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SATURDAY SIX: Six Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exist (But Totally Should!)

by on September 17, 2016 15 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exist (But Totally Should!) Regular readers of this fine blog know very well that we are huge fans of theme park merchandise. Whether it’s the best souvenirs at Walt Disney World or Universaltheme park related comic books, or even our favorite souvenir cups, if the theme parks make it, there’s a good chance we’re going to buy it. But sometimes we see theme park merch that just needs a little extra magic to be truly great. Today we’ve worked hand in hand with the SATURDAY SIX Research and Development team based out of Pearland, Texas and came up with six pieces of Disney merchandise that we’d REALLY like to see. So sit back, hug your Duffy the Disney Bear as tight as you can, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 – Lego Cinderella Castle Set with Vacation Ruining Accessory

When Disney released the official Lego Cinderella Castle set, it sent many a theme park fan’s heart aflutter. Finally, we all got a chance to recreate one of the world’s most iconic buildings in our very own home. However, one thing was missing. At first it was hard to put our finger on it, but something just wasn’t right. After a while we realized what was wrong; this Lego set was missing an obnoxiously large crane in the background that can ruin all the pictures your Lego figures try to take! So what about a set that includes the well known crane that is affectionately nicknamed “Ichabod?”

lego_disney_castle_crane

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo! Now your Lego mini-figures can have the same frustrating time taking a castle photo as you! (photo by Matt Cleary)

# 5 – Toy Food for the EPCOT Food & Wine Garbage Can Salt and Pepper Shakers

Not since the Turkey Leg phenomenon have we been so confounded by Disney merchandise than the recent slew of WDW garbage can themed salt and pepper shakers. Readers of our sister blog series: the Magic, the Memories, and Merch! know that salt and pepper shakers themed to garbage cans of the Magic Kingdom appeared in the Disney Outlet Stores this summer. With the 2016 edition of the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival starting this very week, one of the pieces of new merchandise is miniature EPCOT Food & Wine garbage cans. But anyone who has been to the overcrowded Food & Wine in recent years knows that these garbage cans act more as defacto tables for people trying to eat than actual receptacles for trash. So let’s complete this ensemble by also offering miniature food items to place on the top of these garbage cans to give them a sense of authenticity.

satsix_foodandwinegarbagecans

EPCOT Food & Wine garbage can salt and pepper shakers. Now with actual “food & wine” to scale! (photo by Michael Sheehy and Matt Cleary)

SATSIX_FoodAndWineLogo

Many guests know of the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s, but true insiders know what the “Blogger’s Table” in EPCOT is. (photo by Michael Sheehy)

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of September 16, 2016

by on September 16, 2016

ICYMIIt’s here! My stomach has been preparing for this time of year. The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is now upon us. Two glorious months of eating delicious food and drinking great beverages. Who’s ready and what are you looking forward to experiencing at this year’s event?

You know what else is here? Halloween Horror Nights! Who is looking forward to getting their wits scared out of them? Which house looks the best this year?

This week, see what to expect from black-ish‘s season premiere filmed at Walt Disney World, Woody and Dory together (?), and more!

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

 

Two Cast Members have been selected as the new Walt Disney World ambassadors. This is a honored position where these individuals will represent their co-workers and the company.

Both Disney and Universal won 2016 Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards. Find out which ones they took home. What do you think of the rankings? Read the rest of this entry »

Every New Dish at the 2016 Epcot Food And Wine Festival Reviewed!

by on September 16, 2016 4 Comments

Food and Wine 2016 EntranceThe 2016 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is finally here! I was lucky enough to spend festival kick-off day sampling every (yes, I tried them all!) new and modified dish at the festival this year, to see which dishes were must-dos or must-skips for all of you. Here you’ll find photos and my thoughts on all of these new items, organized as you travel around the world (in the same order they are listed in the festival passport). Below my reviews, you’ll see a few hot takes – I’ve ranked all of these new items based on whether I’d try them again this festival season. As always, click on any photo to see the larger version of each dish. Don’t forget, you can check out full menus and prices from every booth here to start your planning now.

The Dishes

  • Craft Beer's Piggy WingsCraft Beers: Piggy Wings – Fried Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds ($4.25)

Sticky, sweet, and sour, these are definitely good BBQ wings, but you’ll only get to taste two of them per order. Perfect with a beer (or three in a flight), these are worth the purchase if you need a snack to munch on while enjoying a little free air conditioning, but I wouldn’t make a special stop here just to try them.

  • The Chew Collective: Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots, and Feta Cheese ($5.00)

At the end of the day, this dish is exactly as billed: it’s a few pieces of grilled steak on a salad. The apricots and feta bring some necessary freshness and texture, but ultimately, this dish needed a sauce to make it all come together. The Chew Collective's Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse (L) and Grilled Beef Skewer (R)Kids who like plain steak may want to steal a bite from mom and dad on this dish.

  • The Chew Collective: Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle ($5.00)

This dish tastes exactly like someone crushed up a package of Nutter Butters (which is definitely a good thing, to me). Rich and slightly salty from the peanut butter, the white chocolate and caramel provide a bit of offsetting sweetness. Everyone (who can eat this) will love this dessert, and though it’s a small portion for the price, it’s worth a shot. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding The Sherman Brothers in Disney Parks – Part Two

by on September 15, 2016 2 Comments

Welcome back to our musical adventure, highlighting the works of Robert and Richard Sherman! If you haven’t already read Finding the Sherman Brothers in Disney Parks – Part One, go read that now. Today, we wrap up our look at the dynamic song writing duo known for so many Disney classics.

Photo - Disney

Photo – Disney

Before they skyrocketed to fame with “It’s a Small World” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” they wrote a little song for Walt’s first Audio-Animatronic attraction. Let’s fly over to the original tropical hideaway! Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy’s Best Week Ever, September 15, 2016: Disney on Ice (and off ice)!

by on September 15, 2016 24 Comments

Hello, lovebugs! I hope you’ve had an amazing last few weeks! This week we’re visiting Disney on Ice, taking a quick trip to Epcot, and finishing up with some nighttime fun at Animal Kingdom.

Now, I’m not sure if you guys will appreciate Disney on Ice. I know it wasn’t very popular when I posted it on Instagram. (Did you know TouringPlans has an Instagram?? Come play with us there!) But I absolutely loved the show. We were fortunate enough to have seats right on the ice and I was ready with my camera. While I agree Frozen has been overplayed,  I was just enchanted with the characters in this format. Just take a look at how pretty Elsa was in her element!

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There’s lots more to see this week. Click to read more.

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Shark Reef Closing at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

by on September 14, 2016 9 Comments

Typhoon Lagoon

©Disney

Shark Reef, a unique experience at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, will be closed effective October 3, 2016. This move is part of the park’s continued growth and expansion.

Recently Disney announced that it would build a new water attraction called Miss Fortune Falls, a white-water, family-friendly adventure.

Shark Reef allowed Guests to don fins, mask, snorkel and a life vest before snorkeling in the an extremely cold saltwater pool that was home to fish, rays, and very small sharks. Those who didn’t want to swim could still see the fish through a underwater glass viewing window.

The animals currently found in Shark Reef will be relocated to other places around the Walt Disney World Resort.

Washington DC: Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tour

by on September 14, 2016 3 Comments

IMG_0443 (2)Everyone wants to make money, right? Well at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing you can learn how to REALLY make money. Lots of it. All you need is millions of dollars in equipment, special paper, special ink, and the go-ahead from the U.S. government. Hmmm, maybe you’re better off just taking the tour of the building that makes it for you…but doesn’t give any to you. Sorry.

What is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

In short, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is one of two locations (Ft Worth, TX since you asked) allowed to print U.S. paper currency (no coins are produced here). They operate at the will of the Federal Reserve, who regulates the amount of currency in circulation. The BEP prints literally billions of dollars per year. Yes, they have stringent security in place.

Tour Times and Getting Tickets

20160630_094120Tours are available Monday through Friday only. It is also closed between Christmas and New Year’s and there are no tourson U.S. Federal holidays either, so make sure you check a calendar when you’re planning to visit.

The good news is that tours are free, however, the hours and the method of entry differs based on the season, so let’s split this up.

Off-Season

The off season is late August through early March–this winter that’s August 29 through March 6, 2017. During that period no tickets are necessary at all, simply walk up and get on the next available tour. Tours run every 15 minutes between the hours of 9:00am – 10:45am and 12:30pm – 2:00pm. Groups of 10 or more can reserve tour times between the hours of 11:00am and 12:15pm.

Peak Season

Touring the BEP is a little trickier during the busy times, which are any dates not listed above–for 2017 that will be March 7 through August 28. Tickets are necessary and are distributed beginning at 8am from the ticket booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place (formerly 15th St SW). The day I did this tour, people began lining up around 7am, although tickets did not “sell out” for several hours.

Tours are available from 9:00am – 11:00am and 12:30pm – 6:00pm and you get to choose your tour time when you pick up your ticket. The person in the ticket booth uses a simple but effective method. They have stacks of tickets for each time slot pre-printed and cards displaying each time on their window. When they run out of a certain time’s ticket, they remove the card from the window. All you have to do is pick a time that’s displayed, tell them how many, and claim your prize. Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Safety Tips for Parents

by on September 14, 2016 12 Comments

© Sarah GraffamDisney World is a place to get caught up in the magic, and this magic creates a sense of comfort and safety. It’s reasonable to enjoy this carefree feeling to a certain degree. But keeping in mind some safety tips as well as doing some safety planning ahead of time is well worth the effort—because things don’t always go as planned.

The primary focus of this article is child safety tips for parents of younger children, but many of these apply to all “kids” both young and old.

Safety planning should start well before your trip to Disney World because once you enter the park, the attention of parents and kids alike will almost certainly be divided.

So let’s look at some tips to plan ahead for safety.

Strike a Pose

If your family is anything like mine, you’ll take lots of family photos during your Disney vacation. Whether you take your own pictures, take advantage of the many PhotoPass photographers in the parks, or both, these pictures are one of the best ways to make family memories.

In addition to those memory-making photos, there is another photo you should take every day that has a more practical purpose. Use your smart phone to take a picture of the kids each morning (or each change of clothes if you break in the afternoon) where you can clearly see their faces and full attire. If your child should get separated from you, this photo can easily be shown or emailed to those helping to search.

Bonus: After our trip, these photos taken in our resort room, at the bus stop, or in line at rope drop have often been added to our official photo album. Without the usual “say cheese” for these photos, we have some adorable pictures of our kids waking up to another exciting day at Disney World. Read the rest of this entry »

1900 Park Fare Holiday Brunch Returns to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

by on September 13, 2016

1900 Park Fare

©Rikki Niblett

If you are looking for a great way to enjoy the holiday season, consider booking a reservation for the seasonal holiday brunch at 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in an all-you-care-to-eat brunch buffet that includes items such as custom-made omelets, carved meat stations, Mickey waffles and more.

In addition, Guests will be able to meet some of their favorite English-inspired Disney characters, such as characters from Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland.

This meal will cost $37 for adults and $22 for children (ages 3-9). In addition, the Disney Dining Plan will be accepted.

This seasonal event will be a character dining experience available on select dates from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Reservations can be made for the the following dates:

  • November 20-26; 12:45-2:10pm
  • December 18, 2016-January 1, 2017; 12:45-2:10pm

Guests can make their brunch reservation from 12:45 p.m. until 2:10 p.m. and reservations can be booked by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

 

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package Coming to the Magic Kingdom

by on September 13, 2016 2 Comments

©Disney

©Disney

Beginning on October 10, a brand new dining package will be introduced in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package at the Magic Kingdom. Guests will be able to receive a prix fixe lunch at Tony’s Town Square, then at the end of their meal, they will receive a voucher to experience the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade in a a reserved viewing location right in front of the flagpole on Main Street U.S.A.

Guests choosing this option can enjoy a three-course meal (appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage) from the standard lunch menu at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant as part of this package. The dining package is $45 for adults and $17 for children (ages 3-9), plus tax and gratuity. For those on the Disney Dining Plan, this option will cost one table-service entitlement.

This dining option is replacing the recently introduced Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Package, since this parade will be leaving the park in October. The last day Guests can book the Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Package through October 9.

Guests can book this option by calling 407-WDW-DINE.