Three Disney Holiday Specials You Won’t Want to Miss

Disney Holiday Specials 2019
ABC officially kicks off the holidays with “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration,“ Thursday, Nov. 28 (8-10 p.m. EST.) on ABC; followed by “Disney Channel Holiday Party at Walt Disney World“ premiering Friday, Dec. 13 (8-8:30 p.m. EST) on Disney Channel and in the DisneyNOW app. Then, the “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” airs Christmas morning, Wednesday, Dec. 25 (10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST, 9:00-11:00 a.m. CST/MST/PST); airtimes vary, check listings, on ABC and on the ABC app. (Disney Parks/ABC)

This holiday season, ABC and the Disney Channel will transport the magic of Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line to viewers with three magical Disney Holiday Specials featuring star-studded performances, merry entertainment and more.

During the Disney Holiday Specials, viewers will get exclusive looks at upcoming Disney Parks attractions, including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opening soon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. 

ABC officially kicks off the holidays with “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration,THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC; followed by “Disney Channel Holiday Party @ Walt Disney World,“ premiering FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EST), on Disney Channel and in the DisneyNOW app. As part of the annual tradition, the “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” airs Christmas morning, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25 (10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST, 9:00-11:00 a.m. CST/MST/PST; airtimes vary, check listings, on ABC and on the ABC app). 

“The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” kicks off the holiday seasonThursday, November 28, from 8:00-10:00 p.m. EST, on ABC and on the ABC app. 

Join hosts artist Matthew Morrison, singer-songwriter and TV host Emma Bunton, and TV host Jesse Palmer as they present the two-hour prime-time special on Thanksgiving night from Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort in California. 

This magical celebration will feature celebrity musical performances among a flurry of Disney holiday entertainment. During the prime-time special, viewers will be treated to several Disney Parks sneak peeks, including a behind-the-scenes look into Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opening in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on December 5, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and January 17, 2020, at Disneyland Park in California. 

Musical performances include the following: 

  • GRAMMYAward-winning icons Sting and Shaggy perform duets and solo numbers from Walt Disney World Resort, including a new festive reggae version of “Silent Night (Christmas is Coming).” 
  • GRAMMY Award-winning rock band Portugal. The Man performs “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Christmas Everybody” from Disneyland Resort.
  • Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning group Pentatonix will sing a cappella renditions of “Deck the Halls” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Singers Ingrid Michaelson and Andy Grammer perform an all-new original holiday song from Disneyland Resort.
  • International pop star Ally Brooke sings “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Singer-songwriter and TV host Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) performs “Santa Baby” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • The Tony, Emmy, and two-time Golden Globe-nominated artist Matthew Morrison performs a medley from Walt Disney World Resort of “When You Wish Upon A Star” from the upcoming album “Disney Dreamin’ with Matthew Morrison” and the classic “Let it Snow.”
  • Acclaimed two-time Billboard Award-winning electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling pulls all the strings for “Carol of the Bells” from Walt Disney World Resort. 

Disney Channel Holiday Party @ Walt Disney World“ airs Friday, December 13, from 8:00-8:30 p.m.  EST/PST, on Disney Channel and in the DisneyNOW app. Disney Channel’s “ZOMBIES 2” stars Meg Donnelly and Milo Manheim will co-host this holiday party with artist Matthew Morrison, treating fans to a magical holiday celebration featuring performances from Shaggy,  Pentatonix andDisney Channel stars Issac Ryan Brown (“Raven’s Home“), Ruby Rose Turner (“Coop & Cami Ask the World”), and Kylie Cantrall (“Gabby Duran & The Unsittables”) broadcast from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and aboard the majestic Disney Fantasy – part of the Disney Cruise Line fleet. 

During the special, viewers will enjoy exclusive Disney Parks sneak peeks, including a first look at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida in spring 2020 and Disneyland Park in California in the future. Viewers will also get an exclusive look at the Disney Channel Original Movie sequel “ZOMBIES 2,” premiering on Disney Channel in 2020. 

Additionally, “BUNK’D” stars Scarlett Estevez and Israel Johnson will host a special family segment highlighting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.

Musical performances include the following: 

  • Disney Channel’s “ZOMBIES 2” star Meg Donnelly sings “Home for the Holidays” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Disney Channel stars Issac Ryan Brown (”Raven’s Home”) and Ruby Rose Turner (”Coop & Cami Ask the World”) perform “12 Days of Christmas” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Disney Channel’s “Gabby Duran & The Unsittables” star Kylie Cantrall performs “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“ aboard the Disney Fantasy.
  • Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning Pentatonix performs an a cappella renditionof “Here Comes Santa Claus” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Two-time GRAMMY Award-winning reggae star Shaggy sings “Jamaican Drummer Boy” from Walt Disney World Resort.

“Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” airsWednesday, December 25, from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST, 9:00-11:00 a.m. CST/MST/PST; airtimes vary, check listings, on ABC and on the ABC app. 

