Anna And Elsa From Disney Frozen Greeting Guests At Magic Kingdom Park

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Anna And Elsa From Disney Frozen
Greeting Guests At Magic Kingdom Park

I have been to Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort several times since the extremely popular Anna and Elsa from Disney Frozen started doing meet and greets in the Norway Pavilion. Each time I’ve been, I haven’t had the time to spend 3-4 hours in line waiting to meet these lovely ladies.

I was so excited to attend my very first Type-A Boot Camp where Disney Parks sponsored our evening party with a Frozen theme. Much to all of our surprise, Anna and Elsa made an appearance! I’ll fill you in on all that amazing-ness real soon, but in the meantime, the picture above was taken at the Disneyland Resort during the 5th Annual Disney Social Media Moms Celebration where I was able to meet Anna and Elsa on the West coast! They are so sweet and really fun to chat with. I encourage all of you to take some time to visit with them on your next Disney Parks vacation.

Speaking of time, I’ve got some great news to share with you! Anna and Elsa have moved from Epcot to Magic Kingdom Park to join some of their fellow Disney Royals at Princess Fairytale Hall where Disney FastPass+ service is available! I highly recommend utilizing the FastPass+ service for Character meet and greets, especially this extremely popular one! The pic below shows the wait time from about 2:00 p.m. EDT their first day at Princess Fairytale Hall. Wowzers!

Photo Credit: BigFatPanda

Photo Credit: BigFatPanda

If you’ve got a Walt Disney World vacation coming up soon, be sure you log into your My Disney Experience account and get your FastPass+ reservation! If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you are able to make your reservations up to 60-days in advance plus up to 10-days into your vacation. If you are staying at an off-property location, you can make your FastPass+ reservations up to 30-days in advance!


Would you wait 240-minutes to meet Anna and Elsa or would you Let It Go?

This Is Halloween…This Is Halloween…Happy Halloween!

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This Is Halloween…
This Is Halloween…
Happy Halloween!

May The Fourth Be With You, Today And Always! #Maythe4th

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A Silly Happy Birthday to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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My Thoughts On The Disney Limited Time Magic Campaign

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My Thoughts On The Disney
Limited Time Magic Campaign

I’ve been holding off on writing about Limited Time Magic for a while because I wanted to experience some of the magic before forming my own opinion on it. You see, I’m the type of person who will wait to form judgement until I’ve personally experienced something, despite what the majority thinks or says. I’ve read so many articles since the Limited Time Magic campaign was announced. It always continues to amaze me how many people judge things before they’ve experienced them just simply because they don’t think it’s a good idea.

You all know that I’m a huge Disney fan, but there’s more to it than just that. I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “Jackie would never say anything bad about Disney”, right? Well, here’s the thing…we all have choices about how we’re going to view things. I’ve read about how people were so excited about Limited Time Magic and CHOSE to set their expectations very high. You see what I did there…THEY made the CHOICE to set such high expectations and that was THEIR choice. It’s magic, people! There was no promise made of how big or small the magic would be…only that there would be magic! Stop being disappointed and simply enjoy it already, would ya? Do you all remember Syndrome, the “bad guy” from The Incredibles? Remember when he said “when everyone’s super, no one is”? This sort of falls into the same guidelines for me, if EVERYTHING was spectacular, then NOTHING would be. Let’s just go back to the basics here and enjoy it for what it is. Sometimes you’ll get a Strawberry Ear Hat, sometimes you’ll get Long Lost Friends. Disney even let their fans help choose next year’s logo by letting us vote on it! When have they EVER done that? The way I see it, you can’t please everyone all of the time, but if you are able to please most people most of the time, you’re doing pretty darn good!

