Monday, December 26, 2011


I recently read a blog showing all kinds of pictures of the new Carsland that will open this summer! I am so so excited!!! Do you think I can find the blog though????  So wish I could share it with you!!!

But anyway, the pictures showed the little town of Radiator Springs and it is so so amazing. I cannot wait to see it live in will be like walking into the TV. From the pictures i saw, everything is so completely authentic...just like the movie.

We are HUGE Cars fans in our house. It's probably our favorite Disney movie of all time. We've watching it at least 100 times, if not more. So to get the chance to go to radiator Springs and be a part of the movie is just so exciting!!!

We are definitely planning a trip to California soon!! It's a little tough for us though....since the trip requires us to travel across the entire country! We have our trip planned for 2012, staying at the new Art of Animation resort, Cars section, of course!! It will be a nice way to gear up for Carsland!! Hopefully we can do that in 2013!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Would I like some cheese with this whine???

If you mean "cheese" as in "The Big Cheese" as in "Mickey"......then yeah!!

The last two weeks, I must have thought about Disney World like 80 times a day. Our big family trip is planned for next year (a year from today) but it just seems soooooooooooooooooooooooo far away. I had been handling it well....until hubby's aunt started asking me for advice on helping her plan a surprise trip for her daughters for January. I want to go soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad!!!!!! Can't she adopt me for a while and send me too???

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Disney Daydream......

So...I had this crazy daydream. I've been helping my husband's aunt plan a surprise trip for her girls as a Christmas present..they're going second week of January.

It's been well known that I am completely jealous and would love to go too. But we just don't have the money. So I had this crazy daydream that hubby somehow found the money and was gonna surprise me too. It was a silly daydream that I knew would not happen......until I saw the dining reservation confirmation his aunt had made and it said 4 guests instead of the three I knew about going on the trip- her two daughters and their one friend. (I'd let her use my email address to make ressies) And one was for one of my favorite places- BOMA!

So of course, my brain was like "OMG!!! Did my crazy daydream somehow actually come true??????"

I told him about it and he is so bad at keeping secrets and when he was completely serious when telling me he did not, in fact, plan on surprising me with this trip....I was a bit bummed. He happened to call his aunt last night and asked her who the 4th person was....she said as of right now, no was in case they got a fourth girl to fill the room.

It was silly of me to even think for a moment that it would happen. I know we don't have the cash...and he only recently transferred to his new job and him getting the days off to stay home with the kids so I can go would be super hard to do. 

Unless...................he's getting better at keeping surprises........

But I won't get my hopes up.

So, I shall wait 377 days til our next family trip to the World next year.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reader survey!! Please help!!!

Hello!! Some of you may know that I am also an author. I write romance, women's fiction and chick lit. I put together a survey to poll reader habits Would you be interested in helping me??????

The results are so so important!!!

This survey is for readers only...not writers (bloggers welcome, as long as they are not writing for publication.) It's only 30 multiple choice questions..takes maybe 2 minutes to complete. Huge thanks to everyone that helps me out!

And if you could pass it on, that would be even better!!!!!

Click here!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gonna whine for a moment!

I'm in a mood. A Disney mood...but not a good one :( It's the I-wanna-go-to-Disney-but-I-can't mood. You know the one. It seems like everyone on the planet just went and they're sharing their photos on Facebook and emailing you the link to their Photopass pics. And it kills you to look cause you know you won't be back for a long long time.

We were supposed to go in November...but had to postpone because of my dad's medical issues. We decided not to go ourselves and just wait. But the waiting is going to be way harder than I thought. We have to wait until next November.

Okay...whining over...for now ;)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

C is for Cinderella!

My daughter has always loved Cinderella...though honestly, I think the reason is because she wears a blue dress and blue is my daughter's favorite color. LOL! So when she saved all her pennies and worked to make extra money so she could go to Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boutique, and could pick any princess she wanted...she still choose Cinderella.

But what isn't there to like about Cinderella? Poor girl who was dealt a crappy hand and was mistreated her whole life...finally she catches a break and the eye of the hot guy. I'm sure every woman can relate to that story. She dazzles him with her charm and they live happily ever after.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

B is for Boma

Okay, gonna try really hard not to make all these posts about food! But this was the first thing that popped in my head for B. One of my favorite dining establishments on Disney property...along with thousands of other people!

