Monday, February 17, 2014

Disney News Roundup- Your one stop for all of the latest Disney news!

Well, lovers and friends, Valentines day is behind us. It's also tax season-what a wonderful way to thank yourself for the money you have coming back by booking a Disney vacation. Or, you could use the money to replace your furnace or something else not as fun. As for me, I'll be using my money to paying off my Disney Cruise/WDW visit this September!

Now, onto the news. 

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid caught fire this past week. The fire was quickly put out, and no real damage was done to the attraction. The ride is open, and operating normally. Initial reports blame the Wishes fireworks show. However, I'm not so sure a nearby rival isn't behind this....
We hardly knew ya- Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade to end in June at Animal Kingdom Park. Every time I visited Animal Kingdom, I seemed to get trapper by this parade in the theme park. Well, not for much longer! It's closing to make way for the expansion to the theme park, AVATAR-land. Somewhere, Mr. Bob Marley is shedding a tear (Jamming... Bob Marley...Jammin' Jungle Parade....come on!)

Now this you gotta see!
Eowyn Smith created an interactive map of 44 Disney films and 13 Pixar films. Smith provides the logic and reasoning for the selections, and it's a barrel a lot of fun to check out. 

I also now know to never cross the ocean between South America and Africa, for fear of running into the sea witch Ursula!

No need to question who cut the cheese, if you are planning a trip to Disneyland Paris. A new Ratatouille attraction is coming this summer, and Disney is beginning to release details. I'm doing good enough to make it to WDW or Disneyland, but one day I do hope to make the voyage. Heres a first look for you-

Finally, are you still trying to lose a little bit of weight, or starting to lose motivation?
runDisney is one thing that just may help give you that extra push. Disney has all kinds of running events- for kids, parents, and the entire family at once. With fun theming- the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Mile Week, Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Princess Half Marathon, and more- this is a fun way to tell your spouse that A) you are getting your butt and shape, and consequently, B) it will culminate with a trip to Disney!

 I can help you plan a race weekend, as well as your stay. There are races at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 
Anyone can do it. Check out why Laura runs-

Make this your best week ever!
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Parkhopperitis-Adding the Park Hopper option to your Disney theme park tickets

I've planned a number of trips for a number of wonderful families.

One persistent question I receive is about theme park tickets, especially for Walt Disney World. There are a couple of different options that can drastically affect a Disney vacation. I think it's fair to say that many of my families that I plan their Disney vacations have a mild case of Parkhopperitis.

Park hopping is a fairly easy concept. It might sound a little funny to the non-Disney theme park visitor, and doesn't require any actual hopping. A smile, maybe. Patience, sure. And a little extra cash, definitely.

The Park Hopper option for Disney theme parks works like this: you can visit any theme park you want, just as long as you have a valid theme park ticket for the day. Wait, what? Here you go- you can visit Magic Kingdom in the morning, "hop" over to Epcot over the afternoon hours, and then finish the night at Hollywood Studios.

It's also helpful to explain the alternative. If you don't have the park hopper option, here's how it works. You visit Magic Kingdom in the morning, well, then you are only able to visit Magic Kingdom for that day (or whatever park you decide to visit). 

Why is this a problem? Well, there are a couple of drawbacks. First, you are limited in your dining options- you may only eat at the Disney resorts or at a restaurant at the theme park you start at. Some people don't use free Disney vacation planning services (like I offer), and go to a theme park, and forget they can't leave to go for their Dining Reservations in another theme park. However, you can definitely plan ahead to try and avoid any problems if you don't have the park hopper.
Another issue is that all theme parks at Walt Disney World might not require a full day visit for some families. However, all of the theme parks offer marquee attractions, and may be you or your childs favorite attraction. It's crazy for someone to go to WDW and skip out on some of the world's best rides because they didn't want to spend a whole day in a specific theme park. On a related note, a family may find that they really enjoy a particular ride or area, and will want to come back and spend more time there. The park hopper option will allow you to do that.

