Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage ~ By Amber Montes de Oca

Published October 17, 2014 by jpmdo

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage ~ By Amber Montes de Oca

As a musical, Beauty and the Beast is considered to be a big hit.  It’s won Grammy Awards and Academy Awards for its music.

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage is a live Broadway-style musical based on the 1991 Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.  The show is located in the Theater of the Stars, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Walt Disney World.

The story begins when an old beggar woman offers a spoiled and selfish prince a single rose in exchange for shelter from the cold; but because of her ugly appearance, the prince turns her away.  He’s then transformed into a Beast as punishment.  Only learning to love another and earning their love in return can break the spell.

The song “Belle” begins and the curtain opens, revealing Belle strolling through the village, reading a book.  The other villagers comment that Belle is especially beautiful, yet also strange and isn’t like the rest of them.  Gaston arrives onstage and, along with the villagers, sing and brag about him.  After all the villagers leave, Gaston takes Belle’s book from her and asks her to marry him; but she refuses.  Gaston takes her book away again, saying that she will marry him, and leaves.  Belle sings about her wanting a life outside of the provincial town.  Shortly after, Belle finds herself in the Beast’s castle where she meets the enchanted objects, who are the servants also under the spell.  Along with the dancers, they invite her to “Be Our Guest” for dinner, where they bring out food carts and giant spoons.  Afterward, the Beast enters onstage saying he’s afraid that Belle will only see him as a monster.  Belle then wanders into the West Wing and finds the rose.  The Beast finds her and says that he’s told her never to go there, which causes them to argue.  The objects gently tell the Beast be kind to her, if they’re ever going to break the spell.  Over time, the two start to bond and eventually fall in love.


Back in the village, Gaston convinces the villagers that the Beast is a dangerous monster and declares that they have to go after him and kill him.  Belle comes out during a fight between Gaston and the Beast, and afterwards tells the injured Beast that she loves him.  The spell breaks, and the Beast is magically transformed back into the Prince.  Along with all the dancers, Belle and the Prince dance happily to the “Beauty and the Beast” song.

The show has combined a few different tones. The enchanted objects give a comical tone, while the mob song, the fight scene and the transformation provide serious tones.

The major conflict in this play is the Beast’s struggle to become kind and to love and earn the love of another, in order break the spell.  The major theme of Beauty and the Beast is to not judge someone by their appearance, because beauty comes from within.

The idea of the show is to recreate the classic Disney movie.  The same characters, similar dialogue, and all the same songs from the movie appear in the show.  To anyone who has seen the movie, the characters and songs are easy to recognize.  All of the scenes happen in the order that they appear in the movie.  However, since the show is slimmed down to twenty-five minutes, some scenes and characters from the movie don’t appear, including Belle’s father Maurice, their horse Phillipe, Belle coming to the castle and taking her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner, the wolves, Belle and the Beast’s ballroom dance, and the Beast allowing Belle to return home.  It’s my favorite show at Disney World and I could definitely see it more than once a day.  The show is fantastic and it’s a performance that I encourage people of all ages to see.



Beauty and the Beast has daily performances at 11:45am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:15pm, and 5:30pm.

About the Author: Amber Montes de Oca is a huge Disney fan. She’s an annual pass holder and loves to visit the Disney parks often. Her hobbies are singing, acting, and drawing. She has a BA from the University of Central Florida.




No More Tiers! Only smiles! – By Mary Morales

Published October 16, 2014 by

Changes to Disneyworld’s Fast Pass System – By Guest Author Mary Morales

UPDATE FROM MARY: October 16, 2014 at 6:50PM Eastern: The system is back to the tiered one – the system went down for hours when they did an upgrade, however they will be honoring all changes.

“The system is currently down for magical enhancements.” This is a statement that Travel Planners have come to dread when contacting the Disney Reservations System. It means you may not be able to run quotes, make reservations, do fast pass selections, make dining reservations, or any combination of the aforementioned actions.

We planners were greeted with this comment on this past Tuesday off and on when we tried to make magic for our clients. Cast members don’t often know when the system will be back up or what “enhancements” are occurring. When the system was back up and running, no one could say what changes were made until, lo and behold, the tiers were gone on the current fast pass system!

What does this mean? There has been a two tier fast pass choice system in place at both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You were allowed to make one choice from Tier One and two choices from Tier Two. At Epcot, the coveted Soarin’ and Test Track as well as Illuminations were Tier One attractions. At Hollywood Studios, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Fantasmic and the ever popular, Toy Story Mania were included in the Tier One selections.

