Three Reasons You Will Love Disney Memory Maker

Memory Maker? Do you even know what it is? If not you could be missing out on something that will keep memories of  your Walt Disney vacation alive for a lifetime.

Sounds good right? Of course it does. But like somethings (okay almost everything at Walt Disney World) it comes with a price.

There is some good news though! In an almost never seen or heard of move Walt Disney World actually lowered the price of the Memory Maker package. Yes, they lowered a price. Plus they have added an option to purchase it for only one day! Continue reading Three Reasons You Will Love Disney Memory Maker

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Win A Free Adventures By Disney Vacation

Win A Free Adventures By Disney Vacation

Would you like to win a free Adventures By Disney Vacation? Free, Disney, and vacation always sound good in the same sentence. But do you even know what Adventures By Disney is? If you do not there is no need to be ashamed. A lot of people have no idea what Adventures By Disney is.

So what is Adventures By Disney? Adventures by Disney is a program Disney started 10  years ago. That is why you can win a free Adventures by Disney Vacation. They are celebrating ten years of making some truly once in a lifetime memories. Continue reading Win A Free Adventures By Disney Vacation

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Animal Kingdom Coming To Life At Night

Animal Kingdom Coming To Life At Night

Animal Kingdom Coming To Life At Night! You heard it right. Two of Walt Disney World’s theme parks have become famous as half-day parks. Hollywood Studios is known as a half-day park because of the lack of attractions. Animal Kingdom is known as a half-day park because of a lack of attractions and the fact that it closes so early (often by five.)

Disney is addressing both of those situations. The big Pandora World of Avatar expansions will add two major attractions. But Disney is not stopping there. Disney is making keep the guests in the park after the sun goes down. Continue reading Animal Kingdom Coming To Life At Night

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Save Money At Disney

 

Great news for people who want to save money at Disney. Walt Disney World has release two new discounts!

Save Money At Disney With Stay, Play and Dine
Save up to $500 on a 5-night/6-day room, ticket, and dining plan package for a family of four at select Disney Resort hotels! When you’re staying in the middle of the magic, you’re getting even more fun out of every minute! Check the chart below to see how you can save more at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts.
Offer valid at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights:

  • December 13 through December 19, 2015
  • January 2 through March 7, 2016

Book by December 23, 2015.

This special offer includes the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan at select Value Resorts and the Disney Dining Plan at Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort hotels.

Save Money At Disney

Offer is valid for various lengths of stays and alternate party sizes. Upgrades to other dining plans are also available.

Save Money At Disney With Room Only Discounts

It’s an incredible time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort! And now when you choose to stay in the middle of the magic, you can save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels. Offer valid for stays most nights January 2 through April 13, 2016.

 

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Enter To Win A Free Disney Vacation

Normally Grumpy recommends staying on property but if you can stay off property for free that is a different story! This contest does not include a stay on Disney property but it is a free Disney vacation!

Enter to win a WALT DISNEY WORLD VACATION HOME SWEEPSTAKES
Enter for a chance to WIN a 5 Night Stay in an Orlando Vacation Home, 4 three day Disney Magic Your Way® tickets and a $100 Disney Gift Card!

Click Here to Enter!

Free Disney Vacation

 

Contest expires September 30, 2015. For more great contests click here.

 

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Win A Free Disney Vacation With Disney Cruise Lines

Many of you have been to one of the two American Disney parks, Walt Disney World or Disneyland. But how many of you have set sail with the world’s most famous mouse on Disney Cruise Line? Here is your chance to do just that and to do it for free! That’s right you can win a free Disney Vacation with Disney Cruise Lines.

This contest is sponsored by Twinings Tea and is super easy to enter. Just click the link here and you are on your way to (hopefully) winning! Contest expires September 15, 2015 at Midnight Eastern time.

Contest expires September 30, 2015. For more great contests click here.

 

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Soarin Around The World

The Epcot classic Soarin is getting updated! A new movie is being filmed and the ride will lose its California only theme to become Soarin Around The World!

Of course Walt Disney World has a lot of projects going on these days. Hollywood Studios is getting a Star Wars Land and a Toy Story Land. Animal Kingdom is getting Pandora, the World of Avatar. The Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland is still fresh enough to be considered new. While this update to Soarin is the not the same as a new land it is something to encourage Epcot lovers.

