WDW Attractions

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Newly Updated Pirate’s Adventure in Magic Kingdom

Published September 29, 2016 by ltdjosh

Three years ago, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom introduced an interactive quest for guests of all ages. The name of the quest was “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasure Of The Seven Seas”. Over the years, thousands of wee pirate lads and lassies (as well as a few buccaneers) have enjoyed scavenging around Adventureland to find clues and solve the mystery of the adventure. A few months ago, Disney announced an addition to the adventure. Let’s take a look at one of the adventures, as well as the new surprise ending awaiting guests.

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The building where you sign up for the Pirate’s Adventure is next to Pirate’s Of The Caribbean, towards Splash Mountain. It’s an unassuming building that most people just quickly walk by, perhaps thinking it’s a food vendor or something of that nature. However, once you walk inside, your fate be forever changed. There are 5 different adventures you can choose. Once you’ve chosen your adventure, simply scan your magicband (or your park ticket) and the on screen guide will tell you what mark on your map to go to first. For this demonstration, I chose the Guardian’s Curse adventure. Once I scanned in, I was off on an adventure I won’t soon forget.

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For each adventure, you receive a treasure map telling you roughly were to go to find your clue. Once you reach the area, you have to find the symbol listed on your map. When you touch your magicband (or ticket) to the symbol, something magical will happen in the immediate area that will tell you where to go next. You never know what you’ll find. First up, the compass symbol.

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This symbol seemed easy enough to find. Look for a treasure chest, a lantern, and a map on top of an old crate. Then find the symbol. Well, there are a lot of crates around. Thankfully, I found my symbol.

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The next symbol that I was to find was the bulls eye symbol. This one proved even trickier to find, but I kept a sharp eye out and sure enough, found what I was looking for on top of a barrel (perhaps filled with rum for Captain Jack Sparrow?).

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Next up, I had to search for a parrot symbol. Since I knew there were parrots all over Adventureland, it took me a few minutes to find the right parrot (and the matching symbol).

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However, I found the tricky bird.

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And his symbol.

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I was getting excited. This was fun, and it didn’t take that long to do. Plus it was a great way to spend a very quiet morning in Adventureland. Off to the next symbol: A captain’s hat.

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A few moments later, I had found the blasted hat.

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I had won the adventure, but this odd pirate came up out of his watery grave to tell me that I should continue my quest for more treasures.

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Since it had taken me less than 10 minutes to complete the entire adventure, I decided that I would try, as my Pokemon Go friends would say, to “catch them all”. At the end of the 3rd adventure, I was dealt a pleasant surprise: a complimentary fastpass for Pirate’s Of The Caribbean.

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This wasn’t time stamped, but date stamped, good through the end of the month any time the ride was operating. I then went on my way continuing adventures, and received another at the end of my 4th adventure, and another at the end of my 5th adventure. An hours worth of work searching all over Adventureland (and seeing things that I had never noticed before) and I had 3 free legacy fastpasses to use anytime over the course of the next 2 weeks.

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If you’re in the area and have some free time, I definitely encourage you to take the challenge and enjoy the Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures Of The Seven Seas. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Joshua Snyder is a Disney fanatic and Travel Agent, working with My Mickey Vacation travel.. He is an annual passholder for Walt Disney World, and enjoys going the parks as often as he can. In his spare time, he enjoys reading everything he can about the parks and helping introduce new families to the Happiest Place On Earth. He currently resides in the Orlando, FL area. He can be reached at joshua.snyder@mymickeyvacation.com.

Top 5 Special Things To Do At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015

Published November 14, 2015 by ltdjosh

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We’ve all seen pictures and video of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom done up for the holidays…the sights, the sounds, the merriment. But, sometimes the holidays can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re a first time visitor. So here are my top 5 special things to do at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom. These are in no particular order, but I hope they help you to get the most out of your Christmas Party trip.

  1. Special Character Interactions – Most of us know that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are special times for character interactions, and this year is no different. In addition to all 7 dwarfs (whom you will only see during parties) and the princes with their princesses, you also will have the chance to see Sandy Claws, Reindeer & Elf, and even the jolly man himself, Santa! Obviously these characters are never guaranteed, but it’s a good chance to try to catch them in between parades. You can also catch special character interactions at the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland and the Character Dance Party at Club Tinsel (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland). You can also join in the fun at Celebrate The Season – a special holiday stage show held three times an evening in front of Cinderella Castle.
  2. Complimentary Holiday Treats – Don’t say Disney never gives anything away for free! At several locations throughout the Magic Kingdom, you can stop in for complimentary hot cocoa and cookies (there are healthy options available too). These treats make for an extra magical time, especially if you stand on Main Street and enjoy them during the parade (it will snow during parts of the parade to add even more magic).
  3. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade – this holiday favorite is back and better than ever this year. Join Mickey and Minnie and all the gang as they welcome the holidays in a super festive and fun parade. This is another chance to see some of the more rare characters, such as Clarabelle Cow and Horace. The parade ends, like any good holiday parade, with a special appearance by the man of the hour, Santa Claus!
  4. A Frozen Holiday Wish – Join Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf as they bring in the holidays with a little bit of twinkling ice on Cinderella Castle. Held twice an evening, this special castle lighting ceremony is NOT to be missed.
  5. Celebrate The Magic & Holiday Wishes – Be amazed as Cinderella Castle is transformed into a dazzling display of color and magic, showcasing breath-taking lighting effects and a brilliant musical score incorporating some of your most beloved Disney tunes. Then stick around as the skies above Cinderella Castle come to life with the most magical holiday fireworks presentation ever. You might even catch a glimpse of Jolly Old St. Nicholas and his team of reindeer as they fly high over Magic Kingdom.
  6. BONUS – VoicePlay – new to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year is VoicePlay – an amazing and astounding acoustic marvel. Bringing together beautiful harmonies and classic Christmas songs, this a cappella holiday concert is sure to delight guests of all ages.

These are just a few of the many things that you can enjoy during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year. For more information, check out the following park maps, which will tell you all of the locations for everything during the party.

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10277448_10152220823381036_4050401386084466142_nJoshua Snyder is an avid Disney fanatic. He recently moved back to Indiana after spending 2 years living his dream in Orlando, FL. When Josh isn’t dreaming about the parks, he’s helping people plan their dream vacations. As a Dream Designer with My Mickey Vacation, Josh loves helping people make their Disney dreams come true. He is also the senior writer and head of the writing team at Living The Dream Podcast. Josh can be reached at joshua.snyder@mymickeyvacation.com for travel agent inquiries, or at joshua.livingthedreampodcast@gmail.com for all other inquiries.

Food Allergy & Celiac Disease IllumiNations Dessert Party

Published August 27, 2015 by ltdjosh

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Do you like dessert? What about fireworks? If you say yes, then the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention IllumiNations Dessert Party is definitely for you. Celebrate the cultures of the world with a buffet of dessert choices–all free of the top 8 allergens! During the event, you’ll enjoy a clear view of the World Showcase Lagoon
watching the Epcot nighttime fireworks spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Includes:

  • An all-your-care-to-eat special diets dessert buffet, free of the top 8 common allergens and gluten
  • Access to our private IllumiNations viewing area, which begins at 9pm
  • Loaded gift bags, giveaways, and evening extras from our Title and Supporting Sponsors

Details:

  • Limited to 250 guests, so register early!
  • For more details about the traditional dessert party, visit the official Walt Disney World site here
  • To purchase tickets, click here.
  • For more information about the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention, click here.

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo – Disney Style! – By Guest Author Josh Snyder

Published May 4, 2015 by jpmdo

Ay amigos! It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. For those of you that are too Central Florida bound to make it to Mexico to celebrate, you can have your own special celebration, right here in Walt Disney World. Head over to EPCOT to start your festivities. There are several different ways to do this. Here’s a list of my top 5 (plus an extra one for adults only).

5. Meet Donald Duck at Mexico – this is an often overlooked character meet and greet, since it’s a little off the beaten path. However, Donald shows his true Mexican love in a great sombrero and Mexican-inspired outfit. He can be found beside the Mexico pavilion on a little off-street.

4. Sombrero Time – take time to try on sombreros. While you’re doing this, take pictures to capture the moments, like Krista has done below. This is a great opportunity to get out of the sun and enjoy a wonderful time with friends (or even by yourself). Post your picture on Facebook, then challenge your friends to do the same thing (maybe even come up with a contest to see who can make the wackiest face).

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3. Lunch at La Cantina De San Angel – for a great way to celebrate without actually going inside the Mexico pavilion, stop by La Cantina De San Angel outside for a quick bite with a Mexican flare. This a counter service location, and the service is pretty quick and always yummy. I recommend the Tacos De Barbacoa. It’s delish!

2. Dinner at San Angel Inn Restaurante – this excellent restaurant is located inside the Mexico pavilion and has seating that overlooks the beginning of the Three Caballeros boat ride (similar to the Blue Bayou Restaurant and Pirates Of The Caribbean at Disneyland). The atmosphere is set to remind of you twilight in Mexico, which is always the right time for a fiesta. This is a very popular restaurant and reservations are HIGHLY recommended.

1. Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros – this ride is the ultimate in Mexican celebrations. Take a fun boat ride through some of the history and sites of Mexico, while in search of Donald Duck, along with Jose and Panchito. This is a great ride for the whole family. It’s indoors, you’re seated the whole time, and it’s nicely air conditioned (great for those hot and humid early summer/late spring days).

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BONUS HIGHLIGHT: For adults, there’s a great little place in the Mexico pavilion called La Cava Del Tequila. That’s right, it’s a TEQUILA BAR and it’s AWESOME!!! Make sure to check this out for some “adult libations”. You can also pick up Kahlua chocolate truffles in the shop outside La Cava. Perfect for some adult alone time at home.

I hope this helps you to enjoy Cinco De Mayo while on your festive trip to Walt Disney World. I know it helped me.

 

MAGIC IN THE DETAILS: JEDI OR NOT, HERE WE COME! Four Tantalizing Clues about Disney’s Coming Star Wars Attractions by Guest Author Adam M. Berger

Published March 18, 2015 by jpmdo

With Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios fast approaching and with Star Wars Episode VII slated to debut in theaters this December, it’s clearly a great time to be a Star Wars fan. And then there’s the expected arrival of an entire Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and probably Disneyland Park) sometime in the not-too-distant future.

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Of course, with the powers-that-be at Disney remaining tightlipped, it’s still anyone’s guess as to what we can expect when that galaxy far, far away finally lands at Walt Disney World. And yet there are some very intriguing hints already to be found in and around Disney’s existing Star Wars attractions…if you only know what to look for. As usual, “the magic is in the details.” So here are four enticing clues about what to expect in the forthcoming Star Wars attractions.

  1. Expect both familiar and new characters, vehicles, settings, and scenarios. Many Disney attractions adhere closely to the movies upon which they are based, replicating the original screen versions as faithfully as possible. However, this has never been the case when it comes to the Star Wars attractions and experiences, which have introduced numerous new characters, vehicles, settings, and scenarios alongside the familiar ones. It’s a good bet that this “expanded universe” approach will continue…full Force.

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Photo by Adam Berger

  1. Expect big themes. While the forthcoming Star Wars shows, rides, and environments are likely to feature new characters and other unique elements, you’ll also see a continuation of the big themes established in the cinematic Star Wars universe. Some of these themes have already carried through into the existing Star Wars attractions, including “humanity versus soulless technology,” “the struggle between goodness and evil,” and “ordinary people fulfilling their heroic potential.” Expect more of the same in future attractions.

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  1. Expect sophisticated technology in the service of storytelling. Though the Disney parks have long been known for their sophisticated ride and show systems, those technologies have always been upstaged by the attraction storylines, creating immersive, fully realized, emotional experiences. This is certainly the case with attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. You can bet that the ride and show technologies behind the experiences being planned for the new Star Wars lands will be even more advanced…and just as invisible.

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  1. Expect more variability, more spontaneity, more guest interaction, and more personalized experiences. No matter how many times you queue-up for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, you never know which one of 54 different combinations of scenes you are going to get, giving your experience a wonderful element of variability and spontaneity. You can be sure that this approach to keeping your experience fresh and surprising will go into hyperdrive in the new Star Wars attractions. At the same time, you’re certain to see more of the personalization and direct interaction that guest “younglings” are already encountering in the Jedi Training Academy show as they cross light sabers with Darth Vader—but on an even bigger and more impressive scale.

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Photo by Adam Berger

The technological key to all of this will doubtlessly be the same RFID platform that powers your MagicBand. But instead of merely admitting you to the Disney Parks, your Disney hotel room, and your pre-booked FastPass+ attractions, your MagicBand will eventually endow you with Jedi-like powers, immersing you in your own personalized, customized Star Wars universe.

What are your expectations for the new Star Wars-themed sections coming to the Disney parks? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section, below. And May the Force be with you!

Every guest a hero

Adam M. Berger is a professional attraction show writer and design consultant, and the author of the book Every Guest is a Hero: Disney’s Theme Parks and the Magic of Mythic Storytelling—available in print and e-reader editions from Amazon.com and other fine online booksellers.

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Our Dinner With Dreamfinder

Published January 13, 2015 by Disneyways.com

Most Disney fans are familiar with the the way that Epcot opened ceremoniously on October 1, 1982. In the early days, there wasn’t a Disney character in sight! Can you imagine? But then, from 1982 – 1987, the one and only Ron Schneider, Epcot’s original Dreamfinder, helped to change all of that. To this day, Dreamfinder is one of the world’s most iconic theme park characters. He is loved by Disney fans all over the world, and how could he not be?

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With his top hat, beard and loveable sidekick Figment, Dreamfinder had a mission to encourage children of all ages to use their imagination. He brought wonder and excitement to Disney guests of all ages. As a child of the 1980’s I was one of those (probably millions!) of kids whose favorite part of the original Journey Into Imagination attraction – was seeing and hearing Dreamfinder. To meet him outside of the attraction – was not an encounter that one could ever forget.

Fast forward to January 2015, when my friend Shelby suggested that we have an event with Ron Schneider. We thought it would be really fun to celebrate Ron, and the gift of joy he has given to so many. I contacted the original Dreamfider, and although he is VERY busy, he was incredibly gracious and agreeable to taking time out of his day to meet with us. January 8th 2015  – a handful of us sat down for an excellent meal at the Garden Grill – and had an absolute blast being in the presence of this man.

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Ron was so cool, he even let me put on his hat! OK…well maybe I just put it on when he wasn’t looking. Still…he could have very well told me not to…but he didn’t.   🙂

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As we finished up our meal, we had drawings for some fun gifts, sponsored by Travel Planner Mary Morales. Thanks Mary!

By this time, I had grown quite attached to the hat, and decided it made me feel in charge as I handed out raffle tickets!

I knew this would be a great time, and I knew it would be special because of Ron, and just being at Epcot with so many good friends – new and old. But during dinner, one of my (other) very favorite parts of the night began to happen. I met and spoke with Leo for the first time ever. My new friend Leo, over at the end of the table, with tears in his eyes, began telling me how much this event meant to him. Leo has loved the Dreamfinder character almost all of his life. He showed me his photo with Ron from long ago. LOOK at little Leo!! I can’t even take the cuteness in this photo.

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My heart was so full as I was able to take Leo’s photo with Ron, and recapture the magic of that day so long ago!

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After dinner, we all followed Ron to his attraction in the Imagination pavilion. Leo and Ron sat together in the front seat!

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Of course a few shenanigans may have ensued along the way. As we exited the ride and visited with Ron, there seemed to be a some sort of signal spreading like wildfire among the cast members that there was a celebrity in the building! Everyone from sales associates, to leads, and everyone in between, started approaching him for photos. There may even have been an Imagineer or two!

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Our group spent some more time together at Epcot until finally, we all had to say goodbye. I don’t think any of us will soon forget this magical night! Our thanks to Ron, our server Barry, and all the people who had a part in making it so very special! It was truly something that Disney dreams are made of.

Memento Mori- A Store Dedicated to All Things Haunted Mansion in Disney’s Magic Kingdom ~ By Guest Author Karyn Locke

Published November 13, 2014 by Karyn Locke

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Those of you that have read my blog posts in the past certainly know my affection for Disney’s Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom. I get asked what my favorite ride at Walt Disney World is all the time, and without hesitation, I happily answer, “Haunted Mansion”. My family and I have gotten to the point that we know which wall panel of the stretching room will slide open and head directly to it, and can talk right along with “Your Ghost Host” while he is reciting his monologue. Yeah, I’m that much in love with the ride. With each visit to Magic Kingdom, I would hunt out the latest Haunted Mansion items for sale in the shops and carts, hoping for something other than a HM key chain or t-shirt to purchase.

Fast forward to the opening of Memento Mori- Disney’s Haunted Mansion store in Liberty Square. From the Latin phrase Memento mori (remember death), the Magic Kingdom store was bound to not only have every item that I’ve dreamt of owning, but a sense of humor just like my beloved ride.

I, along with my family,  was one of those folks happy to queue up outside the storefront in Liberty Square waiting my turn to purchase goodies covered with spooky-eyed wallpaper and adorned with candlestick-holding gargoyles. Giddy with delight, my family and I headed into the shop, and just like a kid in a candy shop, could not decide what to purchase first.

What’s “In Store” for You?

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What’s in store for happy shoppers, you ask? So many spooky, kooky, creative, and downright awesome Haunted Mansion items that you’ll be hard-pressed to choose a favorite!

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When you walk through the store entrance, you’ll notice a cool photography room where you can get “ghostified”, as my daughter calls it. Just like the famous paintings in the ride, the photo will look normal from one angle and creepy from another. Well worth the $20 if you ask me.

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There’s tons of fun items to take home, like well-made pens, fedoras, and of course, t-shirts.

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Make sure to mosey around the store, as there’s some really cool details along the walls.

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Haunted Mansion phone cases, necklaces, and other themed jewelry as far as the eye can see!

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Want a Haunted Mansion hair accessory? Look no further. There’s really cute headbands with the bat stanchions from the ride queue available for your wearing pleasure.

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Here’s the part of the store that was the most fun for me- the kitchen/table ware area. There’s Master Gracy china, Madame Leota towels, HM aprons, cups, glasses, and candlesticks for your table.

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Looking for a way to spruce up your living room & bedroom? There’s throws and pillows that would make a fine addition to the room.

I did notice an absence of one important item: the doombuggy! I’ll put that on my list for Santa this year.

Karyn Locke, Marketing and Social Media Guroo and Mid-America Guroo for trekaroo 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 Sand and Snow…and everywhere in between!, 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.

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