Thursday, November 28, 2013

Frozen Review: Non-Spoilery and Spoilery


So, last night, my hubby and I went to see Frozen.  We went to a new theater that I absolutely loved.  It was a dine in experience and it was a great way to see a movie.  We'll be hitting up this theater again.  (Nothing like dinner and a movie all at the same time.)  But you didn't come here to hear about the movie theater that we went to. came to hear a review.  So let's get to it!

Non-Spoilery I hate reading reviews that contain spoilers.  It's why I avoid most reviews about any movie that I REALLY want to see.  I like to be surprised.  (It dates back to when I read a magazine article about Ross and Rachel from Friends that to this day still sort of ruins that episode.) Which is why with this movie, I avoided pretty much everything minus a few trailers and maybe a couple articles.  So, I had a few preconceived notions coming into it.  But not enough to ruin it.  Actually for those of you who have seen a few trailers, I can tell you that they really aren't like the movie.  So, that's a good turn of events.  (No spoilers...I promise!)

What I will tell those of you who want no spoilers is that this movie was a lot of fun.  It was well done and I can see why people are saying it's one of the best movies that Disney's done recently.

The movie was visually stunning.  There were pieces that you just on earth can they animate that so it looks so realistic?  (Especially some of the scenes involving ice.) It's amazing how much color they can bring to a world that's mostly blue, gray, and white.  But Disney certainly does it and they do it well. 

In addition, the songs were quite fun.  I really enjoyed them immensely.  They are not traditional Disney songs, but modern twists on Disney songs, I think.  (And boy can Idina Menzel sing...I mean, I knew that...but when you hear it, you are just floored.)

I really liked the characters.  They were certainly likeable and I appreciated the character traits they possessed.  It made the movie feel like a contemporary Disney movie with a Princess touch.  Like the best of both worlds.  

Overall, it's a solid movie and one you should certainly go see.  The plot is enjoyable and it has portions that are perfect for the kiddos, but the adults will certainly get a laugh or two out of it.  Make sure you don't let this movie melt out of theaters before you go see it.

(By the way, it's super hard to write this review without spoiling too much!  I think that could be why Disney promoted it the way they did.  You just need to go see this movie!) for those of you who do not want spoilers, stop reading now.  Because the next portion of this post will be FILLED with them.

I have given you fair warning.....

Completely Spoilery

Ok...I hope you're ready for spoilers...because here is my real review of the movie. 

I really did like this movie.  I thought it was extremely well done, especially considering all the troubles this movie has had getting of the ground.  (I mean, it's famously been a movie that Walt thought about doing, YEARS ago, but they could never get it just right.)  I really can see why people are calling this one of the best Disney movies in years.

I have to say, I absolutely did not see the bad guy twist, which I loved.  Before, with the trailers, I actually thought Elsa was considered to be the bad character.  Then as I watched, I totally fell for the Duke of Weselton being the evil one.  It really was a nice reveal that Hans was the true evil one.  (I almost wished we would have had more opportunity to explore his evilness, so I could have spent more time hating him...kinda like they did with Lotso in Toy Story 3.  You didn't know at first that he was the evil one, but once you did, you had plenty of time to hate his guts.)

Can I also say how glad I am that Olaf was not super annoying or overbearing?!  I really hated him in the trailers and personally, think that Josh Gad is sort of grating, but for this, it just worked!  I thought he had some great one liners and he really made me chuckle out loud at some points.  (I've been impaled.)    Olaf was really the star of the movie.  He worked a lot like Pascal did, the only difference is he could talk.  And can I just say, he had the BEST line in the movie with some people are worth melting for. heart melted and I think that was the moment I really fell in love with him too.  

Speaking of being in love, I wholeheartedly loved the way they broke the spell!  For the first time ever in a Disney princess movie, you didn't have a guy saving the day!  While I'm certainly not an uber feminist, it was so wonderful to have true love be that of a sister's love and not rely on a guy to save the day. Again, a nice twist that I didn't see coming and a wonderful change of pace.  What a great plot decision.

I loved how they characterized Anna.  She seemed like such a modern Disney princess.  She had spunk, was awkward, and relatable.   It also makes sense why Elsa was calm, cool, and collected...she had to be...and as the older sister myself, I understand how she acted.  You have to be the mature one...especially when you have special powers. It was nice to see her relax a bit at the end though. 

