Celebrate the Fourth of Jul-Eye on The New Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye Fourth of July
Photo: Gail Weafer (@gailyw)

Celebrate the Fourth of Jul-Eye on

The New Orlando Eye 

The Orlando Eye and I-Drive 360 will host their first annual Independence Day celebration with special events on the courtyard of the new dining and entertainment complex July 3-5, 2015.

Events include live entertainment and family-friendly activities throughout the weekend, culminating with a 20-minute patriotic lighting show on the 400-foot observation wheel, where more than 64,000 LEDs will be illuminated in red, white and blue starting at 9 p.m. each night. This event is free and open to the public.

In honor of the holiday, the Orlando Eye has a special promotion, where children (12 and under) can enjoy a flight on the Eye for $4 with a paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased online at OfficialOrlandoEye.com, or in person at the attraction’s admissions desk.

WHO: The Orlando Eye and I-Drive 360

WHAT: The Orlando Eye and I-Drive 360 are hosting a special weekend celebration in honor of Independence Day

WHEN: The event takes place Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5

              Live entertainment and activities begin at 10 a.m.

              Lighting show begins 9:00 p.m.

WHERE: I-Drive 360, 8441 International Drive, Orlando, Fla.

COST: Event is free and open to the public. Complimentary parking is available in the I-Drive 360 parking garage.

 The Orlando Eye Logo

The Orlando Eye

Located in the heart of International Drive, the 400-foot Orlando Eye is the tallest observation wheel on the U.S. eastern coast, offering a new way to experience the breathtaking views of Central Florida. 

Poised to become a top visitor attraction for the tourism capital of the U.S., the Orlando Eye, part of the I-Drive 360 entertainment and dining complex, showcases 360-degree views of Central Florida, including nearby theme parks and attractions, downtown Orlando and Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast, all within the comfort of 30 air-conditioned glass capsules. Each capsule has room for up to 15 guests to enjoy a serene 20-minute journey above the scenic landscape.

Included in the Orlando Eye journey is access to the pre-flight 4D cinema experience, taking guests on a full 3D aerial journey of Florida, with the added dimension of sensory experiences, including lighting, wind, spray and scent effects.

Visit OfficialOrlandoEye.com for more information.

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Tips For Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine’s Day Shopping

 Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Header

Shopping for the perfect Disney Inspired Valentine’s Day gift far from Walt Disney World can be difficult and sometimes cause even the coolest cucumber to get a little antsy as the big day draws closer.

However, with so many big box retailers carrying more Disney Merchandise the daunting task of finding the perfect gift for your favorite Disney Fan has become easier.

So what I thought I would do is take you along to one of my go-to stores, Walgreens, to share some of my favorite last minute tips for putting together a great Valentine’s Day gift!

Before we go any further, this post is not sponsored by Walgreens or anything along those lines. I just genuinely like shopping there!

Tips For Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine’s Day Shopping

1. While you want your Valentine’s Day gift to be super adorable for this holiday, make sure that it matches the style of the recipient.

I like to decorate a shelf in our den with holiday Disney items, and while I love a good romance I am not so big on ‘mushy’ gifts.

For someone who is like me, these fun Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse decorative items would be a great option! (I hope you heard that Dave!!!)

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Home Decor

2. We all have favorite characters, but when you are tight on time keep it to the classic characters!

If your significant other loves an obscure character, you may drive yourself bananas trying to find something specific for them if you’re like me and have waited to the last moment.

I especially love these mugs, water bottles, and cups that show Mickey and Minnie as a perfectly matched pair!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Couples Gifts

3. Don’t be afraid of buying plush for Valentine’s Day!

You make think that plush is for the little ones, but it definitely is not.

Walgreens has a pretty sizable selection of plush for a broad spectrum of taste.

While you can never go wrong with a Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse plush, this heart shaped pillow with the both of them is absolutely adorable!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Plush

4. Let them eat chocolate on Valentine’s Day!

While this is number four on my list, it is number one in my heart!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Chocolate

5. Little ones need some Valentine’s Day love, too!

Zoe always comes home with a metric ton of candy from her school pals on Valentine’s Day, so I like to find fun small toys and activities for her goodies.

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Kids Ideas

What I also like to do is instead of buying one Valentine’s Day card, I like to get her Valentine’s Day cards like the ones she gets in school. She always gets a kick out of opening all the little cards!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Kids Valentines

6. Don’t forget the card and wrapping!

Walgreens carries a variety of Hallmark cards and products, and this year the cards are even more adorable than ever.

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Hallmark Cards

This year, I found some great Valentine’s Day gift bags and matching tissue paper that will make you look like a Pro!

