I’m Dreaming Of A Disney Christmas – The Ultimate Gift Guide For The Disney Nerd In Your Life

Usually my family and I are strong believers in the no Christmas talk before the day after Thanksgiving but it’s hard to keep that tradition  in NYC, where festive decorations already run rampant up and down fifth avenue, and it was an even harder promise  to keep when I worked at Walt Disney World – where fall actually has two sub-seasons: Halloween and Christmas (with no in between).

While I’m not yet blasting the She & Him Christmas album, my Facebook and Twitter feed are full of festivities from the Disney Parks, and so I’m breaking with tradition (sorry Mom and Dad) – to clue you in on what the young adult Disney nerd in your family wants for Christmas, and may just be too afraid to ask for.

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Disney Link Love – November 7

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Here’s our weekly round up of fun Disney Based things happening on the internet…

What are you reading in the Disney universe? Let me know what I’m missing!

Wordless Wednesday: November In Animal Kingdom

I’m happy to be participating in another Wordless Wednesday, hosted by Focused on the Magic. This week’s theme is ‘November Calendar Shot’ and  I’m paying tribute to Animal Kingdom. True story: I’ve only spent one November in Walt Disney World, and that was during my time as a College Programmer. So why not celebrate the start of a new month with two of the best photos I ever took at this park?

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A view of Mt. Everest from the entrance to Asia on an early morning.

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A Panorama of the entry way to Expedition Everest.

Focused on the Magic

Is November your favorite time to visit the parks? Let me know what I’ve been missing if it is! 

HELP! Should I Go To The 2015 D23 Expo?

Earlier this fall, I fell in love with New York City Comic Con. To be fair, I got to go for free, and my friend who is a Marvel nut took me to all their panels, and I obviously cared about them more than most things (shout out to the Women In Marvel panel, which was legit one of the cooler things I’ve ever seen).

Anyways, my love of (a free) Comic Con has me thinking about spending money to go to a con I actually care about – D23. For those of you who don’t know, the D23 Expo happens every other year in Anaheim California, and features panels, cos-play and cool swag – all Disney centric. You can find out more at the expo’s official website, but if you haven’t been – then you and I are probably in the same boat and this website is only going to get you so far.

 

So – I’m looking for your help, people of the internet. Have you been to D23? Are you going next year? Is it worth it for the world’s biggest Disney nerd?

Tips for a 20 Something First Time Disney Goer

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So, you’ve stumbled upon this blog and are wondering why the hell anyone would read it. It’s okay, I knew it was bound to happen sometime. Being a Disney nerd in your 20s isn’t the most popular thing on the planet, and admitting it often ends with insane amounts of side eye from anyone who doesn’t feel the same way was you.

Anyways, dear uninitiated reader, once your side eye has been put aside and you’ve checked out our movie reviews, Cast Member Confessions, and more, and we’ve convinced you that maybe this whole Disney Vacation as an adult isn’t as bad as it may appear, you’ll probably want to know how best to attack aforementioned trip . Hence, why this blog post exist! Here are some pro tips for having your Disney vacation reach it’s maximum magical potential:

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  • Pick your time of year strategically – There’s pros and cons to every Disney season. The fall has Halloween and Food and Wine, and is also pretty quiet. During the holidays the parks look magical, but it can be a pain in the ass to get anything done. Spring is my most unexplored season at Walt Disney World, though I’ve heard good things crowd control wise (as long as you aren’t syncing up with Florida’s spring break), and last Spring I went to Disneyland and it was relatively quiet.  Summer is busy, all the time, and the heat can get insane. Obviously you have to figure out what kind of trip you want before you embark, but these factors – and the weather, are always things to consider.
  • Pack for comfort over fashion – You walk way more than you realize in a Disney Day. From the front of the park, to the back of the park, to the bus depot or your car – you can easily log miles, so dress accordingly. Make sure to take the weather into account as well – on my last trip, I totally forgot to pack shorts and ended up having to walk around in jeans in the 90 degree heat, and that was fun for no one.
  • BYOB- If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s not the worst idea to bring your own libations – if that’s the kind of trip you’re planning on having. You can’t take your own booze into the parks, but you can get a good pre-game in before you head to EPCOT for dinner, and save yourself from buying one more $12 margarita.
  • Bring Food – Similar to BYOB, this one is all about cost saving. I refuse to travel to Walt Disney World with out enough Luna Bars for everyone on the vacation to have one for Breakfast each day. If you’re not on the dining plan, this will save you money – and if you are, it will save your snack credits for actual snacks, which trust me – is the far better use of them.
  • Don’t forget your weather based accessories – In a similar vein, it’s always good to have an umbrella and some sunscreen in your purse, because there’s nothing quite like a 100 degree 100% humidity day being interrupted by a thunderstorm for you to really understand what that good old Florida weather is all about.

