Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why Is Limited Time Magic Missing With Disney Fans?

One of this year's Limited Time Magic Long Lost Friends Events
It seems like each and every year, as of late, Disney has a new marketing campaign that is rolled out for the year* (*year is subjective as sometimes campaigns are rolled out for longer than just one calendar year.)  Known as Celebrations, most of the time, they are huge successes.

Past successful Celebrations include Happiest Celebration on Earth, What Will You Celebrate, One More Disney Day, and the ever popular Year of a Million Dreams.  A few additional campaigns have been moderately successful, like Let The Memories Begin, and Give a Day, Get a Disney Day, which while a HUGE success, managed to be so successful, it was actually to it's detriment, as volunteer opportunities (what the promotion was about) were all taken up by the middle of April! (Ironically I STILL have people looking for this promotion on this's been 3 years!!!) 

Disney has really done a pretty good job with relatively successful marketing campaigns.  That is until this year...I guess every company is bound to have a miss year, after years of being spot on the mark. (Relatively speaking, of course.)

This year's promotion of Limited Time Magic, when announced, seemed to have great potential.  It was something that was intriguing and had the chance to be something different than what's been done before.  As far as the initial announcement, on my blog, I wrote:

Disney plans to have a different momentous occurrence each and every week at the Resort.  Each week is going to be set up to celebrate something different, with focus on unexpected experiences that will appear for a limited window and then disappear when the next experience debuts.

Unexpected experiences, huh?  Sounds promising.

Announced experiences included True Love, Independence Week, Long Lost Friends Week, Pirate Week, Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands, and Unleash the Villains.  Most of these have already happened, however a few are still to come.  The first few ideas seemed intriguing enough and it still left room for other unique ideas that could potentially be done for the future.

Now...the rumor that I have heard behind this campaign (of course, take with a LARGE grain of salt and believe what you will) was that this campaign was a last minute decision which had been done by the marketing department because MyMagic+ simply wasn't ready to be rolled out yet, which they were originally expecting.  The system had hit some hiccups and really, is only just now beginning to be beta tested in the parks.

So, January hit and the campaign started out slow...a dance party here...a meet and greet there...ok...that's fine.  If it was a last minute idea, then that's a little more understandable.  Then they hit us with the pick a logo for next year's merchandise idea...wait...what?  How is that Limited Time Magic of anything?  But it was still early...there was still hope!  One could expect as the year went by, the creative juices would work more for this promotion and we could see some truly outstanding things as the months continued.

Months have rolled by now and there have been a few standouts...Long Lost Friends was such a surprise hit (they even rolled it out twice...though the characters were largely the same for both...would have been nice to see a bit of variety there).  In addition, Independence Week offered amazing Magic Kingdom fireworks that many couldn't usually see for seven full nights, instead of just two.  And while the Monstrous Summer All Nighter was really just a rehash of One More Disney Day, it was still a fun night and they way they announced it was certainly impressive!  (Hello Mike Wazowski!)

I think the absolute BEST use of Limited Time Magic has been the May the Fourth Be With You celebration at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  It was certainly a surprise and truly spectacular to see the effort that was rolled into this one.  It was the kind of "magic" that I think most people expected to see.  It doesn't have to be something available every day, but something unique and creative like this is usually a plus.

From there though, the ideas have seemingly gotten stale.  It seems like if it isn't a new cupcake or delicious goodie being sold, it's the same dance party just dressed up differently.  Some weeks here in the summer didn't even see ideas...they just pointed out things that were already happening (I'm talking to you, week that rolled out the Mike Wazowski wake up call).  Matter fact, even lately, we've just seen rehashes of ideas that have been used already.  (Wait...if they've already been done...then how are they truly limited?)

What started as a campaign that had a large amount of potential, has each week, increasingly turned more and more into a joke, with many people commenting on social media networks each week that things just keep getting lamer and lamer.

What is it that Disney could have done to have made this more of a success?  That is the ever increasing question.  For starters, they could have done more than just special dessert items.  I get that this campaign was seemingly a large marketing campaign, but could you try to be a little less transparent?  In addition, I would have like to have seen some more creative ideas that weren't just rehashes of ideas had already been done.  ( many different dance parties can we do at Rockettower Plaza Stage?)  Truthfully, I would have maybe have liked to have seen less events that lasted all week and that budget for the week could have been rolled into one larger idea.  It seems as though the larger ideas were always the more successful ones.  Those were the things that were really truly special and actually Limited.

