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Theme Park News: Disney World Begins Fastpass+ Testing For All Park Guests

by Mommy Frog on December 20, 2013 3

Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks. 

This week’s highlights:

  • RFID kiosk - Fastpass+ - theme park newsIn a step closer to fully launching Fastpass+, Disney World began testing Fastpass+ for all park guests Wednesday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Park guests who are not staying at one of the resorts are being invited to make Fastpass+ selections when they arrive at the park via kiosks.

  • Jan. 23 is the big day when Universal is set to reveal when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley will open this summer. Tad has already added it to his calendar!

  • There will be even more Potter goodness that week as stars Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), James Phelps (Fred Weasley) and Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) will be on hand for A Celebration of Harry Potter, happening Jan. 24-26 at Universal Orlando.

  • Baby Penguin ChickThere's a baby boom at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, with SeaWorld welcoming the first penguin chick to be born at the new attraction with more expected in the coming weeks.
  • Disney unveiled a new photo product offering, Memory Maker, that is replacing PhotoPass+ and will allow for unlimited digital downloads of all photos taken in the park by PhotoPass photographers and at attractions for 30 days after purchase. The cost is $199, or guests can pre-purchase online for $149, but they have to wait three days before downloading photos.
  • Magic Kingdom is offering an all-you-can eat buffet at Tortuga Tavern in Adventure Land over the holidays from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4, serving new favorites such as Banana Leaf-baked Mahi, Barbosa’s Braised Beef and Captain Jack’s Chicken Breast.
  • Doc McStuffinsLily's two favorite Disney friends, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First, are joining the character breakfast and lunch at Hollywood & Vine in Disney's Hollywood Studios, starting Jan. 26.
  • In even more dining news, the Disney Parks Blog revealed some of the menu items of the new Spice Road Table, coming to Morocco in Epcot in 2014.
  • Stocking StuffersWith less than a week until Christmas, I hope that you are wrapping up your shopping. For those of you heading to the parks, here are a few ideas for stocking stuffers -- I am still a fan of the Mickey Bar magnet!

That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!

If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our planning pages.

— Mommy Frog

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jul 10, 2014 at 9:54 p.m. Marisa Says...

Is Memory Maker really worth it? Trying to figure out what you really get for $149/$199... Any insight would be appreciated!

Jul 14, 2014 at 4:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marisa,

Great question. I'd love to hear from others who have purchased it. We do have some really terrific information on this post outlining the pros and cons of PhotoPass:


Mommy Frog

Jan 4, 2014 at 5:10 a.m. Erin Says...

I am sooo worried about this new Fast Pass+ program! We are going during spring break, which I know will be busy, and with only being able to get 3 Fast Passes in a day and at just one park??!! I'm afraid we will be spending most of our trip in line.... :(

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