Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Pirate's Life For Me

Yo Ho! Yo Ho! Avast Ye Matey's....Shiver Me Timbers...'s not talk like a Pirate Day, why am I talking so funny? Because Disney is now offering a way for you to get your Pirate on!

Disney is going to be offering a new option, close in design to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but geared, mostly towards boys...all themed around the Pirates franchise.

Copyright Walt Disney Company

This attraction, known as the Pirate League, will take place at the Magic Kingdom, in Adventureland, right in the gift shop of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, in the former House of Treasure Room. The Adventure begins June 29th.

So, how will the whole process work?

Guests will check in and receive their very own pirate name. From there, guests will then go to get their Pirate booty...which will vary from eye patches, to beards, to scars, earrings, and of course, the ever important sword!

From there, pirates to be will go and take the Pirate oath, making them an "official" pirate and of course, they will receive their pirate portrait as well.

This option is available for not just boys, but girls will get their own version of the make-over and there is even an adult option as well.

There will be 3 pirate packages available:

  • First Mate Package ($49.95 plus tax) – bandanna, choice of facial effects (scars, tattoos, fake teeth, earring and eye patch), sword and sheath, pirate coin necklace, one 5x7 photo and personalized pirate oath.

  • Empress Package ($49.95 plus tax) – bandanna, shimmering makeup ( face gem, tattoos, nail polish, earring and eye patch), sword and sheath, pirate coin necklace, one 5x7 photo and personalized pirate oath.

  • Captains Package ($124.95 plus tax) – choice of costume/outfit from selection, choice of facial effects (scars, tattoos, fake teeth, earring and eye patch), sword and sheath, pirate coin necklace, three 5x7 photos and personalized pirate oath.

You can't get your pirate on quite yet though. Bookings go live May 11 and you can call (407) WDW-CREW (That's 407-939-2739) to reserve your time.

So, this wouldn't be me without giving my what do I think?

I love it!

I love that they are finally giving some sort of good option for boys. All too often they seem to only cater to the female sector, with princesses everywhere. But this, I think this is going to go over so well, as the boys really have been under-represented lately. Parents have been looking for ways to make trips special when you have boys and I think this may just be the ticket.

I can't wait to see the little pirates all over WDW, much like you see the beautiful princesses. And the great thing is, adults can take part in the fun too, if they wanted.

So, good job Disney. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction, as boys take WDW vacations too! Now, if only they could start working on a boy version of a character meal and I think they'd be set!

But until the shop opens, I'll just have to Pirate it up here and keep the pirate mayhem going by myself...

Where's the rum when you need it?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

News & Rumors 4/20/09 - 4/26/09

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.


  • Disney is finally offering some more "boy friendly options." First off, Disney will now be offering the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage starting July 13. Guests depart from the Contemporary with general pirate merriment onboard ship during the cruise. (It was previously only available for Grand Gatherings, but it has now been opened up to everyone. In the past, the cruise featured character meets with some of the gang from Peter Pan...seeing Wishes from the boat, and on select nights, a view of the Electrical Water Pageant. It is unclear if this is how it will continue on exactly in the future.) Tickets will run $53.99 for adults ages 10 and up and $30.99 for guests ages 4-9.
  • Also, Disney is offering yet another "boy friendly" option. This option is similar to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique-style offerings Disney has for girls and will be located in the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop area in a section that had previously been closed. This experience won't focus so much on hair and makeup, but will instead focus on costumes and sword training. This is expected to go live in either June or July this year.
  • Characters from Club Penguin will soon be found at the Studios for a test. If the test goes will, it is expected that they will become a full fledged meet and greet.
  • Disney has recently included information about ImageWorks, which is located above the Imagination with Figment ride...curious...
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom is set to get it's own version of something called the Kiss Goodnight. This new celebration that would take place at the end of each park's day would include what is going to be known as the Adventurer's Celebration Gathering and will feature music, characters (Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy in their safari finest), and dancing (including guests doing the conga and shaking some pom poms!). Sounds a lot like their opening ceremonies (not that I've been to those!), but instead, they will be wishing you a good night now too!


