Experiencing Pandora – Wilderness Explorers Badges

Visits to Disney’s Animal Kingdom always include stops to earn Wilderness Explorers badges for my family, and I was really excited to find that in Pandora – The World of Avatar there were two new badges to earn!

The wilderness must be explored. Caw. Caw. Rawr!

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Pinterest

Experiencing Pandora – Wilderness Explorers Badges

The first thing that you will notice about the badge guides in Pandora – The World of Avatar is that they are in their typical uniforms and name tags instead of being a part of A.C.E. (Alpha Centauri Expeditions).

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Cast Member with handbook
Photo: Cheryl Perlmutter

This is because they are visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar like us, and are encouraging us to explore the area as we would a State Park back on Earth. (I thought it was a really a lovely way to encourage guests to explore and learn about their areas from a new perspective when they get home!)

As soon as you cross the bridge into the area, you will find your first of two Wilderness Explorers Badges!

Botany Badge – Plants help the planet!

At this badge location you will earn your Botany Badge by exploring the plants on Pandora (Page 11 of the Wilderness Explorers Handbook).

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Botany Badge Overview

A Wilderness Explorer understands that plants are an essential part of the ecosystem on Pandora just as they are back on Earth. They support life, provide oxygen, and create habitats for animals. Plants also have many special features that help them survive. If you look closely you will see that many of the plants here on Pandora are similar to plants back on Earth.

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Flaska Reclinata Large
Adult Flaska Reclinata

For this badge Wilderness Explorers will interact with the adult Flaska Reclinata that you can find at the entrance to the Valley of Mo’ara, their offspring along the river, and plants that we have on earth.

Ecology Badge – Pandoran Animals

The Ecology Badge (Pages 12 & 13 in the Wilderness Explorers Handbook) location is closer to the floating mountains and some interesting Pandoran Animals…the Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis.

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Ecology Badge

Ecology is the study of relationships among plants, animals, and their environment. the Na’vi understand that the plants and animals of Pandora are connected to each other in unique ways. What can you learn about these connections?

To earn this badge you will first spend time learning the basics of relationships that can be found in ecology from the Badge Guide before you start your search for the Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis in Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar - Wilderness Explorers Badges - Pluropoda Saggitaria
Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis

We really had a great time earning the two new Wilderness Explorers Badges, and I really love the touch of Earth that has been brought to Pandora!

Family Tip! This is a great way for younger visitors to spend time while their family and friends are experiencing Avatar the Flight of Passage.

But with these new additions comes a little bit of bad news…Fans of the Wilderness Explorers program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will notice that in the new handbook two older Wilderness Explorers Badges for Hand Washing and Currency have been retired.

We’ll be bringing you more information about Pandora – The World of Avatar over the next few weeks, so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Check out my post on the Five Things You Should Do Before Visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar!

Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora

Pandora – The World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom officially on May 27, 2017, but before you make the 4.4 light year journey to the Valley of Mo’ara here are five things you will want to do before you go!

Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora - The World of Avatar - Pinterest

Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora – The World of Avatar

1. Watch Avatar or read a synopsis

While it is not necessary to watch the almost 3 hour movie Avatar to enjoy your time in Pandora – The World of Avatar, knowing about the world will help you feel more at home in this new & beautiful land.

Over on icFlorida, you can find my short synopsis of the movie!

The year is 2154 and Jake Sully, a paralyzed former U.S. Marine, takes the place of his deceased brother in the Avatar Program on Pandora. After a six year flight, Jake awakens from cryrosleep and arrives at the Resources Development Administration (RDA) run colony who’s focus is mining the extremely valuable mineral called Unobtanium that is desperately needed on Earth and found in abundance on Pandora.

While Pandora is covered in lush rainforests, the air is poisonous for humans to breathe so the RDA has developed the Avatar Program that allows humans to control avatars, which are genetically engineered hybrids of humans and Na’vi the sentient race of tall, blue-skinned humanoids that are native to the planet.

After Jake learns to control his avatar body from Dr. Grace Augustine, he goes on to find out more about the Na’vi including their language and culture in hopes of furthering relationships with them…at least on the surface as he is also working under the orders of Colonel Miles Quaritch to get the Na’vi to move away from the Hometree so the large deposits of unobtanium can be mined.

Through a series of action-packed events Jake rides a Banshee, becomes accepted into the Omaticaya clan, and even earns the love and trust of a female Na’vi named Neytiri.

And of course as soon as that happens, things go sour as the RDA destroys the Hometree. Soon after Quaritch learns that several Na’vi clans are planning to meet at The Tree of Souls against the RDA mining on their planet, and he figures this is the best way to destroy all the Na’vi in one swoop…literally as Jake and the Na’vi ride Banshees as part of the attack and epic battle against the RDA.

The Na’vi win the battle, and exile most of the RDA back to Earth. At the end of the movie Jake returns to the Tree of Souls to undergo the consciousness transfer from his human body to his avatar form, and awakens to a new life as a Na’vi.

2. Download the My Disney Experience App (iTunes and Google Play)

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go -
Walt Disney World

Let’s be honest…the My Disney Experience App can take up a good amount of valuable space on your device and the My Disney Experience website is fantastic to use when you are at home, BUT make sure that you reinstall the app before you arrive in the Valley of Mo’ara to take advantage of FastPass+, mobile ordering at the Satu’li Canteen (more on this soon), and to view your Disney PhotoPass pictures that can include exclusive magic shots in Pandora – The World of Avatar.

3. Check out the Menus at the Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu

The food inside of Pandora – The World of Avatar is a new take on casual, quick-service dining at Walt Disney World.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

Inside the Satu’li Canteen, a former RDA mess hall that has been redecorated to include Na-vi art and cultural items, guests can dine all-day from a menu of healthy choices inspired by international cuisines and Pandora’s natural abundance.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go
Vegetable Curry Pods with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw & Vegetable Chips

I haven’t had the chance to try breakfast yet, but I highly recommend both the cheeseburger and vegetable curry steamed pods that are served with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Vegetable Chips.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

Just outside of the Satu’li Canteen you can find Pongu Pongu, which is Na’vi for ‘Party Party’, offering a “bioluminescent” frozen cocktail called the Night Blossom that can be served with or without alcohol, the Mo’ara Margarita, two indigenous beers, and the most amazing sweet treat called Pongo Lumpia* with sweet pineapple and creamy filling.

*= I apologize for the lack of a photo of the Pongo Lumpia. I have no excuse other than I ordered it twice, and was so excited that I forgot to take a photo…again twice…but I feel like that’s much more of an endorsement than a photo!

4. Set a budget

After spending so much time in such an immersive atmosphere, you may find yourself inside Windtraders looking to bring a piece of Pandora- The World of Avatar home with you!

