Dconstructed Is Pure Disney Remix Magic


Photo: Walt Disney Records The Walt Disney Company

Photo: Walt Disney Records
The Walt Disney Company

Just a spoonful of dance music makes the adrenaline go up…in a most delightful way!

Disney has just released, “DCONSTRUCTED”, a remix album of some of the most beloved movie music of yesterday and today.
The songs have been re-worked and given an edge that we would not normally expect from the family-friendly company. These are definitely not the type of tunes that you hear on Radio Disney or the Disney Channel.

“DCONSTRUCTED”, is working out at the gym….blasting your car stereo…or going for a long run type of music. It is a big welcome surprise all rolled into 14 entertaining tracks.

Some of the top electronica and house mix-masters in the business including Avicii, Kaskade and Armin Van Buuren were added to the album and brought new life to the music.

While some of the songs on the album are good old fashioned remixes; a few are industrial trance tracks and violent dubstep remixes that could easily be played in a trendy New York nightclub.

“The Muppet Show” theme song and “Fall” from Tron Legacy are two of my favorites from this album because of their edgy take on the iconic music.
“The Main Street Electrical Parade” song from the parks also makes an appearance and does not disappoint.

Here is a list of the tracks:

1. “Circle of Life” (Mat Zo Remix) – Carmen Twillie & Lebo M.
2. “Derezzed” (So Amazing Mix) Remixed by Avicii featuring Negin – Daft Punk
3. “Let It Go” (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Idina Menzel
4. “Roar” (Yogi Remix) – Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso
5. “Partysaurus Overflow” – BT & Au5
6. “UNKLE Reconstruction” (U.N.K.L.E.) – Michael Giacchino
7. “Fall” (Japanese Popstars Remix) – Daft Punk
8. “The Muppet Show Theme” (Shy Kidx Remix) – The Muppets
9. “Hey Pluto!” (Stonebridge Remix)– Stonebridge
10. “Once Upon a Dream” (Trion Remix) – Bill Shirley & Mary Costa
11. “Main Street Electrical Parade” (Extended Mix) – Shinichi Osawa
12. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Alfred Montejano Hyper Remix) – Randy Newman
13. “Baby Mine” (House Version) – Kaskade
14. “Pineapple Princess” (Kinsey Moore Remix) – Annette Funicello

If you are training for a runDisney marathon or are a fan of electronica dance music,
I highly recommend, “DCONSTRUCTED”.

It is one of those albums that you can listen to from the first track to the last and for $10.00…even Scrooge McDuck would approve this purchase!

You can purchase, “DCONSTRUCTED” through iTunes or Amazon.

Keep calm and dance on!

The Merchandise Freeze Out


The popular Anna and Elsa dresses that are found at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The popular Anna and Elsa dresses that are found at the Walt Disney World Resort.

“Currently Unavailable Online” and “Sold Out” are the messages that parents are greeted with as they search online for merchandise related to Disney’s “Frozen”.

The site Jezebel posted a very honest and blunt article this week (warning: there is some foul language) about angry parents taking to The Disney Store’s Facebook page to vent their frustration at not being able to locate Anna and Elsa products.

Anna and Elsa dresses and dolls are being sold on Ebay with a markup of several hundred dollars. The supply is not meeting the demand right now, and Disney is working feverishly for a resolve.

I have to admit that I was not fully aware of this issue until our trip in Walt Disney World trip in March, when we scoured several stores for princess dresses for friends.

The first place we looked was Castle Couture; a store in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland that carries princess dresses. The place was swarming with people and cast members were at the ready to tell people that they were completely out of stock.
They had just received a shipment the day prior and were immediately sold out. We were given some advice on where else in the resort to look for dresses, and knew at this point that this was going to be an adventure.

As we were shopping on Main Street U.S.A. later that day, we saw a bunch of people in the back of the store around a rack. We noticed there were a few Anna dresses (no Elsa dresses at all) and I went over to get in on the fury. They did not have the size we needed, so we asked a cast member if there were any other dresses in stock, and she was able to locate one in the stock room.

The following day we were in the Norway Showcase at Epcot shopping at the Puffins Roost at just the right time. There in front of us was a cast member guarding a stack of Elsa dresses that were still in the packaging.
It seems that finding these dresses was just a “right place at the right time” scenario.

The priority for “Frozen” merchandise seems to be that the items are sent to shops at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The Disney Stores do get shipments of dresses; however they are less frequent and sometimes gone before they even hit the rack.

The Disney Store has been answering “Frozen” merchandise questions on their Facebook page with responses that give a late April and May timeframe for more related items. New merchandise went up on The Disney Store’s website midday on Tuesday and most of the coveted items were sold out in a matter of hours.

Here are some of my suggestions of where to look for “Frozen” items:

Ask your friends if they have a scheduled trip to one of the Disney resorts. They may be willing to pick up some merchandise for you from the parks. The stores that I know definitely do receive the stock per information from cast members are Castle Couture and Disney Clothiers at the Magic Kingdom, Puffins Roost at Epcot and World of Disney in Downtown Disney.

The Disney Store currently has several style of t-shirts available in limited sizes. You could also call your local Disney Store to inquire about the merchandise and ask when the items will be stocked and delivered. The stores are getting very limited quantities of t-shirts and dresses.

Walmart is also carrying merchandise including t-shirts and toys that are posted online sporadically. One of the t-shirts posted this morning was sold out while I wrote this article. Call the Walmart in your area to check on availability. Sometimes they carry items in the store that are completely sold out online.

Target and Toys R US are both selling variations of the Elsa and Anna dresses. While sold out online, I did see an Anna dress at Target the other day. The quality is pretty terrible and the material is really bad and scratchy, but if you are in need of a dress quickly, this may be an option. Call the stores prior to driving there since these dresses are highly in demand.

Acme (a division of Albertson’s) had racks of Disney brand “Frozen” shirts in various sizes in two grocery store locations that I visited last week.

Etsy sellers are posting “Frozen” inspired merchandise like shirts, dresses and jewelry. Some of the outfits are absolutely stunning and are made with high quality materials so they are more comfy than the mass-produced dresses.

Feeling in the crafting mood? Purchase a turquoise or light blue dress like this one from Kohls, white cardigan (or make your own cape out of tulle or sheer material) and some sparkly glittering ribbon. Find a plain cameo with a photo slot from a craft store and print out a photo of Elsa that you find online or use stickers to make your own Elsa jewelry. (Just don’t resell because there are copywrite laws)

Just like Elsa’s self-created winter storm….this too shall pass.
Hopefully we will be seeing more and more merchandise in the coming months.

Our Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge



Please check out my guest blog about our stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge on David’s Vacation Club Rentals Blog. There are some photos of the resort as well as some information about activities and amenities that you can enjoy during your stay.

Thanks for reading!

Make Your Own Souvenir: Pressed Pennies At Walt Disney World

Save those pennies for your next Disney vacation!

Save those pennies for your next Disney vacation!

If you are looking for an inexpensive souvenir option or simply an interesting activity for the whole family; consider pressing pennies at the Walt Disney World theme parks.

Whether you are a collector or new to pressed pennies, it surely is a treat to accumulate those shiny wonders with the likenesses of Disney characters, iconic buildings and rides.

How to Prepare.

During vacation planning, decide with your family which coins you would like to collect and work it into your daily schedule. With a few family members, performing the task can be time consuming, so creating a game plan is essential.

Presscoins.com has listings of the machines in all of the parks, as well as photos of designs that each machine produces. The photos and locations are conveniently broken down by park with additional information about where to find the machines. Print off a map of each Disney park and circle the locations so you can easy find them while on your trip.

The money needed to create the pennies does add up and rummaging through a purse to locate the change can also take valuable time away from your Disney Day. The machines take two quarters and a penny for pressed pennies and four quarters and a penny for the pressed quarter machines.

Use an empty pill bottle.

Use an empty pill bottle.

Empty pill bottles or long candy tubes work extremely well for keeping the change in order and do not take up much room in a backpack or purse. If you opt to use a prescription bottle, make sure to remove the pharmacy label prior to filling with change.
Use address labels and stickers to personalize your bottles with each family member’s name. When filling with coins be sure to alternate: 2 quarters (or 4 for the pressed quarters)then a penny and keep repeating the sequence. This is a time saver for when you are standing at the machine and ready to get started.

What to do with these pennies?

What to do with these pennies?

What Can You Do With Pressed Pennies?

Disney sells pressed penny books within the parks. The books contain slots to hold and display the pennies.

As an alternative to the Disney book, you could glue your pennies onto scrapbook pages and attach photos from your trip that correspond with the location. For example, a photo of your family standing in front of The Haunted Mansion pasted next to your Hitchhiking Ghosts penny.

Make jewelry. There are several sites, including Pinterest that have photos with inspiration for pressed pennies jewelry. You can make pendants, earrings, cufflinks, bracelets, tie tacks and key chains. Get as creative as you wish and turn it into a craft night. These jewelry pieces also make great gifts for friends and family!

