Disney World News & Updates

Hey everyone! There’s been quite a bit going on in the Disney realm this past week. I’m sure you may have heard the rumblings, but if you haven’t, I’m here to get you filled in.

First and foremost, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy just opened! This is a completely new show that has come to Hollywood Studios in Disney World. It is located over by Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. If you want to hear some more information about the show itself and how you will experience it, head over to Disney Parks Blog!

Something that you may or may not agree with also come up this week. Disney announced that Disney World and Disneyland will become smoke-free inside the parks starting on May 1. Now, there will still be locations outside of the parks that will be designated smoking areas. When this was announced, I saw quite a few people saying they had never run into any issued with the designated smoking areas as they stand right now. However, I definitely did on my most recent trip. The smell was very obvious as I would walk past some of the areas, and it was a bummer that these tucked away spaces couldn’t be used as areas to sit and relax. I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that this is the main reason why this change has been made. Disney is expecting a large influx of park guests once Galaxy’s Edge opens at both locations, so they need to absolutely maximize all of the space inside the parks. What may seem very small to us is obviously very important to the higher-ups in Disney, seeing as they are planning to use that space for crowd control purposes.

On that note, they have also limited the stroller size and will crack down on the use of stroller wagons inside the parks, as well. This one is hard for me. As a 24 year-old girl without kids, I do believe the new stroller dimensions and the elimination of stroller wagons could lead to the crowd flow to be more streamlined. However, I do understand that families with small children may be affected by this. The stroller dimensions seems pretty straightforward. The less wide a stroller is, the easier it is to push it around through a largely crowded area. The stroller wagons seem to be where some of the questions are coming up. While changes like this are never easy, we have to remember that Disney is never putting these rules in place to cause families problems or stress. There is legitimate reasoning behind it and, though I don’t know the exact reasoning, it is all for the safety, security, and crowd control of the parks. To learn more about the new rules, and see a nice easy to follow infographic, check out Know Before You Go.

As always, I will keep you updated with the major things that happen in Disney news. If you ever have any questions, leave a comment!

Which Minnie Ears are Right for You?

Well folks… We are long past the days where there was a small batch of options when it comes to Minnie Mouse Ears. What was once an easy decision has been made infinitely harder by the influx of options from Disney. Now, for someone like me, I don’t really like to have to choose. They are all so cute, unique, and fun to wear. But, at $27.99 each, we eventually have to decide on one (or three) that are worth our money.

I have to say, Disney has really upped their ear game in the last few months. When I was planning for our Disney trip in late January, I almost had a tough time deciding on which 3 pairs of ears I wanted to get. You see, I have this little, teeny tiny Disney addiction. I didn’t want to wear the same ears all 3 days that we spent at the parks. So I knew I had to narrow it down. I had it all planned out. I would order one pair online, my boyfriend wanted to get me a pair as part of a gift, and I would buy one pair at Disney Springs on the first day of our trip. I knew I wanted to get the Rose Gold ears, and the Millennial Pink were definitely up there too. But, as I was browsing online, I was having a difficult time coming up with the third option. Eventually, I settled on a pair that is black with white polka dots with a red bow, all sequined. My lovely boyfriend, James, bought me the Millennial Pink pair, and I went into Disney World with a budget that included $28 for the Rose Gold pair.

During my time at Disney Spring, though, I ran into a little problem. The (then) brand new Potion Purple ears were now an option, and it was really throwing me for a loop. Plus, seeing the Iridescent ears in person added them to the mix too. In this moment, I really had to determine what I was going to do. Minnie ears are an investment. I’m sure that sounds ridiculous and, honestly, it probably is. But, for me, it was about more than just what I think is cute in that moment. I really had to take a step back and think about all of the different important details to decide how to pick my Minnie ears. You came here to learn about how to choose your ears, and now that my long anecdote is done, I’m going to get into it.