I also feel that the folks at Disney have a pretty smart marketing team with all of us extreme planners out there. I’m the first one to admit that I am a lot more confident about our vacation when we have a plan. Here’s the thing about that though, when something unplanned and unexpected would happen right before our eyes, there was no feeling in the world that could top that! We felt like the luckiest family on the planet when our daughter got to draw her very own Stitch with a broom and water along with a little help from a Custodian Cast Member at Magic Kingdom Park. If you’ve never seen this amazing artwork before, check out Thomas Smith’s article on the Disney Parks Blog about it. It wouldn’t have been quite the same if we’d had an appointment to do that. Think about this for a second, can you imagine the line that would form if Guests knew ahead of time that this was going to happen? That’s why I think that Disney had a real good plan when they decided that they weren’t going to announce all of the Limited Time Magic for the entire year, because then it wouldn’t be quite as special. Random Pixie Dust is super fun, I promise!

So, all that being said, I was fortunate enough to be on vacation with my family at Walt Disney World during “True Love Week” and since my husband and I are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary this year, it was pretty special for us! We even got to attend the special Disney Parks Blog Meet-up that was held on Valentine’s Day! We really enjoyed seeing Disney Character Couples around the Park and we had a fabulous experience. I just loved having our picture taken with my parents right in front of Cinderella’s Carriage along the new walls surrounding the entrance to New Fantasyland during broad daylight!

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Now, I’m not saying that you’re not entitled to have your own opinions and state them…good, bad, or indifferent. I’m just merely suggesting that you keep an open heart and an open mind. Allow yourself to be surprised by what magic you might find while you’re on a Disney vacation! With a little bit of Pixie Dust and imagination, anything is possible!

Amazing Candy Apples At Goofy’s Candy Company

Whenever my family visits the Walt Disney World Resort, one of our favorite things to do is to check out the great candy apples. Each one is an amazing work of art. You all should know, Minnie Mouse is my FAVORITE character and I just love the classic way the Candy Artists have done up her apple…all sparkly!

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Did you know that these apples come in designs of lots of your favorite Disney Characters depending on which candy shop you go in? My daughter spotted a Cheshire Cat apple on our last visit! We’ve even spotted some of the Princesses. With more than a dozen different apple selections that change throughout the seasons, everyone is sure to find something to satisfy that sweet tooth. I think the Goofy one is pretty awesome…notice his Ears?

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When you visit Goofy’s Candy Company at Downtown Disney, you can actually watch the Candy Artists creating these masterpieces right there! Great attention is paid to every detail, making it really hard to decide which one to buy!

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We’ve never actually taken the plunge and purchased one, but I noticed on my last visit that you can request to have them sliced! We may just get one on our next trip! I wouldn’t mind walking around munching on a freshly made, beautiful candy apple!

How fun would it be to make a very special Mickey apple at home? Well, you’re in luck because today, I’m sharing the instructions so you can try it! Have fun! [Click each image to view it larger]

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I Melt Into A Puddle When It “Snows” On Main Street!

Many of you know how much I LOVE the Magic Kingdom during September and October because I love the way it’s all done up for Halloween! Well, I am in love with the winter holiday decorations as well. I had the chance to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party earlier this month and one of my VERY FAVORITE things was when it “snowed” as Santa rode his sleigh down Main Street at Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade! It was so magical!

I’m used to it “snowing” every day on Main Street during the Christmas Season at Disneyland and it only happens during the Party at the Magic Kingdom. I’d heard that during the week between Christmas and New Years, that Parade happened during the day, so I had been working on planning a short weekend trip down to Walt Disney World during that week so my family could experience the Parade and the “snow”! Well, we watched the Parade yesterday at 3:30 in the afternoon and it was absolutely gorgeous out, but no “snow” on Main Street. I was really bummed, but we figured there must have been a good reason that they didn’t have it that day.

We met up with a good friend that was in town and enjoyed a LeFou’s Brew and a Pork Shank at Gaston’s Tavern. Then we all went for a ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirate’s of the Caribbean! We were all freezing by the time we were finished as it had cooled way down by the evening. We decided to call it a night and started heading for Main Street. We arrived right in front of Cinderella Castle just in time to enjoy the new “Celebrate The Magic” show! Here’s a clip of the end of the show with the Holiday addition! Enjoy!

