Category Archives: Disney Planning

Murder Mystery at the Haunted Mansion!

Okay well no, not a real murder. But a fun mystery game to play while waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion!

A few years ago the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park got a fun refurbishment that included an interactive queue in the attraction line. The interactive queue has all kinds of hands on fun including a book shelf with books that pop in and out of place, a crypt that blows bubbles and a instrument wall that plays the sounds of the instruments that you put your hand on. Tons of fun! But the one part of the queue that many people walk right past is the murder mystery game!

Have you ever noticed the 5 busts that are in a semi-circle in the line area? Have you read the inscriptions on the base of the busts? Let’s take a closer look and figure out exactly who killed who! **Spoiler Alert – I am going to reveal the answers below. If you want to try and figure this one out yourself, bookmark this page and then give it a try on your next visit to the Haunted Mansion. Then come back to this page and see if you are correct!

We will start with Uncle Jacob. His plaque plainly says he was the first to die.

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Uncle Jacob was a greedy man. He died first and it says that he knew his killer. Look closely at what it says killed Jacob. “Greed was the POISON he had swallowed.” See that key word there? Let’s use it to examine the other busts…

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Notice anything at the top of Bertie’s epitaph? There’s a nice little skull and crossbones on that bottle. Wonder what that means? But look at his slithery pet wrapped around his neck. My guess is that he got the poison venom from the snake and used it to kill Uncle Jacob for his riches! And how did Bertie die? “Avid hunter and expert shot, in the end that’s what he got.” Where does this clue take us?

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Now at the top of Aunt Florence’s epitaph we find a gun. Guess she must have figured out who did her husband in and took all of the money that was rightfully hers! Of course she would want it back! While her plaque plainly reads that she never did a “dishonorable” deed, she most certainly did shoot Bertie and killed him! But she did it to avenge her late husband so while she did commit murder…it was to honor the death of Uncle Jacob.

But how did Aunt Florence die? Her plaque says she was found face down in canary seed. I’m sure that is our clue. Let’s look around and see what we can find!

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Atop the plaque on the busts of the twins we find a dead canary bird. Guess we have found our culprits in the murder of Aunt Florence! But the other plaques showed images of the actual weapons that did the murderous deeds – the poison and the gun. Florence’s epitaph says she was found in canary seed, not killed by a canary. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of this, but if you look closely behind Wellington’s bust, you will see a small bag. (This is really better seen as the line wraps around the back side of the busts). Inside this bag is….you guessed it! Bird seed!

So we’re getting closer to the end of our mystery. But we still need to know who killed the twins! They were found in their beds with bumps to their heads…

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By now you should know exactly where to look for the weapon, and we find it on Cousin Maude’s epitaph. A hammer. It has been said that Cousin Maude was the twin’s nanny and we may never know if she killed them to inherit the riches passed down to them through the family line or maybe she was just a little tired of them being so unruly and evil!

But how did Cousin Maude die? It says that she never awoke when her dreams went up in smoke – she died in a fire in her sleep. But is it that simple? What caused the fire?

When the line makes it to the back of the busts, take a look at the back of Cousin Maude’s statue. Back in the old days, women often picked up whatever they could find and used it to pin their hair up. If you look very closely at Maude’s bun, you’ll find that she used the weapon that caused her death as a hair pin! Matches!!! Not so smart an idea to sleep with matches in your hair!

 

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So there you have it. The murder mystery at the Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion attraction in Walt Disney World. Next time you’re waiting in line take a closer look at this fun game and point it out to those around you. See if everyone else can figure out who killed who?

 

Melissa Furches is a travel agent with Magical Moments Vacations who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

Frozen Ever After is Open!!!

Frozen Ever After ride in Epcot is OPEN!!! However…wait times are showing 300 minutes and lines are backed up all the way to China Pavilion! If you’re in the park and get a chance to experience the ride, please check in here and tell us all about it!

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Frozen Ever After Concept Rendering

Melissa Furches is a travel agent with Magical Moments Vacations who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

Walt Disney World 2017 Rates Are Coming!

It’s coming!!! The 2017 package rates for Walt Disney World are being released on June 21st. Contact me today so you can get on my quote list and be one of the first in line for 2017 package pricing! Let’s plan this!

