"Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Orange. Enjoy the ride as we share
our Disney family traditions."
Our family has many Disney World traditions! While we always look forward to experiencing the new rides, restaurants, resorts, and magic that Disney produces, part of the fun is continuing those old traditions and revisiting the memories while making new ones. We have put together a list of a few of our traditions, and just maybe some of our traditions are some of yours too?
3. Star Tours - For years, it has been a tradition for my Disney Brother and I to ride Star Tours together. Before the new Star Tours - The Adventure Continues, we used to recite the lines from the original along with our pilot Rex; but now, we just hope that we will get to be the Rebel Spy and get to visit our favorite destinations! Also, our traditional ride isn't complete without browsing through Tatooine Traders to check out the Yoda backpacks, funny tees, and the lightsaber selection too.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean - Every visit to WDW for our family means a family ride on Pirates of the Caribbean. Usually, our family heads straight to this ride when we first arrive, and we usually hop aboard for a second trip in the evening when the crowds are low too.
1. Rock n' Roller Coaster & Tower of Terror - Our family really likes Disney's thrill rides, and it's tradition for us to spend a morning on Sunset Boulevard at Hollywood Studios going back and forth between two of our favorites: Rock n' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. Typically, we grab a FastPass for Rock n' Roller Coaster and then ride it if the standby line is short. Next, we move next door to Tower of Terror and probably hop right back on once we've finished if the park has filled up just yet. Within this tradition, we have a few others. For example, it's tradition for us to quote the lines from Rock n' Roller Coaster pre-show. We almost have it all down! Then, when in the boiler room inside Tower of Terror, it's tradition to go to the far left line and to be on the look out for TJ, one of the attraction's original bellhops!
3. Les Chefs de France - Once we visited this Epcot restaurant for lunch several years ago, it soon become a new Disney family tradition. Every visit, we book a lunch at Les Chefs de France for their delicious three-course lunch menu, the picturesque setting, and their yummy French Onion Soup and Ham and Cheese Sandwich.
2. Le Cellier - So we like steak. Therefore, we are HUGE fans of Le Cellier. Even though it's a signature restaurant, we always make reservations for this Epcot dining spot. The cool, dim atmosphere is the perfect setting to cool off, unwind, and spend time talking about the day and what we plan to do tomorrow. But in all honesty, we're really here for the menu... Such as the pretzel bread, Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, famous Filet Mignon with Mushroom Risotto, and mellow Maple Crème Brulee.
1. Columbia Harbor House - For years, our favorite counter service restaurant has been Colombia Harbour House, not only for their food, but also for the atmosphere and that quiet, unknown second floor with all of it's nautical nooks and crannies. This is where we go to hide and just hang out! We also have to have a cup of their Clam Chowder too. It's a family rule.
3. Ornament Shopping - No matter what time of year it is, we always enjoy hunting for some new Christmas ornaments and décor, especially when it's Disney! Every time we visit WDW, we have to browse through the Magic Kingdom's Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and the Days of Christmas Store at Downtown Disney; and hopefully, we end up bringing home something new for our holiday collection.
2. Downtown Disney - At least once each trip to WDW, our family has to do a little damage at Downtown Disney. Our favorites? Tren-D and Team Mickey's.
1. Resort Hopping - Something our family must do during our Disney Vacation is a little resort hopping! The Grand Floridian is always at the top of the list, as we have to visit the gorgeous lobby and a few of its stores. The Contemporary and the Polynesian are favorites of ours too, but we especially like dropping by the Beach Club to soak in its sunny, beachy atmosphere and to walk around the Boardwalk. Lastly, no resort hop is complete for our family without visiting our favorite, Wilderness Lodge!
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the final stop on our Magical Blogorail."
Today's topic is "Dreaming of a Walt Disney World Christmas," which is really perfect because we are already excited and busy planning for the upcoming Christmas season at our house. Since there are so many things we enjoy about Disney at Christmas, we decided to keep it simple by making a list of the top five things that have us dreaming of a Walt Disney World Christmas!
1.) Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
The biggest Christmas event at WDW is the Magic Kingdom's Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! On select nights, the park turns into a winter wonderland where Christmas carols and fake snow fill the air on Main Street USA, where there are shows and dance parties around the park, and where you get to enjoy exclusive merchandise and free cookies and cocoa!
