Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!


The time of the year is upon us where we cherish what we have in our lives and this year, it is no exception for me.

Thank you all for being with me this past year, reading the blog, listening to the podcast, following me on Twitter and friending me on Facebook! You all are the reason behind what I do each week and I couldn't be any luckier!

The blog will be taking a little Holiday Hiatus the next few weeks. The holidays, of course are part of the reason, but I will also be traveling to WDW for Marathon weekend, which will also hinder me from the blog for a few days. Look for a new blog entry (hopefully all about Marathon Weekend) Jan. 13th!

And if you'll be down in WDW during Marathon weekend, let me know and we can try to meet up! Lots of meets going on for the podcast and such that weekend, including two "live show" meets, one on Jan. 7th at Flame Tree BBQ at DAK at 1:00 and one on the 8th at Backot Express at DHS at 1:00 as well. Or, follow along on Twitter to find out other fun activites that are going on throughout the weekend as well! :) @RikkiNibs is the name.

So from my family to yours, Happy Holidays and I wish you a very blessed New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

News & Rumors 12/14/09 - 12/20/09

  • The Backlot Tour and Studio Catering Co. will both close on Feb. 15th and reopen March 28th.
  • The feature pool at Coronado Springs will close on Jan. 11 and be closed for the remainder of the month.
  • As was reported months ago, the quick service restaurant in the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, the Cantina de San Angel will be closing for a major refurb. The refurb is rumored to begin in Jan. 2010. It appears that we will be seeing a brand new building with more seating and less congestion in that area of the park. For those who want their Mexican cuisine, they can visit what was the Food and Wine booth, now called Taqueria Del Lago while the renovations take place.
  • It appears the front part of Cinderella Castle will be having some work done to it, much like the back did this past fall. It appears that work will begin Jan. 12 and a scrim will be put up in front. The refurb is expected to be complete in March 2010.
  • Jim McPhee the former VP of Epcot has a new role. He is now the 'Vice President, Next Generation Experience and Walt Disney World Parks' and will head up the WDW Park Operations team.
  • Test Track at Epcot will be closed for refurbishment from Jan. 11 -17.
  • Living with the Land at Epcot will also be closed for refurbishment from Jan. 18 - Feb. 5th.
  • Sounds Dangerous is seeing a reprieve. It is open during the busy holiday season this year and is expected to remain open until Jan. 2nd. If you really want to see this one last time, I'm hearing this is the time to do it. It may not ever open again after this.
  • This week, Disney tried out a new queue system at Rock n Roller Coaster over at DHS. For more news on the trial, visit here.

  • The rumor is Disney is saying the expect the new Little Mermaid attraction in Fantasyland to open in 2011 either when it opens at DCA or around the same time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We'll Miss You Roy!

Some of the saddest news today, at least for those of us in the Disney community.

Roy E. Disney, Roy O.'s son and Walt's nephew has passed away. He died at the age of 79 after bravely fighting cancer.

Roy, we know you are now where you belong with your father and your uncle, however we were blessed to have you here with us and such an integral part of the Disney community.

He was so important in protecting the Disney name and legacy. Fighting valiantly multiple times for the family's honor. Helping to keep the company's focus on what it should be about, which was the legacy that was left by the talents and aptitude of his Uncle Walt and his father Roy.

He was also an important factor in what brought about the second golden age of Disney animation in the 80s and 90s. Without his help in getting animation back as a forefront of the company, we might never have had the classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and The Lion King.

For more information on Roy Disney and his life, I offer up two links to LA Times articles. First is a news story about his life. Second is a photo gallery of some of the important moments of Roy's life.

In conclusion, please, I ask you, let us all have a moment of silence in honor of this great man.




Sunday, December 13, 2009

News & Rumors 12/7/09 - 12/13/09


  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is officially sold out for this Friday, Dec. 18th.
  • The Main Street Christmas tree is now in place.
  • The changes to Pleasure Island won't be complete until 2012.


  • It's being rumored that in January, we may be seeing more of the Muppets. There will possibly be a new pre-parade that will take place before the 3:00 parade celebrating the new "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion.
  • Also being rumored and related to the daily afternoon parade, the parade stops that were included in the Disney Dreams Come True Parade may be removed in early 2010.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: HGTV Disney Christmas Special

I am a WDW television junkie, like many of you are. Anytime I find out that something WDW related is on TV, I immediately have to turn it on, even if I've seen it a million times before! However, nothing makes me more excited to hear when there's actually a NEW television special on! And recently, Disney and HGTV supplied me with something else spectacular to save on my DVR!

The show, titled Behind the Magic: Disney Holidays premiered Nov. 29th and is hosted by David Bromsted.

On our magical journey, David takes us behind the scenes at the Disney's Holiday Services Warehouse and shows us some secrets about how Disney sets up for the holidays. (I didn't know that the huge bulb ornaments that are on the trees are really streetlight BULB covers! Creative!) This was fantastic because you don't normally get to see a backstage area like this unless you were on some sort of tour. On this special, the tour is brought right to your living room. How awesome is that?

What was also neat was they showed some great footage of what actually happens when the parks closes and they have to set up all these great decorations on Main Street USA. You get to see the nitty gritty of how it all works.

Of course, on this special, we're going to get a peek into two of the most "Disney Holiday" features in the parks. (minus the Lights of Winter of course... :( ) I'm talking about taking detailed looks at both the decorating of Cinderella Castle with her Dreamlights and decorating The Streets of America with the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Both sections give extremely detailed looks into what goes into putting these two displays up each year.

One thing I liked the most about this special is that it showed a few different things than I'd expect to see on a show like this. I mean, you expect to see about the Castle Dreamlights, you expect to see about the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, but I never expected them to talk to Disney Horticulturalists about all the different Holiday plantings that they do each year! It was fascinating to learn something about an area that rarely gets discussed, but is just integral in decorating the parks for the festivities as those Dreamlights are.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Disney Holiday special without a look at what goes into making the delectable Gingerbread House that can be found at Disney's Grand Floridian and a special peek at the new Mary Blair inspired decor that's now up at the Contemporary Resort.

So, for those of you who maybe missed the special the first time, you're in luck! As with all Disney TV specials, this one, will be replayed. This year, you can still catch it, numerous different times, including as soon as this weekend:

December 11, 3:00 am
December 13, 8:00 pm
December 13, 3:00 am
December 24, 4:00 pm
December 25, 8:00 pm
December 25, 3:00 am

Have you seen this show yet? What did you think? If not, enjoy watching the Holiday goodness! I know I will!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

News & Rumors 11/30/09 - 12/6/09

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.


  • The show Cinderella's Holiday Wish will now be showing at 6:15 pm starting today.
  • AP rates have been extended for MVMCP, so if you want to go and haven't gotten tickets yet, if you are an APer, now would be your chance.
  • The main pool at Old Key West will be down for renovations in Feb. 2010. Guests may use the quiet pools or the main pool at Saratoga Springs.
  • Most stores in WDW are now offering all Annual Passholders 10% off their purchases now through Jan. 3.


