Tag Archives: walt disney world

Tribute to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

This week I read that this is the last year for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. I was stunned when I initially read this and still am. There are so many great memories associated with this attraction that I am deeply saddened by Disney’s decision. For me and my family there are many happy memories associated with the lights. Disney says they are discontinuing the lights because they are going to construct Star Wars Land and Pixar Place. I believe there is room at Disney World to have both the lights and these new additions.

The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

If you have never attended the Dancing Lights in person and only seen photos or Youtube videos of the attraction, I can say that like many things photos or videos don’t it justice. The Festival is a multi-sensorial experience of light, sound, smell, and even touch. There are over 5 million lights. There is Christmas music playing and many times the lights are flashing in perfect synchronization with the music. The lights decorate every square inch of the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios.

For full post click following link: http://www.familytravelescapades.com/tribute-to-the-osborne-family-spectacle-of-dancing-lights/

Weekly News Roundup-July 10th

July 10, 2015: Disney Weekly News Roundup
* Disneyland has promised to invest $1 billion dollars on the California parks after the Anaheim City Council approved a 30 year extension of tax wavers.

* Registration for Disney Princess Half Marathon at WDW (February 21,2016) begins on July 14, 2015.

* WDW has removed a banner from the American Experience at Epcot displaying the Confederate battle flag.

* The Bill Cosby bronze bust in the Hall of Fame in front of The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was removed due to ongoing accusations from numerous women against him.

* 2015 Candlelight Processional Dining Packages can now be booked at 407-WDW-DINE or Disneworld.com/holidays.

* The Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will close for refurbishments from August 23 – September 4.

* Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members will enjoy a free event at Typhoon Lagoon, “Neighborhood Beach Blast,” on 4 evenings this summer from 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.: Thursday, July 23 (register July 8-16); Tuesday, July 28 (register July 10 – 21); Tuesday, August 4 (register July 15 – 28); Tuesday, August 11 (register July 17 – August 4).

* Tea Traders Cafe’ by Joffrey’s is now open at WDW Downtown Disney/Disney Springs.

* Blaze Fast-Fire Pizza has announced it’s upcoming opening in WDW Disney Springs in May 2016.

* Disney Cruise Line has been named the #1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise for Families by Travel + Leisure readers for the 7th time.

* Disney Cruise Line was also named the Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line overall for the second straight year.

* A Hans Solo Movie spin-off from Star Wars has been confirmed by Disney.

* A live-action Prince Charming Movie is said to be in the works by Disney.

Subscribe to Family Travel Escapades and receive the Disney Weekly News Roundup, Disney and family travel articles directly to your email. Follow us also on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. – Pongo (dad).

6 MORE TIME-SAVING TIPS FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD

Part 2 of Time Saving Tips for Walt Disney World
1.  Enjoy some of the overlooked attractions (I have written about some of these, and will write about more later.) We have found that we enjoy the non-headliner attractions as much or more as the headliner rides/attractions. The crowds tend to be less and you can actually do more this way.
2.  If you are a night person, stay until the park closes. Crowds thin out near closing, and the WDW parks allow you to stay for one hour after official park closing, a fact we didn’t know until we had visited several times. This can be a time to relax, browse the stores, and walk through Main Street in Magic Kingdom, or during Christmas, the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios.IMG_2868
3.  If an important part of your vacation is the Disney dining experience, then know it will take up a decent portion of your day. Unless you are really into the dining experience, I recommend that you not spend a lot of time at a table-service restaurant. You will save time (and money!) for other things like rides and shows.
4. If leaving your room near meal-time, eat at a quick-service dining location at your resort instead of at the parks. Usually the wait is shorter. You can eat and then be ready to hit the parks.pizzafari_seat3big
5.  If you are flying to Orlando/Walt Disney World, and it is possible, book a flight with an early arrival and a late departure. This allows for some extra time at the parks. If you are using Magic Express from Orlando International Airport to get to your resort, know that it does take up to an 1 and 1/2 hours, depending on how long you have to wait on the bus and how many drop offs are prior to your resort. On the day you leave, if returning to the airport with Magic Express, you must catch the bus 3 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave.400-MagicalExpress
6.  This may be obvious, but it bears stating – Don’t stand in line for over 15-20 minutes for an attraction/ride. Use FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours to enjoy the major attractions with minimal wait and enjoy rides with shorter wait times for the rest of the day (Please refer to prior post Rides with Short Wait Times) .

I hope that you find these useful.  Remember, the magic of Disney is in the details.  Saving time by avoiding lines and waits will allow you more time to notice the details, relax, and enjoy your vacation.

Elaine (Perdita):  Mom, wife, Disney fanatic.IMG_3588

5 Time-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World

5 Time-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World (1st of a 2-part article)-

1)  Stay at a resort where minimal time is spent going to and from parks-Unknown-1

This usually means less bus transportation.  Choose the quickest transportation options if you have a choice of more than one. An example is  The Beach Club (see my earlier article about The Beach Club) where you can walk to Epcot, take The Friendship Boats to Hollywood Studios and buses to the other 2 parks.  The walk to Epcot is about 5 minutes and the boat ride to Hollywood Studios is about 15.  You can walk home from Hollywood Studios, but this is only viable if the lines are incredibly long for the Friendship Boat.

Another good example is staying at The Bay Lake Tower (I wrote about this resort earlier, too) which is my favorite resort. If you stay here, you can walk to Magic Kingdom.  You can take the monorail to either Magic Kingdom or Epcot. Many times the line for the monorail is so long that it is much quicker to walk to Magic Kingdom. It is less than a 10 minute walk.

Staying at The Grand Floridian (which I will review soon) presents other choices. You can take the monorail to Magic Kingdom or a boat. Take the monorail. You take the monorail to Epcot.

I realize the majority of resorts at Walt Disney World only offer bus transportation to get to and from the parks. Some people tell me it is quicker to drive to the parks (if you have your car obviously) than to take the buses. This is why some people want to stay at the Old Key West resort. You can park next to your room there.

Try to choose a resort with easy access, either on foot, by monorail, friendship, or bus to the park where you plan to spend most of your time.  This will cut down on travel time, which can be rather long.  In general, the Epcot resorts will have the easiest access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios; Magic Kingdom Resorts to Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom Lodge to Animal Kingdom.Unknown

2)  Use Extra Magic Hours

Guests staying on Disney property are treated to Extra Magic Hours during which one of the parks either opens an hour early or stays open up to 3 hours late for these guests only.  This varies by the season and the day of the week. A schedule is available at every resort.  This is one of the biggest perks to staying on-sight, but there are others such as using all of the transportation options.  The wait times for e-ticket rides (rides with the longest waits) are minimal with morning Extra Magic Hours.  You can almost walk directly onto rides like Rock n’ Rollercoaster, Expedition Everest, Toy Story Midway Mania, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Soarin’.  Getting these rides done early allows for extra time and a relaxed pace later in the day.  For night time Extra Magic Hours, the lines shorten as it gets later and by the end of the night, you can often almost walk onto the e-ticket rides.

3)  Use the FastPass+ for your must-do’s but then go to the attractions with short wait times (reference earlier article) to fill in the rest of your time-

The attractions with short wait times are actually more enjoyable to me at times than the attractions requiring a FastPass. There are so many options. I wrote about some earlier.  Two that I mentioned are The Carousel of Progress and Philharmagic. These are both quality entertainment, don’t require a FastPass, and usually have a minimal wait.images

4)  If you can’t make it to the park with that day’s morning Extra Magic Hours until after they are over, then skip it and go to another park. The park with the morning Extra Magic Hours is usually the busiest throughout the morning and afternoon; sometimes until park closing.  You will have longer wait times.

5)  If you want to see one of the Magic Kingdom parades, don’t sit for an hour on the curb trying to get just the right seat on Main Street.   You can see very well from other locations along the parade route, and you can avoid getting caught in the traffic when the parade is over.Unknown-2

More tips are coming in Part 2 of the article.  Your input is appreciated.  Please leave comments.  If you would like more Disney information, then click “follow” and receive emails of each of our articles.

Elaine (Perdita) – Mom, wife, Disney addict.

5 Overlooked Attractions at Walt Disney World –

1) The Magic of Disney Animation– This is an interactive drawing class led by a Disney artist. Guests learn step-by-step instructions on how to draw a Disney character. You never know which character you will draw, so it is fun to do the class each time you visit WDW. The class takes 30 minutes and you get to take home your art. This is located in Hollywood Studios.Unknown 2) Living With the Land– A relaxing 13-minute boat ride that takes you on an informative journey through a tropical rain forest, a desert complete with sandstorm, and the plains of a small farm. Guests learn about Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Aquaculture. You see many plants with unusual fruits and veggies, and fish farms are also on display. The educational part of this boat ride is geared towards adults, but younger guests will love it also and enjoy spotting the different fruits and vegetables. This is located in Future World at Epcot.Unknown-1 3) One Man’s Dream– This is a tribute to the “Man behind the Magic”. It is a self-guided walking tour that will take you through a series of exhibits including: scaled replicas, photographs, audio interviews and memorabilia that tell the story of Walt Disney. There are over 400 artifacts on display such as models of Main Street U.S.A. from Disneyland, scaled replicas of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle from Disneyland, scaled models of Animal Kingdom and others. There is a re-creation of Walt’s old office, his 2nd grade desk, and even an Academy Award from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on display. This is located in Hollywood Studios.Unknown-3 4)Outdoor entertainment at Epcot- There are a wide variety of performers that are located mostly in World Showcase, with The Jammin’ Jammitors being the exception (they perform a percussion show that is not to be missed in Future World). Each country hosts different acts that perform on a schedule that can be picked up at the park entrance. Just a couple of examples are: Mariachi Cobre at the Mexico Pavilion, the Canadian Lumberjacks at the Canada Pavilion, andThe British Revolution at the United Kingdom Pavilion which are all three band performances.) There are also many other types of entertainment such as Serveur Amusant at the France Pavilion (a very skilled performer balances on chairs stacked seemingly into the clouds. Just kidding, but he does go pretty high!), Taiko Drummers at the Japan Pavilion, Sergio the juggler at the Italy Pavilion, and many more. 5)Flights of Wonder– Several times a day in the Asian area at Animal Kingdom, the Flights of Wonder are performed. The shows are about 25 minutes long and feature over 20 species of exotic birds, including Harris hawks, Barbary falcons, macaws, ibis and yellow-naped Amazon parrots. The show features free-flying birds performing stunts with the trainers auditory cues to guide them. There is also some comedy thrown in that makes the show even better.

Fun facts about classic Cinderella movie

Elaine/mom/Perdita here-374685187_b565c19fc2

Cinderella is the 12th of Walt Disney’s 54 animated full-length feature films. It was released in 1950.  It is based both a fairy tale “Cendrillon” by Charles Perrault and a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It was chosen because of its similarity to Snow White. The films true immediate source though was the Perrault’s French version.

It took six years to make and it was one of the highest grossest films of 1950. Disney re-released it several times to keep its popularity high among new generations of moviegoers (re-released in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, 1987).

Songs in the film that were popular were “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” (Oscar-nominated), “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”,” So This Is Love”, “Sing Sweet Nightingale”, and “The Work Song”.

It was the greatest critical and commercial hit for the studio since Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

Brief Synopsis-

Cinderella was the beloved child of a widowed aristocrat who feels his daughter needs a mother’s love. He marries Lady Tremaine and after his sudden death, her true nature is revealed. She overwhelmingly favors her daughters from a previous marriage: Drizella and Anastasia. She abuses Cinderella who is laden with reams of chores until she is reduced to a slave in her own home. Meanwhile there is a king who wants his son, the prince, to have a wife so he can have many grandchildren. The king decides to have a ball and invite every eligible maiden to find a wife for his son.Cinderella-Pumkin

Lady Tremaine receives the invitation and Cinderella overhears. Cinderella has no suitable dress, but her friends the mice (more on them later) and the birds make a nice dress for her. The evil stepsisters can’t stand the competition so they rip the dress to shreds which reduces Cinderella to tears. The fairy godmother makes an appearance and works her magic. She gives Cinderella a beautiful dress, a pumpkin carriage, coachmen, and the infamous glass slippers and the rest is fairytale history.womens-cinderella-cinder-elly-jaq-and-gus-t-shirt-logo

A highlight of the movie for me were the mice: Jac and Gus (known as Gus-Gus). They embody the anthropomorphic transformation that many of Walt Disney’s animals had, especially early on. The role of the mice and the birds are overlooked somewhat in the tale of Cinderella, but that is an oversight in my opinion. What would many of the Disney movies be without the charm and heart that comes from the animals (especially the ones that talk)?Cinderella-disneyscreencaps_com-867

Review of the new Polynesian Villas

Review of The Polynesian Villas (new DVC property)-

Perdita (mom) here-

We recently returned from a stay at the newly opened (opened April 1, 2015)  Polynesian Villas (a new Disney Vacation Club property). We stayed in the Moorea Building with a lake view. This will be, without something changes, our last stay in the villas at the Polynesian.

Our stay was not a very pleasant one, which I am sad to report. Our stays at the other Disney Vacation Club properties have been more pleasant. I will give the good, and the bad in this review.

I will start with the good. The villas are beautiful and large with a split bathroom plan. The refurbishment done in the Polynesian lobby enhanced the appearance of that area. The main pool was refurbished as well and is now called the lava pool. It is visually appealing. The lake view we had in our villa was nice. The resort is a Magic Kingdom area resort. It is on the monorail system; therefore a short monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom and a longer ride to Epcot. A bus must be taken to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.IMG_0278

Now the bad. ( Let me begin this section with stating I really hate giving a bad review to any Disney property or experience. I am writing this to be informative not to bash.) The experience at the Polynesian started badly with check-in. The young man was very abrupt and uninformative. I told him we had never been to the Polynesian and asked where we could get quick-service dining and I asked about the gift shops. He said all the restaurants were upstairs and seemed to indicate all of the gift shops were on the first floor. He was wrong on both counts. The quick-service restaurant was on the first floor. The expensive restaurants were on the second floor and I didn’t find out until we were leaving that there were two more shops on the second floor.Unknown

The first (and only) night we stayed was a disaster. We came back from Magic Kingdom by boat. We were leaving Magic Kingdom after 1:00 a.m. and found out the monorail transportation had ended for the night and the boat was the only way to get back to our hotel. This mode of transportation is slow; taking us almost 30 minutes to get back to our hotel. The hotel was only properly lit to take us back to the main building (known as The Great Ceremonial House). When we tried to make it back to the Moorea Building where our DVC villa was, the path wasn’t lit at all. My son thankfully thought of the flashlight on the phone to guide us back to our building. When we finally arrived it was around 2:00 a.m. There was a large boat that docked close to our room and it sounded the whistle almost constantly from 3:30 (or at least I finally fell asleep then) and awoke me again at 7:30 a.m. I am not a light sleeper, but this whistle was very, very loud and incessant. When I found I couldn’t get back to sleep, I went to the front desk to complain about the noise.

The worst part of our experience was really the response to our awful night. The manager was cavalier about the lack of sleep, and said he had heard that complaint a lot. He offered to move us but offered no compensation for the awful experience or inconvenience. He also said he couldn’t say the noise wouldn’t be an issue in the next room and the lighting would be addressed when the remodeling of the resort was finished. The lack of sleep (when that is what you pay for at a hotel after all) seemed inconsequential to him and his attitude didn’t reflect the “Disney” attitude at all. We moved to a different resort (with much difficulty I might add.)

So, in summary, I can’t muster up much good to say about the Polynesian villas.
Also, as a footnote, a website called Mouseowners (a message board for DVC owners) had 7 pages of complaints about the noise at the Polynesian villas last night entitled ” Poly boat horn thread”, so ours isn’t an isolated case.

Mother’s Day ideas for Disney fans-

Perdita (mom) here-

I include myself in this category (to say the least) and with Mother’s Day approaching I thought I would give some ideas to get for your mom/wife.

The gifts can be purchased at the parks, online on Disneystore.com, or from other online stores.

One gift idea  that I think would please any mom is a Disney print. These come in all sizes with about every Disney character imaginable. I have purchased several at the Disney Parks at Art of Disney in Epcot and at The Magic of Disney Animation Gift Shop in Hollywood Studios. They sell prints in the stores and have kiosks where you can look through hundreds of prints. There are three major types of art: pencil drawings, canvas-wrapped art, and prints that need framing. A fourth category that I purchased once was a cel ( animation in which the animator painted the Dumbo in by hand and the rest was a print). I should add that you don’t have to go to Disney World to purchase Disney prints. I have found them reasonably priced on Amazon.com and have bought one from Disneystore.com.

One other idea that is much less expensive and doesn’t have to fit (like an article of clothing) is kitchen accessories. There are mugs,dishes, glasses, pot holders, kitchen towels, wooden spoons, measuring spoons, etc. For me, it brings a little Disney “magic” home with me and a smile to my face when I see ( for instance) the Mickey measuring spoons or a Winnie the Pooh coffee mug. If you are at home there is a wide selection of items at Disneystore.com and free shipping is available for purchases greater than $75. Sometimes they have other free shipping offers for any purchase amount.

If you can discern the taste of your mom well enough Disney has a lot of jewelry available for a wide range of tastes and prices; from watches to Pandora jewelry to earrings, etc.

Clothing is available from many vendors besides Disney for sometimes a considerable cost savings from Target to online merchants like Zazzle. This is a trickier purchase due to not only taste considerations but the fit of the clothing. I would caution staying away from this type of purchase unless it is a basic t-shirt or pajamas.

Disney also sells handbags with a wide range of prices; from Dooney and Bourke designer bags to simple totes (which I returned home with on my latest Disney trip). Luggage is also a good gift idea but it comes at a high price for Disney luggage ($150-$200).

My favorite idea and I think the most fool-proof: knick-knacks or figurines. I have several with Winnie-the Pooh and Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse, Mr. Toad, Dumbo, etc. These come in so many prices points and with so much selection from so many places the choices are dizzying. (I scored major deals a few months ago at a local Hallmark store when I went in the store with no idea of the selection or the deals).

This is by no means an exhaustive list but is a good start. Again, these items may be purchased at the Disney Parks or ordered online from Disneystore.com or many other places like Amazon, Zazzle, or many others. Some items can be found at local  stores such as Target, Hallmark, or the Disney Store. IMG_3792 IMG_3793 IMG_3794 IMG_3797 IMG_3798 IMG_3799 IMG_3800 IMG_3803 IMG_3805

Walt Disney World “Quotes”

Pongo here.

Some things that we hear just seem to bring a smiles our faces. The magic of Walt Disney World is in the attention to details. One part of this is the use of the spoken word to reach out to us, guide us, and entertain us. There are obviously many examples of these. Here are few that strike a chord with me.

patrick-warburton-soarin-over-california- “Hello. Welcome to Soarin’. My name is Patrick and I will be your chief flight attendant today.” Soarin’ in Epcot is one of my favorite rides and Patrick Warburton’s intro makes me smile every time.

Mickey_Mouse“It’s out of this world!” Hearing Mickey Mouse say this while riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in Magic Kingdom or hearing it on loop while on the ground is again a smile inducer.

illuminations-reflections-of-earth-00“We’ve gathered here tonight around the fire, as people of all lands have gathered for thousands of years before us, to share the light and share the story-“ The intro to Illuminations is an emotional and powerful lead in to my favorite fireworks show. I love how it ties us all together.

“Welcome home!” Hearing this from cast members when checking in at Disney resorts helps make things more personal, and however corny it may be, does help it to feel like home.

“Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas.” Who doesn’t love hearing this on the monorail.

“And now I believe your future is just about ready. Let’s take a look. Shall we?” Spaceship Earth is a great ride with a wonderful ending.  We usually do silly faces for the snapshots.

peter pan“And off we go!” Who doesn’t love Peter Pan and flying above London and Neverland.

“See you real soon!” Mickey Mouse saying this at Magic Kingdom park closing (and now in the meet and greet in Town Square) is somewhat sad, because the day, and possibly the vacation, is over. I love the optimism, though,

Do you have any sayings from WDW of which you are particularly fond?

Streetmospere

Today I will be talking about Streetmosphere, my favorite attraction in all of WDW-

Anyone who has walked down Hollywood Boulevard or Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios during the day has surelynoticed people dressed in old-Hollywood style clothes and acting oddly.street

These people are a part of Streetmosphere; an unscheduled and random event lasting from park opening to sundown. There is at least one, sometimes two or three of these shows going on at a time. There is a rare time there isn’t a show going on, but if you wait around for about five minutes, a car will drive out slowly and go to it’s spot.

You can see that one of them is not like the others.. she was pulled from the audience.
You can see that one of them is not like the others.. she was pulled from the audience.
Officer Peabody and Bon Appetit
Officer Peabody and Bon Appetit

Some of the shows require groups of five or more people, such as the “99 joke” competition. Other shows only require one person, like Mr. Bon Appetit who goes around and poses for pictures. Officer Peabody can be in shows, or just go around and joke with the people.

All acts are comedic in nature and involve the crowd most times. Many times the cast members (actors) act like they are shooting a scene from a movie, and the actor/actress repeatedly messes up. A magician may do magic acts like you would see on tv.

The Hollywood public works guys are the best.
The Hollywood public works guys are the best.

These acts include some people that I remember from my first trip to Disney 5 years ago when I was 8, and it’s fun to see them again. (The repair-men are my personal favorites. They have their various jobs, and they always find some way for the simple job to take 30 minutes.) These acts are never identical to each other, and are always fun to watch. Take some time to watch one on your next visit.

Roly 😀