Vacation Planning Specialist – Nicole!

Independent Travel Agent with The Vacation Wizards!

A Disney Christmas: My review of our Disney Vacation!

All I gotta say is WOW! All of the Christmas decorations in the parks and at the resorts, WOW! The Art of Animation Resort itself, just WOW! The crowds, WOW! The seasonal shows and entertainment, WOW! The weather, WOW!

First off I wanna say Thank You to the Cast Member at Art of Animation that created a Magic Moment for us at check-in! See we arrived at the Art of Animation resort a day earlier than expected, so to make a long story short. We were able to get a room for the night we arrived early and were able to check-in to OUR NEMO ROOM that next morning at 9:00 am! That my friends is unheard of!

Now let me talk about the weather situation. IT WAS HOT! Not like summer hot but like that real muggy humid hot. Which we are used to that kind of weather because we live in Mobile, AL so it’s pretty much like that all the time. But come on it’s December! And with all the Christmas decorations around us, it just felt weird wearing shorts and t-shirts! I really wish we would have packed out bathing suits!

Our Nemo room at the Art of Animation was amazing! This was our first time staying at this resort and in a family suite. It was really nice! It felt like a small apartment almost and we had so much more space than a regular hotel room. I would definitely recommend staying in a room like this if you are a family that has older children or a family of different age groups.

The overall crowds in the parks were really not that bad. Compared to the last time we went, which was during May of 2013, the crowds were about the same. The only time the crowds were just plain ridiculous were when we went to see the Osborne Lights and while watching Wishes on our last night in the parks. Which I can understand why the crowds were so big at those events so they really didn’t bother me because it was expected. And the longest wait that we had was 3o minutes. We had a FastPass for Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, Soarin’ and Toy Story Mania so we didn’t have to wait for those rides. Also, we hit the other more popular rides at either park open or almost park close so we didn’t have to wait for those rides as well.

The thing that did bother me is how RUDE the people were in the parks. Not the cast members just the general park goers. Some people have just got to realize that everybody else is most likely trying to get to the same place that you are, see the same show and get that great spot that you are, ride the same rides as your are and see the same characters as you are. Why be rude? Why push people out of the way? Why WALK THROUGH A GROUP OF FAMILY? Why stand right in front of someone when they’ve been there waiting in their spot when you just walk up in front of them? Why stop in the MIDDLE of the walkway to check the map? Why make a mess in the restrooms? Why leave your blinky souvenir on while you ride a dark ride?

As you may know, we attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It was awesome! There was literally no one in the park during the party. I would highly recommend attending this if you are going to be in the parks while they are offering tickets to this event. The only downside to the party is that it rained that night, the whole night. If it wasn’t a light sprinkle it was a down pour. For Elsa’s lighting of the castle, non of the characters came out on stage due to the rain. They just turned the lights on with her music which was kind of disappointing. The Celebrate the Season show was awesome! I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it but it was really good! During the Once Upon a Christmas Parade it poured. Like you could hardly see the castle. We watched Celebrate the Magic from inside Starlight Cafe’ while we ate our dinner, which was pretty nice because we actually got to see the show. We watched Wishes from Fantasyland behind the castle. I had never done this before but I would definitely recommend watching Wished from that spot at least once during your trip! The fireworks feel as if they are going off right on top of you! It is amazing! We rode Peter Pan at a 30 min wait and it broke down on us. We rode Big Thunder Mountain while it was pouring!

Disney Bus Transportation is not reliable. If you are going to park hop or resort hop, be prepared to leave from wherever you are at least an hour before you need to be at your destination. Bus Transportation made us last for our dinner reservation by 45 min. We were lucky that they still held our reservation for us. 

There are only a few things that I regret not doing that we just simply didn’t get to do because of time or the weather. We didn’t get to take a lap around the park on the Walt Disney World Railroad, it had closed for the night before we could get over to it. We didn’t get to meet talking Mickey at Town Square, he wait was always way too long. I really wanted to take the Resort Monorail loop around to see all of the Christmas decorations at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary. BUT I can always just watch YouTube videos.

