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Disney Commercial Filming & Best Of Attractions – 2012 New Years Celebration in Walt Disney World

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The final instalment of our 2012 New Years Celebration Trip Report! If you are just joining us you can catch up by reading the previous Trip Reports.

For our final full day in Walt Disney World we wanted to visit all four parks in one day. We did the same thing on a previous trip. We call it our “Best Of” day where we ride all our favourite attractions one last time! Our day started at Animal Kingdom. It was the first time we’ve been there before it opened! Our first plan of attack was grabbing Fast Passes for Expedition Everest and wait in Standby. There was a mad rush of people but we got our Fast Passes after choosing the line where the machine decides to break down. We then hopped into Standby (while it was only 15 minutes) and got put on the very back row! You can really feel a lot of the drops by sitting in the back, it was awesome!

Backseat Drop!

Backseat Drop!

While there was still time before we could use our Fast Passes we walked over to Dinosaur and rode that one last time. Once we smuggled our dino friend back to the present it was time to use our Fast Passes for Expedition Everest.This time we asked if we could go in the front row. We had to wait a bit longer but it was well worth it!

Front Seats!

Front Seats!

Front Seat Drop Photo!

Front Seat Drop Photo!

That was all the time we had for but before we left we got our photos taken with Doug and Russel from UP! It took a bit longer than we hoped. We got up to the very front of the line then it was their break time. Had to wait an extra 15 minutes for them to return. But once they came back we got our fun pictures taken! There’s some resemblance between John and Russel, don’t you think?

Doug, Russel, John, & Chris

Doug, Russel, John, & Chris

Next on our “Best Of” was Hollywood Studios. As usual the Fast Passes for Toy Story Mania were completely gone by this point. Thankfully there were still some left for everything else! Grabbed Fast Passes for Rockin’ Roller Coaster. We were going to wait in Standby for Star Tours but a guest caught us just before getting in line and gave us two Fast Passes they couldn’t use. We thanked the generous stranger and went on our way to a Galaxy Far Far Away.

Hollywood Studios was incredibly busy

Hollywood Studios was incredibly busy

By now it was after 12pm and we were both pretty hungry! It was decided that we wanted to head to Pizza Planet for lunch. It was going to be busy no matter where we went. It’s a terrible idea to eat at peak times but at this point in the trip we didn’t mind.

On our way to Pizza Planet we passed two gentlemen that appeared to be filming. Being the polite Canadians that we are, we simply didn’t bother them. While passing, one of them asked to talk to me for a moment. Now normally anywhere else I’d tell the person no thank you since it’s usually for money or along those lines. Since this is Disney, how can I resist?

The gentlemen explained that they were filming a commercial that is going to be shown on TV throughout the Disney Resorts. They called it the “ABCs of Disney”. I was wearing my, now infamous, Duffy Ears and they said it was perfect for the letter D. They asked me to sit in a chair and say “D is for Duffy!” while pointing to my Duffy Ears. They also did a few shots with John having him say “The ABCs for Disney!”.

I have received more attention with my Duffy Ears than I like to admit. I was incredibly lucky to be chosen to be used for a commercial. Now who knows if they’ll actually use the portion they recorded but it’s still awesome none the less. So keep an eye out for the “ABCs of Disney” on the TV at any of the Walt Disney World Resorts! They never told us when it will be airing but I imagine some time this year! If you happen to see it please let me know!

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb

After lunch we walked right over to The Muppets 3D and checked out a show that Phineas and Ferb were doing right down the street. We then made our way down to Rockin’ Roller Coasted and hopped into the Single Rider line. Our Fast Passes weren’t valid yet so we figured we’d do this while we were waiting. Met with a nice family from Chicago and it was their first time in Walt Disney World. Gave them a few tips and suggestions! It’s always a treat getting to share tips with strangers!

After that we headed on over to the Tower of Terror. This is the only attraction that I still get nervous about even though I’ve been on it multiple times. By the time we were finished it was time to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster one last time!

Rockin Roller Coaster Faces

Rockin Roller Coaster Faces

We decided to try our luck and see if we could get a reservation for dinner at the 50s Prime Time Cafe. Lucked out and were able to get a table for 7pm! There was still two hours before dinner so we grabbed a Weezy-Breezy-Freezy (slush) and waited in line to get our photos with Buzz and Woody!

The Chosen One

The Chosen One

Buzz, Woody, Chris, & John

Buzz, Woody, Chris, & John

Before heading off to dinner we walked through One Man’s Dream and enjoyed all the photos and information about all the Disney Resorts around the world.

One Man's Dream

One Man's Dream

Snow White

Snow White

Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort

Shanghai Disney Resort coming in 2015!

Shanghai Disney Resort coming in 2015!

For dinner I had the Roast with Vanilla Coke and for dessert, cheesecake! The restaurant was full but we were put way in the back corner where it was nice and quiet! It was a fantastic meal to have for our final meal of the trip.

50s Prime Time Cafe

50s Prime Time Cafe

50s Prime Time Cafe Roast

50s Prime Time Cafe Roast

50s Prime Time Cafe Vanilla Coke

50s Prime Time Cafe Vanilla Coke

50s Prime Time Cafe Cheesecake

50s Prime Time Cafe Cheesecake

Before heading off to EPCOT we rode Tower of Terror one more time for good measure. Next up was EPCOT. We took the boat all the way there! Sadly by the time we reached EPCOT we noticed the time and we weren’t going to have enough time to do anything in EPCOT. We arrived at the World Showcase and took one final walk around before we headed to the entrance of the park to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Entrance

Magic Kingdom Entrance

Arrived at the Magic Kingdom just in time for The Magic, Memories, and You! This was our first time this trip that we encounter an extremely rude guest. The Cast Members were asking everyone to move forward to make room for other guests. The lady in front of me refused to move so we moved past her because there was this huge gap in front of her and she refused to move. When we moved she grabbed my shoulder and said “Don’t stand there I’ve been waiting here for over an hour!”. I politely told her that the Cast Members asked us to move and that she wasn’t moving so I did. She muttered something under her breath but I wasn’t going to let her ruin our evening!

After “The Magic, Memories, and You!” and Wishes we went to ride our favourite attractions before park closing! The park was nearly empty, as a result we were given the option to ride Splash Mountain more than once. If it wasn’t cold and we weren’t wet it would have been a great idea. Big Thunder Mountain was right after and it’s by far my favourite attraction to do in the evening. Next was The Haunted Mansion and right after was Space Mountain! We were literally the last group to ride Space Mountain. It was weird to see literally no one behind you as the line in front of you is moving.

No one made it

No one made it

The park was now closed but we weren’t ready to go yet! It was the perfect opportunity to grab photos of Cinderella’s Castle lit up with icicles without the massive crowds. There was maybe a handful of guests doing the same as us. Captured a few great photos!

Since there was no crowd I decided to sit right in front of Cinderella’s Castle and just sit there and soak up everything around me. Being in the moment. I felt relaxed, safe, thankful, and happy. Most of you will know what I’m talking about. John some how captured that moment on camera without me knowing …

Remember…Dreams Come True

Remember…Dreams Come True

Chip 'N Dale in front of Cinderella's Castle

Chip 'N Dale in front of Cinderella's Castle

It was time to say “see you real soon” to the Magic Kingdom as we made our way down Main Street thinking about the magical trip we just experienced. I’m extremely happy to have been able to see all the Christmas decorations and celebrate new years at the place “Where Dreams Come True”.

That’s the end of our 2012 New Years Celebration Trip Report! It was a long one but we did it! Really hope that everyone enjoyed it and the next Trip Report I do is hopefully from Disneyland Paris! Thank you for reading.

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This is the second part of our New Years Eve Trip Report! If you missed the first part I suggest you check it out! All the photos for this particular report can  be found on flickr.


