SparklyEverAfter.com http://SparklyEverAfter.com Lifestyle Orlando Disney Blog by Sparkly Nicole Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:15:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Finding Neverland in Orlando http://SparklyEverAfter.com/finding-neverland-in-orlando/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:28:22 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/finding-neverland-in-orlando/ Disclosure: The Dr. Phillips Center is a partner of this website and often provides tickets for shows. At Finding Neverland at the Dr. Phillips Center I experienced one of the most beautiful moments I ever have in a theater. It’s the moment pictured in the photo above and there’s no way to put it into […]

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Disclosure: The Dr. Phillips Center is a partner of this website and often provides tickets for shows.

At Finding Neverland at the Dr. Phillips Center I experienced one of the most beautiful moments I ever have in a theater. It’s the moment pictured in the photo above and there’s no way to put it into words. This is a deeply moving show with some heavy content and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Neverland is an ultimate happy thought for me and Peter Pan is my favorite Disney movie. The Finding Neverland musical is sure to be loved by all Peter Pan fans for sharing a peek into the creation of this beloved tale.

An overview of the show from the Dr. Phillips Center site: “Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.”

Finding Neverland is not your typical musical. The vocals are sung beautifully but I didn’t leave with a catchy song in my head. From this show I got a deeper appreciation for author J.M. Barrie. While there are happy thoughts, the tone of the show overall is deep and pensive. Finding Neverland is pretty to look at but also offers a view into imagination, inspiration and loss.

Finding Neverland is in Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday June 11th. Tickets can be purchased at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

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Top Shopping Tips for Disney Springs http://SparklyEverAfter.com/shopping-disney-springs/ http://SparklyEverAfter.com/shopping-disney-springs/#comments Fri, 19 May 2017 05:40:34 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=13049 Disclosure: I was invited to experience a special event focused on shopping at Disney Springs. I remember when I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let the name Downtown Disney go. Now it’s hard to remember a time when Disney Springs didn’t exist. The Town Center area especially has become one of my favorite […]

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Disclosure: I was invited to experience a special event focused on shopping at Disney Springs.

Disney Springs Shopping SparklyEverAfter.comI remember when I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let the name Downtown Disney go. Now it’s hard to remember a time when Disney Springs didn’t exist. The Town Center area especially has become one of my favorite place to dine and shop and be. I recently had a fantastic time exploring Disney Springs with other bloggers and Instagrammers thanks to Disney. I wanted to share some top tips for shopping at Disney Springs to help you make the most of your visit.

Disney Springs Town Center Shopping SparklyEverAfter.com
Plan to dine and shop at Disney Springs

Downtown Disney could sometimes be an afterthought. You may have visited just for a little while on your first or last day or maybe if you finished everything you wanted to do at a park one day. I’m recommending you make a visit to Disney Springs something you set time aside for purposely. There are so many new restaurants you’ll want to try at least one and it may be hard to pick! You can reserve dining at Disney Springs restaurants just like the other Walt Disney World restaurants. The real draw is shopping Disney Springs. With options like the eclectic Disney art, fashion and home decor offerings of the Marketplace Co-Op, you’ll definitely need time to explore.

Visit your favorites

You may be looking at a list of the shops and thinking you’ll pass on a few of your favorites you visit all the time at home. Maybe you’re good on makeup so you skip Sephora or you got a Kate Spade bag recently so you plan to shimmy on by. Wait a second. At the event I attended, I learned that Disney Springs works with it’s partners to offer exclusive or better selections of cobranded merchandise. That means that if your local mall has been out of the Kate Spade Minnie Mouse bag you’ve wanted forever, the Disney Springs location probably has one waiting for you. Alex and Ani and Vera Bradley may be in your neighborhood too but these locations will definitely have a more magical selection!

The best time to visit Disney Springs

I wrote a whole blog post about how the morning is the best time visit Disney Springs. It’s so quiet you’ll feel like royalty. You get a better view of the architecture and theming as you walk around and better service because more people are available to assist you. I sometimes see a line for stores like Pandora but that’s much less likely to happen in the morning. The spring is so blue you’ll picture yourself as a mermaid in it. Maybe that’s just me. But if you get a chance to, I recommend visiting at night too because it’s just so pretty. And dinner is probably my favorite meal to eat at Disney Springs.

