travel planning

The Monorails Must Roll

The monorail station could be looking like this a lot more when Disney institutes its new reduced hours for the trains.
The monorail station could be looking like this a lot more when Disney institutes its new reduced hours for the trains.

One of my favorite Robert Heinlein short stories is “The Roads Must Roll.” Written in 1940, it speculates about a rapid transit system that would move people across the country in speed and comfort. The high speed nature of the rolling roads meant that maintenance was a huge deal. When the employees decided to organize for better working conditions, well, the shit hits the fan. In some ways it foretold the air controller strike of the Reagan era. These days there is an odd tie-in to the Walt Disney World monorails system too.

Walt Disney World just announced they would be reducing the operating hours of their monorail fleet. They used to run 1.5 hours after the parks closed or after the last scheduled event (extra magic hours, christmas party, etc). Sometimes these hours were stretched even further on the EPCOT line. Now they will all shut down 1 hour after the posted closing time for the park with no allowance for extra magic hours or other events. Guests will be placed on buses or water craft to be returned to their hotels or the TTC and EPCOT parking lots.

Initially, there was a lot of outcry directed at Disney for reducing benefits to resort and park guests at the same time they are raising prices, but soon word leaked out that there was an important reason behind the shift. The reason? The monorail fleet is just breaking down under the strain.

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How Long Will You Wait in Line?

The crowds were out in full force at Disneyland this weekend. Of course this is to be expected. School is out and two new rides have just opened.

Tomorrowland could be best described as very very crowded. If you do not need to approach Tomorrowland from Main Street at the moment just don’t even go there. Access Space Mountain from the other side of the park and avoid the Jedi crowds.

I had a plan of action to get the most possible rides on Star Tours. I booked a room in one of the Disneyland Resort hotels so that we could get the Soundsational Summer Package. Not only does this give you early entry into the parks on certain days it will give you something even more valuable. 2 Fast Passes per guest. This is a huge deal if you want to avoid standing in the line for Star Tours.

The early entry hours this Sunday meant that Disney resort guests could enter Disneyland at 7am which is one hour ahead of the rest of the park guests. This should have got us a head start but of course after leaving the park at midnight the night before things didn’t quite work out as planned. So we were a little late reaching the Fast Pass kiosk at 8:15am.

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Teri Hatcher gives Disney travel advice

One of Disney’s most desperate mom’s is giving advice on how to best enjoy your day at Walt Disney World. Teri Hatcher, who has a long run on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, is also a big Disney fan. In the following video she gives some advice… Read More »Teri Hatcher gives Disney travel advice

Fantasyland Expansion impact on Magic Kingdom will be huge

The Disney Parks blog recently announced that February 11, 2011 will be the last day to visit Mickey’s Toontown Fair. That’s nice information to have for those planning vacations. Unfortunately, you really have to plan more than 6 months out these days just to get… Read More »Fantasyland Expansion impact on Magic Kingdom will be huge

SeaWorld Orlando starts The Polar Express Tomorrow

Disney isn’t the only company in town doing things up for the Holidays. SeaWorld Orlando has started rolling out their holiday offerings with the The Polar Express experience beginning Friday, November 12.

At Wild Arctic, guests can climb aboard The Polar Express Experience and take an train ride to the North Pole. Classic scenes from The Polar Express movie are recreated in a multi-sensory experience that immerses passengers in special lighting, scents, sounds and motion effects. When guests arrive at the North Pole, they’ll discover a winter wonderland surrounded by holiday cheer and amazing animal encounters.

More details on SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration below the jump:

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Becoming a Disney World Mom

Word leaked on twitter last night that the application process to become a member of the 2011 Disney World Moms Panel would open on Sept 13th. This would be the fourth group empaneled. The Disney Moms Panel lets real Moms (and Dads) provide the answers… Read More »Becoming a Disney World Mom