Sunday, June 30, 2013

All is Well in WDW

So my blog may be a bit quiet for a week or so, because... I'm here!  I'm in Disney! And I am pleased to report that it is as magical as ever!  I'm collecting lots of info so I can share my advice and experiences with everyone when I get back.  In the meantime, here are a couple of new things I've tried:

The Breakfast Buffet At The Wave

Orange Cream Slush from Cosmic Ray's

Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Day of Vacation

Ahhhh! There's absolutely nothing like the feeling of your first day of vacation!  After all of the anticipation (you can see my previous post on Pre-Trip Anticipation here), the first day of actual vacation is somewhat euphoric -- especially when it's a Disney vacation! Here is what we do on our first day of vacation.

We Get Up Early

Yeah, I know that seems counter-intuitive.  I mean, it's vacation, right?  Well, we like to maximize our time at the Walt Disney World Resort, so we always catch the earliest flight out.  Many years, this means a 6 A.M. flight.  Believe it or not, it's not so hard to wake up due to the overwhelming excitement!  Consider getting a hotel near the airport, which will allow you to sleep later, and may provide you with a free breakfast.  You also can then take advantage of the hotel's shuttle service, which is a nice perk.  And remember, you can always doze on the plane - well, if you aren't too excited to sleep, that it!

Hop the Magical Express and Check-In

The beauty of staying on-property at Disney is the convenience of Disney transportation and services.  No need to pick up your baggage; Disney will collect your checked belongings and deliver them directly to your hotel room!  Simply head to Concourse B on the lower level and follow the Mickey Mouse heads to the Magical Express area.  Already you'll feel the magic taking over as you board the bus.  There is entertainment courtesy of the overhead televisions, which help you to anticipate the fun that is yet to come!
The Magical Express drops you right at your hotel lobby, so simply enter and check in!  If you've taken advantage of Online Check In, everything will already be prepared for you.  Now, if you've taken an early flight, your room may not be ready yet.  Not to worry!  Disney will securely store your carry-on baggage so you can head straight to the parks, or if you prefer, to the pool!  A text message will alert you when your room is prepared, and then you can call to have all of your carry-ons delivered right to your door.  Talk about service!

Where to Next?

We love to start our Disney vacation at the Magic Kingdom.  This iconic park really embodies Disney World, and there's nothing like walking "right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A." and taking it all in.  I know the urge to run and do everything at once is strong, but enjoy the moment.  Every single element tells a story.  Immerse yourself in it, and just enjoy that first-day-of-vacation feeling.  Now here's where you have a choice -- go left to Adventureland, or go right to Tomorrowland?  Although there isn't a correct answer, one of us typically grabs Fastpasses for Space Mountain, then we take a stroll down through Adventureland, taking in attractions along the way as the mood strikes us.  It's also usually getting close to lunchtime, so we grab lunch at one of our favorite counter-service locations - Pecos Bill's or Columbia Harbor House

Don't Overdo It -- It's Only Day 1!

You'll have lots of "first day of vacation" energy, but don't overdo it!  If you've made dining reservations, you may want to head back to the room for a bit first.  Get your luggage, unpack, and then settle down for a delicious Disney dinner!  Got more energy?  Maybe you'll head back to the parks, or maybe a nighttime swim is the perfect cap to the evening.  Either way, make sure to get plenty of rest so you can do it all over again on Day 2.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - The Letter "L"

The Land Pavilion - My Favorite!

The Little Mermaid

 VIP Lounge at the Living Seas

Living with the Land

Thanks to Focused on the Magic for hosting this blog hop!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Did you know that "The Jungle Cruise" and "The Great Movie Ride" share a prop?

You've probably seen the back end of a wrecked aircraft while on "The Jungle Cruise", and you've almost definitely seen the front half of an airplane in the Casablanca scene of "The Great Movie Ride".  In actuality, they are two halves of the same airplane!

