Fall/Winter 2014 room discount released

07/23/2014 - Leave a Response

Yup, I know I said I wouldn’t be posting much this summer, but I wanted to share Disney World’s latest Special Offer with you. Save up to 30% (depending on resort level) on rooms at WDW hotels. This offer is for most nights 10/4/14 – 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 – 12/23/14. The offer has to be booked by 10/3/14.

mickey towel BC

 

Remember… the time frame for this offer overlaps with the Free Disney Dining Plan special offer previously announced, so be sure to figure out which deal will save you more. Happy planning!

My next Disney to-do list

07/20/2014 - Leave a Response

As our next WDW trip approaches, I’ve started thinking about the things I’d like to do while there. This time, we will be touring as a group of nine. With so many people along for the fun, I realize the chances are slim that I’ll get to experience everything on my list. But I’ll give it my best try!

DSC00312-Cindarella's castle back

So, here we go! These are some things that I’ve either never done before, or did so long ago that I barely remember them:

Magic Kingdom

-       Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

-       Festival of Fantasy parade

-       Cinderella’s Royal Table

Epcot

-       American Adventure

-       Voices of Liberty

DHS

-       Butterfinger cupcake at Starring Rolls

-       Animation Academy

Animal Kingdom

-       spiked Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu

-       Pangani Forest Trail

-       Festival of the Lion King

-       Finding Nemo

-       Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Well, there you have it! How many do you think I’ll get to? What’s on your next Disney to-do list?

 

What time is it? Summertime!

06/23/2014 - 5 Responses

084-ferris wheel-2eat2drink-p

With the arrival of summer, my posts will likely be fewer and farther between. The boys and I have lots of fun things planned for this summer – including a trip to Disney World – yay!! So I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to all who have followed along with my Disney ramblings. Your comments, kindness, and friendship are much appreciated!

And with that, I leave you with my favorite summer anthem. From Disney’s High School Musical 2, here’s the video for What Time Is It:

Have a great summer, everyone!

Disney food for the whole family

06/18/2014 - 2 Responses

You may have noticed that I do a lot of food-related posts. No, I’m not trying to be The Disney Food Blog Jr. (Though I do highly recommend that site for all kinds of information about Disney World food.) It’s just that I bring a unique set of skills to the table, so to speak. You see, I live at a crossroads between picky eaters (having three boys who are all picky in different ways) and a foodie (my husband, who is an advertising photographer specializing in food). Being surrounded by gourmet delights on a daily basis, my husband goes for the good stuff. My kids, being kids, go for the kid stuff. At home, I customize their meals as much as possible without driving myself crazy. On vacation, I try to find places that satisfy us all so we can spend more time together as a family. That isn’t always easy, and we sometimes end up going in different directions.

At Disney World, some of the places that all five of us enjoy are:

- Casey’s Corner (Magic Kingdom): With nachos, hot dogs, corn dog nuggets, and specialty hot dogs, there is something for each of us here.

BBQ Slaw Dog at Casey's Corner. Yum!

BBQ Slaw Dog at Casey’s Corner. Yum!

- Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom): Specialty sandwiches, shrimp, fish, chicken nuggets, and more – all in a relaxing atmosphere.

- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café (Magic Kingdom): This huge counter service restaurant requires a bit of strategy as the different “bays” serve different items. There is some crossover, though, so check it out before you get in line. With things like barbecue pork sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches, rotisserie chicken, turkey sandwiches, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, salads, vegetarian items, and more, we can all find something that appeals. And with the toppings bar, my foodie husband can turn his sandwich into a masterpiece!

- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café (Magic Kingdom): Burgers (including a veggie burger), barbecue pork sandwiches, chili-cheese fries, and salads are the staples here.

- La Cantina de San Angel (Epcot): This counter service restaurant in the Mexico Pavilion is a favorite of ours. The tacos, empanadas, and nachos are our mainstays. For less adventurous eaters, there are chicken tenders on the kids menu.

With Disney's big portions, we can usually split 4 meals between the 5 of us. Photo courtesy of 2eat2drink - check it out!

With Disney’s big portions, we can usually split 4 meals between the 5 of us. Photo courtesy of 2eat2drink and used with permission.

