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!   

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Free Fun in Disney!

    Ok so this one isn't exactly FREE, but it is a pretty cheap and fun way to get the kids souvenirs without spending tons of money.  My two LOVE getting the pressed pennies. 

    The machines are all over the place and part of the fun is finding them, but if you want a cheat sheet for where to find all the fun here is a list with locations made up by AllEarsNet.com - go here.  Now get out your 2 quarts and one shiny new penny and get to pressing! 

    There are two types of machines - Here is a picture of one of them:
    Push a button and the machine does all the work!
    The other machine has a handle that you crank yourself and presses the penny.  Here it is:
    Notice the crank - you turn this yourself - don't worry it's easy!!
    So while researching this I found more info then I ever thought I would!!  I never realized there was such a cult like following for the elongated coin, ec, or what I call the pressed penny!  There are websites out there with information galore!  But here are a few of the things I found out that I liked the most.  I will start by telling you the links to the two best sites I found and then cover my favorites from them!  The two sites are -Penny Collector and Park Pennies

    Ok now what did those sites have to say...

    Well the Penny Collector gave some great tips on cleaning and the types of pennies to use!  Yes there are certain years to use!  Weird!  So they recommend using a pre 1982 penny because they start to contain zinc after 1982.  Now for those that are not hard core collectors you may not care, but for others the zinc under the copper is noticeable and they don't like it - the choice is yours, you have been warned!  :-)

    If you want your penny to really shine after all those years of use there are some cleaning tips you can try.  I am just going to link right to it.  I haven't tried any of this, but I think I am going to be more organized with all of it on our next trip as this is an activity my kids really do enjoy and I hate searching for the perfect penny in my wallet!  Cleaning Tips

    Now here is a great idea and one I am going to implement on my next trip - a carrying case!  Ok we buy the pressed penny booklets that they sell down in Disney.  This is a great way to display and hold on to them after you have completed them, although not a required element to the fun!  BUT as I mentioned above this is an activity my kids really enjoy so I want to try and be more organized for it when we go next.  Well a reader submitted a tip to the Penny Collector site - use the M&M minis container.  My plan is to clean them all up and then let the kids decorate them with Disney stickers!  Then you can stack 2 quarters and one penny in there so when they get to a penny press they simply get their container, and they can easily pull out the right amount of coins!  Super tip!!  :-)  Here are more storing tips.

    Ok now on the Park Pennies site they have a fairly updated list of where to find penny presses around Walt Disney World.  And the great thing is it is a PDF and you can print it out and take it with you!  They also have a map! And an even more updated list can be found here at Presscoins.com - The Unoffical Guide to Walt Disney World Pressed Coins.

    Ok I think that more than covers it!  Trust me I had no clue this would be this FULL of information, but alas it is because like everything with Disney there is usually a following of some sort.  :-) 

    Happy Coin Collecting!!!  Be sure to share your tips for this fun activity!!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Adventures by Disney - Webcast

    Have you always wanted to go on an Adventures By Disney Vacation, but you didn't know what it was or what it involved?  Or maybe you don't even know what an Adventure by Disney Vacation is. 

    Hey I'll be honest, I am still learning about it!  But Disney is offering a invitation only webcast - and you are invited!!


    I am attending on the 19th and very excited to learn more.  Many of the destinations they go I want to go to one day!  If you have any interest in taking one of these amazing vacations be sure to check out the webcast!  Multiple days and times available.

    Keep the Magic Alive!!!

    So you want to know more ways to live the Disney Magic at home when you are really missing your happy place!  I tell you knowing I have a trip planned always helps - hint hint...wink wink!!  ;-)

    But I digress!  My kids and I LOVE watching video clips on our computer from past trips, but if you don't have that there is always YouTube and Disney Parks has a channel there.  Although there is plenty to see from many others as well!!  Here are two videos that we watch at least once daily!  In fact they are in my daughter's favorites folder that we have set up on the computer!!  :-)

     
    Model Day at the Magic Kingdom - Disney Parks channel
    Model Day at Epcot - Disney Parks Channel

    I also love watching videos people post of the fireworks and my new favorite is the World of Color, which is only in Disneyland in California.  We haven't been there, but definitely a bucket list item!  That is a 27 minute video though, so I will let you watch that on youtube.  Here's the link to it - World of Color.

    Enjoy and go ahead and search for some of your favorites and feel the excitement and try to pretend you are there!!  In the videos I posted here the kids and I like to pretend and point and say - ohh look there we are!  Have fun and happy viewing!!

    How do you keep the magic alive once you get home?

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Resort Review - Changes to the format...

    Ok I am going to start doing this a little different.  More like a fact sheet with a brief review from me.  :-)  Kinda like how I am doing the favorite rides.  I was just a bit overwhelmed with the reviews I was doing and I know that I cannot go as in depth with them all.  I was able to get all that information on the Pop and Wilderness Lodge because those are the ones that we have stayed at most recently and were so fresh in my mind.  I am very open to guest reviews and will be happy to copy and paste some into the postings with credit to you! 

    Please contact me if this is something you would be interested in doing.  :-)  I am thinking a small paragraph about what you liked/didn't like.  Email me the information to info@beourguestvacations.net.  Don't be afraid to say both positive and negative.  Resort choices are a very personal thing, so really just because one person LOVES it, someone else may really hate it!  Thanks so much!!!

    Magical...Tuesday!!

    Hi there everyone!

    So I was so busy working on the website that I forgot to do my Magical Monday post!  Soooo here it is a day late!  Usually I schedule my posts for regular stuff, BUT since this is something I also share the latest stuff on I do it live.

    Well this past weekend was a crazy one!  We had some moving to finish up - always such fun - and unpacking to do!  But now that is done and I can sigh with relief!  Ahhhh!  On Sunday we went to see the Imagination Movers!  It was a fantastic show!  The kids really loved every minute of it.  I am hoping for them to come again to the area soon.  We were able to get a great deal on the tickets through Groupon.com.  Our seats were in the orchestra level and we were right on the aisle, so the kids were able to easily get up and dance.  The Movers put on a great show!  They try and do some little things here and there for us grown ups and even my husband - who is not a fan of kids music and shows - thought it was well done and enjoyable!  Check out the Imagination Movers on Facebook!  (NOTE: We paid for the tickets on our own and were not given free passes or asked to write a review on the show.  These are my own thoughts and are not influenced in any way by the Imagination Movers.)

    So as some of you saw on my facebook page and on here my website has launched!!  Be sure to go over and check it out - www.beourguestvacations.NET!  Be sure to use .net and NOT .com!  The .com Be Our Guest Vacations is my dear dear friend in AK that decided to start a business of the same name a couple months ago...fun!  (Not gonna rehash that...to read more about that oh so fun experience go here.)  I am very proud of all the work I have put into it so far!  I have done it all myself, so please take a minute and check it out!

    As for the blog, well the giveaway is just around the corner!  We are at 285 likes on FB!  If you haven't liked us yet...wait what?!  Ok I forgive you, well if you haven't be sure to like us - I have made it easy - just click the like button on the sidebar right here on this page!  Once we hit the 300 likes the giveaway will be under way.  I am in the midst of organizing prizes now!  My friend at Chesapeake Ribbons is going to giving away Disney themed bows that she makes.  She is incredibly talented, so be sure to check out her site!  We are discussing having her do special bows for those that book trips with me!  She also makes ribbon belts - so the boys can have a little something too as well as handbands, key fobs, and dog collars!! 

    Many in the Disney universe got all up in arms thinking that Disney was going to announce free dining on the 8th of April.  It didn't happen.  I for one mentioned the rumor here, but I was never 100% sold on it.  The latest rumor is it will be announced this Friday...I don't buy it.  I DO think it will be announced, but I just don't know when.  When I know you will know - promise!! 

    Well that is all the news for Be Our Guest Vacations today!!  If you haven't already check out Part 3 of Disney on a Budget and Tuesday Tip!

    What have you been up to?

    Tuesday Tip - Simple Princess Packing!

    Now this may not help all of you, but for those of you with Princesses out there that are HUGE fans of the Princesses and have their Princess dresses, this tip is for you!

    If your Princess is like mine, we can't just bring ONE Princess dress.  We have to bring the whole wardrobe.  Emma has - Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella, and Minnie.  She has an occasion to wear them all - in her mind anyway - so she just can't choose.  And when I am packing for a vacation we are all super excited for the last thing I feel like is a fight over which one to leave behind.  So I searched for answers online.  I don't remember where I saw it, but someone had this AWESOME idea!

    Fold them up and put them in a freezer bag - one or two per bag and then take a straw and suck out all the air.  Now they will take up much less space!  When you get there take them out immediately and hang them up.  They will pretty much be wrinkle free and they won't take up a ton of space in your bags!!  Everyone is happy....especially your little Princess!!

    My son doesn't really have any outfits that are must haves for WDW, but he does have a Buzz outfit that if he wanted to bring I bet this would work too!!

    Happy packing!!!

    Website Launched!!!

    Hi there my loyal Disney fans!

    Well it isn't all the way done. I am trying to figure out how to get rid of the green at the bottom, and I have some more content to add, but here it is the start of the new site!! I am excited for you all to see it and to give me some feedback on what you think of it.

    Brand NEW Be Our Guest Vacations Website

    I hope you like it.  I published it at 2:30AM!  And they did warn me that it can take some time for it to launch completely, but hopefully it is there and looking good!  I want to figure out how to add more music and such, but anyway....go look, leave feedback here!  I won't be insulted...well maybe a little, but I won't hold it against you!  ;-)

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Disney Salutes Our Military....

    With this special offer!  (The following information is from disneyworld.com)

    $138 4-Day Park Hopper Tickets for Members of the U.S. Military

    Walt Disney World Resort is saluting U.S. military personnel by offering 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for just $138 each, now through September 28, 2011. For just $27 more, both the Park Hopper and Water Parks, Fun & More option may be added.
    For information regarding Military Promotional Tickets or to make room reservations, military personnel may call (407) 939-7830 or contact participating U.S. military base ticket offices.
    The actual prices charged at U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.
      *4-Day Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible U.S. military personnel or their spouse for just $138. There is a 6 ticket limit. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. 

    Save up to 40% at select Disney Resorts for Members of the U.S. Military

    Special savings on select Walt Disney World Resort hotels! Active and retired U.S. military personnel can take up to 40% off when booking travel dates prior to September 28, 2011.


    I called Disney the other day and I can book the room and even add the dining for you, but you have to get the tickets for yourself at your local base.  If you have questions or would like to book this deal let me know and lets get you to Disney!!

    Disney on a Budget - Part 3

    Be sure to check out the first two parts of Disney on a Budget - Part 1 and Part 2.

    Now let's get down to business.  So I have told you about using a vacation planner (me), about the meal plans, about planning your meals (this is mainly if you are not on the meal plan), about your kids age - go before 3 when they are still free and before 10 when they are still "kids" - resort options and resort seasons.  Ok so what are this weeks 3 tips....

    1.) Transportation.  Did you know that by staying on Disney property you can save quite a bit on transportation?  Airline transfers to your resort can be very costly!  For a family of four - 2 adults and 2 children - you are looking at around $100 to ride on a shuttle that makes stops other places.  Think of what you could do with that $100!  By staying onsite at a value resort - which is usually comparable in price to the off site resorts and you get the Magic 24/7! - or any resort onsite you can take advantage of Disney's Magical Express.  This is a FREE service provided by Disney to get you to and from the airport.  They will even get your luggage for you!!  Also when staying on property you get the use of the Disney transportation system.  Really anyone with a park ticket can utilize their internal transportation, but it really benefits those on property since it takes you to and from your resort hotel.  This is not about staying on or off site though, right?  So lets say you thought you saved money by staying off site and you got a rental car because well you are renting a house and well you get the idea - did you add the cost of the rental that you wouldn't have needed had you been on site to the money you thought you saved?  Rental cars are around $150-$200 a week for a sedan!  Now there is gas and oh yeah parking - $12 a day last I was there!!  A day!!  So you are there for 7 days - That is almost $300!!  Yikes!  So save a little by staying on site and getting free transportation for a week!  :-)

    2.) Bring it from home. There are SO many items you can bring from home instead of buying there.  And if you have been before pack it and bring it with you for that next trip - think light up spinning toys, one only needs so many of them!!  What we bring from home - T-shirts bought at the Disney Store (much cheaper than the ones in the park, although we usually get one on the trip), Light up Spinny Toy things...you know what I am talking about :-), Tylenol or any medicine really (you never know if you will need it and it costs a fortune there), Misty Fan, Hand held fans, etc.  We also drive down so we buy a case of water outside of the parks and keep it in a cooler in our room and bring our own water into the parks and our own snacks.  If you don't have a car - did you know you can ship stuff to the resort?  Yup you can do this!  Check shipping prices before as it may be more costly than buying down there and I have never done it.  But I know those that have - if not water definitely snacks and meds and stuff of the like. 

    3.) Park Tickets. Well there isn't much wiggle room here, but a few years ago Disney did decide to give us choices.  They call the tickets Magic Your Way for a reason!  :-)  First of all they have them tiered so that the more days you are there the cheaper they are per day.  For instance currently a one day base ticket is $82/day and a 10 day ticket is $26.20/day or $262 for an adult.  Now of course they are doing this to entice you to stay longer and you will spend more by doing so!  One option, that I spoke about in a previous post, is the park hopper.  This is one I always get, but it is not a necessity and can save you a couple hundred dollars to not add on - it is $54 a ticket.  So bear this in mind and know there are ways to save on this must have!

    What are your tips for saving on Disney???

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Favorite Rides

    So last week I started posting about rides...in particular my favorite rides and as I mentioned there I really don't have a non-favorite (is that a word) ride!  So I may even have to do this more often than once a week as it will go on FOREVER!  :-)

    My featured ride this week is........not going to be for everyone.....but we LOVE it anyway.....and our whole family can finally go on it!

    Splash Mountain



    This is usually the one of our firsts when visiting the Magic Kingdom.  The kids love it and so do I.  Funny story - when I was a kid I was TERRIFIED of anything that was considered a thrill ride.  This included Splash Mountain, but I went on it anyway.  It is so much more than just a log flume ride.  I was scared, yes, but I got off and wanted to go on again just to enjoy all the fun that it has to offer.  And nothing is like that first time you ride it!

    What I love about this ride...We love the theme and the soundtrack of this great ride.  A downside - it has a height requirement.  You must be 40 inches to ride this ride and they strictly measure.  Don't try and trick them with high hair or big shoes, etc they know the tricks! (Why do I mention this?  Because people do it...I know I know!)  BUT the plus you can utilize the Rider Switch so no worries if you have a little one!  Be warned that there is a BIG drop and several smaller drops throughout the ride, so if you have a child that will be truly terrified of this take that into account.  This is one of the things I love about it.  So much fun!  What I hated as a kid I love now and luckily so do my kiddos!  The music on this ride and the fact that it is more than just your normal log flume ride is, I think, what makes it so special.  I don't want to spoil much of this ride for those that have never rode it because well...like I said there is nothing like that first ride!!

    What is this ride all about...Themed after the Disney Movie Song of the South Splash Mountain tells the story of Br'er Rabbit as he gets chased by Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear and as he outsmarts them.  You "land" in several different parts of the story and are serenaded by great songs - How do you do?, Everybody Has a Laughing Place, and Zip-a-dee Do-dah. (A Disney classic!)

    The ride is located in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom.  The Walt Disney World Railroad station is right next to it and looks into the Zip-a-dee Do-dah section of the ride.  One of the most popular rides in the park, it is equipped with Disney's Fastpass.  Especially in the summer and hot times in Disney the line can be long, so be sure to get a fastpass!  You will get WET!!  (Which is why my husband is not really a fan!)  They close the ride every January, so take that into account.  One year they did an extended closure that I hadn't known about when booking a trip for February.  Knowing it is my daughter's favorite ride I pushed our trip back by a few days to be sure it would be open when we were there.  This past closure they added lap bars for safety.  Also I have been told that they disabled the cannon that shot water on to boats really soaking you, not sure if this is true or not!

    A NEW Larger Family Friendly Resort!

    Yup that's right Disney is building another Value Resort!  One with over 1000 family suites!  It will be based on Animation and I think it all sounds very exciting!  Read on...

    From Disney:

    Scheduled to open in May 2012, Disney's Art of Animation Resort hotel promises to be the ultimate in family fun. This Value Resort is planned to feature over one thousand family suites, specially designed to accommodate up to six guests, as well as standard guestrooms. The Resort hotel will draw its inspiration from four classic Disney Animated films: The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Disney·Pixar's Finding Nemo and Cars.

    Booking dates for this family-friendly resort have not been announced yet. Please continue to check back for more information and details.

    Back to me:

    I cannot wait for this resort to open!!  Owen AND Emma will love it here!  Here are a few artist renderings of the resort and some more information!




    General Information:












    There will be 1,120 family suites that will sleep up to six guests and 864 guest rooms that will sleep up to four guests.  Dining options will include a pool bar at the main pool, a food court area, and pizza delivery to your room from 4pm to midnight.  There will be 3 pools,  the main pool will be located in the Finding Nemo courtyard and will include a water play area.




    I am VERY excited to try out this resort in 2012!  How about you???

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    A Fastpass to Meet Mickey Mouse?!

    Sounds too good to be true, but it's not!  No longer will you have to wait in a LONG line to meet Mickey!  I know we have been many times and the line for Mickey is always so long.  We never stand in it, we just see Mickey at a character meal.  But to be able to have a Fastpass and meet him would be so fun for the kids...and yes me too!!  :-)

    Later this spring, face-to-face meetings with Mickey Mouse will move into a permanent new location at Town Square Theater, located inside the current Exposition Hall area at the entrance of Magic Kingdom® Park.
    You will be able to obtain a Disney's FASTPASS® ticket specifying a one-hour window when you can return to see the popular character for hugs, photos and autographs -- without waiting in the standby queue. This marks the first time the complimentary, computerized service has been utilized for a character meet-and-greet at any Disney Park.

    Inspired by animated shorts such as The Nifty Nineties and Mickey's Grand Opera, this building befits Mickey's stardom -- with a grand-Victorian-theater elevation, including a marquee that glistens with gold-leaf trim and sparkles with lights. Inside, there's a mosaic floor, lush curtains with gold rope tie-backs and polished-brass chandeliers.

    Imagineers are creating new elements and surprises for you, including an interactive queue -- with an extra touch of Disney magic -- and highly themed retail shops.

    Ohhhh.....I cannot wait until September!!!

    Resort Review - Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Hello everyone!  Welcome to another edition of my resort review!  Today I am going to talk about the Animal Kindgom Lodge and Villas. 

    I have only stayed here once and it is a SUPER popular place to stay.  I really enjoyed my stay here and I think I will do it again at some point.  It has its pluses and minuses.  But all in all it is fantastic!  Lets start with a great video tour of the resort, as always, provided from by http://www.travelriggers.co.uk/.  (AllEarsNet didn't have a video of this fabulous resort yet!)


    But they did have a video of the Kidani Village - the all new villa section!  Check it out!

    
    
    AKL Jambo House Lobby - photo courtesy of AllEarsNet.com
    
    The theming is obviously completley different than the Wilderness Lodge Resort that I reviewed previously, but you can see that the entrance and lobby are a similar design.  The Animal Kingdom Lodge's lobby is grand and inviting.  The African theming and music is exceptional.  Off the lobby you will and entrance to an outdoor viewing area of the savanna as well as many halls that you can walk down. (They take you to the guest rooms.)  Take a walking tour of the resort and you will see that there are several locations to look out on the savanna and see animals - giraffes, zebras, etc. - roaming freely.  This has to be one of the coolest things about this resort and a reason to stay here or at least pay it a visit while you are in Disney!

    The main building of the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the Jambo House.  This is the original portion of the resort, built back in 2001.  A few years ago Disney decided to add villas to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The first converted several of the regular guest rooms over in Jambo House.  While this was being done, construction was also taking place on a whole new section of the resort - the Kidani Village.  These are all strictly Villas - studios, one and two bedrooms.  It is about a 10 minute walk in between the two buildings - important to know since the Kidani building does NOT have a quick service restaurant. 


    
    Jambo House Main Pool - photo courtesy AllEarsNet.com
    The two main pools at the Animal Kingdom Lodge are incredible!!  The Jambo House Pool features a zero entry - great for the little ones to sit in play in an inch of water!  There is also a water slide featured with this pool.  Around you, you will also find viewing areas of the Savanna.  My daughter and I were swimming here one day and walked over to our chairs and looked out and there were two giraffes eatting from a tree!  It was so cool!!  

    
    Kidani Village Pool - photo courtesy AllEarsNet.com
    
    Over at the Kidani Village you will find a pool area that is out of this world!!  The kids will love it!  I know mine did!  The one minus, if there is one, about this pool area is it's location.  To get to it you have to walk out the lobby and down past the valet area.  It isn't that it is a long walk, it is just the walk itself and that it isn't convienent that I found to be a downer, but the pool area more than makes up for that!  This is one of the few pools on resort property that is off limits for pool hopping - which is ONLY allowed to DVC members! 
    Water Play Area at Kidani Village Pool - Photo Courtesy of AllEarsNet.com
    There are different room view options at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - standard view, pool view, and Savanna view.  If  you are going to spend the money and you have it to spend - do the savanna view!  We stayed in a standard view and looked at an oh so lovely parking lot.  One night we got to stay in a savanna view and WOW it was AWESOME!!  Like the Wilderness Lodge they have an option to have bunk beds in your room, which is nice with kids since it gives you more floor space., plus what kid doesn't LOVE bunk beds!!

    If you have ever dreamed of visiting Africa, but aren't sure how to swing it, give the Animal Kingdom Lodge a try!  I don't think you will regret it!!  For more great information about this resort check out the following links - More Pictures!, Fact Sheet, Kidani Village Fact Sheet

    Is this the resort for you?  Have you stayed here before?  Let us know below your thoughts on the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    New Interactive Queues Enhance Your Experience!

    Walt Disney Imagineering recently unveiled a new interactive queue at the Haunted Mansion attraction at Magic Kingdom® Park.
    Here's a Sneak Peek!!

    You can now view a new story line inspired by some of your favorite characters, previously seen only inside the Haunted Mansion. Throughout the interactive queue, you will find new crypts and other “spooky” sights, as well as tombstones with witty epitaphs to the dearly departed, such as “Drink A Toast To Our Friend Ken, Fill Your Glass And Don’t Say ‘When.’”
    This Haunted Mansion revamp is one of several enhancements being made to queue lines throughout the Park to help increase interactivity during your waits.

    The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction in Fantasyland also recently received some queue enhancements. A towering honey tree now welcomes you at the entrance of the new queue, which younger guests are welcome to climb through and explore. Later on, you can communicate with a timid Piglet, stomp your feet to scare pesky gophers out of Rabbit’s garden, drum a tune on Rabbit’s fruit and ensure Pooh has plenty of delicious honey to look forward to by guiding honeybees on your journey to and from beehives. You can even draw pictures in walls of virtual honey poured by Pooh himself – all before setting foot on the attraction.

     
    Have you been or will you be going soon???  I can't wait to check these out this fall!