Friday, March 21, 2014

Planning a Disney Vacation

You have been dreaming about going on a Disney Vacation but it has always been just a dream. Well it's time to live the dream! You need to go to a Disney Park but you don't know anything about what to do. Well this is where I come in. I'm going to help you in planning a Disney Vacation. I have taken many trips to Disneyland and a few trips to Walt Disney World.
I have some helpful tips on having a Magical Disney Vacation.  I have a few tips about Disneyland and ton of Walt Disney World.
First thing you have to is answer some questions before starting planning.
  1. What Disney park do you want to go to. Disneyland or Walt Disney World
  2. What time of year do you want to go.
  3. How much do you want to budget for your vacation
  4. What resort do you want to stay at
These question I can help you in finding the right answer and make you have a Magical Vacation

Photo Pass +

During my trip I ordered the Photo Pass +. It was a good thing to get.  Since I do travel alone I don't have anybody to take pictures, but Disney has solved that problem. The Photo Pass. Disney has photographers all over the park to take pictures for you. I get it every time I go there. Disney stepped their Photo Pass service. It's called Photo Pass+. It includes all photo spots, attractions and dining locations. It cost $169 if you order it before your vacation it can be cheaper.
I like to get it because I need someone to take pictures. When I got it for this trip I had over 400 pictures taken. That is a lot but that is the whole fun about having this pass. Every time I saw a photographer I would get a picture taken. I have had my picture taken in front of Cinderella Castle many times during different times during the day and  night.  Some photographers have Magic shots. There are photographers with a lot of the characters. If you are on a attraction that takes a photo you can go and have it downloaded on your card.  I didn't have any of the dining places that offer Pass options so I can say anything about that.
I tell everyone if you are going to Walt Disney World they should get Photo Pass and they will love the service.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

On September 17 I went to Mickey's Not So Scarey Halloween Party. I have gone to this party 3 times now. This is a party that goes from Sept to Nov on select nights. At this party anybody can dress up. This is a Hard Ticket party. There is a lot of things to do at this party. You can hit the ride with short or no lines. Get candy from the Trick or Trick trails. Or you can get photos with the characters dressed up it their Halloween costumes.

I dress up like a Pirate. And I started my night going around to some of the characters then I hit the Candy Trail and got a lot of candy. Yes adults can Trick or Treat too. It's a night for everyone. While walking around I can across the line to see There were a lot of rare characters there. These are one that are normally not out n the parks. The rarer the character is the longer lines. I when to see Jack Skeleton and Sally. This was the first time that they had been to the party or Magic Kingdom. The long was long but it went fast. I got some great pictures with them.

How old where you when you got into Disney?

How old where you when you first got into Disney? Where you a kid that on Sunday night at 7 pm were sitting in front of the TV watching The Wonderful World of Disney? Or did you watch The Mickey Mouse Club? Well I was 12 when I started watching The Wonderful World of Disney. I was living with my dad at the time. Every Sunday I would be at the TV watching all the things that Disney showed. That summer my dad brother and I packed up the camper and took a trip to Disneyland. Oh we saw my uncle too while we were there. But I would always remember the trip that we made to Disneyland. I remember a picture of me, my brother and my cousin that we took at the park. I was wearing a big floppy yellow hat. The picture is gone but the memory is still there. After that I knew somewhere in my life Disney would be a part of it. Growing up for me wasn't easy. It was just me and my dad. My dad worked all the time so TV was my friend. I used to come home from school turn on the TV and watch the Mickey Mouse Club. This was back in the late 70's. The MMC was the old black and white shows so that kept my dream of something better going. At the time I was living in Eastern Washington state. Going to Disneyland wasn't a thing that happened too often. During that time my family didn't know it was a part of my life. They just know that is a place I like to vacation.
It's wasn't until I got out of High School and moved to Seattle before I made my next trip to Disneyland. This time it wasn't in a camper but a small pick up truck. My dad, his wife, her son, me with two dogs. A little one and a big dog. What a nightmare! All I remember of that trip is how I was stick in the back with those two dogs. After that is was a long time when I went back.
The next time I went to Disneyland I had moved to LA with my boyfriend. Ever he didn't know about my Disney love. Well one day, when he had the day off we went to Disneyland. We only went once because a few months later we moved back to Seattle and shortly after that we went our own ways.
Now in 2007 I was living in Las Vegas NV when I first found out that Walt Disney World wasn't that expensive that I booked a trip. That trip I discovered that WDW was a better vacation than going to Disneyland. Living in Vegas, Anaheim was a 5 hour car trip and could be made in a day so going there was just day or overnight trips. I went to WDW in 2007 for the first time. I was there for a week. I had made all the plans myself. Boy I wish I had made better plans because when I got there it was so make to take in. But still I had a good it. It wasn't for a couple years later when I went back. This time I when though a travel agent. She made all the plans for me. I just needed to tell her where I wanted to stay and what restaurant I wanted to eat at. That made thing much easy than the first time.
Know I'm going on my 4th trip to WDW. But this time I'm a Annual Pass holder. That is a whole new ballgame. PERKS! Will I'm doing a Disney Dream. Being a Annual Pass holder. I just didn't buy the Disneyland pass but I bought the pass that is called the Premier Passport. That is good in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. It wasn't cheap. It was $900 but well worth it. Before getting the Pass I did the numbers to see if it was worth spending the money. I took how much a 1 day park hopper ticket was and divided into what the cost of the pass was. All I figured is that I would have to go to Disneyland for 5 days and make a 8 day trip to WDW. Well so far I have go to Disneyland for 6 days and will be going to WDW in Sept for 10 days. That makes it worth it. I saved some money. But hey it's a Disney Dream come True.
Now I'm in my 50's and going to Walt Disney World for the 4th time. My friends think that I'm crazy but they all life sad lives. Oh well! Now that was the whole reason to becoming a Blogger. I like to write about my Disney experiences. I would like to share what I know to the World. I know that there are a lot of other people that are like me. They are ones that understand that Disney is not just Theme park but a way of life. I have come across some other sites that they have the same love for Disney and have made them into good sites so here I take a stab at it.

