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Meeting characters is one of the joys of going to Disney World. Some kids are excited about
nothing more. For many looking forward to their first Disney World vacation, part of the fun and
anticipation is looking forward to the chance to see their favorite character and get a picture, or
an autograph. They may even have a list of all the characters they would like to meet. This
kind of wish fulfillment can be tricky, but not impossible. Here are some tips for meeting your
favorite characters.

Tips For Meeting Your Favorite Characters in Disney World

5 Tips For Meeting Your Favorite Characters in Disney World

Case the Attraction
If your favorite characters have a ride in Disney World, you will likely find them around the area.
Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, Ariel, Aladdin and Jasmine can all be found near their respective
attractions. They tend to stay out for more than thirty minutes at a time and when they leave it
is usually not long before they are back out again, so slow down and be patient if you are in one
of these places and you haven’t seen your character yet.

Stake out Meet and Greet locations
Meet and greet locations are great because it is a lot less chancy than hoping to bump into a
character passing by. Meet and greet locations have scheduled characters in specific times and
those schedules are posted for the guests. Your park map will show you these areas, like
Pete’s Silly Sideshow and Princess Fairytale Hall which house character stations, or less
obvious spots like the pocket in the back of Frontierland where you can meet Woody and
Jessie.

Scour the Show Schedule
In addition to the park map, pick up a show schedule. This will give you the times for the
parades and all the shows in the park. It’s a great resource to let you know where to be and
where not to be at parade times. Plus, it will clue you into shows featuring the characters you
love. Many shows include a meet and greet afterword which will be stated in the schedule.

 

Reserve a Character Breakfast
There are Character Breakfasts all over Disney World. They are in the parks and around the resorts. Many feature Mickey and the gang, but others will have. Pooh and friends, Mary Poppins, Ariel and Rapunzel, or Lilo and Stitch. Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom and Akershus in Epcot are a great way to meet many of the Disney Princesses.

Look for a Dance Party
Last, but not least, there are dance parties creeping up all over Disney World this year. They’re
at special events, festivals and during regular park hours. Check your park map for dance party
info. A Disney Junior Dance Party is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Fall. The
Food and Wine Festival has a Dance Party with surprise guests in Epcot, and Mickey’s Not-So-
Scary Halloween Party will also feature a Disney Junior Dance Party, and a Scream-o-Ween
Dance Party with Mike and Sulley.

Enchanting Extras are tours, or experiences at Disney World that can be enjoyed at an
additional cost. These experiences often include staying in the parks after hours and getting a
little bit of special treatment in the form of either professional photography, food and drink,
swag, or guided behind the scenes tours. The prices for these add-ons can be as much as
$250 on top of the price of park admission, or even more in some cases. While the value of
these experiences is totally subjective. These are the five that I believe are the most “worth-it.”

most enchanting extras at Disney World

Most Enchanting Extras That Are Worth It at Disney World

Pirate Adventure Cruises
This kids only cruise is only $39-$49 per ticket. It’s one of the least expensive enchanted
extras. This is so worth it because it is a 2-hour long cruise the kids love. They get to explore
one of two areas and search for pirate treasure. Plus, you get 2-hours of adult time. The
cruises start at 9:30am and end at 11:30am.

enchanting extras

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Unlike other after hours park events, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary… does not require you to already
have a park ticket. Moreover, you are allowed admittance as early as three hours before the
official start time. There is a lot of entertainment, themed attraction updates, trick or treating
and great food in a fun and spooky setting the whole family will love. It’s one of the biggest
enchanting extras of the year. The prices vary by date. But they start at $85.

Ferrytale Fireworks
Guests at Disney World are always looking for new ways to experience the fireworks including
booking dinner reservations at California Grill and Ohana at specific times. Guests inside Magic
Kingdom can pay an additional charge for a dessert party near the castle. However, this is for
guests outside the park who want to be part of the magic. This unique dessert party on a boat
does not require a park ticket. Watch the fireworks through “Mickey Vision Glasses” from a
Ferry on the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon. The price per adult is $99 and just $69 for
children.

enchanting extras at disney

Aquatour
The Seas with Nemo and Friends also have wonderful interactive tours that let you swim with
the creatures in the aquarium. This tour does not require scuba certification. You’ll get some
great background info on the facility before gearing up and getting in the water with sharks, Sea
Turtles and lots of fish. The price is $145 and no park ticket is required. When we did this we
were actually released into the park to enjoy the rest of the day there. That really bumped up
the value.

