Tour of Cinderella Castle Suite and Be Our Guest

When the Disney Parks Blog announced that they were going to be doing tours of Be Our Guest restaurant and Cinderella Castle suite, I just knew I had to get my name into the hat! And thankfully I was selected and I enjoyed every single second of being apart of this Limited Time Magic!

Magic Kingdom will always feel like my “home” park – it’s where I started when I became a cast member. And as many times as I’ve seen Cinderella Castle, I never imagined I’d be able to go into the castle suite.

Cinderella castle

My part of the group started in Be Our Guest and one of the imagineers that designed the restaurant gave us a tour of all the rooms.

be our guest orderbe our guest be our guest west wing be our guest west wing be our guest

We learned that the little cherubs on the ceiling *may* have a slight resemblance to the imagineers that worked on the restaurant 🙂

be our guest cherubs

I had the grey stuff for breakfast. Breakfast of champions, right?

be our guest grey stuff

After that treat, it was time to go see the Cinderella castle suite! I have walked by this door more times than I even know and yet I was finally seeing it open!

cinderella castle suite door

We rode the elevator up to the suite level and before the door to the suite opened, I was already amazed.

cinderella castle suite cinderella castle suite floorcinderella castle suite mary blair

And then it was time…

cinderella castle suite cinderella castle suite cinderella castle suite cinderella castle suite bathtub cinderella castle suite bathroomcinderella castle suite bathroom

The details are beyond amazing!

cinderella castle suite

The windows in the living room area tell Cinderella’s story.

Her home, the invitation the the ball, the clock striking midnight.

cinderella castle suite windows

The glass slipper, Gus and Jaq finding the key, and the happy ever after.

cinderella castle suite windows

These little mirror on either side of the fire place have a prince and princess on them. The best part is they were not made for the suite. The imagineers found them and knew they were perfect!

cinderella castle suite

When they picked this chair out, it was purchased for its size – for kids. However, they were told that this little chair is a “slipper chair”, which people would use to put their slippers/house shoes on. How perfect is that?

cinderella castle suite

I’m still in shock that I have been in the suite!

For the full set of pictures, check out the album on Facebook.

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Glow With The Show Magic Kingdom Debut With @Disneyworlds

Todd and Cheryl captured some great clips of the Glow with the Show debut at Magic Kingdom during Celebrate the Magic and Wishes! that we shared on our Facebook page, but now John Saccheri of the Big Fat Panda Show www.BigFatPanda.com comes through again with another great guest post and wonderful video of even more during the debut at Magic Kingdom of both of these nighttime shows!

After the amazing GLOW WITH THE SHOW spectacle at Fantasmic! a few nights ago, the premiere of the light up Mickey ears at the Magic Kingdom was less than stellar.

This is not to say I did not enjoy the experience, but expectations had been set and were not met. Unlike the Fantasmic debut, no ears were given out to “seed” the audience. I would say less than 10% of the people had ears on. Another thing against this debut is that Main Street is rather flat compared to the Fantasmic! stadium. So unless you were tall, there was less to see.

But all is not lost – I had a tall friend and a monopod with me and we were able to get up around 10 feet (estimate) to bring you some great shots of what did occur.

Unfortunately, during the last 2 minutes of the Celebrate The Magic Castle Projection show, the ears ceased functioning. I am guessing the signal somehow did not get out to the ears.

httpv://youtu.be/rXXTqaNvYpM

This small glitch was fixed a few minutes later when Wishes! Glow With The Show premiered.

httpv://youtu.be/qAiYi5U9Ppg

I still love the idea and the technology and hope you enjoy what I was able to capture on video!

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Unleash The Villains With Kelly (@kelbelle)

Unleash The Villains Set Up

Kelly Hicks takes us along as she went to

Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Unleash the Villains!

When Disney first announced their Limited Time Magic celebration last year, I thought it sounded like so much fun. As a local, I knew I would be able to experience the majority of them and I was really looking forward it. The offerings have been a hit or miss for me, but I have been able to take part in most of the ones I have been interested in. Highlights for me have included Long Lost Friends week, the special President’s Day Voices of Liberty concerts, and Merida’s coronation. Each week I look to twitter to see what will be announced for the upcoming week’s Limited Time Magic.

One of the events mentioned in the original Limited Time Magic presentation immediately caught my eye and I would have to wait almost a year for it to take place: Friday, September 13. It would be called Unleash the Villains and would be held at Hollywood Studios until 1 a.m. I knew that I wanted to try to attend this one when the time came.

