Archive for March, 2013

10 Places for a Toddler to Burn Off Energy at Disneyland

by on March 29, 2013

So you’re taking your toddler to Disneyland! Are you crazy? Maybe! But that may not have anything to do with taking a toddler to Disneyland. I’m just sayin’. The first question is probably whether or not you SHOULD take a toddler to Disneyland. I’m going to say definitely yes. Bring those cuties. In fact, there are times when my teenagers are turning their nose up at standing in a line to see Mickey, and I look back on those toddler days with great nostalgia. If you don’t wear toddlers out too much, they can have a blast. Will they remember it? Nope. Will you? Absolutely, and you’ll have the pictures to prove you were a great parent even when they don’t remember it!

The number one thing to remember with toddlers is that they can’t tour at a grownup’s pace. Adults get exhausted from all the walking while the toddlers get sick of being strapped into their stroller all day! They’ve got energy to burn off and in a park that could be wall to wall people, it’s sometimes difficult to find somewhere to do that! But you must! For the good of all in your party, you must. Here are some ideas for you.

1. Redwood Creek Challenge TrailWhen our kids were little, this was our number one place to go to let them run around in Disney California Adventure. There are tubes to climb through, little people slides, and lots of nooks and crannies where a toddler can – well, toddle. This isn’t a section of the park that screams for adults, teenagers and older kids to stop in, so it can be pretty quiet at times. If you haven’t ever stopped in before, try it. It’s a neat atmosphere with great theming. There’s lots of shade, too! So on a hot day, that’s a bonus!

2. Disney Animation – Disney Animation in California Adventure is a pretty big building with lots of space and things to do inside. Not all of it is good for toddlers, however, despite the coloring/drawing aspect (You wouldn’t catch me dead, for example, with a toddler in the Animation Academy trying to get them to sit still and quiet for 30 minutes while everyone else draws. Um. No.). But other parts are great! The main room inside is huge, and there are some benches you can relax on while your toddlers enjoy the open space. They may enjoy wandering through the Sorcerer’s Workshop, too. There are some interesting sights to see, and you can go at their pace since there’s no queue with people waiting for you to keep moving. The Zoetrope – one of my favorite things at Disneyland – will probably fascinate them for a few minutes as well. The lights will go dark while a strobe light flashes, though, so be careful if they’re wandering around in there.

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Review Of Senses Spa At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

by on March 29, 2013

Lillian Macko, a Touring Plans researcher, is a retiree from Vermont who moved to Orlando with her husband, Richard, in 2003.   Some months later, she fell in with the wrong crowd – us – never guessing  the variety of work that was to come.  Lillian has inspected hotel rooms and tested touring plans, rode buses for hours, measured ride wait times at the parks, and  assisted with resort photos.  She’s also reviewed spa treatments at WDW and Orlando-area spas.

I had my first “journey” this month at the newly renovated spa at the Grand Floridian Resort. The spa is now called “Senses” and I call it a “journey” since that is what they have named their customized treatments: Relax, Renew or Imagine “journeys.” I wanted to have a facial, manicure and pedicure and certainly wanted to relax so that’s the journey I chose.

Beginning with my appointment phone call to the end of my journey, the Disney staff was extremely friendly, professional, competent and kind. Disney did an excellent job with their renovations maintaining some of the Victorian feel of the resort plus updating treatment rooms, showers and lounges to be very modern yet comfortable. The mosaic work in the Wet Room is amazing.

An added touch at this spa is the offering of a small glass of a fruity elixir. Each journey has its own flavored drink and this flavor carries through to the end of your journey when you receive a very small gel that contains the same flavors.

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The Wildest (And Tastiest) Meal in the Wilderness

by on March 28, 2013

Situated in the back corner of the Wilderness Lodge lobby just behind Territory Lounge, Artist Point offers diners the opportunity for a fantastic Pacific Northwest-themed meal with spectacular views of the lodge’s grounds and Bay Lake. I was able to book a last-minute ADR for this meal just a few hours beforehand, and walkup availability is pretty common here early in the night.

Just like the décor and location of the restaurant, the menu stresses a seasonal Pacific Northwest theme. For appetizers, you’ll generally find dishes that fit in one of three categories:

  • Seasonal salads: a light salad option (roasted beets in the fall; field greens in the winter), along with a few heavier salads (one recent dish is confited bacon with grilled corn)
  • Wildcards: during fall and winter, venison carpaccio is a more adventurous start to the meal
  • Staples: Subject to availability, there’s nearly always a mussels dish; a cheese plate; and their signature Smokey Portobello Soup, which is worth a trip on its own.

