I was able to get a few photos last week of the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. There are only a few but thought you might enjoy seeing them!
As I reported on February 17, 2014 in my original post – My Disney Experience and FastPass+ – !#?!# – I am Annoyed!, I was not at all impressed and I was very annoyed with the My Disney Experience APP while using it at home to prepare for my upcoming trip. Because of the difficulty I had trying to move around FastPass+ selections and the time it took to ensure that my selections were in fact reflecting properly in the computer for my Magic Band use, I arrived at Walt Disney World® not knowing if things would work correctly.
If you recall, I was assured by phone that my FastPass+ selections were reflected properly in the system so I knew I would have no issue using those. However, my itinerary in the My Disney Experience APP never updated correctly. Throughout my five day stay, the APP never reflected my FastPass+ selections accurately. My resort and dining information was correct but the FastPass+ information was not at all accurate or complete.
On our first day in a park, I immediately went to a FastPass+ kiosk for two reasons. I wanted to change the time of one of my originally selected FastPasses and I also wanted to get a screen shot of my selections since I did not have an accurate list in My Disney Experience APP (my APP never reflected correct FastPass+ information throughout my trip).
I was extremely impressed by the efficient and stream-lined way both of my requests were handled. Walking through the park I was impressed by the number of FastPass+ kiosks available. I did not encounter any long waits in line or any confusion about what I wanted to do. I visited at least one kiosk in each of the parks to either change a time or an attraction and was very pleased each time.
Also, many have been upset by the fact that you can only choose three FastPasses-one park per day-when making your selections in advance. Many think they should no longer bother to purchase park hopper passes since they wouldn’t be able to get FastPasses at the second park in the same day. I wanted to test this system and here is what I found. I used all three FastPasses early in the day at Magic Kingdom®. Later in the day we hopped over to Epcot® where I visited the first FastPass+ kiosk I came to. I told them I was at the Magic Kingdom® earlier in the day and had used my three FastPass allotment while there. I was thrilled to learn that if there are still FastPasses available for an attraction you want to ride in your second park of the day, and all three of your FastPasses have already been used, the Guest Services personnel at the kiosks will give you FastPasses for that second park.
I was also using a Magic Band for the first time, since as an annual pass holder I had never received one in the past. I LOVE the Magic Band! It makes life so much easier – I actually went two days into the parks carrying nothing at all, and when I returned to my resort in the evening with an armful of goodies I did not have to put things down to search for my room key!
Overall, I was extremely disappointed in the My Disney Experience APP since it was basically useless during my stay. I think there is still much work to be done if this APP is to be successful. However, both the Magic Band and FastPasses worked beautifully! One other thing I did notice this trip that was great – the Wi-Fi throughout the parks has improved greatly! I did not have one single issue connecting my tablet to Wi-Fi. The two days I took it into the parks with me, I was able to sit down at lunch or other breaks, check and answer e-mails, post to FB and twitter and even did a few web searches with absolutely no connection issues.
I recently posted an announcement regarding a new APP to help visitors with dietary restrictions visiting Walt Disney World®. This week my daughter, a food allergy sufferer, used the APP while staying on Disney property. I am re-posting the announcement and explanation of this APP from February 18 because I want anyone that suffers from food allergies to know that this is a wonderful tool! It worked for my daughter even better than she expected. Having food allergies while traveling is always difficult but this APP took the guess work out of eating all meals! It is the best!
Editor’s Note: As the mother of an adult daughter who suffers from severe food allergies, Walt Disney World® has always been an easy choice for vacations for many years because of the attention they gave to guests with food allergies. Long before Gluten Free became a “trend”, it was an allergy concern for many that found very few places to dine out. Disney has been a leader in addressing gluten free and other specialty diets for a long time. Sarah Norris, the creator of Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW has created a site that is a tremendous asset to allergy sufferers like my daughter and now ….there’s an APP to help! And…I couldn’t be more excited or honored to help spread the news!
