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May 2014 Archives

May 1, 2014

Reporting from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Press Event

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The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Press Event kicked off last night with a "Rock Your Disney Side" evening of fun with the characters. This morning's presentation by Tom Staggs (chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), Travel Channel personality Samantha Brown, Gary Daniels (director, product management) and George Kalogridis (President, Walt Disney World) on My Magic Plus and a smaller question and answer session with Jim MacPhee (senior vice president) on My Magic+.

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More on that later because today, Deb Koma and I got to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for ourselves

Our Interview with Chris Beatty Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering.

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Deb Koma and Deb Wills's reactions after riding the Mine Train

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Tonight is a Seven Dwarf Mine Train special event and we'll get to ride again. More on the event tomorrow!

May 3, 2014

Reporting from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Press Event Part Two

On the evening of May 1st we returned to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for a special ride preview. (Click HERE For Part 1) We were all allowed to take video of the ride during this evening event.

FastPass+ can be reserved for dates beginning May 28.

Here is daytime version of the ride:

Here is a full night view of the ride with parts of the interactive queue.

Also, the Debs had a bit of a different reaction to the ride this time:

Bright and early on May 2, 2014 the Official Dedication Ceremony for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train took place. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs was joined at Friday's dedication by Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs who proudly brought their freshly mined gems: buckets of glowing diamonds and jewels and wheelbarrows stacked with oversized rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

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Thank you Walt Disney Imagineering!

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More photos and videos coming .......

May 12, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 1

Deb's Digest Blog

80 cruisers set sail on Saturday May 10th for the Western Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy.

We had a welcome center in the D-lounge for everyone to check in, receive their welcome bag and receive the final itinerary of all our fun events!

All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

The AllEars team:

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The MouseFanTravel team:

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After lunch and settling into the cabins, we all gathered for the Sail Away Party. It was great fun, as always, but then the party ended on stage and we hadn't moved yet! Not sure what happened but about 20 minutes later we were underway. Shout out to Kristin and her family for waving good bye to us at Jetty Park!

All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

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All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

Soon it was time for dinner and getting a good nights sleep!

That's it for Day 1. Be sure to read Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates as well!

May 13, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 2 - Daytime Fun

Deb's Digest Blog

It's become a tradition on the All Ears cruises to start the first full day, usually a sea day, at Cove Cafe for Coffee Tawk.

It's a great way to start the day..... Even those that enjoy sleeping in somehow manage to make their way for come coffee and friendship.

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The Disney Fantasy had plenty of options for everyone to spend their sea day. Folks went to the movies, Palo, the Castaway Club gathering and some just relaxed in the sun.

In the afternoon we had our Ice Cream Social. While it started out with everyone enjoying a cool snack, it soon turned into a trading card meet, once again.

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All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

...... and that's just our daytime fun! Next up, formal night and a night at the Piazza!

Be sure to read Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates as well!

May 14, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 2 - Evening Fun

Deb's Digest Blog

After a full day of activities there was still more AllEars group fun at night.

We had a great dinner at the Royal Court for formal night.

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After dinner, we met up at the Piazza in the Europa Adult area of the ship.


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That's it for Day 2. Be sure to read Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates as well!

May 15, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 3-4-5

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm sure you are wondering where the photos are for days 3 - 4 - and 5! Basically, there are none. Being port days everyone took off on their own in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica.

But I promise to be back soon with more fun from the Disney Fantasy including Pirate night and more !!!!

Gary is doing a much better job than I at blogging during port days so check out what he and Carol have been up to! Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates

May 16, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 5 - Part 1

Deb's Digest Blog

Today was Jamaica Day and while many cruisers took off for a climb at Dunn River Falls, others just wandered into the port and some even stayed onboard. My plans to wander the port changed when I realized it was raining! Another AllEars Cruise tradition is lunch onboard the ship during one of the port days.

Today we gathered in Royal Court

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All Ears 2014 Disney Fantasy Group Cruise

Later in the afternoon we all gathered at the pool to watch Melanie get her hair braided. It seems the night before, one thing lead to another at the dinner table and well, a charity fundraiser came alive. Brenda decided that Melanie should get her hair braided as a way to raise money for my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. For every $5 donated, Mel would get one braid in her hair. Turns out everyone was up for raising money and having a good time so enough money was raised for 51 braids!!!

Mel was a great sport and sat for over 90 minutes while her hair was braided -- much to the delight of everyone who hung around to watch. A few ladies in our group decided to get braids as well, to be supportive of Melanie and the cause.

At the time of the braiding over $300 had been raised. By the time we gathered the following day the total was up to $500!!!!!


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Next up Pirate Night!

Be sure to read Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates as well!

May 17, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 5 - Part 2

Deb's Digest Blog

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's time for Pirate Night on the Disney Fantasy!

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Be sure to read Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates as well!

May 19, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 6

Deb's Digest Blog

Big Doin's Goin On, So Let's Get Started!

Today is our 2nd and final Sea Day - so you know what that means? Coffee Tawk at Cove Cafe.

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We held a Trading Event later that day. There were Disney pins, Sorcerer Cards, and of course, All Ears trading cards! Everyone was trying to finish their set of 66 AllEars Trading Cards!

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Later that evening, we once again gathered at La Piazza for some drinks, conversation and hijinks!!


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That's it for Day 6. Only one more left, at Castaway Cay!

Be sure to read Gary Cruise's blog for daily updates as well!

May 20, 2014

All Ears 2014 Group Cruise Day 7

Deb's Digest Blog

All good things must come to an end and an AllEars Group Cruise is no exception. Our final day on the cruise was the port of Castaway Cay! We arrived to a cloudy sky and rain was predicted.

