Tag Archives: disney

Inside the Magic – Pirates of the Caribbean

Since we cannot be at Disney World right now, let’s take a look at some of the things that make it so special.

Today let’s take on another classic, Pirates of the Caribbean.

A Pirate’s Life for You

Board a weathered barge for a treacherous voyage to the 17th century, when rowdy rogues and ruthless rapscallions ransacked Caribbean seaport towns. Sing along as pirates serenade you with their anthem, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”

Sail past haunted Dead Man’s Cove. Navigate cannon fire between a Caribbean fort and a striking 12-gun galleon. Behold boisterous buccaneers drunk on the spoils of plunderin’ as flames engulf a seaside town.

Be sure to keep a spry eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow, from The Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

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Magic Kingdom’s Pirate’s of the Caribbean attraction in Adventureland opened on December 15, 1973. This classic Disney ride first opened at Disneyland on March 18, 1967. It’s a boat ride, but when the idea first came about (sometime in the 1950s), the attraction was going to be a walkthrough wax museum!

Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride Walt Disney himself actually oversaw and worked on before his death in December of 1966. Unfortunately, Walt passed away three months before the boat ride was finished, so he never saw the final product.

The ride inspired the popular film series and has even been revamped to include many of the films’ characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa.

Pirates Fun Facts:

  • During the ride’s battle scene between the pirate ship and town’s fortress, you’ll hear cannon balls whizzing over your head and dropping in the water. The illusion is created by moving cannons, flashes of light, and blast from beneath the waves!
  • Another memorable scene from the ride is the town in flames! This effect is actually just created by a bunch of different cloths, fans and lights.
  • There are over 120 Audio-Animatronics on the ride. This is a mixture of both human and animal animatronics.
  • The film characters added to the ride are all voiced by their original actors. Some of the ride’s original Audio-Animatronics are voiced by Paul Frees; you might recognize him as being the “Ghost Host” from the Haunted Mansion!
  • In 2012, mermaids were added to the grotto scene in Magic Kingdom. You can see the mermaid skeleton onshore, but it’s harder to catch the one swimming port side in the water!

Let’s take a ride…

Ye beware, mateys: Dead men tell no tales!

Inside the Magic – Jungle Cruise

Since we cannot be at Disney World right now, let’s take a look at some of the things that make it so special.

First up, the iconic Jungle Cruise!

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The Jungle Cruise was an opening day attraction at Disneyland inspired by Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures films and “The African Queen.” The original attraction was more serious than today. Walt wanted it to be the Kilimanjaro Safaris of the 1950s. He even wanted live animals to be used in the attraction before learning that wasn’t exactly the best idea.

Since the day Disneyland park opened, the Jungle Cruise has been one of its most popular attractions. As you cruise the rivers of the world, you’re surrounded by fascinating animal life and a lush jungle of exotic trees, plants and flowers.

When building the Jungle Cruise, Walt Disney turned to Imagineer and horticulturist Bill Evans to create the landscape. Bill created a “Hollywood Jungle,” a mixture of exotic plants and trees that would give the feeling of traveling through exciting and uncharted territories. To create his Hollywood Jungle,  Bill developed some intrepid techniques, like smuggling plant seeds inside the cuffs of his socks and planting orange trees upside down to resemble mangroves.

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Through the years, the tall trees engulfing the Jungle Cruise have created a lush canopy that regulates the temperature inside this Hollywood Jungle, allowing plants that you won’t find anywhere else in Southern California to thrive right here in Disneyland park.

The Queue

The Jungle Cruise queue is an open-air outpost accepting bookings for cruises. Winding through the queue, guests can see the boats pulling up to the docks, as well as cargo, artifacts, and maps.

The Jungle Cruise Experience

The premise of the Jungle Cruise is that guests have signed up for a lengthy tour down the rivers of the world guided by a skipper from the Jungle Navigation Co. The ride lasts about 8 minutes, guests journey down the Amazon, the Congo, the Nile, and finally the Mekong.

Each section has audio-animatronics specific to that region, such as a giant python, a camp raided by gorillas, headhunters, waterfalls, or a pride of lions. While some of the scenes are humorous, more so the main draw of the attraction is the rapid-fire puns and cheesy jokes from the skippers.

Several jokes and gags from the skipper’s spiel have become iconic over the years, and often get a big reaction from guests who have cruised before. Be expecting the famous “backside of water” cheer when your skipper takes the boat behind a waterfall. 

