Reserving the Magic: Tips for Scheduling your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR’s)

You have chosen your resort, tickets, and booked your package. Now you are ready to relax and daydream about your upcoming vacation to Walt Disney World. But then your travel agent says “It’s time to make your advanced Dining Reservations” and you have a mini freak-out. Sound familiar? Don’t worry -It happens all the time. I am the first to admit I dislike making decisions. So when there are hundreds of amazing options and all sound wonderful I tend to get overwhelmed. But let’s focus on the positive; Walt Disney World offers TONS of amazing dining options- a foodie’s dream come true! So, whether you have planned multiple Disney vacations or are in the midst of planning your first trip, think about these tips for scheduling your dining and enjoy the bountiful options.

Are you a Morning Person? If you wake up before the sun and enjoy being out and about in the morning consider breakfasts and lunches.

· BREAKFAST: Consider making some breakfast reservations for restaurants inside your favorite parks. Some take reservations before the park even opens. This will get you in before the majority of vacationers are stirring. Eat, enjoy some characters (character breakfasts are FUN, and be ready to experience many of the best attractions with low wait times.)

· LUNCH: Another option for early risers is to eat a quick breakfast in your hotel room (or while waiting for the bus) and get to the park before it opens. Being there for the opening is always fun and again, you will probably have the shortest waits and lowest crowds of the day. Just as you are getting hungry for an early lunch, the crowds will be coming in and you can sit and relax at a lunch reservation. You might even hop to another resort for your meal and enjoy walking around in a quiet area away from the parks.

Morning People

Night Owls-Have no fear! Walt Disney World is even more magical at night!

· I recommend making at least one dinner reservation at Epcot during Illuminations or at Magic Kingdom during Wishes. Many restaurants with viewing areas of these nighttime shows will dim the lights and pipe in the music during the show. Some of my favorites are California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and La Hacienda de San Angel at Epcot. Other options are available-tell your travel agent if you want to book during the fireworks or other nighttime shows.

· Restaurants are open pretty late at most locations so if you like to linger over dinner and relax in the evening there are plenty of great options in each park. I especially enjoy being in one of the pavilions at World Showcase in Epcot for dinner. The light, sounds, smells all take you right into the culture and atmosphere of the country you are “visiting”.

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Families with Children

· I have 2 words for you: Character. Meals. These are a hit with kids and give you some forced downtime. Plus you get personal one on one interaction with characters and some really great photo opportunities. If you are on the dining plan they are a great deal! Many character meals only require one table service credit!

· If your kids are on a schedule think about keeping them on that schedule. There is nothing worse than a tired, hungry child on vacation. So try to schedule your meal times for times they are used to. And remember you can bring snacks into the park! Aim for scheduled meal times but always have some back up.

· One of the best tips I have is to get to the parks early in the morning, take a long afternoon break (when the parks are the most crowded and the weather is usually the hottest) and then go back to the parks in the evening. With this schedule a long lunch or an early dinner could fit right in without taking away from your time in the parks.

For the Spontaneous . In my daily life I appreciate (need) routine and structure. But when I am on vacation I do not want to have any plans. I don’t personally like the idea of being tied down to specific meal times each day. If that sounds familiar-read on!

· Schedule your Advanced Dining Reservations for breakfast every day. That way it forces you to get up (for you sleepy heads) , you get a good hearty breakfast, and then the rest of the day can be spontaneous! Try it-you might like it!

· If you are on the dining plan, consider trying some of the Signature restaurants. They take 2 table service credits and are top notch dining experiences. This will give you some very special meals to look forward to. I would recommend scheduling them for the beginning and or end of your trip-think of them as a celebration of the start or end of an amazing vacation.

· Look at the days you arrive and depart. If you do not plan on going to the parks one both of those days these can be great times to plan meals that won’t take time away from the parks.

 

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General Tips for All

Where to eat?

· Ask your friends who have been where they like to eat. You should get good, honest feedback that you will trust (you really have to take some on-line reviews with a grain of salt). Pose the question on your Facebook or twitter-you should get plenty of responses/opinions

· Talk to your travel agent. If you have a good one, they can recommend some dining experiences based on personal experience. Tell your travel agent about your family, dietary restrictions likes and dislikes. We will give you as much info as you need to make the best decision.

· Ask your travel agent for descriptions and sample menus of the dining locations you are interested in.

