Thursday, August 16, 2012

News Flash! Reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant at New Fantasyland (MK) Open on August 20th at 7AM (note the change from Noon)!

From the Disney Parks Blog:

"Ready, set, make your reservations beginning at noon August 20 at 407-WDW-DINE for Be Our Guest Restaurant in the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

You can make reservations up to 180 days out – the very first seating will be for dinner on November 19 by calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463), or visiting any Guest Relations theme park location or Guest Services desk at a resort. Online reservations will be available August 22 by visiting www.disneyworld.com/dine."

Artist Rendering of the Be Our Guest Restaurant Coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Announcing The Monogrammed Mouse Exchange!

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new endeavor, which you can now find on Facebook -- The Monogrammed Mouse Exchange. The Monogrammed Mouse Exchange is a place to buy, sell or swap your children's boutique-quality, personalized, monogrammed, or smocked Disney clothing. Listings are FREE!

Are you looking for a place to sell those precious Disney outfits your children have outgrown? If so, The Monogrammed Mouse Exchange is your place! The Facebook page offers a place to buy, sell or swap your gently-used Disney clothing. There are plenty of other families looking for the perfect Mickey/Minnie shirt, smocked Disney Princess dress or accessory to make their little one’s trip extra-magical (and their Disney photos extra-cute!). The Monogrammed Mouse Exchange is a FREE shopping site for buyers and sellers who wish to list their personalized/monogrammed, or other boutique-quality Disney children's clothing and accessories.

So, sellers pull out those old Disney clothes and start listing so buyers can start shopping! Details on how to list items on the The Monogrammed Mouse Exchange can be found on the Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Disney Food Blog's Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Available Now!

Don't be fooled by the title - there is nothing "mini" about the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book, which gives you all the information you need to maximize your experience at the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The festival runs from September 28th through November 12th, and tickets for special events go on sale today!


"The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book has the very best tips, information, and advice to be sure you enjoy every minute of your time at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! With over 160 pages of information, you can plan ahead and be ready to dive right in as soon as you arrive. So much is going on at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival this year; make sure you don’t have any regrets after you leave!"

We took a quick spin through the e-book last night, and, as always with the DFB guides, it is fantastic - can't wait to read through it in greater depth over the coming weeks, although it's a bit disappointing since our family won't be making it down to the festival this year. Of course, the more time we spend looking at the great photos and reading the reviews of all the delicious foods and fantastic experiences described in the DFB Mini-Guide, the more likely we are to find a way to make a trip down to WDW and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival happen!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Discount WDW Passes for "Convetionears"

Here's a great (and little-known) tip for those visiting the Orlando area for conferences or other meetings - Disney has a special ticketing website just for you! This site allows individuals traveling to the Orlando area for conferences and meetings to purchase discount tickets for themselves as well family members and friends to visit the Disney Parks before, during, and after the conference/meeting dates.  Tickets are only good for specified days, must be purchased in advance with sufficient lead time to be obtained by mail, and are only available to those legitimately attending a meeting or conference in Orlando. 

One of the best features of this ticketing program is that it allows individuals to purchase deeply-discounted tickets to attend a Disney Park after 2pm, or after 4pm - that way you can visit a park after your conference and not pay for a full day's admission.

To find out more, visit the Disney Conventionears website.

A tip of the mouse ears to dear friend DCS, who spurred the research that led to my discover of this ticketing program.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review of Character Dining Experiences

Wondering what character dining experience is best for your family? If so, Touring Plans has put together a very informative series of blog posts detailing each of the character meals. For more information on a particular location/experience, click on the link below. Each particular character dining location features a different assortment of characters, food and atmosphere. Our family has found character dining to be a fun way to meet characters that allows you to enjoy a meal in the air-conditioning and not waste valuable park time standing in line (often out in the heat). While some experiences are expensive (Cinderella's Royal Table and Chef Mickey's to name a couple of examples), we've found them to be worth the splurge. Note that many of these experience fill-up quickly, so be sure to make your advanced dining reservation (ADR) well in advance of your trip (up to 180 days out).

