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March 2, 2017

Thank You Everyone!!! Collectibles for a Cause - Sorcerer of the Magic Kingdom Cards

Deb's Digest Blog
UPDATE: 3/4/17 8am Thanks to everyone who participated we raised $611 to fight breast cancer! Thank you so so much!


UPDATE: 3/3/17 8am FINAL DAY - Ends at 5pm Come back Sunday for a MINI-Pin Palooza.

UPDATE: 3/2/17 8am PRICES REDUCED

The minimum donation to Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is $10. Even if your cards don't add to $10, you agree to donate $10, please.

All are in excellent to mint shape. No bends, tears or marks

Your ENTIRE purchase price is a DIRECT donation to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I pay shipping for US only (sorry can't ship outside the US).

Let me know what item(s) numbers you are interested in. You must purchase a minimum of $10.

I will then send you information (email will come from mugs at allears dot net) to make your donation and once made, I will mail the item.

Mini- Pin Palooza COMING SUNDAY MARCH 5TH

Please remember this is a fundraiser, not a garage sale.

NOW $40 #05/P The Pirate Helmsman's Bombardment $50; 1 available;

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SOLD NOW $25 #06/P Elsa's Icy Shield $30;

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NOW $3 each The following Sorcerer Cards are $5 each.

#15 Rapunzel's Hair Whip (2 available)

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The following cards are $1 each
#20 Tinker Bell's Pixie Dust
#21 Violet's Force Fields
#25 Cinderella's Magic Ribbon
#26 Colonel Hathi Righteouos Stomp
#30 Mickey's Magic Beans (1 available)
#31 Mike's Grand Entrance (2 available)
#32 Pinocchio's Sawdust Blast (2 available)
#33 Prince Phillip's Enchanted Sword (3 available)
#35 Headless Horseman (3 available)
#36 Mad Hatter's Tea Time
#37 The Queen of Heart's Card Army (2 available)
#38 Sugar Plum Fairie's Dewdrop Spiderweb
#39 Wall-E's Trash Crunch
#42 Baloo's Coconut Cascade
#43 Caballero Donald's Pinata (2 available)
#44 Dash's Whirlwind (3 available)
#45 Flower's Flowers (4 available)
#46 Gopher's Demolition Dynamite
#47 Grumpy's Pummeling Pick axe (2 available)
#48 Lumiere's Candle Blast (3 available)
#49 Mowgli's Swinging Vine (2 available)
#50 Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (3 available)
#51 Pocahontas's Colors of the Wind (2 available)
#52 Pongo's Soot Bucket
#53 Prince Naveen's Army of Frogs (6 available)
#54 Pumbaa's Odorous Gas (5 available)
#55 Quasimodo's Bell (2 available)
#56 Rafiki's Wisdom Stick
#57 The Blue Fairy's Wand Wish (2 available)
#58 Woozle's Woozie Nightmare
#59 Thumper's Might Thump (3 available)
#60 Tiana's Hot Sauce (2 available)

There you go. Leave a comment below with what number (s) you wish. I'll publish with what you have bought and send you an email (from mugs at allears dot net) to make your donation to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Please make payment within 48 hours of email. Once payment has been made the cards will be mailed within 7 days of your donation.

Questions? Leave a comment below


February 12, 2017

Update 2/12 - Rivers of Light Soft Openings

Deb's Digest Blog

FEBRUARY 12TH UPDATE:

Last night I attended the Rivers of Light show via Annual Pass wristbands. Folks started filtering in the seating area about 75 minutes prior to show time. Cast Members were directing guests where to sit.

The show began on time and then around the 9 minute mark it went dark and stopped. An announcement was made and we waited 5-10 minutes. Then another announcement said the show would restart in about 15-20 minutes. When it did restart, it did so from the very beginning.

As I said below, keep in mind this is a soft opening and not all effects may be working and the show may stop at any time and may or may not restart.


**********************************

It was announced a few days ago that the long awaited nighttime show in Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light, would officially debut February 17th.

