Archive for May, 2015

The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! May 2015 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on May 31, 2015

MMM positiveMay has come to a close and the start of the Theme Park Summer (AKA Some Attractions Are Worth Melting For) is upon us. In case you weren’t paying attention, May just happened to be one of the biggest of the year. Star Wars Weekends started, and I even wrote a handy dandy guide on how you can survive it in Six Simple Steps. Universal had a busy month, officially announcing the new King Kong attraction, a partnership with Nintendo that will bring new attractions to the Florida parks, and a brand new ultra-themed water park in Volcano Bay that looks to compete with Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Meanwhile out in California Disneyland delivered the goods in a major way with their new Paint the Night electrical parade, debuting 60 new pressed pennies, added a new World of Color show, and even a new nighttime fireworks spectacular! Walt Disney World fans weren’t left out in the cold either, as the Lunching Pad at the Magic Kingdom has a brand new crisped rice treat that looks like a flip flop. Everyone came up a winner this month!

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

Our first step is checking out the new Tsum Tsums that have arrived, which naturally have become the newest thing I’m addicted to. Here are two of our favorite pals from Toy Story, Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

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Toy Story Tsum Tsums.

There were also several puppies from 101 Dalmations along with Cruella Deville.

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How many of the 101 Dalmations have official names and are identifiable by fans? Do people have their favorites like the Seven Dwarfs?

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Keeping Children Involved While Visiting a Theme Park

by on May 31, 2015

Picture from my disposable camera from my Disneyland trip-1989

Picture from my disposable camera from my 1989 Disneyland trip (I am on the right).

 

Let me start by saying that I do not have children of my own, nor do I travel anywhere with children. So, you’re probably wondering what makes me qualified to speak on the subject? Well, I do have one major qualification: I use to be one of those theme park children.

Even though I did not go to Disneyland a lot as a child (it was too expensive for my family), I did visit other Southern California theme parks quite often — specifically Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood. My parents managed to teach me a lot about planning, having fun, and cherishing each experience, so below are the four strategies that I would like to pass along to you to help set up everyone in your family for a happy theme park experience.

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Disney It Yourself: Disney DIY Lamp Shade + Video

by on May 30, 2015

Photo - Angela Dahlgren

Hello all you crafty people! Join me in another Disney It Yourself project: The Disney DIY lamp shade!

Let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scissors or an X-acto knife
  • Thicker paper like card stock or construction paper
  • Scotch tape
  • A lamp shade of your choosing
  • A Printer to print out your silhouette

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SATURDAY SIX: How To Survive Disney’s STAR WARS WEEKENDS In Six Easy Steps

by on May 30, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX is a special one for you, Dear Reader, as it is an invaluable guide that will show you How to Survive Star Wars Weekends in Six Easy Steps. Now of course we are huge fans of the various events at Walt Disney World including Flower & Garden and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but Star Wars Weekends is close to our heart because of how much we love those films. In fact, the greatest Christmas gift Your Humble Author ever received was Han Solo’s blaster. However, this annual event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be challenging if you don’t know what you are getting into ahead of time. So today we are going to give you the road map to success in navigating Star Wars Weekends in six easy steps, starting with…

# 6 – Watch the original Star Wars films before Disney adds even more stuff to them

Not surprisingly, Star Wars Weekends is filled with references from the original Star Wars trilogy, the three prequels, and even the Clone Wars cartoons (which has actually had six seasons of episodes despite the fact we don’t know anyone who has watched it.) You’ll want to watch the movies so you are familiar with the main characters, but also get a chance to see the films before Disney makes even more changes to them.

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Jack Sparrow added into Return of the Jedi. (photo by Matt Cleary)

You see, Star Wars fans have had to watch their beloved films be tinkered with for years, and almost always in a frustrating way (Greedo shoots first in A New Hope, young Annakin added to end of Jedi.) However Disney fans have had to sit by as their company became the worldwide leader in unwatchable sequels (we’re still waiting to see if anyone can explain the plot to Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End or tell us why Little Mermaid 3 and Brother Bear 2 exist.) Now that Disney has bought Star Wars we may see the darkest of all timelines come true, Disney changing the original films.

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Disney plans on being as subtle as possible with it’s changes, including the Olaf MagicBand worn by Han Solo. (photo by Matt Cleary)

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Changes Coming to the Disney Dining Plan Beginning May 31

by on May 29, 2015

Disney Dining PlanLove it or hate it, the Disney Dining Plan is a very popular part of many people’s Walt Disney World vacation. Many like the fact that everything is pre-paid, as well as the ease of using the system.

With that being said, Disney will be making a few minor changes, based off of guest feedback, to the program. These changes will allow guests more flexibility and choice in using entitlements,  including substitutions, who can use meal entitlements, and expanded snack offerings.

Let’s take a look at this piece by piece, starting with the changes to the table service entitlements.

