FastPass+ For 2016

Here is the most up to date information on FastPass+ for all 4 parks. At the end of each section I will give my suggestions for the high priority FastPass+ choices.  This is subject at any time as Disney will revist the tier system.  These are also just for the initial 3 FastPass.

As a refresher, Disney allows onsite guests to make reservations 60 days prior to arrival.  Offsite (day guests) may make reservations 30 days prior to arrival.

Magic Kingdom- Choose 3

The Barnstormer

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin


Enchanted Tales with Belle

Festival of Fantasy

The Haunted Mansion

It’s a small world

Jungle Cruise

Mad Tea Party

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Main Street Electrical Parade

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor

Peter Pan’s Flight

Pirates of the Caribbean

Meet & Greet with Anna and Elsa

Meet & Greet with Cinderella and Rapunzel

Meet Ariel at her Grotto

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Space Mountain

Splash Mountain

Tomorrowland Speedway

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular


High Priority:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Meet & Greet with Anna and Elsa

Peter Pan’s Flight

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Space Mountain

Splash Mountain


Epcot- Choose 1 from Group A and 2 from Group B

Group A:

lluminations: Reflections of Earth

Living with the Land

Mission: Space

Soarin’ (Closed for refurbishment until Summer 2016)

Test Track


Group B:

Character Spot

Journey Into Imagination with Figment

Spaceship Earth

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Turtle Talk with Crush


High priority:

Character Spot

Mission: Mission Space


Spaceship Earth

Test Track

Turtle Talk with Crush


Hollywood Studios-Choose 1 from Group A and 2 from Group B

Group A:

Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage


The Great Movie Ride

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Toy Story Midway Mania


Group B:

Disney Junior- Live on Stage

For the First Time in Forever- A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (Closing permanently April 3, 2016)

Muppet*Vision 3D

Star Tours

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Voyage of the Little Mermaid


High priority:

For the First Time in Forever-A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster

Toy Story Midway Mania

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror


Animal Kingdom- Choose 3


Expedition Everest

Festival of the Lion King

Finding Nemo the Musical

It’s Tough to be a Bug

Kali River Rapids

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Meet Disney Pals

Primeval Whirl


High Priority:


Expedition Everest

Festival of the Lion King

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Disney News September 2015

Here is your September 2015 Disney news round up!

The biggest news this week is that this will be the final year for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. While it will be very sad to see them go the best part is that Disney is giving notice. So if you had wanted to see them one last time or for the first time this will be your last chance. The Osborne Lights start in early November and will conclude on January 3, 2016. This change is due to the upcoming Toy Story Land and Star Wars themed land coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

nnnoojjj382012Photo via Disney Parks Blog.

If you are coming to see the lights there are two new seasonal offerings. The first is the Merry & Bright Dessert Party from November 6 to December 30. This will include holiday themed desserts. Next is the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception which is January 1-3, 2016. It will feature a selection of small bites like beef, shrimp, and turkey as well as beer, wine, and specialty beverages.  Reservations can be made starting September 16.

Let’s hop over to the west coast with news of a new Frozen inspired stage musical for Disney’s California Adventure Park. This show it due out in summer 2016 at the Hyperion Theater. Which means this show will be replacing the current Disney’s Aladdin- A Musical Spectacular” much to the sadness of many Disney fans. Aladdin will be finished on January 10, 2016.

dad930344Photo via Disney Parks Blog.

If you have ever been to Walt Disney World for Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival and enjoy cooking, I have the thing for you!  A cookbook for the last 20 years of Food and Wine Festival.  Disney has even posted some of the recipes on their blog if you would like to try out a few of them before buying!

Lastly, there is a new special event at Walt Disney World, Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise.  This cruise will take in the Wishes fireworks from a ferry on the Seven Seas Lagoon and feature plenty of sweat treats taken from resorts and the parks with the music piped into the ferry.  It finishes with a toast of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in a souvenir glow glass.  Prices are $99 for adults and $69 for children 3-9 and reservations are available.

FTWDC79731Photo via Disney Parks Blog.


Podcast Episode 52: Disney For Boys

If you’ve got a boy in your life that you want to bring to Disney but you can’t think of anything to do that doesn’t have to do with princesses and fairies, then this is a must-listen for you!  We give you the low down on everything boy-centric at Walt Disney World.  We’ve got ideas for rides, shows, restaurants, and more!  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening

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Animal Kingdom Tips

Animal Kingdom gets a bad rap and I admit I am guilty of adding to it. But to redeem myself here are some tips that you may find helpful when exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

The Kilimanjaro Safaris is worth doing more than once. If you can get a FastPass+ for this for later in the day then go on first thing. The animals may be more active in the morning and no two rides will be the same.614

Save Kali River Rapids for the end of your day, unless it is really hot. This way you will not have to walk around the park in wet clothes all day long. Alternatively you could always wear quick drying clothes or take an extra outfit with you. There are lockers located near the attraction.

