Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: September 18, 2014

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1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! I have so much to share with you this week. We’re stopping by Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Downtown Disney, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios for some epic catch up after my trip to Tokyo Disney Resort. (If you missed that, you can find it here.) So without any further delay, let’s jump right in!

Our good friend, the crane over Cinderella’s Castle, is back to install the Castle Dream Lights. I don’t think anyone can deny how beautiful these lights are once they’re installed, but the crane is such an eyesore! It seems like it’s there a third of the year anymore between installing the lights and removing them after the holidays. If they can ruin thousands of once in a lifetime photos in front of the castle I think they can close the Haunted Mansion a few weeks out of the year to install Haunted Mansion Holiday. Okay, I know I’m the only one that thinks that way, and we’re never getting the overlay, but you’d think they could not have the crane up for so long every year. But I’m getting ahead of myself, my day didn’t start in the Magic Kingdom. I started with one of the epic breakfasts of Disney World! But you’ll have to click below to find out more! 🙂

One of the unfortunate side effects of international travel is jet lag. We’ve been consistently waking up at about 3am since our return to the states. Luckily, most Disney resorts have 24hr food options on property, so we took advantage of a very early breakfast. Would you think less of me if I admitted that I’d never tried Tonga Toast before this weekend? (I can feel my Disney lifestyler status dwindling as you read that.) I decided to correct the error of my ways and head to Captain Cook’s for an early morning meal. Here is what breakfast looked like before we dug in. The bounty platter (left) was $8.99 before tax, and tonga toast with bacon (right) was $6.59.

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Here’s the inside of Tonga Toast. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s basically a huge piece of french toast stuffed with bananas on the bottom. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t into this at all. It was just too sweet for me, and I’m not a big fan of bananas. I think I would have liked it better if it was filled with any other fruit. Another interesting note: there was an RFID chip on the bottom of our disposable drink cup. It would only allow us four refills within two hours. Frankly, that is more than enough. If there wasn’t a screen flashing that I couldn’t have more, I’d never drink that amount. However, since they kept telling me exactly how much I could have. I was sure to get exactly that amount, even though I ended up throwing out my last drink. We’ve decided to share drinks in the future, so really Disney has lost money in the end by all the nickel and diming.

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So back to the Magic Kingdom, where we arrived 40 minutes before opening due to being up so early. With very full bellies we were ready to take on the day. As we walked in, the horses were just stepping out on Main Street. On a side note, I thought the horses wore bags to catch any waste while they were working, but that is not the case! Walking back from Tomorrowland later in the day we caught a whiff of something terrible and found cast members cleaning up. I’m not sure why or when that change took place?

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I noticed the last Halloween decorations have gone up. These statues are always last for some reason! There are four statues around the planters in the hub. The lighting wasn’t right to show all of them, but let me know in the comments if you’re interested, and I’ll make sure to get them in another post soon.

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Of course, we went directly to Fantasyland to check wait times. Anna and Elsa were already sporting a 45-minute line! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train didn’t have a wait time posted but had a line that stretched all the way to Dumbo! As we got closer I realized that the ride hadn’t even opened for the day but still had such a long line! Everything else in Fantasyland was a walk-on, but a huge group of people was waiting for a ride with no idea when it would open! Below is a photo from Sir Mickey’s, which has gradually become almost completely filled with Frozen merchandise.

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They seem to be stocking up, as things I’ve never seen in person have started appearing in this shop. Below are just a few of the Christmas ornaments I saw in the shop this weekend. The photo doesn’t do Elsa’s shoe justice: it’s beautiful and sparkly in person!

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Over in Tomorrowland things are finally starting to get back to normal, with the Astro Orbiter looking very close to reopening! There’s a lot more work to be done, and if you look closely this is still a very obvious construction zone, but the worst is over. Oddly, the #INCREDIBLESsuperdanceparty stage was advertising Christmas shows over the weekend. I’m sure they were testing for the holidays and just forgot to switch it back, but it was up there for a while. Funny that nobody seemed to notice!

