Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Mouse-Standing List: Campfire and Movie Under The Stars At Disney's Beach Club Resort

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, Brian and I were on day three of our quick weekend getaway and we had decided to make a stop that evening over at the Beach Club.  We were on our way to spend the night at Epcot.  He wanted to soak in the atmosphere, so, much to my original hesitation, I said ok.  He is not a go-go-go park goer like I am, so I try to indulge him in his wishes occasionally.

So, we decided to sit by the beach for an unspecified amount of time.  (At least for me...I could just feel the seconds ticking away...telling me, you're one step closer to the park's 9 pm closure.)  It ended up being wonderful just laying there and relaxing.  I caught up on Twitter and he laid there, resting.  We watched as they prepared to set up the screen for that evening's movie.  (More on that in a bit...)

All the sudden, I smelled Rome burning.  Or at least what it smells like when Rome burns in Spaceship Earth.  I knew we were close to Epcot, but didn't think they'd pipe the smell all the way over here!  :)  So I started looking around and what did I see...a campfire!

Brian and I discussed going over there and, at first, I was a little hesitant.  I didn't know if it was just for hotel guests or how the whole thing worked.  But I saw a family who was sitting next to us on the beach who came prepared with hot dogs, so I thought, let's just go over there and take a look.

We saw two Cast Members, one who was poking the fire and one who was standing at a table with sticks and baggies full of marshmallows.  I asked what was going on and she said that we were more than welcome to have a bag of marshmallows and gave us a pair of sticks with instructions.  (Don't hit each other with sticks, don't hit Cast Members with sticks and don't wave your flaming marshmallows around in the air when they catch on fire!  I was disappointed...I wanted to do all three!)  We then joined the families who had already started lighting their marshmallows on fire.

The baggie had a substantial number of marshmallows in it.  I want to say there were somewhere between six and eight.  We both shoved our treats on the sticks and held them out over the fire, toasting them ever so carefully.  It was really a lot of fun!  We watched as families bonded over the process and I think we did too. There is nothing like eating warm marshmallows.  I'm kind of a sucker for them. 

While it was something that I wasn't expecting to do on my Disney vacation, it is one of those things that I think was a highlight of this trip.  It's amazing how something so small could have such an impact on our vacation.  And it's all because Brian wanted to sit by the water.  I guess I'll have to thank him sometime.

The marshmallow toasting happens nightly, along with a movie that is shown on the beach. Each night, a different Disney flick is showcased.  It is shown directly on the beach where guests have access to beach chairs to lounge in.  It is a great way to just kick back from the hustle and bustle of the parks and relax.

Or you can do like we did...where we spent about a half hour toasting marshmallows and then went into the park to get ready to watch Illuminations.  When we came back out through the International Gateway, the movie had starting showing on the big screen not long before.

I would not hesitate to do this again now.  I think it is a fabulous way to spend an evening.  Have you ever taken part in anything like this before either here or at another resort?  Let me know on the Facebook page.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 5/20/13 - 5/26/13


Magic Kingdom

  • Liberty Square Riverboat closed for refurbishment from Aug. 5th - 9th. 
  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel will close for refurb from Aug. 1st - 21st.
  • Jungle Cruise will have a refurb from Aug. 19th - Sept. 30th.  
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will be closed June 22nd and 23rd. 


  • The Epcot Character Spot is officially supposed to reopen from it's extended refurbishment on June 3rd. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • MuppetVision 3D will be closed for a refurb from Aug. 6th - Sept. 2nd. 

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic calls for more Monstrous Fun!  Have Mike Wazowski wake you up at your Disney Hotel and experience the summer version of Celebrate the Magic Castle Projection Show. 


  • The Grand Floridian DVC Villas are expected to open Oct. 23rd.  
  • The Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom is expected to open in June.  Headquarters can be found on the Discovery Island Bridge. 

Click Here To Download Touring Plans newest eBook! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

First Look: A Pirates Adventure - Treasure of the Seven Seas

Well, for those of you keeping score...I had an absolutely wonderful trip down to Walt Disney World about a week and a half ago!  I got to do a lot of new things, as well as some old favorites!  (Thanks to those who followed along on Facebook and Twitter!)

