7 Things to Do in Walt Disney World If You Love Tinker Bell

Back in October, I did a post on things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Peter Pan and/or his mortal enemies (Captain Hook and Mr. Smee). I decided to leave Peter Pan’s closest friend, Tinker Bell, for her own post. I think she would like it that way. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but she does seem to have a bit of an ego.

Not that I blame her. Today, her popularity has far eclipsed her original nonspeaking role in Peter Pan. She has served as hostess of many Disney-related TV shows and mascot of the Disney Parks. She inspired the Disney Fairies franchise and its related movies and merchandise. She’s one busy fairy!

That’s why you can find her in so many places in Walt Disney World. So, here are seven things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Tinker Bell.

1. Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook

When Mickey’s Toontown Fair closed, so did the Pixie Hollow meet-and-greet location where the Disney Fairies used to meet guests. For a time, Tinker Bell was found over in Epcot, but now she’s back in Magic Kingdom in a permanent location in Adventureland called Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook. You can see photos of it on Inside the Magic. Tinker Bell is there every day, and usually she’s joined by one other fairy friend.

2. Peter Pan’s Flight

Although Tink’s fame spreads beyond Peter Pan, it’s true that Never Land is where she got her start. I have to say, though, she’s difficult to find in this attraction. I’m sure she’s there somewhere, but I can’t seem to spot her in any ridethrough videos. Can anyone remember where she is?

3. Wishes

Tinker Bell flying from Cinderella Castle in Wishes at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

I know it’s hard to make out, but that’s a photo of Tinker Bell flying during Wishes, the fireworks show in Magic Kingdom. The best place to see her is on the Tomorrowland side of the hub; she’ll fly right over your heads.

4. Main Street Electrical Parade

While you’re in the hub for Wishes, you can spot Tinker Bell in the Main Street Electrical Parade. She is on the first float, which was added in 2010 when the parade moved back to Walt Disney World from Disney California Adventure.

5. Mickey’s PhilharMagic

I had forgotten about the Peter Pan scene in this movie until I was working on this post, and so I had to go back and update the Peter Pan post. The scene is brief, but Tinker Bell is there, taking a magical flight with Peter and Donald.

6. Soarin’

Tink also makes a brief appearance in Soarin’, at the end when you’re flying over Disneyland.

7. Fantasmic!

Tink shows up toward the end of Fantasmic!, after Mickey has defeated the villains and before the boat full of characters floats by. As I mentioned in my post on villains, this show is a little too scary for many toddlers, so I would only recommend it for older kids, teens, and adults.

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Finding Tinker Bell in Walt Disney World will take you into three of the four theme parks. You’ll have one big challenge (the same issue as with the dragon-themed day): seeing evening shows in two different parks. If Fantasmic! is having an early show, say 6:30 or 7 p.m., you could go to that first and then get back to Magic Kingdom for Wishes at 10 p.m. and the Main Street Electrical Parade at 11 p.m. You’ll have to consult the Times Guides to figure out which days it’s possible to pull this off. I’d start the day in Epcot (getting there 15-30 minutes before opening) and head straight to Soarin’. After that, go to Magic Kingdom and visit Tink in her magical nook. Then, check the queue for Peter Pan’s Flight. If it’s not too bad (say under 30 minutes), ride. If it’s too long, get a FASTPASS and head to Mickey’s PhilharMagic instead. In the afternoon, you’ll need to head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic! When that show is done, get back to Magic Kingdom as fast as you can for the evening parade and fireworks. I’m sure Tink would be flattered that you expended this much effort just to see her.

Who here is a Tinker Bell fan?

3 Things to Do in Walt Disney World If You Love Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp movie poster

I haven't gotten around to hanging it yet, so here it is lying on the carpet.

Lady and the Tramp, one of my favorite Disney animated features, came out on Blu-ray this week. The original theatrical release poster, which I recently acquired a copy of, bills it as Walt Disney’s “happiest motion picture,” and it’s certainly held its appeal in the 57 years since it was released. Somewhat surprisingly, however, Lady and the Tramp doesn’t have much of a presence in Walt Disney World. I understand that having meet-and-greet characters would be rather difficult, although wouldn’t it be awesome if they found look-alike dogs who would pose for photos? Still, there are references to be found for those who seek them, so here are three things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Lady and the Tramp.

