Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dreamfinder and Figment Reunited Next Year?

It appears that in the January refurbishment of the Imagination Pavilion, we may be seeing the addition of Dreamfinder, and a Dreamfinder Figment reunion. These rumors are based on the recent announcement that Colorvision will be the new sponsor of the pavilion, and the recent release of a Dreamfinder/Figment Christmas t-shirt. Now many are speculating that the shirt might be a retro shirt that Disney has pushed in the past few years, but others are using this as a reason to speculate that the often missed Dreamfinder might be returning to the attraction that made him famous.

It is still unknown what might be in the theater that is currently housing Captain EO, but the pavilion shutdown is coming soon, so hopefully news will come out soon about that attraction as well.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Warner Bros. and Disney? What is the Deal Here?

Rumors have begun to fly about the possible link between Disney and a Warner Bros. project. Now obviously this is a long reaching rumor, as there has not been any major media outlet claiming its validity, but message boards and discussion forums have begun to tell a tale of intrigue. If the rumors prove to be even remotely true, then we may be seeing a link between two companies that was never before considered, nor thought even possible. 

What has begun to fly is a rumor regarding Warner Bros. and their Lord of the Rings property. Now it is common knowledge that Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. Have been trying to sell the idea of a Middle Earth land on companies like Universal for quite some time. The holdup apparently was first Harry Potter, and then the logistics and realistic concepts and their ability to create what is planned. From what we are hearing, Jackson and the WB have begun to look elsewhere because Universal does not seem to be 100% behind such a project. This is where the mouse comes in. 

With the announcement and concept drawings of Pandora and Avatarland being presented to anyone who was willing to watch, Warner Bros. and Jackson were able to see an idea as to what Disney was capable of, or more likely, what they were willing to try. This presentation may have intrigued them because as people have heard, there may have been some dialogue. Keeping in check the fact that this is in no way to be taken as fact, as there would be many obstacles in the way. 

One possible obstacle involved is the Tolkien family. They hold the rights to the story, and the characters, where Warner Bros. only reserves the right to the likenesses and images Peter Jackson created. This means that Disney would need both parties to make such a plan work. Also, Jackson will likely monitor how Disney interacts with James Cameron on his idea of Pandora, as we would be led to believe that Jackson would want to see how Cameron and his ideas were treated. Finally, the issue of location and construction could cause issues. Which park would this go in? Where in the park? Lastly, with what money considering their are 5 projects going on at once? 

As we said on the outset, this story should be taken lightly, though read because there is a rumor around about it. Sadly the chances that Bag End and Frodo Baggins make their way into Walt Disney World are still very slim, though not completely impossible. Keep here for news if anything develops. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fans Finally See Avatarland Concept

Disney fans and enthusiasts were finally made privy to the plan that James Cameron and Disney have created for the much anticipated and hyped Pandora. This land, which will be placed within Animal Kingdom, will be a collaborative effort between Cameron's team and WDI, as they begin to create Pandora for guests.

What we can see from the renderings presented is a land filled with bioluminescent plants, and a colorful land that looks as though it will have great night images. There has been talk of a boat ride, as well as possibly a ride on the back of a Banshee. The concept also has floating mountains, and a noticeable lack of lines. (hopefully that is not a sign of things to come) The plan seems to include a few new attractions, but nothing like what we thought was coming when the plan was initially announced.

Disney has also announced that coinciding with the opening of Pandora, Animal Kingdom will have a number of nighttime entrainment will be added. This will include floating lanterns, music, lights and water screens. As such it sounds as though the hours for Animal Kingdom will certainly be expanded to accommodate such additions. Keep checking the site to see if other changes may soon be occurring.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Disney Reveals Plans to Open DVC Wing at The Polynesian

It has been mad official, that the Walt Disney Resort will begin preparation for a Disney Vacation Club wing at the Polynesian Resort. This announcement, though somewhat expected, has many fans around the world extremely happy. Once completed, there will be a DVC section in each of the Magic Kingdom resorts, and thus allow Disney to move on to the other parts of the resort.

