New Beauty and Beast inspired restaurant opens at Disneyland

Starting Feb 24th the Village Haus restaurant located in Fantasyland will re-open as the newly-inspired Red Rose Taverne. This Beauty and Beast restaurant will feature some delicious menu items including a 1/3 pound Angus beef patty, slow-cooked beef, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and horseradish aioli on a toasted roll called the Beast's Burger. 

The menu also features an Enchanted Cauliflower Sandwich - A grilled cauliflower steak, spicy lime aioli, tempura-battered green beans, lettuce and tomato on a toasted roll.

To help wash it all down you can get a mug of Gaston's Famous Brew - Apple-mango punch topped with passion fruit foam.

And to top all that off you can enjoy the Grey Stuff for dessert. We hear it's delicious!

Be sure to stop by soon because this restaurant is a limited-engagement only!

As to images © Disney

Must-do's for first-timers at Disneyland

Everyone will tell you must-do things if it's your first visit a Disney theme park. Things like watching the parades, firework shows, meet the characters, etc. These are all good things to do and very basic. We think you should do them.

But what if you want to go beyond the basics? Assuming you're spending 3 days or more at the parks you'll have the opportunity to do so. Some of these are good to do if you have tired time (who ever has that?!) and some of them could be time fillers (waiting for your Fastpass return time). 

Disneyland Park

1. Ride the monorail. Walt loved the monorail and you can do a full loop on it from inside Disneyland Park. It offers up amazing views of the resort and some behind the scenes. Jump on next to the Finding Nemo Submarines attraction.

Disneyland monorail

2. Sign your kids up for Jedi Training. If they are even a little bit into Star Wars this is a super fun activity. They'll get to face the dark side and (hopefully) defeat them. They'll also get to dress up in Jedi robes and receive a lightsaber. Pretty cool. Sign-ups are located at a kiosk outside the Star Wars Launch Bay. It's first come first serve so get there right when the park opens! If you're doing Magic Morning Early Entry that day take advantage of that and sign-up an hour before everyone else!

3. Check-out a showing of the Golden Horseshoe Revue show at the Golden Horseshoe Restaurant. The building itself is one of the few originals from opening day in 1955. It was one of Walt's favorite hang-outs. In fact, if you go upstairs, the private box on the right side of the stage was his. Now anyone can use it and enjoy a super funny, entertaining show. It's located in Frontierland.

4. Eat a Dole Whip. If you hate pineapple for some strange reason you should eat this anyway. This delicious soft serve ice cream is fluffy, creamy, and oh so good. The lines get long so get there early. Located at the entrance of the Enchanted Tiki Room (also a very good show).

Tiki Room

5. When the Mark Twain re-opens in Summer 2017 you need to do a ride in the Captains wheel-room. Ask a Cast Member before the ship leaves (we ask when the park opens). Basically you and 2 others get to steer the ship around Pirates Lair and blow the boat whistle and ring the bell. It's pretty awesome!

6. Go watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This was one of Walt's personal favorites and he worked very hard on it. Most people walk past this attraction or think it's too boring. Let us tell you something; it's not! It's a great show to rest your feet in and it's nice and cool inside. Plus you'll learn a lot of cool stuff!

Great Moments with Mr Lincoln

Disney California Adventure Park

1. Walk the Grizzly Peak Trail. This shaded outdoors area is so cool. It's like you're in your own special place in Californian. To enter the trail look for Big Bear outside Grizzly River Run and start walking back into the ride. Don't worry, it's actually a loop that goes by several big water falls and around the attraction. Sanctuary!

Grizzly Peak

2. Go play at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. It may be the greatest outdoor babysitting area ever. Take your restless kids here and let them run around and play on everything. Slides, rope bridges, tunnels, rope swings, etc. There's so much to do!

3. Check-out Sorcerers Workshop in the Animation building. Most people won't ever see this place. It's kind of a hidden gem. Once inside the Animation building if you cannot find the entrance ask a Cast Member. Be sure to stop by Beast's Library to find your inner-Disney character...

Beasts Library

4. Dance Party with DJ. Nothing's cooler then having an official dance party with DJ in Cars Land. These are especially fun at night. His shows are put on every so many hours so be sure to check a times guide. 