Let’s take a ride on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland…

The Jungle Cruise is a gentle, slow-moving boat cruise with plenty to see. It’s the perfect family attraction as it truly offers something for every age and member.

Guide to Disney Cruise Line Photo Packages

One of the best and favorite souvenirs for most people on any trip are the pictures.  The photo package options on Disney Cruise Line can be a bit confusing and often I get asked if they are worth it.

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While I cannot tell you if it’s worth it, I can go over the major points and how it all works to make it easier for you to decide if it’s worth it for your family.

Photo Opportunities

There are plenty of opportunities and photographers located all over the ship, but it’s up to you to take advantage of them if you purchase a package and want to get your money’s worth.

  • Inside the terminal, walking onto the ship before you board.
  • Character meet & greets
  • In the Main Dining Rooms
  • At Palo and Remy
  • On the walkway by the ship at Castaway Cay
  • In the water at Castaway Cay
  • Atrium Lobby (formal night on longer cruises and Pirate Night
  • Aqua Duck on Dream and Fantasy

It’s always free to have your photo taken and photos can be purchased a la carte if you prefer not to purchase a package.

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Photo Packages

Your photographs are available for purchase in a variety of product options. Simply choose the package that works best for you!

  • Digital Collection– Take home your cruise photos digitally on a USB thumb drive or download them during your sailing—and easily share them with family and friends. Pick just your favorites or choose the all-inclusive package if you just can’t decide. Options include:
    • 20 digital photos for $249.95
    • 10 digital photos for $149.95
    • All digital photos in your account, price ranging from $194.95-$349.95, depending on the length of the cruise.
  • Prints Package– If you prefer to have your photos printed before you disembark so you don’t have to worry about it when you get home. High-quality prints of your favorite photos!
    • 20  prints for $249.95
    • 15 prints for $199.95
    • 10  prints for $149.95
  • Customizable PhotoBook– PhotoBooks are a popular choice for vacation mementos.  You can add up to 34 photos while on the ship and your hardcover PhotoBook will be shipped directly to you at your home address after your cruise.
  • A La Carte – A la carte items, such as individual 8×10 prints, are available for purchase. I suggest getting your photo taken throughout your cruise even if you do not purchase a photo package.
    • Individual prints: 8×10 for $20.95, 6×8 for $14.95

*Prices are subject to change until package purchase.

Note: When members of your immediate family are sailing in multiple staterooms, you only need to purchase one package. You must go to Shutters onboard to add a stateroom to your package, this cannot be done online. To be eligible to link staterooms, the guests in the additional stateroom must include the children (under age 21) of the adult booking the photo package. Linking is only available for immediate family members. Extended family members such as aunts, uncles, grandparents , etc… are not eligible.

 

Where do I go to see my photos?

Disney Cruise Line makes it easy to view and select your photos while onboard.

Shutters – The Onboard Photography Shop can be found on deck 4 of all the ships. With electronic kiosks for viewing photos digitally around the clock throughout your cruise, you can view your photos and pick your favorites daily.  To access your photos, simply tap your Key to the World Card at one of the kiosks. Shutters crew members are available to assist you.

Picking Up Your Photos

If you are buying photo prints a la carte, you can do so any day of your cruise at Shutters during normal operating hours.

If you are purchasing a package, you will complete your pick up on disembarkation day. Operating hours on disembarkation day will be published, or you can ask a Shutters Crew Member. The line will get longer as the morning progresses, so be sure to arrive early.

Tip Don’t wait until your last night to view your photos!  Shutters will be packed!  Visit throughout the cruise and save yourself from waiting in line for a kiosk and wasting your final cruise night.

DCL uses a third party photography studio to take and sell photos. You will need to go to MyCruisePhotos.com to preorder photo packages.

Tip: Shutters can schedule a photo session for you.

Only you can decide what is best for your family, but there are lots of options so stop and pose for pictures whenever you can with the photographers and take lots of photos with your own camera too. Photographs are the best souvenir of any Disney Cruise!

Transformation of Pixar Pier

In addition to the newly reimagined Incredicoaster and all-new Lamplight Lounge, you will discover new experiences – both big and small – throughout the newly reimagined Pixar Pier.

