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Tour Guide Tuesday: Going weightless at Walt Disney World by shipping souvenirs so you don’t have to carry them

Tour Guide Tuesday: Going weightless at Walt Disney World by shipping souvenirs so you don’t have to carry them

Picking out souvenirs is part of just about every Walt Disney World vacation. Whether you are grabbing something for yourself or choosing that perfect gift for a friend back home, there are so many places to buy stuff in the parks.

Not only do you have the large stores like the Emporium at the Magic Kingdom, but there are plenty of gift shops that guests are forced to walk through as they exit many attractions. If you have kids, you know that it can often be tough to leave Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin or Pirates of the Caribbean without your child making a strong plea for a sword or a laser blaster.

Pirates of the Caribbean

There are also very enticing princess dolls in just about every gift shop these days. This Disney marketing magic is a great technique to sell merchandise. However, letting a five year old march through the park with a sword or light saber doesn’t always end well!

Little Guy with His Sword

In addition to kids’ toys, there are certainly other items that most guests would rather not carry around all day. Thankfully, there is a solution that I use all the time with my tour guests. You can have your merchandise shipped directly from the shop where you bought it to one of three destinations.

Emporium

If you are staying at a Disney resort, they will send your item(s) directly to the hotel. However, it typically won’t arrive until the next afternoon. The second option is to have your package shipped all the way to your home. There is obviously a cost involved in doing this, but it can certainly be worth it if your item will be difficult to take with you on your flight home. A good example of this would be a giant Mickey plush who would need his own seat, or a snow globe that TSA would confiscate at the airport.

The third and final option is the easiest, and it will work whether or not you are staying at a Disney resort. Guests can have their purchases shipped from the store to the Package Pickup office at the front of each park. There is also a second pickup location at the back of Epcot. It can be found at the International Gateway, and is for guests walking over to the Boardwalk resorts. There are a few important things to consider when using this service. First, it could take up to three hours for your package to arrive, so you’d want to make sure you’ll still be in the park for that amount of time. Second, you want to remember to pickup your merchandise before you leave.

Package Pickup Location at Magic Kingdom

The next time you find yourself making a sizable purchase at a Disney park, I hope you’ll remember these tips. They can help you enjoy your time at Walt Disney World without having to lug around souvenirs, gifts, and your child’s weaponry!

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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Review: “Big Hero 6″ Blu-ray boosts Oscar-winning Disney film with surprisingly thorough bonus features

Review: “Big Hero 6″ Blu-ray boosts Oscar-winning Disney film with surprisingly thorough bonus features

Just two days after winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, “Big Hero 6” hits store shelves on Blu-ray today.

The popular Disney animated film naturally looks and sounds great in the home high-definition format. It packs plenty of strong visual pop via the movie’s many bright colors. The included short “Feast” looks just as good as well.

Although the new Blu-ray only has a pair of solid bonus features, they’re well worth a look for fans of the film.

“The Origin of Big Hero 6: Hiro’s Journey” presents 15 minutes of surprisingly in-depth analysis of how the film came out of a Marvel comic, how the characters evolved, and what technologies were used to create its effects. Unlike many home release extras, this one comes with a spoiler warning as it reveals key plot details in order to help explain the reasoning behind their existence. It’s a great addendum for those who have seen the film.

“Big Animator 6: The Characters Behind the Characters” is an interesting roundtable discussion between animators who worked on the movie, explaining how they arrived at each character’s personalities and mannerisms by showing a few early CG tests and more technical details. It’s also particularly entertaining to see the voice actors say a few words in each of their roles.

As is generally the case, included deleted scenes are interesting but somewhat dull, making it obvious why they were not included in the final film.

For those ready to hunt around, there are also some Easter Eggs hidden on the disc revealing – what else? – Easter Eggs found in the film.

Though somewhat overshadowed by the ever-growing success of “Frozen,” “Big Hero 6″ is a Disney film that holds its own place in animation history, likely setting the stage for more Marvel-based movies to come. It’s definitely worth picking up on Blu-ray.

“Big Hero 6″ is available today on Blu-ray via Amazon and all major retailers.


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Topics: Entertainment, Islands of Adventure, Theme Parks, Universal OrlandoTags: ,

It seems the widely spreading rumors that King Kong will be making a theme park comeback at Universal Orlando have now been confirmed.

In today’s fourth quarter earnings call, a Comcast executive discussed future attractions for Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando. Immediately after mentioning the known “Fast and Furious” attraction previously announced for the Hollywood park, Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis noted “a King Kong attraction in Orlando” is being invested in.

No further mention was given or details revealed, but the construction site at Islands of Adventure is the rumored location of this large project that will bring the famous ape back to Orlando.

The new Kong ride has been long rumored to combine elements of Hollywood’s King Kong 360 3D with thrilling real life elements in a Skull Island setting. Universal has not officially commented.

The old Kongfrontation attraction at Universal Studios Florida closed in 2002 to make way for The Mummy, which is still open today.


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Mardi Gras 2015 keeps energy high as Universal Orlando updates New Orleans inspired celebration

Mardi Gras 2015 keeps energy high as Universal Orlando updates New Orleans inspired celebration

Universal Orlando is once again offering its Mardi Gras celebration by bringing a taste of the New Orleans festival to the theme park.

Having debuted major new floats in recent years, this year’s Mardi Gras celebration takes on more minor tweaks to enhance the show. The popular parade has a new purple, green and gold riverboat along with a repurposed Superstar Parade unit used for the Mardi Gras “crew” in which T-shirts and specialty beads are being thrown out to the crowd. The Hollywood and New York areas of the park are the places to stand to catch these new items.

Mardi Gras 2015 at Universal Orlando

Mardi Gras 2015 at Universal Orlando

Mardi Gras 2015 at Universal Orlando

Universal’s entertainment team spans many projects across each year, taking on a different mindset across the seasons. “Every project is completely different,” explained show director & writer Jason Horne, who has written the park’s popular Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show for the past few years. “What I do with Bill & Ted is its own thing and what I do with the Mardi Gras parade is I just want to give people the most authentic Mardi Gras parade they can possibly find outside of New Orleans.”


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Topics: Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Special Events, Theme Parks, UncategorizedTags: , , , ,

You may have just watched this fellow hosting the Oscars last night, but today he was named the host of something a little bit more Disney. Neil Patrick Harris will join Mickey Mouse officiates the new World of Color show coming to California Adventure for Disneyland Resorts Diamond Celebration event.

The new show, titled “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, will take you on a journey with Walt Disney, Mickey and Neil through Disney’s past featuring both moments from Disney’s animated hits as well as a musical tour through its popular park attractions. The show will premiere May 22nd with the rest of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Events.

To read more about Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration, click HERE


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