Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

I meant to mention with the holidays coming up, things would be a little busy around the household, meaning that the blog would be on hold for a few weeks.

I will see you all in the New Year! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

News & Rumors 12/8/08 - 12/21/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News
  • Disney's Design a Tee shirt in Downtown Disney was in soft openings as of Dec. 8, 2008.
  • The tethered balloon that will be up in Downtown Disney has a name--Characters In Flight.
  • Chef Mickey's should be under refurb. As should the California Grill. These refurbs will be done in phases and will take place while the restaurants continue operating.
  • It appears Idol is getting some of the finishing touches put on. The times board has been put up and a media reception has been set in place for Feb. 12, 2009.
  • In the latest planning video, Space Mountain is conspicuously left out.
  • Prime Rib has been replaced with whole strip loins on buffets on Disney property.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin will be down for refurb March 2-6.
  • The Poly has had their last torch lighting ceremony. You can thank budget cuts.


Rumors

  • The Outer Rim bar at the Contemporary is supposed to be coming back.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mousefest Memories

It's official. My first Mousefest is now over. And I have to say, in a lot of ways it was different than I thought it would be. Not different in a bad way, mind you, but it was definitely different than I ever dreamed it would be.

For the past I'd say 3 years or so, I've been wanting to go to Mousefest. But, I really had no reason to go down. My husband and I usually vacation in Sept. and I didn't want to drag him down to a fan event where he wouldn't enjoy himself. He may like going to Disney World on vacation, but I didn't see me dragging him from meet to meet very successfully. So, I quietly sat in my car and online, wishing I could be there and actually experience it firsthand for myself. I, had always been dreaming of going to Mousefest pure and simply as a fan.

This year though...that all changed. I now had my reason to go down, what with the podcast and I was excited to get my first chance to go. (Mousefest was actually one of the reasons why my hubby bought my AP for me for my birthday/anniversary.)

So what was it that made Mousefest different for me? What was it that I didn't realize would happen? While there, I stopped dreaming of going as a fan and instead got to experience it in a totally different light. That was of someone who's in the Disney community.

It was something that I wasn't expecting. I had thought that I would end up gushing all over the Disney "celebrities" but when it really came down to it...yeah, it was cool to meet them...but you know what was even cooler? Being allowed that chance to get to hang out with the fans. Getting the chance to talk to people or joke with them, Riding rides or just eating a meal together. And as I quickly learned, that, truly is the spirit of Mousefest.

So, lt's get onto the things that helped change my opinion, and in my opinion, for the better, about Mousefest.

The first meet in front of the Magic Kingdom was so surreal for me. I was walking down the pathway from the bus stops thinking, what on earth am I doing?! This is so bizarre. But as soon as I got there, all my fears and anxiety slipped away. We all got along so well and had a ton of fun just riding rides together. (And of course, who couldn't forget the most boring Jungle Cruise skipper EVER!!!! Seriously, what was that guy's problem? Did he not get the handbook that the ride's funny now?!)

Another thing that really got me connected with people was the podcast recording session. It was so unique. We were all just sitting there, in this laid back atmosphere, some eating their lunches and just watching, while recording an episode for the show. What was great was just about anyone who wanted to be on the show, got to be on and we chatted with everyone. Even more fun was people were having their own conversations, getting the chance to bond with other listeners and us, while the recording was going on too.

I also really enjoyed Podfest. Actually, I think this was one of my favorite parts to Mousefest. At first, it was all kind of scattered...we didn't know what was happening or how the event would really be run...but once the speech was given, off we all went talking away.

Some people interviewed others and this was where my fun set in. I was given the task of interviewing people for the show (because Mike didn't want to, by the way) and I have to say, I had a BLAST! It was so great getting to talk to those who maybe hadn't listened before, but were then learning about us, to talk to people who did listen to us (special shout out to Steve! I know your name now, don't I?! That could be a bad thing...) I got to also interview others who were maybe smaller on the online community totem poll and help them get their voices out to people who maybe hadn't heard of them either. And last, I did get the chance to interview the big wigs who's name's you immediately recognize. All of it was so rewarding though. It was great getting the chance to talk to everyone, from all walks of the online community.

The last meet that really meant something to me was the one on Sunday, meeting those of you who couldn't make it to some of the other meets, and once again getting to hang out with those of you who we'd already met. Granted it was a short amount of time we got to spend together, but it was still some great bonding time that I'm glad I got to get with you all. (Even if I was feeling queasy that morning.)

Last but not least, one of my favorite parts of Mousefest this year was the bonding time I got in with Mike and Pam and their families. It was so great getting to hang out with both of them, either together or separate, that really helped to make this trip even more magical this year. Whether it be on the Wishes Cruise, talking in the Iron Spike Room, eating a meal together or just walking around the parks, goofing around and taking in the sights, we made some major memories that I know will blend into making the podcast even better, since we now know each other just a bit better.

So thank you to all of you who helped to make my first Mousefest amazing. It was such an honor to get the time with you all and I only wished we'd gotten to spend more time with each other. For those of you who maybe couldn't make it down, the good thing is, there's always next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

News & Rumors 12/1/08 - 12/07/08


News

  • There will be a special sale that takes place at the World of Disney for Passholders and DVC owners on Saturday, December 13. The sale takes place from 6:30 am - 8:30 am. Discounts of up to 50% can be had and there will be special hourly door-busters available. Also from 6:30 am - 7:30 am, coffees, hot cocoa, and treats will be available for shoppers.
  • The main pool at the Contemporary will be closed for refurb from Jan 5, 2009 - March 31.
  • Stormalong Bay will be closed for refurb from Jan 5, 2009 - March 31. Guests can use the pool at the Boardwalk.
  • The Treehouse Villas are officially a part of Saratoga Springs.


Rumors

  • Self Service drinks will soon be offered at the Liberty Inn Restaurant in Epcot.

Also, a note. I will be at Mousefest starting on Wedenesday and will be gone until Sunday. Because of that, this blog will be on hiatus for a week. Hope to meet some of you at Mousefest!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No More Swashbuckling

Well, it appears that Disney has decided to put a kibosh on Mickey's Pirate and Princess Parties, at least for the time being.

This really shouldn't come as a surprise though as it is totally understandable why Disney made this choice. The parties never really did seem to attract the crowds. And Disney seemingly tried all they could to get the masses to attend. They extended the dates from just January, February, and March to what seemed like the whole first half of the year...and still, the parties just couldn't find a hold.

I think I can guess why these parties didn't take off very well...actually I have a few guesses.

First of all, is that it didn't center around a holiday...so a lot of people couldn't justify spending that kind of money for an event where it seemed as though Disney was just trying to get more money out of you. Those parties are expensive...and I think Disney may have hit their limit with how many parties people would go to in a year...and I'd guess that Disney may have miscalculated the reasoning behind why they'd go. I mean think about it...the Halloween and Christmas parties seem special as they centered around specific events, but the Pirate & Princess Parties never seemed to feel as special. It wasn't centered around a specific time of year, instead it was a party where Disney could seemingly throw anywhere. Which means, it always seemed like a way for Disney to get extra money out of people during the slow time of the year. (Which it also would appear, since the parties didn't do as well, that people saw right through the gimmick.)