We had never stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, so I'd found out about Boma from my fellow Passporter buddies. They'd RAVED about it. I checked out the menu and wasn't sure what hubby would think. So I passed on it..for a couple trips. And then the one year I just said "I wanna go here. I'm sure there will be something he will eat, even if it's from the kid's buffet." My hubby is not a picky eater, by no means, but some of the menu scared him a bit.

Until we got there. Even he was in heaven. The kids loved it, too. Everything was so unique and vibrant...really different. I get so bored with the ordinary! Especially when  it comes to food.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Disney A-Z!

So I've decided to try this A-Z thing. I know I won't do it every day...but maybe 2-3 times a week. It seems like a fun thing to do!!

My A word is Aloha Isle!!!


No trip to Magic Kingdom is complete, for me, without a Pineapple Float from Aloha Isle. One of my favorite relaxing things is to grab one and sit for a while in the shade, just people watching. So tasty, so refreshing. Love it!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Attraction Spotlight: The Haunted Mansion

The other day my daughter had asked what our favorite attractions were in each park. She started with Magic Kingdom, and while most people jump right to one of the Mountains, I don't. 

My first experience at a Disney park was in 1989..I was 12 and my mom and step-dad took us to Disneyland. We really didn't know much Disney stuff at the time, other than the movies we had seen. We went on The Haunted Mansion.

Holy Cow! I was blown away!

The attraction is so awesome and authentic...the spiderwebs and dust. The creepy eyes on the wall, the shadow playing the piano, the long corridor with the floating candelabra!! The decor is so cool, even the wallpaper in the queue area. The ballroom scene, just amazing. It's still my absolute favorite part (though now that they've added the attic scene...that ranks pretty high. So much to see in there!). Your Ghost Host (so creepy!), the cemetery (love the music out there...I gotta sing along every time!), the hitchhiking ghosts!! So so cool. I love it when we get an awesome cast member who really takes on their role perfectly!!!

The atmosphere around the mansion is just so love love it! It's one of my favorite areas in the entire park. When we attended Mickey's Not So scary Halloween party in October 2009, we had our picture taken with the carriage and a ghost showed up in our pics! So neat! Love Photopass and their magic shots!

I am super excited to see the new queue. Sad that I have to wait an entire year, but it will be worth the wait, I'm sure.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Last week I called Disney Travel and canceled our reservation for November 2011 and rebooked for November 2012!

I've been posting about my dad's medical issues and the lack of knowing what is actually wrong and if/when it will be fixed. So they decided it best to cancel our trip to Disney this coming November. It was going to me me and my hubby and our two kids and my mom and's first trip ever I was so super excited that he'd FINALLY agreed to try it out.

When I originally called to change the dates, I couldn't because the booking window had not reached our dates yet. My mom really wants to go when it's all decked out for Christmas, but her job will not allow her time off in December. So the week before Thanksgiving it was. So we kept the same week.

AND the most exciting part....we get to stay at the brand spanking new Art of Animation resort!!!!!!! I booked us a Cars suite!! So so excited!! It's costing us about $530 more versus two single rooms at Pop Century, but I am so so excited. And since we have to wait an entire year, it gives us more time to pay it off.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's official :(

My mom gave me the official word....the November trip is off.

I told her we can rebook for next November and she was good with that. They have no idea how my dad and his neck pain will be a cuple months from now and they needed to make some kind of decision. I was expecting this, but that didn't make it any easier.

So yesterday I got online and canceled all our dining reservations...and that was so depressing. Then I called the Disney Travel Company to change the reservation for the same week next November (my mom really wants to go at Christmas time, so that's why we're waiting a whole year). And they were only booking through November 6th. So I have to wait a couple weeks and call back. I was hoping to get the new Art and Animation resort, but the single rooms will not be opening until December 2011 and I am not sure I want to stay in a suite (it will cost us more money and I'm not sure it's worth it).

Monday, June 13, 2011

:( I hate when Disney changes things!

It's been almost a month since I made our ADRs (Advanced Dining reservations) for our November trip. I'd planned which days to go to which parks based on Disney's calender and the info on Touring Plans. I had it all set. Everything was perfect!