This move had been expected since the near completion of the DVC wing of the Grand Floridian. This is a necessary move, in that many guests are big fans of the Polynesian Resort, and their inability to stay their using their DVC membership (and it be of value) had made many fans upset. This construction will allow for that to be a possibility, as will allowing Disney to have a DVC wing at all stops on the Resort Monorail line.

It has been announced that the DVC wing at the Grand Floridian will be opening in late October, on or about the 23rd, and the construction on the Polynesian may begin during the month of September. This quick turnaround shows that Disney had been preparing for this announcement for quite some time, and their timing was to coincide with the opening of the Grand Floridian. The unofficial opening of the wing will be sometime in 2015, with the resort itself going through a refurbishment as well.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Announcement: Making Moves!

A few weeks ago I made a post on Facebook and Twitter that there would be an announcement made on the blog regarding something big. Well, I think now might be the time to make the announcement.

As of this morning my first article for WDWNT: The Magazine has moved past the editing phase and is being prepped for layout! This is a huge development for both myself and the blog. This opportunity is what started the Gazette. As we began it was just a place for my voice to be heard, and it was my way to hone skills in writing. What started as a simple hobby has now evolved in writing for both and Herb Leibacher, and now to WDWNT: The Magazine. I applied for a writing position in July, and was chosen to be a part of their publication. I want to thank David Smith for allowing me the opportunity to continue moving toward my goal of writing for the best topic on Earth: Walt Disney World. The blog will certainly continue, and we are more driven than ever to produce first class material. I will keep everyone in the loop when the article hopefully reaches the magazine. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this happen!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

California Grill Reopens

Disney's California Grill has officially reopened after a lengthy refurbishment that saw the iconic restaurant closed since the new year, and the reviews suggest that the restaurant was worth the wait. The official reopen date was September 8, and many who have seen it suggest that the decor is reminiscent of a modern take on the 1930's through 50's. Some have suggested that it took its cues from Mary Blair designs, and has a sleek and brightened look compared to its predecessor.

Many people will look to the food, and though the design of the restaurant has changed, the degree of the food remains high. Disney used this restaurant as their original foray into fine dining, and it appears as though this update surely reflects that. Look to get reservations immediately as it is pretty well-known that they will be at a premium.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Disney that Never Was: EPCOT's Time Racers

It's been a bit since this series has been brought out so it seems appropriate to look back once again. With the summer winding down, and the time for relaxing ending we find ourselves wishing that we had a time machine that could return us to the beginning of the summer. A return to some type of relaxation, and respite. With that in mind we looked into that theory of time travel, and the link it has to Walt Disney World. Surprisingly, there is a connection.

In the early 2000's, there was a push by imagineering to make significant changes to EPCOT's Future World. As Disney fans know, Future World has been mired in an identity crisis since the mid 1990's with the attempts to change it from an educational area to a more thrill related space. With that concept in mind Disney imagineers came up with the Project Gemini  idea. Project Gemini focused on the addition of thrill attractions to EPCOT. In the coming weeks we will look at Project Gemini more closely, but for now lets look at the attraction at the center of that concept; Time Racers.

The Time Racers project laid claim to the area within Spaceship Earth, effectively ending the Spaceship Earth dark ride focusing on communication. Rumors persist that the EPCOT icon would have a new sponsor, Microsoft, and would call for the complete gutting of the icon, and the addition of a steel roller coaster within. This coaster would be themed around the idea of time travel, with projection screens whizzing past featuring images that remind guests of time travel. (Think Rock 'N' Roller Coaster for inspiration) The concept called for the icon of the park to no longer be a family friendly attraction, but an action packed thrill seekers dream. This plan was looked into and green lit for planning in 2006, which would have made its completion date somewhere in the year 2009 or so. Though not much more of the concept is known, many have speculated that the AT&T Global neighborhood would remain, and the queue line would remain as it is today; outside and underneath the well known structure.

