Updated February 12th 2017 Disney theme park prices have gone up once again. In this article you’ll see how to lock in the discount prices on Disneyland and Walt Disney World prices before they are gone forever.
Disneyland has increased prices on all one day, multi day tickets, and some Annual Passports.
In Walt Disney World, the prices for the one day tickets, multi day tickets, and some Annual Passports will increase.
There are some tricks that will allow you to lock in exclusive discounted prices on the current Disneyland and Walt Disney World ticket prices.
Disney works with a select group of tour companies to sell packages and discount tickets. Disneyland’s first outside travel partner was Get Away Today vacations (they have worked together for over 25 years). I reached out to Get Away Today and negotiated their prices down exclusively for our readers. When you purchase through our private link, you will be guaranteed to be purchasing the lowest priced 2-day and longer Disneyland tickets available to the public anywhere.
You can buy Disneyland tickets for use any time in 2017. If you are visiting the parks, buy now! If you are buy Walt Disney World tickets before this increase, the tickets will remain valid indefinitely. There is no expiration date until the first day you use your ticket.
The lowest prices on tickets can only be accessed through our private link. When you go to Get Away Today’s website directly, you will still get a great discount, but will miss out on roughly $20 of savings per ticket.
Today is an even more special day, because even though Disneyland and Walt Disney World raised their prices on February 12, Get Away Today will keep their current extremely discounted prices until February 21st for the purchase of any ticket two days or longer. Access the exclusively discounted tickets just for our readers via this private link. Ticket prices go up immediately on February 22nd!
Prices for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts have risen steadily since 2000 when the prices for admission at Disneyland were a mere $41 for adults and $31 for children. In Walt Disney World tickets cost $46 for adults and $37 for children.
These increases have come after a steady increase of attendance and an overcrowding problem that makes Disneyland busy during every time of the year.
As recorded by the Themed Entertainment Association, in 2014, Disneyland is reported to have seen 16,769,000 million visitors while Disney California Adventure welcomed 8,769,000 visitors. In Walt Disney World, the Magic Kingdom saw 19,332,000, Epcot saw 11,454,00, Animal Kingdom saw 10,402,00, and Hollywood Studios saw 10,312,000.
These photos are from a trip backstage at the Haunted Mansion attraction.
The way that Walt Disney Imagineers created the ghost effect throughout the classic Haunted Mansion attraction is by using mirrors and reflections to create a whispy effect on the ghost figures. In reality, the ghost figures are in one room with their reflections being cast into another room causing them to appear to be able to float through tables and fly.
[button href=”http://disneydose.com/backstage-pirates-caribbean-disneyland/” primary=”true” centered=”true”]Click here for photos of the Pirates of the Caribbean[/button]
1. This “Ghost” Struggles to Blow Out a Candle
2. Crowned King of the deadly dance
3. Crowd of the undead dance floor
4. Who knew that ghosts rode bicycles.
5. In the graveyard these ghosts are constantly having a swinging wake.
8. The little ones just gets to me–in a creepy way
9. Would you want this ghost to follow you home?
1o. Row upon row of hitch hiking ghosts…like the gift bag table at a petrifying party
(These photos come from Mark Correy of the Vintage Disneyland group on Facebook. Drop by and take a look at all of the awesome photos there.)
Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is both the first haunted house that I ever experienced and the best quality I have experienced to date. Whether you like the Disneyland version of Walt Disney World one, there is room for one more in almost every Disney Park across the globe.
Happy Thanksgiving! Today, on this special Disneyland Thanksgiving episode, I share the history of the Presidential pardoned turkey in Disneyland. From 2005-2009 the turkeys pardoned by the President of the United States and the National Turkey Federation were sent to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World. These turkeys are considered the “happiest turkeys on earth,” so of course they should go to “the happiest place on earth.”
Also in this episode I share my favorite Disney Christmas movies and put the question to you. What is your favorite Disney christmas film?
All information below is based off of the podcast audio. Take a listen below for the full experience.
Listen to the Episode Below
Favorite Disney Christmas Movie
What’s your favorite Disney Christmas movie? In this episode I share my favorite films and list off a couple more you may enjoy. Share your favorite Disney Christmas movie and we may just give away the movie in the future. Share on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section below.
I am Thankful For You
Thanks to all of you for listening to the Disney Dose podcast. As I look back during this Thanksgiving season and think of what I am thankful for, I think of the readers and listeners I have met in the parks and at the Walt Disney Family Museum and for all of you who keep coming back to the podcast each week. Thank you.
Thanks to everyone who has left us a review on iTunes. If you haven’t left us a review yet, please do that now.
This week we talk to Don Carson, ex-Disney Imagineer, who worked for Disney Imagineering for six years and spent that time working on Splash Mountain and Toontown in Disneyland.
This week’s Disneyland secret features the Disney Cast Member name tag pins that celebrate the amount of years they have worked for the Disney company. I also dispel some rumors about the rare blue Cast Member name tag. See all of the info and photos of the Disney Cast Member name tags here >
The information below is all based off the podcast audio. Be sure to listen for the full experience.
Click The Play Button Below to Listen:
More Specifically, In This Episode You’ll Hear:
How Don began working at Imagineering
The one change in Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain that transformed the entire attraction
How Don created the design for Mickey Mouse’s house in Toontown
Why there is ride track on the roof of Toontown
Info on the top secret group that does small projects to improve the Disney parks
Which industry is the most similar to the theme park industry
This week our Disneyland secret features the Cast Member name tags and the pins that are given out to Cast Members in honor of the amount of time they have worked for the company. See all of the information and photos of these pins here >
Without the dedication of the Disney Cast Members, your visit to a Disney destination, wouldn’t be half as magical.
Every day, thousands of people interact with these Cast Members without noticing a hidden detail that can be found on every Cast Member’s costume: their name tag.
C’mon, let’s take a closer look at these Disney name tags…
Cast Members are given pins celebrating their milestone years of service. Also, each year the Walt Disney Legacy Award is given to Cast Members who uphold the legacy of Walt Disney and go above and beyond the expectations of their role.
Today, I have photos of every pin and special name tag that you should be looking for while visiting the parks.
Click on the image below to see a larger version.
The next time you are in the parks, look for these special Disney pins. Take a moment to ask the Cast Member about their time working for the company and I promise you will love the parks even more. I can’t tell you the amount of fantastic Disneyland stories I have heard because I took a second to stop and talk.
Do you have a blog? Share this on your site.
Have you ever noticed these Cast Member pins before?
Shannon Albert, the founder of WDWPrepSchool, is with me today to discuss planning a WDW vacation with the new FastPass+. We discuss all aspects of this new system that was recently implemented throughout Walt Disney World.
We talk about the future of Walt Disney World and what we will see when Star Wars and Avatar both come to town. Also, Shannon admits that Disneyland is the place for Disney fans to visit right now.
This week’s Disneyland secret features the doll inside of it’s a Small World designed to look like Mary Blair. Mary is the renowned artist who worked on it’s a Small World, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland.
Also, welcome to the readers of WDW Prep School! Thanks for listening to the interview and taking a look at the Disneyland side of things.
Everyone, be sure to join us on August 16th for the first ever Disney Dose meet up at Rancho del Zocalo at 2pm for fun, prizes, and new Disney friends.
The information below is all based off of the podcast audio. Be sure to listen for the full experience.
Click The Play Button Below to Listen:
More Specifically, In This Episode You’ll Hear:
Why WDW is still the top resort destination in the world
MagicBands will make you spend more
Will the new Avatar Land or Star Wars Land bring in more visitors?
The PR lense of the Disney company and how they lack education
FastPass+ for the masses–it’s necessary
How to differentiate between the planners and the people who just don’t plan when you are in the Walt Disney World theme parks
Are MagicBands locking people in to keep them from going to Harry Potter?
Loudest complainers are the people who hate change
The difference between Disneyland planners and Walt Disney World planners
Mary Blair is remembered for her fantastical colorful artwork and stylized illustrations. Most notable her work is seen in Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and it’s a Small World. Walt Disney brought her out of retirement in 1963 to head the it’s a Small World project for the World’s Fair.
In honor of her amazing work on the it’s a Small World attraction a special doll was added to the attraction. On top of the Eifel tower in the French scene of the attraction, a doll with short cropped hair, blue eyes, and dressed in a yellow poncho and boots represents Blair.
The Luxury Guide to Disney Vacations was recently released by Cara Goldsbury of Glass Slipper Concierge. Today we have a review of the new book taking an in depth look at whether this book if for you. Also, find a giveaway of the new book at the end of this review. In this Luxury Guide to Disney Vacations review we will look at what the book contains and compare the information for each of the Disney destinations.
The Luxury Guide to Disney Vacations Review
Perhaps you have heard of Cara’s first book, a Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World. That guide included information on all of the finer things in Walt Disney World: the best dining, reviews of the most deluxe resorts, VIP activities, and more. It takes a completely unique angle on Walt Disney World planning, doing the opposite of most planning guides. Rather than trying to help you save money on your vacation, the book highlights the most unique experiences that may cost extra, but will make your vacation even more magical.
Now Cara Goldsbury has released a second luxury guide, this time including information on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, and Adventures By Disney.
The book is broken down into sections for each destination. Within each section are chapters highlighting the accommodations, helping you to pick your vacation dates, the best attractions in the parks, and reviews of the best restaurants at the parks. After most items there will be a little section with “Cara’s Tips” about that one restaurant, attraction, or hotel. These are quite helpful.
Heavy on WDW–Missing Disneyland Info
Let me start off by saying that this book is still very much focused on Walt Disney World. In fact it includes almost all of the information that was presented in the first book of the series, Luxury Guide to WDW. The only info that was left out of this new book was the Sea World and Universal planning tips.
Disneyland V. WDW
The WDW section of the book makes me go WOW! It takes up the first 295 pages of the guide and includes reviews of many hotels and a variety of restaurants.
