Monday, February 28, 2011

News and Rumors 2/21/11 - 2/27/11

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


Magic Kingdom

  • The Haunted Mansion has been seeing it's fair share of work lately.  First with the Next Gen Queue coming (some hints of what's to happen from peeks that have been seen through the walls include the Sea Captain and the Organ Player getting significant grave sites.)  Another change is on it's way and that appears to be in the end of the attraction.  The ghosts are currently no longer hitching a ride with you in your car (meaning, they currently are not sitting with you as they always have been.)  However, word is this not final and instead is just a temporary fix.  So, don't freak should not stay this way.  
  • More changes at the MK are being seen as a permit was filed for removal of the Skyway. is unclear as to where exactly the work is specifically going on.  The permit's address that was filed was not for the Skyway Station in Fantasyland, though rumors have been floating around that that particular station's days are numbered as Disney may be looking to expand the pathway in that area in preparation for the crowds that are expected when the New Fantasyland opens up.  (Also, it's being rumored that Disney wants to add a Next Gen Queue for Peter Pan and that is bit hard to do currently.)  The permit could be for an area near where the Dueling Dumbos are going to be sitting, with many thinking that there may be a significant concrete work under the ground that will need to be removed from the Skyway's turn that was in that area.  (This to me, is the most likely option as of right now, since this is an area that's currently being worked on.) 
  • When guests go to meet Mickey in the Town Square Theater starting in the Spring, they will have the option to obtain a FASTPASS to meet him.  It will work just like FASTPASS does for attractions.  When you pick one up, you'll be designated a one hour return window for later in your park day.   But guests will still be able to stand in the standby line...and will be entertained by a brand new NextGen Queue. 


  • The Flower and Garden Festival begins March 2nd.
  • The Leave a Legacy design that was on Spaceship Earth is now a thing of the past. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • According to pins that are to be released with the new Star Tours attraction, we may have an idea of some of the destinations that we may be visiting and also what may be happening in those locations.  To find out more, check out for the details.
  • ESPN The Weekend takes place this weekend, March 4th - 6th. 
  • The Toy Story Meet and Greet has extended it's hours.  The meet and greet will last from 9:30 am til park closing with a break for the Pixar Pals Countdown To Fun Parade (from 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm.)
  • Guests who are fans of the Fried Chicken, the Meatloaf, and the Pot Roast at 50s Prime Time Cafe no longer have to choose between one of the 3 for their meal.  Now...they have the opportunity to eat all 3 in a brand new tasting plate. 

General WDW Resort
  • The Yacht and Beach Club's boat dock refurb has been extended to March 24th.

  • A Cars 2 meet and greet should be taking place at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  
  • It's being said that the Hollywood Studios parking lot is going to be reconfigured and the entrance near the Boardwalk may be closed.  
  • When the Princess take their place in the Town Square Theater they will also have FASTPASS.  In addition, a new gift shop will be available when you exit. 
  • A rumor that something major could be taking place on Tom Sawyer Island. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meeting the Mouse: FASTPASS edition

On the heels of the announcement that Disney made last week where they may allow people the ability to get FASTPASSes from home, today Disney announced another first for the FASTPASS system.

The ability to get a FASTPASS to meet Mickey Mouse.

For those who may have missed it today, when Mickey's meet and greet area opens on Main Street USA in the Town Square Theater, located inside the Main Street Exposition Hall, they will have the standard option of waiting in the standby line (which will be enhanced with an interactive queue) OR they will have the option to pick up a FASTPASS and come back at a designated time, just like the do for attractions in the park.


While most people pretty much outright hated the FASTPASS from home idea...this one is getting a lot more mixed reaction...and a tad more in the positive swing of things. 

My own reaction...I actually like it.

Personally, I'm someone who doesn't really do characters.  I don't want to wait in a long line for them and will only visit with a character if the wait is short or if they come visit me during a character meal.  (I know a lot of people who are like me in regards to meeting characters.)

Being able to simply FASTPASS a time to come back would make things a whole lot simpler for me.  Minimal wait and I get to meet who I want.  It's win-win.  

