Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Returning again this year to Hollywood Studios is the Flurry of Fun Holiday Celebration. This show debuted in 2017, replacing the Osborne Family Fun Spectacle of Dancing Lights that had a 20 year run. This show has proved to be able to compete with its predecessor. Running now thru Jan 6.

Flurry of Fun has an nostalgic atmosphere featuring characters from Toy Story, Frozen, and The Muppets. The family friendly event is sure to please everyone in your traveling party.

Getting into the holiday spirit is fun as you stroll thru Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd and Echo Lake. They are all decorated with vintage inspired holiday decor.  After nightfall, the decorations are all glowing and snow will fall.

Sunset Season’s Greetings

Spend 20-30 minutes watching the Christmas stories that are projected onto the Twilight Tower of Terror. The stories include:
Olaf-searching for traditions, The Swedish Chef building a gingerbread house, characters from Toy Story checking out some wrapped presents, and Mickey and Minnie celebrating a traditional Christmas.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

The nightly Fireworks and laser projection show featuring snow is coordinated to holiday music. Hosted by Wayne, Lenny and Magee from Prep & Landing. Get premier seating for the show by attending the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party beforehand. Thee party serves desserts and cocktails in a reserved viewing area.

New this year!!

Flurry of Fun at Toy Story Land

Holiday Cheer In Toy Story Land

Enjoy lots of holiday decor around Toy Story Land and listen to the special soundtrack just for Alien Swirling Saucers.

Holiday Foods

There are all sorts of cupcakes, popcorn, hot chocolate, ice cream to put you in the holiday spirit located throughout the park.

For a more intimate sit down meal try Hollywood & Vine buffet. Enjoy lots of holiday favorite foods while Micky, Minnie, goofy, Donald and Daisy make their way around and pose for pictures with you and your family.

For more information about the events see the official Walt Disney World Flurry of Fun page.

See more about Hollywood Studios

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event held on select nights in November and December.  The party is similar to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with special shows and fireworks. the Magic Kingdom is magical any time of year, but when you add festive lights, music and special events, there is an extra magic to be seen.

Meet and Greets

There are a ton of meets and greets throughout the park during the party.  Most of the characters are dressed in holiday attire.  The Seven Dwarfs are a popular one, so get there early.

Other known meets and greets are:

  • Jack Skellington and Sandy Claws
  • Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tiger
  • Scrooge McDuck and Donald
  • Genie and Jasmine
  • Goofy
  • Moana
  • Belle
  • Captain Jack Sparrow
  • Aurora and Prince Phillip
  • Rapunzel and Flynn Rider
  • Ariel and Prince Eric
  • Mary Poppins and Bert
  • Peter Pan
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White
  • Tiana
  • Alladin and Abu
  • and of course  Mickey, Minnie and Daisy


2018 Events

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

You can tell when the parade is ready to start because each of the two scheduled times for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will be preceded by a snowfall! Experience the festive season with large floats, music, and yes, the big red-suited man himself!  For the best view watch from Main Street USA and arrival about 1 hour before showtime.

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration

In Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration we find Mickey deciding that the holidays are best celebrated with lots of friends.  The list of invitees includes well-known characters like Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Peter Pan and much more.  Together they ring in the holidays with more than a dozen carols, all in front of Cinderella’s Castle.  Of course, the castle is covered in ever-changing lights.  It is a spectacular show performed from the castle stage.

A Frozen Holiday Wish

This is a thrilling show starring Anna and Elsa in front of Cinderella’s Castle.  Get there early if you want a good viewing spot.  Anna and Elsa are joined by rugged Kristoff and the world’s most adorable snowman; Olaf.  Enchanting music and a spectacular light show that changes the castle into a glimmering ice covered palace will have every kid smiling, no matter how old they are. Expect to see lots of the Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Anna, Elsa, Olaf and much more.  There will also be dancing gingerbread men and reindeer.  Oh, and of course there will be a sleigh with the holly jolly old Santa himself!


Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season Fireworks

The highlight of the night is narrated by the world’s smallest announcer, Jiminy Cricket.  Most people like to find a place in front of the castle for this event, but the fireworks can be seen from just about anywhere in the park. During the show, there is plenty of storytelling and music.

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas

Join Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski (My favorite!!) and stitch at the Rockettower Plaza stage in Tomorrowland for a fun filled dance show with a storyline,

Between shows the acapella group, VoicePlay, performs at the stage. They are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Club Tinsel

Dance your night away at the Club Tinsel party located at the Cosmic ray’s Starlight Cafe.

