Thursday, March 31, 2011

Romance at Disney World

Living the Fairytale Life with Belinda!!

Photo from

While I am sure we have all heard some people say Disney is for kids. I, myself am a firm believer that Disney is the most romantic place on earth. My husband and I vacation yearly with no children and after 17 + visits I can honestly say that the romance Disney brings to our vacation has been some of the most memorable moments of our life.

Two things that I plan with romance in mind is the resort we stay at and the restaurants we dine at.  I’m a girl that loves intimate magical moments and nothing brings better memories than the atmosphere of a fine Disney restaurant or a breathtaking resort. Here are some of our favorite restaurants that offer some truly intimate dining experiences!

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What could be more fitting than dining like royalty inside Cinderella’s Castle! This restaurant will make any girl feel like a princess.  Meals here are pre-plated and range under $40.00. Menu items consist of things such as prime rib, lemon lavender chicken and pork chops with bacon and mushroom ragout. The food is irresistible! One thing I love about this restaurant is that you and your special someone can have your photo taken before dinner with Cinderella (included in the price) and then it is presented to you at the end of your meal in a special take-home folder. It comes with one 5x7 photo and several smaller ones. It is the perfect keepsake. Another plus is the characters; these vary from the princesses to the Fairy Godmother and friends. We have always had great interaction with them and I must say, some of the photos I have gotten are priceless. If you are looking for a true fairytale setting with your prince charming, you can’t go wrong with Cinderella’s Royal Table!

This is one my husband’s favorites! Le Cellier is located below the Chateau in the Canada pavilion this restaurant evokes the feel of a wine cellar therefore there are no windows. We love the intimate cozy atmosphere. It has low domed archway ceilings and low lit candles to add to the romantic feel. The food here consists of New York strip, prime rib and pan-seared halibut along with many other offerings. We always love dining here and look forward to walking the gardens around the Canada pavilion. Nothing tugs at my heart more than the feel of magic while strolling world showcase with my prince in hand.

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After a romantic day of Disney dining, we always look forward to a relaxing yet intimate evening at our resort.  Our favorite and very first resort we ever stayed at is the Caribbean Beach Resort.

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The grounds at this resort are breathtaking. We love it here! You get the feel of a tropical Caribbean getaway. They offer a great food court that stays open late and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and also has a full service restaurant. We always request our room in the Barbados section, as it tends to be a little closer to the food and shopping area. This resort is huge so there are several stops at this resort when going back to your room at the end of the day. If you don’t want to sit on the bus for very long, request one of the islands that are one of the first stops (Barbados).  The last time we stayed here, we were stop number 3. A lot of the sections offer private pool areas away from the main pool. Nothing is more romantic than laying in a hammock and looking at the stars or enjoying a late night swim with that special someone. With break taking views and the feel of a Caribbean getaway right in middle of all the magic, you can’t go wrong with this moderate resort!

Disney is full of romance, it is all around us, and all we have to do is embrace it. Every time we visit our fairytale continues, as we are surrounded by all of the magic and wonder that Disney put into our hearts to make our fairytale come true. It starts from the moment we step off the plane and see the sign that says, “Walt Disney World”!  Wherever you choose to stay or choose to dine, remember, Disney is full of magic, unexpected moments, memories that we can never replace and tears of joy that stay with us forever. Treasure every Disney moment with that special someone, embrace it, fairytales come true every day at Disney World, all you have to do is open your heart and let the magic take over.

Next week ~ Romance in Disney continues with more insight and tips on where we find love at the most romantic place on earth!
Do you have any romantic experiences in Disney? I would love to hear all about them!

Keep Believing

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Great Movie Ride

Attraction Tuesday!!

Photo From Flikr

The Great Movie Ride is located at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This attraction is located in the stunning Hollywood landmark known as "Grauman's Chinese Theater." Due to the fact that Disney was denied the rights to use the name "Grauman" the beautiful landmark was simply named, "The Chinese Theater."  This iconic theater offers a wonderful home for an attraction that pay homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

When you enter the attraction you are guided through a queue that was designed as an exact replica of The Chinese Theater lobby. The beginning of the queue has beautiful displays of props and costumes from movies such as; Mary Poppins, The Chronicals of Narnia: The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, and Shakespeare in Love.  Once you pass through the lobby area, you are sent into a theater-like setting where you will view condensed trailers of some of the movies that are featured on the ride.  Once you have passed through the theater, you are ready to board the ride!! 

