Magical Blogorail

Magical Blogorail: Avoiding the “I’ve got to do everything” trap!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we sharing tips for your first Disney vacation.


Magical Blogorail

Hello everyone, and welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail look at tips for your first Disney Vacation!  You’ve been saving your money, you’ve been paying regularly on your trip, hopefully you have been working with a travel agent to help you plan your trip and save you money, and now, it is finally here!  Your Walt Disney World vacation is about to begin!

When you arrive, though, sometimes your thoughts get the better of you.  You think to yourself, I spent so much for this trip, I’ve got to see absolutely everything in order to get my money’s worth.  That line of thinking, though, is incorrect, and hopefully in this Magical Blogorail post, I’m going to share with you some things that will help you prevent the feeling of not seeing anything and keep you from falling into that trap.

Tip 1: It’s not all about the attractions, it’s also about the memories…

Magical Blogorail

Our daughter Sophie shares a secret with Princess Jasmine!

As great as the attractions are at Walt Disney World, what will really make or break your trip is the memories that you and your family create while there.  The picture above was taken way back in 2008, and to this day, it remains one of my all time favorite Disney photos.  Let me set the scene.  We were in Morocco just wandering through the marketplace, looking at things, just browsing.  When we got to the back of the pavilion, there was a meet and greet location, with Princess Jasmine and the Genie just waiting for someone to come visit with them.  Sophie had been talking about Princess Jasmine all this time, about how she was going to get a costume just like her costume, and she was able to talk with her for what felt like an eternity!  In this picture, she was telling her that she was going to get that costume, and sure enough, she did a couple of days later.

Tip 2: Take time to relax and slow down

Magical Blogorail

Far too often, first time guests — and yes, even those that visit more regularly — are way too focused on getting from point a to point b, from getting from their last attraction to their next attraction, and they don’t really slow down to breath.  Part of the reason you are taking your Disney vacation is to take a break from everyday life, from getting away from the rat race that is the world today.  Let your vacation be just that, a break from the hustle and bustle of life, and instead, take time to enjoy everything about your trip.  The picture above was taken back in 2010, when we were leaving Test Track and heading somewhere — I don’t even remember where.  Anyway, we weren’t in a very big hurry, and if we had been, we might have missed the perfect setting of the flowers, pond, TRON Monorail, and the Imagination Pavilion in the background.  I love this photo, and hope you do as well!

Tip 3: Enjoy the little attractions as much as the big ones.

As much fun as I have riding Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and the other big attractions, I get as much fun out of the smaller attractions, the ones you can almost walk right on.  Carousel of Progress, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, it’s a small world, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, and so forth.  Don’t overlook the little attractions just so you can enjoy the big ones.  You will be doing yourself and your vacation a disservice, and you will miss out on a lot of great opportunities to let the child within out to play.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you as you plan your first Disney Vacation!  Let me know what you think in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by today!  Check out the rest of the posts from the Magical Blogorail writers, and then go out and make it a Disney day!

 

For more tips,
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Springtime at Disney

Exploring the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing some of the magic you can expect at the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.


Flower & Garden

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

Over at Epcot at Walt Disney World, each year the creative geniuses turn out two major events that are a highlight for those that attend.  In the Fall is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and in the Spring is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Today marks the start of the 2017 edition of the Flower & Garden Festival, and the festival runs until May 29th.  If you are lucky or fortunate enough to be able to visit and enjoy the festival, that’s great, but the good thing is that many of the topiaries will be around Epcot even after the festival has concluded.  The picture at the top of this post was taken in June 2011, some weeks after that festival ended.

I’ve not actually been to Epcot during a Flower & Garden festival before, it’s one of those things that I’m looking forward to enjoying one year, but so far we haven’t been able to do so because of school schedules.  So at this point I’ve got pictures that were shared with me from my friend Alicia, and my imagination will take me the rest of the way.

I really love the topiaries, and look forward to seeing them one year.  What I’m most looking forward too, though, is being able to take my wife Cindy to Epcot on her birthday and experiencing it first hand.  Tomorrow is her birthday, so we would be right in line with seeing the start of the festival.  Here’s how I picture it in my mind’s eye.

It’s an absolutely incredible spring-like day.  The sky is a brilliant blue, with a few wispy clouds  dotting the landscape.  Cindy and I are staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a resort that we’ve visited before but have never stayed at.  For Epcot, it’s a great resort because you can just walk to the park, enter through the International Gateway, and take in the festival. In fact, on this day, that’s just what we did.  We visited all of the pavilions that we enjoy, Canada, China, the American Adventure, Norway, Italy, Germany, France, Mexico.  In fact, we visited them all because today was a special day, a day when it was just Cindy and I, walking hand-in-hand, enjoying being at Walt Disney World, and sharing our love for each other with those we encounter.

Everyone has a smile on their face, because when you are at Disney, that’s what you do most of all — you smile.  You take everything in, and you don’t worry about anything because at Walt Disney World, everyone turns into a version of their childhood once again.  After we walk around the festival, we ride some of our favorite rides: Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, and we remember fondly those attractions that aren’t around anymore, like Maelstrom.

The reality for me is this. Visiting Walt Disney World and Epcot during the Flower & Garden Festival would be great because it would mean that I am able to visit Disney with my wife once again, something we haven’t been able to do for a while now.  It would mean that things are much better than they were, and when we go to Walt Disney World next, it will truly feel like this is the first time we have been.  What are your thoughts about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? Please share them with us, and make sure you check out the rest of the posts from this loop.  Thanks for stopping by!

For more of what you can expect at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival,
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Coming Soon: Remembering your #DisneyMemory

 

#DisneyMemory

When is comes to Disney, we all have memories if you’ve gone. What is your #DisneyMemory?

