Monday, August 29, 2011

News and Rumors 8/22/11 - 8/28/11


Magic Kingdom

  • Columbia Harbor House has unveiled a new menu.  Now, guests may dine on grilled salmon with couscous and broccoli, a Lobster Roll, and a Broccoli Peppercorn Salad.  Also, now guests who choose can get steamed broccoli as a side instead of fries. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Fantasmic Refurb has been pushed back a few days, now the refurb will begin Jan. 9th.  The reopening date will remain the same, Feb. 13th.  Also, it appears that Fantasmic will be returning to it's nightly basis, after seeing the schedule all the way into March. 
  • There are new specialty hot dogs at Fairfax Fare.  They are a Macaroni & Cheese and Truffle Oil, a Barbecue Pork and Coleslaw, and a Burrito Dog with Lettuce, Tomato, Cheddar, Jalapeno, and Sour Cream

General WDW News

  • All 5 Disney Golf Courses are set to be managed by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. 
  • Soda prices have increased at the parks, $2.59 and $2.89 respectively.
  • The MobileMagic phone app is now free for all Android Phones with the roll out for iPhones coming this Fall.  
  • A test that is going on right now in the parks is that Disney is sporadically enforcing Fastpass wait times.  In the past, if your Fastpass had been expired from that day, you could still use it later in the day with no trouble.  Now it appears that Disney may be changing the policy on this.  
  • It appears that Sanaa has introduced a breakfast option for guests staying at Kidani Village.


  • Rumors are saying that the Journey to Narnia attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios is set to close Sept. 10th. 
  • It appears that Pirate Goofy is back at Pirates and Woody and Jessie have moved to the Splash exit.  
  • I've read that more work is being done to prepare for the next potential DVC resort, after the rumored Grand Floridian DVC is built....Ft. Wilderness appears to be next in line for DVC.
  • Pete's Silly Slideshow in the new Fantasyland appears to be a meet and greet area, as it was expected to be.  
  • Duffy will be a meet and greet character for MNSSHP, where he will be dressed like a pumpkin.
  • With all the new construction going around at the Magic Kingdom, here's another area that may see some work in the recent future...Cosmic Ray's is expected to get an overhaul and renovation, with the end date expected to be somewhere around Aug. 2012.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom may be testing a character meal for lunch at Tusker House potentially starting later this year.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My So Called Disney Life

So, as many of you know, I was not always a Disney fanatic.  The parks scared me as a child and I simply didn't want to go, with one notable instance that I can remember of being in my grandma and grandpa's kitchen BEGGING my parents not to take me.  PLEASE let me stay with grandma and grandpa instead.

Of course, as a kid, I did love the Disney movies though.  I wanted to be Ariel....matter fact, I sang Part of Your World in a talent show, which I have on video somewhere....and no...I'm not sharing it.  :)  But the Disney Renaissance of Movies was something that was very strong in my background growing up.   Those movies shaped my childhood.  However the Disney theme parks were another monster of their own being something just I wasn't so fond of.  

If you are wondering how my transformation of non-Disney fan to Crazy Disney Person came about, make sure to check out these blog series called "Let My Memories Begin".  (Which there will be more of those stories to come!)

Part 1
Part 2

Once I did get sucked into the Disney life changed drastically.  I started what I like to call My Disney Life, with Disney shaping my entire 20s in a way that is quite profound.

I started out as a simple Disney Parks Fanatic...and I went through phases.  At first I would try to soak up as much information as I possibly could.  I would be on message boards consistently throughout the day (seriously...I would be on message boards the entire made my parents so mad because it interfered with work...but it was like a drug...I couldn't get enough.  I was addicted to them.  It was bad.)

My visits to the parks were also very different.  Back then, I would try to accomplish anything and everything I possibly could.  This was because I never knew when my next trip down was going to be.  I would drive Brian crazy because we had to be going non-stop.

Somewhere in the middle of my Disney Life, the whole Save Disney campaign came about.  (For those who don't remember, this campaign was a time when Eisner was really loosing touch with the parks and the parks began the whole cutting things to make profits more fiasco that they still sort of employ to this day.)  Now, I was quite young still when all this my memory of the details are fuzzy.  All I can remember was noticing things that weren't being done in the parks.  This is where my first brush of cynicism with the parks started.  All the sudden my rose colored glasses slipped down a bit.  Of course, I still loved the parks, but I started seeing things from a different perspective.  It was at this stage when I started being a realist of the Disney Parks.  Knowing not everything Disney does was going to make me happy and my catchphrase at the time was "Disney is a business and they can do what they want."

This realism has stuck with me to this day, but I think somewhere in the middle I realized that I still enjoyed the parks, that they still made me happy, so I could have a good mixture of Rose Colored Glasses and Disney Cynicism in my repertoire.  I realized it's not bad to see things from both perspectives. 

That takes us to 2008, when I got a message from Mike, asking me if I wanted to help him with his podcast he was starting.  Of course, as a Disney fan, I thought...yeah that would be fun!  I'd always wanted to start a podcast after listening to Lou Mongello's, but I never could figure out a hook for one.  At first, I was thinking that I'd just be on one episode talking about one of my trips.  Little did I know Mike had other plans for me.  :)  Hence, starting with Episode 5, I became a regular on the show, along with Debbie.

