Sunday, July 26, 2015

3-Steps to Changing Your FastPass Selections at the Kiosks

FastPass Changes at the Kiosks



  1. Select which attraction you’d like to make changes for. You can either change the experience or the time.
  2. If you choose to change the time, you’ll be given a list of available time slots for the attraction. You’ll only be shown times that don’t overlap with your other selections.
  3. If you choose to change the experience, you’ll be given a list of available experiences.
Magical Vacations Travel Darren Wittko

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog. 

5-Steps to Making FastPass Selections Inside the Parks

FastPass Kiosks


  1. Head to a FastPass+ kiosk once you’re in the park.
  2. Touch your ticket to the Mickey RFID reader.
  3. The system will identify you by name if you have set up a profile on My Disney Experience and linked your ticket. It will identify you as a guest if you haven’t. Select “Add another guest to your travel party” and link your tickets to make reservations for your whole party.
  4. Select an experience from the list of available attractions and entertainment options by park.
  5. A “Best Match” will be presented based on your selections. Additional times are shown under options B, C and D. It’s also possible to go back in after your selections are confirmed and change your selections individually.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

15 Fun Facts About Seven Dwarf's Mine Train



Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is almost completely “on stage.” Its location in the middle of New Fantasyland. 
  • The footprints of forest creatures, large and small, and the impressions of sticks, stones and acorns are embedded in the dirt path that meanders through the Enchanted Forest, leading to the attraction.
  • The Dwarfs cottage is a meticulously detailed representation of the cozy home seen in the classic film, down to the wisteria vine and birdhouse at the front door.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Vault

  • At the third interactive station in the queue, “Vault” is carved into the wooden crosspiece, above the doorway. This is a reference to the scene in the film where Dopey opens the vault and throws in a bag of gems, then locks the door with a key. For safekeeping, Dopey hangs the key to the vault on a peg next to the door. The key hangs on a peg next to the entrance to the vault in the queue as well.


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Cottage



  • The figures of Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, and Happy, seen in the cottage near the end of the attraction, originally appeared in Snow White’s Scary Adventure. The figures of Snow White, Dopey and Sneezy, in the cottage scene, were created just for this attraction.


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Vultures
  • The two vultures perched on the jib crane near the mine entrance are styled after the vultures in the film and originally appeared in the Snow White’s Scary Adventure attraction.


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Test Vehicle

  • The innovative, patented ride system for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is an original design developed at Walt Disney Imagineering. During testing, Imagineers drove pickup trucks around Burbank, California with a mockup of the design in tow, much to the wonderment of those who watched it pass by. 
    Clearance testing on the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. If any of the tabs were broken, Imagineers knew there was a need for additional clearance around the track. One of the most common culprits - trees and shrubs that had grown faster than anticipated. 
  • At the jewel washing station, a melody from the classic film can be created by moving from spigot to spigot. There are 12 spigots, corresponding to the notes of the musical scale. Interactive entertainment is found throughout the queue. 


Mine Train Coaster Interactive Queue
  • The shadows of the Dwarfs marching homeward along the track on the lift inside of the mine were rotoscoped from the scene in the original film where the Dwarfs march across a log bridge, singing “…home from work we go.” (Rotoscoping is a technique where the movements of a figure in original live or animated footage are copied, or traced, frame-by-frame).
  • In the original tale by the Brothers Grimm, the Dwarfs were unnamed. When Walt Disney and his animators decided to name them to correspond with their character, scores of names were rejected including: Wheezy, Jumpy, Baldy, Hickey, Sniffy, Stuffy, Burpy, Tubby, Shorty, Deafy and Dizzy.
  • As you enter the mine, notice the clock just to the left of Doc. It's an exact replica of the one found in the film. In the animated feature, it rings to signify the end of the work day followed by the famous song. 
  • In the last view of the cottage, around the corner of the far wall, the Wicked Queen can be seen in her disguise as an old hag watching Snow White and the Dwarfs through a cottage window. She turns toward the train as it passes, and cackles wickedly.

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog. 




New Changes to Walt Disney World Magic Bands


You are now able to choose to opt out of customizing and receiving a new MagicBand if you already have a MagicBand from a previous visit linked to your account on My Disney Experience. 



If you have more than one reservation during the same visit, you will only receive one MagicBand for the whole visit if you do not customize additional MagicBands. For example, if you plan to stay at Disney's Pop Century Resort for one night, then switch to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort, you will receive one MagicBand for both reservations unless you order two. 

You will now have the flexibility to manage your MagicBand preferences through the ‘Customize Your MagicBand’ section on your My Disney Experience account by either declining a new MagicBand if you prefer to use an existing one or reactivating a MagicBand by changing your selection.

Magical Vacations Travel


Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Walt's Wilderness Adventures Now at Ft. Wilderness Resort

Ready for a wilderness adventure? The new Escape to Walt’s Wilderness experience gives you a glance at the natural surroundings that became the perfect setting to accommodate Walt Disney’s grand dreams.



The adventure begins at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Marina where you'll board pontoon boats for an eco-history tour of Bay Lake. After arriving at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, head to the shore of Marshmallow Marsh for breakfast on the beach. After fueling up, the group will travel by horse-drawn wagon to the Settlement and Pioneer Hall before hiking over the railroad tracks into a clearing in the trees for an archery opportunity. Finally, you'll head to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch horse barn to meet the celebrity horses who live and work at Walt Disney World Resort.

Walts Wilderness Adventure Tour
A photographer will be on hand to capture photos of the group during the experience. Photos are included in the Memory Maker package.



This 5-hour interactive experience is available twice a week and costs $109 per person, plus tax. Each experience is limited to 20 Guests. Participants must be at least 7 years of age. Transportation to Disney’s Contemporary Resort Marina and from Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is available for Disney Resort hotel Guests only.



Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog. 

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Events Update

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, celebrating it’s 20th year, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort Sept. 25-Nov. 16, 2015 with more than 30 global marketplaces to explore.

Epcot Food and Wine 2015


While many festival events are included in regular theme park admission, including the new Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discover Passport, as well as attractions and park entertainment, your Clients can also look forward to over-the-top premium events, including:


  • Rockin’ Burger Block Party – Get a glimpse of the cast of ABC TV’s “The Chew” at this new premium event on Oct. 8 in World ShowPlace. Enjoy specialty burgers and sliders inspired by top names in the music industry such as Dave Matthews and his Dreaming Tree Wines and Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Tequila. (Two additional Burger Block Parties are set for Sept. 25 and Nov. 6.) This event includes VIP seating with a specialty cocktail toast, premium bar and more.
  • Yelloween Masquerade Party for the Senses – This first-time event on Oct. 31 will be one in a series of popular Party for the Senses premium events. Your Clients can experience an elegant, dance-the-night-away, gourmet tasting party with Champagne, wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails paired with food.
  • Another Party for the Senses you won’t want to miss takes place Oct. 24, and features Disney chefs from the United States, Europe and Asia cooking their favorite cuisine that represents their cultures as well as the Disney Parks and Resorts they call home.
  • Additional Party for the Senses dates are Oct. 3, 10 and 17, and each evening starts with a reserved seat at the Eat to the Beat concert series at the America Gardens Theatre. Following the show, you will head to World ShowPlace for a sensational evening with more than 50 tasting stations, and performances by Cirque du Soleil
  • What’s Cookin’ With …Begin the morning with a delightful plated brunch and sparkling wine toast. Culinary celebs will demo a favorite dish and then sit down with the emcee to answer questions from the audience and share secrets of their successes. The brunch happens every Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. during the festival.
Food and Wine Festival Offers and Discounts


Guests Include:


  • Sept. 27: Andrew Zimmern
  • Oct. 2: Amanda Freitag presented by Mylan
  • Oct. 4: Bryan Voltaggio
  • Oct.9: Jamie Deen
  • Oct.11: Carla Hall
  • Oct.16: Gale Gand
  • Oct. 18: Cat Cora
  • Oct.23: Allen Susser
  • Oct. 25: John Ash presented by Verlasso
  • Oct. 30: Robert Irvine
  • Nov. 1: Erika Davis
  • Nov. 6: Buddy Valastro
  • Nov. 8: David Guas
  • Nov. 13: Alex Guarnaschelli
  • Nov. 15: Sarah Fioroni
Others premium events include the Mexican Tequila Lunch, Japanese Craft Beer Tasting and the new French Family Meal Traditions

Get ready to book reservations for these premium events when the phone lines open at 7 a.m. on Thursday, July 30: 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378). And, while some favorites fill up fast, there are lots of new events to celebrate the festival’s 20 years at Walt Disney World Resort. Some events can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com culinary demos, beverage seminars, mixology seminars, general admission for Party for the Senses and general admission for the Rockin’ Burger Block Party.


Related: 

Epcot Food and Wine Expands to Future World 
Special Resort Offers During Food And Wine at Walt Disney World 

Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Epcot Food and Wine 2015 Expands to Future World

Future World West will be added to the 20th Epcot Food and Wine Festival this fall. This will be on the walkway toward World Showcase by the Imagination Pavilion. With The Land Pavilion nearby it's for good reason that the Wine Studio, one of the new offerings that will be in Future World West, will serve fresh wines from a keg, eliminating the need for glass bottles, cardboard, paper and corks.

Special Resort and Ticket Offers 
▸ Early October Offer at Walt Disney World Travel Window: Oct 3 - Oct 17, 2015
▸ October Coronado Springs Offer Travel Window Oct 14 - 28, 2015
▸ Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort Travel Window: Oct 24 - Oct 31, 2015

2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Future World
Then, near the Epcot Character Spot, the new Next Eats area will debut with Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award winning lifestyle series “The Chew,” starring co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. Sustainable Chew will feature three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

“The Chew” will be featured in two marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September 25-November 16Shows will be taped before a live audience (visit thechew.com for information on how to obtain tickets)
“The Chew” will be featured in two marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September 25-November 16. Shows will be taped before a live audience (visit thechew.com for information on how to obtain tickets)
July 15 is opening day for the epcotfoodfestival.com so be sure to check it out for details and special event offerings. There you can register for special events at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival such as the Rockin’ Burger Block PartySignature Dining Experiences and the Party for the Senses open for registration on July 30, 2015 at 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).

Magical Vacations Travel Darren Wittko

Related:


Darren Wittko is the creator of Save at Walt Disney World and a Disney Destinations Specialist at Magical Vacations Travel. Voted "best of the best Disney travel agent"  by readers of the 2015 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. He is also the creator of The Best of Walt Disney World blog.