Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Joyeuses Fêtes!

Felices Fiestas!

Trevlig Helg!

Boas Festas!

Sarbatori Fericite!

Jie Ri Yu Kuai!

Bones Festes!

Tanoshii kurisumasu wo!

Buone Feste!

Forhe Feiertage!

Prettige feestdagen!

Hau’oli Lanui!

Beannachtaí na Féile!

Vesele Praznike!

Sretni praznici!

Fun After the Indiana Jones Show

Monday, December 10th, 2012

What do you do after you visited the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! show in the Disney Hollywood Studios. Run straight to the next attraction? Get yourself a bite to eat or something to drink? Try to find a gift, collectable or even a Indiana Jones hat in the store? All fun choices of course, but there is another option one might overlook.

Once you leave to show area you should go to the right hand side and walk up into the street full of Indiana Jones related goodies. There is a real fun display with tanks, trucks and other army stuff related to the Indiana Jones movies. It is a perfect place for a photo opportunity.

You can take pictures of all the goodies as they are (The way I prefer it and how you’ll see it in these pictures here on the blog), or you can make it a perfect background for the Indiana fans. Maybe have your group or your children act out some fun scenes from the movie or the stunt show. Without the dangerous stunts of course.

Remember the “don’t do this at home” lines, they count here too.

Whatever the option is, don’t just walk by it. There is just to much to see and appreciate in those great displays around the park. This is just one of the many great decorations you’ll find all over Walt Disney World ideal for photo opportunities. There are many other once out there.

Don’t forget though! Share your fun pictures on the web for all Disney fans to enjoy. Happy picture hunting…

All That New Walt Disney World Stuff

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Isn’t it amazing how much new stuff just has been added to Walt Disney World. The new Fantasyland looks amazing and brings us many big new wonderful things. The Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid looks like real fun. Not only the ride, but even the interactive queue area sounds like fun. The Be our Guest Restaurant is already an absolute winner with dining reservations being very hard to get. Enchanted Tales with Belle and Ariel’s Grotto brings you closer to even more the beloved characters and their stories. I can’t wait to see and experience it all. If I only knew when that day will be. Knowing that all the new attractions and experiences are there but you don’t have a date set yet to go and visit it is no fun. But I guess I am not the only one who would go and see all that wonderful stuff. And isn’t that why Disney does it? To lure us all back in? However I guess we fans don’t even need that much to be convinced to book a next trip. How many returning visitors will this update bring? Or even new visitors? It will be an overhaul that will bring many, many people to the park. With only a couple of days open and the big press event behind it, success can already be seen.

But there is even more to draw in all us fans and regulars to the park. How about Storybook Circus with the redecorated Barnstormer, The Dual Dumbo’s and Casey’s Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. Another reason to visit the magic. And the end is not there yet as more expansions will be opening. Princess Fairytale Hall and the highly anticipated Seven Dwarf Mine Train. I guess those guest going to visit the new Fantasyland now will also be drawn back for those too, while others might wait till the whole area has been refurbished and ready.

But there is even more new stuff going on in the World. Epcot’s Test Track is open and people are speaking of STAND_BY lines all the way from Innoventions… That is a long queue! But looking at the early videos of the ride it looks like the wait is well worth it.

It is great to see all these new things happening in the world. I just wish I could be there to see them happening. But I will have to work a little on my patience. I miss Walt Disney World though, just like I miss being here on the Mousekingdom blog. Maybe this is the right time to get this project out of hibernation a little. It would be nice to talk more Disney again in anticipation towards my next trip. It is in the planning. Just no set date yet. So until we see each other in the park, I hope to see you again on this blog. But for those going to see all the new stuff; enjoy it! And then share it…

Disney Buys Lucasfilm and Opens door for new Star Wars Movie

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Disney has already proven that they can successfully buy a big franchise and make it even more successful. Just look at the Marvel and the current successes at the box office. Disney has done it again by buying the Lucasfilm and will be looking at expanding not only the Disney family, but also expanding the Star Wars universe. The deal is worth $4 billion and is the biggest buy out deal Disney ever made and the fourth biggest buy out deal up to date. Disney will pony up half of the total in cash and will issue another part in 40 million shares.

This opens the doors to many new Star Wars films and Disney CEO Robert Iger already mention that we can expect a new Star Wars film every 2 or 3 years. George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars universe, is ready to pass on his legacy.

 “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next, It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers”
George Lucas

With this deal Disney will acquire full ownership of Star Wars franchise as well as the cutting edge technology from Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and more. Current Lucasfilm Co-Chairman, Kathleen Kennedy, will become the president of the Lucasfilm department.

Star Wars Episode 7 will be the first movie that will come from this deal. While Disney has full control of the new Star Wars movie, George Lucas will still play a part of the process as a creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is set for a 2015 release.

The possibilities with this new deal are endless. One can only hope that Star Wars will find an even more prominent place in the parks. There have been rumors of expansions at the Disney Hollywood Studios for a while. (example a Cantina) This deal could be that little extra push to see this happening even sooner then the fans had hoped for. This is just the beginning of a big story, one that we will follow closely for sure.

Sandy’s Rocking the Boat

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

First of all we hope that all our visitors who have encountered the force Sandy are save and well.

The scarey force of nature has also visited the Disney Fantasy ship and not only rocked the boat but did some damage there too. Have a look at the three video’s on the page to see how the boat rocks from side to sind and how the water from the pool covered the boats deck. According to some of the news we got the Cast Members with 10 years of experience said it was the worst they ever seen and at one point the captain asked that everybody would stay in their room.

Different Angles at Walt Disney World

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Visiting a Walt Disney World park is all about fun. Fun at the attractions, at the eateries, at the hotel, and a lot more. For some guests one fun element about visiting the parks taking pictures. Me, I am one of these people.

Unfortunately not everybody in my family appreciates the constant stopping to take pictures, but I love it and can’t help myself taking pictures all the time. I did keep my promise to my son to leave the camera at the hotel on some days, but on other days I just clicked away.

A fun thing about taking pictures at Walt Disney World is trying to find some angles that are a little more uncommon. I am no fan of pictures with a lot of strangers on it and therefor I am always trying to find spots where I can leave the tourists out of my frame. By doing this I look at some spots that others might not use to take a picture from. It adds to the fun and gives a whole new look to the park.

It’s not always easy to get that shot without the other guests, but if I take my time I’ll find the right place for yet another unusual picture.

In this collection you can see how I try to get the castle from another view using some of the greenery that surrounds the castle. You can even get the castle into a green frame if you look around a little. Or you can use some of the rock works in the area to create some extra dept. It will not be your average holiday picture but could compliment them nicely when creating that photo book you want to show off. And don’t forget that you can never have enough pictures of the castle anyway, so why not try to find that different angle.

You can do the same thing with other iconic buildings in the park. Get that amazing Tower of Terror Hollywood Hotel popping up from behind some trees. Get a far shot of Expedition Everest without all the action around it or even get a close up from part of the iconic Spaceship Earth building. These are only a couple of ideas as there are unlimited options on taking that different pictures.

The picture I make are not that hard to take. You don’t need a big fancy camera (although those little point and shoots might be not the best option). These pictures are in no way professional and can be taken by anybody with some imagination. Of course you will be able to get even better shots with that big special camera, but for those that don’t want to spend to much on the equipment should just use the camera they own. At the end of the day it’s all about having some fun.

If you do like those amazing spectacular pictures have a look at this collection of Disneyland Paris gems in our side glance category!

Underneath some more pictures from another angle

Only an Empty Queue…

Monday, July 16th, 2012

…is a good queue. Who really likes standing in a long queue? Would it not be nicer to just walk straight on to the attraction. It is possible. Just have a look at the picture of the Big Thunder Mountain Queue in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Doesn’t that look like a queue you want to see on your visit? I know I do. This pictures dates back to December 25. That’s a very busy period for Walt Disney World, but you can still plan to enter one of your favorite attractions without the long queue. Even on busy days. So you might already have an idea when this was taken. Right. Very early in the morning. But it is well worth getting up for.

I know and understand that many people see it as a holiday and want to sleep in a little. But when you get up early you can do many rides with these kinds of queues. Once the clock hits 11AM the guests seem to flog the park. (You can set you clock to it). By that time I’ve done multiple attractions (in this case I did BTM 3 times without a queue) and you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the pool…. stress free!

WDW Planning Part 3: There is more…

Monday, July 16th, 2012

…than only Walt Disney World Resort. Really? Is there?

As a Disney addict I never want to admit it! But, yes. There is more. So of course we do plan some things outside of the Walt Disney World Resort too. Some of these things already made it on our to do list. Even if the holiday is still more then a year away. What did already made it on the early holiday plan? Let’s have a look.

Last time it was so cold in Orlando, (did you ever think that could happen) that Universal Studios never even opened their new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Coaster. To cold to operate a roller coaster? Well, as we where in the park on that cold January 2012 day we had to miss that ride. A reason to put it back on the list for the next trip. Also back on the list is another visit to Discovery Cove. It was going to be a one of but swimming with the Dolphins is amazing and we need to go back next time. So it will be no surprise that we will also visit Seaworld again as you’ll get your complimentary ticket when you visit Discovery Cove.

Another park that is on the to do list is Legoland. I have seen the original in Denmark so this time it’s time to see what they did in Orlando. But we need to look into transportation for that one as I want to avoid renting a car during my holiday.

That’s only a beginning of our very early Walt Disney World plans. There is a lot more to look at and a lot more we would add. It’s early planning, but like I mentioned before, that’s part of the fun. It is never to early to plan your next Walt Disney World Holiday. So, How far do you plan ahead?…

WDW Planning Part 2: What to do…

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

… If you’ve seen it all before. OK! That is not really fair to say as Walt Disney World is so big, there is always new stuff to do. First of all there will be a whole new Fantasyland to explore. That is something to really look forwards too. The new area promises to look awesome once completely finished and that alone is reason enough to visit Walt Disney World again. It will take a couple of days to take it all in and to discover all the new Disney magic that will have been added in the updated land.

Planning a next trip includes looking at the special things you want to do and don’t want to miss. While planning your hotel, flights and other transport is important, it is more fun to add the things you want to see and do on your early planning list. Fantasyland is one of them. But of course there is more that will make it on the early planning list. Your regular 4 gates visit might speak for itself of course, but let’s have a look at all the other Disney Magic stuff that should make our next visits’ list.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon; I didn’t go the last two times and once I return home I always am sad about it. I love this park so much it has to go on our list. First of all am I a big fan of the Castaway Creek Lazy River, but I also love the wave pool and would love to go on the Crush ‘n’ Gusher again.  That is one great attraction. Let’s also not forget about Shark Reef. That swim with the sharks is just way to much fun.

Dining; Sometimes you do things that you regret. On our last visit I canceled our reservations at Le Cellier Steakhouse. I am still kicking myself for that mistake. This one is already on our trip plan. Not easy to get in on a decent hour, but I’ll be calling very early for that reservation. Everybody is always raving on about their Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and I now want to know what it is all about. It was the reason I put it on the list on my previous trip. Why did I cancel it?…

Traditionally a dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub Dining room is also on the early planning list. This one always makes it on the list. Last evening of the trip with a nice meal and a great view of Illuminations. Jiko is also on the early planning list. It is a favorite of ours. Great food and great location in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We might eat there a couple of times. But these are only the once we already know for sure. Others restaurants will make it to the list but as we still have over a year to go, it is nice to not know everything yet. (see part 1)

That’s already a nice list for a trip that is still over a year away. Still a lot of time to add and tweak. It’s all part of the planning fun. And you? Do you plan this early in advance?

WDW Planning Part 1: How Far Do You Plan in Advance?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

When it comes to a Disney trip, planning is part of the fun. It not only give you that knowledge you’ll be going, but you will have some Disney magic going for you before the trip itself. Most trips might get planned a couple of months in advanced, but when it comes to a Walt Disney World trip, planning can start a lot earlier. Sometimes over a year in advance! At least that’s how I work when it comes to planning a WDW trip.

First question of course is when to go. In my family’s case options are limited because of school time. So our trip needs to be molded around that for most of the time. That gives us two options for our next trip.

Option one; A trip during Christmas and New year 2013/2014.

Option two; A trip starting from the middle of June 2014.

No, no! Those dates are correct. Our next family trip will be somewhere in 2013 and/or 2014. Is that planning it to far ahead? It looks far away and one might feel a little sad if you still have to wait that long but when you look at it from the bright side, with this early planning, I’ll be having a lot of fun.

So there are 2 possible dates as I mentioned before. This could be the last two weeks of December and a week in January or it could be the last two weeks on June and the first week in July. Both dates have their advantages and disadvantages. Heavy Christmas crowds can be a little daunting but you’ll be away from the summer heat while early summer period will still be low on crowds (US schools still in session, but the heat might already be a struggle. Of course there are other things to look at but these are just a couple of examples. Although we love the Christmas time (our last trip was during the holidays), the second option looks like the one we will go for this time.

So what do I plan so far in advance (once we set the date)? Although you can’t book a hotel yet looking at the locations where to stay is one of the first things I do for my family and me. As we are Disney Vacation Club Members it is also a bit of a given that this takes place so far in advance. We need to make sure to book at the 11 month window, otherwise we might not be able to get the room we want. So this is a good reason to start booking so early. Or maybe it is just another excuse to start planning over a year in advance. The hotels are a part of the Disney Magic, so it can happen that we do some Hotel hopping and stay at different resort. I would love to stay a couple of days at the new Disney’s Art of Animation resort. Just to see and experience it as it looks great. Another place I would love to stay at is either the Disney’s Beach Club Villas or the Disney’s Board Walk Villas. I love that erea and it would give me easy access to my favorite park with my favorite show; Epcot and Illuminations. But our main home resort is Old Key West, so it is no surprise that this one will be the one we will stay at the longest. Will I do have some Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vacation Club point too, we might use these for another location this time around.

More in Part two!

We Are Back

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

It has been a while since you’ve seen an update here but as you can see we are back in action.

So what happened? Why where we gone?

Well, we had to fight some technical difficulties on the blog that had forced it into a complete black-out.

It took a while to find the error, but as you can see the Mousekingdom blog is back on-line. Unfortunately we did loose some date, but that will not stop us from adding new stuff.

So if you like Walt Disney, Disney Parks, Disney movies and anything else related to the world of Disney (and more), brace yourself as we are ready for GO!…

Trip Diaries Day 16: Harry Potter Time

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Today was Harry Potter day. No, I am not a fan and haven’t even seen all of the movies (only two so far), but we are planning a Potter marathon in the near future to catch up. We left to Universal very early in the morning to make sure we would be there before the big crowds. Well, even with another 30 minutes to go before opening there was already a big queue at the gates of islands of adventures. Got ourselves the 2 park tickets and the VIP passes to avoid queue-ing (Have I already mentioned that I don’t like queues?). We knew that Harry Potter  and the Forbidden Journey was going to be a queue, but at least we would be able to walk on to the rest of the attraction. And i can only say I was happy we got them as otherwise me might not have done as much as we did. But I am going to fast, let’s start at the beginning.

Harry Potter queue was a good hour and they used most of the outside queue area already to have to line moving. But it was worth it. This attraction is amazing! The ride system, the scenes, everything! And the experience already starts in the queue area. What a beautiful amazing area. It might have taken us an hour but it sure didn’t feel like it. The attraction itself is awesome. This is the future! The Kuka robot arms on a track, the 3D scenes with the amazing scenes build around it. I have no words!… Disney, wake up because they are taking some of the magic and starting to use it in their parks. I already was a IoA fan, but Potter will get me back there again and again. (I don’t want to even think what the expansion will bring and the new rides at Universal Studios (replacing Jaws) will do for the park. Next time i might have to miss two days of Disney to see it all.


Don’t be late!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

FastPass has been part of a Walt Disney World visit since years. You get your FastPass for the attraction you want to visit and then you enjoy the rest of the park until it’s time to return on the designated time printed on the ticket without the long queue. There are, however, some changes coming our way. The rumour has been out for a while but now it looks like the Disney company is preparing their cast Members to enforce a new rule. While it was normal to stop people to enter an attraction before their time frame started it was also custom to let anybody on with a FastPass that already expired. (As long as it was for that day). 

With the new rules in place however, this will no longer be possible. According to the rumours FastPasses will no longer be accepted after their time frame. There might be a 15 minute window after the printed time, but once that has past the ticket will no longer be valid.

The other change might be that they will also open a small early window for those arriving 5 minutes before their FastPass printed time. This might help to get rid of the blockage in front of a FastPass entry by those turning up a little early and where asked to wait. Will it works? Only time will tell.

(via screamscape)

Snow White Tattoo

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

It has been a while since we talked about the Disney fan with the hundreds of Disney tattoos on his body. Tattoos, according to the latest update, he wanted to have removed since he found a new love. While never really being a big fan of all the tattoos, I can’t help myself to marvel at them. They are pieces of art (in some cases) and, depending on the canvas, can even be a little bit sexy.

How about this Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tattoo on the back of Annfaye Kao, a girl from Taiwan? It took the artist Ping three months to create this brother Grimm and Disney classic. Like I said, not a big fan of tattoos, bit this one is eye candy. To protect innocent eyes I only added a link to the little more sexy pictures of the model.

Trip Diaries Day Fifteen part 2 Back to Old Key West

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Why did I put day 15 in two parts? Well, I wanted to have the morning sun pictures from Vero Beach stand out without anything else. Didn’t see them yet? Scroll down and have a look. After that come back to read the next part of our trip.

Today we drove back to Want Disney World, checking in at Disney’s Old Key West (another “welcome home”) and would start our last 5 days of the trip. No, not complaining, still five days to go, but I couldn’t help thinking about it while checking in. It was crazy busy at Old Key West. A big queue at the check in and we had to wait a little while. We did had some problems on our first days at old Key West with 4 times chancing keys and problems with the pay option on our card forcing us to get another key. We did tell them we weren’t happy when we left and where promised a couple of special FastPasses on our next check in. So, once we got checked in we got 3 FastPasses that we could use in any park at any time. That was a nice little extra!

With the room not yet ready we decided to go and wander around Downtown Disney for a while. I still needed the special Annual Pass Orange Bird Vinylmation and I thought it would be a good idea to get it now. We got a small bite to eat before heading back to check into our room.

This time we got a slightly bigger studio. The studios at old Key West are not always the same and depending on what studio you get, you might have some more space. We were happy with it couldn’t help comparing the small Studio we got at Vero Beach. One we got everything in the room we made our way to our favourite park, Epcot. Here we used our first special fastPass and went straight on Test Track. It remains a favourite of ours, and we can only hope the rehab will do it proud. With a busy park (and not liking to queue) we did some of the smaller rides. So we got to see Nemo and his friends, visit Figment and got ourselves a nice helping of free drinks. (No, not Beverly). After that we wandered around the different countries and ended up in Japan for a quick bite while listening to de drums.

Always love Japan and for some reason get stuck there for longer than we are in most other countries. Still, we did make it out of Japan and walk towards Norway to see some Trolls. Well, with a queue all the way outside the building (and like I said before, we don’t like queue’s and there is always another day) we walked on to see if Donald had some room in his boats at Mexico. Look at that, no queue, so we could do another ride before we went for some shopping. My son found himself an amazing Pirates skeleton jacket we just had to buy. A nice finisher for yet another fantastic Disney day.

But I couldn’t go back to the room yet. I needed to stop at Olivia’s in Old Key West because I was graving for their awesome cheesecake. Got myself a nice piece of cake and a hot chocolate before we walked back to our room near Turtle Pond to call it a night.