The ride itself is a slow-moving cab that holds quite a bit of patrons. Once you board you are immersed into the dreamlike state of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Your ride is has a movie guide that helps tell you the stories and tributes to the movies. The movies are broken up into genres:

  • Musicals
  • Gangster Movies
  • Westerns
  • Indiana Jones Action Movies
  • Horror 
  • Then a tribute to The Wizard of Oz
The finale to the ride is a place where everyone is brought together in theater to experience a three minute montage of classic movie moments. I will warn you, if you are like me at all you will cry during this segment. It gets me every time. :0)  

After viewing the montage, your car exits the theater back to where you began. This particular attraction was designed before rides were designed to exit into a shop. I will have to admit being quite the movie buff...this is the one attraction that I would like to have a gift shop for...oh well. 

Should Small Children Ride......

I do know of many people that will not take their young children on this ride due to the fact that Alien the movie is featured on this ride. This part is dark and can be a bit scary so use your best judgment when choosing to ride. I will say that I do take my children on this ride and they have never been afraid.  In addition to Alien, this ride also has a live acting segment in either the Gangster scene or the Western scene....the loud noises or fire can be scary for small children. 

Fun Stuff and Tips

  • Don't forget that there are Two Sides to The Great Movie Ride
  • Check out Makin' Memories to take The Great Movie Ride Challenge
  • Sit in the front you will see and hear everything much better.
  • The Cagney Robot wears one of the stars actual tuxedos worn by the star. The tuxedo was donated by the family. 
  • Minnie Mouse hides in the boarding-area mural. Facing left her profile is just above and to the right of a center tile roof, tucked under palm fronds. 
This ride holds a special place in my heart because I just adore movies and the way they are made. I especially love the classics as that is what my mom and I always watched together as a child. I encourage you to take The Great Movie Ride Challenge as it will bring you and your family closer together. My daughter is on spring break this week and we are going to begin. 

See ya real soon!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

When Time is Money, Ride the Single Rider Line

Money Saver Monday!!

I think that all would agree that saving time on your Disney vacation is almost as good as saving money on a Disney vacation. Busy season is defiantly in full-swing at Walt Disney World. In fact, I know several people that are visiting as we speak and the lines that are going on are anything but short. :0) Avoiding lines is such a science that Disney is currently trying to figure out ways to use technology to add interactive queues, and use Fastpass to shorten your waiting experience.  

In addition to those enhancements. Disney has taken some of it's most popular attractions and added a Single-Rider Line. It really is very simple. How many times have you be close to the front of the line and heard, "is there anyone that is a party of 1?" If you are willing to ride an attraction by yourself, you can go in the Single Rider line. 

How is this different from Fastpass/Baby Swap?

  • You do not need a reserved time to enter the line. 
  • You do not need to ride the ride once in order to get a ticket to reenter. 

Who is this system good for?

  • Maybe you have small children and dad wants to ride a thrill ride, he can quickly enter the single rider line while his family waits with another adult.  
  • You are a party of older children and adults that do not care if you ride together. 
What attractions have Single Rider Line? 

  • Expedition Everest( Disney's Animal Kingdom)
  • Rock N Roller Coaster(Disney's Hollywood Studios)
  • Test Track (Epcot)
The only downfall to Single Rider Lines are that they are not offered at more attractions. I would love to hear your experiences using the Single Rider Line. 

See ya real soon!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Winner of Magical Meals is........

(There was not an email attached to your entry so please email me at

I would like to thank everyone for their participation in the Magical Meals giveaway!! This book is truly designed to help you save money on your next or first Walt Disney World vacation!! 

For information about how to purchase Magical Meals: A Guide to Affordable Dining at Walt Disney World, please visit The Affordable Mouse

Have a magical day!!!!

See ya real soon!!!

