Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Doing Disney with very small Mouseketeers



If you're planning a Disney trip with young ones (and by young ones, we mean babies and toddlers with needs......lots of needs), you will want to be really, really prepared. Here's our essential guide to doing Disney with those needy small people in your life.

Baby 'Centers'
In true Disney style, when they mention a ‘baby center’ (just like a baby centre, but spelled funny), what they actually mean is a quiet place of air-conditioned bliss that has everything –
everything – you could possibly need for your little one. 


You can buy drinks, milk and food and heat them up and then there are high chairs and little tables and chairs so your mini-me can eat. There are also breast feeding facilities that offer comfort and privacy. If your baby/toddler is feeling under the weather, you’ll find a huge selection of medicines and remedies available, as well as someone on hand to advise and help you. There are changing stations, a TV room, toys to play with and to buy, bathrooms for adults and bathrooms for kids. These baby centers are luxurious, quiet, calm and cool. 















We really advise you make use of them – they will give you a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the parks and if your baby needs a sleep, it’s a great place to go to get out of the heat. It goes without saying that you can also purchase nappies, wipes, cream, dummies and clothing here.

► Book in advance
Don't
wing it and don't leave it to chance - take advantage of the fact that you can pre-book every meal and also book up to 3 fast passes in advance.


Our last holiday to WDW was utterly stress free. Our tables were guaranteed at lunch time because we pre-booked and we never waited longer than 20 minutes for anything. When the meet and greet with Anna & Elsa was 120 minutes, we waited 15. As soon as we used a fast pass, we tinkered around on the app and were often able to change the next one to an earlier time, and when all of our fast passes were done, we just went and got more. It might take the spontaneity out of your day, but so what? Who needs spontaneity when you have a hot, bothered, impatient, bored toddler? Make life easy on yourself. No queues, no waiting, no being turned away from restaurants. You’ll be happy, which means your kid will be too.

► Stay on Property
Seriously consider staying on property. This way, you can make use of the Disney Transportation system (not least of which is the fabulous Magical Express which takes you to and from the airport). 



This means no need to hire a car and no need to lug a child car seat all the way from home. You can get everywhere you need to within the Disney resort on the buses and while they might get busy and sometimes you might wait a while ten minutes, they’re free, air conditioned and you won’t have the stress of driving and trying to navigate. This also means you can pop back to your hotel room during the day so that your kid(s) can have a proper afternoon nap. This in turn, enables you can go back out later for the parades and fireworks. 

► Go to another Hotel

When you’re at the parks, a fantastic way to escape the hustle and bustle is to skip out and go to the nearest hotel. You don’t have to be a guest at that hotel, and you can have a grand old time checking out the gift shops, pool areas, playgrounds, lobby and restaurants. It’s even better if you make a reservation at somewhere like 1900 Park Fare because you get to hang around at the Grand Floridian. We had a lovely breakfast there and then explored the resort before hanging out in a quiet, empty seating area while our 2 year old had a cat nap. If you’re at the Magic Kingdom, The Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, the Contemporary and Wilderness Lodge are all just a monorail ride away. At Epcot, why not explore the Yacht and Beach Club and the boardwalk? Book yourself into Beaches and Cream Soda Shop and enjoy sitting by the pool and relaxing while you wait to go in. There are so many options available and again, your little one will appreciate the cool, calm, quiet and so will you!



► Be Prepared

This seems like such an obvious thing to say, but it’s easy to get it wrong at the parks and end up having a miserable day. Think about the elements you’ll be up against and make sure you’ve made plans to work around them. A good example – it’s Florida, it’s going to be hot. So buy a clip on buggy fan, invest in one of the extending buggy shades, keep your little one out of the heat and help them stay cool.  At the same time, make sure you’ve packed a waterproof buggy cover and a poncho because just as easily, the heavens can open and the rain really comes down unlike anything you’ve ever seen in Florida!



Stock up on wipes, nappies, a change of clothing, a blanket, bottles for drink and factor 50 or higher sun cream. Don’t get caught out by thinking a day at the parks is a regular day out.


►Be Dining Plan Smart
On a Disney dining plan? You can really make this work for you so that you can keep your child well fed and happy all day. The Mickey check meals (kids power packs) are a great place to start. Each pack usually contains some sort of sandwich, crackers, fruit, cookie, yoghurt and a drink. It’s well balanced, entertaining and fun to eat. If you need to top up after lunch, use one of your snack credits to get a fruit cup, or big muffin, or ice cream. It will tide your child over until dinner later on.















