magic kingdom

Mickey's Halloween Party: Who said Disney was suppose to be just for kids?

Big Red's Disney Bootcamp

” Walt Disney would take his two young daughters, Diane and Sharon, to play at the carousel at Griffith Park in Los Angeles every Sunday. While his daughters enjoyed their repeated rides, Disney sat on park benches with the other parents who had nothing to do but watch. It was on these Sunday excursions that Walt Disney began to dream of an activity park that had things for both children and parents to do.”

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A place where both children and parents can enjoy themselves. Disney has certainly created so many wonderful things to see & do and the addition of themed parties is no exception. With this in mind, we move back into our present reality and the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties, exactly the balance that Walt was trying to create.

MNSSHP 2013 - Tigger

A separate Park ticketed event, the MNSSHP as it’s better known offers every sized ghost, ghoul and goblin a chance to enjoy a softer version of a Halloween Party. With specialty fireworks, parade and candy trails, Disney has presented a fantastic event that has certainly become a yearly favourite for many. Our traveling group returns for this yearly event with anticipation of bigger and better each time.

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Halloween costumes in tow, we travel to Magic Kingdom each year to enjoy alittle night music and fun. Specially outfitted characters are waiting to greet each and every one. Magic Kingdom is transformed into a festive spot. Decorations are truly awesome with speciality pumpkins and lighting and everything that makes this the most wonderful time of the year for many.

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Mickey & Minnie are always around to welcome visitors to the Park and bring many of their closest friends along for the party. Your little ones will certainly enjoy dressing up in their costumes and locating their favourite character and they may even get a photo with them showing off their own costumes. It’s a really fun time for everyone. Candy trails are scattered throughout the Park so that some trick or treating can even be enjoyed. Healthy snack options have started to become popular as well although I must admit freely, there was only 1 station set up with Ocean Spray Craisins which is a far cry from the printed information from Disney stating that there are options available. I do hope that in the very near future with all the healthier options being requested that there is a switch to more availability.

MNSSHP 2013 - Jack & sally

The two newest characters to join the Halloween Party this year are Jack Skellington and Sally from Disney’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Along side of Town Hall, Jack & Sally have a very nicely themed area for photo opportunities and I can say from the two hour plus lines that we experienced the first night of our 2 night party schedule, folks are pretty excited to visit with them. On our second night however, we did get through a fairly quick lineup and had a spectacular time with them. Jack was extremely charming and interactive and amused my former Disney Manager with whom she was dying to see. Dressed as Cinderella, she was squealing in the lineup prior to our turn and jumped for joy when we were finally called up. It spooked Sally somewhat as she was unsure of why this princess was so delighted to meet Jack. Needless to say however, Jack certainly enjoyed the attention very much.

MNSSHP 2013 - Boo to you

I myself wait for 2 things during the MNSSHP, The Boo To You Parade which is a specially designed parade just for these Parties and also HalloWishes, the special Halloween edition of Wishes featuring many of Disney’s Villain’s who come to play. One very special guest welcomes all who attend the parades and I anticipate his visit each and every year eagerly. The Headless Horseman, from Disney’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hallow is incredible. With a lit pumpkin in hand, he gingerly rides through the Park to start the parade. He is truly one character you do NOT want to come face to face with but I enjoy seeing him trot through the Park each and every year. SPOOKY INDEED.

MNSSHP 2013 - Headless Horseman

From the dead waltzing Haunted Mansion dancers to the Haunted Mansion Grave Diggers, the Boo To You Parade certainly offers something for everyone. Even a chance to pick up some treats along the route.
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During this wondrous night of ghosts and Ghouls, there is even a special edition of the fireworks called HalloWishes. The Disney Villains all seemed to come forward and request their own special spooky offering and they certainly never disappoint. The fireworks are incredibly special. From the regal Evil Queen herself to Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, each character brings a little scare into the night skies. Vivid colours and really fun music you can “scream along too” this display is certainly a must not see.
All of the usual rides are open for the evening and most nights during Halloween party seem to be not so busy and normally line ups are on the shorter side although I have been known to wait for a while to visit Space Mountain but it’s totally worth it.
MNSSHP 2013 - Tarzan
This year Disney also brings Monsters Inc into the party with a character dance party. Getting down with Mike and Sully is totally possible along with a wee dash of Boo thrown into the mix. It is pretty awesome to see all the children get down with their bad selves along with a furry character or two. You can find them by following the music in Tomorrowland over by Carrousel of Progress.
Want some quality time with the Villains, well you can certainly head over to the castle show that is offered multiple times throughout the party. There you can find the Queen of Hearts getting her groove on with Jafar, Evil Queen and and few of their friends. After the pulsating show, a meet and greet is offered in front  of the castle where you can get a snapshot of you and your fav but beware……….they certainly are called Villains for a reason and are quite mischievous.

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Look, these parties certainly are an expense, an extra ticketed event which runs from 7pm until midnight. A cost you’re looking to shell out of $60+ per person, however, if it’s something you think you want to do, please do it. I really recommend it highly. Dress up and go rock your socks off. It’s a great time, fun and for a moment to tow, you won’t believe that it’s run by scary villains.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have a trick or treat trail I need to hit because I only have a few days until Halloween and the Evil Queen doesn’t wait for just anyone you know.

