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Monday, January 30, 2017

Disney Quest is Set to Close Once Again...

Guide4WDW.com
Disney Quest is Set to Close Once Again... 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

Roughly one year ago, we found out that Disney Quest would be disappearing as Downtown Disney redeveloped into Disney Springs. Months passed and there was very little information added to that particular story from the Disney Company. While the original plan was to transform the space into The NBA Experience, it was rumored when construction did not begin that contractual reasons delayed the closing and redesign of this particular section of Disney Springs.


(photo: Mark Walter)

While I do not know for sure if that was the legitimate reason, if so, it has certainly been solved because it has been released today that The NBA Experience will in fact replace Disney Quest after it closes for good on July 3rd, 2017. Honestly, we'll see if that actually happens or not. Even if that is the case, it will likely be the very last piece of the Disney Springs puzzle that will be completed. With Planet Hollywood Observatory already open (just a few days ago), and Paddlefish opening in the near future, that only really leaves The Edison and The NBA Experience left on the construction plans.

Either way, it will certainly be a long time before we see The NBA Experience debut. Personally, I know there is a variety of mixed opinions on Disney Quest, and quite honestly I have been a few times when it was free, but I highly doubt I would pay the rather extreme prices required to experience it without such a discount. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it when I did go, but I can see why they may want to replace it. 

Unfortunately, what bothers me with this story is that they are replacing it with The NBA Experience. Sure, there's a lot of NBA fans out there, but Disney Springs right now is a very interesting variety of unique restaurants and typically this wouldn't  fall in the "interesting" or "creative" category for most Disney guests. Of course, we'll have to wait and see, but unfortunately it appears as if Disney Quest will be going away in the not-so-near future.

Know a Disney Quest fan? Share this post with them so they know what's coming! What is/was your favorite game at Disney Quest? 
      
(source: wdwinfo.com)




Disney Patent Filing Describes "Emotion Sensing" Technology

Guide4WDW.com
Disney Patent Filing Describes "Emotion Sensing" Technology
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

Just this morning, a new patent has been released to the public for a new technology that could be coming to the Disney parks. While this is just a patent and no official plans for its use in an attraction has debuted, it certainly is an interesting concept. Disney describes the patent as "Sensing and Managing Vehicle Behavior Based on Occupant Awareness." In typical terms, this potential attraction application is essentially a way in which Disney could monitor the reactions of guests in ride vehicles and adjust the experience accordingly for the individual guest. In order to do so, it would require that the given attraction using the technology employee facial recognition software and a database of preferences chosen by the individual (Assumably in combination with MagicBands or other guest recognition software). 



For instance, if a guest has a sensitivity to motion sickness, a set of pre-ride questions would indicate that issue to the system and it could react accordingly to deliver a personalized on-ride experience for that particular guest/guests. While this would be similar to the difference between green and orange missions on the current version of Mission Space, it would vary drastically in regards to the individual guest preferences. Rather than simply choosing one or the other (in the given example that may or may not use this technology in the future), the attraction would respond to the guest "emotions" and alter the ride immediately. 

The patent even goes as far as to explain that the technology could create the ability to adjust even the climate of the ride vehicle based on the occupants comfort levels automatically. For example, if a ride vehicle's temperature is rising, the system could adjust the experience to accommodate the guest automatically. 

While this would be a huge step for Imagineering in creating a one-of-a-kind experience for every single guest, I could certainly see the downfalls of the technology. One, it could be too personal for many guests. Two, what if the system malfunctions and you end up in a much more thrill-based experience than you intended. Last, how would an attraction develop an "identity?" When we go to the parks, we expect a certain experience from certain rides, and while it would be nice to see those changes on each ride, it would also remove elements we've come to expect from that attraction experience. 

Something else also came to mind when this story debuted. Last time Disney filed a major patent (the drone patent), the show debuted very quickly after it's patent filing approval. As a result, this certainly makes me wonder if an element of this technology could be coming to Pandora when it debuts? Again, I don't know anything for sure in regards to that speculation, but Imagineering has been parading the "new technology" banner for Pandora and this would certainly be a way in which Disney could make the new experiences accessible for a variety of different guests.