The Many Stages of my Disney Life

Today's article is a post that I had originally written for WDW Fan Zone

I am a 31 almost 32 year old total Disney addict!! I can honestly say that as long as I can remember, I have always loved Walt Disney World!! When did it actually begin? I am not too sure…what I do know is that when this year’s Disney theme was announced I was actually excited about it all. “Let the Memories Begin” helped me to sit back and reminisce about all of the wonderful stages in my Disney life.  As I began to look back I noticed that my Disney addiction has morphed based on what I was going through in my life. From a young child to an adult no two phases have been the same.

As a child…..

My parents were never huge Disney fans…what I mean by that is, we would take yearly day trips to the WDW. My father only likes Epcot so most of our time was spent there.  The only real reason we went to WDW yearly is because my grandparents lived close by….whenever we would visit them for the summer we always made a stop at WDW. While I do not remember too many of my childhood trips to WDW I do remember my uncle taking me on a day trip to WDW. For some reason I recall going on Space Mountain and sitting on his lap, not sure if that really happened but I can remember thinking that I was really in outer space. Remembering that feeling helps me relate to my kids and how they view the magic!! No matter what my trips were like as a young child, I was already hooked on the mouse. I would constantly ask my parents if we could take a family vacation to WDW and if we could sleep over night. That dream did not come true…..yet.

Guess who this is????

As a teen…..

My trips to WDW as a teen were a bit strange. Did I mention that we would visit my grandparents for the summer? Well as an only child my parents thought that once I turned 14 it would be good for them and for me if I brought a friend along on our yearly “grandparent” vacation.  At that time and still today my best friend was Katie. Katie like me had an addiction to the mouse.  She was lucky though; her family took trips and actually got to sleep over at WDW….wow!!! Anyways, Katie and I really wanted to take a day trip to WDW but it was about 90 minutes from my grandparent’s house…needless to say my parents did not want to go and they did not want to drive us. So Katie and I took a bus…yep!!!  This trend continued until we were 17…we did it three times!! Traveling with Katie on the bus to the most magical place on earth are some of the most magical memories of Walt Disney World that I hold in my heart. Not only because I was at WDW but because I was with Katie, her and I still makes trips to WDW. :0)

As a young adult….

Now I won’t dig too far deep into my personal life but I gave birth to my daughter right after I graduated high school. This obviously put a HUGE halt on any WDW trips for a while…well at least so I thought???  I was wrong.  Lexis (my daughter) was just 3 years old when I decided it was time for a trip to WDW. Guess who would join me…yep Katie and this time my mom. We were so excited…I was even more excited because guess what I got to do? Sleep over at Disney World!!!!!  We booked a 5 night stay at the Polynesian. It was by far the most magical trip I had ever had at Disney.   From 1999 until 2001 Katie, Lexis and I continued to go on our wonderful Disney World adventures.

As an adult…..

My how time flies when you are having fun and how things change.  As the story goes, while in collage I met Dan. Fast forward to 2003 I was married and teaching school. Dan had not been to WDW since he was a young child…wow I sure did need to change that. We planned our first trip for August of 2004. We took that trip with 11 of us total.  As a family we were hooked!!! I was so worried that Dan would not share my love for WDW but he did!! Fast forward again to now, we have three children and 6 WDW trips together as a family. What a blessing it has been to be able to experience Disney with my children their grandparents and our friends.   

While my love for Walt Disney World has always been in my heart my purpose for being there has changed. It was not until recently that I realized how Disney has had such a positive impact on my life. It has given me the drive to save….look ahead…and always have something to look forward to. I cannot wait to create many more memories and stages in my Disney life.

Are you like me? Do you view your Disney life in stages?
See ya real soon!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One Boy, One Girl, One Big Passion!

This is a very special week for me because I have the pleasure of introducing you to some extremely talented writers that are going to be writing for Disney Guru. Today I would like to introduce Belinda...he article below is an introduction to what she is going to be writing about every Thursday right here at Disney Guru. Belinda truly lives a fairy tale life and incorporates Disney into everything she does. So we only found it fitting that her weekly column here at Disney Guru would be called, "Living the Fairy Tale Life."

Sit back relax and enjoy!! Take it away Belinda.........

Welcome! I’m so excited to be here writing my first introduction column for all of you. It is truly a blessing to be able to share my love and passion for Disney with everyone. My name is Belinda, my husband and I have no kids and are as madly in love with Disney as we are with each other. Disney has been a big part of my life every since I was a little girl, as I got older, my love and passion for Mickey grew into a magical and unforgettable addiction. Every since I was 10 years old, my parents would take my brother and I to Disney World yearly. Once my brother joined the army and moved away, I still took the trip with them until I was 18.

When I married my high school sweetheart, his love of Disney joined with mine, and together our marriage turned into something truly magical. We vacation “home” every year, sometimes twice a year. We even celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a Vow Renewal Wedding on the Disney Magic. Every day is like a fairytale for me, whether we are cooking from a Disney cookbook together, dancing in the living room to Disney love songs or playing Disney games and planning new trips. We make it a point to incorporate Disney in our lives every day. It is a passion and a love that gets us through some of life’s toughest times. Some people may not ever understand why when I think of Disney, the songs, the parades, the feeling of magic it creates… I get all choked up, but it’s an overwhelming feeling of joy and emotion that means so much to me that it truly takes my breath away. 

We all dream of living the fairytale life, I believe that for every couple out there, their truly is a happily ever after. I dream it but I also live it every day. I hope all of you will follow me on my journey as I share with you the love and passion that Disney has blessed mine and my husband’s life with and how the love of Disney in our hearts has made our life a true fairytale!

Keep Believing!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wacky Wednesday's With Julie

This is such an exciting week here at Disney Guru because I have the pleasure of introducing you to some fresh new writers that are joining me on this magical journey that I have been on over the past 7 months. These talented ladies are going to be making appearances right here on Disney Guru several times per month. 

Today I would like to introduce Julie. She has a burning passion for Disney much like myself and is very excited to share it all with you. Julie is one of the founders of New England Disney Diva's Facebook Page, where she shares her wacky diva adventures throughout Disney World. Both Julie and I thought it would be fun for her bi-monthly Wednesday column to be titled, "Wacky Wednesday's with Julie." 

My name is Julie & I’ve had a ‘passion’ for Walt Disney World as long as I can remember.  My magical memories began as a child taking yearly spring vacations to the ‘world’ each year with my family. I now follow this same tradition with my own family. Having been to WDW over 20 times, it’s still always fresh & new for me. I’ll never get tired of being in my ‘happy place’!!
I’m a busy ‘Disney’ housewife & stay-at-home mom to 3 beautiful girls here in mid-coast Maine. When I’m not daydreaming about WDW or planning my own vacations, I’m giving tips or advice to fellow Disney friends. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my knowledge & love of Disney with others!

I look forward to spending Wednesdays with you!!

See you real soon,
Julie ºoº

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magical Meals: A Guide to Affordable Dining at Walt Disney World

Magical Meals: A Guide to Affordable Dining at  Walt Disney World

Dining at Walt Disney World for many people can be a challenge, not because they cannot find something they would like to eat but because there are so many options and with those options come a big price. There are in fact many ways to dine at Disney on a budget and Nancy , the owner of The Affordable Mouse did just that in her new e-book "Magical Meals".  In fact, Nancy cleverly subtitled her book, A Guide to Affordable Dining at Walt Disney World which truly defines what the premise of "Magical Meals" is all about.

I am very excited about "Magical Meals" because this book is written in just 60 pages yet is packed with a plethora of information on how to increase the value of your Disney dining experience.  While there are a ton of dining choices; snack, counter service, table service, dinner shows, character experiences, and signature dining, even new Disney travelers can read "Magical Meals" and feel like they have a handle on how Disney dining  works and how to get the most bang for your buck!! 

Nancy’s vision for her Disney customer is very clear, from the title of her blog, The Affordable Mouse to the title of her book Magical Meals:A Guide to Affordable Dining at Walt Disney World.  While there truly is a ton of great dining information in her e-book, Nancy primarily focuses on money saving strategies.

