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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A New Gier Ness Fragrance is Coming to the Norway Pavilion!

A New Gier Ness Fragrance is Coming to the Norway Pavilion! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin

Disney's Norway Pavilion at Epcot has become known over the years for its distinct scent as a result of the fragrances sold at the Puffin's Roost. While the scent became synonymous with the store, it actually has a much greater Norwegian backstory than simply the Epcot Pavilion. Gier Ness, a native of Oslo, Norway, created a unique fragrance that embodies the full experience of nature in Norway that users can experience without ever leaving the United States. 

The original two scents were Gier for men and Laila for women. According to Ness, the Laila perfume (which is widely popular with Epcot guests) was inspired by his mother and truly brings a special element to the scent. While the fragrance is certainly popular, only Epcot and a few select Nordstrom Department Stores carry the product in their inventory.  

However, in a surprising change, Gier Ness is releasing a new fragrance which appears to be exclusive to the Disney Parks and the Disney Cruise Line. The new scent, also based off of elements of Norway, attempts to capture the film 'Frozen' in a one of a kind scent. The fragrance, named 'Frozen in a bottle,' supposedly captures the essence of the film and its cohesive involvement with nature. The scent, according to Ness, was designed to showcase the nature exhibited within the film rather than the princesses. 

For those of you who may not already know, the attraction which dumps guests out into this store was recently redesigned from Maelstrom to Frozen Ever After. As a result, the attraction has become significantly more popular, yet many still miss it's Maelstrom origins. 

As an added bonus, with the fragrance debuting at Epcot tomorrow, Wednesday, March 1st, Gier Ness will be at the retail location singing autographs and meeting with theme park guests. This will continue on into the weekend, ending Sunday! If you've never had the opportunity to meet Gier, be sure to check this out. His personality is great and you can truly see that he appreciates the opportunity to meet with guests.

The new scent is going to sell for $70 for the 3.4-ounce variation and $50 for the 1.7-ounce variation. I have a feeling these may go quickly if stocks are not extremely prevalent, so be sure to go early and grab yours if you're interested. 

Have you ever used Gier Ness fragrances? Let us know what you think down below!
(Enjoy this article? SHARE it with friends! Thanks!)      

(Source: Orlando Sentinel) 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Disney Debuts "Gaston" Clip for the Upcoming Beauty and the Beast Film

Disney Debuts "Gaston" Clip for the Upcoming Beauty and the Beast Film
by: guide4wdw - Collin

A new clip from the upcoming live action film, 'Beauty and the Beast' has officially been released. The official Disney Movie Trailers youtube account released the short clip just this morning. The short section of the song, which has become an iconic part of the original film, takes on a slightly different setting and a new feel that should really keep true to the original but allow new subtle changes to arise in the reiteration in live action. 

As many of those involved with the film essentially described, they don't want to copy the movie exactly but rather expand the story into something that is distinctly recognizable to the original, but with a greater depth. 

It appears that they have certainly captured the interest of moviegoers as the opening showings of the film are sold out in many theaters across the country! Here's a look at "Gaston":    

Hollywood and Vine to Offer the Fantasmic! Dining Package at Breakfast!

Hollywood and Vine to Offer the Fantasmic Dining Package at Breakfast!
by: guide4wdw - Collin

It appears as if a new dining opportunity may be coming to Hollywood Studios. As many of you may know, Hollywood and Vine has been offering a Fantasmic Dining package for many years. The package offeres guests the opportunity to eat at the restaurant but also provides them with reserved seats for that nights showing of Fantasmic. In the past, this was only available for lunch reservations, but it appears that Disney may have changed that timeframe to include breakfast reservations as well. 

Nothing was announced officially, but the experience can now be booked utilizing the calendar reservation option under the Fantasmic Dining Package listing. Personally, I found a reservation available for March 30th at 8:05am, but others have found early reservation opportunities (as soon as March 4th).

In the past, Hollywood and Vine hasn't necessarily been known for its food, but with breakfast now available as a part of the package, those who do not enjoy the other meals have a new option if they intend to use the dining package.

Breakfast still remains a character meal with Disney Junior characters and this is in no way required to be purchased in order to eat at the location. I have tried this in the past for lunch and it was outstanding to be able to have that reserved seating at Fantamsic which regularly fills to capacity in the busier months of the year.

Do you like this restaurant? Is it a must-do for your family's vacation? If you liked this article SHARE it with friends! 

(Source: laughingplace.com)  

Disney Releases New TV Spot for 'Pandora - The World of Avatar' Featuring Guests for the First Time!

Disney Releases New TV Spot  for 'Pandora - The World of Avatar' Featuring Guests for the First Time! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin

As expected, Disney has released another TV Spot for the upcoming addition to Animal Kingdom, 'Pandora - The World of Avatar.' This short clip adds to what we've already seen in past TV spots. The major difference between this clip and others is that it first and foremost features James Cameron, but it also gives us a first look at guests actually "in Pandora." At the end of the clip, there's also a brief segment that has previously been released of a Na' vi animatronic that was already shown at the Destination D event a few months ago. 