Also, I can't help but think about those with small children. Before, when little ones would get in line to meet The Big Cheese...the wait would be less then conducive for a small one's attention span.  (My attention span isn't that great either...I'm just saying.)  If these guests wanted to meet Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, they would often be forced to wait in hour plus lines.  I've been in line with those toddlers before...and I think we can all agree that after experiencing that, you can't argue that a FASTPASS system here wouldn't be beneficial! 

But I must stress, that there will be other opportunities to meet Mickey at other parks.  This measure (for now...unless this deems itself uber popular) just helps with the wait times at the MK, which is the most popular spot to meet Mickey.  So if you don't want to partake in this FASTPASS process, and you don't want it to interfere with your opportunity to meet Mickey, it doesn't have to!  Just visit the Main Mouse at one of the other 3 parks! 

Although, of course guests will still have the opportunity to meet Mickey, if they want, in a standby line here too.  And to be honestly, I really appreciate the fact that they are going to make it a more enjoyable experience.  Waiting in line for characters can be EXCRUCIATING!  Before it was so boring knowing there wasn't a lot to look at...unless you played a game or brought your phone.  ( could talk...but who wants to do that...right?!  lol!)  Those lines can be a long time with minimal stuff to look at and keep you occupied, so I am all for what they are going to add to make this queue more interactive...I just hope it's interactive for the parents too...not aimed only at the kiddos!

One common problem I've seen people complain about is that it's a meet and greet, not a ride.  It doesn't have a particular "time length".  What if Mickey is meeting with some guests for a really long time?  Won't that throw things off?  To that I say that not every guest spends a super long time with the characters.  Me, I'm just there for the picture...nothing else fancy.  So, for every guest who wants to spend a good chunk of time with the characters, there's someone like me who doesn't care to do so.  So I'm sure Disney will calculate the average amount of time Mickey spends per guest and use that as an estimate to determine the FASTPASS return times. 

I do want to stress something.  More of a warning than anything else.  I see this meet and greet rapidly becoming like the one for Toy Story Midway Mania, once the word gets out.  Which means that if you want to meet Mickey with this FASTPASS option, you will HAVE to get a FASTPASS for this early in the morning, otherwise they will all be gone by late morning/early afternoon.  I see this happening 1) because it's for Mickey...and's Mickey and 2) because it will be right in the front of the park.  Everyone is going to walk by this on their way in...and they are all gonna quickly make a beeline because of that.

I am anxious to see how this all pans out in the future.  This meet and greet set up to meet Mickey starting this Spring really intrigues me.  I am anxious to see how everything works.  

With all this FASTPASS excitement going on lately, what's your take?  Will you opt to meet Mickey in the FASTPASS line or do you think the system will hinder the meet and greet process?  Make sure to let me know in the comments section.

Monday, February 21, 2011

News and Rumors 2/14/11 - 2/20/11

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


Magic Kingdom
  • Ever since the closing of Toontown, Mickey has been a busy mouse, holding meet and greets all around the park! As kind of a reminder/overview, guests can find the Big Cheese in a few locations, including Tomorrowland, with Minnie, right next to Space Mountain, just to the left of the restrooms in the Tomorrowland Patio.  In Liberty Square, Mickey is doing meet and greets inside the Hall of Presidents. Finally, in Frontierland Mickey and Minnie can be found near the restrooms at Splash Mountain. With three locations, guests now have the chance to meet Mickey and Minnie in three different costumes.  (Which is something I really like and wish it would continue, though I know it won’t.)
  • The Town Square Exposition Hall appears to have been renamed as the Town Square Theater.  This location is where Mickey and Minnie and the Princesses will be doing their meet and greets later this year.
  • As a note, the official Grad Nights will be April 29th and 30th and May 6th and 7th.   

  • On Wednesday, guests who visit Innoventions West could meet Bill Nye, The Science Guy, as he talks about Engineering for National Engineering Week.  He will be appearing in the flex space at 11 am, noon, 1 pm, and 2 pm.  

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Work is continuing on a meet and greet area being worked on that is located near the Hat. 
  • Disney Junior: Live on Stage will be opening earlier than originally announced.  It is expected to open on March 4th. 

General WDW Resort
  • For those who missed my previous blog post, Disney came out with some information on their NextGen Project.  Make sure to read the previous post for more details. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Disney and the NextGen Project

On Thursday, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chair Tom Staggs gave a speech to an investors conference.  In the speech, there was a little more information about what the current and upcoming NextGen Project is going to entail. 