So, what do YOU think? We'd love to here your thoughts! Tweet us (@guide4disney) or respond to our post on Facebook to tell us your thoughts on the technology! As always, do us a huge favor and SHARE this post with friends to bring them into this growing Disney community!  





Friday, January 27, 2017

Sneak Preview of 'Beauty and The Beast' (live-action) Coming to Disney Parks Nation Wide!

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Sneak Preview of 'Beauty and The Beast' (live-action) Coming to Disney Parks Nation Wide!  
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

Disney has officially released that a new "Sneak Preview" will be coming to two of Disney's theme parks in the coming weeks. Both Hollywood Studios and California Adventure will be getting a special eight minute look inside the upcoming blockbuster film 'Beauty and the Beast.' While it is a tale as old as time, the new film is set to transform the classic story into a real life production.

The preview will take place throughout the day at Sunshine Showcase Theatre in California and at the One Man's Dream Theatre (per the usual) at Walt Disney World. The preview is set to begin February 10th and should add a little something extra to experience at Hollywood Studios as the park transforms slowly with new additions. 

While this certainly isn't a Star Wars level release for the company, I'm certainly looking forward to how this film plays out in the live-action format. 





Will you be going to see the preview or even possibly the film in the near future? Let us know what you think down below!   

(Source: Disney Parks Blog)
   



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Disney Springs to Offer $250+ Personal Shopping Services

Guide4WDW.com
Disney Springs to Offer $250+ Personal Shopping Services  
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

This morning, Disney has announced that "personal shopping services" are now available at Disney Springs. The experience allows guests to meet up with Melanie Pace, a distinguished fashion advisor who has been featured in many different fashion publications, for a unique shopping experience. Currently, this is an appointment only service exclusively offered at Disney Springs. 


The following is included in the service:
  • Personalized, one-on-one consultation with a proven fashion advisor
  • Fashion recommendations to suit your unique style for everyday wear or a special occasion
  • Beauty advice including make-up and skincare tips
  • Special access to Disney Springs retailers
I could see this service as a great addition for locals and those who may need a little extra help throughout their shopping experience. While the price point is quite high, many guests will likely utilize the service for the experience alone. For one hour of "Personal Shopping" the cost is $250 and each additional hour is the same price after that. Personally, I could see this getting very expensive quickly. A second option, group sessions, is also available, but the rate for the group session will be arranged upon the reservation of the experience. 

This offering will only be available during Disney Springs normal operating hours and looks to be exclusively offered with Melanie Pace currently. Based on that alone, reservations will likely fill quickly.  

Would you utilize this service? Do you know someone who would? SHARE this post with them!   

(Source: Disney Parks Blog)




Monday, January 23, 2017

The New Canada Pavilion Totem Poles Tell a Unique Tale!

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The New Canada Pavilion Totem Poles Tell a Unique Tale! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

Just this week, two new totem poles debuted at the Canada Pavilion in Epcot, but as with everything Disney this addition has a story. 

These unique additions to the pavilion were created (carved) by David Boxley, a Tsimshian artisan. However, beyond the crafting itself, Boxley created a story that accompanies the design of his creations. According to Disney the two stories are as follows: 


"The Eagle Totem Pole tells one of Boxley’s favorite cultural tales, in which a boy finds an eagle caught in a net on a beach and frees it. Years later, when hunger strikes the boy’s tribe, he walks on the same beach, only to find the eagle there waiting for him with food – paying him back for his kindness years ago. The bottom of this totem pole also tells the story of how a family of beaver taught a human family the importance of treating all creatures – human and animal – with respect."

"The Whale Totem Pole depicts the tale of the first potlatch, a ceremonial feast celebrated by the Nagunaks and creatures of the undersea world."

If you liked the old poles, don't worry, the ones that were already in place near the Trading Post still remain and appear to have simply been repainted rather than replaced. The "Hidden Mickey" is even still a piece of their design. The two new totems are directly across the path from the old ones and seem to really continue the theming in an area of Epcot where theming was lacking near the main promenade. 

What's your favorite pavilion at Epcot? Let us know in the comments below!   
Like this Article? SHARE it with friends!  

(Source: Disney Parks Blog)   




Disney's Blizzard Beach Will Remain Closed Tomorrow

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Disney's Blizzard Beach Will Remain Closed Tomorrow 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

Today, Disney decided to close it's Blizzard Beach Water Park for the day. In addition to today's closing, the park will remain closed tomorrow (January 24th). According to Disney, these are weather related closings due partially to colder temperatures in the area as well as the high winds that are predicted. A combination of both wind, colder than usual temperatures, and the damp Florida climate can make for a fairly cold day, even at the predicted 73 degree high temperature for the day (the low temperature for the day is a chilly 49 degrees). 

Disney's other water park, Typhoon Lagoon, is currently closed for a regular winter refurbishment.  




Thursday, January 19, 2017

Our 5 Most Anticipated Experiences at Walt Disney World in the Coming Year

Guide4WDW.com
Our 5 Most Anticipated Experiences at Walt Disney World in the Coming Year
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

The Disney Parks are always changing. some great ideas are lost, favorite attractions replaced, and new favorite experiences created. Imagineering has been the driving force making these decisions a reality, and honestly they have never disappointed with the results. However, it's hard not to want to play a little unofficial Imagineering. So, with this article we're going to look at a few of the things we know are coming in the next year, as well as some additions that we know may never truly become a reality (no matter how much we wish they would). At the end of the article, be sure to tell us what you're looking forward to in the parks or that one idea you've always wanted Imagineering to develop into a reality! 
(photo: thenewarchitecture.blogspot.com)

Avatar Land (Pandora)
While this one may surprise some people, I'm honestly looking forward to what Imagineering can do with the elaborate scenery the Avatar story sets up. We already know that the plants are going to "come alive" and the animatronics look truly amazing. From Pandora's first announcement I was honestly skeptical, but as new details and lighting fixtures debut within guests view at Animal Kingdom, my skepticism has all but disappeared. It appears that this is going to be something so unique and so elaborate at the same time that guests will be truly amazed even if they are not a fan of the film franchise. The boundaries of Imagineering are seemingly endless these days with technological advancements and new developments  bringing so many unique aspects of the parks "to life." Of course, we won't know until the land officially debuts (expected to be this summer if not earlier), but I truly believe it will be an environment that will be like nothing we've ever experienced before in a Disney Park.

Resort Announcements 
The Walt Disney World Resorts have always helped create so many memories with family and friends over the years for not only me, but guests all across the country. There's really something special about the experience you get from all of the resort tiers. The atmosphere is inviting, the experience is unique, and there's just something magical about that "Disney Bubble." When you stay at a Disney resort one of the things I recommend is that you take a few hours or even just a few minutes to sit back and truly take in the atmosphere of your resort. It can be one of the most enjoyable things you do on your vacation. I don't really know if it's the Florida air or just the joy of being in a place that we all enjoy so much, but when you just relax, sit on a balcony and take in the view, or just wonder around and talk with friends and family there's an unexplainable joy that arises from the simplest of experiences. So, it goes without saying that I'm looking forward to "what's next." With rumors swirling of new Disney Vacation Club Resort Additions, the new elements debuting at Wilderness Lodge, and even the simple enjoyment of seeing what Disney will create next is incredibly exciting. Who knows what's next, but I can guarantee you I'm looking forward to whatever develops!
(photo: Old Key West Balcony) 

Epcot's Inevitable Transformation  
Epcot Center has always been and probably will always be my favorite Disney park. It features a little bit of everything that makes a Disney park so unique. It has history (RIP Horizons...), it has attractions, and it has that special educational element that makes learning genuinely entertaining. Trust me, I understand how cheesy that may sound, but in many ways it really is an educational opportunity if you recognize it as that or not. However, at Epcot, you're not learning in a classroom, you're learning through your experiences. Walt Disney once described it best, "Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource - the minds of our children." Now, don't get me wrong, as a son of a teacher and a brother of another educator I truly appreciate the role teachers play in the lives of children each and every day. They're a parent away from home, a vital role in the development of children, and a source of inspiration for kids across the world. 

