Disney’s first African American princess is coming December 11 to a theatre near you! Watch the trailer here.
Archive for May, 2009
Disney has just released a new discount for resort stays between June 7 and August 8. Savings are roughly 20-22% of regular seasonal rates. You can book the discount through June 6 here.
Discounting rooms during the summer season is rather unprecedented, a sign that tourism in Orlando continues to struggle. Despite the fact that the parks continue to be populated, even crowded, Disney profits continue to drop–likely in response to the deep discounts being offered. Many travelers are taking advantage of these great deals but spending less in the parks on food and merchandise.
Do your part to stimulate the economy: plan your Disney vacation today! And while you’re there, be sure to buy some Mickey ears and eat a few Mickey ice cream bars. Let’s keep the Mouse in business!
Star Tours first opened in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in 1987, then opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney’s MGM Studios) in December of 1989. Since then, the attraction has remained pretty much the same.
Time for an overhaul, don’t you think? Apparently the folks at Disney think so too. Rumor has it that Lucasfilm has secretly been shooting footage for an update to the popular simulation ride.
While there has been no official confirmation from either Disney or Lucasfilm, rumors are flying across the web. We know that Anthony Daniels, aka C3PO, let it slip last year that he had recorded some audio tracks for an update of the ride. Now slashfilm.com is reporting that shooting began last week, featuring characters such as Boba Fett, Admiral Ackbar, and some Jawas. I think we can expect to see several characters from the prequels.
Speculation on the technology front includes the use of Disney Digital 3-D screens, polarized 3-D glasses with Star Wars theming, DTS-HD Master Audio systems, and remote controlled audio-animatronic figures.
Most would agree that Star Tours 2.0 is long overdue. Will Disney take advantage of May’s Star Wars Weekends at DHS to make the big announcement? Let’s hope so!
First, the free offer. For travel dates between August 16 and October 3, guests that book a full price Magic Your Way package (that’s basically a resort stay with at least a one-day ticket purchase) for at least three nights will receive the Disney Dining Plan for free! Must be booked by June 21.
So, what exactly is the Disney Dining Plan? Well, it’s actually several plans. Let’s break it down:
- New for 2009 is the Quick Service Dining plan. For each night of your stay, every guest over 3 gets 2 quick-service meals and 2 snacks. Each guest also gets a refillable mug that can be used at the resort of stay for unlimited soft drinks, coffee, milk, etc. The cost of this plan is $31.99 per day for adults and $9.99 per day for children 3-9.
- The basic Disney Dining plan includes (per night of stay): 1 table-service meal, 1 quick-service meal, and 1 snack. Cost is $39.99 per day for adults and $10.99 per day for children 3-9.
- The Deluxe Dining plan allows (per night of stay) a choice of 3 table-service or quick-service meals, plus 2 snacks per guest. Guests also receive refillable mugs. This plan is $71.99 per day for adults and $20.99 per day for children 3-9.
- Finally, there’s the Wine and Dine plan. This one can be added to any other dining plan, and includes one wine entitlement per room per night of your stay. (Some wines “cost” more than one entitlement.) A more detailed explanation is here. This one adds $39.99 per day per room (not per person) and is obviously only available to adult guests.
There are other premium packages available, but since this blog is called Affording the Mouse, I don’t recommend those based on cost. A few other caveats: kids must order from the kids menu, if one is available. Some special table service meals, such as character meals, “cost” two credits. Snack credits can be used for obvious items in the park (ice cream, drinks, etc.) but can also be used for some pre-packaged snack items in gift shops. So, if you’re nearing the end of your vacation and you have leftover snack credits, see what you can find at your resort shop.
Are the dining plans a good deal? When they’re free, certainly! But if you are paying full price, there are a few things to consider. What age are your children? If you have a ten-year-old, you’re going to pay the full adult price, and he or she may not eat the full entree. And what are your priorities? Do you want to spend an hour or more each day at a table service restaurant? And do you want to have most of your meals planned in advance? (Since the introduction of the dining plans, table service restaurants are often booked weeks, if not months, in advance. ADRs are absolutely necessary if you plan to use those table service credits.)
If fine dining is a priority, if your family enjoys sharing relaxing meals together, and if you are all hearty eaters, the dining plans can be a great value. But, if you’re like me and have preschoolers who would rather be riding Dumbo than sitting at Le Celliar, it’s probably best to skip dining.
But, hey, when it’s free…
And here’s the important news: DisneyOutlet.com hasn’t changed! For those of us who never pay full price, this is THE site for Disney merchandise. Sign up for email alerts, and you’ll get first notice of deals like free shipping and seasonal sales. Sure, the merchandise isn’t always the “latest & greatest” Disney has to offer, but most items are the very same ones you would have paid 25-50% more for at DisneyStore.com just a few weeks or months before. I especially like shopping for kids costumes here, since they are deeply discounted throughout the year.
Speaking of costumes, there’s a whole new line of princess costumes for 2009. You can see them all by clicking here. Happy shopping!