Once all the shows wrapped-up they wasted no time to get into New Years mode. A live DJ began spinning in front of Cinderella’s Castle with the best (family friendly of course) dance music.

Cinderella's Castle 2012 DJ Dance Party

 

Standing in one spot for over three hours does make one very hungry. It was extremely crowded everywhere we went and we managed to make our way over to Fantasyland through Tomorrowland. The music was pumping through the entire Magic Kingdom. The entire park was transformed into one massive family friendly dance club for the rest of the evening. While making our way to Pinocchio’s Haus to grab something to eat there were various Cast Members dancing in the streets! You could feel the energy of all the guests and Cast Members throughout the entire park.

 

Closest we had to wine.

While consuming the closest thing we could get to alcohol in the Magic Kingdom (grapes) I could hear the sounds of Eurobeat playing outside! Lets say that it made me very happy to hear this!

 

Wait times for all the major attractions were well above an hour, so we decided that we were just going to go around taking photos and just soaking in the entire experience. Walked around the side of the castle and snapped a few good photos.

 

 

To get out to the crowds we headed on over to Tomorrowland and went on the Carousel of Progress. A few of the guests in there had the same idea as us, but they decided to sleep as well.

We got to catch the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show. Where Buzz Lightyear, Mike, and Stitch put on a show just outside of Space Mountain. Got a few photos of the performance.

 

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Finale

 

It was around 10:00pm at this time and we thought it would be a good idea to try to find a spot for the fireworks and countdown. While we tried to make our way back to Main Street, they turned the bridge into Tomorrowland into a one-way traffic bridge. We were re-routed through the backstage area (near Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters) to Main Street. At first I thought maybe this was always a path that I didn’t know about, but I clued in pretty quickly that they opened this to relieve the massive amounts of traffic. It was all decorated and there were people sitting in areas to watch the show. You could clearly see the castle from the backstage area.

 

Backstage Main Street

Backstage Area

 

While making our way from backstage to the beginning of Main Street it was completely wall to wall people. We saw some Paramedics literally pulling someone out of the crowd. Not entirely sure what happened but the person was pulled out of the crowd and put  on a stretcher inside one of the Main Street shops.

We cut through the shops to get further down Main Street, there was no way we’d make it through the wall of people outside. Finally popped outside and blended into the crowd near the end of Main Street (it was the closest we were going to get). This was our spot for the remainder of 2011!

 

Mainstreet USA (Backview)

Massive amounts of people on Main Street

 

The DJ kept the crowd energized while it was clear that no one was going anywhere any time soon. Shortly after we got our spot they began the snowing on Main Street! Coming from Canada snow really shouldn’t make me this excited but, it’s DISNEY SNOW! Also have you ever seen thousands of people do the YMCA? I can now say I have …

 

 

A few times I noticed Cast Members going through the crowds appearing as they were looking for something. Found out later that they were actually going through to ensure no one has alcohol on them. I do recall begin able to smell beer from time to time.

 

Main street USA Dance Party

 

At 11:50pm it was time for Fantasy in the Sky! This is their special new years fireworks (they showed them the night before as well) that goes right until Midnight! The fireworks were phenomenal. Most of the fireworks were mirrored at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom so everyone was able to see them. Once the fireworks were finished it was time for the Countdown with Mickey & his friends!

 

 

Now that it was officially 2012 we wanted to ride our first attraction of the New Year! Thankfully we grabbed Fast Passes for Space Mountain about 6-7 hours before that were good for after midnight. As you can imagine it was a complete traffic jam as Cast Members tried to herd everyone. There were people bring to leave the park and those going further into it. While we were making our way to Space Mountain we witnessed two full-grown men getting into a fist fight. The clearly didn’t know each other and their respective families were trying to hold them back. One of the guys started running down Main Street (people seemed to clear where they were so there was room for him to run). Completely unnecessary and dangerous. There were tons of families around holding infants and small children. Completely idiotic.

Finally after about 30 mins we made it to Space Mountain. The music was still pumping throughout the Magic Kingdom and Lady Gaga came on.

