Arrival Day at Disney World

0 Days: Arrival Day at Disney World!

Arrival Day at Disney World

Welcome Home…two of the best words you can hear at Walt Disney World!

Welcome Home…the first words a Disney Vacation Club member hears when they approach the resort they are staying at and are checking in.  For us, our home for the next week is Bay Lake Tower, the modern resort located next to and connected to the Contemporary Resort, with views overlooking the Magic Kingdom Park and Bay Lake.  Today is the day!  Today is our arrival day at Disney World!

If all goes as planned, we should arrive at our home around lunchtime, in time to check our luggage, hop on the monorail to Epcot, and then make our first FastPass of our trip, at Soarin’ at 3:35PM.

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking time out of your schedule to visit our site during our #DisneyWorldCountdown series.  In the days ahead I will create a page with links to each of the posts so it’s easier for you to scan them, and during the week I’ll share special photos from the parks that I think you may find interesting.  Until we speak again, I wish you all the best, and I hope that you are excited for your trip as I am for ours!

Today’s question is simple — who is a DVC member?  If you aren’t, and you have been considering it, I invite you to use me as a reference — you’ll get a special prize and so will I.  Just use the information in the image below if you do use us as a reference for your DVC purchase!  Have a great day!

The Disney Vacation Club -- What's it all about?

28 Days: Gran Fiesta Tour

Gran Fiesta Tour

The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros is our choice for #Day28 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!

Hello everyone, and welcome to #Day28 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  We are exactly 4 weeks from when we check into our resort at Bay Lake Tower, and the time will be by before you know it!  For today, we are taking a look at the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros!  This is one of my (and Sophie’s too) favorite attractions, and can be found in the Epcot World Showcase Mexico pavilion!

The Gran Fiesta Tour is a similar ride structure to it’s a small world, but it focuses on José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles and their search for Donald Duck, who has gone missing — and he could be somewhere anywhere in Mexico!  Along the way, it becomes pretty obvious to this writer that when you find Donald Duck, you’ll find him somewhere in the company of a striking lady!

I really enjoy riding this attraction, and it’s a big winner in my book because it never has a long line!  So tell me, what do you think of this attraction?  Ride it, skip it, or something else?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks!

Impressions de France

59 Days: Impressions de France

Impressions de France

The France Pavilion beckons you to enjoy Impressions de France!

Hello everyone, and welcome to #Day59 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  I can’t believe that we are now inside of 60 days until we check in at Bay Lake Tower!  We’ve already taken care of 41 of these posts, I hope you like them and that you are getting some ideas on what you want to experience on your next Walt Disney World vacation!

Today’s post is about the movie that you can see in the France Pavilion — it is titled Impressions de France, and is actually quite a good movie.  It is not done in the Circle*Vision360 format, it is in an actual theater where you sit and watch the film.

In addition to the film, there is a lot of fun things to see and eat at the France Pavilion, including street performers like this one we saw a few years back:

Impressions de France

The Street Performer did a great job!

We have also enjoyed some of the French food during the Food and Wine Festival.  We tried the coq au vin and the Creme Brûlée!  Both were quite good!

Impressions de France

Coq au vin

Impressions de France

Creme Brûlée

As you can tell, there are more things to experience than just the Impressions de France movie at the France Pavilion.  Do you like this pavilion?  What is your favorite thing to experience in France?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

Our Favorite Disney Memories 2011

One of our Photopass Photos from our trip in 2011!

One of our Photopass Photos from our trip in 2011!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the next installment in our favorite Disney Memories series, sorted by the year of our trip.  This week we are looking at Disney Memories 2011, that first trip we took under the umbrella of our recently purchased DVC membership, and to accompany us on that memorable trip were Cindy’s brother, his wife, their daughter, and her Grandma, along with my niece Stephanie.  It was a truly magical time in our Disney history, and I think you will see as I share the photos with you that the most memorable and magical of our moments were the ones that involved Sophie and her cousin Anna Jane.  Words can only express so much, so instead of talking your ear off, why not take a look at some of the photos from that trip.  Enjoy, everyone!

This was the first trip to Walt Disney World by Sherry, Nancy's Mom, and she had a blast!

This was the first trip to Walt Disney World by Sherry, Nancy’s Mom, and she had a blast!

I love this picture of Sherry and her daughter Nancy with Expedition Everest in the background!

Sophie poses after her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique surprise!

Sophie poses after her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique surprise!

Anna Jane is all dolled up for her Hair, Nails, and Make Up extravaganza!

Anna Jane is all dolled up for her Hair, Nails, and Make Up extravaganza!

Our first night, getting a picture in front of Cinderella Castle.  We were a little beat!

Our first night, getting a picture in front of Cinderella Castle. We were a little beat!

We stayed at Bay Lake Tower, which has a great pool and slide!

We stayed at Bay Lake Tower, which has a great pool and slide!

Anna Jane's joy is complete on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party ride!

Anna Jane’s joy is complete on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party ride!

From the elevator on the 11th floor of Bay Lake Tower, you have this view.  I know, just so-so. :)

From the elevator on the 11th floor of Bay Lake Tower, you have this view. I know, just so-so. :)

On Main Street, U.S.A., Sophie and Anna Jane get a photo with two of the Dapper Dans!