  • Guests who do not want a dessert will now have the ability to substitute that dessert choice for either a side salad, a cup of soup, or a fruit plate. Do keep in mind that this is only available upon request and substitutions may be limited. Guests will not be able to select an appetizer option instead.
  • Guests will not be restricted on the number of meal entitlements that may be used in one dining experience. For example, if you had are a family of four and you have the dining plan, but you meet your parents at dinner and they do not have the dining plan, but you would like to use your extra credits to buy their meal, you now have the ability to do so.
  • Those guests on either the Deluxe, the Premium, of the Platinum Dining Plans will now be able to mix their adult and child credits. This means that if a guest on the dining plan has two adults and two child meal entitlements, they may choose to select four adult entree options, if they would like. Those on the regular Disney Dining Plan will not have this option, and a child entitlement must still be used for a child meal.

Let’s take a look at the changes being made at the the Quick Service location changes.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of May 29, 2015

by on May 29, 2015

In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

I love short weeks, don’t you? This week just breezed right by! (Maybe that’s because I slept a lot…I went down to Disney for the 24 hour event and after working, driving down, and touring in the parks, I was up for 27 hours! It was a lot of fun and totally worth it though!) Did you happen to attend the 24 hour day at either the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland Resort? Let me know your thoughts in the comments about the event and if you’d ever do it again!

This week’s articles include a great article about EPCOT, an interview with Neil Patrick Harris about his duties as host of World of Color, and much more!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

This is the must read article of the week:  A look at EPCOT, Walt’s plan to build the city of Tomorrow.  Thoughts?

A new solar energy facility will be built near Epcot courtesy of Duke Energy.

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2015 Eat to the Beat Concert Series Artists Announced

by on May 29, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Earlier this week, I gave you some preliminary details about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, including information about five new artists that would be joining this year’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series festivities.  During this concert series, bands and solo artists perform some of their most popular songs nightly.

Well today, Disney released the full concert series schedule. In addition to the new artists (which include Tiffany, Chaka Kahn, the S.O.S. Band, Everclear and Maxi Priest), many favorites will be returning, including Air Supply, Boyz II Men, Hanson, and Dennis DeYoung.

This year’s schedule is as follows:

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Star Wars Weekends Limited Edition MagicBands

by on May 29, 2015

(Photo by Julia Mascardo)

(Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Another special event at Disney means more merchandise, including another set of limited-edition MagicBands available for purchase. Like last year, this year’s Star Wars Weekends has limited-edition MagicBands available for purchase by the general public with special effects that can happen at the gate when you come in or when you tap your MagicBand for a FastPass+ redemption.

 

This year’s limited-edition bands feature Jedi Mickey and Jedi Donald designs and have “2015 Limited Edition 2,500” printed on the inside. The bands sell for $29.95 each (with merchandise discounts, such as Annual Passholder and Disney Visa, available). They can be purchased only during Star Wars Weekends at the X-Wing Collectibles part of Darth’s Mall in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (back near the Streets of America).

The limited-edition MagicBands come in special Star Wars Weekends packaging. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

The limited-edition MagicBands come in special Star Wars Weekends packaging. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 5/29/15

by on May 29, 2015

Wow! It’s been a long time since I brought you the latest Newsworthy Notes for Walt Disney World. But that all changes today! I am back with those little nuggets that can help you navigate your next Disney vacation a little bit better. There’s quite a few great nuggets again, so let’s get to them!

  • The big news is that a new grab and go food and beverage location is being constructed in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  It will be located where guests could previously get their FastPass tickets for Expedition Everest. No details are known about the location other than the fact that it will open in the fall.

Hoypoloi

  • At Downtown Disney, Hoypoloi has officially closed. The shop has made way for the United World Soccer store to return. (Wait…wasn’t that supposed to be temporary?) For guests looking for Hoypoloi merchandise, you’ll be able to find it at their sister store, Pop Gallery, which is located on the West Side. The United World Soccer store will transition from its current kiosk location found on the West Side into its new store in July.

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Universal’s Volcano Bay Could Change Tourism In Orlando

by on May 29, 2015

The Orlando theme park world has erupted with excitement! Universal Orlando announced yesterday that a water park unlike any other is rising from the ground. Volcano Bay will boom onto the scene in 2017, and Universal claims that this will not just be a water park, but is their “third theme park.” From the looks of it, and from the messaging Universal Orlando is putting out there, it appears that a lot of innovation will flow throughout Volcano Bay. Sure the concept art is pretty dazzling, but can another water park in Orlando really be a game changer? As they say, the best way to predict the future is by looking at the past. So let’s take a look at Orlando’s bustling tourism industry to get an idea of how we can expect Volcano Bay to shake up tourism in Orlando.

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Volcano Bay concept art (source: Universal Orlando)

 

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