Sunshine Villa Florida

10 Fun Disney Facts You Probably Don’t Know!

10 fun disney facts

10 fun Disney Facts you probably don’t know

Did you know that Disney employs over 66,000 cast members spending 1.2 billion on payroll each year? The largest single-site employer in the United States, Walt Disney World has more than 3,700 job classifications.  Here are some other Disney fun facts that you may have not known:

  1. All Disney World employees are called cast members. Even Walt Disney was a cast member.
  2. Cast members will always point with two fingers or an open palm. Pointing with one finger is considered “rude” and isn’t allowed on Disney property.
  3. Cast members who play characters are taught how to sign autographs so that it matches the original.
  4. Cast members are not allowed to leave their “land” or area. The reason is to not affect the scene. A Frontierland costume would be out of place in Tomorrowland.
  5. Cast members love to talk to guests! Ask for their advice or just ask them about where they’re from. It’s usually on their nametag.
  6. A Cast Member is never supposed to say “I don’t know,” if he or she doesn’t know the answer, they are supposed to get on the phone and find out. They are also never supposed to react to silly questions.
  7. The background music continues, even after the last guest has departed.
  8. Cast members are encouraged to pin-trade with guests. Feel free to approach any cast member wearing a lanyard.
  9. Backstage photos are not allowed, both for cast members and guests on backstage tours.
  10. Seniority is a big deal with Disney. The longer you’ve worked for the company, the better your chance of advancement. Many high-level cast members, such as executives, once worked in the parks.

Did you know all of these? Do you know of any other fun Disney facts that we have missed? Please share!

 

Visiting Orlando With Pets? The Perfect Pet Daycare For Your Pet

Many people travel to Florida with their beloved fur babies but where do they go when you want to visit the parks?

Best Friends Pet Care is pet centre near Walt Disney World is a 27,000-square-foot pet care center offering boarding, daycare and grooming for dogs, cats and other family pets in a safe, healthy and fun environment. 

Choose from a range of accommodations and extensive menu of activities. While you explore the parks, your pet can enjoy playgroup, special treats and a movie!  After park-hopping, spend time with your pet playing in our private dog park or taking a walk around the grounds.

Best Friends Pet Resort welcomes all pets, regardless of where the family is staying. They do offer special discounts for Walt Disney World® Resort guests.  They are open 365 days a year and they follow Walt Disney World’s Extra Magic schedule for resort guests.

  • All Indoor Accommodations:These climate-controlled accommodations are up to 32 square feet, and provide a pet cot for your dog’s comfort. Dogs have unlimited access to their patio area, except during cleaning.

Accommodation sizes are 4’ x 7’ and 4’ x 8’. All rooms have 3 feet of clearance. The larger accommodations are comfortable for all medium sized breed dogs and some large sized breed dogs.

Our all-indoor accommodations include two potty walks with a staff member each day. Guests may visit to take their pet out into the dog park or the walking trail at any time during our normal operating hours.  $44 Standard/ $41 Resort Guest/ $37 Daycare

  • Indoor-Outdoor 2-Room Accommodations:These accommodations include a climate-controlled indoor bedroom with a pet cot, and an outdoor patio, which is protected from the elements. Dogs have unlimited access to their patios during the daytime for most of the year. During peak summer temperatures, however, to protect the dogs from the heat, the patio doors are opened four times during the day for access to the patio.

Bedrooms are 4’ x 4’ and 3’ x 4’. All bedrooms have a minimum of 3 feet of clearance. Patios are 3’ x 8’   and 4’ x 8’. Patios have more than 9 feet of clearance. The larger accommodations are comfortably sized for most dogs, except giant breeds.

All indoor-outdoor accommodations include one potty walk with our staff per day. Guests may visit to take their pet out into the dog park or the walking trail at any time during our normal operating hours.  $49 Standard/ $45 Resort Guest/ $40 Daycare

  • Vacation Villas:Our fourteen two-room villas provide an 8ft x 9ft (72 sq ft) tiled bedroom, with a raised platform bed and doggy-eye-level flat panel TV.  Each villa also has a private outdoor 4ft x 7ft (28 sq ft) relief patio.  The Vacation Villa boarding experience includes 1 Potty Walk, 1 Playgroup Session and Turn-Down Service each day all overseen by a personal pet concierge. $93 Standard/ $86 Resort Guest/ $93 Daycare
  • VIP Luxury Suites:For the ultimate in pampered pet boarding, we offer our four 226 sq ft super luxury suites.  These suites provide a 16ft x 9ft bedroom, with paw print floors and tile walls, glass doors, a raised platform bed and flat panel television, programmed for your pet’s entertainment.  Each suite also comes with a private covered outdoor play yard, where pets can enjoy private play time with their family, or with their personal “pet concierge”.  This all-inclusive boarding experience includes a wide range of daily complimentary activities: 2 Potty Walks, 2 Playgroup sessions and Bed Time Story each day, all overseen by a personal “pet concierge”.  Guests in our Super Luxury suites may also enjoy a complimentary “Go Home Fresh” bath after a 3-day minimum stay.  $109 Standard/ $101 Resort Guest/ $109 Daycare


