Even More Updates for Disney Parks in 2018 (and Beyond!)

Disney has been churning out more exciting news for the park lately! Some are brand new announcements made at the D23 Expo in Japan and some are updates to the…

More Updates Coming to Disney Parks in 2018 and Beyond! Disneyland, Disney World, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris

Disney has been churning out more exciting news for the park lately! Some are brand new announcements made at the D23 Expo in Japan and some are updates to the previous announcements. I’ve compiled some highlights for the last two weeks here! Also, take a look at my overview of everything new coming to Disneyland in 2018 for a refresher of everything planned and newly opened for that particular park.

Ticket Price Increases: By far the most controversial topic of the week. Disney has once again, increased prices of their tickets. Some passes increased by $2 while others increased by $5 and so on. The prices increased on February 11 and you can read a full break down of current ticket prices at Touring Plans.

Disney World

Hollywood Studios

Just confirmed! Toy Story Land will open on June 30th, 2018! Disney Parks Blog just dropped a video of the Slinky Dog in action. Check it out here.

Star Wars Resort Hotel Updates: The new Star Wars Hotel (opening in the next few years) is turning out to be a giant LARP experience for Star Wars fanatics. No complaints here! The updates announced recently have confirmed that the fully immersive resort will feature windows that display atmospheric space and Star Wars elements. When you check into your hotel, your travel group will begin a journey together, meeting characters and unfolding Star Wars plotlines during your stay.The storyline will be connected to the concepts in Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios as well. Guests will be allowed/encouraged to wear Star Wars inspired clothing to fully engage with the experience. Take a look at the short animated video released by Disney.

New Look at Alien Swirling Saucers: Hollywood Studios continues to be under heavy construction as they prepare for Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) and Toy Story Land. Toy Story Land is making progress as The Slinky Dog coaster seems to be almost complete and is set to open this summer. This week, Disney released some new concept art for the Swirling Saucers ride that will also be in Toy Story Land. This ride is speculated to be similar to Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, where your car is being towed by another and you’re gently whipped back and forth in a figure eight. This will most likely be a very toddler/child-friendly ride. OooOOOoooh.

Alien Swirling Saucers Toy Story Land Disney World

Name Change: Despite the vast rumors, Disney made the announcement that they will not be changing Hollywood Studio’s name after all. I have a sneaky feeling it’s because of the public’s reaction to the names that were rumored to replace the current name like “Cinemagine” or “Disney XL Parks”…yikes. They dodged a bullet with that one.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Opening Date: The attraction replacing The Great Move Ride (R.I.P.) now has an official opening year: 2019. If you haven’t heard the details regarding this new ride, the railway will feature Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. The ride will allow you “step into the adventure” with their new 2 1/2 D (as opposed to 3D) technology. Although we’re sad to see the Movie Ride go, I know Disney is capable is capable of some really advanced technology and can’t wait to see this thing in action.

Disney Park Updates

Runaway Railway Concept Art | Walt Disney Studios


Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster: The Guardians of the Galaxy attraction replacing Ellen’s Energy Adventure (R.I.P.) in Epcot has been confirmed to be a roller coaster. It was also announced that it will be one of the longest enclosed roller coaster! The ride will feature a unique storyline to the Guardian’s of the Galaxy saga and also use newly innovative ride technology. Guardians of the Galaxy Epcot Ellens Energy Adventure Disney World

Mobile Ordering Available for Dining Credits at Disney World: Why wait in another line at Disney World? If you use the mobile ordering feature on the My Disney Experience app, you can pre-order your food and walk over to the quick service spot to pick it up! Now, you can use your quick service and snack credits to pay via the mobile app. We can all appreciate the fact that Disney is at least attempting to cut down on waiting time in the parks. Take a look at all the restaurants allowing mobile ordering on Touring Plans here.


Pixar Pier Official Opening Date: We’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the new Pixar Pier overlay in California Adventure. Bob Chapek announced that Pixar Pier will be open on June 23rd, 2018, just in time for summer vacation! This means the Incredicoaster, updates to the pier, and Paint the Night featuring a new Incredible float will be running at that time. You can see all the updates coming to California Adventure in my previous post here.Pixar Pier California Adventure Disneyland Paradise Pier

Rey Meet n’ Greet: Ask and you shall receive! Rey will be making regular meet n’ greet appearances at Disneyland. Many were begging for it and since she was making appearances in the Jedi Training Academy in Disney World, it was only natural she would soon get her own experience. I can’t wait to get a picture with her!

New Disneyland Hotel Update: Taking over much of Downtown Disney, the new ridiculously enormous Disneyland resort hotel is set to open sometime in 2021. This week, a new piece of concept art was released depicting a monorail station at the front entrance of this future 4 diamond luxury resort. Guests of the resort will have their own monorail station that will whisk them away to inside the park. I’m mostly excited that there will be a new garden walkway, connecting the other three resorts and creating a new park entrance. They have notified neighboring tenants that construction will begin soon for the hotel and parking lot.

New Flagship Disneyland Hotel Concept Art

New Resort Concept Art

ew Flagship Disneyland Hotel Concept Art

Disney Home Now Open!: The new home goods store in Downtown Disney has officially opened. This store features all your Disney-at-home needs like mugs, teacups, and placemats. The store will also have seasonal items to spruce up your abode.

Ant-Man in Hong Kong Disneyland: A new Ant-Man ride will be replacing Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters in Hong Kong Disneyland. No surprise here as the current Iron Man Experience in Hong Kong is wildly popular. Much like the Astro Blasters, this ride will also be an interactive shooting game where you’ll fight along with Ant-Mand the Wasp. It will be exciting to learn whether we will get similar attractions in the states.

Ant Man Overlay Hong Kong Disneyland Concept Art

Iron Man Overlay Replacing Rock n’ Roller Coaster in Disneyland Paris: When Disney does updates like these, you can kinda tell they’re testing the waters for bringing the updates overseas to the American parks. Of course, that’s all speculation. There was a lot of uproar over the Guardians of the Galaxy overlay on the Tower of Terror in Disneyland, so I’d be surprised if they did the same to the coaster in Hollywood Studios.

Iron Man Rock n' Roller Coaster Disneyland Paris

Do these updates get you pumped for a Disney vacation? Be sure to order your free planning DVD from Disney by clicking here. Or, shoot me a message here and I can help plan your vacation, free of charge. Have a magical day, friends!

P.S. Did you see the new Incredibles II movie trailer previewed during the Olympics? Exciting stuff!

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Disney Gift Guide: 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical

Sometimes all it takes is a touch of Disney magic to disrupt our mundane life routines. I like to sprinkle a little pixie dust around my home, car, or accessories,…

15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Sometimes all it takes is a touch of Disney magic to disrupt our mundane life routines. I like to sprinkle a little pixie dust around my home, car, or accessories, just for a bit of a pick-me-up. Of course, when your love is this deep for Disney, it can get expensive. So, I put together an affordable Disney product guide for all Disney lovers! All of these are available on Amazon and I plan on doing a review on Disney products for Box Lunch and Hot Topic in the future too! I did a lot of digging and found the most magical products that are both enchantingly Disney and won’t make you feel guilty for investing in them.

Mini Mickey Waffle Maker: This is my favorite Disney product available on Amazon. I used this waffle maker to create my Copycat Pumpkin Spice Mickey Waffles last Christmas and it’s been holding up really well. And the size of the waffle that it produces is quite perfect!15 Affordable Disney Find to Add Some Magic to Your Day

Disney Parks Presents: it’s a small world: The beautiful illustrations featured in this children’s book are inspired by Mary Blair’s style of animation and includes a singalong version of it’s a small world on a C.D. (What’s a C.D.??) This would be cute as a gift for a little one, or for a nursery…or for your own bookshelf. There are few other “Disney Park Presents” song and picture books available like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion as well.15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Adult Coloring Books: I’m pretty partial to Disney Coloring Books for Adults. They’re a therapeutic way to pass the time, but also very fun and whimsical! Also, this isn’t Disney, but in the spirit of 90’s nostalgia, there’s a Splat-Nickelodeon color book that looks awesome as well. 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney Cookbook: If you’re going to buy a Disney cookbook then I highly recommend Eat Like WaltDisney wanted his food to reflect the feeling of fun and family which inspired the making of Disneyland. This cookbook doesn’t just list copycat recipes but also explores the history of Disney Park food with pictures and stories of Walt’s era. One of the best gifts you could give to a Disney foodie!15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Historical Disney Books: If you’re a huge Disnerd I suggest The Disneyland Story which tells the story of Disneyland from conception to what is today. And, if you’re willing to invest in a little Disney history, I also advise looking into Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animationwhich showcases how female Animators blazed trails in the entertainment industry15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney Pixar Oval Slow Cooker: I’m kinda pushing it as far pricing, but $35 ain’t bad for a good kitchen appliance. And, if you’re gonna have a crockpot, you should definitely have a Disney/Pixar crockpot! These are a fairly new product to Amazon and already very popular among Disney enthusiasts.15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Glove Kitchen Accessories: If you don’t want to go all out and buy a Disney slow cooker, there are plenty of other subtle kitchen accessories to brighten up the room. I really like the Mickey glove accessories like the measuring spoons, the chip clips and spoon rest
15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney Park Guide Books: Guidebooks are fun to read whether you’re planning a vacation or not. They’re full of tips, tricks, pictures, hotel and dining reviews, so they’re perfect to conjure up a Disney daydream. There are so many park guidebooks I wrote a whole review about them last month here. The most thorough and reliable book is the Unofficial Guide, brought to you by the reputable touringplans.com15 Affordable Disney Find to Add Some Magic to Your Day

Light Saber Chop Sticks: Whether you love the new Star Wars movies, or you think that Disney only bought Lucas Films to make a ton of money (probably the latter), some pretty cool merchandise has been made as a result. The chopsticks are my favorite Star Wars find on Amazon. Definitely silly, but at least they’re useful!15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Disney iPhone Power Adapter Decals: Cutest little things since the tsum tsum (almost). These are simple and super cheap charger stickers that come in a variety of characters and colors. (USB charger not included!) 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Air Freshener:  I’m bringing up the air freshener because you can drop your own aromatherapy oil into the filter, which allows for a true Disney experience. If you don’t already know, the scent they pipe into the Grand Floridian and other resorts is called Green Clover and Aloe. I’ve seen Bath & Body Works sell this scent in the past and they do have a couple versions of this scent as an essential oil on Amazon. I like to put a few drops into my humidifier at home and daydream that I’m on vacation. :p I imagine this would also be pleasant in the car! Just do a very small amount because the scent can be strong.15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Postcards: There’s something so personable about getting a piece of mail sent to you from a friend or a loved one. I send the Art of Disney/Pixar postcards to my clients to wish them well on their vacations because they’re so darn cute. Postcards also make great collectibles and artwork for around the house!15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Danielle Nicole Bags: Anything by Danielle Nicole is friggin’ adorable and most of the products sold in the parks are available on Amazon as well. But, not everything is what most of us would call “affordable.” She does have some small cosmetic bags for about $18.00, featuring the dwarfs. Should you invest in something more spendy, the Gus-Gus and Suzy bag is perfection. 15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Tea Strainer: Are you ready for the cutest”Hidden Mickey” tea strainer ever? This is a Disney Parks official item, no longer available on disneyshop.com and only sold by third-party sellers on Amazon. I can’t guarantee this item will always be available, but for the time being it’s there!
15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Mickey Mug: There are plenty of Disney mugs to be found on Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. So many that it’s hard for me to recommend just one. However, if I were to choose one on Amazon mug, it would have to be the “Who says we have to grow up?” Mickey mug because I think all Disney lovers can relate to this one on deep, spiritual level.