1. Tony’s Town Square

Tony’s Town Square restaurant is located on Main Street, U.S.A. and is based on the Italian restaurant in the movie. References to Lady and the Tramp include a fountain and this window, which gives you a peek at the dogs enjoying their romantic spaghetti dinner outside. I’ve only eaten there once a few years ago, and while I don’t really remember the meal, I did enjoy the theming.

Lady and the Tramp fountain in Tony's Town Square restaurant in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney WorldLady and the Tramp window in Tony's Town Square restaurant in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

The Disney website says that Tony’s Town Square is not the only restaurant in Walt Disney World themed after Lady and the Tramp, but that Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is, too. I’ve never eaten there, so I can’t speak from experience, but from what I’m reading it sounds like there aren’t overt Lady and the Tramp references there. It’s just that it’s another Italian restaurant in the style of the one from the movie. Let me know in the comments if you’ve eaten there and spotted any movie references, but for now, I’m not counting it. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not to to include it in your Lady and the Tramp touring.

2. Statues at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Now, the references to Lady and the Tramp at Disney’s Pop Century Resort are nothing if not overt. In fact, they’re huge! These statues of Lady and Tramp are in the 1950s section of the hotel. If you’re not staying at Pop Century, you can take the bus there from any theme park. Here’s a map of the resort to help you find the statues.

Lady from Lady and the Tramp statue at Disney's Pop Century Resort, Walt Disney World

Tramp from Lady and the Tramp statue at Disney's Pop Century Resort, Walt Disney World

3. The Great Movie Ride

Entrance to The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney WorldThe Lady and the Tramp reference on The Great Movie Ride is brief. It’s in the movie montage at the end of the attraction. During the romance portion, when the music from Gone with the Wind is playing, you see a clip of the famous spaghetti kiss.

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Your Lady and the Tramp day could begin the night before if you stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. If that’s the case, you can get your photos with Lady and Tramp first thing in the morning and then head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Experience The Great Movie Ride and decide if you want to stop by Mama Melrose’s. In the afternoon, go over to Magic Kingdom and enjoy lunch or dinner at Tony’s. If you don’t mind eating really early or really late, you could schedule your reservations so that you can watch the afternoon or evening parade as you eat. The Disney Food Blog suggests getting reservations 30 minutes before the parade begins when it starts in Frontierland or an hour before when it starts on Main Street, U.S.A. Patio seating isn’t guaranteed, but it’s worth asking. Just make sure you also go inside to see the Lady and the Tramp fountain and window.

Who else loves Lady and the Tramp?

3 Things to Do in Walt Disney World If You Love Chip ‘n’ Dale

It’s Groundhog Day here in the United States, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so we’re in for six more weeks of winter. Here in Chicago winter always lasts until April anyway, so six weeks after February 2 is a given. I checked a species list for Disney’s Animal Kingdom for groundhogs, and unfortunately there were none on there, so you’re out of luck if Groundhog Day is your favorite holiday (or movie). But groundhogs are part of the ground squirrel family, as are chipmunks. So, it only seemed right to focus on two famous Disney chipmunks today.

Chip and Dale in Celebrate a Dream Come True parade in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

I'm sad to say this is the only picture I have of Chip and Dale together when they're both (almost) facing the camera.

Here are three things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Chip ‘n’ Dale.

1. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long

Dale at Chip 'n' Dale's Campfire Sing-a-long at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort, Walt Disney WorldAs I mentioned in my post on cinema, Chip and Dale host this fun sing-a-long and movie event at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. During the sing-a-long, Chip and Dale sign autographs and take photos with guests. It’s a great way to spend an evening if you’re not going to be in the parks. It pairs especially well with a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, because that park often closes at 5 or 6 p.m., and the campfire starts at 7 or 8 p.m.

2. Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast

Chip and Dale host this character dinner at The Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land Pavilion at Epcot. I’ve never had a chance to eat there, but it sounds like a lot of fun, because the restaurant rotates and you get to peek in on Living with the Land!

3. Character meet-and-greets

Chip and Dale can often be found in Innoventions West in Epcot. This week’s Times Guide, for example, has them listed as appearing continuously from 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. They also frequently appear in the other parks, but their appearances aren’t always scheduled. Good places to check are Main Street, U.S.A. (Magic Kingdom), by the Sorcerer Hat at the end of Hollywood Boulevard (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), and Camp Minnie-Mickey (Disney’s Animal Kingdom).