  • It's been rumored that there may be some changes coming to the parks in the near future. Disney is considering using RFID technology in various aspects. One of the recent rumors of how they could be using this technology is by having the characters in Fantasyland say your name as you pass through the ride. Of course, there are other ways that Disney will be using this technology as well, if this rumor comes to life. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Disney's Animal Kingdom

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Disney's Animal Kingdom!
Happy Birthday to You!

11 years ago today a park opened that celebrated animals, culture, and nature. A park that was so unique and so distinct and of course, so wild! A park that is so lush with vegetation and full of animals from all around the world. A park, that many would call, the most themed park in all of Disney's 4 Orlando parks. The park that was dubbed as Nahtazu and is known at "The New Species of Theme Parks"!

11 years ago today...Disney's Animal Kingdom was officially christened.

It really was a park in the making for many, many years...and it's almost surprising it took so long to come to fruition, in a way. What with Walt's love of all things animal, originally wanting live animals to be present in attractions like the Jungle Cruise. Building DAK, finally brought about Walt's dream to have a a place where animals actually are part of the attraction, like the infamous Kilamanjaro Safaris.

Now, I hate to admit it, but DAK is my least favorite Disney park. I'm not 100% sure what it is about the park (I think it might have something to do with the fact that it doesn't have a lot of "stuff" that appeals to me...rides and such.) However, the one thing I do love about the place is all of the intense theming. I think that DAK is honestly one of the most beautiful places in all the world. As soon as you enter the doors, you forget you are at a theme forget about the outside world. The only thing you can think is, it really is a jungle out there! :)

This park is so rich in back story. Each land seems to have it's own unique way of telling what it's all about. Lands like the Oasis and Asia make you feel transported to the places they are depicting. Even a land like Dinoland USA with Chester & Hester's Dinorama has some great stories to it, though it may not look like it from the outside. Disney really went above and beyond with their great storytelling skills when setting forth building this park.

My favorite land, thematically would have to be Africa. I love how it really feels as if you're in Africa. (Well, Disney's Africa!) And of course, Kilamanjaro Safari's being the flagship attraction for this land is so fitting. Getting to go out on an African safari is one of those things that if you went to Africa ever in your would do a safari. You'd have to do one. Disney has brought that same feeling right to their own backyard! (All without having to get a malaria shot! lol!)

I also really love Asia though. You really do feel as if you've been transported to a different Asian time and to a totally Eastern place. And of course, this land does have one of the most massive mountains ever built by Disney Imagineers. Looking at Everest, you really do think you could be looking at the real mountain. (Well, on a smaller scale, of course.) And the ride is one of the best ones in the park.

I think what I like the most about this park though, is that is so tranquil. While there may not be a lot to actually "do" at a park like DAK, there is a lot to explore and see. Something I find myself not spending enough time actually doing, I believe. Hopefully, I can learn to love this animal park a little more in the next few years. Because it really is one wild time!

So Happy Birthday DAK! to many, many more! :)

What is it about Disney's Animal Kingdom that you love? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a message here or call the Be Our Guest Podcast's voicemail line at 206-426-2115!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

News & Rumors 4/13/09 - 4/19/09

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.


