Saturday, May 31, 2014

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Review


I am honored to introduce one of my closest Disney Friends, whom I've never actually met, on my blog!  Beth, from Pursuing the Magic and Pursuing the Travel, and I have been through a lot over the years and have become great friends.  She is currently helping me plan my WDW trip for this fall!  We will be staying at Caribbean Beach for the first time and this post has me so excited!  Welcome Beth and thanks for this post, your help with my trip and most of all being my friend!  


The Island Village of
South Trinidad
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is one of my family's favorite of the moderate resorts on Disney property.  From the landscape to the colorful buildings to the pools, there is something for everyone at this resort!  Of my 14 trips to Walt Disney World, I have stayed at the Caribbean seven times. As much as I love it as an adult, I will tell you my children claim this to be their favorite resort.

The Caribbean is quite a large resort.  It is made up of six island villages: Aruba, Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados, North Trinidad and South Trinidad.  Each village has its own color scheme and a quiet pool with laundry facilities.  We love the tropical, relaxed feel of this resort.  The villages circle Barefoot Bay, which has white sandy beaches, hammocks and even three separate playground areas (for you parents, these are conveniently located near the hammocks!).  You can't swim in Barefoot Bay but with seven pools and a kiddie water area at the resort, you won't be lacking opportunities to get wet!  Of course, if you just have to get out onto Barefoot Bay, you can head to Barefoot Bay Boat Yard and rent a boat to get you out on the water.  (You can also rent bikes from this same location, and with a 1.4 mile lap around Barefoot Bay, there is plenty of room to go for a nice long bike ride!).


Barefoot Bay Boat Yard
There are two types of themed rooms at the Caribbean.  In South Trinidad there are Pirates of the Caribbean themed rooms.  These cost a bit extra than the other rooms, but if you have a pirate fan in your travel party, they would love these rooms!  In all other rooms, their is a subtle Nemo theme to the wall borders and comforters.  My kids loved finding Dory and Nemo right in the room. The rooms include two double beds and can accommodate up to four guests.  Included in the price of the room is also a small refrigerator, coffee maker and high speed Internet service.  I particularly love that there are two sinks and a courtesy curtain that separates the sink area from the rest of the room.


The Main Pool at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
The Kiddie Pool Area
 The Caribbean's main pool was a draw for my children.  It looks like a fortress with slides and pirate cannons.  Even better it had zero entry, which with three little ones, was great for us.  My children could wade into the water at their own pace.  The kiddie pool area was a lot of fun!  It is a large pirate ship that spouts water.  There is a bucket at the top and every so often, the bucket would fill and dump over the top of the kids and slides.  Honestly, the year my children were 5, 3 and 2, we could not get them out of this pool to go to the parks.  They LOVED it!  Now for the parents, the pool bar, called the Banana Cabana, is right outside the gate.  On one trip, the bar tender came around to us parents who couldn't leave our children unattended and took our order for drinks too ... that was greatly appreciated by me.  If you need a drink suggestion, the Pina Colava is amazing!

Ol' Port Royale is where you will find the food court and shops at the Caribbean.  We actually really enjoy the food court at the Caribbean.  They have a great selection of items for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters.  Even better, if you have children, their meals are served in a sand bucket with shovel.  These made for great fun when we were relaxing in the hammocks and the kids were playing in the sand.  The food court is split into sections from a deli to a broiler section to pizza and pasta and more.  We had so many options that we rarely had to eat the same thing twice (unless we wanted to!).  During certain times throughout the day, limbo music would suddenly start playing cast members would appear with the limbo bar.  Nothing like a spontaneous round of limbo to get you moving!  Shopping is another fun adventure at the Caribbean.  There is the Calypso Trading Post and the Calypso Straw Market.  Both carry some really fun Caribbean themed Disney merchandise.  You can even purchase coconut postcards!

Finally, the only transportation available at the Caribbean to get to any of the theme parks and Downtown Disney is by bus.  This resort actually is so large they also have an internal bus that just loops the resort stopping at each of the villages and Ol' Port Royale.  We personally have not had issues getting buses at the Caribbean.  It's location makes for quick rides to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, with the rest of the destinations taking a little bit longer.


