Monday, October 28, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

Did you know:

The construction of EPCOT was the largest private construction job in U.S. history.  The $1 billion project involved 7,500 people.  There were 3,000 designers, 4,500 construction workers, that helped move 54 million cubic feet of dirt!
*Trivia from The Complete Walt Disney World 2008*

Friday, October 25, 2013

Disney on Ice!

The other night, I got to take my almost-4-year-old son and his 'best friend' from school (and his mom) to see Disney on Ice - Let's Celebrate! when it came through town!

Thanks to a crazy amount of traffic, and fighting two almost 4-year-olds to actually eat their dinner, we made it to the show a few minutes late (75 minute for a 20 mile drive!  Eek!).  So, while we missed the first few minutes, we walked into our great side-line seats to see a ton of different characters skating about!

Let's Celebrate! is all about celebrating many different events - birthdays, holidays, summer vacation - always a reason!  We started celebrating birthdays:

My favorite part came early - Mickey had to clean up after the birthday party and he tried to get some help...

You can probably guess that it didn't turn out as planned..

A beautifully choreographed scene with skating brooms, brooms from the ceiling, and Sorcerer Mickey trying to gain control!  All while playing the Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas (the piece used in Fantasia)

Halloween came next, the Halloween party hosted by Jack Skellington - and many of his villainous friends stopped by...
sword fighting with Captain Hook

The boys enjoyed the show, though during the Halloween section, they covered their ears - shows do get very loud - and were both a bit scared of the bad guys!

And, then came the Princesses.  

Some of the versions of the music were "updated" - I'll say the song from Cinderella, "So, This is Love" was interesting, to say the least, but overall - it truly was a great show!

They celebrated so much more - it was a nearly 2 hour show (including an intermission - time to go buy toys/food/souvenir cups.... which I left under my seat... sad!)

Overall, this show gave us a great little Disney fix - and a great excuse to hang out with friends and stay up late!  The kids really enjoyed it - my early bird was done long before it was over, but it didn't really cause a problem until we got home (3 hour past bedtime!! eek!).

All in all, I absolutely hope to get to see more live Disney events in my area!  Next time we'll be early enough to get to the meet and greet I noticed during intermission!  A great opportunity for the family who hasn't been able to get to one of the Disney Parks to meet Mickey, OR see how the kids do before traveling to Florida to realize that the kids are terrified of characters!!

Oh - and if you're like me and worried about being cold, wear layers!! I was actually warm and took off my coat AND sweater (I had a Mickey Mouse t-shirt on!) - maybe if we were right on the ice it would be colder, but about 15-20 rows up, it was comfortable!!

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exhange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.

Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine

Thursday, October 24, 2013


My favorite guest blogger - Rebecca - has given birth!!

Let's congratulate Rebecca and her husband on the birth of Ronan!

born October 23 at 5:49 p.m.
7 lb, 13 oz. 20.5"

Welcome to the family, Ronan!!  We wish you all the best of luck - and lots of naps!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tiggerific Trivia

Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

Did you know:

The Walt Disney Family Museum has a full model of a dated Disneyland

With working spinning attractions, lights - it's fascinating for a WDW person to get up close and try to figure out what all of the little details and lost attractions are!
Looks almost real, doesn't it?

Definitely another reason to plan your trip to San Francisco!

Scary Side of Disney

Welcome to those of you joining me from A Disney-Lovin' Spectrum Mom and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Walt Disney World is not a place filled with terrifying attractions.  Though for youngsters, there are plenty of coasters that can seem incredibly scary, I generally laugh and smile while on Space Mountain and other attractions.

But, there are two attractions that scare me!

I shared the one that makes me scream the most last month with the Magical Blogorail Blue, but there is another one that scares me more:


The last few times I've been on this, I've done it alone - I LOVE the ride swap that Disney has so we don't miss out on the big attractions while we're traveling with little ones, but being on this alone?  Eek!

No lie!  Dark Places and Scary Dinosaurs for sure!

There is that ONE place in the ride-  I know it's fake.  I know they're animatronics.  And, I'm still scared!

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 Loop should you happen to have tomake a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~
2nd Stop ~ The Many Adventures of a Disney Lovin’ Spectrum Mom
**3rd Stop ~  Disney Babies Blog
4th Stop ~ The Disney Kids
Final Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories

Monday, October 21, 2013

American Tourister for Disney

American Tourister luggage is now the official luggage of Walt Disney World and Disneyland!  To celebrate and promote their collaboration, they've taken over Disney's Hollywood Studios adding flair and style around the park!!

Hollywood Studios is truly perfect - the early 1900's Americana is fitting for their new, fun collections -

To the billboards:
Photo credit: Disney on Wheel
And the windows:
Photo credit: Capturing Magical Memories
And even some of the benches!
Photo Credit: Disney on Wheels

Now, you can win one!  Head over to their Facebook Page to enter - they've got some special bags in store for the winners!

Want a bag now?  They always have great deals and right now, orders over $99 have free shipping!  Head to their website to see the full collections!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dining Recommendations

I'm constantly asked where to eat when at Walt Disney World.

This is an incredibly difficult question because everyone has different tastes - and I will fully admit that I am a food snob.  If I'm going to spend calories on something, it better be worth it.  Sometimes I want interesting spices and sometimes I just want a good sandwich.

Where to Eat at Walt Disney World

This question depends on so many factors:
  • What types of food do you like
  • What types of food do you avoid
  • Where will you be before that meal
  • How many days until your trip
I had a client book a few days ago for New Years and was disappointed that he couldn't get a reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Silly man - that books out 6 months in advance!  To get that reservation during peak season, you MUST book it (or have your agent do that!) for a later day in your trip ON your 180 day mark.  As long as you have a resort reservation, you can book more than 180 days - book for the last day of your trip 180 days from check in!

What do you like to eat?

If you answer with "hot dogs" it's easy - head to Casey's Corner in the Hub.  Fast, easy, less expensive.

Burgers?  Well, they all taste the same to me, but I'll differ to the Disney Food Blog for that one!

Feeling adventurous?  Check out the restaurants at the Animal Kingdom Lodge!  My personal favorite is Sanaa, but I had a great experience at Jiko and many swear by Boma as a great way to explore new flavors!

Like Mediterranean flavors?  I'm obsessed with Cat Cora's Kouzzina - at Disney's Boardwalk.  I have had 3 or 4 amazing meals.  Some don't enjoy it, but again, that may be differences in everyday food choices - I am a more adventurous eater and enjoy the flavors of Italy, Greece, and the Mediterranean!

Food snob?  Me?  Yeah, probably.

But, I am also the first to tell you - my favorite of the Mexican restaurants, La Hacienda - is not for everyone!  If you are looking for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, do not go to La Hacienda. I have taken people there who didn't like it!  It's expensive (yummy) but not standard Mexican - don't expect that when you walk in!
I crave Kouzzina all year long!

What do you avoid?

I avoid seafood.  So, you won't catch me at:
  • Flying Fish (Disney's Boardwalk)
  • Narcooses (Grand Floridian)
  • Rose and Crown (Epcot)

Where will you be?

If you are at Epcot, your choices are nearly unlimited - plus the quick boat ride to the Boardwalk - it's almost hard to choose!

However, if you are at the Magic Kingdom, there are fewer in-park options and they are generally more crowded, and book quickly.  Consider heading to one of the monorail/ferry resorts for a meal!  We enjoy heading to the Polynesian for a meal!  They have fantastic table and counter service options!

Heading to a resort can be a great way to slow down, break the day, and get great food!

Need help choosing?  Ask for personalized suggestions - part of the itinerary planning we offer at Guru Travel!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Link Your Reservations!

Disney is working VERY hard to have a more interactive experience: before, during, and after your vacation.

