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Walt Disney World Event Snapshot – August 2014

From Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Wondering what merchandise events are headed your way this August at Walt Disney World Resort? Take a look!

July 30 – August 3: Looking for the opportunity to meet artist Greg McCullough? Greg will be appearing at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace, July 30 – August 3 and again from August 20 – 24. Planning to visitEpcot, August 13 – 17? Great! Look for additional appearances by Greg at their Art of Disney, throughout the day.

August 7 - Meet Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” director/co-writer Bobs Gannaway from 3 – 4 p.m. at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace, as he signs some of the new “Planes: Fire & Rescue” merchandise available at Disney Parks.

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August 7 – 11: Find the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

August 14 – 17: Keep an eye out! Renowned artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection!

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August 14 – 17: It’s time for you to check out the latest releases from international artist Larry Dotson, who will be appearing throughout the day at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park.

August 23: Keep an eye out for spellbinding commemorative T-shirts and more as part of the “Villains Unleashed” event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Remember, a separate ticket is required to attend this event. If you are thinking of going, purchase tickets now at www.DisneyVillainsParty.com or by calling 407.939.1933.

August 29: Be sure to pick up a copy of Tinker Bell: An Evolution, a full biography about everyone’s favorite fiery fairy by author Mindy Johnson. Mindy will appear at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace from 3 – 4 p.m., alongside special guest and Disney Legend, Alice Davis. Tip: Also being released during the event is Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man.

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Here are a few other things to keep in mind. Artists Brian Blackmore and Greg McCullough will be appearing during Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

It’s also your last chance to get your ticket to Disney Trade Celebration 2014 – Imagination Gala taking place at World ShowPlace in Epcot, September 5 – 7. A limited number of tickets are still available, so sign up for the Pin and Vinylmation Showcase Packages today! Tip: Keep watching www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com as we release details about this year’s Silent Auction lots.

There’s one last thing I couldn’t resist showing you. Here is a sneak peek at the next hand-painted Ink & Paint Cel debuting at the Animation Gallery in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 27, 2014. This limited release titled “Summertime Pals” is so cool, you won’t be able to resist it. Not able to make it to the event? Disney Event Services is taking pre-orders via www.disneyurl.com/CelPreOrder now through September 25, 2014 at 5 p.m. EDT.

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Are you ready for these events and more?

Confessions of a Middle Aged Disney Princess… Can you relate?

Last night in TMSM Fan Nation on Facebook, we were talking about make up tips and trying to look our best in the Florida heat. All the talk among the ladies there got me thinking about this blog that I did a few months back, and I thought it was worth re-posting. I’m positive that some of you will relate to the sentiments below, enjoy! ~M

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It’s a new year, which provokes a lot of thought and soul searching for many people, including myself. I usually don’t put too much stock into the coming year, I’m not huge on making resolutions that I can’t keep, or vow that I’m going to do *blank* differently this go around. Sure, I hope for better, strive for more, but that’s all I can do. So, what makes this year different? For me, a dreaded milestone birthday….. and the fact that yes, I’m still a Disney Princess!

Age is just a number, and nothing rings that truer than the fine folks at Disney. Whether it be through movies, merchandise, or of course the various Parks, Disney helps you check your age at the door. Numbers don’t matter. So, what should this matter to me? I was reading a few different blogs posted on Facebook recently, about certain birthday milestones and feeling your age (or not). I also saw another article of old movies and such from the 80′s, and it made me feel….. old….. for a minute. You mean to tell me Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles aren’t current and hip movies anymore? What do you mean girls these days don’t know that Jake Ryan is the ultimate dream date? Don’t know who “The Corey’s” are? Never been to a New Kids on the Block concert?? What kind of world is this?? Then I remember…. Michele, you’re not a KID anymore. Well, according to who exactly?

