Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party Starts Tuesday

Halloween Party
Halloween Party

My favorite special event at Walt Disney World, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, returns this Tuesday to the Magic Kingdom. This party takes place on select nights in September and October typically several times per week. The dates run from September 10th through November 1st this year. Guests must purchase separate tickets for this hard ticket event and the party goes from 7pm until midnight, however you can usually enter the park at 4pm on the party ticket.

I absolutely love this Halloween Party for the festive fall vibe you get the second you approach the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Colors of orange and gold greet guests along with foliage, jack o’lanterns and pumpkin characters in Town Square. I can’t wait to attend the party this coming Friday the 13th, which I hope will add and air of spookiness to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

What I am most looking forward to is the Boo To You Halloween Parade, which takes place twice during the evening. If you can stick it out for the later second parade it is usually much less crowded than the first one. Also, try to get a spot as close to the parade route as possible to get great viewing of the crowd favorite Headless Horseman that leads the parade and my favorites, the Haunted Mansion grave diggers. The Halloween Party has also been known to showcase the alter egos of the Dapper Dans, the ghoulish Cadaver Dans. Do not miss these guys if you can find them!

Main Street waiting for the Boo To You parade
Main Street waiting for the Boo To You parade
Headless Horseman
Headless Horseman
Haunted Mansion Grave Diggers
Haunted Mansion Grave Diggers
Happy Hallowishes
Happy Hallowishes

Of course there will be trick or treating during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but I’m still not sure if I’m going to be going in costume or not this year. I usually go the first week and it is still pushing 90 and humid in the evenings, so I typically go in shorts and a Halloween themed t-shirt. Also not to be missed are the special fireworks, Hallowishes, which are again some of my favorites of the entire year at the Magic Kingdom.

New this year are a few additions to the Halloween Party. Phineas and Ferb will be joining the Creepa Crew, which was the new group last year to help warm up the crowd before the parades by getting folks dancing in the streets. From the Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally and Jack Skellington will be joining in on the fun for meet and greets with guests in Town Square. I am so excited to see them to get me even more excited for Haunted Mansion Holiday, which I’ll be seeing for the first time during my trip to Disneyland this December! Also first timers to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year will be Mike and Sulley from Monster Inc. They will be hosting the Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball in Tomorrowland, so bring your boogie shoes!

Carlotta outside the Haunted Mansion
Carlotta outside the Haunted Mansion

The dance parties are always fun to check out, along with the Villains stage show in front of Cinderella Castle. I enjoy seeing guests and characters all decked out in costumes for the Halloween party. One of my must dos is to see the special characters in front of the Haunted Mansion before I ride. An added benefit of the party only selling limited number of tickets is that the attractions that are open typically have much shorter wait times than what you normally encounter during the day. There are usually only a handful of attractions that are closed during the party, including the Jungle Cruise, Carousel of Progress, the Liberty Belle, and the train. If you go in early at 4pm on your party ticket you can often knock out these few before they close down for the Halloween party at 7pm.

As usual there will be special merchandise only available during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you see something you like that is party specific, please make sure you purchase it during the party as they are exclusive to the event and cannot be bought outside of the Halloween parties. I learned this the hard way my first party back in 2008. Above all else, make sure to have fun and just soak in the beginning of fall at Walt Disney World. I hope to be able to attend again, but if not, I’m going to make the most of the Halloween party on Friday night. Will you be there? Some of us from On the Go in MCO will be there. Come join the fun and see if you can track us down!

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Haunted Mansion Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse

Haunted Mansion Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse Coming to the Parks September 13, 2013!

Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse
Back of the Haunted Mansion Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse
Disney Dooney and Bourke
Back of the Haunted Mansion Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse

This Haunted Mansion Disney Dooney and Bourke Purse is to DIE for!

Earlier today the Disney Parks Blog absolutely made my day!!!

Disney Design Group artist Mark Seppala created this Haunted Mansion Disney Dooney and Bourke bag with such attention to detail it is amazing! The creepy color palate, the pop of red in the interior of the bag, the subtle wallpaper patter, and especially the hang tag with the attraction logo!

Disney Dooney and Bourke
The hang tag is my favorite touch on this purse!

I am in love to say the least!!!

Disney Dooney and Bourke
I love it when purses have a pop of color in the lining, because it adds to the fun and practicality of the purse!

The bag will have a retail of $330.00 (plus tax), and will be released at the following merchandise locations starting September 13, 2013.

