Archive for July, 2017

The Magic, The Memories, and Merch: The FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Disney Outlet Store Photo Report

by on July 31, 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. How long? Today marks the FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY! What started out as a simple $1 bet between Len Testa and Laurel Stewart to see if they could take a simple Florida blogger and turn him into a two time runDisney medal winner/PizzaMania champion, has transformed into what many would consider the 9th Wonder of the Modern World (in terms of “people wonder why he keeps writing it.”) The best rags-to-riches story this side of Cinderella, our monthly treks into Orlando’s Disney Outlet Stores have provided highs and lows (and then even more lows) in order to deliver you, Dear Reader, a glimpse into a world which very few have lived long enough to tell about. A sincere thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to read this little article. Except Tom Bricker, of course.

Also, this year Burgan Fine Art™ has taken off, being called “the Zima of the art world.” In an unbelievable gesture, we have been swamped with “congratulations” sent to us in the form of comic strips. We can’t thank the artists enough for taking the time to honor to our humble blog, and you’ll find their tributes scattered throughout this post.

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? 

We have seen a couple of the Bambi-themed kitchen items in the past few months, and another one has shown up with this owl sugar bowl. I’m actually amazed that in 2017 when pretty much every single thing we eat or drink has an inordinate amount of sugar already put into it, people still feel the need to have sugar bowls. I guess it’s like Buddy the Elf explaining the four main food groups. Originally $16.99, reduced to $5.99.

If you think about the owl being completely wired on sugar, the face makes even more sense. That’s exactly how I look after a 5 Hour Energy.

We’ll stay in the Disney kitchen with a Mickey Mouse themed sandwich keeper. Originally $9.95, now $3.99. You CLEARLY can’t put a hot dog and bun into this container, so that should finally end that debate.

Sandwich Keeper.

These two containers you can use to put flour, baking soda or whatever other items you use to make brownies. The larger one was originally $29.99 reduced to $19.99 and the Goofy themed one was $19.99 reduced to $9.99.

Seems like Blue Apron, Purple Carrot and their ilk are having an effect on Disney kitchen items.

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

by on July 29, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. With 26 on-site resorts at Walt Disney World, there is a wide variety of choices for families coming down. We’ve covered many here on the SATURDAY SIX including Value Resorts (Art of Animation and Pop Century), Moderates (Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado Springs), and Deluxe (Contemporary and Animal Kingdom Lodge). We also can’t forget the Disney Vacation Club resorts such as Old Key West. Today we are going to take a look at one of WDW’s original resorts, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Fort Wilderness. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

Overlooked by many Disney guests because it is not a traditional hotel, Fort Wilderness is one of the oldest resorts at WDW opening about a month after the Magic Kingdom all the way back in 1971. Since that time, the entire area has gone through a lot of changes and is really one of the most special places on property. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of Fort Wilderness, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Talk about a “hidden gem” at Walt Disney World, and one that is hidden in plain sight. Located directly next to Pioneer Hall – and Disney’s legendary Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (we’ll get to that later) – is Tri-Circle-D Ranch, home to all the horses at WDW. That’s right, from the horses you’ll see pulling the trolley on Main Street USA to the Headless Horseman’s steed at MNSSHP, they all spend their off time here at the Ranch. Aside from just walking around and admiring their beautiful animals, the Ranch also offers pony rides for children and horseback rides for those aged 9 and up (while walking around the Ranch is free, there is a charge for rides.)

At the back of the Ranch there is a giant barn, and inside you’ll find a wonderful tribute to the history of horses and the Walt Disney Company (including some fantastic pictures of Walt himself with horses.) Here you can also see many horses hanging out in their stalls, and outside of each there is a placard giving some information about each horse. I highly recommend taking a trip to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch on your next WDW visit. There are so many types of breeds that call the Ranch home including Arabian, Clydesdale, Belgian, and Shetland ponies.

Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Tri-Circle-D Ranch. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Disneyland Preview — Week of July 29

by on July 28, 2017

Hey everyone, lots of classic attractions coming back in this week’s Disneyland Preview!  Let’s see what’s on tap this week at the Happiest Place on Earth!

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Disney Cruise Line Preview – Week of July 29

by on July 28, 2017

Sailing aboard one of the four Disney Cruise Line ships this week? Join us as we take a look at what you can expect on your cruise in the latest edition of Disney Cruise Line Preview for the week of July 29th. I’m Brand Glover (not to be confused with Derek Burgan) and I’ll be giving you tips and weather to help make your vacation planning easier! Last week we had some major announcements regarding the future of the Disney Cruise Line, but now it’s time to see what we have in store this week…

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of July 28, 2017

by on July 28, 2017

July is winding down…which makes me sad. July is my favorite month. (Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday and anniversary month.) But there is a silver lining. We are just about one month out from fall. Well, Walt Disney World fall. You see by the end of next month, we will already have started both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Who else is excited?

This week, learn what stores will be closing at Downtown Disney, see what new resort may be popping up at the Walt Disney World Resort, and more.

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


Today I must bring sad news, as we have lost a legend. Marty Sklar has passed away. I audibly gasped when I read the news. I am so sad I never had the chance to meet him. May your thoughts and prayers be with his family. 

If you are a WDW Silver Annual Passholder, you’ll be able to enter the parks a little sooner than previously thought.

There may soon be another JW Marriott hotel, as developers have filed a plan for a new hotel on 10.6 acres near Wyndham’s Bonnet Creek Resort and southeast of Epcot.

Due to construction taking place at Orlando International Airport, you may want to arrive about 3 hours early for the time being.

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Walt Disney World Preview – Week of July 29

by on July 27, 2017

It’s time for another Walt Disney World preview! Listed below is everything you need to know for the week ahead. Enjoy!

Special Events

  • Surprise! Some summer blockout dates have been lifted for those with either a Disney Silver Annual or Disney Weekday Select Pass. Feel free to head on over to the parks on August 1st. For an exact list of blockout dates, click here!
  • At Disney Springs, the Star Wars section of Once Upon a Toy will undergo a refurb beginning July 31st. Star Wars merchandise will be moved to Marketplace Fun Finds starting August 2nd.

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Mission: SPACE at Epcot Reopens this August

by on July 27, 2017

Mission: SPACE

©Rikki Niblett

It was announced at the D23 Expo that Mission: SPACE at Epcot would be seeing all new ride profiles and that more information, including an opening date would be released soon. Well, as you can see, I have some new information to share with you about this refurbished attraction.

On August 13, Mission: SPACE will return! Guests will still have the two different ride profiles that they can choose from.

On the Orange Mission, which is the more intense training, Guests will continue be able to experience a truly intense experience where you’ll be able to feel the forces of actual space launch (which let me tell you, can be pretty extreme!) On this mission, you’ll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon and attempt a precision landing on the Red Planet’s alien surface, but this version has been enhanced with new, HD video to make it even clearer. (Oh good….it will make my likelihood of throwing up even higher. Thank goodness there are sanitary bags found inside the capsule!)

Say you don’t want to take the intense ride that you’ll find on the Orange Mission. You want something a little tamer or you have a little one with you who wants to experience the attraction. Well with the new family-friendly Green Mission, you’ll get to take an exciting orbit around Earth. On this new adventure, you’ll see the Hawaiian Islands, the Northern Lights, and Italy all from space, before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center, which is found in Cape Canaveral, Florida. With this new Green Mission, the height restriction will change to 40″ courtesy of new additional X-2 booster seats.

Will you be more willing to take a mission now?


Online Check-In Now Available on the My Disney Experience App

by on July 27, 2017

Online Check-inOne of my favorite things to do prior to a Walt Disney World vacation is to do online check-in.  Well, now Disney is allowing me to be able to participate in the online check-in process right from my smart phone!

Today, a new update was pushed out to the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices and it allows Guests to check-in for their resort stay up to 60 days in advance of their vacation.

The process will therefore expedite the Guest’s arrival and will provide them with additional convenience nd flexibility. Guests who complete the online check-in process will be able to bypass the front desk when they arrive at the hotel, because they will be texted their resort room number. Guests who know which room they are staying in as soon as they arrive to their hotel will complete their check-in by unlocking their room, when it is ready, simply by using the MagicBands that sent to them prior to their arrival.

Don’t worry, if you have special room requests, you can still make them here. (Though, shameless plug, may I suggest that instead you consider using our Automatic Room Request to make your room requests instead. ;)) Ed.- If you plan to use TouringPlans’ room request tool, do not make requests through MyDisneyExperience. MDE will override a request made through TouringPlans.


When completing online check-in, you can also add your credit card information and authorize charges, submit your estimated arrival time, and sign up to receive notifications that your room is ready.

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, July 27, 2017: Olivia’s and Christmas in July!

by on July 27, 2017

Hello, friends! Thanks for joining us for another Best Week Ever. This week is not one to read if you’re feeling hungry, because we’re visiting Olivia’s Cafe for a scrumptious breakfast. After that we’re checking out Christmas in July at Disney Springs and maybe even showing off some new Dooney & Bourke patterns. Let’s get going!

When we were hunting restaurants to feature I realized that I hadn’t visited Olivia’s at Disney’s Old Key West Resort in several years. I had very fond memories of this dining spot, so I had high expectations. I was surprised how crowded the resort was at 9am. We would have had a very tough time finding a parking spot an hour later. We were scrambling a bit to make our reservation, but arrived just in time.

At the podium we were seated quickly and found the dining room to be quiet. However, there were several people waiting. It seems like this is a spot you can get into without a reservation, but it’s much faster if you book online. There are several dining rooms and we were seated in a smaller one pictured below. All those frames contain guest photos, mostly from the 90s. I immediately felt at home and settled in for our meal.

Don’t you want to see our fancy breakfast? Click below to read more from our adventure this week! 🙂

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of July 29

by on July 27, 2017

The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook DestinationsStorybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

Before you wonder if you are having a case of deja vu…you aren’t, I promise! Yes, not much is different in the land of Universal Orlando, but let’s look at the details of this week so you can make the most of your visit!

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