My first thought was, “what is going to match with my clothes the most?” I’ll be honest, I have a pretty boring sense of fashion. I wear a lot of neutral colors. You’ll see me in a lot of black, gray, various shades of brown/tan, army green, maroon, and occasionally some denim. So, for me, I knew I couldn’t go with some crazy, bright color because it wouldn’t fit in with my wardrobe during the trip. As much as I loved the way the Potion Purple ears looked, and I really did love the color, the fact that they would look out of place with my outfits bumped them out of the competition.

Next, I did something that maybe not everyone does. I had to see how the color of the ears did or didn’t contrast with my hair. This is where I got really nervous about the Rose Gold ears. I had seen so many people wearing them, and I though they were super cute. But, I have blonde balayage hair. I was very concerned that the color of my hair would look strange with the Rose Gold ears. If they were too close in color, which I was worried they would be, would it look weird wearing them? Would the ears just look like part of my hair? Would the fact that they blended in look good instead of bad? This was something I very much paid attention to when trying them on. This is also the reason that I didn’t decide to buy the Rose Gold ears online. I knew that I would want to see the way they looked with my hair before buying them.

Now, something I didn’t know I would have to pay attention to until I bought the polka dot ears online was the shape of the ears. In my brain, I just figured that every single pair would fit the exact same way. They’re all Minnie Mouse ears produced by Disney. Each pair is the same just with a different color or design, right? WRONG. Something I noticed with the polka dot ears is that the actual ears themselves are set more towards the sides of the headband rather than the top, whereas other ears have the ears set more toward the top. While I still really like the polka dot ears, the way they fit on my head does look a little bit off in comparison. That’s a pair that I wish I would have tried on before I bought them.

Last, but certainly not least, you have to be comfortable in going for what you want. There is always going to be a “trend” going around in the Disney community with the most popular new ears. Like I said, Potion Purple was the cool, new thing when I went on my most recent Disney vacation. As much as I wanted to be “a part” of the trend, I knew that I didn’t really love that pair as much as I did the Rose Gold. (Spoiler, I ended up choosing the Rose Gold over the Iridescent ears.) Rose Gold was definitely way “out of style” as far as the trend goes. But that didn’t stop me from swiping my card to buy them. I knew that they matched my clothes the best, looked the best on, and checked off all the boxes for me.

This blog probably seems really drawn out for just a pair of ears. But, honestly, I think it’s more important now than ever. Since the beginning of this year alone, Disney has come out with a lot of new pairs of ears. With so many to choose from, you really have to sit back and decide which pair is the best for you. Now, we have Potion Purple, Jasmine, Mint & Pink, Floral, Cinderella Castle, Small World, Donut, and probably more than I’m forgetting. It’s very easy to walk into the World of Disney store at Disney Springs and want to leap right at the most popular or most “stand out” pair of ears you see. But, next time you’re shopping, remember the things to think about.

Best Ways to Enjoy Disney World Without Hitting the Parks

A trip to Disney World can sound intimidating to many because of it’s high cost. Want to know a little secret? The most expensive part about taking a Disney World vacation is the admission to the parks. Okay, so it’s probably not a secret at all. Theme park tickets in Disney World are extremely expensive. While I personally thing that every last penny is totally worth it, it can be really intimidating to buy, say, a 4-day park hopper pass for about $500+ each. So while it’s pretty clear that theme park tickets in Disney World can be expensive, what you may not know is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy Disney World without having to spend your savings to get into the parks.

I’m a sucker for the Disney World resorts. I know, I know. It may seem like its way too expensive to afford. But, honestly, if you want to get the feel of that Disney magic, staying at a resort is a great option! You don’t have to visit the theme parks at all, but you can still take advantage of the free bus to Disney Springs other non-theme park locations. For comparison, during times of the year when special deals are going on, some of the Disney World Value and Moderate hotels can range from about $120 to less than $200 a night. If you’re planning to visit Orlando anyway, you can get a little taste of the Disney World vacation by spending a few days (or all of them) at one of the Disney World resorts.

If you don’t want to stay at a resort, I can’t totally blame you. If I were staying at a Disney World resort and not visiting the parks, I think I would have some serious FOMO. That being said, you can do so much more outside of the parks and resort stay, too.

