Archive for September, 2016

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of September 30, 2016

by on September 30, 2016


Honestly, I can’t believe the Disney news this week. It was just an insane week filled with bizarre news – things like Disney potentially making a bid for Twitter. Oh and don’t forget that Disney is going to now be making a live action version of The Lion King. Read on to find out everything that you may have missed.

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


A judge this week dismissed 45 lawsuits revolving around access to theme-park rides and attractions for disabled people, however the attorney that is handling the case is already appealing to a higher court.

This past weekend, a car crashed into a road sign near Epcot causing large traffic back ups after the sign fell on the road. 

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

by on September 30, 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. Hard to believe it’s Fall already, and as a Floridian I mean that it’s literally hard to believe as it still “feels like” 100 degrees down here on a daily basis.

So what happened in September? Well, there was good news for many of us who waste way too much time on social media, as Disney is considering a bid to buy Twitter. Judging by the Mouse’s history of technology (, Mobile ESPN, Epic Mickey, etc), once they take over Twitter it won’t be long before they shelve it entirely and move on to something else. Meanwhile over on the Florida roadways, which are the closest equivalent to a real Mad Max Fury Road experience as you can get, a huge WDW sign came crashing down. Those who follow Your Humble Author on Twitter go to see a look at what really caused the accident. Maybe the greatest news of the whole month though was that Sitch’s Great Escape is days away from going “seasonal” at the Magic Kingdom. This brings us one step closer to my dream being fulfilled as well as the chances of the attraction actually being re-themed to Wreck-It-Ralph (as rumored by Jim Hill on the Disney Dish Podcast.) Happy days are here again!

Now while all of you were passing your kidney stones the fun way 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.)

First up was a nice surprise as the 2016 EPCOT Flower and Garden MagicBands arrived. Featuring Figment, a Sorcerer Mickey topiary, Spaceship Earth and a monorail, you better believe I bought one of these. Originally $29.95, reduced to $14.99. Unlike the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Magic Bands, which seemed to still have 4,994 available out of the 5,000 made, there didn’t seem to be that many of the Flower and Garden bands.


Flower and Garden MagicBands.

Next up, it was like I died and went to Tsum heaven, as not only were the Tsum Tsums still on sale for 99 cents each (original price is $5.95, and they are usually reduced to $2.99) but they had THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN collection! These included the “Dog with the Keys,” one of my favorite characters in Walt Disney World. In fact I had just bought a great plush featuring Pluto as that very same dog earlier in the month. This is legitimately one of the top five things I have ever seen at the Outlets.


Pirates Tsum Tsums.

There was also “The Redhead.”


Pirates Tsum Tsums.

The “Pirate Captain.”


Pirate Tsum Tusms.

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Third Parking Garage To Be Built At Disney Springs

by on September 29, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Lately, Disney Springs has been a hopping place. With tons of new shopping and dining experiences, Guests are flocking to the district to enjoy the fun for themselves. Due to all this additional growth, the Reedy Creek Improvement District has been approved that a third parking garage and pedestrian bridge be built.

This new garage will be located across from Disney Springs near the Casting and Speedway parking lot. It will add approximately 2,000 additional parking spaces for the area.

This new garage will feature the same smart technology that the Orange and Lime Garages currently include. This technology indicates to Guests when a spot is free, courtesy of lights overhead of the parking spots; red means the space is full, green means the space is open. These garages makes finding a parking space relatively easy, especially during busy times, as you don’t have to drive around endlessly looking for a free spot.

The new pedestrian bridge will span across Buena Vista Drive and also will be similar to the existing bridges.

Work on this new garage and bridge will begin in 2017 and they will be complete by 2019.




Disney Early Morning Magic to Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on September 29, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

The Disney Early Morning Magic special event looks like it will be continuing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This event allows guests to have first access to select attractions and characters, as well as enjoy a great breakfast.

The event, which kicks off again on October 8 and is available prior to park opening on Saturdays through December 17, allows a limited number of Guests to experience Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and Toy Story Mania! as well as being able to meet Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Olaf.

Disney Early Morning Magic will take place from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Official check-in will take place near the far-left turnstiles of the Main Entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning at 7:45 a.m. Guests will receive a wristband for identification upon check-in.

Breakfast takes place at ABC Commissary and will be served from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Menu items will include:

  • Assorted chilled fruit juices
  • Sliced seasonal fruit and berries
  • A variety of freshly baked breakfast pastries, served with butter, preserves and marmalade
  • Fluffy scrambled eggs
  • Spinach and mushroom frittata
  • Bacon and pork sausage
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Puffed French toast with butter & syrup
  • Muesli with assorted toppings
  • Coffee, decaf, milk, chocolate milk and a selection of teas

Guests must have both standard park admission, as well as a reservation to participate in Disney Early Morning Magic. Pricing is $69 plus tax for adults and $59 plus tax for children (ages 3-9). To make a reservation, Guests may call 407-827-7350

Guests Visiting Disney Springs are Invited to A Princess Royal Reception

by on September 29, 2016

A Princess Royal Reception


Do you have a Disney Princess fan in the family? If so, from October 1 through October 30, Guests are invited to a limited-time royal engagement to meet a Disney Princess at the World of Disney at Disney Springs.

Guests who would like to meet one of the princesses will check-in with a Cast Member and will be able to pick up a pager to secure their place in a virtual queue and will share the approximate wait time, as well as return instructions. While waiting, Guests are invited to continue to explore the shopping and dining district.

When it’s your turn, Guests will be able to meet with a surprise visiting princess who may include Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana, Snow White, or another fan-favorite. There will be no set time for specific characters that will be greeting Guests. This means that whomever you end up meeting will be up to chance. A Disney PhotoPass photographer will be on hand to capture the experience.