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is definitely the highlight of the party for us. The holiday themed floats and appearances of special characters, many of which are dressed in winter wear, is so much fun; and did we mention that Santa makes an appearance during the parade too?
You can't help but get into the Christmas spirit at this event; and our favorite part? The Christmas themed Wishes fireworks display! If you think you've seen Wishes, you haven't seen it at all! Be prepared for fireworks lighting up the sky nearly all the way around the park!
2.) The Grand Floridian
The Grand Floridian is always amazing, but at Christmastime, it's like walking into an old fashioned Christmas card! But our favorite thing is the resort's life-size gingerbread house!
Everything you see is edible, having been baked and assembled in the resort, and is covered in details and even hidden mickeys! Inside the house is a working store where a Disney Cast Member is selling some delicious goodies, such as mini-gingerbread houses, cookies, chocolate mickeys, gingerbread ornaments, and even the gingerbread shingles you find on the roof of this house! I especially like the dark chocolate Mickey lollipops for sale!
This house is amazing to see, to enjoy, and is one of the best places to grab a sweet treat themed for the season!
3.) Christmas Trees
There are so many Christmas trees around WDW during Christmastime. Every park has their own giant tree with giant, themed ornaments. The Magic Kingdom's tree is massive and has giant, classic ornaments while the Animal Kingdom's tree has African style ornaments and animal masks!
Each Deluxe Disney Resort has their own giant tree with themed ornaments as well. These trees are several stories tall and look amazing in the gorgeous lobbies; and one of our favorite activities to tour the resorts to see them. Our favorites? The trees in Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Floridian. But the Contemporary's giant tree constructed out of gingerbread is unique and worth a see too!
4.) Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
We never miss Hollywood Studios' Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!
This event takes place EVERY night during the holiday season on the park's Streets of America where literally everything is covered in layers of lights and is synchronized to awesome Christmas music. The event's price is also included in the cost of admission too.
Did we mention that fake snow also floats down during this display too? The mood, the lights, the music, the snow, and just everything is simply magical and electrifying with Christmas spirit!
5.) Christmas Decorations
Disney World really goes all out for the Christmas season and flows seamlessly throughout the different lands and areas. Garland and tinsel and wreaths and candy canes are everywhere you look!
One of our examples of Disney's Christmas décor can be found at Animal Kingdom's Camp Minnie-Mickey. Scattered throughout this area are small trees decorated with cute, crafty ornaments themed after the Country Bears, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and even Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy!
So those are our the top 5 things that have us dreaming of a Walt Disney World Christmas! What's your favorite thing about Disney at Christmas?
"Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Orange this month. Our next loop will
be on November 19th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in
between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If
you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical
Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels and
those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our
Today's theme is Disney Senses, things at WDW that we can see, touch, hear, smell, and even taste! At Walt Disney World, Imagineers involve our senses all the time as a way to let us walk into and actually experience the stories and tales from our favorite Disney movies! So today, we are focusing on two senses: what we hear and what we smell at WDW. Hope you enjoy!
Sound is a big part of the Disney magic and Imagineers employ songs and sound effects to immerse you into their stories or settings. Just a few of our favorites would be...
"It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow."-This is the theme song for the classic Carousel of Progress attraction, and truly captures Walt's approach to life! It's so happy and hopeful that it instantly puts you into a good mood, and also brings to mind some of my favorite moments from this charming attraction.
Main Street Philharmonic-Who doesn't enjoy a live band? Especially one that plays Disney tunes? It's American, it's old fashioned entertainment, and it's sure to put a smile on your face when you hear them coming down Main Street USA!
Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool-Whenever a giant wave pops up at the end of the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, guests will hear a roar from what we assume to be the wave generators. This sound is so distinct that everyone knows what it means and that's that a wave is coming! A chorus of screams usually follows as the wave grows in size and makes it way toward the shallow end of the pool, taking everyone and everything a long with it!
"Welcome Home!"-If you are a DVC Member, of you've at least stayed at a DVC Villa, you've probably heard this a time or two; and for us, it never gets old! We love hearing a friendly, smiling Cast Member welcome us home when we arrive at our resort because, even if only in our minds, it is home!
Steven Tyler's Countdown-Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping more than Steven Tyler screaming the countdown for take-off on Hollywood Studios' Rock n' Roller Coaster!
