The holiday season begins at Walt Disney World

While it is only the beginning of November, Walt Disney World is kicking off the holiday season with new shows and returning favorites across the resort!


At the Magic Kingdom, the Christmas Tree and wreaths are up as they prepare for the influx of holiday visitors.

Each night Cinderella Castle turns into a beautiful ice palace thanks to the help from Elsa, Anna, and some of their Frozen friends during ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ castle lighting.

‘Once Upon A Time’, debuting on November 4th, is new nightly projection show inspired by the Tokyo Disneyland Park uses projection mapping to transform Cinderella Castle with familiar scenes from Disney movies. During the show, Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast shares bedtime stories with young Chip, taking a journey through the most adventurous scenes from Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and other favorites along the way.

Select nights from November 7th until December 22nd, the Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey‘s Very Merry Christmas Party. This after-hours party gives guests a chance to experience exclusive entertainment, character meet and greets, fireworks, and a parade full of holiday cheer and fun while sipping on hot cocoa and snacking on cookies under the gentle falling of Florida ‘snow’.

As Disney Springs continues to grow, so does their holiday offerings!

Beginning November 11th in the Disney Springs Marketplace, 15 Christmas Trees inspired by Disney characters and movies will create a winter wonderland walk-through experience complete with a gentle snow fall, toy soldiers, singers, and plenty of unique photo opportunities! I can’t wait to see the Disney Villains and Mary Poppins Christmas Trees!

The Disney Parks Blog also announced an upcoming holiday light show at Disney Springs that will utilize drones and new technology. Check out the sneak peek below:

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new restaurant and nighttime holiday show join the park’s line-up of fun!

A new projection and fireworks show called ‘Jingle Bell Jingle Bam’ lights up, on, above, and around the Chinese Theater area of the park with state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and a rousing seasonal musical score starting November 4th.

Led by elves Wayne and Lanny, the duo from ABC/Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated special Prep & Landing, the spirited yuletide adventure to the North Pole features memorable holiday moments from Disney films including Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, Bambi, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, along with many other holiday favorites with a festive finale that’s “So tinsel”.


Fans of the The Muppets will get a chance to dine with Pizzerizzo set to open on November 18th! The quick service restaurant will offer a variety of personal-sized pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and desserts surrounded by décor inspired by Rizzo, as well as his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years. Upstairs you will find Rizzo’s Deluxe Supreme Banquet Hall, where there’s a wedding reception already in progress complete with a disco ball dance party playing the world’s greatest party playlist!

And finally at Epcot, beginning November 25th you can celebrate the ‘Holidays Around the World’.

During the day, you can discover how the 11 countries making up the World Showcase celebrate the holiday season with costumed storytellers, decorations, music, and seasonal food favorites. Then in the evenings hear a celebrity guest narrator tell the biblical story of Christmas alongside of a 50 piece orchestra and variety of choirs. The story, the music, the twinkling trees and decor fills you with the spirit of this wonderful season. And you can catch the performances at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at the American Gardens Theatre.

These are all just a part of the holiday offerings you will find this season at Walt Disney World, and I can’t to share more details and tips for making the most of your visits during this joyous season

Disney’s Shanghai theme park opens with hopes pinned on Mickey and Minnie

Boasting the Magic Kingdom’s tallest fairytale castle and longest musical parade, Walt Disney’s Shanghai park is already its biggest overseas outpost. But even as gates open to the public this week, it is still building to keep customers keen.



Disney’s largest overseas investment at US$5.5 billion, the park is a bet on China’s middle class and its booming domestic tourism. The US firm hopes it will offset an otherwise lacklustre international theme park business, better known for cash-burning sites such as Euro Disney.

Calling Shanghai Disney the firm’s greatest business opportunity since Walt Disney bought land in the central Florida in the 1960s, the company has been at pains to woo the home crowd in a country where competition from a plethora of local theme parks promises to be fierce.

Main Street has been replaced by Mickey Avenue to reduce the feel of Americana while attractions include a Chinese-style Wandering Moon tea house, a Chinese Zodiac-themed garden and a Tarzan musical featuring Chinese acrobats.

The park’s seven square kilometre plot of land means there is plenty of space to expand, the Disney chief executive Bob Iger said ahead of the official opening tomorrow.

