Pick Six: Watching The Festival Of Fantasy Parade

The Festival of Fantasy Parade debuted at the Magic Kingdom earlier this Spring, and it has been a hit!

Festival of Fantasy Anna Elsa Olaf

The parade features a new (and crazy catchy song) with amazing costumes and floats that is a celebration of Fantasyland and its many inhabitants.

Festival of Fantasy

The garden of Disney Princesses float leads off the Festival of Fantasy Parade starring Cinderella, Belle, Tiana, and Elsa & Anna (and of course Olaf). The float has sections that spin so that everyone can catch a glimpse of their favorite Disney Princess. You will also notice that the original song is mixed with each character’s song. It is a great touch!

Festival of Fantasy

Next Flynn Rider and Rapunzel from Tangled swing on the streets in search of the “best day ever”. The performers on this float are amazing, and I get tired just looking at them!

Festival of Fantasy

Then we go under-the-sea with a jubilee starring Ariel, Sebastian, and an enchanted ocean ensemble from The Little Mermaid atop a sparkling music box. This is the shortest and smallest portion of the Festival of Fantasy Parade. It is really cute, but I wish there was a little bit more to the float.

Festival of Fantasy

Peter and Wendy from Peter Pan come soaring through the sky aboard a pirate galleon perched on a sparkly rainbow pursued by Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tick-Tock the Crocodile. The Lost Boys are really what make this section of the Festival of Fantasy Parade so great for me! They have great interaction with the crowd and their choreography is perfect.

Festival of Fantasy

When you see the Scottish Dancers, you know that Merida from Brave accompanied by her triplet “bear” brothers are headed your way on top of a gigantic bagpipe. The bears are my favorite part of this float, because their spirit from the movie is captured so well.

Festival of Fantasy

Following Merida is Maleficent as a fire-breathing, clockwork dragon rolling down the street your jaw will absolutely drop!!! Before she arrives you will see Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather flying around as Prince Phillip uses his mighty Sword of Truth to take on Maleficents henchmen. This section is by far the most amazing part of any parade I have ever seen! You will be spellbound by the floating trio, amazing henchman costumes, fight choreography, and Maleficent herself. It is stunning to watch.

Festival of Fantasy

The Festival of Fantasy finale features high-flying fun with Mickey and Minnie in a giant hot-air balloon, plus a cavalcade of beloved Disney Characters from Pinocchio to Snow White. Make sure you take your time and look at each and every bit of the finale floats that you can, because details and characters can be found everywhere! I feel like I spot something new every time I watch the parade!

Festival of Fantasy

I couldn’t end this post without sharing some of my favorite tips about watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade!

Festival of Fantasy

Pick Six: Festival of Fantasy Parade Watching Tips

1. Look up to pick your spot!

Festival of Fantasy

A lot of the action on the Festival of Fantasy parade floats takes place above you, so make sure you look up to pick your spot to watch!

2. Best places to watch

Festival of Fantasy

I like to watch the Festival of Fantasy from the hub, so if you can try to watch the parade from the Fastpass+ area! Another great spot is right in front of Town Hall, because without a curb it makes for a more up close experience.

3. FIRE!

Festival of Fantasy

Yes the Maleficent float breathes fire, but she doesn’t do it all of the time! Make sure you listen for the musical cue of a large build up and she will also raise her head up very high.

4. Taking Pictures

Festival of Fantasy

Since a lot of the action and characters in the parade are up high, you are going to want to make sure that you are not standing in a place where the sun is in front of you.

5. Front Row

Festival of Fantasy

If you can clear your schedule and get to your parade viewing spot early I would! Being front row for Festival of Fantasy is the best!

6. CAUTION!!!

Festival of Fantasy

YOU WILL SING THE FESTIVAL OF FANTASY SONG OVER AND OVER AND OVER! It’s not as bad as ‘Boo to You’, but it’s really close!

