24 Hour DisneySide Event

 Special event brochure with event times and special event merchandise information

Special event brochure with event times and special event merchandise information

On Friday May 23, 2014 the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (as well as both Disneyland and California Adventure in California) was open from 6 AM until 6 AM Saturday May 24.  24 Hours of Magic Kingdom attractions, food treats, and special activities.  Guests were welcome to dress in costume to show their Disney Side and the theme of the night was Heroes vs. Villains. The Villains led the parade prior to the traditional showing of the Electrical Light Parade and at midnight, the classic Disney Characters were replaced at meet-n-greets with Villains.  Fairytale Hall even changed over to Scarytale Hall.

Here are a few highlights from adventures in the middle of the night at the Magic Kingdom.

 Special Buttons handed out at the park entrance to all guests

Special Buttons handed out at the park entrance to all guests

 Villain Parade

Villain Parade

 Villain Parade

Villain Parade

 Villain Parade

Villain Parade

 Villain Parade

Villain Parade

 Villain Parade

Villain Parade

 Cinderella in the Electrical Light Parade with guests showing their Disney Side

Cinderella in the Electrical Light Parade with guests showing their Disney Side

 Green, Black, and Purple Maleficient Cake Pops

Green, Black, and Purple Maleficient Cake Pops

 Orange Bird Caramel Apples with Steve from the Official Disney Parks Blog showing his Disney Side

Orange Bird Caramel Apples with Steve from the Official Disney Parks Blog showing his Disney Side

 Queen of Hearts strawberry layered cupcake from Cheshire Cat available year round

Queen of Hearts strawberry layered cupcake from Cheshire Cat available year round

 3:20 AM in the Magic Kingdom

3:20 AM in the Magic Kingdom

 3:30 AM on the Jungle Cruise with a lot of devoted Disney fans

3:30 AM on the Jungle Cruise with a lot of devoted Disney fans

 Castle Dance Party to keep the energy going all night

Castle Dance Party to keep the energy going all night

 Frontiereland Dance Party with all the Characters in their pajamas

Frontiereland Dance Party with all the Characters in their pajamas

 Rock Your Disney Side Photo Op

Rock Your Disney Side Photo Op

The Little Mermaid Rooms of the Art of Animation Resort

The Art of Animation Resort is Walt Disney World's newest Resort. It is a value category resort but has mostly family suites. It is split into 4 sections. The Nemo section is all family suites and includes the Big Blue Pool. It is a salt water pool and the characters from Nemo sing under the water! 

This area of the resort is the closest to the food court and bus transportation.  There is also a Cars section of family suites that includes the cozy cone pool and an amazing replica of Radiator Springs!  The final family suites section is The Lion King rooms.

The Little Mermaid themed area is standard value rooms, not family suites.  The area is beautifully themed and includes its own pool. It is a bit of a walk from this area to the food court and buses.  If you have your own car, there is a parking lot next to rooms.

The Little Mermaid rooms have the standard amenities of a value resort room. Exterior entrances, two double beds (some king beds available), hair dryer, refrigerator, small table and chairs.

There are some awesome details in the rooms!  Like the Grotto shower that has Ariel's treasure!!!

The Under the Sea sheet music that is designed into the table is a really nice touch as well.

If you or your little one loves Ariel, these are definitely the rooms to choose for your trip!  If you'd like a bit more space, the Royal Guestrooms in Port Orleans Riverside are another great princess option and have a little bit of Ariel added in the designs. 

Ask Katherine for a free quote and more details for your next princess vacation!

*Room images are of a wheelchair accessible room with roll-in shower option.

Featured Resort: The Cabins of Ft. Wilderness Campground

Classified as a moderate resort, the Cabins of Ft. Wilderness are a beautiful choice for larger families or guests who enjoy a bit of seclusion off the beaten path during their Walt Disney World Vacation.