5. Bakery Tour and free chocolate. The Boudin Bakery tour is located on the Wharf and is actually quite interesting to do. You'll learn a lot about sour dough and you'll also receive a free piece. It's really good! When you're done pop into Ghirardelli across the way for a free chocolate square!

Boudin Bakery

Interview with a Disneyland Cast Member

We recently sat down with a Disneyland Cast Member who told us about some of the perks of working at Disneyland. She was pretty excited to share some of these things and we we're blown away by her response's.

"I have done some amazing things since being a CM. Most of the cool stuff I've done was through the College Program. I got to tour Walt's apartment, the Dream Suite, and the studios in Burbank. I got a very relaxed tour of the Haunted Mansion...we could basically go where ever we wanted to go. I have a picture of me playing the organ in the ballroom. It's basically the coolest thing.

I've gotten to walk through attractions including "going on safari" at the Jungle Cruise. Let me tell you, it is a legitimate jungle out there and my flashlight sucked but it was awesome. I recently walked through the primeval world diorama. We get cool stuff like after hours parties in the golden horseshoe or on the Mark Twain and movie nights in the Main Street Opera House or in the Indiana Jones safety film room.

We get to watch the Christmas parade dress rehearsals and hang out with santa and the princesses on main street at 1am, we get cast previews of new rides and shows...one of my favorite things was watching Jurassic Park on the dock of the jungle cruise. There was a sheet hung on a boat as the screen, another boat was full of snacks, and chairs set up along the upper and lower docks.

Jungle Cruise photos

Being a Cast Member is amazing and sometimes the magic is as simple as walking through the park when it's empty; when all the lights on main street are out but the castle is still lit and you can see Walt and Mickey in front of it. You just can't believe how incredibly lucky you are to not only get to be here every day but to be able to contribute to the place that made you happier than anything else...it's an honor to work at Disneyland and after almost 4 years, I still don't understand how I got so lucky!"

If this doesn't make you want work at Disneyland we don't know what would! 

"Rivers of Light" show at Animal Kingdom to debut Feb 17th

Rivers of Light is an all new show opening at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park on Feb 17th. If you haven't been following the story behind Rivers of Light let us update you. 

The show was supposed to debut last year but failed to do so because of show creative and technical issues. Instead Disney opened a Jungle Book show which has been playing in its place. Guests over-all were disappointed in this show. It lacked everything Disney and you could tell it had been put together last minute. 

Rivers of Light photo

So now, almost a year later, River of Light will finally debut and we're thinking it's going to be fantastic. Disney has spent a lot of time putting this show together and we're confident it will have that Disney Magic. 

The show will be played nightly on Discovery River and feature actors, fountains of light, and floating set pieces. Guests will be able to make Fastpass+ reservations for the show as well as dining packages for better seating.

Star Wars Land to open in 2019 - Disneyland and Hollywood Studios

It was announced yesterday by Disney's CEO that both Star Wars Land's will open in 2019. No specific dates were announced.

Star Wars Land is currently being built at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA and at Hollywood Studios in Orlando, FL. Construction on both began around the same time with early predictions of a 2018 opening although it looks like Disney is requiring a bit more time. 

Star Wars Land pictures

The new lands will feature an immersive Star Wars experience as guests find themselves at an unknown trading post near the edge of the galaxy. The lands will feature two signature attractions including a ride on the Millennium Falcon with guests flying the ship and a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

Pandora – The World of Avatar will open May 27th!

We're pretty excited for this one! Pandora - The World of Avatar will be opening May 27th of this year. We've been given sneak peaks at what this land will offer guests at Animal Kingdom Park and we think it's going to be amazing! 

The new land will feature several new rides including Na'vi River Journey; a trip through a bioluminescent rainforest. The attraction is for all ages.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR

The other ride we're excited for is the Avatar Flight of Passage where guests will get to explore the canopy of the forest and higher on top a Banshee!

Of course the land will feature new dining options and merchandise locations as well!

Start planning your next Walt Disney World vacation now!

Disneyland security has made changes you want to know about

Metal detectors and bag checks are a vital part to guests safety. The security at the Disneyland Resort has been located at the box office entry areas on both the east and west sides for years. Now that's changed and you'll want to be prepared for it.

