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18% gratuity on dining package

intercot.com - Wed, 2017-05-31 12:42
I just finished setting up my dining reservations for a party of between 6 and 8 people. I was told a gratuity of 18% was going to be automatically added to the bill. How does this work with the dining package? Do we have to pay separately for the tip?
Categories: Disney Blogs

18% gratuity on dining package

intercot.com - Wed, 2017-05-31 12:42
I just finished setting up my dining reservations for a party of between 6 and 8 people. I was told a gratuity of 18% was going to be automatically added to the bill. How does this work with the dining package? Do we have to pay separately for the tip?
Categories: Disney Blogs

Disney Springs adding even more dining in 2018

TheDisneyBlog.com - Wed, 2017-05-31 11:39

With all the amazing new dining added in its recent expansion, Disney Springs has become a favorite hangout for locals and travelers alike. Two new restaurants have just been announced that promise to elevate the culinary scene even higher. Chef José Andrés is opening a Jaleo and Wolfgang Puck will...

The post Disney Springs adding even more dining in 2018 appeared first on The Disney Blog.

Categories: Disney Blogs

First Trip with Teens Day 4- AK and Pandora

intercot.com - Wed, 2017-05-31 03:24
It was not quite as hot today, thank goodness. There was a slight breeze and puffy clouds and lots of humidity. We had a wonderful morning using our FP for Flights of Passage in Pandora. It was beautiful, thrilling and just wonderful. I would not, however, wait 2-5 hours to enjoy it. I was amazed by the lines. We did not have a FP for Navi River Journey and therefore were not able to experience it. Again i am not going to stand in line for hours. We did standby for Safaris which wasn't too long. I like this so much more with out the poacher story/distraction. We saw many animals including giraffes, lions, hippos, etc. We had FP for Expedition Everest which was great as always. Next breakfast/lunch in Tusker House with Minnie, Micky, Donald and Daisy. We always love this. We hit Nemo and Dinosaur and then with no hope of doing more in Pandora decided to head back to ASM for naps and pool time. Still a half day park unless you want to spend the other half in line. It was too humid to want to linger and watch the animals much. We've seen the Lion King many times and decided that rest was preferable. After naps we headed back for dinner at Tiffins. It was a beautiful ambiance and the food was very good, but I'm not sure I think it is worth 2 table credits. It was about 350.00 for 6 of us, only one glass of wine, no desserts, a couple apps. The park is really lovely at night. They did a beautiful job with lighting. We decided to do Expedition Everest again which seemed even more thrilling at night. I tried to look out at the beautiful park while we climbed the mountain, but it was too terrifying for me. I love the rest of the ride, but the climb makes me nervous!!! We were disappointed that lightening made them cancel Rivers of Light and also our FP for Kali River. We explored the luminescent Pandora after dark and the lightening seemed to enhance the beauty of this magical land. When fat raindrops began coming down we ran to Dinosaur because it was indoors. It was fun again, but when we came out it was really pouring. We were all drenched by the time we got to the car. The ponchos i had purchased and brought to WDW remained in the hotel room! :( Oh, well. My teenaged boys had fun splashing each other in the puddles and it was nice to be chilly after sweating for days. All in all it was a fun day. My verdict on Pandora is that it is a wonderful addition, but I would never go back unless the popularity dwindles or there is a way to get fast passes to the attractions.
Categories: Disney Blogs

