Tag Archives: Disney

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!

Best Day Ever! (Hollywood Studios in 1 Day)

Continuing the “Best Day Ever, Disney in 1 Day” series, today I am focusing on doing Hollywood Studios in a day.    I love Hollywood Studios.  I love the throwback vibe that you see and feel when you enter the park.  You feel as if you have been transported back in time to a roaring part of our culture’s history.  The storefronts are beautiful, the cast members are dressed in a nostalgic fashion, and for my trips there, I have always loved being there.   Also, if you are traveling after June 30, 2018, you will get to experience the all new Toy Story Land.  Plans for a new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey and Minne Runaway Railway are set for opening in 2019.  Get ready to “Rock and Roll”….here is Hollywood Studios in 1 Day.

But first….Rock & Roll!

Whether you choose a Fastpass+ for this ride or you try to get there are rope drop, if you are looking for a thrill ride, head over to the Rock & Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.  After completing this, the rides that typically have the longer wait would be Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania.  You can choose which route to take after getting off the Rock & Roller Coaster, depending on whether you are a thrill seeker or want more of family ride.  Neither choice will disappoint.  My daughter’s favorite ride at HS is Tower of Terror, while my son loves Toy Story Mania.

Mid-Morning Must Do’s

Time to indulge in a power snack to get you through the rest of the morning.  I recommend these places to get that grab and go snack:

  • Sweet Spells (my favorite snack shop at HS!)  Check out the colored/flavored popcorn, smores, cookies, whoopie pies, chocolate dipped marshmallow wand….the list goes on and on
  • Starring Roles: Check out the Chocolate Butterfinger Cupcake….yum!
  • Popcorn from a kiosk.  Disney popcorn is extra magical!  It comes gluten free and tastes oh so delicious!

Launch Your Next Adventure

Star Wars fans love Hollywood Studios because there are so many things to do pertaining to this fan favorite film franchise.  Here are just a few of the things you can experience:

  • Meet & Greets:  It’s not a day at HS without seeing some character favorites such as Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, or Wookie
  • March of the First Order:  This commands your attention….watch as the Stormtroopers and Captain Phasma make their way through for this entertainment experience.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay: explore a large assortment of Star Wars memorabilia and large-scale replicas, purchase merchandise and play the latest Star Wars interactive video games.
  • Jedi Training:  You have to register for this early, so if this is important to you, do this prior to getting on early morning rides.  Then, when it is time, you will receive a 20 minute interactive Jedi Training session in which you will come face to face with Darth Vader.
  • Star Tours:  An amazing ride/experience.  Hold on tight, this 3D tour of the galaxy will leave you wanting more!

Blast into the Past During Lunch

I have two lunchtime recommendations.  Whatever you choose for lunch, choose the other for dinner.  I recommend making advanced dinner reservations or to take the stress away, let me do this for you!

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  • Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant

Both of these establishments are known for their ambiance, and this is a great way to take a break from the sun and relax with your family.  We are repeat guests to these establishments because our kiddos loved it so much!

Afternoon Attractions

To avoid the heat, there are some incredible things to take in during your post food-coma experience from lunch.  After taking in these attractions, it will be time to fuel up with a quick snack.  Refer to my list from above to power through the late afternoon hours.

  • Beauty and the Beast:  Live on Stage
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • For the First Time in Forever:  A Frozen Sing Along Experience
  • Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams
  • Voyage of The Little Mermaid

It should also be noted that there are great character meet and greets throughout Hollywood Studios.  My son was really into getting as many photos and autographs as possible, so we spent one entire afternoon tracking down all the characters we could find while my husband took the older kids in a different directions.

Take 5

Also as I mentioned above, I would suggest your supper to be at the other table service location that you did not choose for lunch.  Other great places for a quicker meal would be:

  • ABC Commisary
  • Backlot Express
  • PizzaRizzo
  • The Trolley Car Cafe

There are also Dinner Experience Packages and Dessert Experience Packages that tie into the nightly fireworks.

Finally, Fantastic Fireworks

This is where you have to let your interests guide your decision for ending your evening.   It comes down to two big choices:  Team Mickey/Disney character favorites or Team Star Wars.

  • Fantasmic!:  Playing along with the movie of the same name, Fantasmic includes incredible visual effects including:  fireworks,  music, characters, live actors, water effects, pyrotechnics, decorated boat floats, lasers, mist screen projections and audio-animatronics.
  • Star Wars:  A Galactic Spectacular:  The force is strong as you burst into a galaxy far, far away during this nighttime spectacular including: features fireworks, searchlights, fog effects, lasers, projection mapping,  and fire.

There you have it!  A “Best Day Ever” event for one day at Hollywood Studios.  Stay tuned for my next post continuing “Best Day Ever” featuring one day plans for 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!

Best Day Ever! (Epcot in 1 Day)

Continuing the “Best Day Ever, Disney in 1 Day” series, today I am focusing on doing Epcot in a day.    Epcot has such a different vibe than the other parks.  I remember on my anniversary trip with my husband, I didn’t feel the pressure to walk at a fast pace to try and cram it all in, as I have done at some of the other parks.  Every time I have visited Epcot, I am instantly thrown into a fantastic mood, ready to see what adventures lie ahead.  Fasten your seatbelts….here is Epcot in 1 Day.

But first….Frozen

Starting the day off with trying to hit all of the “big ticket” rides, as you enter Epcot, head directly for Frozen and try to be amongst the first few to take in this ride.  It is an experience like no other.   Then, make your way back to fly into The Land and soar around the world on Soarin.  Now…some choose to do this in the reverse order as I have listed them.  My personal reasons for doing Frozen first, are that even if you were fortunate enough to snag a Fastpass+ for Frozen, it is a ride worth doing a second time, as the lines tend to get incredibly long for this ride, and in my experience, the standby time for Soarin is less than Frozen.  Then, meander over and buckle up for Test Track, my son’s favorite ride at Epcot.  As he bravely said on our first ride in the “fast lane”….”Mom, I am SO driving like this someday!”.  So…to start your day off:

  • Frozen
  • Soarin
  • Test Track

Mid Morning Must Do’s

After a high speed morning and with your adrenaline running, it’s time for a quick bite to eat before continuing down the path.  You can either eat first, then attempt more attractions, or if you are still full from eating before entering the park, try these rides then grab some tasty deliciousness.  Here are my suggestions for that mid morning trek:

  • Sunshine Seasons, a food court located in The Land Pavillion, is a great food choice if you want fast and on the go.
  • Garden Grill, also located in The Land Pavillion.  A rotating restaurant featuring Chip and Dale, Mickey and Pluto.  Devour the Mickey waffles and Chip’s Sticky Buns.
  • Living with the Land
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Journey into the Imagination with Figment (this is what catapulted my son’s love of all things Figment)

An Afternoon Around the World (Showcase)

This is quite possibly one of the most educational and beautiful things you can experience while traveling through Epcot.  I tend to forget I am truly at Disney World when I venture through the World Showcase.  The Pavilions are so authentic, so deep in cultural history, that you feel that you are truly immersing yourself into somewhere farther away than Florida.  My biggest suggestion is to tap into every country.  Some love to fill up their “passports”.  Some love to “Snack Around the World”, and others prefer to “Drink Around the World”.  Whatever your preference is, you won’t regret all the culture and history that you will take in.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Morocco:  Meet Jasmine and Aladdin, and sit down and indulge in a henna tattoo like my daughter did.
  • France:  The gardens….the replica Eiffel Tower, and meeting Belle and Aurora was at the top of my list for France.  Not to mention the baked goods at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, “c’est délicieux”!!!
  • China:  Reflections of China, meeting Mulan (she’s beautiful), and the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats
  • Italy:  The gondolas, the juggler, the gelati, the authentic architecture.
  • American Adventures:  a wonderful Audio-Animatronic of our country’s history

(Club) Cool Down

After venturing through the World Showcase, it’s definitely time for a late afternoon break.  What better way than to head over to Club Cool and sample FREE soft drinks from around the world?  My kids loved this.  The kid in me loved this.  Do it…you won’t regret this pit stop.