 

Accommodations:

Each multi-room cabin includes

*1 bedroom with 1 double bed, a set of bunk beds, closet, dresser, nightstand, TV, hair dryer

*1 full bathroom

*A kitchen with dining table with bench and chairs, full-size refrigerator, full-size stove, dishwasher, pots/pans, utensils, dishes, glasses

*A living room with pull-down double bed size Murphy bed, additional small sofa, TV, child table and chairs, storage cabinets

*Deck with picnic table and grill

 

 

Dining:

*Hoop-Dee Doo Dinner Show (reservations recommended)

*Mickey's Backyard BBQ Dinner Show (reservations recommended-seasonal)

*Trail's End Breakfast/Dinner Buffet and Lunch ala carte menu (reservations recommended)

*Trails End To Go

*Pool Snack Bar

*General Store

 

Activities:

*Hiking trails, biking, horseback riding, many outdoor activities

*Chip n' Dale campfire sing-a-long and outdoor movies

*Disney horse barn and mini horse museum

*Horse-drawn carriage rides and wagon rides

*Swimming pools, playgrounds, much more

 

Transportation:

*Parking space available for personal car at each cabin

*Resort bus service inside campground as well as to Disney Parks and Downtown Disney

*Boat service to Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, and Wilderness Lodge Resort

*Golf cart rental available for use inside the campground

 

 

Contact Katherine today for a free quote on a Walt Disney World vacation at the Cabins of Ft. Wilderness Campground.

The Magic in Magic Bands

A recent trip to Walt Disney World revealed that the My Magic + system can be truly magical for guests of the Walt Disney World Resort. Everything was easier with the Magic Bands, from arrival to departure.

Before traveling, we customized our Magic Bands, using the My Disney Experience website and app to choose color and the names we would have printed on the bands. We received our Magic Bands about a month before departure. When we checked into our Disney resort hotel online, we added a credit card and PIN number for purchases made during our stay.

Upon arriving at the Orlando airport, we scanned our Magic Bands before boarding Disney's Magical Express transportation to the Resort. This was much easier than the paper ticket system used in the past. When we arrived at the hotel, we scanned our Bands again to check that the correct Bands were linked to the system (we have other Bands for future trips).

This is when the magic truly began! We used our Magic Bands for the following:

  • To unlock our room door (much easier than searching for a key if your hands are full).
  • For entrance into theme parks (much faster because the readers take up less space than the former turnstiles, and more than one person can go through a line at a time. The picture below shows the new RFID readers at the Magic Kingdom, which took the place of the turnstiles).
  • For FastPasses (more accurate as the computer kept track of accurate times and cast members didn't have to waste time reading the tickets; plus, by having readers at the beginning and end of the line, it is much harder to jump into the FastPass line without a FastPass).
  • For dining (our Magic Band was scanned at the table both to use our Disney Dining Plan and to pay for additional expenses; no more fishing out a credit card).
  • For PhotoPass photos (we purchased Memory Maker, which includes digital downloads of all photos taken by Disney photographers, as well as attraction and dining photos. We simply scanned our Band after each photo, and they appeared on our online account).
  • For purchases throughout the resort (again, all we needed was the Magic Band and PIN).
 New scanners in place of turnstiles.

New scanners in place of turnstiles.

There were a very few negative aspects, which I hope will change:

  • To use any discounts, we did have to carry the appropriate card (annual passholder, Disney VISA, etc) and photo ID. Hopefully at some point this will be integrated into the system.
  • The in-room wifi was generally unreliable, though the public system at the hotel and in the parks worked much better. Sometimes, though, I was unable to access the My Disney Experience account via wifi, but could access it through my 3G data.

There were also some unexpected perks:

  • It is much easier to keep track of a child's room key / park ticket when he/she is wearing it!
  • Rescheduling FastPasses was easy and convenient, when we were unable to make our original time.
  • The Magic Bands are waterproof, and can be used for all add-ons, including water park admissions.
  • The Bands can't be used for purchases or dining without a PIN, so there are no worries if it happens to be misplaced.

Overall, the Magic Band and My Magic + system made our experience much easier. I am excited to use them again!