First Trip with Teens Day 4- AK and Pandora

intercot.com - Wed, 2017-05-31 03:24
It was not quite as hot today, thank goodness. There was a slight breeze and puffy clouds and lots of humidity. We had a wonderful morning using our FP for Flights of Passage in Pandora. It was beautiful, thrilling and just wonderful. I would not, however, wait 2-5 hours to enjoy it. I was amazed by the lines. We did not have a FP for Navi River Journey and therefore were not able to experience it. Again i am not going to stand in line for hours. We did standby for Safaris which wasn't too long. I like this so much more with out the poacher story/distraction. We saw many animals including giraffes, lions, hippos, etc. We had FP for Expedition Everest which was great as always. Next breakfast/lunch in Tusker House with Minnie, Micky, Donald and Daisy. We always love this. We hit Nemo and Dinosaur and then with no hope of doing more in Pandora decided to head back to ASM for naps and pool time. Still a half day park unless you want to spend the other half in line. It was too humid to want to linger and watch the animals much. We've seen the Lion King many times and decided that rest was preferable. After naps we headed back for dinner at Tiffins. It was a beautiful ambiance and the food was very good, but I'm not sure I think it is worth 2 table credits. It was about 350.00 for 6 of us, only one glass of wine, no desserts, a couple apps. The park is really lovely at night. They did a beautiful job with lighting. We decided to do Expedition Everest again which seemed even more thrilling at night. I tried to look out at the beautiful park while we climbed the mountain, but it was too terrifying for me. I love the rest of the ride, but the climb makes me nervous!!! We were disappointed that lightening made them cancel Rivers of Light and also our FP for Kali River. We explored the luminescent Pandora after dark and the lightening seemed to enhance the beauty of this magical land. When fat raindrops began coming down we ran to Dinosaur because it was indoors. It was fun again, but when we came out it was really pouring. We were all drenched by the time we got to the car. The ponchos i had purchased and brought to WDW remained in the hotel room! :( Oh, well. My teenaged boys had fun splashing each other in the puddles and it was nice to be chilly after sweating for days. All in all it was a fun day. My verdict on Pandora is that it is a wonderful addition, but I would never go back unless the popularity dwindles or there is a way to get fast passes to the attractions.
Categories: Disney Blogs

How Disney movie magic Dan Stevens transformed into the Beast

TheDisneyBlog.com - Wed, 2017-05-31 02:42

I had an idea in my head what Dan Stevens’ motion capture suit would look like for his work as “The Beast” in Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” but it was nothing like this. Check out those springy lifts on his feet to give...

The post How Disney movie magic Dan Stevens transformed into the Beast appeared first on The Disney Blog.

Categories: Disney Blogs

Flight of Passage stand bye?

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 23:40
I see that the wait times for stand bye on Flight of Passage are crazy long. With Pandora staying open until 1am every night, do the wait times die down in the wee hours? Anyone heard anything?
Categories: Disney Blogs

Flight of Passage stand bye?

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 23:40
I see that the wait times for stand bye on Flight of Passage are crazy long. With Pandora staying open until 1am every night, do the wait times die down in the wee hours? Anyone heard anything?
Categories: Disney Blogs

Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill To Leave West Side

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 22:16
Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill will be vacating its current location in Disney Springs' West Side, to make way for Jaleo by José Andrés.

A new Wolfgang Puck location will open up in the Town Center section of Disney Springs...

Last day of operation will be August 1, 2017
Categories: Disney Blogs

Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill To Leave West Side

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 22:16
Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill will be vacating its current location in Disney Springs' West Side, to make way for Jaleo... A new Wolfgang Puck location will open up in the Town Center section of Disney Springs...

Last day of operation will be August 1, 2017
Categories: Disney Blogs

So? Is Pandora worth it?

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 19:42
We've had so many on here complaining over the past few years that the Avatar land was a bad decision, that not enough people liked the movie, etc. Did anyone actually go and experience it yet? How was it? The videos and ride-thru's all look amazing.

We'll be there in September, and I hope that it will have died down a bit by then. I am not going to be in line at 3am to go see it.
Categories: Disney Blogs

So? Is Pandora worth it?

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 19:42
We've had so many on here complaining over the past few years that the Avatar land was a bad decision, that not enough people liked the movie, etc. Did anyone actually go and experience it yet? How was it? The videos and ride-thru's all look amazing.

We'll be there in September, and I hope that it will have died down a bit by then. I am not going to be in line at 3am to go see it.
Categories: Disney Blogs

New Tower of Terror

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 17:38
It was supposed to open a few days ago. Has anyone ridden it?
Categories: Disney Blogs

New Tower of Terror

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 17:38
It was supposed to open a few days ago. Has anyone ridden it?
Categories: Disney Blogs

May 11 - 20 - so much magic!

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 14:21
This was the first long trip for us as a family of four - the last few times we've been at WDW it's been a couple days before and a couple days after a cruise (I know, I know - i'm not complaining).

It was me, my wife, our adult daughter and our 6yo son. Overall, it was a great, great time!

