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Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida or the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California provides endless magic for families in the form of Disney Park attractions, resort experiences and activities, and of course food. Dining at Disney is often one of my favorite parts of a Disney vacation, and one of the items I must order at least once on every trip to the most magical place on Earth is a Mickey waffle.

Eating Mickey waffles has become a ritual for most families who visit the Disney Parks. I have been enjoying Mickey waffles since I was a kid (some of my favorite memories include eating these waffles with character breakfast at 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, Chef Goofy’s, or O’hana) and I often find myself craving these sweet, fluffy, Mickey-Mouse-shaped confections when I return home from a Disney vacation. While many recipes at Disney are a mystery, this one can be recreated at home with ease. Even kids will find this process simple to follow (with adult supervision of course).

In short, recreating Mickey waffles at home requires only two items.

Golden Malted Waffle and Pancake Flour

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To produce such large quantities of Mickey waffles every single day, Disney does not make their own batter but actually uses Carbon’s Golden Malted Original Pancake & Waffle Flour. The recipe calls to mix 1 cup of this flour with 1 egg, 5 ounces of water, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. That’s it! That’s all it takes to prepare the batter for these magical Mickey waffles.

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Mickey Waffle Maker

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Of course, batter is just one part of the equation. The second part is getting the right shape. Thankfully, Disney sells a mini Mickey waffle maker on Amazon as well. Simply pour the batter into the machine and follow the instructions for how long to cook your waffles. In just a few minutes, you should have your very own Mickey waffles right at home!

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Once you’ve prepared your Mickey waffles at home, be sure to tag @ImagineerPodcast on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Edit “Make your own Mickey waffles from home”


As a former Cast Member and frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, one of the most common questions I am asked is how Guests can minimize their wait times at the most popular attractions. Open the My Disney Experience app on any given day and you’re bound to notice some long standby wait times for attractions like the Magic Kingdom mountains (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train), Peter Pan’s Flight, Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Slinky Dog Dash, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: Starring Aerosmith, Flight of Passage, and many more. Especially if you’re visiting Walt Disney World during the peak season, you’ll find wait times can often exceed 120 minutes for the most popular rides and shows.

Fortunately, I have several strategies that will help you to reduce your wait time on some of the most popular Walt Disney World attractions.

1. Visit during the off-peak season.

I’ll admit this isn’t always feasible. Especially if you have children in school, vacations typically align with the busiest times of year. Nevertheless, if you have the flexibility to choose when you vacation, I strongly suggest visiting during Disney’s quieter months: late January, early February, early May, September, early November, and early December. Not only will you find your wait times reduced, but you’ll also find cheaper prices to stay and play at Walt Disney World (Disney uses a dynamic pricing model similar to airlines, providing higher discounts on resort stays, park tickets, and vacation packages during the off-peak season).

2. Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

There’s a tremendous advantage to staying at an official Walt Disney World Resort hotel. In addition to being surrounded by the magic 24/7, enjoying complimentary Walt Disney World transportation, and having access to Extra Magic Hours, you also are able to book your FastPass+ reservations sooner than everyone else. As long as you have already purchased your park tickets, you can book all FastPass+ reservations for your vacation 60 days prior to your check-in date. For example, if your Walt Disney World resort vacation is scheduled for September 1 through September 6, assuming you have purchased a 6-day ticket package, you’ll be able to book all your FastPass+ reservations (for September 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) on July 3 at 7:00am Eastern Time. In the case of your last day, that’s 66 days in advance!

3. If you’re not staying on property, book your FastPass+ reservations as soon as possible.

Even if you’re not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you still have the opportunity to book FastPass+ reservations. As long as you have purchased your park tickets in advance, you will be able to reserve FastPass+ 30 days prior to each park day. For example, if you have purchased a 2-day park hopper for September 1 and September 2, you can book your September 1 FastPass+ reservations on August 2 and your September 2 reservations on August 3 (each as early as 7:00am Eastern Time).

4. If you didn’t initially get the FastPass+ reservations you wanted, keep trying.

Plans often change, and so do FastPass+ reservations. While the most popular attractions typically remain full, there is always the chance of a change or cancelation. Keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app to see if your favorite attraction has any new availability. You never know when something can open up (and it often does when you least expect it).

5. Get to the park before it opens.

One strategy that still works well is arriving at the park before it opens for the day and lining up for the attraction of your choice. For instance, let’s imagine that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is scheduled to open at 9:00am and you have been unable to find an open FastPass+ reservation for Flight of Passage. If you show up at the park entrance 30 to 60 minutes before the park opens, you can line up for Flight of Passage before the attraction even opens for the day. In some cases, the Cast Members may surprise Guests and open the attraction a few minutes early, although this is not an official Disney practice and will only happen if Cast Members have completed all the morning safety and show procedures. In either case, you’ll notice your wait time will be dramatically reduced.

