Food and Fireworks

Monday, May 4th, 2015

foodCGDo you love fireworks? It’s the highlight of many visits. But big crowds might force you to either come early to find that perfect viewing spot, or come late and stand somewhere in the back. If unlucky you’ll be watching the many phone or even tablet screens that go up from all the people around you that are trying the film it.

Want it a little bit more relaxed? How about combining it with a good meal and a viewing spot many visitors don’t think about. Here are 4 personal tips of great meals that can be combined with a firework display afterwards.

Let’s start at the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort Hotel. Right up there on the top floor, this amazing restaurant offers you a fantastic selection on American cuisine, seafood and sushi. Get yourself a nice plate of sushi, share one of the great flatbreads and then how about bison. Of course you can’t enjoy the fireworks without one of their amazing desserts. The chocolate pudding cake, with Nutella filling, or the Plant City Strawberry Cheesecake are only two of the great choices on this menu.

Feeling full? Time to go and see the fireworks. The music is piped into the restaurant so you can see the fireworks from the comfort of your seat. Or you can go to the observation deck outside. Whatever your choice is, it is an amazing and relaxing experience.

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Disney Vacation Club Villas at Grand Floridian Sales starting Dates

Monday, May 20th, 2013

DVCFloridian

Disney Vacation Club will start their sales for the new Floridian Villas as from the 23rd of May 2013. This date is only for current members who want to add on some extra points to their portfolio. New buyers will have to wait a little longer (June 19) before they can buy their forst share in the magic.

No news on pricing yet, but this will come out very soon. Add on minimum will be 25 points while new members will have to get the usual 160 points (unless changed again for this resort). More early info can be found via the DVC Facebook page at this time.

Get your points for some more “Welcome Home” magic

Picture copyrights Disney

A Little More MyMagic+

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

A little more information is leaking regarding the MyMagic+ wristbands. Walt Disney World Hotel bookers and Annual passes will get the bands at no extra costs but the future plan is to have all guests wear a wristbands with the RFID integrated.

The wristbands will be available in different colors or themes. Some of these Disney themes can be from a Pirates of the Caribbean, some of the Pixar characters, Disney princesses and many more. It is also rumored that there could be some special wristbands done by other companies like Dooney & Burke and Swarovski and for those that don’t like wearing anything around their wrist there might be alternatives coming in the form of keychains and other jewelry.

WDW Planning Part 1: How Far Do You Plan in Advance?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

When it comes to a Disney trip, planning is part of the fun. It not only give you that knowledge you’ll be going, but you will have some Disney magic going for you before the trip itself. Most trips might get planned a couple of months in advanced, but when it comes to a Walt Disney World trip, planning can start a lot earlier. Sometimes over a year in advance! At least that’s how I work when it comes to planning a WDW trip.

First question of course is when to go. In my family’s case options are limited because of school time. So our trip needs to be molded around that for most of the time. That gives us two options for our next trip.

Option one; A trip during Christmas and New year 2013/2014.

Option two; A trip starting from the middle of June 2014.

No, no! Those dates are correct. Our next family trip will be somewhere in 2013 and/or 2014. Is that planning it to far ahead? It looks far away and one might feel a little sad if you still have to wait that long but when you look at it from the bright side, with this early planning, I’ll be having a lot of fun.

So there are 2 possible dates as I mentioned before. This could be the last two weeks of December and a week in January or it could be the last two weeks on June and the first week in July. Both dates have their advantages and disadvantages. Heavy Christmas crowds can be a little daunting but you’ll be away from the summer heat while early summer period will still be low on crowds (US schools still in session, but the heat might already be a struggle. Of course there are other things to look at but these are just a couple of examples. Although we love the Christmas time (our last trip was during the holidays), the second option looks like the one we will go for this time.

So what do I plan so far in advance (once we set the date)? Although you can’t book a hotel yet looking at the locations where to stay is one of the first things I do for my family and me. As we are Disney Vacation Club Members it is also a bit of a given that this takes place so far in advance. We need to make sure to book at the 11 month window, otherwise we might not be able to get the room we want. So this is a good reason to start booking so early. Or maybe it is just another excuse to start planning over a year in advance. The hotels are a part of the Disney Magic, so it can happen that we do some Hotel hopping and stay at different resort. I would love to stay a couple of days at the new Disney’s Art of Animation resort. Just to see and experience it as it looks great. Another place I would love to stay at is either the Disney’s Beach Club Villas or the Disney’s Board Walk Villas. I love that erea and it would give me easy access to my favorite park with my favorite show; Epcot and Illuminations. But our main home resort is Old Key West, so it is no surprise that this one will be the one we will stay at the longest. Will I do have some Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vacation Club point too, we might use these for another location this time around.

More in Part two!

Trip Diaries Day Thirteen: Happy New Year Pool Dive!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Waking up to the sound of the ocean, there is nothing better than that. (to be honest, we do have to step out of the room to hear it… but still). I had to have a swim in the sea (even if there is a shark warning), so I made sure I could scrap that of my “things to do at Disney’s Vero Beach” list. It wasn’t the warmest of days, but that didn’t stop me. Nice waves and great fun to jump into them. You can feel the strong current pulling at you, but that’s part of the fun.

After the cold sea it was time for the warmer pool. Sure felt a whole lot of different, even if the pool isn’t that hot. We did catch a little sun before we went over to the mall at Vero Beach.

The mall was nothing special and not worth a visit, however I did find a great book at the book store. It was the “Comic-Con: Episode IV: a Fans Hope” book. I am a big comic fan (always loved the fact that Disney bought Marvel) and have been at this con so it was nice to see some of it back in this book. All pictures of fans at the con with some pictures of celebrities and panels. Fun book! We didn’t stay to long, it was going to be party time later on.

We had a nice home-made dinner in the room (as in sandwiches), before going to the party at the poolside. They played your average party music that most people know and sing along to. Nothing special. The fun part was at midnight though. Just before the New Year the DJ send everybody to pool side. 95% of the people had their regular clothing on, but they all knew what was coming. Then, 10 seconds before New Year the countdown started. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-JUMP… Everybody jumped in the pool to celebrate the New Year. This was so much fun. Such a simple idea, but I and my son loved it.

It was also a very clever way to celebrate as many people now had to go to their room to change. The party was pretty much over after that as most people left. Didn’t really matter as it was a perfect way to get into the New Year. My son said “I jumped up in 2011 and landed in 2012”…

Plan everything… EVERYTHING

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Disney has released some of their future ideas regarding guests planning their stay at Walt Disney World. New technology will allow travelers to plans almost everything in advance from their home computer. This new project is known as “Next Generation Experience” or “NextGen”. Disney has been working on this project for a good year with a budget said to be $1 billion.

And once this new “tool” is in place, what will guest be able to do and plan in advance. Pretty much everything there is to do in WDW. Guest will be able to make and create their own “FastPass” ticket for the whole of their stay. Plan and book show seats in advance, plan your attraction tickets in advance and pre-book other Disney experiences for your trip. It will all be possible from your home computer. There is no date set yet when this will start, but Disney is very serious about these new planning experience and has applied for patents related to the NextGen tool and has signed a confidentiality agreement with a company that makes radio-frequency identification, or RFID, microchips that can be used in tickets or wristbands. (more…)

New Disney’s Art of Animation Resort concept Art

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Disney has revealed 4 new images of the new Art of Animation Resort. The resort opens in 2012 and will have 1120 family suites in the Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings and another 864 themed rooms in the Little Mermaid wing.

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Art of Animation Resort… Art

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Disney has release some new artwork related to the Art of Animation Resort. On the artwork you’ll see some of the characters from the Finding Nemo movie in a water feature area. The resort will be inspired by 3 more Disney classics beside Finding Nemo. They are The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and one more Pixar movie, Cars.

The resort will open in Summer 2012 and will have 864 rooms for the Little Mermaid building and 1120 family rooms, that will accommodate up to six people, in the Cars, Finding Nemo and The Lion King buildings.

Picture copyrights Disney

New Walt Disney World Resort Hotel?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

According to a rumor on Screamscape Disney might be looking at leveling the former River Country to make room for a new Disney Resort Hotel. This is the first rumor we hear about it. With the current situation and the recession I wonder if Disney would set this step at this time. On the other hand Disney isn’t doing to bad in these times and a new hotel on this wonderful location could well be a great addition.

Personally I would rather see River Country being brought back to live. I never had the chance to see it. It looks like it was a real nice place to relax. Check out these nice pictures and stories about the water park here!

Sleep at Alice’s Room

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

There is the book, there is the movie, and now there is the room! De Alice Suite straight from the fairy tale. The room is not Disney related, however when visiting Disneyland Resort Paris you could still hop over to the capitol city itself for an extra night in the suite. The suite will set you back a hefty 440 Euro per night and might not be to everybody’s liking. Especially the double toilet does sound a little weird. The rest of the room does look wonderful and fabulous though.

“Suite Alice” design by LES AILES DU DESIGN
This is the world of Alice in Wonderland, subtly recreated, with many a nod to Carroll’s fairy tale. Funny clocks, tiles that turn bright and make films appear like magic, strange objects, large stuffed animal, a bathroom with shower and tub, and a curiously kinky toilet for 2 with a chess game in between the seats! The Suite Alice is also equipped with a top quality king-size bed, a TV screen diffusing four different mood fragrances, air conditioning, a large desk, mini-bar, electronic safe and bathrobes. (Seven Hotel Paris)

While it isn’t a direct link to Disney I thought it was fun to share and show that’s not only the good people at Disney that come up with some wonderful (and strange) ideas that work.

You can find the room in the Seven Hotel in the heart of Paris. Other rooms include a 007 Suite and the Marie Antoinette Suite

Slide Through the Monorail

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Disney has announced their new concept for their Disneyland Hotel makeover at the Disneyland Resort. The redesigned pool area will get 2 slides that will have the Monorail fans very exited. The guest will start their journey down sliding through a replica of the Monorail cars. Looks like real fun and might convince those monorail fans to at least book one night at the hotel so they’ll be able to try it out.

For more pictures and info on the pool area visit the Disneyparks Blog

Picture copyrights: Disney

Stuck in Orlando?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The volcanic ash that has been blown from Iceland across the northern half of Europe since the middle of last week has caused serious interruptions not only to the air traffic in Europe, but also to the holidays of thousands of vacationers across the globe. While many may end up missing their vacations somewhere in Europe due to the cancellation of their outbound flights at the start of the vacation (which most probably will also hurt Disneyland Paris in a year that is shaping up to be far from stellar so far) there are also thousands of Europeans stuck at their vacation destinations long past their original return date.

Being forced to extend their vacation indefinitely (as even once international flights to Europe will resume it will take up to a week according to current estimates till the regular flight schedule can be reestablished and most probably even longer till everyone has been moved back to their original destination) not only brings up the question what to do with the extra time to keep the mind of the problems caused (e.g. missed work etc.) and relieve the stress, but also the question how to finance the extra time away from home. The Orlando Tourism Bureau and its members have reacted to this by offering services and experiences to guests affected by the European air service interruptions for free or at greatly reduced rates. (more…)

Interactive Walt Disney World Maps

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Disney has a great Walt Disney World Interactive maps page where you can visit the parks but also Downtown Disney and the Wide World of Sports complex. A fun interactive page to visit when you’re planning your next trip.

Disney is Going to National Harbor

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

disney-nh1The Walt Disney Company has bought a 15 acre plot at Prince George’s County’s National Harbor. Disney plans to build a 500 room hotel resort on their newly acquired land. Although there is no indication in the news item, it could be a new Disney Vacation Club property to add to their list, including the Adventures by Disney offerings of guided tours. What you will not see is a theme park attached to the hotel resort, nor will one even be build.

“The National Harbor resort is a completely different kind of project,” Rasulo said. “It’s specifically zoned for hotel, residential and other commercial development. This project is a hotel resort. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a theme-park project and never will be. We have no intention of building a large-scale theme park in the Washington area.” (Washington Post)

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Walt Disney World: Before it Opened

Monday, April 27th, 2009

beforeitopened-picparadeIf you like some Walt Disney World history how about a quick visit over to the PicParade. Here you can see a collection of 1971 pre-opening pictures including one of Frontierland under construction. Other interesting pictures include some of Cinderella’s Castle, Mainstreet U.S.A. and the Haunted Mansion. There are also two pictures of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea construction, a very interesting sight of an attraction that is no more. You can also see a picture of the tipi’s near the Rivers of America.

Before the park opened Disney used two Keelboats as form of transportation on the 7 seas lagoon. There are two pictures of one of the boats that got stuck on a sandbank.

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