Also...two words...Idina Menzel....

Seriously...she could sing the phone book and I'd be freaking happy.  "Let It Go" is amazing and she was meant to sing it.  Also, as silly as it was, the other song that really stood out to me was the song the trolls sang.  Silly and not crucial, yes, but darn entertaining.  I also really liked Olaf's "In Summer" song.  Again...just fun.

With all that said, personally, I felt like there was just something a bit off...I think it was the pacing.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I thought they did just fine with the story, but it almost felt a bit rushed, almost like there was too much of the story that they wanted to tell, but they didn't have time to do it.

Or maybe that was just me, as I could have sat there greedily consuming more of this story!  I wished that we could have seen a bit more of Elsa and her character development.  I would have maybe loved throwing some flashbacks in there to tell more of the story.  But I'm well aware that these animated movies are geared towards kids, so I understand that they only had a short window for attention span and that a 2 plus hours certainly would be well past the limit.  I'm just saying that I would have been more than happy myself to have given it.

Overall, I thought it was a solid movie.  I'm not yet sure how it stacks upf for me against Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph.  Both of those I seem to enjoy with each additional viewing.  I'm sure that I will only grow more in love with this one as time goes on.

If you haven't seen the movie yet and you've read this incredibly spoiler laden review, then you definitely need to see it.  It has a lot of heart and excitement, as well as a fascinating story.  Even though I felt it was a bit rushed and would have loved to have the opportunity to explore the story more, I strongly suggest seeing it.

Bravo to the artists and everyone who helped to finally bring this long labored over story to life.  Thanks for creating another movie that's worthy of the Disney name.

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, November 24, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 11/18/13 - 11/24/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • The new Magic Kingdom bus loop is expected to open this week.
  • The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover will be closed from Feb. 10th - March 27th. 
  • The Barnstormer will be closed for refurb from Jan. 3rd - 5th. 
  • Liberty Square Riverboat will be closed from Jan. 21st - 31st


  • A few details were released about the upcoming Spice Table Road restaurant that's coming to the Morocco Pavilion.  The restauraunt will house 120 outdoor seats and 60 indoor.  A wide variety of small plates will be sold that will serve up unique flavors, such as, garlic jumbo shrimp in a spicy chile pepper sauce; harissa chicken drumettes; mussels with preserved lemons and tomato sauce; a Mediterranean omelet with sausage, potatoes and caramelized onion; and Moroccan merguez sausage with a tomato salad.

Disney Resorts

  • The Hippy Dippy Pool at Pop Century will be closed from Dec. 9th - 11th.
  • All Star Sport's Surf's Up Pool will be closed from Jan. 6th - 24th.

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic has Disney offering up special delicacies for the Thanksgiving Holiday. They include:  Magic Kingdom -Tony’s Town Square, Sleepy Hollow, and the Main Street Bakery are offering pumpkin treats. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, pick up pumpkin cupcakes found throughout the park. In Epcot, at Sunshine Seasons dine on pumpkin muffins, as well as pumpkin cheesecake. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, on Thanksgiving Day at Tusker House enjoy a full Thanksgiving buffet for both lunch and dinner.
  • Nikon is the official camera for Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  They will provide cameras for all Disney PhotoPass photographers and all the former Kodak picture spots will be branded as Nikon.  


  • Camp Minnie-Mickey may close on Jan. 5th. 

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

runDisney's First On The Road To Disney Parks - Atlanta

This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to be chosen to get to participate in the first stop in the brand new runDisney On The Road To Disney Parks meetup.  It was truly a remarkable experience that I will never forget!

Brian and I signed up a few weeks ago, via the Disney Parks Blog sign up.  We both were lucky enough to get picked, so after a little training on my part (I am certainly not a runner), we were ready to go.  We only had to run 2 miles, so I thought...what the heck.  I can manage.

We got up super early on November 16th (yikes...4:30 am!) and we made our way down to Turner Field, which is about an hour away from our house.  Check in started at 6:15 am, so after we got through the process and were given our awesome runDisney shirts, we just started mingling, taking pictures with friends, and being excited.

The event kicked off as the sun started to rise on the horizon, however, it was a very foggy and cool morning, so, it was a bit difficult to see all day. We started with an introduction from Michael Cain, a representative from the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  Next was Brian, from New Balance who discussed the importance of Good Form Running (For those curious, the four steps are posture, midfoot, cadence, and lean).  All of a sudden, who should appear, but Mickey Mouse himself who was there to help cheer us on!  It was time to run!    

