Adults

The Best of Walt Disney World for Seniors

by on October 4, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney World for Seniors

Welcome back to Part 6 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, teens and adults. Next up are the still-going-strong seniors. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the seniors surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Adults

by on September 27, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney for Adults

Welcome back to Part 5 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, and teens. Next up are the young-at-heart adults. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the adults surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Disney World Date Night Ideas

by on June 26, 2017

When most people think of romantic vacation getaways, Walt Disney World probably isn’t very high on the list. But for those who know it well, the family vacation destination has some incredible and unique opportunities for a date night. So, whether you’re visiting Disney World for an adult only trip or ditching the kiddos for some fun on your own for a night, we’ve got some ideas for a date night at Disney World that you won’t soon forget.

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Disney Bar Crawls (That AREN’T “Drinking Around the World!”)

by on March 13, 2017

Disney Bar Crawls that aren'r drinking around the world

Bar crawl at Walt Disney World! If you’re this author or one of many of our loyal readers, this may sound like a perfect or even a dream scenario. For others, it might elicit chuckles and sly comments about the duties of parenting children. But a bar crawl at Walt Disney World is certainly a feasible idea for Orlando area locals or those looking for an out-of-the-box destination bachelor party or adults-only night on vacation.

When you set your mind to something along the lines of a Walt Disney World bachelor party (or bachelorette party for that matter…this article is only written from a male perspective because I am one, you can apply any of these scenarios to a female maneuver) your mind likely turns to the one place in the World where drunken revelry is not only not out of place but borderline encouraged: Epcot. “Drinking Around the World” is an unofficial attraction at Walt Disney World these days and with specialized drinking “passports” available for purchase on Etsy and at least one yahoo passed out in the World Showcases bushes nightly, it’s the first thing that probably pops into your mind when you consider an adults-only Disney World excursion. But I think we can all push past this cliche and consider a few other options that are just as good.

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Fun Ideas for Disney World Problem Solving

by on March 9, 2017

Hard to believe it, but Disney World could be even better!

Hard to believe it looking at this view, but Disney World could be even better!

Let me throw this out there to start — I LOVE Disney Parks. In addition to just being, well, FUN, they are also marvels of modern engineering, and it is astonishing to me that they can do what they do at the scale that they do it every single day and night. Considering what they seek to accomplish, the efficiency is pretty incredible, and its amazing that we don’t have to deal with more Walt Disney World problems than we do. 

With that said, there do indeed exist imperfections. What Disney may not realize, however, is that the solutions to these minor annoyances exist right under their noses right now! That’s right, by just borrowing ideas from other aspects of its parks, Disney can make its already great parks even better! Read on for a few realistic and not-so-realistic, blue sky hopes for the future of the parks to find out how!

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A Guide to Universal Mardi Gras 2017

by on January 26, 2017

Thousands of plastic beads patiently wait to be tossed into the hands of eager park guests. Spicy Cajun food will soon be devoured. Parade performers practice endlessly, waiting for their time in the spotlight. Universal Mardi Gras 2017 is about to begin!

With more consecutive nights than ever before, Universal Mardi Gras 2017 looks to be a bit different than years past. There’s lots to see and deux so check out this guide to make sure you don’t miss a beat!

This year Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is a little shorter than before, February 4 to March 24, 2017. However, this year is different because the parade, special food, and other festivities will bring the best of the Big Easy every single night through March 24, 2017.

French Quarter Courtyard – Food and live bands

One the best features of Universal Mardi Gras are the bands brought in from New Orleans itself that perform in the French Quarter Courtyard (in the New York area of the park near Revenge of the Mummy and across from the soon-to-open Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon). Many people aren’t aware that these authentic bands perform in the French Quarter Courtyard, but they are a real treat and straight from the land of the Big Easy, so check them out.

Here’s the line up:

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10 Romantic Things to Do on a Disney Cruise

by on January 20, 2017

10 Romantic Things to do on a Disney Cruise

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, people!  Are you ready?  Well you better get ready, because it’s coming!  According to your local Target’s seasonal aisles, it’s been coming since December 26th.  So you’re behind!  You better make some plans.  Preferably some romantic plans with the one you love.  I’m here to help.  I have 10 cruise ideas for you.  Use them on Valentine’s Day or to make up for Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t matter!  Here are 10 ideas for romance on a Disney cruise.

1. Pop the Question – At first it may appear that number one is just a shameless excuse to use my now favorite-photo-of-all-time in my blog post! In that vein, I present said photo of my son proposing to his girlfriend on the Disney Fantasy a few weeks ago! Perfect, right?  But that’s not why this suggestion is number one!  That’s just a very (very) happy bonus.  Insert all the smiley emoticons in the world.  But seriously.  If you are ready to take the next step with the one you love, there aren’t many prettier places to do it!  Find a quiet deck at sunset, pick a beautiful island, or drop down on one knee in the atrium craziness before dinner if you want what will probably be a wildly enthusiastic audience!  There are a lot of great opportunities to propose onboard.  It may be the perfect place for you!

2. Leave the Children at Home – Disney cruises are not just for families with children! I’ve done several adult-only cruises, two with just my husband and a few with groups of friends–and I’ve loved every one. If you want the ultimate romantic Disney cruise, leave your children at home, and get away by yourselves.  You won’t regret it!  Think about quiet mornings on the verandah sipping coffee together.  Blissfully alone!  Don’t forget to request a table for two in the main dining rooms!

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Disney Romance at Old Key West

by on January 18, 2017

With Valentine’s Day a month out, we’re looking at some places at Walt Disney World that offer the chance for couples to get away from the usual park experience and enjoy some romance – Disney style. Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a surprisingly great resort pick if you are looking for some Disney romance with your significant other. At least it was a surprise to my husband and me when we made a recent adults-only getaway and stayed there for the first time.

As Disney Vacation Club members, we often plan our trips months in advance, but this trip was planned within a much shorter time frame. Old Key West is one of the DVC resorts that is more likely to have availability when planning just a couple months out.We were thrilled to find a room there for our dates. While we were excited for our first stay at this resort, what we didn’t expect was how much a part Old Key West would play in the overall romantic mood of the trip.

© Sarah Graffam

Covered walkway leading to the riverfront

So here’s a rundown of reasons why you should consider Old Key West Resort when planning your next couples trip to Disney World.

Disney Romance Factor 1: Setting

Old Key West’s layout is very spread out, with a central Hospitality House and two- to three-story buildings in pastel colors throughout several “neighborhoods.” This layout, especially for the buildings that are a bit tucked away, is extremely conducive to the feeling of privacy that enhances romance. The abundant foliage, palm trees, water features, and golf course fairways create an atmosphere of relaxation and seclusion away from the busy parks.

The slow pace extends to the Hospitality House where you can wander with your sweetie under a wide covered walkway that opens onto the riverfront and dock area. Upon arrival at the resort, take a stroll together through the walkway out to the river. This transition creates a similar reveal, and a feeling of “you are here,” as when walking under the railroad station into Magic Kingdom’s Town Square—but without the crowds. This first impression of the resort was one of the earliest indications that our time at Old Key West would be even more relaxing and romantic than we expected.

© Sarah Graffam

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Disney World Valentine’s Day Romance: Mix and Match Your Plan

by on January 17, 2017

Valentine's Day Romance at Walt Disney World

While Disney World is known for being a magical place for families, its fantastic variety of dining, attractions, entertainment, and recreation options also make it a great place for couples to find some romance. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, you may be thinking about how to spend an ideal day of romance, Disney World-style. This article offers a framework for a plan and plenty of ideas to inspire your own Disney World Valentine’s Day.

Disney World Romance Step #1: Breakfast

What better way to start off Valentine’s Day than with a leisurely breakfast. Although taking a park by storm at rope drop is a key strategy in time-efficient touring, Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to take a slower approach. Here are some great resort and in-park options. Keep in mind that the location of your choice can be a stepping stone to the next part of your plan.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Disney Gifts Santa Can Bring Back to the North Pole (AKA The Best of the Disney Outlet Stores in 2016)

by on December 24, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX is an annual tradition. Six Disney Gifts Santa Can Bring Back to the North Pole (AKA The Best of the Disney Outlet Stores in 2016). Some readers of this weekly column may not know that we also have The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! where every single month for over three years we have braved the insanity of the Orlando Premium Outlet parking lots to cover the two Disney outlet stores (more info on them – including addresses –  are at the end of the article.)  In fact, we even had a very special Three Year Anniversary edition with some congratulatory notes from some very impressive names in the theme park community.

Now, while some Christmas dreams do come true, such as Ralphie Parker getting his official Red Ryder BB gun and Your Humble Author getting a Han Solo blaster back in the day, other Christmas gifts deserve to go straight to the Island of Misfit Toys. Today we will take a look at some of those very items, starting with…

# 6 – Glow With The Show Ears

Let it glow.

Our first item this week was the first ever Made With Magic piece of merchandise to hit the Outlets. These were the Mickey Ears that lit up with different colors to Glow With the Show during some of the nighttime spectaculars at the parks. I have no actual financial numbers to support my theory, but having been the parks many, many times and only seeing a handful of guests wearing these, I’m going to assume Disney took a complete bath on this idea. It’s an item that cost over $25, are heavier than a normal pair of Mickey Ears, and the person wearing it can’t even see it glow. They were reduced to $9.99. This pair of Ears is particularly garish in design.

# 5 – Hats that are “Big In Japan”

This next item I had been waiting for ever since they showed up at the regular Disney stores over two years ago. These hats where you look like you are wearing the carcass of a dead Disney character on your head and are next level bananas. Apparently these bonkers hats are huge over at the Tokyo parks, but to be fair they also line up for hours just for popcorn. Popcorn!  To be even more fair, if I were out there I’d be in line with them. Originally $21.95, these were reduced to $5.99.

Goofy hat.

Donald hat, as seen in the Art of Animation gift shop.

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