Which Disney Resorts have the BEST Ratings?

Posted in DISNEY RESORT REVIEWS, DISNEYLAND-CALIFORNIA with tags , on February 24, 2014 by disneychronicles

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Hotels Receive “Best Hotels” Awards

Have you heard?

Eight Walt Disney Parks and Resorts hotels were recently named Silver Badge Winners by U.S. News & World Report. All of the winning Disney Parks hotels ranked as one of the best in their market.

In California, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel was named one of the Best Hotels in Anaheim.

And in Hawai’i, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa ranked as one of the Best Hotels in Honolulu – Oahu.

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Six hotels at Walt Disney World Resort were also named Best Hotels in Orlando, including:
• Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
• Disney’s Beach Club Resort
• Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
• Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
• Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
• Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

The hotels were ranked by travel experts and guests through online reviews and ratings.

As if you REALLY needed another reason to go! :)

Disney Merrytime Cruises 2014!

Posted in DISNEY CRUISE LINE, EVERYTHING DISNEY with tags , on January 8, 2014 by disneychronicles

I would like to start this post off by saying…Yes, I realize it’s January! :)

But I’m a planner! Especially when it comes to Disney! and these will sell out!

and Yes, I’m going!

Disney has always known how to keep the crowds coming! They are constantly developing new programs and ideas so returning guests don’t repeat the same experiences over again.

This went over well last year so it’s back for 2014!!

What could be better then spending Christmas 2014 on a Disney Christmas cruise!

 

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A winter wonderland awaits you aboard each ship—as well as at Castaway Cay!

Disney’s private island paradise is transformed with “snow” flurries, a Christmas tree and more. Be on the lookout for Mr. and Mrs. Snowman, dressed in their island attire. Plus, the island’s tram is decorated to resemble a reindeer, complete with antlers and a tail.

Onboard Experiences
On the ship, discover a festive fusion of holiday-themed entertainment, activities and décor—with a life-sized gingerbread house, 24-foot Christmas tree, garlands, poinsettias, shimmering lights and more!

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Other holiday enhancements include:

  • Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party, a celebration in addition to Pirate Night, with candy-cane limbo, dancing and games
  • King Triton’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, where kids can help light the tree and kick off the holiday festivities
  • Santa Claus meet-and-greet, an exciting opportunity to take family pictures and see Santa and his elves
  • Meet-and-Greets with some favorite Disney Characters, dressed in their holiday attire
  • Teen-only and tween-only holiday parties—private celebrations where teens and tweens can hang out with new friends
  • Holiday storytelling, with new and old tales about holidays at sea and around the world
  • Themed activities and crafts for kids—decorate stockings, make holiday cards, go on a holiday scavenger hunt and more
  • A life-sized gingerbread house made completely with edible ingredients—and the opportunity to make your own gingerbread house*
  • Holiday merchandise available for this event

Plus, on December 24 and 25, enjoy additional holiday experiences:

  • Cookies on Christmas Eve
  • Special holiday towel animals
  • Special holiday surprise
  • Holiday caroling with the kids and crew
  • Religious Services

When you celebrate winter holidays with Disney Cruise Line, you can spend more quality time together with loved ones as you sail from one spectacular port to the next.

Holiday activities and offerings are subject to change and may vary by ship and itinerary.

*The life-sized Gingerbread Houses will be constructed in November, and will not be available on early November sailings. It should be completed and ready for viewing in the last week of November.

Sail Dates

Ship Sail Dates
Disney Magic November 23, 2014 – December 28, 2014
Disney Wonder November 23, 2014 – December 30, 2014
Disney Dream November 24, 2014 – December 29, 2014
Disney Fantasy November 22, 2014 – December 27, 2014

Want more info…call me 855-577-WWTP

A New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Posted in EVERYTHING DISNEY with tags , on December 30, 2013 by disneychronicles

If you are lucky enough (judging by how you handle the crowd factor) to bring in the New Year at Disney World there is plenty to keep you busy!

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Starting at the Magic Kingdom….They will feature not one but two nights of fireworks to bring in the New Year!

Dec 30th and 31st!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature the Mulch, Sweat and Shears New Years Eve Spectacular. The party starts at 6pm on Dec 31st with a countdown to Midnight!

