Travel

Signature Celebration Package at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Beginning on May 2nd, Cinderella’s Royal Table is offering a new Signature Celebration Package. In addition to enjoying dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you can take advantage of reserved viewing in the West Plaza Garden for the “Happily Every After” fireworks. After the fireworks you will join the After Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace.

With this package, Cinderella and Prince Charming will personally welcome their guests upon arrival to Cinderella’s Castle and invite you to embark on a royal evening that starts with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or a specialty beverage. After dinner, a beautiful box of Cinderella inspired confections will be delivered to your table. Then you will move to a reserved viewing area for the Happily Every After Fireworks display. After the fireworks you will enjoy a dessert party which includes Cinderella inspired desserts. This signature celebration package will only be offered during one seating at Cinderella’s Royal Table, reservations are limited and strongly recommended. The cost of the party is $199 for adults and $169 for children 9 and under (this amount does not include tax or gratuity).

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Tickets Now on Sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019!

It’s the most magical time of the year, especially at the Walt Disney World Resort, when Mickey and friends deck the halls (and parks, and resorts) and get into the Christmas Spirit! Celebrate the holiday season with Mickey and his friends during the “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” where you will see Elsa make Cinderella’s castle shimmer and glimmer. There is music in the air as you enjoy all the decorations in Magic Kingdom, visit with some of your favorite characters decked out in their holiday best and some of your favorite attractions take on a holiday theme.

This is an extra ticket event so you will want to purchase tickets ahead of time. The party starts at 7pm and lasts until midnight. Dates for this year’s party are:

  • November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 24
  • December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22

During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, be on the lookout for special Character appearances like Jack Skellington dressed as Sandy Claws, Scrooge McDuck and even Santa Claus himself!

During the party there is so much to see and do such as enjoy a seasonal beverage (included with your admission) and an event-exclusive treats available for purchase throughout the night. Grab a hot chocolate and a sweet treat and find a spot to watch the “Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade” where you might see a dancing reindeer or even Santa himself! Don’t forget to grab a spot for the special holiday firework show at Cinderella castle too, it is a must see show for sure.

While the party is going on there are still some attractions open so you can enjoy some rides or head over to Cosmic Ray’s for a dance party as it turns into “Club Tinsel”.  There is so much to see and do during this event, you won’t want to miss out on this party! There is absolutely something for all ages to enjoy at this magical special ticket event.

Contact me for a free, no obligation quote for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. Please be sure to follow my blog, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on the latest Disney news!

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DinoLand U.S.A. – a must stop place during your visit to Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

One of my jr. paleontologists favorite places to hang out when we visit Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World is the area known as DinoLand U.S.A.! It’s like stepping back in time, way back in time, and hanging with some of your favorite Disney friends as well as visiting a pretty awesome T-Rex named Sue. There are things for the little kids in your family as well as the big kids in your family, here are some of the fun things to experience.

Visit The Boneyard, where kids of all ages can climb, play and run off some energy. Then head over to the TriceraTop Spin where the entire family can enjoy riding around, and flying in, their very own triceratops. Looking for something just a little more thrilling? Family members who are 48 inches or taller can jump on Primeval Whirl where they will enjoy small drops and some spins as they head down this track. For the bravest ones in your family, head over to the Dinosaur ride. This indoor track takes you back in time to track down a dinosaur that you need to bring back to the present. Guests must be at least 40 inches or taller to ride and be brave because there are places where it is really dark, bumpy and you have to watch out for those animatronic dinosaurs because they will try to catch you! Before you head into the Dinosaur ride, visit Dino-Sue who is an actual replica of the largest T-Rex found! She stands 13 feet tall and 40 feet long and was discovered in Black Hills of the South Dakota in 1990. Even though she is a replica of the actual Dino-Sue, she is still very impressive to see in person.

TriceraTop Spin

After all those rides you probably want to get a snack and wind down a little and there are several great choices in DinoLand U.S.A. such as Dino-Bite Snacks where you can get a cool frozen treat or Trilo-Bites where you can enjoy the zesty buffalo chicken chips with a cool drink (including alcoholic beverages for the adults). Want something a little more than a snack? The Dino-Diner is an old-timey trailer set up to serve sandwiches and small snacks or head into the Restaurantosaurus to enjoy a burger, sandwich or chicken tenders. This quick service restaurant does have indoor seating so you can get out of the sun for a little bit and enjoy the dorm like decorations from some creative Paleontology students .

Before leaving DinoLand U.S.A. you can enjoy Fossil Fun Games which is a carnival style area with dinosaur themed games for the entire family; you will need to purchase vouchers to play. Be on the lookout for some of your favorite friends such as Goofy, Donald, Daisy and sometimes you will even catch Launchpad McQuack and Scrooge McDuck! Don’t forget to check out Donald’s Dino-Bash, a prehistoric party with Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Launchpad McQuack. You may even see Chip ‘n Dale dressed in dino-inspired costumes!

There is so much to see and experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and DinoLand U.S.A. is just a small part. Subscribe to this blog to be sure you don’t miss upcoming highlights on others area’s of this park and others!

