Welcome

To all who enter this happy place, welcome… to my Disney Guide.  I created this page after getting tired of updating a Word document with all of my general tips and tricks to Walt Disney World.

This site is nowhere near as comprehensive as AllEars.net, or a Birnbaum Guide.  It’s not meant to be.  This instead is a place to come to sort out the noise and get a start on Disney planning and basic Disney travel management.  I haven’t covered everything here yet, but who knows – now that I’ve moved it to a blog, maybe I’ll get creative.  🙂

Although we visit many times each year, I can’t see/do everything.  So if there’s something I’ve missed, please let me know.  Also – I’ve enabled comments on each of the pages you’ll find via the drop-down menu above, so if you have other tips and tricks to share on a given topic, you can do so.

Rapid Fill Mugs coming to WDW Resorts

For the last several years, you could buy a refillable mug that allows you virtually unlimited access to soft drinks within your resort.  Unofficially, you could even carry your mug with you to another resort and refill it there, too.  Mug colors changed over the years in an effort to police the indefinite reuse of the mugs (i.e.: you are supposed to buy a new one each visit).

Now, Disney is rolling out a new mug technology – RFID-enabled mugs that are programmable to allow for a certain number of days’ use, and they WILL be useable at every resort on property at  Walt Disney World for the length of your program.  No word yet on whether the RFID-enabled self-service soft drink machines will also be placed within the individual theme parks.  It also sounds as if they’re going to include the mugs in the DDP.

Disney Raising WDW and DL Park Ticket Prices TOMORROW!

Every year, Disney increases their ticket prices.  Last year, it was approximately a 10% change.  Tomorrow, their prices will increase again – by about 7% (average of 6.68% for adults and 6.77% for kids 3-9, but it varies based on the number of days you’re staying).  At WDW, the Park Hopper Option is increasing by $2, as is Water Parks Fun & More Option.  If you get them both, it’s increasing by $5 from $79 to $84.  But the biggest change is in the No Expire Option – 12.38% on average, up by 15% for a 10-day NE ticket.

So, what can you do about it?  Well, if you’re like me, you are at least thinking about whether you’ll be headed to Disney in the foreseeable future, and, if so, whether you’re willing to buy tickets for that trip today.  Because any tickets you buy from Disney (via their website or a Disney Store) before midnight tonight will be at the 2012-2013 prices, not 2013-2014 prices.

“But wait!” you say.  “Don’t I have to use them soon?”

Nope.

As long as you don’t actually use the tickets to enter a theme park, they stay UNUSED forever (they’re limited only to the theme parks in existence today, though – not a huge limitation, but one nonetheless).  If you use them once, however, the clock starts ticking on any ticket that doesn’t have a No Expire option and must be completely used within 14 days of first use.  Thus, even if you plan to go to WDW or DL … but not until 2015 or 2016, no worries.  And if Disney increases their prices again before you’re able to go, you’ll have saved even more money.

To start your own comparison, visit Allears.net to see the current ticket prices.  Then head over to WDW or DL’s websites (links to each are in the Disney Blog post above) and run a comparison.  Then add another percentage jump for each subsequent year that you think will pass between now and your trip.  Disney’s price increases outstrip most financial investment returns (your checking account is probably getting less than 1% return) – as a result, it’s actually better to INVEST in Disney tickets than it is to keep money in the bank.

2013 Eat to the Beat Artists Announced

I can’t believe it – I wanna’ be there all fall.  Every couple of days, a washed up artist performs… many of which would be awesome to see live.  Except Hanson.  Sure, they’re still washed up, but I have no desire to see them.

Check out the full schedule below:

  • Sept. 27-29 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas
  • Sept. 30-Oct. 1 – Go-Go’s
  • Oct. 2-4 – Air Supply
  • Oct. 5-6 – Sister Hazel
  • Oct. 7-9 – Sugar Ray
  • Oct. 10-11 – Edwin McCain
  • Oct. 12-13 – Manhattan Transfer
  • Oct. 14-15 – Wilson Phillips
  • Oct. 16-17 – The Pointer Sisters
  • Oct. 18-20 – Night Ranger
  • Oct. 21-23 – Boyz II Men
  • Oct. 24-25 – Survivor
  • Oct. 26-27 – 38 Special
  • Oct. 28-30 – Smash Mouth
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – Spin Doctors
  • Nov. 2-3 – Christopher Cross
  • Nov. 4-5 – Hanson
  • Nov. 6-8 – Dennis DeYoung
  • Nov. 9-11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Disney Magic to be re-imagined in 2013

The Disney Magic is about to get a partial facelift while in drydock in Cadiz, Spain from September 7 – October 10, 2013.  And it wouldn’t be complete without a complimentary feature to it’s sister ship’s AquaDuck.

So, introducing, the AquaDunk, a 3-story waterslide, that, like it’s cousin the AquaDuck, will take you down and off the side of the ship, suspended over the ocean, encased in a plexiglass tube.  It looks awesome!

Also in store, a new kid’s slide and pool, a new Grand Atrium (to look more like the Fantasy and Dream), a new Oceaneer’s Club, a new kids’s pool, and new things with some of the restaurants.  Check it out!  Or, do the Virtual AquaDunk (notice the view on Funnel Vision).

Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Point to Open May 17

OK.  So I’ve read this article more than once and while I still can’t figure out exactly why this attraction is going to be so super awesome, at least the ride vehicle technology sounds cool.

Update:  Reading more, it sounds like a new take on a Haunted Mansion-esque attraction, perhaps even ala Cory Doctorow’s vision from Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

OSHA Shuts Down Several Disneyland Rides

In an interesting bit of news yesterday, the California division of OSHA served notice on Disneyland and shuttered several attractions for violations related to worker (not guest) safety.

In addition, there was apparently a fire aboard one of the Nemo subs (also mentioned in the above article). If you’re planning to visit Disneyland (and California Adventure) in the near future, be advised that some of your favorite attractions might not be available.