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Friday, December 21, 2012

Disney Candlelight Processional and Free Disney Gift Card

Have you ever thought about visiting Disney World or Disneyland over the holidays?

Disney does a lot of things unbelievable for the holidays-lights, fireworks, costumes, food, etc.

However, my favorite thing Disney does is the Candlelight Processional. Here's a description of the event from Disney-

"Candlelight Processional is a special holiday event held nightly at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot theme park as part of Holidays Around The World. The event retells the stirring story of Christmas with a special celebrity narrator † accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Candlelight Processional is a terrific way to get in the Christmas spirit and to share the magic of the season with your family and friends. The event has become an essential family tradition for many Guests — once you experience it, you will be inspired to share it every year with the ones you love."


Disney World offers dinner packages that also allows you have to special seating for the show.

Disney also arranges for special narrators at the Candlelight Processional-check out this year's line up:


November 23 to November 25, 2012 — Geena Davis
November 26 to November 29, 2012 — Neil Patrick Harris
November 30 to December 1, 2012 — Whoopi Goldberg
December 2 to December 4, 2012 — Andy Garcia
December 5 to December 7, 2012 — Blair Underwood
December 8 to December 9, 2012 — James Denton
December 10 to December 13, 2012 — Jodi Benson
December 14 to December 16, 2012 — Lea Salonga
December 17 to December 19, 2012 — Alfre Woodard
December 20 to December 22, 2012 — Trace Adkins
December 23 to December 25, 2012 — Gary Sinise
December 26 to December 28, 2012 — Amy Grant
December 29 to December 30, 2012 — Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason

Think that's good? Check out the narrators at Disneyland!


Dec. 1-2: Dennis Haysbert (actor)*
Dec. 3-5: Kurt Russell (actor and Disney Legend)
Dec. 6-8: Edward James Olmos (actor)
Dec. 9-11: Lou Diamond Phillips (actor)
Dec. 12-13: Dick Van Dyke (actor and Disney Legend)
Dec. 14: Dennis Haysbert (actor)
Dec. 15-16: Patricia Heaton (actress)
Dec. 17-19: Molly Ringwald (actress)
Dec. 20: John Stamos (actor)


This is one show that you will never forget.

The video below doesn't do it justice to seeing it in person. It's also a bit long- you may want to skip through to see pieces of it.

Anyway, this should be on your "must see" bucket list. It's amazing. Maybe you can go next year!



Also- I'm giving away another free Disney Gift Card on my Facebook Page! If you haven't liked the page- do so, and find my post where I'm doing a giveaway! All you have to do is comment for  a chance to win! Click here to go to my page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Doc is in!

I get asked a lot about characters-where are they and when can you meet them at Disney World or Disneyland.

Many of the characters are Disney Junior- everyone knows the Princesses and Mickey Mouse & Gang characters will be around.



In Disney World, Special Agent Oso, June from Little Einsteins, and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates are already at Hollywood & Vine.

Starting February 15 in Disney World , there will be two new characters from Disney Junior- and these are two of the most asked about! Princess Sofia from Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins will be appearing at the Disney Junior-Live on Stage! Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Little Einsteins and Handy Manny portion of the show will be removed from the show.

They will make the same changes in mid March at Disneyland, for the same show located at Disney California Adventure.

The Disney Junior-Live on Stage (I almost typed Love on Stage...definitely not a Disney show!) is a fun event you have to see, especially if you have a small child in your house. It's a live version of the show, and the characters pop up on stage. There are interactive events with the crowd, such as bubbles coming from the ceiling- this happened when Handy Manny was trying to fix a washing machine. I'm sure they will have some fun new ideas for Doc and Sofia!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Disneyland App, Drew Brees, and Christmas Mickey!

Happy Friday! I have a smorgasbord of Disney news for you today.

First, this is THE Disneyland app you HAVE TO HAVE! It's aaaamazing! It has been updated recently- you get a virtual tour of the Disneyland, California Adventure, Disneyland hotels, and Downtown Disney.

Certain attractions have photos, others have video, and others are games! It's a blast. My favorite is the "It's a Small World" game! It's a great way to bring Disneyland with you in your pocket-especially if you are going to the park for the first time!

You can even create your own "World of Color" show!

If you are thinking about a trip, going on a trip, want to remember a trip... or just want to play around, the "Disneyland Explorer" app is a must have! It's available on iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touch. Check it out!




Have a football player in your home?
The Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament is coming to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World on June 27-30, 2013! What a fun trip that would be. It's open to all skill levels, but it's expected some of the nations best high schoolers will be involved. You'll get elite instruction from Drew Brees, Superbowl MVP QB of the New Orleans Saints, as well as other NFL players and coaches! They'll also participate in a 7 on 7 competition. All proceeds are going to benefit the Brees Dream Foundation, to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.

What a trip- you could visit Disney World, and your football player could experience this one in a lifetime opportunity with Drew Brees- who knows, maybe they will make it to the NFL one day too! I would love to help someone plan this trip. You can sign up for the Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament at www.ksaevents.net.

Here's what Mr. Brees had to say about the event!



And now, let's end this week with a little bit of Christmas!

Here's another reason Disney is the best. I've talked about this before, but you can see just how awesome it is in the video below- Disney has created costumes that actually talk and blink! Your children (and you) will be amazed. In Disney World, you'll see the animated characters during the shows at Cinderella's Castle. Check out Mickey in this video from last year... a fun Disney World version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas!






Monday, December 10, 2012

NOT Oprahs Favorite Things- but my Favorite Disney things Part 2!

If you missed Part 1-find it here.

The intention of these blog posts are to share with you my favorite things Disney related-maybe you can use them to prepare for your trip, on your trip, or a fun way to remind you of your trip...or heck, they are just fun Disney-ish gifts!


First up is something I'm in love with. You actually have to be staying on property, as it takes place in your room. It's called "Dreaming of a Disney Christmas."This is something you and your family would never forget, and that's the entire point of going on a Disney vacation.

This is surefire to be a lifetime memory, like the time your Uncle Ned couldn't stop farting at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. And if that hasn't happened to you, then one of two things is true:

1) You're lying  or
2) Your time is coming either this holiday season or next.

This takes place in your room while you're gone- you are out eating or visiting the parks, and you come home to a wonderful surprise!

Here's some pictures I pulled from the Disney site- you'll get all of this as part of the package. Look at all of the personalization you'll get- this is something you can use for years.




Look at the pillow below- Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!




I also love the Toon Town Times that will feature your family name. Your kids will be amazed.

And you'll also get a banner with ornaments that has everyone's name!



I think this would be the perfect Christmas surprise. I can order this for you, if you are staying before Christmas and are on site. You can also visit www.disneyflorist.com


Next on my favorite things- a photo book!


My husband gets me one of these each year for our family, kind of a year in review. It's the perfect way to remember your Disney trip... and actually do something with all of those photos!

Shutterfly always has their photo books on sale, and you can also usually get free shipping. The colors pop off the page. It'll take a little bit of work- decided what photos to include, uploading photos, and then arranging the book. It's worth it-you'll cherish the book forever, and it's one more way to remember your family at that certain age.

Here's a link to their site.

Click here to read the rest!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fantasyland Grand opening at Magic Kingdom

What a monumental time at Disney World!



Magic Kingdom got a little more magical yesterday. Restaurants, rides, castles, characters.... Disney has added so much with this expansion!

Check it out for yourself. Here's a link to some great photos from Disney of the opening.

I'm also sharing some great videos from Inside the Magic.

The first video is the entire ceremony that took place in front of Cinderella's Castle. From classic Disney songs sung by Jordan Sparks, to rare characters, to the actual comments- this ceremony was immaculate. Putting this together was no small task, but Disney knocked it out of the park.




This next one is a preview of the new Seven Drawfs Mine Train, slated to open in 2014. It looks like a great family ride! Yet another reason to visit Disney World.





It's an exciting time for Disney theme parks.

One effect- this is going to get all of the attention... and it will be jammed packed for awhile, at least in the immediate future. It will probably attract people away from other attractions, meaning less wait times there...so it will have both a positive and negative in that regard. However, you could certainly plan on spending two days at Magic Kingdom now.


Here's another video from ABC-a fun look inside the new area!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dragons and Free Flights!

To hit the hot topic of the moment- Disney FINALLY premiered the Flying Dragon that has been much rumored about the past 6 months- the rumor really got hot last spring, and Disney has teased it ever since. It was thought the Disney Dragon could have been for a Disney theme park overseas....but alas, it's for Fantasyland!

This is stunning. Again, Disney leaves me with my mouth wide open. Imagine taking this in-where else could you view a flying, fire-breathing, life size dragon?

There's many questions as to how often we'll see the Disney Dragon. There's a nice article here that details some of the Disney Dragon's journey from rumor to actual flight.






Here's also a little vacation advice. One of the most expensive parts of a trip is typically airfare. My job is to maximize your vacation-so you get the most bang for your buck! Here's a way for you to get free airfare- and no, it's not on the back of the DIsney Dragon!

Click for free flights!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cars Land at Disney World

When, there's smoke, there's usually fire.

It sounds like Disney will hopefully be soon be pouring gasoline over this fire, and let it out there: They will construct a Cars Land at Disney World, in Hollywood Studios.

The DIS is reporting that the Lights, Motors, Action! and the Backlot Tour will be cleared to make room for an expansion in Pixar Place (finally... I think Pixar should be an entire theme park!)

This has been rumored for some time, and it appears that the wheels are in motion (pun intended).

Disney World will certainly have something for everyone in your family if it didn't before- Cars and Princesses-on top of everything else they have to offer... you know, Tower of Terror, Splash and Space Mountain, um the entire Magic Kingdom, the renovated Test Track... the list could go on.

Take a look at what Disney Land offers. No guarantee what from Cars Land will make it to Disney World, but it's going to be great!




Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Disney Cruise Line 2014 Itineraries

The Disney Cruise Line 201 itineraries have been released and they are a little different from years past. All Disney ships will be sailing out of Florida for 2014 and the land/sea packages are back! I love that the Land/Sea packages have returned because it is so much easier to set up for clients who would like to do the Walt Disney World and a Disney Cruise. What a wonderful Christmas present! Contact me if you would like a quote! disneytripexpert@gmail.com



Sailing from Port Canaveral3- and 4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Dream departures Jan. 2 - Aug. 31, 2014; Disney Magic departures  Jan. 6 – May 16, 2014
7-night Eastern Caribbean
• Ports: Port Canaveral, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 11 - Aug. 23, 2014
7-night Western Caribbean 
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 4 – April 26, 2014
7-night Western Caribbean, including Jamaica
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures May 10 – Aug. 30, 2014
Sailing from Miami4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Miami, Castaway Cay, Nassau, Key West
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 15 - April 23, 2014
5-night Caribbean
• Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 10 - April 18, 2014
5-night Caribbean, including Castaway Cay
• Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 19 - April 27, 2014

Monday, December 3, 2012

HGTV Visits Disney World, Fantasyland style

Disney put together an entertaining episode of HGTV's House Hunters International. It's a fun video-boy, do Belle and Beast have some nice options. It's a fun way to remind you of the Dec 6th (3 days away!) and to see the new area. Hope they got a good interest rate on their mortgage!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Powerball winner-what would you do with the money?

One of the winners for the record $588 Powerball winner came forward this morning- and the gas station they purchased it at is literally 15 minutes from my house. My mother in law drove by the gas station that night, nearly stopped, but bought a ticket from a gas station closer to home. It's just crazy to think how close we are to the winner. I always hope that if it isn't me or my family that won, that someone who needs/deserves it does, and that appears to be the case.




Something you'll usually find quoted from the winner- they always comment that they can finally travel. Actually, one of the exact quotes from one of the winners in the article I linked above-

"It's really going to be nice to spend time — not have to work — and be able to take trips with our family."

And that really hit home with me-why Disney is really my passion.

You travel with your family because you have fun, it's not the normal grind, you make memories. It's why I love Disney, I love my job, and I always will. Someone wins a giant pile of money-they aren't sure yet what they will spend the money on, but they can say they will travel. Because vacations, spending time with family, letting go of your job, not having to stress-a vacation is a place where you get to enjoy each other.

Think about a vacation-it's not a  brand new car, but a car is certainly useful. It's not a giant 3D/LCD/Plasma TV. It's not an iPhone. These items are definitely nice, and provide some momentarily happiness.

A vacation is times of joy, elation, bottled up excitement. Smiles, trying out new things you never would have. It's something you'll never forget. Look around your house- how many pictures do you have hanging up of your family on vacation?

One of the most popular vacations is Disney. Why? Because Disney is a one-stop-shop: food, entertainment, lodging, transportation, all the while putting you in a magical place with top notch customer service. Tell me you don't LOVE life walking down Main Street USA (until you get to Starbucks. Ok, ok, enough complaining).

You don't have to be a record setting winner to go and have the same feeling, make the same memories. Maybe it's once a year, versus one a week, but you get my drift.

The beauty of Disney is that it can be great for people who do want to save some money, and it's also great for those who have a little bit looser of a budget. While your experience will be slightly different, the end result is not-smiles, laughter, and a lifetime of memories.

I live in Missouri (unfortunately not Dearborn, Missouri, home of the Powerball winner), and we have been to Disney four out of the past five years. I'm by no means a member of the wealthy elite. I have a second job, in education. My husband works in minor league baseball. Some people are so scared of the cost of a Disney trip- yes, it's going to cost a little more than some vacations. All it takes is a little budgeting, saving, and a plan to go. It's that simple.

We allocate a monthly allowance to our Disney vacation, and it's not a crippling amount-what are we going to do instead? We could eat out a couple more times, buy a few more clothes, really, just waste the money... I swear, we could spend $200 at Target and have no idea what we bought but a gallon of milk. You put that money towards a Disney vacation, you will know, and remember, where that money went. I'll never forget my daughter screaming in pure joy and adulation the first time she layed her little eyes on the Cinderella's Castle, or when she gave Minnie Mouse a bear hug. My son, almost a year old, dancing with cast members at the Main Street Confenctionary (the Candy store) to a parade. Look at that look on daughter's face the first time on the Teacups ride-think any t-shirt I bought her could have the same reaction?



It just jumped off the page this morning when I read that quote, and I was reminded of how many times I have seen it in similar stories. Your children, grand parents-family-they are only this age once. Don't put off traveling, vacations, and the lifetime of memories you'll receive, for the extra money in your bank account to spend on other things. At the end of the day, this is what you will always cherish and hold on to.

To make a Disney vacation happen, it takes $200 to reserve your room. From there, you can make whatever payments you want, as big or as small. It's not THAT much-consider the value you are getting out of this purchase. I would pay a billion dollars for the memories I've had. You just have pay off your trip 45 days before your first day at Disney. I've planned trips on the smallest budget, and some budgets that I wish I could experience. Of course, like I mentioned earlier- you're going to have a blast regardless.

If you want to feel like you won the Powerball-carefree, happy, joyous- then send me an email at disneytripexpert@gmail.com and I'll plan you the vacation of a lifetime.

Also, if you have, or in the future, win the Powerball, feel free to send me an email as well. Hey, you could bring me to be your personal Disney tour guide!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My favorite Disney/Thanksgiving tradition

I'm a sucker for the Macy parades- I always love watching them on TV. It's a tradition I'm sure I will pass down to my kids.

Of course, my favorite float is the giant Mickey float at the Macy Thanksgiving Day parade!

This year, the Disney floats will be Buzz Lightyear and Sailor Mickey, according to this article, although I won't be surprised if they switched it, as Sailor Mickey has been around for a couple of years to celebrate the new Disney cruise ships.

Just to show you how far these floats have come- check out this picture of Mickey from the 1934 Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade!


It's amazing to think the parade and Disney have been part of a tradition for so long. They've built a little bit of equity in that time!

Here's a cool link to the Disney Parks Blog- there's some great pictures there!

Also, some interesting pieces of information. Such as: 
"The first Mickey Mouse balloon was a collaborative effort between Walt Disney and Macy’s Tony Sarg, who years earlier applied the principles of marionette puppetry to invent the type of parade balloons we know today. This Mickey was easily one of the biggest that Disney had produced yet, hand-painted and measuring in at 40 feet tall (the star on his chest is a nod to the Macy’s logo).

Mickey was led in the parade by a team of 25 handlers who were festively dressed in Mickey/Minnie costumes. A smaller Pluto balloon, a 34-foot-tall Big Bad Wolf, a 31-foot-tall Little Pig, and a 12 ½-foot-tall Horace Horsecollar followed along in the 1934 procession.

Heres to you and your family having a wonderful Thanksgiving together, celebrating your own traditions!

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Disney Theme Park!

Ok, maybe the title is a little misleading...how about "What could have been a new Disney theme park."

Walt Disney grew up in Missouri- I visited Marceline, Missouri last year with on a D23 tour. It was amazing to see Walt Disney Elementary, with Disney characters painted in the school. The "real" Main Street USA, which the Disneyland version is modeled after.

It's also cool for me- I live in northwest Missouri, close to Kansas City. Walt did some work and lived in Kansas City for awhile, so I feel like I have some connection to Walt-albeit a small one, it's still something.

I've read and heard of rumors that Walt wanted to build a theme park in Missouri. However, I always read the major hurdle was weather- Missouri doesn't have the sunshine like Florida or California. It's also 70 one day and 30 the next.

KSDK, out of St. Louis, rehashed the topic. Apparently, weather wasn't the issue. Walt was going to open a park named Riverfront Square in St. Louis, and it was going to be inclosed.

Think about it-what disadvantage do Florida and California have? Location. Missouri is smack dab in the middle of the country-it'd be an within a days drive for so much of the US.

So why didn't it happen? It all boiled down to... beer. Walt didn't want to serve beer in the parks, while one of the Busch's (not the former president, but the Anheuser Busch, i.e. Budweiser) obviously wanted to. There were also disputes over construction.

The timing of KSDK releasing this is somewhat coincidental- it was announced not too long ago that Disney World will soon start serving beer at Magic Kingdom, at the Be Our Guest restaurant. In fairness, Be Our Guest is a french restaurant, and they are offering french wine and beer to go with the dinner, so that is a true "gourmet" experience. It's only available at a specific time-dinner-and to sit down patrons only. So it's not like you'll see someone wheeling around a cooler of beer, tailgating for the Wishes fireworks show.

Several classic attractions came from designs for the St. Louis Disney theme park- Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Railroad.

Here's the link to the story-it's very interesting, and they go into more details about the rides.

Or, you can watch their video below.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Main Street Bakery Cinnamon rolls

You've heard a lot about Main Street Bakery this week. If you have never been, you might not understand my passion for it.

Here's a video that show the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom in its current glory, and before Starbucks takes over.




If you read either of the posts this week, you'll also notice one of the items I was concerned about were the cinnamon rolls- those sticky buns are legendary. Also, if you watched the video above, you caught a glimpse of them.

You'll be able to find them in Gaston's Tavern in the new Fantasyland area-but I posted a video with the recipe for Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Rolls, so you can now make them at home!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Main Street Bakery Update

If you missed my rant yesterday about Starbucks taking over Main Street Bakery, then let me summarize it for you: I don't like it!

However, I noted there are rumors of the current Disney menu still being offered, so it's not all Starbucks.

Today, it was announced that Disney in fact will still offer brownies, cookies, and seasonal cupcakes.

The cinnamon rolls will now be available at Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland, the ice cream sandwiches will be located at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA.

Apparently they were listening, as I noted both the brownies and cinnamon rolls in my post yesterday. Disaster averted- now I will have to do a little bit of walking to get some of my favorite snacks, but it's walking I would have made regardless.

So, I guess I can live with this decision. I'm still not thrilled that Starbucks will be located on Main Street USA, but it could have been worse...

Also of note, this location will be closed from January-Early Summer 2013 while they are making these changes.

Free Disney Gift Card Giveaway!

If you answer yes to one of the following:
A) Like Disney
B) Like Free Gift Cards
C) Want money you could apply for a trip, use at the Disney Store, or at the online Disneystore

then this is for you!

I'm giving away a free Disney gift card on my Facebook page to celebrate 1200 likes- I do this often, so make sure you like my page for your chance to win a Disney gift card for free! All you have to do is comment on my post about your favorite Disney restaurant-or what would be your favorite, if you haven't been... or heck, maybe your own favorite Disney themed meal you cook, like Mickey pancakes!

I'll randomly select a winner on Friday, so the count down is on- just click here, like my page, and post your comment! Good luck!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Main Street Bakery closing at Disney World- for Starbucks.

I posted about this on my Facebook page over the weekend- Disney announced that Starbucks will be moving in Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom. Going out will be Main Street Bakery.



Main Street Bakery was one of our favorite places to use snack credits from the dining plan- their bakery was unrivaled. From the best brownies on Earth to giant cinnamon rolls full of melted warm gooey icing, my family always loved the offerings. Last time we couldn't choose between some of the items, so we just ordered some to go, and ate the rest there. Main Street Bakery was a staple, and a perfect fit on Main Street USA. It will be closing in January 2013.

In it's place-Starbucks. Yep, the same Starbucks that you can get at 5 different locations in your city. This seems like a obvious money grab, which Disney should have more than enough of. Starbucks adds no value to my trip, nor is it unique. Main Street USA is themed after the downtown area in Marceline, Missouri. I visited it last year. And while the building decor may stay the same-it's still going to be "Starbucks,"and full of their products- not what I think of when thinking downtown Marceline. I think of homemade products, soda fountains-much of what the Main Street Bakery was. But hey, now we can get a Starbucks muffin or scone-it really is unfortunate there is not a sarcasm font. This just reeks of a selfish monetary move, and I wish Disney would have kept it the same. This is Main Street USA!

I'm pretty sure Disney was already profiting off the location, but they will surely see more with this move-maybe from the Starbucks corporation, but not from me. I  see no issue in offering Starbucks coffee, but retaining the same name-Main Street Bakery- and product line. But to switch over to a "Starbucks" location on Main Street USA is disheartening.

On a positive note- there is a strong rumor that Disney will offer their current menu items. Should that happen, I will obviously stomach the name change (pun intended). However, no one really knows until A) Disney announces that..but really it's B) When Disney reopens the Bakery. I know the changes will be subtle-Starbucks already opened a location in Disneyland, and it's not in your face Starbucks everywhere. I just hope they don't become another Starbucks storefront, much like the ones I can find in my own town. Disney could avoid that by retaining their menu- I want to get unique food that I can't get elsewhere. You might say, it's just a brownie- I promise you, there's no bakery where I live that can touch the quality of food I have tasted at Main Street Bakery.

Starbucks is also opening a location in Epcot, at the Fountain View. Obviously, this location isn't as near and dear to me-it's just another storefront, and not part of the magic that Main Street USA offers.

Really, what's next- Chef Mickey's becomes Chef McDonalds? A buffet of chicken nuggets! That's a little overboard from me, but when I go to Disney- I want Disney.

Many of my posts are positive, pro-Disney and celebrating all you can find at Disney... and I truly love the Disney brand. I'm also very protective of my experience, and I like what it already is. There's a difference between opening something new-and modifying something to a different experience.

However, I am always truthful, and will give my honest opinion. I do the same when booking trips and offering advice to my clients- whether it's a restaurant, hotel, or some other issue- I will give you honest feedback, and not just sugarcoat it because it's Disney. Hopefully-and I will be watching closely- Disney will make the right move with Starbucks.


Friday, November 9, 2012

More Fantasyland Reviews!

As we near closer to Fantasylands opening date at Disney World (December 6), there are more reviews of what everyone will soon be able to find.

I'm sitting here drooling over what I read- I am so excited to check it out. From restaurants, to rides, to characters, to the actual theming, this new expansion at Magic Kingdom in Disney World has me so excited!



This morning, I ran across a review from the Detroit Free Press (and they actually picked it up from USA Today).

Some of the highlights-


"So is Gaston from "Beauty and the Beast." Once a minor character in the theme park, this biceps-curling guy has turned into more of a rock star, challenging 5-year-olds to push-up contests and tromping around Gaston's Tavern, a quick-service restaurant featuring roasted pork shanks and chocolate croissants."




"USA TODAY got an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the multifaceted attraction as well as a first look at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train scheduled to open in early 2014.

This family-friendly coaster, with no upside-down turns, will be the centerpiece of the expansion. "It's right there in the heart of it, which poses a bit of a construction challenge," says Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "But at the same time, (this attraction) will really complete it."

Set on rolling countryside, it will take guests into the "mine where a million diamonds shine" while navigating 31-foot and 41-foot drops. With its patented train of vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots to allow them to sway independently as they swing around the track, the coaster will be the first of its kind. Spanning more than 1,900 feet of track, it will give visitors a glimpse inside the dwarfs' cottage."