Walt Disney World Resort:

Disneyland Resort:

The Disney Parks online store will also carry this bag in the fall, but if you are anything like me you are going to want to be a Happy Haunt with this bag as soon as possible!

 

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Disneyland: California Dreaming

Disneyland trip report
Disneyland

With so many of us and our friends traveling out to Disneyland this week, it’s got me thinking about my upcoming trip. I had my first trip to Disneyland last summer, and wow was it amazing! You can read my detailed trip reports from last year here, here and here. This fall I’m heading back to California the week after Thanksgiving. I’m so stoked that I will get to see the Disneyland Resort in a whole new light at the holidays!

Last trip was solo with several groups of friends traveling on overlapping dates, which turned into only one day where I was truly on my own. This year, my mom is coming with me for her first trip to Disneyland. We are also celebrating both of our birthdays since it is the week after mine and the week before hers. I’m excited to see it through her eyes for the first time as she has been coming to Walt Disney World since the early 1970s and has been a passholder on and off over the past 15 years. We are staying on property at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and splurged for a theme park view room since I was able to book at a discount through work.

Disneyland trip report
Musicians strolling through New Orleans Square

I am looking forward to going back to experience some of my favorites from last time like Pirates of the Caribbean, Radiator Springs Racers, Alice in Wonderland and many more attractions. Even just the thought of exploring New Orleans Square, which is one of my favorite places on the entire planet, gets me excited for this trip! I cannot wait to see and do the special things just for Christmas time. They haven’t released any info yet, but I’m hoping I’ll be there while Disneyland is doing the Candlelight Processional. I love this show at Epcot and would like to see the differences and often they have great celebrity narrators since they’re so close to L.A.

Haunted Mansion is going to be transformed for the Nightmare Before Christmas layover called Haunted Mansion Holiday. I’ve seen the ride through on my NBC special edition dvd, but experiencing it in person has been on my list for a while. I also cannot wait to see Sleeping Beauty Castle draped in icicle lights and the special Believe fireworks show in Disneyland.

Over in Disney California Adventure I am probably most looking forward to seeing my favorite section of the park, Buena Vista Street, decked out in decorations reminiscent of the heyday of Hollywood. I saw pictures from friends last year and videos of bell ringers and I see myself with a peppermint mocha from Fiddler, Fife and Practical Cafe’s Starbucks spending a good amount of time just soaking in the atmosphere. Also, I’m interested to see the all new World of Color show for the holidays. I have to admit I’m going to miss the regular show, but I’m sure they’ll produce something just as awesome for Christmas.

And then there is the food. I will definitely be returning to Jolly Holiday Bakery for my beloved Matterhorn macaroon, Mickey beignets and a mint julep will be happening, and skewers from Bengal Barbecue again will make another great snack. I am debating making a reservation for either a character meal, which I didn’t do last time, or maybe Steakhouse 55 since I’m still unable to find a way into Club 33. I really loved Napa Rose and may do just appetizers and drinks there again and same thing at Carthay Circle since I enjoyed them both so much. Oh yes, and churros must happen too. Team churro forever!

Matterhorn Macaroon
Matterhorn Macaroon
Mickey beignets and mint julep
Mickey beignets and mint julep
Club 33
Club 33
Carthay Circle Manhattan
Carthay Circle Manhattan

I think I hit all of the attractions last summer, but there have been some additions since then like Mickey and the Magical Map in Disneyland and the new location for the princess meet and greet. I am also hoping that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will be open then after its lengthy refurbishment. It’s A Small World Holiday is another thing I’m really looking forward to seeing for the first time.

Most of all, I just cannot wait to be back in Disneyland. For someone who has been coming to Walt Disney World for thirty plus years, it is like traveling home, but to a different home than what you know, and you are instantly welcomed and at ease. I’m also toying with doing either a special holiday tour or the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour. The ambiance and feel and coziness of Disneyland is something that I think we are missing here in Florida. I love the parks here at Christmas and can’t wait to experience the magic of Disneyland when I head back in a few months. The thought of returning to Trader Sam’s doesn’t hurt either. 😉

Have you been to Disneyland at the holidays? What are some of your favorite things to do? Leave me a comment if there’s anything I’ve missed that special for that time of year or if you have any restaurant or tour recommendations for me.

 

Best of luck to everyone traveling to Disneyland this weekend for the runDisney Dumbo Double Dare races!!!