Personally, these progressively growing details of the area are constantly exceeding my expectations for the land! At first, I was certainly a skeptic of Pandora and how it would "fit" with the overall design of Animal Kingdom and the Disney Parks in general, but I've all but changed my mind now! I'll have to experience it in person to make a final judgement, but I'm certainly looking forward to its' debut! Here's a look at the clip:    

So, what do you think? If you're looking forward to Pandora's debut, help us share the clip and grow this community by inviting a friend to come check out the site! Hit those SHARE buttons and help us keep this site growing! As always, Thanks!   

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Reservations Are Now Available for the New Character Breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno

Reservations Are Now Available for the New Character Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Weeks ago Disney released that a new character breakfast is coming to the Boardwalk Resort at Walt Disney World. Today, we have received a few additional details regarding the new dining opportunity. Beginning April 2nd, guests will be able to share a breakfast with their favorite characters: Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel, and Prince Eric (as usual, characters are subject to change).

For many guests, this will be a welcomed addition to the boardwalk, however it is a surprising move for the resort. Typically, the Boardwalk focuses on nightlife that can also be fun for the family. Fortunately, it looks as if with these additions that the Boardwalk itself will be gaining something that may develop it into a more of an "all day opportunity" for those who are not staying at the resort.

We've also received a bit more information on the food as well for the location. Here's what you can expect:

“Shipwreck al Forno”
Calzone with scrambled Eggs, Soppressata, Bacon, Sausage,
Blend of Cheeses and Sunday Gravy
“Golden Frittata”
Prosciutto di Parma, Piquillo Peppers, Green Onion,
Pecorino Romano and Roasted Potatoes
“Tangled Eggs”
Tomato & Basil Scrambled Eggs,
Fresh Mozzarella, Sunday Gravy and Roasted Potatoes
“Two Eggs Poached Under Water”
House-made Fennel sausage, Parmesan, and Sunday Gravy
over Golden Polenta and Toasted Ciabatta
“Tower of Pancakes”
Seasonal Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon or Sausage
“Royal Breakfast”
Oak-Grilled Steak, Cheesy Egg Torte, Asparagus,
Crispy Onions and Roasted Potatoes
“Swimmers di ‘light'”
Smoked Salmon Egg White Omelet with Spinach, Mushrooms,
Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Roasted potatoes
Kids will enjoy their choice of a Mickey Pancake, Mickey Waffle or a “Little Royal Breakfast,” which will feature an egg, bacon and toast. Breakfast will also include your choice of non-alcoholic beverage such as coffee, tea juice, milk and soft drinks. Mimosas, a Peach Bellini, cappuccino, press pot coffee and more will be available as an additional charge.
The pricing for the experience is about that same as you would pay for a majority of the table service breakfast options across property. Current prices are $34 for adults and $20 for children. Also, Character dining is only going to be available for the breakfast timeframe, not the other meals served by the location. Reservations will probably go quickly given that it is a new experience and the food does look quite tasty. Be sure to go ahead and get a reservation if you intend on dining here. Reservations are already available for the opening date and from there on out.

As always, if this is something you're looking forward to, be sure to SHARE it with friends! Also, be sure to check out our new merchandise store by clicking the banner below! All merchandise is on sale for just a few days and all t-shirts are only $14! For more info about the store click here (or the link below): -> -> Introducing The Guide4WDW Exclusive Merchandise Store!      


Help Support the Site and Get Some Outstanding Guide4WDW.com Exclusive Merchandise!

Introducing The Guide4WDW Exclusive Merchandise Store! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Our first surprise of the year is officially here! Today, we have launched our exclusive Guide4WDW.com merchandise store. The store requires no minimum orders before products are shipped, all products are very high quality, and for a limited time every t-shirt available is only $14 (Sale ends Feb. 24th). 

This new opportunity will give us the option to get some of our own designs out their and available while still providing the convenience of the reliable sales group, TeePublic. Throughout the store we are featuring many designer's products, but also a few of our own that will be exclusively available in our store! Here's some of my favorite designs: (all designs available on many different colored shirts!)  

-Lasseter Design 

-Disney in a Nutshell! 

There's a look at our first custom designs, but here's one more for all the kids out their and the parents of young ones. This design is my personal favorite and, not surprisingly, designed by me (as are the two above)! Available in both children sizes and onesies! (Be sure to choose the exact product you want to order from the product boxes listed under each design's page)  

-I Pooh-ed at Disney!

So, there's a look at all of our custom designs so far, but more are on the way! However, there's a lot more designs across our store from other outstanding Disney designers! For more information, click the banner below and go check out all of the merchandise available in our store. All designs are available in multiple sizes for both adults and children! We also are offering the designs on notebooks, travel mugs, art prints, sweatshirts, and much more! 

Your support is greatly appreciated and will go back into the many projects we are working on for the site in order to turn this dream of ours into a reality. So far, the support you guys have given us has been outstanding and we truly appreciate all the shares and each and every one of you that takes the time to read our posts each day! Time truly is your most valuable resource and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to spend a few minutes here with us!

If you like the products on our storefront, please SHARE this post and the store with friends. We're just starting to get this off of the ground and your shares would truly help us out! Thanks! 

Click the Banner Below to Shop Our Store! 


Prices For All Three Dining Plan Options Have Increased!

