Saturday, June 29, 2013

Disney Chamelia Bracelet and Charms #Giveaway!

I love giveaways - don't you?  Sometimes, I hesitate from joining in because I want to win the prize.

This is one of the times.

but, I gave in anyway.

With a great group of other Disney addict/bloggers, we're bringing you this giveaway!  And let me tel you, picking which charms was difficult!  There are so many good ones!
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Refurb This Attraction

Welcome to those of you joining me from Mouse on the Mind and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Green this month. We will be back on July 26th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney news, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

There are many attractions at Walt Disney World that are so beloved, each generation of Imagineers wants to put their own touches on it...

Take the Haunted Mansion for example. Over the past decade, we've seen a new queue as well as the addition of the haunted bride story, and changes inside, including the fancy room with the stairs going on forever!

Yet somehow, there are dozens of attractions that could use major refurbs:
  • Stitch's Great Escape
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • The Backlot Tour
  • The American Idol Experience
  • Captain EO
That's just to name a few.

I'm going to pick one that, while my 3 year old likes it, I generally see it completely empty:

Journey Into Imagination with Figment.  Completely empty.  Literally - it was the 2 of us. 

Sure, it's better than the replacement after the original attraction, but does that make it a good attraction?  Sadly, no.  But, since Kodak had no money to go for a good update and has since completely pulled sponsorship, an update isn't probable right now.

And, as a child, my husband loved Figment.  There are pictures of him with him and Dreamfinder, and other pictures of him wearing a Figment hat - many pictures of him in a Figment hat.

But, the current attraction?  It leaves a lot to be desired. 

I heard a fantastic idea recently on a Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill and Len Testa (Touring Plans). 

Phineas and Ferb

Who has more creativity and imagination than these two?  Plus, they're already well loved in Epcot (at least by us and Agent P's World Showcase Adventure).

Apparently, the Imagineers have been talking about this - this idea is not original to me - but what a great idea, right?  If you don't watch the show, you should!  It's hysterical for my 3 year old and me.  

Read about my idea for a Phineas and Ferb Roller Coaster

Now, if we bring back the Horizons idea (which is currently being used in Spaceship Earth) in which the riders can help guide their journey, we could use our imagination to go into the past, future, other countries - anything!  I would love to see a great scene that incorporated Figment, Dreamfinder, and Phineas and Ferb.

Hey, where's Perry?

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 ~ Your Highway in the Sky 2nd Stop ~ Disney Living 3rd Stop ~ Mouse on the Mind **4th Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog**

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Green this month. We will be back on July 26th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney news, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Boys Meet World - Disney World

From a very early age, I started sharing my love of Disney with my babies.  Noah loved the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse much earlier than doctors recommend the tube - that theme song would calm him down in what we referred to as his "betwitching hour" (usually anywhere between 4-5 p.m.)

The first park day of his first trip - at 6 months - he was instantly mesmerized as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the gang arrived at the Animal Kingdom for the welcome show (which has, sadly, since been cancelled).

Remember this great show?

Several months later, at 13 months, Noah received his first haircut in the middle of the Magic.

We even visited a few months later for more family fun and even a little Patriotic celebration

He has practiced driving - can you see him?

He has even practiced piano!

And versatility with different pianos.

At the Walt Disney World Resort, Noah has practiced flying:

Horseback riding:

Even running:

Z's experiences have been a bit different - he loves Mickey Mouse, but has very little interest for television.  However, he's already starting off on the right track in the parks.  Heck, he even went to his first blog conference:

With a few ladies of the Magical Blogorail

And just like his brother, had his first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop
Ignore the silly face I'm making
He is already showing an interest in merchandise as well

I love watching my boys grow up with a love for Disney. 

I hope you're enjoying it, too!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yummi Pouch Huge Giveaway!

I was recently invited to be a part of the Yummi Pouch (review coming soon) Blog Street Team - and to start off this excitement, I'm bringing you a HUGE giveaway, perfect for soon-to-be parents, new parents, or anyone who knows anyone with babies! 