Festival of Fantasy

The Festival of Fantasy runs daily in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It steps off in Frontierland at 3:00 pm, but make sure to check your times guide and listen for updates in case of inclement weather.

Festival of Fantasy

 

 

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Exploring The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Sign

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the final and centerpiece attraction of New Fantasyland to open on May 28th at the Magic Kingdom, and I was almost giddy with anticipation to ride at the Walt Disney World Mine Train Event.

Not long after I moved to Orlando, construction began on New Fantasyland and having the opportunity to experience this attraction after watching it being built was amazing.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family coaster that oozes charm with mild thrills (between Big Thunder Mountain and Barnstormer), an entertaining interactive queue, and story that not only showcases the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but next generation animatronics that are stunning.

When you first walk up to the Seven Dwarf Mine Train, the first thing that you notice is just how beautiful the queue is! The pathway is lined with trees (and fans) to help give some shade while you wait, and at night the area is lit just enough so you can see while not taking away from how a forest would feel at night.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Cottage

Hands down my absolute favorite part of the queue are the three interactive areas, which you find once you have entered the mine’s wooden tunnel.

Doc has prepared a series of mining stations for us to explore while we are waiting.

  • Jewel Sorting – Follow Doc’s instructions, etched into a nearby plank, and help match jewels by color and shape as they flow down a wooden trough—a.k.a. dozens of touch-screen video displays. Watch out for the slippery bars of soap that appear out of no where!!!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Jewel Washing

  • Jewel Washing – After the jewels are sorted, grab ahold of a musical water spigot and start cleaning. Each spigot plays its own melody—heed Doc’s tips and you may hear a collection of familiar tunes! When you are running your hands under the spigots, it helps to think of it as playing a harp rather than holding your hand under a tap.
  • The Vault – Inside the door of the mountain, enter the center of the vault to find a collection of wooden barrels overflowing with glowing stones. Turn each barrel to see the ceiling above you transformed, and get all of the barrels going at once for a really great surprise.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Signs

If you are using FastPass+ for this attraction, which is already available on My Disney Experience, you will skip all of these interactive elements and hop right in after The Vault. If it is a slower day or if you have time, I would totally suggest taking the scenic route.

Once you have made it to The Vault, you will notice that you are in the mine! Once your eyes adjust to the darkness make sure to a moment to look around, because the detail that has been lovingly poured into this attraction is amazing! The carved wood and miner’s equipment laying around is such a great touch.

Well, now we have come to the part that we have all been waiting on for many a long year…and that is the ride itself!

The first thing I noticed about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is that loads quickly and efficiently. You can bring your bags on the ride, and there is a reasonably sized pouch if you would like to use it to stow your items.

The ride doesn’t waste any time, going right into twists and turns that really put a spotlight on the innovative mine train cars.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Front Car

The track is definitely designed with the rocking motion of the mine train cars in mind, but just because they sway doesn’t mean that this is a bumpy ride by any means. There are five cars per train, and there is a difference in where you ride. The first two cars are probably my favorite, because you can feel the sway the most and get the most visually from the track.  Cars two and three are much more mild on the rocking, but the fourth car steps it up a little. And the final car is just a lot of fun, because you are whipped all over the track while rocking at a steady pace.

In the middle of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train you head inside to the mine, where you are greeted with some stunning animatronics! Their new animated faces are amazing, and their movement is fluid and wonderful.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Animatronic

And before you know it, you are being called back to work whizzing down the most thrilling drop of the coaster before heading into some fun curves.

The ride ends with a familiar scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that features pieces from Snow White’s Scary Adventure. I don’t want to talk too much about the end of the ride, because it is a great cherry on top of what is already a solid ride.

If I do have a ‘Best Tip’ for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it is that you should definitely ride it at night. On my nighttime rides I felt like the queue was more stunning, the animatronics popped more, and the views of New Fantasyland from the coaster are great!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Cottage at Dusk

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a solid attraction, with mild thrills and memorable moments. I cannot wait for everyone to take a spin!

