Posts filed under ‘Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park’

Walt Disney World in December 2011 – Crowds, Special Events & Ride Closure Information

Hey there! Your December 2011 trip to the Walt Disney World Resort & Theme Parks is coming up quickly – are you excited? I want to pass on a little information about crowds, ride closures, and special events that might affect your trip

Crowd Warnings:

  • Avoid going to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot on Christmas Day and New Years Eve. There is a good chance that the park could close because of capacity level crowds and the lines will be horrible. Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks are much better choices for these days.
  • December 1 – 21, 2011. News is getting out about the fun to be had in Walt Disney World in early December but the crowds are only mid-level and quite manageable. Just be sure to watch your “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” dates because the Magic Kingdom will close early those nights and won’t have the Disney’s Main Street Electric Parade, which replaced the SpectroMagic Parade.
  • December 22, 2011 – January 2, 2012 – Christmas Break! You will experience “Holiday Crowds” which are even heavier than “Peak” crowds. Disney closed to capacity crowds several times during 06 Christmas Seasons and they expect the same thing to happen again this year. A good touring plan with “Best Days” information is absolutely essential if you don’t want to spend your whole vacation standing in line.
  • Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) –We’re so happy to report that Fantasmic! is being offered every night this month. This is a very popular show and we highly recommend it – arrive 70-90 minutes early, if you do not have a Fantasmic! Dinner package. Disney may add a second, later performance on certain evenings during the winter break – if they do, the later showing of Fantasmic! will always be less crowded than the earlier one. Warning: This show is excellent but it does feature villains for a good 8-10 minutes. The scene is fairly intense and can be frightening to small children.
  • Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade (Magic Kingdom) – This wonderful nighttime parade is not offered every night and the Magic Kingdom will be more crowded on days featuring a Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade. The Disney’s Main Street Electric Parade will be presented on December 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and January 1, 2, 3. If Disney offers a second evening parade, the later parade will be less crowded than the earlier.
  • Extra Magic Hours – (Special hours only available to Disney resort hotel guest) – We recommend that everyone avoid the Extra Magic Hour park of the day. Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms and no one goes to Disney alone – that means too many people are pointed in the same direction at the same time. You’ll have a much nicer time by going to a less busy park. This is doubly important if you are not staying at a Disney resort – you don’t want to get to the theme park and find a bunch of Disney guests in line in front of you.
  • Pop Warner National Football, Dance, & cheer Events at Walt Disney World – December 3 – 12, 2011. These events take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports and the events themselves will not affect you. You may encounter groups of young athletes and their families in your resort, especially at the All-Star Resorts, and at the theme parks. Don’t let the chatter on some of the forums scare you – this event has a minimal impact on crowds. Enthusiastic youths can raise the noise level at the resorts though; guests staying at a value resort may want to add a request for a room in a quiet location to your reservation. Expect the resort food court to be busy at breakfast, if there are athletic groups staying at your resort.

A good touring plan is a very important tool for dealing with Christmas Break crowds. You can have a great trip and avoid long lines by doing just a little advance planning that will make sure you see and do the things that are important to you in a way that keeps you ahead of the crowds.We provide three choices for custom touring plans – 1) a subscription to Tour Guide Mike, a highly respected online planning service and Disney planning community with 45,000 members, 2) the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, the most popular guide book available with information on every resort, restaurant, attraction and activity, or 3) A subscription to Touringplans.com – at no charge to you when you book your trip through Build A Better Mouse Trip. Call us toll free at 877-815-6515.

New Character Meal  at Disney World:

  • Beginning December 4, 2011 – Character lunches with Daisy and Donald Duck will be added to Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This location has offered a character breakfast for some time now and we’re very excited about the addition of lunch. In our opinion, character lunches are better than character breakfasts because you get to ride the rides while the crowds are at their lowest (morning) and then sit down for a meal when the crowds are heavier and you’re ready for a break. This location does participate in the Disney Dining Plan.

