Walt Disney…Erased?

It has been going on for the last few years, now.  It seems it won’t be long before someone asks…Walt who?

His first name has been deleted from the company.  His first name no longer leads the movies.  And, One Man’s Dream is being closed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I guess we should be glad that the Florida Project is still known as Walt Disney World

This is just my opinion, but it seems to me that it’s important to remember who made all of this possible.  Walt would say that “it all started with a mouse”.  But, I would prefer to think that it all started with a man.  That man is Walt Disney!  He persevered and overcame great odds to accomplish so much.  He first dreamed of a place where families could enjoy time together, Disneyland.   Then, he dreamed of a larger endeavor that could contain all of his desires.  That dream eventually became Walt Disney World.

The Man of Walt is going away, and this scares me! Without Walt, there would be no Disney! Personally, I want to remember the man.

I for one am immensely grateful to Walt Disney for all he accomplished.  And, I love that we have the ability to enjoy the results.  It is my hope that a new home for One Man’s Dream will be found, and even expanded to Disney Parks around the world.
I pledge to work to keep Walt Disney’s name alive!  Who will join me?

Thanks for reading.  May your weekend be a Blessed and Magical one, my friends!

What if DHS Closed for Total Refurb?

With the widespread closing of attractions, rumors of expanded areas and new lands, and complete congestion trying to get from one area to another, I couldn’t help but wonder if it might be possible that leadership at Walt Disney World might decide to close Disney’s Hollywood Studios completely in favor of a complete redesign of the space?  Rumors of and expanded Pixar Place, the addition of anything Star Wars, and the need for better flow throughout the park, it may make better sense.

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Being a huge Disney World fan, I am struggling to afford the once in two to three year trips with the current prices.  It takes a bit of time to save up!  Obviously, prices would likely increase long-term, but in the meantime, I wonder if they might actually give us a small break on the multi-day park tickets?

What would the overall benefit be if DHS were to close for a period of three to five year?  Assuming the rumors are true, there would be new attractions to explore themed to the NEW Star Wars movies.  There would be expanded Pixar Place with a larger version of Toy Story Midway Mania, possibly new area themed to other Pixar hits like Cars, The Incredibles, or Monsters Inc/University, upgraded eateries with improved menus, and a Fantasmic! show that makes a larger impact.  And, getting around would be much simpler with an entrance area that leads you directly to the lands you want to explore, as well as connectors between lands to make the flow work more efficiently.

Of course, I’m just speculating, but I’m not opposed to this type of idea if the reward is WORTH the wait! And, I am trusting WDI and Disney Leadership to produce something worthy of park guests.

I’d love to hear what some of your ideas might be should something like this happen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Leave your comments below!  Thank you for reading!  May you have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!

Snack Alert: Citrus Swirl

One of the best finds of my last trip was the Citrus Swirl!  You can find this refreshing snack at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, which is kind of behind Aladdin’s Magic Carpets.

Citrus Swirl Sunshine Tree Terrace Photo: Disney Parks Blog
Citrus Swirl
Sunshine Tree Terrace
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

I am not a big pineapple fan, so the Citrus Swirl seemed like a good alternative, and it was!!  I had two of them within 20 minutes of each other, and I could have practically made a meal out of them!  The flavor is very creamy, and rich in orange flavor.  And, it’s not badly priced, for a WDW snack.

Just look for the Orange Bird on the sign.  You can check out the menu at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/magic-kingdom/sunshine-tree-terrace/menus/.

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed and Magical Day!

You Have Arrived…Walt Disney World!

You’ve spent endless hours planning your vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando!  You’ve checked, double-checked, and triple-checked your lists!  There are as many different ways to start your time at WDW, as there are people who visit!  Here are a couple of my favorite ways!  LET’S GO!!

2013-12-04 13.11.13

Whether flying or driving, when you plan to arrive is key to determining what your first day might look like.  One if my favorite ways to begin my time at WDW, is to first make sure I arrive as early as possible.  Once I have checked into my resort, and hopefully my room, I tend to grab a quick bite at the resort food court and head for a bus stop!  My first stop…MAGIC KINGDOM! 2013-12-05 13.04.55

If this all works out, I will be in the Magic Kingdom around noon or shortly after.  I have successfully done this on at least 4 occasions!  This gives me plenty of time to get to a few of my traditional attractions and take in a bit of the surroundings.  My first ride?  Typically, It’s A Small World!  I usually stop here on my way to The Haunted Mansion, and I never regret the choice.  Small World is full of classic Disney Imagineering designs.  Sure, the music can be a bit repetitive, but it’s part of the charm.

