Tag Archive: Walt Disney World

Do You Want to Build the Perfect Land and Sea Vacation?

March 12, 2017

Yes, I did that on purpose. No, I don’t feel bad that you’ll be humming Do You Want To Build A Snowman? all day. I’ve been singing the catchy tune ever since I settled on the title for this post!

Here’s the thing – I’ve thought about this article for a long time. Never one to rush out of the gate like the proverbial hare, I’ve been making notes, conducting research and trying to collect my thoughts. Because it’s hard to tackle the subject of land AND sea vacations, and if you’re going to plunk down the money to do it, I want to present it in the most rewarding way possible.
16585275_1100486463412235_8796706588351004672_nNow, please take note of the words “most rewarding”. And realize that most rewarding may not equate to least expensive or least amount of planning. This post, simply put, is for my Canadian readers who have decided they are open to – or looking for more information on – booking a tandem vacation at Walt Disney World and aboard Disney Cruise Line, and want my advice on the best way to do it.

And to those, I say… read on, Disney lovers, read on.  (more…)

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The Holidays are Magical at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort!

November 24, 2016

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

A Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort vacation at Christmas. Could there be anything more magical? (Hint: the answer is NO.)

I first visited Walt Disney World in December 2012, almost exactly four years ago to the day. At the time, the entire resort was teeming with holiday spirit, featuring whimsical Christmas decor and shopping, festive feasting and magical wintery wonder. It was, without a doubt, one of the most awe-inspiring experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime ParadeThis season, I want you to experience the magic, too!

It’s not too late to book a Disney vacation for the holidays! The BIG news is the Canadian Resident Ticket Offer – at Walt Disney World, save 25% on 4-day or longer tickets and enjoy all four Disney Theme Parks at a whopping discount. At Disneyland Resort, save 25% on 3-Day or longer tickets.

To take advantage of this special offer, you must purchase your tickets in advance before February 28, 2017. The best part? At Walt Disney World, you can use these discounted tickets at any time during 2016, 2017 and beyond – they won’t expire! At Disneyland Resort, the tickets must first be used by December 31, 2017.  (more…)

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(Almost) Picture Perfect

May 9, 2016

We took 18 family photos today at Hollywood Studios and this was the best one. Once in a while, I’m asked why I don’t put my kids in modelling. This would be why.Life isn’t picture perfect – not even when you’re on vacation. Kids will be silly, and throw tantrums, and push parents to their limits. They’ll fight and refuse to eat and splash water in each other’s faces even after the giggles have turned into tears.

You’ll ask yourself more than once why you even bothered to spend your hard-earned money. All you wanted to do was make memories with your children, but they’re behaving like a bunch of lunatics, not showing an ounce of gratitude for your generosity and sacrifices.

And then, just when you’ve reached your breaking point and you’re ready to head back to your hotel room, you’ll see wonder and delight etched across your child’s face as they discover something new, make a new friend or experience a moment of magic.

And just like that, you’ll decide that it’s worth it. It’s all worth it.

We have two more days left in our Walt Disney World vacation and we intend on making the most of our time here. I’ll be back later this week! In the meantime, have a wonderful day, friends!

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Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Yeti?

April 25, 2016

Okay, so perhaps it’s not the Yeti that has me so freaked out.

Perhaps it’s the backwards portion of the roller coaster. Or the fact that a large part of it takes place in the dark. Now that I think about it, it’s probably the ascension to the top of the mountain, the 80-foot drop, or the basic reasoning that it’s labeled a “thrill ride”.

Whatever the reason, I’m scared of Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain.
Walt Disney World Photo Gallery Disc“My 7-year old rode it!” one IG follower said in encouragement. Well, the thing is – so did mine. And that gives me cold comfort, because now I realize that I’m the biggest wimp ever.

“It’s nothing – you hardly feel anything and then it’s over,” my husband assured me. However, I can’t help but remember that time I ate chips from his private stash, and he promised he’d get me back… and I can picture him saying “Ha! Ha! Gotcha!” as we barrel down the mountain. Shudder.