Epcot …will feature two showings of IllumiNations and a New Year countdown! In the World Showcase you will have a variety of DJ’s located at select pavilions and the World Fountain Stage.

and DisneyQuest has a party all their own….

This is a “Special Ticket” event.

Click below for note info….

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/downtown-disney/disney-quest-new-years-eve/

The restaurants below will also feature special dining to ring in the New Year…

Have a Wonderful and Safe NEW YEAR!

MAGICAL “IN-ROOM GIFTING EXPERIENCE”

Posted in DISNEY RESORT REVIEWS, EVERYTHING DISNEY with tags , on December 18, 2013 by disneychronicles

Did you know that you can surprise someone special in your life by including a Disney-themed Welcome or Birthday “In-Room Gifting Experience” with their package. These personalized celebrations can be set up in your Disney hotel room to create a one-of-a-kind experience, as if Mickey and the gang created a magical moment just for them.

A Disney Pal Surprise (Walt Disney Travel Company Exclusive)
A “Surprise” door sash hangs outside of their Walt Disney World® Resort room door to announce something special is waiting on the other side. A personalized tote bag, Mickey ear hat and pillow blanket all wait to be discovered with a special message from Mickey in an official autograph book. An issue of Disney’s ToonTown Times features a headline covering your much anticipated arrival with the inside scoop and all the must-see happenings on property.

Mickey’s Birthday Celebration
A “Surprise” door sash hangs outside of their Walt Disney World Resort room door to announce something special is waiting on the other side. Inside, the room is sprinkled with confetti, balloons and treats. The birthday Guest can dress in a candle-covered top hat and “Happy Birthday” lanyard. An issue of Disney’s ToonTown Times features a headline covering their much anticipated celebration along with the inside scoop and all the must-see happenings on property. When the party is over, you can snuggle up with the Mickey plush and an exclusive Mickey pillow blanket.

It’s a great way to make your trip even MORE Magical!!

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“In-Room Gifting Experiences” cannot be added within seven days of arrival. They are never delivered on arrival date, but rather the second day of the stay. Packages can have multiple” In-Room Gifting Experiences.” Only available at Disney Resort hotels.

Disney Floral & Gifts may substitute any product, as necessary, to maintain the integrity and quality of the gifting experience.

“In-Room Gifting Experiences” are non-refundable due to the customized content.

Posted on December 17, 2013 by Disney Destinations

The MagicBand Phenomenon!

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, EVERYTHING DISNEY with tags , on November 18, 2013 by disneychronicles

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Have you received a Magic Band yet?

FAQ Questions from ORLANDO ATTRACTIONS MAGAZINE!

This is a great explanation of the NEW MAGICBAND Phenomenon!

How can I get a MagicBand?
Right now, you can only get one if you’re staying at a Disney resort that is testing them.  Once launched, all guests at all Disney World resorts and all annual passholders will get one for free. If you book more than 10 days ahead, your MagicBands will be sent to your house. Otherwise they’ll be waiting for you at your resort.

How can I get a MagicBand if I’m not staying at a Disney Resort? Do they cost anything?
The MagicBands will be free to all Disney resort guests and annual passholders. Other guests will receive a card as their park ticket. Those guests may upgrade their ticket to a MagicBand for a small fee once that service launches.

What can I do with my MagicBand?
That depends on if you’re an annual passholder or resort guest, or both. But here’s what can be done with the bands:
• Check in for Magical Express at the Orlando Airport
• Check in at your Disney resort
• Charge purchases to your account
• Unlock you Disney Resort room door
• Add your PhotoPass pictures to your PhotoPass account
• Play interactive games and attractions (Test Track, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, A Pirate’s Adventure)
• Book Fastpass+
• Get free parking at the Disney parks
• Get into the Disney parks and water parks

How do the MagicBands work?
MagicBands use Radio Frequency (RFID) technology and can be read by short and long-range readers. In most cases, you’ll touch your MagicBand to a touch point at Disney World (most look like Mickey heads) to activate it. If the Mickey head lights green, you’re good to go.