Disney’s annual Christmas celebration airs Christmas morning on ABC hosted by artist Matthew Morrison,singer-songwriter and TV host Emma Bunton, and TV host Jesse Palmer. Joining as co-hosts are ABC’s “black-ish” star Marsai Martin with Hollywood Records Artist and Disney’s “The Lion King” star JD McCrary, who voiced young Simba in the live-action film.

Presented from Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort in California, the show features the Christmas Day Parade down Main Street U.S.A., heartwarming stories and amazing celebrity performances. Among the exclusive Disney Parks sneak peeks planned for this special are Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida in spring 2020 and Disneyland Park in California in the future, plus Avengers Campus coming to Disney California Adventure Park in California in 2020. 

Viewers will also get a special look at “the most magical flight on earth”: the newly opened Disney Skyliner gondola system, connecting Walt Disney World Resort guests to two Disney theme parks and four resorts, including the new Disney’s Riviera Resort, opening December 16.

Musical performances include the following: 

  • Seventeen-time GRAMMY Award-winning Sting performs “Soul Cake” off his platinum-selling album “If On A Winter’s Night…” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Two-time GRAMMY Award-winning reggae star Shaggy sings his new Caribbean-flavored original song “Christmas with Friends” from Walt Disney World Resort 
  • Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix performs “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from Walt Disney World Resort. 
  • Singers Ingrid Michaelson and Grace VanderWaal sing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” from Disneyland Resort.
  • GRAMMY Award-winning rock band Portugal. The Man performs “White Christmas” and “Feel it Still” from Disneyland Resort. 
  • International pop star Ally Brooke performs “Christmas Through Your Eyes” from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • The cast of the new Disney+ original “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” performs a high-energy medley from Disneyland Resort. 

The Disney Holiday specials are a collaboration by Disney Parks, ABC, Disney Channel and Endeavor Content, and I can’t wait to tune in!

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2019 Walt Disney World Easter Egg Displays

2019 Walt Disney World Resort Easter Egg Displays YouTube

Happy Easter to everyone celebrating today!!!

Join us for a look at some of the amazing Walt Disney World Resort Easter Egg Displays expertly modeled out of chocolate & other edible treats!

This annual traditions is one of my absolute favorites at Walt Disney World!!!

In this video we take you (in order of appearance) to the Easter Egg Displays at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, & finally Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Photos in this video are by Betsy (www.instagram.com/floridamingo) & Kelly (www.instagram.com/kellbelle), so make sure to give them a follow!

And while you’re in the following spirit… Please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel & follow our social media channels listed below!

@onthegoinmco on Twitter www.twitter.com/onthegoinmco @onthegoinmco on Instagram www.instagram.com/onthegoinmco @onthegoinmco on Facebook www.facebook.com/onthegoinmco @onthegoinmco on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/onthegoinmco

Want to take a look back in Walt Disney World History?

Check out the 2013 Easter Egg Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa here.

Thanks so much for watching & we’ll see ya real soon!!!

Shelley

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Give Kids the World Challenge for Hope 5K Run

I am BEYOND honored to be one of this year’s Give Kids the World Challenge for Hope 5K Ambassadors, and I hope that you will join me on December 8th!!!

Give Kids The World Challenge For Hope 5K Run 2018
Photo: Give Kids The World

Gates To Whimsical Village Open December 8 For Give Kids The World Annual Challenge For Hope 5K Run

Orlando, Fla.

There’s excitement in the air as Give Kids The World Village prepares to open its gates. On December 8, 2018 the public will have a rare opportunity to see inside GKTW during its annual Challenge For Hope 5K Run taking place from 7 to 9  a.m.

Families, wish family alumni, volunteers and the public can walk, run, roll or stroll along a 5K course, while being immersed in the wonder, happiness and hope that happens every day in the Village. A highlight of the event is the opportunity to experience the seven themed nights of entertainment and characters that families enjoy during their wish trips.  Those registered for the Challenge For Hope 5K will be cheered on by Village guests, along with wish families who have stayed in the past and are coming back in support with fond memories.

“We love that all kinds of groups in Central Florida are making the Challenge For Hope an annual tradition,” said Pamela Landwirth, President & CEO of Give Kids The World. “This is such a special event for us, because it gives people a chance to experience the Village – to really see what we do and connect with our mission. We’re so grateful to everyone who comes out.” said Pamela Landwirth, President & CEO of Give Kids The World.

“What makes this particular event so special for us is that it allows us to share our mission and our hope right here with the community where we reside, and beyond.”

Residing in Kissimmee, Fla., this magical resort can be a mystery to Floridians who have heard of but never had the chance to see the fairytale Village where wishes come true. It’s the magic that provides weeklong, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from all over the world

General Registration for the Challenge For Hope 5K is $35 per person online at www.ChallengeForHope.org or $50 per person on event day.  Children five years and under are free.  Safe and comfortable costumes welcome! Free off-site parking with shuttle service will be provided at Plaza Del Sol, 3831 W. Vine Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741 and at Medieval Times, 4510 Street, Kissimmee, FL 34746, starting at 5 a.m.  Strollers and wheelchairs acceptable.  Bicycles, roller skates, in-line skates, skateboards and dogs not permitted. Registration opens onsite from 6 to 7 a.m.  Shuttles return to parking lot 9 to 10 a.m.

