Earlier this summer, we visited Walt Disney World to check out one of our favorite special events, Star Wars Weekends!
Now we know that Star Wars Weekends can fill up the park. It's probably not the best time to try to ride some of the parks best attractions, like Rock n' Roller Coaster or Toy Story Midway Mania or the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
However, during our visit, we managed to ride all of the parks most popular attractions before lunch! How? A little bit generosity from our fellow Disney guests! So here's how we went big at Hollywood Studios during one of the busiest times of the year!
It all began on a Thursday, when we visited Hollywood Studios for a few hours to ride some favorites knowing that the crowds would be high on Friday. However, when we were in the loading area for Rock n' Roller Coaster, a big family favorite, the ride was suddenly shut down. But all was not lost!
As we were being led through a backstage exit, which was a pretty cool experience in itself, Cast Members handed out special Re-Entry FastPasses!
While this FastPass did have an expiration date, it wasn't until Saturday and allowed us to ride ANY time in between! Suddenly, the wait and missed ride on Rock n' Roller Coaster was totally worth it!
That brings us to our day at Star Wars Weekends...
That morning, as we were leaving our resort room at Port Orleans Riverside, we found three more Re-Entry FastPasses stuck in our door! The best was that these FastPasses were for Toy Story Midway Mania! I know, right?
Now we had Re-Entry FastPasses for Rock n' Roller Coaster and for one of the most popular attractions on property, Toy Story MIdway Mania, during one of the park's busiest times of year!
We arrived about twenty minutes after rope drop and as we were walking into the park, a family stopped us and gave us two more FastPasses for Rock n' Roller Coaster! They said they weren't going to use them and hoped that we could. Our new tally? Two sets of Re-Entry FastPasses, and yet another batch for Rock n' Roller Coaster. We are now in the double digits in our number of FastPasses! Needless to say, we were thrilled.
We immediately headed to Tower of Terror, with plans to go next door to use our FastPasses for Rock n' Roller Coaster afterwards. We knew that if we didn't ride ToT early, we probably wouldn't at all, and made it through the line surprisingly quickly. Really, a few drops on Tower of Terror is a great way to start the day!
Next, we headed back to Rock n' Roller Coaster, sped straight through the line, and enjoyed an adrenaline pumped ride with the family before hopping back on to use our other two that we were given that morning. Then, we began making our way over to Toy Story Midway Mania.
Of course, the line for this ride was already ridiculous; but our Re-Entry FastPass took us past the winding queue and right up to the Lincoln Log house where you pick up your 3-D glasses. From there, we joined the line; but the wait wasn't bad at all!
Seriously, Toy Story Midway Mania is so much fun and getting to compete against your family is blast, especially for the adults in tow. Take a look at our score in the picture to the left!
After riding these three, majorly popular attractions, we enjoyed some Star Wars Weekends characters and entertainment, as well as did a little shopping, all before lunch!
So that's how we had one of the best days Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends, as well as a memory our family will never forget! But we really owe the generous families were willing to sprinkle a little extra pixie dust on our day. Even though they were not employed Cast Members, they were spreading some Disney magic.
So we encourage you to remember that you too can make a family's day while at Walt Disney World. If have FatPasses you're not going to use, given them to someone who will. Be kind to guests in line, smile and thank a Cast Member. Give and it shall be given unto you!
Need a last minute Mother's Day gift? Check out this adorable Printable Coupon Book
for Disney Moms! This coupon book is made to resemble the vintage Disneyland ticket books of yesterday and is even entitled "Mommyland Coupon Book" instead of the old Disneyland ticket books. The tickets are even staggered in varying lengths, just like the originals. This free and printable gift includes such coupons as Dish Duty, Breakfast in Bed, and even a Fill in the Blank E-Ticket; and all you have to do is print it out, cut out the tickets, and put it together!
to print out the coupon book template to sprinkle a little Disney magic on your Mom's Mother's Day!
So it's the last day of your Disney World Vacation. While you may be looking forward to heading home to your own bed, to your pets, your friends, routine, or whatever else, this is still kind of a bittersweet day at WDW in that you know you're about to leave the carefree world of Disney magic and return to reality.
To ease the pain of that last day at WDW, we have put together some ideas to help you bring some Disney magic home with you! Be sure to let us know what you think and feel free to add your own suggestions in a comment below!
1. Purchase a Disney book to read on the way home! Disney has a variety of books for sale at the resorts, and some of our favorites are the books that about the history and design of the parks. It's a great way to bring the parks home with you and to learn more about what you have experienced during your vacation!
2. Have any leftover souvenir money? Use it for your next Disney fund! You may want to consider trading your cash for Disney dollars or purchase a Disney giftcard so you will feel as if you are already well on your way back to WDW.
