Tags: Disney Travel, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Walt Disney World
Tags: Disney Dooney & Bourke, Disney Travel, Disney World, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World dining
A lot of people I talk to are amazed that I have gone to Walt Disney World WITHOUT my kids before. They ask “what do you do with all of that time in a place that is made for kids?”. Well, let me tell you…whatever I want!
Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE going to Walt Disney World with my kids. But I have also gone without them on several occasions. I’ve gone solo. I’ve gone with friends. And I’ve gone with my husband. And they have all been fantastic trips. There is so much to do throughout the WDW resort without kids. Here are some of my favorite things:
- Stay Up Late: Let’s face it. When you go to WDW with kids, you are at the mercy of their sleep schedule. My kids can’t make it to the PM Extra Magic Hours where many times, you’ll find Magic Kingdom open until 3 am. What better time to get to enjoy the parks when it’s not as crowded? And a bonus? Not as many strollers (including the one that I wind up pushing the entire trip).
- La Cava del Tequila: Yes, kids can go into La Cava, a tequila bar in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. But to truly enjoy their array of tequilas, margaritas and tapas style appetizers, you need to go without the kids. You won’t be sorry. Trust me.
- Signature Dining: If your kids are like mine, you definitely don’t want to spend the money for your kids to not eat at some of Disney’s wonderful signature dining locations such as California Grill, Narcoosees, Artist Point, Brown Derby or any of the other wonderful establishments! And who could forget Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian? Leave the kids at home for these places and go enjoy a romantic meal with your loved one.
- Romantic Strolls: Walt Disney World has miles and miles of beach line. And there are so many wonderful places to take a romantic stroll. How about walking along the beach at the Polynesian Resort while watching the fireworks from Wishes? How about walking along the Boardwalk listening to the sounds and music coming from the many restaurants and other fun locations? Sound good? It is…
- Boardwalk and West Side Entertainment Districts: Do you enjoy listening to dueling pianos? Then try Jellyrolls on the Boardwalk. Want to go out dancing? Then head over to the Boardwalk to go to Atlantic Dance Hall. Kiddos can’t go with you to these places so make the most of your alone time! The West Side has House of Blues, where you can enjoy taking in some great music!
- Be a Kid Again: One of the best things about Disney without kids is that I get to be a kid again! I get to go on all the rides I want to, and I can eat where I want. And I can get MY picture with the characters. Yes, I’ll admit it. I love to be able to be a kid when I go to Disney. Sure, I can act like it when I’m with my kids, but there is nothing better than being able to act like a kid without your own kids making fun of you!
There are so many things that make a trip to Walt Disney World without kids special. What are some of your favorite things to do at Walt Disney World without kids?
Tags: Disney Travel, Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Walt Disney World
Tags: Disney Dooney & Bourke, Disney Shopping, Dooney & Bourke
Enter To Win This Striped Mickey Mouse Dooney and Bourke Purse!
This is an authentic Disney Parks item.
- The mandatory entries must be completed Other methods of following are there for extra entries, but are optional.
- Each entry must be entered exactly as it is stated.
- Make sure to leave a VALID email address in the email field so I can contact you if you win.
- If you already follow/like someone via Twitter or Facebook the entries still count.
- No cheating–I make sure the winner’s entries are done correctly. If they’re not, then a new winner is selected.
SIMPLY GO TO http://magicalmouseplans.com/enter-win-dooney-bourke-disney-purse/2012/01/14/ TO ENTER! And Good Luck!
GIVEAWAY ENDS JANUARY 31, 2012
Tags: Disney Travel, Disney World, Education, Epcot, Kids, Magic Kingdom, School, Walt Disney World, World Showcase
This is one of my most favorite posts, first published in August 2009. With school getting underway, I thought it was an appropriate time to repost! Enjoy!
Can Walt Disney World be considered an educational trip? Many parents wonder if taking thier kids out of school to go to Walt Disney World is the right thing to do. I, myself, am planning on taking my second-grade daughter out of school for a week in November to go to the World. Why did we come to that decision? Number one, we can take advantage of cooler weather and smaller crowds, and number two, we’re making the trip to Walt Disney World educational! There are so many educational aspects at WDW. It’s teeming with history, geography, culture, science, math, economics, science and more! Let’s take a look at how YOU can make your Walt Disney World trip educational at anytime of year!