Food and Merchandise

Savor many of the free yuletide treats throughout the park. Offerings change frequently, but past parties offered Santa Claus cookies, Peppermint cookies, hot chocolate, Ginger cookies, apple cider and eggnog.

There are other special treats available for purchase. red velvet Mickey waffles with ice cream, and Mickey cinnamon buns are among the selections.

There is so much activity you might want to consider the Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package for a little downtime.  This way you have guaranteed reserved viewing for the parade and fireworks while eating your way through a buffet of delicious holiday treats!

Limited edition MVVCP merchandise is also available.  This includes apparel, pins, and MagicBands.

Traveler Tips

  • Several of the most popular rides are open during the party.  Consider whether or not you want to use your time on these rides.  The events are only during the party and you may want to consider them as a priority. If you decide to go on the rides, be sure to get fast passes for them.
  • Get tickets early. They do sell out early.
  • There is so much activity you might want to consider the Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package for a little downtime.  This way you have guaranteed reserved viewing for the parade and fireworks while eating your way through a buffet of delicious holiday treats!
  • Be sure to remember your trip with the special PhotoPass opportunities.
  • Add to your festive experience by dressing up for the party. Festival matching pajamas are a crowd favorite!
  • Plan what is a priority for your family.  You will not see it all in one visit!


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets

You have to purchase tickets just for the show, and don’t delay.  If you want to be able to attend you need to buy your tickets in advance and they sell out quickly.  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is only on selected nights from 7 Pm to midnight, but with your ticket, you can enter the park as early as 4:00 PM.

Purchase your event tickets here

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Disney’s Keys to The Kingdom Tour

Disney’s Keys to The Kingdom Tour

 Keys to the Kingdom tour

Have you ever wondered what the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom is all about?  We took this guided tour (yes, it costs extra!) and this was time well spent for us!

Windows Keys to the Kingdom



The tour lasts about 5 hours. We were a little concerned it would not be very exciting and we would be stuck for the whole 5 hours. But, there was no need for concern.


We started at the Town Square Theater which is to the right after you enter the park and go under the Disney Railroad. They give you an appointed time to meet your group and guide.

The provided headsets allowed us to hear better in noisy places and the guide can speak lower in public areas. Right from the beginning, we learned about the many hidden messages along the street. Take note of the windows and all the writing on them because they all have hidden meanings. Additionally, we learned about Liberty Square and Frontierland.


Our “off stage” experience was a backstage ride in the Jungle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion. The tour guide gave us lots of information about special effects that Disney uses.

Keys to the Kingdom Tour


We toured the area where they maintain and store the parade floats. We were able to watch various groups practicing their acts for the parade.

For me, the famed tunnels were the highlight of the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. They are comprised of a series of interconnecting tunnels, with many rooms off to the sides of them.

Cast members dressed in their themed costumes use the utilidors to get to other parts of the park. Down in the utilidors is many offices, hairdresser, cast member cafeteria. It is also the place where all food and merchandise come into the park. It is then distributed into the park thru secret stairways.

Frequently, we had to move to the side to allow an electric cart laden with merchandise to pass by. The tunnels are quite busy.

Something I found very interesting is that the tunnels are actually the first floor of the park. They were built first and then the ground level was brought up to the top of them. What we know as the Magic Kingdom park is actually on the second floor.

There is a separate charge of $99 per person for the tour plus you need a park pass for the day as well.  For this, you get the 4 to 5-hour tour, lunch at one of the restaurants, a few keepsakes and everything described above. If you like everything Disney, this is a must for you.

To book your tour, visit Disney’s website.