Special Events for December: Christmas at Disney World

  • November 11, 2011 – January 3, 2012  – Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Millions of lights decorate the Streets of America backlot area. No extra charge – included with the cost of admission.
  • Candlelight Processional (Epcot) – November 25 – December 30th, 2011. Nightly: 5:00, 6:45, & 8:00PM. A large choir, orchestra, and celebrity narrators retell the Christmas Story in the America Gardens Theatre. This beautiful production is extremely popular and fills to capacity. TIP: Arrive at least 45 minutes early for the 5:00PM performance for your best chance to get in with a minimum wait. This year’s celebrity narrators (subject to change without notice):   Nov. 25 – Nov. 27th: Mira Sorvino  /  Nov. 28 – Dec. . 1: Michael W. Smith  / Dec. 2 – Dec. 3: Whoppi Goldberg / Dec. 4 – Dec. 6: Edward James Olmos  / Dec. 7 – Dec. 9: Isabella Rosselina  / Dec. 10 – Dec. 12: Neil Patrick Harris   / Dec. 13 – Dec. 15: Lorraine Bracco  / Dec. 16 – Dec. 18: To Be Announced  / Dec. 19 – Dec. 21: Trace Adkins  /Dec. 22 – Dec. 24: Susan Lucci / Dec. 25 – Dec. 27: Blair Underwood  / Dec. 28 – Dec. 30: Marlee Matlin with interpreter Jack Jason
  • Holiday’s Around The World (Epcot) – November 25 – December 20, 2011. The World Showcase pavilions will each feature a special holiday storyteller that tells about Christmas (or other holiday) festivities in that country. No extra ticket needed – included with your park admission. Check your Epcot Times Guide. Storyteller Locations: American Adventure: Story of Hanukkah, Santa Claus, Story of Kwanzaa /Canada: Papa Noel China: The Monkey King /France: Pere Noel / Germany: Helga /Italy: La Befana / Japan: Daruma Vendor / Mexico: The Three Kings  /Morocco: Taarji / Norway: Julenissen /United Kingdom: Father Christmas
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Magic Kingdom – 7 PM to Midnight – November 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 28, and 30; December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16,  and 18. This event requires a special ticket – your Magic Your Way ticket won’t get you in. Tickets are $55 – $67 depending on the date and age of the participant. It is a fun event but it costs a chunk of change so use your own judgment as to whether this is a “must do” event for your trip. Just call and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or to book those tickets for you. If you are not doing this event, you will want to be aware that the Magic Kingdom closes early – at 7PM – on the nights of the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and they generally won’t have the Disney’s Main Street Parade those nights.
  • Animal Kingdom – Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade ~ November 8, 2011 – January 3, 2012. A special holiday parade where Mickey Mouse and his friends celebrate teh season safari style.
  • Christmas Church Service at Walt Disney World – December 25, 2011. Religious services are being offered at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in the Fantasia Ballroom. Catholic mass is December 25th at 8:00AM and 10:15AM. Protest service offered at 9:00AM. Guests are asked to use the WDW transportation to the Contemporary Resort – parking will not be available at the resort. Start at the Magic Kingdom and take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort or use the walking trail. Guests parked at the Walt Disney World Ticket and Transportation Center (also Magic Kingdom parking) can take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort.

Temporary Attraction Closures and refurbishments:

  • Ariel’s Grotto & Pooh’s Playful Spot (Magic Kingdom) have closed to make room for the big Fantasyland expansion project.
  • Mickey’s Toontown Square (Magic Kingdom) closed on February 11, 2011. A new area is being contructed in this space. The Walt Disney World Railroad will continue to run but the Toontown Station will be closed during construction. The Disney Princesses, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Meet-an-Greets are now in the new Town Square Theater; FASTPASS tickets available. Tinker Bell and Friends are meeting guests at Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook at the Adventureland Verandah in the Magic Kingdom.
  • Honey, I Shrunk The Audience 3D (Epcot) has been replaced by Captain EO, featuring Michael Jackson
  • Yakitori House (Restaurant – Epcot) will be closed August 8, 2011 – December 1, 2011.
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach (water park) – is closed October 20 – December 3, 2011 for its annual refurbishment.
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (water park) – will be closed December 4, 2011 – March 17, 2012 for its annual refurbishment.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort – Beach Sand Renourishment from Dec. 24, 2011 – Jan. 10, 2012.
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa will be closed from September 19, 2011 to Mid-2013. The fitness center will remain open. Spa services are available at The Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Stprings Resort.
  • Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course will be closed November 28 – December 7, 2011.
  • Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course will be closed December 8 – 16, 2011.
  • Disney’s Osprey Ridge & Lake Buena Vista Golf Courses will be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2011.