(For those who are unaware, the Next Gen Project is a more or less "secret" project that Disney has been pouring money into, with a budget of around 1 billion dollars, which is supposed to up the game of the theme park experience.  The project seems to consist of technological advances that are going to be put in place in the parks to ensure that guests satisfaction remains at a high rate.  Currently, we are seeing the beginning stages of this project now with the Next Gen Queues that have been popping up, such as Space Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, and the upcoming Haunted Mansion queues.  To read the details of the speech, please check out this article from the Orlando Sentinel.  If you want to read the actual Investors Conference Speech given by Tom Staggs, click here.) 

This project as a whole intrigues me.  I think it's very interesting to watch and see how Disney takes the theme park experience up to an even greater level than it already is.

Things that were mentioned as options at Thursday's events were things like the ability to reserve FastPass times before a vacation even starts, being able to obtain room keys in advance of a vacation, personalization on attractions and with characters in the parks, even more interactive queues, and behind the scenes systems that help Disney enhance the guest experience by increasing things like operations and dealing with crowd control.

There are a few things that I want to take a deeper look into now, in discussing this NextGen Project.  I'm sure this won't be the last time I look deeper at things this project will entail.

The first thing is something that I didn't originally know would be a part of this venture, but it's something I really like. I really like the ability to be able to leave home with your room key in hand, all you have to do is show up and you'll be able to access your room immediately as soon as you arrive down there.  That way when you arrive at your resort, you won't have to worry about the hassle of dealing with the check in process, you'll just go right to your room and get rid of anything you won't be needing, then hit up the parks immediately!  (Although, I hope that the person that was in your room previously really has left...meaning they haven't requested late checkout or needed to stick around for another day or something...that could be embarrassing!  I'm sure Disney will make sure those types of kinks are worked out before implementing this system.) 

This seems like a no brainer idea.  I'm honestly almost surprised they don't already have it implemented.

I also really like the idea of Disney being able to do personalization for each guests.  Rumors have indicated, but Disney has not yet confirmed, that in the future, rides may say your name and or Happy Birthday due to information that Disney has collected about your trip beforehand, which I think is interesting, as long as it's not done TOO frequently, as it may quickly become annoying.  (I mean, if every ride wished you a Happy Birthday, yeah...that be neat, but I'd think after like the 5th ride, you'd get tired of it just a bit.)

The thing that I'm anxiously awaiting though, and I can only assume would be a part of this whole NextGen project and in particular, this specific facet of it, would be the characters who can actually TALK with you!  This was something that we saw last year with Mickey Mouse who held a conversation with a family at a meet and greet.  (If you haven't seen it yet, you need to!  Click here!)  While some were a little freaked out by it, I think it's fabulous!  I am one who feels a little uncomfortable meeting Disney characters, but I think being able to talk with them would definitely help with that. 

The other thing that I want to take a look at though is something that concerns me greatly.  This is something that I've heard through the rumor mill was potentially coming, but I didn't want to believe and that was being able to FastPass your vacation before you actually get on your vacation.

To quote Tom Staggs, "a version of Fast Pass for an entire Disney vacation." where future guests, he said, "Guests will be able to reserve times for their favorite attractions and character interactions… secure seats at our shows and spectaculars…make dining reservations… and pre-book many other favorite guest experiences – all before even leaving their house.."

This is something that bothers me a lot.  I am one who now, at this point in the game, isn't a BIG planner.  I rarely make ADRs at 180 Days in advance (which, personally, I think is a ridiculous window for that anyway...WAY too early.  I loved it when it was 90 days.  Much more manageable.)  So, I'm one who doesn't feel the need to have every moment planned out for myself.

With a FastPass System like this potentially being introduced...I feel as if some of my freedom is going to be taken away and that if I DON'T partake, then I will not have as enjoyable of a vacation because everyone else, all those uber planners, are going to make it so.  This makes me very sad.

Now I understand that part of the things mentioned are things that are currently happening, like making dining reservations beforehand and pre-booking other experiences.  Those are things that I think should be done beforehand, in a reasonably timely manner, not in an excessive manner.  But planning out which attractions you want FastPasses for during your ENTIRE vacation, that seems a bit excessive to me.   