The question then remains: what ever happened to Project Gemini? Why was this upgrade never accomplished nor even attempted? The answer lies in two places: nostalgia and money, with the latter playing the bigger role. The idea of Discoveryland showed great potential, but the over $500 million dollar cost proved to be too expensive for the Disney upper management, as was the idea of making the drastic changes that would have changed the very fabric of EPCOT. Also a manor concern that imagineers had was how to construct a roller coaster within the Spaceship Eart geosphere, as well as whether the supports could hold The real question that needs to be asked is what the thoughts would have been if this upgrade would have taken place.

Keeping in mind that Spaceship Earth was an iconic attraction, what would the ramifications have been if the original concept was changed ? The one thing that struck me was the fact that while this was being discussed, the Wonders of Life Pavilion was being emptied. The rest of Project Gemini called for only "future expansion" meaning simply that there was not a plan in place for the closed pavilion.

As an attraction I think Time Racers certainly would have been an exciting addition to the EPCOT attraction lineup. The issue does not seem to be the type of attraction it was, but more based on vs planned location. A roller coaster of such mag other would have made EPCOTt the place to be for thrill seekers if they would have found a better place for it. Unfortunately, the decision was made, and Time Racers never saw an opening day. As a result Siemens took over the sponsorship of Spaceship Earth, and made major changes to the descent of the attraction which has become a point of complaint for many Disney fans. (You can read my opinions about this refurbishment in Ranting and Raving) This however may have been a change that would be looked at as even more controversial.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SpectroMagic Gone for Good

I apologize for the lateness of such a big news story, but as it was breaking I was in Walt Disney World and really unable to do it justice.

After all the rumors and the carrots telling us that Disneyworld's beloved SpectroMagic parade would be returning to grace Main Street USA at night, we have been let down and hopes have been dashed. Disney announced last week that not only would the parade not be returning, but that many of the floats have already been dismantled and destroyed. This is a huge blow, as many of us had been reporting that the parade was originally set to return this summer , than maybe this fall or after the holidays. Alas, this was all just a rouse and the return it seems will not be happening.

Rumors began moving around in early July that the parade had been destroyed, and Disney had denied that this was the case. What we have found out is that the decision on the parade was actually made by the Florida weather, as many of the floats had begun to deteriorate due to mold and weathering. It is a sad ending to a once great parade, and many people are lamenting the fact that they either never were able to see it, or were unaware when they last saw it that they would not be seeing it again.

On a personal note, I was not upset by the move to Main Street Electrical initially because it was the parade I grew up watching, but I also was led to believe it was a temporary change. This certainly made my happiness over being able to see it grow as my trip fell when It would be operational during Summer Nightastic in 2010. Once I had seen Main Street Electrical, I found myself longing for the days of SpectroMagic. The music, the floats became iconic to me and I hoped that I would see it again. It is sad to see it go but at least we have the memories, and YouTube.

Imagination Pavilion to Close?

It has been a swirling rumor, that Disney will not confirm nor deny that the Imagination Pavilion will be closing to the public in January 2014. This rumor has strong ties to the belief that Disney is looking to make remodeled changes to the EPCOT pavilions that have not received much TLC in the past few years. As it stands, the pavilion today is in a state of disarray, with an uncoordinated theme, a long time between refurbishments to its main attraction, and a loss of sponsorship and post show.

As it stands today, the rumor is that the pavilion will close, be cleaned and refurbished inside and out, with a change of attraction, and 3D show. There is thoughts that Phineas and Ferb will find their way into the pavilion in some capacity, though many traditionalists would much rather see them involved in the 3D theater. There is a rumor that an update of the original Journey into Imagination may find its way back into the pavilion, but that cannot be determined at this point. All that we know now is that Captain EO will be put back into the archives, and the current version of Journey into your Imagination, with Professor Nigel Channing, will also be changed.

