Category: Disney

Top Disney Halloween Costumes

Are you planning to attend Disney’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year?  If so, you will want to have one of this years top 5 Disney costumes.  From Elsa to Izzy, Jake to Buzz, these costumes will have your son or daughter ready to celebrate Halloween in style.

Did you know?  At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party is one of the few occasions that you are permitted to wear a costume in the park!

Strollers at Disney World

When you travel with small kids, a stroller is a must-have item. Not only will it help with getting your little one safely around the park, but it also serves as a great place to take a nap.  The day’s in the park are long and hot, and a short bit of shut-eye makes the day that much better.

For the past 3 years, 5 week-long trips to Disney World, a 1 week trip to Atlantis and many days of use at home, I have relied upon a Maclaren stroller.

Maclaren is known for their line of baby strollers including the following models:  QuestTechno XT, Techno XLR and many others.

I personally have two Maclaren Quest strollers which have been excellent for use within the parks.  They are small enough to use throughtout the trip, from the airport to the jetway, from the car through the park and everywhere in-between.  The quest baby stroller is lightweight and sturdy, and has ample storage underneath for all of the items you need to carry.  The seat lays down flat, allowing your little-one to take a mid-day nap.  The stroller comes with a clear rain cover which will shelter the rider from a light rain, or cool breeze.  Check out the stroller online at the link below:
[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00B98DX7E]

First Stay on Disney Property

WDW Entrance

Select a Disney Resort for your First Stay on Property

Disney Cinderella CastleThe resorts at Disney World are each a unique masterpiece.  All of the Disney Properties have a unique theme and style, and all live up to the magic.  As you can imagine, there are variations on the prices and accommodation levels.  All of the resorts discussed here are on-property, meaning they are owned, operated and located within the Walt Disney World resort property.  They are conveniently located to the parks and all of them offer free Disney transportation.   All of the Disney Resorts now offer complimentary WI-FI internet. The resorts are categorized in ranges based on amenities and price, but all of them will offer an excellent trip.

In addition this article, I highly recommend these travel guides:

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Walt Disney World Resort & Orlando

The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World

Value Resorts

This category offers the most affordable accommodations on property.  This category includes Disney’s All Star Sports, Music, Movies, Pop Century and the newest of this category, the Art of Animation resort.  All of these resorts are decorated with larger than life disney figures and oversized themes.

The All Star Sports resort features giant football helmet clad buildings overlooking a field filled with playbook X’s and O’s.  On the other end of the hotel is a Baseball themed pool with an enormous Coca-Cola cup.   Each value resort has multiple buildings all within walking distance of a pool and the main lobby.  The lobby includes a Gift Shop – Pantry Store  and a Food Court.  Most resorts have a small arcade as well. The All Star Sports resort is where I started out when I began traveling to Disney on my own as a teenager.  The rooms typically range from $85 per night during the Value season to as high as $195 during the Holiday season.

Most value resorts have two double beds and a single nightstand in-between  while some rooms are available with King Beds.  The rooms have a small bath room with a tub/shower combo and a sink and mirror directly outside.  A television on the main dresser is accompanied by a small seating table and two chairs.  These rooms are amongst the most basic available on property.  If you plan on spending most of your stay park hopping and not in the room, then this is the best room category for you.

Moderate Resorts

These resorts are a small step above the Value resorts offering more amenities, dining options and activities within the hotel grounds.  Disney’s Port Orleans, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness resort are included in this category.  Moderate rooms are about 315 sq feet in size, or approximately 1/3 larger than the value rooms.  They offer similar amenities, with upgraded themes.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is inspired by the historic French Quarter in New Orleans.  The theme is enhanced by delicious Cajun food, jazz music, and dazzling parades. When walking on the resort’s cobblestone walkways, you will hear the sound smooth jazz in the background and will smell the sweet smell of magnolia blossoms in the air. The classic street signs, flowing fountains, and antique gaslamps may make you feel like you’ve been transported to the riverfront of the Mississippi.

Deluxe Resorts

These resorts take it one notch higher than the rest.  Amenities include valet services, improved dining options including room services, concierge services, motor sports and daily activities.  These are also some of the larger resorts.  Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club and Boardwalk as well as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are in this resort level.

The Grand Floridian Resort is a Victorian-style hotel modeled after the Del Coronado in San Diego.  This is the flagship hotel of Walt Disney World which offers world-class dining, entertainment, and luxurious accommodations in its eye catching red-gabled buildings. It is located along the bank of Lake Buena Vista with views of Cinderella Castle and the nightly Wishes fireworks.  It is conveniently located on the monorail line, one stop away from the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.  This resort could not be closer to the heart of the Walt Disney World resort.

The Deluxe Resorts are some of the classics that have been around since my early childhood.  They all hold a piece of history and are worth a visit, even if you don’t make them your vacation home.

Villa Resorts

These resorts offer larger luxurious rooms and suites.  They offer accommodations for larger families.  Many of the Villa resorts are a part of the Disney Vacation Club (timeshare).  The Bay Lake Tower is one of the newest Villa properties which provides a balance of modern and luxurious features An impressive pool, luxurious rooms with contemporary custom pieces and views of the lush landscape near Bay Lake, the courtyard, pool or Magic Kingdom make this resort special.  It is also located on the Monorail line with convenient access to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Campgrounds Resorts

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is the best place to combine nature and magic.  750 wooded acres of lush pine and cypress trees contain fully equipped campsites which let you setup a tent, camp out or trailer stay in comfort. A walk on the quiet trails may include a wildlife sighting of deer, ducks or rabbits.  The natural landscape leads to a relaxing feeling of separation from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Four different types of campsites, including Premium Campsites can accommodate everything from tents to 45-foot and longer vehicles.  There is a maximum of  10 guests per site and amenities vary.   Each campsite is equipped with a private campsite, water, cable television, electrical hook-ups, picnic table, and charcoal grill. Some locations also include a sewer hook-up.