  • Space Mountain is now closed for it's lengthy (and well deserved) refurbishment. It is expected to reopen Nov. 22.
  • The Magic Kingdom will be changing it's Morning Extra Magic Hour offerings. (Quite probably because of Space Mountain's refurb.) Added to the list are Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Snow White's Scary Adventures and The Mad Tea Party. Here is the full list of attractions for Morning Extra Magic Hours: Fantasyland: * Dumbo the Flying Elephant* Mickey’s PhilharMagic* Mad Tea Party* The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh* Peter Pan’s Flight* Cinderella’s Golden Carousel* Snow White’s Scary Adventure* “it’s a small world” Frontierland: * Big Thunder Mountain Railroad* Splash Mountain Liberty Square Attractions:* The Haunted Mansion
  • There is now a new entertainment offering at Disney's Grand Floridian. The hotel will now offer a Mickey shaped campfire and the chance to roast Smores. (With the purchase of a Smores kit, of course.) Then guests can enjoy a movie under the stars on the beach.
  • Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration in Tomorrowland is expected to show 6 shows a day.
  • The Walt Disney Railroad will be closed May 13-14th.
  • Cirque du Solil will be dark May 18 - June 1.
  • The Epcot Sounds Like Summer Concert list is out. Showtimes will be 5:45 pm, 7:00 pm, and 8:15 pm. Acts this year will include:
    June 15-21 – Stayin' Alive (tribute to the Bee Gees)
    June 22-28 – Hotel California (tribute to The Eagles)
    June 29-July 8 – Slippery When Wet (tribute to Bon Jovi)
    July 9-19 – Bjorn Again (tribute to ABBA)
    July 20-26 – Sounds of the Supremes (tribute to The Supremes)
    July 27-August 2 – 2U (tribute to U2)
    August 3-9 – Petty Theft (tribute to Tom Petty)


  • It's being rumored that The Little Mermaid Ride may be getting close to fruition as construction bids have apparently recently gone out.
  • It's being rumored that Grad Nights may be returning to the Magic Kingdom next year.
  • The Villain's float is still rumored to be disappearing, possibly in May...Also, it appears the Tremaines will be featured on a float as well.
  • The TTA's reopening date has been pushed back than what had been thought previously. Now it is expected to reopen Aug. 25.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Splish Splash!

This week's podcast features the 4 of us talking about our favorite things to do at the water parks...therefore, I thought I'd take the topic idea and extend it to my blog.

It is, after all, almost water park season (and down in Florida, heck, it probably already is water park season) and I thought I'd give you a sort of mini guide as to what the possible dos and don't dos are for these two incredible water playgrounds. Especially since we all only got to share one do at each park. That simply isn't enough for me...I have to talk more! lol!

Both water parks are definitely a ton of fun and both have their own unique attributes that help make them equally entertaining. I mean, trust me, if I had the opportunity to go to a Disney water park, either one, I wouldn't sneeze at the chance. You can bet I'd be there. :)

So, first things first...let's start with Disney's newest water park...Blizzard Beach.

The water park that is themed around a ski resort on the meltdown. This is mine and my husband's absolute favorite water park! We seriously can't wait to get back there this Sept., as it's been far too long since we've been. (2005...that's just so far away! We need to refresh our memories a bit. :) )

So, what is it that I love about Blizzard Beach?

First off, I love the Toboggan Racers. This is the ride where you race eight people on a mat and try to be the first one down. I always try so hard to get down the slide fast, unfortunately, I'm too light to make it all the way to the bottom! I have never once made it to the finish line!

I also really love the Downhill Double Dipper. I love getting to race Brian down and see who will win the championship. We're both very competitive about stuff like this, so it just makes it fun to get another chance to compete. (Ask me about our favorite thing we compete against each other for...and guess who holds the most number of wins...that's!)

The other thing I really love are the Runoff Rapids. Here there are 3 slides you can choose from, some of which are enclosed and some are not. It's just fun because they seem to go on a lot of twists and turns.

So, those are some of the things I love about Blizzard Beach, but guess what? There are definitely some things I can skip.

First on that list...Summit Plummet! I don't know how people can do this! I seriously get sick just looking at this attraction. I couldn't imagine going 55 miles per hour down a slide with nothing to hold onto but my bathing suit! No way, no how!

I also don't really care for the Cross Country Creek, otherwise known as a Lazy River. I don't know if it's just because it's a LONG trek around or that I get bored just sitting in the water quickly or if it's because of the icy, icy water that falls on you...this is one ride I will usually only go on once per visit to a water park. Any water park.

So, what's my take on Blizzard Beach? It's definitely a park that's a little more keyed up than it's counterpart, but that's what's so fun about it. It it definitely an on the go kinda park. But even if you are looking to relax, there are areas to do that here as well. Just maybe not as many as there are at Tyhoon Lagoon. If you are looking for a water park to try though, definitely check out Blizzard Beach. You won't regret it. :)

Now, we move on to the more laid back Disney water park...Typhoon Lagoon.

