Observations

Six Sunny Day Observations from the Magic Kingdom

by on July 5, 2015

sunny day observations from magic kindgom

Blue skies and white clouds over Cinderella Castle on a recent afternoon in the Magic Kingdom (photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

If you follow my Best Week Ever column, you know that I’ve had the dubious fortune of getting exceedingly damp during my last few visits to Walt Disney World. You may have even begun to believe that I carry my own storm clouds around with me, like a cursed Douglas Adams character. So, I thought it was time to sweep away the clouds with six sunny day observations from the Magic Kingdom, where I (miracle of miracles) recently spent an entire afternoon with barely a drop of rain.

Same-Day FastPasses Aren’t Extinct

On my most recent Magic Kingdom visit, I was breaking in my brand-new blue MagicBand, which I received free via mail as a renewing Annual Passholder. (After a few more years I should have the whole color collection). And what better use for a new MagicBand than FastPass+ attraction reservations?

Of course, you may assume that by showing up on a busy summer afternoon and not checking for FastPass availability until I was riding the tram to the TTC, I’d be out of luck. But much to my delight, I was able to secure some decent ride times, after a bit of fiddling with the MyDisneyExperience system.

Pro Tip: The MDE mobile website is much more user-friendly than Disney’s smartphone app when searching for alternate time slots.

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Daisy Lauren’s Last Best Week Ever

by on May 21, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. And sadly, yes, the title is true. This will be my last Best Week Ever article! :( Remember that day job that keeps me from posting photos of myself? Well, I’ve been given an incredible promotion that will involve much more travel. While I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity, it will make it impossible to keep up with my weekly updates.

I’m so thankful to all of you that have read over the last year. I’ll still be helping out on the Touring Plans instagram account, so if you miss me you can find me there. (I know I’ll miss you!) And they’ve told me I can still stop by and post when I have time. So it isn’t really goodbye. :) But that’s enough sad stuff, let’s get going with all the theme park goodness from last week!

As you can tell from the photo above, I started this week at Universal Orlando. We don’t make it out that way nearly enough, but we love the parks. Arriving just after opening meant there were no crowds! It was great! I think we enjoyed the quiet morning walk as much as the park itself.

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So where did we head to next? Why don’t you click to find out? :)

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Photo Tour of The New Grizzly Peak Airfield at Disney California Adventure

by on May 15, 2015

It’s hard to believe that Disney California Adventure began its huge multi-billion dollar transformation almost seven years ago and that things are still being improved! The latest enhancement is Grizzly Peak Airfield, a land in DCA formerly known as Condor Flats. The land’s airfield setting remains but has converted from a desert theme to a to rustic mountain setting. Overall it’s a huge improvement. The new theme raises the level of immersion and quality, and takes the park further away from the embarrassment it was on opening day. I have a lot of pictures from today so let’s get right in to it with this photo tour of the new Grizzly Peak Airfield.
DSC04539As you first enter the land you’ll notice the new Grizzly Peak sign. It looks great and in my opinion is a big improvement over the Condor Flats giant red radar tower.

DSC04541Walking in you immediately notice something was severely lacking from the land’s first incarnation. Trees! There are now multiple trees around the land that should provide some much needed shade for the upcoming summer.

Many more pictures after the jump:

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Feel the Force Premium Package Preview

by on May 8, 2015

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Face your fears. Plan ahead. Enjoy the Premium Package.

2015 Feel the Force Details

When the Feel the Force Premium Package Star Wars parade and dessert party was announced last year, I went through a range of emotions on the first day. I started at “That is way too expensive for all of that…” moved quickly to “Maybe I can move a few things around…” Eventually, I ended up at “I must book that thing NOW…” While most reviews were tentative compliments through downright trashing, prepared visitors can make the most out of the experience to turn it into a worthwhile expense. Just be prepared to move to certain areas – and enjoy all that can be offered for the weekend. Read on for a review of last year’s experience.

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Gift ideas for your own little (and no so little) Disney Princess

by on May 7, 2015

Wal-Mart Mickey Mouse Purse

Wal-Mart Mickey Mouse Purse

Hello again. Having just returned from a fortnight in Florida, I followed my own tips from my last blog and used the flight time to write this blog. As I had spent all of my holiday money, and a lot of my Dad’s hard earned money, during numerous shopping sprees, I thought I would come back with another inspirational, witty and award-winning blog on age appropriate Disney gift ideas for girls (catchy I know but I will think of a better title soon I promise).

My plan is to uncover a range of ideas that you have never really thought of before. I am going to split up my blog into age ranges and then list and explain a few presents that you might be interested in bringing home for your princess/daughter/niece/family friend etc. Being the quintessential Mother’s Daughter that I am, I was born to shop but when I was smaller, I had to rely on my cute smile and good behaviour to get the things I have highlighted. Also, please bear in mind fashions change and I cannot see any Daddy letting their Princess follow Miley Cyrus now; I know mine won’t!

Let’s begin with younger girls and work up my current status of teenage girl.

