Monday, November 29, 2010

News and Rumors 11/22/10 - 11/29/10


Magic Kingdom

  • The Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party for Dec. 19th is officially sold out.
  • The refurbishment of Astro Orbiter that was supposed to take place Dec. 5th - Dec. 9th has been canceled. 
  • Information has been released on the New Year's Eve Wishes Dessert Parties.  First there will be the traditional Dessert Parties which will take place on Dec. 30th at 7:30 pm  and 10:50 pm. and 31st at 10:30 pm.  The cost will be $39.99 for Adults (10 and up) and $21.99 for children (ages 3-9).  In addition, there will be a Dinner and Dessert Party available only on Dec. 31st and 6:15 pm. which includes artisan breads, fruit, cheeses, sushi, salads, seared tuna, beef short-ribs and carved pork. Dinner is followed by a wide range of desserts.  Cost for the meal and desserts will be $155.99 for Adults and $76.99 for kids. 
  • Speaking of being in the Magic Kingdom for the New Year's Holidays, we know what fireworks spectaculars will be shown.  On Dec. 31st, Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season will take place at 8:30 pm.  In addition, at 11:50 pm, Fantasy in the Sky will be the fireworks grand finale for the evening. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • ESPN the Weekend dates are now official.  They are March 3rd - March 6th.  
  • It's official!  The new name for the new parade coming is going to be called the Pixar Pals Countdown To Fun!  This new parade is said to feature characters from A Bugs Life, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Ratatouille, Up, and Monster's Inc.  The new parade debuts Jan. 16th. 

General WDW News

  • A new section of the Mickey's Pantry store has opened, specializing in tea and spices.  The new section is called The Spice and Tea Exchange. 
  • During Kouzzina's refurb that will take place starting Nov. 29th and last through Dec. 14th, enhancements that will take place will include exterior themed signage and a new outdoor seating area, a Cat Cora merchandise area, and a functioning olive oil display. 


  • The new Tangled Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience at the Magic Kingdom has been delayed.  No additional information is known.  
  • Some additional rumors about some of the new enhancements to the new Hyperion Wharf area include five fountains that will have motion, a potential trolley line that may or may not eventually connect to Old Key West and Saratoga Springs, and a backyard BBQ themed around Orange County Choppers (which may move into the potentially vacated House Of Blues). 
News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.   

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    The Mouse-standing List: Best Holiday Meals

    It's been a while since we've done one of these and with the Holidays upon us, now is the perfect time to take a look at what meals make the best options for all the merriment and festivities. 

    All too often people wonder, just where should I eat for Thanksgiving or Christmas and it sometimes is a hard choice, because of the fact that for the most part, the Disney restaurants don't change their menu offerings to fit in with the Holiday Season. 

    Therefore, I'm going to take a look at the best options in each park that I think will help make the Holidays bright.

    Animal Kingdom

    I figured I'd start with the hardest one first.  This park already has limited options as it is, but I think if I had to choose, I would pick Tusker House.  This buffet is a great option because there are lots of choices available on the menu.  Granted, quite a few items have a tiny bit of an African flair to them, but I think there is enough on the menu that is traditional enough to make for a satisfying Holiday meal. Items here include:

    Spiced Tandoori Tofu
    Carved Beef Top Sirloin Roast and Rotisserie Pork Loin
    Horseradish, hot and sweet mustard, Au Jus
    Spiced Rubbed Rotisserie Chicken
    Cape Malay Curry Chicken
    Peri-Peri Marinated Salmon Filet
    Seafood Stew with Tamarind BBQ sauce

    Cold cuts platter: Turkey, ham, cheese
    Saffron-infused vegetables and cabbage
    Green bean, mushroom and carrot medley
    Marrakesh Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
    Vegetable Samosa
    Oven-roasted Yukon Gold Potato Wedges
    Mashed Potatoes
    Orzo Pasta
    Jollaf Rice
    Pearl Couscous laced with Sweet Basil Essence
    Basmati rice with Toasted almond slivers

