Day Dreaming about Disney’s Blizzard Beach

It’s hot and humid where I live, so it has me thinking about water parks.  I used to love water parks as a kid, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been to one.  One of my favorite water parks is Blizzard Beach at Disney World in Florida.

Blizzard Beach is a 66-acre themed water park.  The theme is a ski resort that didn’t do so well in the Florida heat, so it is now a watery wonderland.  The first time I went to this water park, I was only 14 years old and it had only been open for two months.  I absolutely loved it.  I even did the big attraction there, Summit Plummet.  It was fun to try when I was younger, but I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try it as an adult.  Maybe I will brave it again once my daughter is a little older and talks me into it.  I’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.  For now, I’m enjoying this short video of Blizzard Beach.  Take a look for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vm_MPMKaYj8?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0“>

Have you ever been to Blizzard Beach?  Have you been on Summit Plummet?  Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.  I’d love to hear them.

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Disney Vacations Special Offers

Featured Disney Vacation Packages and Special Offers

 Click on the links below to view the latest Disney Vacation Special Offers for Disney‘s magical destinations.

 Be sure to keep returning, as I continue to add new Disney Vacation Packages and Special Offers throughout the year for you.

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Walt Disney World Resort Vacation Packages
Click on any available links below to view current Walt Disney World® Resort Featured Offers.


Disneyland Resort Vacation Packages
Enjoy Disney magic with Seasonal Packages and Special Offers to the Disneyland® Resort. Click on any available links below to view current Featured Offers

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts – Riverside and French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts (Riverside and French Quarter) are moderate resorts.  It offers more amenities than a value resort, but not as many as a deluxe resort.  The price generally starts out at $170 and up a night, but can be cheaper with a discount.  Disney offers many specials throughout the year that can save you money, and help you stay within your budget while staying at the hotel of your choice.  Prices can vary depending on the time of year you travel (peak season vs. off season).

The Port Orleans Resorts transport you to New Orleans.  The details at the resorts are amazing.  Families can enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, swimming in a Mardi Gras themed pool, southern inspired food, and royal guest rooms.

Watch the video below to discover what the resorts have to offer.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ltRUt8XkKmU“>

If you’re interested in receiving a free vacation quote, please click on the link below.

http://www.mickeyvacations.com/jennyw/JennyW_Res_Form.htm

Have a magical day!

Top 5 Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels

These aren’t my top picks for Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels, but I still think this is a good read. I typically recommend hotels near the main gate, since you don’t have to walk far to get to the Parks. However, all of these hotels are good options too. To make them even more tempting, there is a Good Neighbor Hotel special going on right now, so you can book them for even less than normal. 🙂

Wandering In Disney

One of the things that I love about Disney World, that Disneyland does not have, is the vast amount of options for their resort hotels. At Disneyland, you only have 3 resort hotel options compared to Disney World’s 25. With having that many options, Disney World has the opportunity to offer a wide variety of budget options for hotels, where as at Disneyland there are only the 3 higher price point hotels. Therefore, I’ve put together a list of my top five favorite Good Neighbor Hotels at the Disneyland resort, for those of us that cannot always afford to stay at the resort hotel properties.

DLFW

1. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground: The reason I pick this as my first choice is because of their recent updates to the hotel and because I am thinking from a family minded standpoint. The pirate themed water playground here is a very fun…

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Giveaway – Free $75 Disney Gift Cards to First 5 Customers – Book Now!

$75 Disney Gift Card Giveaway to the first 5 people to book their Disney vacations with me. Contact me for a free vacation quote, and book your vacation within 24 hours of receiving your quote to be eligible for this giveaway.
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Disney Gift Cards are great to use for dining (in the parks, at resorts, and at Downtown Disney), buying souvenirs, and paying for recreational activities at Disney Destinations.

To redeem this offer, go to www.mickeyvacations.com/jennyw to request a free quote.

You can also fill out the following form and email it to me at:  jenny.westbrook@mickeyvacations.com

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*** My services are always free to my customers. There are no hidden charges. Giveaway is good for vacations booked for Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California, Disney Cruise Line, and Aulani Resort and Spa in Hawaii. Gift Cards will be sent once vacation package is paid in full. Offer is running on Facebook.  This Giveaway is not a Disney or Mickey Vacations offer.  This Giveaway is being offered directly by me, to show my appreciation to my customers.

Offer ends on June 14, 2015.

Offer can be seen at:  https://www.facebook.com/MyMagicalMouseVacationsByJenny

Good luck to everyone, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a magical day!

Jenny

Youth Education Series at Disney Parks

Disney Parks in Florida and California offer a Youth Education Series for students and their teachers.  This program is also available for Homeschooling families, Girl Scouts Troops, and Boy Scout Troops.  My daughter and I will be attending a class this November at Epcot called Experiencing Synergy in Science, and we are very excited.

