Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Casey at the Bat

Did you know on June 18, 1954, Disney's 8 minute animated short, "Casey Bats Again" was released? This short was based on the poem "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest L. Thayer.  This is the sequel to Disney's animated short, "Casey at the Bat" released in 1946 as a part of "Make Mine Music."  In "Casey Bats Again",  Casey's nine daughters take to the field to redeem Casey's reputation.

You can eat a great hot dog or corn dog nuggets at Caseys' on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, which is a nod to these great shorts!

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Main Street USA & Liberty Square

Monday, June 17, 2013

WDW Must Have Monday: Resort Items

There are many things you have to have when you go to any hotel- clothes, personal items, etc.  Then there are things you want to have to either make your stay more comfortable, "like home" or convenient.  Here are some things our family likes to have with us in our WDW resort to make our stay better:

  1. Personal Toiletries: shampoo, soap, etc. instead of the freebies
  2. LL Bean Toiletry Kits- we each keep our personal items in these kits that hang in the closet area
  3. Liquid Hand Soap- to wash our hands easier
  4. Liquid Dish Soap- to wash the refillable mugs, sippy cups, etc.
  5. Scented Candle- to make it smell more like home
  6. Power Strip- to plug in all the things that need to be charged each night
  7. Clorox Wipes- to wipe off those "hot spots" that collect germs:  remote, telephone, door knobs
  8. Lysol Spray- to spray any other surfaces that may be germy and to kill bad smells
  9. Pop up dirty clothes hamper- to sort the dirty from the clean
  10. Suction Toothbrush Holder- to keep them off the counter
  11. Bath Toys- After a long day in the parks, a fun, familiar bath for the kids is nice!
  12. Window Decorations- My son LOVED having our window decorated at our resort!
What do you always bring to make your room more convenient, comfortable or "like home?"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Magical Blogorail Blue: A Disney Trip Isn't Complete Without...

Welcome to those of you joining me from Ideally Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

A Disney trip isn't complete without... a lot of things!  My family, my camera, my credit card, park tickets... BUT, my top thing is:

A Disney trip isn't complete without staying on property.

I have tried to save money by staying off property or staying with friends and it just isn't the same.  For our family, we've decided we have to stay on property for our trip to be complete.  Sometimes that might mean staying one less day to stay within budget, but for us, it's worth it.

When we stay on property we are privy to the use of Magical Express, Extra Magic Hours, free transportation within Walt Disney World and constant Disney magic on our vacation!  Staying on property allows the Disney Cast members to show us the brand of Disney Service that no other company can replicate.  They are there 24-7 to take care of us, the guests.  From the moment we step off the airplane, or out of our car, cast members are all around wanting to make our vacation magical.  When we have to drive off property to our hotel, we miss out on that service.

Extra Magic Hours allow us to enjoy several extra hours a day in the parks.  We would miss out on this if we were not on property.  Yes, it may mean waking up a bit earlier, but since we are right there on property anyway, it's really not that much earlier!  When we get to stay late for Extra Magic Hours, we don't have to mess with traffic exiting the parking lots or driving back to a hotel off property late at night.  All we have to do is hop on any of the provided transportation options (monorail, ferry, or bus) to head back to the resort.  Free time at the parks just because we are staying on property!

Being on property also means we can take advantage of package delivery to our resort, the Disney Dining Plan, and resort entertainment.  We always purchase too much when we are in the parks and often times we don't want to lug it around with us.  When we are staying on property, all we have to do is fill out the convenient form and have the package shipped back to our resort.  Many times it's waiting for us when we return in the evenings.  If we aren't staying on property, we can't take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan.  We try our best to take our vacations when free dinging is offered.  That wouldn't be an option if we were driving off property to spend the night!  Also, all of the Disney Resorts offer amazing entertainment with outdoor movies, pool side games, sing-a-longs, shows, and more.  Some of my favorite entertainment is found at the Port Orleans Riverside with Yehaa Bob and Fort Wilderness with the Campfire Sing-a-long.  

Yehaa Bob at Port Orleans Riverside
Staying on property can be an option for everyone.  Disney offers all different size rooms, cabins and suites to accommodate families and groups.  You can spend a lot of money at the Grand Floridian or you can spend a little at the All Star Resorts.  It doesn't matter if you room costs $89 a night or $689 a night, you still get all the same perks: Magical Express, Extra Magic Hours, free transportation within WDW, 24-7 Disney magic, Disney Dining Plan, resort entertainment, and package delivery.  The only difference is going to be the type of room, the theming, the amenities, the type of resort dining options and entertainment options.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Capturing Magical Memories.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog
2nd Stop ~ Days in the Park
3rd Stop ~ Ideally Disney

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Plan for Favorite Foods with Garden Grocer

Did you realize you can't always get your favorite food and drink items on Walt Disney World property?

Disney has "deals" with the following companies:

  • Coke, which includes Dasani water
  • Kellogg's cereal
  • Frito Lay chips 
  • Joffrey's Coffee (soon to add Starbucks) 

So, if you or your family are fans of 

  • Pepsi or Aquafina water
  • Cherrios or other General Mills cereal
  • Golden Flake, Pringles, Cape Cod, etc.
  • Folgers, Maxwell House, Nescafe, Eight O'Clock, etc.

you better call Garden Grocer and have it delivered to your resort!

Something else to consider... you can't buy gum on Disney property.  So, if you want it, bring it from home or add it to your Garden Grocer virtual cart!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Dads

Happy Father's day week from A Disney Mom's Thoughts!

Here are my two favorite "Disney Dads!"
"Papa", my dad, with my son, C-man
My dad, "Papa", doing the YMCA with Yehaa Bob
My husband, daddy, with our youngest, Big E (in utero!)
Daddy with Goofy and JAG at Disneyland
Daddy and JAG at Sci Fi Diner
Focused on the Magic
Thanks for the Hop, Deb!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

WDW Must Have Monday: Kid Items for the Parks

Traveling anywhere with a kid or two in tow requires so much additional packing!  We recently returned from a week at the beach and you would have thought we took a dozen people with us based on the amount of stuff we had in our SUV.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you all a few of my "Must Have" items for kids when visiting the parks at Walt Disney World.

Babies/ Toddlers
  • diapers and wipes (lots!)
  • extra change of clothes & bibs
  • bottles/ sippy cups with formula/ juice
  • snacks
  • toys- for comfort (a favorite blankie, stuffed animal) and entertainment
  • stroller ribbon to set your stroller apart from the others
  • blanket for cool weather and cooler attractions 
Preschoolers & School Aged
What do your children have to have with them in the parks?  I'm sure I'm missing something and I'd love to hear your comments below!

Illuminate Christian Music Vacation at Walt Disney World

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

I love when 2 of my "worlds" collide! This summer, Illuminate is coming to Walt Disney World. My favorite destination meets Christian Music! I would LOVE to be able to attend Illuminate this year, but it's just not in the cards for us. 

What is Illuminate?

You can stay at the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World July 28-August 3, 2013.  It includes 7 day, 6 nights lodging, customizable ticket options, daily character breakfast, nightly Christian concerts and more!  You can play around with your package to see what the cost will be for your family here.  (http://www.illuminatevacation.com/book/estimate)

Some of the guests who will be present are Casting Crowns, Sidewalk Prophets, Building 429, Mandisa, Jamie Grace, Rachel Ramsey Cruze (Dave Ramsey's daughter), Jon Acuff (author of the blog http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/), and Bone Hampton (comedian).

The itinerary is as follows:
  • July 28 Check-in 3-7pm 
    • Evening Concert (Jamie Grace/Mandisa) 8-10p
  • July 29 Morning Session (Jon Acuff) 9-9:45a
  • July 30 Morning Session (Jon Acuff) 9-9:45a 
  • July 31 Morning Session (John Nix) 9-9:45a
    • Evening Concert (Royal Tailor/Building 429) 8-10p
  • Aug 1 Morning Session (Rachel Ramsey Cruze) 9-9:45a
  • Aug 2 Morning Session (John Nix) 9-9:45
    • Evening Concert (Sidewalk Prophets/Casting Crowns) 8-10p
  • Aug 3 Check-out by Noon
That still leaves PLENTY of time to see and do all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World!

What do you think?  Would this be something you would be interested in attending?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Splash Around at Disney Parks

Besides the water rides in the parks, the splash pads for kids and the typical Florida afternoon shower, there are several ways you can get wet and splash around at Disney Parks!

Everyone must visit one of the two water parks at Walt Disney World: Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach.  Both are amazing and very different from one another.   At Typhoon Lagoon you can visit the world's largest surf pool.  This is more than a wave pool- you can actually SURF in it!  It's crazy fun!  You can also snorkel with sharks, float down the 2,100 feet long Castaway Creek, enjoy the water slides or drop down Humunga Kowabunga.  This has a 214 foot long, 51 foot drop!  Hold on to your swim trunks!

At Blizzard Beach you can fly down Summit Plummet, literally!  You can reach speeds up to 60 MPH as you drop 12 stories on a 120 feet slope that is 360 feet long!  At Tike's Peak your little ones can enjoy the water and the entire family can enjoy the Steamboat Springs raft ride.  If you enjoy floating and lounging, spend your day in the 3,000 foot long Cross Country Creek.

A very unique way to splash around at WDW is to participate in a park tour at The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot.  Here you can interact with dolphins at "Dolphins in Depth," a 3 hour water experience with 30 minutes spent in a pool with dolphins.  Or you can enjoy "Dive Quest" where guests explore the coral reef in the 5.7 million gallon salwater aquarium.  You will be able to see more than 6,000 sea creatures and 70 aquatic species.

If spending a day at a water park or participating in a park tour isn't your thing, or you don't want to spend the extra money or you don't have an extra day to do this, just visit your resort pool!  Disney has over 152 unique pools at their resorts.  These pools are some of the best themed pools I've ever seen!  The newest pool at WDW is the 360,000 gallon "Big Blue Pool" at Art of Animation that is a Finding Nemo theme.  One unique part of this pool is the underwater sound system that lets you hear the characters from the movie as if they are talking to you underwater!

La Nouba Savings from LivingSocial

image from livingsocial.com
If you are traveling to Walt Disney World between now and June 21, I highly encourage you to attend La Nouba!  This Cirque du Soleil show has been wowing audiences at Downtown Disney for years.  You can get discounted tickets from livingsocial right here!    Instead of paying $79.88 per person, you'll only pay $49!  

So, what are you doing?!  Check out LivingSocial and get your tickets today!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Instead of Dumbo...

My son loves Dumbo.  If you ask him his favorite ride at Walt Disney World, he'll most likely say Dumbo, or Peter Pan!  But, sometimes the lines for Dumbo can be crazy long (even with the new Dumbo that has 2 rides) and you don't have time to wait.  If that is the case, consider riding a similar, if not better ride in other lands of the Magic Kingdom.

In Tomorroland, you can take the elevator to Astro Orbiter, which is above the entrance to the Peoplemover.  Astro Orbiter is the same concept as Dumbo.  You sit in a rocket that goes around in circles and you can control when the rocket rises up and falls down.  What I like about this attraction is the fact that it is up high, on the second or possibly third floor!  When you move  your rocket to the highest point, you can see so much of the Magic Kingdom!  A sight you can't get while on Dumbo.

Another great alternative for you is The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  These carpets are located in Adventureland near the Jungle Cruise.  Again, you sit in your carpet, go around a central hub and you can maneuver your carpet to go up and down.  A plus to this attraction is that there is a front and back 'seat' to your carpet.  One seat controls your carpet going up and down while the other seat controls if your carpet tilts forward or not.  That's another bonus to this attraction.  If you have 2 kids, they can each be "in control" of something.  Another fun part of this ride is the camels.  Watch out!  They spit!

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Wordless Wednesday: June Calendar

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Disney Laundry

Did you know... "If you were to wash and dry one load of laundry every day for 52 years, you’d clean as much as the folks at Walt Disney World Laundry do in a single day. The cast members there launder an average of 285,000 pounds each day. In addition, between 30,000 and 32,000 garments are dry-cleaned daily."
~Information from Corporate Disney

I wonder if that includes the laundry guests have laundered by their resort?!?

image from yourfirstvisit.net

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Indiana Jones Sound Track

Monday, June 3, 2013

WDW Must Have Monday: Souvenirs

Souvenirs.  It's almost impossible for me to travel to Walt Disney World and not get a souvenir for myself, my boys, my friends, my husband or the grandparents.  We could save a lot of money if we never went into a gift shop... But, so many rides exit in gift shops now, it's impossible to not enter one, so you might as well browse and buy!

Here are my must have souvenirs on my Disney trips:
  1. Clothing.  This comes in the form of a sweatshirt or a t-shirt.  Every trip!
  2. Christmas Ornament.  There are 2 shops I have to visit each trip- Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square and Disney's Days of Christmas at Downtown Disney.  I have to buy a Christmas ornament for our tree and it has to come from one of these stores.  I always write the date of our trip on the bottom of the ornament.
  3. Pins.  I said I wouldn't get into pin collecting, but I was wrong.  I don't buy pins to buy pins, but I do try to get one pin during each trip that commemorates something special about that trip- a holiday, an event, a resort, a first time something, etc.  My favorites are the Run Disney events I've participated in and the Special Events: MNSSHP and MVMCP.
  4. Magnets.  We have more magnets than we need, but we still get a new one on most trips.  Our favorite magnets are the ones that are clips to hold papers!
  5. Pressed Pennies. Cheap.  Fun.  Unique.  I love the pressed or squished penny machines throughout WDW.  I tried to keep up with which ones I had, but it became impossible.  So, the collection grows.
  6. Toys- mostly characters.  These are not for me, surprisingly!  My boys, all of them, love characters.  It doesn't matter what form they come in: stuffed, glass, plastic, big, small, squishy, hard.  As long as it's a Disney character, they are fine with it! 
  7. Postcards.  We always pick up several postcards to mail back home to friends and family.  We try to write them while we are in The Magic Kingdom so we can get it postmarked at Guest Services with the Main Street USA stamp!  That makes this souvenir extra special.

What souvenirs do you have to have on your trips?

Saturday, June 1, 2013