#Adulting · Animal Kingdom · Characters/Meet & Greets · Disney Characters · Disney Dining · Disney Princesses · Disney Shows · Disney Springs · Disney Travel Tip · Disney World Resort · Epcot · Hollywood Studios · Magic Kingdom · Meg the Travel Agent · Trip Report · Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Trip Report

July 2019

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.

Resort Review

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.

Disney Springs

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?!

Magic Kingdom

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

Animal Kingdom

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.

Hollywood Studios

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

Epcot

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.

Animal Kingdom · Disney Springs · Disney Travel Tip · Disney World Resort · Epcot · Extra Magical Events · Hollywood Studios · Magic Kingdom · New for Animal Kingdom · New for Disney World Resort · New for Epcot · New for Hollywood Studios · New for Magic Kingdom · Walt Disney World

2019 Walt Disney World Holiday Guide

© Disney

2019 is going to be a Very Merry Holiday at Walt Disney World. There will be new offerings all over the resort as well as the return to several favorites.

Animal Kingdom

For the very first time, Animal Kingdom is going to completely deck the halls! New decor in every land, new street performances and entertainment, holiday lanterns that will glow, and even Pandora will celebrate and Earth Holiday thanks to some of the humans that stayed behind.

In the evenings, all the lands will sparkle with holiday splendor and the Tree of Life will take on a wintery appearance and holiday tunes will be heard. Starting November 8th, come see how the Holidays transform this magical land full of beautiful animals, far off lands, and some of your favorite Disney Pals!

Epcot

The Candlelight Processional will return once again during Festival of the Holidays. Candlelight Processional Dining packages will also be available. From November 29-December 30, guests can discover holiday traditions, festive bites & sips, and special entertainment through 11 countries. In addition to the 11 countries, there will be Holiday Kitchens from additional places around the world. They will also be offering wonderful treats to try.

For the kiddos (and kiddos at heart), you will be able to hunt for Chip & Dal again in their Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt. We always find this is a great activity to keep the littles busy while we check out the countries.

Hollywood Studios

Many of our favorites will return to Hollywood this year. Olaf will make his grand appearance in a fantastic holiday Finale of “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Holiday Sing-Along”. This ending is different from the normal show and brought me to tears. It was so sweet.

“Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam” is set to return. We loved this display on the Chinese theater. It is a great combination of projections, fireworks, and great music. I recommend finding a good spot about a half hour prior to it starting because that street fills up FAST!

One of the neatest things I found last year was the show on Sunset that was projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Set to music along with some blustery surprises, this one was one of my kids favorites. It is on a loop so it is not hard to catch. We must have seen it at least four times!

WHO KNOWS what is in store for the holidays at Galaxy’s Edge. I wonder how they will decorate for the holidays! I am excited to visit and find out and maybe pick up a gift for someone special from a Galaxy Far, Far Away!

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom will be decked out in its traditional Holiday decor. The magic really comes to life when you visit during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There is special stage shows, a beautiful parade concluded with Santa, himself, and NEW this year is a new Holiday Fireworks Display.

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime is an all-new Nighttime Spectacular coming to Magic Kingdom this Holiday season. This Park-Wide display will be set to holiday tunes that will warm your heart. HINT: This is the one Fireworks show that we INSIST we watch from Main Street.

The beautiful Once Upon A Christmas Time parade will be back along with other favorites – “Totally Tomorrowland Christmas’ Stage Show, “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration”, and of course, Elsa’s “Frozen Holiday Wish”

Resorts

We will update these as they are confirmed but as in years past, resorts will be decorated for the holiday. Some of my favorites to visit:

  • Gingerbread House at Grand Floridian
  • Chocolate Display at Contemporary
  • Holiday Tree at Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and several other resorts that display these themed Holiday Beauties.

Disney Springs

In addition to all the amazing holiday shopping you can get done, Disney Springs is a Holiday Destination all on its own.

You can stroll down the Christmas Tree trail where you can see custom-decorated trees. Each tree will be decorated to a specific holiday theme. I cannot wait to see what themes there will be this year.

Guests are welcome to come visit Santa in his Chalet until December 24th when he has to head back north. From there, Santa Goofy will meet with guests until the 31st.

Need something to occupy the littles with while you get some shopping done? Experiment 626 is hiding in Disney Springs. You and your family can hunt for Stitch in his Holiday Gift Hunt.

These are just some of the few things we already know are lined up. There is so much more to be announced and it will be updated here as I learn of them.

If you are ready to start planning your holiday trip, contact me today for a no-obligation quote! My services are free of charge and I am happy to help you from start to finish with anythin you may need. Let me help plan your most Merry trip ever!

Disney Travel Tip · Disney World Resort · Extra Magical Experience · Merchandise · New for Disney World Resort · Walt Disney World

More In-Room Celebrations Available!

© Disney

More In-Room Celebrations have come along so that we can add even more different kids of magic to our stay in Disney. I love the Toy Story Option, as I know it is one that my guys and gal would all love! Here is more on the items offered:

  • A Pixar Pals Welcome- Your clients can celebrate Friendship and Beyond during their stay with a special In-Room Celebration featuring some of their favorite Pixar pals. 
  • Presenting Your Royal Princess– Give your clients’ little ones the royal treatment! This special In-Room Celebration is themed to Disney Princesses, and feature door decorations, a letter from the Fairy Godmother, and Princess-themed treasures.
  • Me Pirate Adventure- This is the Disney pirate In-Room Celebration your clients have been waiting for! This add-on includes a “Beware” banner to welcome guests, treasures from Blackbeard, and more! 

These are so easy for us to add to a Walt Disney World Vacation Package and they put the biggest smiles on faces of guests of all ages. Be sure to look into others that have been recently posted. The “Love” packages have been a huge hit among guests “Disneymooning” and returning for the “Disaversary” trips and even some for those getting engaged and one of the Most Magical Places on Earth. Let me know if you would like to add one of these great packages to your stay!

Disney Dining · Disney Travel Tip · Disney World Resort · Savings Promotion · Walt Disney World

3 Huge Last-Minute Summer Promotions

It sure made this little guy excited!

Disney is offering 3 last minute offers for travel this summer. If you were waiting for “tax return” time or hoping for a last minute deal, they have arrived!

Summer Room Offer

Guests who stay between 5/28 & 8/28 can receive up to %25 off their hotel stay. This is a great savings! In addition, guests checking in 5/28-6/30 will also receive a gift card during the stay. The amount you receive depends on how many nights of stay and what category room you are in.

Summer Meal Offer

Guests who arrive from 5/28-8/21 and are staying in a Value or Moderate resort category can get one free quick service meal per person, per day! That amounts to a great savings for your family and some very yummy options!

FREE DINING!

Yes, it is here but it does have limitations – this is only available if you are a Disney Visa Cardholder. Arrive August 1- August 21. Guests staying at the Value or Moderate categories will receive Quick-Service dining. Deluxe and Deluxe Villa stays will receive the Dining Plan.

As always, there are limitations to each of these. If you are excited to book a trip this summer and would like to save some $$$ let me know and we can price out some options for you! All qualifying reservations receive our Minnie Box as well!!

Disney World Resort · Epcot · Hollywood Studios · New for Disney World Resort · New for Epcot · New for Hollywood Studios · Walt Disney World

Disney Skyliner: The Interior Revealed!

After many months of seeing the individual cars all shrink wrapped, Disney gave us a peek at what the inside will look like.

© Disney Parks

Recently when I was there I saw them in operation. Those things move!! They will service Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and 4 of Disney’s Resorts:

  • Pop Century
  • Art of Animation
  • Riviera Resort
  • Caribbean Beach Resort

This new mode of transportation makes these four resorts even more desirable! Planning a fall trip to Disney World for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival? Get your group together and stay at one of these resorts – the Skyliner will drop you off right at the back of World Showcase. Hoping to take the kids during their fall break and enjoy all the new offerings? Staying at one of these resorts will be even more fun and exciting for them now that this is a form of transportation! Contact me to start putting a package together and Let’s turn your Dreams into Memories!

#Adulting · Disney Dining · Disney World Resort · Extra Magical Experience · Walt Disney World

#Adulting In Disney

I spent the last weekend in Walt Disney World getting caught up on all the wonderful new things and the “limited time Magic” offerings. WOW was I busy but I learned so much. Since 2009, I have been to Walt Disney World once without children. That visit was brief and dictated by my lovely sister whose bachelorette party we were there for. This was the first time in ten years that I have been to Disney and was able to see and do “Adult” things. It was fantastic and I cannot wait to do it again in June.