Soarin’ (Over California)

Many of you are no doubt familiar with Soarin at Epcot.  For those who have never had the pleasure of riding Soarin it is located in the Future World section of the park in the Land Pavilion.

Soarin is a flight simulator but not one like you may be used to. Guests enter one of two (will be three soon!) theaters. Each theater has three ride vehicles each of which has three rows. You are seated in your assigned seat and when everyone is ready the ride vehicles lift you into the air and where once there were three horizontal rows there are now three vertical ones! Your feet are swinging free below you and the canopy above you gives you the impression you are in a hang-glider.

Soarin Around the World

That is when the ride really starts! Guests quickly become immersed in the movie as sights from all over California are mixed with motion, sounds, smells and even the rush of air over your face! It is quite an experience.

Soarin Around The World

Unfortunately, for those in Walt Disney World at least, the ride was a little confusing. After all you are taking off from Florida and then the whole ride features California (the movie was originally filmed for Disney’s California Adventure and came east to Florida later.) The ride even ended at Disneyland!

Now a new movie is being filmed and Soarin will become Saoarin Around the World. New scenes are being added and it is quite possible that parks around the world will have slightly different versions of the ride. Maybe (crossing fingers) it will even be like the new Star Tours and no two trips will be the same!

While Disney has not revealed all the new scenes that will be incorporated you can get a view hints from the Making of Video below. There are definitely a few scenes you can recognize instantly.

For a look behind the scenes at the new Soarin Around the World check this video out!

Unfortunately the new Soarin Around The World will not open until 2016.

 

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Star Wars Land Coming To Disney

That disturbance in the force last weekend was not the Death Star destroying a planet. It was Star Wars fans rejoicing over a major announcement at the annual D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Star Wars Land is coming to Disney!

Star Wars Land Coming To Disney

There had been speculation for years that Disney was going to add a Star Wars land somewhere. The rumor mill jumped into high gear when Disney bought Lucasfilm. Bob Iger (chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company) added to it earlier this year by saying there would be an increased Star Wars presence in the parks.

Many fans were pulling for a Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios in Orlando. This made good sense because the Studios already had the annual Star Wars Weekends in May and early June. And with the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter just down the road at Universal Studios Orlando many people were waiting for Disney to answer Universal’s challenge.

Star Wars land coming to Disney

But there were also rumors that Tomorrowland at Disneyland in California might be the new Star Wars land. There was little to actually suggest this but reality has never had a big impact on rumors and wishes.

It turns out that both coasts are about to experience the power of the Force. Hollywood Studios will be getting a Star Wars Land. Disneyland will also be getting a Star Wars land but the location is not yet clear.

What To Expect From Star Wars land

As you might imagine there were a lot of teasers about what the new Star Wars land would look like but not a lot of details. Here is what we were told…

The new land (presumably at both parks) will be 14 acres and according to Iger, “Our largest single themed land expansion ever.” To get an idea of the scope of this project old Fantasyland was 10 acres and the expansion made it 21 acres.

Star Wars Land coming to Disney

The Star Wars land will not be set on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s homeworld. Nor will it be set on any other planet we are familiar with. Instead it will be on a new, as of yet unannounced planet, from the upcoming Star Wars trilogy. This planet has been described as remote port on the edge of wild space.

There will be two major attractions in the new land. One will give guests an opportunity to pilot the famed Millennium Falcon on a secret mission. The other will put guests in the middle of an battle. This battle will not be from the previous trilogies but will be from the upcoming Force Awakens.

Being Disney there will also be merchandising and food options. These locations will be heavily themed and feature creatures both old and new from the Star Wars universe.

One thing was conspicuously absent from the announcement. There was no opening date announced. We will have to wait for that but Disney has announced some teases until the new land opens.

Till Then…

The good news is Disney is not going to wait to start introducing new Star Wars themed content.  There are changes coming to some existing attractions and some  new attractions and events coming. They are expected to begin arriving before the end of the year.

Star Tours will be getting some new variations. Not only will new scenes be introduced but new characters as well. With the randomness that is already built into Star Tours this just adds more options to the mix.

The Jedi Academy is also scheduled for some updating. There will be a new design as well as new characters and story lines.

There are two completely new elements that will be introduced. They are Launch Bay and Season of the Force.

