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My family is the biggest fans of all things Disney and Walt Disney World. My husband and I have been traveling to Disney since our honeymoon. We know all the best tips and tricks for navigating your family’s Walt Disney World Vacation on any budget.

We’ve watched all the movies and shows. We own all the costumes and we can throw a Disney party based on any movie. We can be your resource for all things Disney and how to Disney like an insider.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Opens June 28 at Walt Disney World

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Y’all Ready for This Splash-tastic New Adventure? Listen up, princesses and Disney adults, alike! The clock is ticking, and we’re just DAYS away from one of Disney’s most wildly anticipated new attractions dropping into the Magic Kingdom; Tiana’s Bayou Adventure!

Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Coming in 2024?

On January 22, 2023, the iconic Splash Mountain ride closed for royal renovations. But no fear, on June 28, 2024 the iconic ride will reSPLURGE anew as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This is a musical, heart-pounding celebration of the first Black Disney princess, Tiana herself! Have I mentioned that she is my favorite princess, with Merida, Rapunzel and Moana coming in a close second. Who am I kidding, I love all of the Disney princesses. I just happen tp identify with some more than others.

And if this news doesn’t instantly flood your heart with nostalgic Disney magic and pure HYPE, we might need to revoke your mom card. Because let’s be honest – what’s more iconic than a strong, determined heroine who didn’t just dream it, but DID IT? Tiana built her entire life from the ground up through hard work, grit and an unshakeable belief in herself. Bring on the Black Girl magic because I am here for it!

She’s the Disney princess for today’s mamas hustling on a million different levels ( and especially those of us with ADHD) while still trying to keep our poise, grace and beignet powder properly applied, you feel me? Tiana understood the assignment.

Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure the Same as Splash Mountain?

While Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is replacing Splash Mountain, it’s far from a simple rebrand. This new attraction picks up where the 2009 movie “The Princess and the Frog” ended, inviting guests to join Tiana, Naveen, and their friends on a new adventure. You’ll explore the bayou, discover the rich culture and spirit of New Orleans, and experience Tiana’s story of hard work, perseverance, and dreams coming true in a whole new way.

So get ready to be DAZZLED as you drop down into the lush, jazz-filled heart of New Orleans and join Miss Leading Lady herself on a brand new, musically delectable adventure.

Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Going to Have a Drop?

The Iconic Drop That Had No Business Slapping That Hard Let’s start with the obvious – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is keeping that surprising, serotonin-spiking 52-FOOT PLUMMET that made Splash Mountain an undisputed thrill ride queen.

Except this time around, you’re free-falling straight into the festivities as Tiana, Naveen, Louis and probably some dapper, lively critters get the band together for the Mardi Gras party of the century.

Just picture it: you’re bobbing along, shimmying through the bayou to some jammin’ zydeco when BAM – you get LAUNCHED over a modern day grand picture mill-esque showstopping scene starring the iconic princess herself. Then it’s “raining” as you splash down into the celebration, instantly becoming the life of Tiana’s party. WHY LAWD?! Sorta. It’s a water ride, after all. 

It’s taking the surprise element that shocking drop of Splash always delivered and leveling it UP with the festive, jaw-dropping pageantry only Disney could conceive. You’re about to be part of the show, baby!

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Opens June 28 at Walt Disney World

(Bennett Stoops, Photographer)

Everything to Know Before You Drop Into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

But That’s Not All, Folks… While Tiana herself will obviously be the emerald-studded guest of honor, the new ride is stuffed with surprises, scenery and characters that’ll have your family squealing from the front row.

There’s the whimsical aesthetic of Tiana’s bustling New Orleans restaurant-running life to admire as you float through. The zydeco funk soundtrack hitting from every mossy branch (we WILL get songs stuck in our heads, it’s happening). Then, maybe some fun, useful cooking tips from Mama Odie’s mouth herself ? Probably not,  but wouldn’t that be cool?

And we’re predicting there will be at LEAST one critter convention showstopper celebrating Naveen’s motley princess-charming crew where we finally get the 3D Louis the Gator experience we all secretly craved.

Speaking of, how stinking ADORABLE will it be to watch our little ( and big) kiddos’ eyes lite up as they finally see their beloved Tiana & Co. in the full flesh? My teen girls cannot wait and neither can I. The first time I met Tiana at Walt Disney World, I actually cried. I cried folks. Look, my soul is prepared to levitate at the first sight of my girls screaming “THERE SHE IS!” at their favorite Disney heroine like she’s the dang president or something.

TL;DR – it’s about to be an overstuffed Sammy of New Orleans-inspired delights, magic, and heartfelt life lessons that’ll sear your childhood into the footprint at the bottom of the ride. Just as a family Disney journey should be.

The Inspiration Behind the Ride

The Powerful Princess Story We Need But beyond the splashy thrills and Broadway-esque fanfare, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure gives us a much-needed beacon of inspiration we could all use more of. Especially today’s youth.

Tiana: The Ultimate Role Model

Unlike so many other Disney princesses, Tiana wasn’t born into wealth or royalty. She was a young woman from humble beginnings who rolled up her sleeves and DID. THE. WORK. to make her wildest dreams a reality. Who wouldn’t be inspired by her? She’s a “can do” attitude icon.

From working multiple jobs to bobbing for frog princes in the dead of night when opportunity knocked, Tiana showed that grit, perseverance and leading with your heart will always win out. Her story isn’t about tiaras or toxic tropes, it’s about manifesting the life you want through sweat, smarts and self-belief. #Preach

And in this world of overwhelming think pieces and thinkfluencer anxiety…that message feels more relevant and POWERFUL than ever, doesn’t it?

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Opens June 28 at Walt Disney World

(Olga Thompson, Photographer)

A Family-Friendly Adventure

With all the social media fluff, filtered fronts and princess fallacies being CRANKED into our daughters’ worldviews on a daily basis, I’m pretty dang stoked to usher them into this next iconic Disney era. One where a hard-working young queen who looks like them gets to take the well-deserved lead and center stage, while still jamming to absolute bops.

Get Ready to Drop Into the Magic

So Let’s Dive Right In to This New Adventure! The way I see it, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is more than just an adrenaline-pumping boat ride with jazz hands. It’s set to become yet another wildly inspiring, smile-insemintating, generational bonding experience – like only Disney can provide.

The New Orleans Connection

It’s an homage to New Orleans’ rich cultural ties and Black histories; a testament to the people who live and breathe NOLA. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a life primer on dreaming BIG, working harder, and becoming the main character you’re meant to be. And most importantly, it’s a reason for families everywhere to make more magical memories as we collectively slip-slide into summer.

So let’s get ready to make a splash, mamas! Don your cutest Tiana-approved seersucker and make those Walt Disney World vacation plans ASAP. Because this attraction isn’t just bringing thrills – it’s bringing a whole new paradigm of Disney fun. And it’s bringing empowerment along for the ride. Believe me,  you won’t want to miss it for the world.

Don’t miss out on the adventure! Book your tickets to Walt Disney World now and be among the first to experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure on June 28, 2024. For tips on maximizing your Disney vacation, check out 10 Tips for Maximizing Your Walt Disney World Vacation for Free. Plus, learn how to make the most of your trip with How to Plus Up Your Walt Disney World Vacation for Free.

Remember, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure isn’t just a ride—it’s a journey into the heart of New Orleans. It’s  a celebration of dreams, perseverance, and the magic that happens when you believe in yourself. Share this post with fellow Disney fans and start planning your magical adventure today!

Book those vacay packages now! The bayou is calling, and it’s time to let the good times roll with Tiana taking the lead.

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Disney+ GODMOTHERED still. Isla Fischer as Mackenzie and Willa Skye as Mia, daughter, Boston Common

Looking for a family-friendly Christmas movie to enjoy with the whole family on a Friday night while decorating the tree or baking Christmas cookies? I’ve got you covered. We just watched Disney+ GODMOTHERED. It was the perfect fit for this girl mom and dad and our teen girls. It was refreshing and super cute with a new twist on the old fairy tale. Disney+ GODMOTHERED the fairy tale reimagined inclusively for everyone.

Disney+ GODMOTHERED promo logo, Disney, Black with wand

Set in Boston (one of our favorite cities, check out or visit Boston with teens guide if you’ve never been) at Christmastime, GODMOTHERED is a comedy about Eleanor, a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training (Jillian Bell) who upon hearing that her chosen profession is facing extinction, decides to show the world that people still need fairy godmothers. Finding a mislaid letter from a 10-year-old girl in distress, Eleanor tracks her down and discovers that the girl, Mackenzie, is now a jaded and defeated 40-year-old single mom (Isla Fisher) working at a news station in Boston. Having lost her husband several years earlier, Mackenzie has all but given up on the idea of “Happily Ever After,” but Eleanor is bound and determined to give Mackenzie a happiness makeover, whether she likes it or not.

As a modern-day feminist raising strong girls, GODMOTHERED was everything I wanted in a warm, fuzzy holiday movie. It’s about more than happy endings, it is about girl power, loving yourself first because the most important person you need to love you is yourself and the courage to keep going even when life feels like it has no happy endings left to give. Be brave enough to make your own happy ending; there is no right or wrong, there is just happiness and it can look different for every person.

Disney+ GODMOTHERED still. Isla Fischer as Mackenzie, Boston, Jillian Bell as Eleanor the fairy godmother sitting in the snow

Eleanor seeks out Mackenzie to give her the typical happy ending that we’ve all been raised to believe is what we want and need. Meet the prince, marry the prince and live happily ever after but life isn’t a fairy tale and sometimes things don’t turn out the way we hoped or planned; sometimes happiness is something other than typical but equally as magical. Sometimes the happily ever after comes after surviving the hard parts of life. Maybe the hard parts make us able to recognize and appreciate the good things.

READ ALSO: Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Mackenzie meets Hugh Prince ( Venezuelan actor, Santiago Cabrera) and he’s a great guy who she works with. Over the course of the movie, she realizes that she does like the prince but she doesn’t need him. Her true love is her daughters and best friend. True love is everywhere if we’re willing and able to look past the expectation.

