Dreams Come True.

 

 

WishesIt has been a while since I last posted anything, but as you know life often times gets in the way, and well, I guess you could say that life definitely got in the way here because The Magical Escape is now blogging live from Central Florida!!

We have always talked about moving down here, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen before retirement! The stars aligned and my husband landed a job with none other than The Mouse himself, which is another dream come true in and of itself. In the span of two short months, we moved our entire lives down to the Sunshine State and we have been down here a little over two months now, it all still seems surreal!

To have Walt Disney World literally in your backyard is crazy and we have been quite busy since we got down here just trying to take it all in. It is amazing to be able to go Epcot for dinner or see your favorite Candlelight Processional narrator–Neil Patrick Harris, anyone? We often do date nights at Disney Springs, partake in the special holiday events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or visit the resorts, just because. It is definitely a different way to do Disney and I think we can definitely get used to it!

We still have to do a little planning along the way since our Annual Passes expired, I am currently using my Maingate Spouse pass, which is subject to blockout dates, especially during the holidays, so it isn’t always as easy as just deciding on a whim that I want to go to Magic Kingdom on any given night as much as I would love to. Same for dining reservations, most of the popular restaurants still need to be made 180 days in advance. I have been itching to get to ‘Ohana for some bread pudding!

With that being said, I think we are settling in nicely here and just wanted to share some highlights from our last two months:

We said goodbye to Duffy on the day he jetted off back to Japan.
20151003_182256I celebrated my birthday at the Food & Wine Festival, YUM!20151016_182604We got to see Animal Kingdom all lit up and beautiful at night, which something we had never seen before and are so excited that shots like this will soon be the norm!DSC_5624Belle and Gaston had fun at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! DSC_5913 DSC_5667We journeyed into the high seas on the Disney Fantasy visiting St. Marten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay! Belle & Gaston came along too since it was was special Halloween on the High Seas sailing! 2015-10-27-13h31m332015-10-26-18h57m59 2015-10-28-10h20m35 2015-10-30-09h04m48We witnessed the amazing Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights for their final run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We will be back there again before they shut them off for good. :tears:DSC_6632 DSC_6622We were Merry & Bright despite the rain at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party20151119_233515 PhotoPass_Visiting_Mickeys_Very_Merry_Christmas_Party_7536957415We said goodbye to Captain EO which caused us to be late to get in line for the Candlelight Processional…but hey, we changed the world…DSC_6679So went back the next evening and saw Neil Patrick Harris, albeit from pretty far away, but it was still wonderful!DSC_6754There is still so much we want to do this holiday season! I must see the Osborne Lights again, visit Holidays Around the World at Epcot and catch the special holiday ending of Illuminations, plus I want to check out the trees and gingerbread displays at the various resorts. We also have not made it over to see the new Star Wars Launch Bay! There is still so much to see and do, but the best part about it is, we now get to experience it all!

I will leave you with this lovely little Someecard that I pinned a while back because it is just too perfect to not include in this post:6a3b37e53350bd478845c364239fa0dd

 

 

 

Progress City…Get Excited

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What an amazing time to be a fan of the Disney Parks!! The internet has been a buzz all week with all the new  and exciting expansions coming to Walt Disney World in the next few years thanks to all the announcements made at the D23 Expo. I absolutely cannot wait to see all of the new attractions, restaurants and entertainment that is coming our way! Sorted by park below, you will find my two cents as always as well links to official Disney Parks Blog articles regarding all the new gizmos and gadgets a plenty!

Magic Kingdom:

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Jungle Navigation Co., Ldt. Skipper Canteen (Jungle Cruise Themed Restaurant) — YES YES YES!! I have been saying for a while that my beloved Magic Kingdom Park needed a new table service offering that was outside of the princess theme. Skipper Canteen sounds amazing and just what Adventureland needs! I cannot wait to see more details about the menu and decor. Jungle Cruise is such a fun ride, so to carry that theme to the restaurant setting sounds like such a fun meal! I am ready to make my ADR’s now!

Epcot:

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Soarin’ Around the World – While I love the original Soarin’ and soundtrack, a Soarin’ Around the World film makes so much more sense for Epcot, plus the film will now be digital and another theater is being built which should help with the wait times. I hope the soundtrack is just as good and I wouldn’t be the least bit sad if they kept the original music. If they also want to find a way to incorporate oranges, I would be all for it too!

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(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Frozen Ever After Attraction – I know lots of people are on the fence about this one because they removed the popular Maelstrom ride to build it, but the renderings of this attraction look beautiful & I cannot wait to get the Norway Pavilion back! Frozen fans will also get to meet Anna & Elsa in the new neighboring Royal Summerhus cabin. Be sure you FastPass+ this one once it opens because I cannot even fathom what the wait times will look like! More Frozen Ever After

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

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(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Star Wars Land – This one was the BIG kahuna that everyone was waiting for. A whopping 14 acres of land has been put aside at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to make Star Wars Land a reality, making these expansions the largest in park expansion to date. I cannot think of a series that spans through so many generations and with the new movies coming out, Star Wars fever is going to get real. I cannot wait to see the attention to detail that they will put into this land! Universal Orlando can keep the Wizard Boy, we’ll take the Jedis.

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(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Tour Enhancement & Season of the Force – To hold everyone over while Star Wars Land is built, Disney will be offering some new Star Wars experiences. Star Wars Launch Bay, which will be located in the Animation Courtyard, will be home to interactive exhibits, character meet and greets and food/merchandise offerings centered around Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Star Tours will be adding new locations and characters from the upcoming movie. Lastly, Season of the Force, will be a new seasonal event coming in 2016 which sounds very similar to Star Wars Weekends with special entertainment, character greetings, etc. The headlining attraction sounds like it will include a new Star Wars themed fireworks show (no word yet on whether this is replacing Star Wars Weekends or not). The Star Wars hype is real, folks! I like that Star Wars is going to have an increased presence in the Disney Parks, especially for all those dads and kids who are such big fans!

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(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Toy Story Land – As if getting a Star Wars expansion wasn’t enough, Disney Hollywood Studios will soon also be home to a Toy Story Land! This land looks so colorful and straight out of the movie! In addition to another track being added to Toy Story Mania, a new family-friendly Slinky Dog coaster is being added as well as an Alien Saucer attraction. I love the queue of Toy Story Mania, so I cannot even imagine how detailed and amazing an entire land will be!

Animal Kingdom:

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(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Pandora – The World of AVATAR – While this expansion was announced some time ago, fans got some new sneak peeks at D23 for this upcoming mystical world. I cannot wait to see this movie come to life and see the bioluminescent plants and ride the banshee on AVATAR Flight of Passage.

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(Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog)

Rivers of Light + Kilmanjaro Safari Enhancement – The concept art revealed for Rivers of Light makes me so happy! If there is one thing I love most at Walt Disney World, it is their nighttime entertainment, so the fact that we are getting a new nighttime show and at Animal Kingdom, a park that many people (myself included) have never seen after dark, makes me giddy! Since the park will be open during later hours, Kilmanjaro Safari will be doing Sunset and Nighttime rides as well! I think Animal Kingdom is going to feel like a whole different park after dark! I cannot wait!

Phew!! All this, plus all the new restaurants and shops coming to the new Disney Springs is enough to make any Disney fan’s head spin!! You can bet we will bring you more details as they are revealed!

#TripReportTuesday – Taking on the Springs on the High Seas – Flowers, Cheddar Cheese Soup and the NBA Playoffs?

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Day 1 continued: Flowers, Cheddar Cheese Soup and the NBA Playoffs?


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The first park we visit always seems to vary when we vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort. It doesn’t matter at all to me which one we visit first because I am just so happy to be there! If you read the last post, you will know we were headed to Epcot this evening. Our main goals this afternoon were to:

  1. Hit up our favorite rides
  2. Check out some of the Flower & Garden Festival
  3. Stuff ourselves silly with dinner at Le Cellier
  4. Score an awesome viewing location for Illuminations
  5. Somehow keep up with the NBA Playoffs
  6. Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours (EMH) until 11:00 PM

As you can see, we hoped to accomplish a lot and it was almost already 3:00 PM. Our first order of business was Test Track because we had a FastPass+ reservation between 3:05-4:05. Of course, we stopped to take some pictures first because the topiaries at the park’s entrance and throughout the park are amazing! If you ever have a chance to check out the Flower & Garden Festival, definitely make it a point to see all the creative topiaries, it amazes me how detailed each one is, not that I would expect anything less from Disney. After admiring the adorable displays at the entrance, we made a beeline for Test Track, which happens to be my favorite Epcot attraction!

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2015-05-08-15h00m02Wasting no time at all, we scanned our MagicBands at the Fastpass+ entrance and headed in. Soon, we were designing our own vehicle seen below to be put to the test on the Sim track. This ride is necessary for anyone who is a car enthusiast! 2015-05-08-15h13m33And we’re off! I don’t remember our vehicle performed compared to the others in our car, probably because of the adrenaline rush. EPCOT_DPIRIDESYSGMTT_7301943749People with long hair, beware–this is what happens to you!EPCOT_DPIRIDESYSGMTT_7323127995Such a beautiful couple. 2015-05-08-15h28m09

We had some time before our next FastPass+ which was for Spaceship Earth, so we decided to check out the Flower & Garden Festival building which was near the Universe of Energy in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion. Being a Disney nerd, I could not believe I had never been in this building before.

2015-05-08-15h40m182015-05-08-15h40m37 2015-05-08-15h39m21 2015-05-08-15h39m55The building is used for festivals such as Flower & Garden for demonstrations, exhibits and festival merchandise. I wondered if the fact that the building’s skylights are shaped like a flower have anything to do with why they keep this building around for festivals and not convert it to another attraction.

2015-05-08-15h41m06We walked around the entire pavilion, they had some kind of horticulture presentation going on, but we didn’t stop to watch. We did like seeing all the cute merchandise though!2015-05-08-15h43m02 2015-05-08-15h43m51A very neat exhibit was toward the back of the pavilion and showed how Cast Members go about making the amazing topiaries. It was very cool to see all that goes into these works of art!
2015-05-08-15h52m22Feeling informed, we decided to take a break from the flowers and paid a visit to the Seas with Nemo & Friends. EPCOT_LIVINSEAS_7302059992 2015-05-08-16h11m05We also stayed for Turtle Talk with Crush, which is such a fun little show because it is always different and depends on the participation from the kids in the audience. The show is HILARIOUS! I don’t want to ruin the magic, but definitely check it out if you have never stayed to watch it! It is located in the pavilion that houses the Seas with Nemo & Friends. In fact, the entire Seas pavilion is worth exploring. You can see dolphins, manatees and tons of other fish. There are also educational presentations throughout the day! It is such a great place to take a break from the Florida heat and sun!

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It was now time for our Fastpass+ reservation to Spaceship Earth (The Ball as it is known in non-Disney circles).  We decided not to try and photograph anything this time around and just enjoyed our slow paced ride through time. As it was nearing our dinner reservation for Le Cellier, we headed to the World Showcase part of the park to explore a bit before dinner.

2015-05-08-17h32m27Here is a hint to the country we ended up in:

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If you didn’t guess Mexico, I cannot help you. Definitely the best World Showcase pavilion in my opinion. Not only is it beautiful inside because it looks like you are outside, but you also get to ride on a Grand Fiesta Tour with the 3 Caballeros! Trust me, it is not as wild as it sounds! After our visit with the 3 Caballeros, I resisted the urge to get a churro because it was dinner time and we were off to Canada!

We checked in promptly at 5:40 which was our reservation time and were seated in no time. This is a pretty small restaurant and popular, so I recommend getting a dining reservation 180 days in advance if you have your heart set on eating here.

Le Cellier is a delicious steakhouse, but I honestly go for the ever popular Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup!! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, heaven in a bowl:2015-05-08-17h55m29
Dip the pretzel bread in that soup, and I swear your life will be changed forever.
For our main entree, we both got the Le Cellier Filet Mignon: here is the description from Disney’s website-

AAA Canadian Beef Tenderloin, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Heirloom Toy Box Tomatoes, Truffle-Butter Sauce

Is your mouth watering?

Dinner was wonderful and we were extremely full. We made the smart decision to skip on dessert because it was our first day of vacation and we had many more days ahead not to mention a cruise with unlimited desserts coming up.

After dinner, we leisurely made our way back into Future World taking some beautiful pictures along the way. Epcot always looks to peaceful from this angle.

2015-05-08-17h34m36 2015-05-08-17h34m48 2015-05-08-17h34m562015-05-08-18h54m07We had a FastPass+ reservation ready to be used at Journey into the Imagination with Figment and our full bellies were happy that the attraction is pretty close to the World Showcase so we didn’t have far to walk! After a journey into the imagination with our favorite purple dragon, we played in the Imagination fountains as any normal adults in their thirties would. I think this is why we love Disney so much – there is never any judgement to completely grown adults acting as children.