With this campaign, it seemed that people really wanted to see the unique.  Parkgoers wanted to see the things that we can't see every day.  So...maybe bring back the walk around Figment character.  (Want to really wow us...bring back Dreamfinder!)  Show the Tapestry of Nations parade.  Heck!  Bring back Honey I Shrunk The Audience for a week!  Bring in a Muppet Week.  (By the way...does anyone else remember the walk around Muppet characters from back in the early 90s?  I totally got my pic taken with them, as well as the Ninja Turtles!)  Or bring back the Sundowner Celebration which I did last summer at Animal Kingdom, which included food demonstrations, street parties, music, and parties.  It felt like a mini Epcot Flower and Garden Festival type atmosphere and was ripe for Limited Time Magic.  It was fabulous and I learned a ton!  Park fans wanted to see something truly wonderful and unique.

Because truthfully, this campaign really shouldn't be aimed at the casual guests.  They will have no clue that something special was going on, unless they read it on the times guide or just happened by it.  Instead, this campaign should have really been geared toward Disney's most loyal fans.  (And my friend Erin reminds me that they should have put out a schedule ahead of time to let people know about events they didn't want to miss!  If not for the full year, at least once each month or something.)  Those of us who come back multiple times a year and can make a special trip if something appeals to us (I really wish I could make that Villains event at the Studios!  That sounds phenomenal!) 

I unfortunately know that Walt Disney World seemingly tends to ignore those of us who are hardcore fans with most things (like our almost nonexistent annual pasholder discounts anymore)...But this right here could have been a great attempt to prove to us that we are just as important to the company as the first time guest is.  Us fanatics, oftentimes spend just as much (if not more in some instances) as they do on things.  This campaign really should have been geared towards the fanatics.  Instead...they just tried to find different ways to sell us the same cupcakes.

I really have tried to be positive about this campaign.  I've given them multiple opportunities to wow me.  I've even been down to Disney many times this year and haven't participated in one event yet.  Nothing seemed unique or special enough for me to want to participate.  I've got one trip left planned for this year...I want to experience something fun.

Well, if anything we have the next campaign to look forward to.  It should be announced within the next couple of months and the rumor is it is going to be called Show Us Your Disney Side, encouraging people to dress in regular clothes, but attempting to look like a character.  (Those of you on Pintrest know what I'm talking about...those pins are all over!)   If this really is the next campaign, it will be interesting to see how it's incorporated into the parks. 

What has been your thoughts of Limited Time Magic?  Have you thought it was a bit lackluster too?  Or have I been misreading the signs?  Has it been something you've enjoyed?  What were the things you loved and thought were just alright?  Let me know on Facebook or in the comments.

Also, if you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or the photos on Pintrest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 8/19/13 - 8/25/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • Prince Eric's Village Market in New Fantasyland will serve up healthy snack options, like fruit, and will be opening for everyday use soon. 
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Monsters University Homecoming is ending Sept. 1st.

Downtown Disney

  • The Great Irish Hooley will be taking place during Labor Day weekend at Raglan Road. 

General WDW News

  • The Dogs Days of Summer are here and guests will get to party with the Disney Dogs!  Guests will get to hang out with Pluto, Goofy, Dug, Bolt, and even Stitch, all there at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland!   
  • For the Limited Time Magic event for Friday Sept. 13, during the Unleash the Villians Party that will take place at Disney's Hollywood Studios, there will also be a fireworks show called Villany in the Sky.  
  • The California Grill reopens on Sept. 9th.  Reservations will open up on Aug. 26th.  
  • Soft Drinks property-wide have increased to $2.69 and $3.19.


  • A nighttime water show, similar to World of Color, may be coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Download the ALL NEW DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Attractions You Are Missing at Epcot


It's just so hard to see everything at Walt Disney World in the short amount of time our trips last for.  (And I think if we all did try to see everything on every trip, we would CERTAINLY be exhausted afterwards!)  So, today, I thought I would take a look at Epcot and discuss some of the great attractions you are probably missing at Epcot, for one reason or another.

This is a continuation on a series I started a few months, back, so go back and read what you're missing at the Magic Kingdom, if you haven't already done it!  :)

Epcot, is probably one of the easiest parks to skip things in.  The park is just chock full of different activities,  however, most of them are not rides, so many people skip them.  This is especially true for first time visitors, which of course, is a mistake.  There is a lot of entertainment inside this park, heck, you could probably do an entire day without stepping foot on a single ride, and still have things leftover to do!  Each pavilion has a ton of little nuggets within it's doors.  Therefore, it will be next to impossible to name each and every attractions you are missing at Epcot, so make sure to let me know which ones are your favorites at the end.

Because of the multitude of things to do here, so my suggestions will be a little more vague with this post.

First, let's discuss the post-show areas for all the different attractions.  So often, we find ourselves going through the preshows, which many of us love,  getting on the attractions, which we all love, and then getting off and going...ok...what is next?  What we've just done is completely missed out on the fact that what's next is right in front of our faces.  I know...I'm just as guilty as you are.  Epcot has the delight of having a ton of post show activities that we all just pass by, but technically should be just as much part of the experience as the ride itself.  Get of Mission Space?  There's the Advanced Training Lab.  Found Nemo?  You have a whole aquarium of fish to still see!  Imagined with Figment?  Try your hand at the interactive play area in ImageWorks.  You'll still be experiencing the pavilion and trust me, you'll be entertained!

