Magic Kingdom

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5 Tips for Celebrating a Special Occasion at Walt Disney World ~ by Guest Author James Hare

Published January 26, 2017 by Disneyways.com

5 Tips for Celebrating a Special Occasion at Walt Disney World by Guest Author James Hare

According to the 2015 Global Attraction Attendance Report published annually by the Themed Entertainment Association, over 173 million people passed through the turnstiles at Disney Parks around the world. A lot of those people visited to celebrate a special occasion. Whether it’s a birthday or an anniversary, or even a family reunion, there is a lot of reasons to celebrate at Walt Disney World.

While there are no set rules about planning your special occasion at Disney World, you’ll want to remember these top 5 tips to get a head start on your celebration.

 

5. Grab some free celebration buttons

Over the years, Disney have given out free buttons for guests to wear while celebrating their special occasion.

Disney celebration buttons are completely free and can be picked up from many stores around Walt Disney World. However, your best bet for getting one is to visit the front desk at your resort hotel or Guest Services at any park.

The special events that you can currently get a celebration button for are:

  • Just Married
  • Happy Anniversary
  • Family Reunion
  • Just Engaged
  • 1st Visit
  • My Magical Triumph
  • Happily Ever After
  • I’m Celebrating [fill in the blank]
  • Happy Birthday.

One of the biggest reasons to wear a celebration button is that Cast Members at the parks will look out for them and wish you a “happy birthday” or congratulate you on your engagement. Although nothing is guaranteed, I have often received a complimentary cookie from certain vendors on my birthday. These buttons are certainly a must for your special occasion at Walt Disney World!

 

Image credit: Pexels

4. Note it on your reservations

Whenever you make a reservation for anything at Walt Disney World, have the Cast Member make a note about your special occasion. If you make a note of it on your resort hotel reservation, you may be surprised by balloons awaiting you when you check into your room. Likewise, if you let your server know that someone is celebrating their birthday, that person is very likely to be given a small complimentary dessert after their meal.

Walt used to call this “plussing” the guest experience. If you were impressed by a certain aspect of his park, he was always looking for ways to make it even better so that you return again and again.

 

3. Send flowers for a romantic occasion

A lot of people do not know this, but Disney actually have their own Floral Service.

If you’re celebrating a romantic occasion, such as a honeymoon or anniversary, you can purchase a beautiful arrangement of flowers for your sweetheart.

You can even set up a specific place on property for them to be delivered so that your significant other will not suspect a thing!

 

2. Host a birthday party with in-room celebrations

For guests celebrating a birthday at one of the many resort hotels, you can surprise your child with an in-room celebration.

The basic birthday package includes personalized Mickey Mouse ears, a chalkboard shaped like Mickey’s ears for them to write on, two Mickey & friends themed Happy Birthday balloons, a specialty cake plus tons of other goodies and treats.

There are more essential tips here that you’ll want to read if you are planning a birthday at Walt Disney World.

 

1. Make use of Disney’s Memory Maker

Memory Maker is a great add-on option for Disney’s PhotoPass.

For an additional fee, guests get a digital download of every single photo taken in the parks and on participating attractions. You will also get on-ride videos from rides such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Tower of Terror. You are completely free to print the photos from home, or at a local printer, and you can also use the images on third party services (such as Shutterfly).

The thing that I enjoy most about Memory Maker is that it is a set it and forget it system. All you have to do is wear your Magic Band and the PhotoPass Cast Member will add all the photos and video directly to your account.

 

I want to hear from you!

Have you ever celebrated a special event at Walt Disney World? Share your experience, ask me a question, or just say “hey” in a comment below!

Alternatively, you can visit me on my blog at weloveorlandofl.com

James

Author Bio: James Hare is the owner of We Love Orlando – A website dedicated to providing the very best news and tips for visiting the Orlando theme parks and local area attractions.

SING ALONG!!! WDW Discounts, Animal Kingdom after dark and more!!!

Published March 16, 2016 by Disneyways.com

March 15, 2016 at 7pm Eastern we did a live facebook broadcast that included Animal Kingdom after dark, a new WDW discount club, details and menu regarding table service at the Diamond Horseshoe! I had someone ask me about my history of working with disney dining – from home – so we covered that too. Click HERE to see the video with all the links and comments attached. Thanks to everyone who tuned in live. See you next Tuesday at 7pm Eastern on Facebook!

Catch Jerry on the Sweep Spot Podcast HERE

Get your Kingdom Classics CD  and so much more cool Disney stuff at this website – with a discount!!

Details on the CD Launch Party and dinner with Peter Alden can be found HERE.

Here’s what I’m doing on St. Patrick’s Day if you want to come.

Menu for the new Table Service lunch and dinner at the Diamond Horseshoe is HERE.

Click here to learn my secrets on how to get last minute dining reservations at Be Our Guest!

Skipper Canteen review, new technology at Small World and more ‪Disney‬ news!

Published March 10, 2016 by Disneyways.com

March 9, 2016 at 7pm Eastern we did a live facebook broadcast that included thoughts and feelings on my first visit to the new Skipper Canteen restaurant in Adventureland! We also discussed the new technology at the It’s a Small World Attraction and so much more! Click HERE to see the video with all the links and comments attached. Thanks to everyone who tuned in live. See you next Tuesday at 7pm on Facebook!

Skipper Canteen Photo Tour Including Menus!

Published December 14, 2015 by Disneyways.com

The Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen is now in soft openings!! Located in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, right across from the Pirates attraction, guests are now being seated in one of three rooms. The official opening is set for Wednesday December 16, 2015! No word yet on if advance dining reservations will be accepted. Our thanks to Erin at Mad Hatter Adventures for these photos so we could bring you this first look!

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There is no alcohol on the menu at this time!

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There is also a kid’s menu available! You can check out a photo of that over at Disney Food Blog!

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.

Tis The Season To Be…Jolly?

Published October 31, 2015 by ltdjosh

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Most people that know me know that I’m a Christmas nut, as well as a Disney nut. So it’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the holidays at Disney. However, even I am a little shocked by the recent announcement made by Disney about the taping of the annual Christmas Parade, to be shown on Christmas Day on ABC. Typically, this parade is filmed the first week of December at Walt Disney World, and in November at Disneyland. However, this year they decided to reverse the roles and scheduled the taping of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade for November 10 – 13, 2015. This is the earliest that the parade has been taped. While there is no “official” statement from Disney execs on the reasoning behind this change, it is rumored that the change was made due to crowd levels. The parks are typically slower at the beginning of November as opposed to December, so there will be less congestion to deal with during the parade taping. I have been to a parade taping (2013) and it can get VERY crowded, especially if you’re in the park to enjoy a normal day and not participate in the parade taping. Whatever the reasoning will be, it is sure to be a blast. The theme for this year’s Christmas Parade is “Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration”. Thankfully, they are ditching the Frozen theme from last year and going with a more traditional theme. Parade taping will begin each day around 9am and continue until approximately 5pm (could begin later and could end later) and will focus on Main Street USA and the Castle Forecourt Stage. This is not a ticketed event, so anyone with access to Magic Kingdom can be a part. There is no official schedule of what will be filmed when, either, so your best bet is to be there all day each day to see everything.


 

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.

MagicBands in Colors and Characters ~ An Awesome Photo and Video Tour

Published October 15, 2015 by ltdjosh

Here it is – your fully comprehensive guide to Disney World MagicBands from the past and present!

