Many of us watched stunned as we heard Lucy scream, “I don’t want to go to Disney World”, as she suffered through a torturous experience with TSA. If you are not familiar with this incident please see LUCY’S ORDEAL, but be warned it will tear at your heart strings. I know my anger would boil with this mistreatment but to hear my child say they didn’t want to go to Disney World, well, that would bring out my fighting side. In situations like this I am usually careful at pointing fault with the screeners, but the TSA did admit responsibility and heavily apologized. However, there is a line between doing your job and being mean. Yes, this story has a happy ending, Lucy did go to Disney World, and she did get photographed with Mickey. Disney magic comes through once again!
Hello, fellow neurotics. Our most recent trip to Disney World occurred November 16 -21, and I thought I would give an account of our trip that led right up to Thanksgiving day because it is not to early to begin planning for next year. Many of you may ask, why didn’t you stay through Thanksgiving? Well, we, of course, knew of the crowds on Thanksgiving Day and figured to avoid those, to be home for Thanksgiving, to continue our tradition of Black Friday shopping, and all the while to enjoy the experience of Disney holiday magic by attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
First, let’s discuss Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. WOW! If you knew my son, the next statement would say it all: my 11 year old boy was dancing in Main Street! My son doesn’t dance, but I guess it was once again that Disney magic. As is normal practice, Disney sold tickets (known as a “hard ticket” event) for this after-hours event, and from what I understand, November 16th is the only date that didn’t sell out. This being said, you should buy your tickets as early as possible because they go fast. Characters are in their Christmas regalia around the park making for some great photos for adults and children alike. You can find stations of free cookies and cocoa throughout the park. Many of the rides are open during the extended hours making for shorter waits — a gift this time of year. Last, but not least, the Christmas parade is amazing, a must see for anyone who loves Disney. Before the parade begins, there is snow on Main Street with shows and dancing led by Cast Members in the street. Did I mention a special Christmas-themed Wishes fireworks display?
The latest entry into the Kingdom Keepers proves a worthy read. As a high school librarian so I read A LOT of young adult literature and lead a successful student bookclub so I would like to think of myself as a bit of an expert in the field which makes this published book review all the more intimidating. I FEEL the PRESSURE, a librarian writing a Disney book review on a Disney site, to be read by thousands of die hard Disney fans. Here we go!
I am a member of the Star Wars generation: saw the original movie at age 5 at the drive-in, collected the toys, played as Luke on the playground, doubted Vader was Luke’s father, and passed on my appreciation to my little brother. The summer before my senior year of high school my brother and I watched the original trilogy once a week. By the end of the summer we were saying the lines before the characters, and turning our bunk beds into X-wing fighters (If I were feeling nice I let him play Wedge and I took Luke). Now, my son has his own set of the movies, has dressed as a Star Wars character for Halloween multiple times, and we constantly have our own fanboy moments. I tell you this because like most of my Disney stories the importance of the role of Star Wars in my life comes back to family. When we went as a family to Disney World the first time, I had the pleasure of bringing my brother on his first trip to see The Parks, and, you got it, it was a Star Wars Weekend and the three McDaniel boys could hardly get on Star Tours fast enough. How amazing now that two of my passions come full circle together.
So I got your attention? Maybe, with better truth in advertising, the marquee would proclaim: “Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.” Yes, Tom Hanks landed the role of our favorite American icon in a movie concerning his chase to land the rights to Mary Poppins from a very distrusting author, P.L. Travers, portrayed by Emma Thompson. Reportedly, this is the first on-screen portrayal of Walt Disney.
Let’s start by deciding what park you want to visit each day of your trip. You would want to consult touringplans.com ($12 subscription for a year but well worth it) again for each park’s crowd level for the given day; they even suggest a certain park for the day. Although one of the positives of staying at a Disney resort are the extra Magic Hours at a particular park each day, those parks tend to have larger numbers on their appointed day and may be best to avoid.
Now gather those dining reservations and the event schedule available at: EVENTS
Begin building an itinerary (samples to follow). RELAX!! You do not have to go by it step by step, but it will help you ensure you do all of the things you want (which you won’t but good try!).
Remember: Start off planning for two days at Magic Kingdom, and one day for each of the other parks. For each extra day you have add them in this order: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Studios. Example: Seven Night Stay – 2 at Magic Kingdom, 2 Epcot, 2 Disney Studios, 1 Animal Kingdom. Another option is to spend your last extra day park hopping to do your favorites once again.
