Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2014: Costumes, parades, shows, and lots of villains await your family

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is, as the name suggests, a party thrown for the entire family at Magic Kingdom between the hours of 7:00pm and midnight on select nights in September and October. It is here where the likes of the Haunted Mansion, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Nightmare before Christmas, and Disney villains reign supreme, and where children of all ages can dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat for candy alongside Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto (who also … [Read more...]

Disney’s Animal Kingdom trip report – October 2014 (park-wide construction, new animal exhibits, and the reopened Lion King show)

Animal Kingdom - October 2014.

This past weekend, my family and I visited Disney's Animal Kingdom. The weather was wonderful, with highs in the mid-80s, and the crowd levels were moderate. It made for a beautiful and enjoyable day at the park. Arriving in the parking lot, we noticed parts of the Giraffe section were closed, which is due to the construction of a new parking lot rumored to be titled Yeti. We were directed to park our car in the RV/bus section, which advantageously placed us within walking distance of Animal … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five tips for saving money at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival made its annual debut a couple of weeks ago. The smells, the sights, and the many tastes of Epcot’s most popular event have us food goers and wine lovers experiencing Christmastime in October. The only issue we foodies may have is trying to figure out how to taste the world on a small budget. While preparing for this year’s international fiesta, I thought it would be great to give you all five quick, fun tips on how to save money and still … [Read more...]

Rumor SPOTLIGHT for October 9, 2014: Is Disney’s Flamingo Crossings hiding a fifth theme park?


The death – and new life – of Disney’s Flamingo Crossings Never heard of Flamingo Crossings? Don’t feel bad – it’s a dead-in-the-water development at Walt Disney World that has only been mentioned once here on the site (in a listing of dead Disney projects, appropriately enough). Here’s the scoop on the project: back in 2007, Disney announced with much fanfare the development of the brand-new “mixed-use tourist commercial district” that would be some 450 acres in size (that’s almost as big … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five rides in Orlando for first-time thrill seekers

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When I was younger, I never had any fear of the big attractions - I not only loved any ride that would go upside-down, I also begged my parents to buy me platform shoes so that I would meet their height requirements. My best friend, on the other hand, has been terrified her entire life of these sorts of rides. Going to theme parks with her has made me realize that this fear is not a rare one; many people dislike going on what are deemed "thrill rides," such as high-speed roller coasters. To … [Read more...]

THE BIG 5: Top five overlooked shows at Walt Disney World


Everyone loves a Disney parade, and it’s common knowledge that the evening fireworks displays are must-sees. But what about the rest of what the resort has to offer? In the hustle and bustle of FastPass schedules and the quest to conquer the highlights, it has become far too easy to overlook some of the simple-but-still-impressive entertainment throughout Walt Disney World. See what have you missed while rushing to your next reservation? In this BIG 5 blog post, we countdown the top five … [Read more...]

Rumor round-up for October 1, 2014: Censoring Halloween Horror Nights, CityWalk 3.0, and a sneak peek at 2015


The evolving – and ever-more-reactionary – nature of HHN This week, the Orlando Sentinel reports that a key element of the Bayou of Blood scare zone from Halloween Horror Nights 2014 has been ix-nayed: a mini-show performed every hour on the half-hour of an “innocent” individual being sacrificed by a voodoo queen and her zombie henchmen. On the one hand, such an alteration isn’t the biggest of deals – yes, even considering that the performance essentially forms the narrative and atmospheric … [Read more...]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2014: More selection, better value, and the best showing in years

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

I have to admit, after the past two years of the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I was becoming a cynic. It felt to me as though the food and beverage offerings were smaller portions and higher prices than ever before. I am happy to say that, this year, there have been some vast improvements, making 2014’s festival a better experience than in years past. Let's dig in!   The best of the booths During my research visit, I made it my goal to try at least one … [Read more...]

Halloween 2014 in Orlando: A list of our favorite family events in the parks and around town

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida.

Nowadays, Halloween is essentially a two-month-long affair in Orlando. We have more spooky events than you can shake a broom at! From toddlers to teens, from hayrides to haunted houses, there is something to put just the right level of creepy into every child’s holiday. My own kids have enjoyed these events since they were barely walking, and, as teenagers, they still look forward to going. First we'll recap the Halloween events at the big three, then we'll share our recommendations for the … [Read more...]

Epcot trip report – September 2014 (saying farewell to Maelstrom and a sampling of this year’s Food & Wine Festival)


My family and I visited Walt Disney World’s Epcot on a beautiful sunny afternoon this past weekend. The trip promised to be bittersweet, as I looked forward to smaller crowds and sampling some unique culinary treats at the International Food & Wine Festival, on the one hand, but I also had to say goodbye to some Epcot favorites, on the other. A highlight of my visit this month was riding more attractions in a shorter time span due to the low wait times (Spaceship Earth was at just 10 … [Read more...]

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