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

The merchandise for this new land is awesome with a little something for everyone and every budget!

I went a little crazy with my shopping haul, but remember that Annual Passholders receive a discount on their purchases (except for Banshee adoptions).

5. Plan to take advantage of Extended Park Hours

When you are planning your time in Pandora – The World of Avatar, make sure to keep in mind that from opening day on May 27th until July 4th that Disney’s Animal Kingdom park will stay open from 8 am until 11 pm for all guests giving you ample time to really explore the Bioluminescent flora and fauna of the Valley of Mo’ara.

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go - Pandora at Night
Walt Disney World

However guests staying at select Walt Disney World Hotels will be able to take advantage of “Extra” Extra Magic Hours that will be offered exclusively in Pandora – The World of Avatar for a limited time from 11 pm to 1 am, May 27 to July 4, 2017!

Pandora the World of Avatar Before You Go

We’ll be bringing you more information about Pandora – The World of Avatar over the next few weeks, so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Over on icFlorida you can check out the video of my first journey to Pandora – The World of Avatar!

Annual Passholder Preview of Pandora – The World of Avatar

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will want to keep an eye out for an email from Disney Destinations with the opportunity to register to be among the first to explore Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

You’re invited to visit a groundbreaking destination, Pandora—The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Here, you’ll be among the first to experience expeditions where you can fly on the back of a banshee, walk under floating mountains and navigate a mystical Na’vi river.

Pandora World of Avatar Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Screenshot March 23 2017

This world beyond belief awaits you!As this is an early exploration of Pandora—The World of Avatar, please note that access to some areas of the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandora may be limited during your visit. The number of reservations for this event are limited and subject to availability.

Current Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can register themselves and four guest from their Friends & Family List on their My Disney Experience Account to attend a two hour preview of the Valley of Mo’ara starting May 13th.

The preview window is 2 weeks, and there are 3 time slots available per day from 12 pm – 2 pm, 3 pm – 5 pm, and 6 pm -8 pm.

When you are signing up for a slot make sure at no time do you hit the back button, because the system does queue you up and if you hit the back button it could affect your registration process.

Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email, and here’s the fine print:

Passholder In-Park Preview for Pandora – The World of Avatar

  • All Guests must be Passholders in order to register for a time slot to preview Pandora – The World of Avatar.
  • Guests may only register for one (1) time slot over the course of the preview period.
  • If an Annual Passholder would like to register a Guest to accompany them, that Guest must also have a valid annual pass for admission to the event’s theme park location on the date of the event, be listed on your Family & Friends list and have opted to share “All My Plans” with you.
  • Passholders with confirmed reservations will receive an additional email with details on how to check in for this experience, by May 12, 2017.
  • All Guests must present their valid annual pass (or linked MagicBand), government issued ID and confirmation page to a Cast Member in order to enter Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Pandora – The World of Avatar on the date of your preview.
  • Availability is subject to change without notice.
  • Event is subject to cancellation in the event of inclement weather.
  • Guests must meet appropriate boarding and height requirements for the attractions.
  • Capacity is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Due to limited capacity, modifications to existing reservations will not be available.
  • Limit one reservation per Passholder. Reservations are nontransferable and void if sold or otherwise transferred.

Once you have registered, if you have any issues you can call the passholder line at (407) 560-7277. (Just a warning that at the time of publishing this post wait times were almost an hour)

Keep in mind that these emails do go out in waves, so if you haven’t received yours yet be patient!!! While you wait, make sure that all of your family members and friends My Disney Experience accounts are connected to make registration easier!

La Nouba Florida Resident Family Pack Offer

 Cirque du Soleil La Nouba

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil announces new limited-time Florida Resident Family Pack Offer

Families can now experience the thrills and enchantment of La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs for less with the Florida Resident Family Pack deal, which offers savings up to 57 percent off on groups of three or more tickets for shows now through April 29.

With the discount, a family of four can purchase tickets for as low as $32.25 per ticket for Category 3 seating. Discounted Family Pack tickets are also available for Category 1, Category 2 and Front and Center.

The offer gives families one more reason to see the stimulating show which combines acrobatics, dazzling choreography, vibrant music and whimsical characters.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil Disney Springs Walt Disney World
Courtesy of La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil

A door opens and two worlds collide. Enter the attic of make-believe, where the mundane meets the marvelous. Dreams and nightmares intertwine. La Nouba which calls on both individual and collective memory, is an unforgettable journey into a world at once threatening and exhilarating, frightening and familiar. La Nouba beckons to us, challenges us to uncover passions we thought we had lost long ago; to frolic in our childhood dreams and enter a place where the extraordinary transforms and overcomes the ordinary.

La Nouba is the meeting of two worlds poles apart: the fantastic world of the circus artists – the Cirques (circus people), sporting bright, fluorescent colors–and that of the Urbains (urbanites), who wear dark, monochromatic outfits. When these two worlds first make contact, the magic and amazing feats of the one set fire to the pale mundanity of the other.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil Disney Springs Walt Disney World
Courtesy of La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil

Proof of Florida residency required. Tickets and seating are subject to availability. Offer is not valid for previously purchased tickets, gift certificates or combined with any other discounts.

For more information about this limited-time Florida Resident Family Pack Offer and more check out their website. Florida residents can also book this offer by calling 407-939-7328 or visiting the La Nouba box office at Disney Springs.

Pandora – The World of Avatar Opening Date Announced

Disney fans mark your calendars for May 27, 2017,  because CEO Bob Iger just shared that Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Pandora the World of Avatar Opening Pinterest

The long-awaited expansion is the largest in the park’s history, and will bring several attractions, restaurants, & shops to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Disney Parks blog posted:

This new land will transport guests to the visually stunning world of Pandora. Here, guests will wonder at floating mountains and bioluminescent plants, and can join the Na’vi on two excursions that take adventure to the next level.

Pandora the World of Avatar Opening May 27 2017 2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Navi River Journey
Photo: Walt Disney World

First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests through a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, Avatar Flight of Passage will offer guests the jaw-dropping experience of exploring the world of Pandora atop a Banshee.

2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Banshee
Photo: Walt Disney World

Guests will also be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, grab a drink at Pongu Pongu or shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more at Windtraders.

Pandora the World of Avatar Opening May 27 2017 2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Restaurant
Photo: Walt Disney World

Make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest updates on this and other theme park news!

Pandora the World of Avatar Opening May 27 2017

Relaxing in the Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom
Relaxing with Mom at the Magic Kingdom

Sometimes you just want a quiet day in the park. Other times you’re with a theme park newbie or someone who isn’t a fan of rides. For whatever reason, there are times that you find yourself not riding rides, and that’s okay. Some of my favorite attractions past and present are not rides. I thought I’d share a few so if you are touring a theme park with someone who is unable or unwilling to ride, or you just want to experience a park in a different way, here are some of my go to attractions. I’m starting this series with the Magic Kingdom, so enjoy!

