Disney have bought Fox… How will this affect the parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So I started this blog in December 2017 but never got around to publishing it however with Disney sealing the deal and finally purchasing 20th Century Fox I think its time to share, don’t you..

It has been announced that the Walt Disney Company have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire and Twenty-First Century Fox which will also include Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, cable and international TV businesses for a HUGE.. get this… $52.4 BILLION in stock.

Image result for 21st century fox

This deal is the latest in a list of big assets in which Disney have gained in the last 12 years since Bob Iger has been CEO and Chariman. First came Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. These have led to ownership of IP such as Toy Story, Avengers and Star Wars. As part of this deal Bob Iger will stay in his role as chairman and CEO until the end of 2021.

Disney have relied on their recent IP gains as they prepare for the 50th Anniversary in 2021 with the likes of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and a rumoured Indiana Jones Land. And they now own a large chunk of Fox’s film and TV properties such as X-Men, Alien, Deadpool, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes, The X – Files, 24 and channels such as FX and National Geographic. The vast amount of material this will give Disney for future park ideas could include the likes of Planet of the Apes, Night at the Museum, Ice Age, Home Alone or any National Geographic ideas. Imagine the Home Alone house sitting in a park or a ‘come to life’ Museum walk through. The possibility for Disney in their parks is now endless. Fox also own Avatar so this could mean a possible expansion if any of the 4 Avatar sequels prove just as popular as the first.

Now we know that a few of Fox’s properties are already featured in various other theme parks, especially Universal Orlando Resort. Universal have Springfield USA / The Simpsons and are still  the sole home of Spiderman, Captain America and the likes despite the Mouse buying Marvel Entertainment. The Walt Disney Company have said it will give them ‘the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof‘ (although i’m not sure how family friendly Deadpool is 😉 )however there are so many restrictions for Disney due to many already being present at Universal which leads me on to some detective work I’ve been carrying out.. Fox (FX in particular) is the home of American Horror Story so would this mean any changes to Universals Halloween Horror Nights once the deal is sealed.. which could take up to 12-18 months.

 

UPDATES

“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”

It is said that the merger doesn’t change anything concerning the right for The Simpsons currently at UOR however we now know that AHS will not be featured at any HHN’s in the foreseeable future due to this merger.

There is also no word just yet on how Marvel properties will be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When asked about the effects of this merger on MCU studio head Kevin Feige told Vulture “We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced […] [Adding Fox’s Marvel characters] would be years away.”

Ryan Reynolds has posted a tweet showing his feels on this merger though.. 😉

Deadpool at Disney could really be a sight to see! 😉

This could be the start of some big big things for Disney and us as guests to the parks. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

What Fox IP would you like to see at Disney after this merger?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Flurry of Fun at Hollywood Studios

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m no longer asking if it’s acceptable to be talking about Christmas because there’s no question about it anymore. With both Halloween and Bonfire Night out the way Christmas is in full swing!

Earlier this week we saw Magic Kingdom transform from ‘Halloween’ to ‘Holidays’ overnight with six trailers of decorations, One 65-foot-tall iconic Christmas tree and less than seven hours to unpack and install it all.

Visitors to Hollywood Studios are now in for a holiday treat as the first sights of the best season of all have arrived at Toy Story Land as part of Flurry of Fun at HS! Complete with new holiday decor such as an oversized Hamm cookie, popcorn and cranberry garlands, green alien ornaments and antlers on Rex it’s the perfect place to re-live your childhood at Christmas time.

Toy Story Land during the holidays isn’t just about the decorations though as riders on Slinky Dog Dash will hear sleigh bells ringing and Alien Swirling Saucers will offer 2 holiday tracks and themed lighting!

as well as the transformation of Toy Story Land be sure to check out the festive shows and holiday decor such as a Winter Wonderland on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Tower Hotel transformed with projections and laser effects telling beloved holiday stories and every night you can experience Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!: a ‘Santa-sized spectacular jam packed with holiday music, fireworks, special effects and state of the art projections as of today (8th Nov) until the 6th Jan 2019.

Tasty Treats on offer at Flurry of Fun: Hollywood Studios

No holiday season at the Disney parks would be complete without the ultimate foodie guide! Check out some of these (CUTE) and yummy treats on offer

Festive Popcorn – This treat features caramel corn mixed with nuts, crispy pearls, candy-coated chocolates, and mini sugar cookies. Find it at BaseLine Tap House and various popcorn carts throughout the park.

Gingerbread Pop – It’s SO CUTE and one of my favorite holiday snacks, the Gingerbread Pop comes on a stick for easy on-the-go deliciousness and is dipped in chocolate. You’ll find it at Anaheim Produce, the Churro Cart in front of the Chinese Theater, and the Main Entrance Coffee Cart.