By now, anyone who reads this site is sure to know the story of Nemo and his father’s adventures while searching for him. If not, should you really be on a site called The Disney Driven Life? Nevertheless, two items of discussion we can cover in this review: 1) A review of the 3-D release; 2)Why do we keep going to the theater for a movie already on DVD and about to have a release on blue-ray? (Duh, we love DISNEY movies!)
Sitting in your car wondering what to listen to? Kids saying, “Mom, put on Lady Gaga”? At this moment, you realize your family needs more Disney music in the car. Never fear! There is more on the way.
Cinemedia Promotions sent us a press release announcing the release of two new Disney albums: THE ESSENTIAL DISNEY COLLECTION and THE KAROAKE DISNEY COLLECTION.
Now, everyone will have their own opinions on what an essential Disney Collection should contain, but this one is pretty good with fun sing-alongs and beautiful instrumentals, but, obviously, with such few titles included in the set, “essential” is only for marketing. I have to admit, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” remains one of my favorite “Friday after work on the way home” songs.
Recently DVCNEWS.com ran a debate on member treatment asking if DVC members ever felt like second-class citizens due to the fact that we miss out on many opportunities offered to cash guests on a regular basis, such as later check in, housekeeping, free meal plans, etc. Many argued that we don’t get enough perks considering the huge amount of up-front cash we give to join the club.
See the discussion here: Member Treatment
Christopher Robin and his little sister sit at the table for the hundred acre wood feast eagerly awaiting for Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore to join them. Once they arrive, with Pooh laughing, Tigger bouncing, and Eeyore pondering, the smiles are as large as the pot roast and the hugs as sweet as the banana pudding. Only, this isn’t Christopher Robin this giggling brood is your family playing along with Pooh and Pals at Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Only with the magic of Disney.
I receive many questions as to what my deal is with Disney and Disneyworld (especially now that I am writing for this site): why spend all the money on those trips each year, and, last but not least, are you serious? After I share this little story concerning the first day of school maybe it will help some to understand.
One of my son’s sixth grade teachers gave her class a “Get to Know You” survey, and she gave it to them to take home for a parent signature to ensure no unwanted information became teacher knowledge. One of my son’s answers I will share at the end of this post but the two primary answers I’d like to share are his responses to 1) What is your favorite place? 2) What is your favorite memory?
Welcome to part two of my series on planning your first trip to Disney World. Fellow neurotics, I need your help, please comment on your favorite place to stay and why!
Let’s start with the first options you have:
Some people stay off-property, others choose to stay in one of the Disney Resorts. Yes, the Disney resorts are a little higher priced but you gain the free bus or boat transportation to all the Disney Parks, resorts, and Downtown Disney. You also will receive room charge privileges (your room key becomes your charge card in the parks), Disney hospitality and service, and during certain parts of the year-free Disney Dining Plan (discussed later in this continuing series). Don’t forget bonus hours at the parks for visitors staying on Disney property; that is right– each day one park will stay open later or open early for Disney resort guests. By staying off property you will no doubt save money, although you will have to drive yourself to the parks and have to find and pay for parking, carry cash or credit cards, and take your chances with your service.
Are you suffering from a home way too quiet? Do you have a headache from your children getting along for an extended amount of time? I have the answer for you – Disney Universe for Xbox 360. In no time your house will fill the sounds of “Hey, those are my Mickey ears!”, “Let me level up!”, or “I am going to be Stitch!”
To start off the game you select which costume your character will wear for your current adventure, but you may switch costumes as you progress. Part of the fun of the game encompasses unlocking new costumes for each level you conquer, and you can even replay each level up to a certain amount of times to unlock more costumes. The Stitch costume causes the most noise (read as: fighting) in my home and they HAVE NOT EVEN UNLOCKED IT YET! Each costume comes accessorized with its own tool to ward off the baddies you may encounter. As you progress, you may purchase your unlocked uniforms with the Mickey Ears (coins) that you collect throughout your play.
Are you as neurotic of a Disney World trip planner as you are a fan of Disney? Did you laminate a mini itinerary for everyone in your group as I did? Yes, it contained all our dining reservations for each day along with parade and show times, FastPass rides, and the back listed the best locations to use Disney Dining Plan snack options each day. Matching t-shirts are only an option and not required.