Candlelight Processional 2014

Disney has released the dates and celebrity narrators for the 2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Candlelight Processional takes place in the American Gardens Theatre and is a narration of the Christmas Story. It is accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and choir and is sure to get you in the spirit of the holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Celebrity narrators tell the biblical story of the birth of Jesus to a packed audience starting November 28 and ending December 30, 2014. There are also American Sign Language interpreters so that all may enjoy. On days that the show is on there are 3 different showings at 5pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm.

  • Jodi Benson- November 28 and 29, 2014
  • Neil Patrick Harris- November 30 to December 2, 2014
  • Jonathan Groff- December 3 and 4, 2014
  • Whoopi Goldberg- December 5 and 6, 2014
  • TBD December 7 to December 8, 2014
  • TBD December 9 to December 11, 2014
  • Joe Morton- December 12 to December 14, 2014
  • Chita Rivera- December 15 to December 17, 2014
  • Ana Gasteyer- December 18 to December 20, 2014
  • Marlee Matlin- December 21 to December 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini- December 24 and 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood- December 26 and 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman- December 28 to December 30, 2014

As the rest of the narrators are announced we will update the list. In addition you can purchase the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package. Similar to the Fantasmic Dinner Package you will pay the price for your dinner or lunch and get preferred seating with no extra cost. This saves having to get in line early for the Candlelight Processional as seating is first come first serve. A large number of the restaurants in World Showcase participate in this dinner package. To see a list go over to Disney’s website to check availability.

Podcast Episode 27: Christy’s Universal FAM

This week we take a little detour as Christy tells us all about her training trip to Universal Studios Orlando!  We learn all about the resorts, the dining, and the amazing attractions Universal has to offer and how it compares to Disney.  Find out which coaster Christy thinks is the best one she’s ever ridden.

Happy listening!

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Top 5 Dishes I Want To Try At Epcot Food & Wine 2015

I’m headed to WDW this weekend and I’m planning on going to the Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.  Here’s a list of all the things I want to try while I’m there.

5.  Apple Maple Spiced Latte, iced.  It’s going to be hot so iced coffee is the way to go.  Apple and maple are such a fantastic Fall combination so this sounds amazing to me.  You can even get it with a shot of Bailey’s if you’re so inclined.

4.   Belgian Waffle with berry compote and whipped cream.  Waffles, fruit, cream.  Need I say more?

3.  Cocadas.  This is a Brazilian coconut candy.  I am a coconut fiend so this definitely appeals to me.

2.  Kalua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise.  I love pineapple and pork together.  Such a fantastic combination.

1.  Warm chocolate pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard.  I’ve never had warm pudding or Irish Cream custard, but it sounds like a recipe for deliciousness to me!

Are you going to Food & Wine?  What sounds good to you?

Don’t Wait In Long Lines!

Continuing the theme of common questions we receive as a travel agents, one of the things people want to know most is how they can reduce the time they spend waiting in lines at Disney. It’s actually not that difficult! With a little bit of planning you can avoid those 60 minute plus wait times and breeze through the line. How? Here’s how!

1)Time of year One of the biggest factors in wait time is how big the crowd is expected to be in general. Disney has three designations for their ‘seasons'; value, regular and peak. These seasons correspond with crowd levels. For example, peak times would be the week of July 4th and the week of Christmas, when most people have time off of work and school. Value season is time when less people are expected to visit the parks: January, September, and parts of other months. The good news is that in addition to lower crowd times during value season, Disney usually offers extra incentives and discounts to stay during those times. It’s win-win!

2) Rope Drop Even visiting at one of the busiest times of year doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to wait in long lines your entire trip. Getting to the park as soon as it opens (called “rope drop”) can make all the difference. During the first hour or two of the park the wait times are usually very low and you can often accomplish much of your ‘to do’ list before others have even woken up at their resorts. Then you can relax and enjoy a nice breakfast while you watch the droves enter the parks, knowing all that you’ve already accomplished that morning. Sounds nice, doesn’t it!