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Night Rides at Walt Disney World

Night Rides

Night at Walt Disney World is my absolute favorite time to be in the parks. The majestic appearance of Cinderella Castle, the way light reflects off of each of the triangular panels of Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life illuminated from below, and the warm glow of neon on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards are just a few of the reasons Disney parks after dark are simply amazing. I truly believe that the parks have two entirely different feelings during daylight and at nighttime. Come follow me while I explore the four theme parks of Walt Disney World to see some of the best rides to experience at night as they are completely transformed with different vibes from their daytime selves.

Castle and Partners
Castle and Partners
Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Hollywood Boulevard at night
Hollywood Boulevard at night

 

Animal Kingdom

Admittedly, this is the park I have spent the least time in after dark, mostly due to the fact that there are few times a year that you are able to see Disney’s Animal Kingdom after dark. Since the park is not open into the late night hours, usually not past 8pm or maybe even 9pm on the rare occasion, there are limited opportunities to experience attractions here at night. One such opporunity is during the Expedition Everest Challenge in May. This is a 5K through the Animal Kingdom followed by a scavenger hunt that takes you almost over the whole 5K course again. It is great fun and a unique change to get to see this gorgeous park late at night since the after party goes typically until 2am or so. For those that aren’t able to participate in this fun RunDisney event, the best attraction to ride at night is definitely Expedition Everest. The ride’s twists and turns and drops and backwards section seem even more thrilling when you can’t see what lies ahead. I strongly encourage any thrill seekers to make sure they try to do this at least once. It is not to be missed!

Expedition Everest at night
Expedition Everest at night
View from Everest at night
View from Everest at night
End of Everest tracks at night
End of Everest tracks at night

Hollywood Studios

Stepping into Disney’s Hollywood Studios at night, one can see how the extensive use of neon makes this park come to life. The heyday of Hollywood never looked better than under the fabulous glow of the bright neon colors lining Hollywood and Sunset. The crown jewel of the park at night is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It sits ominously looming over Sunset Boulevard, with its imposing exterior emblazoned with evidence of that fateful lightning strike. Much like Everest, part of the excitement of this ride at night is in the surprise and not knowing what is coming next. For those who have ridden Tower of Terror during the daylight, you can often tell when you are to the point of dropping by the telltale sliver of light peeking through the elevator doors ahead. Not so at night. This added element of surprise and not being able to anticipate when the drop is coming as well as during the day increases the adrenaline rush for me.

Tower of Terror at night
Tower of Terror at night

Epcot

My favorite park at night hands down is Epcot, and World Showcase in particular. The lighting softens from the often harsh Florida sun. Music wafts gently across the World Showcase Lagoon. Libations flow and guests are satiated by the phenomenal dining offerings presented by this park. Illuminations is a magical experience for me. But this isn’t about ambiance, food, beverages, fireworks, or even music. This is about Test Track baby! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) The newly revamped Future World attraction is incredible at night. I love the way the ride gives you a great dark ride inside and then whoosh! You are speeding around the track on a 45 degree angle pushing towards that top speed of 65 miles per hour. When you coming flying through those doors and into that night air, it is invigorating to say the least. Plus, the view of Epcot at night as you whip around the track is amazing!

Illuminations
Illuminations
Test Track at night
Test Track at night

Magic Kingdom

Spread out across the Magic Kingdom you will find fantastic examples of rides that I find are superior after dark. In Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise takes on a new mystique while exploring the Nile, Congo and Mekong Rivers. If you have never done this at night, what are you waiting for? The skippers corny jokes even take on a life of their own by lantern light. Just adjacent to the Jungle Cruise, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin provide a fun experience on your flying carpet that seems a bit more … adventurous (see what I did there) than during the day. Plus, it is a bit harder to spot the spitting camel at night, adding another element of adventure in trying to avoid it. Frontierland also plays host to two excellent choices for night rides. Both Splash and Big Thunder Mountains are far more exciting (in my humble opinion) at night. I love the moment on Splash right before you go down the five story drop when you catch that glimpse of the castle all lit up in all her glory. If you can try to time it right, Wishes as seen from Big Thunder is a transformative experince. It is one of my favorite views of the fireworks show.

