A Diva Update!

So far, 2017 has been great for this Disney Diva! I have been able to go to the homeland itself, Walt Disney World, twice – AND! – I am planning one more trip before the year is out!

My obsession has only continued to grow. My goal is to join the DVC by next year, as it appears I might have the flexibilty to get down to WDW more often. *Fingers crossed*

Here are some pictures of my trips this year. I spent a week with my sister and friend at the Art of Animation in the beginning of February. The AoA has become an instant fave! I’ve stayed at a few of the resorts and let me tell you, this one has it all! If you’re like me and love to remain submersed in Disney 24/7, this is the place to stay! We even found some Hidden Mickey’s in the shower! 🙂

We enjoyed every park! It was great to go with someone who has never been there, and experience the parks through their eyes. I wanted to make sure we did all the best attractions and Disney faves! We enjoyed the Fantasmic show, utilized the FastPasses, and stopped to meet some of our favorite characters – including Moana and the sisters from Frozen!

We also did a few firsts, even for me. We got celebration pins for one of our birthdays, which brought on some unexpected free treats! We got to try Mike’s Laugh Floor which I will absolutely do every time, it was adorable! We also did the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party, which was great! That time of year was chilly at night, though, so maybe it would be better in the summer. Also, although you have a great view of the fireworks, you can’t really see the show projected on to the castle. We also ate at Japan, which was delicious and beautiful! Speaking of food, I just have to share some food pics from my February AND March trip! 🙂

When I went back in March, I took my mother and we stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter. The resort was really beautiful, and we took advantage of the boat ride from Disney Springs (which has been gorgeously updated btw!) back to the resort. It was great! We got to ride by the Treehouse Villas (#goals) and it was very relaxing.

We also got to enjoy the beginning of the Flower & Garden Fesitval at Epcot, which is always beautiful. It was getting crowded at that time, but not too bad. My mother and I are not roller coaster people, so, we never have to deal with crazy lines. We did great at Magic Kingdom, too. We were there open to close, and got to essentially do the part twice over! It was a great time and I have wonderful memories!

We actually rode on The Little Mermaid ride about 6 times that night, because there was no line!

I cannot wait to bring my mother back for the Food &Wine Festival. She’s never been to it and we are both foodies so I know it will be great! Til next time 🙂

Advertisements

Fun Fact Friday! #186

1006-disney-closed-getty-02-1200x630

Hurricane Matthew is making a mess down in Florida, and as we speak, the Walt Disney World theme parks are shut down and preparing for the storm. Folks on vacation at the magical land must be disappointed to miss visiting the parks and the MNSSHP events, I would be! Some comments have been made that it’s risky to travel to WDW during hurricane season, however, it should be pointed out that it is a truly rare occasion that the parks have to close due to the weather.

A flyer handed to all guests exiting the parks on August 13, 2004 explains admission refund policies. Image from Chris Barry. Source: MousePlanet.com

Hurricane season in Florida runs from the end of June to November, believe it or not! But since opening in 1971, the parks have only been closed because of the weather a few times. Hurricane Floyd rushed through in 1999. and this caused the all four parks to close down for the first time in WDW history! And then in 2004, which was a crazy hurricane season in Florida (I know, I was there for Hurricane Charlie!), the parks saw a few different full-day closures.

My trip wasn’t interrupted, however, we were leaving the day it got really bad. But I remember seeing the cast members, all calm and collected, as they had to prepare to shut down some of the attractions. Obviously the rides that are outside get shut down first.

Being in Florida during a hurricane can be unbelievably nerve-wracking! In 2004, during Hurricane Charlie, my family and I were staying with my grandmother who lived in Kissimmee at the time. We were there to help move her up to Boston so should could live with us. Of course, my family planned a couple of nights at the Walt Disney World parks, and, we actually stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort!

That resort is absolutely GORGEOUS and I remember feeling very posh and important whenever I walked onto the property!