In 2019, Jessie the yodeling cowgirl will invite you for a rootin’ tootin’ spin on Jessie’s Critter Carousel. Inspired by Jessie’s wilderness friends in the “Woody’s Roundup” television show from “Toy Story 2,” this newly reimagined attraction is a classic boardwalk carousel with a whimsical spin. Saddle up on one of 56 adorable friends, choosing from a turtle, snake, buzzard, armadillo, bunny, deer, raccoon, ram, skunk and two cozy logs inhabited by a family of owls.

And when Pixar Pier opens June 23, 2018 at Disney California Adventure® Park, you will find transformation around every corner.

Just past Lamplight Lounge, you will find Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. Inspired by the lovable and not-at-all-abominable monster from “Monsters, Inc.,” this will be your go-to for frozen treats.

In the “Toy Story” neighborhood of Pixar Pier, big appetites and small fries alike will love the Poultry Palace. This giant fun meal inspired by Pixar’s short, “Toy Story Toon: Small Fry,” even comes with a Fun Meal Zurg!

You can also stop by Señor Buzz Churros, where Buzz has switched into Spanish mode to offer this quintessential Disneyland Resort treat.

Further down Pixar Pier, Angry Dogs will be serving up some hot items – which is the perfect place for Anger from “Inside Out.” The more he burns with rage, the hotter the dogs get!

It’s the perfect time to come discover these and many more newly themed experiences throughout Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure Park!

PIXAR PLAY ZONE AT DISNEY’S CONTEMPORARY RESORT

Starting April 13 and available nightly, kids, ages 4-12, will be transported to a world full of excitement and adventure with their favorite characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles!” While the kids play, parents will be able to enjoy their own getaway throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

In Bonnie’s Play Room, children will find a variety of toys. Around the corner, the Living Room will be the center for most of the action, starting with Space Ranger Training where a Space Ranger will teach kids what it takes to become a Jr. Space Ranger of Star Command, including how to identify enemies, like Zurg, and finally, the call of the Space Ranger, “To infinity and beyond!” Then, Woody and Jessie will show them the ropes of the Wild West during Woody’s Roundup – complete with a sing along for a rootin’ tootin’ good time!

Next to the Living Room will be the Radiator Springs Racetrack where youngsters will be able to build their own racecars and take turns sending them down a soapbox derby racetrack for Piston Cup Derby Races.

Finally, they will learn some sweet dance moves during the Incredible Dance Party with Mr. Incredible and Mrs. Incredible – complete with a party host.

The evening will also include arcade games, dinner and dessert!

The nightly getaway for kids, ages 4-12, will open doors for check-in at 5 p.m. The experience will begin at the welcome desk, a stop at the “Monsters, Inc.” handwashing station, then Boo’s Closet Door, where youngsters will be able to store any belongings before taking a couple of steps into an action-packed evening of Pixar fun. Programming will run from 6-10:30 p.m. for a fee of $65 per child (plus tax). Children must be fully toilet-trained. Parents will be required to be physically present to check children in and out of the experience.

Disney Cruise Line Summer 2019 Itineraries

In summer 2019, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries to seven new ports in Europe, including a first-ever round-trip cruise from Rome and first-time visits to destinations in Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark and Northern Ireland. Disney Cruise Line will take Guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean in early summer and northern Europe in late summer. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, including new cruise lengths aboard the Disney Fantasy.

Also in the summer of 2019, Disney Cruise Line Guests can enrich their experience by combining a cruise with a package from Adventures by Disney®.

New in 2019, Adventures by Disney will offer a pre-cruise guided experience in Rome. These 3-night Short Escapes, also offered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona, allow families to experience memorable icons in ways that few can, such as a private, after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in Rome. Plus, activities like ziplining, flamenco dancing and preparing local cuisine immerse families in the culture of the region.

And, you can also enhance select European sailings with an Adventures by Disney package during the cruise. Adventure Guides lead travelers to experience the best of each port, helping them unlock the wonders of the destination through immersive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. In addition, you will enjoy exclusive receptions onboard and have access to concierge service from these dedicated guides throughout the voyage.

These Adventures by Disney offerings are open for booking. A Vancouver Short Escape will open for booking later this year.

AN INCREDIBLE SUMMER AWAITS – SAVE UP TO 25% ON ROOMS AT SELECT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS

Save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights June 11-Aug. 1, 2018 when they book by May 22, 2018. Plus, discover other savings for stays most nights May 28-Jun. 10, 2018 and Aug. 2-30, 2018.