Behind the Seeds
This experience is such a great add on to the Living with the Land attraction. The boat ride
gives you a brief tour through the facilities of The Land Pavilion and it’s really fun. However, just
$25 gets you an up close and personal tour that you have to do just once. It is easily the least
expensive “Enchanted Extras” experience and well worth the added cost.

Toy Story Land
Photo Credit: Disney

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Toy Story Land is officially open and to say that my family is excited would be the biggest understatement of the year! With all the new rides, restaurants, and attractions, it can get a bit overwhelming. If you’re planning a trip to Disney this summer, here is everything you need to know about Disney’s NEW Toy Story Land!

Photo Credit: Disney

Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s Toy Story Land

Rides
In addition to a whole new section of the theme park, Toy Story Land includes two new rides and one classic favorite. The first is Slinky Dog Dash which will be a roller coaster that takes you on twists, curves, and drops as you go all around Toy Story Land. Throughout the ride, you’ll get to see beloved characters of the Toy Story movies such as Rex, Jessie, and even Wheezy! The second new attraction is the Alien Swirling Saucers that will allow you to board your toy rocket and spin through space on an adventure right out of the Toy Story movies. In addition to the new attractions, Toy Story Mania! is back to the Toy Story Land area with a carnival-themed 4D ride right in Andy’s Room!

Photo Credit: Disney

Dining Options
Woody’s Lunchbox is a unique dining experience takes Andy’s lunch box and turns it into a quick service station! From soda floats to tasty meals on the go, you will not only be able to enjoy a quick bite to eat, but also enjoy the scenery of some of Andy’s favorite toys and lunch box items.

Must-try Items at Woody’s Lunch Box

  • Raspberry Lunch Box Tart
  • BBQ Brisket Melt
  • Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich
  • Totchos
  • Mystic Portal Punch
  • Grown-Up’s Lemonade Cocktail
Photo Credit: Disney

Characters
Meet and greet some of your favorite Toy Story characters such as Jessie, Buzz, Woody and more in Toy Story Land! The best place to find these characters will be in or around Woody’s Lunchbox, so don’t forget to stop by! Throughout this section of the park, you may be able to find some of the classic Army Men from the Toy Story movies as well.

Instagram-Worthy Photo Spots at Toy Story Land

  • Color Block Wall
  • “For the Whole Family” Sign
  • Andy’s Wall
  • Woody’s Lunch Box
  • Popsicle Wall
  • Alien at Swirling Saucers Ride
  • Slinky Dog Dash Entrance
  • Toy Story Land Sign with Woody
  • Gigantic Buzz Light Year
  • Popsicle Bench
  • Domino Bench
  • Luxo Ball
Photo Credit: Disney

Merchandise
There are lots of new merchandise items in the stores upon opening, but here are a few fun items you may want to check out. The first is the adorable alien and slinky dog headbands! These unique headbands are super fun to wear while exploring the park and great for photo ops. In addition to new headbands, you’ll find shirts, totes, and other souvenirs located across Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and within Toy Story Land.

Toy Story Land is eleven acres of fun and Disney magic, which is just one mere acre smaller than Animal Kingdom’s Pandora: World of Avatar section. There is a lot of fun packed into a small radius, so even smaller children can still enjoy this section of the park.

Toy Story is a beloved movie not only from my childhood but my kid’s childhood as well. If you haven’t already planned a trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this post might change your mind!

d23_Expo_logo

Did you follow all the latest Disney news over the weekend from #D23Expo? I am fascinated with all the new changes happening in the future from Disney.  I wanted to give you a recap of everything that was announced in case you missed it.

star wars disney park

Disney Parks

-Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. (date TBA)

-Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida will be getting an all new Toy Story Land which will feature two new rides plus one “re-imagined” favorite. (date TBA)

-Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando will open the already under construction Pandora – The World of Avatar which will feature new experiences, attractions and transform the park at night.

-At Epcot Walt Disney World in Florida and Disney California Adventure Park in California will get the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes it’s U.S. debut. (date TBA)

-Hong Kong Disneyland will house the first Marvel attraction at any park called the Iron Man Experience that is set to open in 2016.

-Shanghai Disneyland will have a Pirates-themed land—Treasure Cove—and an e-ticket attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at the end of 2015.

gigantic

Movies

-Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6, 2016 featuring Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie.

-Orlando Bloom will feature in Pirates of the Caribbean “Dead Men Tell No Tales” in theaters July 7, 2017.

-Inside Out: Riley’s First Date, a new Pixar short film will be included with the Inside Out Blu-ray and DVD, debuting November 2.

-Moana, set for release on November 23, 2016 featuring Dwayne Johnson.

-Disney’s new animated film Gigantic (a Jack and the bean stalk themed movie), is set for release in 2018.

-Disney is in the making for Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4.

-Finding Dory swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

-Marvel’s Doctor Strange with Mr Benedict Cumberbatch coming to the big screen October 26, 2016.

-Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” opens nationwide March 4, 2016 with songs performed by Shakira.

-Writer-director Colin Trevorrow will direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set for release in 2019.

-“Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star is set for a December 16, 2016 release.

-“The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson.

-“Look for the Bare Necessities” as “The Jungle Book” hits theaters on April 15, 2016.

-“Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

darth vader playstation 4

Products

-Disney Infinity 3.0 EditionPlay is set to launch on August 30th.

-Disney Rewards credit card will be offering new card designs featuring Darth Vader, Yoda or R2-D2 with C-3PO.1. Plus, have access to the exclusive Star Wars Imperial Meet ‘N’ Greets.

-New mobile game called Disney Magic Kingdoms for Smartphones and Tablets will let players build their dream Disney Park. (date TBA)

-On November 17, fans will be able to purchase two very special limited-edition Darth Vader-inspired PlayStation®4 Star Wars bundles: Star Wars: Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars.

-KINGDOM HEARTS III video game for PlayStation4 and Xbox One will let players interactive with characters from Big Hero 6. (date TBA)

-Plus, new apparel, accessories, household items, and more coming throughout the year to a Disney store near you.

This is exciting news for Disney! What are you most excited about?

bing bong cotton candy cupcakes

I cannot get enough of the character Bing Bong from Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out. He is by far my favorite and so loveable. These Bing Bong Cotton Candy Cupcakes will be a hit at any party for kids (or adults :)). Just make your cupcakes with boxed cake mix, add frosting, add cotton candy, and print these FREE Bing Bong Cupcake Toppers and you are all set. It’s that easy! Enjoy!

bing bong cupcake toppersFREE Bing Bong Cupcake Toppers

Bing Bong Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Bing Bong Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Boxed Cake Mix + Ingredients listed on box
  • Pink Frosting or White Frosting and Pink Food Color
  • Pink Cotton Candy
  • Bing Bong Cupcake Toppers
  • Toothpicks for Cupcake Toppers
  • Cupcake Liners

Instructions

  • Prepare boxed cake mix per directions.
  • Bake cupcakes and let cool.
  • Add pink frosting.
  • Add cotton candy on top of the frosting.
  • Cut out the cupcakes toppers and tape to the back of a toothpick.
  • Stick the cupcake topper on top of the cotton candy.
  • bing bong

    ANT-MAN in Theaters Everywhere
    Hey all of you Marvel Fans! The newest Marvel hero ANT-MAN is ready to make a debut on the big screens Friday, July 17th. This is a great movie for the whole family to see this opening weekend. The movie includes a fabulous cast consisting of Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym.

    image006

    The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man” when master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats.

    Like ANT-MAN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antman

    Follow ANT-MAN on Twitter: https://twitter.com/antman

    Visit the official ANT-MAN site: http://marvel.com/antman

    ANT-MAN opens in theaters everywhere this Friday, July 17th!