Starting a month or so ago the security lines were moved from the box office area to the outer perimeter of any entry point into Downtown Disney. The only security entry point that didn't change is the east side where the buses drop off guests.

The red outlined area on the west side is the old security check-point and the blue area shows the east side security check-point which is still there. The park gates are on the north and south ends of the photo.

The red outlined area on the west side is the old security check-point and the blue area shows the east side security check-point which is still there. The park gates are on the north and south ends of the photo.

With the security check-points at the perimeters now that means you have to be checked prior to coming into Downtown Disney. For guests visiting only Downtown Disney you'll come through a security check-point located just before ESPN Zone and Rain Forest Cafe. The lines on the weekends here can get long so be sure to come early!

Guests of the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel will enter at the security check-point located between ESPN Zone and Earl of Sandwich. This check-point has a few hotel guests only entrances but in the mornings the lines can get a bit long. Again, try and show up early.

                                                                     The blue highlighted areas show the new security check-points.

                                                                     The blue highlighted areas show the new security check-points.

One of the biggest changes with these new security check-points is how guests of the Paradise Pier enter into Downtown Disney and the parks. Most guests at the Paradise Pier would cross the street and enter into California Adventure Park through the Grand Californian Hotel. This is no longer an option. Disney has put security guards at the corner of the Grand Californian Hotel and you must show your Grand Hotel Key Card to enter. To ensure that you're a Grand Hotel guest they have changed the color of the room key cards to brown while the Paradise Pier Hotel room keys are blue. If you don't have a Grand Hotel key card they will turn you away.

So what does that mean? We'll, Disneyland Hotel guests and Paradise Pier Hotel guests can no longer use the Grand Californian's private entrance in DCA Park. It also means that Paradise Pier guests have a much longer walk to enter the parks as outlined below.

The red line outlines the route Paradise Pier guests can NO LONGER use. The blue line outlines where Paradise Pier Guests must walk now to enter the parks and Downtown Disney. 

The red line outlines the route Paradise Pier guests can NO LONGER use. The blue line outlines where Paradise Pier Guests must walk now to enter the parks and Downtown Disney. 

For guests at the Grand Californian Hotel the private entrance into DCA Park still has security there. If you use the entrance north of the lobby to enter into Downtown Disney there is now a security check-point there.

These new security check-points were made to make the entire Downtown Disney area safe as well as the parks. It is nice to walk between Downtown Disney and the parks without having to be checked.

Remember to not bring selfie poles to the parks. They will turn you away and make you return it to your car or hotel.

How to Book Disney's Magical Express with 3rd Parties

Disney Magical Express is a great service offered by Disney to get you and your party from Orlando Intl. Airport to your WDW Resort Hotel and back. It's comfortable, convenient, and you don't even have to worry about your baggage! But what if you don't book your WDW Resort Hotel directly with Disney?

Websites like Expedia and Priceline can offer some great deals on property hotels. Or you may even have a coupon code or points to use with them. Either way you're saving. So how do you go about booking the Magical Express once you've booked with a third party?

Disney's created a hard-to-find website that allows you to do just this. Why they make it so hard to find we're not sure. But we've got it for you.

Book Disney's Magical Express or call (866) 599-0951

Short and sweet. Just how we like it. ;)

Disneyland's New $15,000 Dining Experience is Now Open

$15,000 is no joke. It wasn't a type-o. This is the truth.

The new dining venue is located at 21 Royal Street in New Orleans Square. Their address is right next door to the also infamous Club 33 (33 Royal Street). However, this new dining experience may top anything Club 33 has to offer. 

21 Royal Experience

It does offer a lot for the ultimate Disneyland fan. However, the $15,000 price tag makes it only a dream for most. Here's a sample of what guests will experience:

"In keeping with its unique location, discreetly perched above Royal Street in New Orleans Square (upstairs from the famed Pirates of the Caribbean attraction), 21 Royal is decorated in the Empire style made popular in 19th century New Orleans.

21 Royal Dining

Today, when you host your special evening at 21 Royal, you add your own chapter to the residence’s storied history and carry forth the spirit of Walt and Lillian’s enduring vision of an exceptionally enchanted experience.