Check out the full post here
This giveaway is huge.  I'm talking fashionable and safe bumpers from Go Mama Go Designs
as well as some of their great swaddling blankets (a lifesaver in my house!)
Now, add to that a set of yummi pouch reusable food pouches
And a REALLY cute Teething blanket
This giveaway valued at $300 could be yours!!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More ‘Pregnant at Disney’ insights

By: Rebecca Farrell (Follow me on Twitter @RMZFarrell)

Over the last several weeks, I’ve blogged about how to stay well at Disney and gave my personal (albeit general) advice on visiting the parks when pregnant.  Following are deeper thoughts on how to be nice to your pregnant self when visiting Disney.

Shop, Don’t Drop

As a first time Mom, it was difficult for me to ignore the siren song of the inviting shopping temptations for infants. I will say that the selection for baby boys is pretty seriously lacking (what gives, Disney?) and I only left the parks with ears for my little guy. My desire to “buy buy buy” was also curtailed by our upcoming move – I knew if I bought it, I’d have to put it in a box and get it to Atlanta.

Another reason I mention shopping is that it’s a great way to get out of the hot Central Florida weather and into the air conditioned stores. There’s not usually anywhere to sit, mind you, but it’s nice to browse at your leisure while others in your group go off to Mission Space (Mouse Gears is close by). 

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Relaxation

We already knew we’d be taking it easy on this trip, and on our first break day we treated ourselves to massages at Senses - A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. We knew this would be a relatively expensive undertaking, but trust me when I tell you it was worth every penny!

The newly renovated spa is located between the Wedding Pavilion and the Grand Floridian’s beach pool, almost directly under the Monorail. You can reach the spa by walking along the path that connects the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian or using the Monorail or Disney Parks bus system if coming from elsewhere on the property.

After a fun – and filling – late breakfast with Mickey and friends at Ohana, my husband and I walked along the footpath from the Polynesian to reach the spa. We took our time so that our meal could digest, taking in the sights and sounds along the way. The landscaping is really something to see, and there are great views of the Seven Seas Lagoon here as well.

When you arrive at the spa and check in, you’re escorted by a host (or hostess) through a maze of hallways to the men’s or ladies’ locker room where you change into a robe and slippers. You can then relax in the lounge area of the locker room. Trust me when I tell you that you won’t want to leave that chair! So comfy!

My first appointment was a quick polish change for my toes, which I had managed to ruin just two days into our trip by following my own advice to tape up my toes to avoid blisters while walking in the parks. I wasn't too thrilled with the lack of color selection, but my technician was lovely and I had a nice chat with another (pregnant!) woman who was getting a pedicure in an adjoining chair.

After my polish change, my technician returned me to the relaxation room where I waited for my massage therapist. Frankly, I didn’t want to get out of that lounge chair – it was heaven! I was booked for a 50-minute prenatal massage. The massage was wonderfully relaxing and I felt quite refreshed (and hungry!) afterwards.

 Note: As with most spas, women can only get a prenatal massage at Senses in the second on third trimester. Be sure to adhere to these restrictions, they’re for everyone’s protection and safety

Have any of you ever visited Disney World while pregnant? Would love to hear your advice on how expectant mommies can relax and enjoy their trip!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia - Tony Baxter

Thanks to Jodi +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse  and Heidi +Heidi's Head  for cohosting.  No thanks to Mike +My Dreams of Disney  for being at Disneyland ;-) Very jealous of that!

Recently retired (and currently part-time adviser) Tony Baxter is an absolute legend in Disney Imagineering.  his story is incredible - he started at age 17 as an ice cream scooper on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland and worked his way all the way up to become Senior Vice President of Creative Development for WDI.

After reading a little more about the Western River Expedition, a once upon a time attraction that never was at Walt Disney World, I decided to see what else Tony Baxter did!
  • He is credited for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - originally part of the Western River Expedition, but now it has it's own life at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland - 1979
  • The 1983 Disneyland Fantasyland re-design
  • Journey into Imagination - the original 1983
  • Splash Mountain 1989
  • Star Tours 1992 and the 2011 redesign
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland in 2007
I'm sure he will have a window on Main Street in the US soon.  He currently shares one in DLP with Marty Sklar (which is strange, b/c I thought they had to be retired before they got windows!).

Look for an image that looks a lot like Tony Baxter in the new interactive queue at BTMR! 

Disney Social Media Moms - My Takeaway

Welcome to those of you joining me from DISTherapy and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our special edition Magical Blogorail.

