Magical Blogorail Teal – Lesser Known Disney Tips!

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Welcome to those of you joining me from Capturing Magical Memories and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Special thanks to all of my Magical Blogorail Teal mates today as I fill in on this month’s loop!  I hope I can do justice to all of your work!

When I think of my Walt Disney World tips, I really don’t have any that stick out in the back of my mind.  I think that most of my tips are things people already know about, so when I told the Blogorail group I could fill in, I really didn’t have any idea what I was going to write about.  In fact, I still don’t know, as insane as that sounds!

There is an old adage that goes like this: “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.”  When it comes to Walt Disney World vacations, this simple little statement is perfectly true!  As a result, I thought I would share with you some of the tips that I employ in the planning stage of my vacations.

The first thing I look to is to determine whether or not I need some assistance from a professional.  The good thing about this is that the right Disney Travel Agent can take a lot of the worry off of your shoulders!  They will be the person holding on the phone to make your reservations; they will be the person that will tell you that this ride is really good, or that ride is closed for right now, and on and on.  As it happens, I am an Authorized Disney Travel Agent and my services are free, so let me know if I can help!

However, if you decide to plan this on your own, you can still have a wonderful vacation!  The key points to look at in the planning stage are this:

  1. What time of year do you want to visit?
  2. How long do you want to stay?
  3. Do you want to stay on property or off property?
  4. What sort of dining options do you want?
  5. What is your budget?

All of these questions will work to help you figure out the logistics of your trip.

You know your family better then anyone, so it’s important to get an idea of what your family likes about Walt Disney World.  If you have younger children, more then likely they are going to gravitate more towards the Magic Kingdom then the other parks; or, if you have teenagers, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or the water parks may be their thing.  Use your knowledge of your family as a strength as you do your planning to maximize your Disney experience!

Don’t forget that it is everyone’s vacation, so make sure that you get input from all of the interested parties along the way so that everyone feels like they have a say in how much fun the vacation will be!

If this is a surprise for someone, one thing I like to do is order Disney’s Customized Maps to help break the news to your family that they are going to Walt Disney World!  We did that one year with my daughter, and we put a big gold star at the location where we were staying, and she was so excited!  Some other things you can use in your surprise package include a travel guide of the resort, maybe a calendar — and put dates on the calendar of when your trip is — or maybe a special autograph book!  The only limit is to your imagination!

I don’t think that these tips are really all that unique — but I am certain that my other panel members on the Teal team have some great ones for you!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is The CanaDisney Blog.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~  YourFirstVisit.net
2nd Stop ~  The Many Adventures of a Disney Lovin’ Spectrum Mom
3rd Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories
4th Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
Final Stop ~ The CanaDisney Blog

Magical Blogorail Red – A Few of our favorite Disney Things!

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Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us today on the Magical Blogorail!  Today we are talking about some of our favorite Disney things — read along and decide if our favorites match up with your favorites!  The list is long, so let’s get right on into it!

When it comes to the magic and beauty of the Walt Disney World resort, it is extremely easy to come up of a list of hundreds of things that are your favorite Disney things!  So, to keep you all from getting bored by my list, I’ve decided to come up with a list of my top five all time favorite Disney things.  Here we go!