One of the new options that I got to experience was the new A Pirates Adventure - Treasure of the Seven Seas.  This new side attraction takes place in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.  It has been in testing for a short couple of weeks, but when I tried it out, it looked as though it was the first or second real day of official testing.  They had taken the tarps down that had previously been covering the sign and a Cast Member was beckoning people to come inside.

Of course, being the Disney nerd that I am, and always looking for an opportunity to do something new, I wanted to go test it out.

So, Brian and I went inside.  The Cast Member directed us to one of the touch screens, where we told it how many there were in our party, then it directed us to pick up one of the five maps.  You are then told to find a specific mark on the map and that will be your starting point.

For us, we were following The King's Random map and our mark was the key.

Here is where things get a bit tricky.  I'm not sure if the Cast Member didn't do the whole spiel with us because we were excited and almost walked off without figuring out our starting point our what, (he did eventually stop us and show us we had missed a step on the computer screen) but when  looking at the map, I had a hard time deciphering where it was that we were supposed to go.  The first clue looked as though it was leading us into the gift shop at the end of Pirates, but I really wasn't sure.  After staring at the map for a good few minutes, I felt like that was where we needed to head.

The problem with this is that I am a very large Disney fanatic and had some trouble deciphering the map.  Obviously, this game will be played by those who are not so fanatical and will not know every nook and cranny of Adventureland.  What happens when they try to figure out where the map is sending them and they have trouble?  I'm sure they could just go back to the Cast Member for better directions, but I would think that the Map would want to spell out your points a little bit clearer.  (I felt that the rest of the locations were spelled out a little better, I had less trouble once I figured out the first one, but I can see where those who don't know the parks well could have a little trouble.)

 Once we got started, we put the talisman on the mark found on the object we were looking for (which was pictured on the map)  There are very good drawings of what the objects you are specifically looking for featured in the map.  A short little "show" was put on, telling us what the next mark would be.

Our second clue took us all the way over to the other side of Pirates.  Our third clue was very close to the second one.  However, when it came time for the fourth clue...I almost gave up.  It was a bajillion degrees outside and the clue was sending me back into the busy Pirates gift shop.  A busy land and hot do not mix well. At this point, I kind just wanted to finish, just to finish.  I then got the fifth clue...TAKING US ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE CLUE WE'D JUST BEEN AT!  This was not like it was an easy walk around the corner.  I was really frustrated at this point and actually just glad it was finally over.

It ended with a cute little finale and then directing you back to Headquarters to pick up your next map for your next raid.  

 I don't want you to think that this is a bad game though.  I know it is still in a testing phase and that things are still being ironed out.  I would hope that one of the things they iron out is that they take out the crisscrossing of the land as much.  This area of Adventureland is busy enough already with everyone wanting to ride Pirates, watching the Pirate Tutorial, trying to dine at Tortuga Tavern, and the already popular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game.  Now add another game element to this section of the park and you have one REALLY busy area.  That makes it harder to make your way through the crowds to find what you need.  If they made it so that you had to do less crisscrossing, I think that it would be a bit more manageable.

With that, my biggest suggestion would be to play this game during the very late afternoon/early evening.  That way, the heat of the day isn't such a big deal and hopefully the crowds will be lessened.

It is a great distraction for the park, though.  Trust me, your kids are going to have a blast playing it.  And it will take you throughout different areas you've maybe never explored in Adventureland, which is always a good thing. 

More details:  The game is set up as 5 different raids, each expected to take about 20 minutes to complete.  Once you have completed all five missions you become full fledged pirates under Captain Jack Sparrow.

Edit:  The game is now open! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Walt Disney World 5/13/13 - 5/19/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • A Pirates Adventure - Treasures of the Seven Seas is now testing