The second reason would be that I don't believe the parties got such hot reviews from other party-goers. Sure, I'd heard the firework show was outstanding...but really that was all there was. The parade isn't one that was nearly talked about as much as the other two party's parades are. The Halloween and Christmas parades are the ones that get the most hype...and out of those two, Halloween wins hands down. Another drawback for the Pirate & Princess Parties, instead of handing out candy or cookies, they gave guests "pirate treasure" which basically consisted of cheap plastic jewelry and beads. Not nearly as nice as free food. More like, ok...now what am I going to do with this junk now that I'm done with it?

The last reason that I think pushed Disney over the edge on making this decsion was with the economy going the way it is. If they were already having trouble getting guests to these parties, I would assume that now, they'd have even more trouble selling tickets to this fledgling event. Add to that, that Disney can save additional money because they don't have to pay the Cast Members to work in a relatively empty park for the night either. It seems like a no-brainer for Disney to 86 the event.

So, who knows if we'll ever see these parties again later in the future...but for now...you'll have to get your treasure (and Jack Sparrow) somewhere else. Anyone up for a trip to Tortuga? :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

News & Rumors 11/24/08 - 11/30/08


News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News

  • Primeval Whirl has now reopened.
  • There is no Epcot tree lighting ceremony this year.
  • Also, the Magic Kingdom tree hasn't been put up yet. Rumors say it will be put up after the Christmas Parade taping.
  • Apparently, the Pirate and Princess Parties are no more due to estimated 2009 reservations...at least for now.
  • Backlot Tour will be down for refurb Jan 4 - Feb 28, 2009.
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid will be dark from Jan. 27-Jan 29, 2009.
  • The Magic Kingdom has new strollers. These new strollers are a little more streamlined then the previous ones. They also aren't as colorful as before.
  • Mike's favorite restaurant El Pirata y el Perrico is apparently open seasonally! So if you want to get your bowl of meat...do it now! It might not ever reopen once the new "fry cart" area reopens as a regular restaurant.
  • The Viking Ship in Norway is set to be demolished.

Rumors
  • During The Flower & Garden Festival this next year, the concerts will only be shown 3 days a week, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...and the concert times will start earlier.
  • It's been rumored that Flamingo Crossing might not happen now, as many third parties have not been signed as of yet. Also, the same problem is happening to the Pleasure Island area.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Resort Online Check-In

Disney is apparently going to have a way for people to check into select Disney resorts and DVC, up to 10 days in advance, right from their own homes. All that is needed is for you to provide a little information and then when you arrive on property, you go in a special line, show your photo ID, you'll receive your welcome packet and be done.

It seems as if Disney is definitely moving towards becoming more "Internet friendly"...first with the rumor that ADRs are going to be able to be processed online in the next month or so (at least from recent reports, it should be open soon) and now this.

This is a very interesting concept and something that I'm looking forward to at least trying at some point. I mean, how nice will it be to simply stream line the process of check-in. It will be great not having to stand in a really long line, knowing full well, you are already checked into your resort. That everything is taken care of and getting to the fun of the parks will take even less time then it did before.

Of course, as a note, checking in early won't mean that you'll receive your room early, if you arrive early either. You still might have to wait until after 3 to find out this information, just as you always have possibly had to.

There is one drawback that I see from this...and it's a very important one. And that's the rapport that you can gain from the CM who originally checks you in. Sure, I'm sure you'll still be able to talk to this steam lined check-in CM, but I'm sure that since the process will mostly already be taken care of, CM interaction in this area will diminish greatly, should you take advantage of this new perk. And we all know that getting to interact with CM is something that I think all of us Disney veterans value.

However, this is still a process that I will be interested in seeing how well it goes. Because, we all know that time is money at places like Disney World and I think for quite a few people, this will save a lot of time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

News & Rumors 11/17/08 - 11/23/08



News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News


  • Primeval Whirl's refurb took a little longer than expected. It will reopen in Dec. And from reports, it will reopen Dec. 6.
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure will be closed from Jan. 5, 2009 - March 22, 2009.
  • Disney is going to launch a new Online Resort Check-in service. Guests will be able to check in a full 10 days early by providing info related to their upcoming stay. Once they arrive at the resort, guests will then be able to experience a stream-lined check in where they will receive the welcome folder and Keys to the World card. Guests will need to present a valid ID in order to receive the packet. The service will launch in Jan. 2009.
  • Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration will be the new show set to debut in Tomorrowland in April 2009.
  • According to Disney's schedule...Epcot will be closing one hour earlier begining in January...at 8:00 pm on Fridays.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rebranding Pop?

According to rumors coming out this past week, there's a rumor that Disney is building a mock up of a room for what will be known as Disney's Animation Inn & Suites. Word for this came about because Disney recently filed a permit for said mock ups.

Now, of course, a certain blogger, (Jim Hill) believes that the Disney's Animation Inn & Suites is going to then be turned into the second half of Pop Century and then the whole hotel complex will be re-named, as work will be done on the Classic Years to make it fit with the new theme. Let's take a brief look at this, as if we were to believe this is indeed what would happen.

Building this new resort is a very interesting idea. Disney has the other half of Pop Century completely unfinished. Matter of fact, you can still see the vacant shells from some of the rooms from the current Pop Century.

Also, since building the family suites at All-Star Music, Disney has increased it's chances of getting families of 5 or 6 to stay on property at a reasonable cost, which as given these families a Disney option, instead of them being forced to stay offsite. I'm sure Disney wants to attempt to build more hotel rooms like these to capitalize on this potentially huge market. This old Pop Century Legendary Years area would be perfect. And Nickelodeon has a similar version of this kind of hotel that is wildly popular.

The other reason I think this re-theming would work, is because, for me, I'd always wondered how they could entice people to want to stay in the Legendary Years. The Classic Years wasn't as big of a stretch to stay in for me...people want to stay there because they grew up with the stuff they'd see in that portion of the hotel. It is has a fun and kitchy feel to it.

But the Legendary Years...while it would probably be cool the way Disney had intended to build it, that same appeal that the Classic Years has, I don't think would necessarily be there with the Legendary Years section. I mean, can you imagine a Great Depression 30s area? Or a WWII 40s area? The stuff that they could potentially put in there, it just doesn't have the same zing to me. (Once again, Disney could have potentially made a liar out of me...I just always thought it was a weird second half concept.)

Now, the one thing I wish they wouldn't do, is to re-brand the whole resort complex. I would really like for them to leave Pop Century alone and build the Disney's Animation Inn & Suites as a totally separate hotel. I think it would work better that way, however, I understand if they do decide to just combine the two under one unifying themed umbrella. But both resorts would be big enough and I think both have enough appeal that Disney could sell both separately.

So, in all, this is a very interesting development. We'll see what happens!

