Disney and Orlando, Florida Holiday Planning - theDIBB

inline imageAn article from temporary tourist (spotted by DIBB member disneytrio) is reporting that as of today 23 July, Disney will begin a 3 day test of a new standby line system for entry to Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet at Princess Fairy Tale Hall in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.

Due to the popularity of the Frozen characters the lines to see Anna and Elsa have been enormous and the line has been encroaching on other areas of Fantasyland which in turn effects the operations of nearby attractions and shops.

"At 9:00 AM Cast Members will allow guests to fill the standby line to its capacity, which is the shield just on the outside of the Hall. Once full, the line to Anna and Elsa will be considered closed. Guests who arrive after the line has been filled will be directed to Magic Kingdom Park Support, who will be located on the other side of the Courtyard Carrousel. Each guest will receive a pass with a comeback time on a “first come first serve” basis. The comeback time printed on each ticket will have a 30 minute window in which to return and enter the standby line to see Anna and Elsa. Once a guest has come back to Princess Fairy Tall Hall and enters the line, Disney expects the maximum wait to be approximately 30 minutes."

full article here

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inline imageWalt Disney World Resort continues to make changes to their FastPass+ services that aim to create a more seamless and easy-to-understand process.A few changes have been made to the way park FastPass+ kiosks work. It is now much easier to change an existing FastPass+ selection, as the screen options have now been grouped together:

Beginning 24th July, Guests using an park FastPass+ kiosk, will have the option to modify a currently selected experience and choose a different time and or a different experience simultaneously.

Guests touch their RFID MagicBand or Ticket at a kiosk to display their current FastPass+ itinerary. Experiences eligible for modification will be displayed with the “Make Changes” button. If at least one party member has not redeemed a selection, the “Make Changes” button will be enabled, and the next screen will indicate which Guests are eligible for the modification.

A message will display to Guests if there are no alternate experiences and/or times available. These will display if a selection was originally available but no longer has availability since the Guest selected the Modify button.

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inline imageEpcot Food & Wine Festival special events usually sell out quite quickly, this year event reservations will open up at 7am (11am UK time) on 31st July.

To see a preview of the new premium events that you can book go to epcotfoodfestival.com on 24 July, this is when the details will be posted so you can make your plans before the reservations open on 31st July.

Here’s what’s new this year:

  • Dining Through the Decades, A Tribute to Walt Disney (October 24) $99 pp or $119 pp
  • Experience Puerto Rico – The All Star Island (September 20) $99 pp
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — Boot Camp Series interactive epicurean adventure (September 21, October 5, 12, 19, Nov. 2) $119 pp
  • Food for Thought (Fridays, plus Saturday October 11) $169 pp
  • Mediterranean Food & Wine Pairing (Wednesdays) $55 pp
  • Italian White Truffle & Wine Pairing Dinner (October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30) $295 pp
And here are some of the most popular events making a comeback:
  • Parisian Breakfast (Saturdays) $39 pp
  • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery (October 3, 10 and 17) $59 or $99 pp – this also can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com
  • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining 
(more than 20 dinners throughout the festival; prices vary)
  • Shake and Indulge Like the French Featuring Grand Marnier (Saturdays beginning September 27) $55 pp
  • Cheese Seminars (Saturdays) $79 pp
  • Party for the Senses (October 4, 11, 18 and November 1) $149, $189 or $299 pp – this also can be booked at epcotfoodfestival.com
  • Party for the Senses Featuring Disney Chefs from Around the World (October 25) $149, $189 or $299 pp
  • Food & Wine Pairings (Tuesdays and Thursdays) $55 pp
  • Sunday Mornings With … (Sundays) $99 pp
There’s more, like Italian and French pairings and lunches, a Japan “Hibachi Experience” and a Mexican tequila lunch. You can also book the popular Culinary Demonstrations ($15), Mixology Seminars ($15) and Wine Seminars ($15).

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase®
September 19 to November 10, 2014

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inline imageTrattoria al Forno, a new restaurant featuring Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and recipes from Italy’s various regions, is set to open at Disney’s BoardWalk in December 2014.