2017 Rates coming

Melissa Furches is a travel agent with Magical Moments Vacations who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

Paradiso 37 at Disney Springs

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On our most recent visit to Walt Disney World (April 2016), we decided to check out a restaurant we haven’t tried before – Paradiso 37, located at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). This restaurant is right on the water, and we actually took the boat from Saratoga Springs Resort over to Disney Springs and it was located immediately to our right after walking up the dock.

We arrived early in the afternoon so we decided to walk around and do some shopping. Since it was our first night there we weren’t ready to spend all of our money just yet so we finished up earlier than our reservation time of 6:50pm. Even though it was barely after 6pm, my husband and I thought we might be able to be seated at the bar while we waited. To our delight, the staff was great and even though the restaurant was busy we were seated right away.

The restaurant has a very upbeat atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating. There was lots of action going on around us with servers and runners zipping everywhere. They even had live music! We were seated in a sun-room of sorts with a great view of the water and the setting sun.

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Paradiso 37’s tag line, “A taste of the Americas” promised that we would find familiar foods on the menu. My husband doesn’t have the most adventurous palate, and I was running the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon that weekend, so I certainly was looking for foods that would be “tummy safe” before a long run. There were lots of options on the menu that sounded great – very American, with a bit of a latin touch.

For starters we were served a side tortilla salad. It had mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese and tortilla strips. The house dressing was a citrus vinaigrette which was very good and not overpowering. We both enjoyed the salad very much.

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Next on the menu was our entrees. My husband is a steak eater so he ordered the 12oz. Ribeye and while I don’t normally choose steak, I did go ahead with the 8oz. Filet Mignon. Both were served with Paradiso 37 fries. The steaks were made to order and came out exactly as we had asked. They were flavored well but my husband did eventually ask for steak sauce. While we had our choice of 4 different types of fries (P37, truffle, wasabi, or Yucca fries) I would have liked to see a different vegetable choice as an option – something not fried. I did like the little baskets that they were served in on the plates. That being said, we both ate every bit of our entrees and had no complaints.

We did use the Disney Dining Plan which meant that our meals included dessert (the most important reason to have the DDP in my opinion!) I went with the Mexican Chocolate Brownie and my husband chose the Churros. The brownie is a soft cinnamon spiced brownie served with caramelized bananas and vanilla ice cream. The churros are dusted with cinnamon and sugar and served with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces. The churros were really a standard churro, and we didn’t really care much for the sauces. The shape of the churros made them hard to dip in the sauce cups unless you broke it apart with your fingers first. The brownie was to die for. The cinnamon made it extra tasty and the bananas and vanilla ice cream were a great accompaniment. There was also a piece of decorative chocolate on top. I will say the the brownie was extremely warm and I had to move the ice cream off of it so that it wouldn’t melt while the brownie cooled. The first bite really burned and I was glad that we weren’t dining with children because that might have been a terrible experience had I served it without tasting it first as I’m prone to do with my kids and dessert. However, once it cooled it was a fabulous dessert. I would certainly order it again!

All in all, we enjoyed our experience at Paradiso 37 in Disney Springs. Next time we visit, hopefully I won’t be running any races and I can venture more outside of my comfort zone and try some of the more authentic choices. We give this restaurant 2 thumbs up and we will be dining here again in the future. The food was good, the staff was excellent and the location and view were superb. Next time you’re in Disney Springs, give Paradiso 37 a try!

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Melissa Furches is a travel agent with Magical Moments Vacations who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

Where in Walt Disney World Wednesday!

Do you know where in Walt Disney World you can find this splash and play pool? Answer below in the comments!

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Melissa Furches is a travel agent with Magical Moments Vacations who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

I’ve never been to Disney, what do I bring with me to the parks?

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**Note** This was originally posted in January 2013 on mustmeetmickey.com

Often, I get asked by people who are visiting Walt Disney World for the first time, what should they plan to take with them to the parks? Well, truthfully, there are several different answers to this, and really they depend on you. But I have found that the best way for me to answer this question, is to tell you just what I take to the parks with me!

My first and foremost recommendation is a BOOK BAG! I have found that places like Wal-mart and Target often carry book bags all year round, for relatively low costs. I think the last one I purchased was around $14.00. I usually look for one that have multiple inside pockets, and side pockets that will easily hold a water bottle or two.