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches - choice of whole wheat or white bread
    Corn dog nuggets
    Corn medley
    Chicken drumsticks
    Green beans
    Macaroni and cheese
    Mashed potatoes

    Warm Banana-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
    Assorted Pastries and Cakes
    Cookies and Brownies
    Whole Fruit


    Next I thought we'd head over to Epcot.  Now, while Epcot has a lot of great restaurant choices, it's options for a more traditional meal for the Holidays is quite narrowed down.  (I mean, nothing say Thanksgiving like Japanese food, right?!)  However, there is one restaurant that I think is perfect for this time of year and that's the Garden Grill.  While this restaurant doesn't get much praise for it's food, it most certainly is the best option if you want a festive spread.  Items include:   

    Warm Breads with Maple Butter
    Harvest-inspired Farmer's Salad
    Char-grilled Beef Strip Loin with Herb Sea Salt
    Roasted All Natural Turkey Breast with Cranberry-Orange Relish
    Sustainable Fish of the Day with a Florida Citrus Crumb
    Garden Fresh Vegetables
    Smashed Potatoes
    Turkey Dressing
    Freshly Baked Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp with Hand-Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream

    Oh...and totally random, but why doesn't the American Adventure Pavilion have something that serves up a traditional Holiday meal from America?  It would seem like a no-brainer to haver Turkey, Ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, gravy, and rolls here in a sit down restaurant format.  I think a restaurant like this would do really well in this pavilion.  However, maybe Disney hasn't done something like this here because it's too close to the meal I'm going to discuss later that can be found at the Magic Kingdom. 

    Disney's Hollywood Studios

    As for DHS, there was really only one restaurant that I thought of when I thought of the Holidays.  What better way to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving than with the family...yes...your mom, aunt, uncle, and cousins.  I'm talking about taking a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe.  Now granted, this isn't going to be a "traditional" Holiday meal, meaning you certainly aren't going to find turkey or stuffing, but what you will find is good old home-cooking, which really is what this time of year is all about!  If you're thinking about eating here, you can look forward to eating:  

    Grilled Boneless Pork Loin - glazed with peppered mushroom gravy with mashed potatoes and green beans
    Char-grilled Butcher Tender Steak - with red wine sauce, sauteed mushrooms, cheddar scalloped potatoes, and green beans
    Uncle Dana's Artichoke and Ricotta Agnolotti - Pearl Pasta with Roasted Zucchini and Crookneck Squash with spicy Tomato Broth
    Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken - served with mashed potatoes, chicken gravy and southern greens
    Cousin Barry's Olive Oil Poached Salmon - served with sweet peas, brown rice pilaf, and a dill cream sauce
    Uncle Charlie's Grilled Tuna Casserole- classic creamy casserole with egg noodles, peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery topped with grilled tuna steak and crunchy bread crumbs
    Dad's Traditional Meatloaf - a blend of beef and pork topped with tomato glaze, mashed potatoes, and green beans
    Mom's Old Fashioned Pot Roast - Slow cooked 'til fork tender, served with mashed potatoes, carrots, celery and onions

    Dad's Brownie Sundae - Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, and Caramel topping
    No Sugar Added Cheesecake - topped with fresh whipped cream and strawberry sauce
    Seasonal Cobbler
    50's Boston Cream Cupcake - White Cake filled with Pastry Cream and covered with a Chocolate Glaze
    Ice Cream Sundaes
    Magic Kingdom

    Of course, the easiest restaurant of them all to choose for the Holidays is the meal you'll get at Liberty Tree Tavern.  This one screams Thanksgiving as it is all about eating a traditional American meal.  This is one of my favorite restaurants to eat in anytime of the year because I really feel like the menu has a lot to offer.  (And by the way, that Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing on the salad is AMAZING!!!) 

    DECLARATION SALAD - Tossed Mixed Greens, served with our special Tavern Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing

    PATRIOT'S PLATTER - Roasted turkey breast, carved beef, and smoked pork loin, with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb bread stuffing, and Macaroni and Cheese.

