Inside the Magic brings you the latest top stories, announcements, special events in the words of Disney and theme parks. Read through our featured and most recent articles, reviews, and news items below.
 
Topics: Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Epcot, Theme Parks, Walt Disney WorldTags: , ,

We are getting closer to Easter time and with that Disney is bringing back the fan-favorite “Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt” at Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure and Epcot at Walt Disney World.

Between March 27th and April 5th you can search for hidden Easter eggs themed to Disney characters throughout the parks. Record your findings on the Egg-stravaganza map with the corresponding stickers and then return it to your redemption location – Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park; Disney Showcase in Disneyland park or Port of Entry in Epcot – to pick up your special Egg-stravaganza price!

You can purchase the Egg-stravaganza maps and stickers for $4.95, plus tax, at these park locations.

 


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Topics: Food, Theme Parks, Universal Studios HollywoodTags: ,

The newly completed Springfield expansion based on the popular TV show ‘The Simpsons is currently in soft opening at Universal Studios Hollywood. Right now you can take a leisurely stroll throughout the highly themed area but most restaurants and the new The Simpson Ride has yet to open. Later this Spring though you will be able to Crash through Krustyland on The Simpsons Ride, imbibe at Moe’s Tavern and grab a Homer-sized helping of donuts at Lard Lad at Universal Studios Hollywood.

 

Take a walking tour of the newly completed Springfield expansion of Universal Studios Hollywood based on The Simpsons including the interactive Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

Thanks to ParksandCons.com for the video!

Universal Studios Orlando has its own Springfield, check it out below!


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Tour Guide Tuesday: Walt Disney World testing fourth FastPass+ option as new queue system continues to grow

Tour Guide Tuesday: Walt Disney World testing fourth FastPass+ option as new queue system continues to grow

It has been more than a year since the new FastPass+ system debuted at Walt Disney World. This huge leap in technology has its plusses and minuses, and is still a work in progress. There are guests who like the ability to make FastPass reservations months in advance, yet there are others who would prefer not to make those planning decisions so far ahead of their vacations. Also, many people like the convenience of utilizing their computer or smart phone to obtain FastPasses, while others are not fans of the technology. Although there are differing opinions on the subject, there is one desire that seems to be universally agreed upon. Guests would like the ability to reserve more than three FastPasses, especially at the Magic Kingdom.

Busy FastPass+ Kiosk Queue

Disney took the first step in this direction last year, only a few months after the new system was put into use. Guests were allowed to book a fourth FastPass after using up their first three. They could then book a fifth after using their fourth, and so on. This process is still in play, but there are several obstacles that make it difficult for many guests to utilize. First off, it requires that the first three FastPasses be booked early in the day, or there won’t be enough time to enjoy any additional ones. For example, if you book one for the special fireworks viewing area at the Magic Kingdom, you basically give up the ability to get any additional FastPasses. Finally, guests are required to book all additional FastPasses at an in-park kiosk, which can have very long lines during busier times of year.

Because of the limitations, it seems that many guests aren’t taking advantage of adding the extra FastPasses. It looks like Disney has taken notice and is making some changes. Over the past few days, guests have had the ability to reserve four FastPasses at the Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. I was pleasantly surprised to see this pop up on the the kiosks at both parks. In the case of the Magic Kingdom, I was also able to reserve four FastPasses on the My Disney Experience website and app. I have spoken to several cast members about this change, and they have all said that it is just a test. However, it certainly looks like Disney will be moving in this direction in the near future.

Bonus FastPasses and Changes

At the Magic Kingdom, it seems like the fourth FastPass was always for Mickey’s Philharmagic and appears to be a “bonus.” This is similar to the old paper system, where Philharmagic would be given in conjunction with Peter Pan’s Flight or Winnie the Pooh. However, the FastPass+ system allowed me to change the bonus to any attraction that was available.

Magic Kingdom FastPass Kiosk

Although I never saw a fourth Hollywood Studios FastPass pop up on the website or app, I was excited to see how it played out on the in-park kiosk. It started out like Magic Kingdom, where I was awarded a bonus. Then, it actually allowed me to pick an additional “tier 1″ FastPass. Now, since it was a busy day, Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster were already gone, but it was interesting to see the ability to get multiple tier one FastPasses. The cast member thought that this was probably a glitch.

Hollywood Studios Kiosk

It is important to note that as of today, I am only able to reserve four FastPasses until April 1st (tomorrow). However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they extended the testing period. Also, on the app and website, it didn’t always give me the bonus FastPass. It seemed like it popped up every other time I checked. It is anybody’s guess whether or not the fourth FastPass becomes the norm in the immediate future. However, it looks like Disney is listening to concerns and is once again evolving the system in an attempt to provide a better guest experience.

I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!


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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto brings unique Tiki experience to Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto brings unique Tiki experience to Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World

The highly anticipated Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto soft-opened to a large crowd of enthusiastic fans this weekend at the Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World. The intimate bar, modeled after its Disneyland, California counterpart, is a part of the major transformation that the Polynesian Village Resort is undergoing that also includes a new lobby and Disney Vacation Club expansion.

The bar has a huge fan base because of its largely Tiki themed atmosphere and unique drink selection. Not only do you have Tiki statues everywhere, but the bar also have an interactive element with effects happening all around you. Even ordering a drink is a special event at Trader Sam’s with special mugs and bartenders making it a true experience. Trader Sam’s also serves some light appetizer, but I would recommend you go for the drink instead of them as they were nothing special.

For its soft opening Trader Sam’s saw a line up to 5 hours just to get a foot in the door and with its small space, 51 people inside and 80 people on the patio, which is no surprise. You can unfortunately not make reservations so there is little to do but try and make it to opening, which is 4pm. After that you will be able to either enjoy the Tiki effects inside or watch fireworks from the outside patio until midnight. Imagineer Brandon Kleyla, head decorator of Trader Sam’s, said his favorite part about the bar is that fireworks view over the Seven Seas Lagoon that you get from the patio.

Uh-Oa The Tiki God

Uh-Oa The Tiki God after guests angered him.

Without you knowing it, your chair may get lowered.

Trader Sam’s outside patio with the view of the Seven Seas Lagoon and fireworks viewing,

Favorite alcoholic beverage of the night: Shrunken Zombie Head

Favorite Non-Alcoholic drink of the night: Skipper Sipper

Live entertainment on the patio


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Topics: Disney, Entertainment, Marvel, MoviesTags: , , ,

Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson introduce their characters Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in a new featurette for Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”:

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be in theaters May 1, 2015.


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