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Friday, December 30, 2016

A Closer Look at Trader Sam's Coffee

A Closer Look at Trader Sam’s Coffee
by: guide4wdw - Caitlin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

If you are a coffee lover, this post is for you! I am very excited to introduce to you a line of coffee inspired by our favorite Disney attractions. Disney and coffee: What more could you want?! Trader Sam’s Coffees are made from Arabica Beans and are USDA Certified Organic, Rain Forest Alliance Certified, and Gluten Free (even the flavored ones!). We were extremely excited to receive five different Trader Sam’s Coffees to try. The flavors range from sweet and light to bold and unique; there is something for everyone’s taste buds!

The coffee is sold at the very reasonable price of $10 for a 12 oz. bag. They come adorably packaged to match their Disney inspired attraction. Each bag also has a clever story on the back to explain the coffee’s origin. Here is a look at the fun flavors we were able to try out.

Skippers Brew


This coffee is inspired by the nostalgic attraction, the Jungle Cruise, and it is my personal favorite of the bunch (and not just because of the adorable back story). The banana flavor of this coffee is unlike anything I have had before. It is both inventive and delicious!

Ghoulish Delight

My brother and I are huge Haunted Mansion fans and were quite excited to see a coffee created for us foolish mortals. The cinnamon flavor of the roast is very unique and pairs wonderfully with its haunting packaging.

Main Street U.S.A. Columbian

When you take a stroll down Main Street, you can’t help but step back in time to the days of window shopping and trolley rides. This coffee matches this feeling with its classic but memorable flavor. It is sure to please any coffee fan.

Prospector’s Roast

This here’s the wildest coffee in the wilderness! A tribute to another one of my favorite attractions, Thunder Mountain Railroad. This coffee is full of an authentic hazelnut flavor that is sweet without being overpowering.

Plus Ultra Vanilla

Vanilla is always a crowd pleaser, and this coffee is no exception. Its packaging is based off of the innovative world of Tomorrowland.

That is our roundup of the five Traders Sam’s selections we were lucky enough to try. The coffee is unique not only in its flavors but also in the added bonus of paired Disney attractions. There are even more roasts to try on their website along with art prints and t-shirts! Click the link below to purchase your own!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"Hidden Disney": The 5 Legged Goat at the Contemporary Resort

"Hidden Disney": The 5 Legged Goat at the Contemporary Resort
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

While Disney is full of simple secrets and hidden gems, some are more obvious than others. One you may or may not have noticed is clearly visible when you know what to look for. 

High in the Contemporary's Grand Canyon Concourse is a 5 legged goat with an interesting yet simple story. The goat itself is a piece of a very large mural which covers the area housing the elevators used to reach the various guest rooms of the resort. Near the top of this piece of art, on the side facing the monorail, you can find the 5 legged goat (see picture below). The mural itself was created by the famous Disney artist Mary Blair. While not everyone will recognize that name, you will certainly recognize the productions that have been largely developed as a result of her creativity. 

Mary Blair played a significant role in the creation of such well known films as "Song of the South", "Cinderella", "Peter Pan", and "Alice in Wonderland". Beyond the films, her artwork inspired one of the most well known attractions in Disney history, "it's a small world" (Yes, it is intended to be all lowercase despite being a name. While it is not known for sure, it is assumed that it is an intentional play on words). As you can imagine, for those who follow Disney history, this tends to be one of the crown jewels of Disney Parks artwork.

However, that's not quite the entirety of the story. As many of you are probably wondering, "Why does it have 5 legs?" According to "legend", Mary Blair decided that no piece of artwork could be perfect, because only God was perfect. As a result, it has never been changed and despite what many believe, it did not occur simply by accident. 

So, next time you're eating dinner, shopping, or simply passing through the Contemporary on the monorail, be sure to take a look high above you to find this simple, yet interesting detail that so many guests simply overlook. 

Have you heard of the 5 Legged Goat? Did you know the backstory?

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A Closer Look at the Additions Coming to Disney's Wilderness Lodge

A Closer Look at the Additions Coming to Disney's Wilderness Lodge  
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Disney's Wilderness Lodge has always been one of the most spectacular resorts Disney has ever constructed. The grand scale of the lobby, the elaborate theming, and beautiful construction all play a key role in the "wow factor" that this resort has become synonymous with. 

