Magic Kingdom

Anna and Elsa Will Leave the Magic Kingdom

by on April 27, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

When the Royal Sommerhus meet and greet opens at Epcot in the Norway Pavilion this summer, it appears as though the Frozen sisters will be leaving the Magic Kingdom’s Princess Fairytale Hall. No official date has been announced for when exactly they will leave, but it will coincide with the opening of the Royal Sommerhus, and one would assume, the Frozen Ever After attraction.

The Royal Sommerhus will be Anna and Elsa’s summer home that was opened for visitors and was inspired by a Norwegian countryside cabin.

Currently, Princess Fairytale Hall is still offering FastPass+ reservations to meet Anna and Elsa through early June, however, once the sisters move to Epcot, other characters will replace them in the meet and greet area.

For Guests still looking to see Anna and Elsa in the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be able to at least see them in both the Festival of Fantasy Parade and the upcoming new Cinderella Castle stage show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire.

Stay tuned to the blog for more details about when you’ll be able to meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhus, as well as more details about all the Frozen fun heading to Epcot in June.

 

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Dining Review: Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch

by on April 27, 2016

A mainstay of dining in Magic Kingdom, Liberty Tree Tavern has always been a favorite for my family and friends for a filling mid-day meal. Recently, the kitchen underwent a few improvements in connection to the construction of nearby Skipper Canteen, so I thought it was about time to head back to the Tavern to see if this spot was still worthy of a stop. The lunch menu features slightly elevated versions of American classics like burgers and sandwiches, pot roast, and an individual portion of the popular Pilgrim’s Feast (Thanksgiving turkey dinner) offered as an all-you-care-to-enjoy dinner here. After a little investigating, I realized the pot roast entrée on the lunch menu is pretty much the same as what I sampled a few weeks ago at Diamond Horseshoe next door (the two share many similar menu items, so if it sounds the same, it probably is). I knew that a few items looked new to me, and after talking with my very friendly server, I decided I’d give the three newest dishes on the menu a shot: sweet corn fritters for my appetizer, the updated Liberty Boys Sandwich for my entree, and the Boston Cream Pie for dessert.

First to arrive were the sweet corn fritters ($7), five fritters served alongside a pepper jelly made in-house and atop a schmear of creamed corn (a nice plating touch, but altogether unnecessary – I appreciated the effort, though!). The fritters had a crispy fried coating sprinkled with a bit of salt, and a creamy and sweet corn flavor inside. Some of the fritters were more like hushpuppies in texture, with one or two a bit softer (I got the sense these weren’t quite cooked long enough, and the cornbread/hushpuppy texture was meant to be the real deal). Overall, I found these fritters sweet and savory, with a touch of warmth from the jalapenos inside the batter. The sweet and slightly spicy pepper jelly served on the side cut through the dense flavors of the fritters, but was a bit tough to use as a dip, practically speaking. I should also note that spicy-food-averse people shouldn’t necessarily write this dish off altogether, as the flavors from the fritters overall are relatively innocuous. I’d probably suggest these to anyone on the deluxe dining plan in search of a different kind of appetizer compared to other restaurants, but unless you’re absolutely starving, I’d probably skip appetizers altogether here and save room for dessert (you’ll see why shortly).

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Disney After Hours Discounts for Annual Passholders and DVC Members

by on April 26, 2016

Disney After Hours Event Guide

©Laurel Stewart

The Disney After Hours event is a fun late-night experience where you can enjoy the Magic Kingdom with little to no wait. The event lasts for 3 hours after the park closes for the evening. Also during the event, Guests will receive ice cream treats and bottled beverages. This special evening will occur on select nights throughout the months of April and May.

Well, going forward, Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members will be able to get a discount on this special event. The regular price for the event is $149, however AP holders and DVC Members will be able to get their tickets for $75 each. Guests can purchase their discounted tickets by calling (407) 560-PASS or by visiting any Walt Disney World ticket window.

The following nights are available for the discounted event:

  • April 28
  • May 5
  • May 8
  • May 12
  • May 19

If you are curious as to whether or not the event is worth it, Laurel recently experienced one of these evenings, so make sure to check out her post.

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Experiencing A Magical Disney Moment + Video

by on April 26, 2016

Photo - Michael Dahlgren

Meeting Princess Rapunzel

You’ve heard about them…you may have even watched them on YouTube.

