Monday, November 25, 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!

Just this past week, we lost Diane Disney Miller, Walt's only surviving daughter (his other daughter, Sharon, died very young in 1993 at the age of 56).  

Did you know:

Diane was the key behind Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry.  

She also was key in the founding of the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New To Us 2013 part 2

Part of the excitement of being a repeat guest at Walt Disney World is that, even though we have already been this year - and at least once a year for the past... well, 13 years for me - there are always so many new things to see, do, and/or eat!

This trip, in particular, has a LOT of firsts!  I avoided making ADRs at my favorites so we could try some new favorites.  We are staying in a new resort, trying a family suite for the first time, driving down #eek.  Yes, I just used a hashtag in this post, but I felt it was necessary!

  1. Art of Animation - We toured the grounds and even dined in the Landscape of Flavors in February, but I'm excited to stay in a Cars Family Suite!
  2. Whispering Canyon Cafe  - While my friend, Katie, reviewed it for the blog a while ago, I've never tried it - heck, I've never been to Wilderness Lodge!
  3. Boma - The third and final sit-down restaurant of the Animal Kindgom Lodge/Kidani Village taste explosions, we will finally try Boma on our arrival night!  Jiko and Sanaa are both faves, and I'm hopeful this will be another winner!
  4. Driving Down- While we've driven up from South Florida, we're going to be driving down from D.C. - 1,000 miles away.  Yes, we'll be stopping a little more than half way, but still - I bet we'll be extra exhausted.  Spread some happy thoughts our way for a peaceful drive!
  5. Fast Pass+ - This is new to everyone and still in testing (and errors) phases, but thanks to our friends who have regular tickets, we're piggy backing on our travel buddies fast passes and will be seeing how the new system works with our Magic Bands.
He thinks our Magic Bands will help us get to Grandma and Grandpa's faster... we'll see how the "surprise" goes!

Do you try new places and experiences on trips?  What is on you bucket list?

Monday, November 18, 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!

Have you ever noticed that Pop Century seems to be missing something?  Namely - half a century
DBB cofounder and her family

Did you know:

Originally, Pop Century was designed to have 2 phases - The Classic Years and The Legendary Years.  The Classic Years opened first and the Legendary years were delayed due to September 11th, the failing economy, and a change of plans.

What was originally built to be Phase 2 was partially recovered/changed into what we have now:

Disney's Art of Animation Resort!

And, I can not WAIT to stay in a Cars Family Suite later this month!!

For more details including pics check out this informative post from Yesterland.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Final Countdown

With a week to go until our big road trip, I feel like I'm way behind and yet still constantly thinking about our trip!

What to do with an 18 month old an *almost* 4 year old for 12+ hours of driving?

I've been scouring Pinterest and Amazon looking for new books, ideas, etc...

One great one:  A Road Trip Binder.  Imagine it - a map of the country with the route drawn on, alphabet exercises, counting exercises, etc...  Keeps the 4 year old working, learning, and hopefully entertained.  I found a ton of amazing printables on this blog!

A Kids Atlas or travel book like this one I found on Amazon:
Picture from
I ordered a few different books and I'll review when we're back!

Movies - yeah, yeah.  When all else fails, throw in a DVD player.  Luckily, our car has one built in, but if not, there are inexpensive ones at Target to strap to the seat for the kids!

Snacks - When all else fails, have a snack!  I'm planning to pack several things:

  • fresh fruit and veggies (baby carrots, celery, peppers, sliced apples, oranges)
  • Go Go Squeeze - nothing is easier than pouches of apple sauce... except...
  • Yummi Pouch - pre-made smoothies/fruit juices
  • Pretzels/Goldfish/cheerios
  • Water bottles
Take Breaks - we'll be taking potty breaks every 2-3 hours and stopping halfway for the night.. hopefully a non-fast food dinner and early night so we're refreshed before part 2- which leads us straight to the gate!

Monday, November 11, 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!

Space Mountain is one of my absolute favorites at Walt Disney World!  It was the FIRST roller coaster in the parks and probably my favorite mountain (it's a tough call, but I really think it's my first choice!)

Did you know:

The first passengers to ride Space Mountain were NASA astronauts Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, and Jim Irwin in January 15th, 1975.

Not everyone got the message that this indoor ride as actually a coaster and many expected it to be more like Peter Pan!  What a shock that must have been!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Managing the Big Crowds

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Blue. Enjoy the ride as we share what to do when the Disney parks are SUPER crowded!

Being November - and with my own personal Walt Disney World Vacation coinciding with Thanksgiving holiday (and crowded parks), I realized we should discuss the best tips for managing the biggest of big crowds.  

Even on average crowd days, old-style paper fast passes are running out in the morning, often by 10 or 11 a..m., so our old style plans of playing the day by ear and picking up fastpasses throughout the day may not work as did in the past!