Recently, Disney has unveiled a large scale construction project to revitalize and grow the resort. Additions include a completely new dining location, a redesign of villas, and the addition of waterfront cabins. This new addition will be called Boulder Ridge (and Copper Creek Villas and Cabins) and will feature the Boulder Ridge villas and a transformation of the former Hidden Springs Villa pool into Boulder Ridge Cove. The new pool area will focus on a mining theme and that same theme is set to carry over into the new design concept.

While the area is not open to the public quite yet, a good amount of the project can be viewed from around the resort and on the lake near the property. Here are some of the most recent images of the construction:

Above: The rumored new dining location and additional outdoor seating.

 Above: The right section of the cabins under construction.
Below: The left section of cabins under construction.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Victims of Unfortunate Hotel Fire Will Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World

Victims of Unfortunate Hotel Fire Will Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Disney doesn't always get everything right, but in this case they truly went above and beyond to make Christmas special for those in a difficult situation. Just days ago, a Kissimmee hotel was involved in a fire that left many guests without a place to stay for the holidays. For the first night, many of these hotel guests spent the night at a local middle school. 

While there is nothing wrong with the accommodations, as a joint effort between Osceola County officials and the Disney company these families will be spending two nights at Walt Disney World completely free of charge. The arrangements provided even included park tickets for the families. 

(photos: orlandosentinel.com)

Due to respecting the privacy of the families, it has not been released which resort they will be staying at, but it is believed that they are all staying at one resort. No matter what resort it is, it truly is special to see a company that has been so focused on making an extra dollar recently, doing something so special for those in need, especially during Christmas. Somehow Disney has come up with accommodations for roughly 150 people and that alone must have been a task on such a busy week. 

If you liked this story, please share it with friends!    
(Source: orlandosentinel.com) 

Passholder Entrances Are Out In Full Force and in One Particularly Unique Location!

Passholder Entrances Are Out In Full Force and in One Particularly Unique Location! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

We are officially back from our week in Walt Disney World and it goes without saying that the post-Disney depression has officially set in. Fortunately, it's nice to have some time to post some articles on the site and get ready for Christmas. Before we get into some of our stories from this most recent trip, we wanted to go ahead and share a small bit of news. 

This week, Annual Passholder exclusive entrances have popped up at each of the parks. The first entrance we noticed was at the Magic Kingdom, and surprisingly there was very little wait to get in at that specific spot. As we moved over to Epcot a few days later, there was an entrance there as well. The other parks followed suit, but we did get one surprise. At Epcot's rear entrance between France and the United Kingdom, we found that one of the two lines to enter the park was strictly a Passholder entrance. To us, it seemed a little unnecessary at the small entrance, but would be a unique perk for those staying at the Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club, and Swan and Dolphin resorts. Also, if you are at Hollywood Studios, and wish to head over to Epcot it would in fact make that journey a little quicker. 

Overall, it's a unique idea, and it will be interesting to see what Disney does with it in the future. At the time being, the lines appear to be significantly shorter for these exclusive entrances, but we'll see if that holds true as the busiest weeks of the year draw closer. 

On a side note: 

From me and Caitlin both, we wish each and every one of you a safe and wonderful Christmas. If you're traveling, be careful out there, and be sure to enjoy your time with friends and family over the next few days. Family is a key part of our lives and it's easy to overlook the role they play each day. Thanks for being here with us and enjoy the holidays! 

Merry Christmas! To all the cast members working through the holidays, thank you for making the magic available for each and every one of us that gets the chance to experience it! 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Forgotten Walt Disney World Resorts That Could Have Changed Everything


by: guide4wdw - Collin

Disney has had great success over the years with their vast hotel empire at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. However, there’s a few plans that didn't quite become a reality for a variety of reasons. They never left the drawing board, never broke ground (well most of them), and never truly became a reality beyond their concept art. Many Disney enthusiasts believe these plans could be carried out some day in the future while others believe they are a thing of the past and nothing more. 

