Mar 13

What Does an Amateur Do on a PGA Championship Walt Disney World Golf Course?

Have a good time, that’s what.

disney palm gold course hole 10

Disney golf cartsDid you know Disney Golf will give you a taxi voucher to go to and from your Walt Disney World owned-and-operated Resort? Me neither.  I also didn’t know that the tee off closest the pin was no longer called the “Ladies Tee” but instead the “Forward Tee”.

I was a little intimidated by my golf date last week. I had never played a Disney course before, they are PGA championship courses. You know, the ones that the professional multi-million doller bread winners play on.  I hadn’t played a round of golf in about three years and the hubby and I were going to be playing with a Disney Exec and an Arnold Palmer Golf Management Exec…no pressure Amanda.

I really didn’t even have anything to wear. There’s a dress code right? I’m a blogger and my daily wear consists of bare feet and flip flops with tank tops and tees.  That was an easy fix. Grab a collared golf shirt at my local outlet and pair it with some existing capris. I didn’t even have golf shoes.  My running shoes fit the bill.  Amateur wear…but that was OK and I felt completely comfortable playing. Proof that you don’t have to break the bank to golf at Disney.

disney palm golf course putting green

Here I am practicing my putting skills.  That’s the pro shop behind me.  I own my own clubs but the rentals are actually nicer than mine. Club rentals are $50. If you are a resort guest the price is slashed to $20 and you get free range balls as well. Way cheaper than paying an extra baggage fee on your flight here.

The Courses

disney palm golf course putting green

See that building in the background? That’s Disney’s Shades of Green Resort.  The resort is surrounded by three of Walt Disney World’s five golf courses: Magnolia, Palm and Oak Trail (9 holes). You may have seen them..directly across the street from Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The other two courses are Lake Buena Vista (near Old Key West and Saratoga Springs) and Osprey Ridge (Near Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and Golden Oak).

If you’re intimidated by signing up for a full 18 holes then try Oak Trail. Oak Trail is free to Disney Premium Annual Passholders and it’s only 9 holes and is probably one of the better Disney-themed courses. That’s set to change though. Rumor has it there will be good things to come for Disney Golf which recently entered into a 20 year agreement with Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

disney oak trail golf courseWe headed over to Disney’s Palm Golf Course…elevated greens, 9 water holes, 94 bunkers (sand traps) and lots of woods.

disney golf course

disney golf course amanda tinney

Midway through I tried to discern whether we were golfing or at Animal Kingdom.

disney golf course wild turkey

I got some coaching on my grip.

disney golf course palm

…and tried to focus on the game instead of taking pictures of my lush surroundings.

disney golf course palm

disney golf course palm

disney golf course palm

My 14-year-old daughter was bummed that she couldn’t come out for our “play date” but I did find out that Junior Golf Camps will be available this summer with newly hired Director of Instruction by Mike Schlager.

Talking to Alex Forsyth (WDW Tournament and Event Sales manager) …I learned that more than half of the PGA Championship courses are private courses. Not many people have the opportunity to play on an open PGA course seven days a week, 365 days a year. Disney offers its guests and the public this exclusive opportunity.  That’s right, Disney courses are open to the public, so all you locals pull out your phones and book your tee time!

Professionals and amateurs alike are welcome and will definitely enjoy a golfcation at Walt Disney World.  I can’t wait to come back and try out another signature Disney Golf course.

Resort guests, passholders, DVC Members, military and cast members are eligible for discounts on golf.  Visit Walt Disney World Golf to book or call 407-WDW-GOLF.

Big thanks to Disney Golf for a complementary nine holes. Of course all “major Disneyphile” opinions are my own.

Mar 13

Dopey Becomes Official! runDisney Adds Dopey Challenge and 10K to WDW Marathon Weekend in 2014

six disney medals in four days 2014 wdw marathon weekendCalling all “Hardware Hoarders”! runDisney is giving runners a chance to earn an unprecedented SIX medals in four days during the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

After celebrating its 20th anniversary earlier this year, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is getting even bigger next year and is offering runners another challenge that will be, well, Dopey.

The 2014 Disney Marathon Weekend, January 8-12, will expand to five days and will include a 10K, along with the Family Fun Run 5K, the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. That creates the opportunity for an unparalleled proposition in the running industry: The Dopey Challenge – running all four timed events in successive days (48.6 miles) for the chance to earn an unprecedented six medals.

After the Disney Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, runDisney’s new Walt Disney World 10K, a 6.2-mile timed event, takes place Friday, at Epcot.  Runners completing the race will receive a Minnie Mouse inspired medal.

