Wordless Wednesday

February 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Cinderella's Castle, Disney Travel, Magic Kingdom, Vacation, Walt Disney World Resort | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

Walt Disney World Without Kids? You Bet!

January 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Disney Without Kids, Downtown Disney, Epcot, La Cava del Tequila, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Walt Disney World Resort | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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?

Contact us at lea@magicalmousecapades.com for more information or go to www.magicalmousecapades.com.

Wordless Wednesday: A Beautiful Day!

January 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Cinderella's Castle, Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Walt Disney World Resort | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

Walt Disney World Educational? Of Course it is!

September 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Disney Travel Planning, Education, Epcot, Vacation, Walt Disney World Resort, World Showcase | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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 Family_On_Test_Trackwhat 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 animal kingdom safari 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 usingMagic_Kingdom_Map_wkey 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!

Top Ten Reasons to go to Walt Disney World in 2011!

January 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Italy, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Mexico, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World Resort, World Showcase | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Review

October 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Magic Kingdom, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World Resort | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

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?

Hallowishes

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!

The Magic Behind the Walt Disney World Moms Panel

July 28, 2010 at 1:02 am | Posted in Disney Travel Planning, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort | 3 Comments
Tags: , , ,

The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is becoming very well-known in and outside of the Disney community. The panel began a few years ago and since that time has answered many thousands of questions from people like you planning their Disney vacations. Many of them were planning their first ever trip, and others were planning their 15th and 20th trips. But as you may or may not know, there is a LOT to do at Walt Disney World. The Moms Panel is full of FANTASTIC people who are Walt Disney World experts. They have stayed there, played there, eaten there and more.

One of the very first members of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel was Laura Spencer. Since then, she has gone on to work for Walt Disney World in Social Media for Disney Parks. She is part of the magic behind the current Moms Panel. I was lucky enough to have Laura answer some questions for me!

1.  Your job is fascinating to all Disney fans. Tell us what exactly you are responsible for on a daily basis.  Social Media for Disney Parks

 2.  You were on the 1st Walt Disney World Moms Panel. What made you decide to apply? My love for all things Disney and I knew NOBODY knew as much about Walt Disney World as I did LOL! I am also a mom of color and I didn’t see a lot of Disneyphiles out there like me in the blogosphere and fan sites and I wanted to connect with more!

 3.  What was the best experience while on the Moms Panel? I had already been helping people plan their trips to Walt Disney World before the panel came into existence for years, so doing it on a large scale for even more people was really great! 

4.  How did being on the Moms Panel bring you to work for Disney?  I have almost 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and public relations in many industries, so my resume and experience was solid. It was a natural transition to doing what I know to doing what I love.

 5.  What is the best thing about working for Disney? Working for Disney.

 6.  What was one unexpected thing you found while working for Disney?   That it is still magical, even for Cast Members. 

7.  What is your favorite WDW theme park and why?  Magic Kingdom. There is a castle. I’m a princess. Nuff said.

 8.  What is your favorite WDW resort and why?  Disney’s Old Key West Resort. It was my family’s home-away-from-home and my dear grandmother’s favorite resort. She is since passed on, so visiting there brings back many happy memories. 

9.  What is your favorite WDW restaurant and why? It changes from month to month, but right now it’s Jiko since I became a vegan. 

10. What is your favorite WDW attraction and why?  it’s a small world. It is the classic that my family always makes time for.

11. Does your family share your love of Disney?   Of course.

 12. How does Disney influence you as a mom?  It doesn’t. I think being a mom is truly the best job in the world and I love it! That would be true with or without Mickey.  However in my opinion the Walt Disney Company does offer families the best quality when it comes down to family-friendly entertainment, products and movies. Most moms want the best for their families, so yeah, my house is full to the brim with Disney stuff!

 13. What is your favorite Disney movie?  I love “Lady and the Tramp” because the lullaby sung by Darling to the new baby has the word “Lu” in it. Lou is my nickname used by only my closest of friends. The song also has the world “pink” in it and anybody who knows me knows, that I always wear pink somewhere, everyday. I still sing that song to my daughter every night before she falls asleep. 

14. If you could tell us one thing about what makes Disney special, what would it be?  Cast members truly want to make everyone’s visit magical.

