Archive for October, 2016

The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! October 2016 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on October 31, 2016

MMM positiveWelcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. 

So what happened in October? We had some good news and we had some bad news. Good news: the Muppets themed PizzeRizzo is opening in just a couple weeks! Bad news: unfortunately it appears that the venue will be serving the exact same awful food as its predecessor, Pizza Planet. This would be a shame as Blaze Pizza in Disney Springs just proved that you can have a great tasting, affordable, personal size pizza at Walt Disney World. We also had more good news in the form of Muppets as the new Great Moments in American History show in Liberty Square is a certified hit! This is the Muppet humor we know and love. We also have to end on some more bad news as the first man is down at Disney Springs. That’s right, the incredibly named Aristocrepes has now gone seasonal. With the opening of so many great dining options, it was only a matter of time until we lost one. My bet was on Yesake (it’s actually a good place but you never see anyone there) being the first to go, but if you read this Me Thinks STK Doth Protest Too Much article, a certain high end steak house could be the next tenant to go buh bye.

Now while all of you were trying to sneak guns into EPCOT, Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I were hard at work to bring you the quality Outlet coverage you expect deserve!

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.)

We always love to start with new Tsum Tsums, and at the International Drive location, this month we had the rest of the Pirates of the Caribbean line arrive with The Pig and The Bad Pirate. We also go another member of The Avengers B-Team with The Vision. Normal Tsum Tsums at Disney cost $5.99, and at the Outlet Store they are usually $2.99, but this month they were once again just 99 cents each. Picked up several of the pigs and one each of the other two.

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Seeing this pig reminds me of that awesome moment in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie when Orlando Bloom tosses a second bucket of water onto a guy and says, “That was for the smell.”

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The Bad Pirate.

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Vision.

Meanwhile over at the Disney Outlet Store on Vineland, they had the JUNGLE BOOK line! Also at 99 cents, bought one of each.

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Jungle Book Tsums. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

Next up is an item I’ve been waiting a while for. At the World of Disney store they have had three great Beauty and the Beast items show up in the last year or so that I’ve really wanted. A light up Lumiere, a “life size” Cogsworth, and a ceramic Chip cup. Well, the Chip cup finally made it’s way to the Outlet and now I begin my daily praying ritual for the other two. Not sure what the original price was, but I’m thinking it was around $19.95, which is why I always passed it. Outlet price was $6.99. Ya-hoo!

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Interesting how they do the “chipped” part of the cup.

Here is a stunning tapestry featuring the Magic Kingdom’s carousel, and the picture does not do it justice. The colors really make the picture come alive and it’s terrific. Originally $125, this was reduced to $29.99.

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Tapesty.

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Flying Southwest Airlines Like a Boss

by on October 31, 2016

Southwest logo

© Southwest Airlines Co.

Many of you are close enough to Orlando to drive down when you visit Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Orlando, but for the rest of us, flying is the only viable option. Southwest Airlines is Orlando International Airport’s largest carrier, and between that and the traffic I often see on Disney trip planning forums and Facebook groups, I know that many of you will be using Southwest to get to Orlando. As you may be aware,  however, Southwest operates a little differently than other airlines, and that can make flying with them a bit confusing to the uninitiated. I happen to fly on Southwest a ton — I am at their highest loyalty tier, in fact — and wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences about Southwest and how to get the most out of your travel experience with them.

Booking

First, the basics: Southwest fares fall into three categories:

  • Wanna Get Away? Fares are the cheapest fares, and they are more likely to be available the earlier you book. You can sometimes find them close to your travel date, but if your goal is to pay as little as possible, booking at the earliest possible opportunity is going to get you the best prices as even the price of these fares tends to rise as you get closer to your departure date. They are nonrefundable, but you can cancel them and get a credit for a future flight or switch to another flight just by paying the difference in fare. These fares tend to be at most approximately 50% less than the refundable fares, but they can be even cheaper, particularly during fare sales.
  • Anytime fares are fares that can be refunded for cash if your plans change and you need to cancel your flights. They are significantly more expensive than Wanna Get Away fares, and are the cheapest fares you are most likely to see if you’re booking within a week or so of departure.
  • Business Select fares are the most expensive fares, and they tend to be $20 or so more expensive than an Anytime fare. They are also fully refundable, and they additionally entitle you to one free drink and allow you to be one of the first 15 people on the plane. This early boarding perk is far more important on a Southwest flight because of their open seating policy, which I’ll explain in a bit more detail below.

