Friday, March 18, 2011

Tips to See Shows and Parades at Disney World

Disney offers a plethora of entertainment for guests and visitors each and every day.  One very popular aspect of Disney is it's live shows and parades.  But how to know which ones to see and which ones to skip?  Just follow my recommendations below and you are sure to have a fantastic time. And the best inside tips is covered here:  The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

One hugely popular live show that is well worth the admission is Down Town Disney's Cirque Du Soleil's La Nuba.  It is a permanent attraction in down town Disney and is 90 minutes of soul moving, artistical performance.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios you can dance along with Buzz and Woody in the Block Party Bash.  This is a parade that makes several stops along the way, so your family is sure to get a kick out of it.

Another great one in Disney's Hollywood Studios is the Fantasmic night show.  This showcases how Mickey's dreams turn quickly to night mares, and includes Disney characters, laser lights, spectacular fountains, and floating stages.

Inside the Magic Kingdom, be enthralled with the fireworks show called Wishes.  Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio's Blue Fairy narrate the moving story of the power of dreams.  This one is a definite must see.

The other must see inside the Magic Kingdom is the SpectoMagic.  It is a night time parade featuring an explosion of color and sound as a million points of light winds it's way through the park and electrifies the night.

Also, everyday at 3pm the Magic Kingdom features the Disney Dreams Come True Parade.  This has all your favorite Disney characters dancing and singing their way through the Kingdom, and the Dream Along With Mickey is one that is shown several times a day and features lots of kid friendly fun and singing outside of the Cinderella Castle.

If none of those appeal, you can check out Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade inside of Disney's Animal Kingdom.  It's a moving parade with entertainers on stilts, The Lion King's Rafiki leading the way, and joined in fun are Mickey and Minnie, as well as Goofy and Pluto.

Epcot features Illuminations- Reflections Of The Earth for those of you into the laser lights and water shows.  A bit similar in concept to Hollywoods Fantasmic, it is still a spectacular sight to see.

At Disney's Fort Wilderness you can enjoy a meal and a show.  The Hoop-De-Do Musical Revue is an all you can eat dinner buffet featuring fried chicken, BBQ ribs, and other classic American fare, as well as lively musical entertainment.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom you can be enthralled with the latest Broadway quality Finding Nemo Musical.  It uses the new style of puppets with the puppet masters in plain view, and a completely enchanting show that you must put on your to do list.

As you can see, live shows and parades abound inside Disney World and all of it's parks.  These are a handful of the brightest and most enjoyable and popular.  You will of course see much more than that once you are inside the parks, but this gives you a great starting point to try to help you map out your day. And don't forget to grab this invaluable resource: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Here's another resource to save money when visiting Disney World: Save BIG on Walt Disney World Tickets!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tips for Planning A Disney World Vacation

How To Plan A Disney Vacation

Planning a vacation can be a chore in and of itself.  Even worse when you are planning a trip to Disney!  Your kids have probably been driving you absolutely banana's to go, which creates a domino effect of skyrocketing your stress level, raising your blood pressure, and kicking in your fight or flight response (In this case flight...  Some where far, far away from children!).  Needless to say, with all of that pressure, it is pretty darn tough to plan a proper vacation and do it on the cheap.  Or at the very least, affordable.

Never fear, I have your back.  Keep reading, you are going to learn how to plan the best darn Disney vacation on the planet, and all without even breaking a sweat.  And if you want more inside secrets go to The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

First Step:

Well the first step is easy.  If money is no object, hire someone else to plan your vacation for you!  No seriously, you don't have to do that, although it is something to consider if you can afford it.  For those that can't though, the first step is to decide on the nuts and bolts of your trip.  For example, arrival and departure dates.

Decide whether or not you want to brave peak season or go off season.  Decide whether you are driving or flying.  Figure out which is more cost effective and easy on your sanity.  Choose whether you will stay in a Disney hotel or vacation home.  Vacation homes can be a great and affordable option if you have a large family or are going with relatives and can split the costs.  Those are the 3 basics you need to getting there and being able to function.