Launch Bay will evidently be a new location. There will be character meet and greets and opportunities to interact with designers and directors. How and when this interaction will take place is still to be revealed. There will also be props, artwork and opportunities to experience some of the best Star Wars video games.

Season of the Force is a new event. It will debut on both coasts but each coast will have at least one unique experience. At Disneyland Space Mountain will become Hyperspace Mountain. At Hollywood Studios there will be a new fireworks show set to the famous Star Wars Soundtrack by John Williams.

Both coasts will share character interactions, special merchandise and food. This will no doubt be similar to Star Wars Weekends.

But What Does This Mean For Star Wars Weekends?

Nothing was specifically mentioned about Star Wars Weekends but Season of the Force would seem to replace the popular event. If so it will greatly expand the opportunity for guests to experience Star Wars and that is a good thing! Guess we just have to wait and see how it all plays out!

 

 

 

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Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Headed off to a Disney vacation but afraid of burger burn out? After all that is the only option theme parks really offer. Right? And they will be overpriced too. Right? Well Grumpy cannot disagree about the overpriced but there is no need to suffer from burger burn out. There is something besides burgers at Disney.

In fact you do not have to pay to have a fancy sit down dinner or hit one of the character buffets to escape the bun. There are plenty of options from sushi (yes Grumpy really said sushi) to bbq ribs that will not set you back a fortune. In fact most of them are one quick service dining credit.

Top Quick Service Options By Park

So where do you find these options? First let’s take a look at Grumpy’s top choice for each park (and one honorable mention.)

Magic Kingdom

Columbia Harbor House: In the Magic Kingdom and looking beyond Pecos Bill’s or Cosmic Ray’s? Give Columbia Harbor House a try. Located in Liberty Square you have probably seen it a million times and never paid attention. But you are passing up some good food! The menu centers around seafood and includes tuna, battered fish and shrimp. Have non-seafood people in your party? There are also chicken nuggets on the menu. The theme in the Columbia Harbor house is also worth a look.

Something Besides Burgers at Disney

Epcot

La Cantina de San Angel: Located in the World Showcase’s Mexico pavilion La Cantina de San Angel is an excellent escape from burgers.  La Cantina de San Angel offers excellent Mexican selections like Tacos de Barbacoa. These shredded beef tacos are a Grumpy favorite. The only drawback to La Cantina is the seating is very limited and is outdoor. Note: Don’t confuse La Cantina de San Angel with La Hacienda de San Angel. La Hacienda is in the pyramid and is table service (much higher prices.)

Hollywood Studios

Fairfax Fare:  If you head down Sunset Boulevard towards the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and smell something good cooking it might be Fairfax Fare. This is another one of those places that is easy to overlook. Most people head to ABC Commissary or the Studio Catering Company. They are missing out on some good barbeque. Fairfax Fare offers chicken and spareribs. As with La Cantina de San Miguel one of the big drawbacks here is outdoor only seating.

Animal Kingdom

Flame Tree Barbecue: A real favorite for visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Flame Tree is found on Discovery Island and offers ribs, chicken and pork sandwiches. The seating area is large but spread out and outdoors. But there is some bad news…Flame Tree is currently closed for refurbishment but some of their offerings are available at kiosks like Beastly Kiosk (also on Discovery Island) and Trilo-bite in Dinoland.

Honorable Mention

Be Our Guest: Be Our Guest is one of the hottest meals in the Magic Kingdom. And by hottest Grumpy means it is hard to get into not that the food everywhere else is cold. In fact it is so popular it is the only quick service (as of publication date) that offers Advanced Dining Reservations.

So why is it honorable mention? For one because you probably will not be able to get in there and it doesn’t really matter what they offer or how good it is if you cannot get in. Secondly, it is only Quick Service for breakfast and lunch. At dinner it becomes Table Service.

Be Our Guest is located in the new Beast’s Castle. It is impressive from the outside and inside. The menu has a French flair to it and includes Croque Monsieur (Grilled Sandwich of Carved Ham and Gruyere Cheese and Bechamel) with Pommes Frites, carved Turkey Sandwich Carved and carved prime chuck roast beef sandwich.

SOMETHING BESIDES BURGERS AT DISNEY

 

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News, Views and Reviews from Walt Disney World