Tag Archives: disney

What are the Disney Visa Rewards Perks

Make the most of your vacation with Walt Disney World ®

Do you have a Disney Visa Rewards Card? Do you know of all the perks that come with it?

Disney Character Experience at Our Private Cardmember Location

At Walt Disney World® Resort, stop by our private location—reserved just for Cardmembers—to meet and pose with some of your favorite Disney Characters. You’ll receive downloads of your photos, too! Just present your Disney Visa Card to enter this exclusive event, offered daily 1pm to 7pm at the Disney Visa Photo Spot at Epcot®. Our new location is located in Future World next to Journey Into Imagination With Figment.

Star Wars Character Experience at our Private Cardmember Location

Feel the power of the Force at the Star Wars Character Experience, offered daily from 11am to 4pm at the Star Wars Launch Bay in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. You’ll receive downloads of your photos to mark your visit to the dark side! Simply present your Disney Visa Credit Card to enter this exclusive location.

10% Off Select Merchandise

Receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at select locations at Walt Disney World® Resort.

You can enjoy this discount any time during normal Theme Park hours. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards® Redemption Card and mention this offer.

10% Off Select Dining Locations

Receive 10% off select dining locations most days at Walt Disney World® Resort (restrictions may apply). Just use your Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card at the locations below and mention this offer to receive the discount.

Save at Select Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant Coffee/Tea and Merchandise Locations

Receive 20% off entire purchase at Joffrey’s coffee/tea kiosks throughout Walt Disney World® Resort, at Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s, and online at Joffreys.com with code: VISABEANS. Plus, receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at the following Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant merchandise locations including Basin®, Basin White®, Chapel Hats, Good Fortune Gifts and House of Good Fortune, kidsHeritage and Marrakesh Emporium Arts & Crafts.

15% Off Select Guided Tours

Receive 15% off the non-discounted price of select guided tours at Walt Disney World® Resort. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer.

10% Off Select Recreation Experiences

Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of select recreation experiences at Walt Disney World® Resort. Just use your valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card and mention this offer.

15% Off at Select Spa and Salon Locations

15% off the non-discounted price of any salon treatment valued at $45 or greater or any 50-minute or longer spa service most days at the spas and salons at Walt Disney World® Resort.

Create more magic and memories on your next vacation. Use your Disney Visa® Card to treat your family to amazing perks while you relax, dine and play throughout Walt Disney World® Resort!

Remember, even though you might have your Disney Visa Card linked to a MagicBand or RF-enabled card, you will still need to present your Disney Visa Card at the Cardmember Character Experience locations and use it for purchases to receive your Cardmember perks throughout your stay.

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Staying Cool at Disney World

I often have people asking me how we survive traveling to Disney World in August, which is when we always go. For various reasons, school, work…it really is the only option we have. Yes, it’s HOTTER than the surface of the sun most of the time!

Channel your inner Olaf!

But, with some strategic planning and accessories it can still be a very enjoyable vacation.