Here is a sampling of some of the topics in "Magical Meals":

-Types of Food Options at Walt Disney World
  -Disney Dining Plans and Discount Program
 - Getting the Most Value for Your Meals
 -What you Need to Know About Advanced Dining Reservations
 -Food Allergies, Specialty Diets, and Vegetarian/Vegan Dining
-And much more

I honestly have to say that Nancy has taken the time and effort to put together a wonderful resource that is invaluable to Disney World travelers.  The research that one would have to go through to find ¼ of the information that Nancy provides in this guide is unimaginable. The amount of detail yet simplicity of delivery of "Magical Meals" will not go unnoticed from first-time Disney World travelers.  Nancy knows what we need to know and she effectively delivered a masterpiece that is a must-have for all Disney travelers.

How do you get your hands on this wonderful guide?

“Magcial Meals” costs just  $10.95 and comes to you in the form of a downloadable and printable e-book. This book is easily accessed and easy to grab and go. In addition, to the great price and information “Magical Meals” comes with a year’s worth of updates making this guide a true treasure for those planning a Disney World vacation and trying save a few bucks.  Visit The Affordable Mouse  to learn more about Magical Meals: A Guide to Affordable Disney Dining at Walt Disney World.

Disney Guru is giving away 1 copy of Magical Meals: A Guide to Affordable Disney Dining at Walt Disney World.

How to enter: Comment below with your favorite dining location.

Extra Entries:
1. Like the Disney Guru Facebook page
2.  Like The Affordable Mouse Facebook page

Be sure to comment for each extra entry.

Giveaway ends on 3/25/11 at 10:00 PM ET. Winner will be selected via I will announce the winner here and through email. If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.
Good luck!!
See ya real soon!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Steals & Deals

Money Saver Monday!!!

When visiting Walt Disney World many people can agree the food is considered an attraction on your trip. People spend hours planning where they want to eat, what time, what they should eat and many people even look up pictures to see what the food looks like. :0) While there are so many restaurants on Disney property it is impossible to visit all of them on one trip. I don’t know about you but I have my favorite food items at each restaurant from appetizers to desserts I can’t possibly fit it all in. In my recent research on popular food staples throughout Walt Disney World I came across some information that shows in some cases an expensive table service restaurant and a counter service restaurant can carry the same items for very different prices.  The only difference is going to be presentation. You may be served your favorite dessert on a paper plate or minus the garnish.


 Who loves the Tonga Toast at Kona Café? I do!!! When you visit Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and you order their staple food item Tonga Toast with a side of meat you can expect to pay about $10.99 plus tax and tip. Or you can go to The Polynesian’s counter service location called, Captain Cook's and order the Tonga Toast for $5.19. Now if you are like me all you really want is the great taste of the Tonga Toast…not only is this a 50% savings but you don’t have to tip!!

Tonga Toast at Captain Cook's Photo From

 The Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, serves up some of the best Grapefruit Cake!!!  Be ready to “fork” over $7 plus tip and tax for that luscious piece of cake. Or you can simply visit Starring Rolls Cafe and ask for a slice. No, it is not in their case but they will go and get it for you. I have to be honest I cannot find the price of it anywhere...if you know the price would you mind posting it in the comments and I will add it here? Thanks! 

Photo from

There are many soups that I love at Walt Disney World but one favorite of mine is the New England Clam Chowder on the lunch menu at Liberty Tree Tavern.  A cup of the tasty soup is going to cost you a whopping $6.99 plus tax and tip. Or you can jog on over to Columbia Harbour House and get a bowl of the exact same soup for a much reduced price of $4.49 and no tip!!

Photo from

Even if you have never dinned at Boma located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you certainly have heard of Zebra Domes. I can tell you that my non dessert eating husband even LOVES the Zebra Domes. In order to take advantage of this awesome sweet treat one may feel that they have to partake in the pricey Boma buffet, $39.50 per adult….yikes!!!  Want to fill your Zebra Dome crave for much less? Visit the Mara food court located at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will find that they carry Zebra Domes a la carte for $3.69.

Photo From

With a bit of research and some thinking ahead you surly can enjoy some of your favorite Disney food staples and still stay true to your budget. I am sure that there are many more food staples that you can get at multiple locations…I would love to hear about any that you have found.