Plan to take in at least one of the major stage shows. There are two great choices, Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King. Both are really well done and you can’t go wrong with either choice, but don’t waste a FastPass+ on it since there is plenty of seating for either.

Plan a pre-park opening breakfast at Tusker House. You can get in the park early have a great breakfast and then be in the park back by the Kilimanjaro Safaris when the park opens.


The Boneyard is a great place for kids to blow off some steam. Parents can also sit back and take a quick break while the kids play and dig.

Check out the Wilderness Explorers and earn badges. You will probably learn a lot on the way and maybe explore parts of the park you would not have otherwise seen!

Plan a dinner at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The restaurants in the park are fine but you will find some great places just a short bus ride away. Plus it gives you a chance to see this gorgeous resort and you just may plan to stay there next time.


While Animal Kingdom isn’t the most popular park but there are some great attractions and shows here that are worth seeing!

Podcast Episode 50: Our Top FastPass+ Picks

It’s our 50th episode!  We’re so glad you’re with us!

Are you planning that Disney trip and just don’t know which choices to make for your FastPlass+ selections?  We’ve got you covered!  We talk about which ones we would pick and which ones we wouldn’t in all four parks!

Happy listening!

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Jillian’s DCL Trip Report- Day 4

After going strong for a few days we slept in this morning.  And dear reader, please forgive me I didn’t take many pictures today. Plus with it being a sea day we knew we had nowhere to be. Breakfast as at Beach Blanket Buffet with your typical buffet food: eggs, Mickey waffles, bacon, sausage, donuts, yogurt, cereal. I personally loved the corned beef hash and chocolate croissants with lots of fresh fruit and coffee.

As usual Petra was back to the kids club and I opted to do “Disney’s Innovations: Theme Parks”. This was put on by Briana who talked about things in Disney Parks that were completely innovative at the time. They were things like a single entry point, hub and spoke set up, single ticket and others. The room was filled by your classic Disney nerds, people like me who are always wanting to learn more about the interesting history of Disney. We were able to ask the Cast Member questions after and I talked to some other guests who were cast members at Walt Disney World.

Next I dragged my family to Wonder Quest. This is an interactive scavenger hunt where your group is given a number and the first person to bring the Cast Member the item he is asking for gets 3 points, the next 2 and everyone else before time is up gets 1. This was a lot of fun even if we didn’t win.


By this time it was getting close to lunch and so we had Beach Blanket Buffet again then did some more swimming. Do you see a pattern? My daughter pretty much adored going to the kids clubs and swimming! So after our swim we got an appointment for her to have her hair braided and she was ready to go back to the kids club.

With her off doing her own thing it was time for me to check out the “Art of the Theme Show Tour”. We started in Palo and were lead by Mark around the ship taking in all the little details. If you want to know more about the ship you are on like the style, little details or lesser known thing I would suggest you take a similar tour. The ships are a lot like the parks where you have to look up and down and all around and you might be pleasantly surprised at the little things you see that others miss. Mark was very knowledgeable about Disney and I really enjoyed talking to him. While I did this my husband signed up for a beer tasting class. The cost was $15 and it included a very nice cup to take home with you. We both finished up and it was time to get Petra and get her to Deck 9 for her hair braiding appointment. If you have never had it done before, my 5 year old says it does hurt a bit, but she loves the outcome so she suffers through. I believe it was a few dollars per braid.IMG_0814

This was our formal night and were had dinner at Triton’s. So we all went back to get dressed up! We thought ahead and decided to use our dress clothes for our formal dinner and then hang them back up to wear again for our Palo night. This saved us having to pack two nice outfits when we were just wearing them for a total of 4 hours. For dinner I had the breaded and baked brie, farmhouse salad, duck comfit and a dessert trio. Petra had macaroni and cheese (she is a creature of habit!) and a Mickey bar. Chelsey had shrimp, duck comfit, and a chocolate mousse. And I will tell you it was delicious! It was probably one of my favorite meals for the trip.

Per usual Petra was ready to go back to the kids club and off she went. We decided to take a break in the Cadillac Lounge for Music and Martinis with Tom Moss. We did indeed have martinis and listened to some amazing piano music. He played a combination of Christmas and pop music and we enjoyed relaxing a bit. Soon it was time to get Petra though because tonight was the first night she was going to see a show!

We topped off our night with “The Golden Mickey’s”. This is an “awards” show that a backstage cast member takes on even though she doesn’t want to. It was a cute show about conquering your fears but done in the amazing Disney way. Plus you get to see your classic characters throughout the show.

Tomorrow was another exciting day, Castaway Cay and Palo were on deck! Would they live up to my expectations?

Which Park Should You Skip?

I get asked this question more than I would like. I know some people (myself included) who only have a couple days at Disney. Maybe you are visiting Florida to do multiple things, maybe visiting family, going to the ocean, doing a cruise and your time is limited. Or possibly, you are just going for a long weekend and don’t feel like paying extra for a park hopper. As sad as it is there are many factors you can take into consideration. I will give a park and give the pros for skipping it in a short trip.