Coming Soon: Remembering your #DisneyMemory

Disney Memories.  Certainly not a new topic here at My Dreams of Disney — but it isn’t one that we focus on as much as we used to.  Well, my friends, that is about to change.  Starting on Monday, we’re going to be taking a look at a special something at Disney, and I’m going to share with you my #DisneyMemory in that post.  It could be a picture of an attraction, a resort, some food, whatever strikes me on that day, but it will have a Disney focus.  Better yet, though, I’d love for my post to trigger your own Memory — your own #DisneyMemory — that you would share with all of us.  That’s the purpose of this blog, you know — to take My Dreams of Disney and to help you make them Your Dreams of Disney.  So who’s up for the challenge?  Who’s ready to get started? Come join in the fun, and follow along online with the hashtag #DisneyMemory!  I’ll see you online, and I’ll see you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram too!

Our first memory comes to us from the Walt Disney World sign on World Drive.  I remember as a punky 11 year old kid in 1979 riding to the Magic Kingdom with my grandparents and my Mom and Sister and seeing that sign.  Back then, the only park was the Magic Kingdom, so when you saw the sign, you still drove for about 3 miles until you actually got near the Transportation and Ticketing Center, and to this 11 year old, that drive felt like driving out of Florida and into an entirely new world.  That, of course, is exactly what Disney wanted — for you to leave your life behind, even for just a short while, and to remember what it was like to be a kid again.  I’ll touch on this theme a bit more in future posts, but for me, on that summer day in 1979, seeing that incredible sign was just the first #DisneyMemory.  Tell us about your first Disney Memory online here in the comments, or on any of our social media platforms!  Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting!

Mike’s Favorites: The TTA

TTA

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

My Favorites: The TTA

By Mike Ellis

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s look at some of Mike’s Favorites!  On Tuesday we explored Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, and today we’re continuing over in Tomorrowland by looking at the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, also known as the TTA!

When it comes to relaxation at the Magic Kingdom, I am hard pressed to find something I enjoy as much as the TTA.  This incredible moving attraction takes you on a tour of Tomorrowland, with unique views within Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and incredible views over the walkways of Tomorrowland.  Some of my favorite views of the Magic Kingdom have been seen from the TTA at night, with the incredible lighting of Tomorrowland, Cinderella Castle, Space Mountain, and the Astro Orbiter.  Here are some of my best TTA photos that I would like to share with you.

TTA

Space Mountain.

 

TTA

A different section of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

 

TTA

A view of Tomorrowland as seen from above.

 

TTA

The model of what Walt Disney envisioned for EPCOT.

 

TTA

The Tomorrowland Speedway.

 

TTA

The Astro Orbiter is just above the start of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.

 

TTA

A shot of Space Mountain from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.

Closing us out is a great ride video from Central Florida Sights and Sounds of the TTA at night.  Enjoy!

What do you think of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover? Must ride, can’t stand it, or meh? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks!

Magical Blogorail Red: Celebrating #Disneyland60

Welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Red loop. Today we are discussing the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.


On July 17, 1955, this Castle enchanted the world.  On July 17, 2015, it will enchant us once again.

On July 17, 1955, this Castle enchanted the world. On July 17, 2015, it will enchant us once again.

Hello everyone, and welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Red post!  This month, we are gearing up for all the excitement, grandeur, and spectacle of the #Disneyland60 anniversary!  My family is fortunate in that we will be able to enjoy Disneyland on July 17, 2015 — the 60th Birthday of this incredible vision of Walt Disney!  In this post, I plan on sharing with you all my hopes and dreams for that day, all the things that we hope to enjoy, and what that day means to me personally.  So hop on and join me and my wonderful Blogorail teammates as we share what it means to us!

On July 17, 1955, the following attractions were open for the general public that are still open to this day:

  1. Main Street Vehicles
  2. Main Street Cinema
  3. Disneyland Railroad
  4. Storybook Land Canal Boats
  5. Casey Jr. Circus Train
  6. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  7. King Arthur Carrousel
  8. Mad Tea Party
  9. Fantasyland Theater
  10. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  11. Peter Pan Flight
  12. Snow White Scary Adventures
  13. Autopia
  14. Mark Twain Riverboat
  15. Jungle Cruise

All of these attractions are ones that I want to enjoy when we are there.  To me, there is something extremely cool about enjoying the attractions today that were there in the days of yesteryear.  I imagine what it might have been like to ride on them on that day, whether they had any issues, or was everything running to Walt’s standards.  Just imagining it takes me there right now!

When we were fortunate enough to go to the Magic Kingdom to celebrate the 40th birthday of that park on October 1, 2011, the weather was absolutely spectacular — hardly a cloud in the sky, with perfect temperatures, it was like Disney controlled the weather that day!  For this celebration, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the same thing happen.  It just feels like it will be that way, and regardless of whether it is or not, it will still be incredible.

Cindy, Sophie and I will not be there by ourselves, of course; we will have our niece Stephanie and her husband Shane with us, and we will have our great friend Sheila and her daughter Jagan with us, so the celebration will be even greater because of their being there.  Sheila grew up at Disneyland, it is her home away from home, and she has a fountain of information about the park that I love to hear about.  That will make the day even more special.

Most of all, though, this day is about Walt Disney.  On July 17, 2015, we will celebrate Walt, his vision, his determination, his compassion, and his desire to see families having fun together, and we will look upon his park and give thanks for his life.  On that day, I will look at Sleeping Beauty Castle like it is below, and imagine myself to be there, with Walt welcoming me to the park that day.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Thank you for joining us today — please check out my friend Julie’s post about the 60th Anniversary Dazzling Decor!


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