Can’t wait for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to open on May 28th? Check out the Miners Wanted Game, and then you can get your own Miners Handbook!

Disclaimer: I was an invited by the Walt Disney World Resort to receive a sneak peek at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as part of a media event, however all opinions and thoughts are my own.

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#RockYourDisneySide 24 Hour Event Survival Tips

RockYourDisneySide 24 Hour Party Ultimate Hashtag
140 characters formed a hashtag at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to officially announce the Disney Parks bicoastal, All-Night Extravaganza on Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-24, 2014. (David Roark, photographer)

The #RockYourDisneySide 24 Hour Party will kick off the summer at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24, 2014, EST.

The #RockYourDisneySide Party marks the third year in a row that the Magic Kingdom will be open for 24 hours straight, and this year guests are encouraged to show their #DisneySide by choosing Good or Evil!

I am already thinking of who I will be Disneybounding as!!! It was really fun to dress up as Elsa for the #RockYourDisneySide Party at the Summer Media Preview, and I think I want to give it another go!

Throughout the 24 hours, there will be special events showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise, and food & beverage offerings. And mixed into the fun are sure to be some really great surprises.

The Disney Parks Blog has also said that they would be hosting another awesome Meet-Up! Make sure you keep an eye on their blog and Twitter accounts for announcements. I like to get their tweets sent to my phone, it is super easy to do, so I can find out as soon as it is announced so I can sign up!

Having survived the first two, at more than 28 hours awake and in the Magic Kingdom, I thought I would share some of my favorite tips for spending 24 Hours in the Magic Kingdom!

Pick Six: Tips for Spending 24+ Hours in the Magic Kingdom

1. Pack your bag ahead of time

Be like the Boy Scouts and always be prepared!!! I am usually an advocate of packing as little as possible for your Theme Park trips, but this is the exception to the rule. Try to think of what you will want the most, and pack it with you! For me, my ‘must pack’ list for 24 hour day included adding a travel sized facial cleanser, deodorant, a change of clothes, extra snacks, and playing cards to my normal all-day park bag.

httpv://youtu.be/xEhmt0aiChA

2. Late dinner

I get hANGRY so as I was snacking throughout the day, but I also I pushed all of my meals to a later time than usual. The first 24 Hour Day, we ate dinner at 11:00 at Liberty Tree Tavern and it was a lifesaver! We got to relax, sit down with air conditioning, have a good meal, and spend longer than usual eating to take up more time. It was great!

3. Look for activities, meet-up, and people around you in the Park

While I don’t advocate stalking people on Twitter around the park, it is a good idea to keep an eye on Social Media to see who you talk to that you would like to meet in real life, to look for spontaneous meet-ups, and to get ideas about what other people are doing so you can avoid particularly crowded areas of the Magic Kingdom. 

4. Plan on wasting time

You are going to be in the park for a looooooooooooong time, so make sure that you      pace yourself. Don’t go all YOLO and try to ride and see absolutely everything on a crazy schedule, because you will tire yourself out. You will have plenty of time, so relax and have fun! Some of my favorite time wasters and things to do that I usually don’t do were playing cards on Tom Sawyer’s Island and going to the shooting range in Frontierland.

httpv://youtu.be/0fXeI0ybzcU

5. Go to sleep early

Think 4:00 pm dinner and 7:00 pm bedtime if you can! You will be getting up crazy early for 24 hour day, and in addition to that you will be awake longer and will be more active than you would be during your usual day. So grab the Early Bird dinner and hit the hay!

6. Have a recovery plan 

While a lot of people can get up and get going after staying out, I am not one of them! So I made sure that I had the next day to rest, organize photos, and commiserate with others who took the challenge!

I hope that these tips helped, and that I see you at the #RockYourDisneySide 24 Hour Party at the Magic Kingdom!!! 