3. Pack those Disney soaps and bottles of shampoo to take home with you. This way, whenever you feel a little homesick for WDW, or you want to cheer up your kids, you have a bit of Disney World at home with you!
4. Collect some things that you can use in your Disney scrapbook, like napkins, Mickey stickers, FastPasses, maps, info in your resort packets, pressed pennies, and etc.
5. Like board games? Disney World sells popular board games with a Disney twist, such as Tower of Terror themed Clue, a Disney World themed Monopoly, and more!
6. Purchase something at WDW that you will use or see often, such as a painting, coffee mug, collectible, or something fun for your kitchen. This way, you will have a bit of Disney magic in plain sight everyday!
7. Buy a Disney cookbook so you can cook up some Disney delicacies to enjoy at home!
Want to make some Disney magic of your own? Looking for a way to preserve the memories you make on your Disney vacations? Check out this idea!
Almost everyone brings a camera to Walt Disney World; and most likely their busy snapping pics of attractions, characters, and their family during your adventures in the parks. But a way to preserve some of those memories, particularly if you visit the parks frequently or every year or so, is to take an annual photo!
For example, pick a spot at the parks or resorts to take a pictures of your kids, or your whole family. Then, on your next trip, visit the same spot and recreate the photo, right down to the arrangement and pose!
A few years down the road, you can look back and see how your kids have grown and changed; and it's a great tradition to keep revisiting year after year!
Make this project even more your own by picking a spot that best suits your family. For example, take your photo in front of your family's favorite attraction, at their favorite restaurant, with their favorite character, or at their favorite hiding spot at the resorts! Have fun with it and make it unique and you will make your own magic!
A few months ago, we took part in a Disney Traveler webcast from the Disney Vacation Club. This particular webcast was entitled Disney Traveler presents: Aloha, Aulani with Samantha Brown. We watched via internet as Samantha Brown took us on an all-acess tour of the Disney Vacation Club's newest resort located in beautiful Hawaii!
We saw the resort's lobby, pool and water activities, resort rooms, dining opportunities, spa, and their adorable kids area!
How did we get this opportunity? Well, on Disney's main web page, we entered our email address to receive updates and offers; and as a result, we were given the opportunity to watch this webcast and thereby receive a Disney lithograph, as you can see in the photo to your left, for free! However, do be aware that we had a specific time frame for when we had to watch this webcast.
To receive offers, and rewards, like these, enter your email address, keep checking your inbox, and take advantage of these opportunities! Tip: be sure to express interest in the Disney Vacation Club for an offer like this!
Certificate of Authenticity
Want to bring some Disney holiday fun to your home this Christmas? Well we have a way for you to create your own Disney magic, by making your own ornaments!
One of the most common ornaments at WDW, and the Disney Store, is a Mickey Mouse spin on classic glass Christmas balls where 3 glass balls are fused together to form that famous silhouette! These traditional ornaments are a Christmas staple, and the Disney version is a way to keep with tradtion but with a subtle Disney twist!
Instead of purchasing a Mickey glass ball ornament for about $15 or so, you can save a few bucks by making your own, as well as make a few memories along the way too! We purchased packages of silver balls at our local craft store for only a few dollars; and when we got home, we hot glued three of the ornaments together to create that Mickey shape! Just be sure that the balls which you use for the ears are glued to the head with their tops pointed down so that you can't see them. For a really great look, you may want to purchase two sizes of balls and use the smaller size for the ears and the larger balls for the head. You can even get creative and add the year and some personalization!
This project is very simple, a money saver, and is even a craft you can do with the kids to make your own Disney holiday magic! Enjoy!
"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."
Here at A Glass Slipper Vacation, we are busy decorating for the Christmas season; and this year, we decided to incorporate a little Disney magic into our own holiday magic with a Disney Christmas tree!
In addition to our main Christmas tree, we purchased a small Christmas tree to cover with the Disney ornaments we have collected over the years. The tree itself was very cheap at about $10; and in addition to the ornaments and lights we already had, we added small silver Christmas balls which cost us only a few dollars! This Disney addition to our Christmas decor is something that any Disney fan could do in that it only cost about $20!
Since a lot of our Christmas decor is silver and white, we wanted this tree to compliment our decorations and not clash with our color scheme. That's why we went with silver as a primary color and even added a thin, silver garland we had which we wound around the tree for a little touch of pixie dust!
For a tree topper, we decided to use a pair of Mouse Ears! While a traditional pair would do the job, we thought our Mickey Premium Bar Ears would go great with our theme and even look wintery!
Here's one of our Disney World resort ornaments. This one is from one our favorites, Port Orleans Riverside!
