We're almost there! Only four more days until we leave for our Laughin' Place, a.k.a Walt Disney World! On this trip, we are staying at one of our favorite resorts, Port Orleans Riverside; but this time, we booked a Royal Room! This is, of course, awesome; and we plan on sharing lots of photos and details from these special themed rooms with you after we arrive.So what else are we planning to do this trip? We've got a lot planned, including some new experiences, as well as any tips and extras we discover along the way. So here's our 2013 Disney World Vacation To-Do List! 1.) Stay in a Royal Room-
Can't wait to see Aladdin's lamp faucet and the "magic" headboards! 2.) Early Morning Reservation at the Crystal Palace-
While we've done this before, it's been awhile and we got reservations for about as early as you can get! Our plan is to hopefully finish before park opening and then be ready to attack the New Fantasyland as soon as it's 9 o'clock!3.) Check out the New Fantasyland-
So here's our plan of attack. We head straight to Belle's Cottage to travel through the magic mirror and see that awesome Lumiere audio-animatronic before taking a dozen pictures of the Little Mermaid queue and riding Journey of the Little Mermaid. This will all be followed by a refreshment at Gaston's Tavern.4.) Lunch at Be Our Guest-
So we couldn't get dinner reservations here; but I think a lunchtime visit will best suit our needs. You see, at lunch you can pick which room you want to eat in. (Ballroom, of course!) Also, people are free to roam about and take pictures, which would probably be awkward at dinner. After all, I've gotta get a pic of the enchanted rose in the West Wing!5.) Ride the new Test Track-
We are huge fans of the original, so I'm really really hoping that this will be an improvement, not a disappointment; and I'm curious to see what's changed.6.) Check out Star Wars Weekends-
We've dropped by Star Wars Weekends before, seeing how we are major Star Wars nerds, but the crowd levels and heat can be an issue. The plan this year is to arrive early, get some character photos and merchandise, and then come back later in the day for the parade. We would stay for the awesome Hyperspace Hoopla; but we find it's better to watch it online where peoples head aren't in our way.7.) Visit Typhoon Lagoon-
We haven't been to Typhoon Lagoon in the past several years, so it's definitely time to visit again! We're going to ride Crush n' Gusher, eat some of their famous Mini Donuts, slip down a few slides, and spend some serious time in their incredible wave pool which is worth the price of admission all by itself.8.) Spend a Night at a Fort Wilderness Cabin-
W'e're actually doing a split stay this year! We've tagged on a night at a Fort Wilderness Cabin for our last day. We're looking forward to the extra space and seeing what it's like to stay at this particular resort.9.) Drop by France's L'Artistan des Glaces & Les Halles Bakery
-The bakery has only been open for a few months and the pictures will make your mouth water; but if that wasn't enough, France's ice cream parlor, L'Aristan des Glaces has JUST OPENED; and the flavors they are offering sound amazing!10.) Shop at TrenD's-
This is our favorite store on property. We could do a lot of damage here.11.) Get New Christmas Ornaments-
I want several of those Mouse Ear ornaments and Princess Shoes for my Christmas tree!12.) See The Little Mermaid and The Lion King Wings at the Art of Animation-
On our last trip, we dropped by the newly opened Art of Animation and were very impressed! We explored the Cars and Finding Nemo wings; but The Little Mermaid and Lion King wings had yet to open. 13.) Eat the Art of Animation's Food Court-
We have heard some great things about this new generation of Disney food courts and we are curious to try it for ourselves!14.) Test Out Some Disney Myths & Legends-
Supposedly there are things you can do or ask to get some extra pixie dust. We will find out just how reliable this info is.15) Try a Touring Plan-
Believe it or not, we have never tried a Touring Plan. We've been to WDW so many times, and tend to prefer playing by our own rules, that we have never tried one. However, on this trip, we just may give on a try to see if they really work. We will let you know what we find out!16.) See the Tangled Themed Bathrooms-
Yes, yes, we know. They're just bathrooms; but if you've seen the pictures you know that this area looks amazing! I also want to hunt for Pascal. Supposedly they have hidden several camouflaged Pascals around this area too. So that's what's on the agenda for our upcoming trip! Which are you the most interested in hearing about in our blog? Is there anything you would like us to find out? Let us know!
Walt Disney World is one of the top vacation destinations in the world! It's absolutely massive, is constantly growing and improving, is a fixture in American pop culture, and takes about a week to see only a portion of all it has to offer.
