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19
Nov 13

Pictures from Our Trip to the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom

2013 mickeys very merry christmas party main street usaMy family and I attended the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on Friday, November 8th.

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night as far as the weather was concerned. Upper 60′s. Not cold enough for a jacket but just cool enough to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.

The party coincided with Veteran’s Day Weekend so it was sold out.

2013 mickeys very merry christmas party sold out sign

2013 mickeys very merry christmas party main street usa cinderella castleWe were hungry so we headed over to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe to grab a bite to eat. The weather was perfect for dining out on the terrace. So I grabbed a platter of fries and plastic cheese and took in the music from the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

cosmic rays french fries plastic cheese disney magic kingdomNot a bad view eh?

Cinderella Castle Pin disney magic KingdomAnd then magically…Castle Dream Lights!

Cinderella Castle Pin disney magic Kingdom dream lights christmasSo nice of the Imagineers to put my initial in the castle lights! Can you spot the Hidden Mickey as well?

Cinderella Castle Pin disney magic Kingdom dream lights christmasWe finished up our dinner as we sat and waited for the start of Celebrate the Magic at 9:15pm.

Free cocoa and snickerdoodle cookies? Don’t mind if I do.

2013 mickey's very merry christmas party map cocoa cookiesAfter we had satisfied our sweet tooth, it was time to take our places center stage at Cinderella Castle.

disney magic kingdom cinderella castle dream lights christmasHey look ma…I’m glowing with the show!

amanda tinney glow with the show ears disneyThe “Frozen” overlay hadn’t been added into the show yet, but the Christmas tag had been added to the end.

Gratuitous Cheshire Cat shot.

disney magic kingdom cinderella castle celebrate the magic cheshire catAnd you know we just had to stay put for Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season. Only the second time of the year you’re graced with the awesomeness of perimeter fireworks.

holiday wishes disney 2013 mickey very merry christmas partyAfter the fireworks my mini me wanted to head over to ride the Jingle Cruise.

magic kingdom disney 2013 mickey very merry christmas party jingle jungle cruiseThe line was too long so we headed deeper into Adventureland to try and locate some pirates friends of ours.

magic kingdom disney 2013 mickey very merry christmas party pirates of the caribbeanLove all the special lighting and projections they have set up for Mickley’s Very Merry Christmas Party!  This one was on the ground outside of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe near Splash Mountain.

magic kingdom disney 2013 mickey very merry christmas party amanda tinneyAfter a quick trip on the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness we made a trek over to Tomorrowland.

disney magic kingdom tomorrowland nightMore fantastic Christmas Party lighting.

disney magic kingdom tomorrowland night christmas mickeys very merry party snow flakes disney magic kingdom tomorrowland night christmas mickeys very merry party lightingSpace Mountain covered in snow.

disney magic kingdom tomorrowland night christmas mickeys very merry party lighting space mountainQuick jam session with Buzz Lightyear at A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show before we took a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority to rest the puppies. We were starting to wind down by this point in the evening.

disney magic kingdom tomorrowland night christmas mickeys very merry party showI had to make one more stop for cookies and hot cocoa before we left. This time we stopped at the Tomorrowland Terrace, which was one of seven “Holiday Treat” stations located throughout the Magic Kingdom that evening.

disney magic kingdom christmas mickeys very merry party cookiesdisney magic kingdom christmas mickeys very merry party cookiesThe treat stations are clearly marked with these gigantic candy cane blow ups.

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party candy caneYou may be tempted to steal one for your yard. Don’t. Disney Security will make you put them back where you found them. Not that I would know that from a personal standpoint. And they are really hard to plug back in. Not that I would have any experience with that either. =)

Want a healthier option? Apple juice and apple slices are also available. And did I mention that all of these snacks were free? Unlike the candy cane blow up.

disney magic kingdom christmas mickeys very merry party cocoadisney magic kingdom christmas mickeys very merry partyOK honey. I get the hint. You’re tired. I’ll take me and my sad panda self back down to Main Street USA. But first…a peek inside Starbucks to see what holiday noms are available.