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A day full of Chip ‘n’ Dale will be part planning and part luck. You are guaranteed to find them at Garden Grill and the Sing-a-long, but their meet-and-greet appearances are more random. Before your trip, you’ll want to make reservations for the Harvest Feast. I’d suggest planning an early dinner (say 4:30 or 5 p.m.) so you’ll have plenty of time there before heading to Fort Wilderness for the Sing-a-long. When you get to Walt Disney World, you’ll want to check the Times Guides for all four parks to see if Chip and Dale’s appearances are guaranteed anywhere. Coordinate the scheduled activities, and then you can spend the rest of your time keeping an eye out for them. You can also check with Guest Relations in any park to see if they know where the chipmunks may turn up next.

Who’s your favorite: Chip or Dale?

5 Things to Do in Walt Disney World (Outside of Magic Kingdom) If You Love Pirates

It’s been a while since I last posted about pirates, so I thought it was time to share some more places you can find pirates in Walt Disney World. Previously I talked about pirates in Magic Kingdom. This post will cover the other parks and beyond, but I’m still saving pirates in the hotels for a future post. So, here are five things to do in Walt Disney World outside of Magic Kingdom if you love pirates.

1. Jake and the Never Land Pirates in Disney Junior—Live on Stage!

As I mentioned in my post on Peter Pan and his mortal enemies, I’ve never watched Jake and the Never Land Pirates, although it’s popular with my nephews. If you or your kids love pirates, you’re probably familiar with it. In Disney Junior—Live on Stage! you’ll get to see Mr. Smee, Captain Hook, Jake, Cubby, Izzy, and Skully. You can also meet Jake in the Stars of Disney Junior meet-and-greet location outside the theater and at the Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine at Hollywood & Vine character meal.

2. Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage

This is another special experience I talked about in my Peter Pan post. You’ll get to meet Mr. Smee and Captain Hook, and you’ll hear stories from your pirate host, Patch. More information, including prices, is available on the Disney website.

3. Pirate Adventure (for kids)

The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is designed for pirate enthusiasts of all ages, but if your child is the one obsessed with pirates, there’s an additional experience available only to them. Disney’s two-hour pirate cruises are for kids aged 4 to 12 and depart daily at 9:30 a.m. from select hotels, such as Yacht and Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Port Orleans Riverside. According the Disney website, the kids “board a pirate-themed boat and scour the waterways around Walt Disney World Resort in search of pirate treasure during a swashbuckling high-seas adventure.” They get a snack and a bag of pirate booty. They might also come back talking like pirates. My nieces and nephews are still a little young for this, but I could imagine them enjoying it when they’re a little older. More information is available from DIS and the Disney link above.

4. Adventure Room in World of Disney

In 2006, the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney Marketplace had some remodeling, including the addition of a pirate-themed Adventure Room. Although I’ve been in this room many times, I don’t have any good photos of it, but this is the entrance you’ll go in to find it. (It was November, so Stitch was wearing a Santa hat instead of the usual pirate hat.)

Pirate Stitch entrance to World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World

There are skeletons and treasure chests, and lots of pirate merchandise for purchase, of course. There’s also a good photo op available with the skeleton outside (behind the ship’s wheel). You can see him better in photos on the Disney Parks Blog.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean — Battle for Buccaneer Gold at DisneyQuest

I’m not a huge DisneyQuest fan (I’d rather be in the Parks), but it can be a good way to use your Water Park Fun and More tickets on a rainy or cold day. I vaguely remember this pirate-themed attraction. It was like you were standing a ship’s deck, and there was lots of running back and forth trying to shoot cannons at another ship (I think we were short-handed). Obviously it didn’t make that much of an impression on me, but if you love pirates, it’s on the list.

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This list is a little different than usual because one of the items is something my readers can’t do, only their kids. Since the pirate cruises leave at 9:30 in the morning, your kids will have to start off there… unless you schedule an early breakfast at Hollywood & Vine for Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine. My only hesitation with that plan is that you’d have to leave the park to bring your kids to the dock and then return to the park afterwards, adding travel time, but it’s up to you. While your kids are cruising, you can choose whichever piratey or non-piratey activities you’d like to engage in. When the cruise is over, I would suggest going to (or returning to) Disney’s Hollywood Studios. See Disney Junior—Live on Stage! and try to catch Jake at the meet-and-greet. If you didn’t do the character breakfast, you could consider doing the lunch instead. When you’re done in Hollywood Studios, head over to Downtown Disney. Explore the Adventure Room at World of Disney, and then pop into DisneyQuest. You can stay there until early evening, and then you need to head over to the Contemporary for the fireworks cruise. Have fun, mateys!