Monday, November 17, 2008

News & Rumors 11/10/08 - 11/16/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News

  • There's something interesting going on in the way of new hotel rooms. Disney filed a permit to build a mock-up room for something called "Disney's Animation Inn and Suites." Some are saying there's a possibility that Disney could then be re-branding Pop Century to this new hotel. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
  • Disney has inked a deal with Verizon Wireless. This will then allow guests to access special features on their phone, only from the Disney parks that will help to enhance your Disney visit. Also, Verizon will partner with Disney for the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.
  • Disney is testing out a new dining deal. If you pay $15, you get one all you can eat Counter Service meal. If you pay $25, you get two all you can eat Counter Service meals. This is apparently being tested at AK and the offer is apparently being solicited by email. We'll see if this goes any further, or if it's just a test.
  • Bolt characters should be doing meet & greets at the Studios in the Magic of Disney Animation. Bolt & Mittens should be appearing and Rhino the Hamster will be making special appearances.
  • Pecos Bill's will be going down for refurb in January. From January 11 - February 13, 2009.
  • The new quick service restaurant, Contempo Cafe, in the Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary is open.

Rumors

  • The American Idol experience is set to have full AP previews in January 2009, with the actual show hopefully opening the next month.
  • It's being rumored that Disney may release two new specials during the annual Christmas Day Parade this year, in case the Buy 4, Get 3 free promotion doesn't work.
  • I've heard that the Little Mermaid ride is apparently a go, for right now. The rest of the Fantasyland refurb is on yellow though.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Only How Many Days Til Christmas?!

Ah...Christmas in Disney...it's a wonderful time of the year! And I'm actually going to get to experience it...before Christmas! Hooray! And there's so many things I want to try to experience.

First thing's first, I want to experience the Osbourne Spectacle of Lights. I saw this a few years ago and wow!!! This this is incredible! Pictures and video do not do this attraction justice. You HAVE to see it to believe it. The lights completely surround you. It is honestly, one of the most amazing sights to behold!

Another thing I really want to experience is seeing the resorts decked out in their holiday finest, especially the gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian and I'd like to see the carousel at the Beach Club.

I really want to try to experience seeing the Santa's from the different countries telling their stories as well at Epcot's World Showcase.

But the most important thing I want to try to experience...seeing the Castle all decked out in icicle lights. I hear that this, much like the Osbourne Lights, have to be seen in real life to be believed. Totally incredible and I can't wait to see how breath-taking it really is.

Of course, there are tons of other things I wish I could fit in, but my schedule is already packed as it is...I don't know if I'll even have time to do half of what I want!


You see, I'm officially starting to plan my Mousefest schedule...and you know how you hear...the number one thing during Mousefest not to do is kill yourself!! hahaha! They are right! I can't tell you how much I want to try to cram into a 4 and a half day vacation! (We really should have chosen to stay an extra night.) Seriously! There is so much stuff that I want to try to fit in.

So, besides all the Christmas hoopla I want to see, the next thing on my list are all the Mousefest activities that I want to (and have to) attend. Now, while I don't have too many, there are some. The problem becomes...when will I actually have time to vacation with my mom.

Which is a huge issue in itself now. She hasn't been down in basically 8 years...and there's so much we need to see. I really have to work my hardest because that is one of the main factors of going. And I don't want to do too much to take away from her trip either.

Hopefully, I'll get it all figured out soon, without having a coronary. lol! And you know, come December, I'll have done all this worrying for nothing. At least, I hope it will work out that way.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

News & Rumors 11/3/08 - 11/9/08


News
  • The Christmas decorations are officially going up!
  • The stores along Sunset Blvd, which had been down for refurb --Once Upon a Time, Mouse About Town, and Sunset Club Couture--are officially back open. The stores have been combined into one larger area.
  • The bowling alley that was being built on Disney property has been put on hold. The company that would have built the new area has been unable to get financial backing.
  • This year, at the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, AP holders will have another added aspect to enhance their viewing pleasure. AP holders will be able to pick up 3D glasses at Package Pick Up near the park's entrance, where they will then be able to take those glasses to the Streets of America area to see hidden features that will only be visible with the 3D glasses.
Rumors
  • It's being rumored that Kim Possible has been pushed back to January.
  • Pirate and Princess Party dates are rumored to be February 20, 27 March 8, 12, 20, 27 April 1, 22 May 1, 8, 15, 20, 25, 30 June 3, however, it appears that the Party recently disappeared from Disney's website. Guess we'll find out if soon if they're happening, or if they aren't.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Need Some Pixie Dust

I'm usually a very positive person with Disney. What do I mean? Well, when a new ride opens, and the reviews start pouring in (which, in the Disney community, oftentimes seems negative), I'm always one to put the positive spin on it...you know...it may just not be an attraction for you. You aren't going to love every single thing that Disney produces, but there are others who love it. Or when there are cuts that are made...well, Disney is a company and they have to do what's best for them.

But, sometimes, the negativity can just beat you down and realize, hmmmm....maybe some of these people do have a point. When you look at the grand scheme of things and start noticing the patterns that some talk about, you start to realize that maybe they are true too.

This happened to me all too recently and I'm not sure why. Maybe it was all the things it seems Disney is taking away currently. (Now, whether it's because of the economy or what, I don't know...) When things that make Disney what it is, start disappearing, it makes you go, hmmm...for example, taking the characters away from Liberty Tree Tavern, making Fantasmic! only biweekly starting in January, taking away the Adventurer's Club, removing some of the musical groups from around property, and various other moves to eliminate Cast Members from jobs they've previously held.

Maybe it's because of the lack of real rumors we're getting. It seems as though Disney has some things that are coming down the pike, but nothing really substantial right now is getting out there. And of course, there are also those attractions that are in need of going down for refurb, like Space or Jungle Cruise, who's budgets are rumored to be so slashed, that what was rumored to be a massive refurb is now rumored to be a "do as much as we can to get by" refurb. Or when the Yeti is constantly on B mode now, and has been since June, and there seems to be no information coming out about fixing him.

Then there's looking at all the rides that have recently been built that are only "ok." Things like Stitch, Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, and in some respects, the Finding Nemo ride at Epcot. While these are fun...they leave me with a little disappointment when I exit the show building.

I don't know what the real cause is...but when you start looking at the big picture, you start wondering what is going on.

That's why I'm even more excited about Mousefest (which, I am officially going now.) Because I'm going with my mom who hasn't been to the parks in years...and I get to see the wonder through her eyes again. I know that's going to help me regain some of my pixie dust, as she'll really tell me, from an average guest's point of view, what things really are cool...and what aren't. And all the interference I've felt from the negative nellies recently will hopefully, be able to melt away. I'm almost certain it will.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

News & Rumors 10/27/08 - 11/2/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News

  • Splash Mountain will be closed in January again for it's annual refurbishment. From Jan. 4-17, 2009.
  • Some news has come out about what will be happening at the Hall of Presidents. There will be a new audio system put in place. (BTW...Mickey's Philharmagic will also be getting a new audio system soon) George Washington also might be getting the chance to talk. They also hope the next President will give a speech for the show as well.

