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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Limited Time Magic Independence Week

Limited Time Magic
David Roark, photographe

Fireworks, Patriotic Parades, and More

Anchor Limited Time Magic

Independence Week

Walt Disney World Resort guests won’t have to wait until the Fourth of July to celebrate America’s birthday. They can choose any day of Independence Week July 1-7 in the parks to experience the flag-waving spirit of the holiday – all part of Limited Time Magic.

It’s a red, white and blue extravaganza as Disney Parks honor America with a Fourth of July celebration like never before – and it lasts an entire week. A 14-minute fireworks spectacular rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle every night with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

In this patriotic fireworks spectacular, dazzling comets and glittering bursts soar to a brand new musical score produced in a concert band style created to stir a sense of pride in being American, while at the same time, invite guests from around the world to feel part of the celebration.

Celebrate America! pays homage to all Americans and all who love the best of America. The fireworks spectacular takes place at 9 p.m. on July 3 and 4, and 10 p.m. on July 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.

Guests can visit www.limitedtimemagic.com for detailed entertainment offerings during Independence Week.

Walt Disney World guests are treated to a fun-filled spectacle as Goofy, Donald and Pluto dressed as a colonial fife and drum corps join a spirited procession down Main Street, U.S.A, prior to the daily Celebrate a Dream Come True parade at Magic Kingdom.  The rousing pre-parade features the Main Street Philharmonic, Citizens of Main Street and Walt Disney’s historic horse-drawn calliope.

The flag-waving week continues with themed souvenirs such as USA shirts, trading pins, light-up star necklaces, and patriotic Duffy costumes.

Chefs will whip up tasty treats inspired by Americana including red, white and blue strawberry shortcake in the Magic Kingdom and apple pie filled cupcakes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Downtown Disney.

Disney PhotoPass Service, enabling guests to view all their photos as part of Limited Time Magic, joins in the patriotic fun. Guests at Magic Kingdom park and Disneyland park will be able to purchase a special Independence Week Disney border so they can frame up their photos in the spirit of the holiday. Online registration is required.

The weeklong fanfare sparkles at Disneyland Resort in California with a lively celebration, too.

The bi-coastal Independence Week offering is all part of Limited Time Magic where unique offers and surprises are rolled out each week during the magical year. These memory filled special experiences surprise and delight Disney Parks guests each week throughout 2013.

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My Monsterous Summer Preview

Monsterous Summer

I had the pleasure of attending the Walt Disney World Monsterous Summer Media Preview last week, and it was great to learn so much about all the fun there is to be had this summer at the Walt Disney World Resort!

Disney’s Monstrous Summer is going to have a little something for everyone! It’s the first summer of fun in New Fantasyland, this summer the surprises of Limited Time Magic continue, and some all-new adventures begin around the Resort including the opportunity play pirate in the Magic Kingdom or becoming a wilderness explorer with badges galore in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Monstrous Summer lineup is inspired by the June 21 release of the Disney-Pixar animated feature, “Monsters University.” Mike and Sulley are dropping in from MU to scare up monstrous surprises! An all-new collegiate setting for meeting their favorite aspiring scarers will be on the Backlot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have a great view of the MU Campus. Also at the Magic Kingdom MU students have been studying new jokes to bring to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor!

But the event wasn’t just about Mike, Sulley, and their friends! It was an event full of some great announcements, so let’s take a look at what I learned all about…

Monsterous Summer – Special Events

May the 4th Be With You  – In honor of Star Wars day, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be hosting “May the 4th Be with You!”—a one-of-a-kind Star Wars-themed celebration for the whole family. During this Limited Time Magic Event, you will be able to meet iconic characters, parents will be able to join their fellow Padawans in a special family Jedi Training Academy, purchase special merchandise with messages like “May the Fourth Be with You” and “Revenge of the Fifth”, you can join DJ Lobot for a Star Wars-themed Dance Party, and at the end of the day you can take a seat on Hollywood Boulevard and settle in for “Symphony in the Stars,” a spectacular fireworks display set to close the celebration. Catch all the amazing sights and sounds, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the fall of the Empire!

Monsterous Summer

Pull an All-Nighter to Celebrate the beginning of Summer – A larger than life Mike Mike Wazowski joined us to tell us all about another 24 hour celebration coming to both coasts on May 24th. You can find all of the details about the All-Nighter here.

httpv://youtu.be/OBRYUUO29LM

Downtown Disney Revs Up for Car Masters Weekend June 14-16 -Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 14-16, 2013. Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases more than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars; a chance for guests to meet “Cars 2″ stars Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile; and special appearances by automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar “Cars” filmmaker Jay Ward. Completing the car-nucopia of events, fans may purchase tickets for a ”Cars” & “Cars 2″ movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24, “test drive” Ridemakerz “Cars” models, and enjoy caricatures, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. Entertainment subject to change.

