Archives for September 2015

Halloween at Walt Disney World

MickeyMinnie

Halloween is fast approaching and Disney World is getting ready to celebrate this spooky holiday! All of the Halloween celebrations happen at the Magic Kingdom. The other parks don’t decorate for Halloween and Epcot is having the Food and Wine Festival all the way until November. So all of the following Halloween treats are focused at Magic Kingdom. If you are considering visiting Walt Disney World this fall, you may want to book some of these things right away as they are already selling out, but some treats are part of the regular park pass.

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The main attraction at Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s Not-S0-Scary Halloween Party. This event is an additional ticket to attend and is only on select nights. Tickets began to go on sale in April and one night is already sold out. The cost of tickets vary depending on the day of the week, but they range from $68-79 per ticket. Here are the dates of the party:

September 15, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27
October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31 (sold out)
November 1

To purchase tickets, visit the Disney World website here.

All parties run from 7:00 pm until midnight, and Magic Kingdom closes at that time for regular park guests. Those who have tickets for the party will receive a special bracelet and will be allowed into the park 3 hours early. Here are some of the special happenings during the party:

Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade

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This is one of their best parades by far! Expect to see characters you never see as well as ghosts and villains. And the music is fantastic! Times are 8:35 pm and 11:15 pm each party night.

Celebrate the Villains Castle Show

This is the Castle projection show that has been turned into a villain-themed show. It begins at 9:45 pm.

Happy HalloWishes Fireworks

Hallowishes

This special fireworks display is amazing! It is a Halloween themed “Wishes” show that includes the villains. It follows the Celebrate the Villains Castle Show. Fireworks are at 10:00 pm.

Happy Haunted Hallows

These are the wonderful Halloween special lighting, music and effects that come on throughout the park once the party officially begins!

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular

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New this year is the Hocus Pocus show at the castle that features the Sanderson sisters from the movie “Hocus Pocus” as they cast a spell on the Magic Kingdom, along with other Disney villains. Show is at 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 10:40 pm and 12:00 am.

Character Meet and Greets

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Characters will be out for special meet and greets as they will be dressed in their Halloween costumes! There will also be a few special greets including Jack Skellington and Sally, the Seven Dwarves, Villains (excluding the Evil Queen and Maleficent for 2015), Princesses with their Princes, Anna & Elsa, Gaston, Lotso, and the Queen of Hearts.

Special Photo Op at the Haunted Mansion

Hitchhiking ghosts will be added into photos in front of the Haunted Mansion.

Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom Special Card

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A special Halloween card will be introduced at parties for the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game.

Select Rides Open with Shorter Lines

Party-goers can enjoy many of the Magic Kingdom rides without much of a line as there is so much to do at the party, lines are shorter. Not all rides are open during the party.

Happy HalloWishes Dessert Package

New this year is the HalloWishes Dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace that features new Halloween themed desserts. This event requires an additional ticket. Guests at this party will also receive VIP seating at the Boo to You Parade. Cost is $69 for adults and $39 for children.

Party Specialty Treats

  • Ghost Cupcakes at Gaston’s Tavern
  • Candy Corn Soft-serve cones at StoryBook Treats
  • Spider Cupcakes at Main Street Bakery
  • Monster Cupcakes at Main Street Bakery
  • Halloween cookies at Main Street Bakery
  • Halloween Ice Cream Sandwich at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

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Special Merchandise

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Some merchandise is only available at the parties, but some is available in stores throughout the fall. Some of the items we love are the commemorative pins, Halloween MagicBands and cute party shirts! There are lots more Halloween souvenirs in the parks including candy buckets, decorations and more!

Shirts Mugs

If you do not attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you will still enjoy the amazing Halloween decorations throughout the Magic Kingdom including some fantastic Jack-O-Lanterns.

You may wonder if it is worth it to go to the Halloween Party if you will be at Magic Kingdom. We do think that this party offers a lot of really fun opportunities and experiences. Here are some of our tips if you attend:

  • Rest the day before you go to the party. It will probably be a long night.
  • Don’t plan anything for the following morning because you will be tired!
  • While costumes look cute, consider having your little trick-or-treaters wear a cute Halloween shirt and be a bit more comfortable. In the Florida heat, costumes for long hours can be tough
  • Lines are very long for photo meet and greets, so pick just a couple that you really want to do, and then ride the rides!
  • Grab a special party map that shows where all the trick or treating stations are as well as character greets. Some trick or treat stations have very long lines and they are better to hit later in the evening.
  • Arrive to the party early!
  • Don’t miss the parade or the fireworks! They are the best!

