Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Disney Food for Wordless Wednesday

My Food & Wine Festival Trip is coming up fast and I'm so excited to be returning for this event again!  Eating at Disney is one of the things that I look forward to most when it comes to vacation and I thought that today I would share with you a few of the things I'm looking forward to most! So Delish! 

Arancini Goodness Italian Margarita 2
Untitled Untitled

Focused on the Magic

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creating Family Time at Home with a Disney Movie Night

HaystackAs my kids get older I struggle more and more with trying to hold onto special moments that celebrate our family.   Kirk turned 18 on Sunday and I was a teary eyed-mess for most of the day.  Katie is now the only “official” kid in out house.   I suppose you could say that I’m beginning to have empty nest syndrome, even though my kids aren’t gone yet!   While they were growing up I don’t think I realized how very important it would be that I cherish ever moment that I had with them. All Moms know that the goal is to raise great kids that will grow up and someday become successful adults on their own, but the harsh realization of someone you’ve lived with for 20 years just up and moving out is still hard to come to.

I’m taking this last year Kirk has in High School to celebrate special moments with my family while I still have them close. I’m so happy that as with the earlier portions of their lives, Disney is there to help me bring the whole family together not only while we’re at the Parks, but at home as well. This weekend we’re having a family movie night! I know, it doesn’t sound that exciting, but with the busy scheduled of four adults in the house all working different hours, and a limited budget, it’s not that easy to get everyone together anymore. With a family movie night we can take a break and spend some relaxing time at home, while still spending time together as a family.

This weekend’s pick is the Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 on Blu-ray Combo Pack! I know, I know, it sounds like a crazy choice, but we saw the first Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie on a plane coming home from Disneyland and it had us rolling in the aisles! It was hilarious and in this Beverly Hills Chihuahua Movie, Papi (voiced by George Lopez) is learning for himself that it can be tough helping your kids grow up. I’ll probably start crying, I’m sure that my kids will laugh at me, but at least we’ll be celebrating together. Maybe Papi can help me find my inner strength too. So come Saturday night I’ll grab some of everyone’s favorite candy from the store, pop up some pop corn, dim the lights in the living room and settle in on the couch with my whole clan for some great family fun. Have you struggled with your teens getting older? How do you make sure to celebrate every moment? Have you held a family movie night? Leave a comment and let me know!

I was compensated for writing this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Disney blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No. 1 Cruise Line for Families

Hoorah!  Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have once again confirmed what I've always said, the Disney Cruise Line is the No. 1 Cruise Line for Families!  Receiving the No. 1 honor for the fourth consecutive year, it's the eighth consecutive year Disney Cruise Line has been ranked to the top five cruise lines overall.   There's no doubt here, Disney offers an elegant, fun, family cruise that can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. 

Just last week I booked my second Disney Cruise and hope to enjoy one of their Holiday Sailings in 2013.  We'll be taking the Disney Magic (fresh out of dry dock) from the Port of Miami, I'm headed to Castaway Cay and Key West!  Woohooo!  I'm so excited about this one!  I even made a ticker to help keep me motivated to get it paid off!

Congrats to the Disney Cruise Line!  It's totally deserved. 

Check out these posts for more news about the Disney Cruise Line from Disney Parks Blog:

Magical Moment Wordless Wednesday


Today's Disney Blog Hop theme is Magical Memories. 
 I have to pick the Princess Party Crew trip from this past February as full of the most magical moments. I couldn't really narrow it down to just one, so I picked this picture of my two very best friends and I having dinner at the California Grill on the first night of the trip. 
You just can't get much more magical than that.

Focused on the Magic

Sunday, September 9, 2012

DVC Member Lounge at the Top of the World

Monorail Mural behind the bar
Original Concept Art Backs the Bar
From the DVC Member Site:

"The popularity of a special perk originally slated to end on Aug. 25 has prompted its extension! From now through Dec. 29, 2012, Disney Vacation Club(r) Members staying at any Disney-owned-and-operated hotel at the Walt Disney World(r) Resort (whether they booked with vacation points or cash) may enjoy complimentary access to one of the vacation kingdom's most exclusive spaces: the Top of the World Lounge atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort."

