Disneyland Passholders to Get After Hours Access to Indiana Jones Adventure


Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders will receive exclusive after hours access to Indiana Jones Adventure on March 4th and 5th.

Details are still being worked out, but officials say a wristband will be required. Passholders will likely need to be inside Disneyland Park prior to park closing to take advantage of this offer.



Source: @DisneylandAP



A Virtual Tour of a 2 Bedroom Villa at Copper Creek at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge


On recent resort tour hosted by Disney, we had a chance to step into resort rooms of all categories across Walt Disney World property. Today’s virtual tour lands us in the Deluxe Villa category with a stop at Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

While the Copper Creek villas are technically a part of Disney Vacation Club, guests who are not DVC members can book them as well.



Upon entering the two bedroom unit, guests will find a stackable washer and dryer behind a sliding door just ahead and to the right, and the kitchen area straight ahead. Visible just beyond the washer and dryer is the master bathroom. We’ll get back to that in just a bit.

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The kitchen features a full sized refrigerator and dishwasher, as well as a microwave, coffeemaker, full sized range, and ample plates, cups, cookware, and utensils.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Kitchenette and TV

Thankfully, a running theme in this unit is storage. Guests will have no problem making sure that there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place. In a room that sleeps up to 8 adults, storage is key.



Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Living Room

Just beyond the kitchen area, guests will find a spacious kitchen table and banquette. The banquette features a drawer underneath similar to ones you’ll find in comparable rooms at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

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The couch is a queen size sleeper sofa, and the coffee table opens to reveal additional hidden storage. The living room is spacious, and features access to the balcony via a sliding glass door.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Second room

Just off of the living room, guests will find a bedroom with 2 queen beds. Notice that the bed frames are elevated, allowing guests to store luggage and gear underneath. A dresser and wall mounted flat screen can also be found in the room.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom View to Balcony

This bedroom has access via a sliding door to the balcony. The space is light-filled, and features the laminate flooring used throughout the rest of the unit, with the exception of the two bathrooms.




Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Bathroom 1

The bathroom connected to this bedroom is quite large. The bath boasts two sinks, set across the room from each other. The toilet and shower are in a separate space, and the closet attached to the bathroom will hold just about anything you need it to.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Bathroom 2

The hardware is in an old rubbed bronze finish, and the rectangular pendant lights help to lend a modern vibe.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Master

Stepping into the master bedroom area, your eye is immediately drawn to the free standing tub and the translucent window featuring a picture of the cross section of a tree.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Masetr Bath Tub

The colors used in the window are incredibly vibrant, and, along with the sleek lines of the tub, help to set a modern tone for the space. Note that the window does not open, but is more of a room divider. The same oil rubbed bronze hardware found in the unit’s other bathroom can be found in this one.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Master Bath

The toilet and shower can be partitioned off using a pocket door.

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This bathroom can also be accessed from the room’s entryway via a separate door.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Master Bed

The master bedroom features a king size bed crowned with a beautiful headboard. In the social media post that I made after touring this space, I referred to this headboard as stunning. While I try to remain neutral in these room tours, I stand behind what I said about that headboard. It is simply stunning, and marries beautifully with the view beyond the sliding glass door.

Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek 2 Bedroom Master TV Dressers

Another wall mounted flat screen TV is located in this room, and guests will have plenty of storage space with the room’s dresser and armoire. Guests can access the balcony from this bedroom as well.

Have you stayed in the one of the Copper Creek villas? If so, what did you think? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you’re looking for a discount for Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, be sure to check out the room only offer that is currently available. Guests can save up to 20% off of rooms at Copper Creek Villas for dates this spring and summer/early fall. If you’re in the market for a package offer, Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is included in the Kids Eat Free promotion that’s available for arrivals on most nightsMay 25th through August 28th, 2020. Keep in mind that both the Kids Eat Free promotion and the room only offer must be booked by February 26th, 2020.

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A Bushel of Merchandise for the 2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival


The 2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival starts soon, and in addition to all of the California-inspired tastes and sips, there will be huge variety of exclusive merchandise available. The Disney Parks Blog shared a sample of what you can expect.

Starting off is the Festival inspired spirit jersey in hot pink with Chef Mickey on the back.



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Complete the look with a sequined Chef Minnie headband.