The new spot will showcase Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, a variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens, and other classic italian favorites such as risotto, baked lasagna, chicken great alla Parmigiana with tagliatelle pasta and more.

A seasonal risotto will always be on the menu, and vegetarians will appreciate the ruffled campanelle pasta with green beans, roasted potatoes and Genovese pesto.

Trattoria al Forno will boast an extensive wine menu with more than 60 offerings by the bottle and more than 25 wines by the glass, including Chiantis, Super Tuscans and fine Italian white wines such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. Wines will be 100 percent Italian from historic wine regions including Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont

Desserts such as tiramisù, gelatos, and the signature bomboloni (Italian donut holes) with dark chocolate and vanilla gelato round out the menu.

Trattoria al Forno is replacing Cat Cora's Kouzzina.

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inline imageAnalysis of the first week of 'Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts'.
We have been carefully monitoring Universal's newest ride since opening day a week ago and it's interesting to note the peak and average wait times.

On opening day Tuesday 8th July, as expected there were very long waits for 'Escape from Gringotts' ride. However I think Universal managed the crowds very well, certainly much better than they did with 'Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey' over in IOA a few years ago.

Opening day saw a peak of 460 minutes (7hrs 40min) with an average over the whole day of 368 minutes (6hrs 8min). The ride seemed to brake down several times but was quickly reset each time. One interesting point to note was the Single rider line was around 60 - 80 minutes until universal closed this line mid morning.


The second day, Wednesday 9 July, carries on with high wait times again, however the peak times (320 mins) and average times (290 mins) were lower than opening day. The wait times were consistent over most of the day


The third day Thursday 10 July saw a peak of 390 mins with an average of 300 mins, however the peak is slightly skewed due to the ride being down for a significant period.


The fourth day Friday 11 July saw a peak of 300 mins and average of 260 mins, so for most of the day guests were experiencing 4 hour waits. This day shows the peaks from 10 am to 4pm, after that period the wait times dropped off, but this is mainly due to Universal closing the line otherwise the wait time would go beyond closing time of the park.


The fifth day Saturday 12 July saw a lower peak time of 245 mins and lower average wait time of 190 minutes. In an almost complete opposite to the day before 1pm to 5pm shows a dip in wait times.


The sixth day Sunday 13 July was the best day of the week in wait time terms. For those following the DIBB Busy Day Guide this was the day we recommended for Universal. The peak time was 300 during the morning but again this was skewed by ride downtime. The average for the day was 165 minutes, however the average for the afternoon was actually below 120 mins (2 hours)


the seventh day Monday 14 July saw a peak back to 330 mins and an average for the day of 190 mins. Again looking at the afternoon figures show a lower average.


Ignoring the first day, the average wait time for the week is 230 minutes.
Average peak time is 315 mins

Apart from the early entry route and those with special passes it seems the best strategy of the week was the single rider line, when available, however this misses out much of the pre show.

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inline imageOne of the favourite new offerings that launched as a part of the Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the “Frozen Fireworks,” which light up the sky at 9:45 p.m., nightly.

The fireworks show combines elements of a stage show, complete with moments of narration with Anna, Kristoff and Elsa, with fireworks and songs from the soundtrack to “Frozen.”

Disney Parks Blog author Bob Hitchcock recently headed out to the park to take a look and find out what guests – and even some of the creators of the show – think of the new nighttime spectacular. Check the video below.

“Frozen Fireworks” will run nightly through 1 September, as a part of the park’s Frozen Summer Fun celebration and viewing is available throughout the park.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nxXV-Yq-QI

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Park Hours - Wednesday 23/07/2014

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
1:00am
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
8:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
8:00am
~to~
10:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
9:30am
~to~
9:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
LEGOLAND
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Extra Morning Hours +1 Hour Early Entry for Disney Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours +2 Extra Late Hours for Disney Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Extra Morning Hours +2 Hours Early Entry for Disney Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

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Updated: 10:30 23/07/2014

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Travelex  €1.2384
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FairFX  €1.2480
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Updated: 10:30 23/07/2014

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