Travel Planning

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Grand Opening

Orlando celebrated the opening of another new attraction today. Universal Studios at Universal Orlando Resort rolled out the yellow carpet for the odd ball family cast of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. On the new 3D attraction, guests get to experience what it’s like to become a minion.

Attending at the event were: Members of Universal Orlando’s creative team, Dana Gaier (Edith) and Elsie Fisher (unicorn hugging Agnes), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo) and a slew of characters from the film. No bananas were harmed in the event.

More photos below the cut:

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Aulani, Video Introduction

If you haven’t seen much of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, then you’ve missed out on a terrific project where Walt Disney Imagineers worked hand in hand with local Hawaiians to create the first Disney resort on Hawaii. More than a… Read More »Aulani, Video Introduction

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station Imports Watery Fun to Storybook Circus

Casey Jr Splash 'N' Soak Station

The Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station has officially opened at the Magic Kingdom and with it arrived a circus of fun to Storybook Circus. The Water Play area contains playful camels (what is it with Imagineering and spitting camels?), monkeys, elephants and giraffes who splash along with guests. Joining Dumbo, the Flying Elephant and Barnstormer featuring Goofy as the Great Goofini in Storybook Circus, Casey Jr. is the most recent phase to open in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland expansion.

I got to spend a few minutes watching my son run through the area and was impressed with the variety of methods for getting wet while exploring Casey Jr. During the hot months it will provide a great way to cool down and during the cold months it will still make a wonderful photo opportunity. There is a big problem with a lack of shade between Casey Jr and the Storybook Circus bathrooms. With the sun beating down it was pretty hot even with the play zone just a few feet away.

The astute observer may have caught that each car has a number on its back. Those numbers, 71, 82, 89, and 98 stand for the opening years of the four Walt Disney World parks. I haven’t yet noticed any Hidden Mickeys, but I thought that was a great tribute.

More photos of the water play area below the jump

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A Breakfast Visit to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

On a recent visit to The Happiest Place on Earth, my dear friend Kristin and I decided to visit the newly opened Art of Animation Resort to check things out as well as try their some of their unique breakfast offerings. Kristin and I, along with my husband, will be staying at DAAR in January over Marathon Weekend, so we definitely wanted to explore a bit and see what it would have in store for us as guests!

Upon pulling into the parking area, you are already able to get a sense that this resort is not quite as kitschy as any of the other value resorts. Most of the decoration/color is left to two dimensions instead of three, giving the building a very sleek, clean look while still being bright and colorful. The basic layout of the main building is the same as POP! Century: the main areas are located in the same places; the front desk, gift store, food court, arcade, etc. It might feel empty in comparison to many props and shadow boxes that adorn POP! Century, except there is so much color around you that it never feels undecorated; it just feels clean. Shapely lines and curves are everywhere, making you feel as though you’ve stepped right on to the animator’s desk. The front desk sparkles with color while the backlit storyboard sketches that decorate the Ink & Paint Shop entrance positively glow.

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Magic Kingdom Photo Update – Change, Hope, and Dumbo

No, it’s not a description of the latest political climate, it’s my short summary of the latest update from my walk in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday. My time in the kingdom was short, but I managed to sneak around Storybook Circus, New Fantasyland Expansion,… Read More »Magic Kingdom Photo Update – Change, Hope, and Dumbo

Disney California Adventure Adds New Entertainment to Fuel Cars Land & Buena Vista Street


From “Mad T Party” to the “Red Car News Boys,” a new lineup of characters and shows will offer something for everyone as they celebrate the grand re-opening of the California Adventure with the new Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle Theatre, featuring a restaurant and lounge.

The new lands will be home for new characters and street performers, while “Pixar Play Parade” will return for twice-daily performances throughout the summer and the long-running hit “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” is expected to add extra performances. The nighttime spectacular “World of Color” continues to satisfy guests with fire, water, lasers, animation and new story elements.

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