“Hiya Pal!”

Disney Safety Concerns

Over the past few weeks, Disney has put up rope fences along all of their resorts with waterfront access to keep people out of their dangerous waters. There have been locals reporting on various social media outlets that they have witnessed children hanging on these ropes which dangle directly over the waterline. I realize the likely hood of another alligator attack is slim, but we have learned it is possible. Not to mention the water has a large population of water moccasins— a deadly venomous snake, and the water is grossly polluted. Please, keep your children away from the ropes, and water. By all means, do not feed the wildlife. 

This past weekend records were released giving more details of the alligator attack that claimed the life of 2-year-old Lane Graves. The father of the victim, Matt Graves explained the morning after this horrifying incident that he was attacked by a second alligator as he fought to save his son from the jaws of the first attacking alligator.

In more disturbing news out of Walt Disney World on July 3, there were two separate incidents of groping of minors that took place at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and the pool at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Aman Bhatia was arrested on Sunday after inappropriately touching at least six female victims in the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon. Several of whom were between 12 and 15 years old. He is facing four counts of lewd or lascivious molestation on a victim under 16 years old and two counts of battery.

The additional incident at Disney’s Pop Century Resort is a claim made by a young boy who was groped three times by a man in the pool. The father told authorities he confronted the man who said he was a coach for the Wisconsin baseball team competing in a youth tournament, and he had done nothing wrong. Police have a list of all coaches participating in the tournament and are actively investigating this sex crime.

With all these negative stories, it is understandable to be fearful for our children’s safety especially while visiting a crowded theme park. Disney has always been aware of the alluring environment they have naturally created for child predators, and it is important to be mindful of the fact that these dangerous people are known to hang around Disney parks.

Child predators are a top priority that Disney doesn’t tolerate. The company employees plain clothed security trained to recognize potentially dangerous situations involving child predators, as they also do for possible terrorist attacks. Of course, they cannot prevent every possible encounter that is why it is imperative that you discuss with your child what to do if they were ever in a similar situation. All victims above did everything they possibly could to ward off the unwanted advances, but sadly the men were still able to touch them.

A personal fear of mine while visiting the theme parks is losing my children in the crowds. In my recent experiences, I have witnessed a lost and panicked child each day I have visited a park. I don’t in any way claim to be an expert parent, but these are the efforts I take with my children when we visit Disney or any theme park so if we are separated we have a backup plan.

  • Take a photo of your kids each day so if they are missing, you can describe what they were last seen wearing.
  • For little ones too young to know your phone number keep a card in their pocket or a temporary tattoo with your contact information on them. Always make sure they have their Magic Band on them. The bands do have RFID cards in them, it is unknown if the technology can locate a missing child, but a cast member with the child can gather all the parent contact information by scanning the Magic Band.
  • Show your kids what cast member uniforms look like and let them know they can always find one inside a shop or a restaurant if they need help finding their family. All cast members are trained to take children to the Baby Center and contact their parents to meet them there.
  • If you have older children off on their own, have a scheduled meeting time and place. Choose somewhere less crowded like the Baby and First-Aid Center there is one in each park.  Don’t opt to meet in front of Cinderella’s Castle; it is crowded, and there is usually shows on the stage unless a large parade is passing through.

All in all, Disney is an incredibly safe place to visit. The parks and resorts are sure to allow you to escape from reality while on vacation. With that being said, make sure to use common sense and a bit of caution when traveling and touring the parks.

Moving on to lighter and happier content.

Epcot

Dining package tickets are on sale now for the 2016 Candlelight Processional for this upcoming holiday season.

{Photo: Disney}

As part of the “Holidays Around the World” in the World Showcase at Epcot, this favorite holiday tradition tells the story of Christmas in a truly spectacular fashion— with a 50- piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Here is the list of the following celebrity narrators confirmed for this years thus far.

  • Nov. 25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 2-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4*-6 – Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 7-9 – TBA
  • Dec. 10-12 – Robby Benson
  • Dec. 13-15 – Meredith Vieira
  • Dec. 16-18 – Jim Caviezel
  • Dec. 19-21 – Joe Morton
  • Dec. 22-24 – Ming-Na Wen – NEW!
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 28-30 – Cal Ripken, Jr. – NEW!

Processional performances are November   25 – December 30, 2016, three times per night {5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.} at the American Gardens Theatre. These available packages include a delicious meal with a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited. If you do not purchase a dining package ticket, it is tough to get a seat for this show in the standby line. Most standby guests in years past have been turned away.

Breakfast dining packages are now available at some of Epcot’s favorite restaurants like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Garden Grill. Prix Fixe breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu packages are offered this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and breakfast and dinner options provided at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort.

Breakfast Prices for Adults starting: $27 plus tax for adults Breakfast Prices for Children starting {3-9}: $14 plus tax 

Lunch and Dinner Prices for Adults Starting: $47 plus tax Adults Lunch and Dinner Prices for Children Starting {3-9}: $20 plus tax

*Narrators and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Theme park admission is required. There is no 5 P.M. show on 12/4.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs Grand Opening Summer Celebration is now underway now through Labor Day. Offering even more live entertainment throughout the four neighborhoods that make up Disney Springs. 
 
 

{Photo: Disney}

 
This daily free entertainment includes a variety of live musicians, rappers, DJs, living statues and, depending on the night maybe even a roaming illusionist. Each afternoon, there will be a Beat the Heat DJ Party at the Marketplace fountain.
 
Plus, many locations around Town Center, the newest neighborhood, are offering some hard-to-pass-up deals, ranging from 10-60% off on select items some sales lasting all summer.
 

Disney Extras

RunDisney fans will be interested to know dates and packages for the 2017 Disney Princesses Half Marathon weekend are now available. The events will take place February 24-26 2017

{Photo: Disney}

Race registrations for the 2017 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend events listed below can be included with  Magic Your Way Vacation Packages.
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon – Here’s the run that’s fit for a Princess – a 13.1-mile magical course Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
Disney Princess Enchanted 10K – This event will take your Clients on an enchanted journey throughout Epcot before having a magical finish fit for a princess, or prince Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
Glass Slipper Challenge – A 19.3-mile adventure held over two days, participants will run the Disney Enchanted 10K on Saturday, followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
Disney Princess 5K – A royal opportunity to share the magic as a family Friday, Feb. 24, 2017
RunDisney Kids Races – Every Prince & Princess is a winner during the RunDisney Kids Races Friday, Feb. 24-25, 2017
If interested in planning a vacation and participating in any of the above events, please contact me.
I hope everyone has a great weekend.
 
“See you real soon!”

news sources: Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, WKMG ClickOrlando