This meant, that you could only have one fast pass for these highly sought after activities and sprinkle some pixie dust in hopes that additional fast passes were still available to select a Tier One attraction when you used your three initial fast passes. Now, you don’t have to choose. Like at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, all fast passes for the parks are showing on the same level. It’s like the holidays came early!!!!!!

Although the Tiers are gone at this time, Disney has not said whether or not this is another test or a permanent change. Resort guests, will continue to be able to choose their fast passes at 60 days out, so does that mean it will be even more difficult for those with non-resort stays to obtain fast passes to those former Tier One attractions? Only time will tell at this point. In the meantime, enjoy not having to make that crushing decision between Toy Story Mania and Rock’n Roller Coaster!!!!

Mary Morales is a Travel Specialist at Mad Hatter Adventures. Her areas of specialty are special needs and allergy friendly travel, but her services are free for all to use. At total Disney foodie, Mary runs the Disney Food Fans page and you can contact her at

Review! WDW Magazine’s new 2015 Calendar ~ Written by Tamara Botzum

Published October 13, 2014 by clodvantam

2015 is fast approaching.  That means it is time to get a new calendar.  I recently received a complimentary glossy 2015 calendar from WDW Magazine.  It is full of stunning photos from one of my favorite vacation spots, Walt Disney World.  Twelve talented photographers contributed to the calendar, and every month a new photograph is featured.  Included with my calendar was a card signed by the photographers.  That was a nice touch.



Each month, the calendar features information on events at Walt Disney World for that month, and tips on how to enjoy a better Disney vacation.  Now, as lovely as this calendar is, there are some things that are sorely missing.  For example, the days of the week are not listed.  Nor are the moon phases.  There are only a few tidbits of Disney information interspersed throughout the calendar year.  This may not sit well with Disney fans who expect to see Disney trivia on each and every day of the year.  Granted, this calendar deals exclusively with Walt Disney World, and does incorporate some important dates in Walt Disney World history, but the omission of additional Disney information leaves this calendar lacking.  It is also rather uncomfortable to see there are very few holidays listed.  I expected to see holidays listed from the countries that are in EPCOT’s World Showcase, but there are none.

While all in all, the calendar is an enchanting tribute to the beauty of Walt Disney World, it isn’t the best calendar in which to write important dates.  The glossy paper makes a pen smear rather easily.  You may want to use sticky notes to mark your dates.

For those interested in this unique calendar, you can find it at WDW Magazine‘s website.  The cost is $19.95.  Please allow two to three weeks for delivery.

*I received this calendar as a free gift from WDW Magazine so that I could provide you with my honest review. This did not influence my opinion. All thoughts are my own.


Marriage Proposal on Main Street

Published October 11, 2014 by

Theme Park Concierges arranged a beautiful marriage proposal on Main Street today! Congratulations George and Marisa Morringelli!

To read more about the amazing wishes that Theme Park Concierges can grant for you – click HERE.



Ramon with arranging more than flowers – behind the scenes!


ice cream

American Q the Place to ‘B’ for BBQ!

Published October 9, 2014 by

B Resort & Spa at Lake Buena Vista is home to American Q – THE new hot place in town for anyone who craves a modern take on classic barbecue.


It all begins in this beautiful resort – formerly occupied by The Hotel Royal Plaza just outside Downtown Disney. Join me as we relive this wonderful culinary cowboy adventure, won’t you?


Upon arrival to the the B Resort – the wonderful smell of smoked meat coming from American Q was already beckoning us inside – and we knew we were in for a treat.


First, it was time for cocktails!


Normally more of a gin and tonic kind of guy – my husband went with the Moscow Mule. Ingredients included Russian Standard vodka, pickled ginger juice & ginger beer – and he really enjoyed it. What they don’t mention on the menu is how it comes in this awesome little copper barrel shaped mug. It was really unique, and added a special touch.


I went for the Strawberry Slush. Made with Fifty Pounds gin, Carpano Antica, fresh strawberries and lime with shaved ice. I was expecting a frozen drink, but this had a nice light, refreshing taste. Yummy!


Do not adjust your computer – what you are about to see is pretty amazing – and very real. This Bar Snack is called Swine Candy – and this photo made a pretty big splash on my facebook page! Take some smoked bacon, roast it with molasses and spice until crunchy… and you have yourself a little piece of salty, sweet, (and at times spicy) heaven! The spice is subtle and it will sneak up on you. Wait for a glass of water before you take your first bite – just in case you may need it.