Speaking of YouTube! I have uploaded some of my videos from our vacation! Do me a favor and check them out and tell me what ya think in the comments!

Disney Travel Day_12.10.15

Day One at EPCOT_12.11.15

Day Two Part One Hollywood Studios_12.12.15

Day Two Part Two Hollywood Studios_12.12.15

Day Three Part One Magic Kingdom_12.13.15

Thank you for your time!

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A Disney Christmas: So Much Excite!

It is officially 3 Days until we leave for Disney! There are so many new and exciting things that are opening and happening right now in the Disney World atmosphere that I am excited about! BUT! I have decided to NOT go and watch the videos on YouTube or read the articles because I want to see it first hand when I go this coming weekend! 

My morning routine is to check on my Disney sites and see what’s new and up and coming in the world of Disney so that I can share it with all of you! Well I have officially banned myself from those sites for the past two weeks! I still see the twitter updates so I know what’s going on but I don’t know the details!

I am so ready to check out Star Wars Launch Bay! So far my night for MVMCP has not been sold out so I’m hoping it still won’t be so we can have a sort of slight crowd. But one could wish right? The December 11th party night is sold out and we plan on being at EPCOT that night, so I hope the crowds aren’t too big so we can get a good view! AND I am really hoping for a soft opening for the Skipper Canteen Restaurant at Magic Kingdom, but fingers crossed!

We were really hoping for a cold front to come through while we are on our trip, but it looks like we won’t be so lucky! Our weather here in Mobile, AL is pretty similar to what it is in Orlando so we’ll be ready for the cool morning, so very hot middle of the day and a chilly night! 

I am so ready to experience the Osborne Lights, MVMCP and all of the Christmas decorations first hand for the first time! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched videos on all of it to get ready for my trip! But now I am ready to go and see it for myself!

I will post a post trip blog or blogs of pictures and how everything went and my opinions on everything! Stay Tuned! I will also be posting YouTube Videos on both of my channels!!

See Ya Real Soon!

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Christmas Decorations

I will be going to Walt Disney World December 11th – December 14th of this year!

When I return from my trip I will be posting all of the pictures that I take of the Christmas decorations!

Stay Tuned!!!

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A Disney Christmas: They’re Here! Our MagicBands are Here!

I got our MagicBands in the mail yesterday!!! I am beyond excited! This will be our first trip since Disney introduced the MagicBands! In case you don’t know what they are, the MagicBands have replaced your hard tickets! Meaning, that you no longer have to have a hard plastic ticket to get into your hotel room or inside the parks. You just put the Mickey head up to the device reader and wait until it turns green and you’re good to go! I will be posting videos on how all of this works once I get back from our trip! In case you were wondering my MagicBand is the pink one! I wanted to get a red one but I didn’t want my mom and I to get ours mixed up, even though they do have our names on the inside! Ha!

Also, I am going to be adding some fun vinyl images to our MagicBands! I haven’t decided what exactly I’m going to put on them but maybe our names and I know I want to do something with Minnie or Christmas but I haven’t decided yet! There are just so many options! But I will post my designs when I do decide what to put on my MagicBand! I may even put some Alabama stuff on there, Roll Tide!

I wish I would have known how to get one of these MagicBands! They also have a store inside the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland or at Disney Springs where you can customized your MagicBand. I just might be stopping inside one of those stores!

There are so many Christmas items that I have been looking at online at the Disney Store that I would LOVE to get while I’m down there! I wish we still had our Disney Store in the mall here in Mobile. The closest store that I can go to is in Gulfport, Mississippi and that is an hour away! But Black Friday is coming up and I think that my mom and I are planing to do some clothes shopping for our trip over at the Gulfport Outlets so we’ll just have to see if we can make a quick stop inside the Disney Store! (We ALWAYS do when we go over there!) If we do go to the Gulfport Outlets I will post a Disney Store HAUL post to show you what all we picked up!

