The Disney Planner. Random Thoughts on Preparing for a Trip to Disney.

Welcome to a series of articles I will be writing about prepping for a trip to WDW. This series is just a jumper of ideas that pop into my head when traveling to WDW. In preparing for a runDisney trip on January 6, I have already started packing while folding this morning’s batch of laundry.

So with that, I present to you my random thoughts on packing for WDW:

1: Take a Picture of your checked luggage:

case

This might seem strange since you know what bag you are taking, but go with me here.  Twice Magical Express has sent my bag home on an earlier flight. I waited and waited, yet no bag dropped. When I went to the airline baggage office I was asked what my bag looked like. I showed them the picture along with the claim check. It turned out my bag was in one of their closets. The lady helping me said she wished everyone would take a picture of their bag because  seeing the picture of my luggage tag helped her find the bag faster.  In this case it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

 

2: Pack singles in your carry-on and wallet:

In this world of apple pay, credit card points, and debit cards, cash is not used as much. I for one hardly use cash anymore and, as a result I have been in the embarrassing situation of not being able to tip the Magical Express driver , valet driver, or the bell man. Putting singles on your packing list will help avoid such embarrassing situations.

3: The best way to save space while packing, the Skivvy Roll:

skiv

This one is just practical. Who wants to risk breaking a zipper on their luggage due to over packing? This will clear up space in the long run. Refer to the direction here to learn how to make a Skivvy Roll. Also here’s a video.

Well that’s it for now. Do you have any travel tips? Let me know in the comments below.

Plussing Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party

Last month I talked about how I would add Halloween fun to other parts of the Walt Disney World Resort that currently don’t celebrate the season. This month I figured I would take it back to the Magic Kingdom and tell you how I would plus Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party if I were in charge.

This coming holiday season Disney Springs will play host to a Christmas tree walk. All sorts of Disney themed trees will be placed along a path for the viewing pleasure of guests.  My idea: why not bring a jack o’ lantern walk complete with trick or treating to Tom Sawyer’s Island. I personally would love to experience this part of the park at night. Logistically, they might have to close the island earlier then it usually closes, but for 2 months it would be so worth it.

Imagine the creepy fog effect all over Tom Sawyer’s Island!

Next I would relocate Jack and Sallie’s meet and greet to Storybook Circus where Jack meets during the Christmas party. This will put these characters far away from the parade route. That leaves room for a Nightmare Before Christmas themed float in Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade. Having these characters in the parade is a no brainer. I can’t understand why this has yet to happen.

Jack and Sally are the rock stars of MNSSHP

On the main stage, I would  light the black candle and conjur the Sanderson Sisters for a meet and greet. Since this would sure prove to be popular, I would distribute wrist bands for this interaction color coded to help with traffic. I would put the band distribution far back in the park on the walkway between the Tomorrow Land Speedway and Storybook Circus. The sisters then would meet between shows. Each show would be a different color wrist band.  It might overwork the sisters, but they have been at rest for 23 years.
Currently, this is as close we can get to the Sanderson Sisters (and our beloved Oogie Boogie too)

Finally, in the Diamond Horseshoe I would have a haunted mansion ball room dancing show. How Epic would that be?

Thanks to MickeyDude Jeff Williams (@braindud92) for the photos

Arm Chair Imagineering: Increasing the Halloween Fun at Walt Disney World

Boo to you! Halloween season is upon us! Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is in full swing in the Magic Kingdom.  Aside from Walt Disney World’s flagship theme park, Halloween seems to be an afterthought in other parts of the resort. With that in mind, I thought I would do some arm chair imagineering in an effort to enhance the seasonal Halloween offerings throughout the resort. Thanks to Shanghai, I’m sure none of these ideas will ever come to fruition.  A Disney fan can only dream.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

Much like the storytellers outside the Haunted Mansion at the Halloween party, Disney can have a storyteller in the Serka Zong Bazaar outside of Expedition Everest telling the story of the Yeti. While a personalized short version of this story is told as part of the Wilderness Explorer program, with a little more theatrics Disney can produce a show similar to the ones the storytellers in Epcot put on during their Holiday’s Around the World presentation.

