Quick Tip Tuesday ~ We LOVE the Disney Dining Plans

Nicole and I love Disney Dining and we LOVE the Disney Dining Plan?  Why you ask?  When you select a Disney Dining plan ~

  • Your dining is pre-paid, allowing for a more enjoyable experience.  No need to worry what your bill totals to!
  •  Character dining can be expensive – but with the dining plan it is more affordable.  Depending on which plan you choose will depend on the percentage you can save!

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  • It allows you to try a variety of different foods that you may not other wise try- depending on the dining plan you choose will depend on what is included with your meal- such as an appetizer or dessert.

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  •  And finally…….. You receive a resort (free) refillable mug with your dining plan!  Even if you don’t have the need to refill, refill, refill- you will have a great souvenir to drink out of at home!

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Disney Dining plans may not be the best choice for everyone- but they are certainly worth checking out.  Have you used a Disney Dining Plan?  Which is your favorite and why?

~Maureen

Quick Tip Tuesday ~ Making your Meals more Magical ºoº (part 1)

Dining is one of my favorite features about Disney. Whether it is a Quick Service meal or a Table Service selection, dining at Disney adds even more magical experiences to your enchanted vacation.

One of those enchanted magic experiences is the opening ceremony held by Table Service restaurants across Walt Disney World property.  If you have booked the first time slot for a dining reservation, you will have the opportunity to participate in an opening ceremony~ they are always looking for volunteers!  Each restaurant has their own special ritual that could include singing, dancing, or instruments – this makes for great fun, unforgettable pictures and that added Disney magic!

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~Maureen

I Took the Leap to Become a runDisney Princess

When registration opens for a runDisney event there is an influx of blog posts about each runner’s excitement and personal goals and individual stories.  Why is this? – Let me digress for just a moment.

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I too have jumped into the corral – team – sorority  of runDisney runners; why?  My “at the moment” answer is simply, “I LOVE DISNEY”, and want to be a part of this awesome event.  To add to this, I get to convert my run wear into a princess outfit!  I am so excited about this!

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I do like to exercise and I actually use to run as a 20 something year old, but those days are long behind me.  I felt inspired about running again when my DBFF (Disney Best Friend Forever) came to my neck of the woods, (NY) for a visit.

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She invited me to run with her; I was a little nervous that I would hold her back.  As we set out on our jogging journey, Nicole informed me of a program she was using to train by Jeff Galloway.  I won’t go into detail because at this time I am not knowledgeable enough to speak on it, but here is the website, runDisney Training .  What I can say is it incorporates a walk/run schedule in different intervals depending on your skill level (and as you progress) that allows anyone to obtain and succeed their fitness goal(s).  In fact this is actually a healthier way for your body to integrate running into a fitness routine.  Because of this program I was able to keep pace with Nicole though I haven’t run in ages.

Why did I choose to register for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015?

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I have been somewhat aware of these marathon events over the years and thought, “How cool!  I would love to do this.”  Last year Nicole registered for the first time and I was sooo excited for her, (a little jealous) but mostly tickled princess pink with excitement!  She set personal goals and stuck to them; she was determined to accomplish her goals and she did, and it was very inspiring to watch.

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It was then that I knew I wanted more than ever to be apart of this inspirational event, and of course with my Disney sister Nicole.  Registration for the Princess Marathon Weekend 2015 has opened and I am now a contender in this event presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals!  I have registered for the Disney Princess 5K and Disney Enchanted 10K and I intend to implement Jeff Galloway’s program to prepare for these royal inspired events.

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Nicole is raising the stakes this year and has added to her run agenda, The Disney Princess Half Marathon and the Glass Slipper Challenge!runpost11

Now, back to the question at the beginning of this article, why are there so many blog posts about runDisney?  I decided to search around a bit and read the articles written by these runDisney fans.  This is what I gathered.  When something inspires you so much it gets into your core being and you want to share it with the world, these events are a passion for so many people.  Some are novice runners where others are accomplished marathon champions, but I believe it all comes down to a common purpose that connects these Disney runners. Though each individual has their own personal reasons or set goals, they are all running for a cause- to get stronger, to fight for a cure, to support a friend, to accomplish a goal, to bond with a loved one- there are an abundance of wonderful stories out there.