Oak-smoked venison carpaccio with Washington State cherries, drunken goat cheese, fennel, and shaved black truffle

Smokey Portabello soup with roasted shiitakes, chive oil, and sourdough croutons

A typical Artist Point cheese plate has one each of a bleu, mild and hard cheese with walnut toast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Crib in Your Walt Disney World Hotel Room: Getting to Know the Pack ‘n Play

by on March 27, 2013

Pack 'n Play already in my DVC room closet.

Every Walt Disney World resort hotel room has a posted maximum guest capacity. For example, the standard value resort rooms allow up to four guests to stay there. However, the fine print also states that you can add an additional guest to the room if it is a child under the age of three sleeping in a crib. In most cases, the crib that child will be sleeping in is a Graco brand Pack n Play.

Here’s what you need to know about the Pack ‘n Play and the “sleeping in a crib” part of your Walt Disney World stay with a baby.

What exactly is a Pack ‘n Play?

The Graco Pack ‘n Play is what Amazon.com calls a play yard, and what many grandmas would call a play pen. The actual surface that the baby sleeps on is just a few inches off the ground. It is not a proper crib.

What is the mattress like?

The mattress is about an inch thick, with minimal padding. While this may not seem particularly comfy for us, it does conform to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for infant sleep surfaces.

What are the dimensions of the Pack n Play?

The Pack ‘n Play is approximately 39″ long x 28″ wide x 29″ high.

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Oídos al Mundo- Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on March 26, 2013

Finalmente llegamos a Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Este parque abrió sus puertas el 22 de abril de 1998 (Día de la Tierra). Enfocándose en la naturaleza y los animales que viven en ella. Este parque muestra, a través de exhibiciones, espectáculos, y atracciones, el valor intrínseco de la naturaleza. Por esta razón los audífonos de oídos al mundo solo funcionan en It’s Tough To Be A Bug! y la presentación preliminar de DINOSAUR. Puede ver la lista de atracciones aquí: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/es-us/parks/animal-kingdom/attractions/.

Al llegar al parque fui directamente a Guest Relations ubicada a mano izquierda inmediatamente después que entra. Los audífonos se alquilan por $25 que se les devuelve al regresarlos. El Cast Member me informó que no vale la pena alquilarlos si no desea ir a It’s Tough to Be a Bug! ya que es la única atracción en donde funcionan. Tengo que decir que estoy de acuerdo con el ya que no vale la pena andar por todo el parque cargando estos audífonos para solo una atracción. Sin embargo si desea ir a It’s Tough to be a Bug! podría alquilarlo, ir a esta atracción y regresarlos ya que la atracción se encuentra dentro del Tree of Life y está cerca de Guest Relations.

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WDW Bars and Lounges: A Brand New Touring Plans eGuide!

by on March 26, 2013

TouringPlans.com is proud to announce another addition to our stable of  eBooks: the Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide!

Are you unfamiliar with the over 70 bars and lounges found on Walt Disney World property? Are you a frequent visitor who is always on the lookout for hidden gems and new experiences? Do you like pretty pictures? Have you always wanted to try your hand at making Disney cocktails at home? This eBook is for you!

With descriptions and numerical ratings of every single bar at Walt Disney World plus over 400 pictures, this eBook is just another way that TouringPlans.com fully prepares you for any Disney vacation. From the Walt Disney World bar novice to the advanced lounge lizard, this eGuide offers something for everyone! It contains information about history, themes, drinks, and food at every lounge along with wonderful pictures illustrating the highlights. The suggestions and tips in this eGuide will easily pay for themselves as the Bars and Lounges eGuide will help you pick the best bars and make the best selections, saving valuable vacation time!

Another wonderful thing about this eGuide is the 26 cocktail recipes that allow you to continue that Disney vacation feeling from your own home lounge. The recipes are designed to minimize the amount of liquor needed to maximize the value of our drink list.

Cheers!

Purchase Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges on the TouringPlans.com eBooks page! As a thank you for purchasing from our site, we are offering 20% off for a limited time. Use code BARSBLOG20 when you purchase the eBook!

Still need convincing? Check out these sample pages!

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DCA’s Disney Junior Show Reopens with New Characters

by on March 25, 2013

Unless you visit the Disneyland Resort with toddlers in tow, the Disney Junior — Live On Stage! show in Disney California Adventure’s Hollywood Land probably isn’t one of your top in-park destinations. But if you have pint-sized patrons of the popular Disney Junior series in your household, you know that the network’s cartoon characters are like rock stars to the pre-school set.

After many weeks of refurbishment, DCA’s Disney Junior show reopened on Friday, March 22, with the same refreshed production that previously premiered at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios park. This latest version retains the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse framing segments and Jake and the Neverland Pirates vignette, while replacing the Handy Mandy and Little Einsteins sequences with new scenes inspired by Sophia the First and Doc McStuffins. As before, the show uses a mix of live actors and rod puppets manipulated from beneath the stage.

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Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Gets A Little Dopey

by on March 22, 2013

Are you a runDisney fan? Does running 48.6 miles in four days time sound like fun to you?

Well, then you are in luck! Today, Disney announced a brand new race that has been added to the 2014 Marathon Weekend.

A 10k has been added to the roster for the 2014 docket, and since this is a runDisney event, of course the medal has to be spectacular. The 10k medal will feature Mickey’s favorite gal pal…Minnie!

Countless runners have officially completed the Goofy Challenge (running both the half and the full marathons). Previously, the Dopey had always been something that was made up by Disney fanatics who had run not only the Goofy (completing the half marathon and the full marathon) but also finishing the 5k offered that weekend, too. With the addition of this 10k, the Dopey Challenge is now officially a thing!

Dopey Challenge runners who complete all four races willearn the Dopey medal.  (For those keeping score, if you run all four races, you will get SIX medals! Not a bad haul for one weekend!)

The 2014 Marathon Weekend is scheduled for January 8 – 12, 2014. For those who are looking to register for any of the Marathon Weekend festivities, you may do so starting April 9, 2013, at noon EDT at rundisney.com. If you are interested in participating, make sure to sign up early.

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10 Great Places to Eat Breakfast at Disneyland

by on March 22, 2013

Yum! Breakfast! Is it weird that I don’t eat breakfast at home (unless you count cookies) but that I love eating breakfast at Disneyland? Maybe my body is fueling up for all the walking I’m about to do. Maybe my body knows I’m within walking distance of Mickey Waffles! Whatever the reason, breakfast at Disney is a must do for me! If I’m trying to save money, that breakfast may just be a few donuts from a box that we brought with us (and, really, is that all that different from cookies?), but otherwise we make a point to find something tasty to start the day.

1. Jazz Kitchen ExpressRalph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney District isn’t open at breakfast, but the Express Window is! And there are lots of good choices for breakfast. The beignets are probably the most popular and with good reason. They are hot deliciousness dipped (smothered?) in powdered sugar. Or try them dipping style with cinnamon sugar and syrup on the side. Take my advice and do not attempt to eat these without several napkins on hand. Messy doesn’t even begin to describe it. Worth it, but messy. The breakfast burrito pictured at right is also delicious.

2. Steakhouse 55 – In my blog post about my favorite restaurants at Disney, a commenter pointed out how good the breakfast at Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel is. Boy was that person right! Shout out to Marmorgan! And unless you are getting the steak and eggs for $17, it’s fairly reasonably priced! A large stack of hot pancakes for $11, build your own omelet for $12, an American breakfast with eggs, ham, bacon or sausage and toast or a bagel for $12. With the Two Times Four you get French toast or pancakes, eggs, bacon AND sausage for $12. Not bad for a nice restaurant, huh? I didn’t say cheap, I said reasonable. Compare it to the prices of Goofy’s Kitchen next door and you’ll realize what a bargain you’re getting.

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Limited Time Magic For Walt Disney World and Disneyland – Spring Fling

by on March 22, 2013

Disney

Well, spring is in the air (although some of us would dispute this fact…it has been snowing in some parts of the country still!), and for Disney that means that this week’s Limited Time Magic is focusing on the season.

Spring Fling takes place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts from March 25 – 31.

At both the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, guests will have the opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny on Main Street, U.S.A., in Town Square.

In addition, at the Magic Kingdom, a spring procession starring the famous rabbit duo, along with butterflies, flowers, dancing hippos, and others, will take place daily before the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade.

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