    Rolls and gravy also included.

    DESSERTS -Fruit crisp with vanilla ice cream included. 
    Now while the resorts have a lot of options in the way of restaurants, they really don't have many that are great options for traditional Holiday meals.  However, to me, the best option here would be Chef Mickey's.  Once again, this restaurant, like Tusker House, will have a lot of choices for everyone to make each family member have their own Holiday meal, just the way they want it.  Options here include: 

    Items like Spiced-rubbed carved beef and Oven-roasted turkey will be featured
    Oven Roasted Chicken with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
    Mango BBQ Pork Ribs
    Baked Salmon Fillet with mango wasabi coulis and rice
    Orecchiette Pasta with vegetables, garlic oil, and goat cheese

    Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
    Mickey Cheese Ravioli and Marinara Sauce
    Chorizo Red Beans and white rice
    Green Beans with a mushroom cream Sauce
    Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

    Chef Mickey's Macaroni and Cheese
    Goofy's Cheese Pizza
    Chicken Breast Tenders
    Pluto's Chicken

    Rice Krispy Treats
    Peach Cobbler
    Warm Bread Pudding
    Seasonal Melon
    Fresh Fruit Display
    Of course, one thing to keep in mind with many of the restaurants that have been discussed is that Disney does like to charge a Holiday surcharge during these busy times of the year.   So often these meals will cost a premium, but if you really are looking for tradition, the extra charge may be worth it for you.  

    So that's my list for the best of the best for your Disney Holiday festivities, but I want to know what you think.  What meals would you pick if you wanted to celebrate this time of year down in WDW.  (Or, if you've already done it before, where have you eaten previously?)  

    Finally, to you all, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I am quite thankful that I have you all in my life!  Even if I've never met you yet, I can't express how blessed I truly am.  

    So, enjoy your football and your time with your family....and of course, enjoy the meal...and I'll see you all on Sunday for this week's news and rumors!   

    (PS:  Big thanks to for having all the menus available online, as that is where the menu offerings came from.) 

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    News and Rumors 11/15/10 - 11/21/10


    Magic Kingdom
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has reopened with a brand new interactive queue.  Many interactive exhibits are still to come, but some include a honey wall and a door where if you knock on it, Piglet will respond.  
    • Tomorrowland Terrace will be open Thanksgiving week (November 21 -27) from 11am- 10pm.  Food options will include Angus Burger, Pasta Primavera with Shrimp, a Lobster Roll, Beef and Bleu Cheese Salad, Cirtrus Shrimp Salad, Chicken Sandwich and Chicken Breast Nuggets.
    • In addition, El Pirata Y el Perico will be open this Thanksgiving week from 11 am - 3 pm.  
    • Finally, The Diamond Horseshoe will be open as a counter service from 11 am - 3 pm and for dinner from 5 pm - 9 pm.  (Dinner will only be served Nov. 24th - Nov. 27th.)

    • The JOYFUL! Gospel Celebration of the Season performances will be back again this year.  Performances will take place at the Fountain Stage from Nov. 26th - Dec. 26th at 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, and 4:15 pm.
    Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • The Good Times Gathering Spot has returned for this week from 10 am - 3 pm.  Guests may meet and greet characters, have storytime with Pocahontas, and a DJ will be playing music. 
    General Disney News
    • As mentioned in this week's blog post, Pleasure Island is going to be rethemed to Hyperion Wharf.  See here for more info. 
    • Disney has joined forces with location social network Gowalla.  For more info, click here.
    • Some additional rumored changes may be happening to Downtown Disney.  In the West Side, the House of Blues may leave property to an off-site location and in it's place the Harley Davidson shop would move.  Also, the Virgin Megastore area is expected to be sectioned off into smaller stores.  Finally Cirque du Soleil may be getting a whole new updated show in 2013. 

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Goodbye Pleasure Island....Hello Hyperion Wharf

    It's been over 2 years since Disney officially closed down Pleasure Island.  Two years ago, we lost the clubs and party atmosphere that completed this parcel of land.

    For two years....Pleasure Island has sat, like a shell of  it's former self...sure you could see glimpses on the outside about what this unique area was all about, but it was all a tease as you couldn't actually go inside.

    Oh...and two years ago, Disney promised us that they would reveal a "Bold New Vision."

    After what seemed to have taken forever to come up with a "vision" (I'm sure hampered greatly by the economic downturn) Disney finally announced yesterday, plans for the area that now formerly will be called Pleasure Island.

    The whole idea of Pleasure Island has officially died in exchange for a new idea called Hyperion Wharf.

    Hyperion Wharf is going to be a 120 acre complex with new dining, shopping, and entertainment mixed together to create one vibrant district.  According to The Disney Parks Blog, by day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw you in and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.

    Other aspects of this updated area will include an expanded LEGO store with a larger footprint and new LEGO models of Disney Movies and the AMC Theater will get updated with a Concession Stand of the Future and a Fork and Screen Theater, plus various other updates to the whole Downtown Disney area. 

    As a former Pleasure Island fan (and more specifically Adventurer's Club fan), I was saddened when this whole area closed down.  But I was also realistic in realizing that the area simply wasn't as grand as it once was when it first open.  The majority of the clubs were empty a lot of the time...and even when it was announced Disney was closing them for good...many weren't too disappointed, minus those of us who were Adventurer's Club fans.  (It was still a popular and entertaining place to go.  And it is still quite beloved.)

    However, if you remove the sting of the knowledge that the Island that I once loved really is going to be changing, the area does look really nice.  Of course, I'm sure that it will just mean that Disney will be outsourcing everything...which isn't one of my favorite things that they do...but it looks like it will be lively once again.  Certainly a good step in the right direction.

    And from the concept art, I will probably like the feel of the area.  It seems like it will be quite open and inviting.  It will be interesting to see what they do with Hyperion Wharf at night, since they are calling it an electric wonderland.  That sounds quite intriguing. 

    And as I've reported previously, it looks like we may know one of the tenants to the new Hyperion Wharf area.  A restaurant by the name of Mahogany Bay, a nautical themed restaurant (which fits in with the new theme of the Hyperion Wharf area quite well) is apparently slated to be included in the mix.

    Of course, Disney has been slowly making changes to the whole Downtown Disney area for the past 2 years with the additions of Little Miss Matched, T-Rex Cafe, RideMakerz, D-Street, Characters in Flight, Paradiso 37, and the newest to open Pollo Campero. So, it was plain to see that change was probably coming and coming soon for Pleasure Island.  

    The new Hyperion Wharf area is expected to open completely in 2013.  Stay tuned here for more info on what's to come to this new entertainment/shopping/dining district.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    News and Rumors 11/8/10 - 11/14/10

    Hi everyone!  Well, sorry about the delay, but been a bit under the weather.  (Ok...a lot under the weather, but I'm starting to feel human again today, so that's good.)  Not a whole heck of a lot going on this week...relatively quiet lately.  Too quiet...


    Magic Kingdom
    • Mrs. Potts Cupboard in Fantasyland will now be known as Storybook Treats.

    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • Playhouse Disney is indeed being redone during it's refurb early next year to be rebranded as Disney Junior.  A new addition will include Jake and the Never Land Pirates a new show that will premiere on Disney Junior (the TV channel) in February.
    • Phineas and Ferb have been added to the audio for the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  The are not included throughout the whole thing, just brief snippets here and there.
    General WDW News
    • Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney is now open.  The new restaurant serves Latin chicken dishes.  In addition, Babycakes NYC also opened inside serving vegan pastries.
    • The quiet pool at the Polynesian will be closed Jan. 10th and reopens on Feb. 19th.  
    • Also the Cabanas pool at Coronado Springs Resort will be closed Jan. 3rd - Jan 29th.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Review: Tangled

    Last night, I was lucky enough to get the chance to catch a preview of the movie Tangled.

