26 Days til Disneyland – Storytellers Cafe!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Today for Day 26 in our countdown to Disneyland series, we are taking a look at the Storytellers Cafe, which is located inside of the Grand Californian Resort.  This dining location serves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The breakfast is a character breakfast called the “Chip ‘n Dale Critter Breakfast”, and has among other features, the ability to order off the menu or to select the buffet for your meal.  With made to order omelets, great Disney breakfast fare, and an excellent venue for your meal, the Storytellers Cafe is one of the top dining locations on property — at least, I think it is!

We will be eating there for breakfast the morning of June 24th, so look for an in depth review of the restaurant when we get back from Disneyland!

In the meantime, tell me what you think of the Storytellers Cafe!  Have you ever eaten here before?  If so, did you eat at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and what did you think of your dining experience?  Was the price good for the food you got, or was it overpriced?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!

Magic Bands

94 Days: Magic Bands

Magic Bands

Image courtesy and ©MouseChat.net and Pixie Vacations.

Hello everyone, and welcome to day 94 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  Today we are looking at the new Disney Magic Bands!  This is part of the billion dollar renovation to it’s technology that Walt Disney World is putting into place — and I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think there has been anything as polarizing at Disney since Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was closed to make room for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh…people either love the magic bands, or they hate them (I’m sorry, I try not to use that word, but that is how many people feel).

For our trip in June, it will be the first time that any of us have ever experienced the Magic Bands, and we have been on the My Disney Experience website getting our colors chosen, putting our names just so onto them, and all of that, so we are just about ready order them!

While I have not experienced them, my niece and her husband have, so I hit them up for a few things that they liked and didn’t like about the Magic Bands, and here is what they had to say…

As for the bands… I found them to be cool and exciting since they were something new. The way I see it though is that it could possibly be a “fad” or whatever that word may be, and that it will soon end. With Disney though… It’s hard to say. They were definitely convenient and for Shane and I they always worked as designed to and we did not experience any glitches. Um what else… They were pin protected which was really good and a perk. It was less hassle since you didn’t have to dig out your card all the time. For me it was hard to fasten and keep it comfortable. It took a day or so to get “use” to it. They weren’t too tight because they are adjustable but the give on them is not all there. If they were more bendable it’d make it more comfortable IMHO. And yes. We did use fast pass. We weren’t too highly disappointed but it was not the same because of the limited choices. Oh. With sleeves.. Mine was a pain in the rear if you have a sweatshirt or jacket on it’s hard to pull the sleeve over it to expose it and use it. At least it was for me seeing as it’s semi bulky for a wrist band.

So there you have it…the word on the street from my niece Stephanie and her husband Shane!  So tell me please: How many of you have used the Magic Bands, and what did you think of them?  Did you like them, not like them, or somewhere in between?  Please let me know, and thanks for stopping by today!

Pixie Vacations Offers To Consider

disney-vacation-banner_250X250 We have some incredible Pixie Vacations offers available if you are thinking about a Disney vacation.  This post will outline some of the great deals you can find, as well as give you the opportunity to get a quote created just for you, so take a look at what we’ve got!

  • Are you interested in our Summer Kick-Off Special? The travel dates for this package are May 23-29, and you must stay on May 27th.  If you are interested, we need to book this by April 23rd, so act now! A sample package – 6 nights at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, for 2 Adults and 2 Children (ages 6 and 8), six days of Magic Your Way park tickets, and the Disney Dining “Plus Dining” option is $3,082.91.  Normally, this package would cost you $3,532.06, so you are saving $449.15!
  • We also have a special Star Wars Weekend package available for you! Travel dates for this package are June 6-12, and you must stay on June 9th.  The beauty of that weekend is that Billy Dee Williams will be participating in the Star Wars Weekend June 7-9, 2013, so it may be just the chance you need to meet Lando Calrissian!  Use the quote link below to get pricing for this offer, which needs to done by May 8th, 2013!
  • Are you interested in seeing Walt Disney World for the 4th of July? Then have I got the deal for you! Book your vacation by June 1st, stay at Walt Disney World between July 1-7, 2013, with a mandatory stay on July 4th, and the savings may be more spectacular then the special Independence Day Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom!
  • We’ve also got special deals for the Friday, September 13th Villains Weekend, special deals for the Food & Wine Festival in October, Jersey Week in November, and of course, special holiday savings in December.  Hit me up if you would like more information on any of those specials!

To request a personal quote for these or any Disney travel plans that you have, please click on the image and fill out the vacation request form!  It will generate an email to me, and I’ll get right on it!  Thanks, and have a Magical Day!