So, at this point, in my Disney Life, I starting thinking, I am going to have to pay way more attention to what I do in the parks.  There are people who are going to be listening to this show that know a lot about Disney and I don't want to let them down by having a majority of them know way more than I do.  (I mean, all things considered, at this point, I was still relatively new to this whole Disney fanatic thing!  My knowledge of the parks was really only from the few trips I remembered as a kid and the few trips I had taken as a recent Disney fan.  I was well aware that I was quickly going to be considered to be a Disney expert by being on this show.  (Granted, I still know I'm no expert!)  So, I knew I had to learn my stuff.)

From that point, I started trying things I hadn't before.  I started going into attractions I never considered doing, I started visiting restaurants for the pure reason of doing "research", and I started doing things outside the parks so I could increase my knowledge base even more.  To me, that's bee one of the best things about doing this podcast.  I've been able to widen my Disney scope all in the name of research.  (Of course, the other really amazing thing is being able to meet all kinds of amazing people, who would never have been in my life if it weren't for this show.)

Also, the podcast has allowed me to go to events I would have never thought I would get to go to.  This started back in 2008 when we went down for Mousefest.  Then of course there was the Marathon in 2009, Epic October in 2010, the cruise this year, not to mention Epic October 2.0.    So really the podcast has just made me spend more money to get to the Disney parks more often!  :) 

The one thing I have to say, and I'm not trying to sound snobbish here, but it's kind of cooly weird being a female Disney podcaster.  There aren't that many of us.  I can only name a handful of us, and most of them are on our show.  I love being one of the few female podcasters in what is a predominantly male driven medium.    And I have to say I am in extraordinary company.  The other women who are on podcasts are all very amazing! 

Like I said, Disney has definitely shaped who I am, both as a child and as a young woman.  My life has something Disney in it every day.  Whether it's checking out Twitter, reading my Google Reader, podcasting, working on blog posts, etc, Disney makes a presence.  It is a comfort, with this move to Albuquerque, knowing that my life will still have a sense of normalcy in it...because my Disney Life is such a huge part of my everyday life.  It will be like I never moved at all!

I cannot wait to see where my Disney Life goes in the next chapter of my real life.  I already know I want to make the pilgrimage to Disneyland (hopefully next year) and I'm sure that I will have a kid at some point in the next 10 years of my Disney Life, so I am anxious to see how those things change my perspective on Disney once again.  And I really do hope that you will continue along in my journey! Because, you all are such an important part of My Disney Life. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

News and Rumors 815/11 - 8/21/11

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.


Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Darkroom will be closed from Aug. 29th - Sept. 1st.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Flights of Wonder will be down for a refurb from Aug. 28th - Sept 11th.

General WDW News

  • Magic Masters at Downtown Disney's Westside will be closing at the end of September.  Opening in it's place, a new store called Something Silver.
  • During Free Dining, the following restaurants will have extended hours:    
    • Ohana‘s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
              September 18 –27 Extended Breakfast 1 hour later until 12pm
    • Whispering Canyon at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
              September 18 –27 Extended Dinner 1 hour earlier at 4pm.
    • Garden Grill at Epcot
              September 18 –27 Extended Dinner 1 hour later until 9pm
    • Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
              September 18 –27
              Extended Breakfast 1 hour later until 12:30pm.
              Extended Dinner 1 hour earlier at 4pm.
    • Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
              September 20 and 27
             Open for Dinner on Tuesday nights

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Survivial Guide to Those NOT Going to D23


It's always an exciting time to be a Disney fan during D23 Expo weekend.  So much new information comes out about the parks, resorts, movies, television, and a ton of other Disney owned media.  It's also an incredible weekend to actually get to experience first hand.  The convention center is amazing, chock full of really cool exhibits and experiences.

But what about those of us who are unfortunate enough not to get to go.  How do we survive the torture of being stuck at home while others get to be there first hand for the fun?

The best advice I have is to throw yourself into the Disney Online Community and all the resources that are available to us now.

Thanks to things like Twitter and Live Video Feeds, it's almost like we're there, experiencing what those in attendance get to experience.  Of course, it's not quite the same seeing it all happening from behind a computer screen, but if you can't physically be there, this really is the next best thing.

So, without knowing 100% who's going to be doing what during this D23 weekend, here's where I'm going to start getting my Survival Guide.

First, I am excited to join The Box People and Lou Mongello at  Last time I was unable to be a Box Person because I was actually in WDW during that same weekend.  Another choice, is WDW News Today as a full force site for great info.

Also this week, I have a strong feeling that my Twitter feed is going to completely blow up.  So, for those who are interested, here's who I'm going to be following for all the great, up to the second news.  @loumongello @insidethemagic      

This is just a little snapshot of all the amazing feedback we're going to get from this week's D23 events...

So where are you going to get your news that's to come from the D23 Expo?  Make sure to share so we can let others know the best places to search and join in on the fun!

