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For the fans of Star Wars nothing is so exciting than what Disney Star Wars Weekends have to offer. Started in 1997, this one of a kind exclusive Disney World event is a must anticipated fantasy-fest which celebrates and brings to life the favorite actions and scenes from the Iconic film saga of all times. Every year from May through June Disney Hollywood Studios theme park becomes the most happening place to look for. During the period the Park is at its best with plenty of special and unique Star Wars activities and attractions that every fan and guest loves to celebrate and enjoy. Read more »
The greatest Intergalactic Battle Ride fantasy is joining the list of amazing ride attractions at Universal Studios Orlando soon. Come summer 2013 the Universal resort in Florida will have its newest and most thrilling action-packed ride ever. The blockbuster attraction Transformers: The Ride-3D is slated for a summertime opening and according to the Park officials everything is on track for the grand opening. The much anticipated attraction ride is based on the famous Transformers Brand and is expected to boost the level of adventure rides to newer heights.
It’s time for guests to prepare for the greatest battle ride experience now, where larger- than -life characters – the likes of Autobots and the Decepticons will put you right in the middle of a never ending battle of good and evil. Universal Studios Orlando fans will come face to face with Megatron for the first time and join Optimus Prime and the Autobots in the epic fight to save the World. However, the exact date for the opening still remains undisclosed. While the world awaits Universal’s official announcement for the opening, guests at the Park are already enjoying the sights of some of the famous characters from the movie outside the newly erected Transformers building. Two of the leading characters – Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are making their appearances, meeting and greeting guests at irregular intervals. Moreover, after entertaining visitors for months now, the two famous characters have a new rival in the form of Megatron of late.
The Transformers: The Ride-3D at the Orlando Park is the third of its kind that Universal is opening after it proves to be a big hit in the other Universal parks in Singapore and Hollywood. The thrilling battle ride is same in all the three parks, but Universal Studios Orlando being the latest one in adding the same enjoys the advantage of improvising the ride with superior technologies which others don’t. Park officials believed that the Orlando version will offer a more rich experience than the predecessors. With the use of high-definition 3D integration and 45 feet tall screens, including life-like HD CGI media and more, it is expected to bring the non-stop actions of the films to life.
It’s good to know that Universal is doing well in keeping the excitement alive for the upcoming Ride. The buzz had been around since March when the famous Transformers characters were rolled out for entertainment one after another. Also the Transformers gift shop- the Supply Vault which is officially opened up, welcoming guests for weeks now. With everything is on place and construction walls removed from the high-tech industrial looking Transformers building, fans will be excited to hear that much awaited official opening date for sure.
There is no doubt that fraudulent sale of attraction tickets and passes have been a major cause of concern for the leading theme parks in Florida. Over the years many such ticket scams were registered and illegal ticket brokers had been penalized. Also there were many innocent guests, who had to leave the parks disappointed for this, while the officials or administration bore the blame time and again. Yet the presence of this nefarious trade is very much active and for Disney and others, the practice has influenced the growth of so-called “criminal cottage Industries” in Florida today.
However, in an effort to discourage this illegal practice (buying & selling of used tickets), the parks have adopted strict measures like installing finger bio-metric scanners at the entrances and printing warning signs or messages on their tickets. But now Disney is on for a complete revolution. The $1 billion Next-Gen MyMagic+ system promises to take entire ticketing experience to the next level. And this has brought the necessity for Disney to ensure that the existing state ticket laws are revised to accommodate the upcoming advance systems.
According to company officials, change in the current laws is a must as ticketing systems have taken a big leap today. The use of advance technology has enabled guests to enjoy a more convenient ticketing experience far beyond the conventional printed tickets. The current state of law is not fit to support a more advanced and technologically inspired system like the magic bracelet that Disney is launching soon. As such, the company is urging the State lawmakers to rewrite the laws to include the upcoming changes in ticketing system.
For example Disney is eying for modifications in sections such as the use of the term “multiuse tickets.” Instead Disney wants to rephrase it as “any right designed for admission”. This will expand the meaning of tickets – beyond the regular printed versions and cover other forms of tickets like the new MagicBands bracelets as well. Also the Park is looking for a change in the way it exercises the power of the “non-transferable” warning (which usually come printed on plastic and paper tickets). Instead the company wants the legislation to say that the warning may be found in the company’s website from now on. For Disney it becomes impossible now to print the warning in their MagicBands from practical standpoint. Also the company is aiming to launch the band in many different and colorful versions as souvenirs for sale. Adding a warning sign to it won’t support its aesthetic objective as such.
Moreover, Walt Disney Parks had already started rolling out new plastic cards with radio-free ID chips, part of the MyMagic+ program. Annual pass holders can swap their paper passes with the advance plastic version and can avail the benefit of using the new Park Entrances for now. But eventually, the pass holders will also be able to enjoy other features such as the FastPass+ service, and the MagicBands, associated with the program once it is fully functional.