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Get Revved Up for ‘Cars’ Fun at Hollywood Studios!

In just a few short days, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will come speeding into Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 31, 2019. The world of “Cars” will unfold around you with fun and excitement which will extend into the courtyard outside Sunset Showcase with special entertainment, photo ops and more! DJ, the ultimate party on wheels, has hit the open road and headed east, bringing his own music mix to liven things up! Piston Cup champion Cruz Ramirez will stop by to meet and take photos with her fans.

Several times a day you will be able to catch “DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!” show where Lightning McQueen’s Pit Crew arrives on the scene getting everyone around DJ engaged with ‘Cars’ inspired dances and games. This is sure to be fun for all ages and I can’t want to check this out!

Don’t forget to like and follow my blog to stay up to date on the latest Disney Park news and offers. If you would like to receive a FREE, NO Obligation quote on a Walt Disney World Resort Vacation please contact me. My services are free for my clients! I am affiliated with Academy Travel & Mickey Vacations, an Earmarked Diamond rated agency according to Disney Destinations. Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram at www.facebook.com/KristieRyan.travel or www.Instagram.com/KristieRyan.travel.

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Top 10 Places or Ways to relax or wind down at Walt Disney World.

Vacation should be all about relaxing and enjoying time with people you care about. A Disney vacation may not always seem relaxing because there is just so much to see and do but there are ways to sneak in little breaks and some relaxing. Here are my top 10 places or ways to relax at Walt Disney World.

  1. Ride a slow or quieter ride. Riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (People Mover) at Magic Kingdom is a great way to sit and enjoy the views and relax for a little bit. One of my favorite attractions for relaxing is the classic Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom where we learn that there is a “Great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day..” If you are at Epcot, I recommend riding Spaceship Earth and enjoying this slower moving ride that takes you throughout history or Living with the Land located by Soarin’.
  • Take in a show. There are so many shows at each of the Disney World parks that you have lots to choose from. This can be a great way to get inside out of the Florida heat and relax while watching Broadway level shows.
  • Find an out of the way place to sit and relax. When you are at Animal Kingdom, there are so many little paths back by Asia where you can get out of the crowds and relax a little. At Epcot, when you travel through the countries be sure to explore them. Many of them such as England, Japan and Morocco have little walkways or alleyways that are not as hectic and allows you to relax while enjoying beautiful gardens or buildings. Hollywood studios seems to be a little more tricky right now because there is so much construction but head over towards Echo Lake and there is often some quieter spaces to enjoy. At Magic Kingdom be sure to enjoy the Main Street Plaza Garden where there are greenspaces fenced in on both sides of Main Street with views of the castle. This is one of the best places to let little ones stretch their legs and for families to relax.
  • Ride the Monorail. Hop on the monorail and enjoy riding the loop OR jump off at each of the three resorts and explore! The theming at Disney World Resorts are amazing and you will not be disappointed in checking out the Grand Floridian, Polynesian or the Contemporary. If you catch the monorail at Epcot you will have to switch monorails at the Ticket and Transportation Center to get to these resorts. Added bonus, the beach at the Polynesian is a great place to watch the fireworks from Magic Kingdom or the water parade at night. The Contemporary has a viewing deck that has an incredible view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks also.
  • Take a boat ride. You can take a boat ride from Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian,  Polynesian or Wilderness Lodge. You can also enjoy a nice relaxing boat ride from Wilderness Lodge over to the Contemporary. When staying at Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs resorts you can travel by boat to Disney Springs. The resorts of Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, and the Swan and Dolphin Hotels have boats traveling to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
  • Utilize the Baby Care Centers. When traveling with a little one, be sure to utilize the Baby Care Centers located in each of the Disney Theme Parks. These centers give you a little more privacy and comfort during those hot or busy park days to feed or change little ones.
  • Swim and play at your resort. Don’t forget to take a day or at least a few hours to enjoy the pools and activities at your Walt Disney World Resort. All of the resorts have multiple pools, each with different theming to match their resort and are staffed with lifeguards. An added bonus is that there are typically activities that go on near the pool for kids of all ages lead by Cast Members. At night, most of the main resort pools will have poolside movies which is the perfect way for families to relax and unwind after a day in the parks.
  • Resort Hop. Have a few hours of down time? Book a dining reservation at another of the Disney resorts so you can check them out OR just head over to the other resorts to take a walk around. This is how my family usually gets an idea of the next resort everyone wants to stay at. We take a few hours one day and pick a couple resorts to check out. That helps us see what each has to offer in person.
  •  Head to a Water Park. Disney World has two water parks both themed very differently but equally fun, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Enjoy the wave pools and find a beach chair to soak up the sun and relax. There are plenty of attractions for all members of the family, from the lazy rivers to big water slides. It’s the best of both worlds because you can enjoy various attractions with your family and then chill out and relax in your beach chair by the water.
  1. Plan a “down” day. If you have time in your trip, have one day where you don’t have anything planned. If you have a park ticket for that day, you can wake up that morning and decide where to head and not worry about fast passes. I know, the horror – how could she say that lol, but there is something to be said for taking a spontaneous day once in a while. My family usually takes one day of our trip and doesn’t get a park ticket for that day. We can decide to swim, explore, head to Disney Springs or do all three. The beauty is that it helps to recharge our batteries because we are typically a rope drop to park close kind of a family.

