Disney blog postings
|Earliest: May 30, 2003||Latest: August 14, 2017||Total: 99|
|August 29, 2016|
Disney Popcorn Carts
As your walking down Main Street USA, you can smell Cotton Candy, Cookies and Popcorn. The absolute freshest popcorn isn?t in the stores on Main Street USA, it?s from the carts that are all around the Magic Kingdom. All day they are popping delicious popcorn.
You can find the Popcorn Carts in every land in the Magic Kingdom. Typically you find them by the smell of fresh popcorn.
- Main Street USA: One by the exit and another by Adventureland.
- Adventureland: Near the Magic Carpet Ride
- Frontierland: Across from the Country Bear Jamboree
- Liberty Square: Next to the Liberty Square Tavern
- Fantasyland: Near the Gaston?s Tavern and Dumbo Ride
- Tomorrowland: Near the Astro Orbiter and Tomorrowland Speedway
At each of the popcorn carts they usually have some type of speciality souvenir container. In November/December you?ll find Santa Mickey souvenir container, and in the Fall you?ll find some halloween container.
Some Facts/Tips on the Popcorn Carts
- If your looking for popular seasonally containers, the best place to find them is at the popcorn stand in Fantasyland.
- If your getting a souvenir container, you can ask for a separate container for the popcorn. This way you don?t have to worry about cleaning it.
- If you don't see any specialty souvenir container, ask for it. They may not have time to display it.
- Should you or your child drop a box of popcorn soon after you walk away from the cart, go back to the cart and more often than not they will refill the popcorn container.
- My favorite popcorn is at the cart at the end of Main Street near the castle. They tend to have the most crispy popcorn, this could be because they are the busiest popcorn cart.
- The popcorn cart on Main Street is popular around parade and fireworks time, visit the one in Liberty Square to avoid the lines.
- Check out the detail at the Popcorn Cart, usually they apply some local feature in the machine.
- Regular size Popcorn counts as a snack on the Meal Plan! There is no "upgrade" pricing for the larger size.
- I have collected plenty of Souvenir Buckets over the years and haven't done anything with them. They do make good storage for pens and pencils.
- Disney uses Orville Redenbacher popcorn kernels
- If your looking to build your own popcorn cart, use the Gold Medal brand Popcorn Popper.
|August 22, 2016|
Disney provides locker rentals at each of the major parks in Walt Disney World. These are for storing personal items for a single day trip. The lockers will get clean out every night.
At the theme parks the lockers are controlled by a key, and you can open and close it anytime you want all day. At the water parks, the lockers are controlled by a keyless entry. (This way you don't have to worry about losing the key in the pool)
To use the lockers, a $5 refundable deposit is required for the locker key. (When you return the key, you could always use the $5 to get some popcorn for the ride home.)
Credit Cards and Debit cards are accepted for these lockers.
Locker Size Details
|Small||11" x 9" x 16"||$8/day|
|Large||17.5" x 12" x 16"||$10/day|
There is a single-use locker at Epcot, which measures 23" x 16" x 29". The locker cost $1 per use. This is perfect if you plan on staying late at Epcot and want to bring evening clothes for a nice dinner.
At the Disney Hollywood Studios location, there are 2 single-use locker sizes: 12" x 24" x 28" for $1, and 4" x 5.5" x 6" for $.50.
Cash is only accepted at the "Bonus Lockers."
- We bring our stroller and keep things in the bottom of the stroller, such as jackets or extra kids clothes. We haven't had the need to use any lockers
- Lockers are good for keeping valuables, such as DSLR cameras and Tripods that you may not use all day.
- Most Travel tripods will find in the Larger locker sizes. (AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod will be collapsed to 15.5 inches)
- Anything that you buy at the park can be sent to your hotel for later pickup.
- Not Staying on a property? Simply ask for them to hold it. You can pick up merchandise by the exit when you leave the park.
- You are allowed to bring in snacks into the park, and all the lockers are located in nice cool areas.
- Lockers are good if there's rain in the forecast and you need a good place to keep things dry.
- The lockers at the Magic Kingdom are right below the Walt Disney Railroad on Main Street USA.
- At Epcot there are lockers at the Entrance and at the International Gateway.
- At Disney Studios the lockers are at the Crossroads of the World, as you walk in the park.
Bringing outside Food:
Yes, you are allowed to bring snacks into the park, from the Disney website:
Guests are allowed to bring food items--such as snacks or foods that do not require heating--into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park.
Do you use the lockers?
|August 15, 2016|
One of the exciting rides of New Fantasyland is Barnstormer - located near the Fantasyland train station in Storybook circus. Barnstormer isn't new to Disneyworld as the ride been there since October 1, 1996. The ride has gone through different names over the year. The ride closed in February 2011, and then reopened in March 2012 with a new look and featuring the Great Goofini theme.
The Barnstormer is a junior roller coaster type of ride. Riders must be 2/ 11" (121 CM) tall to ride.
History of the roller coaster ride at this location:
|June 18, 1988 - October 1,1996||Grandma Duck's Petting Farm as part of Mickey's Birthdayland|
|October 1, 1996 - February 1, 2011||Barnstormer at Wiseacre Farm|
|March 12, 2012 - Present Day||Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini in the Storybook Circus section of New Fantasyland|
Some Interesting Trivia about the Barnstormer
- This is one of the parks shortest height requirements any roller coaster type of ride. This means for many young kids, this is their first real roller coaster ride and they can experience this ride whenever they return to the Magic Kingdom.
- Barnstormer is a FastPass+ ride. I highly recommend to get a fast pass in advance.
- The ride takes approximately 1 1/2 minutes. (Space Mountain takes 3 minutes)
- There are 16 riders for each run.
- Ride Capacity: 450 riders per hour. (Space Mountain handles 900-1200 per hour; 2057-2500 if both sides open)
- At it's peak speed the roller coaster will reach up to 25 mph. (Space Mountain peaks at 28.7 mph)
- Unlike other new rides in the New Fantasyland, the Barnstormer doesn't have any interactive games in the waiting queue.
- Like other new rides in Fantasyland - when you exit the ride, you don't end up in a gift shop.
- A Hidden Mickey formed by a jumble of wires could be found in the attraction's queue near the "popcorn plants".
|August 8, 2016|
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a magical beauty salon where little girls and boys can get princess and knight makeovers. There are two locations to choose from in Disneyworld; Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.
Children, from 3 to 12, get transform to be their favorite princess and knight from Disney's own Fairy Godmothers-in-Training. It's certainly one way to make a Disney Vacation very magical.
The salon is located inside Cinderella Castle. You enter the magical beauty salon via Fantasyland. The entrance door is located directly across Cinderella's Royal Table entrance.
The Magic Kingdom salon is very popular and reservations should be made at least 90 days before arrival.
The salon at Disney Springs is located in "Once Upon a Story." This is something different to do if you're looking for something to do on an off day at the park. The "Once Upon a Story" is located in the center of Disney Springs - look for the large Mr. Potato head.
If your unable to get a reservation at the Magic Kingdom's Bibbidi Bobbed Boutique try Disney Springs.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Packages
The Crown Package (starting at $59.95 plus tax)
- Shimmering make-up, face gem
- Princess sash and cinch bag
- Nail polish
The Courtyard Package (starting at $99.95 plus tax)
- Everything in the Crown Package and...
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique T-shirt
- Trendy tutu
The Castle Package (starting at $199.95 plus tax)
- Everything in the Crown Package and...
- Disney Princess gown of your choice (shoes not included)
Things we Learned at the Magic Kingdom Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Our daughter was sick during one of our trips, and they were very accommodating to change the day of our Bibbidi Bobbed Boutique.
- Some people advised bringing our own dress before going to the park, as its cheaper. Instead, we opt to have our daughter pick the outfit she wanted to wear. We found it adds a bit of mystery to the experience.
- The salon at the Magic Kingdom is smaller than Disney Springs.
- When you arrive at your reservation time, there might be an additional 10 to 15-minute wait. The waiting area is very small and there is limited seating.
- You will have plenty of opportunities to take photos and videos during the makeover.
- Our Fairy Godmothers-in-Training engaged in conversation with our daughter to make her smile while she was getting a makeover.
- During the transformation process, the Princess/Knight doesn't get to see their transformation until the end. This makes for a great video/photo opportunity.
- After the makeover is completed, you go across the street to get your pictures done.
- If you select the Imaging Package you will have to return back later in the day to pick up your photos.
- When you return to pick up the "Imaging Package" photos you may encounter a long wait. (Ours was at least 25 mins) This is because each customer will view all the photos that were taken during the photo shoot to find the perfect one to print.