Disney+ GODMOTHERED still. Santiago Cabrera as Hugh and Isla Fisher as Mackenzie Walsh in GODMOTHERED, Boston

In Eleanor’s quest to give Mackenzie what she thinks will make her happy, all the while proving that fairy godmothers are not obsolete, both women learn a valuable lesson; we all have worth and happy endings come in all different kinds of ways. There is not just one ending that makes us happy. Happiness is in the heart of the beholder.

Disney+ GODMOTHERED still. Isla Fischer as Mackenzie, Boston, Jillian Bell as Eleanor the fairy godmother sitting in the snow

GODMOTHERED is endearing, funny and warm. At times it feels as though the happily ever after narrative is being forced upon us, but isn’t that the case in real life? As women, haven’t we all felt that narrative thrust upon us by society, our mothers and grandmothers before us? In the end, GODMOTHERED reflects the change and evolution of girls and women in our world today. We can do and be anything we want. We can have our careers, families, love and happiness too.

Disney+ GODMOTHERED still. Isla Fischer as Mackenzie, Boston, Jillian Bell as Eleanor the fairy godmother sitting in the snow

This updated fairytale is subtly empowering like the soft breeze of generations of women past lifting us up and giving us the courage to pursue our own path of happiness, whether that includes sharing our lives with a prince, another princess, children, alone or immersing ourselves in our careers. We make our own happiness, we only need to be brave enough to take a chance and go for it.

Will you be watching Disney + GODMOTHERED this holiday season?

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How to work with Disney as an Influencer, what is a Disney Creator

Do you love Disney? Do you have hopes and dreams of someday being able to work with Disney as an influencer? Is Walt Disney World on your brands to work with bucket list? Would you die of sheer happiness if you were invited to attend a Disney influencer event or the coveted Disney Creators Celebration? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are not alone. There are thousands of us, if not more. But what is a Disney creator? More importantly, who knows how to work with Disney as an influencer?

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and how to get invited

I’ve been a blogger for almost 11 years. I’ve been an influencer since about a minute after that.  I’ve been a Disney creator and superfan since my first trip to the happiest place on earth for my honeymoon in 1999. I’ve been invited by Disney to collaborate and attend Disney hosted events and they are as amazing as they seem to be. Put it this way, if given the choice be any kind of influencer and attend any brand event, Disney is the one I would always say yes to. You will get the chance to experience Disney like no other. Being able to attend Disney World events with my family has been one of the highlights of my career.

What is a Disney Creator (influencer)?

In the simplest terms, an influencer is someone who has genuine influence.

  • Influence is the power to affect how your audience decides to spend their purchasing dollars. This is affected by the influencer’s perceived authority, knowledge, and relationship with the audience.
  • Influence and following in a specific niche, with whom an influencer actively engages with and builds trust, is priceless.
  • Influencers are not just marketing tools, but human beings who are social relationship assets that brands can collaborate with to reach their target audience. It’s should be about more than just numbers, it’s about real influence to change someone’s mind in one way or the other through a working relationship.
  • A Disney creator influencer is a person who uses their genuine love for Disney to inform and influence their audience about all things Disney.

 What is a Social Media Influencer?

Over the last 10 years, social media has not only been birthed it has grown in leaps and bounds in importance and influence.  3.484 billion people actively use social media. That is 45% of the population of the world. These people are looking to trusted influencers to help them decide what to buy and which products to use.

Influencers in social media are people who’ve built reputations for their knowledge and expertise on specific topics. People get to know them through their online interactions and trust is rewarded by loyalty. Consistent posting on their blog and social channels generate large followings of enthusiastic and engaged people. Influencers wield great power to create trends and promote trends.

What are the types of influencers that can become Disney Creators?

Influencers can be categorized in many different ways; by followers, types of content and level of influence. You don’t have to produce content just in the Walt Disney World niche to be considered to be a Disney Creator but it does help to be passionate about Disney and share that passion with your audience in an authentic and engaging way.

Mega-Influencers

Mega influencers are the people with the largest numbers of followers on their social networks. A Mega-influencer is quantified as having more than 1 million followers on at least one social media platform.

Macro-Influencers

Macro-influencers are a step below the mega-influencers in terms of influence numbers, and may actually be more accessible as influencer marketers. Influencers with an audience between the range of 40,000 to 1 million followers on a social media network are macro-influencers.

Micro-Influencers

Micro-Influencers are ordinary everyday people (like you and I) who have become known for their knowledge about a specific niche. Through this, they’ve grown a large social media following amongst loyal fans of the niche. It’s not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence; it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer has with their audience. Are they trusted? Are they engaging? Is their content relevant? Are their followers loyal?

Generally, micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 40,000 followers on a single social platform. Micro-influencers have built up specialist followings, and they are very discriminate when it comes to brands they will partner with. They won’t want to appear salesy to their audience. This requirement to develop a relationship with a  brand that is must align with target audiences means that micro-influencers are often picky about with whom they work.

Nano-Influencers

The latest influencer-type to is the nano-influencer. Nano-influencers only have a very small number of followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field i.e. best places to eat gluten-free on Disney World property and have high influence with their audience.  Most nano-influencers have less than 1,000 followers but those followers are loyal, devoted and trust the nano influencers opinions.

