The Confession of a Disney Fanatic – I Never Watched the Parade

Festival of Fantasy

Hey everyone, Jen here.  So let’s start this out by making something known:  I am a Disney fanatic.  I have vacationed at Walt Disney World basically since birth (sometimes staying on property for two weeks at a time) and married my best friend there in 2009.  I live and breathe Disney.  Now that we’ve established that, I have a confession to make.  Growing up and even into my adult years, I never watched the Magic Kingdom parade.

If I was in the Magic Kingdom at 3:00, you’d find me far away from the parade route.  This was instilled in me at a young age by my very theme park-efficient dad.  It’s not that we didn’t like the parade, it was that we knew our time could be better spent hitting rides while the wait times were shorter due to the parade drawing crowds away from the rides.  This is a basic theme park tip that many people consider when trying to maximize their time in the park and for us it was a no-brainer.

As I got older, the parade did start to intrigue me but still I resisted and used that time to maximize what we like to call our “Rides Per Minute”.  All of that changed on March 9, 2014.

This was the day the new Magic Kingdom parade, Festival of Fantasy, made its debut.  This parade was clearly different.  There was so much hype around it, I couldn’t resist any longer.  I gave in and finally took the time to watch this parade.  After experiencing the parade, I can honestly say that for the first time I actually felt my time was better spent sitting on the curb of Main Street waiting an hour just to experience it than riding a few extra rides.

Everything about Festival of Fantasy is magical:  the characters, the costumes, the floats, the music.  It brings the Magic Kingdom to life every day and makes adults really feel like kids again.  Don’t believe me?  Check out these pics:


I will say that here at TPG we still do advise guests who do not desire to see the parade or those who have been able to experience it already to use that time to experience the rides, however I strongly feel that you should at least take the time to see this parade once during your visit.

Want to see video of Festival of Fantasy or just want to relive the magic of this parade?  Check out our full parade video below:

Which Magic Kingdom parade is your favorite?  Tell us below!  Is anyone else like me and never took the time to watch the parade?





Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival Highlights

Flower & Garden Festival 2016

The 22nd Flower & Garden Festival at Disney’s Epcot is in full swing!  There are some beautiful topiaries to check out and some delicious food to try out this year!  Below are some of the amazing topiaries on display this year:


Flower & Garden Festival Merchandise

There is also a great selection of Flower & Garden Festival Merchandise this year – especially in the Festival Center.  Here are a few pictures of the available merchandise this year:

Flower & Garden Festival Treats

There are plenty of food options to try this year at the Flower & Garden Festival.  Here are just a few of the amazing treats you can try:

Flower and Garden Festival
Pineapple Soft Serve and Violet Frozen Lemonade

Will you be heading to the Flower & Garden Festival this year?  Be sure to check out the Garden Rocks Concert lineup here – concerts happening each weekend!

Want to be prepared before heading to Epcot?  Head over to our Epcot page to read our tips and info for the park!


Disney’s Frozen Ride at Epcot Update

Disney's Frozen

Disney’s Frozen Ride

Here is our latest update Disney’s Frozen Ride at Epcot!  There have been some improvements, but not as much as we had hoped – apparently due to a problem at the construction site.  Check out our video for more details!


Be sure to check out our other videos by heading to our Media Page!


Theme Park Essentials: Top 5 Portable Fans


Theme Park Essentials

It’s that time of year again when we start to put away the winter boots and break out the flip flops!  While it’s exciting, it also means we’re heading into the “sweaty season”.  That’s why this installment of our Theme Park Essentials is covering Portable Fans. Orlando gets hot, really hot.  If you are planning a Spring Break trip or a Summer Vacation trip – we highly suggest you grab one of the fans below! We promise, you’ll be glad you did when you’re standing on Main Street waiting for the parade and you’re 5-10 degrees cooler than the sweaty guy next to you!

1) Handheld Fan

A small handheld fan is a great option to help fight the heat and humidity while waiting in line!  A little rechargeable fan like this one can be a vacation-saver!  Typically one that costs a little more should have more longevity and a nice feature with this fan is that it can be recharged with a USB cable!  There are many USB charging stations throughout the Disney parks, so you’ll be covered!

(Click picture for details)

2) Misting Fan

This is where you get the ultimate cool!  Adding the water mist to your fan will help you achieve coolation much quicker!  Fans like this one are nice because they are sleek, can easily fit into luggage and backpacks, and can be recharged with a USB cable.