Alas, for all the times I’ve been to Walt Disney World, I do believe it’s time to conquer my fear. Wish me luck, friends. I’m ready for the Forbidden Mountain.

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2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

March 18, 2016

If you’re lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World from March 2 – May 30 this year, you’re in for a treat! You can experience the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, FREE to guests with valid park admission. This year, it takes place for an unprecedented 90 days!The festival authentically has something for everyone. For foodies, Outdoor Kitchens offer delectable small plates and flavorful non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. The kiddos will adore the brand new Harmony Gardens Musical Playground, featuring state-of-the-art net climbers. And for the nature-lovers in your travel party, feast your eyes on more than 70 world-renowned Disney-themed topiaries, vibrant gardens and wildlife habitats.  (more…)

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Multi-Generational Memories

January 24, 2016

It’s a moment I don’t want to forget.

The rain clouds began to dissipate, revealing a bright sunny day with a promise of the perfect weather Orlando is known for. As we made our way into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Ryder, my sweet, sensitive 7-year old, beckoned me with his hand.

“I want to look at the castle,” he said.

This is our tradition. Skirting over to the nearest curb to avoid the crowds, I let him drink in the sight of Cinderella’s castle. It didn’t matter that we were too far for an unobstructed view. It didn’t matter that we were pushed together as a steady throng of guests shuffled past us. My entire world was reduced to a little boy, staring in helpless wonder at a fairy tale come to life.
DSC_0064aWhat is he thinking? What does he see? I wondered. Was he imagining himself as the brave prince who fights for the maiden’s honour? Was he envisioning the colourful burst of fireworks that adorn the sky at night? Or did he simply see the castle for what it was – an iconic representation of a place where dreams come true? I had to know.  (more…)

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WDW: Dare You to Find a More Magical Sight.

January 9, 2016

No matter how old I am… no matter how many times I’ve visited Walt Disney World… there’s something truly, truly special about Cinderella’s castle.
12446017_856563911122838_550749723_nIt’s no secret that January is my favourite time to visit Walt Disney World. Perfect park weather, reduced wait times due to lighter crowds, and the piece de resistance: most parks are still outfitted in holiday decor, such as the stunning icicle lights on Cinderella’s castle at Magic Kingdom.

It’s not too late to plan an incredible Walt Disney World vacation! Have a magical day!

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WDW: May the Force Be With You. (And Also With You.)

December 13, 2015

(Hands up if you’re Catholic and this *always* comes to mind? Yeah, me too.)

Celebrate, my young Padawans! New Star Wars offerings have landed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, just in time for Star Wars: The Force Awakens which hits theatres on December 18, 2015. From interactive exhibits to galactic-themed food, discover new and updated Star Wars experiences that bring you closer to the epic saga than ever before.
SW1Now, where do I begin? Grab a “Hoth” chocolate (Get it? Hoth? I kill me!) and settle in, because I’ve been geeking out and can’t wait to share the fan fodder with you!  (more…)

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Your Best Disney Vacation: How to Stretch a Weak Dollar

October 12, 2015

It’s the most magical glow.

It’s a particular warmth you feel after returning from a Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation, led by the intense desire to do it all over again. In fact, immediately upon returning from a visit to the most magical place on earth, I begin planning our next vacation! And since we returned from Disneyland Resort just two weeks ago, you can guess what’s currently taking up my time – yep, consulting calendars for 2016’s epic adventure.
FullSizeRender 6Addicted? I like to think I’m converted. Because now, I prefer to only vacation at world class resorts with world class theme parks. What’s wrong with that? You only live once!

Of course, one of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked since I announced our getaway is:

“How can I afford a Disney vacation with the falling Canadian dollar?”

To all those who’ve emailed or messaged me, thanks for your interest! The truth is, my Visa statement was indeed impacted by the weaker dollar; I’m not going to sugarcoat it. You need to plan ahead for increased prices. However, has that stopped me from wanting to do it all over again? NEVER! Because I have a great handle on how to stretch a weak dollar for an incredible Disney vacation. And today, I’m happy to share my best tips with you!  (more…)

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The Happiest Party on Twitter: #DisneyTBT

August 6, 2015

If you’ve ever gazed upon Cinderella’s castle, held Mickey Mouse’s hand or took a journey under the sea with Ariel, you’ll know the power of Disney vacation memories.

