Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Disney Diva Blog Has Moved

To follow my blog at it's new location just follow this link:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Disney announces first new hotel in 7 years.

Disney announced today that they will begin construction on a 2,000-room
hotel they've named Disney's Art of Animation resort.
The new resort will have 1120 suites that can accommodate families with up
to 6 guests. It will be a value category resort and will be located across the lake
from Pop Century resort. The buildings are already in place and was originally phase 2 of
Pop Century which was never completed.
The announcement comes on the heels of Disney reporting that hotel
occupancy dropped 8 percent from a year ago.
The new resort will be themed after Disney's most popular movies - Cars, Little Mermaid,
Finding Nemo and The Lion King. It is expected to open in 2012.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Free Dining Coming to Walt Disney World!

Once again Free Dining has emerged offering yet another way to save on your Walt Disney World vacation.
It's currently offered by Disney to Disney Visa cardholders but is expected to be opened to the public May 3rd.
Free dining will run from August 15 to Oct 2, 2010. If you book a value resort such as one of the All-Star resorts or Pop Century, you will receive free Quick Service Dining. That plan gives you two counter service and two snacks per day per person and a refillable resort mug for each person.
If you book a moderate or deluxe resort you will get the free dining plan which includes one table service, one counter service and one snack per person per day. This plan allows you to make reservations at Disney's plethora of fabulous restaurants.
There are a few things you should know ahead of time about Free Dining in Disney.
First, it's a great value. My family has stayed in Disney during free dining in 2006. After tallying our receipts from that trip we calculated that we received $1,300 in savings. And we really didn't eat any additional food. The free dining plan offers plenty of food.
Many people plan their trips around free dining each year so you need to be prepared for it to be more crowded than times when free dining isn't offered. You also need to get your table service reservations made early because some of the popular restaurants such as Le Celier in Epcot and Cinderella's Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom, book up quickly!
Also, if you already have a Disney trip booked during that time through Disney, don't assume Disney will automatically change your reservation to free dining because they won't. You will have to call them and have them change it.
And if you prefer the Deluxe Dining Plan which gives you 3 table service meals per day per peron and one of them can be used as a quick service meal, you can upgrade to that for an additional fee if you're staying at a moderate or deluxe resort during free dining. That plan I recommend for people who prefer to book a lot of Disney's signature restaurants that require 2 table service credits.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Summer Nightastic in Disney

Those of you traveling to Walt Disney World this summer will be in for some changes!
Disney announced Summer Nightastic beginning in early June and running through August 14.
During this time there will be a new-yet unnamed- fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom. I wasn't sure how I felt about this at first being such a fan of the Wishes fireworks but I know Disney and it's reputation for great things so I'll be looking forward to it.
Another change this summer is that SpectroMagic - the Magic Kingdom's parade of lighted floats that appear almost nightly - will be replaced with the Main Street Electrical Parade. Having no patience to wait, I searched for it on YouTube and watched some of it. I love SpectroMagic, it's theme song is the ring tone on my cell phone, but the Main Street Electrical Parade looks like a fun parade I'm sure I'll enjoy.
Another change announced is the new drop sequences in Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I've only gone on this ride once and did not really like it. But I'm thinking I may give it a second chance this summer and see if I feel differently.
Sometime in 2010 Disney will remove Toon Town in order to make way for their massive expansion to the Magic Kingdom. So take the opportunity to make one last visit, especially if you have little ones.
And since it's wedding season I feel the need to mention this to anyone honeymooning in Disney. Buy the Minnie and Mickey bride and groom ears (online or at the Disney store in downtown Disney). Lots of magic seems to happen to brides and grooms wearing these in the parks!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Once Again, Disney Extends A Great Offer

Disney has extended it's Gift Card Promotion through Aug. 14, allowing summer travelers a good deal when staying at a Disney-owned resort.
If you stay 5 or more nights in a deluxe resort you will get a $750 gift card (per room) when you check into your resort. If you stay at a moderate resort you get a $500 gift card. When you stay at a value resort you get a $300 gift card.
Disney traditionally doesn't offer specials in the summer but the promotion was extended shortly after the company reported flat sales in the theme parks for the last quarter. This is good news for those families who need to make their trips in the summer when the children are not in school.
In addition, Disney is also offering a room discount special. You will have to choose between the two since they don't allow stacking of promotions. I checked both and for my trip the gift card promotion is the better deal.
The gift cards are Disney gift cards and can be used for anything in Walt Disney World.
Just remember if you're considering taking advantage of this promotion that airfare is going to go quickly!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Have A Game Plan

Whether you've been to Walt Disney World lately or not, it's always a good idea to have a game plan for when you get there. In addition to four parks and two water parks, there is amazing restaurants, character dining, parades, fireworks, downtown Disney, backstage tours and much more!
Although my trips are yearly now and I talk about Disney on a daily basis for my job, I still have some sort of game plan when I go. And that plan usually depends on who I'm traveling with and the time of year we're traveling.
One of the first items I purchase every year to help me plan my trip is the Passporter for Walt Disney World. This spiral bound book with glossy pages, maps, and places for writing details about the trip, is one of my must-haves. It's written by Dave and Jennifer Marx and has valuable input from their two children. This veteran Disney family and their dedicated fans and staff give you their honest opinions on all things Disney.
From ride ratings from both adult and children's perspective to resort and park ratings, this book has it all. I always recommend it to my clients booking Disney vacations. It helps to sort out the details.
The Passporter is going to be even more helpful to me this year as our family plans my 2-year-old granddaughter's first trip to Disney. My oldest daughter was 5 when I first took her to Disney so we were beyond needing a stroller and afternoon naps. I'm learning from this book what rides she can go on, strategies for renting or taking a stroller and a plethora of other information I know will be helpful.
I've always purchased the book at larger book stores such as Barnes and Noble but the Passporter can be purchased on their website at:
In addition to the book, we've purchased the Passporter Passholders. It's smaller than a wallet and holds park passes, room keys, cash and even lip balm! It's a great way to go "bagless" into the parks. You'll find that on the Web site also.
Although the Super Bowl approaches and some of us don't have a team playing this year, those of us with 2010 Disney trips on the horizon, will be starting to make our own Game Plan!

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Changes in Disney World

Some changes are going on in Disney this year including the removal of Toon Town to make way for the expansion of the Magic Kingdom.
The Crystal Palace restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is currently closed for refurbishment. Because it's character dining is so popular, they've moved characters to the Liberty Tree Tavern while Crystal Palace is closed. Another change in the Magic Kingdom is the reopening of Space Mountain after a 9-month long refurbishment. The People Mover - which passes through Space Mountain - was also closed. The voice recording that has entertained guests riding the People Mover has been changed and many people are not happy about that change. I'll reserve my opinion for after I hear it.
Another change taking place in 2010 is the price of the dining plan. The regular dining plan is now priced based on what season it is. So if you're an adult getting the dining plan in peak season, you'll pay $46.99 per day for the table service dining versus $41.99 per day during value season.
Disney has continued in 2010 with another promotion to get guests in the parks and at their resorts in a slower economy. If you book a Disney vacation and stay at a Disney resort before June 3, you can get a gift card of $300 if you stay at a value resort; $500 if you stay at a moderate resort and $750 if you stay at a deluxe resort. While it's not as good as the buy 4 nights get 3 free, it's close.