Wordless Wednesday

May 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Magic Kingdom, Main Street, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World Resort | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , ,

Pondering the day's activities on Main Street

Meet Zanna! A True Disney Mom!

May 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Mom's Panel, Walt Disney World Resort | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As you all know, I have a bit of an obession with all things Disney. While reaching out and finding others who share my passion, I found Suzannah DiMarzio, or Zanna (you can read her wonderful blog at www.zannaland.com) on Twitter. In the year that I have “known” Zanna, she has proven to be a wonderful person and friend. Her love of her family and of Disney come through with all tweets and blog posts. I am truly looking forward to finally meeting her in person this October during the 5K weekend.

This past September, Zanna began the process of applying for the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel. The Mom’s Panel is made up of several moms and dads who are true Disney fans. These people are the epitome of Disney experts. All of us on Twitter knew from the start that Zanna would be a perfect fit for the Mom’s Panel. We all cheered her on from the time they announced they were accepting applications, through her 2nd and 3rd round interviews and then finally when she made the announcement that she was selected to join this great group of people!

Read on for more information on Zanna and how she incorporates her love of Disney into her every day life, including being a mom and wife!

1.  Tell us about your childhood interest in Disney…

My dad grew up in Ocala Florida and his family still lived there, so I know visited Magic Kingdom at about 7 months old (so 1974) and again at around I think 4 or 5, but I don’t remember those visits at all. The trip that changed my life and made me a Disney fan was in the summer of 1983. My parents decided to drive down and make stops along the way over and back to various historic sites (Philadelphia Baltimore, Washington DC, Charleston and Savannah). In the middle, we spent some time at Disney World. I don’t remember how long, it must’ve been a week though. We stayed at the Lake Buena Vista Villas which were located in what is now the Saratoga Springs area. It was beyond amazing to me, at 9 to check into a townhouse-like ‘hotel’ and get our own golf cart and be able to drive to the then Lake Buena Vista Marketplace. I fell in love with EPCOT Center then too. We visited again with my older siblings the next year, and the year after that, my parents and I moved to Ocala. They opened a homemade ice cream shop (named after me) and we’d visit EPCOT almost every other Monday when the shop was closed. I can’t really describe the magic that exists at Walt Disney World, but I think it’s mostly the feeling of being able to leave the real world behind and let your imagination take over. 
 

2.  How did that change as you got older?

As I moved through 6th – 8th grade, it was well-known by family and friends that we were just always at Disney. We visited other areas in Florida, and we’d join my mom’s family when they would vacation for the summer in the southeast part of Maine, but Walt Disney World became home. We built up so many memories there that, to paraphrase a quote from fellow Moms Panelist Andi, it became a living book of treasured memories. 

In the middle of 8th grade, we moved to Lynchburg, VA. It was during that time that our multiple visits to Disney World stopped, but we did try to go once a year. It was then that we discovered Disney’s Beach Club resort. We fell in love. Being originally from New England and having the resort be so close to our favorite Epcot, it was just perfection.

In the middle of high school I moved back to Massachusetts with my mom. We didn’t get down there too often, but I did find several other Disney fans in school. As a result, the senior trip that usually took place in Caribbean each year, was split into two groups, because so many people wanted to go to Disney World instead. That was a fun trip too. After that, I didn’t get to the parks too much, but after trying out a few majors in a couple of colleges (Creative Writing for Children and Public Relations among them) I realized that what I really wanted to do was work for Disney as one of the people that booked the vacation packages. I then switched gears to a smaller school to get a degree in Travel and Tourism Management and use that to get a job in the travel company at Disney. The only problem was when I moved down there, the travel company had no openings. I took a job on Main Street, USA and hoped to transfer. However, in the meantime, I found a position in an actual travel agency and decided to start there. The company was just starting out, so I was able to move up quickly and become the leisure and cruise department manager. I left when I had my first son.

