Month: February 2016

5 of the best Social Media accounts to follow for Walt Disney World news and updates

Looking for a way to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings around the “Happiest Place on Earth?” Below are 5 social media accounts that will keep you updated with the latest news concerning the magical theme parks:

  1. @WALTDISNEYWORLD on Twitter 

This is Walt Disney’s official Twitter account, and quite popular with over 2.22 million followers. They’re quick to post about the latest in ride changes and attractions which is especially helpful for those followers currently visiting Walt Disney World equipt with an active twitter feed.


2. Official Walt Disney World Facebook Account

Similar to the Twitter account, this is Walt Disney World’ official Facebook account. This page provides a bit more of a community presence within each post’s comment sections when compared to the official twitter account. The official Facebook account also fields visitor complaints and features reviews from recent guests.

3 r/WaltDisneyWorld on Reddit

This is a great Reddit page to learn about current events at the World and also an educational place to help plan your upcoming trip to all of the parks. Need to know the best plan of attack when hitting the parks for one day? Wondering where you should make dinner reservations to propose to your girlfriend? This is the best place to ask all sorts of questions and get some FREE quality feedback from self-fledged Disney experts.

4. Disney World Junkies Facebook Group

This is one of the largest (89k members) unofficial Disney World groups on Facebook. Not only does this group contain news and reviews, but it’s a major community for users to share their excitement about their upcoming vacation plans and ask questions.

5. The Utilidor on Twitter

Although this is a less popular Twitter account, it definitely deserves a follow. The Utilidor (named after the underground walkway beneath Disney’s Magic Kingdom) posts a curation of retweets featuring unique bits of Disney World news and photos on a daily basis.



Map: Experience Walt Disney World Magic without Park Admission

For the past few years, Walt Disney World has offered a great deal for Florida residents looking to spend a few days at the theme parks. With a valid Florida ID, residents could purchase a highly discounted 3 day park ticket for $129, to be used from the beginning of January until the end of May.

Unfortunately, Disney has decided to discontinue this promotion and is now advertising normal Florida Resident tickets at a much steeper price . This might mean less time at Disney for some, but we have a few ideas for the fans of Disney World that still want to make the trip and can no longer afford the ticket admission.

Don’t have park tickets for all the days you’re visiting Disney? No worries, below are 4 ways to enjoy some of Walt Disney World’s magic without paying park admission.

1. Explore Tri-Circle-D Ranch

At Fort Wilderness.

Image: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Located in Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort, near Magic Kingdom, this ranch is  home to the horses of Walt Disney World. The ranch houses between 80 to 90 horses including Appaloosas, Arabians, Belgians, Clydesdales, and more.

The Ranch also features the Dragon Calliope, a horse drawn musical instrument that Walt Disney himself purchased for the  Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park back in the 1950s.

You can simply explore the ranch and visit with the horses for free, or participate in activities such as Pony Rides,  Horseback Trail rides, and Wagon Rides for an additional cost.  Please be advised that the ranch officially closes at 3:30 p.m.. daily so get there early (the ranch opens at 8 a.m.) to have time to fully explore the area.

2. Play a Round of Golf: Fantasia Garden and Fairways Miniature Golf


Image: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Just because you don’t have a ticket for the rides and games inside of the theme park doesn’t mean you can’t experience a friendly game with your friends and family!

Fantasia Garden and Fairways Miniature Golf features two 18-hole golf adventures based on the classic 1940 Disney film, Fantasia. Both children and adults will appreciate the holes featuring water, whimsical music and  moving obstacles. The interactive courses are open daily, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets for Adults are $14, Children are $12.

3. Listen to the Dueling Pianos: Jelly Rolls


Image: Joe Pennlston via Flickr

Looking for live music and an improv show? Check out the Dueling Pianos at Jelly Rolls, located at the Boardwalk resort. Serving guests over 21 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m each night, this is one of Orlando’s hottest nightspots.  Make sure to arrive early as it’s typically standing room by 9 p.m.

The bar features non-stop dueling pianos and drink specials each night. Be prepared to pay a cover charge, normally under $15 a person.

Tip: Bring some cash to tip to the piano players and feel free to request your favorite songs from the past!

4. Go for a Romantic Boat Ride by the Board Walk: Bayside Marina


Image: MoodyGroove via Wikipedia

To cap off the perfect evening on the Boardwalk, rent a boat at Disney’s Yacht Club to take around the lagoon.

It doesn’t matter if you have any boating experience, for a fee (varies on size of boat, but prices start at $33.80), Disney lets guests captain their own boats: from mini-powerboats for 2, to pontoon boats for up to 10 guests.

If driving the boat by yourself isn’t your thing, no fear, Disney does offer Specialty Cruises that includes a meal and professional driver in the package.


Chart: Living in Disney World

Disney World’s population is particularly fascinating, as most people aren’t aware that people are actually residents. Most people would consider the location of Disney World to be in Orlando, but all four parks are actually within two cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, FL.

The overall population of 59 people (between the two cities) are minuscule when compared to Florida’s 19.89 million residents. In order to live “on property” you must be a salaried employee, or recent Disney retiree.

If you’d like to learn more about those few people living in these cities, I found this Orlando Sentinel article from 1987 explaining what life is like “living” in Disney World.

Below is a chart showing the U.S. Census Bureau’s population numbers of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista over the past 16 years:

(I opted to only show Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista’s populations, instead of including Florida, because the cities’ populations were far too small to detect with all three included.)