The Mouse Knows Best Podcast

Friday, December 29, 2017

Coming Soon to Walt Disney World Resort

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"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney

With the New Year fast approaching, let's take a look at the coming attractions at Walt Disney World Resort in 2018. 
Disney Parks Blog

Toy Story Land

Arguably the most anticipated new attraction of 2018, Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios will transport guests into the world of Buzz and Woody.  There will be two new attractions in this 11-acre expansion to the Studios: the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster and the Alien Swirling Saucers.  This much needed addition to DHS will hopefully help turn the current four-attraction park into a must-visit park once more.
Russell from Disney•Pixar’s “Up” awaits Guests at a Character Greeting experience on Discovery Island
Disney Parks Blog

Up Themed Show

The Wonders of Life show at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be replaced by an UP themed show that will feature Russell and Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world.  I know some folks out there aren't fans of IPs taking over WDW, but honestly, I think this one make a lot of sense and can really help boast the attendance for the show.
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Cirque du Soleil

With La Nouba closing at the end of 2017, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and the Walt Disney Company are teaming up again to pay tribute to Disney's vast animation history.  Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said, "We are incredibly inspired by Disney's immerse creative universe.  We are convinced that bringing Disney's magic to life on stage will touch audiences and bring them back to their childhood." 

The Edison ©Patina Restaurant Group

Disney Springs Dining

There will be eight new dining options to choose from at Disney Springs in 2018.  The Edison will resemble a 1920's electric company power plant and will feature live entertainment such as palm readers, DJs, and contortionists.
Disney Parks Blog
Terralina Crafted Italian will be overseen by Top Chef Master Tony Mantuana and will serve authentic Italian meals.
Maria And Enzo’s will be an Italian restaurant that will be run by the Patina Group, who also operates Via Napoli at Epcot.
Enzo's Hideaway
Enzo’s Hideaway was inspired by Florida’s rum running history and will feature Prohibition-era cocktails in its Tunnel Bar as well Roman dishes.
©Patina Restaurant Group
Pizza Pointe will be a fast-casual restaurant that will have stuffed pizza bread, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice, and Italian doughnuts.
An artist rendering of the exterior of Wine Bar George
Disney Springs
Master Sommelier George Miliotes returns to Walt Disney World after opening California Grill in 1995 to open Wine Bar George, which will resemble a winemaker’s estate.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Coming to Disney Springs
Disney Parks Blog
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will be a laid-back California themed dining experience.
Jaleo Coming to Disney Springs
Disney Parks Blog
Jaleo is a Spanish themed restaurant concept from Chef José Andrés.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?  Tweet us at @TMKBpodcast and let us know!

Robyn Fleenor is a contributing writer for The Mouse Knows Best Podcast. She is an avid Disney fanatic and would rather be at Walt Disney World eating glazed almonds than anything else.  When she isn't working to pay for her next Disney vacation, she likes to binge watch TV shows and fall in love with fictional characters. She can be found tweeting at @rahrah6263. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Once Upon A Christmastime at Disney

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Laughing Place
The holiday season is in full swing at the most magical place on earth and everything seems just a bit more magical.  With so much to see and do at the Walt Disney World Resort during this time of year, I've made a list of the top ten Christmas themed things to see on your winter vacation.

Sunset Seasons Greetings
Disney Parks Blog

10. Sunset Seasons Greetings

I'll admit that I am not the biggest fan of the Tower of Terror getting a holiday overlay - even if it is only virtual - but I do like the fact that Hollywood Studios received a new show.  Sunset Seasons Greetings features characters from The Muppets, Toy Story, and, of course, Frozen.

Disney Tourist Blog

9. Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

Wayne and Lanny from ABC's Prep & Landing are the stars of this nighttime spectacular that features scenes from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mickey's Christmas Carol, and more while the two stars must search for a missing Santa Claus.  The projections on the Chinese Theater accompanied with the music (and the pyrotechnics) make this show one you will not want to miss.

