Springtime at Disney

Springtime at Disney — Tips for Travel!

Springtime at Disney

Lightning McQueen stands watch over the Flower & Garden Festival (2011)

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is just one of the many reasons to visit Walt Disney World during the springtime season. In today’s post, we’re exploring some of the great things that make Springtime at Disney a wonderful time to visit, and hopefully, providing some great tips along the way that will help you in your own planning!

Springtime at Disney

We’re looking at this as kind of a question/answer sort of post. I hope it doesn’t bore you to the point that you click off to something else, but instead, provides good information that you can use in your planning. Please leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on this format.

Q1: What is your best tip for dealing with Spring Break crowds at Disney?

The crowds at Disney during Spring Break can be very packed. In looking at the Touring Plans crowd calendar, the months of March and April this year are pretty much 6-9 on the scale, with some days at level 10. It’s really not until you get into early May that the crowds start to lighten up for a little bit prior to the Memorial Day holiday and kickoff to the “summer” season. So, the short answer to the question is Touring Plans, Touring Plans, Touring Plans, and make sure that you keep an open mind on your trip. Don’t try and do every single thing, be easy going and open to just “go where the path lies.”

Q2: What should people pack if they are going to Disney during the Spring?

Look closely at the weather prior to leaving home, and plan accordingly. I always pack sunscreen and ponchos, and the type of jacket and clothing I choose depends on what the weather temperatures are going to be.

Q3: What the best part of visiting Disney in the Spring?

Take advantage of the nice weather and fantastic floral displays from the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!

Q4: What is your best tip for Epcot Flower and Garden first timers?

Bring your camera, and make sure you take pictures of all the great arrangements you see!

Q5: Why should people visit the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival?

So many beautiful flower arrangements, and the topiaries with the fantastic characters are really neat!

Q6: What is your one Epcot Flower and Garden Festival must-do?

Photograph everything!

Q7: What are your tips for visiting Epcot Flower and Garden Festival with Kids?

Remember, what may be exciting for you may not be exciting for them, especially if they are younger children. Be flexible, and remember, it’s everyone’s vacation!

Q8: How can people celebrate Easter at Disney?

Give Glory to God, and even if you don’t make it to a church service, remember that God’s Creation is everywhere, and remember Him in the way you act towards your fellow Disney park goers!

I hope that our Springtime at Disney post has been helpful to you! I truly hope that you are able to enjoy a wonderful time at Disney during the Springtime one year, and if you are able to do so, that these tips help you have an even better trip! Thanks for stopping by, now go out and have a great Disney Day!

Wishes

Missing the Magic Series: Wishes

Wishes

Image ©Disney

May 11, 2017 was the last time that Wishes was seen at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World. Removed so that the Happily Ever After Fireworks show could be presented, the closing of Wishes was hard for many Disney fans to take. In the last week or so, I’ve been hit with the nostalgia bug while walking our dog River, and we’ve been listening to our music for Wishes in the morning. That reminiscing is what led to the idea of writing about the things that we are missing at Walt Disney World. We’re calling this series “Missing the Magic”.

For the longest time, I was not a fan of fireworks of any sort. Wishes, Illuminations, your local 4th of July fireworks, the fireworks at the State Fair in Raleigh, NC, I wasn’t having it for any of them. But then, one day my wife Cindy suggested that Sophie and I get earplugs for when the fireworks were going on, and a love for the fireworks was born.

I have a lot of great memories of Wishes from over the years. Sadly, though, my fireworks picture taking skills are limited, so I have very few good pictures. One of my favorite experiences, though was the day that we saw and heard Wishes while having dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table!

Are you missing Wishes today? If you are, have a look at the Magic Kingdom 40th Anniversary Wishes, courtesy of YouTube and the fine folks over at WDWMagic!

What are you missing from Walt Disney World? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me our social media sites to let me know. Lastly, if all you are missing is being at Walt Disney World, shoot me an email and let’s talk about how we can make that wish come true for you and your family! Email me at mike@pixievacations.com, and thanks for stopping by today!

Disney Scentsy

Disney Scentsy Parnership with Leslie Duckwitz!

Disney Scentsy

My niece Leslie has worked hard at building up her small business as an Independent Scentsy Consultant. Working as a small business owner myself, I know firsthand how much work goes into running your own business, but I also know that the rewards far outweigh the struggles. Being a small business owner empowers you; it allows you to take control of your schedule, to work at times that work best for your family dynamics, and to help support your family financially!

Today, Leslie and I are proud to introduce our own collaboration — pairing her Scentsy business with my travel agent business, just like Disney and Scentsy did this past July!