Rumors

  • It's being said the Galaxy Theater in Tomorrowland is going to be leveled to build...a parking lot!
  • Backlot Express, at the Studios will soon see a self-service beverage area allowing guests to refill their drinks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Rikki...and I Have a Confession!

So, I'm well aware that I usually talk about WDW in this blog...but today, I thought I'd take on something a little different. It's still Disney related, it just doesn't deal with the theme parks, per se.

I have a confession......


I've seen High School Musical 3 twice already during opening weekend and today, I bought the soundtrack. How sad am I? I couldn't help it though. Those songs are downright infectious! I had them stuck in my head and the only way to get them out was to get the soundtrack, right?

That's it, it's time to just admit it...I'm Rikki, and I'm a 25 year old HSM fan.

That's right...I was teeny bopping it all the way to the theaters this weekend...but I wasn't alone. I manged to go not only with Brian (who, coincidentally loves HSM too...how odd is that?!) but my best friend went with me as well, since she is also a fan of musicals and of course, the HSM movies.

And as someone who has seen the movie (a few times) I have to say, I really did like it. It was definitely more grown up than the other ones, lots of issues that face real teenagers were featured...you know...the whole growing up and deciding your future thing. It was really done quite well. Definitely a movie that has some heart to it. (Oh...and sadly enough...I will also readily admit to being one who has a tiny crush on Zac Efron...thank God he's legal! lol!!!)

The songs were also really good this time too. At first, I didn't think I liked the songs as much...but the more time went on, the more I'd get another song from the movie stuck in my head. I have tons of favorite tracks and am currently listening to my fabulous new purchase as we speak...er...write! There are a bunch that are just really rockin! I don't want to turn my CD player off!

So, for those of you who have that HSM prejudice...it's really not so bad. I know the movie's merchandise seem to be taking over the stores on Disney property...but there's a reason (even if it is a bit overkill). The movies, really are, very good. And I highly recommend them to people...the first and third one...the second one I didn't like so much. Give them a chance...because they might surprise you.

So, everyone, put on your Wildcat jersey and Get Your Head in The Game, cause we really can be All In This Together!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

News & Rumors 10/20/08 - 10/26/08



News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News

  • Kim Possible is currently in the testing phase around World Showcase. Expect it to open to guests in the near future. It is being rumored that it will take 45 minutes to complete one assignment in one country. The full scale attraction is expected to open in Nov, possibly right before Thanksgiving.
  • At Cape May Cafe, the characters have indeed changed for Goofy's Beach Blast Breakfast. Instead of Chip and Dale, you can now see Donald Duck.
  • Dream Along with Mickey, in front of the Castle, will indeed be getting some work done to it. New costumes and some music changes appear to be on tap.
  • Now it's official! Pixie Hollow has officially opened to the public! Guests can now visit Tink and her friends in Toontown at the Toontown Hall of Fame. This is a very unique experience...unlike any other character meet. You are really brought into the story and it is rumored that the characters will interact by telling stories and playing games as well. It is supposedly a very entertaining experience.
  • Since Disney is currently updating their dining reservation system, it has been reported that things have been pushed back a bit...so now, all guests will be able to book ressies up until March 22, 2009. Normal bookings will return in Dec. 2008.
  • Blizzard Beach has re-opened and Typhoon Lagoon is down for it's annual refurbishment.

Rumors

  • It appears that the American Idol Experience has been scaled back just a little bit...at least on the outside. In order to get the attraction open in time for the new season of American Idol, Disney had to make a few cuts to the exterior. It wasn't the economy that changed this though. Besides wanting to open in time for the new season of American Idol, Disney didn't want to have to find an alternate route for it's wildly popular Block Party Bash parade. The theater will officially be known as the Superstar Television Theater.
  • It's being said that the characters may also be going away from the Crystal Palace character buffet.
  • Night Kingdom, it appears, has been shelved, at least for the time being.
  • Monster's Inc. meet and greet will be moving to Pixar Place and construction has already started to update their new area.
  • Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino will be doing meets at the Studio in the near future.
  • Prince Caspian's meet is currently being covered, it will possibly reopen Nov. 2nd.
  • Next year, the castle lights may extend to Main Street.
  • Next year, during MNSSHP, during the Mix and Mingle, Hades might make an appearance.
  • There's apparently a new updates for MVMCP's parade this year. Chip and Dale on the ski slope float and Santa's float have been redone.
  • The Celebrate Dreams Come True parade begins rehearsals in January with Mickey's and the Princess floats redone. The Fantasia Brooms, Bridesmaids, and Chimney sweeps might not make it.
  • Marie the Cat is being phased out in France at Epcot.
  • In Pleasure Island, it's being said Disney has realized just how dead it is now...also, it's being said with the poor economy, that many 3rd party retailers are second guessing the project. It's possible, therefore, that Disney is considering re-opening some of these venues for the Holiday time period. Also, it's been said that since it's so dead, Disney is thinking about putting the DJ back in booth to breathe some life back into the area.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mousefest

Well, many of you know, I'm trying my little to get my little tooshie to Mousefest...I've found a room...which I thought would be the hard part...turns out the harder part is trying to raise the funds to get my mom down there. (So far, we have about 30% of our main goal...but hey, that's more than we originally had.) Once I get the trip booked, I'll be sure to share it with you all.

However, with that being said, since a lot of people have been talking about what meets they are wanting to participate in, I thought this would be a good place to share mine...

So, without further adieu (This list is not complete, as I know that things can change at a moments notice...therefore, these meets are the ones that I know for sure I don't want to miss):

Thursday

7:45 am BOGP Meet in front of the MK under the monorail tracks
12 noon: Mousefest 101
1 pm: Mousefest Kickoff Party

Friday

12 noon: BOGP meet at Flame Tree BBQ
2 pm: WDW Today's 500th Episode meet
4 pm: Podfest
7:30 pm: More than likely a Wishes Cruise

Saturday
10 or 11: Mega Mouse Meet

Sunday

8:45 am: BOGP meet in front of MK again
1 pm: Triviafest (More than likely on this one...not a definite yet)

So, this is my tentative schedule...of course, I have some others that I might hit up. I don't want to force too much on myself...as I definitely don't want to kill myself or my mother!

Hope to see you all there! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

News & Rumors 10/13/08 - 10/19/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

Really slow week for anything this week.

News

  • Disney is once again offering the perk of allowing for your family to be called on Christmas Day, letting them know about your vacation gift from Mickey Mouse himself. Between Nov. 28 and Dec. 23, guests who book their vacations to Walt Disney World Resort can sign up to receive a call. Call 1-407-W-DISNEY for the opportunity. (Must be after the Nov. 28 date.)
  • T-Rex, the new restaurant in Downtown Disney is officially open for business. From the pictures I've seen of the inside, it looks fabulous!
  • The shops located next to the Adventurer's Club are now being refurbed to make way for a new South American style cuisine restaurant.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Want More Refurbs!

