Easter Week Crowds at Disney World

Main Street USA, Easter Week 2015

Main Street USA, Easter Week 2016

A lot of guests wonder how closely the predicted crowd forecast matches the reality at the Disney parks.

Disney has instituted a new one day ticket pricing schedule:  Value, Regular, and Peak pricing to help spread out the annual crowds more.

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Disney cast members can buy discounted tickets at the Company D store.

We say that the crowd forecast chart below is pretty close, with red days being a struggle to enjoy any of the parks.  There are long lines for everything from rides to dining to the monorail.  Parents pushing strollers are the worst.

Spring Break Week followed by Easter Week at Disney World were all red days.

9am:  Guests pouring into MK and struggling to get down Main Street USA.

9am: Guests pouring into MK and struggling to get down Main Street USA to the lands and rides.

The only bright spot is that the parks all have extended hours during spring break (the three weeks from mid-March until the Tuesday after Easter Sunday week) with the Magic Kingdom some days staying open until 1am, or later.

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Easter weekend:  A ‘9’ on the 1-10 crowd scale.  We avoid MK when it’s crowded like this!!

But, there usually are two fireworks shows and two parade times at the Magic Kingdom. The lines for rides during parade time are always shorter.

Thankfully, the weather in Orlando is still pretty good,  sunny and relatively dry in late March.  The daily afternoon thunderstorms are still a month or two away.

crowdchart2016 (2)

Easter was on March 27th this year.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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Our Blog Has Gotten Over 1.5 MILLION Views!!!

blogOver the weekend, our Disney blog hit 1.5 MILLION views from over 180 countries.
 
To all our fans far and wide who follow our adventures, we say THANK YOU!!!

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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Disney After Hours: Just $149 a Ticket!

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We’re never leaving!!!

I had the most magical day ever at WDW!

After already walking 25,000 steps around Epcot in the morning and afternoon (the 2016 Flower and Garden Show is going on), we walk into Magic Kingdom at 5pm and immediately run into a manager on Main Street.

He asked us how long we were staying and when we said that we weren’t sure, he told us about this cool ‘after hours’ VIP event with less than 3,000 ticketed guests.

Then, he gave us FREE tickets to attend it…from 11pm (park closing) to 2AM!!!!

We are never leaving!!!

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The golden ticket!

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25 rides will be running just for us!

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A very pretty sunset, the park is starting to empty out.

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Just us on the Flying carpets!  There’s literally no one in the park!!!

We literally walked right on Mine Train, we had our own boats on Pirates, and the Jungle Cruise, and on Big Thunder Mountain, and we had ALL of Aladdin’s Magic Flying Carpets to ourselves!

After every ride, the CMs just said “Well, if you want to go again, just stay seated!”

And, we did!  What a blast!!!

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MK after dark, waiting for the Wishes fireworks.

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5 Minute wait for Mines…we walked right on!

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Main Street to ourselves (and the PhotoPass CM).

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Leaving the Magic Kingdom at 2am.

What a magical day!!!!  Thanks, Disney!!!

Disney After Hours Event:  Fewer Guests Mean Less Time Waiting in Line!

Why wait? Join a very limited number of guests at the Magic Kingdom for over 25 attractions, character meet & greets, free ice cream novelties, and more.

For just 7 magical nights between April 14th and May 19, 2016, more excitement awaits when the Magic Kingdom park closes its gates for Disney After Hours—a special ticketed event that lets you make the most of the park for 3 additional hours after normal closing hours.

This is your chance to take advantage of little-to-no waits, all while experiencing over 25 of the most popular attractions in the park—including:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Disney Princess Greetings at Princess Fairytale Hall

Peter Pan’s Flight

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (my favorite!!)

Space Mountain

Free Ice Cream Novelties, Select Beverages and More!!!

In the midst of the laughs and thrills, delight your sweet side with ice cream novelties and select bottled beverages. These treats are included with the cost of your ticket and can be found at carts stationed throughout the park available during event hours only.

And for those late-night cravings, head on down to Casey’s Corner where you can find select menu items for sale, or to Main Street Bakery for Starbucks Coffee and specialty beverages.

Only a Limited Number of Tickets are Available

Don’t forget: there are only 7 nights to choose from and the number of tickets available for each one is very limited—be sure to purchase yours today!

Please note that Magic Kingdom park will officially close to guests who haven’t purchased Disney After Hours tickets at:

10:00 PM on April 28 and May 5, 2016

11:00 PM on April 14, 21 and May 8, 12 and 19, 2016.

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Arriving at MK at 5pm.  Going to Casey’s for some corn dogs!

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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Disney’s Soarin’ Around the World Ride

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Scene from the new Soarin’ Around the World

Imagine a wind-through-your-hair flight above The Great Wall of China, a bird’s-eye view of the Sydney Harbor in Australia, gliding around the Matterhorn in Switzerland…

Watch the ride’s opening scene:  Soarin’ Around the World

These are among more than a dozen breathtaking scenes you can experience with the new Soarin’ Around the World.