Relaxing in the Magic Kingdom

Fantasyland holds one of my favorite things of all, an attraction that typically has a very short wait time, is sitting down, and in air conditioning. This magical show is called Mickey’s PhilharMagic and is a fun 3D film featuring some great songs from Disney movies and that rascal Donald Duck.

Me enjoying a/c at PhilharMagic

A classic in Adventureland that has thankfully been restored to its previous incarnation, is the wonderful Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. This great show exhibits the audio animatronic birds who sing words, and flowers who croon in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room. Again, this is sitting down, and in air conditioning. Are you following a theme here folks?

Tiki Room

Now Frontierland holds another classic that was a favorite, then we had a parting of ways, but have since reconciled. The Country Bear Jamboree still has some of the great bear band rhythm, but not as much as it had before, and it made me sad/mad for awhile when the cuts were made, so I may have stayed away for a bit. Time has passed now, and I’ve missed those bears dearly, so again, sitting down, air conditioning, clapping, singing, and Max, Buff, and Melvin.

Country Bears

On Main Street USA it is truly a must to catch the Dapper Dans and listen to a set or two of their a capella harmonies. Often they will even take requests and can be found around the Harmony Barber Shop, which makes sense as they are a barbershop quarter. The Mayor is often hanging around, and if you’re lucky, you may even get one of his super rare business cards. Also on Main Street if you are around for it, you should try to see the Flag Retreat ceremony, but be warned, you will probably need a tissue as they typically honor a veteran guest each day in the Magic Kingdom.

Dapper Dans

Parades are great ways to enjoy days without rides and see lots of characters without standing in line to see them. You can often find a spot to sit and grab a snack and rest before the parade. While you are waiting for the parade to start, you can people watch, which is another one of my favorite park activities in the Magic Kingdom. You will see people from all over the world, but you may even see someone you know from home. It is funny what a small world it is!

New In 2017: Walt Disney World Resort

 

Happy New Year!!! 2016 brought new additions to the theme parks of Central Florida, and 2017 is going to be a year filled with even more new attractions, lands, and restaurants across the board.

I thought a great way to start the year would be to spend the week looking forward to what is coming in 2017 leading up to me sharing my favorite picks this Friday on icFlorida’s Best Bets on WFTV!

So let’s get this new year started by taking a look at what is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort!

2017 Walt Disney World Pinterest

While this year will see the long awaited arrival of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the amped up construction of both Star Wars and Toy Story lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are new shows, attractions, restaurants, and events that will be making their debut at the Walt Disney World Resort!

New In 2017: Walt Disney World Resort

Pandora: The World of Avatar Summer 2017

2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Land
Photo: Walt Disney World

Pandora: The World of Avatar will open in this summer, and this land full of fantasy and cutting-edge technology has been created in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment.

2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Navi River Journey
Photo: Walt Disney World

The land will feature two signature attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage that will send guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee and on the Na’vi River Journey this a family-friendly boat ride will take riders through the dramatic Bioluminescent rainforests.

2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Banshee
Photo: Walt Disney World

The Satu’li Canteen will be the land’s main dining location while Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner, will help keep visitors fed while they ride and shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.

2017 Walt Disney World - Avatar Restaurant
Photo: Walt Disney World

Rivers of Light 2017

2017 Walt Disney World - Rivers of Light Rendering
Photo: Walt Disney World

This powerful theatrical production takes Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests on a magnificent emotional journey – a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort.

Star Wars Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Spring 2017

2017 Walt Disney World - Star Wars Tour
Photo: Walt Disney World

An all-new Star Wars Guided Tour is a seven-hour immersion in all current Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Character greetings, themed dining, ride experiences, insider’s tours, dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular are among highlights. Offered Mondays and Saturdays, it’s part of several new Star Wars additions announced in December 2016 for the park, including a new onstage sequence in the daytime experience “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” Star Wars-themed lands are planned for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Sky Dine-Around – 2017

2017 Walt Disney World - Monorail Sky Dine Around
Photo: Walt Disney World

The new experience gives guests priority boarding on the monorail for a distinctly Disney dining experience with stops for cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dessert. From a welcome cocktail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, guests call at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (appetizers), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (entree), and back to the Contemporary for dessert, cordials and coffee. This experience will be offered Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Weekends (Friday to Monday) January 13 – February 20

2017 Walt Disney World - Epcot International Festival of the Arts Logo
Photo: Walt Disney World

Epcot welcomes an all-new festival playing winter weekends and treating guests to a triple scoop of artful fun. For six colorful weekends visual, culinary, and performing arts will take center stage. Each weekend will feature taste bud-tempting and eye-dazzling creations from the Disney culinary team. Meantime, exciting new art from various media will tempt art lovers. Because the artwork will change out, it’s a new art festival every weekend. In addition, the lagoon-side stage at American Gardens Theatre will pulse with favorite showtunes performed by Broadway talent. In a collaboration with Disney Theatrical, songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows including The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin will be performed.

Miss Fortune Falls Spring 2017

2017 Walt Disney World - Miss Fortune Falls Logo
Photo: Walt Disney World

Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon. Guests gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep sea booty. When it opens, it will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.

Disney Springs Throughout 2017

New dining establishments will help round out the line-up of dining, shopping, and entertainment at Disney Springs!

2017 Walt Disney World - Paddlefish
Photo: Walt Disney World
  • Paddlefish – Sleek and modern after a bow-to-stern transformation from the former Fulton’s Crab House, Paddlefish will serve fresh seafood, steaks and chops. Unique menu choices for seafood lovers include a build-your-own boil. A new rooftop lounge will serve up a late-night menu and shipshape views of the water and Disney Springs. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

2017 Walt Disney World - Planet Hollywood Observatory
Photo: Planet Hollywood Observatory
  • Planet Hollywood Observatory – Longtime Downtown Disney-goers will remember the iconic domed restaurant that drew celebrities and fans of the Hollywood scene. The reborn space will be themed to stars of a different kind: a turn-of-the-20th-Century observatory serving up amazing burgers and sandwiches created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and craft cocktails whose names are inspired by the planets and space travel. Movie memorabilia, video screens, contemporary music and themed merchandise complete the scene.

2017 Walt Disney World - The Polite Pig Logo
Photo: Walt Disney World
  • The Polite Pig – A sister restaurant to the Ravenous Pig, a favorite with Orlando locals, The Polite Pig will bring the same focus on genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience at Disney Springs. Lunch and dinner menus will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including beer, wine and cocktails.