Lately it seems like rumors start to trickle down about possible refurbs, only for them to be quickly taken away or scaled back majorly. I know that with a company like Disney, it's bound to happen...I just wish it didn't. Some of these rumors that are being severely altered sounded really cool.

The first thing that disappoints me is all the talk about Space Mountain. Now, I love Space, it's one of my favorite attractions of property, but let's call a spade a spade...it could use some work. And I was happy to see it was rumored to get some major love. First it was "scheduled" as an 18 month project, full refurb...then it went down to 12...now I'm hearing anywhere from 6-8 months and it's definitely not supposed to be the full refurb it was originally intended to be. From what I've been hearing, it's supposed to be safety stuff and some minor stuff and that's it. Not the full glory refurb this wonderful attraction needs.

It was recently rumored that the Fantasyland refurb that was supposed to get a pretty massive refurb too, however a recent article by Jim Hill claims that that's been pushed back. (However, not taken away yet...thank God!) Fantasyland's refurb was supposed to be pretty spectacular. We were supposed to be getting the Little Mermaid ride that DCA is getting, a Beauty and the Beast dark ride where Snow White is, and then a Snow White mine car roller coaster ride. It all sounded pretty fabulous to me. My hope is it doesn't get pushed back too long. I think this would be a fabulous addition to a park that hasn't had any new major E ticket attraction since Splash Mountain.

Now, I know that of course, with the economy going the way of the toilet...it might not be such a great time to do all these new projects...but thinking about it again. Now might be the perfect time. It's going to be guaranteed the economy will rebound at some point...and if Disney sits on it's laurels and doesn't do anything, then when it rebounds, people won't feel an urgent need to come down. But if they do build, then when the rebound happens, people can say, you know what...let's take a vacation down in Disney...It sounds like there's a lot that's new down there that's been built recently and we should take advantage of it.

But you have to keep in mind...that while Disney is apparently sitting on their laurels, Universal is adding quite a bit to their parks in the recent future. And it seems weird that Disney doesn't seemed fazed by this. I think that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is going to be a big draw...and to watch Disney not announce anything big is quite concerning. And if they don't do something...people are instead going to say, look at all Universal has done...let's try them out this time instead.
I really hope Disney decides that it will be ok to move forward with some of these new projects. As I mentioned, now is the time to do it. There are rumored to be fewer bookings for 2009...so less people who will get angry if things go down for longer periods of time. Now is the time to take some action...I hope Disney knows what they're doing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

News & Rumors 10/6/08 - 10/12/08


News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.



News
  • Pal Mickey is going away. He has officially been discontinued. Supplies will be available until they run out. If you currently have a Pal Mickey, he will still function as he once did, but they will not be releasing updated versions.
  • The Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex will be seeing a name change. It will now be known as the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
  • The toy guns sold in Frontierland will be changing colors. They are now going to be blue, so they won't get confused for real firearms.
  • The 2009 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will take place March 18-May 31. The theme this year will revolve around the princesses
  • Information about Bay Lake Tower has been added to the Monorail spiel.
  • Information about New Year's Eve festivities are coming out. At Epcot, Illuminations will be running two shows, 7:40 pm and 11:50 pm. Epcot's park hours will be from 8 am - 1 am. At DHS, Fantasmic will be showing at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. Also, Mulch, Sweat, and Shears will be performing in front of the Hat. Also, a special fireworks show titled "Lights, Camera, Happy New Year" will show at 11:50 pm. Park hours will run from 9 am - midnight. The Magic Kingdom will have two showings of the "Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade." One showing will be at noon and the other at 3 pm. "SpectroMagic" will show at 7 pm and 10:30 pm. "Holiday Wishes" will show at 8:30 pm and then at 11:50 pm, "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks will be shown. The Magic Kingdom's park hours will be 8 am - 1 am. Animal Kingdom will have "Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade at 3:45 pm. Park Hours will be from 8 am - 8 pm.
  • The Atlanta Braves will be returning to the Wide World of Sports Complex.
  • As was originally mis-reported last week, Pixie Hollow is not open...I apologize for the misinformation. Now there are rumors that it may even have trouble opening on the Oct. 28th date. I'll keep you posted on further information!


Rumors
  • It's been rumored the Fantasyland refurb that was suppose to happen in the future has been postponed. This is supposedly due to the economic forecast. It has not been taken out of contention totally though.
  • Rumors are still saying that Space could be going down in January. It's a will they-won't they game...guess we'll soon find out.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Farewell Adventurers

Well, as you all may be aware, I was able to visit the Adventurer's Club during the last week. It was a happy, yet sad occasion...and many came out to say good bye. The place was simply packed on the two nights that I went. Could hardly move a muscle. I wanted to share some of the videos I took as I said goodbye to the characters I'd come to know and love.

Kungalooh, old friend.


Maid Gabby and her final send off.

video



More of Maid Gabby's farewell Maid Sing-a-long.


video

Emil Bleehal's last Mailman song


video

Gabby and Emil's final Hoopla!

video

Sunday, October 5, 2008

News & Rumors 9/29/08 - 10/5/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.

News
  • This year is the last year for the Super Soap weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Next year, they will embark on a national tour.
  • The price to rent a towel at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon has increased to $2.00 per towel.
  • La Marina at Coronado Springs Resort has now gone to seasonal status.
  • Epcot's 25th Anniversary exibit has now closed. No word on if it is a temporary thing or a permanant move.
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin will be closed December 14-20, 2008
  • The Frontierland Fry Cart is closed for refurb from now until January 11, 2009. Word is it will have a new menu when opened.
  • Petrifries in Disney's Animal Kingdom is set to be closed Nov. 2-21. It will reopen with a new name, (Trilobites) and a new menu.
  • Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club will be closed from Jan. 5-April 15, 2009.
  • The Pixie Hollow meet & greet in Toontown is close to being open. It opens at the end of this month. (Edited for the right date 10/7)
Rumors
  • Epcot's 25th Anniversary exibit has now closed. No word on if it is a temporary thing or a permanant move.
  • Sounds Dangerous is supposedly not opening with the park. It is apparently opening 6 hours before the park's close.
  • Along those lines, One Man's Dream is also closing at 3 pm each day now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We're Celebrating!

So, as many of you know, Disney announced the next "celebration" for 2009 and sure enough, it was exactly what I've been hearing rumors saying it would be. Disney's next marketing campaign focuses on all the celebrating people do down in Disney. The first trip, your birthday, your anniversary, family reunions, weddings, quniceras, and even mundane things like first haircuts. If you have a reason to celebrate, Disney thinks you should come down and visit them!

And why not? Disney is one of the premier places to go to celebrate special occasions. I know I would go down to celebrate, that is, if my birthday and anniversary weren't in the middle of the summer...you know, when crowds are crazy nuts!