One key part of the plan is:

My Disney Experience

All in one place, you can count down to your vacation, have your resort reservation, dining reservations, and follow along with friends and family traveling with you!

I love when I'm traveling with friends and we can link our dining reservations - that way their on their profile, but I have the reservation number in my data as well!

With an email invitation, you can link to anyone who may be in your traveling party - it's just that simple!  All reservations in one place!

Plus, it's FUN.

Use the App -

Okay, I have a Windows Phone so, sadly, this doesn't apply to me. BUT iphone and android users can download the MOBILE app and have all of your reservations in one place.  I recently customized my Magic Bands (I chose yellow - fun to customize with Mickey stuff!) but you can do a lot more!

While on the website, you can continue planning - coming up with new ideas!  One of my absolute favorite parts of a Disney trip is planning - and since I'm always planning a trip, this is extra fun for me!

Of course, if you're not as interested in planning all the details, you could let me do it for you!!  Request a quote from me at The WDW Guru

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

I don't know about anyone else (actually, I do know a FEW of you like them), but my family and I are obsessed with the new Mickey Shorts from the Disney Channel!

Did you know:

Different from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and almost all things Mickey Mouse these days, these shorts are NOT voiced by Bret Iwan.

The idea to have a more "Walt Disney" sounding voice somehow led to actor Chris Diamantopoulos voicing these new cartoons!
Picture from
You'll definitely notice a DRASTIC difference in voices - but I love the throw back voice!  My favorites are Croissant de Triumphe and "No Service" - what about you?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Haunts

Welcome to those of you joining me from Cooking with Mickey and those of you just hopping aboard. 
I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail!

Thanks to my friend and partner in 'crime' for this great pic!

Halloween at Walt Disney World is apparently one of the absolute best times of year to visit.  The weather isn't as warm in September and October (hey, it's only 88 degrees today).  But, the decorations, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP), and fall feel seem so incredible that I'm hopeful we'll be there next year to experience it!

To read about Halloween at Disneyland, read this post from Babes in Disneyland, Lisa Robertson!

Instead of Halloween at Disney, we bring Disney into our Halloween!

From costumes to pumpkin carvings, we bring all aspects of Disney into our lives!

This year, we're looking forward to having Z dress up as Mickey Mouse (Noah chose to be an Angry Bird - the original idea was Phineas, but he's currently in an Angry Birds-only phase).

Last year, we chose his costume before he could change his mind 2000 times - Buzz Lightyear!

Next year at Disney World!

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Blue this month.  We will be back on November 8th 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.

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 ~ Days in the Park
2nd Stop ~ I Am a Disney Nerd
3rd Stop ~ Heidi's Head 
4th Stop ~ Cooking with Mickey
**Final Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pirate Party Time!

If there was ever a reason to have a play date with a theme, creating a Pirate Party is high up on that list!

Over the weekend, a few friends, our children, and I got together to have our very own Pirate Party!  Jake and the Neverland Pirates, that is!

In honor of the new CD, Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Yo Ho, Matey! we had our very own pirate party!

We had Eye Patches (we tried to get group pictures, but the kids had minds of their own)!

Gold Doubloons

A little bit of everything

Red Balloons (the favorite of my little guy)

and great music, of course!

The older boys had sword fights with their balloons (no weapons in this house), looked for treasure on their treasure maps, then played all they could until lunch!

I was supplied with a great party kit plus cd's for 8 thanks to ENMN Media and Disney Music

Luckily, I had siblings over, so ended up with extra cd's!  This NEW cd of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Yo Ho, Matey! Will be available on 10/15!  But, in the mean time, would you like to join in on the party fun and win your very own Jake and the Neverland Pirates cd?  I have 2 available!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting Around in Orlando

I haven't been to a non-Disney park in Orlando for 10 years.  I know there are tons of option, but I haven't made the trip across town.

