Life is a Happy Song…..

Welcome to summer!  I don’t know about you, but for me, these days bring lots of heat, lots of sun, and lots of activities.  One of my favorite ways to spend these days is by hopping around the parks of Disney.  Disney is truly my happy place and I can’t imagine not being in the middle of the magic.

When booking a trip, many people ask if it is better to buy a base ticket or the park hopper option?  While I can’t speak for everyone, I know my go-to choice is the park hopper ticket.  Here are the short and sweet benefits of purchasing a park hopper ticket:

  • Choices:  When you have a park hopper ticket, you have the choice to JUST stay in one park a day OR to visit multiple parks in a day.  It is up to you and how you want to spend your day!  Crowd levels, weather, or even just changing your mind on a whim can affect your overall experience each day, but having the chance to leave a park and go to another can make for a better overall vacation!
  • Extra Magic Hours:  Extra Magic Hours are an amazing treat for those staying on Disney property.  It gives you the chance to enter a park earlier than normal operating times, or stay later than normal hours.  These hours change daily, so be mindful of what parks offer each day.  Having the park hopper option means you can hit Hollywood Studios from 7:00-8:00am and then go to Magic Kindom from 9:00-11:00pm (or later some days!).  What an awesome advantage of staying on property.
  • Restaurants:  With a park hopper ticket, you have the flexibility to have a morning dining reservation at Magic Kingdom, followed by hitting a few rides, then heading over to Animal Kingdom for the rest of your day for your fastpasses.  There is alot of freedom with this option.
  • Bucket List:  The park hopper allows you to do as much as you want, for as long as you want.  Maybe on your bucket list is hitting all four parks in one day!  Maybe you want to experience fireworks at Epcot and head over to Magic Kingdom for late Extra Magic Hours.  It’s your choice!  Fill those buckets!
  • Park Hopper Plus:  With the Park Hopper Plus ticket, you get everything mentioned above as well as same day admission to:  Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course (reservations required and subject to availability), Disney’s Miniature Golf at Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland courses, as well as the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

If you would like to get in the middle of the magic, it’s not too late to sneak in a summer getaway.  Contact me today to get your Minnie Box in hand and plans made.  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

Just Keep Swimming……

Whew!  It’s hot out there, folks!  While I love my time at the parks, I also enjoy that relaxing time in the pool.  Disney is known for it’s top notch level of entertainment in every single area including: rides, dining/drinks, resort amenities, and visual effects.  The resort pools are also ranked as superb by the guests.

Each resort has one fabulous main pool, and there are several resorts that also have a secondary pool or pools, generally nestled within the resort buildings instead of the main pool which is quite visible from the lobby. Many of these secondary pools don’t have a “theme”, but their attraction is the fact that they are typically quieter than the main pool., and many adults love that.  Some are also open 24/7, since they typically do not have a lifeguard on duty, whereas the main pools have hours and several staff.  Pictured above is a secondary pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  We spent all of our pool time here during our last vacation and enjoyed it just as much as the times we have spent in the main pool at the Poly.

So what do some of these pools offer that make them stand out from the others?  Here are just a few that Disney has to offer it’s resort guests:

  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort:  Stormalong Bay
    • Wow!  This pool has it all!!!  This pool features a 230-foot-long shipwrecked water slide, which is absolutely awe inspiring for kiddos to wrangle around!  Families love playing in the beach area and frolicking around in the zero-entry, sand-bottomed pool.   If you prefer other activities, there is also a pool for water volleyball, whirlpool spas, a lazy river, and for those of us wanting to relax, plenty of lounge chairs!
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort:  Lava Pool
    • This resort main pool features a Tiki-themed water play area for the younger kiddos and an amazing volcano in which children can climb and water slide down into the spectacular pool that overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon and Cinderella’s Castle.   For my family, we loved sitting here and overlooking the views of Magic Kingdom.  You truly feel you are at a tropical oasis, yet you are treated like you are at Disney.  Win/win!
  • Disney’s Art of Animation:  The Big Blue Pool
    • Inspired by Finding Nemo, this pool is the largest pool in all of the Walt Disney World resorts.  Families can immerse themselves in this nautical area alongside giant set pieces of Nemo, Crush and other gnarly characters from the film.  This pool also features zero-entry and plays music from its underwater speakers. Guests can even find spraying pop up jets, and a playground area.

So, there you have, just a few of my favorite pools that you can find at the resorts on the Walt Disney World property.  If you are ready to cool down with a magical vacation resort package,  contact me to get your vacation started and also receive your free Minnie Box.  See ya soon, pals!  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

Once Upon a Time…In New York City

Live from New York, it’s……Disney????  Say what?  Yes!  You can do Disney while touring MANY places in the country and around the world without EVER seeing a traditional park character.  If you like a more grand experience from your vacations, then this post is what you need to read.

Last month, I had the honor of experiencing one of Disney’s treasures that doesn’t get enough publicity: Adventures by Disney.  We immersed ourselves in New York City, getting 100% VIP treatment and concierge level service right at our fingertips.  Disney treatment while not even being anywhere near a park or cruise.  It was bliss, it was heaven, it was like floating on a cloud.  Front and center for a viewing of Aladdin, experiencing lines with no wait, excellent food that never seemed to end, TWO tour guides (average tours provide you with one), local guides that provide special insight, behind the scenes tours, experiencing THE RIDE in a very special way, private showings, and most importantly, fun that seemed to get better with each experience we had.

Adventures by Disney isn’t your typical tour, it’s 1000 times better.  More service, the best food available, laughs, culture, safety beyond the norm, excursions and memories that will last a lifetime.  Adventures by Disney has itineraries located in: Australia, China, Japan, South Africa, Tokyo, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Austria, England, Germany, France, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Alaska, Canada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York, and San Francisco.  Itineraries also include Disney Parks around the globe.

Contact me today to plan your dream jaunt around the world.  You only get one life, live it well.  Travel and create more memories with the ones you love.  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

Special Order!

Disney has dropped a great promotion this morning.  Disney Bound guests who book their packages by July 7, 2018 and stay during limited dates between August-September and November-December 2018 will receive this promotion. These packages are VERY LIMITED, so if you are interested, get in touch with me today!  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

Friends on the Other Side (of the Castle)

A week ago, my plane landed in Orlando, and I was off to my home away from home. Disney World, for an agency training.  Keep in mind…I was about to share a room with three other ladies, two of which I had never met or really spoken with.  I was also about to meet 15 other agents whom I have spoken with just over social media, and a handful of phone calls to a few of them.  Yet, in true Disney fashion,  some extra special pixie dust was spread over this entire work trip.  These ladies have my heart now.  We are definitely not strangers anymore.  We laughed, we cried, we laughed until we cried, we sang in the rain, we ate until we had one too many food comas, and we screamed our heads off on some amazing rides and experiences.  It’s hard to imagine that eight days ago, I didn’t really “know” any of them.  Now, I can tell you wonderful things about each of them.   One of the key things I took from this training had nothing to do with Disney.  We discussed how much we should support each other’s careers and want the best for each other.  It was truly some of the best adult conversations that I have had in a long time.  We live in a world where everything seems ultra competitive.  Yet, here we were, giving each other tips and strategies, ideas and “a-ha” moments.  That is the way it truly should always be in this world.  I am blessed to be part of this, and that is just one reason why.

When our training was over, all of us began departing at different times.  Our 16 slowly dwindled down, and I ended up having about four hours before my flight.  Not once, during any of my trips, have I ever had “solo” time to doddle around.  It gave me a chance to see Disney through a fresh set of eyes.  When you are alone, you take things in more passionately, and that is exactly what I did.  I noticed things I had never noticed before, because during my previous trips, I always had an agenda, or was always talking to someone.  My mind and body were definitely on the “go”.  But this time, things were different.  It made me appreciate my job, my family, and my life, so much more.  It made me thankful for the opportunity to be there, and also appreciative of the chances I have had in the past to be there.  Disney is definitely my second home.  My heart is there, and I leave a piece of it behind with each visit.  I am blessed to have a family that supports my passion.

Let me show you how amazing Disney can be.  Let’s plan some magic together for 2018 or 2019.  Securing a trip is easier than you might expect and quotes are free.  Take it from someone who knows and loves Disney.  Contact me today:                  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

 

I’ve Got a Dream!

I’m a dreamer….I always have been.  I was always the type who saw the glass half full, I always looked on the bright side, and I always believed that our own version of fairy tales could come true.  I rooted for the underdog and I believed in love at first sight.  I also believed that there were certain places that could take away all of your troubles, even if it were for only a brief moment in time.

That’s what Disney is for me.  Every visit, every moment spent there, I put the world and it’s problems behind me, and live in a world where there are endless possibilities and dreams that do really come true.  The goosebumps I feel when I enter the gates or when I stare at the fireworks….the chills I get when I hear a song from a movie I once loved more than anything….the raw emotion I feel when I glide through a ride, screaming with sheer excitement.  That is what Disney gives to me, and that is what I hope to give to all of you.

Dreams really do come true.  Love truly is enduring.  Family can be forever.  Memories can last a lifetime.  While I know this world can throw things at us that can knock us down,  it has been the memories that I have made, with my family, that has helped me persevere.  Let’s make some magic together.  Contact me today to get your dream vacation planned.  Maybe you want to sail away on a cruise or explore the world.  Maybe you would rather relive your youth in a theme park.  Or maybe you feel Hawaii calling your name.  Let’s build something beautiful, that you can reflect on in those moments when you just want to be a kid again.  Let’s face it….we all deserve that chance to feel young again.    debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

Best Day Ever! (Animal Kingdom In 1 Day)

Wrapping up the “Best Day Ever, Disney in 1 Day” series, today I am focusing on doing Animal Kingdom in a day.  Animal Kingdom combines my two favorite loves (aside from my family), and that is : animals and Disney.  Animal Kingdom also has some AHHHHMAZING food!  With the 2017 addition of the new Pandora- World of Avatar, things just got even better in the jungle!  Get ready for a swingin safari….here is Animal Kingdom in 1 Day.

But first…..Flight Time!

Without a doubt, Flights of Passage has become the #1 most coveted ride in all of Disney World.  Getting a FastPass+ for this ride isn’t a mere suggestion, it is a definite if you want to be able to ride this possibly more than once.  If you were fortunate to be able to score a FastPass+ for this ride, you have a couple of choices.  You can head straight for Flights of Passage as soon as the park opens (so that you will get at least 2 rides in throughout the course of your day), or, you may choose the Na’vi River Journey as your first choice and then hop in the standby line for Flights of Passage.  Either way, this is definitely a ride that you will want to do multiple times and the best time to catch it is early in the morning before the crowds hit.

Safari then Sweets

One of my favorite things about Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris.  I love the oversized jeep ride, the open air feel, seeing the animals move in their own spaces.  I love how close you are able to get to (some) of the animals.  You feel as if you are truly in another country, which is what Disney does best.  I suggest doing this early in the morning because that is when the animals are moving around the most.  You can also do this later in the day.  I have been on the safari during lunch hours, and that is “typically” when the animals are resting and not as active.

After doing all of this, you will definitely need some morning fuel to push through until lunch.  Why not take a pause for some sweets?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments:  Chocolate Waffle Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream 
  • Restaurantosaurus:  Warm Chocolate Turtle Brownie 
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant:  Fried Wontons or Sorbet
  • Zuri’s Sweets Shop: Cake Pops, Animal Cookies, Fudge, and several other delicious choices.  

Expedition Ahead!

After getting a little morning fuel, you have enough time and energy to trek ahead and do another ride before stopping for lunch.  This could be a great time to do the popular Expedition Everest, home of the Yeti!  This was a family favorite due to the climb, the view, the yeti, and the way in which you travel forwards and backwards.  Amazing experience.  We had alot of fun screaming out of my crew when we did this!  The “best” time to ride this is in the evening.  You can definitely try it during this time, and the best way to do this would be as a single rider  Then, head back later in the evening to do it again, maybe using a FastPass+ for it.

If time allows, you could sneak in one more ride before lunch.  I would suggest DINOSAUR.

Buffet with Buddies

Time for lunch, and what better way than to eat with some of your favorite Disney characters?  I suggest Tusker House.  It has delicous buffet style food and you get to see some familiar safari friends as you dine.  Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will make their way to your table, sign your autograph books, pose for photos, and just look so darn cute you won’t want them to leave.

It’s Showtime!

After lunch, the crowds tend to be pretty thick and it is definitely at its warmest time of the day.  One of the best ways to spend this time of day is by weaving in and out of the heat.  Watch a show, do a ride, then repeat.  Here is my suggested list of things to do during these hours:

  • Festival of the Lion King (one of my favorite shows ever!)
  • Finding Nemo- The Musical
  • Use your FastPass+ for Flights of Passage as a possiblility here
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Kali River Rapids (you will NEED a poncho for this ride!!!!)
  • Meet Disney Pals

Dinnertime Delight

By now, you have had a fun filled day, experienced things on so many glorious levels, but you will definitely need some down time to enjoy more of the fantastic food offerings that Animal Kingdom has.

If you chose Tusker House for lunch, a great supper meal would be Tiffins.  It boasts one of the best restaurants in all of Disney World.  Another option is Yak & Yeti Restaurant       (we love their Pork Pot Stickers) or Flame Tree BBQ.

Nighttime Novelties

Your first stop should be the Tree of Life Awakenings. The famous “Tree of Life” (as seen in my photo above) lights up in glorious beauty by the use of amazing animal projections.  Head over to the Rivers of Light Nighttime experience where guests can enjoy the beauty and magic of nature coming to life.

If you are able to experience the Extra Magic Hours, then you definitely want to head back over and try Flights of Passage…again.  You could even try to squeeze in the beautiful nighttime version of Expedition Everest.  Rides are so different at night, with everything you can see.

There you have it!  A “Best Day Ever” event for one day at Animal Kingdom.  Don’t forget to contact me to plan your Best Day Ever, whether it be at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, a stay at Aulani, or jetting off on Adventures by Disney.  I can also make your dreams come true at Universal Studios in Orlando.  Find me at:  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com or visit my website at www.magical-vacations.com/debbie.lands  See ya soon, pals!

Thoughts and Ideas from a Dedicated Disney Dreamer and a Specialist with Magical Vacations, LLC