And then I happened to check the calender today on Disney's site...they changed things around on me.

One thing we learned a while back was to NOT go to Hollywood Studios on a day they were showing Fantasmic. It's only shown twice a week (usually), so when it is shown, guests flock to the park. We are not huge fans of the show and usually skip it, but many other people love it. A busy park is not really fantastic for us. It means we have to wait longer for our favorite attractions.

And with the changes Disney made, it also made Touring Plan's suggestions different.

Usually it would be no problem to change around our schedule.....BUT I had all our dining set. So I went in and checked to see if I could get the restaurants we wanted if I switched around the days a bit...and guess what.....everything was available! I was so so excited!!!! One of our reservations has to be a bit earlier than we'd like, but I think it will be fine.

Now I just have to sit back with fingers crossed, hoping we do not have to cancel because of my dad's medical issues. And cheaper airfare....that would be nice too!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Attraction Spotlight! Peter Pan's Flight!

This ride really does bring back some awesome memories. I had gone to Disneyland with my mom and stepdad when I as 12. Peter Pan's Flight is the only thing I can really remember going on. That and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride..but at the time, it meant nothing to me...I hadn't read the book yet.

So every trip we take to Disney World, I just have to go on it! We always get a Fastpass...I really don't want to wait in that horrendous line. And there always seems to be one!

I love the pirate ships you sail in and that they hang from the track. I love that you can't see it and you really do feel like you are soaring through the sky with Peter! One of my favorite parts is sailing over tiny London, all the houses lit in the night.

Then you fly over that my daughter points at the mermaids, every time, and says "There's Ariel!" It's really not Ariel, but there is one with red hair and pruple shells!

And then, of course, the big fight on Captain Hook's ship and Peter and the kids saving the day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thrifty Tips Tuesday

One thing people need to save money on is travel expenses. The prices of gas have made any option just sickening. hurts my stomach when I look up a quote for round trip tickets for me, hubby, the two kids, and for this upcoming trip, my parents, too. 6 round trip tickets are close to $2000!!! That is insane.

So just how do you save money on travel expenses??

Many people have chosen to drive wherever they go instead of flying. I personally am not a big fan. I get car sick (mainly headaches, if I do too much. I kinda have to just sit reading or games, or anything. Even reading too many roadside signs will make my head hurt, which turns into nausea.)

But anyway, for many, the drive is a fun-filled adventure. They bring games and movies, music...they pack some food..have a picnic or two along the way. All they need to pay for is gas...couple tanks and they're in Florida. It's a really intriguing option if you're within a 10-12 hour drive. But if you live further away, it's a bit more difficult. Many people opt to drive half-way and stop for the night at a hotel. That adds probably about $75-$125 to your cost each way (depending on your hotel preference). But still.....spending $600 on travel expenses is a lot less than $2000.

Unless you're like me and cannot stand to take that long to get there and then come home!! :)

Over the last few years, we have flown only discount airlines: Jetblue, Southwest and Airtran (which has now been bought by SW). These airlines consistently have the lowest fares and least amount of fees. Southwest allows it's travelers two checked bags for free, and Jetblue allows one. Every other major airline will charge you $20 per bag, per way. I watch the websites daily, waiting for the prices to drop so I can take advantage of an awesome deal. Lately, the deals haven't been coming as much as they used to, but still, the prices are better than the major airlines.

Southwest has a program you can download (Ding!) that alerts you when your fares drop. I know there are other services on other websites, too.

Good luck!! I'd love to hear your ways to save money on traveling!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'd accepted it, but now I'm not so sure...

I'd made all our plans for November...did our dining reservations a couple weeks ago. Southwest was gearing up to open their fare schedule...and then my parents dropped the bomb.

They might not be able to go. My dad has been having some health issues (which I knew nothing about cause they often don't share that stuff with me or my brothers) and they needed results on an MRI before we could go forward with our vacation plans.

Of course, my first reaction was "Oh my God! I hope my dad is okay and he doesn't have cancer and this is just some minor medical thing that will blow over and be fixed asap!!!!" And then, of course, as a Disney addict who's been visiting the World 1-2 times each year for the past 6 years, I was sad at the possibility of having to cancel our trip to my happy place. I was SOOOO excited that my dad had finally agreed to go. I was elated to share my favorite place with him and my mom for the second time. Maybe he would finally understand why we keep going back year after year and stop giving me flack! LOL!! It was so much more than a trip to Disney, it was going to be this great family extravaganza.