  • a la carte for Doggies:
  • Play & Stay- $22  
  • (Four hours of play with other dogs)
  • Playgroup- $15    
  • (30 minutes of play with other dogs)
  • Playtime- $8    
  • (10 minutes of play with an associate)
  • Cuddletime- $8
  • Walk & Explore- $8
  • Bedtime Story- $6
  • Ice Cream Break- $4
  • Holiday Meal- $5
  • Premium Bed- $5
  • Kitty City is designed to be a sanctuary for our feline friends.  Housed in a separate wing of the building, it is protected from the sights, sounds and smells of dogs. We have accommodations for up to 24 kitty guests, who can relax in your choice of a two-room or four-room condos, and watch the world through their windows.  Each condo has a separate, private relief area; and all condos are individually vented to outdoors for the health of our guests.  Two Level Kitty Condo

$28 Standard/ $26 Resort Guest/ $26 Daycare / Four Level Kitty Condo $40 Standard/ $38 Resort Guest/ $35 Daycare

  • a la carte Kitties:
  • Playtime- $8
  • Cookies & Milk- $3
  • Tuna on a Ritz- $3
  • Activity Toy- $3
  • Deluxe Kitty Bed- $5

Pocket pets: facility provides a safe little haven for “pocket pets” such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets.  Pet parents must provide their own housing/cage and all supplies (food, bowls, litter, etc.) for their pocket pet. Small- $13 Standard/ $11 Resort Guest

Medium- $17 Standard/ $15 Resort Guest

Large- $22 Standard/ $20 Resort Guest

X Large- $25 Standard/ $23 Resort Guest

 Reservations are strongly recommended.  Visit their website for up to date rates, terms and conditions.

Disney Walls. The Newest Trend And Where To Find Them

disneywall

“Disney Walls” have become an unofficial fan favourite photo location for many guests visiting the parks.  These “Disney walls” have become the latest trend with those who seek an insta worthy pic against these vibrant backdrops. Some walls even have their own guest created hashtags.  We are going to outline where you can find these photo op’s but fair warning-  some more adventurous guests like to try and find them all on their own as sort of a photo scavenger hunt.  If you’re one of these, then you might find this blog post useful.

Magic Kingdom #Purplewall: The #Disneywall trend started with a purple wall located to the right of Tomorrowland entrance at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Walk down the ramp from Tomorrowland Terrace toward the entrance to Tomorrowland. Right when you hit the turn in the land, you will see the #purplewall on the right.

#purplewall

Epcot’s #Bubblegumwall: You can find this wall by simply turning right or left just outside the exit of Spaceship Earth. Reminiscent of a bright wad of bubblegum, the #Bubblegumwall glows with shades of pink, blue & fuchsia offering a great spot to snap a pic.

bubblegumwall

Epcot’s #Blueberrywall: When you leave the #Bubblegumwall, take two more steps to find the bright #Blueberrywall. This wall offers vibrant blue hues in a sweeping motion.

blueberrywall

Epcot’s #Toothpastewall: Head to the The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavillion. You’ll find the wall while exiting the pavilion.

toothpastewall

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s #Mosswall: Head into Pandora – The World of Avatar and walk towards Satu’li Canteen.  Just opposite the restaurants front door is the newest Disney wall.

mosswall

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s “You are most beautiful” wall: While this wall doesn’t have a hastag yet, its still a popular spot for guests visiting Harambe’s Marketplace. Look for it on the park side of a cast members only doorway.

youaremostbeautifulwall

There is another wall located by Harambe Marketplace that offers quotes, and a great painting of Mickey Mouse.

harambewall

Any of these walls make great Instagram worthy shots. Look for them on your next visit to Walt Disney World.

*Lovely photos courtesy of Disney, the talented Disney Photo Snapper & Steven Diaz:   http://www.stevendiazphoto.com/

Even More Magic Planned For Disney In 2019

new disney attractions for 2019

Is it possible for the most magical place on Earth to become even more magical? Yes!

