Disney and Orlando, Florida Holiday Planning - theDIBB

inline imageDumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is an iconic Disney attraction that appeals to the young and young at heart but has it lost it's appeal or has the new location affected it's attendance?

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride is based on the character from the 1941 animated feature film classic and until the redevelopment of Fantasyland it was located right in the centre of Fantasyland.

The attraction was always popular and nearly always had long wait times, even first thing in the morning. The advice for parents with young children was to arrive at the Magic Kingdom before park opening and then when the park opens to head straight up Main Street U.S.A., ignore all the shops and sights, head under the castle arch to enter Fantasyland then skirt around the Carrousel and immediately get in the line for Dumbo.

The wait times were always long especially at peak times and many parents have had their patience tested to breaking point by the long lines out in the blazing sun with the desire of their children to ride Dumbo.

Well starting in 2011 Disney redeveloped Fantasyland in to New Fantasyland. Part of this redevelopment was to move the Dumbo ride over to the old 'Mickey's Toontown Fair' which then became 'The Storybook Circus'. At the same time as moving the Dumbo ride Disney also increased it's capacity by adding a second identical ride. Both rides are fed by a new combined interactive queue.

Since the new Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride opened the ride has a lot of the time been a walk on ride. Now that can't just be down to the increased capacity. The capacity doubled so you would expect the wait time to have been halved, however the reduced wait times suggest something more than just capacity.

The old version of this ride took centre stage in fantasyland and was a focal point of Fantasyland catching not only the guests that headed straight for it, but all those guests crossing fantasyland from the other lands. It was always a very busy spot.

With the move to 'The Storybook Circus' the ride is almost shoved in to a corner of the park and I feel it no longer gets the same passing foot fall as it did when it was centre stage.

Looking at the current and historical wait times you can see a dramatic decrease in the time to ride now.

It seems Location Location Location is the key here. I don't think the ride has lost it's appeal, it's still an iconic popular ride. It's just that now it's often a walk on ride where for the same time of year previously you would be in an hour long queue.

What are your thoughts on this?

These are the current wait time graphs for the last seven days.














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inline imageStarting today, Disney has changed it's policy on purchasing MagicBands. Previously you needed to link a MagicBand to a valid Park ticket at the time of purchase. This meant you couldn't purchase a MagicBand as a gift for someone or purchase a MagicBand for a planned future trip.

MagicBands can now be purchased as a stand alone item at the Disney theme parks, Downtown Disney, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Port Orleans Resort, other resorts are expected to follow in the future.

Only the solid colour MagicBands will be available to purchase without a ticket, the MagicBands with printed images will still need to be linked to a park ticket at time of purchase.

This now makes it possible for guests to buy MagicBands as gifts for other people.

Onsite guests are provided a MagicBand each, free of charge. For offsite guests or onsite guests who wish to purchase additional MagicBands, the MagicBands can be purchased for $12.95 plus tax.

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inline imageSeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will be making a very important announcement regarding some major additions coming to SeaWorld Orlando, Sand Diego, and San Antonio in the next few years.

The Blue World Project will include new, much bigger environments for the Killer Whales to live in, and will create incredible experiences for Guests visiting the parks.

SeaWorld announces a First of its kind Killer Whale Environment
and more than $10 million in new funding for research and conservation projects.


QUOTE...

Transformational New Environments


Once again, SeaWorld is on the leading edge of innovation and science with the announcement of these first-of-its-kind killer whale environments. These new homes will build upon SeaWorld’s legacy of providing state-of-the-art animal living spaces and offering park guests unique killer whale encounters, inspiring generations to come.

The new killer whale homes and related research initiatives have a bold vision: to advance global understanding of these animals, to educate, and to inspire conservation efforts focused on protecting killer whales in the wild.

The first of these environments will be built at SeaWorld San Diego and is planned to have a water volume of 10 million gallons, nearly double that of the existing facility. With a maximum depth of 50 feet and a surface area of nearly 1.5 acres spanning more than 350 feet in length, there will be no other realm like this in the world. The new environment will also have views exceeding 40 feet in height, providing guests with the world’s largest underwater killer whale viewing experience.