As in past years, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon will be run on Saturday followed by the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. Runners who complete both – Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – will receive a special Goofy-themed medal. Add on the 5K and the 10K and runners can earn four medals, one for each race completed, plus the Goofy and new Dopey Challenge medals, for a total haul of six medals.

In addition to those four races, the Disney Marathon Weekend will feature runDisney Kids Races and the Mickey Mile, which take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Special ticketed breakfasts with characters will be Thursday and Friday following the Family Fun Run 5K and 10K at Epcot.  Pasta in the Park parties at Epcot will continue and runners can celebrate their accomplishments from the weekend at the Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday.

The expanded five-day race weekend begins on Wednesday with the start of Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo, giving runners extra time to pick up race packets, shop for the latest running apparel and technology, and meet experts such as runDisney official training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus.  The expo is free and open to the public.

Online registration for all Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events opens April 9, but runners can enter early by signing up for the Runner’s World Challenge starting April 2.  This limited opportunity allows runners to register for the Half Marathon, Marathon, Goofy Challenge or Dopey Challenge, receive customized training plans from Runner’s World magazine editors and enjoy VIP experiences throughout weekend.

For more information and to register for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events and other runDisney races, go to www.runDisney.com.


Schedule of Events

Disney’s Health and Fitness Expo

Jan. 8 – 11

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex


Disney’s Family Fun Run 5K

Jan. 9, 6:30 am



runDisney Kids Races and Mickey Mile

Jan. 9, 10 & 11

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex


Pasta in the Park Parties

Jan. 9, 10 & 11



runDisney Family Reunion Breakfast

Jan. 9 & 10



Walt Disney World 10K

Jan. 10, 5:30 am



Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Jan. 11, 5:30 am



Walt Disney World Marathon

Jan. 12, 5:30 am



Cool Down Party

Jan. 12

Downtown Disney

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Mar 13

Disney Passholders Can Convert From Paper Tickets to MyMagic+ RFID Cards Today

Disney RFIDSince so many Passholders love to visit during Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, going on now through May 19, Walt Disney World is offering a convenient way for Passholders to exchange their current paper Pass for a new card that allows them to use the new touch to enter feature at theme park main entrances with the same admission privileges as their current Pass.

If you are a Passholder, during your next visit, bring your paper Pass and valid ID to the Odyssey Center, located between Test Track and the Mexico pavilion, to get your new card. Please note that cards must be used by the same person who originally used the paper Pass.

At this time, the Odyssey Center is the only location where Passholders can receive the new cards. The Odyssey Center is open during regular park hours, and the best time to visit is Monday through Friday after 12:00 noon. Please keep in mind that Main Entrance ticket windows are unable to exchange Passes for the new cards.

In the coming months, Disney will provide more information here on other ways you’ll be able to exchange your Pass for a new card, as well as more information on MyMagic+ and when MagicBands will be available to Passholders.

Mar 13

Country Crooner Zac Brown Spotted in the Magic Kingdom

Zac-Brown-Disney-goofy magic kingdom

Country music artist Zac Brown, singer/songwriter for the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, poses March 18, 2013 with Goofy at the Magic Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Zac Brown Band won “Best Country Album” for their latest release, “Uncaged,” at the 55th Grammy Awards held February 10th, 2013. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

Mar 13

Pleasure Island to Be Replaced in New Disney Springs Project {Concept Art}

Disney Springs Concept Art New Downtown Disney

Walt Disney World Resort announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Disney springs-Water-Tower-and-Entrance

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

Disney Springs-Town-Center-and-Landing

“Disney Springs will be a timeless, vibrant place where Walt Disney World guests and local residents can relax, shop, dine and be entertained in an imaginative setting where they’ll instantly feel at home,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Featuring distinctive brands, world-class restaurants and unforgettable entertainment, Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.”

Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. In addition, Staggs noted, Central Florida stands to benefit from the expansion with more jobs, tax revenues and business opportunities.

Disney Springs-Waterfront

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. In addition to a new gateway with a signature water tower and grand entry, the destination will feature:

  • The Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect.
  • A colorful and thriving commercial district called The Landing with inspired dining and beautiful waterfront views.
  • The family-friendly Marketplace that will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.
  • West Side that provides an exuberant atmosphere with lively entertainment, along with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.

Disney Springs-West-Side-Elevated-Areas

Collectively, these efforts will not only have an impact within Walt Disney World, but will also have an economic ripple effect on Central Florida. The project will create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles.

Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.