All posts by Mztressofallevil

I am a college professor, mother of four, an avid Disney fan, and the owner of Walt's Basement, the Disney web site that spreads pixie dust and magic world wide every day.

Walt Disney World UPDATE: Glorious Autumn- Fall Has It All!

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By Rhonda Moffit, Moffits-Mad Hatter Adventures  August 16, 2017

It’s time to discover all of the glorious Autumn offerings to be had at the Walt Disney World Resort in 2017.

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is beginning it’s annual run on August 25! We are setting up our Mad Hatter clients with tickets RIGHT NOW- so don’t miss the fun. This  event will return to Magic Kingdom on select nights, beginning August 25. This hard-ticket event features Halloween decor, amazing entertainment, Disney characters in seasonal costumes, Disney attractions, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, trick-or-treating and much more. This year’s event dates are: August 25 and 29; September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26 and 29; October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31; and November 1, 2017. Guests are also welcome to dress up for the event (be sure to review costume guidelines before you attend).

Now let’s talk about another of our favorite Mad Hatter adventures- the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival! This year we will have 75 days to enjoy some culinary fun (and delicious food). It will include 35 marketplace locations (this includes 5 new locations this year), 39 dishes to sample, 65 new drink/cocktail concoctions, 225 Eat to the Beat concerts, and some special surprises along the way. ABC’s “The Chew” will return for this year to broadcast five episodes from the festival- and we will be attending one of them for our Mad Hatter client family to see. August 31 is the first day of the Festival.

 

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Night of Joy will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on September 8th and 9th. This will be two delightful evenings of music featuring gospel, hip-hop, pop, rock, praise and adult contemporary. This year will feature such artists as MercyMe, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, and more.

If you are interested in fun Irish happenings, check out the Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs from September 1-4. This good time celebrates all things Irish- song, food, and drink, and will last into late night. This year features entertainment such as The Raglan Roots Coalition, Jake Richardson, and more. It will also feature the Raglan Road Irish Dancers and champion Irish dancer Ciaran Keating on stage.

What do you think about this? Leave us a comment, a like, or just share us with your pals!  🙂

Images and videos ©Moffits:Mad Hatter Adventures

*****

It’s not too late to start planning your visit to Walt Disney World for this Fall through Moffits: Mad Hatter Adventures!  CLICK HERE or send us an email for a FREE, no obligation quote. We offer you so much more than the usual! We consistently review your reservation to make sure you are receiving the best available rate offered by Disney- and we update it to get you the best value whenever possible. Our services are always 100% FREE for you to use, but PRICELESS in saving you time and money. We also specialize in setting up dietary Disney dining specialties (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian), hard to obtain dining reservations, and more!

Are you visiting Disney, Universal, or ANY vacation destination in the future? We have some amazing all-inclusive packages available and can save you time and money so you and yours have the best time possible! After all, one of us is a former Disney Cast Member, and as a husband and wife team we travel the world in search of the best destinations possible.  Again, our services are completely free for you to utilize and you will get YEARS of experience on your side when booking with Moffits- Mad Hatter Adventures.

Always consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency. Our agency is an award winning Earmarked agency! We will be available to assist you with everything from finding the best value for your travel party to getting dining reservations and Fastpass+ attractions lined up.  Just get in touch with us at moffits@madhatteradv.com or watch our adventures on Facebook. We don’t just book fun and adventure, we LIVE it!

We are a FULL SERVICE travel agency- if you can travel there, we can book it for you!

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Farewell, Great Movie Ride- and Hello to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

By Rhonda Moffit, Moffits-Mad Hatter Adventures  July 31, 2017

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We have been hearing rumors since 2016 that The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was going to be replaced. It was at the D23 Expo this year that the surprise announcement was made- the last day for the iconic attraction will be August 13th, 2017.

Everyone was surprised, as this means that there will be only four attractions operating until the new Toy Story Land opens next year at DHS. Shocked as we were, it was interesting to see what will replace the classic ride.

