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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tip Tuesday: Thanksgiving at WDW - the next chapter

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

Two years ago, I gave a few tips about Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World.  I discussed crowds briefly and also talked more at length about how you can still get your fill of turkey, even at restaurants that aren't normally known for serving turkey and the trimmings.

This week, I wanted to talk about a few other aspects of Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World -- getting there and Black Friday.

First, if you're thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World for the Thanksgiving break, do yourself a HUGE favor and DON'T plan to travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  It's flat out nuts.  We journeyed to WDW for Thanksgiving in 2009 and the drive down was murderous, especially as we tried to navigate some of the more populous areas like Charlotte and Jacksonville.  If you're flying, well, you've seen all the stories each year about how it's the busiest travel day of the year, so you might be better off scheduling your flights a little earlier, or, perhaps, fly down on Thanksgiving day itself.  If you can get an early morning flight, you can probably be in the parks in time for a late turkey lunch or easily make a dinner ADR.  Oh, and remember that the Sunday after Thanksgiving is just as bad, so if you can stay a day or two longer, it might help make your return trip a little less stressful.

But... once you've had your fill of turkey (and recovered from the triptophan-induced coma afterward) it's time to start thinking about Black Friday shopping!  Or at least you might think about it.  In 2009, Downtown Disney did not offer many Black Friday deals, if at all.  Based on online research, I don't see any indication that 2012 will be any different.  UPDATE:  The Disney Parks Blog just announced some Black Friday deals at some stores at Downtown Disney including the Lego Store, Ridemakers and littlemissmatched.  For a list of Black Friday offers - see this link.

Disney Stores nationwide will offer Black Friday sales, but according to StitchKingdom, none of the Downtown Disney World of Disney stores (in Anaheim or Orlando) are participating in the Black Friday event.

However, that doesn't mean you can't get into the Black Friday spirit.  Disneystore.com is offering several online Black Friday sales, which you can start to take advantage of right now. 

Of course, who needs Black Friday shopping when you can be at the parks?  But that's a debate for another time.

My family and I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Photo Friday: more little Disney details

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Saloon 

 Howdy there folks!

It's time for another Photo Friday!

This week's it's a two-fer-one offer!  Ye get two photos today!

The first photo above is a shot of the Gold Dust Saloon as seen from the Walt Disney World Railroad (and you get a really good picture of it when the train is stuck for about 30 minutes...).

But what I really wanted to show you was this...


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Saloon 

This is a shot of the inside of the saloon.  Now even on a very bright day you can hardly see inside.  I had to use a strong flash and slow exposure to get this shot.  What's impressive is the level of detail Imagineers put in these attractions.  Notice the playing cards on the table and the different liquor bottles.  At most a guest might be able to get a fleeting glimpse while riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or guests may be able to peer inside while passing on the railroad.  Either way, Disney could have gotten away with much less detail... but this is Disney and doing things halfway doesn't cut it.

So enjoy another little piece of Disney detail!