A SATURDAY SIX Look At Christmas Through The Magic of Movies!

by on December 23, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Christmas through the Magic of Movies! The SATURDAY SIX and movies go together like pepperoni and pizza, chocolate and peanut butter, and insects and lollipops (well, maybe not the last one.) We’ve done articles on Avatar, Star Wars, and even the Disney animated film library. This week we’re going to look at our favorite genre of Hollywood, Christmas movies. Every Thanksgiving we pull all of our Christmas stuff out of the garage, and among that junk those annual traditions is our treasured box of Christmas DVDs. Pretty much every night until Christmas itself you’ll find us watching timeless classics such as Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Elf, The Grinch Who Stole ChristmasEmmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, or Miracle on 34th Street. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite Christmas films, several of which have tie-ins to the theme park world we know. Let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Now That Disney Owns DIE HARD, A Few Changes May Need To Be Made To The Christmas Classic…

The Die Hard franchise is famously known for television stations working overtime on “creative” ways to coverup the movie’s curse words. With Disney now in charge of the brand, there’s a chance something else needs to be made more family friendly: the film’s liberal use of guns. Readers may remember it was just two years ago this very month when Disney began to remove all guns from property. This new mandate included bubble guns sold at the outdoor kiosks. So while we still may have the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade and the cold steel wielded by Jungle Cruise skippers, you won’t find any guns at the gift shops (they all went to the Outlets, and we mean all of them.)

With a little Disney Magic, we can make one scene in particular more “family friendly.”

Die Hard. (art by Matt Cleary)

Die Hard. (art by Matt Cleary)

# 5 – Meanwhile, Universal Prepares To Deliver A New Gift For Its Fans

Like Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story, each of us had that One Special Gift we always wanted growing up. For me, it was a Han Solo blaster.

For theme park fans, our precious theme park rides of years past have been pushed aside for 3-4 minute “experiences” that must be based around an intellectual property. On Christmas Eve, our silent wish will be for the rides we used to get.

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love The Christmas Season at UNIVERSAL!

by on December 2, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Reasons We Love the Christmas Season at Universal! When it comes to the Universal Orlando Resort and holidays, the one which they are most associated with is Halloween. Each year Universal’s signature event – incredibly popular Halloween Horror Nights – somehow becomes even bigger. Many theme park guests would associate the Christmas holiday with Disney. With Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, Candlelight Processional at Epcot, and all the amazing decorations at various resorts (including the Grand Floridian’s Gingerbread House and the massive Christmas tree at the Wilderness Lodge,) WDW is loaded with festive Christmas spirit. However, over the past few years Universal has quietly put together a great Christmas package as well.

(photo by Mike Sperduto)

Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite holiday offerings at Universal, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular

During most of the year, no theme park can touch The Mouse when it comes to in-park shows. Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, and even Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage are crowd pleasers of the highest order. When the calendar hits December, Universal brings out some big guns that deliver in a major way. The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular is a must-see stage show presentation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and it combines elements of both the beloved animated version along with the Jim Carrey live-action film. Meanwhile Seuss Landing becomes decorated to the nth degree, and you may even run into Whos in the land putting out even more decorations!

The Grinch. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. (photo by Brandon Glover)

“Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas Come this way”

The Grinch and Whos sing Welcome Christmas. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

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Walt Disney World Christmas Vlog: November 2017 + Video

by on November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving is over and the holidays are approaching!

I celebrated the start of the Christmas season earlier this month whilst visiting Walt Disney World.

Check out the vlog below to see what I did!

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, November 16, 2017: A Most Merry (Merriest?) Night

by on November 16, 2017

Family achievement unlocked. Our daughter spent her first overnight weekend campout this past weekend, and so that meant her mom and dad were child-free for more than 24 hours. On a whim, I had entered a Disney Parks blog contest for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets and I won. (I’m wondering just how random it is, but I can’t complain–and I have no need to enter next year, but plan to save my luck for that eventual lottery win.) This time, I didn’t have to spend an extra $100 so that we could go as a family, and after looking at the list of events for the evening, our daughter said that it wasn’t her thing–but we were happy to try it out for her! After we dropped her off with her troop leaders, we made our way to the Magic Kingdom.


We arrived a while before the party started and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Columbia Harbor House before making our way back to Main Street. My primary goal was to get the special Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card, so we were waiting by the fire station when the party started….and it started snowing!

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2017 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Video Tour

by on November 15, 2017

Hello and Happy Holidays!

Maybe it feels a little bit early to be celebrating, but not at Disney World where Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party began last Friday. I was there and had a great time despite the sold out crowds, but rather than write my normal hundreds of words about it, I spoke at a camera for several hours on end! Luckily I managed to edit it down to just under 17 minutes where you get to see bits of every show, the parade, the fireworks, and lots of random things throughout the night. Enjoy, and maybe check out the rest of our YouTube page when you’re done.

Thanks for watching.

Pictures: Christmas Has Started at Disneyland Resort

by on November 13, 2017

Finally, Christmas has started at Disneyland Resort. Normally a lot of people scoff at Disney starting their holiday celebration in early November, but as this nightmarish year comes to a close I think everyone is ready for the warm embrace of Christmastime. Let’s take a look at some of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure’s decorations.

Disneyland’s Christmas tree is huge and glorious. It’s comically large (it’s just 17 feet shorter than the park’s icon, Sleeping Beauty Castle) but that’s part of what makes it so great. The tree has hundreds of lights and over 1,800 ornaments.

Next to the tree is the park’s flagpole and dedication plaque, which are surrounded by beautiful poinsettia plants.

During the holidays Sleeping Beauty Castle is transformed into Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. I’m a fan of the snow on the spires.

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Ask It: Best Holiday Park Decorations

by on November 8, 2017

It is an amazing feat of logistics to watch the Disney parks seemingly overnight go from full-on This is Halloween to a Winter Wonderland. Each has its own charm and brings delight to everyone. Castles covered in icicles, or Cars Land filled with Halloween spirit. Scarecrows in Town Square or the giant Christmas trees all around. Can you pick a favorite between the two? That brings us to this week’s Ask It:

Which holiday season gets the best decorations at a Disney theme park?

  • Christmas (84%, 366 Votes)
  • Halloween (16%, 72 Votes)

Total Voters: 438

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The question is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your answers next week. In the meantime, feel free to share your views in the comments.

Overview: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2017 + Video

by on November 7, 2017

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins THIS THURSDAY!

I’m celebrating with a video dedicated to this special hard-ticket event.


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Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Return in November

by on September 5, 2017

Holidays at Disneyland


If you are planning a Disneyland Resort trip during the holidays, you are in for a magical experience. This year, the holiday season will take place from November 10 through January 7 and will include some great fan favorites, once again.

At Disneyland, Guests will be able to enjoy seasonal favorites, including Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks, complete with snowfall. Guests will also find the soaring Christmas tree in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.

You also won’t want to miss the“A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching soldiers and holiday cheer. Oh and Santa will be there too! Want to meet him? He’ll be found welcoming guests at a special location in Critter Country. Disneyland also will have its traditional holiday overlays at both “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday (which opens on September 15).

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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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