  • It's being rumored that Captain EO is being looked at, yet again, for a possible return to Epcot possibly by Summer 2010.
  • Apparently, Disney is conducting a study on Fantasmic and the effect it has on the DHS.
  • I'm hearing that Dumbo could possibly be coming as a meet and greet character in the future. No word yet on whether it will be soon or once his new area opens in the Fantasyland expansion.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Uber Planner

When I go down to Disney, as many of you happen to do, I like to plan. Granted, I don't go so far as some do, where they even have bathroom breaks scheduled only at certain times. But I do like to have a general outline of what I think will work best for which days I'm down there.

Most of the time, I use a mixture of and Disney's own park hours to decide where my fate lies on a specific night. Once I tackle that project, (which trust me, can be a project to decide where to go and when), I can start to create my own little masterpiece that I will carry proudly with me along my journey.

Some people do spreadsheets...which is great, however, I do my version in a little more arts and crafty manner. (Although, as I discovered on my last trip, spreadsheets, aren't as bad as I thought...and are now included in my handy tool, as you will plainly see.)

So what do I do in preparation of my trips? I create my very own "WDW Booklet."

Alright, so I know you're thinking...what's this booklet all about?

Basically, it's a bunch of index cards which I've compiled together to create my map of what should potentially happen on a given day during my Disney vacation. It contains all pertinent information, such as confirmation numbers, park hours, fireworks times, dining reservations, and anything else that would possibly be something I'd need to know, all at the ease of a small carry-able booklet.

I use index cards because they're small and fit inside my plastic pouch I bought easily. I use the plastic pouch in my purse to keep rain and water off of important documents I'll be needing during my trip. I learned the hard way to keep the booklet in the plastic, as it got ruined in a rainstorm once. Luckily I had a backup list that time of everything that I had planned. I get the plastic pouches really cheaply at Walgreens and they work wonders.

Also, it's time to break out the markers and glue because like I mentioned before, I like to do this old school!

Each time, I use the same cover I created using black paper and stickers. With each trip, I change out the index card information so I'll have what I need.

First things first, important confirmation numbers for my flights and hotel rooms.

Next, I'll include the info for my park touring schedule. I include the parks I plan to be in for the day or any other activities planned and my ADR times.

After that, I'll include the Touring recommendations for which parks are the best and worst on a specific day and also what the crowd level predictions are supposed to be for the day.

After that is when my new-found love of spreadsheet info comes into play. I'll include all the day's hours and parades and fireworks schedules, just in case my plans do change. This way, I'll be fully prepared. Each day is represented on a different card.

Finally, I have listed, by day and time the different ADRs I've got scheduled, printed straight from the online ADR system.

Last, I leave a few blank index cards in the back for any additional things that may pop up mid trip.

It all may seem a bit manic, but a) it helps me get out my pre-trip jitters because I have something to do before my trip to rid myself of that anxious "I want to be there" energy and b) I am prepared in case of an emergency. Anything can happen during a trip and it's best to have all the info on hand so you can offer it up, if necessary. This is especially true with things like confirmation numbers.

So, this is what I do. What do you do? Strictly spreadsheets or do you have something a bit more creative or even a bit more simple?

And who knows, maybe I can help someone else get rid of that pre-trip agony. Gosh knows I'm feeling it now. January can't come soon enough. Guess I need to get cracking on making my booklet up now...I think it will help! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

News & Rumors 11/23/09 - 11/29/09

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.


  • Vanessa Williams will now not be performing in the Candlelight Processional on Dec. 14-17. Abigail Breslin will be taking her place instead.
  • The De'Vine Voices is a chior that will be singing in Epcot on the Fountain of Nations stage playing now until Dec. 26th. Showtimes will be as follows: 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4:15 pm.
  • There are some changes to the pick up locations for the Picnic in the Park option at Disney's Animal Kingdom. If you order off the Tier 1 menu, you will now be picking your lunch up in Dinoland at DinoBites. If you've ordered off of the Tier 2 menu, you'll collect your food from the Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery.
  • The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectaular at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be closed for refurbishment from Jan. 11th - 15th.
  • Guests who want to meet Santa chilling out in his beachwear finest before the Holidays can go to the Swan and Dolphin resorts. For more info, go here.


  • There's rumors floating around that the other monorail train that will be added in 2010 is possibly going to be the color Maroon.
  • I've heard that during Splash Mountain's winter refurb, lap bars may be included this time around.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I'm Thankful For (Disney Style)

It's that time of year. The time to be thankful for the blessings in our lives. To really look at the things that matter. And while this list is a little trivial and goofy ...some of it actually means stuff to me. So, let's delve right in. :)

First off, I'm thankful for Walt Disney. Without this visionary, we wouldn't have WDW to obsess about. And it's his dream that gives us all so much joy. Walt was truly one of a kind and although he was taken before he should have been, he definitely left his stamp on the world for sure.

I'm thankful for the imagineers who created some of the best WDW attractions. From the Haunted Mansion to Space Mountain, to Splash Mountain, to Soarin, to Test Track, to World Showcase, to Toy Story Midway Mania, to Rock n' Roller Coaster, to Expedition Everest. All of these attractions and many more helped to create the fun atmosphere we get to enjoy as well. WDW would be nothing without these people.

I'm thankful for all those little hidden jokes that are included in so many rides and areas of the parks. They make the quest to find out more about WDW that much more enticing.

I'm thankful for whomever decided to put that kind of wonderful chocolate on ice cream to make the Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar!

I'm thankful for the fireplace at the Wilderness Lodge. It's where I've had some of the best times with my husband as we just sit there in the "relative" quiet and fall asleep in each other's arms.

I'm thankful also for the same reason about the Poly beach. Just another great place where I can spend quality time with my hubby.

I'm thankful for the TTA. Even though they've changed the spiel of this attraction to something a little more trite, it's still one of my favorite spots to just wind down and enjoy the Magic Kingdom.

I'm thankful for Streetmosphere characters. They give me a laugh every time I walk by. Improv is not easy, but they make it look like it is.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to cream my hubby at Toy Story Midway Mania. It makes for a fun ride because we're constantly trying to outdo and beat each other...and we're always close so it really feeds into our competitive natures. We never know who's gonna come out on top until the very end and then victory is sweet. (Or loss is sour, depending on what end of the spectrum I'm at.)

I'm thankful for LeCellier's Maple Creme Brulee. Best thing I've ever eaten!

I'm thankful for the great music that's played around WDW. Since the music is so epic, it follows you home and anywhere you hear it, you get sucked right in and it takes you right back to the parks. Transporting you to Splash Mountain or Soarin or Future World and actually making you feel like you're there!

And most of all, I'm thankful for the podcast and the Disney community. The podcast has afforded me something I never thought I'd have in my entire life. An outlet to talk about my number 1 passion in life. And I love it so much! It is honestly one of the things I look forward to each week when I get the opportunity to sit down and talk and laugh with Mike, Debbie, and Pam. I couldn't ask for a better team and we are so lucky we get along like the family that we do.

But the best thing the podcast has brought me to be thankful for is you all. Your friendships mean everything. There's nothing I get more excited about than checking my Twitter account first thing in the morning. Or getting a break so I can check out the Be Our Guest Podcast forums. Getting the opportunity to share in your triumphs and tribulations and really become a family, because that's what we are, is absolutely incredible.

So thank you all. From the bottom of my heart. My life would be a little less brighter without all your support and love.

These are just a few items I'm thankful for. Of course there are many, many more. But I could go on for hours and barely scratch the surface.

And so that brings me to you. What is it that you're Disney thankful for?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

News & Rumors 11/16/09 - 11/22/09


  • There will be two Wishes Dessert Parties on New Year's Eve. The first will be a Dinner and Dessert Party. This one will take place at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm and will include an all you can eat buffet. The menu will include things such as breads, fruits, cheeses, sushi, salads, pork, and beef short ribs. This party will run $139.99 for adults and $69.99 for kids. The second dessert party will be the Fantasy in the Sky party and is basically a regular dessert party in the same location starting at 9:50 pm. It will have desserts, beverages, and non-alcoholic sparkling drinks. The cost will be $35.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids.
  • Locker Rental prices have increased across the board. For the theme parks, the cost for a locker will be $7 for a small locker and $9 for a large with a $5 deposit that will be returned when the key is returned. (Which remains the same price as before.) At the water parks, the cost for a small locker is now $8 and $10 for a large, with a $5 deposit that will be returned once again for bringing back the key.
  • Wheelchairs and EVCs have also seen a price increase. For a wheelchair it's a $12 per day cost with no deposit in the theme parks, but a $100 deposit in DTD. For a length of stay rental, it's $10 per day with no deposit but a $10 deposit at DTD. For ECV rentals, the cost is $50 per day with a $20 refundable deposit.
  • Some restaurants are going to open up in the Magic Kingdom with the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays approaching. First, the Diamond Horseshoe will be open for a counter service lunch from Nov. 20th - Nov. 28th from 11 am until 4 pm and from Nov. 25th - Nov. 28th for a Table Service dinner from 5 pm until 9 pm.
  • El Pirata Y el Perico will be open from Nov. 22nd to Nov. 28th with operating hours from 11 am - 3 pm.
  • Finally, the Tomrrowland Noodle Station will be open from Nov. 22nd to Nov. 28th. This counter service restaurant will have a split menu. From 11 am until 4 pm it will serve American food and from 5 pm until 10pm it will serve up Asian cuisine.
  • Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian has once again been awarded the AAA 5 Diamond Award. This is the 10th consecutive year.
  • Disney is doing some construction/demolition work in Pleasure Island.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Space Mountain--Ready for Blast Off!

This past week, Space Mountain has been seeing some testing of it's recent refurbishment. It was widely known that the budget for this project had been cut substantially, so I knew it would be interesting to see what exactly was happening during this refurb.

As the video and pictures I've posted show, a lot got changed, but a lot did not. (See the previous News & Rumors post for video and pics!)

First off, there is the new queue area. They have kept some elements, such as the music and some of the Pepper's Ghost effects that had been a staple for so many years, but they've also included the introduction of a new story (Starport 75) and a ton of video screens with space games to play which have been added for those standing in the standby line.

I do like the introduction of a cohesive story, something that I thought was not as prevalent before. I do have to wonder about the video games though. I know that they are short (about a minute for each game, so if you are playing, you're not going to be holding up the line for too terribly long) but I really have to wonder how they will play out in the future. I think this is something that I will have to see in action, in person, to make a real judgement on this.

From there, we head into the load area. This is where we see a quite a few changes. First, they have enclosed the area so that light does not escape into the actual mountain, something I think was needed. They do show projections on the ceiling though, as if the area has spots that are open. Also, I believe the line system has been re-worked a bit. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out once Fastpass gets re-introduced back into the mix. The one thing I like the most, there are now load gates at the loading area. This is something I am really happy about. I know that we've accidentally gotten into a spaceship that was about to take off. This will mean those kinds of accidents will not happen any further.

As for the actual ride, well, there is some new sounds in the blue tunnel. And of course, there's a new type of flash at the end of it, which is also there to mask the new on-ride photo camera flash. However, other than that, and a bit of a spruce up of the lift area, it doesn't appear that much has changed with the actual ride itself. It may be smoother although, I've heard conflicting reports about that...some say it's not smoother at all. Also, it's a tad bit darker now inside, although from reports, not so dark that you can't see anything in front of you, which would have been cool.

Once the ride is over, you exit and get the chance to see your on-ride photo. From there, we head to the post-show area. This has seen some nice sprucing up as well. The Starport 75 storyline continues here with a hint of a feeling of Horizons. Showing different areas that you could visit in the future. I like the general spruce up of the area, although I'll miss the kitchyness of the old pre-show. (This is not to suggest I didn't think the pre-show area needed an update, as it did for sure.)

So, what do I think of the rehab?

Well, I'm torn. On one side of the coin, with the amount of money they had to spend leftover from the budget cuts that were made, I think they did a decent job. Plus, I love the actual coaster the way it is, so I'm glad that not much actually got changed in that respect. I'm also so thankful they left the Star Tunnel music in the queue area. That music equal Space Mountain to me and so many others.

However, that being said, I would have liked to see what more money would have meant for this attraction. I wouldn't have minded a new track if it meant that that track was smoother all over. Plus, I would have liked to see what updates they could have come up with for certain areas, especially something like the lift hill, with more money.

So, while I like what was done, I wouldn't have minded seeing more.

And with that, I want to know what you think. Where you pleased with the new refurb or underwhelmed? What would you have liked to see them add? What new things do you think they did well? Make sure to leave some comments in the comments section!

And fly safe, space travelers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

News & Rumors 11/9/09 - 11/15/09

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.


It was a big, yet quiet week with WDW, all at the same time.
  • Space Mountain is testing! Soft openings are currently happening at the MK. To see what's changed, visit here and scroll down a bit to see the video and pics!
  • The former Skyway restrooms have now reopened after their refurb.
  • Hand sanitizers are now spread throughout the park to help combat the spread of disease. They can be found at the park entrances, as well as high volume areas.
  • The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will not be performed on Nov. 22nd due to a private event.
  • As mentioned, the Lights Of Winter at Epcot have been retired. See Wednesday's blog post for more info.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Special Report: Has Disney Gone Too Far?

First off, as many of you know, I am a Disney fan.

For many, many years, I have been a Disney apologizist. When people in the Disney community couldn't understand and didn't like what Disney was doing, for example putting something like the concept of Stitch in Tomorrowland, I could understand why and tried to explain it all away. Stitch is an alien and well, Tomorrowland is about outer space, so it fits. I wore those rose colored glasses proudly.

However, in the past year or so, those rose colored glasses have started slipping down my nose. I can still see in rose colored form (which is why I love the place SO much) but alas, I have been seeing in normal color as well. And once you see in normal color, things start looking not quite as rosy as they had before.

Yes, Disney is a business and I understand how tough it can be to run a successful company as big as Disney. You have all these moving parts that have to keep working together in order to stay afloat.

But as of late, Disney seems to be playing a giant Jenga Game with the Walt Disney World Resort.

What do I mean?

Well, they had a relatively solid foundation just like in the beginning of a game of Jenga...but then because of certain aspects (most undoubtably money related) they started taking away blocks. Slowly pushing them out of their slots...hoping all would go unnoticed.

This has been happening for years with things like the Country Bear Christmas show, Fantasmic being cut, Pleasure Island being closed, removal of certain more expensive food choices at restaurants, taking away performing acts from the parks, making DVC guests now pay for valet parking, taking away perks at the Special Parties, like the free photos, cutting park hours, and of course, most recently, the retiring of the Lights of Winter this year.

Disney has of course, been coming up with all sorts of excuses and reasons for why some of these are no longer taking place. They're coming up with a "BOLD NEW VISION" or the technology is obsolete, or they wanted to make sure their food appealed to a broader general public, or worse yet...they are keeping mum about the reasons behind making such cuts, just hoping that we wouldn't notice.

But I think Disney may have pulled the final Jenga tile from the stack, because now, people are starting to notice all these cuts that have recently been made. And let me tell you...they are VERY unhappy.

All you have to do is look at most Disney message forums and even more recently, Disney's official blog to notice the dissention.

And of course, Disney is not lowering prices while taking these unique opportunities away. No, no. Prices are now higher than ever for experiences that have been dwindling. Experiences that helped make Walt Disney World the unique place it is and, even more so, was. Disney's raised the cost of things like park tickets, parking, the dining plan, the special holiday parties, I could continue. But it seems as if they haven't been adding much for us, as of late. Only taking away.

So, Disney, if you really want to listen to your fans...take notice. We're starting to get a tad (or in some cases, a lot) unhappy with your decisions regarding Walt Disney World and many are getting to the point where drastic action is starting to consider being taken place. People are now deciding to plan less trips, stay offsite, cancel their APs, and even, sell their DVC because of the cost cutting decisions you've been making.

And remember, your loyal fans are what drive your company. We're the ones who constantly make sure we go to your movies, we're the ones who are always at your parks, we're the ones who loyally watch your television shows...and we're also the ones who talk up your product to those around us. Because once you start loosing us, we can really hurt your pocketbooks. Something that you seem to be keen on keeping quite full, or so it would at least appear with the decisions you've been making recently.

So for those of you who are starting to become unhappy with the cuts, I urge you to let Disney know. Send them a letter, write a blog post, tweet when things they do upset us, complain to guest relations. Because keeping quiet is what Disney wants. They don't want us to become vocal. So I say, be loud!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Epcot Lights of Winter and the Be Our Guest Podcast Cruise

It's November, which of course, means that Disney is set to put up their fabulous Christmas decorations once again. Unfortunately, this year, it looks like one set of Christmas decorations are going to be no more.

This year, it was noticed that the Lights of Winter hadn't been put up yet and there seemed to be no mention of them in all the Christmas-time literature that had been put out. (For those who were unaware, the Lights of Winter was an archway set up between Future World and World Showcase which would feature lights that would blink in tune with Christmas songs which would play in coordination with the Fountain of Nations.)

Well, Disney officially announced on Twitter today, that due to obsolete technology, the Lights of Winter were going to be retired. This, of course, makes a lot of people upset as the Lights of Winter was something that was so Epcot. It was what made that park that much more unique for the Christmas holidays and was one of the things people looked forward to seeing each year at the park, many making the trip just for the lighting display.

Many are wondering why Disney could not have fixed the technology to become more current or find a suitable replacement for this holiday spectacular. Myself included. Why wouldn't Disney have realized that this technology was obsolete at the end of the Christmas season last year and start working on a fix? Seems pretty obvious to me.

So, for those of you going during this holiday season, this will be one less Christmas pastime you'll be able to partake in. Just one of many of the cuts that have been happening not only this past year, but also over the past few years.

Also, changing gears, I wanted to mention, that the Be Our Guest Podcast is going Cruising and you all are invited!!!

We're setting sail on what will be Disney's newest ship, the Disney Dream in 2011. Our departure date will be June 21st, 2011 and will be a 5 night cruise with an itinerary of a stop at Nassau, a day at sea, and, get this, 2 stops at Castaway Cay! It's gonna be a great time aboard an amazing new luxury liner with lots that have recently been announced to look forward to! And if you've never cruised before, now is the time to do it! You'll be surrounded by lots of great friends and family, on an absolutely gorgeous ship!

If you'd like more information about the cruise, please, visit the Be Our Guest Podcast forums at'd love to have you join us! And of course, I'm sure as time goes on, more details will be available here as well!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

News & Rumors 11/2/09 - 11/8/09

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.


  • For the holidays this year, the New Year's Eve schedule has become official. Here's a look at the night's festivities for those who will be at WDW. At Epcot:
    • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth 7:30
    • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth special edition 11:40 p.m.
    • Park hours on New Year’s Eve: 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
  • At the Magic Kingdom:
    • Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! parade and street party (11 a.m., 12:30 and 5:40 p.m.)
    • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (12 noon and 3:30 p.m.)
    • SpectroMagic parade of lights and music (7 and 10:30 p.m.)
    • Holiday Wishes fireworks (8:30 p.m.)
    • Fantasy in the Sky fireworks (11:50 p.m.)
    • Park hours on New Year’s Eve: 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
  • At DHS:
    • Fantasmic! nighttime musical special effects extravaganza (6:30 p.m.)
    • Live performances by in-park band “Mulch, Sweat and Shears,” back-to-back with a DJ at Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat. (Mulch, Sweat and Shears sets are 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m.; DJ starts at 6:30 p.m.)
    • A special “Lights, Camera, Happy New Year” fireworks show starring Mulch, Sweat and Shears (11:55 p.m.)
    • Park hours on New Year’s Eve: 9 a.m.-midnight
  • At AK:

    • Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade 3:45 p.m.
    • Park hours on New Year’s Eve: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Additional Fantasmic! showings have been added in both the months of November and December. Plus, many of the parks are extending their hours as well. Make sure to double check the schedule if you're going down during those two months.
  • Holiday decorations are now starting to appear at the parks.
  • Monorail Teal is now up and running.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties start this week!
  • You can get personalized Mouse Ears now at Mouse Gear.
  • The former Starbillias appears it is going to be reopening as a LittleMissMatched store.