  • Take Advantage of Fast Pass Plus
    • In what I've read and heard, I'm still not convinced this is a great idea, BUT, I'm a blogger, travel agent, yogi, mom, wife, musician - but not an Imagineer.  With that said:
    • Fast Pass Plus allows you to book your Fast Passes before you enter the parks.  Do this!!
  • Create a Touring Plan
    • - which I am an affiliate with, yes, but also a subscriber and follower!  
    • Their personalized plans allow you to enter your Fast Pass+ and guides you around the park as best as possible keeping those in mind
  • Take Advantage of Rope Drop
    • Arrive 30 minutes prior to park entrance, whether you are using the Extra Magic Hours or otherwise
    • Often, in peak crowds, the parks open before posted time, allowing you to do more in the first hour or so than in the rest of the day!
  • Change your Expectations
    • Don't expect to do or see everything in one day.  With the addition of fast pass plus, I have NO idea how wait times will change - no one seems to really know.  However, expect that wait times might be longer and there will be less fast passes to go around.
    • Enjoy a slow day and take in the ambiance that Disney surrounds you with.
      • Spend time really touring the World Showcase
      • Enjoy the queues - so many are filled with hidden and not so hidden treasures for you to discover and explore
  • Bring Entertainment

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is I Am a Disney Nerd.

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** You Are Here
2nd Stop ~ I Am a Disney Nerd  
3rd Stop ~ Ideally Disney 
Final Stop ~ Cooking with Mickey

Monday, November 4, 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!

You have probably heard about Walt Disney's parents, Elias and Flora
I took this pic at the Walt Disney Family museum

Did you know:

Flora and Elias married in 1888 in Acron, Florida only 40 miles north of Walt Disney World  Later on, Walt's parents grew oranges and ran a hotel in Kissimmee!

**trivia from The Completel Walt Diney World 2008**

Saturday, November 2, 2013

American Tourister Colora - My New Travel Must Have #Spon

I remember when I graduated from high school, my parents bought me my very first set of luggage - Samsonite. We had always had a mishmash of luggage, but our Samsonite luggage was always the best. It held up longer and traveled better than anything else we had. That luggage lasted me about 12 years - and a LOT of traveling.
As the parent company of American Tourister is Samsonite, I'm confident that my American Tourister will be well loved and last just as long! The American Tourister Colora suitcase that I received is a 20" lime green spinner. Unlike older wheels that an only be dragged behind you, often getting caught on other people or chairs, the spinning wheels allow you to move it sideways along with you as you walk - which is SO much easier to do going through a busy airport! Though I haven't traveled with it yet, I've seen how much it can fill - and it's a LOT!
Unlike many small 20" bags, this one fits a lot and is lightweight. My previous favorite carry on suitcase (a Mickey Mouse one) was adorable, but so heavy I couldn't actually put anything in it! It's actually obsolete due to the hard shell. Even though it was 20" the shell took up so much of the room, it left little for anything, and as soon as you put anything in it, it exceeded the airlines weight limit! But, this Colora Spinner is deep - the dimensions are 20.0" x 14.5" x 8.5" - and the material is durable yet doesn't take up much of those 8.5" so you can fill them up with so much more than any other 20" bag that I have! I mean seriously, look at how many plushes tried to hop in for a ride? The outside zippers are great for those extras - magical express tags for the trip home, or other small last minute things you may have forgotten to pack! There is a detachable bag for toiletries, or whatever you may choose. The bottom has straps that you can hold your clothes down with to make more room and there is the zippered dirty-clothing on the inside of the lid (at least that's what I use it for - dirty clothes or running shoes!).
That's a LOT of room!
I believe that this may be the perfect carry on bag, but since I generally travel with 2 children, it will be a great suitcase that we'll check along with everything else! And, the best part? Now that American Tourister is the official luggage of Walt Disney World and Disneyland, it's like carrying around a hidden mickey! Make sure to check out their facebook page!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cruise or Parks - What to Do

With the amazing Land and Sea offer that Disney is currently offering (approximately $790 per person for a 3 day cruise on the newly re-imagined Disney Magic and a 3 day park stay including ticket and value resort), I've had the chance to really compare some of these packages.

In my house, we watch both the Cruise Line and Parks planning dvds regularly - and if the dvds aren't in, we're on You Tube looking for clips - my oldest is obsessed with the horns, and for good reason!

But, is a cruise for everyone?  Or, is a park trip for everyone?

Well, my personal stance is that a cruise is better for older children.  Yes, yes, I know - this whole blog is dedicated to the idea that even the smallest of children are worth taking a trip (or not missing out on one!).  So why is a cruise different?  Because starting at 6 months of age (the minimum age for cruising), babies are not free!  

Now, that price may not be much - I just did a quote for a cruise and price breakdown for a 4 Day Cruise to the Bahamas looked like this:
  •  Adults: $620 (x2) = $1240
  • 9 year old $428     = $428
  • 6 month old $216   = $216 not as much, but still not free!

Adding in taxes, and fees, and the total is $2,099, you've got room, food (24 hour room service!), entertainment, all for one price! 

Now, for the same family at the parks - 4 nights at Disney's All Star Music, 5 day park hoppers, AND the quick service dining plan, the total is only $1939.99

All in all, the prices are incredibly comparable!  I was shocked to see that a Disney Cruise, depending on ages of the children, cruise length, sail dates, could actually cost less than a trip to WDW done on a serious budget!

And remember - there are FREQUENTLY amazing discounts available, so if you're curious, feel free to ask!  I would love to help you plan a Disney vacation, no matter your preferred destination!  

Email me for a quote today!

$500 Disney Gift Card Giveaways!

Who couldn't use a little bit of Disney cash this time of year?  Whether you are headed to the parks or not, these gift cards could help buy holiday gifts (valid at, or help save up to pay for your next Disney Vacation!

Thanks to all the great bloggers who entered and are apart of this great giveaway (I'm looking at you, +Mike Ellis)!

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