6. If you’re not an early bird, stay late.

One of Disney’s best kept secrets is its policy about park closing: the line closes at park closing but the attraction stays open until the last Guest in line gets to ride. For example, let’s imagine that it’s 8:55pm at Epcot and the park is set to close at 9:00pm. You look over at Test Track and notice that the wait time is still displaying 90 minutes, which means you won’t be on the attraction until 10:25pm. Don’t fret! As long as you are in line before 9:00pm (assuming the attraction doesn’t break down), they’ll keep the attraction running until you get to ride. The added benefit? The FastPass+ queue closes with the park, too, which means that after a few minutes (once the last FastPass+ Guest gets on the attraction), the only people in line will be those in the standby queue. You’ll notice the queue pick up quite a bit of speed, and that 90 minute wait might actually end up being 60 minutes instead.

7. When all else fails, try a VIP tour.

One of the best ways to minimize your wait time at Walt Disney World is to go with a guide! Disney offers private VIP tours for Guests, and while the tours will certainly add to your budget, they will also add tremendous value to your Walt Disney World vacation, including giving you the ability to skip to the front of the line at many Walt Disney World attractions.

Are there any additional strategies you recommend? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on any of our social media channels, and be sure to listen to the Imagineer Podcast for more Disney content!

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Written by Matthew Krul, June 13, 2019

At D23 Expo 2017, held at the Anaheim Convention Center near the Disneyland Resort in California, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, announced several changes and additions coming to Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort as part of a multi-year overhaul of this nearly 40-year-old theme park. With Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald leading the park-wide overhaul, Chapek classified Epcot’s changes as “more timeless, more relevant, more family, and more Disney”.

As of June 2019, we have already heard about several confirmed updates:

  • Epcot’s first roller coaster, which will be based on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, is under construction (replacing the Universe of Energy pavilion in Future World) and is expected to open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2021.
  • Leave a Legacy, the monuments at the front of Epcot, are being moved further outside the park to provide a more open entrance experience.
  • A new space-themed restaurant, operated by Patina Restaurant Group, will be opening adjacent to Mission: Space.
  • Spaceship Earth will close by early 2020 to make way for its largest refurbishment ever, which is expected to take at least 2 years to complete. The scenes up through the industrial revolution are expected to remain mostly the same, but the second half of the ride is projected to get a major overhaul, and I’d expect other incremental changes, including a new narrator (currently Dame Judi Dench).
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a copy of the Ratatouille trackless dark ride at Disneyland Paris, is under construction as part of a France pavilion expansion at World Showcase and is expected to open in 2021. The France pavilion will also add a Beauty and the Beast sing-along in the Impressions de France theater, although the classic film through the French countryside is expected to continue as well.
  • Reflections of China, a 360 CircleVision movie at the China pavilion, will get its first refresh in over two decades.
  • O Canada!, another 360 CircleVision movie at Epcot, will get an update (last updated in 2007).
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion, which originally held attractions like Body Wars and Cranium Command before changing to a seasonal Epcot Festival Center, is transforming into the Play Pavilion, which will feature interactive games, hands-on activities, character meets, and other entertainment options for the whole family.
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will see its last showing on September 30, 2019 as the Imagineers work to develop a new nighttime experience for Epcot. For a limited time starting October 1, 2019, Guests can experience Epcot Forever, a fireworks spectacular dedicated to the classic attractions of Epcot.

With D23 Expo 2019 quickly approaching (August 20-25), I’m sure we can expect many more announcements regarding the future of Epcot, although I imagine Disney will have more updates in store beyond the event. Given Chapek’s classification of Epcot’s future (“more timeless, more relevant, more family, and more Disney”), it seems likely that the Imagineers are hard at work planning many more changes for Epcot.

While nobody except the Imagineers and Disney’s executives know for sure what Epcot will look like in the next decade, I have a few predictions for what we might find at Epcot by the year 2025.

(DISCLAIMER: all of these ideas are purely speculative and are my own opinions. None of these ideas are confirmed or even rumored at this point, and I have no insider knowledge about the future of Epcot.)