With the help of many generous individuals and corporations, Give Kids The World serves close to 8,000 families each year.  Truly, there’s only one Give Kids The World Village in the world.

Give Kids The World is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort that offers weeklong, cost-free vacations to critically ill children and their families. The Village provides families accommodations in fully-furnished villas, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, daily entertainment and much more. Since 1986, more than 165,000 children and families from all 50 states and over 75 countries have had their dreams fulfilled at a whimsical Village unlike any other place on earth.

For more information on Challenge For Hope, contact Omar Elkalyoubie at Omare@gktw.org or (407) 396-1114, ext. 4540.

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Celebrate 90 years of Mickey Mouse on November 4th

Mickey Mouse 90th Spectacular ABC November 4 2018
ABC

Celebrate 90 years of Mickey Mouse on November 4th with ABC

‘Mickey’s 90th Spectacular,’ A Dazzling Two-Hour Prime-Time Event Celebrating 90 Years of Mickey Mouse

On Sunday, November 4th, you won’t want to miss the two-hour prime-time special airing on ABC stations across the country to celebrate 90 years of Mickey Mouse at 8 pm EST.

You can also watch on the ABC app from your smartphone and tablet (iOS and Android), computer on ABC.com and connected devices (Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV).

From the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, the elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the festivities to celebrate the birthday of the internationally beloved character on “Mickey’s 90th Spectacular”.

One of the most acclaimed producers and directors of television and live events, Don Mischer has signed on to produce and direct the special prime-time event. “I’m delighted to be working on this magical event. Walt Disney was a major influence in my early life and actually inspired me to pursue my life’s work in television,” said Mischer.

Since his big-screen debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, Mickey has been the global ambassador for The Walt Disney Company. From the beloved Mickey Mouse Club to today’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, Mickey’s optimistic outlook and endearing personality continue to delight fans around the world every day.

The two-hour television event paying tribute to the True Original will feature appearances by Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect” franchise, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini, actor Miles Brown (ABC’s “black-ish,” “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors”), Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect” franchise, the upcoming feature film “The Wedding Year”), Josh Gad (Disney’s “Frozen”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” “Bridesmaids”) and Sage Steele (host of ESPN’s “SportsCenter”), as well as special musical performances by Luis Fonsi and Tori Kelly.

Previously announced stars include actress, activist and mom Kristen Bell (Disney’s Frozen), actress and Hollywood Records/Republic Records recording artist Sofia Carson (Disney’s Descendants, Freeform’s upcoming Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionist), two-time Emmy Award-winning actor Tony Hale (VeepArrested Development), and actress Sarah Hyland (ABC’s Modern Family), as well as special musical performances by Josh Groban, NCT 127, Leslie Odom Jr., Meghan Trainor and Zac Brown Band. Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger will make a special appearance during the evening’s festivities.

GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter and TV, film and Broadway actor Josh Groban will be singing his new hit song, “Granted,” from his recently released eighth studio album, Bridges. Groban has sold more than 30 million records over his illustrious music career and has entertained fans across the globe with his electrifying live performances, and comedic film and television appearances. In 2017, he concluded his Broadway run as Pierre in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which was described as “one of the best musicals of the decade.” He is currently starring on The Good Cop, opposite Tony Danza. Groban is an arts education advocate. Through his own foundation, Find Your Light, he raises millions to help enrich the lives of young people through arts, education and cultural awareness.

Seoul-based global K-Pop powerhouse NCT 127 will perform their popular hit, “Regular.” With 3.3 million Instagram followers and a fanbase that won’t quit, NCT 127 has shaken up the K-Pop world since their 2016 arrival with their unique and conceptually progressive artistry. The breakout boy band of 10 (Taeyong, Taeil, Johnny, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Winwin, Mark, Haechan and newly added Jungwoo), has found a unique way to connect with their growing fanbase outside of their Seoul home. Known for mixing genres, NCT 127 combines sounds in pop, R&B, hip-hop and Latin trap. Their first full-length studio album, NCT #127 Regular-Irregular, is out everywhere Oct. 12.

Tony® and GRAMMY Award-winning performer Leslie Odom Jr. will perform the classic “When You Wish Upon A Star” from the 1940 Disney adaptation of Pinocchio. Best known for his breakout role as Aaron Burr in the smash-hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Odom Jr. won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance. He also won a GRAMMY Award as a principal soloist on the original cast recording.

GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Meghan Trainor will perform the Randy Newman hit and Toy Story franchise theme song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Trainor emerged with her 2014 breakout single “All About That Bass” and has cemented her rising status as one of the most prominent artists in popular music by charting seven multiplatinum singles, releasing two platinum albums, selling out three headline tours, writing multiplatinum hits for top pop and country artists, and receiving countless industry awards and nominations worldwide. She is one of only five female artists to receive a diamond certification for her hit single “All About That Bass,” which shares the RIAA Gold & Platinum Awards top honor with only 15 other singles in history. Trainor released her first single, “No Excuses,” from her highly anticipated third studio album, Treat Myself, in spring 2018.

Three-time GRAMMY-winning multiplatinum artists Zac Brown Band will perform “Bare Necessities” from the classic Disney film The Jungle Book. Zac Brown Band have had five consecutive albums reach the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 and four consecutive albums debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. To date, the group has sold more than 25 million singles and eight million albums. They have achieved 15 No. 1 radio singles and are the second act to top both the Country and Active Rock formats. They have developed a reputation with critics and fans alike for a live show marked by strong musicianship that defies genre boundaries.

Bob Burgess and Sharon Baird from the original Mickey Mouse Club will also be making a special appearance during the evening’s festivities, honoring 90 years of the internationally beloved character.

The 15-time Emmy Award winner and his Don Mischer Productions partners, Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare, combine their extraordinary talents to help bring this once-in-a-lifetime celebration to life. “It’s remarkable how strongly Mickey Mouse connects with people around the world, and it’s an honor for us to help celebrate such a beloved global icon,” said Haykel and Hare.

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Take Part In the Movement and Dream Big, Princess #DreamBigPrincess

 

Dream Big Princess 2018

October 11th is the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl, and you have the chance to help make a difference when you Dream Big, Princess!

The Disney “Dream Big, Princess” campaign encourages kids everywhere to dream big by highlighting key story moments and inspiring qualities that each Disney Princess showcases through her adventures, such as Merida’s bravery, Cinderella’s kindness or Tiana’s perseverance.

And today a new global #DreamBigPrincess video series launched that puts the next generation of female storytellers behind the camera to tell the stories of inspirational role models across technology, entertainment, medicine, law, sports, arts, science, fashion and politics.

This group of 21 talented young women from different corners of the globe captured the stories of these female trailblazers in videos that will be shared across Disney’s global media platforms as part of a campaign to unlock up to a $1 million donation to Girl Up, an initiative of the UN Foundation.

httpv://youtu.be/Ia3u2a2-nbU

And here is how you can help!

Starting today and continuing through November 20th, each like or share of a public photo or video with #DreamBigPrincess on FacebookInstagram or Twitter will unlock a US $1 donation from Disney Worldwide Services to Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s program supporting girls’ leadership and empowerment (minimum donation: $500,000/maximum donation: $1 million).

So get out there, and take part in the #DreamBigPrincess movement! Snap a picture of yourself Disney bounding as your favorite princess and share it on social media with the #DreamBigPrincess!

# Dream Big Princess

I can’t wait to show you my outfit tomorrow!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Nine Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks

Don’t let the fact that it is almost Fall in Central Florida fool you, because staying cool in the theme parks should still be a priority!

These may seem like common sense tips, but there are the things that I like to keep in mind as I prepared for staying cool during a day in the parks with my family and friends.

Nine Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks Pinterest

Nine Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks

Indoor Attractions are the best attractions

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

From 1 to 4 pm the heat is at its worst here in Central Florida, but can be oppressive at time until the sun goes down so you will want to find ways to try to stay inside as much as you can during your time in the parks.

In addition to attractions, these peak times are also great time to catch a show you haven’t seen in awhile. My absolute favorite is For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because you aren’t living your best theme park life unless you’ve seen parents belting out these songs louder and prouder than their kids. Also Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show, inside Universal Studios Florida, is a fantastic show with very little gore. It’s also worth noting that all of the outdoor shows are SeaWorld Orlando have covered viewing ares or splash zones for some relief from the heat.

Find ways to wait indoors for attractions

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

At all the parks there are several attractions with indoor queues and experiences that are perfect for waiting without the heat. My favorites are Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom with it’s indoor play as you wait area, The Mummy at Universal Studios Florida with an intricate queue, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and The Hogwarts Express at the Universal Resort are three of my favorite rides with indoor queues.

Splurge on dining for a break from the heat

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

Dining in the parks can get quite pricey, but there are several quick service and restaurant locations that offer indoor seating to grab a bite to eat and cool down. If you are looking for a restaurant experience, make sure to get a dining reservation online on the Walt Disney World website or using Open Table for the Universal Orlando Resort and some Disney Springs restaurants.

Prepare for afternoon storms

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

We often have daily showers, and being prepared for these rainy days will help keep your day on track instead of having to stop everything to find cover.

Also please learn from my experience…don’t be fooled by the ‘covering’ over Diagon Alley at Universal Studio Florida, because it has openings and you WILL get wet!

Stay hydrated

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

According to the CDC, it is important to drink fluids before you even begin to feel thirsty. Your body uses thirst to indicate that you are approaching dehydration. Rather than drinking to quench your thirst, it is healthier to continuously replenish fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty at all.

