#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.

#Adulting · Disney Dining · Disney Shows · Disney Travel Tip · Disneyland · New for Disneyland · Special Events in Disneyland · Star Wars

Galaxy’s Edge is on the Map!

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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.

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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!

Disney Dining · Disneyland · Hollywood Studios · Merchandise · New for Disneyland · New for Hollywood Studios · Star Wars · Walt Disney World

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Updates

Disney has released a few bits of information about what you will be able to find in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. One of the first previews of merchandise was put out:

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This first set of merchandise is for the Resistance Supply and First Order Cargo. There are badges, pins, key chains, bags, cups, and more. It all looks so official, I cannot wait to see it in person.

While the merchandise looks fantastic, I may be even more excited about the theming around the restaurants and food. Lucasfilm Ltd., Coca-Cola, and Disney all got together to make these fantastic beverages –


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How incredibly fun!!??! I want one right now and my Son would flip over these. Being able to purchase and drink from these while in the land is just one of the many immersive ways Disney will have us feeling like we are right there at Batuu. They will be limited to Batuu so if you are looking for one, they will be available there starting this Summer at Disneyland and this August at Hollywood Studios.

Stay tuned for more details as they are released!

Characters/Meet & Greets · Disney Characters · Disney Shows · Extra Magical Events · Magic Kingdom · New for Magic Kingdom · Walt Disney World

It’s a Villainous Takeover!!

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Remember the After Hours we discussed here and how they are extending the events into the summer? Well the Disney Villains just decided to take over all of the After Hours at the Magic Kingdom from June 6th-August 8th.

The After Hours will take on a wicked theme (wicked but not scary!) and the Magic Kingdom will offer special merchandise, entertainment, food & beverages, and more! New additions for these Villainous evenings:

  • A new Villain Stage Show – Hades will star in this awesome new entertainment and will be joined by Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier, and Maleficent.
  • Maleficent the Dragon – This alone excites me tremendously. Maleficent in her dragon form will be out for the first time at night! I cannot wait to see how amazing she will look when she breathes fire in the dark.
  • Ride Enhancements – Experience how some of the rides will be different – Pirates of the Caribbean & Space Mountain.
  • Food & Beverage – Try new and fun evil options inspired by the Villains themselves.
  • Merchandise – There will be new logo merchandise avaialble for these special After Hours in addition to a great display of their typical Villain merchandise.
  • You!! – You can dress up as your favorite villain – just be sure to adhere to Disney’s Costume Policy

Planning to vacation this summer or already have a trip planned? Let’s get this awesome event added to your trip. Contact me for a no-obligation quote today! Already reserved through Disney? We can have your reservation transferred so I can assist you with all the fun steps of planning and make it all go smooth.

Disney Travel Tip · Extra Magical Experience · Walt Disney World

New Magical Experiences Available

There are several new Magical Experiences that are currently or will very soon be available to Disney Guests.

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Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew

Captain Hook is looking for new recruits to help him swab the deck! If you are 4-12 and are looking for a great adventure with the Captain and his crew, then this would truly be a magical adventure for you! They set sail from Disney’s Beach Club resort and the crew will be taught how to walk, talk, and act like a pirate before setting out on the ultimate treasure hunt. Once the treasure is found, the crew will be treated to a pirate’s feast! All of this and more on this new adventure which will start setting sail April 2019. Now taking reservations!!

Mermaid School

If you or your little has always wanted to be a mermaid, now you can be part of Ariel’s World! Offered at select Walt Disney World Resort Pool’s will be a class teaching you just how to do that! Mermaids, ages 4 and up will be fitted with their very own mermaid tail. During an hour long class, you will be taught how to swim and play the mermaid way!

Art Program

Now being offered at various Disney Hotel Resorts are art classes offered by Disney Professional Artists. Guests ages 12 and older can create their own masterpiece. There is a junior class for kids at Port Orleans for 6 and up. Offerings include:

  • Win, Paint, Show at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Wild About Painting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Painting on de’ Bayou (adults), Painting by the Lagoon (kids), Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort. Children’s painting class; designed for ages 6 and older; accompanying parent required.
  • Painting in the Vineyard, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
  • Canvas and Wine Glass Painting on the Boards, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

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Fishing Excursions

Calling all fisherman, big and small!! Guests can take a guided fishing tour of Seven Seas Lagoon. Guests of all ages can choose between a pontoon boat or a bass fishing boat with up to 5 in a party. Excursions are catch and release and can be chartered for 2 or 4 hours

Looking to enhance your trip by adding some extra magic?! Contact me and we can add any of these to a vacation package for you!

Characters/Meet & Greets · Disney Characters · Disney Shows · Disney Travel Tip · Disneyland · Hollywood Studios · New for Disneyland · New for Hollywood Studios · Star Wars · Walt Disney World

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Opening Dates Announced

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Disney has announced those most Magical dates we have all been waiting for! Opening dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open on May 31st in Disneyland and August 29th at Walt Disney World!

Because of the demand and how excited guests have been to see this land, Disney World has decided to open the land in phases. This will get guests in as early as possible however it does mean that not everything will be open. On opening day, you will be able to experience Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Guests will be able to take control of the ship and hold on for a wild ride. In phase 1, guests will also get to experience all of the food and merchandise we have all been waiting to see.

Phase 2 will have to opening to the second ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This is said to be one of the most innovative and immersive experiences of our time. An opening date for this specific attraction has not yet been released. We are only being told “later this year”.

Tell me this does not look amazing!! Somewhere Sheldon is Bazinga-ing all over the place.

In Disneyland, Galaxy’s Edge is supposed to be opening all at once – no phases. Guests who plan to visit between opening day and June 23rd will need to make a no-cost reservation to visit the land in addition to theme park admission. After that, no reservation is required, only theme park admission.

If you want to go visit a Galaxy Far, Far Away, please let me know if you are interested in a no-obligation quote! My services are free of charge and can save you time and money. Plus, all qualifying reservations receive our Minnie Box! A special gift tailored to your family trip.