The holiday decorations in France at Epcot
WDW Shutterbug

8. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

During this festival, the countries of World Showcase come alive with the sights, sounds, and flavors of the holiday season. Each culture shares how they celebrate the holidays in a way that entertains as well as educates.  Don't forget to check out the Holiday Kitchens as well so you can enjoy unique flavors from all over the world.

Laughing Place

7. Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail

This festive trail features 25 trees decorated in Disney inspired themes such as Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, Mary Poppins, and Disney's Days of Christmas.  While wandering the trial, guests can enjoy classic Christmas music and falling snow as they admire these beautiful decorated trees.

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Disney Parks Blog

6. Jingle Cruise

As if the Jungle Cruise couldn't get any better, the Jingle Cruise comes along.  Its festive humor and holiday decor make this attraction an absolute must do whether you're a first time visitor or an annual passholder.

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Disney Parks Blog

5. Holiday Carousel

Disney's Beach Club resorts feature one of my favorite holiday traditions.  The life-size carousel is completely edible and features a variety of Disney characters scattered around it.  It's truly a work of art and something I look forward to seeing every time I'm in Disney at Christmas.

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Disney Parks Blog

4. Gingerbread House 

Disney's Grand Floridian and Disney's Beach Club resorts feature two of my favorite holiday traditions.  The life size gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian is a marvel to look at and the sweets that you can purchase from the store inside of it has some of the best holiday treats on property.  Similar to the gingerbread house, the Beach Club's carousel is life-size and completely edible and features a variety of Disney characters scattered around it.

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Disney Program Blog

3. Castle Dream Lights

Let's get one thing out in the open: Cinderella's Holiday Wish was the better show.  I mean, after all, it's Cinderella's Castle...shouldn't she be the one to decorate it?  But I digress and will admit that even with the Frozen pre-show, I still get chills when the castle sparkles to life.  It's well worth the wait to watch this amazing show.

A candlelight processional at Holidays Around The World at Epcot
Walt Disney World

2. Candlelight Processional

This is one of my favorite events at the Walt Disney World Resort.  It features a mass choir of Cast Members, a 50-piece orchestra, and a celebrity narrator that all work together to tell the story of Christmas.  If you can reserve a spot with the dining package, I would recommend it as seating does fill up quickly.

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The Disney Detail

1. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

After Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, this is my favorite ticketed event at the Walt Disney World Resort.  From Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade to Holiday Wishes to the snow on Main Street, this is an absolutely magical experience that the whole family will enjoy.

So what are your favorite holiday attractions and events at the Walt Disney World Resort?  Let us know by tweeting us @TMKBPodcast!

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Disney Avenue

In Memory of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

Robyn Fleenor is a contributing writer for The Mouse Knows Best Podcast. She is an avid Disney fanatic and would rather be at Walt Disney World eating glazed almonds than anything else.  When she isn't working to pay for her next Disney vacation, she likes to binge watch TV shows and fall in love with fictional characters. She can be found tweeting at @rahrah6263. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