I want to have a spontaneous vacation...I feel as if that may be taken away from me.  My biggest fear is that I'm going to have to become a slave to a schedule to have a successful vacation.  I deal enough with schedules at home, I don't need one when I'm trying to relax! 

I do have to keep in mind that it's hard to judge (and I definitely know I shouldn't be judging this in finality) this right now, seeing as how it's just in the planning stages, so, I'm still trying to keep an open mind about the whole thing.  Once all is said and done, who knows, maybe it will surprise me and not be as constricting as I think it has the potential to do. 

The NextGen Project as a whole though sounds like it has a lot of potential.  It sounds exciting and it really does seem like Disney is trying to keep on the cutting edge of things.  I really am anxious to see where all this goes in the future, even if it is still a long way off for the majority of it.

What do you think about the NextGen Project?  Make sure to let me know in the comments section!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Driving VS Flying: The Ultimate Showdown

As many of you know, I am an airplane kind of gal.  To me, flying is a vacation.  Just going to the airport puts me instantly in relaxed mode.  Heck, I get super excited when I just pass by our airport, so you can see, I'm a little crazy about the whole flying experience. 

However, I've been doing some research for the BOGP Cruise in June...and guess what?  Flying...well that may be an option that just isn't so feasible. 

Looking at pricing right now across the board, even with my favorite airline, Southwest, flights are just ridiculously high!  What normally costs me around $400 round trip is coming in around $1000!  That's well over double what I'm used to paying!!! 

Now I know that part of the issue is that we'll be traveling in the summer to a very popular vacation spot, but geez!  That kind of jump is just a tad ridiculous! 

And here's the thing...I even have about a hundred dollars as a credit that I can use with Southwest.  But even with the credit, I can't see spending that kind of money on plane tickets, for only two people!  Not when it's usually so much more reasonable for us to travel by plane. 

Now, the saving grace, I guess you could say, and the thing that I'm hoping is the reasoning behind the higher prices, is that my flight window isn't in the "sale fare" price window for Southwest yet.  So, maybe, just maybe, there's still hope for us in this whole deal. 

So, with all this being said, I must look into something that I don't really want to do...but at this point in the game, is something I must look at with some sense of seriousness...

That is that there's a very real possibility that I may end up driving to Florida. 

This is no walk in the park.  It's 16 hours just to drive down, one way!  Now, I'm sure we will look into breaking this up or leaving very early in the morning to make the drive a little more bearable, but still...that's a long trip.  I know, I've done it before...and while I never swore I'd never do it's not necessarily something that I would be looking forward to repeating. 

The one plus to driving down is that we would have had to rented a car if we had flown in, because we are staying offsite for this trip. 

But here's the deal...we still will probably rent a car...just here in St. Louis.  Reason being is that my car doesn't get great gas, we'd spend more on gas taking my car than we would just renting one.  So, it's all kind of a wash, since we would have ended up renting one anyway.  Plus, with the great discount codes you can find on Mousesavers and The Mouse For Less Travel, I'm not as concerned about this costing me a whole lot.  (It'll still be a LOT cheaper than a plane ticket currently!) 

So...this is where you all come in.  What do you think?  What would you do in this situation?  Let me know in the comments section! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Disney Contest

I am just full of contests today!  (I think I want to go to WDW...and the only way I'll do that right now is if I win it!  lol!) 

I found this one too you may be interested in!  I'm entering this one too!  But if you's the have to bring me...I mean, I did tell you about it!  :) 

Let the Memories Begin with the Disney Parks Memories Sweepstakes
Enter the Disney Parks Memories Sweepstakes for a chance to win a 4-person family vacation to a Disney Resort each week in February 2011!

Guests can enter either online or via mobile once a day for the chance to win:
·         Current week: 5-days, 4-nights at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
·         Week 4: 7-days, 6-nights at any Disney Resort worldwide

Guests can also go to the sweepstakes site each day to download the Daily Digital Download, featuring exclusives such as Disney-themed picture frames, wallpapers and more.

The sweepstakes runs from now until Feb. 28, 2011.