On the evening of your 21 Royal experience, your guests will arrive at the majestic Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, where they will be greeted by the hotel’s valets. Once your entire party has assembled, they will be given a VIP escort to the site of the evening’s festivities.

21 Royal Dining


Legendary Disney service is on display from the moment your guests are welcomed by the 21 Royal staff. First, signature cocktails are served by professional butlers in the salon, then everyone is invited out to the patio for a casual reception. You and your guests will also have time to explore the different rooms—and discover some of their more magical features.

Then it’s time for dinner. You and your guests take your seats around a lavish table covered in white linens, fresh flowers and set with gold-plated dinnerware and fine crystal. This is when the evening’s adventure really begins—as a fascinating tale unfolds told through fine food and drink.

21 Royal Dining


In true Disney fashion, you can end your evening with a grand finale—dessert on the private balcony, where you and your guests are treated to a spectacular view of the Rivers of America, and on certain nights, prime viewing of the park’s nighttime entertainment."

What does this translate into? You're basically paying for the opportunity to hang-out and dine at the Dream Suite. A place not many have been. One Smart Mouse was able to tour it a few years back under very special circumstances and it is amazing; but not $15,000 amazing. Trust us. 

21 Royal

However, hanging-out there is only a small part of your experience. It's mostly about a very unique and intimate dining experience. 

" The highly customized menu for your 21 Royal experience is created by a culinary team of two master chefs and an expert sommelier.

21 Royal Dining

Using your chosen theme for the evening as inspiration, the team thoughtfully prepares a menu that weaves together a tapestry of imaginative dishes that combine to tell a tale that is uniquely yours. The result is Disney storytelling at its delicious best.

To obtain the freshest and finest ingredients available, the chefs work directly with premier suppliers—both local and international—including farmers, fishermen and other sustainable sources.

By combining these ingredients with skillful techniques and time-honored traditions, then matching them with the perfect pairings from the extensive 21 Royal wine collection, your culinary team creates a symphony of innovative dishes that are dazzling in both flavor and appearance."

21 Royal Dining

So there you have it. The chance to hang-out and dine in the Dream Suite, Walt's luxury apartment, legendary Disney service, and probably one of the best meals you'll ever have in your life (and most expensive). We have hear that the experience does include your ticket entrance and a few other things.

We're not big fans of waisting precious and historical Disney space for things like this so we'll more than likely never experience it. If you do though please share!

PS, to make reservations feel free to call (714) 300-7749.

As to images © Disney

Shout-out to an old attraction

We love new attractions! But we also love the old ones. The classics. Typically when an attraction in replaced by a new one there's nothing left of the old one. When Country Bear Jamboree closed in 2001 at Disneyland Park it was replaced by Winnie the Pooh. One really cool thing that the Imagineers decided to do was pay tribute to Bear Country Jamboree by leaving 3 of the animal heads inside Winnie the Pooh ride. 

Bear Country Jamboree Disneyland

Can you see them? Of course! The heads of Max, Melvin, and Buff can be seen as you exit the Heffalump Room. You have to turn around and look up as you're coming out and you'll see them! It's a pretty cool sight. Be sure to try it the next time you ride the attraction. 

One really quick fun fact about Bear Country Jamboree: It was originally designed for a ski resort that Walt Disney was working on building called Mineral King Ski Resort. It was scrapped after the passing of Walt not too much later however. Bear Country originally debut at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando and became such a hit that they built one in Disneyland Park soon after. 

Walt Disney World's Best Hotel is...

....what ever your needs are! JK. We actually have one that we think is the best hotel to stay at for an all-around vacation. But which one is it! We'll start off telling you which ones aren't it.

JK again. We won't drag this on. The best hotel is The Boardwalk Inn and Villas!

Let us make our case. Location is EVERYTHING at Disney World. Because it's so big it requires a lot of driving or busing. Nobody likes to do this. The bus lines are long and cramped and if you just miss the bus then you have to wait another 15-20 minutes. The less busing and driving you have to do the better. 

The Boardwalk Inn and Villas location is prime to bring down your busing time. From the hotel you can walk to EPCOT in 5 minutes and to Hollywood Studios in 10 minutes. That's two out of the four theme parks you don't have to bus to!