So if there really is something wrong with my dad's health, I just don't think me and hubby and the kids can still go. It just wouldn't feel right.

So I've accepted the fact that we will have to cancel and have made peace with it. Me and hubby have talked about what we will do if that happens. In my mind, I was all okay with it.

Til today. And coming to my Disney blog and seeing pictures. Now I'm not so okay with it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thrifty Tips Tuesday!

Hello and thanks for stopping by!!

Today's tip for saving money on your Disney vacation is about souvenirs.

No trip would be complete without some kind of memento to take home to help you relive the magic every single day. But it is so so easy to get carried away and whip out the credit card. The merchandise in the Disney parks is all so awesome. The clothing is so so cute. The nicknacks are so pretty. Jewelry, toys, hats, keychains, Mickey Mac n Cheese....they really everything under the sun.

Here are some tips for controlling yourself in the gift shops!

1- Do not go in the giftshops. The best way to prevent yourself from shopping is to avoid the temptation. It is impossible though, since many rides exit through a gift shop. But remember why you're there, first and foremost, to experience the parks and attractions. Spend as little time as possible in the gift shops and you'll get to experience more of the parks.

2- Make a list of the souvenirs you like and can go back and buy later. Nothing worse than spending money and then finding something later on that you like better. Many gift shops carry the same things, though there are times you will find something unique, especially in Epcot's World Showcase. So if you see something you need to have and you know you won't be going back to that park later in your trip, it may be best to get it right then and there. But if not, wait and buy later.

3- Ask yourself if you will really use it at home. This is probably the most important part of this post. Yes, that Pluto hat with the ears hanging down is super cute...but will you ever wear that at home? If the answer is no, then you should probably put it back on the shelf.

4- Give the kids a souvenir allowance and be firm with it. It is so easy to spoil the kids with toys and fun souvenirs, especially when they're whining every 5 minutes for the next thing they see. Resist the urge to calm the whines, and instead offer the kids a certain amount of money to spend on whatever they want. But when it's gone, it's gone. It's a good lesson for them to learn on budgeting money.

5- Spend money on things you know you will treasure. I am big into photos and always buy myself a Disney photo album to hold our vacation photos. Once I bought a frame and each trip we purchase a photo package from one of our meals. Right now our photo from Hoop Dee Doo Revue is in it. Our photos of our trips are something I treasure and often look at.

Good luck! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thrifty Tips Tuesday!

This is an easy tip, and I'm sure most people already do this anyway! One of the best ways to save money is to bring breakfast foods and snacks from home.

It's no secret that I LOVE to eat in Disney and we always do the basic dining plan. We choose to use our credits for lunch and dinner each day, and the snack credits are usually fun beverages and candied nuts or other snacks in the evening. I am not a huge breakfast eater, but we always bring food, drinks, and snacks for the kids.

Breakfast is such an easy meal to pack. We usually bring those mini boxes of cereal, prepackaged pecan pinwheels, Pop Tarts, fruit bars, Nutra Grain bars, etc. My kids don't need fancy. They actually look forward to these treats for breakfast when we are on vacation. I think my daughter might be upset if I forgot the pinwheels!

We always bring Capri Suns and sometimes Horizon chocolate milk. That way we have drinks in the room. We usually get a refillable mug for the resort's food court, but usually that is just for me and hubby.

As far as traveling with food, we do fly in and pack them in our suitcases. I usually split the food up so that there isn't one suitcase with all the heavy stuff. Drinks can get really heavy. We used to bring fruits cups and applesauce cups too and those really pack on the weight in a suitcase. But if we bag them in gallon-size ziplocs and disperse them throughout the suitcases, it's not too bad. We've never gone over the 50 lb. limit.

Some people will ship a box of food to their resort a week or so ahead. I honestly cannot see the value in that. As I said, that stuff is heavy, and I can't imagine it being any less that $25 to ship a box to Florida. I guess if your airline charges for every bag and bringing food will cause you to need an extra suitcase, well...maybe shipping it would work. But then I ask myself is it even worth it then?? You can buy snacks and food items at the resort and if you're gonna pay to ship it down, are you really saving any money??