Some other easy things to always remember when it comes to staying hydrated is to avoid soft drinks & alcoholic beverages, cool fluids can help encourage you to drink more during activity in hot weather, and try to have water every 2 hours.

There’s no shame in visiting First Aid

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

If you are not feeling well or are in need of a more intense break from the heat, there is no shame in visiting the First Aid locations in the theme parks. Everyone from attraction attendants to members of the custodial teams will be able to direct you to the nearest and easiest way to help. Please don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help if you need it before it is too late.

Be Prepared

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Charger and Cord

A few years ago I created a video on icFlorida.com about beating the heat in the parks with nine key items to bring with you in your ultimate theme park bag, and to save you some time I am sharing that list (with some updates) with you!

1. Pack a Water Misting Fan.

Before we get started I know that it’s not glamorous, but these Water Misting Fans really do the trick! While you can purchase them in the parks, but you can also pick one up before you go at a fraction of the cost at Walmart or Target. A huge bonus is that they also help keep little ones happy while you are waiting or walking around.

2. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Sunscreen isn’t just for the pool, and you will want to follow the recommended directions to reapply for the best results. For everyone’s sake around you, please be careful when you are using an aerosol sunscreen.

3. Umbrellas are extremely useful!

Umbrellas are great for two reasons, they are great shade on the go and they are really useful when a storm pops up in the afternoon as they are wont to do in Orlando. I carry my umbrellas in a zip top bag, so if it does rain I can place my electronics in the bag and when I no longer need the umbrella I can put it in my theme park bag without getting everything else inside wet.

Just keep in mind that if you do use the umbrella for shade that theme park etiquette is that you should put it down before parades and outdoor shows.

4. Think of the children!

Little ones in a stroller will have shade, but they will also overheat easily. You can purchase a battery operated clip fan that will fit on most strollers in the theme parks or at Wal*Mart, Target, or online before you arrive at the park.

5. Stop to splash in the parks.

At all of the parks as well as Disney Springs and Universal’s CityWalk you can find splash pad play areas that are a really fun way to cool off while you are walking around. If this is something you are considering doing the day make sure you come prepared with bathing suits, swim diapers (if necessary), and a towel to make things a lot smoother for the rest of your day.

6. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Don’t worry about packing a million water bottles in your theme park bag, because anywhere that sells fountain drinks can also provide you with a free glass of ice water. I also like to carry an empty water bottle that can be filled as I need it during the day. Staying hydrated is extremely important!!!

7. Take advantage of cooling towels.

Along the same lines as the misting fan is the cooling towels. Now these have become extremely popular in the parks, but to save some money you can pick one up before arriving at the park. Again, this is something I pack in a plastic bag so I can store it in my backpack without getting everything else soaked.

8. Bring items that make you feel more comfortable.

I always bring what I call my ‘Bag of Necessities’ that I fill with anything from bandaids to chapstick, but making one of your own should really have what makes you feel comfortable in the park!

Download a weather app to your device.

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

Now this one might not be physical, but having a weather app is a major must. My favorite weather app, of course, is the WFTV Channel 9 Weather app, available for android and apple devices. It’s great to have to keep up to date on any weather information, storm warnings, and to keep track of how close lightning is for attraction closures.

Pick the best location for a fun day with the weather in mind

Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks

When you are planning your day, be realistic about your destination. If you and your family don’t do well in the heat, skip parks where there is limited shade or consider visiting a water park.

These are just some of my favorite tips for staying cool in the theme parks, but I would love to hear some of yours in the comments below!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Apply now for the Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Dreamers Academy 2019 Applications

The Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine selects 100 high school students for an all-expenses-paid mentoring experience of a lifetime annually, and applications are being accepted now through October 31, 2018.

For more than a decade, the Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired young people, ages 13-19, from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for the future, and this year the program is scheduled for March 21-24, 2019.

Each year, students participate in hands-on, immersive career seminars in a wide range of disciplines found at Walt Disney World. Participants learn how to improve their communication skills, what it means to be a leader and networking strategies, among other skills. They are also inspired by celebrity speakers and other special guests who share their stories and provide insights on how to achieve their life goals.

disney dreamers academy workshop
2nd from Left: Jaterria Hicks, of Atlanta, Ga., learns medical principles during a medical workshop (Todd Anderson, photographer)

I have had the distinct privilege of attending some pop these outside-the-classroom programs which turn Walt Disney World into a virtual classroom, and to see the students growth over the period of a few days is life changing!

During their time at Walt Disney World students participate in a series of sessions and workshops designed to help them imagine bright futures, make exciting discoveries, and learn how to put their goals into action while working side by side with celebrities, community and industry leaders and Disney cast members.

As the Disney Dreamers Academy moves into their second decade, the organization is focused on challenging young people to relentlessly pursue their dreams through the “Be 100” campaign. This promotional push is inspired by the powerful impact Disney Dreamers Academy has made on graduates, who have gone on to become doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, journalists and more. Some have started their own public relations firms, while others have worked with national political leaders.