Also to note, I love all the parks but this isn’t a reflection of my enjoyment of a park but a guide on what to do if you are short on time and want to get the most bang for your buck.

Animal Kingdom
No, it isn’t just a zoo, but if you have a really great zoo nearby you might want to consider giving this park a pass. This is also the park with the least amount of attractions and if you have small children they won’t be able to do Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and Primeval Whirl. If it is chilly you will want to skip Kali River Rapids and if you aren’t into stage shows then you will miss that too. I would say this is probably the park that most people choose to skip if time is limited.

Hollywood Studios
There is Rock N Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and Star Tours, so if you aren’t into thrill rides or have a height restriction (for small children) this is a tough park to visit. If you aren’t into stage shows like Beauty and the Beast or mixed media shows like the puppetry of Muppet Vision 3*D, Disney Junior and Voyage of the Little Mermaid this might not be the best choice.

This is probably one the most skipped parks by parents of small children and there is probably good reason for it. In the World Showcase there just isn’t much to do for little ones and with the closure of Maelstrom that leaves Gran Fiesta Tour the only ride type attraction, the rest are movies and one show in the American Pavilion. In Future World there are a few more things to do but in general there are not a lot of rides here and the big ones have height restrictions like Soarin’, Test Track, and Sum of All Thrills.

Magic Kingdom
You should probably not skip this park. It has the most attractions and is fun for the whole family and there is a reason it is the flagship park.

Of course if you miss a park or two you should just think about planning another trip, one that gives you enough time to cover all the parks. At least that is what I do!

Pirate and Princess Summer-Part 2

I’ve already covered Pirates here, now for the little (or grown) Princess in your life there are plenty of options too!

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique-located in the Magic Kingdom and at Downtown Disney your little princess or prince can enjoy a makeover at an addition cost. These reservations go quickly so make them early!

Or if you want to be a Pirate Princess or Mermaid you can check out Pirates League over by Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

Meet Princesses- there are Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Merida, Rapunzel, Ariel and Tiana, in the Magic Kingdom. You should pick up a Times Guide to check the exact location and times of the meets.  You can also catch some princesses in the new Festival of Fantasy Parade.

In Epcot you can meet Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, Mulan, and Belle (in her blue dress) in World Showcase.

In Hollywood Studios you can meet Sofia the First. During the summer of 2014 you’ll be able to see Anna and Elsa from Frozen too!

Animal Kingdom has one princess meet and greet, Pocahontas!

For Princess meals, you can meet a variety of princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom, Akershus in Epcot and at 1900 Park Fare dinner you can meet Cinderella, Prince Charming and her stepmother and sisters. If you are looking to catch your favorite princess in a show you can watch Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and Disney Junior Live on Stage in Hollywood Studios.

If you want to have an interactive show and meet you should not miss Enchanted Tales with Belle!

For attractions there is Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride both in the Magic Kingdom.

And if you want to stay in the magic for your entire visit there are the Royal Rooms at the Port Orleans Riverside resort.  The rooms offer touches from many of the princesses and features a very special headboard.

What is your favorite Princess adventure or attraction?

25 Years of Hollywood Studios

May 1st, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of Hollywood Studios! If you are like me you will still slip up and call it MGM from time to time but whatever you call it, it is a great park to visit this year. Hollywood Studios is the perfect park for thrill seekers and those who love shows. There are quite a few things for children to do as well.
Let’s start with thrill seekers you are not going to want to miss Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

If you love stage shows there are a bunch of choices too. The more popular ones are Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. There is also the Great Movie Ride which mixes actors with an attraction ride through great movies in Hollywood history. Similarly there is Backlot Tour which you can also be a part of if you are so inclined. Along similar vein is Lights, Motors, Action which is a show featuring car and motorcycle stunts.

If you are traveling with young children there will be plenty to entertain and delight them as well. Aside from those things listed above you can try out the puppet show Disney Junior Live on Stage as well at Muppet Vision 3*D. Of course you won’t want to miss some of the great character meets like Sofia the First, Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sorcerer Mickey, Mike and Sully, Phineas and Ferb, Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope and Goofy, Donald and Daisy, Chip and Dale. Of course you can always participate in Character Palooza for a varied character meet.

You will absolutely not want to miss Toy Story Midway Mania for people of all ages! Fantasmic! is also a great nighttime show filled with fireworks and characters. If you are interested at all in Disney history or Walt Disney the man then you HAVE to visit One Man’s Dream.

Admittedly Hollywood Studios could use an upgrade and there are rumors of a Carsland or a Star Wars and, (I’d be happy with either), but it could use some fresh attractions and shows. Don’t miss this park but don’t be surprised if you find yourself done with it early on in the day when you have small children. It is worth seeing and spending some quality time there.