“There is actually construction going on this week. When we open we will continue the construction to expand what’s on the opening day menu,” he said.

“We have plenty of space to do that and we believe we’ve got willing partners … We think we will probably do that sooner rather than later.”

Mr Iger, who scouted the Shanghai site in 1999, said China had incredible potential given its size. Disney estimates there are 330 million people within a three-hour radius of Shanghai, the country’s financial centre, who would be able to afford to come to the park.

Shanghai Disney could also help lure more consumers to its films. Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book and Star Wars: the Force Awakens are among the 10 most-watched movies in China of 2016, reaping more than $690 million in ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. Characters from those films will feature at the Shanghai resort.

Disney, though, is facing intense competition from billionaire developers building homegrown parks and from domestic cartoon characters. It also faces a deeply ambivalent attitude to its products in China.

On one hand, Mr Iger received a presidential welcome from Xi Jinping in May, and Disney has been granted “special” trademark protection. But China’s main military newspaper has also warned that Zootopia, a story about a rabbit police officer in an animal city, was a tool for spreading US propaganda and ideals.

Disney is also not set to reap all the rewards. The resort is a joint venture with state-owned Shendi Group, which has a 57 per cent stake – a concession agreed during lengthy negotiations.

Shendi is a consortium controlled by four large government-owned companies: Shanghai Media Group; hotelier Jin Jiang International, controlled by the city of Shanghai; the supermarket-to-department store operator Bailian Group; and the property developer Lujiazui Development Group.

Donald Duck: 10 surprising facts about Walt Disney’s character

Donald Duck was born – in Walt Disney’s cartoon The Wise Little Hen – 80 years ago. Here are 10 facts about the cartoon superstar


DONALD DUCK was created by Walt Disney when he heard Clarence Nash doing his “duck” voice while reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb. Disney wanted a character that was more negative than Mickey Mouse, so the bad-tempered Duck was born. Nash voiced the character from 1934 to 1983, training Tony Anselmo to take over. “Donald, I can’t understand a word ya say,” Mickey Mouse says.
• HIS MIDDLE NAME is Fauntleroy (first revealed in the 1942 film Donald Gets Drafted), and he is reportedly the only major Disney character with an official middle name. He has a twin sister named Dumbella. In the late Thirties, Donald was joined by his perennial girlfriend, Daisy Duck, and by his three mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
• RAY DAVIES of the Kinks namechecks Donald Duck in the opening lines of his 1968 song We are the Village Green Preservation Society, with the lyrics:
We are the Village Green Preservation Society,
God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety
• A SPECIAL microphone, The Neumann TLM-170, was used to record Donald’s voice. Preferred for its warmth, this microphone also rounds out the high tones and smoothes the “splat” in Donald’s voice.
• DONALD DUCK first appeared on the silver screen on June 9, 1934, in the animated short film, The Wise Little Hen, dancing to the Sailor’s Hornpipe. He has gone on to star in seven feature films–which is more than any of his Disney counterparts. He is six years younger than Mickey Mouse.
• HE WON AN OSCAR for the 1943 animated short Der Feuhrer’s Face, which was originally titled Donald Duck in NutziLand. The anti-Nazi cartoon begins with music from Wagner’s comic opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and also features Groucho Marx’s singing.

• FINNISH voters who want to register a protest vote mark their ballots with the name Donald Duck.
• DONALD DUCK, who usually wears a sailor shirt, cap, and a red or black bow tie, but no trousers, is the only popular film and TV cartoon character to appear as a mascot for the sports team of a major American university, namely, the Oregon Ducks at the University of Oregon.
• WALT DISNEY said of the character: “One of the greatest satisfactions in our work here at the studio is the warm relationship that exists within our cartoon family. Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and the whole gang have always been a lot of fun to work with. But like many large families, we have a problem child. You’re right, it’s Donald Duck.”
• THE renowned early illustrators of Donald Duck were Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Donald Duck first appeared as a drawing in a May 1934 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine promoting the June film The Wise Little Hen. The magazine is sought after by collectors.

Olaf, Mickey, Minnie star in new meet-and-greet experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —Walt Disney World will begin offering two new character meet-and-greet experiences this week at Hollywood Studios.


In the Echo Lake district, guests can meet Olaf from the animated file “Frozen.” The lovable snowman is living his dream “in summer” and chilling on the beach.