That’s just it, I feel like a kid, minus the aches and pains occasionally or the fact that I can’t do cartwheels across the lawn like I used to. Maybe that’s why I’m still such a Disney nut. I really, really believe that Disney allows us to be a kid at any age. When I go into a Disney Store, I still look at the dolls and stuffed animals, and seriously want one. I will still look at Disney jewelry and shirts when I’m out and about, and yes, I buy them. When I know I’m getting ready to go on a Disney vacation, I still can NOT sleep the night before, just like when I was little. Actually, now that I’m a big girl, I can choose to leave at 3:00 in the morning if I want, no need to wait till breakfast time! Getting older has it’s perks. I just throw the kids in the car and go, and they don’t mind!

Let’s see…. what else? I keep track of what Disney Movies are coming out and when, just to make sure I (ahem, the kids) get to see them in a prompt manner. Disney is STILL the ONLY place I strive and save to go to on vacation. The ONLY place. Maybe I’m missing out on tours of wineries or seeing Broadway plays like other “grown ups” but I honestly don’t care. I’d rather go to Disney. Does this ever have to change? Just because the number of candles on your birthday cake goes up, does that mean you don’t get to still be a kid? In my opinion, it’s just a number. Walt Disney was right. His philosophy was spot on, kids are kids no matter what your age is!

Time marches on, and for this seasoned Disney Princess, it’s not a fun process. So, what do I do? Since I can’t fight it, and that birthday is coming whether I want it to or not, I have to embrace it. My kids tell me I look “young” and I feel young, so why not? Yes, I’ll still watch those Disney Movies, I’ll still buy that fun Disney jewelry, and YES, I’m still going to save for the ONLY vacation I want to take this year, and that’s Disney World. You can be a Disney Princess or Prince at ANY age, so have fun, enjoy yourself, and celebrate all year long with me! Age has no place when it comes to all things Disney!

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A Long Overdue Haunted Mansion Themed Shop Is Coming To The Magic Kingdom

Last week, while walking out of the Haunted Mansion, we walked into the Yankee Trader store and noticed a lot more Haunted Mansion merchandise in the shop.  At the time Michele stated, they should turn that store into a Haunted Mansion shop, well Michele and Mansion fans everywhere the store will do just that.

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As we have been reporting, there is a lot of new Haunted Mansion products coming this fall to the Disney Parks.  Now Madame Leota and the 999 happy haunts of one of the most beloved attractions in Disney will have their own shop.

The shop will be where the current Yankee Trader shop resided in Liberty Square.  The last day of the Yankee Trader shop was July 27th.  The new shop will be inspired by Madame Leota and carry select items from the upcoming Haunted Mansion Authentic program including apparel, home goods, souvenirs, and more.

No official dates have been posted as to when the new shop will open, but we will keep an eye out and let you all know as soon as it’s open.  We will also offer you glimpse’s into the shop as soon as we can get into it.

Mickey’s Halloween Party Disneyland Style

Mickey’s Halloween Party Disneyland Style by Aubrey Carruth

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I make it to Disneyland about once every other month for a fun fabulous weekend. I always make it a point to go in October… the whole entrance is transformed with Disney jack-o-lanterns and thousands of pumpkins are displayed all over Main Street. The giant Mickey pumpkin near the train station as you walk in is an obligatory photo stop. Year after year I followed this routine….

1. Ohhh and ahh and the entry way jack-o-lanterns

2. Take a group photo at the Mickey Pumpkin

3. Walk down Main Street looking up at windows to see how many pumpkins I could find

Awesome and fun- but it was time for something new. I always knew there was a Mickey’s Halloween Party but

A: I was too Cheap to buy the ticket (I mean come on I already dropped a load on my   AP I shouldn’t have to pay $57-$70 more right?)

B: Had it in my mind that it was a kids activity (32 and kidless not quite what the average clientele at a Mickey party is right?)

Despite my reservations I made the decision to try it any way. I of course couldn’t do it alone so I made my sister and some friends come along. We dropped $57 on our tickets, started sewing or buying costumes and made arrangements to go. A few weeks out we had another friend want to join us and I learned it was sold out. I started to panic; sold out means crowded right? Who wants to spend an extra $67 and just be in a crowded mess. Keeping an open mind, 2 Sulleys, an Ariel and an Ursula (wait I mean my sister, friends and I) dolled up and entered the park ready for the Mickey’s Halloween Party on an October 2013 Friday night.