24 Days to go!

 

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A Disney Christmas: FastPass+ Selected!

So I’m a little late at posting this but I”ve been pretty busy getting things together for our trip and I’ve been busy with just normal life stuff like work and taking care of my fur babies and husband!

On October 12, 2015 my FastPass+ opened! Again we are staying from a Friday to a Monday and we are attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on Sunday night! On Friday we plan to get into Walt Disney World in the morning, if everything goes smoothly and according to plan! But when does that ever happen!?! After we check-in to our resort, Art of Animation, we are heading to EPCOT! I have reserved us FastPasses for MISSION SPACE!, EPCOT Character Spot and Soarin’! Since we chose Soarin’ as our tier one FastPass we plan on going on Test Track as a single rider unless the line isn’t too long! After we compete our FastPass for Soarin’ we are going to eat at the Garden Grill for dinner! I have never ate at the Garden Grill so I am very excited to experience that! After our dinner we are heading over to watch Illuminations! I can’t even tell you the last time I have seen Illuminations! EPCOT is usually a rope drop park for us, so we are usually not in EPCOT during the evening. After we watch Illuminations we are calling it a night! 

On Saturday we are heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for rope drop and Extra Magic Hours! We plan to hit up Toy Story Mania and Rock’n’Roller Coaster as many times as we can before our first FastPass at 9:30 am for the Tower of Terror! Hopefully we can ride it more than once as well! Our second FastPass is for Toy Story Mania at 10:45 am. We have never gotten the chance to ride Toy Story Mania so I am trying to ride it as many times as I can! Next we are going to try and attend the Frozen Sing-Along thing, Muppets 3D and the Great Movie Ride. The Muppets and the Great Movie Ride are must do’s for me! Then we are heading over to watch the Indiana Epic Stunt Show at 12:00 pm. I have heard rumors that it is closing with the major update coming for Star Wars Land so I would like to experience that just ONE more time. Plus, I can;t even tell you the last night I saw that show too ( I know it’s the same show as always). Then we are off to our third and final FastPass for Star Tours! We will be ending our day at the parks after this because we will attending Church Saturday evening at Mary Queen of the Universe. We have dinner reservations at Boatwright’s Dining Hall at the Port Orleans Resort at 7:50 pm. We are hoping to either walk around in the Magic Kingdom or Disney Springs before we call it a night.

On Sunday we will be going to the Magic Kingdom! We will be getting there at rope drop to see the Welcome Show! I LOVE the welcome show! Once we are allowed into the park we are heading straight for the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train! We have not rode this ride either and I am really looking forward to it! Then we will be heading over to our first FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! This is one of my favorite rides at Disney World! Then we will be heading to the Jingle Cruise (Jungle Cruise) before the lines get too long! Then we will be heading back to Fantasyland to ride Journey of the Little Mermaid before our second FastPass for the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train. After that I am hoping to try and meet some Princesses! Then we will be making our way to Tomorrowland! My goal this trip is to become a Galactic Hero! Our third FastPass is for Space Mountain! We have lunch reservations for Tony’s Town Square Restaurant! Afterwards I am hoping to either see Mickey at Town Square theater or get a good spot to see the Festival of Fantasy’s parade. I have not yet seen the parade nor have I visited with the talking Mickey Mouse! After the parade or our visit with Mickey we will be heading back to the hotel for a nap! We are attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this night and I would like to make the most of it! The party is from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am and we are planning to be on our way back to the Magic Kingdom by 6 so that we can get in line for some rare characters! We will then do the rides that we were not able to get to during the day plus some repeats! I am so excited to see Celebrate the Magic and the Christmas version of Wishes as well as the other Christmas shows during the party!

