Friday, October 31, 2014

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Top 8 Must-Do's

We have just returned from an October trip to Walt Disney World, and I'm just going to say it: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is completely. AMAZING.  Definitely one of the most epic events you can experience at Disney.  We had a fantastically fun time.


However - there are so many things to do - characters and trick or treating and the special parade and fireworks - and so much to take in that it can get pretty overwhelming!  So I thought I'd break our MNSSHP up Stacy-style and give you the must-do's.  Are you ready?

1. ENJOY YOUR ARRIVAL

The anticipation leading up to the party - planning your trip and planning your costume - are half the fun!  If you're at all tempted to wear a costume, do it.  There are plenty of other adults who dress up for the occasion so you won't feel at all out of place.  Lots of families dress up together in themed costumes - I roped my brother Athos into being a Trolley Show person with me.  He's an old soul, so he liked the hat and the spats. ;)

 

We were staying at the Grand Floridian and got ready there.  If you're staying at a WDW resort, the Halloween fun starts well before you arrive at the party.  Many of the other guests at the resorts and on your boat/monorail/bus/Disney transportation heading to the MK will be dressed up in costumes for MNSSHP too!



"Join us on select dates in September and October in the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!"  I love the fall gourds and autumnal display that greets you as you walk up to the security check at the Magic Kingdom.  Make sure you get your party tickets in advance - they often sell out the day of, if not sooner.  The nice thing about a MNSSHP ticket is that it counts as park admission starting as early as 4pm (although the special characters/events won't begin until the official party start time at 7pm).  Spend the earlier part of the day relaxing at your resort and then come ready to party!


We were so ready.

  

There are so many charming fall decorations at the Magic Kingdom - some are up all the time, some come out exclusively for the party.  We took our time heading in the turnstiles to snap some photos and just soak in the atmosphere.

 

We had such good luck weather-wise.  The sun was just starting to set as we entered Main Street, but some other ghoulish lights were about to come out and play.  The clock above the train station, for instance, was flickering!


We ended up arriving just before 7pm.  Main Street was packed - all the normal, non-MNSSHP guests are leaving on one side and all the party-goers are coming in on the other.


It was exciting to be on Main Street at 7 though - you have to stop to listen to your Ghost Host announcing the spooky park takeover!

 

We had to swing by the Train Station to practice our Welcome Show / Trolley moves.  As Athos hashtagged it, #gottawelcomeeverybody!


Main Street never looks cooler than on a Not-So-Scary night!  THOSE LIGHTS!  And they flicker and change and dance to the music.

 

  There are Halloween tunes and Disney villain songs playing throughout the entire park on party night.  It's so weird to hear "Thriller" in Frontierland instead of Western music!


All the jack o' lanterns in the windows and the Mickey pumpkins on the lampposts are glimmering and glowing!


Plan for some party time to just meander and marvel.  It's so cool to take in everybody's costumes as well...


For instance I found this gorgeous mermaid and darling Wendy at the bakery. ;)


The whole park - as well as Main Street - is lit up in Halloween greens and purples, and we really enjoyed strolling around to take it all in.  There were already some guests lined up along the parade route on Main Street at 7pm for the first Boo to You parade, but I would have been kinda bummed to have to stop and wait right when the party started.  We decided to do the later parade and spend the early hours exploring the Halloween magic in the rest of the Magic Kingdom.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Where in WDW: Dearly Departed Pets

I had to make this week's Where in WDW trivia photo a haunted one, so here we go...


Have you seen this pet cemetery with tombstones dedicated to dearly departed dogs and cats and other animals?  They look even more spooky when they're lit up on party nights!  It's fun to pause to read the inscriptions:

Here lies my snake
whose fatal mistake
was frightening
the gardener
who carried a rake.

Post your answer in the comments!  And props to everyone who identified last week's garden - that parterre is across the water from the friendship dock right outside the International Gateway entrance to Epcot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Cupcakes at Disney World

Happy Halloween Week, everybody!  To celebrate, we're going to talk about...


...what else...Halloween CUPCAKES at Walt Disney World!  Whether you've got an October trip or are just looking for some autumnal inspiration for cupcake decorating at home, I've got plenty of charming - or should I say terrifying? - Disney cupcake creations to share.  Like the lovely Witch Minnie Mouse above...


...or this adorable grim grinning ghost from the Boardwalk Bakery.


Mickey Ears are still a must, of course!  There are so many spooky sweets in the Disney bakeries this time of year. :)


Even the drinking cups are dusted with ghoulish pixie dust!


So.  Let's start our new cupcake quest at the Magic Kingdom at the most magical Disney Halloween event - Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  There are special treats that come out after 7pm just for party guests...and some of them are cupcakes!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Once Upon a Time Magic at Disney World

I'm a Disney Snob, so it should come as no surprise that I love the show Once Upon a Time on ABC.  They reimagine classic Disney characters and storybook tales; the actors are great, the costumes are gorgeous, and this season, to capitalize on the continuing Frozen craze, they've added some Elsa and Anna to the Storybrooke mix!


Let's be honest though: the best part is Captain Hook.  So devilishly handsome. ;) When I found myself unexpectedly in Storybrooke on a recent jaunt to Hollywood Studios, of course I was on the lookout for him...


OK, so I didn't exactly travel to Storybrooke.  Or the Enchanted Forest.  Or Neverland (I actually wouldn't want to go to the OUAT Neverland - it's creepy).  However, I was excited to discover some new Once Upon a Time pixie dust going on at Hollywood Studios, home of the stars and much Frozen fun, on our recent trip!  To find it we're going to go back behind the hat...


I was strolling along next to the Commissary, admiring the palm trees, naturally, when I noticed a new photo spot by the American Idol Experience backstage entrance.  You can see it in the background to the left in the photo above.  It was the classic forest scene that you see in the intro to Once Upon a Time!

I was just beginning to wish there was a photopass person around when (don't you love it when Disney magic works in your favor?) a cast member serendipitously arrived with his tripod!  I mainly wanted a pic on my camera, but there was apparently a magic shot, so I had to see what that was too...


Here's the magic shot - they add in Elsa and Regina, the evil queen!  But here's the best part: since it's a OUAT Frozen promotion, you can download the photo for free, even if you're not purchasing the photopass cd.  Love it!

Are you a OUAT fan?

Monday, October 20, 2014

ALL THE DISNEY CUPCAKES: WDW Cupcake Guide 2014

**Just in time for the holidays: get the new guide as a poster here!**

Of all the tasty sweet treats available at Walt Disney World, it's the Disney CUPCAKES that get me most excited.  Every time.  Seeking out the new, adorable, and delectable creations in the bakeries at the parks and resorts is my favorite. 

So get your sweet tooth ready, my friends.  Today I've once again gathered just about all the Disney cupcakes for you in one convenient and scrumptious 2014 guide:


They're so beautiful...the classic butterfinger at Starring Rolls, the beautiful Be Our Guest cupcakes with the GREY STUFF, the strawberry lemonade from the Wilderness Lodge, all the fabulous Frozen cupcakes, the super cute seasonal cupcakes that come out for Halloween and Christmas.

This is why I can never pick a favorite!!!

But if you're feeling overwhelmed, I have narrowed it down to a Top Five List.  It's good to keep in mind that that selections do rotate and change as well, and there are more links and info on my cupcake page.

I feel like cupcake photos speak for themselves - Disney cupcakes especially have so much to say  - but FYI, here's the list of what's pictured (top to bottom, left to right):

MAGIC KINGDOM
Be Our Guest: Grey Stuff Cupcake - Strawberry Cupcake - Triple Chocolate Cupcake
Main Street Bakery: Peanut Butter Cupcake - Red Velvet Cupcake - Chocolate Cupcake - Olaf Cupcake
Big Top Treats: Dumbo Cupcake
Confectionery: Vanilla Cupcakes

EPCOT
Fountainview Starbucks: Mickey Cupcake - Cappuccino Cupcake - Strawberries and Cream Cupcake
The Seasons at the Land: Carrot Cupcake - Lemon Blast Cupcake

ANIMAL KINGDOM
Kusafiri: Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake - Zebra Cupcake - Elephant Coconut Cupcake

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Frozen Cupcakes (various locations): Chocolate Anna Cupcake - Vanilla Elsa Cupcake - Carrot Olaf Cupcake
Starring Rolls: Butterfinger Cupcake - Red Velvet Creamcheese Cupcake - Peanut Butter Cupcake - Sorcerer Mickey Blueberry Cupcake
Pizza Planet: Cappuccino Cupcake

WILDERNESS LODGE
Roaring Fork: S'mores Cupcake - Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake - Carrot Cupcake - Chocolate Caramel Cupcake - Vanilla Cupcake

POLYNESIAN VILLAGE
Captain Cook's: Chocolate Macadamia Cupcake - Red Velvet Cupcake - Strawberry Cupcake - Minnie and Mickey Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

BOARDWALK RESORT
Boardwalk Bakery: Oreo Mickey Cupcake - Stawberry Shortcake Cupcake - St. Patrick's Day Mint Cupcake

BEACH CLUB RESORT
Beach Club Marketplace: Peanut Butter Cupcake - Vanilla Frozen Cupcake - Red Velvet Cupcake

GRAND FLORIDIAN RESORT & SPA
Gasparilla Grille: Cherry Berry Cupcake - German Chocolate - S'Mores Chocoalte Ganache Cupcake - Pina Colada Cupcake

ART OF ANIMATION
Landscape of Flavors: Mickey Cupcake - Vanilla Cupcake

POP CENTURY
Everything Pop Food Court:The King Cupcake

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE
The Mara: Orange Marmalade Cupcake - Chocolate Butterfinger Cupcake

CONTEMPORARY RESORT
Contempo Cafe: Mickey Red Velvet Cupcake - Frozen Cupcake - Chocolate Coconut Cupcake

HALLOWEEN CUPCAKES
Villains in Vogue Vanilla Cupcake - Starring Rolls Witch Minnie Carrot Cake Cupcake - Villains in Vogue Chocolate Cupcake - Boardwalk Bakery Apple Cupcake - Roaring Fork Spiced Apple Cupcake - Main Street Bakery Monster Bakery - Main Street Bakery Candy Corn Cupcake - Gaston's Tavern Chocolate Ghost Cupcake (last three only available at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

DOWNTOWN DISNEY
Earl of Sandwich Chocolate Cupcake - Goofy's Candy Kitchen Minnie Cupcake

HOLIDAY CUPCAKES
Mara Peppermint Cupcake - Captain Cook's Gingerbread Cupcake - Hollywood Studios Gingerbread Cupcake - Boardwalk Bakery Peppermint Cupcake - Contempo Cafe Hidden Mickey Cupcake - Contempo Cafe Confetti Cupcake - Confectionery Mickey and Minnie Santa Hat Cupcakes - Main Street Bakery Chocolate Christmas Cupcake 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Party Preview!

We are just back from a fantabulous October Disney trip, guys, and I couldn't wait to share some of the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party fun!

 

Arriving for the party is always super exciting - the park is dressed in its orange Halloween finest and so are many of the guests!


I have always loved the Welcome Show/Main Street costumes...so Athos and I were Trolley People for the night!  Dart, who loves Star Wars, was an X Wing pilot. :)


Walking right down the middle of Main Street USA is even more magical with the gorgeous and ghoulish lights!


Of course there was a quick Main Street Bakery stop to look at the cupcakes - plain vanilla and chocolate flavors, but the decorations were cute.  I also ran into one of my dear Disney friends and her gorgeous family at the bakery - hi Sunni! :)



The Haunted Mansion also looked spooky and stunning for the occassion...


...and we spotted some ghosts out on the lawn!


It was fun to catch a glimpse of all the special meet and greets, like the Seven Dwarfs!


We did manage to say hello to Witch Minnie - LOVED her costume! :)


We watched HalloWishes from the hub - loved the Jack o Lanterns on the castle!


We caught the second Boo to You parade on Main Street...

 

The classic characters trick or treating with their masks were so sweet!

 

The Haunted Mansion segment was definitely my favorite - those dancers!!  And the grave diggers!


Dancing with Lady Tremaine at Club Villain was another highlight. :)


Can't wait to share more of the MNSSHP pixie dust! :)

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