The entire section is written comparing Disneyland to Walt Disney World, making me think that this section was written with seasoned Walt Disney World visitors in mind.
My favorite part of this section of the guide is the look at the Disneyland Hotel and the signature suites themed to different classics from the park: Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mickey Mouse, and Fantasyland.
Adventures By Disney is Already Luxury
Since the entire point of an Adventures by Disney vacation is to have an amazing vacation while Disney does all of the planning, this section doesn’t have many tips per say. Instead this section offers information on which adventure tour is the best for each set of people. While you could attempt to piece this information together yourself online, or by talking to a travel agent, this section is an invaluable resource for choosing the Disney adventure that is right for your family.
Disney Cruise Line: Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy
The section detailing the Disney Cruise Line includes reviews of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The guide includes information on all of the complimentary restaurants as well as the adults only extra-charge experiences. Adventures By Disney also offers many excursions for the ships and all of the best are detailed including: touring Mayan ruins in Mexico, going on an aqua boat snorkeling adventure, 0r mountain biking in the Virgin Islands. The book also includes reviews of the wide array of onboard activities that are offered aboard the ships.
Interesting Aulani Luxury Information
Perhaps my favorite section is the one covering the Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa. I have visited the resort twice and enjoyed every minute of it. In the past, there has been no book with planning information available. Cara reviews every restaurant at the resort, the complimentary resort offerings, and dives into the off-property excursions available.
Overall, I recommend the guide if you will be taking a Luxury Disney vacation and could be making more trips in the future. For Disney fans this book is a great addition to your collection if you are interested in the amazing offerings that Disney has created for the upper tier guests.
Purchase the book here and please share the review if you enjoyed it.
Enter to Win a Copy of the Book
We are giving away a copy of the book. Enter the contest in the form below. The contest runs from June 9, 2014 12pm to June 16, 2014 12pm. Winner will be notified via our newsletter. MUST BE SIGNED UP TO WIN. Sign up here. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Join us in the debate that has plagued generations: Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Leave your opinion in the poll below and share the astonishing results. I will use your opinions as data when we review each attraction in the future.
At the annual shareholders meeting, Bob Iger, the CEO of of Disney, announced the upcoming slate of animated films. After discussing the known slate of films, he turned to animation to make some unexpected announcements.
Incredibles 2 and Cars 3
Sequels for “Cars” and “The Incredibles” are being produced up in Emeryville at Pixar. While details are limited, it has been shared that Brad Bird is returning as the director of “The Incredibles 2.”
I am always excited to see new films announced, yet I fear that this may fulfill the prediction that Pixar is stuck in a loop of simply making sequels. Is it possible that Walt Disney Feature animation could pass by Pixar in quality and popularity? With the recent viral success of Frozen, this a question that is applicable for the first time.
Personally I am sure that the “The Incredibles 2” will be much more successful, because of the powerful characters of the franchise and the rabid fan base that has wanted a sequel for years.
The original “Incredibles” film made more than $631 million dollars, so of course this powerful franchise is capable of carrying a sequel, could it carry more than that? Perhaps a themed attraction at the parks?
Disney Parks in the Mix?
The announcement of these films also makes me think of the Disney theme parks. Because Disney invested such a large amount in Cars Land, could this new “Cars” movie have been a film that has been planned since the beginning–perhaps even before “Cars 2” premiered and Cars Land opened.
Along the same lines, it has been rumored that there was a chance that “The Incredibles” could receive their own attraction at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park. Could this new film be a part of a plan to relaunch the franchise for the coming years? Does the film announcement reflect a possible attraction announcement?
Walt Disney World employs more than 60,000 Cast Members working in positions ranging from house keeping to train engineer. Each day someone has to get these Cast Members dressed for the day–Welcome to Walt Disney World Cast Costuming.
1. Cast Members know what costume their position requires each day
2. They pick out the correct size from row upon row of shirts, pants, and jackets.
3. Mickey Mouse has a costume for every occasion–he has more than one costume to dress like an artist.
4. Picking out shoes here may be an issue, unless you’re a size forty.
5. Gowns for every occasion
6. This dress will be used in the afternoon parade
7. Every day costumes must be repaired, because even Ariel tears her dress sometimes
These photos come from a Tumblr post that can be found here.
The pure size and complexity of the Walt Disney World resort has always astounded me. For both the guests and cast members, the sheer size is one of the biggest draws and causes of hardship. For this reason, I will always prefer Walt Disney World’s quainter sibling, Disneyland. See a video here of the costume process at Disneyland.
Walt Disney World will continue to have my jaw drop because of it’s sheer size and mind blowing mechanics.
If you enjoy this article, then do these three things:
Disney Pin Trading is a fun, interactive experience where Disney Guests can trade specially-marked Disney pins with Cast Members and fellow Guests. The great thing about Pin Trading is that there is no age limit, so the whole family can participate in this activity together. Disney would love everyone to become a ‘Pin Pal’ by buying and trading pins for life!