I have also heard of people using a shopping service in Florida. There are several who deliver right to the resort for you. But there is a delivery fee (about $12-$15). I buy a lot of store brands and off brands that are cheaper. I don't think these shopping services do that. Again, it just seems cheaper to bring items from home.

Hope this thrifty tip helps!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Decor at Disney!

Participating in my first ever Disney Blog hop!!

So a huge hello to new visitors!

This week's topic is decor and no talk of Disney Decor would be complete without mentioning Christmas!!

Is there any better decoration than Cinderella's castle?? I think not!

So bummed that Osbourne Lights might be starting later in November this year :( It's my favorite Christmas decor!

Gotta love a nice big Christmas Tree, especially in Epcot!

Nobody does topiaries like Disney World!

LOVE the garland across Main Street USA!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thrifty Tips Tuesday!

Today I want to talk about resorts!

Since 2000, I have been to Walt Disney World 9 times. Only that first trip was off-property, and of the remaining eight, six were at Value resorts on Disney property, and two were at a Moderate resort. One of the best ways to save money at Disney world is to stay at Value resort.

I highly recommend staying on property versus off-property. For us, a family of four, it is just the best value. For larger families, not so much. But for small families like us, or couples, the perks of staying on property far outweigh the cons, especially if you fly in as opposed to driving. The free transportation is great!! A rental car for a week can cost you $200+.

With all the options for resorts on Disney property, we usually choose the Value resorts. They are bright and fun and the kids love them. The rooms are nice, though not huge. We spend very little time at the resort, so all we really need is a place to sleep and shower. The pools are fun and whimsical and the food courts are some of the best on property, including Moderate and Deluxe resort's offerings. The amenities are limited, but as I stated, we mostly just sleep and shower there. There have been trips, like in 08 for our 10th anniversary when our son was only nine months old, we upgraded to a mod, thinking we'd spend more down time at the resort. Nope. Not's just not how we do Disney.

Everyone has their reasons for where they stay and why, but one of my Thrifty Tips is to stay Value. And if you can, travel in Value season and book a Disney promotion to save even more money!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Please don't let it be true!!!!!!!!

I read the other day that Osbourne family Lights may be starting November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving this year, instead of earlier in the month like last year. I am so so upset about this. This is my absolute favorite part of being at Disney Christmas time...and we arrive November 12th.

It has taken me a loooooooong time to get my dad to agree to go to Disney World. And my mom said she wanted t go at Christmas time to see all the decorations. So we planned the trip and I chose dates that I thought would work well. My dad is not a fan of crowds, so I needed a time when the parks were already decked out for the holidays, but also quiet. That took us to the week before Thanksgiving week.

So I will make a plea right here and now..."Please please please Disney, start Osbourne Lights early in November like last year!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thrifty Tips Tuesday!

Hiya!! I'm starting a new weekly feature!!!

Many families are extremely budget conscious, and that doesn't change when planning a Disney vacation. We are lucky enough to survive on one income. Notice I said "survive". No rolling in dough here!! Definitely means we clip coupons, trim our budget as much as possible. If we don't, we can't go to Disney World each year. And even then, the trip costs need to be kept at a minimum.

So for my first Thrifty Tips Tuesday, I will talk about Disney's promotions!!

For the past 5 years or so, Disney has been offering some awesome deals. With the economy and all, their attendance had taken a hit so they deemed it necessary to get people in their parks any way they could. And one way was by offering resort and park packages at stellar deals!! The deals usually have specifcations on length of stay, or a specific date, and have to be booked by a certain date, but if you take advantage of these promotions, you can save yourself a bundle!

Here are some of the deals they have offered over the past few years:

Free Dining Plan: This has been offered mainly in the last summer/early fall, but the last two years has been extended through the rest of the fall, and for 2011, select dates from January through September. This is a huge savings for families, especially if they would have purchased the plan anyway. The promo used to include the basic DDP for any resort, but has been changed to Quick Service Plan for Value resorts and Basic Plan for Moderates and Deluxes. You can stay at a value resort and upgrade to the Basic Plan by paying the difference in cost. We usually stay at a value resort and pay to upgrade. This seems to be the best deal for us, saving us about $500 last year. My fingers are crossed for a Free Dining promo for our dates this would save us even more since my son is now over 3 and no longer free.

