Am I Doing This Wrong? Everyone Does Disney Different

While scrolling through my Facebook feed in the middle of the night, I saw a family’s Disney trip perfectly outlined on a giant white board. My husband, who works at the Disney Reservation Center, told me about a woman with a four page spreadsheet.
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I put my license and debit card in my pocket, slap on my Magic Band and some Ears and I’m good to go! Sometimes I even make FP+ or ADR’s the night before but more often than not, it’s the day of, while I’m walking in the parks.
I wing it. I understand that I can do this because if I don’t do something today, there’s always tomorrow or next week or whenever. Disney World isn’t going anywhere and neither am I.
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Flashback 20 years ago and I was strategically outlining my plan of attack! This was before technology became our constant companion. Dining plans were not even an option (DDP came to be around 2005).Free dining? Nope. I had a plan of attack and fingers crossed. I was the Mom pushing a double stroller, kid on my hip, another one orbiting sround, running to Dumbo. I’m tired just thinking about it! How did we even manage it all!?
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The closest I’ll come to that now is when we have guests down from New England. I’ll make sure to get FP+ for the rides with historically long lines. Other than that, I’ll make suggestions but step back and let them vacation the way they want.
So I guess there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy Disney – just make sure you take the time to enjoy. My unsolicited advice is to take it slow, schedule in downtime and accept the fact that you can’t do it all. Tantrums will happen and your feet will hurt. It’s ok, you can always plan your next trip to finish your spreadsheet. Disney World will be here waiting and so will I!

Disney Springs: Sprinkles


It’s here!!! The new addition to Disney Springs that everybody was excited about has finally opened. Sprinkles offers cupcakes, shakes, and ice cream. Even with an always long line they actually provide friendly and fast service. 

I went there to redeem my free cupcake and was pleasantly surprised by how nice the entire staff was. Everyone had a smile on their face and greeted me like I was super special! 

Now, I only ordered a cupcake, though I was quite tempted to try out the ice cream. My cupcake was delicious. I ordered the classic vanilla cupcake with a cream cheese chocolate frosting and of course…sprinkles(jimmies to our New England readers). The frosting was super creamy and the cupcake was perfect. 

I really enjoyed my experience here and was by myself and still had fun. I imagine that coming with a group and getting a smorgasbord of items to try is a fun, tasty experience!


Enjoy PD

Disney Springs- May 2016

I finally made my way over to the new Disney Springs. Wow! Those walls that were up for what seems forever were hiding basically a small town. There are shops, eateries, and even a new guest services building. All the different shops all have their own feel to them but they all fit into the look Disney was going for with Disney Springs. It was truly hard to grasp walking through that I was walking where there once was parking lots and walkways! It was beautiful. A perfect spot for shopping and eating. Now guests never have to leave property to go to the mall, just hop on the bus to Disney Springs!

How To Come Out: Revealing Your Disney Addiction

Pointers on revealing your Disney addiction
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When?
You don’t want to rush this news. Ease into it. Don’t hide your Mickey watch or Figment lanyard but maybe leave the sparkly ears for the parks.
When I started my new job I was able to hold off giving park advice for a solid 2 weeks. It wasn’t easy.
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How?
In casual Friday conversations, when everyone is talking about the upcoming weekend, mention that you are checking out a new restaurant or fireworks. Try not to use abreviations like MDE, ADR or MNSSHP. The un-Disney people will just give you blank stares.
Why?
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You shouldn’t have to hold in your love of Sonny Eclipse or stop humming it’s a small world. Be you, even if it means you are dubbed the resident Disney freak. Don’t make excuses for spending more time with your main Mouse. Enjoy the magic, cry during Wishes and get a FP+ for Test track!
Enjoy!
PD
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Living in Florida – One Year In

Living in Florida – One Year In

Snow

Having lived in New England (in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts) with it’s cold weather and boatloads of snow, it had long been a plan to move to Florida. We had been on countless vacations to WDW. Like tons of vacations – about 30-40 since 1992.

Well the time came last year. Kim & Steve and Courtney moved down in August. We all drove down and helped out in the blazing sun and stifling heat that is Florida in the summer. We were coming from the end of summer/ early fall so it was an adjustment to say the least. I followed behind them in October.