Splash Mountain Music-We are big fans of the music played in Splash Mountain, such as "Everybody's Got a Laughing Place," "How Do You Do?" and, of course, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah!"
Epcot Music-If you wander through Future World, you're bound to hear some futuristic sounds and tunes that really compliment this area's theme! The Fountain of Nation's also has a stirring score that the water "dances" to!
Believe it or not, smells and aromas call to mind different spots around the parks. Some can even make us hungry!
Main Street Confectionary-This Main Street USA corner store is a sweet, colorful world all it's own and a magical, sugary escape! We especially like the kitchen area where Cast Members decorate elaborate caramel apples and other sweet creations right in front of you! We always like the sweet aromas wafting from the store as we walk by, and even more so when we walk in!
Basin White-One of our favorite stores at WDW is the Basin White at the Grand Floridian! This little store sells little luxuries, such as bath beads, soaps, lotions, and bath bombs! The soaps and bath bombs are our favorites, as they have dozens of different scents and colors to choose from; and some even contain a little Disney magic. For example, the Mickey bath bomb contains tiny little Mickeys! We always enjoy wandering through the store and sniffing all of the different products, as well as picking out a few to take home!
Water-Epcot's centerpiece fountain is absolutely beautiful and dances in time to the futuristic music! But the water here has a distinct smell. This is also true of the water in Pirates of the Caribbean and it's a small world.
Soarin' Smells-One of our favorite things about Soarin' at Epcot are the smells! Disney releases certain scents on purpose to make you feel as if you are actually in different spots around California, such as the smell of pine as you're skiing or oranges as you glide over orange groves or even the smell of the ocean when you soar over the waves!
Mickey's Philharmagic Pie-One of my favorite parts of this show is during the Be Our Guest number when you get a waft of fresh baked pie!
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels and
those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our
Today's topic is Date Night at Disney! Can you really think of any place
more perfect for a date? We can't! So we have decided to list some great places
and entertainment to enjoy on a Disney Date, let's get started...
You have to have dinner when on a date, so here are a few locations we think would be storybook perfect!
Be Our Guest-French cuisine in a castle, in a fairytale ballroom, with snow falling outside the window? Need we say more?
Le Cellier-This restaurant provides dim, intimate lighting, a tucked-away location, and some of the best food on property! You can't lose with this choice.
California Grill-Perched on top of the Contemporary Resort, California Grill looks out over the Magic Kingdom and serves up creative, culinary dishes in a sleek, modern atmosphere.
Narcoosees-A hidden gem, Narcoosees sits out on the water at the Grand Floridian Resort and offers a distant view of the castle and a nighttime view of Wishes. The seaside theme continues in the menu, where surf and turf, as well as famous desserts, are what you have to choose from here.
So what to do after dinner? Just take your pick...
Boardwalk Stroll-Take a cool, leisurely stroll around the Boardwalk around sunset or after dark to enjoy the lights and live entertainment along the water.
World Showcase-Put your date over the top with a visit to France in view of the Eiffel Tower, or through historic Italy, or perhaps somewhere exotic like China or Morocco! At Epcot's World Showcase, you can experience it all in one evening, the perfect spot to walk, talk, snack, and shop!
Resort Hop-After dinner, hop aboard the Monorail and tour the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary. You could also visit the Yacht and Beach Club and watch Illuminations from the resort area, or explore the rustic, but awe-inspiring, Wilderness Lodge. Feeling adventurous? Hop aboard a bus and check out the impressive and luxurious Animal Kingdom Lodge where live animals roam just outside!
A Perfect Ending:
So how do you end the perfect Disney Date? In our opinion, there's only one way to top off a day at Disney, and that's at the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom is even more charming and magical all lit up at night, and the lines for attractions are typically shorter during this time too. So you can enjoy some of your favorite rides, take in the nighttime atmosphere, watch the parade, and, of course, catch Wishes!
There are many places where you can catch this colorful, nighttime fireworks display. Main Street USA offers the best view, but New Fantasyland is a new favorite and truly makes you feel like you're in a fairy tale. If you can time it right, you can also catch Wishes from on board an attraction, or you can watch from a nearby resort or aboard a ferry from the water heading to the park. Either way you choose, Wishes will not disappoint and is the perfect way to end the perfect Disney Date!
"Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail
Loop is Focused on the Magic
"Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Orange. Enjoy the ride as we
share our favorite things in New Fantasyland .”
The Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland is truly amazing and lets guests experience what it's like to walk into classic Disney films!
The New Fantasyland was a massive expansion and has a lot to offer, such as Be Our Guest Restaurant and Enchanted Tales with Belle, to Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, Storybook Circus with the Great Goofini and reimagined Dumbo, the incredible Tangled bathrooms, and soon The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Princess Fairytale Hall!
There's a lot to see, if you haven't noticed, and we're not complaining! Disney has topped themselves with all of the new sights and attractions; with there are a few things about New Fantasyland that we particularly enjoy. So join us today as we show you our Favorite Things in New Fantasyland!
5.) Waterfalls-The section of New Fantasyland which houses the Beauty and the Beast themed attractions, and soon the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, is called the Enchanted Forest; and the name fits the area well! The rockwork and foliage and crystal clear streams are beautiful; but our favorite is the waterfall near the Be Our Guest Restaurant. We think it's a great spot for a photo op and sets the scene for approaching the Beast's enchanted castle!
4.) Be Our Guest Restaurant-This restaurant is just as good, if not better, than the pictures. We waited in line for lunch on our last trip, which was only about a 15 minute wait to get inside; but it was so worth it! The new process for quick service ordering was impressive, but what really sells this place, in addition to the themed dining rooms, was the details. Be prepared to enter the Beast's Castle, right down to the intricate trim around the ceiling, to the fireplace in the ordering room, to the snoring suits of armor in the hall! One of our favorite examples of detail can be found at the entrance to the restaurant pictured below. See how the mosaic at the top is reminiscent of the film's stained glass windows? And aren't the gargoyles impressive?
3.) Gaston's Tavern-Near Be Our Guest is Belle's French village which truly does look like it came right out of the film. Gaston's Tavern is very impressive and amusing! Be sure to see Gaston's chair next to the flickering fireplace, the dartboard, and this room which houses a chandelier made from antlers! After all, as the Gaston song goes, "I use antlers in all of my decorating..."
2.) Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid-This new ride is done in the classic Disney dark ride style, but with new technology and excellent detail and theming! The ride is great; but what we especially like is the detailing in the queue! It's so much fun to see all of the treasure in the grotto, as well as the tiny, interactive crabs who will collect what you point to. Even the water fountain is incredible!
1.) Tangled Bathrooms-We know we're not alone in saying that Tangled is an amazing movie; and if you agree, then a Magic Kingdom bathroom may be one of your new favorite places! The new Tangled themed bathroom areas feature Rapunzel's trademark tower and the village where lanterns light up the area at night, a pretty reference to the movie's most popular scene. Also, all throughout the area are hints towards the film itself, like wanted posters of the characters from the Snuggly Duckling, Flynn's bag, frying pans, Pascal, and more! But inside the girls bathroom, be sure to look up! The items on these shelves were ways Rapunzel staved off boredom in the film's opening number!
We are big fans of the New Fantasyland and could easily write dozens of paragraphs about what Disney has created for guests to enjoy here; but even though we won't, we will leave you with a few New Fantasyland tips!
Tip #1: Visit at Night - New Fantasyland must be seen lit up at night and it's quickly becoming a popular spot to watch Wishes!
Tip #2: Enchanted Tales with Belle-The details, technology, and interaction with Belle are fantastic! However, this show consists of several stages and is quite lengthy, which means the line can get pretty lengthy too. Try to visit first thing in the morning or when the line is shorter in the evening.
Tip #3: Storybook Circus-This area is amazing, but it can get crowded. Visit early in the day to enjoy the little details; and drop by the store in the giant tent for a cute themed dessert!
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail."
Whenever it happens to rain at Walt Disney World, we have several attractions we tend to retreat to, such as The Hall of Presidents, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, One Man's Dream, or the American Adventure!
But there is one attraction in particular that's our standby, and that's the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
The PeopleMover is a futuristic transportation system that swiftly motors guests on an elevated track above Tomorrowland, and even through a few of it's attractions!
Before we explain why this is our rainy day fave, we have to tell you a little bit about this attraction's deep Disney history.
The PeopleMover is actually a form of transportation Walt had planned to use in Epcot; but not the Epcot we know today, but his dream for an actual, futuristic community. Walt's Epcot was never realized, but the magnetically-propelled, environmentally friendly PeopleMover is a little remnant of what might have been.