For rules, please see: Official Rules

Snapfish and Disney Promotion

Who doesn't love the opportuntity to possibly win a Disney Trip?  I certainly sign up for every one I come in contact and I'm sure you do too!!!

With that being said, I have one you may not have seen yet!

Here’s Your Chance to Create Priceless Disney Memories
Snapfish wants you to make magical Disney memories on a 5-day/4-night Disney Parks vacation to either Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida or Disneyland® Resort in California. If you win, you'll also receive a $200 Snapfish gift certificate so you can turn your Disney experiences into shareable keepsakes. Enter here for your chance to win!

Make Your Own Disney Memory Calendar
You can also create a year full of Disney memories on your own 12 month 12 x 12 wall calendar – and the first 100,000 individuals who enter the sweepstakes will receive a redemption code to receive one free from Snapfish (taxes, shipping and handling not included; calendar must be redeemed by 2/28/11).

So, not only can you potentially win a free trip to WDW, but you also have the potential to get a free calendar too!!!  Awesome! 

News and Rumors 2/7/11 - 2/13/11


Magic Kingdom
  • For those unaware, there is a lengthy refurb going on on the backside of Cinderella Castle.  Scrims are in place and will be until May 16th.
  • The Liberty Belle will be down for another refurb starting May 5th and potentially ending May 20th.  (It is expected it will be closed as work is being completed on the Haunted Mansion next gen queue.)

  • There is a new sponsor for the International Flower and Garden Festival!  HGTV is going to be sponsoring the event for the first time ever.  Hosts from various different shows are going to appear and hold presentations.  The celebrity line up includes:  

    Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve (March 4-6)
    The Art of Sculpting Space

    Lisa LaPorta, Designed to Sell (March 11 - 13)
    Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms

    Kim Myles, Myles of Style (March 18 - 20)
    The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space

    Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Happens, (March 25-27)
    Mobile Gardens

    Taniya Nayak, Designed to Sell and Destination Design (April 1-3)
    Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

    Ahmed Hassan, Yard Crashers (April 8-10)
    Life, Love and Landscaping

    Patti Moreno, Garden Girl, (April 15-17)
    Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects

    Michele Beschen, B. Original (April 22-24)
    When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative

    John Gidding, Curb Appeal: The Block (April 29-30, May 1)
    The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction

    Frank Fontana, Design on a Dime (May 6-8)
    Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low-Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside

    Vern Yip, HGTV Design Star (May 13-15)
    Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible 
  • There have been changes made to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and after party.  First is during the After Party, all attractions will remain open, instead of just World Showcase.  (Which makes me much are ticket prices gonna jump up for this now?!)  In a change to the end of the race, the finish line will now be just outside the main entrance of Epcot.  Wine and Dine weekend is scheduled for Sept. 30th - Oct. 2nd. 
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Finally...after all this time, Phineas & Ferb are going to have their very own play and greet.  It is expected to begin in mid-May and it will take place near the Muppet Vision 3D exit.
  • A big chunk of information came out about who would be joining the cast of the new Star Tours II attraction.  Guests will be able to see Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Boba Fett, Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia and Chewbacca.

General WDW Resort

  • The Wilderness Swimmin Pool at Ft. Wilderness will be down for refurb from March 14th - April 22nd.
  • The boat dock at the Yacht and Beach Club is closed for refurbishment until March 10th.  During this time bus transportation will be available for guests traveling to Disney's Hollywood Studios and for guests wanting to travel to Epcot, they must walk. 

  • It appears that County Bounty in what is formerly known as Toontown will eventually be called Big Top Souvenirs and may feature the Three Little Pigs.  Also, there may be something called Pete's Silly Sideshow, featuring Pete.  This is all speculation based off the posters they had on display for the Cast Member farewell party. 
  • Rumors are still floating around about the reopening of the Tiki Room.  I'm hearing once again that things may have been pushed back.  Instead of opening at the end of March, we may be back to it being reopened the 1st of June.
News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Goodbye to Mickey's Toontown Fair!

    Eviction Notice:  One Happy Go Lucky Mouse and his Sweet Girlfriend, who lives next door.  Also, a Cantankerous Duck with a boat must leave the area too.  Oh and a Dog (?) who has a penchant for being a little batty.  Well, he doesn't have to leave, but he will need to find a temporary home for a while.  Plus any other Toon friends who may have visited the area of Mickey's Toontown Fair that were currently inhabiting any buildings that could be found here.

    For those who don't know, beginning on Saturday, Mickey's Toontown Fair will officially close for good.  This land was one that was supposed to be temporary, years ago, when it was introduced as Mickey's Birthdayland.  (Which, by the way, is one of the areas I actually do remember as a kid.  I have a video somewhere around here that I can't find, but wish I could, that featured the show that was staged here.) 

    I wish I could say I was sad to see this area go.  I really do.  Unfortunately, I just can't.

    I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that it didn't really appeal to my family's demographic, being just a married couple, especially a married couple who don't really do meet and greets.  There just wasn't a whole lot of reason to visit Toontown Fair for me in the past 10 years.  (Unless I was going back there to get candy during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!)

    I also think one of the reasons I didn't love Mickey's Toontown Fair was that it really did have a temporary feel to me in the way it was built.  Especially given that there were never any quality rides built back there.  (Unlike Disneyland's version, which has a great attraction in Roger Rabbit.)  It felt like a land that was just back there, existing because they didn't know what else to do with it yet.  They'd already built it, so why tear it down, when there was no plans for the area around it?

    So, I'm glad they are taking this land and making it something different. And I want to be clear.  I don't have a problem with this land because it centered around the kiddos.  Matter of fact, I anxiously await the changes coming to this area with the new Fantasyland.  The area will still be a "kid friendly" area with Dumbo being moved here and Goofy's Barnstormer being changed over to The Great Goofini, but it appears it will be more fleshed out and it will definitely feel less temporary with an actual attraction finding it's way back there.  I think it will feel more real...if that makes any sense.

    However, just because I am glad to be loosing Toontown Fair, doesn't mean I don't see why others would be upset.  Yes, this was a place where kids could meet and greet their favorite characters.  But to that, I say, they still will be able to, just not all in one place like they could before.

    Mickey and Minnie will eventually be moving to Main Street (a better area, in my opinion for them the front of the park, instead of tucked away in the back) welcoming guests to their park.  And the princesses will eventually be moved to Fantasyland in the Princess Fairytale Hall.  Although temporarily they will be able to be found in different locations all around the park.  (Make sure to pick up a times guide to find out where to meet your favorite ones!)  Tink and her Fairy friends will still be meeting guests, but instead of being found in the Magic Kingdom, they will be moving over to Epcot.  So, it's not like with the removal of Toontown you won't be able to find the characters you or your kids are dying to meet.  You aren't loosing anything there.

    As for the other main reason people give for being sad that Toontown will be gone, well, now that one, I can understand...and truthfully, am a little sad about as well.  Unfortunately, guests will no longer be able to tour Mickey and Minnie's Homes and Donald's Boat.  Yes, Mickey and Minnie's Homes were neat.  It was cool to see how the Main Mouse and His Main Gal lived.  Plus, there were lots of hidden gems for guests to find here.  So, even I will admit, it is sad to see a bit of history in this form go.

    And it will be sad to see Donald's Boat go too, although, from what I'm hearing, there may be a water play area included in the new plans, so for the kids who loved Donald's Boat simply because it was a water playground, you may not have to worry too much. 

    The thing that I think I will miss the most though are all the sight gags that the Imagineers included all around Toontown.  To me, that's the biggest loss about losing this area.  There were so many things that were cute and funny, if you really looked.  (Like the Mickey Head pumpkins and the Daisies in the shape of Daisy's head.)  I know I can't be the only one who laments the loss of these great Imagineering puns.   

    So, Good Bye Mickey's Toontown Fair.  While it is sad to see you officially close, you will be doing so to make way for an expansion that is well needed.  An expansion that from the looks of things, will be amazing.  You most certainly will be missed. (I just won't necessarily be one who misses you all that much.)