  • A few details have been announced for this year's Food and Wine Festival.  A new booth, Scotland will be featured.  In addition, Brazil will also be back again this year. 
  • We also have the list of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series artists: 
    • Sept. 27-29 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas
    • Sept. 30-Oct. 1 – Go-Go’s
    • Oct. 2-4 – Air Supply
    • Oct. 5-6 – Sister Hazel
    • Oct. 7-9 – Sugar Ray
    • Oct. 10-11 – Edwin McCain
    • Oct. 12-13 – Manhattan Transfer
    • Oct. 14-15 – Wilson Phillips
    • Oct. 16-17 – The Pointer Sisters
    • Oct. 18-20 – Night Ranger
    • Oct. 21-23 – Boyz II Men
    • Oct. 24-25 – Survivor
    • Oct. 26-27 – 38 Special
    • Oct. 28-30 – Smash Mouth
    • Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – Spin Doctors
    • Nov. 2-3 – Christopher Cross
    • Nov. 4-5 – Hanson
    • Nov. 6-8 – Dennis DeYoung
    • Nov. 9-11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Will you be traveling this summer instead?  Check out the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series!   
    • June 9-15: Stayin’ Alive, Bee Gees tribute band 
    • June 16-22: Hotel California: Eagles tribute band 
    • June 23-29: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot, Billy Joel tribute band 
    • June 30-July 6: Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi tribute band. 
    • July 7-13: Southbound and Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band 
    • July 14-20: The Police Experience: The Police tribute band  
    • July 21-27: 2U, U2 tribute band

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Adventurers Outpost is now open.

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic is the Monstrous Summer All Nighter.  There will be two performances of the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade with a special pre-parade featuring Mike and Sulley.  In addition, a special dance party in Tomorrowland, as well as a dance party in front of Cinderella Castle.  Special merchandise and unique food options will also be available. 


  • A Monsters Inc dance party could be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios this summer for Limited Time Magic
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and Voyage of the Little Mermaid are still rumored to close
Download the ALL NEW 2013 Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 5/6/13 - 5/12/13

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


Magic Kingdom
  • Guests will be able to meet Peter Pan and Wendy now by Peter Pan's Flight
  • Prince Charming's Regal Carousel's refurb has been postponed.  
  • Pirates of the Caribbean's refurbishment has been pushed back to July 27th - 30th.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Going to Star Wars Weekends?  In addition to getting yourself potentially cast in Carbonite, you can also know get yourself cast as a Stormtrooper.  
  • Here is a list of celebrities and the weekends they will be appearing during Star Wars Weekends:

    May 17th - 19th (Weekend 1)

    • Ray Park (Darth Maul - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
    • Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett - Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
    • Dee Bradley Baker (Voice of Captain Rex - Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

    May 24th - 26th (Weekend 2)

    • Ray Park (Darth Maul - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
    • Warwick Davis (Ewok)
    • Jim Cummings (Voice of Hondo Ohnaka - Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

    May 31st - June 2nd (Weekend 3)

    • Warwick Davis (Ewok)
    • Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
    • Sam Witwer (Voice of Darth Maul - Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

    June 7th - 9th (Weekend 4)

    • Billy Dee Williams - (Lando Calrissian)
    • Peter Mayhew - (Chewbacca - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
    • Tom Kane - (Voice of Yoda - Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

    Every Weekend

    • James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein - celebrity hosts for the event.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • The Adventurers Outpost opening has been delayed to May 15th.

General WDW News
  • Typhoon Lagoon will be closed for a quick refurbishment from today until May 16th. 


  • Celebrate the Magic's castle projection's Summer Show is rumored to debut on May 24th

Click Here To Download Touring Plans newest eBook! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Walt Disney World Bound!

It's been a long time coming.  The ability for me to be able to take a weekend trip down to Walt Disney World.  While I may not be exactly where I thought I'd be, (meaning Georgia, instead of Florida), it is still exciting to know I am only a few hours away from the parks.  I have never been this close ever before.

With that being said, I am officially headed to Walt Disney World tomorrow night until Monday evening!  This is an especially exciting trip for me because this is the first time Brian has come down with me in almost two years.  While I have been, he has not been able to join me.  I am excited to get to share the parks with him once again.

On my list of things I want to do:
  • See New Fantasyland
  • Test Track
  • Flower and Garden Festival
  • Eat at the Flower and Garden Festival
  • Try the new France Bakery (hello lobster bisque soup!) 
  • Get a No Way Jose
  • Brian wants to possibly explore Rafiki's Planet Watch
  • Dine at our favorite: 50s Prime Time

And of course, that means I get to share with you all too!  Make sure you're following along on Twitter or on Facebook, where I"ll be posting periodically from the parks.