Last Minute Disney Inspired Valentine's Day Shopping Gift Wrapping

Don’t skimp on the wrapping!!! When the delivery method of the gift matches the spirit of what’s inside you have just taken yourself to the next level of gift giving!

I hope that these tips for last minute Disney inspired shopping were helpful, and if you happen to see this Walgreens…call me! 😉

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Candlelight Processional Packages Available

Candlelight Processional
Photo: Disney

It’s Christmas in July as the Disney Parks Blog announced that  Candlelight Processional Dining Packages can be booked starting today.

For those who don’t know, the Candlelight Processional is a holiday tradition at Walt Disney World! During this moving show, a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full orchestra and choir fill the America Gardens Theater at Epcot with Christmas songs and stories.

Candlelight Processional
Photo: Disney

Candlelight Processional Dining Packageare available on select days during the holiday season, and start at $35 for lunch and $50 for dinner for adults. Included in the Candlelight Processional Package is a delicious meal at an Epcot restaurant and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances.

You can find more information, including all the restaurants participating here.

Here are some things to know about the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages before you book:

  • Seating at the Candlelight Processional is first-come, first-served unless you’ve reserved a Candlelight Processional Dining Packages.
  • Dining packages are paid for at the individual restaurant, where you’ll receive your Candlelight Seating badges for seating at the America Gardens Theatre for the booked showtime.
  • Advance reservations are highly recommended for the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
  • Park admission is required and is not included in the price of the dining package.

Note: Availability is limited. Guests can call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or book online at www.disneyworld.com/holidays.

Also released today, was a partial list of celebrity narrators for this year including Candlelight veterans Whoopi Goldberg and Jodi Benson, and the addition of two fabulous new narrators Academy-Award-winning actress Sharon Stone and Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer.

Candlelight Processional
Photo: Disney

Here is the early schedule of Candlelight Processional Narrators:

  • Jodi Benson – 11/28 – 11/29
  • TBD – 11/30 – 12/2
  • TBD – 12/3 – 12/4
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/5 – 12/6
  • TBD – 12/7* – 12/8
  • TBD – 12/9 – 12/11
  • TBD – 12/12 – 12/14
  • Sharon Stone (New) – 12/15 – 12/17
  • Ana Gasteyer (New) – 12/18 – 12/20
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/21 – 12/23
  • TBD – 12/24 – 12/25
  • TBD – 12/26 – 12/27
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/28 – 12/30

Some things to keep in mind about this early list of Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators:

* Narrators are subject to change without notice.

* Show Times are at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. each night.

*Show Times on December 7 are 6:45 p.m. & 8:15 p.m. only


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Celebrate The Magic Summer Fun

 Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Celebrate the Magic is one of those things that I tend to walk by and take for granted, because it is always ‘there’ when we are trying to find the right spot for Wishes! or the Main Street Electrical parade.

Here is a little bit about Celebrate the Magic if you are like me…

With a little pixie dust from Tinker Bell, watch Cinderella Castle come to life right before your eyes.

 

Witness a spellbinding show that traces the longstanding legacy of Disney storytelling and imagination. When Tinker Bell splashes pixie dust atop Cinderella Castle, the regal castle is magically refashioned into an enchanted canvas unfurling with spectacular Disney imagery.

 

Travel down the rabbit hole with Alice, soar high above the Big Top with Dumbo, and wander the African savanna with Simba.

 

Drawing inspiration from Disney’s many memorable characters and stories, Celebrate the Magic invites you to take off on a breathtaking visual and musical journey, and to experience Disney movies—from beloved classics to contemporary favorites—in an entirely new and unforgettable way.

However what makes Celebrate the Magic so special is that it receives several seasonal updates a year, and this year’s Summer tag does not disappoint! It is full of fun, tikis, and under the sea shenanigans.

The Summer sequence of projections begins right after the Wreck It Ralph section.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Phineas and Ferb kick off the Summer sequence with a, “Ferb! I know what we are going to do today!”

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Fun and upbeat music kicks off as the castle is sketched and colored.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -  Starting at the bottom of the castle and spreading upwards tiki torches appear and “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” plays.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Then the castle is adorned with tikis, torches, and a little blue alien.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Leis are dropped onto the castle turrets before the castle is draped in a pattern that features Lilo, Stitch, and their friends.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

The pattern turns into a wave that Nani, Lilo, and Stitch then ride out.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

A ‘Sand’ castle is now being projected with a fun kid sung “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Waves then wash away the sand castle as beach ball drop all over the castle.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 - Beachballs

“Under the Sea” rings out as the castle is flooded and the beach balls make way for Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, and their fellow sea inhabitants.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

The party ends as some familiar fish friends (not food) swim across the castle with calls of ‘Mine, Mine, Mine’ as the castle goes black.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

The summer tag for Celebrate the Magic is a little less than two minutes, but as you can see they packed a lot of great animation and moments into that time.

