The official announcement on the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been released. The Grand Opening date is set for June 18th, 2010. Details can be found on our blog at http://www.disunplugged.com
While the grand opening isn't until June 18th, we expect that there will be a soft opening much earlier. Exactly when, we're not sure - but don't be surprised if you're in Orlando in early May and able to experience this new land for yourself.
Special packages for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are available for arrivals starting on May 28th, 2010. Prices start at $285 per adult (off site) and $645 per adult for on-site accommodations. Packages include resort accommodations, a three day base ticket (one park per day), breakfast at the Three Broomsticks Restaurant, early admission to Islands of Adventure and a commemorative ticket (not good for admission). You can get more information on these packages by clicking here.
Disney Premier Passport Give Away
The new passport gives you access to both Walt Disney World AND Disneyland theme parks. It also includes all the perks of a Premium annual pass at each destination.
We're going to award one lucky DIS newsletter subscriber their very own Premier Passport in our July 2010 newsletter!! The winner will be picked at random from all current subscribers. You must be 18 years of age to be eligible, and a legal resident of the United States.
To find out more about the new Premier Passport - click here!
Where’s the magic?
Recently, we started doing a new podcast as part of our DIS Unplugged show focused on our discussion boards, DISBoards.com. The format of the show is simple – we find threads on the boards that we think are interesting or pertinent to trip planning and our group discusses them. I’ll grant you that it’s not the most original concept for a podcast ever invented, but people really seemed to enjoy it, and ultimately, that’s the goal.
DIS Senior Editor
On a recent trip, we were fortunate enough to be able to bring our four-year-old son with us on short notice. Since our trip had to that point been planned for just us adults, we had to make some changes. My husband and I wanted to go to dinner by ourselves, so we hoped to find a spot at one of the on-property kids' clubs for our son. However, we had no luck; everything was full. While that was by no means a disaster, we then attempted to make some advance dining reservations at "kid friendly" locations. Again, we were met with a similar statement nearly every time: "I'm sorry, there is no availability at that restaurant." In a moment of frustration, I blurted out, "There's just no mercy for people who decide to come down at the last minute, is there?" The cast member on the other end of the line was very understanding and responded, "It doesn't seem like it." Here we were, willing to spend more money to bring our son down and it seemed like every restaurant we tried was full. Unless we wanted to eat dinner with a four-year-old at 9:00 p.m. at Sci Fi Dine-In Theater (no thanks - bad time, bad food) we were out of luck. I realized then that the deck is stacked against late trip planners.
We ended up visiting many table service restaurants to see if they accepted "walk-up" reservations, but rarely had any luck. While we wouldn't have minded dining at Nine Dragons, since they don't serve corndogs and yogurt, our son vetoed the idea. Eventually, we did manage to get tables at some of the less popular locations, but we were turned away more than we were seated. In walking from restaurant to restaurant checking on availability, we wasted time that could have been spent riding attractions, shopping, or perhaps most valuable on vacation, napping. Needless to say, I learned my lesson: no matter how far out you make the decision to visit a Disney park...planning is crucial.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
Free gift card with a Disney World package booking!
February - August 2010 - Free Gift Card Offer!!
Blackout dates have been removed!! Offer good over Easter holiday!!
Book a 6-day, 5-night non-discounted room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels and get a free Disney Gift Card for stays most nights 2/15 — 8/14.
This discount must be booked by 3/27/10. For details on this offer, click here.
SAVE 45% ON A ROOM ONLY RESERVATION
Save up to 45% when staying for 5 or more consecutive nights at select Walt Disney World Resorts.
Valid for stays most nights 1/ 18 – 2/ 9, 2/ 15 – 3/ 27 and 4/11 – 8/14.
This discount must be booked by 3/27/10. For details on this offer, including sample pricing, click here.
Buena Vista Suites
Stay a minimum of 4 nights and receive a $25.00 Disney Gift Card!
Includes FREE buffet breakfast for every member of your party each day of your stay!
Travel must be booked by April 7th 2010 for travel between May 1st and Sept 30, 2010
Offer good for new reservations only. To check rates and availability, click here.
Don't forget - Dreams Unlimited Travel will also make your Disney dining reservations for you as part of our standard service!
5 Night Disneyland Package for the Price of 3 Nights
Book a 5 night stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel or a Participating Good Neighbor Hotel and only pay for 3 nights!
Package includes a 5-day Park Hopper for the price of a 3-day.
Valid for arrivals from 5/1/10 - 9/26/10. Travel must be completed by 5/4/10.
Deal must be booked by 9/1/10.
For more details, click here.
Sheraton Vistana Villages - International Drive
Fully furnished villas equipped with separate living room, dining and bedroom areas, a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette, and a washer and dryer. A home away from home experience. The 2 Bedroom Villa sleeps up to 8 guests!
Call 1-888-208-0004 and mention Rate Code "DUPKG".
DIS Newsletter EXCLUSIVE
Manta Coaster at Sea World Orlando - POV Video
Each month we'll preview a new DIS video, exclusive to DIS Newsletter subscribers.
Learning from Other's Mistakes (Visit thread that inspired these tips)
1) From jngwright: "Make sure your kids can identify cast members, so they know who to go to for help, should the need arise."
With so many guests wandering around the theme parks, it is very easy for a small child to become disoriented. In order to be proactive, it is good advice to emphasize to your child(ren) what cast members look like in case of an emergency.
2) From ilandrazdsw: "If I only knew to schedule some down time, I would have avoided a headache."
When the parks get busy, the urge to do/ride/see as much as possible takes over. As a result, many of us get worn down before the second full day of our vacation has begun. If there's one thing DISers know, it's that naptime isn't just for kids when you're visiting a Disney theme park!