  • It's being rumored that Space Mountain may be seeing previews as early as this week! Things have been seen running lately and the lights have been turned off.
  • The Lights of Winter, the canopy that can be found in the walkway to the World Showcase Plaza that's lights dance with holiday music, is rumored to not be included in this year's Christmas festivities.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Epcot's 2010 Flower and Garden Festival Info

As mentioned in my Sunday blog post, some of the 2010 Flower & Garden Festival information has been released. There's lots of great new stuff that's been added, along with some favorites that are still around, so let's take a look at what next year's festivities are to hold.

First off, the festival will kick off earlier than it ever has before, starting March 3, 2010 and lasting through May 16. This will mean the festivities will last a full 75 days.

There are plenty of new activities that have been announced for this year. First off is the new Bambi Butterfly House. This will take place of the former Minnie's Magnificent Butterfly Garden. Guests will be able to wander through large screened enclosures, watching in wonder as up to 700 butterflies fly around you. This will be a bigger area for the butterflies, clocking in at 3,500 sq. feet.

There will also be a new special garden area, called the New Victory Garden, where the fab five will be situated in topiary form at the American Adventure pavilion tending to veggies in a Victory Garden--a salute to the history of WWII gardens.

The Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden is going to be expanded featuring new characters from the newest DVD release.

New Mickey and Minnie topiaries are going to be introduced at the World Showcase Plaza, featuring American Gothic versions of the duo, based off a scene from the 1930 Grant Wood painting.

Finally, there will be a Pirate Adventure Zone, where characters from Peter Pan will be in topiary form in this interactive space found next to the Germany pavilion.

It's not just new things that will be featured this next year. The Flower Power concert will be back again, taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at the American Gardens Theater at 5:15, 6:30, and 7:45 pm. Plenty of top acts will be on hand for the festivities.

Disney will also be offering their Gardening at Home presentations where Disney horticulturalists will teach gardening tips and have hands-on, take-home activities. Plus Gardening Celebrities will let on some of their secrets in the Great American Gardeners series.

The former Wonders of Life Pavilion will be the host, once again, of the Garden Town Festival Center, the spot for picking up merchandise and attending special speaker presentations.

As a reminder, the festival is included with park admission and it looks to be an amazing festival, as it always is. It is one of my favorite times to go to the parks (even though I'm more of a brown thumb) as they are always so vibrant and colorful. The festival adds a unique and can't miss touch to an amazing theme park.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

News & Rumors 10/26/09 - 11/1/09

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.


  • The Friar's Nook counter service restaurant in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom is now going to be open seasonally, only opening when the park is busy enough to warrant it being open.
  • Typhoon Lagoon has started it's annual refurbishment a little earlier than originally thought, closing late last week for the season due to some in park malfunctions.
  • Some Epcot Flower and Garden Festival information has been released. Next year's festivities will start March 3rd and last through May 16th. This year's main front topiary will feature the characters camping. For more detailed information on what's new and other highlights, check out this link.
  • Last week, all heck broke loose as WDW returned their dining reservations back to 180 days. They are also supposed to be releasing park hours 180 days in advance as well again.
  • The meet & greet area for Princess Tiana is located behind the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe under a gazebo.
  • Facinating new info was announced about the Disney Dream. For more information, visit here.


  • It's likely that there will be a special New Year's Eve Wishes Dessert party available at the Magic Kingdom. Dinner is likely to be included in the price.
  • I'm hearing that not a lot that's noticeable has changed in the Space Mountain refurb. What was once supposed to be a complete overhaul was affected greatly by budget cuts. The track has only been replaced in certain worn spots, the entrance queue and load area have been enhanced and there will be on-ride photo opportunities. Other than that, many who were expecting a great change will likely be disappointed. (Although those who didn't want much to change will likely be thrilled.)
  • It's being said that the rumor I had reported about new fleet of boats being added at Living with the Land may be true. It's being rumored that the attraction may go down again around the beginning of next year to fix the attraction and the boats so that they will work together in the ride.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome Princess Tiana!

It is official. Princess Tiana has arrived as a Disney princess in WDW. Tiana is the first African American princess that Disney has ever had and the new star of the movie "The Princess and the Frog" which will be released in November. And, let me tell you, what a welcoming she received this week.

Princess Tiana arrived in grand style at the Magic Kingdom, in her very own carriage ride and was welcomed warmly by the beloved characters of the Disney parks.

With her welcome into the Magic Kingdom, the Princess was also welcomed with her very own show, Princess Tiana's Showboat Jubilee. If you would like to see what the show is all about, and haven't seen it in the previous blog post, here is Disney's official video of the whole shebang, including the welcome show.

Louis the Alligator, Prince Naveen, and Princess Tiana, plus a cavalcade of others wind their way down the streets of Liberty Square, starting near the Diamond Horseshoe and make their way to the Liberty Belle where they all get on board for a rollicking good time.

To me, the show's main feature is to showcase some of the great songs from the movie. (And trust me, you will be humming some of them in your head later on!) And of course introduce you to the characters and some of the plot lines that go along with the movie. And I think they succeed quite well. Seeing the video clips (since I won't be able to see it in person before it disappears), it makes me very excited to see this movie when it actually does come out into theaters. It is all a very nice teaser for the newest Disney movie.

Another great introduction of the Princess this week is that little girls can now get their Princess Tiana on at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The transformation can include a dress, a tiara, and more. This will be just another great opportunity for girls to get into Princess finest and feel like royalty themselves.

Also, guests who want to meet this new Princess and Prince will also get the chance to, at a special spot located in Liberty Square

So, grab somebody and come on down...and meet the newest Disney Princess, Princess Tiana.

Monday, October 26, 2009

News & Rumors 10/19/09 - 10/25/09

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.


  • The Princess Tiana Showboat Jubilee officially starts tomorrow. To check out a sneak peak, watch this video from fellow podcaster, Lou Mongello. Showtimes will be 12:15pm, 2:00pm and 3:45pm. Those who cannot meet Tiana and Prince Naveen on the Riverboat will apparently be able to do so in Liberty Square.
  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas is coming to the Magic Kingdom this holiday season. The show will take place on the Rockettower Plaza Stage (former known as holding the monstrosity show, Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration) and will feature Tomorrowland characters Mike Wazowski, Buzz Lightyear, and of course Stitch. The characters (and some back-up dancers) will bring guests Holiday songs with a Tomorrowland feel to them. This show is expected to take place during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties and is to kick off Nov. 10th.
  • The recently announced ESPN Innovention Lab is now officially up and running at the Wide World of Sports. The purpose will be to show how (and practice with) new technology that has been created can be put to use during sporting events, like the Ball Track technology used for the All-Star Game this year.
  • Happy Retirement Art the Greeter!!! You'll definitely be missed!
  • Remy the Rat was set to retire in Sept. at Les Chef's De France, but his tenure has been extended through at least March 2010.
  • For those of you in the parks in early December who want to catch the Christmas Parade taping, the dates will be Dec. 3-5. The 3rd and 4th will feature the singing performances on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt and the 5th will be the actual taping of the parade.