Pressing pennies at Disney is pure fun…from locating the machines to the event itself…they are a wonderful visual reminder of a memorable family vacation.

Will you plan time to press pennies on your next Disney trip?

Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot



This month Disney introduced the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot. The event takes place Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7:45 PM- 9:20 PM.

Admission to the party includes sweets from many of the nations featured in the World Showcase. Enjoy baklava from Morocco, shortbread cookies from the United Kingdom, tiramisu from Italy and a variety of ice cream treats. The party also features sparkling wines as well as standard beverages.

The event area is located across from the Mexico pavilion at the Port of Entry shop that resembles a customs house. The view is stellar…in fact in the past this was my favorite spot for viewing IllumiNations because of the wonderful view of World Showcase.

The cost of this experience is $49 for adults and $29 for children (you also need a valid park admission) and it is recommended that you reserve your spot 180 days prior to your vacation.

Is the Party Worth the Price Tag?

During peak park attendance dates this would be a nice option for families wishing to get a decent view of the fireworks; however there are many locations throughout The World Showcase Lagoon to see IlumiNations.

The party would be the perfect location for a special event celebration like an anniversary or birthday.

The downside is that this experience can be rather costly. If you have a large family, you may want to consider a private fireworks cruise that brings you into the World Showcase Lagoon. You can snuggle under some blankets, sip on provided beverages and enjoy an unobstructed view of IllumiNations.

Other Options

If you would like to see the fireworks from a prime locale, think about making your dinner reservations at a restaurant on the water close to the IllumiNations start time. This way you can enjoy the show and use your Disney Dining Plan to cover the cost!

There are several restaurants with excellent water views of the show. Note: When making your dining reservations you must ask the representative for a seating close to the start of IllumiNations.

The new Spice Road Table in the Morocco Showcase has outdoor café style seating right on the water.

La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico Showcase has tall windows that overlook the Lagoon. This is the perfect place to enjoy some margaritas and dine on fabulous cuisine.

Tokyo Dining is located on the second floor of a lovely pagoda and has a spectacular view of the fireworks. The window seating is limited; however this is a bucket list quality experience.

Create Your Own Event

Grab a margarita from Mexico or a beer from the UK cart and a treat from one of many little sweet shops in the World Showcase. (Check out the bakery in France)

Scope out a bench by the lagoon and listen to the sounds of the IllumiNations pre-show while enjoying your snack party. During our last trip we found a nice little place between China and Germany that had a bench and nice stone wall to lean on during the show.

Whatever option you choose…you will be sure to have a fabulous time. This show is unlike anything else in the parks and is truly a magical close to your Disney Day.

Star Wars Weekends Welcomes Mark Hamill To Star Lineup


Star Wars Weekend

Annually….in a theme park not so far away….sci-fi fans gather to celebrate a movie franchise that was a significant part of their childhood.

Star Wars Weekends are coming back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Fridays through Sundays starting May 16th and ending on June 15th. The weekends are packed with character meet and greets, autograph sessions with stars, parades, Jedi Training Academies and stage shows.

An official announcement was made by the Disney Company that Mark Hamill, the actor who portrayed Luke Skywalker will be appearing from June 6th-8th.  Mr. Hamill will be appearing daily in the popular “Legends of the Force” parade and a talk show.

This year fans will also enjoy a special fireworks event that features Star Wars characters and themed beverages and food options.

Some fans go all out with dressing up as their favorite characters and the meet and greets alone are incredible fun.  Additional merchandise locations are set-up for the weekends as well as some prime locations and backdrops for photographs.

Disney always adds additional celebrities to their appearance roster for the events. They will be updating the official website as celebrities are confirmed. You can view the website here.

May the vacation planning force be with you!


Coping with Disney Withdrawal


Bring the magic home

Coming home from the most Magical Place on Earth can be a difficult transition. After you have been immersed in the magic and fun of the Walt Disney World Parks and Resort, you get used to the magical atmosphere and the kindness of the cast members. You are quickly brought back to reality at the Orlando International airport, when, after removing your shoes and going through the metal detector, the TSA agent doesn’t tell you to “have a magical day.” The friendliness, cleanliness, and customer service of the Walt Disney World Resort is second to none and it can be quite jarring returning to the “real world” after your vacation.

These are some of my personal tips to help overcome Disney vacation withdrawal:

1. Bring A Little Magic Home With You- If you are like me, while you were at the parks, you were tempted to overspend on souvenirs for your home. One of my favorite souvenirs is one that I use every day, my oversized Mickey coffee cup. It is my favorite cup and serves as a memory of a great vacation and a reminder to go back! While in the parks, scope out a special souvenir that you can bring home to help keep the magic alive!