A History of the Orange Bird

My favorite Disney character is the Orange Bird, and I recently took a look into his history to share with you today.  
Although the Orange Bird didn’t make his appearance at Walt Disney World until 1971, it’s believed that his history can be traced back to 1941.  It was during that year that the Walt Disney Company and Florida’s Natural Growers entered a partnership that would allow the cooperation to use the character Donald Duck on their orange juice cartons.  Even though Donald hasn’t been featured on the cartons as often in recent years, the agreement still stands and is one of the longest marketing partnerships in American history.
Jump forward to 1969 when construction was underway at the Magic Kingdom in Florida and The Walt Disney Company was looking to grow its partnership with the Florida Citrus Commission, which was formed from Florida’s Natural Growers.  The long-running partners struck a $3 million dollar deal for the Florida Citrus Commission to become the sponsor of the Sunshine Pavilion, which was home to the Sunshine Tree Terrace as well as the Tropical Serenade Show (which later would become known as the Enchanted Tiki Room).
A promo shot taken while Magic Kingdom was still under construction.
As a way to thank the Florida Citrus Commission for their massive investment in the Magic Kingdom, The Walt Disney Company decided to create a new character to promote both entities.  The concept for the character was fairly simple: an orange bird with head shaped like the citrus fruit he was named after.  The Orange Bird’s defining characteristic was that he was not able to speak, squeak, or make any sound.  He instead communicated through orange-tinted thought bubbles.
Before the opening of the Magic Kingdom, the Orange Bird made appearances on billboards, newspapers, and magazines to promote Florida orange juice.  He also served as a spokesbird for the upcoming Walt Disney World Resort.
In 1971, the Orange Bird moved to his home with the opening of the Sunshine Pavilion at the Magic Kingdom.  His presence was small at first, limited to a simple statue behind the counter at the Sunshine Tree Terrace and a walk around character, but the Orange Bird was a huge hit with the Florida locals who had been seeing the bird on advertisements for months.
The Orange Bird also had a popular book and record set that included songs written by the Sherman Brothers that were performed by former Miss America contestant Anita Bryant.  Over the following decade, the Orange Bird appeared in several educational shorts and commercials that helped familiarize people with his adorable orange self.
In 1977, Anita Bryant became an outspoken opponent of anti-discrimination legislation proposed in Miami that caused a public relations firestorm.  Since Bryant’s opinions were so controversial, many people decided to boycott Florida orange juice since Bryant was the spokesperson.  Due to all the controversy, the Florida Citrus Commission and Bryant parted ways, leaving the Orange Bird without his “voice.”
Although the Orange Bird was never directly involved in the controversy, the loss of Bryant meant the Orange Bird’s commercials were taken off the air and the records were phased out at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Despite the setbacks, the Florida Citrus Commission decided to renew its contract with the Walt Disney Company in 1981 for five more years.
Sadly for the Orange Bird, when the contact came up for renewal in 1986, the Florida Citrus Commission chose not to renew the contract for reasons that are still not known.  The end of the sponsorship caused the Orange Bird to be evicted from the Magic Kingdom as a walk around character.  During a refurbishment in the mid-90s the Orange Bird statue at the Sunshine Tree Terrace vanished.  As citrus stands became more sparse over the years, many forgot about the little Orange Bird.
But something interesting happened in 2004 halfway around the world from the Orange Bird’s home state.  The Orange Bird made his international debut at Tokyo Disneyland’s Orange Day celebration.  Although it's safe to say most of the guest didn’t know of his origin, the Orange Bird became a smash hit with the locals.  This victory for the Orange Bird put him on the path to a great comeback.
Mouse Steps
Due to his Tokyo success, The Walt Disney Company decided to test the waters with limited edition Orange Bird merchandise in 2009.  The response to the merchandise was so huge that most of it sold out as soon as it hit the self.  It was clear the Florida park was ready for it’s original mascot to return home.  Over the next few years, Orange Bird merchandise began to slowly make its way back onto the shelf much to the delight of nostalgic Disney fans (myself included).
The day I finally got the Orange Bird Park Starz Vinylmation.
The Orange Bird “officially” came home in 2012 when the Orange Bird statue was returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace.  He also received a bit of a promotion by also being featured on the signage for the Sunshine Tree Terrace and receiving his own special drinking cup.  Today, there are numerous merchandise items that feature the Orange Bird including pins, t-shirts, and kitchenware...most of which are in my apartment.
The Orange Bird is all over my apartment.

Robyn Fleenor is a contributing writer for The Mouse Knows Best Podcast. She is an avid Disney fanatic and would rather be at Walt Disney World eating glazed almonds than anything else.  When she isn't working to pay for her next Disney vacation, she likes to binge watch TV shows and fall in love with fictional characters. She can be found tweeting at @rahrah6263.