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This will be the first time Disney has ever featured Mickey Mouse as the star in his own attraction. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be inspired heavily from the same shorts that are shown on the Disney Channel. It will have Mickey, Minnie, and a starring line up of their other famous pals.

The attraction will have a simple setup, as it will allow guests to step through a movie screen and join the cast of Disney favorites as an adventure progresses, making you the star of your own Mickey Mouse short. They say anything could happen and that it will be a zany, out of control adventure with twists, turns, and more surprises.

One of the things we find most interesting about the new attraction is the promise that it will have amazing and dazzling visual effects- without 3 D glasses. The new enhanced screen technology is being referred to as 2 1/2 D. Kevin Rafferty, Imagineer, presented information to us within the D23 panel and stated that teams are inventing new technologies that turn the regular flat world of colorful cartoons into a dimensional display of “amazingness”. We were then presented with a clip of a forest being transformed instantly to a cityscape, which you can see HERE.

The new attraction will feature an all original story and an original song. The pre-show will feature Mickey and Minnie getting prepared for a picnic while Goofy attempts to be an engineer. Riders will then board their vehicle, and be pulled through the movie screen into the adventure. Be prepared to seek hidden Mickey’s during this experience, as the attraction will have the largest amount of them placed in any attraction, ever.

There is a lot of controversy about this project, as The Great Movie Ride has been one of the favorite attractions at DHS for a long time- since opening day. Some Disney fans commented to us that they were very sad that Disney will not be updating the ride instead of changing it, and that it could be done with a larger variety of classic and modern film memorabilia. The Great Movie Ride is the last original attraction remaining from that historic opening day of DHS. When it closes in just a few days, it will be the end of an era.

What do you think about this? Leave us a comment, a like, or just share us with your pals!  🙂

Images and video ©Disney ©Attractions Magazine

****

Are you visiting Disney, Universal, or ANY vacation destination in the future? We have some amazing all-inclusive packages available and can save you time and money so you and yours have the best time possible! After all, one of us is a former Disney Cast Member, and as a husband and wife team we travel the world in search of the best destinations possible.  Fill out our form HERE to receive your FREE quote. Our services are completely free for you to utilize and you will get YEARS of experience on your side when booking with Moffits- Mad Hatter Adventures.

Always consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency. We will be available to assist you with everything from finding the best value for your travel party to getting dining reservations and Fastpass+ attractions lined up.  Just get in touch with us at moffits@madhatteradv.com or watch our adventures on Facebook. We don’t just book Disney, we LIVE it!

We are a FULL SERVICE travel agency- if you can travel there, we can book it for you!

Mission Space- New Space Themed Disney Dining Experience on the Way

By Rhonda Moffit, Moffits-Mad Hatter Adventures  July 31, 2017

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One of the things that were announced at this year’s D23 Expo is out of this world! There will be a brand new restaurant at EPCOT that will offer an amazing dining experience and spectacular views- from above the Earth in space.

The new restaurant will be adjacent to Mission:Space and will invite all guests to journey into space and dine while among the stars. The new restaurant will be operated by the same Restaurant Group, Patina, that operates many other Disney dining locations, including Tutto Italia and Via Napoli at EPCOT and Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.

We’ll be sure to let you know as this progress. Keep checking back for details, and in the meantime be sure and reach for the stars.

What do you think? Leave us a comment, a like, or just share us with your pals!  🙂

Images and video ©Disney

****

Are you visiting Disney, Universal, or ANY vacation destination in the future? We have some amazing all-inclusive packages available and can save you time and money so you and yours have the best time possible! After all, one of us is a former Disney Cast Member, and as a husband and wife team we travel the world in search of the best destinations possible.  Fill out our form HERE to receive your FREE quote. Our services are completely free for you to utilize and you will get YEARS of experience on your side when booking with Moffits- Mad Hatter Adventures.

