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Friday in Fantasyland: Resort Hopping for the Holidays

If I were at the Walt Disney World Resort today, not only would I be incredibly happy, I would plan to spend the day resort-hopping! I know many don’t see the allure of visiting other resorts-thinking it’s a waste of time, but I think those people are missing out on some amazing experiences! Since it is the holidays, there truly is no better time to resort hop. I am a bonafide Christmas junkie, so you bet I am chomping at the bit to feast my eyes on the decor at each resort. It’s no secret that the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa wins Christmas in terms of their decor, how could you compete with a life-sized Gingerbread House? But let me tell you folks, there are some incredible runner ups that you may enjoy just as much and with fewer crowds.

The Contemporary Resort has their own yearly holiday display which changes from time to time. It’s on the concourse level (where Chef Mickeys is) and is quite impressive! Last year at the holidays they had this frozen themed display.

Since we are still on the monorail, of course I’m making a stop at my DVC home, the Polynesian Village Resort. While there is no real WOW exhibit like some of the others, it’s beauty lies in the subtlety.

Over at the Boardwalk Resort a few years ago, they had a pop-up Ice Cream stand! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Last year, was a display of custom Gingerbread Houses constructed by Cast Members. Curious about this year, the Boardwalk is definitely on my list to visit today!

Not to be outdone, the all-class Beach Club Resort astounds with a gingerbread and candy carousel. It is quite a site to be seen! I never miss a visit here during December trips and today would be no exception.

While not all resorts go as “all out” as these, the decor still inspires that one of a kind holiday spirit! My beloved Polynesian Village Resort, the Wilderness Lodge Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge and even the Old Key West Resort are absolutely worth my time today, not only for the sights, but for the sounds, smells and tastes to be had at each one. Oh, did I fail to mention I would pick up a snack at each resort I hopped to? How’s that for plussing a resort hopping day?

How about you? Do you resort hop to see what you are missing and scout out a new location for your next visit? We would love to hear from you in the comments. If you’d like to learn more about visiting during the holidays for your next Disney vacation, contact us at info@getdowntodisness.com.

 

 

By | December 28th, 2018|Disness Reports|

Fridays in Fantasyland: The Daily Disney Afterglow

Welcome to This Friday in Fantasyland

So much of visiting Disney World these days revolves around meticulous planning. I recently spent three frustrating hours navigating the troubled FastPass system picking the rides my family wants to ride months from now, and yet, my favorite memories of Disney World never really focus on those coveted FastPass picks or dining/resort reservations. Instead, the unplanned or unexpected moments reign supreme.

Sometimes you have to stop and really enjoy being there.

With that being said, what I’m daydreaming about isn’t necessarily about being in the parks themselves; it’s focused on that wonderful haze of a full day’s fun and the excitement of more to come.

I’m imagining my feet are aching from a long day walking back and forth through Hollywood Studios, but they would be propped up. I’d be lounging outside at my campsite in Ft. Wilderness, warm in my latest purchased Disney sweatshirt, and I would be laughing with my family about all that happened that day. My daughter would finally have gotten the nerve to go on the Slinky Dog roller coaster. My son would be playing with his new Sheriff Woody.

It’d be slightly cold, because I prefer visiting Disney during the winter months. The crisp air would carry with it the smell of the crackling campfire that my husband stokes, and I would have my s’more supplies resting on the picnic table. We’re going to roast marshmallows to close out the day.

 

My family’s travel trailer would have its awning stretched out, with its lights casting a golden glow over our foldout chairs, picnic tables, grill, and rented golf cart. Our dog would be scurrying around on his leash, happy to be free after being cooped up in the camper for hours while we had fun. We can hear the distant music of the Electrical Water Parade, which we hear every night.

While I’m talking about how much my son loves his new toy, my kids would be playing and laughing together—almost wild with their fatigue. They’re going to sleep well tonight, which is wonderful because we have a character breakfast planned for the next day.

I check the time to see when it is. I’ve used my phone during the day to take photos, but I didn’t check email. There wasn’t time. My husband is so removed from the daily grind that he hasn’t mentioned his work in days. We’re blissfully removed from our day-to-day lives. Instead, we are having intensive family time on our vacation, and we have more to show for it than souvenirs and photographs: we have memories like this moment. My kids will remember this trip forever.

I’d be taking a moment to just enjoy it. The magic of Disney does that. To me, a trip to Walt Disney World is more than amusement parks: it’s uninterrupted time where I’m closest to the people I love most. I am so focused on my family that our regular life seems worlds away, and I want it to last. So I breathe deep and file this feeling away in my mind, so I can remember it too.

If this sounds like your kind of Disney daydream, we can help make it a reality! Send us an email or fill out this quote form and tell us a little bit about the Magical Disney adventure you are looking to have. Our Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations to Travel are out of this world!

 

By | October 4th, 2018|Disness Reports|

Fridays in Fantasyland: A Day of Firsts for Felicia

By Felicia Tiberi of Adulting DisFe

If I were in Walt Disney World right now, I would head straight to my favorite park: Magic Kingdom. Pleasantly surprised to find myself there, I would take on a whole new approach to it. Normally, I plan out the day based on my favorite attractions which are normally the “big” things. However, on this day, I think taking on a more leisurely avenue would be practically perfect.

Starting by making my way slowly down Main Street, U.S.A., I take in the beautiful shop windows and all the hidden gems on the upper levels. After going all the way down and through the castle, I would find myself in Fantasyland. Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel would be my first stop. To my knowledge, I have never been on this and think I would find it feeling nostalgic still. Mickey’s PhilharMagic would be next in the comfortable theater. I may check the wait times at Princess Fairytale Hall and see if there is anyone I haven’t met before. Having never been on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, it would definitely be on the roster today. No doubt, I would go on Dumbo the Flying Elephant and enjoy the breeze.

Heading now into Tomorrowland, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is up next. It has been recommended to me, but I have never done it!

I then cross over to Adventureland and go on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Sure, it’s the same as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, but it would have a different environment and give me a different feeling.

Passing over into Frontierland and I head straight for Country Bear Jamboree. I don’t remember this attraction, but since it’s a fan favorite, time to see what I’m missing!

As I make my way to Liberty Square, I may hop on the Liberty Square Riverboat (because it would be in use again just for me). I would enjoy the sights and sounds as the boat glides along the Rivers of America. After I disembark, a little history is in order. The Hall of Presidents is another attraction I cannot remember, so time to fix that!

I’m sure along the way, I would have stopped for my favorite Disney snacks. Perhaps, a different snack for each location. A hot dog at Casey’s Corner on Main Street, U.S.A., a Mickey Pretzel in Fantasyland, a Mickey’s Premium Bar in Tomorrowland, a Dole Whip in Adventureland, a churro in Frontierland, and to finish it off, some sort of yummy waffle treat at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Liberty Square.

While passing along, I would make sure to take in the actual buildings and surroundings themselves. To take notice of the artistry in the Walt Disney World perfection. I would want to take in the magic in a whole new light that I may not normally have time for on my trips!

Follow Felicia and her Disney adventures through her blog Adulting DisFe! If you’d like to learn more about these experiences and find out which is the right choice for your next Disney vacation, contact us at info@getdowntodisness.com.

 

 

By | September 27th, 2018|Disness Reports|

Fridays in Fantasyland: Wanderlust & Hunger Satisfied at Nomad Lounge

One week after returning from a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort and I am astounded at the long list of things I fully intended to do, planned to do, but didn’t. It’s not that I necessarily forgot, it’s just so often the unplanned fun is just too good to cut short  in order to check off the “To Do” list. So as I sit here writing this post, it’s not only a daydream but also a plan in the works for next time.

If I were at the Walt Disney World Resort today, I would spend the day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. I didn’t even step foot in that park once over the five days of my recent visit. I planned to, but things changed and it wasn’t meant to be. I’m not a huge fan of Flight of Passage, not because it isn’t outrageous, it’s a motion issue. I am however a huge fan of the serenity of Animal Kingdom and the ambiance of the Nomad Lounge. The Nomad Lounge in case you aren’t familiar is the no-reservations accepted bar/lounge next to Tiffins and near the entrance to Pandora, the World of Avatar. It’s cozy, comfortable, brilliantly themed and has some of the best small plates on any menu you’ll find in all of Walt Disney World…if you ask me.

While children are certainly allowed, it is more of an adult oasis, and celebrates the wanderer in us all. I professed my love for the Nomad Lounge during this episode of Debating Disney and swayed the audience to see things my way. It’s not a tough sell at all.

Having arrived to the park in the morning, by now we would have taken a Safari, a River Journey, hubs would have ridden a banshee and we certainly would top off our morning with a showing of the Festival of the Lion King. Those monkey acrobats are incredible! While Satuli Canteen would be beckoning us with their delicious menu, the Nomad Lounge sings a bit of a sweeter tune and that is where we head to rest and refuel.

I have my heart set on our “regular” nook with cozy chairs and since this is my daydream, that’s where we sit without issue. No doubt we would order the Wagyu Beef Sliders with Vinegar Potatoes and for me, a fun and fruity cocktail like Jen’s Tattoo. The exclusively brewed for Nomad Lounge Kungaloosh beer for my husband is a must.

I’m not sure that we would stay in Animal Kingdom much longer after our lunch. Perhaps a stop at Creature Comforts for an iced mocha as we make our way leisurely toward the exit, bobbing in and out of gift shops. If I can convince my husband to stop to meet Mickey and Friends for a few photo ops, I would be in heaven. Depends on how many Kungalooshes he had. 😉 The destination we have in mind is to head back to the resort for some pool time and some relaxation before spending the evening wandering around Epcot, extending the world traveler experience we just enjoyed and will surely pine for as we pull away in the Minnie Van…because in my Fantasy Fridays, that’ show I roll. -Kat

 

If this sounds like your kind of Disney daydream, we can help make it a reality! Send us an email or fill out this quote form and tell us a little bit about the Magical Disney adventure you are looking to have. Our Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations to Travel are out of this world!

By | September 20th, 2018|Disness Reports|

Fridays in Fantasyland: Off to Work He Goes!

If I were at the Walt Disney World Resort today, I would definitely be heading to work in FANTASYLAND. In fact, I was already dreaming about this last week. Read on…

Sunday evening. That dreaded end of the weekend and the only thing standing between me and work tomorrow morning. This Sunday is especially hectic as it is the night before my daughter’s first day of 3rd grade. Her Summer has officially come to an end, and we both head back to the grind tomorrow. Man oh man do I wish I was far away in Fantasyland watching everyone’s favorite Seven Dwarfs head off to work instead of prepping for the real work week myself.

Walt Disney World Resort is in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Where in Fantasyland would I see Snow White’s best friends head off to work? The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train of course! The image is so clear in my mind you would swear I just hopped off the ride! The entertaining queue is almost as fun as the ride itself, including interactive games and the dwarfs showing you how to fasten your seat belts on the screens!

 

The queue ends at the load area, where we all hop aboard an amazing ride system that gives the Mine Train that unique feel. The train navigates through the mine, where we catch a glimpse of the dwarfs at work. The animatronics here are amazing, but my favorite part is seeing the shadows of the dwarfs marching up the end of the mine along side the train, leading to that famous hill in which the ride photos are taken. A glimpse inside the cottage just before the rides end, shows Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs dancing in a scene straight from the movie (bonus points for those of you that can tell me where these animatronics came from-tell us in the comments!). It may be a fairly short ride, but man oh man is it worth it. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is where I wish I was on this Friday in Fantasyland.

If this sounds like your kind of Disney daydream, Chris can help make it a reality! Send Chris an email or contact him on Facebook and tell him a little bit about the Magical Disney adventure you are looking to have. Our Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with Destinations to Travel are out of this world!

By | August 31st, 2018|Disness Reports|