Kids Stay and Play Free: This is also a great promo if you have 2 or more kids. The kids get basic park passes for free, same length as those of their parents', and stay at the resort for free...which makes no sense because there is never an extra charge for kids. Resort rooms accommodate 4 people for a flat fee. So really, the promo is for free park passes. A basic park pass for 2011 for a kid costs #238.46. So with two kids, that would save you over $500.

Gift Card Promo: Last year Disney did a promotion where if you booked a package, you got a free gift card to use however you wished. Values received $300, Mod $500 and Deluxes $750. I believe they offered this promo again, but the GC amounts had lowered. But either way, it could easily take care of much of your food bill for the week or souvenirs. Hubby and I booked the GC promo for our adult only getaway last April. We debated on food and in the end booked the Quick Service DDP and used the gift card on souvenirs and such. And we'd saved a good chunk of the card for our next family trip.

General Room Discounts: This is exactly what it sounds like. Disney will often offer discounts off room rates. And most times it's 40% of Deluxes, 30% off Mods, and 25% off Values. This can work out really well if you had already been planning on staying Delux and can trumop a Free Dining offer. I have a friend who did the room discount instead of Free Dining at the Boardwalk. It was just her and her hubby, so the Free Dining wasn't as great a savings for them.

I'm sure there has been other promotions, but these are the biggies. If you're thinking of booking a trip to Walt Disney World, make sure you check out the current promotions- there is usually a button on their home page.

There are usually blackout dates, but as long as you check in by the last day of the promotion period you get the promotion for the entire trip. Like Free Dining or the room discounts.If, say, the promotion ends September long as you check in by that date, you still get the promotion for the entire stay.

And if you book your trip without a promotion, because they aren't offering one at the time, keep checking back. If a promotion is announced for your dates, simply call and they will apply the discount to your package. (But if it's within 45 days of your check in, they may charge you a $50 fee...but as long as the discount is more than that, it's still worth it!) Our November trip for this year was booked a month ago and there are curently no promotions for that time period. But I am holding out hope and keeping my fingers crossed!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Attraction Spotlight: Tower of Terror!

Gonna try and make this a new feature, though it may just post randomly!!

Tower of Terror is my absolute favorite ride in the world...not just Disney world, the whole ENTIRE planet!

I remember the first time I went on a drop ride. I was 14 I think. I was visiting my mom in California and we went to a local amusement park and went on one. I was hooked!! Loved the free-fall feeling and the swirl in my belly! Such a rush!!!!

But it wasn't until 2000 (almost 10 years later) that I rode Tower of Terror and it's multiple drops in the same ride!

The decor and ambiance of the Hollywood Tower Hotel blew me away, first and foremost. It was so eerie and so authentic. It really felt like I had entered a building that had suddenly been abandoned...everything still in the same places the guests had left them with cobwebs and dust covering them. Then we went to the library and watched the Twilight Zone movie. So so cool!!

Next was the boiler room, another eerie place where you feel like you shouldn't be there. The Cast Members do such a great job of acting the part of an employee in a haunted hotel.

Then we finally boarded our elevator car, anticipation built as we traveled to the top making a couple stops on the way.

The air inside the ride is cool...air conditioned for the Florida heat. But as your car moves into the drop shaft in complete darkness, you're hit with the warmth. And then you sit there for a second or two or three until the ride starts. You drop, then soar upwards and drop again. Sometimes you stop, catch your breath and then go back up or down again! You never know! I love when the car soars upwards and without stopping, changes direction and falls again, the seat restraints pulling you down before gravity gets the chance. So so awesome!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Food, Food, Glorious Food!

(pic is from Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show..yum, yum, and another yum!)

I love to eat. I've never ever hidden that fact. My husband often will point out that I occasionally eat more than him. Can't help it...when mama finds something good, mama wants to eat it all up!!

At home I am real good about eating healthy and watching our fat and calorie intake. My lunches and snacks during the day are usually pretty simple and boring and healthy. Dinner I go a little more fun, but still only make healthy dishes. I have several low fat/low cal cookbooks and subscribe to a fab healthy cooking magazine. I've found quite a bit of good tasting meals that are good for us.