We were split into two groups.  Group one was full of the runners (Brian went with that group, as he really is the runner in the family and really the reason I signed up in the first place). Group two would be going out with none other than Jeff Galloway using his 20/20 running method.  (Running for 20 seconds/walking for 20 seconds.)  Me, being the non-experienced runner chose the Galloway method.  

The running group.  Brian's in the front in the red hat!  ©Disney

As we set out, I started running with a friend of mine, Jess Cutler.  She's a real runner, but she stayed with me the whole way and helped motivate me through the entire process.  I have to say a HUGE thank you to her.  She'll never know how grateful I am that she stayed behind with me, because I had a lot of trouble with this run and she kept me going.  
The Jeff Galloway Group ©Disney

 The problem I had was that the group who went out with Jeff Galloway was so huge that by the time the front group started running for the 20/20 method, those of us in the back were just starting to walk.  It was extremely chaotic and I probably made a big mistake, because Jess and I decided it would be a good call to run to catch up to the main group.  We never did catch up and what I probably did was wore myself out more, because this run ended up being EXTREMELY hard.   (Granted, I'd also never made it 2 miles in my training, but I was able to get through a little over a mile with no problems on my own.)  We decided halfway through that we were just going to run at my pace and I managed to do alright.  

The run itself was extremely cool though.  We got to run through the Olympic Rings (from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics).  We then ran all the way around the Capitol building.  It was so beautiful.  It was my first time that close to it.  

After we rounded back, we made our way back to Turner Field.  (I believe this was our two miles).  From there, we wound our way through the tunnels of Turner Field and all the sudden, there was a light at the end of the tunnel...quite literally.  We were going to get to go out onto the field!  

This was my second time getting to go out on a professional baseball field.  I'd done it a few years prior at Busch Stadium, home of my beloved St. Louis Cardinals.  Despite the fact that it was Braves country, it was still a really cool experience.  We got to take photos in the dugout and then we got to pose with Minnie Mouse.  From there, we ran back around the warning track, where my friend Mary Jo decided we had to take a special photo.  

My feet on the field!
Collage of me visiting both Busch and Turner!

This was all Mary Jo's fault.  :)

Once we made our way back to the main entryway of Turner Field, it was time for a delicious and nutritious breakfast.  Items included yogurt, cereal, a spinach and egg quiche, coffee, fruit, and water.

When everyone was fed and got settled in, the guest speakers series started.  First off, Tammy Jacobson, marketing area manager for runDisney mentioned a new hashtag that will be introduced called #WhyIRunDisney.  Here, guests are encouraged to submit their own stories of why they run Disney.  Disney may just want to visit you to have you share your story with them! 
Jeff Galloway discussed his run/walk method.  He also gave encouragement that truly anyone can run in the big races.  I actually won a prize from Mr. Galloway!  A book about training for Half Marathons for women.  (Are they trying to tell me something?)
Add caption

Diet Diva Tara, runDisney's nutritionist, got on stage and discussed how important proper nutrition is in the of fueling up of runners.  One major thing she discussed was how gaining wait while training can happen if you over indulge because you know you ran.  (I think I can be guilty of overindulging on days I run...must stop that now!)

After that was the part that most of the crowd was excited for...the representatives from New Balance took the stage.  While they didn't show the New Balance shoe, they did give us a sneak peek at which Disney character would be featured on the heel.  Sorcerer Mickey will be on the men's version, and pretty in pink Minnie will be on the women's option.  It was also announced was that there would be a kids shoe that would mimic the adult version.  

After that, the event's second Olympian, (see the Olympic ties) Barbara Parker then got up and spoke about what it's like to train for the Olympics.  She shared a few tips on how to properly run while expecting.  (She announced she was pregnant!) 

Finally, from Runner's World, Warren Greene got up and mentioned that they are bringing back their challenge to the 2015 runDisney events.  

The event was now coming to a close.  Mickey and Minnie came back so that we could all grab a quick photo with them.  We also got awesome swag bags which included lots of goodies including a hat, water bottle, Luna and Cliff bars, a Puma gift card and more!  