Evenings at Pandora; The World of Avatar

Evenings at Pandora; The World of Avatar
In May of 2017 the new attraction Pandora finally opened in the Animal Kingdom. And it is everything Disney promised. We first visited it during the day and enjoyed walking off of earth and into an alien looking world. The mountains float in the sky, plants look like those from out-of-this-world. The background noise of animals and insects is a makes it a little bit eerie.
Although it was exciting and entertaining, it was nothing compared to the thrill of going back after dark. Pandora really comes to life when the sun goes down. All the flora and fauna illuminate in brilliant colors. The forest is alive with sounds from alien creatures.
We were able to score a fast pass for the Na’vi River Journey. It is not a thrill ride, and in fact is somewhat reminiscent of “It’s a Small World” at the Magic Kingdom. You ride a small boat slowly through a dark environment, but that is where the similarities stop. The scenery is full of exotic alien plants and animals. You even get to see a female Navi Shaman performing some type of ritual. The Shaman is billed as the most advanced animatronic character that Disney has produced.
Sadly, we have not been able to get a fast pass for the “Avatar, Flight of Passage” yet, but hope to soon. The reviews for this ride have been excellent!
Pandora, The World of Avatar is a great addition to The Animal Kingdom. Everyone should take the time to stroll through it and immerse themselves in the feel of an alien world. If you can, after dark is the absolute best time to visit.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Once again, in 2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  This after dark special event draws a large crowd even though you have to purchase a special ticket.  And that reminds us to tell you to be sure to purchase your ticket in advance, while they are still available.  You will not need a park pass for this event.  The Not-So-Scary Party is held in the fall on select nights.

Children and even adults can Trick or Treat their way through the park while enjoying all the rides and special activities.  Activities include the “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks show, Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.  If you time it right you should even be able to catch Cadaver Dans barbershop quartet of dead cowboys.  They will be singing in the style of Dapper Dans, but with haunting melodies.

As you wander through the park you will notice Halloween lighting and music effects that are not normally used.  They help transform the park into a haunted, but a happy ghost town.  It should be noted, that all the references to horror and haunting do not mean it will really be all that scary.  After all, it is meant for children as well as the adults.


“Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”

The mischievous Sanderson Sisters (Winifred, Mary, and Sarah) visit our mortal world for a Halloween party.  They starred in Disney’s Hocus Pocus.  The sisters will enlist the help of various other Disney villains to brew up some magical fun.  But watch out because they may put a curse on everyone in the Magic Kingdom park!


Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade

You will know this truly spooktacular procession is starting when you see the infamous Headless Horseman ride down the parade route.  This grim grandmaster will be closely followed by a selection of hauntingly decorated floats.  Many of the usual Disney characters will be on and around the floats dressed in Halloween costumes.


“Happy HalloWishes” fireworks show

One of the highlights of the night is the Happy HalloWishes fireworks show.  The Haunted Mansion sends the Ghost Host over to invite you to watch the sky light up with goose-bump producing pyrotechnic effects while listening to haunting melodies.   Creepy colors will be crawling over the Cinderella Castle and Disney villains will be crooning scary tunes.  You will hear tunes like “Never Smile at a Crocodile,” from Peter Pan and “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” from the Haunted Mansion attraction.

Expected Showtimes

Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade – 9:15 p.m., 11:15 p.m.
Happy HalloWishes Fireworks – 10:15 p.m.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – 8:15 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 12 a.m.
Cadaver Dan’s – 7:15 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:50 p.m., 9:55 p.m., 10:50 p.m.

Ticket Prices and Dates

Dates for the 2018 events are

August 17, 24, 28, 31
September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31

Advance ticket prices are $75. As of this writing (April 2018), tickets have not gone on sale yet.

To read more about the Orlando area, please visit our Orlando Insider’s Guide

Pandora: The World of Avatar

Pandora: World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida is about to open an all new world in the Animal Kingdom park; Pandora: The World of Avatar.

In fact, it is the largest ever expansion at the Animal Kingdom. Disney has invested a half billion dollars in this 12-acre project. The expansion also includes two new rides: “Avatar Flight of Passage” and “Na’vi River Journey”.

Pandora: The World of Avatar is based on the movie, Avatar, which had spectacular special effects. Pandora: The World of Avatar at the Animal Kingdom promises the same.

Pandora: The World of Avatar

Journey to the world that celebrates the magnificent power of nature. In Pandora: The World of Avatar, you will get to see what the Na’vi (blue-skinned, golden-eyed slender 12-foot giants) home of Pandora looks like.  Learn about their peaceful culture that lives in harmony with nature.

Wander through the Valley of Mo’ara. Walk amid glowing fauna & flora.  You will also see a native drum circle and other Na’vi cultural items as well as other wonders of Pandora.

The landscaping is a blend of Earth plant species and sculpted Pandora flora set amongst waterfalls and ponds. By the way, it should be an incredible sight after dark when the bioluminescence of the plants will provide for spectacular viewing.

Oh, and don’t forget the floating mountains; yes mountains floating in the sky!