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As part of the walls coming down around Astro Orbiter, you can now clearly see the restaurant underneath. I really like the new, brighter paint even more after seeing this! I know it’s a big difference, but Tomorrowland really needed the punch of color. For a while everything in there was grey!

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In Downtown Disney we noticed more construction springing up, this time in front of the movie theater. The only place with more working going on right now is the Polynesian! We couldn’t see over the walls, but it was obvious some kind of column was being built. Since this is very near the parking garage, we were guessing maybe it will be signage for that?

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At D Street in Downtown Disney West Side, I finally found some C-3PO Mickey ears! I’d seen these online and from Disneyland but hadn’t spotted them in our parks anywhere. Later in the week they also sprung up in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so a shipment must have come in!

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At Epcot, construction is moving right along on what I’ve heard was a water main break. I didn’t realize how much we used this walkway until it went behind construction walls. I’m glad to see it’s so close to opening back up. (The photo was taken from the monorail, just in case anyone was wondering.) 🙂

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The Odyssey also got a new coat of paint. The blue color looks great, but it’s an odd contrast with the tan colors still left along the water line. Hopefully I just caught it in transition, and they’ll be paining the rest.

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It’s almost time for the Food & Wine Festival, and I can’t wait! While I’m a little disappointed that the menus look so similar to last year, I just love this event and can’t wait to share it with you guys! Here’s a look at just a couple of the booth, but there are so many popping up all around the World Showcase! Any requests for foods you’d like to see featured? Let me know in the comments!

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I also stopped back by Maelstrom, and word is out about it closing in a big way! There were dozens of people taking photos and video and lots of talk about the change. I’m working on putting together a video from a few different rides through the attraction, so keep an eye out for that. Remember, this attraction be closed forever after October 5.

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In Mouse Gear I noticed they have started selling tails for Halloween! These are pretty common at Tokyo Disney, but I was surprised to see them here. Below you’ll see Sulley, Tigger, Marie the Cat, and Cheshire Cat. I don’t think I’ll be wearing them anytime soon, but they’re cute!

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Also in Mouse Gear I spotted this odd Minnie Mouse tote bag (left). It had ears, arms, and legs sewn on to a cheap tote bag. At $35 it was strange and overpriced. I’m sure Derek will find these at the outlet soon! I also spotted what looked like new classic Epcot shirts!

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On my way out I also grabbed a drink at Starbucks. This is the valencia orange refresher, and it was delightfully tasty! However, at $4.79, it isn’t something I’d do often. It was worth it after hiking all over Epcot, though! 🙂

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Our last stop this week is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’d snagged FastPass+ for Toy Story Midway Mania a while back and decided to film it for you. With my new, smaller camera, I finally had a lens that would fit behind 3D glasses! This is a tough ride to film, but I hope you enjoy it if you’re homesick for this ride.

The Studios continues to be gradually taken over by Frozen a little more every day. For $10 this custom engraved dog tag can be yours! I’m torn because I liked the movie and the Studios needed a new identity, but I just don’t know that this is it. However, you can’t deny how much the kids love it!

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Speaking of the kids loving Frozen, I stopped back by the Sing-A-Long this week and took a few video clips. I was so sure they’d move this to the American Idol theater, but they haven’t. They really should because the theater is filled for every show I attend. They wouldn’t even let us pick our seats this weekend because it was so full. I tried to walk to one side of the theater and was told I had to sit where I was told. That was ironic since I was trying to stay out of the way and leave “good” seats for the kids. It was a good thing in the end because I was able to record “Let it Go” and “In Summer” for you, not to mention the finale (below). I was going to do more, but as you can hear at the end of “Let it Go,” lots of kids started crying because they wanted to sing it again! So cute!! 🙂

Did you sing along? I bet you did… 😀 (And did you spot the guy in the front row on the right side? I think I’m in love with him. I had to stop myself from running up to meet him. He’s so into it!!)

That’s everything for this week. Now let’s see what you can expect if you’re visiting next week.

