S2E17: Star Wars Day at Sea

podcast


Season 2: Episode 17

Star Wars Day at Sea

Sarah, Meredith, and Amy are back to discuss Disney Cruise Line’s specialty sailing that includes Star Wars Day at Sea. Now that you’ve caught up on specialty sailings (if not go back and check out S2E3), we’re ready to talk details!! From Imperial Food to Pool Patrol, we’re talking about it all! Would you/have you ever book(ed) a sailing like this?

Wanna read about the book we discuss? Check this out! We’ve got loads of fun Star Wars stuff here too!

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

S2E16: Infinity War Review

podcast

podcast


Season 2: Episode 16

Infinity War Review

Sarah, Meredith, and Amy are back to discuss Marvel’s Infinity War movie. Now that you’ve had a week to see it, we’re ready to talk details, so be warned this episode contains SPOILERS!! You’ve been warned. So let’s get to it! Have you seen Infinity War yet?

Haven’t seen Infinity War and wondering what you should be before you go? Check this out!

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.

Star Wars Books

Star Wars Land Construction

Star Wars Books

We love Star Wars! My family just sailed on the Disney Cruise Line for a fantastic Star Wars Day at Sea. We had so much fun! Be sure to check out all the great info we’ve got on these specialty sailings over on our podcast here.

Star Wars Day at Sea

May the 4th be with you!

Unless you’ve somehow escaped the Star Wars fandom over the last 41 years, you’ve heard the phrase “May the force be with you” a time or two. Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s always no time like the present to dive right in! But before we get to Star Wars Books, let’s talk about Star Wars.

For Non-Fans

There are lots of ways to jump into the Star Wars fandom. The first and most obvious way is by watching the movies. While I could talk your head off for hours about the movies and which way to first consume them, I’ll save you the time. Just watch them all! Next up, tv shows!

Star Wars Land Construction

If you’d like to get into some of the newer Star Wars stories, then don’t miss their animated series. Star Wars Clone Wars, Rebels and the newly announced Star Wars Resistance, are all great ways to explore more of the Star Wars universe. I especially love the characters we’ve met through these series and I’ll get to those soon!

Disney Archives

For Star Wars Fans

Whether you’re properly caught up on the Star Wars world from my above tips or just came here for the book list, let’s do it! But first, some background information for you. Upon acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney announced that Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels should be considered canon. That means that most series and comics etc produced before April 24, 2014 are no longer canon. That’s what I’m going to stick with today. I’m sure there are many awesome Star Wars books out there that predate 4/24/14, but we’ll just leave those be for now.

My Favorite Star Wars Books

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor

This book is extensive! This is a great read for anyone wishing to know all those extra little details. More so than some of the actual canon Star Wars books I’m about to mention, this book is for those true Star Wars fans. Even if you think you know it all, you’ll most assuredly learn something new reading this comprehensive look at the most enduring space opera in history!

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Like the book above, this book is for those true fans. More specifically, Leia or Carrie Fisher fans. I very much enjoyed the audiobook version of this book as Carrie does much of the narration, with journal entries read by her daughter Billie Lourd. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like for Carrie to go from being “Debbie Reynolds’ daughter” to the most recognized princess in the galaxy, then this book is for you!

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

This young adult novel is the first book I read featuring a character from the animated series. Ahsoka Tano was a favorite of mine since the moment her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker, first met her. She’s been featured both throughout the Clone Wars series, as well as in Star Wars Rebels. It’s yet to be determined if we’ll see her in Star Wars Resistance, but one thing’s for sure. If you’re looking for more Ahsoka, this is the place to go! Fun fact: this audiobook is great as well! Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka on the animated series, narrates this novel as well. It even features sound effects! Pew! Pew pew pew!

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

If you’re looking for an interesting look at a very methodical and calculating villain, then look no further! If you’re familiar with the ghost crew’s thorn in their side, then you know Thrawn is always playing the long-game. But how in the galaxy did he end up with the Empire? This story will delve into more obscure Star Wars lore including languages and species. This book definitely had me thinking differently about the Empire. Oh, and it too has a fantastic audiobook!

From A Certain Point Of View by Various Authors

This book is perfect for the more casual fan looking for snippets of story within the movies’ stories we all know and love. Rather than being a full-length novel, this book of short stories delves into the moments that we all know in a new and exciting way. If you’ve ever wondered what Princess Leia was looking at as she begged for Obi Wan’s help by way of Artoo, then don’t miss this one! There are so many fun stories in this book! It’s also perfect for someone looking for something short to read here and there.

It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein

I’m so excited to share about this one! I was fortunate enough to meet the author, Ashley Eckstein, on my recent Star Wars Day at Sea cruise. Being the third person in line for the autograph signing, I actually got to see her mention that that moment was the first time she had even seen them printed! So exciting!! (I just stood there probably gaping because I just popped in and bought it no big deal a few minutes prior). She was such a sweet person to meet too.

autograph

Already this book has me aspiring to do anything and everything I can dream up! While Ashley is known for her Star Wars fame, she grew up with Cast Member parents. Being a Disney kid is something she talks about and she definitely makes it all seem magical. What’s even more is that she has the power to make us all believe that too! The book is in collaboration with Disney and is set to be released on May 8, 2018. You can preorder your copy here.

 

That’s a wrap folks. Want some more fun Disney Book recommendations? Be sure to check out my summer reading 101! And while you’re at it, don’t miss all our Star Wars fun here on our blog!

 

Until next time, May the 4th Be With You! ~Meredith

S2E15: Short vs Long Cruises

Season 2: Episode 15

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

Tuesday : Short vs Long Cruises

Shorter vs Longer Cruises Shorter vs Longer Cruises

Today’s topic is all about the pros and cons of shorter versus long cruises! From 3 nights to the 14+ nights, Disney Cruise Line has sailings for every budget! So if you’ve ever wondered whether or not a longer sailing is right for you, don’t miss this episode!

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and dont’s… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

Shorter vs Longer Cruises

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

SPOILER-FREE

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

With the release of Marvel’s highly anticipated infinity war, the now-thriving studio is celebrating 10 years of superhero movie-making magic. But with 10 years comes 18 films that have all been leading to this pinnacle moment: the movie where all our beloved superheroes come together to fight an ultimate super villain.

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

While comic book fans know and understand the care and planning this kind of storytelling takes–that being years’ worth of smaller story arcs that have to simultaneously hold their own as an independent movie AND fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe arc as well. This is something special in cinematic history as no other studio has provided audiences with 10 years’ with of movies culminating in an epic battle movie to decide who lives and who dies. NO SPOILERS!! That’s just how Villains work right? They decide who lives and dies til someone defeats them. And you thought I was spoiling it!

SPOILERS!!!!

Also, PSA: Speaking of spoilers, if you go see this movie DO NOT SPOIL IT FOR OTHERS!!! Everyone deserves to enjoy this movie first for themselves. Furthermore, take a friend or loved one if you’re emotionally invested in these characters. Trust me. #ThanosDemandsYourSilence

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

Back to the movies. Now, in a perfect world, I’d say see them all!  (And if you have, that’s awesome. Chances are you’ve already seen it too). But let’s be real. If you haven’t been enjoying these movies since they first released Iron Man, then no worries!! Let’s talk about the few movies you really need to see to understand what’s going on when Infinity War starts.

 

In no particular order (as to not give anything away) here’s my Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War:

·Captain America: The First Avenger
·Avengers: Age of Ultron
·Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (at least. Both is best)
·Captain America: Civil War
·Thor: Ragnarok
·Black Panther
·Spiderman: Homecoming
·Captain America: The Winter Soldier
·Doctor Strange

Marvel Movies To See Before Infinity War

So there you go; my main list. I cut eight for you. ::busts out my best Maui impression:: You’re welcome!

If you haven’t seen these titles, chances are likely you’ll be confused about something at some point. So what are you doing still reading my blog post! Go watch these super fun titles and then enjoy the epicness that is Marvel’s latest Titan of a film, Infinity War!

Did I forget anything? If you’ve seen Ifinity War -WITHOUT SPOILING IT- Which Marvel movies do you think should be seen before Infinity War?~Meredith °o°

 

Check out our other Marvel content Infinity War!

Walt Disney World Free Dining 2018

How to Visit Disney World Solo

Free Dining Offer at Walt Disney World is Now Available!

After many rumors have spread like wildfire the past few weeks, it became official today, April 24, 2018! The free dining offer for late summer and fall travel to Walt Disney World was released. Guests are eligible for free dining plans with select non-discounted 4 night Magic Your Way package. Packages must include a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and at least 4 day  tickets with Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus.

Free Disney Dining Dates

  • August 20 – September 29, 2018
  • November 24 – November 27, 2018
  • December 7 – December 23, 2018

The dining plan offer depends on which resort level you are staying at: Value and Moderate Resorts have complimentary Quick Service Dining Plans. Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villa Resorts will receive the regular Disney Dining Plan for free. You can make upgrades to whichever plan you qualify for, and pay the difference.

There are LOTS of room excluded from the Free Dining promo this year, including all of the following: All Star Movies, Bay Lake Tower, both Port Orleans Resorts, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian Village Resort (villas & standard rooms), Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness campsites, Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms, Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian, and all 3-bedroom Villas. Why so many exclusions? Simple enough reason…Disney doesn’t have to offer a discount to fill those rooms to capacity.

What’s the Catch?

Why wouldn’t someone want free dining? As someone who has traveled to Disney twice with free dining offers, I personally know the value this offers to a family traveling on a budget. We have eaten like kings at Disney with the free dining. I know that I would have been pinching pennies if we were paying out of pocket.

Crowds and Blocked Dates

Many people have come to expect free dining offers in the fall at Disney and with that comes larger crowds. Larger crowds mean more time waiting in lines and it’s harder to obtain reservations at your first choice restaurants. Disney has also blocked out the entire month of October  and most of November this year, which had historically been open for free dining.

It seems as though Disney has caught on to the high number of school systems that have fall breaks now, and they have no reason to discount that season anymore. Many people have spent hours and hours on hold with Disney only to find out that due to limited availability at each resort, they couldn’t have the discount applied.

Is it worth it?

It’s a tough call on whether or not the value of the free dining is worth it anymore. For many it is. For others, it would mean changing travel dates or choosing a different resort with availability. If you hadn’t budgeted for adding park hoppers it could make the cost of the trip more expensive.

For reference on the value of free dining, here is a breakdown of the prices for the 2018 dining packages at Disney.

2018 Disney Dining Plan Pricing

My Personal Experience

When the free dining dates the last year I booked I tried for free dining for us, I found out that our reservation was outside the booking window. Out of sheer curiosity, I played around with our reservation dates and checked out the prices. That year was the first time that Disney has had the caveat that in order to qualify for free dining, guests must purchase either a Park Hopper pass or a Water Park Fun and more option. They did the same thing for 2016, and for 2017 and 2018 added in the Park Hopper requirement.

We were staying at a value resort, and I would have had to upgrade to the regular dining plan (personal preference here) and pay the difference, as well as upgrade our tickets to a Park Hopper pass. Because of this, I was actually going to end up paying more out of pocket, just for the “perk” of free dining. It took our $1600 vacation to just under $1800, so I would have ended up paying almost $200 more for free food.

Is a Room Discount better?

It was an easy decision for me for that trip and every trip since then– no free dining. However, when free dining isn’t an option look for a room discount to come out to save a little money.  All things considered, with the right availability and some flexibility with your arrival dates, you can save money with a free dining vacation.  And don’t forget that utilizing a Disney vacation planner like Jolly Holidays by SarahMain Street Memories by Meredith or Tomorrowland Travels with Amy can make the hassle of booking free dining something your TA worries about for you.

When considering the value of free dining at Disney ask yourself if the discount is worth it to your family. In our case for us it wasn’t, but it might be perfect for your family! What are your thoughts on free dining at Disney? Let’s chat in the comments. ~Amy ºoº

The Ultimate Guide to Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure

 

Pixar Fest has officially started at the Disneyland Resort! The theme of this event is “Celebrating Friendship and Beyond!”

Ultimate Guide to Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure

Both parks each have their own wonderful offerings to keep you entertained all day! This post will specifically talk about all the great things for Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure. There is A LOT that’s being offered at this great event, so let’s get started!

Pixar Fest Food

No celebration is complete without themed food! There is a ton of food offered throughout the park! Each location that has a specialty item will have a sign and price of what’s specifically sold there!

Whatever you’re craving I guarantee there’s something to satisfy your appetite! Sweet, savory, spicy, salty, sugary, you name it, it’s there! The spicy corn dog and churro I had were among the highlights of the day! If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, Carthay Circle and Wine Country Trattoria both offer Paint the Night Dining Packages!