The Rides

Avatar Flight of Passage” is where you get to fly on the back of a mountain banshee, reminiscent of a flying dragon while enjoying a 3D view of the moon’s incredible landscape.

Na’vi River Journey” you take a more leisurely excursion in a reed raft down a mysterious river while searching for the Na’vi Shaman of Songs.  It is a journey through caves and deep into a bioluminescent rainforest. Along the way, you will get to see some of the unusual and bizarre creatures of the rain forest.

Of course, there will also be Pandora themed shops and food available in the new exhibit. One has to believe that the magical imagination of the Disney folks should provide for some interesting items!

As the Na’vis say “Sivako” – rise to the challenge!

Take a look at what to expect from our friends at Inside The Magic.
“Avatar Flight of Passage”  Flight of Passage Ride Queue

“Na’vi River Journey” Highlights of the Queue and Ride


Interactive Special Missions

Through the My Disney Experience app, you will be able complete special missions to help contribute to the Disney Conservation Fund.

Mobile Order

Satu’li Canteen has the option to pre-order your food through the My Disney Experience app. Just place your order and pre-pay and then let them know when you have arrived at the restaurant by tapping the “I’m Here” button. The kitchen will prepare your meal.  This not available for the dining plans and if you have special dietary needs you will need to order in person.



Apps to Use at Walt Disney World

Apps to Use at Walt Disney World

Apps to Use at Walt Disney World

We have heard that technology and the use of apps make our lives easier, but at the parks, it is a game changer.  Gone are the days of the dad running across the park to see wait times for a favorite ride, or mom pushing the stroller through the crowds in hopes of scoring that FastPass.

There are hundreds of apps available for the Disney area. The most popular include planning your trip, navigating the parks with interactive maps, checking line times on your favorite ride and reserving your FastPass+ and dining.

Here are a few of our favorites.


My Disney Experience apps

This app is owned by Walt Disney World and is the most comprehensive app available.  The app is free to download and you do not need to be a WDW resort guest to use this app.

  • reserve your FastPass+ (up to 30 days in advance for non-WDW guests) for all your days planned at the parks.
  • Make a list of the rides you would like to experience
  • Linking party tickets together
  • make and manage your dining reservations
  • see wait times for the rides
  • locate attractions on the interactive map
  • get directions to anywhere in the park
  • Character Meet and Greet” times and locations
  • closest restroom
  • shows, parades and other event times for the day
  • PhotoPass locations
  • manage and link PhotoPass photos
  • guest services locations
  • find shopping and spa services
  • NEW for Pandora
    • Pre-order food at Satu’li Canteen
    • Interactive Special Missions

family finder

Family Finder for Walt Disney World

It is not uncommon to have to split up the party when in the parks.  Maybe a little one needs the restroom or someone just has to have that Pineapple Dole Whip.  Then you decide you will meet to see the fireworks.  But you didn’t expect the crowds to be as large as they are and you are certain you will never see your loved one again.  Been there! Family Finder app will help.

All members of your party need to download the app to their iPhones.  Each member is given a My Finder Id. Link the ids of all the members of your devices and you will be able to see where each member is located.  The app will update every two minutes to avoid draining your battery. It works for an eight-mile radius of the parks.

 Walt Disney World Trivia

Walt Disney World Trivia

One of the cons about the parks is waiting for that ride you have to experience.  It is inevitable.  While most of the rides are great about providing an interactive queue, sometimes you just need something different.  This app is for those who like trivia.  The questions are timed and a high score can be recorded.  This app would be great for tweens, teens, and adults.


WDW Magic

I find this app to be most useful for the latest news at Walt Disney World.  Here you can find information about trip planning, the latest traveler tips, detailed information about events and the most useful for me is to watch for park closings and openings due to maximum visitor capacities.  They also keep up-to-date on rides closed for refurbishment.

The forum section is quite comprehensive and here you can find lots of information regarding all things Disney. Sign in to post your questions


See More about Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom here




Wishes ending at the Magic Kingdom

Wishes ending at the Magic Kingdom

This week marks the last week to see Wishes at the Magic Kingdom.

Debuting in October of 2003 at Walt Disney World, this nightly fireworks display has been a fan favorite. Its final night will be Thursday, May 11, 2017.
The show tells the story of Disney’s character’s wishes. Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy host the show. As the character work thru their wishes, Cinderella’s castle will change colors. Tinker Belle also makes an appearance as she flies from the tallest spire of the castle.


