Magical Blogorail Blue – Exploring my DisneySide


Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney on Wheels and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

My DisneySide emerges…

In 1979, the summer after my Grandparents retired to Florida, my Mom, Sister, and I went to visit them, and being the Grandparents they were, they took us on a trip to Walt Disney World!  When I walked under the railroad tracks for the Walt Disney World Railroad, and emerged in Town Square and Main Street, U.S.A., I remember the feeling I had, that no matter what I did that day, nothing would compare with the feeling that I had arrived.  I didn’t know this at the time, and it has taken many years, my wife, and my daughter to bring it out, but that day in 1979 was the start of My DisneySide.

As I got older, my DisneySide would take a little bit of a back seat at times, because in my early years, I didn’t get to experience Walt Disney World as much as I would have liked to.  I went that first time in 1979, and again in 1983 when Epcot opened, and one more time when I went to what was then MGM, but after that, it would over a decade until I would visit again with Cindy in the year 2000.  To this day, I credit that first trip with Cindy as the trip that really kicked my DisneySide into high gear.

My DisneySide grows with my family…

This Snow White Lithograph still hangs in my daughter's room! This is one of four!

This Snow White Lithograph still hangs in my daughter’s room! This is one of four!

This Snow White Lithograph still hangs in my daughter's room!

This Snow White Lithograph still hangs in my daughter’s room!

The two pictures — as poor as they are — are representative of the change in me with the birth of our daughter Sophie.  These lithographs — a set of four that still hang in Sophie’s room to this day — were a free gift at the Disney Store when we purchased the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  The movie was purchased before Sophie was even born!  That was the continuation of the evolution of my DisneySide!

My DisneySide important points…

Finally, let me share with you a quick list of some of my other DisneySide moments.  I’m sorry for the length of this post, but when you talk about your DisneySide, sometimes you can’t be brief!

  • 2005: Sophie’s first trip to Walt Disney World, with her best friend Riley.
  • 2006: The one day trip to the Magic Kingdom Sophie took with us and her Meemaw!
  • 2007: Our first trip to Disney where we stayed on property!
  • 2008: Our second straight trip staying at Coronado Springs Resort!
  • 2009: Our first trip staying at Port Orleans French Quarter.
  • 2010: The time we surprised Sophie with Stephanie joining us, and the year we bought our DVC property!
  • February 2011: My first Magical Blogorail post!
  • 2011: Staying at Bay Lake Tower with Nancy, Otis, Anna Jane, Sherry, and Stephanie!
  • October 2011: Seeing the Food & Wine Festival for the first time, and also visiting for the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World!
  • 2012: Staying at Kidani Village with Monica, Maddie, Kerry, Neal, River, and Izaiah!
  • February, 2013: Signing on as a part time travel agent with Pixie Vacations!
  • June, 2013: Taking a trip to Disneyland for the first time, and meeting Sheila and her family!
  • July, 2013: Staying at the Grand Floridian! Incredibly blessed!
  • June, 2014: Staying at Bay Lake Tower again, this time with Leigh Ann and Riley, and Sheila, Randy, and Miss J.!

I think you can see that my DisneySide has blossomed into what some would call an obsession!  As for me, though, I think it is just a true love for all that Walt Disney brought to this world that we live in, and the legacy that he left in 1966.  In a nutshell, I guess my DisneySide is my attempt to keep the ideals that Walt Disney lived his life by in my life, and to instill that love of life and the simple things into the life of my family so that they can continue to pass it along.  Thank you for stopping by, and remember to make every day a Disney Day!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Babies Blog.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney on Wheels
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
3rd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog
4th Stop ~ Picturing Disney
Final Stop ~ Manda’s Disney Blog

Magical Blogorail

Magical Blogorail Red – Disney Bucket List!

MBRed Logo 2013

Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

This month we are taking a look at our Disney Bucket lists!  I’ve got to be honest with you, until this topic came up, I didn’t have a bucket list for Disney or anywhere else!  However, I’ve got the beginnings of one, and maybe I’ll expand it as we go along here.  For this post, I’m going to look at my top five things I want to do that relate to Disney!