3) From Eeyore's Buddy: "NEVER wear shoes that haven't been broken in while at WDW."
This is one piece of advice that can result in a painful mistake if not followed. It is common practice to purchase new shoes in advance of a trip, but it is just as important to wear them around the house in order to (1) make sure they fit properly without causing pain and (2) stretch them out to prepare for the seven to ten miles a day a typical guest walks at the theme parks.
Animal Kingdom Tips, Tricks, and Must-do's (Visit thread that inspired these tips)
1) From mousescrapper: "Don't visit Camp Mickey and Minnie [at Animal Kingdom] at times when Festival of the Lion King is ending."
Sometimes the key to successfully touring a park is no different than success in real estate: location, location, location. Festival of the Lion King is a very popular show with children, and they'll all be heading your way at show's end. Therefore, if you want to avoid long lines to meet and greet your favorite characters...plan accordingly.
2) From IMwink: "It seems that later in the day the [Kilimanjaro Safari] drivers have more freedom to go slower."
Common advice is to ride the safari early in the day, when animal activity is thought to be at its highest. However, IMwink's advice seems logical, especially from a picture-taking point of view.
3) From wahoostampingirl: "At Finding Nemo The Musical, choose seats directly behind the control booth."
During this popular musical, a lot happens on stage, above the stage, and even in the audience. Sitting behind the control booth will provide an unobstructed view for everyone in your party, especially little ones.
Favorite menu item only YOU seem to know about? (Visit thread that inspired these responses)
1) From CuteAndFluffy: "The fresh pineapple spears at Aloha Isle."
The Pineapple Dole Whips found at Aloha Isle and Captain Cook's [in the Polynesian] rank among the most popular desserts in all of Walt Disney World. They are so popular that many guests overlook the pineapple spears as an alternative to yet another ice cream treat for sale at the parks.
2) From Nadjalu: "The chocolate covered marshmallows at Goofy's [Candy Company]."
In addition to this customizable dessert available at the Downtown Disney location, guests can also create their own rice krispie treats, apples, pretzels, and gingerbread cookies. You can choose from 15 toppings and different "drizzle" options as you create your own masterpiece while you wait.
3) From Pig_Pen: "The sugar roasted pecans from the snack carts."
Different types of cinnamon-sugar roasted nuts offer a nice break from the typical popcorn and ice cream fare available at every corner in the "world." The Magic Kingdom normally has two locations where these snacks are sold: (1) across from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and (2) across from The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
Caribbean Beach Resort
The largest resort on Walt Disney World property is the Caribbean Beach Resort with 2112 rooms. Brightly colored 2 story buildings are clustered into 5 villages named for Caribbean islands: Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Aruba, and Trinidad (separated into North and South). The villages surround a 45 acre lake. In the midst of the lake, you'll find Caribbean Cay Island. It is a great place to relax with the hammocks and secluded benches.
Here's a "Round-Up" of information on this resort....
Epcot’s Rose and Crown Pub & Dining Room Review
Review by Kevin Klose
We approached the podium and explained our situation….we had a 3 pm ADR and arrived an hour early. We asked if it was possible to be seated at that time or if we need to wait the additional hour for our allotted time frame. The Hostess suggested that it would depend on how busy the dining room was at the time.
(Photo by ehaimann236)
'Ohana is the wildly popular restaurant on the second floor of Disney's Polynesian Resort. The large room overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and the large volcano in the hotel pool. If you're there at the right time, you may be able to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from your table. Appetizers are served family style and entrees are served from large skewers. There is entertainment that includes singing, ukulele playing, limbo contests and races where children push coconuts around the restaurant. The restaurant is a bit chaotic, but families love it.
Shine the "spotlight" on different views of this restaurant:
Mixed Greens with Honey-Lime dressing (Photo by disneyfav4ever)
Corriander chicken wings (Photo by dizneeat)
Pork fried dumplings (Photo by disneyfav4ever)
Sirloin steak, Asian BBQ pork loin, mesquite grilled turkey, and shrimp. (Photo by disneyfav4ever)
A personalized vegetarian entree. (Photo by ehaimann236)
Bread pudding a la mode with Banana Foster sauce (Photo by dizneeat)
Here are some popular news stories from this past month:
What is your username?
What is your real first name?
Why do you moderate that specific forum?
Do you frequent any other disboards forums?
Are you active on any non-Disney boards outside of the DIS?
What is your favorite:
Do you have any tips/words of wisdom for people posting on the boards? In your specific forum?
Today was the opening of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World. To me this signals Spring in Orlando. This is without a doubt my favorite event at Epcot. I look forward to seeing the flowers and displays every year. I can remember living up North and scheduling my vacation to view the festival.
To read more, click here.
The hot talk of the year is definitely the opening of World of Color at Disney’s California Adventure Park this April. With all of the excitement about this new water and light spectacular, I thought it would be fun to go backwards in time and share with you the progress of its construction from Blue Sky concept and model to what is happening today in the park.
To read more, click here.
For many of us, sounds, particularly music, make up a large part of our theme park experience and memories. Recently, I had the pleasure to speak with Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman, one half of the prolific, sibling songwriting team who created much of the music we associate with our Disney Park memories: “it’s a small world (after all)”, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room”, “One Little Spark”, and “Winnie the Pooh” to name a few.
To read more, click here.
Recently I attended the D23 First Anniversary Party held at Disneyland along with a small group of DIS friends. An after-hours party at Disneyland…fancy desserts…all the rides in Fantasyland…obscure characters…VIPs…what more could you want??
To read more, click here.
For more blogs, check out www.disunplugged.com.