Walt Disney World & World Travels

Archive for the ‘Disney related mousellaneous stuff’ Category

Christmas Magic allowed it to snow in the atrium of the Carnival Dream

Christmas Magic allowed it to snow in the atrium of the Carnival Dream

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…those may be Julie Andrews favorite things but not mine.  If you know me at all, it’s pretty obvious what my favorite things are.  I love to travel and I love the holidays (did my 6 themed Christmas trees give it away?).  What’s even better is when you put them together because the memories are something that will last soooo much longer than whatever the current fad toy is, or the clothes that are outgrown before being worn.

There are a few ways to combine my favorite things; you can go away for the holidays or you can surprise everyone with the trip wrapped up under the tree.  Both have their advantages & disadvantages.

Travel over the holidays:  There is something really special about being at Disney World or on a cruise over Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Years.  The decorations, the special events, and all the extra holiday cheer. Getting away from crazy Uncle Fred is another bonus.  I’m about to go on my 2nd Christmas cruise, and I have to say there is nothing like having it “snow” in the atrium on Christmas Eve or spending the day on a Caribbean Island for Christmas day.  It also makes Christmas shopping a lot easier; “Honey, kids; you’re getting a cruise for Christmas”.  Over course the downside is that we will miss a few traditions and the actual travel part of the trip isn’t always warm & fuzzy.  Price doesn’t have to be a downside, especially if you plan in advance.  Book that cruise in June and you’ll be smiling in all your holiday pictures 🙂

Not sure you want to travel during one of the busiest times of the year?  That’s completely understandable!  The best thing to do in that case is plan & book your trip and wrap clues as gifts under the tree.  There are special offers that will let you save money & travel in  Jan/Feb, or book the summer vacation way ahead to save on that and draw out the anticipation.  Taking the family to Disney World?  Maybe your spouse gets a map of Orlando, and little Johnnie & Suzie get post cards from the Main Mouse himself.   Planning a cruise? Sunglasses, sunscreen, map of the Caribbean would be great clues.  There are all sorts of ways to announce the surprise, and it will be a gift that they’ll never forget.

My kids are 20 & 16.  I don’t remember every gift I’ve given them and I know they don’t!  What I do remember is my daughter being named Princess of the Day and opening the doors to the Princess breakfast at Epcot;  the look on my son’s face when he climbed up to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and the whole family still laughs at the time Dad lost the waterproof camera while cave tubing in Belize.  Who needs remote controlled cars & ugly sweaters?  I may not have pictures to hold in my hand but the memories of cave tubing will never fade.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  May your holidays be filled with love, family & great memories!

This is the news that EVERYONE loves to hear!  Disney has just released new Free Dining dates for this fall through March 2012.

Here’s the quick rundown of example pricing:

Buy 4 Nights and 5 Days at a Select Disney Moderate Resort in a Standard Room for $89* per person, per day, for a family of 4, and get the Disney Dining Plan FREE (valid for stays most nights Oct. 2-6, 2011; Oct. 23 – Nov. 5, 2011; Nov. 27 – Dec. 3, 2011; Dec.11-17, 2011). That’s a total package price of $1,773.

Buy 4 Nights and 5 Days at a Select Disney Value Resort in a Standard Room for 73* per person, per day, for a family of 4, and get the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan FREE (valid for stays most nights Oct. 2-6, 2011; Oct. 23 – Nov. 5, 2011; Nov. 27 – Dec. 3, 2011; Dec.11-17, 2011). That’s a total package price of $1,442.

Ask about packages for other lengths of stay. Also, ask about other great rates for arrivals most nights Jan. 8-14, Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, Feb. 12-18, March 4-10 and March 25-31, 2012.

Call or email Second Star Travels today for your no-obligation quote.  Toll free 888-619-1675 or michelle@secondstartravels.com   Don’t wait too long, rooms at these rates are limited and will disappear quickly!

I have been a very bad blogger! I really admire those that find the time to sit down and write something interesting on a daily basis. I can’t seem to find the time and when I do, I struggle to write something interesting. Like most of you, I’m busy with life.  As a wife & mother I get caught up with everything else going on in the house.  The kids have sports & school events; I have my company which is growing (YAY!) and then there’s everything else.  I’ll try to be better and sit down to write more often.

Disney Events:
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is still going on through Nov 12th. Still time to take a quick trip to enjoy some delicious foods & beverages.

My favorite time of year to visit Disney is coming up soon. For me, there’s nothing better than the special events & decorations for the holidays. Instead of Raindrops on Roses and whiskers on kittens, it’s Snowflakes on Main St and Gingerbread houses. Those are a few of my favorite things. Of course those are just the tip of the iceberg! The Candlelight Processional takes my breath away just thinking about it and I can’t help but smile when I think of the finding the purple cat in the Osborne Lights.

I’ll dedicate a post to each of the parks and their special holiday events.   Until then, thanks for reading! If you have any questions or would like to hear about anything specific, please post a comment here or drop me an email at michelle@secondstartravels.com with “blog question” as the subject line.

Have a Magical Day!

I really enjoyed Julie & Julia, the book/movie about a woman who blogged her way through cooking all of the recipes is Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  When my daughter stumbled on a blog about someone attempting to prepare recipes from Disney cookbooks, I found it intriguing and thought you might as well.

Check out Dining With Doc at The Disney Obsession if you’ve got a few extra minutes.  I think it will be a fun read 🙂

Just ran across this classic cartoon from 1937 and thought it was a great way to get in the mood for planning a Hawaiian vacation.  Disney’s new Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii will start taking reservations the first week of August 2010 for stays starting Fall of 2011.  It’s going to be an amazing resort and as we get closer I’ll write more about it.  In the mean time, enjoy the cartoon.

Disney Hawaiian Holiday

While I haven’t been out to Disneyland yet to see this, the video is beautiful!  Really makes me want to get out there as soon as possible.

World of Color Disney California Adventure

If you’d like to see it in person, call or email Second Star Travels for a no-obligation quote.  There are some great deals for Disneyland vacations available right now and World of Color is a great reason to go!


There are a lot of ride time applications available  for free or for a small fee.  I was curious how some of them worked and if they were worth the money.   Today you get a guest posting from my 13 year old son.  While on our recent Disney trip, I gave him a job; download the Verizon-Disney Mobile Magic application and test it for the week.    Here is his report on it:

Mobile Magic

Mobile Magic is an  application for Verizon phones created by Disney and Verizon to show accurate wait times in the park that you are currently in.  Mobile Magic is a very simple application to use.  We found  that the app was always right compared to other applications out like Ride HopperRide Hopper (a free, social reporting application) was very random, it could have wait times with-in 5 minutes or it would be 2 hours off.  Mobile Magic was always right in all four parks on wait times but that’s not all the application can do!  The app can help you find your favorite Disney characters  or locate a restroom or dining or whatever you will need.  Overall, Mobile Magic was a great application to have while we were on our trip.

One of my problems with it was that it was very slow, it could take a while to load when you are at a resort with good cell service, and it took forever to load in the parks with not as good cell phone service.  Is it worth the money?  I say it is, besides the loading problem I found that the application was great.  I think it is worth the money.  It was great you could wait in line for one ride and right after say let’s go get fast passes for Space Mountain.  It would give you fast pass return times and the wait time.  It would also show you a map of the park which is useful when finding food. Again, I think that the application Mobile Magic is worth the money every little bit.

Thank you Jason for your review!   A few extra things to know;  the cost is $9.99 for 180 days of access.   You do need to have a cell phone that can access the internet and data charges are separate.    Data usage does add up, especially when playing games or trivia while waiting in line for your favorite rides or on the bus ride to/from the parks.  Tip: add a monthly data package instead of paying per MB, then drop the plan when you get home from vacation.

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