2017 Walt Disney World - Wine Bar George Logo
Photo: Walt Disney World
  • Wine Bar George – Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes uncorks his first Disney wine bar in a space reminiscent of a winemaker’s estate warmed by oak wood and cozy lighting. Small plates dominate the food menu but it will be the wines with a starring role: more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals and vintages.

New Cabins and Deluxe Villas coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge2017

2017 Walt Disney World - Wilderness Lodge
Photo: Walt Disney World

A proposed new Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is scheduled to open, featuring new Resort accommodations that include plans for Deluxe Villas and unique waterfront cabins. Other enhancements coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is also scheduled to open in summer 2017. Named Boulder Ridge Cove, this area will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool.

Make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and our visits to Walt Disney World!

Rogue One Coming To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rogue One Experiences Coming To Disney's Hollywood Studios

Rogue One Experiences Coming To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Last night the Disney Parks Blog hosted local media and 400 readers as they transformed Epcot’s Spaceship Earth into the Death Star and announced new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story experiences coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

First off, can we talk about how cool Spaceship Earth looked as the Death Star! Now the pictures don’t do it justice, but it was a fun temporary backdrop to the announcements.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Spaceship Earth Death Star

Michael Roddy, Show Director/Writer with Disney Creative Entertainment, was on hand to talk us through all the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that guests can enjoy before the end of the year.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Michael Roddy

Star Wars Launch Bay – a multi-sensory space celebrating all things Star Wars – is now updated with authentic replicas from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” joining other Star Wars memorabilia in the preview gallery. Making-of footage from “Rogue One” has been added to the “Meet the Makers” film featured in Star Wars Launch Bay.

Photo: Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World

In the popular daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” guests will get a first look at AWR Troopers from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Outfitted in their specialized Stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam, these soldiers serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic, a highly placed officer within the Advance Weapons Research (AWR) division of the Empire. A new Troopers sequence will join the show Dec. 16. Performances daily.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Spaceship Earth Death Star - Star Wars A Galactic Spectacular

The fan favorite nighttime show, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 and will join “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park through Dec. 31. The show will continue to be presented in 2017.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Spaceship Earth Death Star - Star Tours

Starting mid-December, randomized tracks will be returning to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue, the popular attraction that uses motion simulator-based technology. Instead of each ride experience launching from the planet of Jakku, the attraction will be randomized to both start and end at different locations for every galactic journey. New scenes from “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be added to Star Tours in the coming year.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Star Wars Tour

But what’s more intriguing is an all-new Star Wars guided tour is a seven-hour immersion in all the park’s current Star Wars experiences that will begin on January 2, 2017 (offered on Mondays and Sundays throughout the year) that will include:

  • A Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide
  • Priority boarding for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Encounter two Star Wars characters (Chewbacca and Kylo Ren) at Star Wars Launch Bay
  • An in-depth, insider’s tour around Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Screening of “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi
  • Enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items during dinner at Backlot Express
  • A spot in the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes themed sweets and specialty beverages, as well as reserved viewing for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show
  • Younglings ages 4-12 on the guided tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.

The price point for the tour is $129 per person, plus tax, which seems reasonable for all those activities and can be booked ‘soon’.

Also on hand was Mads Mikkelsen, Galen Erso in the film, was on hand to share a never before scene from Rogue One. And while that clip isn’t available yet, you can watch new clips!

Photo: Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World

Watch as Director Gareth Edwards and Creature Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the creatures of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "Creature Featurette"

And the new ‘Worth It’ TV Spot…Hope begins with them…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "Worth It" TV Spot (:30)

Don’t forget that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16th!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Poster

 

A Stroll Down Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail

 

Christmas Tree Trail Disney Springs 2016 -

A stroll down the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs

This holiday season Disney has added a few new entertainment options to Disney Springs. One of them, the Christmas Tree Trail, debuted this past weekend. When the Disney Parks Blog first made the announcement, I was definitely looking forward to it. The description reminded me of the trees that used decorate the Camp Minnie Mickey area of Animal Kingdom before it was closed to make way for Avatar.

The new Christmas Tree Trail is located at the old Marketplace bus depot and you enter in between Once Upon a Toy and Earl of Sandwich. There’s a DJ set up in the area, along with the large Christmas tree that they light every evening at 6:00PM.

Tree Trail Trail Entrance Main Tree Trail at Night

We decided to walk the trail twice, before and after it got dark. During the day, it is much less crowded and easier to see some of the details on the trees. The snow machines run at night and of course the twinkle lights make it a bit more festive. My photos came out much better during the day too so that’s what you’ll mostly see here.

There are 15 trees and each one has a different Disney theme. The decorations went beyond just covering the tree in the characters. Some of them you even had to think about a little bit (like a spoonful of sugar on the Mary Poppins tree). It really reminded me of a hometown festival of trees.

Villians

Villains Villains Apple

Mickey & Minnie

Mickey & Minnie

Moana

Moana

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast Cogsworth Mrs Potts

The Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid Mermaid Lantern

Cinderella

Cinderella Cinderella coach Cinderella midnight

The Princess and the Frog

Princess and the Frog Frog Prince

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins Spoonful of Sugar Chimney Sweep Umbrellas

Frozen

Frozen Sven

The Jungle Book

Jungle Book Kaa

Mulan

Mulan

101 Dalmatians

Dalmatians Dalmatian Coat

Tangled

Tangled at Night Pascal on lantern Tangled Paint Tangled

Muppets

Muppets Kermit

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Tea

The trail a nice holiday addition that fits with the hometown feel of Disney Springs. I hope they keep the tree trail for future years and even improve upon it. The area has a lot of space to add even more Christmas lights and decorations. Maybe even add some more activities. Have you visited the tree trail? Which tree is your favorite?

November At Walt Disney World

November at Walt Disney World

This November Walt Disney World is kicking off the holiday season with the debut of new shows, experiences, and a new restaurant! It’s going to be an awesome month to be in Orlando!

Magic Kingdom

At the Magic Kingdom, the Christmas Tree and wreaths are up as they prepare for the influx of holiday visitors.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World

Returning this year, each night Cinderella Castle turns into a beautiful ice palace thanks to the help from Elsa, Anna, and some of their Frozen friends during ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ castle lighting.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World

The new ‘Once Upon A Time’ debuted on November 4th, and this new nightly projection show is partially inspired by the Tokyo Disneyland Park uses projection mapping to transform Cinderella Castle with familiar scenes from Disney movies. During the show, Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast shares bedtime stories with young Chip, taking a journey through the most adventurous scenes from Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and other favorites along the way.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World – Ryan Wendler, photographer

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is under way on select nights until December 22nd with new holiday treats and shows. This after-hours party gives guests a chance to experience exclusive entertainment, character meet and greets, fireworks, and a parade full of holiday cheer and fun while enjoying holiday drinks & treats under the gentle falling of Florida ‘snow’.

