Disney blog postings

Disney Postings

Earliest: May 30, 2003Latest: April 24, 2017Total: 83

September 26, 2016

Disney Park Numbers

This week we will look at Disney park attendance numbers over the past three years. The need for this topic came up in a recent discussion about all the new things Disney is working on to get people to visit the other parks in Disney World.

Disney the World Wide Leader

Year after year, Disney is the leader in amusement park attendance numbers. The four parks in Florida are in the top ten worldwide, with the Magic Kingdom being the most popular theme park visited in the world:

2015 Disney Numbers

In 2015, the Magic Kingdom became the first amusement park to surpass the 20 million annual visitors mark. The above chart shows that most people visit the Magic Kingdom. Clearly, Disney is working on the attracting visitors to the other parks.

2015 2014 2013
MAGIC KINGDOM 20,492,000 19,332,000 18,588,000
EPCOT 11,798,000 11,454,000 11,229,000
DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM 10,922,000 10,402,000 10,198,000
DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS 10,828,000 10,312,000 10,110,000

People Don't Always visit Amusement Parks

Unfortunately Disney didn't make the top 5 most popular travel spot in the world (2013 data from lovehomeswap.com)

Las Vegas Strip 39,668,221
Times Square 39,200,000
Central Park, New York City 37,500,000
Union Station, Washington DC 32,850,000
Niagrara Falls 22,500,000
Grand Central Terminal, New York 21,600,000
Faneuil Hall, Marketplace, Boston 18,000,000
Magic Kingdom, Orlando 17,536,000
Disneyland, Anaheim 15,963,000
Forbidden City, Beijing 15,300,000

When Lovehomeswap.com came out with the infographic back in 2013, it became news because some people didn't realize that Boston's Faneuil Hall had more visitors than the Magic Kingdom.

According to Boston USA 2015 was a record year for tourists visiting Massachusetts. However, the statistics on the tourist visiting Faneuil Hall hasn't changed, as the faneuilhallmarketplace.com the website still promotes the 18 million visitors a year number.

Today if LoveHomeSwap.com was to update their statistics, I believe that the Magic Kingdom would be the 7th most popular tourist attraction in the world - easily overtaken Faneuil Hall spot. Everything else in the top 10 probably hasn't changed much in ranking.

September 19, 2016

Monster's Inc. laughing Floor.

Monster Laugh Floor

One of many attractions in Tomorrowland is the Monster's Inc. laughing Floor. This stage-like show goes all out to make everyone in the audience laugh. The reason the Monster's want you to laugh so that you'll generate electricity for Monstropolis - remember the ending of Monster's Inc?

The show is hosted in the Circle-Vision theater in Tomorrowland, right across from the Stitch Great Escape! You?ll see it on your right as you enter Tomorrowland from Main Street USA.

Guest interact with the Monster?s Inc. characters on the stage

Brief History of the Monster, Inc

  • Monster?s Inc. film debut was on October 28, 2001
  • Monster's Inc. laughing floor opened April 2, 2007
  • Monster University film debut was on June 21, 2013

Previous Rides at the Location in Disney World:

  • The TimeKeeper - November 21, 1994 - February 26, 2006
  • American Journeys Film - 1984 - 1994
  • America the Beautiful Film - November, 1971 (Circle-Vision Theater opened a month after Disney World opened)

Fun Facts about the Monster's Inc. laughing Floor.

  • The theater seats about 400 guests, there are special handicap seats at the back of the theater.
  • The show lasts about 10 minutes, depending on how well the jokes go.
  • If your first in line, ask the cast member on popular jokes to tell Mike Wazowski.
  • You can text in some jokes that might get used for the show, think of some local jokes before going!
  • Fastpass+ is accepted here, but probably not needed for most times since the wait times is very little.
  • As you enter the theater, look around for signs of the old "TimeKeeper" attraction.
  • If you have a Goofy hat, this is the place to wear it!
  • When the show is over, you exit near the Carousel of Progress.
  • Prep up your jokes before the trip, or while waiting in line at another ride.