Consider the Park Hopper

· Your travel agent can give you info about park hours and crowd levels for each day of your vacation. Look at the info and try to anticipate where you might like to be on a certain day. But remember, things can change (especially if you like to be spontaneous on your vacation). So a park hopper can save the day when your plans change! You may find yourself at one park in the morning and another in the evening, but oh no!-your dining reservation is in a different park! If you have a park hopper just hop on over to the right place and enjoy your meal.


Plan Early and Be Flexible

· Advanced Dining Reservations can be made 180 days before check in. Do not wait till the last minute to decide what you want-plan ahead so you or your travel agent can make your reservations on the first day they are available.

· You may not always get the exact time you want for each restaurant. List some alternate times/locations for your travel agent in case your top choices are not available.

So, maybe you are still overwhelmed at all this info. Don’t worry! “Keep Calm and Call your Travel Agent!” That is why we are here. Thinking about these tips and what some of your preferences are will help your travel agent to help YOU have the best dining experiences for your family.

Do you need help planning your next Disney trip? Contact me today-I would love to help you.

“See Ya Real Soon!”

Aleshia Sokoloski

1-800-670-4312 ext 139
Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com
Find me on Facebook
Pin with me on Pinterest

Beat the Heat! Indoor attractions to cool you off on your Summer trip

Indoor attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort to cool you off on your Summer trip

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Summer in Florida and California can get HOT. VERY HOT! But you can still enjoy your trip by planning out some cool off zones in each park. Finding a spot to cool off doesn’t mean you have to be bored or waste time away from the attractions. There are TONS of things you can do at any of the parks that do not require standing in the heat. Below are some of my favorites:

Animation Academy: (Hollywood Studios and California Adventure Park)
Take an art class from a Disney Animator! This is An Animation Experiencethat you won’t soon forget. The class lasts 20-30 minutes and there is even more to see and do inside the Disney Animation building at Disneyland and Animation Hall at Hollywood Studios. Plan to spend at least an hour cooling off here!

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Turtle Talk with Crush: (Epcot and California Adventure Park)
This show is geared toward kids but with or without children this is a must see. Crush is live and interacts with audience members which make each show unique. Everyone will laugh and you will remember why Crush stole the show in Finding Nemo. Turtle Talk is located inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot and inside the Disney Animation building in Disneyland. Both locations offer more indoor activities besides turtle talk so this could also easily be an hour or more of cool off time.

Turtle Talk

3D movies: (All Parks)
Even before you get into the theater to see the movie you get to wait inside for a little while and still be entertained. This maximizes the cool off time and gets everyone rested up and cooled off before the show. Each park has 3D movies available including Captain EO a resurrected classic featuring Michael Jackson (Disneyland and Epcot), MuppetVision 3D at Hollywood Studios and California Adventure), Its Tough to be a Bug featuring your favorite critters from It’s a Bug’s Life (at Animal Kingdom), and my favorite, Mickey’s Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom. Make time for the 3D movies and you will be refreshed and entertained, ready for your next walk in heat!

Live Stage Shows: (California Adventure, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios)
If you do not typically take the time to see the live shows you are really missing out! Not only will you get to sit down and cool off but you will get to experience Broadway quality shows that are unique to the Disney Parks. Some of my favorites include Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom) which is an interactive musical and dance show that is non-stop thrills and fun the entire time. Finding Nemo-the Musical (Animal Kingdom), Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage (Hollywood Studios), and Aladdin-a Musical Spectacular (California Adventure) are wonderful retellings of your favorite stories with live actors, music, and some great special effects.

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Festival

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Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor: (Magic Kingdom)
Like Turtle Talk, this show is always unique because of the audience participation and interaction with the animated characters from Monster’s Inc. Text your joke to a number you will see in the lobby before your show and they might use your joke in the show. Be ready to be a part of the show and the laughter when you enter the Laugh Floor. This is one I could do over and over again.

These are just a few of my favorites but of course I need to at LEAST mention some runners up, Kali River Rapids (California Adventure and Animal Kingdom), The Enchanted Tiki Room (Disneyland and Magic Kingdom), Innoventions (Epcot), and of course all the great movies and shows in the pavilions of Epcot’s World Showcase.

There are MANY more tips for keeping your cool during your summer vacation to a Disney Park. And don’t forget to add the Water Park Fun + More option to your tickets so you can cool off at the Water Parks and indoors at Downtown Disney’s DisneyQuest! For more info and help planning the perfect trip for YOUR family give me a call or shoot me an email, I would LOVE to help you book and plan your next magical vacation.

See ya real soon,

Aleshia

Aleshia Sokoloski, Travel with the Magic
~ 1-800-670-4312 ext. 139 ~ aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com ~Find me on Facebook ~

Fun on the Water at Walt Disney World

Many people travel to Walt Disney World to experience pirates, flying elephants, spinning tea cups and, of course castles and princesses.  Did you know you could spend your whole vacation outside of the parks and still have plenty to do?

One of the non-theme park activities we’ve enjoyed during our visits is taking some time to rent a boat and explore one of the many waterways at Walt Disney World. Experienced boater or not, there’s something for everyone to enjoy with Disney’s fleet of boats.

Boat rentals are available at many of the resorts as well as the Downtown Disney Marketplace. You do not have to be a guest at the resort to rent a boat at that location.

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Resorts that have marinas include the following:

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Contemporary Resort

Polynesian Resort

Wilderness Lodge Resort

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

Caribbean Beach Resort

Port Orleans Resort

Coronado Springs Resort

Old Key West Resort

From arm powered, leg powered, wind powered to motorized ~ Disney has a boat for every speed. Please note not all boat types are available at all locations. Some rentals are also available by the hour and day. Please contact guest services at the resort to check availability.

Canoes and Kayaks are a peaceful way to explore inlets and bays. Available at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Port Orleans and Caribbean Beach. $6.50 for 30 minutes.

Pedal Boats provide a relaxing ride along waterways at Caribbean Beach and Old Key West. $6.50 for 30 minutes.

12 foot sailboats are available at Caribbean Beach Resort and the Wilderness Lodge and 13 foot catamarans are available at the Grand Floridian. Prices range from $20-25 per hour.

Sea Racers are the most popular way to explore the water, especially the Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon area in front of the Magic Kingdom. These speedy little boats hold up to 2 guests. You must be at least 12 years old and 5 feet tall to drive. Younger guests may ride as a passenger. Available at select marinas. $32 for 30 minutes.

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Boston Whalers hold up to 6 passengers. Guests must be 18 years or older to drive. Available at select marinas. $45 for 30 minutes.

Sun Tracker Pontoon Boats are the largest rentals available. These hold up to 10 guests and drivers must be 18 years or older. Available at select marinas. $45 for 30 minutes.

Disney’s water patrol has a large presence on the waterways to ensure the safety of all guests.

If you book a Magic Your Way package you will receive a coupon for a discount on boat rentals in your final documents package.

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So next time you are at Walt Disney World take some time away from the parks for a leisurely float down a river or a quick zip across Seven Seas Lagoon. It’s one of the many ways to enjoy your Walt Disney World vacation outside of the theme parks!

My name is Susan Heidenrich and I would love to help your family plan their next Disney vacation. I am a Disney Destination Specialist with Travel with the Magic and my concierge trip planning services are complementary. You can contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com or follow me on facebook for news, tips, tricks and specials related to Disney Destinations and the Disney Cruise Line.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

 

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Beyond the theme parks, Disney is the home of the world’s largest wave pool. This pool is located at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. As Disney legend has it, a fierce hurricane roared across the sea, hurling surfboards into trees, blowing small boats through roofs and the shrimp boat Miss Tilly, was found on the top of the great volcanic mountain Mt Mayday. Left in the typhoon’s wake was a thrilling water park filled with waterslides, surf pools, relaxing creeks and lots of sunshine.

Attractions:

Crush ‘N’ Gusher – Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool – Castaway Creek – Gang Plank Falls

Humunga Kowabunga – Keelhaul Falls – Ketchakiddee Creek

Mayday Falls – Shark Reef – Storm Slides

When arriving at the park I would suggest arriving early. Arriving at park opening will allow you to claim a beach chair & get a shady spot near the wave pool. You will want to pick your spot before swimming because once they are gone; they don’t usually become available again until late in the day. During the summer the park is known for closing early due to capacity and doesn’t allow more guests in until 2:00 pm.

Typhoon lagoon chairs

Towels and lockers are available for you to rent near the park entrance. No buckles or metal are allowed on bathing suits and one piece bathing suits are recommended. Coolers are allowed but no glass containers or alcoholic beverages. I would also recommend water shoes or flip flops. The concrete can get extremely hot. There will be a lot of walking and stair climbing to get to all of the attractions.

