Oasis of the Seas Dining Options

There are over 21 dining options on the Oasis of the Seas. The variety of options are plentiful and the food is truly amazing. The main dining room offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are over 14 complimentary options for dining including 24 hour room service. There are many options for a quick snack including the Donut Shop at the Boardwalk and Café Promenade.

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Specialty dining is offered with a per person cover charge. Restaurants include: Chops Grill, Giovanni’s Table, 150 Central Park, Solarium Bistro, Izumi, Chef’s Table, and Vintages. Causal specialty dining and snack options are Johnny Rockets, Seafood Shack, Vitality Spa Café, Boardwalk Bar, Cupcake Cupboard, and Ice Cream Parlor.

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On our cruise we chose My Time Dining as our dining option. This was the first time we used my time dining. With this option you do have to prepay your gratuities. With my time dining you can make a reservation for each night or just walk up and wait to be seated. I highly advise making a reservation each day. The line for walk ups was very long each night. We called in the morning and made our reservations for each night. The menu is the same that is offered for the early and late seating. The menu changed each night and the variety of options was very impressive. We ate in the dining room each night. We did eat at the specialty dining for snacks and had lunch at Johnny Rocket’s one day. My family and I were very happy with all the dining options and truly enjoyed the food!!

Tonya Vega – (800) 670-4312×142 or Tonyav@travelwiththemagic.com

Discovery Cove

Are you looking for a tropical island paradise that is located just a few miles from your hotel?  Look no further than Discovery Cove, located in Orlando, Florida.  Discovery Cove offers an interactive adventure that will thrill both young and old with lush scenery, beautiful beaches, and one-of-a-kind interactions with tropical wildlife.

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            Discovery Cove is an all inclusive experience.  For the cost of $199-$319 per person, visitors will receive unlimited snorkeling with tropical fish, swimming with stingrays, and the ultimate experience of a thirty minute swim with the dolphins.  Also included in the cost are locker rental, wetsuits, towels, swim mask, sunscreen, beach chairs, parking, and food, drinks, and snacks for your entire visit.  As an additional bonus, the Discovery Cove ticket also gives you unlimited admission to Sea World for up to fourteen days!  Visitors receive an incredible array of experiences and amenities with the single cost of admission to Discovery Cove.

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            What can you expect during this exciting experience?  Visitors can anticipate a truly immersive experience that feels like a private tropical island.  Sand, palm trees, exotic birds, and beautiful ocean creatures will surround you.  Resverations are not required, but are recommended to help maximize experience.  Guest should plan to arrive early, as reservations for swim times are assigned on a first come, first serve basis.  Arrival at 8:00 a.m. will insure a good choice of possible swim times.  Swims are done in groups of eight, so if your party is larger than this, it may be necessary to divide into two groups.  While resting and relaxing between tropical adventures, visitors can enjoy a wonderful selection of food and beverages.  Breakfast offerings include eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, potatoes, biscuits, cereal, croissants, juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  The lunch menu features spaghetti, fresh fish, jambalaya, burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, french fries, and corn on the cob.  Snacks are available throughout the day and include chips, hot pretzels, cookies, icees, fresh fruit, soda, and beer.  All of these amazing food choices are included in your ticket cost.

            There are a few options available for an additional charge to enhance your experience.  Private cabanas are available for approximately $229 for the day.  Included in your cabana rental is an underwater camera, t-shirt, stuffed toy, themed buoy handed to you by a dolphin, and a discount on the photo package.  There are only thirteen cabanas available, so booking in advance is wise.  Cabanas can be booked three weeks prior to your scheduled visit.  Photo packages are also available for an additional charge.  Packages range from $69-$219, and can help capture your memories so that you can enjoy them for years to come.

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            Is Discovery Cove worth it?  Speaking from experience, I can say that Discovery Cove was an amazing experience.  Swimming with the tropical fish and stingrays was incredible, and the encounter with the dolphins was more rewarding than I ever thought it could be.  The dolphins have so much personality and character, it was truly amazing to interact with them.  The park itself was breathtakingly beautiful, and the food was delicious.  I would have to say that our day at Discovery Cove was one of our best family memories, and one that we would definitely enjoy experiencing again.  Discovery Cove is a truly unique experience and one that everyone should consider when vacationing in Orlando.

Contact me Tammy Cain at TammyC@Travelwiththemagic.com or you can call me at 1- 800-670-4312 ext 137 for your next magical vacation.

Old Key West Resort

On my most recent Disney vacation, we stayed at Old Key West Resort. The whimsical beauty of this large resort was amazing. Full of pastel colors and gingerbread accents, the theme makes you feel as though you are nestled right in the Florida Keys!

