It is hot, hot, hot out there. I hope everyone is
enjoying their Summer, spending time by the pool, lake, or ocean!
Let’s think some cool thoughts and Celebrate A Very Merry
Disney Christmas in July! I know its
still 5 months away but it always manages to sneak up on me anyway!
12 Days of Christmas posts will include hints, tips, recipes, and suggestions on how to make your Holiday Season a Magical Disney Holiday Season.
On the First Day of Christmas, Mickey gave to Me::
Traveling for the Holidays
This is a fantastic time of the year to head to any Disney Destination. Everywhere you look, there are beautiful light displays, holiday treats, and wonderful experiences to share with those that you love.
Today we will look at what it would be like to be at the Magic Kingdom during the holiday season.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is an amazingly magical event that takes place in the Magic Kingdom. There are holiday ride over-lays, special merchandise, delicious holiday treats (all you can enjoy Hot Cocoa and Christmas Cookies) and, ok yeah, about half the typical amount of guests that are usually in the parks. This is an after-ticket event and Disney controls how many tickets are sold. You will find the lines for your favorite rides to be a fraction of what they usually are. It is an amazing and magical time and I highly recommend it! Tip: Tickets say enter at 7pm but get in as early as 4pm! That is three bonus Hours in Magic Kingdom!!
Giving a Disney Destination as a Gift for the Holidays
My kids have so much “stuff”. There really is nothing that they need. To eliminate a bunch more “stuff” we have been giving a trip as a gift for the last few years. They have received Disney World quite a few times and this year will be a Disney Cruise. These trips are for later in the year and it is something we can look forward to together all year long. GOOD GRACIOUS does this make my holiday shopping easier.
I wanted to offer a few different ways to “wrap up” a Disney Destination to put under the tree. One of my favorites is to fill a wrapped box with Disney Balloons. Now, with the Husband being an air condition/heating technician, I had him bring home the biggest A/C Box he could find. Y’all, this box was big enough for me to walk into! So we wrapped it in a really fun Mickey Christmas Paper (thank you, Dollar Tree) and inside we put an extra large mickey balloon and several star and round balloons. We put it out a week before Christmas and it drove them NUTS!! When they finally opened it all together on Christmas Morning, it was like Christmas Magic. Inside, I also put our family countdown that we always use, and a few different planning documents that we enjoy going over together. It was so much fun and we did enjoy talking about it until the following October when we actually traveled.
Looking to add a little Disney Flair to your Holiday Desert? One of my Favorites would be Rice Crispy Mickey Heads!
Make Rice Crispy Treats as per the cereal box
Use the Mickey Head sandwich shaper or free form a mickey head
Dip the ears and top of head into melted baking chocolate
Use green and red sprinkles to decorate the chocolate
(can obviously use any colors for a fun treat for any holiday)
If you are looking to travel during the 2019 Holiday Season or if you would like to look into purchasing a trip to gift to your family this Holiday Season, contact me today! It is the fastest and easiest holiday shopping you will ever do and I am happy to help with all the fun and cheery details. Also, qualifying reservations will receive our Minnie Box! Our gift to you that arrives on your doorstep prior to your departure for your trip. It is filled with magic and excitement and is tailored to your travel party. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your Holiday Magic soon!
We got engaged at Disney, we Honeymooned there – it was time for another milestone trip. Our first trip in 10 years without our littles for our 10th Anniversary.
We arrived late afternoon to our home away from home for the weekend – the Polynesian. This was our first time staying here. We absolutely loved it and may or may not be thinking of joining DVC because of our stay here. The experience, amenities, and customer service were definitely elevated at this resort.
From the moment you check in and you get your Leis, you feel like part of their Ohana. We left our bags will Bell Services and went to check out our room. We had a balcony on the third floor in the Fiji Building (which was exactly what I requested when I called Disney with my room preferences; yay for Travel Agents!). It was beautiful. It was diagonal from the Great Ceremonial House where the restaurants, shops, & Monorail Platform are. Super close! Our view was of Bay Lake, the beach, and gardens. I spent each morning reading on that balcony and we sat out there one night to watch a beautiful storm pass through.
We enjoyed the beach & view of Magic Kingdom. Two of the nights we were able to watch the Fireworks over Magic Kingdom from the beach. Once was Happily Ever After and the other was the 4th of July Fireworks. We also saw the Electric Light Parade which I have enjoyed since I was a young child and I am SO glad they still show it each night.
