Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dining On The Disney Wonder

The countdown continues with only 6 weeks until my Disney Wonder cruise!  There are so many things that I am looking forward to on this cruise (I may have said that before!).  This week let's talk dining!

Cruises and food go hand in hand.  One of the first questions I ask anyone who has just come back from a cruise is "How was the food?"   I'm not a very picky eater, so I am sure I will have plenty of meals that I like.  I am more excited about the dining experience.

Some of the things I am looking forward to:

Rotational Dining - Leave it to Disney to come up with something like this!  You go to a different restaurant every night and your servers follow you.  A new experience every night of our 3 night cruise!

Themed Restaurants - No one does this better than Disney!  
  • Animator's Palate - The scenery changes right before your eyes! The artwork on the walls goes from black and white to color during your dinner.  Your servers are in on the act too!  How cool is that?!
  • Parrot Cay - Themed after, you guessed it, the tropics! The perfect place for Pirate of the Caribbean night (can't wait!).
  • Triton's - Elegantly themed featuring beautiful Art Deco touches.  

Table/Dinner Assignment - I have heard that Disney does an excellent job pairing you up with dinner mates.  Since we will be adults traveling without children, I am interested in seeing how this works out.  If what I have heard is correct, Disney will try to seat us with other adults without children and even have our rotational dining assignment with adults without children or adults with older children.  We'll see!

Room Service - I have heard you can order Mickey Bars (chocolate covered, vanilla ice cream bars shaped like a Mickey head, aka heaven on a stick!!).  I hope this is true and will let you know!

I also plan on trying:
  • Beach Blanket Buffet -  On Deck 9 for lunch when you first get on board. I heard there are chocolate chunk cookies to die for at the buffet.  That's all I have to hear!
  • Pinocchio's Pizzeria - pizza
  • Goofy's Galley - salads, sandwiches, ice cream and cookies
  • Pluto's Dog House Snack Bar - hamburgers, chicken

Look for the full dining review when I return!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's Off To Disney World I Go - Part Three

The Walt Disney World five part trip planning series continues today with the third thing you have to decide - how long to stay?

How Long Should I Stay?

If I had my way all of my trips would be at least 10 days during low attendance time periods.  Of course I don’t get my way often.  Little things like, work schedules, school schedules and budget for trip often stand in my way!

The first trip I took with my family was for 3 nights and 4 days.  It was before Animal Kingdom opened so there were 3 parks to visit.  We went at a low attendance time and stayed at the Polynesian Resort.  We were able to do everything we wanted.  Key factors that played into that happening were the low attendance, the great transportation options at the Polynesian and having a plan.  We didn’t take a break during the day and went morning till night.  It was a great trip but I did learn that we needed a break during the day!

Factors in determining how long to stay are:
  1. Time of year you are visiting.
  2. How you want to spend your days.
It will take 7 days during a visit in crowded times of the year compared to 4 to 5 during a slower time to experience the same amount of attractions.

The following may help you decide how long to stay.  The recommendations are my opinion and are based on my own vacations. 

How Long to Stay Guide:
 (based on trying to see it all! - most attractions, parades & fireworks)

See part one of the trip planning series to find out the dates of low, moderate and high crowd levels.

During Low Crowd Levels:
  • 4 days - Tour the theme parks morning till night with no breaks and grabbing quick stuff to eat (counter service).
  • 5 to 6 days – Tour at a more leisurely pace, take a break during the day, have a few sit down meals at nicer restaurants.
  • 7 to 8 days – Take your time, spend a day at your resort, break during the day, have sit down meals, go to water parks and do other recreational activities like mini golf or rent a boat.
During Moderate Crowd Levels:
  • 4 to 5 days - Tour the theme parks morning till night with no breaks and grabbing quick stuff to eat (counter service).
  • 6 days – Tour at a more leisurely pace, take a break during the day, have some sit down meals at nicer restaurants.
  • 8 to 10 days – Take your time, spend a day or two at your resort, break during the day, have sit down meals, go to water parks and do other recreational activities like mini golf or rent a boat.
During High Crowd Levels:
  • 5 to 6 days Tour the theme parks morning till night with no breaks and grabbing quick stuff to eat (counter service).
  • 7 to 8 days - Tour at a more leisurely pace, take a break during the day, have a few sit down meals at nicer restaurants.
  • 10 days – Take your time, spend a day or two at your resort, break during the day, have sit down meals, go to water parks and do other recreational activities like mini golf or rent a boat.