15 Affordable Disney Finds to Make Your Day a Little More Magical!

Some of these items are handy if you’re planning a Disney vacation, while others are just fun to have. Treat yourself or treat a friend! We all need a little Disney in our day! Comment with your favorite affordable Disney find!

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A Complete Guide to Disney Guidebooks (And Other Useful Planning Resources!)

If you ask a question like, “what’s the best hotel on Disney property?”, you’ll most likely get about 15 answers.  There are so many conflicting opinions on dining, hotels, and…

A guide to Disney World and Disneyland guides (And other useful planning resources!)

If you ask a question like, “what’s the best hotel on Disney property?”, you’ll most likely get about 15 answers.  There are so many conflicting opinions on dining, hotels, and attractions that it can become overwhelming. In the event that you feel so overwhelmed by booking a Disney vacation, I advise using a Travel Agent (like me) to help you customize your plans.

Now, in the second event that you’re in need of advice, but are more of a vacation DIYer, you’ll look to guides for help. Whether they are physical guidebooks, blogs, or websites, you’ll need to do some research before your vacation! So, here’s a list of awesome Disney park resources that helped me plan in the past and will hopefully help you too! You can click on my links below to find the books on Amazon.

P.S. I’ve only listed links for Disney World books, but most of these publishers write books for Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line as well. Kindle versions are also available for most.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

This guidebook is referred to as the “Disney Bible” and is written by the same people who own and operate the reputable touringplans.com. Every year they come out with an updated version of their unofficial guides and every year they get better and more detailed. I started buying these books in 2012 and have purchased it every new version since. The size of the book can be intimidating, but I treat it as an encyclopedia rather than something I need to study cover-to-cover. The book covers far too much for me to explain, so I’ll give you the highlights:

  • 5-Star Ratings: Every attraction, show, restaurant, and resort is graded by their 5-star system, and I agree with their ratings most often. Restaurants are divided by Quick-Service and Table Service, then described in detail ranked by quality. Resorts, both on and off property are treated the same and contact information is provided for all of them.
  • Packing tips and “bare necessities” are described in full detail. From credit cards to souvenir shopping, to finding gas stations, it’s all there.
  • Advice for a spectrum of travel groups like Disney for seniors, Disney for toddlers, and how to entertain your teenager.

Bonus: If you’re a true Disnerd, also read Unofficial Guide’s: The Disneyland Story. The story of Walt’s first conception of the park and how it evolved to the current form. I prefer listening to it on audible, but I also have the physical book for novelty reasons. 

The Easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit in 2018

In second place is The Easy Guide to WDW. This is another comprehensive guide that is useful for first-timers and veterans alike. Dave and Josh have experienced Disney inside and out, so they have the ability to provide honest opinions about resorts, dining, and everything else. The coolest thing about this book is that if you buy the 2018 edition they will provide an updated copy once their 2019 edition is released in summer. All you have to do is shoot them an email to the address printed on the inside cover. Cool stuff!

Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide

This is the only guidebook with Disney’s official stamp of approval. It’s also the most compact guide of the three I’ve mentioned.  This may sound juvenile, but I love it because of the high-quality, colored pictures. It’s a fun guide to look through if you have kids, or if you’re a kid at heart. And a great book to get you excited about your vacation! They also have a Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World For Kids if you’re looking for trip tips geared towards families.

Frommer’s EasyGuide to Disney World 

Frommer’s is a trusted destination publisher that covers more than just Disney books. Their overviews are not quite as detailed as the Unofficial Guide and not quite as colorful as Birnbaum’s, but still very as useful. At this point, I would say buy it if you are partial to the Frommer’s brand.

102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World

Lou Mongello is among the elite Disney experts out there. He offers Disney guidebooks, podcasts, and videos dealing with tips and history to enhance your vacation. Always well-researched and entertaining, his tips for budgeting for your vacation will help you immensely. It’s mostly targeted at first-time visitors, but I found a few tips to be helpful as well. The Walt Disney World Trivia Book and 102 Things To Do at Walt Disney World At Least Once are also a joy to read.

Walt Disney World Dining Guide 2018

Making a dining reservation at Disney World has become one of the most difficult things to do when planning your vacation. Offsite guests are allowed to make a reservation 180 days before your vacation and onsite guests are allowed to make them 190 days beforehand. This has made booking reservations at popular restaurants an absolute monstrous task. Also, the restaurants on property are constantly being updated, replaced, or closed down completely. This can be both exciting and aggravating. The Dining Guide can be a really helpful resource when deciding where you’d like to eat and how to get those reservations. It’s also updated every year to keep with Disney’s ever-changing atmosphere.

Disney Food Blog Guides (eBook)

Are you a Disney foodie? Pretty much any restaurant and food item on property is reviewed on Disney Food Blog. The eBook is beautifully done with photographs, four planning worksheets, updates on closures and refurbs and fun tips like the “trendiest bar” or “best hot dogs.” The other advantage of an eBook is that they have the ability to embed hyperlinks into the text. Not sure what a Mickey’s Premium Bar is? Click on the links inside the ebook and it will send open to a description. Pretty nifty. And if you’re already an expert, it’s fun to peruse for the sake of Disney daydreaming. Disney Food Blog | Guide to Disney Guides | Green Monorail

Disney Dining Plan 2018: Tips & Tricks for Making the Most of the Dining Plans at Walt Disney World
If you just want an overview of the nefarious Dining Plan, Leah Crocker Althiser’s book covers the plans concisely and is free on Kindle Unlimited. There are a lot of blogs written about this subject, but I’ve found Althiser’s eBook to be well-organized. She clearly lays out the basics the Disney Dining Plan to help you determine the pros and cons of the dining plan.


Passporter’s Guide Walt Disney World 

Maybe the Unofficial Guide is a bit overwhelming in size for you. Passporter’s has more general tips and guidance for the planning process, so if you’re looking for a categorical overview, it would be a good choice. Also, the structure of their planning binder actually makes planning fun. With pockets placed inside, you can keep all of your printables and resources in one place. It also has pages dedicated to a Trip Diary. Make it a goal to complete a diary entry every day so you can remember the good times…and the things to avoid on your next trip.


I know this feels like a no-brainer, but the official website is indispensable. Especially when you’re trying to budget your vacation or find official Disney answers. Besides the My Disney Experience feature, here are my favorite tools from the official website:

      • Printable Guide Maps: You don’t have to be at the resort to get a handy park map. I find these helpful when making itineraries for myself. Marking and highlighting your favorite Disney attractions is almost meditative. You can find the PDFs by clicking on Parks & Tickets>Magic Kingdom (or any park)>Magic Kingdom Guide Map. Here’s a Magic Kingdom map link.
      • Free Disney Planning DVD: The planning movies are detailed overviews of the parks and resorts. They’re also fairly well-produced and the perfect little Disney-pick-me-up when you’re missing the parks. I download a new one every year! Here’s my link to the guide below. You can have a hard copy sent to your home or a downloadable version sent straight to your email. Here’s my link to the free planning video. 
      • Compare Package Prices: Did you know that you can do a side-by-side comparison of packages? Just choose a resort and ticket option then press “continue.” At the bottom of the page, you’ll see an option to “Compare Vacation Offers.” This allows you to price out your vacation and save your offers for later. You can see my example below.

Compare Vacations | Green Monorail Destinations

Disney Tourist Blog (Website and eBooks):  Money Saving Tips for Walt Disney World and Disney Tourist Blog Christmas 

So, the number one rule among bloggers is to try not to drive traffic to other people’s blogs. For me, however, if there is a blog that offers something I cannot, like Disney Tourist Blog’s beautiful photography and eBooks, then I’ll happily send my readers to them. Disney Tourist Blog is the first the Disney blog that I followed and they are constantly inspiring me to create a more beneficial blog for my readers. If you can’t find everything you’re looking for in a guidebook and prefer to book your own vacations (rather than through a Disney Travel Agent like me), then you’ll find this website very helpful.

Dis Boards

Another useful website are The Dis Boards. Think of this as a giant chat forum for you and the thousands of other Disney fans in the world. You can post questions and get honest feedback from fellow Disney vacationers. Since every user is anonymous, you can feel more comfortable about their honesty. And no question is too big or small! Want to know where you can get your karaoke fix on Disney property? Ask away! (It’s Kimonos at the Swan Resort, by the way)

Now that you’ve researched your resort, made your dining reservations, and learned how to budget, it’s time for the fun stuff. Here are some books that keep you will keep you entertained during the more grueling parts of your vacation. Mainly, waiting in line.

The Hidden Mickey’s of Walt Disney World

Hidden Mickey’s is the ultimate guide to…you guessed it…Hidden Mickey’s. If you’re not familiar with a Hidden Mickey, it’s the image of Mickey’s head hidden subtly by Imagineers around Disney property (and movies).  A sort of inside joke from Imagineers throughout the years. The book makes a game out of seeking out the Mickey’s hidden around the parks. There is also an app version available.

Lots To Do in Line

Like a Disney scavenger hunt, this activity book gives hints regarding subtle details and trivia hidden throughout the parks and line cues. With limited cell phone reception in some cues, it can create some momentary distractions and beat some boredom while you wait. Some find this book very entertaining, others say they can pass on it. If your family enjoys trivia, then I would suggest it. 