The Lodging:
We spent one night at AoA, the first time we'd been on this property. What great theming! My son saw the pool on the way in and was beside himself, but alas, it was late. We hit the pool in the morning before heading to the parks and we loved walking around here in the morning - just incredible scenery.

The rest of the trip, eight nights, was at the Beach Club Villas - third time here and we love it very much. The new room decor is toned down a bit, and honestly my son would have been happy to stay at AoA. But we love the smell, the location, the pool, etc. Hey, btw, the Villas have (has?) their (its?) own laundry facility. You don't have to be the moron who walks 1/3 mile to the laundry in the regular hotel. Leave that to me.

The Nighttime Shows:
We saw Fantasmic for the first time in....well, in a long time. I really like it and am sorry I've been away for so long.
Illuminations - you know. It is what it's been for almost 20 years. Salright.
Rivers of Light...well, what to say about this? Not sorry we went, it was better than what people had let on, but it is certainly not something I'd make a point to do every trip, if it means sacrificing some family sleep some night. It is very pretty and I like the music.
Star Wars fireworks - much different from RoL, of course, but I was left with the same feeling as RoL. This may have been because prior to seeing this we'd already been spoiled by seeing on multiple nights...
Happily Ever After. As I'd posted elsewhere, this just blew us away. We weren't super sentimental Wishes people, so I get it if the change is too much for you who are, but we were completely awestruck by this. See it close to the castle. It's just amazing. I've watched it on the Dis youtube channel four times since getting home 44 hours ago.

The Consumption:
Highway in the Sky - we had a very nice time doing this on May 16. When we checked in the monorail was down and they were arranging for boats, but then, huzzah, the monorail magically came back to life. Talked to some very nice people (though it was a bit surreal to talk for hours with other adults and have the conversation revolve almost entirely around Disney) and enjoyed the event, overall. The entree was quite the let down (especially the fish) and the dessert was nothing to overly praise, and the view of HEA from way back is a bit disappointing. And at times I felt a bit ridiculous that an entire monorail train was being held up for us to load. BUT we were happy we did it, if for just to have a nice date night while at WDW. If you're going to drop some major coin on a dinner at a CA Grill or similar, I'd recommend this, just for the novelty and social aspects. One warning - I wanted to go hungry, and went hungry, and then was nearly slurring my words by stop #3 (but I'm not much of a drinker, so...).

We went for the first time to: Sanaa, Skipper's Canteen, and Sci-Fi. The bread/dipping sauce at Sanaa lived up to its reputation! Wonderful! Overall the meal was quite good and it was our first time in Kadani Village. Beautiful. Love everything about AKL...except the location. Skipper's Canteen had some really excellent appetizers but the entrees were just so-so, and my daughter's duck-noodle soup was so salty as to almost be inedible. But we liked this place and the decor is great. Sci-Fi is...odd.

Some of the best food we had in general was from festival stands, food trucks at the Springs, and snacks around the parks (like the Trilo Bites buffalo chicken chips, for example). Also, Ample Hills is pretty amazing. And I love me some oversized caramel-chocolate apples. I ate three. Well shared. Shared a little.

We did the Cape May Cafe breakfast for the second time. Food was great, as in the past. Easily the best buffet breakfast I've had on property. My son dressed in his swim outfit to match the characters and we got some great pics.

The Parks:
Our son got to fight Darth! It was really awesome and I consider us very lucky. Well, 50-50 lucky, since those are the odds for which line of kids goes where (I was told that getting at your designated show time early no longer guarantees you fight Darth, as parents were coming back earlier, and earlier... Go figure, right? :-)) I couldn't believe how many people were in line in front of me for sign up, despite us getting to the park at about 8:10. It was okay, because we got an evening slot, after the temps dropped a bit. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Man, what I wouldn't have given to have had that experience when I was his age! (thought every dad standing there watching).

Our daughter's friend is a CM and she met up with us in Epcot. As we were getting near to a character meet she told us that her friend is a friend of Goofy's, and Goofy would be coming onstage in 10 minutes. We let some people go by us and when Goofy saw his good CM friend he made sure to give my son a lot of extra attention and hugs and stuff. It was great!