2015-05-08-19h13m31 2015-05-08-19h15m09Feeling like we did pretty good on the rides this afternoon, we were ready to stake out a spot for Illuminations and seeing that it was only 7:30, we would definitely get an awesome spot. We found a spot front and center right past the Mexico Pavilion.

You may remember, one of our goals for the day was to stay informed of the NBA Playoffs, now normally, when I am at Disney, I tune out the entire real world and do not want to any communication with it! But, in our house, we are big Chicago Bulls fans and they were in the second round playing their arch-nemesis LeBron James & the Cleveland Cavaliers and I had to know what was happening. We contemplated walking over to the Boardwalk to catch the game at the ESPN Club, but I really wanted to see Illuminations, so we did the next best thing…we streamed it on our phones using Disney’s free Wi-Fi. What a technologically advanced world we live in! This really made the time fly by though and we made some friends along the way as they would ask what we were watching or what the score currently was.We could just tell some dads were jealous of our little setup. In between our NBA watching, we took this beautiful picture of the World Showcase Lagoon. Dusk around the World Showcase is one my happy places!

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Soon, the sun was gone and an ominous voice came over the speakers wishing us a “Good Evening” alerting us that Illuminations was about to begin.

Illuminations-9ps 2015-05-08-21h04m16 2015-05-08-21h10m20 2015-05-08-21h11m21 2015-05-08-21h14m14 2015-05-08-21h14m34As usual, Illuminations did not disappoint one bit! The fact we had a front row seat with no heads blocking our view made it even better! This is why I don’t believe in wasting a FastPass+ on the nighttime entertainment. If you just plan to arrive 30 min – 1 hour early, you should have no issues finding a great viewing location for any of the shows.

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While many people headed for the exit, we had two more goals to accomplish during Extra Magic Hours: Soarin’ and another ride on Test Track.

Remember that Extra Magic Hours is a perk for Disney resort guests which allows to stay in select parks two hours after regular closing or enter one hour before opening. Check Disney’s official park hours for the Extra Magic Hours schedule.

2015-05-08-21h29m20Soarin’ is my husband’s favorite ride and since we already rode Test Track, we decided to ride Soarin’ first. The Bulls game was still going on, so we watched the game while in line, making more friends with jealous dads along the way. The game actually ended up going into overtime, so once we were done soaring, we took a seat on one of the benches at the exit to watch the final minutes. The game went down to the wire with Derrick Rose hitting the game winner! We literally jumped up screaming and people thought we were insane!! With the game over we needed to calm our nerves, so naturally, we hightailed it to Test Track for a 65 mph ride in a car. EPCOT_DPIRIDESYSGMTT_7323142612With such a full & exciting afternoon/evening and an upcoming day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, we were ready for some shut eye. And with that, our evening came to an end & we said goodnight to Epcot!

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#TripReportTuesday – Taking on the Springs & the High Seas – Let the Memories Begin!

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Day 1: Checking In to Spring Stay #1


When I left you last, we had just driven under the glorious Walt Disney World sign officially welcoming us to Disney property & like a “tale as old as time”, I just couldn’t contain myself!

I need to back up a little because I had forgot to mention that during our final routine gas stop while on the Florida Turnpike, I had received a text message and email from Disney letting us know that our resort room at Coronado Springs was ready & it was only 10:42 AM! This was awesome because check in was not until 3:00! The text message/email even told us what room we had and said that since we had MagicBands, we could go straight to our room without having to visit the front desk to check in. Remember that one of the functions of MagicBands is to act as your room key. This was the first time we got to use this new service of bypassing the front desk since it was just launched this year. In order to opt into using this service, you need to complete the Online Check In process on My Disney Experience and have an active MagicBand and obviously provide them your cell phone number. Online Check In can be completed 60 days in advance.

Knowing that our room was all set and waiting for us, we followed the magical purple street signs to Coronado Springs for our first ever stay at a Walt Disney World Moderate resort.

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^^Excuse the bad quality, I took the picture at the last minute before turning!^^

After minimal navigation, we checked in with the parking lot guard who scanned our MagicBand to ensure we were registered guests and not some crazy people and we were on our way to the Casitas area of the resort.

