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The Disney Scoop, Issue #009-- Disney Discounts, New ADR system, PI changes, and more....
August 01, 2008


Hello Everyone!

Well it’s been a very busy month for Disney-related news! Some big announcements were made regarding dining reservations, Pleasure Island, parades, and even Fantasmic.

On the other hand, it’s been pretty slow-going in my humble abode. The lazy, lazy days of summer have completely engulfed my entire family. We’ve all been doing lots of puzzles, playing games, reading and just enjoying the freedom that summer allows. Hope you all are enjoying your families as much as we are enjoying ours!

Here's a heads up for anyone going to Disney World in January 2009. Disney is making some major changes to the ADR system. Please read the article below as these changes will affect January guests the most.

If you are traveling before then, hopefully you have already made all of your desired reservations, especially if you will be there during the more popular times this year.

Lastly, here is a quick monthly update on the planning spreadsheet files. Since posting the files in a new location on an external web host, they have now been downloaded about 1900 times!

As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please send me a note.



Okay, on with the news!





Disney World News




Changes to the Dining Reservation System

Disney is making some big upgrades to their current reservation process. The 180 day window will be shortened to 90 days during this transition. If you are going to Disney World in January, this will most likely affect your trip! Pay special attention to the dates and changes!

Here is the official announcement made by Disney regarding the new process for booking dining, recreation, and tours:

The Walt Disney World Resort will release a new reservation booking system for dining, recreation and tour reservations in late October 2008. The new reservation system will replace our current Dining Reservation System and will allow you to book multiple dining reservations for your Clients in one experience, while associating reservations to your Clients’ Walt Disney World Resort room reservations.

In the future, Travel Agents and Guests will be able to make dining reservations online at disneytravelagents.com and disneyworld.com with this new reservation booking system. The launch date for this enhancement will be announced at a later date.

As a result of the system upgrade, effective July 29 through late October 2008, Guests will be able to book dining reservations up to Jan. 25, 2009 arrivals. In late October, booking processes will return to normal, allowing Guests to book up to 180 days of arrival.

The system upgrade will not impact Victoria and Albert’s Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Chef Mickey’s Restaurant. Those three venues will continue to observe the normal booking processes throughout the system cutover.


Pleasure Island Clubs are Closing

Disney announced a “new vision” for the Downtown Disney / Pleasure Island area. According to Disney, we can expect “extraordinary new shopping, dining and other experiences, a completely re-imagined Pleasure Island, numerous enhancements to popular Downtown Disney locations, as well as additional theming and storytelling brought to life by Walt Disney Imagineers.”

But in order to do all this, they need to close down the six existing night clubs that are currently in operation at Pleasure Island – including the very popular Adventurer’s Club. The closing date is set at September 27th, 2008.

Admission to these clubs has always been included in the Water Park Fun and More option of the Magic Your Way ticket. Just after announcing the closing of the PI clubs, Disney also announced that nine holes of golf on the par 36 Oak Trail course will now be added to the Water Park Fun and More option. I believe they did this to compensate for the loss of value of the option. If you ask me and my family, golf is pretty much on par with the night clubs – and we have no need or interest in either!

Some of the planned additions to the Downtown Disney / Pleasure Island area include:

  • A giant, tethered balloon that will take guests 300 feet into the air (sounds similar to the Zoo Ballon that we have at the Philadelphia Zoo).
  • T-Rex, a dinosaur-themed family restaurant with life-size animated dinosaurs.
  • A design-your-own tee-shirt store from Hanes.
  • An authentic Central and South American cuisine restaurant.
  • Portobello Yacht Club will be transformed into a Tuscan Country Trattoria.
  • Goofy's Candy Company will offer birthday party options.
  • The Marketplace Stage will be completely replaced and expanded.



No Spectromagic Parade - August 15th to 29th, 2008

Spectromagic

The SpectroMagic nighttime parade will not be performed from August 15th to the 29th, due to the Liberty Square Bridge being closed for refurbishment. I heard that they are changing the slope or arch of the bridge to accommodate new float vehicles…..could this be a sign of a new parade coming to the Magic Kingdom? I sure hope so!!

During this period, there will be additional Castle shows, more Town Square Character Meet and Greets and an added performance of the Dreams Come True Parade.




2009 Fantasmic Schedule Changes

Beginning in January 2009, Fantasmic!, the nighttime show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, will only be performed two nights per week. This supposedly has something to do with the new American Idol attraction – but it may also be a sign of cutting costs in reaction to the strained economy.

The nighttime fireworks schedules at the Magic Kingdom (Wishes) and Epcot (Illuminations) are not slated to change.




Summer Reading Suggestions

I thought it would be fun to share my summer reading list with you. For all of you Peter Pan fans out there, you have got to read the adventure books written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I read the whole lot and my 10 year-old son has read the first installment so far. We both really enjoyed the story and adventures. Without giving too much away, these books give you a “back-story” to the original Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie. I highly recommend any or all of the books to readers of all ages.

The books are:

The books are also listed in the Disney-Related Fiction of the Plan a Magical Vacation Amazon Store. The last two books listed above are shorter and would be appropriate for younger readers where the others are a little more challenging.

Some of you may already be familiar with Ridley Pearson, he also wrote the Kingdom Keepers books. Again, these are well written but tell a slightly different kind of story!




Please visit the Plan a Magical Vacation Amazon Store

Be sure to check out the Gifts and Shopping section of the website for all of your Disney guide books, music, and more. You can now use all of the Amazon.com features like Search, Checkout, and read product and customer reviews right from within the Plan a Magical Vacation website. In case you are wondering, yes the website does earn a commission when you shop through the links on our site. Thanks to all of you who show support in this way!



Find the Cheapest Airfare

If you are looking to find the best price you have got to check out Kayak.com. If you have ever booked your own airfare, you know what a pain it is to manually check all the different airlines for the best deal. Kayak is a travel tool that searches 140+ travel sites all at once and finds the cheapest fares for you – for flights, hotels, and even rental cars. After you get all of the results for your desired travel dates, you can then compare the results from all of the sites together – and there are many ways to filter and sort the results – all done instantly! Hotels searches are also offered, so check it out if you are planning to stay offsite in an Orlando area hotel. You can even buy direct from the airlines or agencies - Kayak is not a travel agent. And of course, Kayak is free!




Disney World Specials


Check the Discounts page for up-to-date Disney specials and discount codes.

Disney World Room Only Discount for Disney Visa Holders




Tip of the Month

EBAY your Way to Disney!

I’m not saying that you’ll be able to fund an entire Disney vacation on Ebay sales, but you can surely make some extra souvenir money! Even the kids can get involved – my sons have been having a grand old time! And the best part about the process is the de-cluttering of your home…

Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!






What’s New

I hope you enjoy the most recent additions at the Plan a Magical Vacation website:


To stay up-to-date with 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 me!




Until Next Time…
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.
Enjoy planning your magical Disney World Vacation!
Best regards,


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