Secret Stories of Walt Disney World and Hidden Magic of Disney World

These two are the most popular “hidden secret” books, so I had to throw give them a mention. Sometimes, it’s fun to add a little insider magic while you wander the parks. However, Hidden Magic is outdated in some parts and holds most of the commonly known trivia. If you’re a first-timer, it’s a fun read, but some attractions have been removed since it’s publishing in 2009 (RIP Great Movie Ride). It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited as well. 

These are the books and resources that shaped me into the Disney expert I am today. Since I’ve discovered them, I can plan a mean Disney itinerary like nobody’s business. And of course, as I’ve mentioned before, if all this information is completely overwhelming to you, never fear. I can help! Feel free to reach out to me here. You can also sign up to receive your free planning itinerary at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, I’ll digress from guidebooks for a bit and say that if you’re a true Disney buff, I suggest looking into these historic texts as well. Happy planning, everyone!

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation

Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real,

The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream

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What’s Coming to Disneyland in 2018

There’s a lot of exciting things happening in both California Adventure and Disneyland Park in 2018. Most renovations are happening in California Adventure as they slowly transform the park from…

Everything New Coming to Disneyland and California Adventure in 2018 | Green Monorail Destinations

There’s a lot of exciting things happening in both California Adventure and Disneyland Park in 2018. Most renovations are happening in California Adventure as they slowly transform the park from an ode to California to basically a hard copy of Hollywood Studios. Due to low attendance when it first opened, this park has undergone so many transformations that it hardly resembles the park they originally intended. That being said, I was skeptical when I heard they were transforming Tower of Terror to fit their new Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, but, after experiencing the new technology and updated drops, I’m quite fond of it. I still think it’s Tower of Terror with a paint job, but it’s a pretty cool paint job! I’m personally excited for what the new 2018 adaptations will bring.

Guardians of the Galaxy | Green Monorail Destinations

Guardians of the Galaxy | Green Monorail Destinations

California Adventure

Pixar Pier Makeover: To generate some interest throughout the sometimes desolate Paradise Pier, this area will be transformed into Pixar Pier. The area will now feature four different neighborhoods including The Incredibles, Toy Story, Inside Out, and the rest of the Pixar family-which will be represented on Mickey’s Fun Wheel. Where the Maliboomer once was, there will be a new Inside Out spinner attraction. You can see the rendering in the concept art below. The transformation will be complete and open on June 23rd, 2018.

Pixar Pier Concept Art | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Pixar Pier Concept Art | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Pixar Pier Concept Art | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Pixar Pier Concept Art | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Incredicoaster: Anticipating Incredibles 2, California Screamin’ will get a facelift. The coaster will have a new Incredibles theme, characters, special effects, and mid-century modern queue. It will also feature an actual storyline as well. Guests will zoom alongside this incredible family to help catch the ever-adventurous Jack-Jack. The coaster will also be open on June 23rd, 2018.

Incredicoaster | Disney•Pixar

Incredicoaster | Disney•Pixar


Paint the Night Parade: This one I’m most excited about! Disney’s coolest nighttime parade is returning to the parks on April 13th! This time, more appropriately, in California Adventure. If you’re not familiar, this parade features mostly Pixar characters and has some of the most advanced floats and costumes featured in a parade. This is a highly anticipated comeback that we hope will stick around.

Paint the Night Parade | Paul Hiffmeyer

Paint the Night Parade | Paul Hiffmeyer

Lunar New Year: A brand new event celebrating the Lunar New Year. Celebrating the Year of the Dog, the park will provide culturally inspired shows, music, decorations, and yes, lots of food! (I’m loving Disney’s obsession with food festivals these days.) The World of Color water and light technology will also be showing a new installment called “Journey of Little Lantern.” This will follow Little Lantern’s journey to reunite with their family, set to the score created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort. This is running January 18th-February 18th. With this and the beginning of the new Festival of Holidays, I really appreciate California Adventure’s inclusive atmosphere lately.

Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession | Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession | Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland


To celebrate the pier’s transformation both parks will be celebrating with Pixar Fest. Starting April 13 and continuing through summer, guests will experience new experiences and shows in honor of the Pixar movies.

Pixar Play Parade: Bringing back the Pixar themed day parade, but this time in Disneyland Park. In addition to the original floats, new characters and floats will join the parade. Dug, Carl, and Russell will travel along with their floating balloon house. Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong will also join, placed on a float made of memory orbs, which I’m sure will be very dazzling!

Pixar Play Parade Float Concept | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Pixar Play Parade Float Concept | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Pixar Play Parade Float Concept Art | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Pixar Play Parade Float Concept Art | Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort

Together Forever-A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular: This new firework show will tell a story of unlikely Pixar friendships using projections, pyrotechnics, and music. Even Tinker Bell will hand over the reigns to Buzz Lightyear, where he will do a special flyover to Sleep Beauty’s Castle. The show isn’t just exclusive to the castle either. Projections will be featured on other attractions like It’s a Small World, Main Street, and the water screens of Rivers of America. That will make the show much more immersive for guests as the excitement will happen all around them!

Together Forever Fireworks

Together Forever Fireworks Concept Art | Disney•Pixar

Disneyland After Dark: This is a new, special-ticketed event series that I’m truly excited about. The first event, “Throwback Nite,” is inspired by the 50’s and 60’s retro era. I’m assuming this is also inspired by everyone’s obsession with Dapper Day. First off, there will be a special viewing of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks which was first displayed in 1958. For music and dancing, tribute bands will play hits from the 60’s on the Disneyland Railroad platform, swing bands will perform in front of It’s a Small World, and a radio DJ will take song requests at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Retro-themed attire is encouraged and there will be oversized retro attraction posters for adorable photo opportunities! Throwback Nite happened for one night only from 8:00PM-1:ooAM on January 18th. But, there will be more events in this new series throughout the year.

Disneyland After Dark | Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland After Dark | Disney Parks Blog

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney will also get a nice update in the upcoming years, including a brand new hotel in 2021. Making way for the hotel, Rainforest Cafe, ESPN Zone, the movie theatre, and Earl of Sandwich will all be removed.  Although I really appreciate another onsite hotel, why must you take Earl of Sandwich away from us, Disney? Why?? As for this year, Downtown Disney is getting quite a few updates as well.

Star Wars Hyper-Reality Experience: Produced by The VOID, this “hyper-reality” experience allows guests to journey through a choice of 4 themed lands. Here, your team will be sent undercover to achieve a mission for the rebellion where you’ll interact with sets and experience sensory and immersive technology. This opened on January 5th. Watch The VOID’s video below and you can find tickets for the experience here.

Disney Home (Now Open!): D-Street, the place for all your Marvel and Star Wars merchandise has been replaced by a Disney homegood store. But never fear action hero fans, you will find plenty of D-Street products throughout the parks. Especially once the Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edgeopens in 2019.

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer: Downtown Disney is in desperate need of a new casual dining experience and I’m glad to see that they’re adding this franchise to the mix. This classic diner-esque burger joint will serve a large assortment of burgers like the All-American classic and even a Vegan burger! Their signature “CrazyShakes” look like they will be the worth the visit too. Move over, Earl of Sandwich! (Not really. I’ll always love you, Earl of Sandwich) Construction is already happening and will hopefully be up and running soon!


CrazyShakes at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer | Disney Parks Blog

CrazyShakes at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer | Disney Parks Blog

Splitsville Luxury Lanes: House of Blues has moved out of Downtown Disney and down the street. This space will now be occupied by the bowling alley, Splitsville, this year. This bowling alley chain currently resides in Disney Springs in Florida and offers a full bar, music, and late-night eats until 12:30 every night. And the retro concept art looks fantastic! I imagine this will be the new happening spot for a night out.


Splitsville Luxury Lanes | Copyright The Walt Disney Company

Splitsville Luxury Lanes | Copyright The Walt Disney Company


Crowd-Favorites Returning this Year

Of course, some of our favorites are returning this year as well. Here are a few popular events that will return to 2018!

Food & Wine Festival: More food festivals! More, I say! Back by popular demand, the festival featuring “California inspired” food and drink will return March 2-April 12. And of course, that means more entertainment, music, and even appearances from celebrity chefs like Robert Irvine.

Festival of Holidays: To make up for Disneyland’s Christmas festivities, California Adventure will once again uphold the holiday standards with it’s Festival of Holidays. With food and music celebrating holidays from all over the world, this year’s festival was widely popular. Take a look at some of the food and that’s still being served at the holiday kiosks until January 7th. My favorite was the warm bourbon cider with bourbon infused marshmallow. So good!

Warm Bourbon Cider with Bourbon Infused Marshmallow | Green Monorail Destinations

Hot Fried Turkey with White Bread | Festival of Holidays | Green Monorail Destinations

Hot Fried Turkey with White Bread | Green Monorail Destinations

Beef Corn Tamale | Green Monorail Destinations

Beef Corn Tamale | Green Monorail Destinations

Mickey’s Halloween Party: This special-ticket event is a little less epic than the Halloween Party in Disney World but definitely less crowded! Check out the Halloween parade, go trick-or-treating, and dress up as your favorite characters! And don’t forget to stop by California Adventure to see Cars Land dressed up for Halloween too.

Christmas at Disneyland: A Christmas Fantasy Parade, It’s a Small World Holiday, and the Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas makeover. What more you could want? Disneyland is extra special during the holidays. If you want to enjoy the special fireworks and experience the Christmas magic, I advise visiting either the first or second week of December. The closer you get to Christmas the crazier crowds get!

Saying Goodbye…

With that being said, we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our favorites too. Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto is already closed for renovations this year and we’re sad to see our favorite view of the Fun Wheel go. Rumour is, they will reopen briefly in April only to close again to be remodeled for Pixar Pier. So grab another drink and give a toast to whatever 2018 may bring!

Cove Bar | Green Monorail Destinations

Cove Bar | Green Monorail Destinations

Want to be involved in all the fun, but don’t know where to start? Request a Disney vacation quote from me here. All my booking and planning services are absolutely free! Want to learn more about booking with an Agent? Read more about it here.

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New York’s Sak’s 5th Snow White Window Displays!

New York City is particularly magical during the holidays. There’s the Rockette’s, Tiffany’s, The Plaza, Dyker Heights, Central Park, and the list goes on. If you’re lucky enough to be…

The highlight of a holiday trip to the big apple! New Snow WhiteSak's Fifth Avenue Window Displays in New York City!

New York City is particularly magical during the holidays. There’s the Rockette’s, Tiffany’s, The Plaza, Dyker Heights, Central Park, and the list goes on. If you’re lucky enough to be there when it snows (very rare) it’s like you’ve stepped into your very own Hallmark movie. Every year Sak’s Fifth Avenue decorates their window displays with holiday themes. This year, in honor of Snow White’s 80th birthday the displays are based on her story. The animatronics have the extra Disney touch and the holiday remixed versions of the soundtrack make you feel like you’re at Disneyland. Unfortunately, the crowds were like Disney World on New Years Eve, but if you happen to be visiting this holiday season, I highly recommend stopping by Sak’s. Across the street is the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree and ice skating rink. We watched 2 couples get engaged in front of the tree when we passed through. It was pure magic. I was able to get some pretty good shots of the window displays for all you to enjoy!

Sak’s is also offering a special holiday breakfast inside the flagship store in New York. Much like the character breakfasts in the park, you can dine with Snow White, the Prince, and Dopey. The breakfast is available until December 31st and you can make reservations here. Depending on your party size, tickets range from $100-$800. If you can’t make it to New York, they’re offering special clothing and accessories inspired by Snow Withe at every Sak’s store.

In true Disney fashion, the window displays were treated as a storyboard, much like the dark rides in the Disney parks. Each display featured a highlight of the Snow White story and used movement, lighting, and music to enhance the displays.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue

With a smile and a song!


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney Christmas

Snow White: I said, how do you do? Grumpy: How do ya do, what? Snow White: Oh, you can talk. I’m so glad.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

Snow White: I’m awfully sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you. But you don’t know what I’ve been through. And all because I was afraid. I’m so ashamed of the fuss I made.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney Christmas

Mirror, Mirror


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney Christmas

Now, a formula to transform my beauty into ugliness.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney Christmas

Whistle While You Work!


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

I’d like to dance and tap my feet, but they won’t keep in rhythm. You see, I washed ’em both today. And I can’t do nothin’ with ’em.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

Heigh-Ho, Heigh Ho!


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

Apple, dearie?


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

Maybe the old Queen’s got Snow White!


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

The victim of the Sleeping Death can be revived only by love’s first kiss.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

And wedding bells will ring some day when my dreams come true.


Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney


Wrapping around the building, you’ll also find dresses inspired by Snow with a modern touch. Designers include Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa. The crowds were too intense for us to get more shots of these dresses, but they are still worth perusing if you have the time.

Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

Bonus Happy Accident Shot: My camera decided to focus on the reflection of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree behind me, rather than the window display. Pretty cool effect for a super amateur photographer like myself.

Snow White Window Display Saks Fifth Avenue Disney

The unveiling of the window displays happened over Thanksgiving weekend and was also completely magical. Complete with dancers, a performance by Sofia Caron, a jig by the Seven Dwarves, and a dedication by the Prince and Snow White herself. You can watch a snippet of the show filmed by Inside the Magic below.

While these displays are beautiful, there are plenty of other Disney themed attractions to visit in New York as well! Here are a few highlights from me. Happy Holidays, everyone!

  • Aladdin (Broadway)
  • The Lion King (Broadway)
  • Anastasia (Broadway) The show isn’t technically Disney, but the movie used some of Disney’s animators, so it’s close enough!
  • The enormous multi-floor Disney Store in Times Square
  • Alice in Wonderland Statue in Central Park
  • Adventures by Disney tour of New York

Interested in booking a trip to the big apple and don’t know where to start? I lived there for a bit and visit often, so I can help you with all the ins and outs! Contact me here for questions and a free vacation quote.



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11 Ways to Spend Less Time Waiting and More Time Having Fun!

About ten years ago, simply visiting the parks during non-peak season (September through the first two weeks of December) would be enough to avoid crowds and long lines. Every year…

About ten years ago, simply visiting the parks during non-peak season (September through the first two weeks of December) would be enough to avoid crowds and long lines. Every year Disney adds another festival at Epcot or another room promotion during the off-season to keep rooms full and the money flowing in. And every year the ticketed events like the Christmas and Halloween parties get more popular. On top of all that, in the next two years, both Disneyland and Disney World will open Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which will pull in a whole different crowd of park guests. I’m not trying to scare you! The parks are still very accessible during certain times of the year, and there are a few tips I can give to make the most out of your Disney experience.

The big tip here is to try and plan ahead of time. This will help you feel organized. On the other hand, don’t get stressed if everything doesn’t go precisely to plan. Take the day as it comes. There might be a time when you can’t make it to your next FastPass due to Disney transportation or ride breakdowns, but don’t stress about it. Remember to breathe through these mishaps and remind yourself that you’re on an awesome Disney vacation with your loved ones.



  1. FastPass+ (Disney World): If you’re staying onsite at one of the Disney hotels, you can schedule your FastPasses 60 days in advance. If you’re staying offsite, you can book 30 days in advance. I highly recommend using this to your advantage. Especially if you want to try the new Pandora rides at Animal Kingdom. Plan which rides you’d like to schedule for each of your days and get up early on your 60-day mark. If you’re out of luck, and the reservations are all snatched up, try again later. A lot of people luck out the week before their vacations due to people changing their reservations.
  2. MaxPass (Disneyland): Park goers are annoyed that you have to pay $10 per person per day for a pre-reserved FastPass at Disneyland when it’s a free service at Disney World. Paper FastPasses are still available at the kiosks if you don’t want to pay for this feature. I will say that at Disneyland, you probably only need to use a MaxPass for a day or two. At Disneyland, it’s a little easier to get to all of your desired attractions. I did find the MaxPass very useful, so if you have the budget, I’d say go for it. Instead of running around from ride to ride getting return passes, you can book your attractions from your phone, much like Disney World. It also allows for unlimited Photopass photos, which is a huge bonus. The website will try to make you buy the pass for all of your days. You have the option to add it one day at a time once you enter the parks.
  3. Extra Magic Hours and Rope Drops: Another perk of staying onsite is the fact that you have access to the Extra Magic Hours or Magic Mornings. This is when you can enter a park one hour or early or stay an hour late. If the park is not offering an early morning, getting there right when the park opens also helps. Bolt for the rides that usually have the longest lines like Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom and Seven Dwarfs Mine at Magic Kingdom.
  4. Dining Reservations: Try your best to make reservations for table service restaurants at Disney World. It can be challenging making same-day reservations at popular restaurants. For onsite guests, reservations become available 190 days before your first vacation day. For offsite, 180 days in advance. If you can’t get your desired restaurants at the 180-day mark when reservations are open, try at 60 days when people start to schedule their FastPasses. As always, check 1-2 weeks before your vacation begins. Since there is a cancellation fee of $10 per person, guests have more of an incentive to remove their dining reservations if they don’t plan on attending. It’s a much different scene at Disneyland, I was able to make a same-day reservation at Napa Rose, the nicest restaurant the park has to offer. That said, I still suggest making an Advance Dining Reservation if there is a restaurant you don’t want to miss. ADR’s are available 60 days in advance for onsite guests only.
  5.  Mobile Meal Orders (Disney World): The My Disney Experience app contains all of your dining, FastPass, and resort reservations, and now allows you to pre-order from many locations around Disney World. Pre-ordering your meal will lessen your wait time considerably. Order during the lunch rush and grab a table. Right now, this feature is not available at Disneyland, but like most things, it may make its way over to the west coast soon. See all of the restaurants offering mobile ordering here.
  6. Character Breakfasts: Meet n’ Greet lines for characters can be up to an hour long, especially in Disney World. If you’re interested in meeting some characters, booking a character dining experience is the best way to go. For some restaurants, it can also create a more intimate experience. As a former friend of some of the characters, I’ve experienced some extremely slow mornings at Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios where the characters spent a lot of time with each family. Crystal Palace, however, is fast-paced and you’ll likely only a get quick shot and autograph. The characters only have about an hour to see each table, so please be patient with them. They’re doing their best!
  7. Rides After the Last Firework Show: Once the first shows are over, a good chunk of the crowd will leave the parks. Families tend to rush out of the park after the last firework show, creating massive lines at the bus stations and trams. If you’re a night owl, plan on getting their late in the day so you have the energy to stay late, ride more rides, and have an easier time getting home.
  8. Rides Right at Close: If you’re in line before the park closes, they will not kick you out of line. Meaning, if a ride like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a 20-minute wait and the park closes at midnight, you can get in the queue at that time and stay in line past close.
  9. Avoid the Summer: During the summer, the lines are much longer and the heat is oppressive. My favorite time to go is September through the beginning of October and the first two weeks of November. Most kids are in school and the weather is still nice.
  10. Use a Minnie Van or Ride Share (Disney World): The new Minnie Van taxi service powered by Lyft picks you up at your resort and takes you anywhere on property for $20. Seeing as parking costs $20, I’d say this is an ok deal. It drops you off at the front of the Magic Kingdom, so you don’t have to wait for the monorail or ferry. It also provides two car seats for families. If you’re not staying on property, you can order a regular Lyft. Here’s a link to the app if you don’t have already it.
  11. MaxPass Bus System (Disney World): The Disney bus systems have been a regular complaint at Disney World. Th busses tend to be unreliable and crowded. The new MaxPass offer is like a FastPass, but for the bus! It costs an extra $30 per week, but many have said it is well worth the money as it allows you to spend more time in the parks and less time waiting for the bus. It also takes you through the back roads of Magic Kingdom, so you’re going through security quicker and avoiding main entrance traffic.


Using some of these tips will help greatly in reducing stress and waiting. And of course, if planning ahead isn’t your thing, please feel free to contact me. I can help book dining and attractions reservations, which will help you get to the places that you want to see the most.


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Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide

As someone who spends a lot of her vacations at Disneyland, I often get the same question “Adults go to Disney??” And yes, they do! Couples, singles, bachelorette parties, and…

Complete Adult Guide to Disneyland and California Adventure | Dining, Drinking, Attraction, and Shopping Suggestions!

As someone who spends a lot of her vacations at Disneyland, I often get the same question “Adults go to Disney??” And yes, they do! Couples, singles, bachelorette parties, and sometimes solo adventurers frequent the parks. All have a great time, no doubt.  And of course, the park is located in Southern California, so if your adult mind can’t take a minute more of the magic, you can take a drive down to the beach or visit Los Angeles.

In response to my previous post about enjoying Disney World as an adult, here are some great things you can enjoy at Disneyland!


The biggest deterrent to Disney World fans is that Disneyland is smaller and only has two parks. However, there’s still plenty to do for adults and kids alike. Even Toon Town has a Roger Rabbit ride, which appeals to the millennial demographic more often than children.

New! On January 18th, Disneyland began an event-series called Disneyland After Dark. These are hard-ticket events that allow guests to stay in the parks until 1:00 AM and each one will have a fun theme. The first event was themed after “vintage Disneyland” and featured posters and entertainment from the Dapper Dan era. You can take a look at PopSugar’s pictures of the event here


First and foremost! Disneyland isn’t just a bunch of kiddie ride. They have some thrills as well. They may not be Six Flags, but they’re definitely a good time!

The Mountain Rides: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Matterhorn are the best thrill rides Disneyland has to offer. Pro Tip: Try to time your ride on the Matterhorn during the fireworks. It’s like they’re exploding right in front of you. I’ve somehow managed to do this twice.Matterhorn Mountain | Green Monorail Destinations

Haunted Mansion: So spooky! I mean, it’s no Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal, but it’s an all-time favorite for most people. The technology was very innovative at the time it was built and still proves to be impressive today. And I do love a good dark ride to escape the sun.

Indiana Jones Adventure: The perfect ride for 80’s/90’s babies. It has a bit of a thrill factor and throwback to some of our favorite Harrison Ford moments. Fun Fact: The Indiana track is the same exact track as the Dinosaur ride in Disney World!

Star Tours-The Adventure Continues: Disney has been updating this ride since the new movies came out and now feature some of our favorite new lands and characters. This attraction will satisfy your Star Wars needs until the new Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019!

Cool Down Rides: After you’ve had your thrills, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by park chaos. Three attractions that are perfect for a break are Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, The Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Mark Twain Riverboat.


Market House on Main Street (Starbucks): Alright, I have to start this section off right. Many of us, whether we have kids or not, depend on coffee to make our day a little more magical. Although I’m a Seattleite and we tend to dislike Starbucks (because we’re coffee snobs), Starbucks will definitely do the trick. I’m glad they added the franchise to the parks. They were also able to use pseudonyms to help the shops blend into the Disney atmosphere. If the line is long, and it usually is, pop over to Jolly Holiday Bakery where they serve giant Mickey macarons and yummy mochas!

Cafe Orleans: So, this place is lacking in a romantic atmosphere, but the food is absolutely incredible and catered to an adult appetite. They serve the same famous Monte Cristo as the Blue Bayou and also the infamous Mickey beignets. If you can’t get a reservation at Blue Bayou, try this one! (I like their entrees better here anyway.)

Mickey Beignet | Cafe Orleans

Blue Bayou: The coolest thing about this restaurant is that it’s located inside Pirates of the Caribbean. The “nighttime” environment is dark, moody, and incredibly romantic. However, much like Rainforest Cafe, you’re paying for the atmosphere, not the food. Unless, of course, you’re talking about that previously mentioned Monte Cristo.

Carnation Cafe: This restaurant has been around since the park’s opening in 1955 and lead by Chef Oscar Martinez, the longest-tenured Cast Member, who just celebrated 60 years with Disneyland. If you’re a Disney nut like me, you’ll love the sentimental values of this restaurant. Also, the food is fantastic, with comfort foods like fried pickles and Walt’s favorite meatloaf.

Golden Horseshoe Review: This campy dinner show has been playing since the park opened as well. If you’re looking for a fun date night, this is a good option. However, if your party is full of introverts, you might want to try Blue Bayou. The show involves a little bit of audience interaction, so don’t be surprised if they call you out!

Fantasmic! Dining Package: If you plan on having dinner at either Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, or Cafe Orleans, you might as well book it with the Fantasmic! Dining Package. The package includes a 3-course meal and a spot in the preferred viewing area for the show. You can also do the Fantasmic On-the-Go Package if you don’t want to splurge. The new Fantasmic! 2.0 opened last summer, and it’s wildly successful. Unless you want to camp out for an hour, it’s difficult to find a clear viewing spot for the show. Fantasmic! is a great show to see whether you book the dining package or not.Fantasmic | Green Monorail Destinations

Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience: For an extra price, you can indulge in some Disney snacks and watch the fireworks from a private viewing area in Tomorrowland. Just make sure the fireworks are scheduled the night you book. The reservation allows you to come and go as you please, from 8:00-10:00 at night.

Corn Dog Cart: Maybe you want to save money on dining and blow it all on margaritas in California Adventure instead. The famous corn dog cart at the end of Main Street serves freshly hand-dipped corn dogs that live up to the hype.

Californa Adventure

This park is a little more grown up in regards to the dining, theme, and attractions. Now that Cars Land has been added and the transformation of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier is soon underway, this park is becoming a rival to Disneyland park.


Incredicaoster (Closed for Renovations): Opening summer of 2018, California Screamin’, the largest and most thrilling roller coaster in both parks will be transformed into the Incredicoaster. The highly anticipated Incredibles II will inspire the new mid-century modern design.

Guardians of the Galaxy | Green Monorail DestinationsGuardians of the Galaxy: Listen, I’m a Tower of Terror purist. I remember riding this attraction the year it opened, and I couldn’t stop talking about it. When I heard they were transforming it into Guardians of the Galaxy, I was not amused. However, the Imagineers did a great job with the re-imagining of the tower. The technology is fantastic, the ride is smoother, and even a bit more thrilling than Tower of Terror. I approve of this reinvention, but if they change it in Disney World too, I will protest.

Radiator Springs Racers: This ride is like Epcot’s Test Track on steroids. This is an absolute must-do. The architecture and rock work alone is something to see, and the attraction features animatronic cars that look almost lifelike. It also has a Single Riders Line, which is ideal when traveling with adults-only.

Soarin’ Around the World: This is a spectacular ride and a favorite among all ages. The technology makes you feel like you’re paragliding over the Matterhorn and the soundtrack is uh-mazing.

Animation Courtyard: I love this secret cove so much I wrote an entire post about it here. When I was a teenager, I stumbled upon this building with a friend, and we felt like we found a secret hiding spot in Disneyland. The entrance walkway opens up into a giant gallery room where giant projections show clips of Disney movies and play music. There’s a lot of comfy seating, generous floor space to take a load off, and it’s gloriously air-conditioned.


Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge: The restaurant is themed after old Hollywood, “amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling, young movie town at the height of its golden age.” In other words, it’s quite fancy inside. The restaurant splits off to secluded dining areas and even has private dining nooks if you book a large group. They also share the Chef from the Grand Californian’s Napa Rose, Andrew Sutton, so you know the food is perfection.Very romantic and very delicious. The menu changes often, but last time I went I had the Thick-cut Berkshire Pork Chop and it was the best Disneyland meal I’ve ever had.

Carthay Circle | Green Monorail Destinations

Carthay Circle

Wine Country Trattoria: The atmosphere is inspired by wine countries in California and Italy, making this place also subtly romantic. I love the outdoor patio with winding vines covering the building. I suggest the Spaghetti Aglio Olio. Delish!

Alfresco Tasting Terrace: The rooftop lounge is a bit of a hidden secret. Before you enter Wine Country Trattoria, take the stairs on your right. Most people don’t know it’s there, so it feels secluded. Great wine bar with a view of the park.

Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe (Starbucks): California Adventure’s Starbucks is towards the entrance of the park and shares a building with Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (also delicious) and the Kingswell Camera Shop (if you need a spare memory card or charger). If the line is long, try the Gourmet Coffee Cart usually located in between Pacific Wharf and the Paradise Pier entrance. They also serve on-the-go pastries.

World of Color Dining or Dessert Party: Much like the Tomorrowland Lounge, for an additional cost you can indulge in specialty desserts and watch World of Color from a private viewing area. However, the dining package is a better deal if you plan on eating at either Wine Country Trattoria or Carthay Circle.

Sonoma Terrace: If you’re not in the mood for a lounge setting, outside of Wine Country Trattoria there’s a walk-up bar and outdoor seating. They serve some snacks like cheese plates and Bavarian pretzels alongside an extensive wine and beer menu.

Other Places that Serve Alchohol in California Adventure

Although Disneyland only serves alcohol in the super-duper-exclusive Club 33, it doesn’t stop California Adventure from having all the fun.  I’ve listed all the places that currently serve alcohol below.  Best of all, you can get your drinks to-go and carry it around the park like Vegas! Here’s evidence of me carrying around an Island Sunset from the (now deceased) Cove Bar.

Island Sunset To-Go | Cove Bar | Green Monorail Destinations

Island Sunset To-Go | Cove Bar

Rita’s Baja Blenders: Frozen or on the rocks? These margaritas go well with some tamales from Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill.

Bayside Brews: A Mickey pretzel and beer kiosk. Perf!

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta: Pizza and beer, or, pizza and sangria. The choice is yours.

Lucky Fortune Cookery: Tofu and the Japanese beer, Sapporo!

Paradise Garden Grill: Two kinds of Dos Equis and red sangria!

Smokejumpers Grill: Waffle fries and beers!

Flo’s V8 Café: The 50’s style diner serves wine and beer, but I’d opt for a milkshake here.

Food Festivals Throughout the Year: They are bringing back California Adventure’s version of the Food and Wine Festival, Lunar New Year, and Festival of Holidays. All provide food, drink, and entertainment that are themed with each festival. The new Festival of Holidays is my absolute favorite special event. Last year they had concoctions like hot fried turkey sandwiches and bourbon cider with homemade marshmallows.

Warm Bourbon Cider with Bourbon Infused Marshmellow | Festival of Holidays



 Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is designed for an older demographic in mind, for sure, but not quite as expansive as Disney Springs in Florida. It still offers some good options for dining, shopping, and is free to the public. This makes it the perfect place to visit on your first day in town. Especially if you have some time before checking in to your hotel room. Drop your bags off at the front desk and visit for dinner and drinks!


Splitsville: The bowling alley (which also resides in Disney World) is replacing the House of Blues this year. Splitsville in Florida offers a full bar, and late-night eats until 12:30 every night, so I’m hoping it will be similar to that. And the retro concept art looks fantastic! I imagine this will be the new happening spot for a night out.

Star Wars Hyper-Reality Experience: This brand-new experience allows guests to journey through a choice of 4 themed lands. The idea is that your team is sent undercover on a mission fro the rebellion where you’ll interact with sets and experience sensory and immersive technology along the way.  You can find tickets for the experience here.

ESPN Zone: For the longest time I thought this was just a sports bar. It actually houses a pretty cool arcade and some indoor sports, like a four-person air hockey table. And yes, there’s a lounge and huge t.v.’s that show the games everywhere you turn. ESPN will close in the next year or so to make room for a new resort coming in 2021.


Haunted Mansion's Ballerina Dress | The Disney Dress Shop | Green Monorail Destinations

Haunted Mansion’s Ballerina Dress | The Disney Dress Shop

The Disney Dress Shop: They added this new shop to Disney World and Disneyland and I’m absolutely in love. Finally, an adult version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! (Without all the Fairy Godmother’s, of course.) The dresses, mostly designed by Her Universe, are inspired by the retro/Dapper Day aesthetic with a Disney twist. Some of the dresses and accessories are sold throughout the parks as well. If you like vintage, you’ll love this. I bought this Orange Bird bag my last visit!

Orange Bird Purse | The Disney Dress Shop | Green Monorail Destinations

Orange Bird Purse | The Disney Dress Shop

Disney Homegoods Store (Coming soon!): D-Street will soon be replaced by a Disney homegood store sometime this year. The Disney themed products will change throughout the season. More Mickey mugs for me!

WonderGround Gallery: This store sells Disney-inspired art pieces like custom Vinylmations, giclées, mugs, and more. Also, if you fall in love with a giant painting of Snow White, Disney can ship it to your home, so you don’t have to worry about bringing it on a plane. Although, that can be a bit spendy, FYI.

Other adult-friendly shops include Pandora Jewelry, Sanuk, and Sephora

Catal Bar | Downtown Disney | Green Monorail Destinations

Uva Bar | Downtown Disney


Catal Restaurant: With menu items like assorted paellas and filet mignon, Catal is slightly more upscale than maybe say, Tortilla Joe’s. (Although, that tableside guac is amazing.) Outdoor seating at Catal is located on the 2nd floor and a prime spot for taking in the energy of Downtown Disney. You might also be able to catch the fireworks from the patio!

Uva Bar: I love this bar. It’s an outdoor bar located right in the middle of the walkway, between Catal and Build-A-Bear. It’s a great place to take in the atmosphere, listen to the street musicians, and people watch. However, if you’re looking for a quiet dinner, this might not be a great choice.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen: This is an optimal venue for a date night. There’s nightly jazz, gumbo, all set within an open-air atrium design. They also have an express window that serves yummy cajun fried goods on the go. A great place to stop by for a quick breakfast beignet.


Disneyland has three official hotels, with a fourth coming in the next few years. The most adult-friendly resort is the Grand Californian. If you have the budget, this place is worth every penny. There’s poolside service, a gorgeous lobby to rest your feet, and a private entrance to California Adventure. If it’s not in your budget, you can still enjoy some of the things the resort has to offer. The Disneyland Hotel is the flagship hotel, designed when Walt was still around and also has a nice restaurant and lounge. The last hotel, Paradise Pier, is lacking in dining and entertainment values. Although, I still enjoy it because it has the Disney touch.

The Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

A delicious roast from Napa Rose

Napa Rose: This is my favorite restaurant in Disneyland. Everything was delicious, and the service was excellent. It’s also very elegant, and there’s an outside patio with some fire pits. On a slow night, I took my champagne outside and listened to the ambient sounds of Californian Adventure, right on the other side of the bushes.

Hearthstone Lounge: The lounge located inside of the lobby with decor that matches the rest of the resort. Cozy seats and good drinks! What more could you want?

Mandara Spa: The spa is a great place to experience luxury even if you’re not staying at the resort. After you’ve been pampered, you can use their sauna and steam room facilities. I indulged in a massage here and it was completely worth it.

Get Up and Go Power Walk: It’s a little-known fact that anyone staying at a Disney resort can partake in a guided power walk through California Adventure before it opens. Seeing Paradise Pier at sunrise was my favorite Disney experience I’ve ever had in my life. Completely unforgettable.

Disneyland Hotel

If you’re a kid-at-heart you’ll love this hotel. With park views and being steps away from the monorail, it’s like you’re living in Disneyland. The rooms are spacious and the elegantly Disney-themed rooms have a magical touch without being tacky. The monorail slide at the pool is also pretty cool!

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar: On the patio, you’re treated to a live band and tiki torches. On the inside, the bar is tiny, so you might have to wait in a line until people leave to be admitted. Even then, you’re not guaranteed a seat and you might have to cozy up to the bar. What it lacks in seating, it makes up in the atmosphere. I don’t want to give away too much, but if you order a Krakatoa Punch, you’re in for a surprise.

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

The Coffee House: This the one place on property that serves the classic Dole Whip with a shot of rum. Extremely dangerous.

Steakhouse 55: What’s more adult than a fancy steakhouse? The steaks are friggin’ delicious, as you might imagine, and they feature a 24 layer chocolate cake. If you want a unique experience, you can try their Afternoon Tea featuring a spread of scones, tea sandwiches, and assorted teas. The atmosphere is pretty nice and the lounge has a lot of comfy seating, but in all honesty, I prefer Napa Rose for a nice dinner.

Paradise Pier

Fireworks on the Rooftop: The coolest thing about this resort is that you can see the Disneyland fireworks from the rooftop pool. They also pipe in the fireworks soundtrack while you watch. Arrive about 20 minutes early if you want a seat, and there is plenty of standing room if you come late.

Paradise Pier | Green Monorail DestinationsSurfside Lounge: If you’re paying the price for a Disney cocktail, I suggest heading across the street to another resort or Downtown Disney. If for some reason you cant make it out the door, the Surfside Lounge will do. You can order food from PCH Grill next door, and they have some wine and cocktails available.

The Sand Bar: The pool bar, serving pretzels and cocktails. I’m really happy they have a bar up here. Otherwise, the pool would be pretty lackluster.

Some appreciate the engineering and attention to detail, some get their heartstrings pulled when they watch the fireworks, and others love to party. Whether you think I’ve drunk the Disney flavored Kool-Aid or not, the parks have a lot to offer to both young and old!

Ready for that bachelorette trip or romantic getaway? Contact me here and I’ll help you book your next adult-exclusive Disney World trip! All my travel planning services are free!


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Disney Dining Dress Code Tips

There are a few Signature Restaurants that require dress codes for dining. In my experience, Disney doesn’t strictly enforce the rules, but if you’re worried about them cracking down on…

There are a few Signature Restaurants that require dress codes for dining. In my experience, Disney doesn’t strictly enforce the rules, but if you’re worried about them cracking down on your attire here are some guidelines.

The Grey Stuff (it’s delicious!) from Be Our Guest

First of all, here are the guidelines listed on disneyworld.com:

In order to preserve the atmosphere of this dining experience, Guests are asked to adhere to our dress code.

Appropriate attire for men includes khakis, slacks, jeans, dress shorts and collared shirts; appropriate attire for women includes capris, skirts, dresses, jeans and dress shorts.

Attire that will not be permitted includes tank tops or hats for gentleman, swimwear, cut-offs or torn clothing. In addition, while T-shirts are allowed, T-shirts featuring offensive language and/or graphics are not.

As you can see, you don’t have to dress in a formal evening gown to adhere to these guidelines, unless you really want to. This goes for most restaurants that require dress codes, excluding Victoria and Albert’s which has a stricter guideline:

Guests must wear proper attire.

Men must wear dinner jackets with dress pants or slacks and shoes. Ties are optional. Women may wear a cocktail dress, nice dress, dressy pantsuit or a skirt with a blouse.

Jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes are not permitted.


The newly opened Disney Springs restaurant and cabaret, The Edison is now requesting a dress code for its nightly entertainment. Starting at 10:00 pm each night, the restaurant undergoes a transformation to a “nightclub atmosphere” and guests are encouraged to wear slacks, dress shoes, and collard shirts. However, they won’t turn you away if you’ve put some effort in and look put together. Before 10:00 pm there are no dress codes.

Tips for Dressing Under the Guidelines:

Some Signature Restaurants do not require a dress code, but they do offer the same dining experience as those that do. For instance, Todd English’s bluezoo doesn’t say they have a dress code, but it is very much a fine-dining experience. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to dress up for these restaurants. Personally, I err on the casual side when dining at Disney since it’s still a park atmosphere, after all.  Others like to be aware of the guidelines, in case they feel uncomfortable wearing a t-shirt in a fine dining setting.

  • Comfortable Clothing: Unless you plan on using your reservation for a fancy date, it’s best to wear something versatile for fun in the parks as well. Don’t be afraid to wear a nice pair of shorts and a comfortable button-up/blouse. You don’t have to worry about having an entire costume change from parks to restaurants.
  • Shoes:  No matter where you’re dining, you’ll want to wear shoes that you can walk in. Most, if not all, Disney restaurants require a bit of walking or extended transportation to get there. For instance, if you’re not driving or taking a Lyft to Grand Floridian, you’ll have to take a bus to Magic Kingdom, then a monorail to the resort. For style, Tiek’s are a popular traveling flat that is also built for comfort and support.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Conditions: Florida weather is unpredictable with roaring thunderstorms one minute and oppressive heat the next. If you’re traveling during hurricane season, it’s advisable to carry a poncho or rain jacket. You don’t want to mess up the one nice shirt you packed. And no one likes walking around in wet clothes. This is especially true if you’re heading inside to a nicely air-conditioned restaurant. That being said, if you’re wearing light clothing to your reservation, you might consider carrying a light sweater indoors as well.

Restaurants That Request a Dress Code:

  • California Grill- Contemporary
  • Jiko-Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Monsieur Paul-French Pavilion, Epcot
  • Artist Point-Wilderness Lodge
  • Victoria & Alberts-Grand Floridian
  • Narcoossee’s-Grand Floridian
  • Citricos-Grand Floridian
  • Flying Fish Cafe-BoardWalk
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse-Yacht Club

Whether you’re suited up or wearing blue jeans, Disney won’t stop the money from flowing in so I wouldn’t put too much thought into what you wear. It seems that the guidelines are only set to give you an expectation of the dining atmosphere. Some people feel embarrassed if they show up in tank tops and blue jeans at The Flying Fish Cafe, thinking it has the atmosphere of the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre. Others won’t care about the attire at all. As I’ve said before, it’s all up to your level of comfort!


If you’re interested in more tips & tricks regarding dining reservations, feel free to fill out the free quote form here. I’m happy to schedule and book your vacation!

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Disney World After Dark: Dining & Entertainment for Night Owls

“Raging nightlife” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Disney. But just because it’s Disney, doesn’t mean it’s for early risers. When the sun goes…

Disney After Dark: Everything you can do in Disney World after the sun goes down! #disneyworld #disney #nightlife

“Raging nightlife” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Disney. But just because it’s Disney, doesn’t mean it’s for early risers. When the sun goes down and most of the other guests are heading out, you can keep the party going with a variety of activities. I’m not saying this is Las Vegas, but you do have some options if you’re hopped up on Dole Whips at 9:00 pm.

I used to be a magic morning kinda girl, but lately, I’ve found that going into the parks later in the afternoon and staying all the way until close is something I can get used to. The other option is to go early for park opening, leave for most of the afternoon then return for more fun. Whatever your preference, there’s a lot to do at night in the parks and resorts.

The hours and times I’ve listed may vary, so always double-check park and dining hours on DisneyWorld.com before making plans. Also, dining closing hours means they will seat you until those closing hours, but won’t kick you out until you’ve finished your meal. Just, try not to take too much advantage of coming in right at closing. Servers gotta sleep too!  Later reservations are much easier to get, as opposed to dining around the typical dinner hour of 5:00-7:00 pm as well.


Disney Springs

Let’s start with the obvious place to stay up late. They’ve been trying their darndest to appeal to young 20 something’s in this area for years and I think they’re finally getting around to it. Most restaurants and shops and are open until 11:00 PM (and later) and the Starbucks is open until midnight to keep yourself from falling asleep.  There’s always excitement happening at Springs like live “street” performers and other artists scattered about. It’s my favorite place to go on our first night in town since you don’t have to pay to get in.

The Edison: Open until 1:00 am. This swanky bar/lounge/cabaret/nightclub/restaurant just opened this year and people are loving its nighttime entertainment. The live band, dancers, and singers begin their big band era show around 10:00 pm. On Thursdays through Sundays they charge a cover of $10 after 10:00 as well.  After 10:00 pm the restaurant becomes 21 and over and a “venue-appropriate” dress code is requested. You can read about Disney Dress Codes on my post here.

Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar: Open until midnight. The Tunnel Bar is Maria and Enzo’s counterpart lounge. It has a prohibition-era speakeasy theme where you enter through an unmarked door into a dark “tunnel” restaurant. They serve cocktails, small plates, and full meals in an “underground” bar. Very cool little spot to grab a drink before heading over to The Edison for some dancing.

Star Wars–Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience: Open until 10:45 pm. This experience opened recently in Disney World and just opened at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney as well. Your chosen team is sent undercover to achieve a mission for the rebellion where you’ll interact with sets and experience sensory and immersive technology.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, but have been warned that if you are claustrophobic or experience vertigo, you should avoid it. This is for ages 10+ and is 29.95 per person.

Splitsville: If you’re taking a break from the parks, Splitsville is a great place to hang out. There’s a bowling alley food, frozen drinks, and creative martinis served until 12:30. You should really reserve a lane ahead of time if you plan on bowling, just to be safe. Odd Tip: They say the sushi is really good here. Who knew I could trust sushi from a bowling alley? Lane reservations go as late as 11:45 and the alley is open until 1:00 AM.

AMC Dine-In Theatre: This movie theatre has undergone quite the transformation since I was a Cast Member. A full menu is available with options like cheeseburgers, desserts, even cocktails. When you’re low on popcorn, press a button and *poof* your server appears without you getting up in the middle of the movie. Great idea for an evening flick!

House of Blues: Ah yes, the old standby. House of Blues is still rockin’ after all these years and all the transformations. Check the schedule here to see when the live concerts will be taking place at this venue.

Bongos Cuban Cafe: Open until 2:00 am. The rumors have started that Bongo’s will soon be another casualty in the renovations.  There’s still time to visit this happening venue! On Friday and Saturdays, they have a live band play with dancing. It’s like a nonstop party over there.

Raglan Road-Irish Pub and Restaurant: Fish n’ Chips, live music, and traditional Irish dancing until 1:00 AM. The lively venue pays homage to Disney Spring’s wilder years and is madly popular among the younger Cast Members. A great place to have a pint and let loose.

Here are a few honorable mentions for getting a late meal. You can find the full list of restaurants at DisneySprings.com

The BoardWalk

Now that Pleasure Island has transformed into an upscale shopping district (Disney Springs), I think it’s time for The Boardwalk to get a facelift as well. They haven’t had any major developments like the other parks or resorts and they’re definitely due. That being said, there are two adult-only venues and a couple dining options open late.

Jellyrolls: Open until 2:00 am. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar that’s been around for a while and still a favorite for some. Doors open at 7:00 pm so if you plan on getting a table, I advise going when they open. They do charge a cover charge of $12.

Atlantic Dance Hall: Open until 2:00 am. This top 40’s dance hall has a balcony with a beautiful view of the lake where you can cool off after shaking your tail feathers. There’s no cover charge, but it is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Pizza Window: Open until midnight. Between dance breaks stop by the infamous Pizza Window. It has some outside seating and serves beer and Sangria as well. Nothing like pizza under the stars on a warm Florida night!

BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas: Open until midnight. This is a little outdoor shack that serves margaritas outside. Pizza and margs, anyone?

Late-Night Eats That Close after 10:00 pm for The BoardWalk

The Resorts

Disney After Dark: Everything you can do in Disney World after the sun goes down! #disneyworld #disney #nightlife

Grand Floridian Resort

24 Hour Dining: Speaking of midnight snacks, there are three restaurants open 24 hours on property.

  • Gasparilla Island Grill at Grand Floridian is a quick service spot serving pizza all night long.
  • Picabu at the Dolphin Hotel serves a take-and-go assortment of desserts and snacks.
  • Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian serves bakery items and some small snacks late at night.

Starlight Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Disney’s only nighttime tour and probably the coolest. You’ll be guided through the “Savannah” at Animal Kingdom Lodge to view their wildlife after dark. Everyone is provided night vision goggles to get the full experience of seeing a giraffe or zebra after dark. Once exclusive to resort guests, now open to all. The tours start around 8:30 and 10:00 at night. If you go on any VIP tours, try this one!

Stroll Along a Scenic Trail: There are many jogging trails scattered throughout resort properties, but my favorite is the trail connecting the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. An ideal evening would be to take in the live jazz band at Mizner’s Lounge then head outside for a leisurely evening walk. It trails near the Seven Seas Lagoon and passes by the wedding pavilion at Grand Floridian. Once at the Polynesian you’ll get the perfect view of Cinderella’s castle in the distance. Can you smell the warm, evening air?

Grab a Drink: Disney resort lounges are usually stocked with full-service food menus from the restaurants attached to them. All are first-come, first-serve so you don’t have to worry about making a reservation. My favorite is probably Mizner’s Lounge at Grand Floridian.

P.S. Most resort food courts are open until 11:00 PM and there’s always Disney’s pizza delivery if you want to keep the party hopping. Although, I might suggest ordering Pizza Hut. Disney pizza isn’t great.

The Parks

Disney After Dark: Everything you can do in Disney World after the sun goes down! #disneyworld #disney #nightlife

Epcot at sunset

Disney has been good about offering some late night activities in the parks for those of us who are not rope drop people. Every year they’re adding something new to stretch out the magic all day and into the wee hours of the night.

Extra Evening Hours: Extra Magic Hours doesn’t always mean up-at-the-crack-of-dawn hours. On certain nights, the parks will stay open for a few hours after close, meant for guests staying at an onsite Disney resort. Check the calendar to see which park is honoring it the week you are there.  Fair warning, the park may still be busy during the late hours, but it’s a good option.

Disney After Hours: This one is definitely less advertised than the holiday parties and definitely less crowded. Between January and March of 2018, they are leaving the park open for an extra 3 hours in the Magic Kingdom. 25 attractions are left open and because there is a limited amount of tickets, lines are super short. The price is about the same as one day’s admission-$119. If you want to do this exclusive event you can find tickets for sale here.

Magic Kingdom:

The good thing about the Magic Kingdom is that it’s usually open until midnight unless it’s non-peak season and by that time you’re probably pooped from all the magic. But if you stick around long enough you get to experience the “Kiss Goodnight.” Which is the exit message and music from Mickey and friends when the park is nearing close. It’s a perfect time to take in the Disney atmosphere and get the perfect castle picture with fewer crowds.

  • Shop on Main Street: Main Street shops are open a little past park closing hours. I like to use this time to pick up souvenirs because the crowds are thinner and I don’t have to spend the rest of the day carrying them around. Also, you really can’t beat an empty Main Street U.S.A at midnight.
  • Dessert Parties: Magic Kingdom has a lot of dessert parties and most of them take place during the fireworks. One takes place in Tomorrowland, another takes place in the plaza, and others take place on your very own cruise. This is probably the coolest way to view the fireworks. This experience is right up there with a viewing at the Top of the World Lounge at the Contemporary Resort.
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: If you are visiting during the holiday season, these are must-do events. Both offer special parades, shows, merchandise, and rare character experiences. And they keep the parks open until midnight in the fall. They were created to help drag in some profit during the off-season and they are quickly becoming the busiest times to go. I suggest going mid-September or the last week of November to attempt to avoid the crowds.


Most, if not all, restaurants and food kiosks are open until 9:00 pm at Epcot. If you’re willing to skip Illuminations or go for a quick service option in lieu of a table service, you can actually get quite a bit done later in the day here.

  • Festivals at Epcot: I suggest visiting during one of their festivals like Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, or Festival of the Arts. They always have unique food and entertainment and the food kiosks are also typically open until 9:00 pm.
  • Proximity to The BoardWalk: World Showcase is located 5 minutes from The BoardWalk! Head over to the parks for dinner and Illuminations and then keep the party going with some dancing at The BoardWalk. Sounds like the perfect evening to me!

Hollywood Studios:

Studios is undergoing major refurbishments as they prepare for Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) and Toy Story Land coming in the next couple years. Unfortunately, that means there is far less to do in the evening hours. BUT, I do have a few suggestions for nighttime entertainment at the park while it gets a makeover.

  • Fantasmic! Dining Package: This is my favorite evening show! Like I said, the dining and dessert packages are the way to go. The Brown Derby is my suggestion for this dining package. They’ve got some great cocktails! If you don’t want to do a table service and there are two shows, I always suggest seeing the second show. The crowds will have died down and you’ll have more time for dinner and attractions.
  • Ride Tower of Terror at Night: I know, I’m really reaching here. However, if you’ve never ridden Tower of Terror at night, it’s really pretty cool. The evening ambiance adds to the eerie queue which guides you to the spooky lobby.
  • Take the boat!: After you’ve gotten your fill of Hollywood Studios, take the boat over to the BoardWalk area. The Dolphin and Swan Resort are also in the vicinity which offers places like Kimonos for nightly karaoke!

Animal Kingdom:

Even if it’s not open terribly late, Pandora-World of Avatar was meant to be seen at night. The bioluminescent lighting and Avatar “landscapes” look incredible in the evening. Last summer, Animal Kingdom was open until 10:00 pm most nights and sometimes 11:00 pm, without extra evening hours. And don’t forget to catch Rivers of Light, the new water and light show, playing most nights at the amphitheater. Unfortunately, Animal Kingdom doesn’t have too many dining spots open past 8:00 pm due to it closing earlier than others. For evening eats I suggest Tiffins, Yak & Yeti, Nomad Lounge, and Satu’li Canteen (quick service). Rainforest Cafe is open a little later than the others, but the food isn’t quite worth it.

I did my best to keep the list concise, but there really is a lot to do at night in and around the parks! What’s your favorite thing to do late at night on property? Mine would have to be watching the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Resort. So relaxing! Goodnight, night owls!

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Pair a Disney Holiday Movie with a Holiday Treat!

What’s cozier than curling up with your favorite Disney holiday movie and a yummy holiday treat? Disney has the ability to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling in all their…

Pair a Disney Holiday Movie with a Holiday Treat
What’s cozier than curling up with your favorite Disney holiday movie and a yummy holiday treat? Disney has the ability to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling in all their movies. Now combine that with some holiday cheer and you have the ultimate cozy night in.  So let’s get in the spirit, eh? I’ve posted some recipes below I found on other blogs for inspiration!

1. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas/Hot Buttered Rum: Narrated by Kelsey Grammer, this is a heartwarming melange of classic stories told by our favorite characters. This is the perfect show to play in the background while you’re decorating the Christmas tree. It’s been on Netflix for a few years now along with the sequel, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas. For a show that gives you all the warm fuzzies, it should be accompanied by a warm drink like a Hot Buttered Rum. Here’s a step-by-step recipe from The Kitchen is My Playground

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Hot Buttered Rum | The Kitchen is My Playground Hot Buttered Rum | The Kitchen is My Playground

2. I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Red and Green M&M’s: This nostalgic 90’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas film deserves to be complemented with red and green M&M’s, which also became popular during the 90’s. They’re still playing the classic M&M’s “They DO exist!” commercial to this day! Bonus: Red & Green Hershey kisses! Take a Christmas commercial break and slip into your P.J.’s. Be still my 90’s teenage heart!

I'll Be Home for Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

I’ll Be Home for Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Red and Green Christmas M&M's


3. Pluto’s Christmas Tree/Mulled Wine: This is a cozy classic cartoon that aired in 1952. It features classic Disney characters, so it only makes sense to match it with a classic Christmas drink. Mulled wine is the pinnacle of warmth and coziness. Combining cloves, cinnamon, oranges, and wine to make a picture-perfect holiday drink for a picture-perfect holiday cartoon. I tried Sweet & Savory’s mulled wine recipe last year and it was delicious.

You can watch Pluto’s Christmas Tree and other Disney shorts here!

Easy Mulled Wine | Sweet & Savory

Easy Mulled Wine | Sweet & Savory


4. Beauty and the Beast’s Enchanted Christmas/Madeleines: With actors like Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters, this cast is stunning and the movie is highly underrated. The CGI is a little corny and outdated at times, but the music is actually quite good and probably the only Disney classic spin-off that I recommend to anyone. (Sorry Lion King 1 1/2!) Since Beauty and the Beast is set in France, it would be fun to make traditional french cookies, like madeleines or macarons. And holy cow, you should check out this recipe for Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt from Fig and Bleu. I can’t wait to try it. Another (more laborious) option would be the cute and classic Chocolat Buche de Noel (a.k.a. Yule Log Cake).

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt | Fig & Bleu

Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt | Fig & Bleu


5. The Santa Clause/Hot Chocolate: Another 90’s hit that we’ve all watched at least 30 times by now. And for good reason too. It’s one of the few holiday movies that have a good plot, great cast, good writing, and something you don’t mind watching every year. As a kid, I wished someday I’d have a CD (Cocoa Dispenser) in my car like the one Charlie installs in the sleigh. Until Tesla makes all my hot chocolate wishes come true, I suppose a homemade batch will do.

The Santa Clause | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Mickey Holiday Hot Cocoa

My new favorite cocoa cup featured in my Pumpkin Spice Waffle post!


6. Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year/Baked Brie with Honey: Pooh Bear is very near and dear to my heart since I spent A LOT of time with him when I worked at Disney World. If you catch my drift. Of course, you can’t enjoy your favorite bear without a honey related treat! Brie with apples are my family’s favorite Christmas morning snack. Especially delicious is the kind wrapped in dough and drizzled with some honey. Check out this beautiful Honey Almond Baked Brie recipe from The Seasoned Mom. This adorable film is on Hulu and used to be available on Netflix, but they removed it last year. Oh, bother!

A Very Merry Pooh Year | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Honey Almond Baked Brie | The Seasoned Mom


7. Ernest Saves Christmas/Reindeer Poop: Remember that weird fad where we gave out poop related Christmas treats to our relatives? Back in the day, cocoa puffs were “reindeer poop” and marshmallows were considered “snowman poop.” In memory of the wacky Disney legend, Jim Varney (a.ka. Ernest and Slinky Dog from Toy Story), I say we bring that strange tradition back. You can go the extra mile and try these reindeer poop cookies from Life is Sweeter by Design. Although Ernest wasn’t produced by Disney, it is the first movie that was filmed in Disney World. Parts of the movie were filmed in Hollywood Studios, then known as MGM Studios!

Ernest Saves Chrismas

Ernest Saves Christmas | Image Source: Touchstone Pictures

Reindeer Poop Cookies from Life is Sweeter by Design


8. The Muppet Christmas Carol/Magic Cookie Bars: Of all the Disney-made Christmas Carol interpretations, this one is my favorite. The music is absolutely fantastic and you can’t go wrong with Michael Caine as Scrooge. Jim Henson had a way of parodying classics without detracting from the story and making it accessible to both kids and adults. For this cheery musical, make an equally cheery treat like Magic Cookie Bars, combining all the yummy goodness of baked goods into one bar. Here’s an extra special Seven Layer Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar recipe made with the classic aforementioned red and green M&M’s from Love from the Oven. Ugh, they’re so beautiful!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures/Jim Henson Productions

Magic Cookie Bars | Love from the Oven

Magic Cookie Bars | Love from the Oven


9. The Magic of Christmas at Disneyland/Very Merry Christmas Party Pumpkin Spice Waffles: When I’m feeling the Disney blues, one of the best ways to get my fix is to watch a Disney Park special. This Magic of Christmas at Disneyland features the park rides and shows that were present in the 90’s. It’s also free on YouTube! There are newer Disney Christmas specials, like the parades they air every year on Christmas day. For these television specials, you can make the beloved pumpkin spice waffles they serve at Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas party. I recreated the dessert in an earlier post here.


10. Nightmare Before Christmas/Christmas Sangria: Disney really struck gold with this plotline. A movie that features both Halloween AND Christmas? They can rake in the dough by showing this movie continuously from October to December on Freeform. For this seemingly sinister yet cozy Christmas film, I’d opt for something classy with a twist, like Christmas sangria. Here’s a gorgeous Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria from Jerry James Stone.

Jack Skellington The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Studios

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria | Jerry James Stone

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria | Jerry James Stone


11. Babes in Toyland: As a musical theatre lover from a young age, I’ve always loved this film. A beautiful musical with ballet and a gorgeous score deserves a beautiful treat like divinity. The almost unbearable sweetness of divinity matches the unbearable sweetness of this 1960’s musical. The Domestic Rebel provides an “Easy Homemade Divinity Recipe” here.

Babes in Toyland | Image Source: Walt Disney Productions

Babes in Toyland | Image Source: Walt Disney Productions

Easy Homemade Divinity | The Domestic Rebel

Easy Homemade Divinity | The Domestic Rebel


12. Prep & Landing/Gingerbread Cookies: So, I’m not a huge fan of this movie. It was a bit past my childhood and I don’t think it holds up against the others. I won’t judge you if this happens to be you’re favorite though!  Anyway, the movie stars some high-tech elves who use their GBM’s, or, Gingerbread Men Scanners, to scan whether “creatures are stirring.” You can keep with the theme and make some gingerbread! Check out this cute replica of the gingerbread scanners from Disney Family.

Prep and Landing

Prep and Landing | Image Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Gingerbread Man Scanner CookiesGingerbread Men Scanner Cookies | Disney Family


13. ‘Twas the Night/Eggnog: Remember when Bryan Cranston did Disney original movies? As a throwback to when Cranston was taking any job that was offered to him, might as well do a throwback to the classic Christmas drink, eggnog. Try the 10-Minute Homemade Eggnog from Whole and Heavenly Oven! The full movie is available to rent on YouTube.

Twas the Night | Image Source: Buena Vista Television

Twas the Night | Image Source: Buena Vista Television

10 Minute Homemade Eggnog | Whole and Heavenly Oven


14. Frozen/Frozen Hot Chocolate: Fine. I’ll acknowledge the Frozen elephant in the room. I think most of the world is over this movie, but if you just can’t let it go, I suggest pairing this one with a frozen hot chocolate. This is especially suitable if you live somewhere close to the equator! Here’s an awesome and simple recipe from Fake Ginger.

Frozen | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen Hot Chocolate | Fake Ginger

Frozen Hot Chocolate | Fake Ginger

Ready for a snuggly night in? Grab your favorite blankie, a favorite treat, and take in a movie. The winter isn’t getting any warmer so why not warm yourself with a Disney classic and something delicious. What’s your favorite holiday treat? Leave in the comments below!
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