  • There are some possible changes coming to the Jungle Cruise narration...not removing anything, but in the way of adding more corny jokes.
  • A rumor's going around that Tom Sawyer Island may include a change over next year, at least for the Halloween time of year.
  • It's being rumored that Space Mountain may include an on-ride photo section once it reopens from it's refurb.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dining Review: Kona Cafe

This past trip, I got to eat my way around WDW, one Table Service Meal at a time. One of my ressies that I was most excited about was a trip to Kona Cafe, located at the Polynesian Resort on the second floor.

I had heard good things about this restaurant from many different sources and had a day where I needed to switch a reservation up, so I thought, why not try Kona?

I have to tell you, I am SO glad I did. Kona is definitely one of Disney's Best Kept Secrets out there. (So, don't tell anyone else about it, alright?)

First of all, I fell in LOVE with the Polynesian resort this past trip. It has become on of the places where I would love to stay next chance I get.

We get to the restaurant and have to wait a few minutes because the place is packed. We are finally seated in a cozy little booth and given menus. The place looks so homey. It's color palate is lots of reds and browns.

They also bring out the most amazing bread ever. It's called the Kona Sweet Bread and it is served with a Macadamia Honey Butter. I could eat loaves of this bread with this butter. It is SO good. But, alas, I had a meal to eat, so I had to stop eating the bread.

I decided to try the Teriyaki-style New York Strip, which is a sirloin strip steak that's covered with a teriyaki pineapple glaze. My meal was served with sticky rice and broccolini.

The steak was fantastic. The glaze gave it a very good, sweet flavor. It was different, but was a nice compliment for the steak. The sticky rice was also very good...especially when mixed with a little of the teriyaki pineapple glaze from the steak. I didn't really try the broccolini, as I'm not a huge fan of cooked broccoli flavored stuff.

For dessert, I had the most decadent concoction EVER. It is known as the Kilauea Torte ...or as I like to call it, Chocolate Heaven! It is basically a chocolate cookie crust on the outside and warm chocolate sauce on the inside that spills out of it. It is phenomenally rich. I'm a chocolate lover and I couldn't even finish it, that's how rich it was! It was also served with a side of ice cream, which does help the richness a bit. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to eat more than half!

So, would I suggest going to Kona? Heck yes! It was a fantastic meal. The restaurant is fabulous and has now become one of the places I will definitely check for availability when I'm down in Florida. (But remember, keep Kona our little secret, ok?! :) )

Monday, October 19, 2009

News & Rumors 10/12/09 - 10/18/09

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.


  • Areas currently under refurbishment at the Magic Kingdom include the Seven Dwarfs Mining Co. facade, The Friar's Nook's facade, and Mrs. Potts Cupboard's facade. Fantasyland has been seeing quite a few facade updates recently.
  • The Sum of All Thrills has opened in Innoventions and has a height requirement of 48 inches if there are no inversions and 54 if there are any. (The Sum of All Thrills is a simulator which allows you to create ride designs and then test them out.)
  • Monorail Pink and Purple, the two monorails that were involved in the tragic monorail accident in July are going to be combined as a single monorail and will be known as Monorail Teal. (The colors Pink and Purple will be retired now.) Also, Disney is planning on building another new monorail for 2010.
  • With Crystal Palace going down for refurbishment in January and February of next year, Disney is going to add character dining to Liberty Tree Tavern again. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will all be Character meals with Liberty Tree Tavern going character free again and back to it's regular seatings once Crystal Palace reopens.
  • Disney has announced a new racing event for next year. The inaugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon will take place Oct. 1st and 2nd and will be a nighttime race which will culminate in an after hours party at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. The half marathon registration will open Nov. 16th.
  • The entire Animal Kingdom Lodge Main Pool area will be closed for refurbishment Jan. 4th - Jan. 29th. Guests may use the Kidani Village Pool area.
  • Space Mountain has been testing the new track out recently.

  • If you have the Disney Visa, it's being rumored that it may be eligible to be used for discounts not just at the World of Disney store anymore. There are of course exclusions to what can be purchased, but it may be possible to get the discount at other places now, which if true, is fabulous!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Review: Disney Parks Blog

Today, I want to start a new segment where once every couple of months, I'm going to delve into the Disney community and take a look at some sort of "Disney Product" which can be something as simple as a blog or it can be a book, a CD, a magazine, a video, etc and give a review on said product and how well it may or may not benefit the Disney community.

The first "Disney Product" I want to take a look at is something that is relatively new. Disney recently launched this blog less than a month ago (Sept. 28th to be exact) and it's been very interesting to see how this new blog has grown over the past few weeks.

First things first, the blog can be found at It is written by many different people involving many different facets of the Disney company ranging from the Social Media Director of the Disney Parks, a spokesman for the Disney Cruise Line, the Sports Media Director for WDW, the Worldwide Marketing & Business Development Director for Weddings and Honeymoons, plus many others within the Disney organization.

Because of this, there is one minor thing I don't care for with the blog. I mostly spend my focus on what's going on at the WDW resort...I very rarely focus on what may be going on with some of the other areas...such as Disneyland Resort or the Cruise Line. I wish the blog could focus on one specific park the whole time, instead of being under the "Disney Parks" umbrella that Disney has been keeping all of their parks under for the past few years. However, with that being said...since it's a blog, it is easy to skim over the parts you don't care about quite easily.

One of the things I really like the most about this blog is that it's updated typically once a day, at least, and often times, updated with more than one post per day. And I LOVE that the information is all current. For example, yesterday they talked about the Sum of All Thrills attraction which opened in Innoventions at Epcot yesterday. They also talked interviewed the new President of the Disneyland Resort (George Kalogridis) a day after he was announced as the president. I really enjoy that the info that's given isn't all canned info that you can find pretty much anywhere on the web.

I also really like the stuff that they use to enhance the posts. Often they will include pictures of the things they are discussing or even better, they will have a video to supplement an article.

Oh and another favorite thing is that they do allow for people to post comments. (Granted they are moderated by Disney first before they are posted). But it is nice because if you have a follow up question, they can respond to them.

They do archive the different posts, so if you're looking for something specific, you can find it easily. Examples of different topics include Walt Disney World, Behind the Scenes, Disney Difference, Vacation Planning, etc.

You can also subscribe to the blog, either by RSS or email. I chose the email version and each day they have a blog posted, they will message you saying what they topics were that were discussed, as well as the articles included in the email for a quick glimpse.

One thing I don't really like is that it appears that only the last 3 blog entries are fully listed. Once you get past the last three entries, they do a quick overview of the topic with a link to the specific posting. I really wished they just kept the full entries available without having to click to a different page.