Another area that I think people commonly pass by without going in, (except maybe to steal some free air conditioning...) is Innoventions.  I'll fully admit, the area used to be a bit of a dud in years past.  The exhibits were mostly dated and simply  lacked appeal.  However, over the past 5 years or so, these two buildings have turned into somewhat of a sleeper hit.  It has a ton of games to play together as a family, like Where's The Fire? and The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, Habit Heroes, and arguably the most popular, Sum of All Thrills. (Make sure to do this one as early as possible.  It's really popular and lines get long!)  So now, it's  a great place to spend a few hours in the afternoon, having fun, and yes, still soaking up some beloved air conditioning.

I was originally not going to include any rides in this list, proving that you can have fun in this park without getting on an attraction, however, I think that there is one that a lot of people who are not Disney Fanatics often miss.  That would be Living With the Land.  Found in The Land Pavilion, this attraction, is a lazy boat ride, taking you through different biomes, ending in a greenhouse area.  Did I put you to sleep just talking about it?  It's not really as boring as it seems.  It's very neat to see the different and unique ways that Disney grows food, which is then used in quite a few of the restaurants at Epcot.  It's an original Epcot attraction, so those who love the park get a kick out of it, since it hasn't changed a whole lot since the park first opened.  However, it will still be able to be enjoyed by a first timer as well.  If you like the ride, make sure not to miss the relatively inexpensive Behind the Seeds Tour, which takes you into the greenhouses and teaches you more about what Disney is doing with this section of the park.

I think a lot of people miss aspects in all the different countries in World Showcase too.  Sure, people will usually hit up the attractions, like Gran Fiesta Tour and Mealstrom, but they will often pass up the movies in some of the other countries.  People may decide to shop a bit in each country or meet the characters, whom I will admit, are abundant back here.  And of course, the most popular aspect of World Showcase is the eating (and of course drinking) around the World.  However, there are a couple of things I think people do end up missing.

The first one is the entertainment.  There is a TON of live entertainment that takes place in this park, but if you stroll around World Showcase in the early evening, you've pretty much missed it all.  The entertainment takes place, for the most part, in the afternoon.  Sure, there will be a few performances that take place throughout the evening, but most, will have already been performed.  From Mariachi Cobre in Mexico to Off Kilter in Canada, each country has it's own unique experience, some actually include multiple experiences, and you would be remiss if you missed out on the festivities. 

The American Gardens Theater is another thing I think people miss out on.  The amphitheater found in from of The American Adventure Pavilion is most popular during the Holidays with the Candlelight Processional, but did you know that it hosts other events throughout the year?  The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, with sound-alike acts, the Flower Power Concert Series in the Spring, brings in artists from the 60s and 70s, and the Eat to the Beat Concert Series in the Fall brings along performers anywhere from the 80s to the 2000s.  I've noticed this theater emptier a lot of times when the acts are onstage and it really shouldn't be.  The acts are typically great performers (usually...) and you can see that they are having a blast on stage.  If you pass by, make sure to stop, and go in and grab a seat.  It is a ton of fun. here's the part where I said I knew I was probably missing something.  What is your favorite attraction that most people miss on their WDW vacations?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 8/12/13 - 8/18/13

 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 Party will be seeing some addition.  A new treat trail will be added, Phineas and Ferb will join the Creepa Crew, a pre-parade dance party, who will get people pumped all along Main Street, and Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas will be meeting guests for the first time ever.
  • it's a small world will see a brief refurbishment from Dec. 2nd - 12th.  
  • The full Night of Joy lineup has been released.  It is:  

    Friday, September 6

    Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage
    7:40 p.m. – Steven Curtis Chapman/Michael W. Smith  9:50 p.m. – MercyMe  11:55 p.m. – Skillet 

    Galaxy Stage
    7:30 p.m. – Audio Adrenaline  8:50 p.m. – Audio Adrenaline  10:25 p.m. – Mandisa  12:10 a.m. – For King and Country

    Rockettower Plaza Stage
    8:15 p.m. – City  9:40 p.m. – We As  11:20 p.m. – Moriah Peters

    Saturday, September 7

    Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage
    7:40 p.m. – Francesca Battistelli  9:30 p.m. – Gospel Music Association Winner Steven Musso  9:50 p.m. – TobyMac  11:55 p.m. – Newsboys

    Galaxy Stage
    7:30 p.m. – Matthew West  8:50 p.m. – Matthew West  10:25 p.m. – Group 1 Crew  12:10 a.m. – Building 429

    Rockettower Plaza Stage
    8:15 p.m. – Jamie Grace  9:40 p.m. – Jamie Grace  11:20 p.m. – Plumb

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • A new acrobatic dance act has premiered just outside of Yak and Yeti's Local Foods

Downtown Disney
  • Raglan Road's Great Irish Hooley is scheduled for Aug. 30th - Sept. 2nd.  