See ya real soon!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How to Buy Time Before Your Next Trip

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!! I hope that you have a day full of magical Leprechauns and colorful rainbows!!

Not only is spring in the air but many people are planning for their spring/summer Disney vacations. As the countdown to trp time is ticking so is the itch to buy time with the kiddos. I don't know about you but as my Disney trip approaches I get so anxious for it to be trip time. My kids and I try to do some trip planning activities to help us buy time while we wait for that magical day to come. 

1. Mousekeeping Envelopes- My family and I leave tips for Mousekeeping daily. In the morning we are always in a mad dash to get to the parks and sometimes in that dash we forget to leave the tip out or we never seem to have the correct amount of cash on us at that time. One way to save time and stay organized is to make Mousekeeping envelopes. You will want to have your tip amount ready to put in the envelopes and seal them. You can either print labels that say Thank you Mousekeeping or you can have your kids write on them and decorate them with stickers from the dollar store. Another way to do it is to visit The Mouse For Less and print one of their selections of Mousekeeping envelope labels.  

2. Create Disney Themed T-Shirts- On our most recent trip to Disney we decided to create themed Disney t-shirts for our trip. My kids got involved in creating them and we had a blast!! The best part of it is, if you have a computer and a printer you can create some really neat t-shirts all for very inexpensive. Visit and click on creative designs to learn all about how to create your very own Disney t-shirt. 

3. Room Decorations- We have an absolute blast decorating our resort room windows. There is nothing like coming back after a long night at the parks and seeing your room window decorated. There is almost always something to celebrate no matter what season you’re going to Disney. What we do is visit the dollar store or Target Dollar Spot to shop for window clings, lights and any other themed items that we can bring to make our room feel like home.  Take the kiddos on a little shopping spree..they will love picking out all of the decorations. 

4. Autograph Books- Kids love creating things so why not create your own autograph book to use on your trip? Visit Creative Designs on and browse through the plethora of design options for your book. Click here for detailed instructions about how to create your book at home. The kids really do enjoy showing the characters what they have created and plus this is a bit of a detailed project that takes up a good amount of time before your trip. :0)

5. Birnbaum's Disney World Guide for Kids-Just like we like to plan and read the Disney guide books kids love it too. I always buy the Birnbaum's Walt Disney World for Kids book. My kids love reading it and seeing what is new and also to see what we have not done yet. They mark up their books with their list of must-do's. This is a great way to get your kids into reading some nonfiction material that they are interested in. 

There are a ton of things that you can do to help you buy time as you wait for your trip to come. I would love to hear about how you keep yourself and your kids busy while you wait. 

See ya real soon!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Magical Attraction Memories

"Let the Memories Begin" has created a time for me to reminisce all about my many magical memories at Walt Disney World. I have to admit that while I have created more memories than I can ever remember there are just some that cannot slip out of my mind. When you get a chance head over to WDW Fan Zone to read an article written by me titled, "The Many Stages of My Disney Life." In that article I talk a little about how my Disney life has morphed. Today I want to share the best memories I have of Disney world...I know that these are my top three Disney memories and that they will stay that way for a lifetime. 

I know that Tuesday is attraction Tuesday at Disney I am sharing my top 3 magical memories at Disney attractions. :0)


The Judge's Tent at Mickey's Toontown Fair

1. In 1999 I took my daughter Lexis on her first trip to Walt Disney World. We of course decided to take her to meet Mickey for the first time. In the unbelievably HOT month of August we waited in the longest line at the Judge’s Tent to meet Mickey. The line was so long that we were actually outside in the sun...yikes!! Yes, Lexis at 3 got a little crabby but when we got to the front of the line and met Mickey, it made the wait worthwhile. When they opened up the door to meet Mickey, my quiet child magically transformed into an excited child. She ran in the room and immediately hugged Mickey...her face was priceless. I will never forget the magical look on her face. 

