Theme Park Concierges arranged a beautiful marriage proposal on Main Street today! Congratulations George and Marisa Morringelli!
To read more about the amazing wishes that Theme Park Concierges can grant for you – click HERE.
The Orlando Water Hole podcast is a local favorite. You can always count on the podcast’s wonderful host, Ben, to keep you up to date on what’s going on here in the town where Mickey Mouse lives. I was super excited to be included along with Maureen from AutismAtTheParks.com and Kellie from SeaWorldMommy.com to come on to the show and talk about holiday highlights at all of your favorite Orlando theme parks. It was such an honor to be included in this esteemed panel!
Ben was a terrific host, as always and he kept the show at right around 30 minutes. As a podcaster this is no easy task, especially with 4 guests on the show at once! I hope you’ll tune in and find the show helpful if you are a local or a tourist who wants to come spend some time in the parks this holiday season! You can catch the show by clicking HERE.
5 Tips to Help Make Your Trip to Disney More Relaxing
Are you ready to plan a trip to Disney with a big group or maybe just with your small family? Are you worried about keeping it all together so you don’t need a vacation after your vacation? Whether it’s your 1st or 100th trip, everyone can use some tips to help make this magical journey a little more relaxing. Here are some quick tips that I hope will help you keep calm – and Disney ON!
Use a Travel Agent!
You will want to find one that specializes in Disney vacations and pricing structures. Just let us know if you need a referral. Sometimes travel agents even run specials where you get free Disney gift cards or other fun bonuses. Even the most experienced Disney vacationer will love saving extra time waiting on hold to book the various aspects of a Disney trip. It is not uncommon for an agent to stay vigil on your behalf to help save you money too. If Disney drops a price, a travel agent can automatically cancel your original itinerary and re-book it at the lower price. They can help you with dining reservations to maximize your Disney Dining plan, help you plan the best time of year to go based on your family’s needs – and even reserve a stroller for your kids. Again, it doesn’t cost a penny more than doing it on your own. In fact, it saves you money… a lot of time…and will help maximize your relaxation factor.
Prioritize & Plan!
I have lived here in Orlando my whole life and STILL have not seen and done everything the parks have to offer. There is no way you will be able to cover everything in one trip. It’s just not humanly possible, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Now you just have a reason to keep coming back to do more. Communicate with the folks in your party to find out what top priorities are, and plan to cover as many of those as you can. Use this list to help you pack. Take advantage of extra magic hours, (more on that later.) I also HIGHLY recommend using Theme Park Concierges to help you with your family’s ideal touring plan with less walking, gathering your fastpasses, and arranging all the extra magical experiences you could not possibly think of ahead of time on your own. Plus you will have so much more time to slow down, take deep breaths and enjoy more atmosphere, sights and smells of the Happiest Place on Earth.
Rent A Stroller!
Even if your child doesn’t use a stroller at home, get one. It gives them a place to rest and lets you move faster through the parks to beat the crowds. Also, it’s a handy place to stash your bags, extra water bottles, snacks and other fun things you may accumulate while making all those magical Disney memories. Check out our tips on making your stroller stand out from the rest so you can find it easily after each attraction. These tips help make using a stroller a breeze.
Book Sit-Down Meals!
Book one or even 2 reservations each day for a table-service meal so you can rest your feet and eat a good balanced meal in air-conditioned bliss. Here’s a Disney secret: book your dining at odd times. You are even MORE likely to get in to your favorite places AND enjoy relaxing service if you book late breakfasts or early dinners. If it’s not in the budget – counter service restaurants are more relaxing if you avoid the 11am – 2pm rush. One person from your party should go find a clean table,and get condiments and napkins while the others are in line to order the food. It’s more relaxing to team up in these locations.
Take a Break!
During your trip, take a retreat to the hotel in the afternoons for a quick nap and some fun time in the pool. Many times the kids enjoy the pool about as much as they enjoy the parks – especially if you are staying at a Disney resort – because the distance is shorter – and the pool will be extra fabulous. Another bonus of doing this is you can maximize Extra Magic Hours! These are the hours the parks are only open to guests staying at Disney resorts. Lower crowds and shorter lines…talk about relaxing – wow! What a difference those Extra Magic Hours can make! Your travel agent can tell you dates, parks and times for extra magic hours during your stay. If you take a break in the afternoons the kids (and you!) won’t be as tired if you decide to get up early or stay up late to take advantage of that extra park time.
Take advantage of these 5 simple tips to help keep you relaxed and having fun on your Disney trip. Most of all, try not to stress to much, this is going to be fun no matter what. You are on vacation after all!
Who says you can’t get anything at Disney for free? Disney is a great place to celebrate any occasion and make magical memories! If you are in the parks and want everyone to know what you’re celebrating – stop by a Vacation Planning Booth, or Guest Services to pick up your celebration button! The best part is – they are absolutely FREE! If you are staying at a Disney resort – just ask for a button when you check in. You may receive special treatment or surprises if you wear it proudly throughout the day. Buttons may vary – but right now they have different ones for your birthday, anniversary, family reunion, happily ever after and more!