Our next Bar Snack was the House Made Tater Tots. Creamy mashed potatoes fried to perfection in little bite-sized pieces with flavorful ketchup on the side. I think I am in love…


How about some Deviled Crab Stuffed Eggs? Deviled eggs with blue crab and remoulade…what’s not to like?


If this was all I got to eat for the rest of the night – I think I would have went home happy and satisfied! But we are still on the Bar Snacks, and there’s so much more!


Next up were the Starters – maybe you thought we “started” already? Think again!



The only thing I like as much as BBQ – is probably SIDES. I was very excited for the next portion of our evening, when we indulged in the all-you-can-eat FLATBED BUFFET served from the back of a cherry red ’51 Ford F1 pickup truck! Favorites included homemade soups and chili, a baked potato bar, peel and eat shrimp, a selection of hot and cold seasonal vegetables, pasta and potato salads, and a 20+ item salad bar all served from the flatbed! You can order the Flatbed Buffet for $34.95 $10 for kids age 7 and under – ala carte! This is an amazing value. Photo courtesy American Q!




Not from the Flatbed Buffet – but just as lovely – this wonderful sampling of various meats…


Next up was the star of the show: something American Q has creatively named Tableside Cowboy Carvings! Yep, they come to your table with 8 different meats and even vegetable brocette – all sliced to order! Turkey legs, bacon wrapped boneless chicken thighs, brisket of beef with Texas Bark, House made sausages…and more.


Photo credit American Q




I think there’s a lot of truth to the American Q saying that there’s smoke in their bones, vinegar their veins and the cowboys really do keep carving  until your tank is full! Endless options and great kids menu takes barbeque to at a whole new level here in Orlando.  Last but not least – self and valet parking are FREE if you are driving. If not, why not take a cab and break up your Disney vacation just a hop, skip and away at this amazing restaurant?! You won’t regret it! In the meantime you can follow them on facebook , Twitter, and check out their gorgeous website including full menus here.

Disclaimer: Recently my husband and I were treated to a complimentary dinner by the wonderful people at American Q – so that I could bring you photos and  an honest review. This did not influence my opinions. Our thanks to Jason at for the invitation!

Maelstrom Memories: A Salute to the Beloved Ride at EPCOT

Published October 7, 2014 by gracylocke

Memories of Maelstrom

Well, EPCOT fans. It’s official. As the sun sets on the Norwegian Pavilion’s beloved ride and will soon be rising for its replacement, Maelstrom’s fan base has paid their final respects with an outpouring of emotion worthy of mentioning. From die hard fans lining up to be one of the last guests to take the boat ride to signature drinks from EPCOT restaurants, the ride will not only live on in the minds of so many Walt Disney World fans, but will go down in the annals of Disney history as the boat ride that introduced us to Norway’s history and myths- and the elusive Norwegian troll.

The History of Maelstrom

Originally intended as a boat ride featuring a troll-centered plot, the ride’s sponsors asked for it to include important aspects of Norwegian history including the god Odin, Norwegian Vikings, and the maritime life that still plays an important part in modern day Norway.

On July 5, 1988, Maelstrom opened its doors for visiting Disney guests and the appeal was great for both kids and adults. As one of only two of rides in the World Showcase, the ride was not only fun and informative, but a piece of Norwegian history as well. I know I certainly learned a lesson or two about the history of trolls and their role in forming the Norwegian culture while inside a tiny Viking ship.

So, for 26 years and 3 months, Maelstrom had been a piece of history for those that visit EPCOT, a place of fun and family, and a memory maker, indeed.

Hidden Mickeys in Maelstrom

If you’re anything like I am, passing time while standing in a ride queue includes the hunt for hidden Mickeys. My family is pretty competitive when it comes to finding them (we even look for them in non-Disney places. Don’t judge. ), so it’s no surprise that the Maelstrom queue and the giant Norwegian mural directly above the boat boarding area kept us occupied with every wait in line. Its detail was simply stunning and, although some say there’s a few hidden Mickeys on it, I can attest to one for certain- a Viking with Mickey ears!

Salutes to Maelstrom

The Walt Disney World community has shown their love of Maelstrom with so many salutes and goodbyes, many of which are noteworthy.

La Cava Del Tequila

In honor of Maelstrom, La Cava Del Tequila at the Mexico Pavilion created a special drink- the Maelstrom Margarita. With a delicious concoction of tequila, mango puree, orange liquor, and agave nectar, the drink is served with blueberries and basil, and habañero peppers are added for a little kick. The glass is rimmed with Tajin chili powder for an extra kick, and the drink looks as beautiful as it is tasty. according to its Twitter feed, the Maelstrom Margarita “will be available for as long as Disney guests continue to buy it, so it all depends on you. Made in honor of the ride.”

