News Tidbits From Around WDW

First up…PLAY BALL!  For you sports fans who want to have an intimate experience with professional baseball, the Atlanta Braves will be returning to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex for Spring Training, March 4 – April 4, 2015.   Tickets for Braves ‘Home Games’ range from $14 for lawn seats to $54 for lower level reserved seats.  Parking is FREE!

The Memory Maker Pre-purchase Package price increased as of December 3, 2014 from $129 to $169.  The price paid during, or after, your visit will still be $199.  It may be worth it with the enhancements that have been made to add ride pictures and videos.

Star Wars Weekends will be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fridays – Sundays, May 4 – June 14, 2015.  There will be a

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast featuring some of the ‘villains’ from the Empire.  Darth Vader, Bobo Fett, Greedo, Jawas, and Stormtroopers will be a part of the experience.  Cost will be $49.99 for adults and $31.99 for kids ages 3 – 9.  Breakfast will be offered during Star Wars Weekends at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and the hours will be 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine will be held at Hollywood and Vine, and will include the Fantasmic! Dining Package.  Along with Jedi Mickey will be Princess Leia Minnie, Darth Vader Goofy, Storm Trooper Donald, and Ewoks Chip ‘n’ Dale. Cost is $57.99 for adults and $34.99 for kids ages 3 – 9, and gratuities are not included.

Advanced  reservations are strongly suggested for both dining experiences, and character appearances are subject to change. Call 407-WDW-DINE for more information and reservations!

Thanks for reading, and have a blessed and magical day, my friends!!

Making Memories…2014

Train Station

I’ll bet some of my fellow ‘enthusiasts’ saw the title thinking,oh joy, we’re going to talk about that old attraction at the Imagination Pavilion! Well, as much as I actually loved that movie, uh, NO, we are not talking about that Making Memories!

Today, I want to give you a quick take on the Memory Maker package being offered at Walt Disney World to help enhance your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. To begin, Memory Maker is a new package that combines all of the elements that were previously offered separately. PhotoPass was the service where PhotoPass Photographers would greet you in the parks and snap pictures of your party near an iconic park attraction (such as Cinderella’s Castle or Spaceship Earth). Dining Photo Packages were offered at various restaurants around the resort. Chef Mickey’s and 1900 Park Fare just to name a few, were included in these venues. And, ride photos captured aboard some of your favorite, if not more terrifying, attractions. Splash Mountain and Tower of Terror are examples of those offerings.

Memory Maker combines ALL of those elements under a single umbrella for you to use during your vacation visit. You can purchase your MM package at: BEFORE you leave for your vacation. You must make the purchase at least 3 days in advance of your first in park day. I would suggest a bit sooner just to be sure! The cost is $149.00 if you make the purchase before your leave. If you decide to purchase on site, the cost jumps to $199.00 for the package.

Memory Maker can be linked to the MagicBands of everyone in your party, and can be viewed on your Memory Maker online account beginning no later than 30 days after your first usage. You must complete your downloads no later than 45 days after your first usage. And, should pictures not find their way to your online wallet, you can call 407-560-4300 for assistance in rounding up any photos that have wandered off. And, the success rate has been pretty good from what I have heard!

Attractions that you can get pictures on are: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Tower of Terror, Rock and Rollercoaster, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and Test Track.

Dining Experiences include Breakfast at ‘Ohana, 1900 Park Fare, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Tusker House, Akershus in Norway, Hoop-Dee-Do-Revue and Spirit of Aloha.

You can also find photographers at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, as well as Downtown Disney! You may even come across some during Holiday Parties or in the Resorts during the holidays near the Christmas Tree.

I’d love to hear of your experiences, so please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of this post!

Have a Blessed Easter, my friends!

Survived without Photopass +

On this past trip, I fought myself about whether or not to purchase the Photopass+ package. As it turned out, it was a good plan to NOT take it. Why? Because I only saw a few photographers at the normal spots inside the parks. Main St. in the Magic Kingdom, Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, Spaceship Earth in EPCOT, and Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I saw no roaming photographers, and none anywhere else.

I carried my own camera and snapped a couple hundred pictures. Add to that two cell phones and one video camera with photo capture, and I have HOURS of stuff to go through. A preliminary edit has over three hours on a DVD slideshow.

I know with the creation of Memory Maker, that many are considering how this might impact their visit to Walt Disney World. This package will include all character dining pictures, ride photos, and the standard Photopass pictures. This is a good deal, IF you can find the photographers to take pictures. IF you are planning a lot of Character interaction. IF you’re riding all of the rides that offer on-ride photos.

The pre-purchase price is $149 if purchased at least three days before your arrival. If you choose to wait, the cost jumps up to $199. I can see where this could a benefit for some, but for my money, I can take a lot of pictures for $149. I may not have the on-ride pictures, but it seems to me that is the only loss I can experience.

I would suggest that you look at your plans very carefully and determine if this is a worthwhile expense for you. Keep in mind, that a Photopass Photographer will gladly use your camera, or cell phone, to take a picture for you at any of the usual places. If the package makes sense for you, by all means make the purchase before you leave.

Coming soon, mrsthreestrandswdw will be submitting a comparison study of our two most recent trips. They couldn’t be more different. Until next time, have a Blessed and Magical Day!!