Disney’s Magical Express (Airport Shuttle Service) -New luggage procedure for late night arrivals. Luggage service will no longer be available for arrivals to Orlando International Airport after 10:00PM. Collect your luggage at baggage claim and take with you to the Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk.

Disney Theme Park Touring Plans:

At Build A Better Mouse Trip, we are convinced that everyone can benefit with good touring plans – this is even more important during holiday travel seasons. During busy times, a good plan will absolutely keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the lines – our clients typically wait less than 20 minutes for rides, even thrill rides and headliners. During less crowded times, a good plan factors in shorter park hours and fewer performance times. But the most important benefit of a good plan is that everyone gets to ride and see the things that they are looking forward to because everyone’s priorities are included in a plan that tours the parks efficiently and effectively.

We offer three great options for touring plans at no extra cost to you when you book your Disney vacation through Build A Better Mouse Trip – For more information, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php

Do you need this information for some other month?  You can see all of our newsletters at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/monthly-newsletters.php

Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com
Toll free: 877-815-6515

November 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm 1 comment

Disney World at Christmas – Things to See and Do

Joyful Celebrations and Timeless Traditions Delight Guests at Walt Disney World Resort

[UPDATED 10-31-11 to include information about The Magic, The Memories and You plus new dates for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and new dates for Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.]

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – It’s the month before Christmas and throughout Mickey’s house, the trees are all glowing, bringing smiles to The Mouse. Choirs are singing, bakers taking great care, sounds and smells of the season are filling the air…

At Walt Disney World Resort in 2011, it begins to look a lot like Christmas as early as Nov. 8. Santa’s elves bedazzle every corner of the Vacation Kingdom for a seasonal spectacle filled with heartwarming stage productions, enchanting parades, garlands and wreaths, millions of sparkling lights and even the first flakes of winter.

And with a ho, ho, whole lot of cheer being spread over more than a month, guests have more choice as to when they join in the magical, one-of-a-kind celebration.

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – On 19 special nights, holiday revelers can delight during this cheery, family-friendly event. Party-goers embrace the joys of the season – sipping cocoa, catching a “snowflake” and enjoying merry shows, fireworks, carolers and special character meet and greets.

This after-hours party on select nights between Nov. 8 and Dec. 18, 2011, features a sleigh full of merriment:

  • An enchanting Cinderella Castle adorned with Castle Dream Lights (through Jan.8)
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, complete with a special appearance by Santa Claus himself, and for the first time Duffy the Disney Bear.
  • An exclusive holiday fireworks extravaganza — Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
  • Live entertainment featuring Disney characters
  • Meet and greet opportunities with favorite Disney characters in Holiday attire, including Phineas & Ferb in Tomorrowland, the Seven Dwarfs in Frontierland and Duffy the  Disney Bear in Town Square.
  • Complimentary cookies, apple slices and hot cocoa
  • A magical snow fall on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Many popular Magic Kingdom attractions open for fun

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will take place Nov. 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 18, 2011, from 7 p.m. until midnight. Day-of-event pricing is $62.95 and $57.95 for ages 3 to 9. Savings of $6 per ticket are available if tickets are purchased in advance. Visit Disneyworld.com/holidays.

Castle Dream Lights – Each evening of the season, Cinderella Castle shimmers with lights brought to beaming brightness during a ceremonial show performed at dusk. Beginning Nov. 4 and continuing through Jan. 3, 2012, Cinderella and favorite Disney characters decked out in festive holiday garb take center stage and magically transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace draped with 200,000 ice cycle-white lights – a breathtaking focal point to a park ready for revelers with wreaths, bows, garland, towering Christmas trees and scarlet poinsettias dominating the landscape.

The Magic, The Memories and You! – The nightly light show on Cinderella Castle gets in “the spirit” throughout the holidays with a special segment that wraps the Magic Kingdom landmark in colorful bows and boughs, gift paper and ribbons, ornaments, candy stripes and multi-colored strands of lights … and gingerbread.

