Finding Dory in Japan

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

NemoRide

Pixar is giving us a new Nemo adventure on the big screen but the Oriental Land Company is giving their guests a new Nemo attraction in the parks. OLC has just announced the new attraction for Tokyo DisneySea. The attraction will be themed to the well beloved Finding Nemo movie and the upcoming Finding Dory movie. The ride will be created with the help of the Finding Nemo movie production staff. They will be helping with the visuals of the new experience.

NemoRide2The ride will be placed in the Port Discovery section of the park. It will replace the existing StormRider simulator. The StormRider attraction is set to close in May 2016 so construction for the new Nemo ride can start with a target opening planned for Spring 2017.

The attraction will take place in a submarine. Guests taking place inside the sub will shrink to the size of the fish around them and will then be taken on an adventure by Nemo and Dory.

Pictures copyright Disney

Hatbox Ghost Behind The Scene

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Disney Imagineers have released a video with a behind the scene look of the Hatbox Ghost they just added in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

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.

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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…)

Buy, Sell or Hold

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

DISsymbolDisney Shares are doing well. They have been going up for years and if you’re lucky enough to have bought them back in September 2011 you would have paid around $35, making it a nice return at the $110 per share it is going for at this time. But don’t go and sell them now, even with this nice return. Analysts predict they’ll keep going up and advice to hold and to even buy more of them.

However, dividends are low at this price. Buying at $110 will give you a 1.03% dividend at this moment. Low for those that like the dividend game. Still, the dividend payout growth did shot up around 26.8% over the last five years and analysts see this going up in the future to.

So! What do you think? Buy, Sell, Hold? Or would you rather invest in tickets for your next visit to a Disney park

New Lands for Tokyo Disneyland

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

TokyoAlice280415The Oriental Land Company has released new artwork for Tokyo Disneyland’s Fantasyland project.

On the first piece of artwork an area is showing off an Alice in Wonderland theme, while a second picturesshows the entrance of the Beauty & The Beast “Be Out Guest” area. Looks like Tokyo will be getting their own version of this popular Walt Disney World restaurant.

TokyoBeOurGuestThese new lands are part of a huge redevelopment of Fantasyland and more new or different themes might find their way into the park. There is no fixed information when to expect the new Fantasyland to open, but we can expect it to open in phases as it will be a big undertaking. Opening of the first phase can be expected somewhere in 2017.

A third piece of artwork the Oriental Land Company has released is for DisneySea. A new port will be build inside this beautiful park carrying a Scandinavia theme. Part of the area will be themed after the Disney hit Frozen. The Arendelle castle is clearly recognisable on the artwork. It looks as if there is enough room for a Frozen attraction inside the mountains. Again, no info on opening dates except to expect it somewhere in 2017.

DisneySeaUpdate280415

There you have it, another reason to plan a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. As if one needs another reason!

Pictures courtesy of the Oriental Land Company

Disney… I miss you

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Epcot15

Hello to all Disney fans around the globe. It has been a while, but as you can see on the title… I missed it. Am I back? I hope so as I do miss talking about Disney, especially the parks. With one, maybe even two, trips in to Walt Disney World the planning I thought it would be a good time to try and revive this blog. It might take a while… it will take a while, but I am sure with your help and support we could return to our former self.

Castle15So, where have I been all this time? I wish I could say at a Disney park, but most of the time that is not so. Although, during my absence from the blog, I did visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. Even so, I still miss Disney at this time. And I am sure I will not be the only one. So let’s talk Disney shall we.

See you on the blog and make sure to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter too.

Universal Ticket Prices UP

Monday, May 20th, 2013

rogueatioa.jpgUniversal Orlando has raised their day tickets up to $92 for a one day, one park ticket. With this they are the first park to ask above the $90 and are now “only” $8 away from a three digit ticket price. It will come sooner as you will want to.

