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Blah blah blah Apple Pay. Although it seems like the new mode of payment is all anyone can talk about this week, the attention is for good reason. Apple Pay is hopefully the first step towards a future we've always envisioned for travelers, a future served by universal payment.
Granted, Apple Pay has a long long way to go before we can hold up our phone to pay for bus fare in Hong Kong one day, and do the same to pay the bill at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Denmark the next, but the growing ubiquity of iPhones and iPads means this native Apple app has serious potential, not to mention that many other countries have already eclipsed the US in contactless payment technology.
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There’s more spots to spend those Disney dollars this season, as the theme parks in Florida are adding a couple new nighttime additions to the menu. That’s assuming that the usual opening hours aren’t enough for you, and that you haven’t returned to your hotel exhausted from the lines, the crowds, the children, and the fanny packs.
Over at Epcot they’re introducing something called Epcot After Hours Wind Down where visitors can enjoy a little extra fun after the park closes at around 9pm. Those willing to pay up $35 per person can enjoy wine pairings and tapas tastings across one of four of the different themed restaurants. This is in addition to your usual theme park admission, but it’s still not a bad idea—especially considering that booze is included.
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They’re at it again this year, but after the news from last month it’s going to cost you a little bit more to party all night long. Disney parks in California and Florida are doing the 24-hour thing once again, and this year’s events are set to go down this May.
Things were kicked off in a unique way, as they used a message on Twitter featuring 140 characters—Disney characters to be specific. Memorial Day Weekend is when things will be open all day long, as the “Rock Your Disney Side Party” takes place at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort.
Mickey Mouse must have a boat payment due or something, as he’s looking to raise a little more cash at his theme parks down in Florida. Walt Disney World just announced that they’re upping the admission cost to its theme parks, and the price increase is effective pretty much immediately. So if you’re been saving up for that trip to visit the Magic Kingdom—you might need to save a little bit more.
It’s pretty much an annual expectation at this point, but it always seems to sneak up on those with Disney plans on the horizon. This time all four parks are going up in cost by $4 per day, and it’s the Magic Kingdom leading them all. It will now set back one visitor $99 to check things out for the day, and when tax is added onto things that’s $105.44. Of course Disney wants you to stay longer than one-day, and the tickets for multi-day visits work out to be a better value. However, it’s a little scary that the cost of doing business with Mickey has now gone over that $100 mark.
Movie Set Travel / Saving Mr. Banks / Disney Travel / Tom Hanks / Events / Movie Travel / Disneyland / Disney World / → All Tags
The real star of Saving Mr. Banks is actually Disneyland.
The modern day park was transformed back to 1961 for the film which follows Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) on his quest to convince Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) that she should let him turn her beloved book into a movie.
Through costumes, exact replica poster art, balloons, and the famous retro Floral Mickey that once greeted visitors, Disneyland was brought back to its early days just for the film.
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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.