Disney History: Port Orleans French Quarter Opens!

Port Orleans French Quarter

May 17, 1991: Port Orleans French Quarter Opens

Today in 1991, Walt Disney World opened up the newly created Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter! This charming resort is the smallest of the Moderate resorts to be found at Walt Disney World, and is a re-creation of the streets and row houses of New Orleans’ French Quarter.

This resort is one of my favorites on property because it generally is one of the quietest resorts at Disney, at least to me it is. It has a great pool area, water taxi transportation up the river to Port Orleans Riverside or down the river to Disney Springs, and, of course, wonderful beignets!

It’s a short walk up the path to get to Riverside if you prefer to do that, and one of the things you can do there is rent one of the Surrey Bikes to have a little fun at your resort. For a romantic feel, you can also arrange to have a horse drawn carriage ride. That starts up at Riverside.

One of the nice things about this resort as well as Port Orleans Riverside is that you can take advantage of all of the pools at both resorts. So, for your non-park day, if you have one, that gives you plenty of options to enjoy while at French Quarter.

Overall, I really enjoy Port Orleans French Quarter. It’s a great resort with nice amenities and a unique charm that is all it’s own. If you are interested in learning more about this resort, or wish to look at pricing for a package and staying here, please let me know! I’d be happy to assist you in your planning! Click here to submit a vacation quote request today, or send me an email to mike@pixievacations.com!

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!