Mini Shortbread Cookies – Decorated with sugar pieces, these yummy cookies can be found at Grand Avenue Cart and Hollywood Scoops. (although shouldn’t they really be called ‘Minnie’ shortbread cookies? 😉 )

Large Shortbread Cookie – This big shortbread cookie is filled with raspberry jam and decorated in frosting. Get it at Trolley Car Café!

Santa Belt Macarons – Ho ho ho! Have a Santa Macaron! These almond macarons with hazelnut filling have climbed down the chimneys at BaseLine Tap House and Oasis Canteen and come in packages of five. These look.. AWESOME!

Santa Belt Candy Apple – Dipped in chocolate and decorated with more chocolate and marshmallow ears, you’ll definitely want to take a bite out of these candy apples available at Trolley Car Café!

Olaf Cupcake – You’ll be giving everyone a warm hug after trying this chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting available at ABC Commissary and Backlot Express

Strawberry Mint Verrine – Head to Fairfax Fare to try these marinated strawberries dipped in peppermint crème.

Spiced Cold Chocolate – This chocolate verrine is made with house-made cinnamon marshmallows and chocolate cake and can be found at Rosie’s All-American Café.

Chocolate Chestnut Cone – Chow down on this chocolate treat served on a praline leaf offered at Backlot Express.

Chocolate Mousse Present – The tastiest present of all, this chocolate mousse dessert with chocolate ganache can be found at ABC Commissary.

Cranberry Mousse – Feast on this festive dome of chocolate-cranberry mousse available at Trolley Car Café!

Caramel Éclair – Find this tasty pastry filled with caramel at Dockside Diner.

Prep and Landing Cupcake – Get ready for some elven shenanigans with this gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting offered at Rosie’s All-American Café and Dockside Diner.

Eggnog Panna Cotta – I LOVE anything eggnog, and this one is definitely on my list of favorites this year. This Eggnog Panna Cotta comes with raspberry and chocolate crème and can be found at Catalina Eddie’s.

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Lunch Box Tart – You’ll find a friend in this yummy holiday Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Lunch Box Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box. It’s also topped with snowflakes and crispy pearls!

Hot Chocolate Flight – Warm up with Hot Chocolate Flights featuring hot chocolate with Irish liqueur, hot chocolate with vanilla vodka, and hot chocolate with cherry bourbon. The flight can be found at Fairfax Fare.

Frozen Hot Cocoa (non-alcoholic) – Cool down with some Frozen Hot Cocoa offered at ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, and Rosie’s All-American Café.

Gumdrop – You’ll be dreaming of sugarplums and gumdrops with this special holiday cocktail made with raspberry liqueur, raspberry vodka, pineapple and cranberry juices, and Sprite available at The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge and mobile bars near Echo Lake and Hollywood Scoops.

Holiday Mule – There’s nothing like a good mule with vodka, lemon liqueur, cranberry juice, and ginger beer. You’ll find it at The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge and mobile bars near Echo Lake and Hollywood Scoops.

Christmas on the Beach – Wishing you were on the beach this holiday season? Well you can make your wishes come true with this tropical cocktail! Made with blue liqueur, Caribbean rum, and pineapple and cranberry juices, you’ll find it at The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge and mobile bars near Echo Lake and Hollywood Scoops.

Frosted Gingerbread Martini – If you love gingerbread cookies, you’ll love this gingerbread cocktail with vodka, Irish liqueur, coffee liqueur, gingerbread syrup, and ice cream mix available at Backlot Express.

Frostbite Cocktail – Get your freeze on with this cold cocktail made with vodka, blue liqueur, cranberry juice, and sour offered at Dockside Diner and Backlot Express.

Winterberry Margarita – Everyone loves a good marg, and we have the perfect seasonal margarita just waiting for you! Made with silver tequila, orange liqueur, sour, cranberry juice, and wildberry syrup. Find it at ABC Commissary and Rosie’s All-American Café.

I can’t wait to try a Frostbite Cocktail!! What are you excited to try?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Are Disney Planning a 5th Park?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

20 years ago Disney opened their most recent Orlando park – Animal Kingdom. Don’t we think its time for a new one?

With new attractions and hotels arriving all the time and attendance increasing anyway, why not expand? They’ve got loads of land and on a post seen on disneyandorlandogeeks.com where they have said ‘I believe that there is a deal between Marriott and Disney and at the time of the new Marriott hotels being built told them that in the future they would have a 5th park on their doorstep and that would also open up new investor possibilities for Disney.’ We think it’s time 😉

Now this is all a big, fat rumour and has been for a few years but Disney do own one hell of a lot of land in Lake Buena Vista and it wouldn’t make sense for them to just keep building accommodation without another park to fit all the visitors in, right?

