As you may have read in my earlier post, tonight/tomorrow (depending on how you view things) both Walt Disney World and Disneyland will be having a special Force Friday merchandise event. For those who must have the newest collectible merchandise, I have good news! Disney has announced this this event is no longer a ticketed event and it will now be open to all guests, “due to overwhelming guest demand.”
The event will take place on both coasts at Disneyland at the World of Disney Store and at Walt Disney World at Once Upon a Toy on September 4, at 12:01 a.m.
Guests who attend will be able to purchase new Star Wars, as well as new Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise including Disney theme park exclusives and licensed products. These theme park exclusives will include apparel, pins, toys, MagicBands (Walt Disney World only), Vinylmation figures, and more. For those attending, keep in mind that purchase limits will apply.
Guests who had previously purchased tickets will get a full refund of the $50 they spent originally on the event and will be the first guests to enter the store. They will also receive the messenger bag gift that was promised to them for participating in the event. A separate queue will be setup for those who did not register for the event.
I recently went to the Disneyland Resort for the very first time. As a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World since childhood, I was beyond excited to experience a Disney Park as a first time guest, particularly Disney’s California Adventure as it is a totally unique park and would be a great sampling of the Golden State for this California Newbie! But even before I even passed through the turnstiles, I did my homework on Disney’s California Adventure so that I could avoid some of the rookie mistakes and maximize my time in the park. Even so, there were definitely some things that I either didn’t expect or wish I would’ve known to help my day run more smoothly. So glean from my first hand experience fellow Disneyland Resort Rookies and discover what I wish I knew before my visit to California Adventure.
Have a Wardrobe Strategy for Grizzly River Run – If you’re looking to experience Grizzly River Run, the park’s incredible raft ride at Grizzly Peak, I would strongly suggest wearing clothes that dry quickly or picking up a poncho at Rushin’ River Outfitters. There are lockers available for free near the huge bear statue, but only if you pick up your stuff within 2 hours.
Disney’s California Adventure Park Could Be a One Day Park – Some may disagree with me on this, but hear me out! While I loved my day at Disney’s California Adventure, and can’t wait to go back, I felt like I was able to accomplish the best of the park in a single day with proper planning while I needed two days at the Disneyland Park. For example, during my visit in July and with the help of FASTPASSES, I was able to ride almost all of the park’s most popular attractions, do a little shopping and dining, and squeezed in a showing of World of Color in one day. If you only have a short time to check out the Disneyland Resort, I would suggest setting aside two for the Disneyland Park and one for California Adventure.
With the upcoming latest Star Wars release coming out in December, there is, of course, going to be a large merchandise push. So for those who must have the newest or any collectible merchandise, you’ll want to take part in the Force Friday Merchandise Event. This ticketed event will take place on both coasts at Disneyland at the World of Disney Store and at Walt Disney World at Once Upon a Toy on September 4, at 12:01 a.m.
Tickets to this special event will cost $50 per person and will include the opportunity to be the first to buy new Star Wars, as well as new Star Wars: The Force Awakens themed merchandise including Disney theme park exclusives and licensed products. Guests of the event will also receive an amenity gift.
If you’re a native of the west coast, you may think you know what to expect from a visit to Walt Disney World, based on the many weekends and afternoons you’ve spent at Disneyland. However, even if you are an old hand at Disneyland, you’ll probably find Walt Disney World overwhelming.
Even the signage when you enter is bigger!
At over 27,000 acres, Walt Disney World is over 170 times as large as Disneyland. Disneyland consists of two theme parks, a shopping district, and three hotels. Walt Disney World consists of four theme parks, two water parks, two mini golf courses, four full golf courses, 27 lodging options, a shopping district, and its own vast transportation network. In Disneyland, park-hopping consists of walking the short span of the Esplanade between gates. In Walt Disney World, park-hopping requires at least one form of transportation, and a minimum of 20-30 minutes of time. In short, Walt Disney World is just an order of magnitude larger, and more complicated, than Disneyland.
Here’s what you need to know to survive the Big One – big theme park, that is.
