Friday, March 30, 2012

Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams

If you’re anything like me, something comes over you when you are walking down Main Street USA. You wonder if there is anything that tops the feeling you get when you catch your first glimpse of Cinderella Castle. I’ve always thought that was it. That was what it felt like to have “Disney goosebumps”. That was…until I first saw Disney’s Wishes fireworks show.
The biggest fireworks show ever to take place at the Magic Kingdom, it takes place in front of Cinderella Castle most nights of the week. It’s a blend of fireworks, music and special effects all with the Castle at center stage. The Blue Fairy begins the show by reminding us how powerful wishes can be. This works into the show’s theme song, a musical version of the “Starlight, Starbright”…sung by a child (more goosebumps).
Jiminy Cricket has never believed in wishes, but that has changed. He goes on tell you that if you believe in wishes, magical things can happen. As you are thinking this over, you will literally see Tinkerbell fly overhead from the very top of the Castle. Process that. A waving Tinkerbell will fly through the air, right over you. Right then and there, you will be inspired to wish for something, anything, no matter how big or small. I guarantee it.

Various Disney characters (such as Cinderella, Pinocchio, Aladdin, Peter Pan and more) will share with you what they wish for while familiar Disney songs are heard in the background. Disney Villians try unsuccessfully to take over the show and the Blue Fairy returns in the end to encourage us to “always believe in our wishes”. As if the rest of the show didn’t tug at your heartstrings, it ends with the amazing Disney song, “When You Wish Upon a Star”. It leaves even the biggest skeptic feeling completely engulfed in the magic of Disney…and leaves softies like me sniffling into my sleeves.
This show is just one of the many things that makes a Disney Vacation so amazing. If you have been thinking about visiting, contact me for a free quote and we will get you there to experience the magic for yourself.

Monday, March 12, 2012

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival 
Spring has almost sprung, and that means only one thing at Walt Disney World—time for Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival!  Epcot is a beautiful park year round, but during the annual Flower and Garden Festival there is an explosion of color and whimsical topiaries all around. 

That’s right, there are over 100 topiaries placed around both the World Showcase and Future World.  More than 75 of those feature beloved Disney characters (Can you say photo opt?!)  A tapestry of flowers blooms, seemingly overnight, on the banks for Future World East and West Lakes.  You can stroll through an English Tea Garden, view the always intriguing Bonsai collection, or check out a variety of other unique gardens.  On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays you can even sign up for Epcot Gardens of the World, a 3-hour guided tour available for guests ages 16 or older (cost is $59.  Reservations should be made in advance).

Kids will have plenty to during this special showcase as well.  Everyone in your family will love Bambi’s Butterfly House (go in the morning as it tends to get crowded later in the day).  Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden is also making an appearance this year.  There are small play structures in various gardens, but the Backyard Play Garden is sure to be a hit with your Mouseketeers.
Epcot sets up a special Festival Center for the Flower and Garden Festival.  It is located between Ellen’s Universe of Energy and Mission: Space.  Open from 10am-5pm, this is where you will find the majority of educational/informative sessions.  Personalities from HGTV and DIY will have special presentations.  Gardening experts will be on hand to share their tips and tricks.  You can also ask the on-hand expert gardening questions or get planting pointers.  (Pick up a Festival Guide upon arrival the specific times of these presentations)  If you find yourself getting a bit hungry while learning you will find cold sandwiches, salads, snacks, tea, and wine at a CafĂ© set up especially for the Festival Center.

Probably one of the most well-known aspects of the Flower and Garden Festival are the Flower Power Concert Series, showcasing music legends from the 1960s and 1970s.  There is a varied lineup throughout the festival including Jose Feliciano, The Guess Who, Chubby Checker and the Wildcats, and more.  Concerts take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the America Gardens Theatre at 5:15pm, 6:30pm, and 7:45pm. 
The Flower and Garden Festival is one of the many things Walt Disney World does to make vacations just a little more special.  There is something for everyone!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Top 10 reasons to take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan – Amy Blades WDWTravels
If your family is anything like mine food is an important part of vacation, especially when traveling to any Disney destination. When the Disney dining plan first came about I was leery, a little hesitant. It didn’t take long to catch the dining plan bug and we will never travel without it again. Here are my top 10 reasons you can NOT travel to Walt Disney World without it…….

10 – You get a resort refillable mug you can use throughout your stay at your WDW resort
This is perfect when you are coming and going, the kids love it because they can pick their own drink and take home a souvenir.
9- Try something new…
 You get a chance to try something you wouldn’t ever try….maybe Sushi or Moroccan, how about French…you will never know until you try.

8 – Large assortment
You have so many options to choose from….Every Park and every resort and even Downtown Disney all have choices, this comes in handy with a family, everyone can choose what they like and not be limited.
7 – Snacks are included
Snacks are included in every dining plan option that Disney offers, you can use them at all times of the day, and they are perfect for between meal fillers.
6 – Reservations are easy
When staying on property your dining reservations can be made up to 180 days prior to your trip, this is essential to getting the exact meals and times you want. This is a vacation breaker in my opinion. If you don’t have reservations a head of time plan on eating very late night dinners.
5 – Kids get a choice
I have many favorites to the dining plan, but not having to tell my Children no is one of them. Kid’s menus are healthy and have many options, it fun when kids can enjoy the food on vacation as well as the adults.

4 – Meals are already paid for
With the dining plan you need not worry about the prices once you arrive, your meals will be worry free…order the most expensive thing on the menu with no guilt at all.

3 – Convenience
There is nothing like being on vacation and having whatever you want at your finger tips, that is the case with the dining plan, wherever you are you can get whatever you want…very convenient. If you are someone that likes to just do quick service meals then the dining plan is perfect, you can go at whatever pace you are comfortable. Go from morning till night with quick stops in between or take your time and still enjoy a quick serve but on your time. If you choose a dining plan with sit down options you get to choose your time and how your day will be broke down, it’s  perfect.
2 – Characters are included
My favorite part of the dining plan is that character meals are included, many of my clients would never have the opportunity to have a character meal without doing the dining plan. It definitely saves money and gives the ultimate Disney experience.

1 – Price
There is a real saving when using the Disney dining plan, my family if 5 went to Disney this past May for a full week and I saved my receipts to see the actual savings, it was over $685.00. The plan definitely pays for itself. You can dine in whatever way is most comfortable to you and get the best bang for your buck.
The 2012 dining plan is as follows – The plan is based on the nights you are staying, so if you are staying 3 nights 4 days you would have 6 quick serves and 3 snacks included in your stay.
Quick Serve Option
2 Quick serve meals, 1 snack, and a resort refillable mug
Regular Dining Option
1 Table service including dessert with your meal, 1 quick service, 1 snack and 1 resort refillable mug per person
Deluxe Dining Option
3 meals sit down or quick serve, your meal includes an appetizer as well as dessert, 2 snacks and a resort refillable mug
Whichever plan you choose you can’t go wrong…….
Have fun choosing!!