Shortly after my #DisneySMMoms #DisneyontheRoad #DC experience (yes, those hashtags are a must), I wrote a complete overview of my experience. It's hard to describe the experience as a whole and the aftermath was even more exciting.

I had never been to a Social Media conference of any type and going to one hosted by Disney, even though it had little to do with Disney, was more exciting that I can even convey. Seriously - I was there for maybe 5 hours but feel like I actually learned something. And with that, I want to share some of the major points that really hit home for me (though the woman selling faux-fur casts/boots didn't really inspire me as much as some of the others).

From Jennifer Labit, owner/creater of Cotton Babies/bumGenius/Flip/Econobum cloth diapers:
  • Who am I? What is most important?
  • Have a plan and know what you want to do
  • Change and try to fix one thing at a time so you can control the process
  • Never, ever, ever quit
  • We can be moms and we can run companies
  • Be willing to fail
  • You can't know if you never ask
Jennifer Labit

From Maria Bailey, the host of the event, over of BSMedia, @MomTalkRadio on twitter, supermom/amazing entrepreneur:
  • Don't be afraid to ask for money
  • Change with the times - rebranding is okay
  • Stay ahead of the copiers
  • Ask google to tell you more
  • Perform a time audit on self and business
    • Spend time like you spend money
    • Consider each second as $1. You only have so many in a day - is it really worth your time to do x, y, or z
  • Look in the whites of your kids eyes when they are talking - don't always be focused on everything else
  • Don't do for a teenager what they can do for themselves
  • Consider guilt free self care as a part of the Business Strategy
Me along with Maria Bailey

From the panel of local momtrepreneurs:
  • Sell a product other than your time
  • Find your own product to sell
  • Best way to grow is by reinvesting - avoid loans
We also had a fantastic presentation from Michelle Stepney - though her focus on television media/interviews applies much more to my day job than this blog!
Michelle Stepney

And a fun-filled Disney Parks/Sea overview with Gary Buchanan, Disney Parks Social Media Managing Editor.  He talked about:
  • New Fantasyland - loved it (mostly)
  • Test Track ReDesign - it was up while we were there, but didn't get a chance to ride it
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes - bowling at Disney? Our trips are not long enough for that!
  • Limited Time Magic - How about some Dapper Dan Boy Bands?
  • Star Wars Weekends - those guys really give me the creeps!
  • Carsland (new?) and more!
notice the pictures of Carsland and Art of Animation
I had already heard of everything he talked about, including the brand new Disneyland stage production Mickey and the Magical Map and the updated Fantasy Faire in DL Fantasyland, but have no clue when I'll get a trip out to the left coast.  Maybe the big #DisneySMMoms next spring?  I wouldn't complain about that!

Even though @Gary_Jerry didn't give an entirely new-to-me spiel, I hung on every word and LOVED starting my day talking Disney!  My only disappointment was that I didn't get a chance to chat with him, as he disappeared before the end of the event.  Again, maybe in the spring ;-)  I won't really keep my hopes up, but a girl can dream, right?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is The Disney Kids

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

2nd Stop ~ DISTherapy
**3rd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog** You are here**
4th Stop ~ The Disney Kids
5th Stop ~ The Disney Point
Final Stop ~ Delightfully Disney

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Don't Over Heat at Walt Disney World

Summer is always a brutal time to visit Orlando.  School is out, which leads to higher crowds and more waiting, but also higher temperatures.  With lows averaging in the mid-70's and the high's in the upper 80's- low 90's starting in early June and continuing all summer long, it's important to take the heat seriously and be prepared!  Here are my top 10 tips for visiting the Parks with little (and big) ones!


  1. Stay hydrated!  It's best to avoid caffeinated beverages, or at least don't over do it!  While they don't necessarily dehydrate you, your best bet for hydration is...
  2. Water!  Bring your own water, but even easier?  Ask the counter service restaurants for free cups of ice water.  
  3. Even the little ones get thirsty.  Wonder why they're extra lethargic or crankier than usual?  Maybe your little one is thirsty!  I'm not sure what too young is to drink water - obviously, it's a personal choice of when to start water.  My doctor told me around 4 months "if you're thirsty, so is your little one.  Give him water."  So, that may be an option after all.  Or, find those mesh teething bags and put an ice cube in one for your little one.  Or simply nurse/give bottle more than normal!
  4. Bring portable fans/misters! Fans are amazing in the heat.  We stock up at the dollar stores on the small handheld fans and mister fans.  Or, splurge on the Disney mister fan as a souvenir!  Fill up the mister section with your free ice water.  
  5. Take breaks.  If you're in Florida in the heat with little ones, afternoon breaks at the resort or pool will be well worth the time.  We like midday naps and baths/pool time for all of us to relax and cool down.  Plus, we often avoided the mid-afternoon Florida thunderstorms this way!
  6. Start early!  Especially Animal Kingdom.  There is a reason they say "Animal Kingdom Hot."  It's literally a jungle in there and it gets incredibly humid.  We love DAK and wouldn't suggest skipping it, but it's hard to be there for a full day when it's hot outside!  Plus, the mornings are the coolest time of day and the least crowded!
  7. Water play!  There are water play areas in all of the parks - misting Tiki statues by the Jungle Cruise, splash pads in EPCOT, etc.  Take advantage of these!
  8. Sunscreen - Enough said.  Broad Spectrum - UVA/UVB to prevent sunburns AND skin cancer.  Reapply often!
  9. Wear cool clothes!  We usually have the baby in mesh sleeveless outfits in the heat.  May not be the cutest, but definitely the most practical!
  10. Find the Air Conditioning! 
    1. Epcot - In Futureworld, the Pavilions are large, air conditioned, and have a lot to see and do.
      1. The Living Seas has a ride, Turtle Talk, and a huge aquarium to spend plenty of time.
      2. Innoventions East and West have different attractions and places to play
      3. The World Showcase Pavilions have shops and restaurants to meander and get out of the sun as well  
    2. In the Magic Kingdom, check out the long shows such as - 
      1. Carousel of Progress
      2. Hall of Presidents
      3. Mickey's Philharmagic  
      4. Country Bear Jamboree
    3. Hollywood Studios is filled with shows and air conditioned spaces! 
    4. Animal Kingdom..  well, as I mentioned, go early!  Find the splash areas to cool off!
Fountains in EPCOT are one area to get wet, but there are also full splash pads!

Near the exit of Kali River Rapids is a GREAT place for little ones to cool off!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too!

As a longtime member (one of the few original members left, sadly) of the Magical Blogorail, I've seen many members come and go.  One of our most recent members is Kuleen of The Disney Kids.  Kuleen was lucky enough to recently attend the annual Disney Social Media Moms Conference in Orlando
Read my experience about the half-day #DisneySMMoms traveling version, #DisneyontheRoad I recently attended in Bethesda, MD here.
These conferences have some great people to meet and greet with - and that led to Kuleen to meet a lot of great people, including Winnie the Pooh!  And thanks to Pooh bear and his friends at Disney, I'm joining her in a great giveaway filed with Winnie the Pooh goodies!

Who doesn't love Pooh?  You can win a copy of the adorable Winnie the Pooh movie that came out just a few years ago, a tumbler, plush, reusable bag, and more!

Did you know: when Walt Disney World Imagineers were creating the Winnie the Pooh ride for Fantasyland, they asked children what they thought about Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and they said: Bouncing!  That is why, if you are on the ride, you feel as though you are bouncing!  What a beautiful attraction it is, too.  I love the songs more than anything!  It's hard not 

For more info and to read about Kuleen's experiences, check out her post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Thanks again to +Jodi Whisenhunt+Mike Ellis, and +Heidi's Head  for cohosting this great weekly Disney trivia blog hop!

Did you know:
Disney refers to their stuffed characters as "plush" and not as "stuffed animals."  It would be a pity for all of those to have been deceased Mickey's!  Plush is a less-violent sounding term.  Don't you think?

That's good - I would hate to think that my baby was in a basket with decaying animals!!

Disney Vacation Planning: Live and Learn

Disney Vacation Planning: Live and Learn
By: Rebecca Farrell (Follow me on Twitter @RMZFarrell)

Readers, as you likely know from my previous posts, my husband and I have made 10 trips to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida since 2006. You also know that I plan events as part of my job and greatly enjoy spreadsheets and PowerPoint.

I’ve also learned a lot from Disney trip planning and visiting that I thought you might benefit from. Different from past articles, these aren’t recommendations so much as they are the thinking behind why we now do things differently at Disney (pregnancy, etc., aside).