Now that you have a book bag, let me tell you just what I pack in mine.
1. Snacks! I usually bring snacks from home when we travel to Disney, something for everyone in our family. Usually things like fruit snacks, granola bars, and crackers travel the easiest, and take up little room. These will come in handy if you get caught in a long line for an attraction, or while waiting for a parade or firework show. Also, they certainly save the cost of a hunger driven impulse buy at a snack cart!

2. Water bottles! I also typically bring along a case of water, and start our pack each day with fresh bottles. We will drink on them throughout the day, and stop at a water fountain and fill them up once they’re empty. Also, did you know that you can stop in at any Quick Service restaurant and fill your water bottle for free?

3. A lunchbag that folds or collapses! This is something I recommend more for families traveling with small children. Often, young kids are hot or tired, and don’t eat all of their food at mealtimes. Many of the kid’s meals in Disney come with pre-packaged fruit or veggies. When my children were small, we had the rule that you ate the food that you couldn’t save first, and the packaged food later. If they couldn’t finish, I would simply drop the unopened food into the lunchbag, and save them for waiting-in-line-bored snacks!

4. A small wallet or coin purse! I usually like to bring a small wallet or coin purse, one that has two pockets. You can also find these relatively inexpensively at places like Wal-mart. I like ones with two pockets, so that I can keep my money/credit card in one pocket, and our family’s park passes/room keys in the other pocket. That way I am not fumbling through my money every time we need our tickets for fast passes, and I can leave all the stuff from my everyday wallet in the in-room safe, since most likely I won’t need it. **UPDATE** With the new implementation of Magic Bands, you no longer need to carry a ticket, room key or paper fast passes. However, I do still recommend scaling down a wallet for the parks with only what you need to have. Leave those grocery discount cards, restaurant rewards cards, etc. at home. Make sure you have your ID, credit cards and cash. I also carry my health insurance card and current photos of my children (just in case).

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Magic Bands

5. Ziploc bag with medicine! I like to grab a couple of doses of Tylenol or some other headache medicine, and some sort of acid reducer like Tums or Zantac. This way, if one of us gets to feeling not so great, we instantly have something to help, and don’t have to spend time finding a place in the park that sells something, or going to the Emergency Medical area of the park. I often also share the pocket where this goes with a small bottle of hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and chap stick.

6. Ponchos! – I call this one a variable item. Many Disney travelers can not leave the resort without their clear or yellow Mickey Mouse ponchos. Truth be told, my family doesn’t use them. We just seek shelter. But, if you are one that doesn’t want to get wet, and trust me, it always rains in Florida, even if only for a few minutes, then you certainly need your ponchos!

7. Camera! Even if you use Photo Pass, you’ll want your own camera at some point. Those Disney photographers just don’t see everything you see. Make sure you have it, and extra batteries! And I suggest a smaller, light weight camera, just for spacing issues.

8. Everything else! I say sunglasses, hats, ponytail holders are a must! But anything else that you think you might need. Just think about the day. Start off by saying, “If I don’t return to the room today before bedtime, I am going to need…”

One tip also for your backpack. Find a way to personalize it. This might be a bright pink bandanna that you tie to the strap, or a big promotional button that you pin to the outside. One thing we like to use is the luggage tags that we get when we book our Disney vacation. We always have an extra, so we just fill out the tag and hook it to the bag. This will help when you have to leave it behind at a loading/unloading dock for one of your favorite rides. You’ll be able to spot it right way, and likewise, others will know right away that it is not theirs!

 

Melissa Furches is a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

Where in Walt Disney World Wednesday!

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It’s Where in Walt Disney World Wednesday! This might be a tricky one! But I know some of you Disney fanatics will get it!

Do you know where in Walt Disney World you can find this sign? Let me know in the comments below! Good luck!

Plus…at the time of posting this, no one has answered last week’s Where in Walt Disney World Wednesday! Do you know it? It is an easy one! 🙂

 

Melissa Furches is a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel. If you are interested in booking your own family vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line, please contact Melissa at melissaf@mmvagent.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Must.Meet.Mickey. All travel agent services are free, and can take the questions and worries out of planning your family vacation! Contact Melissa today!

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