In all, this new blog seems like a fantastic way to stay on top of what's going on in the Disney community, specifically from Disney's mouth itself. I can't wait to see how the blog progresses in the upcoming months and years. I know it has become a must stop at for me each day now. Hopefully it will for you as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

News & Rumors 10/5/06 - 10/11/09

  • If you are going to the Studios at all the rest of this month, be sure to check out the schedule, as some hours have been extended on some days.
  • Splash Mountain will be down for refurbishment in January and February. Refurbishment dates are Jan. 3 - Feb. 28th.
  • Resort valet parking prices have increased, from $10 to $12.
  • The Sum of All Thrills in Innoventions at Epcot is in previews and is expected to open Oct. 14th.
  • To improve guest flow and satisfaction at some of the more popular Counter Service Restaurants (like Pecos Bills) in the parks, Disney is trying a new system where upon entering the restaurant, the entire party is given a menu to look at while waiting in line and they must stay together. Once your order is taken and your food is delivered, you will then proceed to another Cast Member who will direct you to your table. You will no longer be able to send on person to find a table while the other orders the food. Note: This appears to only happen on extremely busy days. Restaurants being tested in this manner are Pecos Bill's, Columbia Harbor House, Pinocchio's Village Haus, and Cosmic Ray's.
  • The paint scheme is changing to white, blue, and neon green around Space Mountain.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TTA New Audio

The TTA...otherwise known as the Wedway Peoplemover...

It is a favorite of many of us Disney fans. It is simply classic Disney and a must do for many of us, year in and year out. (Or every few years...whenever you can get down there.)

But recently, Disney changed the audio of this great attraction. Taking an audio spiel that is known and loved by many a Disney fan and redoing it completely. Even though the old version is quoted time and time again and very special to us Disney fans.

For those of you who would like to hear the new version of the audio, you can find it here:

As for my take on this new version. Don't get me wrong. I do like it. I believe it is a nice overview of all the attractions of Tomorrowland, in some ways, more so than the other one is, talking in a bit more detail about some attractions. They have now, even finally added solid information about Stich's Great Escape and Monster's Inc, which had been missing before. The new audio really serves it's purpose of showing you around Tomorrowland in a throughough way.

The one thing that I thought was a nice addition, was they appear to now be calling the attraction the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, a nice nod to the old version.

And for those who like characters, you will love this new version, as quite a few characters are featured. (Much to the dismay of those who really dislike characters being featured in Tomorrowland at all.)

However, I will forever miss the previous booming voice. The previous voice seemed so regal and in a weird way, futuristic. This new voice, in my opinion, isn't any of those things. It actually feels a bit more informal, similar in my opinion, to what they did with the new audio on Spaceship Earth. This new version doesn't have the power and the authority I feel the old version had...which is quite sad. It'd be like if my voice had been swapped out for the famous movie trailer voice...nice...but not grand enough.

Also gone, which I wish they would have left some of this audio in, are the classic lines. Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow...Now approaching, Mickey's Star Traders...etc. To me, it wouldn't have taken much to have left a few of those snippets in and it also would have been a nice nod to the old version, much like they did with the Monorail and Jack Wagner's Please Stand Clear of the Doors portion.

So, after listening to the audio, what do you think? Do you like it or wish they would have left the old one alone? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments section.

And welcome to the future of Tomorrow....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

News & Rumors 9/28/09 - 10/4/09

  • Disney's promotion for next year is the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promo. If you want to learn more about it, read my previous blog post where I explain about it in more detail.
  • Disney has also released the Buy 4/Get 3 free and Buy 5/Get 2 Free promo again.
  • The Studios hours have done some changing for the month of Oct. Also, it appears that Disney has added additional Fantasmic showing times as well. If you have a trip in Oct., check to see if you are effected.
  • Blizzard Beach will go down for it's annual refurbishment in January. From Jan. 10 until March 20th.
  • The Boneyard at Disney's Animal Kingdom is now down for refurb until Oct. 18th.
  • Parking fees at Disney have gone up $2.
  • Peter Pan's meet and greet has moved from Adventureland to Fantasyland. He is now located between Mickey's Philharmagic and Tinkerbell's Treasures.
  • Disney Parks has now joined the blogging universe. Check it out here:
  • The WDW resort celebrated it's 38th birthday this week! Happy Belated Birthday!!!!
  • It's being said that the TTA possibly has new audio now. It appears that all of the favorite lines are now gone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Give A Day, Get A Disney Day

Disney's newest promotion for next year (because they always have to have one now. :) ) is the Give a Day, Get A Disney Day celebration.

All of next year, if you volunteer with select organizations (can be found through the HandsOn Network), you will get a free, one day ticket to any one Disney theme park.

So how will all of this work? Well, starting January 1st, you will have to sign up with Disney and the HandsOn Network. (more information on how will be released closer to January 1st). From there, you will be able to search volunteer opportunities close to you to participate in, that are affiliated with the participating organizations. Once you have completed your service and the HandsOn Network has verified it, you will be sent an email telling you how to print and redeem your Disney Theme Park Ticket.

Tickets will be valid at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure. No other locations are valid in this promotion.

Eligibility is only available for residents of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Participants must be at least 6 years of age, with an adult accompanying them if they are between the ages of 6 and 17. However, you must be 18 or older to sign up. And you will only receive 1 ticket per person, no matter how many hours you have volunteered. Also, you may only sign up a maximum of 8 additional members of your household.

There are limited quantities of tickets the promotion is slated to run until tickets run out OR Dec. 15th...whichever comes first.

If you already have theme park admission, there are a few options that are available to you. (Much like there were with last year's Birthday Celebration). First, there is the FastPass option. This is where you will receive a special FastPass cards for certain attractions that will allow for you and up to 5 additional members of your party to automatically FastPass said attraction and get right on with little to no wait at that specific time. Another option is the collectible Ear Hat figurine with exclusive trading pins. Finally (and this is the one that I really like the most, if you can't take advantage of the tickets) you can donate your ticket to a non-profit organization that has been designated by Disney, therefore spreading your good deeds around even more.

So, those are the nuts and bolts of this new, great promotion by Disney.

The one thing I like the most about this promotion is that you aren't limited to only going around your birthday. If you have a trip in Sept. and your birthday is in July and you couldn't make it in July, you don't get penalized.

That part, to me, is huge. This opens this promotion up to be utilized by way more people...which I like, because you have to do something great for your community in order to receive the ticket in the first place...and volunteering is such a wonderful and amazing thing that far too few people do. I love that you aren't limited to a specific time of the year to take advantage...and I also love that the whole family can participate as well. It allows for good family bonding time together.

For more information about my feelings about this "celebration" please, listen to this Friday as we discuss this topic in more detail.