It isn’t all about the size of your traffic, it has more to do with what you do with your audience. Are you engaging them? Is your content strong and interesting? Are you an expert on all things Disney? Is your opinion valued by your audience? Do they trust you? Are you influential on the topic of Disney parks and resorts? Do you know all of the best rollercoasters? Best restrooms?

Types of Content Disney Creators Create

Most influencing happens in social media, micro-influencers are awesome and I’m not just saying that because I am one, and blogging. With a growing interest in video, YouTubers are quickly becoming very valuable assets as well.

Bloggers

Bloggers and influencers in social media have the most authentic and active relationships with their fans

YouTubers

Another favorite type of content is video. In this case, rather than each video maker having their own site, most create a channel on YouTube.

Podcasters

Podcasts are growing in popularity and so their influence is growing as well.

Social Posts Influencers

Bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers cannot exist in a vacuum, every influencer promotes new posts or videos on social media – which makes most of these bloggers and content creators micro-influencers.

But how the heck does one get invited to be a Disney creator? Point blank, you have to make yourself seen, create good content (whether it is written, video or podcast) and a genuine love for Disney is a definite advantage. But love for Disney World alone is not enough.

How to work with Disney as an Influencer, what is a Disney Creator

The next question on everyone’s mind is how do I get invited to Disney Creators Celebration? How to work with Disney as an Influencer?

Unfortunately, those invited are hand-selected but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the Disney Creators invite.

Here are the tips that I have gathered over the years from Disney on how to be considered for any Disney press event as a Disney Creator.

Go to conferences where Disney will be at and connect/network with Disney PR. Write strong, engaging content about Disney and send the links to the WDW PR department.

What qualities does Disney look for in the influencers they work with?

It really depends on the initiative that they have going on. But it is helpful if bloggers have an up-to-date blog, have great social reach and engagement across the different social platforms, Disney-friendly content on social and their blogs, and a good Travel section.

How does Disney choose who to partner with for press events? Do bloggers need a certain amount of traffic to be invited to hosted events? How important is the audience fit?

Disney does not host very many influencer events so they have to be super selective with invitations. A lot of it is based on a variety of things such as brand fit, reach, audience, specialty, engagement, niche, diversity, quality of followers and whatever product Disney is promoting, etc.

The bottom line is don’t give up your dream of working with Disney and being invited to Disney Creators Celebration. Keep posting quality content. Keep sharing your love for Disney World. The most important thing is that you believe in and love what you are creating; let who you are shine through your content.

There are more ways to work with Disney than just being invited to Disney Creators Celebration.

Different ways to work with Disney

Request Disney Media Tickets

It’s that easy. You can email Disney World PR and request tickets if you are active and established media. You can get up to 2 1-day park hopper passes throughout one calendar year. Check the PR policy page for instructions.

How to get invited to Disney Creator Media Events and how to work with Disney as an influencer

My suggestion would to be to get on Disney PR’s radar. Once you request media tickets, you should be on the list but if you really want to make yourself stand out, interact with Disney PR on social media and in Disney groups and attend conferences where they will be and introduce yourself. Also, if you write about Disney send them your links or tag them on social media.

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Aloha Windy City! Cold winter weather got you down? If you’re anywhere that it’s cold, I’m looking at you Chicago, you know we are all in desperate need of some sunshine and warm weather. Well, guess what Chicago??? Disney is bringing just what the doctor ordered, some warmth, ukuleles, palm trees and the sand between your toes right downtown at Union Station. Maybe we can’t all fly off to Hawaii right now, much as we’d love to, so Disney Aulani resort is bringing Hawaii to Chicago!

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creators Day and how to get invited?

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Have you been spending your winter days walking the cold streets of the loop biding your time until summer is back in Chicago? Spending your nights running to and from trains, buses and cars to your home or office trying not to get frostbite? Have you been dreaming of warmer destinations or even Grant park in July? At this point, I’d sacrifice the Sox for some sunshine.  Do you need sunshine with a side of Disney? Because I know I do.

READ ALSO: Best Disney Resorts for Families

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, ChicagoDisney is bringing the Aloha Spirit to Chicago!!

Who: Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii

What: Bringing sun and Disney fun to Chicago for the enjoyment of winter-worn commuters

Where: The Great Hall at Union Station (225 S Canal St. Chicago, IL 60606)

How: Aulani is bringing Rays of Aloha the sun and joy of Disney and Hawaii for a magical, one-day, event at Union Station, providing a warm and happy retreat for the approximately 100000 commuters through a fun (Instagram-worthy) experience.

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Come and enjoy a magical fire put while dipping your toes in the sand, delight in a hula performance and be carried away by the sound of ukuleles floating between the palm trees. There might even be a surprise guest.

#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, mickey mouse, minnie mouse

I don’t know about you, but for this Disney loving family, this sounds like the perfect mid-week event to get your head in an Aulani state of mind.

