A Blizzard Bash

With temperatures reaching upwards of 85 degrees here in Florida, it only seemed fitting to attend the Blizzard Bash Winter Formal, hosted by the Disney College Program Housing Events team. It was lovely getting all dressed up with my friends, indulging ourselves in a night of delicious food and dancing.

(From Left) Kerri, Katie, Adam, Jordan, Taylor, Natasha, Me, Steph

The Blizzard Bash was held at the Contemporary Resort, deluxe location with an elegant ballroom. Each corner of the space was a character meet-and-greet location, that would have characters alternating throughout the night. There were great photo opportunities with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy in their holiday attire. But I also got to hang out with some rare friends like Genie, Hades, Hook and Smee.

The middle of the room was a giant dance floor, that looked like a winter wonderland. “Snow” fell down over the dancing heads, adding that extra special touch that only Disney could make possible.

One of the best parts of the night was the food. Multiple buffet stations were set up around the space, offering main entrees such as pasta and chicken. Later on, they added a nacho bar with chips, salsa, and quacamole. But my favorite part was the dessert bar; a station with chocolate fondue and a variety of delicious dipping options. Cakes, pretzels, fruits, and marshmallows doused in chocolate. A great way to cap off the night.

Most of all, I enjoyed hanging out with my friends where we didn’t have to talk about work. It was a much needed break from the norm, and a great chance to let our hair down. Ultimately, the Blizzard Bash was a success in my eyes.

-The Memory Maker

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My 7 Tips for the Best Disney Experience

Dear Guest,

First of all, let me say, welcome to Disney World! We are so excited to have you here in our Magical Kingdom, and cannot wait to make all of your dreams come true. Here are my 7 tips for making your Disney experience the best it can be.

  • If this is your first trip here, make sure you research the different parks. Although Park Hoppers are tempting, I recommend doing one park per day. For nicer sit-down restaurants, make reservations early. The “Be Our Guest” restaurant is booked up to six months in advance. But, I’ve heard it is well worth it.
  • Get to the parks early. I know when you are on vacation, you just want to sleep in. But it is so much nicer to walk around the park in the morning when the weather is still bearable and the queues aren’t as long. Plus, if you get there when the park opens, there are lots of extra magical moments you can experience.
  • If you are the parents of younger Guests, make sure to find out the times and places of the character meet-ups. The Magic Kingdom is FILLED with opportunities to meet all of the characters and princesses. Get a Guide Map right as you enter the park to get those times. Get an autograph book and collect as many names are you can!

    (I guess meet and greets aren’t just for the younger Guests. Here is a picture of me and Jordan in 2010!)

  • Take advantage of the FastPass system. We encourage Guests to experience 8.9 attractions a day. And with queue waits up to an hour long, it’s better to spend your time with the FastPasses. They are completely free. You just put your park ticket into the machine, and it will give you a designated time to return. We push for our FastPass Guests to wait in a 10-20 minute queue.
  • Be kind to yourself. Drink water. Don’t be the Guest that needs emergency exited from the park because you dehydrated. Eat some healthy food while you’re here. I like to eat from the kids menu for a cheaper, well-balanced lunch. For example, instead of getting a $12 adult chicken sandwich (no sides or drink included), I got the kids chicken sandwich with grapes, yogurt, and a water for half the price. Also, wear sunscreen. As Dad would say, “The sun is not your friend!” Plus, sunburns make you look bad in pictures, and feel bad on the trip home.
  • If you are going to watch Wishes at the Magic Kingdom, watch them in front of Cinderella’s Castle. That’s how they were intended to be viewed. They will really knock your socks off from that vantage point. I really like to watch Wishes by the Crystal Palace. It’s not as crowded, and you have a great view.
  • Take pictures. Take posed pictures. Action shots. Castle shots. Take all of the pictures. Because looking back on those memories makes the experience last a lifetime.

I hope you have an excellent time here at Walt Disney World! If you have any other tips to add, leave them in the comments. Or if you have questions about what to do at Disney World, let me know!

-The Memory Maker

 

Magical Answers part 1

Thank you so much for submitting your Disney questions! It’s been a lot of fun for me to research certain things. Keep them coming!

“Who is the oldest Disney character?”

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

In 1927, Walt Disney created the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Disney actually lost the rights to the character to Universal Studios. As Walt rode the train ride home from that sad meeting, he came up with Mickey Mouse.

However, in 2006, Disney CEO Bob Iger made a trade with NBC Universal. One of the conditions of the trade was for Disney to have the rights of Oswald yet again.

You can see Oswald in the video game Epic Mickey.

“Who is the newest Disney character?”

By “newest” Disney character, it depends if you mean a character you can meet in the park or a character from a movie. The newest characters are from the upcoming movie Frozen. That is set to be released on November 27, 2013.

As for Disney characters you can meet at one of our parks, my assumption would be Merida from Brave. She’s awesome! You can meet her in the Enchanted Forest at the edge of Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom.

“Who is the most popular Disney character?”

Mickey_Mouse

While there is no research to prove this, I’m assuming Mickey is the most popular character. He is, after all, The Boss with the Big Ears.

“Is there an age limit for characters?”

What are you talking about? People don’t just play characters! Cinderella would be APPALLED to think that someone else would be portraying her without her knowing.

Disney World, however, does have a strict audition policy in order to be “Friends with Characters”.  According to the audition website, you must be 16 years old and authorized to work in the United States (if applying for positions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World). There is no age limit. It is, however, a very competitive process to become “friends of a character”. Just because you were close friends one season, doesn’t mean you will always be close friends with that character.

(I hope you can read through all of that code language.)

“Where do you stay while at the Magic Kingdom?”

Unfortunately, my housing situation is not all that magical. There are no castles, cottages, or under the sea nooks for us College Participants. Instead we stay in apartments owned by Disney, only a short drive from the Parks.

The only hotel room in the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella’s Castle Suite. But, if you were hoping to book Cinderella’s Castle Suite for your next visit, not even money can buy that experience. It is saved for charity events, and for celebrities. Check out this complete tour of the suite and cry about how unfair your life is.

There are plenty of resorts available on Disney property for when you wish to visit the Magic Kingdom.

Keep asking those questions!

-The Memory Maker