Second Step:

Plan your meals in advance.  If you don't know it yet, you soon will.  Disney is a tourist trap.  Especially when it comes to preying on families becoming weak with hunger!  And meals out can get expensive, especially if you have a large family, so plan for that in advance.

If you are hoping to dine in a special place, or with special Disney characters, then you need to do some digging and find out the places to go and book reservations as far in advance as you possibly can.  It would be a shame to get to Disney, decide you want to dine with Goofy and Pluto, and be unable to do so because the 10 families ahead of you booked their dining experience 6 months ago.  That is just the nature of the beast, especially if you are attending during peak season.

Third Step:

Plan your attraction itinerary.  I know it sounds a little boring and the complete opposite of what you may imagine a Disney vacation should be, but trust me, you will thank me later.  Especially if there are kids involved!

You should be able to get on the Disney website and find maps and schedules for their different parks and attractions.  Some parks or attractions may open earlier than others or close later than others.  All of this information is good to know, so that you can plan each day accordingly, and be able to really see all that Disney has to offer.

Remember that with out planning, you are planning to fail.  Yes, even on a Disney vacation this holds true.  Ever been kicked in the gut by a 5 year olds face and disappointment because you failed to plan and now they are not going to get to meet Cinderella or Mickey Mouse?  'Nuff said!

Final Step:

Finally, shop around for park tickets.  Yeah it might be a bit easier to purchase straight from the ticket counter when you get there, but why do that if you can find them else where for a few dollars cheaper?  It is always important to keep your budget in mind when you are planning your perfect Disney vacation. 

There is nothing worse on vacation than running out of money too quickly and missing out on some great experiences because you failed to plan and budget properly.  So do whatever you can where ever possible to cut a few corners and save a few bucks.  Trust me, your family will love you for it.

The best thing you can do to paln is to be prepared. Here is the ultimate way, get the The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to Travel Around Disney World

If you are staying within the Disney property and don't have plans to travel outside of it, it makes much more sense to utilize Disney's free transportation system within the property rather than spending unnecessary money on car rentals. For the real inside secret get The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Disney is over 30,000 acres, so you really should be able to stay within the property and have a great time, unless there is something in Orlando you just have to do while here that is off property.  In that case, an inexpensive car rental may be the choice for you.  For this article though, I am going to go over Disney's free transportation system as the best option for navigating the property.

Disney recently added another aspect to their transportation system called Disney Magical Express.  In a nutshell, that is just complimentary transport to and from the airport to your hotel.  When disembarking from your plane you would find the Disney Magical Express help desk at the airport, check in there, and then wait to hop a bus to your airport.  Expect to wait 10-45 minutes for your bus depending on the time of day.

The great thing is that they will even pick up and drop off your luggage at your hotel for you as well, so you don't have to wait in the luggage line.  If you purchase your Disney package through the Disney site, they will send you tags to attach to your luggage, and it will go straight to the Disney bus and on to your hotel.

Now of course there are other transportation options you can use, such as vans, shuttles, cabs, and limos.  However, you can expect to pay a pretty significant amount of cash for these services, so the complimentary transportation is a nice way to avoid that.

Now once inside Disney property, they are fairly good about getting people to and fro between the parks and resorts.  Outside of every resort property is a Disney bus stop, and Disney buses run every 15-20 minutes. 

Just be certain you double check you are on the right bus for where you need to go, as each bus is assigned to only one or two hotels, and they then travel directly to that park.  That means very little stop and go for you.  Every bus has the park name that it serves painted across it, and you can always ask the driver if you are uncertain.

On return trips, every park has a bus stop out side of the gates, and there are numbered posts that indicate which hotel that bus goes to.  So to board you just find the appropriate line for your hotel and wait for the bus to arrive.  Generally wait times are only about 10-15 minutes for buses.  The exception is after big shows or events, and large crowds are exiting the park at the same time.  This can cause your wait time to increase to as much as 40 minutes or more.

To travel from resort to resort, you would simply hop on the bus for the closest park destination to your hotel, and then once you arrive at the park hop on a new bus headed to the other resort.  Think of it a bit like a lay over on an air plane, or transferring flights.