The easiest way to book is on Southwest’s web site. The booking screen looks like this:

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Things Your Family Needs To Pack For Your Disney Trip

by on October 29, 2016

saturdaysix_asseenonThis week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Things Your Family Needs To Pack For Your Disney Vacation! Getting ready for a Disney vacation is one of the things we love to do the most. It means your trip is almost here! Once you’ve gotten together your clothes, ponchos, and medicine, what else do you need to bring on your trip to The World? Good news, that’s why we’re here. After pestering an exhaustive investigation with many vacationing families, the SATURDAY SIX is ready to give you a list of things to bring to Disney that you didn’t know you needed to bring. These items are designed to make your life easier, or to make your trip more memorable. The only “rule” we had was that every item had to cost less than $20 (and believe it or not, almost all of these items can be found in some fashion at your local Dollar Tree.) The first ever SATURDAY SIX informercial is ready to go, so sit back, make sure you remembered to pack your reading glasses, and let’s begin our list with….

# 6 – A Pop-Up Hamper

Everyone loves to pack for a Disney vacation, but rarely do we consider what we are going to do once we are done wearing our special outfits. There are almost no rooms at Disney hotels that have a hamper, and the ones that do only have them for towels. If your family is like ours, you generally pick an area in the room (usually a closet) and just start throwing your dirty clothes on it until the pile almost becomes sentient like the talking Trash Heap in Fraggle Rock. In the past, we would go to the resort’s gift shop and ask for an extra large bag to try and stuff all the clothes in, but this was as about as fun and useful as it sounds. We finally realized it was a much better idea to bring a pop-up hamper with us.

Mesh pop-up hampers are affordable, compact, and  will allow you to stay organized while keeping all of your family’s dirty clothes in an area that doesn’t make you want to apologize to MouseKeeping if you run into them in the hallway.

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Pop-up Hamper from the Dollar General. Kids love the cute animal designs which makes it easier to get them to actually put their clothes into it.

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It doesn’t take long for dirty clothes to pile up while on vacation.

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Would you like paper or plastic?

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Voila!

# 5 – Mini M&Ms Container For Pressed Penny Change

Weekly readers of this fine blog know how much we love pressed pennies. They are an extremely affordable souvenir, and one that is easy to collect and carry with you. What’s not as fun or easy, is having to carry around the actual change to get the pressed pennies. Pockets full of change are noisy and annoying, while having to dig through a change purse can also be frustrating. An easy solution to this problem is buying a tube of Mini M&Ms and storing your change in there. The tube is the perfect size for quarters, and your life will be much easier if you load your change in to the tube in a two quarter/one penny stack. This is going to allow you to pop out the required 51 cents for a pressed penny as easy as a Pez dispenser.

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Getting change ready for a vacation.

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Two quarter: one penny ratio is crucial in time management.

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

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Zootopia Characters Meet & Greet at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on October 28, 2016

Nick and Judy from Zootopia during the Move It, Shake It, Dance and Play It! Street Party ©Rikki Niblett

Nick and Judy during the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party ©Rikki Niblett

Ever since the hit Disney film Zootopia was released in theaters, Guests have been wanting the opportunity to meet Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps at one of the Walt Disney World theme parks. Sure, they could see them in the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party, but they’ve never had the opportunity to meet the pair. That is until now.

Guests who attend this year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will finally have the chance to meet both Nick and Judy in person in Tomorrowland.

One thing to keep in mind, for those who would like to meet Nick and Judy. Since this is the first time Guests will be able to meet these characters, they will likely have an extremely long line. If you want to meet this duo, make sure to get in line early.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is scheduled to take place on the following dates:

  • November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 29
  • December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 22

Tickets are on sale and currently no party dates are sold out.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of October 28, 2016

by on October 28, 2016

ICYMIDid you know that today is National Chocolate Day? And we also saw National Pumpkin Day this week too? It’s like the perfect week! For eating!

This week, the Muppets are back…but maybe not how you’d suspect, we got a preview of Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon, and more.

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

The Florida theme parks released the injuries and illness report for the quarter. This quarter a 67 year old man passed after riding Star Tours.

A man from Louisiana was arrested after attempting to bring a gun into Epcot. And also this week, a woman was arrested after attempting to bring a gun into Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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Enjoy Seasonal Tastes with New Holidays Around the World Marketplaces at Epcot

by on October 28, 2016

Holidays Around the World Marketplaces

©Disney

Epcot around the holiday season. There really is nothing like it. Honestly, there’s something so special about experiencing the way other countries celebrate the holidays, but, this year, they’ve added in a new element that makes it even better.

Guests will have the opportunity to experience the official debut of the new Holidays Around the World Marketplaces. Much like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, there will be different marketplaces that Guests can choose from. Five different marketplaces, to be exact. They include:

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Details on the New Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs

by on October 28, 2016

Disney Springs

©Disney

Earlier this week, I shared with you all some of the festive events that will be taking place at Disney Springs this holiday season. Some fun activities include meeting Santa, special entertainment offerings, and a mention of something new, called the Festival of Holiday Trees. (Or what appears to now be called the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail.)

Today, Disney released additional information about what Guests can expect to experience.

The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail will take place in the Marketplace section and will include fifteen trees themed to a different Disney character or story. During this walk-through experience, you’ll wind through a winter wonderland, where you’ll see toy soldiers, singers, snowfall, and lots of photo opportunities. Curious about what custom trees you’ll get to experience? Here’s the list:

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Get a Sneak Peek of Moana at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on October 28, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming animated film, Moana? I certainly am, so I cannot wait to catch the newest sneak preview that’s all about Moana that will be presented at the end of One Man’s Dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. During the preview, which begins on November 5, Guests will be able to see an advance look of scenes from the film that shares the story of an adventurous teenager who goes out on a mission to save her people, encountering the demigod, Maui, along the way.

The preview is also currently taking place at Disney California Adventure in the Bug’s Life Theater. That preview is being show in 3D and features special in-theater effects.

Moana sails into theaters on November 23.

 

PizzeRizzo to Open in November at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on October 28, 2016

PizzeRizzo

©Disney

Are you looking forward to enjoying your pizza with Rizzo the Rat? If so, the classic family restaurant that’s owned by Rizzo called PizzeRizzo will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Muppet Courtyard on November 18.

The menu for PizzeRizzo will be similar to what it was when it the restaurant was known as Pizza Planet. Guests will still be able to enjoy personal-sized pizzas in four varieties – cheese, pepperoni, meat lovers, and vegetable; Caesar salads; an antipasto salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella, Kalamata olives, ham, pepperoni, salami, and a balsamic vinaigrette; and a meatball sub. Dessert choices will include a cannoli and tiramisu. Beverages available will include a non-alcoholic peach Bellini, a wildberry-basil lemonade limoncello, and beer and wine.

Guests who visit PizzeRizzo will be able to grab their meal in this two-story quick-service location which will feature both indoor and outdoor seating. Guests will be able to dine in a “cheesy” banquet room or enjoy a special booth designed just for Rizzo’s celebrity friends. Those who visit will need to be on the lookout as Guests will be able to see hints of Rizzo, his extended family, and friends who’ve visited his family pizzeria over the years stashed around the restaurant.

10 Options for Getting to the Port for Your Disney Cruise

by on October 28, 2016

So you’re booked on a Disney cruise and ready to go!  Almost ready?  You need to figure out a way to get to the port!  Well I have some things for you to consider. 10 of them of course!

disney-magic-1091. Disney Transfers From the Airport – Disney offers transfers from at least one airport in every port city to the terminal. If you are planning on using Disney transfers, check which airport you are flying into!  For Port Canaveral, for instance, Disney transfers run to and from the Orlando International Airport.  The do not run from Sanford.  Sometimes the money you save by flying into the smaller airport isn’t worth it when you look at the new transportation costs you’ve incurred!  Several other cities have similar situations.  The transfers vary in price depending on how far the airport is to the port.  In Orlando they are $35 one way.  In Miami they are only $20 one way.  The port in Dover, England, is a very long way from Heathrow Airport, so the transfers are $75 one way there.

2. Disney Transfers From a Hotel – You can also get transfers from certain hotels to the port. In Orlando, you can get transfer from any Disney resort to the port for the same price as airport transfers, $35 one way. You can also stay at the Hyatt in the Orlando International Airport and take the airport transfers.  That’s one of my favorite places to stay because Disney will pick up your luggage from your room and deliver it right to your ship’s stateroom.  In other ports, transfers from a hotel are always available if you book a pre- or post-night stay through Disney Cruise Line.  You could also book a hotel near the airport, and just get back to the airport and take a transfer from there.

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