Your #DisneyMemory of Wishes

Hello, and welcome today’s #DisneyMemory segment!  The focus today is on a special fireworks show that many people know and love — Wishes!  Like roller coasters, when I was a kid, I was terrified of fireworks.  For me mostly, it was a sensory issue involving the loud noises and the way I would tense up in anticipation of those booms.  So for many years, I would not watch fireworks, either at Walt Disney World or anywhere.  Then one year, my wife suggested that my daughter and I get ear plugs, and that was the start of a love affair of Wishes.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of getting them sooner — I guess I just figured I would never bother with seeing fireworks — but I’m glad that my wife had the great idea to do that.  I’ve since found out that you can also get ear plugs at Guest Services for free, so that’s a great thing also.  Now, fireworks don’t seem so bad anymore, and I enjoy them a great deal.

My favorite #DisneyMemory from Wishes is from our trip in 2012.  In that trip, Cindy, Sophie and myself invited our friends Kerry & Neal and their kids and our friend Monica and her daughter to join us, and one of the reservations we had for that trip was at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  The problem was that the earliest time we could get for our party size was 8:30 PM, which I was inclined to skip on, but the others really wanted to eat there, so we decided to stick with it.  Well, what turned into an absolutely terrible dining time (especially with a 4 and 2 1/2 year old in our party) turned into one of the greatest moments of Disney Magic we ever experienced.  Since we were there late, and since we had a party of 9, dinner took longer, to the tune of us being inside the Castle when Wishes was beginning.  We were able to experience the fireworks through the windows, and listen to the show audio in the restaurant.  Obviously, while we didn’t see as much in the way of the actual fireworks as we would have had we been outside, it was still an incredible memory, and that is my favorite #DisneyMemory of Wishes.

So please tell me, what is your favorite #DisneyMemory of Wishes?  Please let us know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by to join us today!

IllumiNations

44 Days: IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

IllumiNations

The colors in this shot make this round of IllumiNations fireworks among my favorites!

Hello everyone, welcome to #Day44 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  Today is a special one, in my opinion, anyway. We are taking a look at IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, that incredible fireworks show that can be seen over World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot each night!  When it comes to fireworks, in my opinion, Walt Disney World does it better than anywhere else, and at the top of the list is IllumiNations.  I know that there are a lot of Wishes fans out there, and I think Wishes is great also, but to me, the music and lasers, accompanied by the fireworks, are what set this show at the top of the list.  The shot above was taken last July when we were able to enjoy the show during the IllumiNations Dessert Party that we were at.  I was able to find an excuse to bring my tripod, so I was able to get much better shots than I normally do!

IllumiNations

IllumiNations lights up the night sky!

As you can see, at points during the show the fire on the Lagoon is quite intense, but I still like the tails on the fireworks!

IllumiNations

Some of the fireworks in IllumiNations look just like stars in the sky!

Another cool thing I like about IllumiNations is how the water reflects the fireworks that are in the sky.  Of course, this happens at other fireworks shows too, but you notice it more here because the show takes place over water.  Also, do you notice how the Globe is opening up — it also moves locations during the show too!

IllumiNations is absolutely, hands down, one of my favorite shows at any Disney park, and I’m betting that it is for some of you too!  Now tell me, though — which do you like better: Wishes or IllumiNations?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

How the Grand Floridian Captured our Heart

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are reviewing Walt Disney World deluxe resorts.


Grand Floridian from Boat

In July of 2013, my family was able to take advantage of a special rate and stay at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  I was a new Pixie Vacations travel agent, and they were having an agent get together, so we were able to get a good rate to stay at the resort.  We had been here once before, but just for a dinner, and had never imagined that we would be able to actually stay here.  My wife and I, after that first visit for dinner, had made a resolution that we would stay here to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  We were actually able to stay here just before our 13th wedding anniversary, cutting that time in half!

The Grand Floridian is the flagship resort of Walt Disney World, but oddly enough, it isn’t an original Walt Disney World resort!  It didn’t actually open for business until June 28, 1988, nearly 17 years after the Magic Kingdom opened!  When I learned that, it astonished me.  This resort isn’t even 30 years old yet.

However, this isn’t about the facts and figures of the resort.  This story is the story of how the resort reached out, grabbed Cindy and I by the heart, and pulled us in.  As I said, we were able to stay here much more quickly than we thought we would, and we were instantly impressed with the Victorian charm of this classic resort.  It’s the flagship resort for Walt Disney World for a reason, and we quickly found out why when we walked into the opulent lobby of the resort.

Grand Floridian Grand Piano

As we entered, I kept thinking to myself, we wouldn’t be able to stay here if we didn’t have that special rate.  It’s almost like the Disney Magic had been cranked up on high for us, not just for our trip, but so we could stay at this resort.  The room fit Sophie, Cindy and myself perfectly — we had no issue with space or anything like that.  We had a small balcony that we could go out on, but we spent most of our time away from the room to enjoy that feature.

