Get “Frozen” This Summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios


Anna and Elsa1


From July 5th through September 1st, characters of  the smash hit “Frozen” will be making appearances at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Some people are worth melting for….and the cast of “Frozen” surely is worth waiting for in lines out in the hot Floridian sun!

The Disney Parks Blog announced today that there will be some fantastic “Frozen” special events throughout Hollywood Studios which include:

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome– Every morning at 11:00 AM, our favorite royal team (including Kristoff) will arrive in Hollywood Studios and ride down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh. The procession will also include skaters and those famous singing ice cutters. The procession ends at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage with a welcoming ceremony.

Olaf on Summer Vacation– In order to celebrate Olaf’s first summer experience, guests can pick up their own Take-Along Olaf from various locations in the park. Snap pictures with our favorite snowman and post them to social media using the hashtag #OlafSummerVacation. Some guest photos from each day will be selected to appear during each evening’s grand finale celebration.

For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration– Can’t get enough of those ditties from the movie? Join characters from the film at the Premiere Theatre for a retelling of the history of Arendelle and special sing-along moments. This is an interactive show you are not going to want to miss.

Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland– Soundstage One will be turned into a play area with cool weather activities, photo ops and even ice skating demonstrations. “Frozen” merchandise as well as foods and beverages inspired by the movie will be available for purchase.

“Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party– Every evening at 5:30 PM, a DJ and live band will be stationed at the Sorcerer Hat Icon Stage. Get your groove on as they play classic hits, contemporary tunes and medleys from the movie.

“Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular– Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf join at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a spectacular end to a day at the park. The fireworks display will be complimented by the incredible music from the film.

Disney did not give any details regarding the possibility of FastPasses for these events, so my best advice to you is to keep checking your My Disney Experience App for any “cool” new additions to the daily FastPass offerings.

Are you excited about the cast of “Frozen” appearing in the parks? Will this change your summer plans?





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!


Disney’s Hollywood Studios Gets Into the Holiday Spirit

The PhotoPass location for the 2011 light display.

The PhotoPass location for the 2011 light display.

The Osborne family of Arkansas decorated their home every year and each season the display continued to grow. The family decided that the lights should be shared with the world and partnered with Disney to bring the magic to Hollywood Studios. The display was donated to the park in 1995 and has been a holiday favorite of Walt Disney World Resort guests.

This evening, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get a little brighter with the 2013 premiere of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. Guests of the park will become immersed in twinkling lights that dance to the music of the season while strolling the Streets of America. Features of this holiday display include; a spinning globe, Santa and his sleigh and a carousel made entirely of lights that sits atop one of the buildings.

What to Know About the Lights:

The lights are turned on every evening around 6PM and are accessible until closing. Each night a ceremony occurs in which the “family of the day” is joined by Goofy to flip on the switch and light the Streets of America. This is generally a very crowded event so it is recommended that you get to the area 30 minutes prior in order to get a decent view.

If you prefer to stroll the display with more minimal crowds, wait at least an hour after the lighting ceremony. When the park has late evening Extra Magic Hours, take advantage of the time and view the lights with smaller crowds. You can find the Extra Magic Hours for the park through Disney’s calendar tool located here.

Holiday beverages including hot chocolate and cider can be found at vendors around the display…some holiday themed alcoholic options are also available throughout the season!

Looking for the perfect spot for a holiday photo of the family? The middle of the display offers a PhotoPass location with a backdrop of towering lit trees and toy soldiers. These photos make great holiday cards or can be framed as gifts for loved ones.

The newly introduced “Glow With the Show” ears are synced with the lights and can be purchased for $25 in the park. The ears are interactive with several shows including; “Fantasmic” at Hollywood Studios and both “Wishes” and “Celebrate the Magic” at the Magic Kingdom.

If you have never seen the Osborne Lights in person, I highly recommend the experience. It is a magical way to get into the holiday spirit…and Disney surely knows how to do the holidays!

Have you seen The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights?

Holiday Shopping at Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse figure purchased by my parents on their honeymoon. He is still greatly cherished after all these years.

Mickey Mouse figure purchased by my parents on their honeymoon. He is still greatly cherished after all these years.