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It isn’t about who runs the fastest; it’s about supporting and cheering on your fellow runDisney family members.  It’s about celebrating everyone’s individual accomplishments and let’s not forget the added bonus that makes it all over the top, Mickey’s Magical Touch.

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I am so excited and honored to begin my runDisney journey, to set my own goals and celebrate my own accomplishments as well as the accomplishments of all the other amazing runDisney champions!

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~Maureen

Quick Tip Tuesday ~ Ordering a Specialty Disney Cake

Celebrating a special occasion at Disney is the utmost awesome experience!  Everyday at Disney is a day filled with magic and wonder, add into the mix your special occasion and you have a recipe for pure enchantment!

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There are many ways Disney helps to create extra magical experiences for your special occasion and today’s tip is all about the CAKE!  Who wouldn’t love to receive a specialty cake just for them in honor of their special day or celebration?!

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This is an easy magical moment to create.  Just call the Walt Disney World Resort at (407) 827-2253 or the Disneyland Resort at (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463, at least 72 hours in advance to order your customized cake, this magical feature is available at most Table- Service Restaurants on property.

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Have you ever ordered or received a special occasion cake while at a Disney Parks Restaurant or cruise?

~Maureen

 

My Magic Kingdom Monday Montage ~ of Sounds

Another Monday~ Another Magic Kingdom Montage ~ The Magic Kingdom is in no way short of magic, it’s everywhere- in its sights, sounds, and smells.   All these senses help to create our magical experience when we step foot inside this Kingdom of fantasy, fun and enlightenment.  Today I am going to share three magical sounds that make my heart leap every time I hear them.

Liberty Square Riverboat~

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First rings the bell, and then comes the sound of a steamboat whistle~ pure excitement and a reverberation that says, “Welcome home friend”.  Liberty Square Riverboat is a Magic Kingdom classic; it has been a fixture since the opening day.  This is my all time favorite magical Magic Kingdom sound.

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The Ghostly Howl of the graveyard dog ~

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Crossing the threshold of Frontierland into Liberty Square there is an undeniable presence, a ghostly presence, the eerie howl of the graveyard dog.  Though this may not seem as a friendly welcoming into this magical land,  in fact it surly is ~ welcome to the home of 999 Happy Haunts….. Just a bit of tainted magic.

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Walt Disney World Railroad~

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Here comes the Walt Disney World Railroad!  I love the sound of the train’s big brass bell that rings out loud and clear announcing its arrival into the train station.  This is a sound that welcomes you into the Magic Kingdom even before you enter through the gates.  A sound that says, “Good Morning” – “Good Afternoon” – and “Good Evening”, at the end of the day.

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And that’s this weeks Magic Kingdom Montage of Magical Sounds~

Tell me about your favorite Magic Kingdom Sounds!

~Maureen

America on Parade ~ Looking back at the Bicentennial Year

On this happy July 4th of two thousand and fourteen, I would like to look back about 39 years or so to 1975/1976 when Disney introduced America on Parade in honor of the United States Bicentennial, celebrating the 200th year anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of independence.  It temporarily replaced the Main Street Electrical Parade making its debut in Magic Kingdom on June 6th, 1975 and Disneyland on June 12, with both parks grand finale held on September 6, 1976.

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As I was going through my vintage Disney vacation photographs I found some pictures of this very parade.  I was around the age of five at the time these were taken and though I was there I sadly do not recall this parade, but I am more than pleased to have a piece of this significant historical event.

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Notice the lamp posts dressed in their Bicentennial decor down Main Street USA and it’s side streets~

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This prideful patriotic parade, that I feel Walt would have been so proud of (being a man of great American pride), kicked off with our favorite pal Mickey and his pals Goofy and Donald dressed in their bicentennial best.

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The story of our American History was told beginning with early pioneer days to current history (what was current at that time).  This parade “spoke” of our achievements and our customs and featured influential figures throughout American history.