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger  Spin

2.  We took Logan on his first trip to Disney World in 2008. When you prep a 3 year old for their first trip to Disney there is really no right way to do it. They simply have no idea what they are about to experience.  In 2008 and still today, Logan was really into Buzz. I repeatedly reminded Logan that he would be able to go on the Buzz Lightyear ride. The magic happened in the Buzz queue, as you are walking through the queue just before you enter the ride loading dock, you pass a digital Buzz that talks. Logan actually thought that Buzz was talking to him. Till today...Buzz is Logan's favorite is family must do. 

Logan and Dad enjoying Buzz for the first time. :0)

Tomorrowland Indy Speedway

3. Sometimes the little things at Disney are what your children will remember the most. On our most recent trip to Disney World Lucas was 2 almost 3 years old. He just loved it all!! Well that was until he went on Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. We routinely went on this classic attraction just to say that we got it in like we do the tea cups and a few other attractions at Disney. Little did we know that Lucas would take a huge liking to this ride to the point that he actually still talks about it 5 months later. We have him on video riding the ride and he laughs hysterically every time that he watches it. Just waiting in the queue makes Lucas happy. 

Waiting in line...he loves it!!

Lucas waiting in line with his driver...aka Dad. 

Disney is full of attractions and special memories. What is your favorite memory and what attraction did it include? 

See ya real soon!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dinosaur...A Scary Adventure!!!!

Location: Animal Kingdom Park Dinoland U.S.A.
Height Requirement: 40 Inches

Dinosaur is by far the scariest ride on Walt Disney World property. From the in your face dinosaurs to the loud roars, this dark indoor thrill ride is sure to leave thrill seeking teens and dinosaur lovers alike talking about it for days!!

The attraction begins in the Dino Institute Discovery Center, which is designed to give you the feel that you are in  a natural history museum.  Murals and displays around the room as well as a short presentation about how the asteroid came and wiped away the dinosaurs are all in preparation for your journey through time. Through a short presentation you find out that the institute has a new high-tech vehicle that is designed to take you back to the time that dinosaurs roamed the earth...the vehicle is called the Time Rover. In the presentation you learn that Dr. Grant would like to defy rules and send you back the time period just before the asteroid hit, he actually wants you to bring back an iguanodon.
A bit blurry, but you can see how scared the adults are.
Thank you Stefanie for the picture!! :0)

Soon after speaking with Dr. Grant you are rushed into your Time Rover and before you know it you are one with the Dinosaurs. Trekking through forest-like areas with sightings of dinos in the area you are not in any real danger yet. That is until a huge carnotaurus starts chasing your Time Rover. All of the sudden you are starting to lose power. Losing the power along with a few other set-backs you start to feel as though you may not be making it back home anytime soon. After a sudden burst of speed rushes you back to the present, monitors show that you did indeed pick up that iguanodon.

A wonderful cast member took our pic while we waited for our family to get off of the ride. 

Some things to keep in mind....

This is a very dark ride and is quite scary. My 13 year old and 6 year old go on it and always have. I can tell you that I know that my 3 year old will not be riding this attraction for a very long time...i know he would not like it. If you are not sure if your children would like the ride, get a baby swap and go on first, then when you come out the other adult can ride with the kids if you feel it is appropriate. Keep in mind that you know your child best. This area of the park offers a great place for shade, relaxing time on a bench, or a place for your little one to run around and play while you wait. 

Lucas playing while we wait. 

Fun facts....

  • Be ready to say will be getting your picture taken.
  • Check out the trees that appear to be growing behind the Dino Institute building they are actually placed on the roof to give the illusion that the building is a small museum and not a huge indoor ride. 
  • In the loading area you will notice that there are red, yellow and white pipes. These are labeled with the chemical makeup of ketchup, mustard, & mayo....this was a reference to the rides original sponsor McDonald's. 
  • Look for the Hidden Mickey that appears as marks on a tree trunk in a lobby mural. 
See ya real soon!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What's With The Verbiage On Your Pin Code?

Money Saver Monday!!

Happy Monday, I hope you had a magical weekend. I sure did but this weather in Chicago is confusing

Last week I made mention of some tips and tricks that may help you get that ever so famous Disney Pin Code!!This week I would like to share the verbiage on the pin code that could help you use it to its fullest potential. When you receive a pin code it can come in one of two ways, either as a post card mailing or an email. At a first glance you will see the deal and the dates that the pin code is good for. Read the small print on the pin code, if it says "for stays beginning between” or "for stays most nights beginning between” you can arrive up to the last day on the pin code and use it for up to 10 days after. If it says "between" with two date in between it, you may only use the pin code offer on the dates listed.

Some tips if you do not receive a pin code offer...

Have you ever heard of an invitational upgrade? These are offers that you must ask the reservation agent for at the time of booking. All you need to do is ask your agent if there are any offers or invitational upgrades available. Keep in mind, these are offers that are not advertised , all you need to do is ask and they will check for you.

Ask and you may receive....

This I know is a touchy subject...I have personally not ever done this, but I know of people that have asked and they have received. When you check in, feel free to ask if there are any room upgrades available. These are all subject to availability and per the cast member that is checking you in. You never know when a cast member may be willing to sprinkle a little pixie dust your way. :0)

Do you have a pin code? Click to "Get a Disney Quote."

See ya real soon!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Princess For A Day

It is my pleasure to introduce Theresa. She is a Disney lover, mother of three children, a wife and owner of Shutter Expressions Photography. Not only does she love Disney but she is a high school friend of mine. Theresa will be a contributor on Disney Guru once a month.


Princess For A Day

Most little girls dream of  being a princess.  The dresses, the hair, the castle, and of course the title of “Princess”.  At Walt Disney World, that dream becomes a reality for children ages 3 and up.

Your child’s transformation takes place at the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique inside Cinderella Castle or at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney.

Once you arrive, your daughter is given her invitation to “The Ball” which comes straight from Cinderella herself.  When it’s her turn, she is addressed as “Princess (enter child’s name)” and  then escorted to her awaiting throne. Princesses get pampered by their own stylist. . .er, Fairy Godmother In-Training who will give them a royal manicure, hairstyle, and makeup all while a Photopass Photographer captures the memories.


Don’t be afraid to take you own photos either, as it is not discouraged.  Tissues are another thing you might want to have on hand as the tears will well up. 

Three packages are offered from $49.95 to $185.95 along with three different hair styles; Fairytale Princess, Pop Princess, and Disney Diva.

Ÿ  Coach Package is the cheapest of the three at only $49.95 plus tax and includes hairstyling and beautiful makeup that is done very tastefully.

Ÿ  Crown Package seems to be the most popular at $54.95 plus tax and includes the same as in the above package with the addition of  a manicure.

Ÿ  Castle Package is the big one at $185.95 and includes everything above plus the Imaging Package (one 6" x 8" and four 4" x 6" photos in a princess-themed photo holder).  Then to top it all off, her choice of costume with accessories. 

Besides all that’s listed above, each “Princess” will get a mini jeweled crown, a jeweled Mickey Mouse barrette, a sash, and a gift bag with two bottles of nail polish (Crown Package) and the makeup that was used for her makeover.  It includes several shades of eye shadow, lipstick, and one blush on a little painter‘s palette.  My daughter still uses hers.

A great way to have the Castle Package experience for less is to buy your own costume and accessories at the Disney Store before you arrive. 

I purchased the Coach Package at Cinderella‘s Castle for my daughter , but I bought her a Disney Official Cinderella gown through for about $30 along with $14 light up jelly “glass” slippers and Cinderella’s headband/crown for $12.  It honestly was one of the best costumes we saw during our trip and she was complimented on it by cast members all day.

If you are worried about the hair not staying in place all day, don’t worry, it’s not going to budge. 

It is a very busy place and the earlier you can book your appointment, the better, as they can not guarantee room for walk-ins.  The waiting room isn’t very big and can at times be standing room only.  Strollers are not permitted inside either, but there is stroller parking right outside. 

Though the interior decoration is a bit plain, it’s the overall experience that’s magical and the Godmothers In-Training are very kind and make you feel welcomed.

This is a great way to start the day, especially for a First Visit.  The memories you and your daughter will have are well worth the price.  After all, isn’t Disney World all about dreams coming true?