Over the years Wishes has been the backdrop for many memories made by millions of people. The most popular event is a marriage proposal. Thousands have said their ‘I Do’s” with the fireworks with the spectacular backdrop.


Beginning on Friday, May 12, 2017, the newest of the fireworks displays Happily Ever After will begin.


What are your favorite memories of Wishes?

Star Wars Galactic Nights to Be Held in April

Star Wars Galactic Nights Star Wars: Galatic Nights, hosted by Hollywood Studios, will be held on April 14, 2017 from 7 PM to midnight.  This special ticketed event will feature celebrity chats, fireworks, and character meet and greets.

For those Star Wars fans who miss the Star Wars weekends, this event will be sure to look forward to this event.

Tickets are $129 per adult, and $124 for ages 3-9. Discounted price for Annual Passholders and DVC Members are available. Purchase tickets online.

The Rebel Base will serve as the hub of the event. Multiple other events will take place in the center of the park.

  • Inside the Saga: Celebrity Chat Show- A celebrity talk show to learn more about the making of the films.
  •  Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away – See the best moments of the films featured Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Kylo Ren.
  • Galactic Nights Stars in Cars Motorcade- A processional to welcome the Star Wars celebrities.  This will take place along Hollywood Blvd.
  • Imperial March & March of the First Order– See Darth Vader lead his battalion of storm troopers down Hollywood Blvd to the Event Stage.
  •  Seize the Saga Interactive Scavenger Hunt – Collect Star Wars themed items throughout the park.  Post their love for the films to social media. Act out your own mini scene. Collect all the items to reveal a surprise.
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular– end the night with a fantastic fireworks display.

Star Wars photo ops will take place throughout the area. Be sure to look for the storm troopers and Ewoks on your flight at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.  Other characters meet and greets will be at the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Tickets are limited.




#starwars #starwarsgalacticnights #hollywoodstudios #disneystarwars

Posted by Joanna at vacationorlando.rentals

How Has Disney’s Hollywood Studios Stood Up Over Time?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a history of undergoing major changes and the present is no different.

Originally, a team of Disney engineers had been given an assignment for two new pavilions in EPCOT’s Future World.  One of the pavilions was to be around The Great Movie ride and centered on Hollywood’s heyday of the 1930 and 1940. But, when the newly appointed CEO, Michael Eisner saw the plans we requested it to be made into an entirely new park based on entertainment and show business, named MGM Studios. This also coincidentally happened on the heels of universal studios announcing its plan for a new Florida park.

The park opened in 1989 with only four attractions (Great Movie ride, The Backlot Tour, Magic of Disney animation and the Monster sound Show) with the Earfful Tower as its icon. A year later Star Tours and Indiana Jones stunt spectacular opened up.

Over the years attractions came and went.  In 1994 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened and in 1999 Rock N Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania! opened.  These three attractions were the start of the park actually coming to life. The Sorcerer’s Hat replace the Earffel Tower as its icon, but you could still get a glimpse of the ears from the backlot.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Rock n Roller Coaster
Go from 0 to 60 in three seconds in this superfast indoor roller coaster. Be prepared to go upside down at times!
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47661


Kathy and I on Rock N Roller Coaster
My friend, Kathy (left) always make me (right) go on the Rock N Roller Coaster. Judging by our faces, she loves it and I am petrified!


Disney's Hollywood Studio Tower Of Terror
Drop thirteen stories in this hotel of terror! [[File:TowerOfTerror MGM.jpg|thumb|The original Tower of Terror, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios]]

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Will Have a New Name

Now the park is in the process of undergoing more changes.  The hat has been removed. The Earfful Tower is due to come down soon. Indiana Jones and Light Camera Action are due to close soon. The Backlot Tour and many other attractions have also closed. In March of 2015, the CEO let it slip at a shareholders meeting that the name will also change.  Disney has yet to make any announcements to the new name.

Star Wars Launch Bay Now Open

Star Wars Launch Bay is an area that gives guests a look behind the scenes of the Star Wars films and the new upcoming star Wars: the Force Awakens.  There also is a Kylo Ren meet and greet*, merchandise and specialty foods available.

See this blog for more information

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Wars Launch Bay is now open! Star Wars Launch Bay, an area that gives guests a look into the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has replaced The Magic of Disney Animation. There are special exhibits that give looks behind the scenes of the film, character meet and greets, merchandise and specialty foods.