Nobody knows for sure, but we can always dream of what these “forgotten” resorts could have been like. However, you can't help but wonder how different today’s Disney experience would be if those designs would have become a reality. We can never know for sure, but we can always enjoy the ideas of the past and learn something new through Walt Disney World’s history. The history is what made today’s parks a place that has created memories for your family as well as mine for generations. There’s nothing quite like it, but there’s always something new to learn about it and with that we’ll take a look at the forgotten resorts.

Disney’s Persian Resort
In the early days of the Disney resorts, 3 hotels were planned in quick succession to open in the years following the debut of the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, the resorts were never fully developed. However, the plans for the resorts were grand and many just steps away from being constructed. The Persian Resort was no different.

The resort was going to be to located on the east side of the Magic Kingdom along the edge of Bay Lake. Many versions of the renderings even proposed a second monorail loop which would connect the resort directly into Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom! The resort plans were incredibly developed and would feature an enormous domed common area where guests could relax, shop, and be entertained in a variety of unique ways in the “theme” of the Persian culture. Unfortunately, the resort and two others were all but forgotten when the 1973 Oil Embargo halted tourism across the nation. Disney no longer had a need for new and elaborate resorts, and the plans, no matter how elaborate and innovative, were completely forgotten by the company. 
Fortunately, this is the one of the of three proposed designs that could actually still become a reality, no matter how unlikely that may be. The other proposed resort locations have been filled or reevaluated, but the area where the Persian development would have been located is still a largely undeveloped area. However, if the resort was built today, it would be located very close to the recently built Bay Lake Tower. A very unlikely build decision for the Walt Disney Company. 

Disney’s Asian Resort 
Just like the Persian Resort, Disney had great plans for the Asian Resort Concept and had even gone as far as to clear land for the new development in the process of building the Seven Seas Lagoon! Later on, as many of you may recognize, the Grand Floridian Resort was built in its place which ultimately led to a reconstruction and development of the designated land. 

The resort was going to be a very unique concept that fit not only a cultural mold that would entertain as well as educate, but also invent new experiences along the way. It was to be a location that sat on a unique square peninsula jutting out into the Seven Seas Lagoon, a design that many have never experienced before. It was one of those ideas that only Disney could truly accomplish and do so in a way that would set a standard in design and guest expectations for years to come.

(Photo: Disney's Grand Floridian Resort)

Just like the Persian Resort, Disney’s Asian resort suffered the same fate and disappeared shortly after it was planned. Tourism dropped off and the need no longer met the ambitions Disney had for the resorts. The attendance numbers, according to Disney rumors over the years, could not support the new resorts.      

Disney’s Venetian Resort
The Venetian Resort has a unique history and has actually been “forgotten” twice rather than once. That just goes to show that a good idea never truly fades away with time! Imagineering is always planning the next step even though we may or may not know what’s next as the consumer. 

The resort was originally planned to be located on the area of land between the contemporary and what is now known as the Transportation and Ticket Center. While the resort was grand in scale and had plans for a gondola ride through canals, shopping for all kinds of merchandise, and a multitude of resort rooms. Unfortunately, it was also abandoned as the oil crisis struck the tourism industry across the nation. However, this time it was not forgotten completely. 

During Eisner's time as the CEO at Disney the idea almost resurfaced but as the land was cleared, it became obvious that the foundation that would need to be build would not be cost affective to build. Once again, the idea faded away.   

Disney’s Legendary Years Resort 
The story of the Legendary Years Resort was one that actually ended in great success that developed out of utter failure in many ways. However, it is a fairly unfortunate story that ended in fortunate success. As many of you may know, in the Value tier of resorts at Disney, you have the All Stars, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. Pop Century was originally designed to be a sort of companion resort across the lake from a second resort called The Legendary Years. Unfortunately, Pop Century was built first and the Legendary Years began construction and met an interesting road block.

(Photo: Labeled for Reuse - Disney's Art of Animation Resort)

The timing of construction happened to fall directly in line with the somber events of 9/11. After the attacks, Disney faced one of their greatest challenges, a tourism industry that was stagnant as a result of the state of the nation and travel concerns. So, as the costs and struggles of building the resort were dealt with, the project was ultimately abandoned (quite literally). In the years that followed, Pop Century remained open and The Legendary Years, across the water, remained untouched. Strangely, Disney never made a serious effort to cover up the abandoned resort or alter the look of the buildings until years later.  

