Special events

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever February 4, 2016: Legoland’s The LEGO Movie 4D Premiere

by on February 4, 2016

Unless you live in London, New York, or L.A., you probably don’t see celebrities walking the red carpet in person every day. But for this Best Week Ever, we are taking a road trip to a movie premiere in the well-known cultural capital of…Winter Haven? Legoland Florida (which we cover in-depth in the new edition of Beyond Disney) recently hosted the global debut of the newest installment in their hit cinematic franchise, and I was lucky enough to get an invite to last weeks’s premiere of The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure.

 

Rain or no, it’s a Best Week Ever when we’re at Legoland’s premiere of The LEGO Movie 4D (Photos by Seth Kubersky).

 

Legoland counldn’t have picked an unluckier day for their big blowout, because the wind was blowing and rain was coming down in buckets as dusk fell. The storm was slacking by the time I arrived at the park, which is about a 75 minute drive from my home, mostly along poky Highway 27.

 

 

Check-in for the event began around the park’s closing time. While the media huddled under the entryway to stay dry, we were handed color-changing LED wristbands to wear. They would turn out to play a part in the presentation later on.

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Universal Orlando Releases 2016 Celebration of Harry Potter Schedule

by on January 24, 2016

2016 Celebration of Harry Potter schedule

Plan you Wizarding weekend with the 2016 Celebration of Harry Potter schedule

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting an official 2016 Celebration of Harry Potter schedule of events from Universal Orlando, you can relax because your owl has arrived! Universal has just announced the full rundown of public happenings during their annual Wizarding World weekend, which runs January 29-31, 2016.

Activities over the three day Celebration of Harry Potter include Q&A sessions with cast members from the hit movies, panels with artists who worked on the films and parks, and special demonstrations and exhibits relating to Potter lore. In 2016, the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios Florida will be dedicated during the day to kids activities, in addition to hosting the headliner events in the evenings, while Toon Lagoon amphitheater in Islands of Adventure will reopen during the daytime for sessions aimed at adult fans.

All of the below listed activities are open to all park goers, including annual passholder, without needing an extra ticket. One thing you won’t see on the list is autograph sessions with the film stars. After the intense demand for limited autograph tickets last year, Universal has restricted the signings solely to those who purchased special hotel packages (which sold out long ago).

Here is the full schedule of 2016 Celebration of Harry Potter activities:

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Disneyland Season of the Force Videos & Photo Gallery

by on January 17, 2016

Disneyland season of the force videos photos

Celebrate Star Wars at Disneyland with new Season of the Force videos and photos.

With the latest Star Wars movie breaking the all-time domestic box office record less than a month of its release, it’s pretty clear that the Force is wide awake all over America, but nowhere has the film’s impact been more evident than inside the Disney parks. I’ve already covered the newly added Star Wars attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, and recently I had the chance to fly west and compare Orlando’s offerings to their Anaheim analogues. While in California, I captured this gallery of Season of the Force videos and photo gallery to give our Disneyland-deprived readers a taste of the Happiest Place on Earth’s take on a galaxy far, far away…

 

Season of the Force Crowds

The first thing to know about Season of the Force is that the crowds are strong with this one! Even though the days of my Disneyland visit were predicted to have moderate attendance, Tomorrowland was packed from open to close, only becoming busier as the afternoon and evening continued. If you want to experience all the popular attractions that are part of Disneyland’s Season of the Force, get there at rope drop or be prepared to wait in line!

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever January 14, 2016: 48 Hours at Disneyland Resort

by on January 14, 2016

I’ve just had a bittersweet Best Week Ever, because I took a weekend away from my usual Orlando assignments to say adieu to some old friends in Anaheim. January 10th marked the last day for a number of Disneyland attractions before Star Wars Land construction commences. Some, like the Railroad and Rivers of America will return next year in an altered form; others, like the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, are gone for good. I’ll be covering the closing of these attraction in detail over the coming days, but for this Best Week Ever I want to stash the sayonaras; instead, lets focus on some other experiences I was able to enjoy around the rest of the resort during my 24 hours in Disneyland.

My trip was largely made possible by a ludicrously low airfare ($159 round trip!) I found on Frontier. While I was delighted to get such a cheap seat between MCO and LAX, the airline makes their money back through sky-high baggage fees and some of the least comfortable seating in the sky.


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7 Must-Do Holiday Activities to Do at The Disneyland Resort

by on December 2, 2015

It's a Small World Holiday

Even though It’s a Small World is not on my list, it is a stunning attraction to see during the holidays.

At the Disneyland Resort, the holiday season (which started November 13th, 2015 and ends January 6th, 2016) is the best time to visit the park. Even though this time of the year is the busiest, it is still totally worth it. During the holiday season The Disneyland Resort feels like totally different theme park. Disney spares no expense when it comes to the holiday season and there are special activities taking place throughout The Resort. But that leaves an important question: which ones should you experience? Well, I am here to help.

If you are planning on staying at The Resort for more than one day, I suggest trying to partake in all the special holiday celebrations. These shows and events only take place during the holiday season so take advantage of them while you can. However, for those of you that are not staying multiple days, like myself when I visit in December, I have come up with seven holiday activities and events that you need to experience. These events are not in any particular order but they all should to be in your Touring Plan.