Anyways, Hurricane Charlie rushed in, and my whole family (including the dog) had to bunker down in my Grandmother’s pantry! It was crazy. There was six of us all huddled together in an 8×8 room, holding hands, praying, and panicking. The destruction was craziness! My Grandmother’s trees were pulled from the ground, roof shingles were littered all over the yard, but the worst thing was the weather afterwards.

Obviously, we had no power, and the humidity was super oppressive. Without AC, we were getting pretty snippy with one another. Also, we were packing a house full of things by candlelight, mind you, so it was just awful! I remember the need for ice was also in high demand, and the lines… oh my GOODNESS the lines to get ice, gas, just the necessities. It was completely surreal for a New England gal like me.

Don’t get me wrong, we have our Nor’easters to contend with. But to be honest, it’s easier to make a fire and warm up then go without the use of a fan or AC. Horrible.

While I understand that Central Florida does not usually get hit by this Hurricane Season, having lived through one 10+ years ago, my thoughts go out to everyone who is being affected by this right now. I hope that proper aid and help comes swiftly, and everyone remains safe.

pooh-thoughtful

Disney World Tag! You may be “it” :)

Ooh, I like this game! I was recently “tagged” by fellow Disney blogger, The Disney Freak with a bit of Mascara, in this fun, all about Disney, game! My responses are below. I am going to tag the following:

The Animation Commendation

Pixie Pointers

Disney On My Mind

Katie’s Keys to the Kingdom

This iconic entrance always makes me smile!

This iconic entrance always makes me smile!

1.Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios? Magic Kingdom #Castles

2.Epcot or Hollywood Studios? Epcot! Mostly for the food, but hello – I get to travel the world in one day! Plus, who doesn’t love Soarin’. Probably my favorite ride of all!

3.Animal Kingdom or Epcot? Yikes. Oh boy. I really love Epcot. But I’m such a big animal lover, and they’re adding an Avatar Land and that just sounds amazing! If I only had one day… Epcot. *that hurts*

4.Epcot or Magic Kingdom? This is getting rough. Can I call a tie? Is that allowed? I gotta be honest, I really think the Epcot wins this for me. While I would be bummed missing out on MK, I feel like Epcot is such an amazing park, you feel like you’re on such an adventure. And it’s a little more adult, so I’m going to say Epcot. I surprise myself sometimes…

5.Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom? Hollywood Studios. A trip to WDW doesn’t feel right without seeing the 3D Muppets Show, and also they have Fantasmic, which completely blew my mind!

6.Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom? Magic Kingdom. And that means I officially ended this round without choosing Animal Kingdom. #bummer

6.Splash Mountain or Space Mountain? I’m a chicken and haven’t rode either ride. I know, I know. But I am enticed to go on Splash Mountain next time, so I’ll choose that. Come on, a roller coaster in the dark – are you people crazy?!?!

7.Peter Pan’s Flight or It’s A Small World? Peter Pan’s Flight. Can never got on the ride, though… 😦

8.The Jungle Crusie or Pirates of the Carribean? Pirates of the Caribbean, although Jungle Cruise is up there. But you need to ride POTC, it’s a moral imperative! Continue reading

Friday Fun Fact! #168

My, my, my, there certainly seems to be a lot of “farewells” happening in Orlando. The American Idol Experience at Hollywood Studios has been closed down, which didn’t matter much to me, but I was disappointed that The Studio Backlot Tour is no longer around.

So this week, when I discovered that Downtown Disney’s Disneyquest was closing, I about lost it. Now, I haven’t been to DQ in a few years, and while I’m aware that it may be out-dated, that place holds some special memories. It will be hard to not be able to revisit DQ again.

DisneyQuest-601x450

The virtual video game/arcade experience opened on June 19, 1998, and was meant to be the first in a chain of 20 centers. Apparently, our real-world technology advanced much more quickly for DQ to keep up with, and the past few years of numerous lackluster experiences being reported, forced the closing to happen.