La Cava Del tequila

La Cava Del Tequila was thanking its fans on twitter for one of the highest traffic days ever after they posted the signature drink salute. Gracías, La Cava Del Tequila.

Here’s a screen shot of La Cava Del Tequila’s Twitter feed showing the special drink:

La Cava Del Tequila Maelstrom Margarita

To check out the latest on their Twitter feed, here’s the link:

The Final Ride from WDW News Today

It’s a special moment in the life of a Disney blogger to be one of the last guests to ride a closing attraction, and Tom Corless of WDW News Today‘s descriptive and moving post on his last ride is definitely worth the read. A fun, 44-second video clip showing the last ride’s announcement touched that warm and fuzzy spot in my heart when I heard on the video, “Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, for the last time, welcome to Norway and to Maelstrom. You might not be the first to pass this way, but you will certainly be the last. ” Thank you, Tom, for catching that magical moment on video!

Want an even more in depth look at the final moments of Maelstrom? WDW News Today has a fun, 17-minute video that captures all of the highlights:

For the full blog post of the final Maelstrom ride from WDW News Today, please click here.

Maelstrom Haul Away

A Disney fan named Adrian Rodriguez got the surprise of his life when he was driving on the Florida 528 the day after Maelstrom closed and spied the famous Viking ships out of his passenger windows! He has a really cute video on his Facebook page looking surprised:

Although it was a little sad to see the end of an era loaded up on the back of a flatbed trailer, it was really cool to see at the same time. As the final scene from the ride says, “Norway’s spirit will always be adventure”, it looks as though the Viking ships were on their way to a new adventure. I can only guess where they’re headed.

What’s Next for the Norway Pavilion?

In September 2014, Disney officially announced that the ride is being replaced by a “Frozen” themed ride attraction. No matter what your preference is or was, the ride is sure to be a huge hit just like the movie of the same name.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the ride according to Tom Scaggs at Disney Parks Blog “will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.” I cannot wait to see all of the teeny Anna’s and Elsa’s queued up for the new ride. Also in the Norway pavilion will be an Anna and Elsa meet and greet, which will definitely take some of the heat off the Magic Kingdom meet and greet area near Cinderella’s Castle.

Thoughts From the Author

As I look back with fondness on Maelstrom, I can only smile when thinking of my daughter hidden in my armpit on her first time through the ride when we encountered the trolls and how on our last ride in May she was shouting right along with them when the ride takes a backwards path right before its big descent. I will treasure the countless rides on the Viking boats and am proud to say that Maelstrom was always one of my family’s Fastpass and Fastpass+ selections.

Karyn Locke, Marketing and Social Media Guroo and Mid-America Guroo for is a travel writer from Ohio that has a passion for all things Disney and a hankering for Dole Whip Floats at least three times a week. Also creator and blogger for, she’s happy to give Disney tips to anyone that asks and is pleased as punch that her family shares her love of the most magical place on earth.

Disney “Frozen The Songs” Review and Giveaway

Published October 1, 2014 by

Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios may have just ended – but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the Frozen party going! In a very timely fashion, Disney has just released Disney “Frozen The Songs” on September 30, 2014 – and Disney is sending TWO lucky Disneyways readers a copy of this awesome CD for free! I love this CD because it’s got all of our favorite songs from the movie, some fun stickers, and the lyric sheet unfolds to reveal a beautiful full color poster! Check out Disney Music on facebook and twitter.

All photos courtesy of Lori Allinder.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Frozen: The Songs track list follows:

  1. Frozen Heart

Performed by Cast

  1. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Performed by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monnand and Katie Lopez

  1. For the First Time in Forever

Performed by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel

  1. Love Is an Open Door

Performed by Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana

  1. Let It Go

Performed by Idina Menzel

  1. Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People

Performed by Jonathan Groff

  1. In Summer

Performed by Josh Gad

  1. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)

Performed by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel

  1. Fixer Upper

Performed by Maia Wilson and Cast

  1. Let It Go (Demi Lovato Version)
Performed by Demi Lovato

Two Disneyways readers will win your very own copy of this awesome CD – sent to you by Disney. We are not responsible for prize fulfillment.


Contest ends October 4th 2014.

*Disclaimer – I received the product in this post from Walt Disney Records for a review, however all opinions are my own.


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