More Magic for Gluten Free, Dairy Free Diners at Walt Disney World
Sarah Norris Contributes Over 200 Reviews of GF, DF Dishes at Walt Disney World, Encourages Others to Share Their Experiences on YoDish
CHARLOTTE, NC (February 18, 2014) – If you live a life free of gluten or dairy – or both – you’re next trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL just got simpler. YoDish, the startup behind the free iPhone app for restricted diet dining out, has teamed up with Sarah Norris, the leading expert on gluten free, dairy free dining at Walt Disney World, to provide a long list of excellent gluten and dairy free meals across more than 50 resort restaurants. YoDish serves up Sarah’s meal photos and comments for the restaurants closest to the app user with links to Sarah’s full review of each restaurant at www.glutenfreedairyfreewdw.com.
Like many Americans, Sarah fell in love with Walt Disney World at an early age. However, it wasn’t until August 2009 that she made her first special diets trip to the resorts, during which she was amazed at the level of professionalism, compassion, and pure “Disney magic”. Inspired, Sarah began blogging routinely about her dining experiences at the resorts, which she now visits on a monthly basis. Disney is widely recognized by the gluten free and food allergy communities as a leader in specialty diet accommodation, with many families facing dietary challenges choosing to vacation at Walt Disney World for this very reason.
“Before I went to Walt Disney World on a gluten free, dairy free diet for the first time, it was challenging to figure out what I might be able to eat, and, as important, what my meals would look like,” said Sarah. “My blog, now complemented by my YoDish reviews, gives people comfort that they can experience Disney fully, without their dietary restrictions holding them back.”
Justin Cunningham founded YoDish to provide specialty diet communities a platform for sharing dining out experiences, and he immediately recognized the opportunity for YoDish to extend the reach of Sarah’s extensive resource to a new audience looking for restaurant meals on-the-go. Justin and Sarah met at the first annual Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in November 2013 and began working on the joint effort soon thereafter.
“Our vision at YoDish is to show those with restricted diets everywhere the suitable restaurant dishes closest to them,” said Justin. “Sarah’s contribution of gluten free and dairy free meals at Walt Disney World is a huge step toward the realization of that dream.”
Sarah and Justin are now encouraging others who manage dietary restrictions to post reviews to expand the impact of the resource. Anyone with an iPhone can download the app for free, see reviews by folks with similar restrictions, and post reviews of their own dining experiences to “pay it forward”.
“We limit reviews to 250 characters, so it is really very quick to add a picture of your meal and a brief comment. It’s like tweeting or sharing a photo with Instagram.”
“Seeing photos of real meals helps diners start the conversation with Disney’s Special Diets Department in advance of their visit or be better prepared when speaking with Disney Chefs onsite, so it is important for as many people to contribute as possible,” said Sarah.
Depending on your dietary profile and geographic location, you may or may not see many dishes near you right now since YoDish is a relatively new resource. The more reviews you add in your own area, the faster the community will grow. However, you can be sure that many meals will entice you on your next gluten free, dairy free trip to Walt Disney World.
YoDish, a free iPhone app, enables people with gluten intolerance and food allergies as well as vegetarians and vegans to share their restaurant dining experiences while on-the-go. YoDish is socially driven and leverages FourSquare’s global locations database to provide users an instant list of the restaurants near their current location. Users can post their dish reviews in the app as well as to Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare. Justin and Emily Cunningham, whose daughter has been diagnosed with severe allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts, understand the challenges involved in eating out with dietary restrictions. Learn more about and download YoDish at http://bit.ly/YoDish.
ABOUT GLUTEN-FREE & DAIRY-FREE AT WDW
Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW was founded by Sarah Norris in 2009 and is the top source for gluten free and dairy free dining information at the Walt Disney World Resort. Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW contains reviews, tips, tricks and trip planning resources to assist those visiting Disney with a special diet. In addition to resources found on the Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW site, those interested in special diets at Walt Disney World can also find on-the-go information through the site’s podcast, found on iTunes.
Founder and CEO
ANAHEIM, CA (February 25, 2014) – runDisney is expanding its portfolio of race weekends, adding a new Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA to debut November 14-16, 2014.
The new three-day race weekend will involve kids races, a 5K and a half marathon, plus several family-friendly events such as a Health & Fitness Expo and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party. Registration opens March 25 at www.runDisney.com.