3. What is your family like?

I met my husband in high school. He played guitar and wanted to play music for the drama club, but got roped into acting because so few boys tried out for parts. He was a natural but it wasn’t until senior year that we started talking more and hanging out. I introduced him to musicals and he introduced me to Led Zeppelin. 😉 Luckily, he liked Disney too. His family had been when he was 13, but that was it. I remember knowing everything would be fine when we drove down to Disney during Spring Break of 1994 and stayed in All-Star Music together. We had a such a great time. I was able to convince him to move to Florida in 1995 with my mom and I and we all worked at Disney for a while. We were married in 1996 and had our reception at the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel. Our first son was born in 1999, our daughter in 2000 and our youngest son was born in 2008. My husband is a Systems Engineer and also writes tech books. Our oldest son is very into video games, usually on Xbox 360. He also loves to read and write. He has a killer sarcastic wit, which assures me daily that yes, he is mine. Our daughter is into gymnastics, swimming and loves helping with her baby brother. She detests pink much to my dismay, but she is still a princess in her own right. Our youngest son is a bundle of energy that keeps us laughing, smiling and warms our hearts daily. He is fearless and so far he shows all the signs of being a Disney fan too. My mom lives nearby and is a cruise agent. She likes to plan most of our family vacations to Disney and is very much like a fairy godmother to all of us. 

4.  Do they share your love of Disney?

Oh yes. They would live there if they could. My older two are at the age where they don’t like to admit they like it as much as they do, but they always find something new to make each visit special when we go. My oldest son in particular is very into finding Hidden Mickeys. They both collected pins for a while, but never got into the act of “trading” them. 😉 They now both love Vinylmation which has become a family activity (being obsessed with them).
 

5. How many days a year are you in the Disney parks?

This is something I really wish I’d kept track of, but sadly I never did. I’d love to know from day one exactly how many visits, including working there and being Florida residents, I’ve had. Before starting the blog and being chosen for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, we’d probably go once a month, with a couple of longer stays throughout the year for birthdays. Since I started blogging and connecting with people on twitter, there haven’t been too many weekends that I’m not in the Parks. It’s been a completely different experience visiting the Parks solo, or with friends vs. with family and I’m very lucky and grateful that I’m able to do both. 
 

6. What is your favorite Walt Disney World restaurant?

My answer seems to change every week when I do my Meet the Moms Panel series on ZannaLand and read their answers. Just when I think I have one favorite, I read their choice and think “ooh, that’s a good one too!” I really do love Citricos though and that’d probably be my top pick if I wanted a nice dinner out with my husband. California Grill would be next on that list. For the whole family, we love Japan’s Teppan Edo, Les Chefs de France, Germany’s Biergarten, Le Cellier, Kona Cafe…I really should stop. 😉

7. What is your favorite Walt Disney World Resort and why?

It really is hard for me to pick one, because I have 3 top favorites: Disney’s Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. I love them all for different reasons and would feel at home at any of them. Beach Club reminds me of New England and of course the pool there is just amazing. I love its convenient location too. Wilderness Lodge is just comfort defined. I feel so at home there and love the sights sounds and smells. Animal Kingdom Lodge has a similar feel, and I love that there are just so many areas to explore within the lobby alone. There is nothing that quite compares to waking up to zebra and giraffes grazing outside your window. For me, the resort has always been as much a part of the vacation as the Disney parks and other attractions. I love the relaxing feel you get as you leave the real world behind and make your Disney resort your home away from home.  

 

8. What is your favorite Walt Disney World attraction?

My two favorite attractions actually don’t exist anymore. The original Journey into Imagination and Horizons. I have such love for them because they represent a time when EPCOT Center was new and really made me love Walt Disney World. I thought the original Imagination ride was a complete work of art and it saddens me so much that whoever was in charge made the decision that it needed to change. It was a perfect representation of the different parts of imagination and things like the white room and the senses room and the science room were just amazing. I loved the photo at the end too, with no attempt to sell you a picture, it was just part of the magic of the experience.

Horizons was reminiscent of Carousel of Progress, which has always been a favorite too. I loved that there was a *story* to the attraction and the extras like the orange grove smell and the ‘choose your ending’ parts really made it unique. I understand that rides have to appeal to a broader audience and most people want action vs. story, but those two rides will always be my favorite for those reasons. I loved World of Motion too. I have most of the original EPCOT Center album memorized. 😉

Of existing rides, I love Soarin’. I wish there were about 5 more theatres so it wasn’t quite such a long wait for a short ride, but I still love it and think it’s a wonderful ride. I love Toy Story Mania! too and think it’s a great example of combining story with new ride technology. Outside of that, I’m a sucker for the classics; it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, the TTA (which will always be the Wedway People Mover to me). I love Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, but I’m always going to love the older, simpler attractions because of the history they have. 
 