Disney are very good at keeping secrets secret until they’re well and truly ready to announce them which is more than often at the latest opportunity so even if this is true its unlikely any concrete info will be leaked before Disney are ready. There are so many more reason for this idea than there are against it and that’s not just because i’m a Disney lover (promise).

What would we like to see in a new Disney park?

Personally, I think Disney could do with some more outdoor thrilling coasters as lets be honest, their coasters are no where near Universal and SeaWorld’s.. Yes, yes I know that Disney is the most family orientated but take this for an example, Gavins son.. who’s 9.. LOVED Rip Ride Rockit, The Incredible Hulk coaster and Mako so i don’t really see what’s stopping Disney embracing even just one proper thrill coaster.

Other things I would like to see at a Disney park are: A water ride themed to Moana, a 101 Dalmatians attraction – just a room full of dalmatian pups would be good for me! A Jungle book themed rapids, A CoCo show and an Incredible’s attraction – maybe a 4d ride? These are just off the top of my head, I could probably go on all day but we don’t have time 😉

What would you like to see?

Smiles Included,

Abby

10 NEW exciting things to look forward to at Walt Disney World!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Let’s take a look at what we can expect from Walt Disney World in the next few years!

What? Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Where? Disney’s Hollywood Studios When? 2019

I think this is the most anticipated new addition to Orlando in a good few years! Fly the millennium falcon, interact with Star Wars characters and the possibility of REAL light sabers.. it’s safe to say we cannot wait for this to open!

What? Star Wars Resort Where? south of Hollywood Studios When? 2019/2020

What’t not to absolutely LOVE about this?! A whole hotel themed to Star Wars where you will become part of the galaxy itself in the most immersive hotel ever.

What? Walt Disney World Skyliner Where? Walt Disney World When? 2019

Above is a map of the expected routes for the Skyliner which is a Gondola system that will transport guests to and from the above parks and resorts.

What? New nighttime show Where? Epcot When? 2019

Sadly, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is ending in the summer of 2019 but fear not, Disney have promised that we should expect something even better to replace it with more information set to be released soon!

What? Mickey and Minnie’s runaway railway Where? Hollywood Studios When? 2019

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature a new catchy theme song created especially for the attraction as well as a new experience that defies logic, called 2 ½-D. No glasses required.

What? Lightning McQueen Racing Academy Where? Hollywood Studios When? 2019

Step right into the action in a high-octane first-of-its-kind new show that’ll put you right in the middle of the world of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.”

What? Guardians of the Galaxy attraction Where? Epcot When? 2021

This one has been confirmed as a coaster and we are soooo happy about that!

What? Tron Lightcycle Power Run Where? Magic Kingdom When? 2021

The Lightcycle ride will momentarily place fans into the world of Tron in a lightening speed roller coaster.

What? Space themed restaurant Where? Future World – Epcot When? TBD

This restaurant will be built in a newly developed area located between the park’s Mission: SPACE and Test Track attractions.

What? Ratatouille attraction Where? Epcot When? TBD

This is going to be in a whole new area just past the Eiffel tower and just like the attraction at DLP.

Which one are you most looking forward to and what else would you like to see Disney add?

Smiles Included

Abby

Do You Really Mean All The Parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A lot of our customers ask for a ticket that includes ‘all of the parks’ without realising how many parks there actually are. Ticket purchasing can become quite complicated when you aren’t aware of all the parks and attractions, especially if you’re a first timer. We have ‘The Big Three’, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld but there is so much more!

Let’s take a look at the big three first.

Walt Disney World actually consists of 6 parks in total, 4 theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and 2 water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. All of our Disney tickets include all 6 of these parks, we do not offer single day or single park tickets.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the park to explore lands of endless enchantment, where your fantasy becomes a reality. 

Disney’s Epcot allows you to travel around the globe, under the sea, into outer space…and beyond!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will amaze you, behold the magic of nature with rare animals and world-class entertainment.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios puts you smack bang in the middle of the action, take center stage in the world of movies, television, music and theater.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a storm ravaged tropical bay while Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a melting ski resort.

Disney

Moving onto Universal now with their 2 theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. These 2 parks are joint together using The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express. You must have a hopper ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express, which is of course, what we offer! 🙂

Tip: Ride the Hogwarts Express both ways to encounter two completely different experiences. 😉

Universal Studios is where you can jump into the action of your favourite movies and TV shows’. At the back of the park you will find yourself in Diagon Alley.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you can live the adventure. Towards the back of this park you will be in Hogsmeade.