Magical Disney Moments.

*I’ll pause for effect*

You know what I’m talking about; Those special experiences where a Cast Member goes above and beyond to make a guest’s day even more magical. 

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Disney After Hours – Is It Worth the Money?

by on April 25, 2016

Disney After Hours Event Guide

Disney After Hours Lanyard Front and Back

Update – April 27, 2016 – Disney has announced that Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members may now purchase Disney After Hours tickets for $75, half price.

Last month when Disney announced its late night event at Magic Kingdom, Disney After Hours, I was pretty happy. It coincided with a trip I’d already planned (thanks for nothing, Rivers of Light), so I figured – what the heck? If you haven’t heard about Disney After Hours, and given ticket sales, that may be a near certainty – more on that later, here’s the lowdown: Disney After Hours is a hard ticketed ($150 per person) event at Magic Kingdom in April and May. As of today, April 22, two of the parties have already happened with five yet to come. After Hours is three hours in Magic Kingdom for guests after park close with much shorter lines, most attractions open, and complimentary bottle drinks and ice cream novelties. Sound like Extra Magic Hours, but ticketed? Yeah, kinda.

Ticket purchased, I looked forward to a fun night at the park. Until reports of the first night started coming in with tales of tickets being given away, cast members outnumbering guests, and empty Main Street vehicles, that is. I was already doing this alone (solo trip) – was I going to be walking through a deserted park with desperate cast members forcing Mickey bars on me until I couldn’t eat any more? I tried bribing someone to come down to Florida just for the night to keep me company (thanks for nothing, Len). I watched social media to see if anyone I knew was going (or would admit to buying a ticket). No dice. News started coming in that Disney was giving away more tickets for that night too. I imagined myself in the narrative of Kingdom Keepers. Well, I’d be alone, but maybe I’ll save the park from Maleficent. But I’m a pro and wanted to see how the night unfolded.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

by on April 23, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Throughout the years Walt Disney World has created many incredible resorts including Art of Animation, Port Orleans French Quarter and the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but back when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 it had a grand total of two: The Contemporary, and the Polynesian Village. Talk about about two hotels that have stood the test of time! In fact they may be even more popular today than they have ever been.

POLY_LOGO

While there have been many refurbishments and updates over the years, The Poly still retains the charm it has had for over 40 years. Combining the the lushness of the South Tropics with the mystery of Adventureland, this is one resort that is going make an impact with just about every Disney fan. So sit back, relax on a beachside hammock, and let’s begin counting down our top six reasons we love The Poly starting with…

# 6 – The Bungalows

One of the newest additions to The Poly is also one of the most spectacular (if not pricey). 20 two-bedroom bungalows now sit on Seven Seas Lagoon looking directly at the Magic Kingdom. With a private back deck providing an astonishing view of nighttime spectaculars such as Wishes, the bungalows are filled with subtle Disney touches along with all of today’s modern conveniences that the Disney Vacation Club provides. With prices starting around $2000 a night, you’ll probably want to spend a lot of time inside the actual bungalow to get the most bang for your buck. While relaxing, be sure to check out the Mary Blair artwork along with tributes to Tropical Serenade and the Electrical Water Pageant.

bungalows2_stewart

Bora Bora Bungalows at The Poly. (photo by Laurel Stewart)

Bunglows_EWP_bricker

A tribute to the Electrical Water Pageant in the pull down bed. How great is that?! (photo by Tom Bricker)

Bungalows_TV_Bricker

A TV in the bathroom mirror? The Bungalows join the elusive list of E-Ticket Bathrooms which include Tangled Toilets in the Magic Kingdom, Moaning Myrtle in the Hogsmeade loo, and the Grand Flo DVC restrooms.

Bungalows_stewart

Wishes explodes over Cinderella Castle as seen from the deck of a bungalow. To the right is Space Mountain. (photo by Laurel Stewart)

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Elena of Avalor To Meet Guests This Summer

by on April 20, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Guests will soon have a new Disney Princess to meet. Princess Elena from the upcoming Disney Channel show “Elena of Avalor” will begin meeting Guests this August at the Magic Kingdom.

