Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL - Disney's Discriminatory Smoking Ban

By: Gino Sabato

So Walt Disney World has announced that starting May 1st all smoking sections within its parks will be removed. Smokers will be directed outside the park beyond the security checkpoint in order to indulge. This probably doesn't come as a shock to anyone that smokes and likes to visit Walt Disney World. The number of designated smoking areas has been decreasing for years and it was becoming more and more obvious that this day would come sooner rather than later. 

Walt Disney Smoking A Cigarette
There was of course a time that smoking was permitted pretty much in any outdoor area of the parks. Even restaurants offered a smoking section. Cigarettes were openly sold in the parks with some establishments totally dedicated to the sale and use of tobacco products. Of course things change and social norms become almost unrecognizable over time. Most smokers will even agree that reducing the area where people can smoke is a positive action, but removing all smoking areas is really a step too far.

Main Street Tobacconist (Disneyland)
I'm sure there are many that will disagree, but ultimately banning outdoor smoking (even in designated areas) is nothing short of discrimination. This is not a question of the health effects of tobacco or a question of morality this is a question of personal rights. There are plenty of unhealthy and potentially dangerous activities taking place inside Disney parks every day. In fact just about everything inside a Disney park is unhealthy and many activities could be potentially dangerous. From drinking alcohol to overeating, the entire nature of the business is overindulgence. Some of these activities are only harmful to the person performing the activity and some, like drinking too much, is dangerous to everyone around that individual. The effects of cigarette smoking in designated smoking areas, most of which are so far off the beaten path you require a map to find them, has little if any effect on any other guest in the park. Tobacco users are being singled out and systematically discriminated against. Tobacco is a legal product and those that choose to use tobacco should be treated like any other person. 

Beyond the discriminatory nature of the smoking ban, there is the question of where are all these smokers going to go when they want to light up? Somewhere between 15-20% of guests that visit Disney World are smokers. The average number of visitors to just the Magic Kingdom each day is right around 53,000 assuming that half of those visitors are adults of legal smoking age that would leave us with a base number of 26,500 if just 15% are smokers that would mean on any given day there would close to 4000 smokers in just one of Disney World's parks. Keep in mind this is an extremely conservative estimate and that number could easily be upwards of 10,000 smokers on any given day. Going to a Disney park while fun and entertaining is also a somewhat stressful day with the crowds, lines, keeping up with your children, paying $9 for a hot dog, etc... Smokers are going to want to smoke and they are going to have to exit the park and squeeze into one very small area spending upwards of half an hour or more in order to take what would normally be a 5-minute break. Keep in mind with current designated smoking areas that 5-minute break would be far away from the crowd. This is going to cause huge problems with crowd control and traffic as well as overwhelm an already disorganized security staff due to what is sure to be a large increase in re-entries to the park. This is a lose-lose for Disney. So unless their goal was to reduce the amount of time each visitor spends in the park buying merchandise and eating food there is no upside for Disney. 

To add icing to the cake Disney has also in their infinite wisdom decided to ban the use of vaping products as well as combustible tobacco. While vaping is not the first choice of most smokers many would gladly switch to vape for a day in order to avoid the problems with exiting the park just to have a smoke. This is literally just a slap in the face and further proof that this is a discriminatory action. The use of Vape products has absolutely zero effect on anyone but the user. The vapor from these products is essentially steam and dissipates almost immediately. There are some users of these products that use specialized vaping products that produce large amounts of vapor and it would be well within Disney's purview to ban such products. 

Most importantly there are smokers that are going to smoke in the parks regardless of the rules. While I would prefer to just not visit the parks than break the rules outright I do understand the mindset of the person that would sneak a smoke in an abandoned corner. Just the idea that people are not going to smoke or especially sneak a puff off a vape pen is ridiculous at its core. We live in a society where everyone has some kind of a special entitlement and rules are broken every single day. Disney can't even manage to keep people from skipping ahead in ride queues. Good luck keeping a mom or dad that just spent 5 hours standing in line after paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the privilege of standing in that line from having a cigarette. 