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You’ll also find other apparel, including baseball caps and these men’s and ladies’ tees.

In addition, grab a Festival stainless tervis mug and a wide variety of kitchen accessories, including oven mitts, dish towns, and serving bowls.

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Merchandise will be available at the Festival Gifts kiosk near Seaside Souvenirs, the Studio Store in Hollywood Land, and at Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street.

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The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival starts February 28th and continues through April 21st.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

A Peek at Exclusives Coming to this Year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival for Passholders


Disney has given us a peek at some of the Annual Passholder-exclusive items coming to this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and, if you’re an Annual Passholder who’ll be at the festival, there may just be a few items to jot down on your shopping list.

Orange Bird fans, rejoice! The beloved Orange Bird will be featured on his very own Annual Passholder magnet at this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Not to be outdone, Donald Duck and Spike the Bee will also be the stars of their own AP magnet. The Donald Duck/Spike magnet will be available from March 4th-April 19th, and the Orange Bird magnet will be available from April 20th-June 1st. Passholders will be able to pick up their magnets at Mouse Gear (temporary location just across the breezeway), and must present a valid annual pass and photo ID.



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In the area of passholder-exclusive merchandise, Disney will be offering an assortment of items to choose from, including t-shirts and Disney trading pins. Annual passholders will be able to use their 20% discount on merchandise items.



Orange Bird and Donald and Spike will also be featured in their own merchandise collections. The uber-popular Orange Bird Sipper from last year’s festival will also make its return.

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Spike the Bee will be getting a sipper of his own this year. The Spike Sipper will be filled with Honey-Peach Freeze, and will be available at The Honey Bee-stro Outdoor Kitchen.

Annual Passholders will also receive 15% on the Behind the Seeds and Garden of World tours, as well as a 10% discount on Garden Rocks concert series dining packages.




The 2020 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will run from March 4th-June 1st.

Weird Things that Disney Fans Love


I’m a huge Disney fan. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you are, too. That said, I think we can all admit that there are some weird things that Disney fans love. Let’s jump into the weirdness!

1. Taking Pictures with Walls



The latest Disney trend is popular walls that people enjoy taking pictures in front of. I haven’t done this, and am not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself and posting them on social media. But plenty of people are. I think that some of the walls make certain color outfits pop. Some of the walls have fun or whimsical patterns or scenes.

The wall that started it all is the infamous Purple Wall in Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland. This wall is on the right hand side as you enter Tomorrowland, and, if you walk by the dessert party terrace, you’ll pass right by it. This wall can even have a line.

Other popular walls in Disney World include a few in Animal Kingdom’s Harambe. There is one that only cast members have access to and you can’t get to it unless a cast member is willing to take you backstage. Just what cast members need…requests from park guests to take a picture of a wall backstage.



Disneyland got into the game a little bit later than Disney World, but it has a couple of popular self-promotion walls of it’s own. In Disney California Adventure, over in the barren wasteland that encompasses Hollywood Land, there are two photo backdrops: Buzz Lightyear’s wings and the UP house with balloons. Pixar Pier has a couple photogenic walls of its own.

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2.  Wearing Ear Hats

A time honored tradition at Walt Disney World is wearing ear hats. Apparently, this all started when the short, Karnival Kid, caused Roy Williams to create basic Mickey Mouse ear hats for the Mickey Mouse Club. Today, there is no end to the styles of ears that you can get: everything from Goofy’s hat to binoculars thrown on top of ears exclusively for Disney Vacation Club members to the fabled rose gold ears.




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Now, before all the comments start rolling in, I am by no means belittling the Disney ear fashion. I own several pair myself, including my beloved Donald’s behind hat based on the PhilharMagic attraction. But, you have to admit that this is almost exclusively Disney, this wearing of silly ear hats in public. It’s just not something that is done in many other places.

3.  Trash cans

Disney does a great job in theming their lands. Just look at Pandora: it’s amazing, and extremely detailed.

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They do such a good job, in fact, that even the trash cans in Disney are themed. Park goers love these themed trash cans so much that Disney makes trash can merchandise, including salt and pepper shakers and Christmas ornaments.

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4. Napkins

Bear with me on this one. Disney fans love Disney napkins. How do I know this? Let’s look at the general uproar every time the napkin designs change. Disney fans won’t even accept generic “Disney Parks” on their napkins. They want them to say “Disneyland” or “Walt Disney World” or even “Wilderness Lodge.”

