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!