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Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge http://SparklyEverAfter.com/copper-creek-villas-cabins-disneys-wilderness-lodge/ Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:39:40 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=13041 Every resort at Walt Disney World has its own special kind of magic. From the larger than life characters and colors of Pop Century to the crisp and bright grace of the Grand Floridian, you can always expect spectacular theming. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a top pick for me. Calming nature vibes just flow through the […]

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Every resort at Walt Disney World has its own special kind of magic. From the larger than life characters and colors of Pop Century to the crisp and bright grace of the Grand Floridian, you can always expect spectacular theming. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a top pick for me. Calming nature vibes just flow through the resort. The lobby is breathtaking and there are lots of cozy nooks with rocking chairs to relax in. Disney's Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek CabinDisney’s Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek Cabin interior | Images via Disney

Wilderness Lodge’s newest additions take the resort to the next level. Another Disney Vacation Club Resort was added in addition to Boulder Ridge. The Copper Creek Villas and Cabins will officially open summer 2017. I got to take a hard hat tour and the cabins are majestic. On our tour, an Imagineer told us they were aiming for rustic elegance. Well they nailed it. I’d personally like to call the cabins.. Woodsy Luxe. The layout of the cabin I toured was similar to the Polynesian Bungalow layout. However, the use of floor to ceiling glass walls and natural light made a real difference and changed up the whole feeling of the place. I was excited to see what characters were in the mural next to the pull-down bed. It’s become one of my favorite details to seek out. The Copper Creek cabins sleep up to eight and are just a boat ride away from Magic Kingdom. These look like the perfect option for a large family stay at Walt Disney World. The wrap around porch has a private hot tub and a fantastic view of Bay Lake. These would be a dream around Christmas time. Note that you can book a stay in these even if you’re not a Disney Vacation Club Member.

Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Disney's Wilderness LodgeGeyser Point Bar & Grill at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Near Copper Creek is the new Geyser Point Bar and Grill. Disney is going a great direction with new menus and this one is a standout. There’s a quick service walk up window but everything on the menu is slightly more fancy than what you’d get in one of the Parks. You can also be served in the bar area. I had a fantastic burger on a brioche bun with waffles fries when Jim and I went for dinner once. I also had the brownie dessert on another visit and the chocolate mousse on top was excellent. This place is worth a visit to eat even if you’re not staying at the resort. You can hop on the boat from Magic Kingdom and enjoy lunch here or visit at night and catch the Electrical Water Pageant over drinks with friends. As Russell says, “The wilderness must be explored.” There are a lot of new things to explore at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

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2017 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival Overview http://SparklyEverAfter.com/2017-epcot-flower-garden-festival-overview/ Tue, 04 Apr 2017 20:18:36 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=13032 Disclosure: I was invited to experience the 2017 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival.  Figment topiary at the 2017 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival I have all kinds of Disney fans hanging out here from people visiting the parks for the first time to Annual Passholders who go every weekend. I wanted to give an overview […]

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Disclosure: I was invited to experience the 2017 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. 

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2017

Figment topiary at the 2017 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

I have all kinds of Disney fans hanging out here from people visiting the parks for the first time to Annual Passholders who go every weekend. I wanted to give an overview of one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World that would inform someone who is totally new but still entertain someone who goes regularly. Let’s a look at the details of the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

 

This is the 24th annual Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT. The 2017 festival goes from March 1st through May 29th and is included with regular entry to the park. Disney considers the Flower and Garden Festival its celebration of spring. Basically take EPCOT and add topiaries of your favorite Disney characters, luscious gardens everywhere you look, themed gardens, a vibrant butterfly garden, playgrounds, lots of beautiful themed merchandise and 15 outdoor kitchens with exciting food and drink options.

 

I’ve already visited Flower and Garden a few times this year and I plan on going as much as I can. It’s definitely repeatable. You probably can’t eat everything you want to try on one trip around World Showcase. Some much loved and delicious items are the candied strawberries, though they’re too crunchy for me personally, frushi, which I’ve got a full post about here: frushi, and the refreshing violet lemonade which everyone should have at least once. Make sure you pick up a festival guide. It’s free, fun and loaded with info. It’s actually like a little passport that has stickers. You won’t miss a single topiary or snack with this booklet guiding you.

 

I definitely recommend exploring the Festival Center which is open Friday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s a great place to shop and the merchandise for this year’s festival is some of the best Disney merchandise I have ever seen, folks. I picked up the Tervis tumbler and you’ll want to too. There’s also the Garden Rocks Concert Series in the America Pavilion, gardening demonstrations and seminars and creative photo spots all throughout the festival.

For more Flower and Garden reads check out:

EPCOT Tea Tour

Shakespeare Garden at EPCOT

Favorite EPCOT Flower and Garden Details

See official Disney info at EPCOTinSpring.com.

