Tag: disney world (page 3 of 3)

Walt Disney World 45th Anniversary products releasing this month

Magic Kingdom celebrates its 45th Anniversary on October 1, 2016. Some great news for Disney fans who like to shop: in commemoration, there are some exciting new 45th Anniversary products releasing this month at  Magic Kingdom and, for select items, the Shop Disney Parks app.

Two new Dooney & Bourke handbags in a special 45th Anniversary design will premiere through the Shop Disney Parks app on September 15, and will be available for purchase at the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. starting September 22.

45th Anniversary Dooney & Bourke

New Magic Kingdom 45th Anniversary commemorative items out at Disney this month! Click To Tweet

More from the Disney Parks blog:

Many of the logo products, including apparel, open edition pins, home goods and more, will be released in select locations at Magic Kingdom on September 22. Best places to check for these logo items include the following locations:

Main Street, U.S.A. – Emporium
Tomorrowland – Mickey’s Star Traders
Storybook Circus Area – Big Top Souvenirs
Frontierland – Briar Patch

We will be releasing several items on October 1 at the Emporium. Guests and Annual Passholderswill find “I Was There” shirts. We will also have a limited edition pin (edition size of 3,000), and a limited edition retail MagicBand (edition size 4,500).

45th Anniversary shirts and pin

Golden Oak, where Disney World is home

golden-oak-entrance

Have you always dreamed of living at Disney World? (Who hasn’t?) Well, at Golden Oak, you can — but at a steep price. Located near Disney Springs and nestled diagonally across from Disney’s Port Orleans resort, Golden Oak offers that dream to a very exclusive audience indeed — homes start at $2 million and go way past $10 million, which does not include over $20,000 annually in homeowner association and club fees.

So what do you get for that price, aside from a presumably beautiful house and proximity to Disney World? Lots of luxuries, it turns out.

golden-oak-snow-whiteTastefully appointed Disney touches throughout the development: Golden Oak does scream “Disney”, but it whispers it ever-so-elegantly. This bronze sculpture of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a favorite.

Interior design with a bolder Disney brush: While there are numerous architectural restrictions on the classically styled homes in Golden Oak (as with many gated communities), on the inside, owners can feel free to explore their inner Disney to the fullest, including Hidden Mickeys, murals, statues and all kinds of interior stylings reflecting favorite Disney characters.  Some owners are restrained, but others let their imagination run wild. From The Huffington Post:  “Rial Jones, whose construction company is one of eight approved to build in Golden Oak, has become accustomed to building full-blown Disney fantasies. One house under construction, for a single man in his 20s, will feature a drawbridge between the bathroom and bedroom and a submarine-themed basement with a porthole providing an underwater pool view. Jones is also building a 20,000-square-foot house that will include a Cinderella-inspired 50-foot-long ballroom, an “Alice in Wonderland” themed bunk room with singing cake platters, and a re-creation of the Haunted Mansion’s stretching room.”

Access to the Four Seasons: Golden Oak is also home to the five-star Four Seasons. Residents can access all of the Four Seasons’ amenities.

Transportation to and from the Parks: The complimentary shuttle and mini-coach service is dedicated to Golden Oak residents along with their guests, who can be dropped off at any of the four Parks, Disney Springs, or either of the water parks.

Concierge services: The Golden Oak Resident Services team brings Disney’s renowned guest service culture directly to residents and their guests. The team can help assist with select personal, residential and resort requests, for a fee. To name a few:

  • Disney parks and special event tickets
  • Private VIP tours
  • In-home dinners and parties
  • Disney-inspired holiday décor
  • Dining reservations
  • Spa reservations
  • Golf tee-times
  • Home maintenance services

golden oak logoSales of homes at Disney’s exclusive Florida community are doing quite well. Named after the Walt Disney Company’s California ranch, the original projections for the gated community expected these costly retreats to mostly function as vacation homes. But most buyers are moving to the Mouse full-time, prompting Disney to urge realtors to market the remaining properties in the 300-home development to families.  (I can’t imagine it’ll be a hard sell — where else can Disney-obsessed millionaires live out their fantasies?)

For most of us, Golden Oak is far out of reach — but, I suspect, on quite a few “if I win the lottery” bucket lists!

 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party : Everything you Need to Know For a Spooktacular Time!

Summer’s almost over but don’t be sad — that means it’s almost time for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. We’ve got a ton of information on this year’s party, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you’ve got more, please leave them in the comments.