Frozen

The other day I went to see Frozen. I always go to the first show because it is cheaper.  When I was there, there was a group a kids. When I go to movies there isn't too many people there.  Well this time there was more than a dozen people there.
When the movie started there was a short "Get a Horse." This movie started out with the look of being hand drawn and something out of the 20's. The really cool thing was the voice of Mickey was done by Walt Disney himself.
Frozen was a great movie. It is set in Norway. Disney artist to a great job in making is like you are in Norway. Well they were sent to Norway to do their research. The movie starts out with little Anna trying to wake her sister Elsa to play on night. Anna and Elsa go to the ballroom and Elsa has the power to make snow so she makes the ballroom into a place where Anna could go sliding. When Anna is sliding around Elsa would make piles of snow until she misses making a pile of snow Anna slips and hits her head. This knocked out Anna. When her parents came and saw what happened. They decided that what Elsa can do should be hidden. So they lock Elsa away. Anna never understood why Elsa could come to play.
After some time the parents are killed and Anna and Elsa live locked away in the castle. Until the day when Elsa could become Queen. During her crowning she has to take off the gloves that protect her hands from freezing things.
She gets upset and she freezes the Kingdom. People see what she does and calls her a demon. Elsa runs away.
This movie is very enjoyable. the detail is great. I will be going to see it again.

Saving Money

I have been online for over 10 years and I have looked around to ways to getting some extra money. There are many web sites that you can get something for a little but of time, but some take along time to get anything.
I have found a great website that will give you all types of prizes, some of the prizes are gift cards and CASH. Yes CASH! It is sent via Pay Pal. It's called Swag bucks. I have been on this site for over 6 months and I have made some good money. In that time I have made $150 in that time. Now you are wondering how do I do it. Well here is how I do it. I watch videos, do surveys and shop. Yes you can get something back for shopping. You have to shop using their shopping portal. It site will give you Swag bucks for each dollar you spend.
Everyday I spend about a couple hours to get 100 or more points and after a couple months I can make $50.  Right now I'm working on getting money to pay for my next trip to Walt Disney World. Also maybe my air fare on Southwest.
I figure that this will take me about a year. My next trip to Walt Disney World will be in 2015.

Basic Dining Plan

This plan is the second level of the Dining Plans.
This plan gives you 1 QS, 1 TS and 1 snack credit.
The basic dining plan allows for some flexibility, in that one table service meal may be exchanged for one character dining experience (except for all meals at Cinderella's Royal Table, which require two credits). You may also exchange TWO table service meal credits for ONE "signature dining experience" at one of WDW's best restaurants, such as California Grill.
With this plan that you need to make reservations for you Table Service  restaurants. These can be made 180 days before your vacation. There are some restaurants that do book up fast. Theses are character   Buffet, Cinderella's Royal Table and Signature restaurants.
This plan is about $60 per night.

Quick Service Dining Plan

This is one of three levels of Dining Plans. It is the simple one of all the plans. \. This plan cost around $40 per night of your stay. This will let you go to the Counter Service restaurants. You can use it in either in the Park or any of the Food Courts at the Resorts.
You can use the credits as you want.  You can order anything you want with your credits. You don't have to worry about the prices because you have bought this plan.
With the Quick Service Dining Plan, each night of your package stay, each person over 3 years old gets:

-- 2 Quick Service Meals - One Entree OR one complete Combo meal; dessert (lunch/dinner) and One single non-alcoholic beverage
-- One refillable drink mug per person (eligible for refills at Quick-Service locations ONLY in your Disney Resort hotel).
-- One Snack, for example, frozen ice-cream novelty; Box of popcorn; single piece of whole fruit; medium fountain soft drink

Snack SymbolEligible snacks will be indicated on the menu with a Disney Dining Plan symbol (shown at right). Some examples of snacks: frozen ice cream novelty, popsicle, fruit bar; popcorn single serving box (scoop); single piece of whole fruit; single serving bag of snacks; 20 oz. bottled drink (Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite) or water; 22 oz. fountain soft drink; 12 oz. coffee, hot chocolate or tea; or single serving prepackaged milk or juice.
(Note that children age 3-9 must choose from a children's menu, if one is available.)

These credits activate as soon as you check in to your resort and can be used at any time, in any combination, during your stay. They expire at the end of your stay.
The Dining Plan DOES NOT include the following:
-- Alcoholic beverages
-- Some outdoor food carts and recreation rental counters
-- In-room mini-bars
-- Items that are more than a single serving (e.g. a box of doughnuts)
-- Items (drinks/popcorn) sold in souvenir containers
-- Items considered merchandise, such as glow cubes and bottle straps.
Everyone that is on the reservation has to be on the plan. I have tried this plan and find it very easy to use. Also there are many places to use your credits.

Weather to get The Disney Dining Plan or Not

Eating at Walt Disney World can get expensive but the food is good. Disney has a plan that you can prepay for your meals. It's call The Disney Dining Plan. There are three levels. Quick, Basic and Deluxe. The plan starts at $40 to $100 per night of your stay. When you get the plan you will get meal and snack credits. All plans include a Refillable Mug. With this mug you can fill it with all types of drink except for juice and milk. You can fill you mug as many times as you want for your whole stay. Each mug has a chip in the cup that will tell you how long you can use it. You can also fill your mug at other resort Food Courts. Now if you are wanting to pour what its in the mug into something else and try to refill the mug again. The chip will tell you how long you have to wait to refill it. Now onto the Meal and Snack Credits.
Each plan gives a different amount of credits that you can use. Quick will give you 2 counter service (CS) and 1 snack. Basic gives 1 CS, 1 Table Service (TS) and 1 snack. Deluxe gives 3 meal credits and 2 snack credits. Meal credits can be used for CS or TS.
I have used all three levels of Meal Plans and they are all worth the money you spend. The Quick Service is the easiest plan to have. The plan will let you go to C S and resorts Food Courts. Basic and Deluxe are good at TS restaurants. These two plans take some planing and reservations have to be made.
When trying to decide what plan will be good for you and your family. The size of your family is. Are you heavy eaters or picky? Disney meal can give you a lot of food. If you have a picky eater you might want to get the QS. Do you want to have your meals planed out or eat when you hungry? When you get Basic or Deluxe plans TS you must have reservations made ahead of time. If you get these plans, I would go online that look at menus to see what you want to eat. With these plans you have to take time out of you time at the park. You can make reservations as early as 180 days before your trip. Some restaurants do book up fast. A lot of the Character Meals and Fine Dining restaurants. When you look at menus try to decide what you want to eat. Since you have got the Plan you don't have to worry about prices.

Eating at Walt Disney World

Eating around Walt Disney World is a experience that can't be missed. There are a lot of different restaurant that you can eat at. There are so many different types of food to eat. The biggest problem is where you want to go.
When I go to Walt Disney World I drop some weight so I can eat there. This is a vacation! Diets are out the window. I have eaten in a lot of different places. Count and Table service restaurants. But where should you start? Well the best thing to do is have a game plan. When you go to WDW you need to have plans. When you know where you will be and then you should do a search of restaurants there online. There are a lot of websites that have menus. And you should look at menus way before so you can decide where to eat.
Food at WDW can be expensive. Disney has Meals Plans that can help with paying for food. I always get it because I like to prepay and not worried what to eat. Some people like the Plans and some don't. You have to look at the size of your family. If you have a picky eater you should go thought menus with them. You don't want to get a restaurant and find out that your picky eater doesn't see anything that they want to eat.
You have to decide where you want to eat. Do you want to eat while your at the park or do you want to go to a resort restaurant. There are some great places in both places. Sometimes going to a resort to eat is a good way to take a break from the park.
I have eaten is all types of restaurants. I have to good picks. I have has one place that I was disappointed with.

Stay tune for my picks of restaurants that I like to go to.

Different Disney Buttons

Disney has a lot of different button that you can get to wear to show that you are celebrating something special. These pins range from Your First Visit to Just Married. One on my favorite pins to get is the Birthday Pin. I like to get it every time I visit. When I'm there my birthday has past by many months but I'm celebrating my Birthday at the park. Every time I get it I say to the Cast Member that gives me it that they should have a Unbirthday Pin. Many won't understand that it means but to a Disney person or Cast Member they would know what it means.
Unbirthday comes from Alice in Wonderland. It was a Tea party that The Mad Hatter had. It's just a good reason to have a celebrating.
When I get my Birthday Pin I have the Cast Member to put a Un above the Birthday.  I really like the treatment you get when you wear a Disney Pin. Every Cast Member will wish greetings that your pins say.
One year I got a Birthday Pin when I was at Walt Disney World. It was wonderful! Every time a Cast Member saw my pin they wished my a happy birthday. Every restaurant they brought out a cupcake with a candle, when I would get a birthday card signed by all the characters, and when I went to a restaurant in France at Epcot all the wait staff sang Happy Birthday in French. I found that to be very special. Also walking around I would have other people wishing me a happy birthday. By the end if the trip I lost count of how many greetings that I got. the great thing was I had Happy Birthday said to me in 14 different languages.

The next time you go to the parks go and get a Pin. Let the fun begin.

How to Book your Disney Vacation

Now you have you have finely decided that you want to take your family to Walt Disney World and now you want to book a trip, but where should you go. Should you go to a hometown Tour Agent or should book online? Well that is up to you. The best thing to do is to look for the Authorized Disney Vacation Planner sticker. If they have that sticker they can book your trip with all the Disney perks. I like to book online. The agent that I use is Kingdom Magic Vacation. They can take care of all your needs for make a Magical vacation. There are many different agencies that are also online that can help you out.

What a Disney Agent does is they book your trip, help you make any reservations that you need. They can also save money for you. If there is a promotion they can rebook you vacation and save you some money.
A Disney Agent can get you the Dining Plans. There are some times that Disney will offer The Dining Plan for free. If you can get this the agent can rebook so you can get this.

Disneyland and the Full Moon

On Oct.17 I was at Disneyland. That day was the start of a Full Moon. Things happen when there is a Full Moon and it did happen at Disneyland. Attractions were breaking down a lot. Now a lot of attractions break down but this night there were more break down than normal. I have been going to Disneyland many times over the years but I have never been there when a lot of attractions down. In my many visits I have never been taken off a ride because of a break down. I was hoping that this would never happen to me but lucky does run out.
I was going on Splash Mountain. It was in the afternoon. I had a Fast Pass that I got out of the machine. It didn't take a long time to get on the ride. I got on and I was lucky to get the back seat. Things were going well until we got to the first Flow Control area, when the boat got stuck about a foot before the control. There was a loud sound coming from the boat. I and the other people didn't feel that something was going on. It wasn't until there was a announcement say that there is a log jam. Still nothing was happening. I looked back and saw that there were other logs getting stuck behind us. After a few minutes someone showed up and manual reset the control. The log that I was on started to go thought. We started to float thought the ride. Strange thing the music was off but things were still moving. It was a little bit odd but it was nice. Then we got to the Second Control area and we stopped again. This was strange. Not again! The lights were on so we could see some of the detail inside. The one thing that I have never notice was that there is a Road Runner inside. The other people were pretty clam with being stuck. We started chatting while waiting for someone to come. After ten minutes two Cast Members showed up to unlock the seat belt and lead us off the ride. I told the cast member that I have never been taken off a ride because of break down. The weird thing was when we got to the outside to take the stairs down. It wasn't a long staircase but it was small. When we got to the front of the attraction the Cast Member gave us Fast Passes for another ride. I told the guy that I was leaving for the day but was coming back the next day. He changed the date on the pass so I could use it the next day.

Later that evening I came back to the park because I wanted to ride The Matterhorn at night. As I was getting to the Single Rider line the ride broke down. Not again but it is a full moon. The Cast Member said that it would take 45 minutes before it would be back up. A lot of people left but there was some people stuck it out. Well nobody knows how long it could take. I didn't leave. I wanted to this at night. The views are great at night. While waiting I got to chat with a nice family of three. The daughter was in a wheelchair and really wanted to go on the ride. Chatting can sometimes make the time go faster. Before we knew it 40 minutes passed and things were back up. The sad thing that the girl couldn't go on the ride. The side that they opened up was the side that was too jerky for her. She was was so disappointed. After the ride got running I got on right away.

That evening I heard that Alice in Wonderland also went down. But it was a Full Moon so anything can happen.