If you want to catch the Summer tag of Celebrate the Magic, here are some of my best tips!

  • There are two showings of Celebrate the Magic a night (usually 9:45 pm and 10:35 pm, but check the daily times guide or My Disney Experience to be sure), and the second show is a lot less crowded to watch!
  • If you decide to watch the show during it’s second showing, try to move as close as you can to the castle because you will find the closer you get you will find more opportunities to sit on the ground (a unique perspective for tired feet) to view the show.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

  • Celebrate the Magic is projected on the front and sides of Cinderella Castle, and each vantage point offers a different experience! If you want to watch from the front try to be center near the hub, the castle forecourt is also open for the show and that is really interesting, and from the side I prefer the Tomorrowland side going towards Merida’s Meet and Greet.
  • If you have a pair of Glow with the Show Ears, they will interact with the show’s lighting and effects.
  • The show is great to photograph! Make sure that you listen for music cues of when the projections will change and don’t worry too much about using your flash.

I found a great video on YouTube from Steve Gray of the entire Celebrate the Magic castle projection show. The Summer tag begins around the 3:35 mark and ends around the 5:23 mark.

httpv://youtu.be/pxtUpbdn_T8

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Independence Day at Walt Disney World Resorts

Independence Day fireworks from Bay LakeThe other day I highlighted some of the celebrations going on for Independence Day in the Disney Parks this week. Today I’d like to take a look at the resorts in case any of you find yourselves at a Walt Disney World resort today or Friday. The resorts have all sorts of activities planned for fun and games on the Fourth of July, so let’s check some out from the recreation calendars!

Value Resorts

All-Star Movies/Music/Sports:

Ring Toss 1:30pm
Air Band Contest 2:00pm
Hula Hoop Games 2:30pm
Water Balloon Games 3:00pm
Pool Party 3:30pm
Holey Bucket Relay 4:30pm
Name That … 5:00pm
Bingo 6:00pm
Trivia Challenge 7:00pm
Fantasia/Calypso/Surfboard Bay Dance Extravaganza 8:00pm
Monsters University 9:00pm

Art of Animation/Pop:

USA Trivia 1:00pm
Beach Ball Blast 2:00pm
Musical Stars 2:30pm
Big Blue Pool Party 3:00pm
Firework Dance Party 4:00pm
50 State Songs 4:30pm
Water Basketball 5:00pm
Road Trip American Challege 5:30pm
Bingo 6:30pm
Patriotic Bean Bag Toss 7:00pm
Teen Beach Movie 8:30pm

Moderate Resorts

Caribbean Beach Resort
Star Spangled Name That … 1:00pm
4th of July Arts & Crafts 2:00pm
Jammin’ Pool Party 3:00pm
Firework Dance Party Extravaganza 4:00pm
Red, White and Blue Balloon Games 4:30pm
Musical Stars and Stripes 5:30pm
Patriotic Campfire 6:30 – 7:30pm
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 8:30pm

Coronado Springs ResortWalt Disney World Gallery Photo
Beach Ball Blast 1:00pm
Great American Guessing Game 1:05pm
Temporary Tattoos 2:00pm
American Graffiti 2:30pm
Pool Fiesta 3:00pm
Pitchburst 4:00pm
Musical Stars 5:00pm
Campfire 6:30pm
Pocahontas 8:30pm

Port Orleans French Quarter
Taffy Guessing Contest at Riverside Marina 10:00am – 5:00pm
All other activities following take place at the Doubloon Lagoon Pool
Independence Day Beach Ball Barrage 11:45am
Patriotic Pool Party 12:00pm
Colonial Cake Walk 1:00pm
Dance Party Extravaganza 2:00pm
Red, White and Balloon Games 2:30pm
Give Me Liberty, or Give Me a Pie in the Face 3:00pm (register at least 15 minutes prior)
Name That State 4:00pm
Backyard Games on the Green 5:00pm
Star-Spangled Campfire 7:00pm
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 9:00pm

Port Orleans Riverside
Taffy Guessing Contest at Riverside Marina 10:00am – 5:00pm
All other activities following take place at the Ol’ Man Island Pool
Independence Day Beach Ball Barrage 11:45am
Patriotic Pool Party 12:00pm
Give Me Liberty, or Give Me a Pie in the Face 1:00pm (register at least 15 minutes prior)
Dance Party Extravaganza 2:00pm
Red, White and Balloon Games 2:30pm
Colonial Cake Walk 3:00pm
Name That State 4:00pm
American Graffiti (Chalk Art and Crafts) 5:00pm
Star-Spangled Campfire 7:00pm
National Treasure 9:00pm