We took full advantage of what the resort had to offer. We shopped in both shops at the resort. Between the two they have a wide selection of clothing, jewelry, accessories, toys, as well as things you would need that you may have forgotten at home, drinks, snacks, and more. The one thing I was looking for that I couldn’t find (a certain pair of earrings), a cast member looked in their inventory and found them for me at a shop in Epcot and had them for me the following day. Amazing service! We swam in both pools but we preferred the Lava Pool. The Oasis pool was beautiful but much more quiet. We liked the buzz and excitement of the Lave pool more. It is great that there are both options though! As for lounges & restaurants, we experienced Tambu Lounge, Capt. Cooks, & Trader Sam’s. The food and experiences were great at all 3 but my favorite would definitely be Trader Sam’s.
This is a must see for sure! We got right in without a wait which surprised me. The wait staff reacts differently to each item ordered off the menu and it becomes an experience the entire lounge takes part in. Between that and the decor, I could have spent hours there. Tip: Try to sit on a bar stool instead of on one of the couches – they have a fun surprise! Then there was transportation. I have not stayed at a Monorail resort in many years. In my opinion, it was worth every penny for that perk. It was super easy to come back for a swim mid-afternoon and took almost no time. It was great to visit other quick services and lounges along the Monorail line. We also had table service reservations at the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary so it was really nice to be so close to those. The buses for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were frequent so no issue there either. Transportation at the Polynesian is on point!
Just the general feel and environment that this resort offers is so great. We felt relaxed and as if we were on a beautiful lush island while staying there. It was very immersive and I hope to take the littles back on a trip in the not-so-far future.
We spent the first evening snacking and sipping our way around Disney Springs. Our first stop was the DockSide Margarita Bar. We were drawn right in by the music. There was a gentleman playing all kinds of fun music. He was quite talented and especially shocked me when he started playing the conch shell as an instrument. He was great!
We headed over to Paddlefish. Formerly Fulton’s Crab House, this large (docked) paddleboat is a great place to stop for food & drinks. I highly recommend heading to the rooftop. The view from up there is great and they have some amazing Ice pops!
The Hangar Bar was next on the list – Inspired by Jock Lindsay, Indiana Jones’ Pilot. We love the fun decor and all the nods to the movies and Jock’s travels. We always stop here for the pretzel – it comes with some great beer cheese & tasty mustard. Its a nice little snack that we like to order and snack on. We sit out on the dry-docked boat that looks like it is straight out of The Jungle Cruise. There, we listened to the music at the near-by stage and watched the Amphicars come and go.
Winebar George is a great little spot. This time we stopped at “The Basket” which is basically like a little grab-and-go window. You can get the Frozcato as well as the Dole Whip so it is worth a stop!
From there we needed a bite to eat. Figuring we would check out something new, we stopped in at D-Luxe Burger. Fairly typical quick service – you order at a window, get a pager and wait for your food. In the meantime you can help yourself to a number of amazing dips for your fries and burgers. They let you add on toppings-i.e. bacon, at NO CHARGE. I was kinda shocked honestly. So we got a bunch of dips and waited for our food to arrive and guess what? These. Burgers. Rock. Oh good gracious, it was tasty – stop there if you are looking for a delicious but quick burger. You will not be disappointed!
I wanted to show the Husband some of the neat places I learned about on my most recent training trip. I took him down the hidden staircase for Enzo’s. We grabbed a quick drink here (wishing we were not so full because this Italian food looked and smelled fantastic) and then I took him through the “secret” back exit. Once through there we arrived in the Basement of The Edison. It was super crowded and the house band was real good. After that, we called it a night – wouldn’t you?!
This is the weekend before 4th of July so this place is hoppin’! However the new fastpass+ system seemed to do a fairly decent job of spreading everyone around. We were able to do all the mountains and all the attractions we wanted to do (along with a meet-up with my favorite Princess) and we were out of there by 4! It all comes down to the way you spend your Fastpasses and which itinerary you follow. Using a few tips and tricks, it is not hard to see all that you want, even on a Holiday Weekend. One of my favorite parts of helping guests plan their trips is maximizing their time in the parks. It is kind of a Disney Science and I like to think I am not too shabby at it!
Construction is in full swing for Tron. They were not actively working during the day but so much progress has been made in just the few months since I was last here. I am getting super excited about it!
