“Evil” and “Fairy” don’t usually go hand in hand, unless you are Maleficent, Lana Del Rey’s version of Once Upon a Dream is very Evil Fairy – and completely suits the very first Disney Villain to ever have her first live action film series. 

Before she turned evil, Maleficent was protector of the Moors, guarding her land from human invaders. Her heart turned to stone and she proclaimed herself Mistress of All Evil when she was not invited to Princess Aurora’s christening. She then cursed the princess to “”prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die” before the sun sets on Aurora’s sixteenth birthday

She was  originally made to resemble a vampire bat with a long, narrow chin, arched eyebrows and a smile that’s more sinister than her scowl. She carries a staff and can disappear into a puff of green smoke. She has minions and a pet raven and lives in a a scary, gothic castle.

In the movie, Maleficent’s horns are made with Leather, Python and Stingray Horn Wraps. Her outfit was meant to be as frightening as possible and that is why her collar represents the wings of a bat and her horns are meant to remind people of the devil. 

Looking for Maleficent’s weakness? It’s iron. 

In the second film, watch out for Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Aurora’s evil stepmother Queen Ingrith- and a worthy adversary for Maleficent. Angelina vs Michelle. Who will win?

You have approximately two weeks to watch the first movie if you haven’t seen it yet. The new movie is released in theaters on October 18, 2019. 

Looking for Maleficent at Disney?  Walt Disney World Resort, guests can spot a steampunk-inspired Maleficent Dragon in the Festival of Fantasy parade. Maleficent stretches 53 feet from snout to tail and reaches 26 feet in the air! She can also be found on Halloween alongside the Evil Queen and sometimes Aurora.  At the Magic Kingdom (both California and Florida), she can be found in Fantasyland.  She appears in several shows, including Fantastic. 




We didn’t make our usual August trip his year.. so opening day we created our own galaxy at home. Here’s what others are saying about the new Star Wars World at Disney World. 

photo credit: Orlando Sentinel

The Orlando Sentinel reports 5 hour plus lines and huge crowds. While I was thinking we would have to arrive at the gates by 5 to get in, crowds began forming outside of Hollywood Studios as early as 3:30am on August 29, 2019. 

At 4:45am, Disney opened the Hollywood Studio gates to allow the building crowd to move forward. 

There are no advance reservations. Some lucky people (probably the 3:30am crowd) were able to get right on the Millennium Falcon. Others waited 5 hours to try the ride. By the end of the day, the wait time for the ride was only 75 minutes. Rise of the Resistance, the second Star Wars World Ride, opens on December 5, 2019. My understanding is that there will be no fast passes allowed for Star Wars rides in the near future. 



There are cool snacks and delicacies to sample, including blue milk (milk with coconut, pineapple, and a little watermelon). And if you want to stock up on souvenirs, feel free to buy a bunch of Coca Cola. TSA recently released a statement saying that the thermal detonator-style Coca Cola products sold at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge were not allowed on carry-on or checked luggage due to their resemblance to actual explosives. 


The policy has now changed. 

Per the Orlando Sentinel:

It’s OK to fly home with the Coca-Cola cans shaped like thermal detonators sold at Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge, TSA said Friday. People who want to take them home as souvenirs should put them in checked baggage or empty the cans and stick them in a carry-on item, the TSA said.

The Transportation Security Administration, which handles security at airports, had been reviewing its policy after online posts saying the cans were banned went viral. On Friday, TSA issued a new statement, saying, “We have completed our review, and instructed our officers to treat these as an oversized liquid.”

Good news for some!


And if you aren’t able to make the grand opening and don’t feel like dealing with crowds, all you need to do is make a cake (black/white)(dark side/jedi), decorate, put on some costumes. And you will almost feel like you are at Disney World. 

A Peek at Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew

Who needs a babysitter when you can leave your kids (ages 4 to 12) with a pirate with a hook for a hand? 


He comes with excellent references and will watch your kids from 5:00 to 8:30pm at just $55 per child (price includes dinner). Parents are welcome to drop their kids off as early as 4:30pm at the Seaside Retreat at Disney’s Beach Club.  Dinner is served between 715 and 745. 