Sample Jokes to think about:

Anything that would make a Middle Schooler laugh wins! Basically, if it's offensive then it wouldn't make the cut.

  • Q: What happened to the plant in math class? A: It grew square roots.
  • "I need to talk to you" - is the one sentence that has the power to make you remember every bad thing you've ever done in your life.
  • If at first you don't succeed then skydiving definitely isn't for you
  • A day without sunshine is like ... night.
  • As I said before, I never repeat myself.

September 12, 2016

Pleasure Island & Disney Springs

Pleasure Island Logo

Long before Disney Springs and Downtown Disney the area was known as Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island.

Pleasure Island part of Downtown Disney opened on May 1, 1989 and officially renamed on November 18, 2010. Many of the nightclubs on the island were closed on September 27, 2008.

Pleasure Island

To get into any of the night clubs on the island you had to pay a single cover charge. This was something similar to how things were being done at Church Street Station in downtown Orlando.

Part of the attraction to Pleasure Island was that it was New Year's Eve every night. The lights would dim and the crowd would go crazy counting down to midnight.

This was to be a place for adults to have some fun after a long day at the park. All the night clubs were for 21+ and over.

Disney Executives decided to change the focus of Pleasure Island in response to guests who wanted more family-friendly attractions. The area of Pleasure Island is now called "The Landing."

PleasureIslandMap2.jpg
Click on the Map to download the larger version of the Map of the Pleasure Island and see how much it has changed since 1991.

Things we Do in Disney Springs

Here are some of the things/shops that we visit during our Disney Vacation.

  • Check out the Disney Pin Traders store for the latest pins. Ask a cast member for any new stock or your favorite ride.
  • Make your own Disney Treat at the Goofy's Candy Company
  • Shop at the largest Disney Store in the World - The World of Disney. Find some unique Disney things for the home. You can always have the items shipped home.
  • Face Painting - The kids will like this
  • Train Ride - Fiun thing to do for the kids but the rides in the parks are so much better. (Come on Disney, I know you can build a better train ride!)
  • Disney Design-A-Tee - Make your Own Shirt, add your name and message. A custom souvenir! Great place to get last minute team shirts that you see everyone wearing.
  • Gluten Free Bakery - Great Gluten Free baked goods at the Erin McKenna's Bakery.
  • Disney Days of Christmas - Start a new tradition and get a Christmas Ornament on your trip.
  • The Art of Disney - Find some unique collectible. Great collection of souvenirs that you'll want to put in the Living Room.

September 5, 2016

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Disney Sci Fi

If your looking for a unique dinning experience at the Disney Studios, check out the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant on Commissary Lane, near the Star Tours - The Adventure Continues.

This is Disney?s brief description of this establishment:

Diners sit in car-shaped booths while watching this eatery's retro flicks & eating American grub.

Reservations are highly recommended, as there is a long wait for this popular restaurant. Tables and booths will be assigned upon your arrival at the restaurant unless otherwise reserved. You may make reservations up to 180 days before your arrival.

Things that I have learned about this resturant

  • This restaurant is set up to look like a drive-in.
  • The ?movie theater? screen is on the opposite side of the wall when you walk in. Basically, the cars are all facing towards the waiting area.
  • There is a separate Allergy Friendly menu, simply asked for it when you arrive.
  • There is no ?best seat,? Sitting in the back gives you the chance to see people walk in and awe at the drive-in experience. If you can avoid the front cars as they are a bit close to the screen.
  • Each car can hold up to six people. There are a couple of ?cars? that are setup up as tables, so they are handicap accessible.
  • The movie experience repeats itself after about 45 minutes.
  • The car license plate numbers on the cars are Disney Imagineers that work putting together the restaurant and birth dates (Month Year)
  • Since the room is dark most of the time, it?s hard to take the perfect group picture. There is a car prop by the entrance where you can take all the group pictures that you want. Anyone know the license plate number on that car??
  • Walt Disney makes an appearance in several clips - these are from the Disneyland series where Walt talks about life on other planets. The robot that introduces Walt is Garco.