As I mentioned though...many go down to celebrate something at Disney at some point. It is the perfect place to go for that type of thing. It makes the celebration that much more special. And of course, Disney is always one to help accomplish making things that much more special. Matter of fact, on a lot of message boards and podcasts, a common question that is asked is what is something special I can do for this special day? Disney has helped to take the guesswork out now by creating a list with a bunch of ideas on their website.

Probably the best thing Disney is going to do though for this celebration is offer free admission to the parks if it's your birthday. (Or a $75 gift card or 4 Fastpasses for you and up to 5 additional guests.) What a cool option for people.

A lot of people give Disney flack for these celebrations, but I think they're kind of cool. First of all, Disney doesn't have to "give" anything away and these past few years, they've been doing all kinds of giveaways. This is just another thing that Disney doesn't have to do, but does because they want to. (And they want to entice the casual visitor to think...wow...free park admission...and come down to the House of Mouse for a vacation. I don't follow this whole thing blindly, I know what they're up to.) Those who give Disney flack usually are the ones who aren't happy with anything Disney does...I'm sure you've seen the type before. Me personally, I wish I'd be able to take advantage of this on my birthday...however, even though I'm voluntarily not taking advantage, I still think it's a really unique thing for people who can go down on their birthday's to take advantage of.

So, tell me...what will you celebrate?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News & Rumors 9/15/08 - 9/28/08

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.


News

  • Bay Lake Towers, the building being built next the the Contemporary, has finally been announced as a DVC resort. Prices for BLT begin at $18,000. BLT will open in the Fall of 2009. Here is a picture of the resort:

  • The Treehouse Villas were also announced. These will be a part of Saratoga Springs. Treehouse Villas will open next Summer. Concept art pictured below:




  • Swiss Family Treehouse closed unexpectedly earlier this month and will be closed through the end of the month.
  • The Earth Barge has returned to Illuminations and has new LED video screens. And a personal note, the screen does make it so you can see images better. I could actually make things out this time.
  • Disney announced their new Celebration for next year, titled "What Will You Celebrate." This marketing campaign is designed to get people to come celebrate just about anything at the Walt Disney World Resort, including birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, small milestones in life, etc. If you come in on your birthday, you will receive one of three things--free birthday 1-day park ticket, $75.00 merchandise gift card, or 4 fastpasses per person per party of up to 6 guests. These will only be available on your birthday, so if you're traveling in your birth month to celebrate, it won't be valid. For more information, please go here.
  • New offerings for the new celebration include Stitch's Dance Party in Tomorrowland, the Disney Dreams Come True parade will get a sprucing up and probably a new name change again, (rumored to be Celebrate Dreams Come True) and a parade similar to the Family Fun Day Parade...more about this in the rumors section.
  • The Spirit of Aloha show at the Polynesian will be refurbed from Jan. 13-19, 2009.
  • Beginning March 1, 2009, the Magical Fireworks Voyage will be available for all guests, instead of only Grand Gathering Guests. Cost will be $53.99 for adults and $30.99 for kids.
  • Portobello Yacht Club will be closed Sept. 27-Oct. 13 for it's refurbishment.
  • The new Cars Meet & Greet area is now open. I got to experience it first hand on my trip.

  • The Muppet Balloon is back from refurbishment. It looks great! It was refurbed to remove Jim Henson's name off the balloon.
  • Lights, Motors, Action's refurb has been extended. Originally supposed to end on the 25 of Sept, now it's supposed to end on the 29th of Sept.
  • Nine Dragons opened WAY early from refurbishment. 2 months early, to be exact.
  • Disney is removing track from Primeveal Whirl.



Rumors

  • The new Family Fun Day parade will look different than the last one. With this one, there will be smaller floats to look like gift boxes and one large centerpiece float. The music will be similar to the Block Party Bash music. This is a much bigger parade than the Family Fun Day parade, so it will only be performed twice a day.
  • A new castle show will replace the Dreams Come True show.
  • Rumors are out now that The American Idol Experience opening has been pushed back. Instead of opening in January, like originally planned, it will now open in the Spring. Possibly to coincide with the announcement of the winner of this year's American Idol.
  • The Fry Wagon in Frontierland now appears to be gone.
  • It's still being rumored that Space Mountain's refurb dates are now April-October 2009.
  • It's being rumored that the height requirement on the Tomorrowland Speedway will change. While the height to drive will remain the same, the height to board will change. No one under 32 inches will be allowed.
  • It's being rumored that Typhoon Lagoon will be closed all off-season, from Oct. 26 until March 21, 2009.
  • The Backlot Tour may have an automated spiel, much like the use on Living With The Land in Epcot, as early as October.




Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tables of Wonderland...What?!

Disney recently announced that the Disney Dining Experience Card has changed names. Starting on Sept. 15, what was previously called the DDE, will now be called Tables of Wonderland.

I can understand wanting to change the name. I mean with the Disney Dining Plan and Disney Dining Experience, the two had such similar names. It was sometimes easy to get the two confused for a seasoned Disney traveller. Imagine how confusing things must have been for a complete newby to the "World of Disney." And Disney doesn't want to confuse their guests.

But Tables of Wonderland? Is that the best they could come up with or was this just the first name that came to them and they went...yep...sounds decent...let's go with it.

And I actually have to go and purchase one of these in the next few days. So, I'm expect to say, "Yes, I'd like to buy the Tables of Wonderland card." Man, will that be interesting.

The good news, all the perks you got for DDE will still be the same. You will still get 20% off of your meals, including alcohol. (With 18% added back for tip). You'll still get free valet parking. And of course, up until next Saturday, you'll still get half off at the clubs at Pleasure Island.

I just really don't want to have to admit to owning a card so oddly named. lol!!!


A reminder:

As you all may know, I leave for Disney in a few short days (3 to be exact). Therefore, this blog will be taking a bit of a hiatus. I will try my hardest to get the News & Rumors out on Saturday, since I leave on Sunday, but next week's Wednesday article will not be appearing. Can't wait to visit The House of Mouse!!! See you all real soon!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

News & Rumors 9/8/08 - 9/14/08

So, I'm a little early this weekend b/c I won't be around tomorrow to post this...here's the update for the week.