This Christmas ornament is a pair of mini Minnie Mouse Ears! Disney World usually sells several of these mini mouse ears for a pretty cheap price and they are some of my favorite ornaments! After all, you can't get more Disney than mouse ears!
We picked up this Christmas ball several years ago during the 100 Years of Magic Celebration; and it's one of our centerpiece ornaments on our Disney Christmas tree.
If you are a Disney fan like us, think about decorating a Disney tree this holiday season! If you do, share your photos with us on our Facebook page!
At Disney's Pop Century Resort, many guests partake in a resort tradition: decorating their resort room windows!
If you take a walk around Pop Century, you may find windows decorated with stuffed animals, window clings, and other fun decorations! This isn't something that Cast Members do, this is a little extra magic that guests create!
We stumbled upon this window display just a few months ago during our stay at Pop Century. It was fun to see some magic that guests created themselves and I'm sure this family made great memories planning and decorating this window together. Pop Century employees and Cast Members probably enjoyed being entertained for a change too!
If you are planning on staying at Pop Century, make this resort tradition one of your own traditions by getting creative and packing some toys, streamers, window clings, and plush toys. You can even make your own decorations with your family by purchasing some Disney stickers and construction paper and adding some personalization and personal style! Some guests decorate according to the seasons, such as with patriotic displays at the 4th of July or wintery, Christmas scenes at the holidays. If you happening to be visiting WDW for a birthday or anniversary, make the milestone extra special by decorating your window for the occasion! Get creative, make some memories with your family, and make your own magic!
A major part of any Disney Vacation is taking pictures. Guests flock through the gates of Walt Disney World everyday and almost always are carrying cameras to capture magical moments, family adventures, and to preserve memories in the making. Even Disney gets into the photo business action with PhotoPass photographers placed all throughout Walt Disney World; and at the Magic Kingdom, you can catch the new show, The Magic, The Memories, and You, where video and photos of guests are projected onto the castle in a magically, amazing display! Without a doubt, photography is just as much a part of Disney vacation as Dumbo or Space Mountain.
In addition to the traditional vacation photos, many guests take advantage of the magical settings Walt Disney World when taking annual or milestone photos, such as for a graduation, an anniversary, birthday, or for a Christmas card! Our own family has had our family photos done at Wilderness Lodge; and this year's Christmas card was taken at the Magic Kingdom!
While we definitely think that Disney has some great backdrops and locations for pictures, everyone gravitates to the traditonal spots such as Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth, or places with characters such as Chef Mickeys or 'Ohana. However, we thought it might be fun to think outside the box a bit. Instead of the cliche' photo spots for family pictures, we thought up a few unique places to capture a milestone while at Walt Disney World that will stand out from the crowd! Check them out!
Blizzard Beach-Since you spend most of your time in the water at Blizzard Beach, most guests don't bring along their cameras; but there are a lot of photo opportunities here! For example, the picture above was taken at Blizzard Beach! We thought that the Mickey made out of tubes was really cute and so different from what you normally see! This park is also a great place to take a fun Christmas photo! Since Blizzard Beach is decorated with fake snow drifts, how fun would it be to pose for your annual Christmas card photo in your swimsuit and goggles with snow on the ground!
Stores-Take a fun family photo in a Disney gift shop! For example, have a Cast Member or friendly, nearby guest take a silly family photo or Christmas card with your family in crazy Mouse Ears or with their favorite Disney character plush toy!
Resorts-Instead of going to the parks for a photo, take advantage of the magical settings available at your resort or at the other Disney resorts. For example, don your best and have a photo taken at the elegant Grand Floridian or have a traditional Christmas photo with a Disney twist taken in front of the fireplace at Wilderness Lodge or in it's cavernous lobby. You can also visit Fort Wilderness and have a photo taken by the petting zoo, at Chip n' Dale's sing-a-long, or on a hay ride or sleigh ride.
Epcot-Take a photo in a pavilion from where your family is from. If your great-grandparents were from Germany, have your photo taken in the square of the Germany pavilion; or if your family is from Mexico, have your photo taken in front of the pyramid or inside the picturesque marketplace.
Attractions-Have a photo taken in front of your favorite attraction. If you and your new spouse's favorite attraction is Splash Mountain, have your picture taken in front of this attraction or the attraction sign. Also, on many major attractions at WDW, Disney takes guests photos during key moments of the attraction. When you know these moments are coming, have you or your family strike a pose!
Interests/Personality-This works best with graduation or birthday photos. Take your graduate or birthday boy or girl's picture by something at Walt Disney World that reflects their personality or interests! For example, if your graduate enjoys studying African culture, have a great photo or series of photos taken in Africa at Animal Kingdom. If your birthday girl is a big movie buff, have their picture taken in front of the Great Movie Ride or with a Citizen of Hollywood!