  1. When it comes to Disney Planning, one of my favorite things to do is to order Customized Maps from the Disney World website.  These incredible keepsakes are printed out on very special paper that is durable and long lasting, and can make a great treasure for you for a long time.  You can order them every six months, even if you aren’t planning a trip, so why not enjoy them and get a little Disney Fix?!  In fact, I’ll be right back — I’m going to order some right now!  OK, I’m back now!  FYI, the customized maps section has been changed around with the new Disney World website redesign.
  2. Another of my favorite Disney things is the anticipation of the trip!  It is so exciting counting down the days towards your next trip!  I especially like to incorporate a countdown clock here on the website.  One site that I like for that is Mickeypath.com! Go check them out if you need a countdown clock!
  3. Of course, one of the best things about a trip to Disney World is experiencing all of that incredible Disney Magic!  I have so many incredible memories from Walt Disney World, that is one of the biggest reasons why we like to come back to the parks year after year!  Some of my favorite memories can be found in this special blog post I wrote almost two years ago titled “My favorite Disney Memories.
  4. Another of my favorite Disney things is the Disney Food!  Yum, Disney sure does their restaurants right (most of them, that is!)  Some of my great memories happened at places where we were eating, such as the time last summer when we were eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table and Wishes started up outside — that was incredible!
  5. I think, though, that one of the things that I like about Disney the most is the incredible way that the different areas of the resort are themed.  You’ve got the French Quarter at Port Orleans, the theming of the Pirates of the Caribbean; all of the incredible theming to be found in each of the lands of the Magic Kingdom; and even the great theming of places like the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  What truly makes Walt Disney World the best place to visit of any vacation destination is the theming, and the Imagineers have learned over the years the best ways to bring us, the Guest, into the attraction as if we’ve stepped into the place itself.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Donna Kay!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to re-board:

1st Stop ~ A World View
2nd Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
3rd Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney
4th Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
Final Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom

Magical Blogorail Red: Dreaming of a Disney Christmas!

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Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Red. Enjoy the ride as we share with you our dreams of a Disney Christmas.

Cinderella Castle Leigh Ann With Christmas just around the corner, the Magical Blogorail Red team would first like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, full of the wonder and excitement of Christmas, along with remembering the joy that the birth of Jesus brings to those who Believe!

For this month’s post, I’ve gone completely off the board, and instead of writing a post, I’ve adapted that most cherished of Christmas Songs — “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, and come up with my own song to the same tune.  Before you read mine, though, I think it important that you watch the real deal first, so that you can take pity on me when you read mine!

Image Courtesy my friend Leigh Ann!

Image Courtesy my friend Leigh Ann!

And now, I present to you, “Dreaming of a Disney Christmas”

I’m Dreaming of a Disney Christmas
One that I’ve never experienced before…
With Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party,
Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, and
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, too!

I’m Dreaming of a Disney Christmas
That one day my family will enjoy…
Staring at the wonders that is the Osborne Family Spectacle
Enjoying Cookies and Hot Cocoa,
And watching it snow on Main Street, U.S.A. too!

Oh, I’m Dreaming of a Disney Christmas
That, for now, is only a dream…
Tho I’ve not been to Disney at Christmastime before,
One day we’ll go, of that I am certain, indeed!

All of us at My Dreams of Disney would like to wish you and your family the most wondrous of Christmas joy this holiday season.  We also would like to extend our deepest heartfelt prayers to all of you that, for some reason or another, are missing loved ones this Christmas Season, and pray that you can find your joy in the birth of our Savior, Jesus.  God Bless us all!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Donna Kay.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney
2nd Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
3rd Stop ~ Pursuing the Magic
4th Stop ~ A World View
Final Stop ~ Growing Up Disney

Magical Blogorail Teal: Disney for Christmas!

Welcome to those of you joining me from Capturing Magical Memories and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I am very excited to be filling in on the Teal line this month!  Thanks to Dave and Mary for letting me join in as they have some regular team members that aren’t able to make it this month!  The topic this month is “Getting or Giving Disney for Christmas!  Now what?”

This is a huge topic for me because, as fate would have it, my wife and I are planning on surprising our daughter with the announcement of a trip to Disneyland for Christmas!  We have never been to Disneyland before, so this will be a huge deal for us as we take our Disney passion across the country and have a one week gig in Anaheim, California at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa!

My plans for the announcement are that we are going to wrap a box with some essential items, this is some of what I had in mind:

  1. Birnbaum’s Guide to Disneyland — they have one for kids for Walt Disney World, I’m looking to see if they make a similar one for Disneyland.  My daughter Sophie loves it!
  2. The Disneyland Planning DVD — an absolute must for any family planning a trip to Disney, especially for the first time like we are this time.
  3. Printouts of the maps of the resorts
  4. A printout of our reservation confirmation email from DVC!