Here's a secret: After you walk to EPCOT you can take the monorail to Magic Kingdom. 3 out of 4 parks now. We're on a hot streak!

Unfortunately that's where our streak ends. You do have to bus to Animal Kingdom but so does every other hotel. 

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

Outside of location we love The Boardwalk Inn and Villas for all the entertainment that surrounds it. The boardwalk has tons of restaurants, ice cream shops, games, and activities. Plus, they have some of the coolest and funniest shows put on each night by several magicians and entertainers. Our favorite is Coney Island Chris. Super funny show and a must see! Bowling, biking, boardwalk games, piano bars, dance halls, and more can all be found here!

Outside of entertainment the views are just amazing. You can see most of the firework shows from the boardwalk area, you have amazing views of the lakes and other resorts, and lots of walkways and gardens. Speaking of other resorts you need to head over to the Beach Club Resort for some ice cream at Beaches and Cream. 

The hotel itself features some really great pools with waterslides and kids play areas. There are quite pools and pools with bars. The lobby and lobby's balcony are great places to sit and relax and enjoy the nice weather. 

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

The staff is great and very attentive. There's a great gift shop for all your little needs. Down on the boardwalk they have a bigger merchandise store that also serves fresh baked goodies. 

We could go on for hours but I think you get our point. Much love to the Boardwalk Inn. 

As to images © Disney

Main Street Electrical Parade Returns to Disneyland

There's a lot of commotion about the Main Street Electrical Parade returning to the Disneyland Resort January 20th, 2017. We thought it would be fun to give you a timeline of this classic parade.

The parade debut on June 17th, 1972 at Disneyland Park. It almost didn't debut due to the original contractor being way behind schedule. Disney insisted it debut when they had said it would so they brought all the floats from Chicago to a back lot at Disneyland and finished them up. Their first rehearsal was a disaster, with some of the floats going off course and one evening crashing into a building. However, the day it debut it was perfect!

Main Street Electrical Parade Disneyland

One really interesting thing that came from this parade was the design of radio trigger zones. These zones, when entered, would trigger certain music and dancing of lights. As they left, they would be queued for a different set of music and lights. These zone allowed all the guests sitting along the parade route to see the exact same show no matter where they sat. They still use this today!

On November 25th, 1996, the parade was closed at Disneyland Park and sent over to the Magic Kingdom in Florida where it ran until April 25th, 2001. That year the parade was supposed to come back to Disneyland Park but was postponed because of the failing numbers of attendees at Disney's new California Adventure Park. They didn't want the parade to pull people away from the new park.

So what did they do? They debut the parade under a new name at Disney's California Adventure Park! The Electrical Parade ran here from July 2nd, 2001 to April 18th, 2010. During its run it received many updates including the first new parade float to be added in over 20 years. Which float was it? It has to do with Pixie Dust...

Main Street Electrical Parade

On June 5th, 2010 the Main Street Electrical Parade debut again at the Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom Park. The run was supposed to be for just a short time but was eventually changed to an open-ended run. It closed on Oct. 9th, 2016 to make its way back to the Disneyland Resort.

And here we are. The Main Street Electrical Parade will once again debut at its home resort on Jan 20th, 2017. Its run will be short thus far, supposedly ending on June 18th, 2017. If this is true you better make plans to come see it! 

As to images © Disney

Disneyland Property Hotels - 4 amazing reasons to stay and more!

There's really one reason not to stay at Disneyland Property Hotels: Price. 

They are more expensive than all the neighboring hotels. In the end your room will be pretty standard and you'll sleep in a bed...for $400 a night. Ouch.

Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Discounts

But wait! It's so much more then that! We'll try talking you into staying at one by mentioning location first. They are so close! Forget about long walks back to the hotel for mid-day naps or picking up something you forgot to bring. Forget about walking back to a parking tram, waiting in line, riding, getting out, and then walking back to your car only to have to wait in line to exit and then finally drive to your hotel. Forget about that stuff. You're within walking distance of everything.

This is why we love these 3 magical hotels. It's so easy to come back if you need to; and even if you spend all day at the parks, at least when you're tired and ready to head back you don't have to spend 30+ minutes doing it. Location is everything. 

