Where in Disney?
Speaking of Elsa, as a Disney fan, you know all about the Frozen celebration happening this summer at Hollywood studios. But, did you know that the hot spot for Frozen merchandise, the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, is so popular that there is a line to get inside? Where In Disney? allows you to search and find that popular Frozen merchandise at other locations throughout the resort, where you likely won’t have to wait.
Since the app came out last month, guests in the parks have searched for everything from steak to snow globes. They can mark their favorites to make them easy to find on their next visit, and access the favorites everyone else has chosen as the best in the parks.
You can upgrade within the app for extended search results, as well as access to thousands of color photos and Google maps. Once you’re found an item you’re looking for, the photos help you see the façade of the restaurant or shop you need. Coming soon are photos showing you what they look like, whether it’s the truffled mac & cheese hot dog at Friar’s Nook or the new Frozen iPhone cases. The Google maps help you pinpoint where exactly in the park you can find the item.
Where in Disney? is Free but only available on the AppStore! You can Download it today and you can upgrade to the premium version later with an in-app purchase.
All about the designer, Charlyn.
Where can I find the really popular Anna & Elsa dolls from Frozen (answer: only two places, and one has a really long line to get in).
I combed through the four theme parks and all of Downtown Disney and cataloged everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Cocktails, shop merchandise, attractions, character meet-and-greets, lunch & dinner menus, snacks. I put it all in a searchable database, accessible whether you’re using Disney’s free in-park Wi-Fi or not. Loved the Jalepeno Margarita in the Mexico
pavilion? You can mark your favorites to make it easy to find them again on your next trip. You can also see the favorites everyone else has marked, handy when you’re looking for the most popular snacks and souvenirs.
It was a bit of a crazy undertaking. A lot of my friends and colleagues just shook their heads at the impossibility of the task I was undertaking. But it’s done, and now, guests are using it every day to search for everything from Mickey ears to Sake.
No one else has attempted this. It’s designed to be both searchable and browsable. You can scroll through dozens of categories to get an idea of the breadth of what’s available (Chinese brocade dog shirts? Voodoo Dolls?) or search for something specific.
It’s both useful and fun. You can use it while you’re in the parks (“Where can I get a bandaid?”) or back at your resort (“Where can we get a really good steak tomorrow?”). You can even use it before you leave home (“Where can I get gluten-free snacks?” “What Monsters University souvenirs do the shops carry?”) It can help you plan your vacation and predict or set a budget for food and souvenirs. Once at the park, it can save you time, money and frustration.”
|image of Caribbean Beach from disneydaybyday.com|
Did you know all of the Walt Disney World Resorts offer regular FREE outdoor movies? Build a Better Mouse Trip has a great resource for seeing what movie is playing at your resort each night.
|image of Yacht and Beach Club from disneydaybyday.com|
Most resorts use a large blow up screen that is located on the beach, by the pool or in a grassy area at the resort. Fort Wilderness has the best set up with a campfire and s’mores, a sing along, and a visit with Chip and Dale prior to the movie. They also show a different movie each night of the month. Other resorts will show the same seven movies each week of the month- (Example: Sunday- Frozen, Monday- The Little Mermaid, Tuesday- Cars, Wednesday- Mulan, Thursday- Winnie the Pooh, Friday- Aristocats, Saturday- Mary Poppins).
One thing that our family is looking forward to experiencing on our next trip to Walt Disney World is DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney’s West Side. When our oldest son went to Walt Disney World the first time, he was 5. On the second trip he was 7 and the last trip he was 10. While this past trip would have been the best time for him to experience DisneyQuest, it was not practical for his 2 year old brother, so we did not visit.
The first time I went to DisneyQuest was in 1999. I don’t remember much about it. What I do remember is that any video game junkie would love it! My oldest son is not a video game junkie by any means, but he does enjoy a good video game which is why we think he would like it! If you have a tween or teen age child who does enjoy gaming, I suggest you try to incorporate this into your Disney vacation.
At DisneyQuest, you can participate in some of the Imagineers greatest ideas. You can participate in virtual reality, 3D and classic games from your past. The cost per person is $37-$43 if you don’t have this option added onto your park tickets. It’s opened Sunday- Thursday from 11:30am-10:00pm and Friday & Saturday from 11:30am- 11:00pm. Tickets and operating hours are subject to change without notice.
DisneyQuest is divided into four “zones” located on 5 different floors.
- Explore Zone, a virtual Adventureland where guests are immersed in exotic and ancient locales.
