Magic Kingdom Welcomes New Fantasyland Attractions This Holiday Season

Another great re-post from Jamie at OnlyWDWorld.com…

The Walt Disney World Resort will be receiving an early Christmas present this year in terms of new attractions that will be opening this holiday season. The Magic Kingdom will have several additional attractions open as part of the massive Fantasyland Expansion that has been underway.

Joining the Storybook Circus attractions of Dumbo The Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer Starring The Great Goofini, and Casey Jr. Splash “N” Soak Station will be several new attractions. With an official Grand Opening of December 6th and a Preview Date starting on November 19th, Disney World Guests will get to experience the new Under the Sea- Journey Of The Little Merrmaid, Ariel’s Grotto – meet & greet, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, & Enchanted Tales With Belle.

Here are details that were recently released by Disney about each of these attractions:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean’s surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel’s adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at “Ariel’s Grotto,” a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel’s new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
  • Just outside the village is Belle’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice’s workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast’s library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”

“Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made: where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends,” said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France.
“We are excited about sharing our treasured stories in new ways and giving guests the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters like never before.”
Beyond 2012, there’s more in store for Fantasyland guests:

  • Located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, opening up into a large gallery – an airy space with a high ceiling, where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it’s time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to elegantly finished rooms to meet Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel (2013).
  • The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs (2014).

New Fantasyland Time-Lapse Video: Watch Two New Castles and a Disney Mountain Rise

Really cool video and post from thedisneyblog.com

Disney’s Imagineers smartly keep a record of their projects, often documenting them with photos taken at regular intervals. As it turns out those make terrific time-lapse videos too. That is the case with the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom. Here is the latest video from the project:

Congrats to Disney Television Team – 5 EMMYS!

MODERN FAMILY

A big night for Disney at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight. Congratulations to the team at Disney Television who brought home 5 Emmy’s tonight. For the third year in a row, Modern Family on ABC was one of the big winners with four Emmys awarded. Tom Bergeron also got some gold for his role as host on Dancing With The Stars.

Winners list:

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker
Modern Family
ABC; Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy
Modern Family
ABC; Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Steven Levitan, Director
Modern Family, “Baby On Board”
ABC; Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Steven Levitan, Director

Outstanding Comedy Series
Modern Family
ABC; Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Steven Levitan, Executive Producer
Christopher Lloyd, Executive Producer
Danny Zuker, Executive Producer
Dan O’Shannon, Executive Producer
Bill Wrubel, Executive Producer
Paul Corrigan, Executive Producer
Brad Walsh, Executive Producer
Jeff Morton, Co-Executive Producer
Jeffery Richman, Co-Executive Producer
Abraham Higginbotham, Co-Executive Producer
Cindy Chupack, Co-Executive Producer
Chris Smirnoff, Producer

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
Tom Bergeron, Host
Dancing With The Stars
ABC; BBC Worldwide Productions

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Returns To Disney World

Great re-post from OnlyWDWorld.com…

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has returned to the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort for 23 nights of Halloween fun. This family friendly Halloween party is suitable for all ages and it also is one of the very few times where guests are encouraged to wear costumes in the Magic Kingdom theme park.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
In what is now a fall tradition Disney World has expanded the Halloween season to the middle of September to allow more Disney World Guests to partake in this fun event. Party goers young and old are encouraged to dress up in costume and have fun along with all of your favorite Disney Characters who are also in costume for the party.

The Magic Kingdom certainly gets a “Halloween” make-over that is apparent during the day, but it looks extra special at night as the decorations, jack-o-lanterns, and other effects look their best in the night time lighting. Even the night time fireworks presentation is re-worked to the Halloween theme (called Happy HalloWishes) that makes it extra special.

Boo To You Parade
The highlight of the evening is the Boo To You Parade which is shown twice at each party. Here you will see special floats and the Disney Characters in special Halloween Costumes. The Haunted Mansion also gets special representation in this parade with multiple floats.

The parade always starts off with a ride of the headless horseman.

 

Disney Characters abound during this parade both on the floats and walking the parade route.

 

MNSSHP is also a great time to see your favorite Disney Villains. They appear to be in an especially good mood during this event and there are chances during the evening to get your photo taken with them.

 

The ghoulish dancers that recreated the ballroom dancing of the Haunted Mansion precede the special floats dedicated to the featured Magic Kingdom Attraction for Halloween.
Speaking of attractions, most of the park attractions are open throughout the party, so make sure that your costumes are safe to wear on the attractions.