What has changed about your Disney experience over the years? Would love to hear from you!

Purchased the deluxe meal plan (3 table service meals per person, per night plus 2 snacks per person, per night)
Purchase the regular meal plan (1 table service, 1 counter service and 1 snack per person, per night)
With the deluxe meal plan, we spent a lot of time waiting around in restaurants for ADRs, food, etc., and not as much time enjoying the parks. The regular meal plan more than suits our needs, frees up times in the parks and is more cost-effective.
Purchased a Park Hopper ticket for every day of our trip (except departure day)
Purchase a Park Hopper or a base ticket for 6-7 days of a 9-day trip
Having fewer days tied to the parks is a cost and a sanity saver; it frees you up to explore the water parks and Downtown Disney, too, or just resort hop.
Went commando to all of the parks without taking a break in the middle of the day
Try to hit rope drop at Magic Kingdom once, as schedules permit
When it’s just the two of us, it’s kind of nice to sleep in a little and then meander to a resort restaurant for breakfast before heading to the parks. Also, taking a break in the middle of the day for a swim and a nap is very refreshing for the soul and the soles (of your feet).
Lugging a huge bag or purse to the park each day, loaded down with every imaginable item one could ever want or need in the event of a zombie apocalypse
I put a few credit cards, ID and cash in a plastic baggie and zip that along with my lip balm and glasses into a case that hangs from a belt loop on a hook. NOTE: This is NOT a fanny pack.
The lines at bag check can be a real pain, especially if they’re long and you’re running late for an ADR. I love cruising right up to the entrance gate!
Not dressing up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Finding fun costumes that won’t make you melt in the Florida heat
It’s even MORE fun to be dressed up at the party and to have your picture taken with Mickey and Minnie in costume
Taking pictures of every single animal at Animal Kingdom
Taking about half as many pictures at Animal Kingdom (and overall)
I’ve seen it and done it; now I look forward to being in the moment and taking it all in!

Things that have never changed (and probably never will):
1.     The creation of a comprehensive spreadsheet with a tentative plan the MOMENT that Disney releases dates for our travel
2.     The revision of said spreadsheet with a concrete plan the MOMENT that Disney releases park hours for the dates of our travel and updates their site with crowd level information
3.     Waking up at 6 a.m. ET on day 180 to book advanced dining reservations (ADRs) 

Friday, June 14, 2013

A trip isn't Complete Without...

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Blue. Enjoy the ride as we share what we can't miss to complete our trip!

I've done so many different types of trips - Solo trips, day trips, solo half day trips, pregnant trips, trips with newborns, etc...  Really, no two trips have been the same (okay, those day trips had a pretty clear routine - get there before lunch, run, do everything, go).

But, trips such as my 2 pregnant trips, have been trips where a few things weren't possible - my favorite mountain (space) wasn't safe.  Luckily, my first pregnant trip, Space Mountain was under a lengthy refurb, so my husband couldn't ride either!
My favorite Mountain!
Then I thought about my favorite show/parade thing - the Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it Street Party.  Yes, I'm the one.  But that song pumps me up!  I heard it on Reedy Creek Radio the other day and stood up and started dancing.  Luckily, I was at home with my boys and not at work when the urge to get up and get loud hit!

Mickey's got to shake his groove thing!
In all reality, there is one thing that makes my trip feel complete - or feel truly started, if it's where we go first:

The monorail!!

Sorry to my favorite Wedway Radio brothers who insist it's always better on a boat, but even as an adult, I prefer the monorail!

What completes your Disney vacation?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Days in the Park

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
4th Stop ~ A Disney Mom's Thoughts
Final Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More Disney Q&A: How Come?

More Disney Q&A: How Come?
By: Rebecca Farrell (Follow me on Twitter @RMZFarrell)

My 4 year old niece A and I spent a lovely weekend together recently. Miss A is an extremely intelligent child who, naturally, asks a lot of questions. Trying to explain to her why the cats who roam the back yards in our neighborhood aren’t actually MY pets got me thinking about the types of questions friends and family often ask when we discuss Disney.  

In the post below, I’ll share a few with you along with my answers. And don’t be shy! Let me know your Disney “how comes”!