General WDW News

  • Limited Time Magic for this week (Aug. 19th - 25th) brings about the Dapper Dans again, singing great boy band hits. 
  • Rapid Fill Mugs are now being used in some of the resorts.  These mugs have an RFID chip and you can now purchase refills for one, two, or three days, OR for your length of stay.  It is expected to be up resort wide by Sept. 1st. 


  • Tarzan and Jane are rumored to be doing meet and greets at Disney's Animal Kingdom this week around The Oasis.
  • Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade is expected to end for good around December 19th.  (The parade during the Holidays is Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.)  Once the Holidays are over, there will be no afternoon parade for a couple of months.  The new Festival of Fantasy Parade is expected to debut in March.  
  • The Princess Fairytale Hall is expected to open in September
  • The Christmas light installation for the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights is expected to begin Sept. 2nd.  
  • California Grill is expect to reopen on Sept. 1st.  
  • Once Fastpass+ rolls out officially, there are expected to be meet and greet experiences that will only be available for Fastpass guests.  

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thoughts from the Be Our Guest Podcast Cruise 2.0

Well, last week, I discussed the highlights of my trip to Walt Disney World in July.  It was a wonderful time and I learned a lot of stuff that will be helpful for future trips.

This week, I'm discussing my experiences on the Disney Dream.  We went on a four day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay, plus had a day at sea.  Brian and I ended up using our Nassau day as another day at sea because we ended up recording the podcast in Evolution right smack in the middle of the day.  Made it hard for us to really go do anything.  Not complaining though.  It was really nice to have the extra day at sea.  Especially on such a short trip. 

Here are the highlights from this trip on the high seas.

  • The ship:  Really you can't even imagine how beautiful it is.  Yes, you can see pictures, but it will simply not prepare you for how gorgeous this ship really is.  From the vibrant colors, to the clean lines, to the way things are situated on board.  While the ship is massive, it's really quite easy to figure out most areas.  Really, I'm just a fan of the ship overall.  I cannot say enough great things about the Disney Cruise Line ships.  (Even though I've only been on one...I'm assuming the rest are just a fabulous, even if they are all a bit different.)

  • The Cast Members:  They are all just simply fabulous.  We had amazing servers on our rotation, our server for Palo (Heinrich) was extraordinary, our room attendant actually ended up being the same great room attendant we'd had the cruise before (Bart).  Every Cast Member we came in contact with was so happy you were on board.  You don't get that everywhere.  I love that Disney hallmark.  

  • The kids areas:  So, this time, we all did a tour of the kid's areas, which are open to adults when the ship is boarding, so that parents and kids can find out what they're all about.  We took this opportunity to be children ourselves and explore all the clubs.  They are so much fun!  If I were a kid, I'd be in those in a heartbeat.  There are a ton of activities to do, not to mention the special things going on each day.  Really, go check out the kids areas.  They are really neat.  
  • The Weather:  Ok, so this isn't really a highlight, but more a bravo to Disney.  The weather was not really fantastic during our trip.  It was just ok.  It was only sunny really one day.  The rest of the time it was more or less gray and/or rainy.  However, that being said, Disney did a fantastic time keeping up the excitement and the fun.  Even the night of the Pirate party, which completely got rained out, they still attempted to throw a fun experience for guests, albeit indoors. Not exactly the same, but the effort was certainly was still there.  And for that, I applaud them.  It didn't dampen our spirits one bit.  (Get it?)  I do still find it weird that they did fireworks basically during the day.  I mean, the sun had set, but it was still like daylight.  I applaud them for setting them off still, but it was just a bit bizarre. 
  • Getting to record in Evolution:  It was truly an honor to be able to get together with our BOGP family and get to chat with them, albeit with us on a stage and them looking at us.  (A little different than me sitting in my pajamas looking at my desk when recording.)  It was so great to see that almost everyone could show up, what with it being the Nassau day and being at noon.  It was also really cool to see our logo on the screen...just wow!  I loved the opportunity to get to see each one of our listeners who were on the ship and tell them thank you.  We had a blast and I'm sure that some of the kids are still having fun with their pirate swords!  

  • Palo:  We had two experiences at Palo this trip and every time, I love Palo just a bit more.  The adult's only dining that costs a bit extra to dine there, is worth every penny.  The service is always top notch, offering great suggestions and even bringing surprises.  (Mmm...mocha ice cream...which tasted like burnt marshmallows...and just interesting flavors...) Both the dinner and the brunch are incredible offerings.  I will say that the brunch does take a bit longer than I expected (I think we were there for two - two and a half hours or so) but it is A LOT of food, so make sure you come with your extra stomach.  Oh...and of course, two words: chocolate souffle.  Yum!  