Leading up to last Friday, I started getting a little anxious about getting to the Studios for the villains event. I wasn’t able to take off work and I knew it would be crowded. The Studios parking lot has been known to close due to reaching capacity before.

As soon as the clock struck 5:00 that afternoon, I was out of the office, home to pick up my mom and to change into villains wear, and out the door again by 5:20. We were approaching the parking tollbooths by 6:00 and I knew luck and good timing were on our side. It wasn’t too backed up yet and soon enough we were walking through the gates.

Since we knew crowds would probably be crazy, we definitely had our priorities. I wanted to go to at least one character meet and the Villainy in the Sky fireworks show was a must see. Beyond that, anything else would be bonus.

After a quick dinner at Fairfax Fare, we decided to head of to Echo Lake to wait for the character meets. From reading Twitter earlier in the day, I knew that there were only three meet and greet locations so lines were sure to be long. After winding our way through the crowd gathering at the stage in front of the Sorcerer hat, we got in line at the first location. Characters were due at 8:30 and it wasn’t even 7:00 at this point. Lines were already outside the queues that were set up so it was basically just a somewhat organized mass of people. No one knew at that point which characters would be meeting where and since the lines were so long we figured we’d wait once, move on and be happy with the outcome. It felt kind of like Let’s Make a Deal and we chose door number one!

The event officially started at 8:00 p.m. at the stage, but from where we were we couldn’t see what was happening over there. Due to the amount of people there, characters didn’t arrive until almost 9:00.  I imagine they had a very hard time making it through all the people. While waiting, we found out that we were in line for either the Queen from Snow White or Shan-Yu from Mulan. The other two locations would feature Jafar or Oogie Boogie, and Maleficent or Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons. Each pair would switch off with each other every 30 minutes.

Unleash The Villains Meeting Shan Yu

We were lucky enough to be able to meet Shan-Yu! He was appropriately intimidating and gave us a creepy red-eyed stare. From where our line was situated, we were also able to get some good pictures of Oogie Boogie and Jafar.

After that, we decided we needed a break from the crowds and something to drink before grabbing a fireworks spot. This is where we encountered our major issue with the event: not enough food and beverage locations. Everywhere we tried, it was either closed or the lines were very long. We could have used a few extra carts set up.

I found a fireworks spot in the street, while mom decided to stick to the sidewalk where she could have more breathing room. While we waited, we could finally enjoy some of what was going on onstage. They had a giant screen set up so even those of us further back to see well. I hope they add this to Star Wars Weekends next year!

Unleash The Villains DJ Iggnite

DJ Iggnite alternated with Bernie Briquette and the Brimstones for musical entertainment. Hades, Meg, Pain, and Panic from Hercules also made appearances onstage. These entertainers did a fantastic job and even grabbed the attention of those of us further back.

Unleash The Villains Hades

Unleash The Villains Megara, Pain, and Panic

Unleash The Villains Villainry in the Sky

Finally it was fireworks time! Such an amazing show! This alone was worth it for me. Villainy in the Sky featured an incredible musical score, including music from The Hunchback of Notre Dame – one of my favorites! I would love to see these fireworks used again some time!

I knew the crowd would thin out some after the fireworks, so we walked around some to take some more character pictures and grab autograph cards that we missed the first time around. We hung out around the stage for the rest of the event. Some villains, like the Big Bad Wolf, Cruella, Captain Hook, and Frollo, wandered around and dance with the crowd. Each of them were followed by waves of people trying to get pictures.

Unleash The Villains on Stage

Unleash The Villains Hades getting down

Unleash The Villains Oogey Boogey

Unleash The Villains Jafar

The band and Hades led sing-a-longs with songs by The Beatles and Queen. As we approached the end of the night, Hades re-introduced all of the villains that were present, some of whom I hadn’t seen yet. There was a fun party atmosphere through the end.

Unleash The Villains Bowler Hat Guy

Overall, I had a great time at this event. Yes, it was incredibly crowded and there were problems associated with that. The meet-and-greets could have been organized a lot better and setting up more food and beverage carts would have helped alleviate the long lines. I did see cast members throughout the night that worked incredibly hard to keep the crowds organized and moving.  I would still do it all over again and I hope Disney will feature villains and other rare characters more often in the future.

Thanks to my mom, Sherry (@sbeanyears) for hanging out with me that night. Also thanks to Heather (@heatherw25) and Dave(@fotodave) for keeping me in the loop with what was going on.

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