Disney to Livestream “Frozen Holiday Wish” Castle Lighting at 6:25PM Tonight

Disney is going to livestream tonight’s “Frozen Holiday Wish” castle lighting tonight. The eaiest way to view the performance is to visit the Disney Park’s blog and look for their new post with the video link. (I’ll try to do my best to update this post, but 6:25pm is kind of a rough time for me to make that update.) Enjoy the show!

UPDATE: Here’s the Disney Parks blog link, and here’s the video:

Initial Thoughts from Our October 2016 Disney Trip

Our latest trip to Disney World focused around a few major Disney World events: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I’ve learned these past couple of years that having defined things that we want to do lets us feel a little of the time pressure that people who don’t visit as frequently as we do can end up feeling. It makes for an interesting trip. Here are some initial thoughts:

  • The End of Celebrate the Magic:I’ve already written about how much Celebrate the Magic means to Elyssa and me, but seeing the show for the last time was still overwhelmingly emotional for both of us. I have faith that the new projection show will be good, but I doubt we’ll ever have the emotional connection to that new show that we have to this one. It truly will be missed.
  • Kona Cafe (Breakfast): I still love starting a day with a press of Kona Coffee and an order of Tonga Toast. Elyssa almost always ends up with a Big Kahuna (which, again, is a great way to start the day.) We normally get an early ADR, and then head to the Magic Kingdom to watch the Welcome Show. I don’t know if I’d recommend Kona if you want to rope drop Mine Train, but it’s pretty perfect for what we use it for.Breakfast at Kona - Always a Hit
  • Homecoming Florida (Dinner or Drinks): Homecoming is fast becoming one of our favorite spots to grab a drink later at night (in addition to being an excellent dining option for either lunch or dinner.) Fried Chicken, biscuits, and hush puppies aren’t the most “adventurous” of dishes, but Homecoming does them very well. If southern comfort food is something you enjoy, I’d definitely give Homecoming a shot.
  • Animal Kingdom at Night is a (Hidden?) Gem: We now build nights at Animal Kingdom into our trip. An evening Safari, a drink or two at Nomad Lounge, and the Tree of Life Awakenings (which are extremely fun to watch) all make for a really enjoyable night.
  • Seeing Friends is Always Fun: Elyssa and I were fortunate enough to run into world famous podcaster, “Light ‘Em and Hide”, twice including once with a guest appearance by similarly renowned Disney theme park photographer Brandon Glover. Though we didn’t get to meet up with friends of the site, Dutch, Josh, or Eric, I’m sure we’ll run into them again before too long. Name dropping aside, it’s always nice to spend time with people we know from this little hobby of ours. I hope the trend those meet-ups continues.

Over the next week (or two, or three…), I’ll be working some more in-depth coverage of a few of things we did, but here is a little preview:

  • Goofy and Pals Breakfast at the Four Season: Elyssa and I decided to switch things up on the character breakfast front and try something a little different. My (almost) twitter length review: Breakfast was good. It has a little different vibe than standard Disney character meals (fancier?). The food also seemed to be a step up from what you might find at a traditional Disney buffet. The character interactions were superb (and if that’s what you want, I’d recommend making a 10:45am or so reservation, since the place was nearly cleared out by 11:00.).
  • Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party: Halloween is Elyssa’s favorite holiday, so we had been thinking about planning a trip around the halloween party for years. Things finally fell into place this year. We arrived at the party a little before 4 (and used our AP to gain admission.) We ended up meeting Tink, Rapunzel, Tiana, the Seven Dwarfs, and riding Mine Train before the party officially started at 7pm. From then on it was character meet-and-greets, parades, fireworks, and candy. It was a super fun night (Maybe Elyssa and I should do a Mic Drop segment on it??)
    Is there anything left for me?
    Is there anything left for me?
  • Food and Wine: I feel like the stand outs from Food & Wine the past couple of years are either desserts or from the Chew booths (or sometimes, both.) Things like the Liquid Nitro Truffle, or the Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse stand out in my memory more than the duck bun I got from China. At this point, I’d probably be fine attending 1 or 2 mornings mid-week and calling it a Festival.

Overall, it was a pretty great (if not a little jam packed) trip (even with Celebrate coming to and end.)

News Nuggets from Around Disney World

If you’ve been following us on Twitter (including at Elyssa’s new handle!), then you know that the last few weeks have been crazy at Rope Drop [dot] Net HQ. Weddings in foreign lands (well, Maine), J O B job stuff getting in the way of site updates, etc…all have conspired to make this a HUGE helping of News Nuggets. I hope you’re hungry (for news)!

First, a quick link in case you pre-order this year’s Unofficial Guide and need to get ir replaced due to the defects: How to Get a Free Replacement 2017 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

And now, the actual nuggets:

How about we take before we look at more nuggets?

Fall at Disney World!
Fall at Disney World!

Okay…now back to the nuggets…

Here’s a different way to end the post, a video stroll around Castaway Cay from The DIS:

News Nuggets from Around Disney World

It may seem like you just had a large helping of News Nuggets, but the Disney World news has been coming hot and heavy for the past week or so. Sounds like it’s time for another order!

Here are the latest Rope Drop [dot] Net News Nuggets:

Even though it’s not really our beat, we’ll end with a couple of videos from Shanghai Disney. First the TRON coaster:

And this one of Shanghai’s version of Pirates of the Carribbean:

Rumors are that this is the BOATRIDE system that will be used in the new Pandora BOATRIDE. Hopefully, that ride will be as impressive as this version of Pirates is.

News Nuggets from Around Disney World

It’s Easter Weekend and and that means (among other things, obviously) lots of visitors to Disney World, and a whole bunch of new Disney World News Nuggets.

The biggest news is probably the new “extra” hours opportunities at the Magic Kingdom:

  • Disney “After Hours” Event Announced. – 3 extra hours at the Magic Kingdom with a low attendance sounds pretty awesome, but $150 per person is a lot of money for it. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I have the option to go to this. (I’m not the first / only person to say this, but it seems like the DVC Fireworks we saw a couple of weeks ago might be a good fit for this party.)
  • Disney adds “Early Morning Magic” to the Magic Kingdom – Rumors are saying that $69 gets you rides on Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh, as well as a “breakfast buffet” at Pinocchio Village Haus for 1.5 hours before the park opens to regular guests. I was hoping this would be $50 per person, not $70.

That wasn’t all the news from the past few days, though. Here are the rest of the News Nuggets:

We’ll end this edition of the News Nuggets with this look at what has become of Disney’s River Country “Watering Hole”. I used to love River Country, and I was sad when it was closed. It’s freaky to see what it looks like now that Disney has abandoned it. Hopefully, the rumors Jim Hill talks about (building a DVC resort in that area) turn out to be true.

See you next time!

What special entertainment will be part of After Hours at the Magic Kingdom?
What special entertainment will be part of After Hours at the Magic Kingdom?

Last One to Leave, Turn Off the (Osborne) Lights

The End of the Osborne Lights

On Wednesday night, the Osborne Lights faded to black for the last time. Thankfully, a lot of our favorite Disney blogs were there to cover the event (and give people like me–who couldn’t be there in person–a chance to see what the Lights were like in their final moments):

Mouse Steps had an excellent photo post, including a video of the show’s final moments:



WDW Magic had a photo post and an epic 10 angle video of “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” and the last moments of the show before it went dark:



WDW News Today had a nice written recap and video of the final moments:



TouringPlans had a recap of the last night and a video of their own:



And with that, we say goodbye to the Osborne Lights. As I’ve said before, I’m sad they’re going away, and I hope they come back (in some form) some day.

Disney gives People a Few More Days to See the Osborne Lights

In a move that I don’t find particularly suprising, Disney has extended the display of the Osborne Lights through Wednesday, January 6th, including running the Lights until 10:00pm on Monday through Wednesday. (Frankly, I am surprised it’s only 2 more days. I was thinking they might extend the lights through Martin Luther Kin, Jr. Day or later.)

As you would expect with a piece of news like this, everyone has reported it: TouringPlans, WDW News Today, and easyWDW.

  

News Nuggets from Around Disney World

There has been a lot of Disney World news over these last few weeks of 2015. So, let’s not waste any time and get right to this edition of the Rope Drop [dot] Net News Nuggets: 

That’s it for this edition of the New Nuggets. Let’s finish off this post with a link to some pictures of some of the great Christmas trees found at Disney World And a video of the new Symphony in the Stars, Star Wars-based Fireworks at The Studios

News Nugget time!!
News Nugget time!!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Live Stream Sunday (December 6) at 8:15 PM EST

Much like they did for the Osborne Lights a couple of weeks ago, Disney will be live streaming some of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parade tomorrrow night at 8:15PM Eastern..

For these types of events, I normally recommend starting to check the Disney Parks Live Youtube Channel about 20 minutes before the show is supposed to air, and then continuing to reload the page until the link for that night’s event shows up. (You can also search for “Disney Parks Live” in the YouTube app in various media streaming devices if you want to watch on your television.)

Elyssa and I attended the party earlier this year and had an absolute blast. We intend to do a fuller write-up in the next few days (weeks?), but, if you’re interested at all in the party, we would recommend checking out the live stream.

Santa at Mickey's Very Christmas Party
Santa at Mickey’s Very Christmas Party

News Nuggets from Around Walt Disney World

I also like my corn dog nuggets with a side of beignets.
I sometimes prefer my corn dog nuggets with a side of beignets.

Since there has been a lot of news coming out of Disney World recently, it seemed like the appropriate time to debut Rope Drop [dot] Net’s “News Nuggets” feature (inspired by one of Elyssa’s favorite Disney Food items: the corn dog nuggets from Casey’s Corner). As you would expect, these are small, bite-sized “nuggets” of news that you may find delicious useful.

Before we get to the actual nuggets, I do want to point out that Josh at easyWDW has started posting his 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival “booth by booth” reviews of all of this year’s food and drink options. (As I’ve mentioned before, I always start my Food & Wine Festival planning with Josh’s reviews. They are top notch.) You can already find Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 on his site, and I would imagine the rest of the booths will be up shortly.

Now, with that out of the way, it’s time for the nuggets:

That’s all the news for now. If you want more to read about Disney World, I suggest taking a look at the interview we posted yesterday with Casey Liss. It has gotten some really good responses so far, and I think you’ll enjoy it.

A lot of changes coming to The Studios
A lot of changes coming to The Studios

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2015 featuring Josh Gonzalez

Tip of the Hat Selfie from Josh
Tip of the Hat Selfie from Josh

The reviews of this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are starting to pop up. Though we’ll get to those in a minute, I was more interested in hearing what friend of the site, recent Not So Scary party attendee, and all around class actJosh Gonzalez, had to say about the party. Thankfully, Josh was happy to oblige:

I attended my first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this past Sunday night and I had an amazing time.  I saw the Boo to You Parade twice and I was very impressed with all of the performers and I really liked the parade music.  My favorites include the grave diggers and ballroom dancers from the Haunted Mansion and the portion that had characters from Splash Mountain and the Country Bears Jamboree.  I was also very impressed by Hallowishes.  I caught the very last Hocus Pocus Villains stage show at midnight and I was thoroughly entertained.  It was funny, creative, and included lots of very talented performers.  The villains in the show were a lot more impressive than the standard villains you see in parades and meet and greets.  I was thrilled to see Oogie Boogie with an articulated face that included a moving mouth and moving eyes.
I also really liked the overall atmosphere of the party, especially considering that it was only late September.  If you plan on going to a Halloween party, I highly recommend you wear a costume!  One of the real highlights of the night was seeing all of the different costumes that everyone was wearing.  I think the people who were wearing costumes were definitely having more fun than those who were not.  One last bit of advice: if you are planning on trick or treating, ask around about which locations are giving out the most candy and the best type of candy.  Some of the locations were only giving out 2 or 3 pieces of candy per person, while others were giving out 2 large handfuls of candy per person.