August 29, 2016

Disney Popcorn Carts

Popcorn Cart

As your walking down Main Street USA, you can smell Cotton Candy, Cookies and Popcorn. The absolute freshest popcorn isn?t in the stores on Main Street USA, it?s from the carts that are all around the Magic Kingdom. All day they are popping delicious popcorn.

You can find the Popcorn Carts in every land in the Magic Kingdom. Typically you find them by the smell of fresh popcorn.

  • Main Street USA: One by the exit and another by Adventureland.
  • Adventureland: Near the Magic Carpet Ride
  • Frontierland: Across from the Country Bear Jamboree
  • Liberty Square: Next to the Liberty Square Tavern
  • Fantasyland: Near the Gaston?s Tavern and Dumbo Ride
  • Tomorrowland: Near the Astro Orbiter and Tomorrowland Speedway

At each of the popcorn carts they usually have some type of speciality souvenir container. In November/December you?ll find Santa Mickey souvenir container, and in the Fall you?ll find some halloween container.

Some Facts/Tips on the Popcorn Carts

  • If your looking for popular seasonally containers, the best place to find them is at the popcorn stand in Fantasyland.
  • If your getting a souvenir container, you can ask for a separate container for the popcorn. This way you don?t have to worry about cleaning it.
  • If you don't see any specialty souvenir container, ask for it. They may not have time to display it.
  • Should you or your child drop a box of popcorn soon after you walk away from the cart, go back to the cart and more often than not they will refill the popcorn container.
  • My favorite popcorn is at the cart at the end of Main Street near the castle. They tend to have the most crispy popcorn, this could be because they are the busiest popcorn cart.
  • The popcorn cart on Main Street is popular around parade and fireworks time, visit the one in Liberty Square to avoid the lines.
  • Check out the detail at the Popcorn Cart, usually they apply some local feature in the machine.
  • Regular size Popcorn counts as a snack on the Meal Plan! There is no "upgrade" pricing for the larger size.
  • I have collected plenty of Souvenir Buckets over the years and haven't done anything with them. They do make good storage for pens and pencils.
  • Disney uses Orville Redenbacher popcorn kernels
  • If your looking to build your own popcorn cart, use the Gold Medal brand Popcorn Popper.

August 22, 2016

Park Lockers

Disney Lockers

Disney provides locker rentals at each of the major parks in Walt Disney World. These are for storing personal items for a single day trip. The lockers will get clean out every night.

At the theme parks the lockers are controlled by a key, and you can open and close it anytime you want all day. At the water parks, the lockers are controlled by a keyless entry. (This way you don't have to worry about losing the key in the pool)

To use the lockers, a $5 refundable deposit is required for the locker key. (When you return the key, you could always use the $5 to get some popcorn for the ride home.)

Credit Cards and Debit cards are accepted for these lockers.

Locker Size Details

Small11" x 9" x 16"$8/day
Large17.5" x 12" x 16"$10/day

Bonus Lockers

There is a single-use locker at Epcot, which measures 23" x 16" x 29". The locker cost $1 per use. This is perfect if you plan on staying late at Epcot and want to bring evening clothes for a nice dinner.

At the Disney Hollywood Studios location, there are 2 single-use locker sizes: 12" x 24" x 28" for $1, and 4" x 5.5" x 6" for $.50.

Cash is only accepted at the "Bonus Lockers."

Lockers Tips/Tricks

  • We bring our stroller and keep things in the bottom of the stroller, such as jackets or extra kids clothes. We haven't had the need to use any lockers
  • Lockers are good for keeping valuables, such as DSLR cameras and Tripods that you may not use all day.
  • Most Travel tripods will find in the Larger locker sizes. (AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod will be collapsed to 15.5 inches)
  • Anything that you buy at the park can be sent to your hotel for later pickup.
  • Not Staying on a property? Simply ask for them to hold it. You can pick up merchandise by the exit when you leave the park.
  • You are allowed to bring in snacks into the park, and all the lockers are located in nice cool areas.
  • Lockers are good if there's rain in the forecast and you need a good place to keep things dry.