After the show, we headed toward Main Street and the Park exit when I noticed “snow” pouring in from above!! Not many people had even noticed as it just started. I was so excited that I stopped right in my tracks in the absolute middle of the street as I gazed up toward the beautiful Christmas garlands that hung above. That’s when it really started “snowing”!!! My kids were so excited and we stood right there looking up for about 15 minutes while the “snow” floated down and stuck in our hair and to our jackets. It was perfect! My whole reason for coming during this very busy time was happening right at that moment! It was so random and it couldn’t have been any more magical!

What kind of magic have you and your family experienced during the holidays at the Walt Disney World Resort?

Dress Rehearsal of New Fantasyland ~ My Experience!

I was at Walt Disney World last weekend strolling with my family from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland when I noticed an opening in some shrubbery and people going into the New Fantasyland. I asked a Cast Member if we could go in and when he replied, “of course”, I just about exploded into Pixie Dust on the spot! They were conducting a Soft Opening of the brand new land!! The best part of it all, you ask? My parents happened to be in town from Seattle so they got to be a part of it!!

As we walked under the gates, the detail, as you can only imagine, was absolutely gorgeous. We decided not to go into the Enchanted Tales with Belle experience this time as there was a bit of a wait and we were on a time constraint. As we were heading back into the Enchanted Forest, we could see some of the beautiful creations emerging and getting bigger as we came closer. It was such a magical feeling and we were all so excited for the new experience!

We walked over to Gaston’s Tavern first as it was open and there were lots of people about. It felt as though we were walking right into the scene from Beauty and the Beast as we walked into the Village. Gaston was standing there boasting about his strength right next to a gorgeous fountain in front of his tavern. My friend Ashley [who is a server at the Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney’s California Adventure] captured this fabulous picture showing all three…

When we walked into the Tavern, it was even more amazing! The detail that the Imagineers put into each and every piece of their projects is phenomenal, really. I quickly snapped these pics of one of the menu boards where you can see antlers and beer mugs hanging, as well as the fireplace that was as grand as could be! So cool!

We tried Le Fou’s Brew, and I have to say, it was FABULOUS!! The official description of the Brew is “Frozen Apple Juice with a hint of Toasted Marshmallow and topped with All Natural Passion Fruit Mango Foam served in a Souvenir Stein or Goblet”. Wow!! This stuff was delicious! My parents, who don’t like anything sweet, absolutely LOVED it too! What a faboulously refreshing treat on a hot day! The Goblets are completely adorable, and notice the little touch of Mickey too?

As we walked out of Gaston’s Tavern, there was Maurice’s Amazing Popping Machine where they sold refreshments and we decided that we needed a Mickey Bar…after all, the six of us shared two Brews, so we needed more of a snack! ;)

While my family was getting Mickey Bars, I decided to go wait in line to meet Gaston myself. He was just a hoot with every set of guests he met as I waited in line…so authentic and exactly true to his character in the movie! I wouldn’t expect any less, but it was pretty awesome. I got to the beginning of the line just as my mom and my daughter came over so all of us girls posed for a picture with the stud muffin! LOL! Can you believe how tall he is?

After meeting Gaston, we walked over to see if the Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction happened to be running. Much to our delight, IT WAS!!! I’m going to give you a picture tour of this attraction and I will tell you that it was amazing, breathtaking, exactly true to detail, and we felt like we’d stepped right into the movie. I can’t think of enough adjectives right now to describe how amazing every detail was…truly a feast for the eyes!


Ariel left guests a note with instructions for the interactive ride queue game…

There were gadgets and gizmos a-plenty…


and whozits and whatzits galore…

A quick pic of the interactive game you can enjoy while waiting in line to get into your Shell!

