Sunday, July 21, 2013

Characters in the Magic Kingdom - Part II

Me & My Girl
Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom is a great place to meet and greet characters, including rare meet and greet characters like Peter Pan. Yep, you can actually take photos with Peter Pan, but you need to know where he is... Like Snow White, Peter Pan is a little "secret" of the Magic Kingdom. 

As you are walking down Main Street toward the roundabout that has the Walt Disney and Mickey statue, you will see Casey's restaurant to your left. Make a left right after Casey's  before you get to the roundabout (keeping the Crystal Palace restaurant to your left), and go over a small bridge. Have your cameras ready, because this is actually a fantastic photo spot as well as a great place to watch the performances in front of the castle throughout the day.

Anyway, cross that bridge and stay to your right, before you walk into the actual "Adventureland" section. There's a little wraparound area, and Peter Pan is hiding in there every so often! It's a little cramped, so definitely take advantage of the Photo Pass. They kind of speed people through this section, so be prepared for that.

Once you cross under the Adventureland arch, keep to the right and go into Pixie Hollow to meet Tinkerbell and one of her fairy friends. Once we went and met Tinkerbell and Rosetta. This last time we went, we met Tink and Vidia-- my new favorite Disney character because she is so stinkin' conceited and sarcastic!!! I love her. While you are waiting in line, there are Pixie Hollow vignettes playing for the kids. I really like this character meet and greet because you actually walk into a set rather than having a backdrop to have your photo taken. Everything is giant, so it feels as though you are pixie-size. To get into the room, you have to walk though what I call "magic grass" which is sculpted with lights. I tell my kids that they are shrunk down to pixie-size so that we can actually talk to Tinkerbell and the fairies and not scare them away. It's really neat.

Jasmin & Aladdin with my twins
After leaving Pixie Hollow, go to the left and you will enter the magical city of Agrabah. You can ride the Magic Carpets, and as soon as you get off go in to the Agrabah Bazaar. Throughout the day, Aladdin and Jasmin will appear in the Bazaar together. The two actors that portrayed Aladdin and Jasmin when we were there were absolutely wonderful. They walked over to each of the kids, talked with them, made them all feel special. Because of this, the line does move a bit slow. Plus, the area isn't air-conditioned, so the wait in hot weather can be a bit brutal. AND the line is right near Jasmin dolls and costumes, so if your daughter is a shopaholic like my Pumpkin is, you may face the endless whining while you're in line. There is plenty of space to take pictures, and the set is really cute. Photo Pass is also there to take professional pictures.

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is also in Adventureland. Captain Jack Sparrow has his own show, and sometimes will take photos with people after the show. (We've never seen the show, nor have we encountered Jack.) Other characters that walk around include Captain Hook, Smee, Wendy, Baloo, King Louie, Timon, Ariel, Prince Eric, Rafiki, Lilo, Stitch and some others. The ones that aren't on the Disney schedule are rare, and it is a matter of luck. Just be sure to have your cameras handy, especially in Adventureland.

My family and I just got home from Disney World today, so I'm going to cut this short. I will address the rest of characters in the Magic Kingdom over the next few days.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Characters in the Magic Kingdom - Part I

My daughter is absolutely obsessed with Disney characters. It's kind of scary, really. She wants to meet EVERY SINGLE ONE as many times as she possibly can. Hubs and I have to limit her to one autograph book per vacation. She even wants to meet characters that she doesn't know. And then she even runs up to strangers and tells them all about her experience with the characters. For this reason alone, I bring the twins to character dining as much as possible during our vacation.

The twins and Vidia, the sarcastic fairy
Pumpkin has even gotten her brother interested in meeting characters. We had to purchase Magoo his own autograph book so that he could get in on the action. (We have SO many pictures of Pumpkin from the last vacation, poor Magoo wondered why there weren't so many pictures of him!) Aside from the character dining, there are many different places throughout all of the Disney parks where guests can meet characters. While waiting in line today to see Tinkerbell and one of her fairy friends, Pumpkin started chatting with the little girl in front of us and telling her about the different characters that she and her brother had met. The little girl's mom was listening, and when Pumpkin said she met Snow White, the woman almost convulsed. She had no idea that Snow White was available to take photos in the Magic Kingdom. 