Splash Mountain at night
Splash Mountain at night
Big Thunder at night
Big Thunder at night

Although it is entirely indoors, except for the queue, which is infinitely better at night (especially during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), the Haunted Mansion is another great night ride. This Liberty Square attraction takes on an otherworldly and creepy ethereal feel to it when the sun goes down. I love when it is foggy and you can hardly see the tombstones in the graveyard and just barely catch the sound of the howling dog. Fantastic! Not to be left out is Fantasyland. Dumbo is so stunningly beautiful, especially now with the dueling Dumbos and the gorgeously lit fountains with alternating colors. I can stand in that queue transfixed by the serenity of changing lights and the soft sound of the water pouring out underneath the playful pachyderms.

Haunted Mansion during MNSSHP
Haunted Mansion during MNSSHP
Haunted Mansion pet cemetery
Haunted Mansion pet cemetery
Dumbo at night
Dumbo at night

Last, but certainly not least is my favorite land at night, Tomorrowland. The neon popping off the corner of seemingly every edifice is an inviting beacon to this part of the park. An attraction that I do not often do, but if I do will always choose to do at night is the Astro Orbiter. Sitting atop Rockettower Plaza, this spinning ride, similar to the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Dumbo, seems to fly even faster through the cosmos at night, especially on that descent. Saving the best (again, in my opinion) for last, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover is a 12 minute break from the hustle and bustle that usually is the Magic Kingdom. At night, you can admire the gorgeous neon of tomorrowland, view lights on the edge of Main Street USA and of course see the luminous Cinderella Castle transform from blue to pink to green to orange before your eyes. You can read more about my love of this attraction here in a previous post dedicated to this classic Magic Kingdom ride.

Tomorrowland at night
Tomorrowland at night

 

Have you done any or all of these at night? If so, what are your favorites? Did I miss any of your favorite attractions to experience after dark at Walt Disney World? If I have, please feel free to share your thoughts. Hope you enjoyed!

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2012 – Tips, Tricks, and Info

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2012 – Tips, Tricks, and Info

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which is my most favorite party of the year at the Magic Kingdom, is now under way at the Magic Kingdom!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Gang

I love Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party so much, because the Magic Kingdom is jam packed full of fun details, amazing entertainment, spectacular fireworks, and more importantly candy to celebrate Halloween! I am going to be sharing some of my favorite tips, tricks, and things to make sure that you do while you are at the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

The first thing that you are going to want to consider is when you want to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, because there are certain dates that tickets can be purchased at a reduced rate if they are purchased in advance.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will be held on the following dates in 2012:

  • September: 18,21, 25, 28, 30
  • October: 4, 5,8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30, 31
  • November: 2

And here is the price breakdown by date for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Price Breakdown

When arriving at the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, party admission and wrist banding begins around 6:00 pm on party days, you will be directed to use one side of security and turnstiles since you will be receiving a special wrist band from Magic Kingdom Cast Members in special costumes indicating that you are attending that night’s party.

After getting your wrist band, you are going to want to grab a Halloween Treat Bag, this year featuring Frankenweenie and Wreck It Ralph, and a map for the party. One thing that I always do is bring a large purse or backpack to the party, because you will want to bring a large Ziploc bag for each member of your party to put their candy in since the more room you have in your treat bag the more candy Cast Members typically give you!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Walking into the Magic Kingdom,  you will notice that you will also be directed to one side of Main Street USA, since there will be a large group of guests leaving as you are arriving for the party. Also as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party begins you will be asked by Cast Members to show your armband since they will be trying to clear the park of non- party going guests.

We typically arrive before the party begins, so we like to take a look at the party map and look at all there is, what people are interested in doing during the party, and we grab a bite to eat since a lot of the quick service restaurants are closed during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Guide
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Map

First things first, we hit the firehouse at 6:45 to get in line for our special Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom card for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Our friends over at SOTMK Blog have great information about this card and all sorts of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom rumors and news!!!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Special Edition Card

This year we decided to break with tradition, and we hit several Trick or Treat Spots before watching the first Boo To You Parade.

Trick-or-Treat Locations can be found throughout the park, and are a really fun way to get into the Halloween spirit!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Treat Spot Markers
  • Adventureland
    • Next to Jungle Cruise where you’ll find some freaky tiki’s offering two treats!
    • In the Pirates of the Cairbbean queue you’ll find some candy booty!
    • Liberty Square
      • Along the waterfront in front of the Liberty Square Riverboat, you’ll be taken to a New Orleans Halloween Celebration.
      • Fantasyland
        • Before you can fly, hit the stop in Peter Pan’s Flight queue.
        • Visit Pinocchio’s Village Haus for a special treat from Werther’s.
        • The new & special stop at the Fantasyland Railroad Station is called the Casey Jr Candy Junction.
        • Tomorrowland
          • Speed on into the Tomorrowland Speedway for a tasty treat.
          • Near Space Mountain, there is an intergalactic treat from Kellog’s.
          • Beside Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress you will find a candy location sure to please anyone from any decade.