Halloween MNSSHP Disney World

Tickets are already on sale and Disney is beginning to release schedules for the Halloween festivities (with more to come the closer we get). Here’s what partygoers can count on so far:

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

Halloween Hocus Pocus Disney WorldThe Sanderson Sisters are back! This year they’ll be joined by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and other Disney villains in this not-to-be missed show featuring songs, dances and spells.  The show is scheduled to take place several times nightly, as follows:

  • September 2  – September 13: 9:15 PM,10:40 PM and Midnight
  • September 16 – September 30: 8:00 PM, 9:15 PM, 10:40 PM and Midnight
  • October 1 – 31: 7:45 PM, 9:15 PM, 10:40 PM and Midnight

Cadaver Dans

Halloween Cadaver Dans Disney WorldLocated in Frontierland and seen as part of the “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, the Cadaver Dans will take you through rousing renditions of spooky Disney classics like “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, “Cruella DeVil” and the “Oogie Boogie Song” among others.

  • September 2 – October 31: In Frontierland at 7:15 PM, 8:00 PM, 9:15 PM, 9:55 PM and 10:50 PM
Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade

Halloween Boo-to-You Disney WorldLead by the Headless Horseman, this eerie but fun parade featuring ghosts and ghouls from the Haunted Mansion takes place twice nightly.

  • September 2 – September 30: 8:30 PM and 11:15 PM
  • October 1 – October 31: 8:15 PM and 11:15 PM
Celebrate the Magic

Cinderella’s Castle will be magically transformed with Halloween-inspired scenes featuring Disney Villains.

  • September 2 – October 31: 10:00 PM
Happy Hallowishes Fireworks

Halloween Hallowishes Disney WorldDisney Villains and the Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion welcome guests to a spooky version of the Magic Kingdom’s much-loved evening fireworks display, set to the soundtrack of Disney’s scarier songs.

  • September 2 – October 31: 10:15 PM
Other events and sights to see at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
  • Trick or treating for visitors both young and old.
  • Special Character Meets – These are incredibly popular and lines form early. Available in 2015: Jack Skellington and Sally, the Seven Dwarfs, Jafar, Cruella De Vil, the Queen of Hearts, and Lotso, as well as many other regular characters.
  • The Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball and the Toy Story Dance Party are a character dance parties last held in 2014, and are scheduled nightly from 7 PM to Midnight, but no further information has been given as yet.
  • PhotoPass photographers will take Magic Shots during the party. When you look at your pictures, you’ll see something magically inserted into the shot with you… maybe a ghost or two!
  • Exclusive merchandise
  • An exclusive Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom card
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party : Everything you Need to Know For a Spooktacular Time! Click To Tweet
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Guide and Map 2016

Download the PDF here. Click on images below for full resolution.

MNSSHP guide Halloween

MNSSHP map Halloween

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I purchase a ticket to Mickey’s Not-So-Spooky Halloween Party, do I need to have a Park ticket for the Magic Kingdom for that day as well?

A: No. You do not need a park ticket in addition to the special event ticket to attend the Halloween Party, which officially begins at 7 PM — however party guests have traditionally been allowed into the Magic Kingdom starting at 4 PM.

Q: Can I enter the Park at 4 PM, leave and come back?

You can, because you’ll be given a special Party wristband. But you’ll be giving up valuable Park time if you do.

Q: Do they really make non-Party guests leave Magic Kingdom at 7 PM?

Yes. As it gets closer to 7 PM, Cast Members will start reminding everyone not wearing a wristband that they must leave before the Party begins. Once 7 PM comes, Cast Members will start escorting anyone without a wristband out of the Park. You’ll always hear stories of people who claim they were able to sneak past the CMs and stay, but some of those may be exaggerated, and besides, you don’t want to be that guy, do you?

Q: What if I’ve got an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) at a Magic Kingdom restaurant like Be Our Guest at 6 PM? They’re not going to cut my dinner short, are they?

Definitely not. But when you are finished and leave the restaurant, you’ll be escorted to the gate.

Q: Will I be able to make FastPass+ selections for attractions during the Halloween Party?

No, but also kind of yes.