This interesting tidbit was taken from The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World written by Susan Veness.  I definitely recommend this book.  It has some great information!

Special thanks to Disney Babies Blog, Heidi's Head, Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, and My Dreams of Disney for hosting this blog hop!  Click the button below for more trivia!

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Main Street USA & Liberty Square

Packing for Disney

When packing for vacation, it always seems people do one of two things.  There are those people who pack enough luggage to last for a month, and then there are those people who throw things in a bag, only to realize that they've left half of what they need at home.  I admit that I tend to err on the side of the former.  I mean, a girl needs choices when it comes to outfits (right?).

But seriously, sometimes it can be frustrating to know what exactly to pack for a trip down to Disney.  After a lot of experience, I can finally say that I have a workable packing list that provides me with everything I need to have a comfortable resort experience.  In no particular order, here are some packing tips for you.

A Power Strip

I'll admit, this wasn't my original idea.  But, it's a great one.  After a couple of years of fighting to find enough convenient outlets for laptop, phones, camera chargers etc., I read this smart little tip on a couple of Disney blogs & sites.  Why didn't I think of it before?!

Travel Fans

I mentioned these in an earlier blog, but these are life-savers during the hot summer months.  I keep a stash of "Disney-vacation" items in a dresser drawer (Fastpass holders, these fans, gift cards, etc), then all I have to do is throw them in my suitcase.


During the summer months, it is not uncommon to have a mid-afternoon rain shower.  We've taken  trips with very little rain, but we have also had stays with monsoons.  Well, tropical storms at least! We have taken some of those $1.00 emergency ponchos at times, but we recently upgraded to a thicker variety -- just in time for Tropical Storm Debbie last year! 

If you have children who will be riding in strollers, it's handy to have an extra adult size poncho to drape over your stroller to help keep your child (and other contents you may have stashed inside of it) dry.

Extra Bags for Souvenirs

Because I've started to master exactly how much to pack for my Disney excursions, I have gotten very good at packing my suitcases.  There is always concern, though, that my perfectly packed suitcase may not hold room for larger souvenirs.  I've taken to putting an extra tote in my bags, which takes up virtually no space, but it wonderful for carting those mementos home on the plane.  Obviously you still have to adhere to the "one carry-on, one personal item" rule that the airlines have, but since I only take one bag down, it's not an issue.  


Regardless of the time of year you travel, the sun is very likely stronger than where you live.  Make sure to protect yourself with an appropriate SPF!

For Moms: A Nightlight for your Smaller Children

This can help to make a dark, unfamiliar room feel safer to a small child.  If you are staying in a larger family suite, you may want to consider bringing along more than one.


Yes, even in the winter, swimsuits are great!  Now granted, winter in Florida can be a bit of a toss-up.  One January we went and it was definitely on the chilly side, especially in the morning and at night.  This past January, though, we spent time at the Wilderness Lodge for the WDW Marathon Weekend - and the weather was gorgeous!  We spent the first night there out in the hot tub, and the temperature couldn't have been more perfect.  I am so glad that I threw my suit in at the last minute.  


There is nothing worse than feeling badly while on vacation.  Trust me, I know from experience.  My advice is to pack some of the standard over-the-counter medications you use at home.  Pain relievers, allergy medicine, tummy-trouble medicine (to put it delicately), and decongestant pills all make it into our luggage before a trip.  We rarely need any of these but the pain relievers, but it's good to know they're there.  You can certainly purchase some over-the-counter medications at Disney Resort Hotels, but they are a lot more expensive, and the variety is more limited than what you'll find at your normal grocery shopping destination.  Oh, and if you do need to take something, you'll be extremely glad you took my advice!

Comfortable Shoes... and Plastic Bandages

The first item here is obvious.  You will be walking a lot!  Make sure your feet stay happy.  But even in well-worn shoes, blisters can form; my old pair of standbys which never rub my feet the wrong way gave me a little blister last year due to the super-rainy weather.  It was a good thing I had some plastic bandages handy so I could keep on going!  

Hopefully you find these tips helpful.  Soon I'll be posting about what I take with me into the parks for a day of fun.  Check back often!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Disney?

With the start of a new summer, it's natural to begin chatting with friends about vacation destinations.  It is always during these conversations that I get asked the inevitable question, "You're going to Disney AGAIN?!  Don't you ever get sick of it?"  Mouse fans, you know what I'm talking about. It's often accompanied by a sidelong glance at others that says "These people are nuts."  I even know fans who are ashamed to admit their love of Disney for fear of people thinking they're nuts.

Now bear in mind, these are the same people who go to the same beach every year.  I'm not knocking the beach, but it's a similar concept.  But for some reason, visiting, say, the Outer Banks every year using the same rental house isn't as "crazy" as going to Disney.

These conversations happen so frequently that it has prompted me to spell out WHY Disney is my destination of choice, and what exactly it is that draws us back year after year after year after... well you get the picture. These reasons are listed in no particular order.

There's so much to do!

4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, the Downtown Disney Area, golfing, race-car driving, resort offerings that include jet-skis, para-sailing, boat rental, horseback riding, biking, walking trails -- the possibilities are endless!  If you want to do something in particular, chances are that you can do it at Disney!  There is never a possibility that I am going to be bored.  Whether it's riding a beloved attraction, shopping at Downtown Disney, or checking out resort offerings, I am going to be entertained.  

It's a great place to relax!

Um, what?  That's right.  It is possible to relax at Disney.  For example, the poolsides are beautiful and relaxing. Some even have private cabanas that you can rent for the day.  Not a fan of being outside all day?  Try one of the many common areas at the resorts.  These are beautiful with great seating areas.  Many have games available (checkers, etc.), and they are typically quiet and air conditioned!  My mind even now is picturing some of the areas in the Villas at Wilderness Lodge.  Just beautiful.  Want to really unwind?  Make an appointment at Senses spa at either the Grand Floridian or Saratoga Springs.  These spas offer first class services right at the WDW Resort.

The food is amazing!

Disney offers really fantastic restaurant choices.  The Chefs really do a great job of making a meal a great experience.  Food allergies?  No problem!  My husband has quite a few himself, and the chefs always go above and beyond to ensure that his food is "safe" and tasty!  We have never been anywhere that hasn't more than accommodated his food needs!

Disney magic!

Truly, Disney knows how to make a vacation magical.  Everything is done with excellence.  The friendliness of the Cast Members, the cleanliness of the parks, the special attractions and events - all of these immerse you in an experience like no other.  And if something isn't right, well, they will make it right!

Sounds like fun, right?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Disney Days of Summer - Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Today's Wordless Wednesday Theme (hosted by Deb at Focused on the Magic) is the "Disney Days of Summer".  For me, my true summer always starts with a ride on the Magical Express!

Be sure to check out other links on this week's Wordless Wednesday Theme using the button below!  Thanks for stopping by!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia - Tower of Terror

Did you know that there is a jar of pickled pigs' feet in the Tower of Terror?  Okay, okay, I may be mis-remembering the pigs' feet part, but it's a pickled jar of something gross!  Apparently, the Imagineers had an inside joke involving this jar of "delicacies", and like a White Elephant gift at Christmastime, they passed it around to one another, always trying to stick someone else with the jar.  It was during the time when the Tower was being staged and themed, so props were being placed everywhere.  

The unfortunate Imagineer who was then currently stuck with this jar ended up setting it on a table behind the Photo Viewing Station that is in front of you when you exit the ride elevators.  When he went back to retrieve it, he found to his dismay that the workmen had glued it into place, thinking it was one of the props!  