The application process is made to inspire creativity without being intimidating, as applicants must answer essay questions about their personal journeys and dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams.

When applying to the Disney Dreamers Academy, families should keep in mind that a parent or guardian is required to accompany each student on the trip.

For more information or to apply, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com.

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Halloween Disney Junior Play Date at the Florida Mall

The Florida Mall, a Simon property, has announced an exciting new family programming series created in collaboration with Disney Junior called Disney Junior Play Date that will kick off with an event that will be held on Tuesday, October 31st from 5 to 8 pm during their Mall-o-Ween event.

Vampira Disney Junior Play Date The Florida Mall Mall-o-ween Halloween 2017
Photo: Disney Junior

During the Disney Junior Play Date Halloween celebration, The Florida Mall will have a viewing station in the Macy’s Court for guests to watch Disney Junior’s newest animated series “Vampirina,” about a young vampire girl and her family who have recently moved from their home in Transylvania to Pennsylvania.  There will also be Vampirina activities that included a coloring station, a mad science station, a crafts station, and more.

Guests will also have the opportunity to take part in the Mall-o-Ween Trick-or-Treating event at the Play Park.  Children of all ages are encouraged to sport their best Halloween costume* to haunt The Florida Mall in search of candy. There will also be face painting, a photo booth, Mad Science experiments, special character experiences, and more.

*Costumes should be worn only during event hours and masks are allowed only on children 12 years old and younger.

The Disney Junior Play Dates’ events will be featured throughout the year and include on-mall activities around Holiday, Easter, and other seasonal celebrations.

“The Florida Mall has long championed a commitment to delivering family-friendly programming,” said Andrea Bjornlie, Director of Marketing and Business Development at The Florida Mall, “and teaming up with Disney Junior is the latest fulfillment of that pledge. We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with the world’s leading entertainment company on these exciting family events and themed play areas.”

Not in the Orlando area? Many of Simon’s best-known properties around the country are participating in this program including The Westchester (New York), Northshore Mall (Boston), Opry Mills (Nashville), Grapevine Mills (Dallas), Woodfield Mall (Chicago), The Florida Mall (Orlando), Del Amo Fashion Center (Los Angeles), Stanford Shopping Center (San Jose), and King of Prussia (Philadelphia).

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Last Call To Apply For 2017 Disney Dreamers Academy

High School students participating in the 2018 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence will experience a once-in-a-lifetime career-inspiring weekend – but there’s only a few weeks left for students to apply at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Applications close on October 31 for the innovative, outside-the-classroom, mentoring program that takes place in March at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

2017 Disney Dreamers Academy Group
Disney

For more than a decade, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired young minds nationwide by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities. Each year, students participate in hands-on, immersive career workshops, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills, such as communication techniques, leadership qualities and networking strategies, and are inspired by celebrity speakers and special guests who share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG.

The program has produced many success stories, inspiring students to become authors, nurses, pilots, doctors, journalists and engineers following the three-day all-expenses-paid experience at the Walt Disney World Resort where the theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ leading to career discoveries and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

“After 10 years and over 1,000 Disney Dreamer alumni, we’re excited to begin the next decade of Disney Dreamers Academy,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president of commercial management resortsand Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “We are excited about the opportunity to add to the many success stories, as this program continues to cultivate the minds of young high school students from across the nation and inspire them to follow their dreams and accomplish their goals. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, future leaders of this country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.”

Program applicants must answer essay questions about their personal journeys and dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams. Selected applicants, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, through October 31, 2017. A distinguished panel of leaders will evaluate the applications, and selected participants will be announced by early 2018.

For more information regarding applications, interested applicants can visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com, or learn more about the program on Facebook or Twitter.

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Have some Holiday Fun With Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary

As soon as the first day of fall hits my entire family starts the countdown to the holiday season, and Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary, arriving on Disney DVD September 26th, is the perfect way for us all to get in the holiday spirit.

Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary box art Disney DVD
Disney DVD

Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary is a combination of spooky Halloween fun and Christmas Cheer. In two 22-minute holiday themed episodes you can get into the Halloween spirit as Mickey, Donald, and Goofy swap hair-raising Halloween stories and then you’ll fast forward a couple months to Donald’s first Christmas festivities with friends!

The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!

For Halloween, Mickey has tricked out his house like a “tomb, sweet, tomb” and along with his pals Donald and Goofy, plans to tell hair-raising Halloween stories! However, his attempt at being scary falls flatter than a pancake. Can Mickey conjure up a truly terrifying tale before the stroke of midnight?

httpv://youtu.be/PDF_CDlYork

Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to migrate south for the winter! But Donald wants to stay put and celebrate his first Christmas with his friends. Mickey creates the ultimate list of everything to make Donald’s first Christmas great, but before you can catch a snowflake on your tongue, Donald has turned into a shivering, sneezing duck-cicle!

httpv://youtu.be/0u1-wdyQL1w

Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary is also a great way for families to get hyped up for the arrival of Mickey’s and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

In addition to the two episodes, you will also find five three minute shorts on the DVD:

  • Ghoul Friend
  • The Boiler Room
  • Black & White
  • Entombed
  • Split Decision

These new cartoons and bonus shorts from Disney animation are sure to be instant classics with your family! Don’t miss out on Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary, a perfect collection to share through the holidays!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

#StufftheBus for the Salvation Army at Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme Stuff the Bus Supports the Salvation Army Logo 2017

Central Floridians can make back-to-school time a little sweeter for local families in need and earn free Krispy Kreme treats while supporting The Salvation Army’s #StuffTheBus campaign. This unique school supply drive helps local students gear up for a successful academic year by easing the high cost of materials.

