My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party


Guest Review by Melissa at 

If you have a little one obsessed with Princesses and/or Fancy Tea Parties, the My Disney Girls’ Perfectly Princess Tea Party is absolutely a must-do. Little girls will enjoy singing, dancing, live piano music, and lots of quality time with Princess Aurora all in the beautiful Garden View Tea Room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. And gifts! Did I mention gifts? Each child receives the following:

  • A special 18-inch My Disney Girl doll dressed in a Princess Aurora gown plus accessories (little ones can opt for a Duffy Bear instead).
  • A plastic tiara
  • Silver Princess link bracelet
  • Fresh rose
  • Special princess scrapbook page “Best Friend” certificate for their new My Disney Girl doll

Continue reading My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party


The Garden Grill in the Land Pavilion at Epcot

One of our favorite character meals at Walt Disney World is enjoying dinner at the Garden Grill in Epcot. We have been each of the last two years, and both visits were wonderful. The Garden Grill is in Future World, and the restaurant revolves around scenes from the Living with the Land attraction. The restaurant slowly rotates as you enjoy your meal, and by the time you finish you will have made one full revolution of Living with the Land. The food is served family style and is all you care to eat. Family style means they place all the food on a large platter and you serve yourself from that platter. As you eat your meal, Chip, Dale, Mickey and Pluto will make their rounds and always give plenty of attention to the guests. Prices range from $30 to $59, and most Disney Dining plans are accepted. As with any Disney restaurant, reservations are recommended.

The food at the Garden Grill is delicious, and you can eat until you are stuffed! Chip and Dale’s Harvest starts with a basket of warm bread with maple butter and a harvest inspired farmer’s salad (grown in Epcot!). I had never had maple butter before our trip, and it was amazing! The main entrees include char-grilled filet of beef with red wine butter, roasted turkey breast with lemon caper sauce, and sustainable fish of the day with roasted tomato and pepper compote. The sides are garden fresh vegetables and caramelized onion mashed potatoes and dessert is harvest skillet cake with vanilla bean whipped cream. If you love something on the menu, all you do is ask for more, and believe me, we asked for more! The filet of beef and mashed potatoes were my favorites because they were so flavorful, but my husband was a huge fan of the fish. I think he even had thirds. It was perfectly cooked and flaky, and seasoned to perfection. Our kids really enjoyed the kid’s meal that included oven baked drumsticks, sweet potato fries, broccoli and macaroni and cheese. We all left full and happy!

What stands out in my mind about the Garden Grill was that, while it isn’t the most updated and trendy restaurant, it was the most relaxed character dining experiences we had at Walt Disney World. The restaurant wasn’t very crowded during our last visit, so the characters came around to see us several times during our meal, signed autographs and took pictures with our family.  After Mickey’s third trip around to visit us, he started getting very silly and even took “selfies” with us. Those stand out as my favorite pictures from last year’s trip because they are so unique and just summed up a wonderful character meal. The staff was wonderful in taking care of us, the characters were so funny and attentive, and the food was delicious. It was such a great restaurant that I recommend it to all my friends who are visiting Walt Disney World. If you are heading to Epcot, I hope you will give the Garden Grill a chance, and that you love it as much as we did!

°o° Amy

About the author: Amy lives in Alabama, and is a wife, mom to two boys, Auburn alumnus and card carrying Disney fanatic. She blogs about all things Disney at Memory Makin’ Moms.

If you are interested in submitting restaurant guest reviews, contact me at kennythepirate(at)gmail(dot)com

Character Palooza update for 8:00pm Fantasmic! showtimes

Trying to keep up with Character Palooza  is like juggling snowballs. It seems like things change more than they stay the same.  They change the times, they change the locations and they change the characters that appear.  It’s pretty funny in a way because Disney World has moved to the Hyper Planner model of vacationing with pre-arranging your resort stay, rides and dining months in advance, but they try to keep character meets as some sort of top secret, black ops program.

if you don’t know what Character Palooza is or where it’s located or what time it is click this green link for Character Palooza.