Disney Springs

As Disney Springs continues to grow, so does their holiday offerings!

November 2016 at Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World

Beginning November 11th in the Disney Springs Marketplace, 15 Christmas Trees inspired by Disney characters and movies will create a winter wonderland walk-through experience complete with a gentle snow fall, toy soldiers, singers, and plenty of unique photo opportunities! I can’t wait to see the Disney Villains and Mary Poppins Christmas Trees!

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog shared a peek at a new nighttime holiday experience coming that looks like it is going to be awesome!!!

First Look: A New Holiday Experience Coming to Disney Springs

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new restaurant and nighttime holiday show join the park’s line-up of fun!

November 2016 at Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World – David Roark, photographer

A new projection and fireworks show called ‘Jingle Bell Jingle Bam’ lights up, on, above, and around the Chinese Theater area of the park with state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and a rousing seasonal musical score starting November 14th.

Led by elves Wayne and Lanny, the duo from ABC/Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated special Prep & Landing, the spirited yuletide adventure to the North Pole features memorable holiday moments from Disney films including Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, Bambi, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, along with many other holiday favorites with a festive finale that’s “So tinsel”.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World

Fans of the The Muppets will get a chance to dine with Pizzerizzo set to open on November 18th! The quick service restaurant will offer a variety of personal-sized pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and desserts surrounded by décor inspired by Rizzo, as well as his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years. Upstairs you will find Rizzo’s Deluxe Supreme Banquet Hall, where there’s a wedding reception already in progress complete with a disco ball dance party playing the world’s greatest party playlist!

Epcot

And finally at Epcot, beginning November 25th you can celebrate the ‘Holidays Around the World’.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World

Photo: Walt Disney World

During the day, you can discover how the 11 countries making up the World Showcase celebrate the holiday season with costumed storytellers, decorations, music, and seasonal food favorites.

November 2016 at Walt Disney World
Photo: Walt Disney World – Kent Phillips, photographer

Then in the evenings hear a celebrity guest narrator tell the biblical story of Christmas alongside of a 50 piece orchestra and variety of choirs. The story, the music, the twinkling trees and decor fills you with the spirit of this wonderful season. And you can catch the performances at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at the American Gardens Theatre.

 

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2016: What To Eat

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2016: What To Eat

The 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is under way now, and I had the chance to try a selection of dishes you can find around the park at a luncheon and I was completely blown away!

I’ve listed the dishes in alphabetical order of where you can find them at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival to help make planning a little easier!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2016: What To Eat

Africa

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Butter Chicken with Micro Cilantro, Steamed Rice, and Naan Bread (The Chew Favorite)

$5.00 Disney Dining Plan Snack

I have never met a Butter Chicken I didn’t like, and this might be my favorite of all time! The sauce was creamy with just enough spice for taste and the micro cilantro added a nice bite!

Brazil

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans and Tomato (Gluten Free)

$5.50 Disney Dining Plan Snack

Don’t let this dish’s simple flavors steer you away from choosing it on your food adventure around World Showcase! The flavors are delightful and the black beans are extremely flavorful.

The Chew Collective

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World Chew Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle (Gluten Free)

$3.25 Disney Dining Plan Snack

While this is a smaller dessert, it packs a powerful peanut butter punch! The white chocolate mouse is extremely light making this a perfect choice on a hot afternoon!

Greece – NEW

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Vegan Loaded Greek “Nachos”: Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles, and Vegan Tzatziki (Vegetarian)

$4.50 Disney Dining Plan Snack

If you aren’t vegan and are curious about giving a vegan dish a try, this is the small plate for you! These ‘nachos’ are fresh and light, and so tasty that you won’t find yourself missing the dairy or meat.

Greenhouse Guru hosted by Village Farms – NEW 

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-Roasted Salsa (Gluten Free)

$5.25 Disney Dining Plan Snack

I am not a fan of duck. I’ve tried it a thousand ways (okay maybe I am being dramatic here), and it just has never been my favorite. I will say that this duck isn’t as gamey as I have had in the past, and the fire-roasted salsa does a great job cutting the fattiness of the meat. I’d definitely eat it again…which is saying a lot!

Hops & Barley – NEW 

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese Served on Griddled Garlic Toast

$5.25 Disney Dining Plan Snack

If there was a ever a dish that screamed ‘Shelley’ it would be this one, as it is everything I love in one place! It is a heavier dish that you might want to save until later in the day.

Islands of the Caribbean – NEW

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Quesito – Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce (Vegetarian)

$3.75 Disney Dining Plan Snack

Dear Quesito, I know we just met…but I think I love you! XOXO Shelley

This is the PERFECT dessert in my opinion! The slightly salty cheese plays against the sweet guava sauce creating amazing layers of flavors. My only complaint is that it is too small and I want to eat like 20 of them!

Wine & Dine Studio – NEW

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Seared Scallop, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms featuring Melissa’s Produce

$5.50 Disney Dining Plan Snack

This might be my favorite dish of the luncheon. The scallop and celery root purée are slightly sweet and the brussels sprouts and wild mushrooms are a touch bitter with a bite creating a dance of flavors and textures. It was delicious!

Wine & Dine Studio

2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Trio of Artisan Cheese (Vegetarian)

La Bonne Vie Goat Cheese served with toasted Craisin Bread

Karst Cave-aged Cheddar Cheese served with Fig Compote

Statesboro Blue Cheese served with Spiced Candied Walnuts

$5.00 Disney Dining Plan Snack

Can you go wrong with a trio of artisan cheeses and accompaniments? I don’t think so! These three offerings are familiar pairings…but if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

I’m looking forward to getting out and trying more dishes at this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and I would love to hear what some of your favorite dishes are to try!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: #NotSoScary Wallpaper

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

For our final post this week on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, I thought I would do something I have never done before!

I took eight of my favorite pictures from the party to create phone wallpaper to help bring the magic and the fun of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party portable!

All you need to do is click on the image, save it to your device, and then place it as your phone’s wallpaper.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: #NotSoScary Wallpaper

I put a spell on you… – Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

Happy HalloWishes – Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

Musketeer Donald – Character statues as you enter Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

The world was such a wholesome place until Cruella. Cruella De Vil – Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

Mickey’s Not So Scary Party Treat Bag and map – Cinderella Castle

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

Happy HalloWishes – Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

Main Street U.S.A. Train Station  – As you leave Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

There’s always room for one more… – Haunted Mansion

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Phone Wallpaper

For more Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party fun and information check out our other posts onAllergy-Friendly Trick-or-Treating7 #NotSoScary Experiences, Halloween Party Planning Information, and my general tips & tricks on icFlorida! Plus we’ve got tons of great photos and information on Instagram and Twitter!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Setting #NotSoScary Priorities

mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party-2016-setting-priorities

With so much to do that is exclusive to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, it is really important to prioritize what you want to do during the party.