Universal’s Volcano Bay is the newest park which is due to open on the 1st June 2017. Water is life. Life is joy. 

universal

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have a total of 4 parks including SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Discovery Cove.

SeaWorld Orlando has a mixture of thrill rides, family rides and animal interactions. SeaWorld rescue a lot of animals from the wild to treat them and then release them back into the wild.

Aquatica is SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s water park which is themed to the Southern Pacific and features Australian and New Zealand mascots that you can spot relating to each attraction.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about an hour out of Orlando but so worth the journey! The 19th century African themed park is also, like SeaWorld, a mixture of the thrill and family rides as well as the animal encounters. All of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is suitable for all the family.

Tip: We offer these parks at an amazing 3 parks for the price of 2 offer which entails free parking!

Discovery Cove is an amusement park where guests can completely relax with an all inclusive day and have the choice to ‘talk, touch, play and swim with bottlenose dolphins’.

There are 2 Discovery Cove packages available, 1 including 14 days into SeaWorld and Aquatica and our Ultimate package including 14 days into SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens.

Tip: You can make the most of the free parking with our Ultimate Package as well. 😉

SW

LEGOLAND Florida & Merlin Attractions is next up. LEGOLAND Florida has their theme park and their water park – great fun for all the family. As well as Legoland, Merlin also have I-Drive 360 which is made up of The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEALIFE Orlando.

lego

We offer a number of different ticket options for these attractions, so if you don’t necessarily want to visit all of them, you can take your pick!

If you’re looking to visit some of Florida’s more alternative attractions, you won’t be at a loose end as there are so many options!

Kennedy Space Center

Fun Spot

Gatorland

Boggy Creek – 30 minute

Boggy Creek – 1 hour

WonderWorks

Orlando Magic

So if you were stuck for ideas, I hope you’re not anymore! All of these attractions are available on our website and any questions you have, you can contact us to find out more!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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WestJet launches plane featuring Sorcerer Mickey!

 

Hi Thrill seekers,

If you had never been to Disney World Florida and you had to image what it would be like; you’d probably imagine something like Mickey Mouse dressed as the Sorcerer’s apprentice and fireworks exploding over Cinderella’s Castle – well, that’s exactly what you get with WestJet’s new ‘Magic Plane’

Westjet Magic Plane

In what has to be one of the coolest cross branding initiatives this year, WestJet (based in Canada) and Walt Disney World have teamed up to turn one of WestJet’s Next Generation Boeing 737’s into a Disney themed Magic Plane.

WestJet-Magic-Plane-tail

The tail section of the Magic Plane features Mickey Mouse from his most famous role in Fantasia. Sorcerer Mickey can be seen spreading his magic of swirling stars around the wings and fuselage as they make their way towards the front of the plane where fireworks explode over Cinderella’s Castle.

WESTJET - WestJet soars to new heights with Magic Plane

This amazing art work took almost a month to complete as teams worked around the clock adding a colour scheme of 36 colours to the outside of the plane. The art work is duplicated on both sides of the plane.

WestJet-Magic-Plane-front

But the magic doesn’t stop there – inside the plane each seat has a custom made star-designed headrest cover. Guests also receive cookies in the shape of Disney characters during the flight – cool eh?

westjet-seat

Personally I think this is an amazing touch. Especially for children, they get to experience that Disney magic a little bit sooner. Plus, to the relief of many Mum’s and Dad’s, I imagine this plane will keep the kids sufficiently mesmerised to decrease the ratio of one of the most annoying questions a parent has to endure… ‘Are we there yet?…’

The ‘Magic Plane’ made its inaugural flight to Orlando, Florida, on December 3. Following that flight, it will travel throughout WestJet’s domestic, trans-border and international network

If you or anyone you know has been lucky enough to travel on this rather cool plane please let us know what you thought.

#SmilesIncluded

Karl

 

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Walt Disney World Wait Times On Your iPhone

One of the most annoying things in the history of the world (well, to me anyway) is queuing! I just hate standing in line waiting….and waiting….and annoying everyone I’m with by constantly complaining about waiting…and then waiting some more….you get the picture right? Well, I have some good news for fellow ‘queue haters’ There are a few decent iPhone Apps out there that can help. They won’t eliminate the queues but they do the next best thing; they let you know the average ‘wait time’ for all the major rides at Walt Disney World Orlando.

I have reviewed a couple of these iPhone Apps below which I might add are FREE to download. The way these Apps work is pretty genius. People that are already standing in line have this App and submit their wait times. This makes each wait time relevant to that particular point in time….good eh?

