Ode to Our Twitter Family

We started a blog that grew to Twitter, a Podcast and the Gram

Before we knew it, we were part of the DisTwitter Fam

We found Disney fanatics just like us

With opinions and reviews we really could trust

We learn so much, each of you is a wiz

Thank you for following and we’ll see ya in the Diz!

We started this blog just to write about what we love. Disney has been our second home since we were kids and we feel so lucky that we found a place to share our memories, stories and hear the latest news.

Thank you for being a part of our Disney Family!

pjimage.jpg

Advertisements

ICYMI: Cheeseburger (AND FRIES!)

In case you missed the July 23, 2018, Bonus Q & A edition of Theme Park Thursday on The Improviser’s Guide Podcast, we went on a bit of a mini rant regarding apple slices not ever, ever, EVER, being an option over French Fries… EVER! #nothealthy

You should know (and probably shouldn’t be surprised) that we don’t prepare material for our episodes… we improvise… It is The Improviser’s Guide Podcast after all. We know the topic, we might make a few notes, we might structure a little bit, but we don’t know what we’re going to say beat by beat.

Which is why we need to start doing more of these ICYMI blogs!

Last week, we started talking about the amount of burgers we want to eat on any trip to WDW. At one point, I thought my next comment was going to be about Cosmic Ray’s at the Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland, but we changed course and it never got mentioned.

In years past, I had not really considered Cosmic Ray’s as a fast food option in the Magic Kingdom (Pinnochio’s Village Haus 4E!) – though it be an absolute must-do of my brother-in-law, ‘Mr. Snydillo’ (because … Sonny Eclipse). We did a full day at the Magic Kingdom in January and, I have to say, it was really nice to have a good old fashioned MK cheesburger (as in the meat and the cheese, not necessarily the roll) which invokes the spirit of Skyway cars and Utilidors.

Listen to the entire Q & A…. HERE!

Check out all the Theme Park Thursday Archives… HERE!

Brother Dillo

IMG_8066

My Menken Music

Did you listen to Dillo’s Diz most recent episode of Theme Park Thursday on The Improviser’s Guide Podcast? No?

OK, HERE’S THE LINK!

Now, at the end of that episode I said I would write a support blog for this episode.

Here within, Brother Dillo’s fave pieces from Menken-Disney soundtracks:

  1. The Little Mermaid – ‘Kiss the Girl’. There’s a triumvirate of greatness here with ‘Part of Your World’ & ‘Under the Sea’. What I like most about ‘Kiss the Girl’ is the build. Sure, ‘Part of Your World’ builds – it’s an ‘I Want’ song, and ‘Under the Sea’ is the showstopper, but ‘Kiss the Girl’ feels like the perfect blend of those two.
  2. Beauty & the Beast – ‘Prologue’. The toughest of all decisions to make. I love ‘Belle (Reprise)’ so much (‘I WANT adventure…’), and I love ‘Belle’ just below that. But the music underneath the words of David Ogden Stiers narration is everything I love – the darkness and the light.
  3. Aladdin – ‘Prince Ali’. I have experienced The Genie dancing hundreds (maybe over a thousand) of dances to ‘Friend Like Me’ in MGM’s now defunct Soundstage Restaurant, but ‘Prince Ali’ – for its theme to Aladdin’s Royal Caravan at the Studios to the dream that this was style of song I would be able to sing is the winner.
  4. Pocahontas – ‘Just Around the River Bend’ . Always preferred this to ‘Colors of the Wind’…
  5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – ‘Hellfire’. I think this is the greatest thing ever. Frollo nails it. End of story.
  6. Hercules – I talked about ‘I Won’t Say I’m in Love’ in our episode and its throwback to ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, but I was in a lot of ‘Zero to Hero’ Victory Parades – so I’m calling this one a tie.
  7. Tangled… n/a due to one time viewing.
  8. Newsies – ‘Santa Fe’. It’s true. I thought this was a song I could belt.
  9. Enchanted – ‘That’s How You Know’. Tremendous number in what is still a very, very underrated film. I would still want to see a live number play out in a Disney park.

What are your thoughts? Comment below or Tweet at us @DillosDiz!