Your Home Away From Home 

Disney does a great job of making your stay comfortable and magical.  There is always a surprise waiting around the corner at these resorts.  On one of my stays on property, Goofy showed up at the resort pool for a swim.  The varied resort options have a fit for every budget and preference. With all of the exciting resort features, the on-property resorts provide fun and excitement beyond the parks.

We would love to hear your feedback regarding your stay on property at Walt Disney World.

Bringing Fido to Meet Pluto

Beagle Puppy

Bringing your Furred Friend to Disney? Disney Offers Pets A Place to Stay.

Why leave your puppy at home, when you can bring him or her with you. While most children will quickly forget about everything at home when touched by the magic of Disney, some are very attached to their pet and there is no need to be far apart. Disney has an on-property kennel service which allows families to vacation with their dog, cat or small pet. Now it is possible to take your entire family with you when you vacation, which makes traveling much more feasible for many.

Disney Kennel

There is one central kennel located in the Walt Disney World resort. The kennel is operated by Best Friends Pet Care Inc., which is a member of the American Boarding Kennel Association. It is located on Bonnet Creek Pkwy. just outside of the Epcot Resort.

Only service dogs are permitted within the theme parks, hotels, buses, or monorails. All other pets are prohibited from these area. In order to transport your pet, you will need to provide your own transportation to and from the kennel.  You may want a soft sided pet carrier to transport your dog or cat safely.

The pet care facility is full of Disney style as this resort for pets offers daycare, overnight care as well as multi-day stays. Accommodations include Indoor and Outdoor units with many different size pet suites and villa. Depending on how much you want to spend to pamper your pet, your pet can go from basic accommodations all the way up to a VIP luxury 220 square foot villa, equipped with a flat panel television and webcam. Overnight boarding comes in handy if you are planning on staying for more than a day. Of course, Disney style means that your pets get a large air-conditioned area to run and play in. Your extended family member will get tons of attention, primping and pampering, and the best veterinary care possible if anything should be needed.

Packaged Amenities

The luxurious kennel has packages which include potty walks, large flat screen TVs, webcams, play groups, a turn-down biscuit, and so much more. Your pet will experience Disney treatment at its best! If the basics are simply not good enough, you can add-on Cuddletime, a Walk & Explore experience, Bottled Water, a Bedtime Story, an Ice-Cream Break, a Premium Bed or even in some seasons a Holiday Meal

So What Does It Cost?

Kennel fees are priced per animal, per day. The kennel is large and can accomodate almost 300 dogs, but this does not mean you should depend on having an available spot. While reservations are not required, the kennels do fill up quickly, so be sure to call in advance and make a reservation for the boarding of your animal.

Depending on the type of animal and the amenities that you select, prices range anywhere from $20 to about $100 a day. Kennel fees are priced per animal, per day. Boarding is available to all Disney guests, irregardless of whether you are staying on or off of Disney property. Discounted rates are available for resort guests (about $3-5 less per day). The basic prices are not much more than boarding your furry friend at home and you get the added benefit of being able to see your friend whenever you feel so inclined. A la carte items such as playgroups, cuddle time and even an ice cream break range from $3 to $15. If you have one or more dog, the kennel offers discounts for multiple animals sharing the same space. Dogs and Cats cannot board together. The kennel is large and can accomodate almost 300 animals, but this does not mean you should depend on having an available spot. While reservations are not required, the kennels do fill up quickly, so be sure to call in advance and make a reservation for the boarding of your animal.

  • A current vaccination and health record from your veterinarian is required in order for your pet to stay in the kennels.
  • Dogs must be up-to-date on Rabies, Distemper and Bordatella vaccinations.
  • Cats must have FVRCP and Rabies vaccinations.

Disney World installed their kennel so that you won’t have leave your family friend at home. After a long day of park-hopping, you can spend time with your pet playing in the dog park or enjoy a walk around the grounds. The kennel is open one hour before the theme parks open to one hour after closing.

Best Friends Pet Care
2510 Bonnet Creek Parkway
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Phone: (407) 209-3126

Have you ever brought your pet with you on vacation? Please share your experiences below:

Disney Luggage for Kids – Heys Hard Side Carry On

At the age of 2, my son made his fifth trip to Disney World.  On this trip we gave him his very own children’s carry-on luggage.

Disney themed luggage is perfect for carrying items for your children to use in-flight.  It easily fits in the overhead compartment on most planes, or under the seat in front of you.  These Heys Hard Side bags are made of polycarbonite composite material which makes them durable for even the toughest of baggage handling. They come with in-line wheels for easy rolling through the airport.

These bags are available in many Disney themes.  Toy Story, Cars, Mickey, Minnie and others.

Walt Disney World Rolls-Out Free WiFi

Attention all wireless device addicts – you connection is live. Free WiFi is now available at the Magic Kingdom theme park. As of August 2nd, Disney has rolled-out free WiFi access for all guests. The service called “Disney Guest” will allow access to your favorite websites and social media venues. After accepting the terms of service, you are online and connected.

We are yet to see if the service can handle the mass of wireless devices that will look to connect to high bandwidth sites. Speculation indicates that Disney is about to release a series of mobile apps to make the park experience more enjoyable. Disney announced “My Disney Experience”, a new mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.