 

Space Mountain 2012

 

The crowds started to thin out a bit but you could still feel the high energy from all the guests and Cast Members. People were dancing everywhere you looked! We made our way through Fantasyland and cheered on a few Cast Members that were dancing in the middle of the street or at their snack stand! It was a lot of fun seeing everyone having so much fun.

The wait time for The Haunted Mansion was only 13 minutes (HA) then ended our evening on Big Thunder Mountain.

 

Haunted Mansion Wait Time

Haunted Mansion Wait Time

Walking through Adventureland you could still see a ton of people at the foot of the Castle dancing.

Cinderella's Castle 2012 DJ Dance Party

Cinderella's Castle 2012 DJ Dance Party

Cinderella's Castle 2012 DJ Dance Party

Cinderella's Castle 2012 DJ Dance Party

 

It was now close to 2AM and we were both completely done. Being in the park for over 19 hours was quite the adventure. The wait for our bus to get back to our resort was a couple hundred people deep. Didn’t end up getting back to the Resort until closer to 3AM.

What a day, it was like taking three normal days and cramming them into one. While it was extremely crowded (found out the park reached capacity at 10:30AM), it was a fantastic experience and got to see pretty every show you could imagine at the Magic Kingdom. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The atmosphere and energy of the park was something to experience. This isn’t for those that dislike large crowds, at all.

 

Happy New Year and Good Night I'm extremely exhausted!

 

What a long and exhausting day but also one of the best days I’ve had at a Disney Resort thus far! Don’t worry there’s still plenty to our trip. Make sure you come back for more reports of our New Years Celebration trip!

If you wish to view all the photos from this day head on over to my Flickr!

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Walt Disney World Family Vacation (September 8th) – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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The only day that we leave the resort, and we have a very good excuse for this! My entire family are Harry Potter fans and there wasn’t anyway we were all going to be in Orlando and not go to Universal to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

We were only heading to Islands of Adventure since we knew we were going to spend the entire day at Harry Potter. Also everyone wanted to check out the Outlet Shopping once we were done.

 

 

The park opened at 9am so we were there right at opening so we could get as much time as we could there. We slowly made our way there and checked out the scenery as we made our way there.

We will be riding YOU later!

 

We finally made it! There was much rejoicing and complete awh! We were all blown away at how real the entire area looked. This is definitely a must for Harry Potter fans! We walked down the street just looking at everything. The first place we went to was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, before it got busy. Even being first thing in the morning, the area where everyone had to put their loose articles into lockers was a complete gong show. They could have done that a lot better in my opinion. But after that bit of frustration we walked through Hogwarts and my entire family loved it. It’s extremely detailed and gave me goosebumps of how real it looked!

 

Hogwarts Express

Snowy Rooftops!

Lots of Owls up there...

Diagon Alley!

 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was a fun ride but it gave our entire family motion sickness. Mainly the sections where you are in front of a screen. As a family we are all prone to motion sickness. It wasn’t enough to make anyone sick but enough to make us all a bit dizzy for a while. It was still incredibly enjoyable and worth it to ride at least once!

Once our heads were clear my youngest brother and I went to Dragon Challenge, twice! We rode both sides and it was one heck of a ride! The queue was very detailed and Mom walked through the queue just to see everything.

 

That's where Ron parked the car.

The Goblet of Fire

 

You can’t visit Harry Potter and not have Butterbeer. The entire family got some ice cold Butterbeer and hung out in the Owlery while we enjoyed them!

 

Cheers!

Delicious

Top of the Owlery

 

Olivander’s Wand shop was next! We waited about 30mins to see the wand show, which was very neat to see! Once the show was done we headed into the store to look at wands. They had wands for all the main characters and also non-wizard specific wands. It was very tempting to purchase one of these magnificent wands but I personally have no use for it and not enough room at home to put it anywhere. The robes and sweaters were a bit over priced for my taste so I passed on those too. Finally decided on a Gryffindor lanyard for $10.

 

Inside Olivander's Wandshop

 

Everyone was very hungry by this point and figured we would eat at the Three Broomsticks. The inside was very authentic and you felt like you were actually there. Our family decided on the Feast for $50. It included Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Roasted Vegetable, Ribs, and Potatoes. It was extremely delicious and everyone enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good meal while visiting!

 

Inside the Three Broomsticks

That's my thoughts exactly, a lot of food!

View from the top!

 

To allow our food to settle we went back to Hogwarts and instead of riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey we simply walked down another line so we could slowly walk through Hogwarts and check out everything! You just ask the person at the entrance to Hogwarts and they will point you to another line that is just for walking through Hogwarts. We got some great photos and my mother absolutely loved it! It’s worth the time to go through there instead of quickly running through the queue.

 

All the photos moved!

Dumbledore's Office

I had to buy a chocolate frog!

 

Once we were finished that it was rather busy in that area of the park so it was decided to check out the rest of Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. But before leaving I had to get myself another Butterbeer, frozen this time…

 

 

Everyone was pretty tired from being in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter all day that we just simply walked through and checked out everything instead of going on rides. We did stop at the bridge that over looks Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw and both my brothers and I spent about $3 worth of quarters to spray the people on the attraction that didn’t get wet at the end. One guy didn’t look too impressed since he was bone dry before we soaked him! It was quite the laugh we had!

Before leaving my youngest brother and I were brave enough to go on The Incredible Hulk Roller coaster. It goes so fast that before you figure out which way is up the ride is already over. It’s still great fun and the wait time was only 5 minutes!

We had a great time at Universal and visiting Harry Potter was obviously the highlight of the day since we spent most of our day there. It was everything we thought it would be and more. It was well worth the time and money!

 

 

Before heading back to the Resort we went back to the Outlet Malls to pick up more clothes. It’s hard to resist great deals that we can’t get back home. I got to have Starbucks, which everyone knows you can’t get while staying on property. Overall it was an excellent day, even though it was hot and humid and we were all sweaty.

 

See you again soon!

That’s it for our adventure to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The next day we are heading back to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. We have our second table service in EPCOT at Le Celier! Make sure to come back for all the juicy details!

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Walt Disney World Family Vacation (September 7th) – Disney’s Animal Kingdom & Downtown Disney

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Our 4th day in Walt Disney World – Today is Disney’s Animal Kingdom for Early Magic Hours! We arrived there shortly after park opening. Decided to enjoy our breakfast instead of wolfing it down this time. When we got there we made our way to Asia and rode Expedition Everest first. It was only a 10 minute wait so why not. Only myself and my youngest brother went on this one. The other two weren’t quite up for it just yet.

Tree of Life Photo!

Once we were done with that we walked all the way to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Again the wait times were very low since it was early morning. Our wait time was maybe 10 minutes at the most. The family really enjoyed the Safari and took quite a few photos ….

My what a long neck you have

Baby Elephant!

By the time we were finished it was close to show time for Festival of the Lion King. We quickly made our way over so we wouldn’t miss the beginning of the show. During the show one of the Tumble Monkeys made their way over to our section and stole my brother’s hat for a bit before giving it back. It was totally unexpected and he didn’t know what happened. We all had a good laugh at that. For those that haven’t seen the show here it is!

That's some awesome fire twirling

It was now time to meet Mickey and Minnie for the first time! My brothers were a bit nervous, I could tell they thought it was a bit childish to do this. Once we got up to Mickey they were all smiles and we got a great photo together.

We got to meet Mickey!

We then made our way over to Minnie. She was very fascinated with the amount of pins I had on my lanyard. She really loved my Wooden Minnie Ears Pin. I thought she was going to steal it. We got a great family photo.

Our family got to meet Minnie!

It was now 1pm and everyone was very hungry! We all agreed on going to Pizzafarri for lunch. While they all grabbed food I went to grab FastPasses for Kali River Rapids, but they weren’t distributing them for that week. Found that out after running all the way over there, should have read the Park Map. Instead I went and grabbed FastPasses for Dinosaur, even though we really wouldn’t need them, I got them anyway.

Make sure to recycle while visiting!

It was really hot outside so we all took our time to eat our lunch and enjoy the nice cool shade. Once we were done we wanted to try out Kali River Rapids. This was the only attraction that day with a long wait time. It was about 40 minutes. My middle brother and I were the unlucky ones in terms of getting wet. We got completely soaked. The other two got wet but not head to toe. There was non-stop laughter and smiles the entire time we were going down that river. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, regardless of how wet we got.

Some iced cold Coca Cola ... with some dust on it

Next up was Dinosaur, we took our time walking there since we all wanted to dry off at least a little bit. Air Conditioning is much cooler when you’re soaked, it’s a known fact!

Now everyone was a bit tired by this point, but everyone wanted to check out Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. Before grabbing a spot we all went and got nice ice cold beverages for everyone. My choice was the Iced Coke. Here in Canada we call them slushes. We got ourselves a nice shaded view for the parade!

While waiting for the parade I had a woman ask me if I spoke Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish so I politely told her no. She was the third or fourth person to ask me that question. I’m not sure but I guess I look like someone who would speak Spanish. It was rather amusing to me.

That was it for our day in the Animal Kingdom. It was close to 4pm and the park closes at 5pm so we figured we would head back to the resort for a few. Since it’s so humid we weren’t really dry from our little river ride a few hours earlier.

We got back to the resort and showered, rested, and headed out to Downtown Disney for dinner. We ate at Wolfgang Puck Express, since our Dinning Plan worked there. Our bill came to just over $90. By this point we have all made up our mind that the free dining was the way to go from now on. You really can’t beat that.

Our bill at Wolfgang - all free with our dining plan!

After dinner we went to the Pin Trading Post. I took photos of the 2011 Hidden Mickey Pins and decided that I would be on a mission for the rest of the trip to find as many as I can. I had about 30 pins to trade that I bought at the Las Vegas Disney Outlet store for $1.50. My youngest brother wanted to get in on the action and I gave him half of my pins to trade.

For those that do not know what Hidden Mickey Pins are, they are pins that only Cast Members are given and cannot be purchased anywhere. They will have a small hidden mickey on the pin to indicate that it is part of that series. They release sets every year. They are a lot of fun to find!

No trip to Downtown Disney is complete without a visit to World of Disney! It was a zoo in there, which is pretty typical. My brother and I did locate some Hidden Mickey Pins. Also I almost bought another Duffy the Disney Bear, but I only wanted the Halloween Costume. My brothers are into watches and were very tempted to buy a couple of the very nice Disney watches they had. Also who can resist going to the Lego Store?

Duffy dressed in his Halloween Costume!

Lego Store

While we were on our way to Pleasure Island we came across living statues doing various poses with people. It takes some practice to move the way these people moved. We also got some great photos.

Ah yeah!

Check this guy out

Random girls trying to scare the statue with their fists

DStreet was the next stop and I cannot go into that store without buying at least four Vinylmations. I grabbed some of the Urban Series 5 (they were on sale), and some random ones. Also picked up a Cars 2 Vinylmation set, they are adorable! The displays in this store are my favorite out of any of the stores in Downtown Disney. I really wish I could take the Mickey made out of Vinylmations and same goes for the table.

Cars Vinylmations

We did some more pin hunting and my brother and I found quite a few good pins! By this point the entire family was looking for Hidden Mickey Pins and helping us find more to complete our set. What a great family activity!

My first Hidden Mickey Pin!

My Pins I got in Downtown Disney!

Pins my younger brother got!

Once we were done we walked to the bus and headed back to the resort. It was a long but extremely fun filled day! Everyone was now really into the Disney spirit and couldn’t wait to go and see more! The next day we spend an entire day in Universal Studios and visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Hope you all enjoyed this part of the Trip Report! There is still plenty to come, so please come back soon!

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