For lots more Disney World “Secrets” click here! Have you ever worn a celebration button at Disney? What were some fun things that happened on your special day?
This week’s theme is Disney Parks Wild Side. Deb from FocusedonTheMagic.com mentioned wild rides are included – so my thoughts immediately went to this photo.
Yep – that’s me – backseat left.
Glamour shot right? I can’t look at this photo without cracking up laughing. I hope you have the same reaction!
I hadn’t been on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith in quite some time. Perhaps it was the promise of my friend Ramon to sit next to me since I was afraid – or the sheer joy and anticipation in this little girl’s face while we were in line – but something inside me said I needed to take this thing on again – and quit being such a wimp.
This photo was taken at the very beginning of the ride, during the high-speed launch that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. After that – it was actually VERY fun for me!!
I love the music of Aerosmith so hearing the tunes while enjoying the ride was an added bonus! In fact, I can’t wait to go on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith again!
Do YOU have any photos of yourself and your family enjoying the “wild” rides at Disney? Please send them to me at Disneyways@Disneyways.com and we will post them here on the blog!
Have you heard? A brand new interactive game is coming to Walt Disney World this summer – and Disneyways is throwing a sort of “virtual” party – in case you can’t be at WDW for the big day. We would love for you to join us at our new facebook group Disney Pirate Adventure and SOTMK Trailblazers!
The new game is called A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas. Guests will get to play the role of a pirate in an attempt to save the actual Adventureland area of Walt Disney World. We can look forward to five different pirate raids, each with a separate map, as well as a talisman, to guide us in our quest of collecting treasure.
On the adventure, guests will interact with Captain Jack Sparrow’s famous compass and come in contact with things like a parrot, an oyster, a bobcat spirit, a cannon, and a treasure chest.
This one is completely separate from Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – which is still alive and well – bigger and better than ever!
We are all brand new to the Pirate Adventure Game….and whether you are brand new or a seasoned SOTMK player – anyone can come join our virtual party as we talk about the games, share tips, and display photos! SOTMK card trading is welcomed!
Coming soon are contests, videos created just for the group, meetup events and more!
This is the place to be for anyone who enjoys or wants to learn more about the Walt Disney World theme park interactive games – A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas AND/OR Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
Check out this cool video for more on the new Pirate Adventure Game!
Even more information on the Pirate Adventure Game can be found HERE.
Experiencing a “DiVine” intervention during your visit to Animal Kingdom!
While walking through Animal Kingdom near Bradley Falls – on the pathway between Africa and Asia – you may see a curious site. A small crowd of park guests looking up, pointing and others walking by who will do a double take once they realize what is going on. Have they all lost their minds? Perhaps. It is more likely however that they are admiring one of the most fantastic characters inside Animal Kingdom. Her name is DiVine, and she has been entertaining at Animal Kingdom since 1998. She’s a character who is hired by Disney to help convey the park’s theme of teaching us that nature is invaluable. She’s painted green, walks on stilts, and is wrapped in leaves and ivy to camouflage herself into the rest of the park’s foliage. In fact, if you get near her before the crowd gathers – you may find that DiVine blends so completely with Animal Kingdom’s dense flora that you may never notice her until she moves. These are photographs I took of her from a beautiful February day in 2013.
Look closely, I promise there is a person in every single one of these photos.
Do you want to know more DiVine secrets?
1.Truth be told there is more than one person who portrays DiVine, and she actually does not work directly for Disney. She is contracted by Disney through a company called Living World Entertainment. Not only does DiVine appear at Disney’s Animal Kingdom she can also be booked for parties or other special occasions and events outside the theme park. Imagine the laughs you could get watching your friends and family react to this amazing creature appearing in your own back yard!
2. Everyone who portrays DiVine must have a background in dance and fine arts, and is expected to meet certain height and weight requirements. How does she stay so fresh in the hot summer months? Well, she uses a special body spray so the leaves and ivy don’t fall off of her. It is amazing to think of the time and attention to detail DiVine must go through in order to entertain guests.
3. DiVine can typically be found near the pathway between Africa and Asia inside the Animal Kingdom. But did you know she also has appeared on occasion near the front entrance to the park? Normally you will want to look for her between 10:00AM and 2:00PM. She is not always listed on the Times Guide, but on this particular day I really lucked out and she was there.
4. DiVine does not make eye contact. In fact she often keeps her eyes closed and the expression on her face looks much like she is enjoying pure nirvana. You will never hear her speak. Like most plants – she is a great listener I suppose. She obviously cannot sign autographs, but I found her to be very accommodating to my camera and almost it was almost as if she were posing just for the entire crowd. She continues her contortions and movements while entertaining the crowd.
5. DiVine is on stilts so her height can vary between 7 and 16 feet depending on what she is doing with her hands and legs. She was so gorgeous and graceful, I could not resist filming her as well, and you can see the results of that below.
DiVine is fabulous and really something special. Next time you are in Animal Kingdom, I hope you’ll take the time to see her if you can.
Recently we shared preliminary details about Dapper Day coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
As promised, today we want to share some videos from last year, and some ideas on what to wear. DapperDay.com has a beautiful inspiration wall full of attire, hair style, and makeup ideas. Check out this Pinterest board from my friend Sarah Norris for even more great ideas.
Sarah Katz-Scher has a public album of photos from last year that you can check out here.
ThisFloridaLife.com posted an awesome blog about her feelings before the event, and some great photos of her adventures from the day of. I loved seeing photos and reading her take on the Walt Disney World version of the event.
Check out this video we made from a previous Dapper Day at Walt Disney World!
You will notice there are people of all ages attending. It’s not just for the young – but also the young-at-heart!
New offerings at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
It’s really hard to pick – but the Grand Floridian may just be my favorite resort. Sure I may look ridiculous, red-faced and sweaty…wearing Mickey ears over my wild blonde hair that’s been frizzed out by the humidity. It really doesn’t matter. When I walk in to the Grand Floridian – I am welcomed by the waft of refreshing A/C, and maybe my friend Christine the harpist playing a beautiful tune. All of a sudden I become a classy, refined, lovely lady from the Victorian Era…well…in my own mind that is.
Could they really make this place any better?
Walt used to say he wanted to “plus” things. He loved taking his work just a step further to really delight Disney guests. I think it may be in that tradition that the Grand Floridian has added some enhancements recently.
The new Beaches Pool Bar and Grill is an outdoor quick-service location with style. After you place your order at the window, a Cast Member will deliver your made-to-order meal to you. This added convenience allows you to lounge by the pool or watch your children splash in the new water activity play area instead of waiting in line for food. Take THAT Tomorrowland Terrace.
Not just your average pool bar, everything at Beaches is made fresh, completed after you place your order. Looking for an adult beverage? Let’s go visit the pool bar, equipped with a TV, signature drink selections and the option to order food from the grill. Soon, the bar also will offer local and micro brews. Beaches Pool Bar and Grill is open 7 a.m.-11 p.m., offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Times and offerings are subject to change.
Nearby, our kids (48 inches or less) can splash in the new “Alice in Wonderland”–themed water activity play area. This zone, with lifeguards, features a metallic green dump bucket fashioned after the Mad Hatter’s top hat; it pours gallons of water over the jungle-gym structure and children playing on and around it. Two slides, three pull-string sprayers and a shallow pool complete the water wonderland. This area is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with operation times changing seasonally.
Perhaps Alice and Wonderland with all her fanciness and Tea over in the Garden View Tea Room (also located in the Grand Floridian) is the one that inspired things to continue to get “curiouser and curiouser” all through the fall and winter seasons. Soon we will see additional refurbishment of Sandy Cove Gifts & Sundries merchandise location, Gasparilla Grill & Games quick service spot, and the Courtyard Pool.
Pinkies up ladies!! Now if you’ll excuse me – I’ve got to take my refined self to the ladies room and straighten my Mickey ears.
I love my GPS – but sometimes it has a hard time finding things in Disney.
Here are the addresses for all the Disney owned theme parks and resorts in the Walt Disney World area – customized to be used for a GPS – and put into resort categories.
The color coding indicates what theme park or area the World you are closest to. This serves as a great planning tool to help you book your dining etc.
Email me at DisneyWays@DisneyWays.com if you’d like to have this in a word document that is more suitable for printing!
I will send it to you directly.
Disney World GPS Address List from Disneyways.com
“Magic Kingdom Area” in Purple
“Epcot Area” in Black
“Downtown Disney Area” in Orange
*Closer to Hollywood Studios but still considered “Epcot Area” starred and underlined
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Contemporary Resort: 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Polynesian Resort: 1600 Seven Seas Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Beach Club Resort: 1800 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: 1700 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn: 2101 North Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: 901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: 2901 Osceola Parkway, Bay Lake, FL 32830
*Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: 900 Cayman Way, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort:1001 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter: 2201 Orleans Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside:1251 Riverside Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: 3520 North Fort Wilderness Trail, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: 1850 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s All Star Sports Resort: 1701 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s All Star Music Resort: 1801 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s All Star Movies Resort: 1901 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Pop Century Resort: 1050 Century Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Deluxe Villa Resorts
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort:4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas: 2901 Osceola Parkway, Bay Lake, FL 32830
Disney’s Beach Club Villas: 1800 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Boardwalk Villas: 2101 North Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Old Key West Resort: 1510 North Cove Rd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: 1960 Broadway, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Villas: 901 Timberline Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Magic Kingdom: 3111 World Drive Lake, Buena Vista, FL 32830
Epcot: 1200 Epcot Resort Blvd. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 551 Rainforest Road Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
*Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 351 South Studio Drive Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Downtown Disney: 1780 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: 1494 E Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
*Disney’s Blizzard Beach: 1500 W. Buena Vista Drive Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830