    If you are having a movie release party or a birthday party coming up check out my ANT-MAN cupcakes with printable toppers and party banner.

    antman cupcakes

     

    antman cupcakes

    ANT-MAN will be in theaters everywhere on July 17th and for all of you Marvel Fans, here is some ANT-MAN cupcakes to get excited about. Print out these free printable cupcake toppers and party banner and you are set for the release party.

    ANT-MAN Cupcakes

    Ingredients

    • boxed cake mix & ingredients listed on the box
    • 2 tubs of white frosting
    • black, red, and brown food coloring
    • brown peanut M&M’s or chocolate covered almonds
    • cupcake liners
    • toothpicks for cupcake toppers
    • scotch tape for cupcake toppers

    Directions

    1. Prepare boxed cake per directions on the box.
    2. Using 3 bowls add white frosting to each bowl (more in 2 of them and about a cup full in the last one).
    3. Separately add the food coloring to each bowl and mix well.
    4. When cupcakes are cooled add the frosting to the tops with half of the cupcakes red and the other half black.
    5. Print the cupcake toppers and cut out each circle and tape a toothpick to the back of each one and then stick in the black cupcakes.
    6. Using 3 brown M&M’s or chocolate covered almonds line them up in the center of each red cupcake making an ant.
    7. Using the brown frosting and a small round icing tip create the legs and eyes of the ant.

    antman cupcake toppers

    ANT-MAN Cupcakes

    ANT-MAN Cupcakes

    Yield: 24 Cupcakes

    Ingredients

    • boxed cake mix & ingredients listed on the box
    • 2 tubs of white frosting
    • black, red, and brown food coloring
    • brown peanut M&M's or chocolate covered almonds
    • cupcake liners
    • toothpicks for cupcake toppers
    • scotch tape for cupcake toppers

    Instructions

  • Prepare boxed cake per directions on the box.
  • Using 3 bowls add white frosting to each bowl (more in 2 of them and about a cup full in the last one).
  • Separately add the food coloring to each bowl and mix well.
  • When cupcakes are cooled add the frosting to the tops with half of the cupcakes red and the other half black.
  • Print the cupcake toppers and cut out each circle and tape a toothpick to the back of each one and then stick in the black cupcakes.
  • Using 3 brown M&M's or chocolate covered almonds line them up in the center of each red cupcake making an ant.
  • Using the brown frosting and a small round icing tip create the legs and eyes of the ant.

  •  

     

    copycat disney dole whip_mini

    Have you heard of Disney’s famous Dole Pineapple Whips? If you have been wanting to try one out for yourself to see what all the hype is about follow the simple directions below for Copycat Disney Dole Whip. They are great for a summer cool down treat!

    dole whip_mini

    Copycat Disney Dole Whip

    Copycat Disney Dole Whip

    Ingredients

    • 12 oz Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
    • 8 oz Frozen Whipped Topping (like Cool Whip)
    • 2 tbsp Honey or 1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
    • 3 cup Crushed Ice

    Instructions

  • Blend frozen orange juice in strong blender or food processor until whipped.
  • Add ice, honey and whipped topping and process until well mixed.
  • If mixture is too runny, add 1/4 cup ice and process further.
  • Too look more like a creamy whip, transfer mixture to piping bag with star tip and pipe into cups.

  •  

    inside out poster

    Today is the day that Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out is in theaters everywhere. It is directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”) and produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”). These 2 are geniuses in making the movie “Inside Out”. Not only did they did they show the 5 emotions inside the head but they also show the true value of our memories, imagination, and family.

    inside out family

    About Inside Out

    Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.

    When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.

    The Emotions

    inside out characters

    emotions

    6 Reasons to see Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out

    1. Bing Bong.

    Bing Bong is Riley’s imaginary friend in the film who gives you every reason to smile with his playful character consisting of cotton candy, cat, elephant, and dolphin. He will make you laugh and sing along with his catchy songs.

    2. The Creativity.

    Between the colors, abstract shapes, memories, and what goes on inside our head, the creativity of the film is great for all ages.

    3. The Laughs & Tears.

    The cast of the movie brings out the humor and the possibility of shedding a tear or two. Sure there is more humor but the true meaning of the story made me cry.

    4. Other Emotions.

    Not only does it show the emotions inside Riley’s head, it also shows the emotions inside mom, dad, and other characters in the film’s head. Make sure to stay till the very end of the film to see the inside of other heads.

    5. Rated PG.

    The film is rated PG and is perfect for the whole family to see.

    6. Sends a Message.

    It will help you learn about yourself, the people around you, and understand why emotions make us who we are today.

    Like INSIDE OUT on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarInsideOut

     Follow INSIDE OUT on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PixarInsideOut and https://twitter.com/headquarters

    Follow INSIDE OUT on Instagram: https://instagram.com/PIXARINSIDEOUT/

    Follow INSIDE OUT on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/disneystudios/inside-out/

    Visit INSIDE OUT on Tumblr: http://insideoutheadquarters.tumblr.com/

    Follow Disney/Pixar on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyPixar

    Visit the official INSIDE OUT website: http://www.wdsmediafile.com/walt-disney-studios/InsideOut/

    Disclosure: Disney provided me with an all expense paid trip to LA to the #InsideOutEvent , #TeenBeach2Event , #PhineasandFerbEvent , and #CelebrityFamilyFeud.  All opinions are 100% mine and not influenced in any way.

    dance lesson from Teen Beach 2 StarsPhoto Credit Disney XD/Valerie Macon

    I love to dance even though I may not be good at it. It makes me feel free, laugh, and have fun. That is why I took on Zumba classes twice a week and then became a licensed instructor. I have too much energy and need to get it out and dancing helps me do that.

    A few days ago 24 bloggers and I got a dance lesson from Chrissie Fit (“CheeChee”) and Jordan Fisher (“Seacat”), the stars of Disney’s Teen Beach 2. This indeed was a lot of fun hearing 25 bloggers laughing and having a good time. Chrissie and Jordan were laughing along with us.

    teen beach 2 dancePhoto Credit Disney XD/Valerie Macon

    The dance lesson included a few steps from the song “Gotta Be Me” of Teen Beach 2 Movie. This song is one of my favorites and is quite catchy. If you haven’t heard it, watch the video below.

    If you want to learn the steps that we learned, DisneyGals.com provided the steps listed below.
    march to the beat steps

    teen beach 2 movie

    Other songs available on the Teen Beach 2 Soundtrack:

    • 1. Best Summer Ever (Chrissie Fit and Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps and John DeLuca and Jordan Fisher and Maia Mitchell and Ross Lynch)
    • 2. On My Own (Ross Lynch)
    • 3. Right Where I Wanna Be (Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps)
    • 4. Falling for Ya (Chrissie Fit and Jordan Fisher)
    • 5. Wanna Be With You (Jordan Fisher)
    • 6. Twist Your Frown Upside Down (Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps and Maia Mitchell and Ross Lynch)
    • 7. Silver Screen (Maia Mitchell and Ross Lynch)
    • 8. Rescue Me (Sabrina Carpenter)
    • 9. Gotta Be Me (Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps and John DeLuca and Jordan Fisher and Maia Mitchell and Ross Lynch)
    • 10. Meant to Be (Reprise 3) (Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps and Maia Mitchell and Ross Lynch)
    • 11. That’s How We Do (Garrett Clayton and Grace Phipps and John DeLuca and Jordan Fisher and Maia Mitchell and Ross Lynch)
    • 12. Starting Over (R5)
    • 13. On My Own (Ross Lynch)
    • 14. Best Summer Ever (Amy Powers and Matthew Tishler)
    • 15. Gotta Be Me (Charlie Mason and Joacim Persson and Johan Alkenas and Niclas Molinder)

    Teen Beach 2 will be airing on June 26th on the Disney Channel and will be available in stores on the same day. Be sure to watch and pick up a copy for family movie night.

    Follow Jordan and Chrissie on Twitter!

    Like Teen Beach 2 on Facebook

    Follow the Official fan page on Twitter

    Visit the Teen Beach 2 website