Just one example of the completely AH-MAZING artwork on the ceilings as you walk through the ride queue.


Ariel as she’s going through the change

My VERY FAVORITE scene from the whole ride…

Together at last and getting her voice back…

And the grand finale…because every magical day should end with fireworks!!

I sure hope you’ve enjoyed my photo tour and that you are planning a visit to the New Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL real soon! Remember, the Enchanted Forest officially opens to the public on December 6, 2012! Be sure to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for updates!

My Global Resort Homes Experience in Kissimmee…

Before my Princess Party Crew adventure, I had never stayed in a Vacation Home near Walt Disney World property and this time I was going with some of my dear blogging buddies! We were all so excited to be sharing this fabulous home and had been looking forward to the trip for months! I was participating in my first runDisney Event too…I’ll tell you about that in my next post.

Our accommodations were at a Global Resort Homes vacation home in the Windsor Palms Resort neighborhood located just 2.5 miles from the gates of Walt Disney World! Exciting, right? I was so glad when we pulled up to see that it was a gated community where an attendant verified who we were before allowing entrance 24 hours a day. We pulled up into the driveway of our home for the week and I couldn’t believe how huge and beautiful it was! We were staying in an awesome 5-bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2800+ square foot home!!!

When we walked in, it was so refreshing to see how open and airy this house was! It was so beautifully decorated too! I could definitely live there, in fact, I told the ladies I wasn’t leaving!

See that red chair in the corner of the living room? That was everyone’s favorite during the entire 5 days! I seriously didn’t want to leave that chair! And what do you think about the giant frames on the wall? That wall went up as high as the ceilings of the 2nd story of the house and I thought it was such a creative way to make the wall look awesome without it being too busy.

So, I told you there were 5 bedrooms, right? Well, each one of them was so beautiful! This home sleeps 12 people and there were only 5 of us, so we each had our very own room! This was my mine…love green and brown together!

My room was actually the 2nd master bedroom with a full bath. The rooms were really spread out nicely in this house and I’m pretty sure that my family and my extended family could stay here quite comfortably without tripping over each other at all!

The kitchen in our house was awesome because they not only had a regular coffee pot, but they also had a Keurig!! I didn’t even think to ask about this before we came down or I would’ve brought some k-cups! Fortunately, one of my roommates brought some awesome coffee and had it ready in the morning before I even crawled out of bed…totally fabulous! I got spoiled. The kitchen was fully stocked with all the dishes (including lots of coffee mugs!!), utensils, and cookware we ever could have needed if we were cooking this time. There was even a grill outside by the pool, so you could really do some grilling if you were so inclined. We just had too many things going on to take advantage of that particular amenity this time.

One of my very favorite things about the stay here was the pool and hot tub right in our own back yard. It was heated and fabulous. It was great to just go right out the sliding glass door in the living room and soak our feet in the hot tub after a day of walking around the Parks. That was gold in my book! We even had a game room right in the garage of the house. The kids would have thoroughly enjoyed that!

Global Resort Homes has nine different communities in the area to choose from with nearly 200 vacation homes. I’m quite certain that there is something for every budget with options from 2-bedroom upscale condos to luxurious 7-bedroom vacation homes. The Windsor Palms Resort neighborhood that we stayed in had a 7,500 square foot clubhouse with a huge community pool, sundeck, and hot tub. There was a variety of recreation and activities for everyone, including a playground, state-of-the-art fitness center, sand volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, video arcade and billiards. They even have a 58-seat movie theater!

Check out this video we made for Global Resort Homes while we were vacationing!

All in all, we had a fantastic stay. The house was very relaxing and it was nice to have complete peace and quiet without having little feet running down the hall outside our door before we were ready. It was also a great “at home” feeling to come in and drop our stuff and have the living room (and private hot tub) to debrief at the end of each day. I’m so glad that we were able to experience vacationing this way. I think this will be a great option for our extended family vacations!