That said, the show is currently in a soft opening phase. Soft opening is a term used by Disney when an attraction or show has not officially opened but is in the final testing stages. The show may or may not go on, depending.....

There is NO guarantee the soft opening will continue or that the process for obtaining wristbands will continue.

Yesterday, February 10th, FastPass+ for Rivers of Light appeared in My Disney Experience. Once word got out, it booked quickly.

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Also yesterday, wristbands were being given out in Animal Kingdom for DVC and AP holders.

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Today, February 11th, wristbands are being given out to AP and DVC folks for this evening's show. A little later in the morning, the FastPass+ appeared in My Disney Experience. You must have your entire party present for the wrist bands. Cast Members will put them on your wrist for you.

At least this morning, near the entrance to the Rainforest Cafe, 2 Cast Members were holding up signs, one for Annual Passholders and one for DVC. DVC members be sure to have your membership card with you.

So, if you want to see the show before it officially opens, either go to Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning to obtain a wristband, or keep checking your My Disney Experience account for possible day of FastPass+.

Please remember: There is NO guarantee the soft opening will continue or that this process for obtaining wristbands will continue.


February 7, 2017

Exploring the Enhanced Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Deb's Digest Blog

Linda and I recently toured the Disney Wonder which returned from dry-dock on November 10, 2016. Many changes and enhancements have been made to the ship. You can read the full Press Release HERE. While we were only on the Disney Wonder for a few hours (while it was in port), we were able to see several of the changes.

We always experience that "back home" feeling when walking onto a Disney classic ship. They were the originals, the ones we "cut our teeth on." The Magic and the Wonder have a certain charm and intimacy absent from the larger ships. While they may not have all the new-fangled gadgets, they certainly clean up pretty nice! It has been a number of years since we have been on the Disney Wonder so it was a fun homecoming for us.

The atrium has a whole different look and feel highlighted by the beautiful red chandelier. One of the staircases has been removed and the Ariel statue has been re-positioned.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


The first thing we did on-board was see "Frozen, A Musical Spectacular" in the Walt Disney Theater. The show follows the story-line with a few twists here and there to make it unique. While it is similar to the Frozen show at Disney California Adventure, there are differences. We thought the beginning was a great surprise, a simple yet very creative way to begin the show. No more details -- we don't want to spoil it for you!

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


According to Disney Cruise Line, "The show features dynamic costumes and sets, remarkable special effects, and spectacular production numbers that will delight Disney Cruise Line guests in new and surprising ways. The creative disciplines blend to create a seamless environment – blurring the lines between costume and scenic, set piece and video, puppet and puppeteer – and expand upon the most imaginative elements of the film."

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


The special effects were outstanding and totally immersed the audience in the intimate Walt Disney Theater. Some very creative moves and costume changes will make you wonder, "How did they do that?!" Bringing Sven and Olaf to life added to the specialness of this show. The one thing that fell short for us (based on the show we watched) was the connection and love between Anna and Elsa. I have no idea if either actress was a stand-in, but the chemistry was noticeably missing.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Next up was perhaps the best of the best in our opinion, Tiana's Place, which has taken over the former Parrot Cay.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


You are immediately transported to Princess and the Frog's New Orleans era completed with a jazz band, The Crawfish Crooners.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


Princess Tiana welcomes you to her new place and the band plays during the meal, which is an incredible addition to the Disney Wonder. I have not been able to confirm if Tiana makes appearances at each table, or if she is only on the stage. (Please leave a comment if you've experienced Tiana's Place.) It would be great if each ship were able to intertwine live music and dinner. Plus, we found the food to be good and not too spicy. Do NOT miss the beignets!