However you decide to plan your vacation, remember to be in the moment and enjoy making memories with the people you love.

Please contact me if you would like a FREE, NO Obligation quote on a Walt Disney World Resort Vacation. My services are free for my clients. To stay up to date on Disney Park news and offers, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram at www.facebook.com/KristieRyan.travel or www.Instagram.com/KristieRyan.travel.

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When is the best age to start taking your kids to Disney (or other theme parks)?

This is a question that as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner I seem to get a lot. Often as I’m speaking to potential clients they will say “I would love to go but we are going to wait until my youngest can appreciate or enjoy it.” I get it, Disney and other theme parks are not cheap so of course you want to make sure that each family member enjoys themselves and lots of fun memories are made. What I like to encourage people is to keep in mind that often the parents or other adult relatives on the trip are the ones who will have the memories of their kids first time seeing the castle, or that first ride on Dumbo; those are the memories that last a lifetime. An added bonus of traveling with an infant is that at Disney Parks kids under the age of 3 are FREE!

What has helped to shape my opinion on this topic is that our daughters first trip to Walt Disney World was when she was three years old and to be honest, seven years later she still remembers some things about the trip but she LOVES seeing pictures of her first trip and us telling her the stories. Yes, there are challenges in taking younger kids; they get overwhelmed and over stimulated more easily, they tire out faster, they often haven’t learned impulse control so when they want to eat, rest, see something or do something they don’t understand that you may have to wait. The first trip with our daughter wasn’t all sunshine and roses trust me, she has always seemed to know exactly what she wants and is willing to do or not do, would get over stimulated easily with all the lights, people and sounds, needs downtime to chill out plus she is pretty stubborn so when she says she won’t take a picture in front of the castle she is not kidding, she seriously means it (and still does today lol).

The biggest advice I give people who are considering taking young kids to Disney (or other theme parks) is that you know your child better than anyone. What works for one family may or may not work for your family and that is okay. I knew that as long as I gave my daughter time to swim, run, explore at her own pace and rest when she was tired that we would have a great time. Did that mean that I did not get to ride Haunted Mansion because she was too nervous (and they didn’t have the rider switch option yet) sure, but I had a better time making memories of her and I riding Dumbo and her cracking up at me because I was nervous and she wasn’t (I’m terrified of heights, she is not). It was more about the memories of the first time her and my husband had a sword fight in the shop outside of Pirates of the Caribbean, still a tradition today with them. The memory of seeing her face light up when she walked onto Main Street the first time and saw the castle lit up for Christmas or how she laughed when we rode Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom because it seemed like a giraffe was going to try to get into the car with us. I never got a picture of her looking at the camera in front of the castle, but I do have a few pictures of my husband and I looking at the camera and our daughter with her hands in front of her face because she did not want to take the picture….it’s still one of my favorite pictures of my family because it’s an honest picture of our first Disney adventure as a family.

So, if you think you may be up to traveling to Disney with a young child, toddler or infant, here are my top five pieces of advice.

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan….but don’t be afraid to change your plans based on what your kid(s) really need. I am a planner, it gives me less stress and anxiety to have a plan and an idea at least of what we will be doing each day before we leave (also makes packing easier). With that being said, even as my daughter gets older, we still have days where one of us may be tired or just in the mood to do something different so we change up our plans as we go. It’s okay to have some flexibility.
  2. Use the Rider Swap option for the rides that your little ones cannot or will not ride. This way the adults can still enjoy the ride with older kids or other family members.
  3. Utilize the Baby Care centers at each of the Disney parks. These are especially nice for nursing mothers on those hot summer days as well as gives you a little more privacy to change or feed a baby in a more relaxing environment.
  4. Take Breaks. Plan some down time at the resorts and enjoy the pool or hop on the monorail or a boat from a park to a resort for a nice relaxing ride. Get a Mickey pretzel, Mickey ice cream or some popcorn and sit down to relax for a while. In Magic Kingdom, the Main Street Plaza Garden is a nice grassy, fenced in area where you can spread out to relax and little ones can stretch their legs and move around.
  5. Bring Snacks. Did you know that you can bring your own snacks into Disney Parks? Bring some fruit snacks or goldfish crackers and a few bottles of water so when you are waiting in line your little ones can have a snack.

Most of all, plan your vacation in a way that YOUR family will get the most enjoyment. Spend some quality time together and enjoy seeing the Magic that a Disney Parks vacation has to offer!

If you would like help in planning an upcoming vacation to Disney Parks (Disney World or Disneyland) please contact me for a free, no obligation quote. My services are free to my clients and I would love to help you plan. Follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KristieRyan.Travel or Instagram at www.Instagram.com/KristieRyan.Travel.