Epcot

Candelight Processional – An inspirational retelling of the Christmas story accompanied by a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra punctuates the reason for the season during this time-honored Epcot tradition. Each evening Nov. 25-Dec. 30, 2011, a celebrity narrator (from a lineup that includes Steven Curtis Chapman, Marlee Matlin and Neil Patrick Harris) takes to the America Gardens Theatre stage and shares the story of Christ’s birth. Guests can sing along as the trumpeters and full orchestra offer a riveting performance featuring seasonal melodies. Shows are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

To ensure a seat for this memorable performance, Candlelight Dinner packages are available at select Epcot restaurants. They include a special fireworks viewing area and guaranteed seating for Candlelight Processional. For bookings call 407-WDW-DINE.

Holidays around the World Throughout World Showcase, international storytellers share traditions and tales from their homeland. Strolling along the promenade during the Holidays around the World celebration may put you face-to-face with the good-hearted witch La Befana, known in Italy for filling children’s shoes with treats, or the jolly gift-bearer Father Christmas in the United Kingdom. There are meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the American Adventure, plus other legendary icons who share messages of goodwill. The celebrations of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are celebrated as well.

The evening is capped by “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” the mesmerizing Epcot spectacular on World Showcase lagoon featuring fireworks, laser lights and water choreographed to a musical soundtrack – with a holiday finale.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Entering the Hollywood Studios backlot, guests discover a virtual city of lights. On, over and among the cityscape buildings are millions of dazzling bulbs, dancing lights and animated displays synchronized to high-energy holiday tunes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Nov. 10-Jan. 7, 2012. The spectacle will not be operational Dec. 8.

It’s truly a mega-watt spectacle for the eyes with colorful wreaths, twirling carousels, flying angels, Santa and his reindeer, swirling snow flurries, and amazing 3-D effects around every corner.

The tradition began in 1986 in Arkansas, at the home of businessman Jennings Osborne, who strung 1,000 lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter. After the exhibit grew larger and brighter each year, it was transported to Disney in 1995 where the light exhibit now mesmerizes guests from all over the world each year. The tradition continues after Jennings’ death on July 27, 2011.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade – King Louie and Baloo lead a rousing musical cavalcade – safari style – through the park from Nov. 10 to Jan. 3, 2012, during Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. The wild side of Disney’s Animal Kingdom blends with a playful spirit of the holidays as Chip & Dale, stilt walkers and savannah friends dance alongside decorative floats at 4 p.m. daily. The savory scent of chocolate floats thru the air as Minnie’s candy cane and hot cocoa float roll by.

Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village at Camp Minnie-Mickey has decked the halls big time with festive décor. A perfectly trimmed Christmas tree adorned with animal crafted ornaments welcomes guests at the park’s entrance. Carolers spread holiday cheer and Santa Goofy and friends greet guests for photo opportunities.

Downtown Disney

With dozens of shops that stretch from the Marketplace to the West Side (and plenty of taste-bud-tempting treats!), Downtown Disney is a shopper’s delight. There are one-of-a-kind boutiques such as TrenD, a sports shop at Team Mickey, plus enough toys, games, character merchandise, and costumes to fill Santa’s sleigh at Once Upon a Toy and World of Disney. There’s also Fuego by Sosa Cigars, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Basin (soaps and bath products), LEGO Imagination Center and much more – including Disney’s Days of Christmas where guests can choose Disney ornaments and decorations any season of the year.

School choirs and bands often perform at the dock stage to ring in the season. Kids can pose for pictures and sit with Santa Claus, Nov. 19 – Dec. 24, 2011.

Resort Hotels

Disney resort hotels are dressed up for the holidays, offering an ideal home-away-from-home during the season. An intricate, life-size gingerbread house cooked up by Walt Disney World pastry chefs is a must-see at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The yummy sugar shack is baked with 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 35 pounds of spices and more. It even has a chimney that puffs out delicious cinnamon smoke.

A magnificent gingerbread carousel complete with chocolate and soft-candy ponies and oversized candy-cane poles takes center stage at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Other hotels are spruced up with wreaths and trees decorated with miles of garland, ribbon and glistening ornaments. Check each hotel for holiday dining offerings and special entertainment.

