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Walt Disney World: First Time, Last Time, First Time in a Long Time (2017)


When the man whose name is also the name of your company indicated publicly that the company’s mission included constant growth, change, and progress you tend to be held to that standard. The fact that you’re charging an arm and a leg to visitors at your “Vacation Kingdom” also motivates mixing things up a bit. The Disney parks don’t always live up to this ideal and have certainly come under valid criticism because of it. But when you’ve got a large number of customers who are willing to visit over and over (like me) it indicates one of two things, or maybe a bit of both. A: They have actually provided a huge amount of experiences that stand up to lots of repeat business and have expanded over my lifetime from a single park with a few adjoining resorts to a mega complex with four theme parks, two water parks, close to twenty resort hotels, a huge entertainment and shopping complex, and a wide variety of other vacation options. B. With crowds continuing to be strong and earnings even stronger…maybe it doesn’t matter as much as it should.

Either way, they haven’t made me want to stop going yet. Not yet. We’ll see how that develops in the coming years though. In the meantime, I’m still finding myself capable of enjoying new things every time I visit. The above-pictured Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar is something I haven’t sampled since I was a kid and there was just one theme park on property. Maybe I’ll make a point to remedy that on my newest trip to Walt Disney World which is coming in just two weeks. Let’s take a look at what is new for me and what is tried and true.
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Daffy Does Disney – September 30th, 2016 travel


Greetings fair LeBlog readers! Welcome to a new bit of fiddling around I’m giving a try. That is, vlogging! Yes, that starts with a “V.” I shot a bunch of video over my four day weekend trip to Walt Disney World recently and now I’ll be cobbling together what I ended up with and presenting it in videos of varying lengths here. There might be some text at times too if a topic is of particular interest.

This first installment is all about travel and waiting…and some silly use of stock music. There’s not a lot of meat on the bone here, so if you have any questions about what you see, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer. Hopefully people will think these videos are fun and I’ll have another way of sharing my travels.

Disney World to Charge More for Less in 2016


cinderella-castle-disney-world

I wanted my next Disney World article to be a positive story.  I really did.  The last several Disney World updates I have done have been critical of Disney’s management of the Orlando resort.  There have been some managerial shake-ups which should lead to some positive developments down the line.  But those are going to take time.  The news for 2016 is unfortunately pretty grim.  Made worse by events halfway around the world.  If you are planning a trip to Disney World this year, expect to pay more than ever for a greatly diminished product.

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Under-rated Disney World: Mickey’s Philharmagic


Mickey's Philharmagic

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Now that the Disney Songs countdown has come to a close, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at an under-appreciated musically-mind Disney attraction: Mickey’s Philharmagic.  The name of the attraction is a bit misleading.  The show bears Mickey Mouse’s name.  But Donald Duck is the real star.  Typical!  The mouse always gets all the glory.

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Disney’s $2 Billion Dollar Boondoggle


Magic Band

Previously, I examined the capacity issues at Walt Disney World Resort.  Despite increased attendance and ever-increasing prices, Disney has been reluctant to invest heavily in new attractions.  The end result is that the parks – the Magic Kingdom in particular – are more crowded (and expensive) than ever.  The value of a day at Disney World is less than it once was.

As we saw in the previous article, Disney has been reinvesting less money into its domestic parks than it used to.  But what is even more frustrating is the way in which Disney has chosen to reinvest in the parks.  At Disney World, that has meant spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion dollars on the “Next Gen” project while making only modest investments in attractions.

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Disney’s Capacity Issue – Why are the lines so long?


WDW - Cinderella Castle

This probably won’t come as a shock to anyone, but Disney World is making money.  A lot of money.  Attendance is up.  Revenue is up.  That all sounds like good news, doesn’t it?  And it is unless you happen to be at Disney World.

Traditionally, this time of year has been thought of as a slow season with relatively short lines.  But according to Disney World’s app, wait times on a Monday morning in February look a lot like they did when my family and I visited the resort back in June.  In other words, the lines are long, the parks are crowded and the entire enterprise is more expensive than ever!  Even die-hard Disney fans prone to apologizing on Disney’s behalf are starting to complain about over-crowding.

Why is that?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Let’s talk about Disney’s capacity problem.

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New Fantasyland Review: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train


seven dwarfs concept art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Festival of Fantasy Parade


Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Coming to Magic Kingdom in 2014

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Tangled and Princess Fairytale Hall



Princess Fairytale Hall Concept Art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant


Be Our Guest Concept Art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Beauty and the Beast


Fantasyland Expansion Concept Art – Pt 2

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: The Little Mermaid


ariels_adventure_new_fantasyland-resized-600

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Storybook Circus


dumbo_new_fantasyland-resized-600

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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