Coronado Springs is a large Spanish/Southwestern themed resort which also houses a convention center. The resort is basically one large loop which I imagine probably makes for a nice jogging trail. There are three sections your room can be located in: Casitas, Cabanas and Ranchos.  I was actually pleasantly surprised that we were put in Casitas because that area is usually reserved for conventioneers, but there must’ve not been any events during the two nights we were there or if there were, they were relatively small. The Casitas area is near El Centro, which is the main hub of the resort where you will find guest registration and concierge as well as the resort’s restaurants (Maya Grill and Pepper Market) and gift/convenience shop (Panchitos). Our location to El Centro was super convenient especially when we wanted to grab a quick bite to eat, which we would need to do soon since we had not had lunch yet.

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^^Deceiving Signage ^^

We arrived at the Casitas parking lot and hopped out of the car to locate our room. This is when I had wished we had visited the front desk because we could not find our room and the Cast Members always give such good detailed directions! Our location was Casitas 3 room 3324, which was located on the third floor. I must say, the signage for Casitas needs to be a little better! Each of the Casitas buildings has its own set of elevators and stairways, and it can get quite confusing  and we often found ourselves at a dead end even though we followed the sign! At one point we had thought we had made it to Casitas 3, but we were still in Casitas 1. Finally, after much exploring, we found the correct elevator bank. After lots of long winding hallways, we arrived at our room and prayed that our MagicBands would unlock the door so that this wasn’t all for nothing. Luckily for us, they worked!!!

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The room was nothing overly special, just your standard hotel room, but we found it clean and comfortable which is just what we expect. Now that we had a better idea of where our room was, we headed back to the car to grab the rest of our luggage and actually found a stairway which acted as a shortcut to our room, so the walk turned out to not be so bad in the end. Since we were only staying 2 nights, we did not need to unpack everything and didn’t need to use Bell Services.

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We took some pictures along the way which really capture the beauty of this resort. Around every corner there were fountains and lush greenery which made for a very picturesque landscape. You will also notice in most of the pictures, there are no people in sight! A lot of the popular Deluxe Resorts on property are always so busy because of the amenities and proximity to the parks, but we found Coronado to be a nice & quiet retreat. We hardly encountered anyone else in the hallways until we reached El Centro or The Dig Site (main pool). Looking back at these pictures, I really love the colors of this resort!

2015-05-08-12h58m11 ^^Our View!! So pretty!^^

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Once we finished unpacking, our stomachs gently reminded us that we had not had lunch yet. We knew we had dinner reservations at Le Cellier in a few hours which is located in Epcot, but there was no way we could hold out until then because Disney makes us hungry! We decided to hit up El Centro to check out their quick service restaurant: Pepper Market.

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Pepper Market has lots of different options from sandwiches/burgers to pasta to Mexican favorites such as quesadillas and nachos which is what we opted to share! As you can see, the Nacho plate was HUGE and it was delicious as were the quesadillas. There are so many options at Pepper Market to suit every taste and it is always nice to find a place with a good variety of options! Not all quick service locations are so lucky in that respect.

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After a very satisfying lunch we checked out the rest of El Centro and visited the front desk to receive our welcome packet with the park hours and resort happenings schedule. While the option to bypass the registration desk is a nice addition, I actually missed the whole traditional check in process where you get to interact with the Cast Members, especially if you are celebrating a birthday or other occasion. I definitely recommend the express check in service if it is a resort you have stayed at many times, but if you are a first time visitor to Walt Disney World or even that particular resort in general, I think it is wise to visit the front desk and get some assistance from the always knowledgeable Cast Members. As for the Welcome Packet documents, it would be nice if they could deliver that to your room upon arrival if you do decide to use Online Check In, which they may indeed do, I just didn’t give it a chance to check it out. What can I say, I am impatient. Maybe I will test that out on our next trip.

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^^ 3 Caballeros are the cutest!^^2015-05-08-13h37m37^^ Love that Donald!^^

With our bellies full and check in process officially complete, it was almost time for our first FastPass+ reservations so we were off to explore the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (Epcot)!!

 

#TripReportTuesday: Taking on the Springs and the High Seas – Intro

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We recently returned from another wonderful trip Home to Walt Disney World followed by our first ever Disney Cruise and, boy oh boy, are we hooked on this sort of touring plan. There is nothing quite like running all over the parks we know and love, after all, it is our Happy Place. The best part about this trip, was that we knew once the park fun ended, we would be relaxing on a majestic ship and gorgeous beaches–all with a Disney touch! I think we even may have found a second Happy Place!