Disney World Crowd Levels, Ride Closures, and Special Event Information: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/monthly-newsletters.php#top

November & December Room Rate Discount: Must book by Nov. 19, 2011 . Save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels for most nights from October 30 -November 18, November 26 – December 23, 2011. This offer can be applied to packages but only the room portion is discounted.   For all available discounts, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/monthly-newsletters.php#discounts

Contact Us Today To Book Your Disney Vacation

Build A Better Mouse Trip
http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com
Toll free: 877-815-6515

Source: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2011/11/01/disney-season-the-holidays/

November 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

Disney’s Animal Kingdom / Kilmanjaro Safari Trivia

The song played on the radio of your Kilimanjaro Safari vehicle (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) is “Hapa Duniani”, performed by African Dawn, and is actually The Lord’s Prayer in Swahili.

October 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Disney World Adds New Character Lunch at Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Beginning Dec. 4th, character lunches will be offered at Tusker House restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.  Daisy & Donald Duck will appear.  Character lunches are better than character breakfasts because you get to ride the rides while the crowds are at their lowest (morning) and then sit down for a meal and a break when the crowds start to build.   The meal is a buffet. Yea, Disney!

Contact us today to plan your Disney Vacation:

Build A Better Mouse Trip
http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com
Toll free: 877-815-6515

September 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

30% Off Select Disney Theme Park Quick Service (Counter-service) restaurants

Special Holiday Discount Promotion
30% Off Select Disney Theme Park Quick Service (Counter-service) restaurants
December 19, 2010  – January 1, 2011

 Dining at off-peak times is always a good idea at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks Quick-Service / Counter-service restaurants because you avoid long lines but now there’s another great reason to dine during off hours  – you can save 30% off your meal at select Disney Counter-service restaurants when you dine before noon or between 3:00 – 4:30PM.

You must present one of these printable vouchers found at http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/walt-disney-world-dining-voucher/ to receive your discount.   Print more than you think you’ll need because you’ll have to present one at each meal.     Then just give any extras away to other guests. 

The great thing about this deal is that you can benefit even if you’re not staying at a Disney resort.   Guests on a Disney Dining Plan may still want to print out a few  vouchers, just in case you end up buying some extra meals. 

We recently wrote an article listing the quick-service meals we consider the best in taste and quality at Walt Disney Restaurants and several of the restaurants included in this discount are included on that list.  You can see the full article at http://www.squidoo.com/best-disney-world-quick-service-meals

Merry Christmas!

Stephen

Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com

Get your  vouchers: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/walt-disney-world-dining-voucher/

Participating restaurants:   

Magic Kingdom Park:

  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
  • Columbia Harbour House
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant

Epcot:

  • Electric Umbrella
  • Liberty Inn (United State Pavilion)
  • Sunshine Seasons (my personal favorite)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • ABC Commissary
  • Backlot Express
  • Studio Catering Company

 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Flame tree Barbecue (my other favorite)
  • Pizzafari
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Find other helpful information about crowds & special events at Walt Disney World in our December newsletter

December 12, 2010 at 5:26 am Leave a comment

Walt Disney World in January 2010 – Crowd levels, Special Events, Promotions, Refurbishments, and Ride Closures.

There are some things going on at Walt Disney World in January that you need to know about:                                                                                                           

Crowd Warnings:

1.      Crowds will very heavy through January 3rd as people enjoy their Christmas break at Walt Disney World.   The rest of the month will have low to moderate crowds.    Low crowds mean shorter hours and fewer shows so plan accordingly.  
2.     2010 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 7th – 10th . The Disney marathons are very popular so we’ll see a bit of a surge in the crowds for this weekend.  The marathon events won’t affect the crowds but you will find runners and their families at the resorts and visiting the parks when not involved with the marathon itself.  The Magic Kingdom will see the largest number of visitors.
3.     Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) –This great show is no longer presented every night.  It will be offered January 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21, 22, 24, & 28.  This is a very popular show and we highly recommend it – arrive 60-90 minutes early, if you do not have a Fantasmic! Dinner package.  Disney may add a second, later performance on certain evenings around New Years  – if they do, the later showing of Fantasmic! will always be less crowded than the earlier one   Warning: When there are limited performances, you know Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going to be busier on days featuring a Fantasmic! show.  Afternoons will be especially busy as those with Park Hopper tickets come over to see the show.  A good touring plan will help you manage this.   Warning:  This show  is excellent but it does feature villains for a good 8-10 minutes.  The scene is fairly intense and can be frightening to small children.
4.     SpectroMagic Parade (Magic Kingdom) – This wonderful nighttime parade is not offered every night and the Magic Kingdom will be more crowded on days featuring a SpectroMagic Parade.   The SpectroMagic Parade will be presented on January 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30.    If Disney offers a second evening parade, the later parade will be less crowded than the earlier.
5.     Avoid going to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot New Years Eve.   There is a good chance that the park could close because of capacity level crowds and the lines will be horrible.  Disney’s Hollywood StudiosDisney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks are much better choices for these days.
6.     Extra Magic Hours – (Special hours only available to Disney resort hotel guest)!  Crowds will be low enough that January (after January 3rd)  is really the only time we recommend taking in the Extra Magic Hours.   We recommend that everyone avoid the Extra Magic Hour park of the day through January 3rd.    Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms and no one goes to Disney alone – that means too many people are pointed in the same direction at the same time. You’ll have a much nicer time by going to a less busy park.  This is doubly important if you are not staying at a Disney resort – you don’t want to get to the theme park and find a bunch of Disney guests in line in front of you. 
7.      Magic Kingdom – Christmas Break.  The Magic Kingdom theme park will open at 8:00AM for Disney Resort Guests only at 8:00AM from December 24th – January 2nd.  This may create some complications for visitors who are not staying at a Disney hotel.    Be sure to arrive by 8:30AM and get a FASTPASS as soon as you’re allowed in.  Not every attraction is open during Extra Magic Hours so you’ll have the same access to many attractions as anyone else.  Use a good touring plan to help you.
8.     A good touring plan is still important during low crowds.   Shorter hours and fewer show times mean that some advance planning will make sure you and do the things that are important to you. We provide three choices for custom touring plans – our Custom Touring Plans, the 2010 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (book), or a subscription to Tour Guide Mike (online service) – at  no charge to you when you book your trip through Build A Better Mouse Trip.  For more information, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.php

Special Events:

1.   Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancng  Lights  (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – November 10, 2009 – January 4, 2010.  This is an incredible holiday light display beginning around dusk.   Every 15 minutes, the display will glow and dim to correspond with the holiday music.  It is quite a sight!  No extra ticket needed – included with your park admission.
2.     Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade (Animal Kingdom)  – Offered through January 3rd.
3. Photos with “Santa Goofy” at Santa’s Chalet in Downtown Disney Marketplace.  Offered through January 3rd.  3:00 – 10:00PM.   
4. 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon.  January 7-10th.   Very popular event
5.     Celebrate Tonight – Downtown Disney’s West End Plaza.  Mini Street Parties featuring a DJ and stilt walkers lead dances, the limbo, party games, and sign-alongs.  They only last about 20 minutes each but are a lot of fun.  Sunday – Thursday:  intermittently 5:00pm– 11:00pm.  Friday – Saturday:  intermittently 6:00pm– Midnight.  Check on the hour and half hour.

 Temporary Attraction Closures and refurbishments:

  • Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom) will be closed from January 3rd – February 27th, 2010
  • Crystal Palace Restaurant (Magic Kingdom) will be closed from January 3rd – February 15th, 2010.  During this time, character meals will be offered at Liberty Tree Tavern (Restaurant – Magic Kingdom).
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (water park) – will be closed through January 9th for its annual refurbishment.
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach (water park) – will be closed January 10th – March 20th for its annual refurbishment.
  • Liberty Belle Riverboat is closed to guests until January 4th, 2010 due to the Tiana’ Showboat Jubilee.
  • Uzima Pool & Spa –  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge –  will be closed from January 4th – January 29th.  Guests may use the pool at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village area.
  • Luna Pool–  Disney’s Boardwalk Inn –  will be closed from January 18th – early February. 
  • Other refurbishments  –  January typically has a lot of pool refurbishments because the weather is cool and crowds are low. We’ll keep you posted if additional pool closures are announced.  Most resorts have more than one pool.
  • Disney’s Magical Express (Airport Shuttle Service) – New luggage procedure for late night arrivals.  As of March 30th, luggage service will no longer be available for arrivals to Orlando International Airport after 10:00PM.   Collect your luggage at baggage claim and take with you to the Disney’s Magical Express check-in desk. 