Make sure you keep up with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for all the #RockYourDisneySide pictures, updates, and more!

 

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Carousel of Progress 50th Anniversary with Kelly Christine

Carousel of Progress
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress was my favorite attraction at Walt Disney World during high school and college. For years it never made sense to my friends and family. They know me as a thrill seeker, a roller coaster nut. How can a ride with a slow moving theater satisfy an adrenaline junkie? The answer is simpler than you think.

Like It’s A Small World and Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, Carousel of Progress debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair. When the fair was over, the ride was transported to Anaheim and installed at Disneyland. It was replaced in Disneyland by America Sings and then moved to Walt Disney World. It is one of the only attractions in Walt Disney World that Walt himself had a hand in creating directly. You can even see Walt Disney and the Sherman brothers in a pre-show video talking about the original attraction.

Originally debuting under the name “Progressland,” the Carousel of Progress follows a family through four different eras. The first scene is staged at the turn of the 19th into the 20th century, then the 1920s, 1940s, and present day follow, echoing the seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter respectively. The Carousel of Progress is the longest running stage show in the history of American theater.
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Springtime
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Halloween
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Christmas

After a few years, I finally explained to my friends and family why the Carousel of Progress was my favorite and it’s quite simple: despite how much the world around you changes, your family is a constant. I think about how my life has changed due to technology and despite all the convenience and distractions at my fingertips, the relationships I have have only improved. After 50 years, the significance of family has not changed. I believe in a great big beautiful tomorrow, it’s just a dream away.

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Happy Anniversary It’s a Small World!

Today It’s a Small World is among three ground-breaking attractions created for the 1964 World’s Fair celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and we wanted to take a moment to talk about why each attraction is so special to us.

It's a Small World

This gentle boat ride is the ‘Happiest cruise that ever sailed around the world’, and was created for the 1964 World’s Fair to salute UNICEF and the children around the world. Filled with beautiful Animatronic Dolls, colorful lands, and an infectious song more than 10 million visitors from 1964-1965.

It's a Small World

It was great to see how each of the five Disney Parks around the world celebrated the anniversary of It’s a Small World, but it is really great to hear everyone’s personal connection to the attraction!

httpv://youtu.be/050ZVhjPiNk

My father is a big guy with a southern accent and usually stern face, but his absolute favorite ride at Walt Disney World is It’s a Small World!

I remember on our first trip to Walt Disney World in 1986 we rode It’s a Small World three times, so when my daughter’s, Zoe, first trip rolled around there was only one thing we could do!

As we walked down Main Street, we made our way to It’s a Small World where Zoe shared her first ride at Walt Disney World with my father at her side.

To this day it remains a family favorite ride, and I will never forget the look of delight and love that my father had as rode hand-in-hand with her.

Keep an eye out for our posts on Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Carousel of Progress that will be coming to you later today!

Do you have a special memory of It’s a Small World?

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Celebrating The 50th Anniversary of It’s A Small World At Walt Disney World

It's a Small World

Yesterday the Walt Disney World Resort joined in with the other Disney Parks around the world to celebrates the 50th anniversary of It’s a Small World.

It’s a Small World opened as a tribute to peace and hope at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and is an important part of my family’s heart.

It is my father’s favorite attraction (he makes us ride it at least twice per visit), it was my first ride at Walt Disney World, and we brought it full circle as my father and I rode with Zoe for her first ride ever at Walt Disney World.

It's a Small World

As part of a live global sing-along connecting all the Disney Parks around the world, international cast members from the countries of Epcot will lead a choir of children and cast members in song in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=050ZVhjPiNk&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA&feature=share

Throughout the day, in-park performers – the Dapper Dans, Coke Corner Pianist, Notorious Banjo Brothers, Royal Majesty Maker Musicians and Main Street Philharmonic – are scheduled to include “it’s a small world” in their appearances. And, a special moment is planned for Magic Kingdom guests to join in singing the iconic song prior to the 3 p.m. Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.