No — there are no FastPass+ selections available during the Party, between 7 PM and Midnight. The good news is, you won’t need them. Ride lines tend to be much shorter during holiday parties because guests are busy with other activities, like special character meet and greets, trick or treating, and the parades. So it’s a great time to ride your favorite attraction an extra time or two. Make sure to visit Haunted Mansion, of course, which is extra spooky this time of year.

BUT… you can make FastPass+ selections between 4 PM and 7 PM on those days, since Party ticket holders are allowed in the gates early at 4 PM, before the official event starts.

Q: What is the costume policy for guests at Magic Kingdom and for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Can we dress up?

A: This is an important question, as Disney has changed their policy regarding costumes recently. Here are the guidelines — note that the rules for guests 14 years and older are stricter than they were in the past.

Disney reserves the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests.

All Guests may dress as their favorite character, but may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.

Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.

Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.

Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.

Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.

For Guests ages 13 and under:

Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long as the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.

For Guests ages 14 and older:

Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.

Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses)

Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.

Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, and hats are acceptable.

Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords, and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.

May not wear masks of any kind.

Q: Are the special character meet and greet lines long during the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?

YES. In past years both the Seven Dwarves meet and Jack Skellington & Sally’s in particular had lengthy, lengthy lines. If these character meets are important to you, get there early — as in, before the party starts early.

Q: Where is the best place to find exclusive merchandise during the party?

A: One of the easiest places to find items is The Emporium, but check out Big Top Souvenirs as well.

Q: How do I get tickets?

A; Tickets start at $72 for adults and $67 for kids and rise closer to $100 as Halloween nears. Click here for more details, and to purchase tickets now.

UPDATED: Main Street Electrical Parade closing at WDW

UPDATED: as per the Disney Parks Blog, “The Main Street Electrical Parade, Magic Kingdom Park’s long-running nighttime parade, will officially end its historic run at Walt Disney World Resort on October 9 and then head to Disneyland Resort for a limited-time encore engagement.”

main street electrical

There was a rumor going around that Walt Disney World’s Main Street Electrical Parade is closing on September 10, 2016, based on this tweet —

Will the parade be replaced by the Paint the Night parade from Disneyland, as some are speculating? No definite information is available. The Disney Parks Blog has this to say about plans at Disneyland:

“Paint the Night” parade will continue nightly performances, just before “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, through September 5 as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. And I’m excited to share today that this popular parade will return on select nights during the holiday season later this year.

When questioned in the comments about the possibility of Paint the Night moving to Walt Disney World in Florida, the blog had only this reply:

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Meet Belle at Liberty Square this month

Belle in her gownThere’s a limited-time character meet and greet going on for Memory Maker customers only in Walt Disney World this month, August 2016 — drat, I’m super sorry to be missing this one! Belle is my favorite princess.

From August 7th to the 31st, Memory Maker customers can meeting Belle in her formal gown at Heritage House at Liberty Square, in the Magic Kingdom. There is no FastPass for this experience and it is for Memory Maker customers only.

Belle will be available daily for at the following times:

  • 11 AM – 11:40 AM
  • 12 PM – 12:40 PM
  • 1 PM – 1:40 PM
  • 2 PM – 2:40 PM
  • 4 PM – 4:40 PM
  • 5 PM – 5:40 PM
At WDW Aug 7 - 31, Memory Maker customers can meet Belle at Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. Click To Tweet

More information:

Disney PhotoPass Service will offer a character experience at Magic Kingdom Park for Guests who have a Memory Maker or Memory Maker One Day entitlement, including Annual Passholders. The Guest with the Memory Maker or Memory Maker One Day entitlement will need to have his/her MagicBand or Park Ticket scanned prior to entering the character experience to verify that he/she has purchased one of the two products.

Update: This limited-time event is set to coincide with the DVD re-release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

The Muppets are coming to the Magic Kingdom!

Those rumors about The Muppets coming to Liberty Square in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom — they’re true!

Muppets magic kingdom disney

Those rumors about The Muppets coming to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom -- they're true! Click To Tweet

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Beginning this fall, the Muppets will be visiting Magic Kingdom Park, where they’ll take part in an all-new live show, “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.”

Sam Eagle, the fiercely patriotic American eagle who is forever trying to set a high moral standard for the Muppets, will join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo and James Jefferson, town crier of Liberty Square, as they gather outside The Hall of Presidents to present historical tales in hysterical fashion as only they can. From the midnight ride of Paul Revere to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Muppets appear throughout the day to share with Guests, their own unique take on the founding fathers and the birth of the United States of America.

