Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011


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Walt Disney World Park Closure Guide

WDW_Closed

So, the Park Is Closing?

As many who are visiting Walt Disney World (WDW) this week and next will learn, the Disney Parks can close when busy.  Maybe you asked what all the close phases are you’ve heard about.  Here’s a little bit of help for you if you are visiting during a busy period.

The first type of closing is when any Park’s parking lots reach capacity and the lots are closed for any further parking.  In these cases Disney will direct you to alternate means of parking.  For example, this happens quite often at Hollywood Studios (DHS) during Star Wars Weekends.  For those lot closings, you’ll be directed to the Epcot parking lots where you can then board the extra buses that Disney provides to transport Guests from Epcot to DHS.

The next series of closings are the ‘mysterious’ phased closings.  Disney doesn’t publish an ‘official’ guide to what each Phase refers to, but this is a good guide based on past experiences.  One important thing to keep in mind is that these phases are flexible and can change up or down or even be cancelled altogether as a day progresses and people arrive and leave.

Phase A Closures: Guests without tickets and those with base one-day, one-park tickets as well as Cast Members are turned away at the parking lot entrance booths.  In these cases, you will need to change your plans and try a different Park for that day. Phase A allows admission for the following:

  • WDW Resort Guests (Including guests from Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus, Golden Oak residents and registered Guests of Golden Oak residents)
  • WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders
  • Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another WDW Theme Park
  • Guests with Memory Maker
  • Guests with dining reservations
  • Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop or The Pirates League (if applicable).

Phase B Closures: Guests without tickets, those with base one-day, one-park tickets and Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another WDW Theme Park as well as Cast Members are turned away at the parking lot entrance booths.  In these cases, you will need to change your plans and try a different Park for that day. Phase B allows admission for the following:

  • WDW Resort Guests (Including guests from Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus, Golden Oak residents and registered Guests of Golden Oak residents)
  • WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders
  • Guests with Memory Maker
  • Guests with dining reservations
  • Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop or The Pirates League (if applicable).

In these cases be prepared to show your resort key or annual pass or, even better, take Disney transportation from your resort.  If you have an ADR or appointment, please make sure to allow extra time to arrive for your reserved time.

Phase C Closures: Only these guests will be allowed admission: Guests staying at a Disney Resort, the Swan and Dolphin or arriving by bus from the ‘Downtown Disney Hotels’ with a valid room key, Annual Passholders and guests with ADRs or appointments (the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirates League) in the Park.  In these cases be prepared to show your resort key or annual pass or take Disney transportation from your resort.  If you have an ADR or appointment, please make sure to allow extra time to arrive for your reserved time.

Phase D Closures: No guests are allowed in and the Park is completely closed to new arrivals.  If you have an ADR or appointment and you have any warning or thought that a Phase D closing will occur you will want to get to the Park as early as possible or change your reservation if possible or you may miss by being denied admission.

Also, if you are visiting during a very busy period (such as the current Holiday weeks) and want to experience a particular event (such as New Year’s Eve fireworks for example), it is best to plan to arrive as early in the day as you can to ensure you are able to be admitted.

I hope this helps you plan your next visit during a busy period.


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Candlelight Processional Featuring Neil Patrick Harris

Tonight at 5:00pm ET, Catie’s HS Choir will be performing at the Candlelight Processional featuring Neil Patrick Harris as the Narrator. We’ll be broadcasting the entire show on UStream (if all goes well). So please join us at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wishes-and-pixie-dust if you’d like to enjoy along! Please share with anyone who might enjoy this live NPH CP performance.


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The Five Wonders of Epcot

As a vacationer, Epcot was the least favorite of our Disney Parks, and we couldn’t imagine why guests would rave on about it.  It was nice, yes, but we felt the other parks had so much more to offer.  As residents, we have grown to love Epcot, and this week’s column will highlight five different aspects of what makes Epcot unique to us.

  1. Marine Animals.  As you exit The Seas with Nemo and Friends Attraction, take the escalator up to the second level and enjoy the aquariums that display the marine animals.  Did you realize that Epcot is home to a manatee research and rehabilitation center?  Vail and Lou are two West Indian Manatees who were victims of a boat strike, and are currently recovering until they can be re-released into the wild.  Pictured below is Lou feeding on romaine lettuce:  both Vail and Lou each consume 100 lbs of greens daily.
    Manatee
  2. Spaceship Earth.  This slow-moving attraction, located inside the geosphere, offers a glimpse into history beginning with the period of cavemen and ending with the information age.  It is an educational but enjoyable journey, and as you exit the attraction you will step into Project Tomorrow, an interactive area that allows you to explore different aspects about your current and future world through games and activities.

  3. World Showcase.  World Showcase is a representation of eleven different countries that are located around World Showcase Lagoon.  Each country is considered a Pavilion, and each pavilion offers food, culture and entertainment specific to that country.  The best time to tour World Showcase is during the day; you will not be able to take in all the theming at night.   World Showcase offers a lot of great photo opportunities through sunset.

  4. The Land.  This is an indoor pavilion in Future World that is home to the attractions Soarin’, Circle of Life & Living with the Land.   You will also find the Behind the Seeds Tour (a fee-based, guided tour of four greenhouses featured in the Living with the Land attraction) located here.  The Sunshine Seasons Food Court has a great variety of food and plenty of seating available.  The Garden Grill is a sit-down character dinner meal featuring Mickey and his friends, and is part of the dining plan.  Chances are if you enjoyed fresh vegetables or fish during your meal, it was grown right there at Epcot.

  5. Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth.  This is a fourteen minute display of fireworks and laser lights that is definitely a must-not-miss attraction at Epcot.  It tells the tale of our planet Earth by displaying images on a 350,000 pound sphere in the middle of Showcase Lagoon.  Please plan to arrive at least one hour prior to its performance to secure a good viewing point.