[yellowbox]Exclusive Bonus:Download the complete guide to the best Disney pin trading locations that will help you take this guide to the next level. [/yellowbox]
Enjoy our complete guide to Disney pin trading. In this long article we have overviews of how to trade and a large pin graphic.
Guide to Disney Pin Trading
There are several ways to participate and experience the magic of Pin Trading. You can visit Walt Disney World, the Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris, anywhere Disney Vacation Club units are sold, and possibly some Disney Stores in your local Mall. It’s rare, but I have seen some Disney Store Cast Members sporting a lanyard, such as at the Disney Store in Times Square, New York.
Once you’re at one of these locations, you need to locate a Cast Member. Pin Trading Cast Member’s will be wearing a lanyard and are always happy to see what you have to trade. All you have to do is find a pin that they have that you want and exchange it for one of your pins. But never reach out and grab a lanyard for a closer look! Always ask the CM to present the pin you want to see for a closer look. A CM will never say ‘No’ and so you’ll soon have a new pin to add to your collection! Just remember that the pin you want to trade should not already be on the Cast Member’s lanyard. While at a merchandise location, if you don’t see a Cast Member with a pin lanyard, ask at the checkout instead. Sometimes they will have a pad under the counter with a selection of pins for trading. You can follow the same process to obtain one of these. And I do mean ‘one’. It’s generally the rule to trade only one pin from a Cast Member’s lanyard or pad, although some Cast Members who aren’t too busy may bend this friendly rule for a polite Guest. I have heard this rule bent often and some Cast Members that I have talked to.
[yellowbox]Exclusive Bonus: For the best locations for Disney pin trading, download the complete guide that I compiled for all of you. [/yellowbox]
Pins come in various price ranges grouped by color. Each Pin Trading location will list the prices for each color, but as of June, 2013, they are: Green ($6.95) Red ($8.95) Blue ($10.95) Yellow ($12.95) Pink ($14.95) Lavender ($16.95) but some special pins can sell for much higher (like name pins, which are not tradable anyway). Lanyard sets and ‘puzzle’ pins (where two or more pins fit together to form one picture or word/saying, which must be traded as a complete pin set) are also higher in price.
And that brings us to
Tip One: If you want to trade, buy green pins and trade them with CM’s for more expensive colors. You aren’t limited to trading in color groups only.
Tip Two involves buying pin starter kits that contain a lanyard and an assortment of pins, usually in a theme like Tinker Bell or Monsters Inc., etc. Don’t worry if you don’t want all of the pins in the set; simply trade them for ones you do want. It works out that each pin in the set costs less than the equivalent amount of green pins, so you can’t lose financially! Check at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a starter lanyard.
Lanyards and pin sets can also be won or obtained through a promotional giveaway by any of the Disney affiliates, like the ones below. But you likely won’t want to trade these away:
You may also find a special pin in a Disney DVD release, like these ones from the Zorro Season One and Season Two collector tins:
Tip Three involves the fact that there are counterfeit pins out there. So beware of eBay or other auction sites that offer incredible deals for large pin lot amounts. Many of these auctions are legitimate, but some are not, and you could end up with fake pins that you can’t trade. I do recommend checking out Mouse Pins Online for a great place to buy a large amount of official Disney parks pins to take with you to trade in the parks in order to avoid paying high Disney Parks prices.
Cast Members may refuse to trade if your pin is not part of the Pin Trading program. Pins that qualify should be a cloisonné, semi-cloisonné, or of hard-enamel or an acceptable operating participant pin that represents a specific Disney event, place or location, character or icon. ESPN and ABC pins are also tradable. But remember: The Cast Member will make a final decision, which it is only good trading etiquette to accept! No arguing, please. Below is an example of an approved Event Pin:
Another thing to keep in mind are the special-release pins for Annual Passholders. Simply ask at designated locations (ask any Cast Member about these) and you will be shown a small selection of pins only available for APH’s. Like this one from 2006:
Pin Trading isn’t limited to between Cast Members and Guests. Guests can approach each other and offer to trade at any time. But obviously courtesy and caution must be exercised. No matter how much you might want a pin from another Guests lanyard, you should never push to trade if it’s a bad or inconvenient time for them!
Differences in Disney Pin Trading
There are two main differences between trading with Cast Members and other Guests. Cast Member’s will always agree to a trade, no matter what you offer (as long as it’s an approved pin). But another Guest can refuse to trade with you if you don’t have anything they want. My Fourth Tip may help you here: Sometimes a fellow guest may have a pin on his/her lanyard that is no longer available for purchase, but you just don’t have anything they want on your lanyard. Try offering to buy them a current pin that they want in exchange. You may have to buy a Pink or Lavender color level for them, but if it gets you that out-of-circulation pin, it’s a deal worth making!
The second difference is that you can trade as many pins with another Guest as you want, as long as the other Guest is willing to take the time and sees that you have more pins that they want as well. Again, just remember that Pin Trading was created by Disney to create a fun and interactive activity between traders, so always be polite and understanding to the needs and limitations of other traders. If they’ve had enough, be sure to thank them and send them on their way with a big smile!