(Click picture for details)

3) Stroller Fan

We can’t stress enough the importance of having a stroller fan.  Orlando gets hot and you don’t want your children to get dehydrated or worse while trying to enjoy the parks.  There are many options out there, you can go for something more expensive that should last a while or something less expensive just to cover your trip.  Here are two great options:

 (Click picture for details)

4) Fans for the Whole Family/Group

These types of fans are a great option if you’re heading to the parks with a large group or several young children who will want their own fan.  These fans are no fuss, take 1 AA battery, and provide an easy way to get cool.  They are inexpensive and small, making them great for travel and theme park use.

(Click picture for details)

5) Aromatic Fan

Ever been waiting in line in a confined space on a hot day?  Didn’t you wish you had a Febreze bottle with you to clear the air of the fresh tourist sweat smell?  Fans like this one solve that problem!  Not only does this fan give you a delightful breeze, there is also a compartment to fill with your favorite aroma to be disbursed in those dire situations!  This item is theme park gold!

(Click picture for details)


Have you found a great fan to use while in the parks?  Tell us about it below!


Walt Disney World Ticket Price Changes and Increase

Theme Park

As predicted, Disney Parks have announced a price increase for some of the park tickets and have introduced a tiered ticket system.

Now the price of a 1-day park ticket will depend on the day of the week you will be visiting and the time of the year.

There are three categories now:  Value, Regular, and Peak.  Here are the prices for each category:

  • Value:  from $97 + tax
  • Regular:  from $102 + tax
  • Peak:  from $114 + tax

Here is the official Disney Parks Blog announcement page.

For more information about 1-day ticket prices, you can visit the official Walt Disney World Resort page here.



Dream Along with Mickey Castle Show at Magic Kingdom Ending

Dream Along with Mickey

The internet has recently exploded after the official Disney Parks Blog posted that the beloved Dream Along with Mickey show which takes place in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom will be ending. The show is due to be replaced by a new show called Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire and will feature Elsa, Anna, Rapunzel, Flynn, Tiana, and Naveen.

This summer, the all-new live stage show “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” will grace the grandest stage at Walt Disney World Resort with magic, music and merriment! Against the majestic backdrop of Cinderella Castle,Mickey Mouse and his friends will welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics: “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Frozen.”

– Disney Parks Blog

Dream Along with Mickey has had a wonderful run at the Magic Kingdom for 10 years and is loved by many guests of all ages.

The end date of Dream Along with Mickey has not been confirmed by Disney, so stay tuned!

To read the official announcement on the Disney Parks Blog, click here.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Close Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Closure Announced

With the upcoming expansion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Parks made an official announcement this morning on its blog that the stunt show Lights, Motors, Action! will close on April 2, 2016.  This announcement was expected as we all knew the Streets of America area would be closing for construction on the new Star Wars land and Toy Story land.

Here is the official announcement from the Disney Parks blog:

In order to bring our new lands to life, the first steps of the expansion will be happening soon. We wanted to let you know that Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and nearby locations around Streets of America will be closing on April 2, 2016. The Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction will continue its daily shows until the closing date.

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

Lights, Motors, Action! opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 5, 2005 and presented an extreme stunt show displaying stunts with cars and explosions.  Over its 11 year run, this show has gained some very devoted fans.


More Closures to Come

The Disney Parks blog also mentions that the nearby locations around Streets of America will be closing as well.  There has been no clarification at this time if that includes Muppet Vision 3-D, however we already know that the nearby Pizza Planet restaurant has been closed for refurbishment.

If you’re hoping to experience this show one more time or even take in the atmosphere of the Streets of America, be sure to head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios before April 2!

To view the official announcement on the Disney Parks blog, click here.


Want more info and tips for Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  Check out our info page here.


Tell us below:  are you sad about this closing or are you more excited for the new attractions to come?


5 Reasons to Visit Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Each year in November and December, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom offers a special hard-ticket event called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  It runs on select nights from 7 pm – midnight and offers special shows, treats, a parade, and fireworks that you can only experience by attending the party.  Visiting Very Merry Christmas has become a yearly tradition for us, and here are our 5 reasons why you should attend Very Merry Christmas!


1. Shorter Ride Wait Times

Very Merry Christmas

For the most part, because this is a limited-ticket event, the ride wait times are typically lower.  Disney does not even offer FastPasses during this time.  As you can see above, Space Mountain had only a 20 minute wait time and many of the other rides had similar or lower wait times.  The exception:  Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.