While we can debate what Walt truly meant by that quote, in my honest opinion I think it can be applied to so many different situations. People tend to underestimate the capabilities of children. Their imaginations are endless and the ability to retain that imagination is what brings so many developments to life. By taking kids and even adults to a place like Epcot, they get to (in the words of Journey into Imagination) let their imagination run free. We get to explore things first hand and learn to appreciate various countries, technological advancements, and the science of the world around us. 

Epcot has always stayed true to that vision, but in all honesty, it does need a bit of attention. Disney is starting to recognize this and has already informed guest that changes are on the horizon, but one particular element has peaked my interest. Disney has actually stated that they intend to stay true to the original vision of Epcot above all else. For me, that's certainly intriguing. What are they going to change? Are old elements of the park going to be given new life (wonders of life, Journey into Imagination, or even Innoventions)? Are we going to see something completely new? The possibilities seem endless! 

Hollywood Studios Announcements
For years Hollywood Studios was a favorite park of mine, but recently that has slowly changed. At this point they've removed so much of the "original" park that it's a mere shell of what it once was. The theming is scattered, the attractions are limited, and the construction is everywhere. And, while all of those elements are true, it took the drastic changes for me to recognize how beautiful the park is at night. In the past, unless we were going to Fantasmic or The Osborne family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (sadly gone), we typically wrapped up our favorite shows late in the afternoon and moved on to some other destination. Today, we typically hit the park in the afternoon and stay until dark. I was honestly shocked when I took a minute to just look around at night. The street displays a completely different ensemble of lights and colors. However, with all that being said (both good and bad), the grand expectations for the studios in the future are certainly intriguing. I can't wait to see what Disney has planned for both of the expansions and I honestly believe we'll get some new details on that within the year and a few surprises along the way! Just like Pandora, Star Wars Land is going to be a game changer, and Toy Story Land will blow away expectations (don't quote me on this, but I'm predicting Al's Toy Barn... it's a long shot but it does seem to possibly be in the concept art).  

The Hidden Gems I Never Knew Existed 
While new attractions are great and new resorts and dining experiences are even better, the one thing I look forward to more than anything each year is the ability to uncover something within the parks that I never knew existed in the past. There are so many hidden details that often go completely overlooked. There's a vast history behind every attraction, every resort, and every element of the Disney Parks. Discovering those "hidden gems" are what I look forward to more than anything else. And now, with the ability to share these things with all of you guys and girls across the internet, it truly gives me something to look forward to each and every day. 

If I had to pick one thing about Disney that I enjoy the most, it would be that moment that I get share one little detail with someone and see that "I get it" moment on their face. It's something that's hard to explain, but when I can share something as simple as a detail on Main Street with someone and see that amazement on their face, there's nothing quite like it. They just "get it" and those of you reading this probably know just what that feels like. It's one of the best feelings in life and something you get to experience very few times. 

So, as you can see, there's a lot to look forward to this year. I don't know exactly what to expect, but with Disney I'm sure there will be some wonderful surprises along the way! There's certainly going to be a lot of new things to experience and we'll be here to share a little bit of that magic with you each and every day. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to our posts over on the right, friend/follow us on Facebook (Collin Kendall or Guide4WDW.com), Twitter (@guide4disney), and Instagram (@guide4disney) for the latest updates on our Disney journey. We've got a lot of things possibly in the works for this year, and we'd love to have you along for the ride! Until our next post, enjoy the parks! 

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please invite a friend, share the article, and help us build this Disney community by clicking those share buttons! Thanks!       
   



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Details: Permits Filed For Large Caribbean Beach Resort Expansion

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Details: Permits Filed For Large Caribbean Beach Resort Expansion 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

After nearly a year of speculation, permits have officially been filed for an expansion or resort alteration coming to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. The general plans which were included in the permit, as is the usual pattern, depict a large building to be constructed on a former parking lot as well as land which is currently in use for the Barbados section of the resort. 

Disney has yet to officially comment on the impending project, but online speculation points to the construction of a DVC villa option at the moderate tier resort. While nothing is official, a recent press event hinted at the addition of DVC to at least one of the moderate resorts. For many guests, this would be a very welcomed project and could possibly entice more guests to join the Disney Vacation Club. The project, if it began in the near future, would likely debut in 2019.   

