Walt Disney World Refurbishments Fall 2016

Disney regularly releases the ongoing refurbishments and closures for Walt Disney World.  Here is the most up to date information for September 2016.  Please note that this is subject to change without notice.

 

Magic Kingdom:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Aug 8-Nov 18

 

Hollywood Studios:

Rock N Roller Coaster Oct 27- Nov 9

Pizza Planet Jan 19-Late 2016

 

Animal Kingdom:

Dinosaur July 25-Oct 16

Dino Institute Shop July 25- Oct 16

 

Water Parks:

Blizzard Beach- Oct 23- Dec 24

Typhoon Lagoon Dec 25-March 11

 

Monorail through Summer 2016

 

Resorts:

All Star Sports Grand Slam Pool Oct 10-Dec 2

Boardwalk Villas May 16- Oct 31

Pop Century Computer Pool Oct 31-Jan 3, 2017

Port Orleans French Quarter Sassagoula Floatworks July 11- Late Fall

Wilderness Lodge general resort refurbishment and Cub’s Den closed through 2017

Yacht Club room refurbishments Oct 29- June 23, 2017

Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center Aug 4- Feb 1, 2018

Dolphin Hotel room renovations June- Sept 2016

 

Disney Springs:

Planet Hollywood through Fall 2016

Fulton’s Crab House- reopening as Paddlefish Fall 2016

 

Check back for updates to this information on closures and refurbishments.

How to Allocate Park Days at Walt Disney World

Planning a vacation to Walt Disney World is very subjective because each family will have their favorites.  Family dynamics and ages are going to vary.  As travel planners we all get asked by our clients, how to allocate the number of park days over your vacation.  Granted having a Park Hopper ticket option will help you get to all the parks, but you have to factor in travel time from park to park and see if it is worth it to park hop.  A Park Hopper ticket option allows you to visit more than one park a day.  If you are short on time this might be a good options.  It is also a great option for couples and solo travelers.

Here is a breakdown of how I would use my days at Walt Disney World.

1 day ticket: (I know the horror!) but you will have to choose ahead of time if it will be at Magic Kingdom or Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom because the pricing is slightly different.  But this is a no-brainer for me: Magic Kingdom

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2 day ticket:  Magic Kingdom & Epcot.  Unless you have a person who is into Star Wars than I would suggest Hollywood Studios.  But with Magic Kingdom and Epcot having the most attractions these will give you the most bang for your buck.

3 day ticket: Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.  Sure you may prefer to hit up Animal Kingdom but I feel that Hollywood Studios still has more to experience on a short trip.

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4 day ticket:  Visit each park one time for first time visitors.  If you have been before or aren’t interested in Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom I would suggest 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1 at Epcot and then 1 and either Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.

5 day tickets: With 5 days I would check out Magic Kingdom twice and all of the other parks once.  I believe this a fairly common arrangement for many people taking a 5 day vacation and it gives you plenty of time in Magic Kingdom plus a visit to each other park.

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6 day tickets: Magic Kingdom and Epcot twice with a single day spent at both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

7 day tickets: Here is where it gets tricky.  I would go with 3 days at Magic Kingdom (taking it easy), 2 at Epcot and again 1 at both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom

8 day tickets: You could visit each park twice, or go to Magic Kingdom 3 times, Hollywood Studios and Epcot twice and Animal Kingdom once.

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9 day tickets: Magic Kingdom and Epcot 3 times each, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom get the rest so I would probably go with 2 Hollywood Studios days and 1 Animal Kingdom day.

10 day tickets: So many days to use up here!  Magic Kingdom, and Epcot 3 times each, then Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom twice.  What a fun vacation that would be!

You may find having the Park Hopper is also a great advantage especially with longer trips.  You may want to pop over to Animal Kingdom in the morning and then finish the evening with fireworks at Magic Kingdom.  And of course if the weather isn’t cooperating a Park Hopper is really handy.

Do take into consideration when planning your park days special events like hard ticket parties, events like a runDisney race.  Or if it is near a holiday or school break the parks can get very crowded so it is important to look ahead for what is going on at Walt Disney World before planning your park days.  And of course a great travel agent can help you with this!

Do you have a favorite combination of parks to visit on a vacation?  We would love to hear it!

Podcast Episode 64: The ABCs of a Disney Vacation

After some technical difficulties last week, we’re back with a new episode this week!  In this episode we talk about the ABCs of your Disney vacation.  Lots of hints and tricks in an easy to remember format to make sure you make the most magic possible for your next Disney trip.  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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Disney Parks Moms Panel Search 2016

Do you consider yourself a Disney expert with fantastic writing skills? Have you ever considered applying for the Disney Parks Mom’s Panel? The search for the 2016 panel begins September 8, 2015 at 10am.