On Monday we will be starting our day out at Animal Kingdom! Our goal will be to get there at rope drop as well, but who knows seeing as we will be out late the night before for our party! Our first attraction will be Kilimanjaro Safaris! This ride is the best at rope drop or in the late evening! We have seen so many animals out and about on the earlier ride! Then we are heading over to our first FastPass Expedition Everest! I really do LOVE this ride! It’s so different than the others! Next we are heading back over to Africa to watch the Festival of the Lion King, which is our second FastPass! After we see this show the plan is catch a showing of Flights of Wonder, grap some lunch at Pizzafari and see some Characters! I am most excited to meet Pocahontas and Russell and Dug! Our last FastPass is for DINOSAUR! I have never rode this ride either. It has always been to long of a line or broken down, so hopefully it will NOT be broken down this time! After we ride DINOSAUR our plan is to head back to the hotel for a nap. We will be heading to Hollywood Studios again for dinner!

On Monday night we have reservations for dinner at 50’s Prime Time Cafe’! I have heard so much about this place and I am so looking forward to my Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake! After dinner we will be staking out our spot to see the Osborne Lights! This is their last year and my first time seeing them! This is probably the one thing that I am the most excited about, besides the Christmas party! After we see the lights, we are hoping to catch another ride on Rock’n’Roller Coast or the Tower of Terror before we get in line for Fantasmic! I can’t even tell you the last time I have seen Fantasmic! But whether or not we watch Fantasmic depends on how tired we are because we have to get up the next morning and drive back home.

Sorry it took me so long to put out an update on my Disney Christmas Trip! The next update should be sometime in November when we get our MagicBands!!!

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A Disney Christmas: Disney History!

I am a HUGE Disney History fan! I love to learn about the history of Walt’s journey, how Disney got started, how it’s became what it is today and what’s in our future! Last month PBS featured an AMAZING story of Walt Disney and his struggles and accomplishments that made Disney what it is today. The documentary was shown on PBS’ American Experience on September 14th & 15th, 2015. I really enjoyed this telling of Walt’s story. If you are interested in how Disney all got started you should definitely check it out! Below is the link to PBS’ website! Also, if you haven’t seen Saving Mr. Banks you really need to! It also has a little bit of Walt Disney history in there which is why it’s one of my favorite films to date! Be warned the documentary is almost four hours long…

American Experience: Walt Disney

(SPOILER!) In this documentary you’ll see how Mickey was created, how Snow White was made, how Disney almost had to file bankruptcy more than once and how the concept of Disneyland and Disney World came about. It is a really interesting story! It had me balling like a baby at the end so be prepared!

Let me know what ya think of the documentary in the comments! AND if you have any links to documentaries about Walt Disney, Disneyland, Disney World or the making of anything Disney please leave those in the comments as well!! I really hope you can take the time out and watch this, if you like Disney History!! Thanks for your time, likes and comments!

See Ya Real Soon!!

56 More Days Until A Disney Christmas!!!!

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A Disney Christmas: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar & Star Wars Launch Bay!

So yesterday I posted about how the Osborne Lights will be on display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the last time this year! Well today I found out some more amazing things that will be new when I go to Disney during December!!

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will be opening September 22, 2015 at Disney Springs! (Downtown Disney) I am a HUGE Indiana Jones fan and was so excited when this bar was announced and now I get the chance to experience it! But I do have to ask the question Disney Imagineers! If you were wanting to create a bar with an Indiana Jones theme, why didn’t you make one that resembled Marion’s bar that she owned in Raiders of the Lost Arc? I mean don’t get me wrong the Hangar looks amazing and the theming is looking to be great too, but Marion plays a bigger role than Jock? Right??

Also, it has been announced that the new Star Wars Launch Bay will be opening in December 2015! No official date has been announced, BUT it would be awesome if it opened sometime during the days of December 11-14th? Just a suggestion! I’m not a huge Star Wars fan like many people are, but I am very excited about the new Star Wars Land that is coming!

So many exciting things! So little time!!!

