Monday, August 1, 2011

Resort Review - Polynesian Resort

Today I am going to tell you a bit about the Polynesian Resort with special assistance from two readers that sent in reviews after staying there.  I personally have never stayed so it was great to get their perspective on it!  :-)

As has become the norm here is a little video from Disney Parks Media!

Some Facts:
  • Website: Polynesian Resort Website
  • Resort Category: Deluxe
  • Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area
  • Pricing: Starts at $385 per night
  • Rooms Availabe:
    • Standard Rooms - Garden, Lagoon, or Theme Park Views
    • Club Level Rooms and Suites
    • Suites
 Resort Map:


Have I personally stayed here?
No I have not.  I have visited the resort and eaten here at the Ohana restaurant as well as at the Luau that they have.  The resort grounds are beautiful and it is awesome to be able to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach while relaxing as the pipe in the Wishes music.  All in all, I hope to stay there at least for one night one time.  The price for me is a bit of a turn off, but hey you never know!  :-)


Guest Reviews:
  •  Review Number 1 - Judy
    • What I like about it:    I liked the fact that it was less than a minute walk to the TTC. The beach was great and you could watch fireworks from there without the crowds. The room was very nice. It held three adult women and a 9 year old boy quite comfortably. My 9 year old son was very impressed with the lobby and the pool, which I as an adult also liked. We at a two restaurants and the luau and had not a bad meal while we were there.
    • What I didn't like:   I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like about the Polynesian, but if pressed I guess I would say I wish the gift shops had been a little bigger.
    • Would I stay here again:  I would stay here again without a doubt.  In fact I can't see myself staying anywhere else!
 
  •  Review Number 2 - Melissa R. 
    • What I like about it:
      There’s a long list of things I love about the Polynesian Resort. One of the main reasons we stay there is the theme- the decor and tropical vibe make us feel so relaxed and ready for the most memorable vacation the second we enter the lobby. Also, it is in a great location! You can take the monorail or boat to the Magic Kingdom and can walk to the Transportation Center to take the monorail to Epcot. There are also great restaurants at the Polynesian. Tonga Toast and a pot of French Pressed Kona Coffee at Kona Café are a great way to start the day before hitting the parks. Captain Cook’s is also a good place to grab a bite to eat – although it is a Quick Service restaurant, it offers delicious, unique menu items.
    • What I didn't like about it:
      The rates are among the highest in the Deluxe Resort category. But, if you can take advantage of a discount, it is well worth the higher price. Also, it is very tough to get a reservation at O’Hana. I thought resort guests would get some sort of priority, but not such luck.
    • Would I stay there again and why:
      Yes, my family and I would definitely stay at the Polynesian Resort again. The convenience, theme/decor, great food and the fond memories we have of our magical vacations at the resort will keep us coming back!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Favorite Rides - Dumbo

Get ready...this week we talk about one of the most popular rides in WDW.  It might not be a favorite for grownups, but it is DEFINITELY on the MUST DO list for your kids.  The one the only.....DUMBO!!!




Some Info:

  • Park: Magic Kingdom
  • Land/Area: Fantasyland
  • Height Requirements: Nope!
  • Best Suited For: Preschoolers and young children, but it is fun for ALL!
  • Warnings: For me - heights!!  I know silly, but it freaks me out when we are all the way up!
  • Fastpass:  As of now no, but when the ride is moved to the new section with the additional ride it will have a virtual queue area.
What I like About It:
What's not to like????  Dumbo is one of the most popular rides in Magic Kingdom.  The worst part about it is the LONG line that usually comes with it.  It is definitely a ride to hit as soon as you walk in.  Whether you have a preschooler or not, this is a ride to get on just because it is a classic!  :-)

Random Facts: 
The original Dumbo the Flying elephant opened in Disneyland 3 months after the park opened.  All the other Disney parks have a Dumbo ride and they all opened on opening day in their respective parks.  The ride is being moved to a circus themed area that used to be Toon Town sometime in the next year.  This is all part of the new Fantasyland expansion. 

Hello

Hi everyone!

So sorry for my lack of attention to the blog and my facebook page.  Life has been hectic.  I never knew taking on a new job could eat up so much time.  Between working and trying to fit in time with the kids when I am not working and all that stuff I am barely even on the computer anymore!  But I am making it a point to get on here daily and try to post something and pay more attention to my facebook page.

We were also away for a week and believe it or not we had NO internet access.  Then to come home and have our main computer crash...well all in all I have been slightly in the dark ages as far as computers go.  Looks like the need for a smartphone may be more than I realized!  :-)

So I am trying to be back.  I am working a lot to earn money for our upcoming WDW trip.  :-)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cultural Events Add to the Experience at Aulani

Those of you looking to really experience Hawaiian culture will find it at Aulani. Walt Disney Imagineering worked with local architects and cultural experts to design the resort to honor the local culture of the Hawaiian Islands. The resulting design is a celebration of Hawaiian customs and traditions that offers up a harmony with the natural world.


Inside and out you will see simplicity, fine materials and attention-to-detail that reflect the layers of refined thinking that characterize Hawaiian art forms. The unique architecture evokes Hawaiian villages in a modern, awe-inspiring interpretation. A large lava rock passes from outside to inside the glass lobby wall. This reverence for nature is seen throughout, with volcanic stone columns that line the hallway, and the use of wood and water throughout.


Rooms are appointed with lustrous wood and Hawaiian elements, such as geometric patterns inspired by kapa cloth (textiles made from tree bark), outrigger canoe posts and beams in the design of bedroom headboards, and corridor wall-coverings that are artfully embedded with a whole host of native Hawaiian cultural references – from poi pounders to fish traps to sea urchins.


Aulani's restaurants are also designed to reflect aspects of Hawaiian culture – from fishing techniques to harvest rituals. The resort's 'Ōlelo Room will be a special place you will want to visit. Here you will become more "conversive" in Hawaiian – or have fun trying. The 'Ōlelo Room will feature a series of engaging shadow boxes that hang throughout the room, displaying wooden carvings of common, everyday objects labeled with their Hawaiian language names. Best of all, cast members are on hand to provide proper pronunciations for you.


From beautiful artwork by local Hawaiian artists to the playful Menehune – legendary mischievous characters from Hawaiian folklore – depicted in statue form throughout the resort, the design of Aulani celebrates the culture of the islands.

Book an idyllic Hawaiian vacation for you and your family at Aulani now for stays beginning Aug. 29, 2011.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tip

Ok last week I told you about comfortable shoes...this week - prepare yourself and your family.

Many of us are not as active as we should be and if that is you, then you need to prepare yourself for a Disney vacation.  You will be walking an awful lot.  Think miles everyday.  In fact it has been stated on several sites that the average Disney goer walks 5 - 7 miles PER DAY!!!

My suggestion, start a nightly walk with your family and increase the distance.  As the trip gets closer walk in the shoes that you plan to use while down there if possible.  This will show you how well you really enjoy walking in the shoes you think are best. 

Not only will you get fit for your trip and for yourself, but you will be ready for the Disney touring that is awaiting you!!  Funny with all that walking I never lose any weight while there....must be all the food!!  ;-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Resort Review - Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Sit back and get ready to RELAX!  If camping is your style then this is the resort for you!  I grew up staying here and to this day it still holds incredible memories and will always be one of my favorite places to stay!

Welcome to....




Here are two videos from Disney Parks Media - one is the campsites, one is the cabins!  :-)


Some Facts:
  • Website: Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Information
  • Category: Moderate (cabins)
  • Location: Magic Kingdom Resort Area
  • Pricing: 
    • Campsites from $46/night
    • Cabins from $275/night
  • Rooms Available:
    • Tent/Pop-Up Hookup
    • Full Hookup
    • Preferred Campsite
    • Premium Campsite
    • Cabins
Resort Map:


Have I personally stayed here?
Yes - more times than I can count!!  We camped here in our family RV when I was a kid growing up.  Once we got rid of the RV we started staying in the cabins.