New this year: Main Street, U.S.A will be the place to be for some monstrous pre-parade entertainment, “The Not-So-Scary Street Jam!” The new activity will take place after the Headless Horseman races down Main Street, U.S.A. and before “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” begins. Guests may learn the dance moves performed to the song “Calling All the Monsters” by China Anne McClain before the party starts, by watching the video on the Disney Parks Blog.

 
Plan Your Night To Attend
There are 23 nights to choose from to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for 2012:
  • Sept. 11, 14, 18 21, 25, 28, 30;
  • Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30 and 31;
  • Nov. 2.

 

This party is what is called a “hard ticketed event.” This means that a separate admission is required and your normal Park Admission will not get you in. The Magic Kingdom will close at roughly 7:00 pm each evening as the party begins. All who do not have a ticket will be asked to leave the park at the time. The MNSSHP will run from 7:00 pm until 12:00 Midnight.

Great Disney World Special Event

Like most Disney World Special Events, we would not recommend this for first time Disney World Guests. The reason is that there is so much of Disney World to take in you will already by overwhelmed and there is not a need to go to the extra expense during that initial visit. If you have been to Disney World a couple of times, then this party may be what you are looking for in terms of something different to try and experience. The ticket prices are steep, but it is a fun night. It is most enjoyed when you are in costume. It is not required, but if you are spending that much money to go to a Halloween Party, then by all means go in costume and enjoy yourself.
The only Haunted House during the party is the Disney World Haunted Mansion. You won’t find anything gory or bloody. The only scares are the Disney Villains being themselves.
Lastly, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the trick-or-treating. Everyone, the young and the young at heart is given a bag for trick-or-treating and is welcome to go through the designated lines throughout the park to receive candy. You do NOT need to be accompanied by a child to receive candy.
The best advice is to go and have fun. It is a party after all!

Disney: Where to eat in the parks

After visiting all 4 major resort areas and partaking in countless rides and attractions, it’s only a matter of time before families vacationing at Walt Disney World work up ravenous appetites. And there’s no shortage of dining options here! Known for making dreams come true, Disney has managed to accommodate the tastes and needs of its visitors with an array of fabulous restaurants — below are our favorite picks.

Best All-Around Character Meal
Chef Mickey’s Restaurant

At the Contemporary Resort in the Magic Kingdom, kids will adore Chef Mickey’s Restaurant as they dine among their favorite Disney celebrities — Chef Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and even Chip ‘n’ Dale. As the characters mingle among tables entertaining their wide-eyed guests, families can line up for a mouthwatering buffet filled with goodies including prime rib, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp and the chef’s seasonal entrees. You can even make your own cupcake at Goofy’s cupcake bar.

Best Dinner Show
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

Disney’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a not-to-be-missed toe-tappin’, hand-clappin’, all-you-can-eat Wild West extravaganza! Six performers keep the crowd in stitches with their array of Hee Haw-style high jinks, corny jokes and singalongs. Audience participation is 1 of the show’s many highlights, culminating in the hilarious hoedown finale.

Best Themed Restaurant
50’s Prime Time Cafe

At ’50s Prime Time Cafe in MGM Studios, diners find themselves eating a home-cooked meal amid a kitchen straight from a ’50s sitcom set. Classic kitsch like pull-down lamps and knickknacks are sure to leave some diners nostalgic as they chow on their home-style meals.

Best View for Fireworks Displays
California Grill
Atop the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the elegant California Grill, boasting sprawling vistas of Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon and Cinderella’s Castle. This spectacular view has granted the restaurant prestige as one of the premiere venues from which to watch the park’s nightly Wishes fireworks display. The fireworks show lasts approximately 6 minutes and commences with Tinkerbell soaring from the highest point of the castle and over the crowds below.

Most Luxurious Dining Spot
Victoria & Albert’s

Guests will enjoy a royally exquisite meal – this intimate 5-diamond restaurant seats only 65 people, so make reservations well in advance. Each party is assigned their own host and hostess (named Victoria and Albert, of course!), rich velvets and linens drape the furniture, Royal Doulton china decorates the tables and a harpist serenades the crowd. The 7-course menu is customized daily by award-winning chef Scott Hunnel.

Disney on a Budget!

Kwin Mosby, Travel Channel

If you think a Disney World vacation is out of your reach, maybe you should think again. Travel Channel has a few helpful tips on how to save money on lodging, tickets, food and airport transportation that can make your Disney dream trip become a reality.