Epcot, Spaceship Earth

Epcot, Spaceship Earth

The Youth Education Series is a hands-on, educational adventure.  It’s a collection of guided field studies in applied sciences, environmental studies, liberal arts, and leadership development.  This program is accredited, standards based, and designed to reinforce your classroom lessons.  Students will be able to practice teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving skills while your group participates in one of a kind experiences that use the magic of Disney to make learning even more significant.

Useful information about the Program:

  • Guided, in-park educational field studies with courses at Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.
  • Year-round educational opportunities offered seven days a week.
  • Available to elementary school, middle school, junior high, and high school students of all ages from around the world traveling in groups of 10 or more.  Homeschoolers, Girl Scout Troops, and Boy Scout Troops are welcome.

Groups can register online at:

http://www.disneyyouth.com/our-programs/education/sp/youth-education-series/#categories-youth-education-series

You can also contact me at Jenny.Westbrook@mickeyvacations.com to find out more information about this program, and to find out how you can attend a course during your next Disney World or Disneyland vacation.  This is a great educational option for groups traveling to Disney Parks.

I’ll be doing a detailed post about the course we attend this November.  I’ll try to get as many pictures as I can, but since I will be participating with my daughter, it may be hard to do.  Have any of you ever attended a class at one of the Disney Parks?  I’d love to hear about it.

Disney Coupons

Are you looking for Disney Coupons?  Here are the coupons listed on my Local Saver Page.

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$50 Disney Gift Card for New Clients

New Clients will receive a free $50 Disney Gift Card with their first vacation package booking.

Expires July 2, 2015


$75 Disney Gift Card with Vacations over $5,000

If you book a vacation package for $5,000 or more, you’ll receive a $75 Disney Gift Card.

Expires July 2, 2015


$25 Disney Gift Card with Room Only Bookings

Mention this coupon and receive a $25 gift card with any Room-Only booking!

Expires July 2, 2015


Free $75 Disney Gift Card with Holiday Vacation Packages

When you book a Disney World vacation with tickets to a special holiday event, receive a free $75 Disney Gift Card. Holiday events are Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Expires July 2, 2015


$50 Disney Gift Card

Mention this coupon and receive a $50 gift card with your first vacation package booked with us.

Expires July 2, 2015


Free Disney Gift Bag with Booking

Receive a Free Disney Gift Bag with first vacation booking. You’ll get a reusable Disney Gift Bag along with some Disney goodies.

Expires July 2, 2015


In order to show my appreciation to my customers for booking their magical vacations with me, I offer free gift cards and other goodies.  It is an honor to be able to help others plan their vacations.  I am a true lover of all things Disney, and being able to work as a Disney Travel Agent is a blessing.  I love my job, and I am truly grateful.

If you want to keep up to date with all of my current coupons, go to my Local Saver page at:

http://www.localsaver.com/richton-park-il/my-magical-mouse-vacations-disney-destinations-coupon?dsc=MYDS&bizid=52033616&cpnid=4308734#lscoupons

* Please note that coupons cannot be combined with other coupons.  However, all of my coupons CAN be combined with Disney vacation offers.  For instance, you an use a coupon when you book a vacation package that includes the Summer Resort Special (30% off Disney Resorts).  So not only are you getting 30% off of your room rate, but you can also use a coupon to receive a free Disney Gift Card too.  Sweet deal!

Disney World’s Magical Express

Magical Express is a free bus service.  When you’re staying at an on-site Disney World resort, it includes ground transportation from the Orlando International Airport to Disney resorts (excluding Swan and Dolphin).  Magical Express will also transport your luggage from your departure airport to your Disney World resort.  Once you check your luggage in at your departure airport, you won’t see it again until a few hours after you arrive at your resort.  (Remember to pack a carry-on bag with any essentials you may need the first few hours after your arrival.)  Of course, you don’t have to have your luggage transported for you.  You have the option to bring your luggage with you on the Magical Express, but it is so convenient to not have to worry about big luggage and have it magically delivered right to your room.  It’s a service that my husband and I both love.

Waiting for our bus to leave the airport in 2014.

Waiting for our bus to leave the airport in 2014.

She's such a trooper when we're traveling.

She’s such a trooper when we’re traveling.

You may be wondering how this all works.  It’s very simple.  When you book your trip, sign up for Magical Express Service.  You will need to provide your flight information no later than 10 days prior to your trip.  I always inform them of my flight information the moment I know which flights I will be traveling on.  I personally prefer to have all my ducks in a row as far in advance as possible.

