Happy 25th Anniversary Hollywood Studios!

Disney Parks Blog

Disney Parks Blog

Back on May 1, 1989, Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) opened at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Originally, the park only had 9 attractions – Backstage Studio Tour, Catastrophe Canyon, Disney Classics Theatre, The Great Movie Ride (I think the water is still the same as 25 years ago!), Hollywood Hollywood, Magic of Disney Animation, Monster Sound Show, Superstar Television and Residential Street.

My, how things have changed.

Now, the park has tons of rides and attractions for all to enjoy – Fantasmic, Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and Rock n’ Roller Coaster, to name a few. One special treat we got to experience on our last trip was the Jedi Academy Training. Both of my kids signed up (BIG Star Wars fans) and had so much fun!! Darth is huge close up!

The one thing I definitely miss from the old MGM Studios days is Residential Street. I loved seeing the Golden Girls house, one of my favorite shows growing up. It was just such a treat to see these props as you rode by, making you feel like you were somehow part of the ‘magic’ of television.

So Happy Anniversary Hollywood Studios! Here’s to the next 25! 😉

New Disney Mugs Coming to Disney Parks!

Disney Mugs 2014
Wow. Wow. Wow.

These are so cute!

This morning, Disney Parks Blog announced a new set of character inspired mugs, reminiscent of the ear hat ornaments and most recently, shoe ornaments Disney has been releasing.

The princess mugs include Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Aurora and Snow White.

Villan mugs include Ursula and the Queen of Hearts. New Evil Queen and Malificent mugs have also been released, but are not sculptured in the same vein as these mugs. The body of the mug is more like a regular mug. But still stunning, nonetheless!

The mugs will be released to select merchandise stores at Disneyland and Disney World very soon. They will also be available for purchase at Disney Store online sometime in May.

My personal favorite is the Rapunzel mug. Any favorites for you?

Disney Mugs 2014

It’s a Small World Afterall

It's a Small World

It's a Small World

On April 10, thousands of people at Disney Parks around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic attraction “It’s a Small World” with a rousing sing-along of….can you guess…..”it’s a small world”!

As Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts puts it, “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe. The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”

For those of you not familiar with the attraction (really, are you out there?), ‘It’s a Small World’ was designed to celebrate children all over the world. The ride features different scenes and cultures from around the world, all with ‘dancing doll’ animatronics and that catchy song that I DARE you to not be singing by the end of the ride (or at least have stuck in your head all day).

My absolute favorite scene in the ride is the Finale Room, featuring a white carnival representing all of the cultures featured in the ride. The whole ride is adorable, but this last scene is the most enjoyable to me. The colors, the whimsy of it all is just beautiful.

Let me know what your favorite scenes are from the ride (and no, trying to count all the coins in the water doesn’t count!). 😉

Long-Lost Characters coming to WDW

Chicken Little

Chicken Little

Beginning July 15, some of Disney’s favorite long-lost friends are coming to the Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World as part of Disney’s “Limited Time Magic“.

Fans have been voting using a Disney online poll and the results are in! Characters have been chosen for “Long Lost Friends Week” taking place July 15-21.

Who was chosen?

Based on the online poll, characters with the most votes are:

•From “Robin Hood”: Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John
•From “Chicken Little”: Chicken Little and Abby Mallard
•From “Song of the South”: Brer Bear and Brer Fox

Fans will have the chance to get up-close and personal with these ‘rare’ characters as well as take photos and get autographs! There will also be some surprise long-lost characters added to the mix!

Are you happy with the choices? Which long-lost Disney character would YOU like to meet?

New Magical Make-overs at Disney!

Jake + the Neverland Pirates

Jake + the Neverland Pirates

Sofia the First

Sofia the First

Disney has announced a couple of new packages to their line of magical make-overs at both Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and The Pirates League.

Beginning today guests at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disneyland and World of Disney (Downtown Disney) will have the opportunity to transform into Sofia the First, complete with hair-styling, shimmering makeup, nailpolish and your choice of accessories. Regular Princess packages range between $55-190 plus tax, so we’re not sure at what price point the Sofia package will run.

At Magic Kingdom Park, the Pirates League has added a “Mermaid Deluxe Package” as well as a “Jake and the Neverland Pirates Deluxe Package”.

The Mermaid package includes luminous mermaid makeup + makeup palette, hair-styling with color changing hair clip, mermaid necklace, nailpolish, sash and specical mermaid costume tee and tutu. The regular mermaid package was $40 plus tax, so with the added costume tee and tutu we’re not sure how much that will add to this price.

The Jake package includes a Jake bandana with faux hair (think Zoolander!), sword and sheath, Pirates League bag, special pirate coin necklace and a costume tee. The regular Jake package was $30 plus tax, so with the additional costume tee we’re not sure where the pricing for this package will end up either.

Guests must be between 3-12 years of age and be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are strongly recommended and a valid credit card is required at the time of booking. A $10 cancellation fee will apply if the reservation is cancelled within 24 hours or if you are a ‘no show’.

I have yet to take part in one of these “magical makeovers” with my kids. I don’t really know that they will enjoy it enough to stomach paying the prices Disney is charging. Although I have to say, having the Sofia the First and Jake additions may make me rethink that!!

Have you paid to have your child transformed into a Princess or a Pirate? Would you recommend it for others or say just skip it altogether!?!?

Another Step Closer to the Mines!

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Photo by Disney.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Photo by Disney.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction is one step closer to completion!

This past week marked a milestone, as the last piece of track was laid in place to the rollercoaster attraction that is part of the new Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Set to debut in 2014, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a rollercoaster that takes you and your family through the diamond mines where the Seven Dwarfs spend all of their “hi-ho” days searching for gems!

On our last trip to Disney World in the fall, this was the only piece of the new Fantasyland that we didn’t experience. I can’t wait for it to open in 2014! My kids were too afraid to ride the previous “Snow White’s Scary Adventures”, so I’m hoping this one is a little more to their liking!

Are you excited for this new attraction?