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Disney World Dining – If You Don’t Cancel, You Still Pay

disney wine epcot

Too many visitors to Walt Disney World in Orlando can’t dine at a favorite restaurant because all the spaces are taken. Reservation no-shows are one of the causes, so Disney World is imposing a fee on anyone who fails to cancel a reservation 24 hours in advance.

Beginning Oct. 26, Disney will charge $10 for the total number of people on a reservation not cancelled 24 hours ahead of time. For a party of 5, that’s $50. With a credit card required to make the reservation, Disney can be sure of obtaining the no-show fee.

The 19 signature restaurants included in this new policy are:

• 1900 Park Fare
• Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
• Artist Point
• California Grill
• Cape May Café
• Chef Mickey’s
• Cítricos
• The Crystal Palace
• Flying Fish Café
• The Garden Grill
• Hollywood & Vine
• Jiko – The Cooking Place
• Le Cellier Steakhouse
• Narcoossee’s
• ‘Ohana
• Tusker House Restaurant
• The Hollywood Brown Derby
• Victoria & Albert’s – $25 per person
• Yachtsman Steakhouse

The following restaurants require a full pre-payment. If you don’t cancel a reservation there 24 hours is advance, you forfeit the entire amount you’ve paid at:

• Cinderella’s Royal Table
• Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
• Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
• Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

Canceling a reservation is easy. Just call 407-WDW-CNCL (939-2625) or sign in at Disneyworld.com/reservations

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This is a regular update for buyers of the app Orlando Essential Travel Guide and anyone who discovers this site.

Until next next week (or later),

Tim

LEGOLAND Florida Oct. 15 Opening Just Around Corner

Major new theme park aimed at kids 2-12

Legoland Dragon Coaster
LEGOLAND Florida photo

The new 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida theme park in Winter Have, FL, is on schedule to open Oct. 15. Catering to kids from 2 to 12, LEGOLAND features more than 50 rides – from roller coasters to race cars – as well as family focused shows and attractions. This is the 5th and largest of the world’s Legolands. The only other U.S.-based LEGOLAND is located in California.

LEGOLAND Florida is located on the site of Cypress Gardens, which opened in the 1930s and whose stunt water ski shows, Southern Belles and beautifully manicured gardens made it an international attraction for decades. The ski shows and gardens remain in some form but the Southern belles are now represented by Lego figures.

A distinctive part of the Florida attraction is its 4 “pink-knuckle” rides, junior roller coasters with the right blend of speed that should thrill the entire family, not just those with cast-iron stomachs. These include The Dragon Coaster in the Kingdoms zone with a humorous behind-the-scenes view of life within the enchanted LEGOLAND Castle. The indoor/outdoor steel coaster encounter a massive fire-breathing dragon along the way. Coastersaurus in the Land of Adventure features a wooden coaster that curves and dips in and around a life-sized Lego brick dinosaur, .

Other attractions include Duplo Village for 3- to 5-year-olds with themed play zones. Duplo Playtown lets toddlers operate a pint-sized town; at Duplo Barn they can climb, slide and crawl among a variety of Lego farm animals. Imagination Zone is a hands-on section of the park that emphasizes exploring and creation.

2011.08.28_LEGOLANDFL_RIDES_001.jpg  2011.08.28_LEGOLANDFL_RIDES_001.jpg

At Pirate’s Cove on Lake Eloise, Lego “mini-fig” pirates star in a live-action, water-stunt spectacular families will love. This area also is the site of the Botanical Gardens, one of the attractions that made Cypress Gardens such a popular destination for many decades.

See map  for all the park attraction areas.

Realizing its out-of-the-way location could be a problem for some potential visitors, LEGOLAND will run a daily shuttle from Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland Ave. Leaving at 9am and returning after the park closes, the 45-minute shuttle trip has a special opening price of $5, round trip, per person. The shuttle is equipped with seatbelts for youngsters.  To reserve a seat, click here.

For families that want to spend the night, LEGOLAND has a series of “Bed and Brick” preferred hotels , although some are not all that close to the property.

Ticket prices  are considerably less than at the other major theme parks. Hours vary by season and day of week.

Based on the popularity of LEGOLANDs in California and Germany and elsewhere as well as the advance ticket sales, LEGOLAND Florida will be a blockbuster. This new attraction should be motivation enough to attract a lot of families with young kids to visit Orlando once more, or for the first time.  

This is a weekly info update to the Orlando Essential Travel Guide for buyers of the app and anyone who discovers this site.

Until next Monday (or later),

Tim