Always consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency. We will be available to assist you with everything from finding the best value for your travel party to getting dining reservations and Fastpass+ attractions lined up.  Just get in touch with us at moffits@madhatteradv.com or watch our adventures on Facebook. We don’t just book Disney, we LIVE it!

We are a FULL SERVICE travel agency- if you can travel there, we can book it for you!

D23 Expo 2017 Spotlight: Pirates of the Caribbean Archives Exhibit

By Rhonda Moffit, Moffits-Mad Hatter Adventures  July 24, 2017

By far one of our favorite exhibits at the D23 Expo this year was the Pirates of the Caribbean Archives. I hope you enjoy these pictures- each one is a true Disney treasure!

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Entrance to the POTC exhibit. They only allowed 20 people in at a time. ©Moffits:Mad Hatter Adventures

Once inside the exhibit area- it was a feast for any Disney pirate fan. From original concept sketches to vintage items, each era of pirates was well represented.

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Next we had Muppet Treasure Island, Treasure Planet, James and the Giant Peach, and some items from Moana. There were even some items from Swiss Family Robinson on hand to view.

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One of my favorite older Disney classics has to be Blackbeard’s Ghost. I was thrilled to see the actual portrait from this film along with some other memorabilia.

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And who can forget that notorious Captain Hook?

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Next, we moved into some costuming treats. The Descendants 2 and that dashing Hook costume from Once Upon a Time delighted fans. We didn’t know we would actually meet some of the actors later in the weekend, either, but that was fun. By the way, the word on Main Street is that the hook pictured below is also the hook that was used in the movie “Hook” with Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams.

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My favorite ship from the modern POTC era is undoubtedly the Black Pearl. In the exhibit we saw a huge model of it placed right in the middle.

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Now we were ready to see some classic items from the development of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Something really interesting to see were the original sketches from 1957 of Ken Anderson’s Haunted Mansion concepts. Yes, the main idea was centered around a pirate! Check out some of the amazing details in the images below!

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Another of the most popular things to see was the original sheet music from “Yo Ho A Pirates Life for Me”.  No one could walk by this without either singing or humming the familiar tune, myself included. It was very special to see the original pencil written composition.

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Next we moved into the modern POTC era a bit more with items from Shanghai Disney. Pirate’s Lair, the POTC attraction,  and the more recent POTC films starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and more. It was amazing to see all of the costumes and props that were actually used in the films.

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With each turn, the exhibit became more and more interesting. It was something to behold, especially when up close to the props and costumes. The detail in each item was fantastic.

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Do you recognize the costumes and props? We certainly did!

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We just want to thank our pal above for allowing us the extra time to take all of these photos to share with you! He was incredibly kind.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me…..

What do you think? Leave us a comment, a like, or just share us with your pals!  🙂

Images and video ©Moffits: Mad Hatter Adventures

 

****

Are you visiting Disney, Universal, or ANY vacation destination in the future? We have some amazing all-inclusive packages available and can save you time and money so you and yours have the best time possible! After all, one of us is a former Disney Cast Member, and as a husband and wife team we travel the world in search of the best destinations possible.  Fill out our form HERE to receive your FREE quote. Our services are completely free for you to utilize and you will get YEARS of experience on your side when booking with Moffits- Mad Hatter Adventures.

Always consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency. We will be available to assist you with everything from finding the best value for your travel party to getting dining reservations and Fastpass+ attractions lined up.  Just get in touch with us at moffits@madhatteradv.com or watch our adventures on Facebook. We don’t just book Disney, we LIVE it!

We are a FULL SERVICE travel agency- if you can travel there, we can book it for you!

 

 

A Tale of D23, 2017- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

By Rhonda Moffit, Moffits-Mad Hatter Adventures  July 18, 2017

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We attended the Disney D23 Expo which took place on July 14-16, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center. There was much to see and much to do.