The following is about the "Be Our Guest restaurant-

"We're even making the ketchup from scratch using carrots," says Lenny DeGeorge, Walt Disney World executive chef. "And the meatloaf also has vegetables, so kids are getting their vegetables and don't even realize it."



And finally this-


"Outside, to the far left of Beast's Castle is Maurice's Cottage, which houses Enchanted Tales with Belle, an immersive experience that "allows guests to see themselves in the story," Vaughn says. The magic mirror becomes a portal into the Beast's Castle, where a talking wardrobe entertains and guests can have an engaging encounter with Belle.

After waiting two years to visit New Fantasyland, Amanda Jacobson from Ocoee, Fla., feels overjoyed. "It was awesome," says Amanda, 9. "It was better than I expected."

Her mother, Jennifer, agrees: "I can't believe Disney afforded audiences that much one-on-one time with a character. I hope they don't change it."



For all of the details of the review-and they worth reading- click here to read the original article. I can't wait to experience this!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Meet Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope at Disney World!

Disney's most recent movie release, Wreck-It Ralph, looks so cute-and a novel idea. I also think younger boys would love the movie-as it features many video game characters.

Now, you can meet some of the characters at Disney World!

They are located directly next to the Animation Academy in Hollywood Studios-which, by the way, is one of my favorite things to do at Disney...and is free! You have to make at least one stop at the Animation Academy. It's where Disney Animators will teach you how to draw some of the characters, and you get to take home your drawing! You'll be surprised at what you can do, with a little guidance.

Back to Ralph-you can get pictures and autographs with characters from the Wreck-It Ralph movie there. Check out the video below- I would like to see Ralph try and sign an autograph with those clubs.

As always, this is a limited time deal-once the popularity of the movie goes, so will the characters. If your children like it (or you), what a great excuse to book a trip!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Disney Trip Advice and Tips

A little over a week, I had a Disney gift card giveaway on my Facebook page. If you haven't liked my page-I'm going to give one away again soon, so go ahead and like it!

To qualify for the the free Disney gift card, I simply asked my followers to share their favorite Disney travel tip. I was amazed at the responses!

I have complied some really useful Disney tips that were posted, along with some of my thoughts. Click for some great Disney travel advice!

Monday, November 5, 2012

How to tell your kids you're going to Disney! Part 2

I blogged some earlier ideas on how to surprise your kids with a trip to Disney in July, which you can find here- if you missed it, there's some really fun ideas there.

Now that the holidays are approaching- and what better gift could you give than a trip to Disney (which I have many clients already doing)! I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to hold the secret in... but it would be so exciting!

Just a quick blurb to point out how great this works- all it takes is $200 down for a deposit for a trip, and then you have until 45 days before your trip to pay it off...so you give a great present, plan a vacation with me for free, and you can just make payments whenever you want until your trip that could be in March, July, September, anytime- and you could have a little extra money, because all it takes is $200 to reserve the room!

Anyway, back to the post- if you are surprising your kids, wife, husband, grandparents, neighbor, dog, or anyone else in the world-now is a great time to surprise them.

I'm going to share with you a couple of ideas- and I can't help but just imagine the look on my kids face if I were to pull one of this off. My only problem is that my kids are beginning to learn that we go to Disney nearly every year... makes it a bit tough to surprise them!

This one is one of my all time favorites.

First, the idea. You can buy fortune cookies online, and put in your own custom message. You could put the entire message in one fortune cookie or break up the message in multiple fortune cookies, saying "You're going to Disney!"

Custom Fortune Cookies is one place (of many) that you can order online. They also make giant fortune cookies- you could wrap up the fortune cookie, or just bring it in for dinner.

Want to see it in action? Check out this video. Imagine your kids doing it!





I love the look on their faces-it certainly tugs on my heart! Seriously, $200 gets it started.

Want more ideas? Click for more!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Be Brave! My very own real life Merida and one of Merida's brothers

I hope everyone had a safe, fun, and enjoyable Halloween.

I knew the instant I saw the characters from the movie "Brave" my plan for Halloween. Seriously- I think Harris, Hubert, and Hamish were modeled after my son.

And of course, my daughter absolutely loved the movie, and Merida. She certainly has the fiery personality Merida has.... and Kyber, our son, is 100% as ornery as her brothers. He has to be the most mischievous boy ever... just this morning, he ripped off his diaper and I felt a nice shower on my feet at the same time.... followed by a 10 second giggle from him.







Her hair was so funny-it was like a live animal bouncing around!

Show off your own children on my Facebook page- where I just gave away a Disney gift card and will be doing again soon! So if you haven't "liked" my page yet, do it now...share a photo, or check out some others hopefully!

Also- you can find Disney's Merida at/around the new Fantasyland area in Magic Kingdom. You can find my son there in February..although he can't sign autographs yet, we are still working on potty training (especially after my experience this morning!).

Disney will also be releasing Brave on DVD Tuesday, November 13. If you missed it in theaters- it's a wonderful movie, be sure to check it out!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Disney Cruises affected by Hurricane Sandy

First- if you are in the area affected by this massive storm, I hope and wish nothing but the safest thoughts upon you and your family.

Second, Hurricane Sandy has obviously had some effects on the Disney Cruise lines- specifically those who boarded in the past couple of days, and had to deal with some unexpected weather. I could only imagine... that's one unfortunate gamble that affects all cruise lines, the weather.

Apparently the Disney Fantasy experienced a little bit of Sandy-it's been reported from passengers onboard that there were broken windows and some other damage.


I found this article- it details some of the damage, and provides more pictures.

Also, here's a link to a CNNi report from a passenger onboard, complete with video. Sounds a bit scary, but they also wrote of how well the captain and crew managed the ship.



Disney recently came out with this statement:


Disney Cruise Line® appreciates your patience and understanding with the unexpected weather delays and inconvenience created by Hurricane Sandy.

As a gesture of sincere goodwill, Disney Cruise Line is extending an offer to Guests who debarked the Disney Dream on Oct. 28 and the Disney Fantasy on Oct. 27, 2012.

For Guests debarking the Disney Fantasy on Oct. 27 - A letter was provided to Guests offering a 25% discount for a future 3-, 4-, 5- or 7-night Disney Cruise Line reservation, or a future stay at the Walt Disney World Resort (up to 7-nights in length), commencing prior to Dec. 1, 2014.
For Guests debarking the Disney Dream on Oct. 28 - A letter was provided to Guests offering a 25% discount off of a future 3-night Disney Cruise Line vacation that commences prior to Dec. 1, 2014.

Please note: This offer is non-transferable, valid for only those Guests who cruised on this voyage, and excludes holiday sailings. 

So, if you were one of those guests, and would like to claim in this offer, please contact me at disneytripexpert@gmail.com and I can certainly help make these arrangements. All I would need is your reservation number.

Safe travels to all!

Pumpkins and the scariest Gingerbread House you'll find!

My family decided to carve pumpkins Friday night- it was really such a tough decision for me to pick out a design for one of our pumpkins-


Of course, that's about as fancy as we get!

However, if you are ever so lucky to visit Disney during October, they do some really awesome for Halloween (much of which I have covered in previous blog posts).

You'll be amazed at some of these pumpkins they carve.

You'll also find a "Haunted" Gingerbread House... it's so awesome. Really, if you can go to Disney during a holiday, the decorations and themes are out of this world.

Here's a preview at some of the treats you'd be in for-

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Never lose your Disney theme park ticket again!

Color television, indoor plumbing, sliced bread.... many breakthroughs in technology are not a new item, but just an improvement on one.

Well, Disney may have an improvement on the way when it comes to their park tickets.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks

Disney is going to make every week a little magical in 2013-they have special events planned for each week-and once a new event happens, the old one is gone. That's 52 weeks of magic!

Special food, merchandise, characters, fireworks-it's all coming in 2013!



Every vacation will be a little extra special. I love this promotion. It will certainly make your trip unique, and a fun surprise.

The only problem is that I know I am going to be crazy and jealous over some of these... I'll want them to happen during my trip!

Check out what Disney has already released as a preview-

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The next big Disney star

I ran across an interesting article recently-"How Videogames Are Changing Disney."

The popularity of "Where's My Water?" App has lead to all kinds of merchandise for the Swampy character, the poor alligator who just wants to take a shower. Phone cases, pins, stuffed plushes.



Another popular game- Epic Mickey-is getting ready to release it's follow up, Epic Mickey Two. This game is where Disney re-released Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the world. And soon, you'll find an Oswald's Tires merchandise storefront in Disneyland.

While Oswald is a special case-he already has a storied history-neither of these two characters appeared in a cartoon on the Disney channel or a Pixar movie....both have found themselves wildly popular on iPhones, an Xbox, or your computer. This is certainly a new route.

And if you think about it, it does make sense. Do your kids play these games? Do you own a video game console? It's simply another outlet to reach more people, and yet another reason to visit Disney. They have a stable of characters, and if you are one of the thousands and thousands of people who have downloaded "Where's My Water" for 99 cents, then you might be inclined to purchase the product as well.

I just found this interesting, that Disney is making this extension. This is even talk in the article I mentioned of having Swampy in the water parks at Disney World.

It got me thinking.... could you imagine a video game theme park? There are so many characters, lands, and themes. Video games sell just as much as movies, if not more, and often characters appear in sequels, so they are well developed. How many people would go to a World of War Craft, Call of Duty, or Halo area? Could you imagine a Mario and Luigi walking around, and then you visit Bowser's Castle? Maybe one day....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dancing Mickey accident

Check out the video below, from the Chef Mickey's restaurant at Disney World. Kind of funny, but also a reminder to  stay in the characters sight- I imagine their vision might be a little impaired!

Update on Fantasyland

(Image source: Bay News 9)


Well, if you are not going to Disney anytime soon, my news updates might seem a little redundant. Rides opening and closing. However, if you ARE going soon, then you may be in for a bit of luck!

Last Friday, Disney World let some people in for parts of the new Fantasyland expansion, in preparation for the soft opening on November 19.

What's the big deal? Well, you are certainly would be one of the first people to visit this soon-to-be-packed space....and, ride times will be a fraction of what it will be soon. The only part not open is the "Be Our Guest" restaurant.

Reviews have been glowing of the new addition-this will be another notch in Disney's belt. I know I can't wait to see it on my next trip.

There are no guarantees that this will remain open if your trip is scheduled between now and November 19th, but there is certainly the possibility!

For more photos of the area, click here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

See ya real soon Splash Mountain...Closed for refurbishment dates

Yesterday, I happily posted the dates for Test Track to reopen, along with Fantasyland.

Unfortunately I also have to post today about when Splash Mountain will be closed-again, they do this just before my own vacation! Come on Disney!

However, this is how Disney stays on top. They are constantly updating, painting, improving, and working on their rides. It comes at a cost-like people not being able to visit iconic rides-but it keeps the ride iconic and not run down. While sad, it is a necessary evil.

Anyway, here are the dates that Splash Mountain at Disney World will be closed....Also, how it could affect other rides!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Test Track Reopening and Changes Announced!



Disney recently announced the date Test Track will finally be reopening at Epcot!

Disney World reopened Big Thunder Mountain Railroad this past summer, after being closed for some updating, on the day we LEFT! Talk about bad timing...so close, yet so far away! And on our next trip in early 2013, our favorite restaurant, California Grill, is closing for renovation, the day BEFORE we get there! Seriously, what did I do to upset the Disney people?!!!

Anyway, back to the reason was Test Track was closed.....

From the Disney Parks site-

"When Test Track reopens, this reengineered attraction will allow guests to experience the fun world of automotive design firsthand. Guests will first enter a Design Studio and make a series of selections (as an individual or a group) to create their ideal virtual custom concept vehicle. They then board a six-passenger SimCar for a test drive to see how their own design compares to the attraction’s SimCar in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

And it sounds like the post-show will be just as much fun. Here, guests can see how well their car performed, and race it over changing terrains and extreme conditions on a digital driving table. Guests can also produce and star in a TV commercial for their custom cars, explore a Chevrolet showroom that will feature the latest models, and more."

Looks like a fun futuristic ride. I loved it before, but it looks like each ride could be a unique experience.

Check out the date it opens-and see why it might be an extra popular day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Presidential Race-Disney style!

Well, it is election time.



Unfortunately, it also means ABC will be showing the Presidential Debate instead of Modern Family tonight-don't get me wrong, politics are important, and I feel so fortunate that I can actually complain about this, compared to other countries. It's just that Phil, Gloria, Cameron and the rest of the cast are so hilarious and the show always makes me laugh! Oh well, next week!

Anyway, if politics is your thing- both Disneyland and Disney World can provide a fix. These attractions are amazing, and also offer a nice break from walking (and air!).

Many people skip these attractions on their visit- everyone is going to to Disney to ride Space Mountain or Tower of Terror. But attractions are certainly worth a visit.

You'll be glad you stopped-the shows are awesome. They tell the story of America-and in a very cool way. These are some of the best animatronics you'll find anywhere! Check out some footage...you'll be feeling so patriotic when you leave!



Monday, October 1, 2012

Looking for discounted Disney shopping?

Everyone loves a bargain.

Shopping online is one of the best places to find a bargain- there are all kinds of websites like woot.com that offer a limited supply of merchandise for a discounted price, and once they are gone, they are gone for good! Typically, there's a new deal each day-sometimes this leads to the old Home Shopping Network problem-it looks so great, it's so cheap, how can I turn a great deal down? And then when you finally get it in the mail, you have no idea why you bought it.

Speaking of the HSN, here's one of my favorite Youtube videos, just because...worth a laugh!


Anyway, back to Disney. 

Disney has jumped on the bandwagon. They have started their own exclusive discounted website- from park merchandise, stuffed toys, clothing... you name it, I'm sure it will eventually be on there. 

You can find that website at...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Disney FAQ: What is the Park Hopper option on a Disney theme park ticket?

One of the most asked questions I receive are about Disney theme park tickets.

There are so many options- you can just base theme park tickets, Park Hopper tickets, tickets that allow you to go to the water parks, tickets that don't expire... of course, for all of these perks you will have to pay for them.

Let's take a look at one of those Disney park ticket options- the Park Hopper.

This is one of the most used, and can be very beneficial for you.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Create your very own Disney Playroom-Check out my Finding Nemo Playroom!


Last year, we decided to finish our basement. Our basement was unfinished- we were adding a mancave, bathroom, and for our kids, a playroom. I was most excited about the playroom- our living room was turning into a minefield of toys. I was always two steps away from an ER visit.

We created our very own Finding Nemo playroom! When I began my free Disney trip planning career, our local newspaper, the St. Joseph News-Press, came to my house and did an article. The playroom was the perfect backdrop for the picture!

(photo from the St. Joseph News-Press)


How did we decide our theme? Really, there are countless options-there are Mickey Mouse rooms, Cars, Disney Princess... and how did we make it?

Check out the link-anyone can do it! This could be a great way to get ready for the new Disney Art of Animation Resort (where they have Cars, Finding Nemo, the Little Mermaid, and Lion King rooms), or maybe it's a way to bring the hotel home with you AFTER the trip!

 Also, our very own Disney parks touch in the playroom!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Do it yourself-Create Disney Halloween Decorations!

I love holidays. I love Disney. You'd be shocked to discover that I have many festive Disney decorations around my house, but yes, it's true.

One of my favorite thing to do is to make my own Disney decorations. No one said creating your own Disney decorations is easy- but it is cheaper, and means so much more!

Also, I'm not the craftiest person. Don't you just wish crafty skills were just genetic for women? Much like I wish handyman skills were genetic for men....my husband spent over an hour trying to put up a toilet paper holder in our bathroom last night (we've had the holder for over a year)......but hey, as long as we have patience, and don't give up, we can all get there one way or another! (For my husband, I would say he could get there, one hole in the wall or another!)

Anyway, now that I have small kids, I especially love taking on these craft projects. They get involved, have fun, and I know I will cherish these decorations forever. Win, win win!

Here's a picture of our end project- we made our own Mickey Mouse bat Halloween decoration!



Continue reading- I'll show you how easy and fun it was to make this!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Final look at Disney Baby Gifts

Let's conclude this week with looking at some of the new toys Disney has only just recently come out with.

Again, I ask myself-why didn't these come out sooner?

It just seems like a no brainer.... when you think of your childhood, that is more than likely the time you fell in love with everything Disney. And imagine if you just had a child- you're going to want to do the same. Which means gobbling up all those Disney toys, so you can allow for your child to fall in love too!

And really-all these items I've posted this week make such great gift ideas. They are all new, so you won't be able to pick them up at garage sales (unless maybe their child is a huge Universal fan and just refused to play with them).

Here's a quick preview-




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Disney Baby fever!

I posted Monday about some great baby shower gift ideas- and I decided, what the heck, let's continue that theme. I've been browsing through some of the new Disney baby items, and it's giving me baby fever!

I always get that "Why didn't they have that when I was having a kid (or was a kid)!" And now I'm even more frustrated- my son is only one, and now they are releasing some of the cutest gifts ever.... why couldn't they have done this a year ago!!!! Ok, I'm settled down now.

First, I found this awesome crib collection. Here's a couple of their offerings. I was always disappointed that I could never find Disney baby bedding for our crib. Below are a couple of gender specific options- they also have Lion King bedding, if you want to keep your little tiny baby a surprise.

You'll notice the mobile, personalized quilt, sheets, receiving blankets, lamp... I love it!

You can buy these items individually, or as a set for $190.

However, I think my favorite Disney baby gift would be these.....

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Perfect Disney Baby shower gift!

If you are like me, I'm always looking for the perfect gift to get my friends and families.

One thing that is always hard for me- finding the perfect baby shower gift.

Sometimes I don't know the people all that well, don't want to add on to the mountains of clothes they will be getting.... seriously, what am I to do?!

Well, I ran across some very cute gift options today-also, it's under $20! I'm sure you won't have to worry about anyone else bringing this to the party!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Pros and Cons of Staying at Each Walt Disney World Resort





Here is an UPDATED list of pros and cons of staying at all Walt Disney World Resorts

Here are the benefits of staying in each Resort section:
NOTE:  All resorts have great theme pools & Bus transportation to all 4 theme parks, 2 water parks as well as Downtown Disney
Value Resorts - Size of a Days Inn with outside entrances to rooms
Pop Century
PRO - Centrally Located in the WDW, LARGE quick service food court.
CON - Larger Resort (Better to be in a preferred room) (only 2 double beds or 1 king)
All Star
PRO - Smaller resorts, Any Room is fine (Music resort has a suite accommodation to sleep 6)
CON - Distance to Magic Kingdom can be 30 minutes by bus (only 2 double beds or 1 king)
Art of Animation (Little Mermaid Rooms Only)
PRO - Centrally Located in the WDW, LARGE quick service food court. 
CON - Larger Resort (only 2 double beds or 1 king)   Little Mermaid is the ONLY area that sleeps 4 and is considered a value resort room.  No pool in the Little Mermaid area.
Unsure yet if this resort will be sharing a bus with the Pop Century during slow season.
Moderate -Resorts  Size of a Holiday Inn with outside entrances to rooms
Coronado Springs
PRO -2 Queen Beds (King Bed upgrade available), Table Service Restaurant & Largest Quick Service restaurant 
CON - HUGE Resort, Transportation Issues (MUST be in a preferred room location)  Convention resort with conventioneers that crowd the food courts at breakfast & lunch.  Can be a 25 minute bus ride to the Magic Kingdom
Port Orleans Riverside

PRO -2 Queen Beds (King Bed upgrade available)Alligator Bayou Side can accommodate 5. (extra bed is sized for a child),Centrally located in WDW, BOAT transportation to the Downtown Disney Area, Table Service Restaurant & a LARGE quick service Food Court with Pizzeria, Royal Guest Themed Rooms (After Princess & the Frog) are here for upgrade. (NOTE: Royal themed rooms are not equipped with the extra bed. They can only accommodate 4)

CON - BIGGER Resort, Preferred room suggested
Port Orleans French Quarter
PRO -2 Queen Beds (King Bed upgrade available)Centrally located in WDW, BOAT transportation to the Downtown Disney Area, SMALL resort, so any room is great. CON - No on-site table restaurant, very small counter service, have to walk to Riverside to experience many of the resort features,
Caribbean Beach
PRO - Great Quick Service Restaurant, Pirate themed rooms are here for upgrade.
CON - BEDS only 2 double beds (King upgrade available), HUGE Resort, Transportation Issues (MUST be in a preferred room), Pirate Themed rooms are far away from main buildings,  The Pirate themed beds have a foot board that makes it very difficult for someone over 6 foot to sleep in the beds.
Deluxe Resorts Size of a Holiday Inn with a Holidome or a Marriott (indoor corridors)
Animal Kingdom Lodge
PRO - Great restaurants, 5 minutes to Animal Kingdom, safari at your doorsteps, kids activities, Fitness & Children's Clubs
CON - 30 minutes to Magic Kingdom, all bus transportation
Wilderness Lodge
PRO - 5 minutes to Magic Kingdom, BOAT access to MK, fantastic pool area, access to Ft Wilderness Activities & Walkways, Fitness & Children's Clubs
CON - 30 minutes to AK

Deluxe Resorts - Size of a Marriott/Westin Resort
The Boardwalk, Beach or Yacht Club Resorts
PRO - 5 minute WALK into Epcot, 10 minute BOAT into Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk nighttime activities, Excellent Restaurant access, Fantastic kid crafts & activities, 15 minutes BUS to MK & AK, Fitness & Children's Clubs
CON - Not really one!
The Polynesian, Contemporary & Grand Floridian Resorts
PRO - 5 minute Monorail to MK, 20 minute Monorail to Epcot, BOAT to MK, incredible Restaurant access, Fantastic kid crafts & activities, spa access, Fitness & Children's Clubs
CON - 30 minute BUS to AK
Moderate Villa - Size of a small condo/trailer
All Star Family Suites
PRO -  Fridge, Microwave & sink in a galley kitchen, 2 bathrooms, double bed & bunks in separate bedroom & couch & chair convert to two single beds in living room.
CON - 30 minutes to Magic Kingdom, in slow season transportation is very slow, no onsite restaurants.  Exterior entrance to rooms.

Art of Animation

PRO - Centrally Located in the WDW, LARGE quick service food court.  Interior corridors & entrances!  Themed Suites (Sleep 6) offering guests to sleep in the movies!  Main pool is in Finding Nemo.  Lion King & Cars have quiet pools.  These suites each sleep six guests and have a kitchenette, 2 bathrooms, a master bedroom and 3 separate sleeping areas.  One new feature at this resort is the "Inovabed" - a table that converts to a bed in seconds. 
CON - Larger Resort   Unsure yet if this resort will be sharing a bus with the Pop Century during slow season.


Ft Wilderness Cabin's
PRO - Full Kitchen, Separate living area, BOAT to MK, sleeps 6, Camping community is wonderful!, great outdoor activities within the campground.
CON - 30 minutes to AK, Bus transportation is slow getting out of Ft Wilderness,
(Sleeping: 1 double, 1 bunk bed & 1 murphy bed double size)

Deluxe Villa Resorts - Size of a Condo (Single room Suite has a fridge & Microwave.  1, 2 & 3 bedroom Villa's have Washer/Dryer, Full Kitchen w/ Granite etc, Separate Living area NICE & Beautiful amenities.  The Villa Check in areas have family living areas with games/activities.)



Animal Kingdom Villas 
PRO - 1st class accommodations with view of the Animal Safari 5 minutes to AK, safari at your doorsteps, kids activities, Fitness & Children's Clubs

CON - 30 minutes from the Magic Kingdom not as many restaurants REALLY close.  ALL bus transportation

Bay Lake Contemporary Towers 
PRO - 1st class accommodations 5 minute Monorail to MK, 20 minute Monorail to Epcot, BOAT to MK, incredible Restaurant access, Fantastic kid crafts & activities, spa access, Fitness & Children's Clubs
CON - ummmm not a single one!
Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Inn & Villas
PRO - 1st class accommodations, 5 minute WALK into Epcot, 10 minute BOAT into Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk nighttime activities, Excellent Restaurant access, Fantastic kid crafts & activities, 15 minutes BUS to MK & AK, Fitness & Children's Clubs
CON - ummmmmm not a single one!

Saratoga Springs & Old Key West  (MODERATE - DELUXE)

PRO - BOAT to Downtown Disney, Wonderful restaurant access, Spa & Fitness,  
CON - BUS transportation is a bit of a hassle from the Saratoga simply because the resort is HUGE.

This list was written by Melissa Slamb, owner of Magical Vacations.