Crowd Calendar: Low crowds continue for September. It’s almost over, enjoy it!

Weather: It can still be very warm, but it isn’t as blistering hot as it has been all summer. Expect temperatures in the high 80’s to low 90’s and be ready for daily rain.

Remember: Off Kilter, Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps, Mo’Rockin’, and World Showcase Players will all be going away at the end of this month. I’ll be stopping by to see them all and sharing it here, but if you’re in the area, be sure you see them one last time.

Here’s my top tip for this week: The Food & Wine Festival always opens a day before the published date with minimum crowds. If you’re in town, get out there and enjoy it tonight!

Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!

Daisy Lauren

I'm just about the biggest Touring Plans fan ever and still pinching myself that they let me be part of the team! I love sharing all things Disney with you and always appreciate your ideas and feedback at: daisylauren@touringplans.com or @dizdaisylauren on twitter Above everything else THANK YOU for reading and commenting!

26 thoughts on “Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: September 18, 2014

  • September 18, 2014 at 7:06 am
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    I’ve been stalking your blog all evening waiting for this post! I’m not a banana fan either, but that toast looks yummy. Strawberries would make it better :3 Yay for Donald statues!

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    • September 18, 2014 at 10:08 am
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      Love you, Abi! 🙂 All Donald is for you!!

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  • September 18, 2014 at 8:28 am
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    Great review. Thanks for the tips! Arriving tomorrow, the 19th!

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    • September 18, 2014 at 10:10 am
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      Oh, that’s amazing! Maybe I’ll see you there!! I have plans for AK, Epcot, and Typhoon Lagoon this weekend unless someone posts requests for something different. 😉 I hope you have a great trip!

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  • September 18, 2014 at 9:45 am
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    Daisy Lauren, I LOVE your BWE posts! They make me feel like I am still up to date with everything going on even when I only get to visit once a year… thanks for making me feel prepared for our next trip- only 88 more days!!!!!!

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    • September 18, 2014 at 10:11 am
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      Hi Krissy – thank you so, so much! It’s so nice to know people appreciate it. Let me know any time you have something in the parks you’d like to see. I love taking requests! 🙂

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  • September 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm
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    Oh, not the crane! I love the dream lights, but man. We wanted a family picture in front of the castle for my daughter’s first birthday (2/4) and the crane is looming dead center behind the castle. Sigh.

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    • September 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm
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      It seems like it’s there all the time. Fingers crossed for you that you’ll get one without it. Or pick a new landmark to be your special spot that isn’t plagued by a crane 30%+ of the year. 🙂

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  • September 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm
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    The crane! We stayed in the Contemporary on the Magic Kingdom side and I noticed that the crane was up during the day. That same night we had tickets to MNSSHP and they took the crane down!! We got pictures in front of the castle without the crane! BUT, it was back up bright and early the next day when we had early breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace…

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    • September 18, 2014 at 5:57 pm
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      Hi Holly! That is really interesting. I wonder why they’d only take it down for the party? My hubby was guessing that they could only work during the day for insurance reasons. But really who knows? Thanks for sharing the info!! 😀

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  • September 18, 2014 at 5:40 pm
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    Great article Daisy! Thanks for the week in review. I especially liked the video of the Frozen Sing-A-Long Finale. We were at WDW this summer, but since we were there in June we missed all of the special Frozen events. It was nice being able to see it. ( I wasn’t able to watch the other song videos because YouTube said something about the “owner” not making it available for mobile viewing. I wasn’t sure if that meant you, and whether that was something you did on purpose. ) I also really like the pictures of merchandise available, and I hope I’m not the only one so that you keep including those. I completely agree about those odd Minnie backpacks, and like you cannot wait to see what Derek has to say about those in his monthly article when they show up at the outlets. Love The Best Week…

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    • September 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm
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      Hey Amy – oddly, the other two videos were flagged for owned content. That’s the reason that I hadn’t reported on the show before. I’ve seen other videos get muted but it looks like they just made mine computer only. So get them before they kill the audio! 😉

      The only feedback I get is what you see here. So right now the vote for more shopping looks good! I’m more than happy to keep that up! Thank you for your kind words. I really do appreciate it! I’m so lucky to have the chance to do this every week!

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  • September 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm
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    I see you are a fan of the Food and Wine festival. My wife and I have not been to it before but our next trip starts on the last day of it Nov. 10th. I have one question about the festival. Would you make a sit down dining reservation that day or would you just snack on the festival food? Also really enjoyed your Toy Story video.

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    • September 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm
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      Hi Dennis! I do love the Food & Wine festival, but my perspective will be a little skewed since I live here. Personally, I like to have a dinner reservation but hit up the F&W booths to share a few desserts. Once or twice we’ll make a meal out of the festival but mostly it’s just a snack for us. The portions are small and the prices are high. If you want to make a meal out of the festival try it on a weekday as the lines can get extra long on the weekend.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

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  • September 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm
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    Wow, so much construction going on! Any chance that walkway will be open in time for the Food & Wine Festival this weekend? I’ll be there on Sunday and don’t want to get slowed down by the need for a different route! 🙂
    I am definitely against doing the NBC overlay at the Mansion. I don’t ever want to show up to the Magic Kingdom and not be able to visit my favorite GGGs. It’s bad enough that Philharmagic and the Carousel of Progress will be shut down when I’m there.
    Only about 42 hours until I walk into DHS! Genuinely happy about this trip!

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    • September 19, 2014 at 9:39 am
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      Hey Daffy! I don’t know how quick they’ll get the landscaping done on that walkway but it looks like that is all they have left to go. I would plan to avoid it, though. I bet they have another couple weeks to go.

      Yay!! Have a great trip! I love to see so many people visiting in September! 🙂

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  • September 18, 2014 at 8:51 pm
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    Is… is that statue of Donald dressed as a musketeer?? This makes me so happy! That is a movie that deserves way more love than it gets, so to see it represented in one of the parks (and how many years after it came out?) leaves me all kinds of delighted!

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    • September 19, 2014 at 9:40 am
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      Yep! They have a Donald, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy statue that go up for Halloween every year. Sadly, no Daisy. 😉

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  • September 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    You are my favorite poster on Touring Plans! Every time I see an article posted by you, I can’t wait to read it. I love the photos, and I always learn something new. Keep them coming!

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    • September 19, 2014 at 9:41 am
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      Oh Leigh – THANK YOU!! 🙂 I sometimes feel like my Mom is the only one reading so I really appreciate that. I know I’m not a great writer, but I do it with love. Your comment made my day!!

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  • September 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm
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    How early did you get into the MK or did they just do regular rope drop at 9 am? I love your BWE reports! They cheer me up when I am missing WDW!

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    • September 19, 2014 at 9:44 am
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      Hi Christin! It was a normal morning, and by that I mean that they started the opening show at about 8:45am and we were inside a few minutes before 9am. I actually went straight to the barber shop because I was thinking I might get a trim. They weren’t open yet and I’ve heard bad things from ladies that have gotten their hair cut there so I chickened out. 😉

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  • September 19, 2014 at 9:18 am
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    Great tip on the food and wine festival! My wife and I went on Thursday afternoon and we were able to walk right up with no lines at every booth that we wanted to try. Thanks for tip!!!

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    • September 19, 2014 at 9:45 am
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      Rob, that is awesome! I’m so glad you were able to get there. Did you try the Black Pepper Shrimp in China? They are always my favorite! 🙂

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  • September 19, 2014 at 7:25 pm
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    Thanks Daisy!! I am so sad about the crane. I am bringing my family for the first time next week. Maybe it is a sign that there is no “perfect” vacation and I need to just relax and have fun (at least that’s the positive spin I am going to put on it!) Hmmm, maybe if the Photo Pass magicians can put Tinkerbell into a pic, then they can take a crane out??

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  • September 21, 2014 at 3:26 am
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    Your Toy Story Midway Mania video was fantastic! The 3D effect filmed really well. It felt like I was on the ride!

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