By Wendy C. | Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
For the past few years I have heard many stories and rumors about the handmade candy canes at Disneyland. I only heard bits and pieces. These candy canes are made only during the holiday season. This holiday tradition has gone on since 1968. Each batch takes about two hours to make and only yields about 40 to 45 candy canes. Disneyland only produces three batches each day. Just prior to the start of the candy cane season, Disneyland posts a schedule of days the canes will be made. I had looked up a little info about the candy canes at Disneyland and decided this is the year I’m going to experience this magical unicorn of a candy.
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.”
When booking our latest Disney vacation, my family first looked to Disney World’s available resorts for our accommodations. However, the cost of staying during the Holidays at the Disney World resorts proved both expensive and difficult as many of the rooms were unavailable. We found that we could get a room at the DoubleTree Suites for a very reasonable price for a suite. After reviewing the hotel’s website as well as a few other sites (such as TripAdvisor), we felt comfortable with a stay at the resort.
One of my favorite Disney Resorts is the Pop Century where you can find plenty of fun and whimsy! During a recent vacation’s stay at the Pop, my family decided to try the Peace of Pizza delivery service offered to resort guests. We were, as always, tired and hungry after a long day of walking through the parks. Usually, we would go to Everything Pop for a late evening snack but decided to instead try the room service.
Hi everyone! Trip reporting is so much FUN-I have TONS to tell you about from our October land/sea trip to WDW and the Disney Dream. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must tell you that I had never cruised before, so we were fortunate to have our first cruise experience with what can only be described as the Rolls-Royce of the cruise industry, Disney Cruise Line. After our 3 night cruise on the Disney Dream, I can say unequivocally that it was AMAZING! The food…the service…the smorgasbord of endless kids’ activities! Seriously, if your kids don’t have fun on a Disney cruise, then they are downright unsatisfiable. I have finally got my sea legs back, but I truly wish I was still enjoying all that the Dream has to offer. Oh well, a girl can DREAM…
Consider this Part Two of my earlier post about my GrownUps Only trip to WDW last October. My husband was in Orlando for work and after leaving my kids with the grandparents, I hightailed it down there. Telling the kids NOTHING except we would be in Orange County (at least we didn’t LIE to them, right?) Mwahhaha! Fun and frivolity ensued, including my “Keys to the Kingdom” tour (pure awesomeness-just look for my earlier post in the archives!) Anyhoo, we move from conference hotel to the FABULOUS Bay Lake Towers, where I had booked a studio. Here’s where it gets interesting: at check-in, the lovely Dorothy notices we are celebrating our anniversary and tells us to expect a text when our room is ready (since it was only 10AM). Having never received a text, we return at 3PM to get our room number. OK, arriving at Room 8430, our key doesn’t work. So we call them and wait. Then after 15 minutes, hubby heads back to the front desk. A bit frustrating when you are tired and just ready to kick back and relax. Then, you guessed it, a CM shows up to open the door. And voilá:
Back in October 2010, my husband and I had our first grown-ups only trip to Disney World post-kids, and I must say it was AWESOME! (Murphy’s law, I almost didn’t get to go when my kids both ended up sick that week. Just what I needed-the guilt of leaving behind sick kids to go to Disney World. Thank goodness for medicine!) Of course, we didn’t TELL the kids exactly where we were going-just that it was in Florida for Daddy’s conference.
Many of us that go to Disney World would love to stay at a DVC property but just cannot foot the bill for these deluxe accommodations! As you may recall, my family recently stayed at Saratoga Springs in a DVC studio. My family rented these points from a DVC owner. We had priced out the cost of booking these accommodations through Disney and were told the price would be nearly $1900. Not to be discouraged, I began my search for points to rent from a DVC owner. I was able to find a DVC owner and rent the points we needed for only $700, a savings of $1200 for the exact same accommodations.
On May 14-15, D23, the Official Disney Fan Club celebrated Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. For two magical days in the Fantasia Ballroom, D23 members were treated to the most amazing collection of stories, history, unseen pictures and videos of the creation of Walt Disney World. There were Disney Legends on hand to help tell the story of Walt’s dream here in Florida… Marty Sklar, Dave Smith and Robert Sherman just to name a few. The stories and history told here was a Disney Fan’s nirvana. Whether you just had a casual interest, a history buff or Disney fanatic, this was the place to be.
There are not enough words of praise I can heap upon the folks at D23 for the amazing show put on this weekend. It was well presented, in fact so much information was available, and there is no way I could possible cover a tenth of what transpired in those two days. What I will do is to go over the major highlights (For me, everything was a highlight!) and hope you can appreciate this major event.
The other day one of my good friends asked me if I was going to get my haircut any time soon. This was asked out of love, I’m sure, since every time she sees me on Skype, I have my hair up in a pony tail. I do live in Florida and it is hot, so my hair is up most of the time when it is long enough. I tend to prefer to keep it short, but there is a reason I’m letting it grow out. I explained to my friend that I was considering letting my hair grow out for a while longer because I was thinking about donating it to Locks of Love again this year.
For those of you not familiar with Locks of Love, it is a non-profit organization that takes donated hair and makes wigs for children under 21 in the U.S. and Canada with hair loss from medical conditions. You can read more about the donation process here. There are several other similar charities like Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Wigs For Kids. Each charity has their own requirements, so read carefully before considering donation. The lengths range from 8 – 12″ minimums in a pony tail.
I am typically a pretty organized person. However, sometimes when I am scrambling to get my plans made over at Walt Disney World, I do not have my flight arrangements already made or do not have the information with when I’m booking. On one of my recent vacations, I did not realize that I had accidentally not booked my Magical Express transportation until a few days before my day of travel! If you should find that you are also in this same situation, here are the steps you should take to get you your reservation for the Magical Express:
On our last stay at Walt Disney World, I went to check in to our room at Disney’s All Star Music Resort. I had paperwork in hand as I approached the online check-in counter. We were booked for a preferred room using my annual pass discount. When originally booking the stay, my husband was not coming along. However, now that he was with my son and me, I requested that we move to a moderate room, if available. He enjoys the moderate accommodations better so I was hopeful that we could upgrade.
On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I had the pleasure of resuming a tradition that I had let lapse over the past few years: a Saturday afternoon Atlanta Braves spring training home game. Having lived in Florida for the past thirteen years, I have been to a fair share of Major League Baseball spring training games at several stadiums across the state, but Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports is my favorite. Now, this may be due to my slight (read: extreme) affinity for all things Disney, but, in my mind, the marriage between WDW and my favorite team, is a match made in heaven. That said, it really is a beautiful complex. Located at ESPN WWoS complex is the almost 10,000 seat Champion Stadium. Each spring, the field plays host to the Atlanta Braves during the spring training season from the end of February up to just a few days before Opening Day (the start of the regular MLB season) in the end of March. Ticket prices for the games range from $10 for lawn seats up to around $50 for reserved seats, depending on location.
Previously I have written about my first race experiences here. Since then, I have gotten another three Disney 5Ks under my belt. I would like to talk about the most recent of these experiences, the Champion® 5K at Dick’s Sporting Goods Presents ESPN The Weekend (ESPN 5K for short). The race was held the first Saturday in March, only a week after my previous race, during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Read about our own NDH #19 Todd Perlmutter’s recap of that race on the Touring Plans blog here.
When I planned my weekend trip to Paris–including Disneyland Paris, I certainly learned a lot. Being in a foreign place and a new atmosphere added a heightened level of anxiety over trip planning. The website I found the most helpful was www.DLRPmagic.com. This website offers a lot of trip planning tips and guides to the rides, the parks, dining, and everything in between. I also found my Unofficial Guide to Disneyland Paris very helpful; it helped me to choose which rides to miss, how to plan my tour, and how to pick and choose where I should eat.
The author in front of La Chateau a la Belle Dormiant
When I first knew I was going to be studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland last semester, the one place I knew I wanted to visit was Paris and Disneyland Resort Paris. I had absolutely no idea what to expect leading up to the trip, aside from some of the research I did ahead of time. This research included the lovely gift of The Unofficial Guide: Disneyland Paris for my birthday.
Times Square is generally regarded as the “Crossroads of the World,” but the same could be said about Disney World. Over the years, I have bumped into neighbors, former neighbors, cousins, friends, and people I knew but couldn’t quite place. When you travel 1,500 miles to a place as vast as Disney World, you simply do not expect to see anyone you know.
One of the strangest encounters, or series of encounters, occurred during a week-long visit back in April of 2007. The beginning of the National Hockey League playoffs coincided with one of our non-park days, and, as Buffalo Sabres fans, we headed to the ESPN Zone at the Boardwalk to catch the Sabres’ first playoff game against the New York Islanders.
I am not a DVC (Disney Vacation Club) owner. I have always wanted to stay in a DVC property but have found the Disney prices for the DVC resorts to be unattainable. I had frequently priced out staying at various DVC properties but could not justify the costs.
In recent months, I had read that some people rent points in order to afford staying in these rooms. I am always looking for ways to save money, yet have the Disney vacation of my dreams. As a result, I found a board that had members of DVC that were renting out their points. I had never frequented the boards prior to this, so do not feel that you must be a “board regular” to rent using the boards. I emailed the owner of the requested number of points needed after doing some research on the accommodations I wanted to request: I found online “calculators” that helped me determine the number of points I would need for the days of travel for the defined accommodations.
On my last trip to Walt Disney World in June, I left very disappointed in that the trip was missing a good deal of the “Disney Magic.” It was my daughter’s first visit, and she had her “1st Visit” badge on at every park we visited, and not one person said anything to her about it in 7 days at the park. On top of that, only one cast member said anything to us about our volunteer badges we were wearing. At Pop Century, we encountered more of the same. The eating area tables were consistently dirty, and the fountain drink stations were out of ice 90% of the time. It seemed that everywhere we went the cast members were really troubled to be helping us. All in all it was just not a “magical” trip.
The Disney Driven Life brings you the sixteenth episode of inner mouse. In this week’s show, Nicole, Scott, John, and JL discuss the Season of Giving and how the Cast Members of Disney have created countless “magical moments” for Disney fans with their constant giving that is above and beyond their training. In addition to that Team inner mouse shares their feelings about the success of the first Disney Driven Life/inner mouse meet up at Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Lodge. Be sure to make time to hear about all the exciting happenings.