I for one will not be visiting a Disney park any time soon. While the smoking ban is not the reason for that decision it is certainly one of a hundred other reasons that make me chose to spend my money elsewhere. My family has been visiting Disney parks for almost 40 years and the direction the company has been headed for the last 20 years is the complete antithesis of what a Disney vacation was supposed to be. 

February 28, 2019

Walt Disney World® Resort and MEGACON™ Orlando Will Host #MMC30 - The Cast Reunion and 30th Anniversary Celebration Of The 'All New' Mickey Mouse Club's Debut Episode

ORLANDO, Fla.Feb. 28, 2019 - On May 18th and 19th, Mouseketeers will reunite for a once-in-a-lifetime weekend with their fans at Walt Disney World® Resort and MEGACON Orlando to celebrate their shared experience with one of Disney's most iconic brands, and to give back to where it all began. Hosted by Joey Fatone, who grew up with the Mouseketeers in Orlando, proceeds from #MMC30 will benefit Central Florida's onePULSE Foundation and their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, and Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort for critically ill children that Walt Disney World® has supported for more than 30 years.

June 27, 2018

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party Brings the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before Through Unexpected, Never-Before-Seen Performances

Photos: Feld Entertainment

Tickets for All-New Show Coming to Orlando September 7-9 On Sale Now

Orlando, Fla. – June 26, 2018 – Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party brings the magic closer to fans than ever before through dynamic and immersive moments that take place on the ice, in the air and in the seats when the show comes to Amway Center in Orlando September 7-9, 2018 for six performances. Produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., the worldwide leader in live touring family entertainment, Disney On Ice is once again elevating the ice show experience with brand-new engaging elements that will fascinate both newcomers and seasoned guests, alike. Tickets are on sale now at

Joined by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, live hosts will enliven the performance space by welcoming everyone into the magical world of Disney On Ice, setting the stage for a participatory adventure. Guests will embark on a search for clues to find Tinker Bell after Captain Hook tries to capture her magic. As each scene unfolds, compelling storytelling will be delivered through multi-level production numbers by skaters, performers and acrobats, alike. 

April 12, 2018

Tasty Meals with a Side of Sentimentality: Woody's Lunch Box Puts a Modern Spin on Timeless Menu Favorites for Guests of Toy Story Land

New land opens at Walt Disney World June 30

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 9, 2018 - In the new Toy Story Land that opens June 30 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the fun extends to food, and meal time comes with a heavy helping of nostalgia. Woody's Lunch Box will serve up classic on-the-go menu items with a creative twist.

Located in Disney's Hollywood Studios, the new 11-acre land brings to life all the magic and fun of the hit Disney●Pixar animated "Toy Story" franchise.  In this land – inspired by Andy's backyard from the films – guests "shrink" to the size of a toy and set off for thrills and laughs on three signature attractions.

Pandora Utility Suit Will "AMP" Up the Excitement at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Beginning April 22, guests can interact with towering mechanical suit inspired by Avatar film.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 7, 2018 - A 4.2-ton, towering mechanical suit is sure to stop guests in their tracks when it debuts at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom on April 22. The new Pandora Utility Suit is inspired by the iconic Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suits of power armor from the epic film AVATAR.

Perched ten feet high, a human pilot straps into the cockpit of this exo-carrier and controls its powerful, yet agile movements. The giant walking suit was designed with articulated hands and a shoulder span of more than five feet. It also bears claw marks and battle scars from a Thanator – an alpha predator on Pandora.

March 31, 2018

GUEST POST - Top Villas Guide to the Best Restaurants in Disney World for Every Type of Budget

Provided by: Craig Gilhooly - Top Villas

When planning a Disney vacation, there's plenty of things to consider including accommodation, attraction tickets, where to eat and transportation. Disney World is known to have a wide selection of restaurants that it can be a hard choice on where to dine. With this guide, Top Villas put together a list of the best restaurants in Disney World for every type of budget.

