travel planning

Disney World Mom’s Panel Renamed in Sixth Year

If you want to look for one of Disney’s biggest social media successes, then go no further than the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. It’s taken a strength of the company, an affinity for Disney travel among families, and turned it into a valuable resource for any Disney vacation planner, rookie or seasoned veteran. The Moms Panel idea has been so successful they added many more experts beyond the gates of Walt Disney World, so it’s only makes sense that it will now have a new name The Disney Parks Moms Panel.

Along with the change in title the company announced the group’s 19 newest members. Also new for 2013, two Team Sports Moms will join the roster to assist guests with youth sports-related travel to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. This is the sixth year of the panel and it looks to be one of the best yet in terms of composition of the panel.

“Since launching in 2008, the Disney Parks Moms Panel has answered countless questions from travelers considering a Disney Parks vacation,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. “Known for their sound and practical advice, the panelists continue to be a great resource, helping even more guests make unforgettable Disney memories.”

The Disney Parks Moms Panel is an online forum that serves as a resource for planning Disney Parks vacations. Whether you are looking to kick it on the fields of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, find the best character dining experience for their family, jog around Disney theme parks with runDisney or discover the cultures of the world with Adventures by Disney, there is a panelist who can share authentic opinions and tips on almost anything and everything Disney Parks. Spanish-speaking visitors can also read and submit questions to a group of dedicated multilingual panelists.Read More »Disney World Mom’s Panel Renamed in Sixth Year

Disney Dining Plan: Top Ten Tips for Getting the Most Value

Using the Disney dining plan isn’t as straight-forward as simply walking into a restaurant and handing over your Key to the World Card: While all credits are created equal, not everything you buy will be. While it’s obvious that missing meals is essentially throwing money away, so is using a snack credit for a soda. Fortunately, using the plan effectively is actually quite easy. Here are the top ten tricks that will help you get the most out of the plan:

10. Use your dining plan for character meals and other more expensive dining locations. Look at it this way: For guests 10-years old and up, the dining plan costs $56 per person per night: This gives you a table service, meal, a quick service meal, a snack, and a refillable mug. If you estimate $4 for a snack, and $14 for a quick-service meal, you still need to “spend” $38 on your table-service meal that day. That’s not difficult to do if you’re eating dinner at location like Boma or Ohana, but if you’re eating at Via Napoli or 50s Prime Time Café, your tab is going to come in at around $30 per person. Not only did you not break even that day, you actually lost money.

9. Pay out of pocket for less expensive meals and you avoid the scenario above. This only works if you plan on eating more table-service meals than you’re actually allotted on the plan.

8. Avoid using your snack credits for drinks. As noted above, the dining plan works best when you save your credits for more expensive items, so save your credits for items cupcakes or ice cream (both $4 or more) and pay out of pocket for your drinks (usually under $3).Read More »Disney Dining Plan: Top Ten Tips for Getting the Most Value

Restaurant Review: T-REX at Downtown Disney

While in Downtown Disney Orlando this past summer we could not resist the urge to pay a visit to the T-REX Restaurant and Shop. As we walked in we were greeted by the coolness in the air which we welcomed since it was so very hot outside. The first thing we noticed was this enormous and almost life like T-Rex towering over us. To the right a place to shop for all your Prehistoric needs and to the left was the restaurant a.k.a archaeological dig site filled with small, large and extra large animatronic and audio-animatronic creatures.

We were seated right away and attended to almost instantly. Trying to take in our surroundings time seemed to just escape us. We looked over the menus and although there were plenty of choices I was not overwhelmed by them. There is something in the menu for everybody from Spare ribs, Chicken and Pasta to Burgers and Seafood. For the future little paleontologist in your group there is a kids menu of course, it includes various choices like Pizza, Pasta, Sliders, Popcorn shrimp and even Dinosaur shaped chicken.Read More »Restaurant Review: T-REX at Downtown Disney

Update from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Due to a poorly timed illness, it has been more than a few weeks since I last visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But the recently reveal of plans to move Festival of the Lion King to a new location in Africa was all the reason I… Read More »Update from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

MyMagic+ – NextGen Rollout Questions, Answer, and more Questions

If you missed the news, Thomas Staggs has made Disney’s most clear statement to date on exactly what NextGen will bring to the parks. The guest will encounter it via the MyMagic+ program. There’s a fairly good write up on the program by Brooks Barnes in the New York Times.

There was also this bit officially released by Disney:

With MyMagic+ Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is taking another step forward to evolve “how” guests experience Disney Parks and is using technology to make it easier than ever before for guests to make the most of their Walt Disney World visit. Many of these efforts fall under the umbrella of MyMagic+, which has the ability to connect nearly all aspects of the guest experience and make it better for everyone, at no additional charge.

A new website and mobile app called My Disney Experience provides a one-stop shop for all things Walt Disney World throughout every phase of a guest’s vacation. It will enable guests to:Read More »MyMagic+ – NextGen Rollout Questions, Answer, and more Questions

Disney Dining Plan, Is it Worth It?

Editor: Please welcome Chris Wood who will be sharing some of her valuable travel planning experience with us as a new guest author.

If you’re staying on property, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether or not you should purchase the dining plan. While it’s certainly convenient to pre-pay for your meals, the dining plan, touted as a money-saving option, doesn’t work for everyone. Here are some things to consider before you add the plan to your vacation package.

The most popular plan is the base dining plan, which includes one table-service credit, one quick-service credit, one snack, and one refillable mug per person for each night of your stay. This means that a family of three staying four nights will have twelve quick and table-service credits and twelve snacks. There’s no order in which you have to use your credits; you just have to finish using them by midnight the day of check-out or you lose them. Credits aren’t even assigned directly to individuals on the reservation, just by age. This year, guests 10 years of age and up will pay $55.59 per night for the plan; those in the 3 – 9 age group will pay $17.16.

Read More »Disney Dining Plan, Is it Worth It?

Mickey helps open Test Track

Test Track, with new digital design vision, Re-Opens for Multi-Sensory Fun!

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The re-imagined version of Test Track officially reopened tonight with a small ceremony and a giant party. Disney execs, VIPs, media, dignitaries, and even the lowly Disney blogger were all invited in to enter the world of automotive design as never before, creating their own virtual concept, then boarding a “SimCar” ride vehicle to race through a thrilling series of performance tests.

Mickey helps open Test Track

For the dedication ceremony, Mickey Mouse took the stage with Disney parks president Meg Crofton and Alan Batey, CMO at GM, to officially open Test Track. The band One Republic was also on hand to help the attraction get a rocking start.

The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars, trucks and crossovers, but drives their performance on the open road.

For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet’s design studios.

“As storytellers, to be able to tell Chevrolet’s design story was fun for our Imagineers,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of WDI. “Chevrolet designers come from the same creative roots as Imagineers. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will become, for Epcot guests, an exciting part of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort.”

Read More »Test Track, with new digital design vision, Re-Opens for Multi-Sensory Fun!

Big Thunder Mountain Queue

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to Get Interactive Queue

Back when Big Thunder Mountain Railroad re-opened after its latest refurbishment, there was a lot of speculation about exactly what those nondescript boxes were in the queue. Obviously, they were temporary place holders until something better could be installed, but what is that something. Turns… Read More »Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to Get Interactive Queue