Archive for October, 2017

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders Can Now Receive Eat to the Beat Concert Series Reserved Seating

by on October 31, 2017

Annual Passholders

©Rikki Niblett

Well, with only a few performances to go, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders are being given the opportunity to receive dedicated reserved seating for the remaining Eat to the Beat Concert Series performances from now until November 13 during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

To obtain this special seating opportunity, Passholders will need to visit the Festival Center and pick up a special badge that is good for one of the same-day performances. Badges are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed up to one hour prior to the performance or until they have all been distributed for the day.

To redeem your seating, Passholders will need to line up at the designated line that’s been printed on the badge at the America Gardens Theatre. Guests should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the performance.

Do keep in mind that in order to receive your badge, you’ll need to show both your Annual Pass, as well as your photo ID.

The remaining performers are:

  • Hanson
  • Blue October
  • Living Colour
  • Boyz II Men
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Squeeze

Showtimes for the Eat to the Beat performances are at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.


Three New Restaurants Coming to Disney Springs

by on October 31, 2017

The hits just keep coming for Disney Springs! Disney has announced the there will be an additional three restaurants added that are expected to open this winter. Each one will be an Italian eatery, but each one will have its own particular style.

©Patina Restaurant Group


The first restaurant will be known as Maria & Enzo’s. This will be an Italian trattoria with a theme of being placed inside the old abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s. It will feature an open and airy dining room with artifacts that reference air travel, including maps and historic flight paths.  The menu is inspired by Sicily, with a range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) – and handmade pastas – Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta). The restaurant will also feature fresh fish, steaks, and chops.

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International Parks Round-Up – October 2017

by on October 31, 2017

There are a lot of things happening right now at the international Disney Parks! This month has given us a whole slew of exciting announcements, so let’s break them down park by park.

DLP Super Heroes

The Marvel Summer of Super Heroes is coming Summer 2018 to Disneyland Paris! (Photo courtesy of Disney.)

Disneyland Paris

First, Disneyland Paris announced that Summer 2018 will be the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes. At Walt Disney Studios Park you’ll be able to meet Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Black Widow. Furthermore, new shows are being developed just for this event. The content of these shows is still unknown.

Additionally, construction will be starting in October 2018 that will transform Disney’s Hotel New York. The hotel will become Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. Guests will be transported to the action-packed, inspiring world of Super Heroes here. It is reopening in 2020.

Disneyland Paris celebrated their 25th anniversary on April 12 this year, and the festivities are continuing through Summer 2018. (I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about everything they’ve done thus far.) The Marvel Summer of Super Heroes is being touted as THE big event of 2018. It will also be the last event of the 25th anniversary celebration.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! OCTOBER 2017 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on October 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. Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo (when she’s not trying to meltdown the entire Disney community by writing about tipping servers at WDW) secret shopper Daisy Lauren (when she’s not traveling across the country to visit Disneyland) and I found a whole bunch of neat items this month including an endless supply of Star Wars stuff, fun Tsum Tsums, fidget spinners, and one of the all time WEIRDEST Disney toys ever made (and imagine what ground that is covering.)

Ready to see what we else we found? Alright, let’s go!

Ever since Disney put out this “birthstone” pin set well over a year ago, I’ve been dying for them to come to the Outlets. The art for some of these Disney princesses is so off-model that it makes my drawing of Stacey Aswad in the Disney Must Dos video look like photorealistic in comparison. Here’s a shot of Anna and Jessica Rabbit from the ShopDisney App.


So imagine my glee when a metric ton of “Zodiac Broach Pins” hit the Outlets. Now, what these princess pins have to do with the Zodiac calendar is anyone’s guess, but I was too smiling too wide to notice anyway. First up, the Jessica Rabbit  pin. Originally $11.99, now $5.99, and I definitely bought this one.

Jessica Rabbit

Here’s the mashup of Frozen‘s Anna and Jimmy Durante.


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Attraction Overview: Haunted Mansion + Video

by on October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Today, I have a spooooooky attraction overview for you.

Do you dare venture inside Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion? Click below to begin your frightful journey!

And just so you know, this mansion has “NO windows and NO doors,” MuhahahHAHAHAHA!

Ahem, here’s the video…

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Why You Should Consider the “Swolphin” Rather Than A Disney Hotel

by on October 30, 2017

As you may be aware, in addition to the Disney hotels on Walt Disney World property, there is a non-Disney hotel complex that occupies prime real estate — the Walt Disney World Swolphin. (OK, I know that’s not a real place, but I view the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin as largely interchangeable hotels that share common resort grounds and amenities, so this nomenclature seems more appropriate.)  We’re often asked about this resort, with people wondering why someone would stay at the Swolphin rather than a “traditional” Disney hotel. As it turns out, there ARE good reasons, and I thought they were worth sharing.  Read on to find out more!

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love PORT OF ENTRY at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

by on October 28, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers Six Reasons We Love PORT OF ENTRY at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. One of my favorite places at either of Universal’s two theme parks doesn’t have a single attraction or show. Port of Entry is the first official “island” you experience when walking into Islands of Adventure (IOA) and I consider it the best entry area of any theme park in North America. The layers of detail throughout the area transports guests into a world that never existed, yet somehow feels completely real.

The Pharos Lighthouse. (photo by Michael Carelli)

You have passed the gauntlet of photographers and are now entering the fabled Port of Entry. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

The journey through this exotic land starts before you even hit the park, as the impressive Pharos Lighthouse stands tall outside the gates and the wonderful Ocean Trader Market theme plays in the background. I love the short walk from the Royal Pacific Resort to the park as this charming music grows louder the closer I get.

Once through the turnstiles, guests pass by the archway which promises “The Adventure Begins” and they generally make a beeline to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or quickly head over to the Hulk Coaster and Spider-Man at Marvel Superhero Island. With this edition of the Saturday Six we are going to make a plea to you, Dear Reader, to slow down on your race to the rest of the park and take a moment to take in the immersive land Universal Creative has delivered with Port of Entry. We are going to look through some of our favorite things and let’s kick off the countdown with…

# 6 –  The Love Birds

Sitting together along the walls of Port of Entry are two love birds.  These two birds actually took me a while to find myself, and I have combed over the Port of Entry many times. I had asked Team Members about them and even went to Guest Services and you would have thought I asked where the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was in the park. No one had any idea what I was talking about.

While I won’t spoil the fun in discovering where they are, I actually stumbled upon them when checking out another item on this list (there’s your only hint.)  There is a “coo-ing” playing over speakers in their area, and once you see them you’ll wonder how you missed them for so long. I would imagine this is a detail that 99.44% of IOA guests never notice, and that’s what I love about it. The term “Disney Difference” gets thrown out a lot when it comes to detail in theme parks, and while some may be wondering where the Disney Difference went at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I think they will find it in spades at IOA.

The Love Birds of IOA. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

# 5 – “Main Street Windows”

Getting a window on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom is one of the highest honors one can achieve at Walt Disney World. Whether it’s Disney family members Elias and Roy Disney, Imagineers Mary Blair and John Hench, or management like Lee Cockerell and Frank Wells, having your name in tribute on one of these windows is a theme park equivalent to having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, except that they are much harder to attain and actually mean something.

Universal also pays homage to the people who helped create their resort in a variety of ways at both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios FLorida, including window tributes. This particular window in Port of Entry is for “Codiga Adventures” and is referencing David Codiga, a former Executive Vice President of Universal Creative. Mr. Codiga’s most recent project was the High Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas, the world’s tallest ferris wheel.

Codiga Adventures – referring to David Codiga, one of the architects of Islands of Adventure. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

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Disneyland Preview — Week of October 28

by on October 27, 2017

Halloween season comes to a close, and Disneyland wastes no time in getting into the Christmas spirit! Read on to find out what to expect in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

Just a few more days in the Halloween season at Disneyland, so if you want to enjoy the seasonal treats and decor (like the incredible Haul-o-Ween overlay at California Adventure), you need to get over there soon!  Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy runs through Tuesday and will be down on Wednesday to remove the overlay and return to the classic version. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout will continue its very popular monster-themed overlay — Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark — through Tuesday as well. In fact, while it normally only runs in the evenings, it will be in monster-mode all day on Halloween to give everyone plenty of time to get in one or two more rides for the season. Expect long lines and snag a FastPass if you can.

Also, Disney’s California Adventure is currently showing a special sneak preview of Thor: Ragnarok at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land. The movie opens on Friday, so it’s a great time to get in and check it out! The preview lasts about 15 minutes.

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Disney Cruise Line Weekly Preview — Week of October 28

by on October 27, 2017

Welcome aboard for this week’s Disney Cruise Line Preview for the week of October 28th! I’m Brandon Glover, and I’ll be giving you everything you need to know before cruising with Disney Cruise Line this week. We’re back this week with a look at some of the exciting events coming to the high seas in the next few weeks.

Ports of Call (High/Low Temperature, Chance of Rain)

Disney Wonder, Photo: Julia Mascardo

Disney Magic

  • 28 October – New York (71/63, 10%)
  • 29 October – At Sea
  • 30 October – At Sea
  • 31 October – Castaway Cay (82/75, 10%)
  • 1 November – Port Canaveral (78/71, 20%)
  • 2 November – At Sea
  • 3 November – At Sea

Disney Wonder

  • 28 October – At Sea
  • 29 October – Cabo San Lucas (86/71, 0%)
  • 30 October – Puerto Vallarta (87/70, 50%)
  • 31 October – At Sea
  • 1 November – At Sea
  • 2 November – At Sea
  • 3 November – At Sea

Disney Fantasy

Disney Dream

  • 28 October – Nassau (86/78, 100%)
  • 29 October – Castaway Cay (85/73, 100%)
  • 30 October – Port Canaveral (69/60, 0%)
  • 31 October – Nassau (84/76, 10%)
  • 1 November – Castaway Cay (84/76, 10%)
  • 2 November – At Sea
  • 3 November – Port Canaveral (81/72, 10%)

Disney Fantasy

  • 28 October – Port Canaveral (80/69, 80%)
  • 29 October – At Sea
  • 30 October – Cozumel (81/73, 10%)
  • 31 October – Grand Cayman (84/80, 40%)
  • 1 November – Falmouth (88/78, 40%)
  • 2 November – At Sea
  • 3 November – Castaway Cay (85/76, 10%)

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of October 27, 2017

by on October 27, 2017

In Case You Missed It

Halloween is upon us! I ask that you remember to keep your eye out for little ghouls and goblins who may be out on the roads! Also, trick or treat! (You can’t see it, but I’m holding out my bag for candy!)

See why Disney should be a leading force in self driving cars, see which Disney character will be a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and more.

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


The TSA has announced that there will be some changes made to the way they operate at MCO that include stronger screening procedures for carry-on items. Learn what items will need to be taken out of your carry-ons to be checked going forward.

Work will begin on the new theater that was announced for the Magic Kingdom back during the D23 Expo. Take a look at what you can expect to see this new venue. What do you think of the addition?

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