Epcot World Showcase: Children can explore the different cultures of the world in the 11 various World Showcase Pavilions of Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Japan, China, Norway, Mexico, and America. Your child will be able to learn about the architecture, languages, diet and dress of each country. They will also be able to talk to the cast members in each country. The World Showcase cast members are actually from the country in whose pavilion they work! They can learn about the flags, learn to say hello in each language, learn capitals and more!
American History: Children can learn all about the U.S. Presidents by witnessing the The Hall of Presidents presentation at the Magic Kingdom. This show highlights every U.S. President from George Washington to current President Barack Obama. The show focuses on the role of slavery in America and tells how early leaders debated slavery from the Constitutional Convention to the Lincoln-Douglas debates. They can witness the American Adventure Show in the American pavilion in Epcot and learn about the beginnings of the United States of America. This show combines film footage and Audio-Animatronics of dozens of historic figures and is as moving as it is educational. Listen to Ben Franklin and Mark Twain tell the story of America, beginning with the Pilgrims and going through World War II. Children will see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Will Rogers and Rosie the Riveter.
Epcot Future World: Children can learn about science by exploring Mission:Space. Your child will have the chance to see and feel what it would be like to travel by rocket to Mars. Children can experience the Universe of Energy exhibit which teaches about fossil fuels energy and conservation. The Circle of Life show in The Land Pavilion teaches about environmental protection. The Innoventions Pavilion allows children to participate in hands-on activities showcasing interesting innovations and new technologies. The Living with the Land ride is an indoor boat ride through greenhouses full of plants and aquaculture tanks. Many of the plants that you see growing are used in the Garden Grill. The Seas with Nemo and Friends teach children about aquatic life and offers many exhibits for children to take part in. Children can view marine exhibits complete with dolphins and manatees. Spaceship Earth is a slow-moving ride in the “big golf ball” (as children call it) that uses Animatronics to teach about the history of communication. Test Track (pictured, left) lets children take part in a GM test vehicle as they zip around an indoor-outdoor track, learning what tests cars have to go through before they can be sold to the public. Throughout Future World, there are numerous learning activities for children of all ages!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom- What better place to learn about nature and conservation? This 110-acre theme park, the largest Disney theme park, features an African savanna and safari, up-close encounters with animals of all kinds as well as a Conservation Station, where children can learn about conservation efforts being made across the world as well as Disney’s part in those efforts. Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s zoological operations are respected worldwide, but Disney keeps them fully hidden from its guests by man-made hills, rivers and rocks. Scientists are breeding endangered species, and on-site researchers are there studying animal behaviors. DAK is a member of the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Disney wants you to see the “real” world of animals, however, and not a zoo. Observation windows at Conservation Station let you look in on medical procedures on animals while veterinarians explain what is going on. Other windows display researchers studying elephant vocalizations and tracking a sea turtle off of the Florida coast. Kids can learn more about the park’s primates and other animals with remote animal-cams. Children can listen to hear thunder and insects, they can “speak” with Dr. Jane Goodall or George Schaller of the Tibet Wildlife Reserve. They can view a film on endangered species and get a closer look at various animals when the Cast Members bring out animals for closer viewing.
Economics: Children have the opportunity to learn about economics as well by managing his/her own spending money. Children are able to make budget decisions on how to spend their money. They can also work with saving at the hands-on at The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. T. Rowe Price worked with Disney to create this interactive game to teach families the importance of financial planning. You can do the game as a single or up to 3 people can compete on a team. There are a number of stations where you start the game. There are plenty of cast members to help you along the way.
Art: Children can learn about art, animation and the history of film at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Map Navigation: Allow your children to navigate throughout the theme parks and the Walt Disney World Resort by using the numerous maps that are available. Children can use the key to figure out where the nearest dining or shopping establishments are or where their favorite ride is and how to get there from where they are.
Mathematics: One of the best ways for children to learn math is by wait times! You can ask children how long a 30-minute wait time is (i.e. is it one quarter of an hour, one half an hour, etc). Which attraction has the longer wait time? It really is up to you!
The Walt Disney World Resort is a wonderful and educational experience, and the best part is, the children are having so much fun, they don’t even realize that they are learning! Disney truly makes learning fun for everyone!
If you are going to take your children out of school for a WDW trip, make sure and get their assignments ahead of time, and try and complete them BEFORE you go on your trip. And have your child keep a journal of their trip so they can practice their writing. My daughter loves to write about what she did during the day and what her favorite attraction and ride was that day.
For more information on the great educational aspects of Walt Disney World, contact Magical Mousecapades now!
Tags: Disney Travel, Disney World, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Italy, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Mexico pavilion, Walt Disney World, World Showcase
2011 will be a wonderful year to go to Walt Disney World (as if anyone REALLY needs an excuse to go to WDW)! There are so many wonderful things to do and see and experience! Here is a quick list of the top ten reasons you need to go to WDW this year!
- Let the Memories Begin– Disney’s new promotional campaign focuses on the memories made at the Disney parks. I know we all have them. And if we don’t, we will soon! This campaign allows us to see other’s magical memories and to share some of our own! Do you remember your 1st trip to WDW? Or what about your child’s? This campaign makes me smile simply because it is real. Those are real experiences and real reactions. And who knows? Maybe one of YOUR memories will wind up on one of Disney’s commercials or print ads. And maybe even displayed on Cinderella’s castle. For more information on this new campaign, click here.
- Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary– Come celebrate WDW’s 40th birthday at the Most Magical Place on Earth! Join in at all the parades, the rides, the shows… Come and see what has made Walt Disney World a must-see travel destination!
- Meet the Characters from Tangled– Did your little princess or prince love Rapunzel or Flynn Rider? Well, did you know you can meet them at the Magic Kingdom? That’s right! The beautiful princess and her prince now have their own Meet and Greet area in Fairytale Garden, near the castle side entrance to Fantasyland. Come to this new interactive Play and Greet!
- Duffy– So this may not be the MAIN reason, to go to Walt Disney World, but it’s a pretty fun thing to do while you’re here! For years, Duffy has been a popular character at Tokyo Disneyland. In October 2010, he arrived at Epcot for his own Meet and Greet! Duffy, for those of you who are wondering who I am talking about, is Mickey’s teddy bear. He’s a soft, cuddly bear with a “Hidden Mickey” on his face and paws. And of course, the Duffy merchandise abounds! You can get a seasonal Duffy bear, a HUGE Duffy bear, or a plain Duffy that you can dress anyway you want in one of the many Duffy outfits that are available.
- Two New Epcot Eateries– Via Napoli opened this past August in the Italy pavilion. This authentic Neapolitan pizzeria features wood-burning ovens and serves wonderful pizza, salads, sandwiches and more. La Hacienda de San Angel is an indoor-outdoor restaurant right on the lagoon that features authentic Mexican dishes. This is the first of Disney’s new concept dining establishments that acts as a quick service eatery for lunch and a table service eatery for dinner.
- Disney Channel Rocks– This new street show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios replaces the old High School Musical street performance. This new high energy show features songs that your tweens and teens will know all too well (and most parents will know them all too well, too). You’ll hear tunes from Hannah Montana, Sonny With a Chance, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Shake it Up!, JONAS LA, Starstruck and more. Some guests will even be invited on stage to dance!
- Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival– This fall-time event usually lasts from the beginning of October through the middle of November. You’ll be able to enjoy food and drinks from around the World. Besides the usual 11 pavilions, you will find food and wine kiosks from other countries as well such as Ireland, Belgium and South Korea, along with several others. You’ll also be able to enjoy regional entertainment. You can also take in the Eat to the Beat concert series, which highlights performers from years past! For more information on the Food and Wine Festival, click here.
- Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival– This event runs from March 2, 2011 through May 15, 2011 and showcases a colorful display of flowers, gardens, topiaries, entertainment and more. During the festival, you will find special entertainers from the 1960’s and 1970’s at the America Gardens Theatre during the Flower Power Concert Series. For more information on the Flower and Garden Festival, click here.
- Star Tours– This full-motion flight simulator is currently closed while it is being renovated and being made into a 3D attraction. BUT it will open in 2011 with all new 3D imagery, and any Star Wars fans in your family will be thrilled! New journeys and exciting destinations await. In the meantime, guests can enjoy shopping at Tatooian Traders and can watch (and maybe participate) in Jedi Training Academy, right by the attraction.
- The Feeling of Being a Kid Again– Many people go to WDW for their kids. But those of us who go more often know that the fun and excitement is not just for kids. The second I walk into Magic Kingdom, I revert to a kid again. I get more excited than my kids when I see the characters, and I cry when I see the castle for the first and last time of each trip. I remember growing up at Walt Disney World and watching it change through the years. I laugh and squeal on the rides, and I am just as excited as the kids to get a Mickey Bar! Plan that Disney trip in 2011, but don’t just do it for your kids- do it for you, too!
For more information or for a free no-obligation quote, contact us at www.magicalmousecapades.com!
Tags: Disney World, Downtown Disney, Get My Magic, Vinylmation, Walt Disney World
Do you love Disney? Do you love Vinylmation? Do you find yourself wanting to bring Disney merchandise home when you’re not even in the parks? Well, then this new service is just for you! One of my great friends, John Saccheri, saw the need and started GET MY MAGIC (www.getmymagic.com).
John, a fellow Disney Vinylmation lover, saw people were willing to pay well beyond the retail value of the new Vinyls being released. With the recent release of the Dreamfinder/Figment vinyl set, he saw people on Ebay selling the item (which retails for $74.95) for $300 for presale. He knew that by living so close to the World, he could help! And so Get My Magic began!
While Vinylmations are the bulk of what John feels he’ll be obtaining for people, that’s not all he’ll be helping with! For a small fee, John will go and get the item and send it straight to your home!
So how does it work? Simply, go to www.GetMyMagic.com and go to the Order My Magic Now tab on the left-hand side. Submit the form, making sure that you answer the questions to the best of your ability (what the item is, where you saw it, how much, etc). You will then receive a quote from Paypal, with the fee added in along with Payment Instructions. The fee will range anywhere from $25-50, depending on the complexity of finding the item (also factored in is possibility of having to wait in line, limited availability, other orders in the area, etc). Then your package arrives via UPS or USPS with delivery confirmation.
What happens if John can’t get the item? Well, simple! He’ll refund you the money! He can make no guarantee that the item will be available, but should that happen, no problem!
Go check it out! And bring the magic home!
Also, if you are part of the NDP Community (www.disneydrivenlife.com), simply enter your NDP# in the Coupon Code section and get a 10% discount on the fee!
Tags: Disney Dream Depot, Disney Travel, Disney World, Mom's Panel, Walt Disney World
like love Disney? Do you like to hear about what’s new at Disney or learn about different things pertaining to all things Disney? Then Disney Dream Depot. (www.disneydreamdepot.com) is for you. Disney Dream Depot was created in late 2009 by some people who didn’t make it through the final rounds of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel interviews. This group wanted to help others plan their Disney vacations and serve as a source of information for people looking to go to Walt Disney World for their 1st visit or their 100th visit. They are not trying to compete with the WDW Moms Panel- they are simply trying to share their love of Disney.
The website consists of several different areas: blog posts, forums, friends, events, groups and more. The site is open for anyone to start a forum question. You can also find Disney Dream Depot on Twitter (@disneydreamdepo) and on Facebook.
Every Thursday night from 9:00-10:00 pm EST, you can find the Disney Dream Depot chat. Two “Dreamers” host a live web chat on www.disneydreamdepot.com discussing various Disney topics. You will even hear guest hosts that are pretty familiar with different Disney things. There is a chat room available for the listeners to ask questions. It’s a lot of fun, and everyone should join. If you can’t make the chat, you can also download them at a later time on ITunes.