If you’re thinking about visiting Disney, and just haven’t decided when yet then this year may be the time to do so.  Disney has already released the 2019 dates for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and I’m sure we can expect more release dates for upcoming events within the next few months.  There will be even more magic at Walt Disney World this year as Disney unveils several great new attractions for 2019 and we’ve got the scoop right here for you.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

A new Star Wars themed area is set to open at Hollywood Studios later this fall.  Disney recently released artist renderings of what Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will look like and it looks out of this world.

star wars galaxy's edge

A New Disney Studios Nighttime Show

A new show is set to take the stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Wonderful World of Animation, the new nighttime experience will debut in May 2019 using Laser projection technology taking viewers through more than 90 years of animation.

Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway

Mickey & Minnie will celebrate a whopping 90 years in 2019. This beloved cartoon is transformed into a real-world experience in what is the park’s first ride-through attraction for Mickey. It will be a new, original story and theme song, drawing inspiration from the world of Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts.

Pixar Attractions

Early 2019 guests will see a transformed Pixar Place to include a new area for the Incredibles where visitors will encounter Edna Mode, Mike & Sulley from Monsters Inc. In the spring 2019, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will open where guests can meet Lightning himself along with his friend Cruz Ramirez.

Lion King Dance Party

The Lion King movie will celebrate 25 years in 2019 and with that guests can enjoy a special party at Discovery Land and party with Timon & Rafiki every day from January 18-September 30, 2019.

A New Disney Epcot Nighttime Show

Illuminations nighttime show will be ending 2019 and replaced with a new show that will celebrate Disney Music around the world.  If you’re visiting in the latter part of 2019 you will get a taste of the two experiences in a show titled “Epcot Forever” which includes familiar music with new fireworks and special effects kites.

Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration

Starting January 18th, Disney is honouring the pair with new entertainment, merchandise and food. Throughout the year there will be an array of specialty food, beverage and novelty offerings inspired by the famous couple. The Mickey sipper cup is absolutely adorable!   The celebration runs through September at Magic Kingdom.

mickey & minne surprise celebration minnie's kitchen sink

New Disney Skyliner

Disney guests will now be able to travel overhead in the fall of 2019 thanks to a gondola system called the Disney Skyliner.  It will connect Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels. It is rumoured that this new mode of transportation will not have air conditioning.  If you’re travelling in the summer months, be sure to check out our blog 4 ways to beat the Orlando heat.

disney skyliner

First timer to Disney? Don’t miss our quick guide to Walt Disney World here along with our 5 tips to planning your vacation here.

2019 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Dates Released

halloween

Start thinking about your Halloween costume because Disney has already released the schedule for the annual Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom.  Like last year, the Halloween party will start in August.

Get your favourite costume ready and make your plans to live it up—collecting candies, sweets and delightful treats—all while Magic Kingdom park thrills and chills you with special fireworks, eerie entertainment and Disney Characters that go bump in the night.  Children of all ages can enjoy the fun.

The park is adorned with spooktacular Halloween décor, special entertainment and fireworks.  Get in the spirit with spellbinding performances, phenomenal fireworks, wickedly wild processions and more. Each night, when darkness falls, the park comes to life with weird and wondrous one-of-a-kind experiences as frightful as they are delightful.

Is it fun for adults? Yes!  We wrote this article on why the party isn’t just for kids.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019 Dates:

August – 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30

September – 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27 and 29

October – 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31

November 1

Got an allergy? No problem.  Disney had made sure guests with a nut allergy can still enjoy some safe candy options.

The party is a special ticket event and offers entry into the park at 4:00pm, but the festivities commence at 7:00.  Guests who purchase a regular park ticket will also need to purchase the party ticket in order to stay in the park past 6:00. Otherwise, guests with no ticket will be escorted out.

Ticket prices vary by day and if purchased in advance, range anywhere from $79 to $135 each.  You can purchase tickets through the Disney website or the My Disney Experience App.

Disney has not released the entertainment schedule yet but we will keep you updated.

Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

Quick Guide To Walt Disney World

quick guide to WDW

For some a Disney visit is a once in a lifetime trip. Others try to visit as many times as they can.  For us it’s definitely the latter, but we have come to learn that many of our guests are visiting Disney for the first time. For those of us who are Disney veterans, its quite simple to make plans to visit Disney but for the first time visitors, it can get overwhelming.

What is a Fastpass? How many parks are there? What is the difference? Which park(s) would my children enjoy more?

We try to provide you with as many Disney tips as possible like what to bring to Disney and free games at Walt Disney World. So we thought we would help simplify things for those visiting for the first time by creating a Quick Guide to Walt Disney World.  We’ve included some of our favourite must see attractions and food. You can save this for your future trips and even print off a copy and take it with you. Don’t forget to pick up your free “First Visit” button that you can sport around the parks proudly.

We certainly hope this makes things a little easier for those newcomers to Disney and get them returning year after year for some Disney magic. After all, it is the happiest place on earth.

.quick guide to wdw

Your Ultimate Guide To Holiday Events In Orlando

orlando holiday events

Christmas is the Orlando area is simply spectacular. It sparkles with magic and cheer!  Holiday traditions and joyful celebrations transform Orlando into a Christmas wonderland. Here is your ultimate guide to Orlando holiday events.

Disney Springs Christmas Events

Disney Springs is always on our list when visiting Orlando. But the magical decor during the holidays makes it extra special. Disney Springs offers a variety of seasonal entertainment during the Holiday Season.

From November 8th 2018 to January 6th 2019

  • Christmas Tree Trail– From November 8, 2018 through January 6, 2019, discover 27 holiday trees—each inspired by a Disney character or theme like Mary Poppins, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, among others. New this season is Star Wars and Toy Story.
  • Santa’s ChaletCelebrate the spirit of the season during an enchanting visit with Santa Claus—at the Disney Springs Marketplace from Nov 28-December
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt– Solve clever clues to help everyone’s favorite galactic rascal track down gifts for his ‘ohana.

There’s plenty of live entertainment, carolers, stilt walkers, holiday sweets and treats, a live dj and dance party.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom explodes with holiday magic & cheer during Christmas. No other park sparkles quite like this.

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
    22 select nights November 8th to December 21st 2018

    Join family, friends & Mickey too for an oh-so-jolly holiday celebration! It’s the party of all parties during Christmas in Orlando. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is packed with live entertainment, a spectacular festive parade, a new fun, musical stage show and an explosion of thrilling fireworks.
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish 
    Every night, Anna, Kristoff and the irrepressible Olaf join Queen Elsa on stage where she uses her icy powers to transform the Castle into a glistening ice palace.
  • Jingle Cruise
    Jungle Cruise is transformed for the Holidays into a holly jolly Christmas cruise. All the regular props sprinkled with holiday cheer. Even the boats get new names.
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
    This parade is exclusively for guests attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Celebrate the season with Disney friends as they stroll by in a festive procession featuring jolly St. Nick on his sleigh.
  • Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Season
    The Holiday fireworks are reserved for guests attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We’ve highlighted Magic Kingdom, but there’s lots of other holiday events going on at the other Disney resorts and you can see them all here.

Universal Orlando Resort Christmas Events

Universal Orlando unwraps a resort wide celebration.  Experience Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are transformed with holiday cheer.  Treat yourself to Universal’s Holiday Macy’s Parade and watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale starring the Grinch in the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.  Holiday events run from November 17th 2018 to January 6th 2019.

Universal Studios Florida

  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
    Merry and Mayhem combine as the Minions join Santa Claus in an incarnation of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a holiday favorite that also features characters from Madagascar and Shrek.
  • Mannheim Steamroller The best-selling holiday artist of all time visits Universal Studios as Mannheim Steamroller returns for live performances.
  • Blues Brothers Holiday Show is a hit with all ages with songs like ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘Blue Christmas’.
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Diagon Alley is transformed with festive décor & lighting

Islands of Adventure

  • The Grinchmas Holiday SpectacularExplore Seuss Landing™, filled with the Christmas charm and cheer of Who-ville. Delight in The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™. Plus, meet the maven of mischief himself for an autograph and photo.
  • The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
    Choose from irresistible entrees and get your camera ready. The Grinch™ himself will make the rounds, stopping to pose for photos and share hilariously snarky small talk.  Reservations
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
    With its buildings already covered in snow it’s the perfect backdrop for its holiday transformation. Don’t miss Hogwarts Castle fabulously lit by a projection-mapping show.

 

LEGOLand Christmas Bricktacular

December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22-31 2018
Thousands of LEGO and DUPLO bricks create a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree with dancing lights and songs on until December 25th.  Build Lego trees, mail a letter to Santa and don’t miss the nightly 3D fireworks!

This jolly time of year features a combination of seasonal shows, special treats, twinkling lights and more during Christmas Bricktacular and Kids’ New Year’s Party! These events are included in general admission – no extra ticket required.

 

Christmas in Celebration Florida

Now Snowing in Celebration

November 24th through Dec 31st 2018 Celebration, Florida is the town that Disney built.  Now Snowing, Central Florida’s original and premier “Snowing” event, offers one of the area’s only synthetic ice rinks, special community performances by some of the area’s top young talent, and special concert events throughout the season. Now Snowing is a month-long Winter Wonderland Spectacular featuring strolling Charles Dickens style Carolers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, ice skating, train rides, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM. It’s a true throwback to the traditional family style holiday. Festivities kick off on Nov 24 with the Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5.30 – 9.00pm.

The main event is the nightly “snowfall”  Who says it doesn’t snow in Florida? Nightly Snowfalls are at 6.00, 7.00, 8.00 and 9.00 pm.

There’s also Santa in his chalet, horse drawn carriage rides, and the Celebration Express Train.

Celebration Holiday Home Tours

The Celebration Holiday Home Tour is held December 1st 2018 from 3-9 p.m. and December 2nd 2018 from 1-5 p.m.  This self-guided tour takes visitors on a journey through several of the town’s fabulously decorated homes. Visitors can enter each home to see beautiful decorations and custom New Urbanism architecture by the Walt Disney Company. Visitors will also enjoy extravagantly decorated trees and tablescapes in the expanded Winter Wonderland.

ICE! At Gaylord Palms

November 16th 2018 to January 6th 2019
ICE! is back at Gaylord Palms with an all-new theme featuring the beloved classic holiday movie A Christmas Story. Watch this hilarious family tale come to life through interactive ice sculptures and displays. Experience iconic scenes such as The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare and the ultimate triple dog dare at the school’s flagpole. Everything is hand-carved from two million pounds of ice.

Features include:

  • ICE! Featuring A Christmas Story
  • Dreams of Christmas Light Show
  • Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
  • Atrium Christmas Tree Trail
  • Frostbite Factory
  • Alpine Rush Snow Tubing
  • Santa’s Snow Throw
  • Photo’s with Santa
  • Claus Christmas Traditions and Story Time Sing-a-long

Space Coast LightFest

Nightly throughout December

More than 3 million twinkling holiday lights will ignite the night sky at Wickham Park. The Spac Coast Lightfest is a holiday themed drive through event. This event attracts over 15,000 cars.  Over 2.7 million twinkling lights create this dazzling wonderland.

When: From 6.30pm to 10pm November 19th 2018 – January 1st 2019
Where:
Melbourne, Florida

Mount Dora Christmas Events

Nov 3 – Dec 30 – Polar Express Train Ride
Dec 1- Dec 2 – Mount Dora Holiday Homes Tour
Dec – Thurs/Fri/Sat – Mount Dora Food Tours

Daily in December:

  • Mount Dora Christmas Lights Tour
  • Mount Dora Christmas Light Cart Tour
  • Take the Polar Express from Tavares train station to the North Pole.
  • Rusty Anchor Christmas Lights on the Lake Tour – twice nightly.

Happy Planning!

Photo credit: Disney Photo Snapper, Universal

 

5 Places To Recharge At Walt Disney World

Theme parks are full of fun, sometimes too much for the little ones. They can get tuckered out fairly quickly, especially in the warmer weather. And let’s face it, so can we!  Don’t worry, you can find quiet places in many areas of Walt Disney World parks for a little rest and re-energizing and we’ll share our tips with you.

Tomorrowland People Mover- Magic Kingdom

Sit back, relax and enjoy a 10 minute tour of Tomorrowland aboard a moving tram. The soothing motion is perfect to lull little ones to sleep if they need a rest. It will also allow you to rest your feet and re-energize.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress- Magic Kingdom

Refresh and unwind when you take a plush seat inside this air conditioned revolving theatre and glimpse at a fascinating audio-animatronics show celebrating the evolution of past and present technology.

The Seas with Nemo and friends – Epcot

In this cool, calming environment just made for recharging batteries, climb aboard and venture into the sea to join Nemo and friends on their aquatic journey.

The Hall of Presidents Magic Kingdom

Dim lights and comfy seats are all you need when you cool off in the main theatre to watch a dramatic presentation celebrating the leaders of America.

Spaceship Earth- Epcot

Enjoy a gentle journey through time that explores mankind’s technological advances over the centuries and rest while exploring the history of communications.

Finding Nemo- The musical- Animal Kingdom

Yes, it’s a musical so not very quiet, but you can take a load off in the air-conditioned theatre and sit back, relax and enjoy the live show.

And of course, you can always find a quiet comfortable space to feed, change, and nurse your little ones in the many Baby Care Centres located throughout all parks.