    A week or so ago, I got an email letting me know that they were doing previews in our area in and if I signed up (and did it fast enough) I'd get the chance to see it.  Well, I was psyched!  So, I signed up and actually did it fast enough to get in!  (These previews go QUICK!)

    After rushing like a mad woman to get to the theater on time, I manged to make it with only minutes to spare.

    As I went in, I was surprised when they handed me 3D glasses and then I remembered, Oh yeah!  This movie is in 3D!  That was such a great surprise and quite unexpected!

    So, I know you didn't come here to see me ramble on about my experience with the process of getting to see the want to know what the movie's like...

    So, in a nutshell....

    I LOVED IT!!!

    But I bet you're going to want more than 3 little words, so here is a (more than likely) spoiler free review of the movie.  (I promise I'm not revealing things that are giving away big details of the story.  But if you don't want to know ANYTHING really from the film, then, I guess maybe you shouldn't read this...although if you don't want to know ANYTHING from the film, well, I guess you wouldn't be reading a review about the movie Tangled, now would you?) 

    If you look on IMDB, the storyline is labeled as "The long-haired Princess Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but when she falls in love with a bandit who was passing by she must venture into the outside world for the first time to find him."   Which truthfully, going into the movie is what I was thinking it would be like.  

    This actually is so not what this movie is about.  This outline is completely wrong.  To not share too much, story-wise it is more about Rapunzel following her dreams than falling all googly eyes in love.  (Of course, this is a Disney movie, so I hope I'm not sharing too much by saying that there is some romance thrown into the mix.)

    As the film goes, I really thought that it had a great story line.  Of course, for those who don't know, the underlying story is all focused towards Rapunzel.  Now, I don't know if it's just because I'm not really super familiar with the original story or because Disney did a great job of fleshing the story out, but I thought the plot was way better than I originally thought it would be.  I felt like it was more than just your average Disney Princess movie and it wasn't a movie that was overly fluffy.  It really did feel more action-adventure with a few minor princess touches underneath. 

    Part of what made this story so different from it's previous Disney predecessors was the fact that they not only told things from Rapunzel's point of view, but Flynn had large chunks that were focused solely on him. This was a nice touch and added so much to the movie.

    Also in regards to the plot, it wasn't as transparent as you necessarily thought it would be.  There were things that definitely surprised me.  While watching, I didn't really see where the story was going to take me, but I liked where it went.  

    And, get was actually funny!  Now, I was in a room filled with a good number of children, but there were quite a few jokes that the adults laughed at as well.  I know I chuckled quite a few times.  (Let's put it this way, I don't think there was one fart joke in the whole movie...which was a big plus, considering I think a lot of animated films lately have revolved around that kind of crude humor to make people laugh.)    

    As for the characters in this film, I thought the character development was great...much better than you'd expect with an animated film.  There seemed to be more behind the 3 main characters than you'd originally expect there to be.  (The main 3 are Rapunzel, Flynn, and Mother Gothel.)  

    Speaking of Mother Gothel, she is a FABULOUS villain.  She's truly evil in her ways and her evilness has multiple layers to it for sure. 

    Another thing that really stood out to me about this film is how absolutely visually stunning it truly is.  The effects are simply amazing!  I don't want to give too much away but the best scene in regards to this has to do with lanterns...and that's all I will say about that.  But you need to watch Rapunzel's hair too.  And there are some amazing water effects that happen in the movie as well.  Really, I can't say enough about the movie visually.  Disney did a knock out job with the visuals.  I'd go see the movie alone based off this!  

    Now, of course, I did see the movie in 3D and I definitely think it was worth seeing it in 3D.  I think the 3Dness enhance some of the stunning visual effects immensely.  However, I don't think it is 100% necessary to see it in 3D...though I do strongly suggest seeing it that way if you can.  