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


All too soon, it was time to leave Tiana's and see the other new areas of the ship -- in Disney's Oceaneer Club. The kids' spaces have been totally redone.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

The two new sections are the much heralded Marvel Super Hero Academy and Wandering Oaken's Trading Post.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


The adult district has been transformed into After Hours featuring Azure, the night club; Cadillac Lounge, a piano bar; and the Crown and Fin Pub, an English tavern.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

The Cadillac lounge received some elegant appointments with Cadillac hubcaps inserted into the cocktail tables and Cadillac fins for lights on the wall.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

The Azure Lounge is fresh, modern and has the feel of being under the sea.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Finally, the brand new English tavern, Crown and Fin, is sure to be a hit with dark woods, leather furniture and brass accents, even game tables. Be sure to look for the nods to classic Disney films set in London.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Outside you'll find all new water features (some similar to the Disney Magic) including Twist 'n' Spout Slide, Dory's Reef and the AquaLab. There is no AquaDunk on the Disney Wonder.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship


One thing we wanted to be sure and share is the staircase leading up to the new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

There are numerous other changes to the Wonder so I guess you'll just have to take a cruise and see for yourself!

Disclaimer: AllEars.Net was invited by Disney Cruise Line to tour the newly renovated Disney Wonder. Our opinions are our own.

January 30, 2017

The Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom REVIEW

Deb's Digest Blog
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The Plaza Restaurant, located just off Main Street, U.S.A., has been a long time favorite of many Disney fans. I had not been in several years, so I decided to try and get a lunch reservation. Well, I might as well been trying to get a table at Be Our Guest. In fact, that choice came up every now and then as I attempted to secure one for the Plaza.

I found myself in the Magic Kingdom one day and thought I would try a walk up at the Plaza around opening time. I politely asked the Hostess if they had a walk up table for 1. She looked and looked and finally said, Yes!

I explained how I had tried and tried for a reservation and couldn't get one. She told me it is because they only accept reservations for the first hour they are open and after that it is all walk-ups. I found that odd. While I was waiting to be seated, a different hostess came to the podium and I asked the question again and received the same response.

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Soon I was on my way to a small table right outside the kitchen door. I gave my server my beverage order and looked at the menu.

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I decided to get an appetizer, entree and dessert for the full experience. When my server, (Nour - who was excellent by the way) returned I asked him about the reservation policy. He confirmed what the hostesses had told me. I don't usually ask 3 different cast members, but I thought the policy was so odd, I wanted to make sure I had it correct.

The restaurant was full of mainly families and the servers certainly were hustling. Sudden the Fire Chief came in and announced he was there on the Mayor's behalf to appoint the Citizen of the Day. It was a cute, brief bit and the child selected received a ribbon. From what others have told me, this happens on a fairly routine basis. It was a nice, magical touch. However, no, I have no idea how they select the person.

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By now my food began arriving. For an appetizer I selected the Wedge Salad: half wedge of iceberg lettuce served with tomatoes, onions and cucumbers and topped with Gorgonzola and ranch dressing for $8. I asked for mine without onions. While it did not have the depth of lettuce a wedge usually has, it was average and about what I expected from this restaurant.

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Up next my entree, a Grilled Reuben. The reuben has been a signature item for many years so I thought it was time to try it. Grilled Reuben - thinly sliced corned beef on grilled marble rye with sauerkraut, Swiss, and Thousand Island dressing for $15. Instead of Thousand Island dressing, I asked for mustard.
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I was disappointed. The sandwich had little flavor. There was a very thin layer of sauerkraut that melded into the Swiss Cheese, had little flavor and the portion was small. Overall, it was not very good, and I only ate half of it and a few of the chips.

Finally, dessert. I normally do not eat dessert at lunch, but ordered it to get the full experience.

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I selected the Signature Chocolate Cake - four-layer chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate ganache for $9. Oh, and the ice cream was $2 extra. This cake was the best part of my whole meal. I wanted to devour it, but I used restraint and only had about half. But it was delicious!

So, let's add it all up.

Wedge Salad $8.00
Reuben with Chips $15.00
Chocolate Cake with Scoop of Ice Cream $11
Diet Coke $3.49
Subtract 20% For a Tables in Wonderland Discount and it comes to $29.99

Add in 18% gratuity and tax for a grand total of $38.69 for a full service lunch in the Magic Kingdom. I don't know about you, but I think that is quite expensive for a mostly average lunch.