  • Random Character Greetings:  You know what I don't remember a lot of last time, but really was quite prevalent this time...random character greetings.  I know that a lot of times, the characters are set to a schedule, which is great, to make sure you get photos with the characters that you want to make sure you don't miss.  But for someone like me, who doesn't necessarily have to have character photos, one of the BEST parts of this cruise were the times where we were just walking up or down the stairs and all of the sudden...boom...character!  It was such a cool aspect, like these characters were cruising, just like we were...and best of lines.  And the interactions were great.  Loved this!

  • Match Your Mate:  This was a hoot.  My friends ended up getting on stage...and well...all I'll say is that Deck two will never be the same again.  Also, make sure to go see this show on your next cruise.  It's really a blast.
  • Rainforest Room:  I said it before and I'll say it again.  I love the Rainforest Room.  What was even better was that this time, half of the people who got passes were people that were part of the BOGP family!  So it was fun for us to see who was in there with us and get the chance to chat and relax together.  The people who didn't know us were all probably very annoyed with us by the time the cruise was over...but we had fun.  This is another aspect that is worth every penny.  I just love those chairs and those hot tubs.  Just perfect.  

  • The Pirates of the Caribbean Buffet:  Ok, I think this has a different name that I'm blanking on... but it only happens on Pirates night at midnight.  (Or was it 11?  Gosh...I am blanking here...) It was so much fun!  I loved the carved fruits, the food was quite eclectic (hello giant turkey legs), and while it was hard to stay up for, I would do it again next time in a heartbeat! 
  • The District:  Ok...if you couldn't find me in the Rainforest Room, you would most likely find me in here.  Strange place for a girl who doesn't drink.  But it was just so great to get to go in here and unwind with friends.  We particularly loved Skyline, where the scenery magically changes after about 15 minutes or so. Also, if at any time you are hungry for munchies late at night (who could just ate a ton?) you'll find them in the District on the little buffet full of appetizers and snackies. 

  • The Friendships:  Ok, I know I said this the last cruise, but really...the friendships that form out of these cruises are spectacular!  It's incredible how much people who didn't really talk much before the cruise are now the best of friends after.  This goes for both children and adults.  It's just so great and so amazing that this happens each cruise.  And it's just one of the best parts about taking a cruise with "friends" from a podcast in the first place.  :)  
So, that's the best of the best from this past cruise!  It really was an amazing time and while different than the last one, much like each Walt Disney World vacation is equally was still just as much fun as the first one. Yes, they are a lot of money, but once again, I walked away feeling that my money was well spent.  I can't wait until 2015 when we do this all over again!  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 8/5/13 - 8/11/13

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



  • The Chase Lounge will be back for this year's Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  It will be found in the American Adventure Pavilion this year and you must show your Disney Visa to gain access. 
  • Neil Patrick Harris has joined the Candlelight Processional list.  His dates are Dec. 2nd and 3rd. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Sofia the First is now greeting guests in the Animation Courtyard, over by Disney Junior - Live on Stage! 

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • This park is no longer participating in rope drop.  Instead, guests will be allowed inside 15 minutes or so early ahead of official opening.  Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest and TriceraTop Spin will be open for guests for guests to enjoy.
  • Another living statute act, like DeVine, will be entertaining guests in the park, named Bamboo.  This character will debut Aug. 14th in Africa and showtimes are expected to be 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm.

Downtown Disney

  • In preparation of Disney Springs, Cap'n Jack's Restaurant will be closing permanently, Aug. 17th.  

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic (from Aug. 12th - 18th) will allow Juniors (ages 6-13) to audition and participate in a special show at the American Idol Experience, called American Idol Experience Juniors Edition.  The show will feature the three best singers of the day and will be shown at 6 pm.  
  • Tables in Wonderland will be seeing some changes for 2014.  Starting Aug. 1, 2014, specific restaurants will be included in extended blackouts.  These include 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, ‘Ohana (Dinner Only), Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Le Cellier Steakhouse.  Blackout dates are:  Nov. 23-29, 2014; Dec. 21-27, 2014; March 8-April 4, 2015; and May 31-June 20, 2015.  In addition, beginning Aug. 1, 2014, Victoria and Albert's will no longer accept the card.  


  • Starbucks at the FountainView in Epcot is expected to open Sept. 5th.  
  • While we haven't seen anything out of D23, there were the few hints that were mentioned.  Most notably, it does appear that Imagineering is working on something featuring Star Wars, code word Orange Harvest. 
  • MyMagic+ is expected to be rolled out sometime in full by the end of the year.  

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thoughts From My July WDW Trip

Hello all!