Scenes and Scents on the new ride:

Matterhorn – First up is the Matterhorn/Swiss Alps. It’s a beautiful opening scene that gets you in the mood to soar over the rest of the world. You fly up and over the top of the mountain before entering a cloud to transition to the next scene.

Glaciers – We next find ourselves amongst polar bears and orcas as we fly over a glacier scene. The polar bears dive off of icebergs as we fly a bit too close to them. An orca then jumps in front of us and causes a giant splash that is used as a transition to the next scene. Note that there are no water effects with the splash.

Sydney Harbor  We are now flying over sailboats in the Sydney Harbor in Australia. As we pass the Sydney Opera House a seaplane takes off in front of us and we transition to the next scene.

Neuschwanstein Castle – Our next stop is the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle. As an aside, the castle has served as inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. A lens flare serves as the transition for this scene.

African Savana – We next find ourselves soaring over elephants on the African Savana. This is the first time a scent is introduced to the ride. The smell of fresh grass serves, in my opinion, as Soarin Around the World’s orange scent. It puts me right in the scene and is instantly identifiable. Dirt thrown by an elephant is the transition piece for this scene.

The Great Wall of China – We then fly low over The Great Wall of China, seemingly just missing people walking. A kite flys in front of us for the transition effect.

Pyramids – We fly past sand dunes and camels before banking towards the Pyramids. Once again, a dust cloud serves as the transition.

Taj Mahal – We approach the Taj Mahal while flying over the same reflecting pool that is depicted in it’s a small world. A scent of flowers/perfume is applied in this scene. We climb up and over the dome as it transitions into a hot air balloon for the next scene.

Monument Valley –  We’re now flying amongst hot air balloons in Monument Valley. Three hot air balloons form a hidden Mickey. A bird flying at the screen is the transition for this scene.

Fiji – A simple beach scene where we enjoy a leisurely flight over blue water. There is another smell piped in here, but I didn’t really identify it outside of a fresh outdoors-type smell. It seemed similar to the ocean smell in the last version of the ride. This serves as the smoothest transition as we go from water to water.

Iguazu Falls – We quickly approach the crest of the waterfall and soar over it. We bank slightly towards mist created by the falls into the next scene.

Eiffel Tower –  Our first night scene is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As we approach the tower, we encounter our most pronounced bank in the entire ride. We shoot straight up the tower to the top and fly into the spotlights as a transition. I wouldn’t say that the bank is severe enough to discourage anyone from riding, but it’s the most pronounced shifting of the seats in either Soarin Over California or Soarin Around the World.

Epcot – The last scene is us returning home to Epcot at night. We approach from World Showcase and fly over the Fountain of Nations towards Spaceship Earth. A monorail passes beneath us and fireworks shoot off to signal the end of the ride.

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The next generation of the popular Soarin’ attraction made its premiere at the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, 2016 as Soarin’ Over the Horizon.

The next day on June 17th, guests at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort and Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort were able to board the exhilarating aerial adventure that immerses you in a multi-sensory experience, complete with stunning sights, spectacular sounds and even subtle scents.

There is a Fastpass+ option for Soarin’ Around the World, which we highly recommend getting during busy park times!

soarin1

The new 3rd theater at Epcot has state-of-the-art film projection and sound.

Looking back:  Filming of the new Soarin’ Around the World video started in 2014:  Behind the Scenes Look at Filming Soarin’

Soarin' Around the World

Another scene from the new Soarin’ Around the World.

July 2015: Construction on the new Soarin' Theater has begun!

July 2015: Construction on the new 3rd Soarin’ theater at Epcot began and I was there!

My Soarin' vinylmation

My Soarin’ vinylmation. He is so cute!  He has a little orange grove on his chest.

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Discounted Tickets to 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Special parade, snow falling on Main Street USA, Castle Dream Lights, free cookies and cocoa...all of it wonderful!!!

Special Christmas nightime parade  with snow falling on Main Street USA, the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights turned on, holiday music playing, free cookies and cocoa for all guests…all of it is wonderful to see!!! 

The dates and prices for the 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom in Florida have been announced.

Main Street USA all decorated for tonight's party!

Main Street USA all decorated for the holidays (always by the first party night, Nov. 7th)!

Tickets went on sale today, May 5, 2016:

2016 Party Night Dates:

  • November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29*
  • December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22

November 10, 13 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $91.00/$86 same-day

November 18, 27, 29, December 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13 – $92.00 plus tax age 10+, $87.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $96/$91.00 same-day

November 7, 8, 11, 15, December 1 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 9, 15 – $96.00 plus tax age 10+, $91.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 16, 18, 22 – $99.00 plus tax age 10+, $94.00 plus tax age 3-9

Passholder Rates available 11/7, 8, 11, 15; 12/1, 11, & 13 – Rates are $74-$84 plus tax depending on night. DVC members also have discounts on additional nights (including all dates APs are entitled to) 11/10, 13, 18, 27, 29, & 12/6 ranging between $74-89 plus tax.