What is your favorite photo spot at Walt Disney World? Have you ever taken Christmas or family pictures at the parks or resorts? Please share your story with us and other readers, we enjoy hearing from you!
One of our own family traditions at Walt Disney World is a "girls & guys day." Our family picks one afternoon during our vacation to split up as the guys go and do guy things while the girls go and do girly things. It's a lot of fun! Today, we're discussing our traditional "girls day"at Disney and ideas for your own on your next trip!
When my Mom and I have our "girls day," there's usually always some sort of shopping involved! Disney has a lot of great shopping spots that would be perfect destinations on your own girls day. Check them out!
The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa-This deluxe resort is home to a number fantastic shops ranging from your standard Disney souvenirs to lotions and bath bombs. One of our personal favorites is a luxurious store full of women's clothing, jewelry, and accessories!
World Showcase-Perhaps one of the best shopping spots at Disney World, the World Showcase is home to shops carrying products and souvenirs from all around the world, including jewelry, perfume, and so much more!
MouseGears: Located in Epcot's Future World, this massive store contains tons of Disney merchandise, from Christmas ornaments to t-shirts to mouse ears.
Main Street U.S.A.: This part of the Magic Kingdom is a picturesque spot to pick up some magical souvenirs and momentos. In addition to your standard Disney products, you can find fine jewelry, art, collectibles, clothing, and more!
TrendD: Located at Downtown Disney, this boutique sells unique, Disney inspired clothing, bags, and accessories! It's a Disney girl's paradise! You may also find some designer name items that have put a magical twist on their products just for Disney!
My Mom and I also always book a special lunch where we can refuel and just chat. Our traditional favorite restaurant is Akershus at Epcot's Norway. Why? Princesses, a castle setting, and delicious food. Need I say more?
Akershus: The best alternative to Cinderella's Royal Table, Akershus at World Showcase's Norway has delicious Norwegian fare (it's really good and not too foreign for your American taste, really) served in a castle setting. A variety of Disney princesses make the rounds to visit, chat, and take a picture with you!
1900 Park Fare: (Breakfast) Enjoy a breakfast buffet at this Grand Floridian restaurant with Mary Poppins and Alice from Alice in Wonderland and more!
The Plaza: Located on Main Street U.S.A., the Plaza follows the turn-of-the-century, elegant decor and serves sandwiches, salads, amazing milkshakes, and other great dishes! It's a lovely destination for lunch after enjoying some time in the Magic Kingdom!
The Grand Floridian Cafe: This restaurant is a hidden gem in the Disney dining world. Enjoy a delicious menu, with an elegant twist, at this airy, victorian destination at the Grand Floridian.
Cinderella's Royal Table: The ultimate dining destination, CRT can be found literally inside of Cinderella Castle! After getting your picture made with Cinderella herself, you will enjoy a medieval meal as other Disney princesses visit with you!
In addition to shopping and a tasty meal, here are some other activities for girls to enjoy!
There's a lot to do and see outside of the parks. On our last trip, my Mom and I made it part of our "girls day" tradition to walk from Epcot to the Epcot resorts to do a little resort hopping and visit the Boardwalk.
Pool Time-Head to your resort pool or a waterpark to swim, relax, read a good book, and tan!
The Boardwalk-Enjoy a tasty treat at the Boardwalk Bakery, explore the Boardwalk Inn, and do a little shopping! It's especially pretty in the evenings and at night.
Resort Hop-Hop aboard a Monorail and explore Disney's fantastic deluxe resorts!
Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique-Located at a few select spots throughout Walt Disney World, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutiques let your little princess get her own magical makeover and really look like a princess thanks to a few fairy godmothers!
Besides the popular park attractions that are at the top of your list, there are other activities available for you to do on a "girls day."
~Visit the Disney Princesses at the Main Street Theater
~Watch Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
~Catch a parade
~Hunt for characters and their autographs
~Watch Voyage of the Little Mermaid
~Take a free art class at the Magic of Disney Animation
~Talk with Tinkerbell and her friends at their new home in Adventureland.
Make Your Own Tradition:
To make your "girls day" memorable, create a tradition! Our traditional spots and activities are what make our "girls day" one of the best, and most memorable, parts of our trip. You could make it a tradition to shop for a Christmas ornament, get your picture made with a Disney princess, ride a particular attraction, have a special sweet treat, get a photo at a certain spot, or buy a special pin. Regardless of what you do, make it memorable and enjoy! Then, when you meet up with the rest of your family later, you will have a lot to share about your day's adventures!
When your family goes to Disney, do you have a "girls day" or "guys day?" If not, would you consider having one? Comment below to let us know what you think!