Featuring an original song and plenty of wacky Muppets humor, “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” will make its debut in October 2016.

Listen up everyone: Disney is *not* replacing the Hall of Presidents with Muppets. This is an all-new addition that will happen outside the much-beloved attraction. As a Muppets fan myself, I’m thrilled. This also dovetails nicely to the recent news about PizzeRizzo replacing Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios this fall.

Club Villain returns to Hollywood Studios

Club Villain, which seemed to come to an end a few weeks ago, is alive and well and taking reservations for September and October, 2016.

clubvillain2016

There were rumors it was going to return — eagle-eyed Disney fans noticed that there were auditions posted for new Club Villain dancers, after the show had closed. The rumors were true and this unique event will return to Hollywood Studios this fall.

Held every Friday and Saturday evening in September and October 2016, as well as on on Halloween night, October 31st, this is a hard ticket event with a steep price ($129 per person, tax and gratuity included). Regular park admission is also required.  The event is offered twice nightly at 5:15 and 8:30 PM.

I haven’t had a chance to attend this one yet, but I’m interested and glad to have the chance to do so again. I’ve read very favorable reviews — like this one from the Disney Food Blog — and I’m a sucker for unique experiences.

Here’s some more information from the Disney World web site, where you can make reservations as well, up to 90 days in advance:

Dance the night terrors away with Dr. Facilier and his evil-diva cohosts at this specially ticketed dining event at Sunset Showcase.

Sunset Showcase loudly presents Club Villain, a frightfully fun dance-and-dine event featuring some famous fiends!

This spellbinding evening serves up decadent New Orleans delicacies like tender beef strip loin rubbed with herbes de Provence, Voodoo sticky “pig wings” with citrus gremolata and spicy shrimp sautéed with Andouille sausage, tomato, okra and onions over creamy polenta.

Trick or treat yourself to some chilling cocktail concoctions—specialty alcoholic drinks plus beer and wine—hilarious stage-show numbers and up-close encounters with Disney’s most dastardly doomsday divas. Mix and mingle with mysterious Maleficent, hilarious Queen of Hearts, the delirious Evil Queen and the always fur-fetched Cruella De Vil—and wicked jams from our house DJ!

the happiest place on earth

PhotoPass_Visiting_Magic_Kingdom_Park_7472505237Last week Dave took me to Disney World for my very first visit. It really is the happiest place on earth, though in full disclosure, it’s also one of the busiest, most hectic and somewhat expensive places out there too. We had a magical time, but Disney World is a marathon of a vacation, and not for the faint of heart.

We took a Disney cruise for our honeymoon and loved it, but the ships are relaxing — there’s a limit of how much running around you can do, that limit being the ship itself. Disney World, on the other hand, is enormous. It’s the size of San Francisco (not quite as fabulous, but it tries). Twice the size of Manhattan. It’s 25,000 acres and 40 square miles. I think we walked all of them in the four days we were there.

PhotoPass_Visiting_Epcot_7465721952

It’ll always look like a giant golf ball to me. I’m surprised Dave didn’t run screaming.

As an aside, we rented a car instead of relying on Disney transportation. This was a last-minute decision based on me coming down with a thankfully-not-appendicitis abdominal infection two weeks before the trip. The Disney transportation system of buses, monorails and ferry boats is impressive, and I think mostly works well. But we weren’t sure I’d be up to waiting even a short amount of time, when I needed to get out of Dodge. I did okay — just one or two rough patches — but better safe than sorry. We still used transport to get to the Magic Kingdom from the parking area, since you have to. Mostly we used the ferry, which is a nice way to float up to the park, Cinderella’s castle looming into view.

PhotoPass_Visiting_Epcot_7465377710Because I’m a geek, I had as good a time planning our vacation as I did going on it. We made our food plans — ADRs, Advanced Dining Reservations — right away, 180 days out. We didn’t get every restaurant we wanted right away, so I spent the next few months stalking out that elusive Be Our Guest dinner and the pre-park opening breakfast at Crystal Palace until we had everything just right. Then at 60 days out you get your FastPass+ selections — we were able to get one for everything we wanted since we’re not big thrill-riders. And then I found a fantastic group on Facebook for people visiting Disney in September. With slightly over 1600 members, the group was an amazing resource for shopping tips (disposable ponchos are at Dollar Tree! The new Disney Vans are out!), advice about getting around the parks, and trading hard-to-get reservations. I bought a pair of Cleo Crocs on a recommendation from the group, and wore them every day of the trip. Walked about 35 miles in those shoes in 4 days, and no blisters, no pain, no problems.