If you want to visit a fun, crazy water park one day, take a trip to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. Disney World finds a way to throw it’s Disney magic into water park form with both of these spots. You’ll experience wild slides and fun attractions all while spending a day in the water and soaking in the sun. Water park tickets are significantly cheaper, and it’s still a great way to experience Disney World without having to invest too much into your vacation.

Beyond the water parks, there are a few other recreation activities you can take part in on Disney World property. Interested in a few rounds of mini golf? Disney World has two different miniature golf locations on property with 36 holes each to enjoy. And, just like Disney does, it’s not just your regular mini golf course. Each of them is themed to that high level Disney theming that we all know and love. Mini golf definitely won’t fill up an entire day, but it’s a nice way to be on Disney property and feel like you’re enjoying the Disney magic while on your Orlando vacation. Want to take mini golf a step further? You can actually golf on property, too. And, if you’re like me and not a very skilled golfer, you can play foot golf too. Basically, you’ll be playing golf with soccer balls. It’s harder than it looks, so make sure you set aside a good chunk of time to play foot golf if you’re interested!

Last, but certainly not least, you can visit Disney Springs and use that as your hub to travel wherever you wish on Disney property. If you just want to shop for some Disney souvenirs and enjoy some delicious food, stay at Disney Springs for the day! There is more than enough to do there, and buying a couple pieces of Disney merchandise is something you can continue to cherish after your Orlando trip ends. Want to do a little more? Disney Springs is a great hub to get other places on property. Buses to each of the Disney resorts have a stop at Disney Springs. Want my suggestion? Take a bus from Disney Springs to either The Grand Floridian, The Polynesian, or The Contemporary. These three resorts are Disney Worlds “monorail resorts” and all have access to the Disney World monorail. Take a trip around the monorail loop to get some great views of the Magic Kingdom. Stop off at the Ticket and Transportation Center, and take the EPCOT loop to get views from the inside of the park over in EPCOT. The best part? Monorail trips are completely free! When you get back to the TTC, take the Magic Kingdom monorail back to one of the 3 hotels on the loop and take a bus back to Disney Springs.

With all these things to do in Disney World that aren’t theme park related, I do want to leave you on this note: Disney World is Disney World because of the theme parks. If I REALLY couldn’t afford theme park tickets at all and wanted to visit Orlando, I would absolutely do at least one, if not all, of the options above. However, for me, It would be very hard to not take advantage of the theme parks at all. But, Disney World knows how to get people coming on property even if you aren’t planning on visiting the parks. They know what they’re doing, and they do it the best!

Disney World Breaking News

We have some new information regarding Star Wars Galaxy’s edge via Disney Parks Blog. We have official opening dates for the brand new land at both Disney World and Disneyland. Disneyland will open first on May 31, while Disney World’s will open on August 29.

Within my own research, I was absolutely expecting the Disney World opening date to be about a month later than this. This is just my own silly research, but I was looking up resort prices for late summer/early fall. It seemed like the prices were up a good amount higher for the first few weeks of October than they were early/mid September. This lead me to believe that October would definitely be our opening date for Star Wars Land in Disney World.

But, as Disney Park Blog noted, it is seemingly opening a little earlier than expected because everyone is so excited. I mean, of course we are! This has been extremely talked about and hyped up since it was first announced. The new rides seem to be innovative, the land very immersive, and the dining unique. There is a lot to be excited about here, and I guess that excitement is leading to an early opening!

For me, I could see a lot of the Star Wars Land construction when we visited Disney World in late January. It looked well on its way to being ready. From what I could see driving to and from the park, and in the park itself, the theming for this will be on par (if not more extravagant) as Pandora. If you don’t think I’m looking into how to make it back to Disney World before the end of the year, you’re very wrong.

