Monday, April 21, 2014

Replacing A Damaged Disney DVD or Blu-ray

Did you know Disney will replace a damaged or broken DVD or Blu-ray?  If you accidentally break your disc, you can pay $6.95 (DVD) or $8.95 (Blu-ray) and get a replacement!   All you have to do is complete the Disc Replacement Form and mail it along with the damaged disc and a check or money order to WDSHE Consumer Relations in Neenah, WI.  In Canada, you need to mail yours to Fort Erie, On.

You can watch a video, download the replacement form and get the full addresses at the Disney Studios Help web site!   

Have you ever replaced one of your discs?  I'd love to hear about your experience!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Animal Kingdom Attractions: It's Tough to be a Bug!


It's Tough to be a Bug! at Animal Kingdom is another great 3D experience at Walt Disney World.  Located in the Tree of Life is a 430 seat theatre where you can experience life as a bug with Flik and Hopper from A Bug's Life.  Guests are asked to wear their 3D bug glasses as the attraction begins.  This attraction is a spinoff from the movie "A Bug's Life."  In this 8 minute 3D movie, you'll experience all kinds of buggy sights, sounds, smells and feelings!  

As you approach It's Tough to be a Bug! you will meander through the roots of the Tree of Life.  Take your time in the queue.  There are over 300 different animals carved into the trunk and roots of the tree that are amazing!  As you enter the lobby of the theatre, under the roots, explore the hilarious movie posters on the wall starring your favorite bugs.  

Tips:

  • It's Tough to Be a Bug! is a very intense attraction with many special effects that may scare children or those with bug phobias!   The theatre is also dark and loud.
  • Cast members are available to park, but not watch, guests strollers... so take any valuables with you.
  • FastPass+ is available, but there is rarely a wait longer than 30 minutes.  You may want to save your FastPass for another attraction! 
  • The theatre is wheelchair accessible.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dispatch from Disneyland {Book Review}

image from dispatchfromdisneyland.com 
Back in March, I shared a press release for a new Disneyland book~ Dispatch from Disneyland: Stories and Essays from the Happiest Place on Earth.  The author, John Frost, was gracious enough to send me a digital copy to review on my blog.  

I've spent the past month reading these stories and essays each day.  All of these stories are easy to read and very entertaining.  As I read, I could picture myself in the story walking down Main Street, sitting on a park bench or interacting with a character.  They are beautifully written and each story left me wanting to read another!  All of the stories are between 2-5 pages long.  

My favorite story, by far, was the Esmeralda story.  I don't want to give anything away, but anyone who is a fan of Disney magic and Disney characters needs to read this story in particular!  Amazing.  I also loved the "Elements of Magic" in the Addenda part of the book.  These are "stories that make up the elements of the magic kingdom that is Disneyland." Fifteen different buildings and attractions at the park are included in these stories.  These are like "hidden secrets" of Disneyland in my mind.  

Along with the great writing and stories, you will find beautiful photographs throughout the book.   There are 107 pages that hold 17 "Dispatches", 8 "Essays" and 4 "Addendas."    

I believe anyone who is a Disney fan, whether you have been to Disneyland or not, will enjoy these stories in this book.  It's always nice to read about Disney Magical Moments, even if they didn't happen to you!

If you are interested in purchasing your own copy of "Dispatch from Disneyland" visit John's web site with the same name.  The PDF digital copy is $9.95 and the paper version from Amazon is $9.86 with the Kindle version only $4.99. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mickey Mouse Pretzel in Frontierland

I have a long list of favorite snacks and foods from Walt Disney World.  Most of my favorites seem to be shaped like Mickey Mouse.  On our last trip, we made at least three trips to the pretzel cart in Frontierland, across from the Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom.  There was something special about these Mickey shaped treats!
At this cart you can find my favorite, Mickey Pretzels, for $4.50.  You can also get a churro here.  While I do love a good churro, I haven't had one from this location before.  These will cost you $3.75.  A tad cheaper, but not as good and definitely not Mickey shaped!  In addition to the churro and pretzel, you can get chocolate dipper or cheese sauce for $1.00.  There are also beverages at this location: bottled water, bottled soft drinks, smartwater and drink accessories (toppers and straps).

Have you had a Mickey Pretzel from Frontierland before?  What did you think?  Do you eat it plain, with cheese sauce, with mustard or another creative way?  I'd love to hear in the comments!!

Animal Kingdom Attractions: Discovery Island Trails

I'll be honest.  This is an attraction I haven't spent enough time exploring.  The Discovery Island Trails at Animal Kingdom opened when the park did in 1998.  Originally these trails were called the Tree of Life Gardens, then changed to Discovery Island Gardens, and now they are Discovery Island Trails.  

These self guided walking trails surround the Tree of Life.  While on the trails, guests can see the 300 carved animals in the Tree of Life up close.  Live animals can also been seen off the trails in the vegetation and grass.  You may see deer, kangaroos, flamingos, porcupines, tortoises, exotic birds and more.  While you are looking at the animals you will also walk through caves, over bridges and along paths.  

Tips:
  • Visit the Discovery Island Trails at the beginning of the day.  While other guests are rushing to Kilimanjaro Safari or Expedition Everest and you can be enjoying the trails all to yourself!
  • Guests may stay in wheelchairs and ECVs.
  • Like always, keep your camera out!  You never know what cool animals will come out to visit. 
  • If your children are in strollers, this is a nice, quiet place for them to take a nap while you stroll through the trails. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tips for a Relaxing Walt Disney World Vacation

Honestly, I wouldn't plan on a relaxing vacation if I were traveling with my boys!  It seems like those trips are all hustle and bustle!  But, if I were traveling with adult friends or my husband, I would definitely want a more relaxed vacation!

Here are a few tips for helping make a Walt Disney World vacation somewhat relaxing. 


  • Consider staying off property.  I know, this goes against everything I've always said about a Disney vacation!  I LOVE staying on property, but staying a few miles from Disney may allow you to get a cheaper room, a full sized house with a pool or more amenities.  It also allows you to get away from the characters and fanfare- which for some people is needed (not me though!).  There are several relaxing hotels in the Orlando/ Disney area that offer spa treatments, lazy river rides, nature hikes and more.
  • Split your vacation between Walt Disney World and the beach.  It's only a 2 hour drive to Tampa/ St Pete on the Gulf or just over an hour to the Atlantic coast where you can visit Cocoa or Daytona Beach.
  • Choose only 2 of the 4 parks to visit (based on your families interests and kids ages) and get there at park opening to get the most out of your stay.  Spend the other days on the golf course, at the spa, at the resort pool or walking the grounds.
  • Make dining reservations at restaurants that aren't so busy and noisy.  The Crystal Palace, Garden Grill or Tusker House would be good eats with characters and less crowds.
  • If your schedule allows it, consider visiting in late summer or fall when rates and crowds are lowest.  It won't be as congested and busy, which makes me feel more relaxed! :)
Love Our Disney