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EPCOT Tea Tour at the Flower and Garden Festival http://SparklyEverAfter.com/epcot-tea-tour/ Mon, 03 Apr 2017 15:54:34 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=13021 Disclosure: I was invited to experience the EPCOT tea tour and Flower and Garden Festival offerings. The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is easily the best time to visit EPCOT. The already beautiful park transforms into a colorful scene of luscious landscapes filled with stories and inspiration. One of the highlights is certainly the themed […]

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Disclosure: I was invited to experience the EPCOT tea tour and Flower and Garden Festival offerings.

The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is easily the best time to visit EPCOT. The already beautiful park transforms into a colorful scene of luscious landscapes filled with stories and inspiration. One of the highlights is certainly the themed gardens and attention to detail. It’s much more than flowers in soil. I got to experience some excellent storytelling and learn a lot on the Royal Tea Garden Tour in the U.K. Pavilion. Let’s go over some different options for enjoying the Epcot tea garden and learning about the history of tea and tips for preparing it.

EPCOT Tea Tour Review SparklyEverAfter.com

Royal Tea Garden Tour

This EPCOT tea tour begins at 9:30 a.m. but the World Showcase doesn’t officially open until 11:00 a.m. so the area was extra peaceful. The Royal Tea Garden Tour is a walking tour that explores the gardens, the history of tea, details on preparing the beverage and some insight into the Twinings tea company, a Disney partner. I enjoyed learning about tea’s royal roots. When the tour concludes, guests enjoy tea and scones. It feels quite fancy. If you want to try a tour at Walt Disney World this seems like a great starter. It’s just over an hour and isn’t a huge investment. This tour is $15.00 per person in addition to your park entry for the day. Reservations can be made at Guest Relations or by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.

EPCOT Tea Tour Review SparklyEverAfter.com

EPCOT Tea Tour scones and tea

Complimentary English Tea Garden Tour

There’s another tea tour that’s complimentary. The English Tea Garden tour lasts about 20 minutes. You can sign up the same day you’d like to take the tour in The Tea Caddy gift shop in the United Kingdom Pavilion. Make sure you sign up earlier in the day so you don’t miss out. This shop opens at 11:00 a.m. with the rest of World Showcase. These tours are held Monday through Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Explore the Tea Garden On Your Own

The tea garden is open for anyone to visit during the festival. You can pick up fun details along the way with the signs near each plant. Also worth seeing is the Shakespeare garden in the U.K. Pavilion.

Twinings Beauty and the Beast tea EPCOT

Twinings Beauty and the Beast tea in The Tea Caddy shop EPCOT | Buy (affiliate link)

For more info on tours and events at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival see the official events and tours site. Check back every day this week as I celebrate all things Flower and Garden Festival.

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The Little Mermaid at Dr. Phillips Center Review http://SparklyEverAfter.com/the-little-mermaid-at-dr-phillips-center-review/ Fri, 10 Mar 2017 18:43:36 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=13014 Disclosure: I was invited to see The Little Mermaid musical The Little Mermaid musical | Photo credit Mark & Tracy Photography The Little Mermaid is a game changer for us all, right? If you’re reading this you probably own the movie, know every word to the soundtrack and have Ariel on multiple pieces of merchandise […]

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Disclosure: I was invited to see The Little Mermaid musical

The Little Mermaid Musical Review

The Little Mermaid musical | Photo credit Mark & Tracy Photography

The Little Mermaid is a game changer for us all, right? If you’re reading this you probably own the movie, know every word to the soundtrack and have Ariel on multiple pieces of merchandise you own. Same. The visuals in the movie from my childhood are staples. Under the Sea, Kiss the Girl and Poor Unfortunate Souls all have their place in our hearts with their beautiful color palettes and comical details. Part of Your World and Jodi Benson’s iconic vocals are basically nineties kids’ life soundtrack. Fast forward to 2007 and the debut of The Little Mermaid on Broadway. Can you believe it debuted ten years ago? I didn’t make it to New York to see it so I was really happy when the Dr. Phillips Center announced it was coming to town as part of the Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando series.

The story in the musical is slightly different than Disney’s 1989 animated hit. No spoilers here but I was kind of surprised by some of the relationships they changed or embellished in this version. All of the songs we love are featured in this musical under the sea and then some. This production of The Little Mermaid feels perfect for the little ones. I definitely see this being an excellent show to introduce children to theater. Also, there were a few times I really liked how Ariel ‘swam’ to the water’s surface.

