Food and Fireworks

Monday, May 4th, 2015

foodCGDo you love fireworks? It’s the highlight of many visits. But big crowds might force you to either come early to find that perfect viewing spot, or come late and stand somewhere in the back. If unlucky you’ll be watching the many phone or even tablet screens that go up from all the people around you that are trying the film it.

Want it a little bit more relaxed? How about combining it with a good meal and a viewing spot many visitors don’t think about. Here are 4 personal tips of great meals that can be combined with a firework display afterwards.

Let’s start at the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort Hotel. Right up there on the top floor, this amazing restaurant offers you a fantastic selection on American cuisine, seafood and sushi. Get yourself a nice plate of sushi, share one of the great flatbreads and then how about bison. Of course you can’t enjoy the fireworks without one of their amazing desserts. The chocolate pudding cake, with Nutella filling, or the Plant City Strawberry Cheesecake are only two of the great choices on this menu.

Feeling full? Time to go and see the fireworks. The music is piped into the restaurant so you can see the fireworks from the comfort of your seat. Or you can go to the observation deck outside. Whatever your choice is, it is an amazing and relaxing experience.

(more…)

Relaxing Inside the WDW Parks

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

TTApeoplemover

It can be overwhelming visiting the Walt Disney World parks. Busy crowds, long queues, hot weather (or big wet showers).  You can avoid it by staying at the hotel pools, but if you are at Walt Disney World you just want to hit the parks. Even if they are busy.
So what to do if you really, REALLY want to relax and still be inside the parks. It is possible!

River1How about we start in the Magic Kingdom. What is more relaxing than the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. A nice 10 minute ride around Tomorrowland and it includes some great views of the beautiful Cinderella Castle. You can ride it early in the morning, or try to board it at night during the fireworks. That gives it an extra dimension. Who knows, if you’re lucky, like I was on my last visit, it might break down on the right spot and you can see the whole firework show from the best spot. Another relaxing ride, but a little more crowded, is the Walt Disney World Railroad. Ride around the park and relax. Or if the water is more relaxing your alternative for a relaxing ride will be the Liberty Square Riverboat. (more…)

A Little More MyMagic+

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

A little more information is leaking regarding the MyMagic+ wristbands. Walt Disney World Hotel bookers and Annual passes will get the bands at no extra costs but the future plan is to have all guests wear a wristbands with the RFID integrated.

The wristbands will be available in different colors or themes. Some of these Disney themes can be from a Pirates of the Caribbean, some of the Pixar characters, Disney princesses and many more. It is also rumored that there could be some special wristbands done by other companies like Dooney & Burke and Swarovski and for those that don’t like wearing anything around their wrist there might be alternatives coming in the form of keychains and other jewelry.

MyMagic+

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Disney has made it official, the Next-gen technology will be introduced soon under “MyMagic+” for the Walt Disney World resort. With this new tool Disney guests will be able to create their Disney vacation from the comfort of their own home. Guest will be able to use a new website “My Disney Experience” where they will be able to book dinner reservations and other Disney experiences. There will also be an option to book a selection of FastPass+ to avoid not only the lines at the attractions but also a visit to the FasPass booths.

The FastPass+ option will not only include attractions but will have Character meet and greet, preferred firework and parade viewing place and other options. The firework and Parade option could be your key to make sure to see your favorites from a dedicated space every time you want. (I know I’ll be booking Illuminations on many nights once available).

To be able to take advantage of all the early bookings guest will be provided a special RFID wristband named “MagicBand”. This wristband will serve as your hotel room key, park admission, the FastPass+ pre-booked options, your personal photopass and will even have an integrated payment option. The later one might come with a code once spending will reach a certain amount. This to protect the owners in case they would loose their wristband and to avoid those dishonest guests from plundering your account.

With the personal information saved on your wristband character will now also be able to know your name and use it when you visit them. Imagine the faces of the children when talking Mickey comes up to them and knows their names. This might not be for integrated in the early phase of the project, but one that is sure one of the many future options that will find it’s way into the system.

There is no specific date yet when the MyMagic+ will completely take over, but it is slowly finding it ways into the park as some guests already have been part of the testing phase.

