My personal story of Life at
Disney World. by Bruce Elliott
|I offer this blog as a guide
for those of you who wish to learn a little bit more about Disney
World in order to make it a more perfect holiday for when you travel
to the Magic Kingdom. I do not suggest that I know everything
there is, nor have I done everything available but I have been there
a time or two and I know how to make our holiday a little more fun.
You can take what information you like to help plan your trip or
just read it for simple fun. Planning for Disney is half the
fun, the rest is going there.
2013-02-02 - Nostalgia - Here is the menu
from my first visit to Victoria and Alberts. Best food that I
had ever had. The experience was wonderful..
We are heading off again!! This time
we are taking a DD's friend. She knows as much about Disney as
we do. But she has never been on the Disney Dream so all of
that will be new to her. This will be so much fun. DW
has decided that she loves the peace and quiet of the Disney Cruise
so our next three visits will involve being on the ship. We
have already made plans for March with Happy Limo in Orlando, booked
our flights, booked our two cabins on the Dream, booked our spa
times, booked our activities on Castaway Cay (hope that it is warm)
and booked a lunch at Remy. We are staying at the Beach Club
Villa's this time to be close to Epcot and they have the best pool
on the property. Dinners on board for 4 nights are going to be
enough fine dining so when we get on shore we are going to tame it
down a bit. We are learning through experience. We will
visit Fultons Crab House for the King Crab and Crab Cakes. We
are going to the La Hacienda San Angel at the Mexican Pavillion -
brand new for us. We are going to Teppan Edo because it makes
DW very happy. We are going to Columbia House in Magic Kingdom
for lunch for Shrimp and Fries for me and to Be Our Guest for Dinner
for the kids - both spots are new for us as well. This
will be a lot of fun. Check back after March for a full trip
report. Be Our Guest is the only place in
all of the Magic Kingdom that you can get beer or wine, French beer
or French wine.
For stays most nights 2/18–3/23
Book by 5/31/13.
The number of rooms allocated for
this offer is limited.
Length-of-stay requirements may
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4 Theme Parks • 2 Water
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Shopping • Dining • Recreation • Pixie
With all the magical, new things there are
to see and do throughout the entire
Walt Disney World Resort in
Florida, there's never been a better time to
visit. And with an offer like the one below,
it's easy to come and be our Guest!
Play, Stay, Dine and Save over
for a family of four on a 5-night/6-day
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ticket and Disney Dining Plan package at
select Disney Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
For stays most nights 1/2-3/7/13.
Book now through 2/18/13.
The number of rooms allocated for this offer
is limited. Savings based on the
non-discounted price for the same package
for 2 Adults, 1 Junior and 1 Child. Tickets
are for one Theme Park per day and must be
used within 14 days of first use. No group
rates or other discounts apply. Offer
excludes campsites and 3-bedroom villas, and
is not valid at
Disney's Art of Animation
Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.
Advance reservations required.
Excludes gratuities and alcohol. Children
age 3–9 must order from the children's menu,
if available. Some Table-service restaurants
may have limited or no availability at time
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Walt Disney Travel Company CST#
hotels can fill up fast...
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1-407-939-1866 or your
And when you're a Guest at a
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you get to enjoy a great array of benefits,
including complimentary transportation and
legendary Guest service! To see how moms use
these great benefits to enhance their
I had a personal visit with Marie and a giant hug!!! Notice
nobody else there!!
If you are a DVC member here is a
deal that cannot be beat. Get 20% off at 100 restaurants
around the property. Buy a Tables in Wonderland card at Guest
Services. You get a discount on food and liquor for up to 9
people in your party. You have to pay for the whole thing but
everyone gets the discount. It costs you 100.00 but is good
for 13 months. We saved a bundle. You have to remember
to take the card with you. Some places demand to see the card,
others will believe you but don't take a chance - take the card with
you to the restaurant. Tell the server up front - it does not
diminish the level of services - they just think that you are smart.
GREAT RATES FOR LOTS OF DATES
The number of rooms allocated for this offer is
limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply.
Savings based on the non-discounted price of the
same room. Additional per-adult charges may
apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney
Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. No group
rates or other discounts apply. Advance
reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom
The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at
Disney's Art of Animation Resort. If
interested in Suites, please call.
CAN FILL UP FAST!
NOW TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM AT ONE OF THESE GREAT
2012-08-19 - Wilderness Lodge Villas -
Walt Disney World Resort - Wow what a spot.
First of all we were a little hesitant because
the surroundings were going to be just like our
woods at home. When you look out the
windows of your room you are surrounded by views
of the pine forest. Too much like home I
thought. We were lucky enough to get into
the fifth floor in the DVC villas. We had
this cute little balcony with a roof that did
not leave you exposed to the rest of the people.
Our ceiling on the fifth floor was vaulted.
That gave us the feeling of so much extra room.
With the one bedroom you get a full working
kitchen. We faxed ahead and it was stocked
with breakfast and snack items. We had
breakfast in the room each morning and that
saved 75-100.00 a day. The rooms were
gorgeous and clean and very earthy colours, very
relaxing. The villas are in a separate
building that is half way to the buses so it is
very convenient. There is a quiet pool
behind the building. You can find a back
entrance to the pool beside the gym downstairs.
The quiet pool beside the Villas is wonderful
with jets in the floor of the pool. At
night it is absolutely beautiful to swim in. It is also a short cut to the beach and the
marina and the feature pool. We walked all
the way around the first time - not necessary.
My overall first impression of the resort was
wow and it kept getting better during our 3
nights there. The building is beautiful
and gives you the wow factor that Disney is so
good at. The resort looks so nice as you
arrive, the lobby is much like Animal Kingdom
Lodge but not so colourful. The view from
the pool just takes your breath away each time
you look up toward the building. The
restaurants are great. The quick serve
does a really good job. The Wispering
Pines is an all you can eat waitress served
family style meal. The meal is fantastic
and the stuff for kids is unforgettable.
Parents - ask for the ketchup or more butter and
wait to be embarrassed in a very fun way, the
kids will love it!!!! Artists Point is fine dining and the food and
service certainly reflects that. Dress for
the evening is very relaxed. Rent the
boats for the kids, must be 14, they wont forget
it. Lots to do. The buses worked
well but when necessary grab a cab. Why go
to a fancy dinner on the bus system when you
will be so much more relaxed if you arrive in a
cab. We always ask for a Taxi Van.
You may wait for a couple of minutes but you
arent jammed into a regular taxi in your good
clothes. They are always available.
Disney Dream Cruise - Try the 5 day cruise
if you are going soon as they are going to
disappear in 2013 I believe. This is the
only cruise that stops at Castaway Cay twice.
The Bahamas cruise is great. Four or five
nights in the seas hidden behind the Bahamas
Islands so the water is quite still. The
ship actually stopped in the water for a day and
a half just floating in the sun while we had
fun. The ship is beautiful, clean and
amazing. The cabins were just up by the
forward elevators with Deluxe Balcony rooms.
Cabins 6042 and 6044 are perfect. You can
ask the steward to have the divider on the
balcony folded back and you can move from side
to side on your extended balcony. The
rooms were joined and mom felt much better being
able to move from room to room to keep a handle
on everything. One bed folds out of the
ceiling and is great for anyone that wants a
bunkbed. The couch folds out to another
bed as well. The mattress on the queen bed
is fantastic and comfortable. The bed is
on a raised platform and your bags can be slid
underneath so that they are out of the way.
Ok, here is my pet peeve about cruising.
These folks that work on the cruise sacrifice
their lives at home to work at sea to be able to
for some, save for their futures and for others, to send money home. Disney has ensured that
everyone pays a fair gratuity to their people by
just adding the gratuity to your room charge
which is settled by your room bill. Ok,
that is great but that only gets rid of the
problem that some people try to stiff the staff.
Many of these people have wives and children that
they are responsible for at home and they send
their money home. One lady I met had a 9
year old at home and she had been working on the
ships for 8 years on 8 month contracts. That is dedication
to her son.
So tip them generously. At the end of the cruise
they will give you an envelope for any
additional tips that you want to give to the
room steward, the head server, the server, the
assistant server. I always put extra money
But I have a personal
habit that I have
tried in many service situations that has worked for me, I
also tip at the beginning
of the trip. I was in the restaurant
business for many years and I know that you want
to set yourself apart from all the rest of their
customers. You establish your
relationship with your people, the room steward,
the server (our friend Bruno) and the assistant server
(lovely Zsofia). These
are the people that you are depending on to make
your trip special. These are the people
who really work hard for you. They are the
life of your trip. When they know that you
truly value the work that they are about to do
for you they will make sure that your trip is as
good as they have the ability to make it. Once that you establish
that you appreciate them, they will go the extra
mile for you. It is not a big thing, it is
a matter of courtesy and respect. We are now facebook friends
with our server because he is so great.
We are also friends with his assistant server
because she made such a great impression on our
Lets speak a little bit
about the Cast Members on the Disney Dream.
When the staff step out from the inner workings
of the Ship they are stepping out into the Show
or the Stage. They are the backbone of the
Disney Experience on the ship. The Ship
itself is just metal, wood and cloth. The
Cast Members give it the heart and soul of the
experience. Lets start with our Steward.
Our cabin was spotless the entire trip. I
bought a wack of beer over the internet before leaving Grand Bend
to have cold in our room. When we got there it
was waiting all stocked with ice and water and
freezing cold. It was a beautiful site.
Only thing is I don't really drink any more.
The beer sat there the entire trip. Here
is the Disney experience - the steward repacked
the four tubs of beer every day and night with
fresh ice. Can you believe it. I was
flabergasted at the level of service. We
got to the ship after 3 days at Wilderness so I
sent my dirty clothes out to be cleaned as soon
as we got on board. I asked and paid for a
three hour turn around. Our Steward
forgot to bring up my laundry and
I had to wear a not so clean shirt to dinner.
When we got back to our cabin he was waiting at my room to accept
responsibility and apologize to me. Not
necessary I said, I appreciated him speaking to
me about it. He did the very best origami
towels ever. Here is a frog from our last
Our servers Bruno and Zsofia were an
absolute delight. Bruno had never had a
family request him by name before. He had
served us on our last cruise and we so enjoyed
his service and personality. It was such a
treat to be fetted like a king. He made
each member of our party feel that they were the
entire focus of his attention. He offered
suggestions from the heart for us to try, not
just the suggestions from the kitchen - on what
they wanted to serve the most of. He was
not completely perfect (close though -
professionally speaking), he is a bit of a scamp
which added to our enjoyment. He rushed so
fast that we thought that the chefs were waiting
just for our order.
So this time we asked
for him again. We saw him peering out from
behind a piller to see who it was that asked for
him by name and when DW spotted him and pointed
at him he bounded out with a big smile from behind his hiding
spot. He recognized us and knew that he
was going to enjoy serving us again this cruise.
We try to make his experience with us a pleasant
as we possibly can. He introduced us to his assistant Zsofia who
quickly joined in the fun. We learned
about his love for his dad, we learned about
Portugal, we learned about how the ship works,
we learned about his aims, goals and desires.
He shared himself with us and we did the same
with him. Zsofia told us about herself and
we quickly became friends. Yes, they had
to serve us, but they did not have to befriend
us. We really like these two. Bruno
offered sage words of wisdom to DS about making
sure that he choose the right path each time
temptation is offered to him. He told DS
that making the wrong decision can lead into a
terrible life of problems. How true.
The service was impecable and I know because I
served for years from behind the bar and as
restaurant manager. Bruno is a
professional server having worked in Fine Dining
restaurants in Portugal and on other cruise
lines. His favourite cruise line is Disney
where the servers are treated so well.
Disney has standards that they must uphold or
not work there. Their hiring practices
weed out personalities that will not mesh with
the "Disney Experience" and that makes your
disney holiday as good as it is. When
up in the Fine Dining Restaurant Palo I mentioned to the manager that we
were receiving the very best service possible
from our server. I said that he had
mentioned that the manager had been a server
like him and was very good at her job. I
told her that Brunos goal was to be a server in
Palo and that I highly recommended him. I
told her that we had requested Bruno due to the
quality of his service, his energy and his
personality. She said that she would keep
it in mind as she also thought highly of Bruno.
On the last night at dinner I handed the menu back to Bruno
and said bring me what you think that I would
like. I had the best meal ever, tenderloin
with Bernaise and lamb sirloin with mint sauce.
One tip about the regular restaurants - you
rotate between the three big restaurants each
night and the servers rotate with you - figure
out when you get to the table what you would
like to have to drink with your meal. The
servers will remember what you drink and have it
ready for you when you sit down - large
Tanqueray Martini on the rocks with three
olives. Also, if you like a little wine
with dinner but not the whole thing - order your
wine and they will put it aside for your next
meal. You can have another glass or finish
it at the next meal, it is really great for
people like me who like some wine but would not
finish a bottle in a meal. We
have already requested Bruno and hopefully
Zsofia for our next cruise,
no promises Disney says but they will try.
I know that Bruno is home for Christmas to see
his family and friends but he may be back by
Here is a little known secret for you - if you take a
pillow case or two down to the Guest Services
Desk at the beginning of the trip with permanent
Sharpies the staff will get all the characters
to sign the pillow case. It was so cool.
They arrived back in our room on the last day.
The child we did it for really loved it.
If you are looking to buy jewels on this trip,
go to the orientation on the first day of the
cruise. Get to know the guy doing the
presentation. It is safe to go to the
jewellry stores in Nassau because they are only
one road up from the ship docks. You can
get really good deals and if you bring the
presentation guy into the deal he can save you
hundreds more. The 3D movies on board were
a real treat. Even the 11:00 pm
showing was full. Grab a snack anywhere on
ship and take it to the movie with you.
You are not limited to just popcorn.
food in Palo was wonderful. For a 20.00
per person up charge we had brunch one day in
Palo. We found out that Remy does the same
thing the day we are at sea but it is 75.00 and
you get five courses with champagne between
courses. But the food in Palo was
wonderful and felt like little samples of the
very best available. The view was off the
back of the ship and was very nice. Disney
Dream had to return to the docks to drop off a
sick passenger so we got a very special view
during our brunch. Suffice it to say that
there was plenty to do on the Dream to entertain
everyone. Would we go again, you bet.
There is no casino on board and no drunks that I
could see. I like to gamble in Vegas and
for that reason
I would go there just for that but I don't like to
gamble on a cruise because I am with my family
for quality fun time. There is family
bingo with prizes up to $10,000 - not likely to
win that but maybe 800.00 or so. They have
these electronic wireless units that you can buy
up to 72 bingo cards on. The machine marks
the cards for you and you do nothing but look at
it and if there is a bingo it lets you know.
I really enjoy getting close to Bingo on 4 or 5
cards whether I win or lose we all have fun.
The standard cards are also available and they
are fun for the real feel of bingo, I am older
and lazier, but my kids loved the individual
I have not mentioned Castaway Cay in this post.
Bruno says that the restaurant staff get to work
on the island sometimes when they are docked.
Did I mention how hard the staff work on board
and on the island. We recognized a lot of
the servers and staff on the island and it is
like saying hi to a friend. I understand
that there is an area where the staff get to go
and relax on their time off on the island.
Good on you Disney, treat these guys well, they
are a treasure. We think that Castaway Cay
is one of the best parts of the trip. We
go there with the expectation of being in
paradise for a day and we are never
disappointed. What a spot. The water
will be cold in the winter so get ready for it
to hurt but the sand and the umbrellas and the
lounge chairs and the food make up for it.
In the summer the water is perfect.
Perfect Disney Experience again. Clean,
Animal Kingdom Lodge
- I mentioned our trouble getting into our room
on our last trip and this time we were in our
room 15 minutes after we arrived. Thank
you. The service is great. The hotel
has the most wow factor themeing on the Disney
property. The pool is really nice.
There is an area for dads where it is actually
4'11" deep. So all but your head is
covered and your legs are straight. If you
have been to Disney you know what I mean.
The fifth floor has been converted to villas.
The one bedroom villa only has one bathroom in
it due to space constraints. It is big and
works out fine. The only problem is that
the shower is also the jet tub. There is a
wide lip that you have to lift your leg over to
get into the tub. Little ones might have
trouble with that and fall. Mothers will
worry about their kids in the shower no matter
how old the kids are - but nobody fell or had
trouble. This resort has it all. The
view from your room if you are able to secure a
savanah room is unmatched. When we opened
up our drapes the first time there were three
giraffes and 6 zebra outside. They move
around from feeding place to feeding place but
most times they are visible. They can be
within 30 feet of you. I absolutely love
Fulton Crab House - people
should put their phones away when they eat out -
I dont want to hear your problems when I am
eating. You aren't the most important
person in the room no matter what you think.