In general, Disney buses begin running an hour before each park opens, and an hour after each park closes.  They also run all day about every 20 minutes, although it is possible they run a bit faster than that most days.  Regardless, despite taking a bit more time to wait for public transport, it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper than wasting money renting a car when you really don't need to!

And to really make your dollars go farther at Disney World check out: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Best Times to Visit Disney World

Sure you want to make the most of your vacation, but realize this: for going to Disney World, timing is everything.

Disney is a great vacation, but if you can go during the slower times of year you will save yourself several headaches and maybe even a bit of money in the process.  So when are the busiest and slowest times to visit Disney?  Keep reading!

The Best And Slowest Times-

September is the perfect time to visit Disney.  Anytime after labor day and you will avoid quite a bit of the crowd for a couple reasons.  For one thing it's the start of school and parents are not keen on having their children miss the first days back to school. 

Secondly, it is the start of hurricane season in Florida, so weather can be a bit hit or miss, which turns some folks off of traveling there.  Mid September is also great because that is when they have Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party after hours at the Magic Kingdom and it's ton's of fun for the family.

The very beginning of November is also a great time to travel to Disney, but avoid any dates after the 5th, until the end of November rolls around.   The end of November and early December is another great time to visit Disney, but avoid the value resorts as they can be pretty crowded due to National Cheer and Dance Championships.  Also make sure you are out by December 21st as it starts filling back up then.

Finally another great time to hit Disney is after New Years, into the first week of February.  Most likely it isn't quite so busy because it's a bit colder in Florida, and it's right after the holidays, so take advantage! And to learn more secrets about Disney you meed The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. There is nothing worng with saving money. And now you can learn how.

Moderate Times To Visit-

The first part of Thanksgiving week is fairly moderate as far as crowds, and also the time in February and March in between President's week and Spring break.  After that, you can try between late April and early June before kids get out of school for the summer.

Worst Peak Times-

Peak times are pretty self explanatory.  President's week in February is a busy time, mainly because in the U.S. it is a national holiday and many schools extend the long weekend into a week long break.

Spring break for grade school kids is generally sometime between  mid March and mid April.  This means kids are out of school for about 10 days, so that translates into Disney vacation for many families. 

Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas through New Years Day is also a peak time for Disney.  Families are traveling back and forth and find that Disney is a popular place to meet up and spend some time together.

Memorial Day weekend is also an extremely busy time at Disney as folks get ready to kick off the coming summer.  And then of course, the super busy time which is summer itself.  Mid June through mid August is summer vacation for all school age kids.

For more ultimate secrets claim your copy of The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to take the Best Pictures at Disney World

Disney is a magical wonderland and getting the perfect photo is the best way to preserve the memories for years to come.  But how do you go about getting that perfect photo?  What factor's should you consider, and what tricks make a great picture?  Keep reading, and I will cover the basics to help you out.

The first thing you want to think about is the type of camera you will be using.  Do you want a regular analog camera or a digital camera.  For myself, in the current day and age I would go with digital, simply because it makes share photos with family that much easier and less expensive.  However if you are old school you can still go with regular film. For more great info check out, The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Another option, especially if you plan on riding a lot of water rides is to buy the single use waterproof disposable cameras.  They are also great for kids, so that kids can snap their own photos and memories.

The next thing you want to consider is framing the shot well.  If you have a large group all lined up in front of Mickey's Sorcerer Hat, and you are standing back half a mile to fit them all in the shot it will not come out very well at all.  It will be hard to tell who is who!

So instead, have everyone squish together as much as you can, and get as close as you can while zooming your lens out at the widest angle possible.  Only shoot from the waist up or higher, and you will be able to not only get everyone within the shot, but it will also be much closer and a better photo overall.

Another thing to do is experiment with a bit of wide angle shots as well.  Close ups are great for family portraits and things, but use a bit of wide angle on other shots so you get as much of the Disney experience into the shot as you can.

