MickeyBlog News Update – Edition #2
Welcome to the latest edition of Mickey Blog News!
The End of an Era at Walt Disney World
Let’s start with the time-sensitive items. As you know, August 13 marks the end of a couple of storied attractions: Ellen’s Energy Adventure and The Great Movie Ride. To honor the retirement of these rides, Disney parks are selling limited edition merchandise marking this melancholy occasion.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure commemorative items are currently on sale for a limited time at Mouse Gear. To buy Great Movie Ride memorabilia, visit Mickey’s of Hollywood or, you know, walk up to the attraction. They have a special sales kiosk that will remain through its closing date.
You can also do a bit more to say goodbye to The Great Movie Ride. Disney’s official fan club, D23, has joined forced with a fan club you probably didn’t even know existed, The Ultimate Turner Classic Movies Fan Club, to hold a special event. On Saturday, August 12th, you can participate in a behind-the-scenes experience. At 7:15 a.m., you can walk through the interior of the attraction and then take one final journey on The Great Movie Ride. You’ll also enjoy breakfast at The Hollywood Brown Derby and will receive a special parting gift.
This tour is a limited ticket event that’s only open to Gold Members of D23. If you are lucky enough to qualify, however, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event that no one will ever do again. The Great Movie Ride was the original anchor attraction at the former Disney-MGM Studios. Its retirement represents the end of an era at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At a minimum, you should buy a t-shirt to mark the date. The tour would be so much better, though. If you’re interested, you need to show up at 7 a.m. Disney announced that they won’t accept any late entries.
August Blackout Dates Lifted
By the way, if you’d like to board The Great Movie Ride one more time but are on the tiered annual pass system, we have great news! Due to the quick nature of these two ride closures, Disney park officials have acknowledged that Gold Annual Pass owners and others who have tickets with blackout dates aren’t getting a fair shake.
The company has thoughtfully lifted blackout restrictions in August, giving you ample opportunity to ride Ellen’s Energy Adventure and The Great Movie Ride as many times as you want…between today and Sunday. Of course, the blackout removal means that you can visit all four parks at any point in August, even beyond the 13th, the closure date for the rides. This move was magnanimous of Disney.
MickeyBlog is a firm believer that flying into Walt Disney World is a good idea. The Disney Bubble in this area can take care of all your remaining transportation needs once you’re onsite. By using Magical Express, you won’t even need to worry about your luggage.
When you do fly into Orlando, you’re most likely to use Orlando International Airport (MCO). Assuming that’s the case, you should know that the airport is currently going through some renovations. The affected area is the tram system. For the next eight months, only one tram will operate for Gates 1 through 29. To adjust for this inconvenience, a major airline carrier, JetBlue, has informed guests of potential delays. JetBlue suggests that you arrive three hours early for all departures. Other airlines haven’t followed suit yet, but you should be aware of these potential delays. The Tragical Express ride out of Walt Disney World is sad enough on its own. You don’t want to miss your flight and get stuck at MCO, too.
Disney Cruises Win Again
Anyone who has ever visited Castaway Cay knows of its majesty. This private island is 100 percent Disney owned, and the Mouse House takes care to make the beaches feel like the finest a Disney fan will ever see.
The voting public agrees that Disney is doing its job right. For the second year in a row, Disney won the coveted Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards in the category of Top Cruise Line Private Island.
As a potential guest, what you should take away from this vote is that this isn’t an award given by critics. While those are great, too, the Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice category winners are selected by the members of the Cruise Critic website. It’s totally a popular vote, and Disney crushed the competition. Voters also chose Castaway Cay as the overall best island in the Bahamas.
If you weren’t already planning a Disney Cruise, you should be now.
The Disney Vacation Account Program Has Ended
A few years ago, Disney saw a problem in the marketplace and attempted to address it. Park planners understood that guests always wanted to visit Disney theme parks. They just couldn’t afford it, at least not in one lump sum.
Disney’s solution was the invention of the Disney Vacation Account Program. It allowed guests to contribute to a vacation fund. The service asked a few questions, and guest responses led to an estimate for a Disney vacation. People could contribute as they saw fit, using cash, regular withdrawals, or even Disney gift cards.
Alas, the program never was particularly popular. That’s why Disney recently announced the end of the Disney Vacation Account Program. If you had already invested money, however, don’t worry! You’re not your investment. Disney offers four options for refunds. Those are:
Option 1: Use the money in your current account to buy a Disney gift card. As an added bonus/apology, Disney will even throw in an extra 5 percent. If you had invested $1,000, you’ll receive a gift card worth $1,050.
Option 2: Request a refund immediately. You have until September 27th to get your money in this manner. Disney will give you a refund via whatever form of payment you were using for your vacation account. You’re better served by waiting six weeks, though. That’s because of…
Option 3: You can do absolutely nothing. If that’s your choice, Disney will mail you a check or repay your original form of payment (i.e. a credit card) for the amount you’re owed. Disney will also throw in another 2 percent of that amount in the form of a Disney gift card. It’s another apology offering from the company. If you didn’t have much invested, Disney will give a $5 gift card instead. They’ll send which ever gift card is larger of 2 percent or $5.
Option 4: Go ahead and use the saved money on a Disney vacation right now. You have until September 27th to do so.
As you can see, the program’s closure is an inconvenience more than anything else. Disney is taking care of its loyal customers while ending a program that few people were using.
That’s all the news for now, but more to come soon! If you’d like to experience all the MAGIC Disney has to offer, get a FREE quote below from our friends at MickeyTravels!