News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.
News
  • All the Food & Wine booths are being installed this week.
  • The Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure is in it's testing phases now. They are testing the hardware, software checks, etc.
  • It's official! Paperwork has been filed for the Contemporary tower that's currently being built. It will in fact be DVC and will officially be called "Bay Lake Tower." Expect an announcement from Disney soon.
  • As of Sept. 15, the Disney Dining Experience card will have a new name...Tables In Wonderland. It will still work the same way as it always has...it has just been rechristened.
  • Disney Parks will be bringing it's magic to quite a few cities over the fall and winter months. This is going to be in conjunction of the major announcement that should be happening soon. (Rumors are pointing to next week...and they are saying the announcement is related to next year's "celebration.") Hope Disney comes to a city near you! This list is and dates are in no particular order:

9/25 Minneapolis 9/24 Toronto 1/19 Vancouver 9/29 Chicago 9/29 Boston 1/21 Seattle 10/1 Milwaukee 10/1 Providence 1/23 Portland 10/3 Detroit 10/3 New York 1/26, 27 Sacramento 10/6 Pittsburgh 10/6 Hartford 1/30, 2/2 San Francisco 10/8 Cincinnati 10/8 Philadelphia 2/4, 5 Fresno 10/10 Indianapolis 10/10 Wash. DC 2/9 Las Vegas 10/14 Dallas 10/13 Baltimore 2/11 Salt Lake City 10/16 Houston 10/15 Charlotte 2/16 Denver 10/20 New Orleans 10/17 Atlanta 2/19, 20 Phoenix

Rumors
  • The Earth Globe for Illuminations is supposed to be back any day now.
  • Nine Dragons at Epcot is rumored to be almost ready to open. This is WAY in advance of the original Nov. date.
  • Some rumors are coming out about what will happen on Pleasure Island's last night. First, they are saying that there will be fireworks. There will also be performances by Frankie and the West End Boys and Hip Kitty. The Adventurer's Club will be preforming some of their Christmas and Halloween shows and the last show may be special where they'll give a story of why they're leaving. Comedy Warehouse may also have a special show and there will be extra merchandise on hand for all of Pleasure Island.
  • The brand new Cars Meet and Greet at the Studios is supposed to be open starting on Sunday (today).
  • The Monster's Inc. Coaster at DHS is still being rumored as a go, and we've heard a name for it....Monster's Inc Door Vaulter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Extra Magic Hour Rule

So, as you all may know, Disney recently is changing their policy for Extra Magic Hours. Instead of receiving a wrist band that is shown in order to get on rides, you will now have to show your resort room key at each line's entrance in order to gain access to rides.

Now, they tried doing this a few months back on a trial basis and from all that I heard, that trial went disastrously. Which makes me wonder, why did they decide to go for it for real?

One of the major problems with this new method is the hassle of getting the card out each and ever time you want to get on an attraction. And, you'll have to get it out for each and every person too. Because of this, you'll have to keep your cards in an area that's easily accessible. Which means that they'll be easier to loose too.

Another question is what happens when there are a bunch of people that line up all at once? The CM is supposed to check to make sure the resort ID is valid. But when that line starts to stack up, do you think they're going to spend the time to make sure that your resort ID is valid? I don't think so.

People are saying that part of the reason for the change is that people were wearing false bracelets and that's why they went to the resort ID as proof. So, ok, how easy would it then be to use a resort card from a previous trip if you're staying offsite on this one? Disney doesn't change their Key To The World cards that often.

The other major factor on why a lot of people are upset with this idea is because now, there's nothing to identify resort guests from non-resort guests, so it will be harder to get the non-resort guests out of the parks now. Which, of course, is what Disney wants. They don't want to kick the non-resort guests out of the parks. They want them shopping, eating, and spending any money they can. And if they can't get on the rides, that is all they will be able to do.

However, this makes what was already a crowded situation (because who hasn't noticed that during the early part of evening extra magic hours that the parks feel more crowded than they do during the day?) into an even worse one.

I guess I'll have to hold my judgement, best I can anyway, until I get back because I will definitely be experiencing this in 10 short days. We'll see then what it's really like.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

News & Rumors 9/1/08 - 9/7/08

News

  • As was reported before, Mickey and Minnie are sporting new Halloween costumes for this year's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties...here's what they look like.

  • New cups and napkins have also been spotted for the Halloween/Fall festivities.
  • Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney is seeing some work on it's exterior, including painting and various other work.
  • The Illuminations pre-show announcements have been changed from a woman's voice to a man's now. No clue as to a reason why.
  • Coronado Springs has been seeing some upgrades these past few months. The rooms are getting new queen size beds and new furniture. Around 100 rooms will be getting king beds, instead of queens. All rooms will be receiving flat screen TVs and they are opening up floor space by putting in a desk and getting rid of the tables. Also, it's been said that one building will be Business Club Level and rooms will be a little bit nicer and they will receive more personalized service. They'll also get a lounge area with continental breakfast, midday snacks and wine & cheese in the evening, and at night they will receive turn down service in their rooms.

Rumors

  • It's been heard that this year, at the Studios, look for an all new Christmas parade, entitled, Pixar's BLOCK PARTY CHRISTMAS BASH. The streets will transform into a Christmas haven, as giant Christmas trees, stacks of presents, and high energy music fill the air. The high energy dancers will do things like jump rope with licorice and there will be Christmas Carol contests as well. This rumor makes sense, as the previous parade in the studios was transformed to a Christmas version.
  • It's being heard, yet again, that Disney might decide to start charging for Fastpass privileges. With each day costing the same amount and it is said to be cheaper than Universal's version.
  • Honey I Shrunk the Audience will have it's Fastpass machines removed in October.
  • The Caribbean Beach pool should be open any day now. It appears that everything is ready, down to the last details.

Finally, I wanted to share one last thing with you all! I know I talked about Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in last Wednesday's article. I created a photo video that included some of the pics of the night's event from one of the parties last year. I thought I would share it with you all, so you could see some of the stuff I was talking about in the article.

video

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

It's almost that time of year. Time to get out the pumpkins, ghosts, witches, and candy. It's time to celebrate Halloween. And let me tell you...from personal experience, the House of Mouse does an amazing job with their Halloween festivities. And I highly suggest that if you have the chance to make one, you see it.

First things first, Disney decorates to the nines for Halloween. Just look up pictures of Main Street. Pumpkins everywhere, orange, white and yellow banners, and on the nights of the parties, they light up Main Street in purples, greens, blues, etc. It's a really neat effect. And that's just Main Street! Tommorowland had a big Stitch on the top of one of the buildings and a space alien on top of another. Other lands had big inflatables and various other "spooky" effects. Oh and don't miss out on visiting the Haunted Mansion! They go all out on the party nights.

But besides the decorations, many people wonder, what exactly is there to do during this event? Tons of things. First, I highly recommend you get a map. It's going to be imperative, since there are so many things to check out and they happen at all different times.

As for the actual events, number one on my list to check out is the Boo To You Halloween Parade. This parade has some of the most catchy music in all the theme park and I can't imaging that you won't find yourself humming it, at least once during your trip. (And sometimes, way, way after! lol!)

Some other really cool pieces of this parade are the Headless Horseman, who rides right before the parade takes place. You also don't want to miss the Haunted Mansion float and the gravediggers who scrape their shovels on the ground (Warning: this could be scary for kids...so be prepared.) Actually, the whole Haunted Mansion section of this parade is outstanding. Another really cool thing are the pirates (and Captain Jack Sparrow) and I quite enjoy the Goofy's Candy Company section!

Also another really intriguing portion of this event and in my opinion, definitely worth the price of admission...the fireworks show, Happy HalloWishes. Wow...it's spectacular! It gives off a kinda spooky feel, but is still light-hearted too. However, this also, could be a tad scary for kids. I don't want to give too much away, but many of the villians come out to help celebrate Halloween in their own grand fashion.

