Fall is an excellent time of the year to visit Walt Disney World. It offers nice weather, lower crowds, great promotions, and fun activities like the Food & Wine Festival in Epcot and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is an extra ticketed event that takes place from 7:00pm to midnight on select nights from August 17th through October 31st. From shorter attraction lines to fun food and candy collecting the fun is continuous. Click HERE for more information on dates & prices
For 2018 The party has some brand new experiences:
Colorful new lighting and effects give a new spin to the Mad Tea Party attraction
Pirates of the Caribbean will offer a new, interactive pirates invade experience that will encourage guests to join the search for “Gunpowder Pete”.
Space Mountain will fly riders through deep space with a brand new soundtrack and special effects transform the adventure.
Storybook Circus will offer the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam, a dance party with your favorite Disney Junior Characters including Doc McStuffins.
Of course you will still be able to collect all of your favorite candy at the candy stations (allergy friendly options available), watch the popular “Boo to You” parade and see the Sanderson sisters perform in front of the castle during the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”. To top off the night, some of the best fireworks of the year can be seen during an amazing display that not only lights up the sky but the castle as well.
Which of these highly anticipated experiences are you the most excited about? Personally, I enjoy all of it!
Thinking of visiting Walt Disney World?
Let me help plan the details of your Spelltacular Walt Disney World Vacation!
Which hotel is the right fit for your family? Where to dine, attractions, crowds and all that goes along with planning a vacation is a lot to think about. With a Disney-focused travel agent by your side, you can plan as much or as little as you desire. My planning assistance all comes at NO additional cost to you and is based on countless hours of personal experience.
Receive a welcome packet when you book, with park information & a custom planning calendar.
Dining reservation assistance. Let me help you make your dining reservations for those popular Disney Restaurants. *based on availability
Fastpass+ assistance. Undecided on which attractions are the best for your family? I’m happy to help you plan to utilize your Fastpasses to your advantage and will also provide assistance making those reservations *based on availability
Itinerary plans and printed itinerary with added suggestions to optimize your day and your experiences.
Fee-Free Planning. All of my planning assistance is complimentary when you book your trip through me, you will get all of the services that Disney offers, plus the personalized service that I offer.
Custom Client Portal – I always like to stay on top of the newest technology and once you are booked, we can set up a free client portal where we can share documents & you can view details about your vacation.
Help planning visits to other Orlando area attractions outside of the Disney theme parks. If you are considering adding other Orlando attractions to your vacation, why not get assistance of someone who is local and been there?
You get all of this complimentary planning, and more, when you book your Disney vacation through Melissa of Pixie Dust Adventures (me). Click here to visit my website & get started with a no obligation quote.
Thank you for reading. My name is Melissa and I am a Disney fanatic, I’m also a travel agent. You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney theme parks with my family exploring all of the newest things that Disney has to offer and the Halloween party is always a must-do for my kiddos.
Melissa Mathies – Pixie Dust Adventures www.PixieDustAdventures.com
For all of my fellow Star Wars geeks out there. For those of you that have trips booked to Disneyland November 16th and beyond, I am very jealous. If you do not have a trip booked, but wish you could see these new, limited time Star Wars attractions, contact me and we can start with a free quote. Melissa – Pixie Dust Adventures
Disney has announced upcoming, all-new Star Wars experiences at Disneyland® Park in Southern California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® in Florida in the coming months.
Beginning Nov. 16, 2015, guests visiting Disneyland Park will have the chance to jump to lightspeed with Season of the Force, featuring opportunities to meet some of their favorite Star Wars characters, experience an exciting twist on a favorite attraction and more.
Opening at Disneyland Park on Nov. 16 will be:
Star Wars Launch Bay – This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and much more.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – This popular attraction will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film,Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – Coming in December, a twist on the Jedi Training experience will introduce new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney series, Star Wars Rebels.
Hyperspace Mountain – For a limited time, your Clients will join an X-wing starfighter battle in this reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction.
Other limited-time experiences include:
An opportunity to revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films at Tomorrowland Theater.
Special themed food and beverage, merchandise and entertainment.
We’ll have dates to share soon for Season of the Force at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Disney Parks is also preparing to take your guests to a galaxy far, far away with new Star Wars-themed lands. With groundbreaking scheduled to take place in 2016 for our largest single-land expansions ever, building the new 14-acre lands will be major projects at both Disneyland Park in Southern California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Work to make room for this new land at Disneyland Park in California will require the Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad to close temporarily. The following will suspend operations at the end of the operating day on Jan. 10, 2016:
The Disneyland Railroad, including all stations
Attractions along the Rivers of America, including:
Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
These attractions will reopen in the future.
Elsewhere in Frontierland, Big Thunder Ranch – including Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree – will close permanently at the end of the operating day on Jan. 10, 2016.
Stay tuned for more details on Season of the Force at Disneyland Park, and keep an eye on Disney Travel News for more information about exciting Star Wars experiences coming to Disney Parks in both California and Florida.
Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland®Resort during the D23 EXPO 2015.
Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts
Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving Guests a new adventure in the Star Warsgalaxy.
Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take Guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland® at Disneyland Park.
Jedi Training Academy – A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. InTomorrowland at Disneyland Park, your Clients can explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain® attraction, in which Guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. AtDisney’s Hollywood Studios, Guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.
Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida
The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Your Clients will think they’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite.
Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.
Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take Guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.
Toy Story Mania!® – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.
After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR
As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.
“Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
Kilimanjaro Safaris® – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.
AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.
Soarin’ Around the Worldin Florida and California
Next year, Guests at Epcot® and Disney California Adventure® Park will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.
Jungle Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park
Jungle Cruise® fans can look forward to the brand-new Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen restaurant opening in Magic Kingdom® Park late 2015. At the Jungle Skipper Canteen, Guests will be able to experience “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” in one of several unique dining rooms – including a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The restaurant will also be staffed by Jungle Cruise Skippers.
Stay tuned for more information about these new enhancements and attractions!
My name is Melissa and I am a travel agent with Main Street Adventures Travel Agency. I look forward to personally experiencing the new attractions! Disney Parks are now booking packages into 2016. If you would like to plan a trip for next year, please contact me for a free, no obligation quote.
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a turn down a dark alley and ending up smack in the middle of a Harry Potter novel, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the right place for you. Universal has done an amazing job of capturing every detail in this truly immersive land; no sight, sound, smell or taste has been forgotten. This is a ‘must do’ experience for every Harry Potter fan.
I realize that some people would rather see things firsthand themselves and I don’t want to spoil any vacation with too many photos. I will post photos at the very bottom for those of you that want to see them.
1. Pre-purchase Universal’s Photo Connect Star Card. This card will allow you to download all of your attraction photos as well as any photos that you have taken by the Universal, photographers while you are in the park. Pre-purchasing will save you some money. If you have booked a package, ask your travel agent to assist you in adding this to your Universal package. You can find the details HERE
2. Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringott’s
Located in Diagon Alley, in the Universal Studios Theme park, this is a very popular attraction and there is no line for Express Pass Holders. I would suggest getting to this attraction as early as possible. Guests staying at a Universal Resort are often granted early entry into Universal park before the opening to the general public. You will want to go straight to this attraction first. (must be at least 42′ to ride with an adult)
When you are in the queue for the Escape From Gringott’s attraction, be sure to watch the goblin’s closely; they look so very real. After making your way past the goblins you will go into the basement & will have the opportunity to get your photo taken that will appear with a special Gringott’s Bank boarder and the date you were there. You can view & purchase the photo after the ride and if you have pre-purchased the Photo Connect package you will be able to scan your photo connect Star card & download the photo when you return home.
3. Gringott’s Bank Dragon. The Ukrainian Ironbelly Dragon, on top of Gringott’s Bank, is an attraction in itself. It breaths fire every half hour or so. In order to catch the fire breathing action, be sure to listen for when the dragon starts to growl; she will breath fire shortly after. The Gingott’s Bank Dragon breaths fire that reaches 3,560 degrees Fahrenheit (1,960 degrees celcius). That’s more than 16 times hotter than boiling water! You can feel the heat when you are standing under this dragon. Video Below
4. Catch a stage show in Diagon Alley. Watch one of several shows put on in Diagon Alley. These stage shows are entertaining for Harry Potter fans & also a good way to take a break from the walking & the heat. The current performances are “Tale of Three Brothers” and “Fountain of Fair Fortune”.
5. Ollivander’s Wand Shop / Buy a Wand. You can purchase a wand in Ollivander’s Wand Shop in either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. The shop in Hogmeade has a little pre-show that you can go to prior to entering the shop, but sometimes the line for the show can be daunting. If you are interested in being a part of the pre-show, be sure to get there early in the morning to avoid the lines. During this show one little wizard is chosen to test the wands & see which is the perfect match for him or her. Afterward it is their choice if they want to purchase the wand. There are numerous styles of wands and two different types of wands, normal and interactive. The interactive wands come with a map that shows you where to go and how to wave your wand. If you do it just right, you will achieve interesting, animated results.
6. Visit Knockturn Alley. In Diagon Alley you can visit one of the very darkest destinations, Knockturn Alley. You will find the entrance near the Leaky Cauldron restaurant. This alley is a very dark & interesting place to visit, but is really made entertaining by the use of an interactive wand; hold the map up (included with the interactive wand) and watch little figures pop up. If you don’t have an interactive wand, spend some time watching what happens when other people use theirs.
7. Visit the Knight Bus. be sure to visit the Knight Bus just outside of Diagon Alley in London. The Shrunken Head and driver will interact with you for memorable laughter. You can also see the beds on the inside if you peek in the back.
8. Ride the Hogwart’s Express (both ways). You must be sure that you purchase Universal’s Park 2 Park pass in order to be able to ride the Hogwart’s Express. While you are in Universal Studios you will board from the Kings Cross Station in London and travel to the Hogsmeade station in Islands of Adventure Park. The queue really looks like a London train station you can see platform 9 3/4 along with luggage trolleys waiting to be loaded. I must admit that they did a very good job making this train look like it traveled right out of the Harry Potter books. You must experience this ride going both directions. Each has a different show during your travels.
9. Take your photo with the Hogwart’s Express Conductor. Often times you will find the conductor standing beside the Hogwart’s Express, just inside the entrance to Hogsmeade. be sure to stop for a photo and viola, your Christmas card is done.
10. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Attraction
This attraction is in Hogsmeade in the Island’s of Adventure Park. Although not as new or popular as the Escape From Gingott’s attraction, you will still want to ride this early on. This ride also does not accept the Express Pass. This is a dark motion ride, if you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to close your eyes when you are put up near the screens. Don’t be ashamed, I sometimes have to ride with my eyes closed. (Must be at least 48″ to ride).
The queue for this ride is also very fun & entertaining and there is a ride photo that you can purchase at the end of the ride or add to your Universal Star Card for downloading later on.
11. Ride Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. be sure not to miss these two very different coasters in Hogsmeade, Islands of Adventure Park. They both accept the Express Pass. While the Dragon Challenge is quite an intense coaster and is not for the faint of heart, Flight of the Hippogriff is fun for all ages. See if you can spot the golden egg just outside of the Dragon Challenge queue. Flight of the Hippogriff is worth walking through the line; you can spot Hagrid’s Hut and once you board the coaster the Hippogriff will bow to you before you depart. (Must be at least 54″ to ride Dragon Challenge and 36″ to ride Flight of the Hippogriff) Video below
12. Watch the Frog Choir Perform. Be sure to catch a performance of the Frog Choir on the stage in Hogsmeade. Ask one of the wizards working that day for times of the performances. The Frog Choir is very entertaining to watch and one of our favorite performances in Universal.
13. Enjoy a Frozen Butterbeer. Although they serve Butterbeer warm, cold & frozen, frozen is our favorite way to drink them. You can always grab one from a cart on the street, but what fun is that when you can go into the Hogs Head Bar in Hogsmeade? In the Hogs Head the line is often shorter than at the street carts and it is agreat place to cool off. You can also purchase Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks Restaurant and the Leaky Cauldron Restaurant. For an added cost you can purchase your Butterbeer in a souvenir mug that is refillable for .99 cents outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The refill price is good for soda and soda is not served in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter because it is a “muggle drink”. We love re-using our souvenir mugs after we get home; it brings back fond memories of our vacation.
14. Have a meal at the Three Broomsticks or the Leaky Cauldron. Be sure to enjoy a wizard meal and the wonderful theming inside one of the restaurants in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. They both look very similar and have similar menus. The Three Broomsticks is located in Hogsmeade and seems to have a larger seating area than the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. Menu choices consist of things like “Toad in the Hole” and “Bangers and Mash”.
15. Visit the Shops. be sure to explore the shops in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. All are wonderfully themed and really take you inside the, awarding winning, Harry Potter Novels. No purchase necessary just to wonder around inside the stores.
16. Download the Universal Wait Times app before going to the park. This app will keep you updated with ride wait times and closures.
17. Listen for Moaning Myrtle in the Hogsmeade bathrooms.
18. if you dial 62442 (MAGIC) in the telephone booth outside King’s Cross, it will connect you to the Ministry of Magic.
19. Interact with the Wizards hired to work there and be sure to ask them for a picture. Universal has done a wonderful job hiring entertaining wizards to work around the Wizaring World of Harry Potter
20. Relax and have fun!!!!! Don’t sweat the small stuff and be sure to take time to just relax and take in everything that is going on around you.
Thank you for reading,
My name is Melissa and I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan; I’m also a travel agent and a Universal Parks and Resorts Specialist. Contact me to plan your next adventure to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter; it all starts with a FREE quote and all of my booking and planning services are FREE to you. What are you waiting for? Visit my website or email me today. Melissa Mathies
Pixie Dust Adventures – Destinations by Melissa www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Listed below is the attraction closure & refurbishment schedule as of 4/24/14. It is always a good idea to ask your agent for an updated list prior to traveling.
Disneyland Resort Refurbishments Update
Please be advised that refurbishment information is subject to change without notice and should be confirmed just prior to visiting.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Alice in Wonderland
Indiana Jones Adventure
Tarzan’s Tree House
Gadget’s Go Coaster
it’s a small world
King Arthur Carrousel
Mark Twain Riverboat
Pirates of the Caribbean
Westward Ho Trading Company
Jan. 6 – Sep. 26, 2014
Mar. 10 – Jul. 3, 2014
Mar. 17 – May 8, 2014
Apr. 21 – 22, 2014
Apr. 21 – May 15, 2014
Apr. 21 – May 15, 2014
Apr. 23 – May 22, 2014
Apr. 28 – May 1, 2014
Apr. 28 – 29, 2014
Apr. 28 – May 22, 2014
Apr. 28 – May 15, 2014
May 12 – Jun. 26, 2014
Disney California Adventure Park
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
blue sky Cellar
Ariels Undersea Adventure
Grizzly River Run