As a parent, taking your kids to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is a rite of passage of sorts. Whether you are a Disney parks veteran looking forward to taking your first family trip or a first timer deciding it’s time to visit Disney, there is no joy like getting the opportunity to experience “Disney magic” through the eyes of a small child. Even if you feel like you’ve got this whole parenting thing wired, though, a trip to Walt Disney World presents a unique set of challenges that are often overlooked by parents engrossed in their halcyon childhood memories and idyllic expectations of these trips. Being aware of these potential pitfalls will help you get ahead of them and prevent them from disrupting your vacation!
If you’ve ever visited a Disney park, it is likely that you have seen people dressed in clothing (not costumes) that is evocative of a specific Disney character. This is called DisneyBounding. DisneyBounding can be extremely fun, whether you take pleasure in planning intricate outfits or whether you like to do something on the more conservative side, like wearing a character t-shirt. I always enjoy seeing DisneyBounding, particularly when it is done by a group or a family. When everyone gets into the spirit, it just takes it to the next level!
While I applaud the families that can go all-out and DisneyBound with every single detail represented perfectly, the reality is that different levels of interest and ease will impact a group’s DisneyBounding efforts. For example, while your daughter might be thrilled to walk around in a dress that screams Ariel, and you are happy to join in the fun in an Ursula-themed outfit, and your husband gets in on the fun with some King Triton-esque apparel, maybe your son isn’t so keen on representing Prince Eric. By the time all is said and done, all you can get him to do is carry around a toy sword (because seriously, who wouldn’t want to carry around a toy sword?!). While there is nothing wrong with a partially DisneyBounding family, you were hoping for something a little more engaging for everyone. My solution for this – keep it simple.
I’m going to share some easy DisneyBounding ideas that can be accomplished with t-shirts or tops that focus in particular on groups and pairs. I’ve participated in a lot of this type of DisneyBounding, and the reactions from guests and cast members are always fantastic! The upside to this approach is that even the most conservative in your group can usually be persuaded to wear a t-shirt (bribing the over-21’s in the crowd with adult beverages is also quite effective).
Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort share a number of the same attractions, such as Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world,” and many others. But if you think that these attractions are the same on both coasts, you would be mistaken. One of the many things I love about Disney is that they never do the same thing twice; and while the attractions that can be found on both coasts may share the same names and themes, they do have differences too. Hey, who doesn’t like variety, right? But you have to wonder, which resort has the best version of a popular attraction? Which Disney Park has the bragging rights? Well, that’s what I’m going to find out beginning with one of the most popular attractions ever in Disneyland vs. Disney World Attractions: Pirates of the Caribbean!
What is Pirates of the Caribbean?
Pirates of the Caribbean is one of Disney’s most brilliant attractions of all time! It even inspired the popular Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise starring Johnny Depp. The attraction is a boat ride which takes guests back in time to the days where pirates looted and pillaged the Caribbean through incredibly detailed scenes, audio-animatronic pirates, and a terrific balance of both humor and danger. Pirates of the Caribbean’s signature song, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me” by “X” Atencio and George Bruns is also just as famous as the attraction itself and has had adults and children humming along for decades.
Planning outfits is one of the best parts of a trip!
I love building up excitement before trips to Disney World. I think it stems from my love of planning: planning meals, planning FastPass+ selections, and even planning outfits. Ohhhhh, I love planning outfits for Disney! Whether you view it as Disney bounding or just spirited dressing, I love focusing on every aspect, down to the details (except for shoes – my feet demand comfort in Disney, so it’s tennis shoes 99% of the time!). One of my favorite details is my custom Mickey ears.
To make a (very) long story short, a little over a year ago I wanted some custom ears, and I knew I could make something better than what I saw on Etsy (certainly cheaper), so I set out to create my own pattern. Since then, I’ve perfected the design, and I’m very pleased to be able to share this tutorial with you. If you’ve got some basic sewing skills and can wield a hot glue gun, I’m confident you can make your own custom Mickey ears, too!
Do you feel like maybe your crafting skills aren’t up to snuff to make your own Mickey ears? No problem! Read through to the end of the post for how you can enter to win your very own custom Mickey ears, made by me!