Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

MyMagic+: Video Captures Your Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Drop at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 13th, 2014 by Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service


Why is it that the things that scare us the most are often the experiences we are drawn to again and again? I hate creepy crawlies, but when asked if I want to hold something like a giant tarantula … I always say yes! Or, when presented with the opportunity to drop 13 stories when you are really afraid of heights … you buckle up, close your eyes, and hope that you don’t embarrass yourself in front of a group of fellow thrill seekers.

Better yet, how many times have you wished to have those scary (but exhilarating) moments captured on video? The look, the screams, the panic and ultimately the relief on our faces when the moment is over – what if you could relive that experience over and over again with video? How cool would that be?

Well, guess what? Disney PhotoPass Service has introduced some awesome new technology, which will enable guests with a MagicBand and an active Memory Maker entitlement who ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to receive a video memento of their 13-story drop! The video is automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account, and any linked Family & Friends and Managed guests on your account will also be able to view and share the video. Check it out!

So, get ready for a whole new level of memorable thrills if you have a MagicBand and Memory Maker! And if you are that guy, or that girl, who screams like a banshee on this attraction, we’ll let you relive that magical memory again, and again, and again.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Visiting Walt Disney World Resort? Check Out These Free Vacation-Planning Tools

posted on August 12th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Are you planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation but don’t know where to start? Well, there are actually a lot of complimentary vacation planning tools available out there that can help you plan the perfect trip for your family. Here are some of our favorites.

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  • WaltDisneyWorld.com – This essential planning website is where you can begin to explore our theme parks and resorts, buy theme park tickets, make resort and dining reservations, and more. You can also create set up a MyDisneyExperience profile, which lets you organize all of your vacation plans in one place, as well as select FastPass+ for specific attractions you want to experience during your vacation.
  • Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD – When you order your free Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD, you’ll discover a world of ways to make family memories together, including special tips on how to make the most of the magic. You can also watch online.
  • Walt Disney World Customized Maps – Our Customized Map tool allows you to explore our different theme parks and select the attractions and entertainment that are specific to your family’s interests and activity level. You can also have the maps printed and have them shipped directly to your door (US only).
  • Ratings & Reviews – Discover what other guests are saying about our Walt Disney World resorts, dining and attractions and start planning your must-sees today!
  • Disney Parks Moms Panel – Got a vacation-planning question? Ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel, our team of talented vacation planners that are ready and waiting to help.

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Filed: FastPass+, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

MyMagic+: Personalizing Your Disney Vacation with My Disney Experience

posted on August 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Last month, we talked with our creative team about the resort flyovers now available with My Disney Experience – a key component of MyMagic+ at Walt Disney World Resort. Today, we’re talking with some of you about getting started on the web site and mobile app.

New to My Disney Experience? It’s the key to personalizing your entire visit. Getting started is easy – really, it’s done in just three steps.

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First, log on to the My Disney Experience website or download the newly redesigned mobile app to create your own account and customize your visit.

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Next, link any of your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel reservations and park tickets to your account planning page. If you don’t have reservations or tickets, both can be added later.

And the final step is the best part – selecting your favorite Disney attractions, shows and more with FastPass+ and booking dining reservations. You can also set up reminders for fireworks times, parades and character experiences along with many other features.

We’re just getting going with our MyMagic+ series so tell us what you’d like to know more about and check back for our next story.

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Filed: My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Enjoy Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with New Limited Edition Retail MagicBand

posted on August 4th, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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As the “Frozen” Summer Fun celebration continues at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I have some exciting news to share about a new, limited edition retail MagicBand, featuring Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen.” This item is now available at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The shop is located between Toy Story Midway Mania and Studio Backlot Tour. I spoke with Kevin-Michael Lezotte, merchandiser for retail MagicBands, about this latest addition.

“We saw a great response from guests when we released two limited edition MagicBands during Star Wars Weekends earlier this year,” explained Kevin-Michael. “This new MagicBand is pre-printed with an image of Olaf ‘chillin’ in summer, and will be presented in a specially designed packaging. These pre-printed MagicBands are another great way guests can show off their Disney Side while visiting Walt Disney World Resort this summer.”

This limited edition retail MagicBand will have an edition size of 5,000, and will have a retail of $29.95 (plus tax).

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You may recall that this new MagicBand will join three open edition MagicBands inspired by Disney’s “Frozen,” which are currently offered in Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.

As with all retail MagicBand purchases, guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or another MagicBand.

These specific “Frozen” MagicBands will not be offered on our Disney Parks online store or via Merchandise Guest Services team.

Guests, however, can find other select MagicBand accessories, like MagicBandits and MagicSliders, online at DisneyParks.com/Store.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, MagicBands, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

MyMagic+: 3-D Flyovers of Resorts Added to My Disney Experience

posted on July 25th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you’ve been following our MyMagic+ updates, then you know My Disney Experience is the key to personalizing your visit. It’s one of several MyMagic+ benefits and tools now available to guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

Recently, the team working on My Disney Experience added some new features, including amazing flyovers of our resorts that we wanted to share with readers.