A Moderate Resort
You can book a vacation package for a 2-night, 3-day stay at 1 of Disney World’s moderate resorts. The Port Orleans Resort offers a discount package that includes 2 nights of lodging and 3 1-day park-hopper.

Magical Express
Disney’s Magical Express is like having the combination of a car service and luggage valet all wrapped up in 1. All you have to do is check your bags at the airport, and they are magically waiting for you when you arrive at your Disney hotel. Be sure to request your Magical Express luggage tags when you make your reservations. Don’t worry about transportation to the hotel; a bus will pick you up at the airport and take you right there.

Disney Value Seasons
You and your family can head to Walt Disney World during the off-season when lines are shorter, the weather is more comfortable and the prices are lower. The rates are usually lower from January to February; for a few weeks in April and May; mid-August through September; and between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Magic Your Way
Sign up on the Disney World website to receive announcements of special offers. Magic Your Way is a new program that offers visitors options a la carte. You can choose to add what you wish instead of buying a package that might include elements that you don’t really want.

Three Pricing Categories
Disney offers 3 pricing categories for hotel accommodations. The Pop Century Resort offers some of the lowest rates in Disney World, while the Coronado Springs Resort is in the intermediate price range. Disney also has more exclusive hotels, like the Grand Floridian Hotel, and other high-end accommodations, like extended-stay condominiums with their own kitchens and living rooms.

Rider Swap Tickets
These tickets allow parents to take turns accompanying older children on the rides without having to wait in line again. Systems in place at Disney World like the Rider Swap program provide ways to get more entertainment in less time, which equals more bang for your buck!

Extra Magic Hours
Another great way to maximize your family time at Disney World is to beat the crowds by arriving early (or staying late). Guests of Disney resorts can enjoy extended Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom, offered both before the park opens to the general public and after it closes.

Park-Hopper Tickets
For an additional charge per ticket, Park-Hopper tickets allows you to visit multiple parks in the same day. The charge is only applied once and the more days you stay, the less it costs per day.

Free Transportation
Disney not only has complimentary transportation to and from the airport, but they also provide transportation between all their resorts and parks. A system of monorails, buses and even boats can take you from park to park at Disney World.

Fast Pass
Don’t feel like waiting in lines? Put your park ticket in the designated Fast Pass machine, and out comes a Fast Pass ticket that tells you to come back at a specific time (for example, 2:30-3:30). The ticket acts as a placeholder, which is great for families who don’t want to spend hours waiting in line at a popular attraction. However, you can only get 1 Fast Pass ticket every 2 hours and popular rides can run out of Fast Passes, so try to get one early.

Lower Cost Activities
Another way to save money when vacationing in Disney World is to take advantage of the lower-cost recreational activities. For example, a family of 5 can book a Magic Your Way package that includes a 4-day, 3-night stay in a cabin at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground. By choosing a 3-day theme-park admission with the Water Park Fun and More option, families can enjoy 5 days of fun for slightly more than the cost of 3. So check for the special deals and packages for extra savings.

Free Admission
There are all kinds of things to do at Downtown Disney that don’t require a park ticket. When staying at 1 of the Disney resorts, you and your kids can head to DesignQuest Interactive Theme Park and experience a digital nirvana, free of charge. On a hot Florida day, Disney World’s water parks, such as Typhoon Lagoon, can be just the ticket to keep the kids cool. A ticket here costs about half of what a theme-park ticket costs.

Hotel Pools
The water parks cost less than the theme parks, but the pool at your hotel is free. Of course, your kids would probably love the crazy slides at the water parks, but they might be just as happy playing Marco Polo near your hotel room.

Disney Dining Plan
Families can take advantage of some of the counter-service buffets that are generally all-you-can-eat. If you’re really into food and you’re a big eater, then definitely go with the Disney Dining Plan. A family of four can save up to 30 percent on this plan.

Budget for Children
It’s recommended to give older children a budget for the length of the vacation. Not only will it keep parents’ budgets in check, but it’s also a great lesson for them on how to spend their time and money wisely.

Room Key Purchases
This perk allows Disney resort guests to purchase items with their room key and have the delivered directly to your room. No credit card. No ID. Just plain convenience.

Photo Pass
A service is more of a memory saver than a money saver. This is a great feature for families that don’t have a free hand to take pictures. Ask any Disney photographer for the pass and carry it with you throughout the day. When you’re ready to leave the park, you can get your pictures printed out, or select the ones you want online and have them sent to you.