Disney Scentsy

By collaborating together, Leslie and I hope to bring the best of both worlds into your homes! Our goal is simple — to help you make lasting memories when you work with me, Pixie Vacations by Mike Ellis, on your next vacation — and then, when you arrive home, to have some awesome Scentsy products in your home that will remind you day after day of the great trip you had.

In short, every new booking of $2,000 or more will receive from me a special Scentsy bundle that will remind them of the great vacation they just experienced. What that bundle comprises will vary depending on the parameters of your trip. For example, are you taking a Disney cruise? Well, then you may just find in your mailbox a Sea Star Mini Warmer and a By The Sea bar as a special gift from me! This gift is on top of my free service, planning expertise, and promotion monitoring that I already provide for my clients. Not only that, but the Disney Gift Card promotion I always have is still in force as well!

So, what do you have to lose? Some of the best vacation planning out there, incredible destinations to explore, gift cards, and my niece Leslie’s awesome Scentsy products? If you are going to take a vacation anyway, fill out our quote form and see how you can bring your vacation home with you, courtesy of Leslie Duckwitz – Independent Scentsy Consultant and Pixie Vacations by Mike Ellis! Or, send me an email to mike@pixievacations.com or give me a call at 919-606-6725.

Memories from Disney at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Akershus with Belle

Last Thanksgiving, our friends Sheila, Randy, and Jagan invited us to celebrate their daughter’s 15th birthday at Walt Disney World. We were so excited, we had never been to Disney over the Christmas Holiday season, and it was something that we were looking forward to very much. This post is much overdue, but regardless, today seemed like a great day to remember that long weekend with some photos that were taken.

On a personal level, this trip was quite difficult for me because I was suffering from some sciatica issues, and as you know if you have been to Disney, walking is probably job number one while you are there — so it became quite difficult to maneuver through the parks.

I didn’t know that I was going to have this issue, or I would have reserved an ECV beforehand. As a result, I had to request one at each of the parks each day, and hope that they had them. Fortunately, I was able to get one at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but not at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — for that, I had to use a wheelchair. But enough about that, let’s talk about the trip itself!

On Thanksgiving Day, we made a reservation for Akershus, and everyone except me had the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. I had what I always have at Akershus — the Tradisjonell Kjøttkake. This incredible dish is comprised of Norwegian Meatballs served with Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, and Lingonberry Sauce, and it is something that I love to get when we eat there!

In addition to eating at Akershus, we also ate at The Boathouse for Jagan’s birthday dinner, and at Kona Cafe for breakfast, and Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner. Some very yummy food was had that weekend!

Throughout it all, though, what stands out most is the memories, the friendships that continue, the friends that are like family, and the laughter we had. It was far too short, but despite my health challenges, it was still a trip that I will never forget.

Take a look, and thanks for stopping by today!

DoubleTree

Hotel Review: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando

DoubleTree

The entrance to the DoubleTree Suites at Disney Springs

Over Thanksgiving, my family was invited to stay with our friends Sheila, Randy, and Jagan at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando — Disney Springs Area hotel.  We had an incredible time, and I wanted to let you all know about the hotel and what my thoughts were for staying there.

From a location standpoint, the DoubleTree is considered “off-property” — but it appears that some on-property perks will be extended to off-property hotels, such as allowing FastPass+ selections at 60 days instead of 30 days. However, despite it’s off-property location, it is literally minutes from Disney Springs — and on a good day when I wasn’t dealing with a pinched nerve in my leg, we would have walked there for our dinner reservation.

Our room was on the 7th floor, room number 703, and featured two queen beds, a queen bed pullout sofabed, a kitchenette, and a single bathroom off of the main bedroom.  For the six of us, we had plenty of space, although I think having a split bathroom would be a better way to herd the six of us through the process of getting ready for the parks each day. Here’s a few pictures of the room.

DoubleTree

The sofabed opened up for the kids to sleep in.

DoubleTree

This picture is of the sink in the bathroom.

DoubleTree

The kitchenette features a sink, microwave, and mini-refrigerator.

DoubleTree

Two queen beds occupy the bedroom.

Not pictured is a space with a table for applying makeup or working on your computer. The beds were incredibly comfortable, and we all slept very well each night.  I’ve been told that this room actually could accommodate up to eight people and that two rollaway beds would be used in a case like that. Personally, I think eight in the room would be a bit much, but that’s just me.

For amenities, Hilton Honors customers can connect to the wireless for free, and for those visiting the parks, they have shuttles that run every 30 minutes to the different parks. We drove to the parks each day because our friends had parking privileges with their annual passes, but keep that in mind if you wish to drive to the parks because it will cost you $20 a day to park otherwise.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, and will not be averse to staying there again in the future. My first preference is to stay on property, but if something prevents you from doing so, give this hotel a try. You will not be disappointed!