Category Archives: Disney World Parks

Disney Pin Trading 101

Pin Trading at Disney World: An Overview

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Probably the most popular Disney activity is Pin Trading. If you visit Disney World, you will see many guests walking around the parks with lanyards full on pins weighing them down. Each pin with a different story of how the guest got it. Disney Pin trading started in the 1990s, and while it’s not an official disney activity it has become the most popular. It is also one that Disney supports having many cast members trading pins with guests.

The great thing about Pin trading is that you can make it what you want. Disney has so many different pins for you to collect and you can go about collecting them however you desire. If you are a fan of Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Lion King there are plenty of pins for you to collect. You can go about building your collection by simply buying the pins you want. Or you can make it a little more interesting and trade pins with other people to get your desired pins.

What is it

Pin Trading is what the name implies. You take a Disney Pin you have and trade it with another person for a pin they have that you want.   It’s really as simple as that. However it can get complicated when you are trying to decide what Pin you want to give away or what pin you are looking for. There are so many types of pins you can collect. You can collect different series of pins, favorite characters, limited edition pins, the list could go on. 

How to get started Pin Trading

In order to get started with trading, you must first have a pin you are willing to trade. The best way to get started with pin trading it so purchase a starter pack of pins. This pack will include 3-5 pins and a lanyard for you to place them on. You can either keep these pins for yourself or use them to trade for ones you see with somebody else. 

In addition to getting a starter pack, buying mystery packs are another great way to start your pin collection. In these packs you will usually get two pins. You can keep one and trade one. Once you have purchased several boxes of the same mystery set you will begin to get duplicate pins. These are the pins you want to trade.

Where to get pins

If you are looking to purchase Disney Trading Pins, you can get them almost anywhere at Disney. Most of the stores will have Disney Pins for sale. There are also designed Pin stands at the parks and Disney Springs dedicated to Pins. You can also find Pins at the Disney Outlets in Orlando and the Disney store in the Orlando Airport. 

It is possible to find Disney Pins online for purchase. If you decide to purchase them online be very careful, especially if you are wanting to use these pins for trading with other people. Without going into a lot of details about it, as it is an article in itself, many pins that you see on Amazon or EBay in large sets are almost always fake or scrapper pins.

How to trade

So how that you have your pins that you are willing to trade. You know what pins you want to add to your collection. Let the Pin Trading begin.

How does trading work. Pin Trading is very simple, just walk around the parks, resorts and even Disney Springs and look at other people wearing lanyards with Pins. If you see a person wearing a lanyard with Pins, there’s a good chance they are willing to trade them. Walk up to the person and politely ask them if they are wiling to trade pins with you. If they say yes, awesome you are off to a great start. Tell them which pin of yours you would like and show them which pins you are willing to give up. 

When trading trading with another guest you want to let them pick the pin from your collection they want. There could be a chance you have one they want. Or if they are a serious collector they will want one of equal value. There are differences between Pin Trading with guests and cast members, we will break them down in the next section. 

One important thing to remember when trading pins, is to make sure you are polite with the other person. There is no need to get upset if they don’t want to give away a particular pin.

It is good practice to make sure you have authentic pins that you are trading. If you walk up to a serious trader they will look over your pin very carefully and may reject if if they don’t find it to be authentic. With so many pins out in circulation, there is always a chance you may end up with a fake Disney Pin.

Pin Trading with Cast Members vs. Guests

There are two groups of people you can trade pins with Cast Members and Guests. Each group has different standards for trading pins.

Cast Members

Cast members throughout the parks wear lanyards with Disney pins. Certain cast members will have a pin board set up somewhere which a bunch of pins to trade with guests throughout the day. You are allowed to trade up to two pins with a cast member per day. Tell the cast member which pin of theirs you would like, they will take it off for you. Meanwhile you can take the pin you are willing to give them. Then just swap pins. Cast members normally do not inspect the pins you are giving them.

Guest

While its relatively easy to trade pins with a cast member, trading Disney pins with other guests can get complicated. While its relatively easy to walk up to a cast member, walking up to a complete stranger may be harder. Most people that are wearing the Disney lanyard with Pins on them willing to trade them. So if you see a guest with a large stash of pins on their lanyard they are probably pin traders.

Walk up to them and simply ask them if they are a pin trader and tell them you would like to trade a pin with them. Here are some rules to remember when trading pins with other guests

Disney Pins

Don’t assume they are willing to trade any pin. Tell them what Pin you are interested in and show them what pins you have to offer. There is a lot of though that can go into which pin a person is willing to accept from you in return for the pin they are giving you.  The two biggest things are what the collector is collecting and the value of the pin. A serious trader won’t accept an $9 pin for a $30 pin.

Rules of Pin trading with other Guests

  • Don’t touch their pin without asking for permission.
  • If they aren’t willing to trade, simply walk away don’t force it.
  • Understand everybody’s time is precious. 
  • Strike up a conversation about the pins, it may help make the trade easy.
  • Enjoy trading pins. 

(Insert sample Dialogue)

My recommendation is to put the pins you are willing to trade on one lanyard and your collection on another lanyard or another display. 

Cast Member Pin Board locations

You need a good eye to spot a pin on a lanyard of person walking around Disney World. However there are Cast Members throughout Disney World who have pin boards with a large variety of pins. If you are new to trading and looking for new pins, these are a great way to get some exposer trading pins.

Easiest place to find these Pin Boards are the resorts.

How to display pins

Now that you are growing your collection, you can initially display them on a lanyard. Unfortunately overtime your lanyard will run out of room and become very heavy. At some point you will have to find another way to display your amazing collection of Pins.

If you are displaying your Pins on a lanyard. I recommend you get locking back for them. You would hate to lose your favorite one.

The most common way pin traders display their pins are in Pin binders. These binders consists of heavy duty page inserts which hold your pins and allows you to carry them around. 

You can create unique display boards to hang on the wall. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on how you can display your Pin.

Costs of Pin Trading

Probably the one bugging question you have as you start your collection is how much will it cost me. The answer lies within how you want to collect pins and how large you plan to grow your collection. If you are starting out, I would tell you to expect to pay somewhere around $50 to really get started. 

Disney Pins at the Character Warehouse

A Pin Starter set will run you approximately $30 dollars and you will get a lanyard with 3-5 pins. This unfortunately isn’t enough to really begin trading. You will need to purchase some more pins. The standard pins you see around the parks will run you between $8.99 to $15.99. Speciality and limited edition pins can easy double these prices. 

One way to save some money on pins you want to trade is to purchase pins from the Disney Character Warehouses in Orlando. Here you can get guanine pins from a fraction of the price at the Parks. 

Ring in 202 at Disney World

Ring in 2020 Disney Style

2020 is quickly approaching. Have you made plans to ring in the new year? If you are looking for a spectacular way to bring in 2020, you should consider checking out some of the events planned around Disney World.

Each park will have their own unique celebrations along with many parties at the resorts.

Rooftop Celebrations

If you are looking for a great evening dinner and Firework show make sure you book your reservations at one of these 3 rooftop restaurants. Reserve early as these are great locations to watch fireworks. New Years eve fireworks at Disney will of course be over the top.

Bienvenidos 2020!

Dance the night away in Spanish flare. Enjoy a traditional Spanish cava toast as you countdown to Midnight. Savory Spanish food will be served all evening around the rooftop. At Midnight ring in 2020 with the Hollywood Studios Firework show from atop the Gran Destino Tower.

The event will run from 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM and will cost you $400 plus tax and gratuity.