It was really an exciting event and one I am certainly glad I was able to participate in.  While the actual run was a bit difficult for me, I had a blast doing it.  I also really enjoyed the training process.  While I may not have been a runner before I signed up...I think that because of this event, I am now.  We'll just have to see where this new-found running bug takes me.  

Here is the recap video that played on The Disney Parks Blog.  Brian and I can be found in the the first 3 seconds! 

I can also say that if an On The Road To Disney Park event comes near you, sign up.  If you are even thinking about starting to run, sign up.  This event motivated me more than anything has ever done before.  The magic of runDisney has worked on me, and I bet it will work on you too.  

A HUGE thank you to the runDisney staff that put on this incredible event.  They did a phenomenal job. 

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!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We'll Miss You Diane Disney Miller!

Wow...I am at a complete loss of words.  Last night, we lost Ms. Diane Disney Miller.  My heart is heavy.

Because of her, we all have the love of the Disney company and Walt Disney that we do.  Because of her and her sister's "Daddy Days" as Walt would call them, and his time on the park bench in Griffith Park, watching his two little girls go around on the merry-go-round, Walt was able to come up with one of his greatest ideas, Disneyland. It's hard to fathom that such a simple and wonderful idea could turn into the wonderful experience that we all know and love today, both in Orlando and in Anaheim.


I also feel as though we have lost Walt again in a way. I of course, wasn't even a thought yet when Walt Disney passed.  (Heck, I'm not even sure my parents had even met yet.) But with this loss, coupled with the loss of Roy E. Disney back in 2009, the two remaining hard and fast links to Walt Disney are now gone.  Both of them had helped to preserve Walt's memory and remind everyone that he was indeed, a person, a wonderfully, creative person, and not just another made up corporate symbol.

I appreciate Diane's efforts to create the Walt Disney Family Museum, a place I would love to get to experience at some point, because it is a place where real artifacts and pieces of history about this incredible family are able to be shared with the masses.  This wasn't something that HAD to be done.  Diane could have kept these memories to herself, but she wanted to share them.  She wanted to fight to protect the Disney name and legacy. 

I feel as though she has been sharing her daddy with us Disney fanatics for her whole life and for that I am eternally grateful.  She was an inspiration to him, which in turn, made her an inspiration to us.  Because of her, we all get to experience Walt's warmth and creativity on a daily basis.

So, Diane Disney Miller...thank you for being so gracious and allowing us to love your dad too.  We are all so very lucky because of it.

I extend my condolence to the friends and family of Diane Disney Miller.  I ask now that we all participate in a moment of silence to honor this amazing woman.




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 11/11/13 - 11/17/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • The Celebrate the Magic Castle Projection Show is now showing the special holiday finale, as well as bits inspired by the movie Frozen.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Sid Cahuengas has officially closed.  It will be converted into a full MyMagic+ service center.  The specialty collectable merchandise that was sold here will be moved to the AFI Showcase shop at the end of The Backlot Tour.  
  • It appears that now Hollywood Studios is testing the tiered Fastpass+ system.  FastPass+ experiences will be able to be selected from two groups of attractions.  One selection from the group 1(more of the headliner attractions) and two selections from group 2 (more of the secondary attractions). The groups are as follows: Group 1 (Choose ONE option)
    • Beauty and the Beast
    • Fantasmic!
    • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
    • Toy Story Mania

    Group 2 (Choose TWO options)
    • Disney Jr- Live on Stage
    • The Great Movie Ride
    • Indiana Jones
    • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
    • MuppetVision 3D
    • Star Tours  
    • Tower of Terror

Disney Resorts

  • Pop Century is testing only providing MagicBands to guests. Guests will continue to be able to engage in MyMagic+ testing in the same manner as other resort guests.  If a guest would prefer to have a Key To The World card instead, they may, however, it will be a RF-enabled Key To The World card can be issued instead. It will work in the same manner a MagicBand would. Guests will be unable to obtain Legacy FASTPASS tickets because the magnetic strip on the back of the card will be inactive.

General WDW News

  • A full list of restaurants have been announced that will be serving Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  Please check my post for the full details and list of restaurants.
  • MagicBands are being used now for all Extra Magic Hour Mornings to gain entry into the park.  Guests bands will be scanned to check eligibility. 