Magic Kingdom Park - Epcot - Animal Kingdom - Hollywood Studios

February 18, 2018

Toy Story Land To Open At Walt Disney World Resort On June 30

A big new way to play is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios this summer

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb.16, 2018 - It's a joy-filled, toy-filled world as only Disney can create, and it opens June 30, 2018. The all-new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort is inspired by Disney•Pixar's Toy Story films.

Guests in Toy Story Land – located at Disney's Hollywood Studios – will feel like they have shrunk to the size of a toy as Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Slinky Dog, the Aliens, Green Army Men and other fun-loving Toy Story characters come to life in the larger-than-life outdoor setting of Andy's backyard.

And what a backyard! In a rich and colorful landscape straight from his vivid imagination, Andy has set up his toys for the best playtime ever.  Guests will be surrounded by giant building blocks, game board pieces and more.

February 15, 2018

Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream is Coming to Orlando May 11–13, 2018 Featuring the Box Office Smash Hits Disney’s Moana and Beauty and the Beast!

Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires May 10, 2018.

ORLANDO, FL  — Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream comes to Amway Center in Orlando May 11-13, 2018! The ice skating extravaganza features Disney’s Moana for the first time in a live production.
Good seats are still available for Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, which was originally scheduled for September 8-10, 2017, but postponed due to Hurricane Irma. Tickets purchased for the September dates will be honored in May for the exact same day of the week and show time.

December 9, 2017

Disney Presents THE LION KING February 14 – March 11, 2018 DR. PHILLIPS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS


December 7, 2017 – Orlando, FL – Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing ArtsFlorida Theatrical Association and Broadway Across Americaannounce that tickets go on sale to the general public for Disney’s The Lion King at 10 a.m. Friday, December 8, 2017. Coming to Orlando as part of the2017 – 2018 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando season during the show’s North American tour, The Lion King will appear at Dr. Phillips Center and play the Walt Disney Theater from Wednesday, February 14 – Sunday, March 11, 2018. Tickets start at $35.25 and may be purchased online at, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees. For groups of 10 or more please contact Group Sales at or call 407.455.5550.

October 10, 2017


ORLANDO, FLORIDA [October 10, 2017] – All performances of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream originally scheduled for September 8-10 at Amway Center and postponed due to Hurricane Irma, have been rescheduled for Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13, 2018. Tickets purchased for the September dates will be honored in May for the exact same day of the week and show time. Customers simply hold onto their tickets for the new dates and times. Good seats are still available. 

Show Times For Orlando’s Rescheduled Dates: 
Friday, May 11, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 13, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

August 26, 2017


August 24, 2017 – Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announces the four local area elementary schools that have been selected to participate in the Disney Musicals in Schools program, now in its second year locally. New participants for the 2017 – 2018 school year are Kaley Lake Como Elementary (Orange County), OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (Orange County), Pleasant Hill Elementary (Osceola County) and Wicklow Elementary (Seminole County). Returning from last academic year for their second year in the three-year program are Bonneville Elementary (Orange County), Winegard Elementary (Orange County), Lake Orienta Elementary (Seminole County) and Kissimmee Elementary (Osceola County). At an orientation event in December 2017, these schools will select a Disney musical of their choice from the “KIDS” licensing collection. The rehearsals will officially start in January 2018, culminating with performances the following May.

July 23, 2017

Win 4 Tickets to Disney On Ice Presents Dare to Dream

Photos Courtesy Feld Entertainment is proud to be a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador. As part of our ongoing relationship with Feld Entertainment, we are thrilled to offer one lucky reader FOUR tickets to Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream at Orlando's Amway Center. Winner will have the choice of attending the opening night performance on Friday, September 8, 2017 (7:30pm) or Saturday, September 9, 2017 (11am). Winner will be selected at random, and notified via email by noon on August 23, 2017 with pickup instructions. No purchase necessary, and no fee to enter. Please visit a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter. 

