The Quick 7: 7 Changes Coming to Disney World

A week ago, Disney announced some pretty major changes to its Orlando park. Fantasyland, located at the Magic Kingdom, will be almost completely rehauled "“ and by the time it's all over, it will have nearly doubled in size. Lots of people speculate that this is in direct response to Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter, set to open next year. In case you haven't been obsessively monitoring the news, here's what's happening:

dumbo1. Double Dumbo. Dumbo is one of the most popular rides at the park, but it's kind of a pain. Many a parent has complained about waiting in the hot sun in the unwieldy queue just so their child can ride Dumbo for about 60 seconds. Well, Disney is building a twin Dumbo ride, and both of them will have queues under a three-ring circus. Well, scratch that "“ according to Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo, there won't be a queue at all. Kids and parents will get to play interactive games and stay entertained while waiting for their turn.

2. Princess Meet-and-Greets. If you've been to Disney World, and especially if you have a princess-obsessed daughter, you know that you can already meet the princesses. They're awkwardly housed in a tent in the Mickey's Toontown Fair area of the park. The new version is a large part of the expansion "“ each of the main princesses will have her own small castle and a place to interact with her tiny guests. Princess Aurora is holding a Sweet 16 Party at her house, because she missed hers while she was cat-napping. Cinderella cleans the house but then transforms into her blue ballgown finery "in front of your very eyes" (a little adult, Disney?). And Belle really gets the royal treatment "“ you meet her in her father's cottage, but then the Enchanted Mirror takes you to the Beast's Castle. Which brings us to"¦

3. The Beast's Castle.

Among the things in it will be a "Be Our Guest" sit-down restaurant (do you think the waiters will have to burst into song every so often like at Texas Roadhouse? Ugh.) and Gaston's Tavern. The tavern will be all tricked out with taxidermy "“ Gaston's trophies, presumably. Now, this prompts the question "“ will Gaston's tavern actually serve alcohol? It's been a pretty hard line for years that alcohol will never be served at the Magic Kingdom (the other parks will give you a coldie, no problem), so will this finally nip that in the bud? I think after running the princess gauntlet, parents might really appreciate an adult beverage afterward. I know my dad would. Not because of the trip through the princesses, but just because he has always good-naturedly complained about the lack of beer there.

ariel4. The Little Mermaid Ride. If you think they left Ariel out of the princess lineup, never fear. The ride will be a trip under the sea and will work sort of like the Haunted Mansion with the constantly-loading seats. I'm sure there will be cameo appearances from Sebastian and Flounder.
5. Pixie Hollow. Of course, there's Tinkerbell. They haven't spent all of that money promoting Pixie Hollow and Tink's new friends for naught! In 2013, Pixie Hollow will be an interactive play area where guests "shrink" down to pixie size and get to frolic amongst enormous blades of grass. Sounds a lot like the Honey I Shrunk the Kids attraction over at Hollywood Studios, but geared more toward little girls.

6. Star Tours II. This is actually at Hollywood Studios, not the Magic Kingdom, but it was announced at the same time. This ride has been loooong overdue for an update, if you ask me. Even my husband, who absolutely adores Star Wars, went on the ride and was terribly disappointed by what an outdated clunker it was. But no fear "“ it looks like a fabulous, high-tech update is coming our way in 2013. Errr"¦ 2011, according to Darth.

7. TTFN, Toontown. With all of these new improvements that will surely take up a lot of real estate, something's gotta give "“ and it's Mickey's Toontown Fair. It was kind of fun walking through Mickey and Minnie's house playing with the oversized props, but overall, I think Toontown Fair is kind of a waste of space. And Disney doesn't seem to know what to do with it either "“ over the years it's been Mickey's Birthday Land and Mickey's Star Land before finally becoming the Toontown Fair in 1996. They're keeping the Barnstormer, a popular rollercoaster, but the word is that it will be re-themed to tie in with Dumbo's three-ring circus.

So those are all of the big changes for now. What do you think? Cool? Over-hyped? Much-needed? I think it's a little of all of the above. Fantasyland was getting slightly dated, but I also think they are really milking that Princess cash cow. Which I suppose is their job to do!
Share your thoughts in the comments "“ and what do you think needs the next re-do? I think the Great Movie Ride could use some updated movies.

Oh, one last thing "“ they also announced the title and release date of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean (On Stranger Tides, summer 2011). Maybe that in and of itself wasn't that thrilling, but the way they did it was pretty sweet. Can you imagine how excited the people who were at the expo must have been? OK, anyway, have a good weekend and enjoy the clip!


5 Subtle Cues That Can Tell You About Your Date's Financial Personality

Being financially compatible with your partner is important, especially as a relationship grows. Fortunately, there are ways you can learn about your partner’s financial personality in a relationship’s early stages without seeing their bank statement or sitting them down for “the money talk.”

Are they a spender or a saver? Are they cautious with money? These habits can be learned through basic observations or casual questions that don’t feel intrusive. Here are some subtle things that can tell you about your date’s financial personality.


Casual conversations about finance-related topics can be very revealing. Does your date know if their employer matches their 401(k) plan contributions? Do you find their answers to any financial questions a bit vague—even the straightforward ones like “What are the rewards like on your credit card?” This could mean that your partner is a little fuzzy on some of the details of their financial situation.

As your connection grows, money talks are only natural. If your date expresses uncertainty about their monthly budget, it may be an indicator that they are still working on the best way to manage their finances or don’t keep close tabs on their spending habits.


If you notice your partner is always watching business news channels, thumbing through newspapers, or checking share prices on their phone, they are clearly keeping abreast of what’s going on in the financial world. Ideally, this would lead to a well-informed financial personality that gives way to smart investments and overall monetary responsibility.

If you see that your date has an interest in national and global finances, ask them questions about what they’ve learned. The answers will tell you what type of financial mindset to expect from you partner moving forward. You might also learn something new about the world of finance and business!


You may be able to learn a lot about someone’s financial personality just by asking what they usually do for dinner. If your date dines out a lot, it could be an indication that they are willing to spend money on experiences. On the other hand, if they’re eating most of their meals at home or prepping meals for the entire week to cut their food budget, they might be more of a saver.


Money is a source of stress for most people, so it’s important to observe if financial anxiety plays a prominent role in your date’s day-to-day life. There are a number of common financial worries we all share—rising insurance rates, unexpected car repairs, rent increases—but there are also more specific and individualized concerns. Listen to how your date talks about money and pick up on whether their stress is grounded in worries we all have or if they have a more specific reason for concern.

In both instances, it’s important to be supportive and helpful where you can. If your partner is feeling nervous about money, they’ll likely be much more cautious about what they’re spending, which can be a good thing. But it can also stop them from making necessary purchases or looking into investments that might actually benefit them in the future. As a partner, you can help out by minimizing their expenses for things like nights out and gifts in favor of less expensive outings or homemade gifts to leave more of their budget available for necessities.


Does your date actually look at how much they’re spending before handing their credit card to the waiter or bartender at the end of the night? It’s a subtle sign, but someone who looks over a bill is likely much more observant about what they spend than someone who just blindly hands cards or cash over once they get the tab.

Knowing what you spend every month—even on smaller purchases like drinks or dinner—is key when you’re staying on a budget. It’s that awareness that allows people to adjust their monthly budget and calculate what their new balance will be once the waiter hands over the check. Someone who knows exactly what they’re spending on the small purchases is probably keeping a close eye on the bigger picture as well.


While these subtle cues can be helpful signposts when you’re trying to get an idea of your date’s financial personality, none are perfect indicators that will be accurate every time. Our financial personalities are rarely cut and dry—most of us probably display some behaviors that would paint us as savers while also showing habits that exclaim “spender!” By relying too heavily on any one indicator, we might not get an accurate impression of our date.

Instead, as you get to know a new partner, the best way to learn about their financial personality is by having a straightforward and honest talk with them. You’ll learn more by listening and asking questions than you ever could by observing small behaviors.

Whatever your financial personality is, it pays to keep an eye on your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, and checking it won't impact your score. It's totally free, even if you aren't a Discover customer. Check yours in seconds. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?

Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]


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