FREE WDW Waits App

This was the first app I downloaded. It’s very easy, right off the bat you can download this App and understand how to use it.  FREE WDW Waits uses your ‘current location’ via GPS to let you know where the nearest ride to you is. You can see and submit wait times and add rides and add rides to a ‘favourites’ section.

Displayed wait times are based on app user submitted times and park crowd levels. Now with hundreds of thousands of users.

FEATURES
✓ Ride wait times for all 4 Disney World parks
✓ All times for each park displayed on the same screen
✓ See recent times submitted for each ride
✓ Submit a ride wait time if you are in the park
✓ See rides nearest to your GPS position
✓ Time displayed in minutes, a CL if closed, or dashes if unavailable

Visit VersaEdge.com for more info and demo video.

WDW FREE Wait Time Opening App Screen

Wait time displayed

submit your waiting time

Pros: It’s simple to use, it’s free, and it does exactly what you need it to do. Three awesome reasons to go and download it right now!

Cons: The refresh rate is slow (it’s around every 4 minutes; I hate to wait!) Personally I would add a ‘refresh button’ The ‘Near me’ option needs to encourage people to use it – if you don’t set it up when you first download the app but you later click on it you get the following message ‘Error Acquiring Location’ It should then offer you the chance to allow the App to ‘use your current location’ to enable the function to work but it doesn’t – This App has adverts on it – Graphics are basic.

Verdict: It’s a good App, its simple and it’s FREE! The pros definitely out way the cons with this App. I would recommend you go get this if you’re off to Walt Disney World Orlando.

More info: iTunes

Undercover Tourist – Walt Disney World Wait Time App

There is a lot going on with this iPhone App. Its main function it to provide wait times at WDW which it does in the same way as the App above. The eye pleasing graphics make the user experience just that little bit more fun as it has a ‘game type’ quality to it. But this App is more than just wait times. It gives you lots of extra information like a review of the rides, user ratings, parade times, where to eat, a 10 day crowd forecast a planner and it also has a little game on it to keep you amused when you’re in the queues.

FEATURES

. Detailed Maps and GPS Locator – Enjoy accurate wait times, integrated in real-time, with park maps for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All of these locations can be found in just one App!

. Real-Time Data Points – Save time with over 2,000,000 wait time data points, all enhanced by real-time user submissions.

. Rides – Pre-plan with detailed information, including photos, descriptions, ratings and height / age requirements. The App filters the rides by age, family and Fast Pass. It also allows for rides to be added to your touring plan and marked as one of your favorites.

. Disney Dining – Cruise through menus for Disney World and Downtown Disney restaurants with new Disney World Resort restaurants added weekly to the App. Restaurant ratings, cuisine, cost and photos are also at your fingertips and can be added to your Favorites list or inserted into your Activities Scheduler.

. Export and Import Scheduling Information – You can plan your entire day at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. The Schedule can also be e-mailed to your
family and friends.

. Planner – You can see opening hours, parade times, recommended parks and other special events up to 10 days in advance.

. Traffic Light System – You can choose the best parks and rides with the lowest crowds for each day of your trip.

. GPS Tools – After a long day at the parks, you can locate your vehicle, yourself or members of your group … fast.

. Ticket Purchase – You will have the exclusive ability on mobile to purchase discount attraction tickets through Undercover Tourist, the most trusted name in discount attraction tickets.

. Ticket Copy – You can take pictures of all your theme park tickets to keep track of everyone’s tickets in your group. Note: This feature is not a guarantee for having your tickets reissued. Officially, theme parks do not have to reissue lost tickets; it remains at their sole discretion, so be sure to be careful!

. Play a Game – You can pass time while waiting with a fun tile match memory game for kids of all ages.

Undercover Tourist Walt Disney World Wait Time App Opeing Screen

Current wait times displayed

More information on rides

Pros: It’s FREE. This App is packed with great things to do. Its fun to use and gives you lots of extra ‘added value’ information. Its obvious the developers of this App have spent a lot of time thinking about what users would find useful.

Cons: It’s packed with adverts. You can ditch the adds by upgrading to a paid version of this App. If current location is not set up when you download the App it doesn’t point you in the direction of how to set it up if you then click on the ‘Location’ function later. No instructions on how to use some of the functions.

Verdict: Download this App. Its FREE damnit! Its packed with useful features and its fun to use – just how an App should be.

More info: iTunes

So there you have our pick on a couple of really useful Apps. Let us know if you have used either of these Apps by leaving us a comment or if there are any other similar Apps you’d recommend we’d love to hear about them.

For more information on Walt Disney World click the link.