The Battle of New Fantasyland vs. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Disney has posted a new teaser site and map for the New Fantasyland Expansion at The Magic Kingdom in Orlando. The internet has gone wild with a few accusations that they have taken much licence in regards to the map design from a certain boy wizard who resides up the road. In addition to the similarities of the maps, Gaton’s Tavern is going to have its own special LeFous Brew served in souvenir steins and goblets (including a foamy head!) What do you think? Is Disney attempting to copy Universal? After all, they say imitation in the sincerest form of flattery. We’re working on an article to detail more of the similarities between these two hyper-themed lands. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

new fantasyland map
New Fantasyland Map

wizarding world of harry potter map
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Map

LeFous Brew


Reminiscing about Canoe Races of the World 2010

canoe races of the world
Go Canada!

Waking up at 5:30 in the morning is never fun, but back in July 2010 it was totally worth crawling out of bed at that unholy hour. You see, one of my fellow Canadian Cast Members and good friend Steph managed to sign us up for the Canoe Races of the World. A tradition dating back to 1973 at Disneyland, this Cast Member only event had seventy-nine teams of 10 race through the Rivers of America in big canoes past Thunder Mountain, the Walt Disney World Railroad, the Haunted Mansion and back to the starting place near the Country Bear Jamboree.

Our team consisted of Cast Members from the Canadian Pavilion in Epcot. Home to the ‘O’ Canada 360 film and super popular restaurant Le Cellier. We had a few mornings of practice at the crack of dawn, afterwards which I would have to work and deal with the pain of rowing my heart out. That lead to a qualifying race for the  main event.

I must say, there is nothing more magical than walking through the Magic Kingdom while it’s empty. For such a popular park, being there when it’s eerily quiet feels like you’re breaking the rules. Cast Members are still power washing the pavement and everything is still covered by early morning dew. It was one of  the most memorable moments of working at WDW.  I mean, who else gets the chance to walk peacefully through the Magic Kingdom without the craziness of parents, screaming babies and little girls dressed as princesses? I did, and it was awesome. FYI we did not make it to the finals, at that point it didn’t even matter. We got to experience a time honoured tradition at the world’s most magical place. Certainly one of the best experiences I had while working for the mouse.

Check out the press release from the event below:

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 16, 2010 – Long before the sunrise at Magic Kingdom, chants of “stroke, stroke, stroke” can be heard throughout all of Frontierland as Walt Disney World Cast Members gather along the Rivers of America to compete in the annual Canoe Races of the World July 12-23. For some, it’s their first chance for team building and fun but for others, it’s an intense competition for the coveted paddles awarded to each division winner.
In a tradition dating back to 1973, hundreds of Cast Members come together pre-dawn over a period of two weeks in July to race in canoes before heading in for a full day of work. The seventy-nine teams of 10 people take less than six minutes to pass Thunder Mountain, the Walt Disney World Railroad, the Haunted Mansion and return to the starting place near the Country Bear Jamboree.
This year will be the twelfth year for veteran Steve Whittington and his team, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugl-IE”, last year’s men’s pro division champions.
“In 1998 I was an Industrial Engineering intern and they needed another person to row, so I thought ‘Why not?’ Whittington said. His team went on to win the men’s pro division that year and since then he’s only missed one race. “Once we finished the races, I was hooked. It was such a blast.”
Last year’s Spirit Award winners, the Toasted BLTs, were a newly-formed group from the Contemporary Resort’s new Bay Lake Tower. “We were the opening team at Bay Lake so it was a great team builder,” Captain Eric O’Leary said. “Our main goal was to have fun. One guy [intern Jonathan Theriault] put himself in a giant sandwich and danced around with people as our mascot, Toasty the Sandwich.”
Regardless of walking away with a paddle or not, O’Leary says “it’s not about winning. The canoe races are always a fun time and we’re excited for everyone else doing it.”

Tom Sawyer Island Adventures

Well, here’s a first……..I went to Tom Sawyer Island for the very first time!! Yup, you heard me. Now, I pride myself on being a Disney expert of sorts but when you’re admitting you haven’t DONE something in the Park I feel as though I must explain myself. Continue reading

New Fantasyland Opening Dates announced!

Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

We’re so excited to hear today that the completed Dueling Dumbo’s and interactive queue line along with Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station will open in July, followed by everything else in the New Fantasyland opening by Holiday 2012. The exception being the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which is still the wild card. Read all the details below:

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Big Red in Florida- Storybook Circus

Our resident Disney expert Tracey hopped on a jet plane down to Orlando. We’re not sure when she’s coming back, which can only mean one thing: Lot’s of updates on all that is the Disney theme parks, direct from the source! Check out the video below, where she gives us a quick look at the Storybook Circus area of the Magic Kingdom.

Exploring Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom on One More Disney Day

Emily is back with another great post, this time about the brand spankin’ new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game at Walt Disney World. Sadly, we have not been able to experience this brand new attraction first-hand. Mainly due to the fact that it wasn’t open when we visited. Regardless, that’s why we pester our friends to write things for us when they visit. Awesome! Here is Emily’s experience: Continue reading

Storybook Circus at WDW Soft-Opens

The first phase of the long-awaited Fantasyland expansion had an unannounced soft-open this morning. The Great Goofini Coaster (formerly the Barnstormer) and half of the new Dueling Dumbo’s were open. There is still much work to be finished in the area, but it’s nice to have something to take a peek at. Check out Inside The Magic’s coverage with some great pictures and a video of the area. Continue reading