The Official Disney Pin Trading site has this to say about which pins you should collect and trade:
The fun of Disney Pin Trading is in the amazing variety. Find YOUR FAVORITE pins to personalize your Disney experience. Guests of all ages can hunt for favorite characters, attractions and features. Whether it’s the Little Mermaid or Mickey Mouse you seek, pin hunting is guaranteed to add thrills to your Disney adventure. Go find the pins you want and make some new friends! It is all up to you! Have fun! Disney Pin Trading is a great way to share the magic and bring home wonderful Disney memories.
Displaying Your Disney Pins
And with that last sentence in mind, just what will you do with all those traded pins when you get home? Here are some ideas:
Idea One: You can buy an official Pin Trading book to store your pins in. These come in a variety of sizes to suit the size of your collection. This will keep all of your pins in one easy to access place, and even make it easier to display and trade later.
Idea Two: Many like to display the pins they plan to keep on a special jacket or hat that they then wear when at the Parks, or around town for the more fanatical Disney fan!
Idea Three: Others, like myself, display their pins on a wall in some way. The most common technique is to use a board that you then frame, making your display of pins a work of art on the wall. But for my wife and I, we like to display our pins on belts that we then hang on our bedroom wall. Each belt contains 13 pins (to commemorate our wedding anniversary on the 13th) each of which symbolizes a significant part of our yearly Disney vacation. For example, this year was our first time visiting Disneyland in California, and the new attraction Cars Land. So we bought a Cars Land pin and added it to our 2013 Pin Belt. You can see it below:
No doubt you’ll find your own way to display or store your Pin collection!
Have a super fun time pin trading when you are on your Disney vacation and if anyone else that you know would benefit from the information above please share it with them.
Here’s the Next Step
While you are planning, the best way to set up for your trip is to know the locations of the best Disney pin trading spots. I wrote a BONUS guide to the best Disney pin trading locations at Disneyland.
Star Wars Weekends are still a few weeks away but guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were able to get their Star Wars fix today at May the Fourth Be With You. Only having one day to celebrate such an incredible saga has its pros and cons.
1. Stormtroopers march through Streets of America like it was the Death Star.
2. Star Wars Fans are able to unite, compare costumes, and talk about the upcoming Star Wars projects.
3. Where else can you see Star Wars inspired fireworks?
4. Limited edition merchandise was on sale to celebrate the special day.
1. Lines for the Star Wars character meet and greets are exceptionally long since this is a limited time event.
2. Rides at Hollywood Studios had long lines too, especially Star Tours.
3. Finding a seat in a sit down restaurant or a quick service is not possible.
Being a Passholder made it a lot easier to come and go at Hollywood Studios without the guilt of “getting our monies worth.” It was fun to see the Star Wars characters and fans and makes my family even more excited about Star Wars Weekends, which will begin on May 17th. May the Fourth Be With You!
The below State of the Union type article is written by Dave from Jambo Everyone as we host a joint celebration of Animal Kingdom’s 15th anniversary.
This week marked the 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a park we at Jambo Everyone have something of an obsession with. And in light of that milestone, lets take a look back at the park’s history and gaze forward into what we think might be its future, in this “State of Disney Animal Kingdom” address.
Fifteen years ago, Disney Animal Kingdom began life in much the same way as all of the domestic parks had opened during the Michael Eisner era, debuting with a shortage of attractions but no shortage of fanfare. Disney-MGM Studios faced the same challenge when it first dropped its ropes, however the world was a much different place in the years immediately following 1989 than it was in 1998.
When Disney MGM Studios opened the economy was about to boom, and the travel business as well. It seemed each year brought a new attraction to the Studios. Almost the complete opposite can be said about the Animal Kingdom. Disney Animal Kingdom was only open for a short three years before the events of September 11 and the resulting decline in the economy and especially in tourism. The park’s only real expansion was the Asia section in 1999 and the Animal Kingdom Lodge in early 2001. After that, it was five years before any real investment was made. As a result, Disney Animal Kingdom is years behind schedule.
But the real difference between Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom is that as Walt Disney Imagineering added more and more to the Studios they seemed to throw the concepts of continuity and theme out the window. The same can not be said for Disney Animal Kingdom, which still maintains much of Joe Rhode’s original aesthetic vision. Yes, there are a few things like Camp Minnie-Mickey and Finding Nemo the Musical that may not conceptual fit seamlessly, but yet somehow they work reasonably well aesthetically. (Certainly they work better than a giant electric guitar in what’s supposed to be 1920’s Hollywood)
My only disappointment in the first 15 years of Disney Animal Kingdom is that more zoological exhibits have not been added. However the park does a miraculous job of maintaining what is already in place. And it simply is not that easy to make changes in that department. The recent issues regarding the zebras at Kilimanjaro Safari are evidence enough that we are not exactly talking about simply adding a Johnny Depp robot here.
And it is hard to look back at the last 15 years and not mention Expedition Everest and the “Disco Yeti”. I admit the technical issues with the audio-animatronic are disappointing, but in the face of all the budget cuts that so crippled Disney Animal Kingdom’s early growth it hard for me to fault Walt Disney Imagineering for trying to “shoot the moon” on this one. They wanted to build the most jaw-dropping animatronic ever, and they did just that. Perhaps someday the Yeti will return to its initial glory. But even as it is, Expedition Everest is everything we can ever ask for in a Disney E-Ticket, and is hardly worth complaining about.
Having said all of that, fifteen years on and overall Disney’s Animal Kingdom is indeed a more exciting place than when it opened. But it does appear the next fifteen years is when we may see the amount of additions one might have expected already, if not for the circumstances previously mentioned. So we move into the future, with Avatar being the first soon-to-be major addition to the park since the Forbidden Mountain.
Disney’s partnership with James Cameron has been controversial to say the least, and has been met with what can be described as a lukewarm at best response from skeptical Disney fans and the Disney Animal Kingdom faithful. And while I will admit I am not particularly a fan of the film, and did not weep tears of joy when the announcement was made, I am also not ready to brand the idea a failure before it ever opens.
As I said on Jambo Everyone earlier this year, there are plenty of reasons to be excited. For one, the area currently occupied by Camp Minnie-Mickey needs an upgrade and it truly lends itself to the aesthetics of the film. Crossing that bridge into Pandora has some amazing theme and detail potential. But more importantly, so far Joe Rhode has not let us down. My confidence perhaps would not be nearly as high if anyone else were leading the way.
Even more exciting is what Shakespeare called the “undiscovered country”, the unknown future before us. The potential of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is immense, and perhaps it is, in fact, a new country, or more appropriately a new continent, that lies just beyond Pandora.
Or maybe it is more additions to the resident wildlife. I will always go back to what I personally think would be the best addition they can make to Disney Animal Kingdom, a pair of pandas in Asia. To me, that is the kind of thing that will bring the crowds in the most fitting of ways for this incredible park whose focus should always return to the animals.
We won’t know until we get there. Let me say with conviction that having opined on potential additions and the historical lack there of, if Disney and Joe Rhode announced tomorrow that no new attractions would be added to Disney’s Animal Kingdom over the next 15 years, that instead they would focus their attention on upkeep, small tweaks and maybe a greater investment into conservation efforts, I would be perfectly happy with that.
DAK is a gorgeous place. A place where we as the planet’s only guardians can learn about what Mother Nature has given us and what we can do to maintain wildlife for future generations while having loads of fun in the meantime! Walt Disney loved animals, and I can’t help but be convinced he would be proud to have his name on the front gate of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Asante Sana everyone. Come visit us at jamboeveryone.com and help us in our own conservation effort if you can.
Thanks to Dave from Jambo Everyone for this fantastic contribution to the site. I hope you all enjoyed it. All photos are either from Jambo Everyone or are copyright Disney.
Using Disney single rider is a magical experience that I recommend to everyone. It is like Walt Disney gave you his set of keys to the parks and said take any of these attractions for a spin…oh and make sure to cut the line.
Single Rider is basically a way to jump the lines of the best attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland and just walk right past all of the suffering people in line. The only slight inconvenience of the exercise is that when you are actually riding the attraction that you just cut the line for, you won’t be riding with your group.
Why was it created?
If you don’t yet understand what using Disney single rider does, you will in a moment. Disney created the single rider line in order to make sure that every time they sent a ride vehicle into an attraction, it would have every seat filled. Because people often go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World in large groups, the numbers don’t always match the amount of people that fit into a ride vehicle. Therefore, Disney would fill up the ride vehicles with extra people or single riders that have accumulated in the single rider line.
How to Use it?
Disney offers the single rider line for most of it’s biggest thrills across all six of it’s US parks.
Here is the complete list and our ratings of which systems to use:
Splash Mountain(Highly suggested-almost walk on)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye(Highly Suggested-Walk On)
Disney California Adventure
California Screamin'(Highly Suggested-Walk On)
Soarin’ Over California(Suggested-Sometimes Includes Line)
Grizzly River Run
Goofy’s Sky School(Highly Suggested-Regular Isn’t Usually that Long Though)
Radiator Springs Racers(Highly Suggested-This Line is SOOOO Long Without a Single Rider or FastPass)
Walt Disney World Resort:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest(Highly Suggested)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster(Just Use the Regular Line or FastPass-Using Disney Single Rider Here takes forever)
Test Track(Using Disney Single Rider is a good idea here)
Surprisingly to many, the Magic Kingdom in Disney World does not have any single rider attractions. Many have questioned this since it’s sister park, Disneyland has so many. In actuality, the only attraction that the two parks share is Splash Mountain and in fact, the two mountains have different ride car configurations.
All you have to do is head to the greeter cast member that is standing in front of the attraction and tell them that you would like to be using Disney single rider. They will hand you a card and send you down whichever line is the single rider line for that attraction.