With night photo's it is extremely difficult to get those shots of fireworks and lights display.  You can try the night program settings on your camera and play around with flash and without flash, but don't be to disappointed if they don't come out great.  Also remember that when shooting people to be about 6 feet away.  The flash should illuminate, not completely wash them out.

Another thing you should do is always look at things with a photographers eyes.  You should be framing everything, and analyzing whether you think that would be a good shot or not, or if there is too much going on in the back ground, etc.  For instance, for sunny pictures you want to make sure you are either in full sun or full shade.  Half and half photos make the picture look odd because you now have shade dappled people.

Or if you are taking a photo of Mickey, and there is a huge tree in the shot that is practically swallowing his ears, that might not be the best shot for that picture.  Also beware of having strangers body parts in your family photo's and get in as tightly as possible so that you have the best arrangement.

Another good tip if you are using disposable or film camera's is to label EVERYTHING.  There is nothing worse than getting back home with a mountain of film and camera's to be developed and no idea what is what.  So label everything, pay attention to your framing, and you should have some great memories to share for many years to come!

For more inside tip and tricks about Disney World there is only one resource: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. And it was written by someone who worked there!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Discover Dining Options at Disney World

Disney dining can be just about any kind of experience you want it to be.  They have restaurants to cater to just about every single taste you can dream up.  From the exotic, to the home grown steak and potato's kind of person, to the health nut, you can find a restaurant to suit your taste buds with very little difficulty at all.

The Magic Kingdom:

Kid Friendly-  Casey's Corner, specializing in hot dogs, Pinocchio's Village Haus specializing fast food, The Crystal Palace which specializes in buffet style character dining with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eyore, and Cinderella's Royal Table, which offer pre- plated all you can eat fare, and time with Cinderella, Snow White, and others.  Liberty Tree Tavern is also a good one for family meals with kid friendly options.

Adult Friendly-  Tony's Town Square, specializing in Italian food.  Columbian Harbour House, specializing in seafood, and vegetarian chili, and Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station specializing in Asian cuisine that is only open seasonally.

Snacks-  ToonTown Farmer's Market, Auntie Gravities Galactic Goodies, Sleepy Hollow, and Enchanted grove.  All offer a variety of snacks ranging from fruit and smoothies to caramel corn and espresso.

For more complete information on dining and all things Disney World, check out The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

The Animal Kingdom:

Kid Friendly-  Flame Tree BBQ offers outdoor seating and is a great place to relax for a moment with the kiddies.  Tusker House is also great, offering a character breakfast buffet in the A.M and a regular buffet during lunch and dinner.

Adult Friendly-  Rainforest Cafe offers excellent cuisine and a full bar after a long day of touring the grounds.  Hit the Dawa bar for evening cocktails.

Snacks-   For snacks stop by Dino Bite Snacks, or if you fancy some ice cream try out Tamu Tamu.  You can also try Petrifries if you have a hankering for french fries!

Epcot Center:

Kid Friendly-  Teppan Edo is a great Japanese Hibachi style restaurant sure to delight your children.  The chef's cook right at your table and put on a great little show for the family.  The Garden Grill is has a great kid friendly menu and offers Character meals as well with Farmer Mickey and Chip and Dale. 

The Coral Reef is a great option to help you unwind over a relaxing meal.  It features floor to ceiling aquariums that keep children engaged.  If none of those suit, Epcot is wide and varied, there are several kid friendly restaurants as well.

Adult Friendly-  Visit San Angel Inn for a dark and romantic evening dining experience.  Check out Restaurant  Marrakesh for a meal and belly dancing entertainment.  If that doesn't suit, try Biergarten for a full dining experience with musical entertainment.  Again, Epcot is so widely varied, it has several restaurants to choose from, you are bound to find at least one that strikes your fancy!
Snacks-  Drop by Lotus Blossom Cafe to snack on some delicious eggrolls.  Or try Baulangerie Pattiserie for excellent pastries.  If you are just looking for a quick, but decent meal drop by Electric Umbrella for your run of the mill burgers, chicken and related foods.