    There was one thing that I found to be a bit lacking...the songs.  This movie has some musical undertones to it, which is something that's not been highly publicized.  Maybe I can see why, because it's been a day later and there's not one song that's gotten stuck in my head from this movie.  I did enjoy the song that took place in the bar though, which was probably one of the best ones.  Nothing had the pop and pizazz of Under the Sea, Beauty and the Beast, or I Just Can't Wait To Be King.  The songs on the whole, were enjoyable, but not outstanding.  

    Something a lot of people worry about when movie trailers come out is that it will completely ruin the film for them.  I can tell you with certainty that any clips that have been shown on the internet or trailers that can be seen in theaters or on television are things that are not "crucial" to the plot line at all.  The trailers thankfully do not give too much away.  Although, unfortunately, because of this, the trailers also do a poorish job explaining what the movie is actually about...something that may hurt Disney in the long run.

    The one bonus for me was that there's more funny portions to the film than what you see in the previews too, which is a common problems with trailers as well. 

    Because I brought my husband, I did ask him what he thought.  Now, he is a man who is not the biggest Disney film guy and also, let's face it, wouldn't go to a movie like this on his own accord, but he actually really liked it and to him, it didn't feel too princess-ey at all!

    So, final call on the movie...where would I place it in the Disney Legacy.  I think it is a solidly good movie.  Definitely a step in the right direction for Disney animation.  Is it as great as the movies from the early 90s?  No...but I do think it's 100% worth seeing.  And it is for sure a movie that has something for everyone. 

    Tangled is rated PG for some mild violence and stars Mandy Moore as Rapunzel and Zachary Levi as Flynn Ryder.  The movie gets released nationwide Nov. 24th. 

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Christmas at WDW: Epcot Edition

    Jingle Bells....Jingle Bells...

    As I mentioned on last week's blog, we're taking a look at all the great festive cheer that the WDW Parks employ to help celebrate the upcoming holiday season.  Disney is one of the best places to go to get into the Holiday Spirit because they truly go all out with the merriment and festivities.  

    Last week, we took a look at what the Magic Kingdom does to celebrate...and this week, I thought we'd move on to Epcot.  

    What makes Epcot different and special to me with the holidays is that most everything that is celebrated here, has some sort of realism to it.  It's not as fanciful or whimsical as some of the other parks are...instead this park really takes the reason for the season and magnifies it for all to see.  It's not just snowflakes and Christmas Trees here (though they do have a lovely one, as each park has, which celebrates it's own park's uniqueness.)  

    First and foremost and one of the more "secret" aspects (I only say it's secret because most of your average guests wouldn't know it existed unless they walked up on it) is the Holiday Storytellers which appear around World Showcase.  Many of the countries have their own versions of what Christmas is like and how they celebrate the Holidays and at Epcot, you get to learn about what makes this holiday similar and different around the World when compared to us here in America.  It is truly amazing to see how a commonly celebrated holiday (more or less) can be so different, but also how it can bring us together as one.

    Speaking of bringing us together as of the other more "secret" aspects of Epcot's Holiday Celebrations is the Holiday Tag that is played at the end of Illuminations.  (Though I am including a link, it is definitely one of those things that needs to be seen in person to feel the magnitude of how great this tag really is.)  It is simply absolutely beautiful, there is no other explanation.  To hear all the countries come together underscored by a hauntingly beautiful track just don't get any better than that.  And the fireworks that are included are absolutely breathtaking!  It honestly sends chills up and down my body...that's how amazing this "little" tag is. 

    Finally, one of the more popular aspects of Epcot's Holiday celebrations is the Candlelight Processional.  Now for those who don't know, the Candlelight Processional is the telling of the Christmas Story by a celebrity narrator punctuated by an amazing choir.  This is definitely one of those things where if you have not stopped by to see a performance, you MUST do so on your next Holiday trip to the World.  Showtimes are 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:15 p.m.  You can see this spectacle a few ways.  

    One is to book the Candlelight Dinner Package, which you can book for either lunch or dinner, depending on what time you want to see the show (and lunch is cheaper).  Booking the dinner package will guarantee you a seat for the show, so long as you arrive at least 15 minutes before showtime at the American Gardens Theater.  You may book the dinner package by calling 1-407-WDW-DINE.  