This technique is the best way to get as many attractions into your day as possible, but if you would like to stick together with your group, check out our FastPass strategy.
Next week, guests can get their hands on some new funky and fresh hats as part of Limited Time Magic!
Starting April 1st, guests visiting Sarge’s Surplus Hut in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure can pick up their own Cozy Cone Hats. These hats, much like the popular Tire Hats sold in Cars Land, are inspired by Radiator Springs. Designed after the iconic orange cones and neon sign of Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel, these hats are sure to draw attention.
At Walt Disney World, guests visiting the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot can ‘pick’ up a Strawberry Ear Hat. These hats take the iconic mouse ear shape and add a delightful strawberry pattern and stem. What a great way to enjoy the fresh fruit-filled festival! These hats will be available in the Festival Center between Mission Space and the Universe of Energy (previously known as the Wonders of Life pavilion).
I think California is getting the better merchandise this round. Not only are the Cozy Cone Hats much more unique and original, the strawberry ear hats are not part of Limited Time Magic, but rather as part of the Flower and Garden Festival. Contrary to what the article on the Parks Blog says, these ear hats have been on sale since the beginning of the Festival. I saw them a few weeks ago, sitting alone in a corner. Because no one goes into the Festival Center, no one has seen or bought them. I think that branding them as Limited Time Magic is a way to sell them. They’ve been on sale before the Limited Time Magic event was announced, and they’ll stay on sale long after it ends. Not only is that cheap in and of itself, compared to the originality of DCA’s new hat, these ear hats are nothing special.
Overall, this week’s entire ‘event’ is rather cheap. I have no doubt that these hats would have been launched some time in the near future anyway. So instead of a new fun event or meet and greet….we get hats. And it isn’t the first time they’ve done this, either. ‘Hats Go On Sale Week” isn’t the kind of thing we had in mind when Disney first announced the Limited Time Magic Promotion. I understand every week can’t be something huge, but we could at least do better than this.
The signal has been given. Disney Passholders may now exchange their annual passes for plastic cards with the RFID chip. The card resembles a hotel key and is embedded with an RFID chip that will allow for easy access to the parks. For the most part, having the RFID chip in the pass means two things for pass holders: speed and efficiency.
Besides for the fact that plastic cards don’t bend and get mangled in wallets as much as the old paper annual passes, the new Disney World RFID passes help guests enter the park much quicker than before. The new turnstile with the Mickey symbol can accommodate four guests at a time. Really, guests don’t even have to take the pass out of a wallet. They can simply hold the wallet up to the turnstile and it will flash green once he or she gives a fingerprint.
Annual Passholders may pick up the new RFID embedded passes in the Odyssey building in Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival. While in the building, Disney fanatics can check out the mini museum of Disney memorabilia from a model of a boat from the Jungle Cruise to the passes/tickets to the different lands from many years ago.
At the end of the display is the new bracelets that are coming soon. These Magic Bands will replace the RFID embedded passes in the future. The cast members that we talked to did not know when for sure it would happen or if we could still keep our passes in addition to the Magic Bands. Only time will tell.
Once Passholders pick up the new passes, they may enter the parks using the Key to the World entrance. This entrance has been used only by guests staying at Disney resorts. They are able to use their room key to enter the park since it is also their park pass. So far, these are the only cards that have had the RFID chips in them. Now, Passholders can use these shorter and faster lines to enter the parks with their new tech-savvy passes.
The end of 2012 was also the end of the 20% discount for the premium annual passes. Now that the new passes are here, it makes sense. No longer are guests referred to as Annual or Premium Passholders. It is just Passholder. There are a few differences though. The red stripe on the front of a card means free parking and entrance to all of the parks. What use to be known as just as annual pass has a different color stripe and does not include parking and the extra places: Disney Quest, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach.
Interactive queues, Photo Pass Plus and the new RFID passes may have some connections in the future. This past week, annual Passholders have been trying out their new cards at the Interactive queues, like the one at Test Track. I am excited about using the new cards to quickly access fast passes, since they won’t be damaged as much in a wallet. It never fails. Each year at least one of our paper annual passes stops working in the fast pass machine and we have to pick up a new fast pass card from the cast member as well as replace the card. Not any more! Watch for #DisneyDose on Twitter to see how the new passes impact a day in the parks.
Finding tea in Disney World with the other 47,000 or so guests is pretty easy to do. Finding FRESH BREWED ICED TEA is not as easy, at least in a quick service. Although the tea at Disney World is drinkable, it still comes through a hose in the back of the “tea tank.” There are some locations throughout Disney World that have fresh brewed iced tea. After a long time researching and searching for tea at Disney World, I have finally compiled a list.
Finding Tea in Disney Resorts
1. Coronado Springs (Rix Cafe): This location has not always had fresh brewed iced tea but I am so thankful they do now! It is on the counter by the speciality coffees and pastries and not by the coffee (which is new as well) or the soda dispensers.
2. Wilderness Lodge (Roaring Fork): This location only has fresh brewed iced tea if the tea machine is out of order. When it does have the tea, it is wonderfully fresh and delicious.
