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The Disney Scoop, Issue #004-- DS, AI, Water, and Discounts. Intrigued? Read On...
March 01, 2008
Wow, it’s March already! I cannot believe how fast these days have been flying by. I’ve been very busy adding more and more information to the site for all of you. This month I’ve found some neat news items to share with you, as well as a couple of discount codes.
This is just a reminder to anyone traveling to Disney World in September. Your 180 day window is opening soon! Be ready to make all of your dining ADRs.
For those going before then, hopefully you have already made all of your desired reservations. I’d be willing to bet that many of the restaurants are already booking up with people who have been tentatively planning with the hopes that Free Dining will be offered again this year.
At any rate, I hope you are all doing well and are having a good time planning your own magical Disney vacation!
Nintendo DS being tested as “wireless map” in MK
Wireless interactive map software for the Nintendo DS is being pilot tested in the Magic Kingdom. The Disney Imagineers are using the Nintendo DS as the platform for the new Disney Magic Connection program. Sounds pretty cool!
Here’s how this is working right now. Random guests are selected to try out the device during their day at the park. If chosen to participate in the pilot testing of the Disney Magic Connection, you are required to leave your credit card information along with a $300 security deposit. Yikes! But it is just a deposit. You are not actually charged to participate. This is only done to make sure that you bring the DS back!
The main feature of the Magic Connection program is a fully interactive park map. The system knows exactly where you are in the park and provides directions to various attractions, restaurants, character greeting areas, etc. Through sensors that are strategically placed throughout the park, the park communicates with the DS. It even gives updated attraction wait time!
The system also lets you know when you are near an attraction that is on your "wish list". Using the interactive map, you can select an attraction to bring up a short description of it, including height restrictions, operating status, and the current Fast Pass distribution time (if applicable).
Not surprisingly, Disney's Magic Connection DS software comes loaded with a couple of interactive games to help pass the time while waiting in line. These games are associated with certain attractions and areas of the park. When you first receive the DS, these games are locked. By visiting the specific attractions, the games are unlocked and available for play. The difficulty levels of the games are matched to the person playing it (according to information you had already entered when setting up the DS when you first received it). Right now, there are five games available: Fantasyland, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
I assume this system and its sensors work like the Pal Mickey device / toy. Pal Mickey interacts with Disney parks and attractions using sensors located throughout the parks.
This program is still in the testing phase. There has been no announcement of the program being available for purchase or on a rental basis in the future, or if it will even actually leave the testing phase. It’s sounds like a pretty cool idea to me, and I am sure my boys would love it!
But with the amount of people, strollers, ECVs, and wheelchairs zooming around the parks as it is, I am not sure it would be a smart move to have people walking around looking at a DS and not paying attention to where they are going!
Disney has announced that a new American Idol attraction is slated to debut in late 2008. It will be located at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park. Guests will experience the challenge of auditioning, the rush of performing on stage in competition, or the thrill of judging the performances in a live interactive setting with all the glitz and glamour of the real American Idol. Kind of sounds like the discontinued Who Wants to be a Millionaire show.
The audition process will be open to all who register. Registered guests will then perform live in front of a Disney Hollywood Studios producer. They then get to work with a vocal coach and hair and make-up artists to prepare for another performance – this time in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.
Guest performers with the highest votes will compete in an end-of-the-day Grand Finale show at Walt Disney World, and the winner of that will receive a guaranteed reservation for a future regional stadium audition for the real American Idol. I have heard that they will actually be given a front-of-the-line pass, which is quite nice considering the length of those lines!
This new Disney attraction gives real people a shot to make their dream a reality. I think that sums up the whole of Disney World! I just hope that the performers are not subjected to Simon-like criticism. After all, this is Disney World!
If you are looking for another way to get your Disney fix, check out some iTunes Podcasts. I have been keeping myself thoroughly entertained by listening to some of the podcast offerings. Most of the episodes are free, and there are a ton of Disney related ones on itunes. Check them out for yourself.
Free Park Hopper and Water Park UpgradesOffer includes FREE Park Hopper and Water Park options you book a Magic Your Way package at a Disney Resort for travel from 3/30/2008 - 5/21/2008. When booking use the following codes:
APV - Magic Your Way Package
AP Packages with the Disney Dining PlanThis offer is for a special package for Annual Passholders that includes the Disney Dining Plan (either basic or deluxe) for travel from 3/30/2008 - 5/21/2008.
Note: Because it is for those who have annual passes, this package does not include any kind of park tickets. When booking use the following codes:
ANA - Magic Your Way Plus Dining
Disney Shopping10% off Sitewide at Disneyshopping.com! Use promo code MARSITE10. Offer ends 3/10/2008.
One of my favorite tips to pass along to friends has to do with water. Did you know that you can use Staples (or other similar places) to have water delivered to your resort before you even arrive?
Now why on earth should you do this? Well, bottled water is expensive at Disney World. We’re talking about $2.50 per bottle. I do believe that a bottle of water is considered a snack on the Disney Dining Plans (both basic and deluxe), but why waste a snack credit on water? Simple solution – ship it down to your resort.
Now, if you don’t mind the taste of the tap water, go ahead and drink it. Bring your own water bottles and keep refilling them. We did this during on of our trips and it was fine, but we did have to lug 5 water bottles on the plane and keep track of them throughout the trip.
In comparison, on another trip, I had three cases of water waiting for us at check-in. It was great! The shipping was free too because I had a membership card. Not sure if that is still offered, but it would still be worth it.
So, having water shipped down to Disney World it is a very inexpensive and convenient way to get an absolute necessity - WATER. Especially if you are vacationing during the warmer times of the year. Or if you have a husband who drinks a gallon of water a day!
In the words of my husband, “Hydrate or Die!”
I hope you enjoy the most recent additions at the Plan a Magical Vacation website:
To see a more lengthy list of the recent additions, please visit our What’s New page. If you have a Disney or vacation-related idea that you wish to share with all of us, or if there is some topic you would like more info about, please contact us!
Well, that’s all for this month. Be sure to bookmark or add us to your favorites so you can stay informed of all of the changes at www.plan-a-magical-vacation.com.
If you like this newsletter, please feel free to forward it to a friend. Also, please share your thoughts or suggestions with me. I always appreciate feedback and I am very interested in making each and every newsletter edition as helpful and meaningful for you as possible.If a friend did forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting The Disney Scoop. Be sure to visit us again to Plan a Magical Vacation!
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