From the official media release:

Dare To Dream takes families on a high-sea adventure as Moana sets sail on a life-changing quest to save her island with help from the demigod Maui. With the ice floor transformed into the vast oceanic scape, Disney On Ice allows Moana’s strength and determination to take center stage. This engaging atmosphere lets audiences deepen their existing connection to their favorite wayfinder and discover one’s true identity is never out of reach.

Beautiful production numbers invite audiences into the world of Beauty and the Beast, as Belle shows what it means to be fearless. Along with her new friends in the enchanted castle, Belle is encouraged to step outside the ordinary and find joy in the bleakest situation. As she looks beyond the harsh exterior of the Beast to reach his gentle heart, fans learn there are teachable moments in everyday life.

Through the athleticism and grace of Anna and Elsa, Rapunzel and Flynn, and Cinderella, brave heroes from Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella ignite passions to believe. Showgoers will witness each characters’ unique qualities and talents inspiring children around the world to discover their inner hero.

Visit for the shows and dates coming to your hometown. Stay current on the latest developments through social media, including instructions on how to access presale codes for future Disney On Ice productions:
Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #DareToDream @NicoleFeld (Show Producer)
Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

July 19, 2017

Disney’s Smash Hits Moana and Beauty and the Beast Redefine Heroism as Part of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream

Moana, Maui and Friends from Disney’s Moana Take the Ice for the First Time; Tickets On Sale Now for Orlando Performances, September 8-10, 2017

ORLANDO, FL – July 18, 2017  -- Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza featuring Disney’s Beauty and the BeastFrozen, Tangled and Cinderella with other beloved Disney characters to help tell these extraordinary tales. Tickets are on sale today for Orlando.

Dare To Dream takes families on a high-sea adventure as Moana sets sail on a life-changing quest to save her island with help from the demigod Maui. With the ice floor transformed into the vast oceanic scape, Disney On Ice allows Moana’s strength and determination to take center stage. This engaging atmosphere lets audiences deepen their existing connection to their favorite wayfinder and discover one’s true identity is never out of reach.

July 12, 2017

REVIEW: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

I can genuinely appreciate an array of hotels and resorts, as most really do have the potential to appeal - it's just a matter of finding those qualities that make it awesome, or seeking out the advantages it has over other locations. Every now and then however, you stumble upon something that takes absolutely no effort to appreciate, and no narrowed audience to uncover. That is the case with our latest Summer Series Spotlight Resort - Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress! Covering a vast 1,500 acre site, bustling with lush gardens and tropical features, the resort boasts 815 non-smoking guest rooms and suites with views overlooking Lake Windsong or the half-acre pool. Opened in 1984, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress underwent a $30 million renovation in 2013.

Click on any image for full-size

The wow factor is in full effect from the moment you drive up, and it kicks into high-gear as soon you enter the lobby. The main building is just stunning. It's an open-air atrium, awash in natural light. The elevators are walled in glass, allowing for tremendous views all the way up and down the building. Contemporary lighting and decor add just the right level of POP and style to every nook, cranny and landing.

Guests are offered a glass of champagne at check-in, providing the perfect excuse to roam the lobby for a cozy place to lounge out and soak it all in. Ample seating options beckon to locales flanked with fountains, televisions, lounges (of which there are three on-site, by the way), lush greenery, and a few other surprises.

July 2, 2017

REVIEW: Planet Hollywood Observatory - Disney Springs

So much has been transforming in and around Orlando! Brand new venues are springing up, and familiar icons are unveiling dramatic aesthetic overhauls and revamped menus. I've always been a fan of Planet Hollywood, and I was thrilled to see the final product of the yearlong, $25 million remodel to its flagship "Observatory" location at the ever-evolving Disney Springs.