Many traveler from around the world travel to Orlando, Florida and find themselves without American dollars shortly after arriving. There are two locations in Orlando worth mentioning, first is located inside the Mall at Millenia which is located off of I-4 at exit 58. This location can be time consuming due to the fact that it is located inside one of Central Florida’s busiest malls and parking can be a real challenge. The second is The Official Ticket Center, located at 3148 Vineland Rd. Kissimmee 34746. Both locations handle currency exchange, but The Official Ticket Center is the fastest and quickest location of the two. Located 2 miles east of the Disney Resort area, this location is a quick in and out for Currency Exchange Orlando stops. Most travelers need a little extra currency exchanged for outlets and for additional expenditures that were unforeseen, so these currency exchange centers are a great help to unexpected travel situations.
© Patrick Pulliam
After the recent announcement of Disney Springs by the theme-park execs, it seems the famous Downtown Disney complex couldn’t have a better future than what the upcoming mega transformation plan holds for now. The much anticipated Disney Springs project is intended to bring a complete change in both the look & feel, including the size of the existing Downtown Disney area in Lake Buena Vista.
Like the theme-parks, this most happening shopping, dining and entertainment district is also destined to change with a magical themed inspired by the turn-of-the century lakeside towns of Central Florida landscape. For the next three years fans will witness a great transformation of the area until it gets fully converted to the most exciting and imaginative setting by the waterfront which will be known as Disney Springs.
The new Disney Springs project, besides its unique and story-telling feature also promises huge expansions both in the size of the existing complex and the amount of attractions it offers. The area will be extended to encompass four outdoor neighborhoods all connected with a spring and lakefront. Disney Springs will start with the New Town Center, and from where it will spread to three additional neighborhoods – The landing, Marketplace and West Side (home of Cirque du Soleil). The new expansion will also encompass the current parking lot, and two new garages that will house a total of about 6,000 vehicles. It is also revealed that the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues will be increased by two-fold once the project is completed. One could also expect the additions of some of the most iconic eating and entertaining brands of the world.
The upcoming expansion is no doubt the grandest expansion in the history of this ever-changing shopping, dining and entertaining destination. But for the Disney planners the ultimate objective is to provide a more vibrant and much bigger imaginative setting- where guests will have more options to shop, dine, relax and entertained without missing the homely feel.
Disney Springs is of course an imaginary re-invention of a magical Florida town which has its roots in the company’s own Sunshine State heritage. It is also believed that the new transformation will exposed visitors to a rather suburban kind of feel than the urban aura of the existing complex. Even the name Disney Springs is expected to be a fitting brand-identity to mark such a significant multi-year transformation. For me this new initiative by Disney is another out-of-the-box move in transforming a rather disjointed Downtown Disney area to a more in-depth, creative and well-connected shopping, dining and entertainment destination like never before.
At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we continually push the boundaries of creativity and innovation to deliver the best possible experience for our Guests. We’re always looking for ways to take what we do and do it even better.
Over the past few years, we’ve devoted considerable time and resources to create a more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience for each and every Guest who spends time with us. I know there’s been significant speculation about these efforts among our fans, so we’re pleased to give you a glimpse into the work we are doing to take the entire Disney Guest experience to the next level.
Some of these initiatives are more apparent and can already be seen by our Guests – like our interactive queues at Walt Disney World® Resort and the Enchanted Art on our cruise ships – while others are more behind-the-scenes and are focused on “how” visitors plan, access and enjoy their experiences with us. Over the next several months, we’ll be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+ that will give Guests more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit.
Like most people who visit Walt Disney World Resort, my family and I have our “must-do” attractions, and as the father of three boys, those attractions often end with the word “mountain.” Now, rather than dashing as a group, or even splitting up to gather FastPasses, imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park. With MyMagic+, Guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.
A major component of MyMagic+ is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which gives Guests planning their trip the latest information on all Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. We know that some people like to plan every aspect of their Disney vacation in advance while others like to plan very little, letting their day unfold spontaneously. No matter where Guests fall in that spectrum, My Disney Experience gives them the flexibility to plan as much or as little as they’d like to create the exact Disney experience they want. They can book dining and other experiences and reserve times for their favorite attractions, shows and more through an enhanced FastPass system, FastPass+. Once they arrive, they can use their smart phones to spontaneously change their plans in the moment, exploring our parks at their own pace and getting the most out of their visit.
Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand (or Card). It will serve as a Guest’s room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass card and optional payment account all rolled into one. We’ve began testing certain aspects of MyMagic+ in Florida last month and the early reactions we’ve gotten have been fantastic.
This collection of tools is another step forward in the ongoing evolution of our Guest experience, giving us even more ways to help friends and family create the unforgettable Disney memories that they want most. We’ll be testing, adjusting and adding features to MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience over time and will continue to make improvements based on our Guests’ feedback. We look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead!