Tag Archives: Vacation

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

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! (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!