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  • Don’t skip any of the parks – While we frequently tout the importance of EPCOT, it’s not the only park on Walt Disney World property. In fact, it was my least favorite park until I turned 21. So, give all the parks some love, they all have their own unique and fun spin on things. And you can get booze in everyone (except Magic Kingdom… ).
  • Use the tip board – At the front of the entrance to every park, there’s a large board that shows up to date wait times, show times, and popular restaurant hours. Use this to your advantage when you get to a new park to help plan your day. There’s a cast member stationed there to help answer your questions and point you in the right direction, and I know for a fact that if you can’t find the information you need, they are more than happy to help you figure it out. If you’re too lazy to find the tip board and ask the cast members questions, you can also access all the same information on the Disney App these days.
  • Don’t eat during regular meal times – If you’re not bringing your own food to the parks (which you can do), it’s probably best to train yourself to eat at the off times, i.e. late lunches and late dinners or early lunches and early dinners. It makes the food more enjoyable when you’re not feeling rushed to give up your table while also being surrounded by children who just want to eat ice cream and are not happy about being forced to eat chicken tenders.
  • Use the single riders line – Most major Disney attractions have a ride that allows you to cut to the front and fill up empty random seats. If you’re alone, or with a small group of people, and don’t mind not sitting exactly next to each other, this is a great way to ride Expedition Everest with out having to worry about how long the line is.
  • Watch the fireworks/parades once… then ride the rides – Disney is known for its world class entertainment, so enjoy it while you’re there. I highly recommend Fantasmic, and Wishes.
  • Take a nap during the day – Or lay by the pool at your hotel, or whatever. It’s still a vacation, and it doesn’t have to be go go go all the time. Unless that’s what you’re going for.
  • Let your inner kid out – At the end of the day, you’re still in freaking Walt Disney World, and that’s not something that should be enjoyed ironically, or with any air of pretension. So buy those ear hats, eat an ice cream cone for lunch – and remember, they don’t call it the most magical place on Earth for nothing.

For those of you thinking about a Disney vacation for the first time, I hope this helps! For those of who’ve been too many times to count – what’s my list missing?

6 Things To Know About Big Hero Six

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Image c/o Walt Disney Studios (or whoever puts their posters together)

This week I got the chance to go to a pre-screening of the newest Disney film “Big Hero 6“. I should note that the screening was not in any way related to this blog, as in – no one knew I was going to write a review of it. But also no one said I couldn’t – so without further ado, here are six things you should know about “Big Hero 6″.

1. It’s a superhero movie. This is the first time a movie based off a Marvel comic has been produced by Walt Disney Studios, and it shows. The plot is very much that of a comic book movie, there’s a clear bad guy and an obvious fight between good and evil. But it’s also a Disney movie, from the origin story to the end credits, it tugs at the heartstrings in a way that most Marvel movies have yet.

2. …but it has the cutest superhero of all time. I can not over estimate how Baymax  is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Seriously, he’s so cute that last night after happy hour I almost bought the plush version of him at the Disney store. Every thing he says is the cutest, and he’s so good in his tiny, non-existent, robot heart.

3. It’s probably not worth the 3D ticket. This might just be my bias against 3D movies (which exists because if I wear the glasses on top of my real glasses my nose starts to fall asleep) – but I really didn’t feel like the 3D added much to this movie. Maybe that’s because I didn’t see it in 2D first, or maybe it’s just because I couldn’t see myself paying the $15 for the 3D ticket if I hadn’t gone for free, but if 3D movies aren’t your thing – you won’t be missing much here.

4. The digital short is everything. When I watched the preview footage for “Feast”, which I posted above in case you haven’t yet fallen in love with it, I knew it was going to be my everything. I didn’t expect them to play it in front of this screening, what with us not paying to see the movie and all, but I am SO glad they did. It’s probably my favorite Disney short of all time – because who doesn’t love dogs and food and love?!

5. Stay for the end. This is a Marvel movie, after all. The end bit will make all comic book fans die of happiness, and even I seriously enjoyed it.

6. Be prepared to cry. Guys – parts of this movie are super sad. People die, but not before you get to care about them – which is much more a Marvel trope than a Disney one. Also different from most animated Disney classics: when people die here, they actually die – and people have real feelings about it. But don’t worry, for as sad as it is – it’s also super funny.

If this hasn’t convinced you to go yet – check out the newest official trailer for the film:

“Big Hero Six” comes out November 7th. Will you be going? 

Wordless Wednesday: A (Poor) Tribute To The Magical Express

 

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This week’s wordless wednesday post, hosted as always by Deb at Focused on the Magic, – is Transportation. So while I sit in my apartment drinking OJ to get over a cold,  I’m giving a very small ode to my favorite form of transportation – the one that gets me to to the parks once I’ve made it to Orlando. So here’s to you, Magical Express – thanks for getting me place to place. And I promise in the future, I’ll take more pictures of you.

 

 

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The most of Orlando you ever need to see (trust me).

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I miss these old video

Focused on the Magic