Why do we head here when it begins to pour? First of all, the attraction is about ten minutes along, which is a relatively long ride for WDW. Secondly, there is hardly ever a line! The ride is also covered, and some parts of the ride take place completely indoors and away from the elements. Did we mention that you get a sneak peek at the inside of Space Mountain; and maybe, if the ride is undergoing maintenance, you might get to see it with the lights on!
One of the best parts of the PeopleMover is the seating. Each car has seats facing each other, perfect for conversation, watching your kids' reactions, or for planning the rest of the day. It's also great to place to rest your feet for awhile too.
Lastly, the PeopleMover lets us experience the park without getting soaked! On this attraction, we don't need a Mickey Poncho to buzz around the park, taking in the view of Tomorrowland, it's attractions, and even a picturesque view of Cinderella Castle; and that's why it's our favorite rainy day attraction! It allows us still be out and about, not matter what the forecast says!
So are you a PeopleMover fan too? What's your favorite attraction when it begins to rain? Share with us!
"Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Orange this month. Our next loop will be on July 16th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.”
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ Focused on the Magic
2nd Stop ~ Your Highway in the Sky
3rd Stop ~ Heidi's Head
4th Stop ~ Disney on Wheels
Final Stop ~ A Glass Slipper Vacation (You're Here)
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail."
Today's theme is the best live entertainment at WDW and there is a lot to choose from! Disney World offers several awesome live shows, character-laden parades, musical acts, and more; but our favorite live entertainment is "Streetmosphere," or the Citizens of Hollywood.
Who are the Citizens of Hollywood, you might ask? They are live entertainers directly from Disney's idea of Old Hollywood, but with a comedic twist! They roam the streets of Hollywood Studios throughout the day holding auditions, directing scenes, looking for new talent, giving interviews, and more! Some citizens may also be policeman, cabbies, gossip columnists, or even an employee of Hollywood Public Works.
When putting on a skit, many Citizens recruit nearby guests, and are absolutely hilarious, and often obnoxious, in their interactions!
On our last trip, we encountered a Citizen of Hollywood named Shelby Mayer. He's a mogul and a studio chief who's phrase is always "Who needs talent? I've got money!" He struck up a conversation with my Disney Mom, marveling about her beauty and lecturing my Disney Dad for failing to buy her a larger ring. After an amusing conversation, Shelby gave my Disney Mom a massive ring and his card! What a cool, and free, souvenir! Plus, it was a Hollywood Studios memory we won't soon forget.
You can read bout Shelby Mayer for yourself, as well as other Citizens of Hollywood that you might find strolling down Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard here
Want to chat with a Citizen of Hollywood? Hang out on Hollywood Boulevard or Sunset Boulevard for awhile, you're sure to see one of them; and once you do, don't hesitate to hurry over or join the crowd around them! Also, if you are looking for an entertaining experience, play along and feel free to ask for an autograph or a picture.
Have you ever encountered a Citizen of Hollywood during your visit to Hollywood Studios? What was your experience?
"Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Orange this month. Our next loop will be in June with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.”
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have
to make a stop along the way and want to reboard.
1st Stop ~ Your Highway in the Sky
2nd Stop ~ The Disney Point
3rd Stop ~ Disney on Wheels
Final Stop ~ A Glass Slipper Vacation (you are here)
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels
and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail."
So you're going to Walt Disney World! Congrats! You're going to have a great time; but be warned, once you go, you will be spoiled for life because no other vacation or theme park will ever compare again!But while Disney World is truly magical, it's massive, often crowded, and can be a little overwhelming. So how can skirt around these obstacles and maximize the pixie dust? We have some advice to help you with just that!1.) Arrive Early-To ride the most popular attractions, and to avoid the Florida heat, arrive several minutes before the park opens
! The park is so big it won't fill up for at least an hour, giving you plenty of time to ride some of the Magic Kingdom's best instead of fighting the crowds in a few hours.2.) Stay at a Disney Resort-
If you can work it into your budget, we strongly encourage you to stay at a Disney Resort. It's truly part of the Disney World experience and it provides a lot of convenience, from close proximity to the parks to free transportation to helpful, informed Cast Members, magical extras, and more! You won't regret it!3. Learn the Disney Transportation System-
While it's definitely convenient, it can be a little confusing at times. It's important to know that Disney World is a huge place, so getting from one place to another, even on a Disney Bus or Boat or Monorail, can take some time. Remember this when planning your day and mealtimes. Also, Disney Transportation typically arrives at a bus or dock about every twenty minutes or so; and often makes more than one stop. For example, a bus to Animal Kingdom will not only stop at the park, but also Blizzard Beach. Also, the Monorail will stop at several Magic Kingdom Deluxe Resorts on their way to the Magic Kingdom. For more on Disney World Transportation, check out this helpful page
!4.) Make Advance Dining Reservations-
Walt Disney World is home to many, many places to eat ranging from snack carts to counter service/cafeteria-like spots to character meals to award winning restaurants and cuisine! Most first time Disney World guests tend to stop and eat at the first place they come to; but to really maximize your money and the magic, pick the best of what Disney has to offer for more magical experiences! Pick the restaurants you would like to visit and make reservations for these restaurants way in advance.5. Don't Schedule, Make Priorities-
It can be easy to overplan and schedule your vacation so you can pack in every memory and experience; but attempting to do so is anything but magical for you and your family. In fact, your vacation will by so planned that it won't be any fun! While Disney offers tons of amazing experiences, it's the spontaneous and the simple act of enjoying what they have made while with friends and family is what makes it so special. So live a little and just enjoy what happens. You will probably remember those moments the most! Although, I understand that with so much to see and do, you can't be completely spontaneous all the time which is why we recommend priorities, not plans. Make a list of priorities for each park and make that your goal for the day while you enjoy the moments in between! Need some help? Check out our WDW Priorities.6. Know You Will Spend More Than You Plan
-It's no secret that Disney is often expensive; and this doesn't go away once you get on property. If you're from certain corners of the country, you will find that stuff at Disney costs a bit more than you're accustomed. Plus, with all of the awesome stuff to eat and buy, most people go over budget, especially when it comes to cold drinks on a humid, Florida day.7.) Don't Miss the Classics and Faves-For a true Disney Vacation that will win you over for life, you have to experience the Classics and Favorite Attractions such as Peter Pan's Flight, "it's a small world," Kilimanjaro Safaris, Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Expedition Everest
, Rock n' Roller Coaster, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, and Epcot's World Showcase. 8.) Be Careful When You Book-
If you're booking a Disney World Vacation online to take advantage of a special offer, which there almost always is, you must click on the special offer and go through that page to book. If not, your offer will not be applied. Don't make this mistake when you book!
"Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels
and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail."
While the parks at Walt Disney World offer some delicious dining destinations, along with plenty of Disney magic, Disney resorts also offer terrific restaurants that many Disney guests consider a must-do on their vacation.
All Disney Deluxe Resorts offer at least two table service restaurants, and Moderate Resorts all offer one. That's a lot of choices and we are still far from visiting them all; but today, we are going to list our favorite resort restaurants (so far) and why!
The Grand Floridian Cafe-The Grand Floridian is also home to the most restaurants of any Disney Deluxe, several of which are signature restaurants. But if we don't want to spend that much, but still enjoy an elegant meal that captures the spirit of the Grand Floridian, we head to the Grand Floridian Cafe with it's airy, Victorian décor and whimsical touches! We especially enjoy visiting here for lunch and ordering the dessert platter, which is one dessert credit but offers several choices! It's a great value and so good!
Chef Mickeys-This Contemporary Resort restaurant is really popular and for good reason! We think the food here is some of the best that a character buffet on property has to offer. Plus, we get to see Mickey and the gang, and the Monorail is only feet away!
Whispering Canyon Cafe-This Wilderness Lodge restaurant is known for it's western theme, yummy country style menu, and for the zany behavior of their waiters and waitresses! This place is one of our favorites because we are big fans of the food and the fact that we know every meal will be an experience! On our last trip, once our waiter found out how thirsty we were, he brought out the most enormous Mason jar full of sweet tea we have ever seen which attracted quite a bit of attention!
Boatwrights-A hidden gem, Port Orleans Riverside's Boatwrights is themed after a ship builders shop and serves up some famous southern style dishes with a New Orleans flavor! The unique southern menu and warm atmosphere makes it one of our faves; and we especially encourage you to try the warm Pecan Pie and Bananas Foster!
Trails End-This Fort Wilderness restaurant is another hidden gem which offers a homecooked buffet in a rustic, log cabin where your drink comes in a Mason jar and part of the buffet is served up on an old fashioned stove! The cozy atmosphere makes us feel like we're enjoying a Sunday meal back at home and it's one of the best values in regards to price at WDW!
So what do you think? Are any of these resorts your favorites? Why or why not?
"Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Orange. Enjoy the ride as
we share our favorite places to meet Disney characters.”
Characters are a huge part of a Walt Disney World vacation, especially if you have kids in tow; but as anyone who has been to WDW can tell you, meeting characters at the parks isn't always as easy and pleasurable as it appears in commercials.
Character meeting spots are all over WDW, but they are often found at the end of long line in the sun; but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy hanging out with characters! It just means that we are selective; and today we are letting you in on where we like to meet up with the Disney characters.
World Showcase-You can almost always find Disney characters outside the country pavilions from where their stories take place. For example, you can meet with Mulan at China, Snow White at Germany, Mary Poppins and Alice in the United Kingdom, and more! Tip: There are signs posted where the characters will be and at what time; and guests often begin lining up before this scheduled times so be there early! While there are lines to meet these characters, they are usually shorter and much more bearable than at other parks. Tip: Try to visit the characters when World Showcase first opens for shorter lines.
Akershus Storybook Dining-Character Meals are a great way to meet characters because you're not out in the heat, you don't have to wait in line, you can see several in one visit, and you have the characters to yourself for a few minutes all while you enjoy a yummy meal. One of our favorite character meals is Akershus Storybook Dining at Epcot's Norway pavilion. At this restaurant, you dine in a Norwegian castle setting while a variety of Disney princesses come by to visit; and the character interaction is excellent! Even though a Norwegian menu sounds a little intimidating, it's actually delicious; and many of the dishes are close to American fare, just with a few Norwegian influences. Also, in addition to the menu, you can enjoy a buffet offering meats, cheeses, breads, fruit, and more! This makes this restaurant a great value, on top of being an excellent character meal; and is a perfect alternative to Cinderella's Royal Table.
Animal Kingdom-This park offers characters that you might not see elsewhere, such as Flik from A Bug's Life, King Louie and Baloo from Jungle Book, Jiminy Cricket, Pocahontas, and Rafiki from The Lion King! Animal Kingdom is a big place, but we tend to find these guys just inside the entrance at Animal Kingdom or on the paths between Asia and Africa.
Crystal Palace-Another one of our favorite character spots is
the Crystal Palace, located inside the Magic Kingdom between Main Street U.S.A. and Adventureland. This restaurant offers American fare in a beautiful, white and glass Victorian style restaurant featuring visits from Winnie the Pooh and gang! What's really great about this restaurant is that it opens early, before the parks does, so you can enjoy an early breakfast and then be in the park before everyone else; and in our experience, there seem to be a lot of characters out and about when the gates first open for the day!
Rope Drop-As we've already said, we have found an abundance of characters at the start of the day, as opposed to later on. For example, we have found princesses and the Fairy Godmother in Fantasyland, Toy Story characters in Frontierland, and even Country Bears wandering around Splash Mountain soon after rope drop! If you are going to wait in line for characters, this time of day may be best due to cool temperatures and short lines!
Pixar Place-The Pixar themed section of Hollywood Studios, home of the popular Toy Story Midway Mania, is crowded almost all of the time; but this is where you can find the Green Army men roaming about! Since we are big fans and we probably won't find them anywhere else, this spot is on our list; and because they come through this area so often, we usually have a good chance of getting a photo with them!
Magic of Disney Animation-This Hollywood Studios attraction features a short show explaining the animation process before taking guests into a large open area offering a replica of Walt's office, posters for upcoming Disney films, interactive game stations, an art class, and lastly several character meet n' greet areas! In the past, we have encountered Sorcerer Mickey, the Incredibles, and usually a Disney character promoting one of Disney's latest films, such as the gang from Up or Winnie the Pooh. Why is it one of our favorite spots? Because it offers several different characters in one location with seating, air conditioning, and tolerable crowds. I have even seen people curl up one of the plush benches and catch a few winks, much better than standing outside in the sun, right?
So these are some of our favorite places to meet Disney characters! What are some of yours?