Tuesday, May 19, 2015

D23 Expo 2015 Update!


Special logo apparel, product debuts, artist signings, and more
will highlight the Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families August 14 - 16

BURBANK and ANAHEIM, Calif. – May 19, 2015 – Bursting with D23 EXPO 2015 - themed official merchandise and other specialty items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise, the Dream Store returns with something magical for Disney fans of all ages. From Disney-inspired apparel, art and collectibles, accessories, books, and more, the D23 EXPO 2015 Dream Store is a Disney enthusiast’s dream come true.  Highlights include:

Official D23 EXPO Merchandise--Disney fans can take home a piece of the magic from this year’s Expo, with an assortment of official D23 EXPO 2015 merchandise including tees, fleece, baseball caps, novelty headwear, D-Tech, jewelry, drinkware, souvenirs, accessories, pins, and Vinylmation™. And for the first time, guests can bring home a selfie party-pack inspired by a few of our favorite Disney characters, as well as an “R4-D23” droid and Princess Kneesaa the Ewok plush. D23 EXPO Tip: Look for a specially themed Walt’s Kingdom collection.

Disney Theme Park Merchandise: Showcasing some of its newest releases and exclusive offerings from ACME Archives Limited, ALEX AND ANI, Steve Adams, Dave Avanzino, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, David Bird, Britni Brault, Stephen Cargile, Bob Elias, Collector’s Choice, Disney Design Group, Disney Dream Collection, Disney Fine Art by Collectors Editions, Disney Parks│PANDORA, Dooney & Bourke, HARVEYS, Ink & Paint Artists, Rob Kaz, Jerrod Maruyama, Bridget McCarty, Miss Mindy, James Mulligan, Rick O’Brien, Robert Olszewski, Maggie Parr, Mike Peraza, Larry Nikolai, Precious Moments, Linda Rick, Tim Rogerson, Javier Soto, George Scribner, Sketch Artists, Michelle St.Laurent, Yakovetic, and more.

ALEX AND ANI will debut several new styles at D23 EXPO 2015. Fans can expect a variety of jewelry designs featuring everyone’s favorite, Mickey Mouse and a very special “Celebrate” wrap.

Disney Dream Collection and D23 Expo-Exclusive Jewelry: Guests can enjoy a sparkling selection of fine jewelry created for the Disneyland Resort Celebration.

HARVEYS-- Created especially for D23 EXPO 2015, this new collection features historical “A, B and, C Ticket Media” on some of their most popular silhouettes.

Dream Store Autograph Sessions--Disney fans will get the chance to meet some of their favorite authors, artists, Disney Legends, and other notable celebrities inside the Dream Store. Autograph sessions will be posted daily via the D23 EXPO Mobile App (available later this summer) and daily at the D23 EXPO Dream Store.

Details about Dream Store merchandise offerings, special artist appearances, and more will continue to be updated on www.D23EXPO.comwww.DisneyParksBlog.com,www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com and on Facebook and Twitter at “DisneyD23”.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Now through June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $58 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

About D23 EXPO 2015
D23 EXPO—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 EXPO 2015 news, visit D23EXPO.com. To join the D23 EXPO conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter and use #D23EXPO.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication,Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.
Fans can join D23 at Gold and General Membership levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Monday, May 18, 2015

D23 Launches the 1st Fanniversary Home Edition


For the First Time, Disney’s Official Fan Club Takes Its Popular Event Global, Bringing the Fun Directly to Fans With the Biggest Lady and the Tramp Viewing Party Ever.

BURBANK, Calif. – MAY 18, 2015 – D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is bringing its popular Fanniversary event into the homes of members and Disney fans around the world, with Fanniversary Home Edition. This year’s inaugural home event celebrates the 60th anniversary of Disney’s classic canine love story Lady and the Tramp. Fans can join the fun by visiting D23.com/D23Fanniversary.

Starting May 29, guests can begin preparing for the party by downloading invitations, decorations, crafts, games, and even a traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe provided by the talented chefs of The Chew.

Then from June 12–14 it’s time to party! Throughout the weekend, D23 will unveil new and classic content on D23.com about the animated favorite, including:
  • A new video featuring original artwork from the Animation Research Library
  • A series of the original “Scamp” comics
  • A gallery of Lady and the Tramp items from the Walt Disney Archives
  • Features full of fun facts about the film, including a piece by Disney music historian Randy Thornton looking at the development of the movie’s beloved songs
  • A story on Walt Disney’s own dogs and how they influenced some of his movies

Plus, fans are encouraged to join the conversation on D23’s social media using the hashtag #D23Fanniversary (follow “DisneyD23” on all platforms). One of the many downloadables will be a “selfie station” where fans can pose as the film’s canine couple enjoying a plate of pasta at Tony’s Restaurant, and then upload their shots on social media. Throughout the weekend, D23 also invites fans to post “Dogglegangers”—photos of their own pooches who look like the dynamic dogs from the film—and share stories of dogs they have adopted.