► Have a resort day


Just because you’re at Disney, it doesn’t mean you have to go to a park every single day. In fact, you should definitely have some time away. A resort day is a lovely day to relax, unwind and make the most of what you paid out to stay at Disney. All of the resorts have good dining facilities, bars, pools, kids entertainment, shops and arcades. Every resort is themed and landscaped, often with plenty of areas to sit and chill out. There is usually a main pool, but then there are also the quiet pools. 


A resort day will give your child some room to run around and let off steam, without being stuck in a buggy all day, waiting in line. Plus, you can stretch your legs and explore your resort and make the most of any walks and paths. If you feel like you’re starting to go a little stir crazy, hop on a bus or boat to Disney Springs.

So there you have it! Our foolproof, tried and tested guide to having fun at DisneyWorld with the little ones. You really can have an enjoyable, laid back, stress free day with a little bit of planning and being prepared. It doesn't have to be a nightmare of a day where you manage just 2 rides and leave feeling like you've been through a dreadful ordeal. 

Have any questions? Want to know more? Just contact us and we'll do our best to help!



Monday, 8 February 2016

Monsters Inc and Big Hero 6 Screenwriter Dies, Age 49

It is with heavy heart that we bring you news of the death of Daniel Gerson.

Daniel was the screenwriter of both Monsters Inc films, as well as Big Hero 6, among other credits of assistance on Pixar movies

Daniel had been suffering with brain cancer and is survived by his wife, two children and his parents


Thoughts and Prayers go out from all at Dis After Dark

How A Little Disney Inspiration Can Change Your Life

I am sure we have all had days when we wished our everyday lives had a little more Disney in it, be it working in the parks, behind the scenes for the company or just that we could spend every day enveloped in the Disney magic.

For these guys, that dream became a reality, where these self decribed Disney 'Super Fans' have taken that love of Disney and made a career out of it.

Now they are showing you how you could do that. Due for release May 16 2016, 5 well know Disney podcasters, Vloggers and bloggers will release Dream Finders, a documentary that explains how their love of Disney has become their life and how you could make that dream a reality.




Featuring Lou Mongello of WDW Radio, Ricky Brigante and Corrine Andersson of Inside The Magic, John Panda, otherwise known as Big Fat Panda and JeniLynn Knopp from The DIS, they explain how their life has now become all things Disney.


They also intersperse this with interviews with prominent members of Disney's history, including Ron Schneider, the original Dream Finder in the Journey to Imagination attraction as well as showing visits to the parks we know and love.

I think I can say that for the whole team, these five are trully inspirations to us, as podcasters who do this a hobby, but would surely love to be able to this as a profession.

You can find the website for Dream Finders at http://dreamfinders.vhx.tv/ and you can also find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/disneydreamfinders

Sunday, 7 February 2016

DaDs4e14 In which out Heroes learn all about Shanghai Disneyland, 上海迪士尼度假區


Please check out our Show Sponsors WDW Today Podcast by visiting their site & Subscribing to their Podcast on iTunes HERE
&
If you are looking to book your next trip to WDW, Disney Land or a Disney Cruise, please visit our new Sponsor Wendy from Magical Journeys.  Let Wendy create "All of the Magic with NON of the Stress" Visit her site here for a quote.
Right now on with the Show, we attempt to educate you, the listener, about what we know about Shanghai Disneyland......
上海迪士尼度假區
We'd love you to check out The Wedsite Lady & we'd like to Thank her for all her hard work, keeping our Dis After Dark Blog tidy & up to date.
A Huge Thank You to Musical Legend Tom Ameen for our Theme Tune.  Please go & buy ALL his wonderful work 
We would really appreciate it if you would head over to iTunes and subscribe to the show and leave us a review. Even if you don't use iTunes, it will really help us build up the awareness of the podcast or if you listen on Stitcher Radio, please leave us a review there too.
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We now have a resident Librarian in the Mouses Head, please follow Gin on Twitter & look for her saucy Book Reviews on our Site.
If you "LIKE" us, then you'll "LOVE" The Unofficial Universal Orlando PodcastDisney Dream Girls PodcastDisneyBrit Podcast & Castle to Castle.  Tell them we sent you.


Check out this episode!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Universal Studios Virtual Theme Park

Universal Studios
Virtual Theme Park
Opens 2017
What has E.T. Adventure, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Kang & Kodos Twirl 'n' Hurl, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Revenge of The Mummy & Woody WoodPecker Nuthouse Coaster all got in common?
Correct!
Non of them are screen based rides. Everything else in Universal Studios is or will be once they open & quite frankly that's a disgrace. I like the thrill of the wind in my hair of Rip Ride, I adore shooting aliens & looking out over the Park whilst on Twirl & Hurl. E.T. & Pecker are pants, only joking both have a special place in my heart for theming & memories with my girls. The Mummy whilst indoors is just awesome.