How come you don’t belong to Disney Vacation Club (DVC)?
I get this one a lot, I think because I post about Disney to my Facebook page and Twitter feed on regular basis.  The short answer is the cost. The long answer is that when we looked into joining about 2-3 years ago, our lives were too much in flux to spend the kind of money it would take to join DVC at even the most basic level. It would have taken us 10 annual trips over 10 years to break even on our investment.

I absolutely think that DVC is a great program and has the potential to benefit numerous families who are not yet members. But for the Farrell clan, the time just hasn’t been right. Perhaps someday it will be!

How come you don’t have annual passes?
As with the DVC question, I get this one a lot. We simply don’t have enough time at the parks on an annual basis to justify the cost.  We only spend 5-8 days in the parks each year due to the fact that a.) Our vacation time away from our jobs is limited; b.) We have other obligations outside of leisure vacations (family birthdays, etc.) and c.) We’re not the type to just up and go on a trip.

This might change in the months and years ahead as we relocate our growing family to Atlanta and find ourselves a mere one day’s drive from the magic and our son is big enough to visit with us.

How come you don’t go to the water parks?
I’ll admit: I was the one holding us back on this one. The anal retentive Disney planner in me didn't see the value in spending a day away from the four main parks. And I hate wandering around in front of strangers in my bathing suit.

Fast forward to our October 2012 trip to Disney when we spent a lovely Tuesday at Blizzard Beach and I’m sorry that I waited so long! I didn’t care if people saw me in my bathing suit or if said bathing suit got lodged firmly in my rear end after going down one of the park’s biggest speed slides. It was a really fun day and I look forward to going again on a future trip!

How come you don’t like the Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba at Downtown Disney?
It’s not that I didn’t like it, it’s more that I was terrified by it and fascinated all at the same time. Part of me appreciated the acrobatics and talent of the performers, but a lot of it was just so strange (yes, even for someone who works in NYC and has witnessed more bizarre humanity than should be allowed in a lifetime) that I was itching to GET OUT of that tent.

If this is your thing, by all means, go. Enjoy. Don’t let me hold you back – I’m just saying that I didn’t like it and I’ll never go again unless the tickets are free (again).

How come you’re so opposed to the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot?
All of my issues around Food and Wine stem from the people who use the celebration as an excuse to get inebriated beyond a tolerable (and legal) level at the Happiest Place on Earth.  I will never begrudge anyone a good time, but if you want to get blotto with your bridesmaids for your bachelorette party, do it at a bar…away from me, the person who is trying to enjoy Off Kilter without you slopping your drink all over my shoes. I think Disney could do a MUCH better job of policing this event and maintaining the happy nature of World Showcase for everyone to enjoy.

How come you’ve never stayed off-property or at a Value Resort?
I’m lucky. My husband and I have good, secure careers which afford us some luxuries. One of our favorite luxuries is staying at Deluxe (or moderate) accommodations at Disney.  We plan for our trip each year and budget for it, too.

I have nothing against value resorts and I know they are the perfect fit for a lot of Disney travelers. I’ve never stayed there myself, so I don’t have an opinion.  That being said, I have a feeling that the family suites at Art of Animation may be in our future once kid(s) arrive.

Frankly, I can’t see the point (myself) in staying off property for just the two of us. However, I do have a friend who gets a condo for his ENTIRE family at a very good price that’s off-property. This is a way for them to stay close together and have more of a family reunion than just a Disney vacation. This is another one of those things that might be in our future.

How come you’ve never gone to Disneyland?
I’ve actually been to Disneyland, but it was a very long time ago (college days). A more recent trip that was planned around work travel to Southern California was cancelled due to a death in my immediate family. I do look forward to getting out to DL some day, with hubby and son in tow, to check out California Adventure and (for the baby) CarsLand.

How come you don’t work for Disney?
It isn’t because I wouldn’t LOVE to…in my line of work (public relations) one tends to become a specialist in a certain category: finance, healthcare, public affairs, etc. I happen to work in healthcare and the last time I checked, Disney wasn’t trying to get any new drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration.  So while I would give my right arm to be a Cast Member, it’s unlikely that it’s a career transition I’d be able to make. Also, a majority of the public relations staff that Disney employs are based in California, too far away from family and friends to be reasonable for me.

My hubby enjoying our private cabana at Blizzard Beach (October 2012)