The Disney Parks Moms Panel was launched in 2008 as a resource for park guests to ask questions and receive answers from people who love Disney.

The panel is made up of more than just moms, it includes dads and grandparents too. They answer questions in four languages.

It has since been expanded to Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Disney Vacation Club, runDisney, and ESPN Wide World of Sports.

There are 3 rounds of interviews to pass and in order to qualify you have to have visited the park or taken a cruise, or take part in a runDisney event within the last year to date.

If you have applied before please let us know in the comments your experience!

Disney Parks Around The Globe

I think we’re all pretty familiar with the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and Disneyland in California, but did you know there are Disney parks in other countries?

Tokyo Disney Resort

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Located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, this Disneyland park opened in 1983 and just got a recent expansion with DisneySea.  It’s licensed by the Walt Disney Company and was built by Disney Imagineers.  There are several different onsite resorts but only three are actually owned by the parent company.

Disneyland Paris

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This one is located in the suburbs of Paris, France and opened in April 1992 as Euro Disney.  This resort has two parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, as well as golf and six onsite Disney hotels.

Hong Kong Disneyland

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This park opened in September 2005 in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong and has one park, two hotels, and plenty of room for expansion.

Shanghai Disney Resort

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This is the planet’s newest Disney resort…so new it isn’t even finished yet!  There will be a Disneyland park and a shopping district called Disneytown.  This resort is scheduled to open sometime in 2016.

Each of these Disney parks are unique but still have the Disney magic that we know back here in the States.  Have you been to one of these overseas parks?  Let us know what you thought in the comments!

Tomorrowland- Movie Review

I recently watched Tomorrowland and I will say out of the gate that I really enjoyed this movie! It wasn’t exactly what I expected but it a great way. The previews that you see on TV just don’t do it justice. This was a truly original movie with a great cast and was visually stunning.

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I won’t be spoiling the moving for anyone because I think as a Disney fan you all should probably get out and see it. But I will say there are plenty of Disney references for you to find and enjoy. It starts out strong with a look back at the 1964 World’s Fair where we hear “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, take a quick ride on “it’s a small world”, and see a dress that will remind you of Spaceship Earth, all this in the first few minutes!

The characters spend a lot of time trying to get to Tomorrowland and so much of the film is about the journey not the destination. But when they do get there it is just stunning to look at. If this were are real place we would all be clamoring to live there! These sections of the film also have nods to the Disney parks, like Space Mountain or the hover rails.

The thing I love most about this movie is it is pretty quick moving with lots of action and adventure. It may not be suitable for most young children since it does have some violence and death as well as end of the world themes.

I didn’t know Walt Disney personally but I feel as if he would have been so proud of this film. The story and lessons to be learned from it where all part of his personal philosophy of always moving forward, creating and inventing new and exciting things and ideas. Bottom line: I would very much see this again I give it two thumbs up!

Disney Parks and Disney Movies- Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

If you are new to Disney parks you might not know that many of the attractions in the Disney parks are based on Disney films. If you want to familiarize yourself with some of the movies that have tie-ins at Walt Disney World this is a good place to start. These are a mix of animated and live action. If you don’t own these I highly suggest checking out Netflix, your local library, movie store or Amazon.com. To get us started we will check out Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

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Animal Kingdom:
It’s Tough to be a Bug- A Bug’s Life This 3D film and live action show is based on this film.

Finding Nemo the Musical- Finding Nemo This is a great stand-alone show which is a condensed version of the film but with music and puppetry.

Festival of the Lion King- The Lion King This show is condensed version of the film but with acrobatics, puppetry.

Avatar– Technically there isn’t anything open just yet but soon there will be Avatarland and you will want to check out this film.

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Hollywood Studios:
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular- Indiana Jones This series is sure to please the older kids and adults.

For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing Along and Frozen Summer Fun- Frozen I supposed if you are living under a rock and haven’t see this yet you better remedy.

Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage- Beauty and the Beast A household staple you have probably seen if you have a little girl but you don’t need to see the film to like the stage show.

Voyage of The Little Mermaid- The Little Mermaid same as the above, this stage show is a condensed version of the movie.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids No you don’t have to see this film to enjoy playing here but it might make more sense! Plus it is a pretty cute movie.

Toy Story Midway Mania- Toy Story A great standalone attraction but there are also character meets nearby, but if you or your kids haven’t been introduced to Woody and Buzz you are missing out.

Star Tours and Jedi Training Academy- Star Wars I highly suggest you start with Episodes IV-VI and then I-III but you will know that characters better.

Tower of Terror- The Twilight Zone This queue and attraction are filled with references to this classic TV show if you like to be in the know this is a good place to start.

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This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should be enough to get you started.