Fans are encouraged to watch the beloved film all weekend long. And for those who would like to watch as one big group, at 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, June 13, D23 encourages fans around the world to hit “play” on their DVD, Blu-ray, or digital device to kick off the largest Lady and the Tramp viewing party ever. Follow on Twitter, as D23 will be live tweeting out fun facts, commentary, and questions for the audience. 

Lady and the Tramp, which had its premiere on June 16, 1955, tells the story of Lady, a young cocker spaniel from a “respectable” home, who falls in love with Tramp, a mutt who lives in the railroad yards. The idea for the film came from a short story by Ward Greene entitled “Happy Dan, the Whistling Dog.” The film stars such voice talents as Barbara Luddy as Lady; Larry Roberts as Tramp; and Peggy Lee as Darling, the Siamese cats, and Peg, the show dog.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication,Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99) and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Disney Cruise Line ~ What is Included What is Not?

Disney Cruise Line - What is Included What is Not?

Thinking of a Disney Cruise Vacation but looking at the price and wondering what is included and what is extra? Well let’s start by doing the short list – what is not included in the cruise fare.

Not included in the price of your cruise:
Ø  Alcoholic drinks of any kind.
Ø  Specialty Drinks – smoothies, specialty coffee and the like.
Ø  Packaged Foods – canned soda, bottled water, candy bars, packaged cookies and the like.
Ø  Spa and Salon Treatments,
Ø  Arcade Games IN the Arcade (Kids have some free in the kids clubs, many Disney themed).
Ø  WiFi
o   This is available but expensive if you just must be connected for work or personal reasons
o   There is free WiFi to use the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App.
Ø  Meals at the Adult Only Restaurants.
Ø  Port Adventures.
Ø  Shipboard Adventures such as Mixology Classes and Wine/Ale Tasting. There are many free shipboard adventures as well.
Ø  Nursery care for children under 3 years of age.

What is included in the price of your cruise:
Ø  Dining for every taste.

o   Not interested in the main restaurant that night? No problem! Ask your server for other options not on the menu. Want to have what you had the night before at a different restaurant? Ask your server if they can get it. Still not interested then there is Room Service, Quick Serve Locations, Lounges or the Buffet that I’m sure will have something you can enjoy.
o   Castaway Cay (Disney’s Privet Island) Dining is also included! No extra cost to eat at Cookie’s BBQ while on shore!
Ø  Rotational Dining with a different restaurant/same servers every night.

Ø  Free Soda, Coffee & Tea, Milk and other drinks.

o   All the main restaurants serve these free. Not going to a main restaurant? Want to drink a soda in your room? Want to go to listen to music in one of the late night lounges, sit by the pool or walk on the deck and have a drink? Stop by the Soda Fountain on the Pool Deck and pick some up for free. They also have cold filtered water there as well. (You can bring your own travel cup or water bottle from home.)
Ø  24 hour Room Service.

o   Remember that packaged items, soda and alcohol cost extra and are not free.
Ø  Quick serve food locations with something for everyone.
Ø  Kids Clubs with the longest hours of any cruise line.

o   Kids have age appropriate club areas deigned just for them. Adults are not allowed into the kids areas unless it is open house time.
o   Children are signed in and cannot leave without parents or approved adult signing them out. Older kids can be given the freedom to check themselves in and out.
Ø  Spacious Staterooms designed with families in mind. They are approximately 25% larger than industry standard. Many have split baths.

o   Split bath is toilet and sink in one room with tub/shower and sink in another room. This makes it easier for families to get ready for their day’s adventure or a meal at the same time.
Ø  Broadway Style Musicals in a professional theater.

Ø  Fireworks at Sea.

o   Disney Cruise Line is the only Cruise Line authorized to do fireworks at sea.
o   The firework shell is made of Corn and actually feed the fish!
Ø  First Run Movies at Sea.

o   Know that a long anticipated Disney Movie is coming out while you are at sea? Don’t worry! You will see it opening day on the ship!
Ø  Classic Disney Movies at the pool and in the movie theater.
o   Buena Vista Theater plays movies at various time. It is a state of the art theater that can play 3D movies as well as standard.
o   The Funnel Vision Screen at the family pool on each ship also plays movies at various times throughout the day and into the night. The screen is 14 X 24 Feet in size. It is fun to just float in the pool and watch a movie.
Ø  Sports Pub at Sea. Don’t miss that important game!