3) FastPass Plus One of my favorite things about Disney is their new FastPass Plus system. Unlike other parks who charge for their line jumping services, Disney’s FastPass Plus is available to anyone who has purchased a park ticket. Guests staying on property are able to make three ride reservations at one park per day 60 days before their trip. Guests staying off property are able to make those reservations at 30 days prior to their trip. Guests purchasing their tickets the same day are still able to make those reservations, at kiosks in the park. The reservations are for a one hour window, leaving enough flexibility for an unexpected snack or bathroom break if needed!

4) Extra Magic Hours If you’re staying on property you’ll be able to take advantage of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours, where one park per day is open either an hour early or a few hours later for guests of Disney resorts only. The morning extra magic hours magnify the benefit of “rope drop”, because if people don’t like getting up early, they especially don’t like getting up even earlier! Extra magic hour mornings are one of the very lowest crowd times, even during busy times of year. If you’re more of a night owl, don’t lose hope! Even when the park is normally open until midnight sometimes the extra magic evening hours at Magic Kingdom can go until 3 am! As you can imagine, this is also a very low crowd time and you can even sometimes ride your favorites several times in a row with little or no wait. Keep in mind that crowd levels at a park with Extra Magic Hours are expected to be higher overall during the day, so you may want to plan on doing just the extra hours, not spending the day there!

Alfred Angelo Designs Frozen Wedding Gown

Disney Weddings Instagram

Disney Weddings Instagram

It’s every princess’ dream to get married at Disney, right?  Alfred Angelo, renowned wedding gown designer, has been helping brides look like their favorite Disney princesses for years.   And now, according to Disney Weddings Instagram account, the bridal company is working on a new design based on Elsa from Frozen!

There aren’t many details as yet on what the gown will look like exactly, but I know I’m excited to see it!

Podcast Episode 25: Walt Disney World for Preschoolers

This week we wanted to talk about the best (and worst!) attractions for the preschool-aged members of your family!  We discuss our picks for all four parks and we even give some hints on things you can do to make traveling with your little ones easier.  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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Blast From The Past: Epcot 1984

I was perusing some old photo albums a couple of weeks ago and came across these old pictures from my first trip to Epcot in May 1984. EPCOT Center’s opening day was October 1, 1982 so these photos were taken about 18 months after the park opened.

I don’t know about you, but I love vintage Disney photos! Let’s see how things have changed in (gulp!) thirty years.

Spaceship Earth

The now defunct World of Motion

Monorail track with Spaceship Earth in the distance. Love the old trash can!

Horizons

Japan Pavilion

Top 5 Overlooked Attractions in Magic Kingdom

Of course there isn’t time to get to everything at Disney in a short trip but these 5 attractions so worth checking out on your next vacation.

5. Walt Disney Railroad, no it isn’t a time saver to take the train, but it will get you off your feet and you will see stuff in the park that you won’t see anywhere else!

4. Tom Sawyer Island, sure it takes some time to get there and back but its views are pretty and kids and adults alike can blow off some steam and go on an adventure.

3. Peoplemover, or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority is amazing. Nice views, a breeze, a look inside of other attractions. You don’t want to miss it.

2. Carousel of Progress, it might be a bit slow but the storyline is lovely and it is an original.

1. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the music is so catchy and it is a cute show. Plus you can sit down and cool off for a bit too!

Countdowns!

For me, the only thing that makes waiting for my next Disney vacation bearable is having a countdown to my next trip! There are lots of ways to count down, but some of the most popular are:

-Countdown apps for your phone. I use an app for my iPhone called “Days To Go” Disney version. Since I  have a Disney Cruise planned for this year I also use their “DTG DCL” app.

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-A countdown on dry erase board. This is how my husband and I counted down to our trips before we used our iPhones. It was fun to change the number on the board to be one day closer to our vacation every morning!

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-A good old paper chain countdown! I like this one from Delicate Construction:

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…so, how do YOU countdown? And what’s your number?