Have you ever done any of these piratey activities?

3 Things to Do in Walt Disney World If You Love Mr. Potato Head

Even before his appearance in Toy Story, Mr. Potato Head was beloved by millions of children. Who knew sticking plastic parts in a vegetable would turn out to be such a good idea? The Toy Story movies brought Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head into the Disney family and perhaps even introduced them to a whole new generation. It’s not surprising, then, that they can be found in various places on Disney property, but what’s interesting is that both their Toy Story and pre-Toy Story versions make appearances.

Here are three things to do in Walt Disney World if you love Mr. Potato Head.

1. Toy Story Mania!

Mr. Potato Head is the star of Toy Story Mania!, or at least of the queue. He’s a sophisticated Audio-Animatronic figure that talks to guests, sings, and tells jokes. He’s not always active, but when he is working, it’s a great reason to actually stand in line for this attraction rather than getting a FASTPASS.

Mr. Potato Head Audio-Animatronic at Toy Story Mania! at Walt Disney World

2. Once Upon a Toy

For a Mr. Potato Head enthusiast, this store in Downtown Disney is amazing! You get to pick out your own Disney-exclusive Mr. Potato Head parts for a flat price per container. This site has a list and photos of the exclusive parts (although it doesn’t appear to have been updated in the last couple years). A box is around $20. There’s also a large translucent Mr. Potato Head that you can fill for around $50.

Disney Mr. Potato Head parts sold at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney

My family did this back in 2006 when they only had boxes, so we filled three of them (one for each household). Then we went back to the hotel to inventory the parts we got… and then we went back the next day and filled two more boxes. And when I say “filled,” I mean filled. This is how full we got the first three boxes:

Boxes of Mr. Potato Head parts from Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World

And here is my personal collection, which includes two standard sets I got at Wal-Mart for $5ish each (click to enlarge):

Disney Mr. Potato Head Parts

The key with the boxes is to pile the parts as high as you can while still getting the box to close. Here are a few more tips for getting the most for your money when filling your container:

  • Buy Mr. Potato Head at home. There’s nothing special about the bodies you get there, and it’s OK to fill the container with just accessories.
  • Have an adult pack the container. (I recommend the grown-up in your party who is the best at fitting a lot of dishes into the dishwasher.) Let the kids pick out the parts they want, but let the grown-ups do the packing so you can maximize the number of items you can get into the container.
  • Get the matching pieces to make a complete costume. For example, I have Mr. Incredible’s arms, eyes, and body, but I missed getting his boots. Check with a cast member if you’re not sure which pieces go together.
  • Fill every nook and cranny. You can fit smaller accessories inside larger ones like shoes. Even when the container seems full, you can still probably dump in some smaller pieces like ears.
  • Focus on the parts that are unique to Disney. Don’t take up a lot of space with standard ears, lips, tongues, etc.—just use them to fill the small spaces. Do put in a few arms, though. You need the special arms sold there to hold some of the accessories.

Finally, don’t forget to take your picture with the Mr. Potato Head figure outside the store.

Mr. Potato Head figure outside of Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World

3. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head at Pop Century Resort

In my post on Toy Story, I mentioned that giant figures of the Toy Story characters can be found at All Star Movies Resort. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head aren’t among them, though. They’re over at Pop Century Resort. They’re in the 1980s section, so they’re not there as Toy Story characters but as pop culture icons. You’ll notice both have different noses and hats than the ones they wear in the Toy Story movies. (Mrs. Potato Head’s shoes and earrings are different too.)

Mrs. Potato Head at Pop Century Resort, Walt Disney World

Mr. Potato Head at Pop Century Resort, Walt Disney World

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Ready for a Mr. Potato Head-themed day? Start off in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and head straight for Toy Story Mania! If you get there at opening, you might want to get a FASTPASS and then join the stand-by queue so you can ride twice. Hopefully Mr. Potato Head will be up and running. If not, check with a cast member if he will be later in the day. Once you’ve had your chance to see him in action, hop a bus to Pop Century. Get your picture taken with the Potato Heads, and then take a bus to Downtown Disney. Head to Once Upon a Toy, take your time looking at all the parts, figure out which container fits your budget, and enjoy packing it as full as you can!

Do you have any Disney Mr. Potato Head pieces? Which are your favorites?