And for those of you who actually are going to the D23 Expo...have a blast!  We are all so jealous of you! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

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

For those who missed my announcement on Twitter...I am moving here in the next few weeks to Albuquerque, NM.  With that being said, blog posts may be not as regular as they normally are for a short while.  I apologize for the interruption in posting.  Hopefully, things will return to normal here by October, after I get back from my Epic October trip to the World.  Thank you all for your patience as I move on with the next chapter of my life.  (Next stop after Albuquerque...Florida!) 


Magic Kingdom
  • The Halloween decorations will begin to be installed Aug. 29th. 
  • Angelica will see her final day in the parks on Aug. 20th. 

  • The Yakatori House in the Japan Pavilion will be closed for refurb until Nov. 15th. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Tower of Terror is now a part of Disney's Photopass System.  The photo must be purchased to be added, much like it does at Space Mountain. 

General WDW News
  • Magnetron at Downtown Disney's Westside will be closing on Sept. 30th.  It will be replaced by BLINK by WetSeal.  The store will sell apparel and jeans for women, teens, and children.  
  • Also, Apricot Lane has officially opened on Pleasure Island.  
  • The new monorail color has been announced and it is Peach!  
  • The Sand Trap Bar and Grill at the Ospry Ridge Golf Club will be closed until the 21st for a brief refurb. 
  • The Grand Floridian Spa will be closed for an 18 month refurb starting Sept. 19th. 

  • Hearing rumors that Test Track may go down for an extensive refurbishment in January. 
  • A new musical stage show may be coming for the Studios.  It may be replacing an older stage show.  
  • Jake from The Neverland Pirates may be replacing the Little Einstein in October. 

Make sure to get a subscription to Touring Plans!

Monday, August 8, 2011

News and Rumors 8/1/11 - 8/7/11

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.

Wow!  What a quiet week this week!  Not much to report on, but here it is.


Magic Kingdom
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room will reopen Aug. 15th. 

General WDW News
  • The Grand Gathering Experience has been discontinued starting Jan. 28th, 2012.  These include the Good Morning Gathering, Safari Celebration Dinner, and International Dinner and IllumiNations Dessert Party.


  • The rumored next campaign for 2012 may be called One More Disney Day.  It's rumored that it may be similar to the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day campaign. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room

It has been a hard year for the Tiki Room Under New Management at the Magic Kingdom.  Because  of a fire that did decent enough damage, the Tiki Room closed early this year, which allowed for a refurb of this attraction. 

Gone are Iago and Zazu....say audios to the title Under New Management...and welcome back an old familiar classic to the parks once again. 

You see, on August 15th, the Tiki Room will reopen as Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room.  This "new", spruced up attraction will once again pay homage to Walt Disney's original vision once again.  The attraction will feature a state of the art show-control system, remastered audio, and a new versatile and energy efficient lighting system.

This development is something that excites me greatly.  For years I have missed the original version, knowing the only chance I was going to get to see it was to make the trek out to Disneyland at some point.   I remember the previous version as a of the few things that has stuck with me as a child that hated Walt Disney World.  The Enchanted Tiki Room was something that didn't scare I took a shine to it. 

A few years back I went in to see the Under New Management show (which by the way, that sign was misleading as I saw it on an earlier trip with my family in 2000 and I remember passing it up because we thought it was closed for refurb...not that it had been redone already to this new version) and I walked out thinking...well, not going back in there.  So, I didn't. 

Under New Management was always one of those attractions like Stitch to me...great in theory, bad in execution.  It just didn't gel as well as Disney had planned on it doing. 

So, I for one am very happy to see that a version similar to the original is coming back to the parks again.  Even if it did take a fire to make it so.  (Who's got the matches so we can get rid of Stitch too?  Or better yet....let's see if we can get them to change the Imagination Pavilion?!) 

This "new" attraction will be one of the first on my list I will see when I visit in October.  And you better believe, I'll be singing right along with those birdies. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

News and Rumors 7/25/11 - 7/31/11

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.


Magic Kingdom

  • The crane will be on site for the instillation of the Castle Dreamlights from Sept. 12th - 26th.  
  • The Magic, The Memories and You Castle Show is expected to run through the Holidays over the Castle Lights.  
  • Tinkerbell and her Friends are now appearing at the Magic Kingdom at the site of the Adventureland Veranda.  The new area is called Tinkerbell's Nook.


  • Edward James Olmos and Lorraine Bracco have been added to the Candlelight Processional lineup.  Edward James Olmos is scheduled to appear Dec. 4th - 6th and Lorraine Bracco is scheduled for Dec. 13th - 15th.
  • Chiquita is set to sponsor Living With The Land.
  • The dates for the 2012 Food and Wine Festival have been announced.  They are Sept. 28th - Nov. 11th.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Jennings Osborne, creator of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, has passed away.  My thoughts are with his family. 

Disney's Animal Kingdom  

  • The It's Tough To Be A Bug refurb that was scheduled for Aug. 15th - Sept. 30th has been cancelled. 

General WDW News

  • Chiquita is also set to sponsor Crush n' Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon. 


  • I've heard that at this year's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, both Gaston and Lotso may be appearing for meet and greets.