Also read the WDWnewstoday article. They where the first to bring out this exciting news. Also visit the Disneyparks blog for some more pictures.

Picture copyrights Disney

Universal vs. Disney: The Tolkien Round!

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Universal did it again! At least if these rumors are indeed correct as no official announcements are made yet. Universal gets the rights to build the Lord of the Ring attractions in their park. This is yet another fantastic move that will bring over even more people to the parks. Harry Potter already proofed success and with Lord of the Rings they will do it again. This franchise is so big, popular and timeless that guest numbers for the park will grow for sure.

Queues for the Harry Potter attractions are stupendously long and will get even bigger once the second phase is in place. Once Lords of the Rings and the Hobbit will make it to the park another big fan followers will find their way to the Universal Studios getting those visitor numbers way up. Orlando visitors will need to find a way to see all the stuff and while their holiday might not get extended, a visit to Universal might. As guest might have to find that extra day for Universal, this could cost Disney some visitors.

OK, Disney just got the big Star Wars deal, the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, the rumored Carsland for Hollywood Studios and… Avatar for Animal Kingdom. Fantasyland is already proofing to be a success for Disney and depending on their Star Wars plans will have another crowd pleaser. As long as it will be spectacular and the Imagineers get to do something with it. Avatar is still another story in my honest opinion. Avatar might still see two more movies and although this will keep the franchise alive, it is in no way as timeless as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Never the less, it is exciting to see how the theme parks are creating new wonderful stuff. The Lord of the Rings deal will make Disney work their hardest to bring out their best of the best and the real winners are we, the fans and the guests.

Make sure to visit us regularly as we will report on all the new Orlando area park stuff once we know more.

Different Angles at Walt Disney World

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Visiting a Walt Disney World park is all about fun. Fun at the attractions, at the eateries, at the hotel, and a lot more. For some guests one fun element about visiting the parks taking pictures. Me, I am one of these people.

Unfortunately not everybody in my family appreciates the constant stopping to take pictures, but I love it and can’t help myself taking pictures all the time. I did keep my promise to my son to leave the camera at the hotel on some days, but on other days I just clicked away.

A fun thing about taking pictures at Walt Disney World is trying to find some angles that are a little more uncommon. I am no fan of pictures with a lot of strangers on it and therefor I am always trying to find spots where I can leave the tourists out of my frame. By doing this I look at some spots that others might not use to take a picture from. It adds to the fun and gives a whole new look to the park.

It’s not always easy to get that shot without the other guests, but if I take my time I’ll find the right place for yet another unusual picture.

In this collection you can see how I try to get the castle from another view using some of the greenery that surrounds the castle. You can even get the castle into a green frame if you look around a little. Or you can use some of the rock works in the area to create some extra dept. It will not be your average holiday picture but could compliment them nicely when creating that photo book you want to show off. And don’t forget that you can never have enough pictures of the castle anyway, so why not try to find that different angle.

You can do the same thing with other iconic buildings in the park. Get that amazing Tower of Terror Hollywood Hotel popping up from behind some trees. Get a far shot of Expedition Everest without all the action around it or even get a close up from part of the iconic Spaceship Earth building. These are only a couple of ideas as there are unlimited options on taking that different pictures.

The picture I make are not that hard to take. You don’t need a big fancy camera (although those little point and shoots might be not the best option). These pictures are in no way professional and can be taken by anybody with some imagination. Of course you will be able to get even better shots with that big special camera, but for those that don’t want to spend to much on the equipment should just use the camera they own. At the end of the day it’s all about having some fun.

If you do like those amazing spectacular pictures have a look at this collection of Disneyland Paris gems in our side glance category!

Underneath some more pictures from another angle

Only an Empty Queue…

Monday, July 16th, 2012

…is a good queue. Who really likes standing in a long queue? Would it not be nicer to just walk straight on to the attraction. It is possible. Just have a look at the picture of the Big Thunder Mountain Queue in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Doesn’t that look like a queue you want to see on your visit? I know I do. This pictures dates back to December 25. That’s a very busy period for Walt Disney World, but you can still plan to enter one of your favorite attractions without the long queue. Even on busy days. So you might already have an idea when this was taken. Right. Very early in the morning. But it is well worth getting up for.

I know and understand that many people see it as a holiday and want to sleep in a little. But when you get up early you can do many rides with these kinds of queues. Once the clock hits 11AM the guests seem to flog the park. (You can set you clock to it). By that time I’ve done multiple attractions (in this case I did BTM 3 times without a queue) and you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the pool…. stress free!

WDW Planning Part 1: How Far Do You Plan in Advance?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

When it comes to a Disney trip, planning is part of the fun. It not only give you that knowledge you’ll be going, but you will have some Disney magic going for you before the trip itself. Most trips might get planned a couple of months in advanced, but when it comes to a Walt Disney World trip, planning can start a lot earlier. Sometimes over a year in advance! At least that’s how I work when it comes to planning a WDW trip.

First question of course is when to go. In my family’s case options are limited because of school time. So our trip needs to be molded around that for most of the time. That gives us two options for our next trip.

Option one; A trip during Christmas and New year 2013/2014.

Option two; A trip starting from the middle of June 2014.

No, no! Those dates are correct. Our next family trip will be somewhere in 2013 and/or 2014. Is that planning it to far ahead? It looks far away and one might feel a little sad if you still have to wait that long but when you look at it from the bright side, with this early planning, I’ll be having a lot of fun.

So there are 2 possible dates as I mentioned before. This could be the last two weeks of December and a week in January or it could be the last two weeks on June and the first week in July. Both dates have their advantages and disadvantages. Heavy Christmas crowds can be a little daunting but you’ll be away from the summer heat while early summer period will still be low on crowds (US schools still in session, but the heat might already be a struggle. Of course there are other things to look at but these are just a couple of examples. Although we love the Christmas time (our last trip was during the holidays), the second option looks like the one we will go for this time.

So what do I plan so far in advance (once we set the date)? Although you can’t book a hotel yet looking at the locations where to stay is one of the first things I do for my family and me. As we are Disney Vacation Club Members it is also a bit of a given that this takes place so far in advance. We need to make sure to book at the 11 month window, otherwise we might not be able to get the room we want. So this is a good reason to start booking so early. Or maybe it is just another excuse to start planning over a year in advance. The hotels are a part of the Disney Magic, so it can happen that we do some Hotel hopping and stay at different resort. I would love to stay a couple of days at the new Disney’s Art of Animation resort. Just to see and experience it as it looks great. Another place I would love to stay at is either the Disney’s Beach Club Villas or the Disney’s Board Walk Villas. I love that erea and it would give me easy access to my favorite park with my favorite show; Epcot and Illuminations. But our main home resort is Old Key West, so it is no surprise that this one will be the one we will stay at the longest. Will I do have some Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vacation Club point too, we might use these for another location this time around.

More in Part two!

Don’t be late!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

FastPass has been part of a Walt Disney World visit since years. You get your FastPass for the attraction you want to visit and then you enjoy the rest of the park until it’s time to return on the designated time printed on the ticket without the long queue. There are, however, some changes coming our way. The rumour has been out for a while but now it looks like the Disney company is preparing their cast Members to enforce a new rule. While it was normal to stop people to enter an attraction before their time frame started it was also custom to let anybody on with a FastPass that already expired. (As long as it was for that day). 

With the new rules in place however, this will no longer be possible. According to the rumours FastPasses will no longer be accepted after their time frame. There might be a 15 minute window after the printed time, but once that has past the ticket will no longer be valid.

The other change might be that they will also open a small early window for those arriving 5 minutes before their FastPass printed time. This might help to get rid of the blockage in front of a FastPass entry by those turning up a little early and where asked to wait. Will it works? Only time will tell.

(via screamscape)

Disney Parks InsidEARS

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Are you a Disney fan and can’t stop talking about the parks? Always sharing everything you know to those that want to listen? Are you, day in and day out, sharing your love for the park to everyone? But it’s still not enough and you want to share even more. Well, then you should have a look at the new Disney program where Disney fans can share their knowledge with the rest of the world as a member of the Disney parks InsidEARS project.

Disney fans like you and me can become part of the program to help Disney park visitors from all over to create their perfect trip. What better place to get your tips from then from those enthusiasts that visit the parks again and again.

The program has just been launched and is still in testing phase, but with a new site up it will not be long before the first Disney Parks InsidEARS will start helping spreading the magic.  To be able to become part of this program you will have to visit their website regularly for updates to find out on how to become part of this. Sounds like fun, something most of us Disney fans would love (and already do a lot). We never get tired of talking about the parks, don’t you agree?

More info on the Disney Parks InsidEARS website.

Picture copyrights Disney

Trip Diaries Day Seven: Christmas Day!

Monday, January 9th, 2012

You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to be able to enjoy some attractions without queues. I don’t like long queues and as it are the holidays I will need to do something nobody really likes; getting up early. So up at 6am and at the park at 6:58am, just in time for 7am early extra magic opening hour on this Christmas day at the Magic Kingdom.

Honestly, I don’t know any better way to celebrate the holidays as an early entree into the park. Unfortunately I was the only one in the family that could get out of bed that early for a second time in a row, so the first part of today I was alone. But that didn’t stop me from having some fun at Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and my beloved TTA and all without the queues. What else to do? How about a picture taking bonanza. Not everybody loves it that I take my camera around, so this was a great opportunity to get some extra photo’s from the Kingdom. I also got a good look at the new Fantasyland and what I can see so far looks amazing. Can’t wait to see the finished land once ready and open.

But a Christmas day isn’t a Christmas day without a traditional Turkey dinner,… or lunch (as it was in our case). So back to Old Key West and meet up with my family at Olivia’s for just that. And guess what? It was great! A real nice lunch and one of my favourites on this trip. It wasn’t too busy either during the afternoon.

After lunch we got to go to Animal Kingdom. A guest leaving the park gave us 5 unused FastPasses for Expedition Everest. Nice! But we had enough time to see some apes first. We got there just in time to see them being fed a small snack by a Castmember. One of the big apes sat at the edge while he was thrown fruit to which he caught and ate. That was fun. We didn’t do much else in AK, but sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy the park without running from attraction to attraction.

A great Christmas day, but perfect when it ended with my all time favourite, Illuminations. Yes, that’s three parks on Christmas day, but it was well worth it.

Info: As I am back home from a great trip expect some more updates the next couple of days.

Walt Disney World

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It has been a while… Well it has been way to long, but we are still here. Let’s just say it has been a hectic time where posting on the blog came to a stop. But what better time to revise the blog with some live updates from Walt Disney World itself. We are not there yet, but a trip is very close. It’s actually so close I can taste it. Well, maybe not taste it, but surely feel some butterflies in my tummy. In a couple of days we will be in Orlando and a couple of days later we will be at Walt Disney World. So what’s the plan! Live picture updates from the parks!!! Well, not 100% live of course. Updates will come at the evening, after we had fun in and around the Disney parks. So add us to your favorites and make sure to come and visit us a lot in the coming weeks and celebrate Christmas and New Year in Disney style.

Make sure to ad our twitter account and our facebook account to your favorites too

Saturday Party Time with 40 Candles

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Walt Disney World is  getting ready for the Magic Kingdom’s 40th anniversary celebration with special shows and merchandise. Saturday is the big day, Magic Kingdom is turning 40 years young and to celebrate the occasion guests will be invited to a special parade of costumed characters, extended Wishes firework and special 40th anniversary merchandise that not only can be bought on the day but will have the artist designing them signed too. But that’s not all. The Dapper Dans Barbershop quartet will also be part of the celebration. There will be singers, Dancers and even daytime pyrotechnics during the whole day.

Expect some 40 years of memories en magic shared during this special day. For those planning to visit the park on Saturday. Opening times are 9am to midnight! Enjoy the festivities.

Hello Mousekingdom Blog Visitors

Monday, September 19th, 2011

It has been a while since we spread some Disney magic but it time for a return. After a couple of hectic weeks I am ready again to fill these pages.

So please make sure to visit us again and spread the word.

Also check out our twitter page, Facebook page and our sister website DLP.info.

And now, let’s get on with the show….

D23 Fantasyland Model

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Picture of the big Fantasyland Model taken at the D23 Expo. Get a glimpse of what the new Fantasyland will look like in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Click the picture for a big size picture!