What I Wouldn’t Do If I Were Rich

Guess who didn’t win last week’s $590.5 million Powerball jackpot? That’s right. I also didn’t win the subsequent jackpot worth a mere $20 million despite there being a zillion fewer people buying tickets. Because why play when the prize is only 20 million? Clearly, I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking, but I highly encourage the rest of the world to do so, as I need all the help I can get to bolster my odds of winning. I’m a working parent, after all. A very not rich mom who will likely die without ever being able to afford … Continue reading

Downtown Disney to Expand into Disney Springs

A few years after it announced and then scrapped plans to reformat Pleasure Island, the official Disney Parks blog has revealed that Downtown Disney is getting an upgrade.  A years-long project will transform Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, an even larger shopping and entertainment district. Downtown Disney is so popular with Florida residents and Disney World guests alike that it was time to expand.  Don’t worry about suddenly needing a ticket to get into the area: just like before, Disney Springs will be open to the public (though individual entertainment venues still might require tickets for entrance). Tom Staggs, the … Continue reading

Tips about Disney Dining Plans

If you’re planning your first time Disney trip, or are a veteran but want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your vacation, the Disney Blog’s deals writer Chris Wood has more great tips for you.  This time around, it’s how to make the most of the Disney Dining Plan. First tip: your Dining Plan benefits start when you check in, so you can begin using them immediately, even if it’s hours until you’re able to get into your room.  This is especially beneficial to know if there’s going to be a meal time between your arrival and … Continue reading

Tips for Disney World Resort Hotel Stays

Today I just learned about a new Disney resort: the Disney Yacht Club resort.  When I say new, I don’t mean that it’s about to be built or to open, but that I had never heard of it before.  The resort’s been around since 1990.  There are just so many hotels at Disney World, it’s hard to remember them all or keep them all straight. It can be a dilemma for those looking to plan a Disney World vacation.  You may have crossed the first hurdle – deciding whether or not you’re going to stay on site – but you … Continue reading

Win a Disney World Trip in the Fantasyland Sweepstakes

Now that the new Fantasyland is up and running (though not every single aspect of the park is open yet), it’s time for Disney World to offer fans a chance to win a free trip there.  The Disney Store is currently running a sweepstakes to win a 5-day, 4-night vacation at Disney World. Although the sweepstakes is in honor of the new Fantasyland, the prize doesn’t revolve too much around it.  Guests could win and choose to spend most of their time outside the Magic Kingdom, if they wanted.  Grand prize winners get to spend one night in the Cinderella … Continue reading

Become a Wilderness Explorer at the Animal Kingdom

If “Up” is one of your favorite Disney/Pixar movies, then Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has a great new surprise coming for you this spring.  Soon guests to the Animal Kingdom can become Wilderness Explorers, just like Russell from “Up.” Wilderness Explorers was the Boy Scout-style troop to which Russell belonged in the film.  An early version of this new experience was tested at the Animal Kingdom way back in the fall of 2011, and now it’s finally going to be making its debut this spring.  Wilderness Explorers isn’t a proper game like Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom; it’s closer to … Continue reading

The Biggest Disney Headlines

Last week there were two big pieces of Disney news announced: the director for the first “Star Wars” sequel, and more information on concerns over privacy relating to the MyMagic+ wristbands.  Let’s look at them both. In a move that is both surprising and not, Lucasfilm has chosen J.J. Abrams to direct the next “Star Wars” film.  The director/producer is best known for television shows like “Lost” and “Alias,” and for famously rebooting the “Star Trek” film franchise.  J.J. Abrams was rumored as a director for “Star Wars” early on, but he denied it; or really, he claimed he had … Continue reading

MyMagic+ to Record Disney Guest Experience

Disney’s always looking for a way to get ahead in its parks, including providing the best customer service around. Its constant raising of prices might seem counter intuitive to that, but at least it keeps upgrading its services.  The New York Times has a fascinating new report on the Disney Parks’ latest effort: MyMagic+. MyMagic+ takes the physical form of a wristband park guests wear in place of tickets.  Guests won’t have to trade in paper tickets anymore, instead waving their bands in front of the new FastPass monitors (even if they didn’t purchase a FastPass, those Mickey monitors are used).  MyMagic+ … Continue reading

Benefits Cut for Disney World Premium Annual Passes

The lobby of the Grand Floridian, one of Disney World’s most exclusive hotels Walt Disney World continues to aggravate its most loyal fans, as it announced in December that discounts for premium annual pass members will be cut.  The Orlando Sentinel has all the details. Since 2010 Disney World’s been pulling back a lot on the discounts it offers various pass holders.  This time, the target is premium annual passes, which already cost around $750 (Florida residents get a discount at around $600).  Now the shopping discounts premium annual pass holders receive have been cut in half. Let’s take a … Continue reading

New Events at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

If you’ve ever been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Walt Disney World’s tickets-only, after-hours, month-long Christmas bash — then you think you’ve seen it all.  While that’s not entirely untrue – most of the major elements of the party don’t change from year to year – visitors in 2012 can expect to see something a little bit different this year.  Disney Parks site Inside the Magic has, well, the insider’s details on the new things you can expect to see at this year’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Of course the biggest thing on everyone’s minds is the brand new Fantasyland … Continue reading