Thankfully, this isn't where the story ends. In May of 2012 Disney officially opened the Art of Animation Resort and, you guessed it, it is what replaced the Legendary Years. Interestingly, many of the buildings created originally were updated and developed into what became many of the rooms at the Art of Animation. So, you may not remember the Legendary Years, but many of you may have stayed in the very same room that was designed to be a part of the original resort and never knew it!  

Thankfully, the crisis that caused these resorts to be forgotten played a role in what the parks and resorts would later become. Tragedy is never a good thing, but through unfortunate events, opportunity often results. The worst of situations can create the most incredible developments.

These resorts may be “forgotten”, but with Disney’s recent push towards expanding the Disney Vacation Club to new properties and new locations, we might just have a chance to experience a variation of one of these proposed ideas in the years to come. It may not be likely, but at the same time rumors have been spreading like wildfire through the Disney community recently, so you never know what’s coming next!      

As Walt Disney once said, the parks will never be complete!  

The Walt Disney Parks and Resort are changing and adapting as the world around them changes each and every day. New ideas develop and some older ideas get left behind, but Walt Disney World may have never been the resort we know today if it weren't for the little changes along way.

Unfortunately, some copyright laws prohibit us from sharing the original concept art legally here on the site, but if you want to check out what any of these resorts original designs looked like, hop on over to google images and type in the resort name for a closer look!

Your Thoughts
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are! 

Ready to Plan?
Need help planning your vacation? Let our friends over at Destinations to Travel (FREE - no obligation quote request form below) help you out at no additional cost to you! Their services are free and a great way for you to help out the site at no extra cost to you! 

Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips, 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets, check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections!

Thanks for reading, and until next time, have a wonderful rest of your day! 

Thank You for Making Our Dreams a Reality

Thank You for Making Our Dreams a Reality
by: guide4wdw - Caitlin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

This post is going to be a tad different than my usual topics – this one’s all about you! Collin and I wanted to take a minute to create a post to simply say thank you. We are so thrilled and thankful to have each and every one of our readers. We reached our 100th website post this week and thought this would be an awesome way to celebrate.

In case you’re new here or never knew how Guide4WDW got started, I would love to share our story with you. Collin and I (we’re siblings) have been visiting Walt Disney World since we were tiny tots in Mickey strollers, and our love for the parks has only grown over the years. Our family has spent hundreds of days throughout WDW – you could say we are huge fans. Throughout these visits, Collin and I accumulated quite a bit of Disney facts, tips, and secrets. This is where the idea for the book began. Last year, Collin began writing a guide book for WDW with me as his editor. The The Adventurer's Guide to Walt Disney World made its debut on Amazon in April of this year. Collin received huge support from our Twitter followers as well as friends and family. This is where our first big thank you comes in. We truly appreciate each of you who ordered a book or shared the word on Twitter. Your support means so much to us.

Shortly after the book launch, Collin came to me and expressed that he wanted to create a blog to post Disney parks related articles. I quickly jumped on board as a second writer, and the blog took off. We were so amazed and embarrassingly excited that people were interested in reading our words. Within a few months, our blog was already beginning to grow. Collin and I decided to take things a step further and turn our little blog into its own website. We have been so thrilled with the results. Guide4WDW.com has become a true success, and we couldn’t do it without all of you. We would be nowhere without our readers, and we appreciate all of your support.

Thank you for continuing to share our articles on Facebook and Twitter. We love to hear feedback and are always open to suggestions for new topics! Recently, we have created an email subscription service. If you are interested, this will send a daily update to your inbox with all of the latest info from Guide4WDW. Sign up by entering your email in the blue box on the right-hand side of the page.

Disney is our happy place and we are so blessed to be able to share it with all of you. In true Disney fashion, thank you for making our dreams a reality.

If this picture looks familiar, that's because it's always been a part of the Guide4WDW name, but also The Adventurer's Guide to Walt Disney World. If you're interested in more pictures from the parks just like this one, be sure to check out this page on Instagram: (@orlandobrothas). 

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