Locations

  • The lockers at the Magic Kingdom are right below the Walt Disney Railroad on Main Street USA.
  • At Epcot there are lockers at the Entrance and at the International Gateway.
  • At Disney Studios the lockers are at the Crossroads of the World, as you walk in the park.

Bringing outside Food:

Yes, you are allowed to bring snacks into the park, from the Disney website:

Guests are allowed to bring food items--such as snacks or foods that do not require heating--into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park.

Do you use the lockers?

August 15, 2016

The Barnstormer

One of the exciting rides of New Fantasyland is Barnstormer - located near the Fantasyland train station in Storybook circus. Barnstormer isn't new to Disneyworld as the ride been there since October 1, 1996. The ride has gone through different names over the year. The ride closed in February 2011, and then reopened in March 2012 with a new look and featuring the Great Goofini theme.

The Barnstormer is a junior roller coaster type of ride. Riders must be 2/ 11" (121 CM) tall to ride.

History of the roller coaster ride at this location:

June 18, 1988 - October 1,1996 Grandma Duck's Petting Farm as part of Mickey's Birthdayland
October 1, 1996 - February 1, 2011 Barnstormer at Wiseacre Farm
March 12, 2012 - Present Day Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini in the Storybook Circus section of New Fantasyland

Some Interesting Trivia about the Barnstormer

  • This is one of the parks shortest height requirements any roller coaster type of ride. This means for many young kids, this is their first real roller coaster ride and they can experience this ride whenever they return to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Barnstormer is a FastPass+ ride. I highly recommend to get a fast pass in advance.
  • The ride takes approximately 1 1/2 minutes. (Space Mountain takes 3 minutes)
  • There are 16 riders for each run.
  • Ride Capacity: 450 riders per hour. (Space Mountain handles 900-1200 per hour; 2057-2500 if both sides open)
  • At it's peak speed the roller coaster will reach up to 25 mph. (Space Mountain peaks at 28.7 mph)
  • Unlike other new rides in the New Fantasyland, the Barnstormer doesn't have any interactive games in the waiting queue.
  • Like other new rides in Fantasyland - when you exit the ride, you don't end up in a gift shop.
  • A Hidden Mickey formed by a jumble of wires could be found in the attraction's queue near the "popcorn plants".

August 8, 2016

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

God Mother Transformation

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a magical beauty salon where little girls and boys can get princess and knight makeovers. There are two locations to choose from in Disneyworld; Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.

Children, from 3 to 12, get transform to be their favorite princess and knight from Disney's own Fairy Godmothers-in-Training. It's certainly one way to make a Disney Vacation very magical.

Magic Kingdom

The salon is located inside Cinderella Castle. You enter the magical beauty salon via Fantasyland. The entrance door is located directly across Cinderella's Royal Table entrance.

The Magic Kingdom salon is very popular and reservations should be made at least 90 days before arrival.

Disney Springs

The salon at Disney Springs is located in "Once Upon a Story." This is something different to do if you're looking for something to do on an off day at the park. The "Once Upon a Story" is located in the center of Disney Springs - look for the large Mr. Potato head.

If your unable to get a reservation at the Magic Kingdom's Bibbidi Bobbed Boutique try Disney Springs.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Packages

The Crown Package (starting at $59.95 plus tax)

  • Hairstyling
  • Shimmering make-up, face gem
  • Princess sash and cinch bag
  • Nail polish

The Courtyard Package (starting at $99.95 plus tax)

  • Everything in the Crown Package and...
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique T-shirt
  • Trendy tutu

The Castle Package (starting at $199.95 plus tax)

  • Everything in the Crown Package and...
  • Disney Princess gown of your choice (shoes not included)
  • Wand
  • Crown

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Things we Learned at the Magic Kingdom Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