Upon entering Pirate Hideaway, seasoned members of Captain Hook’s crew will assist you in the first, most crucial step towards becoming a pirate—receiving your pirate name. Next, they’ll teach you the many skills crucial to life on the high seas such as talking like a pirate, swabbing the deck and singing sea chanties!

Captain Hook himself will be checking in to examine progress and get kids started on their first treasure hunt. Kids will solve puzzles and gather clues on land before setting sail along Crescent Lake. Yes. They do set sail. Apparently there are enough Disney Cast Members to ensure kid safety. All kids are required to wear life vests. Captain Hook isn’t the only one who should be scared of the crocodiles.

While subject to change, the menu features several entrees, including Cannon Meatballs with Marinara and Macaroni and Gold Sauce—as well as the Treasure Chest Treat or fruit for dessert.

If you’re worried about leaving your kids with a pirate, teach them what to do in case they are forced to walk the plank and they will be fine. My plan, I’ll be teaching my kids what to do in the events things turn for the worse for them while I make a reservation for a nice restaurant to go to while they are on their pirate adventure. 

Disney World has gone to the dogs

Planning on bringing your dog to Walt Disney World? Be sure to book a stay at one of the parks’ pet-friendly resorts. While there’s an additional fee for pets — between $50-$75 per night — the pet accommodations may make yours and your dog’s life much easier! (There’s a maximum of two dogs per guest room). 

Here are Disney’s dog-friendly resorts:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort

No word yet on whether Disney’s magical express will accommodate canines. 

Disney has pet walkways and green spaces at all of their pet-friendly hotels. In the event that your dog “really has to go”, don’t worry. All pet-friendly rooms are located near the walkways and green spaces.

Service dogs are allowed at any park or resort as long as there is a leash and a harness. They can wait in line with owners and can even go on some rides – they don’t even need a ticket!

For those that do not wish to bring your dog to the Disney hotel, or for those who don’t want to leave your pet alone for too long, there is a Best Friend’s Pet Care just outside Disney – Go to their website directly to learn more. Rates range from $44/night for basic indoor stay with two walks to $109/night for the VIP treatment. 

We have used the Best Friend’s chain in Westchester. It is the only place I have ever felt comfortable leaving my dog for an extended stay. There were opportunities to view him online through a webcam, daily pictures sent to me, and lots of treats and even tv for our pet. I’ve heard Disney’s Best Friend’s location is just as great. Are you an annual pass holder? If so, take advantage of the discount that Best Friend’s pet hotel offers pass holders. 

these Dalmatians would need at least 5 rooms, since there is a limit of two dogs per room.

The reason we haven’t brought our furry friend is because we do not want to put him through the stress of plane travel, and then staying in an unfamiliar place, when we have a great pet sitter at home. It is just not worth the stress and extra costs.

Most domestic pets are allowed on a plane if they are 20 pounds or less. Be sure to check with your plane carrier for their specific rules. 

Still wish to bring your furry friend? Be sure to either mail his usual food to the resort ahead of time (via Amazon, the resort will hold packages), or bring his food with you to avoid extra sickness and accidents. Bring bags for waste and plenty of treats!


Disney World Annual Pass and Star Wars Land: Figuring out the “Perks”

For months Disney has been advertising exclusive “perks” for those fans interested in seeing Star Wars Land IMMEDIATELY!

They have been pushing Annual Passes as the only way to view those perks. 

Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders were told they would have the opportunity for an out-of-this-world adventure at the all-new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This was to happen during an Annual Passholder preview—select times from August 17 to August 21, 2019. Notice that Silver and Gold Passholders are NOT mentioned here. Forget about the fact that theses passes are only about 100 dollars less and still cost a pretty penny. 

Passes raised in prices – they jumped more than $200 and now ring in at over $1,000 per year. The Disney Platinum Plus Pass now costs $1,219.00+ tax and the Disney Platinum Pass now costs $1,119.00+ tax. Although Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club members have options to other less expensive annual pass options, most of those increased in price as well.  Again, is it worth it? 

I would love to see the data on how many people signed up for Annual Passes after this announcement. Not every Annual Passholder gets this opportunity, it is limited and was only no a first come, first served basis. The booking window is now booked solid. 

