Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Festival of Fantasy Parade

I've always loved a parade, and few parades are better than the ones at Disney parks. Disney World's latest parade is called the Festival of Fantasy Parade. When I saw the first artist renderings from this parade, I knew it would be something special, and now Disney has released photos of some of the floats and costumes, it looks even more exciting. I am amazed by the beauty and magic of these floats. They are just incredible. I'm especially fond of the Brave float and am awed by the Maleficent steampunk inspired float. Which one are you most looking forward to?
The Brave float has been made to look like a giant Scottish bagpipes. Merida, and her three brothers in bear form, will be accompanied by dancers in Tartan kilts and highland dancer dresses.
The dancers for the Little Mermaid float have spectacular costumes. This Lionfish is particularly stunning.
But the Shell Girl is also beautiful. Disney has employed 3D printing technology to create her headress as well as that of the Raven on the Maleficent float.
The Lost Boys from the Peter Pan float appear to have gotten a bit of an update. Their new costumes were inspired by Newsies.
The Tangled float is accompanied by Thugs from the Snugly Duckling, as well as Festival dancers.
The Maleficent float is an amazing steampunk dragon that is a full 35 feet long and 26 feet tall. I can't wait to see it!
 The Raven costume that accompanies the Maleficent float is gorgeous. It seems like a perfect match to the dragon float.
Another Maleficent float performer is the Thorn Hedge Stiltwalker. It is an incredible costume made up of vines and thorns.

The Festival of Fantasy parade will arrive in the Magic Kingdom on March 9, 2014.

Photo Credit: Disney

Monday, February 24, 2014


 Disney recently released some amazing new photos from Maleficent.
Elle Fanning makes a lovely Aurora, here seen reaching for the spindle of a spinning wheel. 
Angelina Jolie is absolutely stunning as Maleficent...
...stunning, and yet powerfully evil.
I can't wait to see more!

The following is Disney's official synopsis of this film:

"Maleficent" explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty" and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

Maleficent arrives in theaters on May 30, 2014.

Photo Credit: Disney

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disney Infinity

Have you played Disney's new Infinity game? We got it for Christmas, and have only played a few times, but it's a lot of fun. I love how you can play as so many characters. We've spent some time in the Lone Ranger level and really enjoyed it. I will have to spend some time really learning how it all works, but for now, I'm just having fun learning about each of the characters.

There are several different characters available currently, with many more that should be released over the next several months. You can play as Captain Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, or Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Francesco Bernouli, and Holley Shiftwell are the Cars characters. You can also be Wreck-It Ralph or Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph. Then there are the characters from the Incredibles, which include Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Violet, Dash, and Syndrome. Mike, Sulley, and Randy from Monsters University are playable, as well as Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Woody from Toy Story. Princesses include Anna and Elsa from Frozen and Rapunzel from Tangled. You can even be either Tonto or the Lone Ranger, Sorcerer Mickey, or even Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas.

On April 1, 2014, they will release the set I'm most looking forward to: Phineas Flynn-Fletcher and Agent P from Phineas and Ferb. We are total Phineas and Ferb fans, so we can't wait to see what crazy things they can get up to. Here's a quick look to pique your interest.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Disney Princess Legos

Have you seen the newest Disney Princess Legos? They are so cute! They have released several Duplo Princess sets in the last few years, but these are the first Lego sets. The minifigures are similar to the Lego Friends sets, with tiny shaped faces rather than the yellow round heads from my childhood. They have several different hair accessories for each princess, from bows to crowns, and they can also wear any of the accessories from the Lego Friends sets.

There are two Ariel sets, one where she is a mermaid and the other where she is a girl. The first is called Ariel's Amazing Treasures. It's an under the sea set with mermaid Ariel, her fish pal Flounder, a treasure chest, gate, and seaweed.
The second set is called Ariel's Magical Kiss. It has Prince Eric's castle and dock, as well as a boat and the lagoon where Ariel and Eric nearly shared their first kiss. It also has a table and thrones inside the castle where they can share a meal. There's even a tiny frog to serenade them as they float along. The Ariel sets are Bean's favorite.

The Brave set, Merida's Highland Games, is my favorite. Merida is so cute, and her curly red hair is perfect. The set includes Merida, her brothers Hamish, Hubert, and Harris in bear form, and even two tiny wisps. There are three scenes as well, a tree, a catapult that launches tarts, and her father's castle, complete with the family tapestry hanging on the wall. She also has a tiny bow and target for her archery practice.
The Tangled set is called Rapunzel's Creativity Tower. It has Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, and even a tiny Pascal. Rapunzel's tower is filled with things for her to do, from painting to baking, to capturing Flynn. Rapunzel even has a frying pan to whack people over the head with.
There are also two Cinderella sets. The first is called Cinderella's Dream Carriage. The set includes Cinderella, her blue coach with the awesome filigree wheels, a horse to pull the carriage, a fountain, and the garden bench where Cinderella's Fairy Godmother first made her wish come true.
 The second set is called Cinderella's Romantic Castle. This is the most expensive set, but the castle is impressively large. It includes Cinderella and her Prince, a dog and cat who must be Lucifer, a bathroom complete with bathtub, a throne room, and a garden that's perfect for a picnic and even has a tree swing.

I'm addicted to Legos and was very happy to see these new sets that are more girl friendly. While I don't believe that any toy is only for one gender or the other, it's nice to see companies create toys with themes that children love.

Photo Credit: Lego

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thor: The Dark World

I finally got a chance to see Thor: The Dark World last night (what can I say, the second run theatre has been a little slow to get new films lately) and I absolutely loved it! It was another great film in the Marvel Avenger series with a fantastic story. This film was a lot sadder than the first Thor film, but brought back most of the cast from the first film. (They had to cast a new Fandral, one of Thor's companions from Asgard, because Josh Dallas from the first film was too busy playing Charming on Once Upon a Time.)

The film starts with a bit of a history lesson about the Dark Elves. Flash forward to now. Thor is still trying to make up for the problems that Loki has caused throughout the nine realms. Jane is in London, she's still working with Erik and Darcy, who has found herself an intern, and she is still missing Thor. And that's when the action starts.

There are a lot of battles in this film, which were really action packed and thrilling, but there are also several quiet moments that are very intense. Without giving anything away, I have to say, this movie has one of the most moving funeral scenes I've ever seen. It was incredibly sad and yet very beautiful. There were also some truly hilarious moments. Such as the scenes with Dr. Selvig in Stonehenge. And as usual, there was a humorous cameo by Stan Lee. (He's the man requesting his shoe back from Dr. Erik Selvig.) There's also a cameo by Chris Evans when Loki pretends to be Captain America. It was great.

All in all, it was a great movie and well worth the wait. It is a great balance of action and humor, dark and light. Thor: The Dark World comes to Blu-ray and DVD on February 25, 2014.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Unscramble the Love

Who couldn't use some extra points from Disney Movie Rewards? From now until February 14th, you can Unscramble the Love. Unscramble each word and enter it as a code to add 5 points to you  Disney Movie Rewards total. There are 5 words, so you can get a total of 25 points just for unscrambling a few words. Sounds good, right?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Hollywood Studios

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a 17 minute live action show. Located in the Animation Courtyard in Hollywood Studios, the theater is a well air-conditioned, so it's perfect for a hot day. I love to watch this show; the music and special effects are delightful.

The show starts approximately every 25 minutes, so if you arrive just after a show starts, you will have about a 20 minute wait. Fortunately, the waiting area is covered, so it does offer some relief from the Florida sun. Once inside the outer room, there is a brief pre-show with one child chosen from the audience to help introduce the show. This outer room has fascinating decorations, such as old diving suits, the kind with the huge brass helmet, tridents, nets, and many more ocean related objects, so it's worth taking the time to look around.

When you enter the theater, choose a row that is partially filled, or allow others to go before you so that you can be close to the center of the row. And try to stay at lest 4 rows back from the front for the best view. After everyone is seated, the lights dim and a wonderful stage show begins.

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid is full of music, fish, and special effects. The fish, directed by Sebastian, sing Under the Sea in a fun, black light, underwater dance. Bubbles float down from the ceiling and a cool breeze blows. Ariel rescues Eric and sings Part of Your World while flipping her tail. She then goes to see Ursula, who is a huge and amazing puppet that may frighten small children. Ursula sings Poor Unfortunate Souls as Ariel gives up her voice. There are laser Ursula's on the walls and ceiling and mist falling on the audience. Parts of the movie play out on a large screen at the back of the stage. You see Ariel and Eric fall in love and scenes leading up to the final battle with Ursula. Ariel is left wishing she could be with Eric. King Triton takes pity on his youngest daughter, and magically transforms her tail into a sparkly dress so that she and Eric can live happily ever after.
If you like watching The Little Mermaid, you will enjoy The Voyage of the Little Mermaid. This is a dark show that has occasional frightening moments that may be too intense for young children. You can see the show daily, approximately every 25 minutes. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide for exact times. Audio Description, Reflective Captioning and Assistive Listening are available. This show is Wheelchair/ECV accessible.