Plan an In-Room Getaway

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Pop Century Resort Photo Credit: J. Kulak

Pop Century Resort
Photo Credit: J. Kulak


Disney is all fun; however there may be days that you just need to get away from the non-stop excitement. I usually try to plan meals for times when I know we will need a break, but there are moments that even the restaurants can be over-crowded and loud. Sometimes the best way to unwind and settle down is to step away from the magic and head back to the hotel.

How to plan an in-room getaway:

Dinner time– Plan to go back to your hotel in time for dinner. If you have the Disney Dining Plan, use your Quick Service dining credits for a meal at your hotel. You can even grab your dinner selections and take them back to your hotel room to eat picnic style or on your balcony if your room has one. Room service is another dining option…but this can be costly since it requires two Disney Dining credits. Ouch! In my opinion, room service is not worth spending two Table-service dining credits.

Entertainment- Bring a long some travel games that pack well like Go-Fish, Memory or Pictionary. You can also plan a simple craft or watch a Disney film on your laptop/tablet. Some hotels offer nightly activities that may include campfires, storytelling and family movie nights. Check with your hotel’s concierge upon check-in.
Many rooms afford excellent views of the parks’ fireworks. You can use your snack credits to purchase some sweet treats to bring back to your room and host your own Dessert and Fireworks viewing party.

Relax- Stop by the pool for a leisurely evening swim. Stroll the beautifully manicured grounds of your hotel resort. Visit one of Disney’s several spa locations and enjoy a massage or pedicure. Or, take advantage of your night in and get some much needed zzzzz’s so you can wake up refreshed for another Disney day!

Do you plan in-room getaways for your Disney vacations? Do you have any tips?

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Disney Surprise!

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Let's Go!

Let’s Go!


Many of us have probably seen the videos online of the elaborate ways that parents tell their children that they are going on a Walt Disney World vacation. Some tape their child’s reaction as they reach that famous entry gate, others plan for a magical reveal at home. Surprise vacation announcements can be a fun part of your Disney Vacation planning process.

Here are some of my suggestions for a Magical Disney Vacation Announcement:

  • Have a “Foods That Are Shaped Like Mickey” dinner theme. Arrange your dinner foods in the iconic Mickey ears shape and listen to Disney tunes as you dine. For dessert, bring out a cake with writing that announces your upcoming trip.
  • Pick up your children from their activities or school with a car sign that reads, “We are going to Disney World!”
  • Write and mail an invitation to Walt Disney World from your child’s favorite Disney character.
  • Plan a treasure hunt in your backyard. Make a map with instructions and hide clues that will eventually communicate the big news.
  • On a dry erase board, reveal one word a day;
    Monday “We”
    Tuesday “are”
    Wednesday “going”
    Thursday “to”
    Friday “Disney!”
  • Order some personalized Mickey ears or customized t-shirt and leave them on the dining room table for a Good Morning surprise!
  • If you want to make your announcement on the day of your trip, lay out a Disney Princess dress or pirate outfit and explain the occasion for the fancy dress up.

You can even plan your vacation announcements around birthdays, holidays and special family events. However you decide to make your announcement, be sure to capture the moment on video so that you can enjoy it for years to come!

Have you ever surprised your family with a magical vacation announcement?

Free Customized Disney Park Maps

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Plan your Disney Day with your free customized map. Source: Disney.go.com

Plan your Disney Day with your free customized map.
Source: Disney.go.com

Did you know the Disney website has a fantastic mapping tool that helps with planning your days at the Walt Disney World Resort parks?

Knowing the layouts of each park is essential to ensure that you are getting the most out of each day of your Disney vacation. You can decide in advance which rides and experiences are right for you and your family and get to your selected dining experiences on time. By using Disney’s customized mapping tool, you are able to familiarize your family with the parks before you leave for your trip and get an incredible memento for free!

How does it work?

Click here to go to the Walt Disney World customized maps site and select Let’s Get Started. You will be asked to log in to your Disney account. If you do not have one, simply follow the instructions to set up a free account.

From there you will be given the option to select the ages of the members of your family for suggestions on age appropriate activities. Choose the rides and experiences that interest you and continue to follow the directions to highlight the places that you wish to visit. You will make these selections for each park and customize your trip.

At the end of your map planning session, you will be given the option to decide the theme of your maps; with the options being a classic fairytale style or a character theme. You can choose to have the maps mailed to your home, or print them out on your personal printer. The maps mailed from Disney are printed on a high quality paper and make a great scrapbook addition or could be framed when you return from your trip!  Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery if you select this option.

Once you receive your maps, review the layouts of each park and note the locations of restroom facilities, restaurants, rides and shows. We generally take our maps along with us on the trip to review before we leave the hotel room. Once we are in the parks, we reference the MyDisneyExperience app to locate everything we wish to see that day.

Knowing the layout of the parks can save a lot of time and get you to your destinations faster than you can say, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Do you use the customized maps for your Disney vacations?

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?

Disney Park Maps

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Tea cups direction

Did you know the Disney website has a fantastic mapping tool that helps to plan your days at the Walt Disney World Resort parks?

Knowing each park’s layout is essential to ensure that you are getting the most out of each day of your Disney vacation. You can decide in advance which rides and shows are right for you and your family, and get to your selected dining experiences on time. By using Disney’s customized mapping tool, you can familiarize your family with the parks before you leave for your trip and get an incredible memento for free!

How does it work?

Click here to go to the Walt Disney World customized maps site and select Let’s Get Started. You will be asked to login to your Disney account. If you do not have one, simply follow the instructions to set up a free account.

From there you will be given the option to select the ages of the members of your family for suggestions on age appropriate activities. Choose the rides and experiences that interest you and continue to follow the directions to highlight the places that you wish to visit. You will make these selections for each park and customize your trip.

At the end of your map planning session, you will be given the option to decide the theme of your maps; with the selections being a classic fairytale style or a character theme. You can choose to have the maps mailed to your home, or you can print them out on your personal printer. The maps mailed from Disney are printed on a high quality paper and make a great scrapbook addition or could be framed when you return from your trip!  Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery if you select this choice.

Once you receive your maps, familiarize your family with the layouts of each park and note the locations of restroom facilities, restaurants, rides and shows. We generally take our maps along with us on the trip to review before leaving the hotel and for our next vacation we will also use the My Disney Experience app. Knowing the layout of each park can save a lot of time and get you to your destinations faster than you can say, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.