What does that mean for the rest of us? Passholders and Non-Passholders alike? Supposedly, No special reservations will be needed to enter Walt Disney World’s Star Wars land on August 29. You can imagine what the lines will be like… I can even see people sleeping outside the gates of Hollywood Studios, can’t you? 

Disney World is offering Special Extra Magic Hours and opening Disney Hollywood Studios at 6am each morning through November 2 for its on-site hotel guests, giving them a three-hour head start each day on visiting the Black Spire Outpost before the park opens to all ticket-holders at 9am. But Disney World will open the early access to the land to all guests at 6am for its first three days of operation: August 29-31, 2019.

So, it seems as if that from August 29-August 31 there will be no easy way to see Star Wars Land. You just need to be at the opening gate to Hollywood Studios, ready to go, at 6am. 

Still haven’t seen Star Wars? Check out this 7 minute video to recap the series: 

Will you feel the love tonight?Yes, you still will if you see the new Lion King!

During this past heat wave, we escaped to the movie theater to see THE LION KING! The theater was packed, and full of laughter and singing as all the new jokes and familiar songs began.

Should you see it? Yes. Should you plan on being surprised? Don’t hold your breath. The story is exactly the same, there are no surprise endings. The movie is, in fact, only different a few times with a few extra jokes. There is one extra song. Quite frankly, I expected a bit more heart from Beyonce’s role. 

Compared to the new Aladdin remake, in which Will Smith amazed as the Genie, even as a cartoon, Beyonce did not do anything “extra” with her role as Nala.  I wasn’t thrilled there. The new songs can’t compare to the original Lion King soundtrack. This video, before is much better than the way it sounds and appears in the movie. Perhaps the song should have been played differently. 

But, the graphics, compared to the original movie, are astounding. They bring a lot to the movie. Pride Rock (which really exists as a real and massive rock in the Pride Lands) and all of the lands around it are beautifully depicted. The film as an astonishing CGI style, that itself was thrilling. 

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Definitely see the movie, especially during a heat wave. And make sure you see the previews, which includes a few Disney films: Maleficent 2 being one that I will definitely see!


Was anyone else surprised that it all didn’t end with Toy Story 3? Toy Story 4 starts out much like the other Toy Story movies, with a new kid who likes to play with different toys… Is it still worth it? Definitely. 

Bo-Beep is found again, along with her three sheep and she lives and views life very differently than a household toy. 

There are some frightening moments in an antique shop in Toy Story 4, and our hearts go out to those toys who sit for days in a shop like that… but we do learn that Woody had the opportunity to go with Bo when she left Andy’s house and chose to put his own feelings aside because Andy still needed him.  

Bonnie has now moved on to other favorite toys, Andy is no longer the sheriff. He realizes that he has a chance to follow his dreams of being with Bo and seeing the world. So when he’s offered the chance to return to the life he knew with Bonnie and his friends, or on different adventures with Bo Peep, he finally decides to live a life for himself…. 


What that means is that, most likely, this is the last time we will see Andy in a new movie involving his old friends. Maybe an Andy/Bo-Peep spin off is in the mix? Will Bo-Peep now be seen at Toy Story World at Disney? Let’s hope so. 



Annual Passholders receive many benefits, but the pass comes at a price. Here are some things to mouse or “muse” over before you decide:

  • Recent Price Increase might make you wince:  

Updated Disney World Annual Pass prices for the public are as follows: 

Updated Disney World Annual Pass prices for Disney Vacation Club Members are as follows:

Disney Platinum Plus Pass New Purchase: $999 (from $849)
Disney Platinum Plus Pass Renewal: $849 (from $721)

Disney Platinum Pass New Purchase: $899 (from $749)
Disney Platinum Pass Renewal : $764 (from $636)

  • Still reading? One of the reasons prices may have increased is because of the new perk for pass holders: they get VIP access to Galaxy’s Edge.The Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge passholder preview will be on select dates this August inside Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios. An email will be sent out to those eligible for this preview event. Here’s some important information regarding the preview from Disney Parks Blog.