Typhoon Lagoon is themed around a hurricane, earthquake, and volcano all hitting the same area at the same time, causing this mass chaos and making the "locals" think about turning it into a water park.

Brian and I did enjoy this park too...but it wasn't as fun for us as Blizzard Beach was. Now, that's not to say it is a bad park...we definitely enjoyed this one too...but I think what we enjoyed the most were the more thrilling options.

First, I LOVED Crush 'n' Gusher. I talk about this on the episode, but this, hands down is the best water park ride, EVER. I only wish it were in Blizzard Beach. Then that park would be perfect. :)

Next, I really liked the Keelhaul Falls and Mayday Falls. Like the Runaway Rapids at Blizzard Beach, I love the twists and turns you go on in these types of slides.

I also definitely enjoyed Gangplank Falls, which is this park's version of a family water ride. It's so much fun getting to experience some of the water rides with your family, rather than just by yourself.

As for what I didn't enjoy...let's just say Humunga Kowabunga did not sit well with me. We'll leave it at that.

I also didn't really like Shark Reef. While the concept is really cool, as I love snorkeling, it was just very difficult to actually manage. The water was freezing, my mask kept leaking and I ended up WAY far behind, then next group actually started departing before I had had the chance to reach the end.

As for who I think would enjoy this park...definitely people who are looking to relax. Those who just want to sit in the sun and soak up the rays. Although, this park has it's just doesn't have as many as I think Blizzard Beach has.

So, there you have tips on what does and doesn't work at the water parks. Of course, your ideas on what's fun at the water parks will probably differ from mine, but the best thing about the parks is no matter what you really love, it really is all about getting that fun in the sun.

So, what is it that you love or don't love about the water parks? I'd really love to hear about it. :)

Also, be sure to check out our podcast episode on the same topic, this Friday! You'll get to hear what each one of us loves and why at Disney's 2 incredible water playgrounds.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

News & Rumors 4/6/09 - 4/12/09

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.


  • Animal Kingdom has a new lunch option. See Wednesday's post for a description and my opinion of the new way of dining.
  • Paridiso 37 will be opening in May.
  • The Star Wars Weekend celebrity list has now come out. As always, it is subject to change. The celebrity host for each weekend will be Jay Laga'aia (Captain Typho and the Clones Wars: Behind the Force will be hosted by Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka). May 22-24: Ray Park, Warwick Davis and James Arnold. May 29-31: Peter Mayhew and Matthew Wood. June 5-7: Jeremy Bulloch, David Prowse, and Matt Lanter. June 12-14: Dave Filoni and Temuera Morrison. For more information, visit
  • There should be new live entertainment coming soon in Pleasure Island, unfortunately, not in the way of clubs. Celebrate Tonight! is coming and it will be a high-energy street party with DJs as party hosts, stilt walkers, and a party crew. All there to help celebrate birthdays, family gatherings, anniversaries, basically, whatever guests want to celebrate. It is slated to run from 5 pm until 11 pm, Sun. through Thurs. and 6 pm until Midnight, Fri. and Sat. It will be located in the West End Plaza.
  • Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration is expect to open May 10th.
  • Tren-D has officially opened, holding it's official grand opening on the 10th and it appears that the Characters in Flight balloon ride is supposed to open any day, after being pushed back to a date of April 10th.


  • The recent rumor that an IMAX theater might go into the Virgin MegaStore is just that...a rumor. Apparently, now it appears that it might be headed to some of the AMC theaters in Downtown Disney.
  • Raytheon is possibly developing a new exhibit to go into the former Fantastic Plastic Works area in Innoventions.
  • Now I'm hearing that the characters will not be returning to Liberty Tree Tavern in the near future.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm Going on a Picnic!

This week, Disney announced something new for the Animal Kingdom.'s not a ride, even though it would be great if it were. Instead, what was announced was a new way of dining in this park themed around animals.