    Another way you can see it is by standing in line.  Now, this could potentially take a while, as this is a popular event.  I suggest getting in line early and know this, you may have to wait through a show or two before you get the chance to actually get a seat in the theater.  I suggest trying to see the first show, as most people will be at dinner during the first showing, but you will still need to get in line at the very least, 45 minutes before showtime.  

    The final way you can catch a performance of the Candlelight Processional is to simply walk by.  If you don't necessarily care about "seeing" the show, you can still hear it from the American Adventure Pavilion.   Also, if you get there early enough (so super early), there is a little bit of standing room at the very back (at the fence line) where you can possibly be able to see the performance.  

    One final note...last year, we saw the discontinuation of the Lights of Winter, a trellis covered with lights that danced to music.  The Lights of Winter were located in the walkway between Future World and World Showcase.  It is truly sad that this has once again been removed from the offerings at Epcot.  While it was a relatively small thing that Disney put up each year, it was quite significant to many who celebrated the Holidays at the Disney parks each year.   It is a shame that Disney could not figure out a way to bring it back once again.  I had hoped that due to the huge outcry that happened last year that Disney would realize the error of their ways and find a way to bring it back in some form or fashion.  

    The holidays at Epcot are truly spectacular.  They show real world aspects of the holiday season, which is wonderful to get to see, especially being someone here in the Midwest who doesn't get to see a whole lot of culture differences surrounding the Holidays.  So, as the Illuminations Holiday Tag says...peace on earth and goodwill towards men...

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    News and Rumors 11/1/10 - 11/7/10

    Hi everyone!!!  Hope you've had a great week and are ready for a stellar work week!  Myself, I'm excited because I'm going to get to preview Tangled this Thursday!  Expect a report on what I think about the movie soonish!  (I promise, no spoilers!)


    Magic Kingdom
    • The Liberty Belle will get a refurb from Jan. 9th - Feb. 4th
    • The new Tangled makeover should be coming to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique soon and it is said to include Golden, flowing Rapunzel locks (wig), Shimmering makeup, Face gem, Princess bag and Princess sash. Price, including tax will be $52.14.  This makeover opportunity is said to only last until Dec. 31st.  Also Disney will be discontinuing the Hannah Montana Secret Star Package on May 1st, 2011.

    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • While One Man's Dream has reopened, it's not fully complete yet.  Some new items will be coming later this fall (around December) as part of The Legacy Continues...which is slated to focus on Walt Disney Company achievements from the 1970s to today.
      Playhouse Disney Live On Stage will go down for refurb from Jan 30 - March 5th.  Rumors indicate it may be a change over to be rebranded as Disney Junior).  Speculation also is saying that Agent Oso may be introduced into the plot.
    • The Backlot Tour will be seeing a refurbishment from Jan. 3rd - Jan. 29th. 
    • Also going down for refurb, with the same dates (Jan. 3rd - Jan. 29th) will be the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Adventure Zone.
    Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • Evening Extra Magic Hours are not being seen here beyond Feb. 23rd.  Hours have been posted until May 2011 as of right now. 
    General WDW News
    • The Festival of the Masters runs this week at Downtown Disney.  The event takes place Nov. 12th - 14th and show hours are Friday & Saturday 9:30am – 5:30pm and Sunday 9:30am – 5:30pm

    • Once again, rumors are going around that there will be a new DVC resort themed to California in WDW.  (I personally don't know if I believe the validity of it though...guess we'll see...rumors say we'll see it in 2012.)  
    • A new Samantha Brown Disney special is expected to air Feb. 12.  It's going to be called Disney Memories. 
    • The Ratatouille float as well as a few other ones may very well be on their way over from DCA for the new Pixar Parade at DHS.
    • Rumors are swirling that Splash Mountain may also be in line to get a Next Gen Queue when it goes down for it's refurbishment in January.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Christmas at WDW: Magic Kingdom Edition

    I cannot believe that the Holidays are already almost here!  It feels like it should be MONTHS off, but we are...back at mistletoe, presents, and feasts that can feed an army.  With that being said, I thought I'd take a look at the Holiday festivities that happen at each park for the next few weeks. 

