Remembering 2013 at My Dreams of Disney

Thank you for visiting with us this year!

Thank you for visiting with us this year!

My friends, as the 2013 calendar year winds down, we here at My Dreams of Disney would like to take a bit of time and look back at all of the great posts that we have had, and really look back at the impact you, our readers, have had in helping us to become one of the sites that you look to for your daily Disney fix.  As a result, this post is written from the heart with you, our reader, in mind, and I hope you enjoy our take at remembering 2013!  My plan is to share with you some of the posts that you really enjoyed reading about, so sit back, relax, and enjoy our own version of the wayback machine!

The Disney Apps I roll with

iphone5_large-294128 I wrote this post in response to some questions I had from a few friends about what I have on my iPhone, and I can tell you that all of the apps listed in that post are some of my favorite apps.  What apps do you have on your phone for getting your Disney fix with?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Tanya’s Tips for being selected as First Family at Disney

Tanya's Family We sent out a call to see if anyone was interested in pursuing their interest in Disney blogging, and Tanya was one of the people that responded and wrote some great posts for us.  Among them were her tips about being selected as the First Family at Disney — they actually were selected to open Animal Kingdom one year!  This is a great post, and one I highly recommend for anyone that is interested in participating in such a great Disney tradition!

TimeStream Software Updates Its Disney World Mobile Guide App

Disney World Mobile Guide iPhone 4 - 172 x 310 The month after my post about the Disney Apps went live, my friends at TimeStream Software announced an update to their mobile guide app.  This updated app included all of the new information related to the Fantasyland Expansion, and is still a must have on my iPhone!  Check it out if you haven’t done so yet!

Traveling to Orlando – My Tips and Tricks…

Cinderella Castle - Theresa Another of my new writers, Theresa, wrote some great posts as well!  In this post, Theresa wrote about some of her tips and tricks that she has found about traveling to Orlando.  It’s chock full of information, so if you are planning your trip, have fun and stop by and read these tips!

Five Ways to Ruin Your Disney Vacation

IMG_6886 In this post, Tanya is back talking about some of the ways that you can ruin your Disney Vacation.  Read her advice — it may or may not apply to your situation, but they sure do give you ideas about how to make your vacation less magical than it would normally be.

10 Places I want to eat at at Walt Disney World

Dining-Reviews In this post, I shared with you ten places that I have not eaten at over at Walt Disney World, and listed them.  I received some great comments from you, but if you haven’t seen the post, check out my list, or better yet, check out our Disney Planning Resources page for reviews of the restaurants that we have eaten at.  Thanks!

Outside of our Disney posts, which take up the bulk of our writing, this past year I did start a very special series of posts on March 3rd.  That Sunday I started our weekly Prayers for the Week posts, and it has been my privilege to continue those posts to this day.  If you ever have any prayer requests that you need us and everyone that reads these posts to pray over, please leave a comment here, or on our Facebook page, or email me at mickey@mydreamsofdisney.com, or something, and we will do that for you.

My friends, we here at My Dreams of Disney would like to thank you for spending part of your day stopping by and visiting with us.  It is truly an honor to us that you find our information helpful and fun in your Disney planning — or even just in your Disney fix!  We are humbled by your presence, and want you to know that.  Please have a very fun, but safe, close to 2013 and start of 2014, and remember, don’t drink and drive and don’t text and drive — all of those are tragedies waiting to happen, and totally preventable.  Be safe, and we’ll talk to you in 2014!

Check out DW Tickets for your Disney Ticket Needs!

DW Tickets Header

DW Tickets is a discount ticket purchasing site whose sole focus is ensuring that you, their customer, is able to get the best price possible for your theme park tickets.  Having been around since 2004, DW Tickets holds an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, and is an established and trusted Orlando attractions ticket provider.  We offer e-tickets for many of our attractions.  If e-tickets are not available, we ship nationally and internationally via UPS, have a hotel delivery option for hotels in the Orlando area, as well as a ticket pickup location located right next to Downtown Disney.

Of course, with a name like DW Tickets, most people associate them with Walt Disney World tickets, and you can certainly get Walt Disney World tickets at the site — click here to learn more.  However, it is important to remember that DW Tickets isn’t limited to just Walt Disney World!  Take a look at the image to the left of all of the different ticket options they have available!

All of DW Tickets ticket prices are below the attractions’ gate prices.  In addition, DW Tickets has a newsletter that is published on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month called DW Savers that provides a discount code.  This code saves our visitors an additional couple of percent, which comes out to between $20 and $50 an order, depending on the order size.

For convenience, all DW Tickets orders can be placed online at www.DWTickets.com, or by calling them at 1-877-219-9328.

DW Tickets sells real tickets that they receive from the theme parks and attractions, not vouchers.  However, with any problems or issues, people can call in on our toll free number 1-877-219-9328, or submit a trouble ticket at https://www.dwtickets.com/Ticket_New.asp and one of our represenatives will get back to them shortly.

Additionally, the newest version of DW Tickets Orlando vacation tips eBook called DW Savers Guidebook was just released last month!  To download it, head on over to the DW Tickets website for more information!

In closing, take a look at DW Tickets and see if they can earn your business!  It might save you some serious cash in your vacation planning!

{Editor’s Note: I have never used DW Tickets for my ticket purchases, but I will consider them in the future based off what I’ve learned in researching the company.  This is a paid solicitation by DW Tickets to My Dreams of Disney.}

Walt Disney World – Staying On Property vs. Off Property.

By Theresa.

Hello everyone, one of the first decisions to be made when planning a Walt Disney World vacation is whether or not to stay on Disney property. There are many factors to consider.  I will start off by telling you that personally, I prefer to stay at Disney hotels but will stay off property as well.

The first question is what do you want to see? Now if this is your first trip to Orlando, I will usually follow-up this question quickly with who is making the trip with you. This is important because while younger children will be easily entertained by visiting the Disney parks, older children and teens may want the added amusements of Universal Orlando parks and/or Sea World. However, I will usually suggest that a first trip be “strictly” Disney as it’s exhausting trying to fit Disney and Universal into the same trip if you have not been to either and want to see everything.

The next question is have you thought about transportation in Orlando? Disney does a great job of moving their guests around beginning with the journey from the airport. Disney resort guests can use Disney’s “Magical Express” which takes you from the airport to your hotel. My favorite feature about this service is that not only are they moving you but they move your luggage for you; in fact you don’t even need to hit baggage claim when you land. The only downfall to that is that typically your luggage arrives in your room a while after you actually check in.  However, this can be remedied by putting your most pressing necessities into your carry-on luggage. This also works in reverse as Disney resorts have an airline check in counter near their bell services site so that you check in for your flight, give your luggage to the staff and you needn’t worry about your luggage until you collect it at baggage claim when you land at your destination airport. This is also a great feature if you have a later flight and you want to hit your favorite park or do some shopping before you head home, just remember that you won’t be able to access your luggage so place any needed items into a small backpack or a purse. Disney also runs buses/boats and the Disney monorail to transport guests from their hotel to the parks. Off property guest transportation options are to rent a car (remember that there is a fee to park at both Disney and Universal Orlando) or use the hotel shuttle network. Mears Transportation can move you between your hotel and the airport (for a fee) and most hotels offer schedules shuttle service.

More importantly, Disney offers many perks to their on-site guests that I think make up for the higher room costs. A great perk are the “Extra Magic” hours. Each day a Disney park opens an hour early or stays open later. This reduces the number of guests in the park and cuts down on ride waits. Another extra is that rather than carry your purchases around with you throughout the day, you can have items delivered to your hotel room (it can take up to 24 hours for the delivery so you don’t want to use this perk on your last day). Hotel guests can also package their hotel stay with park tickets and even meals which are then added to your room key creating a lot less items that you need to carry and keep track of. Lastly, Disney hotels are clean, comfortable and themed. You will find that the many small details at each hotel will keep you interested and alert.

Let us know if there is something you’d like to know that we haven’t covered! Enjoy your Disney dreams and keep thinking of your next vacation!

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?