The question here is what do the fans want? What are Disney enthusiasts thinking in terms of an update here? As it is already a known thought, this pavilion, among others, is in desperate need of an update. Though this news comes as a positive for the park, we cannot forget the past, and the past for this plot of land as well. It is well documented and remembered by Disney fans of the past how this pavilion went by the wayside after the 1999 refurbishment, and even the change a year later was not enough to make us forget. It will be a long few months before we know anything, unless Disney decides to clue us in at the D23 Expo. Hopefully there is more to come in the next few weeks on this as it is a hot topic.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Star Wars Land on Tap? D23 Expo anyone?

Rumors continue to swirl that the recent purchase of Lucasfilm will cause Disney to place a land in Disney's Hollywood Studios in the near future. Though this is purely speculation it is thought that the upcoming D23 Expo might be the locale for such announcement to take place. Like the announcement of New Fantasyland, a Star Wars area announcement would certainly drive up considerable buzz (more than the Avatar announcement) and would also cause a definitive response to the Universal announcement of Harry Potter's new land in the Jaws area of Universal Studios. The thought is that Disney would have an endless amount of ideas to choose from and would make for some amazing sightlines, attractions and eateries. Consider these that we thought up rather quickly:

1. Mos Eisley Cantina- An eatery directly out of Luke's home planet of Tatooine and straight from A New Hope

2. A Permanent home for the Jedi Training Academy- An indoor locale would allow for some excellent special effects.

3. An Indoor Roller Coaster based on the Death Star attack- Could be pretty cool.

Just thinking of the possibilities is enough to make people hope and pray that these rumors are true. Stay tuned for the details if and when this becomes a reality. Many other media outlets are already reporting that this is all but announced. We shall see.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Response to the Second 24 Hour Disney Day

Two weeks ago Disney embarked on their second all nighter, the "Monstrous Summer All Nighter" on May 24th. This was in response to last years "One More Disney Day" On February 29th, leap day. The idea seemed to be good, and it appears as though Disney learned from last years issues that saw many un-Disney like things occur. To start, consider the timing: the May 24th date coincided perfectly with the Memorial Day vacation crowds. It appeared that Disney saw this as a way to take guests away from their competition by staying open overnight. Whether it worked or not remains to be seen, and though we will never know, it must be assumed that it certainly put a dent into the other parks attendance for two days.

Disney made a few changes this year, on both coasts that made the experience better for guests: In Disneyland, parts of California Adventure remained open as did all of Disneyland, and on both coasts the parks were closed to employees, unless they purchased a ticket on their own. This made a huge difference, as it appeared and was claimed by many that last years extravaganza was mired by what seemed like college frat parties. The lack of employees and college program employees no doubt had an effect on the crowds. Sadly to say, their absence made the experience much more child friendly, with less illegal activity and lewd images being presented.

The point of the new 24 hour day appeared to mark the beginning of the summer, and to promote the opening of Monster's University. Though not really a promotion, the name of the event was promotion enough. The second point was to take money out of the pockets of Universal, and Sea World respectively. Though Sea World is not huge competition, it was said that for those two nights both franchises had lower than expectation numbers, and that was a result of the Disney raid. The long day on the 24th followed by people needing the 25th to recuperate.

All in all the 24 hour Disney day proved successful, even if its crowd was not as big as last year (the lack of cast member guests kept that number down). The question is how often this might reoccur, on a yearly basis or less often? By doing it a second time, with the mistakes made being rectified suggests that they may make this a yearly occurrence. Stay tuned for rumors about next year.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ranting and Raving: Thoughts on Limited Time Magic

Disney unveiled the concept of "Limited Time Magic" for the new year, and in theory the concept has sounded like a positive idea to promote special pluses to guests. The idea is to make each week or each vacation a little different than the last one. As it seems, the goal was to promote tourists to travel to Walt  Disney World and Disneyland during times that they would normally not travel. The belief would be that special times of year that were less "busy" would be balanced out by these limited time pluses. What are the thoughts now that it has been rolled out for about four months now? What about the program for the future? Let's look into it shall we.

Here are just some of the Limited Time Magic at Walt Disney World so far:

April 15–21, 2013
         Fairies week at the Magic Kingdom.
April 1–30, 2013
          April's addition to Disney's Year of the Ear is a Strawberry Ear Hat, 
March 25–31, 2013
          Easter Bunny at the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot
March 18–24, 2013
          Easter Egg Hunt in Epcot.
March 1–March 9, 2013
          Follow the yellow brick road to WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney
March 3–May 12, 2013
          Spring Trolley Show on Main Street, U.S.A. 
Feb. 18–24, 2013
          Presidents Day Celebration at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot.
Feb. 11–17, 2013
          True Love Week
Feb. 1–9, 2013
          Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland for Super Sunday menu items.
Feb. 1–4, 2013
           Super Bowl spirit with a super pre-parade including MVP Joe Flacco. 
Jan. 21–27, 2013
           Long Lost Friends Week. 
Jan. 14–20, 2013
           Snow at Epcot
Jan. 7–13, 2013
          "Year of the Ear," promising new, limited-edition Ear Hats each month. 

Upon looking at the list up to this point it seems like things are certainly lacking. With the exception of the week of long lost friends, where old characters make appearances for the first time in years, and True Love week, it appears as though the magic is not necessarily all that magical. To give Disney credit, it seems like an impossibility to make every week ridiculously special, but as the list suggests it seems as though they are content with having a lackluster experience in certain weeks. It also seems curious that they have wrapped some of the yearly traditions into this, like the Super Bowl MVP parade, which is something that has been done since 1987 with Phil Simms. The problem seems to be simple. The Walt Disney Company seemed to be in a situation, with no real celebration in the parks for 2013. This has led to a combination of things from the past and newer, smaller, programs put together to entice travel. Even though many believe that the every year celebration seems to be unnecessary and overbearing, it has become a staple of the company really since the resorts 25th anniversary. 

Here is the bottom line: It is not a necessary thing for Disney to do, and thus it is not something that should make or break your travel to the resort, but if you get lucky to visit during one of the major week long celebrations consider yourself privileged, as it is not often that the magic will blow you away. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cancelled Parade in DHS... What Can This All Mean?

As was reported a few years back in the infancy of the Gazette, it appears as though the Pixar Countdown to Fun Parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios has been officially cancelled and boxed up. As of early April. the parade that follows the same general route that all DHS parades have followed will be ending its run. THough it lasted much longer than many anticipated (though they did make subtle improvements through the past year) the major curios act is the lack of a replacement. There is no new parade going into the park at all. Which would leave DHS and Epcot as the parks lacking a parade.

Now we know the reason Epcot has no parade, as the layout makes it difficult, and the Tapestry of Nations had a very limited year and a half run, but it is concerning to many as to why no new parade has been announced. This is extremely un-Disneylike. Consider every parade in Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, as well as Disneyland, Paris and the like have always announced a parade leaving with a parade coming. Keeping in mind that this parade will leave in approximately 2 weeks and there is no replacement makes many wonder. There is a long standing rumor (that this site has reported on in the past) that major renovations coming to the park, with a new facade for The Great Movie Ride (Carthay Circle Theater) A Star Wars area, and maybe some type of land or expansion to Pixar Place in the Backlot Tour area. This seems to be a logical step as major renovation would require the discontinuation of any parades within the park. We are not sure, but the News is there and the rumors persist. Lets just keep our eyes and ears open and see what comes out of The Walt Disney Company in the coming weeks and months.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Downtown Disney Plan

Once again it appears as though there is a design on the docket for Downtown Disney. After the cancellation of Hyperion Wharf, for reasons really unknown, Disney has gone back to the drawing board. This drawing board represents what sounds like another Disney response to fan feedback, as it appeared that fans had trouble seeing the vision of the aforementioned Hyperion Wharf. The new idea is dubbed "Disney Springs" and seems to be rooted in the concept of the Disney Village from the early days of Downtown Disney.

"Disney Springs" will be divided into six distinct districts, or neighborhoods: The Gateway, The Town Center, The Springs, The Landing, The West Side and The Village Marketplace. Each land appears to have its own function, and will have a major part of the changes in Downtown Disney.

The Gateway- Will be the actual entrance of Disney Springs and will feature a 5-story parking garage. This will help deal with the parking issues that have plagued DTD since its inception.

The Town Center- Will include new retail shops, and be a busy and upbeat motif.

The Springs- This will feature the old Pleasure Island area, complete with running streams and a waterway walk to the Landing.

The Landing- This area will encompass dining and nightlife options, as well as being close to Paradiso 37. One of the rumored dining locations may be Morimoto's, the Iron Chef's restaurant.

The West Side and Village Marketplace will remain mostly unchanged as they are the holdovers from the DTD of today. Apparently the only real change will be the departure of Planet Hollywood, being replaced by the Observatory.

As we can see, there is another plan for the revitalization of Downtown Disney. This seems to be more in tune with what guests have been wanting to see, and thus will be a major part of the future of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Attraction Review: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow

Having opened on December 6, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow found itself in a place that many Disney fans found to be Disney's version of purgatory. Its footprint placed it in the former home of Journey to Narnia. Anyone who spends time in Central Florida will likely agree that besides Sounds Dangerous, this attraction had been the longest running without any real relevance. Consider this bit: Journey to Narnia closed on September 10, 2011. The attraction opened late June 2008 as a promotion of Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opening that summer. The important piece of note: In December 2008 Disney dropped out as co-producers of the Narnia series, thus cutting ties with the franchise. This rendered the attraction irrelevant. For almost three years this attraction sat in purgatory, taking up space and costs with no hint of being important.

Fast Forward to late October 2012 when the announcement was made that the former plot would be used as an interactive experience based on Captain Jack and the Pirates of the Caribbean. This announcement proved to be important because it created an area, near Toy Story Mania, that would continue to be relevant long after the film series ends. Keeping in mind the fact that the films were based on an attraction Disney created, It would feature Johnny Depp, the star of the film series, and Disney's resident ace in the hole. Depp's popularity alone make all of his ventures popular. (See the upcoming Lone Ranger film)

Having had the opportunity to see the attraction during guest previews, (that Disney employees did not want to admit was happening) it is clear to see that the attraction is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, as well as a entertaining experience all its own. The attraction features projection mapping,  dark ride elements as well as interactivity. Though it shares the same walkthrough element that Narnia presented, its presentation is stunning and impressive.

Upon entering, guests are reintroduced to the famous talking skull that many enthusiasts miss from the original attraction. Once inside the showroom, guests are in for a special effects extravaganza that includes Davy Jones, the Kraken and maybe the mermaids. Your job is to protect Jack Sparrows cave hideout and maybe even be given the opportunity to join Captain Jack's crew. Johnny Depp's appearance along the Black Pearl (via green screen technology) allows for different experiences each time. The special effects go from blowing ship sails, to explosions form cannon fire. The projection mapping prove exquisite as they successfully recreate a seaside attack.

The 8 minute attraction is one to be seen in person, and one that cannot be accurately explained. It is not often that an attraction be given such high marks, especially a walkthrough, but as an overall experience it does rank highly for what it is. Its predecessor cannot even begin to compare. Next time you are in Hollywood Studios do not pass up this attraction, or chalk it up as the same old walkthrough. Join Captain Jack's crew. It truly is impressive.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Continued Expansion

Recently I have been offered an opportunity to write for This amazing opportunity has allowed me to come into contact with other great people. These connections have led me to become connected with Travel N Relax, a travel agency that specializes in Disney Vacations. This new venture will continue to allow further expansion and exposure to the blog. I am thankful to Rob Hale for the opportunity, and the continued help of Herb Leibacher for his help getting me exposure on a larger scale.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Disney NextGen: "MyMagic+" and "Magic Band" Rant

As the new developments in the Disney NextGen plan continues to rollout, there seems to be plenty of positives that the new technology boasts and seems to be able to accomplish. There is also concerns, as well as some things that may either anger or discourage guests. Looking at the concept as a whole we may be able to easily spot each of these thoughts.

The NextGen, or FastPass+ program will allow guests to plan their vacation long in advance. In the past we have had the idea of ADR's where guests can reserve dining reservations up to 180 days out. This has been met with mixed reviews initially because of the lack of reservations available for last minute trips and such. This has been remedied with the addition of the credit card charge for missed ADR's that rolled out in the summertime.

The program has also patented the "Magic Band" system that allows guests to wear their tickets on their wrists. These bands will apparently be fully customizable, and carry room keys, ticket info, Dining Plan, Photopass, Fastpass and credit card info. (which used to be linked to your room key) These bands will allow swift movement throughout the resort without the need for carrying tickets on cards.

The "My Magic +" program will allow guests to reserve quick service locations for certain times, which will also be part of the Magic Band system. Kiosks located within shops will allow for quicker access for guests to shop without the lines. All together it appears that this is Disney's NextGen plan.

Now first the thought on the good.The Magic Band system seems to be a good idea. Now it is true that people will worry that the bands could become lost, but considering that people can wear bracelets from Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party for over a month after the event, it is not looking like it will be a major issue. The ease of using these as room keys is invaluable. Remember what it is like picking up gifts sent to your hotel and then carrying them up to the room. Fiddling around to find your room key can be a pain. This may end that situation. It also could allow guests to choose not to carry a wallet or pocketbook into the parks, as it will also be the credit card and dining plan card. This makes the idea safer.

The concern does hinder on the strength and durability of the magic band, as well as the thought of the issues going along with letting guests shop and pay without a cast member present. Will it work like the supermarket self-checkouts? one cast member watching four RFID stations? Anyone ever really pay attention to people using self checkouts? they generally get away with everything. It may not last long, especially if Disney begins to lose money in shops because of a higher percentage of theft. (even though it is Disney World, do not think people do not try and succeed in stealing)

Now comes the rant, the anger, the part that turns the stomachs of many Disney fanboys and enthusiasts. The Fastpass+: what makes Disney believe that people want to (emphasize on want to) plan every nuance of their vacation 5 months before they go. This takes a spontaneity, it eliminates the ability for guests to roam where they want. It is bad enough being basically forced to plan ADR's before a trip and decide which park to go to each day or at least know that there must be travel to a specific park for an ADR, but now to plan what rides to attend on a specific day at a distinct time? That just seems to be overboard. Consider this: the Fastpass for Toy Story Mania is generally gone within the first 2 hours of Hollywood Studios opening. Could we imagine what will happen when a percentage of those Fastpasses are designated for the "+" program? They will disappear by 10am. This will anger many guests and cause issues.

Though the program seems to have its positives and certainly its concerns, many enthusiasts are stuck on the extreme planning stage. For many it seems the NextGen program is taking away the fun and excitement of a Disney World trip, and forcing guests to plan ever step of their trip, which some will welcome but many will look at disdainfully.

Sorry for Second Long Hiatus

I would like to apologize for the long hiatus that lasted through the holidays. Unfortunately, it was unavoidable, as my time was pretty consumed by a trip to Disney World after Thanksgiving, coupled with a sprint up to Christmas because of the trip. I kept up on all things Disney and have been re-invigorated by the time off. I have ideas that I am going to hopefully expand on, like my continued contributions to, as well as other plans for the coming year.

As the New Year has passed, I have goals for the coming year with the blog, and professionally, so the blog will always be there. I am happy with the place the blog is at now, but am always looking to expand it further. Here's to another great year and more wave for the future.