Most of us have time and/or budget restrictions.  If you can only go to Walt Disney World for 5 days during peak times – GO!  I am by no means saying to forget it if you can’t stay for at least 10 days.  You may not get in everything you want to, but any day at Walt Disney World is better than a day at home or work!

Something to keep in mind also:  Disney has made it very affordable to stay longer.  The difference in cost for theme park tickets from 4 – 7 days is very minimal (we’re talking $5 per day per person!).

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Favorite Disney Memory or Discovering The Magic!

For Fun Friday this week I thought I would share a favorite Disney memory of mine.  Disney's new campaign, Let the Memories Begin may have something to do with it!

I have been lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World many times.  I have lots of Disney memories.  Each visit brings new memories and reasons I love Walt Disney World.  I am a true believer in the magic of Disney.  It wasn't always that way though.

I had been to Walt Disney World a couple of times as a kid and thought it was fun.  Back then it was only the Magic Kingdom (yes I am that old!).  It wasn't until the first trip I took with my own little family that I discovered the magic.

In 1997 my husband and I decided to take our kids to Disney.  My son had just turned 9 and my daughter was 5.  We decided to combine a trip of visiting family in southwest Florida for Thanksgiving, with a few days in Walt Disney World.  I hadn't been to Walt Disney World since 1985.  Using the internet and every guide book being published at the time, I became slightly obsessed with planning the perfect trip.  Well maybe a little more than slightly, alright, alright, completely obsessed!

We decided to surprise our kids with the trip.  Santa sent a letter with an early Christmas present and the kids were thrilled.  Yay!  Disney World here we come!

We arrived at the Polynesian around noon time the Sunday after Thanksgiving for our three night, four day stay.  Yes, you read correctly, three nights and four days.  A little ambitious, but I had a plan.   Animal Kingdom was not open yet so there were three parks to visit.  We check in, go to our room for a little while, then head out to the Magic Kingdom.

Walking down Main Street for the first time with my family was great!  My daughter pointed at the castle and asked "Who's house is that?".  I told her "It's Cinderella's house.".  She looked at me with her mouth open in awe, "Can I meet Cinderella?"  This completely took me by surprise, she was a tomboy and liked playing with her brother's action figures and cars more than dolls and princess stuff.  I told her "Maybe", thinking that idea would pass.  We spent the rest of the day and evening in the Magic Kingdom and she didn't mention it again.

The next day, we went to another park,  I don't remember which one, but will never forget that the idea was still in my daughter's head about meeting Cinderella.  She asked when she could meet Cinderella for a second time.  This time my reply was "We'll see, she's pretty busy".  She seemed to buy it.

On the third day, It was starting to become evident she wasn't going to let the idea go, when she asked when she could meet Cinderella again!  She hadn't learned yet that "We'll see" meant "Probably not going to happen".

I knew a simple answer wasn't going to suffice this time.  It had to be a more elaborate explanation to avoid a melt down.  I frantically went through many reasons why I could tell her that Cinderella was busy.  "Cinderella has to clean the big castle.  I don't know if she will be able to come out anytime soon.".  I know, lame, but I was under pressure and I don't work well under pressure!  My five year old bought it though! 

You may be asking yourself, why didn't I find a character meet or go to a dinner with Cinderella?  I did plan the trip pretty thoroughly, but never imagined my daughter would want to meet Cinderella.  I really didn't think she was serious about meeting Cinderella until the third day. 

On our fourth day we went to Epcot for the afternoon.  I was hoping, no praying, my daughter had forgotten about meeting Cinderella.  No such luck.  As we walked into the World Showcase, she said "I hope I get to meet Cinderella today".  Great!  She was like a hound dog with a bone with this Cinderella thing, she wasn't letting it go at all!  I just smiled and said "Okay honey". 