Magic Kingdom - Crystal Palace

Beach Club Resort - Cape May

Epcot - Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway) 

Epcot - Garden Grill

Contemporary Resort - Chef Mickey's

Hollywood Studios - Disney Junior Play 'n Dine at Holllywood & Vine

Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Royal Table

Animal Kingdom - Tusker House

Planning WDW is happy to provide information on our own experience at Chef Mickey's character breakfast, as well as Garden Grove, located at the Swan Resort, which as not yet been a focus of Touring Plans' series.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Participating in WDW Parades and Shows

Want to find out how you can star in a Disney Parks parade or show? Touring Plans has a great article about the options available for you and your family to add some extra magic to your Disney vacation by partaking in a live performance, parade, or other interactive experience. Find out more on the Touring Plans blog. Whether it's dressing as a pirate or princess; being the lucky family selected to lead a parade, or a veteran being honored in the flag retreat ceremony on Main Street USA, there is something for everyone who wants to play an extra part in the daily Disney magic.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Captain Jack Sparrow Attraction Coming to Hollywood Studios in the Fall

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will open at Hollywood Studios this fall, in the space formerly housing the Narnia attraction.  Find out more here.




Tickets for WDW Halloween and Christmas Events On-Sale Now

Tickets went on sale today for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Find out more information from the Official Disney Blog. Purchase your tickets online in advance to save up to $10 per ticket.

Dates Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:
  •  September 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28 and 30
  • October 4, 5, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30 and 31
  • November 2

Dates for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:

  • November 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29 and 30
  • December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21

Friday, April 27, 2012

Touring Plan's Launches WDW Dining/Menu Resource

Touring Plans, one of our absolute favorite Disney travel-planning and time/lines management resources, hosts a fantastic dining resource as well that allows you to search based on menu items, among other things. The resource is available on their website and also through the Touring Plans Lines App for your mobile device. 

Disney Announces Opening Dates for Next Phase of Fantasyland Expansion

Check out the latest update from the Disney Parks Blog regarding the opening dates for the next phases of the Fantasyland Expansion.
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Monday, April 23, 2012

Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks

According to today's Disney Parks Blog, Starbucks is coming to the Disney Parks.  I'm not a huge Starbucks fan (don't drink coffee, and their tea selection isn't anything special), so I can take or leave this news. However, it seems that coffee drinkers are very excited to have quality coffee in the parks (apparently Nescafe is not very good...) I just hope the Starbucks outlets truly do blend appropriately into the Disney theming for each park. What do you think? Is this a good move? Starbucks junkies and coffee drinkers will obviously be pleased, and it could be a good partnership for the parks so long as these venues are more Disney and less Starbucks in their appearance and operation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WDW Room Requests

Here's an excellent article from Touring Plans that is full of tips on how to request a particular room at a WDW Resort hotel.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sneak Peak at the Be Our Guest Restaurant

Sneak Peak at the Be our Guest Restaurant and great article by AJ at the Disney Food Blog covering some of the details on this new restaurant opening later this year as part of the Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kids' Disney Guide and Activity Book

This looks like a really cool guide and activity book for kids. Has anyone purchased this and put it to use? Note the special offer for AllEars readers.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Orlando Area Marriott Properties Offering Disney Deals

Several Orlando-area Marriott properties are offering Disney lodging and ticket deals. Book by June 30, 2012 with promotion code THM.
Sample image of one of the Orlando-area Marriott properties.

One More Disney Day

Envious of those enjoying "One More Disney Day" at Walt Disney World or Disneyland!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tips for Photographing at Crowded Parks (Disney Photography Blog)

Taking great photos at Disney can be tough even when you're not fighting the crowds. Hopefully you've found a way to get your great shots while avoiding the crowds. If not, check out these fanatastic tips from the Disney Photography Blog.

Mobile Magic App for Verizon Customers Now Available on iPhone!

Disney's Mobile Magic App for Verizon customers is now available on iPhone! This a a great (and free) resource that was previously not avialable on the iPhone. Download it from the iTunes Store today!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fantasyland Expansion Update

Part of new Fantastyland Expnasion to open next month; Snow White's Scary Adventures to end on May 31. Find out more here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Great Article on the Importance of Planning your Disney Vacation

Here's a great article from my hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on the importance of planning for your Disney vacation.  The article also highlights one of our absolute favorite resources; Touring Plans. I can say enough about how critical it is to plan your Disney vacation well in advance in order to avoid crowds, save money, and do all of the activities you want to do at Disney World. Your advanced planning will make the trip a more magical one for your entire family. Plus, if you are like me, you'll enjoy the planning process itself!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Disney Food Blog - Character Dining Guide

Trying to decide what character meal is right for your family or just want to learn more about the various character meal opportunities at Walt Disney World? Check out the Disney Food Blog's Disney World Character Meals Guide.

Happy Valentine's Day! Romantic Dining at WDW on any budget

Here's a nice article from the local Orlando news station with ideas for romantic dining at Walt Disney World.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Disney Value Resorts - Worth the Value?