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There will be many upcoming posts here on the blog with specific pictures and details on the individual exhibits and celebrities that we met (thanks to the help of some of my personal Disney friends!), so be sure and watch for them. This article, however, is an editorial and more of an overview of the experience as a whole. Stop reading now if you are not prepared to read my honest opinion- because that is what I am going to give.

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In our travels, we are not naive, as we have a lot of experience with D23 and with all of the other Disney parks, etc.  We were thankful for the insight this time, as it helped us plan and cope with this Expo in a way that maximized our time and got us to the right places at exactly the right moments, but we did feel sorry for everyone we ran into that did not have any idea what they needed to do. We helped as many people as we could, for the staff at the convention seemed to be at as much of a loss as those attending in certain circumstances.

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The Good:

The exhibits were fun and full of amazing props and details. Our favorite was the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit. We saw a multitude of props and costumes (VERY closely) from the successful POTC movies. We were able to see the actual portrait from the Disney film “Blackbeard’s Ghost” as well as the actual sheet music for “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me”, and so much more. Again, watch for a VERY detailed article on that in the coming days.

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The actual presentations such as the Legends Ceremony, Disney Animation, Disney Live Action, and more were very fun. Where else can you be serenaded by Josh Gad or give Robert Downey Jr. a high five as he walks onstage? At least, some of us were able to do that.

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The people who knew there would be lines and were prepared to wait- a lot. These individuals were among the best. They came prepared and occupied themselves visiting and getting to know other Disney fans as they waited in the lines. We had a LOT of great conversations with some of these people and are now friends with them on our social media so we can keep in touch and plan for the next Disney adventure. We even witnessed a great game of charades while waiting for one of the presentations in Hall D23.

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The Bad:

The people who came totally unprepared and all they managed to do was complain loudly. This is one of the reasons we like to book our own clients for D23 and other Disney experiences- we do not let people go unprepared! It was completely disheartening to witness so much negativity and rudeness to others. If these people had planned ahead for the waiting, standing, prices of food, etc, they would have had a much better time. You can NOT do everything at D23 without a solid game plan. If you don’t do your homework before you go, it is simply chaotic and can be miserable- but that is no excuse for making others miserable.

The Convention Center. Yes, I said it. Anaheim, I love you, really- but you are now too small for D23. People were lined up (many in the hot sun) outside for HOURS just to get in the front door. Lines wrapped around for a couple of blocks and were several aisles deep at times. It was insane. We have attended previous Expos, and it was not as bad as it was this time. Pssst- Disney- it’s simple. Just one simple word to remember for next time- ORLANDO! You have grown, D23, which is great, but you need a LOT more space. People do not like standing on top of one another. MOVE THE EXPO! We will still come, I promise.

The lack of true Gold member benefits was apparent to everyone we spoke to. If you could get into one of the shopping venues, you may get a 20% discount, but there were supposed to be more perks this time around for Gold members and they just didn’t pan out for more than 10% of those in attendance. Special seating for them? It did exist, but it was often filled hours before a presentation. Even WORSE than that was the fact that if someone in your party had a wheelchair or scooter you did not get seated in a Gold section regardless. Why on earth was there no Gold handicapped seating? Instead, a lovely Gold family we ran into whose son had cerebral palsy was escorted to the rear of Hall D23 despite many seats being available prior to a presentation. They asked staff members why they could not take their son closer so he could see, and they refused, made the boy transfer to a regular chair only a few aisles forward even though there were several rows in front of the family that were vacant. What made this worse was when general seating people were admitted and took up all of the rows in front of the family. It was NOT well organized and should have been done better. But hey- Gold members did get a limited edition black and white print mini poster if they waited in line for it in Hall A.

Much of the Convention Staff was totally lost. Many people were disappointed in the fact that regardless who you asked a question to, you would get a totally different answer every time. It was at times like the staff had no training prior to the opening of the Expo. We ran into two really good staff members, thankfully, but most of them seemed flustered and unprepared to deal with the onslaught of so many Disney fans. Again- ORLANDO. Move the Expo, please!