  • The Comedy Warehouse improv show is slated to be coming back this Holiday Season.  Shows should take place in the Premier Theater and should begin around Dec. 21st and last until Jan. 5th.  
  • It's possible that Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island at the Magic Kingdom could be open during the busy holiday season.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Where To Find Pixar Characters at Walt Disney World

Pixar has been a part of the Disney family since the very beginning.  Eighteen years ago, when Toy Story first came out, the loveable characters that Pixar created became just as endearing and beloved as some of the original Disney classics were.   And Pixar just kept cranking them out.  Each film that's been released includes a loveable character that tugs at the heartstrings and connects with our souls.

Of course, back in 2006 when Disney bought Pixar, these two entered into a marriage that was a match made in heaven and all the catalog of Pixar characters were truly and rightful part of Disney's family.

With that, the characters of Pixar have made their way into the four Walt Disney World theme parks in such wonderful and surprising ways.  Some are extremely obvious (Toy Story Midway Mania) and some are less so (the new Wilderness Explorer's game at Disney's Animal Kingdom).  Today, I'm going to take a look at the Pixar movies and tell you where you can find these characters in the parks!  (PS:  I'm going to obviously miss some, so the ones that I've missed, please let me know in the comments section or on the Facebook page!)


Toy Story (1, 2, and 3)

With Toy Story being the oldest property, as well as clearly being the most popular, there are a ton of locations where you can meet Woody and the gang!

Magic Kingdom
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (Tomorrowland):  Help Buzz fight the evil Zurg!
  • Buzz Lightyear meet and greet (Tomorrowland):  meet the Space Ranger himself
  • Woody and Jessie meet and greet (Frontierland):  these two can be found near the end of Splash Mountain
  • Woody and Jessie in the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party (Main Street USA):  Jam on down!
 Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Toy Story Mania (Pixar Place):  Compete against your neighbor
  • Buzz and Woody meet and greet (Pixar Place):  meet the lovable duo
  • Pizza Planet (Streets of America): eat a slice and play a video game just like in the movie
  • Hey Howdy Hey Take Away (Pixar Place): includes fun "props" that can be seen in Toy Story 2 
  • Disney's All Star Movies Resort:  a whole wing has been created around the characters
A Bug's Life 

A few pieces of this movie have trickled into the parks.  It's not a lot, but for the lover of this movie, there is one option

Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • It's Tough To Be A Bug (Discovery Island): See what it's like to be the size of a bug in this fun, yet slightly scary, show. 
Monsters Inc/Monsters University
With the smash success of Monsters University, I would like to see them add more to the parks featuring these characters.  (Where is my door roller coaster ride that I've been wanting since the first movie came out!)

Magic Kingdom
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (Tomorrowland): Join Mike Wazowski as he attempts to get laughter instead of screams.
 Disney's Hollywood Studios
  •  Monsters Inc Meet and Greet (Streets of America):  meet Mike and Sulley fresh from their college classes   

Finding Nemo
Wow has this movie created a cult following for itself!  There are lots of great options to get up close and personal with Nemo, Dory, and the gang!

  • The Seas With Nemo and Friends (The Seas Pavilion): Help find Nemo with the gang
  • Turtle Talk With Crush: you'll get to talk with actually talk to him...and he'll recognize you back!
 Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Finding Nemo: The Musical (Dinoland USA): Sing along as the story of Finding Nemo is retold via amazing puppetry.  
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort: a whole wing is dedicated to the movie
The Incredibles  
These characters, much like the movie, is one that not that are commonly talked about, but it's still fun.

Magic Kingdom
  • Mr. Incredible and Frozone in the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!  Street Party (Main Street USA): Jam down with them too!
  • A new dance party has been introduced to Tomorrowland called the #IncrediblesSuperDanceParty
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • The Incredibles Meet and Greet (Magic of Disney Animation): meet with Mr. Incredible and usually Frozone.  (Though sometimes you'll see Mrs. Incredible).

Cars/Cars 2 
Who doesn't want to say katchow with Lightning McQueen?

Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Cars Meet and Greet (Streets of America): meet with Lightning and Mater
  • Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show (Streets of America):  See Lightning make a small cameo during this action packed show
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort: a whole Cars wing has been created  
One of the most touching movies EVER.  If you don't cry, you are dead inside.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Meet Russell and Dug (Discovery Island):  Meet these two buddies and...squirrel! 
  • Wilderness Explorers (All over Disney's Animal Kingdom): This fun game will have you traipsing all around Disney's Animal Kingdom completing activities to earn Wilderness Explorer badges.