Second stop is, as mentioned above, The Haunted Mansion!  I still can’t tell what part of the stretch room is “actually stretching”…hahahaha.  But, again, it is a classic WDW attraction and it helps get me into a magical frame of mind!

Another way to begin my stay, done twice, is to just enjoy the resort!  It is difficult for me to spend the kind of money required for a WDW resort and NOT get to see some of it!  So, if my arrival is later than 10am, I tend to make use of the resort pool, grounds, food court, and even just stay in the room!  After all, the rooms are nice!

On our last visit, we arrived at the resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, about 10am, checked into our room, and my girls and I grabbed a bus to Downtown Disney, and the Earl of Sandwich!  I had a coupon to use for my birthday, and had always heard how good the food was here.  So, off we went!  The bus ride wasn’t bad and gave us a chance to see a little of Saratoga Springs along the way!  My oldest daughter loved that!

We then went back to the resort, walked around, used the pool a bit, and then we drove over to Disney’s Beach Club Resort for a taste of Beaches and Cream!

This was dinner!
This was dinner!

May I say, the No Way Jose’ was YUMMY!  We walked around the Boardwalk for a short time, before heading back to AOA for a good night’s sleep in preparation for an all out assault on The Magic Kingdom.

I can recommend taking the first day to relax and take in a few things outside of the parks.  There is a lot to see, and we don’t always take the time to enjoy these areas.  But, don’t give up on the idea of hitting a park, if you can be there by early afternoon, either.

Thanks for reading and have a Blessed and Magical Day!!

Planning 101 for WDW

When it come to planning a trip to Walt Disney World, there are some basics that I think everyone needs to consider as you prepare to make your reservations.  Even the simplest of plans can be a benefit to getting the most out of your WDW Vacation!  So, today, we will look at some of the basic things needed when getting ready to visit The Happiest Place On Earth!

 

 

Disney Time

When it comes to planning, there are several categories of the types of planners.  Today, I’m going to attempt to boil it ALL down to a few basic ideas, that you can choose to build upon, or not, and still have a wonderful time on your vacation!

First, make sure you know what time of year you want to visit!  This makes a difference because of crowd levels!  For instance, if you are wanting to head to WDW during the week of Christmas to New Year’s, crowds will be very, VERY heavy.  New Year’s Eve is typically one of, if not THE, busiest times of the year throughout Walt Disney World!  And, particularly at The Magic Kingdom!  If you go in with no plans, you may end up with no vacation.

Spring and Summer breaks can also be heavier times to visit.  And, having a good crowd calendar for planning purposes can be invaluable.  There are two that I recommend.  One as at http://www.easywdw.com/category/calendar/ for a very well organized and up-to-date planning tool!  And, it’s free!  The other does cost a little bit of money, but it’s reasonable, and if you listen to WDWToday podcast, there is a discount code to help defray a bit of that cost.  It is found at http://www.touringplans.com!  I have used this one myself on the past few trips and find the numbers to be highly accurate and helpful.  There is also a chat feature on the site to ask planning questions, if you need extra assistance in putting things together.

The next thing I think is important for any WDW trip is what do take in your luggage.  There are a lot of packing list ideas available online.  One of the best, that I have found, is at http://wdwprepschool.com/the-ultimate-disney-world-packing-list/.  This is a very complete list, and you can tailor the list to fit your specific needs.  But, it has some good suggestions of things you might not think about without the guidance!  There is also a short weekly podcast, that I found recently, where there is discussion about some of these planning ideas.  Give it a listen, it’s worth the time!

Finally, let’s talk about food!  If you want to eat at WDW, especially at a more relaxed, sit-down type restaurant, you will truly want to know what your travel dates are before you get to the six-month mark!  The reason is that at 180 days from the start of your visit to Walt Disney World, the reservations system opens up for you to make your dining plans.  And, IF you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can use the 180 days plus 10 rule!  That allows you to make your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) up to 10 days into your vacation.  And, that becomes very important if you want some of the harder to get reservations like Character Meals, or popular spots like ‘Ohana, or Be Our Guest!Be-Our-Guest-Bridge-Entrance

These are the three basics I suggest to everyone going to Walt Disney World, anytime of the year!  And, even though there are lower crowd times through the year, there are really no truly Low Seasons at WDW!

One more thing, if you don’t want to face the mountains of planning, may I suggest using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to help with the arrangements?  Your specialized planner will take care of all of the details for you!  You can be as involved as you wish, or just have them tell you when to leave and where to go once you get there!  I can point you in that direction, if you need help.  I have several friends who do a wonderful job assisting their clients!

Well, that’s it for now!  Have a Blessed and Magical weekend, my friends!  See you next time!

Traveling with a Non-Park Loving Guest at WDW

Anyone who loves, Loves, LOVES Walt Disney World may be able to relate to this post!  Many of us have met them, some of them are in our own families, or circle of friends! You plan and plan for that perfect trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth, and suddenly one of your traveling companions says, “I don’t really want to do the parks!  What can I do that is NOT in the parks?”  We’ll take a look at that in this installment of the ThreeStrandsWDW blog!

Many Disney addicts have a spouse, companion, or even child who isn’t as pumped up about visiting the parks.  And, if not planned well, this can be the vacation from hell!  What I think about is, “How can I make this vacation special for this person?”  Thankfully, they are still going to Walt Disney World!” Which means there’s plenty to choose from to occupy your time.

Like to golf?  WDW offers some of the best golfing around.  There are four world class courses managed by the Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

Disney's Magnolia Golf Course Not so hidden Mickey!
Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course
Not so hidden Mickey!

Disney’s Magnolia, the longest championship level course on property!  With lots of water hazards and 97 bunkers, this course is set up to challenge even the most avid player.

Disney’s Palm was completely redesigned by Arnold Palmer Course Design, and has nine water hazards and ninety-four bunkers.  I’d say you could spend some time at the beach and not have near the driving distance to get there, if you’re not careful!

Disney’s Lake Buena Vista and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Courses round out this foursome of fantastically laid out fairways, bunkers, and greens to give anyone who loves golf plenty to do while everyone else is in the one of the parks.

Sammy Duvall Walt Disney World Bay Lake
Sammy Duvall
Walt Disney World
Bay Lake

For someone with a different kind of adventurous spirit, there are a few options available, as well.  There’s fishing at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.  Horseback riding or Archery at Fort Wilderness, or Parasailing on Bay Lake.

There are also some special tours that COULD get them into the parks, even for a short while.  There is a Scuba diving adventure at The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  Or, there are park tours available to get a look at the magic behind the magic.

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Whatever their interest, there is something for EVERYONE to do at Walt Disney World! And, of course, there are a ton of dining experiences to be had, as well.  And, who doesn’t find the food at WDW to be an attraction in and of itself?

Thanks for reading, and have a Blessed and Magical evening, my friends!

The Tasty Treats at WDW!

Okay, so there is NO way I could eat all of the treats at Walt Disney World!  There are just too many to choose from sometimes.  But, I have had a few that have really stood out!  So, I am going to share a few of those with you!

Starring Rolls Disney's Hollywood Studios Butterfinger Cupcake
Starring Rolls
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Butterfinger Cupcake

First up, is the absolutely delicious and very rich Butterfinger Cupcake served at Starring Rolls in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!  The cupcake was moist and soft while the topping had the taste and crunch of a Butterfinger candy bar.  It was quite a mix of flavors on the tongue!  It is a very rich cupcake and could easily be shared by two or three people.

 

Cinnamon-Roll-Main Street Bakery
Cinnamon Roll Main Street Bakery The Magic Kingdom

Next, is the Cinnamon Roll at The Magic Kingdom!  The roll is gooey and fresh!  The taste of cinnamon is nice and strong, for a true cinnamon lover!  And, the icing completely covers the roll and even consumes the plate!  The only one I have had, to date, is the one from the Main Street Bakery (now a Starbucks).  It is my understanding that you now must go to Gaston’s Tavern and that the icing is a different flavor.  I must get this on my next visit!

The No Way Jose', Beaches and Cream Disney's Beach Club Resort
The No Way Jose’, Beaches and Cream
Disney’s Beach Club Resort

And, one more, just because it is my current FAVORITE treat!  It is a bit pricey, but OOOOOHHHHH So Good!!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the No Way Jose’!  This wonderful creation of Ice Cream perfected is found only at Beaches and Cream, at Disney’s Beach Club Resort!  If you LOVE Peanut Butter, (and I do!), you will love this huge sundae!  You may want to plan on it being one of you meals!  Keep in mind, however, that Beaches and Cream now requires an ADR for sit-down service!

There are many, many, MANY more treats to talk about!  Such as: Disney Parks Popcorn, Mickey Ice Cream Bars, Mickey Krispy Treats, and anything from the Goofy Candy Co., but that is for another time!

Please feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments section below!  And, as always, have a Blessed and Magical day, my friends!!