Counter service options are available for lunch with plenty of snacks options as well. Disney also offers a refillable mug for sale (not your refillable mug from the resorts) that you can fill throughout the day. Picnic tables and covered areas are available for you to enjoy you items.

Typhoon Lagoon food

Our favorite ride is Crush-n-Gusher. This water coaster propels you through drops and turns while riding a two or three man raft. There are three coasters you can ride, “Banana Blaster” “Coconut Crusher” or “Pineapple Plunger”.

Typhoon Lagoon crush gusher

After several rides on the coaster we head over to Castaway Creek for a relaxing ride on an inner tube. While floating around the creek or flying down the Crush-n-Gusher coaster photopass photographers will be there to take your picture, so always be smiling.

Typhoon Lagoon Castaway

Bring along your autograph books and camera because you never know which characters you may run into in the park.

Typhoon lagoon lilo

The water park is open year around however is closed 3 months out of the year for refurbishment. Closings normally occur between November and February. Check for closings if you are going in the winter. All of the pools are heated between 75 & 80 degrees year round.

Are you ready to plan a trip to the World? Let me help you!

I am Allison King a Travel Agent from North Carolina.

I am affiliated with, Travel with the Magic.

To learn more about Typhoon Lagoon and all things Disney, find me on Facebook or Pintrest

Contact me at Allison@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 ext. 134

I’d love to help you plan, a magical Disney vacation for your family & you.

Don’t forget to order Photopass Plus when booking your reservation.

Miniature Golf – Disney Style

Walt Disney World is so much more than just theme parks. There are also two water parks, world class golf courses, the ESPN Wide World of Sports, and two miniature golf courses, just to name a few of the options you have for entertainment away from the 4 main theme parks.

In this post I’m going to focus on the miniature golf courses. Both of them are elaborately themed (we would expect nothing less from Disney!) and fun for the whole family!

First we have Fantasia Gardens and Fairways

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Here you will find two 18 hole courses themed after the Disney film Fantasia. The Garden side is more child friendly with whimsical designs including dancing alligators, hippos in tu-tus, and some holes that resemble musical instruments like a piano

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Of course you will find the Sorcerer and his Apprentice as well. Make sure you watch out for the broomsticks and their water buckets!

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The Fairways side is geared more towards the serious golfer. This side has sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and sloping greens. This side is more challenging and could be frustrating for inexperienced golfers and children.

Fantasia Gardens and Fairways is located in the Boardwalk area of Walt Disney World, across the street from the Swan hotel. To get here you can take a bus from the parks to the Swan and then just walk over to the course.

The other miniature golf course is called Winter Summerland and is located next to Blizzard Beach. To get here all you need to do is take a bus from your resort to Blizzard Beach and then just walk over.

Winter Summerland also has two 18 hole courses. Here you can join Santa, his elves and some Disney characters for some fun at Santa’s off-season retreat. One course is a tropical summer Christmas and on the other side you will find snow in Florida, just like you find at Blizzard Beach water park. Both courses are designed with the entire family in mind.

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The cost for the mini golf courses is currently $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-9. If you have the water park fun & more option on your magic your way park tickets you can use one of your ‘entries’ for a round of miniature golf, but it has to be used prior to 4pm and you cannot play two rounds at the same park, in the same day.

Interested in learning more about all the options available to you at Disney World? Contact me, MIchelle Beam, today by email or you can find me on facebook. It doesn’t cost you any extra to book your vacation through me and I’d love to help you plan!

Signature Dining at Disney – A Must

LeCellier Menu Cover

When you think of a Walt Disney vacation I’m sure that fine dining is not the first thing that comes to mind. Mickey Mouse has a way of appearing in all of our minds at the mere mention of anything Disney. When my family started our addiction of Disney traveling we never imagined that our trips would start to revolve around our dining options. This is the thing we all look forward to as we prepare for our trip. The 180 day mark is visible on every calendar in our house.

Our last visit was just a few weeks ago and we made this trip all about food. We upgraded our dining plan to the deluxe which is something I recommend to everyone that enjoys food and want to have an incredible dining experience while still on vacation. With the deluxe dining plan you get and appetizer, main course and dessert with every meal. Let me fill you in on my favorites.

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LeCellier is a Steakhouse inside the Canadian Pavilion at EPCOT. I had the pleasure of a first visit last spring and now make it a standard reservation for every visit. The setting is gorgeous, as you enter the restaurant the gardens are stellar and very inviting. I started this meal with the tomato and mozzarella salad, I can honestly say the is exceptional, I have never tasted tomatoes’ with such flavor, when mentioning it to our server she informed me that the tomatoes are grown right at EPCOT inside the Land, the only downside is that I can never again eat this salad at another restaurant, it just cannot meet the same standard. There are many choices for the main course but I cannot seem to order anything other than the Mushroom Filet Mignon. This incredible piece of Canadian AAA beef is paired with the most amazing flavored mushroom risotto that is severed with a white truffle butter sauce. You will definitely have to hit the gym before this meal so you can take it all in without guilt. It is my favorite meal at Walt Disney World. I can’t go on without mentioning the Ribeye and the New York Strip they definitely get an honorable mention. This meal is always finished with a fresh cup of coffee and the Maple Crème Brulee’.

Flying Fish is centered at the Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, it specializes in sea food. The restaurant will take you into the old days of the Atlantic Boardwalk, with décor representing old roller coaster tracks as well as a Ferris wheel and if you look close you’ll see funhouse mirrors. The open kitchen is also a plus. You can dine at a chef’s table which includes wine and dinner or just sit back and relax at a table of your own where the service is impeccable. You will definitely be treated like a celebrity while dining. Let me add that Flying Fish is known as a celebrity favorite and has been known for many celebrity sightings.

You can treat your palette to an incredible steak or seafood dish. We started our meal with the Calamari and Mussels. The Calamari was the best I’ve ever ordered and could have taken the place of my meal. For the main course I enjoyed the Signature Flying Fish Duo which is a New York Strip with Potatoes wrapped Red Snapper, who knew food could be so heavenly. The night finished with a caramelized Banana Napoleon and the Trio of Concession Sweets. We have already made another reservation for our next visit!

Remember that signature meals count as two meal credits so when planning make sure you calculate correctly. The two meal credit cost is more than reasonable for what the signature restaurants have to offer.

If you are a Steak and potatoes kind of eater do not let signature dining scare you away, take the plunge and enjoy more than just characters and attractions. Dining can be the best attraction on your vacation.

Keep your eye out for part two of this blog, Jiko, Hollywood Brown Derby and Artist Point will be the feature.

For a magical dining experience contact me Amy Blades – amyb@travelwiththemagic.com

A Tour of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World

Tucked in a quiet corner of Liberty Square, in the back of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, is a stately manor with a rather spooky feel. Come visit Disney’s Haunted Mansion, home to 999 Happy Haunts (there’s room for one more ~ any volunteers?).

The outside of the mansion is what you might find in the Hudson River Valley of New York and is perched on a hill overlooking the Rivers of America. It was important to Walt Disney that nothing inside of the Magic Kingdom would look run down or shabby so the mansion itself is quite beautiful.

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As with many Disney attractions the experience begins in the queue. As you walk up to the front of the mansion an old, worn out, horse drawn hearse greets you with a taste of what’s to come. The queue includes an interactive pipe organ, a musical crypt, stone busts and infamous headstones such as “Here Lies Good Old Fred ~ A Great Big Rock Fell On His Head” and “In Memorium Uncle Myall ~ Here You’ll Lie – For Quite A While”.

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These tombstones are all nods to those imagineers and artists who contributed to the Haunted Mansion and the early years of Walt Disney World.

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You are greeted at the door by the housekeeper or butler and enter into the foyer of the mansion. Don’t rush through this room, take time to watch the portrait over the fireplace and take in the décor. We also meet our Ghost Host who will be our tour guide along the way. He invites us into the next room which contains portraits that look normal enough until the room begins to stretch (or is it just your imagination?). Is the ceiling moving up or is the floor moving down? This room at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland moves one way while the room at Walt Disney World moves the other direction. Can you figure it out? When the doors open move forward, don’t drag behind or the gargoyles on the wall will whisper for you to “get out”.

You will now board a Doom Buggy, an egg shaped vehicle with sound speakers, for the rest of your visit. Beginning your tour in the portrait gallery, the pictures eerily follow you on your journey down the hallway. This hallway leads to another hallway, this one without an end and with many ghosts who are dying to get out. Then in the conservatory you find you are a bit too late for a funeral.

In the next room you will attend a séance with Madame Leota. Named after Disney imagineer Leota Toombs, you might recognize Madame Leota’s voice as the same voice as Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Here creepies and crawlies are summoned as you join in the séance and are sent a message from somewhere beyond.

Your next stop on the tour will be to the ballroom. This is an area full of details and no matter how many times you visit the mansion there will always be something new to see here. Your Ghost Host invites you to this swinging wake so sit back in your Doom Buggy and enjoy the party. Notice the place setting at the far left hand side of the banquet table – it’s in the shape of our favorite mouse! The organ is a replica of Captain Nemo’s organ in the Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Look up and down and all around this room – these ghosts know how to celebrate!

Moving into the attic you meet the bride who’s had her fair share of grooms. Something seems to have happened to all of them leaving her with wedding gifts and a heavy (and loud) heart.

Your Doom Buggy will now leave the mansion and take you through the graveyard. Here you’ll meet spooks and ghosts singing along with the Haunted Mansion’s theme song, Grim Grinning Ghosts. Can you find the grim reaper by the opera singers? Look for the cloth he is holding and you’ll see yet another Hidden Mickey.

Passing out of the graveyard you are told to hurry back and to be sure and bring your death certificate. Our friendly Ghost Host catches up with us here for his farewells. I’ll leave you some surprises but one word of caution – beware of hitchhiking ghosts!

The Haunted Mansion is a fun, tongue in cheek look at the spirit world. While there are a few loud noises and dark scenes that may be scary for young children, overall this is a light hearted experience that is one of the most beloved attractions at Walt Disney World. It is so detailed that each time you experience the attraction you will see something new. This is Disney Imagineering at its best!

My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Disney Destination Specialist with Travel with the Magic. I’d love to help your family plan their dream Disney vacation. Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com You can also follow me on facebook

Mickey’s Philharmagic: Tips for young kids

This attraction is by far one of my favorites throughout all of Disney! My family does Mickey’s Philharmagic several times every time we visit Magic Kingdom. It is located in Fantasyland, just beside Peter Pan’s Flight, and it opened in 2003. It does offer Disney’s Fastpass, although I have never needed it here.

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When waiting in line, you will come to the bin containing the yellow 3D glasses for you to pick up. Once you have these in hand, you will be shown to a holding area just before entering the theater. When you are able to walk into the theater, the screen will be on your left, so as you are looking at the doors to the theater, the further to the left you stand, the closer you will be able to get to the front. I personally think the best location for the 3D effects is in the middle of rows 5-7, although of course you will be asked to move all the way down the row before choosing a seat.

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This show features the largest seamless projection screen in the world, at 150 feet long and 28 feet high. It is almost a full 180 degrees when the show is in full effect, needless to say, it is pretty awesome! The entire show is about 12 minutes. I do not want to spoil the show for you by telling you everything that happens, but many of the classic Disney characters will make an appearance! The effects during the show, besides the 3D, include wind, water and smell (which smells delicious).

My daughters have been watching this show since my oldest was one. Neither of them have ever been scared at any time, they have always loved it. I have heard on many occasions, some young toddlers cry due to being scared. If you are going for the first time with a young toddler, I would recommend starting out sitting on the far right side of the theater. So when you are entering, go all the way down the row as far as possible. Let your child begin wearing the glasses, and if they act scared, I have seen many kids not wearing glasses at all, and still enjoyed it. All the 3D effects are fun things, nothing scary. At the very end of the show, Donald Duck appears to fly out of the screen using the 3D effects, but then you will hear a crash behind you. When you turn around, you will see that Donald has crashed into the back wall. He will kick his feet, but then give up and “fall into the wall” where he can not be seen. The reason that I tell you this part is because this is the part that usually bothers the most kids from what I have seen. This is the reason I recommended you to sit on the far right side of the theater, so your child will not be close to it and you can exit quickly if needed. It seems that the young kids do not understand this part, and they think he is stuck and hurt, so that is why some kids do not like it. I told both my kids when they were younger that this was going to happen, and they laughed when they saw it, since they were expecting it. I hope this information has helped anyone who is traveling with small kids, as I feel this is a Must Do in the parks!

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If you would like to learn more about Mickey’s Philharmagic Show, or would like a free, no obligation travel quote, contact me at casey@travelwiththemagic.com

Boma: Dining with Food Allergies, Intolerances, or Sensitivities

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I will admit that I am not a huge fan of buffet style dining. However, I AM a HUGE fan of Boma, which IS a buffet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of the reasons I do not particularly enjoy dining at buffet style restaurants is because I have many food sensitivities and intolerances. Eating out can be difficult when you have such limitations so ordering from a menu is usually more appealing as it usually allows you customize what you get. So, the while the prospect of dining at Boma was a little uncertain for me, I was willing and excited to give it a try because of all of the rave reviews I have received from others who have tried (and loved) Boma.

Boma Buffet Stations

Since we made Advanced Dining Reservations, which I HIGHLY recommend, our server was already aware of my dining limitations when we arrived. Once we were seated, greeted, and had our drinks, James (a Boma chef) came to our table and talked to me about my dietary needs. He then walked me and my husband through the whole delicious spread and described each dish and pointed out the best options for me and the dishes that were completely safe for me to eat. I never felt rushed or like I was a burden at all. In fact, I felt quite special to have a chef give me my own tour of the menu! I was able to ask questions of James as well as the other cooks in the open style kitchen.

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Not only did our server continue to check on us throughout our meal but James also checked on us multiple times. This was a long meal since there was SO much great food to try and I wanted to try everything I could!

One of my favorite stations was the soups. I LOVE soup! Luckily the one I wanted to try the most was also the best option for me and it did not disappoint. I still think of that soup sometimes! The family that was seated next to us lives in the area and said they come to Boma often for family dinners since everyone can find unique foods they enjoy. They were raving about the mushroom soup but found out it was only served on Mondays and we were there on a Friday. They talked to their server and a little while later a chef brought them each a bowl of fresh mushroom soup. They were so happy you would have thought they got it for free!

Boma is known for their fabulous dessert spread and so I was disappointed to find out most of the desserts would not be OK for me and my dietary restrictions. But, by the end of the meal I was so full that I really was OK with not having dessert. Just as my husband sat down with his plate of desserts James arrived at our table with a beautiful dish of fresh fruit sorbet prepared just for me. I was amazed since I hadn’t ordered or asked for this. But it was totally safe for me to eat and the BEST sorbet I have ever had.

Desserts

Boma is located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House- just downstairs from the main lobby. Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite spots in all of Walt Disney World. After supper, be sure to hit the gift shop which is a unique store with some one of a kind finds.

Location

Boma has variety (including child friendly food), uniqueness, and friendly chefs. The atmosphere is energetic; especially when the African Drummers come around and the kids join in. I would recommend Boma to anyone –even those with allergies or sensitivities. I can’t wait to try the brunch buffet and I will definitely be more apt to try other Buffet style dining experiences at Walt Disney World.

If you have special dietary or other needs, talk to your travel agent so they can help you make the most of your vacation! I would love to help you plan your next Disney trip. Contact me at Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 ext 139.

See ya Real Soon,

Aleshia

Breakfast in Wonderland with a touch of Class

amyb1

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World we visited 1900 Park Fare for the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast. Our middle child was celebrating his birthday at Disney and wanted to have the Mad Hatter join us. I am a huge proponent of character dining because you can skip the lines at the park and enjoy the attractions because you already have your character pictures taken. Our excitement started as soon as we arrived, we were greeted by cast members that asked questions about why we had chosen this breakfast. We waited in a short line to get our picture taken, and then were brought in front of the French doors to wait for the restaurant to open. We were asked to say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” several times when all of a sudden the doors opened and Mary Poppins greeted us at the door. Excitement rang out through the hall way, it was one of those magical moments.

Breakfast in Wonderland

We were brought to our table where we were instructed to get in line for breakfast. I chose a buffet so that everyone would have lots to choose from.

The menu was actually a little overwhelming. I loved the hot menu, bacon, sausage, omelets made to order, scrambled eggs, pancakes, Mickey waffles, ham and this is just to name a few things. The cold menu was wonderful as well, several flavors of yogurt, fresh strawberry soup (a personal favorite), ice cream with every sort of fresh fruit you could imagine. It really did feel like wonderland with all of the savory choices.

Our character experience was amazing as my little Mad Hatter met the “real” Mad Hatter and had a dance with Alice! Mary Poppins was very warm and right on cue when we asked about Bert who was at the races! Winnie the Pooh and Tigger also stopped by and tried to steal the honey from the table!

amyb3

This character meal is available on most dining plans or you can pay out of pocket. Prices range from $12.00 to $26.00. Adults and children are priced differently. Gratuity is not included.

If you’re traveling to Walt Disney World and want a fantastic meal as well as character experience, make sure to contact me so I can book you a magical memory that will last a lifetime!

Amy Blades

amyb@travelwiththemagic.com

1-800-397-4674