Thank you so much to John from Big Fat Panda.com for creating an AMAZING video!!! Make sure that you check out his amazing show (especially show #1 with your’s truly) and videos on his chanel.

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Baby Care Center- Magic Kingdom

This post is the third in a mini series, there will be four total; one for each theme park. If you have a Disney, Travel, or Mommy blog (or any other kind of blog you think this could fit into) and are interested in using this post and the ones that follow, please contact me!  Part one was Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and part two was Epcot. This time we will be exploring Magic Kingdom.

 

The Entrance

 The Baby Care Center at Magic Kingdom is located right next door to First Aid, between Casey’s Corner and Crystal Palace.

Unfortunately it is my least favorite location out of the parks, but, don’t get me wrong, I’m still very grateful that it’s there. Since I usually travel alone with the little one (while my husband is at work) I have to juggle all our stuff. That’s one super helpful perk of having a stroller, it’s a place to stow things & babies have a lot of things! Just like Epcot, the Magic Kingdom Baby Care Center does not allow strollers inside. You have to park them at the door. 

 

Signage

 

When you walk in the door, you’re greeted with a curio cabinet showcasing the baby products available for sale inside. 

Curio with merchandise

 

As you pass the display, the nursing room is on the right. Also like Epcot, this one is a community nursing room. Four padded rocking chairs in a very dimly lit room. It’s soothing, but I wish it was a tad brighter; it takes some time to adjust between that light level and  the bright Florida sun outside. Also in the room are two small tables and some outlets for pumping or phone charging. Unlike Epcot this one has 2 doors, an in door on one end and an out door on the other end. Be aware if you sit on the out door wall and the door opens all the way, you can pretty much see into the park. So if you are on the shy side when it comes to nursing in public, I’d stay away from that wall. 

Blurry, but a shot of the other 3 rockers from the 4th rocker.

 

The out door, see how your in line with it if you’re in the rocker on the left?

 

Continuing on from the nursing room is a very large feeding/play room! It has a TV, some books and a big layout. It has 3 high chairs, 4 kid sized tables, lots of child sized stools, and 8 full sized chairs. 

 

Feeding/play room

To the left of the feeding room is the changing room. They have 5 large padded changing tables, a hand washing sink and a restroom. 

One corner of the changing room.
Another corner of the changing room, with the sink.

 

The next, and final room is the kitchen. Just like the other Baby Care Centers, it has a sink, microwave, bottle warmer, mini fridge; and it also sells any baby necessities that you have run out of or forgotten.

 

Kitchen
List of items available

A fun fact- this Baby Care Center, then called Baby Services, has been around since the opening of the Walt Disney World Resort! “Facilities for changing infants, preparing formula, warming bottles. Babysitting not available in Theme Park. Babysitting services available at hotels.” 


Stay tuned for our last Disney installment of our Baby Care Center series, Disney’s Animal Kingdom! 

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Looking Forward Through the Year

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I am looking forward to this year as it is almost time to spring forward.

This year I am hoping to participate in at least one race per month, and doing more local races too. This weekend I will be walking the 5K for the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Next weekend I will probably also walk the Best Damn Race 5K in downtown Orlando near Lake Eola. April I think will be the 5K that goes through Legoland and the rest of the year is up in the air.

Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal

Spring Training is about to shift into high gear. Teams are practicing and I’ve got tickets to see my Braves play the Cardinals at home next month. I hope to catch at least one other spring training game and to make it to Atlanta once this year.

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is starting in a couple of weeks and this is always a fun special event. Last year I got to meet one of my HGTV personalities, David Bromstad. I look forward to trying to see him again this year and to try out some of the new food offerings.

I would love to get to Busch Gardens as it has been almost a year since I last visited, despite this being the closer theme park to where I live. I need my coaster fix and to feed some kangaroos too.