We walked around the World Showcase exploring the different countries.  We reached the International Gateway and decided to walk around some of the Epcot resorts to check out Christmas decorations.  We were the only ones walking that way (that's how I remember it anyway!).  My daughter was skipping and twirling around, not paying attention to anything around her. 

I saw her first.  Coming out from behind the store was Cinderella!!  I couldn't believe it.

My daughter stopped dead in her tracks for a moment when she saw Cinderella.  She then ran over to Cinderella and gave her a big hug!  Cinderella stopped and talked with her for a few moments and we got a great picture.  Cinderella went on her way and we went on ours.  My daughter looked up at me with a huge grin on her face and said "I knew Cinderella would come meet me". 

That was the moment I discovered the magic of Disney.  Since then we have had many magical moments at Walt Disney World, but my little girl meeting Cinderella is by far my favorite!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let the Memories Begin

If you haven't heard the news, Disney announced a new campaign today - 'Let the Memories Begin'

Have you ever wanted to be in a Disney commercial or advertisement?  Here's your chance.  Disney is looking for your videos and pictures of favorite Disney memories.  For more information go to

Starting in January 2011, there will be an added nighttime show featuring photos taken that day of Disney guests creating memories.  In Walt Disney World the show will be shown on Cinderella Castle.  In Disneyland the show will be on the front of It's A Small World.

Here's a preview of what the show will be like in Walt Disney World:

I like the idea of the pictures/memories.  I'm one of those saps who will probably get choked up and have to fight back a few tears.  I have to be honest though, the song kind of makes me cringe.  I really think Disney could have done better with it.  I'm hoping it sounds better in person.

I would love to hear what you think about Disney's new campaign.  Leave a comment or join us on facebook to discuss it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cruise Countdown Continues - Castaway Cay!

Seven Weeks until my Disney Cruise!

I have high expectations for my upcoming Disney Cruise (I've said that before and will probably say it again!). I've heard a lot about Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. I am no stranger to a private island, having experienced three other cruise line's versions. On my first cruise we visited a private island and it was the highlight of the cruise for me.  It was my favorite of the three I have visited.  I guess you could say it's the benchmark that I compare all others to.  I can't wait to see how Castaway Cay stacks up to the competition!

The things I enjoyed most on my private island experiences are:
  • the feeling of isolation
  • relaxing
  • being served frozen fruity drinks right on the beach

I am looking forward to being able to do these things at the adult beach, Serenity Bay, on Castaway Cay!

I am also looking forward to exploring the island a little bit and enjoying the Disney details! In my opinion no one does details like Disney! They think of everything.

Here's some other things I plan on checking out: 


Can't wait to discover some of the hidden treasures Disney has placed in the snorkeling lagoon!

Pelican Plunge!


An Aqua Trike!

Spring-a-leak Playground and Scuttle's Cove

Even though this is an adult/girls trip I still want to check out all the fun for the kiddies, especially the new water features!  Okay, maybe I want to get splashed too!

Hopefully I will get to experience all of this in the one day we're at Castaway Cay.  If not, there's always next time!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's Off To Disney World I Go - Part Two

Here we go with part two of trip planning series to Disney World!

What To Do? It may seem a little crazy to be already thinking about what to do.  You just decided when to go right?  I know what's going on in your mind - I don't know where I'm staying or for how long yet and I should figure out what I'm doing already?!

It's really not jumping ahead of the game.  You may have read this somewhere before but just in case:

Walt Disney World is huge, over 47 square miles! 

There are lots of things to do there too.  Here are some of the fun things available to do at Disney World:

  • Four major theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Two water parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon
  • Over twenty themed resorts
  • Five golf courses
  • Two mini-golf courses
  • BoardWalk entertainment district
  • DisneyQuest - virtual theme park
  • Downtown Disney shopping and dining district
  • Sports Complex
  • private lakes to enjoy water sports, boating and fishing
With so much to do in Disney World, you should have a general idea of what you would like to do on your vacation.  Such as:

  • Do you want to visit all four theme parks?
  • Do you want to visit the water parks?

  • Are other recreational activities such as renting a boat or playing mini golf something you would like to do?

  • Do you want to go check out Downtown Disney?
  • Do you want to spend some time at your resort relaxing?

Answering these questions will help you decide how long to stay, where to stay and what kind of ticket you should get.

To find out the best, up to date information, go straight to the source and visit the official Disney website.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun Friday - A Day At Epcot!

There is nothing I would like better than to be in Walt Disney World right now.  Since I can't be there, here's the next best thing!

Hope this brings a smile to your face!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yo, Ho, Yo, Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me!

Ahoy me hearties! I be setting sail with three of me mateys on a great, grand ship in eight weeks!

I love pirates.  My favorite attraction in the Magic Kingdom is Pirates of the Caribbean.  I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Captain Jack Sparrow.  I'm a huge fan!

Guess what I am most looking forward to on my Disney Cruise?  All the pirate stuff!

I cannot wait to see the Flying Dutchman!  Hopefully I can get a picture with Jack Sparrow and the great, grand ship in the background!

What I'm most looking forward to is the Pirates IN the Caribbean night!  What is it?  I'm glad ye asked!

The festivities begin at dinnertime.  The servers will be dressed as pirates.  You can dress up as a pirate too if you would like.  If not, there will be a bandanna on your table for you.  Since I did not lose the 40 pounds I wanted to, I will be wearing the bandanna!  Dinner will be pirate themed of course! From the menu on parchment paper, like an old treasure map to the pirate themed dinner selections.

After dinner there's a deck party with Disney characters dressed in their pirate garb.  I can't wait to join in the fun as characters and crew members show us some dance moves for Yo, Ho, Yo, Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me!

That's not the best part.  Just when the party is getting going, Captain Hook, Smee and some scallywags try to mess up the fun!  Shiver me timbers! 

In true Disney spirit, Mickey and friends come and save the day during a fantastic finale with fireworks!


Arrrrr mateys!  This be a grand time, aye!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's Off To Disney World I Go - Part One

Not very original, but kind of catchy.  You know you're humming the tune right now, don't deny it!  You can thank me later!

One of my favorite things to talk about is trip planning to Walt Disney World.  There's lots of information on the subject out on the wide world web.  So much, it could make your head spin!  You guessed it, I'm going to put more out there!  In this five part series I am going to share how I get the ball rolling on my Walt Disney World trips.

There are five major things you have to decide.  It doesn't matter if it's your first trip or your 50th!

They are:

          1. When To Go?  
          2. What To Do?  
          3. How Long To Stay?
          4. Where To Stay? 
          5. What Kind Of Ticket and/or Package To Get? 

Okay let's tackle When To Go!

I'm sure the number one question everyone has is:  When is the best time to go?  Here's the answer, drum roll please.......... Anytime you can!  Walt Disney World is open 365 days a year!  It never closes!

Seriously, the answer to the question is all relative - find the best time for YOU!  Some of the determining factors could be cost, crowd levels, park hours, weather and events.  Let's take a look at it:

Cost:  Long gone are the days when it was simple to determine the cost of a Disney World vacation.  Once upon a time there were three seasons of pricing for Disney resorts - value, regular and peak.  We now have- value, regular, summer, fall, peak and holiday.  There are also weeknight rates and weekend rates for all the seasons.

The cheapest time to go would be January (except Martin Luther King Weekend) and September.  These are times when people are least likely to travel.  Right after the holidays and right after school starts!

Disney does have promotions like free dining and resort discounts that can save you money too.  No one knows when and if they will continue these promotions.  One can only hope!

Crowd Levels:  There always seems to be a lot of people walking around the parks at Disney World.  The difference is the amount of people waiting in the lines for attractions. When the parks are more crowded you spend more time waiting in line.  Here's a break down of attendance levels.

  • January (except New Year's Day and Martin Luther King weekend) until just prior to Presidents' Week in February
  • The week following Labor Day until the beginning of October
  • The week following Thanksgiving until mid-December
  • After Presidents' week in February through early March
  • Late April through early June (except Memorial Day weekend) 
  • The end of August
  • October until the first part of Thanksgiving week
  • The week before Christmas (crowds pick up starting a few days before Christmas)
  • Presidents' week in February
  • Mid March through Late April (Spring Break for lots of schools)
  • Memorial Day weekend
  • Mid June through Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and weekend
  • Christmas week through New Year's Day 

Park Hours: Disney compensates the more crowded times of the year with longer park hours. When the parks are less crowded they do not stay open late.

Animal Kingdom can close as early as 5pm, Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios as early as 7pm, Future World in Epcot closes at 7pm with the World Showcase staying open until 9pm.

If you go to Disney World during more crowded times of the year, you will find the parks staying open later ,sometimes as late as midnight or 1 am.  So if you are a night owl, you may want to plan a trip when the parks are open later.

Weather:  I personally do not like hot and humid weather.  I'm okay, not thrilled with hot, but humid weather turns me into a whiny baby!  Some people don't mind the heat and humidity.  I know people who love to go to Disney World in August.  To each his own and an example of having to determine when is best for you!

            Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec
Avg Hi      72      74      79       83      88       91      92     92       90       85     79       73
Avg Lo     50      51      56       60      66       71      73     73       72       65     59       53
Avg rain   2-3     2-3    3-4      2-3     3-4       7        7       6      5-6      2-3    2-3     2-3
Average Temperatures in (F) and average rainfall in inches.

Events:  There are some fun events planned throughout the year at Disney World. Some of the big ones are:
  • Holiday Events:  From the end of November through December, the hotels to the theme parks and everything in between, are decked out for the holidays!  You'll find the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, The Osborne Family lights in Disney's Hollywood Studios and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Fall Events:  Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom from the middle of Sept until the beginning of November.  Epcot's Food & Wine Festival from Oct until the middle of November.
  • Spring Events:  Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival from March until the middle of May.

Hopefully this will help you determine the best time to go for you!

Determining factors for me are cost, crowds and weather.  That being said here are some of my favorite times to go:
  • The first two weeks of December:  There is nothing like the Disney Magic mixed with holiday magic! It can be chilly – sometimes even cold, parks close earlier and some attractions may be closed for refurbishment but all of the holiday happenings more than make up for it!
  • First three weeks of May:  Weather is warm (can get quite warm sometimes!)  Humidity doesn’t seem to be as bad as in the summer and fall months.  Flower and Garden Festival is in bloom.
  • January after the holidays but before President’s Day:  Can be chilly – sometimes cold, parks close earlier and attractions can be down for refurbishment but the low crowds make up for it.
Other good times to visit are:
  • First two weeks of June – Some schools are still in session so the crowds aren’t as bad yet!
  • Last two weeks of August until the end of September:  Hurricane season, hot and humid – but low crowds. 

Until tomorrow...... Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off to (fill in the blank) I go .........

You're welcome! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fun Friday Featuring Disney Cruise Line!

Earlier this week I mentioned I'm going on my first Disney Cruise.  For Fun Friday I had to post something about the Disney Cruise Line!

Watching this makes me even more excited to go!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fun Things To Do At Walt Disney World

You've arrived at Walt Disney World and you don't want to go to a theme park.  Maybe you have a one day stop (like we do before our cruise) or you arrived in the afternoon.  Maybe you want to take a day off from the parks.  So, what else is there to do?

Here are some fun things to do:

Explore Your Resort - Take a dip in the themed pool. Go for a leisurely stroll around the grounds and take the time to notice all the details.  Visit the resort gift shop.  When you check in, ask if your resort has any special programs.  Depending on where you are staying, there could be hidden mickey challenges, tours or pool activities you may be interested in. Go to the arcade.  Your resort may have boat rentals or surrey bike rentals.

Go To A Character Meal At A Resort - Dine with Mickey and friends at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort or Cinderella and her evil stepsisters at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian.  Character meals book up pretty far in advance, especially Chef Mickey's, so make an advanced dining reservation (ADR).

Go To A Dinner Show -  The Hoop De Doo Musical Review at Fort Wilderness Campground or Disney's Spirit of Aloha Show at the Polynesian.

Go To Downtown Disney - Three different areas to explore!
  • Marketplace - Shop till you drop! Home to the biggest Disney store in the world!  Lots of fun shops to explore including a huge Lego store.  If you're hungry there are plenty of options to eat.
  • The West Side - Go to Disney Quest - an indoor interactive theme park.  Get tickets to Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba
  • Pleasure Island - The night clubs are shut down and the area is going through a transformation but you can go to Raglan Road Irish Pub or visit Orlando Harley Davidson.
Explore The Monorail Resorts - Ride the monorail and get off at each of the three resorts. Have dinner at one of the resorts, then go to the beach and watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant. 

Go To The Boardwalk - You can check out the different resorts in this area plus find plenty of places to eat.  There is a pretty lake in the middle.  You could take the boat ride to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, go just for the ride!  You can rent a boat or a surrey bike also.

Visit The Animal Kingdom Lodge - This place is incredible!  An African lodge on a 43-acre wildlife preserve.  Where else can you see something like this - besides Africa? You can explore the resort and view the animals - there are four savannas with 30 species of wildlife!  The lobby, I don't even know what to say, you have to see it for yourself!  Here's your chance to try African cuisine too.

Play Miniature Golf -  
  • Winter Summerland - two Santa themed courses - Snow and Sand
  • Fantasia - two themed courses - Fairway (more like a traditional golf course) and Gardens (Fantasia themed)
Take A Carriage Ride - Carriage rides are available at Port Orleans Riverside and Fort Wilderness Campground.  During October there is a Haunted Carriage Ride at Fort Wilderness and in December there is a Sleigh ride there.  You can make advanced reservations for the carriage rides.  There's a wagon ride at Fort Wilderness too - no reservations accepted.

Parasailing/ Watersking - You can go do both!  As well as tubing and wakeboarding at the Contemporary Resort Marina.

You could go fishing, play golf, play tennis, play volleyball, go to a spa, go horseback riding or even drive an Indy car!

Walt Disney World is so much more than theme parks!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday is Disney Cruise Line Day!

At least for the next nine weeks!  That's when I am going on my first Disney cruise!  I'm so excited!

I have been on several cruises with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess cruise lines.  I love to cruise.  I cannot wait to experience a Disney cruise!  

Here are some of the reasons:

1.  It's a girls only trip! My two sisters, sister-in-law and myself are going on a 4 day adventure.  One night in Walt Disney World and then three nights on the Disney Wonder.
2.  The Disney Difference (this comes straight from the horses mouth - the Disney Cruise Line website!) -
  • Every voyage includes the attention to detail and world-class hospitality that Disney is famous for.
  • Activities: Join in fun-filled activities at lavishly themed onboard venues all day long—where every family member feels as if their cruise were designed specifically for them.
  • Dining: Savor Disney's one-of-a-kind Rotational Dining, where Guests "rotate" through 3 different restaurants with personalized service from servers who travel with you to each meal.
  • Entertainment: Immerse yourselves in Broadway-quality, original Disney musicals that can't be seen anywhere else—as well as special moments with Disney Characters and first-run Disney movies.
  • Deck Parties: The family comes together for unique themed celebrations on deck, including the only fireworks spectacular at sea.
  • Castaway Cay: Most cruises include a stop at Disney's island paradise, reserved exclusively for Disney cruisers. 
3.  Curiosity - I have to be honest when I say this:  What makes the Disney Cruise experience so special that people are willing to pay more for it?!  Disney consistently charges more than other cruise lines, sometimes twice as much (sometimes more) and people pay it!

I have high expectations for this cruise.  Knowing the Disney product, I'm sure I won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall Happenings at Walt Disney World

Fall is in the air!  I noticed this morning some trees are starting to change color and a few leaves falling. Fall couldn't come soon enough for me, it's been a brutal summer here in the southeast!  Of course as soon as it gets a little cold I will be ready for summer, but that will be another story.

This got me thinking about Walt Disney World in the fall.  I love how they decorate for the fall.  Cornstalks and pumpkins everywhere.  I could try to describe the decorations in detail but a picture is worth a thousand words right?  So here are a few pictures from a trip I took last October.

This was taken at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom

A light post in the Magic Kingdom

The Mayor in the Magic Kingdom

The Mayor's wife!

Mickey's Toontown

The fall is a great time to visit, but be warned it can still be hot and humid!