“Krispy Kreme is honored to have the opportunity to help hundreds of students make a fun and easy transition back-to-school,” says Jenny Bellanca, vice president of operations for Florida Family Foods LLC, an authorized franchisee of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation. “The timing is perfect as supporters can take advantage of Florida Tax Free Weekend on August 4 through 6 to purchase donations.”

New school supplies (including notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, scissors, crayons, markers, glue, rulers, and hand sanitizer) will be accepted from July 23 through August 6, and then the supplies will be presented to The Salvation Army and distributed to youth in need through local social service programs.

Krispy Kreme Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive Supplies

“We are very excited to be working with Krispy Kreme again this year,” said Major Ted Morris, Area Commander for The Salvation Army of Orlando. “The Salvation Army has a wonderful relationship with Krispy Kreme and it is a blessing to have their support now and throughout the year. We will be able to help many young children as they prepare to go back to school and further their education.”

Krispy Kreme and The Salvation Army Stuff the Bus for Central Florida Students

Stuff the Bus donations can be made at the following Central Florida locations:

Krispy Kreme Winter Park – Drive thru Open 24 hours

1031 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92), Winter Park, FL  32789

In partnership with The Salvation Army – Orlando Area Command

Krispy Kreme Millenia – Open 24 hours

4080 Millenia Blvd., Orlando, FL 32939

In partnership with The Salvation Army – Orlando Area Command

Krispy Kreme Kissimmee – Open 24 hours

5310 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, FL  34746

In partnership with The Salvation Army – Orlando Area Command

Krispy Kreme Daytona Beach – Open 24 Hours

980 W International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114

In partnership with The Salvation Army of Dayton

Krispy Kreme Melbourne – Drive thru Open 24 Hours

2040 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32935

In partnership with The Salvation Army of Melbourne

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Dozen Krispy Kreme Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive Supplies

As a sweet reward, supporters will receive one FREE Original Glazed doughnut for a single school supply item donation and one FREE Original Glazed dozen for each donation of a backpack that contains school supplies.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Disney Dreamers Academy Applications Now Open

Disney Dreamers Academy

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort

One hundred high school students to be selected for exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime program taking place in March 2018 

High School Students can now apply for the Disney Dreamers Academy to be among 100 selected to participate in the 2018 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, the innovative, outside-the-classroom, mentoring program that takes place in March at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

For over a decade, Disney Dreamers Academy has helped to inspire young minds from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, immersive career workshops, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills, such as communication techniques, leadership qualities and networking strategies, and are inspired by celebrity speakers and special guests who share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG.

The program has produced many success stories, inspiring students to become authors, nurses, pilots, doctors, journalists and engineers following the three-day all-expenses-paid experience at Walt Disney World Resort where the theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms’ leading to career discoveries and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

“After 10 years and over 1,000 Disney Dreamer alumni, we’re excited to begin the next decade ofDisney Dreamers Academy,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World vice president of commercial management resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “We are excited about the many success stories, as this program continues to cultivate and inspire the minds of young high school students from across the nation to follow their dreams and accomplish their goals. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, future leaders of this country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.”

Program applicants must answer essay questions about their personal journeys and dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams. Selected applicants, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, through Oct. 31, 2017. A distinguished panel of leaders will evaluate the applications, and selected participants will be announced in early 2018.

For more information regarding applications, interested applicants can visit the official website, or learn more about the program on Facebook and Twitter.

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Shopkins Live! Comes To Dr. Phillips Center

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Koba Entertainment and Moose Toys announced that Shopkins Live!, the first live theatrical production based on the phenomenally successful Shopkins toy brand, will arrive in Dr. Phillips Center’s Walt Disney Theater on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 1 p.m.

Shopkins Live Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Logo 2018

Based on America’s #1 toy brand, YouTube sensation and the international toy phenomenon created in Australia by Moose Toys, Shopkins Live! will feature the Shoppies and Shopkins characters taking the stage with an all-new storyline, original pop music and video highlights as “Jessicake,” “Bubbleisha,” “Peppa-Mint” and friends prepare for Shopville’s annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.”

“Shopkins is literally on every child’s wish list,” commented Paquin, who also serves as executive producer of Shopkins Live!. “Koba Entertainment’s partnership with an innovative and leading toy manufacturer like Moose Toys allows us to bring one of the most successful toy brands in history to life on stage.”