*Cast Members can purchase discounted tickets for 30% off to MVMCP for most nights in November at the Company D Store.

MVMCP

Cast member pricing:  Nov. 10 and 13: $60.20/ticket;   Nov. 7, 8, 11, 15:  $63.70/ticket.

I love how Disney decorates the lightposts on Main Street!

We love how Disney decorates the lightposts on Main Street!  So pretty!

MVMCP (2)

At last year’s 2015 MVMCP on a cool evening…so much fun!! The Cinderella Castle is just beautiful with the Dream Lights turned on!!

CM Tip:  The MVMCP party starts at 7pm, but Disney let’s ticketed guests in for the party starting at 4pm.  Plan on going to the Magic Kingdom early (park by 3:30pm) and don’t forget to wear your Christmas sweater!

Even if it’s warm during the day, it can get very chilly in the park after the sun goes down!!!  Stash a jacket in a locker as you enter the park.

Wondering about the crowds???  Well, here’s a forecast:

crowdchart2016 (2)

The two week after Thanksgiving and into early December are some of the best times to visit WDW with fairly light crowds.  (Note:  Thanksgiving Week and the last two weeks of the year are the WORST time to visit WDW with long lines, heavy crowds, rude guests, and Park Phase Closures in effect!)

 

Interested in tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party??  Here’s the ticket info for that event:  2016 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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Maelstrom’s Longboats Have Returned!

boat

April 12, 2016:  The “new” longboats for Frozen Ever After have arrived!            (Photo credit: https://mobile.twitter.com/Coastercrew/status/719579517107445761)

When the popular Maelstrom attraction at Epcot closed in early October 2014, the longboats from the ride hit the highway a few days later for destinations unknown…until now!

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October 6, 2014:  The Maelstrom longboats leaving Epcot.  😦

The longboats have now been refurbished and have returned to Epcot!

frozen

Opening Memorial Day Weekend 2016

The new Frozen Ever After attraction is scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend 2016 (May 28th).  We can’t wait!

Welcome home, longboats!

frozen1***************************************

working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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Rivers of Light Opening Delayed!

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All the new nighttime attractions and entertainment that’s planned for DAK.

The debut of the new “Rivers of Light”, a nighttime spectacular planned for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, has been delayed.  The show was scheduled to begin on April 22, 2016.

Rumor has it that one of the float’s barges sank yesterday during a trial run!

Sneak Preview of the show (pre-sinking):  Rivers of Light Show

DAK

Soft opening for Cast members:  May 24th!

Other new attractions that were also set to premiere that day at Animal Kingdom, including an after-dark version of the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris, have been delayed.  The park was planning special lighting effects for its iconic Tree of Life and additional street entertainment that would kick off on April 22nd , which is Animal Kingdom’s birthday as well as Earth Day 2016.

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Beautiful!

“With the expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’re excited to give guests even more opportunities to celebrate the magic of animals and nature as day turns into night. While we’d hoped to debut these offerings on April 22nd, unfortunately, they will not open as planned on that date as we give the team more time to bring these innovative experiences to life in a way we know will exceed our guests’ expectations,” said Andrea Finger, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman.

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The April 22, 2016 opening date had been announced in early March.

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The new Rivers of Light amphitheater

An amphitheater overlooking the park’s Discovery River, seats over 5,000 guests, has now been completed and is open for guests to sit in and rest during the day.

The “Rivers of Light” show will feature animal-inspired floats and lanterns plus live performers in the form of storytellers.

Disney did not set a new opening date for “Rivers of Light”, but further information is expected in mid-to-late May.

Here was a rundown of the Rivers of Light preview events for guests to see it during its testing schedule leading up to the official opening on April 22nd.  Now, add one month to all these dates and it will be pretty accurate:

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The release of all the new RoL merchandise was delayed too.  😦

April 6th, 9th, 12th, and 13th – Cast Previews

April 15th – AP/DVC “Premium” Preview (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 10:15 pm)

April 16th – AP/DVC Preview (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 9:45 pm)

April 17th – AP/DVC Preview (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 9:45 pm)

April 19th – Press event

April 22nd – Grand Opening Night (2 showings: 8:30 pm and 9:45 pm)

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New RoL merch.

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Popcorn in a Lotus Flower container.

Read more about the delay from Disney Parks Blog:  https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/update-on-nighttime-experiences-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/

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working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430687055&sr=1-1&keywords=two+girls+and+a+mouse+tale

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