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I was in full fall mode in RI so I was melting but was assured that this was the “new” fall and I would acclimate eventually. My world went from the leaves beginning to change to palm trees. I was lucky enough to find a job right away so the transition went smoothly. I was still melting while my coworkers were wearing sweaters and shivering. I joke and say that I almost broke out the socks on three different occasions last year!

We’ve all traveled up north for visits and been lucky enough to have a lot of visitors. It’s fun and yet exhausting to play travel guide. Most of my vacation time is now spent entertaining. Not too bad, just more time to spend in WDW! My daughter, Dea, got engaged here a while back! Kim and Steve’s older daughter, Amanda, spent almost the whole summer visiting. She’s a teacher. Our great nieces and nephew were here and it was so fun to visit WDW with children.

The Beanes

There are times when I miss my old home. Those are the days that I head to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and enjoy all the nautical touches and of course the light house. I almost feel like I’ve stepped into Newport, RI. Going to the Captains Grille for some chowdah warms the soul. Kim still cooks like there is a small army even though there’s just a few of us. Visiting the Christmas Tree Shop is like going into Foxboro, MA. Same store, same stuff – don’t you just love a bargain.

Captain's Grille

We’ve discovered the world outside of WDW too. Shocking, I know! I enjoy Flagler College and the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine. The beaches in Clearwater are so warm and wonderful. We found a great family owned restaurant chain – Columbia’s, that we have visited in several locations, including Celebration. The manatees at Blue Springs Park are a majestic sight to behold. There were about 75 there the first time I went. Truly amazing! Wekiva Park is beautiful and can definitely fill in the nature fix. Downtown Mount Dora is about as adorable as it comes with it’s quaint shops and eateries. They even have a train ride! I still have to head south and I haven’t been to Gatorland yet. I’m working on it.

Clearwater Beach

So far, I am loving Florida! The people are a blend from all over and not just America. I can enjoy the sunshine and the rain and the lack of snow all I want without pouting about having to shovel to leave. I feel like I’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg as far as exploring but I’m so willing to keep on searching! On to year #2!

PD

Winging it at WDW

We’re lucky enough to live close to WDW and go very often. There are times that we will put some forethought into what we are going to do on any given day. Usually if we have a large group of us, we’ll at least loosely plan our time out. Usually. Sometimes we just wing it. Just show up to the park and live at the mercy of the crowds.

View from the People Mover

We’ll eat at a quick service if it’s not empty or even table service if we can get a last minute reservation on the My Disney Experience (MDE) app. No line at Hall of Presidents? Sounds good to me. Let’s walk around the Circus Big Top store, it’s so cool how they make the treats right in front of you! No stress – no pressure.

Spaceship Earth

Sure, if you are coming down for just a few days, you are probably not going to wander around aimlessly. If you have little ones, they will not enjoy the window shopping as much as you. Every trip is different but I hope that you have time to just do nothing and enjoy the atmosphere.

Tower of Terror

I feel like I planned and planned and planned even more when my children were young to the point where I didn’t always enjoy it as much as I could have. I just had a timetable to keep to and places to be and fast passes to make. Still when we have guests, we have to plan more, make reservations and check out park hours. I’m ok with that as long as it goes back to the new normal of taking my time.

PD

My Positively Disney Day – Gina

My Positively Disney Day

My day starts like so many others – get up and go to work. I do work at a cool place so that’s nice. I work in HR at Orlando Sanford Airport. The fun comes when I walk out of my office and into the airport itself. I love watching people greeting loved ones and getting excited to visit Mickey! Not that health insurance isn’t fun but going on top of the parking deck and watching planes take off is pretty exciting.

Gina at Work

Around lunch time, I remembered that Rick Springfield was going to be performing at Epcot that night.  I did not want to miss that! I love the Eat to the Beat concerts. By about 3pm, me and some girls from work were getting excited for the night and a little hopped up on caffeine via Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. I won’t lie, we were looking forward to the German Pavilion and some caramel yumminess too.

We ran out of work at 5pm sharp, traveling together to avoid adding to the traffic on I4. We met up with Kim & Steve, my sister and our favorite security guard at WDW. I have to say that. They had saved our favorite seats outside at the American Pavilion. It’s a great spot for people watching and if you are not into the crowds, you can enjoy all the shows from that spot. They had gone early and spent the day in Epcot. Without me. While I was working. No big deal, I hope they enjoyed themselves while I was working.