Disneyquest resides in Downtown Disney, which is being renovated to reopen as Disney Springs. During this face lift, DQ will be replaced with the NBA Experience, something I am certainly not intrigued by in the least. Well, you can’t win them all, so as I say a silent goodbye to a place that holds special meaning to me, I’ll also remind myself that change is a way of life. Here’s to great new things!

charlotte

Source

Getting “Home” Sick

“Home” sick – as in missing Walt Disney World. I follow a ton of blogs and Facebook pages that refer to WDW as their “home” and so I thought I would borrow it. While I was just there in October for a short five-day trip, it’s been difficult for me to look over my photos from that time. Why? Probably because I have so many feelings about them. I really enjoyed my solo vacation, it was a lot of fun and I got to do things that strictly I wanted to do. I knew leaving would be tough because I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to get back there. Sure, I could realistically travel any time, but I feel a bit guilty going knowing that some people at home can’t go. Guilt, guilt, guilt!

And that’s why it’s hard to reflect on my vacation, because while I was so proud of myself for finally doing something for me, I know it probably bummed a couple of people out that they couldn’t come. *Deep sigh*

Anyways, it’s been six months and that means it’s time to share some photos from my trip. I took a bunch, of course, but this week ‘ll focus on the pictures I took around the Caribbean Beach Resort, where I stayed.

20140930_171402

This was my building, #52 in Aruba. >.<

20140930_171303

I was super close to the pool! Although… I didn’t go swimming. :/

20140930_171339

Beautiful view at the end of the walkway. I was so close to the water. See the colorful buildings across the way – it really felt like I was in the Caribbean!

20140930_171406

Each “Island” has its own beach. It was very quiet when I went down in October. Had I been there longer, I would have taken advantage of the beach chairs and lounged around, but I wanted to get as much Disney time in as possible!

20140930_172006

This bridge connected Aruba and Jamaica to the Center or hub, where there was a food court, some shopping, a really cool Spanish-style pool, and bus pick up. Inside Caribbean Cay was a hidden play area and a perfect viewing area of the sunset.

 

20140930_172212

Coming around the bridge, you can see the neat pool they had there.

20140930_172326

This is “Centertown”, the hub. It was really cool inside. They had painted the ceiling with clouds so it felt like an open-air market. Good food, too.

While the CBR was absolutely stunning and transported you the the Caribbean, all in all, it wasn’t one of my favorites. If I had more leisure time, maybe, but this resort had almost completely eliminated any reference to “Disney”, so it sort of felt like you weren’t actually at Walt Disney World. Some people might be looking for a retreat away from the parks, and that’s fine, but as for me, I really enjoy being immersed in the Disney world!

I also wasn’t a fan of the busing system, as I felt it took to long to get out of the resort. The buses had to stop at each island for pick-up/drop-off, and there were a few of them, about eight if I remember correctly. So it took a while to get in and out. Also, I was lucky to be staying in Aruba, which is located across from Centertown. But certain other “islands” were super far away from Centertown, and after all the walking you do in the parks, having to walk to the hub for a drink/snack/toiletries/etc… must have been a bummer.

Again, it was beautiful and serene, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. Next time – whenever that may be – I think I’ll check out on Port Orleans. Anyone else have any suggestions?

I hope you enjoy my pictures. Now I will spend my night struggling with the options of planning another trip, or not… oh, the agony! 🙂

 

Fun Fact Friday! #158

As some of you may know, I recently went to Walt Disney World and thoroughly enjoyed a solo vacation. It was interesting, a lot of fun, and I plan on going every year… that is, if I can afford it.

That’s leads me to fact #158: Did you know that on opening day of Walt Disney World, admission tickets were a meager $3.50?

jawdrop

Hello, if I’m feeling fancy whilst stumbling into a Starbucks, I could drop $5 on a cup. If the prices were still that way, you bet your bootie I’d be going to WDW once a year. No, scratch that, I would make it my job to be there every day. Do I hear a new blog idea for 2016: 365 consecutive Disney Days?

I wonder if my boss would support a 12-month sabbatical?

dream wish