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Right away ALL my reservations went away. It wasn’t crowded at all and the whole park had transformed. Not sure how Disney pulls their magic but it must have had extra Pixie Dust because in the 2 hours it took us to go to hotel dress and return it was an entirely different park. The decor was all different. They had stations set up where villains would later be posted for great picture opportunities and massive ghost balloons decor adorned areas with trick or treat trails.

Our party spend the next 8 hours trick or treating (for some seriously high quality candy), watching villain switches at photo stations (they were like mini parades and one of the highlights of the night), watching the exclusive Mickey Halloween Party parade and fireworks, riding rides (with very short lines), ogling over the new decor and just having fun. We left with over 10lbs of high quality candy (which probably made me gain about 30lbs) and having no regrets of having spend “so much” extra. I high recommend the Mickey’s Halloween Party to everyone: old, young, kid less and or families. Tickets are on sale for AP’s now- for the AP price of $56-$77. Ticket sales open to everyone on July 30th and prices vary between $63-$77. Hurry and buy them soon as they sold out last year and I would expect nothing less this year!

IMG_4358 About Aubrey: Aubrey  is a Disneyland Annual Passholder, a teacher, and she frequently participates in runDisney events

How a Project Manager plans a Disneyland Trip

A Disney Vacation is a Project By Marc Barringer

There are many ways to plan a vacation, but planning a Disney vacation is a much larger task than many know—especially if it is one of your first visits to a park. As a project manager by trade, I approach a Disney vacation exactly like I would approach a project at work. It may seem a bit tedious at first, I promise you that in the long run it will save you in time and mistakes.

Planning starts way before you even talk to Disney reservations or a Travel Agent that specializes in Disney Vacations. On a side note, those are the only two ways I would book a Disney vacation. If you go with a travel agency that does not specialize in Disney, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities—like a friend who was told he could book his dinner reservations for Walt Disney World about a month before his arrival date in August, neglecting to mention to him he could book as far out as 180 days.

As a Project Manager the first thing I do when working a project, or planning a Disney vacation, is to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). A WBS is a list of tasks that are required to successfully accomplish a project. It helps me to break down the project into 5 different Phases: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Closeout. I use Microsoft Project to do the WBS, but it can be easily done on a spreadsheet or with pen and paper. My current “project” has 55 lines and has a duration of 173 Days. It is my Disneyland Vacation with my daughter—her first trip to a Disney Park. The picture below is part of my WBS for my Disneyland vacation. Dates have been removed for privacy sake, but you want to see the start and finish date for each task so you are not late on anything.

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Proper planning of a project, or a Disney Vacation, is the bulk of the work needed for a successful vacation. Planning it this way, for me, helps me be aware of important hard dates like when I can start booking reservations at restaurants, special events or for my daughter’s princess makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. If you notice at the top right of the WBS, it says My Disney Vacation Project is 97% complete. I am 34 days away, at the time of this writing, from my Disneyland Vacation.   There is an old cliché in the project management community: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. It holds true with a major vacation like a Disney vacation as well.

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The Execution of your Disney vacation starts before you think it does.   Notice in my WBS, my project execution starts with booking the hotel, flight and purchasing the tickets. Obviously, the best part of the Execution Phase of this project will be my time in the parks with my daughter.

The last two phases of the project are no less important than the first three. Monitoring and Closing the project. Monitoring your project is something you would normally do, I hope, for any vacation. You’re going to check to make sure your execution is going as planned. You verify your reservations have been captured as you want them and that your plane is departing at the scheduled time, etc.

Closing out the project/vacation is a critical phase that many people and professionals in project management fail to fully complete, but is vital to the success of your next vacation as well as your memories. I pre-ordered the Photopass+ picture package Disneyland offers, so I’ll need to order them before Disney’s expiration deadline when I get home. I also need to document what worked well and what I missed so when I plan my next Disney vacation with my daughter, I have a better plan, and hopefully, a better trip.

If you take the time to properly plan your vacation, it will significantly reduce your stress levels as the vacation date approaches and will allow you to better enjoy your time in the parks!

 

San Diego Comic Con 2014: Star Wars

Star Wars triumphantly returns to Marvel Comics in January of 2015, spearheaded with a new ongoing series by writer Jason Aaron and artist John Cassaday. STAR WARS kicks off a brand-new tale that follows the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope” and features the entire original cast of characters who inhabit that galaxy far, far away.

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Aaron and Cassaday intend to bring their formidable storytelling abilities to bear on the saga, tapping into their own Star Wars fandom as well as their combined experience as consummate comic book professionals.

Marvel.com: Jason, how did this project come about for you? What does it mean to you to be one of the creators who brings Star Wars back to Marvel?

Jason Aaron: It was offered and I instantly said yes. Of course I’m super-excited about all this. As a guy who can remember seeing the original Star Wars films in the theater on their first go-round, it was a big geek-out moment.

Marvel.com: John, what about you? What does it mean for you personally to be working on this series? 

John Cassaday: Marvel contacted me not long after the agreement with Lucasfilm was finalized. They knew I was quite a fan and guessed I’d be interested. They weren’t wrong! Star Wars means a lot to me. A couple of weeks later we had a dinner meeting so I could get the specifics. For every question, they had the perfect answer. They were gonna do this right. I easily checked off my list of concerns and agreed with a big smile. It was exciting.

Marvel.com: Jason, of all your past and current Marvel work, what do you feel will most inform your writing of STAR WARS?

Jason Aaron: This is clearly different than anything I’ve done for Marvel. And what most informs it is of course the films. I want this to feel very much like a direct sequel to the original Star Wars film; in terms of tone and voice and scope and everything.

Marvel.com: What sorts of themes do you see yourself exploring in the series? Is Star Wars about the characters or much larger things to you?

Jason Aaron: Every story is about the characters, and we’ll focus on all the old favorites. There will be big moments for everyone, from Han Solo to R2-D2. But a major part of the narrative will be driven by Luke Skywalker and his journey of discovery, a journey that will decide the fate of the entire galaxy.

Marvel.com: Okay, that said, who’s your favorite Star Wars character and why?

Jason Aaron: As a kid, it was Han Solo, like pretty much every other kid I knew. But right now, I’m enjoying writing them all. I never imagined how much fun it would be to write dialogue for C-3PO.

And though it’s too soon to talk about it, yes, there will be new characters, too.

Marvel.com: John, which of the main Star Wars characters most appeals to you visually and why? And what about the minor characters? 

John Cassaday It’s always been Luke for me. I know Han tends to be a big fan favorite, but the “chosen one” archetypical hero is appealing to me. I also grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so I’ve always had a basic connection with the longing that you see in Luke early on in the first film. I had it a bit easier, with only the one sun and all! In terms of minor characters, it’s still early in the process, so there really haven’t been any surprises yet, so we’ll see.

Marvel.com: What’s it like working with the incredible design palette that was created for the films? Do you have any insights into what makes it all tick? 

John Cassaday: It’s a headache and an absolute pleasure all at the same time. Getting the details together has been time consuming and tedious, but once I got going, it’s been great fun. It’s a huge gorgeous messy universe. I think with the first three films, in particular, the strange, almost junk-like approach to design was significant. They were piecing the ships and weapons together from real world items. Terrific old-school film making procedure; getting to work from a palette created by the likes of Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston is an honor.

Marvel.com: What kind of new characters, beasts, and vehicles have you been working on for STAR WARS? 

John Cassaday: Well, I can’t give away too much as of yet, but it’s a fun mix of what we’ve seen in the early films with a few fun surprises along the way. And then Spider-Man shows up. Ahem.

Marvel.com: Jason, focusing on your story, what went into the decision to kick off it off immediately following the events of the first film?

Jason Aaron: Because we get all the main characters still together and still finding their roles within the Rebellion. And because there are so many major beats that happen off-screen between “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” I’ll be looking to explore all of those beats.

Marvel.com: What is your favorite thing that you’ve written in issue #1 and why?

Jason Aaron: I couldn’t pick just one. The arrival of Han Solo. R2-D2 sound effects. Chewbacca in action. Vader under attack. The first time a lightsaber hums to life.

Marvel.com: And what does John excel at in the universe of Star Wars?

Jason Aaron: John is the world’s biggest Star Wars fan and it shows on every page of this. He’s pouring his heart into these pages, and he’s so completely devoted to making them look and feel like the movies he loved as a kid.

Marvel.com: John, your turn; what’s it like working with Jason so far on the series?

John Cassaday: Though I knew his name, I wasn’t very familiar with Jason’s work. Marvel sent me over some trades to read and it was clear how talented he was. We spent some time on the west coast back in March discussing storyline possibilities, so I had a good idea as to where things were going and it was very promising. But when I finally got the first script I was thrilled. He not only hit strong story beats and made it fun, but he captured these characters that I’ve known most of my life. I could hear them delivering the dialog. It was as if he had Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan over his shoulder as he wrote. Hell, I could also hear the music!

Marvel.com: Okay, Jason; let’s bring it on home: If you had your druthers, what one element from Marvel’s past Star Wars stories would you bring back?

Jason Aaron: The giant bunny rabbit, of course.

Hanging Out at the Disney Infinity Pop-Up Shop

The Disney Insider blog posted some of the pictures from the Pop-Up Shop for Disney Infinity from San Diego Comic Con 2014.

We stopped by Disney Infinity HQ at this year’s Comic-Con to check out all of the new features and figures coming to the upcoming release of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition). What we found when we got there was an astounding amount of awesome toys, rows of game consoles ready to show off the new game, and a whole lot of very,very happy kids. The whole place was decked out in Disney, including giant Iron Man statues, tons of Disney Infinity character cut-outs, live sketch-artists, and Groot masks.

Take a look at our photos from the event, including up-close looks at the recently announced Guardians of the Galaxy Play Set, as well as Stitch, Tinker Bell, Maleficent, and Merida. We even got to look at an early version of the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Collector’s Edition, featuring a pretty scary looking Frost Giant facing off against the Avengers.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes comes out on September 23, 2014, and you can pre-order a copy through the official Disney Infinity website.

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If you were fortunate enough to attend this year’s San Diego Comic Con, did you make it to the Pop-Up shop?  What did you think of the shop and the con as a whole?

This Day In Disney History…

On July 28th, 1998, Disney’s first cruise ship the Magic is christened by Patricia Disney, Roy E. Disney’s Wife.  The ship was built by  Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. The Disney Magic can hold approximately 2,400 passengers. The ship boasts 10 expansive decks, a total length of 964 feet, a maximum width of 106 feet and an astonishing gross tonnage of 83,000.

©1998 Alese & Morton Pechter All Rights Reserved.

Patricia Disney christens the ship by remote control, flicking a switch that sends a 3-foot-tall bottle of champagne crashing into the ship’s hull. Mrs. Disney is also the Godmother for the ship.

©1998 Alese & Morton Pechter All Rights Reserved.

The Magic then sets sail with a star-studded manifest that includes Star Wars director George Lucas, San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson and country singer Travis Tritt, on a two-day trip to Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. The ship’s last test run, it will embark on its official maiden voyage two days later.

©1998 Alese & Morton Pechter All Rights Reserved.

***Photos are not the property of The Main Street Mouse.  They belong to ©1998 Alese & Morton Pechter All Rights Reserved.

Films Shot At Disney’s MGM Studios

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When Disney was planning for a new pavilion in EPCOT Future World they were brainstorming ideas of one being based around a movie theme. The ride that was going to be included was The Great Movie Ride. But newly appointed CEO Michael Eisner came up with another idea. Instead of just placing the ride in a park, why not base a park around the ride. So in 1989 we got a third park in Walt Disney World, Disney MGM Studios. But instead of just a park with rides Eisner wanted it to be a fully functional Studio where films and television shows could be filmed. There were quite a few things recorded here over the years and we’re going to go over some of the things that were filmed here since the years the Studios opened.

Splash Too

Yes, there was a sequel to the movie Splash which starred Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. But neither returned for the follow up which was probably a good thing. The sequel starred Amy Yasbeck and Todd Waring taking over the leads. He’s trying to save his business and she’s trying to save a dolphin in captivity. Sounds riviting.

Marvin’s Room

This drama about a leukemia patient attempting to end a 20-year feud with her sister to get her bone marrow starred several Oscar nominees and winners. The movie has Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro.

Ernest Saves Christmas

Now Jim Varney never won an Oscar, but he’s one of my fav’s to watch. Corny? Yes. Childish? Yes. Fun to watch? Yes. In the movie Ernest P. Worrell helps Santa find his successor.

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This movie directed by John Landis starred Sylvester Stallone, Marissa Tomei and Tim Curry. In the movie Stallone’s character makes a promise to his father on his deathbed to leave the life of crime behind and go straight. But as we all know, it’s never that easy to leave a life of crime behind.

Quick Change

A movie from 1990 starring one of my favorite actors Bill Murray is about three bank robbers who successfully rob a bank but find it extremely hard to get out of the city. Also starred Geena Davis and Randy Quaid.

Passenger 57

Wesley Snipes stars as airline security who must take action when he finds himself trapped on a passenger jet when terrorists seize control of it.

Instinct

I remember seeing this in the theater and being bored out of my mind with it. But the movie starred Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. The movie is about an anthropologist who leaves society to live in the jungle and is imprisoned for murder, and it’s up to a young psychiatrist to get through to him. It was directed by Jon Turteltaub who would go on to direct the National Treasure movies and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for Disney.

Separate But Equal

This film follows the true story of the NAACP court court challenge of racial school segregation in the Brown vs. Board of Education. The movies starred Sidney Poitier and Burt Lancaster.

From the Earth to the Moon

This mini-series filmed for HBO and produced by Tom Hanks and Ron Howard is about the conquest of the moon by the Americans, from the Mercury and Gemini projects to the legendary Apollo missions.

There have also been many shows filmed here throughout the years such as The Mickey Mouse Club, Golden Girls, WCW Wrestling, Step by Step and Full House. Unfortunately the studios aren’t used much anymore for filming anymore, but the New York Film Academy students get to use the Studios for their workshops during the summers. And even though the park doesn’t get used in that capacity much anymore you can still check out the fake city facades and take a ride on the Backlot Tour to get a small idea of what the park once was.

Have you tried a “Cronut” at Epcot yet?

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I’ve read about them, I’ve wrote about them, and finally I got to have one of my own! The Croissant Donut, or “Cronut” at Epcot is a little piece of heaven found in Florida. If you go to the walk up stand near Canada at World Showcase, you can get one of these babies for yourself. It’s a cinnamon-sugar covered layered donut, and it’s fantastic. They almost taste like one of those Elephant Ears that you get at a carnival, but so much better.

They cost just over $4.00, and for a dollar more, you can get one with a heap of soft serve ice cream on it. Yummy goodness! I’ll warn you though, while they don’t look huge in size, they are really filling. I gave my last bite away to the kids because it was getting to be a little too much sweetness. Oh, speaking of sweetness, before the Cronut, my friend Andy (WDW Shutterbug) and I got a Grand Marnier Slush over in France at World Showcase. It’s not strong at all, sweet with an orange flavor. They also have a lemonade version made with vodka that I’d like to try. So, instead of a “real” dinner, it was slushes and cronuts last night. It’s Disney, so we’re allowed! I recommend you trying one or both of these awesome treats the next time you’re having fun at World Showcase, you’ll be glad you did! Enjoy!

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