3. Guests at Fort Wildnerness Campgrounds can pick up fresh brewed iced tea at Trail’s to Go, the Quick Service section of Trail’s End Buffet. There is both sweet and unsweet tea. The food at Trails to Go is also spectacular and can be eaten outside on the picnic tables.
4. If you are looking for a little variety in your tea while you are at a Disney Resort, the Sanna Lounge in Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge offers authentic tea from Africa for guests, even if you are not dining in the restaurant. Guests can brew their own tea in Johari Treasures, which is the little food and gift shop in the lobby.
Finding Tea in Disney Parks
1. If you happen to be in Hollywood Studios and need fresh brewed iced tea, stop by the 50s PrimeTime Cafe. The bartender in the lounge serves up fresh brewed iced tea as well as a killer cherry coke. You don’t even need a reservation! Even though it is a lounge, children are still welcome and can enjoy a cold cherry coke while you down your fresh brewed iced tea.
2. Sometimes you have to go as far as Asia to find good fresh tea. Guests in Animal Kingdom can find the tucked away tea shop near the entrance of Kali River Rapids. The Royal Anandapur Tea Company has fresh brewed iced tea and a wide selection of hot teas. The tea is scooped from sealed containers and added to little bags to steep in your cup as you enjoy the sights and sounds of Asia.
Alternatives to Fresh Brewed Iced Tea
1. All of the quick services at the Disney Resorts have hot water and tea bags. Guests that are not in a hurry can make their own fresh brewed iced tea. The Writers Shop in Hollywood Studios will give you a cup of ice with your hot water/tea bag so you are able to make your own.
Again, if you are in a hurry or the rest of your family is waiting on you, you might want to just settle for the drinkable tea sold throughout the park. Most of the food kiosks in Hollywood Studios do not have iced tea at all, so your best bet is to go to a quick service location, like the ABC Commissary. I am sure that there are other places that sell fresh brewed iced tea but surprisingly they are not easy to find. I would love to compile a list of places that offer fresh brewed iced tea at Disney World. If you would like to add a place to the list, simply write the location in a comment. Check Twitter for any new locations that are compiled under #DisneyDose.
The Flower and Garden Festival opened yesterday to eager guests, young and old. There are many new items to see, a few favorites that returned, and new musicians for the Flower Power Concert Series. Even on opening night, in unusually cold weather, people were running around trying to see all of the new items of the Flower and Garden Festival.
Bringing Disney Pixar characters to life is one of the best things Disney does for the Flower and Garden Festival. Mickey and Friends and Phineas and Ferb join the other characters at the festival this year. The Brave Playground has been turned into the Land of Oz and the Pixie Hollow has been redone as Radiator Springs. Don’t worry! The fairies are still there. They are guarding the butterflies now in Tinkerbell’s Butterfly Garden. There are more than a dozen places for adults and kids to snack and experience new foods around Future World and World Showcase.
Like last year, topiaries dot the landscape from the entrance with Mickey and his friends and a yummy smelling grill to the classic princesses and their dancing partners around the World Showcase. The English Tea Garden is an excellent place for guests to learn the history and art of tea with a guided tour of Twinings teas. The tour begins at the Tea Caddy and happens two to three times in an afternoon.
The Flower Power Concert Series is held at America Gardens Theatre on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings with Mickey Dolenz starting off the festival. In March, guests can see Chubby Checker & The Wildcats, The Guess Who, and Nelson. One of the best things about the Flower and Garden Festival is the fact that the concerts, playgrounds, and presentations are free and open to the public.
Pick up your Garden Passport and check out the Flora, Food, and Fun at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival. If you want to compare experiences, you will most likely find us at one of the many kid spots, like the Land of Oz playground.
Spring is in the air on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom! The citizens of Main Street will celebrate the season with bright pastels, bunches of flowers, and even some new songs to sing!
You’ll be able to catch the festive residents as they perform in the Trolley Show each day on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World from March 3rd all the way to May 12th (that’s nearly 3 months)!
Personally, I’m happy about this celebration. I’ve previously stated my desire for the resort to acknowledge and celebrate Easter/the Spring Season. Main Street just lends itself to such festivities.
For a whole week, the Dapper Dans will belt out tunes from famous boy bands such as One Direction, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. You can catch them on Main Street, USA at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom from February 25 to March 3.
This event was one of the first announced, and was met with much criticism. Some people just don’t like Boy Bands. Some didn’t think the quartet sounded quite right singing these songs. Personally I’m impartial. I think the event will get some laughs. What do you think? Take a listen to them yourself!
This week’s Limited Time Magic event will take the often looked-over Presidents Day and give it the respect it deserves.
During Presidents Day week the much beloved 8-part a cappella group, Voices of Liberty, will be putting on special presidential performances at both Epcot in Walt Disney World and in Disneyland Park. You can catch the group in the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot from February 18-24, and at the Main Street Opera House in Disneyland Park on February 18th and 19th.