Prices For All Three Dining Plan Options Have Increased! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Recently, I have been trying to avoid many of the negative news stories that have been prevalent in the world of Disney parks. As always, no one likes to hear about price increases, but this time it could potentially affect they way you plan your Disney vacation experience. After the typical ticket price increase which occurred just last week, dining plan prices have also increased across the board. The pricing structure that has taken affect is as follows (prices according to wdwinfo.com): 

  • Quick Service Disney Dining Plan
    • Adult – $48.19 (increase of $1.85 from $46.34)
    • Child – $20.88 (increase of $0.70 from $20.18

  • Regular Disney Dining Plan
    • Adult – $69.35 (increase of $2.02 from $67.33)
    • Child – $24.95 (increase of $0.73 from $24.22)

  • Deluxe Disney Dining Plan
    • Adult – $106.68 (increase of $3.11 from $103.57)
    • Child – $38.75 (increase of $1.13 from $37.62)

Fortunately these are not drastic changes, but over the course of a week, with multiple guests traveling with you, the additional costs can add up quickly. Price increases are something we have come to expect throughout the Disney parks recently, but with this increase showing up unexpectedly its certainly something you'll want to be aware of. 

(Source: wdwinfo.com)   

On a better note, we're happy to announce that we have officially partnered with TeePublic to develop a Guide4WDW.com Exclusive Disney merchandise store! We've created some of our own products and are sharing some other designers products as well! Be sure to check it out for yourself and SHARE the store with friends if you like what you see!  

Click Here to Learn More About the Store! -> -> Help Support the Site and Get Some Outstanding Guide4WDW.com Exclusive Merchandise!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Captain Jack Sparrow Steals the Cover of 3 New "Dead Men Tell No Tales" Posters

Captain Jack Sparrow Steals the Cover of 3 New "Dead Men Tell No Tales" Posters
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Given that it's only Tuesday, it has been a big week for Disney entertainment. Just after Disney debuted a first look at Emma Watson singing "Belle" new posters have been released for the upcoming film "Dead Men Tell No Tales" in the continuation of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. 

As many of you may know, the Pirates films were originally based off of the classic Disney attraction bearing the same name. The attraction has always been a guest favorite from it's debut at Disneyland to its addition at Walt Dinsey World and other Disney parks around the globe. Despite the introduction of Johnny Depp in the form of Jack Sparrow a few short years ago, the attraction has served as inspiration for the films rather than the other way around. 

It is a fairly unique mold for the company which has had varying degrees of success with attraction based films. For example, "The Haunted Mansion" film did not do as well as they would have expected and the more recent "Tomorrowland" film resulted in lack luster box office results as well. However, despite my appreciation for each of these movies, Pirates of the Caribbean has become an iconic series for viewers across the country. This continuation of the Pirates tale should be an outstanding hit production! Here's a look at the new posters with Jack Sparrow front and center: 

(Photos: wdwnt.com)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Disney Releases First Clip of Emma Watson Singing "Belle"

Disney Releases First Clip of Emma Watson Singing "Belle" 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

As the live action remake of the Disney classic film "Beauty and the Beast" draws closer to it's release, Disney has been pushing increasingly popular clips from the film. After a few teaser and one short trailer, we finally get a glimpse of Emma Watson singing the classic fan favorite composition "Belle." Unfortunately while we only get a short glimpse of the overall song, it has only built an increased level of anticipation for movie goers of all ages. Typically, I'm not a huge fan of live action remakes, but it's hard not to appreciate the level of detail and careful attention that appears to be being made by the directors and producers to develop this film into something extraordinary yet recognizable from the original. Well, that's enough from me for now, here's what you all came to see!

Are you looking forward to the film? Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below! If you like what we're doing here on the site, be sure to invite friends to join this Disney community. We don't want it to be all about us, but rather a way for Disney fans to meet new people and interact in a fun and helpful environment! 

VIDEO: Disney Releases Longest Look Yet at Pandora - The World of Avatar

VIDEO: Disney Releases Longest Look Yet at Pandora - The World of Avatar
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Disney has officially released the third of what will soon be many more short clips teasing the debut of Pandora - The World of Avatar! This short clip, while the longest of the teasers so far, once again showcases the Na'vi River Journey. To me this seems to be starting a trend. Despite what many believe, it appears to me that one of two things may be happening regarding the attraction. 1. They expect it to be the "E- ticket" attraction that no-one expected. 2. The particular attraction is closer to completion than the Banshee attraction and therefore they have more footage available for the teasers. Either way, here's a look at the short clip released just a short while ago!     

Are you ready to experience the World of Avatar with your own eyes? I know I am! Be sure to let us know what you are looking forward to most in the comments below!  
If you liked this article, SHARE it with friends! Thanks! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Tiki Room Tale That You've Probably Never Been Told!

The Tiki Room Tale That You've Probably Never Been Told!
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

As a true Disney classic, The Enchanted Tiki Room has been a favorite of guests for generations. While you may have experienced the attraction first hand or one of it's many variations in the Disney Parks, I can bet that you may have never heard how Walt Disney supposedly came up with the idea in the first place.