Brother Dillo

 

Enjoying a Disney Vacation

It’s hard for people to understand how visiting Walt Disney World could be a vacation. There’s so much to do and see, it seems as if you would have to be on the go the whole time, leaving no room for relaxing. That’s why it’s so important to make time in that crazy itinerary to just chill.

When you have been planning a trip like this for years and you’re not sure when you’ll be back, it’s so hard to imagine not trying to see as much as possible. I totally get that. There’s also the fact that you’re spending a lot of money to be there and you want to make sure it counts.

For me, there are a few key factors when visiting Disney to make it feel like a vacation, especially now that I am traveling with kids. The first and most important thing:

Do Not Keep Them Out All Day Long!

This will definitely result in meltdowns, exhaustion and feeling as though your trip was a waste of money! Take some time in your day. Maybe have a nice breakfast and a leisurely morning at the hotel, head to the parks in the afternoon or vice versa. Or you could have the best of both worlds. Head to the parks in the morning, come back to the hotel for a nap and/or some swimming and head back to the parks at night.

The second thing I like to do to feel in vacation mode:

Indulge in some good food!

It’s hard to have a bad experience in Disney when it comes to food. However, there are definitely a few spots where you can step it up to the next level. If you have it in the budget, have at least one meal splurge (if not more). It’s not something we tend to do on a regular basis, so it makes it more fun doing it while on vacation!

The third, and for now, final thing I like to do to feel in vacation mode:

Talk to the Cast Members!

The Cast Members are fantastic. Their customer service is on point and they are there to make sure you have a magical experience. Ask questions, ask for help if you need it, or just learn about them. Cast Members are from all of the country and sometimes the world. They all have their own stories to tell and can teach you so much in a short conversation. It’s hard for most to get that experience in day to day life.

When I’m on vacation, feeling taken care of by the Cast Members helps me to relax. You should never feel stressed on vacation and they are there to make sure it doesn’t happen!

There are so many ways to enjoy a Disney vacation. Find what works best for you, take some deep breaths and experience the magic!

*If you’d like to hear more on what Dillo’s Diz thinks about Disney’s service, check out our latest podcast by clicking here.

 

Sister Dillo

 

 

Night and Day…You are the One

On yesterday’s Theme Park Thursday episode on the Improviser’s Guide Podcast, we played a little game: AM vs PM.

Wait, what’s that? You didn’t listen. Oh, here’s the link. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

http://theimprovisersguide.libsyn.com/episode-24-am-or-pm-play-along

Ok, great! Now that you’re up to speed, we can continue…

As I was playing, it was hard not to come up with resort experiences. This probably sounds weird to non-Disney lovers. Then again, non-Disney lovers don’t understand a lot about a Disney addict. They often ask:

Do you go on rides? Yes, and they’re awesome.

Isn’t it just for kids? No, it’s also for the kid at heart.

Is there anything to do at the hotels? Plenty and that is why it was so hard to come up with park experiences during our AM vs PM game!

It was also hard for me to answer AM. Why is that?

Disney mornings are great. The ground is wet, the sun is shining and you know how hot it’ll be for the rest of the day, as soon as you leave your hotel. That’s a great start to your day! But overall Theme Parks at night give that unexplainable feeling and vibe. The nostalgia becomes more prominent. You feel that magic in the air. When you stay up to go on rides, watch fireworks and pass out in a Disney bed while being an acceptable level of exhausted –  nothing can beat that.

Sister Dillo

And The Desserts Lived Happily Ever After…

IMG_8066

On the Thursday 2/22/18 episode of The Improviser’s Guide Podcast, we compared the Happily Ever After dessert party at WDW’s Magic Kingdom with the Hollywood (#AlwaysMGM) Studios’ Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party. This blog covers the Happily Ever After party. Click here to read Brother Dillo’s recap of the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular.

IMG_4262

The Happily Ever After dessert party is held in the Tomorrowland Terrace at the Magic Kingdom. There are two areas to enjoy the desserts. In the lower area of the terrace, you’re able to sit at a table and remain there during the fireworks. Instead of standing like most of the crowd, you can sit back, drink your sparkling cider and not worrying about anyone possibly pushing you out of the way. If you sit in the upper area of the Tomorrowland Terrace (which is a lower ticket price), you get to enjoy the same desserts but you are escorted to the Plaza Garden Viewing area. We chose the Plaza Garden Viewing area and it was an amazing view.

Let’s talk desserts, because they were delish. I mentioned on the podcast that there was an amazing ice cream creation that my hubby took advantage of. Unfortunately with the time that has passed, we can’t remember the exact name of this sundae (which included the Cast Member’s name) but it was the ultimate sundae! There was a cookie, ice cream, a brownie, more ice cream, whipped cream and every topping. Take a moment and try to overcome the jealousy.

Other desserts included chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, brownies, along with sparking cider, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. It’s dessert heaven!

I definitely feel that Magic Kingdom can step up the experience a bit, but it’s still a great time and I would highly recommend it! It was the perfect way to end our week-long Disney Extravaganza.

Click here to hear more about both dessert parties on Theme Park Thursdays of The Improviser’s Guide Podcast. 

IMG_8061

Spectacularly Galacting Desserts

On the Thursday 2/22/18 episode of The Improviser’s Guide Podcast, we compared the Happily Ever After dessert party at WDW’s Magic Kingdom with the Hollywood (#AlwaysMGM) Studios’ Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party. This blog covers the latter. Sister Dillo will post the former. Please note that this happened in January 2018 and not a long time ago in a yada yada yada.

In totality, we spent 75 minutes at the dessert party. We did this one, to maximize the time there and, two, because we had a late reservation at Jiko and needed to consume and digest the delicious offerings early.

I love me some Animation Courtyard. I spent many a shift in the Summer of ’96 watching Sorcery in the Sky from that location. Checking in outside the Star Wars Launch Bay and looking out behind me brought back fond memories.

Whether it was good timing or the norm, entering the Launch Bay and right into a Stormtrooper Meet & Greet blasted me into the full experience. Having worked at the Studios when Star Wars Weekends began, I still see how special it is to get this opportunity – even if it has more frequency.

The food and drink set up was between Rey’s speeder and the staircase to the BB-8 meet and greet. The freeze-fried truffle was the greatest recommendation by more than one cast member and it did not disappoint. The additional treats were standard fare, some themed (it’s light blue!), some boy and that was okay. The open bar was definitely helpful as two fancy named margaritas felt like you were getting some bang for the buck (ass opposed to the MK HEA Dessert Party).

All three queued meet and greets were available; Chewbacca, BB-8, & Kylo Ren. Due to time, we opted for the latter two. As mentioned in the podcast, I cannot race enough about the Kyle Ren meet and greet. It’s so well done. PS if you have a Disney Visa card, make mention, and you’ll be you’re own special experience.

About 35 minutes prior to show you are escorted to the ‘nose’ of Hollywood Boulevard/Chinese Theater (look that one up if you don’t know). You get a little Movie Magic projection pre show. If you miss the finale of The Great Movie Ride, this is an adequate replacement.

Oh, did I mention the free swag? FREE SWAG! The Captain Phasma mug!!!

The Star Wars portion of the Spectacular was everything it should be. Great moments, great soundtrack, very little prequels. As good as Happily Ever After? Nooooooo. But, a great ending to a day at the Studios in line with Sorcery in the Sky and the Osborne Lights… sorry, Fantasmic! You don’t make the cut – another argument for another blog or podcast episode.

Brother Dillo

Moonlight Magic

If you listened to today’s podcast, you heard our friends David and Steven talk about attending the Moonlight Magic Event at Magic Kingdom. You also heard the plug for this very blog! Thank you again David and Steven and we hope you have you back on our Theme Park Thursday Podcast real soon!

And now for our guest blogger, Steven:

Hi, I’m Steven and I’m not a Disney addict.

I thought it was important to get that little tidbit out upfront. Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney, I’ve had magical moments and I married my husband who is a huge Disney addict, so I get it. That being said, I can live with a once a year Disney fix, whereas my husband and other Disney addicts I know need to go multiple times a year to satisfy their need. I had a Disney theme to my wedding, designing Fastpass save the dates and table themes, putting hidden Mickeys in our invitation, and entering the reception with wedding Mickey ears. I love Disney mostly because the people I love, love it.