On Main Street, U.S.A., Sophie and Anna Jane get a photo with two of the Dapper Dans!

Sherry was a great sport, and let "Mamma" feed her until she had eaten enough!

Sherry was a great sport, and let “Mamma” feed her until she had eaten enough!

The great thing about this was that we found out that Mamma was from New Jersey, just like Sherry, and they lived only a few miles from one another! Cue up “it’s a small world” music, please!

It wasn't a very good dessert for Nancy, who didn't eat all her veggies!

It wasn’t a very good dessert for Nancy, who didn’t eat all her veggies!

Stephanie and her old Uncle shared a photo just before Illuminations in Epcot.

Stephanie and her old Uncle shared a photo just before Illuminations in Epcot.

We happened upon Pocahontas at Rafiki's Planet Watch!

We happened upon Pocahontas at Rafiki’s Planet Watch!

Sophie ate her first Jumbo Turkey Leg on this trip!

Sophie ate her first Jumbo Turkey Leg on this trip!

Festival of the Lion King -- a great show!

Festival of the Lion King — a great show!

But my favorite of the two is Finding Nemo: The Musical!

But my favorite of the two is Finding Nemo: The Musical!

My friends, thank you for stopping by today to share in the photographic memories we have from our trip to Disney in 2011.  What are your favorite Disney Memories?  Please share them, and thanks for stopping by!  Now, go out and make every day a Disney Day!

Our Favorite Disney Memories 2010

Stephanie, Snow White, and Sophie enjoy a picture at Akershus!

Stephanie, Snow White, and Sophie enjoy a picture at Akershus!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our Favorite Disney Memories 2010 edition!  So much happened in this trip in June 2010 for Sophie’s birthday that I almost don’t know where to start!  I’ll do my best, though, and I hope you enjoy my walk down memory lane.  At the end of the post, please share your favorite Disney memories in our comments section, and thanks!

The picture at the top was taken at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for our Princess Storybook Dining character dinner!  I think the combination of my niece Stephanie, my daughter Sophie, and Snow White is a great combination!

This trip started with a big surprise for Sophie — she found out the night before we were leaving that Stephanie was coming with us!  We arranged for Stephanie to ring the doorbell when she got to our house, and I had Sophie answer it.  When she saw her cousin, after hugs and kisses and excitement, she whispered to me “Daddy, why is she here?”  It was a great moment, and one that we all will never forget!

This picture of the bridge at the Boardwalk region of Disney is a fun one for me!

This picture of the bridge at the Boardwalk region of Disney is a fun one for me!

One thing we did on this trip that we had never done before was spend an evening at the Boardwalk region of Disney!  It was a lot of fun, and we made a point to spend time there before we got all inundated at the parks, so we actually did this before we even checked in to our resort hotel!  We made plans to eat at the Captain’s Grille, which is a restaurant one of my friends used to work at, and then we spent the night just walking around the boardwalk, checking out the shopping, enjoying the street performers, and having a great night all around.

I enjoy this great picture of my niece and I from our visit to the Crystal Palace!

I enjoy this great picture of my niece and I from our visit to the Crystal Palace!

This trip was a lot of fun — we even got a great picture of my niece Stephanie and I from the Crystal Palace!  This trip had it all; great family memories, fantastic dining using the Disney Dining Plan, Sophie and Stephanie walking around the parks like they were sisters, and Cindy and I just taking it all in and enjoying every minute of it!

The Mickey & Friends Railroad located at the DVC Welcome Center at Saratoga Springs!

The Mickey & Friends Railroad located at the DVC Welcome Center at Saratoga Springs!

This trip was special in many other ways, also, including the fact that we purchased our DVC ownership on this trip!  That was such a big decision, but it was the right one, because since we bought our ownership interest, we have been to Walt Disney World with our close family, great friends, and we have stayed at Bay Lake Tower, Kidani Village, the Grand Californian Hotel, and this year, back to Bay Lake Tower!

Sophie received this pirate gear at Downtown Disney!

Sophie received this pirate gear at Downtown Disney!

But, without a doubt, the biggest memory from our trip was celebrating Sophie’s 9th birthday.  She loves celebrating at Disney, and one day during that trip, we took the water taxi from Port Orleans French Quarter, our resort, to Downtown Disney.  When we were getting off the taxi, the captain wished Sophie a happy birthday, and then he had us hang on a minute, and he pulled out of his bag of tricks a Princess Pirate getup.  That little gesture absolutely made Sophie’s day, and she wore the bandana with pride, and also the eye patch and sword too!  Lastly, at Hollywood Studios, as we were finishing up our visit for the year, Sophie’s Happy Birthday button became worn out from water rides, heat, sweat, and you name it.  One of the Disney artists saw it, took Sophie’s button, wiped off the sharpie, and then proceeded to spend about 15 minutes decorating her name in the Disney font, and adding glitter, and puffy ink, and all that.  It was a great keepsake, and absolute proof to how incredible the Disney Cast Members truly are.

Thank you my friends for visiting today, and remember, I love hearing memories, so please send me your favorite memories by leaving them in the comments below!  Now, go out there and make today and everyday a great Disney Day!