Hollywood Studios:

Kid Friendly-  The two best places to dine in Hollywood for the kiddies are the 50's Prime Time Cafe, and the Sci-Fi Dine In Dinner, which is great if your kids are into old Sci-Fi movie clips and enjoy dining at a table shaped like an old vintage car.  The 50's Prime Time Cafe offers a unique experience where the wait staff play 'brother' and 'sister' to diners while 'mom' cooks in the kitchen.  Kids get a kick out of it because mom and dad get chastised in a funny and fairly frequent manner for various infractions.

Adult Friendly-  Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano is a good choice to dine w/ your hubby.  You can also try out Hollywood Brown Derby for some delicious eats!  (Don't forget desert!)

Snacks-  Snacks abound in Hollywood.  Try Hollywood Scoops for some hand dipped ice cream, or try Toluca Legs for turkey legs and hot dogs.  Min and Bill's Dockside Diner offers stuffed pretzels and milkshakes, or you can try the ABC Commissary for a multi ethnic blend of options.

Again, all of these are just some ideas of places to dine within each park, there are several other restaurants with great cuisine both inside the parks and out side as well in the surrounding areas.  Check out for in depth information and sample menus.

For more inside dining tips and hidden disney World Secrets I recommend: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Secret to Avoiding Long Lines at Disney World

Disney lines can be the bane of your existence if you don't know to avoid the worst of them, and can really cut into your fun time, which just isn't fun at all!  So learning a few tips and tricks to avoiding some of those lines can be a godsend, especially for families with antsy children.

First of all, go early and stay late.  Sounds pretty basic, but if you show up at least an hour or so early, often times the parks will allow early entrance.  That means you can jump on at least one or two rides before the crowd rush and have that many more rides packed into your day.  A resource that you may want to check out for more great Disney Secrets is: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide

By the same token, if you stay late, the park tends to empty out fairly drastically as evening falls.  Especially in slower times, staying late can mean you pack more rides and attractions into the final couple hours before closing than you may have managed to do all day long.

If you stay in a Disney hotel, the resorts offer something else handy called Extra Magic Hours.  That means that each day one of the park will open up an hour early and staying open an hour late and you get to cash in those Extra Magic Hours and spend some more time catching the rides.

Another way to avoid lines that is fairly basic is vacation during off season.  Generally at the end of August you will find the parks much less crowded since school starts back.  This is the perfect time for you to have a blast at Disney and not stress over mile long lines.

If a line is so long that there is a two hour wait, seriously, just don't bother.  Head on to another ride because in that two hour wait time you could possibly ride 2-3 more different rides and have a jolly time.  You can even take a moment to see a live show, or consider using a FastPass for that ride.  You can always check back later and see if that two hour wait time has gotten shorter or not.

On that note, lets talk about FastPass.  FastPass is a free, easy to use Disney system that allows you to bypass long lines.  So sometimes, it'd be just down right crazy not to use it, especially for those super long ones like I mentioned before.

Another option if you can bear it is to hit the rides during a parade.  Lines will be quick and easy since everyone else will be caught up in the parade.  Yes you miss out on the parade, but just think of all the extra rides you will hit. 

Two other rather quirky methods to save on line time is to eat lunch while waiting in line.  Think sandwiches, fruit, and easy finger foods.  This in essence allows you to multi task which means more attraction you are able to see.  The second method is to think left instead of right.  Whenever possible enter an attraction from the left. 

The reason this is so effective is because people naturally gravitate to the right and most have no idea the left side is even open.  Another great option to help avoid long lines is to ride attractions during common meal times.  So when everyone else is sitting around stuffing their faces, you can be hanging with your kids and overdosing on all the rides. To learn more inside tricks check out The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Finally, try hitting the parks during week days rather than the weekend.  In most cases it is much less busy and your line time will be drastically reduced.  That means more time for fun!

Friday, March 11, 2011

10 Ways To Cut Costs Of Your Disney Vacation and Save Money

Disney can be pretty expensive if you aren't careful and do a bit of planning.  However there are some ways to help lower your costs, you just need to exercise a bit of creative thinking.  To that end, keep reading for some great tips on saving some cash on your Disney vacation.