    What are your favorite memories of Mickey's Toontown Fair...Or even Mickey's Birthdayland or Mickey's Starland?  Make sure to leave a message in the comments section.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    News and Rumors 1/31/11 - 2/6/11


    Magic Kingdom

    • Mickey's Toontown Fair officially closes on Friday.  
    • As a reminder, Mickey and Minnie will be able to meet guests in Tomorrowland near Space Mountain.  Also, the Princesses will be moving to the Adventureland Veranda.
    • El Pirata Y El Perico...that's the last time I will officially get to say it, because the name has now changed.  The restaurant has been seeing a little refurb and has now been named Tortuga Tavern.  The menu will remain the same, but there will new decor and theming.
    • The Superbowl Motercade will take place on Monday at 2:15, featuring Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.  
    • Looks like Rumors may be true.  The Enchanted Tiki Room--Under New Management will reopen on March 27th.  

    • The Fairies will be making their new home here starting Feb. 12th.  Guests can meet Tink and her friends in her new Pixie Hollow area near Mouse Gear in Future World. 
    • The Yong Feng Shangdian shop in the China Pavilion has closed for a lengthy refurbishment.  The store will be closed through April 1st.

    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • Star Wars Weekend dates have been announced.  The event will begin the weekend of May 20th and will also take place during the weekends of May 27 - 29, June 3 - 5 and June 10 - 12.  A few celebrities have been confirmed.  First is Anthony Daniels who will be there for the first 2 weekends and Ashley Eckstein who will be back once again as the host of the event for all four weekends. 

    Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • Expedition Everest will be celebrating it's 5th birthday with a special party for Passholders on Saturday March 5th.  AP holders who want to attend the special after hours party must sign up.  The event will last from 6 pm - 9 pm and registration opens Feb. 18th.


    • Angelica (the character Penelope Cruz is playing) will be doing meet and greets with Captain Jack Sparrow in the Summer 
    • Angel (Experiment 624) from Lilo and Stitch: The Series could be coming to the AK for a meet and greet opportunity with Stitch, replacing Lilo there.

      Thursday, February 3, 2011

      Disney Refurbs...Friend or Foe?

      Alright, picture it.

      You've been planning for a Disney vacation for months...years, even.

      You've been carefully picking the perfect hotel for your family, figuring out which Advanced Dining Reservations you should book for which days that would maximize your family's enjoyment, you've been agonizing over which parks you should visit on which days, and you've been pouring over as much research as you possibly can to help make sure that your family has the best vacation that you possibly can.

      It's all set and it all looks so perfect.  Until that fateful day....

      It's a day that always seems to come, but you never expect it to...

      The day that Disney announces that a beloved attraction that your family enjoys and has their heart set on riding ends up being closed for a refurbishment during your trip.

      Oh no!!!  This sucks!  Why does this have to happen on my vacation?!  I've paid all this money and now the vacation is ruined!  (Ok, this last one may be a little over dramatic, but trust me...I've seen it be said before.) 

      Yep.  I've been there.  I've felt that bitter disappointment of knowing that one of my favorites will be closed.  Over the many years I've been a Disney fanatic, it's been very rare that absolutely everything that's on my "must do" list is open during my trips.

      When I first started taking trips, I was one who got pretty upset that my vacation would be impacted negatively.  I hated the fact that I couldn't ride everything I wanted to.  It was the worst feeling.  (Looking back, I now think, how selfish of me!)

      Even now, I still get a little sad when I find out something I wanted to ride on my upcoming vacation will be unavailable to me.

      For example, this last trip, I was bummed to find out It's a Small World was closed for refurb while they rerouted the entrance and exit.  As corny as the attraction is to me, it is a Disney classic and a trip to the parks isn't usually complete without a trip on that boat singing along with creepy little dolls.

      Another example and something on a more larger scale was when Space Mountain was closed for it's updates.   I missed riding Space immensely.  But, as disappointed as I may have felt in both cases, (because being disappointed that something you love is closed during your trip never truly goes away, no matter how many times you get to visit) I knew that in the end, everything would be ok.   

      I think the one thing I've noticed as time has gone on, is that I've gained some perspective on refurbs in general.  Maybe it's partially related to the fact that I'm blessed to be able to often take multiple trips a year, however I have been able to realize that it really is ok if I miss experiencing something on a trip.  I promise you, it is not the end of the World!

      I mean truthfully, you can't see everything in one trip anyway, right?  So, instead of you choosing not to visit the attraction this time, it's Disney that has made the decision for you that you're not going to get to experience the attraction on this trip.

      Understand that things have to close to make them better in the long run and, yes, that really is ok.