The 3-D modeling and a “camera view” from inside the animation gives you a great perspective – from birds eye to 360-degrees – at resort features (pools, recreation, monorail, amenities) and proximity to our parks.

Ken Oelerich, a design director on the project, was able to layer creative over Walt Disney World Resort maps and create a 3-D environment with the unique “camera” view. Ken says the team was not limited by where a helicopter could fly to bring the resorts to life for My Disney Experience.

Currently, the new flyovers are for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa with Disney’s Polynesian Resort coming soon. Go see the flyovers and other new features at My Disney Experience.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

MyMagic+ Adding Even More Magic to FastPass+

posted on April 24th, 2014 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


A few weeks ago we shared the latest plans for MyMagic+, and gave a look at more changes to come. We saw great response and interest in the news. Many of you expressed excitement about the evolution of FastPass+ and the fact that we were working on ways to provide our guests with the ability add more FastPass+ entitlements in addition to the three they can plan in advance and a feature that enabled the ability to make those additional selections while park hopping.

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And we are pleased to let you know that as of next week our guests will be able to do just that.

So starting Monday, after guests have used their first three FastPass+ selections, they will be able to select another one at one of the kiosks located in each of our WDW parks. When they’ve used that one, they’ll be able to select another, and so on, ultimately providing guests with even more ways to customize their Walt Disney World Vacation. Guests will also be able to select and use their additional FastPass+ entitlements when they hop from park to park.

As we’ve said from the beginning, MyMagic+ will continue to evolve over time with the aim of continuing to improve our guests’ experience with us and in response to feedback from our guests. Today’s news is another chapter of that story and we look forward to sharing more with you as we continue to roll out and refine MyMagic+. Continue checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details.

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Filed: My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 6th, 2014 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


This week, we shared the first post of a special MyMagic+ series coming to the Disney Parks Blog with a story from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.

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Tom shared an update that we’ve reached an exciting milestone – we’re now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

Check Tom’s original story for more details and keep an eye open right here on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates as we continue to roll-out MyMagic+.

CAPTION All in the Details: Jewel Sorting & More Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Queue at Magic Kingdom Park

And this week, Disney Parks Blog readers were treated to two new “All in the Details” stories featuring Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland. Author Jennifer Fickley-Baker started the week with a close look at the Dwarfs’ cottage. And she ended the week with a peek into an area we haven’t shared much about yet – the attraction’s queue, which features a few interactive opportunities for guests.

Here are some of the other stories we worked on this this week.

ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants – Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) is awarding $1.5M in grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Click through to learn more!

Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Claude Coats – Read about this elite artist and his contributions to many classic Disney animated features, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Dumbo,” and more.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Now on Instagram – Share your Aulani vacation photos using #Aulani and we may feature them on the newly launched @DisneyAulani!

A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park – Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine gives an inside look at the new additions made to “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park.

Hear a Gospel Rendition of Disney’s “it’s a small world (after all)” – Watch this special performance “it’s a small world” to continue our celebration of its 50th anniversary!

Five Things You Might Have Missed in ‘it’s a small world’ at Disneyland Park – Catch some of the smaller details of this famous attraction you might have overlooked.

Lots of Fun Horsing Around at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort – Learn more about Tri-Circle-D Ranch, wagon rides, pony rides and its 90-plus residents.

Exploring Northern Europe with Disney Cruise Line – Click through to see some spectacular photos of Northern Europe and learn how you could be part of a voyage from Disney Cruise Line.

Chalkboard Art-Inspired Items Coming to Disney Centerpiece at Downtown Disney Marketplace in 2014 – Check out these striking chalkboard-inspired home goods, including dishes, glassware, pillows, picture frames and more!

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MyMagic+ Now Available to Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and Day Guests

posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


When we first shared a glimpse into our plans to take the Disney guest experience to the next level, we had just begun to unveil MyMagic+ at the Walt Disney World Resort. Our goal from the beginning has been to enhance the guest experience and make it even more immersive, seamless and personal than ever before.
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Now, nearly 3.5 million guests have participated in testing, and the vast majority are telling us that MyMagic+ has made their trip even better. This is a big step forward in the evolution of our guest experience, and what we’re seeing in early returns is fantastic.

Guests are telling us that they really like being able to arrange the day the way they want to, with the flexibility to make changes on the go. They also are particularly excited about their experience with the MagicBand. They love the convenience, and we have received a lot of photos from guests showing the fun ways they are wearing them even before they arrive on property or after they return home.
MyMagic+ Takes the Guest Experience to a New Level with MagicBands

This week marks an exciting milestone for us in that we are now providing guests who might only be visiting for the day with the ability to fully engage in MyMagic+ before their visit. Guests can register on My Disney Experience online, reserve access to some of their favorite experiences with FastPass+ and also purchase MagicBands on-site, if they choose.