Well, needless to say, it was now incorporated into the decor permanently ... so they themed it appropriately, and there it stands to this day.  If you pop your head through the "window" under the picture viewing screens and look off to the left, you'll see a large, dusty jar in the corner.  And now, you will know the story behind that dusty-looking jar.  

This tidbit is something I picked up at a "Dine with an Imagineer" experience at the Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios.  

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Main Street USA & Liberty Square

Thanks to Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi's Head, My Dreams of Disney, and Disney Babies Blog for hosting this blog hop!  Be sure to check out their sites from the links above to learn more Disney Trivia!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Beating the Heat in WDW

"How can you go to Disney in July?! It's just so hot!"  I hear this all the time.  Now, understand, I am from the Northeast, and I live with cold weather.  Constantly.  Even now in June, it was only 65 degrees yesterday.  I have no problem with the heat... I welcome it!  I do realize, however, that I may be somewhat of an anomaly.  I know plenty of people who prefer the cooler temperatures of fall.  And yes, traveling in the fall/winter to WDW is fabulous for crowd purposes.  But sometimes, there isn't a choice but to travel during the summer.  Maybe you have kids in school, maybe you're a teacher who can't take vacation during the off-season, or maybe summer just happens to be the best time for you to travel to the World.  

Regardless of the reason, here are some tips  for "beating the heat" at WDW:

Take Advantage of Air-Conditioned Queues

The good news for guests is that Disney knows how warm Florida gets.  With this in mind, the Imagineers designed the rides to be enclosed in air-conditioned spaces.  They have also created many indoor, air-conditioned queues that help guests to stay out of the sun.  The new Dumbo queue area, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Test Track, and Soarin' are just three examples.  Other queues may begin outdoors, but they eventually lead you into a cool, air-conditioned space before stepping onto the attraction itself (think Haunted Mansion or Splash Mountain).  Even those queues without A/C are shaded and therefore much cooler than being in the direct heat.

Battery-Operated Spritzer Fans

For those times when you are walking between attractions, watching the Castle Show, walking World Showcase, or standing in a particularly crowded queue that is un-air-conditioned (wait, did someone say Peter Pan's Flight?!), these little beauties are a must!

We picked these up at our local Super-Store.  They are lightweight, compact, and hold a surprising amount of water! They also sell for somewhere around $3.00, so they are super-affordable.

Stay Hydrated

Sounds a little cliche, huh?  But, it's true.  When the heat index hits around 114*, you're going to sweat; you need to make sure you have water handy.  If you are like us and try not to carry bags around the park, a water bottle can get cumbersome.  Unless you own one of these:

It's a water bottle clip.  The Mickey head stretches perfectly over the neck of a water bottle, allowing you to clip the carabiner to your belt loop.  Now granted, you may be able to find one elsewhere without the Mickey ears ... but it won't be nearly so cute.  :)  These are available at many of the shops around Disney, and they really last!  I think we've used this one on 7 or 8 trips so far!  Oh, and if you're looking to refill your water bottle, we have it on good authority from Disney Cast Members that the coldest water fountain in the Magic Kingdom is by the First Aid Station next to the Crystal Palace Restaurant. 

Take Swim/Nap Breaks

I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but it bears repetition.  Don't be afraid to go back to the resort for a break!  Sometimes a quick dip in the pool (and maybe a nap in the shade!) can be the ultimate refreshment for tired park guests.  Enjoy the park all morning, head back to the resort at lunchtime when the sun is hottest, then head back for evening hours when the temps begin to come down a little.  You will actually feel that you've accomplished more, and you'll feel a lot more energetic and alert while taking in all the magic of Disney.  Plus, Disney Resorts offer a ton of fun pool activities during the afternoon.  Don't forget that the magic isn't JUST at the parks!

