My Dreams of a Disney….Wedding

Wedding-Pavilion

When my fiancee proposed to me, my first thought was “I would LOVE to get married at Walt Disney World. Imagine saying your vows in a beautiful location with Cinderella’s Castle in the distance; that’s what you would get if your ceremony is held in Disney’ Wedding Pavilion.”  There are other ceremony sites (for more information and additional ceremony sites, check out the Disney Wedding website.

Then I began thinking about it. I wouldn’t feel right asking my nearest and dearest to have to take a vacation and travel for my wedding. The only way I would have been happy with a Disney wedding would be if we could afford to pay for everyone’s Disney World trip. Given the cost of the wedding and then a trip, I priced our wedding out of Disney (plus I figure having all our wedding guests at Disney would create a situation where our wedding guests would be on our honeymoon with us!)

The obvious choice was to head to Disney World for our honeymoon! While looking at the Disney Wedding site, I found that you can register for a Disney honeymoon (as my fiancee and I live together, we have many of the more traditional registry items so this registry is a great option for us). The way it works is you make your travel plans (you can reach out to a Disney trip planner, such as Mike who runs this wonderful blog) and then you can register for items for your trip. My registry includes requests for contributions for the room, the dining plan, tickets as well as Mickey and Minnie bride and groom ears, a carriage ride and a champagne welcome. Check out the Disney Honeymoon registry site for more information.

In addition to my honeymoon, Alfred Angelo makes Disney princess dresses and veils. I have ordered a “Belle” dress, the picture of me in a Belle dress is not the dress I am wearing for my wedding (I don’t want to publish pictures of me in my wedding dress before my wedding).

Belle

There are many other Disney items you can get for your wedding as well. There are Disney invitations, Disney cake toppers, Disney champagne flutes. Pretty much anything you would want for your wedding, you can get a Disney version of! An added bonus is that the Disney items are not more expensive than non-Disney versions of these items.

Did you have a Disney wedding or go to Disney World on your honeymoon? If not and you are thinking about it, I hope I have given you some ideas.  Let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!

Walt Disney World Vacation Planning DVD

So you decided to visit Disney World, you’ve read the guide books and maybe even contacted a Disney World vacation planning specialist (like Mike here on this blog, using a Disney planner doesn’t cost you anything and often will save you time and stress during your planning process; if you haven’t reserved your vacation details, you really should reach out to Mike). However, I think that in order to envision the whole vacation, the Walt Disney World vacation planning DVD is one of the best tools available to you. The DVD brings life to the ride descriptions in a way a guide book never could.

I have been to Disney World 17 times and yet I order a vacation planning DVD every year. I love seeing everything that’s new at Disney World since my last visit. It also helps excite me for the upcoming visit (and is a great way to show younger kids some of the things to expect to see and do on your next vacation).

The DVD is broken up by theme park but it also covers the hotels, water parks, restaurants and other recreational activities. The basic feel of the DVD is fairly consistent year to year but how the information is presented usually changes regularly. For example, recently there were 4 people on the DVD. There was a mother that addressed the best Disney experiences for families, there was the “thrill seeker” who covered the thrill rides at Disney World, there was the “calm and relaxed” guy who shows you have best to rest and relax on your vacation and there was the general tips woman (she was also the host of the DVD) who covered anything else.

The DVD comes with written information as well which is a valuable planning tool as you can refer back to it. As everyone is different, it’s a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of what you want to see and do at Disney World as you go through the vacation planning process. Even the best vacation planner will be able to better assist you if you have an idea of the type of things you wish to see and do during your trip. So, make sure you get your copy of the Disney World planning DVD and help planning!

My Magic Kingdom Must Dos

Cinderella's Castle at night
Cinderella Castle at night

Today I thought I would share my “must dos” from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I must say that while I love all four Disney World parks, the Magic Kingdom will always have a special place in my heart. That’s probably because it was the first Disney park I visited but also because it’s based on Disneyland which had Walt’s touches everywhere.