If you ask the average Cast Member (who is doing what they are told) they will deny that Character Palooza even exists or act very coy about it all.  Every time the Fantasmic! schedules change, I venture over, very low-key spy style, and try to discern the latest schedules.

Today I observed that the new 8:00pm schedules included a 3:30pm meet (expected) and a 5:05pm meet.  The 5:05pm time was a pretty big shock to me because they arranged the time to fall right when everyone is leaving Lights, Motors, Action.  Both meets were held on New York Street closer to the Writers Stop.  If you aren’t sure where that is, use my Hollywood Studios Map.

I’ve updated the September and October Crowd Calendars and updated Character Locator as well to reflect this change.  If you notice anything wonky, let me know.

Characters meeting today included:   Belle, jasmine, Aladdin, Max, Pinocchio, Jessie, Stitch, Green Army Men, Pocahontas.

Villains Sinister Soiree at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Our experience

The Villains Sinister Soiree is a new add-on for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for 2014.  It costs $99 per person in addition to the Party ticket you had to purchase for admission to the party.  It requires a minimum group of two persons to book.

Disney promises that you’ll receive an exclusive parade and fireworks viewing area, a dessert party and a chance to meet with villains that don’t otherwise appear in the park.  I had a great deal of trepidation about using up half or more of my party time to experience this event. I jokingly mentioned that I’d go if someone sent me.

Well, Melissa at took me up on that challenge and provided the tickets to the Villains Soiree for my daughter and I to attend.  I was pretty shocked by it all, but welcomed the challenge.  I’ll soon be providing a special Princess Touring Plan for the party for her site as well as a gift in kind.  After booking the Soiree, she asked if my little girl would like some masquerade masks to use in character meets and sent those to us for free as well.  Debbie ended up with 9 different masks.  It was a bit of a challenge to keep them from falling apart in a hot backpack and the characters kept wanting to see them all night long because they were so amazing.

A couple of details before we begin.

1.  You can only check in at this little kiosk outside the Magic Kingdom for your Soiree credentials.  And you can only check in at 4pm or later.

2.  You’ll be given a special lanyard and a card that you’ll need at the dessert party.  I said “Our last name party of two for late Soiree.”  I was given a card that said “Pierce.”  I said the name is wrong.  The person was like “Eh, close enough.”  We got in either way. Hopefully they weren’t arguing with the Pierce family when they arrived.

3.  Don’t forget that you MUST have a ticket to the actual Hallowen Party in addition to the Soireee! Continue reading Villains Sinister Soiree at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Our experience

Would you pay $99 to meet Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa?

Magic Kingdom management has been extremely happy with the sales and guest feedback of the Villains Sinister Soiree, and is said to be considering a similar dessert party/parade viewing/fireworks viewing package for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

One iteration that has been proposed and has received some great interest is offering a meet and greet with Olaf in the lower lobby at Cinderella’s Royal Table and having Kristoff, Anna and Elsa mingle among the tables.  It would be really difficult for Olaf to mingle and he’d need some snow.  Elsa would lead the guests in a rendition of “Let it Go!” and they will have some special treats and take home trinkets.  The cost would again be $99.00, if this proposal passes.

It would likely have the words Frozen and Royal in the package name.  We know Olaf will be in the parade, likely on that little house float that I pointed out was mysteriously naked in the Frozen Parade at Hollywood Studios or joining the ice skating float with Kristoff.   Anna and Elsa will also join the parade.  I’m sure some characters will either be removed from the parade or be made to walk the parade route.

Frozen Mania is overtaking Walt Disney World and Disney Parks worldwide, so this doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to me.

If they were to offer Olaf and/or Kristoff at the Christmas Party as a regular meet and greet, it would create a line that would probably close by 5:30 or 6:00pm for the entire night.

Would you pay $99 to meet Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa?

What will happen to Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios after September 28?

