No more camping out for Disneyland parades

For years, camping out for the best parade viewing spot has been something of a sport for many people. Disneyland, however, is cracking down on guests who try to save spots hours before the parade begins.

No longer will guests be allowed to lay blankets out, park strollers, or take any other measures that involve holding a space. Guests will only be allowed to start finding their spot once the viewing area is roped off in the 30 to 60 minutes before the parade starts.

While I think it's great news that the park is taking steps to eliminate the sidewalk traffic jams everyone is used to seeing, I think it will change the way people are used to touring the park. The natural shortening of lines that happens when people start leaving attractions and heading for the parade route will no longer last as long. Also, you may see a rush to find seats once those ropes are put up to mark the viewing areas. 

Hopefully, we'll see something like this come to Walt Disney World as well. All too often, you can't get through the walkways once people starting plotting out there spots. I've seen more than a few tempers flare when a saved spot is taken over by someone else right before parade time.  

What do you think about the change? Comment below! 

MagicBand 2 Arrives at Walt Disney World

The new MagicBand 2 arrived at Walt Disney World this month with updates to the original wearable bracelet technology. 

MagcoBand 2 features a wider band than the original MagicBand (not sure how this is from a comfort perspective, comment below if you've worn one) and a removable "puck" that frees guests from wearing a band at all if they prefer. The new version still functions as your admission media, room key, FastPass+, PhotoPass+, and payment method. Two designs, seen below, will be the first available in retail locations at the Parks.

Disney

Disney

A new option, called Magic Keepers, will be released soon and is meant to function as a new way of carrying the RFID puck portion of your MagicBand 2. Both lanyards and carabiner clips will be offered initially, although I anticipate we will see more creative options down the road.

Disney

Disney

Guests will still choose from an array of colors for their initial MagicBand 2 when they book their vacation package. Options are red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, grey, green, and purple. 

Disney

Disney

Disney World guest dies after riding Star Tours

A 67-year-old man died after riding Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney's Hollywood Studios, according to a quarterly report released by the State of Florida this month.

The man, who died after riding Star Tours last month, had a pre-existing condition and felt ill after riding. He was identified by the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office as Ralph Lyles of Memphis, Tenn.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the cause of death was listed as hypertensive cardiovascular disease, with contributing factors including obesity. 

Holiday perk for Annual Passholders

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to bypass the regular lines at the theme park entrances as a special holiday perk being offered for a limited time.

No official end date has been provided, but the special entry is planned to be available into the month of January while crowds are at their peak. Passholders should look for signs directing them to their special entrance gates after passing through the security checkpoints at each of the four theme parks.

Disney College Program Series #3: Lessons Learned

The four months that I got to spend living and working at Walt Disney World were the best four months of my life. It made me step out of my comfort zone, going to a completely new place on my own. It taught me a lot about myself; my strengths, weaknesses, and how I deal under stress, anxiety, and pressure. It taught me a lot about my fellow Cast Members; how if you treat everyone with respect and kindness, you will get the same in return. It also taught me about guests; that sometimes you will get unpleasant guests that may dampen your mood, but for every one unpleasant guest, there are so many great ones who really make your day. Most importantly, it gave me a newfound strength, passion, and reminder to believe in and celebrate the magic of the world.

I could never have imagined how much the Disney College Program would change my life. Getting to work in the most magical place on Earth was truly a dream come true. I am so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to work for the Walt Disney Company. Looking back on it now after being home for about a month, it never really seemed like work, more like having fun with my best friends while getting to make magic for guests everyday, and what could be better than that?

Yes I miss getting to go into the parks for free, getting to ride my favorite attractions on my days off, and listening to fireworks every night, but more than that, I miss the feeling of home I had when I was there. It is impossible to not be happy and not have a smile on your face 24/7, and that is something you just can’t get anywhere else. The things I have learned through my time in Disney, the people I have met, and the memories I have made I will remember forever. Walt Disney World will forever hold a special place in my heart for it is now and forever my home.

To anyone who loves Disney as much as I do or just loves being happy and making people happy, I highly suggest applying for the Disney College Program. I hope it brings you everything it brought me.

Main Street Electrical Parade Bids Walt Disney World Farewell October 9

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Main Street Electrical Parade, will officially end its run at Walt Disney World Resort on October 9. After finishing at Walt Disney World, the parade will travel to the West coast for a limited-time engagement at Disneyliand Resort in Anaheim.

 Disneyland also announced that its nighttime parade, Paint the Night, will be ending soon. Rumors are now swirling as to whether Paint the Night will find a new home at the Magic Kingdom Park.

The Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World Copyright Disney

The Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World

Copyright Disney

Disney College Program Series #2: Move In and Training

Move-In Day was a very exciting day because it is when you find out where you will be living and where you will be working. When I got to the location where we were told to check in, it was pretty overwhelming. There were just so many things happening at once and it all became real. It was a long day of waiting in lines but also a very exciting day because I got my work location, Hollywood Studios, which was soon to be my future home. I also got the key to my apartment and got to meet my 5 other roommates, who turned into my best friends.