Fort WildernessWalt Disney World Gallery Photo
July 3rd Activities At Meadow Swimmin Pool Area
Patriotic Craft 10:05 – 11:00am
Make Your Own Ice Cream 11:00am – 12:00pm
Field Game: Flag Football 1:30 – 2:30pm
Hoedown Dance Party 2:30 – 3:00pm
Meadow Swimmin Hole Jamboree 3:00 – 4:00pm
American Temporary Tattoos 4:00 – 4:30pm
Red, White & Blue Pitchburst 4:30 – 5:00pm
All other campfire activities take place at the campfire theatre
Chalk Art 7:00 – 7:30pm
Campfire Lighting 7:30pm
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long 8:00pm
National Treasure 8:40pm

July 4th Activities
Fourth of July Golf Cart Parade – Register your cart at the Bike Barn by 5:00pm on July 3rd. The parade will travel down Fort Wilderness Trail from Hitch and Unhitch to Pioneer Hall. Please see registration for more details. Prizes will be awarded immediately following the parade at Pioneer Hall.
Parade steps off at the Hitch/Unhitch Area 9:00am
Parade Award Ceremony outside Pioneer Hall 10:00am
At Meadow Swimmin Area
Patriotic Craft 11:00am – 12:00pm
Field Relay Games 1:30 – 2:30pm
Hoedown Dance Party 2:30 – 3:00pm
Uncle Sam’s Rockin Pool Party 3:00 – 4:00pm
Are You Smarter Than Uncle Sam? 4:15 – 5:00pm
Twister Scram 5:00 – 5:30pm
Disney Charades 7:00 – 7:30pm
Campfire Lighting 7:30pm
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Sing-A-Long 8:00pm
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 8:40pm
The Fort Wilderness Fourth of July Beach Bash at Clementine’s Beach
The beach bash will start at 5pm and wrap up right after the fireworks at 9pm.
Volleyball Tournament 5:15pm – dark
Join us on the beach for some fun, competitive games of volleyball. Teams must be signed up ahead of time at the Bike Barn by 3pm on July 4th. Teams can be any age or skill level. No more than six persons per team.
Sandcastle Building Contest 5:00 – 6:30p
Disney Trivia 7:00 – 7:45pm
Bingo 7:45 – 8:30pm
Disney Celebrates America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky 9:00pm

Deluxe Resorts/Villas

Animal Kingdom Lodge/Villas – Jambo HouseWalt Disney World Gallery Photo
Afternoon Craft: Simba’s Cubhouse 1:00pm
Jefferson’s Giant Jenga Challenge 2:30pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:00pm
Stars and Stripes Scavenger Hunt 4:30pm
Campfire 5:45pm
Cars 2 8:30pm

Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
Have You Heard? 2:30pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:00pm
Stars and Stripes Scavenger Hunt 4:30pm
Red, White and Burst! 5:00pm
Campfire 6:45pm
Toy Story 8:30pm

Bay Lake Tower/Contemporary
Lawn Activities
Independence Day Crafts 10:00am – 1:00pm
Idaho Potato Sack Races 10:00am
Watermelon Eating Contest 10:30am
Ye Old Water Balloon Toss 11:00am
Soda Shop Ice Cream Drop 11:30am
Cupcake Walk 12:30pm
Poolside Activities
Washington’s Bucket Bridge 1:00pm
Guess the President 1:30pm
Red, White & Burst! 2:00pm
Stars & Stripes Pool Party 3:00pm
Yankee Doodle Dance Party 4:00pm
Name That State 4:30pm
American Flag Weaving Craft 5:00pm
Campfire 7:30pm
National Treasure 9:00pm

Boardwalk
Liberty Games 1:30 – 2:30pm
Red, White and Blue Relay Races 2:30 – 3:30pm
Make Your Own Ice Cream (additional cost – in Community Hall) 3:00 – 4:00pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:30 – 4:30pm
Games of the Stars and Stripes 4:30 – 5:45pm

Grand FloridianWalt Disney World Gallery Photo
July 3rd movie National Treasure 9:00pm
July 4th At Beach Pool
Red, White and Blue Critter Round-Up 1:00pm
Declaration of Your Beach Bag 1:30pm
Star Spangled Bucket Relay 2:00pm
Stars and Stripes Ring Toss 2:30pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:00pm
Celebration Pool Party 4:00pm
“Sandcastles of the Brave” 4:30pm
Ice Cream Drop 5:00pm
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