On Commissary Lane, guests can see “Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams,” where the duo are living the dream as A-list stars. Guests can walk the red carpet and step into a scene with Minnie. Then, guests can join Mickey in a scene from “Fantasia.”

Both meet-and-greet experiences will debut on May 8.

Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine coming to Hollywood Studios

Hollywood & Vine Restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios

With Academy Awards season right around the corner, Minnie Mouse and her friends are celebrating the magic of the movies with a feast at the new Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood & Vine.
Dinner guests will walk the red carpet and get ready for their close-up with some of the biggest stars of the silver screen. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will all be there and dressed in their designer best.
Mickey will greet guests and pose with them for photographs before escorting them into the dinner party, where guests get the chance to meet Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy as they enjoy classic cuisine, themed to old Hollywood. This new party is filled with décor, a musical score, food, activities and more.
Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine runs through March 20, 2016. Guests can make reservations by visiting or calling 407-WDW-DINE.

With next year’s “Zootopia,” Walt Disney Animation Studios promises a different kind of talking animal movie

“Wreck-It Ralph.” “Frozen.” “Big Hero 6.” There’s no denying Walt Disney Animation Studios is on a roll, both creatively and financially, but can the forces behind the studio’s recent resurgence as a heavy-hitter keep the momentum going? The team working hard to bring you “Zootopia” next spring certainly hopes so.


At a recent media preview event at Walt Disney Studios’ locations in both Burbank and North Hollywood (where the animation department has temporarily relocated to a converted warehouse during the usual building’s renovation), a select group of press were treated to an in-depth look at the creative process behind the forthcoming movie.

Zootopia” takes place in a thoroughly modernized world where human beings have never existed. That is, animals have evolved to speak, walk on their hind legs, wear clothing, and use technology. And the city of Zootopia was built by animals, for animals. If any of this sounds familiar in the context of the Walt Disney Company, it’s because the concept is perhaps just a little reminiscent of the cartoon world that Mickey Mouse and his friends inhabit. In “Zootopia,” however, it’s the specifics that set things apart.

You see, in “Zootopia,” size matters. Where the diversely-animalian Mickey, Donald, and even their somewhat taller pal Goofy were all roughly the same human-scaled size and shape, the animals in Zootopia (both the city and the movie) all fit the scale of their real world counterparts. For example, a giraffe in “Zootopia” is roughly ninety-four times the height of a mouse, and the city around them is built with those size differences in mind. Buses have multiple sliding doors to accommodate passengers of various heights, there’s a miniature subway for rodents to cross under the street and avoid being trampled by larger animals, and even a waterway for aquatic creatures. It should be noted that all animals in Zootopia are mammals, just for the sake of simplification, but also that the existence of foreign cities inhabited by other biological classes was indeed hinted at.

And the city of Zootopia itself is divided into individual areas, each of which replicates a particular climate or ecology via a complex artificial weather system and large barrier walls that divide the zones (see? I told you the specifics were unique). There’s Bunny Burrows– Zootopia’s equivalent of the countryside (where our story starts,) the Las Vegas-inspired desert resort of Sahara Square, the deep freeze of Tundra Town, and the enormous, lush greenery of the Rainforest District. All of the above areas are united in a central hub called Downtown, in an apparently unintentional nod to Disneyland’s theme-park layout.


The plot of the movie centers around a plucky, optimistic young rabbit named Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin of “Once Upon a Time”) who moves from the Burrows to the big city in order to pursue her dream of becoming Zootopia’s first bunny police officer. Though her dreams of fighting crime are sidelined when she’s assigned parking-meter duty, she soon becomes involved in a much larger, more nefarious case after running into a sly con-artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman.) The two unlikely partners set off on an adventure that takes them through all of Zootopia’s various landscapes together.

At the press event in Burbank, we were introduced to the world of the movie by directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, who recalled pitching the original idea to chief creative officer John Lasseter, researching the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, and journeying to Kenya in Africa to get an up-close-and-personal look at animals in their natural habitat. Special effort was put into translating the animals’ natural walking/running movements into two-legged walk cycles for the characters’ animation, and in-depth attention was paid to details like fur color and wind effects to make the world of “Zootopia” feel alive. The writers and directors also took care to incorporate an almost “Ratatouille”-esque “anyone can do anything” theme into the movie, as animals in Zootopia tend to stereotype each other into particular roles.