What can the MagicBands do that card tickets can’t?
Because the MagicBands can be read by short- and long-range readers and the cards can only be read by short-range readers, there will be certain “magical” things that will happen only for MagicBand wearers. For example, your name may be said in an attraction or by a character, or some other personalization may happen somewhere in Walt Disney World as you walk by.

Can annual passholders be a part of the test?
Yes, if they book a stay at a Disney resort that is part of the test. (See list in the comments below.)

Will the bands continue to work for annual passholders after their hotel stay?
Yes. Once their annual pass is linked to their MagicBand, they can continue to use it and book FastPass+.

How secure are the MagicBands? Can my credit card or personal information be stolen? 
UPDATED 9-5-13: Just like most RFID chips, it’s likely someone could walk by you with an RFID reader and copy the information on your MagicBand or pass. But your credit card and personal information aren’t stored on the band or card. Only code is stored. Disney’s readers use that code to look up your information, which is stored in their secure database. Also, to make a purchase, you have to enter a four digit pin number, which you previously set up. But they could use your FastPass+ and get in your hotel room if they knew your room number. So it’s best to report it asap. (See the next question.)

What should I do if I lose my MagicBand?
If you lose it, you should immediately go to Guest Relations or log onto the app and disable the band you lost. But even if someone finds your band or steals it, they can’t make purchases with it unless they know your pin number.

Do I have to give my personal information?
To take advantage of some of MyMagic+ features and benefits, you’ll need to give Disney some personal information when you sign up online. But if you don’t mind losing some of the benefits, you can opt out of giving them part of your information or all of it. You can also opt out for your children.

Can I stop my child from being able to charge on their MagicBand?
Yes. You can set who can charge and who can’t when checking in at your Disney resort.

When paying using MagicBand, how will I get my passholder (or other) discount?
Right now, for Passholders, DVC members and cast members to get their discounts, they’ll still need to show their pass/card ticket.

What if I forget to bring my MagicBand to the park?
UPDATED 9-5-13: You’ll still be able to get in the park and use some of the MyMagic features using your card ticket, if you receive one, including FastPass+. If you don’t have a card, you’ll need to visit guest services at the park.

Can I use my ticket/pass instead of a MagicBand, or opt out of getting a MagicBand?
UPDATED 9-5-13: You’ll get one automatically when booking a stay at Disney’s resorts but you don’t have to use it. With the new system, you can have multiple MagicBands and card tickets all connected to your account. They will all work independently of each other. But keep in mind that you may not get some of the MagicBand benefits if you don’t have it with you. FastPass+ will still work with your card ticket.

Can I re-use my MagicBand on my future visits?
Yes, but you may automatically receive a new MagicBand when you make Disney resort reservations. The online site and My Disney Experience app let you manage multiple passes and MagicBands.

Can I give my MagicBand to someone else to use?
You’re not supposed to. It won’t work for getting someone in the parks because all guests still have to scan their fingerprints or show ID. You could give it to someone else to use your FastPass+ reservations, but you’re not supposed to.

What sort of MagicBand accessories are available?
UPDATE 9-5-13: Disney sells buttons, sliders and sleeves for the bands. Disney is also selling T-shirts that have various designs using Magicbands. You can find them at most of the resorts that are testing the bands. 

Is the MagicBand waterproof?
Yes, you can wear it in the pool, rain or ocean. You can also leave it on the dash of your car and it should to be OK.

What size MagicBands are available?
There is only one size available but it is supposed to fit on the wrists of 95 percent of guests. Kids and those with small wrists can peel away part of the band to make it smaller.

What do the bands feel like? Are they hypoallergenic?
They’re smooth, flexible and made of a non-latex hypoallergenic material.

What MagicBand colors are available?
You can get red, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange or gray.

How do I chose which color Magicband I want?
UPDATE 9-5-13: If you book your Disney resort stay about 10 days ahead of time, you can customize your MagicBand by choosing the color you want and the name you want printed on the back through Disney’s website. If you don’t choose your color, they will automatically give you a gray one.

Will the MagicBands work at Disney parks outside of Walt Disney World?
No, not yet. Walt Disney World is the only place they will work. Other Disney parks, including Disneyland in California, still use paper tickets.