Sister Dillo chiming in for a second – I attended that amazing Disney themed wedding and it was magical! Now back to our regularly scheduled blog…

My main qualms with Disney tend to be lines, crowds and heat. Price is a whole different monster that I won’t awaken here. So when my best friend’s wife, Kimmy, mentioned the opportunity to enter the park for the private Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Moonlight Magic event, I was immediately intrigued. An event at Disney, in the Magic Kingdom, with limited entry (no lines/crowds) and at night in January (no heat) sounded like my dream really did come true. I had no idea just how right I was.

IMG_20180129_102500

When Kimmy extended the invite, my first move (obviously) was to inform my Disney-addict husband, David. David immediately scoured the internet for some info on this almost “too good to be true” event. Needless to say, if you’re not a DVC member, Disney doesn’t exactly make the information easy to find. Once we were filled in on the details, we were sold. A free, up to 6 hour event, in Disney…what’s not to love?

Around 8pm on a very rainy January 28th, we met Kimmy and 2 of her friends at the main gate of the Magic Kingdom. After she checked in, we were all given wristbands and welcomed into the park. The first sign that this was going to be something special was the mass exodus of “normal” guests streaming past us as we walked under the Railroad tracks. The park officially closed at 8pm, the fireworks were over and the park was clearing out fast. Our first stop was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which still had a line of non-event guests waiting for their turn. In response, we were routed down the FastPass entrance, until the crowds fully dispersed. We were on and off the Mine Train in a matter of 10, maybe 15 minutes. What we didn’t realize at that moment was that this would be the longest line we waited on that night.

20180128_222713

By about 10pm, the park was desolate. I mean, look at the picture above of Cinderella’s Castle. When could you ever get a photo like that without hundreds of people in front of you? Never, that’s when! We made a game plan of hitting all the big ticket items as many times as possible and skipping the rides we would normally be able to walk onto. In the end, we did almost every attraction that was available and did the big ones (Mine train, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain) at least twice.

IMG_20180128_233228

Check out this picture of the line queue for Peter Pan! One of the (inexplicably) longest lines in the park on a normal day and now completely deserted. No one in front of or behind us. It was an experience I’d never had in Disney before. It was magical.

In addition to the basic details being hard to find online, we also had no idea what would be included except for “complimentary light refreshments and unique entertainment.” After a few rides, we wanted a snack; namely, popcorn. We noticed a swarm of people entering a restaurant (I’m told it was Columbia Harbor House…who IMG_20180128_231604knew?) and we decided to ask a cast member where the popcorn was. After admitting she didn’t know, and checking with another cast member, she told us there was no popcorn! Then, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked what people were doing in the restaurant here. It seemed odd to me that you would come to an event like this just to spend money on food. Her answer to my question rocked our world: All the food, all over the park, is free. Free.99, Free-50-free, Free.30. Completely free food, drink, and desserts all over the park?! Now I was in heaven. I love food to begin with, but slap a “free” sticker on it, especially in a place like Disney which is known for their high prices for food, and you have a very happy Steven. We found out restaurants all over the park were offering abbreviated menus including chicken nuggets, hot dogs, burgers, soda, cookies, MICKEY ICE CREAM and more! It was just another special touch to an already magical evening. I am however sad to report…there was no popcorn. 😦

Walking around the Magic Kingdom when it’s empty and all lit up at night was a magical experience. The final magical perk of the night was an exclusive fireworks show for the DVC members and their guests. We had no plans to watch the show, as that’s valuable ride time, but we ended up being in Fantasyland when the show started. This location gave us a unique perspective of the show, with fireworks going off all around us. I took a look around during the show and noticed that almost everyone had just stopped in place and were watching and enjoying the show. No one pushing you or putting a camera/phone in your field of vision, just a bunch of Disney addicts enjoying a special moment in the Magic Kingdom.

Although short and exclusive, Moonlight Magic was the most magical moment I had ever experienced in Disney. Bravo to Disney for really pulling out all the stops and showing their true appreciation to those who are DVC members. Also, our never-ending love and thanks to Kimmy and her family for allowing us this experience. I hope we can all do it again next time!

20180128_184047

 

Check out Dillo’s Diz on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dillosdiz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dillosdiz

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DillosDiz/

Check us out for Theme Park Thursdays on The Improviser’s Guide Podcast:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-improvisers-guide-podcast/id1254218017?mt=2

Libsyn: https://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/101499