We were shown several clips from the movie (some of which had been shown before, in slightly different forms, at the D23 Expo back in August) including a very funny scene at a DMV run exclusively by maddeningly-plodding sloths, and a meeting with a “Godfather”-inspired mafioso shrew named Mr. Big.

We were then shuttled to the North Hollywood studio where broken up into smaller groups and rotated through four different areas of the development and production processes: Story Safari, Character Design, Anim(al)ation, and Environments.

The story group, consisting of writer and co-director Jared Bush, writer Phil Johnston, story artist Marc Smith and head of editorial Fabienne Rawley, spoke about how the plot and staging of “Zootopia” had evolved throughout the process of filmmaking, and showed an earlier version of a scene we had looked at back in Burbank, about Judy calling her parents after her first day on the job as a meter maid. They felt the deleted version had made the movie feel “too mopey,” so they redrew the storyboards, rewrote the dialogue, and re-animated the scene to its new shorter length. Another scene featuring an elephant-operated ice cream shop had been rewritten to make Judy come across as a smarter, more active character. The group noted how the medium of animation allowed for more continuous, fluid changes to a story that would by nature be more restricted by live-action productions.

The character design team, led by supervisor Cory Loftis, character look supervisor Michelle Robinson, CG supervisor Dave Komorowski and simulation supervisor Claudia Chung Sanii, discussed the challenges that scale, clothing, and musculature presented in “Zootopia.” They also talked about a special effects tool called the iGroom that was designed to comb the characters’ virtual fur and give each animal its own unique hair patterns and imperfections. We were shown live-action footage of a fox with wind blowing through his fur that the animators used as a reference, and you can easily see the difference it made in the nearly-finished product.

The Anim(al)ation presentation showcased a similar attention to detail, with head of animation Renato dos Anjos and animation supervisors Kira Lehtomaki, Nathan Engelhardt, Jennifer Hager and Chad Sellers all expounding on their trip to Africa and the need to capture the essence of each animal in the movie. Herd movements were analyzed and incorporated into groups in the backgrounds of many wide group shots. The animals’ methods of eating were also a major element in making Zootopia seem more realistic: a moose, for example, brings his head and lips closer to an popsicle he’s holding, instead of using his arms to bring the popsicle closer to his face. We were introduced to several more key characters such as Bogo, the intimidating buffalo police officer, and an out-of-shape cheetah radio dispatcher who’s obsessed with a gazelle pop musician played by Colombian megastar Shakira. The animators finished their portion of the day’s events by revealing just how much of the voice-actors’ physical performances made it into their animated counterparts’ actions on-screen. Hint: it’s a lot!

Lastly, our group was introduced to representatives from the Environments team: art director Matthias Lechner and environment look supervisor Lance Summers, whose job it is to create the collection of gorgeous and immersive spaces that the characters move through in the movie: Zootopia itself. Lechner and Summers talked about how they achieved near-realism by making the world of “Zootopia” feel as lived-in as possible, adding chaos, dirt, and history into every tiny corner. They also covered the changes that Zootopia went through during development of the movie. Bunny Burrows evolved from a glossy mega-suburb to a more homey countryside, and the Downtown buildings changed from being more naturalistic to a hybrid of human-style skyscrapers with animal-inspired shapes like horns and tusks. They then discussed the indispensable Hyperion rendering system first used in “Big Hero Six” that mimics real-world geometric complexity, and how they learned a lot about Tundra Town’s ice and snow from making “Frozen.”


Overall, I came away from this media event more excited for “Zootopia” than I was after its presentation at this year’s D23 Expo. After all is said and done, I believe it may indeed feel like more than just your average talking-animal movie, as it features impressive world-building, elements of potboiler mystery, and of course more than a few scenes of riotous comedy. I also enjoyed the little riffs on iconic scenes from popular culture, such as the aforementioned “Godfather” homage and a chase through the tiny mice-only neighborhood of Little Rodentia that harkens back to “Godzilla.” If the clips we were shown today (along with the testimonies of the talented creative team) are any indication, “Zootopia” should fit right in among the latest crop of Disney animated features: a visual treat with likeable, funny characters and a whole lot of heart.