9. What is your favorite Walt Disney World theme park and why?

Epcot. Or I should say EPCOT Center circa 1985. 😉 I still love the park despite the changes. I walk through that park and thousands of memories flood over me. I love all of the countries and how you can have a different experience every time you visit the park. Magic Kingdom I love because I worked there, so I have great memories of that park, plus so many with my children. I love the Studios because it was my dad’s favorite park, but I do miss the old Residential Street and original backstage tour and special effects tour. Animal Kingdom I will always love because it is a park of discovery and you can just explore and drink in the surroundings. So…I like them all for different reasons, but I think Epcot wins out by a little. 

10. Tell me about your decision to apply to the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel…

I hadn’t heard about the Moms Panel until the end of 2008, when the application process for the 2009 panel began. I believe it was in the allears.net newsletter that I saw a little blurb about it and thought, “oh, Disney? Moms? online? I can do that!” So I wrote out my answers in Word, pasted them into the little boxes, hit submit, and promptly forgot about it. Then in October I got an email about the Mickey Moms Club, realized that I didn’t make it and thought “aww.” but that was it. It wasn’t until starting to interact with other Disney fans on twitter and meeting some of the 08 and 09 moms there, that I felt like “wait, I HAVE to do this.” I’m sure the buzz online contributed to my obsession. I realized how much fun the panelists had with each other, and wanted to experience that in the context of helping others plan their Disney vacations, something that was really second nature to me. I knew with my experience as a visitor alone I could help, but combining that with my cast member experiences, my travel agent knowledge and my time online, I figured (and hoped) it would be a perfect fit.

Of course I found out during the application process that when you paste answers in, they can come across completely garbled and unreadable. So I wasn’t sure if my first attempt had been foiled because of that, or more likely, because I approached the first application like a resume, trying to “prove myself” worthy. The second time, I spoke from my heart and shared personal experiences vs. facts and figures. I’m not sure if that made a difference or not, but I’m of course extremely grateful that Disney saw something in me and I made it onto the panel. 

11. Can you describe the process of the Mom’s Panel?

Well, in the past, during the month of September, www.DisneyWorldMoms.com will have a link to apply to the WDW Moms Panel. On that page, you answer 3 questions in 100 words or less about you, your family, and your experience as a Disney fan. The questions vary slightly each year. I have no insight into *how* they choose people from the 1,000’s of applications they get, but I can only advise to put your passion into words. Don’t just say “I’m really passionate” show them how you are. With that many applications, they really have to weed through any spelling or grammar errors, so watch out for those. Just be yourself, and let the real you shine.

After that first cut, somewhere around 200 people advance to round 2, which is another set of three essay questions. Usually they are a little more in-depth and may ask for examples of your planning tips or skills, or what makes you unique and a good choice for the Panel. In the past, it’s usually been narrowed down to around 40 or so, but we aren’t sure how that went last year since there were double the amount of panelists added. Round 3 is a phone interview where you tell executive cast members about your experiences and why you feel you should be on the Panel. From there, the final Panel is chosen! It is an extremely exciting, nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience. It’s equally as much fun as it is ulcer-inducing. 😉

I know from speaking with a lot of people online, that sometimes it’s really hard to understand how the panelists are chosen and why some people with vast Disney knowledge or experience may get passed over. I have no answers for this because even after making the panel, we are not given any insight into how we were chosen or how future panelists will be chosen (and rightly so, it would taint the process if we knew). All I can say is that there are a LOT of people that love Disney. Disney loves and appreciates all their fans, and however they decide choose to select members of their panel, that decision should not diminish your love and passion for the Parks and Resorts. Keep spreading the magic and making memories, because that’s what it’s all about. 

12. What was one unexpected thing you discovered on the Mom’s Panel?

As a shy person in the real world (online is another story), I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in or be accepted by the rest of the panel. After all, how often do 21 (or 43 altogether) people actually have enough in common at first meeting to become friends? But the power of pixie dust is strong, and we all became instant friends. That in and of itself is such a powerful gift that I thank Disney for each day. There isn’t anyone on the panel that doesn’t want to help other people, and as much as it of course makes sense, it was an unexpected reality.

