What We Got For Our Hotel Shower Being Broken, Replacement/Addition to Disney’s Magical Express? & More

Happy Saturday friends, and hooray, it’s finally the weekend! Here’s a recap of what we wrote on YMMV this week. From great travel deals to what we’ve written to what others wrote that we really liked and wanted to share, it’s all here, in one convenient place!

Continue reading “What We Got For Our Hotel Shower Being Broken, Replacement/Addition to Disney’s Magical Express? & More”

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Could This Be A Replacement Of, Or An Addition To Disney’s Magical Express?

Disney’s Magical Express (DME) was founded in 2005 and is a private ground transportation and luggage service delivery for Walt Disney World Resort (WDW) operated by Mears Transportation Group. The service is complimentary and is only available to guests with reservations at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

It’s also, I think, one of the most ingenious ideas a Disney “think tank” person ever came up with. Prior to 2005, travelers arriving in Central FL had a choice of shuttle, taxi, car service or rental car to get to WDW – and when you factor in the cost, especially of that a shuttle or private car for multiple people in their party vs. the cost of a rental car, many opted for a rental car because it was about the same price and gave you more freedom to come and go as you pleased. But however they got to Disney back then, guests still had to pay for that transportation and, of course, transport their own luggage. DME, meanwhile, is a free service and they’re able to take your bags and deliver them to your room. Overall, DME has become a very popular mode of transportation to millions of people every year.

Of course, although it’s a free service to guests, DME obviously costs Disney a LOT of money – besides whoever/whatever they have to pay to do all that the logistical stuff, they also have to pay MCO a certain amount per person for allowing the service at the airport, Mears for transporting guests back and forth, and extra people to transport the bags to and from Disney’s resort hotels, as well. However offering a free service like that encourages people to not pay the expense of renting a car while in Central FL, which, in turn, quietly encourages them to not leave Disney property (beginning to charge for overnight parking in 2018 has been another way to encourage guests to not rent a car, as they now incur a fee to park it). Guests staying at Disney property means more money for Disney in terms of food, park tickets, souvenirs, etc. that might otherwise go to other theme parks, off-property restaurants and shopping areas, etc.

But what if a new mode of transportation was coming down the pike that could be cheaper for Disney than DME, and still encouraged guests to stay on property? Well, it could eventually be happening…

Continue reading “Could This Be A Replacement Of, Or An Addition To Disney’s Magical Express?”

A Modern Day Look at Walt Disney World’s (Abandoned) Discovery Island

Between 1974 and 1999, Discovery Island was an island (duh!) that was open as a hard ticket attraction in Walt Disney World’s Bay Lake, located roughly between the Contemporary Resort Hotel and the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness. The highlight of the island was that guests could observe its many species of animals and birds.  After 25 years of success, it closed to guests shortly after Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened and, a few months later, was virtually abandoned after all the resident animals has been transferred to Animal Kingdom.

I visited Discovery Island as a kid in the 1970s. My memories of it are pretty vague,
partially because it was more years ago than I care to think about, but also because, well,

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The Toothbrush That Caused An Airport Evacuation, Why Hotels Put Bibles In The Rooms (& Why That’s Changing), & More

Happy Saturday friends, and hooray, it’s finally the weekend! Here’s a recap of what we wrote on YMMV this week. From great travel deals to what we’ve written to what others wrote that we really liked and wanted to share, it’s all here, in one convenient place!

Continue reading “The Toothbrush That Caused An Airport Evacuation, Why Hotels Put Bibles In The Rooms (& Why That’s Changing), & More”

A Backstage/Behind The Scenes Look At Singing In WDW’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot!

The Candlelight Processional is an annual event at Walt Disney World that runs from the day after Thanksgiving through December 30th. Each day a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas, which is enhanced by music sung by the Voices of Liberty (Disney’s professional a cappella singing group), WDW Cast Members (That’s Disneyspeak for “employees” – everything at Disney is based on “putting on a show” so there’s cast members, backstage, on stage, etc.), and a 200-250ish voice mass choir comprised of several invited guest choirs from all across the country (and occasionally from outside the U.S.), along with live music played by a 50-piece orchestra. The approximately 45-minute show is run three times per night (5pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm) at the American Gardens Theater at Epcot. Here’s what the event is like from the perspective of a member of one of the guest choirs.

Continue reading “A Backstage/Behind The Scenes Look At Singing In WDW’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot!”