Staying in the middle of the magic will help make a Walt Disney World Resort vacation even more super—especially when there are new and exciting experiences debuting at all 4 parks.

With this offer, you can save on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights June 11 through August 1, 2018:

• Save up to 25% on rooms, when you book by May 22, 2018.

• Save up to 20% on rooms, when you book by August 1, 2018.

Ask about great rates for stays most nights May 28 through June 10 and August 2 through August 30, 2018.

This special offer is valid for the Disney Resort hotels listed below. View the chart to explore savings within each Resort Category.

Resort Category

Resort Savings

Select Disney Deluxe Villas

Save up to 25% for stays most nights
6/11/18 to 8/1/18

Book now through 5/22/18

Book 5/23/18 to 8/1/18

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

25%

20%

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Studios only

15%

10%

Select Disney Deluxe Resorts

Save up to 25% for stays most nights
6/11/18 to 8/1/18

Book now through 5/22/18

Book 5/23/18 to 8/1/18

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

25%

20%

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

15%

10%

Select Disney Moderate Resorts

Save up to 20% for stays most nights
6/11/18 to 8/1/18

Book now through 5/22/18

Book 5/23/18 to 8/1/18

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

20%

15%

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

10%

10%

The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

20%

20%

Select Disney Value Resorts

Save up to 20% for stays most nights
6/11/18 to 8/1/18

Book now through 5/22/18

Book 5/23/18 to 8/1/18

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Family Suites only

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

20%

15%

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Length of stay requirements may apply.

See Important Details.

Note: Moderate and Deluxe suites may be available at a lesser discount.

Important Details:

• The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.

• Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.

• Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.

• Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.

• Advance reservations required.

• Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalow

The number of rooms allocated for the offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid standard rooms. 25% savings based on the non-discounted price of the same room for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts. Lower savings may be available at other select Disney Resort hotels.

Pixar Characters in Toy Story Land at WDW

Meet some of your favorite characters from the Disney•Pixar “Toy Story” films, including Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, at Toy Story Land – opening June 30 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.

Woody, Buzz and Jessie will be greeting guests throughout Toy Story Land on a daily basis. And each character (along with the rest of the gang) will be joining in on the fun in a land where you “shrink” to the size of a toy. Take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit, or take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won at Pizza Planet.

In Toy Story Land you also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Take aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

Top 5 Hidden Gems in Magic Kingdom

5. Main Street Windows

Look up! Above the shops, the windows host a variety of names of people who were influential in creating Disney World. Along with the company names Walt Disney used when he was first creating the “Florida Project” as it was called. Incredible attention to detail.

4. Totem Poles

Just at the entrance to the Jungle Cruise, you’ll find water spritzing Totem Poles. A perfect little refresher as you walk by on a hot day.

3. Tangled Restrooms

The prettiest restrooms in all the land! Here, just through the arches from Liberty Square into Fantasyland near It’s a Small World are the Tangled Restrooms. Rapunzel’s Tower and beautiful lanterns that glow at night make this area a unique picture spot. It’s also the site of the very popular floating lantern pictures offered by Photopass photographers.

2. Excalibur’s Sword

Have your kids tried to remove the sword from the stone? Every once in awhile a little Disney magic and pixie dust causes a tiny guest to pull the sword out, it’s exciting…you never know when it will happen!

1. Dumbo Playground

At Dumbo the Flying Elephant a playground in the queue with child entertainment and a place for parents to rest. Kids may forget there is a ride there!

So be sure to spend a little time taking in these special gems on your next visit!

Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World

One of my favorite new convenience features available on the My Disney Experience app is mobile ordering. I was able to use this several times on my recent trip and loved it!

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When in the parks, you can access your My Disney Experience account as you would to view or change your fast passes and you can pull up any quick service that offers mobile ordering, most do now. You can order your food as you are heading to a restaurant and when you arrive at the location, simply tap the “I’m here, prepare my order” button. Within minutes, you will receive a response on the app telling you your order is ready for pickup. Then you go to the well-marked mobile order pickup counter to retrieve your food. No waiting in lines to order! No waiting at the counter for food!

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Just this past week, Disney opened up mobile ordering to Disney Dining Plans, it was not available before. So now you can order online and choose the dining plan as payment and your credits will be adjusted accordingly.