The New Be Our Guest Counter Service

Be Our Guest Opening at teh New Fantasyland Expansion

Be Our Guest Opening at the New Fantasyland Expansion

Be Our Guest Opening at the New Fantasyland Expansion Be Our Guest Restaurant: Counter Service. The BEST counter service venue in Magic Kingdom, quite possibly in all the “World.”

In the new Fantasyland you will find the newest dining venue that is beyond compare. After crossing the bridge and stepping inside you are actually immersed in Beast’s castle rooms as they appeared in the movie. There are three dining rooms: the ballroom (includes snow falling outside the windows), the west wing (including the magic rose and the Prince’s painting that changes to the Beast as the last rose petal falls) and the rose gallery where Belle and the Beast are dancing atop a music box. During lunch this restaurant offers counter service dining (no reservations required) and at dinner is a table service meal (reservations are required and book up 6 months in advance). There are no characters at either meal.

In the new Fantasyland you will find the newest dining venue that is beyond compare. After crossing the bridge and stepping inside you are actually immersed in Beast’s castle rooms as they appeared in the movie. There are three dining rooms: the ballroom (includes snow falling outside the windows), the west wing (including the magic rose and the Prince’s painting that changes to the Beast as the last rose petal falls) and the rose gallery where Belle and the Beast are dancing atop a music box. During lunch this restaurant offers counter service dining (no reservations required) and at dinner is a table service meal (reservations are required and book up 6 months in advance). There are no characters at either meal.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/

Ride Quiz #1. Peter Pan’s Flight

I thought I would start something different today. I’m going to post some Disney ride quizes to see just how much you know about Disney World. Some of the questions will be easy, but others will be challenging. Since some of the answers would be nearly impossible unless you had just gone on the rides, they will be multiple choice so you can guess on the ones you’re not sure about. If you’ve been to the parks recently, you should find this a little easier. However, if you’re stumped, you can probably find most of the answers with a Google search.

The first quiz will be on Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World Resort. I will add the answers at a later time. Good Luck!

Peter Pan's Flight, Fantasyland, Walt Disney World

Peter Pan's Flight, Fantasyland, Walt Disney World

1. What classic doll is sitting in the corner as you fly through Wendy’s bedroom?   

     a. Holly Hobby     b. Raggedy Andy     c. Strawberry Shortcake

2. What name is over the door on the doghouse?

     a. Fido     b. Lucy     c. Nana

3. As you fly over London, what time is displayed on Big Ben?

     a. 9:06     b. Noon     c. 3:33

4. Which one of these items are the mermaids NOT holding?

     a. Angel Harp     b. Shell Horn     c. Clam Shell     d. Starfish

5. How many Lost Boys are sitting around the fire?

     a. Four     b. Five     c. Six

6. How many times does Captain Hook appear during the ride?

     a. Three     b. Five     c. Seven

7. Where does the final battle take place between Peter Pan and Capt Hook?

     a.  In Peter’s hideout     b. In London     c. On a ship

8. What do you sit in during the ride?

     a. A trolley car     b. A ship     c. The Lost Boys’ Express

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/

Win a free FastPass for a day for your entire family.

Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World

Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World

A few weeks ago, we learned about a fun game at the Magic Kingdom. Every morning, cast members hide five paint brushes on Tom Sawyer Island. The lucky ones who find these brushes are rewarded with fast passes for the day for their entire family! Cool, I thought, as I started planning my ‘hunt’ around the island. How hard could it be? Right?

The first boat to the island left the dock at 10:00 this morning and we were on it. Our plan was to split up so we could cover more ground and then report back at a certain time to see who had found a brush. We hit the ground running (literally). A quick trip around the island made me realize just how hot and humid it really was, even at 10am.