 Can You Save Money with the “Free Nights” Promotion?

Disney recently released a “free nights” promotion that includes select dates in December.   There is very limited availability for December but the savings can be significant.   Guests staying at a Disney Value resort for 5 nights can receive two additional nights free.   Guests booking a qualifying Magic Your Way package at a Disney moderate or deluxe resort for four nights can receive up to three nights stay.   Your ticket length is also increased but you still have to pay for the dining plan for those nights, if you are using a Disney Dining Plan.  Use tour online form  to contact us to book your reservation.

 Free Theme Park Touring Plans

If you find this report helpful, please consider using us to book your vacation reservations or for custom theme park touring plans.  We are authorized Walt Disney World Vacation Planners and book directly with Disney so you never pay more than if you booked the reservation yourself.  Then we provide lots of help and advice designed to take the stress out of vacation planning.

  •  Help with building a Best Days Itinerary – a daily schedule that puts you in the best park for each day of your trip
  • Help with dining reservations (subject to availability)
  • Custom touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.  Or, if you prefer to do your own plans, we will provide either a subscription to Tour Guide Mike or the newest edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to you instead of our touring plans.  The choice is yours.

At Build A Better Mouse Trip, we are convinced that everyone can benefit with good touring plans.   During busy times, a good plan will absolutely keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the lines – our clients typically wait less than 20 minutes for rides, even thrill rides and headliners.   During less crowded times, a good plan factors in shorter park hours and fewer performance times.    But the most important benefit of a good plan is that everyone gets to ride and see the things that they are looking forward to because everyone’s priorities are included in a plan that tours the parks efficiently and effectively.  For more information see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/freetouringplans.htm 

You can purchase custom planning service from us but most of our clients get them for free.  We accept Disney and other hotel commissions as payment for our planning services. If you’ve already booked your own reservation, it may be possible to have our name added as the agent of record.  Your rate, confirmation, and benefits all stay exactly the same.  In this situation, Disney just pays us the commission they would’ve kept for themselves.  Then – free to you – we provide you with touring plans that let you enjoy more attractions with less lines.

 If you have questions or are interested in our services:

                * just call us toll free at 877-815-6515
                * or use the online form    

Thank you,

Stephen

Build A Better Mouse Trip
www.buildabettermousetrip.com
Toll Free Phone: 877-815-6515

Build A Better Mouse Trip is a full service travel agency specializing in Florida vacations & Cruises. Build A Better Mouse Trip is not affiliated with or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.

December 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm 1 comment

Great Walt Disney World Restaurants for Older Kids, T’ween, and Teens

It is easy to find dining experiences for young children at Walt Disney World.  There is a plethora of character meals and you certainly never have to go far to find a kids meal.  But what about older kids, junior high students, and teens?  Are there any memorable or fun restaurants for them?

We’ve compiled a list of restaurants we consider the best Disneyworld has to offer big kids and teens.  We aren’t including counter-service / fast food type locations in this list – just table service restaurants. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Restaurants for Teens – see: http://www.squidoo.com/Animal-Kingdom-restaurants-for-teens

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park Restaurants for Teens – see: http://www.squidoo.com/Disneys-Hollywood-Studios-restaurants-for-teens

Epcot Theme Park Restaurants for Teens – See: http://www.squidoo.com/Epcot-restaurants-for-teens

Magic Kingdom Theme Park Restaurants for Teens – see: http://www.squidoo.com/Magic-Kingdom-restaurants-for-teens

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Restaurants for Teens – see: http://www.squidoo.com/Walt-Disney-World-Resort-Hotel-Restaurants-for-Teens

Downtown Disney (Orlando) Restaurants for Teens – see: http://www.squidoo.com/Downtown-Disney-Restaurants-for-Teens 

Thank you,

Stephen

Build A Better Mouse Trip
Toll free: 877-815-6515

November 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

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