Since its launch in 2014, the Shopkins brand continues to be a hot ticket item for children worldwide. Shoppies dolls consistently rank as the #1 kids toy in the United States, the first-ever Shopkins movie, “Shopkins Chef Club,” was released last year by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and numerous dedicated apps continue to expand the brand’s ever-growing world.

Shopkins Live! will run approximately 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.

For the ultimate Shopkins collectors, The Shopkins Live! VIP Party package gives Shopkins fans exclusive access to the after-show VIP Party, where they will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with some of the Shoppies from the show.

Each VIP Package includes:

  • One (1) premium ticket in the first ten rows of the theatre
  • One (1) meet and greet photo opportunity
  • One (1) exclusive Shopkins Live! merchandise item
  • One (1) exclusive Shopkins Live! VIP lanyard
  • Access to an exclusive Shopkins Live! themed after-show party room, which includes fun activities for Shopkins fans.

All patrons – adults and children – require a VIP ticket to attend the VIP Party. All children must be accompanied by an adult with a VIP ticket – unaccompanied children will not be permitted into the VIP Party.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, April 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. Tickets start at $30.00 and may be purchased online at drphillipscenter.org, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees.

For more information on Shopkins Live!, visit their official website.

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Creating On the Go: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Looking to make your Valentines Day (or even Galentine’s Day) special? Chocolate  covered strawberries are easy to make and are absolutely delicious.

Creating On the Go: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Supplies:

Strawberries- Bigger strawberries tend to work better

Chocolate- any kind; milk, dark, or white (I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers and white chocolate)

Cookie sheet

Parchment paper

Spoon

Chocolate warmer- or anything you can use to melt the chocolate in.

Instructions:

1. Place parchment paper on your cookie sheet.

2. Wash strawberries and dry them with a food safe paper towel. Line them up on your cookie sheet. Don’t skip the drying process because your chocolate will slide right off your strawberry if it is still wet and you will also mess with the consistency of the chocolate.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

3. Melt your chocolate per the instructions on the package. Since I have a chocolate warmer I used the ceramic dish to microwave the chocolate first and then set it back into the warmer to keep the consistency.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

4. Grab a strawberry by the leaves and dip it fully into the chocolate, shaking off any excess chocolate to avoid a puddle of chocolate on the cookie sheet.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Then lay it on the sheet to dry. Continue till all strawberries are covered.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

5. Time to drizzle! You can drizzle your strawberries in whatever chocolate you want. I decided to do half in the dark chocolate and the other half in white chocolate. Take your spoon and grab some chocolate with it.

The trick to this, I have found, is to keep the spoon straight up, no angles, as you drizzle the chocolate over the strawberry.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Return to cookie sheet to dry.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

You can also sprinkle red or pink sugar over the drizzle for some added color. This works best with the white chocolate.

Creating on the Go Chocolate Covered Strawberries

6. Refrigerate till you’re ready to enjoy!

Helpful hint: Do these the day of or the night before so they are as fresh as possible.

If you decide to make your own and want to share, tag us in your Instagram or Facebook posts so we can see all of your wonderful masterpieces!

Happy Valentines Day!

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Ringling Bros. All-Access Preshow

DISCLOSURE: I was provided with tickets to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Circus XTREME at the Amway Center, however all opinions are completely my own. 

Ringling Bros Circus XTREME - Ringmaster

Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, announced Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced on January 14th (the same day we attended Circus XTREME…gulp) that all shows will end in May of this year.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME will conclude its tour in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7th and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out Of This World will conclude its tour in Uniondale, New York, on May 21st.

Ringling Bros Circus XTREME - Human Pyramid

 

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey was the original property on which we built Feld Entertainment into a global producer of live entertainment over the past 50 years,” said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “We are grateful to the hundreds of millions of fans who have experienced Ringling Bros. over the years. Between now and May, we will give them one last chance to experience the joy and wonder of Ringling Bros.

Ringling Bros Circus XTREME - Tight Rope Walkers

For those of you planning on catching the Greatest Show on Earth one last time like we did (You can find the full tour schedule here), I wanted to share with you a **FREE** way to enhance your visit to the circus!

2017 Ringling Bros Circus Xtreme Preshow Video Slide

Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey All-Access Preshow

An hour before the show starts, ticket holders can attend the All Access Pre-Show for Circus XTREME for FREE!

During the party on the show floor families have the chance to meet the international cast, try on costumes, meet the menagerie of animals, and can even be a part of the ‘show’ by learning from the famous Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and jugglers.

During our visit Zoe even got to be a part of a BMX trick! (She is MUCH braver than I am!)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus XTREME All Access Preshow 2017

The fun ends with a dance party that takes up the entire show floor.

So grab yourself a complimentary red nose and join us for a look at the All Access Pre-Show for Circus XTREME at the Amway Center!

httpv://youtu.be/ebe5CHGTdek

We absolutely had a blast watching Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME at the Amway Center, and I will cherish all the memories we have made and laughs we have shared as a family with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

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