I told you I needed some time to get my thoughts in order for to share about my Walt Disney World July trip!  It was a wonderful wonderful.  :)

My trip was split into two (well, three) portions...I was in Disney before the Cruise, then the trip on the Dream, then I was back on land at Walt Disney World for a few days again.  It was almost 2 weeks of Disney fun.

So, what were the standouts for me?

  • Splitsville:  It was my first time visiting this new bowling alley/entertainment mecca and it really was a blast.  We did our games in the middle of the afternoon, which because it was summer and hot...was a brilliant idea.  It's also a tad bit cheaper if you bowl in the afternoon.  This is a great stop on your vacation and I would highly suggest if you have some time on your last day or you have a day of relaxation, to make a stop here.  

  • The All American ice cream sundae at the Plaza Ice Cream Shop:  This was one I saw about on the Disney Food Blog right before I left and I made a mental note to make sure I stopped in and got it.  This sundae was so good, I got it twice.  (Or was it three times this trip?)  What I liked best about it was that it is almost exactly a No Way Jose from Beaches and Cream.  Full of hot fudge and peanut butter goodness.  What was even's smaller, so I can eat the whole thing...and it's a little bit cheaper too!!!  Disney has a winner on their hands, and I think I alone could keep them wanting to keep pumping out this sundae on a daily basis.  

  • Coronado Springs:  Brian and I decided to stop by this resort to finish our tour of finally seeing every single Walt Disney World Resort!  (Bucket List accomplished!) I absolutely fell in love with it.  It has been added to our list of places we want to try to stay at in the future.  We loved the feel and didn't mind that it was a convention hotel really at all.  In the past, I hadn't loved the theming, just from pics, but I don't know if it's just because I've lived in New Mexico or what now, but it's a must.  In addition, we both really like the Pepper Market, both the way it's set up (with you being seated and having a server bring you drinks, paying at the end) and in the food choices. Excellent all around.  

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant:  I finally made it!!!  We had a dinner reservation here and I was in awe of the theming.  Again...New Fantasyland is just themed fantastically!  It is exactly like stepping into the movie.  (Which for this girl...was a dream come true...given that I'd grown up with Beauty and the Beast.)  I didn't love where they sat us (we were RIGHT next to where the Beast meets guests at the end of their meal, so it wasn't as "romantic" as I'd hoped, with people constantly passing us.) but I thought the food was great, the dessert was decadent, and the grey stuff, yes, it was delicious.  

  •  I GOT UP EARLY ONE DAY! I know you're wondering why I'm including this, but I finally understand.  No, we didn't make it to rope drop, though we tried, but we did get to Animal Kingdom within the first hour of it being open.  It was great.  We were done with almost everything we wanted to see before the heat of the day really set in and left about 1 pm.  Then we went back to the hotel, ate lunch and sat by the pool and relaxed a bit...taking a quick dip.  We went back to the parks around was perfect.  I can't say that I'd do it every time, but in the heat of the summer...the appeal to tour this way is certainly there and I now understand why.  (I didn't feel like I was melting or being hotgry...(angry because it's hot.)
  • The Liberty Square Riverboat:  I FINALLY RODE IT!!!  Knock one more off my bucket list of attractions to hit in the Magic Kingdom.  (My list is getting much, much shorter...with mostly meet and greets left...along with the AstroOrbiter.  Should meet and greets count in this list?)  I really enjoyed my time here.  I was on the top, which offered up amazing views, however, I couldn't hear the spiel very well.  I will say that if you're looking for the best time to it during sunset.  It will typically be the last boat out, but my goodness is it gorgeous!   
  • Being in a Disney Wedding: I don't want to go on too much about this, but I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be a bridesmaid in two of my very best friend's wedding.  It was incredibly special.  What was even more was a Disney wedding.  It was so cool to see how the whole process worked.  From the rehearsal, to the wedding at Sea Breeze Point, to the reception at Ariel's, to getting to experience the Living Seas Lounge for the Dessert Party, to a special viewing of Illuminations, it was all just such an incredible day and an experience I will certainly never forget. 
  •  Cape May Cafe: question....why have I never been here before?  That's was outstanding.  All you can eat seafood (including crab legs) I am so sold.  It's expensive...but I'll admit, it was good.  
Those are really the major standouts from the trip to Walt Disney World.  Of course, there are probably a million things I am usual, so keep posted to the blog as I start to share more about my vacation in random blog posts.  Also, stay tuned for next week when I share what were the stand outs from cruising the Disney Dream!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 7/29/13 - 8/4/13

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


Magic Kingdom
  • There are more cell phone charging stations popping up in the park.  There are additional ones now in Storybook Circus, near the Fastpass Machines for Dumbo and The Barnstormer, as well as some in the arcade in Tomorrowland. 