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing your Dinsey Trip

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

Where: Wednesday, February 19, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

DIsney World, DIsney Creators, DIsney Aulani resort, Union Station, Chicago

This will just be a taste of all the Aloha spirit that you could experience in the actual Aulani Disney Resort. I’ve stayed at many Disney resorts over the years, and Aulani is on our family bucket list, but from my friends who’ve gone, I hear it is worth the travel and you will make memories with the ones you loved like never before all with a Hawaiian setting. What could be more magical?

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purple wall , #DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, castaway cay, Disney Creators Celebration, What is Disney Creators Celebration, #DisneyCreators

.Looks like Disney’s Social Media Mom Celebration may be gone forever. It’s time to say tootles mouseketeers. Well, not gone (never forgotten) but refreshed. Disney World is not just for moms and neither should it’s creator celebration be limited to just mothers (though I did love the idea since I am a mom). Enter Disney Creators Celebration for all Disney loving content creators and influencers. Hey, what do you know, I still qualify because I am one of the most Disney loving creators there are. But what is Disney Creators Celebration? Here’s all you need to know including how you can get invited yourself.

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Hakuna Matata. What a wonderful phrase and an even better song. My family has watched The Lion King movie at least 100 times. The story is one of our favorites. Hakuna Matata is my 14-year-old daughter’s favorite thing to say. The story of young Zimba is both inspiring and uplifting.

The Lion King is one of those heartwarming Disney movies that we watch together and feel closer after doing so. It’s super glue for families. We love it in every iteration and we are looking forward to seeing it this spring for the first time ever live on stage.

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Lion King

Did you know there are 6 indigenous African languages sung and spoken throughout the show:
Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, Congolese? I’ve seen a lot of Broadway musicals in my lifetime and I’ve seen The Lion King production at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and I’ve got to say,

I can’t wait to see what next-level performance we’ll get to experience at the Lion King Broadway tour.

After 22 landmark years on Broadway, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING has made theatrical history with three productions worldwide running 15 or more years and three others running 20 or more years.

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 20 million theatergoers. Having already played more than 80 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its premiere engagement in South Bend.

READ ALSO: Aladdin Musical

Performed over its lifetime in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; on tour across North America, Japan, and The U.K. & Ireland, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’S worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design and now, its coming to a city near you!

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award® for Direction of a Musical, Taymor continues to supervise new productions of the show around the world.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from the Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy® Award-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to Lebo M’s rich choral numbers.

Elton John, Lebo M, and Hans Zimmer all collaborated on the 2019 version of the film, executive produced by Julie Taymor and Thomas Schumacher, which has gone onto extraordinary worldwide success.

Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway Theatre League South Bend are thrilled to announce that tickets for the long-awaited premiere engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING Performances Begin on March 4th and Play for Three Weeks at The Morris Performing Arts Center through March 22nd.

Tickets are available at the Morris Performing Arts Center Box Office windows only. At 10:00 AM, tickets will be available via LionKing.com, at The Morris Performing Arts Center box office, 211 N Michigan St, by visiting BroadwayInSouthBend.com, MorrisCenter.org, or by calling 574.235.9190. Groups of 10+ call 866.314.7687. Tickets start at $31.00. VIP Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

The performance schedule for Disney’s THE LION KING at the Morris Performing Arts Center.

Week 1

Wednesday, March 4 – 7:30pm

Thursday, March 5 – 2:00pm

Thursday, March 5 – 7:30pm

Friday, March 6 – 8:00pm

Saturday, March 7 – 2:00pm

Saturday, March 7 – 8:00pm

Sunday, March 8 – 1:00pm

Sunday, March 8 – 6:30pm

 

Week 2

Tuesday, March 10 – 7:30pm

Wednesday, March 11 –7:30pm

Thursday, March 12 – 7:30pm

Friday, March 13 – 8:00pm

Saturday, March 14 – 2:00pm

Saturday, March 14 – 8:00pm

Sunday, March 15 – 1:00pm

Sunday, March 15 – 6:30pm

 

Week 3

Tuesday, March 17 – 7:30pm

Wednesday, March 18 –7:30pm

Thursday, March 19 – 7:30pm

Friday, March 20 – 8:00pm

Saturday, March 21 – 2:00pm

Saturday, March 21 – 8:00pm

Sunday, March 22 – 1:00pm

Sunday, March 22 – 6:30pm

 

Please Note: BroadwayInSouthBend.com, MorrisCenter.org, and The Morris Performing Arts Center box office are the only official sources for tickets to the 2019-20 Broadway In South Bend Series. If you purchase tickets through another source, you may pay inflated prices and your tickets will not be guaranteed.

For information and to purchase tickets: https://bit.ly/2NV4ckz

Thank you to the Broadway Theater League for providing me with tickets to see the Lion King Musical and providing a family four-pack for one lucky reader.

Simply leave a comment below telling me who’s is your favorite The Lion King character and why?

One lucky winner will win 4 tickets to the March 4th opening night production of The Lion King. I will choose a winner randomly on February 29th, 11:59 pm. via rafflecopter Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

If you love Disney’s Aladdin as much as my family does, you will be thrilled to know that not only is Disney’s Aladdin the live-action film being released on DVD on September 10 but so is the original Aladdin the signature series. Both Aladdin’s available on DVD on the same day!!

