What’s New

Just this week, Disney has announced the completion of a new ride and three new items around Walt Disney World.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been completed and will open to the public starting on May 28, 2014.  There could be soft openings between now and the 28th but nothing is guaranteed.  The Mine Train completes the New Fantasyland construction project.  The project added a second Dumbo ride, Under the Sea – a Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto (an Ariel meet and Greet), Enchanted Tales with Belle, the ever popular Be Our Guest Restaurant, the Barnstormer roller coaster, Pete’s Silly Sideshow where guests can meet Donald, Goofy, Minnie and Daisy in vintage county fair attire, and the Princess Fairytale Hall where guests can currently meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Cinderella, and a rotating fourth princess (usually Rapunzel).  It was quite the expansion project and took over two years complete and attractions opened in three different stages.

A preview of the Mine Train ride can be found here (courtesy of Theme Park Review): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A4vjeYLcXw

 

If you are a Disney Visa cardholder, you are eligible for Free Disney Dining on a select dates in the fall.  This promotion will be available to the general public starting on May 7, 2014 for stays booked before August 8, 2014.  Since it’s a new blog and I haven’t talked about it yet, here’s the scoop on Disney Dining.

First of there are three levels of Disney Dining Plans:

Quick Service Disney Dining Plan: 2 counter service meals (per night), 1 snack (per night), 1 refillable mug (per stay)

Price per night in 2014: $41.99/adult, $16.03/child aged 3-9

Standard Disney Dining Plan: 1 counter service (per night), 1 table service (per night), 1 snack (per night), 1 refillable mug (per stay)

Price per night in 2014: $60.64/adult, $19.23/child aged 3-9

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan: 3 meals at your choice of counter or table service (per night), 2 snacks (per night), 1 refillable mug (per stay)

Price per night in 2014: $109.53/adult, $29.86/child aged 3-9

If you stay in a Value resort like the All-Star Resorts or Pop Century, your stay qualifies for Free Quick Service Dining.  For stays in Moderate, Deluxe, or Villa Resorts, your stay qualifies for the Standard Dining Plan.  This promotion is what made my family take their first Disney vacation.  For a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids) that stay for six nights at a Moderate resort, it can save that family $958.44 using this promotion.  That’s quite a savings.    This is Disney’s most popular promotions and each resort that is eligible (All Star Movies, Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, and 3-bedroom villa are not eligible) only has a select night of “Free Dining” rooms are they fill up quickly.

Disney is bringing some nightlife to the Animal Kingdom park with the introduction of “Harambe Nights” for the summer.  This show will run from June 7, 2014 to August 9, 2014.  The evening starts with a reception featuring appetizers, wines, beers, and soft drinks.  After the receptions, guests will be brought into the new Harambe Theater for a new show, “The Lion King in the Wild.”  This show will feature celebrity narrators, a live orchestra, along with dancing and sings in a 55-minute stage show.  After the show, the night moves back to Harambe Village for a street party where the guests can participate.  The night ends with dessert.  The event runs from 7:00-10:30 pm.  General admission tickets are $119 for ages 10 and up and $79 for ages 9 and under.  Floor seats are $134 for ages 10 and up and $94 for ages 9 and under.

The last bit of new information is a nod to Disney’s past.  Disney’s Polynesian Resort will be reverting to its original name Polynesian Village Resort Hotel.  The name change is part of multi-year reimagining project which includes the addition of Disney Vacation Club villa and bungalows, guest room renovations, renovations to the pool and the Grand Ceremonial House.  The resort will also see the addition of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto which will feature tiki-styled drinks and polynesian-themed small plates.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading.

 

Introduction

I’d like to welcome you to the first of what will be many posts about a well covered topic….Disney.  Most specifically, this blog will cover the two resorts in the United States….Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.  This blog will help give people an understanding of what there is to do at the parks, what will be coming to the parks in both the near and far off future, tips to best navigate your way through the parks, etc.

My plan is to post something new every day during the week with the occasional blog post on Saturdays and recaps of the week’s posting on Sundays.  Disney is a place that is always changing so coming with new material everyday should not be a problem.

A little about myself: my name is Tim Brooks and I live in upstate NY with my wife of 14 years and our soon-to-be nine-year old daughter.  I spent the early part of my career out of college working in sports information at the University of Delaware and then Allentown College.  After leaving Allentown College, I did some freelance work and then taught sports management at Lehigh-Carbon Community College and then The College of St. Rose when we moved to upstate NY for my wife’s career.  After my wife gave birth to our daughter, I decide to stay home with her and put my career on hold.  Now, that she is almost nine years old, I volunteer at her school while keeping the house in order.

When our daughter was four, we made out first trip to Disney to take advantage of a Free Dining promotion.  We stayed at the Contemporary Resort – a place that I always wanted to stay when I was a child.  We loved it.  We could walk to Magic Kingdom.  Take the monorail to EPCOT.  The bus could get us to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.  We tried to do as much as we could in our short five-day stay.  As we were leaving, the bus was driving past EPCOT and our daughter starts blowing kisses to Spaceship Earth and saying,  “I love you ball.  I’m going to miss you.”  My wife started crying and at that moment, I knew we would be coming back.

We joined the Disney Vacation Club about a year later and have made five trips since that initial visit five years ago.  We have fully become a “Disney Family.”

A Blog for All Things Disney Created by a Dad