Disclosure: This post carries a Level 1 compensation. My stay at Global Resort Homes was complimentary as part of their Global Blogger Program. I received no monetary compensation for my stay or for this review. All pictures in this post are courtesy of Global Resorts. All opinions are my own.

*Updated 4.5.2012 to add video!

Our Day at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

Like a surfside playground left behind by a great storm, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon features breaking waves, a saltwater snorkeling pool, and a water coaster thrill ride attraction with gushing water surges.

The theming at this park is so awesome! I really loved this shipwreck!

We had read that Typhoon Lagoon was the more mellow of the two water parks on Disney property. Since my husband and kids had gone to Disney’s Blizzard Beach a couple of years ago, we decided to try Typhoon Lagoon first. The kids were a bit skeptical because they’re “not babies”!

I hadn’t realized before this trip that Typhoon Lagoon was just across the street from Downtown Disney’s West Side. Typhoon Lagoon sits on 61 acres and has several major features, including Crush ‘n’ Gusher, the first-ever water coaster thrill ride attraction in Central Florida; a man-made watershed mountain with eight twisting-and-turning water slides and roaring streams; a two-and-one-half-acre wave-making lagoon with surfing-size waves, and a 362,000-gallon saltwater pool, Shark Reef, where snorkelers swim fin-to-fin with exotic marine life including butterfly fish, French angels, tangs, groupers and even bonnethead and leopard sharks. Needless to say, we had the most amazing time there and I highly recommend a visit to this park!

The park also features a water playground for children, sunny beaches and lazy streams surrounding a 95-foot mountain, a shop that provides necessary underwater equipment for Shark Reef (including life jackets, masks and snorkels), changing areas, lockers, showers, a picnic area and two restaurants which serve up everything from specialty sandwiches and salads to cookies and ice cream in waffle cones.

We rode around the lazy river at least a half-a-dozen times before getting out to have lunch at Typhoon Tilly’s. My husband and son’s middle name is Tillman, after my late father-in-law whose first name was Tillman and everyone used to call him Tilly so this was a really fun place to stumble upon. We both had the chicken wrap, which would have been amazing had it been served with some sort of sauce or dressing. It was really plain and had no flavor to it so that was rather unfortunate.

We were also lucky enough to catch one of my twitter friends @JL_Davis on her day off and she hopped over to meet up and hang out with us for a while after we finished lunch. It’s always so fun to meet up with friends at the parks!

@JL_Davis with Molly at the Clock Tower

Now, I just want you to look at this next picture for a minute.

You can see that it’s a funnel cake, right? But can you tell what that is on the top? I saw this plate of yumminess walk past me a few times throughout the day and I finally had to track it down and figure out what it was. My first guess was that it was white chocolate. Wrong! It’s a big ole SLAB of vanilla ice cream! Served on a piping hot funnel cake! Are you kidding me? Yes, it tasted just as amazing as it sounds…and we shared it between five of us. It was perfection!

It was such a beautiful day and we were having so much fun that we stuck around until the last people were completely out of the pool and the sun started to set. It was really cool to see the wave pool still and completely empty!

I should also let you know that there are Beachcomber Shacks available for day-long rental in case you’d like to bring a nice book with you and let your hubby and the kids play while you relax. The Beachcomber Shacks are premium spaces that put a roof or a large umbrella over your head, provide upscale Adirondack seating for relaxation, and gives you a service attendant who does the leg work if you want to purchase food from the a la carte menu. Sounds amazing, yes? We’ll be getting one of these on our next trip!

We spent only about 6 hours at Typhoon Lagoon and had a great time. I’m sure there are lots of things we missed only to be enjoyed on our next visit there. If you’re looking for more detailed information on this park, my friends over at Touring Plans have a great post written by @khelmstetter that posted yesterday while I was writing up my post! Go check it out!