• 02Feb
    News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Be Our Guest lunch to start accepting advanced dining reservations

    The Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, which acts as a counter service for lunch but transforms into a table service for dinner, has been testing a “Be Our Guest Fastpass” system for lunch for quite some time. It was called a “Fastpass” but it had no real relation to the new Fastpass+ system or its predecessor, instead it was essentially an invitation-only advanced dining reservation (sent to on-site resort guests via email – which not everyone seemed to receive) with a option to pre-order your food so it could be ready quickly on your arrival. Recently it was reported that they were trying “Fastpass only”, which meant that walk-ups were turned away, which meant that off-site guests were shut out completely.

    That is all changing.

    WDW News Today reports that starting February 25th WDW Dining will begin accepting standard Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) both online and via phone for lunch at the location. They have not stated whether it will have the standard 180 day window, but we are expecting it will.

    No change in service is expected – it will remain a counter service-style menu selection and service, but with Be Our Guest’s unique handling – after providing your order, you will sit down, and your meal will magically be brought to your table when it is ready. No more standing in the corrals waiting for that one last item for your tray that keeps getting snatched away by someone else…pre-ordering will still be an option, where you can place your order up to 30 days in advance – and as little as 5 minutes using the My Disney Experience application.

    Be Our Guest is expected to begin a counter service breakfast offering this year, but no other details are known yet.

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  • 02May
    News, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opens May 28th

    The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was finally unveiled to the press yesterday, and now WDW has announced the official opening date – May 28th. Fastpass+ is already available for it (hurry!)

    Here is a good video of the ride to give you an idea…it’s not a long roller coaster (in fact, I wouldn’t term it one – it’s a mine train), or a fast one…but it’s more about the special features. WDW has introduced very advanced animatronics for this one with the dwarfs. Not only do they move, but they move quite smoothly, and their faces are animated! They dig and sing as your car slows down and passes the scenes inside, before heading outside for another wild ride in the swinging cars. Then just before the end you slow down again for an outdoor scene of Snow White and the dwarfs dancing in the cottage…with a guest waiting outside…

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  • 09Dec
    Trip Reports, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Trip report – Saratoga Springs, Holidays and Harry Potter (December 2010)

    [This is a trip report from December 2010, being included as a new post as part of the site redesign]

    Day 1 – Arrival, Animal Kingdom

    This was a larger family trip – my in-laws would be joining us, and we had a 2 bedroom villa booked at Saratoga Springs. Even though this is a holiday time trip, we decided to skip the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this time, as we felt the crowd levels were far to high from our 2007 trip to warrant the expense, and we instead wanted to spend a day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure to see the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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