Walt Disney World Offers a New Halloween Dessert Party at the Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World is taking reservations for yet another dessert party — this time at Mickey‘s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Halloween at the Magic Kingdom

The Happy Hallo Wishes Dessert Premium Package costs $69 for adults ($39 for children, ages 3-9) and includes reserved seating for Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” HalloweenParade in Town Square as well as for the HalloWishes fireworks show, at the Tomorrowland Terrace.

The package includes a dessert buffet at the Terrace, including cupcakes, brownies, fruits and cheeses, as well as the ever-popular worms-and-dirt. Drinks include sparkling cider, hot chocolate, coffee and tea, and the takeaway gift is candy-filled skull mug. The event replaces the $99 Villains’ Sinister Soiree event offered at Cinderella’s Royal Table during last year’s Magic Kingdom Halloween Costume party.

Of course, there are other options for a reserved seat to see the Halloween fireworks.

More details on Disney Infinity 3.0′s new characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse

It’s pretty amazing that it’s taken three editions of Disney Infinity before two of Walt Disney most iconic characters made it into the game. As we learned earlier week, Disney Infinity 3.0 welcomes the two most beloved Disney characters to its line-up — Elsa and Anna Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.


While both characters were confirmed earlier, their addition to the game was overshadowed by the announcement that Disney Infinity 3.0 will feature Star Wars playsets. Today, though, we finally have some details regarding these two new characters.

Mickey Mouse is described as a “playful adventurer who always wins teh day with imagination and heroic feats.” He’ll be able to call upon his friends — Pluto, Goofy, and Oswald, among others — to help defeat his enemies, and also knows some sweet boxing moves. I don’t know if he coudl take on Floyd Mayweather, but I’m sure it’d be more exciting than what we saw earlier this month.

While Mickey has technically appeared in past Disney Infinity games, that was as Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey. This version is the Classic Mickey, donning his signature red pants.


“From his powers and abilities to his dialogue, he plays completely differently!” the team said.

As for Minnie Mouse, this is her first appearance in Disney Infinity. She “dazzles and charms her way through every adventure,” armed with a purse that is used for special attacks — and holding her lipstick.

Five Foolproof Strategies for Lazy Parents at Disney World

For the first-time visitor to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., there is an avalanche of information to digest. Guidebooks, websites, friends and family contribute their well-meaning advice. Few things in life require this level of pre-planning. People have planned weddings with less work. Royal weddings. The pressure is enormous. You will do Disney right or you will have failed your family. Or worse, you’ll have to go back and try again. Just kidding, Disney-fans, don’t hurt me.

Walt Disney World

Much of the information you’ll find, though, is trying to help you maximize your time there, to fit everything in and meet your goal of seeing and doing it all. Be there before rope drop (at 6 a.m.!). Stay on property and take advantage of your hotel’s activities. Visit multiple parks in one day.

These are all tips aimed at the type of person who wakes up on a Sunday at 6 a.m. with a calendar full of activities for their children or who asks other parents for ideas on what to “do” with the kids during school break as if “let them play with all of their toys and watch as much TV as they want” isn’t a good enough option for their snowflake.

This is not me. Perhaps this is not you, too. Perhaps you love your children and want to take them to the happiest place on earth but not at the cost of your own happiness. Here are five tips for the lazy parent to actually have fun at Disney World.

1. Do all possible character breakfasts or lunches at the parks you visit. Eat with the Winnie the Pooh characters at Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. Dine with the Disney Jr. cast at Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios. Have a meal with Mickey and the whole gang (except, oddly, Minnie Mouse) at Tusker House at Animal Kingdom. Hang with the Princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot.


Let’s be real: food at Disney World is…not the draw. Everything you eat will already be overpriced so you may as well get an experience for your money. Plus, and this is where the lazy parent really gets their money’s worth, you won’t have to wait in a line to meet each of these characters later. Your kids will get a full-on, personal character experience which will beat out the six seconds they will spend with them at the front of a long line. At Hollywood & Vine, Princess Sofia commandeered my iPhone and took about 15 selfies with my 5-year-old while we also worked on hooking her up with Jake the Pirate. You just saved hours of time. Bravo, lazy parent.