This is my brother and I back in the 90's in my favorite
village ~ Jamaica
Overall, Disney Caribbean Beach Resort has a lot to offer its guests.  With an expansive food court, tropical themed rooms, a pirate themed pool area and just a general air of fun, the Caribbean is a great family place to create you magical Disney memories.  We happen to love the village of Jamaica, which is just across the water to Ol' Port Royale.  And a little tip, at night, if you can't make it to Epcot to see Illuminations, you can hear the pre-show music throughout the resort at night.  Then, from the beach of Martinique you can see the fireworks, as well as hear the music from the show.  We love going to Disney and the Caribbean is one of our favorite places to stay!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Luggage Storage

This is a freebie that most guests probably don't need or use, but it's nice to know it's there!  Guests who arrive at the resort prior to check in time can have their luggage stored for FREE until their room is ready.  This is so much better than leaving your suitcases and valuables locked in the hot car.  It's also so much better than hanging out with your luggage until your room is ready for check in.

Instead of hanging with your luggage, you can start enjoying the magic of Walt Disney World!  Hit the parks if you have tickets for that day.  Enjoy a dip in the resort pool.  Take a trip to Downtown Disney and start shopping.

Disney will also transfer your luggage for FREE if you are changing resorts during your stay.  In 2008, our family split our stay between Animal Kingdom Lodge and Pop Century.  Disney transferred our luggage from one resort to the other while we were enjoying Magic Kingdom!  It was all FREE too!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Pirate's League at Magic Kingdom Park

If you are a mom of boys, like I am, you are probably not very interested in visiting the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World. But did you know you had another option? You can take your entire family (if they are over the age of 3) to The Pirates League at the Magic Kingdom inside the gift shop at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
While this can be a pricey activity for the entire family, it may be doable for one or two kids without totally breaking the bank! For $29.95 plus tax, you can choose from 2 options: “The First Mate” or “Empress”. The entire makeover will take about 30-60 minutes.
For your money you will receive your own Pirate Name from the Captain’s Log, the makeover, a portrait session and you’ll participate in a Pirate Parade (weather permitting) in Adventureland. All packages include:
  • Choice of facial effect (5 choices) 
  • Reversible Bandana 
  • Earring & Eye Patch 
  • Sword & Sheath 
  • Temporary Tatoo 
  • Pirate Coin Necklace 
  • Personalized Pirate Oath 
  • Removable Teeth* 
*The Empress package does not come with the teeth, but it does come with vibrant makeup, nail polish and a face gem! (A perfect option for your not so Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique type girls!)

You can book reservations at The Pirates League by calling (407) WDW-CREW (939-2739). Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made 180 days prior to arrival (when you make your dining reservations, go on and book your Pirate League reservations as well!). Theme park admission is required. The Pirates League is open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The last reservations will be taken at 3:30pm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Magic Kingdom Attractions: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located in Frontierland at Walt Disney World.  This attraction claims to be "the wildest ride in the wilderness!"  It opened in the fall of 1980 and has been a favorite ever since.  

The legend behind this ride is a fun story!  According to the Disney legend, this mountain is full of gold but a flood has kept the people of Tumbleweed from mining the remaining gold.  Before the gold prospectors leave for dry land, they have a party at the saloon to celebrate the gold they have found.  They don't seem to be too worried about being washed away in the flood though!  

This 3 1/2 minute roller coaster will take you on twists and turns through the town of Tumbleweed.  Guests will board a train and experience this mining town in an exciting way.  While this is not the scariest roller coaster, it is a lot of fun.  Some people even say it's too rough and it jostles them too much.  I would say it's a pretty tame coaster and a good first roller coaster experience for children.  Speeds reach about 25 mph.  While riding, try to keep an eye out for the saloon where the prospectors are partying.  Also be on the lookout for a billy goat, a family of possums, chickens, donkeys and miners!  

In 2012, Disney added an interactive queue to this attraction.  While I have not experienced this, I have read about it!  Guests can turn cranks and push plungers to detonate explosions on the mountain.  I know my son will LOVE this addition.
 
the view of BTMR from the Walt Disney World Railroad
Tips:
  • There is a 40" minimum height requirement and children younger than age 7 must ride with an adult.  Rider swap is an option.
  • Melissa from Disney on Wheels offers her experience riding as a wheelchair user.  Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs must transfer from their chair to the train car.
  • Secure ALL loose items- hats, glasses, cameras, etc.  You don't want to lose these in the twists and turns.
  • Ride after dark if you can!  The night views are great and if you time it just right, you can see Wishes! while you ride.
  • For a more tame ride, request a front seat.  For a more thrilling ride, the back car is the best!

Disney Wordless Wednesday: Letter W



Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to Save Time, Money, Memories and More on Your Disney World Vacation {Review}

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to review a new book on my iPad.  My new friend, Clare Swindlehurst from The Super Mommy Club, sent me an advanced review copy of her new book, How to Save Time, Money, Memories and More on Your Disney World Vacation.

When I first read the title, I was very excited!  I'm always looking for new, creative ways to save money for a Disney vacation.  I want to go more than my budget will allow!  But, when I started reading her book, I was pleasantly surprised.  This wasn't a book full of ways to save money.  While it did offer several suggestions of ways to save money on a Disney vacation, it offered so much more!

A few of the ways to save for your Disney trip were using specific credit cards, saving lose change, shopping around for airfares, weighing the costs of staying on property and which park tickets to purchase.  All of the information was excellent.  Several things she mentioned, I had not even thought about before!  

Some of the additional things to "save" in her book were:
  • Save time in the parks.  Complete with 12 secrets needed for successful Disney vacation planning.
  • Save a table.  She stresses the importance of Advanced Dining Reservations.
  • Save the best seat in the house.  This is all about getting the best seats for shows, parades and fireworks.  
  • Save your sanity by taking a rest.  She shares ideas for taking breaks inside and outside the parks during your vacation.  
  • Save time for some romance.  Since I have been on a "no kids allowed" Disney trip with my husband, I understand how awesome WDW can be when it comes to romance!  She has great suggestions for keeping the romance alive in this place full of children!
  • You'll have to read the book yourself to find out what else she Saves!
Some of the things I learned in this book were the additional entrance at Hollywood Studios and a new stroller rental company.  I also loved the links she provided to her homemade autograph books! 

This book is full of useful hints and tips for saving all kinds of things during your Disney vacation!  She was very creative in using the word "Save" throughout the book.  This was a very easy read and I would highly suggest this book for anyone planning their first trip to Walt Disney World.  While veteran Disney travelers might not need all these tips- because they have probably figured them out over the years of visiting the parks- this is an excellent resource for new guests.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Review

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is a Southwestern US/ Mexican themed resort near Animal Kingdom that opened in August of 1997.  This resort is huge!  There are 1,921 rooms located around a 22 acre lake, Lago Dorado. There are three types of rooms located in three villages: Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas.   Coronado Springs features a 95,000-square-foot convention center that includes a 60,214 square-foot ballroom, as well as a full-service business center.
image from wdwnews.com
The average guest room is approximately 314 square feet. There are 224 rooms with king-size beds and 99 wheelchair-accessible rooms.  The remaining rooms feature 2 double beds.  While the standard rooms are smaller than the deluxe hotels at Disney, these rooms are still suitable for four guests.  The rooms include a coffee maker, refrigerator, hair dryer, iron, ironing board, small wall safe and WiFi.  The bathroom area has only one sink in the vanity area- which is different from the other moderate resorts.  Each room comes equipped with a flat screen TV, armoire, small table with 2 chairs, a nightstand, and a ceiling fan.  For families with small children, cribs and bed rails are available upon request.
image from wdwnews.com
There are so many things to do at Coronado Springs!  The Dig Site is where you will find the main pool of this resort.  The pool surrounds a Mayan Pyramid and has a 123 foot waterslide!  There are additional pools at each guest room area.  There is also an arcade and playground at the Dig Site.  Guests can also rent boats and bikes at the resort.  Two hour fishing excursions are offered on Lago Dorado.  Call 407-WDW-BASS to schedule.  Those guests who want to work out during vacation can hit the Heath Club fitness center.  There is also a full service salon for haircuts, manicures, facials and more!  Panchito's Gifts and Sundries is the best place to find Coronado Springs themed gifts along with many other Disney goodies. 
There are three restaurants at this resort: Cafe Rix which is a quick service eatery, Maya Grill which is a table service restaurant for breakfast and dinner and the Pepper Market, a nontraditional food court.  In addition to the restaurants, guests can have access to room service for breakfast and dinner.  Guests can also grab drinks at the lagoon side lounge, Laguna Bar, the Rix Lounge which also serves appetizers or Siestas, the pool side bar.  
I have stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort three times: January 2003, November 2006 and December 2010.  The first time was for the WDW Marathon and the race expo was held at the convention center.  The last two times I was attending a youth ministry conference at the convention center.  You can see in the map below where I stayed each trip.  
While I enjoyed all three rooms, I definitely liked the ones closest to the main lobby, food court and gift shop.  The walk from the back of the resort to the food court got old and I didn't like waiting on a bus to take me to the front of the resort.  We loved all the extra things to do at the resort and the Pepper Market is one of my favorite food courts on property!  

This resort is quite large and if there is a big convention going on, it will be busy.  There will be men and women in business attire pulling briefcases behind them.  Sometimes I felt like I was in the way with my children and stroller!  These business guests are definitely not always there to experience Disney magic.

Have you ever stayed at Coronado Springs?  What are your thoughts?
image from wdwnews.com

Friday, May 23, 2014

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Merchandise Delivery

image from wdwnews.com
Did you know guests staying on Walt Disney World property can have any merchandise purchased in the parks delivered to your resort for FREE??  When you make a purchase at any of the shops in the parks, you can arrange to have that merchandise delivered to your resort instead of lugging around a bag of stuffed Mickey's all day!  All you have to do is tell the cast member at the register that you want your purchase delivered.  You will complete a slip of paper where you will get a copy and the other copy is attached to your package.  You can expect your purchase at your resort within 24 hours typically.

Tips

  • If it's your last day, do not have packages sent to the room.  You may have to leave before your souvenirs arrive at the hotel!
  • If you don't want to lug around your packages and you are staying off property (or it's your last day) you can have your package delivered to the front of the park.  When you leave for the day, stop by the designated area and pick up your package!
    • At Magic Kingdom- pick up at Main Street Chamber of Commerce
    • At Epcot- pick up at "The Gift Shop" at the front entrance of the park or at "World Traveler" at the International Gateway entrance.
    • At Hollywood Studios- pick up at Oscar's Super Service.
    • At Animal Kingdom- pick up at Garden Gate Gifts.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Magic Kingdom Attractions: Jungle Cruise


The Jungle Cruise in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971.  This attraction is 10 minutes long.  During this outdoor cruise, you will encounter exotic rivers from 4 different continents, lots of animatronic animals and several corny jokes by your skipper!  The jokes told by the skipper can make or break you experience... trust me, I've had great ones and not so good ones.  

The queue for this attraction is quite lengthy.  Just when you think you are approaching the boat loading area, you turn a corner to start a whole new group of queues.  However, if you wait in line take notice of the architectural details, read the signs and posters, look for hidden Mickeys and listen to the cast members.  They will be sharing some corny jokes that will resemble some you will hear from the skippers.  Once you do board, take note of the boat you are riding.  These boats are made to look like the boat in the movie, The African Queen.  On your cruise you will encounter the following rivers: the Amazon in South America; the Congo in Africa; the Nile in Egypt; and the Mekong river in Cambodia.  My favorite part of this attraction is the backside of water! :)

Tips:
  • Riders in wheelchairs or ECVs may remain in them at this attraction but will need to wait for the"Bomokandi Bertha" boat that is equipped to hold wheelchairs.  Melissa from Disney on Wheels has a great post about this accessible attraction.
  • I enjoy this attraction more at night.  The skippers seem funnier (or maybe I'm just punchier!) and the lines seem shorter.
  • This is a Fastpass+ attraction.  If you are determined to ride, consider planning for a Fastpass+.
  • There is a dark tunnel in this attraction. Small children may be frightened.  Consider a small flashlight or glow stick to help calm fears of the dark.
  • During the 2013 Holiday season, the Jungle Cruise became the Jingle Cruise.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bringing Your Own Food to Walt Disney World Parks

I am the mom who tries to save as much money as possible when it comes to my Walt Disney World vacations.  I would rather go more often and cheaper than spend a lot of money and go less frequently.  One of the ways I've been able to save money in the past is by bringing my own food into the parks.

Many people I talk to don't even realize this is an option.  We usually eat breakfast in the room, pack snacks and foods for lunch or dinner and eat the last meal at a restaurant in the parks.  Some of the foods we bring are peanut butter crackers, pringles chips (they don't get squished in the containers they are packaged in), tuna fish pouches, individual peanut butter cups and jelly packets along with bread and a plastic knife, trail mix, granola bars, gummies, goldfish crackers, water bottles, juice boxes and whatever else we find that won't get squished or go bad in a backpack!

There are however a few rules and some suggestions for bringing your own food.
1) Disney parks do NOT allow glass containers or alcohol.  Baby food is an exception.
2) You can not bring in a container larger than 24″ x 15″ x 18″.  Don't bring a box, bag or cooler larger than this.  You also can't have wheels on anything other than a stroller or wheelchair.  So, no wagons or rolling coolers.  

3) A soft sided cooler is the best bet for carrying food items.  You can rent a locker at the front of each park to store it until meal time.  
4) Use the microwaves in the baby care centers if you need to heat up things.  Don't however monopolize the microwaves to heat each person's food in your party individually.  These microwaves are for babies to get bottles and food warmed!
5) Find a nice bench or a table at a quick service restaurant* to enjoy your snacks and meals.  But remember to clean up after yourself!
     *After discussion on FaceBook, I'm adding to this tip.  If the restaurant is busy, don't take up a table when you aren't purchasing from that restaurant.  Consider sitting at a quick service table only during non peak dining times.  These tables should be reserved for guests who paid for the food from that restaurant.  If a cast member asks you to leave the table because you did not purchase food from that restaurant, do so in a nice way!  Let guests who have paid for their food use those tables.  There are plenty of other areas in the parks to enjoy your picnic food!


What tips or suggestions do you have for bringing your own food into the parks?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mickey Mouse Marshmallow Pops


Several months ago, I hosted a #DisneySide Party!  Since my theme was "Magic Kingdom" I had to try to include goodies found at the Main Street Confectionary!  While I'm not a big fan of marshmallows that aren't roasted, I do enjoy a treat that resembles Mickey!

Making these treats was a last minute decision, but an easy project!  I had a bag of jumbo marshmallows already.  All I needed was M&Ms and red candy melts.  I had some sucker sticks left over from another project, but thought the crazy straws in the closet would be more fun!
Once I had my supplies, I started assembling.  I put three marshmallows on the end of a crazy straw and laid them on wax paper.  I melted the candy melts in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power.  After 30 seconds, I would stir.  I continued this pattern until the candy was completely melted.  My son pulled out all the yellow M&Ms, so they were ready to stick on the candy covered marshmallows.

I dipped the marshmallows into the melted candy.  I did use a spoon to help cover all of the marshmallows since the candy wasn't deep enough to dip all the way.  I then twirled the crazy straw to spin off any excess melted candy.  While the candy covered marshmallows were hardening on the wax paper, I placed 2 yellow M&Ms on the middle marshmallow to represent the buttons on Mickey's pants.  It didn't take too long for these treats to harden either!

Everyone loved this treat! I honestly thought we would have several left over... WRONG!  My son has asked on more than one occasion for me to make more Mickey Pants!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: S'mores


At several of the Walt Disney World Resorts, guests can enjoy nightly campfires to end your day.  At these campfires, you will find FREE activities including supplies to make your own s'mores, stories, or sing alongs.  When you check in to your resort you will be given a recreation calendar.  Check your calendar to see when and where the campfires will be.  Some of the resorts will have refreshments to purchase.  Bring your blanket and enjoy an evening around the campfire!  You can also stay later to enjoy a Free movie under the stars!

The following Disney resorts provide campfires:

Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
Beach Club Resort
Boardwalk Inn
Caribbean Beach Resort
Contemporary Resort
Coronado Springs Resort
Old Key West Resort
Polynesian Resort
Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Wilderness Lodge
Fort Wilderness Resort
trying to roast the perfect marshmallow at
Port Orleans French Quarter, February 2012.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Walt Disney World Freebie Friday: Trading Cards

One of the things I look forward to on our next trip is the FREE trading cards offered throughout the parks.  Over the years we have found there are several ways to collect trading cards from cast members.  When guests could still ride with the pilot on the Monorail, we received the Co-Pilots License.  
Transportation cards for busses and boats are what we are missing.  On our next trip, we will be hunting these down!  When you board any type of Walt Disney World transportation, ask the cast member for a transportation card.  If they have any, they'll be happy to share!  Don't get upset if they are out though!

Other trading cards we look forward to getting in the fall are the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.   All Ears has a great list of all the Sorcerer's cards you can collect while playing this interactive game throughout the park.  Another interactive game that includes a map, but no cards, is A Pirate's Adventure in Adventureland.  You can read more here at All Ears.
Another set of cards we have missed out on is the transportation cards with Timon and Pumba from The Lion King.  We have received the safety book a few times, but we never got the trading cards.  I'll be on the lookout for these as well next trip! :)

What trading cards are your favorite?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Grey Stuff Recipe from Be Our Guest

The Grey Stuff is a new(er) dessert at Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World.  While I haven't had it in person (yet), I find the recipe delicious and easy!  Two things I LOVE! :)  Thanks to The Disney Diner for providing the recipe below.

"The Grey Stuff"
Ingredients:
1 (3.4 ounce) package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 1/2 cups Whole (or 2%) Milk
15 Oreos (regular, not double-stuffed)
1 (8 ounce) tub Whipped Topping
3 tablespoons Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
Edible Pearl Sprinkles

Directions:
Mix entire contents of vanilla pudding mix and milk in a large bowl with a whisk. Set in fridge to chill 5 - 10 minutes. 

Place Oreos in food processor and blend until they are fine crumbs (no large chunks). If you don't have a food processor, you can place them into a gallon-size freezer bag and smash using a rolling pin. This will take a bit of time, since you'll want to get rid of all large pieces.
  
Take the pudding from the fridge and mix in the crushed Oreos. The mixture will be dark gray/black. Now, fold in the tub of whipped topping. It now is a lighter color but not quite gray. Finally, mix in the chocolate pudding mix and stir well. You should now have "the grey stuff"! Place back in fridge to chill for at least one hour before serving.
To serve, spoon into a cake decorating bag fitted with a star tip (Wilton 1M) and swirl a dollop onto a dish. Top with a few edible pearl sprinkles.
DisneyDayByDay

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Magic Kingdom Attractions: The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

On May 23, 2001, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin opened in Adventureland.  This ride is very similar to Dumbo in Fantasyland.  It's a hub and spoke spinner ride that has 16 carpets that each seat 4 people in each carpet- 2 in the front, 2 in the back.  The difference in this spinner ride from others is that the front seat controls the up and down movement of the carpet, but the lever for the back seat controls the carpet's pitch- tilting forwards and backwards.  Guests will be flying their carpets for 1 1/2- 2 minutes and while you are flying, watch out- the camels nearby spit!

When you are waiting in line, look for the jewels in the sidewalk- many create hidden Mickeys.  While you are flying your carpets, you will be listening to music from the movie Aladdin.  In keeping with the Arabic theme, you will also be flying around a giant genie bottle with  characters from the movie on it.  The two camels around the attraction (that spit) were originally built for the Aladdin's Royal Caravan parade at Hollywood Studios that ran from 1992-1995.  Following the parade, they were used at the Soundstage Restaurant before moving to the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction. 

Tips:
  • This attraction can carry about 1,000 guests an hour and it has a slow moving line. However, the lines tend to stay fairly short and the wait times rarely approach 30 minutes.
  • Only ride this if the line is short or you have extra time.  Lines tend to be shorter later in the day.
  • Kids will love this attraction, but I suggest using your time to ride Dumbo- the same ride, different theme, but Dumbo is a classic!  Plus Dumbo has the new interactive queue.
  • Riders of ECVs must transfer to wheelchairs to get through the queue. Users of wheelchairs will need to transfer to the ride units.  When boarding, the carpets are near the ground so no climbing is necessary.

Monday, May 5, 2014

24 Hours to #RockYourDisneySide

From 6:00 AM to 6:00 AM, May 23 to May 24, 2014, everyone is invited to dress up as a favorite Disney hero or villain for 24 hours of fun at the Rock Your Disney Side event at Disneyland in California or Magic Kingdom in Florida!  At this event you can enjoy some of your favorite attractions, shows and entertainment. 

Oh how I wish I could attend!  If my boys were just a bit older, I may be able to pull it off.  But, having a 20 month old and a 5 year old in tow ALL NIGHT LONG would not be fun!  So, since I can't attend (this year) I'll just have to write about what I would do at the Magic Kingdom if I were there!
First, I'd have to decide the perfect Hero or Villain costume to wear.  Of course, if I were going with friends or family we would have to coordinate.  Guests who dress in themes for these type of events (MNSSHP, MVMCP, etc.) always get more attention!  I think this year I may choose The Rescuers Down Under.  And you ask, "Why?  That's an odd movie to choose..."  Here's my logic.  24 hours in the park... 24 years ago was 1990... The Rescuers Down Under was released in 1990.  Makes sense, right!?  I think Miss Bianca, Bernard and Jake would be the perfect heroes!
Once I had my costume picked out, I'd make dining reservations.  Being in the park for 24 hours means several meals and snacks!  I think I would start my day with breakfast at Crystal Palace.  For lunch I would sit down at Tony's Town Square.  Dinner would definitely be at Liberty Tree.  Obviously, I'm going to need three full meals to keep me going for 24 hours.  As for snacks... I know there will be at least 1 bucket of popcorn, 1 Mickey shaped soft pretzel and several sweets.  I would plan to purchase some of the special event cupcakes and sweets to commemorate the event.  

I also know there will be souvenirs purchased.  I try to get a pin on each trip, so a "Rock Your Disney Side" pin would be a must.  I'm sure I'd also pick up a t-shirt for everyone and whatever else my boys could talk me into getting!  

Upon entering the park, I would have to pick up a Times Guide giving all the details of the day.  I would make plans to watch any and all parades and fireworks shows.  I would also make sure I knew were all the character meet and greets would be.  I love meeting unusual and rare characters.  I feel this event would lend itself to some great character interactions!  I would also try to participate in any of the extra entertainment, such as dance parties, Pirate tutorial shows, and street shows.  I don't know if any of these things are going to be a part of the Rock Your Disney Side event, but if they were, I'd be there!
Then there are the attractions!  I would save Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress and the Tiki Room for later in the night when I may need a few minutes of sleep.  Not that these attractions are "sleepers", but they provide a good atmosphere to catch a few zzzzz's.  When I needed a pick me up, I'd definitely hit the Mountains- Splash, Big Thunder and Space.  

I'm sure I would spend quite a bit of time taking photos, getting autographs, eating, watching people, tweeting, instagramming, and meeting new people.  I think it would be an awesome experience.

If you are going, I'd love to hear your plans in the comments.  And if you aren't going, like me, what would you make sure you did if you were to go?