I'm glad I had the experience, but won't be heading back there anytime soon. So what do you think about the Plaza Restaurant? Let me know in the comments section.

You can find the full adult and kids menus, photos and links to reader reviews HERE.

January 8, 2017

8th Annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Dates Announced

swandolphinwineclassic2017.JPG

Dates have been announced for one of my favorite Food and Wine events -- the 8th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic. This year it will be held on October 27-28, 2017.

[Press release information begins]

Join us for a day, or the weekend, to sample wines from around the world and savor culinary artistry from pastries to pasta. Enjoy unlimited food and beverage samples (with purchase of a ticket), live music and our Oktoberfest-inspired beer garden!

** Stroll the causeway and be tempted by delectable delights prepared by our talented award winning chefs.

** Savor the Flavors - Sample fine wine, beer and spirits from around the world. This is a great opportunity to sample beverages you may not have thought to try before.

** Learn to Impress - Expand your knowledge of wine, beer, spirits and sake. Learn how to choose the right beverage and how to pair it perfectly with your meal.

** Special packages are available for overnight guests, and tickets are available for purchase for individual events and seminars.

** Event and Seminar tickets - Regardless of where you are staying, you can still purchase causeway event tickets, seminar tickets or even a la carte tickets and have a great evening with us!

** Sunday Brunch - Can’t get enough of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic? Join us on Sunday, October 29 for our Sunday Bubbles Brunch!

[End of Press Release Information]

One of the things I love about the classic is that prior to the event, the food and beverage menus are all online so you can see what will be served!

The live entertainment is awesome! After a few hours of noshing and drinking you can walk where the music is and enjoy up close and personal, even dance if you are so inclined.

It is a fun party atmosphere and hope to see you there in October!!!

Read Kristin Ford's blogs about the previous festivals!

DISCLAIMER: AllEars has been invited the last 2 years to attend a media preview of the Classic. I have paid every year out of my own pocket to attend this event, it is that good. Sometimes AllEars receives a pair of comp ticket as local media, I pass them along to a member of AllEars for reporting. Those perks do not affect my review, and my opinions are my own.


December 28, 2016

"New" Way to Start Your Magic Kingdom Day

cinderella-castle.jpg

Beginning January 9th, guests will be allowed to enter Main Street U.S.A. earlier than the park's stated opening time.

Then at the official opening, a new welcome show will open the park for the day. A Royal Herald will appear and deliver a proclamation welcoming everyone including a few characters to the stage.

December 23, 2016

Time to Select the 2016 Photo of the Week

Deb's Digest Blog
pw012814.jpg 2014 Photo of the Year
Every issue of the Free AllEars Weekly Newsletter includes a "Photo of the Week" section.

Every December we ask our readers to select the Photo of the Year! It's that time again!

Which AllEars.Net Photo of the Week was the most magical for YOU in 2016?

Cast your vote and let us know!

~Visit the 2016 photo gallery here.

~Choose your favorite photo.

~Visit our online poll to cast your vote for your favorite:

~Please submit ONE vote only!

~Voting ends at 11:45 p.m. Eastern on Monday, January 2, 2017!

We'll post the results in an upcoming issue of the AllEars® Weekly Newsletter!

The regular Photo of the Week resumes in January 2017!

Thanks for your input!

November 14, 2016

Temporary Parking Change at Kidani Village Animal Kingdom Lodge

Deb's Digest Blog

This past weekend I was at a guest at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I was quite surprised that the "short term parking" area at Kidani Village was closed and blocked off. This parking area has always been convenient for check-in parking or getting something from Johari Treasures which has groceries and sundries.

kidani%20parking.jpg

Cast members told me this is "temporary" but gave no dates for how long this will be in place. I was informed that if you are checking in, tell the Valet and they will hold your car for 30 minutes for "free". After 30 minutes your car will be automatically valeted and you will incur a charge. The reason I was given for this change is that people were abusing the "short term parking" area.