A first for me this year will be to visit Universal Studios Mardi Gras. I haven’t been to Universal since 1992 other than a few trips to City Walk over the past decade. I am long overdue and hope to finally get to taste butterbeer and maybe one of those giant donuts from the Simpsons.

Summer will bring the return of Summer Nightastic at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, both of which are a lot of fun. I would like to get back to SeaWorld to see their Viva La Musica celebration.

Coming soon, hopefully, will be the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. This new coaster will be something between the thrill level of the Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but with some dark ride elements I’m hoping similar to Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

Late spring into summer brings the return of the beloved Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Last year I missed out on Hyperspace Hoopla in its entirety and I won’t let that happen again this year.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom I am looking forward to the new nighttime spectacular that should be arriving sometime this summer. I also really want Festival of the Lion King to come back soon, but I know it is still a few months off.

July will bring the WWE Raw live in Orlando from the Amway Center. I hope to see this and compare it to my recent experience for WWE Live.

Also in July will be the Destination D event at Walt Disney World for D23. I hope this is as fun if not more so than the event in 2011.

Of course the fall will bring back the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot that this year is extended to even more of September. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts up again in September into October. November and December will see Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom as well.

One of the things that is on the back burner, but I’m still trying to work into my schedule is a trip back to Disneyland sometime in the next few months or so. Also, a cruise, or two, will be happening this year!

 

What events are you looking forward to this year? Did I miss any of your favorites?

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Festival of Fantasy Parade

Festival of Fantasy
All photos and images in this post are provided by Disney

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will debut in March energizing the streets of the Magic Kingdom with an infectious, whimsical, and contemporary spirit, and I can’t wait!

Festival of Fantasy will celebrate the worlds of new and classic Disney and Pixar stories on a scale that is beyond belief, as nearly 100 performers on floats that will soar as tall as three stories bring some of our favorite (and not so favorite) characters to life in a dramatic and artistic way.

“The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment. “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life; and the choreography is just glorious. Yet, it is also very kinetic, relevant and powerful on a scale never seen before at Walt Disney World.”

Seven unique units comprised of nine spectacular floats of the Festival of Fantasy will travel accompanied by an original soundtrack inspired by Disney film favorites, composed by Mark Hammond (World of Color at Disney California Adventure and Flights of Fantasy parade at Hong Kong Disneyland) to have a distinct voice that is customized by parade float, theme, and mood

Here is the float-by-float Festival of Fantasy line-up!

The Princess Garden – This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, “Frozen.”

Festival of Fantasy
Disney

Tangled – A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another Best. Day. Ever! Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs.

Festival of Fantasy
Disney

Little Mermaid – Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired.

Festival of Fantasy
Disney

Peter Pan – Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography.

Festival of Fantasy
Disney

Brave – Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney*Pixar film, “Brave.”

Festival of Fantasy
Disney

Sleeping Beauty – The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route.

Festival of Fantasy
Disney

Finale and Mickey’s Airship – The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

httpv://youtu.be/XP2-rOErUr4

Here is video of the floats arriving at the Magic Kingdom from the Disney Parks Blog.

The costumes for the Festival of Fantasy were constructed with new and innovative technology, and are absolutely mind-blowing! The attention to detail, over-the-top glitz, and sheer size are overwhelming in the best possible ways!

Here are some of my favorite ‘Fun Facts’ about the Festival of Fantasy costumes:

  • Elaborate costumes are being crafted by 10 different costume houses, in eight cities, in two countries — including Creative Costuming facilities in both Florida and California.
  • Some 27 separate custom designed fabrics were designed by Mirena Rada in collaboration with Creative Costuming Graphic Artist Paul Jordan.
  • Counting interfacings and trims, it takes 28 separate fabrics to make up one Swing Thug #1 Costume (Tangled unit).  His vest requires vinyl to be cut into 75 separate diamond shapes and then stitched onto cool max fabric.
  • Some pieces, including the Seashell Girl (Little Mermaid unit) headpiece, were digitally sculpted and then grown to size with a 3D printer.
  • It takes 30 yards of fabric to make one Seashell Girl costume which includes 12 different colors of Nitex Mesh.
  • The coral pieces for the Coral Twins (Little Mermaid unit) were custom designed.  They are being hand poured in three separate colors by the artisans of the Creative Costuming Craft Team and baked and finished for 16 hours each in an oven.
  • The socks worn by the Lost Boys (Peter Pan unit) are custom designs that were knitted to order in Hong Kong.
  • Minnie Mouse’s Dress and Hat (finale unit) uses 95 gold lame dots that are cut out, “blinged out,” and then sewn on.
  • The Bubble Girl (finale unit) headpiece is made from three separate clown wigs that are blended together by the Creative Costuming Millinery Team.
  • Cha Cha Girl (finale unit) – Her wig was designed with 148 yards of horsehair in four colors, that is then rolled, pressed and curled by hand.

I have missed the energy that the afternoon parade brought to the Magic Kingdom, and I truly cannot wait to see the Festival of Fantasy in person! March can’t get here soon enough!!!

 

 

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A Magical Evening in the Magic Kingdom

Photo Jan 19, 9 40 39 PMRecently I went to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with my friend Laura from elementary school. She and her family were in town to visit family along with a friend of hers I had met on a previous trip. We didn’t really have any set plans, just to meet up at some point during the weekend. I made my way to the park a little after 4pm, and stumbled on my first bit of magic.

For those of you who know me, I can be a bit of a sap. Show me a commercial with a veteran coming home to surprise their family and I’m a mess. Put me in the Magic Kingdom for flag retreat with a group of active duty soldiers home on leave together, and there is no hiding the tears. My respect for the military and their service to our country runs deep. Both my brother and my dad served, and many generations in our family preceded them.

So, on this particular Saturday, I found myself at Town Square facing the flag retreat unprepared and unknowing what time it was. As the Dapper Dans started singing as the flag was lowered, the tears started flowing freely with pride, awe and respect for the men on the other side of the square. God Bless America just about killed me, but in a good way. As the retreat came to an end, I spotted my friends Kendra and Mark across the way. I composed myself, said hi to them and chatted for a few minutes before heading to meet Laura and company in Liberty Square.Photo Jan 19, 9 37 41 PM

Laura and her family were taking a break in Columbia Harbour House, so we just sat and caught up for an hour or so while they finished resting. As their fastpass window for Space Mountain rolled around, I split off to say goodbye, but couldn’t resist a quick ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. Any evening I can spend on the Peoplemover, especially around sunset, is a magic one.

Photo Jan 19, 9 39 43 PMWhen I finished my ride, I ambled toward Main Street and the front of the park, finding it especially beautifully lit this evening. There’s just something about the simple white lights that line the street that is just gorgeous. Assuming my nice evening was over, I took my time taking in the sights and  sounds around me. To my surprise, one of the most magical things I have ever heard caught me on the way towards the train station. A boy of about eight years old was walking with someone who I assumed was his grandmother. As they walked a few paces ahead of me, the grandmother said to the boy, “you’ve had a nice day at Disney.” The boy replied, “this really is a magic kingdom.” Instantly, my heart melted on the spot. You just don’t expect that, but when you hear it you know he is exactly right.

To top it off, I saw another one of my favorite things, the custodial artists creating magic with water and a broom. These cast members get to make magic by “painting” with water some of our favorite characters on the streets of the Disney parks. This often occurs when guests are waiting for parades, as was the case here. It is just one of those magic moments that is so simple, yet such a perfect way to cap off an evening in the park.

Photo Jan 19, 9 38 00 PM

This is what Disney magic is all about to me: bringing together friends, enjoying a ride or two, the beauty of the parks (especially at night), seeing unexpected moments of magic appear before your eyes. I will never stop believing in magic. Thank you Disney for reminding me of that.

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