In addition to the Trick or Treat Spots there are two Trick-or-Treat Trails in the Magic Kingdom, which are themed and full of treats and special decorations for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Br’er Rabbit’s Laughin’ Place Candy Patch is my favorite, because of all the carved pumpkins!
  • Wonderland Curious Candy Way
    • For this treat trail you will want to enter from The Barnstormer in Storybook Circus, and follow the path full of decorations from Alice in Wonderland.
    • Br’er Rabit’s Laughing Place Candy Patch
      • Entering from the Splash Mountain queue, you follow this winding trail full of carved pumpkins and treats for a whole lot of candy & fun.

The Boo To You Parade, 8:15pm and 10:30pm, is by far my most absolute favorite part of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!!! This parade is amazing and you will find yourself singing it’s song for the many months to come!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Boo To You Parade is a MUST DO!!!

The parade kicks off with a ride from the Headless Horseman along the parade route. And while he used togo a lot faster, this ride is definitely one you aren’t going to want to miss!

If you are watching the parade from Main Street you’ll be “Calling All The Monsters” in a Street Jam that takes place twice before the parade in front of the Art of Disney and at the Main Street Railroad Station. While this won’t be everyone’s favorite thing, if you are looking to avoid this Jam you will want to watch Boo To You from Frontierland.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3qBOyFxRdQ

Once the Boo To You parade kicks off, you will understand why I love this parade so much! It is full of characters from the movies, shorts, and parks dancing along to a fun soundtrack on special floats. The Haunted Mansion and Cowboy sections of this parade are my favorite. The parade starts next to Splash Mountain, and there are definite plusses and minuses to watching it from different locations, and my two favorite places to watch it from are near the Flag Pole on Main Street USA and the Shooting Gallery in Frontierland.

If you chose to watch Boo To You from Main Street USA near the flagpole, your pictures will have the castle in the background which is always a bonus. However, there are super bright parade lights on the top of the Confectionery that make shooting pictures and video difficult at times. Most people attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will line the streets of Main Street before heading to this section, and make sure you wait for the line to go out before claiming a spot.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Right down the middle of Main Street USA

Boo To You from the Shooting Gallery in Frontierland is also an excellent spot, because you have great lighting, planters to sit on if your feet are tired, and extra entertainment since there is time to kill from the events going on in Main Street USA. The downside is that since the parade starts in this direction, people tend to line up super early and you will need to stake out a spot for great viewing sacrificing some party time.

After watching the parade, we decided to ride The Haunted Mansion to take in the special features it has during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. During the party, The Haunted Mansion Cast Members are decked out in their spookiest attire and you’ll find one on the 999 Happy Haunts is out on the lawn talking to guests. You definitely do not want to miss this attraction!!!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
One of the Happy Haunts during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

If Dance Parties and Character Appearances are your thing, you won’t be disappointed during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

There are two Dance Parties that let you take a break and shake off the sugar, while dancing with some of your favorite characters.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Club 626 was bumpin’ earlier in the evening!
  • Rock-It Out…Stitch’s Club 626 at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland.
  • Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup in The Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square.

And for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you will find that your favorite Characters are in their Halloween finest and mingling among the guests in addition to their normal meet and greet areas in the park.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Pooh and Friends in their Halloween finest for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
The Seven Dwarves

Then it was time for the best fireworks… Happy Hallowishes!, which begins at 9:30pm. The night sky lights up around Cinderella Castle for this 180° fireworks extravaganza! You will want to make sure that you are watching these with a castle view. If you choose to watch Happy Hallowishes from the Hub area, you will feel immersed in the show! But if you go further back on Main Street USA, you won’t be as crowded in and will be able to better see the whole show. Either way, you can’t lose!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Happy Hallowishes!

After some speed Trick-Or-Treating, we decided to hit the last show of the Villains’ Dance Mix & Mingle, 7:45pm, 8:50pm, 10:05pm, and 11:15pm, in front of Cinderella Castle.  This high energy show features some of your favorite villains breaking it down and getting funky. It’s a lot of fun to watch!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Villains’ Mix & Mingle

And make sure that you take out those candy bags one last time before you exit the park, because outside the turnstiles there is one last Trick-Or-Treat location with Cast Members handing out Halloween Peeps.