The shopping was slightly better than in 2015, but goodness there is room for improvement here. That year the wait to get into the Disney Store or Disney Dream Store was 4-6 hours without a “shop pass” (another line to get one of those if you were lucky enough to get one). This year we saw only a two hour wait on average. Yay?

The Ugly:

The rude, rude, rude people were all over the place, sadly. As I mentioned before, it was just sad to see so much negativity this time around. We did notice that this happened more on Day 1 this time around. People were exceedingly frustrated with the crowds, waiting in line (again- be prepared!), the cost of food, etc., and they were very loud with their opinions. What made it worse was the lack of values that we witnessed, some cussing loudly around other people’s children, yelling, and even shoving in a couple of cases. It was surprising, as we have been to many conventions and not seen as much of this behavior.

The garbage, just thrown wherever. We simply do not understand why it was so difficult for so many to throw away food wrappers, etc, in an actual garbage can. REALLY?! Again, it’s not exactly nice to leave a mess on the show floor regardless of how long you had to wait in a line.

All in all, we did have a good time at the D23 Expo, despite the weaker moments. We came prepared and really had some one of a kind experiences. We didn’t pay $2000 a person for the Sorcerer Package, but we got to do more than many of them did! We met several Disney actors and good friends while there, and we were able to talk directly with some directors, artists, and imagineers. We felt very sad for those that did not have as much of a magical time, and we are ready to plan for 2019 (but yes, I am hoping for Orlando!).

What do you think? Leave us a comment, a like, or just share us with your pals!  🙂

Images and video ©Moffits: Mad Hatter Adventures

 

****

Are you visiting Disney, Universal, or ANY vacation destination in the future? We have some amazing all-inclusive packages available and can save you time and money so you and yours have the best time possible! After all, one of us is a former Disney Cast Member, and as a husband and wife team we travel the world in search of the best destinations possible.  Fill out our form HERE to receive your FREE quote. Our services are completely free for you to utilize and you will get YEARS of experience on your side when booking with Moffits- Mad Hatter Adventures.

Always consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency. We will be available to assist you with everything from finding the best value for your travel party to getting dining reservations and Fastpass+ attractions lined up.  Just get in touch with us at moffits@madhatteradv.com or watch our adventures on Facebook. We don’t just book Disney, we LIVE it!

We are a FULL SERVICE travel agency- if you can travel there, we can book it for you!

 

 

 

We’re Hitting the Road Again!

by Rhonda Moffit, Moffits-Mad Hatter Adventures  July 5, 2017

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We are thrilled to announce that we are prepping for travel to Anaheim, California for important Disney fun and events once again!

We will be attending the Walt’s Basement- For the Love of All Things Disney meet up in Downtown Disney on July 13, followed by D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Watch for some great photos and more at the WB Facebook Group, Moffits: Mad Hatter Adventures page on Facebook, and here on our blog!

We will be on the road until then, so everyone have a great week! Thank you for supporting our wacky and whimsical adventures!

Leave us a comment, a like, or just share us with your pals!  🙂

***

Are you visiting Disney, Universal, or ANY vacation destination in the future? We have some amazing all-inclusive packages available and can save you time and money so you and yours have the best time possible! After all, one of us is a former Disney Cast Member, and as a husband and wife team we travel the world in search of the best destinations possible.  Fill out our form HERE to receive your FREE quote. Our services are completely free for you to utilize and you will get YEARS of experience on your side when booking with Moffits- Mad Hatter Adventures.

Always consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agency. We will be available to assist you with everything from finding the best value for your travel party to getting dining reservations and Fastpass+ attractions lined up.  Just get in touch with us at moffits@madhatteradv.com or watch our adventures on Facebook. We don’t just book Disney, we LIVE it!

We are a FULL SERVICE travel agency- if you can travel there, we can book it for you!