If you love The Little Mermaid like I do this musical will definitely be a fun night out for you. So many at the Dr. Phillips Center were decked out in their mermaid finest. I wore my mermaid leggings. The whole night was really a celebration of this character we know and love.

The Little Mermaid is at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts through March 12th, 2017. Tickets start at $33.75 and are available at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

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A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Review http://SparklyEverAfter.com/gentlemans-guide-love-murder-review/ Fri, 10 Feb 2017 20:53:45 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=12999 Disclosure: I was invited to see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder This week I got to see another fantastic show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando. Though unplanned, it appears my resolution for 2017 is to enjoy more live theater. I’m rocking at it. I had taken off […]

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Disclosure: I was invited to see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

This week I got to see another fantastic show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando. Though unplanned, it appears my resolution for 2017 is to enjoy more live theater. I’m rocking at it. I had taken off for a while but I’m glad to be back. There’s just something about experiencing a live show, especially a world class theatrical production like something from the Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando schedule. When it’s a new, or new to you, musical it’s even better.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is at the Dr. Phillips Center through Feb. 12th

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. It’s a silly memoir of one gentleman’s story of killing his way to the top in the funniest of ways. Though it’s definitely a show for adults, it’s not gory or hard to watch at all. It’s actually quite silly and very funny. Without revealing anything, this show is filled with comical characters and that’s all I’ll say. The small cast feels full and the stage is always lively. The set feels like a peek into a Downton Abbey like home and the creative use technology makes A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder extra entertaining. If you enjoy good British houses, an intriguing mystery or operettas you’ll love this. I really enjoyed the show but my fiance Jim got quite a kick out of it. He said it’s one of the funniest shows he’s seen. I have to agree with that.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is here through February 12th, 2017 and tickets start at $33.75. Definitely worth it for a night out filled with top of the line entertainment, hearty laughs and wit. Tickets are available at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

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Disney LeSportsac Bambi Collection Spring 2017 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/disney-lesportsac-bambi-collection-spring-2017/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:39:46 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=12983 Disclosure: Disney LeSportsac Bambi collection pieces were sent to me for review and giveaways. LeSportsac Bambi and Friends print in the Small Cleo Crossbody style at EPCOT The Disney LeSportsac Bambi Collection has arrived in all its pastel, woodland creature glory. This is one of the prettiest color combos I’ve seen from Disney and LeSportsac yet. LeSportsac […]

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Disclosure: Disney LeSportsac Bambi collection pieces were sent to me for review and giveaways.

Disney LeSportsac Bambi Collection Small Cleo Crossbody SparklyEverAfter.comLeSportsac Bambi and Friends print in the Small Cleo Crossbody style at EPCOT

The Disney LeSportsac Bambi Collection has arrived in all its pastel, woodland creature glory. This is one of the prettiest color combos I’ve seen from Disney and LeSportsac yet. LeSportsac says “this collection tells the story of friendship and invites you to frolic in the springtime forest with all the pretty flowers.” So many flowers and Flower the skunk. Also Thumper! The pink Thumper cosmetic in this collection is one of the cutest LeSportsac Disney collab pieces so far. Thumper’s sweet little face is just–go see it for yourself. The LeSportsac cosmetic cases are really durable just like the bags. They have lasted me for years, even as an everyday makeup bag. The darker you go the more likely it is that it will look better for longer but even the light prints last for me. The pretty pink on the inside of some of these Bambi collection pieces will definitely hold makeup smudges well.

Disney LeSportsac Bambi Collection Rectangular Cosmetic SparklyEverAfter.comLeSportsac Bambi Rectangular Cosmetic filled with my favorite Colour Pop matte liquid lipsticks

I recently spoke with my girls at LeSportsac and loved getting some inside details. This collection features classic Bambi art revamped by LeSportsac. I was also told that beyond these cute LeSportsac Bambi prints, there will also be a Thumper print “Thumpin’ Around” that will be exclusive to Amazon and some other stores.

Some of my favorite LeSportsac bags styles are the Small Cleo Crossbody, great for hands free Disney Park exploring and the Medium Weekender, perfect for under the seat of an airplane but still leaves legroom. The Large Weekender also makes for an excellent, durable piece of luggage though it can be a bit heavy when full.

Disney LeSportsac Bambi Collection SparklyEverAfter.comLeSportsac Bambi and Friends print in the Small Jenni style at Disney Springs

Get in on giveaways for super cute pieces from this collection this month on my Instagram and Twitter. I’m @SparklyNicole. At any time there are usually a few different Disney LeSportsac collections for sale but they come and go with the seasons. You can see my full archive of all Disney LeSportsac collections too. Shop the LeSportsac Bambi collection at LeSportsac.com.