Disneyland Hotel discounts

After location we love the service. Nobody does it like Disney when it comes to a great guest experience. Any issue that we've ever had at one of these hotels (and they are few), Disney has made it right and gone above and beyond. For instance, one time we checked into the Grand for a night and our rooms didn't get ready until after 4pm (guaranteed is 4pm). The next morning the hotel called us and offer us two other rooms to stay in until after 2pm because of the mistake. You won't find that service anywhere else. 

After service we love the magical extras, mainly Extra Magic Hour. Everyday you get to enter the parks an hour before the public. This hours is very precious! You can get so much done during this time. For instance, during this hour Toy Story Mania is 5 minutes or less. After the park opens to everyone else it's typically 35-40 minutes. Same with Radiator Springs Racer Ride. You can easily get all the big attractions done in this single hour. SOOOO worth it.

After Extra Magic Hour comes hotel delivery. Anything merchandise that you purchase in the parks can be delivered to your hotel for a later pick up. That means you don't have to drag around that giant Mickey doll or Light Saber all day long. Just send it to the hotel and pick it up later. 

Paradise Pier Hotel discounts

Lastly, it's just fun to be able to walk out your hotel and be immersed in the magic. No city interruptions, no traffic, just the magic of Disney and you and yours. In our opinion, all these things are priceless!

If you've never stayed before and are looking for a good deal on a Disneyland Property Hotel and tickets, try out our packages and use coupon code: SMARTMOUSE for an extra $10 off!

Uber and LYFT at the Disney Theme Parks plus get a FREE ride!

These two companies are going to be your best friends. They can save you a lot of money over rental cars, taxis, and airport vans. Our experience's with these readily-available car services have been great over the past several years. However, there are somethings you need to know:

1. They're aren't allowed to pick up at every airport. 

Some airports don't allow LYFT or Uber to pick up passengers needing a ride from the airport to somewhere. This is a serious bummer because they can be much much cheaper then a taxi or taxi van. In Anaheim they currently cannot pick up at Long Beach Airport. LAX and Orange County - SNA you can be picked up. 

Typical fares from SNA to the Disneyland Resort area are $23. Peak times can run more then $40 (rush hour). 

2. When you're heading back to the airport LYFT and Uber can take you to any of the 3 major airports. You'll typically run $23 to SNA, $32 to Long Beach, and $45 to LAX. Just remember these are much cheaper then a taxi (typically $50 plus tip). Plus you can use LYFT code: ONESMARTMOUSE for $50 in free rides or Uber code: deang2368ue for a $20 free ride.

3. Rentals cars cost per day plus many hotels charge a parking fee around $12-$14+ per night. LYFT and Uber offer huge savings compared to rentals. Plus you don't have to drive!

Disneyland Uber and LYFT

In Florida at the Walt Disney World LYFT and Uber are ever-preset and very, very helpful.

4. If you booked a Disney World Property Hotel you have FREE access to the Magical Express from Orlando Intl. to your hotel and back. So no need for a rental car or LYFT/Uber. Take advantage of that. 

If you aren't grab a LYFT or Uber. They will run you about $40-$50. Taxi's are $70+

Disney World Uber and LYFT

5. LYFT and Uber are best while you're at the resort. We use them all the time to go from park to park or from our hotel to a park and back. They are much faster then the bus system and don't cost much. It's especially nice for 1 park per day guests who will be at the same park all day. It's about $5-$7 per ride.

6. We've had many people ask us if they should tip with Uber (LYFT gives you an option on the app whereas Uber does not). We do but many people don't so it's up to you. Most of our experiences are very pleasant so we don't have a hard time tipping. We only wish they would make this available on their app because lot's of times we don't carry cash. 

If you've never used these services use LYFT code: ONESMARTMOUSE for $50 in free rides or Uber code: deang2368ue for a $20 free ride.

MagicBand 2 is now available!

.....sort of. When you book any Walt Disney World Resort Package it will now come with the new MagicBand 2. More versatile in its design and wear it still performs the same functions as the original MagicBand. 

Guests have the options to pick from 8 basic colors right now: pink, blue, red, green, orange, gray, yellow and purple.