Go See A Show

No, I don't mean a movie... although Downtown Disney does have a fabulous theater if you'd like to see one.  I am talking about the many amazing shows in the parks.  Check out Finding Nemo at Animal Kingdom, The American Adventure at Epcot, or (my nostalgic favorite) The Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland.  You can also go to the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square, where it can sometimes be downright cold!  These are all 20+ minutes in length, air-conditioned, and highly entertaining.  It's a great way to beat the heat!  Oh, and since you're sitting, you'll be giving your poor tootsies a little break after pounding the pavement!

Water Features

Of course, water rides are wonderful to help in beating the heat.  But both Magic Kingdom and Epcot have some wonderful water features that are just begging to be played in. I'm thinking just now of the new Casey, Jr. Splash and Soak area in Storybook Circus.  There, you and the little ones can cool off ... and get drenched.

Other Tips

Take a trip on the train or the People Mover while in the Magic Kingdom.  The People Mover moves through several air-conditioned areas, and while the train ride is outside, the moving breeze and shade help to make it a nice break from the summer heat.  How about hopping aboard the Monorail -- your "highway in the sky" -- for a resort tour?  There's plenty to see and do!

So, don't be afraid of the heat!  There are lots of ways to survive a summer trip to Disney.  And remember, if all else fails -- go get a Mickey Ears Bar or a Dole Whip!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pre-Trip Anticipation: It's Half the Fun!

Excitement.  Anticipation.  Joy.  Magic.  These are some of the words that come to mind as I think about our upcoming Disney trip.  There is nothing like experiencing all that WDW has to offer, but as we all know, there is usually a LOT more time spent waiting for the trip to commence than there is experiencing the magic in person.  

So, why not make the waiting part of the excitement?  Even now, as I sit here writing this, my gaze wanders to the countdown I have posted on the door opposite me.  Everytime I change a number, I feel a thrill.  At first, it's when I go from a 3-digit countdown to a 2-digit countdown.  Then, I get excited at every milestone -- 90 days, 60 days, 30 days.  And by the time it reaches single digits?  Well, I'm over-the-moon excited.  

A countdown is a great way to anticipate the excitement to come.  If you have children, allowing them to change the countdown helps them to get involved in the pre-trip excitement.

And that's not the only thing you can do to extend the Disney experience.  Starting from the moment I make that next reservation, there is the joy of figuring out what new restaurants to try.  Then, once everything is booked, I have the fun of inputting everything into the MyMagic+ app. There is the researching of park hours, extra magic hours, and figuring out what is new to see and do.  

For the littler ones (and, I admit, for many of us adults), watching the Disney movies that inspired the attractions in the parks is a fun way for them to prepare for the Magic.  Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Peter Pan -- there are lots to choose from!  And don't forget about some of the classic attractions like the treehouse from Swiss Family Robinson and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

As the trip edges ever closer, we listen to park music -- we have LOTS of it on our computer! -- to set the mood as we pack and look at pictures of previous WDW trips.  All of these things help us to experience Disney magic before setting foot on the plane to Florida!  

So, don't waste the anticipation; relish it as part of the magic & excitement of a Disney vacation!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eating At the Garden Grill

With so many restaurant choices, knowing where to eat in the World can be challenging!  Although I can't remember ever disliking any particular restaurant, there are some that I love to return to again and again.  One of these is the Garden Grill at Epcot.  Located in the Land Pavilion on the same level as "Soarin'", the Garden Grill is a unique dining experience.  As guests dine, the restaurant rotates, giving them an ever-changing view of the "Living With the Land" boat attraction below.  Additionally, each table receives visits from Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale!

When you are escorted to your table, your place settings are arranged in the form of a classic Mickey silhouette.  

Dinner itself is served family-style, and the server will bring you as many helpings of each dish as you please!  The current offerings are:

  • Basket of Warm Breads with Maple Butter
  • Harvest-inspired Farmer's Salad
  • Char-grilled Filet of Beef with Red Wine Butter
  • Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast with Lemon Caper Sauce
  • Sustainable Fish of the Day with Roasted Tomato and Pepper Compote
  • Garden Fresh Vegetables
  • Buttermilk Smashed Potatoes
  • Artisan Bread Pudding
  • Fresh Baked Harvest Fruit Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
I am not exaggerating when I say that I thoroughly enjoy everything on the menu.  Although the menu does vary slightly from visit to visit, it is always wonderful!  