Tell me, what is your favourite Disney throwback?
IMG_0960aI admit that one of my favourite ways to de-stress is going through photos from past Disney vacations. Nine out of ten times, it inspires me to book my next one! And as long as my boys believe in the power of wishing upon a star, we’ll be sure to return to the place where dreams come true.

A request: Find your very best Disney vacation photos. Mark Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at 8PM EDT on your calendar.

Today, at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, you can experience the magic with your entire family. Disney Parks Cast Members deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to millions of guests annually, and if you’ve been planning a family vacation to this world-class entertainment and recreation center, this one’s for you –

I’m pleased to invite you to the #DisneyTBT Twitter Party, on Thursday, August 13th at 8PM EDT. It will be a fast-paced, fun-filled party where we want to see your very best Throwback Thursday photos… Disney-style! Share your park pictures, thrill-ride stills, poses with characters, or show us your throwback Disney-themed toys or costumes. The possibilities are endless!  (more…)

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Winter Escape: Walt Disney World!

February 11, 2015

As I sit in my home office, banging away at my keyboard, the light coming in through the window is hurting my eyes. Because it’s bright white. All over. As in, everything outside is covered with snow. Waaa!!!

Also? I’ve been having dreams. Dreams about cold, creamy Dole Whip – the soft-serve pineapple miracle you can only find at select Disney Parks. Could it be because just one week ago, we were in sunny, warm and perfectly balmy Orlando, enjoying one of our best family vacations at Walt Disney World Resort?
IMG_1914Yeah, probably so.

As we arrived at the Contemporary Resort (our home away from home), I was surprised to find the hotel teeming with guests; you see, the wait times at the park suggested we were actually in “low season”.

“It’s the conferences,” a cast member said. “When the parks are empty, conference resorts are full.”

By why are the parks remarkably less busy in the months of January and February? All vacation planning websites point to February as being one of the best times to visit Walt Disney World due to the smaller crowds. And for Canadians, while the weather is *only* on the 20’s… it’s NOT in the -20’s, you feel me? So what gives?

It turns out that January and February are sandwiched between the Christmas holidays and March Break – two of Disney’s busiest stretches – and therefore, often overlooked in family vacation planning. And, because the beginning of the year is also considered “winter” in the sunshine state, many travellers opt for the intense heat of the Caribbean to ease their cold weather suffering.

But today, I want to show you why it’s the perfect time of year to experience Walt Disney World Resort. If you’re thinking of booking a last minute vacation or planning for next year, here’s what you need to know.

The Pros

First, knowing that any vacation to Walt Disney World can be a sizable investment in time and money, let’s discuss the benefits of visiting over the winter.

1. Discounted Hotel Rates. Of course the very first point is that you can save money! The second week of January right through to the middle/end of February is considered value season at Walt Disney World. Staying at a resort hotel is attractive due to the cost savings – anywhere from 10-30% per family – and your choices for hotels and rooms are even greater if you plan ahead.  (more…)

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A Super New Way to Make the Most of Your Disney Vacation

January 20, 2015

(I wish I could take the credit for that awesome title, alas, I found it right on the Walt Disney World website. Which means even they know it’s super, and are totally owning it. You go, Disney.)

Here’s the thing. My mother taught me to always measure twice, cut once. Which I’m sure was her fancy way of saying Why don’t you try planning a little, Lena. But come on, mom, where’s the fun in that? It’s much cooler to leap in with both feet.

Except, then I became a mother, and I realized what she was trying to tell me all along – life’s a lot easier when you plan ahead. And this notion can be applied to almost anything, whether it’s planning dinner for the week, planning the car pool rotation, or planning your family vacation.

Especially when planning your family vacation. 

You may have heard that a Walt Disney World family getaway requires planning skills akin to Martha Stewart circa 1990. And yes, while it’s important to make the most of your time together – especially when you’re visiting somewhere as magical as Disney Parks – the feedback I’ve received time and time again is that it can be *slightly* overwhelming.

