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Dress for Success: Top 5 Must-Pack December Clothing Items and Special Tips

by on November 16, 2015 21 Comments

dress for success

Disney World has truly spectacular offerings during the holiday season.

It’s no secret that I dress for success when I plan my outfit choices in Walt Disney World – no detail is left out. While this usually refers to some light DisneyBounding, it means something a little different in December, when a cute dress and Mickey ears isn’t enough to get you through the cold evenings in the parks. Thanks to the fantastic holiday offerings, December is one of the most exciting times to visit Disney World. You’ve got Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, and Hollywood Studios’ Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. On top of that, the resorts and parks are decked out in their holiday finest, so even if you don’t want to spring for the extra cost of a party ticket to MVMCP, you can still enjoy the ambiance during the day. Just make sure, as you’re planning for your holiday trip, to give serious consideration to the weather. As unlikely as it sounds, Florida gets COLD at night in December!

I know what you might be thinking, “I’m from [insert cold state here — mine is Michigan]; Florida doesn’t even know what cold is! I walk eight miles uphill both ways through six feet of snow just to get to the Disney Store!” Okay, that might not be exactly what you thought, but it is pretty close to my viewpoint on the subject before my first December trip. Luckily, I followed the advice of others and (even though I scoffed) I packed for the cold weather. And thank goodness I did! Based on that experience, I’m going to give you a breakdown of my 5 must-pack items for cold weather, some tips specific to nighttime holiday entertainment options, and a few final pieces of advice so you can dress for success on your holiday adventures in Disney World! Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: Six Hidden Mickeys at the Universal Orlando Resort

by on November 14, 2015 4 Comments

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Hidden Mickeys at the Universal Orlando Resort. Most of us who have traveled to “The World” have become well versed in the concept of Hidden Mickeys: three circles placed together to resemble the iconic silhouette of Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney Imagineers have placed them all across the WDW parks and resorts (including some of our favorites at Art of Animation). The term itself has expanded to include hidden references beyond the classic Mickey head, such as the Nautilus from the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction hidden in the rock work of Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, the ride which replaced it. Believe it or not, there are references to Disney all over the Universal Orlando Resort as well. Today we are going to look at six of our favorite “Hidden Mickeys” at Universal, starting off with…

# 6 – The Simpsons Ride Pre-Show

Like the TV show it is based on, The Simpsons Ride pulls no punches in mocking the world of theme parks throughout the attraction. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld take a lot of playful jabs from the attraction’s queue all the way to the gift shop. Some of our favorites are seen during the the first pre-show, in which guests watch a video that sets up the storyline of the ride. In between the video, fake ads for attractions at Krustyland (itself a parody of Disneyland) air including ones making fun of The Haunted Mansion, Hall of Presidents, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even Epcot’s defunct Kitchen Kaberet.

Haunted Condo

Reference to The Haunted Mansion. (photo by Amusement Buzz)

Hall of the Secretaries of the Interior

Reference to The Hall of Presidents. (photo by @AmusementBuzz)

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 11/13/15

by on November 13, 2015

Happy Friday all!  I’m back again with a quick update of important news that may impact your next Walt Disney World vacation. Take a look!

  • At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests can meet some of our characters dressed in seasonal attire. They include:
    • Donald Duck in DinoLand U.S.A
    • Mickey and Minnie Mouse on Discovery Island
    • Chip and Dale at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
    • Baloo and King Louie in Asia
    • Santa Goofy in DinoLand U.S.A
  • Spotted hyenas are beginning to be able to be seen on Kilimanjaro Safaris.
  • On November 19, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Guests will have the chance to vote on five to six videos for America’s Funniest Home Videos inside of Premiere Theater at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Guests participating will need to be at least 9 years of age or older to vote, and all Guests who vote will receive a free AFV t-shirt.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of November 13, 2015

by on November 13, 2015 2 Comments

ICYMITwo major films are coming out from Disney this holiday season…and the heat is increasing on the marketing of both of these films lately. This week’s articles take a good look at both of those films, as well as some additional news.

Let’s get to the fun!

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


Ariana Grande was late to the taping of the Disney Christmas Celebration. What happened next is amazing.

Walt Disney World is taking back elephants from the troubled National Elephant Center.

Interesting. That’s the best word to describe this new technology that Disney is working on. The EM-Sense smart watch can identify what specific objects the wearer is touching at any given moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Colortopia at Innoventions in Epcot Now Open

by on November 13, 2015 3 Comments

©Riki Niblett

©Riki Niblett

Colortopia, presented by Glidden is a brand new exhibit for Epcot’s Innoventions East that opened officially today. This exhibit’s goal is to entertain, inform, and inspire.

The exhibit consists of three different zones. These include:

  • The Power of Color Theater: Here Guests enjoy a short presentation that takes a look at the psychology of color by immersing them in a full spectrum of color.
  • The Color Lab: Guests can play Color Mix ‘n Match, an interactive game that allows Guests to mix red, green, and blue to create bold new colors. A second interactive station, Spinning Spectrums, teaches about the persistence of vision through painted spinning discs. Here Guests can try to guess what color their eyes will perceive once the multi-colored disks start to quickly spin.
  • Color Our World: In the preshow area, Guests will play with fun color shadows before they receive a magic paint brush. In the studio, Guests use the magic paint brushes to bring the world around them to life through their personal color choices.

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Captain EO to Officially Close at Epcot

by on November 13, 2015 5 Comments

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Updated with new information.

The rag tag band appears to be officially going away. Guests are invited to celebrate and watch Captain EO change the world one last time because the show, which is playing at the Magic Eye Theater in the Imagination Pavilion, will see its farewell mission on December 6.

Captain EO returned to the park back in 2010 to celebrate Michael Jackson after his death. This spring/summer Captain EO closed for sneak previews of both Tomorrowland and Inside Out. Many thought at that time the attraction would be closed forever, however, it returned in July to many people’s surprise.

Disney has now officially announced what is taking Captain EO’s place. Guests will be able to experience beloved Disney and Pixar animated shorts in 4D with the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. It will include a look into the visionary minds behind some of the most iconic animated films today, as well as the ability to enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts in ways never seen before.

One thing is for sure, at least for me anyway – I have enjoyed joining Hooter, Idie, Odie, Fuzzball, and the rest of the gang on their adventure helping them change the world, with brighter days and good times.


You Need A Disneyland Corn Dog Right Now

by on November 13, 2015 6 Comments

Little Red Wagon

The unassuming Little Red Wagon sits just to your right as you get to the end of Main Street

OK, so let me tell you all a little story. I happened to be in Los Angeles recently for work. I live in St. Louis, and one thing I’ve come to learn is that unless you wrap up your business on the west coast really early in the day, you’re basically spending the evening out west because the flights home get in unacceptably late. On the up side, one thing you can do when you’re in the Los Angeles area with nothing to do is go visit Disneyland, and that, my friends, is exactly what I decided to do on this last trip.

Unfortunately, the park was set to close at 9:00 p.m., so I was going to have to pack the entirety of my visit into 5 hours. So, with this limited time schedule, what do you think I did the very first thing upon entering the park? Splash Mountain? Big Thunder? Haunted Mansion? Nope, I made a beeline to the Little Red Wagon to get a corn dog. Do you know what I did right before leaving Disneyland for the day? I went by the Little Red Wagon and had another corn dog. Do you know why? It is because the Little Red Wagon corn dog at Disneyland is the single best food item on planet Earth, period, full stop. Allow me to elaborate after the jump.
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Theme Park Ornaments: A Must-Have Souvenir

by on November 13, 2015 4 Comments

Collecting mementos and souvenirs can be one of the best ways to encapsulate your vacation for years to come. One of my favorite souvenirs are theme park based Christmas ornaments. No matter what time of year the visit takes place, a Christmas tree ornament is a great way to commemorate a special vacation.

I’d like to share with you some ways to make purchasing, sharing, or gifting a theme park ornament even more special. Let’s also take a look at some special theme park ornaments collected throughout the years.

FullSizeRender (2)


One of the best ways to make a theme park ornament extra special is to get it personalized. Both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando offer ornament personalization. At Walt Disney World nearly any ornament can be personalized. This can be done at the 12 Days of Christmas store as well as Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at the Magic Kingdom. Just know that the closer you get to the holidays the longer the wait for your ornament. Pricing runs about $4 per word, name or date, plus the cost of the ornament.

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Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses: Epcot

by on November 12, 2015 29 Comments

epcot4Are you a Disney Park critic? I know, it’s hard to be critical of anything Disney (at least I think so), but even I have to admit that I’ve experienced a few things that some parks don’t do as well as others. Of course, there’s also a number of things that each park does very well! Today, I’m breaking down Disney Park Strengths and Weaknesses beginning with one of my personal favorite parks: Epcot.

Epcot has a very interesting history. What few guests know is that Epcot was one of Walt’s main focuses when it came to his Florida Project and that the park we know today wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. Epcot, formerly known as EPCOT Center, stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and was intended to be a real, working community with an innovative design to serve as a model for future cities. When Walt passed away, the vision for Epcot gradually turned into a park that celebrated both the future and the world. That is why Epcot is composed of two different sections: Future World and World Showcase.

So let’s start with Epcot’s strengths, shall we…

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever November 12, 2015: Disney Springs Twenty Eight & Main

by on November 12, 2015 3 Comments

Disney Springs Twenty Eight & Main

Take a Best Week Ever walk around Disney Springs to the new Twenty Eight & Main shop. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

Black Friday is fast approaching, so for this installment of Best Week Ever I took another trip to Disney Springs in order to check out Twenty Eight & Main, the newest spot inside the Marketplace Co-Op to spend a mortgage payment. Come along as see what you’re going to go broke on during your next Walt Disney World visit!


As I reported in October, the new I-4 exit ramp to Disney Springs makes entering the Orange parking garage pure bliss. If you are used to spending an hour sitting at stoplights and circling surface lots each time you tried to park at the old Downtown Disney, the new traffic flow into the renamed complex is going to seem like nirvana. I parked on the garage roof for easy access to the exit ramp, and also to snap some panoramic pictures of continuing construction on Town Center: