Disney Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look at Holiday ‘Awakenings’ on Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life


The Walt Disney Imagineers have shared a new behind-the-scenes look into the wintry tales that will be shared via projection onto the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

We’ve previously shared all of the new holiday happenings that guests visiting the Animal Kingdom this winter can look forward to and while the “winter awakenings” are still a work in progress, they will begin on November 8, 2019.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and WDW Reach Out to Help Animals Rescued After Hurricane Dorian


When H.A.L.O., a No-Kill rescue animal shelter in Sebastian, Florida, received 83 dogs and 1 cat who had been rescued from The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and Walt Disney World Textile Services jumped in to help out by donating much needed linens. 600 pieces of linen were donated, and were delivered by cast members who stayed to enjoy playtime with the animals.

After Hurricane Dorian moved through The Bahamas, the Humane Society of Grand Bahama was left without medical supplies or food for the animals. In partnership with H.A.L.O., they formed a rescue plan to help the 83 dogs and 1 cat and bring them to Florida.

H.A.L.O.’s  Director of Development, Allyson Bootes, had this to say: “We are so appreciative of the linen donation and the help we received from the Cast Members down the road at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort…We were in a critical period of need after the hurricane, and this support could not have come at a better time!”

This latest effort is in addition to Disney’s other hurricane relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Join Us as We Taste Some of Disney Springs’ WonderFall Flavors Menu Items


There’s a seasonal menu available at Disney Springs just for the fall season, and, if you’ll be visiting Walt Disney World soon, it’s something that you just might want to check out. The special menu is called WonderFall Flavors, and Steve Porter, Corey Fiasconaro, and I stopped by Disney Springs this week to check out some of the offerings.

A word of warning: the list of the WonderFall Flavors menu items is quite extensive, and includes many of the table service and counter service options located throughout Disney Springs. Plan accordingly. At each table service restaurant, you’ll find that there’s a special entrée and a special beverage or cocktail that’s been chosen specifically to be featured on the WonderFall Flavors menu.

Steve, Fiasco, and I decided to tackle things like we would if we were eating a meal at one restaurant: an appetizer, an entrée, a dessert (or two), and a beverage.

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Our fall flavored culinary adventure began at The Polite Pig in Town Center. We started with an entrée item, and it turned out to be a great place to begin. We had the Maple Bourbon Pork Belly, which consisted of pork belly croutons and smashed sweet potatoes with maple whiskey caramel. The dish costs $12, and The Polite Pig offers discounts for both cast members and annual passholders.

This dish was delicious. The pork belly was caramelized just like you would want it to be. It was sweet, and crunchy, and incredibly flavorful. The smashed sweet potatoes were rich and creamy, and paired nicely with the maple whiskey caramel sauce. While this dish is delicious, it is also fairly small, and, in my mind, not enough value for the price. Because the portion is somewhat small, I don’t think I would purchase this again. There’s not a lot of pork belly in the dish, but, to be fair, what was there really did taste great.

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Our next stop was at Sunshine Churros (yes, we decided to skip straight to dessert) for their Pumpkin Spice Churro. If you remember just a few weeks back, Steve and I stopped by Sunshine Churros and enjoyed several of their churros. Some were run-of-the-mill varieties, and others were stand outs. Unfortunately, the Pumpkin Spice Churro from the WonderFall Flavors menu was of the run-of-the-mill variety.

First, it did not look anything like the photo in the WonderFall Flavors brochure. It was not filled with cream, but came with a side of of cheesecake icing. Second, the description said that it is “holiday inspired with delicious pumpkin spice.” The pumpkin spice flavoring was very difficult to detect. It was a good churro; just not necessarily one fitting the bill as something that is pumpkin spice flavored. The Pumpkin Spice Churro is the most expensive churro currently on the menu at Sunshine Churros, and costs $6.75.

We next made our way to Wolfgang Puck Express in The Marketplace. Our intent was to have their Delicious Cornflake French Toast made with maple syrup, seasonal fruit topping, and cinnamon sugar. Unfortunately, the french toast is only served during breakfast hours (9-11am). This was not noted in the brochure, but it’s good to know going into it.

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Next, we next headed over to Jock Lindsey‘s Hangar Bar in The Landing for the Giant Charcuterie Pretzel. This dish features their air pirate cargo pretzel, prosciutto, sliced brats, artisan pepperoni, smoked cheddar, black diamond cheddar, pickles, spicy mustard, and beer cheese fondue. This massive appetizer cost $22, and, in my opinion, it is worth every penny. This was the stand out for both Steve and I during our WonderFall Flavors journey. The pretzel is huge. There’s really no other word for it. Well, there’s ginormous, gigantic, but I digress; you get the picture. And it’s delicious. It’s fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside and is studded with both sesame and pumpernickel seeds rather than salt.

The pairings of the meats and cheeses were simply perfect, and the pickles were a nice touch. Our favorite among all the things on the pretzel board was the beer cheese fondue. How can you go wrong with beer cheese fondue? It was creamy and rich and not overly salty or hoppy. The Giant Charcuterie Pretzel is the perfect snack to share with others.

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The environment inside Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is incredibly entertaining and unique. The cast members staffing the location are so proud of the bar, and, for Indiana Jones fans, there are detailed touches and hidden references all around. Jock Lindsey‘s Hangar Bar doesn’t offer an annual passsholder discount, but does accept Tables in Wonderland.

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We ended our meal in West Side at YeSake, where we tried two of the three WonderFall Flavors menu items: the Kabocha Pumpkin Bun ($5.75) and the Pumpkin Spice Boba Tea ($8). These items were Fiasco’s favorites of the afternoon. The Pumpkin Bun is a cinnamon steamed bun filled with sweet pumpkin cream and cranberries. Basically, it was a yummy and warm mini pumpkin pie with a few cranberries thrown in for good measure. The dough was incredibly soft and tasted of cinnamon and nutmeg. The bun was creamy and delicious, and, even as someone who doesn’t like pumpkin pie, I found it to be quite enjoyable.

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The Pumpkin Spice Boba Tea is made with tea, almond milk, boba pearls, and spices. I likened it to an iced chai tea latte, but without some of the bitterness that a chai tea latte can have. It was smooth, sweet, creamy, and quite enjoyable. I could see how this would be a very refreshing drink to have on a warm afternoon at Disney Springs. The warmer flavors of the spices and tea pair nicely with the almond milk.

All in all, we really enjoyed the chance to stop by and taste items that were new additions at the Disney Springs eating establishments. The WonderFall Flavors menu items will be available through November 4th, and a special event guide can be picked up at any map and brochure location throughout Disney Springs.

If you’d like to watch our vlog documenting our WonderFall Flavors adventure, click below:

Does the Halloween Party Pass Kill the Event for One-Time Attendees?


The Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been on my radar as something I’d like to do, but, being married to a teacher, we haven’t been able to get there yet while the party was happening. Now that we are going at the right time this year, we technically could get to a party, but there is one new development that is holding us back: the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Pass. 

The Party Pass seems like an awesome deal for those who are in the area and have the ability to go to even just a handful of parties. However, the opposite is true for those who have a one-day ticket. We have seen more and more people complaining about the parties already being over-crowded in recent years. So, the addition of the Party Pass will only add to the party not only potentially being sold out but also having an unknown additional number of people able to go as well. 

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Of course, it can be assumed that Disney released this pass because parties are not sold out this year, and they need to get more people in for the parties. However, I’m still seeing reviews of people saying the parties are packed this year.

If the waits are long, is the party even worth considering during your vacation, when you can instead add on a full day at Magic Kingdom for a cheaper price usually? It depends on your priorities. 

  • If you’re going for the rare character meets, it could be worth it, but you need to be prepared for longer waits for these high-priority meets. This is normally what people flock to at these events.
  • If you’re going to see the parade, fireworks, and stage shows, again it could be worth it if you are prepared to stake out your spot and ok with the crowds around you.
  • If you’re going for the low wait times, you may be better off buying the cheaper extra day and having the full day (with fast passes) to ride the rides. 
  • If you’re going to trick or treat, save about $80 and go buy candy at the store. 

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Whether or not Disney decides that the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Pass was a hit or a miss for them this year will have to wait until next year, and if they offer it again, at what price. 

Take a Look at the Just-Released Movie Trailer for Disney and Pixar’s ‘Onward’


The brand new trailer and movie poster for Disney and Pixar’s upcoming Onward has just been released.

But first, take a peek at Chris Pratt and Tom Holland’s reaction to it when they previewed it yesterday.

Watch the video below to see the beginning of Ian and Bailey’s quest.

Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s Onward introduces two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new original feature film is directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae—the team behind Monsters University.

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Onward is set to hit theatres on March 6, 2020.

A Look at Merchandise for the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend


Later this month, runDisney will be presenting the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and today released a look at some of the merchandise that will be available to runners, walkers, and fans.

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The events take place October 31st through November 3rd around Walt Disney World.

Look for performance apparel, shirts, hoodies, hats, and even spirit jerseys.

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A selection of pins will help you celebrate your accomplishments.

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Toast your victory with TERVIS drinkware.

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Reflect on your experience during the holidays with a commemorative show ornament.

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Finally, show off the Limited Edition Event MagicBand that can be purchased ahead of time via the “Products” tab on your runDisney account.

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You’ll find this merchandise, while supplies last, at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which will be open:

  • October 31, 10:00am-7:00pm
  • November 1, 10:00am-7:00pm
  • November 2, 9:30am-3:00pm

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Mickey’s Toontown Mountains Removed from Disneyland Park


Construction begins soon at Disneyland Park on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but first a large building behind Mickey’s Toontown needed to be demolished to make room for the new attraction. That building was recently removed, but unfortunately, much of the Toontown mountain range was attached to that building and came down with it.

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The mountains behind Mickey’s House and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin were not attached to the demolished building and remain in place.

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The entrance for the attraction is expected to be the current location of The Gag Factory gift shop, which is near the “Mickey’s Toontown” graphic in the Google image below.

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Concept art shows the mountains behind Runaway Railway, however, it’s not yet known if or when the mountains will return. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is set to open in 2022.

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Additional Images: Louella Laureola

Disney Magic Cancels a Stop in Boston Due to Weather


Commodore Tom Forberg announced to guests aboard the Disney Magic today that Thursday’s stop in Boston would be canceled due to deteriorating weather, including 25-foot waves.

The ship sailed out of New York City on Saturday on a 7-night Disney Vacation Club Members-only cruise to Bermuda.

Instead of the stop in Boston, the Magic will spend another day at sea.

Source: Disney Cruise Line Blog / @ACohenA

ABC Announces Details for Disney Night on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Set to Air Oct. 14


There are nine celebrity and pro-dancer couples remaining in this season’s Dancing with the Stars and ABC has just released some scoop on its popular ‘Disney Night’ which will air on Monday, October 14.

For the first time, Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle will be featured in the show’s opening number which will take place in a pre-recorded segment featuring the cast on Main Street, U.S.A. and in front of the Castle. During the show, the couples will take over Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park seeking inspiration for their dance numbers. One lucky couple will get to travel to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and take the controls of the Millennium Falcon.

Competing for America’s vote, each couple will dance to a variety of popular Disney songs including We’re All in This Together from High School Musical, Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid, A Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast from the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and I Just Can’t Wait to Be King from the live-action The Lion King, among others.

A special dance inspired by the new song, Into the Unknown from Disney’s Frozen II will be featured in addition to special looks from Disney+’s upcoming High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and live-action Lady and the Tramp will be shown during the show.

Disney Legend Bob Gurr to Speak at Event on October 15th Near Walt Disney World


If you’ll be vacationing in Walt Disney World next week, you may want to add a nearby event to your schedule for Tuesday, October 15th at 7pm.

The West Osceola Library will be hosting ‘An Evening with Bob Gurr’ as the Disney Legend and Imagineer shares about his latest book, Bob Gurr: Disney and Beyond. Bob will share stories of working with Walt Disney, and his time of speaking will be followed by a question and answer session. Autographed posters and books will be available for purchase after the program.

You can find additional information and contact information at osceolalibrary.org.

Please note that there will be a $20 fee per item for outside merchandise to be signed.

The West Osceola Library is located at 305 Campus Street in Celebration. The library branch is located just minutes from Walt Disney World property.

Source: Osceola Library
Image: @BobGurrOfficial