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Inside Look! Disney Parks Podcast Festival of Fantasy Edition

Published March 14, 2014 by Disneyways.com


We are super excited about the latest episode of the Disney Parks Podcast! We had an exciting round table discussion with an esteemed panel of guests who were ALL present for it’s actual debut at Walt Disney World!! Spoiler Alert  – if you want the parade to be a surprise – you will want to skip this episode. Thank you to our esteemed panel for participating in this discussion! 

Bill Iadonisi is a writer and blogger for some websites like MickeyNews, DBTN, TheMagicInPixels and much more. His main love is the how’s and why’s of the attractions, and the secrets behind them.He is also a Disney History buff as well and we hope to tap into that knowledge tonight as well. @MickeyNews1

Ramon Rodriguez is with Theme Park Concierges.com and offers VIP Tours to Disney guests at affordable prices! Find more on Ramon at ThemeParkConcierges.com OR at Disneyways.com/Ramon. You can also follow him at facebook.com/RamonVIPConcierge

Jason Mayhew works as a paramedic here in the Orlando area but he also covers all of your Orlando theme parks and more at ChipandCompany.com Follow him on twitter and instagram @MedicMayhew to find out about monthly theme park meetups and so much more!

Finally a man who needs no introduction (because you’ll get it all in a prerecorded session at the end of the show) The man, the myth, the legend and the star of the Disney Parks Podcast….The terrific Tony Caselnova from DisneyByTheNumbers.com


Look for the grey circle with the white triangle inside. Click on that and make sure your speakers are on! The show will begin immediately!

Enter to Win a $200 Disney Gift Card and Disney Themed Prize Pack!

Published March 1, 2014 by Disneyways.com


That’s right! It’s our biggest giveaway to date! One person will win it all and it might as well be you!

During March of 2014 you can enter to win a $200 Disney Gift Card

and a Disney Themed Prize Pack! Total value $470 for one winner!

Our thanks to these wonderful companies for helping us make this giveaway possible!

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Contest ends March 28, 2014 

3 Quick Tips for Keeping Fit on Your Disney Vacation ~ By Guest Author Scarlet

Published February 27, 2014 by Disneyways.com

With every step in Disneyworld you face temptation, extensive buffets, delicious desserts and enough fast food to last a lifetime – all of which are practically impossible to resist.
Now you are in the happiest place in the world, so I by no means suggest that you deny yourself – but after months of planning (and, if you’re anything like me, a few panic gym sessions to get water park ready) the last thing you want is to ruin your trip by feeling bloated and sluggish and uncomfortable in your clothes.
water park
First of all, the probability is that you’ll put on a little weight over the course of your Disney holiday – so I certainly wouldn’t advise saving your tightest, figure hugging outfit for the last night – but here are a few cheeky ways to help you to get a bit of exercise in to ensure the weight gain is a just pound or two rather than half a stone.
Now, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself staying at one of the luxurious Disney Spa resorts you’ll be able to take advantage of the on-site gyms… but, if you want my personal opinion, the last thing you want to do is to waste valuable Disney time slaving away on the treadmill. So here are my top three ways to exercise without taking away from the magic…
Get Your Walk On!
You’d be surprised at the amount of walking that you do every day, not just the hours upon hours you spend roaming around the parks but, (if you’re staying on-site) the countless trips back and forth to your hotel room for various forgotten items, outfit changes and the essential unlimited diet coke refills from the food court. If you want a bit of perspective then invest in a $15 pedometer to wear on your first day – it’ll help give you an insight how many calories you are burning off on an average day and you may find out that you don’t need to feel guilty about that dessert after all! That said, please don’t start wearing your pedometer everywhere you go; ladies, clipping it to the elastic of your knickers under your favourite dress is a definite no-no, unless you want to look like you have an unsightly growth!
Get Clenching!
This is a bit of a strange one, but make the most of those precious half hours that you spend queuing and clench your bum! A few tight squeeze and releases a day and you’ll find you’ve got an ass than can rival Pippa Middleton’s in no time!
Find your inner child!
The water parks and resort pools are a fabulous way to cool down after a long morning in the parks – not to mention a source of great photos – but all that running up the steps to the slides will burn off a surprising amount of calories – and if anyone asks, it’s interval training not immaturity!
Most importantly, enjoy yourself and don’t let worrying about your weight affect your holiday in the best place on earth!

Ever since her first trip aged 10, Scarlett has been WDW obsessed. She’s a huge advocate that Disney isn’t just for kids and also the author of Scarlet Wonderland, a lifestyle blog for people who are fabulously imperfect, up for a laugh and don’t take themselves too seriously.

First Look: Disney’s Next Princess Movie

Published January 23, 2014 by Disneyways.com


Spoiler alert! We’ve got the inside scoop on Disney’s next Princess. While I am sure none of what you read here has been formally announced by Disney, I feel that my sources are pretty reliable, namely the Huffington Post and some others. The movie is not estimated to release until 2018, and a lot can change between now and then… but I think this is fun information that was too good not to share, and I hope you’ll agree.

First let’s talk story. This highly anticipated Disney princess movie is set to be an epic, or even mythic, adventure set around 2000 years ago. The setting will be across a series of islands in the South Pacific. The lead character, our princess, Moana Waialiki, is the only daughter of a Chief, and she comes from a long line of navigators. She’s a nerd about sea voyaging – so when her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. “Moana” has been described as a “Polynesian musical” and it is said that the animation and music will go along with that theme. Mark Mancina will reportedly serve as the project’s musical composer. Typical of many of Disney’s “magical” movies, some of the other characters supporting Princess Moana are demi-gods and spirits drawn from real mythology.

(Hello again Hercules!)

While the studio doesn’t seem to have settled entirely on the overall look of the animation, Moana is expected to use some new, ambitious techniques. John Musker and Ron Clements, who were the directors of Treasure Planet and The Little Mermaid, are expected to have some pretty cool tricks up their sleeves for this movie. Remember how Paperman tried a new blend of the hand-drawn and the digital?

Here is a refresher in case you’ve forgotten:

Beautiful, isn’t it? I hope we get to see something like that again. The good news is that artists behind Moana have been playing around with similar, yet different, cutting edge software and systems. They are testing how much is ready for application to a full-length feature. Musker has said that “it’s far too early to apply the Paperman hybrid technique to a feature,” stating that the technique still has many complications (including color use) to sort out before it can be used for a full-length film. I think with all this time on their side, they can make it happen though – don’t you?

There’s no evidence of the technique here in the concept art (see below) but it’s still an interesting tease of some of the style, even if it is only in an early development phase. Disney has denied that this concept art is for Moana, however that may not be the case. If you remember, Disney denied that many leaked Frozen concept art pieces were real, but in the end they were released as official. In their defense, it is possible that what Disney meant was that the concept art no longer reflects what the film will look like, as the creators may have overhauled it. Such a situation is common in movie development, especially for movies that will not be out for half a decade. The concept art for Moana that you see below was found on an official Disney artist’s website, under a section where she talks about Moana. Additionally, notice that the concept art has the artist’s signature on it.


Below is a painting by Paul Gauguin that is said to be serving as an inspiration for Moana.


We can end here by saying we’re a long way out from Moana, with its release unlikely to happen before 2018. We have lots of time to speculate and dream about what will come of it. The look of the film could change quite a bit in the meantime, and that’s always worth bearing in mind. Regardless, I think Moana is a wonderful concept, and shaping up to be really quite tremendous. Only the next 5 years will tell! In the meantime I am perfectly happy to play my Frozen soundtrack over and over and relish in my new favorite character of all time, Queen Elsa.

What are your thoughts on all this? Please leave me your comments below!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out Solving the Mystery Surrounding the Rapunzel Tower in new Fantasyland and our entire collection of World Secrets!

How to Convince Your Man to Visit Walt Disney World

Published January 16, 2014 by Disneyways.com

It is well-known that Walt Disney World is loved by men all around the world for about a zillion different reasons. But what about your man? Does he need a little convincing? Back in January 2014 I had the extreme pleasure of accompanying 4 burly guys as part of a hard hat tour at the amazing new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World while it was still under construction. During that time I got the inside scoop on why this beautiful resort may be just the thing to help you convince your man to come to Orlando and maybe give the parks a try while he’s here!

First though, let’s talk about you. You are going to love that The Four Seasons in Orlando is on Disney Property. Disney sold the Four Seasons the land it is sitting on in the Walt Disney World Resort area. Thus, the Four Seasons now technically owns the property but it is still right where Disney guests (you!) want to be.

Imagine sleeping here:

Park view room with fireworks view

Standing here:

oversized fully furnished balcony

And looking right out outside and seeing these:


You aren’t quite as close as this, but the Four Seasons is just 5 miles from the Magic Kingdom. You will see fireworks as well as Spaceship Earth and more major landmarks at the park, right from your balcony of the park view rooms! Shout out to Scott from TakingTheFloridaPlunge.com for taking a video of our actual view from the hard hat tour.

photo (64)

Pictured here with my burly guy friends: Left to right is Scott from TakingTheFloridaPlunge.com, Me, Jason from ChipandCo.com, Shawn from OrlandoInsiderBlog.com and Alan, Director of Marketing for the Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World (Photo taken by beautiful Dana who does PR for the resort)

Men know that talk is cheap and the proof is in the pudding! A great way to begin is by mentioning to your man that the Four Seasons was included on Destinology.com – Luxury Hotels’s list of Top Ten New Hotels for 2014! He will have the opportunity to stay in the ultimate of luxury surroundings at the new Four Seasons within the gates of Walt Disney World Resort. Tell him you will be trend setters because the Seasons has also been recognized for encompassing some of the most important travel trends of 2014 by Travel and Leisure!

Is he a numbers guy? When construction is finished, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World will have 444-rooms and 68 suites. Amenities will also include a rooftop restaurant with views of the Magic Kingdom, a 14,000-square-foot spa with 18 treatment rooms to enjoy, 3 pools, a lazy river, and meeting-and-event space. The Four Seasons will be the one and only free-standing 5 Star Luxury Hotel In Orlando that is not attached to a convention center. The other luxury resorts in Orlando share their amenities with people attending conventions. The Four Seasons in Orlando will be an exclusive paradise for their hotel guests only. The exclusivity factor is heightened by the fact that the Four Seasons in Orlando will have over 900 employees.  That means 2 staff members for every 1 guest, including burly men like him! Aren’t those great numbers? This ratio will ensure that he will be treated with impeccable service and better access to the amazing amenities that a guy like him can enjoy! Bonus: you are going to love all of this too. The most important number of course? The price! At a starting room rack rate of $545 a night, it is hard to beat for a 5 star luxury hotel.  If you have the budget, there is the option of reserving the Four Seasons Royal Suite. At over 3,000 square feet, it is fit for a king and will run about $12,000 a night. The entire floor could be rented for a mere $45,000 a night. Worth every cent to a man who likes his space!

You can feel good about promising him private time with you, and this can be a major factor in convincing him. Why? Because Four Seasons is one of the only hotels in Orlando to offer an adult only pool and a FREE kids club. Watch his eyes light up when you tell him about the king sized beds and the ingenious design of the rooms that allow you to be separated from the kids if you want to. The Four Seasons boasts family friendly amenities too. Explorer Island includes an 8,000 square foot pool, lazy river, a see-through water slide, and a splash zone that shoots water 30 feet in the air in musical synchronization. He will love the Mansion, a family hangout spot with outdoor table tennis, pool tables, bocce ball, a fireplace and an observation deck.

Does he love sports? The Four Seasons will have him covered with golf and tennis facilities to the tune of an 18 hole golf course and 3 Hard Tru tennis courts. He can play a round of golf on the Tom Fazio course or a tennis lesson with the Four Seasons tennis pro, while the kids are having a blast in the free kids club. Rock climbing wall, beach volleyball, and basketball court? Check, check and check. Your sports lover will be packing his bags in no time.

Is the way to your man’s heart through his stomach? The Four Seasons will have incredible dining options. Everything from fine dining to pool-side food service can be enjoyed. The 17th floor at the Four Seasons will be the home to Capa, a spanish steak house, complete with nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks views. (How is that for making you both happy?) The lobby will be the home to Ravello, an Italian restaurant, on 2 levels and with an open kitchen. There will also be a quick-service dining option on the main floor of the hotel. Four Seasons will even have a character breakfast with Goofy and friends that you can enjoy as a family.

Maybe he’s in to luxury transportation or not driving at all while he’s on vacation? Be sure to tell him about the luxury motor coaches that will transport guests to and from the Disney parks on a schedule, free of charge. This will include twice hourly service to from the Ticket and Transportation Center (Magic Kingdom) and hourly service will be available directly to t Animal Kingdom Park, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

I hope these tips for convincing your man to joyfully head to Disney World with you will be helpful! The Four Seasons Resort Orlando will have all the ingredients needed to create memorable vacations, not just for your man, but for your entire family. Throw in some magical visits to Walt Disney World Resort, and how can you go wrong? Click HERE to book your stay.

Revealed! Festival of Fantasy Parade Floats Backstage and More

Published January 15, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Spoiler alert! The nice folks at DisneyLifestylers, DisneyParksBlog, and InsideTheMagic.net have posted backstage photos of some of the magical floats that will debut this spring in the brand new Festival of Fantasy Parade. As a refresher: the new Magic Kingdom parade titled Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will feature new parade floats, costumes and theme music. We are expecting floats that will include themes such as “Tangled” “The Little Mermaid,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,” “Peter Pan,” “Brave,” and a Princess unit. 

Over the past year The Disney Parks Blog has released concept art and photos of the floats that we know for sure are coming, so let’s start with those:

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Check out the backstage photos that the DisneyLifestylers posted HERE.

InsideMagic.net has a couple of additional ones that you can check out HERE.

Despite no official date being announced by Disney, The Disney Parks Podcast team is betting on March 16th 2014 as the first day of the parade. In fact, we have built a meetup around it! We would love to have you join us, and you can get the details HERE. This is subject to change – so be sure to check our facebook page and website for all the latest on the meetup.


World Secrets: How to Get a Last Minute Dinner Reservation at Be Our Guest

Published January 9, 2014 by Disneyways.com

Does anyone else find it a little ironic that a restaurant that is literally named, “Be Our Guest” can be so hard to get in to?

Anyone who has ever called 6 months in advance just to find out they are completely booked knows what I am talking about here. But guess what? Last night I got a seemingly impossible dinner reservation at Be Our Guest and you can do it too. In fact, you can use these tips for any popular Walt Disney World restaurant.


Now please don’t hold it against me that I have had a little practice with this process. If you called Disney Dining at 407-WDW-Dine at any time between 2008 and 2011 or so – I might have been the one that answered the phone and got you in at your favorite Disney restaurants. However…I wasn’t a miracle worker then and I am certainly not one now. Anyone has a chance to get into the most popular Disney restaurants at the last minute by utilizing these simple tips I am about to share with you today.

I’m going to start by stating the obvious. You best bet is to plan way in advance. There are lots of articles out there with tips on how to go about doing this. However, this particular blog post is for those of you out there who for whatever reason didn’t have the luxury of planning so far ahead.


So here is step one: try getting in 2 days before and even 1 day before you want to dine. First go on-line to WaltDisneyWorld.com and if that doesn’t work, make the phone call to Disney dining reservations at 407-WDW-Dine. In training we were always told that table inventory was exactly the same on-line and over the phone, however, for whatever reason, the system CAN show different times of availability. I have seen it happen with my own eyes. So go ahead and try both methods. You can book dining as late as 3 hours in advance but either 2 or 1 day before you are wanting to dine is your best bet. Why? Because guests will cancel either 2 or 1 day before their reservation so that they don’t get hit with the $10 per person penalty depending on the policy of the respective restaurant. That is when you can hit the jackpot, swoop in, and score your dream dining reservation.

Even if you aren’t able to accomplish your booking with step one, there is still a glimmer of hope in step two. Don’t go out of your way, but if you are close to a restaurant that you would really love to try, ALWAYS walk up to the hostess stand and ask politely if they are taking walk-ins. You just never know. This works best if you are in a smaller party of 1 to 4 people. When we dined at Be Our Guest for our late dinner, we were told they had been taking walk-ins all evening. Please be nice and be understanding if they are completely booked. They can’t give you what is not there…but it never hurts to ask…especially if you are very nice about it.

It’s OK to keep asking too. Don’t be annoying and keep bugging them every hour – BUT do try again later if you are close by and notice there aren’t a lot of guests waiting around with pagers. I have experience with working at a hostess stand at Disney as well — and I can tell you there were many days where one hour we could not take walk-ins and then an hour or two later on that same day – we were able to. It all depends on how busy the parks are and how many people just didn’t show up for their dining reservations.

Finally, if all else fails, remember you are still at Disney World! All the restaurants are special in their own ways. Check the internet for those hidden gems that often have availability at the last minute, simply because they don’t get as much “hype.”

Just a few examples:

I have found a real treasure in Biergarten! The food is terrific and they’ve got a German polka band! Restaurant Marrakesh has belly dancers! Don’t forget about the Lava Lounge in Downtown Disney. It shares a kitchen with the Rainforest Cafe – and you never need a reservation because they only take walk-ins. Many Disney resort lounges and bars serve appetizers and even full meals. You can walk right up and order fast.

Best wishes in your last minute search and “Be Our Guest” to use these tips and score some great dining! If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out our next WORLD SECRET: HOW TO GET A PRINCESS MAKEOVER WHEN THE BIBBIDI BOBBIDI BOUTIQUE IS FULLY BOOKED! 

There are even more World Secrets to be found HERE. Have a magical day!

Disney Parks Podcast Show #85 – An Interview With Jim Korkis Part 1

Published December 11, 2013 by Disneyways.com

I have listened to Jim Korkis speak on many of my favorite podcasts for years, and maybe you have too. I remember seeing Jim at an event at Disney – and just flipping out that I actually got to see him in person! Never in a million years did I dream I would one day be able to speak with him myself. Jim is someone that you can talk to for 5 minutes, and he makes you feel like you have been friends forever. When Jim and I first began communicating – I immediately began teasing and bragging to my friends that “Jim Korkis is my new BFF!”

I am nothing special though, I think he makes most everyone feel that way.

Many of us recognize Jim Korkis as an internationally respected Disney Historian who has written hundreds of articles about all things Disney for over three decades. He is also an award-winning teacher, a professional actor and magician, and the author of several books. For those interested in reading more about Jim Korkis’ “Vault of Walt: Volume 2”, including an excerpt from the book, please click HERE.


In the sequel to his best-selling Vault of Walt, Disney historian Jim Korkis returns to the Vault and brings back 28 more behind-the-scenes stories about Disney films, Disney parks, and Walt himself. We were VERY fortunate to get to interview Jim about his new book The Vault of Walt Volume 2! I have enjoyed this book so much and the podcast team and I wanted you to know more about why you need to buy this for your collection!! We are going to talk with Jim about Mickey Mouse’s birthday and some other fun stuff too. Jim is not afraid to give you the real story – and the whole story – so get ready for some GREAT information! Just a few of the of the highlights include:

  • Jim reveals how luxurious our podcast studio really is — complete with milkshake machine and foot massages! (HA!!)
  • What makes this volume of Vault of Walt different than the first
  • How you can help insure there is a Vault of Walt 3
  • What is Disneylandia?
  • Where can you see a model built by Walt himself inside Disney World?
  • How Walt’s housekeeper died a millionairess….

Here are some ways to tune in:

You can catch Jim’s episode by visiting DisneyParksPodcast.com directly from your computer. Look for the small grey circle with the sideways white triangle inside. Click on that circle and make sure your speakers are on. The show will begin immediately.

We are so very grateful to Jim for coming on the show! He was extremely generous with his time, and to our delight, this interview is only the first of two parts! Please head over to iTunes and subscribe so you can be one of the first people to hear Part 2!

Tokyo Disneyland Exclusive: The Magical Dreamlight Wand

Published December 6, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Wand Collage

All of these photos came directly from Trish our Tokyo Disney correspondent! Here’s what she had to say:

“During Episode 80 of the podcast Tony wondered why Tokyo Disneyland uses the Magical Dreamlight Wand instead of the Glow with the Show Ears. There are two reasons that I can think of, with the first being that the person who purchased the wand can actually enjoy seeing the wand as it changes colors along with the show. The second reason has to do with the show viewing rules and courtesy to others. Before the show starts there is always an announcement asking guests to remove large hats and head bands so as not to block the view of others.”

In an effort to fulfill our mission of bringing you Disney news from around the globe – The Disney Parks Podcast is super excited to introduce a new segment to the news each week that will get you up to the minute on what’s new at Tokyo Disney Resort AND Tokyo Disney Sea! Because many of us may never get to visit the park in person, we are delighted to bring just a little bit of this amazing park to YOU!

Our wonderful Disney Parks Podcast Correspondent Trish – is an American girl living minutes away from Tokyo Disney Resort. She enjoys going by bicycle when the weather is nice! Having grown up in Florida and going to WDW each year of course she loves going to Disney Parks! Trish hopes everyone enjoys her updates from Tokyo Disney Resort and that they will inspire people to visit! For photo updates from the resort please check out Trish’s twitter account @DreamSweetsLove – and we will also be posting links to her periodically on all the Disney Parks Podcast media outlets! Thank you Trish for these amazing photos!







Joanne’s Stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite

Published December 4, 2013 by Disneyways.com

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There is only one hotel room INSIDE all of The Magic Kingdom…the Cinderella Castle Suite. The Cinderella Castle Suite has become the dream experience for a few very lucky Disney fans and celebrities. In just a few short years, it has attained the cult-like status of exclusive Club 33 restaurant or Walt’s Apartment in Disneyland, and rightfully so, as it’s arguably more exclusive than either of those locations. Recently we had a very special guest on our show who was able to stay in the castle suite during the month of September 2013 and we know you will be super excited to hear about her experience just like we are! Click the photo below to be taken to this episode of the Disney Parks Podcast! Our thanks to Joanne for this wonderful interview!


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