- We planned our Magic Kingdom day around the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. After the makeover, we scheduled a Fastpass to see Anna and Elisa and other Disney princesses. This was certainly a good photo opportunity.
- You can always go back to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to get some magical sprinkles. This is great idea when you're waiting in line for the Cinderella's Royal Table.
|August 1, 2016|
At Aloha Isle in Adventureland is the place to get a special treat on a hot day in the Magic Kingdom:
Dole out a smile with the much sought-after soft-serve delight known as the Dole Whip(R)--a popular frozen treat blended in pineapple, vanilla or swirled flavors. Frosty floats, fresh pineapple spears, and soft drinks are also available.
Sunshine Tree Terrace is another place in Adventureland that carries the full Dole Whip line.
You can also get a Dole Whip at Captain Cook's in the Polynesian Resort and for a limited time, during Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, you can find Dole Whips (including a spiced rum version) along the World Showcase promenade!
At Animal Kingdom you can find "Pineapple Whips" Tamu Tamu in Africa. These are very much like the Dole Whips, even the same signature swirl.
Dole Whip is a vegan treat and contains only 90 calories!
|July 25, 2016|
Pools at the Art of Animation
When Disney's Art of Animation resort opened in May of 2012, it became the 26th Disney resort at Walt Disney World. The resort features 1120 family suites themed around such Disney animated classics as Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King. The Little Mermaid building houses an additional 864 standard guest rooms.
Pools at the Art of Animation
You will need a magic band with Art of Animation hotel privileges to access any of the pools on the property. Visitors to Disney's All Star Resorts (All Star Sports, All Star Music and All Star Movies) are able to enjoy the pools at any of the other All-Stars.
There are three pools at the Art of Animation in Walt Disney World:
- "Big Blue" pool - The main Art of Animation Pool, located in the center of the property. (310,000 gallons)
- Cozy Cone Pool - Located by the Cars section. ( 74,740 gallons)
- Flippin' Fins Pool - Over at the Little Mermaid area. ( 103,642 gallons)
There is a children's splash area near the "Big Blue" pool for little kids that might be afraid to go in the water.
Things I learned about the pool:
- The "Big Blue" pool is 11,859 square feet.
- The "Big Blue" pool has 310,000 gallons and is the largest pool on Disney property, not counting water parks. (Stormalong Bay at the Yacht and Beach holds 795,000 gallons of water.)
- If Disney was to use a standard garden hose to fill the pool it would take about 10.5 days to fill up the pool. (Standard garden hose has a 12,960 gallon a day flow.)
- The Cozy Cone Pool gets the least traffic of all the pools, so if the "Big Blue" pool is busy, head over to the Cozy Cone Pool.
- If you combined all the swimming pools, you could park 125 cars inside the pools.
- There are 12 speakers in the water of the Finding Nemo pool. You can hear all your favorite characters while your swimming.
- Coin-operated washers and dryers are in laundry facilities next to each pool. Cost is around $2 per wash, and another $2 per dry cycle.
- The Art of Animation began its phased opening on May 31, 2012 and finished September 15, 2012.
|July 18, 2016|
This is very addictive and a great summer drink, when ready to serve, use crushed ice for a refreshing summer cooler. Disney hasn't provided the actual recipe, but this is a very good duplicate of what you get at the Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland:
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 tsp Lime Juice Concentrate
- 3 cups Soda Water
- 6 tpsp Creme De Menthe
- 6 oz. thawed Lemonade Concentrate
Dissolve sugar into soda water. Add lime juice and lemonade and bring to boil. Remove from heat and add Creme De Menthe. Chill.
To serve, combine 3 parts syrup to 5 parts water.
Yield: Approve 2/3 gallons
|July 11, 2016|
Geographic Center of the Magic Kingdom
The Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom has changed a lot since it opened on October 1, 1971. Just about every land had major changes. Liberty Square is the only land which didn't have any major changes.
According to the latest calculations, the current geographic center of the Magic Kingdom is right here:
The Geographic Center of the Magic Kingdome is directly opposite of the ?Tips and Show Times? information center as you leave Main Street USA and walk towards the castle.
This is based on the actual park area, and does not include any administrative areas the are just outside the park that the public doesn?t have access to.
In Disneyland, there use to be a marker to indicate where the Geographical Center of Disneyland was when the park first opened. The marker was just inside the Fantasyland entrance of Snow White's castle. There is no such marker in Walt Disney World.