So, while I'll miss you all, I'll still be able to keep in contact!  And there will still be a News blog post on Sunday. 

See ya real soon! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 4/29/13 - 5/5/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets are now available for purchase.  The dates for the party are: 
    • Sept: 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, and 29
    • Oct: 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 31
    • Nov: 1
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tickets are now on sale.  The dates for the party are: 
    • Nov: 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, and 22
    • Dec: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 20
  • Merida will be have a coronation ceremony on May 11, where she will join her fellow princess friends on stage in a very special event. 

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Character change up is coming! Eeyore is leaving the park after May 9th.  Pooh and Tigger will move to Camp Minnie-Mickey on May 10th.  Donald and Daisy should be moving into the Discovery Island boat dock soon after. 

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo!  All week, guests will have the opportunity to meet The Three Caballeros, enjoy Mexican entertainment, and dine on special offerings in the two Mexican table service restaurants, La Hacienda de San Angel and San Angel Inn.  


  • Chip and Dale may be greeting guests at this year's Star Wars Weekends dressed as Ewoks.  
  • Monsters University meet and greet is expected to be open on May 24th.  The previous Monsters Inc meet and greet area will be closed from May 14th - 23rd to prepare. 
  • Once Princess Fairytale Hall is officially open, it is said that the Fairies will be moving into the Town Square Theater and the Adventureland Veranda may turn into a restaurant again.  (My money is on that it turns back into nothing, if this is indeed what will be happening.)
Download the ALL NEW 2013 Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Little Things: Main Street USA

Today, I thought I'd start a series (a very long series actually) about what my favorite little parts are of each land in all of the four different Walt Disney World theme parks.

Each land, whether it's in the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, or even Epcot, has things that make it unique and Disney to me.  They all have their own special touches, things the imagineers wanted us to enjoy, not necessarily on our first time or our second time, or even our third.  These are things that sometimes can take a while to appreciate.  When put together, they can make up something really special.

For this trip though, we start at the beginning.  Main Street USA.  It's the most "normal" of any of the lands in the Magic Kingdom.  It's where you'll find the things you've forgotten, like batteries or sunscreen, it's where you can go make dining reservations or praise a cast member, it's even where you can get a hair cut.

Wait...what?  Did she just say get a hair cut?

Why yes I did!  At the Main Street Barber Shop, guests can stop by and get their hair cut or pixie dusted at a very reasonable price!  Brian has done this many a time and it's one of the things he loves to do when we're on vacation.  Got a little one?  Make sure to stop here to get their first haircut done!  It is truly a special moment, ears and all! The Cast Members here are fabulous too!  While it may seem like an odd thing to do on your vacation, it will be a memory that will stick with you forever too.

Another thing I love about Main Street are the windows that can be found at the Emporium.  Have you seen these?  They are special displays that showcase scenes from some of Disney's classic movies?  They are found more towards the beginning in the Town Square area.  These are things that most people just pass by, but they are some of the most interesting Disney touches around.

Did you know that in the middle portion of the street, there is an area off to the right side called Center Street?  It used to run across completely, but after a refurb of the Emporium, that area was cannibalized by the store. However, this section still exists and is one of the quietest places in the entire park.  It is a great place just to relax and if you listen carefully, you can hear some of the residents.  In addition, this is an area where you can get those famous silhouette cutouts of yourself.

Are you a fan of Casey's Corner?  Then you already know about my next favorite thing.  Did you know that there are great baseball nods inside this restaurant, but one of the best are the Disney baseball cartoons that play.  Yes, you do have to sit on the bleachers to enjoy them, but it is a fun way to enjoy your time as you munch on corn dog nuggets.  If you are sitting outside, you will see one of my other favorite, not noticed thing.  The piano player.  It adds so much just listening to ragtime music as you enjoy your lunch.

Have you ever been walking towards Tomorrowland and noticed the small area below that is completely empty on the water?  This used to be the entrance of the Swan Boats and it's another great little out of the way spot.  Granted, there isn't seating here, but if you're looking for a place to meet up with your group, this is a great option that not many people think about.

These are just a few of my small favorite things that can be found on Main Street USA!  What are your favorites?  Make sure to leave a comment on the Facebook page!  (Or in the comments)

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