Bucket List Item 1: Adventures By Disney


Image courtesy and ©Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney is a true bucket list item for me.  These special Disney vacations immerse you away from the parks — for the most part — and into some of the most beautiful parts of the world that exist.  They have all sorts of incredible destinations all over the globe, but one that I find really attractive is taking in the area that is highlighted by the movie Brave.  With an Adventure by Disney vacation, you have an itinerary — although you also have free time — and almost all of your meals are taken care of, and the cast members are specially trained to share with you the things that make that destination special.  I would love to take a trip with them, but be prepared, because they are pricey!

Bucket List Item 2: Staying at Aulani


Image courtesy and ©Disney Vacation Club

Staying at Aulani is something that Cindy and I definitely have on our Disney bucket list!  Fortunately, I think this would be one bucket item that I could see us fulfilling in the future.  I’ve never been to Hawaii, nor has Cindy, but we both love the idea of visiting!  Aulani often has specials to get extra days stays at the resort, and with it being Hawaii, there would be so much to do in addition to just visiting the resort!  One day we’ll get there, and with our DVC membership, we’ll be able to use points perhaps!

Bucket List Item 3: Taking a Disney Cruise

Image courtesy and ©Disney

Image courtesy and ©Disney Cruise Line

Taking a Disney Cruise at any time of the year would be incredible — even if it’s just to see what we would think of it!  However, I think I would go on sensory overload if we are ever able to take a Disney cruise during the Christmas season — and maybe during the week of Christmas!  That would be incredible to me, and would be a true bucket item list that we could scratch off if or when it happens!

Bucket List Item 4: Converting DVC points for travel to Europe


Image courtesy and ©Disney Vacation Club

One of the things that I really liked about our DVC membership when we bought it was the opportunity to transfer our points over to RCI for a small transfer fee and be able to stay at many of their resorts.  When we looked at it, we realized that we could use our points for 1 week at Disney or transfer them for 2 weeks in the Tuscany region of Italy!  That would be fantastic to do, and it’s definitely on our bucket list for in the future!

Bucket List Item 5: Becoming a Disney Cast Member!

Image courtesy and ©Disney Parks

Image courtesy and ©Disney Parks

When it comes to Disney Magic, look no further than the incredible cast members that you find at Walt Disney World.  So often you find that these incredible people go way above and way beyond what is expected of them to make the experience of the guests so much more than you would ever imagine.  If the day came when Cindy and I were honored to be considered a Disney Cast Member, that would be a dream come true.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back on October 18th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney news, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Red Map Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
2nd Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
3rd Stop ~ A World View
4th Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
Final Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney






28 Days: The Grand Quest at the Grand Californian Resort!

Image ©Disney Vacation Club

Image ©Disney Vacation Club

At the Grand Californian Resort and Spa, there is a resort activity that is just up our alley, and is something that I think we will check out one day.  I am referring to the Grand Quest Scavenger Hunt.

Starting at Guest Services, where you check-in and receive your instructions, the Grand Quest takes you around the resort, looking for clues and secret answers in this scavenger hunt.  Designed for resort guests with children aged three to twelve, the Grand Quest is something that I think we are going to find the time to do during one of our non-park days.  At the end of your quest, your young adventurer will receive a special treat.  I will let you know what we thought of the Grand Quest — and what the treat was — when we complete the quest!

For now, though, please let me know if you have done the quest, and if so, what did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!

The Disney Apps I roll with!

iphone5_large-294128 Today on Facebook, a couple of friends of mine asked me what Disney apps I recommend and have on my iPhone.  As a result, I decided to do a quick list of the apps I have and give a little bit of information about them.  I hope you enjoy!  By the way, this list is in order that I have them on my “Disney” folder on my iPhone — which is alphabetical by title as seen on my iPhone.  This is not a list of favorite to least favorite, or anything like that.  I like them all!