Angry old man - you bet, well maybe cranky cause
he was so loud and annoying. The food here was great. Pricey but great.
Service is really good. Try the crab cakes
as an app as they were by far the best anywhere.
We all had a great meal and dessert was really
good too. This restaurant is a real treat.
We eat the King Crab legs here. They are
so fresh and sweet and cooked perfectly.
If you do not like to crack the legs yourself
they will don little plastic gloves and remove
the meat for you. It is a little
embarrasing but it saves all those little
puncture marks in your hands. Eating crab
legs is an art, it takes a long time but it is
so worth it.
Funny story: The tables
are pretty close together and two ladies sat
down beside us. I had purchased an
interesting cover for my iphone. When the
server was asking me a question and DW was
asking me a question and DD was talking to me
all at the same time I misunderstood what my DW
said next. She said, she really liked your
iphone case. What I said. She really
liked your iphone case she repeated - she said
so a couple of times. So I turned to the
lady beside me and fully explained the features
of the new case, holds credit cards, does not
demagnitize them, can drop it without damaging
it etc. My family were in hysterics
laughing at me. I was really confused, the
lady next to me was very nice and seemed really
interested. When she gave me back my phone
my family were all solid red in the face and
laughing tears were in their eyes. I
looked quizzically at them - What I demanded.
DW said, the waitress really liked your phone,
that lady next to you wasnt particularly
interested. Oh, God I said and quickly
turned to the lady beside me and explained - She
thought that I was hilarious.
Artists Point - The view is of the resort so
it has to be good. The interior of the
room is very light and airy with interesting
things on the wall and ceiling. You dont
feel restricted by darkness or low ceilings, it
is a nice room. Our server was fantastic.
The food was really good. I had the Grand
Marnier flight. It is todays GM, 50 year
old GM and 100 year old GM. You can really
tell the difference in how it mellows the longer
it is in the cask.
Teppan Edo -
Epcot Japan Pavillion - We really enjoy this
night. Tena just loves the food. It
is the show that I like. You can share a
table with fun people or people who dont like to
talk. It is a chance that you take.
We shared with the latter this time - oh well we
had fun and didnt have to say good bye when we
left. The fellow cooks on a cooking
surface level with your table top. He does
fun things with his salt and pepper shakers
which I personally think are empty, he cuts
things loudly, he throws things around, flips
food from here to there and he builds a volcano
out of onion. It is predictable and the
food is good but not enough. Oh well, I
was full about an hour later. It is a
really good show and we will return year after
year because it is the perfect food for Tena.
She loves the lightness of the cooking, the
perfection of the scallops, and the amount of
food is great for her. Fun for the entire
family. It is a great cultural experience.
I am trying to get Tena to bow like that in her
geisha costume for me, not going to happen.
Boma - Animal Kingdom Lodge - We have eaten
here regularly because it does not disappoint.
From roast beef with a tasty crust to glorious
peanut rice to seafood curry soup to die for to
little sample desserts to try many of them there
is something wonderful for everyone. Based
in African flavours yet American enough to
satisfy everyone, this is a great place to eat.
You go pick what you want and try something new.
Go visit this resort to have this dinner then go
outside and watch the animals moving around with
the night time vision glasses. This is a
resort and restaurant to visit. It gets
full so book early.
California Grill -
Top of the Contemporary Resort - This is the
closest restaurant to Magic Kingdom with the
best view of the fireworks. We book for a
7:30 dinner. You are done eating by 9 and
fireworks can be anywhere from 9:00 to 9:45
depending on the season. If you finish
early you can wait in the bar area and they dont
try to push you out. Go out on the roof of
the hotel it is very safe and listen to the
music as you watch the fireworks. It is
The food here is so varied and
wonderful that you will have trouble deciding.
I picked the Red Snapper because I have never
had red snapper before and thought that this would be the
perfect place to try something new because it
couldnt be cooked any better. I loved it.
They have suishi that is great. Their
steak was unbelieveable, DS gave me a taste of
his and wow. The kitchen is
right there and they create these masterpieces
right in front of you, it is a great way to see
how well a kitchen works, not that crap you see
on tv these days.
Cafe - Disney West Side - not a fan. My
shrimp in a garlic sauce was really good but not
a fan of the deep fried plantains, nope no
taste. The chicken thing that my wife had
lacked flavour. More deep fried plantains.
My son ordered the deep fried steak. It
was huge and hugely deep fried. Had to try
it he said and he wasn't disappointed but not a
fan. He said that it tasted like beef
covered in deep fried batter. People
around us appeared to be more or less Cuban and
seemed to be enjoying their food. Perhaps
they ordered better than we did. There was
a set up for entertainment but they never came
out. Wont go back, ever.
- Epcot - Canada Pavillion - Food was really
great - best filet ever. The reason for
going for lunch is two fold, you can get in if
you book far enough in advance. Second,
the food at lunch is smaller sized and smaller
priced. It makes the experience much
better so we booked later for lunch, 2:30 so we
used it as part of dinner. The steak is
smaller in size but not in flavour or
tenderness, it was great. The poutine was
more chedder than we expected but we really
enjoyed it. We loved the breads,
especially the pretzel stick bread. Just
ask for more. Cheddar cheese soup was so
good that later I bought a Disney Recipe book
because the soup was on the cover. The
only draw back and surprise at the same time was
that I ordered a Caesar drink to be funny and
they said sure. When they brought it we
were thrilled. I was made with that thin
Coke gun product that really sucks, they didnt
use Clamato so neither of us finished our drink.
Highly recommend this place. On the dining
plan this is a signature restaurant due to its
popularity but if you go for lunch it is only
Unfortunately we decided at
this point to stop going to fancy dinners as we
were so full of good food. We gave up
reservations at Jiko and Brown Derby Fantasmic
package. Because we called and said
that our daughter didnt feel good they let us
off paying the deposit at Brown Derby. It
rained that night anyway and Fantasmic would
have been washed out.
Let me tell you
about a hidden jewel in Downtown Disney.
For $16.00 a movie we purchased tickets to go
see a movie - as it turned out an inappropriate
movie for my 14 year old - my mom did the same
with me when I was 14 and I never forgot it -
and we got Dinner and a Movie seats. This
is really cool and will be a regular event for
us. For $100.00 for dinner for four we had
a blast. They take your liquor order first
and it arrives when you are reading over your
menu in the most comfortable seats imaginable.
You sit in front of a long table that is four
seats wide. You order your dinner from a
menu that is presented to you by your waitress.
When it is ready during the movie they deliver
your hot food to you. The food was great
quality and huge amounts. We loved doing
Ha, here is another one that I
almost forgot. I try to find something new
each year for us to do. It helps to
distinguish one trip from the other. This
time I was really looking forward to the Gospel
Brunch at the House of Blues. I have heard
from the Thomas's that it was a lot of fun.
I booked our tickets really early and we got
seats in the first table right dead in the
middle of the stage facing the stage.
Perfect seats. The food was really really
good. The omelette bar was great - the hot
meat station had ham, roast beef and turkey -
the other stuff was just delicious. But
the band - holy cow - they were great. And
to my friend the lead singer, yes I am your
friend. He kept asking me that during one
of his songs.
The music was a mixture of gospel blended
with rock and pop. Filled the stage with
people playing music, singing music, background
singers and additional lead singers and a free
motion dancer. They even let the 3 year
old come up on stage and steal the show. I
absolutely loved the experience. It could
not have been better. Pet Peeve again -
people were not tipping the staff. I dont
know if they thought that the tip was included
or if it was a buffet so there was no need to
tip or because tickets were bought through the
box office but nothing was being left for the
servers. I found our girl and slipped them
some money, but not have enough in my pocket
because in Disney there is little need for cash,
just your room card.
Happy Limo picked
us up at the airport, at the hotel, at the Ship,
at the hotel, allowed us two stops at drug
stores for supplies and never was late nor
caused any stress. Use these people
instead of the free transportation if you want a
truly stress free holiday.
Summer time at
the parks is really busy. It is better to
go there the last week before going back to
school in Canada because most kids in the US
have gone back to school. You just wont
get on all the rides that you want if you travel
there in the summer. But if you do be
prepared to get there early. Disney just
announced that they are ending extra hours which
allowed guests of the hotels to ride after
everyone else has left. So I suggest that
you get there when the parks open, go home
during the height of the visitors and return in
the evening if you want to ride more rides.
Use fast pass so that you know when you can ride
for sure. This allows you to go to the
front of the line - the line might be over an
hour. Then go get another fast pass for
later in the evening for something else you want
to ride. (Sorry Dawson, I didnt
know that there would be a Hurricane in the
area. You guys got a lot of rain for a
couple of days but I hope that it is nice now!
One advantage to being there during a Hurricane
warning is that you never ever wait for a ride.
For having fun in the rain it is the very best
time ever. Hope that you and your mom are
having a great holiday!)
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Finally got to book the Illuminations cruise!
I have been trying to do this for ten years.
Well, in honesty we were trying to book
Breathless as a cruise but this pontoon boat
will suffice. We are going to have dessert
delivered down to the boat so that we can sit
out under the France - England bridge and watch
the Epcot fireworks. We decided to have
dinner at the Yachtsman steakhouse again so that
after dinner we just have to walk out to the
pier at Yachtsman to get on the boat. We
were going to go to Bluezoo but bailed at the
last minute. Maybe next time. We
eliminated Big Creek Brewing because of all the
negative reviews. Apparently the place
smells. I assume it is because it is a
working brewery but I know that DW would not
like that sour smell. Also, I read one
review from a chef who could see into the
kitchen and they are just using things out of
bags and bottles and frozen products for their
So dinner this time is Cap
May at the Beach Club Resort, then House of
Blues for the Rib Eye Steak and Hunger Games at
the 24 theatre Cineplex, then Le Chefs de
France, then Yachtsman, then Kouzzina and on our
last day Beaches and Cream for a burger before
hitting the plane.
Here is a secret hint
on how to win at Buzz Lightyear ride. This
is only for those of you who have taken the time
to come to my blog to read about Disney.
Dont tell the kids in your family and you can
win on the ride each and every time and amaze
them!! Hey, how many times can we beat our
kids at anything electronic? Here is your
The big orange robot on the left
side. Shoot for the target
inside of his left hand.
Then hit the claw before you
leave to earn 100,000 points.
If you hit both several
times, Steve said you should
earn 500,000-600,000 points
before leaving that first room!!
In the second room:
Look for the volcano. The
target there is worth 50,000
Next, find then monster in a
box. That target is worth 50,000
In the third room:
The target on the bottom of
Zurg’s ship is worth 100,000
In the last scene,
where Zurg is animated, there is
a target near his head worth
Michael, who was our guide on
our second day, pointed out that
by turning your car around and
shooting from the reverse
angles, you can get better aim
at each of those targets, so get
Whether you want to share
these tips with your kids is up
to you. But following these
tips, someone is going to earn a
LOT of points and have a blast!
One last thing - just hold down
the trigger and get a continuous
stream of shots. Also hit
the same target over and over if
you have its range because you
will score each time. Good
We had a great time in Disney. It was the
last week in August. The crowds thinned
out a lot after the weekend due to the Americans
returning to school. Well, we dodged the
Hurricane Irene. You take a real chance of
disappointment if you go this time of year
because you are tempting fate and the
hurricanes. But it things work out you get
a holiday that is not crowded, and one that is
not as expensive, look for deals. This year
we voted and decided to go even though Irene was
supposed to land right on top of Orlando.
What could it hurt? Maybe two days of
rain. The Hurricane stayed out to sea and
really barely affected Orlando. Score.
We did have about two hours of rain almost every
day but at temps like 96-98 and real feel of 109
it was a relief.
Beach Club Resort Club Floor - When
you arrive at Beach Club the front guard at the
gate asks your name and when you arrive at the
front entrance under the canopy a bell man helps
you out of the car and another doorman will
great you with "Welcome Home Elliott Family".
A little bit of Disney Magic explained - should I
have said Spoiler Alert? Even knowing that
it still sends chills up my spine - they go to a
lot of trouble to make you feel special at
Disney. And when you enter the beautiful
lobby you are greeted by the wafting smell of
Cape Cod sage - each time my bride stops, takes
in the smell and smiles as wide as I have ever
seen. She just loves it. So when I
got home I bought her one of those machines for
our house and she still loves it each day!!
You are directed up to the Concierge Desk on the
fifth floor after being shown how to work the
elevator key lock. Only people staying on
the fifth floor can get up to the fifth floor.
You are greeted by the hosts at the desks right
by the elevators. They sit you down, direct
your family into the Harbour Club for
refreshments. They will bring you a drink
as well as your register. I really like
this!! The staff at the club room work
like little bees refilling everything for your
refreshment. They never bring out a tray
with 100 things on it, no they bring out a tray
with twenty things because the product will stay
fresher and the look of it will be more
pleasing. When I asked for an entire
bottle of Perrier for my room they were more
than happy to oblige. Anything you want
for your room it will be provided. We had
great food in there. We didn't use it all
the time but who really needs all of that food.
First thing in the morning DD and I would go
for breakfast. Hot oatmeal just cooked right,
yummy. Boiled eggs each in its own dish.
Fresh fruit and a coffee machine that would brew
you anything that you wanted immediately.
It was really cool. I found the hot
chocolate was great. In the afternoon the
hot snacks were from the great restaurants
downstairs and boy were they good and varied
over the week. Desserts at night were
good, but they seemed to be the same each night.
We really don't know cause we only visited the
desserts twice. But free liquors or beer
all evening. So nice if you wanted it.
The rooms were nice. I didn't like the
mattress and if they tell you in the advertising
that you might get a king size bed - consider
this false advertising. There are only 7
king beds on the whole floor and you ain't
getting one. We asked for one 6 months in
advance and we weren't even considered. The
water view was great, right out onto the pool
and the lake. It was really nice.
The pool at Beach Club is really fantastic.
One of the problems at Disney is there are very
few places in the pools for an adult to stand up
straight. There is usually one spot over a
drain that might get to 5 feet but most times is
is 1 meter to 1.5 meters. But in the Beach
Club they have a smallish lazy river and it is
about 8 feet deep. Adults can stand
upright and be over your head. It feels
good after a week of bent legs. There is
sand at the bottom of the main pool. There
are little waterfalls that you can stand under
and the water massages your shoulders.
They are not usually being used so it is a real
treat in that quiet part of the pool over by the
windows to the Yachtsman Steakhouse. They
have a great slide but it is a real climb to get
to the top of it. There is a wonderful and
fun whirlpool. You stand in this circular
part of the pool and the water pushes you around
it. It is neat. There is a whole
giant part that is just for little kids.
There are sand areas for kids to play and the
water is really shallow perfect for kids.
I highly recommend the
Beaches and Cream restaurant for dinner or lunch
or a snack. The steak sandwich is very
good, burgers are good, onion rings are good but
the ice cream is the best anywhere. If you
are more than four people order the Kitchen
Sink. There are 8 scoops of ice cream in a
little model of a kitchen sink. Then they
start adding all the toppings in the place.
Carmel, hot fudge, chocolate sauce, nuts,
everything, including a handful or two of
marachino cherries. To end it all off they
empty an entire can of whipped cream on top then
some oreo cookies and to top it all off they
lower the lights and bring the music up and
carry the Kitchen Sink out to the table.
They do it 5 or 6 times while you are there so
it is not a big surprise but if you could
surprise your family it would be fantastic.
Its only like 15.00 or something like that.
Dinner at Flying Fish - Once we got our food we
learned that tornados were about to hit Grand
Bend so we gulped down our dinner and left in a
hurry. The steak with the Foyot sauce was
the overwhelming choice. It was good not
fantastic like we expected. The scallops
were a much better choice. We did have
some fabulous mac and cheese, try it. The
tornados skipped over Grand Bend and everything
was ok at home. They have fish and steaks
here. They have an open hardwood bbq grill
that they use to cook your dinner. The big
signature dish is actually fish (red snapper I
think) wrapped in thinly sliced potato and it is
Palace - well, it is official, I think that I am
too old for the Crystal Palace. The food
was less entertaining, the quality less
impressive and the service staff less than
perfect. It was ok, don't get me wrong but
maybe not worth the long waits. I asked
the waitress what cut of roast it was and she went
away and upon return replied: I asked the chef
and the cut, sir, was beef. She was so
impressed with herself. Nice seeing Winnie
and Piglet but the funniest was when I asked the
kids and Eyore to look sad and they did for that
picture, then I asked them to look happy and
Eeyore lifted up his nose and sure enough the
stitching for his mouth made it look like he was
smiling. I laughed all day at that.
Yes I am an adult. They have a desert bar
with soft ice cream. They have a full
range of all the kids favourites and a good
selection of salads and hot dishes. We
were there for lunch and I though the adult
selection was not as good as before.
Probably because it was lunch. I was
looking forward to the flat steak.
House of Blues - It was by
far the best steak of the trip. It was
flavourful, a little fatty like a good rib eye
should be, soaked in a sauce that was beyond good
and perfectly cooked throughout, red and juicy. (that
sauce has been ended and it will be the last
time we go there - new chef - bad menu).
The whole meal was great and everyone picked
exactly what they wanted. Wings were
great, salad was great, corn bread was great and
maple butter. All for a measly 80.00.
We got a discount because we are DVC members,
15% off or was it 20%. Went for dessert
down to Ghiradelli's.
Via Napoli -
Good Lord don't take your wife there. The
YOUNG men are so Italian studlies. I
couldn't distract her at all with my wit or good
looks. The two of them drooled the whole
day after that. The food is great.
Get the extra cheese, fontina, on your pizza and
enjoy a little oil with your dinner. It
adds so much flavour. The crust is thick
over here and thin over there, a little
overcooked here and under cooked there.
That made it so fantastic that we all loved it.
Who wants boring perfect pizza, give me hand
made pizza any day. The salad was underwhelming.
Did I mention the boys. Geez don't let your
wife drink in there.
Teppan Edo - And here
all the girls are completely wrapped in kimonos
and more, not fair in comparison to the Via
Napoli. The table was filled with another
Canadian family so we had a great time passing
off hints and cheats for enjoying your visit to
Disney. We told stories and laughed.
The chef mixed up our order three or four times
due to language difficulties and us changing our
orders. Disney daughter ordered sirloin
which I bumped up to filet and I think that
threw them all off and things started spiralling
down. DS got shrimp, ohh the horror.
I got that changed immediately and was the
beneficiary of the mistake and got the shrimp to
go with my scallops. Don't ever let the
small stuff get under your skin. We
laughed about it, the staff fixed it and we had
a perfect night. DW said that she would go
there for dinner every night. She had been
hesitant about going but loved it and will
return there every trip. Yes, Danny
Thomas, you were right, it was so much fun and
the food was great.
Shula's Steakhouse - a
mans restaurant. The manliness oozed
from the wood wainscotting and the football
pictures on all the walls. The table was
set perfectly, the service beyond belief, the
food was great. We dressed in suit coats,
no ties and dresses for the evening and we felt
perfectly at home. The steaks were
gigantic but not seasoned on the outside.
Perhaps more flaming to carmelize or seasoning would be nice
but they were really good. We ordered 4
sides and loved the bread almost as much as the
entire dinner. The sides were
huge and went unfinished. The desserts
were gigantic and marvelous. 9" of creme
brule with a perfect crust on the sugar. A
lava cake to die for, huge and full of the most
beautiful chocolate filling. He opened the
side of it and the top of it and poured Creme
Englais in the top forcing the chocolate to flow
like lava. We loved this place.
- The food is always good there. The style
of eating is very relaxed. We might have
had our fill for a while though. Nothing
was new and we just didnt feel it that night.
Good food, first time visitors a must see.
Victoria and Alberts. I dont think that I
can discuss how wonderful this dinner was
without more time to go over the menu. Not
enough time tonight so come back later and I
will spend enough time to do it justice.
Just havent had time to get back to this but the
meal was heavenly and the service was so
impressive. We had things that we had
never had before and loved it all.
Abalone, Octopus, Buffalo. Desserts were a
hit. Update: I dont have enough time
to do it justice again today 2012-09-16 - Just
let me say that my DS was working in a so so
restaurant with a nice chef so he was confused
about loyalty and food that was ok - so I wanted
them to see what was the very best that he could
ever see so we included the two children in our
plans for the evening. DW really couldnt
care less about great food but I live for it.
My kids were 13 and 16 and had been in
great/good restaurants everywhere that we have
been. For them this was the ultimate.
We dressed up for the night. We walked
into the room and wow. I have always
remembered the giant vase in the middle of the
room because it was so magnificent. The
service while very professional is not really
friendly, buddy buddy which is just fine.
It sets the tone for evening. The
secondary waitress was much friendlier and made
us feel more comfortable. You find a menu
at your place setting that sets out the options
for your feast. Remember that most
servings are very small so you will not fill up
by having many servings. I will come back
another time to fill in what we had but suffice
it to say that when all the waiters came out in
their white gloves for the soup service my
family went crazy, albeit quietly. It was
our best food experience ever.
- I had a fun week this
week booking a winter holiday for the family and I and a brand new
set of eyes to Disney. While DM is a little afraid of cruising
due to our fun run for Port Canaveral through the side of a
hurricane last time she gave in and said yes to a 5 day cruise.
The kids went wild. Next year we will start doing cultural
things but for the time being fantasy is just fine for our family
and Disney World is the safest place I have ever been on holiday.
We are all about having fun while we are out of town. There is
enough reality in this world. The only time that I can truly
relax is when I am out of town. So we bit the bullet and
booked a five day Bahamas cruise on the brand spanking
new Disney Dream. The price is a little out of line due to the
season but timing is
everything so oh well. To make it a little more comfortable
for sleeping we
booked two inside staterooms for the four of us. The
kids are getting big. This way the DM and I both get a queen
sized bed and the DK's get to choose between the day bed or the fold
down bunk bed to make their sleeping arrangement. Or at least
that was the plan. After consulting with the family we decided
to ask a friend of DS to join us on the cruise. A reminder
that good things happen to good kids and he is a good kid, a valuable life lesson for DD,
DS and DF. He will join DS and I in the one cabin. We
picked the inside stateroom for two reasons. First we could
afford it. Second there is a virtual porthole above the queen
bed that has a digital high def live time image of what is outside
of the ship. On our last trip we only used the verandah to dry
bathing suits, it was completely wasted on us. So we opted for the virtual porthole.
There are 20 different characters that will pop into the screen
periodically through the day. At night it darkens and stops
glowing so that you can sleep. On the ship there is a large
teens area that the 3 kids will spend most of their time in.
It has x-box, rock band, movies, music, coffee bar, smoothie bar,
games, dancing, leaders etc. DS is especially excited about
the circular couches built into the wall for one. They have a
computer monitor in them which you can wirelessly hook up to movies,
xbox, keyboard, internet etc. He can get lost in this sound
room for hours. DD is a little nervous about meeting people
but there is a mixer as soon as we get on the ship where everyone
meets everyone else. If you attend this mixer you will see
friendly faces throughout your trip and that will make the adventure
better. There is a parents only area with hot tubs, pool and a
bar. A neat thing is that the bar has an area that is 6 inches
deep in water. A large area of the seated area is 6 inches
deep so that you can stay cool by standing in water while you are
having fun. We are all looking forward to the Aqua Duck.
It is a coaster type tube slide that goes all the way around the
ship. It takes you 14 feet out over the water at the start of
your ride. Too coool. We are really looking forward to
watching our DF enjoy his meals on board. He is a big eater
and he does not know yet that you can order as many dinner entres as
you like in the dining rooms. His eyes and belly are going to
burst open with the quality and quantity of the selections. We
are looking forward to seeing the Broadway quality stage shows while
on board. The theatres are beautiful and there are two shows
every night, a different show each night. One before the
second seating and one after so that everyone can watch the show.
They are really worth seeing. There is a theatre or two that
can show 3D movies. If there is a current Disney movie being
released when we are on the ship they will show
it on board as well, and for free. They have a schedule of
other Disney movies for the
entire trip so if you want popcorn and a movie to get out of the sun
it is always available and it too is huge. There is also
specialty dining for just adults. There is a French and an
Italian fine dining restaurant to choose from for adults only.
We are going to try to get into one of them. Also, there is a
spa on board that we are all going to try one thing at. I
suggest that we all get a pedicure together. I had one done on
the last cruise and I thought that I had died and gone to heaven.
It might be a bit of work to get the DF and DS to join me but if
they do they will never forget the experience.
The five day
cruise to the Bahamas really doesn't go anywhere special, it just
goes around and around hidden behind the Bahamas
ship runs to Castaway Cay the first night, then to Nassau the second
night, then a night running in circles and then back to Castaway Cay
then the last night it beats it back to Pt Canaveral. This is
a perfect holiday for our family. I truly do not believe that
you are on holiday unless you are in the water for at least 3 hours
a day. This is something that you cannot do anywhere else.
I don't have time for it at home. Look, it is Saturday today
and I am working from 6:30 am to 4:30 tonight. So I equate
water with holiday. There are not enough pools on a ship to
keep 4000 people happy so I refuse to squeeze my gigantic body into
a tiny little pool. So going to Castaway Cay is a dream come
true. There is so much to do. I am planning on renting a
cabana one day so that we can get treated like kings but the other
day we are just going to enjoy the beach chairs. What I enjoy
is snorkling for hours in the ocean looking at all the iconic relics
that Disney has put under the water. Before you know it you
have been swimming fairly hard for 3-4 hours and it is time for
lunch. It is just so much fun and I have a mask that has a
camera in it so I am looking forward to these two days. The
fresh fruit is great and the bar b que offers anything that you
could want for lunch. Ice cream machines all over the place
and everything free. The kids have so many choices including
swimming with rays, bicycling, water slides, games, parasailing,
snorkling, etc. Then the day in Nassau is dedicated to finding
out if we would like to take a holiday there. They have an
amazing water park that offers swimming with Dolphins and other
water creatures or just riding slides and rapids and coaster slides
and all kinds of fish viewing and swimming etc. We are
speaking of course of Atlantis. We almost went there but I
backed out once I read the reviews which are very mixed. We
decided to stay at Beach Club in Disney which is never a mistake.
Then we go back to Castaway Cay for a second day and it will be just
as much fun. So I get all the water time that I can stand so I
dont have to worry about the little pools on the ship, I have the
ocean to swim in.
We are going to stay at a DVC resort - I am
on the waiting list for the Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village for
the two nights before our cruise. We are going to take a two
bedroom villa and use up our points for 2011 . This will give
everyone a treat in that they will all get their own bed. If
we dont get in there Saratoga has lots of rooms left and they have a
brand new additional pool area with food bar and we can stay there
for sure. We are flying Spirit Air, no deals this time as it
is near the holiday season. Spirit has dropped the number of
flights to Orlando down to one a day. I went on to check
availability and prices and learned that were only 20 available
seats on our plane so I booked right away. We adults are
flying in the Big Front Seats for an extra $50.00 each way.
Too Cool. We will use Happy Limo to get from the airport to
Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney Cruise Line Bus from Animal Kingdom to
the Ship and Happy Limo from the ship to the airport. We have
decided to go to The Magic Kingdom on the first day we arrive
because they have extra magic hours for resort guests and the park
is open till 2:00 am. The kids can ride space mountain as many
times as they like. The next day we are going to Animal
Kingdom so that we can ride the Safari ride. The DF should
ride this as it is fun and educational. It is so neat seeing
the animals in their natural habitat. We considered the new
walking safari adventure but at 185.00 per person Disney has priced
this out of the hands or the ordinary people and into the exclusive
realm. I would have done it for 80.00. We purchased all
of our park passes from Air Miles so we dont have to pay for park
entry. We made dining reservations for our trip and it was
amazing how easy it was to get into wherever we wanted. We
want a picture of DF and DS and DD with Winnie the Pooh so we PS
Crystal Palace. I got the time that I wanted which shocked me.
The food there is really good and you can take your time because
they want you to visit with all the characters. I recommend
the flat iron steak. The desert bar is also very cool, cherry
cobbler with soft ice cream and sprinkles. The next night we
have booked Ohana's at the Polynesian for the shear volumn of great
food in a fun environment. We love the pineapple bread, the
pot stickers, the skewered shrimp, chicken and pork all served from
the BBQ on giant skewers to your plate. We are also planning
on taking a ride on the monorail so that DF can see the inside of
the Contemporary. We decided on only one character meal
because the ship is swimming in characters so there will be lots of
opportunity to get a picture of DF with Mickey. We will cook
our own breakfasts and get lunch on the meal plan. We will get
the Disney Meal Plan for the two days as it will save us money.
One sit down meal good at both Crystal Palace and Ohana's, one
counter meal for lunch anywhere in the parks and a snack mickey ice
cream bar during the day. All for $46.00 a day for each of us.
We are all really excited about our trip. Going to
Disney is always fun but going with someone new is so much better.
You get to see the resort through their eyes. We all love
showing it around as if we owned it. We know so much about
everywhere that we are going that we know the tricks to make it that
much better like how to work the Fast Pass system or go for a swim
in the Polynesian pool because it has a cool slide and music piped
in underwater. Another advantage is that my DS and DD are
already planning on all the things that they want to show DF and all
the rides that they want to take him on. Their excitment level
is way high and that will motivate them all to get up early and get
going so that they dont miss showing him any of their favourites.
Plus a non family member will keep the fights to a minimum and he
will help to referee and to get them to go to things that they might
not if it were just the two of them. Plus the kids are at the
age and knowledge level that they can go do things by themselves and
give DM and DD a bit of a break when we want to just sit and have a
refreshment. A win win for everyone. DF will have a
you know that July is National Ice Cream Month
(so proclaimed by President Reagan in 1984)? And
National Ice Cream Day is the third Sunday in
July – the 17th this year.
It’s the perfect opportunity to daydream
about our favorite ice cream treats at
Walt Disney World Resort and
Disneyland Resort. And while we love the
simple, choco-dip Mickey Mouse ice cream bar
from a street cart, or a double-dip cone, these
are the treats that go far, far beyond –
decadent and worth every calorie.
- Any list has to begin with the Kitchen
Sink at Beaches & Cream at
Disney’s Beach Club Resort. So, you need
a few pals to share, but it’s only
eight scoops, every topping imaginable and a
whole can of whipped cream.
- Hands-down favorite shake is the peanut
butter and jelly shake at
50’s Prime Time Cafe at
Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’ve been
known to skip the meal and just sip a tall
shake at the bar at the adjacent Tune-In
Epcot, we head to Fountain View Ice
Cream for a classic hot fudge sundae –
whipped cream and a cherry, served in an
edible waffle bowl. Need we say more?
- Scoops are an easy parade treat, but we
go all out with the Original Banana Split at
The Plaza Restaurant in
Magic Kingdom park: chocolate, vanilla
and strawberry ice cream topped with hot
fudge, strawberry sauce, crushed pineapple,
chopped nuts, whipped cream and a cherry.
- When we’re shopping (or taking an
intended detour) to
Downtown Disney Marketplace, we make a
beeline for Ghirardelli Soda Fountain &
Chocolate Shop and order The Haight AshBerry
Very Berry Sundae with strawberry cheesecake
ice cream smothered with sliced strawberries
under a layer of vanilla ice cream with
blueberry topping, whipped cream,
chocolate-covered blueberries and a
chocolate dipped waffle roll. Well, at least
- The old-fashioned root beer float (we
used to call it a “black cow”) quenches our
thirst on a hot summer afternoon at Camp
Soft Serve at
Camp Mickey-Minnie at
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The smooth
vanilla soft serve ice cream melds with the
kicky root beer and takes us back to
2011-07-12 - this is a great
WDW Moms Panelists on Best
Dining Values in Disney World
I’m really excited about this post in the Walt
Moms Panel mini-series
! You’ve met some of
the moms and heard about their
most magical Disney dining moments
today we get into the nitty gritty of Walt
Disney World planning: what restaurants offer
the best value for the money?
Looks from the
answers that the
Picnic in the Park at Animal Kingdom, the
Flame Tree Barbecue, and
Teppan Edo were big winners in this
category, along with Whispering Canyon Cafe’s
From Mom Erin F.
I’d suggest any of the buffets –
particularly if you go for lunch. Have a
bagel or coffee breakfast, and chow at a
buffet lunch; that will get you through the
day. For counter service, I’ve had good
experiences with Tangierine Café – you get a
variety of food and great vegetables. And my
kids love flame tree barbecue.
From Mom Anna S.
A Full Plate at Teppan Edo
Good food at a worth it price for table
service is Teppan Edo. Plus you get the show
the chef performs in front of you to boot!
We’ve always gotten very generous portions
here, more than enough to share with each
other without feeling like you’re
sacrificing half the meal for the kids to
each have a taste, and I can’t remember a
time when we’ve eaten here and not had
I’m not sure this technically counts as
counter service, but I could talk all day
about the Picnic in the Park at Animal
Kingdom. My husband and I went with our two
younger children, ordered the rotisserie
chicken for three, and left with our
desserts in the nifty bag they give you, we
were so full! This was an awesome Disney
dining experience, and we can’t wait to do
From Mom Kara B.
I’m totally cheating here and going for
the non-counter/non-table service
restaurant: the picnic in the park at the
Animal Kingdom. What a smashingly brilliant
deal. We had a TON of food for a family of 5
— so much so that we brought nearly half of
it home with us (glad we were at a resort
with a fridge) and were left with a shopping
bag that I still use all the time. I love
having comments about it as clerks bag my
groceries. The park is filled with all sorts
of fun places to picnic; we opted for the
secret path by the Tree of Life and nearly
had the area to ourselves (just a few people
walked through). Not to mention, ordering
the picnic is simple and with little to no
From Mom Joanne M.
Hands down, for me the best counter
service for taste, selection and value is
Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney.
The menu selection has something for
everyone, from pizza and pasta to sandwiches
and rotisserie chicken. The food and service
are consistently excellent. We often stop in
on our last day and pick up a pizza for the
If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, Le
Cellier in the Canadian Pavillion at Epcot
(I’m really not biased) offers one of the
best deals for one dining credit. The
mushroom filet absolutely melts in your
mouth, and similar meals are two credits at
some of the other resort restaurants. And
the chocolate moose dessert is super cute
and soooo good!
For overall value, I always recommend
going to some of the more expensive
restaurants for lunch. This way, you get to
experience the finer restaurants at reduced
prices. One of my new favourites is Epcot’s
Chefs de France in France. They currently
have an awesome table d’hote special for
$20, which includes decadent
lobster chowder or the best French onion
soup ever, a main course selection
(including a rich quiche), and dessert.
Service is fabulous, and the setting is very
From Mom Amber V.
I think a great table service that offers
good food at a value is the Plaza Restaurant
in the Magic Kingdom. Granted, the food is
nothing fancy, but the portions are
plentiful and we have always enjoyed
excellent service here. You really can’t go
wrong with any of the sandwiches, and there
are occasionally chef specials as well. The
desserts alone are a reason to visit the
Plaza, and they are definitely
large enough to share!
For a great counter service value we go
to Cosmic Rays at the Magic Kingdom. Their
combo meals are absolutely large enough to
share. I also love Columbia Harbour House.
It is one of my favorite counter service
restaurants at Disney. I feel that the menu
selection is diverse and the food is good
quality and decent portion sizes.
From Mom Heather R.
The Plaza Restaurant and the Trail’s End
Restaurant both fall into that category.
Really, any buffet will offer
bang-for-the-buck, particularly if you have
big eaters (or teenage boys!) in your
While not the least expensive option out
there, I’d highly recommend the Canyon
Skillet at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in the
Wilderness Lodge. It’s a family-style meal
that is both delicious and bottomless! If
you’re watching your budget, consider
booking a late lunch for a $9 savings over
At that same price point, for dinner I
really like the clam bake at the Cape May
Cafe in the Beach Club resort. It’s a buffet
so you can eat till your heart is content,
and I’m particularly fond of their miniature
desserts (so yes, you finally can sample one
Lots of Choices at Cosmic Ray's
For counter service, I think that the
Bacon Double Cheeseburger at Cosmic Ray’s
Starlight Cafe in the Magic Kingdom is a
very good value. It’s served with fries and
is really quite large, easily split between
two people. Although the price point is
higher, the 1/2 chicken and BBQ rib combo
there is also a large meal, and a step up
from typical counter service restaurant
I also found that I was unable to finish
my counter service lunch of Honey Chicken
from Yak and Yeti, as the portion was larger
than I was expecting. When eating there the
next time I’ll plan on sharing it with one
of my children so we don’t have as much
From Mom Whitney P.
I see “value” through two different
lenses: the food plus experience and just
the food. If we’re talking food plus
experience, three top my list:
If you’re a parent, you may have been
urged by friends to seek a Character Dining
meal while at Disney. I’ve seen many parents
get stressed over these meals, especially
with the inability to get advanced
reservations for last-minute trips. A
comparable memory-making dining experience
for many children can be found, however, at
the animatronic restaurants of T-Rex and
Rainforest Cafe. In fact, Rainforest is
probably the most-requested restaurant by my
kids! PLUS: the menu is more affordable than
the Character Dining buffets.
A close third is Sci-Fi Dinner Theatre.
It gets panned by many who are on the dining
plan, and rightfully so, because you could
spend that same dining credit on more
expensive fare. But when I go to Disney
without the dining plan, and I’m looking at
paying for both the experience as well as
the food, Sci-Fi fits the bill for creating
a memorable theme with food that’s
comparable in price to some counter-service
combo meals! My husband loves the Reuben.
Your View From the Flame Tree Barbecue
If we’re talking food value sans
experience, I tend to lean toward the
counter-service restaurants. Again, three
come to mind, all in different parks:
1. Flame Tree BBQ, Animal Kingdom: Our
family of six can order two 1/2 slabs of
ribs and the 1/2 chicken combo and we’re
good. Top this off with a seat under the
tree canopy down by the water behind the
restaurant and you’ve got my number one
value for food and experience for
family-eating in the parks.
2. We can do the same thing at Cosmic
Ray’s with its 1/2 Chicken and BBQ Rib
Combo, but because the food is so similar,
we usually don’t eat at both Flame Tree and
Ray’s on the same trip. (By the way, while
my family is gorging themselves on the ribs,
I’m eating all the delicious green
3. Sunshine Seasons, Epcot: What I call
their “blue-plate special” line (The Grill)
offers up some pretty hefty
meals that can satisfy big appetites for
under $10! The rotisserie chicken can be
split between two of my boys. The
seared-tuna salad is large enough to share,
From Mom Jo Y.
We are normally on the DDP so don’t tend
to choose restaurants for the best value,
rather where we’d like to dine. Saying that,
though, for counter service I would say
Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney
offers great value for money. Although you
need to stand in line to order your food
at a regular counter service a waiter
actually brings your food to the table, so
it feels like a table service. The portions
here are huge and the choice is extensive!
For table service I’d choose the Cape May
Clam Bake; for under $30 adults can eat as
much as they want from a large selection of
foods including soups, salads, prime rib,
shrimps, clams, vegetables etc
From Mom Kay B.
My husband insists the answer is
Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner, since
they will keep bringing the platters of food
until you say no more! He loves the turkey
and roast beef and all the “fixins” that go
with that! I think there are several spots
in EPCOT where you get a lot for your money
and those are Nine Dragons in China and
Marrakesh in Morocco.
For counter service spots, Flametree
Barbecue comes to the front, and then also
Cantina De San Angel in Mexico….good
portions, full meals, decent pricing.
From Dad Doug I.
For table service I actually think you
get a lot of good food for your money at
Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness
Mosey On Down to the Whispering Canyon
You have to be hungry to take advantage
of it, but the Skillets really work out to
be a decent deal in the world of Walt Disney
For counter service I think there is no
better choice than Flame Tree BBQ at the
Animal Kingdom. The BBQ is fantastic, and
the seating area, down in the riverside
grottos complete with a dense, jungle-like
tree canopy, is a real treat. I think it is
a better dining experience than many table
From Mom Jodi G.
I think the Tangierine Cafe [in Epcot's
Morocco] is a great value — my personal
recommendation for those who want to try out
some new foods and fill up at a great price.
As for table-service, I love the
Crystal Palace buffet (especially
dinner) because the buffet has some great
food at a good price.
From Mom Beth C.
Teppan Edo in Japan is my choice for the
best value for its price. The food is fresh,
delicious and cooked to order. The food is
served as soon as it is cooked, which is
awesome. You have a lot of food for a
reasonable price and you get a “show” for
free. This is also one restaurant where
everyone eats everything and we have no room
for dessert (and we love dessert).
For counter-service, Animal Kingdom
offers the All American Family Picnic. This
is a unique idea on an American classic.
Guests can preorder their lunch at Island
Mercantile Shop before 1:30. You have a
choice of sandwiches or roasted chicken.
Everyone recieves their own sandwich,
dessert and drink. The sides and roasted
chicken are portioned to the number of
people in your party. You pick up your lunch
at the Tusker House in a reusable tote you
get to keep. You can then take it to one of
the many picnic spots located throughout
Animal Kingdom. We ordered sandwiches for
four and we had food leftover. The food is
from Tusker House which buffet is very good
and the picnic lunch is just as yummy.
From Mom Kim L.
We get the best value at the Boma
breakfast buffet. Great food, awesome
atmosphere and no one leaves hungry. For
counter-service, I think Earl of Sandwich at
Downtown Disney provides a great meal at a
Liberty Tree Tavern's Pot Roast Lunch
From Mom Margaret F.
I think the best deal for counter service
on property has to be Pizza Planet at
Hollywood Studios. For approximately $10,
each guest can choose an individual pizza,
salad and drink and for just a few dollars
more a yummy dessert,. The pizza is a great
portion size and easily fills us up, plus it
is actually very yummy. My kids love the
salad and t is just the perfect size.
For table dining locations, we love the
value of the Liberty Tree Tavern lunch menu.
The menu offers a great selection of hearty
home cooked favorites like pot roast, the
pilgrim’s feast of turkey, mashed potatoes
and stuffing and the catch of the day all
under $20 and most around $15. The food is
delicious and quite filling. The dinner menu
is also a great selection of turkey, roast
beef, potatoes, vegetbale and dessert served
family style at approximately $30 per guest.
Still a great price compared to some of the
menu prices at other Disney dinner locations
and my kids never leave food on the plate
Rocketing into your galaxy on May 20, 2011, Star Tours
is back with new destinations, new characters and new adventures—now presented in brilliant digital 3-D! Board a Starspeeder 1000 for a thrilling journey through George Lucas' Star Wars
universe. A galaxy of trouble awaits, but don't worry, the Force will be with you, always!
You never know where the Force might take you. Many different Star Tours adventures await you—including multiple storylines and locations. Riding once is not enough!
Glide among the trees with Wookiees on Kashyyyk, kick up some desert sand in a podrace on Tatooine, dive into the lakes of Naboo, weave through the bustling city-planet of Coruscant, blast through the blizzards of Hoth or even help attack the heavily defended Death Star!
Star Wars Characters
Fly with some of your favorite Star Wars characters! C-3PO is aboard as your new pilot. Plus, you might encounter some of your other favorite characters, including:
- Darth Vader
- Jedi Master Yoda
- Admiral Ackbar
- Princess Leia
You'll also meet brand-new Star Wars characters, like Star Tours Pilot Ace (AC-38), Spokesbot Aly San San and the lethal new Imperial Skytroopers!
Star Tours uses state-of-the-art technology—including a flight-motion simulator vehicle, digital 3D video, Audio Animatronics characters and in-cockpit special effects—to transport you to a "galaxy far, far away." There's nothing else like it on Earth . . . or any other planet!
We have set our trip this year. We
booked exactly 6 months out. Most of our reservations were made by
the Concierge Desk at our hotel and the rest were made by going onto
the web page and booking. Our restaurants that we selected are
House of Blues for Steaks and burgers. Crystal Palace to see
the renovations and great buffet. This is a character meal and
hard to get into. They have great food, try the flank
steak. We are going to Flying Fish, for a great fish
dinner. They also have one of the best steaks ever. They
are located at Boardwalk and after dinner you can wander up and down
looking at Buskers, getting girls hair braided, shopping etc.
We are going to Epcot for the day. For lunch we are going to
try Via Napoli which is a new pizza restaurant at the front of the
Italy pavilion. It is supposed to be fantastic. Then at
night we are going to Teppan Edo. It is a restaurant in the
Japan pavilion that the chef stands on one side of the table and
cooks the food for you and flips it onto your plate. Should be
fun. Then we are going to Shula's Steakhouse. DS and I
are going to split a 32 oz prime rib. They have a 48 oz
porterhouse for free if you can finish it. We will not be
trying that. I may bail and have the 3.5 lb main cold water
lobster. This is supposed to be the best steakhouse in Disney
but we like the Yachtsman steakhouse. Then we are going to
Ohana in Polynesian for the fun - served bar b que. They
present long skewers full of cooked beef, pork, turkey or shrimp
and pull exactly as much as you want off and drop it onto your
plate. The table is filled with other foods like salad,
pineapple bread, pot stickers and it is a great meal. The most
fantastic and exciting meal is saved for the last night. We
are going to Victoria and Alberts. I have to lose 50 lbs
before we go or it will be cancelled. This is the only 5 star
restaurant in Florida. It is a daily market fresh menu.
There are five courses and it is price fixed. The last time we
were there I had the best meal in my life. It may be too fancy
for the kids to enjoy but they are willing to give it a try.
The best souffle that I have ever seen ended the meal. It
started with a caligraphy menu folded up in front of our seats with
our names on it in gold and ended with a rush of coffee that had
been brewing at the table. Once you see this you will never
forget it. The servers are all in costume and are either
Victoria or Albert. Expensive yes, but a once in a lifetime
experience. When you leave the ladies take home a long stem
We are also going to be fishing one morning,
parasailing another morning and riding jet skiis another morning.
We are staying in the Club Level Concierge floor at the Beach Club
in a deluxe room. This is the best pool in the entire Disney
complex. It has sand at the bottom of the pool. We are
really looking forward to getting away.
We decided to cancel plans for Atlantis when I started reading the reviews. The rooms are not that great but are very expensive. Food is so expensive. Buffets are 46.00 and 15% grat added to it. Breakfast buffet is $26.00. Bottle of water is $5.00 and no fountains anywhere. 16 oz bottle of water is 11.50. They are not heating the pools due to low revenues. Many reviews loved it and many reviews disliked their time there. It was hard to know what to believe but 5 reviews that I read from January and February 2011 tipped the scales. We were going to pay 740.00 a night for the room per night for three nights. Instead I extended our stay at the Beach Club Resort on the Concierge level for three nights for 2/3's what it would have cost us for TWO nights at Atlantis. We know what we are going to get at Disney and it always makes us feel good. So we are going to spend 8 nights at Disney in this great resort with the best pool on the property and we get free breakfast on our floor, snacks all day, apps at night with deserts and free beer, wine and liquors in the evening. All at 40% off. Looking forward to it.
2011-02-21 -Save on Late Spring and Late Summer Travel at Select Disney Resort Hotels!
Escape to the convenience, service and magic of the Walt Disney World Resort. Treat your family to a vacation in late spring for a savings up to 30% or in the late summer for savings up to 40%. Save on stays most nights April 28 to June 14, 2011 and August 14 to October 1, 2011 when you book by March 27.
For example, stay for just US$64 per night plus tax in a standard room at Disney's Pop Century Resort most Sunday to Thursday nights August 14 to September 29, 2011.
|Savings by Hotel Category
||For Travel 4/28/11 to 6/14/11:
||For Travel 8/14/11 to 10/1/11:
|Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels
|Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels
|Disney Moderate Resort Hotels
|Disney Value Resort Hotels
*For travel April 28 to June 14, 2011:
-Save 15% at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort.
-Save 20% at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter.
-Save 25% at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney's Polynesian Resort.
**For travel August 14 to October 1, 2011:
-Save 20% at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort.
-Save 25% at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter.
-Save 30% at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney's Polynesian Resort.
The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals where applicable. Savings based on non-discounted price for the same room. See Important Details
. Book now through March 27, 2011. Check Availability Now
Book your stay online now or call (407) 939-7869† or your Travel Agent and ask for booking code JX6.
2010-09-24 -Kids Sail Free on Select 7-Night Caribbean Cruises
Children ages 17 and under traveling with 2 full-fare Guests in the same stateroom sail free
on most 7-Night Caribbean cruises
from January 22, 2011 through March 5, 2011, excluding the February 19, 2011 sailing, when you book a verandah stateroom. Government Taxes and Fees and Port Adventures not included.
Beginning in January 2011, set sail aboard the Disney Magic on an unforgettable Disney Cruise Line 7-Night Eastern Caribbean cruise or a 7-Night Western Caribbean cruise—and save! On the eastern cruise, drop anchor in sunny St. Maarten—with its many boutiques, café and white-sand beaches—before making your way to historic St. Thomas/St. John, once a destination of choice for real-life pirates. The western cruise finds you experiencing the sun, sand and surf of Grand Cayman, Key West and stunning Cozumel, home to the ancient ruins of Xcaret Eco Archeological Park and the sprawling shoreline of Playa San Francisco Beach. Both itineraries boast a stop at Disney's private island hideaway, Castaway Cay, exclusively available to Disney cruisers.
How To Book
To take advantage of this offer, book online at disneycruise.com, call (800) 951-3532 or contact your Travel Agent. Be sure to indicate booking code "KFO" at time of booking. Guests under 18 years of age must have their parent or guardian call this number.
2010-09-14 - Animal
Kingdom Lodge vs Kidani Village - The one bedroom at Kidani has it
all over Jambo house. The extra bathroom with shower is great.
The size of the other bathroom off the king bed room is huge.
Glass shower allows for couples enjoyment while a large separate
jacuzzi tub is a body relief after a day at the park. Lots of
room. More room in Kidani than in Jambo. The rooms are
about 100 sq feet bigger but it seems much more. The Kidani
rooms are clean and fresh and the pool has fewer people in it.
There is about 50 feet of the pool that is about 4'11" where in the
Kidani pool it is only about 15' that is deep enough for an adult to
stand up straight. BUT - our decision is that we can do
without the extras in the bathroom and the extra 100 feet to get the
spacious lobby with a much bigger store. Being closer to the
cafeteria and restaurants is a huge plus. The ambiance at
Jambo house cannot be beat. The view is so improved with
Kidani being the background to the savanah. We choose to stay
at Animal Kingdom Lodge above all the Disney Resorts, Jambo House.
We would like to stay at Beach Club for the pool though.
2010-09-14 - Boma at
Animal Kingdom Lodge - We always enjoy this buffet for about 30.00
each. They have African inspired food. Cous Cous, beef,
chicken, coconut rice etc. Flatbreads with various tasty
spreads and lots and lots of variety in desserts. Little tasty
morsels of dessert. My prime rib was so tender I cut it with
my fork. I found the mac and cheese to be tastless this trip.
The soup was peanut soup and while nice was not as good as their
standard carrot and ginger which is fantastic. They wanted to
try something different and it did not work. The food here is
very good, the ambiance is great and the service is great.
Well worth the money.
2010-09-14 - Three
Broomsticks at Universal Studios Harry Potter Land - ok, so we went
off the World for a day. This was a great restaurant. We
had lunch there. Try the Butterbeer, it is great, if not a
little too sweet. We had the frozen one and it seemed to be
the best. In this cafeteria style restaurant we had the Grand
Feast. You get in line at a cash register and pick what you
would like. If you get the feast you get a number on a stand.
You go to the counter where they give out the food and they give you
your drinks (I hear the pumpkin juice is really good too) and the
big salad and plates. You go get your salt, pepper, knives and
forks etc at another counter then you go to the hostess who seats
you. Then when your feast is prepared they bring it to you on
a big platter. For 49.95 you get four portions of ribs, four
quarters of chicken, pan roasted potatoes, lots of fried vegetables,
butter and four cobs of fresh corn with the husk still on. The
dinner was fantastic and healthy as heck. We loved it.
2010-09-14 - Sanaa
Restaurant at Kidani Village in Animal Kingdom Lodge - This
restaurant has the greatest ambiance you can imagine. The
smell from the Tandoori ovens was lightly wafting in the room.
It is so pretty in the room. The big windows all along the
side of the restaurant provide a wonderful view of the savanah.
While we were there three giraffe came up to within 10 feet of the
windows and 2 more passed by as well. The servers costumes
were just rated number one by a service industry magazine as being
the best in America. The servers know their stuff. Ask
any question you like and they will help you to select a good meal.
This is an India based African influenced meal. It is not
burgers and fries. The experience is well worth the trip but
keep your mind open to trying new things. All the websites
recommend the Beef Short Ribs as a gastronomic delight - I thought
that they were over praised. They are good but not special.
I thought the chicken in red curry was very good, much like a butter
chicken. The breads with dips were really good.
2010-09-14 - Went to
the House of Blues. They have a room at the back that looks
out over the water and you watch the ferry land and go from the
dock. After dinner you can go right out and get onto the dock
for the ferry to downtown disney. The food was very good.
The burgers were great. Fries were shoestring and very crisp.
The sweet potato fries were bigger and very tasty. The
shrimp and crawfish Etoufe was a new experience and did not sit well
in my stumach and the crawfish was so small and their taste was
buried in the flavour of the sauce. I wont have it again.
But the Rib Eye Steak was beyond good. The steak was big and
juicy. The sauce it was cooked in was fantastic. The
mashed potatoes were really good. We didnt have dessert as
Ghiardelli's has to be hit once a season.
2010-09-14 - Fultons
Crab House - Excellent meal. Our server was very professional
and took good care of us even though we were not having wine nor
many drinks she took very good care of us. She also
volunteered to break open the crab legs and piled the crab on the
plate. King Crab was excellent. The King Crag
Claws is something they seem to push but I find the meat to be less
tasty but it is the only part of the crab that is cut for you.
I prefer the meat in the legs flavour wise and texture wise.
There was lots of meat in them. They will bring you more
butter as the meal progresses. The 12 oz filet was pronounced
excellent, perfectly cooked and upon request covered with Bernaise
sauce. The double baked potato was too much, one of us liked
it but I found it less than great. The cherry cobbler after
dinner was boring but the Milk Chocolate Creme Brule was excellent.
As we were DVC members we expected to get a 10 percent discount but
in September they gave 20% off dinner. Bonus. Highly
recommend this restaurant. Don't believe the negative reviews.
For Vacationers Looking To Do
Disney Again ... For The First Time
BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- You've splashed on Splash
Mountain, had your topsy "turvied" on Rock 'n'
Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and sat
howling and bug-eyed during "It's Tough to be a
Bug." So you figure you know Walt Disney World
Resort -- every nook, cranny and spinning teacup
... right? Or maybe your vacation "cup of tea"
needs to be sweetened a different way?
Here are a "Disney Dozen" experiences that go
beyond "doing the E Tickets" during a Walt
Disney World vacation .
Ride in the cab of a Walt Disney World
monorail -- Groups of up to four people can
be accommodated up front with the operator on
each train, giving guests a "flight deck" view
of the ride and a chance to watch the operator
in action on one of the sleek monorails. Guests
should express their interest to a Cast Member
at the monorail station. There's no charge for
(After the accident when a crew member lost his
life they cancelled for a time this experience.
I do not know if it is still available.)
Let the kids play with their food --
Themed table-service restaurants throughout
Epcot offer kid desserts designed to be a
creative exercise for young guests. Youngsters
can order delights such as strawberry shortsnake,
a classic shortcake cut into an "S" with sliced
berries for scales, a whole strawberry for the
head, M&Ms for eyes and fruit leather for the
tongue. All of the kid desserts are priced under
Pop THE question -- You want to ask
her to marry you, and you'd like it to be a
special moment. Engagement event packages --
nine different magic-moment options -- can be
arranged through the Magic Kingdom Engagement
Office. The "moments" start at $295 and all
include an exclusive private romantic setting,
Cinderella glass slipper, a bouquet of red
roses, sparkling cider or champagne and
chocolate truffles. For information, call
Get a bird's-eye view of the Kingdom
-- Soar above Bay Lake and see what the Magic
Kingdom looks like from open air by means of a
parasailing adventure. There are no age
restrictions, but there's a 115-pound minimum
weight and 300-pound maximum. Single rides are
$80 and tandems (a party of two at the same
time) are $ 120. It's among the daring fun
offered by Sammy Duvall's Water Sports Center at
the Contemporary Resort marina. The former
world-champion water-skier also offers
water-skiing, wakeboarding, knee-boarding and
tubing. Reservations are recommended by calling
Let the kids "play pirate"-- A pirate
cruise just for children ages 3 to 10 sails
Seven Seas Lagoon in search of buried treasure
Mondays and Thursdays. Kids don buccaneer
bandanas and enjoy special snacks during the
two-hour adventure that departs Disney's Grand
Floridian Resort & Spa at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $15
per child. For reservations, call 407/WDW-DINE
Sail away for a new view of Disney "night
magic" -- "IllumiNations Cruises" to Epcot
World Showcase Lagoon and "A Moonlight Cruise"
on Seven Seas Lagoon near the Magic Kingdom
provide guests with a whole new visual
perspective on two of the premier Walt Disney
World nighttime spectacles -- Epcot's "IllumiNations
2000: Reflections of Earth" and Magic Kingdom's
"Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks. Private
departures on pontoon boats accommodate up to 12
guests. Cost is $120 for the private group. The
very-popular cruises can be booked up to 90 days
in advance by calling 407/939-7529 (WDW-PLAY).
Go on a scavenger hunt in the Magic
Kingdom -- "Family Magic" is the one Disney
guided tour designed for the entire family.
Groups set off on a Magic Kingdom scavenger
hunt, looking for clues . . . and at the finish
of the two-hour adventure, they are treated to a
special Disney Character meet and greet. "Family
Magic" is offered daily, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Cost is $25 general, $15 ages 3-9 ($20 ages 3-9
beginning Oct. 1). Participants must have a
valid Magic Kingdom admission ticket.
Information and reservations: 407/939-8687 (WDW-TOUR).
Tour the architectural wonders of Walt
Disney World Resort -- Art and architectural
buffs have not one but two opportunities to feed
their passion at the Vacation Kingdom. Hidden
Treasures of World Showcase reveals the "whys"
of 11 international ports of call at Epcot --
the art, architecture, history and cultures.
Disney s Architecture reveals how architects and
imagineers create eye-catching and unusual
buildings using basic design concepts, detailed
storylines and painstaking attention to detail,
and studies how many architectural concepts are
echoed throughout the resort. Each tour is 3 1/2
hours long. Hidden Treasures is offered Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday at 9 a.m. Disney's
Architecture is offered Monday, Wednesday and
Friday at 2 p.m. Each is $49 (Hidden Treasures
requires a valid Epcot ticket as well).
Participants must be at least 16 years of age.
Reservations: 407/939-8687 (WDW-TOUR).
Have your cake and fireworks, too --
The Magic Kingdom by night is part of the
spectacular view from California Grill on the
15th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort. On
evenings when "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks are
presented, the show music fills the restaurant
and color fills the nighttime sky outside the
wall of windows. But the treat is hardly just
for the eyes: California Grill has a reputation
as one of the finest restaurants in the state of
Florida. Priority seating arrangements:
Let your lead foot have some legal fun
-- What fun's horsepower at 55 mph? But how
about 600 horses and speeds well over 100 mph?
Guests 18 years old and up can get behind the
wheel of the type of cars that run in the NASCAR
"cup series" at the Richard Petty Driving
Experience. And if you're a little timid about
getting behind the wheel, then how about a
highspeed ride that simulates drafting and
passing? The one-mile tri-oval Walt Disney World
Speedway is the place for this high-speed fun.
Information: 1-800-BE PETTY.
Draw on the expertise of Disney animators
-- Fans of Disney animation can go Inside
Animation during a 2 1/2 hour tour that includes
a look at the history of the subject and a
chance to paint a cell. Participants meet an
animator and learn about pencil tests and
storyboards. The tour is offered Tuesday through
Friday at 9 a.m. Guests must be at least 16
years of age. Cost is $49. Reservations are
available by calling 407/939-8687 (WDW-TOUR).
Take home some fish stories that are true
-- Disney waterways are a haven for largemouth
bass -- including trophy-size fish in the
14-pound range. And the best way to go casting
for them doesn't require packing your gear. In
fact, you don't need a fishing license or even
bass fishing experience to catch a memory.
Two-hour bass tours aboard pontoon boats
captained by experienced fishing guides can be
arranged for parties of up to five people. When
the boat arrives at the dock, it's fully stocked
with fishing equipment and refreshments -- plus
a camera that the guide will use to capture the
memories for the trip home. Cost is $ 160 for
the party (one to five people). Reservations:
|2010-03-11 - I borrowed this
article from MSN:
|2010-02-14 - If you would
like to make customized maps of the Disney World Parks in advance of
your trip here is a really neat website. You go in and pick
your must see attractions and then send them to Disney and they will
send you full colour printed maps for you to use on your trip.
But if you would just like to
print them out yourself try this web site:
|2009-12-14 - I recently
learned of something really great for families of 5 or 6.
There are very few affordable spots in Disney World for a family of
5 to stay. The most affordable rooms that I have found for 5
are Fort Wilderness Cabins and the Family Suites at the All Star
Music Resort. The cabins are a little further out and would
take a little while getting anywhere but they also have full
kitchens and outdoor grill. The Music Resort offers a separate
room with a double bed, a pull out couch for two and twin chairs
that pull out into beds. They are not recommended for children
over 9 I believe. This room is not as themed as the Cabins but
they are in prime locations (read - near the pool) and have
kitchenettes, two bathrooms. They are really two rooms put
into one. The cost was about 190.00 per night which is way
more affordable than other rooms that allow 5 or 6 such as the two
bedroom suite in a Disney Villa which will cost you 325.00 to 800.00
a night. Another great one for up to 8 in a party is the
Disney Treehouse Villas which is part of Saratoga Springs Resort.
They have been all reworked with new beds, furniture and a flat
screen tv in every room. They have there own ferry to downtown
disney and Disney West Side which leaves every 20 minutes.
|2009-10-15 - Watch out for
cell phone or data transfer costs on your phone. You need to contact
your carrier before you go down to Disney and they will sell you a
travel package that will handle those outrageous costs associated
with roaming. Our bill for the 4 day holiday was $159.00.
If I had called Rogers they said that I could have bought a special
travel package and there would not have been roaming charges which
are usually about 1.25 per minute. Or if your carrier does not
offer that service make sure that you turn your phone off so it is
not constantly pulling down information and charging you for it.
Stop your email program from checking your email every 15 minutes,
make it a manual check. The new iphone push makes things so
automated and the charges rack up. I think that each text
message is $1.25. The way to keep everyone updated on your
trip is to take your pictures and download them onto your computer
at night and then upload them to Facebook. You dont have to
crop or fix the pictures just load them up and let everyone see how
much fun you are having.
|2009-10-15 - Not So Scary
Halloween 2009 - these specialty nights are great if you are just
into the rides. The kids got on Splash Mountain twice, Thunder
Mountarin twice, Buzz Lightyear twice all without lining up.
The rides are almost empty. It costs 55.00 and you get at
least 5 hours of park time. We wasted an hour and a half
having dinner in the park when we should have eaten first then gone
to the park at 7:00. Also we went to the park at 6 and we were
able to walk right in even though we were supposed to wait till 7.
|2009-10-15 - The fastest ride
in Disney is the Tower of Terror drop. It goes 90 miles an
hour. Test track is number 2 at 65 mph. The buses are
number 3 at 50 mph, yes the bus. They are listed as an
attraction ride for tax purposes.
|2009-10-15 - there is going
to be a new adults only park to replace Pleasure Island in the
future. I promised that I would not speak of it yet. It
is so big a plan that it will not be ready until 2016. But you
heard it here first.
|2009-10-15 - Disney is
doing a one billion dollar upgrade to the Magic Kingdom. They
are going to be ripping out everything from the Dumbo ride to the
Barnstormer in Toon town. All of Toon Town will be wiped out
and the area will be replaced by a new area catering to kids - Pixie
Hollow and a Beauty and the Beast Castle and an indoor Dumbo ride.
It is the biggest expansion in disney parks. I understand that
the 100 Leagues under the sea will be torn up and used for the Ariel
ride in the new area. Construction will begin soon and be done
|2009-10-15 - Mission to Mars.
If you would like a fun ride without scaring the heck out of you try
this ride in Epcot but take the less intense side. The ride is
a spinning ride and many people get messed up on the ride. If
you take the less intense side they do not spin it. If you do
not like closed spaces do not take this ride. You sit in a
pilots style chair and the panel closes down on you and you are in
a fairly confined space. The ride is not hard but it is pretty
neat. When it is done you go out into an area where you can
play a computer game on a big wall. You can also send a neat
postcard by email with your picture on it. If you want a much
more exciting ride go on the regular ride. It is a lot of fun
if you are so inclined.
|2009-10-15 - Spaceship Earth
is a great ride with great animatronics that look real. It is
a short ride that shows the progress of earth and the march of time
toward the future. You learn a little something and get a neat
ride in a cold environment. The line is long but moves very
fast as the cars are in constant motion. It is in the big golf
ball as you come in. You can send an email to your friends at
the end of the ride.
|2009-10-15 - We watched the
fireworks one night from the top of the Contemporary Resort.
At dinner time we finished our meal then headed out to the viewing
stand on the right - there are two. The one on the right is
less crowded and if you go out to the end you can see perfectly.
It was so great, seeing all the fireworks and hearing the music
piped in behind us. When we returned the desserts were all out
on the table waiting for us. The food was fantastic and our
server Jenny made us feel really special. The highlight of the
night was the Firecracker Sauce that was on the California roll
sushi. It was so tasty and it had scallops in the sauce.
The filets were coated with a fantastic sauce and cooked so
perfectly. I had the best scallops with Gnocchi. The
desserts were so good. I dont think that they would make a bad
dessert. I sent the kids up to watch the sushi being made.
All the chefs work in an open kitchen and there are at least 20 of
them all working together. The kids saw a smoked eel being
peeled and they rushed back to the table. Where else are they
going to get that kind of experience? The whole meal was a
true fine dining experience and we had a ball.
|2009-10-15 - Portobello
Restaurant was really a fun time. The food was great.
The bread was accompanied by fine olive oil and a baked whole garlic
bud. We asked for butter as well and they happily provided it.
The bread was crusty and chewy. We had wanted to order the 48
oz porterhouse but not enough people ordered it so it has been
replaced by a T-Bone. I had the Sambuca Shrimp and I really
enjoyed it. It was flambed at the table, the potato under the
shrimp was slightly stuck to the cast iron pan and soaked in the oil
and then the sambuca. The shrimp were perfect and the dish was
great. The Caesar Salad was really good, but for Grand Bend
people, not as good as Erryns at F.I.N.E. but what is? The
Mozzarella Stuffed Rice Balls were really tasty but I needed a
little salt to bring out all the flavours. The Farfalle with
chicken needed a little salt as well but was very tasty. I had
the Shrimp with Black Linguini and I really enjoyed it. It was
in a seafood sauce that was very tasty and perhaps even healthy.
Certainly healthier than the cream sauces. The Filet was
pronounced the best steak our guest had ever had. The roasted
garlic whipped potatoes were ordered as a side and it was also very
good. The Tiramisu Martini was very good, as they say dessert
in a glass. We passed on dessert and went down to Giaradellis.
We were so full that nobody ate all their ice cream.
The balloon ride was great. It costs $16.00 for
adults. It lasts 10 minutes. It is a helium
balloon not a hot air balloon. It is safely tethered
and cannot come free. You go up and get a great view
of the area. You can see the mountain in Animal
Kingdom, the castle in Magic Kingdom and the big golf ball
at Epcot. You can catch the ride beside Wetzel
Pretzels & Hagen Daz booth in Disney West side. It is
expensive for 10 minutes, but hey, its a once in a lifetime
event. You can walk around in the circular basket and
it has netting all around so you are completely safe.
|2009-10-08 - Rainforest Cafe
is offering a $10.00 discount that anyone can use. Just click
below and go to the page that provides you with a coupon and present
the coupon at your diner at Animal Kingdom or Downtown Disney.
|2009-10-08 - We did this and
got free admission for the birthday girl and 6 fast passes for all
of the people in the birthday girls party. It was beyond
still get free admission to
a US Disney theme park on my
get free admission to one of
the theme parks of Walt
Disney World® Resort or
on your birthday through
December 31, 2009. See the
Free on Your Birthday page
for terms and details.
|2009-09-19 - Karate -
you can attend an international martial arts festival when you are
at Disney. It is held in the Disney Sports Centre and it is a
true competition. It is truly spectacular watching the many
different types of Martial Arts. Our only problem was that
they left the forms to the end and there were so many kids in each
category that our kids sat on the maps for 8 hours and there was no
provision for food or drink. We were separated from them up in
the stands. We do not recommend this experience but that is
just our opinion.
|2009-09-19 - If you
have a food allergy make sure that you mention it to the server or
when you make your priority seating. You will then see what
Disney is all about. The waiter will go into the kitchen
report your allergy to the chef and they will make up your dinner
separately on sterile equipment that will protect you from the
allergen. They will do their very best to make your dining
experience incident free. They work very hard at protecting
you. The chef will actually come out to your table to tell you
what they plan to do to protect you and he will discuss briefly your
exact allergy and will offer suggestions on your menu for dinner etc.
or they will offer to modify your dinner so that your dining
experience is the best that it can be.
|2009-09-19 - Lobster is
hard to find on the property if that is your desire. Fultons
Crab House is one place, that is obvious. It used to be
available at Captn Jacks but since they brought in the dining plan
it became prohibitively expensive for the restaurant to offer it.
So it is only really available at Narcoosee's at the Grand Floridian
Resort. You can get a pre cracked 1.5 lb main lobster. I
really enjoyed it.
|2009-09-19 - In my
opinion the best sandwich shop on the property is at Downtown
Disney. It is called the Earl of Sandwich. The sandwich
was invented by a guy who was playing poker and he did not want to
leave the table so he ordered his servants to cut some meat and some
bread and put it together so that he could hold it in one hand.
The man was the Earl of Sandwich and his ancestor/heir has opened
this restaurant in Disney. I highly recommend the steak/roast
beef and brie sandwich and their soups are unbelievably good.
I highly recommend this spot. They make each and every
sandwich to order on fresh bread. They also have fresh fruit
and deserts. They are pretty standard, their focus is on the
sandwiches. We went there again this trip and were not
disappointed. They take the dining plan as a counter meal.
|2009-09-19 - Apparently
the best steak house on the property is at the Swan Resort. It
is called Shula's Steak House. It is too expensive for us.
I understand that it is 300.00 for two in us money. I had
booked reservations and cancelled when I found out how much it cost.
Just wanted you to know if that is your kind of thing. The
steak is supposed to be the best, the creamed spinach is wonderful.
I just dont get creaming spinach but that is just me.
|2009-09-19 - Ice Cream
- three places of note for great ice cream. At the end of Main
Street USA just before the traffic circle in front of the Castle in
Magic Kingdom turn right and you have a wonderful ice cream sundae
shop. This is across the street from Casey's Hot Dog
shop. I believe that you can use your snack on the Dining Plan
here for ice cream. Then take it outside and sit in the sun
and enjoy. This spot is also the best to watch the fireworks
from. You have a seat at a railing with a parkette in front of
you. Tinkerbell passes almost right over you to start the fun. The other is anywhere there is an ice cream cart -
get the mickey ears on a stick covered in chocolate. It is by
far the favourite treat in the park and they sell millions of them.
The third is in the Beach Club resort. They have a little shop
called Beaches and Cream. It has the best treat I have ever
seen. It is a little copy of an actual kitchen sink and it is
filled with ice cream and each and every topping that they have.
If you order this the lights come down and the treat is delivered
with special music playing with sparklers in the ice cream. If
you happen to be a family of 3 or 4 you will immediately realize
that you made a mistake, cause it feeds 8, and want to back out of the place but don't,
stay and enjoy and wait cause someone else is just about to order it
too. It is really huge and really funny.
Ice Cream Creations
Hand scooped ice cream:
Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate
Chip, Coffee, Butter Pecan, Orange Sherbet,
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt and Fat-free No Sugar
Kitchen Sink - Eight
Scoops of Ice Cream served with all the Toppings
in the house and a whole can of Whipped Cream
Ice Cream Cup or Sugar Cone
- Single Scoop $2.69; Double Scoop $3.99
Waffle Cone Single Scoop $2.99; Double
Old-Fashioned Sundae - Choice of one
of the following toppings: Marshmallow,
Strawberry, Pineapple, Peanut Butter, Hot Fudge,
Butterscotch, or Chocolate Syrup topped with
Whipped Cream, Toasted Almonds and A Cherry. Two
Scoops ($5.99) or 3 Scoops of ice cream ($7.99);
Extra Toppings $.99 each
Classic Banana Split - ripe banana,
three scoops or ice cream (vanilla, chocolate,
strawberry), pineapple, strawberry and
marshmallow topping, finished off with hot
fudge, butterscotch, toasted almonds, whipped
cream and a cherry $7.99
Strawberry Shortcake - Slice of Angel
Food Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry
Topping, Whipped Cream, Rainbow Sprinkles and a
Milkshakes & Malts - your choice of
ice cream topped with whipped cream, sprinkles
and a cherry $4.99
|2009-09-19 - The
Boardwalk is a large area of great entertainment, a little for
everyone. It is on the water side of the Boardwalk Inn Resort
and looks out to the Beach Club Resort across the water. It is
a great place to stay as you can catch a ferry to the International
Entrance of Epcot or go the other way to the Swan and Dolphin Resort
where they have some of the best restaurants on the property.
-- Disney's BoardWalk
is home to a wide range of activities that differs from day
to day. Seasonally, you will find midway games, jugglers,
entertainers, hand wax molds, food vendors, magic shows.
Surrey bike-riding along the Boardwalk is a popular past
time. At night, the night clubs and restaurants spring to
life. For more details on the various venues scattered
around the BoardWalk and in the entire Epcot Resort Area,
follow the links below:
The Buskers are really great, mimes, magic acts and they all
play to the crowd as it gathers around them. We have
enjoyed them a lot. We also like to shop here but more
for candy, pastries and DD got her hair braided with
coloured strings here. I have seen guys draw funny
portraits and we have had great dinners here in Flying Fish
- have the steak it melts in your mouth. They have
just opened a new restaurant here based on mediteranean food
but it looked a little strange for our family.
Dance is open five nights a week. Tuesday through
Saturday there's a DJ Dance Party with open requests.
Closed Sunday and Monday. Open 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call
407-939-2444 for more information. There's NO cover
charge and you must be 21 to enter. 407-939-2444.
are an assortment of live entertainers who perform 6:30
- 10:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturdays outdoors on the
BoardWalk. From sword swallowers and jugglers to
magicians and strolling musicians! For more information
on Disney's BoardWalk live entertainment, visit
Steve Soares' WDW Entertainment Website.
ESPN Club features 100 screens -- there are even
TVs in the bathrooms! -- with all of the latest sporting
events. There are regularly scheduled Trivia Nights and
Sports Talk Live! shows, with
live ESPN sports hosts bringing celebrity interviews,
game analysis and sports trivia contests. They also
feature NFL Playoff games, up to the Super Bowl. On the
menu, you'll find the usual suspects: sandwiches,
burgers and fries, plus, a variety of salads.
Call 407-939-1177 for more information.
Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf -- Fantasia
Gardens is 18 holes of whimsical miniature golf for the
whole family, with a dancing hippo and xylophone stairs.
Or, if you're looking for a more challenging experience,
there's Disney's Fairways -- 18 holes that will test
your skill a bit more with hazards, traps and roughs.
The complex is open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (may vary
according to season). A round of golf costs $10.65
(including tax) for adults, $8.52 (including tax) for
Discount of 50% off for Annual Passholder and up to
three guests at Disney's Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf
Jellyrolls -- A sing-along bar, with dueling
piano players who take requests. Weekends can be SRO, so
try to get there no later than 9! Jellyrolls is open
from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. nightly. There's a $10 cover
charge, but no drink minimum. Must be 21. And tell Ray
we said HI!
Midway Games -- located along the main BoardWalk.
Games of chance, with stuffed animals and prizes.
Surrey Bike Rental
One of the favorite activities for families and groups
is renting these pretty, fringed surrey bikes on
the BoardWalk. You can pedal your way around Crescent
Lake, over to the Yacht and Beach Club, or the
Swan/Dolphin. (Surrey bikes are not allowed on the
walkway to Epcot's World Showcase.) Rentals are
available on the Boardwalk itself, until 10:30 p.m.
The Yard Arcade -- located next to the ESPN Club.
This gameroom has an urban playground theme and features
the latest in sports-themed video games. And so you
don't miss a minute of the latest sports action, the
audio for the games being televised next door is piped
Waterskiing, Wakeboarding & Parasailing
Great instructions and lessons with world champion
Sammy Duvall and his instructors.
Includes instructors, boat, and equipment.
- ½ HOUR $80.00/
- Hourly $140.00/
up to 5 guests
- PREMIUM $165.00/
Min. 2 hours, includes pick-up
- Also, they now offer Personal
Watercraft or “wave-runners” at the Contemporary
Flights can reach an altitude of 450 feet and last
up to 10 minutes. Solo flyers must weigh a minimum
of 100 pounds. Children under 14 years old must be
accompanied by an adult.
Single Flight :
Regular- $90.00 per flight (8-10 minutes at
Premium- $ 112.50 per flight (10-12 minutes
at 600 feet)
Regular- $140.00 per flight (8-10 minutes at
Premium- $162.50 per flight (10-12 minutes
at 600 feet)
Watercraft or “wave-runners” at Disney's
- GUIDED TOURS $100.00/ Up to 3
- FREE RIDE $100.00/ Up to 3
- $65.00/ Walk-up ½ hr.
Mercury Marine WaterMouse boats, sailboats, Pontoon
boats, canopy boats, pedal boats, row boats, and
canoes are available to rent at the following Disney
Disney's Beach Club Resort
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Disney's Old Key West Resort
Downtown Disney Marketplace
Cost - To
be determined by which craft is rented.
Reservations - Not required.
|2009-09-19 - Epcot and boats
- want a really cool experience? Then have your birthday on
the water on a pontoon boat for 12 with cake and drinks while you
pull into the lake where the fireworks are. You sit just under
the international bridge in the boat with an unubstructed view.
A once in a lifetime experience. They also have a old Muskoka
type boat that you can rent to boot around the lake first then go
watch the fireworks. I have not been able to get this rented
so you really have to be exactly 90 days out, know the exact phone
number for the boat rentals to call, and call at exactly the moment
they open or forget it.
Want to see Epcot's IllumiNations: Reflections
of Earth spectacular in style? Consider renting the
Breathless from the Yacht and Beach Club
Marina or a Pontoon boat from either the YC/BC
Marina or the Boardwalk Marina!
No longer in service.
Pontoon Boats -- Another option for an
IllumiNations cruise is to rent a pontoon boat. The 21
foot long boat will accommodate a maximum of 10 guests.
The pontoon has a canopy, is roomier, and has some drink
holders. When you rent either a pontoon or The
Breathless, it belongs to your party for the show;
meaning the only people there will be the ones you've
invited! The price for a pontoon IllumiNations Cruise
starts at $275 + tax, for a maximum of 10 people. Cost
includes a driver. Food and beverage items are available
through Yacht Club Private Dining at 407-934-3160. You
may not bring your own food or beverages on board.
RESERVATIONS for all cruises are made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY,
between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., up to 90 days in advance.
You must provide a credit card to hold the
reservation. You must cancel at least 24 hours in
advance or your card will be charged.
NOTE: The cruise has gotten very popular, so be sure to
call ahead for the reservation.
Deb's Mini-Review: Boats sit under the
International Gateway bridge for viewing
IllumiNations, but not right next to each other, so
you feel like you're having a private viewing.
Sitting in Breathless, you have a wonderful view of
the water fountains, laser ball, and fireworks. From
what I can remember, there is a partial view of
France (behind you on the right) and the UK (on your
left). There are also partial views of Mexico,
Germany, Italy, China and the US. Canada and Japan
are not visible. The pontoon sits out a bit further
and so you have a slightly better view.
|2009-09-19 - Surfing - Ok,
here is a cool tip that very few people know about - In Typhoon Lagoon you can rent the entire
for yourself and 11 more people for 2 hours first thing in the
morning. They supply a teacher, surf boards, on land training
and in the water supervision, life guards etc. You get the
help you need to get up and surf. The waves are set to max for
your experience and it is one of the best kept secrets. If you
are going with a group and are willing to get up and going early you
can have a great time. It is 150.00 split between 12.
Now, you do have to leave the park at the end or produce your
tickets and stay for the day. But the 150.00 does not include
staying all day. But heck if you have learned to surf, then
off you go to a park and have fun.
Description: This is a wonderful way to get a
taste of surfing. Craig Carroll's Coco Beach Surfing
School is fun and is held at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Water Park. You must be 8 years of age or older and
Two instructors are available at each class.
Days and Times:
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from
7:30 am to 10:00 am.
Surfing lessons are held at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
$135.00 per person tax is included however admission
into Typhoon Lagoon after class is completed is an
Reservations: Reservations can be made by
calling 1 407 WDW-PLAY.
|2009-09-19 - Bass Fishing -
We went bass fishing on the lake in front of the Contemporary and
Polynesian. Our guide was really fantastic, she was
professional fisher who competed professionally. For the
money, I think about 260.00 you can take up to 5 people.
They supply all equipment, a drink, bait fish etc. We were out
for about 2 hours. We caught a lot of fish, it was catch and
|2009-09-19 - Bippidi Boppidi
Boutique - This is a great treat for little girls, and now boys too!.
This is a salon in the main Disney Downtown Shopping store.
The hair dressers are really friendly. They do a great job of
making each little girl feel and look special. Parents can go
in and sit and watch the performance on a couch in the middle of the
room. This makes the little ones feel comfortable and they
allow you time to take pictures. One tip - when you register
at your hotel or when you see a photographer in a park get them to
take picture of your group then get the Photopass card. When
you go to the salon there is a photographer that will take all the
pictures that you want and just zap them onto your account.
You can then buy all your pictures when you get home or even before
you leave. I suggest that you wait till you get home then you
can go online and edit your pictures with their
backgrounds/foreground. The photographers are all over the
park and they use the most famous features in the background and
they are very experienced and friendly. The disk at the end
costs about 120.00. If you are daring you can wait till just
before your eligibility period expires and they drop the price in
half. The Salon offers a wide range of products. You can
buy a plan that gives you the gown, the big hair, the slippers etc
for a huge amount of money, or you can just get colour, extensions
or look like a rock star. They have expanded their offerings.
Their menu just expanded as I read this week.
|2009-09-14 - Crystal Palace
is going to close for rehab in January and February 2010 - They are
definitely going down for rehab 1st week of Jan, rehabing kitchen
and front of house. Contractors have already been measuring dinning
room area for updates. Estimated time for rehab has been anywhere
from 6-10 weeks. This info comes from people working there.
the Characters are going to go back to Liberty Tree Tavern while the
rehab is underway. No word yet if the characters will stay at
Liberty Tree after that.
|2009-09-14 - If you want
seafood I have heard mixed reviews about Fultons Crab House at
Downtown Disney. For years everyone said do not go there.
Too Too Expensive, poor service and cold food. We went on our
honeymoon and we had a great experience there. Lobster, King Crab
Legs, Steak and any combination of the above. We have not gone
back due to the reviews that we have read for years. Then on
trip we spoke to a lady that goes to Disney 6 or 8 times a
year. They go to Fultons each and every time. They love
it. The kids actually saved their own money this time so that
the family would not miss their trip to Fulton's. It is not on
the dining plan and it is very pricey but it might be worth a trip
on the next visit after listening to the review from this lady on
the bus. Talk to the friendly people on the busses, they often
have the best tips for fun.
|2009-09-14 - Landry
restaurants have 4 spots on Disney Properties: Rainforest
Downtown Disney, Rainforest Animal Kingdom, Yak & Yeti and T-Rex - 3
are great and deserve a visit but one was too pricey and not very
showy. The themeing in T-Rex is a miss. It really
disappoints if you have been to Rainforest Cafe. It seems to
be a poorer cousin rather than a brother. If you have not been
to Rainforest Cafe and you have little ones then now is the time to
go. The food is great and plentiful. The temperature in
the restaurant is very chilly, watch out if you are damp and/or
sweating cause you could get sick like we did. Don't have the
Paella, i did not see any evidence of saffron. Do order the
Volcano for desert if you like chocolate, brownies and ice cream.
Yak & Yeti is not traditional American Chinese food with red
But it is more like traditional Chinese ethnic food or Thai.
The dim sum basket gives you a sample of the quality. It is
very good, not great but very good. I recommend it if you like
good Chinese traditional style food. I read that you should avoid
the Vietnamese Pao as it is not very good. Everything on our
table was very good and we enjoyed it a lot. Service was very
good. The non alchoholic drinks were a treat.
|2009-09-14 - 3d Movies - I
really enjoy the 3d movie inside the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom
- Bugs Life. It has great little thrills that keep your
attention all the way to the end of the movie. My most
favourite now is Philarmagic in Magic Kingdom. It is really
well done and it is on the 150 foot screen that bends around half of
the theatre. It has the most characters at one time in one
place on the movie in the history of Disney. It is really
cute. The glasses that they give you work wonderfully.
The glasses do not fold down and that was done so that people would
not take them with them when they left cause it would cost too much
if they couldn't reuse the glasses. The 3d Muppet Movie in
Disney Studios is more for little kids but it too is fun.
|2009-09-13 - We usually stay
at the Disney Vacation Club resorts cause we are members. We
own a time share for 55 years. We will pass it down to our
kids. They will only have to pay the maintenance fee annually.
We have stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, Disney Cruise,
Disney Institute Tree House Villas, Polynesian, All Star Sports,
Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Villas, Old Key West, Carribean Beach
Resort and most often Saratoga Springs. We like Saratoga
Springs because it is close to Downtown Disney and it is our home
resort and it is not as popular as the others so we don't have any
trouble making reservations late.
|2009-09-13 - The Disney
Vacation Club Villas are really nice. If you are not a member
it is between $325 for a single room to thousands a night for the 3
bedroom villas. The Beach Club Resort has a sandy bottom pool,
a fast deep short lazy river and a large little guys and girls pool.
The Boardwalk Resort has a neat pool with a large slide. You
look out on a lake with a large boardwalk for you to walk on.
You can walk over to a special entrance to the back of Epcot called
the International Gate. There is almost nobody there so you
enter really quickly. You enter in between England and France.
It is such a wonderful entrance. You can also reach the
entrance from Yachtsman Resort, Swan and Dolphin and the Beach Club
by ferry. How wonderful is that? You can spend a lot of
money for a bigger room but you have to decide if it is really worth
it. You are only going to be in your room to sleep and change
to go out for the evening. Nobody stays in their rooms for
long. Out to the pool if you are bored and out to Downtown
Disney for shopping at night. Don't hang around the room for
any reason, get out and do something, go somewhere. So why
spend the money for the room. The pools are not very exciting
at the Value resorts but geez the price is really great for a place
to put your head on a pillow. If you are willing to put out a
little extra money I recommend the moderate resorts just for the
pool features like a slide. But, if you want to be really in
the wow factor the first time you walk into the Deluxe Animal
Kingdom Lodge you will look up and say wow with your jaw dropped.
It is just that beautiful. And when you get up in the morning,
throw back the curtain and look out the window into the Savanah (and
only in Savanah class rooms!) you will share your coffee on your
balcony with the most beautiful site of giraffe and other animals up
close having their breakfast. It is the most wonderful
learning experience for the little ones. It is just plain
wondrous for the adults. Don't stay at the Contemporary Resort
unless you want the convenience of being able to take the monorail
to the parks. The idea behind the resort is that it was the
most modern resort of its day and it is a lot of concrete but not
really a lot of ambience. All balconies look out to the main
concourse and you see the monorail coming in and out of the hotel.
Each end of the concourse is a glass window. It is neat but
the other resorts have so much more themeing and I recommend them
more. The Polynesian has
|2009-09-13 - The moderate
resorts are really great too. We stayed at the Carribean Beach Club.
The rooms are great because they all open up to the outside rather
than a hallway. It was a really nice quiet resort and we would stay
there again. The feature pool has a really nice slide and is
nicely shaped. The counter service area has good food but is
limited and you have to line up for the particular type of food that
you wanted. The burgers were good. The salads were quite
large and tasty. There is a lot of walking to get to the main
pool and dining area but it is so peaceful and quiet that you really
do relax while walking to the pool. I hear that they have
upgraded all of the rooms and the beds are pirate ships and the
furniture has been changed as well. It will be fun to try the
resort again. The walking is quite calming. There are
bus stops all over the resort to allow you to get to the parks.
You dont have to go back to the main house to get a bus. The
rooms open out to the sidewalk and they are really nice looking
buildings. The main pool was so much fun and the kids love it.
It has bikes that 2 or 4 can rent to ride around the lake. The
little boats can be rented by kids to drive around the lake.
They are not fast but the kids love them. It is worth a stay
to get away from the craziness of the parks and stay the night in a
|2009-09-13 - The deluxe
Resorts always have great regular sit down restaurants as well as
Fine Dining Restaurants. In the Wilderness Inn they have a fun
fun place especially for young kids called Whispering Canyon Cafe. All the servers work hard
to make it fun. Our server for two experiences was Candy.
She was beyond great. The food is served family style to the lazy susan in the middle of the table. Huge unlimited quantities of
Smoked Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Oven-roasted Chicken, Beef Brisket,
Mashed Potatoes, Cowboy Beans, and Corn on the Cob Mixed Greens
Salad with Apple Vinaigrette, Coleslaw, and Fresh-baked Cornbread.
When you ask for ketchup they make a big deal of it. They yell
who has the ketchup and the table with the 15 bottles of ketchup on
it deliver it to the next family that wants the ketchup. They
bring it all together with bottles under every arm. It is
really fun. Then if you ask for butter they will go and get
huge quantities of butter and yell as they deliver it saying "Lisa
wants the butter". When the next unsuspecting family wants the
ketchup you had better be ready with the ketchup or you will get
really embarrassed. The food is really really good. Then
at Animal Kingdom Lodge is another fun restaurant. More for
what is available and the ambience than the servers. The food
is based on traditional African food. They have Potatoes with
Afritude, Durban Spiced Roasted Chicken, Malabu Pepper Steak,
Grilled Seafood, Wood Roasted Meats, Bobotie - lamb and beef quiche
with onions, raisins and bread, Vegetable Skewers, Chicken Pepper
Pot, Coconut Curried Chicken Soup, Curried Coconut Seafood Stew,
Couscous Marrakesh. They do a fantastic selection of deserts
and crispy breads with things like hummus. Dont be frightened
off by the names of the foods, they also have prime rib and other
things. The favourite things this time were the roast beef and
the macaroni and cheese. The carrot and ginger soup is always
the best smoothest and creamiest thing on the menu.
|2009-09-13 - Dinner at Epcot
- If you want to have really great aged Angus steak then you want to
go to the Canada Pavilion. If you want to go there you have to
book exactly 180 days away from your trip. Use this calculator
http://pscalculator.net/pscalc.php - and it will tell you
exactly the day that you need to call to make all of your weeks
reservations. Priority seating means that when you arrive at
the podium at the restaurant you will get the very next seat that
comes available that suits your needs. Our favourites in Epcot
are the Italian, Canadian, French and British Pub. I would
love to go to the Chinese but nobody else will. The German is
a nice self serve buffet with the German Ompapa band but it isn't
our cup of beer! We were going to go to the Japanese
restaurant - Tempani - but bailed until next time. I
understand that Coral Reef is great but we haven't been there since
our honeymoon and cannot really remember the food. If you want
to read the menus go to
http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm - these are pretty close to
what is being served. Be careful at the Chinese because they
have a take out counter service meal but that is not the main dining
room. The really good restaurant with Dim Sum and all the
traditional Chinese is the Restaurant inside the Pavilion.
From all accounts it is really good traditional Chinese food. All the staff in the restaurants are from the country of
the Pavilion. In France we ordered in French and practiced our
French with the server. It made her day. Then she
practiced her English with us. It was fun. In Italy they
have a really nice restaurant with traditional Italian dishes.
Outside the British pub is a fish and chips stand that is really
great. Very reasonable prices. Banger and Mash, fish and
chips, kidney pie etc are served inside the restaurant. France has
great Filet, Escargot (one time it was the best I ever had, the next
time not so much). French Onion soup is good too.
|2009-09-10 - Disney Magic
Kingdom - this everyone's favourite park. That might be an
exaggeration but this is what it is all about. The best rides
depend on how old you are. The best restaurants is based on
the same. Crystal Palace has Pooh Bear and Piglet and great
buffet food. Spaced out over the hour each of the characters come to each
table and allow pictures to be taken. You will get every
character to your table during your meal. The timing is
The Castle is fantastic
for little girls because all the Princesses come to your table for
pictures. Make sure the person with the camera sits on the
inside. They will pose toward you with each child and you get
the picture of a lifetime. I know that I did. It is just
the best time. The breakfast is really good all you can eat
table served. Sometimes the princes come along as well.
If you remember their actual names rather than Prince Charming etc
they get a real charge out of that. To get a morning seating
you have to call the dining reservation line exactly 180 days out and
exactly at 7 in the morning. Dont be inpolite but be straight
forward when you get through to the reservation agent. Say
"Good Morning reservations for breakfast at the castle on 15
September at 10:00 am. Then wait and she will bring up the
booking page and try to grab you a spot. It is hard to get
because there are 100-700 booking agents and all of them are talking
to people who want those reservations. If she gets you a spot
then she will get the information from you. You may have to
try this on several days. They have changed the rules so on
the first day of your holiday minus 180 days out you can book your
all the holiday meals for the entire week of your holidays.
That is a recent change. I dont know if that works for the
Castle breakfast though. My secret for getting that
reservation is to get a atomic clock on the computer to show me the
time in Orlando then I call and listen to the message that plays at
6:30 that tells you when the reservations opens. When you call
at 7 and you get that message you hang up immediately and hit
redial. When the message changes you are into the
reservations. Time is of the essence to please your little
girl. Speak clearly and do not make nice conversation cause.
Tonys Town Square is a good Italian restaurant but the
ambiance is weak. I love going to Liberty Tree Tavern.
It used to have Minnie and characters but they were pulled last
year. They may come back cause they have not been filling up.
The food is a lovely break from all the fast food and fancy food.
It is just like a great Thanksgiving meal served to the table.
All you can eat. Big glasses of pop. Roasted turkey
breast, carved beef, and smoked pork loin, with mashed potatoes,
seasonal vegetables, herb bread stuffing, and Macaroni and Cheese.
It is great. The best hot dog in the parks is at the end of
Main Street called Casey's - great condiments to pile on. This
is a great surprise - Tomorrow Land Noodle Station. It is
worth a visit for the following for lunch. Don't be late or it
turns into a dinner location and they shut down.
Chicken Noodle Bowl - with broth $7.99
Vegetable Noodle Bowl - with Tofu $6.99
Six Piece Chicken Breast Nuggets - with
french fries or apple slices $6.89
Eight Piece Chicken Breast Nuggets - with
french fries or apple slices) $7.69
Orange Chicken - with Steamed Rice $7.99
Beef and Broccoli - with Steamed Rice
$7.99 (Personal favourite)
Caesar Salad - with chicken $7.19
Tofu - with Steamed Rice $7.59
|2009-09-10 - Disney Studios
is not my favourite park. It is fun once but not for days in a
row. The shows are great.
was the first expansion to Disney's Hollywood
Studios, opening in July 1994. The visual focal
point of Sunset Boulevard is
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a thrill ride
based on the classic
television series. Located nearby is
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring
Aerosmith, an indoor
roller coaster in the dark with three
inversions and a high-speed launch.
has two outdoor amphitheatres for live stage shows.
The covered Theater of the Stars hosts
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, a stage
show featuring highlights of the
film. The open-air
Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre is the home of
Fantasmic!, a nighttime show featuring
Mickey Mouse and many other Disney characters in a
story filled with fireworks, lasers and water
effects. A special treat for
Fantasmic is to ask when you register at the front
desk of your Disney Resort if you can get the dinner
package. You can get it from Disney by
telephone I believe. You pick your Restaurant
for dinner from about four good restaurants, they
change a little from time to time, and you tell them
you want the Fantasmic Dinner Package. When
you have dinner they give you a pass for an unmarked
gate. To get into Fantasmic you usually wait
in a long line for an hour and sit and wait in the
stands for an hour before the show begins.
This way you arrive a half hour before the show.
You get let in at the gate and walk a short distance
to the seats. A whole wedge of the stands is
reserved for the package diners. Your seats
are fantastic and you are not bored waiting.
It is a great show and should not be missed.
Beauty and the Beast is a great show. .
Star Tours is a
motion simulator ride set in the
Star Wars universe, and is a duplicate of
the original attraction at
Jedi Training Academy, a live-action stage show,
invites children to become "padawan
learners" and receive "lightsaber training" from
a Jedi master. Lastly, the live-action
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
re-enacts various scenes from
Raiders of the Lost Ark while illustrating
how movie stunts are performed. Added in 2005,
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
is a behind-the-scenes look at how vehicle action
sequences are created for films, and was adapted
from a similar show at
Walt Disney Studios Park. It is a great
show and fits in a lot of people. A lot of the
above was copied from another page.
What is the Fantasmic! Dining
The Fantasmic! Dining Experience
includes dinner at one of the
participating Disney's Hollywood Studios
restaurants and reserved seating in the
Fantasmic! amphitheater. As of this
writing, only Brown Derby,
Mama Melrose, and Hollywood &
Vine are participating.
This means that instead of waiting in
line for 60-90 minutes outside the
theater, you can walk right up to the
theater 30-45 minutes before show time,
(no waiting in line!) and still have a
Is there a charge for the package?
There is no additional charge for
the package itself. However, the
package, which includes the Fantasmic!
seating pass, MUST be guaranteed at
the time of booking with a credit card,
and a $10 cancellation fee applies if
not cancelled at least 48 hours
As of June 2009, you may order from the
Brown Derby or Mama Melrose a la carte
Hollywood & Vine
$26.99 adult/$13.99 child
(3-9) not including admission, tax, and
gratuity (no characters). All you care
to eat buffet. Choose from a number of
selections including; oven-roasted Prime
Rib, Citrus Baked Chicken, Pan-seared
Salmon, and Stir-Fry Noodles with
Sesame. Also includes fresh salads and
build your own ice cream/dessert bar.
Adult beverages NOT included.
Child's meal includes beverage.
All packages include a special pass for
seating at that night's Fantasmic! and
dinner at the restaurant chosen.
Report to your restaurant 10 minutes
before your Fantasmic! Dining Experience
Reservation, and you'll receive your
special Fantasmic! seating pass at that
time. Theme park admission is NOT
Can I Use the Magic Your Way Dining
Plan with the Fantasmic Dining
Yes, a the Magic Your Way Dining Plan
can be used to purchase a Fantasmic
Dining Experience. You can also get the
Fantasmic Dining Experience if you have
the Magic Your Way Premium Package
or the Platinum Package.
Hollywood & Vine and Mama Melrose's
Ristorante Italiano both count as one
Table Service meal for the Dining Plan,
while the Brown Derby counts as a
Signature experience, or two Table
When you call to make a reservation,
your credit card number will be taken,
but the charge won't be put through
(unless you are a no-show, or do not
cancel at least 48 hours before your
dining date). You will pay with your
Magic Your Way Dining Plan when you
dine, just as you would for any meal.
Do I have a reserved seat?
No, only the section itself is reserved
for those with the Dining Experience.
Within the reserved section, seating is
on a first come-first served basis, so
if you want your choice of seats, you
should arrive early.
How do I book the Fantasmic! Dining
You can book the package now for dates
180 days in advance by calling
|2009-09-10 - Fast pass -
sometimes when you visit the parks the most popular rides have long
line ups. I have waited an hour and a half to ride Buzz
Lightyear and that is insane. What I should have done is go
get a FastPass and walk past the line later in the day. Here
is how it works: when you get to the park one of you takes all
the park passes and goes to the most popular ride that all of you
want to ride. Go to the little yellow Fast Pass wickets that
are usually beside the entrance of the ride and put in your park
pass. It will dispense a ticket with a time on it later in the
day, usually gives you an hour window. When you return during
that time you walk past all the riders waiting in line and go almost
to the front of the line. You wait for a little bit and get on
the ride almost immediately. It is so cool walking past all
those hot bored people. Be humble though cause they will walk
past you on one of the other rides on the park so no gloating.
Here are the tips. We go on some rides where a couple of us do
not ride. We give those fast pass tickets to the people who
want to ride so they can go in twice. In Epcot get to Soaring
right away cause by 10:00 the fastpass is set to 5:00 pm. Or
you can go to Test Track. In Magic Kingdom you would want to
go to Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain or Space Mountain
where the line ups are huge. In Disney Studios go to Rocking
Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror. Lots of people dont ride
Tower of Terror so I dont think the line ups are that long. In
Animal Kingdom go immediately to Asia and get on the Everest
roller coaster. You can only hold one fast pass per time zone.
You have to wait till the first time has started before you can get
another one. So if it says that you can return at 1 then at 1:01 you
can get an additional fastpass. That is the only way that you
can have two at a time.
|2009-09-01 - My best deal
ever was to get a value resort, park tickets and dining plan all in
one plan. Disney needs to fill its parks with people in slow
periods so they offer a special deal where they throw in the Dining
Plan. What a deal. Look for this at the end of August,
Sept - Oct. It is also hurricane season so book wisely.
We have only had to leave and run for home once even though we have
travelled there in hurricane season several times. Value
resorts are great, a little boring, not a great feature restaurant but more
than adequate rooms. The value resort pool does not have a slide. But
if you can catch a great cheap flight on Spirit, catch one of these
free dining deals for 5 or 7 nights you can truly have an
inexpensive holiday at Disney. It is between 1200.00 and
1400.00 for 5 nights all inclusive. All you have to do then to
make your holiday inexpensive is stay away from the shopping.
See below to control that cost.
|2009-09-01 - A quick tip to
save a bundle of money. Months before your trip go onto
Disneyshopping.com. Go to the sale area and look for
inexpensive trinkets. You can get specialty hats made up, get
group t-shirts, get hoodies, get coverups for the pool. There
are some really fabulous deals. I suggest that you get a bunch
of things and take them down with you. When you leave for the
day put one of the trinkets out so that the kids find them when they
get home. They will be getting some of the stuff that they are
looking at all day and you are not spending the huge amount of money
that they want you to spend.
|2009-08-30 - I always try to
find something different for us to do on each trip so it all remains
comfortable yet new and exciting to go to Disney. For example
on this trip we are going to go up in the balloon that is teathered
to the dock at downtown Disney. It goes up about 400 feet.
It is circular and you can walk around and get perfect pictures.
We are also going to try a new restaurant called Portobellos Yacht
Club. It has fine dining Italian food. For the non
Italian food eaters they have a 48 oz Porterhouse that the two boys
can share. Always check the menu for the restaurants so that
there is something that everyone can enjoy before you book.
Use this website to check out what each restaurant has to offer
|2009-08-30 - We are going to
go to one of the neatest restaurants in the Magic Kingdom for
Thanksgiving dinner, pot roast, ham, Stouffers macaroni and cheese,
mashed potatos, pop and desert. The Liberty Tree Tavern is a
price fixed all inclusive all you can eat restaurant. It is
table service not buffet. It used
to be a Character Meal but that was cancelled. The rumour is
that the characters will return some time in the future because they
lost so much business. The reason that I like this restaurant
is because it is just like home cooked food. After you have
eaten fries and pretzels and burgers for a long time while on
holiday, or eaten really fancy food in all the finest deluxe
restaurants it is just nice to come back for food that you have at
home. Dinner was fantastic. They knew exactly how much
food to put on our table. We only asked for more macaroni and
we were all stuffed. That amazed us.
Update: We had a great meal
on Not So Scary Halloween night - our server was a ghoul and he kept
bothering the boys who sat on the outside of the table. The
boys loved it and we had the best time. However - and it is a
big one - we wasted a lot of time at dinner, an hour and a half.
That cut into the rides and we missed most of the parade. My
suggestion is to eat before the 7:00 start time. Also, we went
into the park at 6:00 or a little before. That gave us an
The best restaurant in the Magic
Kingdom for little ones is arguably the Castle. It is great for little girls
because the Princesses all come to your table for a small visit and
picture. Sit on the inside and put the kids on the outside and
get every picture that you can - we still treasure them. Also,
try to go to the Crystal Palace for pictures with Pooh Bear.
It is also fantastic food, a buffet. The flank steak is fantastic and
the sundae bar is a treat. Take a brownie or treat and use it
for a base then add ice cream and toppings. I use the cherry
cobbler. You will love the food. You can get McDonald
fries on the walk from Pirates of the Carribean to Splash Mountain
if you must have those kinds of fries. They are in a little
shack at the side of the walkway but Why Would You? McDonalds
is also available in Epcot as you turn to the right to go to the
Canadian Pavillion on the right in a little pale coloured
building at the end of the entrance walk way from the future worlds
after you turn right into the Nations area.
|2009-08-30 - Tickets
are another surprise when you get to Disney. Are you aware of
the price to get into the parks? Are you aware that there are
many different levels of tickets. Do you know the difference
between Park Hopper Pass and a One Park Per Day Pass. It will
pay to learn the difference. I do not like going to different
parks in one day but my best friend hits two or three parks every
day he is there, and he is there three times a year. It all
depends on your level of energy, plans to rest on your holiday or
the demands of your children. Park Hopper Tickets cost the
most and are great if you are going to several different parks and
want to go to Disney Quest, water parks, Sports and do it every day.
Park Hoppers do not expire at the end of your holiday I believe so
you can use it the next time you go down there. Or you can get
a single park pass that is much less expensive. The more days
you buy the less expensive it is per day at the end. You can
get these tickets as well as non expire tickets but that raises the
price. What I suggest is that you buy the most days you can
and make it non expire, then in a couple of years when you come back
you can still use those tickets.
It can get very pricey if
you do not plan out your trip. It you are going for two weeks
you will find it cheaper each and every day so buy the 10 day ticket
- it is like an extra 2.00 a day at 10 days. Something silly
like that. What we do is this. I get every point that I
can on Air Miles. I buy all my gas at Shell with a BMO Mosaic
card with Air Miles. I use my air miles card at the pump and
the Mosaic card so that I get air miles twice each time. Then
I buy my 7 day Disney Park passes from Air Miles as a reward.
I buy the one park a day pass rather than the "Park Hopper Pass"
because going to more than one park a day is more than a parent
should be asked to do. I then go to the park customer service
window at the first day we go into a park. It is the service
wicket not the ticket wicket. I ask to up grade the tickets I
got from Air Miles and make the tickets so that they never expire.
It costs about $117.00 for a 7 day pass. Then we use the
tickets for two trips to disney so your next trip the tickets are
free. The 7 day pass is only about 2250 points for an adult.
Now if you plan before you go to Disney what parks you are going to
go to and what waterparks you are going to go to then you can
conserve your tickets. For a seven day trip we plan on staying
at the hotel at the pool on the first day. You get used to the
heat and have fun swimming on the first day. Then pick a park
to go to the second day. Then go to Typhoon Lagoon the third
day cause it is so much fun in the wave pool. Then on the
fourth day go to Downtown Disney shopping and then back to the pool.
Then pick another park to go to on the fifth day. Then on the
sixth day go to the Magic Kingdom and finish with a bang. Then
on the seventh day you are usually in the pool in the morning and
then packing for the trip home, then on the plane. That way
you have used 3 park days and paid cash for the water park.
You will be too exhausted and wont be rested at all when you get
home if you go to a park each day. You walk about 40,000 steps
in each park, we have measured it. If you must buy your
tickets, do it in advance from home. It will save you the
taxes on the sale if you buy them online and have them sent to
Ontario. Plus you can buy them in advance and spread out the
cost of the trip by buying months ahead of the trip.
|2009-08-30 - One of the
restaurants that we are going to go to is a fine dining restaurant
that we have been to before - The California Grill. It is very
fancy dancy and yet is very fun. The food is absolutely
spectacular, sushi, fish, meats and sauces. It is all
the best of everything. It is also at the top of the
Contemporary resort. What we have done is plan our dinner on a
night when the fireworks are on. You can check on
www.disney.com for timetables
that tell what day and time the fireworks happen. We also
found out when the fireworks for the Not So Scary Halloween party is
on because they are the very best that I have ever seen. At
the end of dinner you can go out on the roof walkway and listen to
the music that is piped out to the guests and watch spectacular
fireworks from one of the best locations on the property. Narcossee's at the Grand Floridian offers the same thing from water
|2009-08-30 - Do you want to
make your holiday in Disney affordable? The largest expense
that stops people from traveling is the cost of getting there.
I suggest Spirit Air out of Detroit. I do not pay more than
$60.00 a flight per person each way. That may surprise you,
but would you be more surprised that I have bought tickets for $0.35
each way to Orlando? It is true. Go to
www.spiritair.com and sign up
for the $9.00 fare club. This will allow you to save $9.00 or
up to $100.00 per flight depending on the sale. It handles
everyone in your flight party. Then sign up for the email
specials. They will email you whenever a great sale is
available for booking. You have to move quickly and be ready
to fly on weekdays to get the best deals. I have seen deals to
California, Vegas, Columbia and Orlando that you simply would not
believe. One time they offered us $1.35 to fly -
so with taxes it was about $20.00 to fly both ways. We get the
7:35 flight 801 in the morning. We leave here at 3:30 in the
morning and fly straight through to Orlando. We get to the
border early before any lines and drive straight to the airport.
We park right at the airport in the parking by the terminal.
Sure it costs $100.00 a week but we are on the flight quickly and
when we get home we can walk out to the car and drive right away
without having to wait for shuttles. How much is your stress
level worth. I think that we park on level 4 or 5 and
find the walkway that takes you right over to the terminal then find
a parking spot nearby. We get in to Orlando at 10:00 am and
get right into our limo and we are at the pool by 11:00.
Prices have been a little more pricey these days. They still
have deals but they focus less on Detroit than Fort Lauderdale.
Today I used a $35.00 off coupon and brought the price down in
January to $73.00 each way. If you fly on a Tuesday or
Wednesday you can bring the price down to $43.00.
|2009-08-19 - We are planning
for our next holiday. The four of us are going this fall
for a little 4 day holiday. We are taking our DS's (Disney
Son) friend with
us to give them all a real treat. He will be a great balance
between the two kids, he gets along with both. The kids will
love showing him Disney World and experiencing it through his fresh
eyes. It will be fun for all.
|2009-08-19 - Just learned
that the fireworks display at Epcot is ending on August 30th and
will be replaced by a new show. It was time for this to end.
It cost $17,000 a night to run this show. It will be
interesting to see what takes its place. Just learned that
The Show Will Be Closed on August 30,
2009 and will replaced by DisneySea Symphony (Formerly from Tokyo
DisneySea from 2001-2004) Which Shows on September 30, 2009.
|2009-08-19- Within ten
days of leaving for Disney go to
and check in before you leave.
If you do this you can just walk up to the counter and they will
give you your keys, show you where your room is on a map and off you
go. Also I suggest that you get Express Check Out. This
allows you to just leave from your room if you dont want to go up to
the main entrance to leave. If you have your own car or limo
then they can pick you up at the entrance to your part of the
resort. This saves you time, tip money and effort. If
you have to drag your bags up to the front part of the hotel to
leave you will be hot and sweaty for the ride back to the airport.
Take a limo and have them pick you up at the nearest curb to your
|2009-08-19 - Speaking of Limo
- I highly recommend Happy Limo in Orlando for your ride to the
resort and back to the airport. You can find them at
They can take you to the Disney cruise line as well. We once
did a trip from the airport to the cruise, then when we returned
they took us to the disney resort, then they picked us up and took
us back to the airport.
They cost about $150.00 plus tip to the Disney resorts. Here
are the advantages: When you arrive at the airport they are
waiting for you at the bottom of the baggage claim escalator.
They wait with you until your bags arrive. They gather up your
bags and your passengers and take you to a covered drive through
where the car is waiting. He will run the air conditioner
while he loads up the bags. It is so easy and stress free.
You pick the level of comfort or size of car depending on your party
size. I recommend the SUV for 5 people. It is so clean
and comfortable. They will take you directly to your hotel
quickly. If you wish to stop for half an hour and pick up
groceries that can be arranged. That will save you money.
On the way back they will pick you up at your hotel and deliver you
back to the airport. They have never missed one of our return
trips. It is safe and comfortable and dependable. You
are expected to tip 20 percent, we give a little more. This
trip we are using a Stretch Lincoln Limo just for the fun of it.
I will let you know what we think. It is about 50.00 more in
total. Fun is fun! Here are the alternatives: You
can take a cab - they are available outside. They tend to be a
little messy, not as cool and we find that the drivers spend most of
the trip talking on their cell phones. It is unnerving.
Mears have vans that they use to drive you to the resorts but they
are uncomfortable. The Magical Express is fine. They
have tv screens that show you what to expect in the parks.
They greet you at the escalator and gather you into the appropriate
bus. The ride can be fine but the biggest problem is your
bags. They may not arrive in your room until 11:00 at night.
They get taken from the plane to a truck and are delivered to the
resorts. From there they are taken to the rooms but you should
not count on them being there when you need them on arrival day.
In all cases take a bathing suit and plan on being dressed for the
pool on your arrival day. If your room is not ready, not
cleaned up yet, you can spend your day at the pool. For the
little bit of extra money, it is highly recommended that you use
Happy Limo and your bags arrive with you in comfort and your holiday
begins stress free.
|2009-08-19 - We fly Spirit
Air out of Detroit for many reasons. One of them being that
when our limo takes us back to the Orlando airport for the flight out we
drop our bags at the curbside check in. For $2.00 per bag and
a small tip you get rid of your bags as soon as you get to the
airport. No waiting in long lines to check in. I will
discuss Spirit Air in greater detail another time.
|2009-08-19 - We went to the
Ragland Road Irish Pub on Disneys West Side - more or less
Pleasure Island - and had a good dinner. We booked 180 days in
advance and when we got to the desk there was lots of room in the
main area of the dining room where the entertainment would be
happening. We booked for a time when the entertainment would
be performing. They have a couple of guys who play Irish music
and accompany the Celtic dancer. We were 5 and that seemed to
create a problem for them. We waited a long time while many
walk ups were taken first. It was frustrating. Finally
we were seated in a booth with no view of the entertainment, dark
and no view of anything in fact. I immediately asked to be
moved so that we could see the entertainment. She said that
she would ask at the podium and see if we could be moved. She
said that we could move to the side of the room to watch the
entertainment when our dinner was done. They did not come
back. Our waiter was great and very enthusiastic but he did
not offer to move us. So we ordered but I was still perturbed.
I finally asked to see the manager. Once I explained what had
happened he said that they always try to seat those who want to see
the entertainment in the main part of the room. I told him
that I had gone to the washroom and had seen 8 different tables that
we could have been seated at with little rearrangement. He
immediately said that he would see what could be done. Our
food arrived while he was away. The entertainment came on and
left while we could not see. He returned with several staff
members and they picked up our drinks and food and moved us to great
seats. We got a new waiter who was also wonderful. I
asked for the first server to be sent over and tipped him and I
tipped the new server as well. We saw the entertainment and
enjoyed our dinner and our Irish experience. I would say that
they bent over backwards once we spoke to the manager. The
food was good and the drinks plentiful. Unfortunately the
Celtic dancer was only on for a couple of minutes (one song) an hour and it was
hardly worth the effort. The guitar players were very good.