Olaf and Mickey & Minnie Coming Soon

Olaf will be living the dream “In Summer” near Echo Lake and Mickie and Minnie are living their dream on the red carpet near the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.

Even though the park is currently going through these changes the park still gets lots of visitors annually.  It is well worth the visit.


* There is an exclusive line for Disney Visa Card members at select times



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Contact us for vacation rental homes in the Disney area at https://vacationorlando.rentals



Valentine’s Day Disney Activities

Valentine’s Day Disney Activities are a fun holiday to spend with loved ones.  See what  Disney Interactive activities we have found for you.

Valentine's Day Disney Activities

Spend Family Time Making These Valentine’s Day Disney Sweets

Mickey’s Chocolate-Dipped Valentine Cookies | Disney Family

It’s true Mickey can be forgetful, but on Valentine’s Day you won’t find this smitten Mouse caught short. Dipped in chocolate, these holiday treats are designed to show his leading lady he’s all heart.

Allergy Friendly: The Beast and Belle’s Enchanted Rose Tart | Disney Family

Detailed nutritional information not available. PLEASE READ: This recipe does not include ingredients that contain milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. When grocery shopping, it’s important to read food labels to ensure that the specific brands you are purchasing do not contain any of your allergic triggers or traces of them.


Why Not Spend Valentine’s Day in Style

Here are some great food recipes

14 Valentine’s Day Food Hacks

Valentine’s Day is almost here and these simple hacks will save you lots of time. Time you can spend with your little love bugs and that one very special sweetheart. And what’s the quickest way to someone’s heart? Through their stomach, well at least that’s what my grandma said.

Show Your Love to Your Little Ones

Here are some great printable lunchbox notes for the little ones

12 Printable Lunchbox Notes for Your Little Valentines

Lunch tastes so much better when it’s packed with love. So as Valentine’s Day grows near, we thought it would be cute for all of us moms to add a little extra something to our kids’ lunchboxes. From knee-slapping jokes to simple and sweet sentiments, here are 12 printable lunchbox notes for kids of all personalities.

Discover Orlando

Download your FREE copy of Discover Orlando Today.

Find out what to see and do in Orlando with this Discover Orlando guide.  Explore theme parks, attractions, golf, day trips, biking, fishing and more in this comprehensive guide.  Added bonus is a 2017 Walt Disney World Crowd calendar and the refurbishment schedule.



The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Discover EPCOT’s Best kept secret- The Seas with Nemo & Friends


Entrance to The Seas with Nemo & Friends bui...
Entrance to The Seas with Nemo and Friends building at Epcot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Until recently I did not know the attraction The Seas with Nemo & Friends existed.

I have visited EPCOT over and over and wished I had gone to see this one.  A world class (second largest salt water aquarium in the world) aquarium with conservation efforts is all part of this attraction at EPCOT.  The first article below by Theme Park Tourist highlights the exhibits and shows the once-in-lifetime oppotunities for up close encounters.


3 Things Every Guest Should Know About Epcot’s The Seas Pavilion

When The Living Seas Pavilion at Epcot opened its doors in 1986 (sponsored by United Technologies), it was themed as a high tech exploration of an undiscovered world. Visitors would take a “hydrolator” down, down, down to an undersea habitat called Sea Base Alpha.



For more information:

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Celebrate adventure, fantasy, the past, the future and the imagination! Look at this Walt Disney World attraction.

Dining Out In Orlando with Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

Dining Out In Orlando with Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions


One of the primary reasons we own vacation rental homes is because of my extensive food allergies and other dietary restrictions.  Not only am I allergic to six of the “top eight” labeled allergens, I am also allergic to many other vegetables, grains and fruits that are not required to be labeled in the US.  I also have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease so I cannot have any gluten foods.   I have outlined some of the steps I take when dining out in Orlando so that my family can also enjoy a meal away from home.


Before You Go

If Possible Choose A Disney Property Restaurant

Disney restaurant chefs are very aware of the seriousness of food allergens and gluten free options.  The chefs and staff are trained about cross contamination, prep and cooking issues that affect those with food allergies. When using the dining reservation program, you can submit your special considerations right into your reservation online.

Many off Disney property restaurants, particularly chain restaurants, have staff that are trained as well.  I usually shy away from restaurants that are small business owned as they often do not have the space for separate prep and cooking areas.