  • Imagination pavilion overhaul: ever since the original Journey Into Imagination attraction was replaced, wait times for this attraction have remained (on average) at 10 minutes or shorter. In addition, the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival was pitched as a temporary 4D film, and ImageWorks has become mostly a walkthrough post-show experience. While I don’t know for sure what would make sense in its place, it seems likely that the Imagination pavilion will see some significant changes by 2025. I only hope the pavilion’s lovable mascot, Figment remains with us for the foreseeable future, and perhaps Tom Fitzgerald’s team will even bring back the Dream Finder in some shape or form.
  • Innoventions refresh: if you walk through Innoventions these days, you’ll find only a few experiences remain, but the once busy pair of pavilions (Innoventions East and Innoventions West) is now mostly vacant. Innoventions takes up a large piece of Future World, so I expect the Imagineers will want to create new experiences in this space. I could also see them shrinking the pavilions slightly to allow for additional horticulture and Guest flow.
  • Soarin’ entrance: this one is the farthest stretch but is aligned with similar projects at Disney, like Project Stardust, aimed at improving Guest flow. Anyone who has visited Epcot during the busiest days of the year in particular knows how difficult it can be to get to the entrance of Soarin’. The escalators and narrow walkways down to the first floor of the Land pavilion can make for a claustrophobic experience entering and exiting the attraction. With the new e-ticket attractions coming to Epcot (and thus the increased attendance), I expect the Imagineers will need to expand the walkways to some of Epcot’s more popular attractions. I strongly believe the Land pavilion will remain safe (Living with the Land, Garden Grill, and Sunshine Seasons will likely stick with us), but I could see Soarin’s entrance being rerouted in some way, perhaps up to the second floor of the Land, to improve flow.
  • New World Showcase pavilion: I’ll admit I’ve heard this rumor for more than a decade, and there has been no movement on the matter since, nor have there been any further announcements about the subject. Still, I believe now is the time for Disney to announce a 12th pavilion for World Showcase. While I’m not completely sure what country Disney might add, I predict that with Chapek at the helm we’ll see a country that inspired a Disney franchise or two. If I were forced to guess, my top prediction would be India. The architecture, cuisine, and shopping would add a completely new element to World Showcase; the population of India is the second largest in the world (behind China, which is already represented); and applicable Disney franchises include the Jungle Book and Indiana Jones, which is expected to see its fifth installment in the next few years.

What do you expect to see at Epcot by the year 2025? If you were a part of Walt Disney Imagineering, what changes or additions would you make to this park?

As I closed another shift at Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I took a deep breath and smiled. Dusk was starting to unfold as the sky traded its orange glow for a cool shade of blue. With it, the heavy Central Florida summer heat began to wane as nightfall set in. It was the middle of August 2007, and I was three months into the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World Resort. Already I had learned so many new skills and met so many amazing individuals who would become lifelong friends. As a Game Driver, I was afforded the opportunity to practice my Disney “show voice” as I led hundreds of Guests every day through an unforgettable journey along the Serengeti grasslands. The days were long and the job exhausting, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

Hopping back into my car, I turned up the AC and powered up my iPod Nano. I had already downloaded the latest episodes of some of my favorite Disney podcasts and was ready to tune in for the latest scoop. Although I often had greater insider knowledge than these podcasters on what was to come at Disney, I still enjoyed hearing from avid Disney fans like myself. In fact, I had been traveling to Disney with my family since I was 4 months old, and like so many other enthusiasts out there, I was hooked from my first trip. Listening to others share their passion for Disney gave my so much joy. I thought perhaps someday in the future I might be so bold as to start my own community of Disney enthusiasts.

Once the Disney College Program had come to an end, I remained a seasonal Cast Member at Kilimanjaro Safaris and eventually volunteered as a Campus Representative, working with a local recruiter to share my experiences on the Disney College Program with other students at my school. Upon graduation, it was time to get a “real job”, and I was fortunate enough to land a Marketing role up in my hometown of New York. Still, my passion for Disney never waned, I continued listening to Disney podcasts, and I worked to build upon the skills I had learned as a Cast Member for Disney.

Years later, in 2016, I was given the opportunity to help start and even be the host for a podcast at my company. Call it a sign, but I loved every second of podcasting and felt that perhaps there might still be a space for me in the Disney podcasting world. As a Disney fan, I’m an optimist by nature and a firm believer that we can achieve what we strive to accomplish (with some hard work, faith, and yes even a bit of pixie dust).

So why pick a topic like Imagineering? When I was younger, my dream job was to become an Imagineer. I bought every book I could grab my hands on, studied every attraction I could, memorized every backstory, and even built my own attractions using programs like Roller Coaster Tycoon (versions 1-3) and No Limits. Although I moved onto a different career path than Imagineering, my love and admiration for Walt Disney Imagineering never waned, and as I built friendships in online Disney communities, I found that this passion existed in quite a number of fellow Disney fans.

As the host of the Imagineer Podcast, I aim to connect a community of “armchair Imagineers” and hobbyists. Perhaps together, we might even be able to inspire a future wave of Imagineers.

Thank you for listening, and I look forward to connecting with all of you in the years ahead!