Ciao Down

After you cool down, it’s time to chow down, and what better way to rejuvenate before finishing out your evening, than to head back over to Italy for a delicious pizza.  Via Napoli is definitely the best pizza at Disney World.  However, if you want the ultimate character Meet & Greet at Epcot, head over to Norway and dine at Akershus.  Similar to Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom, this is a great character interaction and photo opportunity all while you enjoying your tremendous food.

Mission:  Possible

While your food is digesting, there is still time to hit a few more notable attractions before ending the night.

  • Mission:  Space.  I love this ride, and they have two levels, one more intense than the other.
  • Spaceship Earth:  This ride is a must do for your day at Epcot.  You get to go inside the “golf ball”…no, it’s not a golf ball, but that is the big joke about it!  It’s really a geodesic sphere that doubles as the icon of Epcot and also a dark ride through the history of communication.
  • The Art of Disney- While this isn’t a ride….it is a beautiful gallery of Disney paintings, sculptures, and trinkets.

Illuminate the Night

End your night right by watching the history of the world through fireworks.  It pays homage to multiple cultures and makes us all realize that we are all in this together.  A glorious production of color and light, fireworks, pyrotechnics, water fountains, fire effects, lasers, and searchlights on the park’s World Showcase Lagoon.

There you have it!  A “Best Day Ever” event for one day at Epcot.  Stay tuned for my next post continuing “Best Day Ever” featuring one day plans for Hollywood Studios.   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!

 

 

 

Best Day Ever! (Magic Kingdom in 1 Day)

Today I will be beginning a blog series on how to do Disney in a day, specifically, how to do each Disney park in one day.  We will begin by jumping right into Magic Kingdom, and how to make the most of a day at the most famous park at Walt Disney World.

But first….Fantasyland

The ideal way to start your day at Magic Kingdom is to hit Fantasyland first.  Fantasyland tends to draw much bigger crowds as the day progresses, so hit this area first before the stand by lines grow deeper.  These attractions will be worth your while:

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • It’s A Small World

Mid-Morning Must Do’s

After conquering Fantasyland, and the day begins to warm up a bit, it will be time for a mid morning snack.  I suggest hitting up my favorite, Aloha Isle, for the very famous Dole Whip.  While over there, stroll over and begin these next attractions:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Haunted Mansion
  • (if time allows) Space Mountain

Lunch Power Hour

Grab a quick bite, at one of the amazing quick service restaurants to save valuable park touring time.  It will give you a chance to rejuvenate and power up for a fun filled afternoon.  My suggestions would be:

  • Be Our Guest (quick service for breakfast and lunch only)
  • Cosmic Ray’s
  • Columbia Harbour House
  • Pinocchio Village Haus

Afternoon All-Stars

The Florida sun can be intense, so take advantage of some of the air-conditioned attractions as you blaze through the early to mid afternoon hours.  Here are some of my favorite places to cool down and take in some magical moments:

  • The Country Bear Jamboree
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic (my favorite!)
  • Space Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Parades and Dance Parties
  • Honorable Mention:  Princess/Character Meet & Greets (if time allows)

Dinner Break!

Time to take another food break, as you have survived the heat of the day!  Here are some awesome places to take a break, relax, and prep for the most magical time of the day.

  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn
  • Tortuga Tavern
  • Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

Nighttime Nostalgia

To cap off the evening, here are a few things that are even better to experience at night.  First of all, you HAVE to make time/space to see the “Happily Ever After” nighttime fireworks show.  It is beautiful….magical….and experience you do not want to miss.

Then….if you choose, you can always try to catch some of these throughout the day, especially if you see a short standby time.  However, they are extra magical at night, with Magic Kingdom lighting up the night sky with the fantastic fireworks displays if you choose to ride instead of watch the fireworks from near the castle.  If you are a first timer, go see the fireworks.  If you are a returning guest, and are ok to get a glimpse of them from atop of ride (which is amazing, by the way), here is my list of  favorite nighttime adventures:

  • Dumbo
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Liberty Belle-Riverboat
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Peter Pan (while this is an inside ride, it has been my experience to find shorter standby lines as the night progresses)

There you have it!  A “Best Day Ever” event for one day at Magic Kingdom.  Stay tuned for my next post continuing “Best Day Ever” featuring one day plans for Epcot.   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!