Call Ahead and Speak To The Chef or Kitchen Staff

Ask lots of questions, such as:  Do you have separate prep and cooking areas? How are the staff trained in food allergens?  How do they respond to an emergency? Is it possible for you to view ingredient labels?  In some cases I have requested my selection of food on the phone prior to arrival.  Many times we have to go off-menu to accommodate my needs and every experience I have had with a Disney property restaurant they has been more than accommodating.



Be Prepared

Make a laminated card that lists all of  your allergens.  It is helpful for the chef to refer to it while he is preparing your meal.

I also pack a small cooler with something small to eat, just in case.  I usually bring my own salad dressing and a small piece of protein because the restaurant may not be able to meet all my needs.  That way I am guaranteed something to eat.

At The Restaurant


Make Sure You Have Your Epipen With You!

It is estimated that about 50% of fatal food allergy episodes happen outside of the home. To avoid hidden sources of allergens, make sure your table and chairs are well cleaned before sitting down and make sure the staff is aware of your allergens right from the start. If you have called ahead, the staff should be aware of your allergens and should communicate it to you.


Speak With the Chef

The chef will come directly to your table to speak with you.  Don’t be afraid to tell him or her exactly how you would like your meal to be prepared.  This is a good time to give the chef your laminated card for his/her reference while preparing your meal.


Keep Your Selections Simple

I usually order a piece of meat or fish pan seared in only olive oil.  I am very specific about exactly what they can and cannot use.  If available, I ask for my salad to be only romaine lettuce and I use my own salad dressing I have brought from home.   I avoid fried foods and desserts as they have the highest incidences of allergen episodes me and for most individuals.


Make Sure Your Meal Is Delivered Separately By Someone Who Is Aware Of Your Allergens

Confirm your order with the person who has delivered your meal to make sure it was prepared to your specifications.  Many times the serving staff are not as well versed about allergy safety. I can’t count how many times the server have garnished my plate with parsley and I have had to send it back.


Do Not Eat Anything You Suspect And Send It Back If You Are Not Sure

Go with your gut on this one.  I recently had a waitress  who rolled her eyes at me when I explained my allergens and sure enough the information was not conveyed to the chef.  Instead of listening to my gut and sending it back, I ate it and ended up in the ER about an hour later.  If you have a bad feeling about the genuine concern of the wait staff do not be embarrassed to ask for another person to take your order.  Better to mildly offend them, then to end up with a reaction.

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gfriese/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


Being proactive about my allergens has helped me to reduce my episodes to a point I can enjoy a family meal at their favorite restaurant. This has been especially important to them while we are vacationing, as we love to family time over a leisurely meal.


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Contact us for vacation rental homes in the Disney area at https://vacationorlando.rentals




Think You’re Cut Out For Stopping Evil With Phineas & Ferb?

Phineas & Ferb
Save the day and become your own special agent and work along with Agent P to stop the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz from doing his evil deeds!

If you are at Epcot with young children and they are not all that excited about touring the various country pavilions, Disney has some help for you. In July of 2012 a new interactive game was announced and the younger children love it. In Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at EPCOT , they get to be Secret Agents and work with Agent P (Perry the Platypus) to prevent the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz from doing some new evil deed, such as use his “Sinkinator” to sink the Viking Longships in Norway.

Your job as a secret agent is to search for clues and hidden details in order to prevent him from using his “Sinkinator” or whatever “inator” he has invented this time. There are seven different country Pavilions where the missions take place and all will have different interactive props that can be activated only by you!

Photo Credit: lorenjavier License: Creative Commons

In this interactive game you will be asked for help by Major Francis Monogram and Carl the intern from OWCA (Organization without a cool Acronym). The game is free and to get started you will need to stop by either the Italy Pavilion or near the International Gateway to pick up your high tech detection device, called Field Operative Notification Equipment or F.O.N.E. (it is actually a cell phone). The F.O.N.E. will then give you instructions on where to start your mission, and what it is all about. Each mission can take 30 to 45 minutes, so plan to put enough time aside.

This game is designed to be entertaining for younger children and will charm them with the interactive items involved in each mission. Using the F.O.N.E. they will be able to make various props do things like receive messages or have statues rising up out of a fish pond.

The only possible down side is that your children may want to spend a good part of the day completing several of the missions, but then again if it makes them happy, that is why you are there in the first place. Now go have fun!

We would love to hear about your experiences with Phineas and Ferb.   Please comment below.

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Contact us for vacation rental homes in the Disney area at https://vacationorlando.rentals