Jul 13

Unadvertised Disney VIP Service Gets You on Rides with No Wait

Disney Plaid VIP Tour GuidePLAIDS

Have you ever heard this term?

Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to glimpse a celebrity touring the Walt Disney World theme parks on one of your Disney vacations? Ever notice the costume that the accompanying cast member “handler” is wearing? It’s plaid.  “Plaids” wield magical powers within the gates of the Most Magical Place on Earth. Private car service, fastpass entry, private tours, VIP seating for parades, stage shows and nighttime spectaculars! Did you know that you can “rent’ your own plaid for the day?

Imagine it. New Years Eve. Magic Kingdom has closed to capacity mere minutes after park opening. You and your family wake up relaxed at your resort with no alarm clock. Grab some breakfast and head out to your private car service. Your VIP Tour Guide aka “plaid” picks you up and drives you over to the Magic Kingdom where he accompanies you to Space Mountain. You look up at the “stand-by” marquee and notice a 180 minute wait time as you breeze past a long line of guests and enter through the fastpass queue…without a fastpass.  You subsequently have the same experience at Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Jungle Cruise, Buzz, Peter Pan and Pooh.  All of these attractions experienced while the same folks are still standing in line back over at Space Mountain.  Sounds crazy right?

That’s what you get with Disney’s VIP Tour Services. And these services don’t come cheap!

A Disney Resort guest is going to pay $315 and hour for the service ($355 on holidays). Sure you can have up to 10 people in your party but the minimum tour time you must book is 6 hours.  That’s $1,890 for the day. Some may not bat an eyelash at that price…but others may not have even paid that much for their entire Walt Disney World vacation.

If you could get a group of 10 friends together this doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. $189 per person with a private guide that will drive you to all four theme parks in a day and escort you on each and every ride with little to no wait.

What’s Your Thoughts on the Disney VIP Service? Yay or Nay?

Aug 12

Canoe Races Inside the Magic Kingdom

Disney canoe races

Olympians or not, more than 800 Cast Members on 75 teams paddled their hearts out in the recent Canoe Races of the World event–commonly referred to as C.R.O.W–in Magic Kingdom.

Surrounding Tom Sawyer’s Island on the Rivers of America, the racers started near Country Bears Jamboree, passing by Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion,  rounding the corner near Liberty Square’s Riverboat to the finish line.

Disney canoe races Magic Kingdom

The annual two-week event began at Walt Disney World in 1973 after the tradition was started in Disneyland in 1963. C.R.O.W. is the only Cast event with similar races held in Disney Parks around the globe.

“Tradition is very important to our company”, said Paige McCalmon, events and operations delivery manager at Walt Disney World. “It is a great team and camaraderie builder, and it is uniquely Disney.”

To be a crew, eight to 10 people must be on the roster.  Generally, the team name is derived from work location or area of expertise.

Disney canoe races Magic Kingdom 2012 Winners

The Grand Champion of C.R.O.W. 2012 was the Industrial Engineering Oars 3 team which took home the coveted title and bragging rights for the coming year.

The Spirit Award was given to the “Tough Cookies” team for showing tremendous support for their fellow competitors and cheering them on from start to finish.

Disney canoe races Magic Kingdom 2012 Tough Cookies

Jul 12

Walt Disney World Roller Coaster Mountains Wedding Cake

Walt Disney World Mountain Wedding Cake

The bride and groom show their Disney thrill ride pride with this 3-tier wedding cake.  The bottom layer representing Space Mountain. Topped with a layer from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Rounding out the cake is Mt. Everest from Animal Kingdom‘s Expedition Everest. This Yeti topper seems to be frozen just like Disco Yeti in the actual attraction.  Photo comes straight from the Disney Weddings Blog.

Jul 12

All New Video Commercial of Grizzly Gulch at Hong Kong Disneyland

It’s the wildest ride in the Himalayas! Well at least that’s what it looks like. A cross between the Magic Kingdom‘s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Animal Kingdom‘s Expedition Everest attractions.

Sep 11

Explore the Wild West in Frontierland at Disneyland Resort Paris

Big Thunder Mountain, by David Jafra

photo via David Jafra

The Eurodisney Paris theme park is divided into five magical lands, each offering a range of attractions. Bordering Adventureland and Main Street USA, Frontierland takes you back to the Wild West with cowboys, saloons and ranches around every corner.

Cowboy Cookout Barbecue by David Jafra

photo by David Jafra

Out of all the Disney Frontierlands in the world, the one in Paris Disneyland is the largest, so rides can get pretty busy. You can avoid these long queues by visiting them early in the morning or right at the end of the day. Frontierland’s major attraction is Big Thunder Mountain (a runaway mine train), which offers a free FASTPASS® system at its entrance, which gives you a ticket with a scheduled return time. Return to the ride at this time and you can skip the queue line!

In the meantime, head to Frontierland’s spookiest attraction, the Phantom Manor for a mysterious adventure, or take aim on the Rustler Roundup Shootin’ Gallery. Queuing times are usually incredibly short here so it’s a great time-filler before having playground fun in the Pocahontas Indian Village or joining Goofy Summer Camp at the Chaparral Theatre.

If all this action leaves you feeling peckish, head to the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue in the Cottonwood Creek Ranch for tasty Tex Mex cuisine. The Last Chance Café serves turkey thighs, sandwiches and fries and is perfectly situated in Thunder Mesa for one last meal before entering Phantom Manor. The nearby Lucky Nugget Saloon offers an all-you-can-eat buffet or you can tuck into deliciously cooked meats at the Silver Spur Steakhouse – yum!

Thunder Mesa at Disneyland Paris by David Jafra

Photo by David Jafra

With three shops under one roof, the Thunder Mesa Mercantile Building is ideal when waiting for a specific time on your FASTPASS® ticket (it’s just opposite Big Thunder Mountain). Choose from leather belts and wallets, to a selection of western garments including boots, jeans and jackets.

Once the sun has set on your epic Frontierland adventure, jump on a train from the Frontierland Depot and travel towards your next Disneyland Paris adventure.

This post brought to you by Holiday Discount Centre…