  • Disneyland Mobile Guide — From the TimeStream Software folks, this has a bunch of information about Disneyland that you can look at while you are at the parks! At only $0.99, it’s a great value!
  • Undercover Tourist Disney World App — this app shows wait times for rides, restaurants, park hours, and more.  I have the free version, but they also have an upgrade you can do to remove the ads.
  • My Disney Experience — this app is tied into Disney World’s MyMagic+ system that Disney is introducing — the jury is still out on this app.  Right now it is kind of buggy, but I can see the benefits of it once they get the kinks worked out!
  • DVC Planner — for you DVC owners out there, get the DVC Planner app.  I love this app, it is a great way to keep track of your reservations, points, contracts, and more!  I got in early, the app is now $1.99, but I don’t remember paying for it when I downloaded it a couple of years ago.  Still, I would pay the $1.99 because I like the app that much.
  • Disneyland Secrets Gold – another great app from TimeStream Software, this app has a lot of great secrets for you — and if you are like me and have never been to Disneyland, this is of great use in planning your trip!
  • Disney World Secrets Gold — the companion app from TimeStream Software to Disneyland Secrets Gold, this app focuses on Walt Disney World!
  • WDW Lines from — This app is considered the ultimate app to have when you are visiting Walt Disney World!  Utilizing the technology that has implemented, this app allows you to find out wait times, update them for others, and more.  Note: the app is free, but some features require you to login with your login to, which costs $11.95 for one year.
  • Disney World Maps — this free app shows you maps from all around Walt Disney World.  The app is free, but is ad driven.  You can upgrade for a few dollars to remove the ads.
  • Disney World Mobile Guide — one other app from TimeStream Software, this is another good app for looking at the resorts, wait times, maps, dining, park events, hours, and more.  This app is reasonably priced at $2.99, in my opinion.
  • Main Street Windows — this simple app, which is the last I have on my phone, is also from TimeStream Software, and is a neat little app that talks about the incredible windows you can find on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom.  Each window is discussed, instructions are given on where to find it, and more information on why the person or people were selected is given.  Best of all, this app is FREE!
  • The only other app that I highly recommend is the Disneyland Explorer app!  This free app goes into in-depth detail about Disneyland.  I highly recommend this app, even if you don’t plan on going to Disneyland anytime soon!

With that, my friends, I am going to close it down for now.  I hope you have found some great apps that you want to take advantage of.  Let me know what apps you use in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

How can an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner help you?



When it comes to planning your Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney, or Aulani vacation, what can an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner do to help you have the best vacation possible?

When someone asks me that question, I immediately think of six things that will help to answer that question.  Today I’m going to spend a few minutes and let you know how I can help you in your quest for the best Disney vacation possible!

  1. Concierge Level Service — The best thing a Disney vacation planner has to offer is a level of service that is second to none.  I became a Disney vacation planner because I LOVE to plan Disney vacations — for both my family and for yours!  With my concierge level service, I’ll stay on hold to get that great Disney Dining Reservation so that you don’t have to!
  2. There is no fee to you for my service.  Despite the fact that I offer concierge level service to each of my clients, you don’t pay anything extra for that service.  Disney pays me a commission because I’m working to bring business to them — so there are no hidden fees at all.  In fact, you might find that I can save you more money then you can find on your own!  I’ll explain how in the next point.
  3. I am a representative of what I believe is the BEST travel agency in the whole industry — Pixie Vacations!  As a result, Pixie Vacations negotiates deals with Disney that you can’t find with any other agency — some of which can save you hundreds of dollars!
  4. As a Pixie Travel Agent, I am always monitoring the specials to see if they will help you save money on your trip — or add services at ridiculous savings!  For example, if you book a vacation with me today, and tomorrow Disney releases free dining during your stay, I’ll make the necessary changes so you can capitalize on that, with your approval, of course.
  5. My first trip was in 1979, when I was 11 years old.  Since my daughter was born, my wife and I have been taking her to Walt Disney World every year since 2005.  One of the biggest things we love to talk about in our house is Disney, and I am a person that loves planning Disney vacations almost as much as taking Disney vacations!  That passion drives me to help you make the best vacation plans possible for your vacation!
  6. I have travelled to Disney with my grandparents, by myself, with my wife, staying off property, staying on-property, with just the three of us, and all the way up to having a trip with 4 different families, two resorts, and 12 people!  As a result of all of that planning, I have a pretty good idea the type of communication that is needed to make sure that everyone in your vacation party has the vacation of their dreams!

All of that comes down to one thing — I would love to help you plan your Disney vacation!  With my enthusiasm, your travel information, and some Pixie dust, we can create the perfect Disney vacation for you and your family, one that will generate some memories to last a lifetime!

If you would like my help, please fill out the contact information below, or email me at or call me at 919-606-6725!  I promise that your information will never be shared or sold!