Pixar's first Princess has proven she's got the might and is in charge of her own fate

Magic Kingdom
  • Merida meet and greet (Fantasyland): meet with the fierce princess and play some fun games too!

Now, you will notice that two movies are missing from my list.  The first is Ratatouille, where up until recently, guests could meet the Little Chef, otherwise known as Remy, at Chef de France.    The second movie has seen no tie ins, what so ever and that is Wall-e.  Originally, there was talks to bring in a Wall-e character into the parks, but that didn't work.  It has also been thought about turning Tomorrowland into a bit of a Wall-e universe, but that also hasn't seen the light of day.  It's interesting that these two movies which are not very high on my list of my favorite Pixar movies, and it may be why we don't see them in the me, they aren't as beloved by the masses as most of the other movies were.  (Yes, they've all been good, with the exception of Cars 2 for me...I won't see that movie again...but these two just aren't as fascinating as the other ones to me.)  

So, that's gonna do it for where you can meet the Pixar characters in the Walt Disney World theme parks.  Which characters are the ones you look for the most?  Let me know in the comments section or on Facebook.  

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, November 10, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 11/4/13 - 11/10/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • The Holly Jolly Trolley Show is now performing on Main Street USA. 


  • The 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will see two new topiaries in the form of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.  The Marketplace Booths are indeed coming back and this year, there are already a few new dishes that have been announced.  These include a barbeque chicken leg or the Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake at the Smokehouse Barbeque booth.  In addition, two new acts have been released for this year’s Flower Power Concert Series.  They are Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) who will perform from March 14-16, and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”) will be live on May 16-18.
  • When the new Frozen Norway Stave Church exhibit reopens, 21 new artifacts will be on display, including a Hardanger fiddle, a carved wooded chair, silver brooches, a small loom, and decorative Norwegian paintings.  

Downtown Disney

  • A brand new shop called the Marketplace Co Op will be taking over the Team Mickey store.  This new location will house 6 different boutique stores, offering things like home goods, accessories, sports memorabilia, and  beauty products.
  • The House of Blues is adding a new quick service location where they will be offering up barbeque.  This new section of the restaurant should open in January.  
  • The first of the new food trucks debuted.  The Superstar Catering truck, which specializes in meatball creations and is themed after Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

General WDW News

  • This week's Limited Time Magic has guests experiencing an enhanced Flag Ceremony on Main Street USA to celebrate Veteran's Day Week. 


  • Festival of the Lion King is now rumored to be opening sometime in April. 

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Mouse-standing List: Limited Time Magic's Happy Haunted Horseshoe Show


 So, I think it's well known that I haven't exactly been over the moon about this year's Celebration of Limited Time Magic.  Truthfully, I don't think a lot of people have.  However, this past week, Walt Disney World did something for a Limited Time Magic event that I think was EXACTLY what they should have been doing the whole time...(forget this cupcake and dance party stuff...)  As a matter fact, I even posted on Twitter last week how great I thought it was and how I wished that something similar will make it's way into the park on a regular basis sometime soon.

The Happy Haunted Horseshoe, which took place in The Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland was a fabulous idea! This showcase featured Miss Betty Blue singing jazzy tunes, Abner Cadaver - a talented card and coin magician, Dearly Departed Stan with his rollicking piano tunes, and who can forget, the Cadaver Dans, the dead barber shop quartet. 

Now, the times were very limited, so not a lot of people were able to pop into this fantastic show.  However, if you did get in to see this saloon style presentation, you would have seen great performances by talented acts, funny impromptu bits, and fun audience participation.  It was a hoot and a half for those who got to participate in the excitement. 

While it was themed around these performers being in "grave" states for the Halloween festivities, what it really did was prove to me that acts like this are just itching to come to the Magic Kingdom once again in this very location. 

Currently, this venue is just used as sort of an overflow of things. Recently, it's been showcasing dining during extremely busy periods of the year, like the Holidays or Free Dining, or it's been serving as sort of a dance party central during the Halloween and Christmas parties.  But wouldn't it be great to have a venue like this with a set show schedule once again?  To me, it's been way too long for a show of this nature to be absent from the Magic Kingdom. 