Some of the draw backs?

Well, you are going to spend more time on Disney transportation (or driving if you have a car). There can always be minor frustrations that occur during this time. I know I've spent plenty of trips on a Disney bus with one holding my 2 year old son, the other holding our stroller, and standing because all of the seats are full. I feel like I'm walking a tight rope and I feel every bump. 

Also, it's going to cost you more. How much more? $60 to be exact. And here's the deal- it doesn't matter if you have 1 day or 100 day theme park tickets. It's going to be an additional $60 per ticket. So, if you want to visit WDW and get 5 day theme park tickets, then it will be an extra $60 for the park hopper. Want to add an extra day? The only price increase would be for the theme park tickets, but there's no increase in the park hopper option.

Is it for everyone? No, definitely not. But this is a big decision, and for many, a necessary expense. The cure for Parkhopperitis is simply being knowledgeable, so you can make an educated decision. And if you need any help, well, you know where to find me!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Disney News Roundup- Your source for all of the latest Disney news!

Walt Disney World has seen its share of improvements lately- new resorts, new attractions, new shows, updated restaurants. Heck, I'm just trying to lose 10 pounds, and I'm still treading water. The icing on the cake (maybe thats my problem) with the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It's going to be an exciting fun addition to the park-think of it like a puppy that won't chew up your shoes or poop on the carpet.

No opening date has been set yet, but it will open later this year. The Disney Parks blog shared an intimate look into the ride, including some awesome pictures of some of the props. I know I can't wait to get a first hand look at these at my upcoming Disney trip!

Disney also released yet another version of the popular "Let it Go" song from the hit Frozen. This time, it's Let it Go in 25 different languages-you know, one language is never enough. On the bright side, next time I visit my favorite Japanese restaurant, I can now tell them to "Let it Go" with the Teriyaki sauce.

The aforementioned Disney Parks Blog also shared some new merchandise for women and girls that you can purchase in the parks.

If you really want to stand out, get a t shirt with your face on it. It will take three people, and you'll have to be one of those annoying groups that seems to take every step in stride with the other (thus blocking everyone else that doesnt want to match your pace).... but have the outer two wear the kissing Mickey/Minne shirt, and the one with the persons face in the middle. I'm sure that would be worth a laugh or two!

Walt Disney World is always full of surprises, and something new. One event that many people aren't aware of is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Not only do you get to check out some finely pruned shrubs and trees (Donald Trump is rumored to have hired the people responsible to cut his hair), but you also can catch some live music. The Flower Power concert series recently released a list of performers, and here they are:

  • March 7-9 - The Guess Who
  • March 14-16 – Gary Lewis and the Playboys NEW
  • March 21-23 – The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO
  • March 28-30 – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  • April 4-6 – Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • April 11-13 – Village People
  • April 18-20 – The Grass Roots
  • April 25-27 – Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
  • May 2-4 - STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas
  • May 9-11 – Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
  • May 16-18 – Alan Parsons Live Project NEW 
Just glancing at the list, I'm sure the Village People would be fun to check out. And who wouldn't want a chance to relive the greatest basketball intro of all time (back when MJ was playing with the Chicago Bulls) and listen to some of the Alan Parsons Project? "And now, standing 6'2, and weighing in at just over 200 turkey legs....."

Are you one of those crafty people, and want to make your own Valentine's Day cards, because... well, because you can?

Check out these Cars- themed Valentines Day cards. They look like a breeze to make, and who could pass up such legendary one liners such as "You auto be my valentine!" or "I wheelie like you."

Finally, I've come across a number of sites reporting a rumor that Push, the talking Trash can at Walt Disney World, has been retired. Fear not- the Orlando Sentinel is reporting those rumors as false, as no true Disney fan can imagine throwing away the talking trash bin. It's fair to say, you will be able to "Push it real good" on your next Disney vacation- which I can help plan for free, and with my expert aid... for free!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NotasIrememberedish- how Disney has changed since your last visit!

Quick note- there's just over a week left to cash in on my special offer- up to $100 on a Disney gift card, if you book a Disney vacation by 2/14/14!

Now, onto a recent problem I solved with one of my "patients" (aka family visiting Disney). That's right, they had a bad case of NotasIrememberedish- when we discussed planning the theme park visits, not only were there all kinds of new rides, there were some that they loved that were no longer there.

Such classic rides like Mr. Toads Wild Ride, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, Mission to Mars, and a number of other attractions that may have been your favorite.
When people ask about these rides, it's always somewhat heart breaking for people to hear that Disney isn't just as they remembered.
However, once they get down there, its a totally different story- its like nothing changed! Disney will always have the same "feel" to it, and evoke much of the same emotions you had on a prior trip.
If you go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World willy nilly with no plan, you'll certainly be in for a surprise. Disney has pumped a lot of money into each theme park for updates to rides, or even built brand new ones (such as Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom). 
When Disney removes one of your favorites, usually, its for something even better. But, anytime you are planning on a Disney trip, it's important for you to do research- weather you do it on your own, or get the advice of a Disney expert. Even if it was just 5 years ago you went, there are some pretty big changes at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 
There will always be something different- and thats a good thing! The best cure for NotasIrememberedish is for you to get a little help (so you're not in for a surprise) and then experience some of the Disney magic. You'll get that same fuzzy feeling, and be prepared to be amazed all over again!

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Disney Waiting Room Reading Materials-Disney News Roundup!

Hello February! 
Before I get to the Disney news, there's just 2 weeks left for you to book a Disney vacation with your favorite Disney travel expert, the Disney Vacation Doctor, and get up to $100 on a Disney gift card! Quotes are free, and my services are free. Contact me at for more information!

Now, on with the news!

Any Chip 'n' Dale fans out there? Disney is developing a live action Chip 'n' Dale movie, similar to the recent Smurfs and the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

Do you think a trip to Disney is all pleasure? Disney is recognized and respected as one of the worlds leading companies. Maybe on your next family vacation to Disney, you can get borrow some of Disney's ideas and become a millionaire- just like this guy did. This is a fun read- and is an interesting take on something that has become such a huge competitive advantage for Disney. 

Have you ever wondered how the "I'm going to Walt Disney World!" saying got started? Find out who said it first, how much they got paid, and how it began. Also, you can view the entire list of everyone who has said it- well, every who has said it for an advertisement! 

I've mentioned in the past the fact that you can experience something new every time you visit a Disney theme park. One of the things I mentioned was the Epcot International Food and Garden Festival, help each year during the spring months. Not only can you find some bushes that are cut with more precision than I ever spent cutting out a heart from a folder piece of paper, there's also some event-specific merchandise. Much of the merchandise is available only at the festival. However, I saw one item that stuck out- if anyone in your family has the love of Disney and gardening, this is one item you need to have!

Did you know that you can now dine, sing, and dance with Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First at Walt Disney World? This is your only spot to get an autograph from Doc as well. Doc and Sofia are joining Handy Manny and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates at  Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood Studios. They'll sing some of the most popular songs from the shows, and have a chance for once in a lifetime interaction (unless you want to make Disney an annual trip!). This is one time you'll want to record a memory- I'm already picturing the smile on my daughter's face. Part of my Disney vacation planning services is booking meals for you, and this is definitely a popular restaurant on the list!

Speaking of meeting characters, you are also able to meet and take pictures with the two Frozen sisters, Elsa and Anna. They can be found in Epcot at Walt Disney World, in the Norway Pavilion. They do have specific times they appear, and lines have been known to last 2 plus hours. They are currently on a limited schedule, but I imagine it will be extended for quite some time. No word if Olaf snow cones will be available soon... maybe an extension of the Dole Whip?

Finally, I recently read a story called "Here's what happens when a data scientist goes to Disney World." I wasn't sure what I was opening, but it was a very interesting look into his opinions and thoughts about the new Disney Magic Bands. One popular concern is that Disney is tracking you with the Magic Band, which Disney is upfront about- they are. John talks about the difference of Disney and the NSA, and why Disney would want this information. Check it out!

Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

GoodbyeDietOtis- Eating Healthy at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

So, it's almost February. For many people, that means one month into your resolution for the New Year. I don't have to be a mind reader to guess your resolution included losing weight or getting in shape in 2014.

Now, flash forward to maybe one of the other things you want to do this year- take your family to Disney. 

Your eyes are as big as Mickey waffles- you are going to bed at night dreaming of a giant juicy steak from Yachtsmans Steakhouse, a bath tub of Cheddar Cheese Soup from Le Cellier, followed by the Kitchen Sink from Beaches & Cream Soda Shop.

All of my childhood dreams come true!

But wait- what about that diet!?! This is a problem many guests face. Those souvenir-stuffed suitcases aren't the only baggage they are bringing home- there's a few extra inches around their waste as well.

There's no reason you can't satisfy BOTH of your resolutions, should that be something you choose. 
Believe it or not, there are actually healthy options at Disney theme parks. 

At Walt Disney World, you have all kinds of options. Imagine going to Crystal Palace for lunch. You can dine on turkey, a variety of salads, shrimp, and mussels. You can head to Epcot and taste some of the best tasting sushi you'll find in the United States at the Japan Pavilion, or even grilled veggie tacos at La Hacienda de San Angel. On top of that, there is fresh fruit located all over the parks, including food carts!

At Disneyland, you can feast on plenty of healthy options as well. At Cars Land, you can stop at Flo's V-8 Cafe and eat some of the best Veggie Tater Casserole you could ever imagine! Kids meals come with the option of grapes or carrot sticks. There's plenty of fish and chicken options throughout the park.

Unfortunately Disney is missing one final piece of the "Dreams Come True" piece- where your metabolism reverts back to your middle/high school years and you can eat whatever you please. The other thing you'll need to remember- you're going to be getting a lot of exercise... expect to walk at Walt Disney World! So go ahead- you are on vacation, go ahead and have a Dole Whip or two. Just don't go overboard, if you want to stick to your diet.

And the other resolution you may be interested in keeping? Keeping a little more money in your bank account? Well, you can go to Disney and not break the bank! Disney has all kinds of discounts they offer throughout the year, such as free dining. Right now, they are offering up to 30% on select dates. Even better, you can book a trip with this guy (imagine me pointing two thumbs at my chest and giving you a giant smile), then I'll also give you a Disney gift card that is worth up to $100, if you book by 2/14!

Don't forget- not only can I help you book a healthy vacation for your body, but a healthy vacation for your bank account! Making dining reservations and recommendations are part of my 100% free services to you. 

Now, let's make those resolutions come true!
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Save up to 30% AND get up to $100 Disney Gift Card with this special Disney Offer!

Make 2014 the year you and your family goes to Disney- and here's a great chance to save some money!
With Disney's newest offer, theres two ways you can save -Save up to 30% on a Walt Disney World Resort & get up to a $100 Disney gift card!
Per the offer, you can now get up to 30% off at select Disney resorts for stays 2/24/14 – 3/5/14, 3/14/14 – 4/12/14 and 4/20/14 – 6/15/14. Plus, you’ll get one more ticket day for FREE when you upgrade to a Magic Your Way package with minimum 4-day theme park tickets!
Want another reason to book a trip? Book with me (Disney Cruise, Disneyland, or Walt Disney World) by Valentines Day, and you'll get a Disney Gift Card that is worth $10-$100! Quotes are free, and all it takes is $200 to book your Disney vacation!
For more information, contact me at!

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