This new dining program will be called Picnic in the Park and will allow guests to purchase a meal that will include a choice of entree, side dishes, dessert, and water, delivered in a reusable bag and includes plates and utensils. From there, guests can then go to one of the designated picnic spots throughout the park. (A map will be given to you, so you will have an idea of where these areas are, but dining locations are available in every land of the park.)

People will have the choice between two different tiered options, based on what kind of meal you would like. The two tier options will be:

Tier 1

For entrees, you can choose between a chicken wrap, turkey focaccia sandwich, tuna pita, or ham grinder.

Side dish choices include chips, macaroni & cheese, seasonal fruit salad, coleslaw, mashed potatoes & gravy, tomato & cucumber, corn medley, orzo pasta salad, green beans, or oven-roasted potato wedges.

Dessert choices include apples, brownies, cookies, cornbread, crisped rice treats, oranges.

Meal for Three – $24.99 + tax 3 Sandwiches, 1 Large Gourmet Side, 3 Desserts or Fruit, 3 bottles of Dasani water

Meal for Four – $32.99 + tax 4 Sandwiches, 2 Large Gourmet Sides, 4 Desserts or Fruit, 4 bottles of Dasani water

Meal for Five – $40.99 + tax 5 Sandwiches, 3 Large Gourmet Sides, 5 Desserts or Fruit, 5 bottles of Dasani water

Meal for Six – $48.99 + tax 6 Sandwiches, 4 Large Gourmet Sides, 6 Desserts or Fruit, 6 bottles of Dasani® water

Tier 2

Entree choices are rotisserie chicken or ham. Tier 2 includes the same choices of side dish and dessert options as Tier 1.

Meal for Three – $29.99 + tax 6 Pieces of Rotisserie Chicken or 1 lb. of Ham, 2 Large Gourmet Sides, 3 Desserts or Fruit, 3 bottles of Dasani water

Meal for Four – $38.99 + tax 8 Pieces of Rotisserie Chicken or 1 1/4 lb. of Ham, 3 Large Gourmet Sides, 4 Desserts or Fruit, 4 bottles of Dasani water

Meal for Five – $47.99 + tax 10 Pieces of Rotisserie Chicken or 1 1/2 lb. of Ham, 4 Large Gourmet Sides, 5 Desserts or Fruit, 5 bottles of Dasani water

Meal for Six – $56.99 + tax 12 Pieces of Rotisserie Chicken or 1 3/4 lb. of Ham, 5 Large Gourmet Sides, 6 Desserts or Fruit, 6 bottles of Dasani water

One thing to note is that no substitutions can be made.

To order these meals, guests can place these orders at the Picnic in the Park podium, which can be found in front of Guest Relations at DAK. Orders can be place from 8:30 am - 1 pm. After this time, the meals are still available, but can only be ordered at the Tusker House podium.

To pick up the meals, you must pick it up at least 2 hours from the time that it is placed at the Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery. Guests should bring their copy of their order form and payment with them, as both are needed for pick up.

To me, this is a spectacular new option. I think it offers a special way of eating in the parks and also gives people the chance to have unique food offerings, besides just a burger or chicken nuggets and fries. Which, of course, is something that is sorely lacking in all the parks. And we all know how much Animal Kingdom lacks in food options all together!

There are a few things I hope that once this takes off (and trust me...I'm sure this will take off) I hope they add.

First off, I hope they add a two person option. While this new meal plan sounds like something I might really consider, since it only starts with a 3 person meal, it really isn't feasible for just me and my husband to do. Therefore, as much I may like to take advantage of it, I unfortunately won't be, at this time of my life. (Maybe if they still have it around when I have a kid.)

Second of all, a common thing I've heard (and the only real other reason people aren't totally jumping on the bandwagon of it yet) is that there is no vegetarian option available. Since changes of any kind are not allowed with these meals, it does make it harder for a person who is a vegetarian to opt for it. Disney has been doing so well with offering vegetarian options for people, so hopefully, once this takes off, they will start offering something in that relm too.

