Archive for August 29, 2013

New Housing Development Near Walt Disney World

Ever thought about moving closer to the Mouse?  It might be even easier now since the Wall Street Journal is reporting that next month Meritage Homes Corp. expect to complete a $18 million deal to buy close to 900 lots near Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando .  The property is owned by two Walt Disney Co. subsidiaries.

This is exciting news for someone with plans in the somewhat near future to move to Orlando to live out my golden years like Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia.

Meritage Homes Corp. is  one of the nation’s largest home builders by annual closings.    The current plans of the builder are to construct single-family homes from 1,800 to 4,800 square feet between $225,000 and $450,000. If everything goes as planned, construction should start in October with homes ready for sale in early 2014,

Meritage thinks the location near Disney is the perfect location for those with jobs in the theme park arena.  That is sort of where I differ with the thoughts of Meritage.  While some people in the service and retail industries may make a good living most are making very little to be able to afford a $225,000 house.  This will however be perfect for middle or upper management types and people who move from other areas who sold a house in a more expensive area.

The Orlando housing market was hard hit by the downturn. But it has been rebounding, pushing land prices higher. Meritage paid about $20,000 a lot, double what the lots probably would have commanded last year, says Robbie McEwan, a land broker with CBRE Group Inc. “There’s so much money and pent-up demand from builders,” he says. “It’s crazy.”

I do find it interesting that the Walt Disney Co. is selling off more land.  It seems to be a trend.  First, with the Western Way project and then with the new upscale hotels in the midst of Disney property (Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons).  Will this continue to be a trend?  Did Walt Disney buy too much land when he initially purchased the Florida Project?  Or do they need the cash to fund new projects?  Maybe this is how the company’s bottom line is increased with fancy accounting in order to make up for The Lone Ranger and John Carter.  Inquiring minds want to know!!!!

Meritage Homes Corp. already has several developments in the Central Florida area.  Check them out to see if this might be right up your alley.

The Little Mermaid 3D at Hollywood’s El Capitan

Hollywood's El Capitan Will Be the Only Theatre in the World to Screen THE LITTLE MERMAID 3D, 9/13-10/13

If you want to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid in 3D in a theatre you better be prepared to go the El Capitan Theatre in the heart of Hollywood, California to see it because that is the only place that will be showing it.  And it will only be there from September 13 to October 13, 2013.

As will most movies at the historic El Capitan Theatre there is a live pre-show.   In this case, it will be a live pre-show sing-a-long with Sofia from  Disney’s Sofia the First along with a special live appearance by Ariel after the movie.   (If you aren’t familiar with Sofia the First, you should check it out for no other reason than to hear and see Tim Gunn from Project Runway as the animated butler, Baileywick.  It is worth the effort.)

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is rated G and the daily show times are 10:45 a.m., 2:00  p.m., 4:45 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.  Guests will also receive an exclusive giveaway at every show from Disney Junior (while supplies last).

If you are lucky enough to  be there on Thursdays or Sundays at the 7:30 p.m. showings you are in for a treat.  It will be Disney’s The Little Mermaid Second Screen Live!  Just bring along your iPad or iPad Mini (with iOS 5.0 or higher) and you will be able to interact with the film as it is shown.  You will also be able to play games, sing-a-long (like you won’t already be doing that), and find new surprises as you compete with the rest of the audience.

There will also be a special character breakfast with Sofia prior to the  10:45 a.m. show  at Disney’s Soda Fountain & Studio Store on select days.  Seating is of course limited and reservations are required by calling 818-845-3110.

On Tuesdays at the 10:45 a.m. showings it is Tiny Tot Tuesday in 2D .   That means that parents and small children see the movie with the lights dimmed (rather than out) and reduced sound levels.  So if you don’t like children or like you movies to be dark and loud with no child noises, then avoid this show time.

If you are going to be in Hollywood from September 13 to October 13, 2013, don’t miss this opportunity to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid in 3D at the El Capitan.  Seeing a movie there is an experience like no other.  You won’t regret it.