First time rides for my son: Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, and Splash Mountain. He was very brave!

We also had some awesome character interactions with Olaf, BB8, Ariel, and Kylo Ren.

My son finished his Wilderness Explorer book (it took three WDW trips for this) and they had a special little ceremony for him and he got some applause - it was really nice. He took it to school today to show his friends.

As he's gotten older we experience the parks differently. In addition to the Wilderness Explorer badges, we played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom for the first time. Pretty cool. And he searched for the hidden eggs in the World Showcase (found them all!).

Somehow, and I really don't know how, and I consider this an incredible failure on my part, we did not ride Peter Pan or visit the Tiki Room. I mean, that's like going to the Grand Canyon and not looking down in.

Odds and ends:
One day my son did the Pirate cruise from the Beach Club. A good spend of $40! He's also become a bit of a nut about finding hidden Mickeys, and has gotten good at it. Perhaps better than a hidden Mickey, my daughter noticed that in the Sci-Fi Dine-Inn theater, on the back of the screen on the plywood, where you enter the restaurant, “MGM Studios” still exists in paint on one of the panels, way up high, while all others have been changed.

Going back to MyDisneyExperience seems so harsh now. It coldly says, “Welcome to the My Disney Experience planning page. To begin, we’ll help you connect your reservations, tickets and friends.”
LIKE IT CAN’T EVEN RECOGNIZE WE’VE BEEN INSEPARABLE FOR THE LAST 15 DAYS. DONTCHYA KNOW ME, MDE APP??? IT'S ME! WHY SO FORMAL??

Overall, it was a really fantastic vacation. My son is at that sweet spot where he's big enough to ride the big rides but young enough to still light up at seeing the characters. The weather was not too hot and the crowds not too bad. We had several firsts this trip, which is always a plus, and did I mention how much we loved HEA? :-)

Okay, time to sort through about 400 Memory Maker pics! (And it's time to update the magic shots, Disney.)
Categories: Disney Blogs

May 11 - 20 - so much magic!

intercot.com - Tue, 2017-05-30 14:21
This was the first long trip for us as a family of four - the last few times we've been at WDW it's been a couple days before and a couple days after a cruise (I know, I know - i'm not complaining).

It was me, my wife, our adult daughter and our 6yo son. Overall, it was a great, great time!

The Lodging:
We spent one night at AoA, the first time we'd been on this property. What great theming! My son saw the pool on the way in and was beside himself, but alas, it was late. We hit the pool in the morning before heading to the parks and we loved walking around here in the morning - just incredible scenery.

The rest of the trip, eight nights, was at the Beach Club Villas - third time here and we love it very much. The new room decor is toned down a bit, and honestly my son would have been happy to stay at AoA. But we love the smell, the location, the pool, etc. Hey, btw, the Villas have (has?) their (its?) own laundry facility. You don't have to be the moron who walks 1/3 mile to the laundry in the regular hotel. Leave that to me.

The Nighttime Shows:
We saw Fantasmic for the first time in....well, in a long time. I really like it and am sorry I've been away for so long.
Illuminations - you know. It is what it's been for almost 20 years. Salright.
Rivers of Light...well, what to say about this? Not sorry we went, it was better than what people had let on, but it is certainly not something I'd make a point to do every trip, if it means sacrificing some family sleep some night. It is very pretty and I like the music.
Star Wars fireworks - much different from RoL, of course, but I was left with the same feeling as RoL. This may have been because prior to seeing this we'd already been spoiled by seeing on multiple nights...
Happily Ever After. As I'd posted elsewhere, this just blew us away. We weren't super sentimental Wishes people, so I get it if the change is too much for you who are, but we were completely awestruck by this. See it close to the castle. It's just amazing. I've watched it on the Dis youtube channel four times since getting home 44 hours ago.