Paint the Night Parade

As I just mentioned, both Carthay Circle and Wine Country Trattoria both offer a variety of dining packages. Both packages provide your meal along with a ticket to get you into your reserved seating area.Here’s the breakdown of the packages:

  • Carthay Circle- 4-course meal and one voucher for guaranteed seating in the viewing area next to the restaurant. $99 per adult/$45 per child
  • Wine Country Trattoria- 3-course lunch or dinner meal and one voucher for reserved parade viewing area.
    • Lunch package: $38 per adult/$21 per child
    • Dinner package: $49 per adult/$25 per child

Luckily, you don’t need to do a dining package to see the parade! There’s plenty of seating along the parade route! When Paint the Night first came to the Disneyland Resort it premiered in Disneyland. 

There were some changes made to the parade for it to work in DCA. Unfortunately, the Frozen float, which was my favorite, was removed. There will be a new float featuring The Incredibles which will premiere in June! Overall, the parade is great and is a must-see during Pixar Fest! Check the show guide when you arrive to see what time the parade will begin!

Character Meet & Greets

If you want to meet some of your favorite Pixar characters, make sure you head to Paradise Gardens! Pixar Pals is where you’ll have the chance to meet Mike and Sulley, Dug and Russell, Flik and Atta and more! Head on over to Cars Land as well for some very cute Toy Story themed cars you can take pictures with!

Annual Passholder Corner & Merchandise

Annual Passholders unite! There is a special corner for AP’s on the far side of Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta near the Silly Symphony Swings. The AP corner has an exclusive photo opportunity, two decals so you can keep one and give one to your friend, a charging station for your phone, and more!Additionally, there is merchandise exclusive to AP’s such as a t-shirt, tumbler, and button-up camp shirt. Don’t forget you can also get AP embroidery on your hats! You can find AP merchandise at Kingswell Camera Shop and the newly opened Knick Knacks located across from the Cove Bar! Lastly, Little Green Men refillable souvenir popcorn buckets will be coming at the end of April!

Merchandise

That’s right a NEW shop has opened up on the soon to be Pixar Pier! Knick Knacks is located across from the Cove Bar (soon to be Lamplight Lounge). All your Pixar merchandise needs can be found here! Since it is a new store, be aware that it does get pretty crowded in there!

Other shops and carts throughout the park carry the basic event merchandise such as shirts, ears, mugs, friendship bracelet/charms, etc. There’s also a limited release Pixar Fest pin, so make sure you get yours right away! There’s also plenty of really cute souvenir items such as mugs, sippers, popcorn buckets, and straws! The Sulley popcorn buckets are probably my favorite! It’s fun walking around the parks and seeing people with Sulley hanging around their neck and having a Mike sipper to go along with it!

Pixar Shorts Film Festival

I saved the best for last! Aside from food of course! The Sunset Showcase Theater is showing 3D versions of some of Pixar’s short films! I thought this was such a cool idea and a great place to go when you want to get out of the heat! The Pixar shorts that are showing until May 7 are For the Birds, Lava, and Piper. I speculate they will change them after May 7, but that’s not confirmed. I highly recommend heading over there and checking this experience out!As you can see, there is PLENTY to do during Pixar Fest! Grab a map and a show guide on your way in or download the Disneyland app to schedule your day!Pixar Fest has begun! Both Disneyland and California Adventure have incredible offerings during this special event. From characters to parades to merchandise and more, we've got you covered! Check out our Ultimate Guide to Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure! #pixarfest #pixar #californiaadventure #disneyland #disneylandpixarfest #disneycaliforniaadventure #disneypixar

If you get the chance to go to Pixar Fest let us know what you think! For an overview of what is being offered at Disneyland for Pixar Fest click here!

Many thanks to Amanda W. for this fun and super informative post! We’d like to invite you to follow along with our contributors, Amanda and Ashlee, in their new blogging venture, The Adventureland Girls! You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram!

Disneyland Dole Whip Donut Review

Disneyland Dole Whip Donut

Have you ever wondered what a pineapple donut might taste like? That’s not something I’ve asked myself! Apparently, enough people have wondered since Disneyland recently came out with a Dole Whip Donut! Since this treat is only around for a short while, your trusty Disneyland contributors, Ashlee and I, made sure to check it out! I actually had no intention of trying it, but my mom (who lives in North Carolina) wanted to know how it tasted, so I had to try it!

Disneyland Dole Whip Donut

Amidst the hype of Pixar Fest, Ashlee and I made our way to the Cappuccino Cart near the castle to find the donut! Naturally, a line was already forming just 15 minutes after the park opened. Luckily, we were able to nab one of these treats! Here is our review of the Disneyland Dole Whip Donut.

Amanda’s Review

I am not a fan of Dole Whips OR donuts, so right away I had written off this snack. What I did like about it initially was how aesthetically pleasing it was! Great for those Instagram pictures, if you’re into that. I went into the whole experience not expecting to like this donut at all. Let me tell you; it was actually really good! The donut was super fresh, the meringue wasn’t overly sweet, and the pineapple jelly filling was the best part! Lesson learned; don’t judge a book by its cover! I give this treat a 4 out of 5-star rating! One star down because it was kind of messy and sticky but an excellent treat in the end!

Ashlee’s Review

Unlike Amanda, I happen to LOVE Dole Whips AND donuts! I was curious about trying it, but my inner photographer also wanted lots of pictures of it! I was a little skeptical that it might look better than it tastes, but I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food! After a mini photoshoot with the donut, I was ready to try it! Let’s just say I was not disappointed! It was absolutely delicious! I concur with Amanda it was a little too sticky for me, but the flavors were amazing! 4 out of 5 stars for me too!

Overall Thoughts

The consensus between us was two thumbs up! Disneyland has a new sweet treat! Curious about the Disneyland Dole Whip Donut? So were we! We tried it to see if it was as great as everyone says it is. Come read our review and try the Disneyland Dole Whip Donut for yourself for a limited time! #disneyland #dolewhip #dolewhipdonut #sweettreats #dessert #donut #doughnutThis limited time donut was definitely worth trying! It’s unfortunate that it won’t be something permanent, but hopefully it will make a comeback!

Many thanks to Amanda W. for this fun post! We’d like to invite you to follow along with our contributors, Amanda and Ashlee, in their new blogging venture, The Adventureland Girls! You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram!

A Guide to Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Pixar Fest is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort! Check out everything you need to know about this awesome event!

A Guide to Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Pixar Fest is all about Celebrating Friendship and Beyond! Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are participating in fun-filled Pixar inspired foods and wonderful offerings to keep you entertained all day. This post will be mainly focusing on all things Disneyland related for Pixar Fest, so let’s dive right in!

Sugar, Sweets, and Treats Oh My!

What day isn’t complete without food?! There’s A TON of options for you to choose from! If you’re just feeling popcorn with a drink, Sulley from Monsters Inc. popcorn buckets are for you. They even have a matching Mike sipper to go along with it! Whatever you’re feeling that day, I guarantee there’s going to be something that entices you! There’s everything from sweet to salty to everything in between. Personally, I absolutely recommend the little green alien macarons from Pizza Planet (formerly known as Pizza Port) and my all time favorite Salted Caramel Pecan Sundae located on Main Street!

If you’re looking for a table service meal, Disney’s got you covered. At Carnation Cafe on Main Street, you have the opportunity to bring out your inner Carl Fredricksen from UP and enjoy a T.V. dinner inspired dish. If you’re looking for a dining package for the Pixar Play parade, Disneyland also has that too!

The Pixar Day parade dining package at Plaza Inn (right outside of Tomorrowland) offers a picnic-inspired meal that includes a chicken breast and a leg, watermelon salad, and much more. You’ll be provided with an exclusive FastPass that’ll grant you access to a special viewing area! Download the Disneyland app for a list of full menu items.

Pixar Play Parade

The Pixar Play Parade is a must-see! Some of you might remember when it used to run in DCA. There have been some changes, and new float has been added! Make sure you grab your seat early because this is one show you won’t want to miss! Warning: there is water that gets shot into the audience. I wasn’t totally prepared for that, but overall, this parade is so much fun and the music is very catchy!

Annual Passholder Exclusive Items

You heard it here first! Pixar Fest not only has sights and sounds for everyone, but Annual Passholders have exclusive merchandise! Check out Disneyana where you can find all things Annual Passholder related. That includes exclusive Pixar Fest shirts, mugs, and more! Make sure after grabbing all your AP merch that you head over to Disney’s California Adventure for an exclusive AP corner right across from the Silly Symphony Swings! Lastly for AP’s, refillable souvenir popcorn buckets will be coming at the end of April for all you’re popcorn loving times at Disneyland!

Merchandise

Looking for some sweet Pixar Fest merchandise? Disneyland’s Main Street Emporium has you covered! You can find everything there! Although fair warning, the Emporium does get crowded fast. Select stores throughout the park offer Pixar Fest merchandise like the Little Green Men store in Tomorrowland! For all you pin traders, there’s also a limited release Pixar Fest pin, so make sure you get yours right away!

During Pixar Fest, you’ll never get bored! Grab a map and a show guide on your way in or download the Disneyland app to schedule your day or let your conscience be your guide… to food! Food is always the way to go!  If you get the chance to go to Pixar Fest, let us know what you think of everything! For an overview of what is being offered at all things Disney’s California Adventure for Pixar Fest click here!

Many thanks to Ashlee F. for this fun and super informative post! We’d like to invite you to follow along with our contributors, Amanda and Ashlee, in their new blogging venture, The Adventureland Girls! You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram!

All About Toy Story Land

Slinky Dog Dash

What’s the “Buzz” on Toy Story Land?

Image result for toystoryland

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Slated to open on June 30th, this land will allow guests to “shrink” down to toy size. We will have the chance to explore Andy’s backyard with Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest of the Toy Story gang! We promise that this land will be fun for kids – and kids at heart!

Set the Scene

Toy Story Land will be full of larger than life designs inspired by a playground in Andy’s imagination. You will see giant building blocks and board game pieces, and spot some of our favorite Toy Story characters around the land.

New Attractions

Toy Story land will feature the classic Toy Story Mania, with an upgrade! There will now be 3 tracks to allow higher capacity for riders. This is definitely one of the most popular attractions at Hollywood Studios, and we are very optimistic that the third track will shorten the wait time.

Attraction cars at the start of Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Slinky Dog Dash is a family friendly coaster that will have guests zipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits. This attraction will be for guests 38″ and taller. Families will have rider swap offered as an option.

Image result for toystoryland

Alien Swirling Saucers is inside a play set that Andy won at Pizza Planet.

Related image

The concept art looks almost like bumper cars meets flying saucers. Rider swap will be offered, and guests must be 32″ tall to ride. We have to wonder one thing about this attraction…will you be chosen by the claw?!?

Concept art of Toy Story Land with a giant figure of Buzz Lightyear and the Alien Swirling Saucers spinner ride under 2 retro flying saucer shaped structures

Woody’s Lunch Box

You know that we can’t discuss this new and exciting land without discussing food! We are all about food at The Mouse and the Monorail, and we are so excited about the newest quick service dining option at Hollywood Studios, Woody’s Lunch Box. Guests can choose to eat breakfast, lunch and/or dinner at this super fun and unique restaurant. The menu features classic American food with a twist, old fashioned soda floats and Toy Story themed specialties. The Monte Cristo sandwich sounds out of this world (see what we did there!) and there seems to be many options to please even the pickiest eaters in your bunch.

Image result for woody's lunch box food disney parks blog

FastPass+

No trip to Walt Disney World can be complete without discussing FastPass+. We now know that Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania will be “Group A” options for Hollywood Studios. You can pre-select only 1 of those when you are making your FastPass+ reservations. You will also be able to pre-choose 2 other experiences at Hollywood Studios outside of Toy Story Land.

What to Expect

If you will be visiting Toy Story Land anytime in the immediate future be prepared! You should expect the following:

  • Lots of fun attractions and awesome food!
  • Crowds – you and everyone else will want to see Toy Story Land. Either roll with the crowds or wait it out!
  • High wait times – be patient! Leave those angry eyes at home!

Image result for mr. potato head angry eyes

Disney Imagineers have gone above and beyond preparing this new land. They take even the smallest details into account, and we can’t wait to see everything this new land has to offer. Are you super excited about Toy Story Land? Let’s chat in the comments!

All concept photos, attraction photos and Toy Story Land photos are from Disney Parks Blog and disneyworld.disney.go.com

3 Things I’m Most Excited for At Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot is an annual festival happening every spring.  I attended the festival last year. I’m very excited that I’ll be attending the festival again this year in April.  I’ve been looking over lists of events, exhibits, gardens, and culinary offerings. Next, I’m excited to share with you the top 3 things I’m eager to experience at the festival this year.