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series

We are definitely a house divided over here. My husband and eldest daughter are Disney animation connoisseurs and both prefer the Aladdin animated film. My youngest daughter and I fell absolutely head over heels in love with the new Disney’s Aladdin live-action film. Either way, we’re all excited for September 10.

Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,

EXPERIENCE MAGIC IN A WHOLE NEW WAY WITH THE THRILLING AND VIBRANT LIVE-ACTION ADAPTATION OF ALADDIN
AND
THE ANIMATED CLASSIC JOINS THE HIGHLY CELEBRATED WALT DISNEY SIGNATURE COLLECTION

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series
The live-action adaptation of the animated classic, Aladdin, lands in homes on Digital and Movies Anywhere August 27 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD September 10. Starring Will SmithNaomi Scott and Mena Massoud, the release includes all-new bonus features, such as deleted scenes, a blooper reel and more!READ ALSO: I Loved the New Aladdin More than the Original

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie,The release of the live-action adventure coincides with the addition of the original animated classic to the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection, granting Aladdin fans everywhere the opportunity to own both magical movies. In 4K for the first time, the new release features all-new bonus content, including alternate endings!

Nasim Pedrad, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Mena Massoud, Jasmine, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Abu, Jafar, Aladdin, Disney's Aladdin, Live-action film, movie review, Guy Ritchie, Disney, Aladdin Signature series

We all know that Aladdin is one of the best Disney animated films ever but if you want to be blown away, you have to check out Disney’s Aladdin live-action film. I never thought I could love a film more than the original Aladdin. I remember singing along and adoring everything about it.

Then I saw the live-action film and it moved me in whole other ways. It was the same story but it was its own movie. It took a different perspective and changed just a few slight things but it made the movie more relatable for me. The soundtrack is amazing and the themes were timely and empowering.

I’m excited to add both to our Disney film collection.

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How to Plus up Your Walt Disney World Vacation for Free, Walt Disney World Vacation, Disney Trip

Heading to Disney and really want to get the most bang for your buck? I love Walt Disney World; it’s one of our favorite places to visit as a family. The thing we love most is that no two trips are ever the same. There are always new things to see and do and new adventures to be had. Unfortunately, everything “experience” you add, makes the price go up.  If only there was a way to plus up your Walt Disney World vacation for free.

Lots of families save and plan for a Walt Disney World vacation, sometimes for years so just adding experiences can change the price point quite a bit. When you consider that an average 7 day/6 night stay at a deluxe resort with park hopper tickets can cost $5000 and up, every single bit more that you add adds up. But what if you could plus up your Disney trip for free.

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and How to Get Invited

Here are some ways to plus up your Walt Disney World vacation for free.

Get celebration buttons

If you’re at Disney celebrating an event (birthday, engagement, honeymoon, anniversary, first time, etc.) simply ask the Disney cast members situated near the front of the park with a cart with all the celebrations buttons. Put that baby on and let everyone at Disney celebrate with you. When we go in September, we’ll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, our 22nd dating anniversary and my birthday. I won’t say which one, let’s just say that I’m turning 30 again.

Become part of the show

There are several shows taking place all over Disney that you can volunteer to be a part of. Nothing makes you feel more magical than being an honorary Disney cast member for a day. It also makes for some great memories and photo ops.

Tell all the cast members that you’re celebrating when you book

When you book dining reservations or resort stays, let the cast members know that you are celebrating. They may just sprinkle you with a little extra pixie dust. It’s not required but you never know.

Use My Disney Experience app

If you really want to maximize your Disney vacation, you must use the My Disney Experience. It makes the whole trip so much more streamlined. All of your reservations and fast passes can be made on there. It updates all day long and you can see wait times, openings, get directions and even mobile order your food. It makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable and less chaotic.

Book fast passes 60 days in advance

There are a lot of great rides at Disney World and you’ll want to ride them all, some more than once. If you are staying on Disney grounds you can book your fast passes 60 days in advance and I encourage it so that you get all of your first choice rides and don’t have to wait for 180 minutes in line.

Make food reservations 180 days in advance

If you want to eat at some of the more popular restaurants like Be Our Guest, Sci-Fi Drive-in, Character dining, Le Cellier, Monsieur Paul and Takumi-Tei you should definitely take advantage of the 180-day reservation open date for those staying on property to make sure that you get those reservations.

Magic Hours

Another reason to stay on property, aside from the free transportation, early reservations and that amazing customer service and full immersion into all things Disney, you get magic hours. For example, while the rest of the world is waiting until 9 am to get into Galaxy’s Edge, Disney resort guests will be able to get into the park at 6 a.m. If you are not familiar with Magic Hours, they are extra hours the parks are open to resort guest either before or after normal park hours. It’s awesome and cuts wait times by quite a bit of time.

When you arrive at the resort, ask for free upgrades available

When you arrive at your resort, you can ask the cast member who checks you in if there are any upgrades available. That could mean a better view or even an upgraded room. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can do is say no and then you are exactly where you started…still at the happiest place on earth.