I figured it would take us about 15-20 minutes of searching to find a brush. Well….it didn’t quite work out that way. After 30 minutes of intense searching in the heat and humidity, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We looked behind trash cans, throughout every nook and cranny of the fort, under chairs, and in the bushes. We even looked throughout the three caves on the island, where we had to use the light on our phone to search in the dark. Still nothing. And we weren’t the only ones having a problem. I asked several other people how they were doing and none of them had found a brush either. So much for stumbling on a brush; these were hidden well.

Hidden paintbrush on Tom Sawyer Island

After an hour of searching in the heat, we headed back to the boat without a paint brush, and more importantly, an all-day FastPass. Overall we had a lot of fun, and if nothing else, it was something different to do. We go to the park enough that I didn’t mind losing an hour where I could have been doing something else. If you don’t make it to the park often; however, I would suggest skipping this scavenger hunt and enjoying the rides instead. But….. you never know, you just might be the lucky one who finds a paintbrush and gets to enjoy FastPasses for the day. Good luck!

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

www.themouseexperts.com

D23-What I should have been doing this month, by Gil Pohl.

For the first time ever, Disney brought everything Disney under one roof, even if that roof was a very large one.  Disney hosted the D23 Expo (D for Disney and ‘23 for the year the Disney Company started) at the 800,000 square foot Anaheim Convention Center September 10-13.  The Expo covered Disney animation, movies, TV, and most of all the Disney parks. 

Because I could not be there this year and my overwhelming interest in everything to do with Disney parks, I spent as much time as I could following the happenings on the internet.  Thursday and Friday were busy days for D23; but Saturday was the day I looked forward to most.  Saturday was the day that D23 had scheduled a lot of time to discuss plans for Walt Disney World.

Rumors have been flying around the internet for months about the two big projects that might be coming to WDW and to the trill of us park lovers both where officially announced on that Saturday.

The first is the reworking of the Star Wars attraction at Disney Hollywood Studios.  Star Tours has always been one of the great rides at Disney, but the ride is getting dated.  I can remember that a few years ago when I was watching the pod racing scene from the first of the three new Star War movies I told my wife; “They should remake the Star Tours ride with this as the theme.”  While after years of waiting, the dream is coming true and during my 2011 trip to the World I will be experiencing it in 3D.

The other big news is that the first major expansion to the Magic Kingdom in over 20 years will be starting later this year. 

Map of new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom

Map of new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom

The most popular land in all of the Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland, will be growing much larger in size and adding several new attractions.

The big new “E ticket” ride, Journey under the sea with Ariel, The Little Mermaid that is already under

Little Mermaid attraction in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom

Little Mermaid attraction in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom

construction at Disney’s California Adventure will be coming east.  Also to

Dumbo's Tent at the new Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom

Dumbo's Tent at the new Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom

be constructed is a new twin-Dumbo ride that will be part of a new interactive, three-ring circus tent.  There will also be a meet and greet area for Tinker Bell and her friends.  Plans call for a Disney Princess castle, cottage, or chateau where you can share a dance with Cinderella; celebrate Sleeping Beauty’s birthday with the Good Fairies; or join Belle in an enchanting story performance in the Beast’s castle library.

Another big addition to the Magic Kingdom will be a new restaurant to be themed around Beauty and the Beast to be named “Be Our Guest”.  Here you will be able to dine at a counter service restaurant during the day and enjoy table service at night in one of three enchanted dining rooms inside the Beast’s castle.  Additional table service dining is much need in the Magic Kingdom.

I know that I soon will be working with Ears of Experience to plan a trip to next year’s D23 Expo and looking forward to them planning trips for me to see the new attractions coming to Walt Disney World.

 

Welcome Gil to the Ears of Experience Team!

Gil and his wife Vicki are big Disney Park fans.  It started with trips to Walt Disney World while they where in college and has continued throughout their lives.

Gil served in the USAF for 21 years and would take the wife and two kids (Mary and Mike) on Disney Vacations between each assignment.  They where stationed outside of LA for four years and everyone that came to visit them had to have a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth”.

