Magic Kingdom

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Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios: A Teens’ Perspective Written by Jennifer Bright Reich

Published March 8, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Walt Disney World vs. Universal Studios: A Teens’ Perspective
By Jennifer Bright Reich

My fiancé and I have four sons, Kevin (15), Kyle (14), Tyler (13), and Austin (almost 12). We all went to Orlando a few weeks ago in January. We were fortunate to get to spend time in both Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot and Universal Studios.

I’m a life-long Disney fan, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Universal Studios. I was curious what our teens thought about the parks. Some of their perspectives surprised me! Here’s what they loved—and what they didn’t love.

Universal Studios Rides

I preferred the Express Pass system at Universal to Disney’s FastPass. It helped us to get on a lot more rides. At Disney, you only get FastPass for a few rides.— Kevin
I enjoyed some of the rides, especially Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. It felt like you were really there, on that ride simulator especially because you had your own seat, so you really felt the movements.—Kyle
I liked the line for the Fast and Furious ride because it had a bunch of car parts, gun stuff to look at, and famous cards along the way. There was lot of eye candy to look at while you were waiting.— Kevin.
I didn’t like the Fast and Furious ride. It didn’t even feel like you were moving. —Kyle
I loved the Rip Ride Rockit Coaster! However, in general at Universal, I felt there were too many simulation rides and not enough physical rides. —Austin
My favorite Universal ride was Revenge of the Mummy because it actually “moved through space” and wasn’t just a simulator ride. —Tyler
One on our way out of the park, we were asked to take a survey, I thought it was great that they were asking for feedback. I felt that they really cared about our experience and how they could improve. I felt my opinion was taken into consideration, which was nice.—Kevin
I though the nighttime show was ok but not as good Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!—Tyler
I was disappointed that City Walk was so much smaller than Disney Springs. —Austin
But at least you can just walk to City Walk. You don’t have to take a bus like you do to get to Disney Springs. —Kevin

Universal Studios Food
I really enjoyed the churros. But they were a little dry.—Kevin
I disliked the food. We ate at Monster Café. —Tyler
The food tasted like it had sat out for a long time. —Kyle

Walt Disney World Rides
You can’t beat Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I even loved the stand-by line because there were so many things to look at. I especially liked the parts of the ride when you could smell things like the dirt.— Kyle
Because we stayed off property, we didn’t have the early access to FastPass, so we weren’t able to get FastPasses for Flight of Passage. We went there first thing, though, and only waited in line for around 45 min—Kevin
The wait was long for Flight of Passage.— Kyle.
Don’t take the Friendship Boats across World Showcase! It’s much faster to walk. —Kyle

Walt Disney World Food
I liked the food at better at Disney World than Universal Studios . Some of portion sizes were dangerous though, especially the Beastly Burger at Rainforest Café! I really liked the food at Epcot—Kevin
Epcot has the best food. I love the Japan Pavilion, especially the soup, and Coral Reef.— Tyler

Walt Disney World Shopping
Epcot is the most unique for shopping. You actually feel like you’re shopping, as opposed to just going to a gift store. —Tyler
I liked the Mitsukoshi Department Store. It was really neat.— Kyle
I really liked that the stores in Epcot World Showcase has to have people working there from those countries. It really felt like I was visiting those places for a little bit. —Kevin
I thought there were to many Disney-owned stores at Disney Springs. It felt like all of the stores were the same. I would like to see more nonDisney stores. —Kevin.
We bought grow your own bonsai trees and they didn’t grow!-Kyle

 

About the Author: Jennifer Bright Reich is cofounder and CEO of Momosa Publishing, a family- and veteran-owned hybrid publisher in Bethlehem, PA. MomosaPublishing.com. She publishes health, parenting, inspiration, and children’s books, including books for kids by kids, like The Adventures of the Rabbits in the Most Magical Place on Earth, The Adventures of the Squirrels in the Most Magical Place on Earth, and The Adventures of the Lions in the Most Magical Place on Earth—stories about the real animals that live in Walt Disney World, which are all written by her son Austin Reich and illustrated by her son Tyler Reich.

Momosa Publishing LLC to proudly support Lakeview Elementary “Literacy Luau” in St. Cloud Florida on Jan. 26

Published January 23, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Momosa Publishing LLC (Momosa Publishing), one of the United States’ leading publishers of health, parenting, inspiration, and children’s books, is proud to announce its donation of 25 books to the Literary Luau at Lakeview Elementary on January 26, 2019.

Momosa Publishing marketing director Krista Joy has a close connection to this special event. She manages the career of well-known local entertainer Peter Alden, whose adopted son Gabriel Grigsby’s courageous battle with rare genetic brain disorder Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) led to the family’s quest to add ALD to the list of newborn screenings in Florida.

ALD affects 1 in 18,000 people, primarily boys and some men. It destroys the protective sheath that surrounds the brain’s neurons — the nerve cells that allow us to think and to control our muscles. Championed by State Rep. Mike La Rosa (R-St. Cloud) for years, the ALD screening requirement became state law in May 2018 in honor and memory of Gabriel, who was 10 when he passed away in July 2013. It is a fitting legacy for the brave boy who fought against such tragic circumstances.

Gabriel attended Lakeview Elementary and the organizer, Stephanie Walcott was his favorite teacher. Gabriel’s father, Peter Alden, will perform a 15 minute set of songs from the film “Blue Hawaii” at the Literacy Luau. Peter Alden is a veteran of the Legends in Concert Stage and a full-time entertainer.

“Giving back to our communities is so much a part of who we are,” Momosa Publishing co-founder and editorial director Jennifer Reich said. “Krista’s relationship with Peter Alden – and his efforts to add ALD to the screening protocol – along with our ties to Florida and Orlando in particular – make our team a strong supporter of the event. We couldn’t be happier to participate in the Lakeview Elementary Literacy Luau.”

To kick off Literacy Week, Lakeview Elementary will have the Literacy Luau on January 26, 2019 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. This event will have many Hawaiian themed literacy activities, a book fair, and an opportunity to meet an author. The school will have community members including; Orlando City Soccer and Wonderworks passing out books to students. Families have an opportunity to read together in our butterfly garden and watch the special guest performances on stage. It will be a day filled with reading, learning, and fun!

Momosa Publishing’s mission of helping people raise healthier, happier families is rooted in its commitment to children. Along with its trademark Mommy MD Guides series of advice on children’s health from the country’s leading doctor moms, the firm has published a number of other child-centered books.

Reich’s two sons, Tyler, 13, and Austin, 11, collaborated on a series of enchanting stories of animals exploring the Magic Kingdom. Launched in August 2017, the “Adventures of the Real Animals in the Most Magical Place on Earth” children’s book series tells the stories of the real live animals that make their home in the most magical place on Earth. At the event, Joy will read a portion of the first book in the series, “The Adventures of the Rabbits in the Most Magical Place on Earth” and present Momosa Publishing’s donation of 25 books.

The series, which also includes “The Adventures of the Squirrels in the Most Magical Place on Earth” – the story of Sammy Squirrel and his family AND “The Adventures of the Lions in the Most Magical Place on Earth”, the story of Daniel the lion and his family – is available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

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.

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