Archive for the DISNEY ATTRACTIONS Category

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

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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!

 

Watch Yourself! Especially on Vacation!

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S MAGIC KINGDOM with tags on January 5, 2013 by disneychronicles

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Due to recent events at the Magic Kingdom involving a law suit (according to Tampa Bay times) I decided to write about this to remind everyone to use common sense and pay attention to what is around you especially when on vacation!

It is easy to get side tracked with all the crowds, commotion and keeping track of your kids! (and sometimes husbands) 😀

A guest was attempting to disembark the Jungle Cruise ride when another boat full of passengers rammed into the back of her boat, causing her to be thrown backward. Her daughter slammed into her father’s chest. A Disney cast member was also injured, the suit says.  The guest was taken to a hospital and, as a result of neck and spinal injuries, has been unable to work.

She also states that the accident left a frightening impression on her daughter. She said she and her family were longtime annual pass holders and had visited Disney World hundreds of times in the past several years. “Disney was a place we celebrated many milestones. It was my daughter’s favorite but watching her mom being carted away in an ambulance was devastating to her.  She doesn’t want to go back.”

The suit filed Friday seeks damages in excess of $15,000, but her attorney said treatment for her injuries will cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” A jury trial is sought.

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ok, So I think we all go to Disney World with a sense of security and this is a strong reminder that we still have to be smart and conscious of what happens around us.  There is reason for the announcements, safety precautions and rules that are meant to be followed. I by no means am making any judgement in this lawsuit, the article just merely made me think of things we sometimes take for granted.

The Jungle Cruise simulates a riverboat cruise down rivers of Asia, Africa and South America. Guests board 1930s-style tramp steamers and go on a voyage past animatronic jungle animals. The attraction opened in the Magic Kingdom in 1977.

The tour is led by a live Disney cast member delivering a humorous scripted narration. It is a slow rather relaxing ride and funny if you get  a good cast member! We ride it often! so go out there! enjoy yourself but pay attention!

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2012

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S MAGIC KINGDOM with tags , on October 25, 2012 by disneychronicles

This past Sunday we were at one of my absolute FAV events at Magic Kingdom!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

This is a Halloween-themed special event held on select dates in the Magic Kingdom theme park.

Purchase of an additional event admission ticket is required. If you missed it this year I do recommend it for next year.  My boys LOVE it! ( I do recommend you bring your own bags….the ones they have are small)

They do have special events that you would not see otherwise….

Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade (and don’t miss the headless horseman)

 

Happy Hallowishes

 

Character Dance Parties

Villains Dance Mix & Mingle

Special Disney Character Appearances in their costumes of course!

This year they also had 11 trick or treat locations, which I think is more than they had last year.

And they do load you up at the exits! I was told they must give away all the candy that they have for that specific night.

 

 

Check out all the pictures here…..

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151152677653853.457097.142061353852&type=3

My Fantasyland Preview….YOU are going to LOVE it!

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY DINING, DISNEY'S MAGIC KINGDOM with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2012 by disneychronicles


We had a chance to preview a new section of Fantasyland!

Disney’s Enchanted Forest and …………..I LOVE it!
The official opening is scheduled for December 6th (hmmmm 2 days before my birthday, guess where I will be then?!)

The Enchanted Forest is inspired by The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

Now Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney Movie so you can imagine how excited I was to see this! And not to give too much away but my youngest son was chosen to be “beast” in the storybook adventure “Enchanted Tales with Belle” and I must add he was Fantastic!!!

Upon entering this area you will see “Enchanted Tales with Belle” to your left. The theming as always is magnificent very much like the movie.  You began by walking into Maurice’s workshop. I don’t want to give it all away here but you are transported to Beast’s library. 🙂
In my opinion this is good for girls and boys. It is a good storyline that includes parts for both.

The video only shows a small part it is a very audience participation oriented attraction so for obvious reasons I only posted the beginning….

Directly below beasts castle is the “Be Our Guest” restaurant.  Dinner here is a traditional table service inspired by French cuisine. The ballroom (once again just like the movie) is beautifully decorated, it features a domed ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and views of falling snow! (Need a cool off from the hot Florida sun? This is the place to be!)
Book reservations EARLY!

Also stop in at Gaston’s Tavern for snacks and the signature drink LeFou’s Brew which I was not able to try.

I did stop in at Bonjour! Village Gifts which has themed souvenirs mainly focusing on Beauty and the Beast.

Under the Sea was our next stop. I do wish that I was there during the daytime but it did look great even at night! You will enter Prince Eric’s castle. Walking through the queue there are many interactive spots to keep you occupied! You will then board a clamshell to start your journey. This is a great ride very musical and the effects are fabulous!

This video shows the entire ride so skip it if you would rather experience it on your own!

From what I saw I was not disappointed! This will be a great addition to the Magic Kingdom!

Check out all my photos!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151149313978853.456566.142061353852&type=1&l=b48cea5d12

So it STARTED out being a Great Weekend….

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM, EVERYTHING DISNEY, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , , on September 24, 2012 by disneychronicles

This past weekend we had a training convention at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club.

I won’t bore you with the minor details of it all but it was fun and educational. (I will be posting individual post for each event in a little more detail in the coming weeks.)

Friday night it started out with a trade show and a cocktail reception all fine and dandy. Saturday we had a ship inspection on the Disney Fantasy! I really need (want) to sail this ship!

 

Saturday night we had a surprise event at Animal Kingdom after it closed!

How awesome is that! It started with some appetizers and cocktails then moved on to dinner at the Tusker House restaurant.

After dinner we moved to another area which was set up with coffee and desserts! and for the finale a no wait no lines chance to get on and ride Expedition Everest! (as many times as you please) :-/

Well for the record I only rode once! Yup you got it…that’s all it took! so this is where it all went down hill! 😦

After ALL the eating that had just commenced you would think that maybe I would be a little smarter then to jump on a rickety super fast 50 mph with an 80′ drop roller coaster that also goes backwards.

Ahhhhhh but NO I suppose I could blame it on peer pressure but off I went! and since there was no line the only chance for hesitation was perhaps when I heard the clink of the lap restraint.

Oh yeah and did I mention it was DARK!

Well we all know how this ended (me behind a bush) didn’t even make it to the bathroom! Well not the first time anyway!

And THANKS to the GREAT Disney gift bag I was handed as I wearily schlepped myself out of the park I was able to finish on the bus on our way back to my hotel. A little graphic… yes I suppose.

(No worries no gifts were damaged, I had removed them first) 😀

So it was a horrible ending to an otherwise fabulous night!

So have you rode it? did you like it?

So some may not know…what is Expedition Everest exactly? and what’s the story?

Check it out here….

http://youtu.be/GaCKexzMSXc

The following morning as I DRAGGED myself out of bed we were scheduled on a 8 hour VIP tour of Universal Studios.

No way was I missing that! I did forego most of the rides….do it once shame on me but twice oh NO!

It was a great tour!

More on that to come!

 

 

Tips and Tricks for your Disney Vacation

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM, DISNEY'S EPCOT, DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS, DISNEY'S MAGIC KINGDOM with tags on September 7, 2012 by disneychronicles

Tips and Tricks for your Disney Vacation from a Disney Addict! Just a few things that may help your trip go smoothly! would love to hear any tips that you have also….

MAGIC KINGDOM

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days at the Magic Kingdom. Try to come toward the middle of the week, because most families hit the Magic Kingdom early in their Disney visit.

Ride a star attraction while a parade is going on if you’re willing to miss it; lines ease considerably.

Book character meals early. Main Street, U.S.A.’s Crystal Palace Buffet has breakfast with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet 8–10:30 AM. Lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella Castle is extremely popular—so much so that you should reserve your spot six months out.

EPCOT

Epcot is so vast and varied that you really need two days to explore everything. If you have just one day, be highly selective.

It’s best to go late in the week, when others are at Magic Kingdom.

The first thing you should do is grab a fast pass for Soarin’ or Test Track as the wait for these two rides can sometimes top 120 minutes.

All the countries serve pretty much the same kids meals, so if you have a picky eater don’t worry about picking a pavilion to dine in.

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Visit late in the week, while most people are rushing through Magic and Animal kingdoms.

Check the tip board periodically for attractions with short wait times that you can visit between Fastpass appointments.

Be at the Fantasmic! amphitheater at least an hour before show time if you didn’t book the Fantasmic! dinner package.

Need a burst of energy? Snag a freshly baked chocolate-chip cookie or a pastry at Starring Rolls Cafe, at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset. Alternatively, Hollywood Scoops Ice Cream on Sunset might be just the thing on a hot day.

If you plan to have a fast-food lunch, eat before 11 am or after 2:30 pm. There are food stands along Sunset. You can get a burger (meat or veggie) or chicken strips at Rosie’s All-American Cafe, a slice of pizza from Catalina Eddie’s, or a chili dog at Toluca Legs Turkey Company.

Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror are the three most popular rides at Hollywood Studios. You may want to consider the single rider lines for these.

Don’t miss the parade if you can help it. The Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun parade is an interactive experience not to be missed.

ANIMAL KINGDOM

Try to visit during the week. Pedestrian areas are compact, and the park can feel horribly packed on weekends.

Arrive a half hour before the park opens as much to see the wild animals at their friskiest (morning is a good time to do the safari ride) as to get a jump on the crowds.

The two most popular attractions are the Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. Make sure those are your first two stops of the day.

The best time to ride Kali River Rapids is between 1pm and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest.

Make sure to see Festival of the Lion King. The show is great and has air conditioning!

and overall don’t forget to have a MAGICAL time! even you don’t get to see it all!

There’s always next year! 😀

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