Animal Kingdom, At Home, Dining, Disney, Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Visiting Disney

The Doc is in!

This Disney Friend Friday we’ll say hello to Doc McStuffins!

This Disney Junior star is a hit in our home!  We sing along to her CD in the car, watch both her original episodes and now the new  “Doc McStuffins: Toy Hospital” series, and this Christmas the Doc Toy Hospital was found under our tree!

We’ve always enjoyed meeting up with Doc at Hollywood Studios!  She has a meet and greet in the Animation Courtyard, is part of the super show “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” and is currently making the rounds at breakfast and lunch at the Disney Junior Play and Dine meals at Hollywood and Vine (note that after May 13th the Disney Junior gang will only be meeting guests at breakfast.)  In exciting Doc news – as of February of this year, Doc is now making appearances outside of the vet clinic at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

If you’re looking to spend some time with Doc between your trips to Walt Disney World Resort, you can watch her on both the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.  You can also check her activities and videos by clicking HERE.

 

Read more about meeting Disney characters by clicking here!

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Spectacle of Dancing Lights  – (A Flashback Friday Post)

Last year we surprised our kids and booked a trip with about 10 days notice to Walt Disney World Resort.  It was the last year the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights would be appearing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and it was one of those Disney Bucket List items I NEEDED to cross off my list.  It didn’t disappoint!  The moment Santa Goofy helped flip the “switch” to turn the lights on,  we were instantly transported to a different level of magic.  The lights literally danced along to the beat of the Christmas music, “snow” fell from the sky and every step you took along the Streets of America enchanted you over and over again.  My camera phone pictures do not do justice to this majestic spectacle – but I wanted to try to share a little of the magic I was able to experience with you, since sadly it is no longer running.  Enjoy – and HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

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I can’t believe it was 25 years ago that this Beauty enchanted us for the 1st time!

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We love meeting with Belle!  This character has such a pure heart and an equally pure singing voice!  We always try to catch her on stage during Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…but here we have a more personal encounter during Enchanted Tales with Belle at Magic Kingdom Park.  This is a very special attraction where the children help tell the tale as old as time!

How’s this for a photo opportunity?  What a backdrop!

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You can also meet Belle while dining at both Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.  Belle meets with guests in her blue and white outfit in the France Pavilion in Epcot.

Happy anniversary Beauty and the Beast!  You can order the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack from the Disney Store!

Read more about meeting Disney characters by clicking here!

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I loved having the chance to meet Bolt one hot June morning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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I really love the movie “Bolt”.  I always love it even more, when I remember which 2 stars play the leading roles – sometimes I can’t even wrap my head around the duet that they sing for the final credits (to me they seem like such an unlikely pair – but what do I know?! It’s a great song!).  Sadly, Bolt currently isn’t meeting with guests, so I’ll leave you with this video to hold you over until a new character experience is scheduled for him!


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Meeting Disney Characters!

It was sometime back in the 1980s, but I have a clear memory of spotting Snow White out of the corner of my eye and racing over to her (along with a bunch of other kids)  – hoping that I’d be able to get her autograph. We hadn’t been looking for her – we were just walking down a path in the Magic Kingdom – and when she signed my book it was like magic!

These days you aren’t likely to just run into a character walking down a path – there are schedules and meeting spots and fastpasses to think about – but I will tell you – it’s still magical!

There are many places you can meet characters in Walt Disney World – and if you check your My Disney Experience App, you will find a list of every character who will be out and about that day – what times – and where to find them.  For some characters in the Magic Kingdom, like Gaston or Woody and Jessie, you go to their meeting spot and wait in line, for others, like the princesses who meet in Princess Fairytale Hall and Talking Mickey in the Town Square Theater, you can either wait in line, or select meeting them as one of your Fastpass+ choices for the day.

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If spending time waiting for a character meet  is not something you want to spend your time doing, another option is to book a character meal!  My family loves to do this – that way we can meet 4 or 5 characters while we’re enjoying some delicious food.  You are seated at your table, and the characters rotate and come to you!  Some character meals we have enjoyed in the past are Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet at the Contemporary hotel, Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at The Grand Floridian, and both the Disney Junior Play and Dine and Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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But are your kids ready to meet characters up close and personal?… I thought for sure that mine would be dying to meet their favorite Disney friends – they BEGGED for me to list meet after meet in our touring plan. Then when we got face to face (or face to mask in some instances) – they freaked.  Now we prepare by watching youtube videos of character meets to prepare – and we also usually stay more calm around “face characters” (characters where you see their actual human face).  On our last trip though – my older children did give a few characters hugs and high fives, so I think we may add a few meet and greets back into our rotation.

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I’ve found that having a plan for meeting the characters helps.  If you have autograph books you can practice with your child what they will say to ask for the autograph.  Sometimes we purposely wear clothes that have that character’s image on it so we can point it out them.  My kids have started coming up with fun questions to ask the characters.  Even the ones who don’t talk back have found ways to answer!  My son asked Sorcerer Mickey at Hollywood Studios if he could turn him into a frog.  After thinking about it for a moment – he led my son over to his spell book and “searched” for a spell – we LOVED it!

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Let’s say your children aren’t ready to get too close to their favorite characters – don’t worry – there are SO many shows and parades happening all day long where you get close, but not too close to your favorite Disney friends.

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What characters are you hoping to meet?  Do you have any great character stories to share?  We’d love to hear about it all – leave a comment here or on Sprinkling Pixie Dust’s Facebook page! And…be on the look out every Friday, when I’ll post some of my favorite “Disney Friend” pictures!

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My Disney Desktop

Tons of articles have come across my desk this past month – so let’s get started!

There’s only about a month left of summer – be sure to check out these 10 “can’t miss” attractions at Disneyland in California! (read here)

If you never had the dream of a Disney World wedding before, the photos alone from this article from Racked will definitely  you think about it – I think I’m feeling a vow renewal may be in order for us! Plus you’ll find out about Facebook Groups for past, present and future Disney brides! (read here)

Well…it’s not on the Disney website, but Kenny the Pirate has reported a Green Army Men Bootcamp happening from time to time at Hollywood Studios – I am definitely going to see if that’s happening on our next trip! (read here)

I read this wonderful article about Mary Blair that I wanted to share – she designed “it’s a small world” and so much more for Disney – I never knew she was behind so many wonderful Disney classics! (read here)

Oh My Disney made a great list of  “19 Firsts You Didn’t Know About Shanghai Disneyland” – oh how I want to make a trip there!!! (read here)

Hope you enjoyed these articles – let me know which ones you liked best!  I’ll keep sorting through the good and bad to bring you the best Disney updates in My Disney Desktop!

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Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and experience a drive-in theater?  I certainly have!…and even though Walt Disney World offers you a chance do just that, I haven’t had the chance to give it a try – yet!  Thankfully a good friend of mine recently visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios and graciously offered to report back on her dining experience at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.

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Here’s what she had to say:

I chose the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater based on a recommendation from a friend and I was NOT disappointed. While waiting for our reservation my husband asked if the waiting area was supposed to look like the back of a movie set.  Boy, was he right.  The restaurant was a perfect rendition of a drive-in theater at night.  The only real lighting was from the “stars in the sky”, car lights, and the huge movie screen set up in the middle of the restaurant.  We were seated in our car (my family of four- 2 in the front seat, 2 in the backseat), shown how to work the speakers (on the side of your car) and given our menus.  There are lights in your car so you can see the menu, but it was still a little tough to see.

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The dinner choices were what you would expect from a “Disney Diner” (burgers, shakes, BLT, steak, ribs, salmon salad). And, to make every parent’s dinner complete – plenty of cocktails and alcoholic beverages to be consumed as needed.  If you are a soda drinker, they have the option of adding cherry or vanilla (or a combo of the 2) to your drink.  Another option which I don’t remember being offered many other places was a pomegranate lemonade which was a big hit with my kids.  The kids’ menu had typical child’s fare (chicken nuggets, sliders, grilled cheese, and a wheat pasta choice).

Now, while you wait for your food to come, you always envision sitting and having a nice, warm family discussion about the day. The rides you liked, what characters you met, what you want to do when you’re done with dinner.  But, does that really ever happen?  It’s usually the time where the kids pull out their ipads, mom and dad check out social media and e-mails, or escape for some alone time in the bathroom.  But, here, none of that is necessary.  First off, you are essentially seated at 2 separate tables not facing each other.  You can hear each other, but this does not lend itself to a family discussion.  And this is done so that all members of your party are facing the movie screen.  This negates the need for ipads and social media.  I was a little concerned because the movies were shorts of old sci-fi films.  But, both my boys (5 and 9) were into them and found them funny.  My only complaint about the “movie” is that it loops.  So, if you have slow eaters (which I do) they might get bored after seeing it the second time.  Lol.

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Overall, it was a great and very different dining experience. My family found the food really good.  And, if you can save room for dessert, do.  I got the warm glazed doughnut which was more of a cronut and it was incredible.

Thank you so much for sharing part of your vacation with us and giving us a glimpse into the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant!
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant accepts some dining plans, otherwise prices range from $15 – $34.99 per person.  Reservations are recommended.  You can find more information on Disney’s Official Website  – click here!

 

 

 

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Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

One thing I LOVE about helping other people plan their Walt Disney World Resort Vacations, is that I get to learn tons about the attractions, entertainment, dining and hotels that my family hasn’t had a chance to experience yet!

Currently my children are still a little freaked out by Star Wars…I give them another year before they become obsessed, lol.  One of their friend’s (who LOVES Star Wars) family  was planning a last minute trip and I gave them some tips about touring the parks.  I loved being able to look into all the Star Wars experiences that Hollywood Studios had to offer!  Of course, not to be missed was Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple!  Rather than me tell you what I researched, I thought it best you hear about Jedi Training from my friend, the mom of the Star Wars loving 5 year old boy…

Here’s what she had to say:

My son is obsessed with Star Wars, sabers/swords and basically anything he can hold and wave around in the air.  Thank goodness I was aware of the Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios from experiencing it with my nephew, but that was two years ago.  What I remember is that we got up at the crack of dawn to be one of the first people to enter the park so we could race to the sign up location, just to secure his place for the few spots available to fight Darth Vader.

Fast forward two years…  I was in panic mode.  My son usually gets up before 6am, but he was exhausted after our first long, full day at the Magic Kingdom. The next day, when we were scheduled to go to Hollywood Studios, he slept until 7:45am! To add to my distress, Hollywood Studios had Extra Magic Hours that day, so it opened at 8am, allowing all of the guests staying at Disney Resort hotels to enter 1 hour earlier to take advantage of the park before it opened to the public at 9am.

By 8:10am, we were at the hotel bus stop, waiting for the bus to Hollywood Studios.  By the time we got to the park, it was 8:40 (a full 40 minutes after the park opened) and we raced to the spot to sign up.  Fingers crossed… there was a line of 30 people, but we made it in plenty of time and were assigned a show time.  Compared to two years ago it seems like they’ve added more times, and more spaces, so if you arrived just a bit later, there definitely was space to sign up.  However, I still would not wait too long and would try to get there as early as possible, as you never know!  There were approximately 24 spots per show, and 1 show about every 30 minutes which run the whole day, so they definitely pack them in.

You have to arrive 30 minutes before your assigned show time. When we arrived the children were lined up, given Jedi costumes, and paraded to the Star Wars stage.

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My son was extremely excited and almost couldn’t contain himself. The thought of “learning” to fight with a light saber was just too much to bear.

The Star wars theme music starts, the children go on stage and the Jedi actors set the stage. Then the light sabers are distributed to the kids and training begins!

  Ready Position. Light sabers are up.  Sabers down. Strong stance with both of your legs. Strike toward left shoulder.  Then up and around to the right shoulder.  Sabers down….And again. Ready Position! Now block!. Step back and duck. And cut to the head! Sabers Down!

The temple doors now open…. And with wonder, excitement, fear….. Jedi trainees raise their hands to use the force to open the temple doors!  The Theme song for Darth Vader starts… Daaa daaa. Da-daaaa. Da.da-daaa. Da-da-daaaa.  Then he comes on stage!

One group of trainees fight Darth Vader, and another group fights a Sith Inquisitor.  I would have been a bit sad if my son did not fight Darth Vader, but he was able to.

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The Jedi trainees now one by one fight Darth Vader or the Sith Inquisitor…… this is the moment of truth…what every kid waits for… facing the Dark Side, fighting one on one, and defeating the Dark Side!!! They only have a few seconds to fight, but it is definitely worth it!  The chance to face Darth Vader and fight him with a saber is priceless.

Once everyone fights, Darth Vader and the Sith Inquisitor go back into the temple.  The show continues and the trainees prove their last feat of strength…to use the power of the Force to send Kylo Ren back into the temple, defeating and overcoming the Dark Side!

The whole interactive show took approximately 20 minutes.  I recommend it highly, as it was a dream come true for my 5 year old son!

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Thanks so much for sharing that with us!  Of course you can always find the latest up to date information about Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple from The Official  Walt Disney World Resort Website.

 

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Disney Parks Blog announced TONS of new attractions, shows and events opening in the parks starting this summer (and sooner)!  I thought I’d summarize some of the start dates for you and link to Disney Parks Blog so you could read their official announcements!

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May 27th

  • Animal Kingdom:
    • Nighttime Kilimanjaro Safaris
    • Nighttime Awakening of the Tree of Life
    • Wildlife Parti in the Harambe
    • Discovery Island Carnivale
  • Blizzard Beach:
    • Frozen Games with Olaf and Kristoff

May 28th

June 17th

June 21st

  • Epcot:
    • Frozen Ever After
    • Royal Sommerhus

 

I can’t wait to get to Disney World and experience all of these – it’s such an exciting time to visit The Walt Disney World Resort!!!

 

Also…Don’t forget to enter Sprinkling Pixie Dust’s Giveaway Contest.  Deadline to enter is Tuesday, May 31st at Noon (EST).  Click here for more details!

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