There's enough glitz and glamour within this colossal space to leave you feeling like an A-lister from the moment you enter! So, what's new at Planet Hollywood Observatory? 

For starters - a fresh paint job and spiffed-up facade can make a world of difference! The new exterior is just as eye-catching, but they went with a cleaner, more modern upscale look - toning down the loud, somewhat gaudy display put forth since the original opening in 1994.

The building serves as a four-story bar, restaurant, shop, and museum - to put it simply. New features include a 4,500 square-foot video wall incorporating innovative 3D technology, a 5,000 square-foot outdoor, open air terrace bar, and of course - a reimagined menu with feature contributions from celebrity foodie, Guy Fieri.
(Don't panic, Planet Hollywood loyalists... the Cap'n Crunch Chicken is still on the menu!!)
When you enter, you're immediately greeted by the impeccably courteous staff, sleek double stairway, and a few tantalizing bits of memorabilia to gawk at. As you reach the second level, take a moment to pause and discover the encased wardrobe tributes on display. I immediately honed in on Dorothy's gingham dress from
The Wizard of Oz beside a Walter White original from Breaking Bad, but then... something happened...

May 6, 2017


Proceeds support the organization’s mission to foster and promote symphonic music

(Friday, May 5, 2017 -- Orlando, FL) – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is hosting a fundraising event presented by the Walt Disney World Resort on Tuesday, May 23 at DoveCote Brasserie at 6 p.m. The goal is to raise $100,000 to support the orchestra’s season of concerts and education programs.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the orchestra as we approach our 25th Anniversary Season,” said Christopher Barton, executive director. “We present over 125 performances each year to more than 150,000 people. The generous support that we receive from the community makes all of this possible.”

April 30, 2017

From Surreal Worlds to Super Heroes, Groundbreaking New Experiences Premiere During Blockbuster Summer of Fun at Disney Parks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. and ANAHEIM, Calif.April 17, 2017 - Anchored by two amazing new experiences ­– one an alien planet where mountains float and Banshees fly, the other an epic adventure inviting a breathtaking drop into the world of Super Heroes – Disney parks on both coasts are poised to make summer 2017 a season like none other. It all begins May 27, with the debuts of Pandora ­– The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World Resort and Guardians of the Galaxy ­– Mission: BREAKOUT! at the Disneyland Resort.

April 16, 2017

REVIEW: Disenchanted! The Hilarious Hit Musical at The Plaza Live

Who doesn't love a Disney story? Even if the tales we associate with Disney didn't actually originate there, Disney is the company that breathed new life into many classic stories, and made them household names - evergreen stories that we all know and love... stories that fill us with warmth, hope, strength and victory. But, truth be told, Disney is also the company that bastardized these tales. Oh, they call this "re-imagining", right? Re-imagining... that's cute.

March 12, 2017 Partners With Character Dresser is proud to be a Character Dresser Booking Partner. To reserve your Princess Transformation. Adults' and boys' packages also available! For more information, or a quote, visit

ORLANDO, FL, March 7, 2017 – Bring the Magic to her and treat her to a Princess Transformation package she will never forget during your Orlando theme park area vacation. A Royal Dresser Princess Consultant comes to you at your Orlando hotel, resort, timeshare or private vacation home rental with everything needed to be the best princess ever. She can arrive at her destination as the Princess of her choice, ready to tour her kingdom and greet other princesses. 

REVIEW: Disney's The Little Mermaid at Dr. Phillips Center

Mark and Tracy Photography
I often find myself doing things that I might not have necessarily pursued if not for being invited to review them for this site. Much to my surprise, this had led to me being introduced to many new things that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and new passions that I've enthusiastically embraced. Over the last two years, for example, I have come to love theater - especially when presented at Dr. Phillips Center. Of all the shows I've enjoyed there, The Little Mermaid was easily one of my most anticipated. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I left disappointed and underwhelmed. 

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