Mezzanotte at Topolino’s

Enjoy a European flar New Year’s Eve celebration at the Topolino’s Terrance on top of Disney’s Riviera Resort. This will be an elegant affair complete with a champagne toasts as guests ring in the new year. Guests will enjoy views of both the Epcot fireworks show and the Hollywood Studios fireworks.

For the low cost of $550 you can enjoy this evening celebration including food and drinks.

Elegant Evening Under the Stars

Enjoy elegant entertainment and food from the California Grill on top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Ring in the new year with a glass of champagne while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

This New Years Eve treat will set you back $675 tax and gratitudes included

Pixar Party

Are you looking for a party that’s a little more family and kid friendly. You will not want to miss the Pixar Party at the Contemporary. Meet many of our favorite Pixar characters including Woody and Buzz lightyear. Enjoy some music from some of the favorite Radio Disney Hits. There will be a large family friendly buffet for the entire family to enjoy.


Fear not, if you can’t or do not want to fork out a ton of money for one of these over the top events to ring in 2020. Disney World has numerous other events and New Year’s Eve activities going on.

Ring in 2020 at each of the parks with their own unique celebrations.

Hang out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as DJ’s keep you moving around Discovery Island and at midnight watch the Tree of Life light up.

Or you can head over to the American Garden Theater in Epcot for some live entertainment and a special New Year’s Eve fireworks show after the nightly Epcot Forever Show.

Dance the night away at Magic Kingdom with DJs throwing dance parties in Frontierland and Fantasyland. As the clock strikes midnight, look up towards the sky as Magic Kingdom lights up with a spectacular firework show.

If you are not looking to head to the parks either for New Year’s Eve. Many of the resorts will be ringing in 2020 with special celebrations.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. If you have ever visited the the Boardwalk you know it is a popular place to be and of course New Year’s Eve is no difference. Enjoy delicacies and drinks while you ring in 2020.

No matter what kind of celebration you are looking to have for New Year’s Eve, Disney World has festivities for you. .

Galaxy's Edge

Galaxy’s Edge: Hit or Miss?

So we finally were able to get around to visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios new Galaxy ‘s Edge land, a few months ago. Since it’s opening there has been a lot of of controversy over it. Some guests love the land. Some say it’s to much. There is speculation that it did not draw in the crowds that Disney World was hoping for.

I am not a diehard Star Wars fan, but I have watched most of the series. From my perspective, Disney World imagineers did an excellent job recreating the land to represent what was depicted from the movies.

If you enter Galaxy Edge through the tunnel from Grand Avenue, you will notice an instant transformation into the galaxy. However, when entering from Toy Story Land, you will feel a sense of being taken into a different world. The Imagineers did an excellent job transitioning between the lands, especially when entering from Toy Story Land. You will be drawn away from one world and into Galaxy’s Edge.

It has been said by many fans that they have submerged you so well into the land that you can forget you are at Disney.

Disney World has been improving their immersive experiences for their various lands around the parks. I do have to agree with the statement above and say that the Imagineers did an excellent job in immersing the guests into the Galaxy. Everything from the design of the structures, the attractions, displays, and cast members draw you into the Galaxy and you can forget that you are Hollywood Studios.

My first observation in the immersive experience are the cast members. They were all dressed to fit the roll. Even the managers that walk around the parks where dressed in Star Wars themed clothing. The cast members would speak to you in the native galaxy language and are more interactive in character than you sometimes notice in other parts of the parks.

Galaxy Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Crowds

The one hot button issue with Galaxy’s Edge are the crowd levels. Experts have said that the land did not bring in the crowds they are had anticipated. While there were large crowds from the opening of Star Wars, with 100s of visitors lining up the night prior to opening. It appears that they crowds have not maintained the high level Disney World was expecting.

When we visited the land last month the overall crowd levels were relatively low throughout most of the parks. We never saw unusually long wait times for rides and I would say that Star Wars wasn’t any different. While this part of the park had the most crowds, I would still say the crowds weren’t unbearable. I was able to easily walk around the galaxy with a stroller and not worry about running into other guests.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run wait time during our visit to the galaxy hovered around a 60 minute wait time. This isn’t a long wait time when you compare it to Slinky Dog and Frozen. Both of these attractions have been open for well over a year and almost always have a wait time greater than 60 minutes.

With Rise of the Resistance opening last Thursday, the crowd levels have definitely increased. The real question is whether or not the crowd levels will continue after the initial hype wears off. Boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance have been sold out before noon, everyday since opening.

What’s in the Land

Currently, there is 2 attraction, 5 dining options, and 2 interactive building stations and several stores. There are a couple store attractions which allow visitors to buy and build either a light saber or a droid. Outside of the two attractions, everything else costs money in Galaxy’s Edge. Leaving your average Disney goer wondering what is there for me to do here.

Rise of the Resistance

The newest attraction in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This has been the attraction everybody has been waiting for. The one that has been said to turn Disney World around. The first week for this attraction has overall been a success. While it has had its hiccups initially, the crowds continue to show up in droves for this attraction.

Is it a ride, show, or what. Rise of the Resistance, combines multiple elements to create this attraction, which lasts almost 15 minutes. You will first start in a virtual 3-D ride, then you thrown into an interactive walk-through area and finally you board a craft for the third part of your adventure trying to escape the First World Order.

There are a lot of moving parts with this attraction, if any one part goes down it will easily mess up the entire attraction for everyone else. This will ultimately affect a large number of guests, as this attraction can easily handle a large crowd at once.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Choose your crew and step into the cockpit of a Millennium Falcon for a daring flight. The success of the mission is up to you and your crew. You will be racing through the galaxy fighting your way through, so make sure you have a top notch crew to be successful.

Build a droid.

Probably the most expensive attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, you have the ability to build a custom droid. You walk into the warehouse and select custom parts to the droid. Once you have all the pieces you will assemble th droid at a workstation. Once it’s assembled you can purchase various accessories for your droid. One of these accessories is a computer chip which will give the droid a personality. It will be able to move around on its own and even interact with other droids. The cost to build a droid can run you around $99.

Handbuilt Lightsaber

Head over to Black Spire Outpost and get ushered into Savi’s Workshop to build your own Lightsaber. Choose 1 of 4 themes for your saber. Collect the components and walkout with a fully assembled lightsaber battle ready. This experience is expensive and will run you $199 for one fully constructed lightsaber.

Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Food Options

Oga’s Cantina- This lounge is where all the locals hangout to refuel, conduct meetings and enjoy local music. Oga’s Cantina specializes in creating drinks with ingredients from all over the galaxy. The only downside to visiting the Cantina is the limited food option. They only have 1 snack option, the Bantu Bits.

It is recommended that you make reservations at Oga’s Cantina if you are looking to dine there.

Docking Bay 7– Is the place to go for food in Galaxy’s Edge. This is a Quick Service restaurant, with Mobile Ordering.

Milk Stand– Looking to taste the popular drink of the locals. Grab a blue or green milk.

Ronto Roasters– Another quick service option with delicious grilled meat from around the galaxy.

Kat Saka’s Kettle– Enjoy sweet and savory popcorn. $6.49.

2019 Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays

Christmas is a favorite time of the year for many people. The 2019 Festival of the Holidays begins November 29 and continues through December 30th. The festival allows guest to enjoy special treats and holiday festivities from around the world. The highlight event for many guests looking to enjoy the Festival of the Holidays.

Lets dive into all that the Festival of the Holidays has to offer guest. If you have experienced the iconic Food and Wine festival, you can get a sense of what this holiday festival will have to offer. A party at Epcot would not be complete with a generous offerings of delicious foods from around the World. Its important to remember that there is so

Entertainment offerings at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays.

Storytellers and Holiday Entertainment

International Storytellers provide guests with stories of winter traditions from their native countries. Many of the stories contain some version of Santa Clause, however some countries will recount different stories. These traditions are usually presented with entertaining performances.

The story’s are told daily during the event.

  • Mexico: Las Posadas Celebration
  • Norway: A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa
  • China: Chinese Lion Dance
  • Germany: Chilli Da Mar – NEW this year
  • Italy: La Befana
  • The American Adventure: Santa and Mrs. Clause
  • Japan: Daruma Storyteller
  • Morocco: Festivity in Morocco
  • Frnace: Pere Noel
  • United Kingdom: Father Christmas
  • Canada: Canadian Holiday Voyageurs

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional at the America’s Theater, is an endearing, tradition that many guest love at Disney World. Many guest make special trips to Disney World, just to enjoy the Candlelight Processional.

Celebrity Narrators will take guests through the Christmas story with a live orchestra and choir. Performances will occur nightly between November 29 through December 30 at 5:00PM, 6:45PM and 8:45PM.

If you are looking to guarantee your seat for the Candlelight Proccessinal look into the Cnadlelight Processional Dining Package.

Chip and Dale Christmas Spree

Disney World won’t give us everything for free. Pick up your map and stickers from Pin Central, Disney Traders or the World Traveler for $6.99 plus tax.

During this adventure you will head around the World helping Chip and Dale locate ornaments for their Christmas tree. Once you the ornaments from the different countries you will mark them off your map with the stickers. After you have all located all the ornaments, head over to Disney Traders or World Traveler and receive a festive surprise from Chip and Dale

Holiday Kitchens

You can’t enjoy Epcot without eating food. Just like the other festivals at Epcot, the Festival of the Holidays has numerous kitchens around the World. These kitchens are providing guest with delicious treats.

Yukon (Canada)

Food

  • Seared Salmon with Crown Maple Whisky Glaze, Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney and Hazelnut Croquant
  • Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere with Canadian Ketchup
  • Maple Buche de Noel: Maple Mousse rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake with Cranberry Sauce and Pecan Crumble
  • Gold Chocolate Chip Cookie

Drinks

  • Frozen Coffee
  • Unibroue Ephemere Strawberry and Rhubarb
  • Inniskillin Riesling Icewine
  • Inniskillin Pearl Vidal Icewine
  • Inniskillin Gold Oak Icewine
  • Ice Wine Flight
  • Frozen Coffee with Tape 357 Whisky

American Holiday Table Kitchen

Food

  • Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cranberry Sauce
  • Hand-carved Smoked Ham with Green Beans and Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Chocolate Pecan Tart with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce
  • Red and Green Chocolate Chip Cookie

Drinks

  • American Heritage Milk Chocolate Gourmet Hot Cocoa with Wondermade Marshmallows
  • Orange Blossom Brewing Cranberry Kringle Pilsner
  • Shipyard Eggnog White Porter
  • JDub’s Season’s Greetings Peppermint Milk Stout
  • Holiday Beer Flight
  • Coca Candy Cane: American Heritage Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps

Sapphire (Morocco)

Food

  • Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebab with Whole Wheat Pita, Cucumber, Olives, Tomatoes, Mint Yogurt Sauce and Harissa-cilantro Dressing
  • Confit of Chermoula Chicken Drum with Cinnamon Granny Smith Apple, Toasted Almonds, Brussels Sprouts and Pinot Noir Glaze
  • “Sfenj” Warm Beignets with Cream, Cinnamon Sugar, Toasted Almonds and Chocolate Sauce

Drinks

  • Casa Beer
  • Kasbah Prestige Red Wine
  • The Andalusian “Poinsettia” Cocktail: Sparkling Wine, Orange Liqueur and Cranberry Juice topped with Orange Blossom Water
  • Walnut Spiced Coffee with Walnut Liquer and topped with Cinnamon and Whipped Cream

Le Marche De Noel (France)

Food

  • Napoleon de Saumon Fume, Brioche a L’aneth: Smoked Salmon Napoleon in a Bill Brioche
  • Bouchee a la Reine Traditionnelle: Turkey and Mushrooms in a Veloute Cream Sauce served in a Light Puff Pastry
  • Buche de Noel au Chocolat “Christmas Log”: Chocolate Cake with Dark Choclate Caramel Ganache

Drinks

  • Spiced Rum Punch Slush: Spiced Rum, Rhum Clement V.S.O.P. Orange and Pineapple Juice with Cinnamon
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Blend, Chateau La Grand Moulin, Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux
  • Holiday Kir: Sparkling wine with Monin Cranberry Syrup
  • Willm, Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine

Shanghai (China)

Food

  • Pork and Vegetable Egg Roll
  • Mongolian Beef Bao Bun and a Fortune Cookie
  • Celebration Barbecue Pork with Steamed Rice and a Fortune Cookie
  • Spicy Mala Chicken with Steamed Rice and Fortune Cookie

Drinks

  • Sweetened Bubble Milk Ta: Mango Flavored Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearls
  • Jasmine Beer
  • Plum Wine

Bavaria (Germany)

Food

  • Potato Dumpling with Mushroom Sauce
  • Sauerbraten, Red Cabbage and Spatzle
  • Chese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Frest Steamed baby vegetables and Marble Potatoes
  • Black Forest Roulade with Cherry Whipped Cream
  • Peppermint Sugar Cookie

Drinks

  • Possmann Pure Hard Apple Cider
  • Possmann Pure Hard Black Currant Apple Cider
  • Schofferhofer Pomegranate Hefeweizen
  • Cider Flight
  • Regional Riesling
  • Gluhwein: House-made Hot Spiced Wine

Tuscany (Italy)

Food

  • Cavatappi ai Quattro Formaggi: Baked Four-cheese Pasta, Parmesan Crumble and Truffle Essence
  • Mozzarella in Carozza: Golden-crusted Fried Mozzarella Sandwich with Tomato Sauce
  • Crespelle di Mele: Cinnamon Apple Fritters and a Vanilla Sauce Drizzle with Chocolate Caramel sauce
  • Bacio al Cioccolato: Warm Hazelnut Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream
  • Panettone Mignon: Miniature Traditional Italian Christmas Fruitcake

Drinks

  • Moretti Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa Double Malt Beer
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chianti
  • Prosecco
  • Corbinello
  • Moscato

Feast of the Three Kings

Food

  • Pastelon: Sofrito-marinated Beef with Sweet Plantains and Olives
  • Queso Fresco-stuffed Arepa topped with Shrimp, Crushed Avocado Aji and Tomato Sauce
  • Arepas topped with Melted Queso Fresco
  • Tres Leches Rice Pudding with Pumpkin Seeds
  • Green and White Sugar Cookie

Drinks

  • Coquito: Tropical Eggnog
  • M.I.A Beer Company Trey Reyes Mango Golden
  • Coquito: Tropical Eggnog with a Bacardi Gold Dark Run Floater

L’Chaim

Food

  • Pastrami on Rye with House-made Pickles and Deli Mustard
  • Potato Knish with Herb Sour Cream
  • Chicken and Matzo Bell Soup
  • Black and White Cookie

Drinks

  • Egg Cream: Milk, Chocolate Syrup and Seltzer
  • Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager
  • Blue Cosmo Cocktail

Holiday Sweet & Treats

Food

  • Peppermint Sundae: Chocolate Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, and Peppermint Candy
  • Holiday Tree Sugar Cookies
  • Holiday Cooke Stroll Completer Cookie- Red and Green Mickey Sugar Cookie

Drinks

  • Hot Cocoa
  • TG Lee Eggnog
  • Chocolate Apple Shake featuring Twinings Winter Spice Tea
  • Shipyard Eggnog White Porter
  • Hot Cocoa with Assorted Cordials
  • Firenog: TG Lee Eggnog with Firebal Cinnamon Whisky
  • Chocolate Apple Shake featuring Twinings Winter Spice Tea and Butterscotch Schnapps

Las Posadas (Mexico)

Food

  • Enchilada de Pollo con Mole: Chipotle Chicken in a Corn Tortilla topped Mole Negro and garnished with Shredded Oaxaca Cheese and Sesame Seeds
  • Tamal de Camaron: Corn Tamal stuffed with Guajillo-marinated Shrimp topped with Mole Rojo and Shredded Cotija Cheese
  • Arroz Con Leche: Rice Pudding with Cranberries

Drinks

  • Cerveza Mexicana Artesanal: Allende Mexican Craft Ale served with a Floater of Kahlua
  • Noche Buena Margarita: Libelula Joven Tequila, Cranberry and Lime Juices and Agave Nectar topped with Lime Foam and Sprinkles
  • La Posada Margarita: Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Horchata-Cinnamon Liqueur, and Agua de Horchata topped with Cinnamon

Shi Wasu (Japan)

Food

  • New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat Soba Noodles in Hot Dashi Soup with Chicken and Spinach
  • Holiday Green Tea “Yule Log”: Delicate Spongecake rolled with Whipped Cream Filling

Drinks

  • Ichigo Milk Boba: Popping Strawberry Boba Cream Drink with Japanese Calpico
  • Sapporo Draft Beet
  • Cinnamon Apple Cider: Plum Wine, Orange Juice with Lemonade and Apples

Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nghts

Enjoy an evening tour of Living with the Lands and view special holiday light displays located throughout the greenhouses after the sun sets each day.

Voices of Liberty

The Dickens Carolers bring the season alive with a variety of cappella holiday melodies.

Holiday Cookie Stroll

This is probably one of our favorite things to do around the World Showcase. Head around the world and retreat yourself to 5 select holiday cookies. Make sure you get your passport stamped with each purchase. After you have sampled all 5 cookies you will be able to enjoy a free 6th cookie.

The cookies for this year:

  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
  • Linzer Cookie
  • Gingerbread Cookie
  • Blak and White Cookie
  • Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie
  • Complimentary Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie
Disney World Fun Facts

Fun Facts of Disney World

There is so much more to Disney World than Cinderella’s Castle and Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately there is still a large number of people who don’t know that there is a lot more to Disney World than Magic Kingdom. It’s amazing the number of people who will show up to Disney World, still thinking its just the one park. There are 100s of Disney World Facts. Here are the top 12 fun facts you will want to know before your next vacation

Walt Disney World in Orlando consist of 4 theme parks, (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), 2 water parks, (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney Springs, 2 miniature golf courses, 4 golf courses, ESPN Wide World of Sports and 25 plus resorts.

With all that Disney has to offer there are a lot of things to know and learn about Disney World. Here are 12 fun facts that help you realize how large Disney World in Orlando is.

1. Disney World Size

Photo showing all of Disney Worlds property

Disney World Orlando covers approximately 40 square miles, with a 1/3 of the land being designated as conservation land. When you look at a large scale map of the property you can see all the empty land around the parks and resorts. Because, Disney World was built on wetlands, Disney had to take extra care to preserve the wetlands.

2. Disney Wilderness Preserve

This is an 11,000 acre nature preserve located in Kissimmee Florida approximately 25 miles southeast of Disney. The wilderness preserve is not included in the 40 square miles classified as Disney World. There are roughly 7 miles of trails and a lot of wildlife for you to explore out here.

3. Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the parks at Disney, covering approximately 500 acres of land. This is large for an amusement park, but still a small portion of Disney World. It only covers a little over 1% of Disney’s Property. Kilimanjaro Safari takes up the majority of Animal Kingdom cover approximately 110 area.

Photo showing the size of Animal Kingdom

4. Disney has its own Cities

Walt Disney World created two new cities in Florida, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista to which it has built all of its attractions on.

5. The Ready Creek Improvement District (RCID)

RCID was developed by Walt Disney World to avoid the headaches of having to deal with two different counties during the construction. The RCID created the Epcot Builidng code, which has been known to be some of the strictest building standards in Florida.

6. No structure is taller than 200 feet.

The tallest structure at Disney is Mount Everest which is inches shy of the 200 ft mark. Any structures taller than 200ft are required to have an aviation red beacon. We all know how hard Disney works at hard preserving the look and feel of every aspect of Disney World, and having red aviation beacons all over the park would definitely take away from the look and feel Disney has and wants for many of their attractions at night.

Mount Everest

7. The Magic Kingdom parking lot

Also know as the Ticket and Transportation Center is the 4th largest parking lot in the world with approximately 11,000 parking spots. Better make sure you write down what row you are in. It will be easy to forget at the end of a long day at the parks.

Magic Kingdom Parking Lot

8. Disney’s Transportation

Disney has the 3rd largest bus fleet in Florida with more than 350 buses. Jacksonville and Miami are the only two fleets that are larger than Disney. In additional to a large bus fleet, Disney has a large fleet of boats, monorails, trams and gondolas to transport people around Walt Disney World. The best part, its all free for guests traveling around Disney World

9. Epcot Aquarium

The aquarium in Epcot has over 5.7 million gallons of water, making it the 2nd largest aquarium in the U.S. The aquarium is home to The Seas with Nemo and Friends

10. Number of Attractions

10. Between the 4 parks there are over 40 rides and many other attractions and experiences for guests to enjoy while at Disney World.

11. Celebration Disney’s Residential City

Walt Disney had a residential city known as Celebration developed just south of Disney World. The Walt Disney company is still the largest landowner entity in Celebration.

12. Disney hardly ever closes

In the 50 years Disney has been around, they have only ever closed for a full day 5 times.

  • Sept 15, 1999 hurricanes Floyd
  • Aug 14, 2004 hurricanes Charley *Not all parks where closed
  • Sept 26, 2004 hurricane Jeanne
  • Oct 7, 2016- hurricane Matthew
  • Sept 10 and 11, 2017- hurricane Irma.

What is your favorite fun facts about Disney World?

Must have Disney Apps

Must have Apps for Disney World

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Everywhere you walk today you always see people with their heads down looking at their phone screens playing on some sort of app. Not paying attention to what’s going on around them. This gets very annoying when trying to navigate the crowds at Disney World. It amazes me how many people will be walking around the parks but will have their head down staring at their phone’s screen.

However there are excellent excuses to be looking at your phone while at Disney World, but it shouldn’t be constantly. You do not want to miss out on a magical moment your child will have while at Disney World.

There are hundreds of apps to make your trip at Disney World more magical. These apps will help you plan your trip, navigate around everywhere, take photos, keep notes, etc. No need to pull out the spiral notebook to plan out your entire trip.

If you are preparing for your next adventure to Disney World and are packing your smartphone, we have several apps that will help you plan your vacation, navigate the parks and keep the kids entertained while standing in line to meet Mickey and Minnie.

We know that storage and memory on your phone is always at a premium so we will tell you which apps you need before and during your stay, so you can maintain plenty of storage for all those photos you want to take while at Disney.

If you happen to be worried about using your data, don’t worry you can get access to free WiFi’s all over Walt Disney World.

6 Must Have Apps

1. MyDisneyExperience App

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android

This is the must have app for anyone going to Disney World. Over the years, Disney has done an excellent improving and expanding this app and now eliminates the need for several other apps.

Once you have booked and paid for your vacation. The My Disney Experience app will become your best friend. With this app you can check-in for your resort, book dining reservations, FastPasses, purchase park and special event tickets, order food, check out attraction wait times, view MemoryMaker. About the only thing you can’t do with this app is book your resort rooms.

The My Disney Experience App is only for Walt Disney World Orlando. If you are going to any of the other Properties you will need their app.

2. Disney Countdown Apps

You have just booked your Magical Vacation and the countdown has begun. Why not download and have an app that tracks how many days, hours and minutes left until your vacation.

There are various countdown apps available on Apple and Android that you can download. Two of our favorites are:

Countdown for Disney by Bit3 Computing

DIO Countdown by IMRlabs

Once you get to Disney for your vacation, you can delete this app and free up the space on your phone.

3. Play Disney Parks

Play Disney

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android.

The Play Disney app is an excellent app to have for waiting in those long lines to get on the attractions. Many of the attractions have games that your kids can play on while waiting for the rides.

Download this App once you get to your resort or park for your vacation to save room on your phone.

4. Shop Disney

Official Disney App. Available of Apple and Android

Looking to purchase some Disney merchandise before, during or after your trip then you will need the Shop Disney App. In this app you can purchase all sorts of merchandise including Park specific merchandise.

The one downside we have noticed with this app is not having the ability to find where merchandise is located at in the Parks. Before Disney World upgraded this app early this year, They also had an app known as Shop Disney Parks, which would allow you to search for merchandise and find out where it is located at around Disney.

If you plan to do a lot of shopping at Disney World, download this app. Otherwise you may be able to get away without it.

5. Magic Guides

Non-Official Disney App. Available on Apple of Android

While the MyDisneyExperience has almost everything you would need during your magical vacation, many people will download and use other third-party apps. Out of these various apps this one is my favorite due to the simplicity. If you haven’t been able to mess around with the MyDisneyExperience App, it can be a little confusing.

The Magic Guides uses a very simple list interface which provides wait times, show times, dining and park hours. If you purchase their premium app you can get access to a bathroom finder at Disney World.

You can wait and download this app once you arrive at Disney World for you vacation.

6. Disney World Lines (TP)

Non official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android.

This app has many of the same features as other apps. The features include wait times and park hours. We like this app because it offers a crowd level estimate. For people that visit Disney a lot knowing the crowd levels is important.

These are the 6 must have apps any guest visiting Disney World will need to have to make their trip more enjoyable. What is your must have app for your trip to Disney?


Other great apps to make your trip easier.

Weather Apps

While at Disney you will want to be able to check on the weather during your stay. This will help you better plan your visit. There are hundreds of various downloadable weather apps from free apps to paid apps.

Our family uses the Weather Channel app and Storm Radar to keep an eye on the weather.

Waze

If you are driving down for your vacation. Waze is an excellent traffic and GPS app you should use for your drive down to Disney. Orlando is a busy city navigate through and the roads and signs are sometimes confusing. Waze will help you easily navigate to your destination and help avoid traffic jams.

Lyft

If you are staying on property you will have access to all of Disneys transportation at no cost to you. Sometimes the wait for a bus or monorail can take a while and you may be cramped in the bus for the 30 minute ride back to your hotel. If you don’t want to wait around for the Bus to get to your dinner reservations, you can use Disney’s Minnie Van Service.

Disney has partnered with Lyft and created the Minnie Van service, which provides Lyft service between select Disney resorts and other attractions around Disney World. The best part of the Minnie Van’s is they are operated by Disney Castmembers, so you know you will be getting a well maintained vehicle and professional driver.

I personally feel that the quality of drivers for Lyft are better than Uber. Whenever I need a ride, Lyft seems to almost always have some sort of deal going on.

Friend Tracker

Keeping track of a large party can be difficult when you choose to divide and conquer the parks and/or resorts. A friend tracking app comes in handy for checking in on everyone’s location (especially those teens who never text you back). A little bit of time before heading to the parks to make sure everyone is sharing their locations within the app is helpful. 


Disney+

Disney+ App

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android.

This is the newest must have Disney App. With the release on Disney+ back on Nov 12th. You can now have access to a ton of Disney related movies and TV shows.

Radio Disney

Radio Disney

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android. Cost: Free.

Who doesn’t enjoy listening to music? When Disney music is mentioned most people will think of songs such as “Let it Go” or “Circle of Life.” However with Disney’s reach, their collection on music stretches much farther than you may think. Check out Radio Disney to listen to all the greatest songs.

Radio stations on Radio Disney

Sorcerer Radio

Sorcerer Radio

Available on Apple and Android. Cost: Free

Do you enjoy the music that is played around Disney World? The Sorcerer Radio app is an excellent choice. While the app doesn’t have a lot of flexibility in terms of selecting the music choices. It does play through a wide variety of the music around the parks and resorts.

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey Challenge

Non-Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android. Cost $7.99

If you enjoy searching Disney World for Hidden Mickey’s this app is a must for you. While it doesn’t give away the exact location of every hidden mickey around Disney World. The app does help narrow down their location and help you keep track of which hidden mickey’s you have found.

WDW Today Channel

Available on Apple and Android. Cost: Free

WDW Today Channel

Have you stayed at Disney? The WDW Today Channel has become our son’s favorite channel while staying on property at Disney World. In the resorts the Today Channel, gives guests details of all the daily resort activities and park activities. Unfortunately, the app won’t give you resort specific details. the App will play the wonderful background music and give you the daily activities of the parks.


There are 100s of potentially great apps to use for your next magical vacation to Disney World. These are our go to Disney apps and ones that we always seem to go back to and use for every trip to Disney World. What is your favorite app to use while at Disney World?

New Attractions coming to Disney World

New Attractions at Disney World

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Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary is coming up on October 1, 2021. Disney has been getting busy preparing for this event. Disney is always updating and adjusting our experiences at Disney World. We will see a lot of new attractions when the 50th Anniversary in October 2021 occurs. Epcot will probaby see the most changes. If it has been a while since you have visited, expect the parks to be a lot different than what you remember.

We are excited for all these changes coming to Disney World. Disney will be introducing new attractions, restaurants and experiences for guests of all ages. There are currently over 20 new attractions and/or attraction renovations in preparation for the 50th anniversary. Who knows how many other renovations will be accomplished before October 20212. 

Hollywood Studios recently added Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge. Magic Kingdom is finishing up some large renovations of the moat around Cinderella’s castle. Animal Kingdom’s Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopened during the summer of 2019 after being closed for renovations. 

Below is the current list of construction projects that we know about happening around Walt Disney World. It seems to be that Disney World is currently focusing the majority of their renovations on Epcot presently. However, the 50th Anniversary is still 2 years away, so they can easily add other projects. 

Magic Kingdom

New Attractions Disney World
  • Tron Coaster- (Magic Kingdom, Opening 2021)- This attraction is based on a park favorite Tron Lightcycle Power Run at the Shanghai Park. Guest will ride a two-wheeled Lightcycle in a thrilling race. 

Epcot

  • Epcot Forever (Epcot World Showcase Set to debut on October 1, 2019 at 9p. This nighttime spectacular will replace Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, while Imagineers work on the newest firework show at the World’s showcase. Epcot Forever will take viewers through the story of Epcot and its journey. The show will lead us through an epic night time journey of everything we love about Epcot and everything that is coming of Epcot. 
  • Space 2020 (Epcot, Opening Winter 2019)- The Mission Space pavilion is getting a new culinary experience, which will transport guests from earth to 220 miles into space. A special elevator will transport you up to the space station for dinner. Along the way you will be able to enjoy daytime and nighttime views of earth from 220 miles up. 
  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (Epcot, Opening Late 2019/Spring 2020). This new location is going to be a modern smokehouse, giving BBQ lovers all the familiar sights and smells they love when they think of BBQ. Regal Eagle Smokehouse will replace the Liberty Inn Restaurant. 
  • Land’s Pavilion’s film “Awesome Planet”- (Epcot, Opening January 17, 2020)- A new film which will feature a dynastic story of our planet.
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-along (Epcot World Showcase, Opening January 17, 2020). This is the first of many new attractions heading to the World showcase, this is the first of 3 new attractions heading to the France Pavilion.
  • Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 (Epcot World Showcase, Opening January 17, 2020). Not a lot of details have been released regarding this show. However, it will replace the current Canada show. 
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventures- (Epcot World Showcase, Opening Summer 2020)- Is expected to be very similar to the one at Disneyland. Where guests shrink down to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure.
  • Le Creperie de Paris restaurant- (Epcot World Showcase, Opening Summer 2020)- This new Restaurant in the French pavilion of the world showcase will offer table and quick service featuring menu from chef Jerome Bocuse.
  • HarmonioUS- (Epcot World Showcase, Late 2020/Spring 2021). When HarmonioUS debuts at the World Showcase it will be the largest nighttime spectacular ever created. Celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people of the world. The show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
  • Journey of Water, inspired by “Moana” (Epcot, Opening 2021) This experience is the first experience inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studio film in which guests will be able to interact with the living water in an inspiring setting. 
  • Guardian of Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind- (Epcot, Opening Summer 2021). When this attraction opens in the Summer of 2021, it will be one of the largest fully enclosed roller coasters and will be Disney’s first reverse launch roller coaster.
  • Play Pavilion (Epcot, Opening Fall 2021)- This new pavilion is taking a note out of the original concept for Epcot. The Play Pavilion will be a space devoted to features that you would expect to see in an innovative city. The pavilion’s city will be a digital metropolis, be an interactive city with games, activities and experiences that connect with beloved Disney characters. The Play Pavilion will be repacking the the Wonder of Life pavilion. 
  • Mary Poppinn inspired attraction (Epcot World Showcase, Opening Unknown). Cherry Tree lane will join the United Kingdom Pavilion, as a new neighborhood. Take a step down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s House, Enter house #17 where the adventure begins.
  • Spaceship earth (Epcot, Opening Unknown)- new narration and new musical score moments and ideas that define our story. 
  • Dreamers Point (Epcot, Opening Unknown). As you exit Spaceship earth, guests will discover breathtaking views of World Showcase.
  • New Event Pavilion (Epcot, Opening Unknown). The new pavilion will be constructed where the current World Showcase Plaza is located. This new pavilion will be the new home base for all of Epcot’s signature festivals. This pavilion will be a three story structure and is said to provide stunning views of the World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: Rise of Resistance (Hollywood Studios, Opening Dec 5, 2019). With the recent opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney is putting the finishing touches on the 2nd ride for this area of Hollywood Studios. According to Disney World, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be a massive, multi-platform, attraction that is like nothing we have experienced. When you step onto this ride you will be accepting a mission from the Resistance to fight the First Order, who are desperate to eliminate the Resistance.
  • Mickey and Minnie Railways (Hollywood Studios, March 4, 2020)- Guests will step into the Chinese Theatre and be thrown directly into the cartoon world for a Goofy adventure aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. This attraction will be inspired by the Mickey Mouse cartoon. 
  • Roundup Rodeo BBQ Table Service Restaurant (Hollywood Studios, Opening Late 2020/Early 2021).  The restaurant be based on rodeo festivities. This restaurant will provide much needed seating and indoor space in the new Toy Story land. 

Animal Kingdom

  • None

Resorts

  • Disney Rivera Hotel (Opening December 2019). The newest Disney Vacation Club Resort will provide a European feel with its castles and fairy-tale villages.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruise- One of Disney’s latest resort concepts, providing guests a unique experience into the Star Wars. This hotel experience will be unlike any other hotels around. Will require a minimum of a 2 night stay in which guests will be transported into a Galactic starcruiser.
  • Reflection- A disney lakeside village (Opening 2022). Another Disney Vacation Club resort is being constructed near Disney Ft Wilderness Campground. 

Disney Springs

  • Ron Jon Surf Shop- (Disney Springs, Opening Fall 2019)- The newest store to Disney Springs is Ron Jon Surf shop in Town Center. This store will provide all your beach essentials.
  • Ample HIll Cremery- Ice cream for the Northerners in the South. Even tons of uniquely flavored ice cream. Many flavors inspired by the local surrounding.
  • Beatrix- Replacing the former Bongos Restaurant. Beatrix will bring a flair of local flair with a good mix of healthy options. The restaurant will include a bakery and a full service bar.

With all these upcoming attractions and changes to various attractions around Disney World. We will see many of our favorite attractions closing. It may be a temporary closure or a permanent closure to allow for a new attraction.

Closing Attractions

  • No Attractions scheduled to permanently close at this time

Make sure you follow us on Facebook and checkout our photos of the various construction projects happening around Walt Disney World.

What is your favorite upcoming attraction to Disney World? What attraction are you sad to see go?

Christmas at Disney World

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Christmas is a favorite time of year for most people. We all love driving around the neighborhoods looking at the Christmas lights and decorations. Who doesn’t love all the smells of Christmas as well? Christmas is our favorite holiday of the year. Christmas at Disney brings a whole new level to the holiday festivities.

Spending time at Disney World during Christmas is one of your favorite times of the year. Because there is so much for you to do at Disney World during Christmas. There are Christmas events around the Parks, Resorts and Disney Springs. If you are staying on property or off property there will be activities for you. Best part is a lot of the activities can be done without heading into the parks. That’s a bonus because you will not have to spend extra money on a ticket.

However, one of the best Christmas activities at Disney World during Christmas is the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This party along with the Candlelight Processional have probably been two of my favorite activities around Disney World.

Beginning on November 8th, Christmas will arrive at Disney World with Merry festivities for everybody in the family.

Christmas at the Parks

Cinderella’s Castle MK
Photo Credit: Magicguides.com

Just like every other holiday, Disney pulls out everything for the Holidays and turns Disney into a Christmas wonderland. If you are visiting the parks during November or December you will need to make sure you check them out in the evening. The parks are gorgeous when all the Christmas lights light up.

Animal Kingdom

This year Animal Kingdom will see it’s largest display of Holiday decorations in nearly two decades.

  • Guests will have the opportunity to dance with Chip ‘n Dale at the Hoopla Dance Party with DJ-led.
  • The Tree of Life will come alive with a series of wintry tales backed by a heartwarming holiday musical. Causing the tree to shimmer and sparkle throughout the night
  • In Discovery Island, guest will be immersed in the holiday season. Life size animal puppets will mingle with villagers. As the sun sets rooftop luminaries shaped as animals will light up around Discovery Island.
  • Guests will be able to experience an out-of-this world holiday experience at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Whimsical holiday decorations will be displayed at Pongu.

Magic Kingdom

Entrance to Magic Kingdom
Photo Credit: Magicguides.com
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns this year beginning on Nov 8th for 23 select nights throughout November and December. During the Party guests will be able to have their photos taken with the characters dressed in their Christmas gear and enjoy complimentary treats throughout the park.

Dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

  • November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24
  • December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22
  • Notably, this year Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks will debut during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In addition to this new firework show, guests attending the party will be able to enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Shows.
  • Queen Elsa will transform Cinderella’s Castle with glistening ice during the Frozen Holiday Wish stage show.
Magic Kingdom Christmas Cookie Sundae
Christmas Cookie Sundae at Magic Kingdom

Epcot

  • Experience the Holidays around the world at Epcot’s International Festival of Holidays. Which occurs between November 29 and December 30. Guest will have the chance to enjoy special holiday treats from various countries around the world. We will also be able to capture special holiday entertainment from around the world.
  • Annual Passholders make sure you take advantage and get your new Chip and Dale passholder magnets.
Chip and Dale Passholder Magnet
Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog
  • Santa and Mrs. Clause will be making an appearance at The American Adventures pavilion.
  • One of our favorite holiday festivities The Candlelight Processional at the America’s Theater. Celebrity Narrators will take guests through the Christmas story with a live orchestra and choir. Performances will occur nightly between November 29 through December 30 at 5:00PM, 6:45PM and 8:45PM.
  • List of Celebrity Narrators
    • Ming-Na Wen: Nov 29 to Dec 1
    • Neil Patrick Harris: Dec 2 to Dec 5
    • Whoopi Goldberg: Dec 6 to Dec 7
    • Isabella Rossellini: Dec 8 to Dec 10
    • Chita Rivera: Dec 11 to Dec 12
    • Gary Sinise: Dec 13 to Dec 15
    • Pat Sakai: Dec 16 to Dec 18
    • Warwick Davis: Dec 19 to Dec 21
    • Steven Curtis Chapman: Dec 22 to Dec 24
    • Edward James Olmos: Dec 25 to Dec 26
    • Marlee Matlin: Dec 27 to Dec 28
    • Lisa Ling: Dec 29 to Dec 30

Hollywood Studios

  • Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM spectacular will treat guest to iconic music, fireworks, special effects and projections giving a one of a kind experience at the Chinese Theater.
  • Olaf will relieve a special holiday finale: For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along

For guests who are looking to enjoy Christmas at Disney without breaking the bank, there are many activities and sights for you to enjoy at the resorts and Disney Springs.

Christmas at Disney Springs

Disney Springs is the perfect place to begin all your holiday shopping. Here you can find a wide variety of shopping options where you can find gifts for everybody on your Christmas list.

One of our favorite things to do at Disney Springs is visit the Christmas Tree Trail. Visitors can take a stroll down the trail and enjoy many custom-decorated holiday trees. Each tree is dedicated to a different Disney theme. The Christmas Tree Trail will be open from Nov 8, 2019 to Jan 5, 2020

Christmas Tree Trail Tree Themes

  • Cinderalla
  • Dumbo
  • Fantasia
  • Frozen
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Mary Poppins
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
  • Mulan
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Robin Hood
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow White
  • Star Wars
  • Tangled
  • The Lion King
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Prince & The Frog
  • Theme Parks
  • Toy Story
  • Villains

In addition to Christmas Tree Trail, your kids can join in on Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt. Guests will be able to discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.

Disney Resorts

Christmas at Disney Pin

After you have taken a stroll through Disney Springs and are ready for some air conditioning. Head over to Disney’s Grand Floridiann Resort and Spa and checkout a life-size holiday gingerbread house. This is an excellent place to pick up a tasty treat to finish off the night.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be home to a life-size edible carousel. Or you can stroll around the Holiday village at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

What is your favorite holiday experience at Disney World? We always look forward to the Candlelight processional.

Souvenirs to Collect at Disney

Fun Souvenirs to Collect at Disney World

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You have just spent all your money on a magical trip to Disney World for your family. Everybody is going to want souvenirs from the trip. You can easily walk into any store in Disney and spend several hundred dollars on various souvenirs and gifts. Many which will end up either broken before the end of the trip or buried in the kids toy chest when you get home. 

It’s OK to splurge on some souvenirs. Go ahead and get the large Buzz toy. Why not get them excited about other souvenirs that they can get while at Disney. The best part these souvenirs shouldn’t break the bank. Ok, I say shouldn’t because you can go crazy on some of these souvenirs and amass large collections of them.

There are many souvenirs for your family to collect while at Disney World and the best part is that many of them are free or don’t break the bank. You will be surprised you will probaby enjoy trying to find them and get them while visiting Disney. The kids or yourself may actually enjoy these items more so than that $30 Buzz Lightyear toy you bought them.

The best part about the souvenirs listed here is that they are relatively inexpensive and you can get new ones each time you come.

10 Fun Souvenirs to Collect

Here are 10 fun souvenirs for you and your family to collect while at Disney World. Listed in no particular order

1. Pressed Pennies

51 cents and you can get a penny pressed with a Disney World character or theme on it. Some of the challenge is trying to find the penny press machines. They are located all over the parks. But, many times they aren’t easily spotted because they are tucked in store or at the end of an attraction. 

Disney’s Collectible Pennies

OK, if your like my family this probably won’t end up being a cheap souvenir or hobby while at Disney. We enjoy going around the parks searching for new pennies. There are over 75 penny machines located throughout Disney. Many of these machines have 3 and 4 options to choose from. Additionally, there are several machines that offer up a quarter option.

2. Passholder Magnets

This isn’t for everybody, but if you are an annual passholder this is a perfect souvenir for you to collect. The best part about them is they are free and don’t take a lot of space to store. All you have to do is go to the park that has them at the particular time, scan your magicband and show your ID to get your magnet. Typically they will have the passholder magnets out during special events throughout the year. Our outside fridge is covered in these magnets. If you want to start collecting these magnets, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out when new magnets will be introduced.

3. Stickers

When you are walking around Disney with a toddler chances are a cast member will walk up to your child with a roll of stickers and hand them some. Our son almost always gets a handful of stickers every trip to Disney. Most of the time the stickers will be Mickey Mouse stickers. They do have other ones available you will just have to find the right cast member. This can be a great way to get your kid to go up to cast members and ask questions.

4. Buttons

Whenever you walk around disney you will see people wear buttons on their clothing that say “happy birthday”, “my first visit” or whatever else they want to have on the button. You can get a free button by visiting guest relations at a park or resort. Disney has limited options for the one’s they will give you at guest services, but you can write whatever you want on them. 

Disney Buttons

You can expand this collection by buying buttons. There are all sorts of different buttons that you can buy at the stores. Typically they come in packs of two and cost $9.99.

5. Disney Trading Pins

Of this list, Disney Trading pins will be the most expensive souvenir. However if you frequent any of Disney’s property’s these are a great souvenir to begin collect. At the parks you can get a Pin for between $8 and $15 dollars. The best part of collecting is that you can trade them with a cast member or another pin trader. Many of the Disney Pin Mystery packs have two pins in them, so if there is one you don’t like go ahead and trade it for one you want. The Disney outlet stores in Orlando are a great place to stock on up the pins at a lower cost. Parents if you are wanting a Disney hobby for yourself, get your kids involved in this one and use them to get extra pins. 

Disney Trading Pin Starter Sets

You can get a starter pin set for around $30 depending on the set. The set will come with with 3 to 5 pins and a lanyard for you to start with. 

6. Transportation Trading Cards

This isn’t a very known souvenir and not something many people ask for nor do cast members hand them out readily. However Disney does have a set of transportation trading cards that you can collect. You can collect monorail, bus and tram cards. There are 27 cards for you to collect. The next time you are on a boat, monorail or ferry as the captain/operator if they have any cards. They may or may not have some, they don’t carry a lot with them.

7. Sorcerers Cards at Magic Kingdom

The Sorcerers cards at Magic Kingdom is more of game throughout the park in which you try to defeat the Disney Villains. Each day guests can receive a map and two cards from the firehouse on Main Street. There are roughly 70 different cards for you to collect here. 

Sorcerers cards magic kingdom

8. Maps an Brochures

This may not be a fun one for everyone, but it’s a great way for you to keep a great memory of your trip to Disney World. There are lots of different maps and brochures you can collect from your adventures around Disney World. You can collect the standard park maps. Disney will also publish special maps and brochures for various events and new attractions. When they opened up the new Star Wars land, they created a special edition map of the park. Any of the festivals that happen around Epcot always have a pamphlet for you to use and enjoy.  I guarantee if you save your and look at it in 10 years the park will be different.

9. Charactor Signatures

Of all the free souviners at Disney world, this one is will take a lot of patience standing in line to get. Your little ones will probaby enjoy this the most because they do get to see the characters. Grab yourself an autograph book and sharpie then hit up the character meet and greet spots located throughout the parks. The characters will sign the book and you also get your picture taken with the characters. Only downside to this is that sometimes the waits to see a character can last well over an hour. 

Character meet and greets occur at various times throughout the park with the charactor usually hanging around for 15-20 minutes before they have to take a quick break and come back. 

10. Postcards

Another great souvenir I recently have found at Disney World are postcards. You can find all different kinds of postcards in the resort gift shops and at the shops throughout the parks. Postcards can be purchased for either $1.99 or $2.99.

The best thing about Postcards is that you can purchase them at Disney World and mail them back home to yourself or kids.

These are 10 great souvenirs ideas that you can collect during your visits to Disney World. The best part about these are that you can continue to collect them and expand your collections each time you visit Disney. They aren’t just limited to Disney World in Orlando, you can collect and expand your collections if you visit any other Disney property.

What is your favorite souvenir to collect while visiting Disney World?

Free activities at disney world

Free Activities at Disney World

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You have just spent a ton of money on your magical vacation to Disney World. You are trying to do everything you can to make it special for your kids and have them enjoy it. Searching Pinterest you can find all sorts of activities to do around Disney World. You may be surprised at the number of free activities for you and the family around Disney World.

Some of the free activities do require a park ticket. Once you get into the parks, it will be easy to spend a lot of money making your kids happy. Disney offers a lot of extra activities for a cost. However, there are a lot of free activities available to you during your visit.

There are free activities available at the parks, resorts and Disney Springs, so you don’t necessarily need a ticket to a park to enjoy these free activities. Some activities will however be better enjoyed while in the parks.

Disney World has a ton of activities available to your and your family. Here is our list of the Top free activities to enjoy while at Disney World.

Top Free Activities at Disney World

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey’s are probably everybody’s favorite activity while exploring Disney World. Disney is know for creating speculator displays and decorations around the parks and resorts. Imagineers took this one step further and have hidden mickey heads or silhouettes throughout many of the attractions and resort.

Hidden Mickey Challenge
Can you find the Hidden Mickey in this picture?

Hidden Mickey’s are mickey heads that are created into various elements around Disney World. You can spot hidden mickey’s in the gardens, throughout attractions, in the chandeliers around resorts. There are 1000s of hidden mickey’s for you to search for. You purchase books online to help you track down all the hidden mickey’s around the world.

Hidden Mickey Challenge
Track the number of Hidden Mickey’s you find throughout the parks. Download our free Hidden Mickey tracker. Print it out on card-stock paper and have fun finding hidden mickeys.

Resort Hoping

Resort hoping
Photo Credit: MagicGuides.com

Resort Hoping is a favorite activity of many passholders and guests who are looking for a good time at Disney World without spending time inside the parks. With more than 20 resorts around Disney World. Each being themed differently, having different restaurants, shops, and activities for your entire family. Best part is that you don’t have to be a resort guest to guest hop. Resort hoping during the holidays is one of our favorite activities. Due to the fact that each resort is decorated different and many have special activities and displays for us to enjoy. Holidays at Disney World!

Movies

The resorts will have movie night out on the lawn. Check with your resort as its not every night for all resorts. If you are looking for an evening activity with your kids, this is a great way to end your day.

Check here for the current movies playing at the various resorts. They are always changing. Unfortunately they only publish the movie list at the beginning of the month.

Fireworks

One thing Disney does well are their evening firework shows. Disney has firework shows at 3 of the 4 parks. Many people think that you can only get fireworks at the parks. However you can get excellent views of the firework shows throughout Disney property without having to be in a park. The Magic Kingdom evening fireworks shows can be seen from the Contemporary Resort and the beach at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. We have even watched the Fireworks from our car in the parking lot.

Parades

In addition to the fireworks, Disney World has awesome parades in the parks. Every day there are several parades for guests throughout the parks. There is only one parade that does not require a park ticket to watch. The Electric Light parade is the only parade that does not require a park admission. This parade goes around the 7 Seas Lagoon and can be viewed from the Dock at the Wilderness Lodge or the beach of Ft. Wilderness Campground.

Concerts

Who doesn’t love listening to live music. Disney World has several amphitheater’s around the property which almost always have a concert going on. The most popular amphitheater is the America Garden Theater in Epcot’s World Showcase. This amphitheater hosts the annual Eat to the Beat, Candlelight Processional and many other concerts. A park ticket is required to get into Epcot for these. If you are looking to attend a concert at Disney without buying a park ticket head over to Disney Springs. Not only do they have concerts at the Marketplace Stage or the House of Blues, but there are always live street entertainers throughout Disney Springs.

Disney Springs

Image of Disney Springs

You do not have to be a resort guest or have a park ticket to go and enjoy Disney Springs. Disney Springs has a lot to offer. Many of the activities are free but there are also many activities which require an admission fee.

Disney’s Boardwalk

Ok we have already mentioned resort hopping as an excellent free activity. Boardwalk has a lot of extra activities, that you can’t find at other resorts. Disney’s Boardwalk has several live entertainment venues, several dining options. Enjoy the street performers around the Boardwalk or even head over to the Atlantic Dance Hall.

Kidcot Crafts

Kidcot Location

Disney provides kid activities at each of the pavilions around the world at Epcot known as Kidcot Crafts. These stations are called Kidcot Crafts and offer supplies so you can color, draw and collect activity cards at each pavilion.

Sorcerer at Magic Kingdom

Sorcerer at Magic Kingdom

Are you looking to save Magic Kingdom? Grab your Sorcerer cards at the Fire station on Main Street and help defeat the villains and save Magic Kingdom. Players will find portals located throughout Magic Kingdom in which players tap their magic bands and follow the screens to play the game.

Wilderness Explorer

Grab a wilderness explorer handbook and go on a self guided exploration around Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Wilderness guides throughout the park will help orient you so you can accomplish different tasks throughout the parks. Make sure you grab your badge after you complete each task. Don’t worry you will not have to complete the entire handbook in one visit.

Agent P’s Adventures

Become a secret agent and help Perry in his quest to prevent world domination around Epcot’s World showcase. All you need is a phone and you can begin your mission. Use the Play Disney Parks app to play. Your phone will provide you you clues to help solve each mission as you travel around the world. Your progress will only be saved for the day. So if you do not complete it in one day, you will have to start over.

Finding Hidden Mickey’s and Resort Hoping are our two favorite free activities to do while at Disney World. What is your favorite activity while at Disney World?

Free activities at Walt Disney World