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy the screen based rides in Universal & Islands, in fact Spider Man, Potter 1 & 2 & Transformers are all in my Top 10 rides in the world but enough is enough.
I no longer need to fly 9 hours to Orlando to go to Universal, all they have to do is sign a deal with Odeon Cinemas in the UK (Other Cinema chains are available) & I can go & sit in their 4D chairs & relive all the best that Universal has to offer. Heck I don't even need to do that! Universal has my email address, just email me YouTube links to the rides & I won't even need to put my Pants on!
Get back to basics Universal Studios Florida before people find a reason to stop going to the parks! I sat for 40 minutes inside Minions in October because the screen 3D was out of sync & they had to reset it. Had they spent some money on a dark Minion ride it would never have happened! That's 40 minutes I'll never get back.
This week I'm lucky enough to be guesting on my favourite Theme Park Podcast, Disney Brit? Naaaaaa, The 97% Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast, the single greatest Universal Podcast & my number 4 favourite podcast behind Tell Em Steve Dave, Hollywood Babble On & The Archers! Don't judge me! Lee is hosting the 1st ever Producers Club Round Table & I'm gonna be on it begging Universal to draw a line over lazy ride planning.
Subscribe to UUOP here & tweet the little round headed gimp here.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Podcast Of The Week

 

Podcast of the Week

The Mickey Dudes

This podcast has literally just started & at the time of writing it's 2 shows old

Don't be fooled, podcasts are usually rubbish when they are brand new

But I gotta say I already adore The Mickey Dudes Podcast

The production value is already top draw.

Whether this will get tiring (for the editor) after a while we shall see, I love the way when the team is talking about a subject then the back ground music changes to match the topic.

I don't know how many is in the team, it's huge.

The lads so far really know their stuff & the topics are interesting.

Don't get them wet!

Never feed after midnight!

& definitely don't compare them to Disney Brit

Enjoy the show below

Find them on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast & Pocketcasts

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Podcast of the Week

Podcast of the Week

The Disney Dream Girls


I've listened to The Disney Dream Girls since the start

& I've heard them grow into one of the most polished podcasts out there

They report on Disney Land, Walt Disney World, Disney Land Paris & anything Disney related.

This weeks episode goes from one end of the spectrum to the other

With heart felt memories of the passing of David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Brian Bedford then the light hearted Disney version of The Price is Right.

 

The girls really know their stuff but aren't afraid to hold their hands up either when they don't know something. This podcast has a family feel to it & the close knit community that has grown around it is absolutely brilliant.

 

Disney Dream Girls can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast & Pocketcasts to name just a few. If in doubt just search Disney Dream Girls in your app of choice

 

Please enjoy this weeks episode below

 

 

How Will The Wizarding World of Harry Potter West Effect Disneyland?

With the eminent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, it has got me thinking about how it could effect Disneyland.

 Having seen the massive popularity of first, Hogmeade and then Diagon Alley, at Universal Studios Orlando, that took USO to a whole new level, stealing some custom from not just Walt Disney World, but Sea World and Busch Gardens, Do you think something similar could happen on the West Coast?

For me this is a completely different proposition, both in location and in type of them park.
Let's start with the theme parks themselves. USH is very much still a working studio that is limited by space as to what attractions they have. Where as USO has two theme parks that has the two different Harry Potter areas split between them, USH do not have that luxury. Due to its positioning Hollywood is on two different levels, an Upper Lot (which is where you will find Hogsmeade, among other attractions like Shrek 4D and the Waterworld Stunt Show) and the Lower Lot that currently houses Jurassic Park, The Mummy and Transformers as the well as the Coup De Force, The Studio Tram Tour.

While Harry Potter will have a major influence on one day visitors I don't see the rest of the park attracting multi day attendees with the lack of variance in attractions.

In addition to that, I think the main bulk of attendees of Disneyland are annual pass holders and also the history of the park attracts a lot of people more than what the park actually is. It is Walt's park and people go to see what Walt built.

The other thing is the location of the two parks, where as in Orlando they are only a few miles apart, Disneyland and Universal Studios are actually in different cities, Disneyland in Anaheim and USH in Los Angeles. They aren't the easiest to travel between and and takes a good hour or so to do the journey.