So, first things first. You really need a plan. So make your plan and stick to it. The best book I have read about this is  The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. Written by a former employee, you can learn all of the inside tricks to saving money on your vacation.

  1.       Surf The Web!  Instead of hiring an expensive travel planner, do your own leg work and search out the best deals for your trip.  Disney fans tend to be fanatics, so there are always up to date message boards and social groups all about Disney and the latest and greatest deals.
  2. This might be a no brainer, but avoid peak season.  Off season is usually the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as late August on through September.  These are times when good deals seem to pop up, so be on the look out.
  3. Buy your Mickey gear ahead of time online.  You can pack small stuff in secret for the kiddies to give them little Disney gifts throughout the trip.  You will also save a load of money rather than paying full retail on site.  
  4.  Take advantage of interest when saving for your vacation.  Set up a savings account that acru's interest, or invest in a certificate of deposit to put towards your next Disney vacation.
  5.  Consider a 10 day pass instead of a 7 or 8 day.  The longer you stay, the more you milk your dollar to the limit.  Another option might be to purchase an Annual pass, and then plan your first vacation the first of the year, and the next year's vacation a couple weeks early so that you can use the pass twice and really get your money's worth.
  6. Make lunch your dinner.  Prices are always lower at lunch time than at dinner time, so plan on having a late lunch in lieu of dinner.  Usually lunch time in restaurants run till about 3pm, sometimes even 4pm, so plan on eating your evening meal then and you will save a bit of cash. You can pack some after dinner snacks for a little later in the evening to keep the munchies at bay if needed.
  7. Use the Disney perks.  Many perks go unnoticed and unused by vacationers simply because they weren't aware of them, and are included in the pricing of your vacation.  For instance, using the Disney buses and saving on car rentals and parking between parks.  You can also purchase refillable mugs for your drinks throughout the parks which can save quite a few bucks if you have thirsty kids.
  8. Buy groceries and other staple items.  You can pack a suitcase with light staple items, or hit a local grocery store when you arrive to stock your hotel.  Or you can Google online grocery delivery services and have food delivered right to your door.
  9.  Rethink character meals.  I know it's hard to resist as a parent, but you can really save some money if you limit your character fun to snapping photos as they walk about the parks.  It really isn't worth the money when you stop to think about it, and there are so many other opportunities to meet and socialize with the characters of Disney that don't cost you a dime.
  10.   Finally, consider giving your kids their own spending money.  Sounds a bit counter intuitive I know, but handing out a spending limit before shopping can cut down on impulse buying.  Or you can do gift cards with preset limits and that works great as well to keep a handle on your spending habits.  Once the money is gone, it's gone, no negotiations.

So there you have it.  10 great ways to save money on your Disney vacation that you can put into practice on your next trip.  The best guide to saving money at Disney World is:  The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide  I recommend this guide without hesitation.

Here is another great way to save:
Save up to $15 and Visit all 4 Disney Parks!

Happy saving!

Also you may want to check out:

And never forget about Tinkerbelle:

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Disney Couture Tinkerbelle Pave Pendant

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Best Kept Secrets Of Walt Disney World (Fun Stuff You May Not Know)

Disney is full of little secrets not everyone knows about, either because it's not advertised, or because it's really just something pretty small for visitors to pick up on. 

One such little secret involves the Buzz Light Year ride.  If you hit the giant robot on the inside of it's left hand you will gain an additional 100,000 points for your efforts.  Also, drink as much soda as you can possibly fit inside the Coca Cola Zone in Epcot. 

Another secret is there are little less traveled pathways to help you avoid heavy human traffic and can shave minutes off your time so that you can devote more of it to rides and fun. Here is my best hidden secret to make the most of you vacation, check out The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide

Another not so secret secret is the hidden Mickey's.  It's up to the visitor to find them, although there is a book available to help you out a bit.

If you are staying at the Polynesian Hotel, you can lie in a hammock on the beach and see the Magic Kingdom fireworks, as well as the Water Parade.

If you go to Towns Square, there are several American flags being flown.  The main one is taken down at sunset.  The rest are left alone because they aren't 'real' American flags.  They are missing a star or stripe or something that makes them fake.