Training took about the first two weeks of the program, which is standard for just about every position and role. All new Cast Members have to go through usual employee processes such as fingerprinting, drug testing (depending on your role), and turning in documents for proof of employment. After all of this is checked and completed, you start having classes and learning about what is expected of you in your role. Traditions, in my opinion, is the best one of these classes and probably one of the best days in all of my program (if you want to know why, I guess you just have to apply and find out for yourself). After a few classes where you learn the basics, you get more in depth, on-site training in your role and location. Another super exciting thing about training is getting your costumes, which you learn to love because you will wear them almost everyday.

 

Dopey Takes A Big Fall During Fantasmic

An ambulance was called for two Fantasmic cast members Sunday night at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Twitter video shows Dopey falling from the second floor of the boat characters ride during the finale of the show and landing on Goofy. Dale appears to step off stage to check on the injured performer.  

Both cast members were treated and released on site. Disney is reviewing the incident.

 

Check out @MaagicConch's Tweet: https://twitter.com/MaagicConch/status/762462797577920516?s=09 for the original video.

New Muppets Show Coming to the Magic Kingdom

The Muppets are coming to the Magic Kingdom this October with a brand new, live show! The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History will feature Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and the always patriotic, Sam Eagle. The new show will take place in Liberty Square, outside of The Hall of Presidents.

Classic historical tales will be presented in the new show with a the fun twists only the Muppets can provide. The signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere will both experience the Muppets unique interpretation.

Copyright Disney

Copyright Disney

The show, which will include one new song, is set to pop up throughout the day to entertain guests. 

I am interested to see the final product. Liberty Square isn't exactly known for comedy sketches, so this should provide a nice addition for kids (and kids at heart).

Here's hoping Sam performs his salute to all nations (but mostly, America) at some point during this new show!

Disney College Program Series #1: Getting Started

This is the first in a new series by our resident Disney College Program expert, Jamie. Look for more articles in the series coming soon!

I first heard about the Disney College Program about a year ago through one of my friends at school. I kept seeing her pist pictures from Disney and, being that I am obsessed with Disney, I had to ask her how she was always there and how I could do it too.

She told me about the DCP and how it is a program offered to college students where you can get placed in a variety of jobs and locations while getting to work for the greatest company in the world. I was instantly interested and started to think about how I could make this happen, knowing that I would have to put a hold on school for a semester. 

After meeting with some of my teachers and advisors, they suggested that I not go through with the DCP because school was more important and doing thenprogram would make me behind on my classes. Even after hearing this, I still wanted to do the program more than anything. After a difficult process, with tons of support and encouragment from my family, I decided to apply for the DCP. Classes and school will be there forever, but my dream to work in disney won't. 

I filled out the online application and, in a few days, I got an email telling me to schedule a phone interview. During the phone interview, I was asked what roles I was interested in, previous work experience, and told to be on the look out for an email accepting or declining me over the next few days.

A few days later, I got my acceptance email (arguably the hapiest day of my life). It told me that I would be working Merchandise in Walt Disney World from January 18th to May 19th 2016!

Disneyland Unveils New Star Wars Concept Art

Disneyland guests are seeing a new image on construction walls near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad today. There are new details about the 14 acre Star Wars land coming to the park. My question is, will the new image apply to the additions coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios as well? Hopefully we'll see more updates soon!

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Disney eliminates fishing at resorts

Disney has taken another precaution after the tragic death of two-year-old Lane Graves by banning fishing at the waterways of its resorts.

Fishing may now be done by guests on fishing excursions only. Guests will no longer be able to participate in catch and release fishing as they have in the past. 

Nets have also been added to the rope fences that were placed along the beaches of the resorts. Beaches will be staffed by cast members and closed at night except for during fireworks.

There are beaches at eight of Disney's hotels as well as at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

Soarin' Around the World Debuts

Epcot's Soarin' Around the World debuted yesterday with updated video, a third theater and beautiful laser projection technology.

New sights include the Great Wall of China and Australia's Sidney Harbor, while fan favorite Patrick Warburton remains to give you your boarding instructions. The third theater is expected to shorten infamously long lines.

Let us know what you think of the revamped attraction in the comments below!

Check out a sneak preview from Disney Parks Blog below.

Expansion Coming to Typhoon Lagoon

Based on documents filed with the South Florida Water Management District, Disney will be expanding its Typhoon Lagoon water park with a new family raft ride. 

The expansion, planned for an area North of the park near Crush n' Gusber, will be on over two acres of land.

No official announcement has been made yet by Disney, so stay tuned!

Typhoon Lagoon, which opened in 1989, is one of two water parks at Walt Disney World Resort. The other is Blizzard Beach, which opened in 1995

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Walt Disney Company Taking Action Over Character Infringement

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News

According to Bloomberg News, the Walt Disney Company plans to take action over character infringement by China's Wanda Group and its Chief Executive, Wang Jianlin.

Wanda Group opened Wanda Cultural Tourism City in Nanchang over the weekend, the first of 15 to 20 parks planned by the company. Visitors to the park were greeted by characters such as Snow White and Captain America, both the intellectual property of the Walt Disney Company.

A response from Disney said, "We vigorously protect our intellectual property and will take action to address infringement. Our characters and stories have delighted generations, these illegal and substandard imitations unfortunately disappoint all who expect more."

In a statement, Sunday, in response to Bloomberg's requests, a spokesperson for Wanda said, "The non-Wanda characters were operated by individual stores within Wanda Mall. They do not represent Wanda."

Shanghai Disneyland will open on June 16, 2016.