Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits ~ More Than Just Water and Chips!

So you’ve purchased one of the Disney dining plans and have no idea what to do with the multitude of snack credits included in the plan.  Disney’s dining plan brochures list a few examples which include popcorn, soda, water and fruit.  While these are all certainly good choices (because we all know Disney popcorn is the best on the planet!) there are many more interesting ways to redeem your snack credits.

Depending on which dining plan you purchase each person will get 1 – 2 snack credits per night of your trip.  The credits are “pooled” on your account and are not child/adult specific (unlike meals) so for example a family of 4 with 2 adults, 2 children staying 5 nights and using the Disney Dining Plan has a total of 20 snack credits loaded on their account at check in.  You may choose to use as many as you’d like each day until the balance is depleted.  All credits expire midnight of your check out day.

Items that qualify as a snack credit are identified on counter service and cart menus with a purple DDP next to them.

One way to put your snack credits to good use is to use a credit for a pastry.  All of the dining plans include a souvenir mug which includes refills at your resort for the length of your stay.  So, grab some coffee in your mug and cash in a snack credit for a cinnamon roll, chocolate croissant or bagel and – voila – breakfast!   You’ll find most pastries at the resort counter service restaurants as well as the various bakeries throughout the parks are included in the dining plans as a snack credit.  So, breakfast, afternoon coffee break or late night dessert ~ check out those bakeries!

Frozen treats included as snack credits include the infamous Dole Whips in Adventureland as well as various ice cream sundaes at select locations throughout the parks and the classic popsicles such as Mickey bars sold at the kiosks and carts.

You’ll find credits can also be used for favorite theme park snacks such as churros, pretzels, fudge, funnel cakes, cotton candy and nachos.  Just be sure to look for the DDP symbol on the menu as choices vary by location.

If you are fortunate enough to be at Epcot during the annual Food and Wine Festival in the fall you are in luck!  Snack credits can be used for most of the food at the tasting booths throughout the festival.

Each time you use a snack credit your receipt will show how many credits remain.  If you are down to your final hours at Walt Disney World and find yourself with remaining credits no worries!  Most resort gift shops as well as the larger gift shops in each park offer take home snacks that work great as neighbor/co-worker/teacher gifts!  Some options include Disney themed lollipops, Mickey shaped rice krispie treats, Mickey pretzels and fudge.

 

So have a little fun with those snack credits and make sure you don’t leave any unused!

I would love to answer any questions you may have or help get you started on planning your Disney vacation.  I provide concierge booking and planning services at absolutely no cost to you!  Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on facebook at SusanHeidenrichTravelwiththeMagic.

Disney’s Deluxe Villa Resort- Bay Lake Towers

In October, my family and I were able to stay in a 2 bedroom deluxe villa with a Magic Kingdom view. This room was amazing. The room offers sleeping arrangements for up to 9 people. The room includes 1 king, 2 queens, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa & one sleeper chair. Also in the deluxe villas there is a full size kitchen fully equipped and ready for use. These villas have 3 full bathrooms and a Jacuzzi tub. By having 4 females and one male the 3 were perfect. This room is also large enough that you can drive a scooter right in & plug it up for charging if you have one.

You will not be disappointed in this room the magical view it provides is breath taking. Waking up to the sight of Cinderella’s Castle and the monorail right outside your window. At night the TV offers the sounds of Wishes the Magic Kingdoms firework display. You are able to watch the fireworks right from one of the 2 balconies in the room.

Bay Lake offers a Mickey shaped pool with a waterslide and Cove Bar only for Bay Lake Tower guests. There are many activities such as Bocce Ball, shuffle board, & Tennis courts. There is also beach access to Seven Seas Lagoon.

Bay Lake does not offer counter service or table service dining; however there is a breezeway located between Bay Lake Towers and The Contemporary where you can enjoy three sit down dining locations and a counter service location. The Contemporary offers plenty of shopping and a bar for when you return from a long day at the parks. This is also where you will board the monorail.

You are just a short walk to the Magic Kingdom Park. From there you have monorail service to Epcot and bus transportation to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studio’s. It is nothing like waking up early in the morning and being one of the first guests at the Magic Kingdom. If you arrive before park opening you will be able to see the opening ceremonies performed every morning that includes multiple characters.

 

If you & your family are interested in booking a villa or any room at Bay Lake

Towers send me an email Allison@Travelwiththemagic.com and I will get you a “Free Quote” today!