The original MagicBand will still work at the parks so if you have a custom designed one don't worry, you can still bring it and use it. 

Come February you will be able to purchase the new MagicBand 2 without a package. Then later this year customizable ones will be available as well. 

MaxPASS coming to Disneyland Resort this year

What the heck is MaxPASS?! We thought the same thing. It's a very interesting name...

MaxPASS is Disneyland Resort's answer to its sister parks FASTPASS+ system...in a way. 

1. It allows guests to schedule, store, and use FASTPASSES right from their phone using the Disneyland Mobile APP. This means that when you're over at Star Tours but want a FASTPASS for Splash Mountain you no longer have to walk over there...just select your FASTPASS time from your phone and head to the next attraction. Super easy. This is going to save guests a lot of time. 

2. MaxPASS also allows guests to receive unlimited downloads of their PhotoPass's taken that day at the park. Pretty cool. So all those Disney photographers you see taking pictures, use them! But wait a minute....there's a catch..

MaxPASS will cost $10 per day. We don't know yet if this price is per person or if one person in your group can manage everyone's FASTPASSES and Photos. TBD. 

We do know that Annual Passholders will have the opportunity to purchase MaxPASS by day or annually at a discount. The service will be available later this year; no date has been specified. 

This new service along with 2 new FASTPASS Kiosks are going to help shorten your wait times and walking. We're pretty excited about it and you should be too! Be sure to download the Disneyland Mobile APP today!

New FASTPASS locations at Disneyland Resort!

It's finally happening! Two major Disneyland attractions will be receiving FASTPASS kiosks this year:

1. Toy Story Midway Mania

2. Matterhorn Bobsleds

Matterhorn Bobsled FASTPASS

Both of these are WAY over due and we can't wait until they're in. We are expecting it to shorten the main lines by hopefully half. For Toy Story that would be an average wait time of 20 minutes and for the Matterhorn Bobsleds it would be about the same, maybe 25 minutes. 

Hurray for change! 

Epcot® International Festival of the Arts 2017

This is the newest festival to hit EPCOT Theme Park over the last several years. Typically they put on only 2 each year including the Flower and Garden Festival in the Spring and the Food and Wine Festival in the Fall. So why a Festival of Arts?

Well, it's pretty simple. They want to sell more booze. The two above mentioned festivals draw in so many people each year that they've decided to keep it going almost year round. We know this because they continually extend the number of days and weeks for the other two festivals. People love to drink and eat and these festivals are the best excuse!

Festival of Arts

So putting aside the business reasons for the new festival, we're actually pretty excited about what it will feature. From our understanding it's going to feature a lot of art in many different ways. Paintings, dance, music, and food. If you're going to be visiting during the weeks of Jan 13th to Feb 20th 2017, here's what you'll want to know:

1. It's only put on during the weekends during those weeks so Tuesday-Thursday will just be regular EPCOT. So if you want to avoid crowds visit during the weekdays, excluding Mondays. 

2. They are going to have all sorts of fun activities to do and see including Broadway shows, artist meet and greets, food displays, living statues, workshops and seminars, and more. Some of these things will require an advanced sign-up so be sure to visit the Disney World website before you arrive. 

3. The Broadway Shows are going to fill-up the fastest because they feature very prominent actors from the Disney Classics. Being performed at the America Gardens Theater, here are the shows:

  • January 13-16 and 20-23
     Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland perform songs from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, FrozenMary PoppinsTarzan and The Little Mermaid.
  • January 27-30 and February 3-6
     Kerry Butler & Kevin Massey perform songs from Disney’s Aladdin, Beauty and the BeastNewsies and Tarzan.
  • February 10-13 and 17-20
     Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White perform songs from Disney’s AidaAladdinThe Lion King and The Little Mermaid.

The shows will be performed 3 times each at starting at 5:30pm. Be sure to arrive early!

EPCOT Festival of Arts 2017

4. We'll briefly mention dining packages...but they're never worth the price. They do offer them though.

5. There are kid events including scavenger hunts and workshops. Fun for the whole family!

This is the very first year of the festival so we would assume bigger crowds during the event dates. Of course you can expect to have fun and be treated to some really great art and food!