If you are planning a visit or thinking about visiting Walt Disney World in the fall, here are some special events you should know about:

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party - on select nights from September - November the Magic Kingdom is transformed into a spooktacular place!  You have to purchase a separate ticket to this event.  It is held from 7pm to Midnight.

Some of the events include:
  • Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade - See your favorite characters! The parade begins with an entrance from the headless horseman!
  • Trick-or-treating through out the park
  • Happy HalloWishes fireworks spectacular — Special Halloween themed fireworks!
  • Characters decked out in their favorite costumes — Don't be shy, wear yours too!
  • Halloween Dance Parties - Put on your dancing shoes and boogie with Disney characters.
  • Special Character Appearances - Some new friends and old favorites

To learn more about Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party click here  

Epcot Food & Wine Festival - This event runs from October 1 - November 14 and is included with park admission.  There are some experiences and programs that require an additional fee. The World Showcase is host to this special event.

Some highlights:
  • International Marketplaces - Take a culinary tour around the world. The perfect chance to try food, beer and wine from around the world with appetizer-sized portions averaging $3.00-$7.00. 
  • Eat to the Beat Concert Series - Musical entertainment live on stage at World Showcase, America Gardens Theatre.
  • Special Exhibits - Visit a wide array of countries and regions of the world along the promenade.
  • Fun for Families - Fun events and exhibits for kids of all ages!
  • Special Wine & Culinary Programs
  • Festival Dining Experiences 

To learn more about Epcot's Food & Wine Festival click here

(entertainment is subject to change) 


Friday, September 3, 2010

It's Fun Friday

Every Friday I will be sharing something fun about Disney!

Today's post features Walt Disney World and a day at the Magic Kingdom.  


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Top Ten Tips For A Magical Walt Disney World Vacation

Let's get this party started!  What better place to start then Walt Disney World?  These are tips I put together from my experience.  I will discuss some of these tips in more length in future posts.

1.  Have A Plan – You should know what you are going to do each day before you get there.  There is nothing worse than standing around looking at each other saying “what do you want to do?”  answer: “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”.  You should have a general idea of what you would like to do in each park too.  You don't want to be one of those poor unfortunate souls standing around right inside, looking at a map, wondering where to go and what to do!

2.  Stay On Disney Property – Disney resorts are top notch and you're immersed in the magic 24 hours a day!  You get more time in the parks with Extra Magic Hours and less travel time.  There are other benefits to staying onsite too, I will tell you more about them later!

3. Make Dining Reservations – Once upon a time it wasn’t that important but even during the slower times of the year restaurants fill up quickly.  It’s not much fun trying to find somewhere to eat when you are tired and hungry!  Trust me, I've done it and it really doesn't create a magical memory!

4.  Go To The Parks EARLY!! - The mornings can be some of the nicest times to be at the parks.  Most people do not like to get up early and do not get to the parks until 11 am or later.  I recommend getting up and getting into the parks early, you can experience a lot of the attractions before most people get there!

5.  Eat At Off Times – For example: plan on eating lunch around 11 – 11:30am before the crowds or later around 1:30pm after the crowds.  You get the idea.

6.  Take A Break - Go back to your resort and relax!  Trust me – your feet will be happy that you do! Staying at a Disney Resort makes this much easier to do.

7.  Park Hop – Staying at one park all day can be too much.  Too much riding at Magic Kingdom, too much walking at Epcot, too much sitting at shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and too many people at Animal Kingdom (park seems more crowded!).

8. Use Fast Pass – If an attraction has a long wait and fast pass is available – get one!  You can come back and not wait as long.

9. Do Not Rush Out Of The Parks At Closing – Sit on a bench and wait out the crowds or wander through the gift shops.  Think about it, thousands of people all going out at the same time!  You end up waiting somewhere anyway, like in line for a bus or monorail.  You might as well just relax and not be in the mad dash for the exit!

10.  Stop And Smell The Roses! -  Disney World is full of amazing details.  If you are rushing through your day, running from attraction to attraction you can miss it!  Look around you as you walk or stop and sit on a bench and watch the magic around you (great time to have a Mickey Bar – an awesome ice cream treat!).  You might be surprised and make some of your best memories!