And please, this next year...volunteer. It will help out in ways you can't even imagine. And trust me, when I say, nothing feels better than giving your time to someone or something in need.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

News & Rumors 9/23/09 - 9/27/09

With just having done a news update on Wednesday, it appears as if no real news has come out over the past few days. With one minor exception. It appears as if they are testing cars on at least one track of Space Mountain.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

News & Rumors 9/7/09 - 9/23/09

Hello all! And welcome to a massive News & Rumors update! Sorry for the delay, but we've got lots to talk about, so let's dive right in! :)


  • First off...all the news about D23...a brand new Fantasyland expansion is coming! Included in this brand new expansion will be a brand new Little Mermaid attraction, a few new restaurants, including a sit-down restaurant called Be Our Guest and is based off Beauty and the Beast, a new Dumbo area, including 2 Dumbo attractions with a brand new type queue (where you will receive a feather to hold your place in line while you and your kids play in a 3 ring circus atmosphere...when it's your turn to ride, the feather will let you know...much like they do in restaurants with the pager system), and a Pixie Hollow area. The first half of the expansion is expected to be done in 2012 while the second part is expected to be done in 2013. For more information, visit my previous blog post about this topic. Or to see the full announcement, see this video
  • Star Tours II has officially also been announced. Not too many details about this, except for the fact that it will be shown in 3D and it will include Pod Racing. It's still being rumored though that you will get to experience the attraction in multiple ways with multiple scenarios being present each time. The attraction is expected to go down Oct. 2010 and reopen in 2011. For the official announcement, click here.
  • Also announced was that the Muppets will be getting some love. First off, it appears as if they are going to digitally remaster the MuppetVision 3D film. Next, they are going to include a Muppet WhatNot Workshops at WDW where you can build your own Muppet, and they will be having a Muppet Mobile Electric Mayhem Band being introduced as well.
  • In non-D23 news now...LaNouba is set to have a price increase starting Oct. 6th.
  • Luxo Jr. is now once again doing shows at DHS in the Pixar Place courtyard.
  • The Oct. 31st Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is officially sold out.
  • The Night of Joy will be returning to the Magic Kingdom in 2010.
  • Cat Cora's new restaurant, Kouzzina is now officially open. For an idea of what is on the menu, visit here.
  • A suspicious device was found underneath one of the buses at WDW on Sept. 17th. This halted all bus service around the resort while they checked each bus. Turns out the device was an tire pressure monitor that had been left on the bus from year's past. For more info on the story, click here.
  • A new tour is set to take place during the holiday season. From Nov. 30th through Dec. 16th guests can discover how the twinkle of holiday magic is created for celebrations like the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, get an insider’s look into the transformation of Cinderella Castle to a sparkling holiday masterpiece and bask in the holiday glow of the Candlelight Processional, one of the longest-running Disney holiday traditions. The tour costs $179 for ages 16 and up and theme park admission is not required. The tour is expect to last 4 and a half hours.
  • There's a new and more affordable way to enjoy some private time at Typhoon Lagoon. On the tail of the Beachcomber Shacks, Disney is now offering Premium Beach Chair Spaces. The cost is $40 and you will receive 2 lounge chairs, and umbrella, 2 beach towels and a small table.
  • The Wishes Dessert Parties at the Tomorrowland Terrace at the Magic Kingdom's dates have been extended yet again. This time, the Dessert Parties are expected to run through Dec. 29th.
  • In refurb news, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin is expected to be down for refurbishment from Dec. 6th - 19th.
  • Reported as a rumor earlier this year, it is confirmed that Crystal Palace will be down for refurb from Jan. 3rd - Feb. 13th.
  • The Living With the Land boat ride in Epcot's The Land pavilion was expected to open Nov. 1st from it's refurb. That date has now been moved up to Oct. 4th.
  • Thumper and Miss Bunny will be doing meet and greets in Camp Minnie-Mickey at DAK starting Oct. 4th.
  • Lastly, as noticed from my trip: the TTA has officially reopened and while there were no major changes besides some new lighting effects, it was cool to go into Space Mountain and see what little could be seen. They do have boards up so you can't see most of the work, however, there are a few spots where you can just sort of peek through for a second, if you know where to look. Also, I could smell fresh paint and construction in Space Mountain and you can hear them working during work hours.


  • It's being rumored that we may be seeing another discount from Disney sometime within the next week or so.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Alright all, I know I said I'd have this week's News & Rumors update up today, but with the live show and just getting back from my trip, that didn't end up happening. However, with that being said, I will post all of the latest News & Rumors on Wednesday, once I get the chance to process everything and (unfortunately) join back to real civilization. (I want to live with Mickey!) Thanks for the patience! I really appreciate it. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Going To Disney World!

Well, it's officially that time of year. The time of year that I look forward to the most.

No, it's not Christmas...although I do look forward to that. And it's not my birthday...Instead, it is my annual vacation time again. The time of year I love the most. And I am very much looking forward to it because this trip affords me some new experiences, along with some of the things that we love doing and have of course done for multiple trips now. I'm just thrilled that I get to go to the most Magical Place on Earth and my happy place yet again!

Now, let's get down to it...the details...

Who: Brian and I
Where: Pop Century
When: Sept. 11-19
What: Lots and Lots of free food...oh...and let's throw in some theme parking

We have lots of great things planned and of course, there will be lots of things that will just crop up since I'm not really a big planner. (Meaning, I'll plan the nuts and bolts, but I don't plan what ride to go to when or bathroom breaks or things like that.)

So, for our park schedule, which of course, is tentative, but is relatively what the plan is:

Friday 9/11: EPCOT (EEMH) - Beaches and Cream
Saturday 9/12: ANIMAL KINGDOM/MAGIC KINGDOM - 1900 Park Fare dinner
Sunday 9/13: DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS - 50s Prime Time dinner
Monday 9/14: MAGIC KINGDOM - Liberty Tree Tavern dinner
Tuesday 9/15: BLIZZARD BEACH/EPCOT - Yachtsman (2 Table Service) dinner
Wednesday 9/16: Couples Massage at the GRAND FLORIDIAN/DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS or MAGIC KINGDOM -Kona dinner
Thursday 9/17: EPCOT/MAGIC KINGDOM - LeCellier lunch with some of the podcast listeners/Whispering Canyon dinner (Maybe a stop at ANIMAL KINGDOM that afternoon as well, but not 100% sure...that's gonna be a wing it day for sure.)
Friday 9/18: DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS/EPCOT(EEMH) - LeCellier dinner

In all, it's going to be a very hectic trip, but I think a very relaxing one as well, once we get down to it all. And a very deserved trip for both of us as we've both has some big stresses in our lives during the past couple of months.

So, for a few housekeeping notes...first of all, I will posting trip updates on Twitter. To find me, click the link in the column next to this one.

Also, because I'll be in WDW, there will obviously be no updates next week. Updates should return starting Sept. 20th, but I'm not 100% on that. It will of course depend on what that Sunday is like once I'm back.

So, with that being said, Rikki, what are you doing this weekend? I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!