Saturday, 27 February 2016

Magic Bands Coming to Universal Orlando Soon


We've been to Disney twice in recent years, first year on property & second off property. We, as a family, received our MB's customised with colour & names, at Port Orleans Riverside & was able to use them again the following year. So in the grand scheme of things, the cost to my family were basically nothing. I would fully expect Universal Hotels to do the same.


If you are staying off property you simply go & buy a cheap band upon arrival on property or treat yourself to a limited edition band for a few dollars more. These give you a different experience when you scan in for rides, for example a Yoda band scans you hear a Yoda voice. How cool would that be in Universal with all the rides & Characters they have? Homer, E.T, Terminator, I could go on.

Booking Fast Passes becomes a integral part of holiday planning & adds to the general sense of excitement for the trip. We managed to make 5 additional fast passes in Magic Kingdom, after our initial 3. That was on top of the walk ins we did. In total we achieved over 20 rides that day. Fast Pass gave us the security to achieve this feat. Yes Disney had to fit Fast Pass to all rides or experiences but don't Universal already do this with Express Pass?

Now I don't believe Universal will adopt that model, I believe Magic Bands will come & of coarse they'll be named Express Bands or Thrill Bands etc etc etc & on the day you check in instead of receiving room keys then taking your photo for Express Pass & getting another pass it'll all be linked to your band, along with your credit card. My experience at HHN a few years ago was walking around with a park ticket, an Express Pass then a HHN Print out were our barcodes wouldn't scan so queues & tutting built up behind us. I can't wait for this technology to come to Universal, think of the new water park & rumoured 3rd gate, you'd have tickets coming out your ears!

Express Pass lines were longer, last August, in some cases (Shrek, The Mummy, Minions & Rip Ride Rocket) so maybe Fast Pass style time slots wouldn't be a bad thing? I can't wait for my yellow Homer Express Band.

But you know what, if you do want that care free experience that's an option too, it's the wrong option because coming from the UK, time is money. Lou can sit on benches & watch the world go by but I got rides to ride baby.

 

The perks of being a DVC member

The perks of being a DVC member: Join now to begin your magical adventure...

For 25 years Disney Vacation Club has been turning dreams into reality for many members from all parts of the world and it is still continuing to do so with a greater zeal. Vacationing has never been so exciting and adventurous for those who love travelling and discovering new places with so many resorts and destinations to choose from. Disney brings to you something which is out of the ordinary and that is why it stands out.



If you want to be a part of all the fun and excitement there is no better time than now as Disney Vacation Club is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Disney has lots in store for its members including exciting events, offers, benefits and magical experiences apart from the 13 top class resorts and thousands of destinations you can choose to visit around the globe.

Each resort that Disney Vacation Club owns maintains the reputation of providing the warmest reception and finest accommodation and is designed especially for families. One can avail a typical Disney service which is offered in an array including complimentary taxi to arrive at golf courses, free DVD rentals at Community Hall and more. The Community Hall is famous for providing number of activities like free Disney theatre set up, ceramics, hoola hoop lessons, bead art, and bingo which always keep the members entertained.

Any member can notice the big difference in the room services provided in an ordinary resort and a resort of DVC. DVC members are given VIP treatment but are always made to feel at home by getting access to Membership Magic. As a matter of fact it is one of the most cost effective membership programs that you can join and scoop your family away to a magical trip or vacation you always wanted to make happen. Dreams should be turned into reality and what better time than now when they are offering you the best?



The benefits of being a Disney Vacation Club member are many and one of it is that as a member you are not stuck in one resort, type of accommodations, and time of year or length of stay. By buying a real estate interest in a DVC Resort you can become a member and you are allotted vacation points and the cost of membership will vary based on the size of the purchased real estate. Disney Vacation Club members also get discounts on annual passes that includes Disney tours, golf excursions and more.

In order to mark their 25th anniversary the DVC members are invited to exclusive parties throughout the year at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland, California. There are more exciting events and offers including DVC Neighborhood Beach Bash, DVC Safari Spectacular, Fishing Tournaments, Special Member Lounge, Silver Anniversary Sweepstakes and much more.


So have you joined yet?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Podcast Of The Week


Taking The Mickey - A Disney Podcast

2 Guys, a Mouse and a Podcast Place

This Podcast of the Week is simply the single best Disney Podcast I think I've ever heard. Now I usually just recommend single episodes however this time, as the podcast is so new, I recommend you go & listen to all their shows, they have actually had me weeping with laughter. I don't know their history but I guess they go back years. They go together perfectly & bounce off each other so well, I'm gonna go on record here & now stating Steve & Joe are the Disney equivalent of Walt Flannagan & Brian Johnson from Tell em Steve Dave. Look for their show on Twitter & tell them how much you love them.

