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! :)