But when we go to Disney, it's a food fest!!! I don't watch what we eat, I don't count calories...I just enjoy and indulge!!

I once read an average day in Walt Disney World has guests walking about 4 miles. That's a lot of exercise. And for me, it totally counteracts the food I eat while there. I rarely ever come home heavier and if so, maybe a pound that is quickly taken off once I get back into my normal gym routine. I work hard at the gym all year so I can indulge when we're on vacation.

So how about you?? Do you indulge on vacation or stick with your normal healthy diet (if you have one)?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!!

Seen this done on many other blogs, and have decided to do it too!! Such a fun thing!! I usually post a pic with every post, but most of the time, they are Photopass pics, showcasing beautiful Disney landmarks. But these Wednesday posts will be wild and wacky shots I take on my own. We always have lots of silly Disney pics, especially with a ham for a daughter, so that's what I will post on Wednesdays.

So here is today's Wordless Wednesday pic:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nighttime Entertainment

One of the most unique parts of the Disney World experience is the variety of entertainment offered after the sun goes down. After a long day in the sun, feet sore, there's nothing more relaxing than taking a seat for a fantastic show.

My favorite, hands down, is the Magic Kingdom! A fireworks show is one thing, but add in some Disney music and a light show on the castle and you have something really spectacular! We love to watch the show from the hub, where you can see the firewoks as they were meant...framing the castle, and if you're not there, you can't really see the castle projections properly. But, we also LOVE if we can get on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad just as the fireworks start. So cool...they are practically right over your head as you ride! And then when you exit, you get a really nice view standing in the viewing spot for BTMRR.

Magic Kingdom has the best nighttime parades too!! The first time I saw Spectromagic was in 2005 and I was in awe. The music is what did it for me. As soon as it starts, I get teary....every single time. Love love love it!! We like a front row seat and make sure we get one early. The parade has a different feel when everything is right in front of you...larger than life!! The hub seems to be our favorite spot to watch...we get a nice curb spot! But for almost a year now, they have been showing the Main Street Electrical Parade. It was brought back for a limited engagement and was supposed to end at the end of summer last year along with the other special things they did just for summer. (Bummed I never got to see the special effects in Tower of Terror!) So I was kinda of excited they still had it for our trip in December 2010. It was a neat parade, but it didn't wow me as much as Spectromagic. The Main Street Electrical Parade is still running, with no rumors for when it will end. I am hoping it ends before our next trip. It will be my dad's first, and possibly only trip, and I'd really much prefer that he saw Spectromagic. But actually, the older characters presented in the Main Street Electrical Parade might appeal to his youth more.

I finally saw Illuminations in Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon during our trip in 2009 and I wondered what took me so long! Just wow! The combination of fireworks and music and the images on the Earth float were just stunning. And then each country is illuminated in white lights around an otherwise dark lake, breathtaking! :)

My least favorite nighttime show is Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios, but I seem to be in a severe minority here. There are parts of it that I love, like the imagines projected onto the water (so beautiful!) and the fire scenes (so cool!). The lighted water jets are neat and the boats with the princesses are pretty; I like those. But the Pocahontas storyline is a bit dated and boring. I just think the whole show could use an overhaul.

So what's your favorite park entertainment after the sun goes down??

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Updated Attraction Page!!!

I updated the attraction page to include reviews on all the Epcot attractions!! Check it out!!

Friday, April 8, 2011


For me, the most stressful part of planning a Disney vacation is airfare.

We've done the's just not worth it. We are from Western NY, so Florida is pretty far. We did a cheapy trip to Orlando and Daytona Beach one year, no Disney. We had to drive. It was awful. I get motion sickness- headaches and nausea- in the car, so long road trips are not enjoyable. I kinda have to just sit there and do nothing. I can drive and be okay, but I found out on that trip that driving at night, in pitch-black darkness, makes me feel really sick. And it took us 22 hours to get there. We did save some money, even with gas being crazy. We figured it cost us about $400 or so for gas and food while traveling. We stopped for the night on the way home and lucked out with a free room with hubby's Marriott points. If not, we would have incurred an extra $100 in traveling expenses.

So, for us to hop on a plane and be in Orlando in 2-1/2 hours on a direct flight is super super nice, and well worth the money. But the price of airfare lately has me nervous.

Last year I booked Southwest flights the day they were released, regardless of the prices, because I was so afraid they would go up. And I wanted to guarantee I got the flights I wanted. It was $1000 for 4 seats. And the most I have ever spent on flights. A month later the flights dropped, and then dropped again. In the end, the flights were almost $300 less. I did get Southwest credits and we did manage to use them, but I can't do that again. Basically I took another trip specifically so the credits wouldn't go to waste.

We like Southwest (despite the recent plane issues). They always have the best prices an flight schedules. But I am open to Jetblue and Airtran too (we have flown both airlines in the past). I stay away from major airlines because their prices are awful, their schedules horrendous, and I refuse to pay baggage fees.

How do you save money on flights??

Sunday, April 3, 2011

We're booked!!!!

YAY!!! I booked our November trip today!!

Our state tax refund was deposited the other I had the green light to go ahead and book our trip! This is our big trip with my mom and I'm very excited. I've already made a list of places to eat (my favorite part of trip planning) and discussed them with my mom yesterday and I think we have it pretty narrowed down. Still have over a month before ADR day though. I think it's pretty cool that Disney's website tells you on your profile page when you can make your ressies.

My biggest dilemma with the trip is the stroller situation. My daughter is 8, but she is small and can still semi-sorta fit. We have to bring one no matter what, for my son- he's 3. Most people would think 8 is way too old for a stroller, even in Disney. But I just took her the beginning of March for our special mother/daughter surprise trip for her birthday, and of course, no stroller. But three days in and she complained, A LOT, that her feet hurt. Part of me wants to just say "suck it up" and make her walk....but this is my vacation too and I want it to be as peaceful and stress-free as possible, and that does not include a kid complaining non-stop. She would still walk most of the time, but it would be there when she did need/want it...especially later at night when she's tired and later in the week, when everyone's feet start to get sore.

So now we just have to sit back and hope and pray for a great promo to be announced for that time. I really hope we can take some cash off our bill!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dates and resort is chosen!!!

My mom and dad have decided to come to Disney with us in November....finally!! I took my mom in 07 for her first trip ever, and she adored it, of course! We've been trying to get my dad to go and it was always "no" and really no we let it go. But back a few months...I brought it up again and it wasn't a flat out "no". After that he said "If you buy the tickets, I'll go." That was his way of saying "Yes, I want to go." :) And when we talked about it last weekend, he seemed this is good!!!!

The time to go was very important. Dad is not a fan of crowds or lines, so it was pertinent that I choose a week that was low crowds. I belong to Touring Plans so right away I checked the crowd calender. We decided on November. My mom really wants to see Disney World all done up for Christmas, and after our experience last year, we decided not to go in December. So November it was, since the parks are all decked out by the 9th or so when Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party begins. Decided it best to wait until after Jersey week, when the crowd calender predicts lower crowds. Normally we go mid week to mid week (for the best airfare), but with my dad's vacation and the crowd calender, we decided to go Sat-Sat. Hopefully air won't be horrendous.

So dates are set...on to the resort. We have not booked anything yet, but that will be soon!! Originally we were thinking All Star Movies. We know we're doing just makes most sense for us. And my dad would probably love the Herbie section. But our December trip was an All Star resort and my little surprise getaway with my daughter the beginning of March was an All Star resort. The bus service is really not awesome. It is fine, but annoying to have to stop at every All Star resort. I guess it's not much different than staying at one of the huge moderates with multiple bus stops, but still. So we talked to my mom and she agreed Pop Century will be better, even though she has already stayed there. It will be a better bus experience for my dad.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I know, I know...I've been MIA!!!

Been busy lately working on things for my upcoming book release and also trying some new promotional tactics for my debut novel. Oh, and working on the sequel too!!

Today I read some great posts by Chris at Everything Walt Disney World about promotions!! Good stuff! Click the link and check it out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Updated Dining Reviews!!

(Me and Jaden at our awesome table at Chef Mickey's!)

Stop by my Dining Reviews page!! I added some new reviews and some new pictures!!!!! Eating is one of my most favorite things to do in Disney World and I love sharing my thoughts with anyone who will listen!!