5. Bathrooms

Disney fans love bathrooms. Now, to be fair, these bathrooms have to be themed. It always comes back to the theme. The Tangled bathrooms in the Magic Kingdom are a fan favorite, and they are wonderfully themed to look like the small village from Rapunzel’s kingdom.

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In Disneyland, people love the Alice in Wonderland-themed bathrooms by the Matterhorn. The doors are painted like cards, and it does look pretty charming. Until you remember that it’s a bathroom.

So, what are your favorite weird things in Disney parks?

Behind the Scenes Look at the Costumes for Magic Happens Parade at Disneyland Park


The 90-plus dancers and performers in the new Magic Happens parade coming to Disneyland Park will be wearing unique and elaborate costumes, all created especially for the parade.

Costumer Zachary Bilemdjian gives a sneak peek behind the scenes at the creation of some of the costumes that push the envelope of both creativity and technology:



Magic Happens premiers February 28th!

Source: Disney Parks Blog



Disney Channel Fan Fest Heads Back to Disneyland, Expands to Walt Disney World This May


Disney Channel Fan Fest returns to the Disneyland Resort for the third year this May, plus is expanding with three additional weekends at Walt Disney World.

The event, which gives families a chance to encounter their favorite Disney Channel Stars, will be held May 9th at the Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, then head to Epcot on May 16th & 17th, 23rd & 24th, and 30th & 31st. The Epcot appearances take place during the park’s International Flower and Garden Festival.



While details haven’t been announced for the Epcot version of the event, at the Disneyland Resort look for the QUIZney trivia challenge, learn-to-draw sessions from Disney Television Animation, sneak peaks of upcoming Disney Channel Original Movies, dances parties, photo opportunities, and a cavalcade down Main Street USA, which will be live-streamed on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Channel YouTube.

The event is scheduled to include the stars of ZOMBIES 2, Gabby Duran & the Unsittables, Raven’s Home, Just Roll With It, Sydney to the Max, Coop & Cami Ask the World, BUNK’D, Disney Fam Jam, and Upside-Down Magic.

More details and schedules should be announced soon.



Source: Disney Parks Blog

 

My Hopes for Walt Disney World in 2020


With a new year and a new decade recently begun, I thought it’d be apt to talk about hopes for the coming year. It’s an important year for Disney as a whole given the recent launch of Disney+, and, following the conclusion of recent film arcs, whether or not they can keep the magic of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars alive.

But around here, we like to focus on the joy and love of the Disney parks. Here are my hopes for Walt Disney World in 2020.



1. I hope that Disney will hire full time cast members

Every time I return to the parks for a visit, the cast members appear to never age. More and more are roughly in the 18-23 age group and sporting a name tag with a different university or college stamped on it, noting that they are part of the Disney College Program. This trend needs to stop in 2020.

Main Street Cast Members



The talented Dapper Dans of Main Street USA and many cast members deserve consistent, full time positions

The college program is truly wonderful, and offers so much in the development of future talent for Disney and for the students themselves, but I hope that more full time cast members are brought on who can develop and leverage years of experience within the parks. There is a consistent downtrend in positive guest interactions across the parks and resorts, and so much of the issues can be solved at the staffing level.

This will take a significant investment, but will most definitely pay off in the near future.

2. I hope that construction projects stay on time




In short, there’s a lot going on. The TRON Lightcycle roller coaster construction continues, the France pavilion in Epcot is going through an expansion complete with a new ride, the Space 220 restaurant is slated to open in early 2020, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will open, and so many more construction projects are underway at Walt Disney World. I only hope that, with so much going on, that the vast majority stays on time.

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A construction wall at the entrance to Epcot is only the tip of the iceberg

These updates to the parks are certainly welcomed by many, including myself, but with the 50th anniversary approaching, there is no doubt that staying on time will be a priority. As someone who plans on visiting in the back half of 2020 (before the insanity that will be the 50th anniversary), I hope that construction stays on time and on budget. Lord knows if the projects go over budget, it’s not like Iger or Chapek will be footing the bill. It’s going to be us.

3. I hope that Disney openly reviews the FastPass+ system

I’ll be honest, I actually love FastPass+. It’s far from perfect, but, as someone who travels to the parks roughly once a year with a young family, it makes a big difference. I know what rides I have ready to go and planned to placate my children, and also myself.