Old Key West
Watermelon Eating Contest 11:00am
Patriotic Pargo Parade 12:00pm
All-American Meet and Greet 1:00pm
Family Fun and Games 1:00pm
Ice Cream Drop 2:00pm
Dance Party 2:45pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:00pm
Cake Walk 4:00pm
Fourth of July Un-Birthday Party 4:30pm
S’mores 7:30pm
First Kid 9:00pm

Polynesian
7/3 National Treasure 9:00pm
7/4 Poolside Activities at the Volcano Pool
Red, White and Blue Critter Roundup 1:00pm
Revolutionary Hula Hoops 1:30pm
Star Spangled Bucket Relay 2:00pm
Stars and Stripes Ring Toss 2:30pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:00pm
Celebration Dance Party 4:00pm
Declaration of Your Beach Bag 4:30pm
Red, White and Boom Blaster 5:00pm
Party of the Beach 6:00 – 9:00pm
Join us on the Polynesian Beach for games, contests and dancing leading up to “Disney Celebrates America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” fireworks spectacular!
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 9:00pm

Saratoga Springs
High Rock Spring Pool
Watermelon Eating Contest 12:00pm
Family Fun and Games 1:00pm
Ice Cream Drop 2:00pm
Changing of the Guard 2:45pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:00pm
Cake Walk 4:00pm
Fourth of July Carnival Games 4:30pm
S’mores 7:30pm
First Kid 8:30pm
Paddock Pool
Stars & Stripes Cupcakes 1:00pm
Dance Party 1:45pm
Pool Party 2:00pm
Design Your Own Fireworks 3:00pm
American Flag Banners 3:30pm

Wilderness Lodge
7/3 National Treasure 8:30pm
7/4 Count’n Candy Guessing Game
Come to the Lodge Marina from 11am – 5pm to guess how many pieces are in the jar. Winner will be announced at 8:25pm where the movie is located.
Patriotic Arts & Crafts at Silver Creek Springs Pool 1:00 – 2:00pm
All-American Temporary Tattoos 2:00pm
Big Blast Pool Party 2:45pm
Red, White & Balloon Pitchburst 4:00 – 4:30pm
Uncle Sam’s Notable Quotables 4:30 – 5:00pm
Star Spangled Chalk Art 5:00 – 5:30pm
Dance Extravaganza 5:30 – 6:00pm
Campfire 7:15 – 8:15pm
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets 8:30pm

Yacht/Beach Club
Bursting Critters and Castles 1:30 – 2:15pm
Red, White and Blue Mickey Tie-Dye T-Shirts 2:30 – 3:30pm
Patriotic Pool Party 3:30 – 4:30pm
Changing of the Guard Celebration 4:30pm
Games of the Stars and Stripes 5:00 – 5:45pm

As always, things are subject to change and please contact the resorts directly for any additional questions. Certain activities may have an additional cost associated with them. Please have a happy and safe Independence Day no matter where you are celebrating this year!

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Independence Day in the Walt Disney World Parks

independence dayThe Fourth of July is rapidly approaching this Friday and Walt Disney World is a great place to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. What is the holiday you most closely associate fireworks with? Fireworks of course are a special treat any time of year, but Disney really ramps up the pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July.

At the Magic Kingdom, their Independence Day fireworks called Disney’s Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky are actually shown on both July 3rd and July 4th at 9pm and lasts about 15 minutes. If you get the chance, I highly recommend catching this show on 7/3 as crowds tend to be a little lighter, plus this allows you to catch a different fireworks show at either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the Fourth.

Epcot will show their Illuminations: Reflections of Earth regular fireworks show at 10pm, then adds a 7 minute tag starting around 10:13pm called The Heartbeat of Freedom. This is honestly my favorite fireworks show of the entire year, so if you are here for Independence Day, this is my recommendation. If you do end up at Epcot on the 4th, do not miss one of the performances of the Voices of Liberty! Their Fourth of July Concert at the America Gardens Theatre will be held at 12:30pm, 1:45pm and 3:00pm. The last two times I have seen this show it has moved me to tears. Their live version of Golden Dream and the military medley especially can turn even the hardest of hearts to mush. At the Kidcot Fun Stop guests can stop by and test their knowledge of Americana and learn fun facts. Once guests complete the Discovery Experience, they will receive and award certificate.