What else could this mean for Disney World? As you may have seen on other Disney World blogs, YouTube channels, and various social media accounts, the Disney Skyliner has been in testing lately. We have seen picture and video of the Skyliner gondolas being tested. I would assume that the Skyliner should be open by the opening date of Galaxy’s Edge. It would be very nice for Disney World to have another transportation system to and from Hollywood Studios with the mass crowds they will have there. Does this mean we will get an opening date for the Skyliner system soon? Maybe!

As far as other Hollywood Studios action, the only thing I am left wondering about is Mickey’s Runaway Railway. Disney World has seemed to stay pretty quiet about this new attraction that is taking over the former home of The Great Movie Ride (R.I.P). Hopefully, we can get some more information about this soon. I’m not sure that the Galaxy’s Edge opening dates release will affect Mickey’s Runaway Railway at all. But here’s to hoping!

How do you feel about the opening dates in Disneyland and Disney World? Is it what you expected? Let me know!

How to Make The Best of Disney World Transportation

Staying at a Disney World resort comes with its perks. You get to head into the parks early or stay out late for Extra Magic Hours, you get the benefit of immersing yourself in Disney for your entire trip, and you get complimentary bus, boat, and/or monorail service from your resort to the various Disney World theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Some will say the Disney World transportation is unreliable. I’m here to tell you how to take advantage of the transportation, and what options you have when you’re visiting Disney World.

I personally love the fact that the Disney resorts give you the different transportation options. Even if it’s not something I use every single time I go anywhere on Disney property, having the option is a huge plus for me. But, inevitably, we will all have a time during our Disney World trip where we sit back and wonder if waiting in the transportation line is really the best use of our time.

One time I would say you should ALWAYS take advantage of Disney World transportation is when you aren’t in a time crunch. For me, at the end of any given night, I never even thought about grabbing an Uber or finding a different way back to our hotel. The parks are closed and I’m in no rush to get back to my resort. Now, this isn’t necessarily going to apply to EVERYONE. If you have small kids, they may be fussy and needing to get to bed. If that’s the case, then maybe alternative transportation IS your best bet. For me, however, I know that it makes very little difference if I get back to my resort at 11:20 or 11:30, so I’ll save that extra cash to buy me a late night snack.

One time I would say you SHOULD consider taking alternate transportation is if you’re running a little bit late on a morning where you’re headed to Magic Kingdom. While this could apply to any park, keep in mind that you usually have to wait in the parking lines in order to get through to the entrance. The Uber ride may save you time initially, but you’ll come to a bit of a halt when you reach the parking lot entrance lines. I specifically say Magic Kingdom here because of the (maybe sneaky) way you can avoid all of the crazy park entrance lines. Instead of taking an Uber, Lyft or taxi to Magic Kingdom, you can take it to the Contemporary Resort. After doing this last time I visited Disney World, I really don’t think I will ever go back to taking the bus on a Magic Kingdom morning. The Contemporary has it’s own walking path right up to the Magic Kingdom entrance. The best park? The walking path has it’s OWN security checkpoint! It was easily the shortest security line we waited in the whole trip, and we got to walk right past all of the long security lines at the Magic Kingdom entrance. For a pretty cheap car ride, this was definitely worth it.

Every other time, the transportation is really up to you. I, for one, think that taking advantage of the transportation systems is a huge perk of staying on site. If you can plan ahead, it can really make your trip a lot more streamlined. Plus, it’s free. I’ll take a free bus, boat, or monorail over wasting gas and paying for parking any day. With Uber, Lyft, and taxis available, you always have a second option if the Disney transportation just isn’t working out. However, overall, try to look at the Disney transportation as your friend, not your foe.

Proof That Disney Stays Ahead of The Curve

I’m sure everyone has noticed that the Walt Disney Company has a special way of staying ahead of it’s competition in many different facets of their work. I often find myself wondering how they keep people interested, invested, and coming back for more. However, all it takes is one step inside a Disney World park to remind me of all of the things the Disney Company does.

