Tag Archives: summer

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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Volcano Bay Rises

Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort is set to open May 25, that’s just a month away!

And as details emerge I am more and more excited to visit! Here are my top 5 things I am looking forward to at Volcano Bay. In no particular order.

1. Kopiko Wai Winding River™

Yes, that’s right. I LOVE me a lazy river. It’s my favorite thing to do, just lounge and float along.

2. Premium Seating

For a very reasonable price, just $29.99 + tax you can have 2 padded loungers with an umbrella and a lockbox in an area with food and drink service. Umm, yes please. Sign me up.

3. Tapu Tapu

This is Universal’s new virtual line system, so no waiting in long lines for  rides. You tap the totem pole by the ride entrance with your wearable Tapu Tapu bracelet ( similar to Disney’s Magic Bands), and get a return time. Then come back at that time and tap and enter.

4. Express Pass

Even better, most rides will also offer Express Pass options to bypass even the virtual line system.

5. Dining

The dining at Volcano Bay looks incredible. Imaginative options in-keeping with the South Pacific Island theme.

Volcano Bay is going to be a fantastic addition to an already exciting vacation experience at Universal Orlando Resort. Read more about a Universal vacation here and here.

To start planning your EPIC Universal Vacation, contact me at Barbara@ATimetoTreasureTravel.com

Save up to 30% on Rooms at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels This Summer!

Save up to 30% on Rooms at Select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels This Summer!

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Save up to 30%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights June 12-Aug. 25, 2016 when you book by June 10, 2016.

Awaken Summer MagicBand

Plus,  receive an exclusive “Awaken Summer” graphic MagicBand when you upgrade to a room and Theme Park package with a minimum 2-day Magic Your Way® Ticket. The MagicBand will activate a surprise sound and lighting feature at select touch points throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.**

Booking Window:
March 14-June 10, 2016

Travel Window:
June 12-Aug. 25, 2016

Rooms are limited, contact me soon to book your package for best availability.

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Save up to 30% this summer!

SAVE UP TO 30% ON ROOMS AT SELECT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS THIS SUMMER!
 
Booking Window: March 23 – June 12, 2015
Travel Window: June 16 – Aug. 27, 2015

Offer Details:

Resort Category Savings % (Travel from 6/16-8/9) Savings % (Travel from 8/10-8/27)
Select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts Save up to 30% Save up to 30%
Select Moderate Resorts 20% 25%
Select Value Resorts 15% 20%
*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, and is not valid at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village and Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort-The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 30% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resort hotels.
Availability is dwindling fast on this one, contact me soon!

Frozen Fun this Summer

Frozen Fun Coming to Walt Disney World this Summer!

This summer the world of Disney’s instant classic “Frozen,” takes center stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, coming to life like never before in a full range of all-new, immersive experiences through the park.

From July 5-Sept 1, 2014,  enjoy “Frozen Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios” daily.

Frozen Fun 

Here are some highlights:

Olaf on Summer Vacation – Olaf the snowman is having the time of his life on his very first summer vacation! He chimes in throughout the day to keep everyone updated on all his adventures. Plus, if you want, pick up a Take-Along Olaf from locations in the park, so he can join you on your summer vacation. And, when you share your photos with Olaf on social media and tag them with #OlafSummerVacation, you may just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – At 11 a.m. each day, Anna and Elsa arrive in Hollywood as part of their goodwill tour of neighboring kingdoms, making their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh. Kristoff is along for the fun, too, joined by a flurry of skaters, skiers, ice cutters and more! The entire procession culminates in a special moment at the Sorcerer Hat Icon Stage to officially welcome the visiting royalty to this kingdom of Hollywoodland.

For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – Cool down inside the Premiere Theater, where Anna and Elsa join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun and comedic retelling of the unique history of their Kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from “Frozen.” Guests will be invited to join in special sing-along moments from the film’s chart-topping soundtrack

Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – Inside Soundstage One, Oaken and his cousins have created a Frozen Funland filled with cold weather activities, unique photo opportunities, and more! There’s a frozen pond with ice skating demonstrations, wintertime fun for kids in the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” play area, a “big summer blowout” with plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen”-inspired food and beverage offerings.

“Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – Starting at 5:30 p.m. each day, a dance party takes over the area around the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, with a DJ and live band. The band plays a variety of classic and contemporary summer rock & roll hits, as well as a cool, rocking medley of “Frozen” favorites. It’s going to be hot!

“Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular – Everything wraps up at 9:45 p.m. when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come together at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen!”

July Fourth

Cinderella Castle during Wishes

This is one of my favorite pictures that I took on our 2011 trip. We were sitting right in front of the castle for the Magic the Memories and You show and it was really a little too close for a good viewing of Wishes, but we didn’t move. A lot of the fireworks were blocked by the castle, but they looked really cool in the pictures afterwards. This one seems to have a July 4th feel to it with star and the red and blue.

Disney Resort News

The iconic Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, is undergoing a complete re-imagining! The  renovation includes a new food & beverage experience, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Plus, the hotel is returning to its original 1971 name, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Disney's Polynesian ResortThe biggest construction impact will affect the beloved pool. The Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide will close for “enhancements” beginning July 26 through early 2015.

Guests staying at the resort while the main pool is closed will receive one (1) complimentary ticket for each member of their party to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during their stay. Transportation will be provided and guests will enter through a dedicated check-in point where they will receive their complimentary tickets and towels.

In the Great Ceremonial House, several areas will be revamped including the lobby.

 

 

Magical Moment

There is something about Disney World. It’s hard to explain or put into words what it is. More than one person has told me about “that feeling when you walk down Main Street and see the castle” , that feeling when you are there, the entire world goes away. I know it well, I feel it too and it’s why I love the place so much.

As much as I already loved it, there was a specific event that amplified the love of Disney for me. It was a chain of events that led to a very short 2 second moment. But that 2 second moment was so exciting and special, I knew I was hooked for life.

It started on our family trip in August of 2010. I took a video, a short little 6 second video with my Flip Camera. I took lots of videos. But this one was really cute.

This was the year Disney was prepping for their Share the Memories theme for the following year. In September they started a website where people could share their memories, pictures and videos of their magical moments. I shared this video and another cute one from our trip. And life went on.

In December I was contacted by Disney marketing. They wanted me to sign release forms because they may want to use my video for something or other. I did. They sent me some lovely character lithograph prints as a thank you and told me if it was used in a commercial they would sent me a copy on DVD. Commercials started popping up on tv where Disney used people’s actual home videos, some shared from that site to promote their Share the Memories theme. These were mainly people surprising their kids with trips, they all made me cry. In January, on my internet travels one day I saw that this new show would be debuting soon. The Magic, the Memories and You. A 10 minute lights and special effects show projected onto the castle each night before Wishes.

A few days later, was the debut for the media. One of the big blogs posted the video online the next day. I sat and watched it, teary eyed the whole time. Then it happened, almost at the end, the last possible moment, the last little face on the screen before it goes dark and Walt says, “to all who come to this Happy place…” there he was. My little guy’s face up on the castle at Magic Kingdom. I jumped, I screamed. I called my husband right away and  told him that we are going to Disney again this summer. We HAVE GOT to see this in person! That little moment from riding Dumbo made it into the show.

We did go that August. We sat right in front of the castle and got to see it in person. It was an incredibly magical moment. Fan for life now. And so is my little guy. He is my Disney nut.

We’ve had other pixie dust moments on trips, but that moment was the BIG one. The one that sealed the deal for me and my love of Disney.

I’d love to hear from you, what are some of your magical moments from your trips?

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

One of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts is the Yacht and Beach Club, two distinct hotels that share some recreational facilities.

The Yacht Club is a circa 1870’s mid-Atlantic themed hotel. Think Jersey Shore, Atlantic City or even New England.

Yacht Club lobby

Rooms
Standard rooms are comfortable and offer all the amenities. All Yacht Club rooms have a balcony, 2 queen or 1 king bed, many with an additional daybed. View options include Standard, Garden or Water. Club Level is offered at the Regatta Club with concierge service and a lounge serving continental breakfast, midday snacks and evening wine, finger foods, cordials and dessert.

Standard Room

Recreation
The centerpiece of the hotel is the shared pool. Except, it can barely be called a simple pool. Arguably the best pool on-site, Stormalong Bay, as it’s called is a three acre aquatic playground for young and young at heart. A pirate ship water slide, sand-bottom zero entry pool, lazy river with tubes (which are free to use), whirlpools and plenty of space to lounge. At night you can see some of the higher fireworks from Illuminations right from the pool.

Floating in the lazy river

The hotel offers the Sandcastle Club for the kids if parents want a night out alone. A lovely white sand beach for movies on the beach nightly. There is a quiet pool with a whirlpool and tennis courts as well.

Stormalong Bay

Dining
The Yacht Club features several dining options. Top tier dining at one of Disney’s Signature restaurants, Yachtsman Steakhouse is right in the hotel. A more casual Captain’s Grille serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The lobby lounge, Crew’s Cup, offers coffee and some pastries in the mornings for a quick bite. The Ale and Compass Lounge offers lite fare in the afternoons and evenings.

Lobster Omelet at Captain’s Grille

Venture outside to Beaches & Cream Soda Shop for ice cream and burgers for lunch or dinner, overlooking Stormalong Bay. Of course, poolside dining and adult beverages are available for lunch and dinner at Hurricane Hanna’s, where kid’s meals come in a bucket with a shovel for playing in the sand later!

Additional close by options are restaurants inside the adjacent Beach Club Resort including their Marketplace for quick service meals and grab and go items. Or a stroll around the lake to the Boardwalk where there are more restaurant and quick service options. Or if you have Park Hopper, a must if you are staying in this resort location, you can hop into World Showcase at Epcot for dinner in the country of your choice or even grab breakfast in France in the mornings!

View of Boardwalk

Transportation
This location is optimal! A short 5 minute stroll brings you into the International Gateway at Epcot. This is located by the United Kingdom pavilion. A slightly longer walk, about 20 minutes, will take you to Hollywood Studios. Friendship Boats are also available for traveling to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Buses to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom as well as Downtown Disney, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon pick up just outside the lobby of the hotel.

These photos are from our last family vacation to Disney World where we called the Yacht Club Resort home. My boys loved the pool and often chose the pool over more park time. We loved the convenience of getting to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom bus was quick.

What’s your favorite Walt Disney World Resort? Where do you want to stay next?