- Score Zone, a superhero competition city where guests can match their gameplaying skills.
- Create Zone, a private “Imagineering” studio for artistic self-expression and invention.
- Replay Zone, a carnival on the moon where guests experience a retrofuturistic spin on classic rides and games.
Some of the attractions you can experience are Pirates of the Caribbean (navigate a pirate ship, fire cannons and race for gold), Virtual Jungle Cruise (ride down a river avoiding obstacles), Might Ducks Pinball Slam (life size pinball game), CyberSpace Mountain (design and ride your own virtual roller coaster), Ride the Comix (battle the villains as you virtually fly), Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride (fly your carpet through Agrabah in search of the magic lamp and Genie) and Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters (pilot a bumper car and battle the other riders by shooting asteroids).
Honestly, I wouldn’t plan on a relaxing vacation if I were traveling with my boys! It seems like those trips are all hustle and bustle! But, if I were traveling with adult friends or my husband, I would definitely want a more relaxed vacation!
Here are a few tips for helping make a Walt Disney World vacation somewhat relaxing.
- Consider staying off property. I know, this goes against everything I’ve always said about a Disney vacation! I LOVE staying on property, but staying a few miles from Disney may allow you to get a cheaper room, a full sized house with a pool or more amenities. It also allows you to get away from the characters and fanfare- which for some people is needed (not me though!). There are several relaxing hotels in the Orlando/ Disney area that offer spa treatments, lazy river rides, nature hikes and more.
- Split your vacation between Walt Disney World and the beach. It’s only a 2 hour drive to Tampa/ St Pete on the Gulf or just over an hour to the Atlantic coast where you can visit Cocoa or Daytona Beach.
- Choose only 2 of the 4 parks to visit (based on your families interests and kids ages) and get there at park opening to get the most out of your stay. Spend the other days on the golf course, at the spa, at the resort pool or walking the grounds.
- Make dining reservations at restaurants that aren’t so busy and noisy. The Crystal Palace, Garden Grill or Tusker House would be good eats with characters and less crowds.
- If your schedule allows it, consider visiting in late summer or fall when rates and crowds are lowest. It won’t be as congested and busy, which makes me feel more relaxed! 🙂
I’ve often considered taking a trip to Walt Disney World and not entering the parks… at all. The tickets are an expensive part of our vacation and sometimes I just want a small Disney fix! So, here are my top experiences to have outside of the 4 main parks at Walt Disney World- whether you are or aren’t actually visiting those parks during your vacation!
- Typhoon Lagoon and/ or Blizzard Beach. These water parks are excellent for the entire family. Both parks have areas for little ones to play, a lazy river and beach for those who like to lounge, speed slides for those who like thrills and wave pools for the entire family. Each park is home to unique water park experiences: at Typhoon Lagoon you can swim with sharks and at Blizzard Beach you can go down the second fastest and tallest slide in the world!
- Downtown Disney. This is where Disney and shopping collide! You can find almost anything Disney related and in any price range at Downtown Disney. You need to shop here for those hard to shop for friends, those family members who have everything and everyone in between! And there are fantastic restaurants and entertainment options here!
- Monorail Ride and Resorts. We always take a ride on the Monorail while we are at Walt Disney World and 95% of the time, we get off at the Monorail Resorts and look around. We visit the resorts lobby, gift shops and restaurants. We also like to look at the “extras” such as pools, playgrounds, beaches and more!
- Fort Wilderness. There is so much to do here! You can go to a petting zoo, catch a dinner show, eat some home cookin’, watch a free Disney movie, sing with Chip and Dale, ride a carriage and the list goes on. I’d love to rent a camper and actually camp here- especially at Christmas or Halloween when the campers decorate with gusto!
- Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is so much more than just a Deluxe resort. Outside the resort is an actual Boardwalk around Crescent Lake where you can eat, visit an arcade, listen to dueling pianos, dance, see performers, rent bikes, ride boats and enjoy all there is to offer!
- Mini Golf. While it has been a while since I’ve done this (due to my boys being so young) this is a fun thing to do outside the parks! Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens are both outstanding mini golf courses. That’s just what they are- mini golf courses complete with sand traps, water hazards, and obstacles just like “real” golf!
- Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you have enough time and have done as much of the things listed above as possible, consider taking a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge just to look around! The resort is beautiful and during the day you can walk through the Savannah and see animals out and about. At night, you can watch them through night vision binoculars. Check with the front desk to see what else you can experience while you visit!