If you are heading to the Magic Kingdom for Halloween time, enjoy all the fantastic and spooky fun!

Disneyland Halloween Time!

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It’s that time of year when Halloween takes over the Happiest Place on Earth! We love Halloween at both Disney parks, but we are going to give you the scoop for what is going on at Disneyland for Halloween. If you are thinking about planning a fall trip to Disneyland, now is the time to book!

Halloween Time at Disneyland includes these fun additions:

Haunted Mansion Holiday – This is our favorite! Jack Skellington and friends have taken over the Haunted Mansion and redecorated inside and out. It is one of the best themed rides we have seen! And of course, you can see Jack, Sally and Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack and Sally have meet and greets near the Haunted Mansion.

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Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy – A ghost overlay is added to Space Mountain as you ride. We have mixed reviews on this one. Older kids may think it is fun but younger kids may not. I personally don’t like it myself, but the ride is still one of the best!

Pumpkin Festival on Main Street, USA – The decorations on Main Street are amazing! You enter with the largest pumpkin ever and then throughout the entire street are the best Jack-O-Lanterns! We love Main Street during Halloween!

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Dia de los Muertos in Frontierland – Frontierland has special displays for the holiday Dia de los Muertos.

Seasonal Sweet Treats–Throughout the park, there are special Halloween candy apples, cookies and cupcakes that kids will love to enjoy!

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Mickey’s Halloween Party

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This is a special event that requires an additional ticket from the regular park pass. Party tickets range from $69-$77 depending on the day of the event. Tickets increase in price on the day of the event, if there are still tickets available. The closer the date is to Halloween, the more sold out the night will be. Here are the dates that the party will be at Disneyland:

September 25, 28, 30
October 2, 5, 7, 9,12, 14,16, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31

Park closes for regular guests when the party starts. Times vary for each day but most nights begin at 6:00 and end at midnight. With the tickets, you can enter Disneyland 3 hours before the start of the party. You receive a bracelet when you enter that shows you are staying for the party. Here are some of the special attractions during the Halloween Party:

  • Guests are allowed to wear Halloween costumes in the park
  • Trick or treating stations throughout the park
  • Halloween Screams fireworks show – exclusive to the Halloween Party
  • Paint the Night parade
  • Photo ops with Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes as well as special Disney villains
  • Dance party

New to the Halloween time is a new dining experience: Blue Bayou Premium Halloween Dining Experience. This special night, hosted by Dr. Facilier, the villain from The Princess and the Frog, also includes tickets for a priority viewing area for Halloween Screams fireworks. It is only offered on nights of Mickey’s Halloween Party. Price is $150 per person.

If you are interested in visiting Disneyland during Halloween time or anytime during October, check out our friends at Get Away Today for a quote for your vacation. They offer some great deals to Disneyland including neighboring hotels. Now is the time to have a fantastic fall at Disney!

Join us tomorrow for a full update on what is happening at Disney World and Magic Kingdom for Halloween!

JackSally

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Force Friday is coming…tomorrow!

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Disney has launched its big, new promotion for the upcoming new Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens” that will be in theaters this December. So September 4 has been officially renamed “Force Friday” as stores across the country unveil new Star Wars merchandise and products.

Here is a quick rundown of what you can look at tomorrow near you and also online:

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon has its own Star Wars store online and it will unveil new Star Wars merchandise starting tomorrow at midnight. Amazon will offer customers deals on new merchandise as well as other Star Wars items. Expect merchandise to sell out really fast! Amazon is also hosting a giveaway of Star Wars Legendary Jedi Master Yoda Collection Box Edition on Facebook, so make sure you follow them there.

Disney Store

Disney Store locations in New York City Times Square, Chicago and San Francisco (only 3 locations total) will participate in a midnight madness event for fans to buy toys, apparel, collectibles and more. ALL Disney Stores nationwide will open on Force Friday with a special ceremony with an “Unlocking Imagination” ritual. The first 100 guests will get a special commemorative pin and there will be a number of Star Wars activities for kids including things like R2-D2 crafts, Star Wars story time, the art of drawing R2-D2 and free vintage trading cards.