I was proud of how well I did walking. A couple of years ago, after my back surgery, I couldn’t walk around the block without terrible pain for days. But I’ve been swimming and exercising and getting stronger, and I did okay. For me the hard part is standing, not walking. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of standing (in line) at Disney World. I had some bad moments. But I made it!

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The view outside our room at dawn.

The trip was great. We stayed at the Port Orleans – French Quarter resort, which is small, quiet, and quaint. We liked the pool and we liked our room, but we felt a little too “away from it all”. Next time we’ll probably stay at one of the popular Value resorts. You don’t spend that much time in your room regardless, and the resorts all have great pools when you want to take a break and cool off. (I don’t know how people afford the Deluxe resorts, which look awesome — but some of those places are $500 a night. We’re not poor, but sheesh!)

We went to Rope Drop at the Magic Kingdom on our first day. Just before the park opens, the train arrives carrying Mickey and his friends. Along with Disney Cast Members (CMs) they give a welcome show and the park opens. You have to get up really early to get there (it’s crowded) but I’d heard a lot about it and I wanted to see it at least once. I didn’t know that they sing the “Good Morning” song from “Singing in the Rain”. Well, I lost it. My mother used to sing that to wake me up on special days — birthdays, picnics, field trips at school. I was all blubbery. I so wished I could call her at that moment, but it was a happy moment because of it.

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The “Tree of Life” in Animal Kingdom.

We were in the Magic Kingdom every day, but we also visited Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. I loved the Magic Kingdom, of course, but also really enjoyed Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Midway Mania is a blast, and Star Tours more fun than I could have imagined. The safari ride in Animal Kingdom was a lot of fun, as well as the Kali River Rapids ride — we got soaked! I wasn’t a huge fan of Epcot, though Soarin’ alone was worth visiting and I can’t say enough good things about Nine Dragons, a terrific Chinese restaurant in the World Showcase. All in all, I think we used our time really well — all that pre-planning helped. Dave will agree that for a girl on her first visit to Disney, by the time our trip took place I had our four days planned to pretty-near perfection, and we made the most of a short visit.

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It was so humid I was seriously envying that snow cloud.

We purchased the Memory Maker package and got a lot of great pictures. They have PhotoPass photographers throughout the parks and you walk up and have your picture taken. Sometimes there’s a little extra magic in the finished shot. 🙂 You can buy the photos online individually for $15 each, or you can buy the package for $199 ($169 in advance) and get all of them. We ended up with a couple hundred photographs, about 75 of which we definitely would have wanted — so it was worth it.

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Later he kissed my hand and I blushed. I love Sulley.

We met a lot of characters — having my picture taken with Sulley from Monsters, Inc. was a Disney bucket-list item for me.  I have a thing where I don’t really like meeting “face” characters. I mean, the princesses and all. I can’t get over the fact that I’m a grown woman and this is another grown woman pretending to be Sleeping Beauty. But Sulley, Pooh or Donald Duck? That’s totally different.

EPCOT_CHRCON2_7465493566The characters were great on the whole. Minnie and Daisy Duck make kissy noises when they hug you. Buzz challenged Dave and then danced an impromptu rumba with me. Goofy took one look at Dave’s Goofy shirt and then tried to quit work for the day, figuring this guy had his costume on and could take over. A lot of people think Disney’s just for kids, but it’s not true. We’re grown-ups, but we still love Disney, and we still wanted to have fun and goof around. The characters all understood that.

We shopped a lot. A LOT. The beauty of going to Disney with no kids and not being broke is that when you want things you get them, without worrying about whether you should or not. I got a new Pandora bracelet and charms, we cleaned up at Bonjour Village Gifts (for Beauty & the Beast fans) and Dave got very into pin collecting.

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Hidden Mickeys in the fireworks!

All good things come to an end, though. Eventually it was time to leave. In the moment we were so wiped out, we didn’t think we’d mind. But it didn’t take long for Disney Depression to set in. No one takes our Magic Bands as payment. No one’s told me to “Have a Magical Day” all week. And there are no FastPasses for skipping long lines anywhere. It’s sad.

Good thing our next cruise is in 94 days. 🙂


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