Over at the Conservation Station in Rafiki’s Planet Watch, children can experience and learn about a huge variety of creepy crawlers. Like the short story of the Yeti, this is also included in the Wilderness Explorer program, ;however, multiple insect stations can be set up around the attraction instead of one zoo keeper standing at a table on the Discovery Island Trails (as they appear now).

Epcot:

Even with Food and Wine Festival, this park can embrace Halloween. If they can have a cranberry bog, why can’t they have a pumpkin patch? They can put it in the gardens between Club Cool and the Imagination Pavilion which is currently occupied by both the Greenhouse Guru and CHEW Collective Marketplaces. Here, Disney can sell custom jack-o-lanterns along with pumpkins with Disney characters painted on them. A marketplace featuring various pumpkin related foods along with pumpkin beer and pumpkin spiced coffee drinks can also be placed here.

jack-2

In the Odyssey Center, a small exhibit showing models of the current Disneyland Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas overlay could be featured. The craft beer marketplace currently occupying this spot can be relocated to the Festival Center over at the old Wonders of Life Pavilion. That would in turn increase foot traffic for this part of the festival.

christmas

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

The behind-the-scenes movie offered in the theater at the Star War’s Launch Bay could be temporarily replaced with the Star Wars: Path of the Jedi movie currently being offered in the old Sounds Dangerous attraction. That current space could then be used to feature a presentation of the classic Mickey, Goofy, and Donald cartoon short “Lonesome Ghosts,” along with compilation that pays tribute to great Disney Halloween moments.

Aside from that, experiencing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in the pitch blackness like Disneyland is doing with its current “Late Checkout,” promotion would be epic!

Next month I will talk about how I would tweak Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and share my ideas to allow the Grand Floridian to get in on the Halloween fun.

How ‘The Mickey Dudes’ Came to Be

Eight (soon to be nine) men scattered throughout the county who previously never met in person came together almost a year ago to form The Mickey Dudes podcast. Each of us was a Disney fan who extensively tweeted about the company’s material.

On August 8th of last year each of us, along with a few others, were messaged on Twitter by an individual who has a reputation of bringing together quite a few podcast within our fan community. This individual asked us to form a podcast that involved guys talking about Disney.

Greg
Greg
I personally wanted to be on a podcast for a very long time…however, being burnt before on a previous Disney podcast endeavor I did not put much stock into this invitation. Having already experienced such a disappointment, I did not want to be let down in the event that such a project would not get off the ground . Adding to that, the premise for the show has been done over and over again in our fan community.

To my surprise many guys in the group chat were just as eager as me to work on such a project. Quite a few also promptly declined the invitation and left the discussion. Those who remained with the exception of a select few became The Mickey Dudes. We moved the discussion to a group Facebook chat and friendships were born.

Pat
Pat
None of us had ever met before, but we found ourselves talking every day. We decided that we would take the autumn months to learn the ins and outs of podcasting and plan out our show. Our goal was to record our first show in January: a goal we which we succeeded.

Dave
Dave
We hit a few hiccups along the way. First, we needed to find a name. This was by far the hardest part of creating the show. Variations of anything that we brainstormed already existed either as a blog or a podcast of a similar name. The Mickey Dudes name was not our first choice. I personally thought the word dude was dated and had no more relevance in today’s pop culture.  The name did however have one thing going for it: It was available! In the end, we narrowed the name choices down to two. We decided to let Pat’s son pick the name from the two choices he was given and liked us becoming The Mickey Dudes.

Jeff
Jeff
Aside from that issue, association with our facilitator (the guy who originally tweeted us) was severed due to creative differences of the direction we wanted to take the show.

Tim
Tim
Today The Mickey Dudes runs as a well-oiled machine.  Sure, Chuck is always wrong, Tim has a short fuse, and Pat is a propaganda drone of the guys at the WDW Main Street Podcast, but every family needs some wackos in it.

Kyle
Kyle
Truth be told, I kid because I love. Oddly enough these men have become amazing friends despite the fact that I have yet to meet some of them in person. I sometimes sit back and marvel at the product we put out and find myself overcome with a feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this group.

Chuck
Chuck
The Mickey Dudes Podcast is my hobby. It’s my diversion from the stressors in my life. This project has done more for me than I will ever be able to do for it.

Steven
Steven
It is truly an honor and a pleasure to call myself a Mickey Dude and to work with such a league extraordinary gentlemen.

Michael
Michael