Have you ever noticed the extensive theming around the different areas of the theme parks? Disney World has a way of fully immersing you in the land they have displayed. You can visit a new planet in Pandora, travel back to colonial America in Liberty Square, and walk straight into Hollywood in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And Disney World refuses to stop at some pretty buildings and cool accents. They thing about all of the little details that pertain to each themed area. There won’t ever be a time where a guest is walking through a Disney park and thinking “well that doesn’t make any sense because of…” Disney has done it’s research, and they know how to make a theme park into a completely new world for it’s guests.

They are also always innovating. Every single time I walk into Walt Disney World, I can’t imagine what else they could possibly do to top their last innovation. Yet, somehow, they always do it. If any of you have seen the “behind the scenes” look at the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride or the Tron coaster, you will know what I mean when I say they always manage to top themselves. (Also, if you haven’t seen this, give it a look. It’s wildly impressive). The innovation doesn’t stop at the rides. Who would have ever thought that a company would find a way to use gondola system as a valid, quick form of transportation between theme parks and hotels? Disney World is making that happen with their knack for creation and innovation.

Disney World (and the Disney Company) simply never stop. There is never a stagnant moment. There is never a “we can take a break from working.” There is always something new. There is always something that can be better. The drive that Disney has to keep people coming back is a drive that can and should motivate all of us.

Magic Kingdom Rides That I Appreciate More as an Adult.

I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about with this list. There are a handful of rides at Disney World that, as a kid, I would cross my arms and pout when my parents told me that we “had to” do it. Why in the world would I want to sit around and watch a show or ride a lame ride when I could be spending my time on Space Mountain, Mom? But, now as an adult, I have come to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy many of these rides that I didn’t when I was a kid.

  1. Carousel of Progress. There may be no ride I look forward to more than Carousel of Progress. For me, this has now become a MUST DO ride any time I visit Disney World. It’s old, it’s not too exciting, and it is 20 minutes that I’m sure could be spent waiting in line for something else. But, there is something about it that makes it so quintessential Disney World to me. Plus, it’s one of the only rides in Disney World that Walt had a hand in creating. For a Disney fan like me, that’s a pretty important pull.
  2. People Mover. Let’s stay in Tomorrowland here and head over to the People Mover. This ride has not changed at ALL since I was a kid. It’s a loop around Tomorrowland showing you all that there is to see in this section of the park. You even get to go through Space Mountain! I think my feelings on the People Mover changed when I was about 12 or 13 and the lights were on in Space Mountain. That’s something I would have NEVER gotten to see if it weren’t for the People Mover. And now, as an adult, there is no better place to kick your feet up and relax during your long, busy day. Plus, there’s hardly ever a line!
  3. Peter Pan. Peter Pan is always a ride that I enjoyed as a kid. However, there is something so much more nostalgic about it as an adult. Its a super short ride. It is probably not worth the amount of time that you spend waiting in line to be on and off in less than 5 minutes. BUT there’s something about it, as an adult, that is can’t miss. Even at a park full of roller coasters and fun rides, I will still go out of my way to book a Peter Pan fast pass any time that I can.
  4. Jungle Cruise. For me, Jungle Cruise is a ride that I have gone through a bit of a roller coaster with when it came to how I felt about it. As a really small kid, it was so cool! Of course, that was when I really thought all of the animals were real. Then I was a little bit of an older kid, probably between 9-13, where I thought Jungle Cruise was so lame. I knew the animals weren’t real, and I just couldn’t bring myself to have fun on the ride. Now, I laugh out loud at the jokes the Skippers make. I’m a big fan of the “dad joke” and Jungle Cruise NAILS them every time.
  5. Country Bear Jamboree. Buff, Max, and Melvin. Enough Said. But really, this show is another quintessential Disney World must-see for me. Plus, the Country Bears are frequently out around Fronierland. How embarrassing would that be if you DIDN’T know who they were when they came up to take a picture with you?

Magic Kingdom has so many regular “must-do” rides and so many of my personal “must-do” rides that it’s hard to spend anything less than a day and a half at the park. If I’m not there for that long, it really feels like I didn’t get a chance to do all that I wanted to at Magic Kingdom. Are there any rides that YOU have come to appreciate more as an adult that I left off this list? Let me know!