The other thing was just how addictive answering questions on DisneyWorldMoms.com can be. As my time approached to start answering questions, I became nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job or that I’d even feel overwhelmed by the ‘job’ part of being on the panel. It was just an instant fit and the only downside is that I don’t have enough hours in the day to answer ALL the questions I see on there. 
 

13. What is your favorite thing about the Mom’s Panel?

Without a doubt, being a part of such an amazing, diverse group of moms and dads. I’ve learned something from each of them and I’m so grateful to call them all “friend”. The cast members in charge of the panel and other aspects of Disney Parks are all wonderful too. It’s been such a treat to get an insider’s look at some areas of how things are run, and of course it leaves you with wanted to do more with Disney. In addition, the support on twitter and other places online for the panel in general has been overwhelming. There are so many people with such a great love and knowledge of Disney, it’s nice to know that we are all one big family online.

Knowing that you are helping people head on their way to a magical Disney vacation is a wonderful feeling too. It’s especially nice when you get people that liked a previous answer you gave and come back and ask you more questions personally. I had one mom ask me about 3 different questions about her trip and it was so cool to know I was helping her plan a great trip. 

14. What are your family’s thoughts on the Moms Panel?

My husband and mom think it’s amazing and are really proud of me. The big kids didn’t really get that it was a big deal, until they got *their* picture in the paper too. 😉 Now they think it’s pretty cool. They love meeting other Moms Panel kids but what’s funny is they think that *everyone* I meet in the Parks now is on the Moms Panel. 

15. How does Disney impact your role as a mom and a wife?

It’s definitely made me appreciate my family more, and made me take stock of ALL the memories we’ve experienced over the year that turn into Disney traditions that they will hopefully pass on to their children as well. It’s definitely made me want to visit the parks more and gain even more experience to share with others who ask questions on the Moms Panel, and readers of my blog.

Disney was such an important part of my childhood and for a long time I avoided ’embracing’ my love of Disney World because so many people I met just didn’t ‘get it’. Becoming involved in twitter and finding so many other people that felt the same love for Disney really helped me embrace my passion and find out how to share it with others and help them create wonderful memories too. I am really lucky to have such an amazing support system in my husband, mom, children and friends that allow me to pursue my dreams. I’m even luckier to have Disney be a major part of those dreams.

I’d like to thank Zanna for taking the time out of her busy life to answer my questions! You can find her on the Moms Panel site, www.zannaland.com or on Twitter.

Hitting Walt Disney World Solo!

February 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,
 
Me in front of Cinderella’s Castle

Recently, I had the chance to plan a solo Walt Disney World trip! Solo?!? Why on Earth would someone want to go the Most Magical Place on Earth all by themselves?  As someone who has always gone with family, I always wondered the same thing. As someone who has now experienced it solo, I can simply say DO IT!

My husband is a corporate pilot, and he was assigned an Orlando trip which was supposed to go from February 14-16. I was invited along! Great! Of course I’ll go! Well, as things typically go in the corporate aviation field go, plans changed. Our 2-night trip was cut back to 1 night. I began thinking, “what if I just stay an extra day and go explore?”. So I made the plans: got a Disney resort reservation, made a reservation for the Keys to the Kingdom tour and began to plan my ONE day at WDW by myself. Then plans changed again. Instead of arriving on Sunday, we would now be arriving on Friday night, and my husband would be leaving on Saturday evening. What to do? I had flight arrangements for Tuesday and my tour on Monday. After careful researching, I decided to stay on until Tuesday, giving me 2 FULL DAYS and 3 nights at Walt Disney World all by myself! What would I do?? The answer: ANYTHING I WANTED TO!

We arrived late Friday night and checked in at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort. We had an early Valentine’s Day dinner at  Old Hickory Steakhouse in the Gaylord Palms. What a wonderful place! If you ever are lucky enough to get to eat there, get the artisan macaroni and cheese! It’s delicious! We wandered around the hotel f or a bit, and then we decided it was off to bed as we were planning on waking up

Welcome Home!

and heading out! We awoke bright and early on Saturday to head to the Magic Kingdom! I felt like we were home! Nothing beats driving through the Walt Disney World Resort arch! We went straight to Jungle Cruise, Pirates and Big Thunder Mountain. It was so strange to be able to ride these sitting next to my husband and not my kids! Then we headed over to the Haunted Mansion, lunch at Columbia Harbour House, Buzz and Carousel of Progress. As we were getting on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, he received a text that signaled the end to his Magic Kingdom time! He had to head out to fly his boss home, leaving me alone on

Goofy in Frontierland!