Years ago, when the Pirates ride was being built, a maintenance guy named George was killed.  According to legend, he haunts the ride to this day and all the ride workers have to say 'Goodnight George' every night before shutting down the ride, or suffer consequences with the ride the next day!  There is also a rumor that if you yell George 3 times during the fire scene something odd might happen.  Entirely up to you if you want to test that rumor though!

Rumor has it, that the dog holding the keys in Pirates of the Caribbean and the dog in Carousel of Progress both are old Walt's dog.

On Splash Mountain, in front of the big drop there is a bridge there.  When the log boats hit the bottom of the big drop, every third one a water cannon shoots an extra stream of water and soaks any bystanders who happen to be hanging out on the bridge.

Also inside Splash Mountain, there is a little animal that drops out of the ceiling in the cave like room just before the last drop and shouts out 'Go FSU!'.  The engineer who installed him was an FSU graduate.

Inside Tink's Treasures when you go in if the music is playing Tinker Bell has already been awakened.  If you go straight to the store as soon as the park opens, you can have the opportunity to wake Tinker Bell up yourself.  They give you a wand and let you tap on the treasure box and say 'Wake Up Tink' three times.  Then the music starts and you are awarded a certificate saying you have experienced a 'Magical Moment'. 

Inside Tomorrowland, there is a talking trash can named Push that comes out of Mickey's Star Traders and roams around every hour for about 20 minutes or so.  There are also metal 'palm trees' that bloom during the day like flowers and fold up at night. And for the best inside information about what is really going on discover: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide 

And finally, while there are many more secrets and little known facts about Disney, here is a last one for you.  At the Mickey's Toon Town entrance, near the tea cups, if you get there just before 10am, you will be escorted into Toon Town by several Disney characters personally!  How is that for a grand entrance eh?

Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. I have fun everytime I go. The best thing is to know someone who works there. They can steer you in the right direction. They can tell you all the ins and outs. They know all of the best hidden secrets.

If you are not lucky enough to know someone who works there, this may be the next best thing: The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. This guide written by someone who worked there, will give you all the inside tricks you need to save money and enjoy your vacation at the same time.

Enjoy. Smile!

Ten Tips For Making The Most Of Your Disney Family Vacation

A Disney vacation can be an incredible experience for your entire family.  You can discover,  a number of ways to make the absolute most of your time at Disney World. I will share them with you here now.

You need to know the best times to go.  Peak times are extremely over crowded and usually cost more money.  If you can aim to go during off season or at the very least moderately busy times, not only will you save money, but you will save time and you will get to do more over all.

Research the best places to stay.  Check out hotels and remember to book ahead of time.  Find something that is within your budget, and preferably close to the parks.  If you can stay on Disney property that is even better because then you can utilize Disney's free public transport system to get back and forth to the parks rather than shelling out money for cabs or rental cars.

Know how you are getting there.  If you aren't going to drive then you will be flying.  Decide if you will be flying straight into Orlando, or into Miami and driving up the coast.  Plan travel options accordingly.

One of the best resources I have found to make the most of your Disney World vacation is The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide

If you are tight on cash you might consider staying off Disney properly simply because it is possible to find rooms as little as 30-40 dollars per night that are only a short distance away from Disney.  But you will need to rent transportation, so work out which way is the most cost effective for your family and stick to it.

Pack properly.  For the most part, jeans, t shirts, and maybe a nice shirt here and there would be plenty.  No need to go overboard or over dress as Florida is simply not that kind of place.  Think laid back and relaxed and you will be fine.  Also remember Florida can get hot and muggy in the summer, so pack something cool to wear as well.

Know how to manuever theme parks.  Remember that arriving early or staying late will allow you some time when the crowds aren't as thick to pack in some rides.  Also remember that it's not a crime to skip the park altogether for a day and explore Orlando's many dinner theater's and other attractions.

Learn the Fast Pass.  It is great for skipping the super long lines and cutting down on your wait time.  So use it!