Currently, the project features one large building, assumably the rumored villas, and 6 other smaller buildings. The smaller buildings could be a "relocation" of guest rooms from the ones lost at Barbados, additional structures for guest amenities, or even potentially new bus stop and check-in areas. At the time, all of these details are speculation, but there is in fact a project developing for Caribbean Beach. 

Thanks for reading and be sure to SHARE this article with friends!   

Here's a look at the plans set over the top of the current resort layout: 

(photo: wdwnt.com)
          




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Disney Fantasy Debuts Incredible New Star Wars Horn!

Guide4WDW.com
Disney Fantasy Debuts Incredible New Star Wars Horn! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

With Star Wars Cruises setting sail in the new year, 2017 Star Wars Days at Sea have a new special addition! If you remember cruises from past years, a special horn debuted featuring a distinctly Star Wars tune: The Imperial March. This year, they're changing things up! Here's a look/listen at the new horn: (This is not our video, but be sure to follow us on instagram: @guide4disney)   


A video posted by Whit Honea (@whithonea) on

Honestly, I am super impressed with the tune! For those of you who aren't Disney Cruise fans, Disney has the ability to change the horns of the boats for special occasions and other unique opportunities. 

Do you like the new horn as much as I do? SHARE it with friends! Thanks!  
 
(photo: cruisemaven.com)




Magic Kingdom Set to Debut Many Unique Breakfast Offerings (Including Croissant Donuts!)

Guide4WDW.com
Magic Kingdom Set to Debut Many Unique Breakfast Offerings (Including Croissant Donuts!) 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

With all of the changes coming to the Magic Kingdom's opening procedures, including a relocated welcome show and the ability to shop along Main Street before the park officially opens, a few new dining options are being added to the park! 

Many of these options are completely new to the parks, but others are borrowed from other Disney parks, including the famous Croissant Donut (Cronut) from Epcot! Despite the many opinions of the new show and opening procedures, it's hard not to appreciate the efforts Disney has made to create a better guest experience and develop new offerings for breakfast.        

The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is adding all kinds of new sweet treats including: donuts, cereal (specifically kellogg's according to Disney), and classic Mickey Waffles. Those offerings are great, but Disney has one more new sugar loaded option for guests and it sounds amazing! Here's how the Disney Parks Blog Describes it: 

For a sweet twist on breakfast, try the donut sundae, a donut topped with your favorite flavor of hand-scooped Edy’s ice cream, hot fudge, apple, whipped cream, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and of course, a cherry.


Over at Sleepy Hollow, a new waffle sandwich is being added to their already impressive lineup. The new sandwich features a mix of egg, ham, and tomato. Compared to their other waffle sandwiches, this should offer a somewhat lighter options when compared to the nutella and whipped cream topped options. 

Last, and possibly the most impressive of the new items, are the options coming to Casey's Corner. The classic restaurant at the end of Main Street U.S.A. will debut muffins, bagels, and croissant donuts! While those are great additions, the star of the show is a hash brown hot dog! Here's a look at the new creation: 


Are you going to try any of these new offerings or do you have a classic go-to breakfast at the Magic Kingdom? If so, be sure to share it with us in the comments below!      

(Source: Disney Parks Blog )  




Monday, January 16, 2017

Trader Sam's Coffee Launches A Contest So That YOU Can Name Their New Flavor!

Guide4WDW.com
Trader Sam's Coffee Launches A Contest So That YOU Can Name Their New Flavor!
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney


Just a few short weeks ago we brought you some information about the Trader Sam's Coffee Company: "A Closer Look at Trader Sam's Coffee." Today, we're happy to announce a contest the company has officially debuted! As a partnership with Kat Cressida (better known as the voice of the bride in the Haunted Mansion attraction as well as many other characters throughout her career), Trader Sam's is launching a new coffee flavor to add to their already expansive lineup of flavors. 

While the flavor will be created for you, they need your help to name the new coffee and pick a flavor! While not every choice will be used, the best entries in their contest will be chosen and a poll on Twitter will allow you (the customers) to pick your favorite name! Whichever design is the most popular, the creator of the name will receive a wonderful prize! Here's all of the details from Trader Sam's website: 

Our ghostly bride is calling out to you to come up with a flavor for her new coffee.

