Monday, September 27, 2010

Let The Memories Begin

Disney World's new big thing for 2011 is "Let The Memories Begin." I mean, why do we go to Disney World? Sure, we enjoy the food and the rides and the magic, but the best part is taking pictures, and making memories with those you love.

I submitted a memory to the website, and went to check today to see if it had been chosen.

Here it is!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Disney Dreamer

Sometimes, I like to get on the Disney World site and get a quote for what I'd consider my ULTIMATE Disney vacation. Well, one of them, anyway. So, this is what I chose for this one:

December 20, 2011 thru December 30, 2011
Adam, Aidan, and Me
Magic Your Way package plus Dining
Polynesian Resort, Club level with concierge service, Theme Park view
Ten day tickets (w/Park Hopper)

The grand total?


That is not including flights!

I also priced it for September 10, 2011 thru September 20, 2011. I love September at the World. Halloween parties, autumn decorations, beautiful skies, and low low crowds. Unfortunately, I can't take Aidan during that time; he'll be at school. :(

Here is what I got for me and Adam, everything else the same:


Man, the Poly is not cheap, even during the value season! But it's so pretty. I love that Resort. But wow. $9K for a vacation, huh? I promise you that our trip in January doesn't even come close to that cost. Granted, we're going during the off-season, we're staying in a Moderately priced resort, and we're not going for ten days--only five days/four nights. But we're not even near half of that cost! Crazy.

I can see why some people feel that Disney World is way out of budget, with options like this out there. Fortunately, Disney does offer the Value Resort tier and the Moderate Resort tier, different ticket options, and different dining plan levels, or you can choose not to use any of Disney's accommodations and go on your own. There are so many ways to do Disney, and they are all magical and amazing. You just choose what's best for your family and go from there.

I'm happy to be going again in January. It'll be my fifth trip, but definitely not my last. I am amazingly blessed to be able to go so many times, and to hit Disneyland from time to time as well. Even though I won't have theme park views (from my hotel room) or a concierge at my beck and call, I will still have a magical time because I'll be at Disney World, my favorite place on Earth.

It is fun to dream about the fancy rooms and things, though. If only money were no object. Maybe someday. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Food is an important part of any vacation. In fact, I daresay that eating is in the top five (maybe even three) things I get excited about, no matter where I go. Especially if I get a chance to eat food that I don't normally get, or that are not available where I live.

So, I have made our dining plans for Disney World. I used the online reservation system and it worked like a charm! I was able to search for tables and times, and then I got an email confirmation a few minutes later. Here are the plans for us:

Day One - Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern
We had Liberty Tree Tavern for the first time last year when we took Aidan. It was a hit with all of us. OK, the mac&cheese was Stouffer's, but I'm not going to lie. I liked it, and thought it went well with everything else that was offered. Plus, the dining was free, so why would I complain? I remember really enjoying the turkey and gravy. Mmm, gravy.

Day Two - Breakfast at Crystal Palace
I tend to sleep in on vacation, and I do not want to do this for this particular Disney vacation. I want to be up and at 'em, ready for some magical times in the parks. So I scheduled a couple of character breakfasts to get me up early and excited. I was deciding between 1900 Park Fare and Crystal Palace, and both Adam and I agreed that we wanted to maximize our time in the park. So Crystal Palace it is!

Day Three - Dinner at Garden Grill
The Garden Grill is a must-do. Not only do they have the best character interactions, but I love their fresh food, the atmosphere of the rotating restaurant, and the all-you-can-eat family-style dining. It's always nicer than a buffet, especially at the end of the day, when I want to relax and be waited on for a bit. This place has amazing desserts. Last time I had something called a Blueberry Buckle, which made me want to run around slapping everyone, it was so good!

Day Four - Dinner at Boma: Flavors of Africa
Every time we go to Disney World, I try to schedule a dinner somewhere we have not eaten before. This year, it will be Boma, along with Eli and Melissa, and possibly Sharon and Rich. This is way outside of my regular food comfort zone, as I have never actively pursued African food before. Now, I am a picky eater, but I'll try just about anything once. Boma is a buffet, which means I can take just a little of something unfamiliar, and if I like it, I can go and get more. There are some tried and true things there too, it seems, such as wood roasted meats and salmon. The soups sound very good. I'm excited to try this place out--Eli and Melissa rave about it!

Day Five - Breakfast at Chef Mickey's
I am kind of tempted to change this to Ohana because I keep remembering those amazing eggs, and 1900 Park Fare has the Alice in Wonderland characters. But, Adam has never had Chef Mickey's (I warned him it was loud and there are napkin swinging parties), and I remember having a great time there when I went in 2005. I'm excited about going again and exploring the Contemporary a bit.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I loved Mickey Mouse even as a wee little one:

Playing with Mickey Mouse

Let the Obsessive Planning Begin!

I'm already combing the boards, looking for tips and tricks. Information about weather conditions, crowd levels. I've even got my spreadsheet started.

Here are the MUST DOs for Adam and me:

· Garden Grill at Epcot. That restaurant has such great food, and the character interaction is phenomenal. It's a guaranteed chance to see Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Chip and Dale. Did I mention the food? Om nom yum!

· Haunted Mansion. Because Adam is obsessed with it.

· Carousel of Progress. It's so quaint and cool.

· Mickey's Philharmagic. My favorite 3D show of them all. Of course, I have not seen Captain EO or It's Tough To Be a Bug yet.

· Wishes. I love those fireworks SO MUCH. They are truly magical. I even own the soundtrack.

· Pins! I always buy at least one pin commemorating the year that I visited the park. Sometimes I'll even get a little Mickey Mouse. Only if he's wearing a cute outfit, though. ;)

· Columbia Harbour House. I don't know what it is about that place, but I enjoy their food. I also like Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. With us hitting Magic Kingdom two days (more than likely), I'll probably get to eat at both. Although--it would be nice to try something new. *ponders*

This time, we're staying four nights and hitting the parks five days. So, we'll probably do Animal Kingdom on our last day. Frankly, Animal Kingdom usually doesn't do much for me. It seems to be extra hot and extra crowded, but neither of those should be an issue due to the time of year we are going. And when we popped in for an hour with Aidan last summer, we had a good time. So, I'm thinking we should go there and even if we don't get to ride the safari or anything, it'd be nice to see The Lion King show, and the Finding Nemo show, and to try to track down Pocahontas. There are not a lot of must-sees or must-dos in AK for me so it should be fairly relaxing to wander around and take photos. However, if we decide to do a different park on that last day, I wouldn't be mad.

I'll probably get a Mickey Mouse bar (this guy: ) and not be able to finish it, AS USUAL, and I'll be searching high and low for churros. Mmm, churros. I'll buy a Mickey-shaped crispy rice treat and I WILL ACTUALLY EAT IT THIS TIME. Oh, and I must go to Basin at the Grand Floridian and get those bath bombs with the Mickey Mouses in them! I WILL eat some chocolate chip cookies there this time, dang it. They always smell so good, and I never get any. Maybe I'll even have enough saved up for one of those Dooney & Burke Mickey Mouse purses!!! *squee*

We'll also be there the same time Melissa and Eli will be there. Those stinkers are staying in the Polynesian, something of which I am a bit jealous. That's my DREAM resort. It used to be the Grand Floridian, but I visited the Poly last summer for breakfast at Ohana and fell in love with the place! Plus it's just a little bit less expensive. But then, if I am going to be paying to stay in a deluxe, I guess the price doesn't matter too much. It's all costly.

We're going to be staying in Port Orleans French Quarter, which is a step up from our usual Pop Century haunt. I love Pop Century. They have the tie-dyed cheesecake and the coolest theming out of any of the value resorts. However, with the free dining and Port Orleans only costing about $100 more, it seemed too good to pass up. I'm excited to try something new.

I like to try new things every time we go, as well as do something traditional. In 2008, I rode Tower of Terror for the first time, and sat through that crazy Tiki Room thing. Hall of Presidents was new for me, too. Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare was great and a lot less frustrating than breakfast at Crystal Palace, where people move super slow for some reason. In 2009, I ate at Liberty Tree Tavern and Columbia Harbour House for the first time.

Who knows what's in store for us this time? All I know is that I am eager to be there!

YAY so excited!! :D

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Going Back!

Adam and I are going back to Disney World! It's been a while. I haven't been to a Disney park since August of 2009. I can't wait to get back there, and during a non-busy season as well. It should be totally awesome!

Now, to check out dining options. We're getting free dining, so that means some yummy sit-down places. I am so excited to see Mickey and the gang again, and to take lots of pictures, and to just have an awesome time.


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