The magic starts before you even step through the turnstiles. If you don’t stay in a Disney hotel, parking for the Magic Kingdom is across the Seven Seas Lagoon over at the Ticket and Transportation Center. You can travel over to the park via the monorail or the ferry. I usually try to ride one on the way to the Magic Kingdom and the other on the return trip. Of course, some people have a preferred method of travel, but I suggest you try each at least once (unless you get seasick, then I would stick to the monorail). If you are staying on property, the Disney buses take you right to the Magic Kingdom (the exception being the “Magic Kingdom hotels”. There are still buses that go from the hotels but there are additional options here. Guests at the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian have the monorail and the ferry available to them or you can walk from your hotel to the park. Polynesian guests have the monorail and the ferry as additional options. Guests of Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness also have a launch available to the Magic Kingdom).

I think the easiest way to describe my favorites is by “land” and each land by order of how I travel the park (meaning I will start on Main St. USA and then head left to Adventureland moving clockwise around the park). Starting on Main Street, I always ride the Railroad. I hit the Chapeau (THE place in the Magic Kingdom to get monogrammed mouse ears) to check out the newest ears. Main Street is my favorite place to watch parades as well as the Wishes! fireworks show. Finally, I always eat at the Crystal Palace. While it may seem pricey, I stay on property and get the dining plan (this restaurant is included on all the Disney dining plans except the “quick service dining plan”) and I can’t resist a good buffet with Winnie the Pooh.

Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise – so much fun

Next up is Adventureland. I love the Jungle Cruise. Between the interesting animals and the silliness and puns of the boat captains, it’s lots of fun that I never miss. If you read my posts, you won’t be surprised that my next must do is Pirates of the Caribbean. If I could only ride one ride at Disney over and over again, it would have to be Pirates. If I could, I would move into this ride (you think I joke but I am enthralled with this ride). I also always visit the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Coming next is Frontierland, home of two of the three Magic Kingdom mountains and my Frontierland must dos. Splash Mountain is a fun ride through Disney’s “Song of the South”. Briar Rabbit is a fun character that we join for adventure. Big Thunder Mountain is a runaway main railroad ride through the Old West.

Continuing on, we come to Liberty Square. The Hall of Presidents may not interest everyone but I am a huge fan of American history so I love this one (plus it’s cool, dark and you sit for the whole show, a welcome break at Disney). If I could live in Pirates of the Caribbean, I would work at the Haunted Mansion. More fun than scary, the Haunted Mansion is lots of fun. Oh, I also always hit the fruit stand by the Hall Of Presidents for a yummy pickle and a water. Its a welcome break during the day.

Next on our tour is Fantasyland. I never miss Mickey’s Philharmagic; a fun, multi-sensory trip through Disney movie music. I always hit the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh which is a whimsical ride through the Pooh movies. I hit Mrs. Pott’s Cupboard for a strawberry shortcake sundae (a yummy mix of a strawberry shortcake and a strawberry sundae) and while I haven’t been there yet, I am looking forward to seeing Beast’s Castle.

Last but not least is Tomorrowland. I hit Space Mountain, a fun roller coaster ride in the dark (if your kids are afraid of the dark, you may want to skip it). I love Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor (again, not a surprise if you have read my other posts). I visit Experiment 626, also known as Stitch! The Escape (this show has moments of complete darkness with audience members held in place by shoulder harnesses, things to keep in mind if you are traveling with little ones). Two of my favorite must dos are often overlooked but provide chances to sit and rest your sore, tired feet. There is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority which is a ride above Tomorrowland on a track powered by magnets (really cool). Finally, there is Carousel of Progress. This is an entertaining show that follows an American family through many of the best technological advances of the past 100 or so years.

Do you have other Magic Kingdom must dos? I’d love to hear from you. Up next, my Epcot Must dos coming soon.

My Disney World bucket list

Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge

I have been to Disney many times (at one point my daughter actually said “Do we have to go to Disney World AGAIN”, she has grow into a Disney fanatic like her mother) but there are still many things I would like to see, places to eat and resorts to stay in. Today I put on my dreaming hat and think about what I want to add to my Disney bucket list.

