Posted in Parks, Resorts, Walt Disney World

4 Absolutely Magical Reasons to Visit the Walt Disney World® Resort During the Holidays!

Ah, the holidays!  A time for family and fun, enjoying the company of the ones we love the most (you know, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and friends)!  I know every trip my family and I make to ‘The World’ is exhilarating and fabulous, but a holiday trip brings a vacation to Walt Disney World to a whole new level – magic multiplied!

WINTER CASTLE

1. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

HOLIDAY MICKEY

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers magic, cheer and enchantment for Guests of every age – it’s truly a time for wishes to come true!

Enjoy the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, featuring Jiminy Cricket, Pooh, Tigger, Scrooge McDuck, and more – INCLUDING SANTA!!!  Also, enjoy Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, Magic Kingdom’s holiday fireworks show!  Watch with amazement as beautiful bursts of light explode high in the sky over Cinderella Castle!  To top off your night, be sure to check-in with your favorite characters at meet and greets across Magic Kingdom, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, and watch the ‘snow’ fall on Main Street, USA!

2. Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World

candlelight processional
Candlelight Processional

Hear the stirring story of Christmas as told by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir.

In 2015, there’s a line up like no other!  Candlelight Processional will be narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, Meredith Viera, Whoopi Goldberg, and more celebrities!  You can enjoy this event at EPCOT®, where you can also enjoy Holidays Around the World!  Travel around the World Showcase learning about how each country celebrates the holiday season and immerse yourself in worldwide traditions!

3. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights presented by Siemens

OSBOURNE LIGHTS
The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights

I couldn’t come up with a better description than Disney® for The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  This is what they have to say about it:  Marvel at millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music. Share in an awe-inspiring seasonal treat for the entire family. Brilliant multi-colored bulbs wrap the buildings, changing hues and brightness throughout the show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As joyful music surrounds you, a sea of twinkling lights form twirling carousels of heavenly angels, toy soldiers, a spinning Earth, and even Santa and his trusty reindeer. It’s something you have to see to believe!

4. Holiday Displays

Christmas-Tree-at-Disneys-Grand-Floridian-Resort-600x399
Christmas Trees at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

No detail is overlooked, not a corner to be cut, and every bulb shining brightly with absolute perfection!  Across the Walt Disney World Resort, every theme park and all resorts included, there are displays that you just can’t miss!  The visual pleasures and the tasty treats, holiday time is a spectacular showcase of beauty!

Of course, there’s a ton of other things to see and do over the holidays at Disney…  What’s your favorite?

***all photos belong to the Walt Disney Co***

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Posted in Parks

Unforgettable Happens Here. Instant LOVE!

We recently welcomed Disney’s newest campaign:  Unforgettable Happens Here, and they couldn’t be more spot on!  Those Disney folks, they’re so creative!  They always know how to hit you right in the feels…

Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle
Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle

I’m loving the catchy slogan! Every trip my family makes to the Walt Disney World® Resort is magical and unforgettable, and I’m fairly certain that holds true for every other family, too!  I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet that can really, truly disagree with me on that.  

Check out these videos… I bet they bring a magical twinkle to your eye and prompt you take a walk down memory lane to remember your family’s ‘unforgettable’ moments.

Please click on the following links to embark on a fabulous journey into Walt Disney World!  Sit back, relax, and grab your tissues!  These short clips will be sure to cue the waterworks!  Enjoy!

Magic Kingdom

EPCOT®

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I’d love to hear about your ‘Unforgettable Happenings’ in the comments!

*all photos and videos belong to the Walt Disney World Co.*

Posted in runDisney

To Run or Not to Run… That is the Question!

Those of you that know me know I don’t run.  At all.  OK, that’s a lie.  I run like a bat out of hell towards Aloha Isle for a delightful Dole Whip… and that’s about the extent of my running.  However, I am very seriously contemplating registering for a runDisney event–the Star Wars 5K in April, 2016.  You might be asking yourself, “Why in the world would she want to do this?”

Star Wars™ Half Marathon - The Dark Side
Star Wars™ Half Marathon – The Dark Side

Well, have you seen the finisher medals that you are awarded for actually finishing?!  They are HUGE, and Disney themed, and THE MOST GORGEOUS MEDALS EVER!  Which, in Kristy language translates to, time to get up, download the runDisney training guide, and start training NOW for the Star Wars™ 5K.  So, now I’ll run for two things, a Dole whip and a runDisney finisher medal.  Check these examples out…

Star Wars™ Finisher Medals
Star Wars™ Finisher Medals

So, for now, I’m downloading the training guide, and enrolling early (thanks for my Disney Vacation Club membership)!  The programs are inexpensive and you get a lot for your money: Characters along your route, customized bib, gift bag (which I am dying to know more about), snacks and drinks, and lots of other amazing Disney stuff!  I’m pumped!

One last thought…  Getting back to that ‘oh-so-important’ Dole Whip!  Do you know of a great recipe to make a homemade Dole Whip?  If you do, please share it with me – I’m all EARs!!!  I’m certain the runDisney training program requires a little Dole Whip motivation.

Posted in Walt Disney World

So… about this Disney Parks Moms Panel…

Yesterday we talked about how exciting it is to be back on track with my Disney obsession and the beginning of my “Journey Into Imagination With Figment”– no, no, no, that’s not right. Man, just saying ‘journey’ gets me thinking about Figment!  Who doesn’t love a little purple dragon with orange horns and wings?  Ok, let’s get back on track here…

Moms Panel Dates

We started talking about the beginning of my journey to become a Disney Parks Moms Panel panelist!  From what I hear, it is a grueling process.  It’s my first time, so if you are clueless, too, we are in this together.  I have found a wonderful group on Facebook filled with people just like me.  Disney Lovers.  Pixie dust pushers.  Wishers and dreamers.  Most importantly, Moms Panel hopefuls!  We hang out here.  Brace yourselves…  we can be a rowdy bunch!

Back to business.  The initial application was open from September 8-15.  You know, the whole ‘get to know you’ questions (I just know I answered all of those questions correctly!) and several essay questions.  That’s where things get a bit, well, interesting.  Check these questions out and let me know what you think!  Ponder them and see what you come up with.  If you are willing to share, I’d love to see how you would have answered them.  Here goes:

1-  In 100 words or less, tell us about you and your Disney loving family.

2-  What Disney phrase sums up how you feel after a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort? 50 words or less.

3-  In 200 words or less tell us about your most memorable family experiences at a Walt Disney World Resort theme or water park.

4-  We’d like you to answer a sample question similar to those submitted to the Disney Parks Moms Panel. Please craft this as if your answer was going to be posted on DisneyParksMomPanel.com. Your answer needs to be 150 words or less.

Your question: “First time WDW vacation and I have no idea where to stay. What are the advantages to staying on property as opposed to renting a home in the Orlando area?”

So, I cuddled up with my computer, refillable mug, and thoughts of a Dole Whip and got to work.  I pondered and proofread for hours.  OK, days, jeez.  I wrote my submission in the spaces provided and hit the submit button.  Now, we wait to see if we made the cut to continue with Round 2.

Posted in Walt Disney World

It all started with a mouse. And a dream. And, well, a little motivation.

It’s been a while, folks!  Life kinda happened, and I had to set aside the Disney obsession for a new obsession, our newest princess.  Miss Hayden arrived in January so my hands have been a little full, until now.  Now is the moment I embrace everything life has to offer!  I’m embarking on a new journey, and testing my Disney knowledge and writing abilities.  You guessed it, I’ve submitted an application to be part of the Disney Parks Moms Panel, 2016!

What is the Disney Parks Moms Panel?  Let me tell you!  It is a wonderful group of people (yep, I said people…  because it’s not limited to JUST moms!) who are Disney experts!  They answer questions that are submitted by people seeking info about all things Disney!  You read that right: Walt Disney World® Resort, Disneyland® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, runDisney, Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, special events and parties, food restrictions and requests, and on, and on, and on.  If you can ask it, they can answer it!  The coolest thing about the Disney Parks Moms Panel is that they answer based on their experiences, and their opinions and answers are their own!  Not a corporate answer, not a paid endorsement, their own fantastic experiences!  One parent to another, with a side of pixie dust, of course!  It’s kinda like talking with the know-it-all mom at the bus stop, but better, because it’s all things Disney!  So swing by and test their knowledge as you plan your next Disney vacation!

Disney Moms Panel Logo

I’m going to tell you all about my application process!  I’ll share the questions I had to answer and keep you posted on upcoming rounds.  Since this is my first time applying, I’m not sure I’ll make it very far in the selection process.  However, I think we can all agree on one thing…

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

Posted in Magic Kingdom, Parks, Resorts

Just another hotel room… said no one. Ever.

Room with a view
Room with a view

Have you ever wondered what’s inside Cinderella Castle? There’s a restaurant (Cinderella’s Royal Table). There’s a beaty salon (Bibbity Bobbity Boutique). There’s a hotel suite. Wait, run that by me one more time… Yep, you read that right. One, beautiful hotel suite. You can’t make a reservation to stay there, and no amount of money can pay for a night of castle luxury.

A little history:

The space dedicated to the Castle Suite was originally intended for use by Walt and his family while in Florida. Walt Disney passed away in 1966, and the “apartment” was still an unfinished project. In 2005, Disney announced that the suite would be completed and decorated as a “royal bedchamber”, which can sleep up to six guests.

Disney describes the apartment this way in their official press release:
“Cinderella’s Castle Suite is four stories above the surrounding Magic Kingdom — a salon, bedchamber and bathroom off of a private marble-floored foyer, all replete with rich details:
Fluffy feather comforters beneath the regal canopy draping of two queen beds … A cut-stone bedchamber floor inspired by the mosaic art masterpiece that adorns the castle’s breezeway entrance to Fantasyland … A parlor sofa that invites kicking off the shoes and curling up to read a chapter beneath the richly detailed vaulted ceiling of the salon … Familiar castle-gray stone walls, rich hardwood paneling and ornate stained-glass windows.

The Royal Bedchamber
The Royal Bedchamber

In the foyer of the suite, guests will discover a design of the fairytale pumpkin coach in the marble floor inlay. A memorable artifact from the story, the famous glass slipper, adorns a cove. And through the doorway, the bedchamber and salon are appointed with furnishings in the style of the era of “the Louies,” as Silvestri refers to the French rulers of the period inspiring the castle and Cinderella story. Nooks showcase clocks, porcelain and accessories befitting the period. Doors are richly detailed; the walls are covered with wood panels and wall coverings. In the bathroom, hand-decorated copper basins sit atop the vanity, recalling a time when fresh water was carried to the bedchamber.

Vanity
Vanity

Despite all the careful attention to centuries-old details, the amenities of the Cinderella’s Castle Suite are definitely 21st century. There’s a lavish garden tub plus a shower. There are also wheelchair accessible bathroom and bedroom facilities and elevator access to the suite. As for an ornately framed, 17th-century-style portrait of Cinderella above a regal fireplace in the bedchamber: it magically changes into a modern, 21st-century flat-screen HDTV. Also in the den there is a mirror, but can be turned on to reveal another flat-screen.”

View of Bedroom and Salon
View of Bedroom and Salon

Guests could win a magical night in the Castle Suite During the “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion back in 2007. A few celebrities have stayed there as well, including Kevin Jonas and Suri Cruise. I’m sure one day I’ll get to see it for myself, but until then, I guess it’s just another hotel room for me!

Posted in New Stuff

MyMagic+. Hey Disney, what’s with all the plus signs?

Disney is really pulling out all the stops. Todays topic: MyMagic Plus.

magicbandbox
MagicBand on display. This is how they are delivered to the guests prior to their arrival.

This bracelet, known as MagicBand, is quickly replacing the “Key to the World” we have all come to know and love. Don’t fret, you can still have a RFID (Radio Frequency ID) Key to the World if you choose not to wear the MagicBand, but this new technology is pretty awesome! Not only is it awesome, it is one less thing to carry in your pocket…

What are the benefits?? Your room key, your park tickets, your FastPass+ reservations, PhotoPass, and dining reservations are on this device. You can also add charging privileges, if you wish, just like the original Key to the World. WOW. That’s a lot going on in a little magical bracelet. They are still in the testing phase, however things are progressing very well, and we can expect to see this as the norm in the near future.

Is it reuseable? Is it waterproof? Do they come in different sizes?

MagicBands are made of a hypoallergenic material, and have been specifically been designed to handle the extreme temperatures of Florida. They include ventilation, and are completely waterproof for use in water parks and in heavy rain. They come in a single size, but are adjustable to fit any size guests. For smaller guests there is a removable layer which reduces the size even further. MagicBands are reusable, which means that guests can use the same band for multiple visits. You can also buy covers and charms to make your MagicBand reflect your personality… the optional covers run about $7, but the initial bracelet is complimentary.

You can choose your settings from the comfort of your own home, on the myDisneyexperience website. You can go to the online options menu once you receive your MagicBand and pick and choose what you want to use it for. You can plan as much or as little as you want about your trip. Set up attraction times in the FastPass+ application. Schedule dining reservations. Set up yout PhotoPass account. Add an optional payment account, and set a pin for purchases (to prevent theft). You can customize your color (currenlty choose from 7 color options) and you can have your name printed on the inside of the band. MagicBands will be available for Disney resort guests and Annual Passholders, for now.

The MagicBand contains no personal information, however it will have a code which will directly connect the user to a Disney database, which will access the guests account. The list of amazingness goes on. And on. And on.

magicbanduse
Guest using their MagicBand for entry to the Walt Disney World parks.

What do you think about the new MagicBand? I can’t wait to get mine!

 

**Edited to add**  They are currently testing the MagicBands for Disney World Resort Guests and Annual Passholders!