 

independence daychip and dalevoicesIMG_4385

 

The fireworks for Independence Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, called the Special July 4th Fireworks Presentation, will be at 10:20pm. They last about 12 minutes and will be fired off behind the Sorcerer’s Hat and are often best viewed from Hollywood Blvd. or even just outside the park entrance.

No matter which park you choose for fireworks, you will have a blast! 😉 Stay tuned for resort activities for Independence Day later this week. In the meantime, check out our videos below from previous years’ Fourth of July celebrations!

 

httpv://youtu.be/yT6SgWw8478

httpv://youtu.be/astHL8ef4SI

httpv://youtu.be/fnls9Gf5Hlg

httpv://youtu.be/GmkmxpvtLg8

httpv://youtu.be/a2SP55iCF88

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Richard Petty Driving Experience Father’s Day Special

unnamed

Treat DAD like ‘The King’ this Father’s Day with with our Buy One
Get One Free Driving Experience offer from the Richard Petty Driving Experience!

Give DAD the gift of white-knuckled speed and excitement this Father’s Day so he feels like The King himself! He will love getting behind the wheel of a 600HP NASCAR race car at one of our tracks nationwide – and so will you with our Buy One – Get One Free driving experience offer. With a range of program options, you both can drive our most popular 8-lap Rookie experience or try the Experience of a Lifetime where you are in the driver seat for 30 adrenaline-pumping laps!

SPECIAL DRIVING EXPERIENCE OFFER

FOR FATHER’S DAY FROM

RICHARD PETTY DRIVING EXPERIENCE

Purchase one of our Driving Experiences (Rookie, Kings, Experience of a Lifetime) and receive another Driving Experience for FREE! Enjoy this Father’s Day together and challenge Dad to the fastest time around the track any operating day this year between 6/16/14 and 12/31/14.

Both Driving Experiences must be booked in the same session.

The free Rookie, King’s or EOL experience must be of equal or lesser value.

LET DAD DRIVE FOR FREE WITH THIS GREAT OFFER!

Call 1-800-237-3889 & mention promo code: RPFATHERS-2014 to save!

Buy One Get One FREE – offer information

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Easter Recreation Activities at Walt Disney World

EasterAs promised a few weeks ago, I’m back with more goings on at Disney World resorts and parks for Easter week. If you are a resort guest or live here in the area, Disney Floral & Gifts has tons of great offerings for decor here. In the parks, you can meet and greet with Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny in the Magic Kingdom in Town Square Courtyard from 9am – 5:10pm from April 13 – 19th and then 9am – 12:15pm on April 20th. Special Easter cupcakes are available at several quick service locations in Disney’s Hollywood Studios with white chocolate and raspberry icing.

In the resorts across Walt Disney World property you will find most with special Easter activities. Some of the recreation activities will include things like character meet and greets with characters typically in special Easter outfits.The All-Star Resorts are also featuring games like Bunny Basket Relay, Easter Bingo, Hippity Hoppity Dance Party, Bunny Hoppin Pool Party and Critter Round-Up. At Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas they are having Easter Candy Scramble, Egg-cellent Easter Trivia, Easter Chalk Art and Poolside Easter Craft. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort hosts a Candy Guessing contest, Rubber Ducky Races, a Peeps Grab, Don’t Break the Egg, and Topsy Turvy Scavenger Hunt.

Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary are having a Hundred Acre Wood Dash, Egg-cellent Crafts and Cookie Decorating, and Hop Til You Drop Poolside Activities. The Boardwalk will have an Easter Candy Scramble on the Village Green, at Luna Park Pool there will be an Egg on a Spoon Relay, Egg Scramble, Easter Critter Round-Up, and Egg-citing Prize Walk. Caribbean Beach Resort hosts What’s in Your Easter Basket and a Basket Toss.

These are just some of the examples of activities found at some of the resorts and theme parks. Consult your Times Guides and Recreation Calendars for more specific information about your resort’s Easter activities.

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Easter Activities at Bass Pro Shops!

Bass Pro Shops is hosting fun Easter activities this weekend and next weekend! They include Easter egg hunts, crafts, and pictures with the Easter Bunny!

Easter

 

Each activity has different times and days so make sure you’re paying attention if you want to hit them all. We ended up just missing the Easter egg hunt, which is held during the Easter Bunny’s carrot break, so we missed him too.

 

The Easter egg hunt is on Sunday the 13th, Saturday the 19th, and Sunday the 20th. Registration starts at 1:30, and the hunt starts promptly at 2pm. It’s for ages 2-10, and after you collect 5 eggs, you return to registration to exchange them for candy. The Easter Bunny was on carrot break from 2-3pm while we were there on Saturday the 12th.