2. Have a Disney Movie Night- Get in your jammies and sit down with the family to view your favorite Disney classic (or maybe a new favorite, Frozen is out on Bluray and DVD today!!!) Pop the popcorn, dim the lights, and enjoy the show!

3. Listen To The Disney Theme Parks’ Soundtrack- During each visit to the parks, we always buy the latest soundtrack and listen to it for at least three months after we get home. We play it in the car and while we clean up after dinner. It’s a great way to bring the magic of Disney into our home!

4. While in the Parks, Get Decorating Ideas- During our vacations at the WDW Resort, my wife and I look around for decorating ideas for our home. Our home decor is rustic country, so we have been able to get a lot of great ideas from the Wilderness Lodge, Port Orleans Riverside and Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. We even took pictures of rock walls around the Magic Kingdom to give us ideas before building our patio. While in the Whispering Canyon Cafe, beverages are served in mason jars. We now use mason jars as glasses in our home. Adding subtle touches to the decor in your home allows you to add magic to your home and is a constant reminder of your Disney vacation.

5. Make a Home Movie or Scrapbook of your Vacation- Take those pictures and videos of your vacation and make a home movie that the whole family can enjoy for years to come. Making a scrapbook is another fun way to remember the memories of your trip.

6. Host a Character Meal in your Dining Room- Have your children dress as their favorite Disney characters for a special dinner. Prepare foods that you enjoyed at Disney restaurants. Consider making your own Mickey-shaped rice crispy treats just like the ones in the parks.  Act as an official photographer and take pictures of your dining event.

7. Two Words: Mickey Pancakes!!!- You know you love them!

8. Start Planning Your Next Vacation- Admit it, you have a problem. Begin dreaming and saving for your next Disney Vacation.

How do you keep the Disney magic alive upon your return home? Would like to hear your thoughts and ideas.

- Todd

Pizza Delivery Scam at Disney Resorts


While staying at a Disney Resort we came back to our room each night to find one or several food delivery flyers under our door.

This tourist scam is offering lower cost food and enticing meals to Disney guests via glossy marketing materials. The price is right and a much better “deal” than the food offered at the resorts…and this is how the scammers draw people to their business.

Out of curiosity, I grabbed one of the flyers and used Google to search for the business with both the name of the business and phone number… I came up with nothing. After doing a little more research on this I read that guests have had nightmare situations in which they ordered pizza or meals that arrived sometimes hours after the order was placed….or they didn’t receive food at all and the scammers made off with credit card numbers.

What to do if you are craving pizza?

National chains like Papa Johns, Dominos and Pizza Hut deliver to Disney resort hotels as well as local restaurants that include Flippers and Giordano’s.

Pizza delivery through Disney is offered at some resorts. You can find a list of available resorts here.  The pizza delivery through Disney will set you back two adult Table Service credits on the Disney Dining Plan. Each meal consists of 1 large pizza, 2 non-alcoholic beverages and 2 desserts.

You can also grab some pizza in the parks at these locations and others:

Stick with trusted organizations when ordering food on your vacations…..you will need that credit card for souvenir shopping!

Princess Fairytale Hall To Welcome Anna and Elsa



Move over Cinderella and Rapunzel… the cast of Frozen is set to take Disney’s Princess Fairytale Hall by ice storm!

Anna and Elsa will be moved from their temporary home in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot and will begin appearing at the Magic Kingdom on April 20th, 2014.

While this is going to be extremely effective for crowd control; Norway truly was the perfect setting for their home.

The shops are bustling with Frozen merchandise and the character dresses are the hot ticket item in the parks. Cast members are stationed by the dresses because they are flying off the racks…in fact, they are so popular that most are being purchased while still in the plastic shipping bags.

If you have a little princess of your own who adores Anna and Elsa and you are currently planning a Disney vacation, please make sure to save a Fastpass selection for your meet and greet. These experiences have very long wait times in the Standby lines. (It was 1 hour when we were in the parks the other day.)

For more information on the Fastpass selection process click here.

Muppets…The Most Wanted Sequel



We were given the opportunity yesterday to preview the much anticipated Muppets sequel at the Disney Parks Blog Meet-up in Downtown Disney.

While we were asked not to disclose the plot details of the movie, I can tell you that this experience was pure Muppet fun!

It had everything that we have come to expect from our furry friends including funny bits…catchy musical numbers (we are still singing them today)…and those incredible lines and cameos that the grown-ups appreciate. This movie reminded me of the Muppets films from the 80′s with a little splash of pop culture.

The movie hits theaters nationwide on March 21st.