The resort. The theme parks. The meal plan. The extras.

So, where do you begin? With MyMagic+.

MyMagic+ gives you unprecedented control of your vacation and makes it easier than ever to enjoy time with the people who you care about the most. Listen up folks, because I’m about to change the way you think about planning a Walt Disney World vacay. Consider this your magical tutorial.
magic-kingdom-00-fullFirst, go on and book your trip! Figure out your travel dates, the resort hotel you’d like to stay at (check out my review of the Art of Animation if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option) and buy your park tickets. You know, the standard stuff that makes up a Disney vacay. Then, take your Walt Disney World vacation to an all-new level, making it uniquely yours.  (more…)

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The Happiest Party on Twitter: #DisneyFamilyTravel

July 23, 2014

In the mid-1960s, Walt Disney’s dream was to build a family resort destination like no other. The dream became a reality when Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971, featuring Magic Kingdom as the centerpiece.

If you’ve ever wished to gaze upon Cinderella’s castle, hold Mickey Mouse’s hand or take a journey under the sea with Ariel, you’ll know the power of dreams. And today, at Walt Disney World Resort, you can experience the magic with your entire family. Walt Disney World Resort and its Cast Members deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to millions of guests annually, and if you’ve been planning a family vacation to this world-class entertainment and recreation center, this one’s for you –

We’re pleased to invite you to the #DisneyFamilyTravel Twitter Party, on Tuesday, July 29th at 9:00pm ET. We’ll share all the latest Walt Disney World news including the latest attractions, current and upcoming events, vacation planning tips and more. To thank you for joining the conversation on Twitter, we’ll be giving away ten (10) Disney Store Gift Certificates valued at $50 each. (Please see official rules here.)

Disney Family Travel

For your chance to win, RSVP below. In the words of Mickey Mouse, See you real soon!  (more…)

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#ThrowbackThursday: Don’t Be Such a Mermaid

May 22, 2014

In 2014, I will be participating in #tbt courtesy of the Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small–in–One printer, the ultimate choice for scanning and printing. Ultra powerful and ultra slim, it produces stunning borderless photos and documents quickly and affordably. Featuring the ultimate in wireless printing, the XP-810 makes it easier than ever to print from your iPad, iPhone, tablet or smartphone, whether in your home or out and about.

throwbackthursdayToday I’m throwing back to just about a year ago – the Disney Social Media Moms Conference at Walt Disney World, Florida. In previous posts, I called it the “invitation you can’t refuse” – because really, who is going to turn down a chance to spend 5 days with your family at the happiest place on earth?

Days before the event, I found myself rushing through the mall picking up last minute items. Despite my time crunch, I found time to pop into H&M, as I was looking for a simple white tank top that I could layer under a particularly low-cut (and therefore non-Disneyish) top.

But as soon as I saw it, I just knew I *had* to have it – a loose, 80’s style sleeveless top which proudly cautioned: “Don’t Be Such a Mermaid.” Ha ha! Since I was planning a visit to Ariel’s Grotto, of course it was perfect!

Upon returning from the mall, I tweeted my fashion find to fellow Canadian conference attendees, including @FeistyFrugal, who immediately asked, “GAH!!! You DID get one for me, right?”

Of course I did!

At Walt Disney world, we took an obligatory picture with our matching tops, reveling in the attention as curious onlookers gawked at the sheer wit and perfection of our fashion find. And you can just see Cinderella’s castle in the background; a wonderful memory of a perfect spring day in May 2013.

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Show of Hands: YAY-con or NAY-con for Bacon?

March 8, 2014

Introducing the ‘Piggylicious’ Bacon Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Pretzel Crunch, available at the 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World.

I’m saying yes… although I’m trying to reconcile the taste sensation between the creamy maple frosting and the salty bacon bits. What do you think? And more importantly, who’s heading to Epcot soon? Be sure to try one of these bad boys and let us know! The 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival runs through May 18, 2014.

(Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World)

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The Invitation You Simply Can’t Refuse: Disney Social Media Moms

June 13, 2013

Years ago, when I first started blogging, I had no idea that one day, I’d be personally invited to attend a conference.

A conference that my whole family was welcome to attend. A conference at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

In fact, when telling family and friends that I had been selected to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, their reactions ranged from “That’s totally awesome!” to “You’re sh*tting me, right? They have a conference for that kind of stuff?” Ahem. Indeed they do.

Of course, an invitation to #DisneySMMoms is one you simply can’t refuse. Where else can you celebrate social media, family, friendship and fun – smack in the middle of the most magical place on earth? Surely I have the best job in the world! And so it was with equal parts flattery, curiosity and unbridled joy that I RSVP’ed with a big, fat YES.

(Underscoring my decision was the fact that Ryder’s 5th birthday took place during the conference stay. I reasoned that I’d likely never again be able to say, “Hey dude, let’s go to Disney World for your birthday!”… so that was a huge motivating factor for me. And oh, it was so very magical.)

Of course, as I was a #DisneySMMoms virgin, I really didn’t know what to expect. Sure, the family time and theme park passes were a big draw, but what would I learn from the conference? What would I take away? And most importantly, how could I share those learnings with my audience?

The truth is, the conference was everything I could have hoped for, and more.

It has been exactly one month since I returned home, and it’s taken me that long to get my thoughts together about our time at Disney Social Media Moms. From the stunning welcome reception to the very last tender moments at the Mother’s Day brunch, it was a celebration I’ll never forget. And because I’d love to share the magic with you, I present…. (more…)

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Disney Social Media Moms: Frugal Fashion Recap

May 21, 2013

I know y’all have been waiting for me to post my thoughts on the Disney Social Media Moms Conference – and it’s coming, I swear! It’s just that I normally need some time to collect my thoughts and present them in a way that will be relevant and interesting to you. It was QUITE the epic conference, though, and I’ll be back later this week with all the good stuff!

However, in the meantime, I know how much you love my Frugal Fashion Recaps (check out my BlogHer’12: Frugal Fashion Recap here) – also known as “What to Wear to a Professional Conference” – and so I thought it was only right to post another installment.

Last year, I was able to wear an entirely new wardrobe, consisting of four faboosh outfits, for under $200. This year, I wasn’t exactly counting pennies, but was nonetheless able to assemble a wide variety of outfits that allowed me to feel confident and pretty. Of course, the Disney Social Media Moms Conference posed an additional challenge; my wardrobe had to include conference day pieces, night ensembles, and even Disney Park outfits – ones that could keep me somewhat comfortable in the 35°C weather, that is.

And so here it is… a timeline of my outfits, the costs, and how I rocked them!

The very first conference event was on Thursday night – a Welcome Reception at Epcot. As mentioned in my I Have Nothing To Wear post, I decided to recycle an outfit from BlogHer’12 – a striped maxi dress from Banana Republic Factory Store. There I am posing with Stephanie (@SassyModernMom) and Tenille (@FeistyFrugal) – it was crazy dark at the venue (hence the grainy photo), so thankfully we all chose bright pieces!

The dress cost $49.72 (after discounts) – last year – which means, of course, there was no additional expense to my fashion budget for Disney Social Media Moms. I received exactly eight (8) compliments (hubby was counting!) so I’m officially declaring this do-over a fashion win.

Of course, it was the next day – Conference Day One – that I was really stressing about. Not only did I want to look appropriately professional for the conference, but there was also a Red Carpet Family Dinner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which I just knew I wanted to dress to impress for. However, I also had no idea if I’d have a chance to change in between, so I had to opt for an outfit which would literally take me from “office” to “outing”.

(Not so easy when balancing highly air conditioned conference rooms and non-existent air conditioning at outdoor venues!)

In the end, I decided to go for a tried and true maxi dress – the easiest way to be fun and flirty and always dressed accordingly for the occasion. Of course, one of my first stops was once again the Banana Republic Factory Store. As soon as I laid eyes on this gorgeous maxi dress, I knew I had to have it!