While we don’t necessarily know a lot about Elena yet, we do know that she is a bold princess who’s love for her family and kingdom takes her on magical adventures. She is a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore and therefore, she is the first Disney Princess inspired by Latin diversities.

She will debut in a special episode of “Sofia the First” on Disney Junior next year, which will then translate into her own spin-off series. Elena is voiced by Aimee Carrero, of Freeform’s “Young & Hungry.”

“Elena of Avalor” is scheduled to debut on the Disney Channel on August 1.

Stay tuned to the blog for more details on when you and your little one can meet Princess Elena.

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Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Castle Show to Debut in June

by on April 20, 2016

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire

©Disney

Disney recently announced that a new show on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage would be debuting at the Magic Kingdom to replace Dream Along With Mickey called Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. I now have an update and can share that the show will debut in June. (No official date has been announced, just June.)

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will invite Mickey and his Merry makers to prepare to host a festival and are inviting friends from other lands to join the celebration. The will feature characters from recent films, such as Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and the Frog, Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled, and Anna and Elsa from Frozen. The finale will end with a grand dance including both the Merry Makers (which include Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Minnie) and the new friends.

The new show will feature fantastic costumes, special effects, and dancing. The music will include an original song called “On This Day” that was written by songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda who also wrote songs for Toy Story: The Musical and Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings.

Stay tuned to the blog as an official date is announced for the debut of this new show.

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Wishes Fireworks Dessert Parties Expand

by on April 20, 2016

Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party

©Rikki Nibilett

The Wishes Fireworks Dessert Parties at the Magic Kingdom have been expanded so that more Guests can enjoy the fun festivities.

During the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party, Guests are offered the opportunity to enjoy delicious treats and beverages in a buffet setting. In addition, they have a private viewing area to in which to catch Wishes. Previously, Guests were required to make their reservations in advance, but now, with the expansion, same-day reservations can easily be accommodated.

All Guests attending the fireworks dessert party will still be able to enjoy a variety of desserts at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Then, going forward, Guests with same-day reservations will then move to the Plaza Garden area for the fireworks show. (This is the former location of the Wises FastPass+ viewing area.) Keep in mind that desserts will not be available, nor will there be seating for Guests in the Plaza Garden area.

Guests who have booked in advance will view the fireworks from the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. If Guests who are scheduled to view the fireworks at the Tomorrowland Terrace and they wish to view them at the Plaza Garden, they may have the opportunity to do so, if space is available.

Pricing for the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party is $59 for adults and $35 for children. (Includes tax.) Reservations for the Tomorrowland Terrace viewing location can be made in advance by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine, or calling 407-WDW-DINE. For those looking to make same-day reservations, they will be available at the Tomorrowland Terrace podium starting at 10:30 a.m. each day.

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Dani’s Best Week Ever April 14, 2016: Magic Kingdom and Skipper Canteen

by on April 14, 2016

I have a confession: Magic Kingdom is my least favorite Walt Disney World theme park. Well…it was, but things have changed…maybe. Once upon a time Magic Kingdom was my favorite, then about ten years ago I went to Disneyland for the first time. I returned to the Magic Kingdom disappointed and longing for the charm and beauty found inside the park that started it all.

Unfortunately, a major change in my life will now make it difficult for me to return to Disneyland, so I returned to Magic Kingdom for the first time in a while with open eyes and a renewed sense of rediscovery. Despite some frustrating turn of events later in the day, I earned a new appreciation for Walt Disney World’s original theme park.

IMG_8486

The original plan for the day was to start off in the Most Magical Place on Earth then journey to the land of rolling hills and new residential developments, Clermont, to pick up a friend and cap off the night with Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando. What a day to wake up to!

Since I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to make it to Magic Kingdom initially, I had not made any FastPass+ reservations in advance. So, while I sipped my morning coffee I pulled up the MyDisneyExperience app to see what I could get. Not surprisingly, the most desirable FastPass+ options were limited at best.

I arrived to the parking plaza at about 10:00 AM. During my time as a Cast Member the lanes to the right were used to get to the Cast parking lots, and these lanes still usually move very quickly. To make sure I kept the pace going I had my ID and passholder card out and ready for the Cast Member to see. As I drove through the parking area it took a moment to get used to the grassy knoll that is in place of the Walt Disney World Raceway. I also observed a few cars head to the preferred parking area ($35).

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