Five of you foolish mortals will be selected on February 5th to have your entry voted upon on our Twitter poll. 

The bride will announce the winner as her valentine on February 14th.

 
Winner will receive: 3 bags of the new coffee; Art print of the coffee label signed by Kat Cressida and artist Gavin Otteson; 2 VIP tickets (1 day park hoppers) to Disneyland.

 
Since we always have room for one more, a runner up will receive: 2 bags of the new coffee.



If you want to take a chance and try your hand at naming the new product, be sure to click the link below and head on over to their site! 
Click for Link to the Contest

If you have a Disney related product or service you'd like for us to feature, feel free to email theadventurersguide@yahoo.com. Also, if you have any questions about WDW feel free to email us and ask! It's completely free! 




Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Departed Disney": West Center Street and the Story of the Emporium Expansion

Guide4WDW.com
"Departed Disney": West Center Street and the Story of the Emporium Expansion 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

The story of West Center Street is one of those simple things that quite often gets completely overlooked in the history of the Magic Kingdom. While it's disappearance wasn't all that long ago, there's very little record of the street itself, and little to no reference to it within the Magic Kingdom today.

In 1971 when the Magic Kingdom first opened to the public Main Street U.S.A. looked quite similar, but also vastly different due to two major changes. If you walk down Main Street today, you'll notice something a little odd. When you get to the heart of the walkway (about halfway down), you'll notice a small alleyway type street that leads off to the right hand side. While that street still has a name, East Center Street, it begs the question, "What happened to West Center Street?" Oddly enough, in many ways it's still there, but in other ways it has completely gone away. 

So, if you're standing on Main Street and look West (to your left) you'll notice a section of the Emporium that sits back away from the rest of the storefronts. Technically, this is what's left of West Center Street. In 2001 Disney decided to utilize the space that was once a street to fill in the Emporium so that it encompassed the entire left hand side of Main Street. 

While, from a business perspective, this was a quite understandable and smart decision, many things were lost as a result of "filling the gap" of the Emporium. Also, when that change was made, the street lost a bit of that small town U.S.A. feel that it once possessed through a variety of shops that were not connected. It was truly a "small town" experience that seemed to simply defy time and modern day advances. 

As with everything Disney does, they developed a story to explain the expansion from the store owner's perspective. According to Disney lore, the shop owner continued to make advances to his store, including everything from gas lights, to more modern styling, but his greatest representation of the store's success was an expansion that increased the size of his creation. 

Honestly, it's a clever story, but it's hard not to wish what was left behind will someday return (despite knowing that will probably never happen). Before the expansion, West Center Street featured an array of unique stores including: The Greenhouse Flower Shop, The New Century Clock Shop, the Hallmark Card Shop, and the Harmony Barber Shop (which was later relocated). 

For years, the Greenhouse Flower Shop and the floral touches that flowed over into the streets created a truly welcoming atmosphere for guests. Sadly, the Greenhouse Shop was the first to go in 1984 as the Emporium began it's first expansion a short 13 years after the park debuted. This decision is truly understandable though, because it is quite difficult to sell plants and plant related items to guests touring a theme park. It was a wonderful concept and one that brightened the street and created character through theming, but unfortunately in the business world making money tends to overrule authenticity. Top: (photo: imaginerding.com)

The other locations, the Hallmark Card Shop and New Century Clock Shop, both are very difficult to find information about and even more difficult to find images of. However, as you would expect, the Hallmark store sold specialty items, gift wrap, and greeting cards. The New Century Clock Shop also sold exactly what you would expect, clocks. Again, while these are simple stores, it's truly amazing how much one expansion influenced in a very short amount of time. 

When these stores disappeared and the expansion was built, the story of these unique stores ultimately fell away over time. Today, it's even hard to imagine the left side of main street as anything more than the Emporium as it has stood for quite some time. Don't get me wrong, the Emporium is  one of the best stores for Disney merchandise on Disney property, but it's hard not to miss the unique gifts that could be purchased and brought home with you in the "lost" days of Disney. At that point in time, a souvenir from Walt Disney World was more than a t-shirt or a souvenir mug, but rather something that would bring to mind a specific place and a specific memory that place created for you at one particular moment. Today, Disney tends to be a world of repeating souvenirs that are, for the most part, not specific to the location. Just as before, it's a smart marketing and business decision, but it's truly amazing how some things have changed and how some elements of "unique" souvenirs are returning slowly. 