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Disney Detour – Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

by on April 17, 2015

IMG_4487Six miles away from Disneyland Resort is the Southern California institution known as Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s hard to explain to outsiders or first time visitors the place that Knott’s has in the hearts of Southern Californians. It’s a place that our grandparent’s grandparents took them to. A place that not many people would call their favorite theme park, or even necessarily a place they like to visit. But it’s our nice little local park. The typical response I hear from out-of-towners that visit Knott’s is, “It’s nowhere near as good as Disneyland.” That’s like telling a wrestling fan that wrestling is fake. Duh, they know. Sure, it’s not as glamorous, exciting, or well-themed as Disneyland, but it definitely has a lot of charm and is well worth a visit.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Knott’s history or quality; it’s about boysenberries. This week I visited Knott’s with Tom Bricker. This was his first trip, and our main reason for visiting was to experience the annual Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. You see, boysenberries are one of the major reasons Knott’s Berry Farm exists (Knott’s says all boysenberries in the world can be traced back to Knott’s Berry Farm), so it makes sense that the park would honor them.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: February 26, 2015

by on February 26, 2015

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re spending evenings in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, having dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby, and visiting Animal Kingdom for some bright blue skies. Three parks in one week! This is going to be a blast, let’s get going! :)

First, check out this view from the entrance of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios! You can almost see what this will look like once the hat is completely removed. While it was sad to watch it come apart, in the end I’m glad it’s gone. I can’t wait to see the last pieces removed and this view restored. What do you think now that it’s coming together? Do you still miss the hat?

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Want to see more fun from all around Disney World this week? Click to read more. 

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Best Themed Restaurants at Disney World

by on February 23, 2015

CrystalPalace

The level of detail that Disney Imagineers put into the theming of the parks is astonishing. If I can be perfectly content just sitting in an area and soaking in all the details, then that to me is a wonderfully themed area of a Disney park. The same goes for Disney dining. Obviously, food quality comes first but with the premium that you’re going to pay at Disney, I always try to eat at restaurants that are immersive and give me that feeling that I’ve actually entered the setting that the Imagineers were trying to convey. If you have that same desire to be transported away during your next Disney dining experience then you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find a list of my personal five best themed restaurants at Disney World. Each of these restaurants has excellent theming that will surely enhance your meal. Luckily, the food happens to be great at each of them as well.

 

5. Flame Tree Barbecue

Might have to talk to your kids about the birds and the...snakes?

Might have to talk to your kids about the birds and the…snakes?

Starting off our list is the only quick service entry and the only outdoor entry on our list. Located in Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbecue is my favorite place to eat a meal outdoors in the parks. Animal Kingdom is already a beautiful park so it’s no surprise that Flame Tree lives up to its park’s reputation. There are both covered seating areas and more sunny areas that are overlooking the water with Everest in the distance. There’s also a beautiful pond/pool towards the back of the seating area as well. Along with the great views, the covered areas I mentioned before are cool looking and come complete with a surprisingly “real” Circle of Life theme. Each patio features a predator eating its prey, which shows that Disney can take the kid gloves off every once in a while without going over the top. When it comes down to it, Flame Tree has arguably the best counter service food and best outdoor seating areas in the parks, which make it my fifth most atmospheric restaurant at Disney World. Note: Flame Tree is currently closed during Rivers of Light construction at Animal Kingdom, though some of its seating is open and you can find your smoked meats other places in the park.

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Disney World Planning Challenges: First-Time Touring at Crowd Level 10

by on January 15, 2015

Fantasyland - December 30, 2014, 11:09 AM (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland – December 30, 2014, 11:09 AM (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

We finally took the plunge this year. After multiple trips to Walt Disney World in assorted months, my family decided to take a trip during the absolute busiest time at the World, between Christmas and the first few days of January. As first-time Christmas time visitors at Disney World, we had certain expectations about how it would be to tour with the masses of people visiting during the holidays. This article tells how these expectations matched up with reality as well as how well our planning and previous trips prepared us for the trip. But first, here is some background on how we got to the point of braving Christmas time crowds at Disney World.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: December 25, 2014

by on December 25, 2014

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re stopping by Disney’s Hollywood Studios, checking out some sweet treats at the Contempo Cafe, and taking another detailed look at the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. I can’t wait – so let’s get going! :)

Now, you might be asking yourself why I’m not covering the new Polynesian lobby or the Comedy Warehouse returning to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While I pride myself on bringing you guys the latest news from the parks every week, I’m home enjoying some time with my family for the holidays. Rather than leave you without any Disney goodness at all, I decided to pull some extra fun from the past couple of weeks to share with you. I’ll be back next week to share the latest news and to get ready for the craziness that is New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! How are you celebrating? I’d love to hear in the comment below!

We started celebrating a couple weeks ago in the Disney parks. As you can see to the left, we wanted to build a snowman! While it was only about six inches tall, it was the best these Floridians have done in a while. 😉 Want to see what else we did? Click to read more.

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