      Another tip to keep in mind is that there are other things that you love in the parks that you WILL get to experience on your trip.  And who knows, maybe by not having an old standby attraction available, you may end up experiencing something else that you may have never tried previously instead and fall in love with that, making that a new must do.

      I will tell you that the number one thing that I think is most important to remember when you find out that a favorite attraction will be closed during your trip is that it WILL be there for the next trip, more often than not, better than ever.  (And trust me, if you're reading this blog, there more than likely will be a next trip!)

      Lately I've noticed that it seems like we've been getting a rash of little refurbs here and there, over the past year and a half or so.  It could be a biggie like an attraction or a restaurant, or something as "tiny" as a facade or pavement or bridge.    I can honestly say I love seeing this kind of love and care being put into our parks.  I know that while having a scrim up or an attraction closed can sometimes impact your enjoyment of your vacation, just know that things are going to look better than new when the work is done.  Trust me, that makes it all worth it in the end.  These types of refurbs mean that someone cares...which makes me a very happy girl.  :)

      I,  for one, appreciate all the work that Disney does to make their parks even better.  Matter of fact, I applaud them for it and hope that they continue to keep up the good work.

      So what it that you think when you find out Disney is going to be refurbing something on your trip?  Are you mad or do you realize that it's just a part of making the parks better for the future?  How do you handle the news? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

      Tuesday, February 1, 2011

      News and Rumors 1/24/11 - 1/30/11

      Hi guys!!  It's been a rough few days here.  I had a terrible case of food poisoning (the reason I didn't get out a blog post last week) and I'm just now finally feeling more normal. 

      I also have a few announcements.  First, for those who don't know...I'm also a blogger for the new WDW Fan Zone.  Make sure to go check it out!  It's a great new site that you'll need to put in your Google Reader!  I love it! 

      In addition, in the past month, I've also become a co-editor for the e-newsletter Magically Speaking.  If you aren't subscribed to need to be.  The newsletter offers up articles, news, and tips for not only WDW, but also Disneyland and the Disney Cruise Line! 

      So, as you can see....I'm a busy little bee lately!!! 

      But I'm still chugging along here you won't miss out on seeing posts here!  (Unless I get another massive case of food poisoning fun!) 

      And now, on with the show! 


      Magic Kingdom
      • The track at the Tomorrowland Speedway is currently be modified a bit to accommodate the Fantasyland Expansion.
      • The Adventureland bridge is currently being redone.  Guests may enter Adventureland through a temporary bridge.
      • Beginning Feb 12th, Mickey and Minnie will be doing meet and greets at the Tomorrowland Garden while the work on the Expo Hall is completed.
      • The lineup has been announced for the 2011 Flower Power Concert.  They include:  March 4 - 6 Jose Feliciano - "Light My Fire"
        March 11 - 13 The Guess Who - "These Eyes"
        March 18 - 20 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats - "The Twist"
        March 25 - 27 Melissa Manchester (New for 2011) - "Don't Cry Outloud"
        April 1 - 3 Starship Starring Mickey Thomas - "We Built This City"
        April 8 - 10 Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. (New for 2011) - "You Don't Have to be a Star"
        April 15 - 17 Juice Newton (New for 2011) - "Playing with the Queen of Hearts"
        April 22 - 24 Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons - "(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection"
        April 29 - May 1 Paul Revere and the Raiders - "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone"
        May 6 - 8 Davy Jones - "Daydream Believer"
        May 13 - 15 Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone - "Henry the VIII"
      • Via Napoli has introduced a new "build your own" pizza option. 
      • The Innoventions Velcro Exhibit "What's Your Problem" will close for good on Feb. 5th. 
      General WDW News

      • Pop Century's Hippy Dippy pool will go down for a refurb starting Feb. 14th and will last until the middle of March.
      • Hearing Disney may be looking into updating the film for MuppetVision 3D.  
      • A new addition is being looked into for the new Wild Africa Trek...a lion overlook.   
      • Fantasyland may not be the only big expansion WDW is looking at for the Magic Kingdom.  Word is another big project could be being worked on currently.  
      • A lot of people are saying that there may be a circus themed splash zone included in the Circus area of the new Fantasyland expansion.