Come join the Dreamers as they answer your Disney questions!
Megan, Pennsylvania: Megan is the mother of 3 awesome Kiddos, and a lover of all things Disney! With 2 self proclaimed princesses, Megan has lots of ideas to help you make the most of all that Disney has to offer your little princess . . .want to find Prince Charming? Ariel? Dine with Royalty? She’s here to help you do just that. Did you know that you can find Cinderella’s pals Jaq and Gus in the Castle? She’ll tell you where!
But don’t be fooled into thinking she doesn’t know what the little guys want either…her oldest is a guy who loves all that Disney Parks have to offer him.
Sprinkling pixie dust over itineraries for her family and friends quickly fills what little spare time she has between caring for her family, working as a guidance counselor, and managing her custom photo gift company.
Jennifer, Pennsylvania: “I’m the Disney mom of a Disney family. I have one son, 6, whose favorite game to play in the car is “What ride am I thinking of at Disney?”. I work at home as a freelance clinical editor, and spend much of my free time volunteering at my son’s school and in his activities. I have been to Disney more than 10 times. I have been as a teenager, married-no-kids, pregnant, and with my son. I am currently planning a holiday trip with my parents, who have never been. I love learning about Disney and sharing my tips and tricks with others.”
Lynne, Texas: “I am a single mom living in Houston with a beautiful teenage princess and a lifelong love of Disney. We are currently planning our 20th trip to the world for next summer, and love to try new restaurants, events and activities every time we go. I especially love to help “first-timers” plan their trips to share a little bit of the Magic. I love all kinds of Disney Trivia, and have also visited Disneyland Paris and the Original Disneyland! To me, there are two kinds of people – those who love Walt Disney World, and those who don’t know it yet!”
Mike, Pennsylvania: “I’m a father to my Disney loving son and a husband to my Disney loving wife. I really enjoy being a part of a Disney family now because I really didn’t grow up in a Disney family. I grew up in Arizona and I only got to Disney Land twice as a kid, and Disney World was out of the questions as it was to far away. The addiction for me really didn’t start until I was an adult and had to attend a business meeting in Orlando. Since I was already going out to Orlando, I decided to bring my wife and spend some time before the meeting at WDW. All I can say about that trip was WOW. It was then that I really began to love Disney World. In fact, my wife and I loved it so much we even flew her parents out to watch our young son while we took an adult trip to WDW. A few years later, after our son turned 4, we returned to WDW and brought him with us. It was so amazing to watch his face as we introduced him to the magic that is Disney. It was then and there that the addiction really raised its little head. By the next year we owned annual passes and went on 3 family trips to Walt Disney World. All in all, I’ve been to WDW and Disney Land a total of 13 times. The addiction remains healthy and is now to point that we start to twitch if we don’t got about every three months. I hope you enjoy reading and talking about disney on the site and will continue to use us as a resource for you future trips.”
Lea, Texas: “I am a working mother of 2 wonderful kids! I was raised going to Walt Disney World every summer. As I got older, I fell in love with Disney even more, especially once I began bringing my children to Disney. I am a Disney Travel Planner as well as an outside sales professional. I love chatting Disney with whoever will listen! And I am THRILLED to be a part of the Disney Dream Depot so I can help others plan their magical trips!”
Shaene, North Carolina: “I have been to Disney World 20+ times.
I got married at the Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian in 2007 and honeymooned on Disney Cruise Line.
I have been to Disney Land once.
I have no kids, but I have taken foster children to Disney World twice.
I believe in sharing the Disney magic with everyone I can and truly believe in the motto of “Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust”.
As Walt said “It was all started by a Mouse…”
Jim, New Jersey: “Hi! My name is Jim and I am a married dad of two (my son is 11 and my daughter is 7). I have been to WDW somewhere in the 40 times range and find new experiences every time I go. I am a DVC member since 2001 and love all things Disney! I didn’t start loving Disney only when the kids came, because about 25 of my trips were without kids PRIOR to kids! Very excited to be part of the Disney Dream Depot team…here to answer any questions and help plan vacations at the BEST place in the world!”
Rob, Virginia: “Hello hummmmmans! I am Rob, a Disney obsessed husband and father who works in the maritime industry in order to fund my addiction. My Disney life began at the ripe old age of two when my Aunt took me on my first trip (of many as a child) to Disneyland. As an adult my wife and I had our honeymoon at Disney World in 2006 and have been addicted ever since. That addiction eventually led to us becoming DVC Members in 2009 and sufficiently infecting our two boys with a love for Disney as well (and we have to start on a third one in February!). I love helping people figure out the ins and outs of Disney vacations, getting the most out of their experience. I am happy to answer any and all questions you might have, especially about DVC!”
Tags: Disney World, Halloween, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Not So Scary Halloween Party, Walt Disney World
In all my years going to Walt Disney World, there was one event that I had never gotten to try- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). I was lucky enough for that to change a couple of weeks ago. I had gone to WDW to run in Mickey’s Halloween Fun Run 5K, and with my race entry fee, I received a free (?) ticket to the MNSSHP. I was so excited to try this event, and it did not let me down!
With the MNSSHP ticket, you can arrive to the park as early as 4:00, even though the party itself does not start until 7:00. You are greeted by cast members wearing special purple, orange and green costumes. They will issue you your wristband, and then it’s off into the park.
We arrived to the park at about 4:30 and headed straight to Liberty Tree Tavern for pur 5:00 reservations. There was a large group of us so we figured by the time we were done, the party would be ready to start. Once we were done, we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean. Just after we exited, we heard the official announcement that the Halloween Party was beginning! We grabbed our loot bags and headed to our 1st Trick or Treat trail at Splash Mountain, and then we went and rode Big Thunder Mountain at night (a first for me) in our costumes. After that, we decided to go and brave Haunted Mansion. The lines were not bad at all. We rocked the Stretching Room, as there was a large group of us who knew all of the words. When we came out from the ride, Carlota was sitting on her bench in front of the Haunted Mansion. She is a wonderful example of the special things that you will see during MNSSHP. As we made our way from Haunted Mansion up through Fantasyland, I was struck by a very rare sight- all SEVEN DWARVES. This may not sound like a huge deal. But for me it was. Major. The line was long at the time so it became my goal to get my picture taken with them later in the night. Off to ride Dumbo!
Many of you know that the line for Dumbo is usually insane. But tonight, the wait was less than 10 minutes, even for all 10 of us! So up in the air we went! After that it was time for more trick or treating. Throughout the Magic Kingdom, you will find Goofys Candy Spots. That is where you will find the trick or treating spots. Does it matter that you don’t have kids with you? Nope! At Disney, you can just hop on in the line and get your loot!
After Dumbo, we rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures and then met up with the evil old woman who gave Snow White the poisoned apple. She is never seen in the parks so this was a wonderful sighting! Now on to the trick or treating trail. I must say, we expected a little bit more candy than what we received, but where else can an adult go trick or treating and not get looked at strangely?
Disney has a special fireworks show for the Halloween Party- Hallowishes. During the parties, the fireworks show starts at 9:30, and what an amazing show it is. It’s worth the price of admission alone. At one point, you are surrounded 180 degrees by fireworks. It is simply stunning. There is also a special parade, Boo to You, which has 2 runnings during each party. The first one is at 8:00, and the second one is at 10:30. We did the later one. The parade is started by the Headless Horseman. From there, there are all sorts of fun Halloween characters- the Haunted Mansion Grim Grinning Ghosts, grave diggers, the dancers from the Haunted Mansion ballroom scene, the Disney villains and more!
After the parade, we were able to head back over to Fantasyland so we could try for the Seven Dwarves and success! We were the last ones in line to meet them! I was so excited. I had never seen them in anywhere in the parks.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is definitely worth the extra admission cost. It is held on select nights throughout September and October. The crowds are less, the character sightings are amazing, and the ride lines are shorter. That alone is great. But when you factor in the awesome decorations, the spectacular fireworks, and the fun parade, you more than get your money’s worth!