As the story goes, long before Walt decided to create The Enchanted Tiki Room attraction, he, his wife Lillian, and their children took a trip to Europe. While on that trip, as was typical, Walt stopped and explored quite a few of the little antique shops that were in the area. For Walt, this certainly would not be out of the ordinary when you take into account his love of antiques which was largely prevalent in the creation of Disneyland's "One Of A Kind" shop and later Walt Disney World's "Olde World Antiques." However, what Walt found could have led to many of the complex audio-animatronics we witness today throughout the parks! (photo: Disney

While wondering through one particular antique shop, Walt found a variety of wind up toys that featured very subtle and simple movements as a result of a crank or other user input to make the components function. As intricate, yet simple, as these designs must have been, Walt was knowingly fascinated with marvels of engineering and the world of unique "technologies." 

Many believe that these little wind up toys sparked a thought in Walt's mind that never truly left him. As with anything he imagined, the idea was never left as simply an idea, but rather an opportunity to try something new and experiment with new ways of creating unique concepts. So, years later he developed a completely revolutionary concept for animatronic figures known today as audio-animatronics. Believe it or not, the first debut of these outstanding marvels of engineering in an attraction was none other than The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. 

Of course we all know the song by heart no matter if you've been to the Disney parks or not, but the song itself was designed to really explain the entire idea for the attraction. Richard Sherman (composer for such iconic films as Mary Poppins and other classic Disney attractions/films) explained the story of the music a short while ago at a D23 expo. According to Sherman, one day Walt simply met him outside of a certain room in the production area for the theme parks and wanted to show him something new. They walked into the room and Sherman says that the animatronics were sitting there moving and interacting on their own. When the whole experience was over Walt looked at him and asked "What do you think?" To which Sherman essentially replied, it's great but I don't know what it is! Walt simply said, you're going to write a song to explain all of this. As a result, the Sherman Brothers developed the catchy tune that we all know and love today. Simply put, "The birds sing words and the flowers bloom In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room!" (photo: disneyavenue.com) 

When you think about, thats really the only way to explain it! At first, the whole concept was set to be a dinner show, but development issues forced that change into what it has become today. The dining experience would have been outstanding to experience, but I certainly wouldn't trade what we have today for anything! 

If you learned something new or enjoyed the article today, be sure to SHARE it with friends! We truly appreciate it! What's your favorite part of the show?               

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Disney Files Patent For "Drone" Monitoring Application

Disney Files Patent For "Drone" Monitoring Application 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Once again, Disney has filed another patent. However, this time it is for a rather obscure application that does not appear to correspond directly to theme park operations for the typical guest. 

Disney has previously banned the use of drones across property, but not all guests and media outlets have been complying to those regulations. As a result, it appears as if Disney is going to create a device to detect and overtake drones in order to protect there secretive work in and around the parks and resorts. 

Many media outlets and photographers have been secretly filming new construction projects , sound stages, and other intentionally hidden aspects of the parks and multimedia assets remotely in order to share their findings with the world online. As you can imagine, in a business as secretive and cutting edge as Disney's, such leaks of information could negatively affect the company's production and development goals. 

The patent itself is called "Commercial Drone Detection." The system is described as capable of intersecting commercial drones. From Disney's perspective, this must be a necessary step in securing their future developments. In this day and age they are starting to realize that it is going to take more than just oversized walls to hide construction projects and this is certainly a step in the right direction. 

As a member of the media (No matter how small that portion may be.) I can honestly appreciate the steps they are taking to limit early exposure of certain projects. I honestly think its a good step in helping preserve the magic of the end result of many of these new projects. Take Pandora: the World of Avatar as an example. Honestly, after a few recent media aerial videos and leaked images we have a good idea of what to expect from the project. Of course, there will be surprises, but the big reveal of everything all at once has essentially become a thing of the past. It makes sense to hide a big release. It builds anticipation and develops a greater sense of amazement when the final project debuts!

As always, these patents have simply been filed and may never actually be utilized in a real world theme park application.  

What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction, or a step too far?
Like this article? SHARE it with friends! 

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Friday, February 10, 2017

A Unique Perspective: The Creation of a New Concept by Walt Disney

A Unique Perspective: The Creation of a New Concept by Walt Disney 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

Walt Disney was undoubtedly one of the greatest visionaries of all time, and his distinct legacy continues on through the outstanding organization his original ideas have helped create. However, have you ever wondered how taking that first risk to build a new concept for theme parks grew into what it has become today. How did he get people "on board" with the idea at first and ready to take on something completely new? Honestly, this got me thinking and I might as well share those thoughts with you! 

Walt essentially tried something new, but for many people new things can be difficult to adapt or "awkward" to understand and appreciate at first. And, while obviously the first park (Disneyland) was a great success, it's hard not to wonder how he managed to make something completely out of the ordinary so main stream and sought after. Of course, he was extraordinarily inventive and creative, but overcoming that first barrier of something completely new still had to be a factor in his enormous success. So, that got me thinking with some help of the internet. 

The entire concept of being "awkward," "new," or "out of place," hinges on the perception of the individual. In most cases, when we recognize a situation as out of the ordinary, we tend to play it over and over in our heads thinking about what went wrong and how the other person or group of people may think about us as a result. While, in reality that person is more focused on themselves than the awkward action(s) you may or may not have committed. Each of us do the same thing. We replay that situation in our heads assuming the other person is doing the same which is rarely the case!  Most people around us are so busy with the intricate web of their own lives that the simple unfortunate situation gets overlooked. 

Now, before I get too off topic, I truly believe that Walt was able to recognize that fact and as a result translate his dream into a reality knowing that no matter how obscure or new and unique his idea may be, people won't worry about the idea as much as how it would affect their individual lives. They would have a new experience to look forward to rather than a reason to criticize it's developer. In creating the place of his dreams he was able to develop a park that people wanted to see for themselves not matter how out of the ordinary it may be!  

In a similar way, Walt managed to develop a place where this concern for what other people think of us or what other people view as awkward essentially goes away. You can be a grown man dancing down Main Street U.S.A having the time of your life and nobody will take a second look. While this might simply be a result of the joy they are experiencing themselves, it's certainly interesting to realize that a vast majority of our lives could be lived that same way, the Disney way. Walt created this concept intentionally or possibly unintentionally where people are so happy about what's happening around them that they simply don't care how people view them. To me, this is simply amazing to think about. 

However, in reality, this is one of the many things that so many of us love about the Disney parks. They allow us to escape reality and the thoughts of the world around us for a brief moment in time. It's amazing what these moments can create and the joy that these parks bring to guests of all ages each and every day! 

Obviously, this article isn't quite the same as our typical posts, but if you liked it, be sure to SHARE it with friends! This is simply my perspective, but hopefully I at least  gave you something neat to think about today! As, always, thanks for reading!   

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wishes is Being Replace!: 'Happily Ever After' Nighttime Spectacular Coming to Magic Kingdom

Wishes is Being Replaced!: 'Happily Ever After' Nighttime Spectacular Coming to Magic Kingdom
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

The Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is ending its time in the Magic Kingdom May 11th in order to make way for a new show, 'Happily Ever After' beginning May 12th. The iconic nighttime spectacular will be certainly missed. It has warmed the hearts and minds of guests for generations, but Disney has decided it is time for something new! There's no telling what the response to this decision may be, but Disney released this video a short time ago confirming the story!

The new show is set to debut with unique projections, new "magical" affects, and a new soundtrack. For more information: click here  

Enjoy this article? SHARE it with friends! Thanks! 
(Source: Disney Parks Blog

Rivers of Light Opening Date and Dining Packages Now Available!

Rivers of Light Opening Date and Dining Packages Now Available! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
twitter: @guide4disney
instagram: @guide4disney

It's official, the Rivers of Light night time show at Disney's Animal Kingdom will debut February 17th at 7:15pm! The show will be available beginning with a very odd schedule. Up until April 8th, it will be operating every other night: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday with the exception of that first Friday the 17th. Once April 8th rolls over on the calendar, the show will begin nightly operation for the foreseeable future (all dates are subject to change per Disney, but the current calendar can be found here).   

(photo: Disney)

In addition to the shows official release, new dining packages have debuted as expected. The current dining options will include Tusker house for Breakfast ($39 Adults, Children $23), Lunch, and Dinner (Adults $52, Children $32) as well as Tiffins for Lunch and Dinner (beginning at Adults $67, Children $26) offerings. I can only imagine these reservations will book very quickly as a result of the Rivers of Light debut, but it will be interesting to see what happens. Many guests loved a preview show that has been floating around the internet which was shown to the #DisneySMMC group, but others remain skeptical of the overall nighttime spectacular. 

Fastpass+ is also now available for booking the available dates. If you plan on viewing the show, be sure to get your Fastpass+ as soon as possible. Pandora: The World of Avatar will be debuting May 27th and media events and other causes of increased crowds will be prevalent throughout the next few months.     

Looking forward to the show? SHARE this information with friends! Thanks 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Disney World's Haunted Mansion: Here's What You've Been Missing!


by: guide4wdw - Collin

The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World is one of those iconic attractions that has stood the test of time and truly developed with age! Some elements of the attraction have changed, while many others have faded away, but the classic mansion has a few "hidden" secrets that you may have never noticed! 

First, in the graveyard scene, be sure to look around and take note of the lighting affects of the scene. While it isn't strikingly obvious, the backlit colors of each element of the scene actually develop the concept of dead versus alive. If you see something lit in a red hue, it refers to something that is still alive in the graveyard around you. In contrast, if you see something lit in all white, it was intentionally done so in order to portray the dead. Personally, I overlooked this detail for years. It's not blatantly obvious, but once you recognize it, it truly helps to better develop the story the attraction intends to portray. 

While this next detail can't be directly witnessed today, the Haunted Mansion experienced a change before it even debuted that you may not have been aware of. If you have experienced the attraction first hand, you undoubtedly recognized a few distinctly placed ravens throughout the on-ride experience. Today, those ravens simply add to the creepiness of the overall attraction, but at one point a raven was intended to be your guide as you traveled through the mansion. If it was not for a slight change in plans, your experience today wouldn't feature ,"Your Host, Your Ghost... Host!", but rather the aforementioned raven. 

When you finish your ride through the attraction itself, be sure to take notice of the pet cemetery as you leave the exit queue. The cemetery will be on your right and features a clever nod to Disney of days past (cue Mr. Toad!). However, we won't get into that little detail today, but you can certainly read our post directly about the pet cemetery here: ("Hidden Disney": The Overlooked Cemetery Outside of the Haunted Mansion)

Last but certainly not least, the actual illusion which creates the stretching room at the beginning of the attraction is slightly different than the rest of the Disney Mansions. Opposed to the traditional idea of what many guests describe as "being in an elevator," the Disney World variation of the attraction is not a typical elevator but simply an illusion created  by the ceiling literally rising around you. The guest remains stationary while the room's ceiling rises as a result of the attractions design. 

Bonus: When you look into the dining room from above and it appears to be a ghostly ball below you, if you look closely you'll notice a pain of glass between you and the other room. It is extremely difficult to notice the glass if you're not looking for it, but a faint reflection is often visible from a few distinct angles. This glass is used to make the illusion come alive by use of what has become known as the "Pepper's Ghost" affect. From the guests perspective, the room appears to be full of holograms dancing and interacting with one another. Unfortunately, that technology hasn't quite caught up with the idea itself so Disney got a little creative. 

As a result, they implemented "Pepper's Ghost." The affect itself is based on an original creation developed by John Pepper for a theatrical production to create a "ghost" in front of the audience. Disney borrowed the idea and built it into a large scale effect. Essentially, this is the same principle you've probably witnessed many times while driving late at night or while someone uses their phone as you drive in darkness. As you have probably witnessed first hand, in each of those cases, the light created on the inside of the vehicle displays on the glass skewing the drivers view as a result of the reflection from the light source. 

In many ways, the affect used for by Disney for the mansion is no different. Pepper created his affect by utilizing a figure below the audience to reflect a light on and create a reflection on a glass pain in front of the audience. It is a very convincing illusion, especially the way Disney used it. In Disney's case, the actual animatronic figures that are used to create the reflections are actually out of sight of the guests in the "doom buggies." That large piece of glass captures the selected images from the light and creates the "hologram" illusion. The typical guest will never notice this clear illusion, so the perceived image is accepted as incredibly advanced for it's time. As you can imagine, guests have been stunned by this simple affect for generations! Now that you know the secret, be sure to impress your friends and family next time you're in the parks!    

As you can see, there's more to the Haunted Mansion than meets the eye! It's a simple concept overall, but a marvel of ingenuity and creative design. While this attraction has become a fan favorite, Disney always seems to be testing and developing new ideas for the overall experience. Projections have been added, exterior details have grown into a complete cemetery experience, and there's surely more additions on the way! For now though, we'll always appreciate the Haunted Mansion and it's surprisingly unique history! As always, the more you know, the more you can appreciate the time and effort put into every little detail that ultimately makes Disney so very special!      

So, what do you think? Have you heard of these "hidden" elements before? 
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

20 Walt Disney World Foods That You Should Try At Least Once!

20 Walt Disney World Foods That You Should Try At Least Once! 
by: guide4wdw - Collin
instagram: @guide4disney

If you've been reading this site for any amount of time, you know we're no strangers to good Disney food. Dining at Walt Disney World is a key aspect of the vacation experience. Not only do the parks offer some of the typical food of amusement parks that we've all come to know and love, but they have also started thinking outside of the box and have developed so many items that are uniquely "Disney." So, with that, here's 20 Disney Foods Everyone Should Try At Least Once! At the end of the article, if we missed your favorite be sure to share it with us in the comments below or on Facebook/Twitter! Have pictures of your favorite food item? Share them with us on social media! We might just share them on our page!  

1. Cronut 
-The cronut was sort of an instant classic. While technically Disney calls it a Croissant Donut to avoid confrontation with the originators of the creation, the wonderful taste still remains. A Cronut is essentially an extremely flakey fried donut topped with a coating of cinnamon sugar. While that sounds good on paper, trust me, it's way better in person! If you're looking to make a great treat even better, Disney offers the flakey creation topped with soft serve ice cream. While these are quite popular, they are somewhat difficult to find in the parks. If you want to get your hands on one head on over to Epcot and make a stop at the Refreshment Port along the front side of the World Showcase! You won't regret it!    

2. Casey's Corn Dog Nuggets
-As a Main Street U.S.A staple for years Casey's Corner has become a bit of a tradition for guests of all ages. The main draw has always been the enormous hot dogs the location cooks up day after day, but there's a tasty treat that every Disney fan must try, the Corn Dog Nuggets! No doubt, you've all tried a corndog before. Fortunately, there's something different about a Casey's corndog nugget. While it could just be the atmosphere or the plentiful portion size, these delightful creations always end up on my plate at some point throughout a day in the Magic Kingdom.

3. Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese
-Now we're headed for a Magic Kingdom exclusive creation. Over at the Friar's Nook, just outside of New Fantasyland, near the exit to The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, be sure to stop by for a delightfully odd combination. Disney offers this unique item at only one location throughout the parks. While it seems odd, the combination really nails the ultimate savory dish. While the location isn't the best in regards to seating, the walk up style counter service option is hard to pass up! Try it, share it (or don't), and let me know what you think!   