Trying to decide if a Disney Value Resort is right for your family (and worth the value)? Find out more in this article from Touring Plans.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fast Pass Enforcement Changes

Beginning March 7th, 2012, WDW is changing its Fast Pass return policy. Find out more from Touring Plans.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

RunDisney Events at WDW

For those runners out there, here's a list of Disney's upcoming race events. Personally, I don't run and frankly don't enjoy running, but a Disney event may be what I need to motivate me. Would love to run one of these races one day.

Disney Food for Families: Fun Without Characters (Courtesy of DFB)

Another great article from the Disney Food Blog. While character meals are an amazing experience at WDW, and something we try to do at least once every trip, there are plenty of other great restaurants and dining experiences for you and your family to create magical memories that do not involve characters. Dining at Disney is one of our favorite activities at the Parks and these are some great recommendations.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Walt Disney World. . . with Duplos!

Just another Saturday morning in our household, creating Walt Disney World out of Duplos... 


Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Tomorrowland Speedway
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Journey into Imagination with Figment
Jungle Cruise
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Cinderella's Castle
Aerial view of the Park

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finding the Least Expensive Disney Park Pass

If you are trying to decide which Disney park pass is best for you and your family, Touring Plan's Ticket Calculator can help you find the lease expensive ticket based on a variety of preferences/factors. 

Disney has a Joy Division-Inspired T-Shirt?!

I am totally loving this new Disney t-shirt, inspired by the cover art from Joy Division's debut album
"Unknown Pleasures." I know a lot of Joy Division fans are probably apalled, but frankly, I like it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Disney Recipe: Tonga Toast

Okay, I admit - I have never had Tonga Toast. But man, does this look delicious. Will definitely have to make this at home - too long to wait until the next trip to WDW to get it in-person at the Polynesian Resort! You can find the full recipe on the Disney Taste website.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

President Reagan Inauguration Parade at Epcot - 1985

The president spoke today at WDW, encouraging foreign tourism to the U.S. Apparently he was just the fourth sitting president to visit WDW. In doing a little research, I came across this historical gem - President Ronald Reagan speaking at an inaugural event celebrating his second inauguration - how cool is that? If I were ever elected president, I would definitely host an event at WDW!

WDW: Driving Yourself or Using Disney Transportation

Trying to decide whether to drive to Walt Disney World or fly and rely on WDW transportation? Here are a pair of articles from Touring Plans to help you determine which option is best for you and your family.



We are from Georgia, so have the luxury of driving to WDW. While we will occasionally utilize the WDW transportation system (e.g, riding the monorail between resorts or taking the buses if we stay on-property), we really enjoy the freedom of having our own car for many of the reasons outlined in the first article above.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Disney Launches New Website for Expecting and New Parents

Disney has just launched a new website, Disney Baby, for expecting and new parents - great timing for us with a new baby on the way in March! The theme is "magical moments...happening daily" - "[f]rom feel-good products to inspired ideas, find everything you need to add a dash of magic to your everyday moments."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bringing Your Own Food into the Disney Parks

Ever thought about bringing your own own food and drinks into the Disney Parks? We bring our own snacks and drinks every time we head to the parks - you can save a lot of money by doing so, particularly with bottled water and Coca-Cola products - it's not like these particular items are any less magical than what you buy in the parks! You can put the money you save towards special Disney snacks and meals. Here is a great Q&A with the Disney Food Blog on what (very limited) restrictions exist with respect to what items you can bring into the parks - for the most part, you can bring in whatever you wish. I always find this to be a great policy.

Free Stuff at WDW!

Here's a great entry from Touring Plans on tracking down free stuff at WDW.  You'll find many of these tips individually discussed throughout our blog, but this post does a great job of summarizing many of these ideas and much more. You can also read more on the subject of free activities at WDW on our previous post, courtesy of Mousesavers. I'm particularly fond of collecting the park maps and celebration buttons - these are great, tangible items to bring home from your trip that won't cost a thing! Hey, a trip to Walt Disney World can quickly get very expensive, so any tips that help you save money are well worth a read!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Disney Pins

Never really gotten into the Disney pin-collecting craze, although always consider it when we're down at WDW. Wouldn't have a clue where to begin, though! Want to find out more? Check out the official Disney pins website. Maybe next time we're at the World, I'll have to pick-up a couple of favorite charcters/attractions to get a collection started. Or, perhaps a good idea to let the kid(s) pick-out a pin each year to start a collection and celebrate each trip to Disney with a unique souvenir. Note, we actually did find this pin stuck to the tire of our stroller on one visit, so I guess we do have a collection started - and not a bad one to start with either - the character that launched it all!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom Unveiled for Testing

It looks like Disney is now testing its new interactive Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom game. Find out more here. Touring Plans also has a great first-hand review of the new game.