Blinded by my children’s joy and all the things they want to see and do, I had forgotten how much was offered for crowds 21+. I want to share what I had experienced and learned so that those of you looking for a couples retreat, girls weekend, or fantastic group of friends getaway can see what a great option Disney Word would be.

© Disney

I touched down in Orlando right around 8am and headed for the Magical Express. They grabbed my luggage for me, put me on the correct bus and I was off to my hotel – Port Orleans French Quarter. There are not many hotels that I do not like but for #Adulting purposes, I suggest staying in a Moderate or higher. The reason being the night time entertainment that Moderates and Deluxes offer. If you choose to do a day at the pool/hotel, you have a great choice of entertainment right there between the movies and live entertainment they offer in the evenings.

#Adulting at Resorts

Monorail Resorts

© Disney

I love the resorts on the monorail. They are incredibly convenient, have a tremendous amount of amenities, and they have many #Adulting opportunities. This weekend, I participated in the Highway in the Sky Dine Around. It is a 5 course experience of bites and beverages. All of the stops are at the monorail resorts:

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

It does culminate with the perfect viewing spot for Happily Ever After Fireworks. I was with a group of friends for this and we had a blast. I could also see how it could be incredibly romantic.

In addition to this experience, the monorail resorts have several bars and lounges that have live entertainment, great food & beverages, and each has at least one table service restaurant.

Boardwalk Resorts

The Boardwalk Resorts are also in a great area that have so many #Adulting opportunities. They are within walking distance to Epcot (they also offer the Friendship boats) so during all of the Epcot Festivals, they are a great option. You can also find great eateries and entertainment on the boardwalk including the Dance Hall and Jellyrolls Piano Bar. The resorts located at the Boardwalk are:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort & Villas

In addition to the Boardwalk entertainment, each specific resort has several options for entertainment including live music, lounges, bars, and golf courses.

Both the Boardwalk Resorts and the Monorail Resorts are on bodies of water. This is a fantastic advantage because of all of the marinas. Guests can charter private bass fishing outings, arrange dinner for a couple or a group out on one of the pontoons and sail during fireworks. You can even just arrange for a dessert and bring your own beverages on board. So many fun and romantic possibilities! Fort Wilderness also has boat rentals.

Other Resort #Adulting Opportunities

In addition to the Boardwalk & Monorail Resorts, several other resorts have great options for adults:

  • Stay “Club Level” for wonderful perks and service
  • Signature Dining Experiences (Jiko has the largest selection of South African wine in North America)
  • Chef’s Table
  • Spas
  • Bars & Lounges
  • Rent a Surrey Bike
  • The Beignet Dash (5k)
  • Shopping
  • Live Music
  • Movies under the Stars
  • Fire pits
  • Archery
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wagon Rides
  • Horse Stable Tours
  • Adult Pools (at select hotels)
  • Cabana Rentals
  • Canoes & Kayaks
  • Golf Courses & Mini Golf (Clubs for rent)
  • Espn

If you are looking for a specific resort offering from the above list, let me know and I can help you find which Resort has it. The Disney Resorts have the perfect ingredients to make an amazing Adults Only Trip. Put a few of these options together for a group of friends or a romantic getaway and you will have the vacation of a lifetime! I am happy to help turn your Dreams into Memories!!

Next in the #Adulting Series will be #Adulting in Disney Parks

Disney World Resort · New for Disney World Resort · Walt Disney World

New In-Room Celebration Options Available

© Disney

Disney offers several different packages that you can have delivered to your room while on your vacation. There is a package for many different celebrations and they really add a wonderful touch and some extra magic. They have birthday celebrations, anniversary/couples celebrations, and your every day celebration.

They just came out with four new options. These options are super cute and double as room decor for your trip. Then once you leave, you have some really great keepsakes to take with you!

The four new celebrations:

  • A Frozen Warm Welcome – Welcome package for the whole family
  • Dreaming of a Disney Holiday – A Very Merry Christmas welcome celebration
  • Mickey’s Halloween Celebration – A Not-so-Spooky Celebration
  • My Magical Triumph – A celebration for achieving goals or celebrating triumphs for any reason at all!

Adding one of these celebration packages will make your trip extra magical and will bring smiles to your whole family. Contact me to add one of these to your reservation!