Safety First

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Photo courtesy of ibtimes.com

It really is a commentary on the state of the world when metal detectors are needed to get into the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

But, the fact of the matter is that I feel better knowing they are there and they are keeping my family safe. I am so thankful for the security guards that work hard each day to keep everyone safe and I am sure having to deal with their own share of people trying to give them flack because they snuck in a selfi-stick and got caught.

In order to make the security process a little easier Disney has been rolling out some changes that were announced earlier this week.

According to several sources, including the Disney fan website, Inside the Magic, that these new measures will include new security checks at the Transportation and Ticket Center. This means and those who enter the Magic Kingdom through ferry or monorail will be able to skip the bag check and metal detectors at the gate.

Also, those who are staying at one of the resorts on the monorail loop (Grand Floridian, Poly and Contemporary) will be checked at the resort monorail stations and will be able to enter without going through the security check point at the gate,

Those guests arriving on buses at this time will still use the current security setup.

These changes are scheduled to take place April 3.

 

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Thoughtful Thursday

DisneyRocketsThursday

Toddling Plans: Tomorrowland

One of the reasons why some trips to Walt Disney World don’t live up to a person’s expectations is because they fail to plan.

“The World” is not like another vacation where you can go with the flow, you have to have some kind of plan under your belt.

Whether that is everything planned out from hour to hour or just a plan on what park you are going to visit each day.

This is especially true when you have a little one in tow.

Just like in the plan for New Fantasyland it is important to try and get to the park as early as rope drop.

tomorrowland-map

Getting there?

Tomorrowland is located right off the main spoke of the Magic Kingdom. It is directly to the area right off of Main Street U.S.A.

I would recommend that you just walk to the right of the hub as soon as the rope drops.

Fastpass + selections

Like I had mentioned in the New Fantasyland tour, you need to make your fast pass selections based on the personality of your toddler.

If they dream of going to infinity and beyond, then you will want to get Fastpass+ for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.

If your Mousekatot is always telling knock-knock jokes, then check out the Monster Inc. Laugh Floor.

But not all attractions need a Fastpass+. Here are my suggestions of attractions you would want to get passes for:

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Space Mountain (if your Mousekatot is over 44 inches tall or you are planning on using rider swap)

Lots of the other attractions in Tomorrowland are able to be visited without needing a Fastpass+.

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Where to grab a bite to eat

If you want to find something quick to eat you will want to check out Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

You can find something for pretty much everyone in your party here including cheeseburgers, falafel burger, a half of a rotisserie chicken, greek salad with chicken, barbecued pork sandwich and even s’mores.

It is also a big place to grab a table there is a cute show that is performed by a character named Sonny Eclipse.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tomorrowland? Leave your comments below.

The Bite: Cheshire Café

 

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Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

The Magic Kingdom has several charming places that are hidden away in plain sight.

One such place is nestled in Fantasyland near the boarder between this land and Tomorrowland.

It is called Cheshire Café and looks like something straight out of a storybook.

This little kiosk, that resembles a little cottage complete with sundae shop chairs and decorative umbrellas offers an assortment of light breakfast options and quick grab and go snacks.

This location does not participate in the Disney Dining Plan, but nothing is more than $5.

This restaurant would be the perfect place to grab a quick, toddler friendly breakfast before you take on the attractions in Fantasyland.

Menu items include:

  • Assorted Cereals with Milk
  • Muffins
  • Whole Fruit
  • Simply Orange Orange Juice
  • Minute Maid Raspberry-Lemonade Slushy
  • Mocha Iced Coffee
  • Hot Tea
  • Smartwater
  • Minute Maid Lemonade Slushy
  • French Vanilla Iced Coffee
  • Nestle Hot Cocoa
  • Coffee (regular and decaf)
  • Dasani Bottled Water

 

*Insert shameless plug here*

For more tips about other restaurants that would be a good fit for your Toddler as well as to what attractions will be a hit with your Mouskatot, pick up a copy of Mousekatots today.

They make wonderful Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.

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Get away from the crowds in style

The Walt Disney World Resort is known for offering their guests the best experience as possible.

High end dinners, luxurious spas and the commitment to provide the best experience as possible are some of the things that sets Disney apart from the competition.

Recently, the resort announced they will offer guests the option to rent a family  cabana in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom.

cabana
Photo courtesy of BlogMickey.com.

These four cabanas, that look like mini reception tents, have accommodations for about eight adults.

Inside, the cabana is equipped with a storage locker, couches and a charging section for electronics.

In addition to the furniture and charging station, the cabana also has personalized Mickey ears, beverages, snacks and one ice cream delivery. You can also order additional snacks, for another charge, and you are guaranteed primo seating for the fireworks.

