Wishes

Missing the Magic Series: Wishes

Wishes

Image ©Disney

May 11, 2017 was the last time that Wishes was seen at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World. Removed so that the Happily Ever After Fireworks show could be presented, the closing of Wishes was hard for many Disney fans to take. In the last week or so, I’ve been hit with the nostalgia bug while walking our dog River, and we’ve been listening to our music for Wishes in the morning. That reminiscing is what led to the idea of writing about the things that we are missing at Walt Disney World. We’re calling this series “Missing the Magic”.

For the longest time, I was not a fan of fireworks of any sort. Wishes, Illuminations, your local 4th of July fireworks, the fireworks at the State Fair in Raleigh, NC, I wasn’t having it for any of them. But then, one day my wife Cindy suggested that Sophie and I get earplugs for when the fireworks were going on, and a love for the fireworks was born.

I have a lot of great memories of Wishes from over the years. Sadly, though, my fireworks picture taking skills are limited, so I have very few good pictures. One of my favorite experiences, though was the day that we saw and heard Wishes while having dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table!

Are you missing Wishes today? If you are, have a look at the Magic Kingdom 40th Anniversary Wishes, courtesy of YouTube and the fine folks over at WDWMagic!

What are you missing from Walt Disney World? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me our social media sites to let me know. Lastly, if all you are missing is being at Walt Disney World, shoot me an email and let’s talk about how we can make that wish come true for you and your family! Email me at mike@pixievacations.com, and thanks for stopping by today!

Christmas Scenes at Walt Disney World

Christmas Scenes at Walt Disney World

The majesty and wonder that is Walt Disney World knows no end when it comes to the Christmas season at the Orlando resort. Everywhere you turn around, you are snapping a photo of this scene or that scene, and the settings that you know from other times of the year are wonderfully transformed into a spirited holiday setting for your enjoyment and amazement. My family has been fortunate enough to visit two years in a row for Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World, and I hope we are able to make it back there again in the future.

In addition to the “usual” Walt Disney World pursuits — FastPass selections for Expedition Everest, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, and others — to dining reservations at Olivia’s at the Old Key West resort and Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot — we also experienced a lot of the sites, sounds, and wonders that Disney offers up during this magical time of year.

For this post, I wanted to share with you some of the photos I took of the beautiful Christmas Scenes that we saw during our trip over November 21st – 25th. Unfortunately, I didn’t get near enough photos, but the ones I’ve gotten, I do like. I guess it just means I need to plan a trip next year and just plan on taking a million photos!

If I can help you plan that Christmas trip, please let me know. You can email me at mike@pixievacations.com, you can call me at 919-606-6725, or you can submit a free, no-obligation quote request right here.

Christmas Scenes

The tree inside the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.


Christmas Scenes

Voices of Liberty singing wonderful Christmas songs for our enjoyment!


Christmas Scenes

The Gingerbread House Store at the Grand Floridian!


Christmas Scenes

Snowmen from the Living with the Land boat ride at Epcot!


Christmas Scenes

The Christmas tree located in the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.


Christmas Scenes

A unique snowman located over at the Animal Kingdom in Dinoland, U.S.A.

Christmas Scenes
A wreath made from cotton, seen from the Living with the Land boat ride.
Christmas Scenes
One of the decorations along Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom.

As you can see from my meager pictures, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all of the wonder that Walt Disney World has for us during the holiday season. Tell me, what is your favorite part of Disney during this time, and do you have a season you like to visit more than this one? Let us know in the comments in our Facebook comment system, or in a regular comment here on the site. Thanks for stopping by, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

DoubleTree

Hotel Review: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando

DoubleTree

The entrance to the DoubleTree Suites at Disney Springs

Over Thanksgiving, my family was invited to stay with our friends Sheila, Randy, and Jagan at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando — Disney Springs Area hotel.  We had an incredible time, and I wanted to let you all know about the hotel and what my thoughts were for staying there.

From a location standpoint, the DoubleTree is considered “off-property” — but it appears that some on-property perks will be extended to off-property hotels, such as allowing FastPass+ selections at 60 days instead of 30 days. However, despite it’s off-property location, it is literally minutes from Disney Springs — and on a good day when I wasn’t dealing with a pinched nerve in my leg, we would have walked there for our dinner reservation.

Our room was on the 7th floor, room number 703, and featured two queen beds, a queen bed pullout sofabed, a kitchenette, and a single bathroom off of the main bedroom.  For the six of us, we had plenty of space, although I think having a split bathroom would be a better way to herd the six of us through the process of getting ready for the parks each day. Here’s a few pictures of the room.

DoubleTree

The sofabed opened up for the kids to sleep in.

DoubleTree

This picture is of the sink in the bathroom.

DoubleTree

The kitchenette features a sink, microwave, and mini-refrigerator.

DoubleTree

Two queen beds occupy the bedroom.

Not pictured is a space with a table for applying makeup or working on your computer. The beds were incredibly comfortable, and we all slept very well each night.  I’ve been told that this room actually could accommodate up to eight people and that two rollaway beds would be used in a case like that. Personally, I think eight in the room would be a bit much, but that’s just me.

For amenities, Hilton Honors customers can connect to the wireless for free, and for those visiting the parks, they have shuttles that run every 30 minutes to the different parks. We drove to the parks each day because our friends had parking privileges with their annual passes, but keep that in mind if you wish to drive to the parks because it will cost you $20 a day to park otherwise.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, and will not be averse to staying there again in the future. My first preference is to stay on property, but if something prevents you from doing so, give this hotel a try. You will not be disappointed!

Disney Snacks

Magical Blogorail – Top 10 Disney Snacks

Disney Snacks

The pure, unbridled joy of eating your own Jumbo Emu (I mean, Turkey) Leg!

Hello everyone, and welcome!  Today I’m joining the Magical Blogorail as we talk about our top 10 Disney Snacks!  Who’s hungry now, besides me? I’ve got an eclectic list here, I hope there is something for everyone!  Let me know your favorite Disney Snacks in the comments, and thanks!

Top 10 Disney Snacks

#1: Fresh Popped Popcorn

Disney Snacks

To me, there is nothing better than fresh popped popcorn in Town Square! Image ©Disney

A bottle of Diet Coke, a box of freshly popped popcorn, and a Disney parade — three of the best things, joined together, and when combined, create an incredible night of memories for this writer!  It’s a simple choice perhaps, but one I can’t wait to experience again!

#2 Cinnamon Roll from Gaston’s Tavern

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

This beauty used the be the exclusive snack for me of the old Main Street Bakery, but can now be found at Gaston’s Tavern.  Still as good as always, this yummy treat is more than just a Disney Snack — it’s a full-fledged breakfast meal because it’s so big.

#3 Jumbo Turkey Leg

As seen above, my daughter Sophie loves the Jumbo Turkey Leg as much as I do.  It’s a huge snack, so much so that perhaps it doesn’t qualify as one, but it’s definitely something that we will split among the two of us.

#4 Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

I like the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, but to my wife Cindy, it is bar none her favorite Disney snack anywhere!

#5 Churros

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

While I think all of us agree that the churros at Disneyland are better than the ones at Walt Disney World, I would suggest that you go try them out over in Disney Springs.  It’s been a while since I had one there, so hopefully they still have them, but it was a great churro!

#6 Ice Cream Sandwich

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

Oh my, now that’s a tasty treat!  Nothing like an ice cream sandwich made up of two fresh baked cookies!  Yummy and big enough to share at that!

#7 Beignets!

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

These tasty New Orleans treats can be had at Port Orleans French Quarter.  If you have gluten allergies, don’t worry, you can also get these in a gluten free variety like those seen above! You might want to wear white that day though because of the powdered sugar!

#8 Mickey Shaped Pretzel

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

These are good, especially if you have them in Germany with a beer — it’s a good combination to me, at least.