When he retired on the East Coast from the USAF and the children got older, they wanted to bring friends along to share their now every other year family trip to Walt Disney World.  In order to accomplish this, a membership in the Disney Vacation Club (Boardwalk Villas) was purchased by the family.

Now that he has two grandchildren (Violet and Tyler); additional DVC points have been added and they make annual trips to WDW.  Two of his friends also have joined the DVC and this year they will be having an early December Magical Gathering of 27 family members and friends.

Vicki and Gil still do some traveling to the other Disney Parks and with their June 2009 trip to Hong Kong they have been to all five Disney Resorts.  The two of them also celebrated a wedding anniversary on a cruise on the Disney Magic.  The plans for the next few years call for a trip to WDW for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, a second cruise and a trip to Shanghai is already in the planning stages.

10 Interesting Walt Disney World® Fun Facts

I had a hard time narrowing this list down to 10, because there are so many to choose from, but here are 10 interesting picks:

  1. Covering 47 square miles, Walt Disney World® Resort is about the size of San Francisco, California. Of the more than 30,000 acres, less than one-fourth has been developed, with another quarter designated as a wilderness preserve.
  2. More than 50 million Cokes are consumed each year at Walt Disney World® Resort. Guests also gobble 10 million hamburgers, 7 million hot dogs, 9 million pounds of french fries and more than 300,000 pounds of popcorn.
  3. Spaceship Earth, the visual and thematic centerpiece of Epcot®, weighs 16 million pounds — more than three times that of a Space Shuttle fully fueled and ready for launch. The outer “skin” of Spaceship Earth is made up of 11,324 aluminum and plastic-alloy triangles. Also, did you know that rainwater never falls off the sphere? It’s absorbed into the ball and funneled away.
  4. The “Liberty Oak,” which is the focal point of the Liberty Square area in the Magic Kingdom® Park, is the proud parent of more than 500 young trees. They all started out as acorns harvested from the majestic oak.
  5. Space Mountain® Attraction and Big Thunder Mountain only move at 26 mph? Pretty slow for a roller coaster. The Monorail was the fastest ride in Disney until Test Track was installed in Epcot®.
  6. Cinderella’s castle is not made of stone… it is entirely made of fiberglass.
  7. Other than the White House in Washington , D.C. , The Hall of Presidents in the Walt Disney World® Resort is the only place in the world that is allowed to use the Official Presidential Seal, which is located in the carpet in the rotunda.
  8. The six trains at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are named I.B. Hearty, I.M. Brave, I.M. Fearless, U.B. Bold, U.R. Daring and U.R. Courageous.
  9. Epcot® is the only Walt Disney World® Theme Park that boasts two entrances (one being accessible via Disney’s Boardwalk Inn). 
  10. $35,ooo is spent on fireworks each night for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at EPCOT® and 2,800 shells are used for each show.

Do you have any favorite fun facts? If so, send them in and I will post them here.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/

Disney Military Discounts

As some of you know, this is the year for military families to head to Disney, as they now offer an “Armed Forces Salute” special. They are offering a free five day ticket for Active Duty, retirees, or anyone who has been on active orders since January 2008. In addition, those eligible will receive five, five-day tickets for $99 per person, which can be upgraded to include the Park Hopper® Option and/or Water Park Fun & More Option.

Walt Disney World® Armed Forces Salute

Walt Disney World® Armed Forces Salute

What a lot of people don’t realize is they are also offering great Disney hotel discounts. As you can imagine with this military offer, Shades of Green (The on-site Military Disney resort) is extremely full. If they are unable to accommodate you, Shades of Green can then book you at a Disney property hotel in what is called an “overflow rate”. In the past, this was lower than the normal rate at that hotel; however, in this economy, things have changed. According to a Shades of Green reservation agent I recently spoke with, the overflow rate is not as low as Disney’s own military discount. I actually saved $80 per night at the Polynesian Resort in March using Disney vs. the Shades of Green overflow rate!

Deals get even better with Disney’s own specials, which are going on right now. I just booked three nights in June, peak season, at the Port Orleans Riverside for $111 a night! This is not a value resort. It is a moderate resort. That is less than my rate at the Shades of Green! Not to mention, there is free parking, free transportation to and from the airport if you have flown in, AND you can add the dining plan to these rates if you choose. If you tend to eat most of your meals on Disney property, you will save about 20-30% on dining by adding the dining plan. The above mentioned perks to staying at a Disney resort hotel are not applicable when staying at Shades of Green.
 
I have stayed at Shades for Green six times and I think it is  fantastic resort, especially with all the upgrades. However, I do own a Disney agency now and have to admit, I like the themed resort hotels and the one-stop “Key to the Kingdom”. This is one card that acts as your ticket, your room key, charge card, and even dining card. At the end of the trip, I get one itemized bill and I know what the bottom line is. I am also a budgeter. I like how I can add my dining plan to the package and it is paid for before I leave, so I don’t have any surprise charges once I get home.

So if you are thinking about a Disney vacation this year, take my advice and do it! With the “Armed Forces Salute” tickets, hotel discounts, and available dining plan, there has never been a better time to go. I have been in the industry a long time and this is one deal we military families need to take advantage of. They simply do not offer this to everyone. Also, the Disney hotel discounts were not offered in the last military specials we saw back in 2002. You will save hundreds of dollars booking these discount Disney vacation packages with us.  http://www.themouseexperts.com/.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-800-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

The Many Benefits of Character Dining

To feed off last week’s blog on Crystal Palace and why I am such a fan of Character dining, I thought I would explain in more detail. I am a big fan of time management; using my time the most efficiently yet still having an incredibly good time and still being flexible. I find by being a time manager, I am able to be more flexible, if that makes sense.

My kids have always beenvery big into the Characters when traveling to Disney destinations. Next to being on a Disney Cruise Line® ship, there is only one other way to have a unique meeting experience with the characters. That is through character dining, where the characters take the time to interact with members of your dining party.  You won’t feel rushed in getting the photo and autograph and it is all done in a good atmosphere. You’re not out in the hot sun, you’re not hungry, and you’re not at the end of a seemingly endless line of people.

The time management part of me is two-fold. We have to eat, but we we would also like to see the characters. Why not do them together so we can quickly get back to the parks, rides, shows, and attractions?  While they are eating, the kids are able to see, interact, and get photos and autographs of their favorite characters. This can be a nice break during the day or a magical beginning to a day at the parks.

Everyone wants to see the Fab 5 (Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto). A great place to do this is at Chef Mickey for breakfast or dinner. You will typically see all these guys there (characters are always subject to change) and it’s right off the monorail, either on your way to or back from the Magic Kingdom® Park. As I mentioned before, a favorite spot of mine is the Crystal Palace restaurant in the Magic Kingdom® Park, which is where you will find all of the Pooh Characters. If you can, make an early reservation so you will be able to enter the park ahead of the regular crowd. This will also let you experience the Main Street, USA® Area virtually to yourself as you walk to an early breakfast before the park opens.

There are many options when it comes to character dining. The hottest ticket is Cinderella’s Royal Table, which takes place in Cinderella’s castle.  Here, you dine with princesses in a magical setting, creating an unforgettable event for any young child. Can’t get in? No worries, there are plenty of other options to meet the princesses.  I have been twice to Norway’s Akershus restaurant located in the Epcot® World Showcase. The breakfast there is wonderful and the experience with the Princesses is a little more interactive. Their breakfast and lunch menus both have traditional Nordic food, but for those with finicky children, the breakfast menu did include some American fare food.

In summary, there are many benefits to character dining, such as time management, personal interaction, and unforgettable memories. And remember, if you are on the dining plan, these meals will only count as one table service (subject to change).

So sit back, put the camera and autograph books on the table, and let the kids have a blast while you grab that extra cup of coffee.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resort and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-800-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

http://www.themouseexperts.com/