- Sunshine Seasons (Epcot): Located in the Land Pavilion, this counter service place has a nice variety of healthier options. Check out the menu to see what I mean.

- ABC Commissary (Hollywood Studios): With salads, burgers, seafood, and more, this is a quick stop we all enjoy.

- Backlot Express (Hollywood Studios): Burgers, hot dogs, specialty sandwiches, and chicken nuggets make this place a crowd-pleaser.

- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Hollywood Studios): Yes, this is the first table-service restaurant on my list. When the five of us go to Disney World, we tend to be in too much of a hurry to do many sit-down restaurants. But…we love this one! Specialty sandwiches, burgers, pasta, steak, and ribs – all while watching clips from “B” movies in a drive-in like setting. Pure awesomeness!

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

- Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom): Ribs, chicken, pork, turkey legs, yum!

- Tusker House (Animal Kingdom): The second table service restaurant on my list, this is a buffet that features character dining during breakfast and lunch. There’s a variety of African and American fare on the buffet, so everyone is sure to be well-fed. Plus, the character interaction is fantastic! This is the place where Goofy refused to leave our table until I got up and gave him a hug. :)

tusker house3

- Chef Mickey’s (the Contemporary Resort): This buffet is the only place on my list that isn’t in one of the parks. We love the wide variety of food and the great character interaction here!

IMG_4512 Chef Mickey's-p

 

Disney World has TONS of great dining options, but these work best for our big family (and our varied tastes). What Disney restaurants work well for your family?

Monsieur Paul – fine French cuisine at Epcot

06/11/2014 - 6 Responses

What was once called “Bistro de Paris” is now known as Monsieur Paul, an elegant but welcoming restaurant in Epcot’s France Pavilion. Located above Les Chefs de France, it has a quieter, more intimate vibe. Perfect for a date night!

Even the staircase is elegant.

Even the staircase is elegant.

monsieur paul table

The elegance continues upstairs.

We started with the raviole d’escargots with a parsley cream sauce. So good!

Raviole d'escargots

Raviole d’escargots

For our entrees, my husband had the scallops, while I had the duck. Both were melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

The delectable duck.

The delectable duck

While enjoying our meal, we were able to catch glimpses of IllumiNations through the windows across the room. If you’ve never seen this fireworks show, it’s definitely one to check out.

Of course, we couldn’t leave without dessert. Since we were both getting rather full (the portions were much bigger than we expected), we opted for the relatively light meringue with vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet, and Chantilly cream. Magnifique!

monsieur paul dessert

Cinderella with a twist

06/09/2014 - 2 Responses

Hi Disney friends! I don’t usually talk about my novels on this blog (though you can check them out here if you want to!), but a writer friend of mine has a new book out that I think you might enjoy. Mary Waibel writes “twisted fairy tales,” taking classics and putting a newer, more modern spin on them. I’ve read two of her Young Adult novels so far, and thoroughly enjoyed them both! They’re fun, quick reads with a dash of sweet romance. Since Mary’s latest book is a twist on Cinderella, I thought it would be a good topic for this blog. Seeing as it just came out today, I haven’t read The Mystery Prince yet, but am looking forward to it!

The Mystery Prince 300dpi

You can find The Mystery Prince on Amazon. Right now, it’s on sale for just $0.99. I’d better go grab my eCopy!

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – delizioso!

06/03/2014 - Leave a Response

We popped into Tutto Gusto, a lounge at Epcot’s Italy Pavilion, for a light supper one evening. The ambiance was cozy and inviting, the Prosecco was lovely, and the food was delizioso! Seated at a table by the bar, my eye was drawn to the cool light fixtures made out of wine bottles.

tutto gusto lights

Along with a refreshing glass of Prosecco, we had La Serenissima. This plate included semi-soft Asiago cheese, white asparagus with lemon and olive oil, and a salad of shrimp, octopus, and squid over greens with lemon and olive oil. Also served were crispy bread sticks and yummy flat bread.

tutto gusto food

I can’t rave enough about this meal, and look forward to exploring the menu further!

Visiting my Disney friends

05/28/2014 - 2 Responses

I started this blog to help big families (like mine) navigate Walt Disney World. I had no idea that blogging would lead to meeting new people and making new friends. What a wonderful surprise! This week, I had fun visiting with some of my Disney friends.

