Scoop: Rapunzel’s New Tower at Magic Kingdom!!!

I spy Rapunzel’s tower at Magic Kingdom. We spotted this new mysterious project sprouting up behind imagineer walls at Disney’s Magic Kingdom during our visit to New Fantasyland.

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Rapunzel’s new tower is located behind It’s a Small World and up the hill from the Haunted Mansion attraction. While heading into the queue for the Haunted Mansion you’ll have a stellar view of the tower. 

Disney has not released any official statements about if this will be a meet and greet attraction for Rapunzel or exactly what will happen at this location. However, rumors online say they have verified Disney say there will be new bathrooms located here, but there has not been a press release about the project to date.

I thought perhaps this might be a new area for a special character interaction with Rapunzel, however with the installation of the brand new soon to be AMAZING Princess Fairytale Hall set to open in 2013 in the center of Fantasyland, this seems unlikely.

Stay tuned for more news on Rapunzel’s tower. I promise the tower looks spectacular and it will be a beacon to easily spot if indeed it ends up being a major bathroom zone for kids and families. Regardless, it looks beautiful and magical. I love it!

Lunch Options at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café in California Adventure

Do you research dining options as part of the Disney vacation preparation process? I have to admit to neglecting this aspect of vacation planning. With so many details to consider (what to wear, where to stay, all the baby gear to pack, etc), we usually just “swing it” when it comes to meals…which doesn’t always end well.

During our most recent trip to California Adventure, our family wandered in to the Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe on our way to Soarin’ Over California. We were weary and hot after a morning of attractions.

Our first impressions were positive. The delicatessen and cafe features wooden bench-style seats and open glass “bakery style” windows.

We were hoping to find a few sandwiches or salads that would suit our healthy appetites and line up with our daughters’ palettes.

Unfortunately, the fast-casual restaurant featured only four sandwiches – all heavy on the vinaigrette side of things:

  • Roast Beef & Cheddar Sandwich with Horseradish Sauce ($9.69)
  • Turkey Rueben with Sauerkraut ($9.69)
  • Paneer & Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with a Spicy Tomato Sauce ($8.99)
  • Salami Royale with an Olive Vinegar Sauce ($8.99; pictured)
We settled on the last option.

Our three daughters (ages 6, 3, and 6 months), like many young children, were not thrilled by the sour sauce. Both my husband and I agreed that we wished that there had been more “traditional” sandwich options – perhaps a Turkey & Provolone Sandwich, a Grilled 4-Cheese Sandwich, and/or a Roast Beef and Cheddar Melt (minus the horseradish).

Note that several of the sandwiches are sold as a half-sandwich, which isn’t exactly filling after a hard day of play.

If you’re looking for a coffee, espresso, or smoothie, this place is a good stopping point. The Starbucks-branded beverages range from $2.69-$5.49, depending on your drink of choice. You can also ask for a tall glass of complimentary water.

If, however, you’re looking for a lunch spot with little ones, skip this dining venue in favor of something more kid-friendly and with more “fun factors.”

Where do you like to eat lunch in California Adventure? What restaurant inside the park offers the most filling entrees? 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephanie Sheaffer is an entrepreneur, writer, runner, and the mother of three little girls. In 2011, she traveled 20,000 miles around the USA with her family in a 300sqft RV. At the end of the trip, her 5-year-old said Disney World was her favorite stop! She now resides in Arizona and blogs at Metropolitan Mama. Follow her on Twitter @stephsday.

What to Eat at Flo’s V8 Cafe in California Adventure

Looking for a breakfast spot in California Adventure? Rev up your engines and head to Cars Land for a retro dining experience at Flo’s V8 Cafe. The fast-casual restaurant features 50′s decor that keeps time with the “Cars” movie. Enjoy oldies tunes, fun pink sparkly seats, and mementos from Flo’s singing career.

Choose to sit indoors or out on the patio…both provide a fantastic view of the Radiator Springs Racers and the desert sand dunes beyond.

Try the American Breakfast for $7.99. The plate includes scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, and a biscuit. A hearty choice.

Got a sweet tooth? You’ll likely enjoy the Brioche French Toast ($7.99). The toast is topped with a generous helping of caramel sauce with bananas sliced on top. Our 6-year-old gobbled this up, smacking her lips with each bite. Note that this entree is on the smaller side and may not be quite as filling as the American Breakfast (though it is deliciously rich and dessert-y).

For healthier fare, choose the Seasonal Fruit Plate ($5.49). Includes a medley of in-season fruit, a small cup of strawberry yogurt, and a blueberry muffin.

Overall, Flo’s is a good choice for breakfast in the park:

  • Fun atmosphere
  • Great View
  • Good Eats
  • Family-Friendly

What is your favorite breakfast spot at California Adventure and/or Disneyland?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephanie Sheaffer is an entrepreneur, writer, runner, and the mother of three little girls. In 2011, she traveled 20,000 miles around the USA with her family in a 300sqft RV. At the end of the trip, her 5-year-old said Disney World was her favorite stop! She now resides in Arizona and blogs at Metropolitan Mama. Follow her on Twitter @stephsday.

The Backstory for New Fantasyland will soon be revealed!

No one can entertain or build suspense like Disney.

After seeing this trailer video about the soon to be revealed backstory for New Fantasyland, I’m now counting down the days until the story will be revealed. Check out the trailer below – isn’t it great? I’m DYING to visit and step into this brand New Fantasyland.

You can sign up for backstory updates here on this special Finding New Fantasyland website.

Until all is revealed, I’m memorizing the updated brand new map of New Fantasyland and I’m continually scouting the web for more photos to be released of the various attractions in New Fantasyland as they all near completion.

Everything Disney does is simply awesome and I know this new expansion will be such an incredible addition to Magic Kingdom. My kids are already begging me to book our next trip – I’m thinking this is a great excuse to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon again in February!

Photos Galore of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Guests are dying to sign up for this annual Halloween fest at the Magic Kingdom that runs for 23 Spooky nights.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party rocks – you can see all the dates available for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party here. Guests dress up from 7 PM – 12 AM and can trick or treat too! And Wishes, the firework show becomes the Happy Hallowishes show too!

There is apparently tons of candy and my cousin reports it was also a great time to go on rides with super short lines late at night too. Her 2nd grade girls were out til midnight riding Thunder Mountain last year!

The decorations alone are worth the visit and let’s not forget the unlimited candy and spectacular seasonal parades. I’ve never been myself, but my cousin and best friend both attended with their families and said this party is a Disney “Must Do.”

What else goes on at the Halloween Party ? Parades, Disney characters donning Halloween costumes, and tons of entertainment unique to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. For instance, many popular Magic Kingdom attractions like the Haunted Mansion are spooked up for Halloween.

Nightly entertainment features the twice nightly “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” led by the infamous Headless Horseman, followed by  “HalloWishes,” a green and orange fireworks display complete with Disney villains.

New this year: Main Street, U.S.A will be the place to be for some monstrous pre-parade entertainment, “The Not-So-Scary Street Jam!” The new activity will take place after the Headless Horseman races down Main Street, U.S.A. and before “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” begins.

Take a peek at these photos of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Aren’t they awesome?

Everyone raves about this Headless Horseman. My kids would go crazy if they saw him as Kenzie and Kyle are obsessed with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

I love the characters all decked out in Halloween colors and outfits.

Mickey and Minnie look so cute and check out Pumpkin Donald Duck below.

More Headless Horseman magic….

 

Fantasyland Grand Opening Date Set for Dec. 6th, 2012

Who’s excited about this big news?

It’s official. The Magic Kingdom has set a grand opening date of Dec. 6th, 2012 for the brand new expanded Fantasyland. Previews of Fantasyland will begin on November 19th. I am DYING to see and experience the new attractions. December can’t come soon enough!

Magic Kingdom is my favorite park and I’m sure the expansion to Fantasyland is going to make it even more magical.

We’ve already rode the new Dumbo and it was fabulous. It’s also now officially my 4 year old son’s favorite ride.

Check out these photos & sketches to get a taste of the magic and what new rides and restaurants will be open come December 6th, 2012.

What attraction are you most excited about? I can’t decide.  I’m sure that my 1st look of the Beast’s castle will be majestic & magical, but I can’t wait to ride on these new attractions either.

Here’s Disney’s official PR scoop:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid  a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean’s surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel’s adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along.  The fun continues at “Ariel’s Grotto,” a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel’s new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
  • Just outside the village is Belle’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice’s workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast’s library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”

Also, if you have a trip planned before December 6th, you’ll still be able to see lots of the new expanded Fantasyland.

Dumbo is already open – and remember now there are 2 Dumbo’s running side by side in Storybook Circus. And the Barnstormer Coaster is already re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area will be open and the Fantasyland Train Station is brand new too.

So much to see and do. I can’t wait to visit Walt Disney World again.

The Avengers Monorail is live at Disney

My kids would LOVE riding this newly debuted Avengers themed monorail.

As it is now,  the Monorail is one of Kenzie and Kyle’s FAVORITE attractions while at Disney World and now to have it wrapped Avenger super hero style totally rocks.  Disney and Marvel’s highly-anticipated “The Avengers” hits theaters on May 4, 2012 so Disney is pumping up this movie as they ready for the big release this spring.

My husband is super hero obsessed and my 4 year old son is quickly following his lead so this movie is on our most watch list.

For all your Avengers fans, here’s some more links to stay connected:

“Like” MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MarvelsTheAvengers

Follow MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS on Twitter: twitter.com/avengers

Cinderella’s Castle looks Romantic for Valentine’s Day

Yes, it is possible to make Cinderella’s Castle even more romantic than it already appears. Take a peek at this photo:

A new segment of the “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” projection show on Cinderella Castle will cover the classic Magic Kingdom Castle with a very romantic overlay – complete with roses in one scen and a star-filled sky in another. . This theme debuted on Feb. 1st and will run the first half of Valentine’s month, until Feb. 15. The castle will also showcase some of the most romantic Disney animation moments – including scenes with Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle.

I’ve seen ” The Magic, The  Memories, and You!” once before – it is incredible. Unbelievably incredible. I can’t wait to see it again, but we arrive in Disney on Feb 24th for me to run the Disney Princss 1/2 marathon so we’ll just miss this “romantic” version.

 

 

Tips for the Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Are your kids big fans of Star Wars? Even if they aren’t now, they will be after being a part of the Jedi Training Academy at Disney Hollywood Studios. This is one attraction that is NOT to be missed!
Read on for insider tips & photos from our Disneyed contributor,  Kelly Cockshaw‘s experience at the Jedi Training Academy with her boys (age 4 & 6).
Unlike most of the other live-action stage shows in Disney World, this show puts your kids directly onstage and part of the action. As “Padawans” (Star Wars lingo for a Jedi in training), the children are given a brown, hooded robe. The program begins with a “Jedi Master” leading the kids on stage and teaching them how to use their light sabers. The Master mixes the seriousness of a Jedi with plenty of humor that we parents enjoyed.
It is then that the infamous theme music begins, smoke appears, and Darth Vader himself makes his entrance. And what an entrance it is!
To be honest, I was a bit nervous watching Lord Vader point his gloved, black finger at my boys, telling them to join the Dark Side! But the kids showed no fear. They each took their turn facing him and used their newly acquired light saber skills to “defeat” him. And don’t worry, while his presence is menacing, Darth battles in a non-threatening way that doesn’t terrify the kids. In fact, they all looked downright determined to bring the big guy down.
Here are some helpful hints for the Jedi Training experience:
  • Be sure you get to the gates of Disney Hollywood Studios well before opening. You will want to make a beeline for the Jedi Training signup location (check with a cast member to find out where). On most days the showtimes are filled before the entire line of kids can sign up.
  • Your children MUST be with you in line when they are assigned a showtime!
  • To make the most of your time waiting in line, have another adult from your party go around the park collecting Fast Passes for other rides.
  • Lastly, when you return to the Star Tours stage for your showtime, have one of the adults from your party save a spot in the front row a few minutes before the show.
When anyone asks my boys what they liked best about our trip to Disney World, they always answer, “Defeating Darth Vader!!” (sorry, Mickey, you were a distant second).
Have fun, and may the Force be with you!

The Small Pleasures of Disney World

Disney World is an wondrous place. Just think about some of the amazing attractions and the imagination and technology that it took to bring those experiences to life. Attractions like Mission:SPACE, DINOSAUR, and Toy Story Mania! They’re rides that we, even as adults, love to go on. And hey, that’s why we’re ok with spending some substantial cash to get in, right?

But we noticed a funny thing with the kids, especially when they’re younger, like Kyle – who started visiting Disney at 15 months (He’s also since been back at just 2 and just 3 years old)

Some of the attractions that we think he should love, he simply does not.  And even more surprising, he took a strong liking to some of what we us adults might consider to be the most boring parts of the park. He loved the Tomorrowland_Transit_Authority_PeopleMover, Brer Rabbit’s Playground (a hidden gem of a playground underneath Splash Mountain), riding the Carousel again and again, and the guns on Tom Sawyer Island.

I urge you to embrace the small pleasures your kids find in the hidden nooks at Disney and let go of the need to hustle and bustle to the star attractions. Take in the parade. Hop on the carousel ride with your kids. Dance in the Streets when you find an impromptu character dance party happening. Relish the small playgrounds your kids find in a hidden area of Disney.

Some of our most magical moments and memories at Disney are from the spontaneous joy the kids have found in the out of the way & little known attractions – that also have generally have zero lines and no wait time. Something that will please everyone in the family from birth to age 80.

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