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Disney Dining Review: Play & Dine

At the Hollywood & Vine, guests for breakfast and lunch can enjoy a character dining experience called the Disney Junior Play & Dine at the Hollywood & Vine.  For only one table service credit, it can be a good way to meet some of the characters that you don’t often find in the parks!

When we took Sophie there for breakfast back in 2008, the characters were from June and Leo from Little Einstein and JoJo and Goliath from JoJo’s Circus.  June and Leo are still part of the fun, but the characters from JoJo’s Circus have been replaced with Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, and Jake the Neverland Pirate!

We enjoyed having breakfast at the Hollywood & Vine.  The breakfast was a buffet with your standard Disney breakfast fare, but Sophie really enjoyed getting autographs and pictures with the characters, especially June!

The Play ‘n Dine is a good venue to enjoy some character interaction, and whether you choose to eat here or not is totally dependent on whether or not your children (or you) like the characters being offered.  As for us, we don’t need to experience this now, as Sophie has outgrown a lot of the Disney Junior shows, but for you and your children, it may be right up there alley, and shouldn’t be overlooked!  If you book your breakfast for the right time, you’ll be able to get into Hollywood Studios before the park opens, and then after you are done eating, get on over for an early ride on Toy Story Mania!  I’ll close by sharing some of the pictures that we have of Sophie from here, I hope you enjoy!

Sophie and JoJo

 

Sophie and Goliath

 

Sophie and Leo

 

Sophie and June

 

Sophie and June

 

Sophie and June

For character experiences, this is a good one — again, it really depends on which characters you and your children like as to whether or not you choose this one.  I’d be surprised if this one was a quick sell-out, but I don’t know have numbers about that.  Our last Character dining review will be of one of my favorite restaurants — ‘Ohana.  Look for that on January 3rd!

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Our Family Review of Bay Lake Tower

This past June, our extended family took a fabulous vacation to Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the new Disney Vacation Club resort that opened in 2009.  Our family had purchased points in DVC in June, 2010, and this was the first time we had stayed at at DVC resort.  Let me tell you, we were not disappointed by Bay Lake Tower!

BLT is a 16 story modern resort, and on the top floor they have the Top of the World Lounge, a special dining and rooftop viewing location for the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.  We were fortunate enough to stay in room 8141, which was on the south side of the building, with a lake view, overlooking the pool area.  This is one of the shots of the pool that I took off of our balcony.

Since there were nine of us on this vacation, we spent extra points and reserved a two bedroom suite at BLT.  That room had one master suite — which had a king-sized bed, a jacuzzi bathtub that had panels you could open up to look out the window with, and a very spacious rainforest shower.

In addition to that room, the second bedroom had it’s own bathroom as well, complete with bathtub and shower, and two queen beds in that room, along with it’s own balcony (the master suite has a balcony also, but you can also get to it from the living room).

Lastly, the living space part of the room included a queen size sleeper sofa, a twin size pullout chair, a full kitchen, and a stackable washer and dryer.  Unfortunately, while we were there, I never once thought to take photos of the room itself beyond the balcony pictures, and some in the hallway, but please trust me when I tell you that the room is immaculately designed, and one that was worth every point of the 384 that we spent to stay there!  So, without further ado, I give you — the photos!

Views off the Balcony

Bay Lake Tower Pool

 

The Pool with the lake in the background
The Pool’s incredible slide!  Awesome!
Another shot of the lake, with Orlando in the distance

 

I love this shot!  Taken from windows by the 11th floor elevators!
Taken from the rooftop overlook

My wife Cindy absolutely loved staying at Bay Lake Tower, and could see us staying there again in the future.  I also enjoyed it, the only thing that I didn’t like about it was that, being so modernly designed, it is lacking in the theming that you get at a lot of the other Disney resorts.  Sophie loved the pool, the bathtub, the balcony, eating breakfast on the balcony, the views of Magic Kingdom, the proximity to Magic Kingdom, the elevators, the rooftop overlook, and everything else!

Bay Lake Tower 2011 Points Chart (Click to enlarge)

If you click on the image above, you will see that you can stay at a studio room at BLT during the summer for a week for 183 points, which in my opinion isn’t bad considering how close you are to the Magic Kingdom!  Some finishing touches include a really cool walkway to the Contemporary Resort, access to all of the amenities of the Contemporary Resort,

If you are curious as to what the Disney Vacation Club is all about, stay tuned, I’m writing a post about the ins and outs of DVC, so look for that later on.

I hope that you have enjoyed my review of Bay Lake Tower.  How many of you have stayed there or have plans to stay there?