In addition to all of that, Walt Disney World is Neverland and Wonderland and truly is one of the only places on earth where dreams do come to true. Obviously, WDW is not like any other vacation destination on earth. Not convinced? Check out our 10 Reasons why a Disney Vacation is like no other vacation.
10.) It Really is a World-Unlike other vacations, once you pass through the famous Walt Disney World gates, you really are in another world! The friendly, high quality, Disney touch graces everything you see. Even the street signs and stop signs are different! It's difficult to convey just how huge WDW really is. Once you're inside, you don't see any trace of the real world, only what Disney has created; and they have created a lot! We're talking several theme parks, water parks, a shopping district, a plethora of hotels and resorts for every taste and budget, and dozens upon dozens of stores and restaurants. Visiting WDW is like entering another world, something you don't experience with every vacation!
9.) Food has Ears-Walt Disney said himself that it was all started with a Mouse; and Disney has not forgotten their roots over the years. References to Mickey Mouse are just about everywhere; but it's cute and fun and especially delights the kids. Be sure to keep your eyes open for hidden Mickeys, cleverly hidden just about everywhere, from murals to tile floors to light fixtures. Wearing a pair of Mouse Ears is a Disney tradition and a rite of passage, something that everyone from toddlers to senior citizens partake in. You will find that even your food may be decorated with edible Mouse Ears!
8.) Experience a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way-Are you a Star Wars fan? Disney World's Hollywood Studios Park features a Star Wars themed area, attraction, and store! Plus, for several weekends in early summer, the park celebrates Star Wars Weekends, where Storm Troopers patrol the turnstiles, Darth Vader takes part in a parade, and Star Wars celebrities visit, plus much, much more. Disney World lets you enter the Star Wars Universe and really lets you indulge your inner geek.
7.) Experience Other Places-Disney World is all about immersing guests into beloved stories and far away places; and while vacationing here, you get to experience just about any corner of the world, or fantasy world, in one place! For example, Epcot features pavilions that showcase different nations from around the world, introducing you to their architecture, cuisine, history, culture, and products. It really is like taking a trip around the world in an afternoon, plus all the Cast Members working there are actually from their respective countries. If that's not enough, you can stay at a Disney Resort, each of which has a theme. In the mood for a seaside vacation while in Central Florida? Stay at Yacht and Beach Club and enjoy a water view, a sand bottom pool, and a view of a vintage Boardwalk. Always wanted to visit Africa? Experience what it's like by staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, where live African wildlife roam outside your resort room. How about a Hawaiian Vacation? Check out the Polynesian Resort! You may forget you're in Florida most of the time!
6.) Free Transportation-Disney offers free transportation to and from all their resorts and parks and shopping district; and there's a variety to choose from! Hop aboard one of the many buses, boats, or their own Monorail system! No taxis or dirty subways here!
5.) No Salespeople-At WDW, you don't have to deal with tourist traps or salespeople or collages of ads or eyesores, like most vacationers do. No one at Disney will push themselves on you, there is no pressure, and everything is picture-perfect. Literally.
4.) Family Atmosphere-Have you ever been on vacation with your family and feel embarrassed or the need to cover your kids' eyes at certain billboards or at the beach? Wish you could avoid the party scene and casinos? At WDW, these problems don't exist! Everything at Walt Disney World is about family and offers a family friendly atmosphere. So rest easy knowing that nothing but clean, family fun and innocence is sold here.
3.) High Quality-One thing Disney is known for is their quality. It's all about show at WDW. At night, when the gates close, a whole new group of employees come in to freshen up the paint, tidy the flowerbeds, and make adjustments so everything looks as clean and new as it would on opening day. Disney also offers some of the most creative and advanced rides in the world, as well as some of the best entertainment. Disney is also famous for their service; and once you visit, you will agree that Disney employees are some of the nicest, most helpful employees you've encountered. Everything is top-notch, so you are definitely getting your money's worth at WDW.
2.) A Unique Culture-Disney World is different than other vacations in that Disney has their own culture. When you visit other places around the world, you are experiencing the what that particular region has to offer; but at Disney, you are experiencing the stories and adventures and Disney creations which consists of their animated and live-action movies, ideas of the future, and exclusively Disney things such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Mickey and the Gang, the Disney Princesses, Dole Whips, Mouse Ears, and pixie dust. A vacation to Disney World means a trip to your childhood dreams and a utopian world. You don't really get that anywhere else on earth.
1.) Transcends Age-Walt Disney World transcends age. It's a place where young and old can enjoy things together. That's what Walt intended when we he first dreamed up Disneyland after all. There is also stuff for different ages too, such as awesome thrill rides for teens, spas and golf courses and resort activities and tours for adults, and so much more. So regardless of how old you are, or how many generations you're bringing with you to Central Florida, everyone has the chance to enjoy themselves.
So these are just 10 reasons why we think Walt Disney World is unlike any other vacation destination! Do you agree?
1. Watching the giant paddle fans overhead as you wait to check in!
2. Sitting near the water wheel as you have lunch in the massive food court.
3. Walking into your room for the first time!
4. Going for a carriage ride!
5. Going for a swim during the heat of the day at Ol' Man Island.
6. Cutting through the gift shop on your way to the bus stop.
7. Feeling like you're in the Old South as you walk past the elegant mansions..
8. Enjoying a relaxing, and delicious, meal at Boatwrights!
9. Taking a boat from the resort to Downtown Disney.
10. Sitting on a bench by the river and watching the ducks.
11. Feeling like you're in the backwoods as you explore Alligator Bayou.
12. Checking out the new pins for sale at the gift shop.
13. Having a late snack in the food court after a long day at the parks.
14. Finding a hidden Mickey in your room.
15. Looking forward to exploring the new Royal Guest Rooms!
Great news! We are going back to Walt Disney World! We will be back in the magic from June 12 through the 18th. Obviously, we are thrilled and counting the days, especially since we have some new magical experiences lined up that we are looking forward to sharing with you!
So here are our travel plans:
Transportation: In the past, we usually fly to Walt Disney World; but this time, we are going to drive and hopefully provide you with some blogs about the pros and cons of driving, how to keep kids entertained, and more.
Resort: We are really excited about this one! For the first time, we are staying at a DVC studio at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savanna view! Not only will we give you some posts about this resort, but also about the famed savanna view rooms, and what it's like staying at a DVC as opposed to a standard resort room.
Dining: We are visiting a few old favorites, such as the Grand Floridian Cafe, and Les Chefs de France and Le Cellier at Epcot; but we also have reservations at San Angel Inn, the Garden Grill, and hopefully Beaches and Cream (if we can get a table!) So if you enjoy reading restaurant reviews, stay tuned!
Art of Animation Resort: First of all, the Finding Nemo wing of the new Art of Animation Resort will be open during our visit; and we plan to stop by to take a few pics to show you! Also, the Cars section is due to open on the last day of our vacation, so if all goes according to plan, we hope to take some pics of that too!
Keys to the Kingdom Tour: We are also planning to experience the Keys to the Kingdom tour at the Magic Kingdom! We hear that you are taught about some park details and history, as well as get to experience a few attractions, and are granted access to the famed Utilidors! While we won't tell you everything we see and hear on this tour, we may leak a few things here and there!
Typhoon Lagoon: While we have visited this water park before, it's been several years; and we want to visit again! We also want to post some pics, reviews, and info for you too!
So are any of you visiting WDW between June 12th and 18th? Do any of our plans sound like something you will want to read? Let us know!
1. That feeling of awe when you walk into the lobby for the first time!
2. Walking over the bridge in the lobby whenever you can.
3. Asking for Ketchup at Whispering Canyon Cafe!
4. Sitting in the rocking chairs in front of the Grand Canyon Fireplace.
5. Taking the free tour!
6. Finding a Hidden Mickeys in the carpet!
7. Watching the geyser erupt!
8. Forgetting that you're actually not in the mountains.
9. Getting dressed up for your reservations at Artist Point.
10. Taking the wooded, boardwalk path to the boat docks.
11. Exploring the Villas of Wilderness Lodge's lobby.
12. Having a cup of chili at the Roaring Fork. Yum!
13. Seeing Wilderness Lodge lit up at night!
14. Falling asleep after a day at the parks in your log frame bed.
15. Taking pictures of the teepee chandeliers.
1. Walking into the lobby for the first time!
2. Pointing out the seaside accents on the light fixtures.
3. Spending the whole day in your swimsuit at Stormalong Bay!
4. Seeing the Boardwalk lit up at night.
5. Eating Mickey Waffles and taking pics with Minnie and Goofy during breakfast at Cape May Cafe!
6. Getting dressed up for reservations at the Yachtsmen Steakhouse.
7. Taking the walking path over to Epcot and entering through the International Gateway.
8. Eating as much as you can hold at Beaches and Cream after swimming all day!
9. Watching the fireworks from your balcony.
10. Making sand castles in the sand by Stormalong Bay.
11. Forgetting that you're in Central Florida and not really at the beach!
12. Taking your first ride down Yacht and Beach Club's fallen mast water slide! Whoa!
13. Exploring the details and decor of the Yacht Club.
14. Taking some pics by the lighthouse.
15. Getting your first look at Beaches and Cream's famous Kitchen Sink sundae!
16. Pigging out on seafood at Cape May Cafe's buffet.
1. Getting your picture taken in front of the lobby waterfall.
2. Your first sip of POG juice at 'Ohana!
3. Watching Wishes from the Nanea Volcano Pool!
4. Forgetting that you're in Florida, not Hawaii, when watching the Spirit of Aloha Show.
5. Shopping for a souvenir at Bou-Tiki!
6. Falling asleep on the beach.
7. Knowing that your hardest decision of the day is choosing which dessert to order at Kona Cafe.
8. Having your first bite of Tonga Toast!
9. Pretending to explore an uncharted island as you wander through the Polynesian's grounds.
10. Starting off your day with some hijinks from Stitch!
11. Getting to see the torch lighting ceremony.
12. Having a chat with one of the Polynesian's orginal Cast Members
13. Singing along with the Lilo and Stitch soundtrack.
14. Having a cup of Kona Coffee on your way to the Monorail!
15. Stopping by Captain Cook's for the third time that day for yet another Dole Whip!.
16. Walking into your resort room for the first time.
1. Hunting for Disney characters in the carpet and tile.
2. Hearing the orchestra playing your favorite Disney song.
3. Sampling the Strawberry Soup at the 1900 Park Fare.
4. Shopping for a souvenir at the Summer Lace shop.
5. Riding the Grand Floridian's elevator!
6. Waking up and remembering you're at Walt Disney World!
7. Watching Wishes on the boat dock after dinner.
8. Taking a nap in your comfy Grand Floridian Resort robe.
9. Watching one of your favorite Disney movies under the stars on the beach!
10. Having a delicious lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe as you plan the rest of your day.
11. Going for a swim during the heat of the day.
12. Buying a gingerbread shingle from the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House at Christmastime!
13. Shopping for soaps and bath bombs at The Basin.
14. Descending the Grand Floridian staircase!
15. Spluring on dinner at Victoria and Alberts!
1. Seeing Summit Plummet from the bus!
2. The smell of suntan lotion by the lockers.
3. Dozing off on Castaway Creek.
4. Screaming when you hear the Typhoon Lagoon foghorn!
5. Pushing your family under the icy waterfalls in the cave on Cross Country Creek!
6. Scoping out the slides below as you ride the ski lift up the mountain.
7. Finally making it to the front of the line for Humunga Kowabunga!
8. Racing your family down the Toboggan Racers!
9. Running into Stitch or Goofy by the wave pool!
10. Laughing all the way down Teamboat Springs.
11. Finally deciding to give snorkeling a try!
12. Going out farther...and farther...and farther into the wave pool!
13. Seeing where the Ice Gator crashed through at Blizzard Beach.
14. That feeling of happy exhaustion as you leave the park.
1. Seeing the Tree of Life as you emerge from the Oasis.
2. Playing the drums in Africa.
3. That first spinning drop on Primeval Whirl!
4. Grabbing last minute reservations at Tusker House!
5. Feeling like a paleontologist at the Dig Site!
6. Looking at the Yeti artifacts as you walk through the Expedition Everest queue.
7. Watching your family get soaked by a wave of water on Kali River Rapids.
8. Going backwards in the dark on Expedition Everest!
9. Having a giraffe walk near your safari vehicle on Kilimanjaro Safaris.
10. Laughing, and screaming, when you feel bugs behind you and under feet during It's Tough to be a Bug!
11. Feeling relieved when you open your eyes at the end of Dinosaur.
12. Seeing a bird fly over your head at the Flights of Wonder show!
13. Having the Discovery trails all to yourself as you photograph the Tree of Life!
14. Getting a picture with Baloo and King Louis.
15. Watching the gorillas on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
16. Petting the goats at the Affection Section!
17. Noticing all the details as you walk through Asia and Africa.
18. Talking a stroll through the park at night!