  • Visit Soarin and if you are between the ages of 5 and 13, you'll receive a free Planes commemorative wing pin.
  • This week, the menus and marketplace booths for the 2013 Food and Wine Festival have been revealed.  They are: 
    • Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice featuring Gardein™ Chick’n Breast
    • Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese featuring Gardein™ Beefless Tips*
    • Chocolate Cake with Coconut Mousse and Passion Fruit Sauce
    • Fresh Watermelon Juice
    • Napa Smith Organic IPA
    • The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
    • The Vegan Vine Red Blend
Brazil (All-New Menu):
    • Seared Scallop with Ragout of Tomatoes, Peppers, Hearts of Palm and Steamed Rice
    • Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado and Cilantro
    • Cerveharias Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
    • Carnaval Moscato White
    • Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça
    • Beef Empanada
    • Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée
    • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
    • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
    • Terrazas Reserva Torrontes
    • Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle and Rapini
    • Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
    • Pavlova (Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Driscoll’s® Berries and Vanilla Custard)
    • Rosemont Estate Pinot Grigio
    • Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay
    • Rosemont Estate Merlot
    • Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz
    • Shrimp Taco with Purple Cabbage
    • Taco de Ribeye with Salsa de Chipotle
    • Rice Pudding
    • Dos Equis Beer
    • Sangria
    • Tequila Flight
    • Mango-Habanero Margarita
    • Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Coconut and Jasmine Rice
    • Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and “Singa” Sauce
    • Tiger Beer
    • Marqués de Caceres Satinela
    • Singapore Sing featuring Hendrick’s Gin and Cherry Herring (garnished with Cherry Man Farm-to-Market All-Natural maraschino cherry)
    • Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun
    • Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles
    • Chicken Potstickers
    • Silky Spun Ice with Toppings (three flavors: Coconut, Strawberry, Chocolate)
    • Tsing Tao Beer
    • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
    • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
    • Kung Fu Punch with Vodka
    • Happy Lychee with Vodka
    • Lychee Aerated Water
South Korea:
    • Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce
    • Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw
    • Bohae Black Raspberry Wine – Bokbunjajoo
    • Jinro Chamisul Soju
    • Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju
    • Berbere Style Beef with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato, Okra and Pap
    • Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket
    • Man Vintners Chenin Blanc
    • The Wolftrap Red (Syrah, Mourvèdre, Viognier)
    • Porcupine Ridge Syrah
    • Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam
    • Artisan Cheese Selection: Flagship Reserve Cheddar, La Bonne Vie Triple Crème Brie, Wijngaard
    • Goats Gouda
    • Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
    • Once Upon a Vine’s The Fairest Chardonnay
    • Once Upon a Vine’s The Big Bad Red Blend
    • Once Upon a Vine’s A Charming Pinot
Brewer’s Collection:
    • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
    • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
    • Warsteiner Premium Verum
    • Warsteiner Premium Dunkel
    • Radeberger Pilsner
    • BraufactuM Palor
    • BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer
    • BraufactuM Darkon
    • Beer Flight 1: Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, Altenmünster Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Premium Verum, Warsteiner Premium Dunkel
    • Beer Flight 2: Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactuM Palor, BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer, BraufactuM Darkon
    • Schinken Nudel (Pasta Gratin with Ham & Cheese)
    • Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll
    • Apple Strudel with Werther’s Original Karamel and Vanilla Sauce
    • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
    • Braufactum Darkon
    • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett
    • Selbach-Oster Mosel Riesling Spätlese
    • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Auslese
    • Weingut Pitthan Dornfelder Dry Barrique Style
    • Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream
    • Zapiekanki (Toasted Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Cheese Bread with House-made Ketchup)
    • Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer
    • Temptation Zinfandel
    • Frozen Szarlotka (Apple Pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
    • Ravioli de formaggio all’emiliana
    • Salsiccia e ‘Papacelli” Napoletani
    • Cannoli al Cioccolato
    • Moretti Beer
    • Moretti La Rosa
    • Procecco
    • Pinot Grigio Placido
    • Chianti Placido
    • Italian Margherita
American Adventure Coffee Cart:
    • Shakin’ Jamaican Coffee – Made with K?hlua, Vanilla and Caramel. Served Hot or Frozen
Hops & Barley:
    • Lobster Roll with Lemon Herb Mayonnaise
    • New England Clam Chowder with a side of Tabasco®
    • Craisin® Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Anglaise
    • Samuel Adams Boston Lager®
    • Samuel Adams® Octoberfest
    • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat®
    • Rogue Chocolate Stout
    • Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvée
    • Beer Flight 1: Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat®, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat®, Rogue Chocolate Stout
    • Griddled Lobster Tail with Garlic Herb Butter
Florida Local:
    • Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider with Monterey Jack and Sweet & Hot Pickles
    • Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables and Micro Cilantro
    • Cigar City Brewing Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale
    • Orlando Brewing, Sun Shade Organic Pale Ale
    • Florida Orange Groves, Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria
    • Florida Orange Groves, Key Limen-Key Lime Wine
    • California Roll
    • Spicy Hand Roll
    • Teriyaki Chicken Hand Roll
    • Youki Tofu topped with Miso Sauce, Edamame and Served with Grilled Vegetables
    • Sapporo Draft Beer
    • Sake: Junmai Ginjo
    • Green Tea Colada
    • Kefta Pocket
    • Harissa Chicken Roll
    • Baklava
    • Casa Beer
    • Ksar White
    • Sangria
    • Mimosa Royale
New Zealand:
    • Gratinated Green Lip Mussels with Garlic and Herbs
    • Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney
    • Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula and Black Currant Reduction
    • Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio
    • Mohua Sauvignon Blanc
    • Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay
    • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir
    • Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef
    • Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream
    • Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote featuring Driscoll’s® Berries and Whipped Cream
    • Hoegaarden
    • Stella Artois
    • Leffe Blonde
    • Leffe Brune
    • Beer Flight 1: Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde, Leffe Brune
    • Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
    • Escargots Persillade en Brioche (Garlic and Parsley Snails in Brioche)
    • Boeuf Bourguignon (Braised Short Ribs in Cabernet with Mashed Potatoes)
    • Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait (Chocolate Milk Crème Brûlée topped with Caramelized Sugar)
    • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc
    • Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
    • Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
    • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
    • Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush (Vodka, Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice)
    • Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie
    • Kerrygold Cheese Selection: Reserve Cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout, Skellig
    • Warm Chocolate Pudding with Bailey’s® Custard
    • Guinness Draught
    • Bunratty Meade Honey Wine
    • Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Potcheen
    • Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
    • Seared Rainbow Trout with Bacon, Frisee and Maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette
    • “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce
    • Moosehead Lager
    • La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine
    • La Face Neige Sparkling
    • Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah
    • Taste of Greece: Grilled & Marinated Calamari, Hitipiti, Eggplant Dip, Olives and Pita Bread
    • Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey
    • Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce
    • Spanakopita
    • Dannon Oikos® Light & Fit Blueberry Greek Yogurt
    • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
    • Domaine Siglas Assyrtiko/Athiri
    • Alpha Estate Axia Syrah
    • Ouzo by Metaxa
Refreshment Port:
    • Dole® Pineapple Fritters
    • Fried Shrimp with Dole® Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce
    • Fried Chicken Chunks with Dole® Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce
    • Orange Dole® Whip
    • Orange Dole® Whip with Crème de Cacao White
    • Dragon Berry Colada featuring Bacardi® Dragon Berry Rum

Desserts & Champagne:
    • Chocolate Orange Cupcake
    • Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake
    • Morello Cherry Pistachio Mousse
    • Dessert Trio
    • Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles
    • Frozen S’mores
    • Pyramid™Weiss Cream Beer
    • Möet & Chandon Ice Impérial
    • Möet & Chandon Impérial
    • Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé
    • Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé
    • Kahlua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
    • Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips
    • Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale
    • Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter
    • Lucien Albrecht Gewurztraminer Réserve
    • Aulani Sunrise featuring Ocean Vodka

Scotland (New):
    • Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress and Malt Vinaigrette
    • Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties-Griddled Vegetable Cake with Rutabaga and Mashed Potatoes
    • Scottish Banoffee Tart with Bananas, Scottish Whisky Toffee, Walkers Shortbread Crumbles and Sweet Cream
    • Innis & Gunn® Original
    • Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
    • Glenfiddich® Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18 year)
Craft Beers:
    • Dogfish Head Brewery, Namaste
    • Abita Brewing Company, Fall Fest
    • Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy, (Summer Shandy/Orange Shandy)
    • Florida Beer Company, Devil’s Triangle
    • New Belgium Brewing Company, Fat Tire
    • Widmer Brothers Brewing®, Alchemy Ale
    • Red Hook, Audible Ale
    • Sierra Nevada, Torpedo® Extra IPA
    • Beer Flight 1: Dogfish Head Brewery Namaste, Abita Brewing Company Fall Fest, Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy, Florida Beer Company Devil’s Triangle
    • Beer Flight 2: New Belgium Brewing Company Fat Tire, Widmer Brother s Brewing Alchemy Ale, Red Hook Audible Ale, Sierra Nevada Torpedo®

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show will be down for a short refurbishment from Nov.18th - 21st. 
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • It's official!  Festival of the Lion King will be moving into a brand new theater located in Africa. 

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic is selling a reversible cover ear hat wrap featuring villains and heroes. 


  • The characters from Frozen could start meeting as soon as September
  • A villains segment could be added to The Celebrate the Magic castle projection show during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party nights. 

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