 

Check them out on

 

iTunes

Overcast

Pocketcasts

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

#dAdS4e15 In which our Heroes make stuff up about Universal Orlando's 3rd Gate


Please check out our Show Sponsors WDW Today Podcast by visiting their site & Subscribing to their Podcast on iTunes HERE

&

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Check out this episode!

Where in the World? - Photo quiz #2

Ok congratulations to Karen Jackson for winning the first ever DisAfterDark photo quiz.  Karen receives a three week, all expenses paid holiday to WDW, staying at the Grand Floridian, Concierge of course, with Craig Lucas as her personal Cabana Boy.

Well not really - sorry Karen but you do get a big shout out on the next episode. 

But we need a few more people having a go.

So test your Disney knowledge and prove to everyone that you know your way around the House of Mouse by identifying the three photos below.  Add a comment to the post with your answers.

The first is a classic attraction;


The second is from a Quick Service eating location;


The third is from a kind of attraction in one of the parks or maybe you would
call it an exhibit - clear as mud? Good !




Happy guessing..........those who have a go get a shout out on the next episode. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Podcast Of The Week

Tracey Mallaby

The Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast

Congratulations guys on being the first podcast to win Podcast Of The Week twice
When I spoke with Lee this week, I'm shamed to say
I was gonna skip the episode & I don't skip UUOP
However when he told me that his internet had crashed & it was basically him & Tracey
for all but 33 seconds, I was expecting Lee talking verbal diarrhea & Tracey lucky to get a word in....

How wrong was I & how glad was I that i listened, it was brilliant.
It reminded me very much of the old days of 2011 when i felt like the only listener
Image result for an orange
I won't say fan because I can't worship people whose heads are perfectly round, like an orange.
Anyway, it was retro but with a modern twist.
Both Lee & Tracey are polished performers in a way that I can only dream of.
They bounce effortlessly off each other & you can actually hear how very much in Love they are with each other. It was as if we were there in the room with them, just like the old days.
Image result for spider man in his underwear

The climax of the episode was the full audio of The Amazing Spiderman ride & just hearing the audio start had me filling up with such happy emotion.  I've listened to audio about 5 times now, today, so far!

Anyway UUOP will win again I'm sure, coz I'm their biggest fan (& savior)






Monday, 15 February 2016

Romancing at Walt Disney World - You know what I mean... *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* (Monty Python reference)

The Best Romantic Experiences At Walt Disney World...

Like Tink and her pixie dust, Disney and romance are interwoven together. Unlike other theme parks, where romance hardly comes to mind whenever you think of them, Disney World presents a plethora of romantic things to do. There is no day that you choose to experience quality romance that you will not find at Disney World. At Disney World, there are just numerous ways to express your love.

You do not need a fairy godmother to help find romance for you and your partner at Walt Disney World. Lest you forget, this has been home to some of the world’s most famous romantic encounters including, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Beauty and the Beast, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (America’s Sweethearts). Here are some of the best romantic experiences you cannot afford to miss at the 40-square-mile playground.



Stay at a Disney World Resort

Although not all of Disney World resort hotels are filled with romance, however, most of them have got their own amorous playgrounds that are exceptionally ideal for impromptu picnics and moonlit. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the grande dame of them all. This amazing love zone is an epitome of elegance and romance. Inside the impressive lobby is an all-weather orchestra that plays both during the day and in the evenings.

Even though the Grand Floridian stands out in a unique way, with its own wedding venue, some other locations like Disney’s Yacht Club, Disney’s Saratoga Springs, Disney’s Coronado Springs, Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside and French Quarter are excellent love nest for couples.

Experience a Pampering Touch

An ideal place for a relaxing spa treatment or couples’ messages is the world-class spas at Disney’s resort hotels. Senses is a reputable spa in Disney’s Grand Floridian that boasts of 15 soothing treatment rooms. Senses at Disney’s Saratoga Springs is another tranquil option for those that cherish quietness.

Get on to the Water

Disney is well-known for making a great date night with so many dining options, but this lovely vacation kingdom also makes a great date “day” – no doubt. Get a fun amphibious experience by hoping in any of the vintage amphicars that can both drive on land and float again on the water. With your own captain, you can have a peaceful snuggle right at the back seat of the vehicle while having an exciting tour across the waters of Disney Springs. For up to three at $125, these tours are observed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Book the brand new Venezia if you want to experience more romance on the open water. The Venezia is an Italian water taxi that provides couples with a champagne toast, chocolate-covered strawberries, and live music as they take a guided tour of Disney Springs. Like the vintage amphicars, these tours are daily on per hour basis from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for up to $50 per child under 13 and 20 at $75 per person. If you still want to have more romance on water, go for the Antique Steamboat Tour with Lady Rose for just $150 per couple.



Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Along the pathways of Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside Resort, you will find horse-drawn carriages traveling on a 30-minute trip through the lush pines and cypresses at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and up and down the Sassagoula River. This trip costs $45 per carriage.

Ancient Faithfuls

Valentine’s Day is often characterized by flowers and chocolate. But have you ever thought of giving them Disney-style? Design a flower arrangement by a Disney florist and have it delivered to you right in your room. Suggest to your Dream Maker to include even more “enchantment” on the “Rose Petals with Rose Petals” package. These include an abundant supply of sprinkled rose petals in your resort room.

Stop by the just-opened Ganachery in Disney Springs or the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop to purchase candy sweets for your loved one. You can find the best coffee drinks and chocolate treats in this area. At the AMC Theater, you can snuggle up with your sweetie for a movie or bowl a few rounds at Splitsville.

Enjoy an exclusive Fireworks presentation

You and your partner can reserve seats inside Magic Kingdom Park for the single best fireworks-watching location where you get to enjoy unlimited desserts at the Wishes Dessert Party. You can choose to take a stroll in the moonlight along the beach just in front of the Polynesian Village Resorts or Disney’s Grand Floridian if you do not want to include your closest friends to share in your romantic moment. From this location, you can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort has a boat dock from where you can easily view the fireworks show too.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also a favorite place outside the park to watch the fireworks show. You can even see the fireworks from your balcony if you have booked a theme park view room. The hotel’s California Grill also has an observation deck where watching can be easily done. Reservations can be made for any time that evening where you can always come back to watch the fireworks.


Do not forget to purchase a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine at the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Mercantile. From the beach at the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village and Disney’s Grand Floridian, you can also take in the Electrical Water Pageant.



Alternative...

Or just do as we do and hit Trader Sam's, get hammered and end passing-out in the Polynesian parking lot.*

Don't be like us, let us know what you do to rekindle some romance in the happiest place on Earth below...



(* This has never actually happened, we usually make sure our room is within walking distance!)

Friday, 12 February 2016

Princess Promonade

Starting (Feb 12th 2016) the Grand Floridian will host a Princess Promenade. Its a special experience for children. Cinderella will meet the children at M. Mouse Mercantile and then proceed down the grand staircase. Cinderella will then dance with the children in the grand lobby area. The special Princess Promenade
will start at 3:30p.m. daily. There is no cost for this event and  you do not have to be a guest of the resort to participate.

Where in the World - A Photo Quiz

So just to get your weekend started, here are some photos from WDW.

They could be from; eating places (Sit Down Restaurants or Quick Service Restaurants), from attractions (Past or Present), resorts or anywhere on Disney property.

Post your answers below and the first totally correct answer gets a shout out on the next episode......wow what a prize.  Well lets see how popular this is.  If I get a good response we can make a regular feature and maybe have some real prizes; a pin, a Vinylmation or an unwashed thong from Craig.

Ok here goes.....the first is easy, its a well know eating place in WDW.


The second is a hidden Mickey from a popular attraction.


The third is from the floor of a Disney resort

Hard for me to judge how hard these are.  I guess I will get a feel from the responses (if I get any !!!!)

Feel free to make suggestions; like this, hate it, harder, easier, whatever....its just for fun.


Show Jingles Needs You


Brian Marriott aka Craig's boss has agreed to record Jingles for the Podcast.  We'd like you dear listener to write the lyrics for them.  That is harder than you think, They can only be about 10 seconds long & need to tell the story of the up & coming feature.

We are keeping Tom Ameen's beautiful intro but need these.


  • Soap Dishes Soap Box
  • Disney News
  • Trip Report
  • Dis After Dark Interview
  • Restaurant Review
  • Movie Review
  • Outro including ways to contact the show
The winners will be immortalized forever in our show notes

Enter Below in the Comments Section

Please go & subscribe to Brian's work at Soundcloud & Good Luck


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Daily Disney Blog

Recently I was given the pleasure to be a guest on the Daily Disney Blog Podcast to discuss my new book, "My Love for Disney". Brad is the host and really is a good guy. If you get a chance please take a listen to the episode. Thank you. http://dailydisneyblog.libsyn.com/podcast/episode-43-jen-peace

Skipper Canteen

Skipper Canteen to start accepting same day reservations. Apparently they did not do so well for a new restaurant in the beginning stages with the walk ups. I'd really like to try this restaurant when I go in April and then I'll do a full review.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Podcast Of The Week

 

Disney Magic Hour #30 - 2016 Disney Movie Preview with Lou Mongello

Disney Magic Hour Podcast

I found this podcast several weeks ago when Pete on Lou's WDW Radio show back in November

 

I instantly went & downloaded all the episodes I could handle. Everyone in the team really knows there stuff & have those voices that you could listen to for hours, trust me I already have!

 

On this weeks show Lou Mongello is a guest & they are talking about all the Disney Movies due for release this year.

You have to listen, this show is perfect for Disney Podcasters to catch up on their Disney knowledge. Trust me & add this show to your catalogue NOW.

 

 

Listen here on Apples Podcast App, Overcast & Pocketcasts

Oh & their other podcast is pretty special too

The Film Basement

 

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!