With an abstract floral print and a figure-flattering empire waist, the dress was originally $110 – on sale for 40% off. Thankfully, I read In Touch every week – and always remember to save their GAP Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory Store coupons. Hence, I was able to receive an additional 20% off, making the dress only $52.80 after discounts. Have you been paying attention? That’s almost the same amount I spent on my maxi dress last year. Therefore, the sweet spot for Banana Republic Factory Store dresses is about $50 CAD – be sure not to purchase them at a higher price, because you just know there will be another sale around the corner.

I teamed it up with my prized Michael Kors Devon handbag and a pair of gladiator sandals from ALDO I’m so happy I held on to, even though conventional wisdom was telling me to toss them last year. It only took a few more seasons for the style to return, and now we’re in gladiator heaven with all the brands once again coming on board.

Since I already own the handbag and sandals, total cost for the outfit was $52.80! (Er… technically I should also factor in the new convertible bra I purchased, but let’s forget about that.) (more…)

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And THAT’S the Disney Difference.

May 14, 2013

I get it. I really do. I know that every time I publish a review of a resort, vacation or hotel, at the back of your mind you may be thinking, “Yeah, but was it all roses because you received special treatment? Did they go over and above because they knew you were reviewing their property?”

Okay, so the truth is – YES – often perks and rewards are bestowed upon us media folk. But certainly, it’s to be expected; it’s the same reason you clean your home before company arrives, grab the best wine and/or break out the fine silverware. You want your guests to leave with a wonderful impression. Because the truth is, if they knew that you actually just dusted in front of the picture frames instead of lifting them off the shelf, and that the wine currently stocked in your wine cellar was purchased 15 minutes before your guests arrived – maybe they wouldn’t tell your friends about the perfect dinner party you hosted. And that’s all we really want, isn’t it? Kudos. Pats on the back. Good press.

Hence, when writing reviews, I’m always sensitive to the “bonuses” that members of the media receive, and refrain from gushing or being overly obnoxious about them. You will rarely see me Facebook a perk, freebie or something else that is unique to my situation as a blogger; my attitude is, if my reader won’t be offered special treatment, there’s no need to prove that I was.

So, it gives me great pleasure to tell you about a wonderful – no, magical – example of exemplary customer service that we experienced this past Sunday at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. Staying at the Contemporary Resort for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, read on for an example of the Disney Difference – not because I am media personnel (he had no way of knowing), but because I am a person. Here’s what happened.

We were booked for the 4:20pm Magical Express to take us to the airport for our return flight. Since we were flying out of Buffalo, we were able to take advantage of Disney’s Resort Airline Check-in. Simply put: we could check our bags and receive our boarding pass right there at the resort, and then jump on a complimentary shuttle to the airport. After ridding ourselves of our heavy luggage, we decided to make our way to Hollywood Studios, to ride Star Tours… oh, 8-10 times.

However, at some point between the 35°C heat and the repeated passage on the simulator ride, Ryder began to feel sick. All the classic symptoms of heat exhaustion, really; irritability, drowsiness, complaining of thirst, and an overall feeling of malaise. And, since I was so wrapped up in making sure he was okay, I did something really silly – when I checked my phone, I thought “3:45 pm” read as “2:45 pm”. So yeah, by the time I figured out my mistake and we booted it back to the Contemporary Resort, we had missed our 4:20 pm Magical Express.

Truth be told, I wasn’t too concerned. I knew there would be another leaving at 4:50pm, 5:20pm, 5:50pm… etc. And, since our flight wasn’t until 7:20pm and our bags were already checked, there was no real emergency. We just had to make sure there was room on the 4:50pm bus. So, after collecting our carry-ons from bell services, I ventured to the front of the hotel and explained the situation to the Magical Express coordinator.

Me: (Eyeing his name tag) Hi Greg!
Greg: Hello there! How are you?
Me: Well, I have a small problem.
Greg: How can I help?

(Note: Greg didn’t say, “What’s the problem?” – rather, he immediately jumped in and committed to helping me find a solution. Love that.)