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Wicked the Musical at the Dr. Phillips Center Review http://SparklyEverAfter.com/wicked-musical-dr-phillips-center/ Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:58:43 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=12973 Disclosure: I was invited to see Wicked the musical | Photo from DrPhillipsCenter.org If you like The Wizard of Oz, a great musical or have never seen Wicked the musical then it’s time to go see Wicked the musical. That’s everyone, right? The Dr. Phillips Center in Downtown Orlando has had an incredible season so […]

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Wicked the Musical Dr. Phillips Center Orlando

Disclosure: I was invited to see Wicked the musical | Photo from DrPhillipsCenter.org

If you like The Wizard of Oz, a great musical or have never seen Wicked the musical then it’s time to go see Wicked the musical. That’s everyone, right? The Dr. Phillips Center in Downtown Orlando has had an incredible season so far. First, An American in Paris swept me away. Now I’ve been reunited with my old friend Wicked. When I said on Instagram that I was going to see Wicked all of the comments let me know that I was not alone in my strong feelings for the show.

Wicked Tour Review

All of my feelings about touring shows having less impressive sets than shows on Broadway are gone.  Completely gone. When the glittering Emerald City shined at the audience of the Dr. Phillips Center, I knew I was about to see something serious. I was so right. In 2003 I saw this show on Broadway with the actresses that made the lead roles what they are. I always wondered if I saw Wicked again, would I love the show as much without Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel? To my surprise: yes. Jessica Vosk brings such magic to the role of Elphaba. Long before Elsa and “Let it Go”, Idina Menzel brought copious amounts of girl power to audiences with another challenging song to sing. “Defying Gravity” is a mountain in the landscape of musical theater music. Vosk does it right. I even felt that Jessica Vosk and Amanda Jane Cooper, who plays Glinda, not only served the roles with justice but channeled the originals in the best ways. The music, story, costumes and dancing sparkle like an emerald city. The very things that made Wicked such a hit over 10 years ago are all present here on this tour. Wicked in Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center was everything I wanted it to be and more.

Wicked is in Orlando through January 29th. Tickets available at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

 

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Disney Alex and Ani Bracelets http://SparklyEverAfter.com/disney-alex-and-ani-bracelets-sale/ Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:18:01 +0000 http://SparklyEverAfter.com/?p=12955 One of the most popular topics around here is Disney Alex and Ani bangles. They are so loved and collected by so many of you! I try to keep you updated when new ones are going to debut. So. I felt like we needed to chat because something major is happening to the Disney Alex and Ani […]

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One of the most popular topics around here is Disney Alex and Ani bangles. They are so loved and collected by so many of you! I try to keep you updated when new ones are going to debut. So. I felt like we needed to chat because something major is happening to the Disney Alex and Ani collection…

Links are affiliate links | Photos from Disney Store

Disney Alex and Ani Cinderella Castle SparklyEverAfter.com

Alex and Ani Disney World Castle Bracelet

Out with the Old in with the New Disney Alex and Ani Bangles

Not too long ago the Disney Parks Blog announced that the Disney Parks icons bangles will be getting a makeover in early 2017 and.. the originals will retire! Before that, we found out there would be new Disney Princess styles as well and the original princess bangles would stop being produced. These are the classic Disney Alex and Ani bangles, people! Cinderella Castle, EPCOT, Snow White and Aurora as we know them are going away. I feel like everyone who collects these has a classic castle and a princess so I’m kind of surprised. The bright side is that a lot of the bangles that are going out are on sale.

Alex and Ani Disney Bracelets Retiring and On Sale

I’ve rounded up some of my favorites and collection staples below. Now is a great time to start, or add to, your collection as a lot of these are 30% off! They are easily adjustable and one size truly fits all. I recommend not getting sunscreen or soap on them, if at all possible, to help maintain them. Let me know in the comments below if you’re picking up any before they are gone. I wouldn’t wait because some of them like Ariel appear to be sold out online and in stores. Note that I’ve seen some of these for sale at Disney Parks for full price so the place to get them is online. Disney Alex and Ani Snow White SparklyEverAfter.com

Alex and Ani Snow White

Disney Alex and Ani Aurora SparklyEverAfter.com

Alex and Ani Aurora

Disney Alex and Ani Anna and Elsa SparklyEverAfter.com

Alex and Ani Elsa and Anna

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