Toy Story Mania a Fastpass ONLY Ride This Week!

Interesting news coming from Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios this morning…..

Toy Story Mania, definitively one of Disney World’s most popular rides, is operating on a FASTPASS only system this week.

You heard that right. During this ‘test phase’, Disney is no longer holding a stand-by line for Toy Story Mania. Only those with Fastpass+ reservations will be able to enjoy the uber-popular ride. Disney will be issuing additional Fastpasses, depending on demand, but will not say how many they will be issuing per day.

Disney’s logic is that they want to see if this will cut down on wait times for this ride, which can sometimes get as high as 90-120 minutes. But good luck if you haven’t snagged a FASTPASS+ reservation 60 or even 30 days in advance. On previous trips, we’ve headed straight to the fastpass kiosk shortly after opening time (roughly 8:10) only to get fastpasses for 7-8pm that EVENING. This will surely make same day reservations obsolete.

This announcement comes on the heels of Disney’s decision to make the “Anna + Elsa Meet and Greet” a Fastpass+ only attraction in Magic Kingdom.

Changes at Walt Disney World

Maelstrom

CanyonSeptember 1999

All good things must come to an end…..

A few of Walt Disney World’s favorite attractions are closing…some for good.

At Hollywood Studios, the Studio Backlot Tour is closing permanently. The final day for this attraction is set for this Saturday, September 27, 2014. The AFI Showcase at the end of the tour will also be permanently closed. For those not familiar with the attraction, guests take part in a live effects demonstration of a “Harbor Attack” where a few guests actually get to ‘act’ (and subsequently get soaked!). This is followed by a tram tour of production houses, props and “Catastrophe Canyon”. As you make your way across a rickety bridge (would you expect anything less?) the ground begins to shake and a huge tanker filled with fuel comes storming towards you with fiery gusto as water splashes you from the mountain side. Sound fun? Then you’d better get there before Saturday! I’ve been on this attraction many times over the years and while it does get a little old after the umpteenth time going on it (whatever happened to the Golden Girls house?!?!), it was definitely a good attraction for first timers and will certainly be missed.

Also closed at Hollywood Studios is the American Idol Experience which closed permanently as of August 30. Having never been to this attraction, I can’t comment as to whether or not it was any good. With the popularity of American Idol dwindling as the years go on, it’s no surprise this attraction got the ol’ heave-ho!

Most surprising to people, and upsetting to some (depending on who you ask), is the closure and redesign of Maelstrom in Epcot. Set for its final run on October 6, 2014, Maelstrom and The Spirit of Norway will close to make way for a new attraction based on the uber-popular film FROZEN. While most of the details are still under lock and key, you can bet the new Frozen attraction will most definitely take guests to Arendelle where Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven will be featured. Try getting “Let it Go” out of your head after that ride! 😉

There is also talk that Anna + Elsa will be back to Epcot with a new meet and greet location in Norway. This should hopefully ease up the craziness currently being experienced at Magic Kingdom, where Anna + Elsa currently meet guests.

So how do you feel about the new changes announced at Disney World? Any surprises?

Frozen Grosses $1 Billion at the Box Office

Frozen Cast

Disney’s Oscar Award winning animated feature film ‘Frozen’ has grossed more than $1 Billion at the box office in less than four months. This makes Frozen the 18th highest grossing film of all time.

Let’s say that again: OF.ALL.TIME.

And the second highest grossing animated film after Toy Story 3. Not that I’m surprised. I felt the movie was incredible, the scenery was beautiful and the characters left something for everyone to enjoy. Both my kids are still talking about the movie and singing the songs. Ok, I’ll admit it, so am I.

The good news: Disney is already in talks for a sequel and producing a Broadway show based on the film.

The bad news: Merchandise is hard to find at most stores (I am finding, at least). Have you checked e-bay lately? People are selling items for double, triple and even quadruple what they paid for them (not to mention what they’re really worth after the enormous ‘mark up’).

As Elsa would say…..”Let it go”…..

New Meet & Greet with ‘Frozen’

Anna & Elsa from Disney's "Frozen"

Anna & Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen”

Coming this November, guests of Walt Disney World and Disneyland will be able to take part in a meet and greet with Anna + Elsa from Disney’s latest princess film, ‘Frozen’. Anna + Elsa will be signing autographs and taking photos with guests at the Epcot Norway Pavilion in Walt Disney World and at Fantasyland in Disneyland.

How exciting!!

Frozen hits theatres November 27, 2013.

Brand New Trailer for Disney’s ‘Frozen’

Disney's Frozen

Disney has released a brand new trailer for the movie “Frozen”. You can view it here.

Frozen is loosely based on the story “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson and stars Kristin Bell as “Anna”, the next Disney Princess. 🙂 Frozen will be released on November 27, 2013.

Looks awesome! My family can’t wait for this one! Anything Disney is always a hit, but this one looks like it will appeal greatly to my kids.

Your thoughts on the trailer?

New ‘Frozen’ Trailer!

Disney Frozen

Disney Frozen

Disney has released a brand new trailer for their latest 3D animated movie, Frozen, set to hit theatres in late Fall. The story is loosely based on the story of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson.

Kristen Bell voices Anna, a young girl who goes to find her older sister, and Snow Queen, Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, who apparently is responsible for the eternal winter. She teams up with mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his companion Sven to track down her sister, who has banished herself to the mountains after accidentally cursing her kingdom to suffer the eternal winter.

Frozen will hit theatres November 27 in the US and Canada.

Click here to view the new trailer for Frozen, released today! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdC4DaYIeQ