Do free resort activities

Yes, most resorts offer cool free activities for their guests. For example, there is a hidden Mickey hunt at the Fort Wilderness lodge. Restaurant tours are available at the Animal Kingdom every day from 4-4:15. Also, you can see animals for free at the Animal Kingdom. Just ask the front desk cast members and they will tell you what is offered. Most resorts offer movies by the pool and some even have campfires and s’ mores at night.

Ask for good tables at restaurants

Did you know that you can ask for good tables at restaurants when you arrive? Why not ask for a firework view and enjoy the firework display from the comfort of a seat rather than fighting with everyone else for concrete space. I love the Happily Ever After firework show more than I can express with words, it gets me in the feels, but waiting for 2 hours to have a good seat can feel like a misuse of my time.

Say Cheese

Did you know that you can ask the Photopass photographer to take your picture with your own camera? You can and they gladly will. Though, if we’re being honest, I love Memory Maker because then I’m in every picture and I can stop at every single photographer guilt-free.

READ ALSO: Best Walt Disney World Resorts for Families

These are just a few of the many ways to plus up your Walt Disney World Vacation for free. What’s your favorite tip to plus up your Walt Disney vacation for free?

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Dumbo, Disney Entertainment, Disney's Dumbo

I’m so excited to share with you Tim Burton’s all-new visionary live-action DUMBO that is available everywhere on June 25th!  Fall in love again with this heartfelt story when it swoops into homes on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere, and physically on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD – with never-before-seen bonus features, deleted scenes, bloopers and more!

 READ ALSO: Disney’s the Lion King

“Dumbo,” the grand live-action adventure from Disney and visionary director Tim Burton expanded on the beloved animated classic and sent spirits soaring. Disney invites fans to fall in love again with this heartfelt story, in which differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight, when it swoops into homes on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ and Movies Anywhere, and physically on 4K Ultra HD,  Blu-ray™ and DVD — with never-before-seen bonus features, deleted scenes, Easter eggs and bloopers.

Dumbo, Disney Entertainment, Disney's Dumbo

Stunning extras will transport viewers to the set of “Dumbo,” where cast members Danny DeVito (circus owner Max Medici), Michael Keaton (opportunistic businessman V.A. Vandevere), Colin Farrell (war-veteran-turned-elephant-keeper Holt Farrier), Eva Green (stunning aerialist Colette Marchant), Nico Parker (Farrier’s daughter, Milly) and Finley Hobbins (Farrier’s son, Joe) share their personal stories of courage and character.

READ ALSO: Why I Loved Disney’s Aladdin Live-Action more than the Original

Features explore how Disney’s timeless animated story was brought to life with an incredibly expressive, lovable, fully computer-generated baby elephant; the longtime collaboration of Burton, production designer Rick Heinrichs and costume designer Colleen Atwood, which resulted in jaw-dropping sets and costumes; and the creation of the visually colossal Dreamland parade sequence. Also included are nine deleted scenes, hidden and not-so-hidden Easter eggs, bloopers and a special performance of “Baby Mine” by Arcade Fire.

Dumbo, Disney Entertainment, Disney's Dumbo

In “Dumbo,” struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists former star Holt Farrier and his children to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive but sinister entrepreneur V.A.Vandevere, who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, spectacular, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland.

READ ALSO: Toy Story 4 Reveals the Meaning of Life

“Dumbo” will be released in several different formats, giving families the flexibility to watch it on a variety of devices. Viewers can watch the film in Digital 4K UHD, HD and SD, and bring home a physical copy of the film as the 4K Ultra HD Edition (4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital Code), Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Code) and a single DVD.

Bonus features include*:
BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:

  • CIRCUS SPECTACULARS: Dumbo’s cast shares their experience of making the film—and get to the heart of a story about family and believing in yourself.
  • THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Explore how one of Disney’s most lovable characters went from an animated classic to a stunning live-action retelling.
  • BUILT TO AMAZE: Get a closer look at the film’s production and costume design.
  • DELETED SCENES: A compelling collection of scenes that almost made the final film.
    • Roustabout Rufus
    • Pachyderm Plans
    • The Other Medici Brother
    • Monkey Business
    • A Star Is Born
    • Where’s Dumbo
    • Elephant Heist
    • A Seat at the Show
  • EASTER EGGS ON PARADE: Discover the hidden and not-so-hidden nods to the animated Dumboin this narrated tribute to the Disney classic.
  • CLOWNING AROUND: Laugh along with the cast in a collection of big-top bloopers and goofs from the set.
  • “BABY MINE”: Visual video performed by Arcade Fire

Dumbo, Disney Entertainment, Disney's DumboDIGITAL EXCLUSIVE:

  • DREAMLAND – ANATOMY OF A SCENE: From Final Script to Final Scene: The filmmakers and cast talk a lot about the feeling of “grand intimacy” in the film.  Step right up as they bring the Dreamland parade to life, accomplishing the rare marriage of a massive spectacle combined with an emotional tenderness.
  • 4K Ultra HD: English Dolby Atmos and 2.0 Descriptive Audio; Spanish and French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus Language Tracks
  • Blu-ray: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA and 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
  • DVD: English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio Language Tracks
  • UHD Digital: English Dolby Atmos (some platforms); English, Spanish and French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital; English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital (some platforms)
  • HD Digital: English, Spanish and French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital; English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital (some platforms)
  • SD Digital: English, Spanish and French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital; English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital (some platforms)