And that was our night at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
The Main Street USA Railroad Station

It was an amazing night with amazing friends, and I hope that you will be able to use this information to make your Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party a blast!!!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
See Ya Real Soon!
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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Image Copyright ABC Family

So the other night on twitter I asked what people’s favorite song was from the Sound of Music when mine came up randomly in iTunes (Something Good, btw). One of my friends answered My Favorite Things. While struggling to come up with a topic for a blog post, I was reminded of this when I saw Do-Re-Mi-Fa trending on twitter and saw it as a sign. Inspiration has to come from somewhere, so why not twitter? I’ll take this opportunity to highlight some of my favorite things at Walt Disney World. Some are obvious choices as E Ticket attractions and others may not be as well known.

At the Magic Kingdom, and probably in all of Walt Disney World, my favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean. I guess I’ve been enamored with the idea of pirates in general since we did Peter Pan as our second grade play. Despite the fact that I always tend to get soaked from either the cannon fire or even the drop, this remains my fave. I love the smell of the queue, have a whole soundtrack of the theme song with various remixes (yes, this exists), and the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow certainly didn’t hurt or compromise the integrity or feel of the ride, in my opinion. Two other classic attractions round out my top three in MK: Haunted Mansion and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. I have been fortunate enough to take a walking tour of the Haunted Mansion and it was beyond incredible. The storytelling on this is probably the most complete of any attraction in the Magic Kingdom. TTAP is just a great ride that gives you an overview of Tomorrowland with narration. You can read more about my love of the Peoplemover here.

Pirates!
Haunted Mansion
TTAP

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not my favorite of the four parks by a long stretch, however there are some things that I completely love about this park. The theming of Harambe and Anandapur are spectacular. I especially love the artwork and details in the Asia section of the park along the Maharajah Jungle Trek. It may also be because the tigers are my favorite animals to visit. As far as rides are concerned, I love the Kilimanjaro Safaris, especially towards the end of the day. I used to think that I’d see more animals first thing in the morning, but the last few times I have ridden in late afternoon I saw way more. My favorite show, possibly in all of WDW, is the Festival of the Lion King. It has great interactivity for the kids, lots of entertainment with singing, dancing, aerial acrobatics, and my absolute favorite part: TUMBLE MONKEYS!!! The quality of this production is always great and is fun for everyone.

Maharajah Jungle Trek
Lion
Tumble Monkeys

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is magnificent at night, possibly stealing the show from the other parks with the luster of old Hollywood and the luminescence of neon. While I’m not a huge fan of all of the rides, I do love to experience some of the lesser appreciated attractions. Probably my favorite activity at the Studios is the Animation Academy. I have done this dozens of times, and typically go twice each day I visit that park. You can see some of my attempts at drawing here. Another attraction that I enjoy and try to catch each time is Mulch, Sweat & Shears. If you haven’t seen these guys (and sometimes girls) perform, you are missing out on one of the best live acts in WDW. They cover great rock songs from the 60s through today. Usually found on New York Street, but sometimes by the Sorcerer’s Hat, Mulch is a great way to spend some time rocking out and dancing to some music you don’t often hear in the parks. Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite ride in DHS: the Great Movie Ride. It harkens back to the classic days of Hollywood with nods to some of the greatest films in cinematic history. For more in depth details on some more of my favorite things at the Studios, take a look at my blog post from a few weeks ago here.

Chip
Mulch, Sweat & Shears
Great Movie Ride

Finally, this brings me to my favorite park (actually I go back and forth between MK and Epcot, but most of the time Epcot wins). I am completely fascinated with World Showcase at Epcot, partially because I love to travel, but haven’t outside of the US. This is like a magical journey that transports me to lands both near and far when I set foot in WS. My favorite film in Epcot is definitely Impressions de France. As several of my friends know, I love (j’adore) this attraction to the point where I have practically memorized the script and can recite it almost verbatim, including the parts in French. The scenery all around France is magnificent, the score is beautiful, using classical works from composers like Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saens and Claude Debussy just to name a few. I have even made a cd of the tracks used in the film. You can ask for a copy of track listing from the Cast Members as you exit through the gift shop. Since Test Track is out of commission, my favorite ride is Spaceship Earth. I know some fanboys take issue with Dame Judi Dench’s narration, but being a James Bond fan, I don’t mind. Plus, I don’t have recollection of the Cronkite or Irons versions. Taking the time to “thank the Phoenicians” has become a ritual part of every trip. My third favorite attraction in Epcot goes to the entire American Adventure pavilion. This includes the Fife & Drum Corps, shows like Candlelight Processional, Flower Power Concert Series, Eat to the Beat Concert Series, the Voices of Liberty and the American Adventure attraction itself. Americana is something that is near and dear to me and all of these elements combine to celebrate some of the best things about this great nation of ours.