Will my MagicBand do anything outside of Walt Disney World?
The only feature we’ve seen so far is in the Disney Infinity video game. Touch the MagicBand to the base and the Disney Dragon appears. 

NEW 9-7-13: What if I’m buying my tickets or booking my Disney resort through a third-party?
You should still be able to register on Disney’s website and look up your hotel reservation and link your tickets to your online account.

FASTPASS+

How many attractions can I book per day with FastPass+?

You can book up to three attractions per day, but they must all be at the same park. All three must be from whichever park you chose that day.

Can I used the FastPass+ program if I don’t have a MagicBand?
UPDATED 9-3-13: If you’re not staying at a Disney resort and you don’t pay the fee to upgrade your card ticket to MagicBand, you should still be able to link your ticket to the My Disney Experience app and use FastPass+.

How far ahead can I book FastPass+?
You can book your FastPasses 60 days in advance.

Do I have to choose my Fastpass+ selections ahead of time?
Disney FastPass+ kiosk in Storybook Circus

No, you can choose them when you get to the park at one of the many stations they have set up around the park or through the My Disney Experience app.

Can I change my FastPass+ selections? How do I do it?
UPDATED 9-5-13: Yes, you can change them anytime up to your FastPass return time at one of the many stations around the park or through the My Disney Experience app. If you miss one of your FastPass return times, you can reschedule it for a different time or attraction.

Can each person in our group choose different FastPasses?
Yes, you can choose the same FastPasses for everyone in your party at once or individually.

Where do I go in the park for help?
Cast members will be available at Guest Services and at the kiosks around the parks.

Can I book FastPass+ and use the old Fastpass machines?
UPDATED 9-5-13: Maybe. We read in Disney’s FAQ that you won’t be able to, but we were able to do it. If you have your card ticket or hotel room card with you, give it a try. (Resort guests are given the MagicBands and a backup Key to the World card.) In fact, we were able to book three FastPass+ times plus get a old FastPass with our room key and another one at the same time with our card ticket.
UPDATED: 11-12-13: Some resorts will begin testing only giving guests MagicBands and no hotel cards, or their hotel cards will not have a magnetic stripe needed for the old FastPass machines. These guests will only be able to use FastPass+, and not the old FastPass machines.

Will the old FastPass system remain after FastPass+ is fully launched?
Disney hasn’t said for sure. Our guess is the old FastPass system will be going away once FastPass+ is fully launched.

Do the FastPass+ reservations still include a time window for me to be there?
Yes, you will be given a one-hour window to return to the attraction in most cases. Some things, like the parade and show return times, are shorter.

What happens if an attraction I have FastPass+ booked for goes down?
UPDATED 9-5-13: You will be given a chance to pick a new FastPass attraction. You will also receive an e-mail telling you it’s no longer available. About 10 minutes before our FastPass+ time started for Test Track, we received an e-mail saying the attraction was temporarily unavailable. The e-mail listed several other attractions and said we could ride one of them anytime we wanted the rest of the day. We didn’t need to reserve a time or attraction. We just had to show up to ride. You may wait and see if the original ride you wanted reopens or go ride a different one.

Will guests be able to figure out the FastPass+ system?
That’s a good question. We will see how hard it ends up being for most guests. But Disney has set up a FastPick system which can automatically suggest FastPasses selections for those who can’t decide.

Will FastPass+ service make the attraction standby lines longer?
Disney says they don’t expect the standby queues will be any longer than they were before FastPass+.

Which attractions offer FastPass+?
The old system had 28. The new one has more than 60. Disney has added FastPass+ to many attractions and experiences that never had it before, including some quick service restaurants, shows and parades.

NEW 9-5-13: Can I use all three of my FastPass+ reservations for the same ride, so I can ride it more than once?
Maybe. Disney’s Website, app and kiosks don’t allow you to, but you may be able to do this with the help of a cast member.

Why did they add more attractions than the old Fastpass system had?
Only Disney knows for sure, but we’ve heard this will help even things out at the more popular attractions. If only the most popular attractions were available, they would all fill up quickly. But with many guests not knowing ahead of time which rides will most likely have long lines, they’ll just pick FastPasses for the attractions they most want to see. This should help spread the selection out among all the attractions.