But with information about the goings on either spread out over several areas of the official party page or not available until you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, I thought that I would compile all the information you would need to make a solid game plan for the night.

My biggest tip for creating a realistic plan is to communicate with everyone attending the party with you to ensure that everyone is on the same page as to what they want to try to accomplish during the party since it is pretty close to impossible to do everything in one night.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

Setting #NotSoScary Priorities

Unique Character Meet and Greet Opportunities

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party Character Collage
Photos: Walt Disney World

During Mickey’s Not So Scary you will have the chance to meet some exclusive characters, however this opportunity comes at quite a cost of time!

Two things to keep in mind is that characters typically don’t start meeting until the party begins however lines for popular characters (like Jack Skellington and Sally) may appear earlier with lines forming before 5 pm and characters stop meeting guests around 11:30 pm.

Here is where you will find characters during Mickey’s Not So Scary (an * denotes rare characters):

  • Main Street U.S.A. – Town Square Theater – Mickey Mouse in his Halloween Finest* and Tinker Bell
  • Main Street U.S.A.- Tour Guide Garden near City Call – Snow White
  • Adventureland – Agrabah Bazaar near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Friends from Aladdin (Characters spotted have included Jasmine, Aladdin, Abu*, and Genie*)
  • Adventureland – Zanzibar near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Jafar*
  • Adventureland – Veranda near the Skipper Canteen – friends from Tarzan (Characters spotted have included Tarzan, Jane, and Terk*)
  • Adventureland – Caribbean Plaza across from Pirates of the Caribbean – Captain Jack Sparrow*
  • Liberty Square – The Glade behind Liberty Tree Tavern – Jack Skellington* & Sally* from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Liberty Square – Near the Haunted Mansion – Carlotta* and Lady Renata*
  • Fantasyland – Princess Fairytale Hall – Rapunzel, Tiana, Aurora, and Cinderella
  • Fantasyland – Ariel’s Grotto – Ariel
  • Fantasyland – Fairytale Garden near Cinderella Castle on the way to Mad Tea Party – Merida
  • Fantasyland – Gaston’s Tavern – Gaston and Villager Belle*
  • Fantasyland – Mad Tea Party – Alice, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts*, and Tweedles*
  • Fantasyland – Thotful Spot near The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Winnie the Pooh*, Tigger*, Piglet*, Eeyore* in Halloween Costumes
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Calliope Tent – the Seven Dwarfs*
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Train Station – Cruella DeVil*
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Casey Jr. Splash Pad – Donald Duck*, Daisy Duck*, and Minnie Mouse* in their Halloween costumes
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Barnstormer – The Great Goofini*
  • Tomorrowland – Between Buzz Lightyear Space Rangers Spin and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – Buzz Lightyear and Lotso*

Entertainment, Shows, and Dance Parties

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Hocus Pocus Hades

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party boasts some great entertainment, shows, and dance parties throughout the park!

For the best viewing of the fun on Main Street U.S.A., you will want to secure a spot 30 minutes before each begins.

Here is some of what you will find:

  • Main Street U.S.A
    • Celebrate the Magic – Projection show on Cinderella Castle – 10 pm
    • Happy HalloWishes! – Fireworks spectacular set against Cinderella Castle – 10:15 pm
    • Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – Show on Forecourt Stage at Cinderella Castle – 8 pm, 9:15 pm, 10:40 pm, & 12 am
  • Frontierland
    • Cadaver Dans – Singing that haunts the Streets of Frontierland – No posted schedule, but you can watch them perfrom before Mickey’s Boo To You Parade
  • Tomorrowland
    • Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball – Dance Party set on the Rockettower Plaza Stage – Continuous

Parades

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Boo To You Parade Route

Mickey’s Boo to You Parade is the highlight of the party for me with characters in Halloween costumes, pirates, cowboys, gravediggers, ballroom dances, and Disney Villains set to music that is a total ear worm.

The parade steps off in Frontierland and travels to Main Street U.S.A. twice a night (8:30 pm and 11:15 pm), and with the Headless Horseman riding (weather permitting) approximately 10 minutes before each parade you will want to secure your parade spot at least 30 to 45 minutes before the parade begins.

Usually I would say to skip the first parade and watch the second, but it seems like that trick isn’t working this year. So instead, I encourage you to scope out the first parade before making a decision of which parade to watch.

Trick-or-Treating

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Allergy Friendly trick or treat experience

Trick-or-Treating is an activity that can be done at any time as you are walking from place to place during the party, so keep your eyes peeled for Trick-or-Treat markers throughout the park to stop as you go.

  • Main Street U.S.A
    • Town Square Theater (Allergy-Friendly Center)
  • Adventureland
    • Jungle Cruise
    • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Liberty Square
    • Heritage House (Allergy-Friendly Center)
    • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Fantasyland
    • Pinocchio Village Haus
    • Peter Pan’s Flight
    • Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Tomorrowland
    • Stitch’s Great Escape
    • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
    • Space Mountain
    • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies

If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, you can read all about the new trick-or-treating experience here.

Attractions

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party PeopleMover

There are several attractions open during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and while lines are shorter at times than a typical day at the Magic Kingdom this isn’t always the best use of time during the party.

  • Main Street U.S.A
    • Town Square Theater
    • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (with an event-exclusive spell card available)
  • Adventureland
    • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas (an interactive adventure at your own pace)
  • Frontierland
    • Splash Mountain
    • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Liberty Square
    • Haunted Mansion
  • Fantasyland
    • Peter Pan’s Flight
    • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
    • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
    • Princess Fairtyale Hall
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    • Mad Tea Party
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
    • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
    • The Barnstormer
  • Tomorrowland
    • Tomorrowland Speedway
    • Space Mountain
    • Astro Orbiter
    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
    • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
    • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Your event ticket can be used to enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4 pm, so arriving before the party is a great option if you are looking to fit in some rides since the crowds will be thinning out for the day in preparation for the party.

Dining

mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party-2016-spider-cupcake
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

 

With Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party falling around dinner time, you may find that you will need to stop during the party for a snack or meal.

