Monday, December 5, 2016

Amazing Gingerbread Structures at Walt Disney World

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing Christmas must dos at Disney.



Gingerbread.

Ginger. Flour. Cinnamon. Nutmeg.

Seems simple enough, right? However, when Disney gets involved, we go from simple to elaborate and magical.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Resort Review: Grand Floridian Villas

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our reviews of the deluxe villa resorts at Walt Disney World.

Grand Floridian Villas (Photo via WDWNews.com)

There's a feeling I get in my stomach the first time I enter the lobby of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa each trip...it's joy and splendor.

When I heard that Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was adding a new building just with Disney Deluxe Villas, I was skeptical that I could get the same feeling as the main resort. However, as soon as I walked into the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, I felt the same butterflies.

Location, Location, Location

Located just a short two minute walk away from Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Main lobby, the villas have a small, intimate and exclusive feeling. It is beautiful, classy and calming, and boasts all of the amenities that you expect from deluxe level resorts.

After the short walk to the lobby, you can hop on the monorail for one stop to the Magic Kingdom. Stay on the resort monorail for a few extra stops to transfer to the Epcot monorail. This is, by far, the best feature of the resort. Additionally, you can walk to Disney's Polynesian Resort, the Disney Wedding Pavilion, and the bus stop to the other parks. 

Lobby

Grand Floridan Villas Lobby (Photo via WDWNews.com)
The lobby is gorgeous, and every time I arrived it served as a calming presence. The resort has its own front desk with big plush chairs. It looks like a place to have a chat with a friend rather than your traditional "front desk" setup.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by water with cucumber and water. Also located in the lobby were Nespresso espresso machines, which we visited about three times per day. Yes, I know that no normal human being should consume that much espresso, but alas, we are New Yorkers. 

It seemed like we were always the only guests at the resort and always had personal service. 

You can't avoid smiling when you see the beautiful penguin statue and all of the nods to Mary Poppins, one of my favorite movies.

Rooms

The villas are brand new and beautifully appointed, with Victorian styling and classic features. There are three types of rooms available:
  • Deluxe Studios (Sleeps up to five guests)
  • One-Bedroom Villa (Sleeps up to five guests)
  • Two-Bedroom Villa (Sleeps up to nine guests)
  • Grand Villa (Sleeps up to 12 guests)
Disney's Grand Floridian Villas kitchen and living room (Photo Courtesy of WDWNews.com)

The kitchen features white marble and there are wood floors throughout. Underneath the television in the living room is a pull down trundle bed, perfect for any kid.

My only gripe about the rooms at the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is that the two-bedroom villas only have two bathrooms, not three, like similarly-sized resorts at Kidani Village and Bay Lake Tower. This was frustrating for the guests in our room staying on the pull out in the living room, as they had to disturb guests in one of the two bedrooms to use the bathroom and take a shower.

Our views were spectacular. Every night we had the ability to see the fireworks and the Disney fans in our party loved looking at the monorail zoom by.


View from our Villa at the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo by Thomas Mottola)

Bottom Line

If you want a resort that is in the perfect location, is formal and classy, has all the bells and whistles of a deluxe resort, has six unique dining locations, has numerous recreation and spa activities...then you should look no further than the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. 



For more Walt Disney World deluxe villa resort reviews, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

My Disney Family Tradition - Watching the Christmas Parade

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are discussing our Disney family traditions.

Photo Courtesy of WDWNews.com










I don't know about you, but I need a little Christmas right this VERY minute. I know a lot of people feel anxiety and frustration around the holidays, but it puts me at peace. And I very much need peace right now.

My family has a lot of traditions, but one of my favorite holiday traditions is watching the Disney Parks Christmas Special on Christmas morning.

In terms of importance, Christmas Eve is paramount in an Italian family. My family does the traditional seven fishes Christmas Eve dinner, and we typically do a midnight mass or other celebration. (Although midnight mass is not possible with a two year old)

By Christmas morning, most of the pressure is off and we usually spend a quiet day with my extended family. Because my brother and I have our own homes and own families now, we typically tape the parade, join my parents later in the morning, and watch it together as we drink coffee and open presents.

Watching the Parade Together: The next best thing from actually being there
Here's information regarding this year's production via Disney:



CHRISTMAS – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25
 “The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” will air on the ABC Television Network (9:00–11:00 a.m. EST; airtimes vary, check listings) and on the ABC and Disney Channel apps.

This Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates the joy of the holiday season, as hosts Julianne and Derek Hough take viewers on a magical ride down Main Street and beyond. The Christmas Day celebration will be bigger and brighter than ever before, bringing together the beloved Christmas day parade, magical musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heart-warming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Musical performances include: Solo and duet performances by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.” Kelly Clarkson performing “Underneath the Tree.” Sofia Carson performs “Silent Night,” featuring an alternate musical arrangement from her performance on Disney Channel, and also hosts from backstage. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire)” performed by Jordan Fisher, who will also make his Broadway debut in “Hamilton” on November 22. Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

Will you be watching with your family on Christmas morning? What is your family's Christmas morning tradition? Share in the comments below.



For more Disney family traditions, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Son Will Learn

Today.

Today I woke up. Showered. Said goodbye to my son. Had a cup of coffee. Went to work.

Life goes on.

Today I vow to continue to teach my son.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Resort Review: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our reviews of the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.

Unique. Relaxing. Stunning. Engaging. Peaceful.

If you are looking for a resort that has all of the above, I propose Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge offers an unforgettable experience and transports you away from the Disney hustle and bustle, away from Florida and even away from the United States.

A Deluxe Level resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge has two separate but wonderful parts: Jambo House and Kidani Village. Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club property comprised of Deluxe Resort Villas of various sizes. While Jambo House does have several villas and DVC options, Kidani is dedicated for that purpose.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Navigating My Disney Experience

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some of our favorite Disney apps.

We have an app for everything we do, from calculating tips, to navigating roads and keeping track of calories consumed. Naturally, Walt Disney World Resort has an app to manage your vacation from top to bottom.

Downloading the My Disney Experience app is one of the first actions Disney tells you to do upon booking your vacation. Why? Because you can truly direct your entire vacation, from booking FastPasses to viewing show times, and even to view attraction wait times from the palm of your hand.