Let’s treat it all as rumors until Disney officially announces some of this stuff or it just disappears without notice.  This is what I’ve been told would occur with the Frozen Summer Fun that currently takes place in Hollywood Studios after the previously announced closing date of September 28:

1.    The park opening show should end

The little show that all opening guests are forced to see before jamming up the walkways toward Toy Story Mania should end.  In my opinion, it should have never started.  It isn’t exceptionally cute and just creates a giant logjam at the hat.  It was much easier to see Buzz and Woody or ride Toy Story Mania without it at park opening. Continue reading What will happen to Frozen Summer Fun at Hollywood Studios after September 28?

Minnie Mouse leaving animation area and moving back to the Sorcerer’s Hat


Minnie Mouse is said to be moving from the Animation Building at Hollywood Studios and returning to meet at the Sorcerer’s Hat with the other classic Disney characters.

Her last day at the Animation Building is said to be September 27, 2014.

RUMOR: Ralph and Vanellope’s last day is coming soon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios


According to a source, Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope’s will soon be leaving Disney’s Hollywood Studios in preparation for transforming the meet and greet area for the characters Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6.

Ralph and Vanellope’s last day is said to be Friday, October 18, 2014   The Big Hero 6 characters should begin in late October to early November.

KennythePirate’s April 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar, Fastpass+ Booking and Dining Windows and Best Times to Visit Disney World

April 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar, Fastpass+ Booking and Dining Windows and Best Times to Visit Disney World

September 14, 2014

April begins as an extremely busy month and dies down to moderate to low crowd levels toward the end of the month.  You’ll find that the Magic Kingdom offers Extra Magic Hours every day during the second week of April.  If you’re an onsite guest at a Disney World Resort, you should take advantage of that Extra Magic Hour morning!  That first hour is a great time to visit a good number of Fantasyland attractions.

Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 4 to May 15, 2015 and it includes a free concert series known as Flower Power concerts.  The artists that perform are from the 60’s to the 80’s and offer genuine flashback music.  Check out the topiaries, take in a gardening seminar, walk through the butterfly garden and grab a bite to eat at the festival booths.

What will the weather be like during your April trip?

Mean Avg.
Apr 83°F 59°F 71°F 2.28 in. 97°F (1968) 37°F (2001)

April is beautiful in Walt Disney World.  The weather is warm, but not hot and there’s beautiful flowers everywhere.  Epcot decorates really well for the Flower and Garden Festival and offers great topiaries and gardening seminars.  It is central Florida, so bring that poncho in case you get an afternoon shower.

Should I use Extra Magic Hours privilege?

Avoid the trap of visiting a park on its longest hours day.  More people will be there and the wait times can be 30% to 100% higher than other days.

If you are planning to use Extra Magic Hours, use the morning ones, they are a great benefit, if you leave after lunch or parade time.  Avoid the parks that offer evening Extra Magic Hours because they have large crowds at night and many rides have long lines (Hollywood Studios and Epcot).  The exception would be the Magic Kingdom late at night because most guests won’t stay up from 1am to 3am in the morning.  If you choose a Late Extra Magic Hour park, you should plan to sleep in the next day.

What attractions are actually open for Extra Magic Hours at Disney World?

What are the hours for Disney Quest and Cirque du Soleil?

  • Disney Quest – 11:30am to 10pm Daily
  • Cirque du Soleil – 6:00pm & 9:00pm Tuesday-Saturdays

What attractions will be CLOSED for refurbishment during your April trip?

Do you need to know what activities will take place at your Disney World during your April trip?

Updated at the first of each month!

Special April Events at Walt Disney World

Do you need a great map that includes attractions, restaurants, Fastpass kiosks and characters?

Typical Best Days to Go

Magic Kingdom: Friday and Wednesday
Epcot: Monday and Saturday
Hollywood Studios: Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
Animal Kingdom: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

To read the crowd aspect, follow the DATE at the top!

Lowest Crowds
Low Crowds / Best Park
Moderate Crowds
Busy Crowds
Insane Crowds / Worst Park

Click on an image for a full sized view.  BE SURE TO PRINT IN LANDSCAPE MODE!

April 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar,  Park Hours, Dining booking and Fastpass booking KennythePirate
Continue reading KennythePirate’s April 2015 Disney World Crowd Calendar, Fastpass+ Booking and Dining Windows and Best Times to Visit Disney World

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