I love Disneyland. My love for Disney reaches far beyond the park. I love anything that is connected to the name Disney. One can’t help but think happy thoughts when you hear the name Walt Disney. When there is anything Disney related I really try to check it out. Recently we decided to take a trek out to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit were there for a limited time and I had to see it before it was gone.
Also posted in Children, D23, Disney Company, Disney Reviews, Education, Fine Arts, Hidden Treasures, Hobbies, Lifestyle, Media, Movies, News, Parents, Photography, Relationships, Uncategorized Tagged Alice Comedies, Alice in Wonderland, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Children, Disney, Disney childhood, Disney Lifestyle, Disneyland, education, Enchanted, History, Mickey, Mickey Mouse, movies, Photography, Pirates of the Caribbean, Reagan Library, The Disney Archives Exhibit, Treasures, Tron, Walt Disney, Walt Disney World, WDW
Disney World is an amazing place full of all sorts of educational experiences. If you are wanting to turn a fun vacation into something that is also a learning experience, there are a plethora of ways to do so! Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
Travel = Learning If your vacation to the happiest place on earth involves the car, young and old kids can have fun spotting license plates from other states and seeing who can “win” by finding the most first (or of all!). A fun way way to keep track is to make everyone a copy of the US map and then every time a license plate from a particular state is seen, everytime color in that state. If you have older kids, make it so that only the first that sees it gets it — it makes it more hard. For younger ones, have them all get to fill it in so no one gets discouraged! This keeps the kids buys, engaged and also makes them know where the states are. You can add more learning by having them track the route you are driving, especially if you cross states to get to Disney. (For even more crazy added learning, have the person have to find out the capitals of the state the find too — research!!!)
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!
It didn’t take long for me to decide what article I would open the year 2013 with. After surviving another Christmas season, I decided what better way to begin the New Year in the middle of winter than talk about the most magical vacation spot in the tropics! And yes Disney fans, I’m talking about Disney’s Aulani resort and spa located on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, about 18 miles west of Honolulu. This resort is totally different that any Disney resort you might have been to. Disney turned to veteran Imagineer Joe Rhode to help design the new resort, because Joe was raised in Hawaii and has intimate knowledge of its culture, people, traditions and history. Unlike typical Disney resorts, you’ll find few references to the Disney Company, or even few signs sans the gift shops that advertised the Disney moniker. Even Mickey and Minnie and the rest of the characters keep a low profile. The idea was to showcase Hawaii’s culture, its people, the land and its history. And Joe Rhode and company have done an amazing job.
This is the second part of a blog series that will look at the different steps of planning for an upcoming Christmas trip to the World. Essentially, I found myself in August suddenly planning for a Christmas trip. In my last post, I went through the reasoning that led me to choose the Contemporary Resort as the best choice for the week. This post is all about Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs).
ADRs can be made 180 days in advance of the first day of your trip, and for some restaurants which fill up quickly, you definitely need to call as soon as that window opens- especially during busier times of the year. So, maybe you can imagine that I was a bit panicked to begin planning meals in August for a Christmas trip- we were already more than a month inside that 180-day window for the most crowded week of the year. I knew there wasn’t time to lose in making ADRs. But, it’s not as simple as trying to make ADRs at any restaurant possible… I didn’t want to make an ADR at the Brown Derby on a day that we would end up spending in the Magic Kingdom. So I quickly had to plot out which day we’ll be in which park (because it would stink to be in Animal Kingdom with an ADR in Epcot!). This is a huge task, but an important one- and there is only one resource I trust to help with such plotting… the “Crowd Calendar” over at touringplans.com.
Millions of families from all across the globe travel to Disney World each year for fun and entertainment. Whether you plan to board theme park rides, watch shows, or visit some of the local attractions you’re sure to have a great time. But for parents visiting the park with babies and infants, keeping everyone happy can be a challenge. Your baby might not be ready to enjoy the main attractions but Disney World offers some great facilities that should make your trip a lot of fun, even with a baby in tow.
Also posted in Children, Disney Driven Life, Lifestyle, Parents, Planning, Travel Tips Tagged Disney Baby Center, Disney with a Baby, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Traveling with a Baby, Walt Disney World
This is the first part of a blog series that will look at the different steps of planning for an upcoming Christmas trip to the World. I’ll explore some reasoning for some of the decisions (for example, why I picked the resort I did), and how I’m hoping this plan will help us deal with the most crowded week of the year. And then, after the trip, I’ll share what went well, what could have gone better, and any major mistakes I made in planning. We’ll find out together if my approach to planning makes sense. Feel free to add comments on things you’d consider, or different approaches you’d take.
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.
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 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.
Photo Courtesy of runDisney
For the past few months, I’ve been in a funk. Of the “I don’t know when my next Disney trip is going to be” kind. I know many of you can relate to what I am laying down-it can be debilitating, numbing, and heartbreaking. OK, so maybe I am being a tad melodramatic (I think not) but FINALLY I have managed to emerge from my writer’s block/self-imposed hiatus to write about…you guessed it…my next Disney vacation!