Here's more from the Disney Parks Blog on the upcoming full roll-out of the new interactive experience.

map courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog



Tips for Healthy Eating at Walt Disney World

If you are anything like me, you usually throw the diet out the window when you're at WDW (or on vacation generally). However, for those of you with a stronger resolve to stick to the diet, here are some options for healthy-eating at Disney.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What's Coming to Disney World in 2012

Here's an overview from the Disney Parks Blog on some of the exciting things coming to WDW in 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One More Disney Day - Parks to Stay Open for 24 Hours on February 29th!

Disney's big New Year's Eve annoucement was that, for the first time ever, both the Magivc Kingdom a Disney World and Disneyland would remain open for 24 hours straight!Find out more details here: One More Disney Day

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Walt Disney World Resort Videos from AllEars

Trying to decide where to stay on-property at WDW but overwhelmed by all of the choices? Not sure what a particular resort is like? Here is a cracking resource from AllEars to help you make your decision - video clips of each of the WDW resorts! AllEars' collection includes resort overview videos as well as videos showcasing the interior of guest rooms.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Epcot: Christkindlmarkt at Germany Pavilion

If you've ever had the chance to visit Germany or Austria during the Christmas season, you'll be familiar with the wonderful tradition of ChristKindlmarkts, or Christmas Markets. The Germany Pavilion at Epcot has its own min-version during the Christmas season, complete with  gluhwein and Radeberger pilsener. Check out the Disney Food Blog for more information.  It was a little too warm to properly enjoy gluhwein (hot, spiced wine) while we were there, but the pilsener hit the spot!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lego Imagination Center at Downtown Disney

If you've got kids (or adults) in your traveling party that love Legos, you must check out Downtown Disney's Lego Imagination Center, where you can view, build and buy all sorts of amazing Lego creations. Our son loved it so much we visited it twice!




Golden Oak Outpost Dining Update

Well, it looks like one of our favorite quick service dining spots may no longer be a satisfying option. The Golden Oak Outpost appears to now only be serving hotdogs and fries. Further, when we visited last week, the Outpost didn't appear to be even open...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hidden Mickeys at the Polynesian Resort

Off-Limit Attractions for Expectant Mothers at WDW

Here's a list of the attractions at the WDW theme parks that explicitely state that expectant mothers should not ride.

Animal Kingdom:
-Dinosaur
-Expedition Everest
-Kali River Rapids
-Kilimanjaro Safari

-Primeval Whirl

EPCOT:

-Mission Space
-Test Track


Magic Kingdom:
-Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
-Space Mountain
-Splash Mountain
-Tomorrowland Speedway

Hollywood Studios:
-Rock N Roller Coaster
-Star Tours
-Tower of Terror

Of course, you should always check with your physician regarding any other constraints, don't over do it and use common sense when touring the parks while pregnant. For more advice, click here.

Complimentary WiFi expanding at WDW Resorts

Disney has recently expanded the coverage of free WiFi at its resorts to cover some of the resorts' public areas. Find out more here.

Dining Review: Kringla Bakeri (EP)

The Kringla Bakeri in the Norway Pavilion is hands down a MUST stop snack spot at EPCOT. In particular, you've got to try the Norway School Bread. This sweet treat is a delicious, custard-filled dessert along the lines of a creme-filled donut.

Photo courtesy of the Disney Food Blog
If you love the school bread want to attempt to make it at home, here's the recipe.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

it's a small world Storybook App Available on iTunes

There's a fun new iTunes sotrybook app from Disney - it's a small world, featuring the classic song and animation. Relieve the memories of your recent trip or get in the spirit for your next!

Christmas at Disney: Gingerbread

If you're fortunate enough to visit WDW at Christmas, be sure to take the time to visit the resorts (and the Liberty Inn at Epcot's American Pavilion) to take in all of the gingerbread creations.  You can find gingerbread creations at several of the resorts (Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Beach Club, Boardwalk) and the Liberty Inn. We spent two days touring of the various resorts to view the gingerbread creations and the other Christmas decorations, dividing the days between the Magic Kingdom (Monorail) resorts and the Boardwalk-area resorts.

Beach Club Resort Gingerbread Carousel

Boardwalk Resort Gingerbread Gazeebo


Contemporary Resort

Grand Floridian life-size Gingerbread House

Liberty Inn at the American Pavilion (Epcot)


Beach Club Gingerbread Carousel

Boardwalk Gingerbread Gazeebo