But, like Rumple says on “Once Upon a Time,” “All magic comes with a price, Dearie!”

To rent one of four of these cabanas in Tomorrowland it costs about $649 per day.

Do you think it is worth the hefty price tag for this high-end home away from home for the day? Maybe this video by Attractions Magazine will help you decide.

Leave your comments below.

Huge Discount on WDW Park Tickets

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This is a pretty big deal!

Disney just announced Thursday that they are going to be offering a huge discount on park tickets for certain days.

The “4 Park Magic Ticket” allows guests one admission to each of the four theme parks on four separate days for only $70 per day plus tax.

The window to use the ticket is now through May 26, 2017. Block out days are Dec. 17-Jan. 2 and April 10-21.

This is an amazing deal considering tickets are well over $100 and their isn’t an upcharge for the Magic Kingdom.

It also sounds like these tickets will be available during the RunDisney Marathon weekend in January and the Princess Half Marathon weekend in February.

If you can pair this with a room discount, you can really have a great bargain on your hands.

The “4 Park Magic Ticket” is on sale now and can be purchased at Disneyworld.com/tickets or by calling 407-939-5277.

Does this low ticket price entice you to visit Walt Disney World toward the beginning of 2017? Leave your comments below.

Season’s Eatings

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Photo courtesy of WDWinfo

The halls are decked and now guests will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the special, hard ticket events that Walt Disney World has to offer this time of year.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, at the Magic Kingdom, offers guests the chance to watch special Christmas shows, fireworks performances and even witness snow falling on main street.

While Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween has trick or treat stops, there are special cookie and hot chocolate stops at the Christmas party.

In the past, you could go to one of the many treat stops to receive a snickerdoodle cookie and hot chocolate in addition to allergy safe treats.

This year Disney decided to mix things up by offering different treats at the various stops.

Here is a list of treats that have been added at the different treat stops:

  • Snow cone and snowman sugar cookie –Friar’s Nook, Fantasyland
  • Eggnog and gingersnap molasses cookie — Heritage House, Liberty Square
  • Spiced apple cider and snowman sugar cookie– Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Storybook Circus
  • Hot chocolate and peppermint bark cookie–The Launching Pad at Tomorrowland.

As it was in the past, for those who have a food allergy can also opt for apple slices, gluten free cookies or juice.

There are also additional snacks available for purchase that are also full of holiday cheer.

The Main Street Bakery have a peppermint cupcake and a Holiday Wish Cupcake.

Gaston’s Tavern doesn’t want to be left out in the cold. The eatery will have a Holiday Tree Cupcake (with spiced cinnamon, clove and star anise), Sleepy Hollow, in Liberty Square, will have a pumpkin spice waffle with ice cream.

 

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Photo courtesy of WDWinfo

 

To help wash down all of the cupcakes Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café is offering Very Merry Strawberry Lemonade Slush.

Which treat would you be more excited to try at this year’s “Very Merry Christmas Party?” Leave your answer in the comments below.

 

Toddling Plans: New Fantasyland

 

 

Having a plan before you head into the parks at Walt Disney World is so important.

If you don’t figure it out, at least loosely, you will spend a lot of time running from attraction to attraction wasting a lot of time. Plus, you will also want to plan ahead so you can take advantage of Fastpass+

When you plan your trip you will also want to make sure that there is enough time for down time. No one wants a cranky toddler

So my suggestion is to start out at rope drop in the morning (as soon as the park opens) and take a break midway to go back to the hotel and recharge and then come back around dinner time.

Getting there?

The new section of Fantasyland is located at the very back of the park.

You can either go right through Tomorrowland or go straight around the castle to the middle section of Frontierland.

My suggestion is to take the train, right at the beginning of the park in Main Street U.S.A.

The train will take you on a tour through Adventureland and stop at the Fronteirland stations before you get off at the new Fantasyland station.

Here you will be right in the area that is home to Pete’s Silly Show, Dumbo and more.

Fastpass+ selections

You need to make your Fastpass selections based on the personality of your toddler. If your Mousekatot likes thrills, you will have to get a Fastpass for The Great Goofini.

If your little one loves the characters, you will want to checkout Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

 

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Memory Maker photo

You will also want to look at possibly getting a Fastpass for Dumbo, what toddler wouldn’t want to take a ride on Dumbo?

Must visit attractions

While there are a lot of attractions, there are also a lot of time wasting traps. For example, there is a cute little splash area right outside of Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

Your toddler can spend a lot of time splashing around here. However, if you are not careful you can spend most of your time here.

In my opinion, here are the must visit attractions for toddlers in new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom:

  • Dumbo
  • Pete’s Silly sideshow
  • The Great Goofini
  • Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

 

There is a height requirement for mine train of 38 inches.

