Posts Tagged ‘walt disney world’

Choosing the Right WDW Discount

by on November 26, 2014

As a frequent Walt Disney World traveler, and also not a Florida resident, I’m sufficiently addicted to Disney vacation planning books, podcasts, blogs, discussion groups, and other research areas that can help me sustain my pixie dust addiction without breaking the bank or going in debt. During my years of research, I’ve heard lots of claims of which Disney discount is “best”, and while I trust many of the sources I frequently research, I’ve learned that not all discounts pack the same punch. Depending on your party size, your frequency of visiting the parks, and your touring style, some discounts are better than others. In this article, I’ll review the most common (and often reoccurring) discounts available and analyze how those discounts can apply differently to different Disney vacationers.goofy discount

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Menu Monday: Birthday Fun at Teppan Edo with Review

by on November 24, 2014

Photo - Tammy Whiting

For those of you who don’t know, Teppan Edo is a delightful restaurant found in the Japan Pavilion located in the World Showcase at Epcot. That was a mouth full, wasn’t it? Here you can enjoy teppan-yaki-style cooking prepared right at your table by a talented Japanese chef. It’s not just a meal, but a fun and unique experience. Trust me, it’s something to put on your culinary bucket list!

Teppan Edo is my favorite place to eat in the World Showcase for two reasons: the memories and the overall experience. The first time my husband and I went to Disney World together, it was our favorite dining experience of the trip. We were with my parents and Michael’s aunt and uncle. Michael had raved about this place as he had been there once before. With such positive reviews coming from a Disney Curmudgeon, I knew this was definitely a place I had to try.

Following our arrival, we waited in the “lobby” for a short time before being seated. As we walked down a long hall way, I could peak into each room to see wait staff and chefs tending to their guests. I couldn’t wait to get started!

Now, the grill is centered around family-style seating so if you’re an introvert, you may have to keep an open mind. My parents could talk to a wall, so they plopped right down next to a middle-aged couple from New York. Yes, they had a New York accent. Yes, I couldn’t get enough of it. We soon learned that they were teachers like my mom, so they all had plenty to gab about.

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Video: 2014 Jingle Cruise at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

by on November 18, 2014

2014 Jingle Cruise

All aboard the 2014 Jingle Cruise at WDW’s Magic Kingdom with two complete POV videos (images by Seth Kubersky)

‘Tis the season to deck the jungle with holly — and hammy jokes — as the 2014 Jingle Cruise is now underway at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Last week, the seasonal overlay to the Jungle Cruise returned for a second annual run, this time with some notable upgrades.

Last year’s inaugural Jingle Cruise was criticized for confining the custom scenery largely to the Jungle Cruise’s boathouse queue, and for some jokes that were staler than fruitcake. As you can see in the following Jingle Cruise POV videos, more holiday decor has been installed along the riverbanks, and the spiel has been adjusted appropriately to reflect the additions.

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Menu Monday: Best Counter Service Restaurants in Magic Kingdom

by on November 17, 2014

Be Our Guest RestaurantPicking your favorite Walt Disney World counter/quick service restaurant is like picking your favorite child, sure on some days you may like one more than the other (come on, we’ve all been there!), but overall, you just can’t choose a favorite! Dining in Walt Disney World has become a favorite past time among repeat guests. And now, more often than not, first time guests have their own “bucket list” of restaurants to eat at or snack to try. With this increase in demand and expectation, Disney has responded by adding more restaurants and expanding the menus of their current restaurants. These adjustments also come with price increases. As Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin from ABC’s Once Upon A Time always reminds us, “all magic comes with a price” even Disney’s pixie-dusted munchies. But fear not intrepid traveler and foodie, you can indulge your taste buds and save your budget with the counter/quick service restaurants available at every Disney Park and resort. But with literally, over a hundred to choose from (seriously, 102 – I counted!), I’m here to help you select the best of the best, park by park and even among the resorts. This article will focus on the counter service options of the Magic Kingdom. The focus will be on restaurants that offer a full meal option. Though there are many additional locations I could have included in this list, I narrowed it down to exclude those counter locations that really only sell snacks. After watching hours of Master Chef and Chopped, I’ve devised a ranking system that will incorporate four criteria into the ultimate calculation for the best counter service meals.  The criteria are:

  • Best value (portion/cost ratio) = 10 points
  • Flavor = 10 points
  • Originality = 5 points
  • Atmosphere = 5 points
  • Grand total = 30 possible points

Be Our Guest – New Fantasyland

This latest addition to the Magic Kingdom dining line-up has everyone crazed to make dinner reservations or snag the elusive lunch FastPass+ option. The menu is a bit pricier than other counter service option, and it’s only available as a counter service during the lunch hours (10:30am to 2:30pm). Starting at 4pm, Be Our Guest is considered a Table Service restaurant where prices increase and the menu changes a bit.

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Traveling with a Disney Curmudgeon

by on November 16, 2014

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.

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

by on November 13, 2014

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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Meet the Characters from Big Hero 6 Beginning This Weekend

by on November 7, 2014

Hiro and Baymax

©Disney

Yay! It’s here! Big Hero 6 arrives in theaters today! (And you can bet I’ll be seeing it tonight.) I’ve heard such great things about this movie, so you can bet that the next time I’m down in Walt Disney World, I’ll want to give Baymax a huge hug. (Look how squishy he looks!)

The good news is that I won’t have to wait long to meet both Baymax and Hiro Hamada and neither will you! You see, beginning today, guests will have the opportunity to meet the pair at Walt Disney World.

To meet the two, you’ll need to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where inside The Magic of Disney Animation, you’ll be able to tour the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology’s lab. Guests will meet the two in Hiro’s garage workshop.  (The two are located where the former Wreck-It Ralph meet and greet was.)

At Disneyland, guests should also begin to be able to meet Hiro and Baymax by simply heading to to Tomorrowland’s Starcade, where you’ll be able to visit Hiro’s robotics workshop. In addition, The Magic Eye Theater will be showing an extended sneak peek of the Big Hero 6. (Where Captain EO was previously shown.)

Who else will be lining up like me to meet these two?

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Planning a High School Field Trip to Walt Disney World

by on November 7, 2014

Photo Credit - Disney

Mickey’s excited to meet his new high school friends!

In high school, I went on two school trips to Walt Disney World. I had an amazing time with my friends, and the memories have stayed with me to this day. Looking back on the entire experience as an adult, I have endless praise for my teachers, who planned the entire trip from start to finish. They chose to spend their entire Spring Break with 60 high school students. They deserve a medal.

I have spent this past week researching and speaking with different educators on how to organize a school trip to Walt Disney World. Although it’s impossible to fit in every detail, here are some highlights to consider when planning your own Walt Disney World field trip.

First Steps

Planning a school trip to Walt Disney World should begin at least a year in advance. While it would be much easier to hire a touring company to plan and execute the vacation, it might be very expensive. Planning your own trip is not only more cost effective, but gives you complete control over the vacation as a whole. Look into the events you want to attend and the places you want to go. Estimate expenses to determine the total cost for each student. From there, secure a total group number by requesting a small deposit from each student. In addition, have each student fill out field trip and medical request forms. Dot those i’s and cross those t’s!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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Video: Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party (Full Show)

by on November 4, 2014

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! full show video

Watch the full video of Magic Kingdom’s new Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! street party (Photo & video by Seth Kubersky)

Are you ready to move, shake, dance, and/or play your way through Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom? If so, a brand-new…make that “sorta-new”…street show is ready to help you do just that. Recently, the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! mini-parade sailed off into the sunset, but its retirement was short-lived. As Daisy Lauren reported in her “Best Week Ever” column, a suspiciously similar new street party started running on October 24 under the name Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!, and we have a full video of the entire show posted below, so you can see for yourself how much has (and has not) changed since its last incarnation:

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Additional Thanksgiving Day Options at Walt Disney World

by on October 30, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Previously, I shared a post detailing where you’ll be able to have your Thanksgiving meal at the Walt Disney World theme parks. But let’s say you won’t be entering the parks that day, or instead you want to escape the parks for a little while for a quieter dining experience.

Well, the good news is that you are in luck, because many of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels will be offering special Thanksgiving options. These include:

To make reservations for any of these restaurants, call (407) WDW-DINE.

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