#9 Waffle Cone Ice Cream Sundae

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

Sometimes, nothing is better than a great ice cream sundae! Over at the Plaza Ice Cream Shop, they’ve got all sorts of tasty ice cream treats to try out!

#10 A Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Disney Snacks

Image ©Disney

Although the cookie shown is not a chocolate chip cookie, at least not on outward appearances, it reminds me of the time that one of the Cast Members had a special chocolate chip cookie — easily about nine inches in diameter — that was for our daughter Sophie, and sent from Cinderella herself!  It was one of those Disney Magic moments, and was part of the Year of a Million Dreams, but to our six or seven year old, it meant the world to her.

It’s moments like those — and of course, the wonderful treats, and incredible rides, and on and on and on — that make Walt Disney World the best place for us to visit.  What are your favorite Disney snacks? Let me know in the comments below, please, and thanks for stopping by today!

 

 


For more Disney snack ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Eight Weeks

Eight Weeks Until Disney – Eight Things to Experience

Eight Weeks

Last week, we started our weekly countdown series to our trip to Walt Disney World on Thanksgiving.  Since last week was nine weeks until Disney, this week is eight weeks!  As a result, here are eight things that we want to experience when we get there!

Eight Weeks until Disney: Eight Things to Experience

Epcot® International Festival of the Holidays

This special event used to be known as the “Holidays Around the World” but Disney has transformed it into a festival similar to what we are used to seeing for the Flower & Garden Festival and the Food & Wine Festival.  This added feature to Epcot is not a special ticket event, so you can experience the yuletide traditions of all of the World Showcase pavilions at your own pace.  The festival runs from November 19 – December 30 this year, and it is something that I am extremely interested in experiencing!

The World of Avatar

Eight Weeks

Image ©Disney

The World of Avatar opened up over the summer at Animal Kingdom, and with it comes two big attractions — Avatar – Flight of Passage, and the Na’vi River Journey.  When Avatar was announced for Animal Kingdom, so many people, myself included, thought it was a ridiculous notion to put the land there instead of Hollywood Studios.  Well, it seems that the Disney Imagineers have outdone themselves again and created a world that will literally take you away. Cue the Calgon commercial, please.  While I’m not certain I want to try Flight of Passage (I think I’ll like Na’vi River Journey better), I can’t wait to experience the drastic change in Animal Kingdom.

Rivers of Light

Eight Weeks

Image ©Disney

The Rivers of Light is another thing at Walt Disney World I want to experience.  Based on the World of Color attraction over at Disney’s California Adventure, this show features water, lights, and music to paint a picture and draw a scene you will not soon forget.  This is another experience I want to see in eight weeks!

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

Eight Weeks

The top of the Swiss Family Treehouse.

While the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is not a prime ticket attraction, to me it’s still one of my favorites, but what I really think would be cool would be to see how the Christmas decorations could be seen — if they could be seen at all — would look from there, or if they would add anything to the attraction for the season.

It’s a Small World and Peter Pan’s Flight

I know I touched on different attractions before in last weeks post, but I really want to see if attractions like it’s a small world and Peter Pan’s Flight will be modified to include decorations in some of the scenes.  For example, will we see stockings hung in Wendy’s room, or will we see a Christmas tree in one of the scenes of it’s a small world?  Those are things I want to be on the lookout for.

IllumiNations

During the Christmas season, IllumiNations has a special ending that includes special holiday greetings from each of the World Showcase pavilions and other details to add a festive take on the traditional fireworks show.

Sunset Seasons Greetings

Eight Weeks

Image ©Disney

This special event is included with your theme park admission to Hollywood Studios, and from reading about it, this may be one of my favorite things to experience this year.  Picture Sunset Boulevard snowing in a Norman Rockwell backdrop, and it just might become your favorite experience of the season.

Santa Claus

Over at Disney Springs, you can have your picture taken with the man himself while he takes a break from toy building to get some much needed R&R.  Since we will be at Disney Springs for some of our meals, this might be a good time to stop by and say hi!

This wraps up our eight weeks countdown of eight things to do.  What is on your list to try out? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!