 

 

The Easter Bunny is at Bass Pro Shops all week! Sunday the 13th, Saturday the 19th, Sunday the 20th, he’s there 11am-4pm. Then Monday April 14th through Thursday the 17th, he’s there 6pm-8pm. Friday the 18th, he’s there 2pm-7pm. Bass Pro Shops also have some great photo packages, and you get a free 4×6 photo just for visiting!

 

They have crafts as well at Bass Pro Shops, different ones depending on which weekend you are there. Sunday the 13th from 1pm-4pm is coloring a plaster Easter egg magnet, and then Friday the 18th from 4pm-7pm, Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th from 1-4pm is making a bunny frame or a scratch art bunny.

 

Little Man coloring his egg

 

His Easter egg magnet

 

For an additional fee, Bass Pro Shops also had a face painter who had some really cute designs! All in all, a super event and we’ll be back next weekend for more Easter fun!

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Easter Happenings at Walt Disney World

EasterIf you are going to be in Walt Disney World for Easter, there are some fun offerings at the parks and resorts to enjoy this spring holiday. Guests looking for religious services can attend Protestant service at the Contemporary in the Fantasia ballroom on Easter Sunday at 9am. Catholic services will be held at 8am and 10:15am. For other holiday services, resorts can assist guests in directing them to off property sites for Hindu, Muslim, Judaism and other religious services.

Table service restaurants across property have Easter meals for booking if you are looking for a special meal. Breakfast with a character buffet is offered at Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Cape May Cafe. A special Easter dinner is also occurring at Cape May with the addition of a Roasted Lamb to the carving station at the buffet. Next door at the Yacht Club, Captain’s Grille is hosting a brunch with Roasted Strip Loin and Baked Ham with assorted sauces with the buffet. Another character meal offered is Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Easter Brunch at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Also at the Contemporary at the Wave there is a brunch with a carving station featuring New York Strip Loin and Bone-In Ham. The Walt Disney World Swan offers a character dinner buffet at Garden Grove. Kouzzina at the Boardwalk and Olivia’s at Old Key West are also providing special dinner menus in addition to their regular dinner menus.

Cupcakes for Easter will be offered in locations at the Boardwalk Bakery, in the food court at Caribbean Beach, and at Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge.

Special Easter merchandise will be available for purchase at gift shops at Coronado Springs and the Yacht and Beach Club. Other resorts will have Easter baskets for purchase in addition to these at the Boardwalk, Caribbean Beach, Contemporary, Fort Wilderness, Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge. Some will be pre-made and others will have the opportunity to create your own Easter basket. Consult the resort directly for further questions.

At Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, guests will have the ability to vote for winners of the Recycled Craft Contest in the dining room.

There will also be a chocolate Easter Egg display in the lobby of the Grand Floridian from April 5 – 22nd.

Stay tuned for more resort and theme park recreation activities to be updated in a future post in April as we get closer to Easter!

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Disney Movie Love Songs

It’s almost that time of year. Yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. So, I thought I’d share some of my picks for the most romantic Disney music to set the mood for your Valentine or any date night. Some are quirky, some are traditionally sappy, but I love them all. Hope you do too!

Married Life (Score from Up) 

Hear me out on this one. I know it is practically enough to induce instant waterworks for me if I step onto Main Street and hear this song playing, but then I think about why. The beauty of it is, I cared so much about the love Carl and Ellie had for each other that in that montage of only a few minutes it was enough to make me love them and their relationship. It is a roller coaster ride of a piece of music that I adore.

Song
Up

I See The Light (Tangled)

Okay, another one of those sometimes tear inducing songs (it’s not just me, right?), I know, but it is so gorgeous. So before I heard him sing as now, possibly my favorite prince, Flynn Rider, I loved Zachary Levi for his role in the tv series Chuck. This song took my adoration for him to a whole new level. The lanterns still kill me when I see them in the film, on the castle projection or during World of Color. It is fear and love rolled all into one poignant song that I absolutely love.

Tangled
Tangled

Bella Notte (Lady And The Tramp)

This is one of those classic songs that has permeated pop culture and for good reason. The iconic image of Tony serenading Lady And The Tramp outside his restaurant while they share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs is indelible in many people’s memories. This was my picture of love as a child.

Lady And The Tramp
Lady And The Tramp

So Close (Enchanted)

A grown up love song for Giselle and Robert as they begin to realize their feelings for each other, while dancing at a ball all dressed up in New York City. And thinking of Patrick Dempsey doesn’t hurt the swoon factor for this song.

