WDW Planning Part 2: What to do…

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

… If you’ve seen it all before. OK! That is not really fair to say as Walt Disney World is so big, there is always new stuff to do. First of all there will be a whole new Fantasyland to explore. That is something to really look forwards too. The new area promises to look awesome once completely finished and that alone is reason enough to visit Walt Disney World again. It will take a couple of days to take it all in and to discover all the new Disney magic that will have been added in the updated land.

Planning a next trip includes looking at the special things you want to do and don’t want to miss. While planning your hotel, flights and other transport is important, it is more fun to add the things you want to see and do on your early planning list. Fantasyland is one of them. But of course there is more that will make it on the early planning list. Your regular 4 gates visit might speak for itself of course, but let’s have a look at all the other Disney Magic stuff that should make our next visits’ list.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon; I didn’t go the last two times and once I return home I always am sad about it. I love this park so much it has to go on our list. First of all am I a big fan of the Castaway Creek Lazy River, but I also love the wave pool and would love to go on the Crush ‘n’ Gusher again.  That is one great attraction. Let’s also not forget about Shark Reef. That swim with the sharks is just way to much fun.

Dining; Sometimes you do things that you regret. On our last visit I canceled our reservations at Le Cellier Steakhouse. I am still kicking myself for that mistake. This one is already on our trip plan. Not easy to get in on a decent hour, but I’ll be calling very early for that reservation. Everybody is always raving on about their Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and I now want to know what it is all about. It was the reason I put it on the list on my previous trip. Why did I cancel it?…

Traditionally a dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub Dining room is also on the early planning list. This one always makes it on the list. Last evening of the trip with a nice meal and a great view of Illuminations. Jiko is also on the early planning list. It is a favorite of ours. Great food and great location in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We might eat there a couple of times. But these are only the once we already know for sure. Others restaurants will make it to the list but as we still have over a year to go, it is nice to not know everything yet. (see part 1)

That’s already a nice list for a trip that is still over a year away. Still a lot of time to add and tweak. It’s all part of the planning fun. And you? Do you plan this early in advance?

Happy Birthday Walt Disney World

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Let’s go and have a look in time to see what happened over 40 years ago, before October 1st 1971. It all started in 1964 when Disney starts to buy land in Florida under fictional names. The first land was bought on April 15th 1964 and a final large plot of land was purchased on June 18th 1964. While Disney tried to keep it as secret as possible rumors of the East Coast Disneyland started to emerge as from May 4th 1965. On November 15th 1965 Disney formally launches the new Disney World project, a name that changed on December 17th 1966 to Walt Disney World. On may 30th 1967 the land is being prepped for the project. The Compact East Corp. becomes Walt Disney World Company on September 26th 1967 and is incorporated in Florida on May 22nd 1968. On April 30th 1969 is Walt Disney Worlds very first official press event for the resort and on April 6th 1971 the general public has the chance to see the almost completed WDW for the first time in Look magazine. On September 30th Walt Disney World’s preview center closes and on October 1st 1971 the Walt Disney World park opens to the public.

Some newspapers had predicted 200.000 people would turn up but only about 10.000 people visited the Magic Kingdom on the very first day. A small amount of people for such a big event, but the gates to the park especially opened during off season to avoid an firs day with an overcrowded park. Like this WDW had the time to find the problems and bugs and made sure they would be fully operational by the next big holiday. By the end of the first month 400.000 guest had visited the park and on November 26th 1971, one day after thanksgiving, the park was packed with 50.000 guest. Walt Disney World was a success.

Today, on October 1st 2011, we celebrate a special birthday for the Walt Disney World Resort. A big 40 years of success, magic and fun in a fantastic place we all love so much. Happy Birthday Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Monday, August 15th, 2011

After a fire back in January forced the closure of the Enchanted Tiki Room in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World it re-opened as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room on Monday August 15th. The previous version was not the first incarnation with Lago from Aladdin and Zazu from the Lion King being the shows big stars. Disney has now returned to its roots by refurbishing the attraction back to the original with some updates of course.

Check out the Orlando Sentinel Daily Disney to see a great picture of Walt Disney with the animatronics from the Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

See a great video of the show over at Inside the Magic

Power Down at the Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Looks like there are some problems this morning at the Magic Kingdom with an air compressors losing powers resulting in some attractions not being able to open to the public. The problem is expected to be resolved later today and all attractions should be back up and running.

Are you visiting the Magic Kingdom today? Let us know how it has impacted your visit.

Walt Disney World by Air

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Want to see how Walt Disney World looks like from the air. Check out this great video taken during a flight from Orlando to Chicago.

From asdTubeU

Captain EO approaching

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The musical space adventure starring Michael Jackson in the 3D movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola featuring two original songs by Michael Jackson and a score by James Horner has been attracting guests at the original Disneyland in Anaheim, USA, in droves since it returned as “Captain EO Tribute” earlier this year to replace (temporarily) the aging “Honey, I Shrunkt the Audience” movie (short: HISTA). Also reports on various websites indicate that the merchandise (even so limited in scope) is flying off the shelves.

Therefore, fans who had wondered about a possible return of the movie to the other Disney parks it originally played in were wondering, whether or when the resorts in Orlando, Tokyo and Paris would follow the lead of Anaheim. The answers are now coming in. Disneyland Paris will close its Imagination Institute showing HISTA according to a leaked internal memo on May 3rd to start the transformation and then open “Captain EO” either in mid-June or July (for details check out our coverage on DLP.info).

On Monday, local time, the Oriental Land Company as operator of the Tokyo Disney Resort also confirmed with a press release that it will close HISTA as of May 10th for the return of” Captain EO”. Note that the press release does only speak of “Captain EO” – the “Tribute” tag-on used by Disneyland Anaheim isn’t mentioned here (btw neither is the leaked internal memo from Disneyland Paris). While Disneyland only stated that the run of the movie would be limited, Tokyo Disney Resort announces exact dates. Apparently the show will only be featured from July 1st, 2010 till June 30th 2010. As the resort expects high guest demand and the 17 minute movie is shown in a theater with just 369 seats they will even offer FastPass service for it! For comparison: the Magic Eye Theater at Disneyland Anaheim (in which the movie plays) has seats for 575 guests, the theaters at Disneyland Paris and EPCOT each about 600 seats.

This only leaves Walt Disney World as the final remaining Disney resort in which “Captain EO” was originally featured… (more…)

Shanghai Disney Park approved by China

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The new Disney Theme Park for Shanghai has been approved by China’s planning agency. With the approval China and Disney can now start working on the final details of the new project for the city’s eastern Pudang district.

“China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world, and this approval marks a very significant milestone for The Walt Disney Company in mainland China,” Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement.

The first phase of the project will include a Magic Kingdom style park but with characteristic tailored to the Shanghai region and China. There is no time frame set to when the park will open its gates but the investment is set for $3,6 billion for the 4 square mile park. However a Shanghai based Disney executive said that the deal is not final yet and final negotiations could last several months. But Disney says that the approval will allow both sides to move forwards to a final agreement.

Push for Mayor

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

It looks like Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom is ready to get a mayor and there is already one great candidate running for office. Push is putting himself forward for the role. Let’s hope it’s not all trash talk.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority New Soundtrack

Thursday, October 8th, 2009


It has been reported that the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World received a new soundtrack with voices from different characters talking about several attractions. They also talk about some of the work done inside Space Mountain.

The TTA is one of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom and I was a little sad (just a little, because you can’t stay sad at WDW) when it didn’t reopen during my visit in August. So if you’re traveling with the TTA and heard the new soundtrack let us hear about it here!

Via Screamscape

67 Days of Smiles

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

67DaysLogoHow about 67 days of fun at Orlando attractions. This is what the two ambassadors of “67 Days of Smiles” are doing right now in Orlando. 100 of Orlando’s attractions in 67 days. OK, it’s not only Disney parks, they show a whole lot more of this favorite vacation spot in the US, but even for us Disney buffs it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Doesn’t it!. They are about half way into their adventure…

Have you heard about the 67 Days of Smiles in Orlando? Two Orlando Smile Ambassadors, Kyle & Stacey, will be experiencing all of Orlando’s more than 100 attractions in just 67 days! These two lucky winners were selected to document and blog about their adventures on 67 Days of Smiles (more…)

Live from Walt Disney World: Finally

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Magic Kingdom CastleEpcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and finally we visited the Magic Kingdom. When people ask me about Walt Disney World and what park to visit first, I always say the Magic Kingdom. But when I visit WDW, I always end up in the Magic Kingdom last (for those following my trip reports already know Epcot is always the first park). So now we finally got to play at the Magic Kingdom.