Ø  Exclusive Adult Only Entertainment.

o   Adult themed Comedy, Dancing, Piano Bar and Karaoke are just some of the fun things you can enjoy without the kids. (Don’t worry about the kids. They can stay in the kids club while you have fun for no extra charge.)

There is plenty to do on a Disney Cruise Ship that is included in the price.
Ø  Pools and Sports Deck along with the Health Center are open daily.
o   There are 3 pools on each ship. One for the little kids, one for families and one for the adults only.
o   The Sports Deck offers different things. The older ships have a place to play basketball, Volleyball, and other sports. At times there are crew members and sometime characters there organizing games and activates. On the newer ships also offer mini golf and other sports related offerings.
o   The health center offers a place to go work out even while on vacation. You can also avail yourself of some classes on healthy living.
o   There is also a Walking/Jogging Deck. You can take a leisurely stroll, power walk, jog alone or join up with other cruisers for a run.
Ø  Disney Art of Entertainment Classes.
o   Cooking, TowelGomi and Cake Decorating are just a few of the classes offered.
Ø  Behind the Scenes Discussions – Often with Disney Imagineers and other Disney people.
Ø  Tours of the ship. The Art of the Theme Ship Tour is not to be missed.
Ø  Water Fun - Pools, Hot Tubs, Splash Zones/Water Play Areas, and Water Slides for everyone (On all but the Disney Wonder) and Sun Fun.
o   Pools have handicapped accessibility
o   Slides available for the entire family are AquaDuck on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy and AquaDunk on the Disney Magic. At this time the Disney Wonder does not have a family water slide. The AquaDuck is actually a WaterCoaster not a water slide. It is the first watercoaster at sea.
o   There is sometimes live entertainment at the pools. Bands will come and play music and there are even instructors teaching water exercises from time to time.
o   Splash Zones/Water Play areas are available near the pools for the littlest cruisers.
Ø  Family fun games, dancing and karaoke.
o   There are many games and some are unique to certain ships. Some are designed for kids, some for families and some for adults only. Trivia is a popular game played on the ships. They have kids, family and adult themed trivia sessions. The Disney Fantasy has the Muppet Detective School game where you search the ship for clues to who stole the Muppets props.
Ø  Enchanted Art that comes alive as you stand and admire it.
o   (Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream only.)
Ø  Deck Parties. There are at least 2 main Deck Parties on the ship each cruise.
o   The Sail Away Deck Party is where you get a feel of what is available and get a look at the crew, especially those in the Kids Clubs. Good time to get the kids excited about the Kids Clubs activities!
o   Pirate Night Deck Party on most cruises. This Pirate themed Deck Party is a favorite of returning cruisers. This includes Fireworks at Sea! To add extra fun to Pirate Night you can dress up as your favorite Pirate!
o   Check the schedule for smaller Deck Parties that including dancing and games around the pool during the days at sea.

You may have noticed that pubs and bars are mentioned but casinos are not. That is because Disney does not have a casino on board their ships. The only “gambling” is Bingo or between you and your spouse on how hard it will be to get your kids to leave the Kids Club.

One thing that is included in a Disney Cruise is 2 wave phones per cabin. Each room has 2 phones that work like cellphones at sea. They only work on the ship and Castaway Cay. You can easily keep in touch with other members of your party/family and friends you who came with you or that you make on the ship. You can call and text each other and keep in touch. Great for parents so the Kids Club crew can call if/when the kids need them. You can get an extra Wave Phone for $3.50 per day if you wish. But be aware! If lost or damaged you will pay $250 to replace it. You can get them for your older kids so they can take a walk around the ship and still be able to stay in contact. No excuse for not meeting up for dinner or family time!

If you don’t want to use a Wave Phone you can download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App for free for both iPhone and Android. Just download on your personal Smart Phone before you go and turn it on when you board the ship. With the Navigator app you can chat with other people on the ship as well as check the schedule for the day’s activities setting reminders for things you don’t want to miss.

I have found that vacationing on a budget is easy with a Disney Cruise. You know exactly what it will cost before you go. Most of the important things are included in the price of a cruise. You can easily find out the price of the extras and budget that in as well. You can prepay for both Shore and Onboard Adventures before going.

A Disney Cruise is perfect for a family vacation because the kids can have all the fun and freedom they want while being safely watched. Parents can have time together to become even better parents. The entire family will enjoy time together watching shows and having adventures that build memories that last a lifetime.

Wish to book a Disney Cruise? Contact me.