Downtown Disney Traffic Chaos Prediction

According to there’s going to be a tough time on the roads around Downtown Disney this Christmas.

Blaming the new multi level parking lot construction for removing spaces and causing confusion, the prediction is that DTD will become gridlocked during peak times this winter.

The introduction of Valet parking some time in October suggests that Disney are indeed bracing themselves for a tougher than usual time on the already busy roads around Disney’s ever popular shopping and dining location.

The concern for me, is more about the future.  How on earth will those awful roadways cope under the pressure from the vastly increased traffic that will result from the Disney Springs developments?

We’ve heard about plans to build a new ramp from the I-4, but as of now, we’ve seen no evidence so far, and quite honestly, I would have expected to by now if a 2016 deadline was to be met!

Surely Disney can’t have messed up on the golden rule “get them in fast and smoothly”


SeaWorld’s Polar Express will soon be here!

As November approaches, so too does my favorite Christmas Experience in Orlando.

Although I love all of the region’s theme parks, I can’t think of a better family event during the Holidays than SeaWorld’s Polar Express.  Disney?  Nah, they don’t even come close to unleashing this amount of Magic!

If you think I’m kidding, please take a trip on the Polar Express yourself and tell me I’m wrong later!  I bet you agree though!
The movie of the same name had something unique.  There was an awesome eeriness about the way the animation, almost 3D and lifelike thanks to its motion capture technology.   The SeaWorld Polar Express is no less charismatic, no less magical than the animated Movie and the stunning arctic environment inside the Wild Arctic animal exhibit area adds a touch of authentic realism that simply blows your mind as you shuffle respectfully towards the one and only Santa Claus seated patiently in his north pole ice cave.

If ever you wanted to teach your kids that Santa is real, this is your golden opportunity!

Walmart Disney Tickets Orlando

A few people have asked me about buying Disney tickets from Walmart in Orlando.

Firstly, here’s my understanding about the Walmart Disney Ticket Office:

  • Walmart themselves, do not directly retail any theme park tickets.
  • The retailer is a concession desk towards the exit of the Walmart Superstore at Cagan’s Crossing near the US27/192 intersection
  • The tickets are real and original tickets
  • Discounts are in line with the usual offerings from discount ticket vendors.
  • The Ticket kiosk can be reached on the Clermont Walmart telephone number
    (352) 536-2750

I’ve often checked prices at this location as we’ve left the store with our shopping and can confirm that the prices are ever so slightly cheaper than the gate prices at the main theme parks.

Purchasing tickets here should be trouble free, mainly due to the location under the ever watchful Walmart management, but buyers should take note, that our understanding is, that this vendor is not actually a part of Walmart. 

Backlot Tours To Stay Around A While at Hollywood Studios

If anyone can work out what Disney should do at their Hollywood Studios park, then please email Disney with some ideas!

Seriously, the latest news is that the Studio Backlot Tour is to get  a hefty refurbishment starting January 6th 2014.   Set to remain closed until March 2nd 2014, we can only assume that the attraction is going to be sticking around for at the very least another year.

With that large patch of land, along with the space taken up by Lights, Motors Action, I think we can safely assume that this location and possibly no other will play home to Cars Land.
As a few sharp theme park observers already note, Cars as a franchise simply won’t stand the test of time of at least another 14 years (4 before it opens and 10 to pay back the investment).

Disney may have something awesome up their Fantasia Cape’s sleeves, but from where I’m sitting, they could easily be accused of being caught wrong footed at a time where Universal are cruising powerfully along with a relentless upsurge in investment.

While Disney have indeed focussed heavily on commerce activities within the theme parks, including the colossal Disney Springs project and Magicbands projects, they appear to have slipped on a banana skin when it comes to doing what guests are actually looking for: Attractions.

Disney do seem to have a conceptual gap at the moment.
Sure, their new acquisition of Star Wars will end up being successful as a brand, but really?
A 37 year old brand is going to form the mainstay of your future in the parks?

Avatarland equally confuses me.  Yes I loved the film, yes I would love to visit Pandora, but, I have to ask what on earth this non Disney, non Animal concept is doing over in the Animal Kingdom?

Then a flaky rumor now floats around that Lord of the Rings is heading to WDW.
OK, we can’t blame Disney for the rumors that others put out there, but the point is, that is how crazy the lack of direction Disney has right now!

Tom Staggs (CEO and Chairman of Disney Parks) looks set to go into the history books as Disney’s most financially successful yet.
The cost?  A bunch of money churning parks with a distinct lack of identity.

For me, this is where the Magic begins to fade and we see the workings more than the show!



Disney Parks Rumors!

Not sure what on earth is going on, but Lord of the Rings at Disney?


Ok, so a few websites are reporting it as a loose rumor, while one other seems more determined, but the whole idea of Lord of the Rings just doesn’t make sense to me.
Are Disney panicking or is it just a load of disinformation deliberately spread to buy some time as they ‘iron out’ some finer details,  like how on earth do you deal with lots of traffic heading into HS!

Disney fans are a but bored with Disney’s indifference towards committing to something meaty enough to appeal to guests far and wide, but if they keep playing around they are in danger of slipping further and further into the shadows of Universal’s very well planned Diagon Alley add on.

Cars Land, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings?  Come on Disney, you’ve got the cash, you have the land, please don’t tell us that you lack imagination and commitment!


Buy Two Tickets Get One Free At Universal

As long as I live, I won’t be able to work out how the minds of a theme park exec quite work!  If I could, perhaps I’d be one instead of writing about them haha!

The latest mysterious price drop after a price rise comes from Universal Studios.  Buy two, get one free!  That’s their latest deal over the Autumn and Winter of 2013/14

For around $125 you get 14 days in which to visit either of the Orlando parks on 3 days.
Alternatively, you can pay a little more for a two day ‘park to park’ pass and access both parks over 3 days, effectively hopping between parks in a single day.

Those big headline prices work great during the busy season, but when things quieten off, deals like this make a lot of sense for vacationers!

Rip Ride Rockit Reliability Concerns After 3 Hours Trapped!

Universal’s Rip Ride Rockit is certainly a great roller coaster.
It towers 167ft high, as Orlando’s tallest roller coaster and the loops and twists make this 65mph adrenalin ride one of the highlights of a trip to Universal.

That is if you manage to catch the ride running say some guests on forums and social media sites.  While we ourselves have never been on the ride during a stoppage, we have had a fair share of turnarounds in the line wait area due to ride system failures.

Those annoying occurrences are nothing however to last night’s event.  12 passengers spent a whopping 3 hours trapped on board the ride, before the Orlando Fire Dept freed them from the highest section of the ride.

Following a minor vehicle collision earlier this summer, Universal have not hesitated to announce that the ride will remain closed until the problem is fully understood.

Fortunately for the passengers, the stoppage occurred later in the evening, reducing the exposure to sunlight as darkness drew in.  Equally as fortunate, lightning storms did not add to the anxiety, which would have resulted in the tallest building around being exposed with 12 people trapped on board.