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Traveling with a Disney Curmudgeon

by on November 16, 2014 10 Comments

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Photo - Pixar.wikia.comThey live among us. They look just like you and me. They are….the Disney Curmudgeon.

Disney Curmudgeon (Dis·ney cur·mudg·eon): noun. 1. A person who possesses a strong dislike or disinterest of all things Disney.

I know my fair share of Disney Curmudgeons. In fact, I live with one. My husband, Michael, doesn’t share my obsession and love of everything Disney. He is a great sport (He dressed up as Smee and Mickey Mouse for me, so he must be!) and there are some aspects of Walt Disney World he really does enjoy. However, whenever I bring up a future Disney trip, his eyes say, “Really? again!?,” but his mouth smiles and says, “We can see about that honey.”

Although it may be in my nature to throw the book (and by book, I mean the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World) at him and spend hours explaining why Disney World is the best place ever, it would result in a negative outcome on both sides. Instead, working with him and catering a little more to his needs can reduce the stress and make our vacation much more enjoyable. Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Disney’s Contemporary Resort

by on November 15, 2014 8 Comments

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love Disney’s Contemporary Resort. After examining some of the value resorts on Disney property, including Pop Century and Art of Animation, it’s time to head straight to the top of the WDW resort food chain and see the benefits a deluxe resort brings to the table. First stop, The Contemporary. As a long time Disney fan, I have wanted to stay at The Contemporary since I was a little kid, but my parents always booked hotels off-site to save money. As an adult planning my own trips, I would often price out a stay at The Contemporary, only to end up choosing a cheaper alternative myself. I’m not a big fan of the cliche you only live once, but if there is one thing I have learned in life, it’s that the biggest regrets are not doing things when you have the chance, because those opportunities may not be around forever.  So whether it was philosophical reasons, or the fact that I felt the awesome Contemporary Resort Monorail Toy Accessory was taunting me, I decided to fulfill a near lifelong dream and book a stay at The Contemporary this year.

Now that it is crossed of the bucket list I can report back that…. I loved it. The stay confirmed several things I thought The Contemporary would be like, and opened my eyes to amenities I did not know much about before. Today we are going to countdown six takeaways from my experience, starting with…

# 6 – A Million Dollar View

Contemporary_View

View from Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

 

The views from The Contemporary A-Frame building are spectacular. One side faces Bay Lake, the other faces the Magic Kingdom.  Waking up in the morning we could see Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village, the Grand Floridian, the monorail passing by, ferry boats in the lake, the Walt Disney World Railroad, and not to mention the Magic Kingdom itself, with icons such as Cinderella’s Castle and Space Mountain. I’ve stayed at on-site hotels at various theme park resorts, and hotels across the United States including Las Vegas, Boston, San Diego, Times Square, and Hawaii, but this was the most amazing view I have ever had. I was able to enjoy fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant, two of my favorite things at WDW, from the room. I was speechless. I knew it would be good. I didn’t know it would be this good.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of November 14, 2014

by on November 14, 2014 3 Comments

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In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

Who turned off the heater outside? I know that the cold weather is just getting started, but I am already tired of it. (I moved south for a reason!) Stupid polar vortex.

Anyway…moving on to other things, this week, I was delighted to find articles to share with you that include a look at Disney’s fourth quarter earnings, what you should consider purchasing for your loved ones for Christmas from Orlando, and more!

 

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

Veterans Day was this week, and along with a great article posted here, I also came across another fantastic article discussing the flag retreat at Disneyland. Thank you to all those who serve in the U.S. military and if you are a Disney fan and seen (or if possible, taken part in) the flag ceremony, I hope you have the chance to it soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Details About the Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World at Epcot

by on November 14, 2014

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©Disney

©Disney

While the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have already started celebrating the holiday season with their special events, we are just two weeks away from the holiday festivities beginning at Epcot. Each year, Epcot celebrates in its own unique way, showing the global reach of Christmas (and other related holidays).

The premiere portion of Epcot’s celebrations is the Candlelight Processional. This incredibly beautiful performance includes a mass choir, a 50-piece orchestra, and a celebrity narrator who all combine in a gorgeous manner to share the story of Christmas. This year’s celebrity narrators include some favorites (Neil Patrick Harris…some day I will see you perform this) and some newbies (like Jonathan Groff, the voice of Kristoff from Frozen). Here is the full list of celebrity narrators:

  • November 28 – 29: Jodi Benson
  • November 30 – December 2: Neil Patrick Harris
  • December 3 – 4: Jonathan Groff (NEW!) 
  • December 5 – 6: Whoopi Goldberg
  • December 7 – 9: Levar Burton
  • December 10 – 11: Edward James Olmos
  • December 12 – 14: Joe Morton
  • December 15 – 17: Chita Rivera
  • December 18 – 20: Ana Gasteyer (NEW!)
  • December 21 – 23: Marlee Matlin
  • December 24 – 25: Isabella Rossellini
  • December 26 – 27: Blair Underwood
  • December 28 – 30: Steven Curtis Chapman

Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh Details About the 2015 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

by on November 13, 2014 1 Comment

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©Disney

©Disney

While winter is still on the horizon and most of the country is currently going through some extremely cold weather, so many of us are already dreaming of spring and warmer weather! With spring comes the 22nd annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The 2015 Festival runs from March 4 through May 17, and we already know some early details about the event. There are a lot of new things on tap, as well as fantastic things that are returning once again.

For the first time (in forever), Anna and Elsa appear in topiary form at the World Showcase Plaza. In addition, the front entrance plaza will see new scene called “Goofy About Spring” and will feature a couple of new characters – two of my favorites – Chip ‘n’ Dale! Read the rest of this entry »

What’s On TV? Your Disney World TV Channel Line Up

by on November 13, 2014 7 Comments

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Disney World TVI just returned from another incredible Walt Disney World vacation a couple of weeks ago, and I am still suffering from the post-Disney blues! One of my family’s favorite things about a Disney vacation is being able to stay in the “Disney Bubble” from the moment we arrive until the moment we leave. An integral part of that “Disney Bubble” is only watching Disney World TV and turning on the Must Do Disney channel as soon as we arrive to listen to Stacey talk about all of the fun things we will be doing during our visit. During this vacation, my boys and I spent a little time each morning while we were getting ready and a little time each night while we were winding down watching some of the Disney World TV channels that were offered at our resort hotel, the Art of Animation. Have you ever wondered about what is on TV at Disney World or have you ever wanted to know more about our favorite Must Do Disney gal – Stacey? Please read on for the full Disney World TV channel line up as well as my interview with Must Do Disney‘s Stacey Aswad!

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Outdoor Movies at Disney World FAQ

by on November 13, 2014 6 Comments

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At the end of a long day of park touring, sometimes the only thing you have the energy for is kicking back and watching a movie. Sure you can do that in your hotel room on the TV or your trusty iPad, but it can feel a bit more vacationy to watch a movie under the stars. And wouldn’t you know, Disney has you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about outdoor movie viewing at Walt Disney World.

Toy Story 3 poolside at All Star Music. (Not shown: me crying hysterically in the back row.)

Toy Story 3 poolside at All Star Music. (Not shown: me crying hysterically in the back row.)

Does every Disney hotel show outdoor movies?

In general, yes. There may be situations where construction or refurbishment temporarily halts the movies at that particular hotel.

There is one case where sister resorts, the Yacht & Beach Clubs, share a movie location. One resort, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, has two movie locations.

Is there a charge for the outdoor movies?

Nope, the cost is included with your resort stay.

Do I have to stay for the whole movie? Is it weird to leave in the middle?

Not at all. Since most of the movies are near the pools, guest will often pop in and out of viewing, alternating a few minutes of screen time with a few minutes of swim time.

I will often stop and watch just a few minutes of a film if I pass one while walking back to my hotel room in the evening.

Are movies shown every night?

Usually yes. Some resorts have experimented with twice-a-week movies in the off season, but for the most part you can expect that your hotel will show an outdoor movie every night, weather permitting. Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: November 13, 2014

by on November 13, 2014 18 Comments

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1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re attending the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, stopping by Downtown Disney and Epcot, then checking out the Osborne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Phew – that’s a lot!  Let’s get going! :)

I was absolutely over the moon when I got the email from Touring Plans asking if I wouldn’t mind attending the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The truth was I’d been on the fence about going the first night, but the tickets sold out before I pulled the trigger. So let this serve as a warning to all of you to not delay picking up those party tickets! But what if you can’t make it this year? Well, no worries! Just click to read all about it.  Read the rest of this entry »

New Princess Dining Option at Citricos Beginning in January

by on November 12, 2014 4 Comments

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Mickey Waffles

©Disney

For those who were unaware, Cinderella’s Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom will undergo a two month refurbishment, from January 5 through March 6, reopening on March 7, 2015. The good news is beginning on January 8, if you head to to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, your little princess or prince still has the opportunity to partake in a character meal featuring Cinderella and her Disney Princess friends. It’s called “Cinderella’s Dining at Citricos – Breakfast and Brunch with the Disney Princesses.”

The meal will allow guests to enjoy a good meal, meet some of their favorite princesses, and participate in an interactive “Magical Wishing Ceremony” using wishing wands and wishing swords. One thing to note is that currently Disney has not announced which Princesses will be appearing at this meal, but one would expect it would be similar to the Princesses that were available at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Guests will delight in a three course meal and choose from many different options that include:  Read the rest of this entry »

Add a Touch of Disney to Your Christmas at Home

by on November 12, 2014 5 Comments

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Between holiday shopping, parties, school concerts, wrapping, baking, and spending time with family and friends, it can be difficult for many Disney fans to take a trip to Walt Disney World at Christmas time. But that doesn’t mean that Disney can’t be a part of your Christmas. Here are just a few ideas to bring a little bit of the joy you feel in the parks into your home and to mix some pixie dust in with your Christmas spirit.

Photo by Sarah Graffam

Christmas card from the Villas at Wilderness Lodge lobby (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

Christmas cards. If you have visited the World during the year, one of your favorite family photos from the vacation could be the perfect Christmas card. If you are lucky enough to visit in November when Disney World has put up some of its holiday decorations, you can take a photo for your card in front of one of Disney’s several Christmas trees or giant gingerbread houses, many of which are up at the parks and resorts by Thanksgiving (although Magic Kingdom’s tree is not up until after the first weekend in December). Disney Hollywood Studio’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which typically begins in early November, is another holiday photo op. Later, you can frame the card to display in your home as a special souvenir.

Christmas ornaments (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

An ornament collection is a great way to create family memories (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

Park merchandise. Next time you are in the parks, even if it is in the heat of summer, keep the Christmas season in mind when shopping. Many shops offer holiday merchandise year-round. Daisy Lauren has a great article on shopping for holiday merchandise at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite shops for Christmas collectibles is Magic Kingdom’s Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, which is just as full of Christmas festivity in July as it is in December. Tip: Start a family tradition by collecting a favorite holiday item. My family’s tradition is to bring home an ornament for our tree to remind us of our visit. Ornaments that show the year can bring back memories of a specific trip.

Make a gift of your next trip. Are you planning a trip to a Disney park in the next year and can keep a secret until Christmas morning? Surprise your family with a scavenger hunt to discover the trip. Or hide a note in a gift box full of Disney character plushes to reveal the surprise. One year, we put the letters to spell out Disney World in several packages for the kids to unscramble. Read the rest of this entry »