The one thing that I think will work in Universal's favour at the moment is the fact a huge chunk of Disneyland is now a construction site, as they make room for Star Wars Land.



Overall though I think WWOHP won't have anywhere near as much on California as it has in Florida. Maybe in the short term Universal might see a large bump in attendance, but in the long run I can't see it taking too much custom away from Disneyland.

What do you think?




Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Soapdish's Blog Soapbox #2

Dear Friend/ Listener,

On this weeks show I discussed Disney Stores and what I have seen happen recently and my opinion of the state of affairs.

I am now going to share with you the PM I sent and their response back. I will also share with you my reply which they didn't respond to.

Hello. I messaged you abourt the closure of the Romford store. Gutted really. Will you re-open as I think the lease is at an end, or is it goodbye?

13 JANUARY 18:56
Thank you for your enquiry, Nic.

We constantly evaluate our Disney Stores to ensure we’re in the right sites to be able to provide Magical experiences for our Guests. As a result, we are creating new Disney destinations with various retail partners but also closing some existing Stores including the Romford Store. You will continue to be able to shop in our other Disney Stores and online at www.disneystore.co.uk.

To keep up to date with exciting information on Store relocations and new product collections, please sign up to our newsletter, by clicking ‘Register’ on www.disneystore.co.uk.

I host a Disney Podcast. My "fear" is all these stores shutting. You're not opening anything new and I get that with partners like Hasbro you can sell your products anywhere. But Disney Stores are magical places. I always wanted to work for Disney when I grew up because of the cast members. That never happened. But still, now I have friends whom are cast members, excellent at their jobs and I am sure they sell more products to people then if they had just bought the same toy from Argos, Toys R US, Clintons... (Other retailers are available). Especially now, as a parent a trip to the Disney store is an amazing experience that helps fill the gaps In Between trips to parks

Now, I will address two things. Firstly, I have dropped the "K" from my name. My name is Nicholas and there is no K there, so i felt I was cheating the world of a letter I am not entitled too.

Secondly, friends of the show Martin (@keiko315) and also @drunkatdlp was discussing this independently on twitter after we recorded the show, but before it dropped. great minds eh!

They informed me that the last of the eight they previously had in the West Country closed Feb 2015. This is the ones we were aware of such as Brighton and now Romford. He did say that the stores had been running at a loss, but my god if Disney closed everything they had running at a lost, we would see Disneyland Paris gone tomorrow. And there is no way the stores were loosing this much money.

When the show first started 4 years ago this week actually, we started a petition for Disney Stores to sell more items aimed at the adult market. I'd argue things are better, but we cannot claim that victory. However, I urge you if you care, email them. Ideally, post on their Facebook Wall, write to them on Twitter. The more public it is the better the response. And shop there when you can. We have lost enough already. I don't want them to close anymore.


BECAUSE THAT MAKES ME MAD!



Sunday, 24 January 2016

dAdS4E13 In which our heroes talk "A Tale of Half a Park"


dAdS4E13 In which our heroes talk "A Tale of Half a Park"
What's left of Hollywood Studios 
We'd love you to check out The Wedsite Lady & we'd like to Thank her for all her hard work, keeping our Dis After Dark Blog tidy & up to date.
A Huge Thank You to Musical Legend Tom Ameen for our Theme Tune.  Please go & buy ALL his wonderful work 
Don’t forget to have a look at our sponsors app. Magical Trips by Emily Rawling
We would really appreciate it if you would head over to iTunes and subscribe to the show and leave us a review. Even if you don't use iTunes, it will really help us build up the awareness of the podcast or if you listen on Stitcher Radio, please leave us a review there too.
Listen to us via Stitcher for your iDevice or for your Android Device
We love Pocket Casts for both iOS & Android  Please subscribe to us at Libsyn
Look for DisAfterDark in the stunning Overcast Podcast App & Downcast App on iOS 
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter.  Like our Facebook page & join in the chat on Google Plus 
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel & follow our photos on Instagram 
Look for us in UK PODCASTERS Directory
Look in on our Tumblr & please feel free to Ask us anything at Ask.FM.  We now have a Periscope too, look out for Nick in his pants soon.
We now have a resident Librarian in the Mouses Head, please follow Gin on Twitter & look for her saucy Book Reviews on our Site.
If you "LIKE" us, then you'll "LOVE" The Unofficial Universal Orlando PodcastDisney Dream Girls PodcastDisneyBrit Podcast & Castle to Castle.  Tell them we sent you.


Check out this episode!