Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 4 in Disney, uh, Universal! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As you may have read in my earlier blog post (Cheating on Disney) I had been struggling with the decision of whether or not to go to Universal Studios. However thanks to my brother's wonderful girlfriend, we were able to get in for free! And as much as I love Disney, I had to see the world of Harry Potter for myself.

Monday we departed Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for Universal's Islands of Adventure. We were a little concerned with the weather because the forecast called for rain after 3pm. However, we decided that as long as we get in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter we would be happy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

That is A LOT of Gingerbread!

At the Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 3 in Disney! The Keys to the Kingdom

When you go to Disney World as much as we do, there are very few experiences that are "new" to us. Every once in a while, Disney comes out with a new attraction and it's a big deal. But for the most part, we are doing the same fun things we did 10 years ago.

However, today we had a completely new experience that made us look closer at the place we thought we new so well. My husband and I with brother and his girlfriend gave my parents (and ourselves) a Key to the Kingdom for Mother's Day and Father's Day - A Key to the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom Keys to the Kingdom tour is a six hour guided walking tour that teaches you about the history of the park and all the little details that you would never notice that makes the guest experience better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 2 in Disney! Disney's Hollywood Studios

Sometimes it's good to go in with low expectations.

Today, I had myself convinced that we wouldn't be able to see much at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I said, "Today is a 10 on the crowd calendar, and we won't be able to manage the crowds."

However, what we found was the exact opposite. We arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios (DHS) at about 9:30am and immediately ran to the tip board. For those of you that don't know, the tip board is a location (usually towards the front of the park) displaying all the wait times for the attractions. It should be the first thing you reference upon your arrival. The tip board today told us that there was only at 20 minute wait for Tower of Terror. Because my father and husband are deathly afraid of the Tower of Terror, they offered to go get our fast passes at Toy Story Mania while we rode. This worked out perfectly!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 1 in Disney! EPCOT

If all our Disney days could go as smooth as this one, we would be very happy!

On this beautiful morning at 9:30am, we set off from our home. Destination - Newark Liberty International airport. To my surprise, the airport was empty. Mom got stopped for an additional screening which definitely got a few laughs from this crowd! First good Disney sign of the day - they opened an Earl of Sandwich at Newark!

Jingles hates vacation

The only reason why I hate leaving for vacation - this face!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ONE DAY 'TIL DISNEY - All About Eating

It's official! We leave TOMORROW for Walt Disney World! I couldn't be any more excited, especially since today is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I love to eat - and this is no secret to anyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2 Days 'Til Disney - How to See the Must-Sees

Disney Pointers, we are getting VERY close to the day we leave! I, for one, am all finished with work until we get home! And tomorrow, we will celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Things are good in the life of Roe!

Today we are going to talk about the Must See attractions at Walt Disney World. (Do not worry. I will not subject you to 7 days worth of "The  Top 7 Must Sees at Walt Disney World with Stacy." You know, the video that plays ON LOOP on Disney Resort TV the entire time you are on vacation. OK, maybe I will. See below.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

3 Days 'Til Disney - What to Bring

If someone forced me to tell them one thing I hate about a Disney Vacation (or any vacation for that matter) it would be this: PACKING. I truly hate to pack. I honestly think that it is karma's way of punishing us for being off from work for a week. And don't even get me started about coming home to have to do laundry!

The truth is, however, that packing for a Disney trip is not that difficult. Yes, you need to remember the basics. You cannot (for instance) forget your razor, your books and your camera charger for your honeymoon. (I blame that one on wedding planning) However when it comes to clothes, it's pretty straightforward.

Monday, November 21, 2011

4 Days 'Til Disney - Getting Around the World

Walt Disney World property is over 47 square miles. Think about it... Walt Disney World is bigger than Manhattan. When Walt Disney was looking into property for Walt Disney World, he wanted some place where they can expand over the years. Only 1/3 of Disney property has been developed. You can imagine what the Disney Imagineers have planned for the future!

"Here in Florida, we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland...the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine." - Walt Disney 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5 Days 'Til Disney! Cheating on Disney

Yesterday, my dear friend Leanne left this comment on my post:

  "Love it, Roe! I am shocked that you are skipping Disney for a day to go to Universal!! Do you normally do that? Can you believe I have NEVER been to Universal because I can't get myself to stay away from Disney for even one day!!"

Leanne was definitely right! I do not normally go to Universal Studios. There is terrible guilt when I cross through the gates. I feel as if I am cheating on Disney. I have a mental block when it comes to Universal. Between my College Program and my Professional Internship I lived in Central Florida for over a year... and never went to Universal once. Nada once. I have always felt that the rides at Universal were just rides and for that, I can go to Six Flags in New Jersey.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

6 Days 'Til Disney: Selecting the Right Ticket

After you select the perfect Disney Resort hotel, the next item to check off your to-do list is your park tickets.

Many Disney Vacation Club members purchase Annual Passes. However, since we are using all of our points on a two bedroom villa at Kidani Village, this will be our one trip of the year. Instead of purchasing Annual Passes, we opted for Magic Your Way tickets. Magic Your Way is the current Disney ticket system. You purchase a base ticket good for one day, in one park.

Friday, November 18, 2011

7 Days 'til WDW: Picking the Perfect Disney Hotel

Today we will be discussing one of the most important decisions you will make in your Disney vacation planning process--choosing the perfect Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

In today's discussion, I will only focus on official Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Yes, there are many options off property. However, unless someone is giving you their time share, or you are staying with family or friends, I believe that Walt Disney World Resort hotels give you the best bang for your buck. If you are a large group, however, you may want to consider a "vacation home" off property.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Single Digits

Today is Thursday.

One week from today is Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays.

The day after Thanksgiving is Friday.

Friday morning I will wake up, go to Newark Airport.

After a 2 1/2 hour flight, I will arrive in Orlando.

About a half hour after I arrive in Orlando, I will be at Walt Disney World.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Wonderful World of Disney... in the Fall - Part 2 Food and Wine Festival

Now that you know about one of my favorite Disney fall events, I present to you the second worthwhile reason to visit Disney in the fall.

Here is a hint: it combines three things I love most in this world.

Food, wine and EPCOT.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Wonderful World of Disney... In the Fall - Part 1 MNSSHP

When I was a kid, my family went to Walt Disney World once a year. We always went in the last week of August, right before Labor Day. This always was a terrific week to be in Disney World because, while it was still technically the summer, the southern kids were back in school already;  therefore, the crowds were pretty light.

However, it was HOT. And it wasn't your traditional 90-degrees-during-the-day-with-a-breeze hot. It was sweating-from-every-part-of-your-body (even at 10pm at night) and can't-breathe-from-the-humidity hot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: RIP to a Great Innovator

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Walt Disney World... and me!

Today is a magical day!

From Orlando Attractions Magazine Online

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WDW News Update: AVATARland?

Right now Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger and Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs are announcing a long-term partnership with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring AVATAR to Disney Parks.

According to the announcement on the Disney Parks blog, the first item on the agenda is an AVATAR land at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out of the Park: The Lion King 3D

Last night my husband and I, along with three of our friends took the time machine back to June 1994 and the movies to see The Lion King... at least that's what it felt like!

The Lion King was one of the many Disney animated feature hits in the 90s, and along with The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, truly shaped my love for the company.

Despite our displeasure of not being offered the cool kiddie 3D glasses, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The truth of the matter is that I have not seen the film itself in probably over 10 years. That of course does not mean that the story and music has not been a part of my life.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flashback Friday: Once Upon A Time IS NOW!

I'm very excited to present my first Flashback Friday!

My first, of many, name tags.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Out of the Park: Mary Poppins on Broadway

Between my College Program and Professional Internship, I lived in Central Florida for approximately a year. As much as I love Walt Disney World, you do have to venture outside the magical gates every once in a while, and I just couldn't get used to living in Central Florida full time. Part of the reason why I couldn't see myself living in Orlando is because I'm incredibly spoiled. I grew up in the greatest city in the world (let's hear it for New York) and nothing ever compares.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Walt Disney World on 9/11

Ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, I was attending the second day of my senior year of high school in Staten Island, NY, approximately 11 miles away from the World Trade Center. My father dropped me off at school and went home to get ready for work and head into lower Manhattan, to his office directly across from 2 World Trade on 90 West Street. My friends and I were incredibly excited about the year ahead and all the exciting events that were coming up: acceptances to college, prom in New York City, Yankees playoff games, graduation, etc. My best friend Christina and I were also planning a celebratory trip to Walt Disney World in the week following our graduation. Like most at the age of 18, we felt invincible.

Friday, September 9, 2011

WDW News Update: Tusker House Adds Character Lunch

Good news, Animal Kingdom fans!

The Dis just reported that starting December 4, Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be offering a character lunch in addition to their character breakfast. According to the report, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck are among the characters that will appear.

A Magical Journey

Do you remember your first time visiting Walt Disney World?

I don't, but I've heard enough stories from my parents to picture it in my head. My parents drove down from New York with my grandparents and took me to the Walt Disney World Resort at the age of one.

I always felt that I was destined to love Walt Disney World. In fact, I was born on October 1, exactly 13 years after the opening of the resort. As a child, I felt a strong attachment to the Place Where Magic Lives. Like a lot of lucky American families, my family made the annual pilgrimage to pay homage to the House of Mouse. I loved everything about it and truly looked forward to each August.