I have stayed at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn but I want to stay at another deluxe resort. My current dream resort is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  I like that it’s close to Magic Kingdom without being on the monorail (I would probably be distracted by the monorail gliding by). I like the theme of this hotel, the US National Parks are interesting to me and there is a recreated Old Faithful (complete with eruptions). The lobby is amazing and the stream starts in the lobby and flows out and into the hotel’s pool. I also feel like the Wildness Lodge has a more relaxed vibe that many of the other deluxe properties (in fact, my distaste for the thought of walking through the Grand Floridian lobby in my bathing suit is why I stayed at the Boardwalk as opposed to the Grand Floridian). On top of that, Wilderness Lodge has one of the most entertaining restaurants I have eaten in (see my review of Whispering Canyon Cafe for details).

Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirate League
Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirate League

Next on my bucket list is joining the Pirate League in the Magic Kingdom. Patrons can choose a pirate or mermaid look. You will get a pirate “make over” and training from Captain Jack while he regales you with tales of his high speed adventures. There are adventures to be had from there. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is not an option for me as this experience if for girls from ages 3 through 12 only.

I have added Spirit of Aloha, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. All three are dinner shows that have unique  themes and related menu items. The Spirit of Aloha is at the Polynesian and is a luau with luau theme food. Both Hoop-Dee-Doo and Mickey’s BBQ are located at Fort Wilderness.  The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a wild West theme show with fried chicken and ribs. Mickey’s is a good old bbq; Disney characters join into the fun and engage guests in dancing. All 3 sound like great fun and all 3 are on my Disney bucket list.

Some of my other bucket list items are a fireworks cruise (in Epcot), the Pirate and Pals Fireworks cruise which sails on Bay Lake during the Magic Kingdom Wishes fireworks show (Captain Hook and Smee join you) and dinner at the California Grill during the Wishes show. I’d like to stay in a “Royal” hotel room at the Port Orleans Riverside and a Pirate room at the Caribbean Beach Resort.

Of course, those are the bucket items that are possibilities. Here are some additional entries but these are wish list items instead. I want to spend a night in Cinderella’s Royal Suite (in the Castle of the Magic Kingdom), maybe a dinner at Victoria and Albert’s and hopefully a spring training game with the Atlanta Braves at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. How about you? What’s on your Disney World bucket list or Disney World dream list?

Walt Disney World: Help for Forgotten Details.

Image ©Touringplans.com
Image ©Touringplans.com

Hello everyone, today I want to address some of the other things I try to tell people when planning a Disney trip. Everyone remembers to think about the “must do” rides, shows and meals and people will tell you about where to stay as well (you can find many articles here at My Dreams of Disney, my wonderful co-contributors are great about sharing these tips)  but often we forget the not so fun aspects of any trips but Disney does a great job of covering these details for you.  I am talking about first aid and similar occurrences today.

I have allergies, if you don’t suffer from allergies you would think that shouldn’t matter but it does. Living in New England, I tend to “forget” my allergies in the winter. That means that allergy medication can be forgotten when I head to Walt Disney World. More times than I care to admit, I have found myself wandering the different stores looking for allergy medication. I didn’t know that if you don’t see something on the shelves, you should ask. As space is limited, some items are kept beneath the counter so it is wise to ask a Cast Member; it may be available even if you don’t see it.

It is important to also know that First Aid is located at the Baby Care Center at each theme park. I have turned to the First Aid staff for assistance with allergy issues more than once (they will have the over the counter medication you need if you can’t find it in any of the shops). Of course, they are useful for more than that. First Aid is great for assistance with band-aids (for those blisters you get from walking), they are helpful with sunburns and it’s the first place I think of if I am fighting motion sickness (not often for me except the first time I rode the more extreme version of Mission: Space).

The Baby Care Center is the place to be if you are a nursing mother and prefer a quiet, private place to nurse. It’s also great for a quiet meal for a baby that likes their baby food warmed or you prefer a more home-like highchair (as opposed to the wooden restaurant style highchairs available around the parks). One word of warning, diapers and formula (like most items) tend to be more pricey if you buy them on Disney property so if you need these items, I suggest that you pack plenty (more than you think you will need, better safe than sorry).

Do you have any tips I missed or something you like to share with Disney fans? I’d love to hear from you.