MickeyBlog Disney News for May 22, 2018
We have lots of information about your favorite subject this week! Yes, the latest edition of MickeyBlog News is theme park-intensive. You’re going to love it, so let’s get started.
Donald vs. the Dinosaurs
Donald Duck has increased his presence at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in recent weeks. Everyone’s favorite long-suffering duck has started hanging out at DinoLand U.S.A this week. Starting on May 25th, Donald’s on a search for his family roots. In an unexpected turn of events, he’s got dinosaur DNA.
Rather than get to the bottom of this mystery, Donald’s decided to throw a party. He’s invited some of his favorite Disney characters to join him at Donald’s Dino-Bash. Disney describes it as “a rip-roaring good time that’s over 200 million years in the making.” But what is it?
Donald’s Dino-Bash is a permanent new character meeting spot at DinoLand U.S.A. Since kids already comprise the majority of the visits to this themed land, Disney’s decided to lean into it. They’re hosting several meet-and-greets here. Guests can hang out with Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Launchpad McQuack. Also, Chip and Dale will wear special dino-appropriate outfits for the Dino-Bash.
Disney executives have indicated that Donald’s Dino-Bash isn’t a temporary offering. Instead, it’s a permanent presence as long as it proves popular. So, DinoLand U.S.A. has suddenly become the best character meeting area at Animal Kingdom!
Disney Boosts Lost and Found System
Have you ever talked to cast members about their Disney collections? One of the things that you’ll discover in these conversations is that most Disney employees benefit from lost park items. When someone loses something at Walt Disney World, they have a set amount of time to reclaim it. Should no one step forward after a few weeks, Disney sells the usable items on the cheap to park employees. It’s a thoughtful way to benefit those who work so tirelessly to perfect your vacation.
When you lose something, you want it back, though. Disney’s aware of this, and the company laments that guests often leave the parks without some of their favorite personal belongings. Park planners have recently upgraded the Lost and Found system in place. Under the new changes, you should have a much better chance of finding anything important that you’ve lost.
Starting on May 21st (yesterday), Disney’s added a new section to their website. When you visit DisneyWorld.com/lostandfound, you can notify cast members the instant that you realize an item is missing. They’ll dutifully search for your belongings in the place(s) where you ask them to look. Since you can do this from your smart device, it’s a more convenient process than the previous one.
Historically, you had to head to Guest Services to fill out a form. Now, you can skip that step and do so online. Disney will email you a Lost Item ticket number and then provide email updates regarding the search. This system is much more guest-friendly and should dramatically update the odds of you finding your lost item(s). It’s applicable everywhere at Walt Disney World save for individual resorts. Should you lose something at your hotel, you’ll follow the standard system of updating hotel management about the issue.
Speaking of Guest Services…
The addition of My Disney Experience has vastly improved the customer experience at Walt Disney World. Guests can find most of the answers that they seek on their smartphones, limiting the need to spend time walking to and then waiting in line at Guest Services. My Disney Experience has increased the need for customer service in one area, though. Some guests need help using My Disney Experience!
Disney’s aggressively responded to this new need. They’ve tried to improve the Guest Services experience by making it more accessible. One of the recent steps is a trial service at The Transportation and Ticket Center. Disney’s added a (currently) temporary Guest Services kiosk through June 2nd. Should this counter window prove popular – and it should – Disney will make it permanent.
The thinking here is simple. Many guests travel to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) when they use the monorails to visit Epcot and Magic Kingdom. A quick stop at the TTC will give people a chance to avoid the lines in the parks when they have a simple customer service issue or problem with My Disney Experience. I expect Guest Services kiosks like this to pop up across Walt Disney World since they’re so convenient for guests. As always, Disney has your back, my friends.
You’re undoubtedly familiar with the sweeping changes taking place at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The hotel campus has altered dramatically in recent months for two reasons. One is the construction of the (almost?) adjoining Disney’s Riviera Resort, a new property on the Caribbean Beach campus. The second reason is the addition of the Disney Skyliner, the overhead gondola system that will directly connect Caribbean Beach with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Caribbean Beach has even made a third change. The popular Shutters restaurant is under construction. Its new placement will enable guests to look out over the waters surrounding the resort. With so much renovating taking place at the resort, Disney’s altered the bus station setup in anticipation of an influx of new resort guests. The property previously had only one bus station at Old Port Royale. As of the start of May, it now has three different stops.
Under the new setup, the Depot that you choose will determine where your bus takes you. Depot A travels directly to Magic Kingdom. Depot B has stops at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Depot C takes guests to Disney Springs, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. The improved system streamlines transportation to and from the hotel…but let’s be honest. You’re going to be all about the Disney Skyliner the moment it opens.
More Magic Shots!
I love Magic Shots. LOVE. Them.
Magic Shots are Disney’s way of turning any PhotoPass encounter into an unforgettable GIF. You take a picture the regular way, but a Disney photographer asks you to perform an action. Maybe you’ll point at the sky or look surprised or the like. It won’t make any sense at the time.
Later, you’ll see the photograph, only it will star a Disney character! Yes, the “magic” in the Magic Shot is the way that Photopass evolves a standard picture into an unforgettable one. Your favorite animated characters do something silly in the pictures.
Magic Shots are huge crowd pleasers, and I’ve begged Disney to add more of them. Well, I got my wish this week! Six (!) new Magic Shots are available at Walt Disney World. The Parks Blog has the details are where you can find each one. You should absolutely make an effort to find them, as these are oftentimes the best vacation pictures. Disney’s even doing one at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It would be a wonderful enhancement if each hotel offered its own special Magic Shots!
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