As you might expect, Josh practices what he preaches and put together amazing Hipster Minnie and Mickey costumes with his lovely wife, Carye:

Carye & Josh as Hipster Minnie and Mickey (Photo Courtesy of Josh)
Carye & Josh as Hipster Minnie and Mickey (Photo Courtesy of Josh)

For more of Josh’s photos from the party, check out Josh’s 2015 Mickey’s Not So Scary Google Photos Album. (which includes photos of the dancers and Splash Mountain characters he described in his recap.)

If you want even more information and reviews on this year’s party, this review by Dave at YourFirstVisit.net is probably the best place to start. He provides a nice level of detail about the party, as well as gives some general touring tips and information about some of the schedule changes they made to this year’s show. On the audio side of things, the gang from DIS Unplugged provides a pretty good recap of their experiences at the party in their most recent episode.

In a similar vein, Denise over at Mouse Steps also has some good tips on how to make the most of your visit to the party. My favorites from her list are:

  • Trick or Treating is for Everyone – Adults and children can trick-or-treat! Make sure to pick up a bag when entering the park. (And as Josh said, make sure you ask to see where they are giving out the best candy.)

and

  • Meet “Talking Mickey” in his Halloween costume at Town Square Theater

Her tips related to shows and parades (view the latest show and parade, watch the parade from Frontierland, etc..) are also good advice for whenever you are visiting the Magic Kingdom (whether there is a hard ticket party or not.) You can also check out Denise’s photo / video post, that includes over a 130 photos from the 2 nights that she attended if you want to see even more images from the party.

Lastly, if you’re a TouringPlans subscriber, you can find touring plans for the party on their Miscellaneous touring plans page (including plans for family’s with small children and for adults).

Disney World October, December, and January Park Hours Updates from easyWDW

Josh at easyWDW has posted updates to Disney World’s operating schedule for October, December, and January. The December update is especially important since it includes a number of new Extra Magic Hour mornings around Christmas.

As a general note, I always check easyWDW for schedule updates before any trip. I know that I could pull the information directly from Disney but Josh’s layout and information is way more convenient. (I even prefer it to using MyDisney Experience to look for future park hours.)

Disney to live stream Boo to You Parade and HalloWishes Fireworks Tonight

Disney has announced that it will be live streaming the Boo to You Parade and HalloWishes fireworks from tonight’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Even thought you can find various videos of these events online, I always think it’s kind of special to see it when Disney broadcasts something live.

If you’re on non-computer device that has Youtube access (i.e., an Xbox 360 or Roku), you can usually search for the “Disney Parks Live” channel to find the video. It will normally have a “Stream Coming Soon” placeholder about 20 minutes or so before an event is supposed to take place (so, approximately 8:00PM Eastern for this one.)

The Last Year of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Late last week, Disney announced that this year would be the last year of the Osborne lights at The Studios. I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that I’m majorly bummed out by this announcement (even if I expected it for the past couple of years.) When Elyssa and I have taken Disney World trips during the holidays, we would stop by the Osborne lights 2 or 3 times (maybe more). This year, we’ll be running through them as part of Wine & Dine half-marathon weekend. It is going to be pretty sad to see them go.

In the end, I understand the Osborne lights were a casualty of the new construction (and, yes, I’ve heard the rumors related to dealing with the family, how they might simply be re-branded to work with ABC’s christmas lights television show, etc…), but that doesn’t make their departure any less hard. I hope that Disney does a similar kind of action in a year or two (location TBD), but I am not going to hold my breath.

An old cellphone picture of the Osborne Lights from a couple of years ago
An old cellphone picture of the Osborne Lights from a couple of years ago

Plan for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2015 with this Year’s Brochure

Tom Corless at WDW News Today has a copy of this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party brochure, if you want to start planning your visit to the party.

Tom also breaks down some of the entertainment schedule changes:

Fireworks are now 30 minutes later than in previous years, while the first parade is 20 minutes later and the second a full 45 minutes later than last year. There are 4 castle stage shows compared to the usual 3, likely because it is a new show for this year.

Personally, I’m fine with this new schedule.