Not all locations in the Magic Kingdom are open and some will close early during the party, and here is where you can eat and what you will find there (an * denotes where you can find party exclusive treats):

  • Main Street U.S.A
    • Main Street Bakery* – Starbucks espresso & house-made Disney pastries
    • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor* – Hand-scooped ice cream and waffle-bowl sundaes
    • Casey’s Corner – Specialty hot dogs and French Fries
  • Adventureland
    • Aloha Isle – Dole Whip Soft-serve ice cream and fresh pineapple
  • Frontierland
    • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe – Nachos, fajitas, burritos, and Southwest burgers Open until 11 pm
    • Westward Ho* – Snacks and frozen lemonade
  • Liberty Square
    • Sleepy Hollow* – Funnel cakes and ice cream
    • Liberty Square Market – Frozen beverages, fruit, and snacks Open until 9 pm
    • Columbia Harbor House – Fish, shrimp, chicken nuggets, salads, and sandwiches Open until 8 pm
  • Fantasyland
    • Cinderella Royal Table – Requires Reservation – Signature Table Service
    • Be Our Guest Restaurant – Requires Reservation -Signature Table Service
    • Pinocchio Village Haus – Flatbreads, chicken breast nuggets, and salads Open until 10 pm
    • The Friar’s Nook* – Artisan macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, potato chips, & frozen beverages Open until 10 pm
    • Storybook Treats – Ice cream
    • Gaston’s Tavern* – LeFou’s Brew specialty slush, cinnamon rolls, and fruit
  • Tomorrowland
    • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – Burgers, chicken breast nuggets, rotisserie chicken, sandwiches, and salads
    • Cool Ship – Pretzels, snacks, and beverages Open until 11 pm
    • The Lunching Pad – Hot dogs, pretzels, and frozen Coca-Cola

Shopping

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Merchandise

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Merchandise

You have to grab some of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party swag before you leave, because it is not available on the Shop Disney Parks App or online at the Disney Store!

Here is where you can find this year’s merchandise:

  • Box Office Gifts – Main Street, U.S.A. – MagicBand
  • Emporium – Main Street, U.S.A. – Event T-shirts, ornaments, General event trading pin, and MagicBand
  • Frontierland Trading Post – Frontierland – General event trading pin and MagicBand
  • Big Top Souvenirs – Storybook Circus – ALL event Trading pins and Event T-shirts
  • Mickey’s Star Traders – Tomorrowland – Event T-shirts

For more Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party fun check out our other posts on Allergy-Friendly Trick-or-Treating7 #NotSoScary Experiences, and my general tips & tricks on icFlorida! Plus we’ve got tons of great photos and information on Instagram and Twitter!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: #NotSoScary Tips for Parents

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Tips for Parents Pinterest

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party can be tricky to navigate for parents, so I wanted to share some tips to help parents be prepared for the fun!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

Tips for Parents

Costumes

Halloween Elena of Avalor Costume Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016

Keep in mind that it is still warm in Florida during the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party schedule, so make sure you choose costumes that won’t make your little ghosts overheat. I love how fun this Elena of Avalor Costume from The Disney Store!

Cute Pajamas

Halloween Pajamas Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016

As the night goes on and little ones get sleepy, why not pick up a super cute pair of pajamas for them to wear while they doze in the stroller. These Mickey Halloween Pajamas are available at The Disney Store.

Change of Clothes

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Gallon Zip Top Bags

Halloween Costumes (for adults and children) can get cumbersome after awhile, so I like to buy larger (2 Gallon typically) ziptop bags that I pack with a change of clothes so changing is more organized! I prefer the freezer bags, and you can find them on Amazon here.

Wristbands on the Same Arm

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Wristband

Everyone who attends Mickey’s Not So Scary receives a special wristband denoting that they are part of that night’s party, and earlier in the night you will pass through several ‘check points’ to ensure any stragglers have left the Magic Kingdom before the fun really begins!

To make the process easier for younger ones who may be learning their left from their right, everyone should place their party wristbands on the same arm for a visual cue when passing through these points efficiently.

Avoiding Budget Busters

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag - Savory Snacks

I like to be prepared with snacks and glow toys or necklaces to help curb the small purchases that add up during the night at the party.

Candy Hack

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Candy Hack

When my daughter has a full candy bag from trick-or-treating at Mickey’s Not So Scary it doesn’t stay full for long, because she’s sneaking pieces of candy (no shame in that game) or is swinging it and candy flies everywhere. So as her bag approaches half-full I like to empty it into a gallon size ziptop bag. As a bonus, Cast Members are typically more generous with the candy the emptier your bag is at the candy location!

Smooth Character Interactions

Mickey's Not So Scary halloween party 2016 characters meet and greet jack skellington and sally

During Mickey’s Not So Scary you will have the chance to meet some exclusive characters, however this opportunity comes at quite a cost of time for some so make sure that your children are comfortable meeting their friends before the party and that you prioritize which characters you would love to meet!

Here are the characters you will find during Mickey’s Not So Scary (an * denotes rare characters)

  • Main Street U.S.A. – Town Square Theater – Mickey Mouse in his Halloween Finest* and Tinker Bell
  • Main Street U.S.A.- Tour Guide Garden near City Call – Snow White
  • Adventureland – Agrabah Bazaar near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Friends from Aladdin (Characters spotted have included Jasmine, Aladdin, Abu*, and Genie*)
  • Adventureland – Zanzibar near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Jafar*
  • Adventureland – Veranda near the Skipper Canteen – friends from Tarzan (Characters spotted have included Tarzan, Jane, and Terk*)
  • Adventureland – Caribbean Plaza across from Pirates of the Caribbean – Captain Jack Sparrow*
  • Liberty Square – The Glade behind Liberty Tree Tavern – Jack Skellington* & Sally* from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Liberty Square – Near the Haunted Mansion – Carlotta* and Lady Renata*
  • Fantasyland – Princess Fairytale Hall – Rapunzel, Tiana, Aurora, and Cinderella
  • Fantasyland – Ariel’s Grotto – Ariel
  • Fantasyland – Fairytale Garden near Cinderella Castle on the way to Mad Tea Party – Merida
  • Fantasyland – Gaston’s Tavern – Gaston and Villager Belle*
  • Fantasyland – Mad Tea Party – Alice, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts*, and Tweedles*
  • Fantasyland – Thotful Spot near The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Winnie the Pooh*, Tigger*, Piglet*, Eeyore* in Halloween Costumes
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Calliope Tent – the Seven Dwarfs*
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Train Station – Cruella DeVil*
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Casey Jr. Splash Pad – Donald Duck*, Daisy Duck*, and Minnie Mouse* in their Halloween costumes
  • Fantasyland – Storybook Circus – Barnstormer – The Great Goofini*
  • Tomorrowland – Between Buzz Lightyear Space Rangers Spin and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – Buzz Lightyear and Lotso*

Two things to keep in mind is that characters typically don’t start meeting until the party begins however lines for popular characters (like Jack Skellington and Sally) may appear earlier with lines forming around 5 pm and characters stop meeting guests around 11:30 pm.

