Okay, so after five years of having a basically unusable website, I finally made the change over to a new layout. This took a lot of work. I’m sure considerably more than it probably looks. It would not have been possible without the help of Matt Turk of http://www.turkmandu.com/. If you’re looking at creating or redesigning a website, I really cannot recommend him enough. He’s put up with waaaayyyy more than any human being should have to deal with over the course of several lifetimes. Now that most of the work behind the scenes is complete, we can return to more frequent on-site updates.
So what’s changed…You should notice the new menu at the top. I wanted to organize it mostly by Park. So if you mouse over Animal Kingdom, you’ll see a variety of categories from the dropdown menu. I revamped each of the attraction pages. You’ll now find a variety of pictures for each attraction and I added a lot more information about wait times and FastPass+. For example, you’ll now find a chart of FastPass+ availability throughout the day for each ride, in addition to charts of wait times based on crowd level, FP+ priority, total experience time with FP+, what you miss using FP+, etc.
All of the menus and items at the quick services have been updated. So if you’re wondering what Harambe Market serves or would like to see all of the items I’ve reviewed in the past, you can pull up a page like this. I also spent a lot of time revising the “Best of” pages. So if you’re interested in eating a quick service meal at Epcot, but aren’t sure where, you can pull up a page like this that compares all of the major quick services in a variety of categories, including most unique menu, most expensive meal on the Disney Dining Plan, best value out of pocket, best seating, best food, and an overall best of list. There’s about 30 pictures that go along with it as well. These are available for each Park.
I’m still going through the restaurants updating the content for each, but I finished Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios and should have Magic Kingdom updated shortly. What you’ll now find are links to my previous reviews of each restaurant at the top. So if you pull up something like the Hollywood Brown Derby review, you can click on the various review links at the top. Each link also has an HTML anchor tag so it will skip down to exactly where that restaurant review starts, rather than just linking to the beginning of the post. The reviews otherwise include information on discounts, price points, food type, advantages, disadvantages, tips, and links out to current menus.
The Theme Park Touring section links to the new versions of the website’s cheat sheets as well as listing all of the information in text. I have in mind to bolster this section quite a bit in the coming weeks with additional advice, but it’s all you’ll need to efficiently tour the Parks.
You’ll also find a more convenient way to pull up live wait times at the Parks.
The Resorts section has been updated with new “Best of” posts that compare the resorts in each class in a variety of categories. So if you’re trying to decide between Port Orleans, Coronado Springs, and Caribbean Beach, you can pull up this post which lays out the differences nicely. I’m mulling over what to do about the full resort pages. Unfortunately, one of the reasons why this redesign has been delayed so long is that the website just covers too much stuff. I may just link out to Dave’s excellent reviews at yourfirstvisit.net. We also have a lot of good information in the current version of our guidebook.
Otherwise, I’m on Facebook now. You can find me over at www.facebook.com/easywdw. I’m going to use it for quicker updates on things that take me a while to get around to writing, in addition to being able to post more timely updates. You’ll already find some tips on dealing with the current parking situation at Hollywood Studios, in addition to this week’s Times Guide, a look at Animal Kingdom Christmas decorations and my meal at Jiko last week, etc. Facebook is basically a popularity contest, so I would appreciate it if you’d take a moment to “like” me. I’m sure you can mute me or something after. I actually have virtually no idea how Facebook works. The whole thing really creeps me out. But don’t think about any of this and just click “like.” Don’t let your dreams be dreams…
Ummmmmmmm…I guess that’s it? I’m pretty excited about the changes. I think the website is much more functional now. There’s still some work to be done linking things and I have in mind to bolster what you see now with additional content. I’m headed back to Washington state for the holidays next week, so I’ll have some time to write up some posts on Extra Magic Hours, buying theme park tickets, etc.