Note that Members traveling from other resorts must use Walt Disney World Transportation, as parking will be unavailable to anyone not staying at Bay Lake Tower or Disney's Contemporary Resort. Upon arrival, Members must walk to the Bay Lake Tower main lobby entrance on the ground floor (the typically locked front door will be unlocked during this time, or a Cast Member will be at the door to assist) and check in at the Top of the World Lounge desk in the lobby.

Top of the World Lounge
Chic interior is modern and comfortable
The sleekly designed bar and lounge, typically available only to Members staying at Bay Lake Tower, operates from 5 p.m.-midnight daily and offers spectacular rooftop viewing of Wishes(tm) " the Magic Kingdom(r) fireworks spectacular " complete with the show's stirring musical soundtrack. The ability to access the lounge has been a frequent request from Members staying at other Walt Disney World Resorts since Bay Lake Tower opened in 2009, and Disney Vacation Club is thrilled to make that "wish" come true during this extended period.

This perk is available exclusively to Members and those in their traveling party who are staying on that Member's reservation. At least one Member in the traveling party must accompany the group and present his or her current Key to the World card displaying a Disney Vacation Club Membership notation in order to gain admission to the lounge. If the Member's Key to the World card doesn't display a Membership notation, a Disney Vacation Club Member ID is required in addition to the Key to the World card to verify Membership.

Magic Kingdom
You just can't beat the view
This special Top of the World Lounge access is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the lounge reaches capacity. As the lounge is particularly popular during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, arriving as early as possible will give Members the best chance of gaining admission."

Top of the World Lounge is without a doubt my favorite spot to grab a drink in all of Walt Disney World and I'm so excited that even more DVC Members will get to have the opportunity to stop bu and relax while enjoying this fantastic space.

Have you been to the Top of the World?  Will you be going now that DVC has extended this great member perk?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Planning Post - October ADRs

Tropical Goodies at Ohana
Now that my trip in October is all but paid for (I still have some incidentals to take care of) I'm really starting to get excited about the planning.  This past week I took a look at the park hours and our ADRs in an attempt to bring it all together for a fantastic vacation!

Our trip is for four nights, and we're got the regular Disney Dining Plan (FREE!) so we'll have enough credits to eat at 4 Table Service and 4 Counter Service Restaurants. There are a couple other places that we're tossing in for the experience.

Here's a quick look at where we'll be eating!
  • Ohana -I ate here with the girls back in February for the first time and loved it!  I can't wait to take Erik there, I think he'll love it too.
  • Top of the World - My favorite WDW Lounge, we'll be stopping by on our first night for a nosh, cocktails, and Hallowishes!  This will also be Erik's first trip to Top of the World, and thanks to the new expanded policy for DVC members we won't have to sneak in!
  • Pecos Bills Lunch - A hearty quick serve classic. I love the BBQ here and can't wait to go back.
  • Liberty Tree Tavern Dinner- I haven't eaten here since the early 80's so I'm excited to have a "new dining experience in the Magic Kingdom. 
  • Kona Island Sushi - I'm on a quest to try more and more sushi at WDW.  We'll see how many places that I actually hit. There are 4 on my list.
  • Akershus Princess Breakfast - I'm so excited about this Princess Breakfast!  I'm totally borrowing one of Tori's tiaras to wear.
  • Food & Wine Festival Booths - My strategy is to hit the booths with the shortest lines.  I figure that will truly make this an adventure.
  • Kouzinna Breakfast - There's not a lot on the menu here that sounds like I'll eat it, but Baklava French Toast has my interest peaked! 
  • Rose & Crown Pub - I switched out our Tutto Italia reservation to the pub in an attempt to eat something different than I normally do.  I was last here in 2009 and the menu has changed quite a bit since than so we'll see how it goes.  I'm most looking forward to cocktails.  
So there you have all of our dining choices.  I may toss in a few spur of the moment picks while we're down there.  I know I'm going to have to try out the cocktails at the Big Blue Pool.  Have you eaten breakfast at Kouzinna? What did you think about it?  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of my picks!