That being said, the standby wait times and, even wait times for FastPass+ at some rides and attractions, are simply insane. There have been some new changes recently, but I hope that Disney looks at piloting a new system that makes sense. I think changing the current system wholesale would be a huge mistake, however. It’s already a fairly complex system, and adding in new rules and changes would only serve to alienate new guests and those wary of trying to plan a Disney vacation.

A change in FastPass+ needs to happen, and 2020 is a good year to kick that off in earnest.

4. I hope that Disney doesn’t lose focus of this year in the lead up to the 50th anniversary

You could see a couple years ago that many of the changes and additions to Walt Disney World’s parks and resorts spelled they were getting ready for the 50th anniversary in 2021. I personally cannot wait to see what they have in store for 2021, but I hope that they do not lose track of making 2020 special, too.

These past couple of years have seen tremendous additions from Toy Story Land to Galaxy’s Edge, the Disney Skyliner, and Epcot Forever, and there are several upcoming additions over the next calendar year, but what will those openings look like? Is it just filler? Will there be money invested back into street entertainers and unique experiences for returning guests or is this a year where the imagination and creativity that Disney is known for takes a backseat?

I hope not. This year will serve as first and also once-in-a-lifetime trips for thousands of families, and they deserve a magical experience. Disney can do so much for these families ‒ and also themselves ‒ by not losing sight of the year ahead for the big celebration just down the road.

5. I hope that Disney allows new president Josh D’Amaro to flourish

The recent shake up throughout the Disney Parks hierarchy made headlines across the Disney landscape and, when it was announced that the new president of Walt Disney World Resort would be Josh D’Amaro, there were some smiles across the faces of many Disney fans.

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Pete Werner with Walt Disney World Resort President Josh D’Amaro. Photo credit: @petew126 from Instagram

Mr. D’Amaro has shown himself to be a dedicated cast member and leader over the years, turning around Adventures by Disney and serving well in his other roles as head of Disneyland and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He knows Walt Disney World well and has made a point of making guest experience a priority, while looking to innovate. But that was before he was given keys to the proverbial kingdom while still answering directly to Bob Chapek. It will be a tough slog for anyone.

Given his history as a passionate and successful executive throughout the Disney corporation, I hope that he is given every opportunity in 2020 to make this role his own. There’s a lot of magic within the walls of Walt Disney World that could easily be stamped out by a cutthroat corporate beast that will be going through an ominous time of transition as a power vacuum develops around the retiring CEO Bob Iger. There are unprecedented politics at the top of corporations like Disney, and it would be beneficial to everyone to let Josh do his job and do it well.

It’s a new decade for Walt Disney World and the beginning of so many changes across the park from rides, guest experiences, leadership, and expectations. This year has the potential to set the right tone for the years to come and usher in a new era for Walt Disney World. As a fan, I can only hope, but I do so with a smile on my face at the possibilities of what this company is capable of accomplishing.

The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Lounge Coming to Disney Villains After Hours


Beginning February 21, guests attending Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom will have something new to experience during the event.

The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Lounge will offer villainous treats and an assortment of specialty beverages during the three-hour event.



Disney Villains After Hours is a separately ticketed, special nighttime event that showcases some of Disney’s most-loved nefarious characters. The event allows a limited number of guests to experience Magic Kingdom for an additional 3 hours after it closes to day guests. Attendees can enjoy frightfully fun entertainment, photo ops, spooky cuisine, and park entry as early as 7:00 p.m.

Head over to our Disney Villains After Hours page for all the details, dates, and pricing information.



Minnie Van Service Raises Rates on Airport and Cruise Transfers, Extends Hours


The Minnie Van service operated by Lyft at Walt Disney World has raised its prices slightly on airport and cruise transfers.

Minnie Van is a personal ride service that offers point-to-point transportation around Walt Disney World property, as well as to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Port Canaveral.



The cost for a transfer to or from MCO just increased from $150 to $155 per vehicle each way. In another change, the hours of service for airport transfers have been extended and are now offered from 6:00am to 11:59pm.

A transfer to or from Port Canaveral for a Disney Cruise Line vacation has increased from $240 to $249 per vehicle each way.

Source: Walt Disney World



Image: Disney