4. Ample Hill's Creamery
-As one of Disney's newest additions, Ample Hill's is a welcomed addition to the offerings at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. The location offers unique ice cream flavors that are creative, tasty, and ultimately one-of-a-kind! The atmosphere is great and the Boardwalk offers some of the most picturesque views in all of Walt Disney World. If you don't want to make the journey over to the resort just for dessert, schedule a night at Epcot and make the short 5-10 minute walk over to Ample Hill's Creamery for a dessert before viewing Illuminations! Tip: If you've seen Illuminations before, avoid the crowds and experience the magic of watching the show from the Boardwalk itself. It may not be the perfect view of the entire show, but it's a unique experience to see the effects shimmering off of the water. Be sure to check out some of the pop-up shows on the Boardwalk while you're there!      

5. Puffed French Toast
-This is one item even some of the hard-core Disney enthusiasts may not have even tried. As a part of The Crystal Palace's breakfast, this is one of the best breakfast items in all of the parks. For me, that's certainly a bold statement. However, there's nothing quite like this unique creation. Disney refers to it as a type of French Toast, but honestly it's more like a donut than anything else. Essentially, puffed french toast is a fluffy ball of dough rolled in a light cinnamon sugar type powder. I can guarantee you, its certainly as good as it sounds! At the moment, I believe these are only offered at Crystal Palace, but be sure to correct me if they've crept up at other dining locations. If you do go to Crystal Palace for breakfast (the cheapest meal offering at the dining location), be sure to take your appetite! The buffet is seemingly endless, but be sure to check out the kid's section for this unique Disney treat!     

6. The Kitchen Sink
-Over at the Yacht and Beach Club's Beaches & Cream dining location you can find one of the greatest challenges in Disney dining, the Kitchen Sink. This monstrous sundae is easily the largest sundae on property, even dwarfing it's neighbor the Dolphin Resort's multi-scoop concoction at The Fountain! As the name implies, this dish is served in a giant "Kitchen Sink." As if that isn't enough, the sundae features... well, here's a video explaining it:

7. The Fountain's Soft Serve Ice Cream 
-Over at the previously mentioned Dolphin Resort (just steps from The Boardwalk and The Yacht and Beach Club) lies one of "Disney's" hidden secrets. If you're wondering why Disney is in quotes, it's simply because this restaurant really isn't owned by Disney at all, but is actually located on Disney property as a result of the contractual obligations with the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. With that being said, that doesn't make it any less worthy of the list. Just inside the downstairs entrance to the Dolphin, look for a big glowing sign that says The Fountain. It will usually have a line of guests picking up ice cream at their walk up counter or waiting for a table at their equally impressive and semi-budget friendly sit down dining location. Head on over to either of the dining options and try to overlook some of the other great dessert offerings in order to try the soft serve ice cream. I know what you're thinking, "Really? Soft Serve!" Trust me, this is the most rich and creamy soft serve you will ever taste! Don't just believe me, try it for yourself, you will certainly enjoy it!   

8. Caramel Corn in the Germany Pavilion 
-Once again, for many, this may be another "hidden gem" of the Disney parks. This delectable treat comes straight from Karamell-Küche at Epcot's Germany pavilion. If you've been there yourself, you know exactly what kind of sensory overload this place can create! From the quaint atmosphere, to the smell of rich warm caramel being used to create wonderful treats, to even trying one of the delightful creations for yourself, you truly can't go wrong with a snack here! However, the crown jewel of the establishment is the caramel coated popcorn. While we've all certainly tried the creation elsewhere, there's something about a warm bag of caramel corn that just brings a smile to your face!   

9. Jumbo Turkey Leg
-No Disney food list is complete without a nod to a Disney classic, the Turkey Leg! For years, this salt loaded carnivorous treat has been a staple of the Disney parks. Trying one for yourself is sort of a "right of passage" for the Disney connoisseur! There's nothing quite like it and its just one of those things that puts a big smile on your face! It's tasty, it's iconic, it's jumbo sized food, what else could you ask for!     

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10. Goofy's Candy Company Custom Creations
-Once again, unless you are a die-hard Disney fan, you may have never experienced this item on our list for yourself. Of course, you certainly should at some point! To try one of these custom creations, head on down to Disney Springs and make your way to Goofy's Candy Company. At the very back of the store (if you enter from the side facing the Christmas Shop), look for a little card next to the register with a list of items on it. Grab a list and pick the item you want to customize (I always go for the custom Mickey Rice Crispy Treat). After you do that, you get to continue on and pick the type of chocolate dip, a chocolate drizzle, and even a list of toppings to add on top of all that! Surprisingly, as great of an option as this is for dessert, the line is typically quite manageable and it's incredibly entertaining to watch the cast members develop your creation right in front of you. 

11. Empeñadas 
-Empeñadas are a fun option for any meal and a great option to share with friends or family as you eat your way around the world at Epcot's World Showcase (hopefully I'm not the only one that does that)! This clever menu item is offered exclusively at La Cantina De San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. Essentially, these are a little pocket of dough filled with melted cheese and topped with a delightful sauce. They sound simple, but trust me, they taste outstanding. Pair them with a nacho from the same location and you have a great meal for two as you start (or end) your journey along the promenade.        