A few weeks before your trip, you will receive Magical Express vouchers and luggage tags in the mail.  You will need to put luggage tags on all the luggage you will be checking in at the airport that you wish to have transported by Magical Expess.  You will receive one tag per person in your traveling party.  If you need additional tags, they can easily be requested.  If you plan to transport your own bags, they will not need luggage tags.  Anyone arriving at the airport past 10:00 p.m. Eastern time will need to pick up their own luggage and transport it themselves.  Magical Express does not offer luggage delivery after 10 p.m.

When traveling, make sure you carry your Magical Express vouchers with you on the plane in a carry-on bag or in your purse.  The vouchers act as your tickets when checking in with Magical Express.  Although, the past two times I’ve traveled to Disney World, we’ve been able to use our Magic Bands to check in for Magical Express Service.  However, I still carry the vouchers with us just in case they need to see them.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  If by chance you do forget your vouchers at home or pack them in a checked bag, just go up to the Magical Express desk at the Orlando International Airport and they will be able to assist you.

My daughter waiting in the Magical Express line in 2013.

My daughter waiting in the Magical Express line in 2013.

Once you arrive at the Orlando International Airport, head to the Magical Express check-in desk.  They will scan your vouchers or Magic Bands, then you will enter into the Magical Express line for your resort.  You may wait 20-30 minutes before your bus arrives to pick you up.  We have never waited more than 30 minutes.  When the bus arrives, you will be directed to your bus.  Each bus stops at several resorts.  Expect that the trip to your resort may take up to an hour, but don’t worry, the buses play little videos to help get everyone excited about their Disney World vacation.

Talking to daddy in the seat behind her in 2013.

Talking to daddy in the seat behind her in 2013.

Magical Express pulling up to our resort in 2013.

Magical Express pulling up to our resort in 2013.

When you arrive at your resort, you can pick up any luggage you transported with you.  At this time, you should tip the bus driver if he helped you with any luggage.  The typical tip is $1 per bag, per traveler.  If you had Magical Express transport your luggage for you, then you do not need to tip the driver.  Even though we use Magical Express to deliver our luggage to our room, we still usually give the driver a dollar for our family of three.  It just seems like the polite thing to do, but it’s not expected.  The drivers we’ve had are always really nice to our daughter, so we feel they’ve earned a small tip.

If you used Magical Express luggage tags to have your luggage transported for you, then you will need to wait for your luggage to arrive to your room.  Magical Express will pick your luggage up from the airport and deliver it to your resort.  It typically takes 3-4 hours for your luggage to be delivered to your resort room.  You don’t need to be present in your room when the luggage is delivered, and you don’t need to tip the delivery person.  If you aren’t in your room, the delivery person will leave your luggage inside your room.  We like to head out to dinner or to a park shortly after arrival, so we’re never in the room when our luggage is delivered.  At the end of the day, it’s nice to come back to our room and find our luggage waiting for us.

The day before you depart, a note will be delivered to your room with a Magical Express pick-up time.  This pick-up time tells you what time you will need to board your bus to head back to the airport.  Pick-up times are 3 hours before your flight, and you can’t change the time.  Please do not miss your Magical Express bus because you may not be able to ride on another one.

Another nice feature is most airlines participate in resort airline check-in.  With resort airline check-in, your boarding passes will be delivered to your room.  You can also check-in your luggage at your resort and they will transport it to the airport for you.  This is a wonderful service, but make sure you check-in your luggage at least 30 minutes or more prior to your bus pick-up time.  The line may be long to check-in your luggage, and if you can’t get them checked-in by the time you’re supposed to be on the bus, you will need to take your luggage on the bus with you.  One year, my husband and daughter were super slow about leaving our room on check-out day, and by the time we got to the resort airline check-in desk, we didn’t have enough time to wait in the long line.  We ended up having to bring all of our luggage with us, and one of the bags was 48 lbs.  It was not fun having to deal with that bag.  The next year, my husband dropped off our bags a couple hours before our bus pick-up time.  Live and learn.

You don’t need to be using Magical Express Service to use the resort airline check-in.  It is available to all Disney resort guests.  The resort airline desks are usually located in the lobby or entrance area of the resorts.

The following airlines participate in resort airline check-in:

  • AirTran Airways
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Northwest Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Air Lines
  • US Airways

Please note that specific airline bag check fees may apply.  You will need to call Baggage Airline Guest Services to find out more information on luggage fees.  The phone number is 407-284-1231.  Luggage fees need to be paid in advance.  If your airline doesn’t have bag check fees, don’t worry about calling.

Once your luggage is checked-in, you won’t see it again until you arrive at your home airport.  You will pick it up at baggage claim.

Magical Express is just one of the many reasons why staying at a Disney resort can be worth the extra money.  This free service is a gem.  It makes traveling so much easier.  My husband is all about hassle-free traveling, and if it’s free, it’s even better.