I get a lot of questions from people asking about what month is best to visit Walt Disney World and I must say that May is one of our favorite months to visit! There is usually little rain, the humidity hasn’t reached its ridiculous point yet, but it is still hot (very important to northerners) and there may be special events going on during your visit such as the International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot and Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Not to mention, the crowds are much more bearable than Spring Break & Summer time. This was our third time visiting in the month of May and once again, it did not disappoint!

We stayed our first two nights at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. We then switched over to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort for 4 additional nights, followed by our 4 night Bahamian cruise on the beautiful Disney Dream.

Since this was our first voyage on a Disney Cruise, we definitely learned a lot along the way. Originally, I was going to just do a boring old review of the Disney Cruise experience, but then I thought doing a trip report would be way more fun, but could still be very informative at the same time, plus it gives me a way to relive the trip which I so miss. And since our journey didn’t start with the cruise, I thought it would be helpful to share the way we roll when we are in Walt Disney World. After all, a lot of what I learned about Disney came from reading other people’s trip reports–so trip reports hold a special place in my Disney heart and I wouldn’t know half of what I know without them! With that said, let’s get this show on the road! (pun intended)

Day 0 – Travel Day


Ah, travel day. This is the most exciting day because you know you still have entire trip ahead of you. I like to keep my travel days as stress free as possible and I do that the only way I know how: by planning and over planning and then planning some more. Notice a trend? I am not a last minute packer-sure there are the essentials I need to pack the day of such as eyeglasses, toothbrushes and cell phone chargers, but the rest of it had pretty much been packed for over a week. In fact, I start packing what I can usually 3 weeks before. I have OCD when it comes to packing, you should see the lists I compile to ensure I do not forget anything.

This trip’s packing planning had to be even more strategic because we needed clothes for the cruise as well and I had to make sure we enough of everything so that I didn’t have to do laundry while on vacation. I don’t think there is anything worse than doing laundry on vacation except maybe cooking. Either way, both are just too ‘real life’ for me and isn’t that the point of vacation? To escape real life and live the dream of no responsibilities?

Anyways, I had to plan what we would wear to the parks, on the cruise and find a the most effective way to pack our Fish Extender gifts. (See This Post for my Detailed Explanation of Disney Cruise Line Fish Extender exchanges). Luckily, our choice of transportation is by vehicle and not airplane, so I had a little more flexibility when packing. Oh that doesn’t fit in the suitcase? Throw in the backseat! It works for coming home too, we never have to worry about our purchases because we can always ‘throw it in the backseat!”

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Before Leaving for Walt Disney World Make Sure You Have Packed:

  • MagicBands/Park Tickets – So you can get in the park right away.DSC_0825
  • Cell Phone/Charger – So you can brag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to all your friends that you are in Disney and they aren’t
  • Camera/Charger/Memory Cards – So you can remember all the awesome memories.
  • Money & IDs (Passport for Cruise) – So you can purchase things and be allowed on the ship–obviously.
  • Trip Itinerary – So you know where you are supposed to be and when. (This is probably on your My Disney Experience App, but I would also have a written copy just in case you lose your cell phone or technology fails.)
  • Disney Ear Hats/Headbands and/or Shirts – So you can rock your DisneySide, if you have one.
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We left on a Wednesday evening, so I had to work my real job the entire day. Which is another reason I need my travel day to be stress free. We got our awesome sitters settled in with our pets, packed the remaining odds and ends in the car and were on the road by about 7:30 PM.

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Overall, our road trip was pretty uneventful. The weather was picture perfect and we luckily didn’t hit any major traffic and we were able to stop for the evening in Valdosta, Georgia at around 5 PM.

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Stopping for the evening or driving straight through seems to cause a big debate among road trippers. We have done it both ways and definitely prefer to stop, eat a good meal, shower and sleep in a real bed. That way, in the morning, we are refreshed and only have about a couple of hours of driving left to go before we arrive at our Happy Place. Plus, it keeps us more on a regular schedule. We have found when we drive straight through, we are exhausted the entire next day and it takes an extra day or two to get back on track.

After our restful evening, we were back on the road the next morning where we took part in our tradition to stop at the Florida Welcome Center for free orange juice.

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We took a selfie, because going to Disney World requires one to take a selfie, and continued onto the Florida Turnpike (this is where I always begin to play Disney music in the car and start to squeal with joy). Soon, we made it on to Interstate-4, more squealing and Disney music can be heard in the car, louder this time.

Before you know it,  we were driving under this glorious sign welcoming us home!

2015-05-08-12h37m16*SQUEAL*