When comes right down to it, just like I said in our last post in the series ("Departed Disney": A Look Back at the Town Square Cafe ), Disney has always been a place that accepted change and developed as the world developed around it. Unfortunately, nostalgia doesn't keep a theme park continuously popular, but I do believe that these elements of "Departed Disney" should be shared so that we can appreciate the ideas and concepts that have developed the "World of Disney Parks" into what they have become today! 

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A New Character's in Flight Balloon Has Officially Debuted

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A New Character's in Flight Balloon Has Officially Debuted  
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

While just a short while ago Disney released that the Characters in Flight hot air ballon at Disney Springs would be disappearing for a short time, today it has officially returned. For those of you who may be new to the Disney Parks and Disney Springs, Characters in Flight is a tethered hot air balloon that guests can pay to go up in and experience a unique view of Disney from above while eliminating the long term commitment of a free floating hot air ballon ride. 

For quite some time the balloon featured a vast array of characters as a part of the balloons exterior design. As the transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs is almost complete, it is believed that a new design was developed to better fit the aesthetic of the new atmosphere. 

While the new design is somewhat similar to the old design, the new balloon has been inflated and will be soaring above Disney Springs periodically. Here's a glance at the new look scheduled to reopen to guests January 14th:

(photo: blogmickey.com)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Disney Dining Hidden Gem: Floatworks

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Disney Dining Hidden Gem: Floatworks
by: guide4wdw - Caitlin
twitter: @guide4disney 
instagram: @guide4disney

It’s no secret that one of my favorite things about Disney is the food. I’m back to discuss a hidden gem in Disney dining located at the French Quarter Resort. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory takes you straight to the Deep South with its New Orleans inspired cuisine. During our last Disney trip, I had the opportunity to dine at this impressive location. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t that a food court? And yes, technically it is. But, Floatworks is full of charm and unique menu selections. Here is the breakdown of what is offered in each section.


Grill Shop
The highlight of this section is the fried chicken on a biscuit. This entrée is truly southern in style and is served with generous portions. The crawfish mac & cheese burger is another great taste of New Orleans that can be found at the Grill.

The Bakery
It’s no secret that the gem of the French Quarter are the beignets that are served in the Floatworks bakery. Ask for yours with caramel sauce – you won’t regret it! There are also several other great options including a beignet gelato sundae and Mardi Gras king cake.

Carving Shop
If you’re on the dining plan, this is the stop for you. Ask for the prime rib to get the most bang for your buck. Entrees in this section are also served with tasty side item options: red beans and rice, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes.

Pizza & Pasta Shop
This stop offers a create-your-own pizza for traditional folks. You can also try a New Orleans classic – shrimp and grits.

Po’ Boy Shop
Here’s the star of the show for me. Floatworks offers some great Louisiana favorites here including Gumbo and and Po’ Boy sandwiches with catfish, shrimp, or beef. These items are cooked on the spot and full of flavor. I was thoroughly impressed with my entrée.

Floatworks now sits at the top of my list for counter service options at Disney. If you’re a dining plan fan, this is a great place to visit. There is a wide variety of choices that are quite different from your usual burger and fry options. The beignets alone are worth your trip out to the French Quarter. The resort is beautiful, and the food is quite memorable. Next time you’re near the Disney Springs Resorts, don’t forget to stop by Floatworks.




Disneyland Now Offering Paid Add-On Fastpass and Photopass Combination Offer

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Disneyland Now Offering Paid Add-On Fastpass and Photopass Combination Offer  
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

While I very rarely post about Disneyland in California, Disney has decided to try something new with the Fastpass and Photopass systems that is certainly worth sharing. The Disney Parks Blog announced today that the Disneyland resort will begin offering a paid offering which would include unlimited photopass downloads and the option to book fastpass selections online. 