Additional information about Magical Express:

  • The resort airline check-in desks are open from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m  If your flight is before 8:00 am, you will not be able to check-in your luggage.  You will need to transport your luggage with you on the Magical Express bus.  Unfortunately, you are not able to check-in your luggage the day before.
  • Since the check-in desks are similar to airport curb-side service, it is appropriate to tip the person handling your luggage.
  • If your airline is not listed above, you may not check-in for your flight or check-in your luggage at your resort.  You can still use Magical Express Service, but you will need to transport your luggage with you on the bus.
  • Using Magical Express one way instead of round trip is an option.
  • Magical Express only operates from the Orlando International Airport.  You can not use this service if you are flying into a different airport.
  • Car seats are not needed on Magical Express buses.  If you are traveling with a car seat for your child, it will need to be stored under the bus with the luggage.
  • There is a bathroom on the bus.
  • Big luggage will need to be stored under the bus, but smaller bags can usually be taken on the bus.
  • If you are transporting your own luggage to the airport via the bus and you have a late pick-up time, you can store your luggage with Bell Services until you are ready to head to your bus.  This is convenient if you plan to hit the parks on the morning of your departure, or you want to participate in other activities before leaving.  Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to pick up your luggage and head over to the bus pick-up location.
  • If booking your trip through a Disney Travel Agent, like me, we will take care of adding Magical Express Service to your vacation package for you.

I really do love using Magical Express on our trips.  It is convenient and easy to use, and it’s one less thing I have to worry about.  I highly recommend this service to anyone staying at an on-site resort.

Current Disney Vacation Offers

Walt Disney World Resort Vacation Packages
Click on any available links below to view current Walt Disney World® Resort Featured Offers.

Click here for the latest Walt Disney World Information including Special Offers!


Disneyland Resort Vacation Packages
Enjoy Disney magic with Seasonal Packages and Special Offers to the Disneyland® Resort. Click on any available links below to view current Featured Offers

Click here for the latest Disneyland Resort Information including Special Offers!

To learn more about Disney vacations, go to my website at:

http://www.mickeyvacations.com/jennyw

Contact me today for your free vacation quote.  My services are always FREE to you, the customer.  I am here to help you plan your magical Disney vacation.

Jenny.Westbrook@mickeyvacations.com

Some of these vacation offers are ending soon!  If you want to lock in one of these current offers before they’re gone, book now.

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Favorites at Walt Disney World

People made from legos outside the Lego Store at Downtown Disney.

Made from legos outside the Lego Store at Downtown Disney.

1.  What are your favorite rides at Walt Disney World in Florida?

This is a hard one.  Some of my favorites at Magic Kingdom are:  Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

I also have a soft spot for some of the old classics like It’s a Small World and Carousel of Progress.  I grew up going on those rides with my family.

I enjoy going on Test Track at Epcot, Star Tours (Star Wars ride) at Hollywood Studios, and Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom.

2.  Where are some of your favorite places to eat?

Tusker House in Animal Kingdom has become one of my favorite places to eat breakfast/lunch.  The food is good, and the characters come to the table to take pictures and sign autographs.

Some of my other favorite places to eat are:  Sunshine Seasons in Epcot, 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios, and Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom.

3.  What are your favorite Disney resorts?

My favorite resorts that I’ve stayed at are Art of Animation (Finding Nemo Suites) and the Wilderness Lodge.  

The resort I absolutely love, but have never had the pleasure of staying at yet, is the Polynesian Village Resort.  It’s such a beautiful resort with great restaurants.

4.  Do you have a favorite parade or fireworks display?

My favorite parade has always been the Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom.  It is a must-see for me on every trip.

5.  What are your favorite snacks?

Ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion at Epcot is one of my faves.  Last year, I tried the croque glace and it was perfection.  I could barely stop eating long enough to take a couple pictures.  It was definitely worth a snack credit on the meal plan.  This ice cream place puts a scoop of ice cream on a brioche bun, puts it into a hot press, and the end result is this amazing cold and hot dessert.  It was some kind of wonderful.

Here’s a link, if you want to see pictures of the croque glace and how it’s made.    

http://www.wesh.com/orlandomyway/orlando-theme-parks/try-the-croque-glace-at-epcots-lartisan-des-glaces/29142886

I also enjoy a refreshing Dole Whip at Magic Kingdom, and a Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel or a Sweet Cream Pretzel at Epcot.  Actually, I love snacking around the World Showcase in Epcot.  There are so many snacks to choose from, so it’s a lot of fun. 

6.  What is your favorite activity outside of the parks?

It would probably be walking around Downtown Disney.  It’s fun to walk around there at night when they have a live band playing outside.  We explore the stores, eat dinner at one of the restaurants, and have a relaxing stroll.  It can be a welcome break from the theme parks.