There is nothing like spending the holiday season at the Disney Parks. The decorations, the music and the SHOPPING! Speaking of shopping…if you are traveling to the Walt Disney World resort prior the holidays, it’s the perfect opportunity to get all of your shopping done for everyone on your list.

Create a Shopping Plan

Just like Santa, you will want to make a list of all the people who you are shopping for and come up with a plan. Make sure to decide in advance a general idea of what you are purchasing, so you are not spending your entire vacation in the retail stores. Also keep in mind that if you are flying, you will want to purchase items that pack and travel well without taking up a lot of space in your bags.

Disney’s website has a search tool for finding the stores that sell the items on your list. Simply type in the item that you are looking for and all of the stores that carry the item will be listed.

Here are some ideas of simple and easy gifts for everyone on your list:


Every one could use one more ornament on the tree, right? This is an item that receivers can use year after year. They are both inexpensive and travel very well, so they are the perfect gift for anyone on your list!

Disney has entire walls dedicated to Christmas decorations in several stores as well as specialty Christmas shops in two locations; Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney and Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom.


T-shirts can be found in many stores in the parks. When deciding to buy shirts or any type of clothing, be sure to check on sizes and ask recipients about their favorite Disney characters before your trip. This will simplify your shopping and cut down on those calls back home.


Disney trading pins make excellent gifts for the collectors in your life, and they are really portable. Retail locations throughout the resort also offer necklaces, rings and bracelets adorned with your Disney favorites. Add a little Disney “bling” to someone’s life!


There are thousands of toy options to choose from at Disney; from light up swords to Legos, you are sure to find the perfect gift. Stuffed animals are wonderful presents and knowing that they came from the resort, makes them even more special.


One of the easiest and most cost-effective gifts is a Disney-themed coffee mug. They come in all shapes and sizes and are adorned with almost every Disney character. They are portable and make the packing process a breeze.

Global Treasures

For the world-traveler in your life; think about visiting the shops within the World Showcase at Epcot. Items from each highlighted country can be found in their resident shops. You will find jewelry, art, housewares and even apparel items that are specific to each country. Plan on at least an afternoon exploring each country and their corresponding retail shops.

What About All Those Bags?

While staying on the Disney property, there is an option to have your purchases sent back to your hotel room, so you aren’t walking around the parks lugging bags. If you are staying at an off-site resort, purchases can be sent to a location at the front entrance of the park. You can pick up your merchandise when you leave at the end of the day.

“The Deals”

If you want to go offsite during your stay, the local Orlando outlets can be a nice place to visit for some deals. The Character Warehouse is Disney’s outlet shop and offers some discounts on clothing, accessories and toys. The stores can be found in one of two Orlando Premium Outlets; International Drive near Universal Studios and Downtown Disney. Something to consider: If you have a car, this may be a way to save some money on merchandise, but when taking a taxi or paying for a shuttle, the cost of the trip may outweigh your savings.

The Disney Store

Souvenir shopping can be effortless if you wish to purchase items before you leave for your Disney vacation. Select Disney Parks Products can be found on the Disney website. Sales on the site occur often and free shipping options are available for purchases of $75 or more. Have the items shipped to your home and save them for your return. This could save a lot of time in searching for those perfect gifts in the parks.

To “Wrap” This Up

Planning ahead for your Disney souvenir shopping could potentially save a lot of time and money…and allow more time for magical memories.

Do you plan to do your holiday shopping at Disney? Have any tips or tricks?

Glow With The Show Premieres At Fantasmic


Glow with the show

Glowing at Fantasmic

Source: Disney Parks Blog (Gene Duncan, Photographer)

There are many wonderful announcements coming from the Walt Disney Company this week. The newest addition to the Disney parks is the “Glow With the Show” Mickey ears that were introduced at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ears interact with the Fantasmic show, change colors throughout and are in sync with the songs and fireworks. If guests opt to purchase these very special ears, they are in for a real treat as they become part of the show!  The ears will be available for purchase throughout the park.

The ears will make their debut at the Magic Kingdom this Saturday, October 19th during the “Celebrate the Magic” show and the “Wishes” fireworks.

What do you think of the ears? Fun addition?