When I went to Disneyland last year, I went to the Golden Horseshoe (a location quite similar to this one) and while Brian and I originally went in for a little relaxation, we were entertained by the great talent that could be found there.  As you can see, there's nothing prettier than a man dressed as a girl...

The Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland

While rides are certainly important in theme parks, shows like these are the inner pieces of the onion.  They help to round out the experience.  All the pieces work together to create a full adventure. 

Some of the things I find the most fun when I go down to the parks are Streetmosphere characters, the Citizens of Main Street, DiVine...none of these things are certainly headliners by any means, but they help to enhance the story being told.  My hope is that Disney recently realized this because they have added similar type groups to New Fantasyland with acts like Storybook Circus Giggle Gang and the Royal Majesty Makers.  These types of performers are exactly what The Diamond Horseshoe needs.  A fun, interactive saloon type show would be an amazing addition to not just Frontierland, but the Magic Kingdom.     

Maybe I'm just nostalgic for my Adventurer's Club days.  It was sort of similar in the fact that it was a lot of playing off the audience, intermixed with the "story" that was to be followed.  (By the way, Miss Betty Blue did used to work at the Club!  I recognized her immediately!) But shows like this are fun and are perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle going on outside. 

I really hope Disney takes a look at this and thinks about what a success something like this could be.  It would be great to see this now, more or less dining spillover location, turned into something great once again. 

Now I ask you...what do you think? Would you like to see a Saloon type show in The Diamond Horseshoe or is this just not something that you would enjoy?  Please let me know in the comments section or on the Facebook page. 

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 10/28/13 - 11/3/13

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


Magic Kingdom

  • Periwinkle will be greeting guests again at Tinker Bell's Magical Nook starting Nov. 5th.
  • Holiday Happenings starting on Nov. 5th:  Celebrate the Magic Castle Projection Show - Holiday edition, Castle Lighting Ceremony called Cinderella's Royal Wish, Holiday Trolley Show.  
  • Holiday Happenings starting on Nov. 8th:  Jingle Cruise and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.


  • Holiday Happenings starting on Nov. 29: Holiday Storytellers Around the World, Illuminations with Holiday Finale, and Candlelight Processional.  
  • Anna and Elsa from Frozen are now meeting in the Puffin's Roost area of the Norway Pavilion. 
  • New soda flavors have been added to Club Cool.  The complete list is: 
    • Beverly (Italy): a bitter aperitif 
    • Fanta Pineapple – Fanta debuted in Europe in the 1940s and was introduced in the U.S.A. in 1960s. It’s now available in more than 90 flavors. This option is caffeine-free and has a sweet pineapple taste.
    • VegitaBeta (Japan) – combines apricot and passion fruit flavors
    • Fanta Melon Frosty (Thailand) – a melon-flavored soda that is the number one seller here
    • Bibo (South Africa) – a fruit-flavored juice drink
    • Sparberry (Africa) – raspberry cream-flavored soda
    • Guarana Kuat (Brazil) – flavored after the guarana berry
    • Inca Kola (Peru) – offers a sweet, almost bubblegum-like taste
  •  Epcot is testing a different version of Fastpass+ for guests who make new reservations during the months of Nov. and Dec.  These new reservations will have guests making only ONE reservation for a Headliner attraction (Level 1) and TWO reservations for additional attractions (Level 2).  If you already have Fastpass+ reservations made, DO NOT change them.
Level 1 Attractions are:
    • Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth
    • Maelstrom
    • Epcot Character Spot
    • Soarin’
    • Test Track 
Level 2 Attractions are: 
    • Captain EO
    • Journey into Imagination with Figment
    • Living with the Land
    • Mission Space
    • Spaceship Earth
    • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
    • Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Holiday Happenings starting Nov. 8th: Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. 

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Holiday Happenings starting Nov. 9th: Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade. 

Downtown Disney

  • The new running store, Fit2Run has now officially opened.

General WDW News

  • Fastpass+ testing will occur at the Swan and Dolphin from now until Jan. 12th.  They will not receive wristbands, but will instead need to make their reservations at the park using the MyMagic+ kiosks.


  • Mary Poppins and Bert may be meeting guests during this year's Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. 
  • Hearing that soft openings of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train could start in late March or early April.  This is really the first time I've ever even seen a time frame mentioned, so I thought it was noteworthy.

Download the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios!