Get ready for a Frozen Summer…It’s Been extended to September 28th!!

June 26, 2014 Cheryl 0
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Do you want to build a snowman….come on let’s go and play!!   Olaf is spending his first summer vacation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is inviting you along for the fun!!  This summer Frozen is taking over the Studios with all sorts of amazing events, and you get to be part of the fun!!  Running July 5th through September 28th – there are lots of awesome experiences that you won’t want to miss!!  Here are some of the highlights:

Here are some of the highlights:

    • Olaf on Summer Vacation –  Olaf, the magical snowman, is living it up during his first summer vacation, and wants to share all the updates with you!!  Throughout the day he will be keeping everyone updated on his adventures, and you can even take him with you on yours!  You will be able to get your very own Take-Along Olaf, and when you share your photos with Olaf on social media, be sure to tag them with #OlafSummerVacation. Your picture might just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!
    • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – Like every good Royal family, it is important to visit the neighboring kingdoms and trading partners.  At 11:00 a.m. each day, Elsa and Anna will arrive in in a horse-drawn sleigh and travel down Hollywood Boulevard, and they are bringing Kristoff  a flurry of skaters, skiers, and ice cutters along for the goodwill tour!  The processional will end with a special ceremony on stage.
    • For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – You know you love the songs – so here is your chance to belt out a tune and cool down inside the Premiere Theater.  Anna and Elsa will join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun retelling of the history of the kingdoms history, along with some sing-along moments from “Frozen.”
    • Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – Inside Soundstage One, Oaken and his family have created a Frozen Funland where there will be a frozen pond with ice skating demonstrations, wintertime fun for kids in the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” play area, a “big summer blowout” with plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen”-inspired food and beverage offerings.
    • “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – Starting at 5:30 p.m. each day, a dance party takes over the area around the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, with a DJ, live band, and more!  Get ready to dance to your favorite hits, as well as a cool, rocking medley of “Frozen” favorites.
    • “Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular – This may be my favorite part!!  Everything wraps up at 9:45 p.m. when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come together at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen!”  Fireworks and Frozen songs – that doesn’t need any fixing upping!!

For the first time in forever….I am REALLY excited to be going to Hollywood Studios!!    The sky will be blue….and I hope you can be there too!  There is no word on whether or not there will be character meet and greets, and as of now there will not be any Fastpasses to these special events, so it promises to be a busy summer at Hollywood Studios based on the über-popularity of all things “Frozen”!


Hey Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!

August 22, 2012 Cheryl 2
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(Originally published on 7/22/2012) There may be 104 days of summer vacation, but at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are 365 days of Phineas and Ferb!  Located near the exit of the Muppet-Vision 3D attraction and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, this has got to be one of the most fun character greeting spots in all of Disney World!

As the story goes, the cartoon duo is making a movie called We’re Making a Movie – The Movie.  Phineas and Ferb are currently filming on location, and you are part of an active movie set.  With a DJ spinning all of TV show’s hit tunes, set director Cletus Filmore takes guests from the queue and has them recreate scenes from Phineas and Ferb episodes!  Big kids, little kids, and kids-at-heart are given blow-up guitars and saxophones, tambourines, and taught dance moves so that “the band” can be ready for their close up!  All the while, the two stepbrothers are there, signing autographs and taking photos with guests.

Meeting Phineas and Ferb was high up on our to-do list during our last visit.  Being big fans of the show (my husband has “S.I.M.P.” as his ringtone) we were all pretty excited to meet the boys…and this character greeting did not disappoint.  We stood in line about 45 minutes total, but honestly it didn’t seem that long at all.  The wait would have felt incredibly long in the hot sun however, if it were not for the director.  He had a gentle, yet insistent, way of encouraging young kids and their-not-so-young older siblings, parents, and grandparents to get out there and reenact scenes from the TV series.  It was especially funny when our friend Dave got out there and started doing the Y.M.C.A. to “Phinedroids and Ferbots”!  Then, not to be out done, I got out there during the next round and added my not-yet-ready-for-prime-time tambourine skills to “Gitchi Gitchi Goo”.  All the music, jokes, and improv entertainment definitely make the time pass quickly.

Once we got to the front of the line, it was time for the stepbrothers to take a break.  But, as we had two young boys in our group, the characters gave high fives to them on their way past and let them know (via Disney hand gestures) that they would be right back.  About 5 minutes later they returned, and we spent a few minutes getting photos and having them sign autographs.  It didn’t feel rushed at all, and was definitely worth the wait.  It would have been nice to have some of the other characters there – Candace, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and, of course, Perry – but at least there is a pop-up of Agent P that you can see in the pictures.   And, until they build a Phineas and Ferb roller coaster, this is a great way to spend some time in the Tri-State Area.

Planning Tip:

If you are planning on going to the Phineas and Ferb Play’n’Greet and during your next trip, just know that they are very popular characters. Because of this, the wait seems to consistently at least 25-30 minutes. The music and show gags make the wait quite tolerable, but also know that the area is NOT covered and the queue always seems to be in the hot sun, except if it is raining (as it frequently does in the summer months).  If it does rain the characters will leave…and they may not come back.  There is a Disney Photopass staff member there to take pictures, but if you hand them your camera they will take some shots with your camera as well.  Finally, remember to check the time guide for exact times that Phineas and Ferb will be there, as they are not there all day.

UPDATE (8/22/2012):

As Garrett noted below – when the weather is gloomy, the boys move inside to the Premier Theater, which is located to the right of the regular meet and greet (right past Lightning McQueen and Mater).  We were there yesterday and the line was pretty short – in fact we were the last ones in line, and T got to dance with Phineas!

I have also heard an unconfirmed  rumor that the We’re Making a Movie – The Movie set is going to be wrapping up at the end of September, and it will be just a regular meet and greet.  I hope this isn’t the case, as being part of the film was a lot of fun, and set director Cletus Filmore definitely made the wait in line fun.

I’m a T-Rex (roar)…I’m a Tyrannosaurus

August 15, 2012 Cheryl 0
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That might be a song from PBS’ Dinosaur Train, but today it is a fitting, since we had lunch at the T-Rex in Downtown Disney.  This is T’s favorite restaurant – so much so that I have (on multiple occasions) had to show him YouTube videos of the restaurant just so he could get his dinosaur fix.  To be fair, he has wanted to be a paleontologist since he could say the word…and when you combine life-size animatronics dinosaurs with macaroni and cheese, you have a real hit!!  J and I on the other hand are not as big of fans.  Atmosphere I would give it a 10, but food, well, not quite as high.   This restaurant is actually celebrating its 4th anniversary at Downtown Disney this fall.  It is part of the Landry Restaurant family – the same group that brought us Rainforest Café.  The T-Rex is quite similar in idea – lots of life-size prehistoric animals, the occasional meteor shower, and several different rooms/areas that represent different habitats (we were in the Ice Age Room).  The décor is very well done, and you can walk around taking pictures of the moving dinosaurs, so that is pretty cool.

As for the food, well, it took me quite a few visits to find an item on the menu that I actually liked.  I did find one – the Triassic Tortellini – and it is good.  Tri-color tortellini with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and chicken in an alfredo sauce (it comes with peas, but I omit them).  Pretty tasty!  J usually gets the burger (which they can never cook to the right temperature) but today he got the Tyrannosaurus T-Bone, which they still didn’t get right.  He likes his steak still mooing – medium rare, and the first steak was closer to medium well to well.  They did remake the steak.  He said the second steak was ok, and that the seasoning was tasty, but the steak itself was chewy – not something you would expect of a $30 plus dollar steak.  Dessert on the other hand was delicious!  We have never gotten it before, but since we are on the dining plan, we did today.  J got the Ice Age Indulgence, which was layers of ice cream sandwiches, fudge sauce, whipped cream and Heath Bar Crunch, and I got the Cosmic Key Lime Pie.  Both were large and very good

Next we were off to Hollywood Studios.  We had a lot of fun on the Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster rides.  Toy Story Mania is a 3-D ride where you play arcade type games (ring toss, break the plates, etc) and try to get the highest score.  It is very popular, with wait times of up to 90 minutes today.  Star Tours is the Star Wars ride, and a must do for our family.  This is also a 3-D ride that simulates you flying in a space ship.  With the updates they did to the ride, there are now 54 different possible combinations, so the chances of getting the same ride twice are pretty slim.  Today we escaped from Storm Troopers, went to Hoth, saw Yoda, and then ended on Coruscant.  It was a new combination for us, so T was pretty excited!!  The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, however, didn’t go over as well with him!  It is an indoor ride that starts off super fast and heads into a crazy ride through Hollywood, and goes upside down and through lots of twists and turns before your arrival at the Aerosmith concert across town.  Maybe in a few years he will feel differently!

Between the rides we got to see the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! Parade, which features (as you can guess from the title) all of the stars of the Disney/Pixar films.  It is a fun parade, with lots of colorful floats, dancers in bright costumes, and the song “I don’t want to work” played quite a few times.  Something new this year – right before the parade starts they actually do a flash mob, where guests are taught a few dance moves and then do a huge performance on Hollywood Blvd. The flash mob was lead by Disney Cast Members who “filmed” the event.  It was surprisingly popular with well over a 100 participants. Fun!

We are huge character signature fans so we always plan on stopping in the Art of Animation building to see what characters are around for Characterpalooza.  Today The Queen, Rafiki, Mary Poppins and her Penguin, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Chip and Dale were there in addition to the regulars (Sorcerer Mickey, Pooh, and The Incredibles).  We already had everyone’s signature, but it is always fun to see who is going to show up.  Jake (from the Neverland Pirates) was outside though, so we did stop over to see him.

Tomorrow we are off to EPCOT.  We are having dinner at Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion, and I am hoping to check out Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.


Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights dates announced

July 25, 2012 Cheryl 1
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The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a dazzling seasonal display featuring millions of glittering lights synchronized to holiday music.  This is the mother of all holiday light displays!  Entire buildings are blanketed in multi-colored lights, and thousands more lights drape between the buildings – Santa and his reindeer are even there lighting up the night sky.  About every 10 minutes the lights dim and then pop back to life!  There is even the occasional snow flurry to add to the holiday magic.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights started in Arkansas as a single home’s annual display. Every year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights and over the years, the collection of lights grew, and grew… and grew! In 1995, the Osborne family decided to share their magic with the world, and Walt Disney World Resort happily offered to become the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer.

This year all of the lights will be lit up for the first time starting on November 9, 2012 and run through January 4, 2013.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with standard admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.