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party cupcakedisney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party cupcakeLet is snow…tiny bubbles…let it snow…

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party main street snowSo pretty (and terrifying) at the same time. #ihaveaballoonphobia #dontjudge

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party balloonsMain Street Confectionary window.

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party confectionary window daisy duckThis year’s event logo T-Shirt design.

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party shirtAnd don’t forget to pick up your Limited Edition Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card made especially for the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

mickey's very merry christmas party 2013 sorcerers of the magic kingdom cardBut I really don’t wanna go!…

disney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party snow flake lightingdisney magic kingdom mickey's very merry christmas party main street train stationMickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs through December 20th, 2013. Future Dates for 2013 are:

Nov. 21, 22
Dec. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20

Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours), guests with special event tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the holiday splendor we experienced. Hint: You can get in as early as 5:00pm with your ticket…

NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.

Disclosure: My family and I were provided with complementary admission to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.


30
Oct 13

Disney Dapper Dans Get Morbid as Part of Limited Time Magic Halloween Week

Dapper Dans Halloween Limited Time Magic Kingdom Disney CadaverHalloween week brings haunting harmonies and more to Walt Disney World Resort guests during the special Limited Time Magic offering — The Happy Haunted Horseshoe. Now until November 1st from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, there will be non-stop entertainment as Dearly Departed Stan the piano player and morbid magician Abner Cadaver join the barbershop quartet, the Cadaver Dans, for some ghostly fun inside the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom. Limited Time Magic features 52 weeks of special entertainment, surprises and delights at Disney Parks throughout 2013.


18
Sep 13

2013 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Review in Pictures

Happy Halloween Walt Disney world mickey ghost bagTip: Bring your own sturdy Halloween Trick-or-Treat bag to the party. It can hold a ton more candy than the small complementary plastic bags that are given out.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom ticket booth pumpkins 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom ticket booth pumpkin 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom cast member candy bagsYou can ask for more than one of these small bags. We usually fill up more than one at the party…what can I say…we like to get our money’s worth.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom scarecrow 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom scarecrow pumpkin 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom scarecrow pumpkin mayor 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom scarecrow pumpkin pocket watch 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom scarecrow pumpkin baseball 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom scarecrow pumpkin emporium 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom main street pumpkinsDid you know that your Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party ticket will gain you admission into the Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm? That’s a full 8 hours to enjoy the park. Note that if you do enter the park at 4, the party festivities, including candy stations, shows and dance parties will not begin until 7pm.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom main street castle 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom cast membersYes…even adults can dress up in their finest Halloween attire. Just be sure and keep the face masks at home.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom guests hercules 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom guests the incredibles 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom river boat haunted mansion 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom haunted mansionWe like to watch HalloWishes from behind Cinderella Castle. It’s not as sexy and you don’t get the castle effects but you can pop a squat on the carousel fence and get an uncrowded, unobstructed view of the fireworks from here.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom fantasyland 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom hallowishesRemember that thing I said earlier about face masks? MNSSHP…the only time you’ll see StormTroopers in front of “it’s a small world“.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom fantasyland stormtrooperYou haven’t experienced a Halloween party if you haven’t taken in a comedy session from this gal in front of the haunted mansion!
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom haunted mansion carlotta2013 Mickey's Not so scary halloween party magic kingdom haunted mansion madame carlottaLike a grand and miraculous…glowing orb of Mickey pumpkin goodness pointing the way to the candyland oasis.