Kim & Steve - American Pavilion

Rick, as his close friends refer to him, had already performed one show and was in the middle of another. We were able to jam out while eating and spent quality time with Kim & Steve. We went to Germany when the set was done and met the popcorn of my dreams. It was still warm. Good heavens!

Rick Springfield at Epcot

Lisa Judi Gina and our new friend in Germany

By the time we made it back into America, the show was starting. Kim & Steve had nabbed some great center seats. My friends and I were able to stand up in the back and it was actually a nice spot. It was a great time! It was Rick Springfield’s 66th birthday and he put on a fantastic show!

Illuminations

After enjoying Illuminations in Morocco, we went our separate ways. I was lucky that Joe was working at the Grand Floridian that night so I caught a ride home with him. I did get home late and I still had to get up early for work the next day but it was totally worth it! Looking forward to the next show!

Grand Floridian

One of my favorite things about the move down to Florida is that you still have a normal life with work and responsibilities but the fun times get to include Disney! Sure, they don’t have to but it’s a great perk!

Lunch at Trails End is not what you would expect.

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Sometimes it’s a good idea to try something different, so we decided to try Trails End for lunch. We know Trails End offers a buffet at breakfast and dinner that we have enjoyed many times but at lunch the restaurant offers a nice menu with some different choices. We began our meal with a order of cornbread that is served with honey butter, it was delicious. My husband ordered the chicken fried steak it came with mashed potatoes and peas, he seemed to enjoy it, there was nothing left on his plate when he was done. I chose to try the fried chicken and waffles I wasn’t disappointed, but couldn’t clean my plate like my husband did. Luckily he was there to finish mine. Lol.
We did not have desert even though it was tempting but the cornbread pushed us over the top and we were too full to even consider it.
Over all we would difinitly do this again the staff was great our glasses were never empty and the atmosphere was relaxing. Glad we made the choice to try something different.
After eating we decided to take a boat ride over to Magic Kingdom and take in some of the beautiful scenery and enjoy the weather, best idea of the day. We did this twice just to relax. Sometimes not making any advanced plans and just slowing down can turn into our best days.
Always make today your best day.
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PD

You’re going to Disney World again?

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We have all encountered the people in our lives that just can not understand our love of all things Disney (and especially Walt Disney World). You’re going to Disney World again? You know there are other places to vacation, right? You went to see Frozen but you have no little kids? Inside Out is for children, why would you go see that? Please tell me you don’t wear stupid ears on your head!!!! Is that the song from that ride with all the dolls?

Well yes, I actually have a great collection of ears and they are fantastic! Nothing goes better with a classic Mickey Mouse shirt like the black and red ears but make sure they sparkle! What day in the park would be complete without some Disney bling? It just enhances the magic!

I know there are tons of great places to vacation. How fortunate am I that I have actually have swam the ocean (Atlantic) and climbed around the mountains (NH)! I have followed historical trails (Boston, Salem, Newport, Providence) and stayed at Inns that are older than some states in this country. There is still so much more that I plan on seeing. However, when I want pure bliss, I head to WDW. It’s my happy place!

I don’t think people who don’t frequent WDW or the sites/pages dedicated to it, appreciate that there is a constant state of change. Yes the bones are the same – Cinderella’s Castle and small world aren’t going anywhere but Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is the former home of Take Flight/Dreamflight and there are now two Dumbo rides! That’s progress and that’s why WDW and it’s other counterparts will never be “finished”. If you space your trips a few years apart, you may even need a map!

I grew up on Walt Disney’s World of Color and of course all those fantastic movies (Apple Dumpling Gang). There seemed to be an endless supply of them! My children grew up watching the Disney Channel with such classics as Welcome to Pooh Corner and Adventures in Wonderland and moved on to Fraggle Rock. They are still stuck there! My grandson is a huge fan of the Octonauts – hint hint Hollywood Studios. ABC and ESPN are also Disney entities so pretty much everyone is watching Disney is one shape or form.

There are always new Disney movies coming out. They are about your emotions or superheroes or monsters in your closet but what each one has in common is that they appeal to a demographic that defies logic. You can see any and all age group together. That’s the greatest thing about Disney – it brings people together.

So yes, I am going again and I will be bounding as Ariel and I will be humming the Figment of Imagination song. Don’t judge me, if Darth Vader can wear ears then so can I!

PD