We likely won’t be buying our tickets until later on, as well as our airplane tickets, so those will wait a bit.  I think there will be some other things, as I see something that strikes my mind, but if you have any ideas, leave them in the comments!

Now, after the announcement, there is still some things that we need to take care of.  This includes the following:

  1. Determining what we are doing with regards to dining.
  2. Look in more detail at all of the things that we are going to see, and prioritize our ride choices.
  3. Purchase our airline tickets.
  4. Purchase our park tickets.

This will be a fun trip, and I can’t wait until Christmas morning!  For the record, on December 25, 2012, we will have exactly 177 days until our trip!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is A Disney Mom’s Thoughts.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ YourFirstVisit.net
2nd Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories
3rd Stop ~  My Dreams of Disney
Final Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts

Magical Blogorail Red: My Favorite Walt Disney Quote!

Welcome to those of you joining me from A World View and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Hello, and welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Red line hop!  We have a special topic this month, it is “My Favorite Walt Disney Quote and how it has inspired me.”  That is certainly a lot to think about — when it comes to Walt Disney, some would argue that perhaps more then anything else, he is known for his famous quotes.  There are so many out there, where to start?

After a considerable amount of thought, I kept being drawn back to one quote — a somewhat lengthy quote at that, but one that really focuses in the end on three simple words.  First, the complete quote:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.  We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

– Walt Disney

Of course, the thing that stands out with everyone is the “Keep Moving Forward” piece of the quote, because it was the saying that the Robinson family adopted as their montra throughout the whole Meet the Robinsons movie released in 2007.  When I think about this quote, it really does get me to thinking about the progression of my own blog, of how I’ve kept moving forward.  I thought I would focus on that a little bit.

September 8, 2010 was the day I started my blog, which at the time was known as Dreams of Disney.  When I first started the blog, it was an idea I had because earlier that year we had taken my niece Stephanie with us to Walt Disney World, and I wanted to create an online memory bank of all of our trips we had made.  So I started My Dreams of Disney, as I quickly came to know it, and the first several posts were just trip reports from the past trips I had made with my family, both when I was a kid and when we started going.

As I wrote, though, several things started happening.  First of all, I found myself enjoying looking at all of our photos and remembering details about our trips.  Certainly, for some of the old trips in the 70s and 80s, my memories were more about one or two specific things then a lot of details from each Disney trip, but with every trip I wrote about, the magic of my writing was such that I was able to picture the trip in my mind’s eye those trips, and that made them that much more special.

After a month or two, I started noticing several other sites; one that stood out to me was the site Chip & Company.  Truly, I can’t remember how I came across the site, but Chip was advertising for writers, so I sent him an email, we talked, and on November 26, 2010, my first article on Chip & Company was posted.  In all, I’ve published something like 154 posts for Chip, and it has been a privilege to be able to write for such a huge Disney fan site!

The next big thing that happened in my Disney progression happened on February 18, 2011 — the day that the Magical Blogorail Red line had it’s first hop!  The theme for that initial loop was why we started our blogs, and my post talks a bit about the various things that you will find on the site.  I think it was a good start to my Blogorail “career” so head on over and read it if you like!  It’s amazing to believe that in February we will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary!

While I was busy following the tenants of the quote “Keep Moving Forward” that I learned about in Meet the Robinsons, to my surprise, the number of people that took time to include me in their daily Disney reading list increased as well.  It continually amazes me that you take time out of your day to stop by and see what we have to share with you.

Sorcerer Mickey Hat, My Dreams of Disney, Disney's Hollywood Studios

To sum it all up, the biggest thing that I get out of the “Keep Moving Forward” part of the Walt Disney quote is that no matter what happens in our lives, whether it be economic hardship that has struck so many people who didn’t deserve it, or an illness that struck a family member, or any other hardship that falls upon us, the real key to life is that we need to keep moving forward.  In addition, as my photo indicates, Disney is really great at reminding all of us to “Celebrate Everyday!” — and I bet that Walt Disney would want us to do just that.

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back Friday, December 21st with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
2nd Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
3rd Stop ~ A World View
Final Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney