Disney After Hours has added several dates to both the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom calendars.
After hours is a time for guests to enter the parks when most guests are heading out. The park is open late for just these specific ticket holders. Guests will have access to many of their favorite rides and will also receive unlimited ice cream novelties, popcorn, and fountain beverages. Here are the dates as posted directly from Disney:
Magic Kingdom Park
November 18, 2019
December 9, 2019
January 6, 2019
January 13, 2020
January 17, 2020
January 20, 2020
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
October 5, 9, 19, 26 and 30, 2019
November 5, 13 and 19, 2019
December 7, 14 and 18, 2019
January 9, 16, 22 and 30, 2020
February 6, 13, 19 and 27, 2020
March 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2020
If you have a trip planned during this time, this is an excellent way to see a lot of a park in a short period of time. We experienced it in the spring and we did every ride the kids wanted to and also several meet and greets. At one point, it felt as if we were the only guests in the park. It was truly awesome.
If you do not have a Disney Vacation Package scheduled yet, contact me today! I would be happy to assist you in getting your trip planned and reserved. My services are free of charge and I can save you lots of time and money too! Contact me today!
On the Tenth Day of Christmas, Buzz Lightyear Gave to Me::
Traveling for the Holidays
2019 would be a great year to visit Animal Kingdom during
the holidays. This year they will debut
new decorations, shows, entertainment, and yuletide cheer. The magic will begin as soon as you cross into
Discovery Island and while the whole park is decorated, each land’s decorations
are tailored to its theme. Here are some of the wonderful holiday festivities
you can plan on experiencing:
Discovery Island decorated for a winter celebration
New Tree of Life Awakenings – themed to the spirit of the holidays
Festive musicians playing throughout Discovery Island
Catch some vintage Christmas Décor in Pandora – Humans remaining on Pandora bring décor from Earth to share with the natives
Various musicians and groups play music & dance throughout Harambe Village
Mickey & Friends Holiday Overlay for Character Meals at Tusker House
Celebrate Diwali in Asia – The Holiday Festival of Lights
Donald’s Dino-Bash Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Characters. There will be interactive games for littles
If you are heading to Disney World during the Holidays, stop by Animal Kingdom. This new Holiday Event is sure to be amazing – I am most excited for the Discovery Island section and the New Tree of Life Awakenings. What are you most excited about?
Giving a Disney Destination as a Gift for the Holidays
Give the gift of Memories that Will Last a Lifetime plus make your Holiday Shopping super easy and give the gift of a Disney Destination. Looking for a fun way to do that? How about a scavenger hunt? One year, we left a note card on the kitchen table for when the littles woke up. It told them they had to hunt for and collect clues. Each clue they found would be a hint at the surprise. You can make a list of items in your home that will help them guess what the surprise is. Then decide how you will get them from one clue to the next.
For this trip, we were headed to Disney World and staying in Port Orleans Riverside plus we were going to experience Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The first card basically just told them we had a surprise for them, but they had to hunt for it.
“Find the next clue where little #2 keeps his reptile toys.”
In the reptile toy bin, the found the next clue attached to a rubber alligator hinting at where we were staying (the kids love the fold down bed with the image of Luis above it at Riverside) They grabbed the gator and read the card –
“The next clue is where our pups like to sun themselves.”
They ran to the front porch to discover a card on a pumpkin gourd. The next clue –
“Find the next clue where you get your favorite beverage.”
In the Fridge they found a toy plane. It was then they figured we were going on a trip. The next Clue –
“Find the next clue where mommy shows us where all our different family members live”
They ran to the playroom to find a card on the state of Florida on our State Map rug. The final clue read –
“Run to up to where Daddy gets dressed.”
When they opened the closet doors, they found a suitcase with a Stuffed Mickey & Minnie on top. They needed a bit of help with the “alligator hint” but they figured out the rest all on their own. It was a fun way to tell them about their trip and the excitement that built during the hunt made the trip itself even more exciting. I am happy to help you plan any aspects of your trip, including how to gift it to your loved ones!
Trivia – Did You Know?
There were two “Marley’s” in “The Muppet Christmas Carol” but in other renditions of this movie or play, there is just Jacob Marley. They added a Robert Marley in this version so they could be played by Statler & Waldorf.
If you would like assistance reserving a trip to a Disney Destination
for the 2019 Holidays or if you would like to beat ALL the Holiday
Shopping crowds and book a Disney Destination to gift to your loved ones
this year, contact me today!
I would be delighted to help you find a great way to wrap up your
gift to surprise your family! I look forward to hearing from you and
helping you plan your Holiday Magic soon!
We got engaged at Disney, we Honeymooned there – it was time for another milestone trip. Our first trip in 10 years without our littles for our 10th Anniversary.
We arrived late afternoon to our home away from home for the weekend – the Polynesian. This was our first time staying here. We absolutely loved it and may or may not be thinking of joining DVC because of our stay here. The experience, amenities, and customer service were definitely elevated at this resort.
From the moment you check in and you get your Leis, you feel like part of their Ohana. We left our bags will Bell Services and went to check out our room. We had a balcony on the third floor in the Fiji Building (which was exactly what I requested when I called Disney with my room preferences; yay for Travel Agents!). It was beautiful. It was diagonal from the Great Ceremonial House where the restaurants, shops, & Monorail Platform are. Super close! Our view was of Bay Lake, the beach, and gardens. I spent each morning reading on that balcony and we sat out there one night to watch a beautiful storm pass through.
We enjoyed the beach & view of Magic Kingdom. Two of the nights we were able to watch the Fireworks over Magic Kingdom from the beach. Once was Happily Ever After and the other was the 4th of July Fireworks. We also saw the Electric Light Parade which I have enjoyed since I was a young child and I am SO glad they still show it each night.
We took full advantage of what the resort had to offer. We shopped in both shops at the resort. Between the two they have a wide selection of clothing, jewelry, accessories, toys, as well as things you would need that you may have forgotten at home, drinks, snacks, and more. The one thing I was looking for that I couldn’t find (a certain pair of earrings), a cast member looked in their inventory and found them for me at a shop in Epcot and had them for me the following day. Amazing service! We swam in both pools but we preferred the Lava Pool. The Oasis pool was beautiful but much more quiet. We liked the buzz and excitement of the Lave pool more. It is great that there are both options though! As for lounges & restaurants, we experienced Tambu Lounge, Capt. Cooks, & Trader Sam’s. The food and experiences were great at all 3 but my favorite would definitely be Trader Sam’s.
This is a must see for sure! We got right in without a wait which surprised me. The wait staff reacts differently to each item ordered off the menu and it becomes an experience the entire lounge takes part in. Between that and the decor, I could have spent hours there. Tip: Try to sit on a bar stool instead of on one of the couches – they have a fun surprise! Then there was transportation. I have not stayed at a Monorail resort in many years. In my opinion, it was worth every penny for that perk. It was super easy to come back for a swim mid-afternoon and took almost no time. It was great to visit other quick services and lounges along the Monorail line. We also had table service reservations at the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary so it was really nice to be so close to those. The buses for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were frequent so no issue there either. Transportation at the Polynesian is on point!
Just the general feel and environment that this resort offers is so great. We felt relaxed and as if we were on a beautiful lush island while staying there. It was very immersive and I hope to take the littles back on a trip in the not-so-far future.
We spent the first evening snacking and sipping our way around Disney Springs. Our first stop was the DockSide Margarita Bar. We were drawn right in by the music. There was a gentleman playing all kinds of fun music. He was quite talented and especially shocked me when he started playing the conch shell as an instrument. He was great!
We headed over to Paddlefish. Formerly Fulton’s Crab House, this large (docked) paddleboat is a great place to stop for food & drinks. I highly recommend heading to the rooftop. The view from up there is great and they have some amazing Ice pops!
The Hangar Bar was next on the list – Inspired by Jock Lindsay, Indiana Jones’ Pilot. We love the fun decor and all the nods to the movies and Jock’s travels. We always stop here for the pretzel – it comes with some great beer cheese & tasty mustard. Its a nice little snack that we like to order and snack on. We sit out on the dry-docked boat that looks like it is straight out of The Jungle Cruise. There, we listened to the music at the near-by stage and watched the Amphicars come and go.
Winebar George is a great little spot. This time we stopped at “The Basket” which is basically like a little grab-and-go window. You can get the Frozcato as well as the Dole Whip so it is worth a stop!
From there we needed a bite to eat. Figuring we would check out something new, we stopped in at D-Luxe Burger. Fairly typical quick service – you order at a window, get a pager and wait for your food. In the meantime you can help yourself to a number of amazing dips for your fries and burgers. They let you add on toppings-i.e. bacon, at NO CHARGE. I was kinda shocked honestly. So we got a bunch of dips and waited for our food to arrive and guess what? These. Burgers. Rock. Oh good gracious, it was tasty – stop there if you are looking for a delicious but quick burger. You will not be disappointed!
I wanted to show the Husband some of the neat places I learned about on my most recent training trip. I took him down the hidden staircase for Enzo’s. We grabbed a quick drink here (wishing we were not so full because this Italian food looked and smelled fantastic) and then I took him through the “secret” back exit. Once through there we arrived in the Basement of The Edison. It was super crowded and the house band was real good. After that, we called it a night – wouldn’t you?!
This is the weekend before 4th of July so this place is hoppin’! However the new fastpass+ system seemed to do a fairly decent job of spreading everyone around. We were able to do all the mountains and all the attractions we wanted to do (along with a meet-up with my favorite Princess) and we were out of there by 4! It all comes down to the way you spend your Fastpasses and which itinerary you follow. Using a few tips and tricks, it is not hard to see all that you want, even on a Holiday Weekend. One of my favorite parts of helping guests plan their trips is maximizing their time in the parks. It is kind of a Disney Science and I like to think I am not too shabby at it!
Construction is in full swing for Tron. They were not actively working during the day but so much progress has been made in just the few months since I was last here. I am getting super excited about it!
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Loaded Waffle Fries from Golden Oak Outpost
Loaded Tots from The Friar’s Nook
Spicy Chicken Waffle from Sleepy Hallow
The only part of Animal Kingdom that felt crowded was Pandora – No surprise there. We avoided Pandora because we fastpassed Flight of Passage for later in the day and went out on one of the first Safari’s of the day. I think we will try to do each trip going forward. There was SO much animal activity. We were even chased by an ostrich and the driver had to drive straight through the next habitat to get us away from him. My favorite was watching a lion and lioness play. It was like watching two furry kittens – they were having a lot of fun.
It was my mission to find and smooch on Kevin-The Snipe from Up. He can be found roaming the Kingdom. Well, he actually found me and came right up to us and pointed to our Anniversary pins and clucked a bunch. Nothing like a congratulations from a Snipe – my vacation was complete.
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Mac & Cheese with Pulled Pork from Eight Spoon Cafe
Haystacks from Zuri Sweets Shop
We also found a neat little Nook over by Dinosaur! It is a Paleontologist’s Tent with some fun decor. The mixologist we encountered was fun and really knowledgeable. It seems to be more of an adult place but it did not say children couldn’t come in. We just liked the quiet and laid back vibe with the great theming as a background.
As usual, I took my stroll around the tree to see what new animals I could spot. I found what I think are reindeer! I will be doing my Christmas in July soon so I thought they were fitting!
Pandora was amazing, as always. It is quite breathtaking when you sit back and just consider your surroundings. Grab a beverage at Pongu Pongu and have a seat and take it all in. It is so worth taking the 5 minutes to do so.
We got to the park 20 minutes before it opened and wound up very close to the opening line that they stop you at. We dropped back a bit because I insisted on going into the Trolley Car Cafe! We walked back to Toy Story to ride Midway Mania (already fastpassed Slinky Dog Dash for later). Wait was 5 minutes and when we came off, it was still 5 minutes. Swirling Saucers had no wait but Slinky was already up to 25 minutes. If you do not have a fastpass, go there first!
The highlight of the day was watching one of the Star Wars stage shows while facetiming our littles. We had a front row spot and I had a storm trooper come up to within a half-inch of my face. It scared the kids from 5 states away – but they loved it. I am excited to return in September and see what additional characters we can meet up with other than what they currently offer. My daughter would lose her mind if she could meet Rey and the same goes for me if I could meet Darth Maul. Can’t wait!
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Peanut butter Crunch Cupcake at Trolley Car (OH my word…)
BBQ Brisket Melt at Woody’s Lunch Box
Chocolate Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box
We had a Fastpass for Test Track so we got to the park about a half hour after opening and went right to Soarin’. It had no wait. The park was still quiet so we were able to get in a few more rides before our first Fastpass.
We caught not one, but two showings of The Jammitors. They do not perform the same act so you can see something different each time. If you have never stopped to see this short sidewalk show, you should! They are my husband’s favorite so we always see at least one showing. They give out fun little stickers that say “Junior Jammitor” which the Husband proudly wore the rest of the day…goof.
We finished up in Future World and headed for the Countries in World Showcase. We really went in depth into each country. We saw the inside of buildings and shops that we had not been able to enter for years because of impatient littles.
Special Places to check out –
La Cava in Mexico – the Guacamole is fantastic and it is a neat little spot off the beaten path
The walkways in China around the water are very pretty and they are full of fish and polywogs
The Fountain in Italy – a quiet and shady spot that is a peaceful spot to rest – note the grape vines full of grapes!
The Bazaar in Morocco – walk through all the different shops, they are so neat and different
The fountains & shops in France
While I have tried the phone booths in the United Kingdom as have several others, I have not gotten them to do much of anything in the past few years. While messing around with the phone, a Cast Member came up to us and said, “No, you are trying the wrong numbers. Call this number.” So we turned around to dial it and when we turned back, he was gone. We were soon delighted with a congratulatory message from Mickey and Minnie on our anniversary. THAT was some crazy Disney Magic! I love when it isn’t planned and just happens. I teared up a little.
We returned to our resort that evening to find the Magical Express folder on our door. What a sad sight! HOWEVER! We took advantage of our in-room bounceback offer and are already booked to return in September. This way I can visit Star Wars and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and relay any and all information I learn! If you have questions about where to find these offers, reach out to me!
If you would like me to assist in planning your Dream Vacation, contact me today and let’s get started!! My services are free of charge and I can help save you time and money! My passion and knowledge of Disney can really save you some stress and make your trip more enjoyable. Plus, qualifying reservations receive our Minnie Box! Our special thank you gift that is sent to you prior to departure for your trip. It is full of surprises and Magic and other wonderful things to enhance your stay.
2019 is going to be a Very Merry Holiday at Walt Disney World. There will be new offerings all over the resort as well as the return to several favorites.
For the very first time, Animal Kingdom is going to completely deck the halls! New decor in every land, new street performances and entertainment, holiday lanterns that will glow, and even Pandora will celebrate and Earth Holiday thanks to some of the humans that stayed behind.
In the evenings, all the lands will sparkle with holiday splendor and the Tree of Life will take on a wintery appearance and holiday tunes will be heard. Starting November 8th, come see how the Holidays transform this magical land full of beautiful animals, far off lands, and some of your favorite Disney Pals!
The Candlelight Processional will return once again during Festival of the Holidays. Candlelight Processional Dining packages will also be available. From November 29-December 30, guests can discover holiday traditions, festive bites & sips, and special entertainment through 11 countries. In addition to the 11 countries, there will be Holiday Kitchens from additional places around the world. They will also be offering wonderful treats to try.
For the kiddos (and kiddos at heart), you will be able to hunt for Chip & Dal again in their Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt. We always find this is a great activity to keep the littles busy while we check out the countries.
Many of our favorites will return to Hollywood this year. Olaf will make his grand appearance in a fantastic holiday Finale of “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Holiday Sing-Along”. This ending is different from the normal show and brought me to tears. It was so sweet.
“Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam” is set to return. We loved this display on the Chinese theater. It is a great combination of projections, fireworks, and great music. I recommend finding a good spot about a half hour prior to it starting because that street fills up FAST!
One of the neatest things I found last year was the show on Sunset that was projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Set to music along with some blustery surprises, this one was one of my kids favorites. It is on a loop so it is not hard to catch. We must have seen it at least four times!
WHO KNOWS what is in store for the holidays at Galaxy’s Edge. I wonder how they will decorate for the holidays! I am excited to visit and find out and maybe pick up a gift for someone special from a Galaxy Far, Far Away!
Magic Kingdom will be decked out in its traditional Holiday decor. The magic really comes to life when you visit during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There is special stage shows, a beautiful parade concluded with Santa, himself, and NEW this year is a new Holiday Fireworks Display.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime is an all-new Nighttime Spectacular coming to Magic Kingdom this Holiday season. This Park-Wide display will be set to holiday tunes that will warm your heart. HINT: This is the one Fireworks show that we INSIST we watch from Main Street.
The beautiful Once Upon A Christmas Time parade will be back along with other favorites – “Totally Tomorrowland Christmas’ Stage Show, “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration”, and of course, Elsa’s “Frozen Holiday Wish”
We will update these as they are confirmed but as in years past, resorts will be decorated for the holiday. Some of my favorites to visit:
Gingerbread House at Grand Floridian
Chocolate Display at Contemporary
Holiday Tree at Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and several other resorts that display these themed Holiday Beauties.
In addition to all the amazing holiday shopping you can get done, Disney Springs is a Holiday Destination all on its own.
You can stroll down the Christmas Tree trail where you can see custom-decorated trees. Each tree will be decorated to a specific holiday theme. I cannot wait to see what themes there will be this year.
Guests are welcome to come visit Santa in his Chalet until December 24th when he has to head back north. From there, Santa Goofy will meet with guests until the 31st.
Need something to occupy the littles with while you get some shopping done? Experiment 626 is hiding in Disney Springs. You and your family can hunt for Stitch in his Holiday Gift Hunt.
These are just some of the few things we already know are lined up. There is so much more to be announced and it will be updated here as I learn of them.
If you are ready to start planning your holiday trip, contact me today for a no-obligation quote! My services are free of charge and I am happy to help you from start to finish with anythin you may need. Let me help plan your most Merry trip ever!
Extra (additional), Extra Magic Hours are coming to Disney World this Fall!
Because of all the excitement surrounding Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney is opening adding more Extra Magic Hours to the calendar.
Extra Magic Hours are offered at a select Disney World park each day. They happen either before the park opens or after the park closes. They are available at no charge to Disney Resort Guests and other select hotel guests only. They typically last an hour or two and the park in which it is offered rotates.
Well now – With the addition of Extra, Extra Magic Hours, you will have way more options and a lot more time available to be in the parks. This is what they are offering now to Disney Resort and other Select Hotel Guests:
Hollywood Studios will open daily at 6am from September 1st – November 2nd.
Magic Kingdom will open daily at 7am from August 29th – November 2nd
Animal Kingdom will open daily at 7am from August 29th – November 2nd
Epcot will still have occasional Extra Magic Hours as it does now
This adds several hours of possible park touring time to your vacation. It also definitely has me rethinking how I will plan Fastpasses for my guests traveling in the fall as well as my own trips.
If you would like some guidance on how to take full advantage of these Extra, Extra Magic Hours or even if this just gets you so excited that you are now ready to book a trip, contact me today!
There may not be anything like seeing Walt Disney World through the eyes of a child. However, it can be an equally awesome place for adults. There are so many things that are easier when traveling without children and the biggest that comes to mind is getting through the Parks. No carriage to park & find, no littles stopping at every turn – it is amazing how much more I accomplished in the Parks when I did not have my littles with me. Oh MAN did I miss them, but the difference in the experience is totally worth it every once and a while.
#Adulting in Disney Parks
Just a few of the great things you can do while #Adulting in Disney Parks:
Rides that have height requirements – The thrill rides are a breeze when all in your party reach the minimum height.
After Hours – Disney’s After Hours is a great experience that I think all adults should try. There are so few guests in the park because it gets LATE. You can ride and re-ride your favorites with limited wait times, see your favorite characters with almost no wait times and get some awesome photos because the parks are very empty. Due to the hours of this even is not something my littles are old enough for – hello Disney meltdowns! (With littles I would do the Early Magic Hours.
“Adult” Dining Experiences – There are many restaurants in Disney Parks that are nicer & possibly more romantic when it is adults only. In addition, most kids won’t enjoy their menu or the atmosphere like adults will. Le Cellier & Tiffins are good examples.
H2O Glow Nites – The fantastic party at Typhoon Lagoon has an all adults area. “The Wharf” is a little spot just for us grown-ups! A must-do when this party is running in the summer.
Epcot Festivals – Sipping & Snacking around the world during one of Epcot’s many festivals is such a fun couples, group, or girls weekend event.
La Cava – A fantastic tequila bar inside the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot. It is on the darker side and really not very kid friendly. – Try the Avocado Margarita!
Disney Tours – There are a number of fun and different tours that have height and age requirements. The famous “Key’s to the Kingdom Tour” and “Epcot Seas Adventure Divequest” are among some of my favorites and will not permite children.
World Showcase Wine Walk – a great way to taste the wines of the different countries in Epcot. You get a great souvenir cup as well. Hint: If you don’t mine sharing, you can just purchase one glass and sample wines together.
Nomad Lounge – Tucked beside Tiffins, this is a great little lounge with a great view and they offer beverages from around the world and small plates.
Baseline Taphouse – New to Hollywood Studios, a corner pub serving up California based beverages.
The many shops in all the parks – It is much easier to walk around stores and enjoy yourself when you have no one in tow!
Disney World Parks are a great destination, even without kids! Get your friends or significant other together and let’s get a trip put together for you! We can add any/all of these to your itinerary!!
Next up: Epcot gets its own #Adulting page because it is very much my favorite park to adult at. Stay tuned!
I have spend the last week in Walt Disney World and while I was away, several important things were released. I wanted to catch up on a few important items before I start my trip report. I learned SO much and I am excited to share it all with you.
Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night comes to Animal Kingdom
This new dining adventure begins on July 24th, 2019. It will honor and showcase several beautiful animals and will celebrate “The Lion King”. This event is both fun and educational. While on this culinary journey, you will learn about the importance of certain African animals, the daily challenges they face, and what Disney is doing to protect them.
Start your journey at the Wildlife Express Train Station. Here, you will have hors d’oeuvres and beverages – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
After a short ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you will be greeted by some great friends – Timon & Rafiki. The characters will meet, greet, and interact as well as provide some fun activities. More light snacks and beverages will be served here as well.
From there, guests get back on the train and head to Harambe Market which is where the main part of this event takes place. Once in Harambe, you will be able to enjoy many dishes, both savory and sweet. They will be paired with unique beverages.
Reservations are recommended! Contact me for more information or to add this to your vacation package.