What I like about it:
I think my opinion is slightly clouded since this particular resort is filled with childhood memories, but there is definitely something special and different about Fort Wilderness.  You won't get the feeling that you get here anywhere else you stay on property.  When you stay in the cabins you feel like you have your own little house - driveway and deck included!  Camping is as good as it gets as far as camping goes!  Amenities galore!  There is also the proximity to the Magic Kingdom!  It is just a boat ride away!  Not to mention that there is so much to do at the resort - lots of bike riding available and pony rides, the stables, great food - Trails End is one of our favorite meals! - and of course the campfire and movie nightly with Chip and Dale!!  Also a very important PLUS - the cabins sleep 6!!  What a great option for those bigger families!!  :-)


What I don't like:
The internal transportation!  UGH - I don't like it AT ALL!!  I hate to say this because when I was little the transportation was great.  I thought maybe I was just remembering wrong, but I asked my parents and they also agreed that it was better way back when.  They used to have trams that ran, now it is buses.  To get to the buses for the parks you have to take a bus (depending on your location), same with getting to the boat or the restaurant.  When we go we rent a golf cart, which is fun for sure, but it is also a bit pricey.  The only other downfall - no counter service.  :-(

Would I stay here again?
Of course!!  In fact I really want to camp for a couple nights here and then move from here and stay at a deluxe or something.  "Rough" it for a couple days you know!  :-)  I can also definitely seeing us stay in a cabin again.


Next up....Disney's Polynesian Resort - with TWO special fan reviews!!  :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Disney's Aulani Resort - Idyllic Location

Aulani, which opens in Hawai'i on Aug. 29, is located in the picturesque Ko Olina Resort & Marina on the island of O'ahu. For your Clients who are unfamiliar with this area, Ko Olina is located on the western (or leeward) side of the island, which is typically warmer and drier than the eastern (windward) side of O'ahu.

The Ko Olina Resort Community & Marina is a master-planned, active family resort community with sweeping ocean and mountain views and 1.5 miles of white sandy beaches.

Sheltered by mountains to the north, Ko Olina is a secluded paradise in a beautiful island setting yet close enough to Waikiki and Honolulu. Aulani will provide you with a number of options to get to Waikiki including shuttles, rental cars and excursions. You can enjoy a variety of activities within Ko Olina including an 18-hole Ted Robinson designed golf course, water activities, marina, shopping and dining options.

Ko Olina is legendary as a source of inspiration to travelers. A place of breathtaking natural beauty where it's said that the goddess Pele visited to re-energize after traveling. Known for its beaches, majestic seascapes and snorkeling, Ko Olina is home to many islanders who make their living from the rich agricultural tradition and fishing in the area.

Aulani's location within Ko Olina makes it the perfect setting for those who are looking for a truly peaceful, relaxing and cultural Hawaiian experience.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Favorite Rides - Soarin'


This next ride has to be one of the best rides (in my opinion) in all of the Walt Disney World Resort!!  Get ready to "soar" over California.....


Some Info:


  • Park:  Epcot
  • Land/Area:  The Land
  • Height Requirements:  Yes - must be 40 inches
  • Best Suited For:  Great ride for the whole family!
  • Warnings:  This is a flight simulated ride.  If you get motion sickness this could bother you.  Those with vertigo or a extreme free of heights may not want to ride. 
  • Fastpass:  Yes.  Also you can utilize the rider switch program with this ride.
What I like about it:
What's not to like!!!  The first time you ride this will be the best because the initial thrill you feel "soaring" over the San Franciso Bay will never quite be the same!  I love all the little extras - the feeling of the wind blowing through you hair, the swinging sensation one can only assume you would feel if you were hang gliding, the scents of the evergreens and oranges!  All of it is just amazing!  I don't want to give too much away, but be ready to SOAR over California and see all there is to see.  It is truly an amazing experience!


Random Facts:
  • Original ride opened in 2001 in Disney's California Adventure.  It opened in Epcot in May of 2005. 
  • Lasts for almost 5 minutes.
  • Best seat - middle section (B) top row (1).  No feet hanging down and you are in the center or the theater!
  • Screen measures 80 feet!  
  • Ride was originally designed using an erector set!  :-)
Next ride.....Dumbo!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Magical Moment at Aulani Resort

The major structural work on Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is now complete. Recently, the construction crew officially "handed over the keys" to Disney cast members, marking the latest milestone in the countdown to the resort's opening on Aug. 29, 2011. Throughout the summer, the Disney team will be hard at work "adding the magic" to the resort in preparation of your arrival. Crews are doing everything from honing the world-class guest service you expect from Disney, to installing the décor, landscape and furnishings that will make Aulani a memorable island vacation experience with distinctive Disney touches.
To celebrate this latest milestone in the construction process, Disney cast members and construction crew members, along with Mickey Mouse, Minnie and their pals, gathered together on the beach in front of Aulani to commemorate this "magical moment."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Keep the Magic Alive!!!

So you are at home...wherever that may be.  For me it is Pennsylvania.  But you are missing Disney World.  Well we have covered lots of great ways to keep the Magic alive at home and here is another way...

Disney movie night!  We usually have a movie night once a week in our house.  Usually on the first non school night when we don't have anything special going on first thing in the morning. After dinner the kids run upstairs, get on their pjs and come down ready for movie night.  Popcorn gets popped, drinks get poured, and several times a Disney movie is selected.  (No we don't do a Disney movie EVERY week.  Not my choice...haha!!) 

Watching on of the movies from our Disney DVD and VHS (yes we still have a working VCR!) always puts me in the Disney mood!  I am thinking of breaking out some of the good old ones for this week.  We don't just do cartoons, either, although my son is still fairly young and won't always sit through a full length "real people" movie.  Some days while he is napping my daughter and I watch a classic - Polyanna, Freaky Friday, The Parent Trap (original)....you get the idea!

When we watch a Disney movie, especially as a family, it just brings a little bit of Disney magic into our house!!

So plan your family Disney themed movie night today and keep the magic alive while you are at home!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Tip

So this may seem like a simple enough tip, but hey, it's gotta be said!

Wear COMFORTABLE shoes!!!  I know, I know, not much of a tip.  But let me tell you a little story....

We went to Disney one year.  I get there thinking ok, I am ready to go.  Open my suit case and realize...uh oh, I forgot my sneakers!!  So a trip was made and I got a new pair of sneakers at a local store.  I would have been better off in dollar store flip flops!  My feet hurt so bad, not because the sneakers were bad, they just weren't broken in.  I learned my lesson big time!

I have to say no matter, what the shoes are, be sure to break them in and make sure they are super comfy to walk in since you will be walking...A LOT!

My personal favorite Disney touring shoes...Crocs!  Yup I wear 'em and I love 'em!  I got my first pair when I was down in Disney as a matter of fact.  We got there and I got out my sneakers.  I am not a fan of closed in shoes.  I live for warm weather and flip flop wearing summer days!  So when I am in warm sunny FL the last thing I want is to walk in sneakers all day.  My feet ache at the end of it all.  Well the answer to that problem, for me, has been Crocs.  When we were down there, my mom already had the Crocs and she said try them.  I didn't want to...I thought like many that they were ugly.  But I tried and man alive are the COMFORTABLE!!

Ever since I have not gone back, I am a crocs convert and I LOVE them!!  But that is not what this post as about, at least not completely.  It was about a tip for comfortable shoes.  You will walk MILES every day, so be sure to keep those feet comfy cozy or it will be a LONG painful vacation!

Happy walking Disney friends!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Magical Monday!!

Good Morning All!!

I hope all you Mother's out there had a MAGICAL Mother's Day!  We had beautiful weather here and enjoyed the entire weekend.  For Mother's Day I was treated to breakfast in bed and a day of not having to do much, which is ALWAYS nice!!  Then it was off to a wonderful dinner with our entire family.  It was great to see everyone and enjoy the day.  How about you?  How was your weekend/Mother's Day?

Now is the time to book your trip to Disney!!  Lets get your trip booked and planned!  You can reserve your stay for just $200 and make payments as it works for you!  Free Dining rooms are popular and book up fast at popular resorts!

This week on the blog - more great information about Disney's new resort in Hawai'i, a resort review, a ride review, and of course Tuesday's Tip, and ways that our family keeps the magic alive at home! 

We have been booking and planning trips a lot lately, but don't forget, if you have a trip that you already booked and would like to transfer it over to us then you get a $25 Disney Gift Card!!  Disney not in the cards for you right now, but you know a friend that booked or is planning to book, tell them about us and if they book a trip you get a $10 gift card of your choice!!  They also get the Disney Gift Card - if it is a transfer it is for $25, otherwise there are gift cards just for booking depending on what they book!  So be sure to refer away!!!

Have a Magical Monday everyone!!!  :-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all my Disney Friends!!


I hope that you have a wonderful day celebrating with those lovely little ones...or big ones, but aren't they always our little ones...that made you a Mommy!  Pamper yourself and take it all in!
Have a Magical Mother's Day, 
Be Our Guest Vacations

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Disney in Hawai'i



As many of you may already know, Disney is opening a brand new resort in Hawai'i on August 29, 2011.  Here is six key differences that separates Disney's Aulani Resort from other resorts in Hawai'i!





  • Aunty’s Beach House: With over 5,200 square feet, this state-of-the art kids’ club is a place of fun, discovery and magic. And, best of all, programming at Aunty’s Beach House is complimentary for Resort guests! Kids can let their imaginations soar as they go on treasure hunts, play traditional Hawaiian games, make space goo with Stitch and so much more. Parents can relax knowing their children of all ages are enjoying adventures created just for them.
  • Ulana, a Disney Spa: The breathtaking 18,000 square foot spa offers delightful escapes for both adults and families. Adults can relax with luxurious treatments, create custom mixes of essential oils and enjoy a one-of-a kind hydrotherapy circuit inspired by the elements of the island. Separate spaces allow for every member of the family to experience their own treatments and offerings, including the only teen spa in Hawai‘i.
  • Rainbow Reef: The only private snorkeling lagoon on O‘ahu allows families to get up-close and personal to the local sea life. Your Clients will have the option to snorkel in the 3,800 square foot lagoon or view the animals and snorkelers from an outside window.
  • Exclusive Excursions: Every Aulani Resort excursion will offer a unique adventure into the culture and stories of Hawai‘i. With many excursions designed just for Aulani guests, your Clients can experience the island with local experts knowing they’ll receive the renowned storytelling and extraordinary service for which Disney is known.
  • Disney Characters: What Disney vacation would be complete without meeting Mickey Mouse? Your Clients will be delighted to find that many of their favorite Disney Characters are on vacation at Aulani as well, participating in meet and greets, character breakfasts, select kids club activities and more.
  • Waikolohe Valley: Tucked within the Resort your Clients will find a vast watery wonderland that perfectly blends Aulani with the Pacific cove. Swooshing body slides and a 900-foot volcanic tube ride are complemented with relaxing streams, a magical bridge and special surprises.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Disney Rewards Visa

Hello everyone!!

So I am not a credit card person.  Made bad choices at one point and we personally don't use them, just don't want to get into that bad habit again!  BUT for those that are good with credit cards, that will pay it off every month, do I have the card for you!!!

As many saw, just recently Disney offered the Free Dining promo FIRST to those with a Disney Rewards Visa.  Did you know that you can also earn rewards points, that you can then cash in for a redemption card that you can use to pay for your Disney trip???  How cool is that?!  I know people that have the card, that use it to pay EVERYTHING.  All their bills, everything.  Then they pay the card off at the end of the month with money they would have used to pay those bills...get it?  Makes great sense....BUT BUT BUT only if you are going to pay it off.  This card is worthless if you carry a big balance.  The rewards are worth nothing if you are paying high interest on the dollars you spent to get them.

Speaking of interest - did you know that you can get 6 months of interest free financing for your Disney vacation if you pay for it with your Disney Visa?

Here are some of the great benefits you can get:

  • Special vacation financing on select Walt Disney Travel Company packages, all Disney Cruise Line® vacations and Adventures by Disney packages purchased with Disney Rewards Visa Card
  • Special Theme Park perks like a Character Meet 'N' Greet at our private Cardmember location. Get a complimentary 5" x 7" photo, too!
  • Cardmember offers on vacation packages, merchandise and more
  • Earn 1% back in Disney Dream Reward Dollars® on card purchases redeemable for Disney merchandise, Theme Park tickets, hotel stays and vacation packages with flexibility in their redemption and no block-out dates
  • Choose their card design from a variety of fun Disney designs
  • Plus, your client will receive a $25 Disney Gift Card after they apply, are approved and use their card
  • All this with No Annual Fee
To apply for Disney Rewards Visa Card, you should visit www.yourdisneycard.com or call 1-800-943-8319 and mention card code CZMJ.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Weekly Feature

A limited edition weekly feature is being added to the blog starting this Saturday!

I am going to be doing a series on the NEW Disney resort in Hawai'i - the Aulani Resort!!

Be sure to check out the weekly posts!  The resort opens in August of this year!  It looks amazing and if a trip to Hawai'i is something that you have been thinking of doing with your family, or just as a couple, this just may be the perfect resort for you!

Many of us know that Disney does it right, especially when it comes to their resorts and the theming of them.  I just can't imagine how awesome this new Disney resort will be!

Stay tuned....

Free Fun in Disney...or pretty darn cheap!

Hi there guys and gals!


My tip for having some free fun in Disney this week.  Take a ride on the monorail.  Completely free and the KIDS love it!  If you can be patient when you get to the loading station ask about riding up front with the driver! (update: sadly riding up front is no longer an option)  Great view and again...the kids LOVE it!!

You can ride the monorail on the Magic Kingdom Resorts loop and even get off at each resort and walk around.  The resorts are all themed so differently and the three on the loop are all terrific.  The Contemporary Resort has some great shops in it as well!  When doing the resort loop you will also get to experience riding right through the Contemporary Resort.  Be sure to look out and see Chef Mickey's!  This is one of our favorite character dining experiences!!  You can also try hopping off at the Polynesian and getting that island feel.  If you decide to stop here check out Kona Cafe Coffee Bar.  Yum!!  You can also take in the grandness that is the Grand Floridian.

After you have finished the loop and have toured the monorail resorts, hop off at the at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and switch on over to the Epcot monorail.  If you didn't get to ride in the front car before try to do it now.  Just tell the Cast Member working that you would like to ride in the front car, it may mean waiting an extra bit, but as I said before, it is worth it!!  This is a bit longer of a ride and has no stops, but you will get to ride through all of Epcot.  :-)  If you have park passes hop on off and head into Epcot.  If this isn't a park day for you, then stay on and get back to the TTC and take the bus back to your resort!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Keep the Magic Alive!!!

Helllllooooo there!!!  :-)

So you want to know another way I keep the Magic alive when we are not in our happy place?  Well simple - we visit our local Disney Store!  :-)  The kids know when we go that we are not always going to buy something and since they did close the one nearest to us it really is a treat to go.  It is only about 30 minutes away and happens to be in an area with outlets, so we make it a special shopping day with the Disney Store as the great reward for being good! :-)

Usually I do get them a little something because there are a lot of great items that aren't too expensive!  We love just walking around, some are better than others, with movies and ads playing! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Favorite Rides - Kilimanjaro Safari

I cannot say enough about how much I enjoy this next ride!!!  Our featured ride this week - Kilimanjaro Safari!

Some info:
  • Park: Animal Kingdom
  • Land/Area: Africa
  • Height Requirement: No
  • Best suited for: Fun for the whole family
  • Warning: Very bumpy at times - people with back issues, or pregnant women be warned.
  • Fastpass: Yes
What I like about it:
This is by far one of the best rides in Disney!  First of all, it is never the same ride.  The animals are in different spots with each ride.  Try to ride first thing in the morning as this is when the animals are the most active.  We have ridden this ride and had to sit and wait for a giraffe to move from the "road" - kids found this very exciting!  We have seen baby elephants and baby giraffes and even learned a few things.  The hippos are pretty cool as well!!  It is a longer ride - about 15 minutes.  As for wait times, they tend to pick up as the day goes on, so if there is a wait of say over 30 minutes I would get a Fastpass and come back later.  Don't look for the stroller parking!  They even do that for you!  You start out in the line with your stroller and will get to a spot where they take them for you!  Nice and easy!!  All in all we always enjoy this attraction and sometimes try to get on it twice in a day!

Random Facts:
  • Kilimanjaro Safari is the largest attraction in ANY Disney Theme Park!  
  • It provides animals with a 100 acre savanna to roam, while guests ride through in safari vehicles with a guide.  The tour guide of your safari will point out animals and ask you to help locate them as well.  Some are more entertaining and knowledgeable than others. 
  • The ride typically runs until sundown, so if there are evening extra magic hours and it is dark the safari will not run.  Normally there is a sign at the entrance to the park or the ride that will tell you what time the last safari will run.
  • It was recently announced (July 2010) that "guided treks" through the savanna would be made available to guests.  This would focus on areas of the savanna that are not part of the ride.
Next ride.....Soarin'

Monday, May 2, 2011

Resort Review - Contemporary Resort

Today we are going to focus on one of Walt Disney World's original resorts - Disney's Contemporary Resort!  

Here is a short video courtesy of Disney Parks Media!

Some Facts:

Resort Map:
 (The Bay Lake Tower section of the resort will be reviewed separately.  This was a very recent addition to the Contemporary Resort and is a Villa Resort!)
Have I personally stayed here?
I have only stayed here once for one night back in 2002.  So I cannot tell you much about what the rooms are like, especially since when I stayed there the rooms were not yet redone.  Anyone that has stayed here for a full trip PLEASE comment below and I will post a guest post from you with a more personal detail about it!  :-)

What I like about it:
I LOVE the location!!!  You can walk to the Magic Kingdom!  Can't complain about that feature, right?!  And it isn't a long walk, maybe 10 minutes.  The views are fantastic if you pay for the upgrade or if you get upgraded for free - hey it happens when you are checking in!  You could have a view of Cinderella's Castle from your balcony...imagine that!  I also love that the monorail stops there, and it doesn't just stop there it drives right through the hotel!  You won't find this at any other resort on Disney property.  There is something to be said for being on the monorail loop.  One of our favorite restaurants and most popular in Disney is also located here - Chef Mickey's.  All in all there are a lot of great pluses for the Contemporary Resort!

What I didn't like:
I am not a fan of the decor or theming.  I am not a contemporary person, so that design for the rooms and such was not for me.  The lobby is kind of cold in my opinion, especially compared to the other resorts on property.  All of this though does not take away from the pluses in my opinion!

Would I stay here again?
If the price was right I would DEFINITELY stay here!!  Like I said that walk to the Magic Kingdom in and of itself is a HUGE selling point right there!  Plus I would love to stay on the Monorail loop!

Next up.....Disney's Fort Wilderness

Magical Monday!!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a glorious week last week!  Sorry I missed posting, but the Giveaway kinda had me busy!  Making sure to post about it daily!  We had a great turn out for people entering to win!  Winners will be announced later today!

My weekend was great!  We had a family party to go to and then just spent some time relaxing together.  I am so glad it is finally spring!  How about all of you?!

Last week Disney announced FREE dining for Disney Visa cardholders.  Well TODAY they announced it officially for the General Public!  Dates are much more limited this year than in years past and of course now rumors are swirling about more dates being added.  Don't let that hold you back.  These rooms fill up - only a limited number are offered at each resort with the FREE dining.  If you want to take advantage of this Yummy deal, then email me - info@beourguestvacations.net.  I will price it out for you.  This is even a better deal than the kids stay and play and usually better than room only discounts, so don't let it pass you by!!

Stay tuned to the blog for the announcement of winners post!

Have a Magical Monday!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Dates - 2011!

The dates have been announced!!  I can't wait to take the kids when we go this fall!  They always LOVE this extra and while it has gotten pricey, it still is an extra we are willing to pay for!  :-)

The dates are:


September 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
October 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

November 1

Pricing:

Sep 13 to Sep 30
Advance purchase adult $53.95
Advance purchase age 3-9 $47.95
Day of event adult $59.95
Day of event age 3-9 $53.95
Annual Passholder and DVC Member adult $49.95
Annual Passholder and DVC Member age 3-9 $43.95

Oct 2 to Nov 1
Advance purchase adult $56.95
Advance purchase age 3-9 $51.95
Day of event adult $62.95
Day of event age 3-9 $57.95
Annual Passholder and DVC Member adult $52.95
Annual Passholder and DVC Member age 3-9 $47.95

This Month in Disney - May 2011

May gets back to normal after a busy Easter and Spring break season come to an end, but summer craziness is just around the corner!  Here is what to expect in May!

Park Hours in May -

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Opening time is consisitent at 9am.  There are some early morning extra magic hour openings at 8am.  (Resort guests only for the extra magic hours!)
    • Closing time varies between 9pm and 11pm
    • Magic Kingdom Official Calendar
  • Epcot
    • Epcot never really strays from their 9am to 9pm operating hours. There are some extra magic hours here and there in the morning (8am to 9am) and evenings (9pm to midnight).
      • Note: The World Showcase does not open until 11am
    • Epcot Offical Calendar
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • Average opening time is 9am. With a few early morning extra magic hours in there.
    • Average closing time is between 7pm and 9pm. It varies due to whether or not Fantasmic will be playing that night. There are some evening extra magic hours as well.
    • Hollywood Studios Official Calendar
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom park
    • Opening time is 9am on extra magic hour days it is 8am.
    • Closing time stays fairly consistent at 6pm with a few nights of staying open til 7pm.
      • Note: When I have stayed for extra magic hours here before the safari stops operating by a certain time regardless of the closing time. There will be signage in the front of the park and near the ride to alert you of the last departure time.
Closed for Refurbishment
  • Magic Kingdom
    • The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management (Tuesday, March 1 - Thursday, June 30)
  • Epcot
    • No closures to report at this time
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue - (Wednesday, February 2 - Thursday, May 19)
  • Animal Kingdom
    • No closures to report at this time
Have a Magical Trip!!!

FREE Dining!!!

It is no longer a rumor....FREE Dining will be announced for the general public tomorrow!  Not sure when booking will start - could be 7AM, might take a bit for them to get it posted, who knows!

Since it is not being officially announced until tomorrow, I am not sure what all the details will be, but in the past it has followed the Disney Visa deal and been the same.  So you should be expecting:

Free Quick Service Dining at all Values and Free Plus Dining at Moderates, Deluxes and Villas

Dates are limited - August 28th to September 24th, 2011.  Booking is open right up until 8/27/11.  Rumors are already swirling about the deal being extended, but don't let this deter you from booking what is available!  Rooms are limited!  Email me to get a quote and book your trip!!  A $200 deposit secures your magical vacation!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Princess Rooms!

Hi there Disney fans!!

So I have been slightly slacking in the posting and there is a lot going on!  :-)  With the giveaway and all I just have not had much time to post.

But here is the latest and greatest about Disney!!!!  A couple years ago Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort unveiled Pirate Themed rooms - what little boy wouldn't LOVE to stay there!
Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach

Well now the rumors can be put to rest - Disney's Port Orleans Riverside will be unveiling Royally Themed rooms fit for a Princess!!
Royal Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
These 512 rooms will debut in March of 2012 with the story that Princess Tiana - Princess and the Frog - had rooms designed for her Princess friends.  Think Jasmine and Alladin, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and the Prince, Ariel and Prince Eric, and of course - YOU!  :-)
From the Disney Parks Blog - Princes and princesses of all ages can enjoy their luxurious lodging quarters, which will include ornate beds that feature headboards with fiber-optic special effects, and gold and crystal accents. Guests also can enjoy artwork and special mementos left by Tiana’s royal friends.

So if you are planning a trip next spring, maybe this will be the room for you!!  We LOVE Port Orleans Riverside as a moderate and I am excited about these new rooms.  More themed rooms will be coming with addition of Disney's Art of Animation Resort set to open May 2012.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Disney Visa Members get FREE DINING!!!

From the Disney Visa Members site:

Create lasting memories with this savory offer.


For a limited time, get a FREE dining plan when you buy the New Walt Disney Travel Co. Memories Vacation Package for 5 nights/6 days at select Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels.

The New Memories Vacation Package includes:

Walt Disney World® Theme Park tickets. Enjoy admission to one Theme Park per day, each day of your ticket.

Stay in a select Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel.

A Disney's PhotoPass® Photo Book to relive your Disney vacation memories! Choose from a variety of layouts and page designs and customize with your favorite photos! This 20-page book is printed on archival paper to preserve it for years to come.1

And, for a limited-time with this Memories Vacation Package, enjoy a FREE dining plan for stays most nights 8/28-9/24/11.

For 5 night/6 day packages at select Disney Value Resorts, get the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan — includes 2 quick-service meals and 2 select snacks per person per night of your package stay, plus one Resort Refillable Drink Mug per person (refillable only at your Disney Resort Hotel).

For 5 night/6 day packages at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts, get the Disney Dining Plan — includes 1 table-service meal, 1 quick-service meal and 1 select snack per person per night of your package stay.

 
 
FREE Dining offer for public to be announced on Monday May 2!  Should be VERY similar to this deal!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Disney on a Budget - Part 5

Well my friends this will be the final post of the Disney on a Budget series!  I have given you most of my best ideas in the previous posts.  If I come up with another great budget tip I will include it on the blog!!  Be sure to see the links at the end of this post taking you to the first 4 parts of this series!  :-)

So here are my final tips....

1.) Pack Snacks. You are permitted to bring in small soft sided coolers into the parks, as well as outside food and non alcholoic drinks!  This is important to note because there are places out there that do not allow any outside food or drink on the premises.  We bring in small snacks and water with us in a small cooler.  Think - grapes and other small fruits, yogurt tubes, cheese sticks, etc.  Don't have a cooler - you can still bring in some pretzels, chips, fruit like bananas and apples, etc.  It is amazing what Disney charges for a single banana!!  We can usually get a whole pound for the same price!!

2.) Share Meals.  So you decided not to do the meal plan and you are on a tight budget.  Well you can still eat and not go broke while doing so!  I find that Disney's pricing on food is not nearly as bad as some other amusement parks out there and actually the food is not nearly as bad as some of those places either!  While we always go on a meal plan (I HIGHLY recommend it!) we still share our counter service meals.  They are HUGE portions and certain meals make sharing even easier.  There is a breakfast platter that can easily serve a grown up and at least one child - called the Bounty Platter at most counter service restaurants.  So know the portions of the meals and try to ignore the rumbly in your tumbly and know that you will be able to share!!

3.) Eat in the room.  All Disney resort rooms have at least a small mini fridge - think college dorm room fridge.  A small little cube.  Villas and cabins have a full sized fridge and studios have a bit bigger then a dorm fridge.  Now, why a fridge - well you don't need one for this, but it may be helpful.  Eat breakfast in your room - this may require a fridge for milk, etc.  It is one less meal to spend money on and can also be a time saver as you are not sitting to eat, but rather eating as you get ready.  Or maybe you can pack some sandwiches for in the parks (again assuming you are not on a meal plan) and save that way.  Whatever you decide bringing food and eating in your room or packing it to take with you can be a big money saver!  Food is expensive and you have to eat!

So there you have it!  Like I said I will definitely share more budget tips with you as I think of them, but that is all for this series!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Giveaway Number 5 - $25 Disney Gift Card!

This one is from me to you!!  As a special Thank you to all the support that I have received over the last month!!

I am offering you a $25 Disney Gift Card - redeemable at www.disneystore.com or at any of the parks!  As well as being able to be used to make a payment on your upcoming Disney trip!

To enter:

Mandatory Entry - must do this to enter!
  1. Follow the blog with GFC - see the sidebar!
  2. "Like" our Facebook Page! - can be done on sidebar!  :-)
Comment ONCE for mandatory entry!

Additional Entries - up your chances of winning!
  1. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations on twitter - @BeOurGuestVacas - be sure to tell me your twitter handle to confirm!
  2. Have a Disney reservation already booked?  Transfer it to me (remember you will be getting a $25 Disney Gift Card just for the transfer - so if you win that is $50!!!!)
  3. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter - post link here! - can be done daily!
  4. Post about the giveaway on FB - post link here! - can be done daily!
Contest ends Sunday May 1 at 11:59PM est.  Winner will be drawn and announced on Monday May 2!

Good Luck!!

This is the final giveaway!  Best of luck and be sure to check out the other FOUR giveaways posted earlier today!!!

Have a Magical Monday!!!

Giveaway Number 4 - Little Mermaid Autograph Book!

Giveaway #4 comes from Paper Diva Designs!  Upcycling meets Disney!  That's right help the environment and get a Disney Autograph Book for your Prince or Princess - and custom made at that!  :-)

About Paper Diva Designs:

Paper Diva Designs, where new meets old, held it's Grand Opening on April 1, 2011! The store currently features OOAK Disney Princess Autograph Books for you or the Princess in YOUR life!
Each recycled Golden Book has been made into a 50-page journal featuring all 10 Disney Princesses! Not only can you use this as a journal, but it's great to take to Disney and have all your favorite princesses sign on their featured page! 
A little something extra!
  
During the Giveaway, anyone from the Be Our Guest Giveaway Extravaganza, can use the Coupon Code BOG on Paper Diva Designs to get 10% off your entire order (not including shipping)!



The Prize:

Up for Grabs: A Little Mermaid Autograph Book! (These pics are from the exact journal)













To enter:
Mandatory Entries - you MUST do the following to enter to win this prize!
  1. Favorite Paper Diva Designs (they'll have to enter their etsy name in comments
  2. Follow Paper Design Diva's Blog with Google Friend's Connect
  3. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations Blog (you are here!) with GFC - check out the sidebar!
Comment ONCE for the mandatory entry!

Additional Entries - Up your chances of winning!
  1. Make a purchase at Paper Diva Designs store - remember use the promo code BOG for 10% off!
  2. "Like" Be Our Guest Vacations on Facebook - be sure to tell me your FB name!
  3. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations on Twitter - @BeOurGuestVacas - tell me your twitter handle!
  4. Tweet about the giveaway - post the link in the comment! - can be done daily!
  5. Post about the giveaway on FB - can be done daily!
Comment separately for EACH additional entry!

Contest ends on May 1 at 11:59PM.  Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday May 2!

Good Luck!!!

Giveaway Number 3 - Disney Themed Necklaces

Giveaway #3 comes from a fellow Disney blogger!  Not only does she LOVE Disney like me and many of you, but she is crafty too!  She has just started on her blogging journey and decided to join in the giveaway!

About Delightfully Disney:

Delightfully Disney is an informative Disney blog written by fellow Disney fan Jackie.  Jackie is a mother and wife who loves Walt Disney World!!  I try to make each trip as magical as the first.   Planning WDW vacations is so fun for me and I try to make each experience absolutely delightful!

The Prize:

There are TWO prizes here so there will be TWO winners chosen!  Woohoo!!

Washer Necklaces - here is a picture of what they look like!  Of coursed they are Disney themed!!


To enter:

Mandatory Entry - to enter this giveaway you MUST do the following:
  1. Follow Delightfully Disney's Blog using Google Friends Connect - see sidebar of blog!
  2. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations Blog (that's here) using GFC - see sidebar!
Comment ONCE for the mandatory entry!

Additional Entries - up your chances to WIN!
  1. "Like" Delightfully Disney on Facebook - be sure to tell us your FB name so we know!
  2. "Like" Be Our Guest Vacations on Facebook - be sure to tell us your FB name so we know!
  3. Follow Delightfully Disney on Twitter - @delightfullyWDW - be sure to tell us your twitter handle so we know!
  4. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations on Twitter - @BeOurGuestVacas - be sure to tell us your twitter handle so we know!
  5. Post about it on Facebook - include the link!  Can be done daily!
  6. Tweet about it on twitter - include the link! Can be done daily! 
Comment separately for EACH additional entry!

Contest ends on May 1 at 11:59PM and the winner will be announced on Monday May 2!

Good Luck!!!

    Giveaway Number 2 - Chesapeake Ribbons

    Giveaway #2 comes from a good friend of mine!  She makes ribbon belts, hair bows, headbands, keyfobs, dog collars, lanyards, etc!  If you can make it from a ribbon, you can get it at Chesapeake Ribbons!

    About Chesapeake Ribbons:
    Chesapeake Ribbons is an online boutique owned and operated out of Exton, PA. Chesapeake Ribbons was founded by Margie Gunn, a Maryland native, over three years ago to provide high quality, stylish hair accessories to infant and toddler girls. What started out as a boutique hair accessory company has now grown into an accessory source for the whole family. Families who desire unique, quality pieces for gift-giving, holidays, weddings, reunions, team sports and other special events turn to Chesapeake Ribbons. A mother of two, Margie has creatively grown her online boutique from the ground up with the help of trusted advisors and networks. While she now calls Chester County her home, Margie is a Marylander through and through, hence the name "Chesapeake Ribbons" for her boutique.

    Margie believes in giving back and shares this philosophy by donating regularly a portion of proceeds from specific products to the following organizations - Devereux C.A.R.E.S. School, The Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Autism speaks, and the Susan G. Koman Fund. Chesapeake Ribbons also partners with weeBgreen to "weeCycle" unwanted materials into upcylced hair accessories, belts, dog collars and more. More information can be found at http://www.chesapeakeribbons.com/.

    The Prize:
    Your choice of a girl or boys flip flip ribbon belt!





    To enter:

    Mandatory entry - to enter this giveaway you must do the following:
    1. "Like" Chesapeake Ribbons on Facebook - be sure to tell us your name on facebook so we can confirm!
    2. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations Blog with Google Friends Connect - see it on the side bar!
    Comment ONCE for the mandatory entry!

    Additional Entries - up your chances to WIN!
    1. Follow Chesapeake Ribbons on Twitter - @chesapkeribbons - be sure to post your twitter handle so we know!
    2.  "Like" Be Our Guest Vacations on Facebook - be sure to tell us your name so we can confirm!
    3.  Follow Be Our Guest Vacations on Twitter - @BeOurGuestVacas - be sure to tell us your twitter handle so we know!
    4.  Post about the giveaway on facebook and link the post here! (can be done daily) 
    5. Tweet about the giveaway on twitter and post the link here! (can be done daily)
    6. Follow Margie's Blog with GFC - Gunning It
    7. "Like" Gunning It on Facebook

     Comment separately for EACH extra entry!


    Contest Ends May 1 at 11:59PM and the winner will be announced on Monday May 2!

    Good Luck!!!

    Giveaway Number 1 - Your Treasured Memory

    I am very excited about this giveaway and if I could enter I would!  How great to be able to take pictures from your Disney Vacation and have them transferred to a DVD and set to music!  Better yet how about 4 additional copies so that you can share with the grandparents and other family?!  This is valued at $225!!

    A little bit about Your Treasured Memory:

    For many years, my wife and I have been creating memorable photo montages and movies for both our children and to memorialize those close to us we have lost. During our family time together, our children often provide us with very memorable moments, whether it be by photo or video. In this technological era, we wanted to be sure as our children get older they are able to experience all the great time we have shared together. The movies and photo montages we have created, whether it be a trip to the park or a vacation to Disney World, will be something we will always treasure.

    Many families have wonderful photos and videos of the great times they shared together, but aren't sure how to put them together to create that lasting memory. Your Treasured Memory will take your videos and photos and create treasures that when viewed, will touch on so many emotions, it will be like you were experiencing everything all over again! Be sure to check out our Facebook page and our website http://yourtreasuredmemory.com/.

    The prize:
     
    A free 100 photo, photo montage DVD with no charge for music. The montage can include up to 5 mins of video and optional captions for photos and videos. I will also give the winner 4 additional DVD's for a total of 5. The DVD will include custom artwork.
     
    To enter:
     
    Mandatory entry - to enter this giveaway you must do the following:
    1. "Like" Your Treasure Memory on Facebook - be sure to tell us your name on facebook so we can confirm!
    2. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations Blog with Google Friends Connect - see it on the side bar!
    Comment ONCE for the mandatory entry!

    Additional Entries - up your chances to WIN!
    1. Follow Your Treasured Memory on Twitter - @YTMProductions - be sure to post your twitter handle so we know!
    2. "Like" Be Our Guest Vacations on Facebook - be sure to tell us your name so we can confirm!
    3. Follow Be Our Guest Vacations on Twitter - @BeOurGuestVacas - be sure to tell us your twitter handle so we know!
    4. Post about the giveaway on facebook and link the post here! (can be done daily)
    5. Tweet about the giveaway on twitter and post the link here! (can be done daily)
    Comment separately for EACH extra entry!

    Contest Ends May 1 at 11:59PM and the winner will be announced on Monday May 2!
    Good Luck!!!

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Facebook Fan Giveaway!!

    Ok so I am way late on doing this, but it is getting done and that's what matters, right?!

    So tomorrow is MY birthday and I want to celebrate by giving you great gifts!  Throughout the day tomorrow I will post the giveaways!  Winners will be drawn next week on Monday May 2.  All giveaways will end on May 1 at 11:159PM est.
    The rules - each giveaway post will have mandatory entries for you to win.  One is set by me and one is set by the sponsor that is being generous enough to donate a GREAT prize for you to enjoy!  For every giveaway my mandatory entry is that you follow the blog - if you are already doing so be sure to let me know and let me know the name by which you follow by.  There will also be extra ways for you to earn entries - think twitter and facebook!

    I can't wait to get this started!  I am very happy about the prizes being offered and really we all have thank some great sponsors for these gifts!  :-)

    The prizes will be posted tomorrow - so stay tuned and GOOD LUCK!!  :-)

    Have a Magical Day!

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    A New Home for Mickey!! Fastpass for Princesses too!!

    With Toon Town gone the Imaginears at Disney have come up with a fabulous new home for Mickey!  I wrote previously about the Fastpass to meet Mickey Mouse.  Well here are more details about his new home as well as the temporary new home for the Disney Princesses.  The Princesses will eventually move back into Fantasyland after the massive expansion is complete!

    Mickey Mouse has moved to a new location in Magic Kingdom® Park to meet and greet his friends at Walt Disney World® Resort. You now can go backstage at Town Square Theater for photos and autographs with Mickey – without waiting in a standby queue thanks to the first-ever use of Disney's FASTPASS Service for a character meet-and-greet experience.

    The Town Square Theater, located just inside the Magic Kingdom entrance, was previously known as Town Square Exposition Hall. The venue has been re-imagined as a turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century theater where posters proclaim Mickey Mouse as the star of a magic show. It is here that you can enter a queue to meet Magician Mickey Mouse, or a queue to meet the Disney princesses – for whom Town Square Theater will be a meet-and-greet location during New Fantasyland construction.

    The meet-and-greet experience begins when magical posters featuring Mickey's various magic acts come to life, enhancing your journey through queues into the backstage corridors of the theater. Mickey greets guests in a rehearsal-room environment amid posters, steamer trunks and stage props. It’s a classic backstage area with a wood floor and ceiling. One wall is brick, the others are papered in red and black – Mickey colors.

    During the Princesses' limited engagement at Town Square Theater, they are greeting guests in an area fit for royalty – replete with plush carpeting, lush velvety-blue drapes with gold tiebacks, and a large mural backdrop of a chateau amid green, tree-covered hills and fields.

    If you are wanting to meet Mickey or the Princesses you can either obtain a Disney's FASTPASS ticket or get in standby queues. FASTPASS tickets, which are available near Town Square Theater, designate an hour window of time during which the guest can return to the theater and have their "magic moment" with Mickey or the Princesses without joining the standby queues.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Disney on a Budget - Part 4

    We have covered so many ways to save!!  What more could there be.....

    1.) Free Fun In Disney! This is a regular feature in the blog of all the fun and free, or pretty darn cheap, things there are to do in Disney!  There are more than you realize, so be sure to check out the past postings on this and see what more is to come.  Not everything costs money...I promise!  :-)

    2.) Save your change for kids spending money. Before we head to WDW I have a big bucket.  The kids call it our coin bucket - it's actually a Disney Popcorn Bucket from a past trip! - and we put all of our spare change in there.  I won't use change ever when paying, I always break the dollar and then put the change every week from my purse into the coin bucket.  It really gets the kids involved too!  Mine know that Disney is not a cheap thrill, that we have to save to go.  Then right before we go we head to the bank and exchange our change and single dollar bills too and that is split between the kids and that is there spending money.  There are so many things they will want and it gets to be rather expensive, so having their own money makes them think a little more.  We started when my daughter was 2.5 with this.  Now she didn't completely get it, but I did and it stopped me from spoiling her!

    3.) Free Ice Water.  You can get free glasses of ice water at most counter service restaurants!  Refill that water bottle with some free water on a hot day!!  Can't beat free!!  And honestly the tap water is not bad at all!

    Star Tours - The Adventure Continues - Opening May 20

    The Star Wars themed ride was in SERIOUS need of an overhaul.  In fact on most of my trips to Hollywood Studios I found the ride with little to no wait.  My husband - a HUGE Star Wars fan - didn't even like going on it anymore, said it was boring.  So I am excited to share that the ride has been shut down for quite some time and will be reopening in a couple weeks with MAJOR improvements!!  Just in time for Star Wars Weekend!  :-)  (Didn't book yet?  Book today...it's not too late!)

    On May 20, 2011, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney will combine once again to create an unforgettable new Star Wars™ adventure: Star Tours®–The Adventures Continue–now in 3D at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®!


    While visiting that “galaxy far, far away,” you will experience a new story, plus a chance to fly with some of their favorite characters like C-3PO, R2-D2, Princess Leia and even Darth Vader! You’ll never know which of these classic characters will appear during this flight to the furthest reaches of the universe.

    Plus, you’ll travel the galaxy like never before in the all-new Starspeeder 1000!

    Glide among the trees with Wookiees on Kashyyyk, kick up some sand across the desert in a podrace on Tatooine and even submerge into the lake waters of Naboo. Or, weave through the busy city planet of Coruscant, blast through the blizzards of Hoth and even explore the trenches of the Death Star! With multiple ways to experience each flight, you will never know where the Force might take you! And with each adventure, you can see the Star Wars™ universe in an all new way…in 3D!

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Free Shipping with Disney Parks Purchase!!


    Getting ready to head to Disney World and you want to pack a goddy bag of surprises for your prince or princess?  Well now you can and you can get FREE shipping too!!!  From now until April 20th you can get FREE shipping at disneystore.com for your entire order with any purchase of Disney Parks Merchandise.  Just enter PARKSFREE when you are at the check out.  Items start at just $2.95! 



    Click above and let the shopping begin!!

    Magical Monday!!

    Hi friends!!

    So here we are at another Monday and boy do I have my work cut out for me this week.  Usually I have a bunch of stuff prewritten and ready to go, but I have been busy and well I slacked, so the blog may be a bit lacking this week, but I am trying to get things put together!

    This weekend was a fun one.  My nephew and godson celebrated his first birthday!  Such a cute little guy and we loved celebrating with him on Saturday!  I cannot believe he is a year old already....(here comes an overused mommy phrase) Where does the time go????  Then on Sunday we headed to a baby shower for my cousin.  Celebrating life and new life all over the place!  Love it!!

    Be Our Guest Vacations got a reservation transfer as well this week!!  YAY!  Did you know that if you have already booked your Disney Vacation you can simply transfer it over to little old me?  Well you can.  And as I said it is a simple process!  I have already contacted Disney and got the DL on how to do it!  I even made up a Word Doc that I will send to you in the event that you want to transfer it to me (and why wouldn't you??? LOL) and all you have to do is fill in the blanks, sign and fax it!  And you get a $25 Disney Gift Card!!  So easy transfer, FREE help and $25?!  You can't beat it!!!

    Our facebook page has hit 300+ fans and that means it is giveaway time!!  I am busily working on the behind the scenes of all of that.  It is my first ever giveaway (YAY!) and I am still learning.  I am working on the post and getting the photos and info from are AWESOME sponsors now!!  Here are the prizes you can expect - a Disney Gift Card, a Photo Memories DVD set to music with 4 additional copies (a $225 value!!), two beautiful hand crafted bracelets from a fellow Disney blogger, a special crafted Disney autograph book - one of a kind for sure, and so fun Disney styled ribbons or ribbon belts from a good friend of mine who is super crafty!!  I really think you will like them all and I am excited to introduce it all to you soon!  There will be multiple winners and multiple ways to enter, so stay tuned to here and the Facebook page!

    Lastly - did you know you can book your Disney vacation and pay for it on layaway?  That's right!!  You don't have to pay in full when you book.  You simply need to put down $200 to secure your trip and then pay as you can - minimum of $20.  This is how we do it as we don't use credit cards.  So we put down what we felt comfortable with - the deposit - and then which each pay check we make a payment we are comfortable with.  The final payment has to be made 45 days before you trip begins.  For example we are going 9/24/11 and our final payment is due 8/10/11.

    Well that is all for now!!  Happy Monday everyone!!!!  Make it Magical!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Favorite Rides

    This weeks Featured Ride....well I am going to leave the Magic Kingdom and head over to Hollywood Studios.  For those familiar with the parks you may be able to guess what ride I am going to write about this week, for those not too familiar well here it is.....

    Toy Story (Midway) Mania

    Definitely one of the most popular rides in all of the Disney parks!  Our family one and all loves this 3D fun!  Officially called Toy Story Midway Mania, most will simply call it Toy Story Mania.  This is a ride for the whole family - no height requirement!  Get ready to compete with your family and friends and other rides from the day to get the high score.  Men LOVE this ride - especially those that like video games.  Lines are ALWAYS long and since it is so popular Disney's Fastpass is available but usually runs out very early in the day!

    What I love about this ride...For one I love that it is a ride for the whole family.  Another big plus, is that Disney took into account that the ride is super popular and made most of the queue is indoors and Mr. Potato Head is there to provide entertainment!  While a Fastpass is obviously ideal, like I said they are gone very quickly, we have waited in the line - 90 minutes one time!  It is worth it though.  If you can't get a fastpass and you are not going back into Hollywood Studios PLEASE make sure you get on this!  Wait in the line.  We also LOVE the whole ride itself - warning, it whips you around a bit, so hold on.  Hop on in your ride vehicle, put on your glasses and grab the rope and get serious about it all.  My husband and I definitely fight for top score!  Winner gets big time bragging rights and will guarantee that the others you are with will want to ride again!

    What is the ride all about...Toy Story Mania was the big addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios back in 2008.  (In fact it officially opened on my 5th wedding anniversary!)  It is located in Pixar Place, themed after the Pixar Studios Campus in California.  Across from the ride is a character meet and greet with your favorite Toy Story Characters - Woody and Buzz!  You will ride in a vehicle that holds four, one of the reasons I think the lines are so long is the time it takes to load and unload the vehicles.  You will then be taken through a array of classic carnival games - all down virtually of course.  Think pie throwing, dart tossing, egg toss, baseball breaking of plates, ring toss and shooting gallery!  This ride is just so much fun!  

    Get ready to ride, play and have fun!  There isn't another ride like it!  All in all, one of our favorites, definitely one of my husband's favorite rides - so much so that we got to the DHS at opening for the rope drop so he could ride one more time before his afternoon flight home!  It is fun for kid AND adults!

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Disney Nature - African Cats

    Recently my kids and I watched Disney Nature's Oceans.  They really enjoyed it!  If you haven't seen it you should check it out for sure.  Here is a clip:

    Coming out this Friday is the newest Disney Nature Film - African Cats.  My kids recently saw the poster when we were at the movie theater and it just so happened it was the day after we had watched Oceans.  Both asked to go see it, so we are going to try and go on the 22nd!

    It will be released on Earth Day - April 22, 2011 - and a portion of the ticket sales from that day will go towards helping the Savannas that these beautiful cats call home.  Here is the trailer:
     

    It looks really good...will you be going to see this?  Have you seen the others - Earth and Oceans?  I haven't seen Earth yet, but after seeing Oceans I really want to!

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Resort Review - Saratoga Springs

    For our first new format of the Resort Reviews I am going to tell you a bit more about - Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. 

    Here is a short video tour (these will still be a part of the reviews as long as I can find them) courtesy of Disney Parks Media.

    Some facts -
    • Website: Saratoga Springs Information Page
    • Category:  Deluxe Villas Resort
    • Location: Downtown Disney Area
    • Pricing: From $305 per night
    • Rooms Available:
      • Studio - sleeps 4
      • One Bedroom Villa - sleeps 4
      • Two Bedroom Villa - sleeps 8
      • 3/4 Bedroom Grand Villa - sleeps 12
      • Treehouse Villa - sleeps 9
    Have I personally stayed here? 
    Yes - we have stayed here 3 times now.  Twice in a studio and once in a two bedroom villa.  Each time we have stayed in the same area - The Grandstand.  We like the location as far as not being in the busy part of the main building of the resort, but we were close enough to walk easily to the main building.  We had a nice pool right outside our room, but again we were just a short walk to the main pool.  It was a great location.

    Here is a look at a map of the resort - as you can see it is large and spread out.  Similar to a moderate in layout.
     

    What I like about it:
     We are big fans of the upstate New York and travel to Lake George every summer.  Lake George is just a short drive to Saratoga.  We really like the look and atmosphere of the resort.  Our rooms were very nice and spacious.  The decoration was simple and elegant and the colors were soothing.  The studio was the perfect size for our family of four plus my mother - my son was just 3 months, so we were allowed to have 5 in the room.  When we went and stayed in the 2 bedroom, well I just cannot say enough about how much I LOVED all the space.  It was awesome!

    The pool by the Grandstand section that we stayed in was very nice and relaxing.  There is a small area for the kids to play here and a drink station.  The laundry area was also located right by the pool, all in all a great location.  We had a car, but I also liked that we were the first picked up on the bus when going to the parks and the first dropped off coming back.  The main pool is fantastic!  There is a great "big kid" slide - although any age can go on it - even Moms and Dads!  They also have a "little kid" slide, which my, at the time 2.5 year old, daughter really liked.  The main pool is also a zero entry pool, which is always nice for the little ones.

    The quick service dining option is very nice and has great choices, with specials every night.  At the tables they have easels with crayons to keep the kiddos busy while you are finishing up eating.

    What I didn't like:
    I don't particularly care for the location of the resort.  It's not that it is far from everything because it really is not, but I don't know why.  I guess it is just a preference.  Maybe it is that it is so close to being off Disney property and that makes it a mind over matter thing, who knows!  I really don't, but as I have said many times before picking a resort is such a personal decision, and this just goes to show how true that is.

    I also don't care for the fact that it is set up like a moderate - meaning very large, outside entry (you don't enter a lobby and go down halls to your room and take elevators, etc.  But instead enter motel style with your room's main entry outdoors.) and lots of bus stops.  This is not something that can be changed, but just something I don't care for - again no rhyme or reason.  I guess it is just when I am paying deluxe prices I expect deluxe accomodations, and that is not just the room, but all of what the resort has to offer.  I guess this is why I researched so much and found the Grandstand building to be the one I always request and cross my fingers to get when I stay here.  This way I don't have to experience the largeness of the resort.  I know it is a long bus ride to the park with it being the first stop, BUT you have a seat and I would rather have the long ride there then the longer ride coming back from a long park day.  Again just my opinion.

    Lastly - there is not enough seating in the quick service place at all and it is very congested in the ordering area.  Food is good, as I mentioned, and there is a pretty good selection.  The store, which is connected to the quick service, sharing registers (problem right there) is small and has a very small selection. 

    Would I stay there again?
    For the right price, probably.  I swore after the first time that I wouldn't, but it really is nice and if I get a good deal I will take it, any day.  However it will never be my first choice, probably not even my second or third.  But be sure to look at all the information that I have shared at the beginning here.  This could be the PERFECT resort for you and your family.  :-)

    Is this the right resort for you?  Well if it is and you were thinking of traveling to Disney this summer then book TODAY!!  Currently Deluxe Villas are some of the only rooms that are part of the only special available right now!  Check out the special offer here. 

    Are you a fan of this resort?  I would love to get another opinion, as I am sure others here would as well!  Please email me at info@beourguestvacations.net with your review of the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa and I will post it here!