If you are following along here on Disneyways, you have definitely heard about MagicBands. We published a sneak peek for you back in 2013! These convenient little bands are your everything inside the resort: your room key (if staying on property), your park tickets, your payment method (if you have a credit card on file to charge to your room), your dining plan holder, etc. Since rolling out the original MagicBands a couple of years ago, the Walt Disney company has added some unique and limited edition MagicBands among Disney Parks guests. As these became more and more popular, Disney decided to start making Limited Edition MagicBands for special events and such. The last year saw an increase in the number of limited edition MagicBands, especially during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’ve included a good portion of the Limited Edition MagicBands that have been produced by Disney this year. Since we are still a few months away from Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015, I’ve included pictures and videos of the bands from previous years. Hopefully Disney will delight us with even better bands this year for all of these events. If something you were looking for is no longer in stock – or if you require something even MORE customized – be sure to check out out friends at MagicYourBand.com and MyFantasyBands.com. I hope you enjoy our little tour of the Disney Parks Limited Edition MagicBands. Special thanks goes out to Disneyways reader Brandon Wolgast for providing so many wonderful photos!

To start our tour, I’ll choose the first big event of the year, EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival. Held each spring, the Flower & Garden Festival really brings EPCOT to life in breathtaking beauty. The theme this year was, of course, Frozen and the MagicBands matched the frozen theme. The band has a picture of Anna & Elsa on one side and a nice floral pattern on the other. This was a limited edition of 5,000.

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The following video shows what the band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Next up we have the MagicBands from the Frozen Summer Fun event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last year. I have not seen or heard of any from this year, but that could be a mistake of my own. These bands sold out fairly fast and were very cute. These had a picture of Olaf on one side with the words “Chilling in the sunshine” above him and “Frozen” on the the other side. Limited edition of 5,000 as well.

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The following video shows what this band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Next we have a generic Olaf MagicBand that, suprisingly, is still in circulation and available in the parks (as of a month ago – found in Animal Kingdom for sale). These MagicBands aren’t for any particular celebration other than celebrating the awesomeness that is Olaf. On one side they have a picture of Olaf in a Santa hat and on the other side it has snowflakes. This is a limited edition of 4,000.

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The following video shows what this band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Next comes the magic that is Star Wars Weekends. As the force descends upon Disney’s Hollywood Studios for weekends throughout May, MagicBands of all sorts and star systems show up. This year had a fairly impressive line-up, including Mickey, Donald and a couple of lightsabers for Galactic Gathering guests. First up is the Donald MagicBand. On one side you have Donald holding a purple lightsaber (I thought only Mace Windu had a purple saber, but that’s me). On the other side, you have the Star Wars Weekends logo. These were a limited edition of only 2,500 and sold out very quickly.

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The following video shows what this band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Next we have the Jedi Mickey band. This band has Jedi Mickey on one side holding a non-impressive (in my opinion) light blue lightsaber. On the other side there is the Star Wars Weekends logo. These were also a limited edition of 2,500 and sold out quickly as well.

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The following video shows what this band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Next up you have the two most limited edition bands found in the park this year: the red lightsaber and green lightsaber from the Galactic Gathering. These were only available to Galactic Gathering guests and were an extremely limited edition of only 350 for the red and 330 for the green. These awesome bands look like a lightsaber from one side to the other. I only have pictures available of the green, but they are identical in everything but the color.

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The following video shows what the red band (first video) and green band (second video) does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Next up we have the bands from last year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. These bands have the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party logo on one side and a cool Halloween themed design on the other. These were a limited edition of 5,000 and were originally only available during the Halloween Party. However, they did not sell out so they were later released as general sale items.

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The following video shows what this band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

Finally, we have the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party bands. These are candy cane colored and have the party logo on one side and Mickey & Minnie on the other. These were again a limited edition of 5,000 and originally only sold during the Christmas party, but never sold out at the party so were released later.

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The following video shows what this band does when touched to a touch-point in the park.

I hope you enjoy our little tour through the MagicBands. This is in no way a comprehensive list of every available MagicBand (that would take a very long time to compile and would be out of date as soon as it was posted) but a list for you to enjoy and know about. Have a happy day and we’ll see you with your MagicBand very soon! AND for great ways to spruce up your ordinary MagicBands, visit our friends at MagicYourBand.com and MyFantasyBands.com.

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