    For many, the Holiday season is their favorite at WDW and I can most definitely see why.  Nothing gets me in the spirit quicker than seeing all the fun festivities the Mouse House has up their sleeves for park guests to enjoy.

    Today, we're going to take a look at the frivolity that happens at the Magic Kingdom...a park so rich in Holiday'll feel like it's Christmas morning each time you step foot in the park.

    The major event that happens at the Magic Kingdom is Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a special hard ticketed event that happens on select nights.  The two major draws for this Party are the Christmas parade that is shown each night and the firework extravaganza that takes place. 

    First off, we have the parade, called Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.  Now, unfortunately the song underscoring the parade isn't as catchy as the Boo To You music, but it is lovely in it's own way and extremely festive feeling.  Here is a good preview of what the parade actually looks like. 

    My favorite float has to be the Chip and Dale one.  Maybe it's just because I have a soft side for those two and the fact that I love that they've made snow-munks!  I also really love the use of the soldiers and the reindeer who remind me of being a kid and watching the Christmas Day Parade each year.

    Personally though, I don't feel this parade has as much pizazz as the Halloween Party one does. For me, it falls a little flat (though to be honest, I'm not much of a parade person to begin with.)  Don't get me's a lovely just doesn't do a whole lot for me.

    The parade takes place at 8:15 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.  Keep in mind, the second parade is often less crowded than the first.

    The other really big thing that happens each night at MVMCP is the fireworks show Holiday Wishes--Celebrate the Season.  One of the coolest aspects of this show is it uses perimeter fireworks, which means they fireworks surround you!  It is truly spectacular to see in person!

    This show is narrated by Jimminy Cricket and it's really quite beautiful but it's also got just the right amount of whimsy mixed in too.  The fireworks spectacular starts at 9:30 p.m.

    Also at the parties, a few more festivities occur, such as the distribution of Holiday Treats (cookies and hot chocolate) and a few dance parties.  Oh and of course, most of the rides are open too! 

    Of course, the thing that I love the most that Disney does around the Holidays at the Magic Kingdom is actually something that's relatively new.  Disney added the Castle Dream Lights just a few short years ago and the only word I can use to describe them is breathtaking.  Photos honestly cannot do this justice.  It really has to be seen in person to understand.  There is also a special Castle Lighting ceremony which takes place nightly where Cinderella's Fairy Godmother works her magic to get those lights to sparkle! 

    And of course, my final favorite thing is all the decorations that go up on Main Street.  Really, the place turns into such a magical land this time of year.  Garland hanging from roof to roof, Santa Claus can often be found here, and a HUGE Christmas tree parked right there on Main Street. Plus, the Toy Soldiers make their appearance known here as well.

    Here is a look at just a tiny portion of the decor that can be found on Main Street.

    As you can see, the Magic Kingdom offers the whimsy and the fun of Christmas.

    What is your favorite aspect of the Magic Kingdom during the Holidays?  Make sure to let me know in the comments!

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    News and Rumors 10/25/10 - 10/31/10

    Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a fabulous Halloween!  It's been a slow week around these parts in regards to Disney...that's for sure! 


    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • C3PO is going to be the pilot of the Starspeeder 1000 in Star Wars:  The Adventures Continue.
    Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade will not be performed from Nov. 7th -13th due to a relocation of the Cotton Top Tamarins to a new habitat by the Tree of Life.  When it resumes, the parade will have turned into the Mickey's Jammin Jingle Parade.

    General WDW News
    • Disney has announced a new offer for those that serve or have served us in the Military.  From now through Sept. 28, 2011, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:

      · Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $138 each, plus tax
      · Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Parks Fun and More Option for $138 each, plus tax AND
      · Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More Options for $165 each, plus tax 
    • Typhoon Lagoon is now closed for it's yearly refurbishment.    
    News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.