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Category Archives: Resort Living
Disney TA Blog has just made an announcement that refrigerators will be removed from all rooms at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts Aulani, and Disney Resort & Spa, Resort hotels due to a defect. Vacation Club and Fort Wilderness Campground will not be affect. Guests staying at one of the affected resorts will be notified via a letter in their room. A select number of replacements will be available by request.
The timeline to replace all of the affected rooms is expected to take several months. Grumpy will try to keep you updated.
Walt Disney World will soon be introducing the Rapid Fill Mug to replace the standar refillable mug that has been sold at Disney resorts for years. The biggest difference will be that each mug will have a RFID chip. These chips will communicate with the new self-serve drink filling stations. The stations will also recognize traditional paper cups which can also be purchased will also have a chip and can be only be used for one hour from the initial serve and are limited to four 20 oz pours.
This is an obvious change from the way things currently work. Currently the drink stations are basically functioning on an honor system. Guests can fill any cup they want. Some have even been known to fill bottles and other assorted containers. I have seen mugs from resorts other than the one I was staying in filled as well as mugs that are obviously years old. In effect, if you wanted a free beverage at the resort, there was nothing to stop you from getting one.
Of course it was not intended to work that way. For those who have not stayed at the Disney on-property resorts a little explanation might be helpful. For years Disney has been selling refillable mugs. These mugs were sold with the clear understanding that they were for the length of your current visit and for use only in the resort you were staying in.
They were a bit pricey. The first one I bought was about $12. The last one was about $15. However, if you are staying in one of the resorts and you only bought two drinks for two days, at your resort, you about broke even for what if would have cost just to buy a single use paper cup plus you had a handy souvenir. Since I was always staying for more than two days I not only broke even but I saved money.
As a guest, I must admit I was a little frustrated to pay the money for a mug and watch others using the old mugs they had bought. By nature I am an honest, if slightly grumpy person. I do not abuse a system nor do I like to see others abuse the system. I am also smart enough to know that they money Diseny was losing from dishonest customers was costing us honest ones. We were, in effect, going to pay for those who were abusing the system.
Which brings up a moral question. Though these people were doing was an obvious abuse of the system was it wrong? Was it stealing? By definition stealing is taking something that does not belong to you. These people doing that were they not? What is the difference between that and shoplifting? None in my book.
Of course some people are going to say that Disney is making plenty and that Disney prices are outrageous. I do not disagree. It irks me to pay the price I have to pay for a drink at Disney too but I have a choice. I can always bring my own.
There are two other changes in the system.
The first is that guests can use the mug at any resort now. I am not sure how much impact this will have for the average guests. How often are they going to be at another resort after all? However, there are a good number of guests who split their stays between multiple resorts. Now they will not have to buy two mugs to stay legal.
The second involves pricing. Because the number of days the mug is valid varies the price will too. The price will start at $8.99 for one day and go up to $17.99 for length of stay plus four days.
Since Disney is going to start charging more as well as eliminating theft, I would like to make one suggestion. Get rid of the generic mugs and bring back resort specific mugs!
The new system was tested in 2011 and will starting rolling out to all Disney resorts soon.
For more information check this out this articl article from Orlando Theme Park News.
Walt Disney World loves to immerse its guests in fantasy. We expect this in the parks but the magic does not end at the parks. It carries over into the resorts. At Port Orleans Riverside guests can step into the world of Princess Tiana and her friends. At Caribbean Beach you can live like a pirate.
Take a look behind the scenes with these videos
Walt Disney World’s newest resort, The Art Of Animation, opens for its first guests today. Only a portion of the resort, the Finding Nemo Family Suites is open for business today, the other sections are starting to take reservations.
The resort falls into the value category which means it will not have all the amenities of the moderate and deluxe resorts but there is still plenty to offer guests including saving some hard money over the other resort classes.
The Art of Animation, when complete, will include standard rooms as well as family suites. Family suites will include two bathrooms mini kitchens and separate sleeping areas to accommodate up to six guests per room.
