Friday, February 24, 2017

Fantasmic! Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

Fantasmic! is a night time, good versus evil, 25 minute show located at Hollywood Hills Amphitheater (behind the Tower of Terror) starring Mickey Mouse, the Sorcerer's Apprentice. The show consists of lasers, images projected on water mist, fireworks and lighting effects. It brings all your favorite Disney heroes, princesses and even villains together.

The amphitheater opens 90 minutes prior to show time. There are snacks to purchase inside or you can bring your own. Disney does change the times so I suggest verifying before you go. Arriving an hour early is recommended. They do offer Fast Passes but I don't find it useful. It doesn't guarantee a seat or a spot in line. When I arrived without a Fast Pass I was directed to sit in the same area.  I would prefer to save my Fast Passes for another attraction. 

If the weather is extremely windy or raining they might decide to cancel the show. They don't make that decision until minutes before showtime. If these conditions occur, I suggest heading over 20 minutes before showtime to see it is definitely cancelled or locate a cast member to see what is going on over there.

Dining Package: If you plan on eating dinner or lunch at Hollywood & Vine, The Hollywood Brown Derby or Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, you might want to consider the dining package plan. Each member of your party will receive a voucher to enter Fantasmic! at the selected restaurants. After dinner, head over to the amphitheater 45 minutes before show time and hand your vouchers to a cast member. They will escort you to your seat. Seating is based on first come, first serve basis. It is a great way to avoid waiting on line for a long period of time. This is a better option then using a Fast Pass. Please call 407-WDW-DINE or your travel agent for further information. Reservations and a credit card is needed at time of booking. Keep in mind if Fantasmic! is cancelled due to weather, you will not get a refund.

Seating: It is very tempting to run down to the front. However, it does involve water mist projections and there is a chance of getting wet. Keep that in mind when you select your seating. The best seating is located dead center or Sorcerer Mickey or Scar side.

Photography: Everyone tries to take photos of the show but may have difficulty capturing clear pictures. For those who have point and shoot or DSLR cameras, I suggest using "sports" mode. It is simple and basic for those who are just learning. To avoid noisy pictures, make sure to wait for bright scenes such as the Dragon scene. I suggest reading "Understand Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, if you want to learn more about your camera's settings.

Fantasmic! Facts:
• Opened in Disney World on October 15, 1998
• The moat contains 1.9 million gallons of water.
• The mountain is 57.5 feet above the water.
• The rising dragon rises 50 feet and has a wing span of 50 feet.
• It can accommodate 11,000 guests.
• Fantasmic! originated in Disneyland.
• Fantasmic! was known as The Imagination! up until the last stages of development and was changed due to trademark concerns. The music introduction starts with "Imag-in-ation." Next time you see the show, listen for it.
• The Steam Boat is 80 feet long and weighs approx. 70,000 lbs.

Sneak Peak: Home Video at a Glimpse


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Muppets Mobile Lab

      I was lucky enough on my last trip to Epcot to see the Mobile Muppets lab. It is a rocket like 2 wheeled contraption built just for Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and my favorite Muppet Beaker.

 This is a device kind of like a Segway, that holds the 2 Muppets.  The amazing part is it's all animatronic and is controlled by a cast member at a different location. This contraption has all the  bells and whistles that a mobile science lab needs. With a microphone and camera hidden inside, shooting  confetti cannons, spray jets and outside  flashing moving signs that change throughout the  10 minute show.

 This show has appeared at Disney California Adventure and Hong Kong Disneyland as well. It is now back in Orlando, as it first appeared back in 2007. It has gone around the world and now 10 years later, it is back.

  If you know anything about Dr. Bunsen, you know he is a scientist and an inventor.  Throughout  the show he lets his assistant, Beaker, assist him. A fun surprise is that Bunson also gets a lucky audience member involved too. The show is interactive everyone in the audience  gets a good view. This show is part of the Disney living character initiative where guests can become part of a character interaction experience.

 The show takes place behind Spaceship earth, near the pin trading station. There are no listed times of the show and it is put on at random times throughout the day.  Have you seen the show? What did you think about it?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Let's Go Cruisin'!

We want to celebrate everything Disney Cruise Line with this special giveaway sponsored by some of our favorite Etsy sellers! Check out everything that is up for grabs to ONE LUCKY WINNER!

First up we have a large selection of wax tarts from our pals at Fandoms and Fairytales! You get ALL of these scents!

Next is a Journal/Autograph book from our talented pals at Sydney's Thotful Spot! This is an 8 x8 Disney Cruise Travel Journal with plenty of room for photos, memories and autographs.

Check out this adorable Cup Cozy from our pals at Once Upon a Cozy!

Who can resist this fabulous display piece for our Disney Pin Collectors from GradysMommy?! ( Prize does NOT include pins, this is only for the display piece to display your own beautiful collection ;)  )

Next up we have Disney Cruise Line themed Nail Decals from NailGlams Nail Decals!

Last, but certainly not least, we have this gorgeous Disney Cruise Line themed key chain from Sky Metal Designs!

One of our awesome fans will will ALL of these wonderful Disney Cruise Line themed products from these fabulous Etsy sellers! Which one are you most excited about?

Enter Below

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Here's the mobile link for our Pals who are mobile: Mobile Friendly Link

**This giveaway is in no way sponsored by or associated with Facebook, Pinterest, Disney, Blogger,I Instagram, Twitter or Etsy. Please read all the terms and conditions.**

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the creator of Mouse Mingle, Dave Tavres. What is MouseMingle you ask? From their website: is the place to connect people who love Disney and who want that same magic in their relationship. I mean, who doesn't want that?! The site is similar to other dating sites with profiles, photos, compatibility questions etc... With a Disney fan twist. You can find out a person's "Disney Fan Level", "Home Park", "Touring style"... I mean, how great is that?! Whether you're looking for a new friend, a "Park Pal" or something more, as Disney Fans, these are important questions! Without further ado... I give you the creator of, Mr. Dave Tavres!   

*HINT* Be sure to read all the way to the end of the article!

What inspired you to create MouseMingle?  
My inspiration really came from other dating sites not having search options to find someone who loves Disneyland the way I do. As a geek, it was a pretty easy next step to create a site for other Disney fans like me.

I assume you're a "Disney Fan" yourself. What started your passion for Disney? Do you have a favorite Disney Park or Ride?
Yeah, my 'Disney nerd-level' is through the roof :) I was a history Tour Guide at Disneyland, then became a locomotive engineer. I also volunteered at Walt Disney's Barn in Burbank for many years. I have always been a HUGE Walt Disney fan, so I've studied a lot about him. I've been to Walt’s hometown of Marceline twice - I love the people there, and I love the town.
I grew up in SoCal, so as kids, my little sister and I were often used as excuses to go to Disneyland by the “grownups”. As an adult, I love the history of the Park, and how Walt created it.
Being a train geek and former locomotive engineer, the Disneyland Railroad is my favorite. It's relaxing, historic, you get the perfect opportunity to people watch. I just love being in Disneyland. I really feel the magic once I'm 'inside the berm'... it really is a happy place to be.

When was it launched?
MouseMingle opened on December 1st, 2015. I honestly had no idea it would explode the next day when Conan O'brien mentioned it on his late night show. And when it was mentioned during The Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, the site went really crazy!

Other than the "Disney themed questions," is there anything else that sets Mouse Mingle apart from other "traditional" sites?
Yes - it's really about the strong emotional connection that people have with Disney. When you start out with a common passion that's more than just an interest, it's easier to connect with someone else. The reason MouseMingle is so great, is because you KNOW that someone who has filled out more than the required questions also loves Disney.

Approximately how many members are there?

There are currently tens of thousands of profiles, with most people in the US, but there are people from around the globe on the site daily. I'm excited to say that we plan to expand the site to accommodate French and Japanese speaking users, hopefully this year, to reach fans near Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.

What is the ratio of male to female members?
The ratio right now is about 2 women for every 1 man.

What factors go into the algorithm that produces "matches" (How are people matched? Do you use only the Disney info or the other general factors as well. Is there a different "weight" given to one area over the other or equal weight to both?)
Right now the algorithm matches mostly on the basic questions, which people find more useful. When someone is matched on those basics, then they can look at someone's profile to learn more of the fun stuff - like whether they prefer to people watch when they go to a Park, or if they love every Pixar movie ever made. You can tell a lot about someone based on their profile.

Can you share any member success stories?
A lot of people have written in saying that they have found their Prince or Princess. And right now we know about two engagements. We'll share more about those when the time is right... But in general, the people who have written in about finding someone who they connect with so well is actually pretty emotional. I always hoped people would connect, but some of the messages from people really do feel like a dream come true. I've teared up many times reading those messages.

Do you have any tips for getting the most out of a Mouse Mingle membership?
Yes... SEND WINKS! And, fill out your profile! Almost every email I have received from people who have met someone has said that it all started with a wink. And everyone can send winks. Don't be shy…if someone you think could be interesting sends you a wink, wink back! It's an easy gesture that could lead to something wonderful.

What is the cost of a full membership?
It's free to create a profile and send winks and just look around. When you find someone you want to connect with, it's $12.55 a month, and there's no contract, so you can cancel it anytime.
Members have relayed that when someone says "I'm not a full member", it just looks... tacky, and probably means they aren't serious about making a connection with someone. Whether you're looking for a Park Pal, or a friendship with someone who loves Disney, upgrading is worth it - as long as you send some messages and reach out to people.
Safety is a concern for online dating in general. Are there any safety protocols in place for members such as blocking/reporting etc? Do you have any safety tips for your members?
Yes, the first and most important thing is - don't share personal information. Just like Disney, we just want your first name on your name tag. And don't post your contact or social media info, or it's easy for people who you may not be interested in, to track you down. Disney fan or not, YOU control who contacts you and how. We also ask users to PLEASE, use the "Report / Flag" feature - we need everyone's help to make sure the site is safe.

Thank you for your time, is there anything else you'd like to tell us or share with our readers?
It was a pleasure, thanks :) I'm very happy that people want MouseMingle - but I also hear a lot of people who aren't sure about it... I always tell them to take a chance. Disney is fun and light. You don't have to join the site with marriage in mind - just create a profile and have fun answering the questions, then keep checking back - new people join the site every day, and it will only get better when we release the new mobile apps in the coming months.

Wasn't that great?! Now, I have saved the best for last! Our Pals at have offered one of our readers a FREE 3 month membership to! That's right, I said a FREE membership! ... Maybe just in time to find that special Disney Pal of your own for Valentine's Day?! Click below to enter! We want to thank the folks at for this great giveaway and for their time in doing this interview, they were a lot of fun to work with!

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Express Transportation

   Disney just released a new transportation option that could shave time off of park entry! Express Transportation is now in the testing stages at all four main parks.  For a few ($15 for one day or $25 for up to seven) you can be loaded on to transportation buses back stage within the park! When you are transported backstage at your destination, you are able to bypass security and front entry.
    At Disney's Hollywood Studios you are picked up next to the entrance for Rockin' Roller Coaster. The backstage waiting area is different than the other sites. There were 2 benches available but no shade or cover. Hopefully if this process takes off, a change will be made there.

    The drop off/pick up at Animal Kingdom is backstage near Kilimanjaro Safari. The actual waiting area to catch the bus is inside the park here. Once a bus is ready, you are escorted by my castmember backstage to the bus.
   Magic Kingdom is a little different. You are let off deep in the park behind behind Bizz Lightyear. I think this shaves off about 20 minutes, at the least.  Once again, waiting for the next bus is inside the park but you're escorted via cast member to a bus.
    Epcot's Express Transportation area is located near Spaceship Earth. This one doesn't save you as much time but you still get to bypass security.
   All in all, I was happy with this service. If you are on property during peak times it would be really beneficial. I think the pricing is worth the time you save. As of right now, this service is only available at the four main theme parks and may only be purchased at guest services within these parks. Another point made clear by castmenbers is that here is NO photography allowed in the backstage areas. I didn't see anything at any of the backstage locations that I'd want to take a picture of anyway.
   What are you thoughts?

Monday, December 5, 2016

We Wish YOU Were Here for Christmas!

We really do wish YOU Were Here for Christmas! But hopefully this comes close. How about a yummy candle and wax tarts to make your home smell amazing for the Holidays from our pals at Fandoms and Fairtales?! How about an adorable Adventure ornament from our friends at Sydney's Thotful Spot? (What a great gift to give or get!) We've got them for you! Giveaway begins at Midnight (Central) tonight and runs through 12:00 AM Central December 13th. Check out how to win by clicking the link below and GOOD LUCK!

Candle and tarts from Fandoms and Fairytales

Adventure Ornament from Sydney's Thotful Spot

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Disney Cruise Castmembers


    If there is one thing about Disney that you can be sure of, it is that their cast members are top notch!      You will have several cast members that cater to your every need on a Disney cruise. Everyone from your stateroom attendant  to the captain of the ship is there for you and eager to make you happy while on the cruise.
   On my family's most recent western Caribbean cruise, we couldn't have been happier with the way things went and the help, assistance and care we received.  We were actually cruising during hurricane Matthew!
    Captain Fabian was so great about letting us know what was going on every day. He came over the loud speaker with news, he even had them satellite in a weather channel so passengers could stay more informed.
Captain Fabian
    Darren was the ships cruise director. We saw him every night at the show and he was always so energetic and fun! The night of the officer pin trading event, he pulled my son aside after seeing his Star Wars lanyard covered in Star Wars pins and said he wanted to give him a special pin from his own collection!  My son was so excited and the following night it was delivered to our cabin.
   Our cabin attendant was very attentive and always wanted to know what he could do to make it better.  He brought extra blankets, made cool animals and left our stuffed Disney characters sitting up arranged with the blanket creatures.

  Our waitstaff could not be beat!  Seriously, no one could have been better than David and Saul. Every night we laughed and talked. I taught both of them, as well as the maitre'd, how to use Snapchat!  I told Saul on the first night that I wanted mac and cheese every night as an appetizer and it was always hot and on the table as soon as we arrived. David was so cute flirting with my mom and joking about it with my dad. We even teared up a little on the last morning at breakfast when we had to say goodbye. I can only hope that we will get them or someone just as good on our next Disney cruise! 
When David was learning Snapchat
Me and David

Saul the Snapchat Bunny


 What about you?  What magic did you experience on your Disney cruise by cast members? We'd love to hear about it!