Tickets are on sale now and available at the El Capitan Theatre (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), online  at or by calling 800-DISNEY6. Save 40% on parties of 20 or more by calling 818-845-3110 (subject to  availability).


Limited Time Disneyland Annual Passholder Magic – The Sword in the Stone Viewing

The young boy Wart, from the Disney movie The Sword in the Stone, is awed by the magic sword in his hands.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Sword in the Stone, which is now available for the first time on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Disneyland passholders can view the movie thanks to a Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic event.   It is only for Friday, August 30, 2013 so start your Labor Day weekend a little early and take the day off so you won’t miss the fun.

Here are all the details:

Dates and Times

  • Friday, August 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM
  • Friday, August 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Movie screening is approximately 80 minutes.

Film Screening Location

  • Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park

Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

  • Registration and wristband distribution for the event will begin at 12:00 PM on the day of the event at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) in Disneyland Park
  • All participating Annual Passholders must present their active Annual Passport to the event Cast Member to check event availability and to register and receive an event wristband. Photo ID may be required.
  • Registration must be completed in person at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or other registration will be accepted.
  • This is an all-ages event. However, all participating Guests ages 3 and older must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Children under 3 may attend the movie screening as long as there is space available and they receive an event wristband during the registration process.
  • It is recommended that all members of your party register together to help ensure that everyone receives an event wristband.
  • For assistance, you may contact the Annual Passport Member Services team at (714) 781-PASS (7277). .


  • Once an Annual Passholder has presented a valid Annual Passport and event availability has been confirmed, the Annual Passholder will be registered for one (1) screening time on the event day and will receive an event wristband for that designated screening.
  • Event wristbands are required for admission to the designated event. Wristbands are only valid for the assigned screening time on the event day.
  • Registration and distribution of event wristbands are based on availability.
  • Due to limited capacity in the theater, wristbands do not guarantee seating and seating will be based on availability.
  • Wristbands may not be sold or transferred for commercial purposes and have no cash value.

Additional Information

  • Valid theme park admission is required.
  • The Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House will open 15 minutes prior to the screening start time for registered Annual Passholders with valid event wristbands.
  • The theater will remain open until the screening time or until the theater has reached capacity, whichever occurs first.
  • Late arrivals after the start of the screening will not be accommodated.
  • Information and event elements are subject to capacity, scheduled park events, change or cancellation without notice and other restrictions.


Parking will be available at any Disneyland Resort theme park parking facility.  Parking lot trams will operate until their normally scheduled times.  Standard parking fees apply.

Halloween Merchandise hits Disney Stores

Summer is almost over and Labor Day is this weekend so that must mean one thing – HALLOWEEN!!!!  Yes folks, it is time to start thinking about your Halloween costumes and what candy to hand out to Trick-or-Treaters AND Disney Halloween Merchandise.

Check out the new merchandise posted by the Disney Parks Blog.

Pumpkin Antenna Topper

(My theory is that everyone needs cute antennae toppers even if your car doesn’t have an antennae.)

Halloween Vinylmation










If you aren’t going to be in the parks before Halloween but you must have some new merchandise, let Shop The Magic know and they will be sure to scare you up something.


The Beckhams play at Disneyland

David and Victoria Beckham were spotted with their family at Disneyland last week enjoying the “Happiest Place on Earth” just the like the rest of us.  (Well, sort of.  The paparazzi don’t usually follow me around the Parks.)

David and Victoria Beckham with their four children, Brooklyn, 14, Romeo, 10, Cruz, 8, and Harper, 2, – along with their required plaid vested Guest Relations cast member. (You can’t really expect them to traverse the parks by themselves, now did you???)


And nothing could be cuter than 2 year old Harper Beckham on the carousel!!!  How stinking cute is she???  That cutie pie hit the genetic lottery.

Two-year-old Harper Beckham enjoys the merry-go-round at Disneyland as dad David Beckham follows closely behind


Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) even rode Dumbo!!!  But how she can ride Dumbo and not smile is beyond me.

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