Dumbo, Disney Entertainment, Disney's Dumbo 

DUMBO” CAST AND CREW: 
The film stars Golden Globe® winner Colin Farrell (“In Bruges,” “The Lobster”) as war-veteran turned elephant-keeper Holt Farrier, Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton (“Birdman,” “Beetlejuice”) as opportunistic businessman V.A. Vandevere, Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Danny DeVito (“Batman Returns,” “Big Fish”) as circus owner Max Medici, and BAFTA Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Eva Green (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Dark Shadows”) as stunning aerialist Colette Marchant. Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins make their feature film debuts as Holt’s children, Milly and Joe.

Here is a fun origami activity to do with your children in celebration of the release of Disney’s Dumbo.

Like DUMBO on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyDumbo/

Follow DUMBO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dumbo

Follow DUMBO on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dumbo/

Visit the official DUMBO website here: https://disney.com/dumbo

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Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

I thought Toy Story 3 was the best wrap up of a series as there ever was. However, I was proven wrong last night. Toy Story 4 takes us parents on a ride and sees it through to the end and this mom is all in her feels. Where’s Drake when I need him?

Toy Story 4 Basic Synopsis:

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy.

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and How Can I Get Invited?

But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”) and Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”)

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky, Ducky and Bunny

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Parenting is a thankless job of loving and living for other people. People we created and have made the very reason for our existence. There is nothing more fulfilling or joyous than being given the gift of loving someone so completely and unconditionally. We are in those years, blinded by that love.

But one day, they will grow up. They will move on, as they are supposed to. They will have lives, families and children of their own and as much as we want to hold on tighter and forever, we have to let them go. And it hurts so much. Too much. But that’s the job; raise good human beings and then set them free to go forth and make the world a better place…no matter how much it breaks your heart.

READ ALSO: Everything You Need to Know about the Disney Dream Cruise

But something unexpected happens, when your little birds fly away and you are left in your empty nest, you have time for you again. Time to live for you. Time to pursue what makes YOU happy. Time to love your partner. Go ahead, you deserve it. Just like Woody deserved to find his Bo Peep. He did his job. He loved Andy and Bonnie with everything that he was. He sacrificed. He selflessly served them as long as they needed him and only when they no longer did, did he let go and even then it was begrudgingly.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

As parents, it is our mission to love our children. Sometimes it feels like our sole purpose and we are happy to have it. But, like Woody, we’ve got to let go of the past and live in the present. Look toward the future. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to be loved the way we loved our children. We deserve that.

READ ALSO: Disney’s the Lion King

Where, then, does Woody stand? In the movie’s scheme of things, he stands for all of us who feel we’ve lost our purpose in one phase of our life and haven’t yet found the courage to start the next phase. Toy Story 4 is all about transitioning to the next phase for everyone one of us. We are constantly evolving.

What Woody comes to understand, ever so slowly, is that life is not only for living but for loving, and he and Bo have found each other. As Woody struggles to resolve his fears and feelings, “Toy Story 4” transcends toydom. It feels exquisitely alive.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

It boils down to this, in the end, our quality of life is weighed and measured in love; the love we give gives us meaning and the love we receive gives us purpose.

Toy Story 4 teaching us lessons we didn’t even know we needed to learn.

Whether it’s romantic love, familial love, parental love, friendship or mutual respect, love is the true meaning of life and without it, the quality of our lives is drastically reduced if not removed. At the basis of humanity, we need to love one another. The love we give is reflected back in the joy we feel.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In Toy Story 4, we’re shown all different types of love and its value is quantified from an outside perspective and suddenly, it all makes sense… love is the meaning of life. Giving and receiving.

READ ALSO: I Loved Aladdin Live-Action More than the Original

In the end, they all chose to love and let themselves be loved. The thing is that kind of vulnerability is terrifying. Putting yourself out there and allowing yourself to become part of something bigger than just yourself, allowing someone else to be a part of the equation to determine whether or not you are happy and fulfilled is risky but so worth it because the only way to experience life fully is with love and the only way to love is completely.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky

©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

In the end, Andy grew up and Bonnie gave her love to Forky but Woody finally got to be part of something for him, he got to be loved in return and that’s something. He got to start a new adventure in life as part of a couple. His friends loved him so much that they let him go follow his bliss with Bo Peep, the same way Bo Peep put her feeling for him on a shelf and left him behind when she knew he had to stay with Andy. That’s what love is about, taking someone else’s needs and wants into consideration.

In Toy Story 4, Woody finally got to choose to love and be loved in return and there’s nothing better in this life. Sometimes love means letting go, sometimes it means jumping in with both feet and taking a chance and sometimes it means holding on for dear life. Toy story 4 taught me that.

Duke Caboom, Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, GabyGaby, Toy Story 4, Meaning of Life, Love, Forky, Ducky and Bunny

Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4 in theaters June 21st. Now playing. Giving me the meaning of life.

What was your biggest takeaway from Toy Story 4?

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