Shop ahead of time.  You can save some major cash by shopping for Disney toys and artifacts online or at one of the many Disney outlet stores out side of Disney property.  Also setting out a daily budget and giving kids their own spending money can help out with the urge to shop and buy a lot of Disney paraphernalia. 

Scope out your eating options.  It is way too easy to spend a ton of money eating out at Disney.  If you don't have that kind of budget, you need to plan ahead.  Take a few perishables with you on your trip for snacks, or hit the grocery store while you are in town.  Research online the cheapest restaurants inside each park and avoid the character meals and other pricey dining options.

Finally, give yourself permission to have a great time.  A good attitude goes a long way in making any vacation or trip enjoyable.  Does that mean you won't have your little aggravations?

Not by any means.  But don't let it get under you skin and ruin your trip.  Let the little aggravations roll off your back, plan ahead for issues like long car rides or rainy weather, and strive to have the best time you can possibly have.  A Disney vacation is meant to be magical and fun, so go ahead and have some magic and fun!

And if you want to leanr the inside tricks and tips to really enjoy your vacation, claim a copy of The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The 10 Cheapest Ways To Save on Dining at Disney World

Dining is one of the biggest and quickest drains on your wallet when you vacation at Disney. People have to eat and Disney takes full advantage of that knowledge by providing restaurants on just about every corner, and most of it pretty steeply priced. However, it is possible to find several places inside of Disney to eat cheaply with a bit of digging, which I have already done for you. To get the most out of you Disney experience, check out:   The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide

Magic Kingdom-

Main Street Bake Shop has the best options for a bite of breakfast. They offer baked goods in the 2-3 dollar price range, as well as a breakfast quiche, or cottage cheese with fruit for about 4 dollars. You can also grab sandwiches at lunch time for a decent price as well.

Columbian Harbor House has vegetarian chili and clam chowder. You can get a bowl of soup for about 5 bucks there. They also offer zero trans fat foods like chicken nuggets and fried fish, as well as salads and sandwiches.

You can also dine at Cosmic Ray's and get a ½ rotisserie chicken, with mashed potato's and veggies for about $9 dollars. They also have wraps and sandwiches, salads, BBQ ribs, burgers and hot dogs among other things. Lunch and dinner only, but entertaining with the animatronic band of aliens.

Animal Kingdom-

Kusifiri Coffee Shop And Bakery is your best bet for breakfast cuisine. Yogurt and fruit cups run about 2-3 dollars, and muffins and sweet rolls run you about 3-4 dollars.

For the kiddies, Pizzafari is a favorite and offers reasonable food choices like pizza, chicken sandwiches, spaghetti and meat balls, and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Anadupur Local Food Cafe offers eggrolls and fried rice for less than 4 bucks as well, so if you happen to like oriental food than this would be the spot for you.

Epcot World Center-

Electric Umbrella Restaurant is the place to go inside Epcot if you are looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serving breakfast burritos in the morning, french toast and cereal, and bagel sandwiches. After 11am, lunch and dinner is served in the way of chicken tenders, wraps and burgers.

If you have a hankering for Japanese style food, you can't go wrong at Yakitori House. It's affordable and offers up chicken and beef skewers, veggies and rice, and my personal favorite, sushi!

Hollywood Studios-

Hollywood Studios has a lot of affordable places to eat, but the one where you can find breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one would be the ABC Commissary. Think typical fast food and that is what you will be eating. Breakfast is oatmeal, fruit, and egg and cheese bagels. Lunch is things like cheeseburgers and fries, wraps, chicken nuggets, and other typical American fare.

If that doesn't suit your fancy you can check out Studio's Catering Co. Flatbread Grill. For meals under 7 bucks it can't be beat. Order grilled chicken or pulled pork, Greek salads and chicken wraps. Whatever you taste buds happen to find appealing. Don't forget to get some real savings by going to:  The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide

So, there you have it. 10 of some of the least expensive places to eat inside Walt Disney World. There are numerous other affordable locations of course, and then the many not so affordable ones. But this should be a great starting point for you so that no one starves to death on your big outing!

While in Orlando you may want to see more.