It was busy, the busiest park of the four, but still not to bad. Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain was already valid about 1 hour later as when we got it. Most big shows like Mickey’s Philharmagic and Monsters Inc Laugh Floor where walk on! We even got to do the Haunted Mansion within a 15 minute wait. (I’ve been correcting myself the whole day calling that ride Phantom Manor instead. I guess that shows where my Disney roots are from)… We had lots of fun and time went way to fast.

We ended the day at Epcot for dinner and the always fantastic and my all time favorite Illuminations. I love that show so much, you’ll see me rambling about it more in the future. But for now I’ll call it a day, cause I am beat!

Advance Dining Reservations… if you can!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

RoseCrown1Walt Disney World guest can book their restaurants using the new online Disney ADR (advance Dinning Reservation) booking system. The system has been online for about one week. It should help people to plan their dining experience and make bookings from the comfort of their own home, without the long waiting times when calling Disney direct for reservations.

Sounds good! And it does, for those living in the USA. Unfortunately it isn’t that easy if you’re from abroad. After getting to know the tool and fighting to find a restaurant that still have some tables free you can go and “check out”. (That’s if you don’t get an error message that the system is not available, something that happened to me 4 times). It is now that the real problem start for those guest coming from abroad. Some restaurants need credit card verification. For example, if you want to dine at the Californian Grill you will need a credit card, otherwise a reservation will not be possible. But after trying multiple times to enter a card, with three different credit cards, the error kept popping up that the card cannot be authorized.

Without the authorization, no reservation!


Attraction Attendance Report

Friday, April 17th, 2009

wdw-nice-castle2008 has not been the best year for the theme park around the world. Parks have seen their attendance and guest spending drop. The 2008 Attraction Attendance Report from TEA ERA shows a clear picture on 2008 and it’s, mainly losses of guests for some of the big names in the business.

In the 2008 top 20 of highest attendance in Theme Parks of North America you have the Magic Kingdom on top again. It closed the year with 17,063,000 visitors. They should be happy about that, even if that number is no improvement from last year, during these dark times of recession that isn’t the worst result. On the second place we find Disneyland with 14,721,000 visitors, a drop of 1% from the previous year. Epcot, just like the Magic Kingdom, also didn’t loose or gained any more visitors then the previous year, with a count of 10,935,000 visitors. Epcot got third place.


Michael Jackson’s Disneyana Collection – AUCTION STOPPED (update!)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

mj-auction0If the money is gone, you have to start selling some of your things. It can happen to the best of us, even Michael Jackson, the king of pop. After already selling his ranch Michael has no other option to sell some of his private collection so he can pay his bills. In this collection, as was to be expected, are a lot of Disneyana to be found. Browsing the catalog some amazing Disney things popped up. So if you have a couple of left over dollars, maybe something is in the collection for you. Although, I must admit, I don’t think “left over dollars” will be enough as most of the items are big, some of them are very rare and all of them will go for top dollars.


Space Mountain and Tomorrowland Transit Authority

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

tomorrowland-transit-authority-view1sIt has been confirmed, Space Mountain at Walt Disney World is closing as of April 19th 2009. No opening date yet, but the new Space Mountain Mission 2 will most likely not open before late 2009.With an August trip planned I will miss the Space Mountain ride but what is worst for me is the fact that the Tomorrowland Transit Authority will also be closed during my visit. Tomorrowland Transit Authority is one of my favorite rides and I will miss this one a lot (I know, it sounds weird).

I was looking forwards to many TTA rides but will have to wait until Space Mountain re-opens. But let’s be honest, any reason to plan another trip is a good reason. I might miss out on Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Space Mountain on our 2009 trip, but the closure of those is my reason to plan the next trip after we return home from our August 2009 trip…