Impressions de France
The Phoenicians
Davy Jones

What are some of your favorite attractions? Hope you enjoyed learning about some of mine.

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Taking it Easy at the Magic Kingdom!

It is sooo easy to get carried away in the Magic Kingdom, and before you know it you are roaming the parks with a glazed look in your eye and a fist full of fastpasses.

But on this beautiful day, John, Betsy, and I decided to take is slow and focus on enjoying ourselves and taking some photos of our favorite things.

So here is are some of the photos that I took from our day around the Magic Kingdom.

By law, you are required to take this picture every time you visit the Haunted Mansion! Look it up...Google it! 😀
And you HAVE to take this picture, too!
The twins are my favorite busts!
This makes me giggle every time!!!
It isn't a ride on Haunted Mansion without paying your respects to Master Gracey.
The Captain
I could stay here all day...even though I don't get the rhymes right all the time...
The back of the Poetess' crypt.
Campbell is my maiden name...
I love this shot of the head stones!!!
Madame Leota
The new chicken out sign at Haunted Mansion!
It's Country Bear Jamboree time!!!

How do you not love this little guy....errrr bear?
I love Country Bears and I don't care what you say!!!
This is Betsy's favorite part of the show.
Big Al
Country Bears Finale!!!
I love this little spot outside of Pirates of the Caribbean!!!
A larger picture of La Fuente Serena.
They have added some POTC 4 portraits to the Pirates gift shop.
Pirate Tutorial
I love how this sign just blends in with the theming.
That is quite an interesting mailing address...
You have to look closely for this guy...
Inspiration Falls
How can you tell we are in Africa?
Time to go to the watering hole.
1971 Impalas
FYI, you really can't out run a rhino!
Ginger and Smiley
Almost...
Hungry, Hungry Hippos!
I love these guys!
The backside of water.
Good thing I caught this guy with his trunk on!
Any way you slice it or dice it...
One of my favorite plants here in the jungle...
Rum and Hennessy...what else do you REALLY need on a jungle trip?
I love this board as you exit the Jungle Cruise!
I can't leave without at least one castle picture!
Celebrate Today...Indeed!!!
And a Dole Whip at Captain Cooks is the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Thanks for joining us on our slow, but relaxing trip through the Magic Kingdom.

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The Magic Kingdom…Now with More Walls!!!

I have been spending a ton of time at EPCOT lately, so I decided to head over to the Magic Kingdom to see what I could find…

Main Street USA is buzzing with activity, as there are still several buildings behind themed skrims…

As you turn the corner to enter Adventureland, you get the immediate sense that there is a lot going on around here!

While the bridge at the entrance to Adventureland is undergoing a complete makeover, a smaller walkway is being used.

Over near the exit to the Swiss Family Treehouse, the stroller parking area is getting a facelift!

The last bit of skrim is still up between the Tortuga Tavern and Pecos Bill’s…

Walking over near Splash Mountain, I caught a picture of the new logs in action! I had the opportunity to ride Splash a few days ago, and I can only hope that they are able to work out the timing issues that the new lap bars have caused at loading.

The Liberty Square Riverboat is being refurbished…

There wasn’t much to see, but I headed over to Hanunted Mansion to see if anything was buzzing. The ongoing work is still going on behind these walls…I can’t wait to see it when it reopens…

Tomorrow I will be taking a look at Fantasyland, Toon Towns last days, and Tomorrowland.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look around the Magic Kingdom!!!

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It’s a Walled World After All…

I decided to take a walk around the Magic Kingdom to take a look at all the construction going on in the Magic Kingdom.

I even rode Dumbo! 😀

The last few pictures are of the Haunted Mansion construction are from the bottom deck of the Liberty Belle.

Also, I got a few cool shots of Big Thunder…which NEVER happens.

Enjoy!

 

10-7-10 MK Update
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