2. Don’t have meals, character or otherwise, at hotels other than the one at which you are staying. This seems so obvious in retrospect, but Disney planning can make a person a little crazy. Lots of people suggest doing breakfast at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I’m sure it’s just terrific. But consider this: Breakfast at another hotel means waiting for 15-20 minutes for a bus at your hotel then taking a 20-minute bus ride—plus eating there, another wait afterwar and another bus ride to the park. It may not seem like much when you’re reading this from the comforts of your home. But when you’re wrangling your kids in transit for over an hour for the privilege of eating with characters you can see elsewhere, you’ll feel differently. This is an option for people who need to “do it all.” If you’re one of those people then you’re reading the wrong Disney piece.

3. Don’t give up. Laziness goes hand-in-hand with under-planning and Disney tends to punish the under-planner. But the secret is that Disney also tends to reward the last-minute, um, no-reservationer. I hoped to book the princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside Cinderella’s castle during our trip for my 5-year-old daughter. It was her birthday and she had seen pictures of her cousins with their hair piled high on their heads, in princess gowns, lounging on a chaise, and she asked to have that, too. I called and I called and all appointments were booked for our days there. The reservationist suggested I try the Downtown Disney location. Now, maybe an ambitious mother, the kind who has to make all of her child’s dreams come true would go to Downtown Disney. Me? I shrugged my shoulder and told her, “Sorry, no updo for you, kid.” But when we rolled into Magic Kingdom around 10 a.m. on a Saturday, I maneuvered us toward the castle to try for a walk-in appointment. They couldn’t take her right then but, amazingly, we booked a 2 p.m. appointment for later that same day due to a cancellation. When we got there at 1:45 p.m., there was a long line out the door of people trying to do the walk-in thing. A stern Fairy Godmother with a notepad was telling people it would be impossible to accommodate any additional princesses today. The moral of the story is you can be lazy, you can take your chances and walk-in to restaurants and experiences, but you have to do it on the earlier side before the truly lazy moms get the same idea.


4. Start walking to your bus when the fireworks start. I know, it’s all just so magical. You’re on Main Street USA. Cinderella’s castle is in the distance. The light show begins. Your kids start to ooh and aah. That’s your cue, lazy parents, start walking. Kids can see the show while they walk the same as they can standing still. So unless you want to double or triple your wait time for your bus back to the hotel, the smart move is to watch the show in transit.

5. Park-hopping is for lunatics. Why would you park-hop? Magic Kingdom is 107 acres. That sounds like a lot. That’s not enough for you? Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom are all even bigger than that! What are you, some kind of hero? Go for four days and do a park a day. Only have three days? Do three parks. If your kids are younger, visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. If they’re older, swap out Hollywood Studios for Epcot. Done and done. Only have one day? Magic Kingdom it is.

Disney World shouldn’t be a job and planning for it certainly shouldn’t be the second career some people turn it into. Follow these lazy principles and everyone will have a good, mellow time. If the goal is to actually vacation on this vacation, these tips will help make that happen.

Mickey, Minnie and Santa celebrate with area children During 2014 Christmas

Children shopped for Christmas gifts and wrapped them with the help of reindeer and elves Saturday outside Leach Theatre at Castleman Hall on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus.

The youngsters also made Christmas cards, took home balloon animals and had little pictures painted on their faces.
They also watched the Disney movie, “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” about Scrooge McDuck, who learned a lesson about generosity.
And, oh, yes, they had the chance to sit in Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted.
At the showing of the fourth film in the 2014-15 Leach Theatre Family Film Series at Missouri S&T, the lobby of Castleman Hall was transformed for area families to have more holiday fun.
The 26-minute film was shown several times from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., so there was plenty of time to enjoy Mickey’s retelling of the classic tale by Charles Dickens and still enjoy the activities outside the auditorium.
Lunch was even served for a nominal fee.
The reindeers and elves (who looked a lot like Missouri S&T students) helped the children shop for gifts that cost no more than $1.50 each. Then, they helped them wrap the gifts. All of this was done, of course, in a secret area where parents and other grown-ups were not allowed.
Also in the lobby were various stations for arts and crafts.
Mickey and Minnie showed up to visit with the children.
And Santa sat in the foyer and visited with a long line of children, graciously allowing them on his lap for pictures in exchange for promises of cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.
The next movie in the Family Film Series will be Disney and Pixar’s “Monsters Inc.” on Saturday, Jan. 31.

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