Beat the summer heat at Disney World with these tips!
  1. Rope Drop – I hear you, you want to sleep in on your vacation, but getting to the parks early at opening, or even Extra Magic Hour opening even better is really one of the best ways of beating the heat. The coolest part of the day, relative to the heat of Florida in the summer of course, is before noon. Which leads right to the next tip.
  2. Schedule a midday break – If it’s a short trip it might be difficult to schedule downtime, but a midday pool break will save your sanity and hopefully prevent those kid meltdowns when they’ve just been pushed too far. Doesn’t matter how hot it is, being in the water or under an umbrella with an icy drink will keep you cool.
  3. Stategic FP and Queue Planning – Choose the longest queues that are outdoor for your Fastpasses in the afternoons. Become familiar with the queues as many are inside and have a/c or even outdoor ones have fans and are shaded. It helps…a lot. Outdoor ones that are kept fairly cool are Rock n Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Expedition Everest. Inside queues where you might enjoy a slight wait to cool off include Test Track, Soarin, Space Mountain, Toy Story Mania and Dinosaur.
  4. Plan those WET attractions – There are rides that you WILL GET WET on in most of the parks. Plan those for afternoon, noon – 4pm. It’s amazing how even a little bit of water can make a difference, and you’ll dry quickly. These include Kali River Rapids which will get you soaked. Splash Mountain and even a little splash on Pirates of the Caribbean is possible.
  5. Water Parks – If you have any interest in the water parks, summer is the time to explore those. If you have a long enough trip 1-2 afternoons at the water parks is a great way to stay cool.
  6. Accessories – Cooling towels like Frog Toggs or iCool Towel will keep you cool and misting fans can be bought in advance from Walmart for less than the ones they sell in the parks.
  7. Showtime – Shows such as Mickey’s Philharmagic, Turtle Talk with Crush, Finding Nemo the Musical, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Indiana Jones (although outdoor it’s covered and there are fans) are another great way to cool down and rest, mingle them into your schedule.
  8. Use Disney transportation – Nothing is worse than getting into a hot car that has been baking in the Florida sun for hours. Use the air conditioned monorails, buses, boats to get from A to B.

Disney actually did a very good job of creating waiting areas and queues to ensure the least amount of time out in the heat and sun.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

With a little bit of strategic planning which I am happy to help you with if you book your trip with me, you can prevent melting in the hot Florida summer sun.

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Top 5 Shopping at Disney World

Shopping at Disney World is fun! So many interesting things, not just gifts but for the home as well.

Here are my favorites:

5. The Lego Store at Disney Springs. My boys really enjoy this store and so do I. Lego is fun. They have things you’ll never find anywhere else and the Lego creations are incredible.

4. 365 Days of Christmas at Disney Springs. Do I even have to say why? Because it’s Christmas… always. Christmas is the best.

3. World of Disney at Disney Springs has everything which is fitting as it is the largest Disney Store in the world. Even the decor is amazing to see.

2. MouseGear at Epcot smack dab in the middle of Future World. I particularly love the selection of t-shirts and hats here. I could spend hours in this place!

1.The Emporium on Main Street. This store runs almost the entire length of Main Street and it’s a great way to beat the crowds and heat by walking through it instead of the street! You can find anything and everything here and if you don’t want to carry your purchases, have them sent to Guest Services to be picked up on your way out or if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, have it shipped there. And let’s face it, there is just something special about shopping right inside the Magic Kingdom on Main Street USA.

Be sure to take some time to check out these fabulous shops on your next visit to the House of Mouse!

Top 5 Digital Kits for Disney Scrapbooking

You made the plans, took the trip and made treasured family memories. Now what? You’ll want to preserve those memories somehow and one of my favorite days is by making a photo book of the trip.

Shutterfly does have a Disney themed photo book option which is great, but if you are a little more hands on then perhaps these digital scrapbooking kits are more your speed. Easy to download and then use in Photoshop Elements.

5. A Frozen Heart by Studio Flergs

A digital scrapbooking kit by Studio Flergs. A frozen heart was inspired by a Norwegian Princess named Anna. Striking bold colours, rosemaling patterns, and filled with beautiful elements. A Frozen Heart is perfect for fans of the other sister! But also great for winter pages, sisters or more. **Coming soon is the sister kit to match**

4. Animal Kingdom by Digital Scrapbook Ingredients

Whether you are going on safari, spending a day at the zoo or just like wild animals, this beautiful kit Animal Kingdom by Digital Scrapbook Ingredients will help you capture your adventurous memories!

3. Pieces of Eight by Studio Flergs

Avast ye scallywags. Look no further! As I have the perfect kit fer scrappin’ those pirates of yers. Grab yer dubloons & pieces of eight or be sure to walk the plank into Davy Jones’ locker.

2. In My Imagination by Studio Flergs

“Something very magical can happen when you read a good book” -J. K. Rowling.

Calling all book lovers! Celebrate your love of books with this magical kit. Fairytales, fiction, whatever your favourite genre or book is, In My Imagination is perfect to help you scrap about your love of books.

1. Believe in Magic  Collection (multiple themed kits)

Believe In Magic consists of many kits themed for different princesses, stories, etc… all created by Amber Shaw and Studio Flergs.

Mouse Tales by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Sundown Spectacular by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Tomorrow World by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Tangled Up by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Wonderland Adventures by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

First Kiss by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Bayou Belle by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Inner Beauty by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Twisted Love by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Fish Friends by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Galaxy Wars by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Glass Slipper by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

Mermaid Dreams by Amber Shaw & Studio Flergs

There are many more, visit Sweet Shoppe to see them all.

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Disney Cruise Line Itineraries summer 2018

Open for booking today!

In summer 2018, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to destinations in Italy and Ireland. Disney Cruise Line takes Guests on a grand tour of Europe with visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, Norway and Iceland. Plus, adventures continue with sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

New sailings from Rome and Barcelona
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line Guests can experience more of the rich culture of Barcelona and inspiring history of Rome in a single cruise. In Rome, Guests can explore the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican, and sample authentic local cuisine. Barcelona offers beautiful beaches, the market streets of La Rambla, the artistic architecture of Gaudi and the famed Sagrada Família church.

On June 16, 2018, the Disney Magic will sail a seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome). Ports of call include Marseilles and Villefranche, France; and Genoa (Milan), Livorno (Florence, Pisa) and Naples, Italy.

On June 23, 2018, the Disney Magic will sail a seven-night itinerary from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Barcelona. Ports visited on this cruise are Naples, Livorno (Florence, Pisa) and Genoa (Milan), Italy; and Cannes and Marseilles, France.

First-time visits to Milan, Italy
Disney Cruise Line will call on Genoa, Italy for the first time in 2018, as part of three special sailings from Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome). The historic port town of Genoa, located on the Italian Riviera, is a gateway to the beautiful metropolis of Milan and the picturesque locale of Portofino. Milan is a global capital of fashion and design, featuring top-name designer stores, boutiques, open-air markets and art galleries.

A 10-night Mediterranean itinerary sailing from Barcelona on July 7, 2018, calls on Genoa, as well as other popular ports in Italy, France and Spain.

First-time visit to Cork, Ireland and first seven-night British Isles
The Disney Magic will call on Cork, Ireland for the first time as part of a first-ever seven-night British Isles cruise, departing on September 2, 2018. Additional ports visited on this sailing include Dublin, Ireland; Greenock, Scotland; and Liverpool, England. Cork is home to a vibrant culinary scene and a plethora of pubs, shops and cafes. It invites visitors to connect with Ireland’s ancient past, with historic sites like Blarney Castle, where visitors can kiss the famed Blarney Stone.

Throughout the summer, the Disney Magic will continue to tour Europe with engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian fjords, British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Return to Alaska
In 2018, the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season, opening up a world of breathtaking natural vistas, magnificent glaciers and awe-inspiring wildlife. A variety of five-, seven- and nine-night itineraries will depart from Vancouver, Canada, with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Tracy Arm Fjord.

Southern Caribbean Special Sailing
In 2018, the Disney Fantasy will embark on a special 11-night southern Caribbean itinerary departing June 30, visiting tropical destinations renowned for beautiful sun-kissed beaches, including Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and the Disney private island, Castaway Cay.

Castaway Cay – More Opportunities to Explore Disney’s Exclusive Private Island
Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, is consistently a top-rated destination. In 2018, the Disney Dream will sail a series of cruises that include two stops at Castaway Cay so Guests can have twice the fun in the sun and enjoy even more of the pristine island paradise.

 

A Beauty of an Offer

You can Play, Stay, Dine and save up to $500* on a 5-night 6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package for a family of four at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Jan. 1-March 7, 2017 when booked Oct. 3-Dec. 21, 2016.unnamed

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same package for 2 adults, 1 junior, 1 child in the same room. Tickets valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.

Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities, Children ages 3-9 must order from children’s menu, if available. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

Full List of Disney Resort Hotel Exclusions:
Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

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Trattoria al Forno Dinner Review

Trattoria al Forno is located on Disney’s Boardwalk outside of Epcot’s International Gateway. Also known as the exit between the U.K. and France pavilions.

Disney's Boardwalk

This restaurant replaced Cat Kora’s Kouzzina 2 years ago. Another lesser known restaurant that consistently has excellent food and service. This was our second visit, we visited last year as well.

Trattoria al Forno

Trattoria al Forno

We started with ordering drinks, water for the boys, a Peach Bellini for me and an Italian beer for my husband. Next, we shared an appetizer of Fried Calamari – with Balsamic Agrodolce $11.99. I normally don’t eat more than a bit or two of calamari, not a big fan, but this was very good and I had more than I normally would.

Trattoria al Forno

For entrees I chose the Seasonal Risotto $18.99. I cannot remember everything that was in it, but it was very tasty. The rice was not over-cooked and the sauce was not overpowering.

Trattoria al Forno

Hubby chose the Braised Short Rib Bologonese – with smoked bacon, tagliatelle, and roasted mushrooms $21.99. He was a bit jealous of my short ribs last night at Captain’s Grille. These were just as wonderful, I had a taste. I did not get a picture, but click the dish name and it will bring you to a photo of the dish from All Ears.

The kids are too old for the kid’s menu and Matthew has very much looking forward to the Giant Meatball he had last year. He talked about it for months leading up to the trip asking if we could go eat there again.  It was changed a bit from last year, but he had the Polpetta Gigante – beef meatball, spinach ricotta canneloni and Sunday Gravy $19.99. It was not quite as big, but still pretty large. Spinach and ricotta not being items he would normally eat, but he wanted that giant meatball and ordered it anyways. He said he didn’t even notice the taste of the spinach although you could clearly see it and he liked the ricotta cheese.

Trattoria al Forno

Eric chose a pizza of course, it was quite large, but he finished off the entire pie by himself, including the crust, saying it was very good pizza.

Trattoria al Forno

Service was great and we were seated within minutes of arriving despite being early for our reservation. It was busy, but not completely full and with the open kitchen, it makes for a fun lively atmosphere even though it’s more formal than most.

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This is another one of my favorite restaurants on Disney property.

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Captains Grille Dinner Review

Captain’s Grille is one of the most under-rated restaurants at Disney World in my opinion. Having had breakfast here twice, both excellent, we decided to try it for a “date” dinner one night on our recent trip.

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We arrived without a reservation on a rainy evening and were seating immediately. Our waitress was wonderful, she took our drink order and went over all the specials and then returned to answer any questions we had and make recommendations on things we were considering.

For an appetizer, I had the House-made Potato-Cheese Gnocchi – toasted walnut breadcrumbs, julienne pears and truffle butter $9. It was excellent. I am used to homemade, by my father and mother, gnocchi and they can be difficult to get right. These were perfect. Not too soft, but not hard either. A very nice texture. Hubby had the New England Clam Chowder – creamy chowder with clams, potatoes, and vegetables $8. I didn’t get a picture. He said it was very good though.

Captains Grille

Hubby chose beer and I chose a lovely glass of Riesling.

Next was the entrees. Hubby went for the crab legs as this is something he rarely gets to eat. Snow Crab Legs – New Potatoes and Corn on the Cob $31. They are a lot of work, but he enjoyed them.

Captains Grille

I chose Tagliatelle Pasta – braised short ribs, fennel, cipollini onions, veal jus, shaved parmesan, and seasoned greens $23. The braised short ribs were a menu item on their own as well and came recommended, but after a week of very little pasta when we eat it quite often at home, I was craving a little. The waitress did say they use the same braised ribs in this dish so it was a good choice. This was so good. The ribs were like butter, so soft and the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente.  There was a good amount of short ribs in this dish, they are mostly covered by the pasta in the picture.

Captains Grille

We did not indulge in dessert as we were quite full with all this food, the portions are  just right.

The atmosphere in this restaurant, located just off Disney’s Yacht Club Resort lobby is upscale , but not overly so. Still casual enough to feel comfortable with kids and there were several tables of families as well as couples and a few small groups when we were there.

This was one of my favorite meals at Disney World, ever!

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Disney’s Beach Club Villas Review

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, along with the Beach Club Villas are located in the Epcot Resorts area. Along with the Boardwalk  Resort and Villas and the non-Disney owned Swan and Dolphin. These resorts surround Crescent Lake and are walking distance to Epcot’s International Gateway and a slightly longer walk to Hollywood Studios. Boats are also available to take guests to these parks and from one side of Crescent Lake to the other.

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Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club & Villas share the undisputed best pool in all the “world,” Disney World that is. Stormalong Bay is a 3 acre water playground with the longest slide on property, built into a pirate ship! Additional slides, hot tubs, sand bottom and a lazy river round out this aquatic playground.

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The Villas are in a building behind the main Beach Club building. They have their own lobby with a concierge available to check in with and anything else until 4pm each day. After 4pm, check in is in the main Beach Club lobby. Access to the Villas is through the Beach Club Solarium or doors just by the back entrance to the Marketplace. This path is covered. The Villas have a community room and drawing room with pool table, tv, books, little reading nooks. As well as their own quiet pool.  Villas guests have access to all the amenities at the Yacht and Beach Club.

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The Beach Club Villas are just in the final minutes of a complete refurbishing. A new modern, light, airy feel really brings out the beachy theme with browns an blues and whites.

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With the one and two bedroom villas, you will have a full kitchen and a washer/dryer making life on vacation so much easier.When booking through Disney paying cash, guests receive normal daily housekeeping services. The Villas are a Disney Vacation Club property and if renting points, staying on points, housekeeping is every 4th day.

These villas speak for themselves. Take a look….

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Disney’s Beach Club Villas offer studios, 1 and 2 bedroom villas over 6 floors. With all that Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club have to offer steps away, it’s a great choice for families that need a little more space to stretch out.

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Welcome Home!

 

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Top 3 Reasons to be at Rope Drop

Rope Drop is what opening is called at the Disney theme parks. At Magic Kingdom, they have a Welcome Show each morning as a part of their Rope Drop. Occasionally, the other parks have had shows as well, but not regularly.

Why should you plan to be at the Magic Kingdom in time for Rope Drop?

 

3. It’s a fun show! The train pulls into the station with most of the characters on it, there is singing, dancing, waving, confetti and often a Family of the Day picked from the early arrivals to the park. Often there is fun going on just inside the park as well, cast members waving hello, the Dapper Dan’s may be out. It’s exciting!

Rope Drop
Welcome Show at Magic Kingdom
Rope Drop
Where else can you see Drizella and Anastasia getting into trouble with Stitch!

Rope Drop

2. Parks are empty! You are walking into an empty park. A cast member will lead people to the main attractions and there are photo ops with  fewer people than you will see for the rest of the day. You can ride the big ticket rides with little to no wait, more than once if you’d like.

Liberty Square
An empty Liberty Square

Liberty Square

1. The number one reason is to maximize your time in the park! By arriving at opening when crowds are minimal and many are still sleeping in, you’ll have access to many rides with little to no wait for an hour or two. You’ll get much more accomplished in the morning than in the afternoon and it’s not quite as hot either.

Tomorrowland at rope drop
Heading to Space Mountain first thing at Rope Drop, nobody ahead of us!

 

While sleeping in is nice, my number one recommendation on a Disney trip is to be at Rope Drop and make the most of your time. Relax by the pool later in the afternoon when the lines are long and the parks are crowded.