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Loaded Waffle Fries from Golden Oak Outpost
Loaded Tots from The Friar’s Nook
Spicy Chicken Waffle from Sleepy Hallow
The only part of Animal Kingdom that felt crowded was Pandora – No surprise there. We avoided Pandora because we fastpassed Flight of Passage for later in the day and went out on one of the first Safari’s of the day. I think we will try to do each trip going forward. There was SO much animal activity. We were even chased by an ostrich and the driver had to drive straight through the next habitat to get us away from him. My favorite was watching a lion and lioness play. It was like watching two furry kittens – they were having a lot of fun.
It was my mission to find and smooch on Kevin-The Snipe from Up. He can be found roaming the Kingdom. Well, he actually found me and came right up to us and pointed to our Anniversary pins and clucked a bunch. Nothing like a congratulations from a Snipe – my vacation was complete.
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Mac & Cheese with Pulled Pork from Eight Spoon Cafe
Haystacks from Zuri Sweets Shop
We also found a neat little Nook over by Dinosaur! It is a Paleontologist’s Tent with some fun decor. The mixologist we encountered was fun and really knowledgeable. It seems to be more of an adult place but it did not say children couldn’t come in. We just liked the quiet and laid back vibe with the great theming as a background.
As usual, I took my stroll around the tree to see what new animals I could spot. I found what I think are reindeer! I will be doing my Christmas in July soon so I thought they were fitting!
Pandora was amazing, as always. It is quite breathtaking when you sit back and just consider your surroundings. Grab a beverage at Pongu Pongu and have a seat and take it all in. It is so worth taking the 5 minutes to do so.
We got to the park 20 minutes before it opened and wound up very close to the opening line that they stop you at. We dropped back a bit because I insisted on going into the Trolley Car Cafe! We walked back to Toy Story to ride Midway Mania (already fastpassed Slinky Dog Dash for later). Wait was 5 minutes and when we came off, it was still 5 minutes. Swirling Saucers had no wait but Slinky was already up to 25 minutes. If you do not have a fastpass, go there first!
The highlight of the day was watching one of the Star Wars stage shows while facetiming our littles. We had a front row spot and I had a storm trooper come up to within a half-inch of my face. It scared the kids from 5 states away – but they loved it. I am excited to return in September and see what additional characters we can meet up with other than what they currently offer. My daughter would lose her mind if she could meet Rey and the same goes for me if I could meet Darth Maul. Can’t wait!
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Peanut butter Crunch Cupcake at Trolley Car (OH my word…)
BBQ Brisket Melt at Woody’s Lunch Box
Chocolate Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box
We had a Fastpass for Test Track so we got to the park about a half hour after opening and went right to Soarin’. It had no wait. The park was still quiet so we were able to get in a few more rides before our first Fastpass.
We caught not one, but two showings of The Jammitors. They do not perform the same act so you can see something different each time. If you have never stopped to see this short sidewalk show, you should! They are my husband’s favorite so we always see at least one showing. They give out fun little stickers that say “Junior Jammitor” which the Husband proudly wore the rest of the day…goof.
We finished up in Future World and headed for the Countries in World Showcase. We really went in depth into each country. We saw the inside of buildings and shops that we had not been able to enter for years because of impatient littles.
Special Places to check out –
La Cava in Mexico – the Guacamole is fantastic and it is a neat little spot off the beaten path
The walkways in China around the water are very pretty and they are full of fish and polywogs
The Fountain in Italy – a quiet and shady spot that is a peaceful spot to rest – note the grape vines full of grapes!
The Bazaar in Morocco – walk through all the different shops, they are so neat and different
The fountains & shops in France
While I have tried the phone booths in the United Kingdom as have several others, I have not gotten them to do much of anything in the past few years. While messing around with the phone, a Cast Member came up to us and said, “No, you are trying the wrong numbers. Call this number.” So we turned around to dial it and when we turned back, he was gone. We were soon delighted with a congratulatory message from Mickey and Minnie on our anniversary. THAT was some crazy Disney Magic! I love when it isn’t planned and just happens. I teared up a little.
We returned to our resort that evening to find the Magical Express folder on our door. What a sad sight! HOWEVER! We took advantage of our in-room bounceback offer and are already booked to return in September. This way I can visit Star Wars and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and relay any and all information I learn! If you have questions about where to find these offers, reach out to me!
If you would like me to assist in planning your Dream Vacation, contact me today and let’s get started!! My services are free of charge and I can help save you time and money! My passion and knowledge of Disney can really save you some stress and make your trip more enjoyable. Plus, qualifying reservations receive our Minnie Box! Our special thank you gift that is sent to you prior to departure for your trip. It is full of surprises and Magic and other wonderful things to enhance your stay.
No, but really, it has officially been added to the Disneyland Guidemap! Here is your sneek peek!
This is said to be one of the most immersive lands to ever be added to a Disney Park. When it opens tomorrow, guests will have an experience of a lifetime and use all 5 senses to explore this 14 acre land.
The adventure that you will be able to have while in this land will be unforgettable and you will truly feel that you are in Batuu. In addition to the innovative attractions (Just Smuggler’s Run to start off, Rise of the Resistance to open later this year) guests will eat, drink, & interact as true explorers of the Galaxy.
I can’t wait for guest’s photos of this land and their experiences to start rolling in. Please share any photos and/or experiences and opinions you may have about the land. I will not get to Disneyland’s until November unfortunately but I will be at the opening week of Disney World’s and I am super excited to report back. Enjoy!
Not only do they have this amazing new show coming, but it’s not replacing Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular or Fantasmic! Hooray for adding new things
Beginning today, May 1st, ‘Wonderful World of Animation’ will debut at Hollywood Studios. A beautiful display of projections, fireworks, and our favorite Disney Movies will be displayed on the Chinese Theater. Movies will range from Cars and other Pixar favorites to the classics like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The spectacular will showcase over 90 years of animation at Disney Studios
This is definitely a new cinematic nighttime experience that you will not want to miss! This is a great video from the creators. I cannot wait!
To visit Hollywood Studios & the rest of Walt Disney World or any Disney Destination, contact me for a no-obligation quote!
Hallowishes was a fantastic Fireworks display and was one of my favorite parts about the Disney World Halloween party. Disney has decided to replace it this year with an all new Spectacular and I think it is going to be amazing.
For those of you who have had the opportunity to see “Happily Ever After”; the Magic Kingdom night time show that leaves guests with goosebumps and the happiest kind of tears, this will be modeled after that. It will add projections on the castle as well as the lasers, special effects and of course, a beautiful fireworks display. The story will be about Mickey and his friends as they go on a Trick-or-Treating adventure and some of the not-so-scary things they can encounter. We are attending in early September so I will report back about the new show!
In addition to the new show, your favorites will return including the famous “Boo to You” parade, character dance parties, meet & greets with rare characters and of course, trick-or-treating!
The Oogie Boogie Bash will be spooking guests from September 6th – October 31st. This is a separate ticket event that will treat guests to all new entertainment & character interactions. This includes a special version of “World of Color”, “Villainous!”.
Other Halloween “treats” include:
Treat Trails: New immersive trails that will contain characters, possibly even Oogie himself! At the end of the trail, guests will emerge to great big cauldrons of candy to pick from.
DescenDance – A great new interactive Dance Party! The best dancers from Isle of the Lost come to teach us some moves. Groove to all your favorite songs from the Descendants movies!
“Frightfully Fun Parade” – Mickey, Minnie, several other characters, and some of your favorite Villains will delight and cause mischief along the parade route!
Mickey’s Trick and Treat Show – Targeted towards the littles at the party, Mickey and his pals tell stories and enjoy a Halloween Party. Plenty of dancing and candy at this show!
Meet & Greets – Meet with some of your favorites and look for special encounters with villains!
Tickets are limited per party so enjoy shorter wait times at your favorite attractions.
Tickets go on sale April 30th, however if you have an Annual Pass, Disney Visa, or are a DVC member, you can get tickets on the 23rd of April.
Early park entry will be available. The party starts at 6pm but you can get in 3 hours early on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 4 hours early on Sundays. Guests will also be able to get into the party’s 4 hours early on the 29th and 31st.
After two decades, we are sadly saying goodbye to the Epcot Nighttime Spectacular Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. September 30th will be its last show. If this was a favorite of yours, be sure to catch it one more time this Summer!
Coming October 1st, “Epcot Forever” will make its debut. While I am sad to see Illuminations go, I am super excited for this new show. I hold a special place in my heart for a lot of the past attractions of Epcot (Horizons & Kitchen Cabaret!!!) and that is exactly what this new show will celebrate. It will focus on the past, present, and future of Epcot. Our favorite Epcot tunes will be played through the show as well.
Epcot Forever will run into 2020 and then the new, more permanent Nighttime Spectacular will begin. Not much has been announced about it but stay tuned for details.
Wanting to go see Illuminations one last time? Contact me for a no obligation quote and lets turn your dreams into memories!