87 Days until A Disney Christmas!!!

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A Disney Christmas: Last Year for Osborne Lights!

So I just found out this morning that this year will be the last year that Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be running the Osborne Lights! Due to the re-imagining of the park, Streets of America is said to be removed from the park itself to make room for the new “Lands”. I am so glad that I am going to Disney during Christmas this year! Like I have said before it will be my first time at Disney during the Holiday season and this year will also be the last time that Disney will be presenting the Osborne Lights. It’s kind of bitter sweet because the Lights have become somewhat of a Christmas Tradition to many and something that a lot of people look forward to during their Disney Christmas vacations. But with the Lights being removed it just means that something new and exciting is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

I also recently discovered that Pirates of the Caribbean will be opened back up from it’s long refurbishment when I go on my Disney Christmas Vacation! I know that it has been closed for quite some time for a well needed refurbishment and it just never occurred to me that it would be open when I’ll be at Disney! I will definitely have to remember to schedule me a FastPass+ for that ride because I’m sure there will be a lot of people wanting to ride the newly refurbished ride! The Pirates of the Caribbean is scheduled to open September 25, 2015.

I also think that the new Skipper Canteen restaurant will be newly opened while I am at Disney. Since I am a Travel Agent, I took a look at my newly refurbished information to see if any rides or attractions will be down during my vacation, and it looks like it will be open while I am at Disney. I am making an educated guess at this because the Liberty Tree Tavern and Diamond Horseshoe will be opening on November 19, 2015. Their kitchens are getting an update and that is all tied into the Skipper Canteen’s new area, so that is why I am thinking that it will be open. I’m not 100% sure, but one could hope! 

88 DAYS UNTIL A DISNEY CHRISTMAS!!!

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A Disney Christmas: Character Dining Booked!

I’m so happy to say that I have finally been able to get a reservation for a Character Dining Meal! I was able to get a reservation at the Garden Grill in EPCOT. I have never eaten there before, but I have read some reviews and it sounds like its going to be a great experience! If you have any personal experiences I would love to hear them! Please comment below!

WDW Character Dining Lifestyle Shoot. 2013. Photographer: Melanie Acevedo

Our reservations are at 6:45 PM with hopefully enough time to enjoy our meal, meet some characters and snag us a great spot to view Illuminations! I haven’t seen Illuminations since I was very young, so I really don’t remember how the show goes. This trip we are planning on taking things really slow and enjoying all of the small things at the parks that we normally wouldn’t going from ride to ride or character to character. We are also going to eat at some restaurants that we normally wouldn’t eat at on our Disney Vacation. Friday night our dinner reservations are for the Garden Grill in EPCOT, Saturday night we are eating at The Boathouse in Downtown Disney, Sunday night we are attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom and will be eating at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and finally we will be ending our Disney Christmas at 50’s Prime Time Cafe’ where afterwords we will be staying to watch the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!

As always, if you would like to share personal experiences at any of these dining locations or events that I have talked about please fill free to comment below!

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A Disney Christmas!

A week ago I booked myself a Disney vacation for the weekend of December 11, 2015! This will be my first trip to Disney during the Holiday Season! I am so very excited to be going during this time of year! Going during the Holiday Season has been on my bucket list for a while and this year I am finally able to do it! Accompanying me will be my mom, brother and his girlfriend. We are counting down the days!

We have purchased tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for Sunday December 13th! I’ve made our dinner reservations, but sadly was not able to book a Disney Character Meal but I am trying every day to see if there has been a cancellation! The thing that I am most excited about is see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! I’ve watched so many videos of the show on YouTube and I’ve always wanted to see them for myself. I will be posting more when I get some more news about our travels! My next step will be to book our FastPass+, which will be October 11! I have 101 days until my Disney Christmas Vacation!

Being that I have never been during the Holiday Season if anyone has any advice to give, it will be greatly appreciated! If you have anything to share please post in the comments! Thanks in advance!

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