As I continue my travel agent training (I'm certified for Universal, Sea World, Legoland, Busch Gardens, all of their water parks, etc...), my curiosity is growing to visit the other parks!

When we fly directly into Orlando, we often rely on Disney transportation - it's excellent, free, and doesn't require car seats!
Read more about Disney's Magical Express Here

What if I want to Visit Another Park?

  • Rent a Car for the day 
    • There are several places around Disney property to do that!  
    • Read all about how and where on
  • Use MEARS Transportation - car service and airport transfer
    • Reserve a car (sedan/suv/van) and have a flat rate for the cost of the transfer.  This runs about $65 each way and can pick you up at your resort or a park to take you where you want to go!
    • Visit the MEARS site for exact pricing or to reserve car service.
  • Hail a cab!
    • According to TaxiFareFinder, it's approximately $29 to get from Downtown Disney to Universal Studios
    • Additional fees may be incurred with extra people - call ahead to make sure they have a car seat if necessary (even in a taxi, it's the law!)
  • Legoland has bus transfers from the Orlando Outlets to the Legoland park in Winter Haven, FL
  • Busch Gardens has Orlando to Tamp transportation included with specific packages

Consider switching resorts!

  • If you want to do 3 days at Walt Disney World and 2 at Universal Studios (or Sea World/etc...), consider switching resorts
    • Universal and select Sea World resorts have "front of the line access" for resort guests
    • Being close to the parks you're visiting makes for a more pleasant vacation!
Remember - Magical Express is only round trip if you are going to and from a Walt Disney World resort - if you leave Disney property, you'll have to use another resource to get back to the airport!

Want help planning your vacation?  Request a no-obligation quote!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

I love decoding the Windows of Main Street and the dedications that they display, even though most visitors pay them little to no attention!

Have you seen:
Fashions by John
Hemstitching and Picoting

This window is dedicated to John Keehne - one of the original members of the Disney Costume Team.

What's crazy - is that in researching, I found out that this window USED to have names of several other members of that very department (it started with 6, then 1 mysteriously disappeared, and now, all that's left is John!).

Read more about the other 4 on the Disney Dispatch.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Disney on Ice presents Let's Celebrate!

I have a confession: I have never been to a Disney On Ice production.

But, that is all about to change!

Between timing, work, and so many other factors, I haven't been to a Disney On Ice show.  Honestly, I had to change some things around at work to make it happen this time, but it will happen.  

With two boys that adore Mickey Mouse (have you seen the new Mickey Mouse shorts on Disney Channel yet?  We watch them all daily.  Often twice.), we're going to be stretching our bedtime to check out one of the shows when it comes through Fairfax, VA (i.e. D.C. suburbia) in a few weeks!

Make an ordinary day extraordinary by joining  Disney On Ice presentsLet’s Celebrate! More than 50 of your favorite Disney characters will visit the Patriot Center for one colossal party on ice! The memorable show for all ages will be at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. from October 23-27.
Let’s Celebrate is an action-packed show featuring a magical montage of celebrations and is a mix of contemporary music with your favorite Disney tunes. Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; and a Halloween haunt alongside Disney’s most famous Villains in this celebration of the century.  
Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA: 
Wednesday, October 23– Sunday, October 27, 2013
Show Times:
Wednesday, October 23rd @ 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 24th @ 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 25th @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 26th @ 10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 27th @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Venue/Ticket Information:
Tickets are on-sale now and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets via charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000   > ; via <>  <>  <> ; and at the Patriot Center box office.

Use coupon code: PRINT by October 18th to save $6! 

This show is going to have a little bit of everything and I am super excited to see it!

And, now I get to offer someone a 4 pack to see Disney on Ice presents Let's Celebrate! at the Patriot Center (at George Mason University) in Fairfax, VA on October 23rd at 7 p.m. - hope you can join me!!

The Walt Disney Company is neither a sponsor nor endorser of this sweepstakes.

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.

Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine

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