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In case you haven’t been flipping over the pages on the calendar—ours is still on March—we’re here to remind you that May is right around the corner. To us that means the unofficial kickoff to the summer season, and the first three-day weekend in what seems like a long time. Disney is apparently ready for the warmer weather, and they’re doing something unique to celebrate.
Certain Disney theme parks are getting ready to burn the midnight oil, as it sounds like some parks are going to open for 24-hours straight towards the end of May. The fun will take place on Friday, May 24, as the parks look to celebrate the month of Memorial Day Weekend and the start of the summer season.
Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom boasts the "most expensive roller coaster in the world" -- Expedition Everest. So what does $100 MM buy you? For starters, the mountain that houses the coaster is reportedly the tallest in Florida, how apropos. Furthermore, Everest is the first roller coaster to switch between forward and backward sections during a single ride.
However, most importantly, the ride feels smooth, not rickety and jerky, which is important seeing that riders are dropped 80 feet down the tallest mountain in FLA.
The coolest part of the coaster is when your train comes to an abrupt stop as the train track in front of you appears broken, falling off into the air of nothingness. Just when you think you might be stuck for good your train hurls you backwards, quickly, which makes you feel like you are going inverted, even though it is just your mind playing tricks on you.
Insider Info: You are an official Disney Denizen if you know why the Yeti you encounter mid ride is referred to as "Disco Yeti"
Did you know that a large percentage of girls ages 4 - 12 visit Walt Disney World wearing full blown princess attire? Yeah, this princess thing is huge. Not one to miss a trend, the Disney folks were sure to incorporate plenty of princess themed attractions in the new Fantasyland.
One of the most popular new attractions is Enchanted Tales with Belle where visitors will interact with Belle in her faux French country cottage home. Inside her home you will use props to help recreate the Beauty and the Beast tale. Interaction is the key as visitors can act out scenes, and of course, take part in the popular princess meet-and-greet.
Disney is well aware that character interactions are the life blood of the park, however, they are also aware that parents of today's kids long for the days when characters roamed free in the parks creating extended impromptu character interactions. While we all know impromptu meet ups are a thing of the past, attractions like "Belle" help young visitors extend their character interactions to more than just thirty seconds.
Quick check of the Disney mobile app shows that the current wait time for this attraction is 40 minutes.. There is currently no fast pass for this attraction, so it is recommended you hit this one up first thing in the A.M.
If you are going to Walt Disney World with a boy between the ages of 4 and 12 chances are they will be mesmerized by the prospects of training to be Jedi knight at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The 20 minute Jedi training and Sith lord fight takes place right next to the classic Star Tours ride. A Jedi Master (one of which who looks remarkably like Qui-Gon Jinn) begins a dual training process that takes place both on stage and in the area directly below the stage.
Suddenly, Dart Vader shows up with a couple Storm Troopers and the younglings get ready for battle. If you are visiting during high season, Darth Maul also comes out to taunt the wannabe jedi. After a bit of posing the two Sith systematically battle the queued up youngsters. Remarkably, during our visit, none of the kids got out overly aggressive and everyone listened closely to the Jedi master as he led them through their battle.
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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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We like contests. Even more so, we like travel contests. When these contests are coupled with fashion, we've died and gone to heaven. Now that may be a little dramatic, but we really do like a contest that includes business class travel instead of the usual economy roundtrip. This time, the goods come from Air France and the grand prize includes not only biz class tickets to Paris, but also a hotel stay at a Sofitel and an entirely new wardrobe from Barneys, all wrapped up in the cuteness of Disney.
The contest can be found on Air France's US Facebook page and involves very little effort, but will bring a few smiles and giggles. Just head on over to the fan page and give them the thumbs-up and click over to the Electric Holiday Sweepstakes. Once there, all you need to do is watch the short cartoon featuring Minnie Mouse and various other fashion icons, then type in your details at the end.
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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.
It’s already well known that it costs an arm and a leg to get into the best of the country’s theme parks, and that’s especially the case if you’re headed to a spot with "Disney" in the name. Don’t worry—at least as far as we know—tickets aren’t going up in price in the immediate future. However, it does look like your ticket might be transforming itself into something a little bit more than a piece of paper or plastic.
Nothing has been announced as of yet, but something tentatively known as the "Magic Band" was kind of called out right on the website of the Federal Communications Commission. Without an official announcement it’s all speculation, but it looks like this "Magic Band" is some kind of wireless bracelet that would digitally hold your admission and ticket information. Basically you’d exchange your credit card digits for a Magic Band that would let you access the park, and maybe even charge a mickey ice cream bar right to your linked card. Again, we’re just guessing here.
Halloween Travel / Theme Parks / Fall Travel / Amusement Parks / Cedar Point / Disney / Six Flags / Busch Gardens / Universal Studios / Lists / Thanatourism / → All Tags
If you haven’t started to feel the chill in the air you will sooner than later, and that means that theme parks around the country will start loading in their pumpkins, scarecrows, and other spooky seasonal decorations. Halloween is still over a month away, but that doesn’t mean that the scary stuff won’t begin a little bit sooner.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the country’s best parks and when they begin to do their Halloween thing:
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the country’s best parks and when they begin to do their Halloween thing:
Cedar Point – HalloWeekends
Over at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio the werewolves and vampires come out to play beginning on September 14—that’s this Friday. The frightening fun runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 28, but you might want to just double-check the official calendar before filling up the tank and starting your drive. Admission to this year’s events should set you back around $45, but that’s only if you order in advance online.
Busch Gardens – Howl-O-Scream
There’s a couple flavors of this year’s seasonal celebrations from which to choose, as Busch Gardens is getting the ghosts and goblins ready in both Tampa and Williamsburg, Virginia. Expect haunted houses, live entertainment, and plenty of pumpkins. In Virginia the run runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning this week, ending October 30. Down in Florida things don’t begin until next week, and it’s going to be a Thursday, Friday, Saturday thing with the scary stuff running as late as 2am. Advance admission will set you back $55 for Florida and $70 if you’re looking to be scared silly in Virginia.
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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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There few places you can taste French crepes for lunch and, after a little stroll, delight in a Japanese bento box before finishing off with a Mexican churro for dessert. The easiest destination for such multicultural indulgence is Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando. Now, with the International Food and Wine Festival, visitors can taste even more international fare.
The festival is celebrating it's 17th birthday this year and will tickle park-goer taste buds with cuisine from 6 continents. Fill up at 29 food stalls , with tapas-size portions of national cuisine from over 20 different nations. For all you DIYers out there, chefs will even be hosting cooking demos.
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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?