DisneyStore.com will have limited edition products as well as free shipping on all Star Wars items from September 4-6. Visit their Star Wars store on the Disney Store website.

Disney Parks

Most of the Star Wars action will take place at the World of Disney Store at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney and the Once Upon a Toy store at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace. Attendees will have first access to movie merchandise and park-exclusive merchandise including a “Force Friday” logo bag.

Target

A total of 207 Target store nationwide will open at midnight on September 4th with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens items available. Target already has a great selection of cute Star Wars shirts for boys, although I am dismayed at the selection for girls which is none. Here are some Target products that we think are pretty cute! Remember that new merchandise will unveil on 9/4.

Shirt2 Shirt1StarWarsSheets

Toys R Us

ALL Toys R Us stores will be open at midnight on September 4 and give customers access to all-new toys and an exclusive free poster for the new movie. The Toys R Us in Times Square will have a special event including meet and greets, a Lightsaber Academy and Photo ops with characters. Visit the Toys R Us site for more details.

Walmart

Participating Walmart store will open at midnight on September 4 as well. They will also have new movie items along with some bargains including a new Topps’ trading disc game. Customers that visit the store on 9/4 will receive a free two-pack of Galactic Connexions discs. Visit the Walmart Star Wars site for more details!

We are BIG Star Wars fan so we are so excited for all the new Star Wars excitement and movie! Remember that all merchandise is yet to be seen and won’t be available until tomorrow but I will expect a lot of it to sell out.

I just wish they would have more merchandise for girls. I had to make a shirt for my girls when we went to Disney World and they wore it when they did the Jedi Training Academy. Girls love Star Wars too! (Do you hear that Disney?)

StarWarsGirls

May the force be with you!

 

 

The Character Dining You Shouldn’t Miss!

Our family loves to do Character Dining at Disney World and we have just about done all of them! On our last vacation, we decided to try some new dining and even though we always skipped this one, we decided to give it a try. We are so glad we did because it is now one of our favorites! My guess is that you have skipped over this one too. There wasn’t a huge crowd when we reached the restaurant and we didn’t have trouble adding the reservation pretty close to when we left for our trip.

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At 1900 Park Fare, there are two Character Dining experiences: one at breakfast and one at dinner. They are completely different experiences! And this was our first time at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner.

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There are really only 4 characters at this dining: Cinderella, Prince Charming, Anastasia and Driscella Tremaine. But these 4 characters were so fun and enchanting, it made the whole night so memorable.

First, the food is served buffet. The fare is somewhat of a mix of many different dishes which they describe as from “different kingdoms”. If you enjoy buffets with lots of options without a specific theme, you will enjoy this buffet. Our kids thought the buffet was great because it offered so much variety, like dumplings and pasta and mac and cheese. They actually said it was the best.

Second, and this is really what makes this character dine better than the rest, is the characters. They interact at your table for quite awhile. They act their character! They are mingling all around the room and playing with each other the whole time. The sisters are yelling at each other around the room and talking with Cinderella. It was loads of fun! Part way through the meal, they do a dance where Cinderella dances with a little boy and the Prince dances with a little girl. It was all very entertaining and believe it or not, relaxing. It didn’t have this rushed feeling that a lot of the character dines do.

Cinderella spent time with all my kids and gave them all lovely hugs.

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Princesses always love the little princes!

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Prince Charming talked with my kids for quite awhile and my boys loved meeting a boy character. They get a lot of “princess” in our house!

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The boys were excited to take a “boys” picture with the prince!

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And the best characters were the stepsisters! We have met them before at Disneyland, and we loved them there too. But they were even better here!

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My littlest wasn’t into Anastasia, but it made for a fabulous picture.

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And the stepsisters do not like mice!

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And Driscella was so much fun with the kids! She missed our table and they made a special stop back for us which was even more fun!

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She liked to tease my son that she had a crush on him. She actually planted a big kiss on him and he just turned bright red. It was hilarious!

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If you are planning a trip to Disney World and making character dining choices, please don’t pass this one up! I would do this one again for sure! It was the best night we had and your kids will love it too!

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