Dec 282011
 


By: Rikki Niblett

It was a crazy year again for the Disney Parks. Lots of great things happened and a ton of new attractions opened. Some attractions reopened after lengthy refurbishments. We also lost a few things and a brand new Disney destination premiered. So, we here at Magically Speaking thought we’d taking a look at some of the biggest news stories that happened with Disney this year.

First, 2011 started off a little sadly with Mickey’s Toontown Fair closing at the Magic Kingdom. Many were heartbroken to see this area go, but with the new Fantasyland approaching for 2012 it was a necessary evil. This was the last land added to the Magic Kingdom and the first to ever close at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Debuting on both coasts in January was The Magic, The Memories, and You. This show is projected on Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom and it’s a small world at Disneyland. For many, I think this show was a surprise hit (I know it was for me!). It’s so amazing to see what technology can do! It truly is a remarkable show and if it doesn’t leave you with a tear in your eye, I don’t know what will. Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

The World without Parks

By: Ann Dunnington

 

When visiting the Walt Disney World resort, you would be remiss if you planned to tour the parks every day of your vacation.  Why?  There are so many (often overlooked) hidden gems around the 47 square miles of the Resort without even stepping foot inside a theme park.  The next time you go to the “World” check these things out.

Continue reading »

Nov 302011
 

By: Rhonna Costabile

 

With the economy being what it is and the holiday shopping season upon us, who wants to go on vacation to Walt Disney World and be nickel and dimed to death? Well, you don’t have to be because I am going to share with you a few ideas to keep your expenses down!

Let’s start with water. What most people don’t know is that the water that comes from the taps and drinking fountains inside the parks is not filtered for taste, which certainly encourages people to purchase bottles of water for nearly $2.50 each. Here’s the tip: if you purchase a sport bottle with a filter system built in at home and bring it then you can keep refilling it as much as necessary. Ice is free for the asking anywhere you go, so you can always have cold, clean, good-tasting water to drink. Continue reading »

Nov 022011
 


By: Lindsey Tullier

My family and I have always enjoyed dining at both the Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney Rainforest Café locations when we visit Walt Disney World. What’s not to love? There are animatronics, thunderstorms, enthusiastic servers and a large gift shop. However, I only recently discovered that the Animal Kingdom location serves breakfast. I have no idea how I managed to miss this, but I was determined to include a brunch at Rainforest Café on our next visit.

Our first morning was an extra magic hour for Animal Kingdom so we made plans to be in that park for 8 a.m. I normally don’t do morning Extra Magic Hours but since it was Labor Day and hot (an understatement), I figured the earlier we could get through Animal Kingdom the better. I made reservations for 9:30 a.m., which gave us plenty of time to ride Kilimanjaro Safari and explore some of the animal habitats before venturing back to the front of the park for our reservation. Continue reading »

Oct 192011
 

By: Rikki Niblett

Run, Rikki, Run!

I’m not a runner. Let’s make that perfectly clear. My husband is the runner in the family. He does 5ks for fun on evening runs and just this year he ran the St. Louis Half Marathon. Me? I get winded thinking of running! My joke when people have asked if I was ever going to run a race has always been, I only run if someone’s chasing me!

However, over the past few years a few of my trips to Walt Disney World have been centered around race weekends. I have gone to support friends who’ve run in both the January Weekend Half Marathon and also the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. I love being able to support my friends as they run! It’s win-win. They run and I just get to watch! Cheering on your loved ones (and even strangers) is one of the most awesome things to do. It’s such a rush knowing that you are helping give them a shot of adrenaline in a time when they potentially need it. I have been a good supporter!

This year all of that changed. You see I was the one people were cheering for! How’s that, you ask? Well, this year I ended up running the Halloween 5k on October 1, during the Wine and Dine Race Weekend. Continue reading »

Aug 242011
 

By: Dena Burkett

Every Disney fanatic knows how important time is and how important it is to keep a schedule when you only have a week to see as much as you can in Disney. Now you can do all those things much easier with Disney’s Mobile Magic App!  You can have access to a park map, restaurants, meet and greet times, attraction wait times, including Fast pass and trivia games right on your cell phone!  No more maps to carry around or mulling over whether it would be better to head to Frontierland to get in line for Splash Mountain or stay in Tomorrowland at Monster’s Laugh Floor. With the Mobile Magic app, you can find out in an instant.

The one caveat about the app is that Mobile Magic was created specifically for Verizon phones. However, since coming out other apps have been created for other phone companies as well.   If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad here’s a link for Disney apps: http://www.stitchkingdom.com/iphone/

I just returned from Walt Disney World this past June and we used the app for the very first time. My boyfriend wanted to download the app on his phone and being cost-conscious I said, “I don’t think that is necessary, how much does that cost?” So, I went online and read reviews on it. People were saying that it was not accurate and not worth it.  Despite my findings, the app was only going to cost $1.99, so my boyfriend downloaded it.

Boy am I glad he did!!  It was a great thing to have during our trip! The best feature was the WAIT TIMES.  We were able to see what the wait times were while riding over to the parks on the bus, so that we could decide where to go first. Then, while in the parks we checked the wait times of popular attractions to determine what to do next.  Also, using the dining part of the app, we made an early dinner reservation for Tony’s Town Square while standing in line for a ride.  Talk about doing two things at once and saving time!

Each time we left a park and headed over to another park the Mobile Magic app updated itself automatically. (So much for the reviews! Though I did hear that Mobile Magic just got updated recently.) Even when we left Disney the Mobile Magic app still had us in Magic Kingdom, since that was where we were last. What a great thing to take home with you!!

One suggestion I would have is to make sure your phone is charged completely before heading to the parks. We personally never had a problem with the Mobile Magic app draining the battery, but it is always best to make sure your phone is fully charged anyway.  For more information check out this website for FAQs regarding Mobile Magic: http://disneyparksmobile.com/faq/