Disney Transport vs. Car

Disney bus

When going to Walt Disney World, one of the benefits for staying on-property is the availability of the Disney Transport services. There is some form of transportation available from every Disney Resort. Of course, the most talked about are the Monorail Resorts.

The age old debate is whether to use a Disney Bus from your resort to the park you choose to visit on a given day. I guess that depends on how comfortable you are using buses to get around in your life at home. If you are used to using public transportation, you should find Disney to be more than adequate in providing for your travel within The World. Yes, the buses are often crowded! Especially in the early morning and late nights. But, Disney is very good at moving equipment around in such a way as to provide extra service as needed. For those who don’t use public transportation, it can be quite easy to criticize the level of service being provided.

The use of a car, when you are staying on-site, can also have a benefit. If you are a family with smaller guests who need extra stuff to survive the day, it may make more sense to drive to the parks. However, if you can manage, I might suggest that you still use a bus to get to The Magic Kingdom. If you park at the Transportation and Ticket Center, you will still need to take a Monorail or Ferryboat over to The Magic Kingdom entrance. The buses take you directly to The Magic Kingdom and can save you a lot of steps.

Monorail

In my opinion, the ability to relax and let someone else do the driving is a big part of vacation.

The skinny on our MagicBands…

I called Disney to see what the latest was on getting to put our MagicBands order together. I was told that while it is still in “testing”, that we should get an email invitation at about 28 days before our arrival. But, I was also told that the roll-out is being accelerated and things could move ahead at a quicker pace. I felt this was worthwhile for sharing with my friends.

Our family has already decided who wants what color, so it’s just a matter of getting everything to work.

Also, the Be Our Guest Fastpass for lunch is also an invitation based choosing, according to the Cast Member I spoke with. We are hoping to be able to do this since I have had to change my tour date. So, for my birthday I am aiming for a BOG Lunch and an ‘Ohana dinner.

'Ohana at the Poly

While I am really itching to try both of these elements for planning vacations to Walt Disney World, patience is the order of the day! I’ll update you as things go!

And, as always…May your day be Blessed and full of Disney Magic!

Who can we turn to for help!?

Carousel and Castle

You’re sitting down, ready to plan your FIRST visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. You get on the Disney website and the first thing out of your mouth is, “Where do I start”!?

Well, one place to start is the Disney Mom’s Panel at http://disneyworldforum.disney.go.com/. You can ask some Disney “experts” for ideas and help in your planning. And, it’s not just moms on this panel, there are a few dads on here as well. So, if you want a guys opinion for the guys in your family, just ask!

For an all-around view of what to look for in your planning at Walt Disney World, check out http://www.allears.net. Deb Wills is probably the internet pioneer when it comes to getting information out on the internet! The service has grown and will give you ratings on resorts, restaurants, parks, or just about anything else you can think about at Disney World. You can even see the menus with up-to-date prices for planning your meals! There is a weekly newsletter you can sign up for to be delivered to your personal email account.

If you want to get some hard numbers on the right time of the year to go, where to stay, or what parks to visit on what day, there are a couple of places to look. With a premium subscription, you can make use of http://www.touringplans.com and the crowd calendars. Touring Plans also lets you put personal touring plans together for your family make-up. Don’t worry, if you don’t like what they have planned, just build your own!

EPCOT

One of my favorite sites is http://www.easywdw.com! Here you can read about how the everyday person might encounter attractions, restaurants, or events. EasyWDW tours the parks like most of us would. By walking around, checking times, and taking a place in line! There are also some guidelines down the right hand column to help you plan your days. Check out their YouTube channel for some really good videos of the parks, too!

And, as always, put your ear to work by listening to some podcasts. I’m currently loading 18 a week! My favorites, in case you missed my previous post are http://www.resortloop.com, http://www.beourguest.com, http://www.wdwtoday.com, and http://www.mousechat.net. For Disney news and updates, check out http://www.wdwradio.com. And, for history try http://www.wedwayradio.com. All of these are available on I-Tunes.

And, lastly, if you really aren’t sure where to start, call a travel agent that is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner! There are many to choose from, and to be honest, I am one of those! You can contact me at Matthew@3strandsfamilytravel.com!

May your day be full of blessings and Disney Magic!

First Impressions: Port Orleans – Riverside Resort

Our first visit to an on-property Walt Disney World Resort brought us to the spacious and elegant Port Orleans – Riverside! First Impression…WOW!!!!

As we entered the Lobby area, we were impressed by the open space and warmth. Of course, that’s all been refurbished since then. We checked into our room, got a bite to eat, and headed for The Magic Kingdom for the day! But, once we got back, it was time to take a look around the resort. The grounds are very easy to walk around with paths wide enough for all who might be on them. The pool is basically the center of it all, and very big! Personally, I loved the hot tub, especially at 5am!

Port Orleans -  Riverside
Port Orleans –
Riverside,

Our room was right off the Riverside Mill Food Court, and had great accessibility to the main building for food, gift shop, and Concierge Desk. The main bus stop was close by, as well! We had a view of the Sassagoula River and it was very quiet in our area.

I took time, a few mornings, to walk around our little area of the resort, we were in building 14. The layout was easy to follow, all of the room exit to the outside in the Alligator Bayou area, and the landscaping is exquisite. Maybe Disney qualifies this as a Moderate Resort, but for my family it felt as Deluxe as any place we have stayed. For more information on either of the Port Orleans Resorts, visit http://www.portorleans.org.

Our upcoming trip is at Art of Animation in the Lion King Family Suites, so I’m sure I’ll be giving you my impressions of that resort when we get back.

Have a magical and Blessed Day!

Extra: Memory Making Idea

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How do you travel to Walt Disney World? Fly? drive? train? I have been thinking of something that could be fun for the entire family on the way.

I came up with the idea to put together a Vacation Journal. It seems simple enough! All we need is a good notebook to keep track of the states we pass through, restaurants we eat at (especially local fair) along the way, anything that might catch an eye and add to the memories of the journey.

Or, maybe we take a pack of 3×5 index cards and make notes to go with pictures we could snap along the way and then put the pictures, with the proper description card, into a photo album to bring a little more to our memories.

It just seems to me that it would be a really great way to keep track of where you have been, what you have done, and especially the greater highlights of your adventure.

I’m going to put one together for our upcoming trip. I may end up being the one to makes the entries, too! This could be interesting if I am the one driving. I’ll let you know how it works out and will likely share a bit of it with you!

Have a magical week, and God Bless You!!