If your child is tall enough, and brave enough, you will want to get a Fastpass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

If not, then you will want to get a Fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle and The Great Goofini.

Dumbo has a great feature that is an indoor playground that your toddler can play in while they wait in line. You will be given a pager to let you know when it is your turn to for the attraction.

Don’t forget to work in some time to grab a quick snack. Gaston’s Tavern and Maurice’s Popcorn Cart are two great places to grab a bite to eat.

The number one thing to remember when you are planning your day is that you are on vacation and to take your time and really enjoy yourself. Your vacation is about making memories and sharing time with your loved ones.

What are your tips for visiting the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom? Leave your comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

Who Will be the Newest Disney Cast Member?

Last night, citizens of the United States cast their ballot for the 44th President of the United States. This is an election that was one full of passion and will be one for the history books.

Since I write the blog the afternoon before it posts I have no idea who the winner of the election is. (Who knows, it could be like the Gore vs. Bush election where we first heard the phrase “hanging chad” and the winner may not be decided.)

While this person will become the leader of the free world and will become the figurehead of one of the most powerful nations of the world, but let’s talk about something more important: who is going to be the 44th addition to the Hall of Presidents attraction in Walt Disney World?

 

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Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

 

Disney has already planned ahead for the newest addition to “the prez posse” by already announcing the attraction’s closure from Jan. 17 through June 29, to install the new president.

In honor of this newest addition here are some fun facts about the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World.

  • The theatre can seat up to 700 people and features three huge projectors
  • The film that is shown during the attraction, was created by a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian
  • Walt Disney himself originally had dreams to include all of the presidents in one of his earliest attractions. Unfortunately, the technology of the day was not available and the animated wax figures that Disney had envisioned did not quite work the way he had hoped. He worked hard with his imaginers to develop the realistic animatronics that are seen today and were a part of the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” attraction that was part of the 1964 World’s Fair (along with “It’s a Small World” and “Carousel of Progress.”)
  • Since the show runs constantly, you will need to check the clock hanging under the marque that will let you know when the next performance will take place.
  • There is an urban legend that one of the monks in the Bible transcription scenes of Spaceship Earth at Epcot broke down. The imaginers ended up replace him with the Truman animatronic at the Hall of Presidents.
  • Inside of the oval office of the White House and inside of Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World are the only two places where the presidential seal is on display.
  • Before you head into the theater, make sure you look around the lobby, there are lots of authentic artifacts in protective glass cases.

Is the Hall of Presidents on your list of must do attractions? Leave your comments below.

 

Memory Maker: Worth the Money?

Walt Disney World is all about creating memories that you will remember for years to come.

If you are anything like me, you will want a more concrete reminder of your wonderful and magical vacation. Between photographs and videos you are able to chronical the vacation and have it to look back on for years to come.

Unfortunately, there is always that one person that is never in all of the photos: the family photographer.

Disney saw this as a problem that they needed to solve for their guests and started to offer Photopass Photographers.

Situated at various picturesque locations throughout the park, at character meet and greets and more are these photographers that will take your photo, scan your Magicband and put all of your photos together on a cloud where you can access them to download, print or plaster on a variety of products. It is free to take the photos and look at them online. But, if you want to print or download there is a fee.

If you want to purchase a lot of these photos, it can become expensive and money can quickly add up.

Fortunately, there is a product that makes this process easier and offers your more bang for your buck: Memory Maker.

In a previous blog post I talked about how the Memory Maker works and the price point.

Now, after our recent trip to “The World” we had the chance to test out the Memory Maker and I have to say that I was very happy with the purchase.

We went through the My Disney Experience App to purchase it. I would recommend this rout because it will automatically link to your account. (We didn’t know this at first and spent a lot of time checking at our hotel’s front desk and with a Photopass kiosk to see if it was connected.)

After you take a few photos, you will see them on your app and they will have the Photopass watermark over them. I saw this and thought something went wrong with our Memory Maker. After some time, you will be prompted to follow a few commands that will activate the Memory Maker. From this point on the photos will appear without the watermark.

If you have other people connected to your account as “friends” on My Disney Experience they will be able to see the photos, but it will have the watermark.

If you have Memory Maker you can also add the on ride photos to your downloads by going to the photo kiosk and taping your MagicBand to the proper Mickey circle that corresponds with your photo.

My final verdict is that the Memory Maker is worth the price. The photographers are great and will let you take your own photos as well. The photos are great quality and now everyone can be in the photo together. We were so happy with the results we also opted to purchase the $29.99 archive quality DVD of our photos.

Does the Memory Maker sound like something your family would benefit from? Leave your comments below.