How to Register

  • Email invitations with registration details will be sent out later this summer.
  • If you are an eligible Passholder and would like to register a Guest to accompany you, that Guest must also have a valid Platinum, Platinum Plus or Premier annual pass, be listed on your Family and Friends List and have opted to share “All My Plans” with you.

Important Information

  • Advance registration is required.
  • Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders must register by making an online reservation for ONE event.
  • Valid Annual Pass and photo ID are required at check-in for each Passholder and Passholder Guest.
  • Reservations are limited and are subject to availability.
  • Activities and attractions are subject to change without notice.

When the email is sent out the space available for this preview event will book quickly. Make sure to have your My Disney Experience account set up in advance with guests you will be wanting to take. Also make sure they are platinum passholders or above. Guests can not accompany you unless they also have paid the hefty price to be platinum pass holders or above!

* OTHER PERKS OF BECOMING A PASSHOLDER – Free refrigerator magnets, discount on Disney Park Merchandise, Discount on Dining. Is it worth it? You tell me. Part of me feels as if they raised the prices just to get those Star Wars fans on board. Is that fair? 


Looking to add a Disney Twist and have some glow in the dark fun in the process? If you can get your hands on a black light, it’s quite easy!

Have you been to Disney recently? Did you have any snack credits left over? I did and I decided to stock up for the party and created a fun basket of lollipops and Pez, all using snacks left over from our dining plan: 

For the room, some fun neon balloons, glow sticks, and music will put the kids into an alternate biosphere: 


What next? Once the kids arrive, all you need are some highlighters, glow face paint (if you’re so inclined), glow sticks, and a few fun activities like Duck Duck Goose in the Dark, the Electric Slide, or the rainbow tent. The fun just creates itself!


Don’t forget the cake, or cupcakes! Any kind will do but we found Glow in the dark horns and ears to top our cake with: 

When the lights go on, everybody goes home and takes a fun party favor and assuredly, a good memory. 


Who is Jafar? The most talked about Disney Villain right now.  He is a total psychopath who will not let anyone get in his way from his dreams of total power.  He has no soft side, he enjoys watching those beneath him suffer. 

Be careful, Jafar is known to roam Disney After Hours, a special event that’s open to a limited number of guests and offers low wait times at more than 20 attractions and experiences after the park closes to day guests, from classics like the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain, to newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more.  Although Disney After Hours spans three parks, the villains can be found at the Magic Kingdom. Expect a few of the Magic Kingdom rides to have villainous enhancements. 

** Although you may see characters roaming, and performing in shows, there will be no character meet in greets for this event – which to me makes the cost of the ticket a bit pricey. 

Event tickets also allow entry as early as 7 p.m., which gives you time to enjoy fireworks before heading off to the attractions. Ice cream novelties, popcorn and select bottled beverages are also included in the cost of admission. Admission to Disney After Hours can be purchased in advance for $125 per adult or child, plus tax—or purchased on the day of the event for $129 per adult or child, plus tax. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of specially priced tickets for just $95 per adult or child, plus tax.

Look for these villains, during the shows, among others: 

  • Hades from Hercules,
  • The Queen From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 
  • Jafar
  • Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty
  • Dr. Facilier from Princess and the Frog

Compared to Disney’s Not So Scary Halloween, this is more of a party vibe (with no lines for candy and NO character meet and greets).  With free ice cream and popcorn, you may not need snacks. If you do wish to purchase, look for these specialties: 

  • Not so poison apple cupcake (Main Street Bakery)
  • De Vil’s Treat (Casey’s Corner)
  • Hades Nachos and Hades Temptation (Tortuga Tavern)
  • Headless Horseman Brownie (Liberty Square Popcorn Cart)
  • Dr. Facilier’s Tarot Card Tart (Sleepy Hollow)
  • Dragon’s Breath Float (Storybook Treat)
  • Intergalactic Noodles (Cool Ship)

Disney Villains After Hours takes place from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM on the following dates:

  • Thursday, June 6, 2019
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019
  • Monday, July 1, 2019
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Thursday, July 18, 2019
  • Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019


Do it if you dare! – but if I were you I might wait for Not So Scary Halloween.