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Video: 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle Lighting Ceremony at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on November 23, 2015

2015 Osborne Family Spectacle Lighting ceremony

Ring in the holidays with this video of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle lighting ceremony. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

Walt Disney World‘s holiday season celebrations are in full swing, and the final season of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is drawing huge crowds each night to the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Recently, I brought you video of the Spectacle, featuring three full performances from the Dancing Lights. After that posting, some readers wondered whether the small ceremony that kicks off each evening’s illumination is still occurring. Well, wonder no more, because I’ve brought you this complete video of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle lighting ceremony:

 


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Dress for Success: Top 5 Must-Pack December Clothing Items and Special Tips

by on November 16, 2015

dress for success

Disney World has truly spectacular offerings during the holiday season.

It’s no secret that I dress for success when I plan my outfit choices in Walt Disney World – no detail is left out. While this usually refers to some light DisneyBounding, it means something a little different in December, when a cute dress and Mickey ears isn’t enough to get you through the cold evenings in the parks. Thanks to the fantastic holiday offerings, December is one of the most exciting times to visit Disney World. You’ve got Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, and Hollywood Studios’ Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. On top of that, the resorts and parks are decked out in their holiday finest, so even if you don’t want to spring for the extra cost of a party ticket to MVMCP, you can still enjoy the ambiance during the day. Just make sure, as you’re planning for your holiday trip, to give serious consideration to the weather. As unlikely as it sounds, Florida gets COLD at night in December!

I know what you might be thinking, “I’m from [insert cold state here — mine is Michigan]; Florida doesn’t even know what cold is! I walk eight miles uphill both ways through six feet of snow just to get to the Disney Store!” Okay, that might not be exactly what you thought, but it is pretty close to my viewpoint on the subject before my first December trip. Luckily, I followed the advice of others and (even though I scoffed) I packed for the cold weather. And thank goodness I did! Based on that experience, I’m going to give you a breakdown of my 5 must-pack items for cold weather, some tips specific to nighttime holiday entertainment options, and a few final pieces of advice so you can dress for success on your holiday adventures in Disney World!

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Video: 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on November 10, 2015

2015 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Talk a walk through the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with this opening-weekend video (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky).

The first weekend of November has just passed, but Walt Disney World‘s holiday celebrations are already well underway. Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights has sparked to life for it’s final season, and just like for the Jingle Cruise, we were there on opening weekend to bring you the experience via video.

The following first-person footage will allow you to enjoy a 25-minute walk through the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle from the comfort of your couch, complete with three full “Dancing Lights” songs.

 

 

Now that you’ve seen what’s in store, here are a few touring tips for readers planning on attending the 2015 Osborne Family attraction in person:

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A Look at Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt

by on October 28, 2015

Hidden around Epcot’s World Showcase during the International Food and Wine Festival, you’ll find more than just booths with food and drink—you’ll find rats. But don’t worry, these aren’t your ordinary rats. It’s Remy, from the Disney movie Ratatouille. He’s decided to make his signature dish and is scouring ingredients from around World Showcase. Even better, he needs your help for a game of “Hide and Squeak”. DSC02918

Available at select gift shops in Epcot (such as Pin Central and the Port of Entry), you can purchase a map with stickers for $7.95, similar to the kind available during the Epcot Easter Egg hunt in the spring. As you travel around World Showcase, look for Remy hiding somewhere in each location noted on the map. (For a hint, because he’s searching for food, you’ll usually find him somewhere near a food booth.) As you find him, see what ingredient he’s obtaining at each location and use the corresponding sticker on your map. When you are finished with your grand tour, take the completed map back to the Port of Entry and receive one of six commemorative pins featuring Remy and one of the ingredients.

As we were playing this game, we did find that some of the hidden Remy locations were more tricky than others, and so it may be challenging for a young child to do completely alone—but it is a great game for families or even for adults. To add another layer to the game, most of the ingredients are aligned in some way with the country in which you find them or the food being served at the booth. We had the most fun trying to predict what ingredients we would be looking for in each country. (Proud to say, I got more right than my husband!)

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Questions and Observations from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailers

by on October 22, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, you’ve probably heard that the latest trailer for Star Wars Episode VII debuted on October 19; and let’s just say that it was kind of a big deal.

First of all, it caused me to actually look forward to a Monday. Truly historic. Secondly, the trailer went viral almost immediately and sites selling movie tickets were out of commission for most of the night. I know this from personal experience because I spent over an hour refreshing a website to secure myself an opening day ticket for my local theater. It was a do or do not moment because the internet literally wouldn’t let anyone try. In the end, I did secure myself a ticket for an early showing on December 17. (Yay!) Walt Disney World even offered a special Force Awakens Opening Night Event, which sounds awesome!

But let’s get to the important stuff. The trailer. This new trailer followed two Force Awakens teasers and revealed the most information about this much anticipated upcoming film. Director J.J. Abrams has done a remarkable job keeping most of the story under lock and key, but that hasn’t stopped fans like myself from piecing together some important points. Lastly, and listen to this my fellow Disney Parks Fans, I believe the teasers, and particularly this new trailer, show a glimpse of what will Star Wars Land will be! So let’s take this step by step and break down what we know now about The Force Awakens, what we still want to know, and what clues to Star Wars Land we’ve gained from the teasers and trailers in Questions and Observations from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailers.

Warning: Possible SPOILERS Beyond This Point.

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