NEW 9-5-13: If I go to an attraction at my FastPass+ return time and see there is no line, can I change that experience to a different one?
Yes. If you don’t scan in at that attraction, then you may change it to a different one. But once you scan in, the attraction is marked that you used one of your three for the day.

Why do I need a FastPass for a parade/dining, etc.?
UPDATED 9-5-13: This allows you to have a guaranteed spot for whatever you book. You can reserve a FastPass+ for a parade or fireworks show and not have to sit on the curb for hours for a great viewing spot. You can get a FastPass for Be Our Guest quick service at lunch and not have to wait in line. The Be Our Guest test is currently by invite from Disney only.

NEW 9-3-13: Will some FastPass+ reservations be available for every attraction each day or will those who book ahead get them all?
Disney hasn’t said, but we expect they will hold some back from being booked until the day of. But like the current FastPass system, FastPass+ reservations for popular rides may be gone at various times each day.

NEW 9-6-13: Will FastPass+ be available during special ticketed events such as Mickey’s Halloween and Christmas parties and Night of Joy?
No, neither the traditional FastPass system nor FastPass+ will be available during the special ticketed events.

- See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/09/03/hands-on-with-disneys-fastpass-and-magicbands-your-mymagic-questions-answered/#sthash.eVun8kw6.dpuf

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2013

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S MAGIC KINGDOM with tags , on October 31, 2013 by disneychronicles

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This past Sunday we attended Disney’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  It was our 3rd year in a row.

I almost didn’t go thinking maybe we need a break but then thought OH LET’S GO!

And I gotta say I’m glad we did!

I’m not sure what was different but this year it was just BETTER!

Maybe it seemed like more people were in costume, better candy! Not as many tootsie rolls!

And the park seemed to be decorated more throughout, not just on Main Street!

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I may have never noticed the big skull and spider hologram on the top mountain of the Thunder Mountain ride before but I did this year!

Of Course the classics and must do’s were all there…starting with

Mickey’s Boo to You Parade

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Watch the parade here…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44hKVUnAPUk&feature=share&list=UUdkJalEaeFldsgLvqz84Hww

 

Featuring the Headless Horseman!

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And my favorite would be Happy HalloWishes which is the Halloween fireworks spectacular!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdLcqrG3sl0&feature=share&list=UUdkJalEaeFldsgLvqz84Hww

This year they also added more Trick or Trick locations mainly because of Fantasyland.

There was one at the Peter Pans flight queue, Pinocchio Village Haus, 2 Story Circus locations and 1 near the Little Mermaid Ride, Under the Sea.

There was a total of 13 locations.

So if you haven’t been yet I recommend you go! I think I may even go back next year!

 

Why Stay at a Disney Resort Hotel?

Posted in DISNEY RESORT REVIEWS with tags , on September 11, 2013 by disneychronicles

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Why Stay at a Disney Resort Hotel? WHY NOT! You might as well get the FULL Disney Magic Experience!

So yes, I am an on site snob….I really think that you cannot enjoy all that Disney has to offer if you are off site!

I do have resort preferences but that’s for another post!

Here are some of the perks…

- Convenience! You are always close! You do NOT need a rental car…complimentary parking and transportation is provided by bus, boat and monorail throughout Walt Disney World Resort – Come and go from the parks as you please during regular park hours (valid park admission required). You also get complimentary motorcoach transportation between Orlando International Airport and your Disney Resort hotel via Disney’s Magical Express service.

-Disney Cast Members really know how to spread the MAGIC!

-Extra Magic Hours – Each day, one of the parks offers extended hours, so you can enjoy select attractions (valid park admission and Resort ID required).

-Access to entertaining amenities at Disney Resort hotels – Make a splash at pools with slides, explore activity programs and discover restaurants.  Otherwise known as Fully IMMERSING  yourself in Disney!

-Want a dining plan? Your not eligible off site!

- Want to shop? If you buy anything at Disney in any of the parks, other resorts or Downtown Disney you can have it delivered free of charge to your resort. 

-Priority on Tee times at Disney Golf Courses

-and because you will get 24 hour Disney Magic!

 

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