The other big reason to go to this event? Candy! Need I say more? You get TONS of candy during this event. Some of it's off brand type stuff (like those gummy hot dogs and hamburgers they sell in stores) but some of it really is the good stuff. I wish last year that I'd gotten to keep my candy, as I had a bunch, but since it POURED the night we were there, my candy got all sticky and I had to throw it out. :(

I strongly suggest trick or treating though. Even if you don't have kids. We even took our own Halloween bag with us and got even more candy. (The bags Disney gives are kind of smaller.) And, we went back in lines multiple times throughout the night. A great place to get lots of candy is along the path from Tommorowland to Mickey's ToonTown. That path alone has like 5 candy stops.

Adults often wonder whether or not they should dress up. My theory is, if you feel comfortable doing it, then fine. I've seen some costumes, both in person and online, that sometimes rival Disney's own characters.

Dressing up really is part of the fun. Last year, I dressed as a pirate...I might use the same costume this year though. It's the easiest one I have access to.

However, it's definitely not necessary that you dress up either. While there are a lot of people dressed in their Halloween finest, there are also plenty that are dressed up "as themselves." No need to worry either way. As I said, do what you're comfortable with.

Recently, a lot of people in the Disney community have been complaining about how Disney keeps pushing this event earlier and earlier each year, but I personally, have no problem with it. As someone who tends to like to go in September for many reasons, it's really nice to be able to experience this incredible experience. And if Disney didn't start this event in early Sept, the chances of me seeing it were usually slim.

I feel as if I've only just begun to scrape the surface of this party. Some things I missed talking about were the Halloween Dance Parties, you can meet and greet characters dressed up in their Halloween costumes, and I know last year, they did the Villain's Mix and Mingle stage show, but I haven't really heard anything about this this year, so I'm not sure if it's still a go this year.

Anyway, for those of you who are going...I really hope you have a wonderful time. I know I'm looking forward to going again! For those of you who aren't this year...get a move on! You're missing out on one of the neatest experiences Disney has to offer!

Happy HalloWishes to you!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

News & Rumors 8/25/08 - 8/31/08


News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. One particular website is not favored over another. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken with a grain of salt.
News
  • When you go to Extra Magic Hours starting in September, you won't need to get a wristband anymore. You will however, need to show your "Key To The World" card at every single attraction line you get into.
  • The Halloween decorations are starting to go up at the Magic Kingdom in preparation for the first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which will be held this Friday, Sept. 5. New this year are busts of Pluto, Goofy, Minnie, and Donald dressed in Halloween outfits. These are located in the Hub.
  • It's official. Disney has sold 298 acres of land to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The plans call for 445 rooms, a championship golf course and time shares to be built on the property.
  • The pool at Caribbean Beach is almost ready. Only a tiny bit more work needs to be done on the bathroom roof.
  • There will now be a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on October 4. The one that was originally scheduled for October 3 was cancelled recently. (Rumors were floating around that Miley Cyrus' 16 birthday was thought to be held on that date.) Now the Magic Kingdom will be open from 9am-9pm on the 3rd.
  • The Liberty Square bridge has now reopened for general traffic.
  • The castle turrets are now being decorated with lights.
  • As was reported recently, Disney is currently working on it's reservations system. There is now an update about it's status. Starting August 30, all guests will be able to book ADRs for dining dates up to February 22, 2009. Bookings are expected to return to normal on November 21 and the 180 day window will once again continue.
  • Michael Phelps visited Disney World on Friday for his homecoming from Beijing and got a parade in his honor.
  • The Pleasure Island bus stop is closed for what appears to be a major refurbishment. Passengers can get off at both the Marketplace and Westside stops.

Rumors
  • The single rider line is not being used anymore at Toy Story Midway Mania.
  • The new Food and Beverage testing station at Epcot that was reported recently is being rumored to be ready soon.
  • It's rumored that the lights on Cinderella Castle this year are going to be bigger and better than ever...extending out into the hub a bit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disney's Jungle Trek

Sorry about the delay in getting this up, but here we go:

As some of you know, rumors have recently been swirling around Disney communities that Disney is gearing up for an adventure. Disney wants to build an exclusive experience theme park ala Discovery Cove, which is a Sea World domain. A niche park that appeals to a small number of people, but will cost a pretty fortune to enter.

This new park has seen some interesting transformations over the last few months though. At first, rumors were swirling that the park would be called "Night Kingdom." It was supposed to take place from the hours of 4 pm - midnight and you would get do things like feeding animals like hippos, go spelunking and see bats, go rock climbing. Ever wanted to try zip lining? You could do it here. Here, you would get themed lands, much like you do in the other parks. You were also supposed to get a gourmet meal at the end of your adventure.

Apparently there was a very lackluster response to this type of experience, so now, things have changed a little. The park hours have been extended...as now they will be open from noon to 2 a.m. They've also now changed the name from Night Kingdom to Disney's Jungle Trek (a better name in my opinion anyway...no matter whether it took place all at night or not!). Instead of individual adventures (with each activity being a separate entity), now your goal is to set off on an adventure where you encounter each one of these items during your trek (things like ancient ruins and rare animals) and then, once you reach the end, you will be able to spend time in Global Village. Here, you'll be able to eat and do some of the other activities advertised, such as rock climbing and zip lining, or simply relaxing. It will be a five hour total experience...with 2 hours being spent doing the actual trek and the remaining 3 hours spent doing whatever you see fit. However, the one thing is, Disney is still not changing the price of the adventure. Cost is still rumored to be around $250-$300 a person.

The one thing I will be excited about though...before, when it was Night Kingdom, it was rumored that the Adventurer's Club might go there. I hope that it's still being considered as part of Disney's Jungle Trek...and if it is...I really hope you'll be able to pay a cover and simply get into the Adventurer's Club and not have to pay the $300. (Disney...hear my cries! If the Adventurer's Club must go from Pleasure Island...please put it back here!!!)

So, now, it's opinion time. :)

How do I really feel about Night Kingdom/Disney's Jungle Trek?

Well, Night Kingdom, I'll be honest, didn't sit well with me. I thought that it was a very narrow reach and that there was really nothing that sucked you in. There seemed to be no story...it all seemed to be a bit disjointed. Also, that price tag is very off-putting. For just the two of us in my family, it would be at least $500 and I could think of a lot of other things I would want to do with $500 dollars! (I mean, feeding a hippo doesn't sound real exciting to me...and I can rock climb here in St. Louis!)

Disney Jungle Trek, however, I'm liking a little more. I think that at least it seems to have a purpose now...a mini-story. The fact that you're now going on an adventure, kinda like Indiana Jones would be kind of cool. And it's nice that they've decided to offer it as an all day option.

Will Disney's Jungle Trek be something I take part in...more than likely no. A park like this, even with all the changes, is still something that I have no interest in. I can't see spending that type of money just on a 5 hour experience...although, I could, of course, change my mind, if it ended up being cool enough. However, to each their own. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who really would enjoy this type of adventure. I guess we'll find out though...if Disney decides to go forward with it.