Main Street USA during the Move It, Shake It Celebration. At first, I was so lonely, and I thought “What have I done?”. I saw all the smiling faces of the families around me, and it made me miss my family terribly! But then….I saw the tantrums. The meltdowns. The family arguments on where to go next, and I realized… I don’t have to deal with any of that!

I immediately headed over to Aloha Isle in Adventureland to get a Dole Whip Float. I sat down to enjoy it and watched the people go by!

My Dole Whip Float

 I walked around Magic Kingdom to take photos of whatever I wanted! It was extremely crowded due to the President’s Day Weekend, Daytona 500, cheerleading championship and more. I decided to head over to Wilderness Lodge to go take some resort pictures and enjoy a quick break. I jumped on the boat, and away I

Wilderness Lodge

went! I waited for the geyser to erupt (but quickly lost patience) so I went and wandered around. I bought an iced tea at Roaring Fork and sat down in one of the rocking chairs in front of the huge rock fireplace in the Wilderness Lodge lobby. It was cold out so the fireplace felt great!

I then hopped on the bus and headed over to Epcot! Crowds were an issue there, too- no more Fastpasses for Soarin’ and the wait was 120 minutes. I decided to try for Test Track in the Single Rider line, which said 20 minutes when I went in. By the time I sat in line for 30 minutes and heard the announcement that wait times would be longer than posted, I decided to head back out. When I walked out, the Single Rider line was up to 90 minutes! Whew!

Epcot

I walked over to World Showcase and began wondering through all of the pavilions. There were many stores I had never been in before because I had the kids with me, and they wanted to do their Kidcot stops! I took my time in each pavilion exploring and seeing what I

Italy Pavilion

may have missed before. Then I got hungry! I had no ADR that day so I decided to try my luck! I went to Tutto Italia, where I had never eaten before! I was able to get in with a minimal wait! I guess seating for 1 makes them feel sorry for you! I waited for about 5 minutes and then was seated! The food was great. The ambiance was very romantic (at least that’s what I gathered by watching others), and the service was great. I enjoyed listening to the Italian singers and just getting off of my feet for a bit! Then back out to World Showcase! I finished wandering through the pavilions and bought some gifts to bring home. Then I headed out the back entrance and walked over to the Boardwalk!

I had never been to the Boardwalk before, and I’m sorry I’ve missed it! I will definitely have to bring the family back! I have to say though that I am not a fan of the pool area. As many of you know, the Boardwalk pool has a

Boardwalk

 HUGE clown slide, and I HATE clowns! I strolled along the Boardwalk and went to the bakery where I ordered a Cheesecake Brownie- simply put, DELICIOUS. After walking around the resort for a little bit, I decided I was pretty dang tired so I hopped in a cab to head back to the Gaylord Palms!

Early Sunday, I woke up and rented a car so I could spend my Sunday exploring the Disney resorts! My first priority was breakfast! I headed over to the Polynesian Resort for my 10:20 ADR at Kona. Tonga Toast was

Tonga Toast from Kona!

calling my name! After stuffing myself with the banana-stuffed cinnamon-sugar rolled French Toast, I jumped on the monorail to the Grand Floridian Resort to explore! I had never been able to truly explore any of these resorts before! What a beautiful resort! I watched the crazy kids play in the pool, wishing I had mine with me (although it was way too cold for me to have allowed my kids to get in the water- call me an overprotective mom)! I walked to the far

Grand Floridian Resort

 end of the resort and enjoyed the site of  Magic Kingdom before me! I walked along the beach and walked through the great shops!

After riding the monorail back to my car at the Polynesian, I decided to head up to the Value Resorts. I had visited Pop Century before breakfast so I went over to the All-Star Resorts. I knew I had to make it to All-Star Movies to see the Toy Story section, as my 3-year old LOVES anything to do with Toy Story! What a cool place!

Toy Story section at All-Star Movies Resort

Then I was off to Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs (simply beautiful), Port Orleans French Quarter (where I sat and enjoyed some beignets) and Port Orleans Riverside. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend time at the various resorts. I knew it was something I could never do with my kids. And how magical it was to be able to take it all in and watch the kids’ eyes light up when they realized that they were checking in to their hotels at WALT DISNEY WORLD! It brought tears to my eyes on several occasions! Being alone gives you a lot of time to think, and I was remembering vividly my kids’ first times at Walt Disney World- the excitement, the fatigue, the amazement. My daughter was 3 when we brought her for the first time. We stayed at Wilderness Lodge, and the look on her face when we walked into the majestic lobby was absolutely priceless.

Late in the afternoon, I headed over to Hollywood Studios to meet up with a Twitter friend, Maria. I enjoyed the

Maria and Me at Hollywood Studios

 Block Party Bash, and then I went off to meet Maria and her husband and four daughters. What a sweet family! They were off to spend time in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area. I decided to head the other way to take some more park photos. It was too crowded to ride my favorite ride, Toy Story Midway Mania, so I continued to just explore! I was wearing down after all those resorts so I then was off to try to get in to a table-service restaurant. They weren’t accepting walk-ins at Mama Melrose’s so I decided to head to another

Sci-Fi Diner

place I had never been to- Sci-Fi Drive-In. I was amazed when I was able to get a table- in one of the cars, nonetheless! What a fun experience! The kids around me were enthralled by being able to eat in a car and watch TV while they ate! I was hoping to catch Fantasmic, but with the crowds, I decided it was best to head out to check in to my new hotel- the Hilton at the Walt Disney World Resort!

I checked in and decided to head across the street to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping and exploring! I’ve never had the chance to wonder aimlessly at Downtown Disney before so I took the chance! I drove around for a while and finally found a parking space and then headed straight for World of Disney,

World of Disney

 my favorite store. Then I decided to indulge in a warm cookie fudge sundae from Ghiradelli (would have posted a picture but I ate it too fast). After my treat, I decided to head back to relax as I had an early Monday! It was a great Sunday, although I missed having my sweetheart with me on Valentine’s Day!

Monday came up fast! I was up early checking out of the Hilton and checking in at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Then I was off to do something I would never be able to do with my kids here- The Keys to the Kingdom Tour (you must be 16 to attend the tour).  My tour started at 9:00 so I arrived at Magic Kingdom

at a little after 8:00. I checked in for the tour and then walked around Main Street USA and enjoyed the

The Mayor on Main Street

emptiness! There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the castle without a massive crowd in front of it! I walked down Main Street and up through the castle and then slowly wandered back near the Main Street Train Station where I took in the pre-opening show with the Disney characters! As I waited for the tour began, I was lucky enough to have the characters walk right by and wave at me on their way backstage!

Then came time for the tour to start- this was the part of my trip I had been waiting for! I had a group of 16 people. Needless to say, I was the only one attending solo. Our tour guide was named Tracy, and she was excellent! We began by touring Main Street and discussing Walt’s idea for the park and most importantly, the story. We took in the windows on Main Street and discussed a few windows in particular. As we strolled down Main Street, we learned bits and pieces of Walt’s life and his relationship with his brother, Roy. We ended up at the Partners statue before we were on our way to Adventureland where we hopped on a Jungle Cruise boat! We didn’t get the normal Jungle Cruise speel. Instead, Tracy talked with us about Walt’s original thoughts for the attraction. The main thing being the fact that he actually wanted real animals along the banks, an idea the Roy rejected! But how interesting would that have been??

After the Jungle Cruise ride, we were on our way to Frontierland, where we finally got to go backstage! We were all responsible for making sure that our “travel buddies” made it each step of the way. Needless to say, it was easy keeping up with my travel buddy! We had to take an “oath” that we would not take any photos or videos while we were backstage. Then off we went! We first saw the backside of Splash Mountain and then were able to go into the warehouse where they keep the Spectromagic parade floats. It was very interesting to learn about how they position the floats and who gets to drive certain types of floats. We also were able to see Woody and Jessie before they become Woody and Jessie, if you know what I mean!