The resort has been divided into four distinct sections each based on a Disney or Disney/Pixar movie. Those four movies are The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo.
The rooms are decorated with each sections particular movie in mind from the bedding, carpet and the walls. Disney has done all it could to make the guest feel like they are part of the movie.
The exterior of each building has also been themed from paint schemes to statues designed to bring the movies to mind.
Like all of the resorts there is a food court, Landscape of Flavors. Offerings will include standard food court options plus some more interesting items such as buckwheat pasta, egg-white frittatas, low-fat smoothies, naan bread and roasted chicken, shrimp, sausage and acorn squash.
As with all resorts, transportation will be provided to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney.
The resort should be great for those with smaller children and the family suites are a great bonus for parents who want some privacy and the option to do a little cooking for themselves.
Extra Magic Hours! Even the name sounds great. I am getting something extra, something out of the ordinary! Something special!
So what are Extra Magic Hours? Put quite simply they are hours that select Disney guests get to be in one of the theme parks when general admission guests cannot.
Extra Magic Hours are broken down into two categories, Morning and Evening. For the Morning version a park will open one hour early. For Evening hours the park will normally stay open three hours later.
Unfortunately Extra Magic Hours do not include every park every day. Only one park will be having Extra Magic Hours at any given time. However, during the busier seasons of the year one park may have Extra Morning Magic Hours while a different one may have Extra Evening Magic Hours. Unfortunately, at least in Grumpy’s mind, sometimes one of those parks during busy season may be one of the water parks.
When a park is operating under Extra Magic Hours not every attraction will open, again unfortunately! For a list of what is open for a given park during Extra Magic Hours click here.
So who gets in on these Extra Magic Hours? Basically it is anyone who is staying at any of the Disney owned resorts/campgrounds or the Swan and Dolphin on the day the Extra Magic Hours are being offered. In fact you have to show your valid resort ID to use the Extra Magic Hours.
To use the hours simply hop on the Disney transportation system and head to the selected park. Transportation will be running early enough to make it for the Morning hours and late enough to get you back to your resort after the Evening hours. During the Morning hours you will have to show your resort ID to get into the park. That is normally not a problem because it is usually your park ticket too. Then you are free to go! For the Evening hours cast members will ask for your ID before they allow you to enjoy any of the attractions open for the Extra Magic Hours.
So now you have the nuts and bolts of the program but is it worth it? YES! Grumpy takes advantage of all the Extra Magic Hours even if I have to Park Hop to do it! In fact I get extra grumpy when my family members make me even think I might be late for the morning magic hours! And Grumpy doesn’t leave till the park is closed, well most of the time.
Of course lines are shorter during the Extra Magic Hours but are they really that short? Well there are lines but you can get a lot done during the Extra Magic Hours. One sunny morning Grumpy and Mrs Grumpy rode Aerosmith five times before the park “opened.” Of course we were using single rider line for some of that but by the time my brother, we will call him Dopey tonight, and his daughter got there we had ridden so many times we gave them our Fastpasses!
Grumpy considers the Extra Magic Hours so important that I would rather pay extra to stay at a Disney resort than save the money. So there you have it. What are your thoughts on the Extra Magic Hours? Is it worth the money or just extra hype?
I woke up this morning in severe need of a Disney fix! I was daydreaming about how nice it would have been to wake up at the Animal Kingdom lodge. I could have strolled over to see some giraffes, zebras, ankoli cattle or thompson gazelles on the way to morning coffee and breakfast. Then off I would have been to the park with extra morning hours, the Animal Kingdom. By now I could have ridden Everest probably twice and hit Kilimanjaro Safaris at least once. I know it seems awful early to have done all that but I am big believer in making the most of those extra magic hours. On our last extended family trip my wife and I had ridden the Rocking Roller Coaster 5 or 6 times before most people had entered the park. Of course we were using the single rider line.
If you could have wakened this morning at Disney, which resort would you have it and would you have made the morning extra magic hours?