Travel, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World

Three Disney Experiences I would Love to Do!

To say our family loves Disney World is an understatement.  But for as many times as we’ve been to Walt Disney World, there are several experiences I haven’t done but would love to do one day.  Part of the reason I haven’t done these experiences are lack of time and often the cost.  It’s no secret that visiting WDW is quite expensive.  It’s also a very large resort with so much to do and usually time is extremely limited as we are usually only there for a week.  From the parks, Disney Springs and the many beautiful Disney resorts, the activities are endless.  Even with the time and money restraints, hopefully one day I will be able to experience some key Disney dining adventures and wonderful tours that look absolutely fabulous.  The first three on my list to do are the following:

  1.  Behind the Seeds Tour: at the “The Land” Pavilion in Epcot.

    agriculture basil bunch cultivation
    Photo by Jatuphon Buraphon on Pexels.com

    This is a walking tour of the greenhouses, hydroponics and fish farm you see while riding “Living with the Land” boat tour.  This tour is fairly reasonably priced at $25.00 per person in addition to your park ticket, it seems they run about every 45 minutes between 10:30 and 4:30.  This is one of the tours that I just haven’t taken the time to do yet.  I’m so intrigued by the unique plantings and vertical growth designs that you see while on the boat tour.  These greenhouses also provide food for some of the Disney restaurants.  I would really enjoy this tour!  

  2. Highway in the Sky Dine Around: This is a Disney style progressive dinner.  The evening starts with appetizers at the Contemperary Resort.   You then board the monorail and travel to the Polynesian Resort for more unique appetizers.  Once finished at the Polynesian, the guests travel to the Grand Floridian for artisinal cheeses or charcuterie offerings as well as the main entree at Citricos.  The evening finishes up back at the Contemporary for coffee and desserts as well as a private area to view the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.
    photography of disneyland
    Photo by Makenzie Kublin on Pexels.com

    Doesn’t this sound fun?  Drinks are included in the evening but the pricetag is quite steep at $170 per person.  One day I do hope to do this with my husband…one day…

 

3.  Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy: I REALLY want to do this one… Christmas and Disney AND going backstage?  Yes, please.  This is a 3 1/2 hour tour of the behind the scenes Holiday decor and what it takes to get the park ready for a magical Christmas at Walt Disney World. The tour starts in Epcot where guests board a bus and travel to different warehouse locations where the massive array of Disney holiday decor is stored. thumbnail-2The last stop is usually a place to get a tasty treat and the tour concludes with each guest receiving a special Yuletide Fantasy souvenier.  This tour is $139.00 per person and each participant must be at least 12 years old.

If you’ve ever done any of these three events, please let me know how your experience was!

 

 

 

 

 

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family, Travel, Walt Disney World

Disney Tips for Those with Limited Mobility

A few months ago our family took a trip to Walt Disney World. If you know me, this is nothing new. We love Disney and typically go every year, once in a while we are lucky enough to visit twice in one year. This past trip, however, was much different from many of our former vacations. This time we were traveling with a family member with disabilities requiring a wheelchair. We had five people in our group, I was nervous, to say the least. Would we manage to keep up the fast pace we are so used to, getting the most out of every second of the day? What would it be like moving through the crowds at each park? Let me just tell you, this was our best trip yet! Disney did not disappoint. Their attention to detail in providing excellent costumer service exceeded my already high expectations. We made some beautiful family memories that we will always treasure as well as some much needed quality time together. I can’t wait to do it again. Here is what we learned from our experience… Tip #1 Take your own wheelchair or scooter… We traveled to Florida by car, so we were able to take our own wheelchair with us, saving money and a lot of time waiting in line to rent one each morning in the park. Having our own wheelchair was very convenient, but many people don’t. If you are unable to travel with your own wheelchair but don’t want to wait in the long lines at the park to rent one, try checking local mobility rental companies to see how much it would cost to rent one for the week. It may be worth it, I’m not sure you save money but you will certainly save precious time that could be spent in the park and not waiting in rental lines each day. Cost to rent at Disney: Wheelchair Rental – $12.00 per day or $10.00 for a multiple day rental ECV (Electric Conveyance Vehicle) – $50.00 per day Tip #2 Use a wheelchair NOT scooter… If you’re trying to decide between a wheelchair or a scooter (ECV electric conveyance vehicle) I suggest wheelchair. I know what you’re thinking…someone has to push it all day. Yes, that is correct. Obviously you will only be able to use a wheelchair if you are traveling with people who are able to push you. We had four able bodied adults that had no problem taking turns with the wheelchair. Florida is flat! It is extremly easy to push the chair. So, the reason why we chose the wheelchair over the scooter can be summed up in one word: CROWDS!!! It’s my experience that traversing the chair through the crowd is much more convenient than the big scooters. Our family member in the chair used a scooter the previous visit and saw a remarkable difference in how we were able to manage the crowd. I noticed a lot of people struggling to maneuver their scooters through the crowds and buildings. It’s a matter of personal preference I guess but if given a choice, we choose wheelchair. Tip #3 Always check in with a cast member before each attraction/show Everything we wanted to do provided wheelchair accessible queuing areas. Some rides allowed the guest in the wheelchair to wait in the usual queue and transfer to the ride while other attractions have what Disney calls an auxiliary entrance where the disabled guest and five family members may wait together. The only caveat is if the disabled guest is able to transfer on their own to the ride or if they must stay in their chair. This is why it is absolutely essential to check in with the cast member and get assistance. They will know just what to do in either scenario. Another quick tip on accessing rides: don’t be afraid to ride the continual moving attractions. The cast members will stop the ride to allow the guest to board safely! There are even designated viewing areas during the parades for those in wheelchairs, but get there early because they fill up quickly. Tip #4 Take Breaks! We take breaks…we go strong when we’re in the park but we are not afraid to get out of the park and rest for a bit. This would be a tip I would give to anyone visiting Disney whether disabled or not. The parks are at their fullest typically between 11:00 and 4:00 and they can get hot depending on when you go, so we usually go back to the resort for a couple of hours during time frame. It is great to get a bite to eat, cool off in the room or by the pool and then go back in to the parks in the evening feeling refreshed and ready to get back at it! The bottom line is that Disney is a great place to visit, don’t let a mobile disability stop you or anyone in your party. For more information on services available at the Disney Parks and Resorts check out disneyparks.com or call (407) 560-2547.
Travel, Walt Disney World

Top 10 Things to Do at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

If you find yourself in the wonderful world of Disney during the end of August and months of September and October, you will most certainly want to check out Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. This event is absolutely fabulous! The decor and overall ambiance is top notch and the Florida weather is much more agreeable if you go later in the season. Decide which of the selected nights work for your schedule and experience Halloween the way Disney does it! Need I say more? So, let’s get started…

10. GET THERE EARLY: The party starts for ticket holders at 7:00 and lasts until midnight BUT if you have a ticket you can arrive as early as 4:00 and start enjoying the park. You will be given a wrist band by a cast member that only event ticket holders will be given. There are a few rides that will not be available to ride after 7:00, so make sure to ride those first. After 7:00 anyone in the park that does not have that band will not be able to enjoy the rides and activities of the park. This event does require a separate ticket from the general admission. Try to get parked and be in Magic Kingdom by 4:00 to be able to spend as much time as possible enjoying the Disney magic!

9. Dress up like your favorite Disney character and go trick or treating: Cast members will provide treat bags for trick or treating at several locations around the park. You will find signs at each treat locations but make sure to get a map because they will also provide the locations for your convenience. Be prepared…you will get A LOT of candy!

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Enjoy a new enhanced spooky experience with live pirates interacting with guests in the queue area as well as the ride loading area. Once on the ride you will also stumble upon the pesky pirate “Gunpowder Pete”.

7. Mad Tea Party: This ride has new lighting and a fun soundtrack just for Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party. If you are unsure about riding a spinning ride (like me) you can ride or simply watch it. Whether watching or riding, you will not want to miss this.

6. Haunted Mansion: While the Haunted Mansion provides us with happy haunts all year long, Disney kicks it up a notch for Halloween. Rumor has it that a few of the ghosts have escaped the mansion and are hassling guests in the queue area. The overall lighting and ambiance outside the mansion will be sure to get you in the spooky spirit!

5. Character meet and greet: Prepare to enjoy unique meet and greet and character experiences. Most character meet and greets start at 7:00 but a few will start a little earlier. Popular characters like Jack and Sally will be available early, lines get very long for these two so make sure to see them first.

4. Boo to You Halloween Parade: There are two parades, the first one at 9:15 and then 11:15. Find a spot about 15 to 20 minutes before the 9:15 parade starts, if you decide to see the second parade it will be less crowded and may not require you to get a spot as early. The ghostly parade will showcase many rare characters including the headless horseman!

3. Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular: This show offers three showings: 8:30, 10:45 and 12:00. Join the Sanderson sisters as well as a few other Disney villains for some thrilling Halloween fun. If you decide to end the evening at the last showing, it will actually extend your time in the park as it ends a little after the park officially closes.

2. Happy HalloWishes Halloween Fireworks Show: If you’ve ever seen a Disney laser and fireworks show, you will know they are spectacular. The Happy HalloWishes Show does not disappoint. There is only one show at 10:15, so plan the evening accordingly. Along with the fireworks, the fun villain music and projections, this unique show is simply amazing!

1. Space Mountain: This is our families’ favorite ride at Magic Kingdom anytime we visit the park. During Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party, the ride is completely dark. Every light is turned off which creates an entirely new and hair-raising ride experience. In addition to the lack of lighting there is also a new soundtrack just for this event. If you can only do one thrill ride during the party, this is the one to do!

If you are lucky enough to be able to attend this party, make sure to take advantage of each of the rides and entertainment included on this list. This is a very family friendly event, it has been one of our favorite things we have done at WDW over the years. To find more information on event dates, times and tickets see disneyworld.disney.go.com.