12. Dole Whip 
-Chances are, if you've ever been to Walt Disney World, you've tried this tasty pineapple treat or know someone who raves about them. Dole Whip is the definition of a classic Disney treat. While the concept itself is simply a pineapple flavored soft serve, it's so much more than that when you try one for yourself. The flavor is easily distinguishable from any type of ice cream you've ever experienced. It's nearly perfect in every way. However, you may want to be aware that this iconic creation can only be found at a few select locations: Aloha Isle in Fantasyland, Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian, and Tamu Tamu Refreshments over in Animal Kingdom! As one of the rare treats that has become synonymous with Disney, no trip is complete without a Dole Whip!     

13. Tonga Toast
-While we're mentioning the Polynesian, be sure to consider breakfast at Kona Cafe on your next trip to the parks. Kona is one of those simple meals that often gets overlooked in exchange for character meals and buffets. With that being said, it does make securing a reservation to try this item on our list quite a bit easier! Tonga toast is another Disney exclusive. The dish itself features a huge slab of toast which has been cooked to a light crisp, coated in a cinamon-sugar substance, and then artfully filled with bananas. Is it breakfast? Is it dessert? Who really knows!  

14. The Canyon Skillet 
-The Canyon Skillet may be my personal favorite item on this list! Honestly, it's hard for me to even give this gem away! To try it, be sure to make a reservation for Whispering Canyon over at the Wilderness Lodge Resort (minutes from Magic Kingdom). Once you get there, the featured item on the menu will be The Canyon Skillet. The skillet is quite literally a giant cast iron skillet that is brought to your table and functions as a bottomless family style meal. Depending on what time of day you go, the skillet features: mashed potatoes, ribs, rotisserie chicken, sausage, cowboy beans, cornbread, pulled pork, and corn on the cob. Everything tastes great and the atmosphere is fun for all ages. Prepare to laugh, prepare to have fun, and prepare to never leave hungry! This is a must-do for any Disney vacation. Surprisingly, reservations are typically plentiful all year long!      

15. Popcorn on Main Street 
-When visiting the Magic Kingdom, this is the first thing you'll smell when get there and the last thing you experience on your way out. It truly completes the sensory experience that is Main Street U.S.A. Of course, popcorn is sold throughout the park in multiple locations, but there's just something special about ordering it from the little cart by the train station. It simply feels right. You can sit back and take in the scenery, explore the history of the windows of Main Street, prepare for a parade, or find a spot for the Wishes! nighttime fireworks spectacular. It's just one of the simple joys of Main Street that makes you appreciate all the intricate details put into every little aspect of the Disney experience. It's hard to explain, but once you try it, you just "get it."        

16. The Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich (the "real" one) 
-You may have heard me talk about this one a few times before, but it's certainly worthy of this list! The ice cream cookie sandwich is another typically overlooked treat. Skip the ones at the ice cream carts and head straight to Main Street for the real deal. At The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, head to the counter and order an ice cream cookie sandwich. You get to pick your flavor, and when it's brought over to you, you won't believe your eyes. The cookie sandwich is a 2 to 3 inch thick creation of ice cream wedged between two gigantic cookies! It's wonderful, it's unique, and it's one of the best uses of a snack credit imaginable on the dining plan!  

17/18. Po' Boys and Beignets at Port Orlean's Floatworks and Food Factory 
-Here's what I'll say about this one, you have to try this location! This is one of the best "hidden gems" in all of Walt Disney World and it just became even better! A recent remodel added even more great choices to the menu, and it certainly does not disappoint. On the dining plan it is one of your best counter service offerings hands down. You can walk right up to the lobby from the resort guest parking with no hassle or time stamped parking allotments, and the atmosphere rounds out the wonderful food. However, if I had to pick one menu item to get and one dessert it would be the Po' Boy Sandwich of the day and a Beignet offering for dessert. Both are absolutely incredible at their price point and only sold at Floatworks. For those of you who do not know about this great dining location, be sure to check out our recent review and informational post here-> (Disney Dining Hidden Gem: Floatworks) (click to view)

19. Citrus Swirl 
-In many ways, Citrus Swirl is the less iconic sibling of Dole Whip. It's a wonderful treat but overshadowed by a legendary alternative a few short steps away. Don't let that stop you from trying a Citrus Swirl though! It's a different flavor, but also a favorite of many guests that has ultimately stood the test of time in Adventureland. Oh, and while you're there, be sure to look for the Orange Bird that has become the icon of the Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace!    

20. Mickey Rice Crispy Treats 
-Why not end this list with a classic? The Mickey Rice Crispy Treat is legendary! Simply put, it's a typical sticky marshmallow treat, but something about these Mickey shaped versions makes them simply outstanding. I'm not sure if it's the environment, or simply the joy of knowing you have to be in Disney to get one, but these seem to have a distinctly delightful taste to them! Call me crazy if you want, but there's something different for sure!       

If we were in Walt Disney World today and I said I would buy you any snack on this list, but you could only choose one, what would it be?  Let me know down below! If you liked this post click those SHARE buttons and invite your friends to read this article! Thanks!

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