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Rounding out the ½ hour procession was more of our favorite Disney friends and for the grand finale on September 6th, 1976 the parade finished with a 1000 piece marching band, an amazing sight to see!  Here is a short 7 minute narrated video of this amazing parade,  a must see!  America on Parade Walt Disney World 1976

This bicentennial parade was created for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort and was the first time both parks worked together on a “production that would appear simultaneously in both parks.” (disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog)

Disney’s celebrations are second to none from their inauguration into the world to this very era; it is just another layer of Disney that draws me in and grasps my heart and holds me tight and why I love my Disney so very much ♥

~Maureen

To read more about Walt and his American pride see  Liberty Square a Nod to Walt’s American Pride

 

Quick Tip Tuesday ~ Disney Park Balloons

Upon Rebekah’s first visit to the Magic Kingdom she begged for a Mickey Head balloon.  I stalled her day after day hoping she would stop asking or forget she wanted one -  I just felt it was silly to pay such a high price, $10.00 at that time, for something that would have to be carried around all day and could not be put in our suitcase to come home.  She did not forget and she did not stop asking, so I did purchase her a balloon toward the end of our stay.  We ended up deflating it, to this day we still have that first Magic Kingdom-Mickey Mouse balloon in a scrap book.

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So here is my Quick Tip – if they ask, buy that balloon but buy it on the first day.  This way you can enjoy it in all it’s glory for your whole vacation stay, then you too can place your deflated balloon in a scrap book. ºoº

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Side Note~ You can not bring balloons to Animal Kingdom Lodge
You cannot bring balloons from the parks to AKL. The balloon could float out into the savannah and injure the animals. If you do happen to bring back a balloon they will hold it for you until checkout, but it cannot be taken back to your room.

~Maureen

Another Magic Kingdom Mondays Montage ~ Magical Munchies

I’m back with another Magic Kingdom Montage ~ The Magic Kingdom is full of sights, sounds, and smells that draws us in and helps create that unique magical experience we can’t find anywhere else.  Today I am going to share three magical munchies …. Yummy!

Premium Mickey Ice Cream Bar!

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I think I will start out with the most obvious magical dessert in the Magic Kingdom, not only for me but probably for many of you.  My goodness!  It has to be the set of ears atop this ice cream bar that makes it so darn tasty!  Creamy Vanilla ice cream with a velvety chocolate hard shell ~irresistible!  Would you agree?

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The ever famous Dole Whip~

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This is actually a new found Magical Yummy Munchie for me.  I heard about them year after year but I would never make my way back to Aloha Isle in Adventureland to try one at the end of the day.  Then just last August Nicole and I stood in a scorching hot, long line so we could finally claim bragging rights for trying a Dole Whip.  Let me tell you, no kidding, I think we just about melted before we made it to the counter to order (hence the melted faces in our picture)!  It did take us a moment to understand all the varieties and decide which was the best one for us, after all- if it had taken us this long to try one we had to get it right the first time!  We took those cups of gold to the side, had a seat and enjoyed every last bit.  We will be back and will stand in a line practically melting all over again just to enjoy another Dole Whip!

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Caramel Apple Tart from Liberty Tree Tavern~

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First I must tell you, sadly this dessert is no longer available and I have been mourning the loss for quite some time.  It was such a favorite of mine I had to include it in my top three Magical Kingdom Munchies.  This was a dessert offered on the lunch menu at the Liberty Tree Tavern; it was made of shortbread crust, sugared apples and cinnamon ice cream- a simple all American dessert that I will never forget!

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Well, that’s this weeks Magic Kingdom Montage of Magical Munchies~

Tell me about your favorite Magic Kingdom Munchies!

~Maureen

Quick Tip Tuesday

Today’s Quick Tip can be used in several ways and can cost you little money but leave a big impact!

I am talking about Conservation Hero pins ~

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The first time I seen these World Changing pins I was visiting the Conservation Station at Rafikis Planet Watch in the Animal Kingdom.  I didn’t realize at the time that there are a series of these pins and the donations are used in such a tremendous and awe-inspiring way.  Before I get to my Quick Tip portion, please take a moment to click on the attached link below and read about Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.

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Disney World Conservation Fund – protecting the wonder of nature

Now after reading that I know you will love this Quick Tip~

For what ever donation you are comfortable with, be it a $1- or more, these are great souvenirs to purchase for yourself or someone at home.  The bottom of each pin will say where the pin was purchased from, so you can find the location that most resonates with the person you are gifting it too – or collect them all for yourself knowing what a wonderful thing you are doing for our planet and surrounding wildlife!

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Do you have one or more of these Conservation Hero pins?  Tell us which ones!