Next, we were off to Liberty Square, where we stopped to learn more about all of the details that went into Liberty Square, such as the 13 lanterns hanging in Liberty Tree.  Liberty Tree was even a great story- it broke in half when they were moving it to Liberty Square. After we spent our time in Liberty Tree, we had a great lunch at Columbia Harbour House, one of my favorites. I sat with Tracy, our tour guide, and a lovely couple who had gotten married only 2 days before! When we sat down for lunch, we received our special gift- our key to the kingdom (a key pin). After lunch, it was time for Haunted Mansion. We heard the “story” of Gracy Manor, and all of the rumors surrounding it. Then we went through the back entrance and gained quick access to the ride! I tried to locate some of the special things to look for (a headless Mickey, Jack Skellington and Sally), but I couldn’t find any of them!

Not long after that, we headed back up towards Main Street and down to the Utilidors! The Utilidors are a mystery to many people! And I can vouch for them saying, they are in fact long hallways. However, what is housed down there is simply amazing! It makes you wonder how many people truly realize they are on the second story when they are at Magic Kingdom! Tracy told us of the many benefits tat Disney offers their employees, and I have to say, that people who work at Disney are very lucky!

Rick, Amanda, me, James and Aurora

Once the tour was over, it was time to meet some more of my Twitter friends- Amanda, Rick, Aurora and her husband, James! What a great group of people! Amanda had a special pass that allowed us to get on Fastpass attractions right away! We met up at Space Mountain, where I took my 1st Space Mountain ride in 16 years (I know, a Disney-lover sin). I must confess that I am not a roller-coaster person, but Space Mountain is tame enough for me. We rode a few more rides and then met up with another Twitter friend, Debbie and her cute boys and headed to the Polynesian so we could have some dinner at Kona Cafe.

I then went back to Magic Kingdom so I could catch the 8:00 Wishes fireworks show, which I love! I

Wishes

 decided I couldn’t make it to Spectromagic (I had already been at Magic Kingdom for 12 hours) so I went back to take in my room at Caribbean Beach! I finally found my room in the Jamaica section, dropped off my bags and headed over to Old Port Royale for a drink and a snack! It was my last night at Disney!

I loved my Nemo-themed room and was excited to see the different Nemo characters on the comforter. I hopped into bed and watched what I wanted to- the Olympics!

Caribbean Beach Resort

My last morning there involved dropping off my rental car, checking out and waiting for Magical Express. After bringing the car back to the Gaylord Palms, I was back at Caribbean Beach Resort for a Mickey waffle and some bacon. I still had 4 hours before my bus to the airport came so I decided to catch the bus over to Downtown Disney for some last minute shopping. It was a chilly morning, but I had a nice time wondering through all of the shops and had a nice lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express. I was hoping to hit DisneyQuest, but it opened a little too late for me to have been able to make it back in time! After doing some more shopping, I was off to wait for my bus!

After a rather lengthy wait for my Magical Express bus (he was 20 minutes late) and some last-minute confusion, we were on our way to the airport! I had a wonderful experience at Walt Disney World, but I was ready to get home to my kids and my husband. It was finally time to board my flight, where I wound up sitting next to my high school dance instructor! Such a small world! She had been there with one of the local high schools for the cheerleading competition! Three hours later, I was in the airport and seeing my kids running to me saying “Mommy! Where are my presents?”! I knew I was home!

Looking back, this experience was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event for me. I had a wonderful time, met some great people, did a lot of walking and had some relaxing quiet time! I would without a doubt do this again, and I would hands down recommend a solo Disney trip to any Disney fans out there.

Walt Disney World is so many things to me- magical, peaceful, happy memories. But above all, Walt Disney World is family. My once-in-a-lifetime experience was something that I will always cherish. I was able to see many things I had never gotten to see before, even after all my trips to the World! I enjoyed watching the happy looks on the families that were there and seeing the magic on the childrens’ faces. I remember seeing that on my kids, too. Without the support of my family, I would never have been able to take this trip- my husband for inviting me and then for supporting me when I said I wanted to go alone for 3 days, my kids for being excited for me, and my parents, for taking care of the kids while we were gone. So thank you to my family…I owe you. I had a fantastic time. And I missed you.

This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Go there to read more great Disney posts.

My Family on a Previous Walt Disney World Trip!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.