I am Allison King a Disney Destinations Specialist affiliated with

Travel with the Magic. Contact me today!

1-800-670-4312 ext. 134

Conquering Everest!

Expedition Everest is a MUST-DO attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. You have to be at least 44’’ tall to ride the ride, so luckily I qualify!  And so do a lot of kiddos!

I must admit the first time I was in line for this ride I was nervous! I’m a wimp. I’m not much of a thrill seeker and this attraction is built up as a thrill ride. I seriously thought of changing my mind right before we got on. But my pride wouldn’t let me. Plus there were tons of kids in line that were NOT scared at all. Including a cute little 7 year old who said she had already ridden it twice!  I couldn’t back out now!

Let me just say this ride got me over my fear of thrill rides…at least Disney style thrill rides. It is SO.MUCH.FUN.  My husband loves taking pictures on rides. Maybe to get my expression of fear captured forever. But I am glad he did because we got some great shots.

Not only is this ride super fun but it provides some BEAUTIFUL views of Animal Kingdom.

And, once I conquered Mt Everest I felt like I could conquer anything!

I fell in love with the views of Expedition Everest all around the park. And each time I saw that mountain peak I smiled to myself because A) I conquered it!  and  B) I had nothing to be afraid of in the first place.

Oh…and don’t let this scare you (too much) !

If you would like to have your own Expedition Everest adventure, contact me today at Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 ext. 139

I would LOVE to help you plan your next Magical vacation!

BBQ Time at Walt Disney World – Amy Blades

The words BBQ and Walt Disney World really didn’t seem to fit together  for me, however after many suggestions I decided to take the plunge and check out  Mickey’s Backyard BBQ which is located at The Fort Wilderness campground.

I didn’t quite know what my expectations were going to be, other than a quick glance at Mickey and a piece of BBQ chicken.

 I was wrong , and am so glad  that I was. This has now become my favorite meal to do with Mickey.

The evening started with an assortment of country music from a live band and a greeting from Goofy. As we entered the airy pavillion there was an incredaible picnic area where we were overwhelmed by the smell of a down home BBQ.

The menu was out of this world, there is no way you can leave this meal hungry. The assortment starts with burgers, hotdogs, bbq ribs, chicken, corn on the cob, beans and that’s just to name a few. The selection of ice cream for dessert was unlike anything I had ever seen…….and it’s all you can eat.

Once you have finished your meal you have a chance to dance off the calories with line dancing, dance floor activities for the kiddos and a show rope trick show that will make you want to go home and try it yourself.

The interaction with Mickey and friends is priceless and gives you plenty of photo opportunities and hands on fun with your favorites.

If you choose to use your meal plan it will count as 2 credits, well worth it in opinion. You can also choose to pay cash which will run you between($36.00 – $59.00)You will have to pre pay if you are not using your meal plan. Your gratuity is included.

If you or someone yo know is looking for a little downhome fun at Walt Disney World, let me help! My services are FREE. Contact me at amyb@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-397-4674!

Amy Blades

Travel with the Magic

The Story of Christmas

There is no place more magical during the holiday season than Walt Disney World.  From the Osborne Lights at Hollywood Studios to Cinderella’s Castle dripping with lights in theMagicKingdom, the halls are all decked across the entire resort, and it is a beautiful sight to see.

Of all the festive things going on during the Christmas season, my favorite has to be the Candlelight Processional.  The Candlelight Processional is a special holiday event that is held nightly starting in late November and running through the end of December.  It retells the story of Christmas with a celebrity narrator who is accompanied by an orchestra and an amazing choir.

There are three shows times each night, 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:15pm, held in the America Gardens Theater in the World Showcase inside the Epcot theme park.  As you can imagine this is a very popular show and seats fill up quickly.  You can arrive early and wait in the standby line for a seat or you can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package that includes lunch or dinner, a guaranteed seat for the show and a special spot to view Illuminations.

Lunch packages range from $32.99–$55.99 for adults, and $12.50–$17.99 for children ages 3–9

Participating lunch restaurants include: Biergarten, Coral Reef, Le Cellier Steakhouse, Les Chefs de France, Nine Dragons, Restaurant Marrakesh, Rose & Crown,SanAngelInn, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia and Via Napoli.

Dinner packages range from $49.99–$66.99 for adults, and $14.50–$26.99 for children ages 3–9

Participating dinner restaurants include: Biergarten, Coral Reef, The Garden Grill, La Hacienda de San Angel, Les Chefs de France, Nine Dragons, Restaurant Marrakesh, Rose & Crown,SanAngelInn, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Tutto Italia and Via Napoli.

Current celebrity narrators for this year are:

November 23 to November 25, 2012 — Geena Davis
November 26 to November 29, 2012 — Neil Patrick Harris
November 30 to December 1, 2012 — Whoopi Goldberg
December 2 to December 4, 2012 — Andy Garcia
December 5 to December 7, 2012 — Blair Underwood
December 8 to December 9, 2012 — James Denton
December 10 to December 13, 2012 — Jodi Benson
December 14 to December 16, 2012 — Lea Salonga
December 17 to December 19, 2012 — Alfre Woodard
December 20 to December 22, 2012 — Trace Adkins
December 23 to December 25, 2012 — Gary Sinise
December 26 to December 28, 2012 — Amy Grant
December 29 to December 30, 2012 — Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason

If you would like my help in planning your very own magical Christmas at Walt Disney World just contact me at michelle@travelwiththemagic.com.  It doesn’t cost you any extra to book your vacation through me and then all of my planning services are completely free!

New Fantasyland

I recently returned from a family vacation at Disney World.  One of the highlights of that trip was when  I happened to stumble upon the first day of dress rehearsals at New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom.

I had tickets for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that evening and I decided to go to Magic Kingdom early so I could take some pictures of the fabulous fall décor before it got too dark.  While I was there, I went to Storybook Circus Land to check out the new Pete’s Silly Side Show and Big Top Souvenirs and Big Top Treats since they had recently opened.  Little did I know something was about to catch my eye while I was over there.  I looked over to Beast’s Castle and noticed the waterfall was turned on.  It was truly beautiful!  I decided I needed get closer and perhaps I would be able to take some exterior pictures of it.  It’s always seemed so far away behind those big construction walls with the castle peeking over the top.  I walked over and noticed a large cast member presence but few crowds and that is when I saw the sign, “Welcome to our Dress Rehearsal of New Fantasyland”.  I truly can’t explain the giddy feeling I felt!  I’ve been watching construction for two years and here I am finally being able to see what’s behind those walls!  My Disney geek radar truly went through the roof just thinking about being one of the first people to set foot at these new attractions.  So now I’ll share with you some of what I saw.

 

As soon as you enter the area past the new majestic looking castle walls which separate Fantasyland from New Fantasyland, you’ll notice it’s very open yet it has a cozy feel to it at the same time.  The first attraction you will see is Enchanted Tales with Belle, which is part interactive show, part meet and greet.  There is quite a bit of foliage and it looks as if it’s been there forever. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported into the movie, Beauty and the Beast as you see Maurice’s humble cottage with Beast’s castle off in the distance.  Next, you’ll find the very mysterious looking Be our Guest restaurant which is truly breath taking.  It has a very medieval, regal, rich look to it complete with broken archway, iron gates, heavy draperies, and knights in armor and majestic chandeliers.  The bridge to get to the restaurant is almost daunting.  This new restaurant will offer a French inspired menu.  It will have quick service for lunch and table service for dinner.  The restaurant features three different themed rooms for guests to dine in: the elegant ballroom which will feature a snow falling effect in the windows, the rose gallery and the mysterious west wing.  Next up is the very masculine Gaston’s Tavern where you will find dark wood and antlers galore!  You can grab a pork shank, cinnamon roll or the already very much talked about LeFou’s Brew.  It’s a delicious frozen concoction that will certainly be a hit, particularly with the souvenir goblets!  There was always a line when I passed the entrance. Next to Gaston’s Tavern is Bonjour! Village Gifts which is a quaint gift shop with more of an upscale vibe to it.  And finally, there is Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid which is an adorable ride that takes you through the story of Ariel under the sea in a clam mobile.

One word that I feel describes this new area is DETAIL.  No detail is left behind!  The Imagineers truly outdid themselves with themeing.  You’ll even HEAR details like frogs croaking at Beast’s castle and waves crashing in Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid.  It truly is a lovely addition that is sure to be a hit.  Soft openings for New Fantasyland begin November 19 with a grand opening on December 6. And don’t forget the final addition, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster, which will be opening in 2014 as well.

Are you interested in planning a family vacation to Disney World?  Would you like to see the New Fantasyland?  I would love to assist with your vacation planning!  Feel free to call me 800-670-4312 x128 or email me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com.

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!!!

One of my favorite resorts – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

 

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is an equestrian-themed, Victorian-style Disney Deluxe Villa Resort on Lake Buena Vista, inspired by 18th century Saratoga Springs, New York.  Personally, I love the location of this resort.  I am a Downtown Disney addict and while staying here I can take a quick boat ride or a nice stroll down a paved walkway to get there.  And, you can see fireworks from just about every park while sitting outside at night enjoying the evening summer air.

 

Saratoga Springs offers a variety of room types for all travelers, studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom villa and even Treehouse villas.  Besides the beauty of this resort, inside you find all the comforts of home – full kitchens and a washer and dryer.  My family personally enjoys the one bedroom comforts.  This allows the parents to sneak in a nap mid-day in their own bedroom, while the kids can sit in the living room and prepare a snack, watch TV, or sit on the balcony and enjoy the sites.   When staying in a villa at Walt Disney World, you can even pre-order your groceries and they will be delivered and in your room waiting.  How awesome is that?

 

There are so many great things to do for fun, right there in your own backyard.  Head on over to the basketball courts, do a little shuffleboard or a game of tennis.  How about a bike ride on a traditional bike or the four-seat surrey style?  There are a variety of pathways throughout this resort offering up lots of nature and beauty.  And the other great thing, there is a Community Hall with even tons more for your family to do.  Ping pong, foosball, arts and crafts, board games, TV games and more.  There’s a schedule posted to keep you on track each and every day of your visit.

Looking for a little work out or pampering on your stay – their Health Club is outfit for a king, while their Spa is of course, fit for a queen.  They offer massage therapy, facials, body treatments, hydro-massage, hand and foot treatments, couples relaxation package and spa treatments even for children 4-12 years of age.

Disney of course offers a huge variety of beautiful resorts to choose from, and Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa should definitely be on your list of those to try.  Please contact me for your free quote today – Cindy Presley, cindy@travelwiththemagic.com.  269-207-3555.

FREE Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-Along

Are you looking for a fun filled low-key night with young kids at Disney World?  Well look no further!  The free Chip and Dale Campfire sing-along at Fort Wilderness will be a hit for the entire family.  The sing-along is open to anyone staying on Disney property and does not require a reservation.

You will start the night out roasting marshmallows around a campfire while taking part in the sing-along.  You can bring your own marshmallows, hot dogs, and sticks if you have them.  If not, these items can be purchased at the event.  Chip and Dale will make a guest appearance during the night so be sure to bring your camera and autograph books.  The sing-along will last about 40 minutes.  You can continue to unwind as you enjoy watching a Disney movie shown on a large screen following the campfire event.

The campfire sing-along takes place in the middle of Fort Wilderness near the Meadow Trading Post.  You will need to catch the internal Yellow bus line once you arrive at Fort Wilderness.  Take the bus to the 1500 stop at Meadow Trading Post & Recreation area.  Cross the bridge and you will see the outdoor theater where the campfire takes place.  There are benches available to sit on.  Feel free to bring a blanket or your own chairs if you wish.  The time varies, but the event begins sometime between 7pm and 8pm.  The event is held nightly weather permitting.

I would be glad to help you plan a magical Disney vacation.  Contact me today for a no obligation quote.

Michelle Terry

MichelleT@travelwiththemagic.com

1-866-Hi-Miki-2

A Special Treat at the Magic Kingdom

On our last trip to Disney World, we were walking through The Magic Kingdom and were stopped by two cast members.  We had just walked by  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the cast members asked us if we had seen Mickey running away.  We said no!  They told us that Mickey was just at Storybook Treats and ordered an extra-large sundae.  Mickey had to leave to go to his own parade on Main Street.  He asked the cast members to find a family who would like to share this HUGE sundae.  And they chose us.  The sundae had 6 scoops of ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, fudge, whipped cream and cherries to top it off.

By the time I got my camera out to take a picture of the huge dessert, this was all that was left.

We were very sorry not to see Mickey, but very happy to eat his ice cream sundae!  You never know when you might be stopped by a cast member at Disney World and treated to a nice FREE afternoon snack.

Let me help you plan your next magical vacation.  My services are always FREE.  Call me, Karen Kalinowski (877) 818-6106 or      e-mail: Karen@travelwiththemagic.com