As mentioned above, the restaurant does indeed rotate.  Request to sit on the lower level for the best views of the changing scenery.  

Also, be prepared to greet characters!  Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale will stop by every table to greet guests, pose for pictures, and sign autographs.  On this particular trip, Dale even danced for us!  He knew the moonwalk, the hand jive... and whatever it is he's doing in this photo! :)

As always, the Imagineers have placed a hidden Mickey in the restaurant.  Can you spot it?

Look closely behind the fern leaf -- you can see Mickey in profile!

I highly suggest the Garden Grill if you are looking for a new and different dining experience.  You will not be disappointed!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Making the Most of Your Family's WDW Visit, Part 2

In today's blog, we will continue discussing helpful tips for making the most of your trip to the World.  If you missed part 1, you can find it under the post from June 4.

Tip #4: Take Advantage of Extra Magic Hours

Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are available to guests who are staying on property, and they are a huge benefit!  Each day, one of the four parks either opens one hour early or stays open for up to 3 hours after normal closing time.  Speaking from experience, EMH can really maximize your time.  Imagine getting to the Magic Kingdom right at 8 AM and being able to enjoy Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and even Peter Pan's Flight without a wait! These queues can often post waits of 45 minutes or more.  Not a morning person?  Stay late into the evening and enjoy thinner crowds and cooler temperatures.  EMH make it much easier to heed the advice of Tip #3.  Note, that not every attraction is open during the morning hours, but most are open in the evening.   

Tip #5: Ask a Cast Member

Ask them what? Well, basically anything.  If there is something you need to make your experience more magical, they will happily do their best to accommodate you.  For example, did you know that there is a "child-swap" option available on most attractions?  If you have a small child who can't/won't ride a particular attraction, both parents can still enjoy that ride without waiting in line twice.  Simply ask the cast members!  Want to know more about a particular attraction (hidden Mickeys, backstory information, etc.)?  The cast members are great about sharing ... and they often do so in character!  

Tip #6: Make the Queue Part of the Experience

We tend to think of queues in a negative sense - biding our time until we get to the "good part".  But the Disney Imagineers have even found a way to make this seemingly mundane part of the theme park experience fun!  Many attractions now feature interactive queues, providing hands-on, visually stimulating, and fun experiences that help to pass the time until the attraction itself.  The Haunted Mansion interactive queue is one of my favorites; I still am not tired of playing the ghostly "Ravenscroft" organ.  Even "non-interactive" queues are themed so perfectly that there is no shortage of interesting scenery along the way.  By immersing yourself in the full experience, you'll find your enjoyment of the attractions greatly enhanced -- and you may just notice some details you would otherwise have missed!  Have little ones? Finding Hidden Mickeys is another wonderful way to pass the time. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Making the Most of Your Family's WDW Visit, Part 1

So, we know that Disney is the most magical place on earth.  This was intentional on Walt's part to ensure that parents and their children could have fun together.  And wow, did he ever achieve that goal!  But with so many options and so much to do, it can feel overwhelming and stressful.  For all of the busy moms and dads out there who want to enjoy a magical vacation with their families, here are some tips:

Tip #1: Don't Try to Do It All in One Day

It's often hot in Florida, and there is a lot of walking to be done.  Over-doing it will create cranky kids; cranky kids=cranky parents.  Going to Disney is pricey, and so there is always the urge to "get your money's worth".  Trust me, no one will be able to have a magical time if they are over-tired.  Ahead of time, plan out your family's "must-do" attractions.   Focus in on 1-2 attractions for each family member.  Since many people have similar "must-dos", lines at popular attractions can tend to be longer.  Do these first, and then if there's time and you have the energy, go do some other attractions that are of interest.  Speaking of lines...

Tip #2: Utilize Fastpasses!

Fastpasses are FREE.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The Fastpass system is included in park admission.  Just after park opening one day, I overheard a family who was experiencing their first visit to The Mouse.  The mother was clearly irritated that her son had insisted stopping at the Main Street Bakery for breakfast before doing any attractions.  She was expressing concern about the long lines, worrying that they would not be able to experience all of the popular park attractions.  After a few minutes, I could already see crankiness setting in, so I volunteered information about the Fastpasses.  She had totally ignored all of the documentation on this wonderful system due to a preconceived idea that you had to pay to utilize it.  After a quick explanation, she was much happier, her son felt relief, and they went on their merry way.  I didn't notice what they ended up ordering, but I hope they sampled one of the ooey-gooey Cinnamon Rolls before leaving the bakery.  I can't think of a better start to the day!  

Tip #3: Take Breaks

News Flash -- Florida is hot and humid.  Even die-hard Disney fans can occasionally get bogged down by the heat.  Disney does a great job at keeping the queues shaded and/or air conditioned, but there is still a lot of outdoor time.  Go first thing in the morning to the parks to get in some of the most popular attractions.  Take an early lunch to avoid the rush, then head back to your resort for some pool time.  Kids love pools, as evidenced by a friend's daughter, who asked as they headed to the buses, "Dad, when are we going to use this AMAZING pool?!"  So, while your kids are sure to enjoy the magic inside the parks, don't ignore the magic of the resorts!  You will be able to return refreshed and ready to enjoy the late afternoon/evening without feeling exhausted.  If you are planning to stay for the parade and fireworks, this tip is especially worth noting.  Since these events often happen past bedtime, a quick trip back to the hotel for pool/nap will ensure that all family members can fully enjoy the spectacular entertainment that only Disney can offer.

Stay tuned later in the week for Part 2 ... 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Soarin' Into Cyberspace

So, here it is, my inaugural blog post.  After 20 or so trips to the most Magical Place on Earth, I figured it was time to share my love of the Mouse with all of Cyberspace.  This blog will be filled with Disney news, personal anecdotes, and everything I can find that will help to spread the magic.

Speaking of personal anecdotes, I was just reminded of a funny one (as my husband entered the living room in his Soarin' T-shirt). This story takes place in the queue for Soarin', and it was our friends' first time riding this amazing attraction.  In fact, it was our first day of vacation.  We were fortunate enough to hit the line when it was only 25 minutes long, thanks to the nightly performance of Illuminations:Reflections of Earth.  Our friend Jared decided he needed to use the restroom, just as we got into line, and he ducked out for a moment.  My husband, Brady, noticed that Jared was having trouble rejoining us due to the people who were coming from the fireworks.  

As Brady went to retrieve our friend, a young lad made a sudden movement, and the next thing we knew, Brady was covered in ... um, shall we say... the contents of the young lad's stomach.   Needless to say, it was gross.  And clearly, Brady could not continue to wear his favorite blue polo -- it went directly into the restroom trash receptacle.  Disney Cast Members, having been alerted to the situation, performed some Disney magic for us; in short order, Brady was wearing his complimentary blue Soarin' T-shirt, and we were ushered to the front of the queue.  Strange as it seems, this has turned out to be one of our most memorable moments!  I'm sure it helps that we have the T-shirt to remind us.  Oh, and we also have this lovely picture, which we took to commemorate our 2nd (much less eventful) ride later on in the trip.  You'll note Brady is again wearing a blue polo; don't worry, he didn't fish it out of the trash receptacle.  He just has more than one!

I hope you've enjoyed my inaugural voyage into Cyberspace as much as I've enjoyed writing it.  Please stop by and visit me often!

See you real soon!