The self-parking alternative is the underground parking garage. While there is a huge sign indicating Elevators to Lobby, unfortunately there are only 2 parking spaces in that immediate area. The other spaces are reserved for WDW Official Vehicles. The next closest parking area would be the Timon area.

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kidani-parking-3.jpg


November 10, 2016

Vivoli Gelato - Hidden Gem at Disney Springs

Deb's Digest Blog
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Did you know you can get real Italian Gelato in Disney Springs?? Well, you can and it's wonderful!

Vivoli Gelato is located in The Landing section of Disney Springs, diagonally across from the Hangar Bar. You may not have even realized it is there because the building and signage is understated. However, bright orange tables and chairs recently have been added outside for guests to relax and enjoy their Italian goodies.

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vivoli-gelato-8.JPG

Founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy. At that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar, and there were no gelato machines and freezers. After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day –- a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

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Silvana Vivoli, the granddaughter of Raphael Vivoli, one of the company’s founders, was recently at the Vivoli Gelato to introduce four new fall flavors: Tiramisu, Apple Pie, Pecan, and Pumpkin.

It was clear at the start that Silvana Vivoli is quite passionate about her family business. She stressed to us how important it has been to remain dedicated to creating pure gelati and sorbetti with fresh, high quality ingredients and family crafted recipes. There is nothing artificial! The store uses local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy.

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As you peruse the showcase of gelatos you will notice both white and blue spoons. The blue spoons represent items that are vegan.

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I had observed while in Italy that some gelato stores (and also those in the U.S.) have mounds of gelato in their showcases and in others, the gelato is flat. She explained it has a lot to do with temperature and quality. "If you see big mountains, no," she said. If the colors are flashy, no again. "Most people are attracted by bright color and form, but that is gelato you should stay away from." This was the same advice my Italian Street Food Guide gave us in Rome.

You will also find an assortment of pastries at Vivoli Gelato. These are made by Chef Vincenzo, the pastry chef at Tutto Italia at the Italy Pavilion in EPCOT.

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Stop by Vivoli Gelato on your next visit to Disney Springs. You can even ask for a sample spoon of the gelato or sorbet.

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DISCLAIMER: I was invited to Vivoli Gelato to sample the fall flavors and meet Silvana. This did not affect this blog; my opinions are my own. In fact, after spending time in Italy last year, I got to enjoy the real Italian Gelato and this is it!

October 10, 2016

Pin Palooza How It Works!!! Read Carefully

Deb's Digest Blog

Greeting Everyone.

First and foremost - Please remember this is a fundraiser not a flea market :)

Your ENTIRE purchase price is a direct donation to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer ! I WILL accept Paypal for payment and then make the donation on your behalf. Please let me know in your confirmation email you will pay via PayPal.

Here's how it works. READ CAREFULLY

** The pins are offered for sale at the stated price.

** You leave a comment below stating the ITEM number of the pin(s) you wish to purchase.

** I will go through the comments in the order they ARE received. This will take some time because they come in fast and furious!

** I will then put a SOLD with your first name and first initial last name just after the pin number.

** Within 72 hours I will send you the link information with instructions and you will have 48 hours to make your donation. Once that happens Avon will send you an email confirmation. Forward me a copy of the donation receipt along with your shipping address -- pins will be mailed in approximately 3-14 days I will pay US and Canada shipping of pins.

Your ENTIRE purchase price goes directly to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Account. I pay postage and WILL SHIP TO CANADA AND US. You get pin(s) you want and a charity deduction too! I raise money and reduce my pin collection.

Thank you PinPics.com - Links on the pin names go to the PinPics.com website (with their permission) so you can learn more about the pin. Also PinPics.com has given me permission to use photos and/or descriptions.

PLEASE refresh your browser to make sure you have the most current page. I have been known to discount pins remaining at the end of the sale so check back!

SALE ENDS AT 3 p.m. Eastern Time October 15, 2016

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