FastPass+ has been a crucial part of our testing, and we knew it would be popular, which is why from the beginning we more than doubled the experiences people could reserve in advance. We enabled FastPass+ access for a number of attractions and included other guest favorites like fireworks, parades and character meet-and-greets for the first time.
MyMagic+ Takes the Guest Experience to a New Level with MagicBands

As expected, most of our guests think that securing times to ride our attractions is one of the best ways to maximize the fun of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. We’ve heard from a number of guests that they would like the opportunity to add additional FastPass+ entitlements during their visit, in addition to the three they can plan in advance. So, we’re working on providing them with the ability to add and enjoy additional entitlements on the day of their visit. Once they’ve used the three they’ve booked, we’ll enable them to select another at kiosks in the parks. And once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on. We also heard that other guests liked the fact that with the FASTPASS service they could use FASTPASS when they park hopped. So we’re working on a service enhancement to add that feature to FastPass+ as well.

One of the best aspects of MyMagic+ has always been that our guests can relax and better enjoy their time with us, all the while knowing that the attraction they want to ride, or the moment they want to experience, will be there, waiting for them.

And isn’t that what a vacation is all about? The more we can have everyone that goes to our parks feel like a VIP, the happier we’ll be with the experience we’re giving them. And that’s exactly what we’re striving for with MyMagic+.

We’ll continue to share more details and updates on as we continue our roll-out, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more!

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Magic Kingdom Park Makes Disney History As All Walt Disney World Parks Go Turnstile Free

posted on November 27th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Earlier today, Magic Kingdom Park reached a milestone in Disney history when the park’s final touch point entry system was unveiled at the park – a moment that signified that all Walt Disney World Resort park entrances are now turnstile free.

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The first park to trade turnstiles for touch point entries was Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, which became the first turnstile-free park in late February. Similar replacements have taken place at parks across Walt Disney World property throughout the year, making it easier than ever for guests – especially large groups, or families with strollers or wheelchairs – to enter the park together. To enter a park, guests now simply touch their ticket media, Annual Pass or MagicBand (in testing) to the touch point on their way into the park. Cast members are still stationed at entrances to greet guests and assist when needed.

One of those cast members is Awilda Martinez, who has worked at the main entrance of Magic Kingdom Park for more than 30 years, and has personally seen the difference the new touch point entry system has made for guests visiting the park.

“The guests love the new entrances. It’s all been positive. Even children get a smile on their face when they see the green light. They’ve never seen anything like this before in their lives!”

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

Taking the Disney Guest Experience to the Next Level

posted on January 7th, 2013 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we continually push the boundaries of creativity and innovation to deliver the best possible experience for our guests. We’re always looking for ways to take what we do and do it even better. Over the past few years, we’ve devoted considerable time and resources to create a more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience for each and every guest who spends time with us. I know there’s been significant speculation about these efforts among our fans, so we’re pleased to give you a glimpse into the work we are doing to take the entire Disney guest experience to the next level.

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Some of these initiatives are more apparent and can already be seen by our guests – like our interactive queues at Walt Disney World Resort and the Enchanted Art on our cruise ships – while others are more behind-the-scenes and are focused on “how” visitors plan, access and enjoy their experiences with us. Over the next several months, we’ll be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+ that will give guests more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit.

Like most people who visit Walt Disney World Resort, my family and I have our “must-do” attractions, and as the father of three boys, those attractions often end with the word “mountain.” Now, rather than dashing as a group, or even splitting up to gather FastPasses, imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park. With MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.

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A major component of MyMagic+ is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which gives guests planning their trip the latest information on all Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. We know that some people like to plan every aspect of their Disney vacation in advance while others like to plan very little, letting their day unfold spontaneously. No matter where guests fall in that spectrum, My Disney Experience gives them the flexibility to plan as much or as little as they’d like to create the exact Disney experience they want. They can book dining and other experiences and reserve times for their favorite attractions, shows and more through an enhanced FastPass system, FastPass+. Once they arrive, they can use their smart phones to spontaneously change their plans in the moment, exploring our parks at their own pace and getting the most out of their visit.

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Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand. Worn on the wrist, it will serve as a guest’s room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one. We’ve began testing certain aspects of MyMagic+ in Florida last month and the early reactions we’ve gotten have been fantastic.

This collection of tools is another step forward in the ongoing evolution of our guest experience, giving us even more ways to help friends and family create the unforgettable Disney memories that they want most. We’ll be testing, adjusting and adding features to MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience over time and will continue to make improvements based on our guests’ feedback. We look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead!

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Filed: My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort