‘Twas the Night Before Our Disney Trip

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Winnie the Stew Christmas1
‘Twas the Night Before Our Disney Trip

By: Winnie the Stew

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‘Twas the night before our Disney Trip,
When all through the house,
Every creature was readying to see a mouse.

The suitcases where placed by the front door with care;
With hopes that a ride to the airport soon would be there.

The children were wound up and jumping on beds;
While visions of Space Mountain danced in their heads.

Mama in her Tink PJs and I, in my Goofy Tee,
Had just settled in to check the PC.

With what do my vacation-mode eyes do I view;
But my FastPass confirmations and Advance Dining Reservations, too!

When out in the hall there was a sudden commotion,
I opened the door to see our kids in motion.

“Go to bed little ones for we need our rest;
I know you’re excited but we want to be at our best.

Park hopping, long lines and character meetings await;
Don’t you want this Disney vacation to be great?”

As they scuttled to their rooms they squealed with delight…
“Magical dreams to all… and to all a good night!”
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Wishing you love, peace and magic this holiday!
-Winnie

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Will MyMagic+ Make Your Disney Vacation a Little More Magical?

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MyMagic+ Kit

MyMagic+ Kit

Are you a meticulous Disney vacation planner like me? Then you may absolutely LOVE the new MyMagic+ process of Disney vacationing.

Our next trip is scheduled for the Spring of 2014, and we just received our MyMagic+ starter kit in the mail.

The kit included the following:

  • An introduction leaflet to the packet
  • Personalized booklet with information about the process, planning tips and important dates for your trip. (In the photo, the little Mickey ears are strategically placed over our last name.)
  • USB Flash Drive
The flash drive lights up!

The flash drive lights up!

Upon plugging in the flash drive….my eyes widened as I watched that thing light up. The flash drive is reminiscent of the MyMagic+ Mickey icon that we will now see throughout the parks.

The flash drive takes you to a welcome video starring Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” and a knowledgable computer friend. Edna introduces viewers to the MagicBand; a bracelet that guests of the resort will be wearing throughout their vacation.

The MagicBand will serve as your Disney Resort room key, admission ticket, dining plan card, FastPass, and can be used to make purchases at onsite shops, food vendors and restaurants.

The second part of the welcome video takes viewers to the MyDisneyExperience website to begin planning. You will need to login with your established Disney.com username and password. If you do not have one, you can easily set it up through the link.

Once you are logged in, you will be shown instructions on how to link your hotel and dining reservations to the MagicBands. You will also have the option of selecting your MagicBand color and the name you wish to be printed on the bracelet in order to further personalize your experience.

Two months prior to your vacation, you are permitted to start making FastPass selections.
This is a newly introduced process that allows guests to select their FastPasses for each day of their vacation in the parks.

Currently, you are permitted 3 FastPasses daily:

1 FastPass for what they are calling a Tier 1 ride (rides that are the most sought after in the FastPass world)

and

2 FastPasses in a Tier 2 category (rides that are less crowded)

I am also hearing that you are only allowed to select FastPasses for one park each day…..so park hopping won’t grant additional passes.

This tier system is something new that Disney is trying since the FastPass selection system was causing FastPasses to be unavailable to non-MagicBand users. The FastPass method is constantly evolving until a solution is found that will be a positive experience for guests.

Draw-backs of MyMagic+

Errors and issues will arise during the trial stages of any new process or service. This testing phase lets Disney know what is currently working and what is not up to the standards that guests look to from the organization.

The process so far as been very smooth, with the exception of adding our dining reservations to MyMagic+. Even though I have my confirmation numbers, I was getting error codes from the site, telling me that the service was unavailable. After a few more tries, I was able to link the reservations to my name, but not to my husband’s MagicBand. I will try this again in a few weeks and if it is still unavailable, I am sure it can be easily corrected with a quick call to Disney.

The other issue that I can see as being an issue is the over planning. While I enjoy a creating a daily park plan to schedule which rides we go to and when to ensure we make the most of our day; scheduling a FastPass 2 months in advance takes away some of the spontaneity of the vacation. We have to make sure that there is enough time in between the FastPass and our dining reservations, for example. This process will take some additional planning, but it will be interesting to see how it all works out!

More to Come

I will know more about the MyMagic+ within the next coming months as we continue to plan and eventually make it to the resort. I can post more details as we go through this exciting new test phase.

What do you think of the new MyMagic+ process? Do you think this will enhance your Disney vacation?

RunDisney Playlists

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Walt Disney World marathons are becoming quite popular with weekends throughout the year that the resort dedicates to runDisney. During each race weekend, several events are offered which may include full or half marathons, 5Ks and kid-friendly races.

The runDisney website not only gives information about upcoming events, but also recommends training programs for runners. These programs guide you through the preparation process and offer tips for making the most out of your training.

If you are training for runDisney… you will need to fuel those runs with some upbeat music to stay on course. To help you remain on track (bad running pun), I have compiled a few lists of some catchy Disney tunes to keep you motivated on your journey.

Many of these songs can be found on both YouTube and iTunes:

Under the sea1

Disney Animated Playlist

The Little Mermaid

Under the Sea- Samuel E. Wright

Fathoms Below- Ship’s Chorus

Mulan

I’ll Make a Man Out of You- Donny Osmond

True to Your Heart- 98 Degrees

Peter Pan

You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!- Tommy Luske

Following the Leader- Bobby Driscol

Beauty and the Beast

Be Our Guest- Chorus

The Lion King

Circle of Life- Lebo M.

I Just Can’t Wait to Be King- Jason Weaver

Hakuna Matata- Joseph Williams

Pinocchio

When You Wish Upon a Star- Cliff Edwards (this is a great song for a run through the Magic Kingdom)

I’ve Got No Strings- Dickie Jones

Wreck It Ralph

When Can I See You Again- Owl City

Shut Up and Drive- Rihanna

tron

Disney Live Action Movies Playlist

Mary Poppins

Step in Time- Dick Van Dyke

Enchanted

Happy Working Song- Amy Adams

That’s How You Know- Amy Adams

Pirates of the Caribbean

He’s a Pirate-Klaus Badeit

Pirates of the Caribbean- DJ D-Rizzo- This is a great remix of the original

Tron Legacy

Derezzed- Daft Punk

End Of Line- Daft Punk

Cruella

Disney Villains Playlist

The Lion King

Be Prepared-Jim Cummings

The Little Mermaid

Poor Unfortunate Souls- Pat Carroll

101 Dalmatians

Cruella De Vil- Bill Lee

Aladdin

Prince Ali Reprise (Jafar)- Jonathan Freeman

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

Heffalumps and Woozels- The Sherman Brothers

Beauty and the Beast

Gaston- Chorus

The Sword and the Stone

Madam Mim- Martha Wentworth

The Great Mouse Detective

The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind- Vincent Price

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Oogie Boogie’s Song- Ken Page

Are there any Disney favorites that should be added to the playlists? Do you create a playlist for your marathon running and training?

The Jungle Cruise Gets Into The Holiday Spirit

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Backside Ornament1

The Disney Parks Blog announced yesterday that the Jungle Cruise will get a makeover for the holiday season. The beloved Adventureland classic will have a new storyline featuring Skippers who are missing being home for the holidays. In an effort to cure those home-sick feelings, the Skippers will decorate the boathouse, rename their cruise vessels and bring some holiday cheer in the form of jokes…..oh, those infamous Jungle Cruise jokes!

This new holiday-themed cruise sets sail at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in early November and is sure to become an instant classic.

Will you be going “cruising” for the holidays?

Caw! Caw! Roar!

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Adventure is out there

Have you ever dreamed of going on an adventure like Carl and Russell from the movie, “Up”?  Searching the land for new discoveries and exploring the world around you? Consider making your wishes come true on your next Walt Disney World vacation. Here are some suggestions for the most exciting “Up” themed day at the resort.

“Caw! Caw! Roar!”

Begin your journey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and become a Wilderness Explorer for the day. Pick up your free official Wilderness Explorers Handbook and earn badges by completing activities throughout the park. Disney cast members serve as your Troop Leaders and Badge Guides and help you along the way with some direction and answers. By finishing your tasks, you will learn about wildlife, culture and even recycling!

“Adventure is out there!”

Grab your grape soda pins and head on over to Downtown Disney to soar on the Characters in Flight balloon. This giant helium balloon takes guests on a tethered 10 minute flight up to 400 feet in the air. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Walt Disney World Resort and surrounding landscape.

Fly during the day to see up to 10 miles away, or at night to see the twinkling lights of the city. You can even plan your flight during the fireworks in the parks to further enhance your experience. Check your park map or My Disney Experience app for nightly fireworks schedules.

The Characters in Flight balloon does not fly during storms or if the wind speed is greater than 22 miles per hour. Guests under the age of 9 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older. The cost associated with this experience is currently $12.00 per child and $18.00 per adult. The hours of operation are 8:30 AM- 12:00 Midnight.

“Chocolate, I smell chocolate!”

After your flight, grab a meal at the Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney and dine amongst a setting that will remind you of Carl and Russell’s destination; Paradise Falls. Enjoy the lush trees and tropical birds as you enjoy American-style cuisine. Russell’s bird friend, Kevin would approve of the Sparkling Volcano dessert. Made for three or more people, this giant chocolate brownie cake is served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce!

After dinner, stroll through Downtown Disney, check out the shops and start planning your next Disney adventure.

Do you plan theme days for your Disney trips?