Me: Well, my little guy was under the weather in the park, and in turn we missed our Magical Express.
Greg: That’s not a problem.

I followed him over to a podium where I assumed he would check for availability on the next shuttle. Instead, he simply grabbed a taxi chit, filled in a few details, and said,

“Are you ready to leave now? Or would you like to cool off in the hotel for a while? I can arrange for towels if you’d like to freshen up.”

“Um, no…” I sputtered. “You really don’t have to do that. We can take the next Magical Express, I don’t want to put you out.”

“You’re not putting me out”, he laughed. “Everything is already taken care of. This chit even includes a tip, so unless the taxi driver sings and dances for you, you don’t even have to worry about that. Honestly. Just go inside, rest a bit, and when you’re ready to leave, the taxi will be waiting here for you.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Listen, you’ve got a little guy who’s under the weather. And the last thing you need is to board a bus that makes multiple stops. Relax; it’s my pleasure to make your vacation the best it can be, right up until you board your flight.”

And THAT’S the Disney Difference. 

“Well Greg,” I said. “You’re so awesome, and you know what? You’ve helped someone who has the ability to tell the world how amazing you are,” I said. “I’m a Disney Social Media Mom, and you just know I’m going to put this on social media! Can I take a picture with you?”

Stunned, Greg posed for a photo. (Thanks again Greg!)

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Home Sweet Home

May 13, 2013

I’ve come to realize a trend.

Every time I go away for a press trip, vacation, weekend getaway, etc… I always arrive home just before midnight on a Sunday night.

Some may say I endeavour  to make the very most of my time away, down to the very last minute. And I suppose they would be right: we had the most glorious time at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, and we simply did not want the magic to end.

Of course, inevitably, comes Monday morning. And what comes with the territory? The “I’m-back-but-too-tired-to-blog-today” post.

Exhibits A, B and C:

Allure of the Seas – too tired: Back to Life; Back to Reality
Disney Fantasyland – boo hoo I’m pooped: Arriving Home from Vacation with Children…
Visit Orlando – I’m exhausted so just read this recipe: Orange Granita with Balsamic and Mint Strawberries

Yup. That’s me – telling y’all that while I love you and am happy to be home, I’m just gonna go find my wits about me. And do some laundry. Oh, the endless laundry.

Hence, this time I’ll just keep it real. I’ll be back as soon as I can figure out what day it is, where I packed my makeup, and why the hell it’s only 4°C in MAY, with a FROST WARNING. In the meantime, here’s a picture from the Sunshine State – while in Orlando, I actually managed to enroll in a new school! That’s right, I’m now officially a student at Monsters University :)

(Disney Social Media Moms were treated to an exclusive advanced screening of the movie – it’s FABULOUS! One of my favourite Disney PIXAR movies ever – the whole family adored it.) See ya real soon!

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5 Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

January 17, 2013

As you may have read, until just a month ago – I was a Disney newbie. Seriously! It took me 34 years to finally experience the most magical place on earth for myself. Through the tears and misty-eyed moments (here)… the wonder and awe surrounding the New Fantasyland (there) … and even the less than perfect photographic evidence (everywhere)… let’s just say that it’s never too late to experience Walt Disney World for yourself.

And, if you have a couple of beautiful, excited children to take along with you, it’s even better.

When we returned, I expected friends and family to ask, “How was it? What did you enjoy most? What parks did you visit?” – etc, etc. BUT, to tell the truth, the most frequently asked question was “Where did you stay??”

It makes sense, of course – a huge part of your Disney vacation budget is allocated to lodgings, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the best comfort, convenience and value for your money. And so I pretty much have this to offer – our stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort was flawless. Truly, we could not have asked for more. But you don’t have to take my word for it – listen to the 458 people who rated the hotel a 4.5/5 on Trip Advisor. For a “value” or “budget” hotel – a rating so high is virtually unheard of. Told you it was awesome, no?

The following review is not written with the air of a professional traveller, sharing yet another review of another hotel she has visited on yet another media trip. The fact is, I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a hotel! So, rather than complicate things, I think it’s best to simply share 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, trust me – you’ll want to read this. (more…)

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