I am simultaneously thrilled and also a bit embarassed at how excited I am to be embarking on a Disney Divas weekend without the kids…yes, that is total decadence because for four delicious days, I will only have to take care of myself. No having to pack for the family or be concerned about where the minions are at any given moment…AHHHH, just me and my Disney peeps. Actually, most of us have only gotten to know one another online, so it will be added bonus to meet each other face to face and share adventures. Oh yeah, and I’ve signed up to run the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10miler. Which I originally thought was a 10K. And I’m never done a race before. (You can laugh at me now). Funny what a big difference the distance makes: metric conversion didn’t work in my favor there! So I’ve begun my training and I have less than 5 months to get my non-runner physique whipped into shape. Hey I was happy the other day that I ran 2 miles! I’m 1/5 of the way there Look at the cool medal that runDisney has crafted-I especially love the glow in the dark windows!
Even though I’m a Disney fanatic, I can objectively say that The Walt Disney Company consistently develops some of the best advertising campaigns on television. From a technical standpoint, they could be used by any college-level marketing class as a road map for success in the industry.
While the ads they use across all business units (e.g. movies, consumer products, etc.) are tremendously effective, I think some of the best Disney commercials are the ones that promote their vacation destinations (e.g. the Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, the Disney Cruise Line, etc.). In those commercials, they understand how to create an emotional trigger without having a corny sales pitch.
Last year in February, I was taken by surprise when I walked up to the Haunted Mansion. The tombstones blocked from view by ugly pieces of plywood. When I heard that Disney was going to be creating an interactive queue for the Haunted Mansion, a la The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh or Space Mountain, I’m sure that my cadaverous pallor betrayed an aura of foreboding, almost as though I sensed a disquieting metamorphosis.
Also posted in Disney Reviews, Hidden Treasures, Literature, Media, Technology, Travel Tips Tagged Book Review, books, Disneyland, games, Hidden Details, interactive queue, Lots To Do In Line, things to do on line, trivia, waiting on line
You climb aboard a time rover. Everything is going smoothly as you are watching dinosaurs graze and stroll the jungle…but this is only for a short time. There is a meteorite coming your way! You have to save yourself!
The attraction I am speaking of can be none other than Dinosaur in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, which is located in the Dinoland USA portion of the park. Originally, this was called Countdown to Extinction, which opened the same day that Animal Kingdom itself opened, on April 22, 1998. However, it was re-named Dinosaur to promote the film, also called Dinosaur, which opened in theatres on May 19, 2000. There are no obvious mentions about the film in this attraction, although the two main dinosaurs are the iguanadon and carnotaurus, both of which were significant breeds of dinosaurs in the film.
With a passion for Disney, what pursuits does Craig Duncan squeeze in between a full time job and family? How about working on ‘They Disney Brit’, the UKs largest and longest running Disney podcast, the ‘Destination Disney’ radio show and the ‘Eye on Orlando’ radio show both of which are aired live on Florida radio shows. Then there is ‘Mousemeets’ which is UKs Disney annual fan convention and ‘Mousemag’ a free bi-monthly magazine all about Disney written by the Disney Community for the Community. “We have also done something different with our associated web sites. We have made DisneyBrit.com one of the best sources for Disney related news anywhere in the world. EyeonOrlando.com is a pure Orlando holiday portal.”
Also posted in Children, Collections, Cruises, Disney Company, Events, Food, History, Hobbies, Kids' Viewpoint, Leisure, Movies, News, Organization and Plannning, Parents, Pins, Planning, Resorts, Restaurants, Rumors, Travel Reports, Travel Tips, Vinylmation Tagged brit, Disney, eye, just, moon, on, one, Orlando
With so many Disney related web sites out there, do you ever find yourself taking a quick peek at newly discovered ones without much investigation? I do, and after discovering Davelandweb.com I’m rethinking my web browsing indifference’s. Davelandweb.com contains a treasure of both new and vintage Disneyland photos. Along with an entertaining blog and some of his own artwork, Dave is proving that the art of truly great content is perseverance.
“My website started as a means to share my art and photography with others; sort of an online portfolio. The creation of my site began around the same time that Disneyland was celebrating its 50th Anniversary. As Imagineers began sprucing up the park and making improvements that hadn’t been seen there in years, I found myself going much more often and taking more photos. I stumbled upon a few blogs that posted vintage photos of the park and as a result, I started collecting those as well. As an additional way to share those photos with others, I began my blog. That’s when the runaway train left the station. It has been quite a journey since then. Over five years of blogging and countless amazing friendships and connections since, I have to say that I have been truly blessed with so many serendipitous moments.”
Also posted in Celebrities, Disney Company, Education, Hidden Treasures, History, Leisure, Park Photos, Photography Tagged daveland, davelandweb, Disneyland, History, Photos, rare