The good news, this is an option for the Disney Dining Plan (although this does seem like a better option for people paying cash.) If you are on the DDP, the Picnic in the Park lunches will take up however many people the meals are for, but they will be your Adult Quick Service meal entitlements. Example, if you get the meal for 3...3 Adult Quick Service meals will be removed from the card. This could pose a problem though if you are a family of 3 and one of you is a child. I don't know how Disney will accommodate this in the future, but this also might want to be something they look into.

Overall though, whether you decide to use this new food option or seems like a great idea, despite some of the minor points that can easily be rectified, if Disney decides eventually that they should. Plus, it revolves around food...and how can anything that revolves around food be bad? :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

News & Rumors 3/30/09 - 4/5/09

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 relatively mild week this week.
  • The Electric Umbrella has opened a bit early from it's refurb. Most of the work done was done in the kitchen area.
  • Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach Club has also reopened a bit early from it's refurb.
  • Also, Port Orleans Riverside pool has reopened.
  • Characters in Flight, the new balloon at Downtown Disney is open, at least in a testing phase.
  • At the Studios, some changing has been going on with the Sunset Blvd. food options. Toluca Legs has moved to the old Fairfax Fries building and Fairfax has now been renamed to Fairfax Fare and is in the place of Toluca Legs. Also, Fairfax has a new menu serving hot dogs, salads, and subs.

Edit: 2 things I forgot!

  • The Diamond Horseshoe will be available as a table service restaurant from 5 pm - 9 pm from April 4 - April 14. Dinner options will include turkey breast, carved beef, pork loin, and mashed potatoes and will be served as an all you can eat family style meal. Dinner will be $33.99 for adults ages 10 and up and $16.99 for guests ages 3-9.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bye Bye McDonalds!

Once again, today's topic revolves around that ever popular! I swear, I'm starting to sound like another Disney podcaster! lol!!!

It appears that all the McDonald's options are now officially gone from all the parks. They are currently working on the last remaining ones, in the Refreshment Port at Epcot's World Showcase and the one in The Studios on Sunset Blvd. For some, this tends to be a big deal. (Mike's daughter Paige. What on earth will she eat now while she's at Epcot?!) For others, I don't even think they knew there were McDonald's options in the parks.

For me though, I'm kinda torn.

I don't necessarily think McDonald's belonged in the parks. There really is so much great food all around that should be tried that, really, it wasn't necessary for people to have to get a meal from a McDonald's stand. I mean, you have things like Columbia Harbor House, Sunshine Seasons, Flame Tree BBQ, and well, pretty much anything else along the Sunset Blvd. to eat at. Why take that trip to get Mickey Ds treats?

However, that being said...I have fallen victim to the McDonald's trap. There have been times where Brian and I were hungry and he smelled the fries and said, I have to have those. Then, of course, I would sneak a few of them as well. So, we have indeed fallen victim to those delicious french fries. It was like when you smelled the had to have them.

I think this is a nice change though.

Most of the changes have already happened and revolve around your standard theme park fare. Of course, we know the fry cart in Frontierland had turned into the Golden Oaks Outpost, which serves up chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches and fries. And of course looks spectacular. Then there is the newest place in the MK to open, called the Friar's Nook, which sells hot dogs and fries.

At AK, they took Petrifries and changed it to the new name of Trilobites, serving the ever popular turkey legs. (And of course, it also appears that McDonalds is being removed as the sponsor from Dinosaur as well...not that I ever went on the ride, so I wouldn't be able to tell you who the sponsor was!)

The Refreshment Port menu at Epcot is now out and revolves around chicken nuggets and fry options. Plus they are offering what they are calling a Northern Freeze, which is Disney's new version of a McFlurry. Finally Fairfax Fries is being changed over, but no menu is known yet for that location. It might be harder for them to find a good menu for that area too, as pretty much every other option is near there already. I'm sure Disney will come up with something. They always do.

So, there have been lots of changes that had to happen, but it does seem that in most cases, Disney tried to keep the food as American as possible...and in some cases serve either more food options or similar options to what had been served in those locations previously.

Now, who's hungry?