No matter... most everyone got off the ship and enjoyed the private island. We were quickly welcomed by Olaf who was hanging out in front of the Post Office.

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Despite the threat of rain (and rain it did), many folks found their way to Serenity Bay for our lunch meet!

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Soon it was time for our Farewell Party! Just about everyone came to celebrate the 7 days of fun and to start saying "Til We Meet Again".

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MEI and MouseFanTravel.com awarded a grand prize (selected via raffle ticket) to Rachel H. She won a 3-night stay at a moderate Disney World resort, with park tickets and the dining package!

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Everyone left with a Disney prize.

Special prizes were awarded for .....
** 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Scavenger Hunt - Winners Tim and Cathy
** First person to complete their AllEars Trading Card set - Tie Nancy and Karen

** Best Decorated Cabin Doors - Theme - Western Caribbean

First Place: Jill, Tracey, and Karen
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Second Place: Karilynn, Joan and Ruth

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Third Place: Janice and Randy

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Many thanks to the MouseFanTravel agents on board: Beci, Annette, Coleen and Sandy.

HUGE thanks to the onboard AllEars team of Melanie, Barrie, and Linda.

That's our cruise! If you haven't already read Gary Cruise's blog.

May 21, 2014

My Next Adventure - Italy! Want to Come???

Deb's Digest Blog

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Adventures by Disney Destination Poll last month. The winner of the survey is Viva Italia, which is an 8 night trip to Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice! This is an incredible trip filled with many special VIP experiences only Disney can do (like a private after hours tour of Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel)!

The plan is for an adult only in September 2015, but that is NOT official yet!

Now that Adventures by Disney has officially released their 2015 itineraries and pricing we will be making an announcement very soon about an All Ears Adult Only Adventure to Italy next fall!

Chao!

May 23, 2014

Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Event - Part 1

Deb's Digest Blog

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Dateline May 23rd - Bright and early this morning Walt Disney World began its third 24-hour event at the Magic Kingdom called "Rock Your Disney Side".

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Mickey, Minnie and Donald joined in the early morning fun in their PJs.

The Fire Chief, Main Street Trolley Singers, Heroes and Villians, Mickey and Minnie and the Family of the Day were on the Main Street Train Station Platform just before 6am to start everything off.

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After the opening we interviewed Steven Miller who is the Marketing Manager who showed us the special merchandise and treats that are available for the Rock Your Disney Side Event!

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Next up we visited Tinker Bell in her new location in the Town Square Theatre on Main Street.
She was in a great mood despite the fact that Terrence woke her up super early!

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From there we headed over to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which was in soft opening mode!

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Here's a short video of me on the train this morning!

Here is our full video with spoilers:

And, as a special treat for waiting all day for the blog, here is the Celebrate the Magic parade with Hercules!

By now the sun was coming out in full force and I headed back home to get out of the sun and rest for tonight.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 (probably on Saturday :)

May 25, 2014

Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Event - Part 2

Deb's Digest Blog

Welcome to Part 2 of my blog on the Rock Your Disney Side 24 Event! In Part 1 I talked about the opening of the event through just before lunch time. As I mentioned the sun came out blazing!

I went home, got the Part1 blog up and got some much needed sleep. I headed back to the Magic Kingdom when the sun set and arrived close to 8pm.

First thing I did was head to Starbucks for a caffeine boost! The place was packed, but my iced coffee came out pretty quickly.

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Main Street was packed, in fact the entire park was SO much more crowded than the morning. The 8:45pm show of Celebrate the Magic was about to begin (followed by Wishes) and so there was no moving anywhere.

When the show ended I tried to get over to Casey's to find AllEars Family Blogger Kristin Ford, but I was routed into Tomorrowland, through Fantasyland and eventually found my way back to Main Street. Cast Members were everywhere directing guests into paths going one way only. I get from a crowd control perspective why they do this, but it sure made it hard to get where you wanted to go.

Finally! Kristin and I met up and had a great time chatting.

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I had a Fast Pass+ for the Main Street Electrical Parade which was preceded by a special "It's Good to be Bad! Villainous Celebration" pre-parade. I caught up with my friends Jeff and Denise in the FP area and we readied our cameras!

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Back down Main Street to use my FastPass+ for Mickey Mouse. He's always great to see but I was disappointed he wasn't in his PJs!

Another Celebrate the Magic Show and this time when the Frozen segment began, I could see most everyone on Main Street stop and turn to the Castle and the whole place was signing Let it Go!

I wanted to see the 2nd It's Good to be Bad! Villainous Celebration show as my photos from the first show didn't turn out very well. Being at the start of Main Street the lighting was brighter. Still not great pics, but better!

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We left right after the pre-parade to get back to Cinderella Castle by 1:15am. However, as I mentioned earlier, we were rerouted, this time back stage and around and around and finally came out in Tomorrowland.

I had a special opportunity for a Meet and Greet with movie Maleficent at Cinderella Castle. I was really excited and no idea what to expect. We were all given Maleficent "horns" to wear.

She spoke very softly and told me that in the movie, I would learn the TRUTH! Here's the video of the meet and greet and a couple photos!




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It was now close to 2:00am. I missed my FP+ for Anna and Elsa. The lines for most characters were VERY long and the waits for Princess Scarytale Hall were over 4 hours. As I looked around, it was still very crowded and hot and my Starbucks boost had about run out.

Time to bid farewell to Rocking my Disney Side. I was quite happy to have made it as late as I did, the latest yet for me at a 24 hour event.

I hope you enjoy the tweets, videos and blogs. Thanks for following along!

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About May 2014

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in May 2014. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2014 is the previous archive.

June 2014 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.