On the Geekin’ on WDW podcast, co-hosts Curtis and Lindsay invited me over to chat about visiting Disney World with a family of five, favorite Disney memories, and our top five scents in the World. Sounds like fun, right? Well, come on over here for a listen!

On Living a Disney Life, Lisa asked me to fill in on her blog for a day while she’s at Disney World. I was honored that she asked, and happily accepted. You can find my guest post here.

We all come from different areas of the country, but were brought together by our love of Disney. What a small world it really is!

Senior Class trip 1989. A different group of  Disney friends from those I have now!

Senior Class trip 1989. Though a different group of “Disney friends” from those I have now, each era has its own special memories!

Disney Must-Do: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

05/22/2014 - 2 Responses

I’ve been going to Disney World since I was a little girl. During my many visits, I’d ridden all of the roller coasters.

Except one.

The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios was my nemesis. This coaster and I had a complicated relationship; we danced a tango of temptation and trepidation. I wanted to ride that coaster, but I was scared.

Sure, our son rode it as soon as he was tall enough, and loved it. Sure, I watched gray-haired parties standing in line, eagerly anticipating the ride I was too chicken to attempt. Sure, I’m a Disney fan AND a thrill-rider. So why couldn’t I bring myself to get in that line?

What it came down to, I realized, was my claustrophobia. I don’t like rides that have an over-the-shoulders type of safety bar. Rather than making me feel safe, they make me feel trapped.

On our most recent trip to Disney World, the last paper FastPasses we were able to obtain (EVER!) were for – you guessed it – the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Would I screw up my courage and finally conquer this ride, or would I let my last-ever paper FastPass go to waste?

I rode it!

rockin'roller coaster

And it was awesome. The FastPass return line moved along fast enough that I was able to maintain my pre-ride composure. Once seated in the ride vehicle and locked into the dreaded shoulder harness, we were soon moving. And boy, did we move fast! So fast, in fact, that I didn’t have time to freak out over the restraint. I screamed with delight and kept my eyes wide open, trying to soak up every sight, sound, and sensation. It was glorious!

And then it was over. Our vehicle came to a halt, and we waited for it to be our turn to disembark. That’s when the claustrophobia set in. Sitting there in the stock-still ride vehicle, clamped into place, I felt panic start to rise. Fortunately, my husband knew exactly what I was thinking, and kept me busy talking until we were released from the ride vehicle.

Would I recommend this ride? Definitely.

Will I go on it again? I hope so!

How do you feel about the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster?

It’s a great time to be a Disney World fan!

05/13/2014 - 8 Responses

Disney World fans tend to be resistant to change. This makes sense, as the nostalgia of past Disney trips is part of what feeds our obsession. Change can be good, though, so let’s take a look at some of the things we have to look forward to.

- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially opens on 5/28/14, completing the New Fantasyland expansion project at Magic Kingdom. I can’t wait to ride this family-friendly roller coaster in August!

- The Magic Kingdom “hub” expansion is expected to be completed in 2015. I have great hopes that this will ease pedestrian traffic flow through this often-congested area.

- The re-imagining of the Polynesian Resort is already underway. As part of this large renovation project, there will be a change back to its original name of “Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort,” the lobby will be majorly renovated, the pool area is to be overhauled, some of the buildings will be converted to DVC (Disney Vacation Club), and new over-water bungalows are already being built. The projected completion target is late 2015 or early 2016.

PSL7696521THUMB

- Downtown Disney is being re-imagined as Disney Springs. Extensive work is being done to this shopping, dining, and entertainment area. It is expected to open in phases and be completed in 2016.

dts1178466SMALL

Concept art for Disney Springs

- Animal Kingdom has lots of exciting stuff going on! There’s a new theater for Festival of the Lion King, which will open in June of this year. There’s the recently-announced Rivers of Light nighttime show, debut date TBA. And, of course, there’s the upcoming Avatar-land, based on the James Cameron movie. This new area of the park is expected to open in 2017.

Avatar_8

Concept art for Avatar-land

Change can be difficult, but I’m excited to see these new enhancements coming to the World! Remember what Walt Disney said – “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” Embracing that same spirit of change in Disney World helps keep Walt’s legacy alive.

Which change are you looking forward to the most?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 294 other followers