With Super Hero-themed entertainment and characters, the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will be a unique runDisney experience.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this Super Hero collaboration to create this new runDisney race weekend for runners everywhere,’’ said Tom Wolber, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises and Downtown Disney. “Our runDisney events continue to be hugely popular and by joining forces with the Avengers brand, we expect this race will appeal to an even broader range of runners in Southern California whom we hope will see this event as the perfect opportunity to unleash their inner Super Hero in a race to a personal triumph.’’
“runDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,’’ said Dan Buckley, president of TV, Publishing and Brand Management for Marvel Entertainment. “This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.’’
The Avengers event is expected to be in high demand much like other runDisney race weekends, which have sold out in record time in recent years. Overall, runDisney race weekends attracted more than 163,900 runners last year – a 40 percent increase over the previous year, making the runDisney series one of the largest in the nation.
The Avengers Half Marathon Weekend will be the eighth runDisney event and third at Disneyland Resort, joining the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (May 7-10, 2015) and the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (Aug. 28-31, 2014) at Disneyland Resort.
But the Avengers Half Marathon course will be a new 13.1-mile route through the Disneyland Resort and surrounding areas that will differ from the Tinker Bell and Disneyland half marathon courses. Runners who successfully brave the new Avengers Half Marathon course will receive a commemorative Avengers-themed finishers’ medal.
runDisney, one of the largest race organizers in the nation, hosts a series of eight event weekends providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks. Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in February, Expedition Everest Challenge in May, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November. Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in May, the Disneyland Half Marathon during Labor Day Weekend and the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend in Nov. More than 163,900 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit www.runDisney.com and follow us on Facebook (runDisney) and Twitter @runDisney.
About Marvel Entertainment, LLC
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit www.marvel.com.
Very early this morning (4 a.m.) I was looking around various Disney media sites and decided to focus some attention on Aulani, a Disney Resort and Day Spa in Hawaii. Needless to say I have now added Aulani to my long bucket list of Disney things I want to do! Photo and Press Release Credit: www.disneylandnews.com.
About Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani opened in August of 2011 and sits on 21 acres of beautiful oceanfront in Ko Olina, adjacent to a nine-acre, crystal-blue lagoon and white-sand beach. Ko Olina is 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki.
Uniquely designed for families and inspired by the wonders and traditions of Hawaii, Aulani is a family paradise with a touch of magic. Aulani offers kids, adults and families Hawaiian vacation experiences with a special magic that only Disney can create. Delightful rooms and spacious Disney Vacation Club villas, a perfect location on a beautiful beachfront lagoon, and renowned Disney service and enchanting entertainment let dreamers of every age savor their time together on Hawaii as never before.
Press Release: KO OLINA, Hawaii – From a rainwater suite to a special spa retreat just for teens, “the gift of water” plays a starring role at Laniwai, a Disney Spa at Aulani.
The Hawaiian word laniwai (lah-nee-vai) means “freshwater heaven,” and the spa lives up to its name with more than 150 treatments, including the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on the island of Oahu. Also exclusive to Aulani is the Painted Sky youth spa, featuring relaxing treatments created especially for teens.
“Laniwai is a place where everyone will feel special,” says Lucia Rodriguez, spa director. “Teens will enjoy an experience created just for them, and there is a suite just for families. Guests will have many wonderful ways to enjoy Laniwai.”
With 18,000 square feet indoors and 5,000 square feet outdoors, the area includes a 2,000 square-foot Lift Fitness Cardiovascular Center, 15 treatment rooms and a full-service salon for hair, makeup and nail services.
“Laniwai celebrates the Hawaiian connection to nature,” explains Rodriguez. “The design embraces the cultural and even the spiritual significance of anuenue, or rainbows, by combining elegantly reflected light, brilliant color and healing water features.”
For Aulani reservations, guests may visit www.disneyaulani.com or call (866) 44-DISNEY or for personalized service contact Dawn at Destinations in Florida Travel ## HERE ## for a free no-obligation quote. Destinations in Florida Travel will always help make your next vacation perfect! Dawn is an agent with Destinations in Florida Travel – remember to book in advance for the best savings – you can also check with Dawn at: http://destinationsinflorida.com/agents/dawn-gosdin/ for special offers.