Flower and Garden Festival

Food, Food, and More Food

This year the festival is offering more than a dozen outdoor kitchens. Patrons will be able to experience delectable and alluring foods.  These outdoor kitchens are located all around the World Showcase. Therefore, eating your way around the world will be fun! They are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday. Here are the Top 3 dishes I’m excited to try:

  1. Bauermarket: Farmer’s Market:   Toasted Pretzel Bread with Blackforest Ham and Melted Gruyere Cheese.
  2. Fleur de lys:   Macaron au Chocolat en sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop.
  3. The Smokehouse   a. Pulled Pork Slider with Coleslaw b. Beef brisket Burned Ends and smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage Chorizo, Cheddar Cheese Fondue and Housemade Pickle.

There are several other items that I’m excited to try. I encourage you to check out the menus to see what items excite your taste buds! The next thing I’m excited to see will get everyone wanting to be outdoors.

Flower and Garden Festival

Beautiful Topiaries

The Festival is an exciting time to experience the magic of living sculptures. According to Wikipedia, a Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage of trees and shrubs. As a result, this develops and maintains clearly defined shapes. Therefore, if you have never experienced these beautiful sculptures, this is the perfect Festival for you.  The festival is offering more than 20 magical topiaries. Everyone is sure to find a topiary they love. In addition to the topiaries, the Festival is also offering 16 different beautiful gardens and wildlife exhibits.  Lastly, I’m especially looking forward to a Royal Tour!

Flower and Garden Festival

Tours of the Royal Tea Variety

There are 4 different tours available at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival:

  1. Behind the Seeds
  2. Gardens of the World
  3. English Tea Garden by Twinings Tea of London.
  4. Royal Tea Garden Tour

I have reserved a spot on the Royal Tea Garden Tour for the morning that I’m at Epcot. This is a 45 minute guided tour though the English Tea Garden. Your tour guide will lead you through an elegant tea garden. The Tour is approximately 45 minutes where you will explore the garden in-depth. In addition to exploring, you will also learn the artistry and history behind growing and blending tea. The tour ends at the Rose and Crown Dining Room with a treat of tea and scones. This tour costs $18 per person. The tour starts at 9:45 a.m. each morning it is offered during the festival.  Spots fill up fast, therefore the site suggests obtaining advanced reservations to secure a spot.  Lastly, the Festival offers a concert series that I won’t be able to attend.

Flower and Garden Festival

Garden Rocks Concert Series

The Garden Rocks Concert Series is offering performances that are sure to bring the nostalgia back.  From Survivor to Smash Mouth and Rick Springfield to Lonestar, there is music for everyone. Make sure to check out the Concert Series page for the calendar of concerts to take full advantage during your trip.  It’s a bummer that there are no concerts during my stay, but I’m still excited about all that I’ll be able to experience.

 

Thanks Noelle for this exciting post. Can’t wait to hear how your experience was!

 

If you’d like more info on Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival, you can find more great posts here.

 

 

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie!

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie. Can you believe that?!

Disney A Wrinkle in Time Barbie

These dolls are gorgeous and with the release of A Wrinkle in Time in theaters today, I’m sure these dolls will sell really well.

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie

As part of the Disney A Wrinkle in Time Barbie doll collection, this set features the Mrs’ from the movie. Featuring the likenesses of Oprah as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, these dolls are now available on the Barbie website.

 

The Mrs’

A Wrinkle in Time BarbieA Wrinkle in Time Barbie

Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who are now available for $50 each.

Mrs. Which is available for pre-order and will be priced the same. Bummer that while purchasing the set will save you some extra cash, this set is already on backorder!

 

So go check out these gorgeous dolls (much better than the Belle fiasco haha!) and then be sure to check out A Wrinkle in Time, in theaters today! Hot tip: if you link your Movies Anywhere account to your Disney Movie Reward account, you can automatically earn points for theater tickets you purchase with your Fandango account!

Which is your favorite Mrs?

A Wrinkle in Time Barbie
*All photos from the official Barbie website

 

 

p.s. While you’re over on Barbie’s website, be sure to check out their Inspiring Women Series! As part of their Role Models series, they’ve even got fun printables! (Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see Activity Pages on the right side) ~Meredith ºoº

S2E14: Black Panther Review

podcast

podcast


Season 2: Episode 14

Black Panther Review

Saran, Meredith, and Amanda are back to discuss Marvel’s Black Panther. Now that it’s been in theaters for a while, we’re ready to talk details, so be warned this episode contains SPOILERS!! You’ve been warned. So let’s get to it! Have you seen Black Panther yet?

 

As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, & YouTube.