Named the Blue World Project because of its size and scope, the new environment will allow for increased engagement with SeaWorld experts through new enrichment experiences and interactive programs. The environment will enhance the educational experience for guests, foster deeper knowledge of killer whales and their ocean environment, and inspire guests young and old to celebrate and conserve the natural world.

Expanding on SeaWorld’s legacy of animal environment design, the enlarged environment will provide killer whales with even more dynamic opportunities. It will support the whales’ broad range of behaviors and provide choices that can challenge them both physically and mentally.

Among other things, it is planned to include a “fast water current” that allows whales to swim against moving water, thus functionally increasing speed and diversity. Innovative features focused on husbandry and animal care will offer SeaWorld’s animal health professionals and independent scientists unique access to the whales that can lead to a better understanding and care of the animals both in the parks and in the wild.

The San Diego environment is expected to open to the public in 2018 with new killer whale homes to follow at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio.

Increased Education


For generations, SeaWorld has inspired the young and old alike to learn more about the ocean and marine life. Doing more to respect and protect our oceans starts with knowing more, which is why SeaWorld takes its educational mission seriously.

With the Blue World Project, we are taking educating and inspiring visitors and communities to a whole new level.

Through up-close and personal encounters, the new environment will transform how visitors experience killer whales. Guests will be able to walk alongside the whales as if they were at the ocean’s shore, watch them interact at depths found in the ocean, or catch a birds-eye view from above.

The new environment will also allow for increased engagement with SeaWorld experts through new enrichment experiences and interactive programs. The environment will enhance the educational experience for guests, foster deeper knowledge of killer whales and their ocean environment, and inspire guests to celebrate and conserve the natural world. A host of new educational programs will be available as well.

By advancing understanding of killer whales, we will inspire conservation efforts to protect those in the wild.

Unprecedented Research


We are committed to conducting future research through the Blue World Project that will lead to increased understanding and care of animals both in our parks and in the wild. These transformational environments and innovative features focused on husbandry and animal care will offer SeaWorld’s animal health professionals and independent scientists unique access to the whales that can lead to a better understanding and care of the animals both in the parks and in the wild.

As part of the project’s vision, we have also committed $10 million in matching funds focused on threats to killer whales in the wild, especially those identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration related to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale. That includes new projects already funded this year: one that will help to understand the hearing ranges of killer whales, and another that will provide insight into nutritional status and reproduction of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale. The matching funds will be in addition to killer whale research conducted by SeaWorld’s scientists, which includes nearly 50 studies to date.

Recognizing that ocean health is a leading concern for killer whales and all marine mammals in the wild, we are pleased to announce we will be embarking on a major multi-million dollar partnership focused on protecting the ocean. More details of the partnership and its mission will be announced in the coming weeks.

Dynamic Partnerships


For 50 years, SeaWorld has transformed how the world views marine life. The unprecedented access to marine mammals has increased our knowledge of the ocean and inspired generations. The Blue World Project has just as bold a vision: to advance global understanding of killer whales and to educate, and inspire conservation efforts to protect them in the wild.

That’s why we are committing $10 million in matching funds specifically aimed at stopping threats to killer whales in the wild, and that’s on top of the nearly 350 studies we’ve done over the years that have contributed to our understanding of killer whales, marine mammals and other animals that live in the ocean.

Making sure our oceans are healthy is a big concern not just for killer whales, but for all marine life. SeaWorld will be embarking on a major multi-million dollar partnership focused on protecting our oceans. This partnership will enhance our ongoing efforts on this front, including our Rising Tide project focused on reef conservation and our beach cleanup and restoration work.

It’s just another way that SeaWorld looks to give back to the world around us.