Tip: The treat trail that runs between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland has had its direction switched. You have to enter in Tomorrowland and exit in Fantasyland. The Cast Members were being VERY strict about this and would not let us pass the other way. =(
2013 Mickey's Not so scary halloween party magic kingdom candy station lantern
Party like a rockstar at the Monstrous Scream-o-Ween Ball in Tomorrowland.
2013 Mickey's Not so scary halloween party magic kingdom monstrous ball 2013 Mickey's Not so scary halloween party magic kingdom hatbox ghost mickey popcorn bucketDon’t forget to pick up your Hat Box Ghost Mickey popcorn bucket!
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom cinderella castle 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom main street 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom main street pumpkin light
Halloween sweets to go along with your Starbucks at the Main Street Bakery.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom mummy cupcake 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom cookie 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom candy corn cupcake2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom main street castle 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom see ya real soon pumpkins 2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom exit
What you can accomplish if you bring your own trick-or-treat bags.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom candy assortment
Don’t forget to pick up your limited edition Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card!

Tip: Pick up your card on Main Street or in Liberty Square at 7pm when the party starts. I’ve heard that they sometimes run out of them by the end of the night. Also, they stop distributing them an hour before park close.
2013 Mickey's not so scary halloween party magic kingdom sorcerers card hitchhiking ghostsRemaining party dates in 2013 are:

Sept. 20, 24, 27, and 29
Oct. 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 31
Nov. 1

To purchase advance tickets, guests can visit disneyworld.com/halloween or call 407-W-DISNEY.

As a member of the media, my family and I were provided with free admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I was not required to write this post and all opinions are my own.


17
Sep 13

{It’s Official} DVC Coming to Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Rumors of Trader Sam’s

Indoor BouTiki Tiki at Disney's Polynesian ResortToday, Disney Vacation Club announced that its planned next location will be at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, located on Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort. When this resort is completed, Disney Vacation Club will have destinations at all three resorts on the monorail system, allowing easy access to Magic Kingdom Park.

The planned development project at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, when completed, will join Disney Vacation Club’s 12 other properties, including The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, scheduled to open October 23rd. Construction on the Polynesian project began this month, and completion is estimated to be in 2015. In addition to the Disney Vacation Club project, other guest areas within Disney’s Polynesian Resort will undergo refurbishment.

On a recent trip to the Polynesian Resort I spoke with a bartender in the Tambu Lounge who told me that he heard rumor that Disneyland’s Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar would be a fixture inside the new DVC addition.  Fingers crossed this rumor comes to fruition!

Are you a DVC owner? What is your home resort?

 


12
Sep 13

First Look at Disney’s Newly Re-Imagined California Grill Restaurant Refurb and Menu Items

Disney Contemporary Resort with RainbowLast week I had the pleasure of attending a media preview for the newly re-imagined California Grill restaurant on the rooftop of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  Chef Brian Piasecki dubbed this signature dining establishment, which opened in 1995,  “the restaurant that started it all”.

I was relieved that the restaurant would finally be opening back up after the refurb. Considering that Cali Grill has the best sushi on Walt Disney World property and is our “go to” spot for spur-of-the-moment lounge dining.

After taking your own private elevator to the 15th floor, you are immediately greeted with one of the more impressive new installations…the wine wall.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining wall of wineThe sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot area make your dining experience that much more luxurious.  Here’s sunset over Space Mountain and one of the new signature cocktails, the Sake Martini.

Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Sake MartiniThe new design of the restaurant feels fresh and Contemporary retro at the same time.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Bar Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Kitchen Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Table Setting Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining bar lounge Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Wine Wall Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining wood benchDisney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Sugar SculptureNow that we’ve taken a look around the new digs. Let’s dive into the eats!  Keep in mind that this was a media event and all of these dishes were served buffet style or on tasting plates.  Your entree will look slightly different.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Place SettingWorld renowned sushi chef Yoshi has retired but the hand-rolled sushi is still spot-on!
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Shrimp Tempura Roll SushiCalifornia Combination Roll ($24) jumbo lump crab, avocado, cucumber and shrimp tempura.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Crab RollYuzu-marinated Sashimi ($24) yellowfin tuna, salmon, hamachi, snapper and wasabi oil
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Yuzu Marinated Sashimi SushiSpicy Kazan Roll ($26) crab, shrimp, scallops, tuna and fireball sauce
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Spicy Kazan Roll SushiPork Belly Nigiri ($22) house-cured pork, bacon and yuzu rice with spicy teriyaki
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Pork Belly Nigiri SushiTuna Four Ways ($26) poke, tartare, maki and nigiri
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Tuna Four Ways SushiFrom the Soups, Salads and Appetizers portion of the new menu we got to try the Duck in all its Glory ($17) house-made sausage, rillettes, prosciutto, duck liver pate and cranberry compote. I’m not a fan of offal so I did not indulge.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Duck in all its glory
Bread service has been changed over to lavender focaccia (pictured below) and whole wheat sourdough (not pictured) and is accompanied by decadent sea salted butter.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Lavender FocacciaMoving on to the Entrees, we were served sample sizes of the 24-hour Short Rib “Filet” ($40) caramelized root vegetables, olive oil-potato puree and red wine butter.  Everything about this dish was perfection.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Oak Fired Filet of beefRoasted Squash Ravioli ($32) root spinach, parsnips, petite herb salad, sage brown butter and 12-year balsamic. I found the flavor in this dish delicious. The ravioli itself was tad bit too al dente for me. I think that may have been due to the fact that the dish was served from a tasting station and may have had a chance to dry out a bit. I’m hoping that won’t be the case when the dish is ordered and served out of the main kitchen.  I’ve had ravioli from California Grill in the past and it was smooth as silk.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Roasted Squash RavioliPacific Halibut ($42) parsnip silk, roasted heirloom beets, arugula, macadamia vinaigrette and beet syrup. This dish left me looking for some added flavor. While the fish was cooked properly, I felt it lacked seasoning in comparison to the other dishes and sushi I had sampled earlier on in the night.  If you are looking for a mild fish that isn’t too “fishy”, then this might be the dish to order.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Pacific HalibutThe stand out dish of the evening was the Pork Two Ways ($37) grilled tenderloin, goat cheese polenta, mushrooms, laquered belly and applesauce.  The pork tenderloin makes a reappearance on the menu in this dish and brings along a tasty, tasty friend with the addition of the pork belly.  If you don’t order this dish…I pity you.
Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Pork Two WaysIf you still have room for dessert after all of this let me show you what kind of treats you’ll be in for.

Warm Homemade Fritters ($12) Banana-stuffed, Cinnamon-dusted Fritters with Toasted Caramel Marshmallows complemented with a Trio of Dipping Sauces. These were amazing and light. Reminded me of the coffee and doughnuts dessert at Jiko. Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining Banana frittersLemon Meringue Cheesecake ($12) Meyer Lemon-Mascarpone Cheesecake, Ctirus Cookie, and Charred Meringue Clouds. I’ve never been one to order cheesecake. This one had a surprise. The charred meringue cloud on top was rather hard like a cookie.  The cheesecake was delicate. If you like cheesecake…go for it! Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining cheesecakeChocolate Pudding Cake ($13) Luscious Chocolate Cake with Nutella Filling, Meringue Kisses, and Mint Chantilly.  Amazing! Rich! Decadent! A chocoholics dream! Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining chocolate dessertThe final offerings were two components of the Sundae Sampler ($12) Unique and playful Sundaes with a nostalgic twist: Caramel Corn, Coke Float, and Strawberry and Basil. The strawberry basil was delicious and had a nice crumble on top. The caramel corn was cloyingly sweet. Your kiddos will probably love this playful dessert but it was a tad too sweet for my adult tastes. Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining strawberry sundae dessert Disney New California Grill 2013 Re-Opening Restaurant Signature Dining caramel sundae dessertHave you made your ADR’s for the new California Grill? What do you plan on ordering?

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