The amenities are incredible at the resort, from signature restaurants to incredible views, great perks such as taking the boat or the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

This trip, though, and the appeal of this resort, wasn’t in the room, or the lobby, or the amenities, or even so much the location.  The beauty of this resort is that it captured my imagination, it offered me a taste of what it would be like to stay here, and it did so in such a way that it welcomed us with open arms, and invited us to stay there again.  Next month is our 15th wedding anniversary, and ten years after that — we’ll be back at the Grand Floridian, staying there for our anniversary, unless we get back there before then.

For more information on Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Reviews Loop:

#Disneyland60 – Disneyland Forever!

'DISNEYLAND FOREVER' SPARKLES IN THE NIGHT SKY -- 'Disneyland Forever,' a new fireworks spectacular at the Disneyland Resort, illuminates the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle. 'Disneyland Forever' transports guests into the worlds of beloved Disney and Disney•Pixar films through traditional pyrotechnics, innovative projection mapping technology and surprising special effects. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

‘DISNEYLAND FOREVER’ SPARKLES IN THE NIGHT SKY — ‘Disneyland Forever,’ a new fireworks spectacular at the Disneyland Resort, illuminates the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle. ‘Disneyland Forever’ transports guests into the worlds of beloved Disney and Disney•Pixar films through traditional pyrotechnics, innovative projection mapping technology and surprising special effects. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

Hello my friends, and welcome to our the next post about some of the things that we are looking forward to at Disneyland.  Today, we’re taking a look at Disneyland Forever, the new fireworks show! Some of you may know that I wasn’t always a fan of fireworks — the noises especially would really bother me, and also my daughter Sophie.  However, now that we have incorporated simple ear plugs into our list of things we take to Disney, watching fireworks is really a lot of fun!

The Disneyland Forever fireworks show isn’t just fireworks, though.  It’s special effects, it’s projections onto the screen, it’s all of that and more!  I can’t wait until we get to see it!  On Friday, July 17th and Saturday, July 18th, the show will be performed at 9:30PM, so we’ll be sure to watch it one of those nights.  Since we are going to be Periscoping some of the events on the 17th, look for us to do this as well, and enjoy!  Are you going to be at Disneyland this year?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

The top five things I’m excited about for Disneyland!

The Disneyland Resort invites you to enjoy all it has to share!

The Disneyland Resort invites you to enjoy all it has to share!

{Editor’s Note: Sophie joins us today to talk about the things that she is most excited about for our upcoming trip to California!}

Sophie: Hi Guys! Long time no see! Well, today I’ve got a guest with me! World of Disney, meet Mr. Reporter.

Reporter: you can call me “Image” Sophie. (It’s short for “Imaginary”)

Sophie: Ok then, “‘Image’ Reporter” every body! On with the interview!

Image: What are your top five hopes about California?

Sophie: I made a bucket list:

  1. Seeing one of my two best friends, Jagan, in person again!
  2. Seeing World of Color and trying to convince my mom to let us stand in the “Wet Zone.”
  3. Going back to DODGER STADIUM!!!!!
  4. Two words: Thrift. Shopping.
  5. Going to the San Diego Zoo!

collage #1

Image: Now, I notice that only one of your top five has something to do with Disney. Why is that?

Sophie: Unlike Walt Disney World, Disneyland is small. In my opinion, you could get through every thing the parks have to offer in a day. And you’ll find, that the distance between Disneyland and the California Adventure is a mere 100 yards. So, my family decided that we would see more of California. The most un-Disney that we got during the first trip was a trip to Beverly Hills; to see the address of Walt. This time, we’re going more towards the California side of California. Does that make sense?

Image: a little. But, more LA and less Disney?

Sophie: Yes. There’s not a problem with that. Is there?

Image: No. But, do you think we can zero in on Disney?

Sophie: Yes. I figured you’d ask that of me, so I made another bucket list:

  1. World of Color [standing in the ‘wet zone’ (good luck trying to convince Mommy to do that)]
  2. Splash mountain [front row (of course)]
  3. Mickey’s Fun Wheel [shaky carts (Minnie is preferred)]
  4. Soarin’ over California [front row (best view)]
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean [front row (that’s the wettest)]

collage #2

Image: Nice choices.

Sophie: thank you, Image.

Image: Well, that wraps up the interview thank you for your time, Ms. Sophie. Tooddles!

Well! That was nice. OH! I almost forgot! The Trivia! Today’s question is:

Q: Which Famous character made an appearance in Frozen as a stuffed animal?

  1. Winnie the Pooh
  2. Mickey Mouse
  3. Tinker Bell
  4. Potato Head

The answer:

  1. Mickey Mouse

It’s okay if you got it wrong. That was an Easter egg question. You have to look very closely through out the film. But here is a clue.

easter egg

How people see that, I have no idea.

But I hope you enjoyed my little interview with myself — I mean Mr. Image Reporter — and bye!!!