The Consumption:
Highway in the Sky - we had a very nice time doing this on May 16. When we checked in the monorail was down and they were arranging for boats, but then, huzzah, the monorail magically came back to life. Talked to some very nice people (though it was a bit surreal to talk for hours with other adults and have the conversation revolve almost entirely around Disney) and enjoyed the event, overall. The entree was quite the let down (especially the fish) and the dessert was nothing to overly praise, and the view of HEA from way back is a bit disappointing. And at times I felt a bit ridiculous that an entire monorail train was being held up for us to load. BUT we were happy we did it, if for just to have a nice date night while at WDW. If you're going to drop some major coin on a dinner at a CA Grill or similar, I'd recommend this, just for the novelty and social aspects. One warning - I wanted to go hungry, and went hungry, and then was nearly slurring my words by stop #3 (but I'm not much of a drinker, so...).

We went for the first time to: Sanaa, Skipper's Canteen, and Sci-Fi. The bread/dipping sauce at Sanaa lived up to its reputation! Wonderful! Overall the meal was quite good and it was our first time in Kadani Village. Beautiful. Love everything about AKL...except the location. Skipper's Canteen had some really excellent appetizers but the entrees were just so-so, and my daughter's duck-noodle soup was so salty as to almost be inedible. But we liked this place and the decor is great. Sci-Fi is...odd.

Some of the best food we had in general was from festival stands, food trucks at the Springs, and snacks around the parks (like the Trilo Bites buffalo chicken chips, for example). Also, Ample Hills is pretty amazing. And I love me some oversized caramel-chocolate apples. I ate three. Well shared. Shared a little.

We did the Cape May Cafe breakfast for the second time. Food was great, as in the past. Easily the best buffet breakfast I've had on property. My son dressed in his swim outfit to match the characters and we got some great pics.

The Parks:
Our son got to fight Darth! It was really awesome and I consider us very lucky. Well, 50-50 lucky, since those are the odds for which line of kids goes where (I was told that getting at your designated show time early no longer guarantees you fight Darth, as parents were coming back earlier, and earlier... Go figure, right? :-)) I couldn't believe how many people were in line in front of me for sign up, despite us getting to the park at about 8:10. It was okay, because we got an evening slot, after the temps dropped a bit. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Man, what I wouldn't have given to have had that experience when I was his age! (thought every dad standing there watching).

Our daughter's friend is a CM and she met up with us in Epcot. As we were getting near to a character meet she told us that her friend is a friend of Goofy's, and Goofy would be coming onstage in 10 minutes. We let some people go by us and when Goofy saw his good CM friend he made sure to give my son a lot of extra attention and hugs and stuff. It was great!

First time rides for my son: Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, and Splash Mountain. He was very brave!

We also had some awesome character interactions with Olaf, BB8, Ariel, and Kylo Ren.

My son finished his Wilderness Explorer book (it took three WDW trips for this) and they had a special little ceremony for him and he got some applause - it was really nice. He took it to school today to show his friends.

As he's gotten older we experience the parks differently. In addition to the Wilderness Explorer badges, we played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom for the first time. Pretty cool. And he searched for the hidden eggs in the World Showcase (found them all!).

Somehow, and I really don't know how, and I consider this an incredible failure on my part, we did not ride Peter Pan or visit the Tiki Room. I mean, that's like going to the Grand Canyon and not looking down in.

Odds and ends:
One day my son did the Pirate cruise from the Beach Club. A good spend of $40! He's also become a bit of a nut about finding hidden Mickeys, and has gotten good at it. Perhaps better than a hidden Mickey, my daughter noticed that in the Sci-Fi Dine-Inn theater, on the back of the screen on the plywood, where you enter the restaurant, “MGM Studios” still exists in paint on one of the panels, way up high, while all others have been changed.

Going back to MyDisneyExperience seems so harsh now. It coldly says, “Welcome to the My Disney Experience planning page. To begin, we’ll help you connect your reservations, tickets and friends.”
LIKE IT CAN’T EVEN RECOGNIZE WE’VE BEEN INSEPARABLE FOR THE LAST 15 DAYS. DONTCHYA KNOW ME, MDE APP??? IT'S ME! WHY SO FORMAL??

Overall, it was a really fantastic vacation. My son is at that sweet spot where he's big enough to ride the big rides but young enough to still light up at seeing the characters. The weather was not too hot and the crowds not too bad. We had several firsts this trip, which is always a plus, and did I mention how much we loved HEA? :-)

Okay, time to sort through about 400 Memory Maker pics! (And it's time to update the magic shots, Disney.)
Categories: Disney Blogs