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We are about to see how much good stuff $1 billion gets you, as the airport in Orlando just scored that kind of funding to upgrade and improve its offerings within the terminals and concourses.
All the theme park traffic and other tourist attractions in the area made Orlando the 13th busiest airport in the country last year based on passenger numbers. Airport officials only imagine the place getting even busier in the future as, after the renovations are complete they expect as many as 45 million passengers to come and go through the place each year.
We knew that Mickey Mouse was getting a new neighbor down in Orlando, and now it looks like things are pretty much official. Disney recently released some initial details—and snazzy renderings—regarding their plans for bringing the wonderful world of Avatar into their theme parks. Specifically the plan is to do the Pandora thing as a separate land within their Animal Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Right now things are just a tease, but Disney is promising stuff like floating mountains, nighttime jungles filled with bioluminescent plants, and they’re even giving guests the chance to see how it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.
Oh heck—it looks like Mickey Mouse needs a little extra cash this summer, as he must be planning something big for Minnie. The house of mouse is raising ticket prices yet again at the theme parks, as admission to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is getting pretty darn close to $100 per day.
The new ticket prices went into effect earlier in the week, so you’re going to bring a few more bucks if you’re hoping for a ride on Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean. Down in Florida the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World resort will now set you back $95 per adult for a one-day ticket—oof. The per day amount decreases as you stay longer, as a four day ticket is now going for $279; however, adding on the ability to hop between parks is an additional $59 per person.
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Once again it’s time to break out the bulldozers and construction gear down at Walt Disney World; however, they’re not exactly building a new theme park. What they are doing is revamping and redoing the Downtown Disney area into something a little bit more than just shops and stores. They’re giving it a makeover, so that tourists everywhere will be even more interested in exchanging those hard earned dollars for Disney souvenirs.
They’re calling it Disney Springs, as it looks like they’re going for a kind of retro style with the renovation. The official Disney Parks Blog goes into some detail about how Downtown Disney has been kicking around for 30 years or so, but now it’s time to do something a little better. They even mention that they’ve scrapped existing ideas a couple times; as things the ideas just didn't come together in the right sort of way.
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If there’s a family vacation to Disney World in the cards this winter, you’re in luck as Mickey and friends have been hard at work all year long to get things spiffed up for the season. We’re not just talking about the lights, decorations, and ubiquitous Christmas trees, but there’s a revamped and renovated Fantasyland now available to the masses. They didn’t figure out how to eliminate the line for Dumbo, but at least now you can score a drink afterwards.
A lot of the old stuff is still there so don’t worry if you just can’t live without the musical boat ride that’s known as "It's a Small World." They still have that—and the song—but there are two new areas within Fantasyland that will keep the big and little kids happy.
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Visitors to Disney World and Disneyland next year may just need to stay a little more connected than they’re used to, as it looks like the theme parks will be all about social media in the coming months. Instead of announcing a new roller coaster, attraction, or other ride—in their defense they’re working on a couple things—next year is all about what they’re calling “Limited Time Magic.”
Each and every week will feature new events and fun stuff, as little surprises and celebrations are scheduled on and off all year long. Disney plans to use Twitter, Facebook, and other internet fun to share the scoop on stuff like character meet-and-greets, limited-time parades, concerts, and other Mickey Mouse activities. Of course there will be chances to grab special edition merchandise and assorted goodies. They've got to move those Mickey ears and shirts, after all.
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Your carrier’s data plan just breathed a sigh of relief—as did your wallet—as one of the country’s favorite tourist attractions just announced the launch of free-for-all WiFi. Mickey and Goofy have been doing their best to hook up the right wires and transmitters, and now it’s all systems go for free WiFi at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
You’ll need to agree to the park’s terms of service, but after you click the necessary boxes you should be free to surf the internet from the line of Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean. Initial reports indicated that speeds weren’t super fast, but when it’s offered gratis we can’t really complain. It sounds like you’ll want to fire up your favorite mobile device and look for the "Disney-Guest" network.
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Your summer vacation may have just gotten a little more expensive, as a couple pretty big theme parks have just increased their ticket prices—again. Universal Studios was the first to hike its admission prices a couple of weeks ago as the park raised the one-day ticket price from $85 to $88. That started the battle for the tourist dollars in Orlando, as officials at Disney World have reacted to the competition.
It seems like the parks want to be the most expensive option in town rather than the best deal. We guess the rationale is that if you only have one park from which to choose—and one day to visit—you might as well pay a couple extra bucks to visit the pricey one. After all, everyone know the best stuff costs the most—right?
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The countdown clock is approaching zero as Disneyland workers and engineers finalize the reboot of Disney’s California Adventure theme park. We’ve mentioned the new rides, attractions, and other excitement a couple times before; however, there’s one more addition that we’ve failed to discuss in the past. It might be time for us to update our picks for favorite and unusual Starbucks, as it now looks like overpriced lattes and coffee milkshakes are heading toward Main Street USA.
It’s not just the parks in California either, as the plan it to bring the caffeine to both the greater Disneyland Resort as well as Walt Disney World Resort down in Florida. Apparently there’s already discussion about sending some Frappuccinos and their passports overseas, but nothing has been worked out as of yet.
There’s all kinds of tricks, tips, and tidbits when it comes to visiting a mega theme park like those in the Disney empire. However, one of the best secrets was a kind of loophole in the FastPass ride reservation system over at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
It wasn’t really that big of a secret, but it’s something we considered pretty slick. The FastPass kiosks read your park admission tickets and spit back out a reservation for when you can return to a ride like Space Mountain. Stick your ticket in around 10am and it might tell you that you need to come back between 3:30pm and 4:40pm. However, you just need to see Mickey during the 4pm parade! No big deal, as you can always just come after your reservation window expires—no questions asked.
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It looks like an annual Disney tradition has taken place just in time for the summer vacation season, as the theme parks in California and Florida have raised their ticket prices. There wasn’t too much warning either—which is usually the case—as the house of mouse sent out a little reminder on their Disney Parks blog that things would be heading north effective Sunday, June 12.
For those looking forward to hitting up Walt Disney World anytime soon, tickets for one day of fun at one of the parks is now $85 per adult—it was $82 before the pricing update. Kids—which are only those between age three and nine—get a slight discount at $79 per day. Of course there are all kinds of multi-day park tickets which do provide some sort of discount in one way or another, but unfortunately those were increased as well. Expect a four day ticket—with the ability to hop between the four main parks—to now set you back $298.
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With the clocks moving ahead this weekend it’s only a matter of time before theme parks across the country throw open their gates for the summer season—check right here for the most anticipated theme park opening dates. However, if you’ve got more than one roller coaster in your sights, there are a few passes that will get you access to all the season’s screams and thrills. Here are our picks for the Three Best Park Passes for 2011:
· Cedar Fair Platinum Pass
There’s only 66 days until Cedar Point opens for the 2011 season, but that doesn’t mean that you need to wait to order your ticket. The ultimate season pass grants you access to every coaster, attraction, and ride in the Cedar Fair empire. So not only can you visit roller coaster mecca in Ohio for free, but any and all Cedar Fair parks are free too—think King’s Dominion and King’s Island. Free parking and exclusive ride nights are yours with the pass, but the best perk is getting into the park an hour before everyone else. All this can be yours for $165 per person, or $155 per person if you order in packs of four.