However, they did not mention if these selections will be made in advance as they are at Walt Disney World (free of charge at WDW) or if the mobile passes will be simply out of convenience for guests. Either way, the price for the service is $10 per day as an introductory rate which could change over time. Annual Passholders will be offered single day or multi-day offers, but prices for multi-day offers have not been released. Disney is calling the service MaxPass and it will be linked to the Disneyland App. 

While currently Disney has released very few details about the program, they have stated that more information will be released in the near future.   

Above all, I should reiterate, this is not something that is required of guests to purchase to utilize the fastpass service. Fastpasses will remain completely free of charge and the current kiosk system at Disneyland is also remaining available to all guests. The fastpass system will also be expanded to Toy Story Mania and The Matterhorn according to Disney's release. 

Are you looking forward to the add-on offering? Let us know your thoughts down below! 



New Geyser Point Dining Location Set to Open Very Soon!

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New Geyser Point Dining Location Set to Open Very Soon! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Just a short time ago we brought you an update on the Boulder Ridge Villas and the new dining location, Geyser Point, in A Closer Look at the Additions Coming to Disney's Wilderness LodgeToday, we have a little bit more information about when at least the new dining location may debut. 

According to guests (mainly Disney Vacation Club Members) staying at the Wilderness Lodge Villas, a notification was sent to guests stating that the new dining opportunity is set to open as soon as February. While no specific date has been set for it's debut, progress seems to be coming along quite nicely. 

Just a few weeks ago, when our original article debuted, we took these pictures of the progress: 



The new location is set to feature a simple menu with mostly burgers, chicken, and other typical Disney offerings. While that seems like an odd menu choice with Roaring Fork and the Trout Pass very close by offering very similar items, hopefully Disney may surprise us with some more unique options when the location finally debuts. For now, a least we know when it is scheduled to open! 

Hidden Mickey Alert: 
If you are in fact staying at this resort in the near future, be sure to look for a rather exciting "Hidden Mickey" just above the fireplace in the main lobby area. Here's a hint at wear you can find it! 

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Concept Art and Connection to The Society of Explorers and Adventurers Debuts for New Typhoon Lagoon Attraction

Guide4WDW.com
Concept Art and Connection to The Society of Explorers and Adventurers Debuts for New Typhoon Lagoon Attraction!
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Today, Disney has debuted a simple glance at a new attraction coming to Typhoon Lagoon. The attraction, which originally was announced under the name, "Miss Fortune Falls", has taken on a new title, "Miss Adventure Falls." However, what's more interesting than the name change is the connection this new attraction is set to have with the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. 

The society itself has recently popped up in quite a few Disney attractions including: Mystic Manor, Jungle Skipper Canteen, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and quite a few other dining locations and attractions across the Disney Parks and Resorts. While many of you may not remember the society which originated with the Adventurer's Club at Downtown Disney long before the transformation into Disney Springs, it's influence is slowly returning to the parks in a big way. While you know my thoughts on that possibility if you've read (Could The Adventurer’s Club be Returning in an Entirely New Way?), it's quite exciting to see Disney using the elaborate story that has developed over the years to further enhance a new attraction. 

According to legend, Captain Mary Oceaneer (who supposedly owns the falls) was once an explorer and treasure hunter who wound up in a massive typhoon which scattered her treasures all across the area. For the time being, this is all we really know about the connection to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, but more details are sure to develop when the attraction opens in March of this year

For now, here's the latest concept art which was released earlier today:   




The attraction itself features an automatic lift hill, both covered and uncovered sections, and may even include some audio-animatronics throughout your journey. While this is not technically a water coaster, due to the fact that it is only assisted on the lift hill, it will be a welcomed design for guests with mobility constraints or that are unable to climb multiple stairs.

While it's hard to believe this isn't simply a response to Universal's upcoming Volcano Bay water park, it's nice to see Disney investing in new entertainment for Typhoon Lagoon. While there is nothing quite like Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (and their consistent awards attest to that), new additions and new ideas are always welcomed. Unfortunately, this addition also brought forth the removal of Shark Reef, an attraction which guests could enter a "tank"-style pool with live aquatic life. While the experience was beloved by many guests and was quite popular it is understood that the upkeep costs for the experience greatly influenced it's replacement.     

So, what do you think? Let us know down below and be sure to SHARE this article with a friend that will be looking forward to the attraction! Thanks!   

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