A Princess Royal Reception will be available for Guests to experience from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Julia’s Best Week Ever, September 29, 2016: Magic Kingdom is Comfort Food

by on September 29, 2016

If I may wax philosophically for a second….

The idea of a Best Week Ever is a concept that exists somewhat in isolation. Each week is taken for what it is, not in comparison with those that come before nor held up as a benchmark for those that come afterwards. It isn’t something that you compare with other people–and yet as September rolled to a close, I heard from so many people that September was quite the problematic month. On my end, from layoffs at my day job to my ‘transient” diabetic cat suddenly becoming non-insulin dependent at 3 AM by entering near-fatal hypoglycemic shock (he’s fine now), my ideas of a “Best Week Ever” involved fluffy bunny slippers, a cup of tea, and non-stop Judge Judy reruns for a weekend. In other words, I needed a shot of my personal “comfort food”. Much as I love other parks, when it comes to that fluffy bunny slipper feeling, nothing beats the old favorites at Magic Kingdom. So, Saturday night, we headed over for an evening of R&R, comfort food style.

On our way over, my husband noted that there was a DeLorean behind us. There’s a decent group of DeLorean owners in the area, but when he said “Pull out the camera–you’re not going to believe this…” I knew it had to be a bit unusual. I was able to get one quick snap as it zipped by us. I didn’t see if it was Doc or Marty behind the wheel, though.


When we arrived and parked at the Transportation and Ticket Center, we had the choice of Ferry Boat or….well, Ferry Boat it was. Even though the day had been warm, there was a nice breeze with just the hint of fall cool weather hidden in it.

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2017 Walt Disney World Military Discounts

by on September 28, 2016

Military discountThank you to Tammy Whiting of Storybook Destinations for the heads up. Did you know that Storybook Destinations offers a free subscription to TouringPlans including all our tools to make planning your trip easier including our Room Request fax service and Dining Search tool?

2017 Disney military discounts will be released today. For 2017, the discount includes 5-day tickets.


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Disney Visa Discounts for Walt Disney World

by on September 28, 2016

Disney Visa

Disney Visa

Updated with further details on exclusions

Thank you to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for the heads up. Did you know that Small World Vacations offers a free subscription to TouringPlans including all our tools to make planning your trip easier including our Room Request fax service and Dining Search tool?

Several Disney Visa Discounts were released today. General public discounts often follow Disney Visa discounts, so be on the lookout for those next week.


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Disney History: The Carthay Circle Theater

by on September 28, 2016


Carthay Circle Theater

Do you remember the first Disney movie you saw in theaters? I sure do! Even though that first time was years ago, I still love going to see Disney’s film at the theater, and I bet you fellow Disney fans do too! But have you ever thought of the first theater to ever show a Disney movie?

That honor belongs to the Carthay Circle Theater which was the site of the premiere for the first full length animated film in history, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While the actual Carthay Circle Theater is no longer standing, it lives on in the Disney Parks! In this article, I’m taking a closer look at the presence of this historical theater at both the Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Disney History: The Carthay Circle Theater.


Inside the Carthay Circle Restaurant

History of the Carthay Circle Theater

The Carthay Circle Theater first opened its doors in 1926 in Los Angeles, California. The design of theater was a tribute to California’s history with its Mission Revival style of architecture and interior paintings and artwork. It’s glittering sign, iconic octagonal bell tower, and sweeping floodlights could be seen from afar and served as the backdrop for a number of Hollywood premieres that rivaled that of Grauman’s Chinese Theater at the time. In addition to hosting the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiere in 1937, the Carthay Circle Theater also hosted the premieres for Gone with the Wind in 1939 and Fantasia in 1940.

These premieres were elaborate affairs. For the opening of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a replica of the dwarfs’ cottage and diamond mine was constructed. Costumed characters from the film also entertained guests in attendance, and welcomed celebrities such as Shirley Temple, Charlie Chaplin, and Ginger Rodgers!

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Washington DC: How to Attend the Presidential Inauguration

by on September 28, 2016

Rope drop Inaugural-Style

Rope drop Inaugural-Style

This post was written by Phil Cronin, who worked on both of President Bill Clinton’s inaugurations. Enjoy!

“Marvin, what do we do now?”-Robert Redford as Senator-Elect Bill McKay in The Candidate. The answer is, Constitutionally, you take the oath of office and socially, you have a celebration. Or an Inauguration.

Constitutionally, the new president takes the oath of office at Noon on January 20th. That part is organized by Congress. Socially, there will be, if history is a guide, a parade, Inaugural Balls, concerts, a day of service, and other events organized by the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) established by the winning candidate. And you’re invited. Sort of.

Congress has a website for Inaugural information. There is not much information about the 2017 Inaugural, but it will give you a sense of what happens that day.

Map of 2013 Inauguration

Map of 2013 Inauguration

The Swearing-In

To attend the swearing-in, you get tickets from your Member of Congress. Each office receives a limited number of tickets they are free to distribute as they see fit. Most will hold a random drawing. Many states coordinate the drawing across their entire Congressional Delegation to ensure they maximize the number of people who can attend.

These tickets are for standing. There are seats, but they are reserved for guests of the First Family, Electoral College Electors, Dignitaries, and other VIPs. Pictured is a map from the 2013 Inaugural (which has been the same for the last few Inaugurals) showing the ticketed areas.

To put things in perspective, in 2013, approximately 1 million attended the second Obama/Biden Inaugural (1.8 million attended the first Obama/Biden Inaugural in 2009). And Congress had 240,000 tickets to distribute. If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, your vantage point may be less than ideal. Pictured is the view my family had in 2013 with South Standing Area tickets, and arriving at the Capitol at about 7:30 AM, a full 4 hours before the ceremony began.

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