Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Changes to ADR Polices at WDW

It was just a matter of time.  WDW announced recently that starting October 26, certain restaurants will now require a credit card to secure a reservation.  For cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance and for no shows, the card will be charged $10 per person.  Restaurants that require pre-payment will have a cancelation penalty of the full amount.

Locations affected are as follows -   

Pre-Paid Locations:
• Cinderella's Royal Table
• Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
• Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
• Mickey's Backyard BBQ

Credit Card Guarantee Locations:
• 1900 Park Fare
• Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
• Artist Point
• California Grill
• Cape May Cafe
• Chef Mickey's
• CĂ­tricos
• The Crystal Palace
• Flying Fish Cafe
• Garden Grill
• Hollywood and Vine
• Jiko - The Cooking Place
• Le Cellier Steakhouse
• Narcoossee's
• 'Ohana
• Tusker House Restaurant
• Hollywood Brown Derby
• Victoria and Albert's (cancellation policy is $25/per person)
• Yachtsman Steakhouse 

Additionally, if you need to make a cancellation, there's a new dedicated line: 407-WDW-CNCL.  You can also go online to the restaurant bookings page (disneyworld.com/dining).  If you are already on property, you can continue to book or cancel at any table service restaurant podium, resort front desk or Guest Relations.  Those staying at the concierge level can also access services there as well.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

These are just too cute!

Check out these amazingly cute hand soaps from Method (pic from the Disney Living Facebook page):

Aren't these just swell?  

According to reports, they'll be available at major retailers including Target and Babies R Us starting in April!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How much Disney is too much?

It's been eight months since I last entered through the gates of Disneyland.  I feel like an addict in withdraw.  I am feeling a pull back to Florida (since that's actually within driving distance unlike the other!), even though I am also craving travel elsewhere. Then it hits me - let's do a cruise this year!  Now I realize I'm driving my husband a little crazy.  I found the perfect Disney cruise at a great price, but it's in October.  He doesn't want to wait until then to go on vacation.  And, alas, he'd like to do something that doesn't involve a mouse.

So, how much Disney is too much? 

I think about how much money we've spent on Disney vacations in the past several years, and geeze, we could have taken some serious, longer trips elsewhere.  We're deluxe resort staying, dining plan eating kinds of people.  We have dropped a few thousand pretty fast.  Have we had a blast?  Yes.  Have the kids enjoyed it?  That's to say the least!  I love it and don't blink an eye.  It's ultimately not even about the money.

I want to keep it special.  I am afraid of going too much.  I don't want the kids to be like, oh, Disney again, okay.  I want to still keep that magic alive.  I want the pixie dust to stay fresh.  I can go time and time again, but I'm struggling to find the happy medium.  I still get goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes when I see the kids enjoying themselves, or when I cross through onto Main Street that first time.  Gosh, I got excited walking through Downtown Disney in Disneyland before the park opened last summer, so I don't even have to enter the park to get excited.

At what point do we do something different?  We kind of did last summer in that we stayed at Disneyland, but we didn't spend but a few days in the actual park.  It was our home base for our LA travels, then we left and spent an amazing few days in San Diego.  Would we be happier going to back to southern California, which we love, and exploring more of what the region has to offer, or going back to WDW?  Sometimes the answer seems obvious, other times, it just isn't.  

As far as the cruise goes, I'm still working on my husband.  Unfortunately, the itinerary we want isn't available when Little Man is out of school, and that itinerary is on the older ship, not the newer one.  Little Man just wants to go on the Aqua Duck, so that's a hard choice.  I'd love to do this, but should we go to New England instead? 

Friday, November 19, 2010

The AquaDuck!!

On January 26, 2011, the new Disney Dream will set sail for the first time!  Not only is it a brand new ship, but it's launching a brand new water coaster that's not available on any of the other ships.  Once my son saw this, he started begging to go on a Disney cruise.  I don't blame him!  I'd love to check this out myself!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Showing off your Disney pictures with Shutterfly holiday cards

It's that time of the year again.  It's time for Christmas cards and cards celebrating the holiday season in general.  When Shutterfly.com asked me to blog about their holiday cards and other products, I gladly said yes!

I've been going through my Disneyland trip pictures trying to find the *perfect* picture for my cards this year.  Last year, I used Shutterfly.com and just plugged my 2009 Disney pictures of the kiddos into the following card (note - this is not my actual card from last year, just the design):

The cards came out so cute!  Even though the card doesn't have Disney characters, it was an easy fit with my pictures.  It was so simple to do, and I was able customize my wording.  Once your pictures are uploaded onto Shutterfly.com, you can easily choose the pics you want and drop them in to place.  You can make it as Mickey-riffic as you wish!  This is the one I'm considering for personalizing for us this year.  I like it because this is actually on card stock.

I've got to say that I absolutely love using Shutterfly.com, and I use them for printing all of my Disney pictures.  You can also use Shutterfly.com for gifts like wall calendars and personalized mugs.  A few years ago, I did one of the calendars for my grandparents.  They still have it hanging up in their living room with it opened on their favorite page.  I've also made several of their photobooks using my Disney pictures as an easy way to save memories.  Shutterfly.com is truly one of the reasons I do not use Disney's PhotoPass service very often.

After our trip to Disneyland, I had over 800 pictures to upload!  It was super simple to get them all online with Shutterfly.com, and I ordered all of the photos on a CD so I can have an easily accessible copy at home.  Now I just have to go through them and find THE perfect picture for my Christmas cards.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is back open!

WDW travelers rejoice!  The Disney Parks Blog is reporting that The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is reopening this week!  Changes include a new loading area and gift shop.  The new loading area is interactive to give the little ones something to do while in line, including jumping with Tigger, Eeyore's house and Rabbit's garden.

Looking for FastPass?  For the time being, the FP machines are over near Mickey's Philharmagic.

Going soon?  I'd love to post your pictures of the new loading area!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Caribbean Beach Rooms - Nemo and PoTC

The Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR) was Disney's first moderate resort.  Back in the day, it wasn't called a moderate, but it was the first resort to have outdoor corridors, smaller rooms, etc.   It's also huge at 2,112 rooms.  The resort is organized into six villages named after Caribbean islands.  Check out a map here.  All CBR rooms have either two double beds or a king bed, and they run smaller than deluxe rooms but bigger than value rooms.

In the past, rooms were decorated in standard Caribbean pastels.  Now, guests can choose between the new standard Nemo rooms or upgrade to a Pirates of the Caribbean room.

Pirates of the Caribbean rooms are only located in the Trinidad South village, and they cost more than the Nemo rooms.  Trinidad South is the furthest away from the Custom House, aka Check In, and it can be a hike to Old Port Royale (food court and shopping) from the furthest rooms.  Watch the video for a tour of the new PoTC rooms.

If pirates aren't up your alley, there's always the cute Nemo rooms that are found in the other five villages.

Have you stayed in either of these rooms?  Have advice or opinions to share?  Let me know about your experience!