your luggage transferred between resorts using Disney services, and you can head to a park, Downtown Disney, or where ever else you choose.  When you are ready, head to your new resort and check in.  Your bags will be delivered to your room promptly, and you are free to enjoy the amenities available to you!

If you are going to be going to the parks during both resort stays, you may want to purchase your park tickets with your originating resort, this will make things a lot easier.  Using the Dining Plan with Split Stays can be troublesome, however, so make sure you ask your reservationist or travel agent how that might work.  

Finally, when considering a Split Stay, you might want to determine how you are going to use the resort you are hopping to for the end of your stay.  Are you going to spend most of the time at a specific park?  You may want to choose a resort that is in closest proximity to that park.  Are you looking to relax and enjoy the amenities of your new resort?  Choose one that best fits what you want to accomplish.  Pampering, use a resort with a spa.  Swimming?  How about one with a fabulous pool area?  Are you a foodie?  Choose a resort with much talked about restaurants serving the cuisine you are most drawn toward!  

Split Stays can be fun and adventurous!  Just make sure you put as much time into planning this part of your stay as you have the rest!  And, ENJOY!!

I wish you a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!