Finally, in conjunction with the Blue World Project, SeaWorld is bringing on some of the foremost experts in their fields to form an independent advisory panel. We’re engaging the “best of the best” to hear new perspectives and ideas for the new habitat and advise on research and learning opportunities not just at our parks, but in the wild as well.







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inline imageUniversal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. will be hosting the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event from 30 January to 1 February, 2015.

This special event celebrates the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter as fans from around the world join together at Universal Orlando Resort for three days of everything Potter.

All general admission park guests will have the chance to experience the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent, visit the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and much more!

A limited number of exclusive event vacation packages—including annual passholder packages—will go on sale at noon (EST) on 21 August. These packages offer hotel accommodations, theme park tickets, and exclusive benefits:

EXCLUSIVE EVENT PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • 3-Night hotel accommodations
  • 3-Day Park-to-Park admission ticket^ to Universal Studios Florida® & Universal's Islands of Adventure®
  • Exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ & Diagon Alley™, including light desserts and one complimentary Butterbeer™
  • Exclusive film talent Q&A session and reserved section for discussions and demonstrations
  • Special Guest access to A Celebration of Harry Potter™ Expo
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ one hour before the theme parks open.
  • Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks™ in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ (one per person)
  • Specially themed Welcome Parcel§ and complimentary commemorative merchandise item
  • Access to live entertainment at Universal CityWalk®


Last year, these packages sold out within days, so if you want to be in the center of this celebration, make sure to set your alarms for noon (EST) on 21 August, or buy your general admission theme park tickets for those dates now!

A Celebration of Harry Potter Official Page - Click Here

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inline imageDisney villains will be unleashed during a special event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on 23rd August. This separately ticketed event will include some awesome entertainment and opportunities for up close encounters with some of the most popular Disney villains.

Guests attending the event will also find event merchandise and a variety of food & beverage offerings. Disney Parks Blog has released a sneak preview at what you can expect.










images ©Disney

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inline imageDisney recently launched a new addition for guests using Memory Maker. From this week When guests with a MagicBand and an active Memory Maker entitlement, ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios, they will find a video memento of their 13-story drop automatically associated to their My Disney Experience account.

The Attraction Video at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ will be automatically associated to the My Disney Experience account of Guests who have both a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker entitlement.


Guests must be wearing a MagicBand while experiencing the Attraction in order for the Attraction video to be associated to the Guests. Further, only Guests with a linked Memory Maker entitlement will be able to view and download Attraction videos of themselves and videos of their linked Family & Friends Connections and Managed Guests that were wearing MagicBands while experiencing the Attraction.

Due to moderation and system processes, all digital content could take up to 24 hours to become viewable within the Guest’s My Disney Experience account. If a Guest still does not see their video after 24 hours of experiencing the Attraction, they can contact the Disney PhotoPass Guest Support Team at 407-560-4300.

Guests with a linked Memory Maker entitlement who have active Family and Friends Connections via their My Disney Experience account will be able to view all Attraction videos which are captured automatically if the linked Family and Friends Connections were wearing a MagicBand while experiencing the Attraction. However, only Memory Maker Guests will have access to view and download the video.

At this time, Disney PhotoPass photo or digital are not viewable within the My Disney Experience app. We hope to offer this feature as an added enhancement for our Guests in the future.

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Park Hours - Wednesday 20/08/2014

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
11:00pm
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
9:30pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
LEGOLAND
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
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 Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
9:00am
~to~
12:00am
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Extra Morning Hours +1 Hour Early Entry for Disney Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast 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

US Dollar Rates
Cash/Travelers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  $1.6416
FairFX  $1.6380
M&S  $1.6108
Travelex  $1.6255
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  $1.6270
FairFX  $1.6310
VIDA FX  $1.6267
Updated: 15:30 20/08/2014

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Euro Rates
Cash/Travelers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  €1.2343
FairFX  €1.2310
M&S  €1.1982
Travelex  €1.2215
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  €1.2240
FairFX  €1.2255
VIDA FX  €1.2242
Updated: 15:30 20/08/2014

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