Monsterous Summer – New Offerings

Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort – Joining later this summer its sister spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, the new Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs will be inspired by the healing properties of natural springs that have drawn people for centuries to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. A completely redesigned space, Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, will feature 10 treatment rooms offering an array of services including water therapy, massage and facials. Senses will incorporate the springs, nature and the storyline of health in its design and theming. For reservations and information, you can call 407-WDW-SPAS.

Wilderness Explorers Comes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Coming this spring Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will be invited to become Wilderness Explorers and experience the park in engaging and challenging ways aimed at deepening their understanding of animals and the natural world we live in. When you sign up and take the official pledge, you set off with your field guide and in hopes to earn all 30 sticker badges of the Wilderness Exlplorers!  You will have to complete challenges as you explore the park and all of its rich details. While this activity is aimed at guests 7-10, it really looks like fun for the entire family! Who doesn’t love stickers? Wilderness Explorers will be self-guided and encourage more “up close and personal” time with the animal inhabitants of the park, and Wilderness Explorers will be included in Disney’s Animal Kingdom admission.

Monsterous Summer

New Meet-Up with Mickey, Minnie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are scheduled to welcome Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests to their new exploration headquarters, Adventurers Outpost, on Discovery Island, beginning this spring. The all-new indoor retreat is the perfect spot for guests to meet the globetrotting duo as they get ready to set off on their next adventure.

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas – In testing now and scheduled to debut this Spring, “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” will be a new interactive adventure where Magic Kingdom guests participate in pirate raids throughout Adventureland. Pirate maps lead to fabulous treasures as guests join Captain Jack Sparrow and fight off the Royal Navy, Captain Barbossa, headhunters, curses — and the greatest threat of all, Calypso, the sea goddess. If they help Jack succeed in all the missions, they will be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they face the wrath of the cruel sea…alone. The adventure is divided into 5 different raids, each comprising a series of interactive tasks.

httpv://youtu.be/kUZOEV_k46I

Disney Dining – Coming by summer’s end: a re-imagined California Grill crowning Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Guests will experience a beautiful new dining room, onstage kitchen and new dining choices – chef Brian Piasecki will keep the focus on creative, fresh, seasonal dishes, and top-of-the-line sushi.  At Epcot, what says summer better than ice cream? The France Pavilion will be expanding with L’Artisan des Glaces, an artisan ice cream and sorbet shop, debuts in mid-June with 16 yummy flavors, all made in-house with fresh ingredients (with the option of adding a shot of liquor on top, for grown-up tastes).

Summer Latte, Anyone? More Starbucks Locations Coming to Disney Parks -Starbucks will be opening locations at Disney theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resortt. When it reopens in early summer, Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom will keep its name and theming and continue to serve Disney favorites such as cookies, brownies and seasonal cupcakes, in addition to Starbucks signature beverages and other menu items. At Epcot, Starbucks products will be featured when the Fountain View location reopens for midsummer. Each Starbucks location inside a Disney Park will reflect the theme of its surroundings.

New Summer Line of Disney Parks Cosmetics – In time for summer, fairy tale legends and secrets come to life with the captivating new Unlock the Spell collection from Beautifully Disney, Disney Parks’ line of cosmetics and beauty products. The new-for-summer collection — inspired by the spellbound Tiana, Belle and Rapunzel — is rich in lush colors: soft, pretty yellow, rosy golds, and punchy purples. Unlock the Spell will make its debut at Trend-D at Downtown Disney.

New Disney Dooney Pattern – This spring, a new pattern of Disney Dooney and Bourke purses will be released at TrenD. This coated canvas, features a bold and fun type spelling out Minnie and Mickey with Mickey and Minnie Heads.The colors are more of a neon/bright color and are really on point! It’s a really great and versatile pattern that is great for casual fun or taking to the office. I can’t wait to bring one home for myself!

Monsterous Summer

Monsterous Summer

Disney Ray-Ban Sunglasses – Disney Ray-Ban sunglasses will be coming this spring, and they are adorable! Available in both original Wayfarer styles, they feature a black and white Mickey pattern. What will be really interesting, is to see if the black version with the Mickey pattern on the inside will be considered ‘Disney Look’…I have my fingers crossed for all my Cast Member friends!!!

Monsterous Summer

Monsterous Summer – Announcements

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade – The Magic Kingdom will be replacing the ‘Celebrate a Dream Come True’ Parade with the Festival of Fantasy Parade that will be stepping off in the Spring of 2014. This all-new parade will bring a celebration of New Fantasyland to life through innovative parade floats, costumes, and an original soundtrack of familiar favorites and a specially crafted parade theme song. The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will specifically highlight the stories of “The Little Mermaid,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,” “Peter Pan,” “Tangled” and the Disney●Pixar film “Brave” among others.

Monsterous Summer

Monsterous Summer

Disney Magic Overhaul – There’s an extra dose of magic coming aboard the  Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic! The Disney Magic is the first ship of the fleet, and will be getting a “re-imagineering” transformation during dry dock from Sept. 7 through Oct. 10, 2013. The fleet’s flagship  will be receiving a new atrium, restaurant, improved dining experience in Palo, an update to the senses spa, additions in the kid’s club areas (I am most excited about the Avenger’s Academy addition),  new pool and water play areas, as well as two all new slides! It is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to take the plunge on the AquaDunk!

Monsterous Summer

httpv://youtu.be/qCmyUmJFp1s

As you can see from my crazy long pos (sorry) there is a lot of great new experiences coming to Walt Disney World this Summer!!!

In the next few days I will be sharing more information and pictures from the Monsterous Summer Media Preview!

What are you most excited about?

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Happy 15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom!

15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom

Happy 15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom!!!

 

Today is Earth Day, but it’s also the 15th Anniversary of Animal Kingdom!

There will be a lot of fun activities planned if you’ll be in the park to celebrate the Anniversary!

Some of the activities you’ll find are:

  • Special opening ceremony – Meet at the Tree of Life at 8:40 a.m., to hear from Josh D’Amaro, Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animals, Science and Environment. Make sure you arrive early for this!
  • Earth Day “Party for the Planet” festivities – Special interactive activities that focus on animals and nature will take place throughout the park from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Artists and other vendors will present their work on in Africa and on Discovery Island, with their work available for purchase.
  • Opportunity to purchase special 15th anniversary merchandise, available in limited quantities.
  • Special food & beverage.

But, we thought we would celebrate the 15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom by sharing some of our favorite things to do in the park!

httpv://youtu.be/C5dW5GkTMlw

If you can’t make it to Animal Kingdom to join in the fun, this week’s Limited Time Magic keeps the party going with a Party for the Planet!

We are also celebrating our Blogiversary this week with daily giveaways, and to bring some of the 15th Anniversary celebration to we’ll be giving away a box of the 15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom Mystery Pins!

Super huge Congrats to KJ for winning the

15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom Mystery Pins!!!!

15th Anniversary Animal Kingdom

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We hope that you enjoyed our video and good luck entering the contest!!!

We’d love to hear what you love to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and keep checking back for this week for more Blogiversary giveaways!!!

 

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Limited Time Magic – Party For The Planet

Limited Time Magic

Limited Time Magic ~ April 22 to April 28, 2013 ~ Party for the Planet


This April, there’s a party going on at Walt Disney World Resort… and you’re officially invited!

Come celebrate the 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at “Party for the Planet”—an Earth Week event where you can meet some of your favorite Disney Characters, purchase collectable merchandise, and try out some tasty sweet treats!

Disney Character Dance Party
The party kicks off with a week-long character reunion, where some rarely seen Disney Characters will be making cameo appearances in Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Stop by for a chance to see Lilo & Stitch, Flik & Princess Atta, Koda & Kenai, and Thumper & Miss Bunny as they march along, and then join them for a dance party hosted by DJ Dino-Mite in Dinoland, USA!

Commemorative Merchandise
Once the celebration’s started, make your way to Creature Comforts where you can buy celebratory clothing, commemorative pins, limited edition Vinylmation figures and other once-in-a-lifetime merchandise you won’t find anywhere else.

Can’t make it to Florida for the occasion? Take advantage of a special opportunity to order an exclusive 15th Anniversary T-shirt online… but get yours fast—the T-shirt will only be available from April 22 to April 24, 2013!

“Dig Up” Something Delicious
The Earth Week celebration continues all across Walt Disney World Resort, where for a limited time, you can “dig in” to a duo of playful desserts.

Head into Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and try out the “Worm and Dirt Cupcake.” Or, travel to Magic Kingdom park or Epcot for a delightfully delicious “Worm and Dirt Tart.”

Remember, the Earth Week experience is only taking place for a limited time—don’t miss your chance to celebrate the planet in the most magical of ways!*

*Events and characters are subject to change.

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