Using Disney Premier Pasport

Last year I went and bought Disney Premier Passport. This is how it worked for me. I bought it in Oct. I was turning 50 I wanted to have a Annual Pass and this was a good way to go. It cost was $979. It was the start of a adventure of a lifetime. Since I lived closer to Disneyland I bought it there. I spent either the day or did a overnight so buying there was better to do.
I used it 19 times. 9 times at Disneyland and 10 days at Walt Disney World. Everything went well in Disneyland.
But things went wrong when I got to Walt Disney World. The pass didn't want to work because WDW uses a different system so I had some problems. I was starting a 10 day vacation and when I went to the gate there I found out that I had to go to get a new pass. This would take a long time to do about 40 minutes. The Cast Member that was helping me didn't know how to change the pass so it took some time. After getting that taken care of I had a better time of my vacation. Thinking that was the last time I would have problems would stop. I had the feeling that I would have problems when I went back to Disneyland. I said to the Cast Member “I hope you got things transferred.” She said that everything would be OK, so I went of my vacation.
After a few weeks after coming home and then turning around then going back to Disneyland with what I hoped of a working Pass. When I got to the gate and the CM scanned my pass, instead of hearing beep I hear a bad sound. I had found out that there was a another problem. Another CM came over and took my card. I thought not again. He had said that this was a problem since WDW uses a different system. He took my card and said that he would send a email to fix the problem. This would take a day. Since I couldn't use my pass he gave me a different ticket. It was a one day park hopper ticket. He said that it would take at least a day to fix the problem. When I asked about my discounts he told me that when I bought anything to tell the CM that there was a problem with the pass and that they had to hand inter the bar code on the pass. The problem was fixed by the afternoon.

After my last trip to Disneyland with the pass I have done some thinking about if I want to do this again. This is my answer to this question. I won't get it again. The toll that it took on my body was a big problem. Now it did save me money over buying tickets for each visit. The next time that I want to go to Disneyland I will go just once. When I go to Walt Disney World I will just buy tickets.

This is just something that I wanted to do and now I have done it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland

I have been going to Disneyland for many year and always wonder "Is the Mansion really haunted?" Now I'm one of these people that like those Ghost Hunting shows. My favorite is Ghost Hunters. After seeing that they were able to photograph Orbs by just taking pictures, I decided to try it for myself. I have always wondered about The Haunted Mansion. What about all the stories and myths I have been hearing? I have heard of people sneaking ashes on the ride and spreading them on the ride. Now this is something Disney doesn't like people to. If this happens they have to close the ride and clean up the ashes. But does the sprite of the people stay there? Who knows.
Every time I go on the ride I quickly take two pictures in the loading area. After I get off the ride I have taken a look at the pictures that I have taken. When I look at them on my camera I can see all the Orbs that are floating around the darkest of the ride. When I get home and put it on my computer I can see then clearly.  I have shown these pictures to Cast Members at Disneyland. Many are amazed to seeing it. Many have told me that they have photos that are the same way. I have shown it to some other Guests and many can't believe it. I have had some thing that it's something Disney did. I told them that this is something that is real not fake. Many say "When I was there I didn't see anything."
There was one Cast Member that I showed the photos to and he said, "Oh that's photo flairs." 
I have had s lot of CM's tell me stories of things happening backstage and their ghost stories.  If you were to as me if Disneyland is Haunted. I would tell you "Yes it is."  Next time that you are on The Haunted Mansion snap a photo in the load area and see what you can get. That is where the active is. This is the photo. Looking to the right you can see all the Orbs.

Getting Ready for the Rock Your Disney Party

On May 23 Disney is having another 24 hour event. This will at Disneyland, California Adventures and Walt Disney World.  This will be the first time I will be at one of those events. I have watched videos from other people that went to this party. So I have a idea about what this is going to be all about. It's going to be a zoo when they first open the gates at 6 am. There will be people that have camped out just to be the ones to get there when the gates open. But what happens when you get in the gates? Well there is going to be a big crowd. All of these people are going after what Disney is giving out.
Well when I get there it will be after 7 am. I'm just coming in for this so it's a fly in and fly out trip. I travel on Southwest Airlines Well the earliest flight doesn't get me in to get in at 6. Well I'm not that crazy!   Well I'm the type of person that always have a game plan.
Here is my game plan for this event. I won't be getting to the park until after 7. So there is the chance that the park is at Max people. So I don't know when I will be getting in. I'm going to be there for 20 hours. In that time I want to pace myself. I don't want to get burned out after a few hours. When I get to the park there is the search for a locker. There I can store my bag. Disney has a lot of lockers. There are lockers inside both parks and one outside. But they will get taken up right a way so there is the chance that I'm going to have to keep my things with me for a awhile. But sometime during the day I hope to get a locker.
I have a game plan when I get into the park. I don't know which park it will be. There are going to be a lot of different characters going to be out during this event. So I'm planing on seeing as many as I can.
I'm going to bring a lot of pins to trade. I'm a big pin collector so I'm going to bring at least 100 pins. In the morning people will be hitting the rides first thing. So if you want to do the rides in the morning there will be long lines.
If you are going to this event it's a good thing to have a game plan and over all pace yourself. Your are going to be there for 20 hours.

Rock Your Disney Side Event

Disney announce a event that people are Tweeting about. It's going to be the Rock Your Disney Side Event.  The came out with a photo of 140 characters lined up in a giant hash tag. The event is going to happen May 23 and 24. The parks will be open for 24 hours. From 6 am Friday to 6 am Saturday. This event will be in both California and Floria. In  California,  Disneyland and California Adventure. In Florida it will be The Magic Kingdom.
This type of event has happened twice before. Another Disney Day that happened 2012 and Monster Summer last year. This will be the third one that Disney has done.
I missed those first two because I heard about it after it happen. This time they announced early so I will be there on May 23. It will be a zoo but it's Disney history

Getting Around Ecpot


Epoct is the second park to open in Walt Disney World. It was the last thing that Walt Disney was working on before he died. Walt wanted Epoct to be a city of tomorrow. It would would be a place that people could work and live. Epoct opened in 1982. It was designed to be a place to see and learn. Epcot is divided up into two parts. Future World and World Showcase. It is set up in a circle. Future World has things based on things to make the world a better place.
Epcot main icon is Spaceship Earth. It's nickname is The Giant Golf Ball. There is a ride inside the ball. This ride is about Time. It's a fun ride. It's also a good ride to go on if it is raining.
There are two other areas in Future World. The Land and The Living Sea. The Land houses two rides, Soarin' and The Living Land. The Living Land is a boat ride that show about growing food. The best part of the ride is when you get to though the green houses and see how they grow plants.
Soarin' is the same ride as in California. The Living Sea has the ride Nemo and friends. Another ride that you can find in Future World is Test Track.
World Showcase is made up of different country. Canada, UK, France, Morocco, Japan, US, Italy Germany, China, Norway and Mexico. These lands has things that are of the country. All the Cast Members are from that country.