Children with allergies or dietary restrictions

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Allergy Friendly trick or treat experience

Having children with allergies or dietary restrictions can make trick-or-treating a daunting task, but this year the Magic Kingdom is awash in teal, the official color of food allergy awareness, with a new allergy-friendly experience. You can find out all the details with tons of pictures here.

Park Bag Must Haves for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Packing a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Bag

Being prepared with everything you may need will insure that you have more fun that frights, and in this post I share some things I pack in my party park bag.

For more Mickey’s Not So Scary fun check out our other posts on 7 #NotSoScary Experiences and my general tips & tricks on icFlorida! Plus we’ve got tons of great photos and information on Instagram and Twitter!

An FYI…None of the links in this post are not affiliate links.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: 7 #NotSoScary Experiences

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 - Highlights - Pinterest Image

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Don’t Miss These 7 #NotSoScary Exclusive Experiences

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom is jam packed with exclusive events, shopping, and entertainment that you don’t want to miss. Here are my favorite ‘Must Do’s’ for this year’s party!

1. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 - Party Highlights - Sorcerers Card and map

This year’s Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card features one of my favorite characters from Zootopia…Clawhauser!

The Disney Parks Blog summed up why he was the perfect choice for this year’s party exclusive card!

Why Clawhauser? Because he loves sweets, particularly donuts! On Halloween he enjoys sharing the delicious, ring-shaped delights with the trick-or-treaters who come to his door. Merlin the Magician was so impressed with the cheetah’s generosity, that he created a spell in his honor, “Clawhauser’s Tricky Treat.” When a sorcerer casts this spell, dozens of magical donuts appear! But spell-casters must be wary: careless use might result in an explosion of rainbow sprinkles!

To pick up your party exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card, head over to the Firehouse on Main Street U.S.A. and show the Cast Member (who is typically standing outside) your wristband. It’s quick and easy, so I like to do this as soon as the party begins so I don’t forget!

2. Specialty Treats

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Pumpkin Cupcake

What kind of party would it be without specialty treats? Answer…a sad one!

This year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party treats can be found around the Magic Kingdom at the following locations:

  • Main Street Bakery
    • Chocolate Worms and Dirt Cupcake
    • Vanilla Spider Cupcake
    • Halloween Sugar Cookie
  • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
    • Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
  • Gaston’s Tavern
    • Enchanted Pumpkin Spiced Cupcake (I am not a huge pumpkin fan, but the Enchanted Pumpkin Spiced Cupcake was delicious. )
  • Storybook Treats
    • Candy Corn Ice Cream Cone
  • The Friar’s Nook
    • Ghoulish Strawberry-lemonade Slushy
  • Throughout the Park
    • Candy Corn Cotton Candy
    • Vampire Mickey Popcorn Bucket
    • Halloween Popcorn Bucket
    • Halloween Hot Mug
    • Poison Apple Stein

For those using a Disney Dining Plan during their visit, these specialty treats can be purchased using a snack credit.

3. Shopping!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Party exclusive pin

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party features some pretty awesome and exclusive merchandise! You will find T-Shirts for the event and Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, ornaments, trading pins, annual passholder specific items, and a limited edition MagicBand.

  • Box Office Gifts – Main Street, U.S.A. – MagicBand
  • Emporium – Main Street, U.S.A. – Event T-shirts, ornaments, General event trading pin, and MagicBand
  • Frontierland Trading Post – Frontierland – General event trading pin and MagicBand
  • Big Top Souvenirs – Storybook Circus – ALL event Trading pins and Event T-shirts
  • Mickey’s Star Traders – Tomorrowland – Event T-shirts

I like to shop early during the party as some items will sellout, and you don’t want to have FOMO since these items are not available on the Shop Disney Parks app or online.

4. Trick-or-Treating around the Kingdom

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Trick-or-treat candy

This year the candy selection at the trick-or-treat locations is awesome as they are sponsored by MARS, Werther’s  Original, Enjoy Life, and PEEPS to name a few.

Here are the treat locations around the Magic Kingdom:

  • Main Street U.S.A
    • Town Square Theater (Allergy-Friendly Center)
  • Adventureland
    • Jungle Cruise
    • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Liberty Square
    • Heritage House (Allergy-Friendly Center)
    • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Fantasyland
    • Pinocchio Village Haus
    • Peter Pan’s Flight
    • Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Tomorrowland
    • Stitch’s Great Escape
    • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
    • Space Mountain
    • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies

There is no time restraint on trick-or-treating, so I tend to wait to do this later in the evening.

If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, you can read all about the new trick-or-treating experience here.

5. Happy HalloWishes!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Happy Hallowishes

Happy HalloWishes (10:15 pm) is the perfect way to celebrate the witching hour with fireworks and pyrotechnic effects set  to familiar and haunting melodies.

The Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion invites you to “drop in” as Disney Villains light up the night with fireworks and a wicked version of melodies from Disney’s past that echo through the night—and creepy colors crawl over Cinderella Castle.

 

The “scare-abration” gets into full swing when some of the Disney Villains we most love to hate—including Maleficent, Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Jafar and Oogie Boogie—croon their scary tunes and do their best to steal the show.

I like to watch Happy HalloWishes! from slight left of Cinderella Castle (as you are facing it) in the hub to set up some fantastic shots!

6. Mickey’s Boo To You Parade

Wordless Wednesday Headless Horseman Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Boo To You

Traveling from Frontierland to Main Street U.S.A. twice a night (8:30 pm and 11:15 pm), Mickey’s Boo To You Parade is a cavalcade of familiar friends in their Halloween costumes, pirates, cowboys, gravediggers, ballroom dances, and Disney Villains set to music that you won’t stop humming until February.

To make sure you see the Headless Horseman ride, secure your parade spot 30-45 minutes before the parade steps off.

This year the second parade was just as crowded as the first parade of the night, so it seems like that black cat is out of the bag!

7. Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

The Sanderson Sisters are BACK for the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular (8:00 pm, 9:15 pm. 10:40 pm. and 12:00 am) on Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage.

Enlisting the help of the Disney villains, the 3 sisters mix sinister shadows, terrifying nightmares and use the nefarious powers of their frightening colleagues to conjure the ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Potion—and cast a spell on everyone in Magic Kingdom park!

This show is worth my top ‘Must Do’ for the second year in a row! The story runs a little smoother this year there is more fun that you won’t want to miss.

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is EXTREMELY popular, so I suggest catching the 10:40 pm show as you can watch Celebrate the Magic at 10 pm followed by Happy HalloWishes at 10:15 pm before making your way closer to Cinderella Castle.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party requires a separate ticket that can be purchased online for the following dates:

  • September – 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, & 30
  • October – 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, & 31

Don’t forget to check out all the details of Allergy-Friendly Trick-or-Treating and my tips for planning an awesome night at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on icFlorida!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 2016 Boo To You Parade The End

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