Disney to provide wireless wristbands for the benefit of visitors

Walt Disney is to use wireless wristbands to help enhance its services to visitors.

The company said that the wireless-tracking wristbands have been designed to make the theme park hassle-free for customers, and they are expected to be operational in the coming months.

The wristband, MagicBands, will be linked to customers’ credit-card information and will function as room keys and park entry passes. They will use radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. It is believed that MagicBands is part of a bigger system, called MyMagic+. The bigger project will allow the park to collect personal information, including the names of guests, their purchasing and riding patterns and real-time location data. This could be used to enhance products and services and also allow the park to design new services for its customers. For example, the data will allow mascot characters to use the information transmitted by the MagicBands to greet visiting children by name. Those who are concerned about their privacy will have the option of controlling how much data is shared, or even opting out of the programme for good. A new part of the official Disney World website, My Disney Experience, makes it easy for parents to manage MagicBand privacy controls for each member of a family.

In a blog entry, Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said, ‘Imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favourite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park. With MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone.’

It’s discount time at Disney!

Disney Resort hotels are offering sizeable autumn discounts.

Holidaymakers planning a family vacation at Disney Resorts will find that they can benefit from up to 30 percent discount on accommodation at hotels located on site. With room rates in decline, now is a good time to book a family vacation that offers the thrills and spills of Disney’s total entertainment resorts. With cooler weather and smaller crowds adding to the attraction of the latest room deals, holidays at Disney resorts are expected to show a sharp increase in popularity.

Discounts are available dependent on travel dates. A discount of 25 to 30 percent is being offered for most stays at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – with a standard view.

Alternatively, between 15 and 20 percent discounts are available for stays at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (excluding Magic Kingdom view rooms) and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Old Key West Resort, Boardwalk Villas, and Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House and Kidani Village, standard view, are offering discounts of 25 to 30 percent depending on the dates of travel. Other hotels are also offering similar discounts that are likely to be of interest to the prudent holidaymaker.

For those who are travelling with families, discounts of up to 15 percent are available at Disney’s Art of Animation – Family Suites. Visitors are also encouraged to mix and match offers to spice up their stay in the resort. For example, it is possible to add a day or two on to a Free Dining vacation, or to try a multiple-resort stay to benefit from discounts while experiencing other resorts. Alternatively, the Free Dining promotion can be passed up for a better deal stays. There are endless permutations for the creative holidaymaker.

The offers are limited, so Disney advise that reservations need to be made soon to avoid disappointment.

Disneyland Paris: The resort that survivied

Disney know how to celebrate an anniversary of any kind, let alone a 20th birthday – which it will be celebrating in April.

The key feature of the celebration will be a night-time spectaular parade in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and will also feature a new parade beginning in April.

However look back to the mid-Nineties and this celebration looked like it might never happen. This milestone will no doubt be met with mixed emotions, however any regrets that EuroDisney did not reach the original expectations will be outweighed by the fact it has made it to the 20 year mark.

Construction began in 1988 and the 5,000 acre site was open on April 12, 1992, and had gone massivley over budget. Visitor numbers did not meet expectations and after just two years, many wondered if the themepark was heading for bankruptcy.

But EuroDisney was thrown a lifeline in 1994 as banks agreed to restructure the parks debt. This was followed by a name change tp Disneyland Paris, and by the end of the year the park had started to bring in money.

New rides were added, including the the popular Space Mountain in 1995 and to mark the 10th birthday, Walt Disney Studios Park was opened. As the park headed into its 10th year it was going from strength to strength.

The 20th birthday celebrations will see the Disney Dreams show, which will include fireworks, lasers, foutains and a film projected onto the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

To get to across the Channel, a ferry will take you from Diver to Calais in 90 minutes with P&O, with upto 23 crossings a day, then DisneyLand Paris is only a 3 hour drive from Calais.

Walt Disney (www.disneylandparis.com) offers three nights with return crossings for a car and passengers from £276 per adult, £112 per child aged seven to 11 and under sevens free, including accommodation at Hotel Santa Fe and tickets to both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios

Avatar theme park to break boundaries

The blockbuster success of Avatar made left many fans wishing they lived in James Cameron’s fictional world. Whilst they may not be able to visit the real thing, Cameron will be working with Disney to create an Avatar-themed park at Walt Disney World Florida.

 

The new attraction will be situated within the Animal Kingdom area, with the construction planned to begin in 2013 – costing an estimated $400m.

 

The director of the major £D movie will help to design the park, which he stated would ‘go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling’.

 

The park will see the planet Pandora created – park visitors will be able to walk through rainforests and ‘experience the oceans’.

 

The beautiful setting of Avatar will be brought to life using animatronics and 3-D and holographic technology.

 

‘The scenes that people liked best were not the obvious things like the big battle scenes,’ Mr Cameron said. ‘It was the creatures, it was learning to fly, it was being in the forest at night.

 

‘So here’s an opportunity…to bring this world to life and get you to wander in it and see things you didn’t see in either in the first film or the subsequent two.’

 

Adding to the experience visitors will be able to explore new locations, characters and stories planned especially for the park.

 

Two more Avatar films are currently in the pipe-line, and the new theme park is rumoured to featured animals and characters that will not be revealed to film goers until the second and third movie come out in 2014 and 2015.

 

The new part of the theme park aims to go beyond current boundaries, bringing the world of Avatar into reality.

 

 

Travel to the Heart of Florida… to yes, you’ve Guessed it – Orlando

The Doubletree Resort Orlando is the perfect hotel choice for those looking to enjoy the fun of Orlando. The Doubletree Resort Orlando is located in the centre of the magic, next door to SeaWorld and across the street from Aquatica, and only a short drive away from Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disneyworld Resort. The hotel prides itself on its contemporary style following a recent multi-million dollar renovation, and boasts a spa, three swimming pools, a mini golf course and a games room. With plenty to keep the kids occupied, and a sleek design with modern interiors, the Doubletree Resort Orlando is the perfect hotel for both children and adults.

Just a short ride away in the heart of Downtown Disney, the Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort offers a taste of New Orleans and its Southern hospitality. The Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort features Mississippi style rivers where guests can take advantage of the riverboats which travel up and down the waterways. With a number of different food outlets (which even includes a pizza delivery service to rooms!), a whopping seven swimming pools, and transport links straight to Walt Disneyworld Resort, the Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort is an ideal hotel to come back to after a tiring day at the theme parks!

Orlando hotels must be among some of the most expansive and entertaining resorts the US has to offer. With Orlando hotels dotted from International drive, Walt Disneyworld Resort, Kissimmee to Universal Orlando Resort, there is a resort to suit every want or need whether that be a plethora of swimming pools, contemporary and modern design, delicious restaurants or close proximity to the fun and magic of Florida’s theme parks. In the heart of Florida, with exciting theme parks and attractions right on their doorstep it is no surprise that Orlando hotels attract families all year round and prove to be a favourite Virgin Holidays destination.

The Disney Yacht Club Resort is a favourite amongst kids thanks to the resorts three acres of swimming pools with water slides and whirlpools aplenty. The Disney Yacht Club Resort captures warm and hazy summer days on the Eastern Seaboards with classic, New England style surroundings. The nearby Epcot resort is just a short walk away, and Walt Disneyworld Resort is within easy access due to the hotels free transport system.

To book – www.virginholidays.co.uk or Call 0844 557 3859