Other ticket combinations also changed. For example a one ticket, two parks will now set you back $128

Normally, when one of the big players in Orlando raises their ticket price, the other players are not far behind. If this trend continues we might see Walt Disney World and SeaWorld do the same in the very near future. A Walt Disney World one day tickets cost you $89 at the moment.

Sometimes I wonder how they calculate their increasing as they are certainly not following your regular inflation. For those that like some history; in 1971, when Walt Disney World opened, a ticket to the Magic Kingdom would set you back $3.50. (although you did need to buy extra tickets for the attractions. These where Adventures Books and started at $4.50 for 7 tickets)

Disney Vacation Club Villas at Grand Floridian Sales starting Dates

Monday, May 20th, 2013

DVCFloridian

Disney Vacation Club will start their sales for the new Floridian Villas as from the 23rd of May 2013. This date is only for current members who want to add on some extra points to their portfolio. New buyers will have to wait a little longer (June 19) before they can buy their forst share in the magic.

No news on pricing yet, but this will come out very soon. Add on minimum will be 25 points while new members will have to get the usual 160 points (unless changed again for this resort). More early info can be found via the DVC Facebook page at this time.

Get your points for some more “Welcome Home” magic

Picture copyrights Disney

Amazing Image of the Shanghai Disney Project

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

disneyShanghaiPark

Walt Disney Chairman CEO Robert Igor showed a first piece of artwork from the new Shanghai Disneyland project during today’s Shareholder meeting. The park is planned to open its gates in 2015 to the first visitors. Still a little time to go, but until then Disney fans can already gaze upon what might become an amazing Kingdom.

“We believe this will be one of the most spectacular Disney experiences yet – and an important part of our future. We look forward to opening the gates at the end of 2015 and welcoming the first of the millions of guests who will enjoy Shanghai Disneyland for generations to come.” R. Iger.

The image shows the center of the Disneyland park, including the Enchanted Storybook Castle, a very green central plaza, a carousel and (what looks like) the Walt and Mickey storytellers statue from Disney California Adventure. This will be an amazing project to follow, but will be even more amazing once finished.

Picture copyrights Disney.

Tony Baxter Leaving Imagineering

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

TonyBmaster3It is something that would have to happen at some stage, but I don’t think anybody really was prepared for it to happen at this time or any time. Tony Baxter is leaving his Senior Vice President position within the Imagineers department at Disney. He might not leave completely as he will take a role as a part time advisor.

Tony has been part of the Disney family for more then 30 years. He started in Disneyland as an ice cream vendor when he was 17 years young. Over 30 years later he became a well love Disney Imagineer that brought some incredible magic to Disney. Some of his greatest works include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Re-designing complete lands like Disneyland’s Tomorrowland (in 1998) and Disneyland’s Fantasyland (in 1983). He is also the man that created a big part of our beloved Disneyland  Paris.

I was privileged and lucky enough to have been able to meet this Disney icon in person. Not only was I able to hear his stories about the creation of Disneyland Paris (a full transcript can be found here), but I was able to give him a copy of Brits Guide to Disneyland I was the main researched for, but he also signed a copy, congratulated and thanked me for the work on the book. To me, as a Disney enthusiast, that meant a lot. Thank you Tony for all the things you’ve done.

AN OPEN LETTER TO FELLOW IMAGINEERS (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

Disneyland… every Day

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Would it not be fun to visit Disneyland on a daily basis? Both Jeff Reitz and Tonya Mickesh where thinking the same thing. The couple had lost their jobs but where given each an annual pass for Disneyland by a friend. While searching for new jobs they decided to also visit the park on a daily basis during 2012. Once they would find jobs to visits would be less. So they said, but once they did get a job both still went every day. Not an easy task as the worked during different times and sometimes had to go alone. One day even almost didn’t make it in time to set their record.

During their time at Disneyland the became know as the Daily couple and befriended with a lot of the Cast Members. After the year they also became honorary citizens of Disneyland. What a great and fun achievement. I wouldn’t mind visiting a Disney park a day. If only I lived a little closer.

Visit the link to see some great pictures from their trips.

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.