  • Our daughter was sick during one of our trips, and they were very accommodating to change the day of our Bibbidi Bobbed Boutique.
  • Some people advised bringing our own dress before going to the park, as its cheaper. Instead, we opt to have our daughter pick the outfit she wanted to wear. We found it adds a bit of mystery to the experience.
  • The salon at the Magic Kingdom is smaller than Disney Springs.
  • When you arrive at your reservation time, there might be an additional 10 to 15-minute wait. The waiting area is very small and there is limited seating.
  • You will have plenty of opportunities to take photos and videos during the makeover.
  • Our Fairy Godmothers-in-Training engaged in conversation with our daughter to make her smile while she was getting a makeover.
  • During the transformation process, the Princess/Knight doesn't get to see their transformation until the end. This makes for a great video/photo opportunity.
  • After the makeover is completed, you go across the street to get your pictures done.
  • If you select the Imaging Package you will have to return back later in the day to pick up your photos.
  • When you return to pick up the "Imaging Package" photos you may encounter a long wait. (Ours was at least 25 mins) This is because each customer will view all the photos that were taken during the photo shoot to find the perfect one to print.
  • We planned our Magic Kingdom day around the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. After the makeover, we scheduled a Fastpass to see Anna and Elisa and other Disney princesses. This was certainly a good photo opportunity.
  • You can always go back to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to get some magical sprinkles. This is great idea when you're waiting in line for the Cinderella's Royal Table.

August 1, 2016

Dole Whip

Dole Whip

At Aloha Isle in Adventureland is the place to get a special treat on a hot day in the Magic Kingdom:

Dole out a smile with the much sought-after soft-serve delight known as the Dole Whip(R)--a popular frozen treat blended in pineapple, vanilla or swirled flavors. Frosty floats, fresh pineapple spears, and soft drinks are also available.

Sunshine Tree Terrace is another place in Adventureland that carries the full Dole Whip line.

You can also get a Dole Whip at Captain Cook's in the Polynesian Resort and for a limited time, during Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, you can find Dole Whips (including a spiced rum version) along the World Showcase promenade!

At Animal Kingdom you can find "Pineapple Whips" Tamu Tamu in Africa. These are very much like the Dole Whips, even the same signature swirl.

Dole Whip is a vegan treat and contains only 90 calories!

July 25, 2016

Pools at the Art of Animation

Artof Animation Logo

When Disney's Art of Animation resort opened in May of 2012, it became the 26th Disney resort at Walt Disney World. The resort features 1120 family suites themed around such Disney animated classics as Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King. The Little Mermaid building houses an additional 864 standard guest rooms.

Pools at the Art of Animation

You will need a magic band with Art of Animation hotel privileges to access any of the pools on the property. Visitors to Disney's All Star Resorts (All Star Sports, All Star Music and All Star Movies) are able to enjoy the pools at any of the other All-Stars.

There are three pools at the Art of Animation in Walt Disney World:

  • "Big Blue" pool - The main Art of Animation Pool, located in the center of the property. (310,000 gallons)
  • Cozy Cone Pool - Located by the Cars section. ( 74,740 gallons)
  • Flippin' Fins Pool - Over at the Little Mermaid area. ( 103,642 gallons)

There is a children's splash area near the "Big Blue" pool for little kids that might be afraid to go in the water.

Big Blue Pool

Things I learned about the pool:

  • The "Big Blue" pool is 11,859 square feet.
  • The "Big Blue" pool has 310,000 gallons and is the largest pool on Disney property, not counting water parks. (Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach holds 795,000 gallons of water.)
  • If Disney was to use a standard garden hose to fill the pool it would take about 10.5 days to fill up the pool. (Standard garden hose has a 12,960 gallon a day flow.)
  • The Cozy Cone Pool gets the least traffic of all the pools, so if the "Big Blue" pool is busy, head over to the Cozy Cone Pool.
  • If you combined all the swimming pools, you could park 125 cars inside the pools.
  • There are 12 speakers in the water of the Finding Nemo pool. You can hear all your favorite characters while your swimming.
  • Coin-operated washers and dryers are in laundry facilities next to each pool. Cost is around $2 per wash, and another $2 per dry cycle.
  • The Art of Animation began its phased opening on May 31, 2012 and finished September 15, 2012.