Enchanted
Enchanted

So This Is Love (Cinderella)

I’m not sure how many of you have picked out your wedding song before you’ve even met your spouse, but this is the one my Prince Charming would agree to if I had my way. Cinderella is my favorite and this song is two minutes and ten seconds of what I hope to someday feel for the man of my dreams.

Cinderella
Cinderella

Something There (Beauty And The Beast)

Another fantastic song playing out Belle and the Beast’s road to love. It isn’t love at first sight, but it takes a while to get there after a friendship blossoms.

Beauty And The Beast
Beauty And The Beast

Define Dancing (Score from Wall-E)

This isn’t the most traditional pick, but the love that develops between Wall-E and Eve is fantastic. I remember when the movie first came out that I was very apprehensive. How on Earth could I be entertained by a movie with very little dialogue that turns out to be a robot love story? Wow, was I wrong. The score does a phenomenal job of mirroring the “dance” between the two leads.

Wall-E
Wall-E

A Whole New World (Aladdin)

I recall purchasing this cassette when I was in middle school as a single with the Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle version on one side and as a bonus the Brad Kane and Lea Salonga version on the other. My love for Lea Salonga and her amazing voice grew deeper with this song, but it is really about Jasmine and Aladdin and finding each other when they are both running from their own worlds.

Aladdin
Aladdin

I’m sure I’ve left out some, but these are my picks for romance in musical form. They aren’t in any particular order, just that in which I remembered to write them down. Did I leave out any of your favorites? Let me know. I hope you all have a Valentine’s Day that is even half as romantic as these couples had in their movies!

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New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World

New Year’s Eve is upon us and I’m sure some of you are wondering what to do for last minute plans. If you aren’t planning on braving the crowds to visit the theme parks at Walt Disney World, don’t worry, there are still options for you.

At DisneyQuest they are playing host to a New Year’s Eve party from 8pm until 1am for guests of all ages. The party is a hard ticket event with tickets for guests ages 3 and up for $61.03 plus tax. Included in the party ticket is unlimited access to DisneyQuest games, two DJ dance parties, unique character meet and greets with Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope as well as Chip and Dale, food, party hats, noisemakers, etc. are also included. Tickets are available for purchase online at  disneyworld.com, over the phone at 407-W-DISNEY, in person at DisneyQuest, Disney resorts, Swan, Dolphin, ESPN WWOS or any Guest Relations locations.

New Year's Eve
image copyright Disney

Some of the resorts at Walt Disney World are even offering their own activities for New Year’s Eve tonight. Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House is playing host to guests in the Sunset Savanna Lounge just off the lobby for a different kind of New Year’s Even party. You can learn from Cultural Representatives at the resort how they ring in the New Year at 5pm as it becomes the New Year in Africa. Guests can also learn what kind of resolutions they can make to help protect animals and the environment in the New Year.

Fort Wilderness is planning a whole evening of fun for their guests. The New Year’s Eve festivities begin at 6pm for two hours of beach games along the shores of Bay Lake. From 8 – 9pm they will have a New Year’s Eve photo both for family fun pics. Bingo is at 9pm, followed by 2013 trivia at 10pm. The countdown to the fun starts at 11pm, with the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks blasting off at 11:50pm.

Not to be left out are the Polynesian with their beach bash from 7pm until midnight and Port Orleans Riverside with a New Year’s Eve Bayou Bash from 9pm until 12am.

If you are a resort guest at Walt Disney World, it is a great time to be here. There are several options for fun outside the parks if you aren’t wanting to deal with the crowds. What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

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Wordless Wednesday – Christmas in Orlando

Wordless Wednesday – December 25, 2013

We want to wish everyone celebrating today a very Merry Christmas!

We hope that you all have a day full of family, fun, and love!

Merry Christmas from Orlando!!!

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Epcot’s Candlelight Processional

While Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World is a must do for many of my friends, this year was the first time I’ve ever watched it!

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I grew up in the parks and I’m sure we were here around Christmas time, however, even as an adult, I can’t believe I had never seen this show before. This is definitely the way to get you in the holiday mood!

Candlelight Processional IMG_7074

It was quite the experience!

Watching the cast choir fill into all their spots.

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Listening to and enjoying the live orchestra.

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And then there was Gary Sinise, who was the narrator for the night that I was in attendance. (For a full list of Candlelight Processional narrators for 2013, you can view the list here.)

It was so awesome to watch his reactions to certain songs – you can catch some of his head bobbing in the video above 🙂

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While I am not a religious person, the songs and show are put together so well and I know that the cast members put in a lot of time for each of their practices.

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I hope to now make this a yearly tradition!

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Do you have a favorite narrator that you have to see? Is there someone that you would like to see added to the list of narrators at Epcot’s Candlelight Processional?

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