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This was a special trip for my family, as our best friends were traveling with us for their first Disney visit. There were four of us adults, as well as four children ages 4, 3, 2 and 1. Needless to say we were hoping for a smooth stay with all the kids.

As we arrived for check in, all four kids were greeted and were able to pick out their own balloon swords to keep. We had just finished doing a little grocery shopping down the street at a local grocery store, and they were able to keep all of our groceries in their refrigerator until our room was ready. We headed toward the bus stop and headed straight for Magic Kingdom! We received a text a couple of hours later letting us know our room was ready.

That night when we returned we walked down to the Hospitality House area, where most of the main activity centers are. Here is where Olivia’s Café table service and Goods to Go quick service restaurants are located. They are situated facing the water where the ferry dock is located, which can take you straight to Downtown Disney.

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We stayed in a two bedroom villa, which gave us plenty of room for all of our kids. We were able to get up and fix breakfast for everyone in the full kitchen  every morning before heading into the parks.

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Old Key West has the following types of rooms available:

Deluxe Studio: will sleep up to 4 guests

  • 2 queen-size beds with 2 pillows each
  • TV and DVD player with remote, AM/FM clock radio
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Wet bar sink, small refrigerator, microwave, toaster and 4 cup coffee maker
  • Private porch or balcony

1 Bedroom Villa: will sleep up to 5 guests

  • 1 king-size bed in the master suite
  • 1 master bathroom with whirlpool tub
  • Queen-size sleeper sofa and 1 twin sleep chair in living room
  • TV and DVD player in living room and 19″ TV with remote and AM/FM clock radio in master bedroom
  • Full kitchen
  • Dining room table with chairs and a bar area
  • Laundry area with stacked washer and dryer, vacuum, broom and dustpan, starter box of detergent
  • Private porch or balcony with parsons table and 2 chairs

2 Bedroom Villa: will sleep up to 9 guests

  • 1 king-size bed the master suite
  • 2 queen-size beds in the 2nd bedroom
  • Queen-size sleeper sofa and 1 twin sleep chair in living room
  • TV plus DVD player in living room and 19″ TV with remote and AM/FM clock radio in each bedroom
  • 2 bathrooms (one is a master bathroom with whirlpool tub)
  • Full kitchen
  • Dining room table with chairs and a bar area
  • Laundry area with stacked washer and dryer, vacuum, broom and dustpan, starter box of detergent
  • Private porch or balcony with parsons table and chairs

3 Bedroom Villa: will sleep up to 12 guests

  • 1 king-size bed in the master suite
  • 2 queen-size beds in the 2nd bedroom
  • 2 full-size beds in the 3rd bedroom
  • 1 queen-size sofa bed in the living room
  • TV plus DVD player in living room and 19″ TV with remote and AM/FM clock radio in each bedroom
  • 3 bathrooms (one is a master bathroom with whirlpool tub)
  • Full kitchen
  • Dining room table with chairs and a bar area
  • Laundry area with stacked washer and dryer, vacuum, broom and dustpan, starter box of detergent
  • Private porch or balcony with parsons table and chairs

There is a wide variety of recreation and activities to choose from. Rent a watercraft or bikes for the family, enjoy a game of volleyball, tennis, basketball or bingo, or take a relaxing swim in one of the four heated pools. You can work out in the state of the art exercise room, or unwind in the sauna. Take the kids to the playground or one of the two game rooms. All of these options you can find right on the resort property.

Your options do not stop with recreational activities, there are also a few places to eat on property as well:

Olivia’s Café – table service (dining plan accepted)

Enjoy your meal inside, or outside on the covered terrace with beautiful views of the water! On the menu you will find comforting foods such as omelets or pancakes for breakfast, to pork chops, prime rib or seafood for lunch and dinner and so much more!

Good’s Food to Go – quick service and snacks (dining plan accepted)

Stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Menu items include bagels, muffins and danishes for breakfast, and soup cheeseburgers and hot dogs for the rest of the day. Refills for your refillable drink mugs are here!

Gurgling Suitcase – dining plan not accepted

This Key West style bar offers mixed drinks, wine, and both domestic and imported beer.

Turtle Shack Snack Bar – quick service and snack (dining plan accepted) open seasonally

This snack bar is located in the Turtle Pond pool area. Menu items include nachos and cheese, personal size pizza and salads. This is another location to refill your dining plan mugs.

For more info about Old Key West or any other Disney property email Casey@travelwiththemagic.com

 

An Experience of a Lifetime

Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter

As I sit down to write this post it is 28 degrees outside and there is snow on the ground.  I am NOT a cold weather fan, so to say that I am dreaming of warmer climates and the feel of sun on my face is a definite understatement!  So, with that in mind, lets take a trip down memory lane to warmer, happier, time and place…..

Last year we took a cruise to the Bahamas on board the Disney Dream, and while we loved everything about the ship itself, one of the most memorable things we did on that trip was in the port of Nassau.  Our excursion of choice that day was a trip out to Blue Lagoon Island

The island itself is beautiful and there are several excursions to choose from.  There is a Sea Lion Encounter, a Dolphin Encounter, a Dolphin Swim or you can just elect to spend a day at their beach.  Your travel agent can help you decide which one works best for your family.  We chose to do the Dolphin Encounter and what an amazing experience it was!

First we were taken by boat out to the island, then we broke off into our respective groups.  After you are given a short training course to educate you about dolphins and their behaviors, they take you down to the docks.  There are lockers there where you can put your things during the encounter.  Then you get to meet your dolphin.  This was Andy

We had a pretty large group, so we actually worked with two dolphins, the other one was still in training and his name was Clarence.  The big group is broken down and you enter the water in smaller groups of about 8 people.  Here you get to ‘pet’ the dolphin, dance with him, feed him, play with him.

 

My husband thought it was quite funny when Andy decided to splash me

We ended our experience with hugs and kisses, and yes, I did kiss the dolphin, right on the lips!

What a special experience it was for my family to get to interact with these special creatures.  This was by far one of the biggest highlights of our trip!  I’d love to help you create amazing family memories like these, just drop me a quick email at michelle@travelwiththemagic.com and lets get started.  Remember, when you book your vacation with me, all my planning services are free!

Kennedy Space Center

Have you ever wanted to go into outer space?  You can go for the day.  If you are in Orlando, an hour drive away is the Kennedy Space Center.  Just take the Beach Line out to Cocoa Beach.

On our last trip to Cocoa Beach we decided to check out the Space Center.  Your admission pass includes: IMAX space film, Astronaut Encounter (where we heard an astronaut talk about his trip), explore the rocket garden, view the Astronaut Memorial , take a “real” ride on a space shuttle and a bus tour that takes you to an observation gallery and to the Apollo/Saturn V Center (to see a real live space shuttle) .  You can also add on and have lunch with an astronaut, visit the launch pad or get an up close look at the Vehicle Assembly Building.

-The Space Center is currently building a 90,000-square-foot interactive exhibit for The Atlantis space shuttle.  The retired space shuttle was last up in space in July 2011.

If you are lucky enough, you might even be down in Florida for a rocket launch.  We saw one this summer from our pool.  You will never forget hearing the sonic BOOM!

  

I can help you plan the perfect trip into outer space.

Contact me, Karen Kalinowski at: Karen@travelwiththemagic.com or toll-free at: (877)818-6106

 

A Little bit of Disney Magic Created with Water!

       Some of the things I love most about Disney World and what I feel makes it special is its uniqueness, attention to detail and element of surprise.  It’s all about the little things.  The unexpected. For example, on a recent trip, we happened to stumble upon not one, but three of these pieces of water art!

     The first time I was able to witness these artists in action we saw a gentleman dressed as a custodian carrying a broom and bucket, dressed in janitor attire.  I immediately knew what he was about to do because I had read about it being the Disney nerd I am.  I stopped to watch as most guests kept walking by not paying any attention, which is easy to do when you are in a theme park.  At first, it looks like he’s cleaning but then you start to notice he’s actually drawing, only you can’t tell what it is at first.

     That’s where the fun begins.  We enjoyed watching and taking turns guessing which character it was going to be.  I will admit to being wrong with each guess.  As he continued to draw, more guests began to take notice and pretty soon he had a little crowd anxiously awaiting to see the finished product.

 

     It added a little bit of spontaneity and surprise when we weren’t expecting it.  It provided some entertainment and awe in something as simple as a bucket of water.  Something only Disney could do at it’s best.

 

     The next time you are visiting Disney World, I encourage you to slow down and take time to witness the “smaller” things.  You never know what you might discover!

     Are you interested in traveling to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  Feel free to email me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com or call me at (800) 670-4312 x128.

A Wonderful World of Color!

World of Color is a fantastic nighttime show at Disney’s California Adventure park (part of the Disneyland Resort in California). It is by far my favorite nighttime show of ANY Disney park. And I might be one of those people who cry and/or get goosebumps when I watch Fireworks in front of Cinderella’s Castle!

My husband and I were at California Adventure back in 2009 for the first time but there was quite a bit of construction going on for something called World of Color. It intrigued me even though I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what it was exactly.  I didn’t think we would be back to Disneyland Resort for many many years so I didn’t investigate too much, thinking I wouldn’t get to see it anyway.

2 years later we found ourselves back at California Adventure and I was ready to experience World of Color. I looked forward to it ALL day the first day. I was excited to find out that you can get a FastPass for World of Color to get prime viewing for the show. FastPasses are available first thing in the morning at Grizzly River Run FastPass machines.   World of Color takes place at Paradise Pier and there are no seats for World of Color (much like Illuminations at Epcot). Although there are plenty of places to sit and watch around the park (some spots are better than others).

Our first day there we didn’t make it in time to get a FastPass for World of Color. I was pretty disappointed until the show started. I was ready to have to strain my neck to see around all the tall people but as soon as the music started and the water shot up in the air I forgot all about that and audibly oooed and awwwed with the rest of the crowd.  The show is so well staged that most anywhere you could be is a unique and colorful view.

World of Color is tough to explain but I would say it is more of an experience than a show and that it is a collective experience. The whole park seems to pause and slow down as the show begins. Something magical happens when you are standing with that many people, surrounding that big of a space and seeing the show happen right in front of your face. The music, stories, color, water, and Disney Characters projected onto the mist draw you in as soon as the first note begins.  Disneyland Resort now offers special Mickey Ears that can be purchased called “Glow with the Show”. The Mickey ears are programmed to sync with the World of Color music and lights making it even more of a collective/interactive experience. The Glow with the Show Mickey ears will also sync up with a few of the attractions in the new Cars Land.

We experienced World of Color the next night as well and this time with preferred viewing (due to getting FastPasses first thing in the morning). It did not lose any of its surprises or magic seeing it again. I won’t give too much away but it is for sure a must see. World of Color Dining packages are also available and can be purchased in advance to give you a meal and preferred viewing for the show. World of Color is scheduled each night for 2 show times, usually 8pm and 9:15pm.

If you have little ones and are worried that Walt Disney World may be too overwhelming -OR- if you want to go on a Disney vacation but only have a few days…think about Disneyworld Resort in California. The 2 parks are right next to each other so no transportation is needed between parks.  A lot of my favorite attractions from Walt Disney World can also be found at Disneyland and California Adventures. Plus there are plenty of surprises that just might become a new favorite. Like World of Color!

For more information on a Disneyland vacation (or any other Disney Destination), Contact me today at Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 ext 139

So many ticket options to choose from…..HELP!

When we travel to Walt Disney World we always take the park hopper option! When you are spending money on your magical vacation you do not want to be limited as to when and where you go during your stay. This can make dining reservations a little easier as well. Play at one park all day and eat at another at night. However when my Sister and her family go they always choose the Base ticket to save money and time at the park of their choosing. There are different options for different folks…that’s one of the things I love about Disney.

 The four parks at Walt Disney World are Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studio’s and Animal Kingdom. Disney has also added 2 Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. They didn’t stop there with an incredible addition of Disney Quest, an indoor interactive theme park.

 

With Disney World you have a couple options when you buy your tickets. Base tickets, Hopper tickets and Water Parks and more. The base ticket will get you into any park of your choosing for the day but you cannot go to any other park that day. The Park Hopper option will let you Hop between whichever parks you want to all day and night long.

The Water Parks and more option include the following. Admission to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, Admission to Disney Quest, Admission to Wide World of Sports, A round of Mini Golf at Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland, And a round of golf at Oak Trail Family Walking Course. You can use these choices each day you have a park ticket.

As you can tell there are many different options to your Park ticket!

For a FREE quote and FREE service contact me today and will help make the right ticket fit your family’s needs!

Amy Blades

amyb@travelwiththemagic.com

1-800-497-4674

It’s A Pirate Life for Me!

 I love Disney and everything about it. Well there is one thing that I think they have fallen short of. They don’t have a lot of special things aimed at the male gender. I am the mom of a lovely princess and a very busy pirate. So that had me thinking. When we visit Disney everywhere you look there is Princess themed areas, there are even three character dining experiences for the princess lover in all of us. Don’t get me wrong I love the princess stuff especially since one day I hope to be one.


So back in 2008 I started to think about our next Disney adventure. When would we go and where would we stay. In the past we had done the All Star Movies resort and Pop Century. This time I wanted to do something a little different. I had heard and seen the new Pirate rooms that were opening at Caribbean Beach Resort in 2009. So I thought to myself, what a great thing for your little pirate to experience, a room for the Pirate in all of us. I booked a standard view Pirate Room at Caribbean Beach Resort for Sept 2009. I could not wait to get to experience it with my family.


The rooms at Caribbean Beach are divided into six sets of buildings named after islands in the Caribbean. There is Trinidad North, Martinique which are the Preferred rooms located closest to the main building Old Port Royale. Then there is Aruba and Jamaica located across the water from the main building. Last are Barbados and Trinidad South. All of the rooms in Trinidad South are the Pirate themed rooms.


Each room is 300 square feet of Pirate fun. The beds look just like Pirate ships and everything in them is pirate themed right down to the bed side table. You can get a pirate standard view or pirate water view. We chose the Pirate Standard view room and it was great. We were a few steps from the bus stop and the quiet pool. I have heard from others that they wished that Pirate rooms were closer to Old Port Royale but we did not have an issue at all.


One of the other great things about Caribbean Beach resort is the main feature pool area. It is totally Pirate themed complete with two slides. It is a zero entry pool which is great when you have little pirates just getting their feet wet for the first time. There is also a great kiddie’s water play area that has a giant bucket that pours water down on all ye swashbucklers below.
We really loved our stay at Caribbean Beach Resort and I would recommend the Pirate rooms to anyone who has a little pirate in their family


For more information on Caribbean Beach resort or any other Disney Destination contact me Laure Simms at laure@travelwiththemagic.com or toll free at 1-888-214-6954. Have a Magical Day!!!

Celebrating at Disney World

On our first trip to Disney World as a family, we were lucky enough to be there on my birthday.  2 years later, we were there again on my birthday.  Here are some wonderful things I learned on my trips!

Happy Birthday Mouse Ears are the best!

 First, make sure your travel planner KNOWS you are celebrating!  If they know that you’re celebrating, they can note it in your reservation.  When you check in, you should receive a “Happy Birthday” button with your name on it.  Not staying on property?  No worries!  Simply go to Guest Services and request a “Happy Birthday” button.  (There are also buttons for first visits, honeymoons, anniversaries, and “just celebrating”).

 Be sure to wear this button EVERYWHERE you go during your whole trip, not just on your actual birthday.  The words, “Happy birthday, Amy!” from Cast Members (and even other guests) followed me around our whole trip and truly made my day each and every time I heard it.  Characters in the parades even notice too!!

 If you have a meal planned, again, make sure your travel planner notes the celebration in your reservation – MAGICAL things may happen!!  At our character breakfasts (one at Chef Mickey’s and one at Tusker House), I was given a birthday cupcake and the whole restaurant is led in a rousing song of “Happy Birthday”.  At Tusker House, I was also presented with a birthday card signed by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy!  At California Grill, there was no performance, but our table was covered in Mickey shaped confetti and I was presented with an AMAZING piece of chocolate cake.

Reading my birthday card from Donald and friends at Tusker House

Birthday cupcake at Chef Mickey’s. Nothing beats sprinkles for breakfast!

 Wear the button during unplanned meals too.  My brother, his wife, my husband and I left the children with the grandparents and headed off for an “adult only day”.  I was surprised at Kimono’s (a sushi restaurant/karaoke bar) with one of the best crème brulees I’ve EVER eaten with a candle in it.  I was also offered a birthday dessert at Boma even though we hadn’t noted the celebration in our reservation.

 My husband and I splurged on the Dine with an Imagineer experience for my birthday.  (We’re both engineers and I’m a Disney nut, so it seemed like a great idea!)  Again, I had not noted on the reservation that it was my birthday.  But because I was so excited to be there, I completely forgot to take off my birthday button!  The hostess noticed and so at the end of the meal, I was brought 2 dessets – the dessert that was included with the meal AND a birthday dessert.  The Imagineer and the other guests happily sang to me.  Then, instead of the “regular” personalized menu you receive at the end of the meal, I received a special birthday one!

 You can also preorder celebration cakes to be delivered to most table service restaurants.  There are also some AMAZING packages available from the Disney Florists that can be delivered to your resort.  These include everything from Pirates to Princesses and everything in between!

 The best part?  Getting to be a kid again!  I was in tears when we walked into the Magic Kingdom on my actual birthday, after an amazing breakfast at Chef Mickey’s, when the first character we saw was none other than Mary Poppins (my hands down, all-time FAVORITE).  And where else can you wear Happy Birthday Mouse Ears all day long and not feel silly?

A supercalifragilistic birthday photo with Mary Poppins

Want to visit the Magic Kingdom for your OWN celebration?  Contact me today for a free quote!  I’d love to plan your magical celebration!!  Amy@travelwiththemagic.com, www.facebook.com/TravelWithTheMagicAmy or 1-800-670-4312, x129.