What do you think? Do you agree with my findings? Should Disney have some "Hidden Mickey" type of marker to indicate the Geographic Center of the kingdom?
|July 4, 2016|
When your walking around Liberty Square Disney Imagineers wanted you to feel that you're stepping around colonial America.
Note: There were no public bathrooms in Colonial America, so you won't find any in Liberty Square. The nearest bathrooms would be on the other side of the Memento Mori, between the Haunted Mansion at It's a Small World.
The house numbers of each building in Liberty Square represent the year in which the style of architecture of that particular building was popular. If you see a house number with only two digits, simply add an 18 in front of the house number for that year architecture style.
Check out the shutters on the houses, they look a little off? That's intentional! In colonial America, the Minuteman would use the metal in nails for their guns. They use leather to hold the shutters and over time the leather would stretch causing the shutters to slant a little.
The Tree of Liberty
The Liberty Tree in Liberty Square is based on the famous Boston's Liberty Tree. This is where the "Son's of Liberty" would hang their hung lanterns on an evening during festival occasions. (They also hung lights on the Great Elm on the Boston Commons.)
There are 13 lights on the "Tree of Liberty" to represent the original 13 colonies.
The Liberty tree was originally located on the outer perimeter of the Walt Disney World property. It was moved by digging it out and then drilling horizontal holes through it so steel rods could be inserted and attached to a crane.
The tree that moved was a 35-ton 135-year-old oak tree. Today the tree is 180 years old. The tree was planted in sometime in 1836. This was right around the time of the first Seminole War.
You can find all the flags from the original 13 colonies next to the tree.
Disney has removed the Georgia flag from its "Liberty Flag Plaza" (Where they display the flags from the 13 original colonies) and have replaced it with the "Don't Tread on Me" Colonial Flag. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the Georgia flag contains the Confederate Battle Flag.
Sign at the site reads:
Thirteen proud and colorful flags fly high today to honor the original states which became our country first constitution. A replica of the first national flag used in 1787 symbolizes the joining of the states to form our first union.
Right in the middle of Liberty Square is a replica of The Liberty Bell. If you reach into the bell and swing the clapper, the bell rings very LOUD!
Some Liberty Square sites claim that the Disney's Liberty Bell is from 1976 when every state got a replica copy, and Disney got Pennsylvania. However, if you read the inscription at the site, you'll discover that the bell didn't appear in Liberty Square until 1989.
Piece of History
Around the corner to the left of the front entrance to the Hall of Presidents, is a small worn marble step. That step is actually from Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's house). There was a plaque identifying the piece at the upper right, but now only its frame remains. The identifying information has been removed.
|June 27, 2016|
Hollywood and Dine
Hollywood and Dine is a character breakfast/lunch buffet restaurant in Disney Hollywood Studios. You'll encounter some popular Disney Junior's characters.
Characters that appear here:
- Sofia the First from the "Sofia the First Show"
- Handy Manny from the "Handy Manny Show"
- Doc McStuffins from the "Doc McStuffins"
- Jake from the "Jake and the Never land Pirates"
Character appearances and entertainment are subject to change.
Some tips about this location
- As you walk in there is a backdrop for the Hollywood and Dine. Take pictures as soon as you get in! You will have an opportunity to get it as you leave, but who knows what mess might appear on your children clothes.
- This is one of the few restaurants at Disney Studios that opens before the park opens. Take advantage of this opportunity and make an early reservation, by the time your done eating the park will be open. Plus you get to walk down Hollywood Blvd by yourself!
- Breakfast Starts at 8am, Lunch starts at 11, and Dinner starts at 4:15.
- Reservations are highly recommended.
- The characters will do different dance and song routines from their show. The music selection rotates between the different shows.
- The restaurant seating is smaller than the one at Crystal Palace. You may get the opportunity to see your character more than once.
- If your not at your table when the character comes by they will go back to your table.
- Many of the seating are Cafe booth style.
- The food is pretty good, there's nothing specific that stands out as a good food staple. The last two times eating here I enjoyed the scrambled eggs.
- The buffet has two sections, both sided serve the same food.
- The bathroom is also shared by the 50s Cafe and were very clean.
- At Dinner time, the restaurant is transformed to Mickey and Friends for a VIP seating for the Fantasmic VIP Dining. You'll see Mickey, Minnie, Minnie, Goofy and Donald.
- The Hollywood Brown Derby and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano are other restaurants that offer Fantasmic Dining VIP Seating.