It dawned on me that a lot of people don't know where to find some of their favorite characters that they can pose with. I thought that a few different blog entries about where you can meet and greet with characters would be really helpful to my readers. However, since there are so many different characters across four different parks, I need to break it up into at least four entries.

This blog post will address meeting characters in the Magic Kingdom.

The Twins in front of the castle
As soon as you enter the Magic Kingdom, you are on Main Street USA. To the right of you is the Main Street Theater, to the left is City Hall and in front of you is City Plaza. In the Plaza, you will find different characters-- Usually Pluto and Daisy. Once, it was Pluto and Marie (from Aristocats). Every so often, they will have "Forgotten Characters Week" and rare characters will appear in this location. This week, there were characters from Disney's Robinhood, but the lines were just waaaaay too long.

At the theater, you will always find Mickey Mouse as a magician. Sometimes, you will see Minnie with Mickey. It happened to us once, and my daughter was absolutely over the moon. In another part of the theater, you can meet and greet with three different princesses. These princesses are usually Cinderella, Aurora and Rapunzel or Belle. You can get a fast pass for both of these parts of the theater, which is really great. Be forewarned that you exit through a gift shop, so if your child is as much of a shopaholic as mine is, you may be in some trouble.

Directly across from the theatre on the other side of the Plaza is City Hall, which houses guest relations. To the left of City Hall is this little alcove that is seemingly just a place for guests to get out of the sun. WRONG!!! Snow White actually appears here throughout the day! Since it's one of those little Disney "secrets" (just something that not many people know about), the line is usually very small. 

Of course, this is the parade route for all of the Magic Kingdom parades, so guests can see pretty much all of their favorite characters throughout the day. At the end of Main Street USA is Cinderella's Castle, which is where each parade ends in a performance and where the fireworks take place.

Now, I fully intended on writing a lot more tonight, but we are leaving Disney tomorrow and heading home. It's after 11pm and I still need to take a shower. I wanted to at least share one "secret" in this entry-- Which I did. 

More coming soon!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Well, Hello There!

Hey, there! Hi, there! Ho, there! You're as welcome as can be...

...To read my blog, that is.

My name is Candice Cain. I'm a mom of 5 year old twins, wife of a police lieutenant and owner of a travel agency, Candy Cain Travel. I also work from home for a wellness company, which allows me to live life on my own schedule. It also allows me to travel with my family whenever I want. 

Pumpkin, Snow White & Magoo - 7/16/13
My husband and I used to travel quite a bit before the twins came along: cruises, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Florida.. The list goes on and on. We loved to travel. When I had Magoo and Pumpkin (their nicknames, for the purpose of this blog, as I expect it to be pretty popular), we tried cruising. Truth be told, we loved it-- But it seemed to be a tad too limited for what we like to do with the kids as they got older. Plus, the last cruise we took, we had a two bedroom villa on the Norwegian Gem with a butler and everything... We will never be able to cruise any other way. Cruising like that, of course, is a tad expensive.

With all of the destination weddings that I plan, I've accumulated a lot of free nights and such at all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. On our last vacation, Hubs and I had a conversation about the future of our family vacations. We decided that we are going to Disney as our family vacations until the kids don't want to do Disney anymore. 

Another thing that I love to do is write. I have several blogs that I write, and I also write articles for different websites. I thought that I would write a blog about Disney in order to help people - especially families - plan their trips and make their own Disney dreams come true! Now, please keep in mind that this blog is not endorsed by Disney. I'm not being paid by Disney to write this. The only affiliation that I have with Disney is that I book clients there and I take vacations there with my own family.

So, welcome to my blog! I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.