You can find character there though out the park. There are some character that are only in Epcot. One is for example is Duffy.

There are many places that you can get a bite to eat. Epcot is the only park that get a hard drinks.

Epcot is a good place to spend a day.

Getting Around The Magic Kingdom

You have decided that you want to spend time at The Magic Kingdom. This is the oldest park in WDW. It opened in 1971. Walt died in 1966 so he didn't see this park open. It was his brother Roy that took over and opened the park.

Magic Kingdom is designed a lot like Disneyland. It has the Hub that connects the lands. Instead of New Orleans Square it's Liberty Square. Instead of Toontown it's Storybook. It has also the same rides. Magic Kingdom is a large park and it does take some planing. Having a game plan is a great way to go to make the best time of your time. The best thing to do is to get there early. If you are staying at a Disney Resort you have a special perk and that is Magic Hours. Magic Hours are one hour before opening and 2 hours in the Evening. I, myself use those Magic Hours. Also if you are lucky to book a dining reservation to Cinderella Castle or the Crystal Place fro breakfast you can get into the park early. If you have a tour that starts before 8 am you can also go in early. I have done both breakfasts. The great thing is getting picture in front of the Castle with nobody in the way.
If you are not lucky to get a reservation, still go in early. The parts of the park that is open are Main Street, Tomorrowland and Fansteyland. The rest of the park open at Rope Drop.

One thing that you might want to do is get the map of the park and decide what you want to see. The one thing I do is go to the left and head to Pirates of the Caribbean or The Haunted Mansion. A lot of people like to go to the right and head to Star Tours or Space Mountain. A lot of the big rides have Fast Pass.

There are a lot Characters to see. The places to see them are though out the park. Mickey is on Main Street. Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy are in Storybook. The Princesses are at Princess Fairytale Hall. Others are listed in the Park Guide.

Photo Pass Photographers are all over the park, Many are with big characters and at photo places. The best picture to get taken is in front of Cinderella Castle. Get many photos take with different poses.
Photographers will also take pictures with your camera too.

There are a lot of places to grab a bite to eat. The places that I like to eat at Be Our Guest restaurant, for lunch, Columbia House, and Pecos Bill's Cafe These places are Counter Service places.

Remember to take it easy and don't rush. Also take short breaks. Go and get something to eat. Sit down somewhere and watch what is going on. See a show. Don't over do it.
If you are tired and need to take a short nap is The Hall of Presidents. This show is 20 minutes and the seat are very comfortable.

Taking the Bus at WDW

Getting around on the bus is a good way to go. I always take the bus when I'm at Walt Disney World. There is a good reason why I take the bus vs driver. I don't drive!
Every resort has a bus that goes to all parks and Downtown Disney. Depending on where you are staying the farest park can take at least a half hour. When you take the bus you don't have to worry about driving, and parking the car. BTW the parking lots can be a foot ball field size.
The buses leave the resort about every 20 minutes. The bus starts a hour before the gates open.
Drivers are very friendly and will answer all your question. I have been on buses that have drivers that like to entertain the passengers. Also they will say something if they see a little girl dressed like a princess, if you are wearing a button for something weather if it is your birthday or your anniversary.

If you want to go to another resort all you have to do is go to a park or Downtown Disney and transfer to that resort bus.
If you want to take the bus after the parks closed all you have to do is head to Downtown Disney and transfer there.

So on your next trip to Walt Disney World take the bus. It's fun and a great thing when you are tired.

Disneyland or Walt Disney World- Which is Better?

People are always wondering which park is better. Disneyland or Walt Disney World? But they are both worth going to. It just depends of what you are looking for.

Disneyland was opened in 1955, it is the only park that Walt Disney over saw the construction of. Walt got the idea while watching his daughters play on the Merry-Go-Round in Griffith Park. He was sitting on a bench eating peanuts. He thought there should be a place that kids and parents could enjoy together. So he built and called it Disneyland.
Disneyland is in Anaheim CA. Disneyland is 160 acre. It is made up of 22 rides and many attractions.
It is broken down to 7 areas. Main Street, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, Critter County, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Mickey's Toontown.
Disney opened California Adventure in 2001 in the 72 acre parking lot of Disneyland. Disney California Adventure is divided into eight themed areas called "districts".

Buena Vista Street taking the name from the street that Walt Disney Studios was on, the main entrance gate, which resembles the landmark Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Buena Vista Street includes an immersive recreation of early 1920s Los Angeles when Walt Disney first arrived with Mission and Art Deco facades housing shops and restaurants. A recreation of Carthay Circle Theater, which showcased the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 sits at the end of the street, serving as the visual anchor for the district. Red Trolley Cars travel from the entry, up Buena Vista Street to Carthay Circle, then down Hollywood Boulevard towards the Tower of Terror. Buena Vista Street was opened to the public on June 15, 2012.

Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peak, Condor Flats, Pacific Wharf, A Bug's Land and Carsland. It has 11 rides and attractions. Carsland was opened in 2012. Carsland has a ride called Radiator Spring Racers that has some of the longest lines. The wait times have been up to 3 hours long.

Disney owns 3 hotels. There are countless motels around the park.

Time to do and see it all 2 days.



Walt Disney World's first park to open was in 1971. Walt Disney died in 1966. People thought that The Magic Kingdom wouldn't open , Walt's brother Roy made sure that it did. Walt Disney World is located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida .The property covers 30,080 acres and has 4 parks with 2 water parks.

Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, EPCOT opened in 1982, Hollywood Studios opened 1989 and Animal Kingdom opened 1998. The Water parks Typhoon Lagoon opened 1989 and Blizzard Beach opened 1995.

Walt Disney World has 27 resorts that includes Disney Vacation Club and a Campground.

Time to see and do a week.

Renting a Car or Taking the Bus

Walt Disney World is a big place. Should you rent a car or take the bus? These are many things to think about. Are you going to drive to the parks or go anyplace off Disney grounds? Are you just going to spend your time in Walt Disney World? If you decide to rent a car when you are at the airport there is the stress of driving to Disney. Walt Disney World is about 30 miles away from the airport. The road that you have to take is a Toll Road. So you have to have change for that. The parking at the resort will give to a parking pass. Then when you drive to the parks there is the stress of finding a space. Since you have the parking pass the parking is free. If you decide on going someplace away from Disney. Having a rental would be good. But what if you are just going to spend the whole time at Disney a car might not be a good thing.
Disney has their own bus system. There are buses that go to the parks and to all the resort. All the driving will be up to someone else. So you can enjoy your vacation. Depending on what resort you pick the farthest park is up to a 20 minute run. If you decide to leave the parks after closing the bus can get full fast so you might have to wait for another bus. Disney is fast at getting buses to the parks to get you back to your resort.
Buses run until one hour after the last park closing. If you want to go to another resort the bus will take you there but when getting back to your resort you have to go to a park or to Downtown Disney to catch your other bus.

So you have to decide which way would be good for you. When I go to Walt Disney World I always take the bus. They are very good but when leaving the park after closing you could be waiting for a while. The drivers are friendly. They will answer your questions.

Getting Around The Orlando Airport

You have just flown for hours and you finally got to the Orlando Airport. It's time to go and find the Magical Express, Orlando airport is pretty big. Getting from the gates to main terminal you catch the Tram. A lot of Disney people like to call this “The first ride “ of your vacation.
Now you have gotten to to Main Terminal it's time head to the Magical Express area. Main Terminal is a huge place. There are a lot of shops and places to eat. If you can bypass that you head over to the side B. Then you go down to the bottom level. Once you get to that level take a right and be ready for a nice long walk. Magical Express is at the farthest part of the level. Don't worry there are signs pointing your way.
When you get to the Magical Express area, there are a lot of people there to help you. When you get there you pull out the booklet that has your vouchers. The Cast Member will scan the voucher and tell you what line to get in. When you get to the head of the line and you show the voucher again. The person will tell you what bus to get on. Once out at the bus give the drive anything that need to go under the bus then get on the bus and relax.
During the ride you will be able to watch a video about you vacation. It will take about 30-40 minutes. There could be a few other stops before you get to your resort.

Getting Around Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure is the second park in Disneyland. California Adventure opened in 2001. Before then it was the main parking lot. When it first opened it only had a few rides. It wasn't very popular wit Disney goers. In 2012 Disney open Buena Vista Street and Carsland. After this was done it became popular with Disney goers.
The popular rides there are Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland, Toy Story Mania and California Screaming in Paradise Pier, Soaring in Condor Flats and Tower of Terror in Hollywood land.
In the morning they would open the gates a hour before rope drop. People like to stand over be Carthey Circle Restaurant. This is the start of the line to get Fast Pass for Radiator Spring. This line can get very long. It well snake though Hollywoodland. So if you want to get a Fast Pass for Radiator Springs you have to get there very early. Within a couple hours the Passes can be gone. I have heard that people that hold Annual Passes will go there get a fast Pass will get a Fast Pass then go to work, school or where ever. This area can get very crazy so if you don't want a Fast Pass stand clear of this area. The popular areas that people go to first thing after rope drop are Paradise Pier and Carsland. Many are going to Radiator Springs Racers and if you are going that way you better walk fast or you will be run over. Also people are heading over to Toy Story Mania. This ride is like a big Shooting Gallery ride. I know of people that have ridden it many times to get a High Score. There are many videos on YouTube on how to score on Toy Story. The line can get long but it does go fast. This is one of my favorites and when I go there I have stood in line for 20-30 minutes.

Radiator Springs Racers is another very popular ride. The lines can get very long. I have seen the Stand By line as long as 120 minutes. When it first opened they had to keep the park open until 2 am to let everyone ride it. RSR does have a Single Riders line. This line does go fast. Just as other Single Rider ride they follow the same rules. If they have empty seats they will get someone from the Single line.

These rides can break down at any time. Toy Story can be down first thing in the morning, but if you check back within a half hour or so it could be up.
Radiator Spring breaks down A LOT. It could be down for hours or be down all day.

How to get around Disneyland

ow to get around Disneyland can be  simple and I will help you when I tell you how I do it. I have been going to Disneyland for years. I have gotten a lot of tricks to get around the park.
First thing; Getting into the park. If you want to get into the park right when the park opens, you want to get there at least a hour before because the gate open early, but not the whole park is open. They do this to so it doesn't get too crowded. When the gates opened Main Street is the only thing that is open. Then around 9-10 am is when they will open the rest of the park. The have a ceremony the is called "Rope Drop." They have a rope at the beginning of the HUB and  at Adventure land. When they do this they have a count down and then the rest of the park is open. When this happens everyone rushes to there favorite ride. Disney has rules to this. No running. So the key is walking fast.
Now everyone had their route they like to do. Ones that stand over the HUB and heading to Fanstyland or Tomorrow land. But I have my own route to take. I like to go to Adventure land first. I have a route I do all the time. I do the same three ride before doing anything else in the park.
I like to head to Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom first. The is a ride that a lot of people like to head to right away. This ride has a history of going down a lot. Also the Standby lines can get long was the day goes by. My little secret is to go to the Single Rider way. To go this way you have to ask a Cast Member to get a pass. Not too many know about this way but if you do get a pass you can go though the exit to get in.
The second ride I like to do is Pirates of the Caribbean. This is one of the oldest rides in the park. Even if I have done it countless times before I like to go on it. There is no Fast Pass or Single Riders line. As the day goes on the lines can get very long. Since I have ridden it so many times I like to look at all the different things. There are some interesting touches. there are some things that are over looked. When you get to the area that has the skeleton in the bed. Notice the Head Board. Walt Disney was given that as a gift. Another thing that is over looked is that in the whole ride there are three menorahs. There is a little fact that people don't know. I just learned this. When the ride first opened Disney went to a Medical School and borrowed skeletons for the ride. When they were able to find fake skeletons they returned the skeletons to the School.
The third ride I do is The Haunted Mansion. I have on it  so many times I know the Ghost Host park by heart. There are some things that people don't know and  is that The Stretching Room  doesn't go down. The ceiling goes up. When I get to the loading area I like to snipe a couple a pictures and when I look at them after. There are countless numbers of Orbs.
After I do these three rides I can continue the rest of my day. So when going to Disneyland, get there early. Instead of going to the Right like the crowd go to the Left.

Next post will be on California Adventure.

Tips to Save up extra money

I have found many ways to save up extra money though a lot of ways. There is a way that i like to save up money so when i'm on my trip i will have extra cash to go shopping with. I save up all the change I get when I go shopping. A few coins here and there can add up after a while.  Most people throw the change into a jar, but I like to use something different. On my last trip to Disneyland I went and got some of those special glass and I also got a yard drink glass.  Every time I get change some a shopping trip I throw it into the glasses. When it get closer to my trip I go to a Coin Star machine and cash in the coins. I will use that money for shopping on my trip.

Going Solo

Traveling to Walt Disney World solo some people would think that it's boring. But that isn't the case. When I go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World I go by myself. I don't have family or friends that can take the time to travel. I travel alone a lot. You would think that gets boring and dull, but that isn't the case. I have a better time when I go alone. I can go to the rides that I want to ride. See the shows I want to see. If I went with someone I have to take account what they wanted to do and see.
When I go I still have a good time. Sometimes while waiting in line I will start a chat with other people. This is easy to do at Disneyland than Walt Disney World. People that go to Disneyland know and can speak English. At Walt Disney World people from all over the world come to visit so having a chat with them can be hard to do.
Going solo can be great when getting on some rides. A lot of the bigger rides have Single Rider lines. These lines are short because they don't go though the que. Single riders are fill ins when there are groups are small. For example if the ride have three or more seats and the group can't fill the row they will get a Single Rider to fill in the row.
When at Disneyland the rides that have Single Rider lines are The Temple of Doom and the Matterhorn. At California Adventure Radiator Springs Racers. The Standby line can get to be hours long. The Single Riders line can cut down the wait. When I ride RSR, I have waited as short was 5 minutes to as long as 40 minutes.
When I go on Temple of Dome I can almost walk onto the ride with no wait.
At Walt Disney World that are a lot of rides that have Single Rider lines. They are a lot of the bigger rides. The entrances can be at a different place than the other lines.

When you at the parks and want to take a picture can be hard. At Disney they have people are photo places that will take picture for you. They also have a thing called Photo pass, so if you don't have a camera they will use theirs. The photos will be on a CD or you can buy the prints of the photos. This is offered at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The price at Disneyland is around $70 and at Walt Disney World it's around $200. That can be a lot of money but is worth it when you are alone or not, On my visits to Walt Disney World I got it every time. My last visit I got over 500 pictures taken on a CD. This was during a ten day trip. There is a discount if you order it 14 days before your trip.

Christmas time at Disney Park

I have gone to Disneyland and Walt Disney during Christmas time. I can't believe how well they decorate the parks. It's something that they do over night. Last year I went to Disneyland and this was the first year that decorated Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. It was something to see. Cars Land was decorated with all types of car stuff. The really interesting to see.There were snowflakes that are made out of wenches, there were Christmas Trees made out of Hub Caps, and a lot of different car things. Buena Vista was decorated in the old 20's style of Christmas.
In 2007 was the first time that I went to Walt Disney World for the Holidays. I couldn't believe how much Disney did to the parks and resorts.  One of the favorite thing to see was at The Studios. In the Streets of America it highly decorated with millions and millions of Christmas lights. It's a display that was from the Osborn family. This is a different family. This family is from Little Rock, AK. This display is HUGE!
Each resort has a been decorated in each theme of the resort. A the resorts have a tree decorated in the theme of the resorts.  There are some resorts that have Gingerbread houses and other things that are made out of Gingerbread, My favorite Gingerbread house is at Grand Floridian, they also have a Christmas tree that is something to see. I went of a tour of the Holiday Decoration. It a very interesting tour to take. You learn a lot about how they decorate the parks and resorts. The tree at Grand Floridian take 8 hours to decorate.
Disney does a great job on decorating. I always tell people if you love Christmas decorations you have to go to Walt Disney World.

What it would be like if I lived close to a Disney Park

If I had the chance to live close to a Disney Park I would choose to be close to Disneyland. But since I currently live in Arizona this is only a  dream.
I would have a Annual Pass tot he parks. I would be there at least 3-4 days a week at the park. Since I'm retired I could do more but there is other things that need to be done.
I would always try to get there first thing in the morning.  The mornings are the best time to get to the park.  I would head to Indian Jones first thing since this ride has a record to breaking down during the day. It is to be be said that this ride has over 160,000 different combos that the ride is different each time.  These things are so slight that you would not know it.
On some days I would head to California Adventure. I would be in line to get a Fast Pass for Radiator Springs Racers. Since these FP's can go very fast. People go there first thing in the morning. Some people go there just to get a pass and then they go to work or school. These passes will be gone in the matter of hours. The line can get as long that it wraps down the street.  Many people head to Radiator Springs just to rise it first thing.  The Stand By  line can be over 120 minutes long.
Another thing I would do is go to the Haunted Mansion. There is something that is so unnoticeable that you would have to ride it over and over. That is  right when you get to the Ballroom scene in a corner you will see a spider web. This isn't something that is a read web or Disney doing but as the story goes that someone had taken a gun into the ride and wanted to see if the ghost were real or just something fake. I'm not going to tell the whole story about how they make the ghost but all there is a sheet of glass that make the ghosts. Well this person shot the glass to break the illusion. It didn't break all the glass but made a star in the glass. Since the cost and what they would have to do to replace the glass would be costly and hard to replace they just covered the hole with a spider and the rest of the star into a web.
If I had this dream I would have made a lot of friends with Cast Members and I would be able to write a good book about living the Disney Dream.

How I got a Disney Doll for $7.50

Like many Disney collectors I look for deals for Disney collectables. Well I have a Disney Card from Chase and that card has some great perks. From time to time they will send members a Friends and Family sale. It's only good for  5 days. The discount was 25% off of things at the Disney Store and Online. I went to the Disney Store and was looking around at all the things that they have. I saw the Classic Dolls that they have.  Well they had a  deal on these dolls. It was buy 2 or more Dolls and get them for $10 each. I picked up a Rapunzel in the wedding dress and Mulan. I paid only $7.50 a piece for the two.
So if you want to be able to get some great discounts pick up the Disney Card though Chase. They have two types of cards. One is a Debt Cards and the other is a Visa. 

Disney Horses

Anytime that you go to Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom you will always see the horse drawn Street Car. Horses have been a big part of Disneyland since the opening in 1955. Walt Disney had a great love for horses. When Disneyland first opened there were 125 horses that were working in the park. There was even a Mule Train ride. The place that stables all the horses is the Circle D Ranch. Some other farm animals are housed there. Circle D Ranch is located right behind Toontown. Now Circle D Ranch has 25 horses.

The most famous horses are the ones that pull the Street Car down Main Street. These horses have the easiest work schedule in the park. These horse only work 3 hours a day and each horse works 3 days a week. These horses are out from 10:30 – 1:30 everyday depending the weather.

On my last trip to Disneyland I caught a ride on the Trolley. This horse was doing he park training. So there were some of the trainers that was with the horse. I got the chance to talk with one of the trainer. This horse name was Rodger. He was on his park training. During the ride he stop off and on he wasn't use to the some of the things going on but over all he was good horse.

I asked the trainer some questions about the horse training. There horses that Disney gets have been trained in pulling a wagon. Sometime the will get a horse that is 6 years old. The training can take a lot of time before a horse goes to work inside the park. In the training that a horse goes though has task that have to be handed. A horse has to get use to a lot of different things before going out. The horse has to use to things like balloons, a lot of people. Strollers and sounds of the park. To get to the point of being able to work the parks has no set time table.

When a horse gets ready to work in the park they are now Cast Members of Disney. They even have their own name tag. The tag hangs inside of the trolley that they are pulling. Each trolley has two Cast Members. One is driving the trolley and the other walks with the horse. They are also to make sure people are out of the way.
The horse love their work. The horses work as long as they as able to handed things. When I was talking to the conductor one time I was chatting to her about the horses. The horse that was pulling the trolley was named Fritz. While chatting with the Cast Member I mentioned about another horse, the night before I wen to Mickey's Not So Scarey Halloween party, I has said to the CM that the horse that they Headless Horseman was riding was a very beautiful horse. While I was talking Fritz started shaking his head. I said to Fritz that he is beautiful too. When I said this he started nodding his head. Disney horses have a personality. There are horses that have been working in the park for 15-18 years.

Now the Ranch that the horses are at Walt Disney World is housed at The Tri Circle Ranch that is at the Fort Wilderness Resort. I have never been to this ranch yet. At this ranch houses all the horses that work at WDW. At the Tri Circle Ranch has Horse Back riding and Carriages.



Magic Band

On my trip to WDW in 2013 I was able to test the Magic Band, When I got the email that my resort was part of the testing I was so thrilled. I had heard a lot about this new program that WDW was rolling out. Magic Bands streamlines everything at WDW. It holds your room key, tickets, meal credits and charging service. Also another service that the Bands give is the next Fast Pass system called Fast Pass+. This service gives you the chance to book your Fast Passes 60 days before your trip. When you are in the parks you can make your Fast Passes at kiosk though out the park. You can also change your passes at anytime.


When I was at WDW in September 2013, I was there for 10 days. My first night was at The All Star Movies Resort. This resort wasn't in the testing for that time but I wasn't spending my whole trip there. When I checked in I was surprised that my Band could open the door. I did have that reservation linked to the Band so I was able to open my room door. I also added my credit card to my Band. I don't do this often but I wanted to see how it worked. The first night went well.

The next day I transferred to the second resort. Pop Century. I would be staying the rest of my time there. The transfer went smooth. I just took my bags to Bell Services and they transferred my bags to Pop. Once I checked in to Pop I was able to use my meal credits and tickets. My room wasn't ready yet but the did text me when my room was ready. So I headed to the park.

When I got to the park gate thing were easy I had two tickets linked to my band. When I was at the gate all I had to do was hold my band up to the poll and the poll read my band so I got to entry the park. Since I had a Annual Pass I had to go to Guest Service to exchange my pass since I got my pass at Disneyland. This took some time because the Cast Member wasn't sure how to make the exchange.
After this was done I was able to go about my day.

When I used my meal credits it was easy. When I was to pay for my meal I would have to hold my Band up to the scanner and put in my pin number it was that simple.

When I use the band to buy things was also easy. I would scan and put in the pin,

After that trip, I went to Disneyland and took the Magic band with me. I wanted the Cast Members there what the Band looked like. A lot of the CM thought it was cool. When I talked to higher up CM's about if Disneyland was going to use this system. The answer that I got that Disneyland won't change to the Magic Band, Disneyland operations are so small that it wouldn't work.

Now my next trip won't be for a year. I have been reading other blogs and listening to Disney podcast and it sounds like it will be rolling out to everyone soon.


Booking four Your Trip to Walt Disney World

Now you have you have finely decided that you want to take your family to Walt Disney World and now you want to book a trip, but where should you go. Should you go to a hometown Tour Agent or should book online? Well that is up to you. The best thing to do is to look for the Authorized Disney Vacation Planner sticker. If they have that sticker they can book your trip with all the Disney perks. I like to book online. The agent that I use is Kingdom Magic Vacation. They can take care of all your needs for make a Magical vacation. There are many different agencies that are also online that can help you out.

What a Disney Agent does is they book your trip, help you make any reservations that you need. They can also save money for you. If there is a promotion they can rebook you vacation and save you some money.
A Disney Agent can get you the Dining Plans. There are some times that Disney will offer The Dining Plan for free. If you can get this the agent can rebook so you can get this.

Also another thing that is going though the Disney website or Authorized agent you can make payments.

When you first book your trip you will have to pay a $200 deposits and then you have until 45 days before your trip to pay it off.

I suggest that you make your reservations at least 12 months ahead of time. If you book early this will give you time to pay off you vacation .