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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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You might have heard that they’re working on yet another film in the Star Wars series. There’s pretty few details about the storyline, but we do know one thing about the arrival of the next films—the theme parks are interested.
The plot is probably still being figured out, but Disney is already planning to cash in on the franchise even more that it has done in the past. Things are still very much a rumor at this stage, but the head honcho at Disney recently hinted that some expansions related to the movie franchise might be on the horizon. Specifically the futuristic Tomorrowland section of Disneyland might get some kind of Star Wars addition or overlay, and down at the parks in Orlando something similar would be added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
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.
Some time has passed since we first heard of Disney’s plans to create some kind of magic wristband. Testing has been going on in the wild—also known as their theme parks—and apparently things have gone pretty darn well. As a result it looks like they’re getting ready go all in with what they’re calling the Disney MagicBand.
Basically these little electronic wristbands will serve as your admission ticket and more. Visitors will be able to utilize these suckers to enter the parks, serve as hotel room keys, and double as credit cards. It sounds like even things like Fastpass—that’s the Disney ride reservation system—can even be beamed down to your digital bracelet.
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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.
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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.
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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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You might not be hardcore Disney enough to have attended this year’s D23 Expo, but we’re sure that you are probably interested about what it means for the theme parks. The ultimate disney fan event—their words, not ours—took place last weekend, and it produced some pretty decent news on the update front.
Down in Florida at Walt Disney World, upgrades are still on schedule for the Magic Kingdom. Over in Fantasyland, theme park officials are working on a new Beauty and the Beast section that will focus on meeting and greeting some of your favorite characters from the film. If you’ve outgrown character autographs—we understand—just make your way over to Ariel's Undersea Adventure, an attraction copying the blueprints from a similar ride out in California.
Jennifer Lopez took advantage of a little downtime over the weekend and spent the day with her family at Disneyland. On Saturday she was spotted on the Dumbo Ride at the Anaheim, California theme park with her three-year-old daughter Emme. Her son Max, mother Guadalupe and sisters Lynda and Leslie also tagged along for a day of Disney magic.
Of course Jennifer wouldn't be expected to walk through the park on her own, so Disney accommodated the Lopez family by providing them with a personal escort for the day who kept fans at bay.
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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.